Posted by jdg | Wednesday, September 23, 2009

So I found a few baffling Nixon-era doozies at the thrift store a few weeks ago, and decided today to scan them. Our scanner hails from that primordial era when Apple's fatal flaw was it's lack of peripheral compatibility rather than the nauseating smugness of its television commercials (can you even imagine the cloud of smug that must hover over Cupertino?). So I needed to dig out one of my old PC laptops to do the scanning. The Toshiba has a screen that works but a bum battery and it shuts down unexpectedly even when plugged in; I haven't found a replacement screen for the Dell (all it has is Chinese computer tinfoil) so I have to hook it up to an external monitor. I've spent hours of invaluable Alone Time configuring this setup because I couldn't find any of the damn cords to connect any of these damn devices and once I did I realized I didn't have a 3-prong outlet anywhere near where it was all set up on top of my wife's sewing supplies in the basement. Eventually I jerry-rigged it and got to work.

Among you there must be a few people thinking Why doesn't this asshole just buy a new scanner? And I suppose I have few excuses: I'm cheap; I hate cardboard boxes; I like developing skills that will prove useful after the Apocalypse (when you won't be able to just go to Staples to buy a new scanner to share those terrifying 1970s children's books with all your internet friends). After the Apocalypse, some of us are going to have to get by on more than just good looks and wrist crossbow skills.

And there's always the chance that I'll get lucky and find a broken Mac-compatible scanner in someone's garbage so I can teach the kids to solder.

Meanwhile, my wife and the kids have driven up to the suburb of Troy where there's this fortress-like shopping mall with an Apple store. The journey back from Troy is always long and perilous; she usually gets lost and can never find her fabric store or the Vietnamese restaurant we like near 13 Mile. She needs a sextant and an astrolab just to locate the highway. Her cell phone is held together by duct tape. I fear that when she finally arrives home this time she'll have one of those newfangled iPhones and life is just going to get that much more convenient.