June 25th, 2005

Le théâtre de l'absurde

Gremlins

Here is a list of things that have mysteriously shit the bed (ah, colorful euphemisms...) this week:

a) Cordless Phone - The battery is no longer accepting a charge, so it looks like I may end up seeking out a cell sooner than later. Once that's accomplished, I'll need to decide what to do with the land line and my connection to the internets.

b) DVD Player - I guess I can't complain too much since it was free, except that it was working fine on Thursday, and when I came home last night, I found that it refuses to read disks. I know that Joe abandoned it to watch Heat in his room on his spanky new laptop last night, so I'm guessing that something catastrophic happened to the player on his watch. I'm less than happy over this.

c) CD-ROM/DVD Drive - I'd be less inclined to rage over the loss of the free DVD player if it weren't for the fact that this device failed, too. Curiously, it's suffering the same problem as its cousin - it simply refuses to read disks. I needed a burner anyway.

d) PC's Internal Memory - This one's my own damned fault. I've got two different sticks on the board, and this week, I started getting memory parity errors. Unfortunately, it's not really worth picking up a matching pair since it's an older machine and the price of legitimately compatible memory is something in the magnitude of a quarter of an upgrade to a machine that's three times as fast and comes standard with twice as much memory as I'd be buying. Scavenging, it seems, has reached its limits.

On the up side, I found these, and am now in the process of deciding whether Zoe needs either a "My Ribbon Is Better Than Your Ribbon" or an "I Support More Troops Than You" magnet.
The gentleman is always properly dressed

I'm currently unsure whether Radio Shack Gnomes are preferable to Gremlins

"Hi can I help you find something?"
"Sure." I hold up the NiCad battery I need to replace so people can talk to me. "How much would it be for a new one of these?"
"Oh, easily $15.00." He finds one and demonstrates either that he can predict the future, or that the price of phone batteries is a fairly common question. As he hands me the new one, he asks, "How old is that?"
"Two or three years at least."
"So, probably a 900?"
"That's my guess."
"Well, you really should upgrade to a 2.4. We've got one here on sale for..."
"Thanks, but I'm not in the market for a new land line. This might just be a stop gap."
"Except that by the time you buy two of these batteries, you've already paid more than you would for a whole new phone."
"I guess that's something I'll have to live with."
"...and it's really easy for the police to pick up your signal with a 900. You really should upgrade."
"I hadn't really thought to discuss my illicit activities on my cordless, but I'll be sure to keep that in mind."
"Do you have an answering machine in your setup?"
"No."
"So you have to pay voicemail charges each month? That's just like throwing money in the toilet."
"Please let me reiterate. I need a battery. I'm not interested in a phone right now, and if you keep trying to sell me one, I'm sure I can find another place that will be happy to sell me just a $15.00 battery."
"Ok, well, I'm David. If you change your mind, I'l be over here."
"Thanks, Dave. If I need your help, I'll be sure to come running."

The worst part? He talked like Uncle Sam. I kid you not.