Last Thursday, my Macbook Pro laptop’s video card started to give up the ghost. The display would start artifacting pretty badly; start out with just a square of pixels here or there on the desktop, but within ten or fifteen minutes, there was nothing on screen that was usable. I tried a variety of things to trouble-shoot the issue, including running an older version of the OS and drivers, running a completely different OS, and running an external monitor. The good news, the Applecare people I talked to over the phone agreed that I did everything possible, and expedited my claim as best as they could. The bad news, my laptop has been "in the shop" since last Thursday, and is unlikely to return until sometime next week... at the earliest!
The laptop was both my work computer and my home computer, me lugging it back and forth in my backpack twice a day. The interesting thing is, other than the occasional specific task I would need it for, I haven’t really been missing it. Admittedly, it’s not like I’ve been really disconnected from the Internet... after all, I still work on a Mac at the office, I have my Xbox 360 connected to MSN at home, and I have my iPhone in a pinch. I’ll be the first to admit that I am probably too online at times. But with the weather warming up and the sun regularly out, I’ve been motivated to do things that do not involve a keyboard and mouse.
I pulled out my bike from my folks’ shed last weekend, cleaned it up, put air in the tires, and took it for a spin. I haven’t been out biking regularly in almost a decade now, and had forgotten how much fun it actually is! I’ve also forgotten how out of shape I am... a spin around the block once or twice, and I was nearly out of breathe, how embarrassing! I hope to be getting out on the trails more often these coming weeks, especially around Assiniboine Park, not only for the activity but to get some much-needed exercise.
Also, I dragged out my old trumpet, which I haven’t touched since graduating high school. I was never a big fan of the band, but it was an extra credit and I was pretty good at the instrument. What I really loved, however, was the smaller jazz ensemble I participated in... the brass working with a drum beat and possible a good pianist was an incredible high. These days, I’m nearly starting from scratch. Like the biking, I know all the moves, my fingers remember all the key combinations, but the lips and lungs need to be built all back up again. I’m sure my neighbours are getting a little sick of scales :P
These are things I am looking forward to, and things I was doing instead of spending time online. So until I needed the laptop to pull some photos off my camera’s memory cards, I never even noticed it wasn’t around. Hell, it’s kind of nice not having to lug it back and forth twice a day! I’ve taken this as a good sign, and even made efforts to capitalized on it... I’ll happily chat online with people (and I will always be an internet nerd, so that chatting on MSN will not disappear anytime soon!), but I’ve been trying to get out for a coffee or beer and talk in person; weather’s nice even late into the evening, why stay cooped up in the house if you don’t have to? I’ve been more successful in doing so with some friends than others, but I imagine they’ll get to know me better eventually ;P