A Series of Unfortunate Events

[Update: Heat restored this morning. Thanks for the calls of concern. The lowest I saw the temperature go was 47 degrees. That was pretty cold.]

I’m sitting in my family room. I’m wearing a thermal compression shirt, a long sleeve t-shirt, a thermal long sleeve running turtleneck shirt, and a fleece… thermal compression pants, jeans, thermal insulated socks, and shoes. It’s freezing inside my house. My furnace started blowing out cold air this morning. The furnace guy is showing up tomorrow morning. He could show up today for [I am not exaggerating] 4.5x the cost, but I decided to just rough it for the night. I just got back from Meijer where I purchased a small space heater, and I’m thinking things’ll be fine for today, but it’s another story to add to a small list I’ve been compiling… so I figured now was as good a time as any to post this:

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Since Rachel and I split up, I wasn’t really in the mood to write about other ways in which things totally sucked, but there were certainly a number of incidents that I, if in a slightly less hella-depressed state, would have found a bit amusing. I jotted them down, and now that I’ve have some time I wanted to share some of them with you. They’re not in any particular order, but they did all happen to me since moving in to my house.

Tree and the Fence

I returned home from a Gospelcom conference to find that a tree had fallen in my back yard… and crushed my back yard fence (between me and the Church behind me). I eventually bought an axe, and managed to chop the fallen tree in half… and then did nothing with it. Eventually the church set up some small paths back there, and chopped up and removed the tree. Woot! Eventually I should fix that fence, but… meh.

Almost burned down the house [Take 1]

I was cleaning my turtle tank down in the basement. It’s a fairly time-intensive process, as I need to drain the entire tank (using an intricate system of tubing, spare downspouts, and siphoning), then scrub the thing, and refill the tank. So I started by removing the heater, the filter system, and turning off the lamp and moving that away from the tank, then I set up the downspout and the tubing, and began draining out the water into the drain in my basement. With 25ish gallons to drain, and fairly small tubing, it does take a long time to drain. So I set it all up, and made sure everything was working correctly, then headed upstairs for a while. I returned downstairs in a couple minutes, and began scrubbing exposed areas, noticed an odd smell. [You folks will recall my olfactory senses kinda suck, so I tend not to notice things until they’re pretty extreme, or be able to sense something, but have difficulty identifying the cause or location]. So I noticed something, and at first it smelled like gas… and so I spent some time in the furnace room checking that out: no problems there. I returned to the Turtle tank… I smelled it again.. only now it smelled like burning leaves. (it was Fallish time, so leaf burning was not out of the question). I headed to my back yard to see if I could smell anything: nothing. I returned to the basement, and could smell the burning leaves smell pretty strong now. I looked around, and eventually looked at the shelving above the turtle tank (old rough wood shelves fashioned and attacked the the wall in the laundry room) and saw smoke. I rushed over to find the turtles heater (one of those long glass tubes) was burning bright orange, and the wood shelf below was also bright orange, and had a long section along the heater burned and smoking. I quickly unplugged the heater and moved it away onto the counter, and doused the area with water (smoke billowed, and the whole thing crackled for a while.) I continued to monitor the situation for a while, but thankfully, no house burning down this time.

Chopped up my thumb

This one will be abbreviated, cause it’s gross and makes me sick. I had a LAN party at my place, and so I was prepping my place for people’s arrival when I noticed a sliver in my finger that was really bothering me. So I headed up to my bathroom, and began sifting through my toiletries bag looking for my tweezers. The tweezers weren’t in there, but a uncapped razor was, and I slice off the top portion of my thumb. I could see the little tip of my thumb just sitting there on the blade… The next few hours featured lots of blood, medical supplies, tightly wound duct tape, and some LAN party fun.

Car Accident Fun

I got a letter from my car insurance place saying that I hadn’t paid for my car insurance, and that if I didn’t pay for it soon I was canceled. I thought that was odd, since I remembered mailing the check. I decided I’d go in the State Farm that weekend and talk to them, and figure out what I needed to do/have them check/etc. That evening I got a call from Morgan, and we were going to hang out downtown. It was dark and rainy, and in typical fashion I got lost. Long story short, I ended up getting into an accident while searching for the place [totally my fault too, Fortunately no injuries, just popped my rear bumper cap off]. So while we are standing around waiting for the cop to show up, I remembered that letter I had received in the morning about not having insurance, and thought “hrm.. shit”.

The cop showed up, and requested our license/registration/insurance and all that, so I gave him an older copy of my insurance. No issues apparently [though I did get a ticket for driving like a retard], and we headed off.

That evening I did a few hours of research about how car insurance works, and tried instantly renewing my insurance online, but the site was down. Awesome. I checked through my bank account and records, and figured out which check it was that I has sent, thinking that would be useful information somehow… and eventually headed off to sleep. I woke up early the next morning, and waited until the State Farm near my house opened, and drove in. The next conversation went something like this:

Ron: Hi! I got this letter in the mail saying I didn’t have car insurance, but I know I paid it.. so I’m wondering what I am supposed to do.
State Farm: Okay, I can check if you’d like to see if they received the check. What’s your information?

[I give her my info, and she checks online, then calls in… they don’t have it]

State Farm: Okay, it looks like they haven’t received it, and you say you sent it a while ago, so I’d suggest you go to your bank, cancel that check, then you can send in another check and you should be all set.
Ron:Okay. That letter said my insurance was going to be canceled though… is there a way I can just pay for it right now, and then cancel that check?
State Farm: Oh sure, you can do that. Did you want to pay with a credit card?

[I gave her my credit card info, and I get a receipt, and I have car insurance again]
Ron: Excellent. Okay, so is there any lapse period? Like, did I not have insurance for this stretch between that letter and now or anything?
State Farm: Nope, you’re covered for this whole time, you should be all set.
Ron: Okay, excellent… So… next thing: I was in an accident last night…

[… the conversation continues, everything is covered, the State Farm lady was really nice and helpful, and I took some Home Insurance pamphlets because I liked State Farm after they were so nice]

Computers Hate Christmas

This one will be abbreviated because I still don’t find it funny. Over this past Christmas season I took the remainder of my vacation, so I didn’t have to work until the 2nd of January, and looked forward to not working, playing video games, launching my new fancy website, etc… While down at my parents place for Christmas, my laptop died: Hard Drive->Dead! A huge pain, but fortunate timing in that I had recently upgraded to OS 10.5, and backed up all my important stuff, and had already logged all my work hours, saved my work in our work repositories, and had just moved all my photos from my laptop to my home linux server. So with no chance of recovering any data from the laptop drive, I was really just losing a few photos, a month’s worth of Instant Messenger logs, and some Ical stuff. Not horrible, but I really I wish I had the number for one of those hard drive recovery services (like https://drivesaversdatarecovery.com/data-recovery-services/devices-supported/smartphones-and-tablets/iphone-data-recovery/) at the time, Oh, also, it’d take another full day or so to set up my stupid machine again. Sigh.

Flash forward a day. We’re opening presents soon, so I set up my parents to do their Windows Updates, which hadn’t been done in a while. Flash to after presents: My mom’s computer: “Windows can not start because there is some error with some file somewhere”. Awesome. My Dad’s computer: “Windows can not start because I have that same error too”. Dude.. suck. We [Kristin and I] return home with my parent’s computers along for the ride. I spend quite a few hours fixing those machines, (hooking them up to other windows machines I have and copying the corrupted files to get them starting again). That does eventually work, but now my windows machines now can’t see each other on the network, and are all acting oddly. My Media Machine was the worst, and rather than going through the whole copy and fix thing again, I decided to give Windows XP 64-Bit a try, since it’s a 64-Bit machine, and I have a legit version of XP 64-Bit. It’s got to be better, right?

Flash forward: XP 64-Bit sucks a lot. Seriously, it sucks a lot.

Went to the Apple store (3 times), and got my Laptop back. New hard drive, no data recovery, and a free new battery (my old one sucked, and sucked too much too early to be considered ‘normal use’, so new Free! Thanks Apple, you guys are great. Now fix Spaces, you jerks). Re-setup my Laptop while reinstalling XP on my Media Machine, and the Media Machine showed the same networking problems.. Sigh.. I thought perhaps my Samba server was the problem (since none of the Windows machines could connect to it) so I tried restarting the samba server, and I got all sorts of errors. You see where this is going. After more hours and a bunch of error messages, I try restarting my Linux machine, and it won’t start. Expletive deleted.

Flash forward a number of hours, I figure out that one of the hard drives in the media machine was flaking in and out, screwing up the boot record, and changing the drive identifiers and yada, yada. I pulled the faulty drive, then had to learn all about menu.lst, changing boot records, and other fun things. Restarted the Linux machine, and we were back in business. Suddenly my upstairs Windows machines was connecting again, and I realized the Media Machine was probably fine. (I never found any viruses on any of the machines). It took a few more hours after getting the Linux machine back and working to get the media machine all tweaked and pushing out the HD content and fancy audio like I wanted, but soon enough it was set, and the laptop was all set finally as well… just in time to work the next day. Stupid computers.

Chair Fire (or Almost burn down the house [Take 2])

After moving into the house, I eventually set up my work office, and put my electric massage chair dealie in there. I decided to charge it up and give it a go one day, so I plugged it in, let it charge a while, and powered it on. It began to smoke, and then *Woof*, flames! I unplugged it quickly, but it continued to smoke. So I threw the thing in the backyard. After a few hours, I put it back in the office, but have never tried turning it on again.

Memory Card Murder

I set aside some free time last week to sit down and play video games, because I hadn’t played in quite a while, and wanted to just relax and play games. I was about halfway through Metroid Prime 2, and was jazzed to start it up again, and so I tossed it in, and started her up.

After a few minutes I thought “I am pretty sure I’ve done all of this before…like a long time ago.” I realized it was the wrong memory card. So I searched around, found the correct one, and then thought it would be a good idea to back up these memory cards in case one of them went bad all of a sudden. Since I had two small cards and one large card, I just copied all the files from the two small cards onto the large card. All set, right? I started up Metroid Prime 2 again, and got this:
No Memory Card Found

This is a problem. I had the big memory card (the one that I had just copied everything to) in, and now it wasn’t being read. I tried again, nothing… I tried it out on my Gamecube: nothing. I gave up and formatted it: Still no good. It was dead. As fate would have it, this was the card that had my Metroid Prime 2 save on it, so I lost that too.. Screwed! Awesome. So I gave up on Metroid and started up Super Paper Mario.. turns out it is A-W-E-S-O-M-E

2 thoughts on “A Series of Unfortunate Events

  1. Seriously, you crack me up!! I’ll just list a couple of reasons why.
    1.) Your chair fire- What the heck, you brought the massage chair thing back inside after smoking and flaming? You really might use it again??? LOL
    2.) OK, and taking out a sliver with a razor, thats not really all that funny, but I remember Dino telling me how ill you get after seeing nasty stuff like that. So it’s really only funny ’cause of the vision I get of you reacting to the blood and part of your thumb on the razor.
    Hope you’re staying toasty now!

  2. I like the cutting off finger part. I can almost see it in my head. In my head when I see it, the best part is the stunned silence right after you chop off your finger, and before it really starts bleeding where you look at the tip of your thumb (not currently attached to you) and go:

    “Hmm, I’m pretty sure that thing is not supposed to come off”

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