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Friday, April 23, 2010


n road work on 18 south

UPS just now dropped off my new computer replacement, an HP laptop. Latest in this and that. Can watch movies on it. Not that I will, but it will do that. As usual, when I opened the box, took out all the stuffings, got the laptop out and the accessories that go with it, put the stuffings back in, there wasn't room in the box for all the stuffings, let alone the computer. It was very well packed. Ordered it from amazon just a few days ago. I don't dare attempt to put it together before I write you. It looks really simple. They have everything concise as possible, good instructions. But the reason I am not a mechanic is there is always something that's going to be a hangup. It looks deceptively simple. I want to get what needs doing out of the way before I jump into something that can potentially take hours or days. It could all be done in an hour, which probably will be the case. But I don't count on it.

I was settling in to write to you when UPS stopped in front. I knew what it was, and sure enough, it was. It feels odd to guess something right anymore. My experience with shit-happens moments recently is not very conducive to optimism about approaching a mechanical, albeit tech, device with a mind to putting it together to make it work. Ultimately, I can see it as a possibility, but scheduling it is another matter. It figures in the Unknown category. There, it's a crap shoot. This computer I'm on is a dinosaur so old its eggs are petrified. It works all right, but it takes between a half hour and an hour to get it up and running. When it's going, it's a matter of click and wait for water to boil, click an wait. It's an interesting exercise in patience. Or should I say a challenge to patience. If computers weren't so sensitive I'd be inclined to cuss it, but I do anyway. I don't like to, because it is my friend. It was very expensive back 15 or so years ago and I got way more than I needed. It's become so SLOW. I'm so bored with slow, esp while paying for DSL. I'm looking forward to click-and-there-it-is. Another temporarily satisfied spoiled American. That's my cog on the wheel. Keeping the bloodstream of the economy flowing.

Maybe tomorrow I can write you on the new instrument. It looks kind of scary. I opened it. Liked the size of the screen. The keyboard and that little rectangle for finger mouse, something to get used to. I'll miss my old friend. There's that thing about 3s again. Jr, TarBaby and computer. 3 big vacancies. The computer has a replacement, but the other 2 can never be replaced. It's all mortality in action. The rolling wheel of time.

I found a note I made yesterday morning. I pushed the button when I got up to start the radio. The news was on. First sentence I heard was, "He should have challenged the pervading culture of secrecy." I laughed out loud and went about getting coffee going. That meaningless word should again. He should, like applied in hindsight is even more meaningless. When I hear should, I automatically think, not necessarily. How does this guy know? He's a young guy in some kind of radio journalism. Talking through his ass is really what he was doing. I didn't listen for who it was who should have, because I knew immediately it was about Catholic priests and bishops and the Church and prison and secrecy. When you're in a culture of secrecy, you don't challenge it. Like when you're in the world of making white liquor, you don't rat. Maybe some years later some commentator might see your story, 2 years in prison for making liquor. He should have.... But he didn't. And he'd do the 2 years again before he would do what this guy in a totally different context believes he should have done. Because it doesn't even apply.

In any "pervading culture of secrecy," you rat, you die, or an equivalent that's worse. This middle class journalist might live in a subdivision where all the houses are new and all just alike as far as you can see, a maze like an enormous trailer park. The bishop in the pervading culture of secrecy was in a world of men wearing silk and satin gowns festooned with expensive lace, draping themselves in gold jewelry, big gems for rings, golden slippers. When the underbelly of the Vatican gets exposed, it's going to make Pat Robertson, Jimmy Swaggart, Oral Roberts and the rest of them look like the small time they really are. At least they wear men's clothes. Now that the expose has begun, it's going to get worse and continue to get worse. The way the media jumps into feeding frenzies in this time, bringing down the powerful, most recently Tiger Woods for turning out to be ordinary, it can get bad for the Church. In this Age of breaking down traditions, every one to the last one in the darkest corner, the Church is yet to break. When it does, it's going to be ugly. Real ugly.

It's getting time to conclude this and see what can be done with the new computer. I'm not undoing the old one first. For me, this tech stuff is like jumping into a swimming pool with no lights on a moonless night. It's too wierd to think about. All I can do is settle into it, get out the instructions. Will put on a cd of the Carolina Chocolate Drops to entertain my right brain while my atrophied left brain takes an IQ test. It looks like they have it down to where you merely have to be sentient to be able to figure it out. I'm grateful for that. I like that there is only one cord. Or so it appears now. Again, it's a dark swimming pool. What if it has inflatable dolls floating all over it and I can't see them? I don't dare anticipate.

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