The Long and Winding Road

by J.D. Roth

A lot of people have been asking how much I’m making from my web sites. A vague answer is: enough to order a new pimped-out MacBook Pro.

My goal all along has been to earn enough to order a new computer. Not exactly reaching for the stars, I know, but a fella’s gotta start somewhere. My initial goal was to be able to do this by October 2007. But when Apple announced upgrades to their laptops on October 24th of this year, I realized that I could afford to buy one now. I placed an order that afternoon. (But not without some deliberation: should I go with the 7200rpm/100gb drive, the 5400rpm/160gb drive, or the 4200rpm/200gb drive? The choices we geeks face…)

I was eager to get my new machine. Because I was taking the second week of November off to write, I figured that would be a great time to break in my new computer. When I placed my order, I frowned at the estimated delivery date: November 7th, the Thursday of my week off. “Ah well,” I thought, “there’s plenty of time to get writing done early in the week, and then time to play with the new computer at the end of the week.”

During my vacation, I checked the order status several times every day, hoping that the computer would shipped early. It never did. In fact, it hadn’t shipped by November 7th, the day it was supposed to reach me, and then suddenly the ship date changed to November 12th! This made me sad, but it gave me an opportunity to alter my order. In the two weeks since placing it, I’d realized that I actually wanted a large hard drive, not a fast one, so I called Apple and made a small adjustment. No problem, right? Wrong.

By changing this one aspect of my order, the ship date was pushed out further still! The new ship date was November 22nd, the day before Thanksgiving.

Again I waited, hoping the machine might ship early. It didn’t. But it did ship from Shanghai on Wednesday morning. “Hot damn,” I thought. “It might reach me by Friday.” I watched the tracking reports as the computer flew to Anchorage, Alaska, then boarded a plane for Indianapolis. “It’s really going to do it,” I thought. “It’s really going to reach me by Friday.” When I went to sleep on Thanksgiving night, the computer was still in Indianapolis, but I had great confidence it would reach me the next day.

On Friday, I sat cold and alone in the Custom Box Service offices. (This is the deadest day of the year for us. Nobody calls. Nobody comes in to work. It’s just a ghost town.) The FedEx web site still promised delivery by noon. The FedEx telephone system said the same thing. But according to the tracking report, the computer was still in Indianapolis. “Maybe the tracking report is wrong,” I thought, but deep inside I knew the tracking reports are never wrong.

I waited in the office until one before I called FedEx again and paged through to an operator. “I’m sorry, sir,” she told me. “Your package has been delayed in Indianapolis.” I sighed and drove home.

For a time over the weekend, I actually forgot about the endless wait. (Forgot, that is, until Paul J. cruelly reminded me.)

I had a dentist appointment early this morning. FedEx usually comes to the shop late morning or early-afternoon. I expected to come back and still have to wait for the computer to arrive. But just as I was walking out the door, the FedEx truck pulled into the drive. Such torture! I signed for the package, opened it, looked at the shiny metal case, but then had to leave to get a filling. O cruel fate!

Eventually, of course, I was able to use my new computer. In fact, I’m typing this entry on it now. It’s quick and responsive. The screen is ginormous (1680×1050 &dmash; just imagine what this is going to be like when coupled with my 24″ cinema display). I love the new features in OS X.4 (I had never bothered to upgrade my other Macs).

I wish I had more time to play with the new computer right now, but I don’t. I have a lot of writing to do. But make no doubt: play with this beast, I shall!

I’m just happy that it’s finally here.

I ordered my MacBook Pro on the afternoon of October 24th. It finally reached me on the morning of November 27th. That’s a l-o-n-g wait.

Updated: 28 November 2006

Do what's right. Do your best. Accept the outcome.
Copyright © 1994 - 2022 by J.D. Roth