Monday, January 09, 2006

BSOD Blues

Whoa – it’s been a week. Time flies when you’re having fun. Especially when “fun” is defined as sitting and staring at a computer screen until your bloodshot eyes feel like golf balls that have been put in the microwave and poached for ten minutes at the “eleven” setting.

I can’t remember exactly where it started, but ever since I flipped the switch on this new computer, I have been spending my days (and nights) chasing gremlins, exorcizing bugs, uninstalling drivers, reinstalling drivers, tearing at my vanishing hair, reinstalling Windoze for the fifteenth time, and on and on and on.

This is on the whiz-bang new computer that I put together around Christmas time. Since the one J and I did last year worked so well and so easily, I thought “Why not build another for C and myself and give the family PC to K?” Piece of cake – right? Not!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

When I reached the point where I was responding to all of the family’s pleas with snarls and expletives, I knew that things were building to a crescendo and that I would have to come up with a fix somehow. The major problem you see was random and increasingly frequent BSOD crashes. For those of you who are blissfully ignorant of what a BSOD is – bless you. Count yourselves lucky. BSOD stands for Blue (or Black) Screen of Death and it is enough to send shivers down the back of anyone who is unlucky enough to see it. It usually means that cosmic rays have traveled across the universe with the sole purpose of striking some vulnerable electron buried in the depths of your electronic guts and knock it just enough off course so that it begins a chain reaction that ends up causing a forty-two car pileup on the silicon freeway. Everything grinds to a halt and the minions of Bill (the Bastard) Gates fiendishly erect on your now defunct screen an incomprehensible pile of gibberish that is a mix of techno babble, long strings of alpha-numeric nonsense, and something that looks suspiciously like a time bomb countdown.

In my case, I started to see these about every time I tried to restart the little devil. Finally, yesterday, I flat-lined the sucker. I backed up what I could and started over by reformatting the hard drive and reinstalling Windoze from scratch. Man, I hate doing that. It takes me forever to get things back to working order. And then there all the little niggling things that get dropped through the cracks. And for every problem you fix, you seem to cause at least one more. It’s almost as bad as plumbing. Just ask C how those jobs usually go for me.

Well, anyway, I “think” the BSOD problems have been taken care of. I have recovered most of what was originally there in terms of data, though C said that she lost everything in her environment (hmmmmmm, better not be true or I am dead meat). There are one or two fairly important issues remaining. Today, I got the two kid PC’s back up on the home network and able to print to the family printer (yea!!! Administer self back pats). Now, to find C’s stuff and get her VPN connection working again.

On the health front, it looks like I will be doing another round of chemo. We have known this was coming but did not know when. I’ve gotten about three years out of this last run which is pretty good all things considered. The last time I was in was right when Carolyn was diagnosed. I remember us both being in the clinic, in adjacent treatment rooms, getting chemotherapy at the same time. The nursing staff freaked when they learned that we were a married couple.

Anyway, I begin my fifth round of chemo this Wednesday. It will be another application of mono-clonal antibody chemo – the same thing I have had for the last two rounds. As a chemo program, it is a piece of cake to receive. There are none of the traditional side effects that you see with more conventional chemo’s. I am a little tired the day of the treatment, but then – nothing. I will get a treatment once a week for four weeks and then do another CT scan two months afterwards to see what the effect of the treatment was. I’ll let you know in four months.

C is doing pretty well too. She is slowly regaining some of her strength lost in the last stem-cell treatment. If all goes well, she will do round three of this latest chemo drug in about two weeks or so. It will depend in large measure on what her blood chemistries say.

The kids are doing OK. K returned from a four-day Youth In Government session with six victorious sessions where she argued her cases at the appellate court level. She brought back an award as the “best young lawyer”. She also brought back a cold that was brought on by four days of junk food and no sleep.

J is getting ready for his birthday trip to Detroit to attend the North American Auto Show. He and I will be immersed in “Kar Kulture” for three days starting this Saturday.

Well, I had better go and help with supper. TTFN.



Blogger lime said...

my goodness! i wish you and your wife the very best with your respective treatments. i stopped by your other blog first and was struck by your post 'on the nature of love.' really beautiful.

thanks for visiting my place. i believe i have resolved the graphics issue you mentioned

1:38 PM, January 10, 2006  

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