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Epic Fail: The Journal of a Homeless Gamer
Book 5: Life online

This is my journal I wrote during the time I was homeless. It is broken up by week for easier reading. Feel free to read it on the web or download the complete .pdf version and print it for reading offline.

Week 221

Day 1541 - 9/19 - The final backup

Today was ok, hopeful, but still very sad. I saw that my new hard drive was set to arrive today, but decided to not go to the ex-house to wait for it, as I didn't know when it would be delivered. Instead I decided to see if the system held out, and if it did, just take the day off as it were. It was a weird day, as the day was pretty fun but I know tomorrow forward may have some trouble spots. (Though again I could just switch drives back if there was big trouble of some kind.)

The final backup is being run, and my life has entirely been put on hold. I've stopped my email from auto checking and forwarded things to myself to pick up on the new install. (Rebuilding email filters is such a pain.) And any work I do on my site, Epic Fail, or my ramblings, now must go on hold until the system is stabilized. (Though if it doesn't look like it will before Friday afternoon I'll record on the netbook so people don't have to wait.) Hopefully everything will go well and I will entirely be recovered by the late afternoon, but I guess we'll see what happens when it happens.

As with everything in my life I remain hopeful, but it seems the reality of my experiece will be flawed or stumble in some way. As I always ask myself though, 'Why not me?' (In terms of why can't I be the guy things that go right for.)

Day 1542 - 9/20 - Delayed paths

Today and last night have gone weirdly. After writing last night it took three hours to gather what I needed to be ready for the transfer and swap to the new disk. There were some setbacks. First, there were no disks at all in the laptop box. Uh... what? Where is the Windows disk? Where is the laptop driver disk? There apparently are none. So, after discovering that I decided to hook up the drive in the secondary bay to do the format and be ready to do a disk copy in the morning. The system did not recognize the disk at all. It's not seen in Windows, nor in BIOS, at all. Through various conversations with the manufacturer today it is their guess that the drive is D.O.A. (dead on arrival.) I guess that happens sometimes, and in all of my past 12+ years building systems I have had one other part arrive D.O.A., so I have experienced it before. But it's like, now what? That's a $225 investment. (Though extra work shifts will recover it within a few weeks.) I guess I have to look into shipping it tomorrow, which for it to mail out and come back will likely take a week or more. I guess the system seems ok in the meantime, but still.

I don't really remember today. All I remember is a blur of side tracking. I expected to copy my drive and change. That didn't happen. As I was leaving, one of the gamers that works at the coffee shop talked to me about Borderlands 2, which was fun, but again an unexpected side track. At the restaurant someone was outside and needed a ride maybe, so talking with her for a minute was a side track. Throughout my day there were things I thought of, but my mind wandered and side tracked. Today I felt lost in a sea of things I'm only doing because my life is unbalanced, and I wonder if eventually it will become so unbalanced I lose it.

Day 1543 - 9/21 - Nose hairs

My nose hairs are driving me insane. It's such a simple thing. Trim them. But not for me. I have to go to the ex-garage to get the stuff to do it. And often times I just forget. So it goes on and on and on until they are so long it drives me insane.

I guess today was ok. I did my podcast in the morning and it went fine. I actually rambled for longer than I thought I would. I edited it and then posted early for fear of it being lost in hard drive corruption.

Speaking of which I've decided to go ahead and RMA the drive and hope the new one works. Unfortunately it could take weeks to process and get a new one, putting any kind of return to get my money back at risk if a new one still doesn't work.

Today my life seems troubled. I don't understand why it seems all these little things happen to me. I guess I should be thankful that nothing bad that's big has happened again.

Day 1544 - 9/22 - Lost

Today I feel sad, though I suppose the day was ok. I've been watching a show lately. It's an older show that I never watched when it was on. I was still in a home when it started, so I'm not sure why I didn't. Maybe it was on opposite something. Maybe it's because I didn't really know what it was about. At any rate, the show is about some people stranded on an island. In the episode I last watched they'd been stranded for about a month and a half. They got into some kind of bunker and found food, showers, and beds. It made me very sad. Their lives are a lot like mine. In a flash everything they had was gone. And now they have been living completely differently, trying to hold on to who they were while being forced to be something different. I know how it feels to not have your regular life things. And I can relate to how they felt at getting regular food and even a simple thing like a shower. They only had a little food, so they decided to have a party instead of rationing it. I can't imagine how nice it would be to suddenly have a bed again. To have good healthy(ish) food. To be able to shower. And have someone say, 'Hey you don't have to worry today. At least for today you are taken care of and safe.'

Day 1545 - 9/23 - No boot disk

Today started bad, but ended pretty good I suppose. When I went to start up, the system said it couldn't find a boot disk at all. I pushed the try again button and it started fine. After moving to the restaurant it again gave the error. It took several tries to finally get it to boot correctly. Hopefully it will keep going and work ok long enough for me to get the replacement disk and copy it over. I suppose it wouldn't entirely be bad if I had to reinstall from scratch off whatever is on the web, as I did a recent backup, so everything is current. But still, if the data is good I'd rather just copy it to the new disk and have a (semi) functional original just in case. After the system was running it ran fine, no other hiccups.

My friends came on for about an hour at abut 4:30 my time. So I had a fun time playing with them. And they left early enough I decided to go see Dredd. It was pretty awesome, but I'd definitely say it is for a pretty hardcore comic movie fan or someone familiar with the original comic. I think there are too many things they too lightly touch on for someone not familiar with it. They may feel lost or confused by many of those things.

I had fun with my friends, fun with the movie, and fun with my games. I just prey my RMA goes quickly. It should be there tomorrow or Tuesday, but it may be weeks before I get on back. I just hope my system holds out until then and the transfer goes smoothly. I guess time will tell.

Day 1546 - 9/24 - A good day among bad

Today was actually a pretty good day among bad. I guess I can go chronologically, as I'd be less likely to forget anything that way.

It was the first day for school, so a ton of people were in the lot. A surprising number for the time I was there actually. I'm sure the number will drop a lot in a few weeks though. The first week or so is extra busy from people trying to add. But, despite the noise, I got really awesome sleep for the 1.5 extra hours that I could. I think it's been like two weeks since I slept in. Class went ok. The teacher seemed good, unlike the terrible one I had last time I started this class. (Last semester when I got real sick and she was doing forced lab time for a night class.) Not only is there no forced lab time, but it may turn out I can skip the Wednesday class entirely. The class is mostly online, and Wednesdays are reserved for lab time and online quizzes. If I can do that stuff 'from home' I'll just do it from the restaurant at times I feel like doing them.

I had a doctor appointment at noon. It took extra long because it was a busy day, but it went well I think. She renewed my prescription for the blood pressure meds, and gave me one for an inhaler, which apparently are not sold over the counter anymore. We talked about my bumps that have been on my legs forever. And it seems that asthma, allergies, and eczema are all on the same gene, so if you have one you likely have the others. She told me the body wash I'm using is actually bad for me as it has some ingredient that dries out my skin, so I have to change that. My cold I have is apparently not really a cold, it's just hyperactive allergies. That would explain why I have cold-like symptoms so much of the time. Sadly, or maybe not sadly depending on how you look at it, she said my getting fatter is likely just age more than diet or blood pressure meds. I hate the shape I'm in, but while homeless there isn't really anything I can do.

The happiest thin was that the system worked fine. Not only was it fine all day, but it started up three total times. There was a minor screeching on the third start up, but that was at the work location I heard it before, and I didn't hear it at the other two. Hopefully the system will continue to be ok. Now that school is on if I sleep in until the restaurant opens then that means I'm cutting down the number of start ups by as much as 40% as I otherwise would. So that may help prolong its life until the new drives if I can do that. At this point though I'm just keeping my fingers crossed and going one day at a time. No word on the RMA, but I can check on that tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow, an XCOM: Enemy Unknown demo is out. I didn't have the time or bandwidth to download it what with class, the appointment, laundry, and work, which is sad, but I'll get to it tomorrow I'm sure.

My nose is super sniffly and sneezy now, but hopefully I can sleep soon and tomorrow will be another good day.

Day 1547 - 9/25 - Hopeful

Today has just started. I couldn't really sleep in at school. I'm too worried about my system and hard drive. The tracking shows that it's out for delivery, so it will be there soon. (Though I still don't understand why it's taken so long to go 15 miles.)

I guess, at least so far, things seem ok. And for me lately, that is something.

Week 222

Day 1548 - 9/26 - Sad feelings on a good day

Today was a pretty good day. Got some really great sleep at school, though it was only an hour extra past what I'd already gotten. Tomorrow hopefully I can get all three extra hours. Class was ok. She's a good teacher, so that helps a lot. I guess I can't totally skip Wednesdays. They won't go the full time, so I should still be able to get to the restaurant before they open and grab my spot, but I guess there is enough we will do that is not the quiz or lab that the day can't entirely be skipped.

My system worked fine all day. I didn't turn it on during class despite how much I'd have liked to. Hopefully reduced start-ups will help. I spent my restaurant time playing my new game, watching shows, and did a job check. There was no change on the RMA status. Though they did receive it yesterday. I'll probably check in tomorrow or Friday if I don't see a change on the RMA status page.

Despite my day being good. I felt alone, and I felt sad, because I'm out in public instead of in a home or at a work shift. I suppose my day wouldn't have been very different, but there would not have been constant worry about the hard drive, I could have eaten exactly what I wanted, and most of all I could have showered in a private warm shower. Days like today, when I have cold-like symptoms it's nice to take a shower before bed, to get all clean, to get into a bed with clean sheets (still warm is even better.) I can remember how nice and relaxed I felt. But now it's been years since I had a room of my own. Longer still since I had a home with just me, or me and a sweetie. And although I remember what that shower and comfort felt and smelt like, I don't know how long it's been since I've felt it. And I don't know how long it will be before I can again.

Day 1549 - 9/27 - Disappointed

Today I was sad and disappointed. I was surprise and overjoyed to see my replacement disk was delivered. I grabbed the disk and have been trying to get things set up for the past hour. (It's now just past midnight.) It looks like it has the exact same issues as the last. It doesn't see the disk in bios nor Windows no matter what I do. There must be an incompatibility of some kind. There are new controllers on the disk, and for some reason it may not be compatible with my laptop.

In the morning I'm going to surrender and order one from a different manufacturer. It will be a bit bigger, so that will be good, but it means all my money will be out and I'll be down roughly $225 until the RAM on the original one is processed in possibly a few weeks. (Plus the $140 school still has, plus money for the new drive.)

I hope the new one works. I hope this is a test from Fate. I've been feeling very sad lately, like everything in my life is in a state of decline, falling apart, failure. If this is a test, then what I have to prove is that I can rely on my experience and knowledge to work through my troubles, and that I can rely on myself to improve the troubles I'm having, and maybe even in doing so wind up actually stepping forward and improving something.

I guess we will know the answer to that in time, but for the moment it looks like that time will not be until Tuesday. All I can do until then is hope it is the right step, and that everything crumbling around me will turn out ok in the end.

Day 1550 - 9/28 - No more micro

Today I had too much pizza. When I tried to cook my dinner it just went around and around forever. It never got defrosted. Thankfully I'd only spent $2.50 on it. I guess the work microwave, after years of dying, is finally completely dead. I decided to call out and order a pizza instead of starving for the next five hours until I could get something. It was pretty expensive, and I ate too much, but I guess divided by the number of meals it will be it's not too pricy. It was kind of burnt, so that was really disappointing.

I slept for a bit at school in the morning. It wasn't as much sleep as I could have gotten because it was weird sleep. There were people making noise, so I was half in and out of sleep. I probably only slept half as much as I could have.

After, I kind of rush did my podcast. It wasn't until I was half done editing it at the restaurant that I realized I didn't actually need to do it in the morning. I had set it into my brain that I did, as I was going to do the hard drive swap at work, but I discovered last night that it didn't work, so there was no reason to rush the podcast. I decided to just finish and put it out since the system was already running fine at the time.

After, there wasn't much time left. I had just a few hours to watch shows and play for just a little bit before I had to be off. I had to print some stuff to do the RMA for the first SSD to start to get my money back for it. The new type is ordered and set to arrive Tuesday. Hopefully it will do so before I lose too much time to get settled in at the restaurant. It wouldn't be the end of the world if it didn't, but if the lunch rush gets there before me it's almost not worth going, as there is a very high chance the few tables with power access would be taken.

Today was lonely and still a bit sad due to all the hard drive juggling. There is so much of life I'm sad about lately, but at least today I was distracted and couldn't focus as much on sad things.

Hopefully everything will get sorted out, but only time will tell.

Day 1551 - 9/29 - Not playing with me

There was weirdness today. Since about Tuesday I've been looking forward to playing with my best friends. They asked if I wanted to play and I said I should be around all day. Last night I was in a text chat, and there was some regular life chat, and I accidently said something indirectly they didn't want people to know. There were only about two others in the chat who could have seen, and chat was erased pretty quickly, so they probably didn't even see it nor would remember what was said. But since then things have been weird. One of my friends showed up in a chat thingy I think around 1 my time, about 3-4 hours earlier than they usually do. They were on do not disturb mode, so I didn't think much of it. I saw my other friend come on about 5:30 my time I think. Again, they didn't say anything about playing. Normally they'd start up chat and stuff right away, but today, nothing. I was watching a show and having dinner, so I just waited to see what was up. At about half way through the show I checked the game thing. It showed they were both in the game and playing. There was still no word from them, nor an invite to play. An hour passed as I watched more shows, still nothing. So I don't know what is up with that. Maybe they are deciding what they think. Maybe they are deciding if they still want to be friends or not. I don't know what is going on.

Even without that weirdness today was pretty sad and lonely. I did play Guild Wars 2 for a bit, after having kind of rage quit for the past week after a quest had upset me. There were between two and a dozen guildies on during the time I played, but noone said anything in the 4.5 hours I was on.

Today I don't know if I am alone or not. My friends I was supposed to play with seem to currently be ignoring me, and guildies who were on and playing when I was on were I guess just soloing and not talking. If I were to just go by what happened today, I guess I am still on my own and alone even when others are around.

Day 1552 - 9/30 - Sad and sick feeling

Today was very sad. I suppose it was good in that I got two extra shifts, which doubles my income for this week, but I still don't know what's going on with my friends. There has still been no contact or explanation of why they didn't say anything all yesterday when they were on, or why they didn't invite me to play. I don't know if they are still my friends or not. The last time I thought they weren't my friends anymore my friend was very sorry and it was a big misunderstanding and she said just to talk if anything seemed weird. But now... with them not talking... with the opportunity for them to say hey and have play time with me and then when the time came they just pretended like I was dead... this seems very off.

I feel sick. It's probably from all this stress and worry about my friends and about my system. The system seems fine still, so hopefully all will go well and things will be fine on Tuesday.

But as to my friends... I don't know. After being at work for 11 hours and watching shows almost all day and then playing for a bit, I had an ok time but I'm very tired. I am hidden, hopefully for the night, I have a dinner to eat (I thought the shift was only 8 hours, so I didn't have enough food), but I feel sick from worry and I'm not very hungry. I'm going to probably pick at my food for the next few hours and try to relax and cheer myself up a bit. But I doubt I can.

Day 1553 - 10/1 - Good start, bad end

Today started out promising. I discovered my SSD had already been delivered. (It wasn't estimated to arrive until Tuesday.) I had class, which was good, and during class I downloaded and burnt the software to disk that I'd need to do the cloning.

When I got set up for lunch I changed the drive to be ready for the transfer and see how things looked. The disk was seen in bios without issue. And after booting Windows it automatically detected it and got it ready to be used. So I was 100% right that there must have been some kind of conflict with the other disk due to the new controller it uses. Speaking of which, I got notice the return is being processed and I will have my money back, including tax, in a few days.

At work I decided to go ahead and try to do the cloning. At first it only saw the new disk and didn't see the original. I kind of panicked, but upon restart and a second try it saw everything fine. I told it to copy. It said there was some kind of error, failed, and stopped before it had really started. Clicking the program to try again didn't work. And every time I've tried to use the boot CD program to try again has resulted in what seems like a blank CD disk.

So now things are on hold. The disk is fine and ready to go, but here at work with no bandwidth I can't get to other software to try a different copy program. I just have to wait until morning.

Day 1554 - 10/2 - Eventually should be ok

Today seems very sad so far. Last night I spent some time again trying to do the clone. Every time it failed. The base disk may be too damaged to do anything with it other than basic things. (Basically just run it as it is and not do big file moves.)

It's early. I couldn't sleep at school due to my worries. I only got about 5 hours sleep last night. I'm downloading something people have said they have successfully cloned their G73s with, so maybe that will work. If that software fails I'll be left with no choice but to try a fresh install from the image disks online. I will do that only as a last resort. With a desktop it wouldn't even be a second though, I'd do a fresh install. With the disk not being included, with there being specialized drivers because this is a laptop, and all my previous driver issues, I worry. But I'm not too worried, as the system sees the SSD, so a fresh install is basically guaranteed to work. And it rarely takes as much time to do that as I think. I always think it will be forever, I usually reserve a 6 hour chunk of time, but it usually only takes a few hours.

I still haven't heard what's going on with my best friends. It certainly seems like they are ignoring me on purpose and don't want to be friends anymore. I haven't said anything to give them time to be mad and figure things out or whatever, but I don't know what's going on.

My life is not what I'd like it to be, particularly right now. I guess I am lucky in that I can be ok on my own when I need to be. It seems I may be there again now. I suppose though, however things work out with my system and friends, somehow I will manage, and eventually things should be back to some form of ok.

Comments and stuff Copyright E. Stryker 2008-2013
Pictures for Epic Fail are taken by me. :)

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