Welcome to the Misadventures of Widowhood blog!

In January of 2012 my soul mate of 42 years passed away after nearly 12 years of living with severe disabilities due to a stroke. I survived the first year after Don’s death doing what most widows do---trying to make sense of my world turned upside down. The pain and heartache of loss, my dark humor, my sweetest memories and, yes, even my pity parties are well documented in this blog.

Now that I’m a "seasoned widow" the focus of my writing has changed. I’m still a widow looking through that lens but I’m also a woman searching for contentment, friends and a voice in my restless world. Some people say I have a quirky sense of humor that shows up from time to time in this blog. Others say I make some keen observations about life and growing older. I say I just write about whatever passes through my days---the good, bad and the ugly. Comments welcome and encouraged. Let's get a dialogue going! Jean

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Computer Woes Part Two

 

I’m sitting here typing on my new/used laptop computer that I got from one of the computer repair shops in a local chain. As you may recall I took an instant dislike to the guy running the place based on the only two facts I knew about him. 1) He reminded me of my uncle who followed the good weather across the United States selling Bibles, and 2) he advertised his relationship with God on an 8”x11” sign on his counter top. As I said in my other post about the sign, it’s not that unusual where I live so chose to ignore my first impression and go back in to see what he had to offer to help me get back my documents and files in the quickest way possible, since my old tower computer was fried. I’d already researched new computers online and the ones I wanted came with several months wait time before delivery, not something I could do while in the process of moving.  

The second time I was in his shop the sign was gone and another in its places that read: “My purpose is to bring glory to God.” Okay, I thought, it’s time to give this guy a backstory. And the backstory I gave him was one of a 30 something guy with no family except for the cute little shop dog he had who greeted new arrivals, a guy who was overcoming a substance abuse problem and he needed his daily God devotions as much as he needed oxygen to breathe to keep himself on track. Of course could have asked him what his story was over the course of the hour plus we spent together but I liked the fake one I gave him and I didn't want to give him an opening to evangelize. I've been living in the City of Churches all my life and know how to avoid the dark alleys. 

What I did learn is the chain bids on corporate computers whose leases are running out and then they customize them for people like me. I ended up with a 3 month old HP 15” laptop that sells online for $1,700 and I paid $450. (For that price I figure if I don’t like it I can get another after I move and keep this one as a backup. My old backup laptop is living on borrowed time and had no room for my lost files.) And that $450 price includes a one year warranty and all my recovered files and photos plus anti-virus software, a free replacement for Office that works with my Word files and he gave me demonstrations on how to access just about everything including some maintenance software and other bells and whistles I’ve never had before.

If he didn’t look so much like my uncle I might have warmed up to him, But we both stayed in total business mode although he did try to make a joke about one of the answers to a challenge question we needed to get one of my programs working again. I could tell humor was not a tool in his box of human relationships but I laughed anyway. I did like the fact that he didn’t talk down to me or too far over my head the way some of the sales people at places like Best Buys have been known to do to seniors.

He gave me back my old hard drive without me asking for it and he got a little upset when I said I was going to hit it with a hammer and drop if off at tech recycling. “No, no!” he said, “Keep it forever because if you need to recover your photos and files again I can get them off that hard drive!” When he was showing me my restored files and when he was asking about some apps he didn’t recognize it came out that I have a few book drafts and he even saw the cover of one of the books I self-published. I think he was impressed. “You have a lot of word documents compared to most people,” he remarked. He also said I was smart for being old school about keeping my passwords as on paper. He says so many people come in there with fried computers and many times they can't get their passwords back.

All and all, if I had been a blind person buying this computer where I did, I could be totally okay with the experience, the price, the computer and my decision to take the quickest route to get my online life back in working order again. Except for his signs he didn’t bring God in an of our conversations which I respect and appreciated but I still can’t get past the feeling that I just bought a computer from an off-spring of my uncle's. I don't know how good my uncle was about keeping it in his pants but if Computer Guy  turned up on my 23 and Me account as a possible relative I would not be surprised. ©

42 comments:

  1. sounds like you got the best deal going and maybe the dude didn't think you need any G*d stuff today...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He was on the weird side but as far as I could tell he was honest and did right by me. Also told me to come back in October when he's getting some really large monitors in since he knew I struggle with seeing this 15" screen.

      Delete
    2. Maybe he's somewhere on the autism spectrum. My grandson is pretty high functioning in that respect. This summer he's working with a Christian job corps group to help him find his niche in life. He's very good with computers too and hopes to do something with that. I'm not big on religion myself, but I figure if it helps him deal with what life has thrown at him, more power to him.

      Delete
    3. That's really a strong possibility. There was something not quite right with him but he was definitely in his niche job. Socially awkward, focused on the computers. And there are a lot of people who do need their relationship with the church/God to get by.

      Delete
  2. If you felt like you got an honest deal and were treated with respect, then that's all that matters.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did and I do. But I also needed blog fodder that wasn't moving related because I'm sure after all this time it's getting boring to read my saga. It's in its second season! Listing papers were signed this week, to catch everyone up to date.

      Delete
  3. Well, it sounds better than the last time and you're set with the computer so all's well. I like the thought of "if you were a blind person it would be OK." We should all remember that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, we all have our prejudices whether we admit them to ourselves and/or others is another thing. Admitting them is a first step to overcoming them, of trying to keep an open mind.

      Delete
  4. You had me laughing about your imaginary back story of Computer Guy, and that he could end up being related by virtue of your Uncle Bible, but I sure am glad the Guy turned out to be a good choice to do business with in spite of his religious enthusiasm. Some people have had such bad real back stories that when they find Religion and their life improves it makes them zealous to Share. I don't mind those people. It's the Fanatical fake Religious type dripping with hypocrisy that I can't stomach and the newest version of Evangelicals that think The Orange Menace is some kind of Messiah, now that is so far gone I just can't EVEN! *LOL*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right about some people having such bad backstories and you are really good at cutting them the slack they need to get by. I'm still a work in progress.

      Delete
  5. It has to be a relief to have a computer you can probably count on for 5 years, and your files restored. Sometimes I envy people who never learned the myriad pleasure and misery available with a computer. They seem to get by pretty well, most computer savvy people are willing to help out friends who don't have them, and it's just one more item they don't have to have a place for!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My brother is one of them. Never touched a computer in his life but he's got three kids with spouses to help him when he needs something you can only do online. All I know for sure is I could not have gotten through the pandemic without my computer and the blog community to keep in touch with other human life.

      Delete
  6. Good for you for getting a new (to you) laptop. To work with computers and mechanics all day, you would need that sort of personality. Devoted to technology but not terrific bedside manner. For me, I just hand down my old stuff but with school starting, we may have to get more up to date devices. My old tower Apple could only be upgraded to 2010 operating system. So many upgrades to software!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And all those software updates are to protect us from hackers. Ticks me off!

      Delete
  7. Your backstory could have been his. It has been done before. Glad you had a successful dealing if not all together comfortable. So glad you are back in business.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I still have a lot of personalizing to do on the laptop but it's going to wait a few weeks. Good job to do when I have to be gone from the house for viewings.

      Delete
  8. You know, I have friends who keep old laptops and such precisely for the hard drive storage. And I still have my two previous hard drives sitting in a drawer. Even post-crash, they have data that can be retrieved in an absolute, flat-out emergency. But I really do hope once you're up and running you get yourself a dedicated hard drive for backup. My Seagate 4 terrabyte is selling for $89 right now. I think I paid $120 two years ago. Storage is cheap -- therapy post-file-loss is expensive!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I asked the guy about getting an external hard drive for back up versus my Carbonite Service (which isn't cheap) and he said the Carbonite was better. That doesn't even make sense to me since he didn't even use it to get my files back. It's paid up through 2/22 so I plan to do some research on backing up data between then and now and decide when I have more time. You would not believe how many floppy disk backups I had and destroyed last summer. Nothing is fool proof.

      Delete
  9. I like the backstory you gave the computer dude. I also like that, other than the sign, he didn't use his position to proselytize. I had a contractor who did that to me...came over to my house (that he was renovating) with his drywall expert friend, for the express purpose of getting me to accept you-know-who as my lord and saviour. I had to set a very clear boundary that day...and yes, I continued to use him for my renovations. A good contractor is worth any associated weirdness. :-)

    Deb

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i had that happen with window cleaner I'd used for 3-4 years. He had Bible scriptures on his business cards but otherwise didn't talk about religion. Then after the election where Trump lost he started in about how Trump was chosen by God and we were going to pay for turning our backs on His will. Got another company coming this year, on Monday.

      Delete
  10. I'm glad you were able to get what you needed and he was knowledgeable enough to help you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I've been using the chain for 15 years and haven't been mislead yet. And I didn't want to waste a bunch of time shopping around town.

      Delete
  11. As long as you feel you were treated right and got a decent deal then it is all good

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm glad it worked out so well. šŸ˜Š

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it is. Going to see if I can find a wrist rest thought. My carpel tunnel is really fighting with this laptop.

      Delete
    2. I have struggled for years with carpel tunnel from keyboard use. I found a wrist rest that might work for you, too. It's a long tube filled with microbeads. It's soft, which my wrists like, and I can easily shift the beads to make it fuller in places. I found it in either Best Buy or Staples.
      Nina

      Delete
    3. Nina, I just discovered they make wrist rests for laptops last night and ordered a set of two made of memory foam that sits right on the laptop. The microbeads sound better. If the ones I ordered don't work I won't hesitate to try your recognition. Might even be a good thing to have both styles and switch off every half hour or so. I use one of those ventilation spacers under my laptop which raises it up an inch from the table so I could even see using both styles at the same time---on the laptop and at the edge.

      Delete
  13. Glad it worked out. You have lots of other things to keep you busy now!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I didn't know about how refurbished computers came to be refurbished. I still have to wonder why anyone would feel the need to advertise their religion in their place of business. I'm a pragmatist though, so if it helps him do a good job for you then so be it. Whatever brews your beans, as I often say.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They think it helps their business and back when I was a kid I'm sure it did. Birds of a feature. You can still get a city guide of Christian owned businesses.

      Delete
  15. "I've been living in the City of Churches all my life and know how to avoid the dark alleys." HAHAHAHA. This really made me laugh out loud. So, so true.

    FWIW, we have an external hard drive that we only use to back up our computers. It's way cheaper over time than an online service. I think every storage option has its down side. As my DH says, you pays yer money, you takes yer choice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is the second time I've lost all my files. The first time they used my Carbonite to get them back, this time he used my old hard drive. Before my subscription runs out at Carbonite I'm going to give it a lot of thought. I think it would be safer not to have files in clouds these days.

      Delete
  16. Does your new/old laptop have a spare usb port where you could plug in an ergonomic keyboard?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I does and I will get a new plug and ply ergo keyboard after I move. I no longer have a desk to work on so I'm just going to suck it up until then.

      Delete
  17. you crack me up! (and hi, again!) Glad he didn't break into sermon mode. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Been there, done that with other guys. And welcome back to the blog community.

      Delete
  18. Wow, you made it to this point with everything you could do being done. I bet you will be pleasantly surprised at the offers you receive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We priced it at a fair market value, so it should be multi-ofers.
      Fingers crossed.

      Delete
  19. I'm so glad you made such a good deal on a good laptop. And retrieved your files. The computer man came up trumps after all.
    What a relief to be able to get on with your writing.
    "All's well that ends well," as Wallace always says to Gromit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've always used that phrase is a phrase my mom used often whe I was growing up. Thanks for the memory of that. i GOT A couple of wrist rests which are helping with the carpel tunnel.

      Delete