Tuesday, May 1, 2012

"SNAMUs and Other Stuff"

Well, it's been an interesting couple of weeks, I'll say that much...
Last week didn't see me getting anything new added to Untitled #7. Heck, it's been a very dry couple of weeks writing wise for me, period... Stress had me just about ripping my hair out, there was drama all over Facebook by times and I was fit to start shooting people by the time the weekend of the 22nd was over!!
Last Monday, we had a major storm here, a Nor'Easter, that was all rain and wind. Around 8 p.m. or so, my son was playing Rocket Bowl on the computer like he always does if he has a great day at school and all of a sudden, the power flickered on and off about six times... Fast enough that I couldn't get to the computer to shut it down properly before it went out completely for a few hours. We wound up sitting in the living room with a kerosene lantern, the TV hooked up to a car battery via a converter we have for emergencies and a very upset little boy. 
After Son went to bed, I sat in my comfy armchair reading and talking to Hubby while the lantern burned brightly off to my right side for a couple of hours. By 10:30, the lights were back on and I stayed up for a bit to make sure it was going to stay on. The kerosene lantern was put out and put away and we thought the worst of it all was over.
Me and my big yap.........
There were two major repercussions from that night. The next morning, I got up, started up the computer and did my usual thing on a school day morning... I checked Sanctuary, caught up on Facebook and other spots and just hung out with my friends for a while. Around 9:30 or so, I was exhausted so I shut the computer down, went upstairs for a nap, and Hubby did too. 
He came down around 1 p.m. or so and I slept until he woke me about half an hour later. When I came down the stairs, he told me he tried turning on the computer to check his email but nothing was appearing on the monitor screen...
I fired up the computer myself and sure enough, he was right. However I did hear the chimes that Vista makes when it starts up so I knew there was nothing wrong with the sound card or from what I could tell, the motherboard or hard drive... So I double checked ALL connections on the computer and determined that the video card had some problems, or possibly croaked after I shut it down earlier that day. I called various computer stores where they have technicians and after talking to one at my main place to buy techie stuff, they said I should bring it in for a diagnostic just to be sure it is the video card and nothing else.
I decided to run it up that very afternoon... Then the second repercussion from the night before hit me square in the face.
I was putting on my makeup and saw something odd on the right hand side of my eye... There was a huge blister in the membrane alongside of my cornea (not on the cornea itself, thankfully!) and the eye was red in the area surrounding it. The blister was filled with a clear, yellow-tinged fluid. It was gross looking but didn't hurt, it was more annoying than anything.
The computer went in for its diagnostic, which took about 10 hours to do according to the computer technician I talked to, and we visited my mom, who was visiting my aunt and uncle for a week... Mom let me use her laptop to update everyone on Facebook and Sanctuary what was happening and then we let my son play Bejeweled on it while I chatted with Mom and my aunt and Hubby talked to my uncle and my aunt's father who lives with them.
Wednesday rolled around and no computer for me, it felt weird not to have it here. I didn't hook up my old 1993 Pentium because it's a pain to do so... I read a lot that day, went to the doctor and started getting prices on new computers, just in case. The place where the computer was having its diagnostic does have a lot of nice systems but they were kind of priced a little high for what they were. I looked around other spots and found better computers for a lot less and Hubby and I said we would get one from a department store, which was about $100 less than the computer stores' cheapest system, and it was a lot more powerful... It is basically the up to date version of what I have now, and it's a nice computer. I really didn't want to give up on my old Acer just yet and since we didn't have the verdict from the computer store yet, we didn't purchase anything. I did see another, nicer system than that one at the local business supply/computer store for $30 more than the department store one, and I was pretty much drooling when I was reading its specs. I got into a nice long conversation there with one of the gentlemen who works there, and it turned out that with that system, I would have to get another case for it... You see, that particular computer was not only short, it was narrow... Too narrow to have a dial up modem installed into it, meaning I'd have to pay extra to get the guys to install its innards into a new case or even the case I have for my current system, if things would have fit that is. We also discussed various things that can go wrong with computers and this gentleman was impressed that although I have no formal training, I know more than the average consumer about computers... I've rebuilt several computers from the operating system up, including my own (3 times last year!) and baby my computer along even in the best of times. My computer is my window to the world, and where I spend a lot of my time even if I'm offline... As y'all know I write, and I am hoping that once #7 is finished and polished (a LOT), to send it off to a publisher. Thank the stars for memory sticks and CD's, that's all I'm saying! LOL They do data transfers at this place for a small fee so I would have been able to get ALL of my documents, etc put on to the new system, even if I purchase it from another store, so I would have it all even if I didn't have all of it on memory sticks and that would have saved me a lot of work! LOL Hubby said we would go there for it and to heck with my regular computer place... Except for diagnostics, their fees, prices, etc are a little too steep and the computer techs there get really defensive if someone without formal training like me comes in and tells them they know more than the average computer user out there.
Thursday dawned without word from the technicians about my computer. Hubby was working and Son went to school so I decided to veg on my armchair with Noelle on my lap and have a CSI on DVD marathon. I was ticked because I couldn't write, which I was really looking forward to, but decided to just wing it and hoped the news would be good for a change. 10:30 a.m. rolled around and I got a call from the computer technician... Seems I was right all along, it was the video card! Turns out that even though the card is internal (meaning its integrated right into the motherboard), I could get an external one installed (one that is a full sized card like a dial up modem!) and it would be an easy fix for the guys to do. I told them to do it and that my husband would pick it up. All in all, everything included, it was under $70 which is a LOT cheaper than it would have been to purchase another system and get it set up!
I was back on the computer and back online before 5 p.m. that night. My mentor, P, was very excited to see me back online and everyone was happy to know that I didn't have to get another system!
So far, things seem to be working good... The video card is working perfectly, according to my own mini diagnostics here at home, nothing has been corrupted, etc from the computer techs' diagnostics and they even went and updated my antiviral program for me, free of charge, so I wouldn't have to spend hours downloading three days' worth of updates on the dial up connection. (Thanks guys!) I'm zipping around my usual spots as always, having fun with my friends, and just savoring having my computer back.
My eye is back to normal too, there are still one or two bright red vessels showing up in the corner of my eye but they are fading fast and my vision is perfect (with corrective lenses that is!). I don't have any pain, nor is there anything irritating it. I'm just glad it was nothing serious!
Looking back, I'm now wondering if this was the universe's way of telling me I needed a break... You see, this all started not long after a bunch of drama and other bull funky started up on Facebook and it had me VERY stressed out. I was told by Hubby and others I needed a break, several times over the last few weeks, and it just seemed everything fell into place for me to take one... Even though I really did NOT want one! LOL By the time I returned on Thursday, everything had settled down and was peaceful, thank the stars. There has been a little drama here and there but not like there had been, thankfully.
I'm hoping to finally get some writing time this week... Hubby works one day shift during the regular school week so you KNOW I'm going to be buried in Untitled #7 that day! I'm pretty much taking chunks out of the monitor from wanting to write so badly, I'm chomping on it that much! LOL
Have a wonderful week everyone... I'm hoping this week is much better than the last two have been!
If any of you out there celebrate Beltane, I hope your celebration is peaceful and wonderful!

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