One Thousand Words or So

Power Problems

I feel a bit adrift. My computer is out of commission, so I’m typing on a laptop, and it just doesn’t seem right. The computer sitting on my desk, with a keyboard so old that some of the letters have rubbed off and a big monitor with great color, feels like home, but today I’ve gotten locked out and nobody has a key.

Last night, we lost power at about 8:30 p.m., shortly before I was ready to publish the post I had just about finished. The power came back right after I had closed my book and lain my head on the pillow. That was nearly midnight. Going to sleep knowing that the furnace and refrigerator would be running through the night was comforting, and I told myself that I’d get my post up in the morning. That, of course, did not come to fruition.

I stepped into my studio this morning, turned on my computer, and watched the monitor search for a video card, only to find none. So I turned the monitor off and turned it back on—about a thousand times. (Oh, and the power went out again this morning: for at least an hour.) At one point, the monitor did its thing, giving me those big, old DOS letters, asking if I want to start Windows normally. Yes, I said, and hit Enter. My HP screen came up: the one with the magician’s hand and the cards and all that. I breathed a sigh of relief, and walked away. That may have been my mistake, for when I returned to my studio after showering, I found another dark screen and nothing I could say or do would bring it back to life.

So now, my desk holds this little laptop, a lifeless monitor, and a black box with its innards exposed. It’s a forlorn sight. A couple of hours ago, Dennis and I dropped Henry off at driver’s ed., visited Lowe’s so Dennis could buy the tool he needs to get to Scarlet’s broken starter, then ventured into Staples and Best Buy, looking for a reasonably priced video card. Neither store had one, and I’ve got to say that as far as forlorn sights go, Best Buy is right up there at the top of the list. There’s nothing like empty shelves to make a customer say to herself, “This is no place to linger.”

I worked on yesterday’s post before, during, and after reading the rest of chapter 13 in The Religious Sense by Luigi Giussani. I then went ahead and read the final two chapters, thereby finishing the book—and what a finale it was. Mind blown.

I need to get yesterday’s post published here before I can write about the last two chapters, but I don’t know when any of that will happen. Yesterday’s words are stuck on the hard drive of my desktop, and right now I have no access to that. I’ll have to check with Dennis and see if he ordered the video card from Amazon.

I’ve known that the video card is not at its best for a little while now, and I had been toying with the idea of buying a new computer, but I’m not sure I want/need one. I guess we’ll just have to see how things play out once a new video card goes in. The decision-making process won’t end there, however. I also need to decide (and I’d like to do before I begin my 365-day photography project on the 18th) if I’m going to dive in and commit to becoming an indentured servant to Adobe, paying a monthly fee to use the latest and greatest versions of Photoshop and Lightroom. My current version of Lightroom does not support my Pentax K-1, so I can shoot only in JPEG, not RAW. Further, my version of Photoshop won’t support a number of the graphic files I’ve purchased for creating digital art. It rubs me the wrong way that I can’t just purchase the Adobe products and be done with it. My other options are: to limp along the way I’m going, which is not a terrible hardship; or purchase Photoshop Elements and Silkypix. Silkypix would replace Lightroom, and Photoshop Elements could be downloaded to this laptop and used to supplement the full-bodied Photoshop CS5.5 on my main computer. I go back and forth, and do not feel ready to commit to either scenario, but I also don’t feel satisfied just cruising along with the status quo. Choosing against Photoshop CC is mostly a matter of principle, and that may just be silly. Would it mean that I’d choosing different products just for spite, and if so, who would actually be feeling the sting?

Perhaps I’ve solved my dilemma.

The weather warmed up to 40 degrees today, which was a nice change of pace. I think the warm weather is supposed to continue, but that is certainly not an unmitigated good. There’s an awful lot of snow out there, and I don’t want the vast majority of it to turn to water all at once.

I’ve got to say, as I watch my fingers dance over the keys of this laptop, I keep thinking of Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail. She typed with her wrists sort of hovering over her laptop’s keyboard, and that is just what my wrists are doing now. It’s a bit strange, yet it makes me feel somewhat graceful (and that is not something I experience often).

Yesterday, I picked up The Poetry of Robert Frost again. The more I read his verses, the more I like them. He’s a very good storyteller. That makes his work easy to understand, so I enjoy the first read-through, but he also manages to pack a lot of meaning into his words and the way he arranges them. That means that I can go back again and again and find more to love.

Today I read a long, narrative poem called “Snow.” It is mostly a dialogue between a husband and wife, the Coles, who have been awakened in the middle of the night by their neighbor, a preacher in a church they don’t attend, who is making his way home in a fierce snowstorm. It has taken the man three hours to go four miles, and he has another three miles before he’s home. After the preacher calls his wife, then goes to the barn to check on his horses, the Coles try to convince him to spend the night, but he won’t hear of it. Once he heads back out in the storm to try to make his way home, the Coles are left to worry about him ever getting back into the arms of his wife and five young children. Frost’s gift is his ability to convey a multitude of details and spin a coherent story for his readers in a mere 350 lines.

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