You'd think that being freed from the 9 - 5 routine, Mondays wouldn't bother me. (What's with 9 - 5 anyway? When I was employed I never worked that few hours in a day!) And normally that's true. This week was another story.
It began when the alarm went off at 4:30...a.m. That's when I took Porter to the airport for a week out of town on business. Still, that was only bad in hindsight; normally getting an early start imbues the day with productivity, and I was looking forward to digging right into my many awaiting projects. I returned home, drove into the garage, walked through the door, entered my office, and turned on my computer. Which promptly turned itself off. Further attempts disclosed the unsettling warning, "Fan error."
So there I was, husband-cum-resident computer expert winging his way to New York City, and my computer on strike. My barely two-year-old computer. That is to say, the computer that was just seven weeks out of its two-year warranty. Might as well take out the garbage. Which I did. And ate breakfast. And started a wash. Amazingly, what I did not do was panic, which was either the grace of God or denial or both.
I next began the process of setting myself up as a user on Porter's "home machine." It's old and has very limited disk space, but I was able to get access to mail and Internet, which quelled my feelings of isolation. I sent out e-mails warning family members that the telephone would be the best means of communication for a while.
Then the phone stopped working.
Then I went to get the laundry out of the dryer and found it still wet. And the dryer cold.
Then I heard from Porter: His computer had also failed. Should I have been paying more attention to the dangers of a potential EMP attack?
Eventually cooler heads prevailed, and I concluded that, unlike all other disasters natural and man-made, this was not George W. Bush's fault. The phone I fixed by rebooting the base. I couldn't reboot the dryer, but we do have an excellent, honest, and dependable repairman, who worked his magic the next day, replacing the heater. (In the meantime, I relied on my good old Japanese dryer.) My computer had to wait till Friday, when Porter installed the new fan he had ordered during the week. (I had earlier, with much fear and trembling, managed to take the computer apart sufficiently to blow the dust out, but that had made no difference.) Porter's a do-it-yourself kind of guy, but this was his first attempt at laptop repair, and it was a rousing success. He is much better than I am at not being intimidated by all the "do not attempt this repair yourself" warnings.1 It's a good thing, too, because his next repair project will follow close on the heels of this one. He managed to get his own (work) computer functional again, but it has been determined to have sufficient problems that he'll be getting a new "shell" into which he must transfer certain parts of his current machine.
Now we are poised to welcome another Monday, and I am once again looking forward to a productive week of work. My projects are many and varied, but nearly all require the computer in one way or another, and so a lot of work ground to an abrupt halt at the beginning of this week. If I'd known my computer fast would only last four days, I'd have enjoyed it a lot more.2