Good grief, my friends. But how easy is it to lose track of time? I wer one of those automatic date watches for convenience, because although I’m not a clock-watcher, it is useful to know how late I am for something and whether it is the correct day for an appointment. The thing is, it’s programmed as if every month has 31 days. I forgot the ‘thirty days hath September, April, June and November’ jingle and when I glanced down just now, thought that I was in an alternate universe. But no, I’m still here, the sun is brilliant in the pale blue winter sky and it’s windy and frigid outside.

olstersI was at the Upper Canada Mall this morning for a One to One class at the Apple Store.  What immediately struck me was how full the mall parking lot was at 8 in the morning. Once inside, I realized why. There were clusters of seniors sitting in the food court sipping coffee and chatting. Other grey-hairs – singles or groups – were doing their mall walk. In these temperatures, that was eminently smart. Some of those folks got up a good speed with their walkers but you have to be vigiliant – they’re on a mission so don’t get in their way.

I’ve had two Android tablets – the first, a Lenovo, crapped out after the warranty was out and I’d have had to send it back to somewhere in Mongolia for service (I exaggerate, but you get my drift). Then I got an Asus with a keyboard which was a handy little machine that went on a couple of trips with me, but it was so damned slow. Since the setups with tablet and keyboard cost as much as an iPad, I decided to bite the bullet and get the iPad for travel instead of schlepping my full-service laptop. I admit, I also have access to all of the fun and games that are 1 million Apple Apps.

Yes, I’ve been spending a lot of time with Kalil and Jordan lately, as I get up to speed on my new device. And it truly is a remarkable tool, as much as the whole Apple-centric slave-to-Mac world makes my head ache. The next items on my agenda are Garageband (so I can do my own story podcasts) and iMovie (so I can make You Tube videos for my books).

Today’s tutorial was on Pages, which is the word processing app. It’s not perfect, but it does save my work to Dropbox and will sort of save documents in MS Word, which is a bonus, so I’m a happy camper. During this mornings one hour session, I got to ask dozens of questions without the background clatter of canned music and hordes of lookie-loos using the store’s free wi-fi. I downloaded an app called Phoster, which is a simple, attractive poster-creation app. Even more fun was learning Keynotes, Apple’s version of PowerPoint. After using it for a bit, I’m convinced it is easier to use and has more features, especially for adding photos and transitions.

momsquatsWhen my class was done, I donned my noise-cancelling earphones and decided to do my own stroll. About halfway around the upper level, I became aware of shouting behind me. I’m thinking, early shoplifter=hot pursuit by mall cops, but no.

Just as I turned to look, a young woman trotted by, shoving a gynormous stroller carrying a startled-looking infant ahead of her. Luckily, I stepped to the left. An intent covey of about a dozen more streaked by, egged on by a husky woman in tights yelling like a drill sergeant. They clustered by a grouping of benches and began to do vigorous squats while holding onto the handles of the baby buggies. I did another half turn around the mall and came across them at another location, tugging on elastic exercise bands and grunting in unison.

Oh my goodness. The things you can see before the clock strikes nine!