No, I don't mean me. Except maybe as a blogger. When Deborah Jane emailed me December fourth and asked if I ever intended to blog again, I promised, thinking it was a chip shot, two more posts before January first.
Here it is, after 5 PM December 31, and I am just now starting. Add the extra burden that I think these posts should be in some way meaningful, considering they are now so rare. I just looked at my blog for the first time in a long time and realize there are a whole lot of comments I need to delete.
This is a new template for me. I used to post and download links and photos without thinking. Now it looks very mysterious.
As every year, I am glad to get shut of the old one, and look optimistically forward to the new.
The last few months got crazy when my Dad fell and sustained a pelvic fracture. Non-displaced, requiring no surgery, it nevertheless set him back quite a bit. He spent a few days in the hospital and the rest of a month in rehab. Home now, learning to walk again, slowly, with a walker and help from physical therapists. I'd like to thank the nurses and therapists who come to his house and have given him a new lease on life. We weren't sure it wasn't going to be a nursing home. He and my Mom are talking about assisted living...We'll see how it goes.
Best book: Who knows. I just finished Wicked by Gregory Maguire. A wonderful fantasy. The musical might be the best theater I've ever seen. The book is the story, in all its detailed glory. In case you aren't acquainted with it, it is the story of The Wizard of Oz from the perspective of the Wicked Witch of the West. True in detail to L. Frank Baum's book, it embellishes the story with the history, geography and politics and intrigue of Oz. Easy to get lost in. There are some differences from the musical, but when it comes to Jacksonville in April, I intend to be there, too.
I'm also currently re-reading House of God by Samuel Shem. Another fantasy, this one about a medical residency at a major US teaching hospital. With all the sex, it's a wonder they ever have time to take care of patients. With some of the care, maybe it's better that way. Still, entertaining with a lot of memorable catch phrases.
My electronic landscape changed a lot in the last month or so. On a busy day, I heard a knock at the door, and tried to shoo away the saleslady standing there, even as I spoke on the phone with my secretary and tried to shoo the cat back inside. She was persistent, and I wound up switching my cable TV company over to ATT U-verse. This is a fiberoptic network ultimately sending a signal through the phone wires to the house. I now get my home phone (unlimited free local and long-distance), my internet (with a provided full-house router) and my television (more channels, music channels, a box that records TV shows, and is pretty much idiot-proof). Great images. And by combining the three, I'm saving $20 or $30 (don't rightly remember, but it's pretty significant) a month.
So with this neat setup, I started to think I should get me some HD technology to replace the 10+-year-old TV that was in the living room. My research led me to a couple of stores on Black Friday to look at LCD sets, but I found no great deals. I started birddogging Amazon and B&H Photo (great deals). I wanted a Samsung LN52A750. Specifically, I wanted 1080p resolution, 50,000:1 contrast ratio, and 120 Hz response time. I loved the touch-of-red frame. Ultimately, I was looking at the ads in the Sunday paper and found that Circuit City had a Sony Bravia XBR with the same specs. The price was quite low, and they included a free Sony Blu-Ray DVD player. It was a very good deal. The Samsung and Sony were about the same price, so the player was free. I had to pay tax, so it was equivalent to a very good internet deal. I was going to wait until they informed me that they would refund the difference if I found any of the products for cheaper for 60 days. Since that would take me through the post-Christmas sales and even through Presidents' day, how could I go wrong. Also, while there, I picked up a 32" Bravia XBR for the bedroom. The pictures are phenomenal. I'm still trying to figure out all the programming, though, since they were just installed 4 days ago. Meanwhile, I am recording "The Daily Show", "Scrubs" and "House." I watched one movie a couple of nights ago: "Love, Actually," which my friend Jill loaned me. The movie was pretty good. The picture was phenomenal. And it wasn't even Blu-Ray. I have "The Dark Knight" ordered in my Netflix queue in Blu-Ray. Can't wait. Saw it at the theater, but can't wait to see what it looks like in my living room.
Anyway, I like the look of the Samsung frame better, but the Sony black lacquered look is nice as well. The Sony screen is more matte than the Samsung. The Sony speaker is across the bottom of the TV and has great sound. The Samsung speaker is invisible, pointing down under the frame. The sales guy at Circuit City said the sound is better with the Sony. Don't know if he's right, I didn't study it, but I have no regrets about my choice.
The final tech treat: When we set up the ATT U-verse, my Logitech Click optical mouse stopped working. I thought the software had gotten corrupted. Reloaded that after changing the batteries. The control panel said it was working fine...except that it wasn't working at all. Finally, I threw my hands up in the air and called tech support. Not only did the tech talk me through the step-by-step troubleshooting, when we couldn't get it to work, she said "maybe it's under warranty." "No way," said I, "I've had it forever." She said she'd check, and when she came back, she said there was a 5-year warranty, and that it was covered. They sent me a new mouse in a couple of weeks, simplest installation ever, NO charge whatsoever. So if you want mouse or keyboard technology, go with Logitech. I was extremely pleased (and, therefore, extremely surprised!)
Happy Holidays, y'all!
Finally, your moment of Zen: