11/2/15 Chronicles

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Latest Post - This Week Nov. 2

We do take little things for granted, like hope. Hope really does spring eternal. Where would we be without it? Dead, I guess. We'd just give up. Even the poorest, sickliest person has hope. Some call that hope faith in God, but really, it's just hope. Things have sometimes been good in the past, so we hope they will be good again in the future. Even though mentally we may know that's probably not likely.

This week I have hope that the many files I want off my hard drive will be somehow saved when my friend Marcos looks at it and tries to retrieve whatever he can.  It's probably foolish hope, but it's all I got. I did back up the hard drive in June (not sure if I backed up the whole thing or not).  I've done a lot since then, though, so I'm missing many files I would love to have, like photos, and my DVD list and a lot more.

I do back up my files to an external hard drive, but I have a very small desk, so I can't just keep it attached at all times and back it up regularly. There's no room for it. Windows has the OneDrive where it supposedly saves all of your files, but the problem is that it, too, is limited and since I have 20,000 or more songs, it tells me right away that I have too many files to fit in the OneDrive. I've also tried other cloud based services such as box.com and Dropbox, but they're limited in how much you have unless you want to pay, which I'm just way too cheap to do. Plus, honestly, when I first tried one of those services years ago, it took a really long time to back things up. Perhaps I should try it again and just pay to back it up. It's too much frustration otherwise.

If you don't know already from last week's blog, my laptop's hard drive died last Saturday, 10/24. I don't know why it died. I was just using it, and was working as well as it ever does...I rebooted it, and suddenly the laptop would not recognize the hard drive. I took it to the repair place, and they said it's dead and they can't read it.  They have a place they can send it to, but it would cost at least $600! I found some other places in town, but they all charge at least $200 or more. That's so ridiculous. You know, they know that they have you over a barrel because you're desperate to retrieve your files.

Fortunately, Marcos, who hosts my site, knows more about computers than I do, so hopefully he can retrieve my stuff.  I have HOPE that he can do it!

In the meantime, I bought a new Lenovo laptop for about $400. It's not like spending $400 is no big deal, either. To me, that's a lot of money. I mean, sure, it's not like we can't afford it, but I hate having to spend it on something like replacing my computer that wasn't even 2 years old! The Dell computers I've bought in the past have usually last decades.

Then another disaster happened. I have this other pc, a desktop, that I only use for running my site's soap transcripts. It's hooked up to the TV and runs with Windows XP. It uses an internal ATI card to make the transcripts. Well, at first I thought the monitor had died because it kept saying "power saving mode," so I went out and bought the only monitor that Walmart has, which is $103.  More money I hate to spend!  Then I get that home and set it up....turns out it's the pc that's dead, not the monitor. So now who knows how much that will cost to fix or replace! I tell ya, I feel cursed this week. That one, too, is less than 2 years old! Although I think it was a used one. I bought it from the repair place. They're going to come pick it up on Monday. They're just a few blocks away, but it's too heavy for me to try to bring in myself.

I hope my phone will be ok because I really don't want to have to spend more money to replace that, too! It's about 16 months old. I was really hoping to buy a guitar, but I don't know if we'll want to spend the money now. :( I could have bought 5 guitars from all this money I'm spending on computers! Sheesh.

So all of this week, I was learning Windows 10 and configuring this laptop the way I want, and installing programs. I still have more programs to install and more data to retrieve from my external hard drive.  It's been very stressful. At first I thought Windows 10 was awful, but now I figured it out, for the most part. What was bugging me was that the weird Start Menu kept coming up with these useless tiles and blocking the desktop. Then when I would click on a program that was open, it wouldn't bring it up. I had to do Tab-Alt any time I wanted to see my browser or whatever, sometimes more than once. But then once I figured out that I would remove most of those tiles, then that screen sort of disappeared, now the problem is solved.

I've had a few calls to Lenovo support, too, and they've been pretty helpful. The new keyboard layout takes a bit of getting used to as well.

I still use Microsoft Frontpage 2003 for my site (that's the last version they made). With every version of Windows they come out with, Frontpage works a little less well :( I've been looking into alternatives, but it's taking a long time.

Friday I went to the hair salon to get my hair colored for my Halloween costume.  I had bought hair color that is supposed to be natural and wash out easily. Apparently all it does is lighten your hair a tiny bit.

There were lots of great Halloween things going on this week, but I couldn't get David to go to any of them. They all start after 8 and he's not a night time person. We did go to the Tap Room briefly Friday night...later they were having Rocky Horror and more.  They had a bunch of Halloween drinks, so I tried a couple of them. They were martinis, so they were a bit strong for me. One was a candy corn drink, and another was a Vampire's Kiss.

Today is Halloween and it's very hot. I hope it cools off a lot later or I'm going to be roasting in my costume. I'm going as Amanda from "Defiance." You can see photos of her here.  The show was just canceled, but I don't care. I found a site online that sells the jacket, although it's a bit more orange than the brown shown in the photos.

I'm going to try coloring my hair in a little while with food coloring to see if that works. I saw a girl do it on a YouTube video. Seems pretty easy. It's only the afternoon, so if it doesn't work out, I still have time to wash it out.

We're meeting some friends down at PF Chang's around 6pm. They aren't taking reservations  because of the holiday, which kind of sucks. I want to get a table outdoors there, right on the main drag so we can see the other costumes. I'll probably be the only one in our party to wear a costume, but it's okay. It's not a really obvious or extreme costume, anyway. Not like my previous years' costumes where I was Snow White, or Supergirl, or a lady bug.

I had a great guitar lesson as usual this week... I'm still practicing just about every day.  He says I'm learning really fast, so that's great. He's helping me to learn songs that I can sing with.  Now I'm learning how to pick so that's fun. Before I was mostly strumming and playing chords.  So far I learned "For What It's Worth," "Leavin' on a Jet Plane" and "Anticipation." I've learned how to play the melody on "Greensleeves," too. Now I'm working on "Will you Still Love Me Tomorrow" and "Landslide." Hopefully in 6 months or so, I can be good enough and have enough songs that I can start getting gigs and going to open mic night, maybe find a new band. The last time I saw the guys in my old band is January. I have no idea what happened with them, other than just lack of energy...

Saturday was fun, but low-key. Not nearly as fun as last year. The food coloring didn't work. The costume came out ok, though, considering I'm so fat now. UGH. My leather jacket was way too hot for this weather. Next year I'm definitely wearing something cooler. Turns out that we had no trouble getting a table at all at P.F. Chang's, so that worked out.

We hung out and had dinner with Cynthia and Tom. George wasn't feeling well, so he and Lena didn't show up. There were lots of great costumes. David and I went briefly afterward to Kelley O'Neill's, but we forgot that they take away the chairs when they're expecting big crowds. Although my boots were very comfortable, neither of us felt like standing for very long. We just went home and watched TV for a while. I tried hard to convince David to go to karaoke, but he wasn't in the mood. You can see some photos I took on my Instagram!

The best thing about Halloween was that I tweeted to Julie Benz, who played Amanda, that I was going as Amanda for Halloween. She had tweeted that she was in Hawaii, so I said, Aloha and welcome to my state! And I mentioned that we would be checking out the costumes in Waikiki. She replied and said to tweet her a pic of my costume and that she would be looking for me on Waikiki (she was joking, of course, about that last part, or at least just meant, she would keep an eye out, wherever she was, in case she saw me, not that she was actually going to find me :)  So then I tweeted her the pic and she said it was awesome. So that was exciting!! She's very nice. I interviewed her before a few times for "Defiance" as well as a Lifetime movie she did. She was also on Buffy, Angel and Dexter!

I did text some people, like my brother Stephen, so that was fun :) I don't do too much texting aside from David.  My brother David is also living in San Diego; I hear from him occasionally via email. I see my brother Pat on Facebook. He's on the east coast right now with his wife. She is a nurse that travels to and from different areas where they need her. They've been in the New Jersey area for a while. They're clearly enjoying the traveling and post lots of nice photos.

Sunday we went to Downbeat for dinner, like we usually do, but it was just too friggin' hot out. Downbeat had no tables, and we walked around town, but most of the other places were closed due to Halloween parties the night before (even the places that are usually open for football). So we went back to Downbeat, and got takeout. We like to sit in their a/c as it's really good.  Even David's been complaining about the heat, so you know it's bad. He almost never complains about it.

Sunday I took down all of the Halloween decorations. Boo hoo! They are fun to put up, but not so much fun to take down. I haven't decided yet whether I want to wrap them all back up in bubble wrap again or not (in case we move next Summer).  Then I have a few Thanksgiving decorations to put up.

I had a lot of work to catch up on and also tons of laundry. I tried to go to bed around 1, but I had lots of itching, and also back pain. It was tough. I was up and down for hours. Getting old sucks, especially if you have allergies and a bad back. I know, complain, complain, complain!

Monday morning (Today) I got up early, 8:30am. I had a conference call interview, and then I was expecting the pc repair guys to call, but they didn't. I also had to wait for the dry cleaning service to come pick up David's work clothes, as always.  So after that, I just went back to sleep for a while. I woke up around 12:30, phoned the pc place to leave a message, asking when they might come back. So the guy called me back a little while later, and he came to pick up the pc. I had to go downstairs to let him in, which was slightly irritating. He's been here a few times before, but I guess he didn't know to come to the Maunakea side of the building so that the security can let him in. We have an intercom system so I can buzz people in, but it wasn't working or something. So anyway, he got the pc, took it back to his shop, then found out that the pc is working fine. So he came back to get my monitor. Then he phoned later to say that was working, too. We chatted a bit about what happened - why it wasn't working for me, what I did to try to revive it, etc. So he's going to keep testing it and give me a call tomorrow. This is like when your car is not working, and you take it in to be fixed, and they can't find anything wrong with it! I still have the new monitor, so I won't take it back until I know for sure that the other one is working okay...

It's been so hot here all week, and very humid. Every day it's in the high 80's with 65-75% humidity. Hard to get anything done when it's so miserable. Have a great week and I hope you are having great weather where you are!

Don't forget to also check out my TV Blog! Both are updated about once a week. (I'm a little behind on this one)

This page updated 3/24/17

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