Moments with My Grandparents

The Road Trip Sextet, Part 5 – “Moments with my Grandparents”

For Part 1, go HERE.

For Part 2, go HERE.

For Part 3, go HERE.

For Part 4, go HERE.

These are my grandparents, Nelson and Dottie. And they are awesome.

Both are well into their 90s and are approaching their 70th wedding anniversary.

This was the primary reason for my road trip in early June. Yes, I had a tea expo to go to. Yes, I had a beach party to attend. But the one reason that tops all of those was to see my grandparents for the first time in four years. Mainly for the stories they tell. And, boy, do they have stories aplenty. For this article, I wanted to highlight a few of them that were imparted just during this one visit. In the form of vignettes.

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Monday, July 21st, 2014 Musings 30 Comments

Tech Fails & Travails #1: Komputer Karma

Bloggers note: This is a companion piece. There’ll be a link to the other blog that goes along with this at the bottom of the page. Happy reading.

Sunday was to be the day.

The day I would finally – and bravely – change out my computers. I had some good times with the ol’ Samsung. Blogs were written, movies were watched, naughty sites were searched, viruses were cleansed (sometimes in tandem with naughty sites)…and ideas were made manifest. It had served me well for over six years, and remade at least two times with a little help from techie friends. But now it was time to say goodbye.

I had received a new computer as a kindly donation from my grandfather. My brother (also kindly) transported the thing from California to Oregon. It took me a year to muster up the courage to make the grand switch-out. There was never a need. That is, until the inevitable death of my old Samsung. Cause of computer-coma? Cat hair. Seriously.

Reluctantly, I started to make the grand migration to a new platform. The problem, it only came with a monitor and a box. No chords to speak of. That and my ancient ergonomic keyboard and mouse used PS/2 connectors. The new computer required USB. Also, I couldn’t hook up the new monitor without a DVI cable. Don’t know what any of this means? Neither did I. In Layman’s terms it was a “square peg/round hole” scenario – Freudian giggles and all.

Thanks to some last-minute donations from a tea pal and my stepbrother, I received the necessary chords and equipment to set it up. Then – by some stroke of divine comedy – my old computer decided to up and work again. So, I delayed the inevitable migration for a few more days.

Then came Sunday. There was no putting off anymore. I migrated over any necessary writing files I needed for future projects. Ported over photos. And prayed. The new monitor didn’t work. I was, apparently, missing an AC adapter for it. Double-argh!

Somehow, someway, I found an old-school adapter amidst a pile of old computer parts in my room. What was I doing with old computer parts? Um…science? I have no clue. I tried to plug the new adapter in. The monitor turned on for a second – a mere moment – then went black. Either I shorted out the monitor, or the AC only had enough current left in it for a sputter. Still no life. Reluctantly, I switched back to the old monitor.

That seemed to work fine…but…

There was a password lock on the computer. One my grandfather put on. And I didn’t have his number. I began calling around for anyone who might know how to contact the grandparents. My mother still knew it by heart (I think?). After a brief convo with the family patriarch, I was finally in to the actual computer! Just one task left.

Internet time. In moments long past, I’ve had problems getting wireless antennae to work, especially the temperamental Belkin I still use. Installing drivers was – for some reason – an arduous chore for me. The first problem I had was getting the network adapter to bloody fit. The four USB connections in the back were too close together. It took a lot of squeezing to fit the adapter in with the new mouse and keyboard connectors. After some finagling, I somehow succeeded.

The new hardware was detected, now it was time for the network adapter’s drivers. Everything was smoothly installing, and then the computer prompted me to restart. I clicked “OK’. I seriously wish I hadn’t.

Paperweights, anyone?

Paperweights, anyone?

While the computer did restart…there was no monitor picture. I tried turning it off and on. Still no picture. On the fifth try, the monitor sprang to life; just time for the second attempt on the drivers. Same thing happened – no picture on the restart. On the fourth cycle, I finally had the bright idea to attempt a password on the blank screen. If the computer chimed in, then “it” was working – except the monitor. The desktop background came on, but not the actual desktop. Swell.

Livid, I gave up and put the computer off to the side like the paperweight it was. My only theories were either: (a) Something was wrong with the Belkin drivers, or (b) aspect ratios between the monitor and computer were skewed. Whatever it was, it was beyond my mere computer karma to figure it out.

How did I handle that conclusion?

I gutted my room.

Image Owned by Allie Brosh

Image Owned by Allie Brosh

You can read about that HERE.

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Monday, October 22nd, 2012 Musings 25 Comments

I work for tea money.


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