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The Road.

Back in 1996, when Earl and I were dating and hadn’t moved in together yet, I drove him down this road and showed him a house that I really liked. It was a fairly simple house that had been built in the 20th century. It was set back from the road about 100 feet. The house, though simple in design, still had a fairly sprawling feel to it as it had been added on to each end over the years. Tennis courts were on the lot adjacent to the house and landscaping and the like indicated that it was all one property.

The property was settled on a road across from large, open cornfields, which were protected from the road by a row of large maple trees. It was such a beautiful, peaceful setting for me, and I could imagine looking out the picture window on the front of the house, through the maples, across the field and onto the hill that was off in the distance; the last hill between the Adirondacks and the Mohawk Valley.

The house in question was for sale but was way out of our price range at the time. Earl and I were just talking about living together in the apartment he was living in at the time, a house would be further down our timeline together. But there was something about that house and that road. I just loved it. So peaceful.

The road in question, at least the portion between two parallel, fairly-main roads, is home to a couple of stone farmhouses, an Amish family in a very simple, white house and a few newer houses. Each lot is at least a couple of acres. The southern side of the road, aside from one of the farms with a stone farmhouse, is all working farmland. It looks like corn was the crop of choice this year. The entire portion of this road is flanked by maple trees.

During my bike ride today I found my way over to this road simply because I still have a certain fondness for it. It is paralleled to its north by a river, which runs behind the house I loved back in 1996. I stopped for a moment to take the photo at the beginning of this entry and after hearing the fake shutter sound from my iPhone, I just paused and listened to the stillness. I could hear birds doing their thing in the field. The hum of farm machinery was faint but still indicative of work being done on a Saturday morning. And I could hear the river doing its thing behind the houses it passed by. Here and there I could hear leaves dropping as they’re apt to do this time of year. The maples aren’t in their fiery glory yet; the peak leaf-peeping weekend is still a couple of weeks away in these parts, but I still felt that that road was still an ideal for me.

The house in question has long been sold and its owners do a fantastic job of taking care of it. I smiled as I rode by and continued along my bike ride.

Perhaps someday.

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iPad.

So I’m trying to fall in love with my iPad again. I know that I am a very lucky geek to have the new iPad, and I do enjoy using the device, but I’m trying to love it. I’m trying to convince myself that I don’t need to bring a laptop along when I go somewhere, that my iPad will do everything that I want it to do.

I can watch television on my iPad (I just finished “Downton Abbey” and am now ready for the new season), I can read magazines, I can go through email, browse websites, hunt down porn if I so choose and I can be connected to the internet anywhere there is cell service with this nifty little device.

The one thing that I struggle with is writing. And quite frankly, I love to write. The lack of a keyboard on an iPad is the issue; I usually end up using an Apple bluetooth keyboard, but it feels kind of weird to haul such a keyboard into a Panera or other café. It sort of feels blasphemous.

A few months ago there was a Kickstarter project for a device called The Brydge, which basically added a keyboard to your iPad and turned it into something quite like a MacBook Air. The Brydge is rather pricey though at around $180, $200 if you want upgraded speakers. This is a nifty idea, I suppose, but I’m really picky about keyboards. Because of the speed at which I am able to type, it’s really important that I have a full-sized keyboard. Back in the days of my original iPad, I had a case with a built-in keyboard but it was this Barbie’s Doll House version of a keyboard and my fingers didn’t know where to travel to. My brain was more confused than usual when my pinky was aiming for an “a” and all I got was a caps lock light turned on. Any by the way, who needs a caps lock key anyway? I find any prose written in all caps to be quite offensive to my eyes and sensibilities. Didn’t we give up caps lock around the release of the Apple ][e?

So I’m trying to find a way to love my iPad and make it work as my primary portable device. I know I wouldn’t want anything smaller; I have my iPhone 4 to handle those duties. I guess I just need to find a way to get the perfect keyboard attached to the thing. The Brydge? It’s a possibility (though quite pricey). I feel funny asking about iPad keyboards at the Apple store because the associate will quickly gasp in horror before composing himself back to Apple-standard friendliness. Maybe I need to go to Best Buy or something of that ilk and see if there are some keyboards that I can try out.

I’d love it if any of my Apple happy/iPad using readers have a suggestion.