Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Modern Technology and Classical Names

Sometimes I think that our appliances conspire against us.

First the washing machine sprung a leak. Then the freezer died. The "Service Engine Soon" idiot light came on in van (which is the "Scout" car as well as the car Hubs uses for his daily commute). Now the newer computer--the one with all the kids' homework and e-mail accounts and family pictures--blew a fuse or a motherboard or a processor. DS#1 thinks he can fix it and upgrade it at the same time for much less than buying a new one. And, since he's buying computer parts, he wants to upgrade the old computer, which still runs Win98. Since that computer doesn't have all the latest and greatest multimedia devices, it's the one I use. The hard drive has much of my writing and records for the Girl Scout troop.

Of course, DS#2 has a paper due. He used DS#1's laptop--which purposely has limited video capability, as DS#1 knows his addictions. DS#2 couldn't access the printer, so he e-mailed the file to himself and will print it this morning at school. I hope.

So the debate this morning was about what to name the rebuilt computers, since they will be, for all intents and purposes, brand new. Currently, the old computer is named "Thor." The newer computer is "Hercules."

"Who is the son of Hercules?" I asked.

"Hercules had a son?" DS#1 replied.

"How about Dino... Dino..." said DS#2. He's reading Antigone in his English class.

"Dionysus?" I offered.

"Yeah. Him," he replied.

"What about the one who was the messenger?" DD#1 asked.

"Why are we naming our computers anyway?" DD#2 wanted to know.

"Because it's easier to set up the network," DS#1 replied.

"Because our very first computer was the 'Mickey 'Puter' because it came with Mickey Mouse Learn to Read game," I said.

"What about the gal who was the hunter?" DS#1 asked.


"No, the other one. A... something."


"Yeah, that's it."

"We have one Greek and one Norse god now. Why don't we keep it that way?" I suggested.

"How about Loki?" DS#2 contributed.

"Ah, the Trickster. I like that," I answered.

"And the messenger god," offered DD#1.

"Mercury. Or Hermes. I like Hermes," I said. (We're in the Herms Boy Scout District, which is often misspelled and mispronouced as "Hermes." It's kind of an in-joke among the Boy Scouts in our area.) "Who is the Norse messenger god?"

"Loki. He's the fastest one," replied DS#1.

DD#2 just shook her head. Normal families don't discuss the characteristics of mythological gods vis-a-vis their computers before 7:00 a.m. on a school day.

So we are now awaiting the arrival of the guts for Hermes and Loki. And we will limp along using DS#1's laptop, the computers at school, and at the public library for the next week or so. And then I hope DS#1 is as good at rebuilding a computer as he thinks he is.

His last words to me, as we were walking out the door? "By the way, what are you getting me for my birthday?"

DD#1 actually came up with the best reply, "They're taking you off Dad's health insurance."