Up a Level
A disconnected weekend

I'm a strong believer in mixing up life. Sometimes, it is intentional like my occasional trip up to the family cabin where I have no phone, no Internet, and no television. In other times, like last weekend, it is the result of circumstances not underneath my own control.

Technical support

The complexity started with SMWM's machine running very slowly. It was taking 5-10 minutes to browse a file and Adobe Photoshop (can't get her to use Gimp yet) was taking an hour to start up.

When I started to look into it, I noticed that Backblaze was about a hundred gigabytes behind on backing up the machine. And a disk scan hung up three times on the same file node.

So, looked like a corrupted hard drive. I started recovering using an Ubuntu LiveCD, mounting the partitions, and them copying them to a portable drive. It stalls out on the bad sectors (5-10 minutes per bad file), but its grabbing everything else, so I'm inclined to let it sit.

That means, unfortunately, that SMWM can't use her laptop since last Monday. And she had a weekend of "alone time" to work on her photography stuff. So, I nobly decided to give her my laptop after installing Adobe Photoshop on it.

Which means until I don't have major computer access until I get her laptop back.

Time to myself

This weekend, I was a single parent for basically four days. That doesn't really cause a problem since EDM has higher priority than just about anything else. So, while he was awake, I was playing with him, watching cartoons (which I do even if he isn't there), running around the house with him on a rolling office chair, or trying to figure out how to teach him problem solving.

But, right before he wakes up, I got an hour to kill. And three for his nap. Unfortunately, we have yet to get him out of the 23:00 bed time, so I went to bed pretty much with him.

I get anxious when I can't get things done, so I had to cram in all my personal weekend activities during those (short) hours.

Writing

I didn't get much new writing done in general. I did edit six chapters and managed to get the first draft of one chapter. It gets me closer to to the end of the serial. I think I'm down to nine chapters from the end, but that just makes me want to work on it even more.

The really cool part is that the plots are beginning to tie off. So, each chapter is more exciting for me, mainly because I've been looking forward to some of them for over a year ago.

Consolidating email accounts

I have a number of email accounts on different domains. I decided that I wanted to reduce a few of them, if anything to have less IMAP accounts to log into. I previously broke it out since I was having trouble getting certain emails (mostly editor responses) and setting the "From:" properly.

I found out that you can have multiple domains using the same business account for my ISP. Previously, I had each domain set up independently, but then this weekend I realized I could have both mfgames.com and brokentypewriterpress.com under the same account with differing aliases for both. It isn't a very fast process, but I started it to reduce the information overload.

Switching ebook readers

Another big thing was switching from my Kindle Fire to an Android-based reader (FBReader is my current choice of reader). This was a relatively simple thing to start with, but took a while to get everything in place. Plus, the tablet I'm using doesn't have phone features and I accidentally turned them on, which meant I had to redo everything... twice.

I'll leave the reasons and opinions for a separate post, it seems significant, but it was nice to have a new UI to play with that I liked a lot more than the Fire.

Random stuff

Thankfully, EDM doesn't mind when I clean the house around him. He usually giggles and run aways from the vacuum cleaner (or I let him ride it), but it was fun to watch him using tools to get what he wanted. ("I want to play with the knife. First I get the LEGO box over to the counter for a stepping stool, then I can use the flag from my bike trailer to pull the plate closer, and then reached up to grab my precious. And then... I run around!")

A breath

Occasionally, it is good to get away from the computer. Yeah, I got an Android for the rest of the week, but I suspect I won't be doing any major writing or programming until after I finish the recovery tasks.