It’s a wonderful thing to have a tiny little black box that contains most of the information you need on a regular basis. A database full of names and addresses, a directory full of treasured childhood photos, another one of recent photos, hundreds of recipes, and copies of every letter you’ve typed in the past 15 years. And that’s without even connecting it to the Internet.

But with all that comes a price: Dependency. When the thing doesn’t boot up, you are toast. Without your to-do list in Excel, what do you DO next? Without the address book in Access, how can you call anyone? Without Microsoft Streets and Trips, how can you plan a trip across the country?

Our laptop, known as Fooney, was one hot computer. Too hot. You couldn’t use it in your lap without practically suffering thigh-burns. Eventually, some inner part decided that it didn’t like Fooney’s tropical climate and gave up the ghost.

Even though all the data was backed up before sending it in for repairs, the 7-10 days for the repair are actually going to adversely affect our travel schedule. Hence Fooney’s new name, “Millstone.”

I think it’s time to try some old-fashioned, computer-free camping. Where life is simple and uncomplicated, and the only bugs are the ones in your food.