Sunday, September 10, 2006

Heart in Motion


"Adam! I just spilled water in my laptop! What do I doooo?"
Adam is halfway down the stairs before I finish. I don't even have to repeat myself - that's a first - for him to remove the headphones and race to my rescue. Of course he will race to my rescue. Why have a seventeen-year-old son if not to be your personal Computer Geek? He surveys my handiwork. The laptop is now upside down (the better to drip dry) atop the couch. "K. First you need to turn it off." He effects this, then flips it over. Watches me dab the excess from the keys with a tissue. "It's solid-state, which means the current flows over top of the stuff in there" (simplifying for his mother, I suspect) "so once you remove current, nothing more is going to happen, unless djsir $&Djfud@ sfeuie 3rjwp &*sjfd." No, I have no idea what the "unless" part was. I blanked it out. Couldn't bear to deal with any unless-es just yet. It's just an ACER. Pretty close to bottom-of-the-line. A poor, slow, lurching ACER, but it's the very best I could manage, and it's my baby. Oh! how I love it. And oh! how I'd miss it. All those unrecorded URL's? My writing? My drafts of this idea or that. Correspondence. Budgets. Contracts. Emergency numbers. Pictures. Um. Maybe it's time to do some backing up? Maybe it's TOO LATE! Maybe it's ALL GONE! Maybe my ENTIRE LIFE has just been washed away by a single, inattentive slosh of water. Don't speak to me of "unless". You want to know "unless what"? Ha. I'll bet you're the kid who picked the scabs off their scrapes and now likes to watch surgeries on Discovery Channel. Oh, wait. That's me. Well, I'll bet you just love to watch thrillers. Yeah. I'll be you keep your eyes open when the music reaches the crescendo and the stupid, stupid woman is reaching her hand for the doorknob to the basement stairs. Not me! So, no, I don't know "unless what". "Now you just need to let it evaporate dry. That will take a few hours." His voice is matter-of-fact, soothing. I decide to wait until morning. Every time I pass it, I hover, a nervous mother with a sick baby. I want to turn it on - I want to know - but I can't risk making it worse. Tick, tick, tick. I wake in the night, worrying. How sad is that? First thing this morning, I come downstairs. Reach for the ON button. And I can't do it. Wander back to the kitchen to make myself some tea. Step in the fridge puddle. DAMN. The fridge leaks, the porch leaks, my washer overflowed all over the basement yesterday, my laptop could be fried. Not a good weekend for Mary and water. Fortified with my tea, I approach. Push. Wait for the whirr -- and it's fine! Well, mostly. It takes four and a half minutes to boot up, the cursor freezes at random moments, sometimes the cursor vanishes entirely even while my text keeps appearing, and sometimes my text stops appearing but I keep on typing, and three seconds later, it all appears. But it's always done that. This is fine, for an ACER. I'm so happy. I'm delighted. I'm relieved. I'm thrilled. As soon as Adam wakes up, he's going to back up my computer for me. He loves computers in all shapes and sizes, he'll be thrilled to know it still lives. He'll be so thrilled he rescued it, thrilled to effect its further preservation. In fact, I may just go get him now. Right now, at eight on a Sunday morning! He'll be so thrilled.
~~~~~~~~~~~~ © 2006, Mary P


Blogger kimmyk said...

Glad to hear your baby is doing fine.

I laughed though, cause gosh I wouldn't know what to do either. I'd have to get my 14 year old Adam up just to check it too I think. LOL!

9/10/2006 10:08:00 a.m.  
Anonymous Sharkey said...

Wow--scary. I'm glad everything's back online for you. We've learned the backup lesson the hard way more than once. But we've been lucky enough to see it coming, so were able to save most things. Perhaps we should learn from your (and our own!) experience.

9/10/2006 11:17:00 a.m.  
Anonymous M&Co. said...

Oh I'm thrilled for you! I've had (who hasn't felt that pain?) a computer crash and lose all my stuff. I feel your pain.

9/10/2006 12:00:00 p.m.  
Blogger Lady M said...

Whew! Glad your computer is ok. Now, put a monthly reminder in your calendar to back it up!

Some people want live-in nannies, chefs, or housekeepers. I don't need those - I have live-in tech support (SwingDaddy), which is much more valuable! Your son sounds terrific.

9/10/2006 12:39:00 p.m.  
Blogger jw said...


Yes, backup anything important - - quickly.

Good that it was only water. My kids spilled Kool-Aid into one computer keyboard. It etched the copper off of the circuit board. (I have heard similar reports about coffee and tea, also.)

At a recent gathering of computer geeks we discussed the issue of if something other than water gets spilled, should plain water be used to flush it out? In our group we did not arrive at a consensus(!). Though from my experiences, I would rinse it out and then let it air dry (or use a hair dryer with the heat turned OFF).

9/10/2006 01:20:00 p.m.  
Blogger Sherry said...

Water spillage is scary. My boyfriend spilt a glass of water on my laptop at a time when I would spend most of my days at home using the 'puter for job applications, emailing my friends/parents/family, looking up recipes etc etc. Luckily it dried out but I had one tense night!

Glad yours is ok!

9/10/2006 01:28:00 p.m.  
Blogger kittenpie said...

Ah, so glad it's okay! We'd hate to have you lose any of your writing and post ideas! (Blogger stores them all for me, so they'd better not be drinking anything over there...)

I'm toying with the idea of getting my own computer some time this year, since Misterpie's school work is taking up a lot of computer access!

9/10/2006 01:55:00 p.m.  
Blogger Z said...

The amazing thing is that these delicate instruments are so good-natured on the whole.

Mind you, I managed to wreck my keyboard with just a splash of water earlier this year (I can't remember what it was now, but I hadn't realised it was wet). The left side worked, but try typing with no punctuation or space bar and only two vowels.

I've got my own IT son too, but I try not to overuse him as it's not a hobby any longer, it's what he does for a living all day and he needs some time off!

9/10/2006 02:44:00 p.m.  
Blogger Granny said...

I have kids who love to help too. I'm sitting here with my ever present glass of water (sometimes black coffee). So far I've never spilled it into the keyboard. I do however have to brush crumbs out from time to time.

9/10/2006 04:04:00 p.m.  
Blogger Kat O+ said...

Hubby also has an Acer, on which he spilled water. The difference is, he kep second guessing my expert geek advice. I had to show him three different websites with THE SAME ADVICE to convince him that turning on his PC "just to make sure it still works" was a very bad idea. In the end, I just shrugged and said, "OK, you try it if you like" with appropriate gloom in my voice. It worked. :-)

9/10/2006 07:11:00 p.m.  
Anonymous Si said...

Two words that one day might save your life/sanity:

Backup regularly!!

:-) glad yur laptops alrite

9/10/2006 07:22:00 p.m.  
Blogger Misfit Hausfrau said...


9/10/2006 09:18:00 p.m.  
Blogger Andie D. said...

I would be thrilled if my son were to become a computer geek. THRILLED. I have serious respect for those who are able.

9/10/2006 11:58:00 p.m.  
Blogger L. said...

"He'll be so thrilled he rescued it..."

Everything you`ve done for him?


9/11/2006 12:10:00 a.m.  
Blogger Candace said...

You know...maybe I should start backing up my stuff, too.

9/11/2006 09:33:00 a.m.  
Blogger LoryKC said...

I can always count on your site for some helpful advice!
I need to go backup my computer...NOW. (The current WIP is on a disk but!)

9/11/2006 10:37:00 a.m.  
Blogger Kristen said...

ACK, how scary! I'm so glad Adam is there to help - I would not have known what to do, and probably would have kept turning it off and on like a moron. I'm so glad it's fine!

9/11/2006 10:44:00 a.m.  
Anonymous BeckaJo said...

Sorry to have missed this earlier. I am so glad your baby survived. Wondering if you backed up your LIFE is a wee bit stressful, eh?

Two years ago, I pulled an all-nighter to finish a paper. Somewhere around three a.m. I made a cup of tea and approached my laptop. My hand just gave way and ups! - tea all over. I knew it was dead. It was horrible. I had to re-create the whole paper from a draft I had done a month before. (Still got an A!)

I still cannot bear to throw away the poor iBook carcass. It deserved better!

9/11/2006 03:46:00 p.m.  
Blogger lara said...

i second lady m's comment - live-in tech support is a lifesaver. i have much appreciation for my fiance's magical understanding of all things technological. in exchange for his imparting said understanding at appropriate times, i don't (often) mock him for his lack of pop culture knowledge. :-P

9/11/2006 04:56:00 p.m.  

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