Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Monday Mishmash (II)

Because while it may be early Tuesday on the East Coast, it's Monday night somewhere.

***

Damien Cox has written an eminently reasonable piece on the subject of visors in the NHL.

Since I'm not eminently reasonable, I'll say what he didn't: you're a damned fool to play hockey without a visor.

I can't even begin to fathom why people would occupy the same patch of ice as a high-velocity slab of frozen rubber without face protection. I see so many injuries in slow-pitch softball that I think face masks ought to be mandatory for umpires and catchers in that game. (I'm the only umpire I know who does wear one. It paid for itself the first time a foul ball bounced off it.) And these people are playing hockey without so much as a sheet of plastic over their faces? Yegods.

***

I haven't read as much as I ought to on the Harriet Miers nomination. But that's not going to prevent me from having an opinion.

What really bugs me, more than the fact that she's largely an unknown, more than the questions over her conservative credentials, more than the concerns over her judicial qualifications, more even than the general alarm I feel whenever Democratic members of Congress approve of a Bush nomination, is that she was chosen because she is a she.

Since when did it become necessary for one female justice to be replaced by another? Why should the primary qualification for Sandra Day O'Connor's replacement be gender? When did Supreme Court racial and gender quotas get written into the Constitution? Have I missed something here?

Thurgood Marshall was replaced by Clarence Thomas. When in the fullness of time Justice Thomas departs the court, he will be replaced by another black person, regardless of whether there is another jurist of a different race more qualified.

Is a court composed only of white men the best court we can have? It might be, if those are the nine finest jurists in the land. If all are equal before the law, if the law is truly blind to color and gender, then the color and gender of those who enforce and interpret the law should not matter.

Is the law truly blind? Probably not. It's an imperfect institution. Is it good to have a mix of races and genders on the court? Maybe. To what extent do these differing backgrounds color (sorry) their perspectives on the law? I don't know. I'm not a lawyer. One in the family is enough.

But Harriet Miers? C'mon. Five hundred thousand lawyers in this country and she's the best? Not sold.

***

My beloved Apple Pro Mouse finally gave up the ghost over the weekend. I fear it may have gotten hold of some bad cheese. It had been acting up for a while, but I had put off buying a replacement, because I have this strange aversion to spending money I don't have to.

This was, as you will learn, a mistake.

Today I went to my friendly neighborhood Apple store to buy a replacement. The current version is white, not black, but that's okay. I don't believe in racial quotas for computer mice, either.

So I get to the store and look on the mouse racks.

And I look.

And I look.

And I look.

And I do not see the mouse I want.

Hmm.

I grab a salesman. Have you a mouse of this type? This type, right here, the one you have a dozen of attached to demonstration computers but precisely zero on the shelf.

We do not. Apple discontinued them.

They what?

Apple discontinued them.

I believe he saw the panic setting in. Would you like me to call the other area stores and ask if they have any left?

Oh, yes. Yes. Please. Yes.

Neither other store has them.

Can you sell me one of the mice currently in use on a demo computer?

Afraid not.

Darn it. Okay. Got to have a mouse. Cast about for an alternative. Settle on the Kensington PilotMouse Optical.

I can bring this back if I hate it, right?

Fourteen days.

Okay.

I get it home. I take it out. I plug and play. Yes! I have a mouse! I have merged back onto the information superhighway!

There is a problem.

I hate my new mouse.

It is an inoffensive little mouse, really. Well, actually, it is not little. This is part of the problem. I am used to the smooth plastic of the Pro Mouse, which fits so snugly into my hand, as though it were designed for my very hand. The PilotMouse is not smooth and does not fit snugly. It is quite rubbery and quite large and it is meant to be gripped, rather than becoming an extension of the hand. I find myself holding in the same way as I held the Pro Mouse, but what was familiar and intimate with the Pro Mouse is tentative and uncomfortable with the PilotMouse. And because it sits twice as high as my Pro Mouse, its position on the rollout part of my desk where it sits with the keyboard means that my hand scrapes against the underside of the desktop. Which I do not appreciate.

Another of the PilotMouse's less endearing traits is the funky shape of the clicking area. Whereas the whole of the Pro Mouse acts as a button, the PilotMouse has a strange U-shaped pad with two finger-width buttons and a wheel in the middle of the U. I have no strong feelings about wheeled mice, one way or the other, although this one does seem rather wasteful of space. But being a left-handed clicker and an Apple loyalist, I do have strong feelings about two-button mice. I do not like them. Not at all. Not on my Mac, thank you very much.

So I am searching for a Pro Mouse. Perhaps some retailer, somewhere, has one left. Perhaps someone out there has one they no longer need. And, if all else fails, maybe I can even repair it.

My poor mouse. I am afraid I yelled at it quite loudly when it was dying. Come back, Apple Pro Mouse, come back...

***

DC can be a very uptight city, I observed to one of our regular customers at the hobby shop on Sunday as we talked of cities we had been, and cities we might go.

Yes, he replied, but there are places in it that are not. You just have to find them.

And I got to thinking, and I said, you are right, and this is one of them. An oasis in the DC desert. A place of relaxation for customers and employees alike, because I do truly love my job. I am blessed in that. Many people have one job they hate. I have two I love. I must remember that, whenever I think on the things I do not like about this city, and think of leaving it.

Not that I won't leave it, necessarily. But time erases the bad and accentuates the good. When I remember this city, I will remember the good things I had, the good things which I have now. I must enjoy them now, because one day it may be that I will not have them, and I should not rush the leaving of the good so that I can escape the bad.

Because life is, after all, pretty darn good.

2 Comments:

Blogger Anon_e_mouse said...

I fear it may have gotten hold of some bad cheese.

Are you sure it didn't just get downwind of your dog when he was cutting the cheese?

12:30 AM  
Blogger Raven Madden said...

is life good?

11:35 PM  

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