The Upgrade

Doesn’t everyone hold tight to a good thing, the moment they are sure that perfectly good thing is firmly in hand?  I can tell you this much about Howard.  He is very shy.  Strangers, and strange situations scare him.  He hates having his picture taken.  He lives under my desk, until the shop closes.   In much the same spirit as double bloodroot, hepatica and the yellow slipper orchid,  he would prefer that you not get too close, look too long,  or make any demands.  But the day that I handed him the above pictured giant rawhide treat, he was a new dog.  He had no problem looking me right in the eye.  As I got closer and closer with the camera, he never blinked.  Nor did he retreat.  No doubt, he had his teeth sunk into a good thing, and was not about to give it up.

I am not so sure I remember when I got my first computer.  It was not that long ago, given the sum total of my adult years.  But technologically, it was ages ago.  Both my computer at work and at home were the better part of 7 years old. I would have stayed the course with that 7 year old tool- why wouldn’t I?  My trowel is 20 years old, as is my garden spade and fork.  However, these tools have no moving parts.  They always work if I work.  The traditional garden fork and spade were first made at Clarington Forge in England by Cisterian monks-800 years ago.  The design and functionality of my tools-pretty much the same as they were then.  But as much as I would have liked to hang on to the same computer for the rest of my life, the wired world just doesn’t work that way.  Both of my computers had slowed down such that too much of my time was being spent waiting.  One minute and thirty seconds does not seem like a very long time to wait for a file of photos to open, but when when you deal in lots of photos, those minutes add up.   I dreaded the idea of new computers-and for good reason.  Though everything is the same, everything is brand new too.  My new pair have had plenty of glitches-most of which were glitches owned by me.  Operationally, they are not so much like my old computers.  But wow, are they fast.

The development of my landscape has been anything but fast.  Designing and implementing a landscape for a client is an equally slow process.  What takes minutes to accomplish in the landscape?  That would be wheeling the garbage out to the curb.  Or watering a pot of succulents that by the way didn’t need that water anyway.  Everything else about it takes loads of time.

So I have been in school for much of the past few days, trying to make sense of the new guys.  Our computer company picked them out and installed them-and answered their phone for me for 2 days afterwards.  Mike looks like he is 17 years old, and he handles a computer like a 17 year old-sure, fast, and confident.  Impressive, his command of the situation.  A good and patient coach proved invaluable.

My new computer at work has a big screen, and is too fast for me to keep up with.  What fun that is-especially now that I am starting to get the hang of it.

I also learned how to take a picture at home with my Iphone, and upload it here-ta dah!  The picture is almost sharp to boot-I just pasted the phone on the glass.  It’s starting to feel like the past few days were fun.




  1. That lead photo of Howard is really fine, almost painterly.

  2. Tom Baldinette says

    Deborah. What a lovely pose made by your Howard. And I see a glimpse of him in picture five, too, under the desk, right on cue! Thanks. Tom in NC.

    • Deborah Silver says

      That’s his spot. Milo on the other hand-always out there doing something. They could not be more different. Happy New Year!

  3. That picture of Howard has the quality of a fine oil painting. Really, really tremendous. I could imagine it winning a pet portrait photo contest. Happy New Year! Michele

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Michele, so nice to hear from you. Other people have commented about the painterly quality of that picture of Howard-it was pure luck to get it. I doubt I could ever repeat it. Happy Newe Year to you too- Deborah

  4. Isn’t it amazing how impatient we get having to wait a few seconds for something to appear on the monitor?! My miniMac is from 2007 – my son tells me I have to have a new one – this one is far too slow. I agree. I want a faster one. I don’t want to wait any longer than I have to. I want to whizz all over. I’ve become more impatient with age. My husband gave me an iPad for Christmas. My children were doubtful that I would take to it. Boy! Did I take to it. I love it!! Tap and swipe – it’s fabulous!

  5. Jane Cruickshank says

    Absolutely love Howard… And Milo. They are so the Works.

  6. On a computer, even a ten second wait can feel like an eternity. That being said, I too got a new computer last month, with an updated operating system, I also switched from Explorer to Firefox, and loaded the latest version of AutoCAD and Photoshop. Over the last month, there were times that I wanted my old system back – with everything comfortable, if slow. Transitions can be difficult, like getting rid of an old pair of shoes – sometimes there is an uncomfortable, break-in period to get past.

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Keith, for whom is change really charming? But I feel sure I will soon get used to this, and appreciate what an improvement it is. Deborah

  7. one of the things i have most noticed about your work is that, while you understand, practice and respect tradition, you are not afraid to venture into the modern. and, you do both equally as well and seem comfortable in both. this unique ability to learn, understand & adapt, create & appreciate will, and i am sure has already, morphed over into technology.

    and, hey! you have an iphone! you were already 3/4’s there in mastering new and intimidating tech toys!

    enjoy. the new computers will make your life so much easier.

    nanne, who is using her oldest daughter’s hand-me-down, slow laptop & is the only member of the fam with a ##**@@** droid rather than an iphone :).

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Nanne, thanks for your kind letter! I don’t I am sure I will get the hang of it. A speedy machine, and the clarity of the screen is a pleasure! Deborah

  8. I adore this picture. He is so cute. Love to hear from you, Deborah. I wish you an happy new year and all the best fro you and Rob.

    Here it is cold too, – 8C°, Brrrrrrrr….
    Trees are white and the landscape is so romantic !

    • Deborah Silver says

      Delphine, everything is fine over here! I have seen some pictures recently of Paris in the snow-it does look romantic. Stay warm dear friend! XXX Deborah

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