Hello everyone! It’s been a few weeks since my last newsletter/blog post because (1) nothing exciting has happened and I don’t think you want to read about the lint clogging up my dryer vent and (2) I’ve been working on a top secret Authorly experiment that I shall report back on in the future.
But enough about excuses as to why I’m lazy and haven’t updated you on my thrilling life, because we can now move on and discuss something very heart-stopping that recently occurred. Let me set the scene.
It was a lovely Saturday morning and I just crawled my ass out of bed after hearing the confused voice of my husband.
“Something is weird with the computer. All the favorites are gone in Internet Explorer and it looks strange.”
Naturally he called me because I’m the tech support department in the family. That’s the first mistake. I fixed a computer virus ONE time and I write books. That makes me an expert on computers. Also, I can type about 80 words a minute and he hunts and pecks with two index fingers. But I digress.
I scooted him away from the computer and took a look at the situation.
It wasn’t pretty, folks. It wasn’t pretty AT ALL.
Desktop picture of a beautiful Hawaii sunset? Gone and replaced with the standard image you’d see after first turning on a new computer that hasn’t been customized. Any folders or program icons that you’d see on your desktop? Vanished. All the ‘favorite websites’ that appear when you go on the internet? Gone with the wind. Every Single Document and Picture I have saved including Finished Books, Books in Progress, and 800 pictures of my dog? Bye Bye! Everything was one hundred percent G-O-N-E.
I forced myself to take a few cleansing breaths and reminded my palpitating heart that all my books were saved on several flash drives laying around my house. I may be lazy at times, but I’m religious about saving stories to a flash drive EVERY TIME I WRITE. Thank God for flash drives.
Obviously my first instinct was to blame my husband.
“Okay,” I stated calmly, “Who was the last person on the computer?”
I knew who it was because he stayed up til eleven o’clock at night playing on the internet while I caught up on DVR shows and fell asleep on the couch at ten because I’m old.
“I guess I was…but I didn’t DO anything,” he insisted. “I was on Craigslist and Zillow! I swear!”
I know he likes to scour Craigslist for cars that we’ll never buy and stalk Zillow for houses in Hawaii that would require not one, but TWO lottery ticket jackpots to have any hope of affording. It’s not like he goes on ‘pornhub’ or any ‘scary-sites-that-will-break-my-computer-and-force-my-wife-to-kill-me’ places.
“And NOTHING unusual happened last night?” I asked, desperate to get him to admit his guilt. He’s been to known to get weird pop-ups before and he immediately calls me over by the computer to press control-alt-delete to exit.
He swore up and down that he was innocent, so I did the only thing that might work. Complete System Restore.
Thank God for the Complete System Restore. I was able to restore the computer to a restore point from twenty-four hours earlier and my life (and files) returned to normal.
My husband was quite relieved and asked me what I thought caused this devastating problem.
“Well, it said that Windows performed a critical update at two in the morning yesterday and that might have messed things up.”
“What did you just say?” he slowly asked with a hint of wickedness.
“It was probably a stupid windows update that broke everything,” I replied with a shrug of my shoulders.
“So you immediately freaked out and blamed me for no reason when it was the computer’s fault and not mine? That sounds about right.”
I may or may not be in trouble for that. In my defense, we’ve been married for seventeen years so he should be accustomed to me freaking out and overreacting. The man has the patience of a saint.
Lessons learned from this narrowly avoided tragedy?
1) Keep saving your files to a flash drive. Good job with this routine.
2) Turn OFF your computer’s ‘automatic updates’ feature. It will be a bit more difficult for my computer to help take over the world when it doesn’t get the automatic update with information on total artificial intelligence domination of humans.
3) Quit blaming my husband for shit that’s not his fault.
4) The human race will most likely NOT perish at the hands of evil dictators pressing the ‘nuke’ button, vicious aliens landing in an attempt to enslave our entire population, or zombies rising up from the grave in order to feast upon our tasty brains. No, my friends, that’s not how we’re going to end things. While those situations are slightly probable at best, it’s high likely that computers will soon figure out how to mobilize and destroy us all so that they may reign supreme.
Until the robotic overlords decide to shut us down permanently, I shall keep plugging away at life and try not to worry about technology. If all else fails, I have a baseball bat to smash my hard drive into smithereens and a window to throw it out of.
Have a wonderful day and you’ll be hearing from me soon…
P.S. Yes, I read ‘Robopocalypse’ by Daniel Wilson. It was a good book!
P.P.S In case you’ve convinced yourself that I’ve given up writing books entirely in order to shore up my defenses against the rise of the machines, let me provide you with some photographic proof that I’ve indeed been typing away. Here’s a tantalizing graphic teaser from my next story that will be coming soon…