Friday, August 12, 2011
It’s funny what priorities I’ve set for myself. After I spilled a cup of water into my netbook’s keyboard, it was panic time. After drying it out, the computer worked for a couple days, then it wouldn’t read any keystrokes. The next trip into town, I picked up a full sized keyboard and plugged it into the USB port. The computer worked just fine with that keyboard. However, it pretty much defeats the purpose of a netbook to drag a honking big full sized keyboard around.
YouTube had some really useful videos showing how to replace the original keyboard. Removing it, cleaning it really well, and reinstalling didn’t fix the problem. Then I went on-line to order a replacement. As soon as it arrived, I installed it. In fact, I’m typing with it now. My keyboard was instantly bumped up to a number one priority.
At the same time, my house has had a bad pressure switch on the well pump. The pressure drops lower than it’s supposed to before the pump kicks in and stops at a lower pressure than it used to. I’ve been living with it like this for months. Sometimes I’ll be in the shower upstairs and the water will quit completely for a minute or two before coming back on. Occasionally the washing machine will give a “no water” warning and shut down.
The price of a new switch is about the same as what I spent on a new keyboard. Unlike the keyboard, I can walk into a local store and buy one off the shelf. I’ve changed them before so I know how to do it. One would think that keeping the water supply performing at peak would be a priority, but it hasn’t been.
Sure, I use the computer almost every day, but I’ve got backup computers that work well enough. Water is also used everyday, but unlike a computer, it’s essential for life. Why are priorities the way they are?
I’m not exactly sure. One big incentive is that the computer problem was interesting. I had to do research as I’d never worked on this model before. There were tools to improvise and parts to be hunted down. The water pressure switch is boring. I’ve done it before and know it’s not hard to change, but the job is tedious, the lighting bad and the workspace cramped.
The switch works well enough that I’ve always been able to rationalize putting the job off. Maybe it’s that my netbook is fairly new and I want it to keep functioning at top performance. It’s like a new car that gets a dent as opposed to a dent on the old car. The new one will see the inside of a body shop pretty quickly while dents in the old car go almost unnoticed.
We’d like to think that we weigh our decisions logically. Often, we don’t. Replacing the keyboard was mostly decided on the emotional level. I’m honest enough with myself to admit it. The keyboard/pressure switch choice, in the larger scheme of things, is fairly minor. However, the same emotional decision path could interfere with truly critical issues. It’s good to be aware how priorities are set, and maybe go with the head instead of the heart if it’s really going to matter.
With that in mind, the next time I’m in town, I’ll pick up a new pressure switch.