Yesterday I went to check my email and was intending to do some updates on this site, but my monitor was in darkness. Assuming there was a power outage I rebooted the computer, it beeped away sounding off Microsoft’s welcoming theme  …. but the monitor remained in darkness.
I determined that it was dead! In this age of throw aways and redundancies those things happen. I suppose we are expected to buy two of everything when we do in preparation for the day that the first will expire, not a very practical solution, but one that might work.
I had a million things that needed to be done yesterday, a trip to the local Office Depot was out of the question …. a new monitor whould have to wait a day.
But, this wee episode and inconvenience gave me a chance to reflect on the things we take for granted; electricity for one. It gave me time to reflect on the plight of our Brothers and Sisters living in the Gaza Strip whose electricity is turned off regularly by the occupiers. A monitor in darkness is nothing compared to that. A day without emailing or blogging is a frustrating experience, but not life threatening.
All of the above reminded me of the blackout we had in New York City in the early 60’s. I posted about a wonderful experience I had then and want to share it with you all again in case you missed it …

A DesertPeace Editorial

In the early 60’s I shared an apartment in Lower Washington Heights/Upper Spanish Harlem with my best friend Tommy. It was mainly a Hispanic community at the time, quite lively and musical 24/7.


On the street level of our building was a row of stores, one being a ‘Bodega’, a Spanish style grocery store. If I ever ran out of essentials that’s where I shopped…. and was always carefully scrutinized by the owners. Two brothers owned the store, two Polish Jews who had been to hell and back in nazi occupied Poland.
Both of these guys were very distrustful of their clients and carefully watched them through mirrors strategically posted on the upper walls. Both assumed that I was a Puerto Rican, therefore I was a potential shoplifter in their eyes.
In November of 1965, New York City went dark, as did most of the Northeastern States. After a few minutes, it became obvious that it wasn’t just a blown fuse in the building and phone calls indicated that we might remain in darkness for quite a while…
Rather than panic, I ran downstairs to the Bodega and asked if they had ‘Yahrtzeit’ candles…. Yahrtzeit candle was the Yiddish term used for memorial candles that came in a glass and burned for 24 hours. The shopkeeper was shocked that I (a Puerto Rican) knew the Yiddish name for those candles and asked how I knew that word. I told him in perfect Yiddish that it was the language spoken in my home by my parents. His response being ” So you are not a Puerto Rican?” I asked if that would make a difference as far as him watching every move I made while shopping in his store. “Of course it will”, he responded….
At that point I felt obligated to remind him of the discrimination he and his brother experienced in Poland, asking him why he was doing the same to others. We had a long conversation about it and they agreed that the distrust they felt was not justified in any way and they would try to change their attitudes, which they did….In Poland it was distrust and fear that led to hatred, it was hatred that led to genocide…. opening one’s heart and mind can prevent that….
All because a memorial candle lit the way for them.
Bottom line is that I have a new monitor (only bought one btw) so I’m back 🙂


  1. adamaw75 said,

    July 11, 2012 at 12:25

    Thanks! It’s a moving and meaningful story.

  2. Toodledoo said,

    July 11, 2012 at 19:49

    “I determined that it was dead!”

    You will find that what is dead is a cheap component that has overheated/worn out (it’s often a capacitor or two in the power supply circuit).

    A competent electrical engineer with a multi-meter and soldering iron should be able to fix it for 1/10th the price of buying a new monitor. There is probably one near your local market trading as a TV repair man.

  3. dave said,

    July 11, 2012 at 20:17

    That’s a touching story & has a good lesson in it, but the fact remains that some groups steal more, rape more & assault more than others, therefore we’d be fools to switch off this built-in safety mechanism for our survival.

  4. desertpeace said,

    July 11, 2012 at 21:32

    the fact remains that some groups steal more, rape more & assault more than others,
    so true, just look at the State of Israel!

  5. robert said,

    July 11, 2012 at 23:26

    “so true, just look at the State of Israel!” And so it goes. One of the nicest people I know lives in Israel and one of the least nice people I know lives in Israel. And so, they are just like the rest of us- Their nation determines how we perceive the mass of them. But they are led by their society or resist the views of their society as do we.

  6. uninformedluddite said,

    July 12, 2012 at 08:14

    Like Toddledoo said it is probably a capacitor (they seem to be made of weaker stuff these days). It may even be able to be visually assessed as to which is stuffed making it a very cheap repair. If you are prepared to solder (not hard)

  7. jack said,

    July 13, 2012 at 00:41

    On youtube: the lightbulb conspiracy.

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