This week’s update is for those of you still working who envy those of us not putting in 40 (or more!) hours at a desk job. I’ll intersperse my tale of woe with some pretty pictures.
I was on my way home last week from the Appomattox Court House, which was indeed lovely and historical, being the place where Lee surrendered to Grant to end the Civil War.
I got caught in not one but two cloudbursts, and I realized my tires were slipping just a bit so I decided to replace them now and not wait any longer. I spent a few hours on Saturday sitting at my “desk” (the Alto table) researching tires, finding an installation place, and then plunking down a big pile of money to purchase and ship them to a service place about 40 minutes away from me.
Saturday afternoon, I was working on a Sunday Serenity post when Chrome hung and even force quit didn’t shut it down, so I force quit the laptop and decided to try again on Sunday. And as if that laptop knew that I had just spent a wad on tires, it decided to not boot up on Sunday morning. Argh.
So I spent most of Sunday at my desk, googling information on disk utilities and, at one point, pinging my techie nephew (thanks, Bob!) for suggestions and sympathy. Finally, I had to admit that no matter how many times I ran the disk repair utility, it wasn’t going to change the outcome. Got my Time Machine backup disk, and restored the hard disk from that. I lost about five days of photos, probably nothing earth-shattering since most of those photos are still on memory cards or on my phone. But it did bring home to me that weekly backups are better than semi-monthly backups. (And if you don’t back up, go do it right now.)
I ordered a replacement SSD today (because I don’t trust this one, it’s failed me once…), which involved more desk and more web surfing. While I was at it, I googled the phone number for the local post office, to confirm if they would accept a general delivery package if it was sent by the Postal Service (they won’t accept UPS or FedEx, for some odd reason…). More money spent, oddly enough it was about as much as the cost of the four tires. I did get a free 120GB thumb drive with my order, for some reason, so there’s that.
I’m not convinced the SSD was the root cause, so I spent more time online Sunday figuring out where the closest Apple Store might be. Turns out I have two options, both two hours away, one north, one south. Hmm, flipped a coin mentally and went north. If you’re reading this on Wednesday, I’m either driving to or from the Apple Store, or sitting inside it fingers crossed the laptop doesn’t have some fatal flaw.
And because I might have to leave the laptop at the store for a few days, I spent most of today archiving personal stuff (finances, contracts, etc.) onto an external drive and backing up the new version of the SSD to Time Machine in case they screw it up at the store.
Driving from campsite A to campsite B on Monday (yes, I just moved spots in the same campground), I realized the Subie odometer passed 60K over the weekend, meaning the pricey 60K service appointment is coming. And since I tow about 60% of the Subie miles (yes, I know this because I have the data), I use the Subaru Severe Maintenance schedule, which means the car is also due for a CVT (transmission) fluid change. Not every dealer has master techs that can do this, because it’s not that common a service order.
So back to the desk, and google maps, to find what my Subaru service options are in the middle of nowhere, Virginia. Turns out that after I move a bit south early next week, I am only (!) 90 minutes from Hendrick Subaru in North Carolina. Now that might not mean much to a lot of people, but it is the Hendrick as in Rick Hendrick of NASCAR racing teams. So I figure it’s got that going for it. And some good reviews. I’ll be there next Thursday. They apologized for not having a loaner car available, so I asked if they had a shuttle that could drop me at the nearby mall, and they said they did. I won’t have any money by then, but I can sure as hell window shop like mad.
So for all of you thinking the vagabond life is fun and games, kayaking and reading books in an endless version of a vacation, sometimes it is. And some weeks, like this one, it’s all about the mundane stuff: tires, computer woes, and car maintenance. At least I put some pretty pictures in this post, right?
I’ll end this report with a photo of my current view. I can launch my kayak from the beach just below it, which I did twice on Tuesday. So, yeah, not too shabby.
A rich man is nothing but a poor man with money.