Sunday night during yet another rainstorm at Wayfarer’s Refuge (10.94 inches so far this month), the lights flickered. Then we heard a very loud electrical buzz-hum from the front yard and saw sparks. LOTS of sparks. I thought it was a transformer failing. Turns out it was a tree branch hitting the 12kv distribution line that runs along the front of our property. We ended up with Okay VFD standing by in case the tree branch didn’t burn itself out properly, but it did. We need to call OG & E and have them trim some trees.
I spent Tuesday morning with Grandson watching OG & E move utility poles around. When we moved here, we immediately noticed the odd placement of the poles carrying the service line to the house. One was remarkably close to a pine tree; the other was very awkwardly located in our parking area. It probably wasn’t bad for the previous owners because they only had one car and so had plenty of room in their garage. But once we moved in with up to five vehicles parked at any given time, that pole was inconvenient at best. I really wanted to just bury the service line, but that would have cost us upwards of $3,000, which just wasn’t in the budget.
A couple of months ago though, the mercury vapor security light on the “tree pole” started acting up, so Diana called OG&E to see about getting it fixed. When the lineman came out, I asked him about shifting the poles around, since burying the service wasn’t an option. He measured things out—they have limits on how far apart poles can be—and figured the new location would be fine. They showed up Tuesday with five people and three trucks, so Grandson and I settled in on the front porch to watch the ballet as they moved things around. Athena barked up a storm while the crew was walking around but curled up under my chair when the PTOs on the trucks cranked up and the booms started moving. She’s a loud guardian dog, but she sure scares easily sometimes.
My big laptop still isn’t back. Oh, where to start?
The fan issue was re-repaired, but when I had it home briefly, I encountered a couple of crashes. The shop was able to replicate them, so they kept it for a while to see what they could do. Turns out it was apparently a bad GPU, which cost a pretty penny to replace. I’d had some problems with the keyboard that I told them to go ahead and fix this time, too. I’d put it off before since the first round of repairs was apparently coming in so cheaply; fixing the keyboard issue would likely have been another $175 or so because it would have involved replacing part of the laptop shell. The good news there though is that they discovered they can just replace the keyboard, which is about 1/3 the price. That made me happy.
Friday, they called asking, “Are you as ready to come get this as I am to get rid of it?” I love their sense of humor. I had to wait for my daughter to bring my car back home (the shop is about 45 minutes away) but I told them I’d be up a little after 1 PM.
Less than five minutes later, they called back. I jokingly asked them “What broke?”
He sighed. “I was working with a really bad headache yesterday.” He said he had just gotten off the phone with me and noticed the other keyboard sitting next to my machine and thought, Man, that’s really shiny.
Yeah, he’d put the old keyboard back in the computer.
We both laughed. We laughed for a couple of minutes. What else could I do? I’ve had bad days. We all have. Getting angry and yelling at him wasn’t going to fix anything. I could tell he already felt horrible about making this kind of a mistake, especially when this whole repair has taken so long. And on the brighter side, at least he figured out what happened before I drove 45 minutes to pick it up. He said he’d call me back when it was really ready.
Half an hour later, the phone rings again. “Miss me yet?” he asked. “How attached are you to the backlighting on the keyboard?”
Yeah, the new keyboard was missing the backlighting ribbon cable, even though the product description said it was backlit. He ran into a similar problem with the original set of fans he’d ordered. It happens. I admit I briefly considered telling him to just put it back together, to just be done with it. But then I thought, Nope, we’re going to see this through to the bitter end. He found another keyboard in Kentucky, due in by the 24th or 25th, which is only a day later than I thought I was going to get it back anyway.
Never a dull moment.
Shame on me; I was late returning the last books I checked out. But I took Grandson to an “impromptu story time” at the library on Wednesday and picked up a couple of books. I say “impromptu” because that’s what Miss Shannon, who runs the children’s department, called it. Since her regular Wednesday story time sessions ended at the end of April. She said she misses her kids, so she decided to have another story time. I love libraries.
I grabbed The Dilemma by B. A. Paris. The description reads like a nice emotional thriller, heavy on the character development, something I really want to work on with my writing. Just before her fortieth birthday party, a woman learns a heartbreaking secret about her daughter. The day of the party, the husband learns of a tragedy. The story revolves around how they hide their knowledge from each other as well as their friends and family at the party. It was great, really well written. Eastern Oklahoma Library System has two of her other books, and I’ll definitely pick those up.
I also grabbed The First Family by Daniel Palmer, son of the late Michael Palmer. It’s a medical thriller about the First Son, and I’ve always been a fan of White House drama. I’ll probably read it next week.
I’m also planning on getting back into Shattered Sword, about the Battle of Midway. I remember reading several books about it when I was younger, including the novelization of the 1976 movie (which I watched several times over the years). Someone at SOCNET mentioned the book and it sounded familiar enough to me that I checked my bookshelves and found it sitting there. I’m pretty sure one of my kids picked it up when it first came out, back in 2005. I started it a few years ago according to Goodreads but only got 100 or so pages into it. I want to finish it soon.
More writing done on The Nth Passenger, now at 1,842 words. It’s gotten a little psychological already, and I like where it’s going.
I haven’t edited In Plain Sight yet because I really like the extra real estate on the big laptop screen when I’m editing, so I’m waiting for it to come back before I get back to edits.
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