Saturday, July 12, 2008


Years ago, the Morton Salt people came up with a brilliant slogan to promote their table salt, compounded with special additives that allow it to remain free-flowing even in humid environments.

“When it rains, it pours.”

But the slogan itself is not original: It’s a slightly edited version of a venerable old proverb, “It never rains, but it pours.”

More crudely: Not only does shit happen, but when it happens, a whole bunch of it happens all at once.

This has been the month of the Failing Mechanical Contrivances.

First it was Mr. Camera. For some inexplicable reason, the main control chip cacked while we were in Destin. I was able to squeeze out a couple of photos, but it was a Herculean effort involving a lot of tinkering with the reset switch. Not a tenable long-term solution. So into the shop it went.

Mr. Camera is back home now, $235 dollars later...but at least now I can take pictures.

Too bad I can’t do much with ’em. Mr. Computer ate it Thursday evening, probably the result of an electrical storm. It had been running normally that day, but after I put it through an uneventful planned Windows-approved shutdown, it refused to awaken. The problem? A blown power supply. So it’s in the shop now.

The lightning took down our Internet connection. Fortunately, the issue was simply a blown-out surge protector, a Protective Device that had done its job admirably, laying down its life so that our DSL modem might live. One new surge protector, and our high-speed Internet was back in business.

Alas, our satellite dish was now also on the fritz. It took several hours to reestablish partial service...the working diagnosis is a dead or dying LNB. The service people are supposed to fix everything up tomorrow evening...and we may end up with a new DVR as part of the deal.

Our Wii died, too - probably a result of the same electrical storm that played hob with our surge protector. It’s still under warranty, so all we have to do is ship it to Nintendo...a pain in the ass, to be sure, but at least not an expensive pain in the ass.

Did I mention that we just replaced our 17-year-old washer and dryer? The washer was fine, but the dryer had developed the bad habit of depositing a mysterious brown substance on light-colored clothing. The Missus had had her eye on one of those new front-loading washers, so this provided the perfect excuse to get a Matched Set. Whee!

I guess I can’t complain. Mechanical contrivances will break; it is their nature. Better that than broken people (kein ayin hora).

But why, O Lord - whay all at the same damn time?

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