Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Black Screen of Death

Many computers and I have traveled these perilous roads of the Internet together. Starting way,way back when Dells were user-friendly and WP was the word processor that came with them, I've been present at the slow demise of too many of these incredible and totally mysterious creatures. They hiccup, they cough, they slow down, they slowly grind themselves up in the morning, until I give up. Sending them to the attic, the boneyard of dead computers, happens when I just can't figure out why they aren't working like they used to, and I've spent too much money on experts who can't tell me either.

The HP laptop from hell gave me no warning. Not a blip on the screen. I was writing away, (thanking my lucky stars I'd just backed up the last half hour of work on the jump drive) when the screen flipped to darkest black. Outer space, no stars, no galaxies, blackblack. This is the same laptop that, when it came out of the box two years ago, dropped keys, and HP told me it was "user error" and they wouldn't replace the keyboard unless I paid them big bucks. Stellar customer service. I should have known it was an omen. But for two years, I've written books, downloaded to my itunes, and ignored the HP's failings. And this is how it pays me back.

Of course I didn't have everything backed up. The HP is at the shop now, and if my guru can't get stuff off the hard drive, I'm sunk. Into the deep. No air tanks. The latest version of LOLA, which I've been rewriting over and over to get it right, isn't on the jump drive. I know, I checked. I deserve what I get for being so stupid, but sheesh...I never expected an instantaneous black screen of death.

I think I'll work on taxes. That should make my day complete.

On another grumpy note, I have to say, I hated the movie that won the Oscar for Best Picture. It's the only movie last year I wanted to leave before it was over. No hero's journey, nothing redeeming, nothing but unremitting violence that exceeded even my pretty tolerant limit.

I should go back to bed and pull the covers over my head, LOL.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Been a while...

I guess I've been basking in the joy of the start of a new racing season, which is a pretty lame excuse for not posting. Still, Daytona was a good race. Not the heartbreaking ending last year, when Harvick nosed out Mark Martin, but no complaints here. Kinda ironic that Kurt Busch pushed Newman past Tony Stewart, given their contretemps earlier in the week and subsequent trip The Hauler Where Bad Boy Racers Go.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

It's almost that time again!

Yes, I can almost feel the stands trembling, hear the engines roar (tho the COT just doesn't sound the same, sigh), smell the exhaust fumes. Daytona's Bud Pole Shootout is this Saturday, and starts the new year of NASCAR racing. I'm psyched. Even though Ward Burton doesn't have a ride, I'm ready to roll. We're not going this year - other obligations have intervened - but at least we did FanFest in January with the testing as a bonus. I'll be pulling for all the underdogs - Ken Schrader in BAM's car, David Reutimann (go David!), and for Boris Said to get the pole. He deserves it, after losing it last July to a thunderstorm that forced qualifying to wash out with him sitting on the pole. Being outside the owner's points meant he had to go home after a lightning fast qualifying run earlier in the day. Bummer, she said.

So, I finally figured out this digital camera. Can't seem to make the video I did while running the Daytona track work except on my computer, so it's not going to show up. Believe me when I tell you, the track is bumpy like crazy around turns one and two. A real rollercoaster. At a measly 120 mph in a standard Impala SS (very cool car), my stomach hit the roof of my mouth. Add about 70 mph more, and I'll bet it's downright scary for those of us with common sense and no death wish. The guys out there driving those speeds probably think it's a ton of fun. And that's why they earn the big bucks.

I'll post pictures of the track and fanfest - you might be able to pick out Robbie Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Casey Mears, Carl Edwards, David Reutimann, and Greg Biffle. It was night, so lighting was minimalist. I have another batch of pictures with Jeff Gordon, Juan Montoya, Reed Sorenson, and Jacques Villeneuve, which I'll try to post later.
On a writing note, 22 pages yesterday! Yes!!

Monday, February 04, 2008

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

Oh my oh my - just by chance, I stumbled upon The Ghost and Mrs. Muir on TCM the other Sunday, just before the Super Bowl. I was in the throes of pulling together a big bowl of homemade potato salad, needed more sour cream, the grocery store was a nightmare, and feeling generally tired of the whole Big Game Party scene, when I saw that the movie was starting. Grabbing my hubby, who only remembered the TV series (which I never saw), I plunked him down beside me to watch. I've never forgotten seeing the flick on TV when I was about 13, I guess - it was instant adoration. Gene Tierney was lovely, Rex Harrison sexy, and a ghost story to boot - what else could a girl want? That was all I remembered, and watching it again lo these many years later, I had to laugh. Looking back while enjoying the movie all over again, I know what caught my fancy all those years ago - the notion that one could write a book, walk into a publisher's office, and leave three hours later with a contract and advance large enough to buy a house overlooking the sea. Plus, it was an impossible love story. If only I'd known when I was 13 what I know now, LOL, about publishing and writing. However, this time around I noticed the witty dialogue, how it defined the characters so clearly, and how much I miss that sort of art in newer movies. Next thing you know, I'll be sounding like an old fogey! Oh, and the lighting - just perfection. If you get a chance, watch it.

On a literary note, Leigh Wyndfield has a book launching today. SECRET OBSESSION is marvelous - I read it in draft mode and was sucked into the very original romance to such an extent, I remember it vividly a year later. Set on an island off the Outer Banks of North Carolina, it has a setting and characters you don't see in romances today, especially the sexier ones. This one has just the right amount of hot for those of you who like your romances that way. I highly recommend it.