Saturday, December 17, 2011

Weird Stuff

Approximate e-mail conversation with my brother:
Me: Can I come over and borrow a teeny-tiny hex wrench? I need to take the PRAM battery out of my old laptop because it's not starting.
Brother: Sure, I have a T6 Torx.
Me: I don't need a Torx, I need a hex wrench.
Brother: The instructions say T6 Torx under "tools required".
Me: But the actual instructions say you need a hex wrench, but you can get by with a T6 Torx.

Since I was going in that direction anyway, I decide I'll just stop in at the hardware store and buy the correct hex wrench.

Approximate conversation with store employee:
Me: Where do I find teeny-tiny hex wrenches?
Him: (blank look)
Me: Allen key? A teeny-tiny one?
Him: I know. What size do you need?
Me: One that fits this. (Pulling out bricked laptop, pointing to screw.)
Him: Take it to the Apple Store.
Me: It's a *six* year old laptop that I want to fix for my sister. (Probably older now, and technically step-sister.) I just want to take out the PRAM battery to see if that fixes it.
Him: (Holding it close to his face to see better.) That's a security screw.
Me: No, it's not. Security ones have a post in the centre, this one doesn't.
Him: It's a security screw. We don't have screwdrivers for those.
Me: It's *not* a security screw, I just need a hex wrench.
(He takes me over to the right area.)
Him: We used to have security screw drivers, but we don't have them any more. (Starts looking at screwdrivers.)
Me: (Points to contraption with many hex wrenches.) Hey, that one has a teeny-tiny hex wrench! I bet that will work.
Him: No, you need a security one.
Me: *No*, I *don't*. Let me test this. (I pull out the laptop again, and insert the hex wrench.) Hey, it's the right size!
Him: You're sure? It looks like a security screw. (Still somewhat doubtful, but willing to let me buy a set of hex wrenches if that's really what I want.)
Me: It has six sides, and is convex. I'm pretty sure it's a hex wrench I want, and not a star.
Him: Convex?
Me: Well, since we're talking about the hole, technically it's concave.
(He wanders off, deciding I'm a lost cause. I look at the options for hex wrenches, and end up selecting a somewhat cheaper store-brand set that includes both metric, imperial *and* torx of various sizes... in case, one day, I want to open something that needs a torx.)

After the hardware store, I stop in at the big box bookstore next door, since it has free wireless (so that I can access the instructions) and decent places for me to sit and disassemble my laptop. (If taking the PRAM battery didn't work, the Apple Store was on my list of places to visit, and I was going to ask how much it would cost to de-brick.) Plus it has calendars, and I was looking for one for my grandma.

Shockingly, no one seemed to look at me funny for disassembling a laptop in the bookstore. (Or, if they did, they all did it from behind me, where I couldn't spot them.)

Happily, removing and reinstalling the PRAM battery fixed the problem. :) (Oddly the battery isn't just a battery, it's apparently permanently attached to a bit of circuitry... but the fact that I couldn't disassemble that didn't seem to be an issue.

Finding a calendar with both big numbers and pictures I thought my grandma would enjoy was *much* harder. (I suspect she will either enjoy or hate the one I finally got... but if she hates it, I'm willing to use it myself, and go back and buy the second choice, of which there were *many* copies.)

I did stop in at the Apple Store, but to get a replacement foot for my laptop. (I figured out where that black plastic was coming from... the part that went between the rubber foot and the laptop was disintegrating, and the other day it completely fell apart.) Apple used to supply free replacement feet. Apparently, for this model, they don't have them separate... but, since I'm under AppleCare, they're going to replace the *entire* bottom of the laptop for free. (WTF? The foot has a bit of double-sided tape, plus a snap-in bit. It really is possible to *just* replace the foot. Whatever... I want the foot, and if this is what it's going to take, I'll take it and be glad that it's free. *sigh*)

Also weird: The six-foot extension cord I bought came with a 7 3/4 inch warning label. Really? Are we really that stupid, that we need that many warnings on an extension cord?

Well, now I'm off to do my laundry after when I'm officially supposed to stop for the night. However, given the sounds of drunken revelry coming from Mr Party-Of-More-Than-One (He seems to have acquired friends), I don't think I'll be bothering him.


Catlady said...

Reminds me of when I wanted to buy bar oil for the chainsaw - the young man asked if that was oil sold like a bar of soap...

And I was just reading on a knitting forum this morning - a lady was looking for mincemeat, and the clerk told her they had none, but she could use mint jelly instead as it was the same thing....

Is it something in the air or the water or something?

noricum said...

I must admit to not knowing what bar oil is (I'm around chainsaws more than your average city slicker, but I find them scary in their limb-severing potential), but then I also don't work in the type of store that would sell that stuff. Taking a computer to a hardware store probably is a bit odd.

Mincemeat = mint jelly? Uh... no. Mint jelly tarts might taste fine (no idea, but I'd be up for stuffing one in my mouth in the name of science), but the two are completely different.

Catlady said...

Bar oil is what lubricates the chain running around the bar - not necessarily the same as the oil you mix in with the gas to make the motor run right :) And, really, it is just like the time I went to Michaels and asked about quilling paper (sent me to cake decorating) and tatting shuttles and thread (thought maybe the people in picture framing could help me). Or the time I needed to explain to the nice girl helping me at Chapters what "unabridged" meant. (I won't go into the blank look I got when I mentioned "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea")

noricum said...

Yeah, I googled bar oil... I didn't want to stay ignorant. ;)

For 20,000 Leagues, did they say that Winnipeg doesn't have an aquarium? ;)

Catlady said...

Re 20,000 Leagues - the title came to mind when I was explaining "unabridged" - the first example I could think of that I wouldn't mind a few dozen paragraphs being removed, because it really didn't necessarily move the story forward... She looked like she'd never heard of the book or Jules Verne... She works (worked?) in a book store... SAD SAD SAD. I mean, in all fairness, that not everyone could read or be aware of every book in the store, but a classic? She should have at least heard of it!! The whole thing started because I wanted to buy a book, and they had several copies listed on the computer at several price points, and I asked how to tell which edition to get to be sure it was unabridged.