Saturday Extra! Oh, What a Time for Mercury Retrograde

This laptop is a lemon

My HP Pavilion prefers hanging out with lemons, since it is one.

The day after Christmas is the biggest gift return day of the year. With Mercury stationed retrograde, I don’t even want to think about the lines at customer service.

Not even the promise of after-Christmas sales could lure me anywhere near a shopping mall today — especially not with Mercury stationed retrograde. The lines will be long and traffic gnarled beyond the usual stop-and-go. And with Mars now retrograde, you can bet that tempers are going to flare. Already I’ve heard several reports of honking horns, squealing tires, and cutting in line.

Retailers desperate to end the year solidly in the black are offering great deals on their entire stock. I know you’ll be tempted, but remember that Mercury retrograde is not the time to make major purchases. The exception will be if you’re replacing something that’s broken. Even though “return” starts with an “re” — activities normally acceptable during Mercury retrograde — I’d wait until the middle of January to exchange unwanted gifts.

As many of you know, my laptop went belly up a few weeks ago. It wasn’t even three years old. I didn’t have control over the purchase, as a third party helped me purchase and program it for some contract work I was doing at the time. I begged them not to order while Mercury was retrograde, but I was talking to a wall. They thought I was being ridiculous.

Predictably, I’ve had nothing but problems with this machine. It wasn’t delivered on-time. The programming was screwed up. Programs that were supposed to have been installed weren’t, or there were errors. There were connectivity issues. I was tearing my hair out and burst into tears of frustration more than once. (Apparently I wasn’t alone; others who bought the first machines using Vista were similarly upset.)

When I took my computer to the repair shop, the technician rolled his eyes the instant he saw the make and model number. My HP Pavilion evidently is one of a few series made in 2007 that was recalled due to problems with the motherboard. Fortunately, here in the Seattle area, I was able to find a shop with the special equipment required for the delicate repair, but problems apparently remain, and the prognosis isn’t good.

I’ll probably need a new laptop sometime in the next year. If you do succumb to the deep discounts in the next few weeks, at least don’t buy any electronic equipment. If you do, keep all the receipts and opt for the extended warranty. The extra cost will be well worth it.

I’ll have more in my weekly forecast. In the meantime, I hope you can enjoy a quiet holiday weekend and find some of the joy and peace of the season.

Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

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