I'm sure all fathers and fathers-to-be can relate to what happened recently: First, there was a slight anticipation that, maybe, there might be a chance for a new addition to the family. Then, there were the early signs - things that indicated that it was going to happen, but no solid proof. Finally, the test were positive, and a new one was on the way. Then, the eager anticipation, the worries, etc: "I can't wait!!" "Can we afford this?" "Which room to use?" "OMG, think about all the stuff we need to buy!" "I can't wait to send pictures to friends and family!" After a long wait, the baby arrived! Smaller than I expected, but oh so cute. But... the nagging doubt about affordability. I'd been told that my employer might be able to help out financially. I was hoping that it might be true. Sadly, though, I found out yesterday around lunchtime that I'll get no help from them. And we can't really afford this little one, with others already in this small house, costing money, taking up all my free time. So, I realized yesterday that I need to return my baby. It broke my heart to realize that, but to keep the baby would be to subject my family to unneeded hardship. Fortunately, I had 10 days to make up my mind, as long as the box was unopened. I have never in my life been so tested as I've been for the past few days, staring at my Mac mini box, wanting to free it. So, anyway, I walked out yesterday afternoon, sad but determined to do what was right. And then I stopped. It's important to note at this point that I live around Boston, and we got ~3 feet of snow this weekend. I spent most of the day Sunday shoveling out room for one of our vehicles to get out, and most of that time was spent removing the - literally - 4 to 5 foot tall, 5-6 foot thick wall of snow the plows had pushed in front of my driveway. Removing a giant wall of snow, when the surrounding snow is already a few feet high, is no fun task. But I did it, and spent Sunday night inside, exhausted, barely able to post, and Monday morning working from home (few people in the area went in to work Monday morning). But, anyway, I called Monday afternoon, and the Apple store was open. I went out to my driveway (hidden from view from the house due to its location and the giant piles of drifted snow in the way) and saw... another freaking 4 foot tall, 4-5 foot wide pile of snow in front of my driveway. I couldn't believe it. I mean, I knew the cleanup plows would push a bit more there, but I never expected that much. After all, I'd spent hours clearing a huge opening the day before, so where did all the snow come from? When I walked to the end, it was clear - the plow had veered over and hit one of the giant mounds on the side of the driveway and pushed it into the front of my driveway. I say "veered" because the road was visibly wider right before my driveway than it was before or after that - the plow had literally touched the edge of my yard, whereas everywhere else it was a foot or two away, at least, from mine and everyone else's. And it pushed everything I'd shoveled (well, half - the other half was on the other side) plus a lot of other snow from the side back to my driveway. This especially irked me because I'd taken care and exerted effort to ensure that I'd piled the snow well back from the plow line. Hey, I know plow guys work hard. I'm sure he didn't veer on purpose, unless he was - as I suspect - a minion of Satan. Perhaps his arm jerked when he went to inject the heroin. Maybe the crack pipe dropped a hot rock on his leg that caused him to veer unintentionally. Maybe he lost sight of the road for a second as he reached down to grab his vodka bottle. Perhaps the Whipit canister blocked his view as he was inhaling nitrous. Maybe he just hates me for some reason because I live in a decrepit tiny house surrounded by mansions (well, not literally mansions, but 5000+ square foot, three car garage, covered pool, acre-plus homes) and I'm bringing down property values. So, anyway, it took another two hours to re-dig myself out, at which point I'd lost any motivation to go anywhere. Today, there was no snow in front of my driveway. I can only assume the plow driver is still sleeping it off and will return tomorrow, probably to plow snow over the trash that I need to set out tonight. Anyway, I'm sitting here with a $600 mini I bought specifically to bring to work to allow me to have the joy of OS X as I did my Linux-based coding (I can do 99% of it on the Mac, and the Linux solution they're providing is VMWare installed on my old Dell laptop's tiny slow drive which is stupidly encrypted so as to run even slower). Yeah, I need to shell out at least another $80 or so for RAM to up it to 512MB, more likely ~$200 to up it to a GB, but I have KVM there, so I could just plug it in and use it - and there are other Macs at work (few, but some), so I know the company allows them. I need to at least return it to get it off my corporate card and onto a personal one, and I just cannot justify keeping it since I have a dual-2 G5 and an 800MHz flat-panel iMac and an old G3 Lombard PB. Still, I really, really want to keep it, for no reason other that a pure emotional attachment to what is for all intents and purposes just a small box containing old technology. Sad, right? But, even though I know I need to bring it back, it's just so hard actually doing it. There are either literal obstacles in my way or emotional ones. And I know Blue Velvet wanted to see my mini review. I feel bad that I'll need to let her down. And then there's the girl who was in line behind me at the Apple Store Saturday. She was frantic with worry that she wouldn't get a mini. She'd been saving to buy a Mac, her PC had gone kaput, and she was so worried that she wouldn't get a mini that she was - literally - teary-eyed. When she realized that she'd get one, she was as happy as I have ever seen anyone. The tears turned to tears of joy. She so yearned to be a Mac owner (we all talk about it, but I've honestly never seen anyone so happy buying a computer in my entire life). I gave her the MacRumors URL (of course) and told her that I'd be able to help if she had any problems. Now, while I'm sure others will help her, I won't be able to. Has anyone else bought a Mac and had to return it?