Tag Archives: computer woes

Thinking about my writing career after my baseball game crashed

Greetings, readers. I awakened this morning at 4:00 as usual to do my morning routine, which consists of making coffee, checking my Facebook account, and updating the day’s goings on with the Steam video game Out of the Park Baseball 18, where I have created my version of the World Baseball League. Well, yesterday as work hours with Rebecca were ending, the computer threw a whole boatload of updates at me and this morning my game file was gone.

I want it made clear right now, I do understand that this baseball league was a game and completely fictitious, but I am still feeling a weird sense of loss because my month and a half of game playing is gone.¬†I came up with my own teams, uniforms, and logos for the caps, and even a few names for some players. I was perfecting my league. I was the league’s commissioner. And now all those hours perfecting the league are gone. I am completely in a funk. Am I going to call my therapist? No. I think I can drag myself out of this on my own.

The one thing this incident does prove is that my creativity and imagination for being a writer must still be there. That is good news because my dream of being a writer has not completely died. Although Bear Spring Camps book 3 is looking less and less likely, either a new book of blog entries or a book of my own short stories might be a plausible option. When I was in my 20s, I wanted to be a writer so bad. I could dream up anything at anytime. Then the seizures hit and as I get older it is becoming increasingly more difficult to create.

Now to update on my feet. As I mentioned before in the blog, I slipped and fell a few weeks ago and am okay except for my feet which I stand on for 5 hours every work shift. Just when I think everything is healing, I come home from work and it feels like there is an elephant sitting on them. This is almost enough to make me want to quit my job. There is only one problem; I like the income too much. It is solving a great number of problems.

Lastly, here is my plan for the rest of the day. I have an appointment this afternoon at 3:00 and dinner with a friend this evening at 7:00. Squished in between that and after dinner, I am going to try to recreate the World Baseball League on the game. Once I delete the whole file, there will be no going back. But it is most doubtful that I can get the old file to run correctly. There went a month and a half. ūüė¶ (Quick question: Does anybody know what a SQUILE file is? That is what the computer says it is missing to run the World Baseball League’s file.) I have to get to sleep no later than 11:00 if I am going to function at all at work tomorrow morning. I do not see myself getting up at 4:00am. I am a tad worried because my body does not do well when I change my daily routine. If I take my pills at a later time, sometimes they don’t work as effectively.

Well, what do you know, a two-day work week, and a happy anniversary to Rebecca on our 7 years of working together. We’ve done short stories, essays, three books, one editing of a play, and now we are working on the novel that Darren adapted from that play. As far as I know, next week will be a two-day work week also. I will need to check my schedule at my fast food job.

So until Wednesday, have a great weekend, take care, and happy reading.

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Technology grrr 7

Greetings, readers. This morning I was up at 5am as part of my new daily routine. I had the computer running by 5:15 and all was well. It had had some problems with running slowly yesterday, just like my old ASUS had before I got the Hewlett-Packard this past spring. Then this morning in the middle of doing something, the HP decided to have a mind of its own. With my Facebook page frozen and the control-alt-delete function not working, I had to do a hard shut-down; holding the on/off button in until it shut off. My new HP didn’t like it.

The first time it restarted normally but was running slower. Something was beginning to be amiss. When it froze a second time and I had to restart it, all it showed was the cursor twirling with the HP logo in the background and didn’t do anything else. I let it sit while I made coffee and got dressed. Still twirling. I went to the bathroom to wash up, came out, still twirling. After what seemed like forever, I did another hard shut down. I got out the old ASUS computer, and to show you what kind of morning this was, I couldn’t remember the old computer’s password. Grrr!

When I went to get my laundry, I was literally talking to myself in the hallway when Rebecca showed up. I think she got an internal chuckle. I told her what was wrong and asked her if she remembered the password. Luckily, she did. We were all set to do the blog entry on the old computer, when she noticed that the battery compartment was becoming extremely hot. I had her immediately shut it down and I unplugged it before taking the battery out. The fan is probably not working in it anymore. At that point I was beginning to think that the blog entry was going to have to be from Rebecca at her place.

I decided to give the new HP one last try. This time the screen said something like Automatic Repair in Progress. That looked promising. We waited to see what happened. It then gave a prompt to restart the computer, which we did. And to our delight, the new laptop is once again working normally. No delays, slowness, or freezing. I still don’t know what is causing the issues, however.

I did not get to listen to my music, I did not get to check Facebook and Twitter, and all the other websites I usually check before work hours. So frustrating. I’ve decided I am going to take the computer into Best Buy’s Geek Squad and say, “This computer is only roughly three months old, it should not be having these problems. What is going on?” The technician will probably say, “You have two programs fighting one another,” or “Hey look, we found a virus.” This issue is not life-threating to my computer, it is just damned annoying. When the computer is shut down the correct way, all programs are supposed to shut off. I don’t think that is always happening with my machine. There goes $60 for the service charge, even before they do anything to it.

Before I close, I wanted to take a minute to send out prayers and good wishes to the flood victims in Texas, Barbados (where a new storm is forming) and also the victims of flooding in Asia during a rather bad monsoon season. Best wishes go out to those victims and families.

Next week, we will be working Wednesday and I plan to take a personal day on Thursday. I might use that entire day to begin a writing project. I have some good ideas cooking in my brain. So until next week, have a great day, take care, and as always, happy reading.

Remembering my mother, Dr. Dorothy G. Kockelmans

Greetings, readers. Tomorrow marks the fourteenth anniversary of my mom’s passing. I was going to do a blog entry to mark the occasion, but realized we did this last year. That entry turned out so well, there was no need to do another one, and it is definitely worth a repeat post. That is something I hardly ever do, though WordPress has a handy¬†feature to copy an entire¬†post, tags and all.¬†It will be linked to Twitter, Facebook, and the Bear Spring Camps Facebook page. Mom, this is for you.

Thirteen years ago today my mom went to her eternal resting place

Greetings, readers. This is an emotional day for me. I lost my mom thirteen years ago this afternoon, June 15, 2003. It was Father’s Day, and Pop was having an unusually happy Father’s Day. He liked the gift I got him, and we were looking forward to a special dinner. Mom had sent me to the store to pick up an item that she had forgotten. I got the item,¬†had a quick cup of coffee at the coffee stand, and when I got back she was gone.¬†My mom was my dad’s primary caregiver, and after discovering her, I had to go and wreck his world.

My mother and I were joined at the hip. After years upon years of having things done for me and having my life made easy, I was now the one who had to help Pop and take over other responsibilities in the house. I was only 37 years old, relatively young to lose my mother, and I faced more years without her than with her.

I was indeed able to grow up that summer and I got a lot done, including helping Dad arrange home care and getting myself to Maine for the annual vacation at Bear Spring Camps. I was able to keep the same cabin and do all the same things that Mom and I would do. There was also a touching porch party in her honor which everyone who was in camp came to; only two people had prior commitments.

My mom was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1923. We moved from Pittsburgh to State College, Pennsylvania when I was three years old. Mom, a psychologist, had her private practice downtown in an office over a bank. Many a summer afternoon I spent in our car listening to the radio waiting for her to come down from work at 3:00. It quickly became a ritual. Sometimes on a Friday afternoon we would go to Burger King for milkshakes. I would usually get strawberry and she would get vanilla, her favorite flavor.

My mom was extremely independent and organized almost to a fault. Every evening she would have the preparations laid for the morning breakfast, so that all she had to do was turn on the tea kettle and oatmeal would be ready in minutes.

One thing I didn’t like about my mom was that she despised doctors and would never go to them. She died of congestive heart failure from smoking. If she had been on medication and under a doctor’s care there is a chance that she could have¬†lived a few more years. But she did things her way and she chose how she lived her life.

One of my fondest memories of my mom was the song we shared from Percy Faith called “Theme from¬†A Summer Place.” Back in the 1970s there was an easy listening radio station in Waterville, Maine. Every summer going back to camp for the evening, Mom would turn on that station and at least two or three times during those two weeks we would hear that beloved song. I currently have that song on a Spotify music playlist, and I listened to it this afternoon in her honor. I know, I know,¬†I am just sentimental that way.

Mom, I said it the day you died and I’ll say it again. Thank you for being the best mom in the world.

Here is a picture of my Mom, which we photographed in the frame, since we could not get it out without risking damage to the picture. It might be a little grainy, but you can certainly see her.

Picture of a picture of Mom from the 1990s, as far as I can guess on the year.
Picture of a picture of Mom from the 1990s, as far as I can guess on the year.

June 14, 2017 Rebecca will have a blog entry up sometime tomorrow. I am still having computer issues. There is a slight chance I will be purchasing a new computer tomorrow, and if so I might chime in myself with a small entry giving you details. Wow, perhaps a double entry day. Until soonest, take care, have a great day, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: Technology grrr 6

Greetings, Joe’s readers. I am doing today’s blog entry, from my home, because Joe’s computer started acting up during our work session. He couldn’t open a browser window at all and everything else he did was much slower than usual. He had to run a full security scan, which usually takes a couple of hours. It was still at 27% when I left. Hopefully his virus scanner will find the problem and fix it, so Joe can use his computer again.

Joe told me he had another great shift at work yesterday. He even had a happy customer tell Joe’s boss about his good service! His feet are adjusting to all the standing, though I did recommend that he spend part of his first full paycheck on new work shoes. Joe said today that he wants to buy his own GPS unit, probably a Garmin, for the trip to Maine, so he won’t have to borrow someone else’s.

I have watched Joe experience his first job of this type for the past month, and I have been delighted. He has been so excited about learning new things, interacting with new people, and achieving new skills. I am so used to people grinding through their jobs, especially grimy hard work like at a fast food restaurant, that it has been a lift to my spirits to see him do so well and like it so much.

Another thing happened yesterday with Joe. He and Traci broke up and are no longer engaged, though they are still friends. He does not want to write a blog entry about it, so I told him I would let his regular readers know for him.

Next week, assuming that his computer is working again, Joe will write an entry on Wednesday about his mother and the anniversary of her passing, then on Thursday I will write another From Rebecca post.

As Joe would write, take care, have a great weekend, and happy reading.

My day so far, June 2, 2016

Greetings, readers. I had a truly unusual morning. Small parts of it were delightful, other parts make me glad that it is therapy day. Here’s what happened.

I got up this morning at my usual time, was in the process of getting dressed, and the next thing I know I’m down on the floor. After saying a few choice words in frustration, I got up, finished getting dressed and I took my meds. I felt fine up until that moment. The reason for what happened is one of two things. A petit mal seizure which is very unlikely, or, my guess, I passed out from a momentary drop in blood pressure. Either way, we will be making doctor’s calls as soon as this entry is published.

Am I overly concerned? Not really. But I do have two trips coming up, one in July and one in August, and I would like to have options for my transportation. I hate to feel restrained and restricted. When I have mornings like this, I feel like calling off everybody and packing it in. But I am not a quitter, so I dust myself off and continue. I never have been a quitter, not even from childhood. I wasn’t very good at sports, but I was out there every day playing Nerf football or Whiffle ball.

I’m a little bit apprehensive about what the doctors will tell me to do. Luckily I have an appointment with a heart doctor tomorrow. What I don’t want for this weekend is for him to order a battery of tests. If he does, I’ll have to deal with it.

After meds and coffee, I literally fought with my computer all morning. Just when I thought I was able to work on some personal projects, my computer would run updates and need to restart. Oh, bloody hell! After a while, it almost became laughable. By 10:30, I shut down what I was trying to do and just listened to music. Things got better, as I met my girlfriend for coffee at Panera while we waited for Rebecca to arrive. The three of us chatted and had a pleasant time. I seem to have turned the corner from my frustrating morning and hopefully the rest of today will be more normal. Wish me luck.

As I wrote yesterday, we have a day off tomorrow. So until Wednesday, take care, enjoy the next few days, and happy reading.

Screaming at the top of my lungs Thursday

Greetings, readers. This will have to be a short blog entry today, because due to computer technical issues and other crap we don’t have time for much else.

The trouble began this morning before Rebecca arrived when I noticed that my Twitter account was restricted to the mobile app and said I needed a browser update. I figured how hard could that be? I found out. Apparently with a five and a half-year old computer it is exceedingly difficult.

Tonight or in the morning I’m going to uninstall the new browser version or f-10 the computer and try to reset it back to yesterday’s settings. At the current moment we have a brand new unwanted tool bar, and what is worse is that the new browser did not fix the Twitter problem.

Yes, there will still be a blog tomorrow, I just needed to get this off my chest and vent. We all have our bad days, it could be spilled milk, the car not starting, or, in this case, technology winning over humans. Well, okay computer, you may have your victory today, I’m going to win tomorrow. One figurative scream at the top of my lungs and this blog entry today is done.

Until tomorrow, take care, have a good day, and happy reading.

What an extremely frustrating morning I had

Greetings, readers. I can’t believe this computer is cooperating. I woke up this morning at 8:00 and by noon I had gotten absolutely nothing done. My five-and-a-half year old Asus computer was flipping me off and giving me the f-word. I was not pleased.

I had hoped to check Facebook and Twitter by 9:00 and then spend the rest of the morning writing new pages on my novel. By 11:45, I was so frustrated that I almost opened my window and let the Asus fall to its death. I’m very glad I didn’t, since I wouldn’t be able to type this entry in now.

Some pop-up ads come up last night. One of them had some sexual content on it – I have a feeling that might be the culprit. After work hours are concluded, I’m going to run the virus scanner, the mal-ware scanner, and de-frag the computer. Hopefully this will solve the problems.

I’ve told myself that I want to try to keep this computer running until October. With camp time just around the corner, I really can’t be spending money on both things right now. This Asus will have to do. If it breaks down completely, I think I actually have a typewriter somewhere. Ah, remember the good old days.

On a positive slant for today, the weather is beautiful outside. Sunny, warm, a cool breeze, and moderate humidity. I sure could take more of these. Rebecca tells me that rain is on the way for tomorrow, so I’ll probably be taking my hoodie to gaming day.

Next Friday, I hope to have some kind of post dealing with the 4th of July. I’ve always loved that holiday. And when the fireworks are shot off at the stadium, Keekee and I have a great view from our living room window. I turn off all the lights, open the windows, and Keekee and I watch what I tell her are “the boom booms.” She is fascinated by the many colors.

Hopefully this entry will post without any issues, and it will link properly to Facebook and Twitter. If it doesn’t, we will fix it later. I bid you a super weekend, do take care, and happy reading.

Crazy day after yesterday’s technology problems

Greetings, readers. I’m not quite certain what happened with my computer yesterday, but it was very slow going. I don’t think it was a virus because my anti-virus checker didn’t find one. However, the two separate scans needed to solve the issue took most of the work day. My computer runs terribly slow when the virus checker is active.

As for today, Rebecca and I are going to work on the website dealing with my health insurance. We obviously couldn’t do that with a computer that might have had a virus. I figure that this job will take a good chunk of our work day today. This is why I am typing in the blog entry. Rebecca will edit it when she arrives, which will save time.

To be honest, I didn’t get the computer working correctly until an hour or more after Rebecca left yesterday. It’s a good thing that it wasn’t our back-up-files day because neither one of us wanted to put our flash drives into the funky acting computer. I am confident that all issues have been taken care of. As we work today, time will tell if my computer is still running slow or if we will be able to use it for work as needed.

Well, until next week, take care, have a great weekend and happy reading.

My computer’s woes are temporarily fixed

Greetings, readers. This past Tuesday, I took the five-year-old laptop to Best Buy, here in State College, for what I’d hoped would be a quick fix of my internet issue, for not that much money. I was pleasantly surprised. After about fifteen minutes, and within my budget, I left the store with a working computer. Thumbs up to the Geek Squad! ūüôā

My plan, as I’ve told Rebecca, is to keep this current laptop running until at least Christmastime. This past week’s technology grr put that hope in grave doubt. But again, the Geek Squad came through with flying colors. The gentleman took my computer behind the curtain to their back office, where of course I couldn’t see what he was doing to it. So I’m not sure whether it was a toggle fix, a re-download of a command, or just what it was. I would feel silly if I found out that the fix was something I could have done myself. In my defense, I tried everything I knew to try. I hope this doesn’t happen again, because as stated, it is very important to both of us to keep this computer going for another few months.

We’re going to wrap up this Thursday blog entry now, as Rebecca and I have a couple of errands to do outside the office. We will be dodging the crowds of this years Arts Festival, and smelling the aromas of the delicious food. I love summer and this mid-July event.

Until tomorrow, when we will have a usual blog entry up, take care and happy reading.

Technology Grrr 4 … with a favorable outcome

Greetings, readers. Today as I sat at Panera cafe working on a new story for the upcoming camp book, something happened to my dear old laptop that has never happened before. It completely froze; no cursor, no arrow, no running clock, or battery drainage indicator. ¬†What’s worse was I was really on a roll. When Rebecca arrived, I was fuming and must have had that “help me” look on my face. I had already begun to copy by hand what I typed, figuring that we were gong to lose at least a part of what I had written.

Rebecca took over the copying while I packed up to go over to the office. When she was finished, I had to do what is known as a hard shutdown. This is not the best thing you can do to your computer. I didn’t see that we had much of a choice. Luckily, when we got back to the office, and started the computer, everything seemed to work fine. What really irked me was that I was aiming for between 350 to 400 words and fell well short of it.

Minor technology moment: although I love my new phone so much more than my old phone, I’m still having a wee bit of trouble with the buttons on the top row of the keypad. Somehow my big fingers don’t cooperate with the buttons on the top row. This means texting Rebecca when I need to is more difficult than I’d like. But at least everything on the phone works.

Now, close to 2 pm, I am hoping that everything that will gone wrong today has gone wrong, technology-wise. I don’t know if my computer will freeze up again or if this was a one-time anomaly. I really shouldn’t be too critical. The Asus laptop I have is five years old and we have sure put some miles on it writing three books and almost 200 blog entries. If I can get through the rest of the day without aggravation from technological items, I shall be very happy.

Yes, I know this is a rare Thursday entry, surprise-surprise. Whether Rebecca and I will put up a new one tomorrow is 50/50. We might have that be a work-on-the-book-only day. So until soonest, have a great day, take care, and happy reading.