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It’s Already “One of Them Days”

The sound system’s alarm clock kicks in at 5:15AM and wakes me to the dulcet tones of Joe Strummer screaming “London’s Burning!” Wife swings arm out from beneath the covers and belts me in the chest, muttering “Turn that shit off” before burrowing back under the covers.

I get up, slide my feet into a pair of beat-to-hell sandals repurposed to slipper detail and stumble over to the control panel and switch the stereo from CD to radio and they are still going on about Cheney’s hunting accident.

I go into the office and power up the beasties, then go downstairs to the kitchen, where I discover that I didn’t set the coffee machine on “auto” so there is no jolt of joe waiting for me. I turn the thing on and shuffle off to the bathroom for my morning ablutions, scooping up Wife’s iBook G4 from the dining room table on the way. I plop down on the throne, open the laptop and hit the power button. Nothing happens.

I flip the machine over and press the battery test button. All four LEDs light up, meaning the battery is fully charged. I right the laptop and press the Caps Lock key. It, too, glows green. I hold the corner where the hard drive resides up to my ear. It ain’t spinning, which means whatever is wrong is a motherboard problem, most likely the power management unit since the machine is getting juice.

“You motherfucker,” I say. I force quit the piece of shit (it isn’t even a month old) and put it aside. One of Wife’s Valentine’s presents is on the iBook’s hard drive; a video/photo montage of all the animals (myself included) doing cute or goofy shit, synced up to her favorite music. I was intending to burn to a DVD today and have it ready to play when she came home from work this evening, and had also set it to run at startup in case she decided to take the iBook with her to work today.

While finishing my business BootzDog starts barking like a maniac and the sound of him barreling down the stairs reverberates above me, and a second or so later Tank, the Maine coon, flies past the bathroom door and down the basement steps, Bootz in hot pursuit. I dry my hands and exit, put the iBook back on the dining room table, and return to the kitchen. I grab a big mug, pour some sugar in then it fill it to the brim as Wife comes in.

“Happy Valentine’s Day, baby,” she says, presenting me with a card. I hug her and kiss her and we go into the living room after she pours herself some coffee. As we pass through the dining room I glare at the iBook. If it wasn’t hers–and under Apple’s extended warranty–I’d crack its case open with a baseball bat right here and now to get my hands on that hard drive.

She sits on the couch and tunes the television to NY1 while I go to the coat rack and pull her card from my bomber’s pocket. I join her on the couch, hand her her card and we share another kiss. We sit and watch the morning’s news while sipping our coffee and reading our cards. We sit and discuss what’s on the day’s menu for awhile, but my head is running what actions I can take to bring the iBook back from the dead.

Wife goes upstairs to dress and I go to the dining room and work my way through The MacDaddy Diag-fuggin-nostics Drill. By the time she comes back down I’ve exhausted all the options I can try to get the little bastard to boot. She puts on her coat, gathers up her pocketbook and work bag and announces she’s going to drive to the Ferry terminal because she doesn’t feel like dealing with a bus ride today.

“Okay, hon, but be careful for ice on the road,” I say as my sphincter clenches and the coffee clashes with the smoldering rage that is welling in my belly. She leaves and I go upstairs, dress, then head back to the kitchen and drink a couple more cups of coffee and eat a blueberry muffin while listening to the television playing in the living room. Bootz comes in and cocks his head sideways. I tell him to get his leash and when he comes back we go out and make the morning tour. We get back about a half hour later. I feed him and fill the cats’ communal bowls and go up to the office. I plow through the morning’s batch of e-mail, take a quick tour around Bloglandia, and then begin banging this out on the keyboard.

I’m in Full Tilt Pissed mode. Since she took the car (and my ride is still buried under a couple of feet of snow), I gotta take a fucking bus out to the Staten Island Mall, and deal with some dickbag “Genius” at the Apple Store. I’ll have to keep from reaching across the counter and tearing the little fucker’s head off when he starts blithering “Well, let’s see what’s the problem,” and begins working through his problem-solving checklist, instead calmly informing him that I ain’t no normal customer; that I was troubleshooting, upgrading and repairing Apple computers while he was still in diapers, so he really needs to just shut the fuck up and listen while I explain everything that’s already been done–which more than likely includes shit he’s never heard of trying. He’ll finally realize there’s nothing he can do; machine needs to be replaced.

And then I drop the bomb: “I want that hard drive mirrored or swapped out to the new machine, kid.”

He’s going to want no part of that…getting to an iBook’s hard drive is a pain in the ass. You have to take the whole fucking thing apart to get to it. I’m going to insist; he’s going to call in his manager, who will tell me it’s not part of the warranty agreement.

And then all Hell will break loose in my brain because no matter what I can’t get my ass hauled in today because it’s Valentine’s Day and we have dinner reservations and Wife will kill me if I screw the day up. Which means I’m going to have to reason with someone I’d just as soon beat the beejeezus out of until his brains seeped from his ears. I’m going to have to make that dumb bastard help me pull this little clusterfuck I’m facing out of the fire and save the data and the day.

If I pull this off it’ll be a fucking miracle.

UPDATE: Al Michaels ain’t screaming “Do you believe?” for me.

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