Sharon Schulze

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Location: New England, United States

Friday, October 14, 2005

Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em . . . don't want to kill 'em

Computers, that is.

The last couple of weeks I've been nursing along good old Charlie, my laptop. At first I thought the screen was going--it wouldn't display, though I could tell the computer was on. No problem, I figure--we've got an old monitor tucked away in the attic with a bunch of other computer components we no longer need. I could use it if I have to. It would be a pain in the patooty to be tethered to a desk (kind of defeats the purpose of a laptop . . . :-(), but I could deal with it. I really haven't been planning to replace Charlie anytime soon; I upgraded some things about 18 months ago, bringing the machine more up to speed (literally!), and hoped that would last me for quite a bit longer.

But no--technical difficulties come along. Always some kind of new challenge.

Anyway, just to see if the screen was the problem, I connected Charlie to the monitor of our desktop computer--the newer one, the _family_ computer. I've used it on occasion (like when Charlie's keyboard suddenly stopped working, right in the middle of doing revisions--ack), but it's not my cuppa, by any stretch of the imagination (I managed to fix the keyboard problem, btw. I'm not afraid to do minor surgery on Charlie when necessary). Got the display to come up on the monitor. Must be the problem, right?


After a few hours of Charlie resting while I was at critique group, I returned to find I could get no display to appear on the monitor, either. Major bummer, but not quite panic mode yet. I took apart Charlie, cleaned, tightened screws, made certain all the cables were properly connected. Voila--we're in business again! And the screen on the laptop works, too :-)

I shouldn't have been so excited. The past two weeks I've been nursing Charlie along, taking him apart way too often, fighting to get him to function. It seems the only way to get him to work is to take some part apart (the hinge for the cover/display seems to be the best bet), but it's a battle every time I turn the machine on. Leaving him on doesn't solve the problem, either--inevitably there will be an error message I can't get rid of, and I have to start all over again.

Maybe he's trying to tell me something. Maybe he's tired (I can understand that--there are a lot of miles on the old fella). We've been through a lot together, and I'd hate to see him go (not to mention the pain of transferring everything over to a new machine), and I'd hate to switch to using the family machine.

I'll admit it--I've been checking out new Charlies on the Web. There are some good deals out there, and I'm flexible enough to switch to newer versions of programs and operating systems (that's the sound of my DH laughing in the background. Just ignore him :-)). But do I want to go that route? Spend all that $$?

I don't think I'm going to have a choice . . .

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

A new week, a new post . . . and the start of my resolution to blog more often.

I've reached a new twist in the path of my life; my hubby and I have our house completely to ourselves (except for my lovely assistant, Samantha the dachshund :-)) for the first time in 27 years. Our dd has her own place now, and our nest is empty.

I miss her (as I missed my ds when he got his own place), but I'm happy for her, too. My kids have always been independent--now she can do things her way. We're a close family, imo, but not clingy. Fortunately neither of them moved far away, so we still get to see them regularly, but they've got their space . . . and now we've got ours :-)

My point (you knew I'd get to it eventually, right?) is that this feels like New Year's--a new start, time to reassess how I do things, rearrange our house to reflect our tastes. It will take a bit of getting used to, but I like it.

So now I'm figuring out just how this new chapter goes.

It's been fun so far!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

I'm slowly getting into the blogging frame of mind; that includes adding things like my photo to my profile. Yep, that's me--my hair is a little bit longer now, but it's a much more "accurate" image than my 10-year-old Glamour Shot that (unfortunately!) is still posted in some places on the Web. My next step (besides posting here on a regular basis) will be to add a link to this blog on my website ( Seems like I'm learning new things every day . . . writing books is only one aspect of this biz.