+1, -1

The last week has been one of those weeks that tries men’s souls – and women’s, for that matter. But I’ve vowed to myself that I’m going to be more positive, so I’m going to try to find the silver lining in all of the crap that’s been happening. Warning: This is more than a little bit of a bitch session … don’t say I didn’t warn you. I just needed to vent a bit. For something more amusing, look at my next post

1) My grandfather is dying.

He’s been on his last legs for weeks now, but keeps hanging on – in spite of himself. He’s said that he’s ready to go, but he wants to die at his own home. Unfortunately, we can’t take him out of the hospital because of the recurrent infections he’s getting. Worse, my uncles — who have lived with him for most of their entire lives — are saying that they don’t want him to come home because (depending on who you get the story from):

  1. the expense for care is too much — which is bullshit, since he has money (or at least had; besides, we all agreed we would help out.
  2. they can’t care for him all be themselves — legitimate, but again we all agree that we would help.
  3. other, more selfish reasons — no comment

Whatever the real reason, the effect of them saying that he can’t come home to die has opened up some major anger issues, which isn’t saying much since much of my father’s family stands on the line between grumpiness and rage most of the time anyway. My thought is simple — money or effort regardless, whatever it takes to bring the man home to the house where he’s lived for 50 years should be done. PERIOD.

SUNNY SIDE: At least the whole family is coming together accusing my uncles of being asshats. That rarely happens.

2) Nutty relatives

If you saw my last post (pre-edit, especially), you saw that there were some images that were quite amusing from my cousin’s wedding, courtesy of my wife and photographer-extraordinaire, Shari. Everyone seemed to love them – everyone, that is, except one unnamed relative. And she went ballistic. Not just angry, but raging, ‘quick, hide the knives’, ‘Run! It’s Godzilla!’, fire-breathing angry. And my wife bore the brunt of it, undeservedly so. Unfortunately, it’s always been one of my favorite relatives, but what I saw and heard has done all but sever our relationship completely. Shari is willing to forgive, but I’m not sure I can.

BRIGHT SIDE: Everyone else loved the pictures and what Shari’s done.

3) Computer Meltdown x2

My wife has been working on two computers for a while – one for regular software stuff (Office, Firefox, Outlook, etc.), and one that she uses exclusively for photo processing. She also has dedicated backup hard drives and separate monitors for each (Apple monitor for the photo PC, shitty monitor for the other, etc.). Well, in quick succession she has:

  • fried a graphics card
  • had one of our backup drives fail (though she recovered her data
  • discovered that her photo PC can’t handle the newest versions of Lightroom and Photoshop, because her RAM is too slow and her graphics card – while new – is only a PCI, which means comparatively slow.
  • had to start using my stepson’s computer because at least he had a modern processor and PCIe video slot – although she had to replace HIS fried video card, too (which is why he wasn’t using it).
  • Had to move all of her Lightroom files to the ‘new’ PC because it was her new Photo PC – which took 36 hours. No, I’m not kidding.

So, she’s missed 3 days of production time fooling with all of these computers.

NIFTY SIDE: The new setup is working much better now that it’s finally ready. Even if Blair wants to use it all the time to play games now that there is a working graphics card on that machine. :-)

4) Shari destroyed a nerve in her hand

Okay, not really destroyed, but irritated it enough taking pictures at the wedding (she had left the quick-release for the strap on and the constant pressure inflamed the nerve) that she lost feeling in her index finger and had shooting pains going up her arm. 10 days later, she’s just now getting the feeling back, and the doctor says it could be 2-12 weeks until it’s completely healed.

BRIGHT SIDE: Um, it’s not me?

5) Dell, you can take this laptop and shove it

A few weeks ago, our laptop suddenly started showing a lot of Greek and Chinese characters all over the screen. It was like “The Matrix” but in black-and-white 480x360px resolution, EGA screens. Then applications wouldn’t open, or would hang miserably. After much going back and forth, the technicians at Dell came to the answer that our video card had fried and probably torched something else on the motherboard at the same time. At the very least, something in the BIOS got jinxed and we weren’t going to be able to fix it short of opening up the case and trying ourselves.

We inquired about just having a new graphics card sent to us to try to put it in. First they couldn’t find a card that would fit our model – and then after telling us how hard it was to install them, informed us that if we DID buy one and try to install it ourselves, and couldn’t, they wouldn’t be able to take back the card we just bought to put it in. We would have to buy a second card that they would then install. Hmm, that doesn’t sound smart, right? So we sent it back to them.

A couple of weeks and $450 later (money we really don’t have right now), we get the computer back and Shari starts loading up our software, etc. To find that their are no drivers loaded and no information about what the video or motherboards are. AND that the same problem is still there. That’s right – not fixed. Then she spent 3 hours and 8 (yes, eight) phone calls trying to get through to someone at Dell to help her. After endless phone tag, multiple disconnects, several ‘out of warranty’ claims, she was ready (and willing) to throw the phone and/or laptop at the wall in frustration. Let’s just say that she’s not a happy camper right now.

SHINY SIDE: We’ll probably get the Dell “We f’d up” courtesy coupon when they take it back to fix it again. And in New Jersey, if we have to send it back a 3rd time, they have to replace it. Fingers crossed!


6 Responses to “+1, -1”

  • furiousball Says:

    pssst… on number 3 and 5…. get a mac.

  • Marty Says:

    I would love to… and I’m definitely leaning in that direction when I get my next system.

  • mon@rch Says:

    Wow, sounds like one of those weeks!

  • Sarah Says:

    We’ve been out of town, dealing with drama of our own, so it took me awhile to get around to reading this. Sorry about all of your troubles lately.

    #1 – My grandpa didn’t really know he was dying but he wanted to go home. I was the only one in my family who suggested that maybe home wasn’t the best place for him. He needed constant care, and my mom was the only one in the area and willing to help. She wanted to do it, but sometimes I wondered if he’d get better, more patient care in a nursing home. That said, he was sent home with hospice (if you have less than six months to live and basically do nothing for the problems other than pain management, etc.) and they sent workers in to give Poppo baths and a nurse to check on him, and he was quite glad to be able to be at home with his cats, and I was glad I didn’t push too hard for the nursing home idea. Maybe see if your uncles can talk to someone at the hospital to see the options available. They could get a good deal of help from the family and from outside workers. If they won’t do it, they also have hospice homes which are not the same as your beloved house but are a lot better than a hospital. Here’s hoping your family makes the right choice for your grandpa.

    #2 – Shari’s pictures were awesome. Don’t listen to the naysayer.

    #3, 4, 5 – You guys seriously can’t get a break. Hope life is looking up since this post!

  • Apertome Says:

    Man, all of this sucks, but I am really sorry to hear about your grandfather. We had no such drama when either of my grandparents died, but I know how hard it can be … I hope that you are able to come to some agreement. Either way, I hope he will be relatively comfortable and surrounded by loved ones.

    About Shari’s photos, I guess I can see how someone might be offended by them, but I personally love how bold they are. I think she did a fantastic job.

  • Marty Says:

    Thanks, everyone – it really WAS one of those weeks. I would have gladly done a do-over. But things are getting better this week (my cold notwithstanding):

    1) Grandpop is finally home and curmudgeonly as ever. He’s actually eating and talking to people. I don’t know how much time he has left, but at least he’s home!
    2) Shari’s computer troubles are mostly solved – it took a while but she’s definitely more stable now. Unfortunately the laptop is still messed up but c’est la vie.
    3) Pictures – luckily, we can laugh about them now, especially since the rest of the family is.

    Sarah: Thanks for the thoughts. I understood that being stuck with caring for him might be part of the reason they didn’t want to bring him home – which is why everyone offered to help pay/care for him. I guess logic or guilt finally made them give in. I have to say I’m glad, because he should really be in his own home, where he’s familiar and comfortable.

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