What’s Up? (8/18/15)

Shut the Window 
Disabling automatic Windows Updates comes with a lot of perks. Having your operating system constantly reminding you about things it needs to do is a terrible distraction. At best a Windows Update feels like a nagging responsibility, at worst a Windows Update will launch in the background while you’re in the middle of a game or movie and restart your computer while you were in the middle of something. Living in a world without Windows Updates is wonderful. I’ve been doing it for years, and guess what? My computers don’t suffer from crashes, or viruses, or any bugs that I’m aware of. So what are these updates for anyways? 
 
Well, here’s the thing. I’m home in New York right now (more on that later), and my desktop computer could use some work. It’s old. It was at one point, pretty close to top of the line… But that was back when I was in High School. It’s golden days are long gone. The mouse I’ve been using for years is gross and sticky. The old keyboard has been replaced by a mechanical generic (the only improvement as far as I’m concerned). But none of this really matters. This desktop computer is only used about… 10 percent of the year? I can ignore its shortcomings because its stronger than my Laptop. Not faster, mind you, but all of my video games look significantly better on this machine. But like I said, it could use some work.
 
The last major change I made to this computer was “upgrading” it from Windows Vista to Windows 8. What a mistake that was. I experienced no problems with Windows Vista, and a litany of problems with Windows 8. No native DVD support, the fucking app store (on a desktop?), and the god awful tiles interface optimized for tablets (and not desktop computers). A switch from Vista to 7 would have been an upgrade, but Vista to 8 has been a nightmare. A mistake. It basically cursed this computer. It killed the computer I used to know. I had to reinstall everything. All my files not stored externally were lost. There were no improvements, I just found myself adapting to a new environment for no good reason. 
 
So I’d love to get off of Windows 8, and I heard Windows 10 is better, even if it looks like Windows 8, it might default to the desktop instead of the tiles? I’m not sure, but I’m willing to roll the die. Problem is, I haven’t launched a Windows Update in years. It’s been so long since this computer had any contact with Microsoft Corporate, that Windows Update had to Update. Now it can’t even figure out how many Updates it needs to install. My estimate is going to be in the triple digits. 
 
I look forward to turning this computer on in 15 hours and seeing the words “Welcome to Windows 10” and noticing zero improvements. (Though in all honestly, I’d love to love my Windows again. I’d like it if Windows 10 were so satisfactory that I removed disc copies of Windows 7 from my eBay watch list). 
 
Look Out the Window To Your Left
Outside of my airplane window, I could see the Statue of Liberty, roughly at pinky nail size. That’s one hell of a way to be welcomed back into New York. 
 
My 11 AM flight from Pittsburgh to New York went as smoothly as these things could go, with a few extra bonuses. I got to the airport early enough to have a hash brown at McDonald’s, which you may find gross, but McDonald’s breakfast is something of a Pittsburgh airport tradition for me. I then kicked it back at my terminal gate for a little less than an hour, listening to De La Soul’s “De La Soul Is Dead” and Janelle Monae’s “The Electric Lady,” all the while working my  way through Lewis Black’s “Me of Little Faith.” 
 
Yeah, I’m consuming a lot of media today. 
 
When I boarded the plane, I was given a tag to put on my carry-on just in case it wouldn’t fit in the overhead. That’s never a reassuring sign, when someone takes a look at your luggage and is skeptical about it’s chances. Triumphantly, I forced my carry-on into this airline’s sparse overhead space. I felt like I had just beaten the system somehow. I felt like the crew member who thought my luggage was too big was watching my victory, and not sharing it in, but rather feeling defeated. Her eyes were saying “it’s not going to fit. It’s not going to fit. He’s attempting a fool’s errand.” 
 
On the subject of eyes that need to stop sending bad messages. People in first class. Please stop looking at everyone walking by. Period. There’s no way a business class passenger makes eye contact with a first class passenger without feeling the patrician/plebeian divide. When we look at each other, I think you’re judging me, and you probably think I’m judging you. You should just take that free sleep mask you’re getting and put it on while the rest of us board. It’d make everything less awkward. 
 
If everyone in first class just puts on their sleep masks, I promise not to flip you off and steal your complimentary mimosas. 
 
Today though, the back of the plane business class scored a major victory. That victory, being that the plane was practically vacant. With nobody else in my row, I moved from the aisle to the window, opened up my book, and enjoyed the view. 
 
I flipped through Amy Stewart’s “The Drunken Botanist,” and learned a little about what types of herbs, flowers, fruits, and berries can be muddled into an alcoholic drink, and which ones make good infusions. Might be enough to put most to sleep, but I love the subject of botany, especially when combined with cocktails! 
 
The fifty minute flight flew by in no time (heh), and before I knew it, I was on the Belt Parkway headed home. 
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