Ordeal after ordeal

This week I’ve been facing down one ordeal after another. The biggest I’ve faced — and am still facing — is buying a new Apple computer, getting it set up, and learning to use it. My old Apple was getting slower and slower and was just plain getting rotten to its core. It wuz clearly time for a new one if I want to continue writing columns.

So, off to Best Buy in Manhattan, Kan., to buy a shiny new Apple. Apple ain’t sold many places, so my shopping options were slim. BB had a computer that I liked, so I said I’d buy it. The salesperson said they didn’t have one in stock, and it would take a few days to order one. Strangely, I wuz looking at two identical computers on the counter, but the company “couldn’t” sell off the showroom floor.

So, I took my old computer home while waiting for the new one to arrive. I wrote one last column on the balky old critter. Then, a few days later when my new computer arrived, I took my old one back to have all its info transferred on to the hard drive of my new one, plus have all my “stuff” archived on to my backup storage units.

Well, that process took more than three days and I didn’t get to pick up my new one until last evening. The delay made me miss my deadline for my faithful readers of The Fence Post in Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming. Sorry ’bout that, folks, but “stuff” happens in life that I can’t control.

When I unpacked the new Apple, I discovered that I could write columns, but I needed new cords to hook up to my backup storage. So, that will require another trip to Best Buy to get the cords I need.

But, there is good news to report. The new computer and its programs and emails are fast as lightning, and for that I’m thankful. It also has hundreds of new features that I don’t need at all, but that’s most likely due to my advancing age. The new keyboard is a bit different than my old one and that puts me on a slow learning curve.

All in all, I’m happy with my new computer — at least so far.


My second ordeal involved getting some device to help me hear television programming better. My hearing aids weren’t getting the job done alone. So, one of the times while I wuz in BB, I bought some expensive Sony wireless headphones. When I got them home, we couldn’t get them to work. 

So, the next time I went to BB, the tech-savvy folks there couldn’t get the headphones to work either. So, I spent another $20 and moved up a quality notch to the Insignia brand of headphones. They are working as good as I can expect considering how poor my hearing is these days. 


Someone e-mailed me some funnies last week and one of them caught my fancy. It showed a medical doctor instructor at the white board in front of a classroom full of students just entering medical school.

The instructor had written just one line on the whiteboard. It read: “Always remember that a patient cured is a paying customer lost!”

But, after I finished chuckling to myself, it got me to thinking how true that statement is and wondering how widely it applied. I wonder how badly the medical community really wants to “cure” diseases, considering the billions of dollars being spent on “cure” research. 

The same business logic surely applies in agriculture, too. Cures impact profits.


If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve probably noticed that the inflation in the economy involves more than direct higher and higher prices. It also involves what I call “shrinkflation.” It involves paying the same price for less of the product.

Nevah and I enjoy eating ice cream products. These days, ice cream containers that used to be filled to the brim now have about an inch of vacant space at the top. The ice cream bars we eat are about 2/3 as wide and thick as they used to be. Before long, we’ll be buying chocolate covered wooden sticks charading as ice cream bars.

Keep your eyes open. You’ll see “shrinkflation” everywhere.


Ever wonder why diesel fuel prices are so much higher than plain ol’ gasoline?

I think this is the answer: The government and the energy industry know that everyone feels the pinch from higher gasoline prices. It’s personal to them.

Higher-priced diesel fuel is a sneaky, hoodwinking way to pass along higher distribution costs to the public without folks realizing it. Trucking companies and railroads pass along higher diesel price by tacking it on in their shipping costs. We consumers pay the freight, literally, when we buy transported products. Too few of us realize what’s happening to us.


Nevah and I voted Tuesday in the local election in Riley. I must say, the process of casting a vote these days has little in common to marking a paper ballot with a lead pencil — my preferred way to vote.

Now voting involves an electronic voting machine that ends up printing my ballot after I cast my votes on a computer screen. The new process supposedly makes the vote more secure. I hope that’s true.


Words of wisdom for the week: “Every man needs a wife because many things go wrong in life that he can’t blame on the government.”

How true! Have a good ‘un.

More Like This, Tap A Topic