Sunday, August 21, 2005

What'd Life Be Without A Little Drama?

  1. The previous week J gets stomach flu (fever, nausea, vomiting... the works)
  2. Next B gets it and misses his very very very first day of school
  3. Monday night I start feeling poorly--I've now got it. I load up on medicine to head off as many symptoms as possible. It works for the worst stuff, but I am still painfully ill.
  4. Late Monday night, early Tuesday morning K now has it, and bad.
    1. Which makes for an interesting time as for the next couple days we're both competing for the bathroom...
    2. This breaks one of our big rules--Both of us are NOT allowed to be sick as the same time...
  5. Kids are better but we are hating it. Both are in school and loving it.
  6. I start feeling better on Wednesday and work half a day. K is still hating it...
  7. I believe we were both pretty well off by Thursday & Friday but some of the symptoms are lingering. We'll live.
  8. Saturday, the compressor goes out in our main AC/Heater. (We live in an older home without central air and heat.) This is a very bad thing...
    1. I attempt to go direct with the power to the compressor, and it was getting voltage but would not kick on. It's really died this year. A replacement compressor is hardly less then a new unit.
    2. It is a very hot day and the dining room, kitchen and living room are warming up fast. Need to do something quick before we melt.
    3. The old window unit that we replaced in our bedroom is still around (the circuit board controller failed on it--again it would cost almost as much for that part as a new unit--we opted for a new unit. Very happy with it. Much more efficient then the old one.)
    4. While K goes out to look for a main unit replacement, I work on repairing the old unit mentioned above. Success... for a few minutes. I thought I would be tricky with it since the fan switching was still working on the circuit board. I connected the compressor power line to the high fan terminal so we could use it and the off button to, well, turn it on and off as needed. I had a feeling this was a mistake, and soon enough I heard "pop" and saw the "magic smoke" escaping from where the controller board was located. I quickly unplugged the unit and removed it outside for further inspection.
    5. A quick look at the underside of the circuit board revealed what I had feared (and should have known would happen). My trickiness had killed the board. The little trace on the board leading from the main power input to the fan switch was not enough to handle the current needed to drive the fan and especially the compressor. It had melted and smoldered away.
    6. I ripped out the circuit board all together and connected the High Fan & compressor wires directly to the main power connection.
    7. Plugged it in and sure enough it runs like a champion (albeit non-stop as there is nothing but cutting the power to it to stop it from running.
    8. We installed this unit in the window near the old main unit and attached it to a power strip (so we can shut it off with a switch rather then pulling the power cord from the wall socket). So there you have it. It's running. It's helping. But it is simply too small a unit to keep such a large are comfortable in the heat we are having...
    9. K and I both over did it I think. I felt terrible that night and she was not well the next day.

Well, so much for the MIDI/USB/touch-sensitive keyboard (or MIDI controller) I was going to buy. Another big chunk of change will be dished out to get the big unit we need. Too bad we can't retrofit the house with central air/heat but that is out of the question at this time.

So what, after all? The kids are fine, we are recovering from this flu and the cat can no longer destroy everything we own (she was declawed this week, I am not a fan of this procedure but this cat was tearing up everything. It was either that or she would have to go...) Life is an adventure. Everything can't always be perfectly easy. What fun would that be?

PS RE: The MIDI keyboard, I think I will NOT go with a controller. I want the boys and K to be able to play it without the need to hook up to the home-made DAW computer every time they want to play it. I would like all of us to become proficient at playing it. Making it readily available at any time someone would like to practice should facilitate this, I hope. In other news, J is not practicing his guitar. I don't quite know what happened. He was obsessed with my Strat and played (with) it whenever he could. Now that he has his own, the burning interest has seemingly dissipated. No worries though, I won't let him get away from it that easily. ;-)

PPS I take the boys with me to Sam Ash once in a while. Both boys are fascinated by the drums and while B looks like he has some natural talent for them, they are too loud for his taste. On the other hand, J doesn't care how loud they are (which is odd considering his sensitivities to loud sound) he loves to play them. Unfortunately he doesn't seem to have the raw talent for them that his brother has. Not that he couldn't develop the skill. I just find it quite ironic...

It's not really an issue though because I can't afford a decent kit for them anyway, and would have no idea where to put it if I did...

Finally, I spent whatever time I had left this weekend working on my mom's computer. That is another post to work on I think. Suffice it to say for now, she's not getting back the same computer she sent me. The other PC I worked on simply had a dead PSU. I'll get that replaced and be done with it. Unfortunately, I have another one waiting for me in the wings.

I have done myself wrong. I was so good about insisting on payment for my extra-curricular computer work (which almost without fail stopped inquiries) but recently I've gotten back into the habit of saying, "Sure, I'll take a look at it for you." (Which translates to free work, and lost weekends.) My own fault. I will have to correct this again... "Certainly, I will take a look at your PC. That will be at the discounted rate of $70/hr., minimum one hour." That should let me get some sleep again...

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