Goodnight Irene

We had it better than most.
When the power went out, it was Saturday at 8:30 pm.  We played a game of Life by candlelight, trying to remember the box-top rules that we had forgotten thirty years ago.  I had a few beers out of the cooler.  We played Electronic Clue, a battery-powered reinvention of the original.  We went to bed early, after a game of War, after watching the winds bend the little tree in the front yard, and after much worrying how long we’d be without power and how much of our food we would have to throw away.  I worried how come I was such a loser at Life and Clue.  And I have to do something about the tree out front, which is now leaning precariously to the left.
The power came back on Sunday at 11:30 am.  We were hardly inconvenienced at all, and I credit our location near a CSX and Amtrak railroad crossing as the reason we got power before the subdivisions did only 1000 feet away.  We were on the right grid.
It has been a week since Irene came by for a quick little “How do you do?” and some of my friends in Richmond are still without power.  I feel for them, because even though Irene was nasty, Isobel a few years ago was worse, at least to us.  Five days without power or a bath can lead to murderous cabin fever.  Have you ever tried to cook spaghetti outside on a gas grill? 
What is it with hurricanes that begin with I?
Irene did hurt me where I needed it the least.  The bitch kicked me in the digital nuts!  When the power came back on, it fried the power supply in my computer.  I know, this is, at most, an inconvenience; computers can be fixed.  And a friend has graciously volunteered to fix it for me when the new power supply I ordered arrives in my mail box.  (Thanks, Jason!)
But my problem stems from being in the middle of manuscript revisions.  My novel, The Enigma Club, is thoroughly illustrated, and my agent asked me to add whatever illustrations I already had into the manuscript.  Nowadays, it seems, editors at all the major NY publishing houses read agented manuscripts on their iPads or Kindles, and my agent wants to send out a Word .doc that is as representative of my intended product as possible.
I can’t do that without my computer.
So as I wait for my part to arrive and I can then get on with my life, I’m forced to look at my email and Facebook and do some blogging on my sister-in-law’s laptop (Thanks, Jenn!), an HP PC that is absolutely gorgeous to look at, but a machine that I absolutely detest.
I’m a Mac guy — always have been, always will be.  Macs work with you, not against you.  For instance, I have been at this PC keyboard, blogging, for about 15 minutes.  Within that time span, the screen has changed size on me no less than five times.  I realize it has something to do with the track pad and my finger placement, but I have tested the damn thing several times and I still have no idea why the pad gets “sticky” or how the errant touch of a fingertip can make the screen almost unreadable.  In Firefox, Windows open all by themselves if the cursor simply hovers over a link.  WTF?
So Irene, please go straight to hell.  I banish you to the Poor Farm in Rusty’s game of Life.  We will all survive your blind wrath eventually, but your after effects linger like Wal-Mart perfume.
Bitch, you smell like ass.
And give me back my Mac!

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