Tech Troubles Part Deux

We have the phone situation sorted out. Solved, as usual, by throwing money at it. I’m the proud owner of a new iPhone, and Zoe took my 6s, which has its own issues (battery is at 83% whatever) but will suit her usage needs adequately for the time being. Turns out her iPhone 5’s screen was coming off because the battery was exploding inside the case, pushing it out. The tech explained that for the cost of the battery, Apple would replace the entire phone as they don’t try to repair exploded batteries. Apparently exploded batteries are very finicky and messing with it could result in a “thermal event.” It took me about 15 seconds to figure out that “thermal event” is engineer-speak for “fire.” We debated replacing it for the cost of the battery, and ultimately decided it wasn’t worth the $79 because the phone is so old it’s incapable of being updated anyway. So, new phones (or new-to-her in Zoe’s case) for the women in the family. Yay.

M is resolving the external drive issue and thinks he has a solution that involves using an array of adapters to hook the Firewire port on my old computer to a Thunderbolt port on a new external drive. Silly me, I thought Firewire was still state-of-the-art. Turns out no one is using it at all any more. Every day it seems like I find something else that makes me feel old and out of touch. I have learned to embrace this feeling.

So, all is good with the past few days’ worth of tech woes. Today, we thought we’d take a break from busted technology and have a lovely day of putting up our Christmas tree. Family time filled with good cheer and the like. We got off to a great start. M fixed a piece of pesky rail that was causing the new steam loco troubles on one curve of my train board that goes under the tree, and we hunted for a transformer as we installed our circular wedding cake track in Zoe’s room so she can run her Hogwarts Express train. I hauled a bunch of bins and the tree up from the basement, and hung our stockings. Then we were finally ready to assemble the tree and start decorating. Commence holiday spirit. A fine plan, until one-third of the lights on the tree refused to light. Honest to God, I thought M was going to burn the place down. I would not have blamed him at all, and in fact would have probably handed him the matches. Neither one of us can remember who thought it was a good idea to get a pre-lit tree with mini-lights a few years ago, so we’re doing what every happily married couple does: we’re blaming each other. (I think it was me, but don’t tell him.)

He’s out in the great room with the top of the tree in his lap, using a mini-light tester gun that his dad gave us a few years ago with the promise that “this makes it so easy!” Given that he’s been warring with it for an hour now, I’m thinking the easy ship sailed. I’m hiding in my office, because I’ve run out of things to do that keep me simultaneously busy and out of his sightline. It’s better for both of us this way.

Update: Six Hours Later

M has put forth a valiant effort, and has kept his cool through his Sisyphean task. He is a stronger person than I, for I would have dragged the damn tree out to the front yard and made a bonfire hours ago. I made a shepherd’s pie for dinner and tried to help while staying out of the way simultaneously, and failing miserably at both. I made an executive decision to take the lights out of his hands and replace them with beer. He leaves tomorrow for a business trip, and I am spending my week alone gleefully taking wire snips to this fucking tree and cutting every damn twinkle light off. We are replacing the little glowing orbs of Satan with giant, beautiful, gorgeous, colorful C9 bulbs. Old school, suckers. And if a strand blows, I’ll rip it off and replace it with another. Easy.

I am in full problem-solving mode right now. Me and my wire snips. And some Bailey’s. And Netflix. Don’t mess with me this week. Unless you’re bringing more Bailey’s.

#blog#christmas#M#personal essay#technology#writing

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