Adjusting to life's changes with hope… through poetry, haiku, and commentary

Odds and Ends No. 53


Mark your calendar for it was a week
ago yesterday that I jumped ship. This
is the way it happened. My life has

been on hold lately. I had it with a lot
of things, but my raging computer wars
had to come to end. It was time! My

five-year old HP laptop couldn’t handle
it anymore—Windows or Linux. I felt
that to finish the book I’m writing and

meet publishing protocols, I have to
stay with Word. What worked for my
recent poetry book in print wasn’t

enough this time around. So, I was
thinking Windows 10. I seldom make
an emotional buy; I had to keep the

price down as things are tight. So, I took
it real slow. After search upon search,
I narrowed down the field. I was so sure

this was it, I shutdown Ubuntu for what
I hoped would be the last time, closed
the lid, and stuck it on the bottom of the

bookshelf in front of my desk. Looks like
a decorative paperweight. Plugged in.
Well, I was excited; I parked and walked

briskly in the 108° F heat into the massive
warehouse. I circled the computer area
several times. Didn’t see it. I watched as

other customers discussed computers with
sales persons. My laptop was not to be
found. Got to be a salesperson somewhere.

“Excuse me,” I mentioned to the nearest
clerk, “Are there PC’s anywhere else, is
this it?” “No, this is it,” he said, “The one

you are looking for is probably an online
buy only.” Oddly, every demo laptop was
running Windows 10 Home. Not one was

running Pro. I walked briskly back to my
car. The temp was up to 110° F. I thought,
“Could this be a sign? No more Windows for

me?” I started to pull out of the parking
lot. Left or right at the stop sign? Left
would take me home. What is to the right?

The mall. So, what is at the big shopping
mall that I never go to? The Apple Store.
I looked into my rear view mirror to make

sure there was no one behind me as I
paused to make up my mind. Clear. Good.
I looked at a few Macs but. But what?

A lot of “but’s”—and I’ve been a Windows
guy since DOS was king! I turned right.
I parked and entered the mall on the top

level. I had forgotten how huge this place
is! “Hey, bud, I thought there was an Apple
Store here?” “No problem. Take the

escalator down after the food court and
make a hard left, then left again; it will be
on your right. You can’t miss it.” Thanks!”

He was right. There it was with all its glass
doors in all its glory. And it was crowded on
a Monday! Kids everywhere. Another twenty

or thirty folks waiting for a class to begin. A
few old folks. Not many. I was playing with
a 13″ MacBook Pro with Function keys; not

the new strip. I’m color blind and thought
it and I wouldn’t get along. A salesperson
walked up to the kid next to me. In seconds,

Joe College bought an Air. Another sales-
person surfaced. As we greeted each other
I saw him glance at my forehead and smirk.

I must have been wearing a neon sign that
only he could see that flashed, “Windows
user, approach with caution.” He answered

all of my questions, but wouldn’t leave no
matter what I said. I stared at the Mac. And
it was more than sticker shock. It was more

than a switch from Windows to the Apple
OS. A decades old friend was slipping away.
Was I about to do the right thing? Also, I

couldn’t talk to anyone about it because I
left my phone in the car which was at the
other end of the mall! I was on my own.

This was it. “I’ll take this one in Space Gray.
2.3GHz and the smaller hard drive. Most of
my stuff is online anyway.” He politely

suggested a few add-ons. I politely declined.
I made up my mind to go trackpad, no mouse.
Nothing else. If a piece of bubble gum was

an add-on, I wouldn’t do it! One last try; I
looked up at the sales rep, “Any discounts?
Military? Old age? Green stamps?” He looked

at me funny, “You got a military ID?” “Yep!”
I walked out of the store carrying a new
MacBook Pro. I was a wreck, but I made it

back to my car. So, here it is about a week
later. Doing okay. Everything is set up. And
oddly, I feel that Office works better on the

Mac. (Microsoft is no fool!) I imported this;
I imported that and wham! Flawless data!
I’m not in Kansas anymore. My Windows

nightmares are over. I’m up and running!

So much so that a few days ago I called my
phone carrier, “Any iPhone deals; I can’t
afford a 6 or 7 and don’t really want a phone

bigger than my head.” She was brilliant!
“I got a refurbished iPhone SE.” Now, I have
a good-as-new iPhone SE. Holy Smokes!

With cool trackpad swipes and tons of great
keyboard shortcuts, I’m in heaven. “Beam me
up, Scotty!” Loving the keyboard. On top of

all of that, I gave Siri a female British accent.
I’m having fun and in love again. Can’t beat
that. I may have to watch Star Trek tonight.

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