Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Return

The computer is back. It works but the screen is slowly dying. I keep thinking I will be able to use part of my tax return for a new computer come February. And then friends say, "If we get a tax return" which starts the worry clock.

I watched more TV in 8 days than I did in the past 3 years, I think. There are some really, really awful Christmas movies out there. Just sticking "Christmas" in a movie's title does not guarantee it will be any good. Far from it. A movie still requires some semblance of a plot which some of these holiday movies didn't seem to have from the start.

I discovered the PBS "Create" channel. Heavily filled with cooking shows, it started off as something fun but I can only tolerate watching people cooking for so long before it's just boring. Another percentage is travel shows and those can be interesting. But again, I can only watch them for so long before it's just another place and you can interchange the country name with a different one.

"Miss Marple Investigates" was wonderful. I've read all of Agatha Christie's books so I enjoy seeing how it gets translated to the screen. There's usually one or two actors whose faces I recognize. In the one Miss Marple I watched, it was Joan Collins playing a socialite from New York. Hmmmm. Casting against type I see.

I watched "American Experience" and WGN TV's Bozo specials. I watched the news and the weather. I usually get both from the Internet. I watched football, all the football someone with free TV can watch. I watched "Bob Newhart" and "Mary Tyler Moore". I watched bits and pieces here and there until it got boring to watch more.

I managed to keep the worry monster away by concentrating on gratitude. At least someone was looking at the computer with an idea to try to get it working for me. Bill Moyers had a great program on Friday night discussing the "fiscal cliff" we've heard so much about. I actually watched a program discussing financial matters. After listening to the two people he had on his show, I am not worried much about the impending "fiscal whatever". That worry has been sent packing. It is what it is and I'll make do as I have before.

So, Friday night, I picked up the computer and set about getting the space ready again. A couple years ago, I realized that my chair made me spend too much time looking down at the computer screen. Ideally, you should look straight across. I looked around the house for something on which to set the computer to raise it up the required 3 inches. I've had this book "Asimov's Guide to Shakespeare" for at least 20 years. It's an invaluable help when I want to muse on Shakespeare's writings. It's also the perfect height to raise the computer up to eye level. So, I dusted around the book, moved a bunch of cables and set the computer back where it had been.

Then came the dreaded downloading. I have a new hard drive. Everything I had on my other hard drive has to be reinstalled. The operating system was an upgrade from the one I had been using. It has a few new quirks that are taking me some time to get used to.

Getting back online and getting my email services back up and functional didn't take that much time. Downloading World of Warcraft has been a trial. I think my Internet service throttles the amount of data I can download at once. I have 20 gigabites of data for this game and I'm downloading it in kilobite fragments. It's so slow. And when my computer goes to sleep, it doesn't download anymore so I have to supervise the downloading. When it's time for bed, however, I let it go and it just quits whenever the computer goes to sleep. There is a program I can download that will prevent the computer going to sleep, but I was able to log into the game on Sunday. I'll just keep going with the time I have. Eventually, the whole game will be downloaded.

I didn't really go through withdrawal without the computer. There were times, especially the first weekend, when I'd think, "I wonder...I'll just go look it up online...oh wait...", but, by Tuesday evening, I would come home, do chores, make supper and then sit in the recliner. Before computers, this is what I did. Had the computer been beyond repair, I would have been okay with that.

So, my eyes forward are toward a new computer. I don't know how much longer this one will limp along so I need to figure out how to pay for a new one. Computers are so much a part of life now and so much of how I entertain myself is tied up with the computer. Let's see if life lets me plan for a new one.

Beverage:  Edinburgh's Finest tea


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