Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Do you ever get that "not so fresh computer feeling?"

Presenting Apple's new iPad.  Cool product, worst name ever.

*Photo stolen from engadget.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

I haven't been writing as much, or facebooking as much, or browsing aimlessly as much, since the death of my dear friend iPhone.

This tragedy has had my cyber-self so depressed that it can hardly get out of bed in the morning.  Adding insult to injury, our router broke within two days of iPhone's fatal accident.  Now if I am to indulge in any virtual activities I have to sit in a very uncomfortable chair, in front of a very uncomfortable desk, my spine bent like a capital C, my wrists getting scratched on the particle-board desk-edge as my fingers plunk away at the keys.

However, I haven't replaced my buddies Router and iPhone because I'm finding that real life is pretty good and very worth living.  And my wife likes being able to talk with me without me updating my facebook status on the fly.

Right now though, I'm getting a really good wireless signal from the high school across the street.  (Usually it's pretty spotty and I have to hold my laptop just so to load a page.)

As you know if you've read much of my blog, I've done a lot of stupid things in my life.  For the past year or so, I've dwelt on my most recent stupidity, which time hasn't separated from me enough for it to be funny.  I don't think I'll ever look back on 2009 and laugh, except maybe about losing my kidney.  There's some good material there, but I digress. . .

I want to go back and find something distant enough to be hilarious.  I know that's setting the bar pretty high, especially considering that this is, so far, a free-writing exercise.

I have a bunch of cousins who are really good, interesting people.  Because of the circumstances under which they were born, their scottish ancestry, and their hardscrabble childhoods, they are all tough as nails.  When we were kids we were pretty close, but we drifted apart later when their house in Payson, Utah burned down and for some reason they moved into a haunted house in Durango, Colorado.  They came back to Utah when the poltergeists got the best of them, but unfortunately we were never as close afterwards.

The youngest of these cousins was Jedediah, who passed away a few years ago.  Being at the bottom of the pecking order, he had to get tough right away.  He was still in pampers when one of his brothers hit him with a board and put a splinter in his eye.  He was a cute kid that little Jeddy, but he didn't take crap from anybody.

One time, when Jed was about ten years old, he and my brother Tom wanted to go for a bike ride.  Jed was at our house visiting and didn't have his own bike to ride, so he asked to borrow one.  Somewhere I had acquired a cast-iron rattle-can yellow bike frame that weighed about 400 pounds.  I had been piecing it together with junk parts for the last few weeks, and for some reason, probably selfishness on my part, I let Jed use that bike instead of one that was fully functional.

So he and Tom took off down the hill from our house.  Being the tough little bastard he was, Jed pedaled as hard as he could and picked up lots of speed.

The problem was that the bike only had a coaster brake, which works by pushing the pedals backwards.  These kind of brakes work great unless the chain derails, which it did unfortunately.  With no brakes, Jed blasted through two intersections before t-boning a car and hitting his head on the hood.  I don't remember all of the details but it seems like Jed may have cut one of his fingers and had a seizure.  An ambulance was called, reports were filed.

Man, I can't even tell that story in a humorous way right now.  I guess I'm just not in the mood.
I'm not feeling nearly as quiet and desperate as I was when I changed my blog around, so maybe it's time for another change.

What do you readers suggest for a name?

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

I was discharged from the hospital on a cold Sunday night. Until I went in for surgery the Winter had been mild, but during my stay it snowed several inches. The result of this was somewhat disorienting, like when you go see an early movie, and when you come out it's dark outside. The landscape had changed while I lay in bed full of morphine.

I was glad to be going home, but I was nervous as well. I worried about the noise the kids would make, and the inadvertent pain they'd likely inflict when climbing on me. Most of all, I felt wounded, "injuried" as my daughter called it. But it was more than that, I felt heavy and oppressed.

Prior to the operation, I had similar feelings. Maybe I was feeling sorry for myself. Maybe I was worried about things going wrong. But I think overall I was feeling a sense of loss.

This introspective pity party is nothing I'm proud to admit, but it's the way I felt as we slowly rounded an icy curve on Canyon Road, and I noticed a deer standing in the middle of the street.

"Deer" I said, pointing.

Kaerlig slowed the van just in time as another deer bolted out in front of us, momentarily froze, then leaped back to the right shoulder. The air hung icily in the headlight beams, the deer stood still, and we realized there were a whole group of deer on the left hand side of the road. We stared, and they stared back. Then the one in the middle of the road walked across to the group. The one that had just jumped in front of us hesitated, then ran after the others. This deer miscalculated the speed of an SUV that had been approaching from the other direction, or maybe didn't notice its approach. Either way there was a sickening crunch as the deer's hindquarters intersected with the passenger side headlight of the SUV. The poor creature was knocked to the shoulder of the road like a bowling pin, and landed silently on the curb of recently plowed snow. The animal lay still, The SUV drove away without stopping.

For a moment I projected myself into that cold, dying creature. A moment before it had been alive, wide-eyed and uncertain. Now broken and wounded. (Even if I had had a hunting knife I doubt I could have dispatched it to the other side the way my father-in-law once did in a similar situation. I wanted to put it out of its misery, but I didn't have the strength.) I felt the ice of the snow and the confused mess of bones, muscles and tendons trying to make sense of themselves. At once I felt fear and death and longing.

The kids were confused. Thankfully they hadn't seen it. They didn't understand what had happened. I closed my eyes as we continued homeward.