"Sometimes I think it's a sin when I feel like I'm winning when I'm losing again." -- Gordon Lightfoot
Every now and then we make decisions that we think are correct and then, for whatever reason, we need to change our minds.
I finally caved-into temptation and purchased the TV set I said I was going to wait to purchase (see "Stuff" entry). A certain popular electronics retailer had a sale price that was too good to pass-up, and I figured it was only a matter of time that it was going to happen anyway. If you're looking to purchase a large screen HDTV be prepared for some surprises. Standard TV from the satellite receiver, which looked pretty good on my old TV, looked like crap on the new HDTV. "What in hell is this? I buy this expensive TV and the picture is crappier than it was on my old TV!!" Welcome to the world of magnified-garbage-in-equals-bigger-garbage-out. The sad truth is that the highly compressed (ugly) video coming from the satellite just looks really bad when it is displayed on a television twice its size. There is a light at the end of the tunnel in that all television is moving toward higher definition and, at least, better compression algorithms. In the meantime, all the predictions I made earlier have come true.
The way to survive the HDTV upgrade is to look at the long term and not expect perfection in the short term. People who know me know I'm not really good at this (sounds like a learning opportunity).
I'm watching the sun go down on the relationship between two friends. In addition to the strain it has placed on just about every aspect of my already strained life, it is another example of romance gone bad. I'd like to say I learned something from this but things are so messed-up that the only thing I've learned is that I'm staying out of the way of future train-wrecks by remaining far removed from any moral support from now on. I would normally conclude from this situation that there's absolutely no hope for an old geeky computer guy. However, my friend "Speck" who got me started writing here in the first place seems to have the right formula for making things work. Thank goodness something is going right.
The sun is also setting on a tradition I looked forward to every year: My ex-boss' (Dan's) Christmas party. This is the last year he said he's going to do this, and I can't say I blame him. It's a lot of work to do to prepare, and we've all gotten separated since his retirement. I'm hoping for something new next year that I can embrace as much as I have this. What I enjoyed about this party was the fact that I could completely relax and be myself. It is a fairly simple and easy going get-together at Dan and his wife's home. Everyone brought something, and most of us would sit around, eat, and chat about old times and neat stuff we were doing. It was one of the few times I could honestly say that I came home more refreshed than when I arrived. The world needs more parties like this. The stuffy corporate dress-up-and-get-drunk party is the antithesis to this and what made me hate Christmas parties in the past. So my thanks to Dan for all the great times we had every year, and here's hoping we can establish a new tradition next year in the same spirit. They will be tough shoes to fill.
With that said, it's time to sit down and chat with a bunch of nice felines waiting for a good home. It has been said that, "Everything I needed to know about life I learned from my cat." I'm about to go gather some wisdom.