I bought a new desktop computer on Saturday. This doesn’t happen very often. In fact, the one I’m replacing was running Windows Vista, which was released in January 2007. It still functions, but there are more and more websites that give me a warning message about my operating system being embarrassingly out of date, and that I should be ashamed of myself. “You’re probably a doddering old bag,” they imply, “who remembers when you had to take Coke bottles back for a deposit.” One application, that I use every day, finally sent an email telling me I’ll be permanently signed out on January 1, due to security concerns.
So, I did as I always do, and launched a weeks-long research project. I’m no computer expert, but I’m not a novice, either. I know what I need, for the things I do. I know what’s overkill in my situation, and what’s important. Plus, price is a huge consideration, needless to say. And… once again, I ended up buying from Staples. It’s not a place that jumps immediately to mind, but they have great computer prices. I also bought my laptop there, about a year ago, following a similar fact-finding mission.
My new machine is a Lenovo with 8 gigs of RAM, 1TB hard drive, and an AMD A9 processor. It’s not NASA-grade, but it’s what I need. The same gear was $60 more at Amazon, and $100 more at Best Buy. And now I have Windows 10. So, all those judgmental robots can get off my back. Sheesh. So what if I clearly recall returnables? Kiss my ass.
I bought the computer online, with in-store pickup, hoping I could bypass the sales pitch for extended warranties, criminally overpriced virus protection, etc. But they tried it anyway. And about four words into the spiel I said “No” in a not-at-all-friendly tone, which put an end to it. I don’t like when people try to up-sell me. And that virus stuff? It’s a full-blown ripoff in my opinion, which they sell with fear as a motivator. And every store tries it, not just Staples.
Then I spent several hours on Saturday afternoon, and many more on Sunday, cleaning my office. I vowed to start fresh with a clean bunker and a new computer. But it was an outrageous mess. Toney won’t go in there, and I always let it go until I can’t take it anymore. It had been a long time since I last gave it any attention, and it was an atrocious set of circumstances.
In fact, Toney was talking with me a couple of weeks ago, standing in the doorway of the bunker. She had a look on her face like she was witnessing something truly terrible, as she glanced around the room. “Are you suffering from depression?” she asked. “Of course I’m suffering from depression,” I said. “Depression, guilt, and anxiety are the pillars of my existence.”
I filled two big trash bags with crap, and dusted everything twice. It was so bad, I’d dust something and it would go airborne and settle on a place where I’d already dusted. This took many hours, across two days. Then I brought the vacuum cleaner downstairs, and went to town on the carpet. It was clicking and clacking, and I was afraid it might burst into flames. It has one of those clear containers, where all the filth swirls round and round, and I turned it into a noisy jamboree of Combos shards and toenail clippings.
But I got ‘er done. And sometime on Sunday I switched out the computers. I’ve decided to just start over. I’m transferring NOTHING! I did the same with my laptop (with the exception of 100 gigs of music), and didn’t miss a goddamn thing. If I need to access something, I still have the old tower. I have a feeling it’ll never happen, though. I used to stress about moving stuff over, but it’s not necessary. I put a few important things in Dropbox, and just started fresh.
And this baby is running fast. I love it, so far. I installed a few programs, but am keeping it stripped down to the basics. It’s a whole different approach. I have Microsoft Office, Scrivener, Malwarebytes, and iTunes. Nothing else. And I’m using Firefox as my browser. I used to like Chrome, but it seems to always be runnin’ and scannin’ and whatnot. I also use iDrive as a backup service. It’s not installed yet on the new machine, but will be soon.
As far as virus protection goes… I’m just letting Windows Defender take care of it. People have negative opinions about it, but it’s good enough for me. I’m not trolling around the dark web, or anything. I uninstalled McAfee, first thing. It was one of those three months free deals, then the pop-ups start. I don’t need the aggravation.
And on Monday night we sat on the deck and had some adult beverages. The weather was absolute perfection. We had Founder’s All Day IPA, and then segued into Yuengling Lager, the golden elixir. It was a great evening. I like Labor Day so much more than Memorial Day. The beginning of summer (high heat, humidity, bugs, grass mowing, swamp ass) is nothing to be celebrated. But the end of all that? Pass the beer nuts!
Also, our 24th wedding anniversary was one of the days this weekend. We went out to dinner, and said happy anniversary to each other. I know we’re supposed to go on Facebook and write some sappy-ass vomit-in-a-bucket melodramatic boolshit about “we’ve had our ups and downs,” but “I married my best friend,” etc. We take a different approach. We just tell each other. You know, in the living room, or whatever? We’re very unconventional in that sense.
I need to go now. This is the first update written on the new computer. It was a positive experience. The keyboard is a little funky, but I’ll get used to it.
For a question, I’ll just ask what you did for Labor Day. Anything interesting? Are you with me, that Labor Day is so much better than Memorial Day? Of course it is.
I’ll see you guys again on Thursday.
Have a great one!
Now playing in the bunker
Support us by doing your shopping at Amazon! In Canada? Here’s your link. Thank you guys!
Greg Wildt says
Congrats on the new computer. I have one with somewhat similar specs, and I really like it. On Labor Day, I went to Tractor Supply and bought suet cakes for the birds. Yea, I’m a real party monster. Great thing was, I went out about 10:30 in the morning and there was NO ONE on the roads! Everybody stayed home. It was better than Sunday. Got back home in under an hour. Then I cut the front yard. That was my day!
Greg, is this another regionalism? I’ve never cut my yard. I’ve cut my finger, cut a fart, cut in line, got into the deep cuts of Leonard Cohen, had my hair cut, and accidently cut off somebody in traffic, but I mow my lawn. My lawn (a place where grass grows) is about a tenth of my yard, where local and regional native plants, lavender hedges, rose gardens, tomato plants, and native bushes and trees grow. Just trying to expand my regional vocabulary.
Greg Wildt says
I suppose it is. I grew up, always being told to “Cut the grass.” I’ve heard it here (in Parkersburg, WV), for as long as I can remember. We use the verb “mow”, also. After all, we do use a lawnmower.
Is this where I’m supposed to insert the joke about West Virginia finally getting lawn mower technology? I refuse to hit below the Bible belt.
Greg Wildt says
Permit me to assist you by indulging in some self-deprecating humor: We had to get one. The sheep died.
It was always cut the grass growing up in northeastern PA, too. Nowadays, I hear mow the lawn more often.
We mow the lawn and/or cut the grass is west central Ohio but we don’t mow the grass or cut the lawn.
Joe T. says
Sorry Jeff, Labor Day for me is the start of the death process. Days get shorter, plant life begins to wither, culminating in a dark, frozen, unforgiving netherworld. I can’t wait for Memorial Day.
Yes, and I suspect it mostly depends on your latitude. In New England, it’s like you say. But I can imagine that from, say, D.C. south, it’s the other way around.
Same for me. My labor day was just enjoying sitting outside with my all-in-one for probably one of the last times this year. Winter blues is a real problem, and I hate it a lot.
Wow, you’re lucky. I’ve not been able to wear one of those things in years.
The missus and I spent the holiday weekend on a 37 ft sailboat in the San Juan Islands (between Seattle and Vancouver Island). Beautiful weather, food, and far too much to drink, which, as Mark Twain wrote, is sometimes just barely enough.
I had to work. Retail, so no OT or holiday pay. :/
I’m on Facebook, but I never wish anyone a happy birthday or anniversary, because then that’s all I’d do all day. I don’t publish my birthday, but my wife took the liberty of posting a birthday message to me. And so I then had to endure an onslaught of mindless “happy birthday”s. I waited about two days, until I was sure the hoopla had died down, then replied with a single, all-encompassing “thanks”.
Lew in Bama says
We spent the weekend mostly doing whatever the toddler wanted to do, and it was more fun than it sounds.
We slept late and had lazy morning snuggles, followed by enormous cups of coffee while the 1yr old ran amok around the house. We played with blocks, and balls, and cars, we swung, we watched the neighbor mow his yard, took rides around the neighborhood on the ranger, and during nap time we actually got some adult chores completed. Sunday we spent an hour or so browsing Costco oh so leisurely like we were retired, then fired up the grill for some burgers.
All in all, it was one of the best weekends we’ve had in a while.
This weekend is the opening of dove season, which means little guys first trip to the hunting camp. Should be another one for the books I’m sure.
Lew in Bama says
And football…we watched a lot of college football.
Spent the weekend watching this MoFo. https://www.ventusky.com/?p=13;-42;1&l=wind-850hpa&m=gfs
Got a feeling we might have to high tail it outta here for this one.
My god, Reva, that looks like a dynamic collage I assembled in college when I found myself on the business end of lysergic acid. I can’t make heads or tails of the picture, but if it says you’re about to get hit by a bad storm, I wish you all the best.
Did nothing but buy Lebowskifest tickets for me and my girlfriend.
And yes, much better day than Memorial , which I worked 14 hours.
Memorial Day to Labor Day…? We spend a lot of the winter planning to do summer things that mostly never happen. After Memorial Day, it’s too hot, too many tourists, blah-blah, etc., … so stay-cations seem to work just fine. For practicality, we just have to aim lower during the winter planning cycle. Labor Day portends playoff baseball, football (in all forms) and plenty enough good weather for repeat meat immolation on the grill. After 6 weeks of this, we have a massive leaf fall to move. Once done, it’s back into the bunker until Memorial Day with a couple of outings for Thanksgiving, Christmas and trips to NC to visit the family.
Phil Jett says
On vacation in Sandbridge, Va. with the wife and daughter who just graduated from college this spring. Use to hang out here in our Navy years when we lived in Chesapeake. Lots of beach, seafood and alcohol.
I understand that if a union guy sees his shadow on Labor Day it portends six more weeks of humidity and perspiration, but I might have that wrong.
We went to see Social Distortion on Sunday in Ft Worth Texas.
As I read aloud the first ten amendments to the US Constitution on Independence Day to whoever is visiting, so also do I sing “Joe Hill” on Labor Day WITH whoever is visiting. You only need to stand for the seventh verse:
Here’s to the five-day workweek, sick pay, vacation pay and overtime pay, and to the men and women who got them for us.
I went to my mother’s on labor day. I recently kicked drinking and she apparently told everyone to be careful around me. Everyone was on pins and needles, drinking booze out of coffee cups or while locked in the bathroom. It was the complete opposite of fun and relaxing.
Fuck ’em, Jason. Stay with it and things get better.
A friend threw a party on Sunday, so I went. There was a fried chicken cook-off of sorts, an impromptu band and plenty of beer. Good times. Saturday and Monday I cooked; also good times.
Labor Day is superior to Memorial Day, because of what comes in the months following each. Labor Day leads into the holiday-per-month period, which is also the season of rich delicious food. Memorial Day leads into the season of heat, humidity, mosquitoes and yard work.
I’ll take heat, humidity and yard work over snow and ice any day. You can keep the damn mosquitoes though.
Greg in Cincinnati says
Loved the stories of cleaning the bunker. Need an old school smoking fish shirt in 100% cotton with long sleeves. Last I recall you vowed not to do shirts for a bit. Do you mind if I step out on the t-shirt lady and get one made?
Go for it! We’ll need photos, though.
I’m sorry, but I was called into work early. I’ll have to update tomorrow. If I’d known in advance, I would’ve adapted. But, that ain’t the case. See ya tomorrow.
I went to the beach on Monday and was delighted I didn’t run into traffic. The air temp was just a tad too cold for me to go fully into the ocean and now I can kick myself for not taking the plunge. Yeah, I’m a wimp.
Oh and I ate. A LOT.
Michael Narmour says
Here in NJ I consider September to be the absolute BEST month of the year. Still warm summer-like days, cool nights perfect for sleeping and a small fraction of the tourist traffic on weekends. However, the end of summer is a very foreboding time for me. Like most of the made-up psycho diseases nowadays, I believe SAD to be another exaggeration of the way someone feels, and not a disease. But I am definitely in a continuous state of semi-depression in the winter. Have no need for cold, snow, sleet, and darkness when I leave in the morning and darkness when I return. Give me Memorial Day.
Jeff, I can’t believe you got 10 years out of Windows Vista. I ran that on one PC for about 3-4 years and finally gave up – it was a non-stop parade of error messages and sites which would not perform correctly for me. When I got Windows 7, all of these issues magically disappeared.