1) resign yourself to spend $80+ for a new power cord because you own not one, but two barely functional cords.
2) decide you're actually a little mad that you have to pay for a new one. apple knows these are faulty and hand out new (and improved) power cords like candy if you computer is still under warranty. just because yours is past warranty doesn't mean that it isn't from the faulty years and shouldn't be acknowledged.
3) psych yourself up for a call to apple customer service. practice your "i'm a loyal customer" speech. after all, the worst they can say is 'no'.
4) wait on hold for ten minutes only to hear the most beautiful words ever... "sure, we've love to replace that for you. just take it to your nearest apple retailer for a trade in."
5) go to four different apple retailers until you find one that is actually authorized to handle the exchange.
6) run home to plug it in. and shine, baby, shine. squeal with delight over the steadily glowing orange light.
this is why i love apple. their customer service is second to none.