It all started as i watched my iBook slide out of my backpack, across a wide paved entryway, and bounce off of a stone curb. The gentleman who had lifted my bags out of the shuttle, and assisted in addling my laptop’s brain, certainly didn’t mean to be dangerously poised at the beginning of this series of unfortunate events. And, of course the series wasn’t totally unfortunate either, but i do digress.
When i made it up to my room i held my breath as i opened up my iBook, and ahhh! it started up! Happy news. However, shortly thereafter when i went down to the conference room where i was scheduled to speak the next day, i could not join the wireless network. Unfortunately, not that unusual at many conference venues–where WiFi is often unreliable. But, the really bad sign was that my iBook didn’t even recognize that it had a wireless card–and that was the beginning of the really bad news.
I reported the unfortunate laptop dropping incident to the hotel front desk manager and he assured me that Marriott would cover the repair of my iBook. When I went back to my room that evening i turned on the TV and hooked up to the Internet to download email, etc–alas, my laptop was moving at a terrifically sloooooooower pace. I suddenly started to pay attention to the talking head on that particular evening’s news as she announced that there were 11 dead from what appeared to be the ‘flu’ in a town neighboring Atlanta. Yikes, just the news i didn’t want to hear. Here i had managed to stay healthy all through this winter and i had to come to ‘CDC land’ to have this unique opportunity to flirt with the flu?
My conference presentation went well, i met some wonderful people with passion for what they do for a living, and then i flew back home–surrounded by a melange of coughing, and sneezing folks and seated next to a woman who was obviously very sick. But i was stuck for the duration of my fully booked, standing room only, flight. No where to escape on this flying flu mobile, but i was still thinking ‘positive health-full’ thoughts.
That was, until i awoke the following morning. Sicker than sick. Crap. I could hardly move for about a week, and then i crept along at a painfully sludgy pace for another week. And then all of my herbs, vegetable broth, and vitamins won out, and it was over. I woke up ‘new’ and ready to operate at my usual ‘can’t stop me’ rate of motion. Presented at another conference, administered to a friend fresh out of surgery, and then proceeded to get all caught back up in the delicious daily deluge of all things new and to do at Weblogs, Inc., and then…
The rains came, and my home took on copious quantities of water for the first time in over fifty years (according to my next door neighbor who has lived here all those fifty plus years). 1955 was the last time my neighborhood was flooded like this, with the notable, recent exception of this last September when a good portion of my new neighborhood was deluged. But, the house i now live in was not impacted by this last September swelling of the intersecting waterways leading to and from the Delaware.
On April 1st, a most unkind April Fool, we received notice that we might be evacuated, and on April 2nd we were evacuated. And shortly thereafter, when i needed it the most, my laptop decided to stop working altogether, and i hauled its recalcitrant butt off to the Apple Store, still seriously loathe to let it go, and it was diagnosed that the logic board was dead and needing to be replaced.
Through all of this I am however still a delighted disciple of ‘tragic optimism’*. I’ve made friends of neighbors, Barb Dybwad happily blogged for me on The Social Software Weblog while i was offline, i am now the proud owner of a new PowerBook G4, my backup iBook is being healed, i am healthier now than i was before i got sick because i took such good care of myself whilst i was deliriously ill, spring has sprung in a most awesome and springlike manner, and i’ve been taking long daily walks along the now infinitely less muddy and more soothing Delaware River.
*[tragic optimism–“an optimism in the face of tragedy and in view of the human potential which at its best always allows for: (1) turning suffering into a human achievement and accomplishment; (2) deriving from guilt the opportunity to change oneself for the better; and (3) deriving from life’s transitoriness an incentive to take responsible action.” Man’s Search for Meaning, by Viktor E. Frankl]