too hot to live, too dumb to die

Purple pixels turn red, red pixels turn blue, blue pixels turn black. Sic transit gloria mundi.

Dudes, I found a Commodore 1702 monitor in the garbage on Main Street in the village of Chipman. The 1702 was my dream monitor when I was a 12-year-old hacking it up on a Commodore 64, and before that a Commodore VIC-20, with its 3583 bytes of raging computational power. The gods take away, and the gods provide.

~ This photograph was taken with a 2.0-megapixel Hewlett Packard FinePix digital camera that probably cost hundreds of dollars when I bought it six or seven years ago. I haven’t used it in a while because the lens assembly broke. A piece that holds the lens in must have snapped. I can hear it rattling around inside the camera’s silver plastic body.

So when I power the camera up, causing the lens to automatically slide forward with its robotic whine, the barrel of the lens wobbles back and forth like a hungover turtle sticking its head out of a shell and squinting in the painful morning sunshine. I can no longer expect to focus properly because the lens will tend to be canted at a weird angle although I can usually straighten it somewhat by wiggling it around between my thumb and forefinger.

I stopped using the digital camera a while back when I got a cellphone, which also takes pictures and is much easier to carry around. But the cellphone pics have kind of a washed-out, desaturated quality, appropriate for some subjects, but certainly not able to do justice to my beautiful natural surroundings. So a few days ago I dug out the old digicam.

I wanted to take some pictures of the beaver dam and the huge pond that’s out in the woods on our property. I grabbed the camera and put on my big black galoshes and my bug mask and headed up the dirt road to the trail that leads into the forest.

The beavers have been hard at work. The pond has grown huge like a hockey rink and I swished through the pond until the water threatened to spill over the tops of my boots. With the sun shining down through the treetops, and the birds singing all around me, I raised the camera to snap a photo of the woody half-sphere of the beaver lodge. Whereupon I discovered that the camera’s battery hatch was hanging open, and there was a gaping hole in the camera where my brand-new Duracell rechargeable batteries used to be.

I looked back over my shoulder at the expanse of water I had just traversed. And then I looked down at the now-useless lump of technology in my hand.

I almost pitched my Hewlett Packard digicam straight into the pond. Fortunately I did not because on the walk back I found my two Duracells lying a few metres apart at the top of the dirt road. The gods take away, and the gods provide. I picked up the batteries and pocketed them after I had drawn little squares around them in the dirt where they lay, as if marking the scene of some unsolved rural crime.

And that is why I do not have any beaver dam pictures for you today.

~ You’re not seeing what I’m seeing right now. I’m using a computer with a cracked laptop screen to look at a picture of a computer with a cracked laptop screen. The effect is not unlike gazing down a hall of mirrors into the final hideout of a fractured mind.

One thought on “too hot to live, too dumb to die

  1. This is the setup I currently have!
    But the laptop monitor is only burnt out, not stepped on.
    It still feels pretty pathetic, but now I feel less alone.

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