Things I have not been doing over the last few weeks

So, I’ve evidently been living under a rock for oh, say a month.  I thought the dog days of summer meant lazily sitting around, drinking a sweet tea and trying to avoid collecting too much dust.  For me, the dog days of summer are more like some kind of 1920s era dog race: I’m the rabbit zipping around trying to avoid the snapping jaws of responsibility.  Or something.  Did they have dog races in the 1920s?  Meh, no matter.

I’ve been working overtime at Day Job with gusto, practically to the point I can’t remember what day it is.  Now that things have slowed the slightest bit, I’m back to some kind of normalcy.  As if life was normal before; anyway, here’s a few juicy tidbits I’ve learned this past week:

  1. Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart (the actress equivalent of cardboard drying in the sun) are no longer dating.  This apparently happened a long time ago.  So…yeah, there you go.  Good for you, RPatz.
  2. CSI is apparently still on television.  Who knew?
  3. Windows 8.1 is like some kind of Technicolor beast ready to suck you in with apps.  But, I named my computer and that was exciting.

I made the executive decision to buy a new laptop, solely for the purpose of writing.  Whereas my brain likes to think the 1990s really weren’t that long ago, it’s 2014, a new century, and Windows has graduated to Windows 8.1, because apparently 8 is not enough.  (Hahahaha, hilarious.)  So, here I am.  Armed with a thin pamphlet of “set up” information which, basically, is just a picture of the laptop and a bolded suggestion to “log on to the server” or something equally unhelpful.

Let’s step back for a moment and examine who we’re dealing with here.  I have used a computer since I was three years old.  I grew up using a Commodore 128.  I could program games in DOS when I was eleven.  DOS, guys.  DOS.  I’ll *.* your .exe file and cd/ your d:/ any day of the week.

I am from a time before the Internet.

So, enter Windows 8.1 and its pamphlet.  I turn the computer on and the screen says hi.

Well, hello.

I’m not entirely sure what happened next, but pertinent questions like, “What’s your color?” and “Name your computer!” and “What’s your name?” were asked.  I responded and was suspicious.  At that point, it seemed like little was actually happening with the computer.  It seemed a little like, possibly, the computer was just taking a very long time to start-up.  My mother and I were sitting there talking, likely about tuna fish or kumquats or something (side note: I have a friend, Ingrid, whose nickname in high school was Kumquat Bing), when all of a sudden, the computer was on and ready to go.  No changing floppy discs.  No entering pass keys or validating stuff.  I literally named it, told it my name, and we’re off.

I think I like Windows 8.1.  I keep forgetting where to put the cursor and click so I can get the toolbar back or back to the desktop from the apps screen and vice versa.  I haven’t changed my background to Tom Hiddleston’s face yet, but it’s a jaunty shade of pink and somehow I managed to make all the other tool bars pink, so all in all I’m pretty excited.

So, now I’m armed with a new computer, a new season of Doctor Who is just *days* away, and I’m rolling right along on my current historical.  And another contemporary (I know).  School starts for my boys next week and, as I think I’ve mentioned before, I’m going to home school them because apparently I’m under the impression I have loads of spare time.  No matter.  I’m sure it’s going to go well, because my kids totally listen to me.  An example:

*The commercial for Kraft Mac and Cheese, featuring Vanilla Ice, was on television during the original TMNT movie*

Me:  This is the only TMNT that matters.  Trust me.  It’s the 90s and you can trust the 90s.

The Toddler: I want mac cheese.

Me: (dancing) Go ninja, go ninja go!  Go ninja, go ninja go!

The Toddler and the Preschooler: *walk away*

It’s going to be totally fine.  Education!





  1. I got a new laptop last year with Windows 8, which was full of bugs, had no Start screen, and which I didn’t quite see the point of (unless you have a touchscreen), so the 8.1 update was a huge improvement. But yes, I too had a Commodore – or was it Atari? – and programmed in DOS, COBOL and Pascal, so this is both exciting and frustrating. Because it has no many features I don’t need and lacks quite a few that I do need and like.
    As for home schooling: you are very brave indeed…

  2. I’m pretty sure my dad had a Commodore, and I remember it smelled funny, like its robot parts had soured. Maybe that was because it was in the basement which flooded all the time.

    Yay, education! Good luck with the homeschooling!

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