Mercury Retrograde

Mercury retrograde. A 3-week period, four times a year, during which... well, it's an astrological thing. During the time of the murky retrograde, things relating to communication and technology can experience problems. Or so they say, the astrologers. I never believed it, because astrology is not a science, it’s utterly flaky and smart, rational people don't believe in astrology, right?

Except, over the years I've noticed that really annoying things tend to have been happening with communication and technology during those four times a year. Yes, yes - I know about the psychology of creating superstitions, but I have still become convinced that maybe there's something to it. So, I was playing with the idea of doing a post about some things that happened in the last three weeks - I got my new wheelchair and thanks to some fairly major seating issues, I have a $17K freakin’ sculpture standing in my living room, taking up space I don't have:

My computer had a wee crash, but it thankgodfully righted itself in no time, so I don't think that counts (although, it is the first time it’s happened in over a year and it did happen during a Mercury retrograde). And then... Then a technological issue of monumental and traumatic proportions happened.

It was a beautiful day and I was walking around the neighbourhood, camera at my side, ready to snap anything that looked snappable. I was taking pictures of a lovely architectural detail when I accidentally depressed a button and the camera lost power. Somewhere in the corner of my soul, I gulped and turned white as a sheet, but managed to remain outwardly calm while I progressed through the various fiddlings that one does while checking what just killed (I almost can’t type it) one's camera. Nothing worked and as I was a hop, skip and a jump from the store where I bought it, I went there, explained what happened and thrust it at a staff asking – ok, begging piteously - if they knew what was going on. They fiddled, consulted with other staff, but with no luck. Then they told me they had to send it into Fuji and I’d get an estimate after three weeks.

"Three weeks?" I gasped, feeling the blood draining from my face. Three weeks or more without my camera? The camera that is just below 'without my computer' in my personal pantheon of hell? The camera that has become an extension of myself? Spring is coming - how can I live through spring without the camera to take pictures of all the gorgeous spring things? I may have sobbed. Just a little.

I took the camera home - I had to find my extended warranty and I wasn't prepared to leave my baby alone with strangers. When I got home, I dug out the instruction manual, called up the Fuji web site and prepared to troubleshoot. I couldn't make myself believe that my darling was broken. After a while, I thought 'before I try anything else, maybe I should try to put in new batteries, just so I can say that of course I tried to put in new batteries'.

The camera's fine.

I’ll defend my being a Techno Twit of such extraordinary proportions by saying that the time between pressing the button and the camera dying was of a definite cause-and-effect length. And I was hungry. I get stupid when I’m hungry. Thinking outside the box is impossible when I'm hungry. However, I kinda thought that just as a computer tech’s first question is “is it plugged in?”, someone working in a store where people would likely come in and desperately hand them inoperative cameras all the time, would have a first question along the lines of “how’s the battery?”.

So much for Mercury retrograde.

p.s. Please note that although I wrote this post a week ago, I refrained from making it public until after Mercury changed direction. And that knocking sound you’re hearing? I’m checking for secret compartments in my desk. Really.

p.p.s. Looks like Juno and I had a “great minds think alike” moment. Or maybe it’s “fools seldom differ”. I prefer the former.