I'd been thinking for a while about getting a good desktop computer, and a better desk. My desk is adequate as a writing desk, but would not be a terribly good computer desk. I'd peg it at probably forty years old, maybe older. It's got drawers on both sides of a knee-cubby, and they're too narrow for much. I mean, they're full, but they're freaking narrow.
And the desk itself doesn't have a whole lot of space.
So, yesterday, when this posted, it crystalized a lot of my reasons. I've only been getting a year--if I'm lucky--out of each laptop. Next year, it may be difficult to replace it. Between shipping chains being iffy and the whole damn world slipping away from capability as America loses its mind, they're going to be either priced out of reach, or totally unavailable.
And so, yesterday, we went shopping. Grandma'd taken the kids to give us a break after a stressful week, and gave us a lovely opportunity.
We started at Sam's Club. All they had in stock was one of the two brands I wanted nothing to do with: HP. And it was a total zoo. So, we moved on--left the cart with the book the kids wanted sitting somewhere out of the way, and just walked out.
Then we went to Office Depot. They had a couple of Dells, an HP or two, and several Lenovo systems--the other brand I wanted absolutely nothing to do with. We wandered back, and looked at desks, and found a couple we sort of liked (one of which I really liked--the desk surface was a gorgeous, almost parquet type design). And then we headed out.
We...went to our favorite bookstore in town. It's a small, used book store, and it used to be a house. It shares a parking lot with a plant nursery, so the parking lot was full, but we were one of two couples in the entire store. And yes, we came home with several books for each of us.
By that time, it was time for me to take my thyroid replacement (since it's a natural thyroid, I have to take it twice a day). And we fixed supper, and ate. And I realized that I needed a visit to Hobby Lobby, because I needed some supplies I didn't have to learn a new threadcraft. So, off we went again.
Hobby Lobby was quick. It took two minutes to get a ball of black tatting thread, and a ball of bright blue. Everyone says that learning's easier when you've got different colors on the shuttle and the ball. And...that has proved true. My first two attempts failed miserably, but last night, after we got back home...dang, that's easy. It takes some focus, and attention (which will make it a good meditation and quiet prayer aid), but it's pretty easy.
The one thing we looked for that they didn't have was woodworking supplies: carving tools. I think I may visit the local hardware store to see if they might have something.
Then, we went to see what Walmart might have in the way of what we'd looked for at Sam's Club and Office Depot. Oh, not the desks--Walmart furniture is shit--but the towers and peripherals.
Yeah. HP, Lenovo, flashy gaming Acers and Dells. Don't want a flashy gaming machine. Do one something semi-capable of some limited gaming, but nothing flashy and showy. This is going to be used for writing (sometimes), and kid homework and research (sometimes), as well as limited gaming (my other half enjoys some). Flashy and showy is distracting.
We did find a monitor we wanted to ask about a price on, since there wasn't one anywhere on the shelf or the box. We gave up after spending five minutes waiting at the electronics department desk for anyone to freakin' show up.
So, we put the monitor back and wandered off. Grabbed a movie that the imp was wanting to see that did not hit Disney+ like we'd assumed it would, and grabbed a folding umbrella chair for me. Just a cheap one--the more expensive ones are heavier than I can manage on my bad days, when I actually need to go out and sit in the sun. And we headed for the self-check aisles.
Holy God. I know there's a reason I go to Walmart when I need to be reminded that, in spite of slips and small failings, I'm not a shit parent, but damn.
As we made our way toward the self check, I noted two little girls, no adult in sight, fighting over a clamshell of raspberries. They abruptly quit fighting--the thing had come open, and there were several that hit the floor--and tried to jam it back closed, all while ignoring the raspberries they'd dropped, and cramming a few in their mouths. They looked up, then hurried around the corner into the check-out area, and I noticed that both of them were in socks. No shoes. Oy.
Mom and Dad (surprisingly) were around the corner, with a teenager, and a small boy in the shopping basket; the teen was whining at Mom, the little girls dancing (in socks stained with smashed raspberries) demanding that the raspberries be "paid for already--we're starving," the boy in the cart was standing, yanking at the cell phone in Dad's hands, trying to get it to play with, and Mom and Dad were ignoring the kids and each other.
Yeah, we got the hell out of there. We scanned both our items, and paid for them, and were gone before the "family" behind us had four items scanned, starting before us.
I'd been feeling a bit like a failure as a parent, the past week. I'd been down sick--kidney stones, likely, and a bad reaction to a med prescribed to help me pass the stones--and dealing with the new roof going on, so...yeah, I was focused on getting through that, and not so much on the kids' needs last week.
Not feeling like such a shit parent after that Walmart trip. My kids aren't feral. Even with a week of Mom not focused on helping them deal with school, they're not feral. Even without Mom pointing out this, that, and the other that they needed for school, they didn't forget shoes in public. And their socks mostly were matched (same type, same length, even if not same colors on toes and heels). And their dress was presentable in public, not stained, too tight (one of the little girls couldn't fasten her pants, and they didn't go down past mid calf), and hole-y.
No, by comparison, I'm a fucking paragon of motherhood.
And we've decided to order mostly from Amazon. Because I do not think I could stand more in-person shopping.