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We are back home. That has a very odd ring to it to me. We lived in Montana for 14 years and both our kids were born there. We have a number of friends there and a lot of memories. Leaving was far more bittersweet than I expected and in different ways than I expected. I don’t know when we’ll be back to visit (Miscon doesn’t count because we might not make it as far as Dillon). We had an opportunity to visit most everyone we wanted to and despite a little nastiness from a colleague, all  went well. The kids seem to be doing okay, though while we were there, the boy got clingy and a little sick. In fact we all had some intestinal distress, which could have been a bug or just overload. Unfortunately, we got home last night and boy started throwing up. He’s a lot better today. I wonder if it was stress and lack of sleep.

On the way back, we introduced the kids to fresh, hot Krispy Kreme glazed donuts. They were, to put it mildly, enamored. We hadn’t actually had any since before we moved to Montana–they are like eating chunks of really tasty butter pastries. But it was a treat in Spokane and I will endeavor NOT to find out where a shop might be closer to us here. We also stopped at Multnomah Falls. There’s a big parking lot and then you go through a little subway under a road, under a railroad pass where there’s a stream kids could play in (and mine did on the way back out), up over a bridge past a very quaint lodge on up to the base of the falls. Halfway up there’s a stone bridge that crosses the two-step drop. We didn’t climb up to it, but we will another day. It was a lovely place to stop and stretch our legs and get the dogs out before making the last leg home. I’ve wanted to stop there for a long time, but we just never had.

We got back and I was a little horrified to realize that no brownies had come in and magically put everything away. So there’s still that to do. Plus I need to get a writing schedule going. Also, I had to return my iPad, and now I must figure out if I want to replace it. The kids definitely want me to. If I can find the money, the question is do I want to push to get the Max memory or not? The school iPad had 32 gigs. is it worth it to get the 128? Or the 64? I’ve always felt that I should get the max memory I can afford because it’s hard to replace memory. But the other question is iPad batteries. How long do they last? Are they replaceable or is it one of those things that costs as much as the machine? I don’t think I want a mini. I hadn’t got a keyboard for my school iPad, but I think I’ll want one for one I own. The question is, would I be better off with an Air? One of the reasons to get either one is to be able to work when I take the kids to all those place they are going to want to go. I have a macbook, but it’s a bit heavy and bulky for that sort of thing and the nice thing about an iPad is it fits in my purse.

Thoughts?

Originally published at www.dianapfrancis.com. You can comment here or there.

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hot Krispy Kreme glazed donuts

they are closer than you think... plus we have the PDX Voodoo Donuts.
So glad the family is together and settled!
Also, maybe next time I visit my parents (about an hour from Salem) we can meet in Corvallis for lunch!
When I replace my current iPad sometime in the future, I’m buying a 128g. I don’t use the cellular at all, and I don’t travel enough that it would be an issue - but I don’t curate very effectively, so I tend to run out of space. If that last iteration had had 128g models, I would have bought one of those.

Otoh...

I have a keyboard for the iPad, but in the end, while i *can* use the iPad for writing away from home in a pinch, I don’t actually like it as a writing machine. I like it very much for other things, but not for writing. So if my biggest consideration was a light machine for away-from-home writing, I’d buy an air. This doesn’t mean that you need an air instead, though - like any piece of tech, usage is always idiosyncratic.
Depending on how committed you are to the Apple ecosystem, you might want to look at the ASUS Transformer. I have the 2011 version with the detachable keyboard and it is quite nicely portable. I don't necessarily like the keyboard's feel as compared to my MacBookPro but for rough draft composition in traveling around mode where I don't want to lug the Mac with failing battery, it works nicely. The keyboard is your backup battery and gets around 12 hours of use. I haven't written every day that I was out in the woods with it, but I was writing for several hours at a time (and turning it off instead of sleeping it) and the battery level stayed at a reliable 90%+. Additionally, it synced right nicely with my iPhone as a personal hotspot at the Blues Festival, so I could use Dropbox easily to upload and download docs. It comes with Polaris Office, which is compatible with Word. But it's nowhere near as robust a program in tablet form. Android operating system, though I guess the new ones (2013 version) come with dual Android/Windows 8. It's also much less fragile-feeling than the laptop.
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