Jul 27, 2009

Me and Murphy's Law

Maybe post vacation always sucks, I'm not sure, but the past week has been trying. Sometimes I think my science will only prove that my life is subject to Muphy's Law. Every time I sit down to work, something goes wrong. My computer freezes. I get a new one and it breaks. My cat has to go to the vet. Feeling better, my cat brings a dead mouse to my desk. Whatever could be disabling or distracting, it happens here!

I'm still technologically embattled, fussing with machines to use air photos and expensive software. Last Thursday I spent 7 long hours uploading one photo to my recently upgraded profile at UCL. I have to click the screen every 20 minutes or the remote server will log me out for security reasons. My 6 year old Powerbook has begun to falter, and my cracked copy of 0ffice is freaking out. So I bought last Tuesday I bought a new (used) MacBook Pro from an Apple Product Manager in North Beach. With over 2 years left on the AppleCare Warranty, I felt pretty secure about the purchase. The machine was a good price and already partioned for Windows, something I really need these days.

I didn't take a disk to test the optical drive, so I didn't realize that it was broken until 2 days later. When I took it in to the Apple Store, they told me that the hard drive had 4 faults and predicted imminent failure. So I had to drop it off yesterday for repair, twitching with $1300 worth of anxiety. Would they deem the problems "accidental" or "acts of God", neither of which is covered by the warranty. But I just got a call, only 24 hours later and my machine is ready! I must say, as a long time Mac user, the warranty makes it worthwhile to have a Mac. (That was my corporate cheerleading for the year. It's always the same company that gets my kudos. I admit that I'm a bit susceptible to their marketing, but I haven't bought a new Mac product in about 7 years.)

I've lost the Windows partion and I certainly didn't pay for 3 trips to the Apple Store. I also have to say that my confidence in buying another used machine of such expense and importance has been challenged. However, I could not have afforded a brand new machine, had I wanted one. I guess I'm fairly happy with my purchase, though quite disappointed in the deceptive Apple Product Manager, Di Lu, who sold me the machine. Of course he won't take my calls or return my emails at all. I'd be stoked if he'd simply re-partion the drive for me. I suck at such things. Then I'd have all the things I paid for, minus a day and some time. No worries.

But whatever. I'll have my computer back in an hour or so. I can't leave until my awesome neighbor finishes fixing my leaky sink. Max won't even let me pay him, which makes me feel bad since I'd just deduct it from my rent. After the laptop and the expense of taking my cats in to the vet twice in past week, I'm feeling stretched as rent approaches on Sunday. Ugh, I'll be glad when I'm available to work full time again. It's scary to not be bringing in as much as I'm spending. I don't shop and I skip about half of my food. But my rent is high (though not for SF standards) and somehow I have way more bills here than I did in London. Things like Renter's insurance though no health insurance.

I'm hoping to put together a piece about seeing the Reverend Billy Talen last week. But in the event that I slack: The reverend is running for NYC Mayor! Help him get on the ballot and then vote for him. No more billionaire mayors! If you don't know Billy Talen, you should check out his websites and possibly YouTube one of his performances. I adore him and his posse, the Church of Stop Shopping.

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