May 20, 2005

Wandering the Galaxy

The end-parts of my week have been crazy indeed. I journeyed to Marion, IN on Wednesday night with a friend to meet up with most of my friends from church. They were still in session at Indiana Wesleyan and Taylor Universities, so my friend Ben and I set out on the two-hour drive in his new-to-him Volvo stationwagon.
Unfortunately we had only traversed half the distance when a cloud of steam errupted from under the hood. We pulled to the side of the road to discover a hose had blown off the engine. We had stopped in front of a machine shop and were able to quickly secure a hose clamp to affix the hose in its proper location. When we started the vehicle we discovered a second hose had burst deep inside.
Ben called his parents and they set out to rescue us. They delivered a nice pickup truck (non-rusty) and we continued on our journey. After nearly hitting a deer we finally arrived at the IWU campus. Pizza, Mountain Dew, and lots of crazy people converged. The movie was enjoyable, but not that memorable. I relegate it to the "well done, fun, and at times intriguing" list of movies.

Fast-forward to Friday morning: I stand at straggly wire fence in Dayton Ohio, surrounded by shivering, anxious ham radio operators. The moody sky threatens rain, but I clutch a trusty umbrella at my side. A security guard says the word and I move with a mass of radio-happy hams into the country's largest flea market for computer and radio parts. While my Dad, a hard-core operator, scans transceivers and attends talks on digital shortwave, I move quickly down row after row of outdoor vendors, scanning for sweet deals and cool things in general. I have only two purchases to make here, but I am hopeful that I will find something generally cool. An AGP VIVO and TV tuner card hops into my bag within the first few minutes. I am pleased, but also annoyed that I was too eager to barter. I decide my next purchase will be a read bargain. As I walk I note flat-panel displays. Bruised 15" TFT's sell for 3 figures and the occasional 17" lies in the rain for $35 marked "As is". I don't bite.
Then I see it: a Princeton 17" standing neatly inside its clear plastic bag. In contrast to the drab used joysticks and sound cards lying about, this TFT glints pristinely in the early morning glow. I move closer, and the sweet flatness softly whispers my name. It is lonely, unappreciated. Morose. I pass a warm hand over its brow, comforting the flawless surface with words of digital cheer. The dealer looks up at me, a half-intelligent look flits briefly across his face.
"It has some wierd connector, doesn't work with anything."
I can feel the plastic under my palm stiffen at the insult. I glance quickly at the suspect connector. Its DVI. This is my morning.
I speak kind words to the display and shrewd words to the dealer. Three minutes later I am cradling my new friend in the cold foggy wind and the dealer is counting 13% less than his asking price. I remember why I love Dayton.

Posted by Moore at May 20, 2005 08:39 PM