Shuffling off this mortal coil

Mortality confronted me at every turn today.

In its least encounter, an important memory disk failed me at a crucial moment this afternoon.

This line from “Aliens”echoed quietly in my ears: “You have 15 minutes to reach minimum safe distance.”

See, mortality has no power without a deadline. But that’s why they call them deadlines, I guess: This moment in time marks death.

Deadlines for some functions are clearly defined. If, for example, you don’t pay your taxes by April 15, you’re in trouble. Big trouble.

But the really important deadlines, like the lifetime of your memory disk or your own lifetime (not necessarily listed in order of importance), are not clearly stated in terms of time. Machinery — man-made or God created — always fails at some point. There are limits. In the words of “Star Trek’s” Montgomery Scott, “I cannae change the laws of physics!”

It is simply a question of when.

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