Well, I have now — quite accidentally — spent my first weekend completely away from my laptop.
On the way to Kansas last Friday, I was getting ready to ask my wife to take over the driving so I could do some writing while we were on the road when it hit me: I had forgotten to bring my laptop. Of course, I immediately hit the brakes, spun around 180° on the highway, and headed back west, dodging cars left and right as I wove my way through the oncoming traffic.
OK, maybe that’s the way it happened in my imagination. In actuality, it was clear that we had gone too far and were on too tight a timetable to afford a trip back to fetch it. (Though fetching it did cross my mind…) So, this weekend I had the opportunity to rediscover some writing utensils once used long ago by ancient man: pen and paper. And with a sermonette to give the next morning, my long dormant skills in using these archaic means of communication were immediately put to the test.
But now we are reunited, my laptop and I. (Culture quiz: How many of you, reading that last little sentence, thought of the Peaches and Herb song from 1979? I wish that I could say that I did not. Beware the music that you allow yourself to listen to growing up — it will come back to haunt you!) On turning it on, I noticed that it was acting rather odd. Upset at me, perhaps? Punishing me for not taking it along? I’ve heard that pets sometimes do that and this laptop is at least as smart as our cat, so I have to consider the possibility. But after a quick search on the memory address that the error kept throwing me, I was able to clean things up and my laptop and I are on speaking terms again.
By the way, the memory address I searched on Microsoft’s forums was “0x745f2780” — a string of numbers and letters that might seem familiar to some of you, because this same error is bothering a lot of people, I hear. The thread here on the MS forums provided me with a fairly user-friendly fix, unlike another fix I found on a different thread. You might take a look at that thread if you keep getting errors that reference the same memory address. The problem seems to be with the Windows Automatic Updater. (Mac users reading this entry are welcome to keep their Cheshier cat-like grins to themselves!)
Leaving my laptop also prevented me from accessing e-mail, and I fear the coming deluge. I haven’t actually downloaded them yet from Charter, though I did dip my toe in using Charter’s webmail feature while I was researching the above mentioned problem. I know that once I do the rest of my day will likely be taken up by e-mail management, so I have been hesitant to do it until some other matters are taken care of — such as apologizing to all of you who have been checking this blog out over the weekend hoping to see something other than the same entry that you have already read. My apologies! My laptop and I have put in place an emergency blog plan, where the laptop is authorized to post on my behalf should I ever leave it alone for more than 48 hours, again.
I had planned on posting that Friday at our hotel on an article I read in Friday’s Wall Street Journal about the possible connection some scientists believe they have discovered between the wiring of our brains and morality. It was a fascinating article, and I had packed that page of the paper away in my laptop bag so that I could write on the road and post on arrival. I saw in the WSJ today that the article was one of the most read (#1 most read, I believe) and most e-mailed (#4 or #5, I think) WSJ stories in recent days, so apparently others found it rather fascinating as well. I will wrap up here and write on that in a new entry.
Thanks for your patience! Now that I have one of those “house arrest” proximity alarms attached to my ankle keeping me within 20 yards of my laptop at all times, hopefully things like this won’t happen anymore. (And, yes, I am still singing “Reunited” in my head. I hate that song. I definitely plan on having words with Peaches and Herb in the Kingdom…)