Earlier that past week... So on Thursday I casually stroll into the office coffee in one hand and bird food in the other with the goal of flipping on the computer before I head out to feed my little feathered minions. At first everything looks fine, the screen lights up and off I go for an early morning garden stroll. Upon my return I hit the unassuming little silver button that will open the window onto the streaming mass that is the internet super highway. There I will check the great big world and visit with my friends while blithely dodging virtual drunk drivers, hit and run scammers and reckless drive by clickings. But NO, there is no window, there is no super highway, no dizzying buzz of excessive information to tempt and intoxicate me. There is nothing but a white screen telling me that for some inexplicable reason “website can not be displayed.” ??
My hands suddenly grow cold and clammy, my breath shortens and my vision begins to blur and narrow. Agghhh! The blasted heat killed my computer. I knew it, I just knew it. No wait, maybe it’s... or what about …?? Holy meltdown Batman, get me the phone book Gotham is waiting! So after a brief panicky phone call and a “yes, I can take a look at it today” my little bundle of wires, connections and who knows what else, is loaded into the car and off we rush down to the local digital doctor.
I hand it over and the digital master smiles at me with a knowing reassurance that he understands and is here to help. Sure he says, he can look at it today, he’ll call tomorrow and let me know what’s wrong. Relieved and assured I turn to go and await his call. I make new plans that resemble something like life before computers. I have to look this up in a book because I don’t actually recall life before computers but I am willing to give it a go. Besides he’s going to call tomorrow and this day without connection will just be a brief novelty. Heck, I am looking forward to feelings of superiority because I am living “unplugged.”
What I did not know however in my potential and superior bliss was that “I’ll call you tomorrow” meant “you’ll never hear from me again” and that “I’ll look at it today” translated into “I may get around to it next week if I feel like it.” I also missed the subtle cues of dialect that would have informed me that “you can pick it up in 15min.” really meant “come on down and wait for 30min. before going back home because it won’t be done till tomorrow at which time you can try your luck at catching me in the shop or just throw some good money down on a lotto ticket.” Perhaps if I had spent more time getting to know the members of Satan’s special group of digital tormenting demons I would have caught onto these subtle clues of translation but no, I did not.
Well in the end I was finally given the privilege of unburdening myself of several larger denominations of cash and the baggage of a familiar relationship with my computer. I was delighted to spend some quality time getting to know the deeper recesses of my dusty CD filing cabinet hunting for programs to reload and ponder the purpose of. I could now thoroughly enjoy a game of hide and seek for files that had once been there and now they’re not. Oh, what fun there was to be had for hours and hours. Sigh.
I am truthfully very happy to have the computer back and I think he recovered just about all of my data. I am still working on getting things back in order and so far I know I will have to repurchase at least a couple of programs and some hardware but that’s not so bad. At least it was only a week and I actually did live unplugged. The ridiculous heat wave finally broke and while there has still been no rain it has been cool and cloudy giving us all a much needed break.
During my time unplugged and uncooled I found the hammock and a spray bottle of water can be an excellent combination and that life does go on even when you’re unplugged. You just don’t know about it. …and maybe that’s not so bad