Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The day my computer died

Jim Lavene
Tuesday, July 22

It never fails. When we go away to a mystery writer's conference or on vacation, when I come back, something terrible has happened. It's almost not worth going away anymore because I can't afford the repairs when I get back.

Take this year's Malice Domestic in DC. Gone for three days and two water pipes burst. So I get home Sunday afternoon and there's no water and I spend the rest of the night crawling around in the dirt fixing the pipes.

We take our whole family to Myrtle Beach each summer(kids, grandkids, in-laws). We stay at one of those big, high rise hotels with the ocean front balcony up so high all the people look like ants. The kids love the amenities like the pools and stuff. This year, it was the Dune's Resort with elephants whose trunks shoot out water and giant water slides. The kids dig in the sand too but mostly, it's the other stuff they want. Dune's was nice; clean and nice people. We all came back exhausted and happy. It's a great time to spend with everyone, having time to talk and sit on the balcony and watch the sun rise and set.

We got home late on Sunday and everything seemed to be fine for once. I smiled and went into my office, thinking I must've beat the curse.


I pushed the button to start my primary computer. Nothing happened. I kind of glanced at it then tried again. Nothing happened. I jiggled a few cables, checked the power supply. Nothing!

I spent the next hour trying everything I knew and nothing happened. By that time, I was sure the mother board was fried. I told myself not to panic. I have a laptop and all my info is stored on a server separate from the main computer. It would be all right until I could get something else set up.

We worked hard on the new book(Ghastly Glass, book 2 in the Ren Faire series) before we left so we wouldn't have to take it with us but it had been four days and I knew we'd want to get back to it Monday. My laptop is okay for emergencies but it's slow.

So I got online and ordered some memory. It would be a while before I could get a new main computer. Just looking around in the catalogues to get an exact fit takes a few days and then ordering. I can't get what I want from Best Buy or Circuit City. Since they closed the Comp USA store in Charlotte, I have to get everything online.

But we're up and running again with the laptop and the next chapter of GG is in the can. I know now that I can't beat the curse and I've resigned myself to it. Something has got to be whacked out or screwed up when I come back after a few days. It's just one of those laws of nature.

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