Then I went into my room and saw that he computer was still running, but the mouse was on the floor and there was no cursor. Portia! I began to doubt that it was Tuesday morning, but with no cursor I couldn't get the Java script that would tell me what day it was. After futzing with the machine in a daze for a while, I realized that I could use the television the find out if it was Monday evening or Tuesday morning. I checked the on-screen guide and saw that the CBS evening news was on, so it had to be Monday evening. Moderately clever.
Then I went back to the computer to see what could be done about the missing cursor. I knew there must be keyboard commands to close browsers and other programs, and then shut the machine down without using the Bad Button, but I've never learned them. As I didn't want to use the Bad Button, I experimented. Control-Alt-Delete brought the Task Manager up, but I couldn't figure out how to end programs using that with no cursor, so I tried Control-Escape. To my surprise, the main menu popped up. I found that the up and down arrow keys would select the various programs that were running, so I tried selecting Thunderbird (in addition to putting the mouse on the floor Portia had apparently walked on the keyboard and opened the program by stepping on the E-Mail button) and then hit Escape (which merely shut the menu.) So I tired menu-select and then Control-Escape, and finally Control-Alt-Escape. I think it was the last one that finally worked, though the icon vanished from the tray ybut Thunderbird was till displayed on the Task Manager window, so I'm not sure what actually happened. Both clever and stupid.
Anyway, I finally got several programs to at least look as though they had been shut down, and then tried using the arrow keys to select Turn Off Computer on the menu, and Enter brought up the Stand By-Restart-Shut Down window, and then after selecting Shut Down with the arrow keys Enter actually shut the computer down, though I apparently had it set to Restart rather than Shut Down, as that's what it did. Somewhat clever. So it appears that I now know how to shut down the computer without using the Bad Button, after only a few months short of having used a computer for fifteen years. Clever, stupid, and rather half-assed.
But when the computer restarted, there still wasn't any cursor. Rats! (Or mouse!) Then it occurred to me that I might get the cursor back if I used the Connect Mouse procedure. I tried it and nothing. So them I tried disconnecting the wireless base and reconnecting it, then using the Connect Mouse procedure again. Nothing. Finally, I took the batteries out of the mouse and when I put them back in, lo and behold, cursor! Belatedly clever.
But had I thought of dealing with the mouse in this way first, I wouldn't have shut the computer down (so cleverly) and lost all the stuff I'd been working on before taking my unintentional nap. Quite stupid.
What I have learned from all this is that if you want to fix a computer, you probably must think like a computer, which means you must be both very clever and very stupid. I'm not sure if being half-assed helped or hindered. In any case, I'm glad the adventure is over. I hope I never have another. But Portia being a cat, I probably will.
Now I need my dinner. Or breakfast, as it still feels like Tuesday morning, despite the sun not coming up. Oh, I hate unintentional afternoon naps!