If you noticed a scarcity of new content on America in 100 Days over the past few days, then you must be a regular reader, and for that I applaud you, my friend. But there's a good reason behind it, a good, rejuvenating reason.
About three and a half weeks ago, I went out to Micro Center in St. Davids and purchased myself a gorgeous new laptop, a Gateway M-Book with plenty of space and speed. It had essentially everything I'd need for proper documentation of our lengthy vacation this summer. And very notably, I payed an extra $150 for a three-year warranty.
And a week ago, it crapped out. It went from functioning perfectly at my lovely girlfriend Bernadette's house, to no longer reading wireless signals after a three-minute drive to my house. After some unsuccessful tinkering and toiling, I brought it back to Micro Center to let them work their magic on it.
A few days went by, and eventually I got a call from the store's service department. They told me that they'd looked thing over, done their own tinkering and toiling, and were forced to send it back to Gateway's own repair center. They also told me they didn't know how long it would be before the issue was resolved.
Well, frankly, this was not going to fly for me. Our departure date is approaching rapidly, and I have plenty more work to do on this site of ours before we're ready for liftoff. There's really no time to waste, and no reason I should be at the mercy of a giant computer company whose products are assembled in China, and repaired... who knows.
So today I shuffled my way back through the dors at Micro Center and explained my situation to a store associate named Manny. I offered the possibility of using a "loaner" laptop until I had mine back, a service they apparently don't offer. Receipt in hand, I raised the spectre of a refund, but Manny explained that notebook computers can only be refunded within seven days of purchase.
Last ditch. I asked Manny if there was anything he could do to help my situation. anything at all. He spoke to his manager, and twenty minutes later, I was presented with a brand new copy of the exact same laptop, straight out of the box, just as mine had been only weeks ago.
Hats off to Manny, and to Micro Center for being reasonable. While I have to reinstall all my stuff, including some software that offers a limited number of installs, I don't have to wait any longer to get back to work. And while this computer might be just as liable to crap out as the last one was, it'll still be covered by the same warranty.
So with this chapter out of the way, it's back to work for me. There's nothing I'd rather be doing.