Things That Are So Good That I Can’t Live Without Them: Apple MacBook Pro, pre-2014

I have a list on my phone. It catalogs things that I keep using or interacting with, over and over. Even though they are just things, mostly, they are things that make my life better. Simply put, the things I feel passionately about, I feel very passionately about. So, presented in no particular order, here is one of those things:

I spend a lot of time in front of a computer, which, if you ask my wife, is the understatement of all understatements. My day job requires me be in front of a screen for most of the work day. When I get home, I write for one of a couple of blogs, which equates to more hours staring at a keyboard — a beautiful, backlit keyboard with black keys to hide dirt and oils and almost the right number of keys and a decent trackpad. I am speaking about the MacBook Pro.

Mine is from late 2013, a sweet spot where they had resolved battery issues in previous models and before they got rid of the old USB ports, which I am still in adamant need of for various things like connecting to my CNC mill. (It’s been a year since this change and I have yet to see the industry follow this “bold” move.) This MacBook Pro is still running fast and strong, despite more than a few drops. Realistically, the time may be coming soon when I have to replace it, which I’m not looking forward to, mostly because of the USB  issue and the rumored elimination of a headline jack. But until that day, I will treasure this battle-tested soldier.

Relationships, Online Friends, and a Death Too Soon

Last February, I got a text late at night. “Dave, call me as soon as you can.”

The moment I saw it, I sat down in the hall where I was walking. That’s not a good message. Not at that time of night. It was never going to be good news. Bad news carries immediacy. Good news, for whatever reason, can wait.

I called. This woman, Alison, who I had met only once, was in tears. Brad, the man in her life, was dead.

We like to think that we know how we’ll react when tragedy strikes or a crisis hits. We imagine we’ll rise to the occasion; be the shining example of behavior, the one everyone else aspires to. I’ll acknowledge that I have done very well in situations like that before. But that night? I was utter crap.

I’d like to say that I said all the right things. That I comforted this woman, was reassuring, and set the situation right. The truth is, despite getting a pretty accurate read on the situation from the timing of the text, I was far from eloquent. I probably said “no fucking way” a dozen times. Maybe more. I’m not sure what else I contributed, but it wasn’t anything that added much. And the phone call went on a heckuva lot longer than it needed to, neither of us wanting to hang up, because ending the call meant we had to begin grieving in earnest. It’s all very trite, I know. Most of us react to death in the same ways. Continue reading “Relationships, Online Friends, and a Death Too Soon”