Five O'Clock Somewhere

Welcome to Five O'Clock Somewhere, where it doesn't matter what time zone you're in; it's five o'clock somewhere. We'll look at rural life, especially as it happens in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, cats, sailing (particularly Etchells racing yachts), and bits of grammar and Victorian poetry.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

When everything goes worng

Murphy was an optimist

This week has been one of those crazy ones when nothing seems to go right. At work, the computer in my cubicle, which had been acting increasingly flaky, finally crashed in spectacular fashion – and the techie who came for it was actually sort of pleased, since as long as the computer was working (even if not well), he was not authorized to order the replacement parts it needed, and now that it wasn’t working, he could take it away and actually fix it.

So I went to another cubicle, where there are a couple of computers for common use, and I plugged my flash memory into the newer of them, only to get a series of error messages. I tried the other USB slot; same series of messages. Oh no, I thought, did the previous computer fry my memory when it crashed?

No, it hadn’t … when I went to the other computer in the common cubicle, my flash memory worked just fine. Whew. But when I tried to use the scanner connected to that computer, I had additional problems. I pushed the scan button on the scanner, and nothing happened. I went through the scanner software on the computer and got a series of error messages. Then I looked more closely at the scanner and saw the problem – no power cord, and no cable connecting it to the computer or anything else. So much for that.

And then there’s the ongoing problem with the campus bookstore. I had thought we had overcome the shortage of the grammar textbook, but no, the bookstore hadn’t taken into account the late-start class that didn’t begin until the fourth week of the term. A few of the students in that class have been able to get the text, but most haven’t. After a round of phone calls Wednesday, things didn’t look good – the bookstore was going to be able to come up with “a few” more books, but probably not enough. At least for the time being, then, I’m going to be photocopying the relevant parts of the book for that class.

Well … I will be if the copier will let me. Tuesday, the copier was out of order for most of the day but was supposedly fixed late that afternoon. But Tuesday night I was trying to run copies, and the machine kept jamming, to the point that I gave up. Wednesday, I was finally able, very slowly, to make the copies I needed, with a catch: When set to staple the pages, it wouldn’t – it just left two little pinpricks in the corner of the page where the staple should have been. It wasn’t out of staples, or at least, the LCD screen on the front of the machine didn’t say it was out of staples. It just wasn’t stapling. So I had to staple all of those thick packets of textbook excerpts by hand. Ugh.

Then there are automotive woes. Pat and I are planning to attend a race-management seminar in Houston this coming weekend, and we were planning to drive the thrifty El Caballero rather than the gas-guzzling Babe. Then Tuesday night, Tadpole had his first car accident – very minor; he wasn’t hurt, but El Caballero’s front tire, wheel, and parts of the front suspension were damaged or destroyed. So that car’s now in the shop getting fixed. It should be ready in time, but even if so, we’ll be hitting the highway tonight with mismatched tires: three Michelins of varying mileage, and one less-premium tire that had been our spare (full-size rather than the silly little donut the car came with – for more on that story, see this previous blog post). Won’t we make a splash at the Houston Yacht Club, with an 11-year-old Cavalier with various dings and scratches and no two tires alike! But at least we’ll be getting 35 miles per gallon rather than 15. And hey, the car will look right at home in front of the doublewide in T or C when we go there.

Then there’s Tres … he’s rebelling against his diet, with less-than-pleasant results. He’s taken to dumpster-diving in the kitchen trash can and hauling out discarded food scraps. Especially when it’s chicken, that means more digestive problems and more messes to clean up. So now every night after supper, we have to take the trash outside to the bin to keep him out of it – and he still refuses to eat his diet food (which Dulce absolutely loves, of course, since it’s very fatty and she’s supposed to be cutting calories), unless he’s starving.

And at some point, I’m going to have to find time to study the race-management manual and go through the study questions before getting to the seminar. Maybe I can squeeze in some time this afternoon between bouts with flaky computers, balky copiers, and recalcitrant cats.

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Blogger Carol Anne said...

Update: El Caballero's still in the shop, so we're taking Babe to Houston. Pat estimates that means an extra $170 worth of gas. Argh. At that rate, it might be cheaper to rent a small car to travel in, although it's too late now to do anything about it.

Thu Feb 08, 07:08:00 PM MST  
Blogger Carol Anne said...

Of course, there's a good-sized Etchells fleet in Houston, and Pat might try to justify having the bigger vehicle on this trip by towing something home with it.

Fri Feb 09, 10:07:00 PM MST  

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