We're back! And so is the computer

  • After two weeks of, well, sketchy weather and a strange (for us) house, we're back home. It was a good vacation. I read six books, made applesauce, practiced a foreign language, didn't sleep too well, and enjoyed the sound of wasps in a wall full of something like Virginia creeper, as well as a lot of sparrows, a couple of bats, about a hundred cows, and a weasel. Proof of the last two (see if you can find the weasel!):

  • The wireless modem verdict: not much of one, since I didn't try out my own sim card and unlocked modem, probably partially because I was afraid of the roaming charges. In any case I didn't trust my language skills enough to buy one where we were. The one we rented worked fine. The only problem was that we were in a valley out in the country where there weren't many GSM cell sites. We checked our text messages and mail by putting our cell phones and the modem on the fence twice a day. Worked fine, though the connection was still slow. :-) We drove out of the valley to a more populated place to use Skype to call my Mom. Here's our Communications Center:

  • Once back home, I read Bruce Feiler's article "Our Plugged-In Summer" on nytimes.com. As always, vacation makes me think about my "digitality" and what's good/what's not so good about it. I agree with the basic idea of his use of the Internet on vacation: checking out useful information on attraction, looking things up with the kids, etc. We did something similar, although probably less often than Feiler and his family did. And yet...I find it hard to describe, but when the Internet is an option, as useful as it is, it means a small part of our attention is not where we are. We're partly "out there" and not "here". My experience is that this detracts from a vacation (and from "regular life," if we're not careful), even though I am a huge fan of getting information when I need it. There are lots of pros and cons to this question, so let me know what you think!
  • The big computer is back after being repaired for the "flashing folder of death" problem. Apple replaced the hard disk, and to my delight they were able to copy the data onto it, so I didn't even have to use the Time Capsule. Fantabulous.

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