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'

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