Does not compute
I don’t know what your week was like but mine was strange. It started with the home invasion scare (all this time later, nothing new, except we changed all our locks to key only and are just paying more attention when we are outside). Then I had the silliness with magazine subscriptions.
Next, as I was checking all my balances, I saw a weird notice on my PayPal account, something to the effect of, ‘your account is frozen unless you complete your profile’. Say what? I have had the same PP account for ten years or so (can’t remember). I started it so I could buy things from eBay, and then it became a convenient way to pay for other things. Some of my clients use it so they don’t have to write checks. I am not wild about it, because PP does take a percentage, but it has worked effortlessly. One thing the instructions told me to do was link another credit card to it. So, I did that and I still got the same message.
Now, I would not fall for any of that if it came in an email. But, as things go according to Murphy’s Law, for the past few weeks I had been getting all kinds of spam telling me my account was about to be frozen. So, when this was actually a message in the account itself, I took it more seriously. Long story short, I gave it a couple of days and then called them. It turns out to be a software glitch and they are supposedly working on it.
When you get up at 4 am every day, you are not in the calmest, most rational state of mind — I don’t care how much sleep you get. I try to get no less than 6 hours of sleep. All my life, I have been a light and minimal sleeper. There were times in college and grad school where I was existing on four or five hours. When I go to visit Deanna, Al and Annabelle I get about that because they go to bed late and I get up very early. Plus it is three hours ahead there and I never seem to adjust while I am with them.
What getting up at 4 means is, the first thing that happens or goes awry starts the day off in a panic. Well, if you are high strung and maintenance as I am. Plus, when I wake up, somewhere around 3:45, I immediately start to anticipate what I need to do and any issues I am grappling with at the moment. You know how people say everything seems worse and more dramatic at 3 am? Well, that applies to 4 am as well.
So, anyway, yesterday, I get up, go brush my teeth and hair in the semi-darkness with a nightlight (not ready to see myself with no makeup at that hour in the a.m., lol), and get settled at the computer to see what has come in since the evening before. This is a lot of email because I have two accounts, work and personal, and I usually don’t check email after 8 pm the evening before.
I sit down, Geoffrey hands me my mug of coffee as he always does, and, being pretty much on auto-pilot, I get ready to tackle whatever inquiries came in during the night, update today’s to-do list, etc. OK! Tap on the keyboard in the office to wake up my main computer. Tap, tap, tap, tap-tap-tap. Nothing. Ugh. Nightmare.
Since I have a five year old computer, and I have only about 70 gigs of available HD space, it is not unheard of for it to be sluggish. But this time it seemed to be frozen. I had left a lot of large files open and some web pages so I could begin without too much prep time (by now it is only 4:15, so who has the brain for a lot of extra work?) so I was really not happy at the prospect of hard booting the computer. Which I did. And still, despite hearing that happy Microsoft tune, the screen was black. Re-boot. Ugh, painful. Nothing. Black.
Nooooooo! I have so much to do. Geoffrey sat down at the computer, even though he was trying to take care of everything he does before he goes to the train. Oh and now he is taking a bus to the train because I don’t like leaving the pets alone (ala Bunny and my suggestible mind) in a dark house while invaders are lurking about. Poor guy! What a princess I have become (yes, always been, I guess). While he did that, I ran up to the solarium computer and got everything cranked up there except I didn’t have the photograph series there that I am posting on Flickr right now.
Then, long-suffering saint that he is, when he couldn’t solve the problem, he offered to run the tower and monitor over to Staples, where they have free diagnostics (lord, how I pray that store doesn’t close) the minute they opened up, even though he would be late for work. God bless Staples, it was only the monitor. Fried somehow. They told him that a five year old monitor might as well be a senior citizen. Geeze. Cheap at the price, though. I feared it was my HD and even though I back up periodically, I am not up to date completely and would have lost some prepared JPEGS that I didn’t feel like re-processing.
Now I have a nice, new, bigger monitor and everything is back to normal. But, yesterday, the minute Geoff pulled the computer equipment and all its tangled nightmare of cords out of the office, I got to see how dusty the room was. Yech. In 105F heat (40C+) — even with the AC going full blast, the office is smallish and my vacuum cleaner was putting out BTUs (therms?) like a madman. Once you change one thing in a space as limited and “arranged” as my office (and by arranged, I mean, filled to the ceiling with bookcases and shelving and files and books and equipment and framed photographs, etc.), it is like that little plastic game where you have only one open space and somehow have to make a sentence with the scrambled letters.
It was exhausting and I was cranky and sweaty as I started filling up bags to toss. Things like miscellaneous paper goods that I forgot I had and saved. All kinds of post-it note packages, boxes and boxes of unsharpened pencils. A huge collection of white-out that is mostly dried up. Useless glue sticks, old, same thing. Packages of markers, boxes of ball point pens we got by the gross at Staples. To say nothing of three old computers — my precious Vaio from 2007, Geoffrey’s Acer laptop and his older Mac iBook. Why don’t we recycle these guys? Because they not only have old data that we have never transferred, they have the old programs that open them. Geoffrey uses Filemaker, an older version that he likes for work. If there is a newer one, I don’t know but it probably wouldn’t open his old files. Same with some old version of Peachtree. Geoff has never used a desktop. He only likes things that he can carry around with him and even though he bangs them around, especially at job sites, they seem to last forever. I baby my computers and they are as hypersensitive and fickle as I am.
While I am at it, I have to mention that, good as he is about solving problems for me, especially practical ones like changing all the locks or deciphering computer problems, Geoffrey is too casual about security. He took my precious tower and monitor to Staples yesterday and while he was going out the door, I offered to go with him, figuring he would need me to carry one or the other. He declined. Turns out, he took the monitor in first and left the tower in the car, on the seat, in plain view! Yikes, typical California laid back. I am the kind of person that won’t even leave a tissue on the seat inside the car because it might attract attention and lead to a costly break in. It has happened. Deanna left a cheap pair of sunglasses on the dash of her brand new SUV last year and ended up with a huge bill after someone smashed in the driver’s side window to get the glasses and rifled through the other compartments in the car and stole Annabelle’s backpack, which was stashed under the seat.
Not only did I not want a break-in, I sure didn’t want some stranger having access to all the info on that HD, including financial and personal stuff. What was he thinking?
My biggest peeve is the way you need to keep upgrading everything in order to use it. I spent a fortune on that Vaio and now it is a dinosaur with Vista OS on it. Why buy an expensive computer when it becomes obsolete within a year? That is why we stopped buying Macs.
Anyway, the week isn’t over yet, so we shall see. Oh, and I would love it if you experts out there could settle an argument G and I have over spraying equipment with compressed air. I worry that it will drive dirt into the computer and gum up the works and Geoffrey feels it is mandatory to keep the computer clean. What do you think?
Also, now that I have two new monitors, this site looks more greenish than orangey as it did when I had my older monitor. I want it to be a soft Buttercup yellow. Can you tell me how it looks on yours? Thanks!
Images: hgtv.com, nycorganizers.com, abduzeedo.com, aspiremetro.com, inool.com, houzz.com, themodernagent.com, catoss.com, designsnext.com
These are all ideal images, except one, of what I am aiming for in every room of my house, especially my office which is now clean and orderly once again, thanks to this upheaval. 😀