Computer Down!: The World Outside the Screen


So if you check my announcements page, you’ll see the reason I didn’t post last Thursday or Friday was because my computer’s hard drive went caput. This left me in an awkward position.

I use my computer for everything: communication, information, job hunting, etc. So when it crashes, I’m suddenly left in a state of solitude. I can’t look for a job the way I’m usually do, I can’t email my contacts, I can’t write to my adoring fans, and I can’t look at funny pictures of animals. So what do I do?

I had choices, obviously, but some were more appealing than others. The easiest activity I could have done was sit inside and play video games. However, I decided that instead of looking at a screen, I would take the opportunity to be more active. So, I did.

I exercised. I went for a walk around Lipscomb, stretching my legs and taking in the fresh air. After awhile I started to jog, then to run, just to get some good exercise in. I slept like a baby that night after a few days of restlessness. It’s amazing how readily you sleep when you actually exert yourself.

I read. I picked up a book and though I was inside, I felt like I hadn’t wasted the day. A book is still far more satisfying for stimulating your imagination than a video game, or even a digital/audio book. Something about holding the book and turning the pages makes you feel that you hold the entire experience in front of you, ready for adventure.

I experimented. I found out that it takes precisely 567 licks to get bored enough to either lose count or say forget it and bite to get to the tootsie-roll center of a tootsie-pop.

I was artistic. I bought a giant white candle and whipped out my whittling knife, and it is slowly taking on the shape of a double-helix. I have about three Tupperware containers filled with wax shavings which I can re-melt and make into something else.

I organized. After a big move, stuff gets lost or misplaced and it’s hard to take the time and just do it. Clean up, you’ll feel so much better about life.

I learned. I borrowed my girlfriend’s old keyboard recently and have been picking at it. So, I sounded out Elton John’s Tiny Dancer and it almost sounds right. I also picked up Werewolves of London by Warren Zevon, which is much easier but also probably more fun.

I baked. I made cupcakes and let me tell you, even if you’ve never baked before, you can do a helluva lot better than me. They’re rocks.

I washed. Not only did I do all the dishes, but I got my car washed. Be proud of your car, it’s cool. Think about it, you press the pedal and it moves, but how? Thousands of tiny precise little parts all move in synchronized rhythm to ignite gas fumes that expand and push down the pistons that work the gears to move your wheels. By the way, did you know that the gas liquid itself doesn’t burn? It has to mix with air before it can light. When you hold a lighter to a puddle of gasoline (don’t do that by the way) the puddle doesn’t light, the fumes above it do. If you could look under the flames you’d see a gap a few inches thick between the puddle and the flame. Learned that this weekend.

I did a thousand things I would never have gotten around to doing had my computer not gone to the ER. I have it back now, clearly, but I still find myself trying to do better with my time. I read every night before bed, I try to wake up early (with success most days), I jog. Instead of looking at Facebook all day I read political journals or current events.

If you ever have technical difficulty, take a deep breath and a step back. It can probably be fixed. Before you freak out that your twitter account won’t be updated hourly, remember that once upon a time people lived without the internet, without electronics. I know it’s shocking, but give it a try, see if you like what you find yourself doing.

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Comments
One Response to “Computer Down!: The World Outside the Screen”
  1. Brenda Brock says:

    Let me know when you start melting the candle wax … that is truly boredom!!
    Great post!!

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