Mom's TV quit working, so we had to go buy a new one. Aside from small appliance stores which invariably charge the list price for everything, the only place in this town that sells full-sized television sets is K-Mart, which had nothing appropriate. We ended up going all the way to Chico, where (after hunting in several stores) I found a 20' Panasonic on closeout at Circuit City. I had never been there before, and feared that it might be like Best Buy, the noisy, badly-lighted, poorly-staffed, hyper-air-conditioned place where I bought Sluggo's monitor. (Best Buy reminds me of nothing so much as a very lame night club patronized by masses of dorky college boys and a handful of high school girls who come to laugh at them.) But Circuit City turned out to be much more pleasant, as though it had actually been designed as a retail store where people actually bought things rather than just hanging out, sampling video games and hoping to get lucky.
Anyway, the whole adventure, from making the arrangements to go to getting the machine set up and running took about four hours. Not that I could have been doing anything else of importance all that time. It was way too hot for Sluggo today, anyway. It was even hotter in Chico that it was here, and the trip down the Skyway revealed the valley filled with haze. Sutter Buttes were barely visible. A darker streak of haze rose at an angle from Chico itself -- the town's pollution drifting on the afternoon breeze. A much larger and darker patch in the south marked the edge of a smog cloud approaching from Sacramento. I'll probably have bad dreams about it.
Someday soon, I'll have to venture back to Chico to hunt for Sluggo's replacement. I'm not looking forward to it. I've noticed the mouse getting wonky in recent days. Crap. Everything in this house is falling apart.