Friday, December 24, 2010

A tale of two iPads and one chocolate orange

The Grinch visited the Blade’s household this week. Or rather, Mrs. Blade visited the Grinch. Keen was working at the DC jail earlier this week. It’s not a fun place to go. Right where Massachusetts Avenue rams into the Anacostia River. It was also an unpleasant job. CJA work, otherwise known as public defenders. Always out of hours and slow in paying. Keen spent the better part of a year working on one job for this attorney and still hasn’t gotten paid. Judges love to put conditions like no invoicing until a case is finished and then they take their own sweet time finishing the paperwork. I’m sure they’re grand folks and sweethearts at home, but from the perspective of a contractor’s spouse, it seems like we’re at the mercy of someone who thinks he’s a minor diety.

So, Keen dutifily trudged to the jail and waited for the attorney to arrive. She put her stuff in a “lock”er and spent an hour and a half with the attorney and her client. I should note that the “lock”er had a “key”. She then returned to the “lock”er and spent quite some time swearing in front of several attorneys. The iPad was gone. Gee, you think the staff at the DC jail can be trusted? My guess is that someone else had a “key” to the “lock”er.

No need to go over the ensuing details. Some tears were shed. Two outstandings bottles of wine were opened to salute the lost bauble. One advantage of being a freelancer is that one can take work one normally wouldn’t. So, a replacement fund will build up, hopefully in time for next spring’s release of the iPad 2. Meanwhile, we’re picking up a refurb iPad that will eventually be resold. The iPad more than paid for itself in work opportunities that Keen picked up by being online.

One more thing. If you have ever heard anything unpleasant about AT&T, don’t believe it. Believe that they’re much much worse than that. The first thing I did was to cancel the credit card linked to the iPad. The second thing was to call AT&T and cancel the 3G account. They make it impossible to cancel the service unless you want to do it from the iPad. The iPad was freakin’ stolen! First time after getting through, Keen was transferred to Apple (who couldn’t do anything about it). The next time, she was told that because this isn’t a contract, it couldn’t be cancelled and we’d have to wait until a renewal attempt was made.

The second iPad in this tale appeared this morning. We dropped off the boys at preschool and had a rare morning date up at Northside Social, a new place in Arlington. We settled down with our coffees and breakfast (Nutella donut for Keen; the best sausage and egg sandwich I’ve ever had for me). After a bit, I noticed that someone had left his iPad and a pair of gloves up at the counter near us. Its owner returned after 10 – 15 minutes. Really. We’d debated for a bit and I decided to go up and let him know that he should probably keep a better eye on it as our iPad had just been stolen.

He blew me off in a nice way. He said he’d kept his eyes on it. Right. I went up to check to make sure it was an iPad and not simply a nice pad of paper. He never noticed. After my warning, he left for a couple of mintues (with the iPad open) and I noticed him chatting to someone. He left again to pick up something. Sigh… His iPad probably wouldn’t be stolen. Would you like to risk $800 on probably?

And finally we come to the orange. One of Keen’s treats this time of year is to pick up a Terry’s chocolate orange. A few wedges in coffee makes a nice orange mocha. We’d picked up one a week or two ago and I left it out with some other groceries. Bad idea. There is a very savvy squirrel in my neighborhood (and one with a sweet tooth I”ll wager). By the time I came out, the chocolate orange was gone. Well played, seƱor ardilla.

It’s not a big deal, right? I was over at Trader Joes doing some final shopping and Keen reminded me to pick up a replacement orange. Sold out. Doh! I have been forgiven for carelessly losing the chocolate orange

So, we will spend our Christmas sans iPad and sans chocolate mochas. But with a lot of warmth and many tamales.

Feliz navidad.