Saturday, April 02, 2011

March Madness

Well, March is over at last, and a mad month it certainly was. Sorry I've been so dilatory in posting, but things have been a bit hairy around here. Just as March break was starting, Emma dropped out of college. The program was just overwhelming her, and now she wants to change to a different one. We have to think carefully about this; I'm afraid that it might be the same story with ANY program - OK the first year, then it gets progressively harder until it's too much for her. It took a week or two, but I'm finally over the shock, and now we can use our heads coolly. I keep telling myself that there are thousands of people in Japan who would trade problems with me, and it's not that bad, but it still threw me for a loop.

Then last week, James struck with his typical criminal brilliance. He took a pair of scissors and cut the electric cord of the iMac computer! Fortunately the cord is removable and I guess I can get a new one, but there's no way of telling if the computer itself was damaged until I can reconnect it and examine it. I first realized what had happened when he came upstairs carrying the iMac and I saw what had happened to the cord - obviously he wanted an audience. When I went downstairs, I found that he had also cut the cords of the keyboard and the mouse, so those will have to be replaced. He had also shorted out all the lights and outlets on that circuit; I tried to fix it, but it was too dark in the garage, and all the switches on the fusebox seemed to be in in the ON position. Finally I gave up and told Dean we'd have to call an electrician the next day.

The electrician found the fuse - it WAS off, but it wasn't visible. But while they were here we got them to fix another outlet that had never worked, so it wasn't a wasted call.

The followup to the Mac destruction came the next day. James came up to me with a piece of paper on which he'd written in very large letters: DELL. Dell? Dell? So that's what all this was about? He didn't want to use the Mac, so he figured if he sabotaged it I'd have to buy him a Dell instead? That little &$#@**@@!! Just for that, I decided I'd leave him without ANY computer for a week, so he'd appreciate it more, but he doesn't seem repentant. He's very tranquilly gone over to watching his "101 Dalmations" tape, and still wants a Dell. Now I'm afraid to bring back the Mac - what if he throws it out the window to REALLY finish it off? Perhaps I should just wait until he's asking for it to come back again. It's weird, because he used the Mac like an expert, and never betrayed any hint that he didn't like it. I don't know where he gets his ideas.

Oh, and he's also clogged up one of our toilets, and even the mighty auger can't free it. I suspect that he flushed a towel down there, because I managed to extract a tiny fragment of terrycloth. It's probably time to replace that toilet with an uber-toilet like the one we have on the ground floor. They'll all go that way eventually, I suppose.

Finally, the clothes dryer has reached the end of the line. It's the last appliance in the house that was here when we moved in. Over the winter, it was getting feebler and feebler - over an hour to dry underwear? Ridiculous. Then a few days ago, this odd, scary smell started coming from it - a kind of oily smell, so I think the wires are overheating. It's time for a new one, so on Thursday I went to the Maytag store, where we'd bought our washer several years ago. The new dryer will arrive Wednesday night. Meanwhile, it's warm and sunny out, so we can dry clothes outside, which I prefer anyway.

So that's my recitation of woes for the past month.


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