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The holidays were great, excepting my battle over the stresses of the ridiculousness of recent politics and lamenting various other injustices.  (I really should stop reading the news.)   But the last couple months were much more trying.

When my hard drive first crashed, I was quite grateful that I had an online backup of my system. It was a physical hardware failure, so there was no way to recover any data without spending a fortune. The only problem was I chose not to back up my business e-mail archive for some reason, possibly to save constant processing from changes, so I lost 10 months of Kentropolis e-mail since the last (DVD) backup, excepting sent items not categorized. This was also where I realized how much crap I was saving for no reason — virtual hoarding. I’ll write about that another time.

Here’s the kicker: after recovering all the files with physical backups and on the datawell (shared external hard drive), but before I could finish a full online backup again, my system went to heck in a hand-basket AGAIN. All my search results were hijacked, along with pop-ups (which I never get), system errors, and freezing up any time I attempted to use the web. Without my permission, a program called “Whitesmoke Translator” demanded I sign in and use their software. Uninstalling it didn’t help. In fact, system restores made no difference, and system management wouldn’t even show a partition for the drive with the operating system!?!

During this second crash in a month — something that is only happened once or twice before in my whole life — I ended up with a nasty cold, and our neighborhood was quarantined by nearly 5 feet of snow overnight. It took three days and nights of front loaders and dump trucks just to clear the road enough for snow plows to get through! We were ground zero for collosal Lake Effect.  In a way I suppose that this convergence was good, since any one of them would have taken me down for days in terms of business anyway — they may as well happen all at once, and only once.

In the end, my friend Paul at Aspire Technology Solutions was able to repartition the drive me, and with his advice, I used Acronis disk imaging softwareto make incremental backups of all my installations so that I could swap out the disk image instead of having to reinstall everything over and over again. This proved more than fruitful, since Whitesmoke kept showing up on my system, which coincided with my browser crashing each time. I even contacted their company and gave them a piece of my mind — they were less than responsive in spite of my generous level of politeness. I’ll probably write about the experience in detail on Geeks Bearing Gifts.

On top of everything, unforeseen expenses attacked me. To finish the major project I’ve been working on, I had to eat into my profits to have the project completed with additional details I did not realize the software could not already do. A flat tire in East Otto wasn’t so bad though — a snow removal crew spotted it while in eyesight of the local mechanic, who didn’t charge me to attempt a repair and arranged for me to get a used tire substitute in Springville.

I still don’t know where all the money went this year — this was the best year ever for Kentropolis. Maybe it’s playing catch-up with taxes and other expenses from previous years. I have yet to sue E G Tax for over $1000 they cost us losing my tax return in 2008. Talk about a positive new year’s resolution {sarcasm}.

We never did get a start on building the wall shelving for the library. This kind of annoys me, since the last headway we’ve made, apart from painting the last wall, was about a year ago. In preparation, we’ve boxed up countless books, and have many more to go, but it always seems that the ones in boxes are the ones that I’m looking for. I don’t want this to drag on more than a few months if possible.  We’ll see …