Letters to Holly

Thursday, February 18

Computer Operation

If the PC died because the motherboard had a meltdown, that suggests the hard drive is still OK. I hadn't tried to remove one before, but I like the idea of a 100+ gig backup drive. A friend suggested I try this, and, except for an hour and ten bucks, it costs me very little. If I can extract the drive, I'll buy a cheap drive shell to house it and keep it in my workshop. I want to remove it anyway; I won't recycle a PC with an intact hard drive. If my experiment doesn't work, I already have the back-up drive I bought within the past two months. As I'm rearranging computer space in my workshop and connecting my peripherals to the laptop, this is one small activity.

The laptop, by the way, works like a Mac. I don't know if this by the design of HP or the new Windows, but all my peripherals were plug-and-play. I didn't need one of the installation CDs I excavated. I hooked them up to my USB hub, and I can connect them to the laptop through one plug.

A indefensible canceled snow day allowed Your Sister to visit Asheville. She and Your Mother met up at Babies R Us and set up a simple registry. The store gave us a freebie Huggies box, mostly coupons. But there is a sample organic diaper. That's our first diaper. We don't have much on the registry, but we hope to shop at the annual maternity swap meet this weekend. I think Our Moms are gonna scrap over who buys the largest items.

Roo's movements are stronger. They no longer can be mistaken for indigestion or muscle twitches. They are jabs. Mayhap we'll name him after a World Cup player. That starts two weeks before he's due.

Your Sister doesn't want belly photos taken, but I can tell you her swelling is above and between the hips, and it's a solid lump. She doesn't show much anywhere else. Yet.

Picture of the Day
Run, Woody! RUN!

Tuesday, February 16

Say Hello to My Gigantic Friend

Why wait, I ask. Why drag myself through a week of online price comparison and consumer reviews when I find the tool I want, nail down a decent price, and can drive to the store to get it? Why indeed? Especially when you learn during the drive that Your Sister prefers the revived death-metal stylings of Metallica and will gently bang her head while wearing a knit cap and braids like an Olympics snowboarder and look cute as hell doing it.

Now I have a laptop. An HP Pavilion Something Something with a 17-inch screen. It has a full keyboard including number pad. It's vast. The iPad is 9.5 x 7.5. My new monster is 17 x 15. Massive. Also? It's fucking speedy. All the claims about Windows Home have proven right. It loads quick, it provides Mac-like taskbar screen previews, and the security controls are manageable. Your Sister's laptop is smaller but it has the touch monitor that may be detachable. I'm not sure. After some online consultation, I learned my PC's motherboard may be hosed, and the hard drive might be OK. I'm thinking of wiping it and using it as an external home drive for the laptop.

I configured my laptop (which needs a name) while watching the Olympics. I also played with Skype for some online chatting. That's a handy program. Your Sis even said hi to some of my geek buddies. Then she saw my newest cartoon about potential birth defects, and we talked a little about potentially raising a handicapped child.

Picture of the Day
Steve Nash at the Opening Ceremonies from Big Picture. This guy had a big weekend. He flew up from Phoenix to Vancouver on Friday, helped light the torch, flew down to Dallas for the All-Star Weekend on Saturday, won the skills challenge that night, and played in the All-Star Game Sunday.

I've enjoyed the games so far despite a snakebit host country. The luge death and torch snafu Friday, no snow for the ski events causing training runs and games to be postponed or lost, a new problem with the speed skating center, and the usual squirrely judging in the figure skating events. I hope it doesn't get worse.

Monday, February 15


And my computer has died. There seems to be a major hardware problem that not only causes my computer to never turn off, but Windows won't boot up. I cracked open the case and removed the memory chip I installed recently. Nada. I tried to recover using the Windows XP disc. My computer couldn't recognize it. I'm taking the machine out back and shooting it. I'm already pricing HP laptops (similar to Your Sister's), and I hope to have a machine by this weekend.

The computer is almost exactly 4 years old. While it toiled mightily, it did so vocally. It was always something. This could be repaired if I take it back to the small shop that made it. But that guy disappointed me right off, and I won't give him more money. I'll go to Best Buy. Thank Vader I backed up my files about a month ago.

We're snowed in at home again, watching the Olympics and working on the medieval comic. She wants to calligraphify the text. That's doable.