Wednesday, January 6, 2010

At which point, the patience runs out

The last couple of days, I've had some interesting quirks with the computer. Notably, the unexpected Blue Screen Of Death with weird error messages about missing a disk in a device. Huh?

The first time was on New Year's Eve. Well, ok, who knows what happened, but it seemed a good time to make sure my backup was as up-to-date as physically possible. You may recall I do not have a good history with hard drives on this laptop.

It crashed once again over the weekend, and then I got a BSOD again Tuesday. Three times in less than a week is no longer a "no worries" affair. I went to the diagnostic screen and had it check the hard drive. Once again, I got an error that the disc is bad and needs to be replaced. I both expected it and yet couldn't believe it at the same time.

I promptly found the records of all my other calls, and gave the HP support people a chat. I said apparently they are great fun people that I should put on my speed dial! I explained the problem and the tech recorded all the data error messages I've gotten (I took a picture with my cell phone so I could read him what it said).

I then politely but firmly said I've had absolutely enough of this and something needed to be done besides simply replacing the drive yet again. He informed me that he was submitting a case report to a supervisor, listing the many service calls on record for the same problem with the same machine, and I should get a call in the next 24-48 hours from a manager who can review options with me. At this point, I'm thinking my options need to include starting over from scratch with a brand new computer at no additional cost to me. Replacing the hard drive every 3 months is simply ludicrous.

I really do feel I've been fairly patient with all this up to this point, but that patience has run out. Meanwhile, anything I save on the computer now will also be saved to the backup. Who knows when this thing might go completely kaput? Argh!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Egg Nog

So many times I've been doing something and thought about posting it, but I've just never remembered to do it by the time I got around to a computer. Then I'd either forgotten or it didn't seem worth it. That probably means you wouldn't have cared anyway...

However, for my digital scrapbook, I'd like to note that after 3 years of saying we were going to make our own eggnog, we finally did it. I use "we" in a general sense, as I found the recipe but I made Alex do it himself. He's been really excited about it, so I figured he should be the one to get the praise when it finally got made.

There are so many eggnog recipes out there, I wasn't sure which to do. We finally opted to try this easy eggnog for the first one. As promised, it was easy! Either it calls for much too much vanilla, or we used the wrong amount, because it was quite vanilla-y. Otherwise, it tasted great.

It came out a lot thinner than I'd expected. My sister had warned me that self-made tends to be thinner than store bought, and apparently I didn't take her advice under as much advisement as I thought. We typically use skim milk, and since this was made with the thicker whole milk, I figured it would balance out even with the other ingredients. Turns out, not so much.

There are other recipes that call for beating the egg white separately and then folding it in, which would theoretically thicken it a little. Or we could try one of the cooked recipes, which probably thickens it a bit as well. As much fun as Alex had making this batch, we'll probably try it again. If not, at least that's one of those "bucket list" items now checked off!