It’s a wash

The Granite Face on the Whitewash Trail is no place for an elderly fella with a dodgy ankle. But I’ll probably hike up the sonofabitch anyway.

Once I saw a young man yell “look” in the lobby and let his prick hang out; he closed his overcoat then and tried to run out the door, rather swirled clumsily in the revolving door. One woman screamed but most people shrugged.  Depressing. He needed help. A lock on his zipper for beginners. — Jim Harrison, “Wolf.”

Faced with the ceaseless weenie-wagging that constitutes our national politics it’s easy to forget that the world remains a remarkable place.

Yesterday during a brief hike in the Sandia foothills my iPhone hooted. It was a text from Apple advising me that it had received my MacBook Pro, shipped the previous day, and that the agreed-upon repairs would commence directly.

It was not that long ago that I would have had to wait until I got home and checked the answering machine to see whether the typewriter repairman had gotten around to my Royal manual yet.

Of course, my hip pocket was a quieter place back then, what with no mobile phone and a wallet that bordered on the anorexic; no matter how I stuffed it with money it always vomited it up somewhere.

And if I’d wanted to snap any photos during the hikes I was mostly not taking I would’ve had to pack along the Pentax MX camera I had acquired in a trade with an iffy acquaintance. I got the camera, some cash, and a bit of the old nose whiskey, and he got my S&W .41 Magnum (I was slightly overgunned at the time).

Later this gent would draw a short stretch at Club Fed in Texas, not far from where Apple is resolving the shortcomings of my MacBook. Not for anything involving the .41 Mag, or me, happily. Last I heard he had become a respectable citizen and taxpayer, a credit to society, just like Your Humble Narrator.

Time passes, and things change. For instance, it was probably fortunate for me that I shipped my MacBook in when I did. Just this morning MacRumors noted that this mid-2014 edition of the venerable 15-inch laptop will be added to Apple’s list of vintage and obsolete products come Halloween.

The 13-inch model I’m using to create this post is already on the list, as are all the other Macs in the house, save the iPhones and iPads. The 2014 MacBook Pros are supposed to remain eligible for service indefinitely, says MacRumors … “subject to parts availability.”

Boo. …

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16 Responses to “It’s a wash”

  1. khal spencer Says:

    Hell, Patrick. You sell all your nice guns. I bet that S&W 41 magnum would fetch a lot more camera and nose whiskey these days, along with a bigger pile of cash.

  2. katholoch Says:

    Well, I know that Mac lovers hate to hear this, but I will say it anyway. You don’t have someone telling you that your PC is obsolete. One of main reasons I won’t take any more bites from the big Apple.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I don’t have any real experience with Windows machines, having started with a Mac SE and gone on from there. Herself bounces back and forth between the two and claims to notice no significant differences. But then Sandia Labs provides paid tech support for the Windows gear.

      I did have a Radio Shack laptop, briefly, and it was garbage; MS-DOS and some hideous house-brand GUI. But Apple laptops were insanely pricey even then, and I thought I could cut a corner. Wrong. The thing failed me first time I took it out on the road, covering La Vuelta de Bisbee for VeloNews.

      Then there was a an Asus netbook, which was cheap and fun to play with once I dumped the house GUI (more garbage) and started running it on Linux. But it was too small for serious work.

      Other than that, since 1990 it’s been all Mac, all the time, laptops and desktops and phones and tablets (I was late to adopting both of the latter, and I’m still not a fan of iOS). And they’ve been in the main trouble-free. And long-lived, despite Apple’s long List of the Damned. I think my favorite was the PowerBook 1400C, which was easy for the end user to work on and/or upgrade, and could be customized by swapping out modules (hard drive, battery, optical drive, etc.).

      My oldest Mac currently in operation is a G4 450 MHz “Sawtooth” Power Mac, circa 1999. When Bicycle Retailer went all Intel in the office I picked it up for the cost of shipping it to Colorado from California ($50). Then I installed a 1.1GHz processor upgrade, a USB 2.0 card, a DVD burner, 2GB RAM and a second internal HD. I use it as a giant storage device and to color my cartoons using Photoshop 4. Yes, that’s Photoshop 4. It old, but it ain’t dead.

      Other World Computing helps me keep the old beasties ticking. In Bibleburg anything I couldn’t resolve went straight to Voelker Research.

    • Pat O’Brien Says:

      Economic and Moore’s law. No one is immune in the electronics biz, regardless of the device you’re talking about.

    • SAO' Says:

      Good point.

      (Dramatic pause)

      They come obsolete right out of the box!

      (Rim shot)

  3. carl duellman Says:

    bummer about eddie van halen. i wasn’t a huge fan but i appreciated his abilities. i never came close to being able to do anything he did but a boy can dream.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Yeh, not a big Van Halen fan here either. Still, damn, dude could rock, and he seemed to take a childlike glee in it, too. So many furrowed brows above the fretboard … it was nice to see someone having fun on the job.

    • Pat O’Brien Says:

      He developed a lot of his playing techniques, finger tapping, harmonics, hammer ons, extensive tremolo bar use, and string bending when effect pedals were crazy expensive and he couldn’t afford them. Not a fan either, but he did some session work that was cool. He could damn sure tickle a Strat!

  4. Stan Thomas Says:

    “the world remains a remarkable place”
    A timely reminder that, despite the shit-storm around us, it’s great to be alive.
    Just completed my 14 day house-arrest after returning from the Tour. And despite my annoyance at the imposition when the virus rate at home is higher than central France, it can’t detract from the picture perfect cat. 4 climb to Chateau-Chalon on stage 19 ahead of the race on closed roads. Great craic, as I believe you Irish say.
    Vive le Tour!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Well done, sir. Craic and cloister. A very Irish experience indeed.

      Which reminds me: Yesterday Herself the Elder was freed from her 14-day quarantine, triggered by visiting the doc for a broken wrist. The assisted-living house remains under lockdown, but at least she can leave her room and take a few hot laps around the inside of the place.

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