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The WTF Chronicles

Posted Nov 29 2009 10:00pm
Wow, so yeah. It has been awhile. It has been awhile since I’ve blogged – even longer since I’ve read and commented on my favorite blogs. I’ve missed the blogosphere. It has seemed these past few months that something was always going on, keeping life from lulling along at its normal pace. I finally feel like I might be able to let my breath out and keep my fingers crossed that things continue to go smoothly.

I will briefly gloss over what has been going on the past few months as well as detail the wonderfully frustrating WTF Chronicles. I also have some pictures to share so brace yourself for a long post.

Let us start with the obvious – I have been working on both a cookbook and writing a, well, some sort of writing piece, I’m not entirely sure what exactly to call it at this point. The writing piece has taken precedent as that has been what I have been “feeling” lately. Unfortunately, when I get sucked into something, sometimes I get really sucked into it. I have been writing and reading in pretty much all my spare time so I haven’t had much of interest to write about or share. I don’t think I am ready – nor do I know if I will ever be – to share my writing piece, I am still personally, not sure how I feel about it at this point, I am just seeing where it goes and having a good time. Though admittedly, I have been making mostly “tried and true” meals lately and the cookbook has been put on the back burner a bit (well, wha’dya know, a pun!).

Alright, that’s Excuse #1.

Might as well get on to Excuse #2, eh?

(A little aside – you will see the “soundtrack” to this post at the end of the piece, but seriously, the reason I prefer music without words is because lyrics are one of the biggest wreckers of an otherwise decent song [sounding like a 12 year old in heat is a bad sign too], but seriously, CALM DOWN WITH THE CHOURUS MAN, it ruins it, IT RUINS IT.)

Right, so anyway.

Excuse #2 is work. I really don’t want to get into the specifics, but let’s say the political and environmental areas of work have been quite difficult for the past few months. This is, in all honesty, my fault, as I am “blessed” with anxiety and OCD, but nonetheless it has been stressful, confusing, frustrating, scary, embarrassing, and a number of other emotions I cannot think of at this second. Nor are they really important for me to convey for the sake on an excuse. For the past few weeks, I have been working at home – and doing so much better than I had for months, perhaps close to a year. In terms of work productivity as well as overall emotional well being, I am doing exponentially better. I don’t know how long this situation will last or what the future holds in this realm, but right now I am enjoying just being able to do my job and not live within the confines of what is wrong with me all the time. Let me tell you what, that gets pretty old after awhile.

Excuse #3 is the WTF Chronicles, which will be detailed below.

And finally Excuse #4 is the computer game B is developing. It turns out I am going to be helping with web design, security, functionality, etc., and this will likely mean that in the future, my posts will not be as frequent as they used to be, but hopefully more frequent than they have been for the past few months. I am excited – an expression of my nerdiness – to learn PHP, XHTML, and whatever else I need to learn, maybe some Java, who knows. I love a challenge, so I look forward to this project and I’m sure I will bore you all with details as they come along.

Now, what you all have been desperately waiting for, I’m sure.

The WTF Chronicles.

For those of you not in the know, this acronym means “what the fuck”, we are not PC here and this is not a blog for children, so I reserve my right to be crass when it suits me. :-)

This is the perfect example of the limits of intelligence – I will be the first to admit that I am at least as stupid as I am smart, I think it is a trade off, like most things, so anyway, now that The WTF Chronicles have come to an end, I can now see the humor in it. I hope you all enjoy…

So, as I mentioned earlier, I have been working from home for the past few weeks. It took me a few days to get my laptop “work ready”, meaning all the needed programs installed and having access to the proper servers from the office. I finally got everything going, moved my laptop to my “workstation”, and suddenly my VPN Client disconnected (for those of you not “technically savvy” [I would never know any of this if I didn’t have this job], a VPN Client is a way for you to remotely connect to a secure server, in my case, the server with my work files on it). This isn’t too unusual, having a wireless network can be shifty at times; you have to reconnect from time to time. But reconnecting didn’t work.

Now to confuse the story even more – I have two operating systems on the same computer. I have Windows Vista (ICK!) and Ubuntu (open source). I use Vista for work and media and Ubuntu for everything else. So I logged onto Ubuntu to see if my internet worked there, and it didn’t. Then I brought in reinforcements – in the form of my wonderful husband, our in-house computer whiz.

He looked at all the technical stuff on the wireless network end, tried resetting things, all those basic things you do when you have these types of problems. But none of it worked.

Computers – though created by humans, seem to have minds of their own in ways, they break and have errors that really don’t make sense, it is just something you have to get used to if you want to be “one with the modern age”, so Brett didn’t fret immediately. He decided that he would restore my system and see if that would work. He thought the wireless card had gone out but wanted to try this to see.

I backed up all my files (see, I’ve learned from past mistakes!) and Brett set about what is generally a relatively simple task. Except after he reinstalled Vista, this thing called a “grub loader” wasn’t there. This grub loader is what allows me to choose which operating system I want to run – Vista or Ubuntu (confused yet?). That means it loaded Vista straight away. Small problem of the internet going down is now a complicated confusing problem because Ubuntu is apparently there, but not there if that makes sense (don’t worry, it didn’t to me either). I think the grub loader may have actually been there too.

Now we load Vista and not only does the internet still not work, neither does the graphics card.

Everything is all big and not displaying properly. The disc that came with my computer did not have all the drivers needed for the hardware on my computer and we had not made a “restore disc”. This wasn’t too big of a deal because Brett could download them on his computer, use a thumb drive, then put them on my computer.

That problem fixed, he realized that the wireless network card wasn’t being recognized. He decided to take it into a local computer store the next day.

The guy at the computer store opened the case of my laptop and told Brett that the easiest thing to do would be to order a new wireless card and install it himself. He showed Brett what to do and that was that. Brett proceeded to go to the store to see if he could find a wireless card. He spoke to a “knowledgeable” store associate who showed him a card that would apparently fit “any computer made after a certain year”.

Okay, bullshit, let me tell you this right now, that is bullshit.

He comes home and we open this card thing and the slot in BOTH of our laptops MADE AFTER THE YEAR THE COMPUTER GUY SAID were too small for the wireless card.

By this time, Brett had installed Vista and attempted to install various versions of Ubuntu who knows how many times. I was using his computer for work, and he was using it at night to program his computer game – so needless to say, there wasn’t much “fun computing” time.

Then a day or so later, after we had been scratching our heads with what to do, not even having been able to find a replacement card of the kind we needed online – WTF - we discovered something pretty big.

Um, cough, well, here it goes…

On the side of my laptop is a little knob that turns the wireless on and off – it is a little slide function tab thing. It was, well, it had gotten switched off.

So, yeah, who’da thunk it?

Nice, right?

Brett and I have to be two of the stupidest people on the planet right now.

Well, so at this point, we know our problem. We turned ON the wireless (WOW, WHAT A NOVEL CONCEPT!) and thought our problem would be solved.



People as stupid as us don’t deserve to be that lucky!

Don’t even get me started on the “Grub Loader and Ubuntu Chronicles”. We used his computer and for days tried to find the correct drivers, but IT DIDN’T WORK. NOTHING WORKED.

Finally, though our warranty was up, we contacted the computer manufacturer and were able to purchase a full set of “recovery discs” which have all the drivers, as well as all those lovely free trials! Anyway, yes by this point, we were both beyond irritated, but tentatively hopeful that the discs would work (we didn’t want to jinx anything).

So we waited…

And waited…

Waited some more…

Then, today!, they finally came!


I spent a good portion of the evening uninstalling all the crap they put on computers and installing all the programs I need and getting my files back up and now, I just need Ubuntu back on, but that is a project for another day. I am just happy to have a functioning computer again, and let me tell you, if I was feeling overly smart for some reason, I’m don't anymore.


J's WTF Chronicles Soundtrack:

(I tried to pick strange, weird, or indie songs I like, some even express the mood we were in during this saga. There are links so you can listen to the songs.)

White Trash Hereos - Archers of Loaf
Our Swords - Band of Horses
Women We Haven't Met Yet - Minus the Bear
The View - Modest Mouse
Ophelia - Ambulance LTD
This Old Kind of Summer - The Black Heart Procession
In Your Mind - Built to Spill
Soul Meets Body - Death Cab for Cutie
When You Die You're Dead - Jimmie's Chicken Shack
Original Spies - Karate
Monkey!!!Knife!!!Fight!!! - Minus the Bear
Convenient Parking - Modest Mouse
Girlfriend is Worse - The Ex Models
The Dark - My Morning Jacket
Obstacle 2 - Interpol

And now, for some truly random pictures.

A black bean and corn chili I made a week or so ago.

He's even cute when he's half asleep!

I love all things novel. I also like stuffed animals. I may be 25 years old, but to think there is a "too old" to enjoy stuffed animals seems a bit silly to me.

Those of you "in the know" have "met" Babo before. The other Ugly Doll is Jeero - Brett's Ugly Doll. And the new arrival is Patrick McDermott aka Packie. Clever, eh? I know, I know...

And onto another obsession of mine - houseplants. I love greenery, I think it makes the environment of a room much nicer. I also love the successful feeling that comes along with growing your own plants. So I compromise with the houseplants by only getting small ones so that I can grow them to full size. Most of the terra cotta pots were painted by yours truly. :-)

And now some pictures of the kitties.

Told ya the pictures were random.

'Til next time.
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