No good vacation goes unpunished

I wrote earlier about our vacation in PA and NY. I don’t know about your family but ours goes slightly insane when we get home from vacation. I planned a “buffer day” this time so I was so optimistic.

My darling husband did not plan a buffer day and was scheduled to be at work at 6 am the next day. He decided that all of the laundry needed to be done immediately. I tried in vain to remind him that I had a buffer day planned in but it was useless. Mind you, he does most of the laundry in our house J so there is not much point to a big fight.

We’ve all got our weird things. Mine is usually to go through the mail. I don’t know why but going through a big stack of mail is always satisfying. Well the mail had been put on hold, (quite logically I’ll add), so that job would have to wait. Time to check the voicemail. That’s funny, no voicemail? Wait a minute, no dial tone either. Hmmmm

We have internet phone, if the computer goes down so does the phone. Check the computer. That’s weird, the computer won’t power up and look, the back up isn’t lit up. Remain calm, I’m sure it’s just a snag. Hours later we determined that in fact it was not a snag but we didn’t know what it was.

The kids are ready to crash and watch a little something so they try to turn on the TV. No cable. “Hey Mom, this is just like being Amish” says my son.

The next morning darling husband is off to work and I take the kids for a short day at their respective daytime locations. They’ve been away from their friends for over a week. It’s Buffer day and my plan is to take the computer in for a diagnosis, pick up some groceries and finish the laundry. Sounds easy right?

Here we go. Take the kids to their respective locations. Told that one needs swimwear and the other forgot her blanket. Back to the house, back to each kid to deliver essential items. Go to the major electronics store for computer. They’re not open yet so run to the grocery store. Have a small stroke at the prices for groceries and load up the trunk. Drive back to the major electronics and give them the computer.

“It’s probably just the power, about $75 no problem, we’ll take a look.”

“Well I’ll take the groceries home.”

“No need, it will only take a few minutes.”

I’ve not been browsing here lately. I look at laptops. I’d love a laptop for my blogging. “Ma’am your power source is in fact fried, we can fix that but there is no guarantee that the rest of the computer is going to work.”

“How will you be able to tell?”

“Once we fix the power we can check”

Fine, go ahead.

Shouldn’t there be some kind of bypass machine for computers? Like the heart lung ones they use for transplants. Someway to run the power to see if there is any hope of saving the machine before I pay to give it a new organ?

I get in the car to take the groceries home during the diagnostic. Grab a few bags to bring into the house and the skies open with torrential rain. I can’t find my house key!!! Okay, load the groceries back into the trunk, get back into the car and drive to my husband’s office. I would like to apologize to any of the staff at the Lennon Dr. Post office. I am usually a much nicer person than the shrill harpy you met. Get the key from my husband, go home, unpack the groceries, a cold drink and a pee.

Back to check on the computer. It is fried, dead, unresponsive, and departed. It needs to go to the great server in the sky (which in this case is the trunk of the car). I ask the repair cost and get the usual “It’ll cost more to fix it than to get a new one” Of course it will. Do a little shopping, make selections, schedule installation date (free install with the computer special). Computer will be at the house in two days and we’ll be back up and running.

I run to the library to send out a massive e-mail to everyone we know letting them know how to get in touch with us if needed. Finally home! Ten minutes before my husband arrives. Ten minutes of peace and quiet, not exactly what I was planning for today but more than most days.

When the computer is brought in for install we find out that the modem is fried, as is the battery back up. It appears that we had a lightning strike hit the cable. Not the electric but the cable and thus our battery back up/surge protector did not work. Get a new modem from the cable company and go buy a new battery back up/surge protector.

Had the most helpful sales guy at Office Depot! Dude if I could remember your name I’d be sending a note to your boss. If you are the guy who sold a battery backup/surge protector for about $200 on July 27th at the Office Depot on Oleander Dr. in Wilmington, NC make your boss read this blog. He actually listened to me, explained that I should save all my receipts because the manufacturer of the surge protector will reimburse us. Then I explain that it was the cable and the cable was not protected on the model we had. Finally all set and repaired. What a freakin’ pain in the butt.

Then I talk to my brother. He lives in Fayetteville, NC and he proceeds to tell me about how their home took a direct lightning hit down their chimney, cracking their fireplace. Of course the wife and kids were in the living room so it scared them to death. Fried all the appliances you would think of, TV’s, phones, DVD, etc but also their heat pump, garage door opener, pool cleaner, you name it. Somewhere between $10,000 and $15,000 worth of damage they’re waiting for the insurance adjusters to finish their estimate.

Boy do I feel like a whiner!

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