November 30, 2019

The Sun Is Back

The weather channel on Tucson news last night said we had received 1.3" of rain and wind gusts as high as 53mph on Thursday and Friday. My friend in Phoenix sent me a live video of I-40 and I-17 closed due to blizzard conditions, her snowboarding plans in Flagstaff were cancelled. The news showed photos and interviews with owners that had large 5th wheels tipped over, trees blown down on top of houses ... so maybe what I witnessed the past few days wasn't the norm. It all came from that "bomb cyclone" off the coast of California. As you can see, none of that bothered Stella.

Whereas back in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana, I could always tell when then winds were high up on hill because the old house had storm windows that would rattle. I could hear the tree limbs blowing and only hoped they stayed on the trees and not on my house. Here about all I could hear was air getting into the vents leading to the roof and making noise. Thursday night while out I had my first encounter with tumbleweed blowing in front of my car ... it was almost as big as the front end of the RAV4 as I dodged it. This is a small sample that blew over the  fence and in the yard.

I didn't have any plans of riding my bike outside on Friday. I had at least one football game I wanted to watch and after that I spent time on Grand Tursimo 6. Moving from GT5 I have to start over. Although I am at the Professional Level of driving on GT5 I have to start all over from the Novice Level with slower small cars, drivers test to obtain license and experience enough to be able to enter races. I am moving through the different levels fairly quick. The graphics with each new update is amazing.

By late afternoon the wind was slowing down. The skies were breaking up all the cloud cover. The mountains that were invisible the past few days were back on the horizon with a little more dusting of snow on top. Still all mountain roads were closed. The visitor centers were closed. Hwy 92 south of me was flooded as well as Hwy 90 heading east to Tombstone or Bisbee. I have a feeling again, that this storm was not the normal winter storm or weather.

I moved the trash can from the garage black outside since it was safe and would not be blowing down the street, although it is a large container furnished by the city. The patio chair and blanket were returned to the spot on the patio. Although windy, no danger of blowing around the yard banging against the concrete block fence like I witnessed on Thursday. The hounds slowly migrated around the yard, checking on the new scent.

What they found were a few spots of standing water and Stella couldn't figure out why that small bundle of tumbleweed was in one of her favorite spots to sleep. I felt like I wanted to ride for a short time but good weather has spoiled me in my short time here and I found it really hard to change into bike clothes that would keep me warm and dry ... I'll try it today when it's back in the 50's mid afternoon.

I forgot to mention when I bought the new iPad Pro the other day, it came with one year of Apple TV for free. I don't need the box or remote as I can see all the games and movies I want to watch on any Apple device. I might have to expand my electronic knowledge and check that out. My iMac has a really good quality picture when it comes to watching college football games live when I can't get the IU games on tv.

This weekend is big for College Football. Throw out all of the won and loss records for the teams because when they are playing their rivals, many of them in-state rivals, games get exciting and come with a few surprises. My first game starts at 10am today but Stella and I will be taking our first walk since last Tuesday. Currently she is asleep in the corner of the computer room so she might not be excited about that walk until she sees me putting on a jacket and grabbing her leash ... THEN she gets excited.

By sundown last night I was feeling pretty confident of the weather forecast. It was going to be back to at least 10 straight days of dry weather, some partly cloudy and temps eventually reaching into the 60's as daily highs. I plan to have a big week of bicycling with a goal to get in over 100 miles of riding from Monday - Sunday. The hip feels cold damp weather. I wonder if that is going to be an ongoing thing for the rest of my life? Otherwise it is getting stronger by the day and I catch myself doing more movements in a normal way.

The overnight temps were dropping to the low 30's. I wasn't taking any chances and left the heater on automatic with the thermostat set in the low 60s. Even with cold temps this house made of tile floors and stucco covered walls does not get as cold as my older house did back in 'the tropics'. I never heard the heater turn on during the night. The hounds are back to sleeping through the night so I am now the only one getting up during the dark hours. Stella will let me sleep until 6:22am, about sunrise, not because she needs or wants to go outside but because she wants to eat !!!!  I have never had a hound in 32 years that loves food as much as she does.

A new day is breaking down by Bisbee and across the Mexican border on the right side of the picture. It does the mind good to see sunshine skies instead of howling winds and rain.

I took all of the photos on Thursday with my Canon 9X but compared to the new iPhone 11 Pro Max ... there isn't one. The iPhone camera blows the Canon picture quality away. You can see the differences between the two pictures below.

Well I have to get going here. After three days of being cooped up in the house I am wanting to get outside for a walk this morning almost as bad as wanting to get on a bike and just cruise around the neighborhood or town. Lots of football today so I'll see if I fit in some bike riding for an hour or so in the afternoon. There's always tomorrow if I don't ride today.

An interesting tidbit for those that blog or are computer experts ... let me know what you think. A few weeks ago I moved my old domain name from my Wordpress blog that I was no longer using, back to this blog where it originated. I tested and made sure the free Blogger domain name would still lead to the blog when clicked or typed by readers. Those urls are linked. Yet after changing the blog to the domain name dot com, my blog traffic has decreased over 50%. Some of the readers I don't see nor hear from since the change a few weeks ago. Any ideas? Maybe I'll park the domain name at GoDaddy and return to the free Blogger domain name for this blog.

Weather is back to normal here in the 'Wild West'.

November 28, 2019

When It Rains It Doesn't Stop

That's the hounds a few days ago in drier weather but it's the same look they had yesterday as they stepped outside for one of their million trips outside. The rain was loud, heavy and the wind was blowing rain in their faces. Consequently I was not standing in the yard to take a head on picture of them. It started Tuesday night while I was sleeping and between then and now, Thanksgiving morning, there have been few periods of time where it stopped raining. Gonna be some rambling in this post.

With the forecast showing rain through today and tonight, I didn't have any plans of riding my bike outside yesterday or today. At this time of morning when I took the photo it was in the 40's and windy. I decided I would put one of my bicycles back on the indoor trainer so I could get some riding indoors during days like this. Riding makes my hip feel better and sitting around causes it to tighten up, become stiff and sore.

I was enjoying the cloud formations while drinking my morning coffee. It was just 10 or 11 days ago that Stella and I were on top, on the backside of Carr Canyon where the sunshine was so bright I was sunburn on my head and face after forgetting to bring my ballcap. No worries though with this weather ... over the course of the year it will rain 11" and have sunshine over 300 days out of the year. I can definitely live with that.

I had mentioned before I had not made up my mind yet on whether I was going to cook the full out Thanksgiving Dinner as I have in past years. As today got closer I lost that urge to cook all of that food. As I drove around town yesterday for a few things, the parking lots of Walmart, Fry's Market and Safeway confirmed that I did not want to go shopping. It was late last night where Fry's sent me an email telling they were still delivering groceries within the hour if I wanted to place an order. Tempting but the urge to cook was gone.

Over the years of reading my blog you may have guessed I am not real big on holidays. When living near family or having more family members I did enjoy them a lot more but I missed a few of them even then. So today it will be okay to me if I pass on the traditional food for today in exchange of pasta, maybe a steak and baked potato or a big pot of beans. Hard to say where the menu will end up today.

With the rain pouring yesterday I still had the urge to get out of the house. I jumped in the truck and headed for Huachuca City to try out the Camino Cafe. I had saw so many good things about it on one of the local Facebook Groups I follow. I was somewhat disappointed as I waited almost 25 minutes for a soft taco and a burrito. It was a small restaurant and only two other tables were occupied. The food was good but not really different than what I had at Rodolfo's in Sierra Vista last week. I expected the Carne Asada soft taco and burrito to be hot but it was ice cold.

The rain had let up just enough after I returned from town for Stella to come outside and double check the weather. She didn't stay out longer than relieving herself before trotting back inside. She is pretty smart for a bloodhound.

One of my favorite hangouts in town as been the Sun and Spoke Bicycle Shop. Mark and Chris never mind talking to me and others while they are either putting new bikes together or repairing them. I call this the "mountain bike shop" because both of them and most of the customers are into riding mountain bikes on trails instead of road bikes on roads like I do. Even in bad weather they were still doing their weekly Wednesday night ride out towards Brown Canyon, using headlights that are brighter than any car or truck headlights. I laughed as I turned down their offer to join them.

From there I had to test myself. I had to see just how much discipline I had. I had to make a trip to Best Buy and see if I could walk out of there without a new camera, new computer, new something. With "Black Friday Deals" starting, there were more blue shirts walking around that store than customers. Of course each of them had to ask me if I was finding everything okay. I felt no urges to buy anything and I look at things from one end of the store to the other.

I played with the new MacBook Pro 13" and 16", so I could give a review to my friend up in Phoenix that is tormenting herself on which one to buy. They were very nice but like all new computers, they are faster, can store more, better picture blah blah blah ... I'll stick with my 2017 iMac and 2015 MacBook Air.

I wasn't finished though ... I held a case in my hand for my 2017 iPad Mini ... and put that back on the rack although it had a sale price of $9.99. I headed toward the camera department. I noticed no change of my heart rate in anticipation. My Apple watch was showing me I was clicking at 68bpm. No signs of adrenaline to buy a new camera. They don't have much on display in this store so my exploration was short. I did pick up a 55mm lens hood for $4.99.

That is Stella last night ... taken with my Canon 9X that I like but don't like the black spot on the sensor. I bought a memory card for that yesterday for less than $10 so I could use the camera some more. I'll edit out the black spot when it appears because I don't have the tools nor the motivation to take those small screws out so I can get to the sensor to clean it. I think Greg showed how he did it on his blog sometime this year.

All of those mountains we normally see were gone this morning ... every direction, nowhere to be found.

With $10 worth of purchases in my hand I headed over to the PlayStation section. I've had a PS3 for years and the PS2 before that because I was/am addicted to a racing game called Grand Turismo. My copy is Grand Turismo 5 and I was looking for 6 for my current machine. Of course with Black Friday deals their new PS4 with a Tb of hard drive was on sale for $199 ... tension was NOT building. I just wanted a low priced GT6.

One of those blue shirts came out of nowhere in the attack mode. These people are awful aggressive for not being on commission. He was a "gamer", and I could tell by his face he was somewhat shocked this old man with white hair was keeping up the pace in the conversation. Really the only difference between us and our knowledge of PlayStations and video games were the number of tattoos he had where I have none. It must hurt like hell to have that huge hole in his ear lobe to fit in that 1/2" black ring. I've been pretty drunk before but have never thought of something like that in my crazy decision process.

He did tell me some great information. He did NOT try to sell me a new machine. He DID tell me where I could find GT6 right here in town. I had seen the GameStop online when I did searches for used video games in the past. I did NOT know there was a real store right here in town. He told me he was sure I'd find what I was looking for at that store and for a price less than $10. I took one final look around Best Buy and found nothing major I wanted to buy. With a $5 lens hood, an SD Memory card less than $10 and a $5 DVD movie Caddyshack ... I was pretty proud of myself and the test I had just passed.  I walked in the hardest rain I saw all day towards the truck and headed to GameStop.

Packed with new and used video games. I can assure you that I was the oldest person in there. Ha Ha.  There it was ... Grand Turismo 6, on sale plus a 'used' price. No signs of scratches on the bottom of the disc, like new ... $9.99

I was finished and had done everything I wanted. It was past 3pm and I wondered if Stella might be howling to the moon since I was late for serving afternoon kibble. I knew that Heidi would meet me at the door and if it was quiet that meant I'd find Stella sound to sleep in her large crate. New blinds still intact, no holes dug in the wet backyard and no signs of attempted escape ... the crate works very well. She was stretched out sleeping and didn't know I was about to unlock the two small padlocks so I could open her door.

Seems like as much as I try to get away from 'the new hip', that many more people want to know how it's going. Is there pain anytime? Does it click when you walk? Can  you feel the metal in cold wet weather? WHY are you riding a bike again, are you afraid of crashing again? I'm surprised you are doing all you are doing? What does the doctor say? Do you want to sell any of your bicycles now that you cannot ride? Ha Ha. .... these are from emails, texts, in person or on phone calls. No harm and I don't mind answering them but I am trying to move completely away from the situation and move on.

I don't feel the hip most of the time. At times there is not a soreness but 'something' is in there that is different. It does not click when I walk. I am close to getting in and out of all my cars and the truck the 'normal way'. I can when getting in and out of bed. I am not afraid of wrecking again on a bicycle no matter how fast I go. My top speed was 36 mph on my last ride on Monday. I cross those sandy loose rocks every ride where I went down. I am focused all through the turn and I wave at no one I see riding or walking. I might be selling my mountain bike but all the road bikes are staying where they are at.

I do admit I feel better after my doctor's appointment on Tuesday. I don't have that feeling of something 'hanging over my head' or that 'big elephant in the room'. It's good to know someone else agrees with what I read, what I eat and the bicycling I do. That person happens to have MD after their name but in the grand scheme of things that may not be important.

In a day or two I'll be back to having sunsets like this. I have already grown tired of cold weather and rain and it's not even cold really but I am just a hot weather person. Also like in the past I have lost my train of thought on this post and can't remember everything I was going to say. I'm sure there is something I have forgot to write about.

Today will be some Grand Turismo 6 as I get back to the same driving level as I have in 5. Those results are not transferable. The NFL games will be turned on today but mostly as background noise unless something is happening that is worth sitting down and watching. I have a lot of food to choose from but none of it is what you would expect on this holiday. It could be nothing more than roasted chicken breasts and steamed broccoli.

For some strange reason I have had the urge for a little bit of whiskey and a nice flavored cigar. How wild is that? I could put on my rubber Columbia pants and rain jacket, sit outside on the patio and ENJOY the weather with a sip of whisky to keep me warm and a cigar to remind me how messed up I can be sometimes ... how unhealthy can I be???  LOL

So here is living proof that I am blogging when I feel like it ...

Seattle weather here in the 'Wild West.

November 26, 2019

Dell Inspiron 15 Returned For iPad Pro 11"

Taken with the new iPad Pro

I really did try. I ran the Dell computer through it's paces, explored Windows 10 from every corner and did all the same stuff I do now. I do more than just live on the internet and have for years on my Apple 'toys' but by Monday night I felt like returning the Dell computer. By this morning I gave it another chance but by 10am I was resetting the computer back to factory settings so all of my personal information was off the computer. I already knew what my plan was today ... that new iPad Pro w/Keyboard.

It was cold this morning as it was yesterday for most of the day but Stella found some warmth on the patio combine with the sunshine to take a long nap outside. I rode my bike and returned home to get ready for my big doctor's appointment with the MD that was highly recommended and one I choose as my new General Practitioner. More on that appointment later in this post.

You might be getting tired of the photos I take from my patio and if so, I'll say it's just hard not to. Every day and sometimes multiple times per day, the sky really puts on a show. Like my friend said the other day when we were standing at the fence ... "from here you can't even tell you live in a neighborhood" ... and that is one reason, maybe the biggest reason I chose to buy this house.

This was Monday morning ..

I looked all over for Stella but didn't find her until I stepped into the yard and looked around the corner. She had found the warmest spot in or out of the house.

Monday nights sunset was fantastic. I didn't edit any of these photos.

This morning was a different story. The "feels like" was 40° with a chance of rain and those gusty winds were coming back to the area. I knew then I might be taking the day off from riding the bike, which really isn't a bad thing as long as I get 4-5 days of riding in from Monday through Sunday.

My appointment was at 2:45pm and I was there at 2:10pm as they suggested even thought I had filled out all the paperwork they had sent me in advance. The waiting was a mad house with different doctors working in the facility but the ladies at the front desk were well organized. The wait was well worth meeting one of the nicest doctors I think I've ever ran into. He was in his early 70's, a hiker of the high elevations that you see in these pictures.

He was well aware of where I ride my bike and knew the effort needed to climb the area plus fight the winds this time of year. He agreed with the number I told him that I wanted to get my weight to. I had lost 19 pounds from the time I moved here to the time I crashed. I am still about 9 pounds away from my goal and the number he suggested. We were had the same number in mind.

I brought my medical report the hospital had sent me last month. He read the heart information in detail and thought the same way I did after he read it. The word "Normal" shows up a lot in that report. My blood pressure was very good he said for someone my age as well as my heart rate. He told me to keep doing what I was doing. I asked about supplements, about different diets and we both agreed there also. His answers confirmed what I had been thinking for the past few years. He ordered some lab tests, exactly what I was wanting. They will check all the basic stuff to see if anything is hidden that I don't know about.

I am to see a cardiologist in 7-10 business days. I will see this doctor again in 7 weeks to go over the lab results and as he said "come up with a game plan". I was happy that I had chose him as a doctor to go see. I did tell him I've never had a General Practitioner and until my stupidity in September, I never had health issues. He told me he met another older bike rider just this week that did the same thing I did, bike slipped out from under him in loose sandy rocks/gravl ... only different broken bones and not the hip.

Stella has not been demanding a morning walk since the temps have cooled off. She is more interested in the crying puppy next door early in the morning. It isn't long after her breakfast kibble that she is back to sleep along with Heidi.

So in summary, it was good to get some things confirmed that I've had on my mind for over a year or more. I didn't think there were any issues I should be concerned about because if there were, there would be no way I could ride a bike as far and as long as I do. Plus I'd be out of breath just around the house from higher elevation than the tropics of Southern Indiana.

I could tell from the very start, the Dell computer was a good computer but didn't feel nor work as smooth as the quality of an Apple product. Plus Windows 10 has had a lot of improvements but it 'lagged' compared to the macOS I use on my iMac. I liked Windows 10 but the question kept creeping into my head ... "why do you need this when everything you have works?" I've been using Apple Products for 9 years not counting the 2 years in the 1990's where the business I was working for used Apple Computers.

There was no need to have 364Gb of photos loaded on two different computers running two different systems. Outlook never would deliver my email with the iCloud accounts. The Dell app that let me text and load message from my phone to the Dell worked the first day for about an hour and then never again. I had to turn off the backlight for the keyboard because I could not see the keys and the light was on at all times. Apple's will only come on when needed. The more I used it the more I felt like I didn't need it. I had cured my curiosity and decided what I had was best for me.

You can tell by the texture of the material the iPad keyboard covered, it's different than the typical old rubber portable keyboard. It is faster than my 4 year old laptop. The keys are normal size.

Why the iPad ??

It's better than the iPad mini to take with me when traveling. Plus my Mini does not have a keyboard and I hate typing with any on screen keyboard. It's just an inch or two smaller than my laptop but faster since it's new and had a faster processor, lighter of course. The way the keyboard has worked out this afternoon I can see the new iPad Pro 11" replacing what my laptop does ... except transferring all my Mahjong game results. I've spent years trying to get all 160 games completed under 3 minutes.

See the chair behind Stella?? There is a reason for that. That corner of the room is one of two favorite places she likes to sleep. But in the past few weeks she decided her new thing laying down was going to be leaning against the wall and sliding down to the floor slowly. The problem is, on that wall that she wanted to lean and slide against, has my cable connection from outside to my computer. Luckily the installer tacked the cable along the baseboard to behind the desk.

There is a couple of inches of cable sticking out from the wall connector and all I could imagine is 90 pounds of bloodhound sliding down the wall and bending the cable at the point of connection to the internet source. So, I put a spare chair in front of that cable connection to protect it and keep my sanity.

Amazon just delivered my first pair of house slippers I've ever had. Rubber soles on the bottom so I don't sleep in tile floors and sheep skin lined to keep my feet warmer than they have been since in the winter tile floors get cold. I do turn the heat on but for a very short time early in the morning and that is all that is needed. Now I can set out the trash can on Monday mornings without changing clothes ... I can look like I just crawled out of bed with my slippers on, even though by that time I have been up for hours and have at least two cups of coffee running through my veins.  LOL

In case the week passes by too fast ... I want to wish all my readers a Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy all of the food that is prepared. I don't every year but this year I am starting to feel like cooking the meals I see on tv, have had in the past with family ... I can cook everything that is listed but then I eat too much, like non-stop, then live on Tums for a few days since there is that much food available. It's hard to follow a recipe for just one person so I cook enough for 4-8 people ... LOL

I'll pick up a new bottle of Tums when I go to the store to buy all I need to put that meal together.

Fun times here in the 'Wild West' ... I'm feeling some exploring here soon.

November 24, 2019

PC & Apple + Sore Hip

For the first time in 9 years I am typing tonight's blog post from a Dell PC on a Windows Operating System Windows 10. Quite a story behind it. All of the photos were taken with the iPhone the past couple of days. It might have stopped raining Thursday afternoon but that doesn't mean it started getting warmer. Another first … Saturday morning I fired up my furnace for the first time in this house. Gas powered instead of the electric system I had in Indiana. Needless to say it works very well and wasn't needed for longer than 22 minutes … raising the house temps from 64 to 70 in that short time.

So what is going on out here in the 'Wild West' based on the blog post title ???

Since the last time you heard from me, the hounds and I have had a great but slightly painful weekend. Friday I had a new friend drive down from Phoenix to have me install the Tacoma bed cover that I did not want, on to her Tacoma TRD Off Road truck. She met the hounds, saw my backyard view, the house and the "car lot", as my neighbor called it.  LOL

I gave her the choice of cars to take on my short tour, since we were pressed for time if we were going to have a large burger at The Diner before she headed back north. She chose the Mini Cooper S and off we went, giving her the same drive I take most of the time on my bicycle. She was amazed at the scenery and all of the large nice houses in that area … some were even for sale.

She had to be back in Phoenix by 4pm or so to pick up some furniture since she is moving into a new place Thanksgiving Weekend. After she left I had time for an afternoon bike ride. I felt sore and stiff from that short 5 mile ride on Thursday in really cold weather and I wanted to get back out there.

I knew Saturday was going to be a good day after I saw the sunrise. I always think, "that is the best I've seen" … then a few days down the road I see one better. They just keep on coming.

Saturday morning I woke up to a soreness on the side of my hip. I didn't see any swelling, no bruising but the whole thing had not hurt like this in weeks, if not a month. I had ridden 80 miles this week, counting the two days I took off due to rain. Had I screwed myself by riding too much when my body was telling me how good it was feeling ??? Or was it the cold weather since we are now into the 30s or low 40's when the sun comes up. The way I was feeling, such a drastic change I was guessing it had to be the change in weather.

I'd find out the answer to that question Sunday morning. (I talked to my PT friend Sunday morning and asked her the same questions above. Luckily I found out it is the weather and yes it can cause soreness, tightness and feeling achy.)

Both of the hounds have recovered from their intestinal issues, not at the same time but a week apart. So instead of getting a solid night of sleep like they were … it was me this time that was getting up every few hours to stretch my leg and then walk around the house a little to make the hip feel better. I wasn't that concerned but it was enough pain that bothered me, made it hard to sleep.

Saturday morning I had decided it was going to be a "day off" from riding. I really wanted to get a 100 miles in this week, with Monday being the first day of my riding week. Yet I didn't want to do something to that hip that still needs a few more weeks to completely heal the socket, which would take 2-3 months. On October 22nd the doctor said the hip looked fantastic as well as the broken femur. Why don't they let the patient see those same X-Rays??

Saturday was a day of watching only two football games and even the last one I couldn't finish. The hounds and I called it a day at 6:30pm local time. Stella had an afternoon walk instead of a morning walk. I had not rode my bike but the types of food I had eaten throughout the day was putting me into a state of sleep. It's called carb overload … unintended. It is the same result that I have had the past few years when I eat a lot of carbs. I do best with salmon, chicken, fresh veggies and only apples for fruit. Anything else puts me to sleep.

I didn't mind as I could tape the Oregon / Arizona St game and watch it on Sunday as well as the USC / UCLA game that I taped. My interest in the NFL anymore is almost nonexistent. So I will watch taped college games from the day before usually Sunday mornings while it's cold outside. They go pretty fast since I can fast forward during commercials and halftimes.

I forgot to add that on Friday after my friend headed back to Phoenix I moved the Mini back in the garage since there was no chance of the truck bed cover falling on it. That gave me the ability to pull the new RAV4 off the street parking space in front of the house and back into the driveway. I like that combo of cars/trucks. I've used both on a regular basis for what I bought them for. I am not sure though that the hounds will get in any vehicle other than the Tacoma. Besides they have plenty of room in that and they like to ride in the truck.

I know it's all my fault but my hounds have turned into professional food beggars. This is even after they are fed a good amount of kibble during the day plus a dog treat in the afternoon between meals. Yet when Heidi heard me open that new package of Tillamook Cheese … she sprinted from her bed in the back bedroom to the living room squeezing past Stella to be first in line.

They are hard to resist when they look that way … but I did it. Neither got even a small piece of cheese. They did not move until the last piece of cheese was gone. No worries, it wasn't too long after that when we headed to bed for the night.

Here are a couple of pictures of both of them during the day while I was watching football games. When that new bed arrived last month or so, I thought it might be too small for Heidi since it was smaller than the bed she had been using but she loves it and rarely sleeps anywhere else now.

Stella always seems to be pressed up again something like the couch, a table, the bedroom door or the leg of the computer desk. Not just leaning up against but pressed hard into those areas. She usually starts every night sleeping in that corner with the couch and love seat and sometime during the night will get up and move to the bedroom.

I am still very aware when I am around her, either getting ready to get up out of chair or bed, or to walk near or by her. She doesn't know her own strength nor does she care what she walks into or on … so I make sure I move around her when she knows what and where I am going to prevent any sudden moves by her into my leg or hip.

She has been good though since the day I got home. It's as if she knows I've had to heal that right leg and hip. Heidi definitely has since she will sit and stare at me on the right side but will not jump up to put her front paws on my right leg like she use to. She will do that on the left side of me though.

Display At Best Buy

So what's the story of a PC in a house that is full of Apple Toys ??? 9 years of Apple and now I'm going to a PC ?? I had heard about the latest Microsoft product announcements a few weeks ago. I forget what they call those presentations, Apple has the same kind of announcements. The only difference I was hearing though … Apple was no longer developing NEW stuff, just improving or small changes to computers that were years old. Microsoft on the other hand was back to making new hardware, better software and an improved browser.

Strange that I read most of my information on a forum of MacRumors … which means a forum of people that range from users to experts for Apple Products !!!! While Apple seems to be focusing on Pads and Phones, I am still a Desktop fan. My iMac is good for probably 4-5 more years and the laptop about the same since I use it very little. So what happens when they break?? More Apple or will it be time to move back to a company that is already developing new hardware ??

A few weeks ago I had a neighbor stop by hoping I could help her with a Facebook Business page and her websites at work. The plan was to download her sites onto my MacBook Air so I could work and then she could refresh those same websites on her PC sitting next to me.

I was shocked how she could touch the screen of her large laptop and how easy she was moving through and around Windows 10. She is far from a computer expert but her computer was easy for her. I had not used a Windows PC since I retired in April 2014. Since then I had no interest in what they were or were not doing as I was a firm Apple convert.

Was I missing some good improvements with my 'blinders' on ???

I must admit what little I saw from her Dell computer using Windows 10 was pretty impressive. There were even some long time Apple users on the forum saying the same things about what I had seen. I didn't tell them but just read what they had noted.  Let's say my "curiosity flag" was getting a little higher in the air. I started talking to my friend in Phoenix about it since she is an IT for a company and uses Windows at work. With an iPhone in her hand, she had nothing but good things to say about the Windows 10 system.

My plan was to buy cheap, a laptop just to see what Windows 10 was like. Would a Chromebook be all I need? Would a lower priced laptop be too slow with I3 processors? Could I get by with 4Gb of ram when Windows 10 takes 2Gb of that ram to just run. The different times I did a little research it looked like my price was climbing near $400. Then I started thinking why not buy the Surface Go. I am not an artist by any means, nor do I need that pencil they use, but I must say those advertisements are pretty impressive … yet I don't want their competitor, the Apple iPad that is that size, with the same features.

No, my curiosity was enough that I needed a Windows 10 something.

I never shop the day after Thanksgiving, in fact I try my best to stay off the highways and streets during that week. I hide out inside with plenty of food, movies to watch or ballgames a click away on my tv remote. With each day closer to those Black Friday deals I have been getting bombarded with EARLY Black Friday deals … Best Buy was one of them.

That pot just got sweeter this morning when I received an email telling me that not only would I have those same deals but more discounts added due to their bribery … telling me I was on their upper levels of customers. Ten years of buying electronics … I would hope so.

I walked into Best Buy this morning wanting a $399 small Surface Go … the $129 keyboard was NOT included so I am now up to $528 if I wanted a keyboard. Luckily I had a "true Computer Geek" as my sales rep. He listened to what I had, and what I wanted to do with this Surface Go. As we approached the smaller, older, slower Surface Go he told me "you really don't want to buy this" … I immediately asked "are you on commission?"

He turned to the other side of the isle and walked over a few spaces  to a Dell Inspiron 15 7000 … a tablet AND a laptop … with a faster processor the 10th generation of the i5 chip. For a $171 more it would be worth it. BUT … I STILL HAD DISCOUNTS and I found out later I had a LOT more discounts than I thought I had. I never take the financing option at Best Buy, I take the 5% and 10% cash rewards instead. He told me if I would give him my phone number he could tell me not only how much awards I had on the books but also any additional discounts.

I thought I had $55 in awards … I had $255 on the books !!! I love it when a plan comes together.  LOL

I know I probably don't need it. Just like everything I else I buy, I usually don't really needed it but I was a terrible minimalist when I tried a few years ago. At least I am finding out some answers that I had about the new PC's and Windows 10.

After an afternoon of teaching myself around Windows 10 and how this computer is set up I must say Microsoft has really been making some great progress compared to my days back in 2010 when I was using Windows Pro at home and Windows 7 at work.

I have rambled longer and more than I wanted and more than you want to read but to end this I have just a few points about the differences that I have noticed in just the few hours I've owned it.

- The 2.5 inches makes a big difference in the screen between the new Dell and my MacBook Air which is a 13" screen. The Apple retina display is much more sharper than the Dell screen.

- Scrolling webpages using the touchpad doesn't seem as smooth as the Apple computer. I've looked for that setting but have not found it yet on the Dell.

- I like the "old" Microsoft stuff … like the menu down in the lower left corner. I LOVE that I could pull my photos for the blog post tonight directly from the Windows Pictures folder instead of exporting photos from my Apple folder to the desktop before Blogger will import them. One less step.

- There are some adjustments, like Apple and Microsoft put their time, date, folders, open files on opposite sides of the screen. They have different terminology. It's not that hard to figure out.

This will give me time to work with both systems so when the time comes I'll know by then if I go back to a PC or stick with Apple. I know that I will never use my iPhone for my main computer nor will I use their 10" iPad for my main computer. YET … I can see using this 15.6" Dell for my main computer and the tablet. In both formats the 'touch screen' works very well.

So I basically got a newer computer for less than I was going to spend on the older Surface Go. This computer is a laptop and a tablet and is light enough I can take it anywhere I need to go. It has all of the programs needed to watch ballgames, movies etc on the computer or stream it to my large tv screen.

I also took advantage of the half price deal on a 5Tb external hard drive. The 1Tb I had for the Time Machine backup on the iMac had become full over the past few years and was deleting the older files as designed to do. I noticed the other day the oldest file was from just last month so I needed a bigger drive. That 1Tb drive will be formatted and wiped clean then I'll use that to replace the smaller drive that is close to being full with all of my photos, somewhere between 70,000 - 100,000 of them.

I guess Christmas came early this year.

*** One good thing about the PC --- I can now see the disc that show my original x-rays that day in the emergency room. I could not find the program that would open them on my iMac. ***

Still NOTHING … and I mean NOTHING will beat the morning sunrises I see from the backyard.

Another good weekend here in the 'Wild West'