Friday, October 12, 2007

Mercury in Retrograde

If you watch CSI than you heard in last nights episode how the heat has an affect on crime. With each degree the thermometer rises, at more crime scenes the investigators find themselves. The other phenomenon is the strange behavior people exhibit during a full moon. You may phoo phoo this as nonsense. We also like to brush aside full moon or weather stories as coincidence. I have evidence that the celestial bodies and the weather do indeed affect us.

Recently I have begun to pay attention when Mercury is in retrograde. Susan Miller ( admonishes us never to make purchases of electronic items or sign contracts during this time. Mercury rules electronics and moving parts. They just go haywire. Contractual agreements tend to go south. I took her advice as mere speculation. I am no longer a skeptic. Here is the evidence to support my experiences.

We purchased a new combination DVD/VCR. With this new unit, I hoped to copy all my family videos to DVD. The machine has never worked correctly. In fact, soon after installing the unit it locked us out of the VCR feature. We sent it back for repair. It was in the shop for two months. (That was not a typo, two months, not two weeks.) This unit was purchased during a retrograde period.

The next item we attempted, knowing full well that Mercury was in retrograde, was to sign a contractual agreement for new windows on the house. These windows were attractive to us for their lifetime guarantee. The windows were measured for, and payment was discussed. Although we had the cash, we opted for the loan payment. The reason for this, of course, we knew Mercury was retrograde; we didn’t want to put down the cash deposit required under the cash terms. With the loan, all we needed was a minimal deposit and we could pay off the loan anytime. For us, that would be the first payment notice. We put down ten dollars cash.

Months later, we receive a call that the company cannot guarantee one of the windows. “Do we want to do the rest of them?” we are asked. Of course not! This one window was the whole point of the replacements. Not only did the contract fall apart, we have yet to see our ten-dollar deposit returned.

You think I would have learned my lesson with these two incidences. Pat requires the “three strikes and your out” routine it seems. The next purchasing adventure I endeavor is a new laptop. A friend helps me with the requirements and I place the order. Yup, Mercury is in retrograde. I have to send the laptop back because I have the wrong software installed. Can they send me a disc? No, it needs to go back and be rebuilt. I get the machine back, and it is struck by a rogue lightning bolt while the battery is charging. Was a storm predicted? No! Was there any evidence that an electrical storm was on the way? No! Just “BAM” and the screen has a nice vertical line right down the middle. Off it goes for repair again.

Each of these incidences is disruptive to our daily routines. Attending to the forms, shipping and follow-up are all tedious aspects easily avoided had the alignment of Mercury been taken seriously. With the DVD/VCR problem, I let myself be completely annoyed at the trouble and the delay in repair. When I signed the contract for the windows, I was not surprised at the delay and then the actual cancellation of the job. My laptop upset me, because although I new I should wait, I wanted it NOW. Instant gratification is the bane of our society, and I am as susceptible as the next person. My upset was more at this aspect than at the laptop trouble itself.

Mercury is now testing me with her power to the fullest and it is this last item that has me the most distressed. My GPS will not work on my motorcycle! Yes! I can hear you now. “Say it isn’t so!” Alas, it is true. Something has gone haywire on the motorcycle that is affecting my GPS. The motorcycle is the only place it will not work properly. I have spent countless hours troubleshooting, including a complete re-wire of the power system for the GPS. This included removing the gas tank, and even purchasing a new battery. That’s right, Pat is wrenching!

I have now pitted my wits against a celestial body. In my fight to win one battle, I have solicited help from every source. The Garmin folk, the good people of the NER and the Giant Brain himself. All offer good advice and troubleshooting techniques. Despite our best efforts, Jade and Quest will not get along. I have thrown my hands up in surrender and will wait out the retrograde period. Come November 1st, I anticipate that Quest will suddenly be right with the world but too late for my Fall Foliage Ride this weekend. If a sad looking woman on a green and white motorcycle asks you for directions this weekend, kindly point her home. Otherwise, she will ride around in circles until November 1st.

PS: If you wish for follow up come November, drop me a note and I’ll tell you if Jade and Quest have resolved their issue.

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