As I've noted, I try very hard to never utter the phrase "how could things possibly get worse??!" (although I think it often enough), because the universe has a nasty habit of being ready and willing to illustrate just how that might happen. And, of course, it did.
Friday night, I headed out with my netbook and a stack of books in need of reviewing, settling into the 24-hour Starbucks up at North & Wells, so I could work as long as I needed to, and be relatively handy for picking up Daughter #1 from her Dungeons & Dragons cabal, which tends to meet at a couple of friends' houses within a few blocks of North & Clyborn (which is, admittedly, about a mile walk down North from the Starbucks, but I need the exercise). So, there I was, with my Chai tea, and having Istagrammed and FourSquared and Tweeted, and was in full "brilliant copy" mode churning out a book review.
And there was a flash of a BSOD. And there was an un-requested re-boot. And there was my netbook refusing to boot. It would get as far as the screen that would ask if I'd like to boot to "safe mode" or various other options, but none of these would produce any activity.
Now, as folks may recall, I've had several "near death experiences" with this netbook previously, but have always been able to coax it back to functionality. However, I'd always been able to get into the OS before; this time no. I've not got up the intestinal fortitude to open up the box (you may remember that I have a deep paranoia, based on many bad experiences, that once I'm inside the machine things only get "more broken"), but I'm sort of hoping that there might be a loose connection in there ... I've taken to putting my briefcase with the netbook, charger, books, etc. into a wheeled bag for these long jaunts (it's about a mile up to the Starbucks, then a mile from the Starbucks to pick up #1, etc., which is hard on my neck and/or back if I try to schlepp all that via the shoulder strap over those distances), and it gets a series of small jolts as it goes over seams in the sidewalk. The HD connector coming loose would possibly explain why the boot sequence won't respond to any selection. I guess one of these days I'm going to have to "man up" and ready the netbook for surgery ... but I need to be in a pretty balanced emotional state to deal with that, and OF COURSE having THE NETBOOK DIE ON ME hasn't helped at all on that!
So, instead of my bringing you some fascinating book reviews this weekend (and the ones that are currently waiting my verbiage are quite interesting), you got silence. Sorry about that. Of course, if I were able to write book reviews on my main computer (I suppose I could, since I'm able to blither on in non-review posts, aren't I? It's just that I find it very difficult to get the right focus at my desk ... go figure), this wouldn't be an issue, but my "writing reviews" has been almost 100% done in a coffee house setting for at least the past couple of years.
Needless to say, in my ENDLESS JOB SEARCH, I can't afford to replace this with anything new, so I've been following various eBay listings for the same model netbook, but I get the sense that there are a lot of other folks doing the same, as these all have slipped out of my "willing to pay that" range in their last hours so far.
Oh, the picture?
That's a shot I took (which looks like crap because I took it with my iPhone ... damn thing isn't worth squat for a camera, but I always have it with me) when down at TechNexus last night for the Net2Chi meetup. The info on the event noted that there might be some issues with bus service ... it didn't mention that THEY'D RIPPED THE WHOLE DAMN TOP OFF OF WACKER DRIVE (for several blocks at least). The meetup site (which I've been to many times previously) is directly across Wacker from The Building Formerly Known As The Sears Tower (which one would see if one turned right from this vantage point), and is typically easily accessed by a bus. But ... noooooo. Fortunately, it was an unnaturally awesome day (hell, today it was 80° and sunny ... in March ... in Chicago ... when/where it should be 40° and soggy!) so I decided to attempt to walk the 2 miles or so down there, and, having opted to follow Wacker along the north/west side along the river, had no problem in getting to within a block or so of the meeting location (at which point I had to do some do-si-do-ing around to the riverwalk to come at the building from the back).
Anyway, it was a total shock to me to see that major Chicago thoroughfare just gone (I'm assuming they'll "put it back" once they get done re-doing Lower Wacker Drive), and figured I'd pass it along. A bigger version can be ogled if you click on the one here.
Oh, and if anybody can see where that "KICK ME" sign is pinned to my back, could they please make an effort to remove it? I'm really sick of everything going from bad to worse!