Wednesday, March 19, 2014

If I can't move heaven, then I'll raise hell

Last week I made a last minute decision to go to Gainesville for the weekend. I had seen Mike in about a month, and I figured it wouldn't be that difficult to make happen. I made sure it was okay with my boss, and that was all it took.

I had a wonderful time, and as always it was far too short vacation. Although, it wasn't really much of a vacation as far as work was concerned. I still had to work Monday and yesterday, which was completely fine with me.

I made it in late Friday night, just in time to see everyone from the D&D group (Danielle, Chance, David, and Ken.) I hadn't seen any of them in ages.

Saturday, I absolutely had to hit up Burrito Bros. Mike and I managed to get Scott and one of his kids out with us. I have the feeling that his kid would have been much happier to not have been out for several hours listening to us adults talk, even if we had been talking about video games. Later that evening, we met up with Mike's brother Greg, his wife Alyssa, and two of their friends at Ale House. We had a great time hanging out :) Hadn't seen them since I moved to TN if I recall correctly. Mike and I had gone to visit them after we went apartment hunting. It was definitely nice to catch up.

Sunday, Mike and I spent the day just hanging out playing video games. It's the simple times like that I really miss. I know we hang out online and play video games on the computer together, but there is no substitute for sitting on the couch next to each other. Dinner that night was with my parents and brother. My dad's birthday is coming up, so I gave him his present early. It wasn't anything too terribly exciting, just some different coffees. It's's very difficult to think of things to purchase for him.

Monday, Mike had to go to work and I had to work from his home, but afterward we still went out to Outback for a really nice dinner together :)

Yesterday was far more busy. Mike was let go from work early because they had nothing for him to do... which was awesome and not so awesome. I felt bad because when he's not there he's not getting paid. I know that's important to him, but it was wonderful to get to spend more time with him my last day in town. I got my haircut, and afterward we met up with Dwyer,  Mehdi, Curtis, and his wife Michelle for a nice lunch. It's always good to see them all again, and a joke about how crappy the sheriff's office really was since almost all of us have gotten to move on beyond that soul-draining work place. The rest of the day, after dying my hair black again ;) we leveled up some WoW characters with Mike's friend Cory.

Woke up early this morning to make sure all of my things were in order, and headed out. I always hate leaving him; it never gets any easier and it never gets any better :( Despite living in a world filled with so much technology, making us digitally never really apart, it's just not the same. I looked for some jobs for him to apply to during my trip, but none of them really appeal to him. It worries me that he won't find something anytime soon. I've already been in Tennessee for 4 and a half months by myself. I wonder how much longer it's going to be, how much more time I'm going to be alone... time that could be spent with him. I understand his reasoning behind waiting but that doesn’t erase the unhappiness :/

On a lighter note, the kittens have been fabulous travelers! Ayla was a bit angsty upon our arrival in Florida, but in the car on the way there and back they both behaved so well. Only a little bit of crying about mid way both times. Never really would have expected that with cats :)

Monday, March 3, 2014

I choose you, Nixatik!

The past couple of months, I've had the feeling that something was going to break with regards to my computer. Civ V start-up was taking increasingly more time, Hearthstone was choppy, and iTunes was running into all sorts of random corrupted songs that used to play/transfer just fine. I chalked the iTunes issues up to my music library being too large for the software to handle (about 120GB worth.) Civ V I figured was just the software being large/obtrusive. Hearthstone... well it's in beta, so :P

Sunday, I woke up and my computer blue screened on me twice when all I was running was iTunes and Firefox. Saddened, I figured it was time to reformat my OS drive, reinstall Windows, the whole she-bang. Luckily(?) when my computer booted up next to ensure the files I wanted to keep were moved off the OS drive to my data drive, I noticed my data drive (1 of 2) had failed. This was my 500GB drive, oldest data drive I'm still using (at least 6+ years), never had an OS on it... it's not really surprising that it failed.

At first I was relieved that I wouldn't have to reformat my machine, and then I started freaking out about being able to save my files from the drive. I have a backup drive, but it's not within a year recent. And then I calmed down, remembering that I don't really add many things to these folders anymore. Some resume information, pictures... and then I lost it again, worrying about the pictures of Michael and I that are there and haven't been backed-up. And my music... a collection built-up since middle/high school...

The drive was almost completely unresponsive. I could start to copy files over, but after maybe 5 it would stop. I could wait about a minute and hit "try again", it would copy another few files, and it would stop again. I removed the drive from the computer, plugged it in externally, and was able to transfer a few more things before it would disconnect, and then immediately reconnect. However, the file transfers wouldn't pick back up. I figured it may have had something to do with it resting while I found the external hookup, and asked James and Curtis for suggestions. Ended up deciding on the "freezer trick", which I hadn't heard of before. I double ziploc-bagged the hard drive and placed it in the freezer for about an hour and a half.

I managed to get about 10 minutes worth of files off before it would crap out on me. I continued to switch-off between the freezer and file transferring until I went to bed, and managed to get everything except half of my music off by mid-afternoon today (the impending "ice storm" had me working from home.) I'm thinking I'll be able to get the remaining music off in another 2 or 3 freezes, so I'm happy about that. At the very least, my work files, resumes, pictures, and paperwork have all been saved. Oh, and why Civ V was related at all- this was not only my data drive, but my Steam installation drive as well. However, besides screenshots, there wasn't anything to really worry about with regard to losing Steam.

I don't know if I'm a believer of the "freezer trick", only because I think the reason it mostly works is related to allowing the hard drive to rest before attempting to utilize it again. (*KNOCK ON WOOD*)

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Long way to go

Woke up bright and early this Sunday morning because of a cat vomiting. The best part is I still don't know where it happened. Thanks kitties!

I went to see an orthopedic doctor Thursday morning. He took new x-rays of my neck and lower back, and found nothing wrong with my neck at all. I do have disc degeneration in my lower back however, and he set me up with some physical therapy sessions. I'm hoping that it will help, maybe help me build some good habits.

Mike and I have finished Burn Notice and Warehouse 13 (well, season 4 of Warehouse is not on Netflix yet, so we have no way of watching it together.) I'm going to miss Burn Notice. It didn't fall apart despite having so many running seasons. There were a couple of times were it seemed a bit outlandish, but otherwise I think they did a great job :) We started Continuum last night, only one episode so far, but I'm a sucker for sci-fi and time travel. Plus, one of the characters has already made a statement that matches my thoughts on the universe/time traversal.

Been looking for Garden Lites muffin items in stores. However, I can only find their souffles :( Tempted to just make some zucchini chocolate muffins myself, but I've got to prepare for upcoming pi day, so I don't think I really need to be doing tons of baking just beforehand. I did finally pick up a bottle of Voss, and plan on making coffee with it. Hoping it will be as delicious as I think it will :D

Found an app for on{x} this morning. Looks interesting.

Why is Alec a nickname for Alexander? Second character I've come across...