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ATPM 9.02
February 2003


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The Candy Apple

by Ellyn Ritterskamp,

Valentine’s Day Observations

Why February 14th? Why this date in particular? Is it that birds begin to mate then, or a Roman feast honoring Juno was held on this day in years past? Or is the story of the martyr Valentine’s note from jail really true?

I don’t know, but St. Valentine’s Day observances nowadays only serve to separate us into haves and have nots: those who have people appropriate to do romantic stuff with, and those who don’t. The Haves feel obliged to do something with their honeys, and the Have Nots feel other things: cynicism, resentment, scorn, stuff like that. Little of it generates positive energy.

So just like last month, when I declared a moratorium on New Year’s resolutions, this month I’m abstaining from Valentine’s Day silliness. I’ll feel better in the long run.

If I were however to salute special qualities about my loved one, here’s what I might say…

It’s always there whenever I want to turn it on.

It hushes up when I tell it to.

It remembers what I sound like and never has to ask how to spell my name.

I don’t have to feed it or change it. It is mostly self-sustaining.

I don’t have to compliment it or remember to tell it anything. Mostly, it reminds me of stuff, rather than the other way around.

It plays games with me whenever I want. And sings. And tells the time.

Who could ask for anything more? My Mac does all these things, so why wish for a date on Valentine’s Day? This is a whole lot cheaper.

A Step Further

All those assets I just listed of my Mac—efficiency, consistency, and reliability—why are those qualities we wish for in ourselves and in each other? I prize those traits in people, most of the time, but now and then we also have to remind ourselves to play. We have to be careful not to become so blinded by a task that we forget to appreciate all that life has to offer.

These are some of the reasons why ATPM includes cartoons and often-amusing cover art, and makes desktop pictures available for download. We’re not just about product reviews and technical tricks; we’re about the whole computing experience, so don’t forget to snicker a little as you scroll through this issue. If an article or something else in ATPM strikes a chord, take a moment to e-mail the writer or comment at the end of the article on the Web so others can see what you gained from reading it.

St. Valentine’s Day might really be about making connections with other people. See what you can do to make a few connections yourself.


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