Assumed & Expectation

A horse running with a bottle of wine in its mouth.

Every morning I get up and amble down to the stable and mount one of two of my favorite horses.  I mostly like to ride the one named “Assumedâ€, but I also enjoy riding “Expectationâ€.  Both are strong and fast and can carry me until the sun goes down.  They have served me well during my lifetime, even though I have been advised several times not to rely too much on them.  As I have aged so have they, and it’s not a pretty sight.  Several times lately both of those fine stallions have let me down. 

I “Assumed†my life would continue happily along as I got older and that everything would remain good.  Well, that horse has started to falter somewhat.  I “Assumed†my children would be here to bid me farewell when my time came to exit this life. That did not hold true since my son passed away last year.  I “Assumed” the ones I love would continue in good health, yet a lot of them are struggling with various maladies.  It reminds me of seeing pictures of a wildfire that burns every home in sight except one and it is left untouched.  I’ve pretty much concluded that my turn is coming sooner or later.  I’m just standing in line, waiting for my turn at the old “Fight for Your Life†treadmill.

“Expectation†isn’t fairing much better, and as a matter of fact, he has lost a lot of stamina and gusto.  It’s becoming increasingly difficult to get him out of the stall and ready for the day’s ride.  Things that “Expectation†used to do well, he falters and sometimes fails.  I was always able to climb the ladder to our roof and blow off pine straw, sticks, and gumballs.  Now it is a risky thing for me to do.  I was always able to prepare the yard for seeding in the fall, doing the necessary thatching, aerating, and fertilizing in one fell swoop.  Nowadays, it takes several days for “Expectation†to amass enough energy for all those chores. 

So, I’m heading in the direction of retiring those two trusty steeds.  They have served me well, but all good things come to an end.  The rock I’ve been pushing all my adult life just seems to be getting heavier and I need to switch to a smaller rock.  Rabindranath Tagore said, “You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.”  I agree with him but maybe, you get to a point where you have no desire to cross the sea?

Recently I decided it was time for me to replace my 10-year-old desktop computer.  That is a lot of years for a computer, considering all the improvements they make in just one year.

I gave a lot of thought to what I was willing to pay and exactly what I wanted to include in my new machine.  The primary parts of a computer are:  Motherboard (communication center for everything attached to it); CPU (central processing unit- the brains for the whole shebang); Video card (displays what you want to see on your screen); Primary hard-drive (stores the system files necessary for the computer to run and personal files for future use).

Of course, there are a lot of other things that are important, but these are the most important things, and the most expensive.  After deciding on what I wanted included in this modern marvel, I needed to find someone to put it all together and tell me how much it would cost.  Well, there are plenty of businesses on the internet that will do that but the price they charge to buy and assemble it for you can vary widely. 

Ultimately, I narrowed the 8 potential companies down to two and then down to one.  The one I selected (Digital Storm) gave me a price well below the others and then gave me a $500 discount.  A rather large grin spread across my face when I saw that discount, but it turned to a frown when I was told it would cost $400 to send it to my home by freight (it weighs 70-90 lbs).  I was also informed it would take about 3 weeks for them to assemble, test, and it and get it to me. 

So here I am, waiting for my prized possession to arrive, and thinking of how much better my life will be once I have it in place and operational.  I’m thinking that not too many people my age get that excited about something like that.  We mostly get excited when we are going on a trip, buying a new car, or expecting family in for a visit.  I will let you know how this turns out after it arrives, and I’ve had the chance to use it for a while. 

Albert Einstein said, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle,â€.  I’m going with the “Everything is a Miracle,†thingy 😊.

Update1:  My new PC arrived today (8/27) and I’m in the process of unpacking it.  Excitement is in every corner of this room that occupies a lot of my life!

Update2:  I finally finished installing all my software (9/10) and my new PC is working perfectly.  That darn thing is so smart that I have decided to call it “Einsteinâ€.  

Marcel Proust said, “The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”   Einstein just gave me a new set of eyes 😊.

James Elroy (author) stated recently that he reads 19 books every six months, or 38 every year.  I was impressed!  I thought to myself, that is a lot of books to read in a year.  Then another thought crossed my mind, how many audio books do I listen to each year?  That was an easy problem to solve because I keep a database of all the books I’ve listened to in of software I purchased years ago titled “AllMyBooksâ€. 

It immediately revealed that in the last ten years I have listened to 583 books.  That’s 58 books every year, quite a bit better than old James.  I told some close friends about that discovery and was disappointed to intuit by their actions that listening wasn’t the same as reading.  I agree that it takes more effort to read than to listen, but I’m of the opinion that the reader is doing only one thing, whereas the listener can do other things while listening.  True, I find myself unable to do work that requires focus, but I can mow the yard, pick up yard debris, drive, and various other activities, all while listening to a good book, be it fiction or non-fiction.  I do try to rotate between the two, although I must confess that I enjoy non-fiction best. 

I also read a couple of months ago that more audio books were being sold yearly then printed versions.  I know many people that prefer print because they like the feel of a book in their hands.  Abraham Lincoln’s dad once told him, “Readers are loafersâ€.  I’m left to wonder how any parent would say that to their children.  I read a lot, but it’s mostly articles online, or in magazines. 

I am reminded of a personal experience in 1971.  I was working in the Payroll Department at my place of employment and I had purchased a hand-held calculator from Sears to use at work at a cost of $100 ($700 in today’s money).  This was when small calculators first hit the market. Our primary means of calculating an employee pay was manual, using pencil and paper and, as you can imagine, mistakes were common.

My first day on the job with my spankin’ new calculator brought me much joy.  Co-workers gathered around to watch me work my magic with that little thing.  Amazement filled their eyes. Finally, my boss walked over and said, “Tommy, you aren’t going to use that to calculate pay are you?â€Â  I replied, “Yup, that’s my intent and you can check my calculations if you want.â€Â  He walked away with a dubious smile on his face.

As we all know, computers (calculators) are everywhere and used by almost everyone today.  I believe some people accept change easily and others not so much.  I believe by 2030 (11 years) audio books will comprise 90% of our books and publishing companies, as we know them now, will be extinct or very rare.  I wonder if ole Abe’s father would’ve entertained the idea of listening to an audio book as he plowed his fields? 😊

 “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” – Saint Augustine  

I hope that as the sun rises in your neighborhood you look at it with new eyes and plan a day filled with happiness.  I intend to do the same…..Tommy