(Good to be) Back again!

Taking a break is hard.

I was feeling emotionally low on Monday. I’m still a little down. Nothing too new there really.

But it’s good to be back. Thanks for all of your notes and comments. It helped to get through the dark spots. 🙂

So what happened in the last week?

Actually not a whole lot. But as the week progressed it got stressful again. And let me tell you, it makes me very happy to be sitting here typing this message. Very happy, indeed.

On Wednesday night, I was working on a project for one of my co-workers. I had just wrapped it up and was just about to Email it to him in PDF format, when I noticed the computer starting to slow down. The hard drive would pause every 3-5 minutes, and I would hear a rhythmic clicking sound. After about 30 seconds of that, it would resume and everything work work just fine.

I knew that sound. I knew it well.

It was the sound of my hard drive dying…. or something like that.

I panicked. If I were thinking clearly, I would have immediately started backing up as much of everything as I possibly could. But I wasn’t thinking clearly. Oh no, not at all.

I restarted the computer. And when it came back up… I got a message saying that a file was missing and Windows could not reboot. AUUUUGGGGGHHHH!

After trying a few diagnostic things (I consider myself pretty well-versed in the way of computers,) I decided to call Dell’s technical support number. The heavily-accented gentleman on the other end of the line had me run some of the diagnostics, and after a few tries, he determined that my hard drive needed to be replaced.

I was livid.

Not only was I livid at the thought of losing all of my files… I was livid because this was the SECOND time this happened to this computer since I bought it. It was also the THIRD time that I have had a problem with a hard drive in the last THREE years. (The first was on the computer that I replaced with this one.)

I told the man on the phone of my displeasure in simple, concise, and yet surprisingly not vulgar terms. He agreed with me that this was, indeed, an unfortunate situation, and that I simply was having “bad luck” with the hard drives. I told him he had better hope he is right about that, because if it happens again, I will not pay for the computer. I will want a new one.

He arranged to have someone come to my house and replace the drive. I bought the computer in September of 2004 so it is still under warranty. That’s two hard drives in about six months. Ridiculous. I also talked to the manager of the Tech Support system and he futher assured me that Dell would do whatever necessary to get my computer running again. I thanked him finally said good bye.

When all of this started, it was already 1:00 in the morning. By the time I was through with Dell Technical Support (I should have asked him where they were… I have a feeling they are in India) it was 4:00 AM. My nerves were wrecked, my pulse was racing, and I had no idea if I could ever get to sleep. I was in full-on panic mode.

I had to take a Tylenol PM to sleep. And I did sleep… much later than I should have. So I called in to work and took a mental health day.

All day long (after finally waking up) I laid in bed, reading books, watching TV, cleaning the kitchen… anything I could do to stay away from the computer debacle.

Finally I made up my mind that I would try something on my own. I had a Best Buy gift card, and I had just gotten paid. I went out to buy a new hard drive of my own for the computer.

My theory was this: If I installed the new hard drive and reinstalled Windows; then set up the old hard drive as a slave drive to the new one, I might just be able to access my files on the old drive. It was worth a try, and since I didn’t know when the guy from Dell was going to arrive with my new drive, I didn’t want to wait any longer.

Sometimes I scare myself with the amount of technical know-how I possess. IT WORKED. When I found that I could access the old drive and my files were all still there, I could have turned cartwheels inside my apartment. WHAT A RELIEF!

I copied everything I could possibly need off the old drive and put it on the new drive, and breathed a huge sigh of relief. And then I finished the project that I meant to finish the night before. Because I could. Thank goodness I had at least the good sense to hit “Save!”

The next day the guy from Dell came to replace the damaged drive… so now I have two drives in my computer: one 160GB drive and one 120GB drive. Let the good times roll!

So you see… the moral to today’s lesson is, “Just when you think everything is about to crumble around you, and the world looks like it’s going to end for you, somehow, somewhere, there is a ray of hope. You just have to find it and ride it for all it’s worth.”

Or something like that. 🙂

So I’m back… but I will probably be posting very spottily in the next week again. It’s “Hell Week” for Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus, and it’s going to be extremely busy. I hope that if you’re in the Chicago area, you’ll check out “In The Mood” … it’s going to be a swingin’ good time. 🙂

Argh, which reminds me, I have to buy a black shirt.

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