I love waking up in the morning and doing nothing. Sue is across town baby sitting while our son sells his turbocharged 2009 Subaru WRX. It’s been a great car, super reliable. But now that he is a family man they need something larger. They just got a new Tacoma, but because he and his wife both work full time they need two family appropriate cars.
Yesterday morning we played doubles ping pong at our local gym. On the way in I overheard Carol and Lizzette debating Norton VS McAfee antivirus. I heard the doubt in their voices and offered to consult. After pong Sue dropped me at Carols and we went through her new Windows 11 box. It’s an HP touchscreen monitor without a tower, called an “all in one”.
We uninstalled McAfee and Office, both of which were on trial installs and asking for money. I activated, or rather, enabled, enhanced? Windows Defender. In case you don’t know, Defender is the built in antivirus that has shipped with Windows since Win 7. It’s all I’ve used on my 2012 hand built windows video work station. Which, by the way, I haven’t turned on in a year.
Windows 11 and her sparkling new touch screen computer were very nice. They moved the start button to the middle, and for a while I couldn’t get oriented. I had to google how to find the control panel. But once that opened we found the familiar menu for Install / Uninstall programs. Thankfully they left some things alone from Windows 10. It’s the old: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. After Office was gone we downloaded the free Office replacement called LibreOffice.
[*Begin Word Rant]
I spent two decades using and hating Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. My boss bought it for me until she didn’t. I bought it once but just wasn’t using it enough and switched to the open source version. I think my old Windows box still has one of the earlier Office versions that wasn’t on a timer. Like, you bought it once and it worked forever…imagine that!
The only thing I use a word processor for now is preparing free online sheet music to fit on a single sheet of paper suitable for a 3 ring binder. My music must be campfire ready! I have a whole folder of it here. Other than that I never touch Microsoft products. On the job I used to have to prepare syllabuses in Word. I was a self taught Word user and could never figure out even the simplest stuff…like how to control simple stuff like indents and leading inside tables…or how to get rid of mysterious blank pages that wouldn’t go away. And all those buttons on the Ribbon, I mean really?
Occasionally I’d have to ask our office manager (the Dean’s assistant) for help with a Word problem, and she could usually fix it with 3 mouse clicks. God, I used to hate that software! I could literally do better word processing in html than I could in Word. You are reading it right now.
[*/End Word Rant]
It was fun helping Carol. She is a retired medical office manager and has spent a lot of time on computers. She was really quick and observant. I was my dad’s computer consultant for the last couple decades of his life, and it was a constant struggle. Some people just get computers, while others never seem to click. Mostly it’s what you need to do with them that seems to matter.
Mary has started scheduling a third day of ping pong each week on Wednesdays. Colleens daughter H can’t come to morning pong, but she can come to the afternoon sessions on Wednesday. H is a former state champion pickle ball player and is also a formidable ping pong player. I mean, she is fast! We’ll send a ball over the net that looks absolutely un-returnable, but she leaps into position and sends it right back, carefully aimed at the middle of our side. The woman is amazing. Her mom is really good also. The two play together and lately it’s been me and Norm against them. It’s some fast and furious pong, so fun!
I road my uni on the waterfront bike path yesterday in light rain at twilight. Sue wanted to hike the hills so I dropped her there and drove to the north end of the asphalt path. There were long stretches of pavement with no walkers so it was very peaceful. The reflected lights of moored container cargo ships out on the bay were lovely in the light mist. The rain was so light that walkers had kept the path more dry than wet and it wasn’t slippery at all.
Sadly I was low on energy and had to jump off every block to rest. But I’ve learned that’s part of the process. You have strong days and weak days. But always someone will see me pedaling by and tell me I’m amazing. “Dude, you’ve got some serious skills!” It’s nice to hear that. In my own mind I’m barely hanging on and I’m cursing my lack of talent. I’ve seen videos of good riders, so I know just how bad I am. But to these walkers and One Wheel riders, I’m a greek god of balance and skill. Weird how that works. I guess it helps that I’m the only uni rider in a town of 200,000 souls.
Oh…my Amazon Prime buying binge continues. Sue gives me grief for my constant stream of packages at the yellow box, or on the porch. Some of my recent dumb purchase were:
- foldable reading glasses
- ratcheting paper towel holder (replacing a broken one)
- disposable blades
- zippo butane lighter insert
- stretch belt
- toenail clipper (replacing broken one)
- tiny bottles for lighter fluid
- ping pong balls
- 12 volt battery powered closet light McGyvered
A good dependable all season lighter is hard to find. Even the 8 inch long campfire lighters suck. They all seem to be made using the absolute cheapest materials possible.
I’m still on the intermittent fasting diet. I’ve lost a few pounds, up to 4 though it varies by the day. I love the clarity of mind that comes with regular fasting. In the evenings I’ve been binging on HBOMax’s True Detective…or at least the first season. Years ago I saw one of the actors in a movie called White Men Can’t Jump. I think I’m going to get on my antique Schwinn Aerodyne and work up a sweat while I re-watch it.