22 June 2010

Begob, I'm back at it

Knocked off another episode of Ulysses. This one has poor Bloom subjected to some racist abuse by a fellow known only as "the citizen." Bloom makes a pitch for universal love and speaks of the injustices heaped upon Jews worldwide. The passages describing events are told in over-wrought parodies of various writing styles, everything from traditional sagas to the society pages. Long lists of names, satirizing Irish mythology, Church saints, clergymen, royal families, and the like pepper the pages. How about this one: Senor Hidalgo Caballero Don Pecadillo y Palabras y Paternoster de la Malora de la Malaria. It's like Damon Runyon and William S. Burroughs helped Hunter S. Thompson write a chapter in a Donald E. Westlake comic crime caper. My favorite part is about brewing beer, and seems like just an aside (but you can never be sure with Joyce) when the bartender brings a drink ("a crystal cup full of the foaming ebon ale"):

For they garner the succulent berries of the hop and mass and sift and bruise and brew them and they mix therewith sour juices and bring the must to the sacred fire and cease not night and day from their toil, those cunning brothers, lords of the vat.

I like that--lords of the vat. Beats lords of the dance, eh?

06 June 2010

New computer!

Upgrading was the theme for this weekend. I bought a new Dell, an XPS 9000 with a 24" monitor which I'm using right now. I took the 5-year old Dell E510 and added 1 GB of RAM and a PCI wireless card. That machine has been moved to the other end of the house where my lovely bride can use it. Everything went swimmingly! The new machine is fast and quiet, and the old machine is still humming along. I realize that Dells are kind of like Fords--safe and predictable and even boring--but I'm pretty excited that everything came together "right out of the box." I'm also happy the old computer is useful, as there is too much digital junk already in this world. When I set up the first system, it asked me for a "name." At the time I had a sheet of Greta Garbo 37-cent stamps on my desk. Yes, I keep stamps on my desk. I'm currently featuring "Cowboys of the Silver Screen" with Tom Mix, Gene Autry, William S. Hart, and Roy Rogers, as well as "Legends of Hollywood" with Katherine Hepburn, all 44-cents. I slapped one of the Garbos on the box and called it "Greta." When it came time to name the new computer, I was stumped. Rummaging around in my odds-and-ends pile, I found two unused Garbos, so I called the new box "GRETA2." Take a look--who could resist that face?