Keys, Klutziness and Budgeting

Thursday seemed like it was going to be a pretty good day. I woke up early, got a lot of small projects done and was ready to leave for class by noon. I ran out to start my car and came back in to put Greta in her crate. When I went out to get in the car, however, all of the doors were locked. I could have sworn that my Camry had a safety feature to prevent this from happening*. I panicked and called Mr. H-B, already at the end of his hour-long commute. He calmly reminded me that we have roadside assistance through our insurance company and told me to call him back when a locksmith was on his way.

After the car door was open, nearly an hour of idling later, I turned off the ignition and came in the house. In the process of setting my backpack down, I managed to knock my four-year-old iBook off of a barstool (admittedly not the best place for a computer). It landed on the cord and destroyed both the connection on the laptop, as well as the plug itself. This finally put me over the edge and I spent the rest of the afternoon fretting about the following:

  1. Was it worth it to buy a new cord since they run about $70?
  2. What if I had broken something inside my computer? How much would it cost? Would it be worth it?
  3. For the last several months we have been talking about buying a new computer for my dissertation research, which will involve a large number of large sound files. How would this play into the laptop decision?
By the time Mr. H-B came home I was a complete basket case. I had spent hours online pricing new computers and reading about repairs. Instead of, you know, calling about repairs or taking the iBook in for an estimate. I have been a Mac user for nearly four years and I really dread the idea of switching back to a PC**. Mr. H-B talked me off the ledge and reminded me about the university surplus warehouse.

On Friday morning we dropped off my laptop and agreed to pay the $200 to fix it for now. We went to the warehouse and found a surplussed Power Mac for $695 (a computer that would normally have cost $2500+) as well as a sturdy library table that will make a fabulous desk in our new apartment (more on that in another post), wooden chairs to replace the two that Greta ate as a puppy and desk chairs. We are setting aside a little money each week so that we can go back in a few months and buy all of the fabulous things we saw.

The moral(s) of the story?
  1. Try not to panic. Since panicking/worrying is one of my favorite activities, I really need to work on this.
  2. Always, always, always go to university surplus if it's an option.

*It does. We haven't been able to replicate Thursday's accident after multiple tries. The doors will not lock if one is open and the key is in the ignition. Unless it's really cold out, apparently.
**I know, big deal. But it's one more thing I can control going into the unsupervised part of earning a PhD.


Deborah said...

Aren't husbands the best? I swear they're only around to talk us down and to help us think rationally when all the emotions are going haywire and we're in full on panic mode.

Cathryn said...

Wow, that sounds like a horrible day! I also messed up my power cord for my Mac, now I have to gently twist it in and make sure that the light comes on so I know it's charging. They are sooo expensive to buy! I am looking at ones on ebay- they are half the price.

Melyngoch said...

I'm going to implement moral number two someday, I promise. I committ, even!

Sims Mom said...

Mrs. H-B!! Nice to see another familiar Ely face out there. Doctor H-B huh, sweet. Good luck!

ferskner said...

Seriously, why do we spend so much time panicking and debating the options instead of just doing something or backing off? You are my sister in worry, Mrs. H-B.