After waking my computer up from a long night of sleep, the monitors starting looking kind of fuzzy and then, a few moments later, lots of lines and dots and dashes in patterns of many colors and sizes started appearing, out of nowhere, all over the screens. I have two monitors, side by side. And they typically work wonderfully, providing lots of visual real estate for my Photoshop and email habits. But today, well, it looked like techno-Santa came to roost in my machine. It’s kind of pretty. Lines moving across the horizon, vertical greens and pretty reds on one monitor dancing along with black dashes in bunches of ten flickering on the other monitor. Through the haze of the digital miasma I could still see my desktop and look at my files so I knew that the underlying hard drive was okay. I called Apple (I have three months remaining on my AppleCare insurance, which gives me about, oh, twelve weeks to start looking for a new computer) and, after having to speak the words “PowerMac G4” a number of times into the phone and saying twice that I’m not an educational customer, was put through to Raj in India. At least, I assume it was in India. It could have been Pakistan or the Phillipines. My assumption of geographical identity is based on the last telephone call I had with AppleCare about one year ago. I recall asking John where he was located and he laughed politely and said, “India, sir.” I didn’t feel like knowing more. Today I didn’t feeling like knowing anything except how to get the linear test patterns off my flat screens. I had a feeling it was a dead video card and, indeed, it was (or is). (FYI, yes, I ran Disk Utility from the startup disks and then used DiskWarrior to rebuild and nothing would take care of it so I was pretty sure it was non-disk hardware.) Now, and until tomorrow, I can’t use the computer unless I want to squint through the linear maelstrom.
Luckily, I’ve got my little backup laptop and that’s where I’m at.
Actually, I was at the parking lot of a supermarket just an hour ago and learned something. I’d like to buy a truck. In particular, I’d like to get a Ford F-150 pickup. I know what you’re thinking: Andy with a fricking truck. Yeah. It would be great. I watched a man step out of his F-150 in the parking lot. By the look of him, he was probably going to go purchase some steak and a few loaves of bread and some apples. But that truck, man, it was nice. Lots of height in the cab. A nice sized, black cargo box situated at the rear of the cab, perfect for holding tools and whatever else I needed to keep protected from the elements. A large but not pretentious wheel base that wouldn’t throw other vehicles off the road. Couple that with a 4.2L V6 and 17″ machined aluminimum wheels and you’re talking lots of possibility. It would suit my new personality, which is all about expedience, certainty and manufactured optimism. And it would allow me to haul things, whatever those might be and whenever they might need hauling. The best part of owning a small pickup is that you’re riding high and no one can fault you. No one knows whether you’re a cowboy, a farmhand, a machinist or a Rotarian. With a car, people know you’re a wuss. In an SUV, people assume you’re a waste of natural resources. With a minivan, they know someone calls you dad. With a large truck, they know you’re in heavy industry. They just know from your pickup that you have a need for hauling some shit. Sure, if you got one of those Cadillac pickups, it’s easy to tell who you are. But with a regular pickup, no one knows. Pure anonymity and the likely perception from afar that you’re tougher than most. I realize I might have to change my appearance some, bulk up, and lose the glasses, but I’m into it.