Monday, July 14, 2008


Alright, so I succumbed to some consumerist impulses, and I bought a new laptop. Actually, it’s more of a subnotebook than a laptop, my new device has a 9 inch screen, weighs less than a kilo, runs Windows XP. It’s an ASUS Eee pc, and while I am not going to get used to this keyboard right away, I think I will eventually, and I think I will like it. It’ll be really nice when I get it somewhere with a good wireless connection, and I can use it as a quick-surf web browser. I also got it because I’m going to be getting 60 of these for the school to use as a portable computer lab, and I think it will work well. It’s really light, has a flash-based hard drive (actually, two drives), a 1ghz celeron and 1 gig of ram. It’s no speed demon, and it doesn’t exactly do anything new, but it’s just cool and I think it will be really useful. The battery life doesn’t seem to be quite as good as I would like it to be, but I haven’t really tested it out in that regard. I’m starting to get used to this keyboard, this may actually work OK. I’ll have to see what all I end up doing with this. I can’t see myself typing the Great American novel on this (realistically, I can’t see myself typing it on any keyboard...) but for e-mails, web surfing, and some other general stuff, I think it’ll be great. The screen is really pretty good, and the other nice thing about this is the fact that it uses a fairly low-power consumption chipset, and so the fan hardly runs. So this thing runs silent, runs deep.

So, as even a semi-dedicated reader of my blog will note,my best friend got married this last weekend. I had a lot of reflection time with the drive to and from, and with all the waiting for other things to happen. And I really didn’t reflect a lot on a ‘woe-is-me-why-can’t-my-wedding-be-happening-soon’ like I might have done a year or even six months ago. Instead, I thought a decent amount about who I am, who I’ve been, and what I see as still needing to change. While on the drive home, we were going through Wichita, and I was just struck by the surreal nature of the scene, the cars, colors, big buildings with mostly empty parking lots. I wrote the following up, and am now transcribing it.

The afternoon sun, my crimson sunglasses, and the tinted windows make the grass here an unnatural, vaguely neon green. It feels, at times, that I’m staring at life through all these layers and variances, making what should be a straight-forward picture into an altered, discolored approximation. In terms of material goods, everything that I need, everything that I could wish for, these two sets intersect far less than I wish they would. All the denigration I hold in my heart for those of my countrymen who do not disguise their desire for the newest stuff, my judgemental thoughts for how easily they spend their money or time on that which is frivolous, all my self-righteous internal dialogue about how I’m actually not wasting my life, all this should and does reflect the true state and nature of my heart. I just spent a solid chunk of money on a new computer that I don’t need. Sure, I can hand wave it away as a necessary expense for the IT guy to learn a new system, but that’s not really true. I wanted one, and so I spent my money on it. There’s more music and books that I want to spend money on, want to get before I go back. So truly, I am no different than those I disparage and judge. My scale may be different, my life circumstances may give me this aura that explains my judgementalism, but this is vanity. I am no different, I have the same human failings. I can maybe see those failings a little better, but even this statement reveals how far I have to go to get out of this rut. Sometimes, I do see myself growing. Other times, I’m just back here, where I’ve always been, just trying to start the cycle back up again.

P.S.- Royce, I put a $10 word in the title just for you. Thanks for letting me stop by today. :)

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