Impeccable timing

In less than 48 hours, Felicity and I will be on a plane to sunny Hawaii for a much-needed vacation.

Last night, as I was using Microsoft Streets & Trips to figure out driving directions for the various things we want to do in Hawaii, my laptop’s hard drive gave a horrendous groan, followed by the most god-awful CLUNK noise that I’ve ever heard a hard drive make. It was so loud it scared the crap out of poor Qubit, who was sitting next to me on the couch, and sent her diving for cover.

I immediately shut everything down and ran chkdsk. It was obviously a hardware problem, but I wanted to be safe. It found a few bad sectors, cleaned them up, and I rebooted. Everything seemed fine. The drive was nice and quiet. Too quiet. Suspecting tomfoolery, I fired up WinRAR and told it to start backing things up to Ghostwheel over the network.

Within minutes, the drive was at it again. Groan, CLUNK. Groan, CLUNK. Qubit seemed to think the laptop was about to flip out and kick her ass, so she kept her distance. WinRAR, Windows, and everything else had stopped responding. The backup hadn’t had time to save anything useful. I mashed the power button and rebooted.

Operating system not found.

Sigh.

I rummaged around in my CD binder and found an old Knoppix disc. It booted like a champ. I can’t even begin to count the number of times Knoppix has saved my ass in a pinch. Actually I probably could, but you get the point. I crossed my fingers and hoped it would save my ass yet again.

Sadly, Knoppix wouldn’t mount the drive. As far as it was concerned, the drive didn’t even exist. It appears to be completely fried. So much for that.

And now, by an amazing coincidence, wonko.com is dropping packets like some kind of amazing packet dropping wonder machine, thanks to the incredible network administration talents of yet another crappy DSL provider, so I can’t even check my damn email.

What next? A plane crash? Or maybe the plane will explode. Or maybe it’ll crash into a volcano. Or maybe it’ll crash into a volcano and then explode. At least that would be kind of exciting.

Of course, I’m probably pushing my luck by posting this. If it actually even makes it to the server, the Department of Homeland Security will probably whisk me away to some death barge in the middle of the Atlantic where they’ll torture me until I admit to being involved in some imaginary terrorist plot to make a plane crash into a volcano and explode.

But hey, I guess we have to be willing to give up some of our freedoms and get tortured every now and then if we don’t want the terrorists to win, right?