Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Super Duper Important Electronics Update

Deep Shadow, 2008, Oil on Panel, 24x36

As I have mentioned a few times over the last month, I have recently been having so much trouble with my electronics that it is downright comical at this point. Most of my time since getting back has been taken up with fixing and/or replacing the various items that have broken down.

1. My 2 year old iMac crashed in January, setting me off onto a rant or two or ten. I used Doug's computer and sometimes the kid's computer until we could figure out what was wrong with it. While I was in Vermont, Doug took it to the Apple store in Albany and they said the logic board was shot. Cost to fix that: $950. Cost to replace: $1199. I replaced it AND got a 20" screen, plus an external back up system. Totally tax-deductible at least. But more difficult to get up and walk away from. Heh.

2. I took Doug's old Mac laptop to Vermont, along with the antique power supply cord. People laughed when they saw the cord, it's so old. The battery in the laptop is shot and the computer is so old that they don't even make those batteries anymore, so the cord is necessary. BUT. The power cord is also messed up and you have to wiggle it and set it up just right or it won't work. And I was seldom able to get the wiggle just right. Somehow my 12 year old son is able to get it to work every time which is just typical.

3. The battery in my cell phone died on the second day in Vermont. This was extremely annoying because I rarely even use my cell phone. I am still not even a 100% sure of the number. We don't have a signal at our house and I don't have any business that is so important that I need to receive calls while I am picking up my kids in town. Luckily, Doug just got a new phone (he DOES use his phone all of the time-in fact his phone is actually attached to his left ear) and the battery in his old phone is fairly new so we can just replace mine with that one.

4. This one really breaks my heart: my iPod. Listening to my music in the studio is a big deal to me and I love my iPod. I took it along with me to Vermont and while I was there the sound stopped coming through the left headphone. I tested the headphones on a friend's iPod and they worked fine. I listened to the music in one ear for an afternoon which gave me a headache and made me feel unbalanced, then while fooling around with the connection, I found that if the headphones were only halfway plugged in, the sound comes through both headphones. The drawback with this plan is that, well, the headphones are only halfway plugged in, and the plug tended to fall out easily. But I managed to get through the month like that. Now that I am home though, the music is only playing through one stereo speaker which is driving me crazy and so Doug is going to take it in with him to the city to see if it can be fixed or if it has to be replaced. And naturally, the iPod is about two months past the end of the warranty which is also just typical.

5. And last, but in no way least, my 1998 Mazda MPV has been giving me trouble for the last year or so. Um just after we paid off the loan, of course. First the air conditioning broke and because of some crazy design issue it was incredibly expensive to fix, so we never did that. Then it was the usual stuff in a car with over 100,000 miles-new brakes, timing belt, muffler, new axels, tires, etc. I have had many worries about the car breaking down on the side of the road and with my tight kid pick up schedule and with Doug out of town half the time I have been pitching daily fits about getting a new car. We decided to wait until spring but then on the way to Vermont, I noticed that the back of the roof was impeding my rear view. I took it to a mechanic in Johnson and he said that the rear suspension system was completely shot. Doug and I debated about getting it fixed (not cheap) and then decided that it was time to get a new car. So my Mazda and I limped home, with the body of the car just a few inches higher than the rear wheels. Yesterday we traded it in for a whopping $1000 bucks and came home with a shiny new charcoal grey Honda Pilot. I am relieved to have a dependable car again and am even more tickled to have the best cup holders that I have ever had in a car. Sometimes it's the little things. Oh, but even better than the cup holders is the fact that I am paying for this car. After years of relying on Doug's income, I am very happy to be able to buy my own car. First one since the '74 VW Dasher I bought for $2000 when I was 16!

I got through all of this thinking that at least my digital camera still works, but then it turns out that I left it in the lounge at the Vermont Studio Center on my last night there. Along with the memory card containing hundreds of portraits I took of the other residents. Luckily, the infamous David Grozinsky found it exactly where I left it on that crazy late night (I can't even use alcohol as an excuse), and is sending it back to me, so I will NOT have to buy a new camera at least. Well, unless it gets lost in transit, which would be just typical.....

So there you go. Who knows what will break down on me next.


Patty said...

Tracy I feel your pain. I am not a happy camper with tech stuff happens to me. Over Xmas I had an AC/DC concert tape borrowed from the library and after it was done watching it I could not get it out of the VCR. I ended up trying to take it apart (yes, I was going to put the VCR back together!), but I still could not get it out. I almost dropped the torn apart VCR with the tape still in it into the return book box, but I managed to get the tape out by distroying the VCR. Try to find a coaxil VCR five days after Xmas! I finally found one at a decent price (round trip - 36 miles), but it took me three weeks to figure out how to tape something! I still have problems using the DVD player in it.
My ipod battery is shot so I can only use it with it plugged in a receptacle. They told me at Best Buy it would be $50 to replace the battery. Knock on wood those are the only two tech problems I have had! I hope your streak ends and all goes well.
COngrats on the new car!

Jayne Rose said...

ahh crap. Unbelievable tech situations you have going on.

The new computer and new car sound like a breath of fresh air.

Stay positive!

Tracy said...

Thanks Patty and it sure sounds like you have had quite a time too. I am pretty much lost if the DVD player doesn't work and will just not use it if there is a problem. That would have been funny to put the whole VCR into the return box-wonder how often that happens?!:)

Jayne, yes, it has been a bit much! I am very grateful that I can at least replace a few things. It's so nice to be driving a new car, even if it's not exactly a good environmental choice. Oops. We need at least 6 seats and 4 wheel drive so a Prius isn't for us right now:)

gr said...

nine fifty to repair the computer???? gawd!
well, at least the camera is on its way home...

William F. Renzulli said...

The electronic debacle sucks, but your barn ROCKS!

Tracy said...

Gary, when my things break down, they REALLY break down:)

Thanks William, and your work is pretty cool too. Thanks for visiting!