Skip this if you like, I'm just going to vent for a second.
So, Monday last week, I broke a bookcase (which I really liked) with my face (which I'm reasonably attached to). The bruises elsewhere on my body (including one that goes almost all the way around my upper left arm!) are starting to fade, but the black eye has set up its own retirement account at this point.
Then I used a lot of unscheduled spoons on the rewrite of OWaW 21, which I don't regret, but it wasn't in the budget, so to speak.
Then we got a ridiculously early first major snowstorm of the year, with the kind of wet snow that turns into concrete when it lands, and the power went out at 9:30 on Saturday night and stayed out for 13 hours. As a CPAP user, I can't sleep when the power is out, so that completely fucked my sleep schedule, which, as you can tell from the time stamp on this post, is already not amazing.
The power came back on around 10:30 Sunday morning, and I crashed at once. That afternoon, after I emerged from a stint in the comatorium, I noticed my DSL was down. We covered this elsewhere. That took until Tuesday evening to get fixed.
Annoyed about the power outage, I went to my CPAP supplier and finally ordered one of those expensive battery packs that connect to the CPAP machine's AC power supply and work like a UPS for the machine if the outlet power is cut off. It cost 375 bucks--more than the CPAP machine itself--and took a few days to arrive, but when it did, it was simple to set up, and the relief was real. No more sleepless power outages for ME.
Today I had a long-dreaded online meeting with my new graduate advisor (you may recall that my original one died last month) about the utter and complete lack of progress I've made on my MA thesis since April, when, in my judgment, it became too dangerous to go to the University library and do research. That didn't actually go anywhere near as poorly as I was dreading--she's a very nice lady--although I'm not 100% sure that I won't face some kind of administrative censure for my lack of academic progress anyway, on a level above her.
One thing that did come out of the meeting is that, since it's looking like the coast won't be clear to go back to the library for lengthy research purposes until sometime after this academic year, we decided I would abandon the thesis track and switch to a master's by coursework. I need five more credits to complete it that way, which I can get by taking one more (online) course in the spring semester and doing a guided bibliography project, either concurrently with the course or in the interim (the so-called "winter term").
So I have a plan, and a road map to completing my MA next May, but it means abandoning the work I did manage to get done before everything fell apart, unless I want to either hold it in reserve as the seed of a PhD thesis or maybe try to turn it into a paper for publication or a book. Either way, it's kind of a bummer, and the meeting was pretty draining.
Following this, I called my father to let him know about the change of academic plans, and he told me he'd been up to Presque Isle to visit my 90-year-old grandfather in the nursing home up there. He wasn't allowed in, of course, he had to stand outside the window and... I don't know, Gramp's deaf, so presumably hold up a sign or something. He then dropped two pertinent facts I hadn't been aware of, to wit:
1) Because of his Alzheimer's, Gramp can't remember why no one is allowed to visit him, and whenever he forgets the reason why, he gets the idea that it's because the whole family has died and he's the only one left. He's always relieved when Dad or my aunt Dot stop by the window and demonstrate that they are, in fact, alive, but then he forgets again soon after they leave. So he spends almost all his time convinced that everyone he's ever loved is dead (including me, presumably). I wish I didn't know that.
2) The virus has arrived in the nursing home, evidently because some fuckstick on the staff caught it on Thanksgiving and brought it to work. Who could have imagined something like that happening? They've had two dozen cases and two deaths among the patients so far--all in the ward my grandfather isn't on, fortunately, but who knows how long that'll last?
(A bit weirdly, despite the fact that he's there because he has dementia, he's not on the dementia ward but is instead a general nursing patient. Apparently, since he still knows who and where he is even though he forgets basically everything else that happens on a day-to-day basis and so can't be trusted to look after himself, he's not demented enough for the dementia ward.)
So, all in all, not one of my favorite phone conversations I've had this month.
But wait! There's more!
Just now, as I was getting ready for bed, the surge protector my CPAP machine's power supply is connected to got accidentally switched off... and the instant that happened, the battery unit audibly went fzzzt and emitted the distinctive scent of fried electronics.
Can I just pause for a moment to stress that this is exactly the circumstance those things are for--taking over when the AC power to the CPAP machine's power supply is suddenly cut off. The very thing that gives those devices a reason to exist happened, and the device's immediate response was to burn out. The CPAP machine wasn't even running. There was no load beyond the minuscule amount of power needed to light up the standby LED.
I've already emailed the outfit I bought it from requesting an RMA. I just hope it didn't damage my brand new CPAP machine* along the way.
So yeah. That is a massive disappointment, and the bow on top of a day that can, generally speaking, just go fuck itself.
Even for 2020, it has been a couplea weeks, I tell you what.
* It's a Philips DreamStation, which in an alternate universe is the game console that came out in 1999 to compete with the Microtendo Xstation 2, but failed despite having Crazy Taxi.
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.