Lesson #1: Have three backup plans.
Today, I decided I was going to print a bunch of stuff, including a bunch of pictures. I am trying to--sort of thinking about--a photo essay on ruins. Lord knows I have seen a ruin or two of late. So I loaded this on my petite external hard drive, and drove on up to the local shopping extravaganza. Okay, Target. They have a photo machine thing there, and on the photo machine, there was a sign that said "10 4x6 photos for $1."
SCORE. So I plugged my external drive in--it's really very small. I brought it in my purse! The machine, which had been singing a quiet melody to anyone who walked by, started talking to me. But there was no screen to, how shall I say this? no screen to make her go.
A young woman in a red shirt was unpacking boxes not three feet away. "Do you know how to make this work?" I asked.
"I don't think it..." she said.
I looked at it--it was still talking to me, bidding me welcome. I looked back at her.
"I don't think--the screen," she said.
Fine, Target. Be that way. So next, I went to the Office Depot Max of Splendour. I fished my petite drive out of my purse. I said, "I need to print some stuff."
"Do you have it on a drive?" the helpful gent said to me.
"Why yes I do," I said.
He took one look at my drive and said, with a pretty decidedly doubtful tone, "My system usually doesn't like external hard drives. But we'll give it a try."
What exactly did he mean by "do you have it on a drive," then? I wondered. But sure enough: the Windows window on his computer did not show my drive in its My Computer space. Nope. Nothing doing.
Try #3 happens tomorrow, when I will take my damn drive to school. SCHOOL. I ask you.
Lesson #2: Watermelon.
First, let me say that so far, I have not made a bad watermelon pick. That's three for three. Maybe just two for two--I seem to remember a third watermelon, but not with any specificity. But I would have remembered a bad one.
Here's my method: knock on the watermelon like you're hoping that someone's home. The sound you want is hollow. The way to tell if it's hollow is by knocking on a bunch of watermelons and comparing the sounds. A thud is not a hollow sound. A slush is not a hollow sound. When the watermelon opens the door and invites you in, figuratively speaking, into its hollow house--that's a hollow sound. Buy that watermelon.
...which is the best thing to do when it's hella hot and there are insufficient leftovers and nothing, really, to cook. Cut up half of it and eat it with your beloved, preferably under an air conditioner vent.