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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!
Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash


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I can't believe that Halloween's almost here, and the house isn't already decorated. Can I use the fact this is the first year I'm an empty nester as an excuse?


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Does that mean that you are not going to decorate?


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No! But without Sawyer home asking about it or prodding me by pulling the decorations out of the garage, it's still just sitting on my "to do" list. But fall is my favorite time of year, and I love seeing the house with all the Halloween decorations, so it will happen.


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I would think you could just put out the inflatables and be done with it.
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I know Columbus Day is a federal holiday, so banks are closed, but otherwise, it's barely celebrated. Growing up, it seemed like it was an important part of fall, not only because we had off from school, but because I can still remember (yes, those straight-A student school memories) learning about America being discovered by the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus. Especially since he was trying to find a new way to get to the "riches" of Asia (without having to sail around Africa) and found the Americas instead! I still recall hearing that some people thought the earth was flat and his ships would fall off, and although it may not have been many people – it still made a lasting impression. Regardless, he became one of the most famous explorers in history.

I love history, so I loved everything about the holiday and even remember the names of the three ships, Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria, all these decades later. And although I've long forgotten most dates in history (after knowing them for the test, of course), the year 1492 is etched on my memory, as I suspect it is for many people.


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Obviously, Red needs to "update" her history on Christopher Columbus, and I am not talking about "obscure facts" like that might not have been his real name. Information has been discovered (pun intended, although this is a serious situation), leading to significant discussion and controversy about Columbus "the person" versus the romanticized hero originally depicted in history books.

As you would expect from any explorer traveling the world, there would be encounters with indigenous people. However, historians now believe Columbus' interactions were despicable (my word, not theirs) due to his use of violence and slavery, and forcing people to become Christians. In addition, he exposed the New World to diseases and other complications in what is now referred to as the "Columbian Exchange."

So, in keeping with the spirit of today being a holiday to celebrate, a "replacement" holiday, Indigenous People's Day, was created. And, although technically not a federal holiday, it does fall on one and hopefully will help us all refocus. In fact, this past Friday, President Joe Biden issued the first-ever presidential proclamation of Indigenous Peoples' Day, stating,

"For generations, Federal policies systematically sought to assimilate and displace Native people and eradicate Native cultures. Today, we recognize Indigenous peoples' resilience and strength as well as the immeasurable positive impact that they have made on every aspect of American society."
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It all started with a visit to Dunkin' (Donuts), which isn't an unusual event for me as I come from New York, and it has always been a part of my life (and explains why I struggle to call it by its "new" name). Even before I was old enough to drink coffee, I loved their donuts, and one of my favorite childhood memories is my dad coming home with a box of a dozen Dunkin' donuts (his favorite was the chocolate glaze and mine the Boston cream).

Now, fast forward to my recent visit to Dunkin', which didn't go as expected – on several fronts. But it had nothing to do with donuts. Rather, with coffee, which I drink all day long, although I'm very particular about how it's prepared. (I admit, that's an understatement.)

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