Thursday, September 19, 2013

What the *#@*?!!!

It was a quiet Sunday morning nearly 2 weeks ago when I sat down to turn on my computer for a quick peek at my emails.  The kids were eating breakfast and my husband was watching one of his favorite shows on restoring classic cars, which I found to be about as intriguing as watching a documentary on the mating habits of centipedes.  While my family was occupied, I quietly slipped away for a few minutes of quiet time and pushed the little button to power up my computer when it happened........

desktop computer, laptop,

30 or so years ago my Dad brought home our family's first "computer".  We were so excited!  Who wouldn't be excited over getting the latest and greatest electronic device.  A device that we were told was going to revolutionize the world as we knew it.  My Dad plugged it in and turned it on.  With baited breath we waited to see the miracles this new device was going to bestow upon us.

After a few seconds, a bunch of letters and characters started scrolling past our eyes so fast we were afraid to blink for fear we'd miss something.  The speed at which this contraption moved was beyond our comprehension.  And then the scrolling stopped, the computer made a little beeping sound, and up popped a flashing cursor.  We ooh'd and aah'd over the bright white cursor locating itself at the top of the screen, and my oh my, how black the background was against that bright little cursor.

Like a star in a pitch black sky, it kept winking at us.  We stood there transfixed by the beauty before us, and we stared........... and we stared............. and we stared, until I realized this blinking light wasn't doing anything.  Finally I asked "Ummmm........... yeah..... hmmm....... is this all it does?".  My Dad replied excitedly "Why no, you also enter in special codes and you can do all sorts of things including playing games.".

When I saw the amount of coding required to get the computer to do something other than blink, my love affair stopped before the hard drive ever heated up.  My relationship with the computer hasn't changed much over the course of 35 years.  It's still a love-hate relationship. 

In 2000 I purchased a home computer and had to have the hard drive replaced 3 times............ in the first 6 months.  My next computer was a laptop and it crashed instantly when I powered it on for the first time.  My current computer wouldn't even power on when I pulled it straight out of the box.  This kind of thing might give a lesser person a complex, but I think it's just that my powerful and electric personality melted their hard drives.

So on that Sunday morning nearly 2 weeks ago, I powered up my computer and it turned on......... and then it turned itself off, then on, then off, on, off, on, off, on, off, on, off........... thinking it was about to blow up, I unplugged it for about 2-3 minutes and then plugged it back in.  As soon as the plug went in the power strip, it started doing the same on/off glitch.  Once again, my electric personality must have fried another hard drive or caused some kind of electrical storm within the computer's tower.

All I really wanted to do was scream, curse, and beat the ever loving tar out of that mechanical pile of junk with a sledgehammer.  Thinking that probably wouldn't set the best example for my kids, I gave it an ever so gentle foot-wedge.  Within a few minutes, it was up and running.  Thinking I had scored a great victory over this hunk of scrap metal, off I went to church........... without ever having had time to read my emails.

Upon returning home, we awakened the computer (it went to "sleep" while we were at church) so my son could complete his online homework, and again, it starts with the off/on thing.  I gave it the foot-wedge......... and it still clicked on/off, so I gave it a bit harder foot-wedge.  It kind of sputtered and then went back to dancing its own little on/off tango. 

Realizing that the computer is either about to totally crash or has crashed, I restrained the urge to grab the hammer and decided to let the computer blow itself up with the way it was shocking itself.  Heck, I was kind of hoping it would catch on fire......... and we all know how much my husband would love that.  I contemplated the best way to move it to the middle of my kitchen when it did catch on fire, so it would look like an accident and in addition to a new computer, I'd get a new renovated kitchen out of it.  We do have to have our dreams, now don't we??

As I delighted over the scenario and my husband was rubbing his hands in glee over the prospect of man making fire *insert caveman grunt and knuckle dragging here*, that dadgum computer obviously sensed our glee and finally booted up.  My kitchen renovation plans fizzled out, my son's glee over not having to do his homework was squelched, and my husband's devastation over the lack of fire........... well, let's just say, we're going to need a new gas can...................

by: Christie Bielss


  1. I also have a love hate relationship with computers! Technical stuff goes right over my head. I'm probably glutton for punishment though because I spend far too long on my computer!

    1. I'm right there with you, Crystal! When I call the 1-800 help numbers for a computer problem, they start asking me technical questions and I usually reply with a "Could you repeat that...... in English?".