Computer Woes and Happy Holidays
My own computer’s in the shop, which makes posting to the web site a little problematic. Apparently some MacBook Pros, mine among them, develop keyboard malfunctions where bit by bit more and more of the keys randomly fail to respond. In my case it started with the n key, then moved onto the c and the b keys and the “command” key. I could get any of them to work if I struck them nine or ten times, but once that began to happen with multiple keys typing became one long act of frustration.
Until I get my faithful laptop back I’ve been using my old Dell to write on. The screen attachment is halfway pulled out of the laptop and it has to remain plugged in at all times or it dies instantly — and sometimes while you’re typing it randomly jumps lines — but it’s certainly better than nothing at all and even in this state is still an astonishing piece of technology that would have blown my mind when I was a kid.
The holidays have been nice around here. I wish I could have had more time to relax, but the novel revision is still looming over my shoulder so I’ve only managed a few days off. I would have liked a good 7 days in a row, but I’ve never managed more than 2. Still, in the evenings I’ve been playing boardgames with the family, primarily crayon rail games like Iron Dragon and Martian Rails (I mentioned both games on the site before, in 2013). As usual I’ve lost to the wife, who’s a genius, and a genius at these games in particular. In the past I’ve managed some victories with Martian Rails, but this time I came in dead last. My son’s got the games figured out now and is playing like a champ, apparently having picked up on some of the wife’s strategies that have eluded me through the years.
I pulled out Hornet Leader a little before Christmas and finally finished a long campaign last night. I’ve had to keep it on a handy reinforced length of cardboard originally used for packing a wall mount television. The cardboard is supported on its underside by two styrofoam struts so that it doesn’t bend, which makes it the near perfect portable platform for a game with lots of counters and cards. It would be even better if it had ridges, but I’m still pretty happy with it. So long as I don’t trip over the dog, I can carry the game on its cardboard “table” back to my office every night after I play a mission and leave the counters on the cards. So much easier than having to set the game back up every evening to play a new mission. Oh, and on Black Gate the other day I finally posted a lengthy review of HL which explains why I enjoy it.
My son’s heading back to college Sunday, alas. He’s doing great there, but I sure miss him when he’s not around. He spent a lot of time over the holiday applying for summer internships, which will be great for his career but will mean he won’t be around this summer if he gets them. So, good and bad. Apart from Pictionary my daughter hasn’t been interested in joining any of our board games. I’m going to try to lure her into a game of Pandemic, which we’ve purchased this summer but not yet gotten to the table.
I know I savored the time with them both when they were younger. I even remember patting myself on the back for doing so. It was simpler for me to be with them than it is for a lot of parents because for a good chunk of that time I was a freelance editor working from home. And yet, with one a sophomore in college and the other a junior in high school I find myself astonished at how fast it has gone. I want to grab more time with them both, somehow. As I was looking up earlier posts on Martian Rails I saw that I’d written my first mention of it on the blog back in July of 2013. Even three years ago it felt like there was a lot more time that lay before us under the same roof. It feels like we’re coming to the end.