I’m back! (Just not this particular back.)

Available for all Second Lifers here.

I’m back! Or at least I will be as of tomorrow. I hope you all enjoyed your Christmases, if you’re into that sort of thing. Mine was low-key but pleasant.

Sorry to have been out of touch; I ended up taking a little Christmas staycation from the blog and social media generally to kind of clear my head of all this manosphere junk for a little while. But I will be back and posting tomorrow.

Also, on a somewhat related note, does anyone have good advice on buying a new laptop? My current one is held together with duct tape (due to a cat-related incident); meanwhile an assortment of keys in the middle of my keyboard have stopped working properly, which does tend to slow down the writing process a bit. I’ll post more about what I’m looking for in the comments below.

Anyway, helllooo again! How are you all doing? Any plans for New Year’s?

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30 replies on “I’m back! (Just not this particular back.)”

My plans for New Years is to attend (part of) the Christmas get-together that was rescheduled for that day. One of my nieces and her two year-old son came down with a mild (last I heard, anyway) case of Covid, so things got postponed until this weekend. (Yes, she got the shot, though I’m not sure when exactly she got it.) Hopefully they’ll be recovered enough to have people over then. And hopefully I’ll be able to attend part of the dinner at least before I have to go to work.

I’m so glad you got a break.

My Christmas was lovely. I saw family and drank tea. For New Years I will spend time with friends and drink yet more tea.

Thanks, David, and glad yours was nice (and catty), and i hope it went smooth for everyone.
Mine was good, and i am going to get my third dose today. For New Year, i will probably sleep a bit longer, as i work during the eve.

About laptop, it depends on the main use, i suppose. I was used to Toshiba (kept each about 8-9 years), but they sold their laptop activity to Sharp (it is now called Dynabook). An Asus should be OK, maybe ? Not necessary an Asus ROG if you do not play games, their standard laptops are fairly efficient. But beware, due to the shortage of component, prices have quite raised…

For me the Solstice is the big day. I’m very much not a Winter person; I like daylight! But now I can feel the days getting longer and thats wonderful.

It was a bit of a weird Christmas. My dad got really ill just before the first lockdown. And of course with all the restrictions that meant I couldn’t go back home to see him. (When Dominic Cummings did his Barnard Castle thing I posted a relevant comment on our local MP’s Facebook about that, and that did get a lot of support, but anyway…) Well just before Christmas it was decided he would come home from hospital. We were under no illusions what that meant. But as soon as he was stable enough to be moved I drove up through the night back to Yorkshire. It was so great to see him. He’d been suffering also from intermittent dementia; but I caught him in one of his lucid interludes; so it was so wonderful to be able to chat face to face. He died the next day. But both my mum and I’s main feeling is one of relief. That I’d been able to see him before he went. I’d been so worried that I might not get that chance. It might sound strange; but just being able to do that has left me almost joyous; notwithstanding the circumstances. I hope that makes sense.

As for laptops, I’m afraid I swallowed the Apple Flavor-Aid years ago; so I’d heartily recommend a MacBook. There are some good deals on new 2017 ones; and they’re more than capable of running the latest OS.

David, if you need a new laptop I can’t recommend ASUS ROG Strix highly enough. If you’re not a PC gamer, the high hardware specs mean really good future proofing. If you do PC game, they still stay relevant for years and years. They can handle heavy tasks like video rendering too, if you need that. Most of all they’re built like absolute tanks, very solid construction.

Although if yo tou go for one try to get one with an AMD Ryzen 3 series cpu, 5900 or better CPU if you can. Intel CPUs still have vulnerabilities which the fix for requires a 20% reduction in performance to fix. For graphics card, get dedicated and only get an RTX GPU if you’re a hard core gamer. You definitely want to have a large hard drive too, but an SSD along within that as your boot drive. Lastly you’ll want at least 64 gigs of RAM.

I have no experience with the ASUS ROG Strix, which seems to run from $700 to 2300 from a cursory google check. It may very well be the best laptop for you.

That said, while in the past apple laptops have not generally been best value for performance, with their latest update to the chip (now running an apple-designed M1 or M1x chip, soon to run an M2) they have moved to a new architecture that should be future-proofed for quite a good while. The apple-only “Mobile” (“M” series) processors are ridiculously fast, low-heat, and low energy consumption.

For portability, they simply can’t be beat right now on the basis of their hard aluminum case, their battery life, and their weight. For performance they are now punching above their price point, which they haven’t done in many years.

There are many people who will only consider apple or only consider non-apple. I strongly urge you to check out both and be clear about what your needs are before you shop. Apple uses some tricks to make it possible to have 50 browser tabs open without slowing down (though their processor architecture helps with that). Obviously basic office productivity (spreadsheets, word processing, etc.) is just fine on the mac and needs no add-ons (though there are also good add-ons if you want them).

But more than anything else, they’re simply faster than their price point, and as a result of their energy efficiency they are cooler, faster, and have ridiculous battery life. Some of them are even fanless (though this does slow them down a bit if you run them hard for more than 5 minutes or so, it either won’t happen or you won’t notice for most tasks -this is for things like photo editing and video renders, etc.)

Purchasing from someone other than apple allows you much more customizability, so if you know what you want, you can order exactly the components you need to get premium abilities where you want them, and value components for aspects you don’t think you’ll use as much. Definitely consider non-apple, but don’t overlook the low-end apple laptops these days. They’re worth it. They’re even a good value, if what you want happens to be what apple is offering. They’re just not customizable worth a damn.

I travelled like a fool, but kept a mask on the entire time like a reasonable fool, and am chilling at my sibling’s place and missing some terrible weather and power outages and chaos in the place where I would otherwise be like a lucky duck.

My dog is currently playing with one of their dogs, while their other dog is being a sweetie and cuddling with me. Sibling still has work, so I get to cook, clean, and make a nuisance of myself to their critters since I’m still trying to limit my exposure (and everyone here’s exposure to me) as much as possible.

Their cat is particularly peeved with me for bringing the third dog. 2 was enough for him, no thank you.

@Alan, yes. I might have some idea what you mean about joyousness, as (this was some years ago now) by sheer chance I happened to phone my mum with some unaccustomed good news the day before she died very suddenly. So our last conversation was a notably happy one, which was something I have held on to.

(her lawyer, who was (and I expect still is) very well-spoken and collected, inadvertently said something he clearly didn’t mean to and that I kind of treasure, when I phoned him to inform him of her death – he blurted out “You’re joking!” (you have to hear that in an Edinburgh accent btw), which I take as incontrovertible proof that he was genuinely shocked. Which oddly meant a lot to me)

I’m very happy for you that you were able to have that visit with your father.

It seems to take so long sometimes, but here’s to the light coming back and unshrinking the days again.

Ah backhair. On the one hand, I don’t see it. On the other, a lot more difficult to reach with a razor and I know it is there. Hopefully that falls under the types of hair that diminishes when I start hormones, which hopefully is somewhere next year.

Hope everyone had decent holidays so far. My partner and I kept it chill, only visiting their mum and eating pancakes. Aside from that I gamed a lot. We’re currently in another lockdown, so I haven’t been able to work (I usually work on the 26th, as I do not value that day as much as some of my colleagues).

As a Russian, the soviets got rid of Christmas and celebrate New Years the way most people celebrate Christmas. So I’m still shopping for presents lol.

I had a quiet Christmas with my in-laws in Scotland – good food, fun and some lovely gifts. This finds me back at my dad’s place in the centre of England preparing for his funeral on the 30th December (he passed away on the 4th and I didn’t manage to get to the hospital in time to see him before he did pass; something I will regret eternally 😢). So New Year will be equally quiet – things festive have all had a vague unrealness this year.

Wishing all the good folk of WHTM a peaceful and as stress-free as possible 2022.

P.S. my experience with laptops has been limited to Dells because of my work, but they are workhorses if that’s what you are looking for David.

@ tigerheart

Oh I am so so sorry for you. My heart goes to you. I really feel for you.

I just hope that, like opposablethumbs said, you have a stack of good memories of when you were able to talk with your dad.

My deepest condolences.

@Tigerheart I’m so sorry; I hope you have lots of support around you. And I hope that there are happy memories that help you get through it (in fits and starts maybe; dealing with loss seems to often go in the most irregular and unexpected kinds of ways …).

All my sympathies, and I hope you are ok (or will be in time).

@alanrobertshaw – my condolences Alan to you and your mother, but how meaningful and fortunate to have that lucid conversation with your dad! An unexpected gift of closeness and awareness to treasure.

@tigerheart -sending a stranger’s good wishes to you too. Many years ago, a work colleague I was very fond of became ill, left work, and then died much sooner than was expected. I was very regretful of not seeing my colleague in that interim time. However, one night I dreamed that he and I were sitting on a bench together in a walled garden with roses growing everywhere, having a low-key and relaxed conversation; we both knew he was dead, in the dream, and it was alright. I woke from that with a feeling of great comfort which I can remember even now.
I hope your brain/heart will find a way to bring you comfort too.

@ tigerheart and Alan, so sorry for your losses.

Natsme, that Asus laptop sounds splendid but with the RAM and storage I need it would rn about $1500, way out of my price range. I’m going to go (I think) with a somewhat lower-end Asus. The Asus I have now has served me well for 4 years; it’s just sort of giving into all the wear and tear it’s endured.

Crip Dyke and Alan, I’ve been doing windows for a couple of decades now (previously iI was a Mac person) but it sounds like I need to start paying attention to Macs again.

@Alan I managed to not realise that I didn’t actually say this in so many words – but I’m truly sorry for your loss. It sounds like a very strong relationship.
My condolences to you and your mum, I do hope that you both are (will be) all right.

I have had good luck with Asus when it comes to budget laptops. Dell and Apple also very good, but not so budget.

@Alan — I’m so sorry for your loss. I completely understand a feeling of relief after such a difficult struggle. My dad was incredibly sick with cancer at his end, and we were just so grateful that his suffering was over when he finally passed. We had been mourning for him for months as he declined.

You’re one of my favorite commenters here! You are unfailingly courteous, your positions are so well-reasoned, your responses are compelling, and you are (without question) a very persuasive writer. I’ve enjoyed your legal comments and links, and was thrilled when you linked to the case that cleared Deborah Lipstadt of libel and established David Irving as a certified holocaust denier. Not to mention, you have the greatest suggestions for interesting places to see in your neighborhood. I’m a big fan of Aubrey Burl’s guides to standing stones and megalithic circles, but I had never heard of the Broomway, which is now on my short-list for amazing things to do next time we can travel…

Much sympathy, and all the best at a difficult time.

@ David & Opposablethumbs & Dali

Thank you for your kinds words; and opposabletumbs, please don’t worry about that. I understood exactly want you meant, and your comment meant a lot to me.

And as mentioned, whilst obviously I’m going to miss my dad; I’m just so glad I got to see him. He was in a pretty bad way, and we think he was probably just hanging on until we could say goodbye properly. And strange as it may seem, there was a lot of humour in the situation; and that’s the memories I’m choosing to keep.

[spoiler title=”For example”] My dad had intermittent dementia. So some times he was totally out of it, not even knowing what year it was and reporting imaginary conversations; but at others he was totally with it. We just went along with it. But on one occasion he reported to my mum that he had spoken to my cousin and her hubby and they had arranged to come over for dinner at the weeknd. My mum just went “That’s nice love”. Then of course on Friday, Carol and Moose turned up with bottles of wine. “Did Graham not tell you?’

My dad also made a point when they were sorting the DNR at the hospital to say “This was her plan all along; keep her away from the pillows.” [/spoiler]

@ kaybee

That is so kind of you to say.

I was on a radio thing the other week; arguing with a holocaust denier. I was telling a friend about it afterwards; but things got confused. She asked “What, you were denying the holocaust?”. “No! I was defending the Holocaust.”

Let me tell you, that’s definitely a phrase you don’t want taken out of context.

@Alan: My condolences, and I do love that your father kept that sense of humor till the end, especially the DNR remark! I’m glad you and your mum got to see him one last time, and that he’s no longer suffering.

I was unable to see my parents for some time before either of their deaths, but their great friends kept me posted (and arranged the funerals, bless them forever), and it really was quite a relief. We, as a society, need to be more open about how it’s fine to be relieved even while you’re grieving.

My mother always said we were kinder to old pets than old people, and I certainly would have spared her the last year, just like I spared the very elderly cat whom I loved dearly earlier this year. Kitty could have lasted a bit longer through sheer tortietude, but she wasn’t functional.

@Tigerheart – yes; added to the grief, it feels weird and unreal when you’re used to someone being there and they’re not. I’m so sorry about your loss.

@Alan, same. Also, you reminded me of when I was 13, when my grandpa was in the hospital with a bunch of problems (diabetes complications, heart trouble…) and Mom mentioned there was a fly in the room. He said, “Where’s the ointment?”

The sad part is, she thought this meant he was getting better, but he died a few weeks later…as if someone couldn’t make silly puns and also be dying (though I question the action movies where people throw out one-liners when they’re in immediate danger – but anyway).

Laptops: I’ve had this $600-ish Acer for 6 years and it still works well! But the power cord was crap – I had to replace it twice, the 2nd time with a different brand of cord (much better now).

@ gss ex noob, susan, & epitome of incomprehensibilty

Ah thank you for your kinds words. And yes, I do feel ‘lucky’ that I got up there. I really feel for everyone who didn’t have that opportunity. They had it much worse than me.

First of all, I really appreciate this blog! as a recovering manospherian calling out these people and their beliefs not rooted in reality helps others realize(at least in my case) just how irrational, stupid, and dangerous these beliefs are. For computers, it depends what you do: Are you a gamer? Origin or Alienware makes good quality laptops in my opinion(still have an Alienware from 2010 that still runs and an Origin 13″ from 2014 that can still handle some AAA games.) If it is just writing and office work a standard laptop workstation fron HP or Dell with a large memory could work

Dads having humor till the end reminds me of an Aussie acquaintance some years ago.

The father was in a nursing home for physical reasons but still had all his marbles.

Pushing the call button repeatedly brought absolutely no aid to him, and he needed help to get to the toilet in a prompt fashion. Service had been slow and begrudging for some time before this.

So he called the emergency number 111.

They sent round a paramedic to help and a police officer to inquire as to why patients were being treated this way, and did the authorities need to look into it further?

Aussie Dad became the hero of all the residents, not to mention the hero of the town after it made their paper/radio/etc. IIRC the main offender was freed to seek other employment and a new young person was hired.

For the rest of his life, he got excellent service. Which he didn’t abuse, but when you gotta go, you gotta go.

@Alan @opposablethumbs @Lizzie @dalilama @David @epitome Thank you all for your kindness – sorry for not replying sooner. I have a lot of good memories of my dad, a kind, stubborn, knowledgeable, thoughtful, fiery, talented and funny man.

I find myself at times ‘talking’ to my mum who passed in 2015, and I suspect the same thing will happen with my dad.

Quietly marking New Year with my husband and daughter, and toasting my dad with champagne. I think he would appreciate that.

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