We know someone here, an American, who blames all techno problems on the Mercury in Retrograde. For me, that is every week. The computer nightmare continued for days. After Alec, the computer tech worked on the computer for five hours on Thursday, it seemed to be working fine until Sunday, when it rolled over and played dead again. Being Sunday and Monday were holidays, Alec was not available, but promised to come over Tuesday, today. He hit the door at 10:30 ready to rock and roll and take a byte out of whatever came his way. We had tickets for the theater with Michael, but that was not until 7:30 tonight; this still being my holiday, so it did not matter so much. We had guests in both rooms; all lovely people and they managed to make friends with each other as well. In the small room was a mother who was visiting her daughter who is studying in Denmark, but both from the States. In the large room were a mother, father, and twenty-something daughter who were from the States, but the daughter lives in Munich. They were all such a joy to have around; when they saw Alec working, they commiserated and Mike, the dad in the group offered suggestions. Alec did everything he could think of, including the Voodoo dance to the computer gods, but things just kept getting worse instead of better. His final diagnosis was to reformat the computer. It seems to me that this is a cop-out for critical thinking to stop. It is an easy way out. Reformat is the word I hate the most in the English language. Reformatting means spending two days reinstalling all of the programs I depend on, with all of the customized settings I have created for each of the programs, setting up the toolbars, and so on. Sometimes it takes me a couple of weeks to remember how I managed to arrange something in the best order for my work practices. Formatting: Them there are fighting words. Alec suggested that he wanted to take my computer to the shop, to return it the next day, with the programs installed that they could install. This meant not my monitor, since I have a swivel screen and not the printer either. My whining convinced him it was not a good idea. Perhaps barricading the door, stealing his keys, and suddenly supplying a six pack of cold beer was a determining factor too. Who knows? If there were a worst time of year for this to happen, this is it. Students are trying to beat the deadline for finishing their thesis, there are tons of papers to read, and I, Mr. Techno have them send everything via e-mail. I need the computer now. This never fails that April is reformat the computer month. If I had a reminder on the calendar, I could start antidepressant therapy weeks before. It was formatted last April and the April before. I begged Alec to at least get it back to where it was when it was marginally working and we would reformat it at a later time. He tried, but it was not having it. There were too many tweaks and trials attempted for it to want to return to a time in the past. Ron went to meet Michael for the play without me; I fed Alec dinner and at 10:30, he called it a night with the promise to return in the morning. We have new bookcases coming tomorrow. Each time I walk past the existing bookcases, I grab a stack of books. We ordered new taller and wider custom bookcases to be put in and these bookcases need to be out of the way. Hence, all of the books had to disappear as well as my dysfunctional computer.