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{Saturday, September 21, 2002}

Back From The Grave

Well, it feels that way anyway. I have been offline for three days. I've seen a lot of "SAFE MODE". Any questions? I went on some crazy blitz deleting programs from my harddrive because it had been acting buggy. I knew that I'd installed a lot of shitty little programs recently and I figured that one of them was probably the culplit. *Then* I Cleaned Up my harddrive and registry with McAfee. Heh. Goodbye some piece-of-shit file called vsdata95.vxd that Windows *MUST HAVE* to load. The bitch simply would NOT load without. It would (every third time or so) give me the Safe Mode option, which didn't help at all. *Of course* I didn't have a Windows 98 Start-Up disk or CD because the software comes *loaded*. I *did* have the IBM Aptiva REFORMAT option, which I'd almost resigned myself to.

I got up this morning (and wanted to get myself a gun) and started the process of backing my files to floppys (the old grey mare standby). Alas, Quicken quickly stomped this plan into the mud as *no* file would be small enough to back-up to floppy. They were all over 2 meg. I also bit the bullet and looked at my back-ups to see when my latest backup up photos had been. It was the end of May. Hmmmm -- the whole summer in photos would have to be backed up to floppies??? As if. So, I decided there had to be a better way.

I am here at the command station literally floating in Boot Disks, Recovery CD's and the like. And one little poster from Western Data about installing your new harddrive. That's right, ladies and gents, I just bought a new harddrive. I was NOT reformatting that one with my whole life on it. I figured if I could get the new one installed and acting as the Master (i.e. running the system software), I could put the piece-a-shit one in as the slave and just seamlessly move my files to the new harddrive (which I could justify - the new one is a 60 gig, the old one was a 13 meg). Well, not quite *that* seamlessly. With excrutiating care I read the instructions on harddrive installation (which I've only done once before, but that time was sans directions!). I took out the old, I installed the new, I prepared the hook up the shitty one as the slave. Ah, going so well.....until.....no available power cord. None. NO power. Fuck. I'm a serious novice regarding computer guts and electricity in general. I wasn't going to any heroic lengths to mess with this.

I took out Shitty and set aside. I optimistically screwed the back on the case. I started the computer. It booted from the floppy and loaded the CD drivers. I switched to the Recovery CD and told it to Recover. It said that A:\ didn't contain "format.exe". Well, no SHIT - I want this show to run from the CD, not from A:\! I tried another file, happily named, clnrecr.exe. That's what I needed people: A Clean Recovery. Alas, the computer sat. Nothing, just sat there.

Ah sad now. Then I remembered the the Recovery CD would come on itself with the old drive on. The BIOS *must* be set to check the floppy drive, *then* the CD drive. I tried it -- HALLALUHAH! It came on - it warned me 72 times that it was going to DELETE ALL OF MY DATA! Fine! Fine! I said - I have no freaking data - it's all on the 13 gig drive being held hostage! Format that big bad boy! And it did. And it worked. And Windows came on w/ WAV set up *all* the way and it SAAAAANG. And I cackled with the mad craze associated with working on computers for 72 hrs. when you really don't know what you're doing and the loss of one file has brought all of your online life to a halt.

And then I attempt the unattemptable. Setting up the cable modem and making it work. I've got the phone number out of the cable people. I'm poised to dial. I click on SET UP INTERNET, it asks a few questions, I select LAN & local network and it says - alrighty- all done - just click HERE! I do, not expecting anything - freaking YAHOO! opens and it's all good. I'm stunned. In another Microsoft miracle, I got out the ole Dell from the playroom, starting yanking out cords from the existing harddrive, totally *guessed* on Slave settings for Shitty and plugged it all in (there was available power in that one). Turned it on, watched it boot. It did. That's something. Clicked MY COMPUTER - noted a drive d:\ that wasn't there before and DAMNED if it wasn't Shitty. Just sittin' there quietly like another drive. All my stuff - right there. Well, right across the house 3 rooms over. Which is a *tad* bit of a problem because I'd sort of like that quicken file and the like on *this* computer, but HEY, I'll take it!

Kids are on their FOURTH video of the day. Emma, it has not been noted here because of the blackout, has the chicken pox. They started Wednesday, but I was none the wiser because she only had two spots and I quickly assumed they were mosquito bites. Thursday while eating breakfast (already dressed), she pulled up her shirt and showed me that her entire chest & stomach were covered. I said, wow! chickenpox and she went nuts. Ran to the mirror, holding up her shirt and screaming. The freakout lasted about 5-7 minutes and then she calmed down. She was quite agreeable to getting back in pajamas and plopping on the couch. The school was less than enthusiastic about my news, but hey - if that vax works so well, whattaya got to worrry about?

So now, yesterday, Friday, was her worst day - last night itchy and sad during the night -- today quite better but weak (she reports). All through it she's kept her appetite and doesn't seem to need napping (despite my encouragement). She's *loathe* to take a bath, but has agreed to tonight if it will minimize nightime itching. I am **dreading** Morgan getting it. She won't be the brave little trouper that Emma is -- she will *MOAN*. And I will too! She will, however, be more willing to sleep -- but less willing to watch hours and hours of videos. At least Emma will be back at school by then and the fighting will be minimized.

So, signing off here from my SIXTY gig harddrive - with noticeable speed improvement as the computer isn't all buggered up by thousands if little additions and subtractions. Born again! I intend to be *quite* the anal one regarding taking a snapshot of system before installing or uninstalling software. QUITE.

posted by Lisa 3:39 PM

{Monday, September 16, 2002}

I'm suspecting that there is a cricket the size of a poodle in the basement. From the laundry room you can hear his bellows. What we need is a toad the size of a retriever to take care of that matter.

Monday, monday. So far, so good. Morgan already napping, according to my dastardly plan. She is going to the neighbors house to 'babysit Lola' while I go do the co-op thing at Emma's school. Hopefully, Emma will be able to handle my appearance without breakdown. She is happily there in her 'hippie' clothes today. More and more, that is *all* she wants to wear. I'm hoping there are more in the 'fall/winter' boxes in the garage and I'm also hoping she doesn't flat-out boycott all of the too-cute little girls' type clothing that I bought at Carter's last spring. Of course, there was the Jennifer influence for the 'hippie' gig, but I'm starting to think (more all of the time) that kids have this inborn intuition that moves them away from 'babyish' items at a tremendously early age. For instance, I put Emma in a little (excellent brand) outfit last week (okay, so it was plaid) with a pinafore. By the end of the day, she was like, GET this THING off of me! I had to agree, it was doofus-esqe. However, I am selling it next spring on eBay to some poor unsuspecting child's mother.

Meanwhile here I am searching for 'Chore Charts' for kids because I have this bright idea that morning and bedtime routine will go better if the kids have little charts they can check off their accomplishments. Mornings don't go so badly, but everthing pre-bedtime is darkened by the fact that going to bed is on the horizon. So, I get this google hit for charts for "ADHD of the Christian Kind"....didn't click of course, but I imagine it being like, 'Don't forget to pray!' It is completely cracking me up how many sites are selling charts. Do suckers actually buy these? Well, the "Dollar Stretcher" website wins. It tells me to make my own (you mean I don't have to buy them?!) in a Word Processing Program and fagetaboutit. Will do. May nap first though.

posted by Lisa 12:44 PM