Maintenance Day

Kage Baker assigned me all the IT tasks in our household. And the garbage, and the baking. She did the rest of the cooking, the beds and stubborn stains. Plumbing and other utility disasters were mine; bugs and spiders were hers. Most everything else we shared, on the basis of who was closest and could reach it.

Today was an IT day for me. I finally got Fry’s Electronics to tell me what the ransom was, and sprang my poor CPU from their fiendish service department. Maybe they aren’t entirely fiends; they did a good repair job – they just have a demonic disinterest in communicating in any known language, and I had no handy oracle for translation. I’d ask what the problem was; they’d tell me how long it would take (they lied); I’d ask when it would be ready, and they would give me the store hours. I was raving by the time I picked it up today.

Of course, the general atmosphere of the Burbank Fry’s is very condusive to dementia. It is a huge warehouse out in the industrial section of Burbank, with a life-sized model of a UFO crashed into the front wall. The saucer juts proudly over the Handicapped section of the parking lot, glittering balefully. Inside, giant atomic ants (from Them) and robots and Storm Troopers and Sith Lords and little green aliens are lurking all over the place; also, a nice assortment of US military people shooting desperately from dubious redoubts amid the coaxial cables. The in-house cafeteria is a drive in – really, the booths are actually cars – and the check out area is a diner, complete with interesting adverts for Blue Plate specials that don’t exist and a world-class selection of snacks and candy, which do. Only place I know where I can always find peppermint bark.

I love the Burbank Fry’s.

I usually buy parts and do my own repairs, but I’d never replaced a motherboard before: I chickened out. It took them 3 weeks, during which time I stole the Buke back from poor Kimberly (who was using it in her corner of the couch to do her teacher homework and play a little Plants Vs. Zombies) and have picked desperately at the half-sized keys for 21 days, now. But tonight – ah, tonight! I have my CPU back, my dear out-sized flat screen is back in business, I have a full-sized keyboard and all is well!

I spent a happy 20 minutes under my desk putting the system all back together this afternoon. The little black cat insisted on helping me, which was was soft and purry but not really very useful; she has an unfortunate tendency to affectionately lick the monitor screen. A UCB jack had gotten bent, I think by a galloping Corgi, and I had to sculpt it back into true free-hand, with a screw-driver. And I had to clear a jam in the printer, which I’d been unable to access the programs for until I got the CPU back – it suffers unusual stress, due to the little black cat sleeping in it when I am not around to notice; then, of course, it promptly ran out of ink … but not before I was at least sure it was working again.

You can accumulate a lot of small problems when your computer system sits around in a coma for three weeks. Some of them meow. Found a few Good & Plenties in odd places, too, and removed them – I’m not sure of the conductivity of liquorice.

Anyway, that’s why I am writing late and not very coherently of my day. Kage would have carefully ignored all my steaming and cursing and carrying on, had she been here; quietly read a little, watched some cartoons, made me a splendid hot dinner for that moment when I got us re-connected to the aether … and lo! Re-connected we are!

Normality, or what passes for it around here, resumes on the morrow.

About Kate

I am Kage Baker's sister. Kage was/is a well-known science fiction writer, who died on January 31, 2010. She told me to keep her work going - I'm doing that. This blog will document the process.
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2 Responses to Maintenance Day

  1. Margaret says:

    Congratulations on your triumph over technology (and furry assistants). Do you think Harry may have been responsible for the Good and Plenty addenda?

  2. Kate says:

    It’s entirely possible Harry tossed the erratic Good and Plenties. He always wants some, but he doesn’t actually like them – when he realizes it’s the same crap, he throws them. Or the paddy paws of the little black cat may have girlishly flipped them about – oooh, pink things! Or it may have been me, missing my mouth in a late-night glycyrrhizic acid frenzy … not even the Corgi likes them. He’s an unnaturally picky eater. He begs for my candy, then puts it back down n the floor and looks up at me with an expression of sad WTF.
    I wonder if one has similar problems with human assistants?

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