I'm sorry to leave you hanging. I write about our upcoming anniversary, then write about a PDF editor, and then nothing. Zilch. Na-Da. Time flies. M' bad.
Friday Night – So Cora's old PC has been driving her bonkers since before she moved here. It's slow. Balky. Hard to reboot. Froze all the time. I knew what the problem was.
<RANT> Attention People @ HP & Best Buy: You should be buggy whipped for selling a Vista machine with 1 GB of RAM. Seriously. I know that TECHNICALLY that was within Microsoft's minimum specs, but you know better. Memory is cheap. Don't sell underpowered machines. </RANT>
At one gig of RAM, she had little memory left for the programs after the operating system took what it wanted.
While she's been using her new laptop for a while, our daughter has been using it, and Cora also used it for scanning and printing, so there was never a good time to take it in and get it upgraded. (Yes, I know I could probably do this myself, but I'm a software guy, not a hardware guy. I'm not cracking the case.)
Friday was the night to take it in.
Due to technical delays (we watched an episode of Battlestar Galactica), we made it to Microcenter around 8:00, and they close at 9:00. We waited and waited and waited in line, reading the sign that reads "Wait to bench 2-3 days." So, at 8:40, when we get up there, I'm a bit shocked that the guy says, "Yeah, we can do that today."
What? You understand that it's Friday? 20 minutes to close? On a holiday weekend? And you said that you would get it done? And they did.
And the machine runs tons better with the 3 GB of RAM. Seriously, if you're running Vista, load up as much RAM into the machine as it can use.
Saturday Afternoon – On Saturday, we had plans to drive out to the suburbs and
ditching Wednesday dropping our wonderful daughter off at one of my college friend's. They have a daughter her age, and the girls have been looking forward to seeing each other. We head out there around 2:30. It's about 35 miles, and I knew traffic on I-90 was going to be ugly.
(Back story time: My car has been acting up a little since around Memorial Day weekend. I thought I'd gotten some bad gas. I'd only used about 1/2 a tank, yes, half a tank for the month of June. I'd taken it in to Car-X thinking it was the transmission, but it came back fine.)
We got to "The Junction" and decided that since traffic was at a standstill on I-90, we'd take I-94 north, and then head across on one of the big arterial roads. Just as we passed The Junction, the car started to shake, and the check engine light came on.
Deliberately and without panic, I crossed over 3 lanes of traffic going about 65, and pulled on to the surface streets. As we curled off the exit ramp, this is what we saw (stolen from Google Maps).
A Marathon station.
With two empty service bays.
With the mechanics just sitting around trying not to burst into flames from the heat.
They plugged the car in and the computer told the tale: "Misfire on cylinder 3". So, I needed an emergency tune up, with new plugs and new wiring, etc.
At 3:00 on Saturday on a holiday weekend.
Certainly, we'd used up all our luck the night before on the computer upgrade, right?
Nope! While we walked down the block to a Dunkin Donuts / Baskin Robbins, the mechanic got the parts. While we ate some wonderful ice cream in a nice air conditioned store, they worked on a hot engine. While I took a quick nap, my wife took my picture. (Notice, she's working on a blog post, too!)
At 4:50, I headed back, refreshed, as they were closing up the hood. While I could find another use for the $370 that it cost me, I really don't think I was ripped off too badly, and best of all, we were on the road! We completed the drop-off, and headed back to the city for our anniversary date.
And that's when things got interesting.