“Be music always. Keep changing the keys, tones, pitch, and volume of each of the songs you create along your life’s journey and play on.”

Okay, a lady walks into a computer store, dead computer in hand. She waits while the technician tries a few things, but there are no easy fixes. She forks over $80.00 and leaves her computer for 3 to 5 days meaning the poor woman faces more time in iPad hell, but she is still a bit hopeful as she knows hope springs eternal. On the way out of the store a line of new computers are all connected and sitting in a row against the wall. She foolishly tries one. It’s magic she thinks. The computer is speedy, the touch needed is a delicate one and it has this changing sort of screen at the top of the keyboard. Wow, she thinks then calls over the guy and asks a few questions. There is still time to run, but she doesn’t. She stays and plays with the computer. In a short while, she walks out of the store with computer in hand, a new MacBook Pro with a 15 inch screen, Siri and all sorts of bells and whistles. The woman is smiling.

Today is a beautiful sunny day. It will be in the low 80’s, tolerable when there is no humidity. The breeze is ever so slight; only the leaves at the end of the branches move up and down. I have doors and windows open. Every now and then the chimes ring. It is the sweetest sound. It is the only sound now.

Earlier, the neighbor’s dog was barking for what seemed hours. Another neighbor had her landscaper mowing her lawn and cutting the front bushes. It was around 8 when the the mower started. I am against raucous noise in the morning.

On my school compound in Ghana the morning sounds at first were so different they woke me far too early, but soon enough they became part of my consciousness, and I didn’t hear them while I slept. Roosters were the first sounds I heard and the first sounds I learned to ignore. Next, I could hear the swish of hand held brooms made of stalks. My students were sweeping the whole compound including the dirt in front of my house. Afterwards, they lined up in front of two spigots to fill buckets with water for their baths.  I could hear the clicking of the buckets, the flowing water and the conversations in the line. By then, I was usually up and dressed and having my first cup of coffee while sitting outside on the small concrete porch in front of my house.

After a while, I took for granted those sounds, but I had stored them away in my memory drawers. When I went back to Ghana, to Bolga, the first morning sound I heard was a rooster. It woke me up, but I just smiled, turned over and went back to sleep.


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19 Comments on ““Be music always. Keep changing the keys, tones, pitch, and volume of each of the songs you create along your life’s journey and play on.””

  1. olof1 Says:

    I too will soon need to buy a new laptop but a MacBook 15 inch screen costs an arm and a leg her and I need both arms and legs when I’m working 🙂 I can get at least two really good Pc’s for the price of a Mac.

    No wind, cloudy and reasonable warm here today but the flies do what thery can to make me sty indoors, especially the biting ones because the other kinds have no chance now when I’m wearing my mosquito hat 🙂

    I wish I could hear the rooster here but the one we have here in the village lives on the opposite side so I can’t hear him. Otherwise it’s so quiet here that it’s almost scary sometimes 🙂

    have a great day!


    • Christer,
      It costs close to an arm and a leg here too. I have 12 months to pay with no interest if I do. I didn’t think about a PC as I have really gotten used to a MAC and don’t want to go back to Windows.

      I just came inside with Gracie. It is really hot out, and she is panting. I have turned on the air so we’ll both be comfortable. I have an appointment at the eye doctor in a bit, and I wanted to leave Gracie in a cool house.

      The nights here are very quiet especially in the winter. You are far more isolated than I am. I live in a neighborhood with houses all around me so the quiet does surprise me.

      Have a great afternoon!

  2. im6 Says:

    I can’t imagine making a snap decision on such a major purchase. My ol’ desktop Mac is nearing its 10th birthday and really needs someone to come in and do a major tune up. Last I looked, an equivalent Mac would run nearly $2K — and they don’t even have built-in CD/DVD players any more. Just something else for you to pay a few fingers and toes for (in addition to that arm and that leg). Every purchase I make takes months of hand wringing and decision making, plus running the numbers a thousand times (it never comes out good 🙂 ). It sounds like you didn’t have to endure the madness of the Apple store, so that must have made it a little less painful. I’m jealous!

    • im6,
      If I already hadn’t had a MAC, I might have waited. It is a different operating system but only one a step higher than the one I had. I can’t believe how fast this is and how much lighter than my old one. You’re right about the cost, but I figure I can manage it.

      I don’t think I could go back to Windows as I really like my MAC.

  3. flyboybob Says:

    Congratulations on your new laptop. Did you get your $80 back on your repair?

    I still have my first 512k Mac in the closet. It looks just like the one in the picture of Steve Jobs leaning on it at his memorial service. I bought it in 1985 or 86 used for a stellar $950. I later upgraded it to one meg of ram added a used 500MB external hard drive and it will still boot up and operate. Unfortunately, other than a 4.5 inch floppy disc there’s no way to get the data out.

    Today was a scorcher of 95 degrees and no rain.

    • Thanks, Bob.

      I left my other computer to be fixed. It will be my upstairs laptop.

      Can you load the data to a site like Carbonite then retrieve it using another computer? That might be one way to transfer files.

      It is getting warmer and more humid here.

      • Bob Says:

        Have you backed up your old laptop to an external drive using ‘Time Machine’? If you did then you can connect the new computer to the external HD and it will transfer all the data. Your new Mac has a program in the operating system set up to give you options for transferring the data to your new laptop. Or, bring your new laptop to the store where you are having your old one repaired and they should be able to transfer all the data for you for free.

      • Bob,
        I have all my data backed up on Carbonite which can download it to this new machine. I did the same thing when changing from a PC to my MAC.There was a problem as the folders were not downloaded except as individual items. I have to figure that out today.

  4. Birgit Says:

    Congratulations, sometimes it’s Christmas in July 🙂
    I switched to Linux about 10 years ago and never regretted it. Apart from flexibility and data control it works with old cheap computers. Mine is 9 years old, I just added internal memory and a second harddrive and spent 1€ for a new coin battery. A better used PC would currently cost about 100-150 €.

    • Birgit,
      My other Mac is about 8 or 9 years old. No memory could be added as it is so old. They don’t even make that model anymore.

      I don’t know anyone running Linux. I haven’t ever seen it on a computer. It sounds easy to upgrade. MAC isn’t.

      I am happy with my present!

      • Bob Says:

        Linux is a free, open source operating system which can run on any PC or Mac. It’s based on Unix which was developed by AT&T in the 1960s and became open source and free after the breakup of ‘Ma Bell’ in the 1980s. Actually, Apple OS10 is based on another free open source Unix version called ‘Berkley System Development’. There are several Graphical Interfaces for Linux that are similar to Windows or Mac OS10. Unix versions are extreamly mature and very stable operating systems. Basically all big computer systems such as the Internet itself and your bank run on Unix with windows PCs as the interface for the end users.

        The only problem with Linux is that there are not a lot of easy plug and play drivers for things like printers. If all you do with a PC is surf the web and write letters or make spreadsheets it works fine. There is a free program for Linux, Wimdows and Mac called ‘Open Office’. It’s a kind of clone of the MS Office suite. It will open and allow a user to modify MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents and save them back to an MS Office format. Your Mac comes with a free Office type suite that is MS Office compatible. The word processing program is called Pages.

        When Steve Jobs was fired from Apple he started a computer company called Next. His engineers developed a Unix based graphical operating system which became OS10 when Jobs returned to Apple in the late 1990s. Some of the Next engineers went to work at MS and fixed up Windows using a lot of Unix code to create Windoes XP which was the first really stable version of MS Windows.

        Class dismissed. 🙂

      • im6 Says:

        All said like a true computer geek spouting a bunch of garbage idiots like me can’t even begin to understand, Bob. Your post was like my taking a visit to an Apple store where some twenty-something little punk yammers on and on about things that mean absolutely nothing to me. “Just upload this and download that and click here and open this and…” I’m not making fun you YOU specifically, but of the way people who actually comprehend how this all works talk. Sure, it makes sense to you, but to me, you might as well be speaking in Swahili. To make matters worse, the things that work today are outdated within a month and something newer and more complicated has taken its place. “Oh, just put this patch here and reload this and delete that. It’s EASY!” Speak basic English! Give me a manual with 1,2,3 step-by-step instructions (large type, please!).

        I’m not sure what my point is other than to highlight the problems we old folks have in today’s technological world. I grew up on manual Underwoods and Remingtons and Smith-Coronas. I don’t want to go back to that, but it WAS easier to understand. If those keys got stuck together, I could SEE those keys stuck together and could figure out how to unstick those keys. Computers are a bit more problematic 🙂

      • Bob and im6,
        I too am at a loss trying to understand computer argot. I can fix simple messes with my computer but not large problems. I have altered this MAC a bit to make it more comfortable for me, but I would never dare to do system changes except for upgrades from one operating system to another. They make that easy for anyone.

        I read Bob’s explanations and understood more than I expected which is still very little. I made the change from windows to MAC fairly easily, but I am still learning. I find new things all the time.

        The Apple Store does make me feel inadequate. My two three year old grand niece and nephew use the iPhone to call my sister, their grandmother for a FaceTime.

        I got a typewrite as a high school graduation gift, and I was thrilled.

  5. Bob Says:

    Actually if you have an iPad or an iPhone there is nothing technical that one needs to know to use the technology. Five year old children can use an iPad. You use your index finger to press on the icon for what you want such as Safari to surf the web. The keyboard is the same QUERTY keyboard that your old underwood typewriter had. Obviously you can get on the internet because you can post on this blog.

    That’s why I use Apple’s products because there is very little technical stuff to learn. Even old folks like me can learn new things. I’m 70 years old and I can use and maintain a Mac with no problem.

    • Bob,
      I have no problem using my iPad except I find the keyboard too small. I am going to buy an external keyboard for it so that will eliminate my typing the wrong letter. I have had an iPad a long time so I am quite comfortable with it, what it can do and what it can’t.

      I have had a MAC for a long time so I am also comfortable with my computer. This new one has different bells and whistles but remains essentially the same as my really old one. I did have to add the scroll bar as you use up and down arrows here to view pages, and I preferred the choice between bar or arrow.

      I am almost 70 and can use a both a MAC and a Windows PC with few problems

    • Idle Mind Says:

      ACTUALLY (i hate that word — so condescending), I can USE the technology just fine and I have an iPad, which I don’t really like all that much. I have only used Apple products (for the past 24 or so years) and I still have problems understanding many, many things. I suddenly get a message that I might have gotten some sort of bug. Things slow down and I might need to delete something a website uses to “enhance” my experience. But knowing what to do, where to do it and what to remove are completely foreign to me, I fear I’ll accidentally delete something I shouldn’t have and keep something I need to delete. My wireless mouse is suddenly acting all wacky and I took it to the Apple store and it checks out fine. It appears it has something to do with wi-fi. So I now have to use two mice (wired and wireless, since the wired one has a glitch, too). Some days things work fine; some days they don’t and I have to reboot. Who knows why? So, it’s NOT all that simple. I’m glad it’s easy for you. It’s not for me. And I have just as many candles on my birthday cake as you, so it appears not all old people are quite as tech savvy as you. Sorry to go off on a rant here, but I find it really offensive when someone uses that “A 5-year-old can do it” argument with me. It may be true and it’s completely astonishing, but that doesn’t solve MY problems. I guess you either “get” it or you don’t. I don’t.

      • im6 Says:

        For example, why is WordPress suddenly changing my name to the one on my email?!?!

      • im6,
        I chose to defend, in a way, my expertise with iPad as that comment did stick in my craw too.

        I am good at being able to deal with easy stuff to fix my computer. What I can’t figure out, I google as someone smarter than I has the answer. I used a wireless mouse on my old machine but can’t here as the USB isn’t really a port as it is too small. I figure I must need a connecter for USB. I get really frustrated when I can’t figure something out. I yell swears about a machine besting me, wait a while then try again. I wouldn’t call it easy as it usually takes a while.

        When I was first learning the computer it was DOS. The school’s computer coordinator gave me my first lessons. She later told the principal that I was the quickest student she’d taught in understanding the basic functions. It has to do with logic being a strong suit for me. I am best at following things in order, step by step. I can put things together following the written directions, never the pictures.

        I don’t get more than I do get.

      • im6,
        Perhaps, because this is a new computer, it is being more formal. My older computer knew you well so im6 is who who were.

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