punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

In the trenches

It's not just me having a bad last few weeks, obviously. There's Spain, having terrorists bully them to submission, Bobbie's friends and family, Jen's friends and family, and of course, Christine, who's been suffering all this with me on TOP of her recent health problems. Her new phone still doesn't work, either. Apparently no one at Best Buy activated it properly, and now she has no working cell right now. It's supposed to be fixed by this evening. I got to work, and one of our programmer's hard drives had totally crashed, and the MBR and everything got corrupted, potentially losing years worth of data. He was really upset, and I tried to help, but everything I tried went wrong. I felt really bad for him. I am terrified to do any new work, so I did backups all day, and most of those went wrong, too. Weird stuff, like really obscure, 1 in 1000 chance failures.

A long time ago, back when I played Dungeons and Dragons, there was a concept of "The Ethereal Mummy", who would come out of nowhere, attack, and vanish just as quickly. It was used by a DM to figuratively dope-smack a player into behaving themselves ("It's just a gazebo, Eric! Move. On."), and the frustration was you never saw it coming, it smacked you without killing you, and then vanished before you could retaliate. I feel like some DM has been doing that to me for weeks now. Part of the "bargaining" I mentioned earlier was praying to God to stop and tell me what I am supposed to do.

I have considered getting a tattoo, just for the pain of it. But now I can't afford one!

I got a chance to look at phones while Christine got her new one set up. I can't afford a new phone right now, but I am considering Virgin Mobile instead of Sprint. Why? Their pay-as-you-go plan seems like it would save me money. I am a bit wary because it doesn't seem like a "serious" phone company, and it looks really more targeted towards teens. I mean, really, who needs constant MTV news and updates? A Bikini Bottom's Seafaring Fortune as told by Sponge Bob? At 10 cents an update? But the pricing plan is simple, it's 25 cents per minute for the first ten minutes of the day, then just 10 cents a minute afterwards on that day. Considering I use the phone very rarely, this would save me quite a bit of money. I have 200 min/month on my current Sprint plan, and I never use more than 20-30 minutes a month, usually in 2-5 minute bursts. I pay about $30/month now, so under VM, I'd pay about $8 for 30 minutes. I'd have to talk for at least 120 minutes (or more, if the call goes over 10 min) before it would start costing me more. Plus, I could get William Shatner's voice to answer my voice mail for a mere $3. But, are the phones any good? The network is Sprint PCS, which has been okay so far (not great, but then again, from my friends, it seems way better than AT&T and Verizon), and I don't do much traveling anymore. I need to do more research.

Sean and I have decided that we're not going to Fantasm. I can't afford it, and he's got a new job, so doesn't have the time off. That ends that adventure. I'm not too bummed about this, especially comparing it to everything else.

I'm trying to look forward to the Rocky Horror party next weekend. The only problem is, my carpets smell. I tried very hard to clean them, but in our house, the previous owners had some professional come in and do the cleaning, and it left a chemical smell that comes back every time we clean our carpets. It's a musky, sweatsock smell, and it's nasty. I thought I'd cleaned it all out of the carpets a few years ago (when we first moved in, any time the carpet got wet, it released this odor), but I did a long, deep cleaning, and now it's back (although, admittedly, not as bad as before). My house smells like a dirty footlocker, combined with dog and cat box. This can be fixed, of course, but can we fix it in time for Saturday? We'd better...

I still have to fix that dining room table. I think I can do it if I have the right size scrap of wood, a protractor, a pencil, my saw, drill, and some deck screws (all of which I have, although not 100% about the scrap wood). After doing some forensic studies on how this incident happened, I have determined the many times I tightened the legs to prevent the legs from wobbling, the stress got too much, and the cheap metal flange that held the legs straight just snapped off the frame, tearing off chunks of cheap pine with it. The table is like a frame where the table top (two leaves) slide back and forth to allow an extender piece in. The frame hasn't broken, but the metal flanges were held to the frame with screws, and those screws ripped out when the flanges gave way, and that is what tore chunks of wood from the frame. I think it's fixable, although I am still not so sure about the ability to keep it extendable. My plan is to make new braces using larger chunks of wood, re-bending the metal flange to the proper shape, and then using that to hold everything together while the glue dries and I secure the table with deck screws, making a squared-off frame again, now with wood reinforcements. My only weak point is the table legs themselves, and how they are attached to the frame. If they are not 100% square, the grooves in the frame that hold the rails of the table top will jam. If it gets too complicated or looks too weak, I'll just nail the table together, and hope I don't have more than 3 extra mouths for a sit-down dinner until I get a new table.

Honestly, it was a $199 Ikea table, so this accident isn't that unpredictable or that terribly unfortunate. If I were just a little better off, considering all the scratches and stains on the table, I'd be leaning towards getting a new one. It's just that I don't have $199 to get a new one right now. Nor the time to go to Ikea, and I don't have a way to get it home, so I'd have to pay $60 for shipping, then wait for it to arrive (last time, they shipped many wrong things, and I got a lot of someone else's furniture while they lost some of mine, and they finally had to go back to Ikea to get new ones ... thus turning a 3 day delivery into a week and half long affair).

I haven't gotten much sleep. I have been grinding my teeth so much, my jaw is sore and my head aches when I get up now.

Don't even ask how my book is going.

Bleah. I need a vacation. From life.

This entry was originally posted at http://www.punkwalrus.com/blog/archives/00000422.html
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