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Wheel has no fortune

Although I rarely tune it in anymore, Wheel of Fortune used to be one of my favorite game shows years ago.

I was generally pretty good at it from home, but had I ever applied for the show and been selected, I probably would have been one of those who gets the $500 or $1,000 consolation prize for being there, but not accomplishing much in the process.

Over the past few weeks, a wheel has returned to my life, but this one definitely has no fortune behind it.

This wheel may be just as colorful as the Wheel of Fortune, but it brings with it the same feelings a contestant would have hitting bankrupt after accumulating a six-figure prize.

This wheel is annoying. It makes me want to scream. One co-worker even suggested its ultimate purpose is the hypnotize me.

I don’t know what its evil intentions might be behind this hypnotism, but I can assure you the wheel is up to no good.

It makes me grumble. It makes me hiss.

It throws a wrench into everything I try to accomplish.

I call this wheel “the wheel of death.”

Most of you probably won’t recognize my wheel. However, I’m sure there is an equivalent object in your life that draws the same ire. Maybe a spinning hourglass?

Oh, it may look all pretty with it’s rainbow colors and lollipop imitation, but don’t be fooled by its appearance. It has ulterior motives. There’ll be nothing sweet in the end and there’ll certainly be no pot of gold.

Okay, now that I’ve got the majority of you totally perplexed by the subject of this column, I’m not going to pull an Alfred Hitchcock on you and leave you wondering what the heck I was talking about.

A few of you out there in computer land who have a Macintosh computer may have already deduced that my wheel of death is that colorful little circle that pops up on the screen, spinning.

You know, the one that’s telling you there may be a problem – that the computer is thinking about what you or your software just did and deciding the appropriate punishment.

The wheel that invariably shows up when you’re behind schedule or in the middle of a lengthy project you’ve just realized you had forgotten to save.

I, and several other co-workers, have been plagued by that wheel over the past few weeks. After a fourth attempt to edit the same story Friday afternoon, it’s a miracle my beloved Mac isn’t shattered in pieces on the parking lot of The Southwest Times.

Now, don’t misconstrue my anger as disrespect for the Macintosh computer. Anyone who knows me well knows I’d never bad-mouth a Mac.

But, you see, everything starts to slow down and have bouts of confusion as it ages. I’m the perfect example of that.

It’s just that my 1998-model computer is reaching its retirement age.

It needs to be relaxing on a desktop, keeping company with someone who just needs to do a little word processing or light Internet browsing.

Its days of playing Photoshop and QuarkXpress or racing from servers to the Internet and back in a flash are over.

It’s not dead yet, but give it a daiquiri, a lounge chair, beach umbrella and park it by the ocean and it’ll be happy – as long as no kids kick sand on it.

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