Saturday, August 23, 2008

this was the summer that was

Oh, computer troubles. How you plague me! Seriously, I don't think anyone besides me is actually interested in the boring play-by-play of my computer troubles, and even I'M not all that interested. The short version: Old Desktop was working again, but has bit the dust, although who knows for how long, and New Laptop was sent back for repairs, even though it worked properly for everything BUT connecting to dial-up Internet. Unfortunately, that's all we have out here, at least for now, so that one frustrating flaw means no laptop until it comes back. And even though I have great faith in my Computer Guy, when he says "It'll be a week!" that tends to mean, "It'll be a month!"

So without either Old Desktop or New Laptop in service, my options become:
  • Use the High-Speed computers at either the IT Center or the Library, and in order to do so, either bike 6 km both ways, or finagle a ride into town; OR
  • Use Mum's (admittedly, given to us for free) Really Old, Slow Desktop, and do the bare minimum of Internet work.

Even if I had a working computer here at home that went as fast as I wanted it to, or at least, as fast as dial-up would permit, I have to admit that I'm getting tired of the Internet. Now, I know, there are many great things about the Internet, so please don't leave irate comments in my comments box. But it's also a vast time-suck, especially when most of the time, what I'm doing is puttering around on Facebook.

So there are the computer troubles. And there is the fact that a lot of the time, I don't want to sit at the computer for longer than 10 or 15 minutes, a length of time which isn't very conducive to writing blog posts. But no matter — here I am, at present.

The summer, at least that part of it defined by an academic school year, is nearly over. Next week is Mat's last at work, and then we're heading to the Annapolis Valley to take him back to school. August, as usual, feels like something to be survived rather than enjoyed, with so many things going on that one must practice the art of assertiveness in order to get any time to oneself. But assertiveness does take practice, so perhaps August serves a purpose.

The Olympics are nearly over, and my intake of them has been mostly on CBC Radio, which is how I hear about most world news, including, this summer, clips about Barack Obama and John McCain, Georgia and South Ossetia, Canadian soldiers dying in Afghanistan, and hurricanes in Florida. The Olympics aren't entirely my thing, but I did watch some of the coverage when I house-sat a friend's home for a weekend, and it was interesting, if not entertaining. What has been the most interesting to me about all of it, is when I hear the athletes talk about what goes through their minds before, during and after an event. I'm nowhere near Olympic-athlete level (as if that even has to be said!), but I do really enjoy physical activity, and get a lot out of it. And I'm also pretty conscious of my own thoughts and emotions (again, as if THAT even needs saying), so when I hear the Olympians talking about what it's like for them to go through this, it's a way for me to relate.

(Although, I will always prefer Coronation Street to the Olympics. Always.)

This has been the summer to take more bike rides, to get my bike (named "Rocinante" after Don Quixote's horse) properly tuned up by a man who does that sort of thing, and to buy a bike basket for the front of it, into which I put a baguette or two. Actually, I haven't yet transported a baguette in my bike basket, but I have used it to carry my water bottle and towel, on beach excursions.

It's been the summer to think more seriously about committing to Cape Breton, and to think about how I might make a living here, long-term. It's been the summer to daydream about getting my own piece of land, either with an old house already on it, or my building a new house. The daydream usually goes on to include me welcoming a good friend or three into my house, and showing them my peaceful and beloved patch of land. I figure that if you sort out what you want, even if it's nowhere near happening yet, then you're more alert when pieces of the dream start to come your way. And that way, you can start to make it a reality.

And it's been the summer of topsy-turvy weather, with hot, hot heat in July, turning into cold, wet drizzle for nearly three weeks in August, and now giving us a stretch of three or four days of sunshine and a high UV index. So what that means is that now, after spending abut an hour online, I'm heading to the water. I'm practicing both the art of assertiveness and my Olympian Dog Paddle.

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