Today my monitor blew up.
It was a turn-of-the-century Apple 17-inch Studio Display, and it worked well enough I suppose, until I turned it on this morning and a gigantic spark shot across the screen and out the top grill, leaving a puff of acrid, black smoke in its wake.
For a moment I considered moving back to my old 12-inch iBook (circa 2001), but its screen is slowly failing too, and it feels frustratingly pokey, even compared to the less-than-muscular Mac mini I’ve been using as my main computer for the past year. So this afternoon I headed down to Tukwila to shop for a new monitor.
I immediately gravitated towards a crisp 20-inch widescreen HDTV LCD, that at 1366×768 native resolution would have given me more screen real estate than my old display, while tuning in a number of HD channels over the air. But at $399.00, I just couldn’t justify the purchase. Next I checked out LCD monitors, but the big screens were even pricier than the televisions, while the 17- and 19-inch screens just didn’t feel like enough of an upgrade to make them worth the two to three hundred dollar price.
I’d never really liked switching from the iBook’s small but comfortable LCD back to the larger but less ergonomic CRT, and had long coveted a large LCD for my desktop. But the truth is, my personal finances are more than a bit precarious at the moment, and so at the end of the day I reluctantly found myself at RE:PC buying a used 19-inch CRT for $24.95. The colors are a bit washed out, and the image is fuzzy around the edges, but it works, and I guess that’s good enough.
Well… actually, the monitor kinda sucks. But it was cheap.
The past few years have been an extraordinary experience, immensely gratifying in nearly every way except financial, and while it is a relief to have some steady income from the KIRO gig, two nights a week does not make ends meet and is far from enough to help pull me out of the financial hole I’ve dug for myself. Everything in my life — my house, my car, my clothes, my body — is falling apart, and well… as I stare at these words on my fuzzy new/old screen, it’s just kinda depressing.
Don’t get me wrong. I love what I do, and given the choice I’d do it all over again. (‘Cause… I’m crazy.) And I certainly plan to continue almost-full-time blogging as long as I can keep the lights on. But the City Light bill is past due, so who knows how much longer that might be?
The point is, I need cash, and so I’ve decided to do what I first should have done a couple years ago, and hold an online fundraiser. That’s right, I’m asking you, my loyal readers, to help me continue my hard work, by forking over a little or your hard earned cash.
Consider this to be HorsesAss.org’s first official pledge drive. From now through the end of the month I’ll be shamelessly begging you for money… you know, just like politicians, NPR, PBS, teenage children and… well… beggars. My goal: a modest $3500 — about enough to pay my bills for a month. Barely.
I won’t be spending the money on fancy computer equipment (though I’d love a new MacBook if anybody has one to spare)… just the mortgage, health insurance, maybe a trip to the dentist and stuff like that. Just the nuts and bolts of getting by.
It’s been a privilege doing what I do, but it takes an awful lot of hard work and time… time I probably should be spending earning a decent living. So if you enjoy HorsesAss.org, if you believe I make a contribution that’s worth continuing, then please show your appreciation the American way — by whipping out your credit card and sending me some cold, hard cash.
As always, I thank you for your support.