Thursday, October 24, 2013

My Day Off Adventures

I had fun on my day off, wandered, looked at very pretty things, and checked some other things out. All in all, I had a successful and productive day even though I ended up folding the final load of laundry at 8:30 pm last night *sigh*. It wasn't a time management issue, just one of those times that moved in a more plodding direction than running off to do the 50 yard dash.

I just wasn't in the mood for a 50-yard dash yesterday.

I had four repairs on my desk and only actually managed to finish one of them. I did a partial for a second one, was missing some components on the third one, and I couldn't even start the fourth. But the one with the hardest deadline is complete and I'll phone her in the morning to come and pick up her necklace.

The Mall of America Rotunda is in the center of the east side. I didn't
encounter this locale yesterday, staying on the south side and entering
and leaving from the western side. But the Mall is HUGE.

I went to the Mall of America for the first time since 1996. The Mall is still a very uncomfortable experience for me, lots of shivery memories, but I had a goal and knew exactly where I wanted to go. The advantage of having spent such a long time in the Mall so many years ago was knowing exactly where I wanted to park and where the store I wanted was located.

The Microsoft store had a lot of similarities with the Apple stores I've
been in, but (obviously) featured different products. It was my first
experience playing with Windows 8 and I liked it. Yes, I'm sucked in and
yes, I want a Surface 2.

Less than half-way down the South Hall, there it was on my left. The Microsoft store - the only one in my metro area. I wanted to look at the Surface 2 and the Surface Pro and see what they really cost, what they felt like to hold, what the keyboards felt like, etc. I saw, I touched, I liked. Very nice. The Surface Pro is like a laptop replacement - a machine that you can actually install programs onto. If you want Microsoft Office on it, it will cost you an additional $230 and the optional keyboard is $130, so those would be additional costs over the base price. But the item I really liked was...the Surface 2.

I liked the Surface 2. Full MS Office is included at no additional
charge as well as a good amount of cloud storage,. It comes with
the fully functional pen and the kickstand. The keyboard is extra -
$130 for a backlit keyboard, clicking keys or not. I really liked this a lot.

The Surface 2 is a true tablet - lean, light, and amazingly powerful with a USB3 port, a micro port and a slot for an Micro SD card allowing for a lot of expansion possibilities. What I loved is that the full Microsoft Office program is included on this at NO EXTRA CHARGE. So I would be looking at the standard machine plus a keyboard (because I need a keyboard) - total cost of $700 or less. It will take me until mid next year to save up for this, so I didn't walk out of the Mall with a Microsoft bag, but I think it will be worthwhile to add to my electronics stable. So no NaNo writing on a Surface this year, but possibly for next year.

Directly across the hall from the Microsoft store is the Apple store. I found
that quite amusing. The Apple store is smaller, but they both feature
the full-front glass windows that most MOA stores have. Both stores had
customers and lots of genius personnel to answer questions. 

I was totally amused by the fact that the Microsoft store was directly across the hall from the Apple store. The employees can stare at each other through their open glassed-in fronts and make faces at each other. I guess I am amused easily.

The Cathedral rotunda features a star-shaped central lamp and is
surrounded by 24 stained glass windows. The support pillars feature beautiful
mosaic work, each of the four with a different figure, prodence, justice,
fortitude and temperance. The red band
at the bottom of the dome has gold lettering around it. 

Before heading out to the Mall I spent a lovely 45 minutes or so wandering the Cathedral of Saint Paul. They were tuning one of the two organs while I was there and I was reminded of one of my first serious boyfriends. He was a guy who was 6-8 years older than I was. He played the organ at a restaurant when they showed silent films, and as a side job he repaired pipe organs. I remember many a day when we would go to nearby towns so that he could repair an organ. I would sit in the audience or on the pews with a good book or my school work, he would be doing the same monotonous note-by-note fix that the two gentlemen were doing yesterday. I enjoyed the atmosphere and the artwork, though, so I think I'll go back again soon.

The main altar is pretty impressive. It has formed bronze from the
gates in front to the top of the baldachin - a bronze canopy supported
by six black marble columns. It was designed by Whitney
Warren, the designer of Grand Central Station in New York City.  

Here's to a lovely and relaxing Thursday to all of you.

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