Friday, May 29, 2009

It's a gaga world, and such has been this week's theme. I had a whole host of links to post today and then I went through the news and found so many more that I just began to rattle and spin on the inside -too much! Yesterday's work day really spent me, and today's does not look particularly promising, so I'm just going to have to let that story of one scientist's theory on the mysterious Tunguska blast of 1908 and how it was caused by a UFO crashing into a meteor in a desperate suicidal attempt to save the earth, go. Could happen.

Lileks' piece today recalls a hilarious series of events and decisions regarding his computer that I have lived almost exactly and again. But do not read it. You will not find it funny, as I do, and you will only find it boring, insipid, pathetic. Unless, of course, you are like us and are obsessed with screws and widgets and parallels and wonder constantly why no one understands you. You would then be our new best friend.

Where does that guy find the time, I wonder? Oh, I know... He doesn't build aluminum patio covers on the side. If he did, his blog would be immensely more interesting to me, but then his skill at the writing craft would diminish and he'd be in a bad mood all the time and his daughter wouldn't talk to him when he came home from a long day up a ladder and then none of it would be worth reading. Eventually, he would silently pass on, like so many other writers throughout history, dissolving into the cultural ephemera like all those labels and ads he saves. (Maybe that's why he saves them!)

Still. If Lileks built aluminum patio covers, I would read it every day.

I almost have Mrs. Ditchman converted over to Mac. She now uses the old Mac downstairs more than her PC upstairs, but I suspect that's due to the location, location, location. Me, I'm a dedicated user regardless of the location. For example, I've been saving up for the summer's new iPhone release and am looking forward to having my Mac with me SIMPLY EVERYWHERE. I am looking forward to not having to endanger the world by pressing a series of 17 keys to plug in my Bluetooth headset while driving. I am looking forward to the power of seamless syncing. I am looking forward to the GPS and the music and the app that will route and track my long runs. Ahhh, techno-bliss!

Mrs. Ditchman could not care less, though sometimes she tries. Nearly all of our business files are on my Mac now, which makes her irascible when she has to email patio cover pics to herself. Her current computer workstation is an old and busted IBM ThinkPad with a dead screen plugged in to a CRT tube the size of a pool inflatable that makes the meter spin and the lights dim in the house when you switch it on. (I can hear it humming as I type.) The new aluminum MacBooks are the perfect thing for her, and would make our Mac-wired household complete, but still she resists. "I think it's smart to have both Mac and Windows in our office," she says. "And all my old files are on the PC." I try and defy the logic, and it's like playing catch with helium balloons.

But there is Parallels. A few weeks ago I was in a Best Buy and saw a little aluminum MacBook hooked up to another screen that was all Windows, while the MacBook screen was all Mac. I moved the cursor from one screen to another and it was suddenly like I had become a pan-dimensional being -like a mermaid, or a Superman, or some clever celestial angel. I was in two worlds at once! I utterly hypnotized myself, moving that cursor back... and forth... back... and forth. I had Windows Vista and Mac Os Jaguar at my fingertips, on two screens! My wife will love this, I thought. Of course, standing there playing with it, I had no idea what to do with the Windows.

Also, I feel I am making headway with Mrs. Ditchman on the other field: homemaking robots. The other day she relented and said that maybe we should break down and get a robot vacuum -it seems one of her Bunco friends has one and has it programmed to go clean every morning. "We would need two," I mentioned, pressing my luck and rationalizing about the two floors of our house. She just nodded and turned. Went to clean the stairs, I presumed. I played it cool, and didn't press her on it. Figured I'd let all the floor-cleaning talk her into it. I'm smart that way.

So robots and Macs may be in our hopeful, idyllic future after all. People who don't like Macs are like New Yorkers who don't like Yosemite, they just can't fit in no matter how beautiful it is. And take a mountain man to The City and his response will be similar to a Mac user: Ugggh. Mac market share is growing, however. Who can say what the future brings, but I fear Mac will always be like Pepsi, playing second fiddle to Coke. I'm a Coke drinker, can't stand Pepsi, so maybe I can understand those tireless Windows users, ever resisting The New Sickly Sweet Other. Interesting how they love their iPods, though. (By the way, the new iPods are rumored to have cameras in them!)

Weekend is coming. Everything leaks, creaks, messes, or needs mowing, don't you know? But keep at it. Be patient. Some day, worlds will marry, and your wife will invest in robots and your iPod will direct them to manage your lawn and garden for you.