Russ Batenhorst

Russ Batenhorst

I may have to rush through this.

I hope it doesn’t affect that quality of prose that usually flows from the key board.

Our computer picked today to manifest its latest problem.

I think it’s tied back to the charging port that seems to have come loose.

It makes connecting to the power cord a tenuous situation, as my wife found out earlier in the day when the computer was, as the saying goes, “dead as a door nail.”

While I have it plugged in now, at any second it could become reliant on the battery, and if that goes down before the finished product flies away in an email — well, it could be trouble.

Those thoughts flashed through my mind while my wife was cussing at the computer, and I was trying to find whichever configuration I could find where the cord and port actually made a connection.

A couple of back-up possibilities popped into my mind, but they would be a challenge, too.

I could use the iPad and write the entire column in the body of an email, I guess.

The touchscreen keypad isn’t as easy to use as the physical one on the laptop, but with a lot of two-finger typing, I’m sure I could get it done.

I would just hope then that I could remember the e-mail address for sending the column in — it self-generates on the computer.

The same method could be use to compose the column on my smartphone, but we’re talking an even smaller and more sensitive keyboard than the iPad.

Many years ago, as one-part necessity and one-part challenge, I did write a column on my Blackberry.

That pioneer of the smartphone era did have a physical keyboard though that made it a little easier.

Not only did I do so on the phone, but — while on a rare business trip — wrote it while on an airplane from Chicago to Omaha.

It was a fun challenge, but not something I would want to do every day.

If nothing else, maybe I could be late submitting this column while writing during my “lunch hour” on a work computer, but that opens up a whole new raft of potential problems.

So, while none are ideal, backups were available.

It makes me wonder, what other backups for heavily used items do I have.

What if our cars are both dead tomorrow morning when I need to go to work?

There is a bike hanging in the rafters of the garage, but it has been a while since the tires have hit the streets, and they may be lacking that essential element — air.

It’s not a long way to work.

I suppose I could walk real fast, but doing that on the highway in the pre-dawn hours might not be ideal.

I guess the phone would be the back-up in this case too. I would call a co-worker and beg them to pick me up.

What if my lawn mower conks out the next time I need it?

First, I would celebrate the chance at skipping out on the mowing. But really, what’s my back-up?

I could always just let the grass grow until some farmer mistakes it for one of his fields and collects it up into those big round bales.

Or, I’ve seen a few places around that had a couple of goats milling around.

I could “borrow” them for a while to solve the problem.

Or it’s back to the phone — and call someone to hire them out to mow the lawn.

Ultimately, though, I will know the best call would be for lawn mower repair. Or really live large and get a new one.

Other things could go on the blink and I would just have to go old school. The TV drops dead?

I could pick up a book for entertainment.

The microwave? Some foods are OK boiled, I’ve heard.

My cell phone? OK, now that’s just crazy talk.

I would be in replacement mode immediately.

The blades come out when the electric razor dies, the sink is filled when the dishwasher goes out.

Yea, it’s good to have a backup, and to get this done before the computer died again.

Did it seem rushed?

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