Most anyone who knows me knows that I have a terrible habit of beating to death most any keyboard I've ever owned. The one I got with this machine worked okay for a while, until its right Alt key died — and then the Esc key, and a slew of others went with it. The most recent one (a $20 piece of junk) died when the d key's sensor went offline. I finally admitted defeat, braved the snow, and headed over to Staples to pick up a Microsoft DMK 3000. They had apparently refreshed their stock of same, and now here I am clacking merrily away.
I give this one six months before I somehow trash it. The average lifespan of any keyboard under my sledgehammer fingers is never more than one year. A good thing keyboards are, by and large, cheap enough to replace on a regular basis. (To further compound the irony: the mouse I've been using has lasted for several years without a single problem, and I give it at least as much of a workout as the keyboards.)
I also grabbed something else nice: a little cloth-bound journal, 240 pages, just the right size to fit in a coat pocket. I haven't kept a diary on paper in some time and so I'm thinking about using that as a repository for all the things that aren't worth going on about in public. That and my handwriting has suffered badly from not getting a regular workout.
This seems to be something consistent amongst people who are forced to use computers regularly; my father used to have gorgeous engineer's handwriting, both script and print, but it degenerated into something of a scrawl over time. It's still better than the handwriting I've seen many other people sport, perhaps if only because he had the kind of rigorous old-world penmanship practice that has fallen badly out of fashion as of late.
One of my friends gave me a gift certificate to an excellent music store in town, and so on the way back I pulled into the nearby parking lot, skated over there and came back with two treasures: Miles Davis's Ascenseur pour l'échafaud, and my first mingering of Mingus, Mingus Ah Um. Black Saint and the Sinner Lady wasn't in stock, but the shopowner (a very vocal jazz fan) steered me towards this item as a first step.