The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

Prohibitory Sign


It looks like I will be taking an involuntary break from blogging.

This is what greeted me yesterday evening. I’d just left a meeting, where I’d been using my MacBook (just bought in September after the old one died) with no problems. I take it with me to work because, honestly, I prefer it. I guess I’ve gotten used to working on a Mac, and it just seems like there are a lot more great apps out there for Macs.

One minute, I was using NetNewsWire, and my computer completely froze. So, I held down the power button, restarted, and got the sign you see above.

I tried everything. I called Apple’s tech support and tried everything they recommended. No luck. The next step was to do an Archive and Install with the Mac OSX disks. The were at home. So it had to wait until I got home. (Actually, it had to wait until after I go home, had dinner, and the kids went to bed.)

Finally, I inserted the disk, and followed the directions. It’s been almost three hours. It’s still “Verifying the destination volume.” At this point, I’m not sure what do to. If I try to stop it, I might cause an even worse problem. I’m tempted to go to bed and see if it’s done by morning, or has at least made some progress.

If it hasn’t, I’m not sure what I’m going to do. Getting it fixed will take the one thing I don’t have much of right now. Time. I can call Apple support, but guess what? During the hours that they’re open — 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. — are hours that I’m at work or am busy with the family. Things don’t quiet down at in our house until around 9:00 p.m. Before that, I hardly have time to be on the phone with tech support for an hour, or hours. When I finally have time to call, there’s no one to call.

Time. That’s the one thing that having a functioning MacBook kind of helped me steal for writing, etc. (See, writing is a very solitary thing. So, I can’t do much of it at home, because it takes me away from my family as it requires me to spend time reading, thinking, etc.)

Lately, I’ve taken to using it on the train, when I ride to and from work (the only time — not counting time spent in the bathroom — that I have for myself). I download my RSS feeds and read them offline. I save stuff that I want to read. I research blog posts on it. I save blog posts and news articles that I want to read, and make notes on them for blogging later. I write blog posts on it and save them for blogging later. (I do a surprising amount of this on trains and buses, whenever I get a seat.)

In fact, it’s got about two posts on it that are 99% written, and all of my research and notes for the next installment of “The Society of the Owned.” If I can’t get it working again, or retrieve them, then they’ll just be lost. I’m not writing them again. I’m not researching them again. Given the amount of time it took to do all of that the first time, I’d rather just give up than go through all of that again, including the frustration. (I’m still grinding my teeth at night.)

For every hour that I spent writing or researching, I spent a day being frustrated because I couldn’t do the research and writing I wanted to do. Something else always takes priority. (In fact, I’d better hurry up and finish writing this post, because Dylan is making noises which suggest he’ll wake up wanting a bottle soon, and by the time I finish giving it to him, I won’t be able to keep my eyes open anymore. (That’s usually the case. By the time I have time to do the stuff I’ve been wanting to do, I’m too tired to do it.)

Maybe, maybe it’ll be working tomorrow. Or maybe I’ll be able to take it to the Apple Store and see if they can fix it. (Again, if I can find the time. Our weekend is already pretty packed.

What’s funny is that I was also going to write a post about the New York Times article on blog-related stress disorder.

Oh well, Dylan’s awake now. So I have to be done.

It’s just kind of ironic. I stumbled upon something I enjoy and I’m relatively good at. But it had to be at a point in my life when I have the least amount of time to spend doing it.

Everything else comes first.

And nothing works.

What is the universe trying to tell me?


  1. Sorry to hear about the Mac!! I hope I don’t ever see that symbol! It’s amazing how frustrating it is when your computer goes down!

  2. I’ve lost a blogpost or two in my day, usually to floppy disk failure (yes, I must use floppy disks — long story).

    Have an improved weekend! 🙂

  3. Sucks. You’d think Apple would have 24 hour tech support.

  4. Gah! I hate technical stuff. Thankfully I’m engaged to a tech-geek.

    I hope you get your problems fixed soon.

  5. I have a Mac too – and NetNewsWire has been giving me issues lately. It crashes constantly if the RSS feed has any of those DailyMotion videos or similar type of players. If there’s a YouTube video, the screen sticks on that post and you have to click and HOLD another post to get it to appear – sometimes – on the screen.