Wednesday, November 14, 2001

Well. I’ve never had this happen before, and I’ve no idea how to respond.

Saalon reports in today’s diary entry that he’s now ready to start writing Wine. All the pieces are in place, except for one thing: He’s frightened to death of it. He’s never written anything like this — a lengthy work that requires my review and approval, and that I’ll pay him for — and that gives him the jitters.

So, I want to calm his fears, but how? Do I tell him that I trust him? Do I tell him that I asked him to write this because I knew he would do a dazzling job (I didn’t think he could; I knew)? Do I send him a gift? Do I tell him to take his time?

That latter option is more complicated than it might seem. I’ve been working on Wine for a year and a half; I want to push it forward now. At the same time, I want to ensure that nobody working on the project feels pressured. I have no deadlines, after all.

So, I do want Saalon to move forward, without pressuring him. What do I do?

Well, he’ll read this diary entry at some point, I’m sure. (Hi!) That’ll help. But I still want to help him get over this initial fear, even though it is normal for any writer venturing into new territory.

Well. Enough about that. Let me describe yesterday’s events.

My parents had decided to buy a big-screen TV for our newly-redecorated den. Mom and I drove from store to store, looking at different options. It came down to a decision between two TVs: a regular big-screen TV, and a flat-panel widescreen TV. The widescreen TV was slightly wider than the regular TV, but had a lower resolution than the regular TV. The widescreen was also only HDTV-ready, while the regular TV was already HDTV-compatible.

I voted for the regular big-screen TV simply because of picture quality, but Mom (and Dad, via celphone) wanted the flatscreen. Unfortunately, the store had none of the flatscreens left, except for the display model. After knocking $1,000 off the price tag for the display model, we bought it.

As part of our discussions regarding this whole purchase, I had volunteered to buy a Dolby surround-sound home theater audio system if they bought the TV. This was a cavalier decision on my part, since I’m strapped for cash. But, I’d promised, so I bought a Sony surround-sound system. I winced as I bought what could have been a plane ticket to Saalon’s.

By this point the store was closing, but the employees were kind enough to load the TV into the back of our Pathfinder. We brought it home and began setting it up.

It installed onto the den wall without a problem. I hooked up the surround-sound system and managed to figure out how to turn on its built-in radio. Wow. Not only was the quality fantastic, the system can be set to simulate different environments: Large symphony hall, Jazz club, etc.

However, setting up the TV turned out to be much more difficult. See, the flatscreen TVs aren’t really TVs; they’re basically just big monitors. They can’t receive TV signals in-and-of-themselves. And, since this is a newfangled contraption, it has new jacks for the cables. The system we’d been using before — cable to VCR to TV — used old cables and won’t work any more. So, today I’m going to try to find an appropriate store and get the cables we need. Fun. Maybe I can set everything up properly tonight, though I doubt it.

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