Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Latest "I like the change of seasons, it helps me appreciate them," is a typical response you get when you whine about the winter. That's kind of like saying, I like getting beaten on the knees and elbows with a rubber mallet because you appreciate it when it stops.

I have always hated winter. I hate driving in it. I hate going to work in the dark, even though I'm my usual 15 minutes late, and I hate that the sun sets shortly after Noon. I hate my down comforter. I hate shaking the snow off the paper in the morning. I hate winter coats. I hate keeping my windows shut. I hate what the arid, forced air heat does to my silken skin.

And when it comes to skiing, I suck Lake Michigan through a straw.

And here in Michigan the onset of cold weather also means the onset of kamikaze deer leaping out in front of your car at three in the morning when you are driving back from the bar in a just under legally intoxicated condition. (Hypothetically speaking, of course.)

Fun fact: Hunting and/or farming deer for commercial purposes is against the law. We are swamped with the carcasses of suicidal deer alongside every road, but if you want to order a venison fillet, it'll have to be imported from New Zealand or somewhere.

To quote Jimmy Buffett, "I need to fly to St. Somewhere." And it's only December.


I am seriously considering getting an iBook. I have never been a Mac person. Really, they have always seemed a little weird to me -- the people that is, not the Macs. Especially now that they all have iPods. Do you realize they like to call themselves Pod People as if they have been replaced by aliens or something?

But, the little 12' iBook looks awfully appealing to me. It is light and has a good battery life; it even has a special power mode for playing DVDs that shuts down everything except the screen and the DVD player to extend the viewing time. It's nicely priced and good quality, or so I've read. The problem is it also involves me buying about $600 worth of software on top of everything else. I'd need Office Standard, Quicken, Photoshop CS, maybe one or two smaller things. That's a good chunk of cash and a major PITA over and above the purchase price, which makes me think I should stick with Windows. The big cost there is Office which I suspect will run me about $300. I'd love to hear if anyone knows how to get Office for Mac cheaply. (And no, Appleworks and OpenOffice will not do.)

I'd also be interested in any recommendations for a Windows/PC alternative. Battery life and low weight are big priorities. And built in wireless. And at least 512 meg. And Windows Professional (not Home). And a docking station would be nice. And…

If I defect, you can blame Dell and the Satanic Inspiron they sold me. But gawd, don’t let me become a Pod Person. Could there be a more conceptually obnoxious device than a U2 Special Edition iPod?


My picks were 2-2 this week. That's bad. (In Vegas, breaking even means you lose the house rake.) But I take solace in the fact that I mentioned that I thought this week was scary, so at least I was right about being wrong. Also, this was my worst week of the season so far. What a great year when your worst week is 50-50.