Detached

Sometimes you can feel a little detached from your family.  Everyone has that feeling from time to time, either because there’s been something that separates you from them, or there’s been an argument or some other issue that has created the separation.  With me, the feeling of detachment is from my birth family, where I’m very much the very essence of a fifth wheel since I wasn’t known very well to them until a little over 2 1/2 years ago.

As I’ve mentioned in my other blog, I was adopted back in 1965.  My adoptive parents gave me as much information as they had about my birth mother, which admittedly wasn’t all that much.  I was one of those ‘accidental’ babies, born out of wedlock and apparently, my mother was in her late teens or early 20’s and wasn’t able to afford to have a baby.  Too, there was an issue of location, as I was born in Indiana, not where I grew up.  So my birth mother was shipped off to a relative so that the neighbors would be none the wiser about what was going on.  I suppose in retrospect that was more diplomatic than another (but illegal at the time) option.

In February of 2017, I was reacquainted and reinserted into my birth family, albeit from afar.  My birth mother still lives in the same general area where she grew up, my half-brother and his family live not too far away from her.  I have a half-sister who lives with her family in Virginia, but as of yet I’ve neither met her nor her husband and now two children.  We’ve engaged a couple of times over both Facebook and a video chat, but that’s about it.  Since I’m a half-sibling and considerably older (approximately 20 and 25 years their senior) I expect when our mother finally passes on that will pretty much be the end of any contact with them.  Our mother really is the only central connecting point, and since I didn’t grow up with either of them, I can understand if they find the whole thing to be a little awkward.

I have visited my birth mother where she lives and spent several days in the area.  I met my niece and nephew, but I don’t think they were entirely impressed with me.  My half-brother’s wife I waved to from afar, but for the most part, I spent all the time with my mother and her husband (not my father, my birth mother never married the guy that provided the material to create me, fwiw).  He’s a nice fellow and they seem to have a happy marriage, which is a positive thing.  I definitely want my mother to be happy.  Though as she has mentioned, she’s glad that she knows where all her ‘chicks’ are now since she spent the better part of 50 years trying to figure out where I ended up.

All in all, I don’t really know what all is going to happen when the time comes.  I did make one thing clear to her though, I definitely do not want her changing her will to include me.  I don’t believe it would be fair to her full-blooded offspring to have to share an inheritance with me.  My adoptive parents made a good amount of sacrifices on my own behalf, and I’m not really well off because of their decisions, but I’m making my own way in the world, and am working diligently toward my own eventual retirement. So it would be preferable that she provides for them, not me.   Not really certain what she’s going to do, as she didn’t give me a definitive answer when I made the point to broach the subject about a year ago.

At any rate, my family situation is a bit weird.  At least it seems a bit weird to me.

Resurrected

I posted about this camera a little over a week ago, and since then I’ve managed to get a charger and two new batteries for it.  Too, I was able to determine that I already had a reader that can interface with the type of memory card it carries.  It lives again!

After going to eBay for those parts and receiving them from the seller, I plugged the memory card into the reader and discovered a trove of pictures from 7 years ago.  Pictures of my cat Rochester, as well as some pictures of the house (outside) and several of places that I’d forgotten I’d taken the camera.

It most definitely reminds me that I have a lot of old tech here in the house.  The basement is a veritable treasure trove of all of my old computers way all the way back almost to the point where I started with computers.  For whatever reason, I still have pretty much all of them, even going back to 1988, when I purchased an 8088 computer from a catalog, and it arrived with a small 14″ VGA monitor, the tower was sideways and didn’t have a hard drive, two floppy drives (one 5.25″ and the other 3.5″) and an external 300 baud modem.  The modem required a telephone connection, so in order to use it, I had to tie up the phone line at my parents’ house, and no incoming calls could arrive at the house.  Not that a lot of people called us anyway, but a far cry from the way things are done 30 some odd years hence.

But getting back to the camera, it also reminds me that I have a lot of other cameras in the house.  From the really ‘old school’ Kodak Brownies that my Dad collected to his 35 mm Minolta SLR that took film, to my Canon Rebel XT DSLR that most definitely doesn’t.   I had checked eBay about a year ago to see how much the Canon was worth and just for the heck of it priced both it and the Minolta.  Wouldn’t you know, the old SLR is worth more than its advanced descendant.  I guess nostalgia really does pay more!

Although with my recent computer woe, the option of being able to download the pictures off the memory card are shelved for the time being.  I do expect by the time that I need to transfer more pictures off the card I’ll have options, even to the point if I get a new computer, just pulling out the card reader from the old tower and inserting it in the new one.  Not a really difficult matter, just have to have the right slot and be able to connect it to the motherboard.  So I’m not overly concerned at this juncture.

Perhaps I’ll grab out my Canon in another day or so and take some pictures!

 

BSoD

I hate the BSOD (Blue Screen of Death). On a PC. Always have. It’s just a portent of doom and nothing good comes of it.

Friday evening, after something finally going a little right, I sat down at my computer to do a little web surfing.  Over the last few days, I’ve been having intermittent problems with the computer, specifically the video, or what I thought was the video.  Too, there has been a feeling, one of those suggestions that things might be going almost too good and this was a sign that something was going to go wrong.

And of course, it did.  I don’t remember Windows doing any update recently, but I got the BSOD with the little sad face on it, and Windows told me that there was a problem, the OS was going to collect some information and reboot.  All well and good.  Except in this case, it was not to be.  It rebooted, and 10 seconds later shut off.  And then power cycled.  It would turn on, not even get to the point where I’d get the hardwired display from the motherboard and shut down again.  Over and over and I finally just shut it off for the time being, thinking it needed to rest for a bit.

Normally, I leave my computer on for days at a time.  Always have, when I’ve had a desktop computer.  I finish what I’m doing at whatever time, set it to sleep mode and walk away.  When I need to wake it up again, I hit the power button and continue where I left off.  I’ve heard that perhaps this isn’t the best way to handle things, but if that was the case, why did MS bother to have the option?  And I’ve only been working with computers almost before they had monochrome screens.  To be candid, the last time I bought a ready-made computer from a reputable firm (It was a Dell fwiw) was (I think) 2003.  I might be wrong about that, but I believe that’s fairly close.  Every other desktop computer I’ve had I’ve built myself, and for the most part, I reuse components so I don’t have to outlay large sums of money for extraneous hardware.

Since it’s been a while since I’ve had problems with this particular computer, I needed to do a little research on the Net for what might have been causing the hardware issue.  Too, since I wasn’t able to use the computer that was having the issue, I went to my phone instead.  Checking some things, going to YouTube as well as a few websites I normally use for ‘brain picking’ it seemed to be more of a hardware problem than software.  There were several suggestions about the CMOS battery on the motherboard being faulty, or perhaps the RAM that’s installed in the motherboard needed to be reseated and so on.  Both of these options involves pulling the tower out from under the desk, disconnecting all the peripherals and opening the box.  None of which is a problem, except it takes a good deal of time.  Which I don’t really have right now, seeing as I work weekends.  So it’s going to have to wait for a time when I do have the time, energy and patience to do problem-solving on the computer.

Though it does create yet another problem.  What to do about a computer in the interim.  Expert pack-rat to the rescue.  I just so happen to have three laptops available to me, though one is in dire need of a hard drive replacement.  Of course, that one just happens to be the newest of the three, and for about 2 years I was using it as the desktop replacement while that particular computer was waiting on me to install a new power supply.  But at the present time, as I’m writing this, I happen to have two nearly identical Lenovo Thinkpads.  They’re the same series, only one has a webcam and the other one doesn’t.  I remember buying the second one when a friend asked me about buying a used laptop on eBay.  I bought it for her, and then she decided to go in another direction, and I ended up keeping it.  Add another to the ever-growing collection of computers and what not I have around the house.

So, I have a couple of things to add to the project list, as if I really needed another thing.  When I mentioned the problem to my wife in passing, she said ‘well, you could always get a new computer‘, which is true.  Though that is another headache should I decide to go that route.  For the time being, I can make do with the laptop, it took me several hours this evening before and after dinner to get it charged and interfaced with what I needed to have for it to work properly, as well as interconnect with things like this blog and my passwords.  Just have to cobble together a method for getting my mail in the interim.