Saturday, October 25, 2008

All growed up.

So last weekend I was in the final stages of my laptop hunting and so I wanted to make a trip to BestBuy to look at what they had there. And of course I took TRM with me.

She wanted to visit the nearby Linens and Things store because it's going out of business and so having a 'whole store' kinda sale going on (although seriously the stuff still wasn't particularly cheap, the real world is much to expensive for my tastes). So we stopped there first.

While we were walking around with no real goal in mind it occured to me that quite a few months back I had put a new pillow on my list of things to buy sometime. I had 3 pillows all which were quite squashed and not so awesome anymore. And then I thought I had solved the problem when I absconded with a pillow from Grandma's house as she was moving out. Sadly though it was only a small step above what I only had.

So there I was browsing the pillow section of the store. And seriously who buys pillows that cost over $100 - that's crazily crazy. I found myself a nice $15 one. I'll admit the expensive ones are better than it I'm sure. But definately not like 10X better. But I digress.

The interesting thing about the whole experiance was that it just made me feel quite particularly like I was an adult now. As a child pillows were just there. They materialized of their own accord I'm pretty sure. Probably with some parental assistance, but I most certainly did not ever have anything to do with the matter.

And there I was walking out of the store with the pillow that I just spent my hard earned income on.

I suppose maybe eventually I'll become a bit more accustomed to the whole on my own, not a child thing.

Or maybe it's better to maintain this innocent fascination with the silly little things in life.

Friday, October 24, 2008

I finally did it.

Towards the end of my last year of college I started to notice that my computer seemed to be slowing down some. Inevitably 3 years of hard use was taking it's toll. I easily admit that I'm not particularly easy on computers. Running 3 programs (an internet explorer, aim, and a music player) is about the minimum of what I will ever have up. And I like to find new things and play with them: new picture managers, cool programs like Gimp, etc. So invariably the dell was decent enough when I first got it, but given what I wanted to be doing not quite so up to snuff.

So that spring I actually started researching laptops, mostly as an idle dream. Then around graduation time (of year, not when I actually graduated myself) my parents said that they'd buy me a laptop as a graduation present - yippie! So the old computer chugged along into the summer quite well enough (I thought it was questionable then, but I now know better) through the summer as I contemplated my options.

Memorial day weekend hit and the good old Taurus met it's demise in spectacular fashion alongside the highway (good pictures that car fire did make). And as fate would have it my parents decided to contribute $1000 towards the purchase of a new vehicle. Have I ever mentioned that I hate cars. Because seriously I do. They just suck the fun out of life as I see it.

But I never gave up browsing the computer sites and dreaming of the day when I would have a shiny new bit of technology for my very own. I continued on with the old monster of a desktop. For a time it served well enough. But by last fall it was showing its age a bit too much. I stopped using it for much of anything involving new programs. And I even tried to avoid any non-vital program updates as much as possible. By this summer just trying to surf the internet while chatting with a friend could be difficult.

However I am a thrifty little bugger. During the first few months of my job I was seriously not spending any money outside of basic necessities. And so by the time I hit January when I started to seriously investigate my finances I had saved up quite the neat little safety cushion. And so when I prepared my budget spreadsheet the computer column was born. Dilligently I saved.

And as I saved I continued to ogle and drool over all of the pretty laptops on the interwebs.

My little pile of cash grew, and the goal was getting quite near. At last I finally decided to make a decision and go through with it.

I suck at decisions. By my logic my ridiculous hair is a perfect example of this. I'll just make do with what I have instead of having to decide something. Personality flaw number 83 maybe.

But last Saturday I seriously and for real when through with it.

For under $975.21 (including tax and shipping) I purchaed, from Best Buy. A Dell Studio 15. It has some pretty sweet specs. 2.1 processer, 4G RAM, 320 HD, WXGA+, bluetooth, webcam, much much shinyness.

After much waiting with bated breath and a literal recreation of this: online package tracking , my laptop arrived on Wednesday evening. Since then pretty much all of my non-work and non-sleep time has been spent with the laptop within arms reach. Yup, I'm that much of a dork.

There is just so much awesomeness to discover.

There are also a few potentially serious flaws. But I'm avoiding that.

Right now at this very moment. I have open Mozilla where I am typing this, AIM where I am chatting with Little One, I have Ruckus open and playing music, and iTunes is also open because I'm running some other little crazy program (that is a serious ram hog btw) that is supposed to be eliminating duplicates from iTunes, because after the transfer of songs onto here (plus a transfer from an external onto the old computer a few months back when we had to re-format the drive because of a battle between the old computer and something mean presumibly from the internet, and really the poor old thing didn't stand a chance) my iTunes library is pretty bad form. A bit ago I was not typing this or listening to Ruckus but I was watching the Dancing With The Stars that I missed from this week. It ran without a hitch, and even looked pretty durn good. [Although seriously I can't believe Cloris is still on the show - wtf people!]

I still can't believe I spent all that money on something so superfilous. So weird.

Oh that reminds me of another post I wanted to make last weekend.....

Monday, October 13, 2008


After working 12 straight days I always go a bit nutty and can’t wait for the weekend. Last week was no different. This time I seemed to have hit the weekend with a bit more emphasis than normal.

I had all these thoughts of things I wanted to do whirling through my head. And so rather promptly after arriving home from work on Friday I sat down and typed out the following list on my aim where I updated it as I completed things:

Clean car (inside and out)
Finish laundry – whites
Do laundry – darks
Clean room
Clean kitchen (after apple madness)
Make apple sauce
Make apple butter
Start abstract Christmas tree paper cutting
Complete at least 1 window office art things
Complete at least 1 vase Christmas present
Learn to double knit, start Christmas present
Take out winter clothes, put away summer clothes
Sort canning jars

I later added “hike 6 miles, and go on hot date with a watchmaker” when said date asked why it wasn’t on the list (cuz it was the fun activities not the at home chores).

But of that all I completed the following:
Cleaned my car inside and out
Finished laundry darks and whites
Cleaned my room
Made 7 quarts of applesauce
Made approximately 3.5 quarts of apple butter
Finished the abstract Christmas tree paper cutting
Completely refinished and painted my window art
Finished 1 vase Christmas present
Learned to double knit and got the yarn to start the present
Swapped my seasonal clothing
Sorted our canning jars and even cleaned most of them
Hiked 3-4 miles (seriously up a mountain)
Went on a "hot" date with a watchmaker

All in all I am ridiculously proud of myself I did a freaking lot this weekend. It’s awesome feeling. Except that I’m also feeling way too tired today. *sigh* Can’t win them all.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Sailing the celestial spaces.

Yesterday TRM and I drove an hour down into Maryland to go to a REI store there that was having a "Backpacking 101" seminar/class thing.

I was a bit anxious as it was my idea and I was worried that it'd be stupid and that's alot of driving for something stupid.

But good news! it wasn't stupid and quite worthwhile.

First of all REI is an outdoors enthusiast mecca. Seriously the place freaking rocks. Tons and tons of camping stuff. Oodles of biking things. Spiffy clothes, etc. And as an awesomely awesome bonus the workers actually know what they're talking about and can like help you out with what to get. Sweetness.

The seminar itself was rather interesting. The presenter was an employee/avid hiker. Basically he talked just a bit about general things like planning and leave no trace, but then just tried to go through all the stuff you need for backpacking. He explained it all and told us what he uses and stories about absolutely everything. He knocked somethings down, talked others up. It was pretty freaking good.

So now I'm all psyced to go backpacking again.

I don't know if I've ever brought it up here before but TRM and I are planning next summer to go on a Sierra Club Beginner Backpacking trip. I came up with the idea last year and she was into it as well. So the thought was to start saving money now. The cost of the trip is $500ish with the Club. Then there's whatever (significant) cost to get out there (most of these trips are out on the West Coast) and possibly stay somewhere before/after. And last but most certainly not least is all of the gear.

Backpacking requires alot of gear. The thing last night reinforced this. Actually the whole experiance really left my head spinning, so much to think about.

Today I sat down and using the REI website put together a tentative list/budget of everything I need (well I suppose it really is more of a want) to aquire. I came up with $700 as a basic get the stuff I pretty much really need generally at a rather low price. Stuff that it would be nice to have/can be gathered over a longer period of time (although things like having not just 1 but 2 shirts are in this now as well as good to have but not necessary things like treking poles) are an extra $400.

Ouch. That is definately over my initial estimate of $500 for gear. Ah well in theory this stuff will last me for years. And shall provide years of awesomeness.

TRM and I are actually going out for our first hike this weekend. It's off to a bit of the Appalachian trail that is quite close to us. I'm thinking we'll do about 6 miles. And I'm excited.

In writing this I also found an amazing quote that just mentally 'took my breath away' if that makes any sense to you:

"How hard to realize that every camp of men or beast has this glorious starry firmament for a roof! In such places standing alone on the mountain-top it is easy to realize that whatever special nests we make - leaves and moss like the marmots and birds, or tents or piled stone - we all dwell in a house of one room - the world with the firmament for its roof - and are sailing the celestial spaces without leaving any track." ~John Muir