233 Computers Can’t Swim

Use a sports bottle, not a glass, near a laptop.
There are very cool, hand painted Hydro Flasks on Etsy.

Everything means something, teaches something profound. Or not. Maybe not. I need help finding this one.

My laptop was on the side counter, and I was typing innocently. A full glass of water sat to my right.

In visual slow motion, the glass tipped. The mind said, “Noooo…oooo…ooooooo”. The water spread, and the energy of sudden chaos leapt to motion.

Computers can't swim. A white mug with tea and milk tilted on a black keyboard of a laptop
Spilled tea on a laptop

I flipped the computer over, and swung it to the other counter, upside down in it’s V shape. I grabbed the stack of important paperwork and the slew of neon Post- its out of the standing puddle. Towels were involved, multiple towels. The computer. The papers. The counter. The cabinet, inside and out, and the floor.

At a crime scene course with Girl Scouts, they discussed the spread of blood, the look of the spread, how a little liquid goes a long way. Two cups of water is a LOT of liquid. It went a very long way.

I can say that the paperwork was more concerning in that moment than the computer. I was so quick to grab the laptop, to flip it, to dry it. It remained upside down for a long time. And then it sat, fully functional for a few more hours. When you take a Tylenol or even a stronger pain pill, it is 45 minutes until there is relief. (Someone needs to work on that.) When you spill water on a laptop, and a tiny drop sneaks in through the power port, it takes three hours… until death.

The human things that I learned:

Use a sports bottle, not a glass, near a laptop.
There are very cool, hand painted Hydro Flasks on Etsy. Apparently, I need a third bottle.

Unplug a post-bath laptop and turn it off. I don’t know how that helps, but I trust the computer guy who said it.
Unplug the power cord from the computer too.
Laptops can’t swim. Keyboards on PC’s can’t swim either, but that is less of an issue. Cheaper.
If your computer is dead, there is a part of it that you do not want to “leave behind” at the shop. (So the dead computer came home with the new laptop.)
Chromebooks don’t Zoom like normal laptops.

From historical experience more than this time, never let a wet, neon Post-it sit on anything. The color is contagious. (I was quick to place them on sheets of white paper for drying, protecting surfaces from the transfer.)
Individual papers don’t stay wet for very long, maybe a couple of hours. Seems quick.

It takes a village. I am not interested in being tech savvy. Kwami, Nyasha, Shante, and a host of people at Computer Concepts in Bothell were my village.
Local businesses rock. They not only diagnose true death, but also stock the perfect replacement… and don’t even think to offer it until you ask for advice.
Stimulus checks can be predestined. I am grateful.

Day 11 of 31 Days of Gratitude: Thankfulness for gadgets that make our lives easier

My greatest “spiritual take” of the situation? I didn’t have any emotion around this process. It could have been emotional. Everything means something, or teaches something profound. Or not. Maybe the little human things are enough.

Author: Michele Plumb Stowell

Michele Stowell was a teacher, a hand holder, and encouraging voice. Born an early Gen Xer, she has lived in Western Washington for the duration. Her children, two spectacular genetic daughters and an uncountable number of marvelous scout and school sons and daughters, shine as her biggest impact and her greatest blessing. Just before her 54th birthday, Michele was diagnosed with stage four cancer. Her writing and art work are expressions of the drama and the joy of living earth bound. On October 24, 2021, Michele was released from her physical body, transported to continue her work on other realms.

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