a day without…

It wasn’t quite Ferris Bueller’s day off (1), but my day without my beloved MacAir proved to be pretty fun, nonetheless.

My 2-year-old computer had to go into Apples & Oranges, our local shop.  The virus it caught from that Facebook hack a month ago was working its way through, but a scam two nights’ ago made that trip to that shop imperative for my still-functioning laptop.   An e-mail from the Geek squad stating they were going to charge me another $389 to roll over their services got me on the phone to the number they displayed for any wishing to rescind those charges.  I couldn’t recall what I’d paid them for in the first place.  I got a gent with a sub-continental accent who began to walk me through an ever more complicated process.  I should have known something fishy was up when he had me download “Any Screen” which had him sharing my computer and controlling my mouse.  When he had me log into my credit union account – complete with my password entry – and check for a transaction he’d just made, I shut the laptop and hung up the phone, ignoring the several calls that followed.

While my account was still untouched the next morning, I called then visited my credit union, hearing that this scam was common and that I had to close all accounts and open new ones then visit the computer shop to have my laptop reformatted.  Of course, I went home with a list of all those auto-pays that needed to be changed.

The diagnosis at Apples & Oranges was terminal.  Those lines on my ever-darkening screen were from its failure, not a virus.  As it costs almost as much to fix a screen as to buy a whole new computer, I’d get one of those now, but only after an overnight inpatient stay for the necessary cleansing, reformatting, and data transfer operations.  So, I faced being without a computer for at least a day.

What would I do?  That laptop is the first thing I open when I sit down for the morning and often the last thing I close at night.  And there’s so much I need to do on that computer: finish page proofs for my J Rheum paper, construct a cover for my Musings vol. V book so Jeff Bezos can publish it, wrap up that re-post on Teslas, comparison shop for rent-a-cars for September’s Oakland trip, and of course all those e-mails!

But it turns out there’s plenty to do without a computer.  There’s always a lot on my daily to-do list that doesn’t get done.  So, this day’s list is entirely analog, 13 items long.  While I wrote much of this post the day it happened, the final product isn’t going in till 2 days after.  For most items, I’ll describe them as they happened.

Mother Nature was serving up a perfect day for indoor sports.  Wunderground predicted a high of 92 (it got to 98) with 35% humidity.  It was already over 80 when took our morning jaunt to the Farmers’ Market and Co-op.  It was worth it for those flats of beautiful Michigan strawberries:

plus greens, a French Batard, and top-ups of parsley, quinoa, and currants at the Co-op.  Home, the “free” geothermal A.C. felt mighty good.

Wednesday breakfast means quinoa, a pretty dandy snack if you care to seek out the unusual ingredients (the quinoa itself and those nicely tart dried currants).  Some say quinoa was the inspiration for Star Trek’s fictional quadrotriticale.  And we all remember what ate quadrotriticale and what trouble they caused! (2,3)

After breakfast, I deboned and packed away that chicken in the crock pot.  I took a stab at something my truck drivin’ brother Nick makes, ultimately putting it in roll-up sandwiches he sticks under his seat and can pull up when hungry.  I’m not sure if I heard his description in Jacoby’s tavern after several beers or at breakfast when not fully awake.  Whatever, tastes pretty good.  Here’s the recipe if you’re interested:

Next was fixing up the credenza drawer holding all our note cards.  The bottom drops out and the cards are thrown in in hopelessly random fashion.  I love writing notes in longhand and maybe once I can actually find the right card for the occasion, I’ll do more of it.  It took several steps and a nap in between, but the effort paid off:

The stack of empty boxes lower right in the middle is all those emptied of cards.

Around 3 at the grocery store, I got a call from Apples & Oranges saying my computer was ready.  Normally, I’d be salivating like one of Pavlov’s dogs to hurry and pick it up.  Instead, I set about completing my credenza repair and organization project.  Finally, a little after 5:30 I came home after putting close to a grand on my AmEx.  I let the 2 computers (of course I kept the old one) sit in their tote for the rest of the evening, vowing not to touch them till the next morning so as to keep from ruining a perfect analog day.

It was on to Shutesie’s t-shirt.  Dan is a friend and Vicksburg classmate who quit Oregon for Florida when he was fed up with the politics.  He’s my best surviving drinking buddy from ‘burg times and we have more in common now than ever.  He doesn’t know he’s getting this, but it’s way hot in Ocala, and you need lots of t-shirts as you have to change them and wring them out several times a day.  I’ve made similar shirts for several friends, but this one’s updated anticipating the next few years.

I know this crosses over into politics, a threshold I swore I’d avoid when I started this blog, following my dear, late friend Sam’s advice to avoid politics on social media.  But politics creeps into everything, especially COVID discussions.  Any of you reading this blog who are not aware of where I stand haven’t been paying attention.  But this display is mainly to show my “artistic talents” and I promise not to dive into politics again.

So as the sun and supper of salad and shortcake settled, I saw with satisfaction my successes.  I had completed 9 of the 13 tasks on my to-do list, a better percentage than I usually muster.  While my other completions were too mundane to illustrate or describe, it was still satisfying to hang those posters and call Bronson to schedule a follow up and get my X-rays and CT.  Waiting for another day will be: compiling my bimonthly funds report, lubricating my stubborn blue spray bottle, going through 2 years‘ worth of South County News to find that map of a walking tour of Vicksburg history, and watch a movie and some cartoons.  I won’t wait to be deprived of my computer again to address them.  I confess I was not 100% analog.  I did peek at my cell phone a few times.  And I did open my laptop to leave birthday greetings on Facebook for 2 friends, snapping it shut immediately after!

But as the kids on South Park say “I learned something today” (4).  Times of privation can enhance self-awareness.  I know now that me and Joe Walsh are in the same boat (5).


1.     Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (released 6/11/86).  YouTube 3/30/12.

2. Star Trek – Tribble Infestation. YouTube.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2T1QX7BEyg

3. Star Trek – Tribbles Given To The Klingons.wmv.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKLyXjMT07I

4. I’ve learned something today – south park.  YouTube.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3sX3aD6GSM

5. Joe Walsh – Analog Man [from his new album released June 5 2012].  YouTube

Published by rike52

I retired from the Rheumatology division of Michigan Medicine end of June '19 after 36 years there. Upon hitting Ann Arbor for the second time (I went to school here) it took me almost 8 months to meet Kathy, 17 months to buy her a house (on Harbal, where we still live), and 37 months to marry her. Kids never came, but we've been blessed with a crowd of colleagues, friends, neighbors and family that continues to grow. Lots of them are going to show up in this log eventually. Stay tuned.

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