Experimenting

I got the WordPress app for my phone, but I’ve been a little delete-happy today, so I thought I’d at least play with this a bit before I decide it’s sort of frivolous for me. It may end up being the best thing that’s ever happened to my blogging since having kids! Goodness knows most of my pictures are taken with my phone these days.

I do love that I can change the format with the push of a button icon, and easily add a link if I want to.

Blockquotes are simple, too.

Hee, this is kinda fun. 🙂

But now, the moment of truth: Adding a picture! Here is my cute little Beanie Baby:

image

Look at all those teeth! 🙂

Okay, I might have to play with this more often. It’s been fun! Now to post . . .

Weird Night

I’ve been reading S.M. Stirling’s “Change” series. I think I just finished the first book in the second series, and have started on the first book of the first series (mainly because my library app has the first, third, and fourth books of the second series. I HATE when that happens!). The basic premise is that “something” happens to shut down all electricity and electrical equipment in the world, and render gunpowder useless. Then, the SCA takes over on the West coast (THERE’s a surprise) and cowboys and indians everywhere else. That’s the VERY basic premise.

Anyway, the first book has to do with what happens immediately after “The Change”–how people cope, survive, and die in droves. I read it for a while last night before bed, and you can imagine the kinds of dreams it prompted! Fascinating ones, for sure. What made it worse was that our power actually went out around 1:30am.

I awoke to the UPS on the computer beeping. While Sweetie went to turn it off, I called the power company to report the outage. I was apparently the first, because I got a real human, and not a recorded update. We got back to sleep, and I woke up a little when Sweetie left for work around 5:30. The power was still out then, so I called the power company again for an update. Apparently, only 15 customers were out of power due to an “equipment failure” and the estimated time of repair was going to be 4:51am (how they knew it wasn’t going to be 4:50 or 4:52, I’ll never know–but it wasn’t on by 5:35 when I called, so they were wrong, anyway).

I went back to sleep, having more odd dreams about the end of the industrial/civilized world. Around 6, my alarm went off. Still no power. Then I heard the UPS beep to life (well, it was still shut down, but I’m pretty sure I heard it announce that the power was back on) around 6:30. I decided to continue sleeping, since water wasn’t going to be hot enough for a shower right away. STILL more weird dreams.

So, waking up to a world that’s still intact, physically and civilly, was kind of disconcerting this morning.

I should probably read something “normal” before bed from now on. 🙂

The Joy of Computer Maintenance

You know how people always joke that as soon as an appliance or expensive piece of equipment goes out of warranty, it’ll break? Almost as soon as the warranty ended on my sweet little MacBook, it began malfunctioning. Of course, the MacBook hasn’t had an easy life. I do have a toddler and I am a klutz, so it has been a victim of gravity a few times. I’d be willing to bet, though, that the very day the warranty ran out was the day it really started showing the worst problems.

For months now, it seems that the battery has run out just as quickly when it’s shut and sleeping (not on the charger) as when I’m using it. I thought that was a power settings issue, or just a quirk of this model of computer. A few weeks ago–ironically, the first day we finally got internet at the new house–it began to shut itself off when not on the charger. No low-battery warning, no nothing. It was kind of random, too. In the next few days, it progressed to where the computer was not sensing the battery at all (the fully-charged battery, which, when I was using it before, had a good two to three hours left on it–definitely not a “dead” battery).

I should have called Apple that day, or the day after. The computer might still have been under warranty. However, it was still such an intermittent problem that it didn’t occur to me to get support just then.

I finally called yesterday, because I finally had a good chance to. I knew the computer was no longer under warranty, so I thought I’d just deal with whatever it would cost me to call in. Fortunately, it didn’t cost anything (that I know of . . . yet), and it’s a good thing it didn’t, because the guy was not helpful at all. (Just FYI: This is not a complaint about Apple support in general; we usually have very good service with them. This guy was just . . . not helpful to me.) Of course, not actually looking at my computer, he couldn’t really deduce what the problem might be, so he naturally assumed I had a dead battery, and that was my problem. I tried to tell him that, no, the battery was far from dead and I believed it was a contact issue–the computer just wasn’t registering a battery installed. We went around in a circle a couple times, then he offered to make an appointment at a “local” Apple store for me so I could take it in to get looked at.

As soon as I heard that, I knew we were going to have a problem. As far as I knew then, the closest Apple stores were in the Seattle vicinity, which was either a one- to two-hour drive or a half-hour drive and one-hour ferry ride away. When he told me the closest one was in Southcenter, I was a little happier, because that was a little closer than I’d thought–only an hour and a half, depending on traffic. Only problem: I’m within weeks of giving birth, and I’m not really supposed to travel that far away. (That sounds like a funny rule, but my first child’s birth was FAST, so I’m not taking any chances!) I told the guy that and asked him for the phone number so I could call at my convenience.

The guy sounded a bit perplexed that I would pass up the opportunity to go to an Apple store “only fifteen miles away”. Heheh. Yeah, if you’re not a native to the area, and not actually looking at a map, (or you’re Superman,) you would think that Southcenter was only a hop and a skip from my current location. However, there’s a body of water and an island in the way, and no direct ferry ride across. If you want to get to Southcenter, you drive the 40+ miles it takes to get there.

Here’s an illustration:

OLALLA TO SC MALL - 15 MI

Here is reality:

OLALLA TO SC MALL - 41.9 MI

It’s a problem that comes up all the time when searching for “local” specialists, doctors, etc. I remember trying to find a specific type of doctor through the TriCare search engine, and the most local ones found were in Burien (right next to Southcenter). Only 19 miles away from where I was! That’s closer than the 20+ to Poulsbo, right?

It’s not their fault, it’s just a quirk of the area. It can make communication difficult, though, especially if you’re dealing with someone who wants to set you up an appointment with someone “local” over the phone, but they know nothing about the area you live in. I think that’s how I ended up seeing a counselor in Fremont (north of Seattle) when I lived in Bremerton. LOOONG round trip; expensive, too.

Fortunately, a friend of mine pointed out that there is an Apple store in the Tacoma Mall! I was very excited to hear that! It might be 20 or so miles away, but it’s a twenty- to thirty-minute drive, as opposed to a two-hour drive, even with traffic. I could send my husband! 🙂

OLALLA TO TACOMA MALL - 20.9 MI

MUCH better. 🙂

So, hopefully, I can get this thing fixed in a more timely fashion, because a trip to the Tacoma Mall is not nearly as inconvenient as a trip to Southcenter. Especially if I have to leave the computer there for any length of time, which makes me horrifically nervous. Time to do some backups . . .