Five or so years ago, my computer died. I mean, it just blinked once, then was gone. I was crushed and in a full panic: I was too broke to get one of these high-priced online techies to help; and I was too stupid to fix it myself.

What a quandary.

Fortunately, IB has a computer whiz. His name is Phil, and he runs Computerville off 10th St. and Palm Avenue. I called him, told him what was up, thinking that there was no hope at all. (Before I'd called him I'd tossed the entire thing in the dumpster in a fit of uncontrollable rage. I threw it in! I only went back later because I was absolutely desperate--it was my livelihood, after all!) Phil told me to bring it in. Since I don't drive, I had to schlep a ride with a client. I hauled the tower in and, after brushing off some extant trash sticking to it, handed it to him.

It took him all of a day to fix it. He charged me $75 and even drove it back to me at the end of the day. The computer would last another four years, running without a single glitch.

Amazing.

The computer that replaced it came packaged not with one virus already on the hard-drive, but two. That's right: two viruses were already on the hard-drive before I even turned the damn machine on. Again, Phil came to the rescue. For a little more than $150 he saved the system, uninstalled the heinous Norton antivirus software, installed AvGuard, then handed the machine back to me. It's run like a dream since.

There is much to disdain, rightly, about IB. The tattoo parlors. The seedy bars. The thoughtless malaise which seems to coat everything. The real estate railroad. The Imperial Beach Egale and Times.The oft-polluted waters off our beach. The hint of corruption everywhere, wrought by decades of conservative thought and "leadership." It's all true. But there's some real good here too, and Phil is a diamond in that rough. He reminds me that what is bad can be removed or improved; he tells me that there are some genuine good eggs living here, and they want this town to thrive just as much as I do.

So: if your computer is giving you problems, give him a call:

Computerville: (619) 575-2548.

Trust me here: you'll be really, really glad you did.

~~*~~

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