Apologies for the prolonged absence. Back in October I began to experience technical difficulties: after a few hours of non-use, my monitor would go into sleep mode and would refuse to awaken unless the computer was shut off and turned on again. A minor inconvenience, so I learned to live with it. Then in early November -- election night, as it so happens -- the monitor started going to sleep while the computer was still in use. I'm right in front of it, typing away, and then... nothing. "Monitor Going to Sleep," it said.
Going against my tendency to throw money at the problem -- the economy and all that -- I endured the painful procedure of following the slow steps in my computer's protection plan. (I did pay for this contingency, after all.) I shipped the monitor off to parts unknown, and tried another to use in the meantime. No dice. I decided the problem was the PC itself: maybe the video card, maybe the whole motherboard. Once reimbursed for the monitor, I purchased a new one and tested my theory. Still no picture. I had to wait a few more weeks for a contractually obligated service technician to order likely parts and stop by, sight unseen.
He came today. It was, indeed, a bad video card. The new one has the computer working, at least for now, but the TV tuner does not. I'll probably have to upgrade; recommendations are welcome.
Come back soon for the fruits of some much-needed online activity. Reviews of Slumdog Millionaire and Valkyrie. Developments in college basketball. And I may get around to some end-of-year summations. But I'm woefully out of practice.