A Morning with My Clone
Dave and Windows 10

Robert Burns once said, "The best-laid plans of mice and men / Often go awry."  It was true for Burns while plowing a field in his home in Scotland, and it is true for me while plowing through Windows 10 in my home in Crown Point.  I accept the reality that I must learn some applications regarding the computer.  I understand that it is essential even though I do not care about the internal functionality of the computer.  I must learn what I need to know about Windows 10 so that I can write and teach.  In fact, I live on a computer.  Therefore, I plow through the fields of software and procedures that do not interest me other than allowing me to do what I consider important.  In addition, most of my plowing in various operating systems or Microsoft software like Word, PPP, Excel, etc. have been done through trial and error.  

Having said that, moving from Windows 7 to 10 was a bit of a stretch for me.  I went through the trial and error phase and was able to function in Windows 10 without much trouble.  Nonetheless, there were a half dozen major items that my use of the trial and error technique went nowhere except wasting my time.  I would rather write or teach than trying to find some function, with which I was quite familiar in Windows 7. 

Therefore, I emailed Dave Wood and asked him if he know some college student that lived in Crown Point who would show me the parts of Windows 10 that are beyond my trial and error ability.  His response was that he'd come over on Wednesday at 9:00am and show me.  Now, those that have read about Dave in other of my essays will know that he and I are clones of each other. Interestingly, I would have done for him what he was willing to do for me if I knew Windows 10 and he didn't.

Wednesday morning arrived and Dave arrived at 9:00am also.  As we went to my office, he noticed my Maltese Falcon perched on a ledge.  He asked whether The Maltese Falcon was my favorite Humphrey Bogart film. 

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I told Dave that I loved The Maltese Falcon, but Casablanca was my favorite, to which he said that it was his also.   I then mentioned the gargoyle sitting next to my Maltese Falcon.  I got the gargoyle at Notre Dame in Paris nearly fifty years ago.  Since I have taught art history for a couple decades, I explained the functionality of gargoyles on the Gothic cathedrals.  The gargoyles protected the building from the rain and evil spirits.  

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Finally, we reach my study, and I began to save and close some programs on my computer.  Dave is looking at a framed letter with the red matting on my wall above the windows.  Dave's next question was how I knew Chuck Colson of Watergate fame.  Then I told Dave about the letter to the left of Colson's, which was from Cory Aquino, the president of the Philippines after the People Power Revolution in 1986 that ousted Marcos.

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For the next hour, we talked about conversion events having to do with Colson and others.  I told Dave that my conversion event was watching Randy Pausch's Last Lecture, which certainly changed my life for the better.

We moved from Chuck Colson and Al Campbell to Karl Marx and George Eliot.  Dave had visited Highgate Cemetery in London where both were buried. 

Marx Eliot

 It was an easy transition for me to move the discussion from burials of Marx and Eliot to my most recent dance with death.  I have for several months dealt with night sweats.  However, I have gone to my local doctor for 2-chest x-rays, an MRI, urine tests, several complete blood tests, and a sleep apnea test.  After countless types of tests, no one knows the cause since all of the test results were negative. 

I told Dave that I happened to be talking with my radiologist at the University of Chicago.  I have been cancer free going on five years thanks to his treatment.  He suggested that I talk to one of his colleagues about night sweats.  I got an appointment with his coworker, and she looked at all my tests and said that my local doctor was very thorough.  She seemed impressed.

I told her that I had already danced with death twice and how both dances impacted me in a profoundly positive manner.  However, I wanted to get to the cause of my current medical problem.  I added that I have only a very few possible tests left.  Then I said that I can only think of two possible options left for having night sweats.  I either had what I called some strange and rare Darth Vader disease or the night sweats were merely a medical quirk and are not life threatening.

Her response was interesting.  She said that there are several additional tests that she would suggest even though none of my other tests would indicate that there might be some medical issue lurking in the background.  I told her to send me to get the blood drawn.

Then there was a moment of silence, she looked at me, and said that she agreed with my diagnosis of either some strange disease that did not respond to the tests or it was some unexplained medical condition.  Then she added that she would bet on the latter.

Dave and I laughed at my problem.  Then I added that my oldest daughter has a list of things to do when I go belly up.  He wanted to know what were on the things to do list.  This time I paused.  Finally, I said that when I finally do croak I do not really care about a funeral or what is ultimately done with my body.  I would be fine with my kids giving my mortal remains to a teaching hospital like the University of Chicago.  With the money that they saved paying for a cremation, my kids get to go out to dinner and reminisce about all the funny things that I did or said over the decades.

Dave said that he would want to have a small, private funeral and then be cremated. To which I added that I had just heard on NPR a program of the evolution of cemeteries in Europe and America.  Thomas Laqueur wrote a book, The Work of the Dead.  The program on NPR was interesting, but I questioned spending so much time dealing with burial, etc.  I would rather spend more time to remember the person when they were alive and immortalizing their death.  

Dave agreed and added that he wanted to have Cavatina played at his private service.  I told him that my kids could come back to my house after dinner, have a drink, and listen to one of three possible musical choices: Pathétique, What a Feeling, or Scotland the Brave.  I need some time to decide which is the best.  I tend to favor What a Feeling at the present.

Finally, after two hours of the clone brothers wandering all over the place, Dave and I got down to the reason for his being there.   Again, I was reminded what Robert Burns said, "The best-laid plans of mice and men / Often go awry."  In the last hour, we did address several of the issues facing me with Windows 10.  Interestingly, Dave has pretty well mastered Windows 10 via trial and error methodology.

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After an hour, Dave had resolved most of my concerns regarding my new operating system.  However, the value of the last hour paled in comparison with the first two hours. 

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