And it’s driving me crazy

Some background

It’s not really new…just new to me. See, when my ex and I were together and I was getting a decent monthly check, we (me, my ex, and her daughter) each got new iPhones. Then her daughter got stupid and ended up in a situation where she’s not going to need her phone for a very long time.

So about 3 months ago, my ex gave it back to me so I could cancel the line and return the phone. Which I still haven’t done.

(I’m not making any excuses, but if you’ve ever suffered the Dementor known as clinical depression, you’ll understand why I haven’t brought myself to return it.)

So all 3 devices were pretty much the same: iPhone 6S Plus. The only difference? I got the one with 16 gigs of memory, while the other two got 32 gigs.

As a result, I’m constantly removing and reinstalling apps from my device.

Then The Lightbulb Lit!

Yesterday I had the brilliant idea of switching phones! I’ll switch to the 32 Gb model!

Before doing so, I figured I’d check the battery level on it. But plugging it into the charger–and since I had already wiped the phone clean and reset it to the original factory settings–as soon as I plugged it in, it went into its start-up mode.

Once I was done with that, it then (automagically) downloaded and installed the latest IOS version…

…which took up the better part of an hour.

If you’re setting up a new iPhone and you already have one, a screen comes up on the new phone. All you have to do is activate the camera on the old one and holding it so that the image on the new one completely fills the screen on the old one.

That triggers the mechanism that copies your settings to the new phone. And once that was done, the new phone asked me if I wanted to restore everything from the recent backup made on the old phone.

Which is what I did, only to discover that only the icons for all the applications and not the apps themselves were restored. So yet another hour was spent as the new phone automatically downloaded the applications (and their data) from the cloud.

Except not all of the data and settings were restored. Several apps required me to go into them and enter my login data. I don’t have an issue with that: after all, it’s a question of account security and they’re just making sure I’m who I say I am.

The problem is that several apps didn’t copy over my settings and preferences to the new phone. So now I’ve got to spend a couple of hours trying to get those apps to function correctly.

Sometimes Technology Sucks

Especially when “upgrading” to a new device. But no worries: I’ve already been singing.

We’ve had a good run, but it’s time to say goodbye. I never used you as an actual writing program; I merely copied what I’d written in other programs and apps and pasted them in to you. So I was only using you as a place to store all my writings.

My first mistake was configuring you to use Dropbox. I wanted to be able to access you across all my devices. But that created a problem: when I launched you, Dropbox had to sync before you would open. And when I’ve got an idea for an article or story, 2 minutes is too long to wait.

So I deleted you from my laptop, after deciding that I’m never going to own a Macintosh, desktop or otherwise.

Instead, I’ve moved all of my files into Evernote.

Why Evernote?

  • Because I can install it on all 3 of my devices—laptop, iPhone, and iPad—and it will synchronize across all 3 of them.
  • Because I can fine-tune my settings to a degree that Scrivener never approached.
  • Because it has a smaller footprint, loads faster, and in general just does a better job of what I want it to do.
  • Because even if I leave my devices at home, I can access it on the web via the nearest computer.

Still, it Hurts

It hurts because Scrivener has been a good friend for the past couple of years. And like any other friend, it hurts to say goodbye.

But nothing lasts forever, right? Just as we outgrow certain friends, so it is with computer applications. And I’ve simply outgrown Scrivener.

An Aside

QUESTION: What’s the difference between an app and a program?
ANSWER: There isn’t any. Software publishers decided that “app” sounded sexier than “computer program,” and the rest, as the cliché goes, is history.

    Cream or milk?

    Posted: 9 August, 2018 in memories, Tea
    Tags: ,

    The older I get the more I find myself agreeing with George Orwell.

    At least, when it comes to tea.

    I was raised to enjoy tea the traditional Irish way: brewed strong, and served with milk and sugar. I grew up thinking that was the proper — and therefore — the only way to make tea. This belief stayed with me through most of my life.

    I felt the first breath of heresy when I moved into my current home. I rent a room in my landlord/friend’s house. I call my room My Lonely Writer’s Garret™.

    Ed (my landlord) is probably the only person I know who drinks as much tea as I do. He tutors private students in French, and whenever he has a student over he makes a pot of green tea.

    Which he always serves sans lait.

    Even when he’s drinking black or herbal tea, he adds only sugar or honey. He thinks that I am a barbarian for drinking my tea with milk.

    I, on the other hand, am of the sure and certain knowledge that truly civilized people adhere to my method.

    Nothing lasts forever

    Very true. Which is why my method has changed. I’ve finally decided to try my tea without milk or cream.

    (An aside: cream is quite possibly the worst thing you can add to tea. The fats in the cream and the tannic acid in the tea do not play well together.)

    This is what Orwell had to say about tea:

    “[O]ne should pour the cream off the milk before using it for tea. Milk that is too creamy always gives tea a sickly taste.”

    Orwell, crotchety old Irishman that he was, also had this to say:

    “Lastly, tea — unless one is drinking it in the Russian style — should be drunk without sugar. I know very well that I am in a minority here. But still, how can you call yourself a true tealover if you destroy the flavour of your tea by putting sugar in it? It would be equally reasonable to put in pepper or salt. Tea is meant to be bitter, just as beer is meant to be bitter. If you sweeten it, you are no longer tasting the tea, you are merely tasting the sugar; you could make a very similar drink by dissolving sugar in plain hot water.” ¹

    My new tastes

    Over the past several days, I’ve been cutting back on the amount of sweetener I add to my tea. I should be completely free from sweeteners by the end of next week.

    The only exception is when I brew a pot of strong Assam tea and add Masala tea spice, thus making what far too many people call “Chai tea.” Chai means “tea,” so “Chai tea” is redundant.

    On the other hand, I live in a country that calls the southern California baseball team “The Los Angeles Angels,” which translates to “The the angels angels.”

    It’s enough to drive a woman to drink.

    Which drink, right now, is a nice cup of Earl Grey. WITHOUT milk or cream!


    ¹ — The Orwell quotes are from A Nice Cup of Tea, by George Orwell. You can read his essay in its entirety at: A Nice Cup of Tea, Evening Standard, 12 January 1946.

    STFU

    When it’s umpteen degrees in my bedroom, I’ll take my laptop downstairs to write. Most of the time, it works…but there’s a problem: our house is often the unwilling host to freeloaders, moochers, and other disreputable sorts.

    They’re not really bad people, but they insist on trying to talk to me when it’s obvious that I’m working. I really don’t need to get a blow-by-blow description of whatever television show you watched last night.

    I’m probably better-informed about local news than you are, so I don’t need to repeating half-truths and rumors.

    And while my landlord is perfectly content to have you here—and it should be a clue to how welcome you really are when he disappears into his upstairs bedroom whenever you overstay your welcome (usually 10 minutes after you get here)—neither one of us appreciate you blasting out your crappy taste in music on his computer.

    I’m 30 years older than you are and I don’t enjoy the same taste in music as y0u do. That’s why you have a fucking smart-phone. USE IT.

    In short, pull your heads out of your collective asses and realize that you are not the only people in the house. Have some consideration for others—especially since it’s NOT YOUR HOUSE!

    And why don’t I copy the landlord and retreat to my bedroom? A couple of reasons:

    1. I pay rent to live here. You don’t.
    2. Then there is the matter of things disappearing whenever you’re left unattended in the house. I just don’t feel safe with you here.
    3. The two of us who live here do things a certain way for certain reasons: we DO NOT need you coming in and changing things. If there’s a window closed, LEAVE IT CLOSED! I know this is a difficult concept, but THIS IS NOT YOUR HOUSE!
    4. I get $15 a month in food stamps, so please don’t eat my food!

    But The Really Big Thing is This

    I am trying to deal with several mental issues. Among them are social anxiety disorder and agoraphobia. It’s hard for me to be around people. THIS HOUSE IS MY SANCTUARY, my safe space. You have invaded it, and I no longer feel safe in my own house!

    So I’m going to propose a solution: I’m going to have a serious discussion with my landlord about your freeloading ways and how they are affecting my health and well-being.

    And on another note: STOP STORING YOUR WHOLE WATERMELON IN THE REFRIGERATOR!  It doesn’t need to be refrigerated, and it takes up space that I—who actually pay money to be here—desperately need for my own food.

    tea quote

    For me, there’s no worse way to start my day than coming downstairs and finding the kitchen full of people who all want to talk to me. Out-of-town visitors. Local friends. Complete strangers to me. My roommate knows better.

    I’m not a “morning person.” It usually takes means a good 30 minutes to wake up enough to even begin to be sociable.

    And a crucial part of my morning routine involves a tea ritual: I empty the tea kettle, fill it with fresh cold water, and put it on the stove to boil. While it heats up, I carefully measure out 2 teaspoons of my choice for the day: either a strong black Assam tea or a spiced version of the same blend. I always use whole-leaf tea.

    I add the tea to the pot and wait for the kettle to boil. While waiting, I look out the kitchen window to see how the garden is doing. This week, the lilies are in bloom. In the evening, as the temperature falls, their aroma wafting through the house can be intoxicating.

    Finally, the kettle comes to a boil. I pour the water over the tea leaves, set the timer, and wait patiently for the water to work its magic on the leaves.

    This morning it’s Cardamom Spiced Assam. It’s a lovely blend from India. In fact, it evokes such memories of other times, other places, that I can almost hear Ravi Shankar performing a morning raga is the leaves steep.

    Finally, the tea is ready. It’s a deep brown liqueur, hinting at hidden delights. I pour my cup and add a bit of sweetener and a splash of milk. I still haven’t managed to replicate the tea served by my favorite Indian restaurant, but it’s close. It, too, is intoxicating.

    “In Ireland, you go to someone’s house, and she asks you if you want a cup of tea. You say no, thank you, you’re really just fine. She asks if you’re sure. You say of course you’re sure, really, you don’t need a thing. Except they pronounce it ting. You don’t need a ting. Well, she says then, I was going to get myself some anyway, so it would be no trouble. Ah, you say, well, if you were going to get yourself some, I wouldn’t mind a spot of tea, at that, so long as it’s no trouble and I can give you a hand in the kitchen. Then you go through the whole thing all over again until you both end up in the kitchen drinking tea and chatting.

    In America, someone asks you if you want a cup of tea, you say no, and then you don’t get any damned tea.

    I liked the Irish way better.” ― C.E. Murphy, Urban Shaman

    I close my eyes, raise the cup to my lips, and let the first sip perform its magic.

    Now  I am awake. Now I am human. Now  you may speak.