The computer is dead. Long live the computer!

I’ll get to the computer.  I’ve got more.

It’s been a very eventful weekend.  Besides from being the celebration of our nation’s independence, and having three parties in three days (one as a host), more has happened.  Yes, yes, more than that.

Friday night was Bobby Cresap’s party.  His team have multiple Grand Champions in a BBQ competitions for his fine BBQ, and he self-caters a July 4th party every year.  We missed the past couple but Bobby and Davo, my old Everquest comrades, had recently gotten back in touch so we went down there this year.

Awesome food, of which we got to take home quite a bit (since we were hosting a party the next night) and fireworks you can see from his front yard was great.  And catching up with him after he finished his cooking duties and got to sit a bit.  Before we left I talked to one of the guys there that was on our dart team and we know each other pretty well, and asked him about my weedeater that won’t start.  He gave me some pointers.

We make it home from Bobby’s and I come upstairs to get ready for bed and all and the boys go down to the basement.  No longer a man cave, it is now an institution for education, and is where the TV and video games are. 

"Uncle Art," Kyle calls up, "Harley tore up the carpet."

Unfortunately this was an understatement.  Very large sections (sectionS, plural) of our basement carpet had been torn up as if the poor dog had tried to tunnel out of the basement.  I checked my e-mail and a severe weather alert with lots of ground lightning had passed through the area, and Harley had flipped out.  And I flipped out, at Harley, and screamed at him a bit too much.

Back when I was in school I could hardly ever talk the first few days after an Auburn football game.  This was kinda like that.  But worse.

I settle down from that and retire to my office to play some EverQuest… just a couple things I wanted to do, clicked here, clicked there and bzzt, my screen goes blank.  It comes back on, and I’m thinking my video card got too hot and rebooted as it had done in the past.  I click on my name to log in and smell the smell of electric death.  The computer turns itself off before I can.  It won’t turn back on.  Hopefully, I think, it’s just the power supply again.  I’ve had that happen before.

Saturday was preparation for our party.  I worked on the weed-eater (had no luck there), set up tables, set up the pop-up, and went shopping a few times.  One of the chief complaints I see as adults are visiting is that little girls hardly ever have anything to do, since there are so few of them and so many boys.  I was looking for things to keep little girls busy, and to keep the little boys away from the TV and video games.  I got some snap-n-pops, slingshots, driveway chalks and those long balloons you can make into funny shapes.  As well as fireworks for later.

Balloon animals and balloon swords were a big hit.  The kids lined right up for those.  Snap-n-pops lasted about 42 seconds, and the slingshots lasted longer than that.  Our arsenal of toy guns was stretched to the limit as every boy had to have a gun and they were all trying to kill Tyler.  Why? 

"I don’t like being on teams," quoth the Tyler.

The fireworks … well, they were Georgia fireworks which meant no big booms and nothing that goes flying into the air and there’s only so many combinations of sparkly, crackling, and colorful flames you can get.  I probably could have gone with the slightly smaller collection.  The boys during the fireworks went absolutely insane, running across the yard screaming and tackling each other.  We let them.  I sure wasn’t going to yell at them because even if I did they wouldn’t have been able to hear me.

Today I dive into fixing my computer… run to Fry’s and get a power supply.  I hook it up, try some things, and it acts ‘better’ but still won’t turn on.  In my testing I see when the hard-drives are connected to the computer it doesn’t power up.  One does, with the new power supply but the other doesn’t.  I wonder if the other one will work with the old power supply?  Nope… oh great, it doesn’t work with the NEW power supply now, either!  Diagnosis: Power supply is frying the hard-drives, and only one was dead when I got the bright idea to try the working one in the old power supply.

Fine, I rasp an explanation to Teresa to which she replies, "Huh?" and I head off to get a new hard-drive.  Plug it in, power it all up… still nothing.  No little graphic that tells me what motherboard I have.  Hmm, video card.  I go get the boys’ video card out to try it, nothing.  Try mine in theirs, nothing.  Video card is bad, but that’s not the only problem.  Only one thing left… motherboard.  But I’ve hit my budgetary limits and so resurrecting this beast is beyond my mortal powers.

I take the hard-drive and power-supply back to Fry’s and am now going to be watching the mailbox for that economic stimulus check. 

On my way home I stop at our third get-together for the weekend, but it’s hard for me to talk really, so we don’t stay long and I feel bad about that.

Computer tip for the week: Digsby… awesome client that supports all the IM clients AND the social networking sites so you don’t have to remember to log in to Facebook, and MySpace, and wherever else.  Plus you can rename ANY of the IM client’s contacts.  In AIM you can’t rename them so you’re always seeing their (typically) obscure nickname/handle.  Digsby allows you to do that.

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