Normally, May is the dampest month in Dustbury, averaging about five and a quarter inches of precipitation, fully 15 percent of the annual total, and this year, the last day of the month proved the truth of that old saw, "When it rains, it pours" — though not a drop of actual rain fell on the happy souls around me.

In retrospect, my mistake was in thinking I could build on the momentum from the week before. Continuing the ongoing upgrade of my computer from horribly obsolete to merely obsolete, I acquired a sound card and another hard drive, both of which Windows 95 was happy to spurn — despite the fact that the sound card was prominently billed as Plug and Play. The HD would work if I took the precaution of hiding my CD-ROM in the next room, but at no other time, and it persisted in insinuating itself in the midst of my existing drive letters, rather than meekly dropping itself to the end of the line like a good slave. I thought of invoking FDISK, then the Almighty, and wound up sounding like Jim Morrison on tech support: You cannot partition your drive with prayer!

I might have blown this off had it not been for the fact that the trip to the store was accompanied by an encore performance by the least welcome component on my car's dashboard, the infamous "Check Engine" light, whose last appearance cost me nine hundred borrowed dollars, so I was in no mood to be charitable toward mere computer components. [Side note: Who in the bloody hell thought it would be a good idea to replace sensible (if often ill-calibrated) gauges with a single red light? Is it not more useful to know what the engine is doing, rather than what it just quit doing? Dante predicts: Circle 7.2 at a minimum.]

So June begins with my disposition clearly on the sour side of the spectrum. And the fact that most of the last 523 months have begun similarly doesn't do a thing for me.

The Vent

#55
1 June 1997



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