A few Mondays ago I asked whether you’d choose to leave your country or your spouse. I assume you’d leave your country – though it’s certainly a rotten choice to have to make.

Here’s a less obvious – if less momentous – choice, and one I face today: Would you click here to install Microsoft’s Windows Installer Cleanup Utility?

That click takes you to a page from which you can download the utility; but it begins with this warning:

Warning The Windows Installer CleanUp Utility is provided “as is” to help resolve installation problems for programs that use Microsoft Windows Installer. If you use this utility, you may have to reinstall other programs. Caution is advised.

Caution? You mean, install it . . . very slowly? Wearing goggles?

I face this question because I have seen 10,000 full-page newspaper ads for the Sprint mobile card that works 5X faster than the competition in 2X as many places. Eager to be able to email and Google even on the train to Washington, and to save the $10 a night in hotel rooms – and to have an alternative connection when my cable goes out – I signed up.

Not long afterward, I received my nifty USB Novatel Wireless Ovation U720 and inserted the setup disk to install it.

Well, I have a very arcane setup. I use an operating system called Windows XP on a laptop called an IBM ThinkPad – there can’t be many like me – and so at the very end of the installation process it gave a completely incomprehensible error message that required an hour on the phone with Sprint to report.

The Sprint rep decided it was a Microsoft error message . . . looked something up . . . and advised download of the afore-referenced installer cleanup utility.

If I downloaded it, it might clear up the installation snag. ‘Good luck,’ he said.

So? What would you advise? Risk it? Bag it? Currently, I lean toward throwing it all out the Window and buying a laptop with wireless already built in. But I await your advice. If no further columns appear in this space, I took your advice and it wrecked my computer.


The old line used to be: ‘When you have nothing to say, say nothing.’ That was modified to the more helpful, ‘When you have nothing nice to say, come sit by me.’ But on this page, the operative instruction is: ‘When you have nothing at all to say, post something about Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs.’

So here you go. This time, it’s a short video.


This new website, devoted to examples of how Republican rule disadvantages ordinary citizens, begins with a story of how it disadvantages their hounds.


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