2016, We Hardly Suspected

esc-skunkIs it just me or has 2016 kind of sucked? And I’m not even talking about the stale hell of the Election. That’s only part of it.

Oh, where to start. How about at the death of my main work computer? Yep. Everything was fine, and then it wasn’t. The usual. After working in PC support for over twenty years, I could recognize a dead PC when I saw one. Fortunately everything I absolutely need is on the flash drive in case the disk is unrecoverable. I’ll know more about that when I hook it up to the new machine, which I had to order since nothing I could find locally met my specs. When it comes to computers, I’m picky out of all proportion to my financial sensibilities.

I hope I’ll be able to use some of the parts from the old machine in the new one. My “old” video card is a tad more powerful than the new one, for instance. Assuming the ram chips survived, I may be able to upgrade the memory a bit. If the old disk proves readable, I’ll transfer what I want and then wipe it and use it as an external backup. Pretty sure the power supply and MB are fried. I thought about building a new PC from scratch, but in general you can buy an almost-but-not-quite system and tweak it for less money. Plus I don’t have that kind of time right now. I need a functional system ASAP. Things to do. As matters stand I’m typing this on my old Linux laptop. It’s underpowered to say the least, but  a lot better than nothing.

Enough wallowing in my own slough of despond. 2016 has sucked in much greater measure than my own petty inconvenience. I’m thinking of the losses, inside the field and out: David Bowie, Otis Clay, Prince, Gene Wilder, David Hartwell, Marvin Minsky, Bud Webster, Ed Gorman, Keith Emerson, Guy Clark, Muhammad Ali, Elie Wiesel, Kenny Baker, M.K. Wren, Glenn Yarbrough,… I could make a longer list but it’s depressing enough already.

And then…well, I won’t call it a revelation, exactly, but one consequence of the Election (aside from the Election itself) has been to emphasize that a substantial portion of my fellow citizens are fearful, proudly racist, homophobic, misogynist, and angry at all the wrong things. I mean, I knew that, but it’s quite another to have your face rubbed in it every living day. If there’s anything good to come out of that it has prompted some soul searching. I’ll have to think about that some more.

Meanwhile, 2016 goes on its merry way.  There are a couple months yet. You can’t fire a year, and even if you could, it’s a bad idea. Time is too precious, even “interesting” times, since it’s all we really have. I will say that 2017 needs to be a lot better, or we may have to revisit that whole “firing” thing.