May 26, 2009: Adjusting to Normal

Today things are mostly back to “normal”.  Not only is today a normal working day but we are not even traveling this coming weekend.  Joe and Brit are coming to visit us this weekend so we will be at home doing mostly relaxed things – although that means that there is a lot more cleaning to do this week.

Today is the crazy traveling day for the Ralstons.  They took off from New York City at eight twenty last night and are due to be in the air for almost the entire day today.  They should have arrived in Casablanca, Morocco around three thirty this morning and left again around eight thirty to fly down to Brazzaville.  They are due to arrive there around six tonight.

Of course, everyone is anxious to know if they have arrived safely or not but once you consider all that they have to do after arriving including gathering up their luggage and getting through customs (eek!) and then getting on to the missionary compound in Brazzaville, getting their medical check-outs and all of that stuff we will all understand if it takes a very long time before they have the ability to get to some place with Internet access and get word out to us about how they are doing.

I worked all morning and was very excited when my new desktop arrived early this afternoon from UPS.  I have been putting off spending the money on a new desktop for so long that I really do deserve this.  Moving from my old dx5150 to this dc5850 is going to really be something.  I skipped the dc5750 line entirely and, along with it, the entire Windows Vista generation.  Windows XP was not even in service pack one or had just barely gone to it when I got the dx5150.  So that machine lastest through a pretty significant portion of the Windows XP years and all of the Vista years that I pretty much just ignored.  Vista still feels “new” to me.  But this new box is destined for Windows 7 RC for the time being.

I did a quick Vista install just to see how it would work on this box and it does look pretty nice.  The big problem is that the desktop shipped with Vista 32 and I really have to have a lot more memory than that supports so that is out of the question.  Once I saw Vista Business 32 working I went on to install Windows 7 Ultimate RC.  That really took hardly any time at all.  Microsoft has really improved the installation process over the years.  It is pretty smooth now.

I got Windows 7 installed and updated and my first impression is that it is awesome.  It is solid and smooth and reacts very well.  More pleasant to use than Vista but mostly that is because I have used Vista enough now that nothing is a shock anymore.  Windows 7 is truly just a tweaked and updated version of Vista.  Nothing really groundbreaking on its own.  Just like Windows XP was an update and tweak for Windows 2000.  When it comes to operating systems groundbreaking normally get a bad rap.  What people want is simple, accepted and stable.  Windows 95, 2000 and Vista did the groundbreaking with new interfaces and features.  Windows 98 (for what its worth), XP and 7 are the “followers on” who come along a few years later and provide minimal changes to the basic package but fix the bits that didn’t work and make everything more stable.  By the time that the second generation comes along people are happy with the new interface and are thrilled when things work a bit better.  It’s mostly just the impression that each subsequent release brings but that is all that it takes.  Windows 7 is destined to be the standard desktop operating system for almost the next decade.  Best to get used to it now.

We actually got some time to relax tonight and we watched a few episodes in the fourth season of The Gilmore Girls.  We really needed to just relax to some degree.  There has been way too much going on recently.

We are, more or less, back on our diets again now.  We have been pretty much been unable to keep to them recently because there has just been so much going on.  Now we just need to eat the remaining junk food around the house, which really is not very much, and we can get back to our healthy diets.

We even managed to get off to bed at a reasonable hour tonight as well.  Only a little after eleven.  Very respectible.  I wish that we could push our bedtime forward a little more yet to align more with Liesl’s sleeping schedule.  I tend to be ready to go to bed at ten thirty or so but it takes a bit to get Dominica to be willing to turn in before one in the morning or later.

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