Saturday, August 10, 2013

It Seems Funny Now...

So Friday, as I'm getting ready to depart the work area, as I'm preparing to "down tools" and cease my labors for the weekend, I realize something. It's going to be over three weeks before I return to my "office" (it's actually a table in a computer lab). So, bearing that in mind, I have to take my laptop with me. This will be the first time since I've had my new computer issued to me that it will get stuffed in its carrying bag and hit the road with Your Humble Scribe.

Now I have told the tale of how I came to have this laptop here, so I won't rehash that now. Suffice to say, I do not like this laptop nor do I care for the rinky-dink POS operating system that it came with. For the laptop is a low-end piece of crap and the operating system is fit only to amuse the IT minions. No doubt the company got a deal on the whole thing. I rather wish they'd found the guy who sold Jack the beans instead, but I digress.

One thing I also need to mention is that it rained yesterday. It hasn't really rained in Little Rhody in appreciable amounts for some time now. There are spots in the yard here at Chez Sarge that were starting to look like the Bonneville salt flats.

(Yes I am exaggerating, there are no mountains like that in Rhode Island...)

So anyhoo...

It was pouring rain yesterday, really coming down. All day I could hear it drumming on the roof where I sit. So keep that in mind, it's an important component in this tale.

So I'm packing up to leave. I'll be Up North for two weeks and then out in California for a week, visiting some of the progeny. So I'll need my laptop, though it be nearly useless, it's not completely useless. It's far better than a sharp stick in the eye.

So I pop the laptop off the docking station and as I lift it to stuff it into the carrying bag, I see something fall off of the laptop. Not something small mind you. No, what appears to be a major chunk of the laptop has separated and gone on ahead into the carrying case. (Probably to make sure it has a good seat for the trip no doubt.)

I flip the laptop over and see there is a hole, by design, where the battery is supposed to go. So now I know what fell off. "Silly buggers," I think, "they never properly seated the battery." So I lift the battery from the case and notice something else.

A piece of masking tape on the battery. And thereupon (written, I believe, in crayon) are the words "Bad Battery". Alone in the lab I do one of those comedic double takes, "Say what?"

So I figure, wonderful, come Monday I'll be Up North in another facility, where I won't be able to deal with this whole "battery thing". Fortunately I don't really need the battery. But as you might guess, my love of our IT Department is somewhat the weaker for it.

At any rate, I'm all packed up and ready to roll. When I get to the main entrance I see that it's still raining, but it's not pounding down. Just a light rain. No problem, so I'll get a little damp while walking to the car. Not a big deal, after all, it IS Friday. So I'm not going to sweat the small stuff.

As I get halfway to the car I notice that the rain has picked up. It really feels like someone has just dumped a bucket of water on me. I haven't seen rain this heavy since the Philippines, OMG it is coming down.

Fact: I am soaking wet.

Fact: Running to the car will not make me less wet.

Fact: When I get to the car, I need to pick the door on the lee side, otherwise the car will be as wet as me.

So I continue the stroll to the car, like I said, I'm already soaked. No big deal, for it is warm out and it is Friday. No need to sweat the small stuff.

As I approach the car I notice that the rain is slanting in in such as way that if I open the driver's side door, the driver's seat (that would be my seat) will get drenched. I want to avoid that. So I go to the passenger's side. As I open the door, guess what.

The wind shifts, nearly 180 degrees.

Yes, the passenger's side is now getting drenched. So quickly I close the door and dash to the driver's side. I want to get in before the wind shifts again. Which I manage.

So I'm in the car, fairly soaked. After I clean my glasses off, so I can see where I'm going, I buckle up, 
start the engine and prepare to taxi. Oh, what's that light on the instrument panel?

Seems the rain got someplace that's not really amenable to water. My car is claiming that the "Side Airbags Are Off". Wonderful. With my luck, today is the day some ee-jit pulls into traffic and broadsides me.

But everything seemed (as the Germans say) In Ordnung, so off I went. Home for a nice weekend. I would worry about the light tomorrow, sure that once Big Girl dried off, she'd be fine. As would I.

This morning? No light on the dash, no worries. Everything is dried out. Including me. And it was kind of funny, looking back at it. And besides, it's a gorgeous day. Also there's this, which the WSO sent me last night -

Today is Little Bit's birthday and she's happy because Daddy is home from Fallon. And she gets to wear Daddy's helmet.

I think it looks good on her.

(Happy Birthday to Little Bit and a belated Happy Birthday to the Big O, my grandson. His birthday was yesterday. We have a lot of birthdays in August! The Naviguesser's birthday is ten four days from now. (Inline update: The WSO asked me if she had forgotten what day her brother's birthday was. No, I had a brain toot. If'n ya know what I mean.) Like I said, a lot of birthdays this month.)


  1. Happy Birthdays all around!

    SN1's birthday is this month, too... four days after the Naviguesser's. I MIGHT be there to celebrate it with him, The Deity At Hand and Death Panels willing.

    I feel for ya with the laptop situation, which is 180-out from what I experienced in the civilian world. My companies always gave us great tools to work with... no false economies there.

    1. You may note that I had to update when my son's birthday is. Like I told the WSO, math was never my strong suit.

      Hoping you make it to SN1's birthday. Good luck with the GD bureaucrats. (And I don't mean the ones at General Dynamics.)

  2. August is a good month for birthdays.
    My favorite cousin's is soon.

    1. Well, there's the holidays nine months before August. Lots of Christmas cheer I'm thinking.

  3. Sounds like that POS needs be 'ahem' Returned to IT in the same shape you got it... e.g. in pieces... :-)

    1. I've thought about returning it to them in two ways:

      1) Strapped to a JDAM

      2) Strapped to a suppository

      I figure neither method would really endear me to the Powers That Be. So no doubt I'll just suck it up and soldier on.


  4. She looks very good in that helmet.

    1. I'd like to say that behind that visor she has the steely-eyed gaze of a hunter...

      But she's only three!

  5. As I open the door, guess what. The wind shifts, nearly 180 degrees.

    Never fails.:)

  6. It's one thing for IT to give you a lousy laptop or OS because of company decisions or resources, but to intentionally give you a bad battery smacks of incompetence, or what we called it on the flight line- maintenance malpractice. Gotta call them on it or advise the Dept Supervisor. During a Senior Leader Seminar for a combined exercise overseas, somebody kicked a plug out of a wall during a presentation. Shouldn't have been a bid deal since the battery backup just keeps things rolling like it should, if however, the battery wasn't in a similar state as the one you described. Needless to say we were more than a little embarrassed since we looked like fools in front of a bunch of Ministers of the Interior from the Arab world. IT can't expect you to always have shore power installed.

    1. Our IT folks seem to be not "ready for prime time".

      Of course I'm off-site for the next three weeks, so I get to deal with this over e-mail. Sort of loses some of its impact when I'm not able to shove that battery up someone's tailpipe!

  7. Geez, I was hoping to read how you jogged through the rain, tripped sending your laptop into a puddle where it expired and you had to replace it with a far better model...sigh....

    1. That would have been a happy ending.

      (Why didn't I think of that?)


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