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When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide,
Lodged with me useless,
though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide;
"Doth God exact day-labor, light denied?"
I fondly ask; but Patience to prevent
That murmer, soon replies, "God doth not need Either man's work or his own gifts; who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly.  Thousands at his bidding speed
And post o'er land and ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait."

25 August 2002

John Milton probably didn't have a computer (since he died in 1674), but I'm sure he was thinking of me when he wrote the above words. My "light was spent" yesterday evening as I sat at the computer, words flickering on the screen, realizing that the monitor was on the verge of going out. 

Then the world went black.   My one talent lodged with me useless.

There's something just a monitor giving one last gasp and then dying....its pixels forever more winging their way to computer heaven.

It was 8:30. Compulsive that I am, I immediately went to the phone book, hoping to find a store that stayed open until 10 (since I am at least 30 minutes from the nearest computer store). Fry's said they were open until 9 and I actually wondered if I could get there in time, but realized it was probably not a good idea to try.

Instead, I pushed the keyboard to the back of the desk and set the laptop up. I was without Internet access for all of about 20 minutes. Not nearly long enough for the DTs (downtime tremors) to set in.

I managed very nicely on the laptop last night, even transcribing some of a tape of Dr. G's that I thought I'd lost (and what a thrill it was to realize that I had it after all!)

This morning, to kill time while waiting for CompUSA (which I always remember my friend Bill used to pronounce komPUSS-a -- "puss" as in that white stuff that oozes out when you squeeze a pimple) to open, we went to the farmer's market to get our mid-week supply of nectarines. I have been having an absolute orgy of nectarines this year, for some reason. I think it's because I'm actually going to the farmer's market now, walking through the various stalls, tasting the vendors' wares, and finding the ripest, juiciest fruit to put into my bike basket to bring home again.

But I digress.

Anyway, after we had the produce unloaded, I set off for komPUSSa in Sacramento. Unfortunately, it happens to be at the same offramp as the California State Fair and traffic was horrendous, so I cut through town--normally a slower way to go, but today, definitely preferable.

I found the monitor section and squinted at all the signs trying to figure out what all those specs meant. My technogeek method of choosing a monitor was to stand back and look at which one looked the brightest and was in my price range. But that's what they have clerks for, right? To help dummies like me make the proper decision?

But the clerks apparently sized me up as someone who wasn't there to buy and I couldn't attract anybody's attention for love--or even for money. (Yes, John Milton had me pegged: They also serve who only stand and wait...) I'm not sure if I was serving, but I sure spent a lot of time standing and waiting, trying to catch the eye of some teeny bopper in a red jacket who might come and help me figure out what monitor I wanted.

I would walk up to clerks who would turn and walk away, appearing to have some important mission that just couldn't wait long enough to talk to the woman with the credit card who wanted to shower them with money.

Finally I managed to corner some pimply-faced youth who realized I had him hooked. "Which monitor do you want?" he asked, helpfully. "Tell me the difference between these three monitors," I said, indicating the three that seemed to be in my price range.

"That one is darker, that one is brighter, and that one is bigger," he said, pointing to each in turn.

This is why you ask clerks. They always have the technical information for you.

So now armed with the proper technical information, I chose the brighter one, the clerk went off to get the box, and in a flash, I was outside trying to fit a square peg (the box) into a round hole (a Honda). Somehow the clerk managed to do it and I was on my way home, with a brief stop at Trader Joe's for bran muffins and frozen edemame.

Getting the new monitor set up involved, obviously, getting the old one out and it was quite a revelation how much dust had accumulated and how many treasures had remained hidden underneath it.  I felt like Lord Carnarvon excavating King Tut's tomb. I even found another tape of Dr. G's that I lost weeks ago. (Fortunately, he doesn't realize I actually lost TWO of his tapes because I found the second one before he had time to question me about it.)

When I turned on the monitor, I was dazzled by its brightness. It's the difference of night and day...or at least the difference of dusk and day. Maybe now all of those journals with teeny grey print on black backgrounds will be readable.

But then there is the vision problem which may still remain a hinderance.

The bottom line, however, is that my light is no longer spent, but glows brightly on my desktop and I am once again back in the land of the virtually visually unimpaired.

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Thank you for nominating my entry, Moving On for a DiaristNet award!

Quote of the Day

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

~ Albert Einstein

Picture of the Day

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(Sometimes I hate dealing
with sales clerks!)

One Year Ago
I absolutely cannot figure out what I--or Howard, for that matter--have done to elicit such a vitriolic, hateful message, or why she has suddenly decided to push us away in the most dramatic fashion possible.

Two Years Ago
Life in theFast Lane
While the helpful disembodied voice at my elbow kept saying "can I help you? Can I HELP you? Can I PLEASE HELP YOU???" I looked frantically for nuggets. I guess they’ve substituted chicken strips now. Shows you how often I visit KFC. I liked those nuggets. Far better than McNuggets, which always tasted like chicken flavored cardboard.

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Pounds Lost:  74.2
(this figure is updated on Tuesdays)

On the Odometer:  581.4

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Created 8/24/02