Tag Archives: Hot

I love my computer

I love how my computer gets really hot. When I first open it up, it’s not hot at all. The brushed aluminum casing is maybe even a little cool to the touch. And I start typing and I’m thinking, man, if only this computer were really, really hot. Like, if there were only some way for the internal temperature of this machine to just shoot up, really fast, out of nowhere, man, I’d be so happy.


And then, it’s crazy, but every single time, my prayers are answered. It’s like there’s a little mind-reading troll that lives amongst the circuits and processors, and he’s like, did somebody say hotter? Zap! He uses his magic powers to make it really, really, really hot. Like so hot that it’s almost too hot. Almost, obviously I’m still typing, so it’s not too hot. But just below too hot, like a nice really hot cup of tea, or a bowl of French onion soup that takes half an hour to eat because it’s so hot, or one of those days at the beach where it feels like you can’t step on the sand because your feet are burning, but you have to, and you do, and it’s fine.

It’s like resting my wrists on two of those hand warmers that you use when you go skiing in the winter. How do they get those things to work? Here are two not-warm-at-all fabric pouches, and as soon as you open them up and expose them to air, there it is, warmth. Maybe they have something in common, my laptop and those warmies. Because my computer is definitely warm. If only there were some way for me to type on this computer while I’m skiing. It seems like such an obvious solution.

I also love it how my computer’s fan starts going into overdrive anytime I do anything more than just opening a simple Word document and typing. It’s like, I’m typing right now, and it’s fine, there’s nothing else going on, and so all I have to do is sit back and enjoy the wrist-heat. But if I click over to my web browser? The fans start spinning, the computer is telling me, whoa, easy Rob, one thing at a time buddy. Or if I start watching a two-minute YouTube clip? I can just hear my computer asking me, Rob, can’t you just watch that video on your cell phone? Is anybody else getting really hot in here? And just when I think the fan won’t be able to spin any harder, it does, it’s making like a really uncomfortable wheezing sound, eventually so loud that I can’t hear the sound coming out of my tinny little speakers, and so yeah, I’ll just watch it on my cell phone, that’s not too big of a deal.

I love it how if I leave my laptop open, long enough for the screen to go black, it never turns back on again. I mean, the computer is on, it’s just that the screen is black and I can’t get it to wake up. And I know it’s on, I’ll hit the volume button and hear the little “bwop” sound, like everything’s working.

Now I know, it’s not a problem anymore, I just have to close my computer the second that I step away from it. But man, getting to that point, it was a lot of trial and error. I’d go to the bathroom for a second and come back to a blind laptop. I brought it to the computer store and they were like, sorry brah, that computer is too old, we’re not going anywhere near it. So I had to go on the Internet on my phone and learn about something called PRAM, and there was a lot of hard rebooting and cursing and holding down specific keys and … well, I got it working again. Everything was deleted, but so what? That’s what you have the cloud for. And I only had to do that master reboot like three or four times before I figured out just what was making it tick in the first place. I think. Please don’t turn off on me again, computer.

I love this computer. It’s a giant middle finger to the whole computer industry. Everything in modern technology is all about being new, getting a new device every year or so. Not me, I’ve had this same machine since 2006. Did I mention how warm my wrists are? And as long as this thing holds up, I’ll never buy anything else. Never. I hope that this computer lasts me the rest of my life. I hope that my descendants all use this computer, that it keeps working for hundreds of years to come, that in the future, it’ll develop a near mystical reputation, a sort of divine machine that refuses to obey the laws of simple mechanics. This computer is the best. If you ever came up to me and said, “Rob, I’ll trade you this brand new computer for your really old, hot, temperamental machine,” I’d say, “No deal.” Seriously. Try it. Make me that offer. I’ll say no.

I’ve got ninety-nine problems, and they’re all logistical computer stuff

I used to write on my laptop, but after a while, after an hour or two hours, my wrists would get so hot, resting on the computer, right below the keyboard. I could feel the heat irradiating my blood, I worried that it was poisoning my system. So I got rid of the laptop and bought a desktop.


And it was better, I mean, I didn’t have that hotspot anymore. But working with a mouse was so much different than working with the laptop’s track pad. I guess I took it for granted, what with all of the excessive wrist-worry, just how convenient it was navigating my graphic user interface right there, right below my keyboard, I didn’t really have to move my hands.

What I gained in peace of mind, I lost in convenience. Because even though I tried to give it time, to adjust to the new setup, I couldn’t get a good workflow going, I kept having to pick up my hand and put it on the mouse.

And besides, now I’m basically stuck here, upstairs on my desk. I guess I also took for granted just how comfortable my typing setup was downstairs at the kitchen table. Because I just naturally assumed that writing at a desk would be more of an ideal setup. But it’s not. My wrists are just slightly more elevated. And with all of the moving back and forth from keyboard to mouse, it’s exhausting. I can totally relate to people making up all of that stuff about carpel-tunnel.

And this mouse, it’s supposed to be a Mighty Mouse. Like, it’s just a solid piece with a little ball on it to scroll up and down. But I keep squeezing it the wrong way, even though I don’t really feel like I’m doing anything, nothing conscious enough to actually activate one of the hidden side buttons, but it keeps clicking, it switches between windows, it shows the desktop when I’m not asking it to show the desktop.

So I threw that mouse away and bought a Magic Mouse. It doesn’t have a ball, nothing to get stuck and prevent me from scrolling up and down. And I thought it would have worked much better, but, and I don’t know if it’s the mouse, or my computer, but it’s so laggy. Like, the cursor is so choppy, lurching across the screen. I move the mouse, nothing happens, and I can’t click on anything that I want to click on.

And this keyboard, it’s just not as smooth as working on my laptop’s keyboard. I don’t know how to explain it. Like, it feels like there’s a really heavy spring under each key, and if I don’t hit exactly the right spot, somewhere in the dead center of the key, it’s like, boing! It springs my finger onto the next key, and so I’m just constantly making typos.

So finally I was like, you know what? I can’t do this, it’s just not working out. So I sold my desktop at a loss and bought a new laptop. I’m back downstairs at the kitchen table, it’s really nice, to be able to just write, uninterrupted, not having to worry about all of those logistical nightmares that were plaguing me upstairs.

Only, now that the weather is getting warm out again, I can feel my wrists heating up, just like before. And it feels worse. Could it be worse? Could this keyboard be hotter than my other one? Or is that just in my head?

I reacted a little too dramatically, pulling my hands off the machine like I would something that was really hot, like a stove, like if my wrist accidentally made contact with one of the burners, even though that’s totally unlikely. And when I did that, I knocked my cup of iced tea onto the computer. And thankfully nothing happened, like with the computer, everything still works, which is lucky, because that could have killed it.

But now, every time I type, it’s like the keys are all stuck with dried out iced tea, and so it’s just really annoying, I feel like I’m making even more typos than ever. Sticky typos like hhhhhhhhh or ttttttttttt. I just, it’s really getting in the way of my writing. I just feel like, how am I supposed to get any writing done? With all of these computer problems? What’s the solution?

Not my cup of tea

It used to be that I wouldn’t drink coffee past five or so in the afternoon, because the caffeine would keep me up at night. Every once in a while I’d make the mistake of ordering an espresso or something like that after dinner, and come two or three in the morning, I’d lay in my bed, staring up at the ceiling, wondering why it’s been taking so long for me to fall asleep, all while my heart felt like it was trying its hardest to escape the confines of my chest.

photo (6)

But I’m at the point now where I can drink coffee whenever I want. Which, coincidentally or not, happens to be every waking minute of the day. My caffeine intake used to be something that I’d monitor pretty carefully. I’ve had the unfortunate experience of overdoing it, and the resulting caffeine-induced panic attack left me careful not to exceed three cups in a row.

I’m not worried about that anymore. I get up in the morning and make myself a pot. Sometimes my wife will pour herself a cup, and I although it would be nice to say that I’m thinking of her, that I’m making extra coffee in case she’d like some, really I’m just brewing as much as my machine will make at once.

Maybe she’ll have a cup, maybe not, it doesn’t matter. That whole pot is just a warm-up. I’ll down everything over the course of an hour, an hour and a half, and then I fill it up all over again. This I’ll just leave on the warmer for as long as the machine will run without automatically turning itself off, usually something like three hours.

I’ll be downstairs and I’ll have a cup. I’ll make a sandwich and I’ll have another. I used to be really picky, if not a little pretentious about my coffee. I’d buy whole beans from select markets, I bought a coffee grinder and insisted that cups be brewed individually, throwing out words like oxidation in regards to a recent grind, all nonsense I’d read about on the Internet and convinced myself was all necessary for not just a perfect cup of coffee, but for the whole experience. It was an experience.

Now I’ll come home from work and I’ll see that quarter pot of room temperature coffee left out from way earlier in the day. Whatever, I’ll turn the warmer on, maybe even microwave a cup if I need a super immediate fix. Coffee beans, I don’t really care where they’re from, a gourmet roaster, sure, Dunkin Donuts, sounds good. Really I’m just looking for convenience, pure bulk. This means giant bags of vacuum packed beans at Costco, or loose by-the-pound roast that I’ll shovel into a brown paper bag from a giant bin at the grocery store.

I just want to have a lot of it, whatever it is. Because every once in a while I’ll be in the unfortunate situation where I really want coffee, but I don’t have any. Like just right now. I don’t know how it slipped my mind, but I was out on Long Island visiting my in-laws, and I knew that I needed to get some more coffee on my way back. But I didn’t. And I needed some.

I weighed my options. It was late. Did I feel like walking around to the myriad Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts by my place? Which one might be open at this hour? Should I go to the grocery store and buy some beans? Or would that turn into a full-blown shopping trip? What were my options?

Maybe there was some emergency coffee lying around somewhere, some Folger’s Crystals, something. In the back of one of the kitchen cabinets, I found a sealed box of tea bags, earl grey. Would this help? Could I get what I get out of coffee by drinking a few cups of tea?

It was worth a shot. But everything about the tea making process took forever. The waiting for the water to boil. The waiting for the tea to steep. The waiting for the boiling tea to cool down somewhat. It’s so much easier to press a button on the coffee maker, like I don’t have to be conscious of each painfully long step.

And then I finally got to drinking my earl grey. What is that taste, bergamot? It’s like citrusy and floral. It’s not unpleasant, but it’s nothing like drinking a cup of coffee. I’d never tried tea with milk, but I figured it was worth a shot. It made the drink a little smoother, but I don’t know, it wasn’t like a cup of coffee with milk.

I finished that cup and poured another dose of hot water over a fresh tea bag. Nothing bothers me more than watching someone try to make a second cup of tea out of a used tea bag. Sure, it turns brown, but there’s no way that whatever’s in that cup is anything close to a full-strength cup of tea. It’s like, if I ran hot water over some used coffee grinds, I’m sure I’d get something, a cup of hot brown liquid, but nothing that I’d like to actually drink.

Toward the end of the second cup, I started to feel it, the buzz that started in the base of my neck, shooting subtle pulses of pleasure and relief as it spread upward around the top of my skull. I was seriously worried, because even though I know tea has caffeine, I didn’t really expect to feel anything. It’s like, I drink Coca-Cola, but I never detect even the slightest hint of caffeine.

But no, this was good. I was enjoying this. Everything was going to be OK. Would I change my daily routine and maybe add tea to the mix? Of course not. This was a desperate times, desperate measures emergency maneuver, nothing more. Still, I couldn’t deny that a part of me was enjoying it, just ever so slightly. I felt like Captain Picard, after a long day, I’d walk into my ready room and tell the replicator simply, “Tea. Earl grey. Hot.”

But yeah, tomorrow, definitely I’ve got to get more coffee. A lot more. No, even more than that.

Talking about the weather

Every time I find myself in a discussion about the weather, it’s not even like two sentences back and forth when this awareness clicks in my head. Shit, I think, I can’t believe I’m talking about the weather again. And chances are, I’m the one that started the conversation. It’s like, when I’m presented with another human being, there’s something inside of me that does whatever it can to avoid even a quarter of a second from slipping by without a steady stream of words coming out of my mouth.


And so I don’t even realize it, I’m just like, “Wow, can you believe how cold it is outside?” It’s such a cheap trick, because once the topic of weather is introduced, it’s a guaranteed minute and a half to two minutes of pure automatic banter. You don’t have to worry about any awkward pauses or having to think of anything especially clever to say.

No, you make a comment about the weather. Then you wait for whoever you’re talking with to respond, usually it’s something like, “I know, right?” All right you’re both on the same page, you’re both amazed that it’s actually this cold out, even though it’s February. “But the snow! I think we’re getting more snow next week!”

That was me, adding another layer to the veneer of dialogue. I don’t even know where I got that from. I probably just made it up. That’s one thing that I’ve become painfully aware of. Considering all of the nonsense weather related chit-chats I’ve been guilty of initiating, you’d think I’d at least have a dedicated tab in my browser open to some sort of a weather web site, if not several weather related smartphone apps.

But there’s nothing. I never check the weather. You don’t need to. First of all, most of the forecasts are very loose predictions. Anybody remember those three-to-thirty inches of snow we were supposed to get last week? Sure, the science is there to give a prediction of what the weather might look like ten, seven, five days from now, but unless it’s a three-day forecast, it’s probably not going to come true.

Then we finally get to that three-day window, and say something of interest is actually on its way to our area, that’s when everybody starts talking about it. My mom will tell me about snow, or I’ll be in line at CVS and I’ll see everybody in the store buying their weight in rock salt. Again, at this point I could flip open my phone and see what’s what, but why bother? It’s obvious that everybody else has done most of the research on my behalf.

It’s the weather, it just happens. Sometimes it’s raining, most of the time it’s not raining. Unless you live in Seattle, or Ireland, but I don’t, so I don’t even know where my umbrella is unless it’s actually pouring outside and I have to take my dog for a walk.

So you’d think that, considering my awareness of how ridiculous it is to talk about the weather, I wouldn’t be that guy that’s always pulling meteorological half-truths out of his ass. I don’t know why I do it. I’m looking back at my post history here on this blog, and it’s disgusting, at least twice a month I write something about how hot the summer is or how cold the winter is. It’s like I can’t even stand the idea of pause in between blog posts, so I just start babbling away about the temperature, precipitation, or lack thereof.

I’m the guy that makes fun of anybody that dares to ask me, “Cold enough for ya?” on a really cold day, but then I go ahead and ask everybody that I meet for the rest of the season, “Hey, cold enough for ya? Huh? It’s winter. It’s wintertime. It’s cold.” And what if it wasn’t cold? What if this winter were a really warm one?

“Oh man!” I’d talk and babble, “You call this a winter? It’s so warm out! I wish it were colder. I really like snow! I heard something that we’re supposed to get a blizzard in three weeks. Maybe. I think there’s like a one percent chance. I’d better get some rock salt. Do you have enough rock salt? You better get to CVS, I think they’re going to sell out. There’s never enough rock salt. Is the heat on in here? I’m freezing.”

Three showers, three pairs of jeans

I’m having one of those days where I can’t get comfortable, like I got dressed in the morning, but my jeans, I don’t know how to explain it, they just felt greasy, and I’m not a dirty guy, I wash my clothes somewhat regularly. Shirts, totally, I only wear them once, and jeans, even though I get multiple days in between each wash, I’m not one of those people that goes a whole season without washing. I’d say once a week, two weeks, tops. But still, these were like especially grimy, I don’t know, so I took them off and put on a clean pair.


But I still didn’t feel right, I tried ignoring it, but an hour, two hours in, I figured, all right, you know what? I can’t let this go, for whatever reason today I just can’t get comfortable in my pants, I took those pants off, I hopped in the shower, even though I had just taken a shower, I needed a clean start, another fresh start to the day, even though it was coming up on lunchtime.

And this shower, I usually don’t take two showers so close to each other, but it was so comfortable, maybe it’s because the seasons have recently changed, we’re getting our first few really crisp days of the season, like not cold enough to warrant a coat or anything like that, but definitely a sweatshirt. Heat? I don’t know, I don’t know if the heating has kicked in yet. Although, now that I mention it, I think I was supposed to get the furnace serviced. I think.

I was thinking all of that in the shower, and it just felt so good, like a sauna, I lost track of time, when I got out, my skin was raw, and when I found a third pair of jeans, these ones absolutely clean, they just chafed against my legs, it was really itchy, a violent, persistent itch that, not even five seconds after I stopped itching it, it would start up again, I just kept sitting there and squirming.

So, and I never do this, because I’m just not in the habit of doing it, but I got undressed and I started applying my wife’s moisturizing lotion, like a lot of it, by the pumpful, this stuff comes in these giant, I’m talking big dispensers, like you’re totally supposed to use a lot of it each time, and it felt great, finally the itching subsided a little bit, cool relief against my over-washed skin. I thought to myself, I don’t know why I don’t use this stuff more often. I guess, yeah, there’s a little bit of a stigma, like it’s a girly thing, a daily moisturizer. But so what? What am I that bound by ridiculous gender distinctions, that I can’t use a product that’s clearly doing something right here?

But then I got dressed, I put on my clothes and everything felt grimy again. Was it the lotion? Because, yeah, I’d expected there to be some lotion residue, but this, I couldn’t imagine it had been this bad before. I tried to put it out of my head, that whatever slimy sort of sensation I was feeling under my jeans, whatever, it was a hundred percent clean, just clean skin and fresh moisturizer.

Still, I couldn’t stop thinking about it for more than five minutes or so. But what can I do, I mean, a third shower is out of the question, that would be such a short-term fix, because I can’t handle any more hot water, not today, I’ve got to let my skin rest, replenish some of those natural oils or whatever. But a third shower, I probably should have thought out my day a little better. I wanted to go running, but, you know, I’d need to take a shower after, so I probably shouldn’t.

So I don’t know, I think I’m just going to stay in for the rest of the day, I could probably get away with not doing anything, in which case, I guess I could just take a really quick third shower, I’ll change right into my pajamas after. Do you think this is going to count as a sick day or a personal day? Because, it’s definitely something physical, right? Or am I worrying about it too much, in which case it would be mental? If I get a doctor’s note, am I going to have to go to a dermatologist? Do I need a referral from my primary care physician? Shit, do I have to get dressed again? I can’t get a grip on the day, I’m just, I can’t get my shit figured out.