Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Lap of Luxury

I am blogging to you from the coffeeshop formerly know as Humboldt Bay. I don't know what they call it now, but free wireless internet they surely do provide.
The kids are at school.
John is sitting across from me, grading student papers.
I am sipping a latte.
I am using my new laptop. (It's sleek and blue and according to the company that makes it, "a fashion statement". And it works without needing to be plugged in.)

Have I told my new laptop story yet? Ah, well, here you go.

My old laptop was showing its age more and more every day. A few years ago, the battery stopped taking enough of a charge to make it useful. That wasn't too big of a deal, since I'm usually only using it close to an outlet--I don't need the battery. The power supply blew up (thankfully while John was sitting next to it). We replaced that. The power supply jack got messed up so that the power supply had to be in there just so. Otherwise, the laptop would run off the battery that could only keep up for a minute or two. Using the laptop became an activity which was beginning to require too much of my attention. Somehow Hannah discovered how to pop the keys off the keyboard. The DVD player stopped working. None of these were too big of a problem until the battery stopped accepting any charge at all. Now the slightest jiggle, knocking the power supply out of it's special place, would shut the computer off with no warning. Using the laptop became an activity fraught with anxiety.
I started dreaming of a new laptop.
At Costco one day, I saw the very one I wanted. Sleek, with a smaller screen than most, the right amount of computing power, the right brand. It was fairly inexpensive, as far as such things go, but out of my range.
I continued to dream. My children learned a few new vocabulary words each time I lost work. I could have bought a new battery for the poor thing. Why would I do that when I could just as well whine about needing a whole new machine? I'd had the other one for 5 years, anyway.
It took some convincing (for all my complaining, I have a hard time spending any money on myself), but we finally decided to go get me a new laptop.
I don't need to tell you that when we got to Costco, they had just sold the last laptop. And they were not planning on getting any more.
I started to consider my options. Looked for deals online, called other Costcos to see if they had any left (there were 11 somewhere in Oregon and a few in Montana). The newer version of what I wanted was available online for $700 more than I was planning on spending. But it was on backorder.
I sighed and ordered a new battery for the old laptop.
Since I was shopping on eBay anyway, I figured I might as well take a peek at laptops.
And there it was... Better than the one at Costco. Blue to match my eyes. The opening bid was pretty low. It was not being sold by someone in Taiwan or Malaysia. Clearly, it was meant to be.

True fact about my new laptop: the woman I bought it from got it on Oprah's Favorite Things show. I figure it's going to be perfect for writing my memoir.

Oh, and I gave the old laptop (with its new battery) to John. He's thrilled.

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