...while the rest of you were, I hope, opening presents and enjoying a loving day with those near and dear to you, I was slowly sinking into a major funk. I'm nowhere near being able to describe my feelings coherently, so that's not what this is about.
Naturally, as my anger grew, the more it seemed to me that everything was (a) going wrong or (b) happening for no other reason than to twist the knife deeper. Finally, the last straw: my neighbor started playing his "jazz" CD again, over and over. And over and over. I went for a walk -- from whence the bird photo came -- and, when I returned, he was still at it. The bass slicing through the thin walls was making me crazy.
In a moment of sheer and wonderful frustration, I decided I needed to replace the dead CD/DVD drive in my computer. Like now. Today. The first effort several days ago ended in failure, thwarted by a silly piece of plastic.
I vowed that today I would make the repairs, or one of us would not emerge from the room whole.
It was at this point that I discovered a basic difference between cheap and "quality" computers. The former, like my old $199 Chinese beast, are assembled with millions of tiny screws and rivets. All the drives and switches are fastened down solidly. But my fancier (and pricier) new machine has drives and subassemblies that slide into place.
That fershlugginer piece of plastic I thought was intended to discourage user service is what holds 'em down.
So: Side panel and front cover off (45 seconds), slide out messed-up drive (two seconds), unhook cables (five seconds). Take deep breath, slide in replacement (two seconds), hook up cables (one minute for my large fingers), replace panel and cover (30 seconds).
And it works.
I can once again listen to music while I work, and can get back to burning the CDs my friends requested.
It was easier than assembling kids' Christmas toys, too.
Damn, I wish I could fix busted relationships as easily as I can fix busted machines....
3 hours ago