For the record, I am a complete non-believer in astrology. I have an open mind and all, but the logical scientist in me simply can't see any plausibility in the notion that everyone born at a particular time of year has the same personality, destiny, etc. - there are way too many biological variables with far more immediacy than the nebulous emanations of an indistinct blip in the sky. Nevertheless....
Aug. 1: the Shadow phase of Mercury's retrograde progression begins. Soon after, our beloved 16 year old stove blows up, with a dramatic display of sparks and spitting. This is suboptimal for a home dyeing business, but in the interests of saving money, we try various fixes with diminishing levels of success, until at last the corroded wiring harness tells us in no uncertain terms what to do with ourselves.
Aug. 20: Mercury's retrograde phase begins in earnest. Rob researches, I concur, we order a new stove - flat-top, since that's just about all that is available anymore if you don't have gas and want a decent quality oven.
Aug. 23: Computer monitor begins to act strangely.
Aug. 25: Computer monitor goes to sleep for the last time. Problematic, since many critical business things can only be done from the PC to which it is attached, and the laptop is a convoluted workaround at best. (My father is reading this and thinking "if only she'd gotten on with solving the full networking issue like I TOLD her to, she'd be able to access all those files....")
Aug. 26: Stove arrives. After installation and celebration, we read the instruction manual and discover a plethora of restrictions that were not apparent anywhere in the sales information. These restrictions will cut my dyeing efficiency in half, as well as forbiding numerous forms of cooking we enjoy and promising dire consequences if you so much as look at the damn cooktop wrong. I do further internet research and discover that hating flat top stoves is not an uncommon scenario. Tears and recriminations and feeling stupid ensue. We discuss the possibility of exchange with Sears and are cheerfully advised that it will be an expensive logistical nightmare. Undaunted, we peruse the coil top possibilities and find three acceptable options, all of which are labelled "in stock" but can't actually be delivered for several months. With the business at stake, we have little choice but to make do, and begin researching hot-plates with which to augment our brand new techno-stove and regain the level of usefulness provided by the extinct one. (I have a serious rant in the works about cooking devices designed for the needs of a consumer base that rarely cooks and is predominantly concerned with appearances. Later.)
Aug. 27: Having decided the stove issue, we take a deep breath and turn our attention to ordering a new monitor. I do many hours of research, determined not to make another expensive error. Choice made, go online to order - the website shuts down for 24 hours for technical difficulties just as I reach the checkout page. Starting to feel a nagging sense of doom.
Presently: still waiting for the monitor to arrive, and until it does, I am on gmail, which is forwarded with considerably less than 100% reliability from my regular mail. If you need something urgently and I seem to be inexplicably ignoring your emails - try robruth DOT cox AT gmail DOT com. Just for the next few days, though I wouldn't entirely rule out a landslide crushing the truck in which our monitor is travelling - after all, Mercury is still in retrograde until the 27th of September. Not that I believe in that superstitious crap, of course.
Life goes on, dyeing has resumed, the tantalising promise of 5 productive hours a day is just around the corner, and I'll get back to proper blogging once I can download the camera to the proper computer.
As the Canadian Air Force motto says: Per Ardua Ad Astra (colloquially translated: Do It The Hard Way.)