It’s my birthday today, but never mind the number… let’s just say 30 and be done with it, what with my actual 30th in 2007 being a very unhappy day, and occurring during one of the ten years I wasn’t really “living” as such (2000-3 hibernating in Worthing with my folks, between my undergrad and postgrad days, and 2005-11 for reasons I won’t go into here — maybe another night?).
No, the main thrust of my blog tonight is that, around the time of my birthday this year, I’ve been making plans to get rid of some old stuff, and replacing it with new stuff — in many cases with the assistance of people in my life. However, unlike Eminem in 2002, I’m cleanin’ out my closet without insulting my mother, since she’s a large part of the reason I made it this far in my life!
And my mother and grandmother helped me this weekend: finally I’m rid of the coat I got in 2014, just at the start of my decline into serious anxiety. I know objects supposedly don’t exude positive or negative karma, but still, the left zip pocket broke earlier this year, and the new one’s not only got red lining inside (red being “my colour” at the moment), but a spider motif!
(No, nothing to do with Spider-Man — I’m not quite that geeky when it comes to my day-to-day clothes!)
I also have a new pair of boots bought for me by my folks, to replace the pair I was given by my “second family” in Michigan many years ago, but which I haven’t used since early 2014, due to them being caked in mud while I was watching my mother take part in a mud-run challenge. It’s a pity, but I feel no real attachment to them any more — and being American boots, somehow I wonder if they were as leather-free as claimed? The new ones certainly are, judging from the symbols, and I have a feeling I’ll be needing them now that winter is coming… I just have to hope the three-year cycle doesn’t happen again, and that this winter is better for me than those in 2014 and 2011 — which as you know (in the former case because I was writing this then, and the latter case because I keep going on about it) were depressing times of my life.
Speaking of 2011, the most important changes concern my computer — the PC of Theseus is undergoing further replacement, and soon, aside from the Windows 7 installation itself (but not the physical drvie it’s on), nothing will be left of that year. My “boss-lady” has very kindly (and surprisingly, in light of what happened before) bought me a new sixth-generation i7 processor, in lieu of buying me a laptop so I could work from home. I was already planning to get one, but she’s saved me quite a bit of money on this operation! I’ve bought a new motherboard to plug it into, along with DDR4 memory (since I can’t reuse my own DDR3 in it), and a cooling fan for the processor (since one didn’t come with the processor itself, oddly).
I also bought a new computer casing a couple of weekends ago — smaller, sleeker and whiter than the yuge black Cooler Master casing I got in 2011, which fortunately I was able to give to charity (rather than needing someone to drive me to the dump). Installing my old setup in the new box has paved the way for the new setup: all I have to do is put the new components on the new motherboard, swap that out wholesale with the old motherboard, and plug everything back in! Positioning the drives (including the Win7 SSD) and running cables through the casing was the hard part, so this bit will be, relatively speaking, nice and easy…
(Says Dave-ros, hoping he’s not jinxing it by being over-confident!)
Once that’s done, I can take my old third-generation i7 (snugly in its motherboard, but with memory and fan removed for the journey) down to Worthing, to replace the creaking old Core 2 Quad (with DDR2 memory) system I have in the Frankencomputer. I originally bought that ten years ago for use here in London, only upgrading from it in 2011 — which brings us around to that year again!
Since I got rid of the big casing I brought down from London in 2011 (the one with the big green “not handles” on the front), and put the components into a smaller white casing that my mother had originally planned to have me build her new PC in at Christmas, the Frankencomputer is also becoming a PC of Theseus, though still with plenty of “original” components left in it (since it’s not something I worry too much about upgrading, due to only using it when I visit my folks in Worthing). I know I set it up with Win7 in 2014, but since I upgraded that to Win10 last year, perhaps I’ve driven the 2014 out of it too?
And finally, there’s the guitar I bought cheaply in 2014… no, don’t worry, I’m not getting rid of it along with other stuff from that year! Quite the opposite — I’ve started taking guitar classes, coincidentally starting on my birthday today. One thing I’ve learned repeatedly in life (Japanese, computing etc.) is that I learn a lot better from actual people, with structured classes, than I do trying to study off my own back whenever I can be bothered. It happened to be a one-to-one session in this first wek, as the other guy who signed up through Meetup.com was off sick!
My teacher’s certainly helped me with holding a guitar properly, and he was impressed that I already knew the basic D-A-E chords thanks to my previous studies, not unlike my personal trainer in 2013 and my Japanese teacher in 2008! Unfortunately, five years of climbing (which he said many of his other students are also into) still haven’t left the fingertips of my left hand sufficiently calloused to endure the pain of holding down the strings, so good job the class was only an hour long. And good job he has spare guitars, so I don’t have to lug mine all the way to the end of the Victoria Line!
However, maybe now in 2017, with this guy’s help, I can achieve what I failed to do three years ago: learn to play my guitar skilfully, and one day rock out with the Antarctic rock gods themselves, Gwar…
(What, did you think I’d grown up and given away all my old Scumdog merchandise? I’m not a boring old fuddy-duddy yet, and hopefully never will be, you… bohab!)