Sunday, May 11, 2008

Doh! And again, Doh!

Totally spaced posting yesterday, putting yet another hole in my Blog 365 suit. And I liked that suit, too. so I'll post twice today, just to make up for it. And to make it easier than reading one long post. Well, maybe not easier, but what the heck.

So yesterday was our turn to "Stimulate the Economy" thanks to the perfect storm of the government rebate check, a computer going on the fritz, and the PTA auction. Starting with the computer (since the check is pretty obvious)...

Thursday night I booted up my desktop and it, well, didn't boot. Or, rather, it initialized, then the "Windows" screen with the progress lights going across it appeared, then after 10 seconds or so I got a flash of the famed blue screen of death and then it flipped over and started initializing again. It did this over, and over, and over. Didn't matter if I booted in Safe Mode, Last Best Configuration, or whatnot. I even tried booting from the WinXP install disk and got nothing. Then, on about the 73rd try, it finally booted all the way. So I recorded and loaded my shows ASAP, then ran the spyware and virus software and did a chkdsk on both drives. Well, OK, I didn't do those, but the computer did.

So, deciding that this was the beginning of the end for my 5-year-old Dell, I decided a trip to Fry's was in order. And several hundred bucks later I walked out with a new case, mother board, AMD chip, an assload of RAM, a 500 GB hard drive and a DVD burner with the fancy-pants "Lightscribe" labling stuff. Now I just have to put it all together...

As for the auction, well, you have to go in with the attitude that the money is all for the kids anyway, and whatever you get is just gravy. And we got a fair amount of gravy. First off, during the silent auction, Paige bid up a bunch of Fred Meyer gift cards to beyond face value because hey, we're going to use 'em anyway. Then we got some credit at Funtasia for the boy's birthday party, and in the Live auction ended up in a bidding war with the principal for a long weekend at a cabin near Mt. Baker. "Keep bidding" said Paige. "She'll go higher" said Paige. And she did, and she won, and then the guy who owns the cabin came up and told the auctioneer that he'd throw in a second weekend if we paid our last bid. Which was, oh, $250 over what our original stop point was. So we were stuck. But hey, it's for the kids, right? Right.

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