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Monday, Oct. 15, 2001
Having a DSL modem is like being tucked into a Formula 1 car for a milk and bread run to the Piggly Wiggly.

There really are grocery stores called Piggly Wiggly around these parts, honest.

Once you get used to DSL, dial-up can never again be listed as the cause of your lumbago. You stay clean shaven because, lets face it, waiting for a dial-up download does tend to perpetuate beard growth.

One thing I noticed though, and it probably has a lot to do with my own creeping ignorance, is font size. On my dial-up account (yes, I still have one), fonts for normal reading material are generally not less than 12 pt., which is fine. DSL seems to shrink things. Not a few diaries, for a topical example, appear to be written in a 6 pt. font. Particularly those from young writers with a bent toward artistic creativity.

Elderly readers such as myself have to lean so far forward into the screen to read this fine print that our teeth fall out.

If I had to hazard a guess I'd say it has a lot to do with default screen resolution sizes. But if you ever have to read purple 6 pt. text on a red background you'd swear it was all a cosmic plot to drive you ever closer to the dementia ward.

I kept the dial-up account because of my firm and unwavering belief that all things new are to be regarded with suspicion for a period of not less than one year. After that they're no longer new and can be mangled and casually, even benignly dismissed from the spotlight. DSL is lightning fast, but like anything that exists for speed it has quirks and maintenance problems. Think of it as a thoroughbred horse. You've got to keep it in a special stall and feed it the nice, clean oats, put a special blanket on it, clean and groom often, so that when you let it out to run it doesn't look and perform like the mule you keep in the field for occasional plowing.

Nothing like taking a cold shower. The hot water heater here at the house of Outfoxed died a slow death on Thursday. It didn't rupture and spew water everywhere, it just sorta faded away. It's amazing how unpopular you become with your children, and how quickly, when the routine of warm water for scrubbing and lathering comes to a halt. Stinky kids suddenly were spending a lot of time at their more progressive friends houses, where hot showers and other fancy conveniences awaited them.

They're so disloyal. Why, back when I was a boy...(editors note: Gag order was swiftly imposed on the ruminating and drool covered author).

I'd invent a funny anecdote about how a new heater was installed but it was really pretty routine. Stu and I fetched one from the store, performed all the proper tests and precautions and dispatched the problem in a professional and timely manner. It involved less than a case of beer, which is pretty darn fast for the two of us on a weekend mission. My children were alerted and have been filing back into the house in search of the clothes which now are piled up to be washed in the laundry room.

They have some nerve to expect them to be washed 15 minutes after the new heater was installed. Now, in my day...(editors note: gesticulating wildly, the smelly and beer besotted author was dragged away from the keyboard for a 24 hour lockdown).

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