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Ghost in the machines

It started in May with my treadmill.

The treadmill began winking out midstride, over and over, finally seizing up and freaking out completely. Seven or eight years ago I paid $100 for it used. Couldn't feel bad. Got my money's worth. We ordered a new one, a good brand from a national chain store.

Then it was the home computer, dead as vaudeville upon my return from early summer vacation in June. I had to replace the power supply unit. Installed it myself. Felt chuffed.

After that the van's power-steering-fluid container began sloshing out the fluid and not steering at all well. My housemate fixed that. I have no idea how.

Last week my work computer froze up, thawed, froze again. Reboot, reboot, reboot. Call the overworked tech-magic department. Spyware, yeah. Crimped main line too. That ate an entire day.

As of last Friday, one, two, three treadmills had been delivered -- maimed, gouged, cracked, bent, twisted or otherwise broken upon arrival. Each had to go back. The fourth should arrive any day. Delivery fees have been refunded and annoyance-factor discounts have been activated. My housemate is on a nickname basis with the store's corporate structure.

In assembling the first broken treadmill, the trainees (no trainER, he called in sick) tripped the power interruptor in the garage, which is where the freezer lives. So it stopped freezing and started thawing. In short order we had a defrosted freezer, gallons of soft-serve ice cream and a good number of chicken, steaks and casseroles.

I'm just saying it's been weird.

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