Life in progress


The Destroyer Strikes Again

Okay, I didn’t actually destroy the computers at Service Ontario (where we renew our licenses and health cards), but I didn’t seem to do them any favours.

If you read my bloated one-liner on Wednesday (here), you’ll know that whilst out at the mall, not one but two computers in the stores I visited crapped out while I was there. Apparently my reign of terror was not over. It happened again. Yesterday.

Both my son Chris and I needed to renew our health cards. So we went into the office and sat to wait our turn, as you do. We were called up to Desk #6 (there are 9) and the lady started filling out the paperwork. When she tried to take Chris’s picture, it didn’t work. The camera was fine, but the computer wouldn’t capture the image. So she sent us to Desk #3.

A nice lady helped us through the process and got Chris all set. Then it was my turn. As she was processing my paperwork, the computer started glitching.

“Oh no,” I said and then explained to her what had happened at the mall.

She waved it off good-naturedly and suggested we take my picture while the computer was doing its thing.

“I’ll try not to break your camera,” I said as I stepped in front of it.

The lady thought that was hilarious, and we laughed until I had to do the serious face for my photo. Then came her serious face when the picture didn’t work. Her computer crashed.

“Okay,” she said. “I’ll just pass you off to my colleague at Desk #4.”

The other lady with whom she shared a workspace and who hadn’t been busy for a while said that if her camera worked, it wasn’t me, it was the lady she worked with who broke the computer.

So I stood in front of the camera again and we laughed and laughed, and I got serious, and then we all got serious. It didn’t work. At this point, three out of nine computers weren’t working.

So the lady at Desk #4 asked us to have a seat while she called IT. While we sat there (right by the desk), a man passed us to go to Desk #2. A woman was following him so closely, that I thought they were together. The man approached the desk but the woman stood back.

“You just called me to this desk,” she said, confused. It was obvious the two weren’t together at this point.

“Oh,” said the man behind Desk #2. “Sorry, just take a seat and we’ll call you up next. It happens sometimes that the computer calls two people up at the same time. Must be a glitch.”

Shortly after that we went back to Desk #4 and I got my confirmation that my renewal had gone through offsite. The lady’s computer still wasn’t working, but they’d done it somehow through another office. Obviously one where I wasn’t physically present.

I’m afraid to go out again.


#SoCS – Super Saver

Safe to say I’m a collector, but not in the way you might think. I don’t keep things in orderly gatherings–in precious little spaces of their own–I just save everything. Because you never know when you’re gonna need it. Amiright? Piece of string? Sure, I’ll find a use for that. Bubble wrap? Why not? I send stuff to people all the time! (I don’t, but that doesn’t matter – I think I do. And anyway, bubble wrap is good for all kinds of boredom when you’ve got nothing to do with your hands things.) Unfortunately there comes that time when I end up throwing all that useful stuff out. Because I hate stepping over things, so if it’s in the way and I can’t find a spot for it, then sorry–you’re outta here.

But then there’s the computer. Ah, the computer. A lovely place where I can save, and save, and save, and I don’t have to trip over anything. It’s space that doesn’t seem as though it’s filling with clutter even as it does. It’s storage that never fills up … until all of a sudden I find out I have no more room left so I have to go out and buy teeny tiny devices with more space. They’re like Mary Poppins’s carpet bag. I buy them, and buy them, until I realize I’m collecting them. But do I keep track of where I put them and what’s on each of them? Of course not! But I’ve got them, just in case … never know when I’m gonna need the stuff packed into them, amiright?

I wish I could downsize my life. I wish I didn’t have that compulsion to keep everything. I envy people who can just throw stuff out. Maybe I should gather up all the bubble wrap I have in my house that I didn’t pop when I was bored and wrap all the little things up that I thought I might need. Put them into all the boxes I’ve kept that I knew I’d one day have use for, and stash it all away until I’ve forgotten what’s in it all. Once I have enough of them stacked to the point of overflowing and I start having to step over them, I can resist the temptation to open them just toss ’em out. Now that, for my sanity, would be a great save!

I’m blaming my last sentence on the lovely Joey, who was kind enough to provide us with a prompt with bonus points this week for Stream of Consciousness Saturday! Thanks so much, Joey! Click the following link to see how you, too, can join in!


Random to the Ninth Degree

It’s been a while since I just rambled about my life in progress. Some of what I have to share has to do with my blog as well, since what is life without the Internet? Seriously.

  1. Yesterday I spent an hour trying to change the size of Alex’s Youtube movie on his screen, because he said it was too small. I tried the settings in his account, I tried the settings on the computer, I switched computers, I switched browsers … I even downloaded a new browser onto his laptop, all the while with him screaming in my ear and signing “fix it! It’s too small!” For an hour. All to discover he wasn’t having a meltdown over the size of the movie, but rather the brand new Youtube logo on the top left corner of the screen. Ah, the joys of living with a kid with OCD.
  2. Alex goes back to school on Tuesday!!! (To understand my excitement, see above.)
  3. I’m so busy with my new freelance editing business, I need a schedule to fit everyone in.
  4.  It cost me $73 the other day for the dentist to look at my sore gums and tell me I need to rinse my mouth with salt water for a week. I suppose it could have been worse.
  5. I have a book signing at Chapters on October 1st in Kingston, where my novel is set!! Equally nervous and excited!!!
  6. As of tomorrow, there’s a change coming to this blog. I’ve started scheduling my fiction series, “Scenes from the Second Seat on the Right.” The scenes will appear once a day for the next year (there are 365 of them). Some are funny, some serious, some downright sick, most are realistic, yet some are pure fantasy. If you want to learn more about them, see the link in the menu at the top of my blog page. I’m happy to be posting them here, but at the same time I’m a bit worried that I’ll lose followers over them. We’ll see.
  7. The internal battery in my laptop is almost dead. It gives me a warning every time I turn it on. Is this important?
  8. Alex goes back to school on Tuesday!!!
  9.  I need a vacation.

So, what’s new with you?



Sparks Flew (or How Hewlett Packard Almost Burned My House Down)

It’s the second time it has happened now, but I do believe this time was scarier.

Last evening I was sitting down for dinner when Alex started yelling for me. He was in the living room with his laptop–being that he’s Deaf, he just yells when he wants something, and to me it seemed his normal “somethin’s bugging me mom” yell so I took my time and finished my mouthful of food before I got up.

I got into the living room and gestured “what do you want” and he indicated there was something wrong with the computer. Fine… I sauntered over to the couch and found him wiggling the power cord where it plugs into the laptop. The screen was dim – it was obviously running on its battery even though it appeared to be plugged in. So I followed the line down first to the power box or whatever you call it in the middle of the power cord. It was fine. So I got up to check to make sure it was plugged into the wall. It was. Complete with fireworks… COMING OUT OF THE SOCKET!!!

I grabbed the cord and yanked it out of the wall – thankfully there’s no damage to the house, nor to the laptop.

So today I went on to HP’s website – turns out there’s a worldwide recall on a power cord that’s meant for my computer but the model numbers don’t match. Instead of being able to just order a replacement, I spent the better part of the morning (okay, maybe an hour, but it was the better part of MY morning) on the phone with HP. They’re going to FedEx a new power cord to my house for free.

Least they could do I think, since had I ignored my Deaf son for a few more minutes I MIGHT NOT HAVE A HOUSE!!!!

As I said, this is the second time this has happened to me with HP laptop power cords. For God’s sake, if you have an HP laptop, check and see if your power cord has been recalled. And unplug it before you go out or to bed!


JusJoJan 9 – Ode to a Computer

I’m sitting in bed with twenty minutes left to get my jotting done before today changes to tomorrow. I have a glass of wine by my side and the world at my very fingertips and I’m kind of marveling, as I sometimes do, at how much the world has changed since I learned to type.

I started on my mother’s 80lb cast iron Underwood. I remember being determined to learn to touchtype even as my fingers missed the keys (which had to be punched as hard as I could muster) and got jammed painfully between them and the hammers (is that what they were called?) got stuck together whenever I hit two keys too close together and the bell dinged when I reached the end of the line. My idea of a computer was the monster at my school which took up an entire room and ate punch cards by the hundreds every minute.

And how many years later? Thirty five very short ones when you consider how long the earth has been around – I’m sitting in bed with a computer on my lap, a tablet and a phone by my side which are all capable of reaching almost any given place on the planet in an instant. Think about it. Seriously, think about it.

Ten minutes to go.

An instant.

Me, 4 minutes to midnight

Me, 4 minutes to midnight

This post is part of Just Jot It January. Join in today!


JJJ 2015


Nano Poblano – Day 21: Oh yes, I went there

How it should have gone:

Geek Squad Mike: How can I help you?

Me: I’ll start at the beginning, shall I? Here we go. In April, or maybe even March, I came in with my laptop because the battery was shutting the machine off at 70% power. You took it and you “fixed” it, but the battery was still fucked. So your manager promised me a new battery. Last week–yes, 7 or 8 months later–I finally got my new battery. I’d like to know if you can put it in for me. …oh wait! I can answer that question for you. NO! You can’t put my new battery in because you ordered the wrong one!

Geek Squad Mike: I have no idea which idiot ordered the wrong battery for you: here’s a new laptop, free of charge!


How it actually went:

Geek Squad Mike: How can I help you?

Me: I got the wrong battery.

Geek Squad Mike: What’s your phone number, I’ll look that up for you.

Ten minutes later:

Geek Squad Mike: (who has been joined by Geek Squad Dillon) We can order the new battery for you. I’ll leave you with Dillon: he knows more than I do. He’s the computer genius.

Me: Yes, he’s the computer genius who ordered the wrong battery for me last time.


For some reason, Geek Squad Dillon didn’t think that was funny.

True story.


This true story has been brought to you in conjunction with Mr. Mark:


and PoBloCompMo



Technology Sucks!

Incoming rant: be prepared to duck.

Why can’t they make computers that will last? Okay, fine, my desktop is four years old, and my son Chris is on it all the time. Almost. Today it started acting up. It has some sort of bug going on – whether it’s a virus or the hard drive is failing (which I think is the case) I’m not sure. But for an Autistic kid to deal with it’s the end of the world. I’ve spent most of this morning trying to fix the computer while Chris sits beside me beating his head with his fists and yelling.

All this after Alex came home yesterday to an infected laptop. Thank goodness I have Kaspersky on his machine – it cleaned it up quite well, though it took almost two hours to do it. It would work even better if it didn’t give him the choice when it detected an attack to go ahead and trust the virus or get out while the getting is good. He’s a very trusting little guy.

But it’s not only that the technology we use is so delicate which has me upset. Alex’s school has a great new program in which they’re using iPads to carry around in the community so they can communicate with hearing people. Wonderful, right? It would be if the school didn’t expect me to buy him an iPad. And I thought the expense of indoor shoes was bad enough!

And now Chris is asking me for a new computer. What I need is a car. A real one – not the 1993 puddle-jumping Tempo I inherited from my mother when the doctor took her license away in February. Wait, did I say technology? I suppose even the Flintstones thought their “cars” were technology. Anyway, the Tempo has taken to stalling every time I stop now… which I suppose is better than when it was zooming through stop signs no matter how hard I pressed on the brake.


End rant.

Seriously, I detest whining. I just had to get that off my chest. Thanks for reading.


…And Then Nothing Gets Fixed

I was walking out of Best Buy at 12:45 today when I got a call from Alex’s school. He was in the office, feeling unwell; would I come and get him. That’s not really a question. Ever. It’s a command. So I threw gently placed my newly repaired laptop in the car and drove over to get him. Best Buy had had my laptop for a week. It was shutting down without warning on battery power when the charge reached 66%. I figured it was a defective battery – they changed both it AND gave it a new hard drive.

Anyhow, I got to the school and was informed that my darling little son was feeling tired and wanted to go home. Yeah, not much of a reason. BUT, one I have no choice but to take seriously. First was the arrhythmia from the weekend, coupled with cold sweats a couple of days ago and then I was informed by the teacher that his lips had gone blue three times last week (thanks for letting me know sooner) and this all adds up in my mind to congestive heart failure. Regardless of the fact that he just went for an echocardiogram last week that showed no new problems, and ignoring the impish look of “I’m faking this” on his dear little face, I decided to take him to the emergency.

Six (count ’em) 6 hours later, we arrived back home. The EKG they did today showed there were no issues with his heart – neither did the x-ray. However, I must give honourable mention to the people who kept me entertained in the waiting room. The first was a heavily tattooed lady who lost her $1.50 in a vending machine and proceeded to inform a security guard at the top of her lungs, “IT WASN’T JUST A PENNY!” The second, and most impressive by far, was an elderly lady who clearly had no idea where she was, demanded in a tone fit for a Shakespearean Queen to be let out of her cage. Seriously, if that woman wasn’t still an opera singer – and her annunciation! It was out of this world!

Where was I? Oh yes, back at home. I ate my dinner while Alex was hooked up to his feeding pump and then I got my laptop out. New hard drive meant all the crap that comes with a factory-installed OS was present and accounted for, as was the particularly loathed Internet Explorer. So I’m sitting on my couch, miserably getting rid of everything I don’t want and … poof! 66% the laptop shuts down.

I’ll be taking the computer back to Best Buy tomorrow. Hopefully I won’t be taking the kid back to emerg. Still, don’t really know what’s wrong with either of them.


EDDD 13 – Friday the Virus

I was going to title this post with the obvious – Friday the 13th – but the words above more clearly state what my day has been like so far.

I woke up bright and… well, late for me. I’m usually up for the day at 5:30 but His Majesty (my youngest son) allowed me to sleep in ’til 6:30. Anyway, at 6:35 he turned on his laptop to find a virus. Not just any virus it seems, but one which wouldn’t allow me to do anything with the computer but shut it down and re-install Windows.

I don’t understand what the people who write and distribute these horrible worms around the internet get out of doing it. It was one of those ones that, if we can read (His Majesty can’t) we usually know better than to click on unless we’re half asleep or drunk – a pop-up with a badly drawn Windows-like shield, telling the user that the computer is at risk. Yeah, from you, dickhead. I mean seriously, do some people have nothing better to do than sit at their computers and snigger at other people’s misfortune? Ugh!

Anyway, I bought Kaspersky Pure virus protection a few months days ago, so I’ve installed it now on all the computers in the house.

That’ll teach me, eh?

Blog post of December 13th, in honour of Every Damn Day December. Check it out!