Thursday, February 22, 2007

I Like Toys

I'm a big gadget fan.

Yes, even if they sometimes mystify me.

Alright, I'll try and stop and get off the Apple Train but I am consumed. My little poll isn't helping me. It's current results are sitting at an even 50/50. I think part of the problem is that I'm not used to spending large quantities of money on myself. I've never really had any money so I have always lived a rather frugal existence (barring hypomanic spending sprees that have resulted in ridiculous amounts of debt--and regret--later.)

I have a terribly impulsive habit of buying things and then letting them sit to gather dust. Will this new "toy" encourage me to pursue more creative outlets of days long past? Can I make it into a useful tool?

There are (and have been of late) rumblings and eruptions in the workplace. I am trying not to think of losing my job. I'm not leaping over the edge into catastrophic thinking but surely you live in a bubble if you think that your job is safe at all in today's world. My MacBook would surely help me if I needed to go back to school and (eek!) think of pursuing a career in Nursing again. Or something else. Or it could perhaps just amuse me as I lay in bed completely depressed that I had lost my job. Or it would again gather dust because I would be so distraught I would not be able to move.

Anyway, enough of that talk! I am reasonably sure that my job is safe...for now at least.

I emailed a friend of mine, my "Mac Guru" for his advice. I haven't heard anything back. I will surely need his assistance. He helped me the last time, well, actually the last two times I bought old PowerBooks and loaded me up with all that I needed and got me up and running. They were both second hand machines so virtually useless. He's a whiz and I'm a dolt so I will need him.

But speaking of some "non-technical" toys, I bought a couple a while ago.

The first was a Newton's Cradle. I've wanted one for years! It's really cheap though. I want a better one! Again, perhaps I am too frugal. I don't know who likes it more, the cat or myself. Probably me because I have a slightly longer attention span? Granted, with this sort of thing, since it's a real "stim" toy (i.e. self-stimulatory behaviour) I could play with it for hours! I love watching the motion of it, staring at the shiny metal balls and hearing the steady click-click sound that it makes.

The sound reminds me of a metronome we had in the house as a child. I loved that metronome. I can not play the piano but my sister managed to teach herself when she was younger (lucky girl!) No one else in my immediate family plays but somehow she managed to aquire some innate musical talent. She can also play guitar but she hasn't really touched either in years.

I get upset with my Newton's Cradle, however, because it won't keep going! I never want it to stop. I become transfixed but I need to keep setting it in motion again and again. Because of this fact, I try to play with it only when I am alone. I fear that my obsession with it will drive anyone else around me and it completely bonkers. I was tempted to bring it in to work but that would not be a good idea for several reasons. Apart from the point previously mentioned, I already have too many other "toys" on my desk and in now looking around...well, it's always in a complete state of chaos. It would only add to the mounting clutter--just not a good idea.

I also bought a Mancala set. If you take the time to read about it in the link, this game is very old. I first played it while on vacation with a friend and his children in Antigua many years ago. It is deceptively simple but you can try to employ strategy. I've taken to actually setting it up and playing it by myself to try and see how to strategically "win" this game. It's a little difficult, however as there are variations as to how you can actually play the game.

I used to play chess as a child. My father taught me when I was young as I was curious about it. When I was about 10-12(?) instead of playing and running and jumping about the schoolyard with all of the other children, I had two other boys that I used to play it with when we had breaks from class or "recess." Yes, I was an absolute geek. But when we all advanced to a new school, the two boys went off to different ones and I lost my chess mates. And at home, things were growing more and more out of control and it seems I had lost my father as a chess mate as well. I've never played chess since.

As for games now, I will play anything that has to do with Trivia. You can't keep me away from it. I may not have a clue or sometimes I may score well but it's always fun.


Dr. Deborah Serani said...

I like geek toys too.

The Laundress said...

Hey there PA,

I have a PowerBook and an iPod and both made me cry at first. I live in an all PCs all the time work environment. The Macs are way better in every single way, once you get over the fact that they are not PCs.

Go for it!

p.s. my daughter, who is a very fun person, is the world's fiercest Mancala freak.

Psychosomartyr said...

Gadgets - mmmmm.

sisiphusledge said...

Oooh! The mere mention of MacBooks gets me all tingly. The smell of the new untouched, nicely wrapped, pristine Mac.....Ahhhhhh, Oooooooooh. Don't ask me, I'd say get one. I LOVE Macs. I love gadgets. I just need to hide my credit card. I don't need one, but that doesn't stop me wanting. Grrrrr!

Patient Anonymous said...

Hi Deb, good to see I'm in great company!

Hey laundress, yes I actually come from a PC environment as well. Have worked on them my entire life and oddly enough, Macs are "too easy" for me. I'm actually Mac Stupid. Which kind of makes no sense because they are so easy to work with but I'm so used to the complexity and inanity and frustration of PCs. But along with that comes so many problems and I've always loved Macs. They are so hassle free and just SO pretty!

That's also cool about your daughter and Mancala!

Hi psychosomartyr, right back at ya.

Hello, sisiphus, so that's another vote yes! I seem to be losing track...and that dumb poll which at last check, only had three votes had the PC leading 2-to-1. So far my comment section/s is/are all saying go for the Mac.

SeaSpray said...

Hi P.A. - My d-i-l is a graphic artist and is totally into Macs and thinks that they are the better computer.

Gadgets are fun. I was always amused by those things (don't remember what they are called) with all the nails that would take on the shape of whatever was pushed into it from the other side.

How sad that you never played chess again. maybe someday you can take that up again. My favorite game is scrabble and I am darn good at it says me. :)

I am awful with trivial pursuit and no respectable trivial pursuit player would ever want me on their team! However, once I did the oddest thing. One night the ED was slow and so they were playing a game and I happened to be walking by. The question was about a tribe in Africa. even though I wasn't playing the answer was Ubanges. It was funny because I was so casual in how I calmly gave the answer as I walked by. I don't know where it came from and I didn't have any knowledge about any African tribes but you would've thought it was part of my everyday knowledge. No one else knew the answer and it was just funny that I did. Hmmm now that I think of it... they may have been playing balderdash with a dictionary.

I came to your site through Chrysalis Angel and hope it is alright that I blogroll you. :)

Vijay said...

Hi PtAnon,
Its been a long time since I commented here.
I just had to say this...
Of course that comes from a self-confessed cult member :)

Patient Anonymous said...

Hi seaspray Thanks for the great comment.

HA! The first thing you mentioned made me laugh so hard. The "toy" you are referring to is generally referred to as something called "Pinpressions." And yes, I have one on my desk at work. Have had it for years!

I don't know how well I'd fare at chess these days. The "rule of thumb" that is often said is to try and think three moves ahead in anticipating both yours and your partner's moves.

Some days I can barely figure out what I'm going to wear in the morning.

I don't know how well we even did as kids but at least we knew how to play and I think we did manage to get some strategy down. It's a complicated game. But hey, at least we were interested?

I like scrabble as well. I think I'm alright but some more advanced players could probably beat me for sure!

Oh, don't say that about yourself re: Trivial Pursuit! Actually, it's more fun if you play in teams because that way if you don't have a damn clue then you don't have to feel so bad and you can hopefully rely upon someone else to help you out! Trivial Pursuit is ingrained in me. My (extended) family elevated it to a contact sport! Well, not literally but it got pretty heated.

But yes, it's surprising sometimes what you can cull from your brain (as per your example!) And you know, they have so many versions of the game now and some are much more easy than the say the 90s Edition.

I would be most pleased to have you blogroll me. Thank you very much! I am glad you came by and enjoy/ed my blog.

Patient Anonymous said...

Hi vijay, you slipped in while I was commenting. Nice to hear from another Mac Addict! So indeed another vote yes. I should go and check my silly poll now and see if it's garnered any more votes. Last time I checked, Mac was ahead! Hope you're well.

Tag(Carpet)Bagger said...

Hm, I looked through your blog for sign of mental illness, and find you like Macs - you are clearly mentally healthy and well adjusted.

Now if you said you loved PCs - that would be another story. Now my new 24 inch iMac - that's something to fall in love with (my 15 inch MacBookPro - not so much though...)

Patient Anonymous said...

Hi tag(carpet)bagger, thank you for your "diagnosis!" Sorry you're less in love with the MacBook Pro. Due to spatial and financial constraints, I can only afford the MacBook. Honestly, if I could, I'd junk this PC in a second and refurbish the entire household's needs in Mac!