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Real virus can’t be caught by e-mail, but diamonds can be dug

March 2, 2008
By SANDY MICKELSON, Messenger staff writer
The meanest person in all the world is the man who invented personal computers.

I’m sure he did it just to make people like me — well, me, specifically — feel stupid.

I dread the end of February because it’s the end of February when my anti-virus subscription comes due. An intrusive box comes on my screen whenever I turn on the computer saying I’ve got 25 days left until my subscription expires. Twenty days, 14 and on down till I’m facing one day left and I must do something about it. If you renew, the installation is automatic. That I know from the year I didn’t renew in time, and then it was a mess to get everything done.

Likely they think they make everything self-explanatory, a follow-the-instructions installation that will take just a few minutes. That’s not how it happens in my house.

But worse, I don’t think the anti-virus program works.

I’ve got the flu. As I write this, my eyes are watery and my muscles ache. My skin hurts. Even my hair hurts. I blame my daughter for this. For the flu, not all the rest of the junk. I got an e-mail from her the other day saying she’d gotten slammed with a 24-hour flu late in the afternoon at work. Now I have a viral infection. You do the math.

Today is her birthday, so I can’t really hurt her, but I resent this virus.

A few days back I saw Howard Jensen walking in the mall. He assures me he wasn’t following the two good-looking women ahead of him, but he looked pretty happy to be walking behind them.

Maybe he was thinking about his vacation. He and his wife, Barb, are going to dig for diamonds at the Crater of Diamonds State Park near Murfreesboro, Ark. Then they’re going to North Carolina to dig emeralds. I’d never heard of the emeralds, but I’ve been to Crater of Diamonds. Walt and I are going there this spring on our vacation.

Well, he’s coming with me because it’s our vacation, but he’s not the least bit interested in digging for diamonds. He doesn’t like to get dirt under his fingernails and he thinks the idea of throwing dirt around look for a diamond is among the lamest things to do on a vacation. Maybe so, but the eternal optimist in me loves the idea. I’ve even got the equipment to dig with. You can take in your own stuff or rent theirs.

They say going in spring is the best time because they turn over the earth in the spring. Howard says they do that occasionally throughout the year.

Anyway, it’s a 37-acre field “that is the eroded surface of an ancient volcanic pipe that 95 million years ago brought to the surface the diamonds and some of the semi-precious stones lucky visitors find here today.”

That’s what their promo information says.

You can find diamonds of almost any color, but the most common, they say, are white, brown and yellow. At the park they tell you not to get so excited if you think you’ve found a diamond that you drop it because they’re pretty hard to find again.

I know I didn’t get my viral infection from Dana through e-mail — I’m not that dense — but I also know it’s possible to find a diamond digging in the dirt. Since I love digging in dirt, the diamond would be gravy on my train.

By the way, anything you find, you get to keep. I like that.

So long friends, until the next time when we’re together.

Contact Sandy Mickelson at (515) 573-2141 or


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