Preparing for Tomorrow


My wife and I are planning to travel out of town tomorrow for an SCA event. It’s a symposium of classes centered around one aspect of the SCA, and it’s one that I’ve been interested in since my earliest days in the Society.

The trick is, since my mental illnesses have gotten worse, I’ve lost all interest in doing anything active in the SCA. It’s not that the desire isn’t there, it’s that the confidence that I used to have in my abilities has completely gone away, and I’m essentially starting from scratch. And I’ve been terrified of starting from scratch.

This weekend marks the first time since I’ve gotten worse that I’ve expressed any interest in trying to get back into the things that I once loved to do, and my wife is thrilled that I’m taking these first steps. To me, it’s not that big a deal. I don’t anticipate putting what I plan on learning tomorrow to immediate use, so it’s not like I’m actually getting back into anything just yet. I’m just preparing for the day when I’m ready.

Two of the classes that I plan on taking deal with the use of a database to gather and check information, and that means that a laptop is suggested for the class. My main laptop’s battery and keyboard are shot, which means that if I take it, I’m going to have to plug in and carry my wireless keyboard with me. My laptop is pretty cumbersome to carry with all the accessories that I’d need to take with me, so I’m planning on using the 2-in-1 that we had initially purchased to be a broadcast laptop. (It’s an ASUS Taichi. The screen is only 11 inches across on it, which rendered the broadcast software so tiny as to be unreadable, so we had to drop back and punt for broadcasting purposes. It means there’s a spare laptop for us to use just in case.) It should be serviceable for the purposes of the class.

It’s been a long time since I’ve updated Windows 10 on it, however, and I’m in the process of going through what is apparently all the updates. The software that controls my Bluetooth mouse needed updating, Microsoft Office needed updating, and there are several Windows updates that are trying to install as I write this, plus the battery needs a good charge. I plan on taking the power cord for the Taichi, and plugging in if I have the opportunity, but the battery should last long enough to get me through the class if necessary.

The Windows updates are trying my patience. They’re going very slowly, and I’m used to the faster processor on my main laptop. But I have all day to get them done, plus the battery is still charging, so I have nothing but time.

I’m nervous about tomorrow, though. That will likely dissipate once I get to site, but for now, it’s pretty high.


The Daily Derailment


It seems that every day there’s something that pops up that tries to derail me from getting things done. I think that’s a fairly typical thing, usually it’s something fairly easily handled.

This is not one of those stories.

My wife and I have virtually identical laptops. They are still, over a year after purchasing them, considered very high-end computers. When ordered, both of them had a solid state boot drive, a main optical drive, and a second smaller solid state drive for applications we plan on using often or need access to quickly. After about six months, my laptop took a hard jolt that unseated the optical drive, so it was replaced with a third solid state drive. Other than that, their specifications are identical.

Both of them run Windows 10. We pushed to the front of the line and forced the upgrade, and have been fairly pleased so far with the results.

At some point, my wife wanted to change the email address that she used to log into her computer, and in the shuffle of trying to make that happen, inadvertently disabled her Microsoft account through her computer. She can still log into the computer, she can still use it completely (with the exception of the voice-activation features of Cortana), but it won’t allow her to log out of that default account and into another email address on that computer. She can log into the account through Microsoft’s website just fine, so the issue lies in the computer itself and not with the account.

To make a VERY long and frustrating story short, she spent two unproductive hours on the phone with Microsoft technical support trying to fix the issue, and was told that she needed to perform a clean install of Windows 10 on the system. (Well, “told” is not accurate. She caught the Tier 2 technician attempting to start this process for her without informing my wife of what she, the technician, was doing, and that was just the last straw in a long line of customer service failures on Microsoft’s behalf this morning. She took command of the computer back from where the technician was remotely accessing the machine and disconnected the session.)

In attempting to try and find a resolution to her situation on MY computer, I managed to duplicate it. Now both of our laptops have similar login issues that will likely need to be resolved with a clean install, but at least we know what caused the problem and can see if there’s a more direct and less invasive way of fixing the problem than reinstalling Windows.

This had the potential of derailing my entire day, as we met friends for lunch and visited with them for the better part of the afternoon. I was planning on having a much more productive morning than I did. But I managed to get things caught up by the end of the day and I’m back on track with my checklist.

But now I have to get in touch with Microsoft one more time to see if there’s a quicker fix tomorrow. Wish me luck.