I know, I know, two "Lileks" posts in a row seems a bit obsessive, but this guy makes me so envious it isn't even funny.
Case in point (for today): in today's Bleat, in the middle of his usual mix of homey anecdotes and homespun wisdom, he writes about his PC Laptop, and how it's acting up and will be sent to the Chestnut Tree Café.
He provides a link on that last proper noun, and following it like the puzzled soul I was, and found myself on a page with the last chapter of Orwell's 1984, which bears that title, and zing!, I remember that this is where Winston Smith is assassinated, since he is no longer useful to the Party.
Hurray! I get the reference! With a little prodding, I actually understand an offhand comment which assumes a familiarity with one of the seminal works of 20th Century English literature. Lileks is equated the fate of his laptop computer, which has outlived its usefullness, to that of Winston Smith, who was similary troublesome.
OK, I haven't read the book since I was in high school, so I feel I can be excused for not automatically remembering that the Chestnut Tree Café was the place where political prisoners were sent to be murdered.
But I'm deeply envious of a guy who is so talented that he can use it successfully as a metaphor for a hardware upgrade. And I'm similarly envious that he feels comfortable using such a metaphor.