a cerebral monosyllable of woe
Thursday, May 14 2009
I'm finding that getting four monitors to work on a Windows XP machine, a setup I've grown accustomed to, is not actually all that easy. It's difficult to find references online as to what dual-head PCI video cards are compatible with what dual-head PCI-Express video cards, so I'm forced to experiment (as I did years ago when the technology was AGP and PCI cards). On my present setup, I had to give up on Nvidia compatibility with Nvidia, so today I took delivery of a Diablotek dual head ATI video card, assuming it would be compatible with my dual-head ATI PCI-Express card. But, not mentioned in the sales literature, this particular Diablotek card turned out to be an acursed Radeon Mobility card, and I know from experience that Raden Mobility cards are junk. Suffice it to say that this card was not, after all, compatible with my ATI PCI-Express card. Another several hours of my life wasted with nothing to show for it. I have four monitors working, but this requires three video cards (not two) and one of these doesn't power down automatically when Windows decides it's time to shut off the monitor.
Down at the greenhouse, I installed the last of the styrofoam necessary for this project. I scraped the sod and a little soil from the ground just east of the greenhouse door well (about three feet east of the greenhouse itself) and laid down some styrofoam there, just above a subterranean mass of rocks and PVC pipe I'd buried back in October as a means of heat storage. The styrofoam was intended to further isolate this mass from the atmosphere and allow it to better do its job, if I ever actually make use of it. It seemed like a good idea back when I was filling in the greenhouse's drainage ditch, but from what I know now the notion of a heat-storage unit outside the greenhouse seems problematic and unworkable. But I felt the need to honor the guy I was back when I built it, and to fully carry out this honoring, I had to lay down the styrofoam today, since landscaping the greenhouse's east side was next on the agenda.
It bears mentioning that as I work on these sorts of projects, I find myself muttering and singing to myself constantly. The contents of these vocalizations are usually a steady stream of in-references known only to me, packaged and repackaged over time into pithy little compulsions. Often they started out as deliberately-embarassing expressions of dorktastic excess, but over time they have devolved into nonsense. Why, for example, do I mutter the word "styretrofoam" instead of "styrofoam"? And when I stub my toe, why do I always cry out "ouchington!" instead of some less-cerebral monosyllable of woe? And when I screw something up, why do I say simply "oopsing" instead of "oopsington"? I suppose the compulsive use of these ornate English suffixes is a way for me to distance myself from the pure biology of pain or error, much as the affectless question "really?" defuses my inclination to fly into a rage, whether driving behind an old lady or dealing with a reluctant video driver.
Some of my vocalizations serve as a stand-in for mid-term memory, which I've noticed less of in the past years or so. I'll form a little ditty about what I'm going into the next room to do so I don't end up there wondering what I went in there to do. Other times the vocalizations serve as a kind of rhythmic framework for the task at hand. For example, I commonly repeat the nonsense word "bertle" to myself over and over as I'm doing something, often concluding with a final "berTELL." Other times I'll mutter, "Do this, then do this, then do this, then do that, then do this," as I'm going about the many steps of doing something, sometimes something as simple as fixing myself a cup of tea.
Then there's my fondness for sampling clips of dated hip-hop jargon. When, for example, I experience some minor success, it's common for me to mutter "Cold kickin' it!" to myself. And sometimes I sing that particular phrase to the melody of "Blue Collar Man" by Styx. I can't believe I'm admitting this, but it's all true.
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