Saturday, May 23, 2009

High tech, low tech, past and future

After lengthy struggles with this laptop, which is old enough not to support modern browsers without crying and fussing and crashing, I finally got brave today and am the proud new owner of a netbook, an ASUS something or other, I did a lot of research, checked with friends not much more computer literate than I, and with HS who knows a lot more than I do on this subject, and played my role in improving the consumer economy by springing for it.

Currently it's in the shop having various security features installed and firewalls and new boots and mittens and whatever else a new little netbook needs before it comes home, which will be tomorrow. This one will have a lot more memory, and a lot less weight and will be much more portable than the current laptop, which will certainly remain in a place of honor as the word processor of choice, and for various other non internet tasks.

So, with any luck, this is the farewell post on this system, and hello to ASUS tomorrow.....

So, on the way back from buying the latest high tech thing, I got lost, of course, getting out of the confusing parking lot, where the arrows sending me to the highway actually sent me in a circle. The second time I passed the same store, I just plunged off at an angle, to escape!

and found myself on Province Line Road, ancient historical road originally dividing the state into two, and leading to an early Quaker Meeting House, still, after centuries, in regular use, and Princeton Battlefield, where Washington repelled the Hessians during the revolution, a true turning point in the emerging of this country.

So, history having met accidentally with high tech, I stopped and took pictures of the Mercer Oak (around here everything has Mercer somewhere in its name),where General Mercer is said to have been fatally wounded in the battle, and taken to a nearby farmhouse, still in existence, to die.

The current Mercer Oak is a baby sapling, an offspring taken from the original one, which was finally blasted by lightning a few years ago, having been shored up, and lightning rodded and generally preserved as long as possible, it being a mature tree even at the time of the revolution. It was cared for in a local garden, until it was needed, and when the old Mercer Oak fell, the baby was planted in its place, with a protective fence around it, which you see in the pic.

The colonnade picture is of a memorial to the dead of the battle, complete with poem by Alfred Noyes before he became Poet Laureate of England.

So, without planning it, I seem to have created my own remembrance in honor of Memorial Day. I'm not big on honoring battles, since I have a nasty suspicion that honoring them and dramatizing them just encourages people to have more of them, but this kind of happened to me, so I'm sharing it.

The woods in the background of the Mercer Oak are the Institute for Advanced Study woods, attached to Einstein's stomping ground, and wonderful historical places in themselves, home of all kinds of birds and plants and stands of virgin pines, incredible that they should exist in the middle of this busy state, and a testament to a good use of wealth, that the owners over the centuries have preserved, not exploited them.

So, after all this high minded history and observation and plunging into cutting edge technology, we plan to have Bad Food.

We do this about three times a year, Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day. Bad Food is hot dogs and rolls and pickles and potato chips and beans and mustard and all the things we don't normally eat, not wishing to get our full quota of additives all year round! but what fun it is to do it happily now and then.

I wish you a happy holiday weekend, if it's your holiday, and if it isn't a holiday in your country, a good weekend anyway! and I attach pix of spring flowers at the Preserve taken yesterday, too.


dogonart said...

Congrats on your high tech purchase...glad to see you're giving the economy a kick start. The historic info is really interesting. Agree with you about celebrating battles but anyway here in Ca we celebrated Queen Vicky's birthday last week-end...a bit questionable but good for a day off, and it means we can start planting stuff supposedly since all danger of frost is past after H.M's B.D. Sort of historic eh?

Heather said...

I think you'll like the Netbook a lot. I hope so!

Sparky2 said...

Oh, I can't wait to hear more about your Netbook experiences! I'm trying to entice my mom into trying it so she can stay in touch better with us all. I'm hoping it's going to be grand for you, Liz.

What a wonderful happy accident that you lost your way a bit. As is your usual way, you don't allow any lemon to remain sour; you find a way to make the most delicious lemonaid and indeed, you did - wonderful images and commentary ...