Sunday, March 23, 2014

monitoring my happiness

This has been an incredibly interesting week.  In addition to having Darrel here, I have had two projects come to a head that require some immediate attention.

And when the plate gets full, what do real men do?  We hunt down something electronic.

You may recall I brought a what-was-then immense computer monitor with me when I came to Mexico.  It was probably 21 or 22 inches, and met my purposes as a laptop magnifier for my fading eyes and as part of my movie machine apparatus.  DVDs and the monitor filled many a void in my early evenings.

As time went on, my newer laptops proved to be too sophisticated for the aging monitor.  And then it was gone.  In December, it walked off with a few of my other possessions that should have been thrown away long ago.

In January, I headed to Manzanillo to find a replacement (stop -- in the name of ley).  It appears that the world has passed me by.  Stand-alone monitors are becoming a thing of the past.  I could find huge television screens.  But no computer monitors.

I had pretty much abandoned the search.  That is, until Darrel arrived.  For those of you who do not know, Darrel is the kind of guy everyone wants to have as a friend.  He is an expert on computers.  And I was not going to let that expertise slip through my hands.

Instead, Darrel put his life in his hands by jumping into the Escape with me to track down a monitor.  We tried Radio Shack.  And Comercial Mexicana.  And Walmart.  And Office Max (well, it was permanently closed, but we did stop).  And Sam's Club.  And Soriana. 

With nary a monitor in sight.  Well, Radio Shack and Comercial Mexicana had monitors.  But either the resolution was too low or the screen was too large to perch atop my computer station.

I was ready to run up the white flag.  But we still had one potentially-happy hunting ground.  Office Depot -- where I was told two months ago that they no longer carried monitors.

That clerk was wrong.  There were three options on the shelf.  And I walked away with a 24" Acer monitor.  For $3,199 pesos.  Or about $241 (US).  Above the Rio Bravo, it would have cost about $170 (US).  But the Mexican price includes a 16% sales tax, and that makes it comparable with what you might buy in Huron, South Dakota.

But this purchase was not about money.  It was about restoring my ability to see what is on my laptop screen.  At least, when I am home.

After a bit of tweaking and experimenting, Darrel and I (but mostly Darrel) managed to get it working as a writing tool.  And, even better, as a Blu-ray capable movie machine.

Things do not bring us happiness.  But, for the moment, I am happy enough to have shared a hunting trip with my brother.  After all, we bagged our limit.

It was a good day.

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