A is for Apple. Right after lunch I hauled my 40+ pound computer, three kids, and a bag full of stuff to keep said-kids occupied to the Apple store in La Cantera. I had an appointment at 1:20 and got there around 1:10. I checked in, left my huge desktop on their counter, and got the kids settled onto a pod of computers where they happily played on the games.
I spent the next half hour browsing the store. A is for Astonished. Technology has really passed me by, but I don't understand why all this stuff is important. Bluetooth? Don't need it. Lightning fast computer that connects to your iPod, iPhone, and iRefrigerator? Not necessary. Just let me have a basic machine where I can write, get on the internet, and play games. You know, the important stuff. But spending thousands upon thousands of dollars on fancy equipment just because it's cool is not my thing. One of their ad campaigns said that with an 80 gigabyte iPod, you could drive from LA to NYC 25 times and never hear the same song twice. That's not really a selling point for me. By the time I listen to that many hours of music, I'll be in the grave. With earbuds, apparently.
I finally got called to the Genius Bar at the exact same moment that I noticed my four-year-old doing the bathroom dance. All moms know this dance. I tried to speak quickly to the Genius to expedite the process, but he wanted to take his own sweet time diagnosing the problem, which is basically that the computer has no power.
The tech finally agreed that the computer didn't turn on. (He is a genius, after all.) But right when he asked for my information, I looked over at my son and realized that he was reaching the crescendo portion of his dance. I needed to act fast, so I asked the Genius if there was a bathroom available for my son. He directed me to a public bathroom five stores away, and I took off running with David in tow.
(By the way, La Cantera has the cleanest public bathrooms of any mall I've ever seen. I guess the bajillionaires who have enough money to shop Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, and all the other hoity-toity stores in that mall really deserve clean bathrooms. Wouldn't it be terrible if their Manolo Blahnik's got soiled?)
We returned to the Apple store where I realized that the tech guy didn't exactly hold my place at the Genius Bar. A woman with an iPhone crisis had jumped onto my stool and was waving her arms wildly trying to explain the severity of the problem. I waited patiently, which worked for once. The Genius excused himself and returned to me, where we continued trying to log in my information.
Fast forward 10 minutes: The Genius looks at me apologetically and says, "I'm really sorry, but we can't service this model. You see, it was bought in 2000 and it's considered vintage."
A is for Annoyed. I'm sorry, did he just call a 7-year-old computer vintage? I mean, the guy was probably in middle school when I bought it -- I guess that constitutes vintage, right? I could actually feel a new gray hair popping through my scalp.
So one hour after entering the Apple store, I hauled my retro Mac, my three kids and all their junk back to the car, drove to the local Mac repair shop and dropped off the hard drive. Took less than two minutes to fill out the paperwork. This place I like. If they can fix the power problem, I'll bake them cookies. Vintage people like to be nice like that.
UPDATE: MacTLC called yesterday and said I need a new power supply. To the tune of $200.67 plus tax plus labor. Which is less than one-tenth the cost of a new Mac, so I said yes please. But no cookies.