Life in the Time of Wuflu, Part 38: A Comedy of Errors

It has been a week and hopefully it’s almost over.

The theme of the week has been what I call the “Reverse Midas Touch”-when everything you touch turns to s**t.

I guess the biggest fail of the week was that I fried the computer which had been my ham radio computer, and that was supposed to replace my aging laptop that’s been my daily driver for some years now. The way it happened is almost funny-I have a jillion wall warts running around here-so many that I label them. No two have the same size barrel connector. That is, until I’m looking for the power brick for my old ham computer, a SFF (Small Form Factor) Lenovo desktop. I found two that fit, and neither one was labeled. Different power outputs, so I look up the specs for my PC on the Internet.

The Internet lied. The page I found said 30 volts, and I had one labeled 29.4 volts. Must be the right one-until I plug it in and insert the barrel connector. Zzzt! Fried motherboard. Fortunately, I found a replacement on eBay for $17, and it will be here sometime this week, allowing for weather-related shipping delays.

By the way, the actual voltage is 19.7. Yeah…

Since I had totally disassembled my workstation to install the new machine-and I’m too lazy to put the old setup back and tear it down in a few days-I’m working off the laptop, using it as a laptop-no nice external keyboard, no big monitor. Not fun when your eyes are on the older side and you have the big screen so you can actually see what you’re doing.

Lesson? Label every freaking wall wart as soon as the little SOB shows up.

If all the electronic manufacturers would settle on a given voltage for all their products, I would wire in a parallel electrical system dedicated to that. Nice dream, isn’t it?

I made a trip to the grocery store. I haven’t done that for a while, and I need to do it more often, so that I don’t have a stroke when seeing how the prices have went up. You want inflation, food and fuel seem to be the places to look. Gas here is up about 40¢/gallon in the last week. As I understand it most of that is due to the bad weather in Texas and some due to bad government in Washington. We can absorb the increase, but I wonder what the unemployed are going to do? You can only tighten a belt just so far. And hungry, desperate people who have lost everything can do crazy stuff.

Like starting that civil war we keep hearing about.

One weird thing I’ve noted is that houses of all prices are selling like mad. We’ve actually had realtors contact us wanting to know if we’re interested in selling. Crazy.

A couple of migraines haven’t helped matters. I’m doing better in that area, but still not doing good. I got word that my insurance’s preferred specialty pharmacy will no longer be filling my Botox script as of April 1. Except that they have apparently moved that up-my neurologist has reported that they wouldn’t refill it as of February 18. Lord only knows how this is going to work out.

The ham shack has been ripped to pieces for about 3 weeks now. I was able to get most of it back together yesterday and hope to finish over the coming week. The NC QSO Party is next weekend, and I’d like to play radio.

It hasn’t been an unmitigated mess, however. The biopsies from my recent medical procedures all came back negative. So yay for no cancer or similar yucky things lurking within my body, at least in those areas.

I’ve seen a couple of reports that we may achieve herd immunity level for Wuflu in April. I’ve also heard that Dr. Doom says we’ll be in masks for another year. But he also says it’s probably safe to hug your family. This is the level of idiocy the Wuflu has reduced us to.

We’re also due 3 nice days this coming week, with highs in the 60s. I may get to do some outside things if the ground will dry up a bit.

But until then, it’s time to carry some firewood.

2 thoughts on “Life in the Time of Wuflu, Part 38: A Comedy of Errors

  1. It ain’t your fault the magic smoke got out due to faulty documentation. That’s my, er, your story and I’m, I mean, you’re stickin’ to it! Right? I mean, who knew back then that a switcher power supply MUST have a load on it?

    Hereabouts, at least one house was sold unseen by the buyer. Wild.

    1. Yeah, I can’t imagine buying a house without, at a minimum, a walk-through and a home inspection. But in this market, and I mean that broadly, not locally, it’s how you miss houses. There is one down the street that I’m watching carefully for my son. It’s been vacant but cared for for some time, and it seems that it’s slowly being emptied out. Crossing my fingers there.

      Actually the power supply is fine, The mobo sacrificed itself to save it, I guess. But apparently new switchers don’t have to have a load on them when on. I have a few for ham use and they seem to do fine with no load. But I learned the lesson you mention on my first computer, a Morrow MD3. Cost me $300 to fix that. Ouch.

      I wish I had that computer back. Wouldn’t be good for anything, but it would be fun to still have it. But it’s home in a museum is probably better.

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