Yet Another Journal

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» Monday, December 10, 2007
Detours on the Road to Christmas
For the last two months, James has had some problems powering up his computer. The switch in front would not work and he would have to use the main one in the rear. Sometimes he had to turn the power on two and three times before it "caught." He bought a new power supply late in October, but between working two weekends in November, DIY, and other things, had not installed it. He took to leaving the computer on all the time since it was such a bear to start.

Friday night he came home and found the computer off; he hadn't turned it off. Since we had to get to bed early because he had to work Saturday, he just did a couple of things on my computer and then left it.

Saturday night we went out for supper at Sweet Tomatoes, stopped at Hobbytown for a couple of more "ornaments" for the library tree (I'd put it up during the day and still found the literary figures a bit skimpy) and JoAnn (had coupons; mostly bought Christmas light hooks), and then came home. James pulled the computer out, opened it up, installed the new power supply.

Nothing.

Now this had happened before when he bought his new motherboard/processor nearly two years ago; the power supply he had didn't work. He couldn't return the power supply because it was over 30 days old, and now he wouldn't be able to work on the computer for a while. We still didn't have the Christmas tree up and we were planning to go to Stone Mountain yesterday for the Atlanta Radio Theatre Company's annual performance of "An Atlanta Christmas" at the "Fruitcake Festival" (or at least that's what Stone Mountain has called the performance in the past), with a stop at the Colonnade beforehand for an early birthday dinner.

I woke up Sunday (a) knowing he was miserable without his computer and (b) still feeling godawful. On Thursday he had to stop at Publix on the way home to get chili fixings for a cook-off at work, since his chili had made the finals, so he brought home a rotisserie chicken for supper. The chicken tasted great but my digestion has been a wreck ever since. Sunday morning when I got up, I took my Prilosec and ate only a bowl of oatmeal and a cup of mandarin oranges and was immediately sick to my stomach.

So I suggested we go see ARTC at the Stage Door Players in two weeks and run to MicroCenter instead to get a new power supply. So that we did, and we also ran down to Ikea (and I mean "ran"; we just drove there, didn't even go upstairs, went directly to the bin we needed, and did self-checkout) for the side table that had been out of stock last weekend, got milk and samples at Costco, and went to Michael's for a few more ornaments for the library tree (take the library tree challenge). When we got home, he eagerly installed the new power supply.

Nothing happened.

Of course this meant the only other thing it could be was that the not-even-two-year-old motherboard was fried. To get his computer going anytime before next weekend we would have to sacrifice our day out on my birthday to go up to Fry's.

Which explains why we were driving to Fry's at five thirty last night. We had supper at their cafe—a very insipid and thick clam chowder was all I could manage—and then James, armed with the instruction book for his old unit in the forlorn hope he could get a new motherboard with the same processor and memory type, went to that department. Forlorn hope indeed since I think they change the formats every two weeks; not only was there nothing matching, but he even had to get a new video card because the new motherboards don't use AGP any longer, but something called PCI Express.

We got home about nine. I did get the divider between the living room and the foyer cleared and decorated, and we did get the space cleared for the Christmas tree (the rocker has to go into the spare room) and he brought the tree and the box with the ornaments upstairs, and we also put together the new side table. This is four inches narrower than the old one, but a little longer, with more storage space underneath for his magazines, Willow's brush, any books or model kits he wants to look at. It should give us a little more space after Christmas as well when the rocking chair is back where it belongs.

We put Mom's old end table in the bedroom for now, but it's too big for the space; as I predicted, I barked my leg on it in the dark this morning. I've never been overly fond of those end tables (the only furniture I was really attached to in the house was the tier table and the horse lamp and those are in the foyer); we might fit them in the library, but since they're still in great shape it's more likely they're headed for donation unless someone wants them.

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