My did we have a great time on New Year's Eve (which I will post about shortly -- complete with photos) but since then this year is just getting worse and worse. It started with my computer having a fatal condition. It's been steadily declining in stability and performance for several months now, but the video card died last night and the hard drives are making the same sort of giant sucking sounds you heard emanating from the bullet wounds in the guys in Black Hawk Down. Add to that USB support that's spotty at best and an all-around general audio malaise and you end up with me in need of a new PC. Pronto.
But that was last night. This morning, I am awaken to the phone rining at the ungodly time of 8:30 am. I know those of you with small kids are rolling your eyes at this, but you'll understand a bit more after my post about New Year's. Anyway, it was my dentist's office wanting to know if I'd like to reschedule my 2 o'clock appointment for 11:30. Sure. I was supposed to get a crown on a tooth on my lower-right today, but one of the fillings from my youth popped out on Christmas Eve so that had to take precedent.
So, I'm sitting in the chair and the dentist comes in and says, "Happy New Year! Are you still drunk, cause God knows I am!" Welcome to my New Year: have a seat next to the dead PC or the stand-up comic with the drill. Actually, truth be told, he's an awesome dentist. A bit expensive -- especially for freelancers like me without employer-provided dental insurance -- but he travels to Nepal for 2-3 weeks a year and spends upwards of 12 hours a day doing pro-bono dentistry work for the Nepalese children. So, even though I always leave with a case of sticker shock, I know he uses some of that money to give back to the world community and not just to the local Porsche dealer. Not only that, but the Lama who runs the Buddhist temple he coordinates his trip with even came to Seattle and blessed his dental office. I wasn't there that day, but the assistant was telling me about the chanting and the incense and bells. Being a longtime wannabe Buddhist, I would have loved to have seen that.
So, now I'm home. It's almost dinner time, and I can almost feel my face again. I swiped the budget graphics card out of the hopped-up e-machine that my wife uses so I can at least limp along with my main computer and get all my photos and important files off it.
I was planning on having my friend Eric help me build a custom PC in March when I could afford it, but today's events rushed the timetable and I decided to give Dell a call. Details to follow.