Catastrophic hardware failure

The Short Version

This blog will in time be replaced by alonger, more detailed version of the story. This is the barest outline.
First, I have to thank Dorothea with all the firm, orotund, look-her-in-the-eyes genuine gratitude a friend can muster (I’m not blogging each permalink because she’s doing this in segments, and each is noteworthy, and together it’s overwhelming. Go to her page and scroll). She’s taking apart my blog template, line by line, and not only cleaning it up and fixing all the sillinesses, but is teaching me (and, if necessary, you) how to do it right, and why. This is the sort of thing people pay The Big Money for, although then they usually don’t want to know the “why” part. And Jonathan Delacour and Mark Pilgrim are watching and chipping in. Amazing–thank you all. (CSS next, I think, though it’s a hard choice. Do I now just paste in the code for all the stuff ou’ve written so far, or should I wait till the whole deal is squared away?)
But–and here’s the reason I am so late in acknowledging Dorothea’s work–this morning we woke up to get ready for church and Mother’s Day to find two+ inches of water in our basement, our basement that serves as storage space and hang-out center for our home, where everything sits or lies on the floor. Except when it’s floating around doing its “This is Lake Michigan, isn’t it?” imitation. Ho, ho, ho.

The kids and I all had roles in church this morning, so we went off to worship, leaving Margaret to celebrate Mothers Day in a dark,wet basement. Even after we got home from church and had been working for hours, we had gotten nowhere. Margaret said, “We just can’t do this by ourselves,” and called some of the seminarians. In no time flat, three seminarians and spouses (no, to be exact, one solo seminarian and one seminarian with spouse) showed up and were hauling out wet carpet and dragging wet book boxes (sob) to the trash. In A while another three or four showed up, and by four o’clock all of the worst work had been done, and a fair amount of the next-to-worst. The basement is drying, and though we still have a horrible mess to deal with, and no carpet, we went from despair to relief in scant minutes through Margaret’s brilliant common sense and the generosity of Jeff, Todd, Jolene, Frank, David, and Jennifer. A.J. and Holly came by after quitting time, too.

An on-line barn-raising and a physical-world salvage operation, all gifts of grace from staggeringly generous friends. God bless you all.

Oh, and happy Mother’s Day.


Fried motherboard, or clogged sump pump: which is worse? Up till this morning I’d have thought it was a no-brainer, but when you fry your motherboard, you have a strong incentive to buy a whole new computer, which will invariably be more powerful and fun than the one you had before. When you ruin a carpet and a futon with seepage, you wind up with. . . either an empty-looking basement (us) or a new carpet and futon, which don’t really measure up for excitement to a new CPU.
So I was thinking, if I told the Dean that I had a catastrophic hardware failure and needed a new laptop, would he fund a computer purchase? That would make all the bailing and the backaches more nearly endurable.

The earlier report turned out to be longer than I thought, so I’ll wrap up our Terrible Mother’s Day report and go to bed, hoping that my back won’t entirely seize up overnight. I had to bring the earlier blog to an end because the boys were scheduled to sing in the choir at the concluding Bach Week performance at St. Luke’s, and Margaret and I were ushering, and Pippa was being a wild card. So we showered off, stumbled down to church, where everyone was lovely and the music was exquisite, and we careened home as soon as we could. The basement is actually approximating dryness now, thanks again to our spectacular friends, and there was a message waiting for us on the phone. One of my advisees heard about the disaster and was too late to help bail, so he baked us a pie, a beautful cherry pie with a heart-shaped cut-out, and some ice cream “to cut the sweetness.”

For a really dreadful day, some awfuly wonderful things have been happening to us. Thanks, Markover gang, and thanks, seminary mop-and-bucket crew. Now I have to crash.

PS to Dorothea: usually MSIE 5 for my Mac, but I’ve been seeing Mozilla on the side. And sometimes iCab will take you places no one else will. But I’ve never been to the Opera. The ideal execution of the design would have a purple border running straight up the left side, with the title illustration not overlapping (that’s the way our stationery looks), but when I saw that MSIE placed the illustration over the border, I rather liked the effect and was content with it. So I’m not very worried about whether the purple border runs under or beside the title jpg. Thanks for asking.

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