Crash and burn

My husband used to cannibalize old computers to build new computers. To wit, we have a garage full of adaptors, cables, motherboards, fatherboards, wysywigs, and whatnots. Last weekend he got to put his rusty skills to the test when our internet virus protection software (which begins with N and ends with ton) lapsed. Warning: graphic descriptions of nerdy stuff ahead.

Early Saturday, I turned on my computer to find the message, “dia*3marrymeRoger/666.exe cannot start.” It then flashed dire predictions of Trojans, kiddy porn, worms, viruses, rabid gorillas, global destruction, and IRS audits. I think it was trying to get my attention. These came with obnoxious sound effects, like goats strangling on cheese balls. I immediately woke my husband so he could spend countless hours of frustration on a Saturday.

A local man made the news when he popped a couple caps into his daughter’s laptop after she posted a smassy comment about him on Facebook. The local jurisdiction considered this justifiable cause for discharging a firearm in public. Too bad I didn’t have a firearm.

When my husband’s efforts failed, I decided to do the computer equivalent of hitting it with a hammer. I unplugged my laptop and removed the battery. I should mention, that my husband poo-pooed this idea. Fortunately, it worked, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to write this rant about the evil, pernicious, software makers who just want to bully you into hitting the “buy my stuff, or else” panic button. Ironically, we had already bought their update, but their spanking prevented us from uploading the stuff.

Fortunately, I can now get back to the excruciating exercise of completing my company taxes. If you hear a loud bang, it’s just me popping a cap into Quickbooks.

What’s under the hood?

I’m relatively sure I’m not delusional, but the chirping noise that my car was making was, according to my husband, a figment of my imagination. In his defense, he listened to a lot of heavy metal in his youth, which can rupture an eardrum more effectively than using an ice pick to clean out ear wax.

My son heard the noise and made dire predictions of broken CV joints, ripped up spider gears, busted pumpkins, and total self-destruction of the transmission. In South Carolina, that would make my car a two-ton lawn ornament. When hurricane Irene came through, many cars were blown off their blocks.

Since I didn’t want that fate for my beloved, and totally paid-for car, I flew into action, and told my husband I was taking it to the dealer. That’s how we ended up in Jedburg, with one of his work buddies taking my car apart in front of his backyard auto repair garage.

“Put it in neutral,” he shouted from somewhere under the jacked up car. First of all, there were no blocks behind the wheels, the car had already drifted close to the garage door as it was jacked up, and this guy was trusting his life to gravity and my husband’s eye-hand coordination.

To remove my car from “Park” you must first start the engine and bypass “Reverse” with the gear shift on the way to “Neutral”. This proved difficult for my sweetheart. I watched in horror as he toggled it back and forth between reverse and neutral, before he was confident that he had it right. By some divine intervention, the car did not jump off the jack, pinning our friend’s skull to the ground, and totally screwing up the wheel bearings. Hooray!

In the end, our friend came through, and discovered that the only problem was a loose clip-on weight thingy used for balancing the tires. He removed it, the chirping stopped, and my faith in backwoods mechanics was restored. He didn’t ask a penny for his time, and neither did Gerald’s Tire and Auto when they rebalanced the tire. Gerald’s even left a long stem rose on the dashboard.

This morning my computer crashed. At least, when the computer tech jacks it up and looks under the hood, he won’t be putting his life in immediate peril, but I’m not letting my husband put it in neutral.