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Red hates technology. That's an understatement. So, she's been "clinging" to her old computer which, since it was purchased in 2012, makes it a dinosaur in computer years. But with increasing "issues" with Outlook, especially as email's the "life blood" of Red & Black, and a few scares … it was finally time for Red to once again take her ostrich head out of the sand and admit that she needed a new computer.


Luckily, many years ago, we were introduced to an amazing IT and computer expert, Shawn, who we've turned to for all things computer related. (This is one of those areas where Red has convinced herself she doesn't have the ability to understand when, in reality, she just prefers other people handle it for her.) Anyway, when Shawn started speaking in a foreign language about CPU's, RAM, OS drives, and a bunch more gobbledygook, Red knew this was far beyond her "pay grade" and was happy to turn over the conversation to Black. And while Black wasn't happy to have this new task added to her "to do" list, even she had to admit that it was easier than trying to explain to Red what it all meant. Especially as it would be years before Red would need to buy another computer, and she'd have forgotten everything by then anyway.

There was no way for Black to know that the bigger conversation was going to be about the price tag. Red went into shock when she saw the Dell shopping cart and although Black explained it was an essential business expense so not to worry about it, Red was still doing her quiet "freak out" about the cost. Especially as for her a computer's just a way to do emails, Word documents, and the occasional spreadsheet. She didn't need the latest and greatest – just the basics.

Once Black could get Red to calm down, she explained things in a way that even Red had to admit made sense. (And, by the way, was once how she answered a question about her expensive red-soled shoes to an auditorium full of high school seniors, but that's another story for another day …)

I know that you think the computer is too expensive for your basic needs, even though you use it for business and personal purposes, but that is because you are looking at the total cost. But I look at it on a cost/hour basis. I am going to use round numbers to simplify the explanation, and use a total cost of $1,000. If you use it 50 weeks/year x 40 hours/week that = 2,000 hours. Over 5 years that = 10,000 hours. Pull out your calculator and you will see that if you spend $1,000 for a computer that you use for a minimum of 10,000 hours it works out to 10 cents an hour!
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What can I tell you? When I was a kid, one of my all-time favorite things to do was … clean the toilet. Yes, you read that correctly. And it wasn’t because I was a germophobe or a clean freak. I just loved being able to sit on the floor, using as much Bon Ami (I’ve no idea why I remember the brand) cleaning powder as I wanted. And the best part? All those bubbles!

It kept me entertained for hours. Not to mention, my mom was thrilled because it kept me “contained” and out of her hair. So much so that if I was very good and behaved myself, she might even give me “special permission” to clean the toilet in my parent’s bathroom. Of course, Black, being five years older and understanding the situation, found it all extremely amusing. Even now, decades later, she still gives me grief about it,

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Photo courtesy of Red


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I know that you’ve been involved with Make-A-Wish for decades, and it’s an amazing organization, but I’m not sure why you made such a big deal about the recent Texas Gulf Coast & Louisiana chapter ’s dedication of its building. I appreciate that you were part of the planning group, but with all due respect, it’s just a building.

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I don’t expect you to remember that it all started in 1980 when Tommy Austin wanted to do something special for a young boy, Chris Greicius, who was battling leukemia and wanted to be a policeman. That wish became a reality and the start of The Make-A-Wish Foundation.


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That story has always inspired me as it makes you realize the difference that just one person can make. But the building wasn’t named after Chris or Tommy, so I’m still confused.
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I may not celebrate Rosh Hashanah by going to temple, and now that the girls are no longer home for the holiday, I don’t prepare a seder with the traditional foods . But I know and appreciate that it’s one of the most important Jewish holidays, as it’s a time for reflection on the past and hope for the future. And this year, between world events, where I feel surrounded by so much negativity, and on the personal front, with Mom’s passing, it seems more important than ever before.


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Although Rosh Hashanah is filled with traditions, like apples dipped in honey because it is believed apples have healing properties (think of the rhyme, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”), and the honey signifies the hope for a new year that will be sweet … it is still incredibly relevant. In today’s hectic world, a contemplative holiday where you stop and think about the road you have traveled over the last year (including any wrong turns) and where you would like to go in the future may be exactly what we all need.

We wish everyone who celebrates Rosh Hashanah a happy and sweet New Year. And remember, you don’t have to be Jewish to look back and reflect … and then try to do better in the future.