As many of my preacher friends were working on sermons on Saturday, I was off doing a different thing. I was computer shopping. Now in order to appreciate the magnitude of this you must understand that that the laptop I'm replacing is almost seven years old ( and is only being replaced because of computer death). Her big sister the PC is eleven. I have no intention of giving her up any time soon as long as she continues to chug along. Now it's true I don't use her much as she is veeerrrrrrry slow, but she can call up an e-mail and process a word or two. She cannot however print the word. Well, theoretically she could, but I can't seem to find a printer that does not have more memory just in the set-up than she can manage! But since I am rather averse to sending things off to landfills for no good reason, and I do most of my "real" computing either at work or on the laptop, I see no reason that she can not live out her days basking in the sun on my desk in the study, getting taken for an occasional slow walk to check mail or write something in a pinch which I can then send to myself to be printed elsewhere.
The laptop however, is history. All because of the plug connection. Welded once with a warning that "this is a temporary fix," temporary has ended. I saw it coming. All the previous symptoms had returned. The flickering lights, the inability to charge the battery. So I babied her. I put her on the desk....no more blogging in bed, no more "lap" with the laptop. I taped the cord to the desk to prevent a cat jiggle. All to no avail. On Friday night there was a snick snick sound when I booted up that worried me. My guy had warned me that this was a Very. Bad. Noise. to watch for as it meant that things were shorting out in there. ERGH. So it was time to say goodbye.
James, my bright and chipper salesman...it pains me to call him that....he looks twelve....but I digress....was very helpful as he showed me the entire line of laptops. There sure are a lot of bells and whistles out there! Webcams. High end integrated graphics boards for gaming. Ten different kinds of mouse pad whatsies. Something that inscribes your CDs with laser graphics. This or that for your screen choices. On and on. I told him what I did on the computer and what I wanted it to do for me. He assured me that any one of them would be "fine for that." Did I detect just a hint of patronising? No, he was too sweet.....But when I asked him how many pictures a gigabyte could handle....I think he did suppress a giggle. OK, so I don't know how big a gig is! And he was off with gigs and ram and processor speeds....and I admit, I glazed over. Overall in the shopping department, though, I think I done good! I am paying half of what I paid seven years ago for the dearly departed lapper. For this, I am getting something that I think has the capacity to send me to the moon, or back in time if James is to be believed. At the very least it will read and write my CDs and DVDs, let me blog and check my mail very fast and efficiently, have a very bright display, good WiFi reception (two aircards) and generally make me very happy. They will take all my "old stuff" and put it on my new computer and even install programs for free! Such a deal. He also sold me a new phone/TV/internet provider in the package that will save me $30 a month and give me more stuff on my phone for free, more channels on my TV (if I cared) and give me the capacity to "rewind my TV," a concept that I cannot even begin to get my head around! In return for all of this I am giving up my brand loyalty to the computer company that has had me since hello. Oh, well. Their refurb with fewer bells and whistles was $250 more than the brand new one I'm buying....sometimes the low bid wins!
The rest of the weekend seemed pretty tame by comparison. My sermon was done on Friday. Sunday I celebrated and preached for my colleague down the road. He is providing care for his new preemie great-granddaughter who was born three months premature in June and just came home. This was their first weekend and he had asked for backup for the service. I was happy to help, and it's neat to be with his folks in their tiny church. It was such a gorgeous morning for a drive across the prairie. I listened to Anna Carter Florence's talk from FoH on the drive. I can hear her over and over and always hear something new. The rest of the day was just a slow putzy Sunday, catching up on house stuff, playing with the dogs (the guest goes home today), dinner out with a friend. Sweet and peaceful. Now it's back in harness for another busy week...book club, Bible study, team meetings, another preaching Sunday coming up, follow-up calls to jails to track down visiting info on L....and...oh yeah, the day job....and tomorrow I get to pick up my bright and shiny new computer and settle in for the next seven years or so.