Once you get used to a two-monitor workspace, anything else feels like doing jumping jacks in a phone booth. I have my main iMac, and an enormous 30” display I got at a ridiculously low price many years ago, and right then and there you may have snagged a sleeve on the phrase many years ago. Because, yeah. This morning it did not turn on.

This has happened before, and usually reseating the cords and turning everything on and off for good measure brings it back to life. Not this time. Hmm. Well, I have a spare 27” monitor saved for just such emergencies, and often times just bringing it up from the basement will shame the big monitor into working. I lugged it up, plugged it in: nothing.

Ah. Hmm. Check the control panel for DISPLAYS; the computer is seeing the other monitor. Plug in the 30”: same thing. It sees, yet it displays not. Next step: get out the mothballed MacPro from many years ago, and try the monitor. Nothing. Try the other monitor: nothing. What’s the similarity in all scenarios? The power supply.

Only one way to be sure, and that’s go to the Apple Store and have them hook it up to something. Made an appointment online, with DISPLAY as the device and PLUGGED IN BUT DOES NOT SHOW IMAGES or something like that as the problem.

At the store the check-in person said “did you back everything up to a hard drive or iCloud?”

I wanted to say “yes, I took a picture of the monitor and emailed it to myself.” Because this is about a monitor; doesn’t it say that?

Genius swings by in a few minutes. I should note that the salespeople at this store have always been charming and friendly, but the Geniuses can be real pieces of work. The attitude seems to be if you need my help you are beneath me, because you cannot fix it and I can, and it’s probably something stupid you did or didn’t do, and I have to put up with crap like you day in and day out and not reveal my contempt. The Genius asks:

“Do you have your Mac?”

Which I obviously don’t, because there is a distinct lack of Mac in front of me. Just a white power brick. For the monitor. Which is what it said when I checked in. Which is what I told the check-in person.

I said no, I think it’s my power supply. He looks at it and looks at me and since no one says anything I guess I’ll go first.

“I think I have a defective power supply. I have a Cinema display running off a 2013 iMac. It won’t turn on. But the iMac sees it -

The Genius was looking away to the front of the store; if you wanted to paint a picture of someone who is not listening to you, his posture would be Plate No. 1 in an art instruction manual. So I waited. Upon noting the lack of blah blah blah from the supplicant, he looks back.

“I tested the power supply on another Cinema display, and same thing - it didn’t light up, and -“

He’s looking away again. I stop. He looks back, faintly annoyed. “I’ll get some equipment,” he says. He walks away. Comes back a bit later with a cord, and plugs it into the power supply. Walks away.

Never comes back.

Another Genius comes over and says “what seems to be the problem?”

I note that the other guy was helping me, that one there with the red knit cap.

“He was probably just checking you in. What’s the problem?”

Criminey. Did he hand me off to someone else because I was so petty as to request that he at least pretend to be listening to me?

I explain my problem, and note that I’m telling him this just to eliminate all other possibilities. It is not the computer, it is not the cords, it is no the plug. The only constant in all the failure scenarios is this white brick, right here.

So he gets another computer and hooks it up, and to his evident surprise, I’m right. I can almost see the spark of annoyance: this SOB is correct. He says they don’t carry the power supply any more, and in fact it’s discontinued. Maybe they’re for sale online somewhere.

He starts typing and typing and I don’t know what he’s doing; some Apple parts database, internal network. I get out my phone and find the power supply, refurbished for a ridiculous amount of money.

“Ebay maybe,” he finally says. I ask if this power input here, this little rounded connector, if this is Apple only, or if there are other power supplies that use it. I mean, it’s possible; you never know. He dismisses the question and says no such thing exists. Sorry man.

And we’re done!

I’d been considering an upgrade to the 4K iMac anyway, but first, let’s check out other monitors. You never know. Best Buy is close, so I swing over. The only possible replacement is so lightweight and flimsy it would wobble if you typed the word “STRONG BREEZE” on its screen. I can’t really tell how good the picture is, though.


Every monitor at Best Buy’s flagship store is turned off. Everyone one of them is jet black. Because people who wanted to buy a monitor wouldn’t be interesting in seeing if it looked like a 1965 picture tube smeared with Vaseline, would they? Heck no. Why, that cheap plastic thing’s by H-P! Say no more!

Let me cut to the chase here, but note first that the phrase gets more odd when you think about it. If the chase is already in progress, yes, you would cut to it. But if it is already in progress, then there's no explanation of how or why it began. Movies would be more confusing if you cut to the chase. I suppose it means "just get to the point where something happens, already."

Speaking of movies, I'm watching "Bosch," which is not a movie but appears on the same rectangular box that movies (often with chases) appear, so. I mention this for three reasons: it is still odd to toss a program from my cellphone to the TV, and the fact that it's from Amazon is even more odd. Everything blurs and melds. But not fast enough.

2. The actor who plays Bosch doesn't fit how I saw the character; I saw a square head with a moustache. But Titus Welliver is impressive, and reminds me of Miguel Ferrar's bigger, meaner brother.

3. I think plots are Connelly's strong point; the books are almost entirely devoted to the story in one way or another, and that's a tall order for a medium that requires so much dialogue. I'll just note that I wasn't bored for a second and look forward to the second episode.

Also: I finished “Broadchurch,” which I recommend. If you like 10-part murder mysteries - sorry, mardar mysteries; the main cop’s Oirish - set in English towns with multiple suspects. Didn’t overplay the cheap red herrings. Strong main characters. Satisfying conclusion, as these things go. Much more straightforward and, well, mainstream than I expected.

I understand people are hating on the second season, but I’ll watch it.

OH right, the chase, which I did not cut to. I got the iMac for this year's business tax deduction, and now I have to set it up. Yes, I could just plug in the Time Machine and dupe the machine I'm leaving behind, but there's something about a pristine computer, no? When you add things one by one it's a chance to see what you do and don't need.

Thus endeth the thrilling Wednesday account of my Tuesday. I'm very sorry.



If a serial involves outer-space - by which I mean a planet with slanted doorways and leaders who wear spangly tunics like Romans who ran glitter mines - then the story pings back and forth between the planet and Earth, depending on how tired we are of the prevailing plot. Last week our heroes were on the Moon. What’s up for this installment?

Okay, they were being frozen by the Frozen Death. What skill and derring-do will they employ to get out of this fix?

The Queen, she has a little sneaker for Brick, it seems. The name alone seems to interest her. The Earth women are not impressed by her moves.

And Brick's like, nah, she's a Moon chick and even the gauze doesn't mask her breath:

The prisoners are led by the Fat Guard (who was the bad guy in our first serial, you might recall) to meet the Main Bad Guy, who wants Brick’s help in defeating the Exiles. The head bad guy - Zuntar, I believe - introduces him to one of the interchangeable earth bad guys, who went through the Crystal Door to go to the moon, as you expect creitnous gangsters to do.

“Small solar system,” Brick quips. He agrees to leadFat Guard to the Exile’s HQ to arrange their destruction. The war party consists of Fat Guard and Brick. Fistfight! Brick runs away and rejoins Dr. Tyvek and the Exiles, because the safe thing to do after escaping an attempt to lead the bad guys to the Exiles’ base is to run directly to the Exiles’ base.

But! Dr. Tyvak has developed, on the moon, a small version of his Interceptor Ray, so they can kill all the bad guys by vaporizing their bodies and reducing the Moon population to about 40 people.

Works reasonably well, although there are no vaporizations.

Fat Guard gives up and says Run Away, and Zuntar figures he’s licked, and they must evaluate the palace. The evil guards surrender; the Exiles occupy Luna City; Brick - who, remember, began this thing tasked to protect the doctor he’s now dragging around the moon in a CIVIL WAR, goes after Zuntar, because otherwise there’s bugger-all for a plot. After a brief struggle, Zuntar runs, figuring this is probably his Mussolini moment if he doesn’t make some distance between himself and the angry people with knives and guns, and an exciting chase across the moon follows.


But enough of this; time to kill the guy and get on with the next half of the serial.

Brick and the gang say goodbye to their Exiles friends, then everyone heads back to the place where they go through the Crystal Door to return to Earth.

We have never seen this before. How did Tyvek build it? Ahh, doesn’t matter. When Brick comes to, the whole gang is being held at gunpoint by The Criminals! Gosh, what now?

He is a Dude of Action. Other men follow his lead.

Everyone escapes except Dr. Tymak, and since he has the Lunarium, it doesn’t matter. The Criminals will be able to build Death Rays and rule the world, or at least most of Brooklyn. Brick and the gang put together a strategy for freeing Dr. T, and so what began on the moon with a major civil war now ends with Brick walking around an empty lab with a pistol, having never slept, eaten, or moved his bowels in days. There’s a big fistfight in the lab, and something gets knocked over:

Brick is defeated through treachery and knocked unconscious, after which the main Criminal shoots him in the head to be sure. Nah. Runs away. And so:

Tune in next week as Brick wakes screaming, flesh and bone dissolving!

Probably a work blog; surely tumblr. See you around.


blog comments powered by Disqus