The MacBook Air

I know a lot about technology and I have tried a myriad of different devices and technologies over the years. Apparently, this communicates to people that I spend a lot of money on technology, but that is not the case. And although many people find it hard to believe, I am a frugal person, especially when it comes to technology. Being frugal in the tech world is a catch-22, as I hope to get the best I can at the lowest price I can. You could even call me cheap, although I never base my decisions solely on cost. I am also a minimalist, so it is natural that I don’t own a whole lot outside of what I need, even to the point of owning too little or deciding against a purchase that might spice up but otherwise clutter up my life. I bring up my frugality, on which I will have to post more at some point, to say this: I bought a MacBook Air this past weekend.

Although frugal, I am not an idiot, so when I saw that Best Buy was selling the MacBook Air in the 13” base configuration for the amount what I would normally pay for the 11” base configuration, I jumped. I would say that even if I didn’t need a new computer, I might have jumped; as it is, sales on Apple products only come around so often and they are normally on days I boycott (see my feelings on Thanksgiving/Black Friday). In any case, I also jumped due to the fact that it has been seven years since my last computer upgrade. Keep in mind that I am a tech guy and am always surrounded by new and interesting pieces of technology through my work. But the personally-owned white MacBook has been on its last legs (and its third about-to-fail HDD) for awhile, so price was almost a non-issue in the decision-making process.

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I wanted to draw the reader’s attention to another case and point moment for the argument that I have changed. There was a time when such a purchase would have sent me into a frenzy of excitement. I wouldn’t be able to wait to get home to open the box and setup a new toy. To be honest, I felt that excitement, but I was patient instead of hostile towards the packaging. In fact, I didn’t unbox the computer until the day after the purchase because life got in the way and we had company and there was no need. The computer was going to fit right into our lives when I was ready to allow it, just like any piece of furniture and herein lies the point. Buying a new computer for me is like buying a new appliance; there is excitement and there is the knowledge that your life will change with the addition but there is no rush to use it because it is what it is.

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My initial thoughts on the MacBook Air are actually rather funny, as I am moving from a white plastic MacBook but I have been using an iPad as my main computing device for so long; they culminated in, much to my wife’s chagrin, Wow! This is heavy.” She immediately struck my arm with a slap and that was the end of that trifling complaint. As I have setup the machine, I am struck by the aforementioned appliance commentary; this computer is simply fitting in where the previous MacBook did and then some, allowing us to get more out of it from the start, but not altogether blowing us away. It’s faster, quieter, cleaner, and all-around better. The white MacBook is also constantly connected to a power source, so the fact that I can walk around the house with the computer, let alone keep it in standby for an insane amount of time, makes me jump for joy almost every time I open the lid. Again, however, these are only initial thoughts and as we break in the computer, I will write about it.

As I mentioned above, I am a minimalist, so the purchasing of a new computer sends me into a flurry of rethinking technology’s role in my life. As such, I will be carefully considering the other devices in the house, purging what is no longer of value, and possibly (hover to see definition of frugality) replacing other items that are now decidedly outdated. The white MacBook may become a kiosk-style machine for rare occasions wherein it might be useful. Anyone need an old Airport Express, HP printer, George Foreman grill, White Apple MacBook, or anything else I (don’t want to) have in my house (hover to see the definition of minimalism)?

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The Challenges of 2020

TL;DR: Follow this link.

One of the craziest things about Christianity during the protests of the last few weeks is the fact that there are churches out there not discussing the issues honestly, not taking the time to have the hard conversations, not devoting their Sunday services to betterment of the world and people around them. If you’re church isn’t talking about racism right now, if they don’t mention that black lives matter, instead focusing on platitudes that equate to the all lives matter” sentiment, it is time to start looking for a new church.

My wife and I meet with my home” church virtually via Zoom since the pandemic is still a thing. Kimball Avenue United Church of Christ & La Iglesia Episcopal de Nuestra Señora de las Américas (KANSA, together) combined in a collaborative way to create a single denomination focused on the needs of their community. They follow Christ together toward the vision of love, reconciliation, peace and justice. The justice looks like the demolition and rehabilitation of an old church building and its grounds into a community garden and labyrinth open to all who seek peace through contemplation.

I give this elevator speech to mention that COVID has not been kind to faith communities in general. Budgets have been slashed, funding and grants have been cut, and congregations in need are also working to serve those in need, who are less likely to be able to financially support their church in these times. KANSA in one of the good ones. They speak truth, they have the difficult conversations, they preach in a loud voice every Sunday that black lives matter, that racism has no place in the church, that the LGBTQ community deserves respect and support, and that Jesus was a social justice warrior, who fought for the least of these no matter who they were, where they were from, what they looked like.

In fact, Jesus was most harsh to those who had the means to help and decided not to answer the call.

These systems of oppression we are protesting have been around a long time; they have screwed up a lot of lives, they have been the reason for revolution and the downfall of entire civilizations, they don’t work. We need to find a better way to live by supporting each other. And support has to come in systemic, social, financial, and political ways, both national and local.

I am not local to KANSA anymore, but I support their mission, the way that mission manifests in the world, and the simple fact that they follow Jesus no matter how ostracizing that position can be at times. Which brings me to the point:

Thanks to a $10,000 matching gift’ from an anonymous donor, the challenge has become an opportunity. Over the next two months, we plan to raise at least $10,000 to meet the challenge. Through August 31, 2020, every donation we receive toward our 2020 Challenge” no matter how small or how large will be doubled by the matching gift.

KANSA is hurting financially and needs support, they do good work and are unabashedly progressive in their approach to our world. Donate now and see your contribution matched to keep one of the good ones fighting the good fight.

Thank you for your consideration.