Reason for odd patterns on LCD monitor?

I have a 7-year-old 15-inch NEC monitor on my WinXP Pro box. Monday I turned it on (PC already powered up for scheduled auto backups) and saw weirdness on the screen. Vertical patterns that looked a distant picture of water erosion down the side of a mountain. I though maybe someone had spilled liquid on my screen, but the surface is clean. Couldn't grab the pattern in a screen capture. A flaw in the LCD structure? But why the sudden appearance? Tried to take a closeup photo but my camera battery died after three exposures. Meant to try again Tuesday but the pattern has (for now) disappeared! Is this thing about to go kaput? Link to less-than-focused images below ....
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  1. I havent looked at the pictures but something you could do is hook up the monitor to another computer (seems like you have another one by the way you called it your xp box) if the problem is still there then you know its the monitor and/or cable is the problem goes away you know its prolly an issue with the video card/xp could even try a different cable when putting the monitor on the other seems like its a monitor that is going bad it happens with age and unfortunately there is nothing that is worth it to fix it. you just gotta buck up and buy a new one
  2. Maybe video card failure? similar thing happened to me on my HP Pavilion, but you since its an HP, I wasn't surprised.
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