Fortune Favors the Prepared

Yosemite Kernel PanicOn Friday, my MacBook Pro (nicknamed “Rockhopper”) started acting up. After a trip to the Cherry Creek Apple Store…at 6:15…on a Friday…from Boulder… I found out that the coverage window for this known issue ended in 2013, and I was one of the un/lucky ones who didn’t have the issue present until the Yosemite update.

Being as it was getting slightly long in the tooth already, I’ve been squirreling money away in a YNAB category called New MacBook Pro, at the advice of MacRumors.

The repair was going to be $300 or $500 if done in-store, and would be 3–5 business days. With the MacBook category getting fat, the cost was annoying but ultimately fine, but the time without a work device was pretty unacceptable. I knew I had some options to squeeze a little more life out of Rockhopper; such as an extension which could override the use of the problematic component in favor of a less-powerful backup built in, but it still could be kernel panic roulette. Not to mention Google Chrome and the Creative Suite (which I use extensively for Valour development) require the faulty hardware to run.

As I went to leave the store dejected, I hatched another idea. What if I bought a “loaner” MacBook Air with the budget category, which I could then sell to refill the category when the 2015 MBPs drop? I turned on my heel and grabbed a sales rep. I could move to new hardware now, get the hardware I actually want later, and the whole overlap would probably only cost a few hundred bucks in depreciation, which is what I was already prepared to spend on a new logicboard anyway.

I bought the Air.

And now, I’m not totally sure I’m going to want the MPB when it comes out anyway, since this thing is pretty rad. It doesn’t even feel like I bought it with hard-earned money; it feels like I bought it with gradually-accrued foresight.


Contrast this with how I felt this morning when I realized that I didn’t have anything prepared to post today. While I think it worked out, it was a scramble, and there were other more pressing issues I could (should?) have been addressing this morning. I started to extrapolate to other times and places where I don’t feel prepared, and how much it sucks.

I’ve just had the revelation that much of what I’ve accomplished recently is a result of putting systems in place which force me to be prepared; whether it’s budgeting, publishing goals, or setting up accountability relationships (more on those later). If knowing is half the battle, being prepared is certainly the next 30–40%.

I think the next step of this discovery is to look at every situation I find myself in, and not just think about what I could have done to prepare, but how I can systematize it such that I can’t help but be prepared next time.