"Everything is broken"
- Robert Allen Zimmerman (aka Bob Dylan)

When last I wrote, some time ago now, it was to say that I had been inactive here on the blog because my television set had broken down and that I was spending my time upgrading to a new audio/video system.

Well, now I have more news to report: this time it's my computer. Yes, the box here had been having all kinds of problems. I'd click on the Favorites icon and all of the open windows would close. Sometimes I couldn't get the firewall program to open up. Sometimes I couldn't get the virus scan to start. When it did finally get going, it found an infected file and deleted it.

Then I lost all internet access. I called my provider to check on it, and I was told that the problem was on my end.

Throughout it all, my computer would just shut down without warning and give me the "blue screen of death" (as one tech guy called it).

So, it seemed that drastic action was required and I took it. I tried to reinstall Windows from the disc I'd gotten with the computer. The fact that Dell gave absolutely no documentation with the disc didn't help, but I thought I could just pop the disc into the drive and it would go from there.

Needless to say, it wasn't that easy. First, it took me an hour to figure out how to get the computer to boot from the disc. The main problem was the question about partitioning the drive. The program recommended that I don't do the reinstallation on the C: drive as important information there could be lost, so I went with a newly created J: drive, which wasn't very large.

The program also kept asking me to put in the disc for XP Service Pack 2, which I don't have, but I figured I would just continue and download those files online.

Well, after two days, Windows finally was reinstalled. Unfortunately, things are worse than they were before. Parts of Windows are missing, and because the J: drive is so small and almost full, there's not enough room to download the XP Service Pack 3 (the latest).

Even worse is that the two disc drives don't work because they don't have the drivers installed - and all attempts to download them online have failed. About the only thing that does work is the internet connection, and even that is iffy at best, as it can close down without warning at any time.

After all this, the computer still sometimes shuts down without warning and give me the dreaded blue screen of death! Obviously, this computer needs a major overhaul (just what I need - something else to spend money on), so until that is accomplished, don't expect to see much from me here.

To add to the gloom, when I went down to check the mail yesterday, I met a man in the lobby who told me that a woman in the next building who I was friends with had died recently. She was the neighbor who I had asked to accept the Fed Ex package that I wrote about last month.

Then, when I finally was able to check my e-mail here, I saw that I had a message via Facebook from one of the models who I had met and photographed at the workshop I attended in Colorado in 2008. She wrote to say that one of the other photographers there - a man from Michigan who I had become friends with - has cancer and doesn't have much time left.

I guess Zimmy was right.

At least the new TV works well, so I can watch the Super Bowl today. I'll be rooting for the Saints.

(By the way, if you don't see a photo at the top, it's because the computer cannot connect to my external drive where my photos are stored. If you do see one - well, then it can!)

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