The Damn Kids Keep You Honest
So now that i’m at home with not much racing coming up, its a great time to 1) relax a bit and 2) catch up on all the crap i’ve been putting off. you know, the projects that wouldn’t take all day but are too involved to just knock off and would be pretty easy to blow off if you’re smashed from riding in the rain. i don’t know how many times i told myself “I’ll do it after Cali” and i’m sure my wife is sick of hearing that put-off line.
Anyway, one of my projects was to fix my laptop.  and this doesn’t mean bringing it in the a Mac store and letting some “genius” handle it, the warranty period is out and it would cost 450 dollars for them to do it.  and it’s not like it’s something you can just do without: the disc drive has been jammed for 6 months, whirring and grinding every time you put a disc in.  Gotta get it working.  So i ordered a drive off ebay (31 bucks), and downloaded the 54 page instructions on “dismantling your computer into 1000000 tiny pieces.”  Armed with a downright miniscule screwdriver, i got to it.
I gotta say it was relatively painless, except for my eyes from squinting at tiny screws to see if they were 3mm or 4.5mm long and yes it makes a difference. here’s the halfway stage i.e. i’ve stripped out as much as i can including the offending Superdrive. the bare mass of electronic gadgetry had me wondering if the thing would ever work again, and at this point things took a turn for the worse.
the guy on ebay had shipped me a UJ-857A when the auction clearly called for an UJ-857C and who in their right mind can tell the difference by looking at the two but it didn’t fit, that was my first hint. (A note to those of you who DO know the difference: please don’t tell me.)
So now i was stuck with my computer on the operating table with nothing to transplant in, so i thought i’d make things worse by opening up the drive and se if there was anything glaringly obvious as to what was wrong. here’s the pic, can you see it?
YEAH, THE DAMN PENNY. it was actually so wedged in there that i looked past it twice as all i could see was the smooth round edge.  i just assumed it was supposed to be like that, but then i noticed it was the only thing that was copper-colored.  so i looked a little closer.  It was a serious “light going on” moment when you suddenly and irrefutably know what you’re looking at and you know you’ve solved all your problems.  
Sometimes your kids can be little pests, and you can dig deep and still find little signs of their effects on you, but you still love them in spite of, and a bit because of, all their hard efforts to drive you loony.
Saturday, March 7, 2009