Memory problems

What my computer and I have in common…

After using it for 10 years apparently my laptop computer is now low on memory and at my age I know just how it feels.

Pretty sure I brushed my teeth twice last night because I did the first go-round on autopilot and had no memory of doing it afterwards so I brushed again just to be on the safe side.

Maybe I’m losing brain cells (after some of the stunts I’ve pulled I deserve to), but I prefer to think I’ve done some things so many times in my life I can do them without thinking and then can’t remember that I did them.  

Like arriving at work and having absolutely no recall how I got there because my brain was too busy thinking about the Royals bullpen problems or that leftover pizza I planned on having for lunch.

Anyway, I’ve been getting messages on my laptop’s screen that it’s low on memory and maybe I should shut down a couple of the dozen programs I’ve got up and running at the same time. It’s a cry for help from my computer and I guess I’m going to have to do something about it.

More on that in a moment.

No more support, thank God

I’m also getting messages that Microsoft Word – the program I write in – will no longer be supported by Microsoft and maybe I should update to a newer program.

Back in 2010 when I bought Word and had it installed you could actually buy a program and own it and now some money-hungry executive has figured out he could make more money if his company makes you pay a fee every month instead of selling you the program outright.

(I used a masculine pronoun when describing my money-hungry executive, but any women currently reading this ought to be happy because I consider charging rent on this stuff a dick move and assume a dude would be more likely to do it.)

These days I get charged for Adobe Photoshop every month, a program you could buy and own in the past.

One of the supposed selling points of renting as opposed to owning is that the wizards at Microsoft or whoever the hell maintains Photoshop can get into your computer in the middle of the night and install their latest updates.

Which I hate.

A lot of these updates seem unnecessary and are only created and installed because someone needs to justify their continued employment. And those unnecessary updates often screw up my own personal settings and preferences and then I have to do some research to figure out how to get my stuff back the way I want it.

It’s like some overly aggressive interior designer sneaking into your house at night and rearranging the furniture.

Thanks a lot, Steve Jobs Jr., but I liked my couch just where it was.

No offense to the IT people at the Kansas City Star (as long as we both understand people say “no offense” right before they plan on saying something the listener will no doubt find offensive), but it often seemed like the IT people would get into the company system to fix one thing and break two more while they were at it.

Kinda like a plumber coming over to fix your garbage disposal and breaking a window to gain access to your kitchen.

The guys at the computer repair shop told me I could continue to write in Word, but Microsoft would no longer supply updates to which I said: “Thank God.”

Poorly-named memory sticks

After my computer informed me it was developing Alzheimer’s I went out and bought some memory sticks and started putting as many files on them as I could, but it turns out memory sticks don’t remind you where you left them or what you put on them so it seems like “memory” sticks is false advertising and I should be able to sue for compensation.

I’d call my lawyer if I could remember his number…probably on a memory stick I can’t find.

I lost my garage door opener for over a year when it somehow got wedged between my seat and the center console so you couldn’t see it from the top or bottom and I only discovered its location when I adjusted my driver’s seat and my garage door closed.

Obviously I’m not working with NASA-scientist level of intelligence here and need all the outside help I can get as long as it doesn’t include computer updates.

Jury duty and computer repair

So the guys at the computer repair shop said they could add memory to my laptop, but they’d need my computer for a few days to do it.

At that point I realized just how much I rely on my computer and how difficult it will be to do without it and if someone put a gun to my head and said hand over your laptop or your first-born male child my first thought would be: “Well…I’ve got three kids and only one laptop.”

I’d feel like crap for sacrificing my oldest son so I could hold onto a decade-old Dell, but the good news is I’d probably forget all about it after a while.

I’m currently re-reading a bunch of Elmore Leonard books I read when they first came out and I’m really enjoying them because I have no memory of reading them the first time.

I’m also looking forward to watching that “Wizard of Oz” movie I’ve heard so much about.

So while I was trying to figure out just when I could do without my computer for a few days, I got a summons for jury duty starting on February 24th, so I guess the planets have aligned, although I plan on going in and saying something bizarre that I’m hoping will get me out of doing my duty as a citizen which means I’m a bad person, but hey: I’m the guy willing to give away his first-born son in order to keep a laptop so ducking jury duty isn’t even the worst thing I’ll do next week.

If announcing that Donald Trump seems like a genius and the Democrats have provided us with a fine group of candidates to choose from doesn’t get me sent home early I may have to serve on a jury and if that’s the case you might not hear from me for a few days.

On the other hand, when I come back I’ll probably have a pretty good story to tell, I just might not have a computer to tell it on. We’ll see.

My custom computer

True story: Paul Newman used to own a Volkswagen Beetle that had a Porsche engine installed and he used to think it was funny to get in races with somebody and blow their doors off with a VW.

That’s the kinda joke you can pull when you’re a Hollywood star with time on your hands and so much money you’ve run out of things to do with it.

While the similarities between me and Paul are numerous and obvious I will not have a Dodge hemi installed in my Toyota Matrix, but I am hoping to have a 10-year-old laptop with enough computing power to run a Middle East drone strike and I’m thinking of asking the guys at the shop to paint flames on my computer while they’re at it.

Now if I can only remember to pick it up.