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Epic Fail: The Journal of a Homeless Gamer
Book 14: Distant Memories

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.

View/Download the Complete Epic Fail Book 1 .pdf paperback book
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View/Download the Complete Epic Fail Book 9 .pdf paperback book
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View/Download the Complete Epic Fail Book 14 .pdf paperback book
These include the Table of Contents, Glossary and links, all weeks, all pictures, and index.

Week 707

Day 4943 (V:667) - 1/12 - Forcing myself to eat

Today I have been forcing myself to eat. I guess my tummy is hungry, but I am so heartbroken and depressed the rest of me doesn't want to, or care to. I have kind of forced myself to eat some, and I probably only had half what I normally would, with each bite kind of feeling like bland clay that had no taste. (I mean, yes, I tasted the flavor, I'm not sick or anything, but my brain didn't care to really register it.)

I called the place to check on my system. They seem to have taken their time so far. Today they said the same as the last place, which I expected, that tests confirmed it wasn't the battery or power supply. They wanted $100 to keep looking, if it's repairable or not. If it is repairable that would change to $300. I panicked, explained I didn't have that much, and that I was homeless and unemployed, and the person felt bad and said she'd do it for $200 if it's repairable, but still has to charge the base fee. She said she would call back after testing, but I haven't heard back since this afternoon. She did say it would be a few hours, so I guess that makes sense. But at this point it's not much more than an hour until they close, so it seems unlikely I'll hear back today.

So I am heartbroken and very sad. Even if it can be fixed it will cost everything I got recently from dad as a surprise gift, and everything I have saved, leaving me with nothing. If the normal money that comes between now and when the car registration is due I will maybe have enough. But I'd have nothing for SMOG, nothing for the membership fee for my insurance, and absolutely nothing for the insurance just 3 months later, nor the $200 for web stuff at the end of the year.

I had a pretty bad nightmare last night, and I guess it was my brain just expressing how I feel. In the dream my arms from just above the elbows down had been burnt very badly, and the outer skin layer was off, and everything was under skin layer, blood, and muscle. I guess that is kind of how I feel in general lately. I couldn't help myself in the dream because I was in a great deal of pain, and I couldn't find anyone else to help me.

I have to keep hoping what help I do get is enough, that more help comes in the future, and continue to hope what seemed like some stability in my life doesn't further destabilize.

Day 4944 (V:668) - 1/13 - Pronounced dead

Today there isn't much to say. The shop confirmed my laptop is unrepeatable by them. So my only option for it is to send it back to Acer with $730. Which is not at all an option. Even if I had that much I would question if it would be worth it compared to getting a new Asus, returning to my preferred brand. I don't know that I would trust Acer again. And I certainly will warn everyone away who asks my opinion due to this terrible customer support. My old laptop that I'm back to is nearing 9 years old, and it's only issue besides its age is it doesn't talk to the battery correctly, meaning I have to remove it and just run plugged in. It runs fine like that. And the Asus laptop I had before that lasted about 3 years before I upgraded it and gave that one to a friend. (Which I heard lasted a couple more years before fully dying.) This new Acer is barely over ONE year old, and its full death is unacceptable. The response for repair/replacement cost is unacceptable. The fact that Acer is using a 3rd party company for their support is unacceptable. The fact their forum is run by fans and 3rd parties is unacceptable.

There really isn't anything to say. I'm now right back to where I was at the start of the pandemic. The old laptop can barely play games, but I'm very thankful it can try. If I did get a graphic design job there is no way I could do anything color accurate on the old laptop. And what work I could do runs very very slowly. I can do most things in my MMO and shooter, but it's extremely doubtful I could do anything new, as its graphics chip was declared obsolete and hasn't been supported with new drivers in something like 4 years now.

It seems all I can do is try my best to hang on. Try not to sink too deeply into depression, or collapse into P.T.S.D. attacks focusing on death. And I suppose, put newer laptops on my wish list and go back to the improbability that someone would gift me one in the future.

Day 4945 (V:669) - 1/14 - A lunch

Today I met with someone I probably haven't seen in about 7 years. It's kind of crazy to think it's been that long. It doesn't feel like it because almost nothing has changed for me. If my car weren't picky about its driving I could have been going for semi-regular game night visits.

I guess I am slightly better. I was actually pretty hungry during the lunch visit. Though I again had pretty disturbing dreams. Nothing special or unusual, just the sleeping brain repeating thoughts about losing the new laptop and now being back to the old, back to where I was effectively 1.5 years ago (emotionally and in job / gaming potential.)

I was worried about my old laptop though. I don't know what was going on when I got back from lunch but it took nearly 30 minutes to turn back on. It's like it was doing some kind of update that it didn't warn me about. And then because it's so old in general, it took its average 5 minutes after that to get the basic things up and loaded before I was back in my game. Games and things don't usually take too long to load once it's gotten fully back up, but it's still minutes compared to what would be seconds on a newer system.

But now I'm back to it possibly being years before I could replace it. I am very lucky I've gotten enough help each year to pay the bills and emergency needs, but I've really never had much more extra to do more than a couple of games and school. Even an extra $800 to get something equivalent of what I had on sale is not going to happen. I don't usually even have a quarter of that much extra. And I've pretty much settled on not wanting to give that money to Acer to replace the broken one. I've already given them nearly $1400. I'm not giving them more to get back to where I was. I'll just save what I can and go back to Asus, as well as getting full coverage a new system would have. Fixing the old system would really mean I just paid way more than I should have, and it likely wouldn't have much, if any, coverage after the repair. And with how they've treated me, they don't deserve it. (And that would be how they treat everyone.)

So I am back to effectively 1.5 years ago. I pray and hope my now nearing 9 year old laptop hangs on. I put a couple of current laptops on my wish list, just in case. (Though new models are coming in February, so one of them may change.) And I have to try my best to not let fear and worry about death consume me, either of my remaining laptop or myself.

Day 4946 (V:670) - 1/15 - Recovered data

Today there isn't much to say. I still feel very heartbroken, down, and defeated. I guess my appetite is kind of returning, so I suppose that's good.

The old laptop is basically recovered now to being the main system again. It was surprisingly easy to get the Windows user data from the new one. I expected not to be able to get it, or at the least to need to enter the password. But I connected it to an external housing, attached it to my old laptop, clicked the folder, it said it was locked and asked if I wanted to unlock it, I said yes, and that was it. I was in. Effectively zero security. (Though I wonder if that's because, even though I was offline, it recognized I was the same user of both copies of Windows.) Sadly, I'd forgotten how ridiculously small the old drive was. I put my MMO and shooter on, and there is just barely room for one medium-big game and that's about it. So I guess I will play my other (non MMO / shooter) games one at a time. Though with as few games as it will be able to run that probably won't be much of an issue, as I won't have much to choose from. I'm praying the one game I pre-ordered that comes in late March will do ok, but I guess we'll see. The mmo and shooter won't really change their required specs, so those should be ok, even though some aspects aren't the best with how poorly my old laptop handles them.

That is really it for today. I am very heartbroken and hardly feel like doing anything, so I barely played today. I don't even really remember most of the day, save for some parts of copying data. I guess all I can do is try to hang on and keep the laptops on the wish list current for the best value, and the best newest one that is cheaper.

Day 4947 (V:671) - 1/16 - Didn't do much

Today I didn't do much. It wasn't as cold as I expected it to be. While still cold enough that I was clenching my teeth a little bit, it was not so cold to make me shiver or make my parts numb.

But because of being heartbroken, because my old laptop is so slow and its wireless so much less powerful, I barely did my MMO at all and only managed to do the most critical daily things in my shooter. I went to just sit in my car having done probably less than half what I normally would have done because it was having such a hard struggle staying connected.

I guess I don't feel as I did in days before. I tried to put out some complaints about my laptop, but they will no doubt fall on deaf ears. It's truly shameful they treat customers like this. I even noticed lots of posts about people being told similar stories, or were completely ignored by customer support.

All I can do is try to stay warm, and try my best to hang on until better days.

Day 4948 (V:672) - 1/17 - Tummy issues

Today I am having tummy issues. Things started to get really bad last night around 9:30. My tummy felt suddenly both completely starving and super painful. It was like just the front of me, at about the 3" under my ribs, and about 3" deep into my body. If it weren't for the odd starving feeling it would almost have felt more like a muscular issue. I'd guess maybe it's where my large intestines are? I've never felt anything quite like it. I was pretty bad and it kept me up until around 2 in the morning. After that it sort of calmed down and I passed out and got some sleep. Now at just over 12 hours since the start it's mostly back to normal, but it still feels off and not great. I'm just having some bread and fruit today so far. If I feel better in a few hours I may do some chicken and fries at the fast food place. Due to the extra I've been getting per month, and not being able to micro reducing my food costs, I've gotten over 900 saved on the food card, so a few pricier cooked meals now and then won't worry me as much.

Still no movement on the dead laptop complaints. I expect nothing will come. I may try taking out the ram later and seeing if that makes any difference, but I'm sure nothing will come of it. Though due to the game engine having a major crash right before the death drop I do wonder if it wasn't ram or CPU related. But I'd think the shop would have checked ram. Though when I took out the drives everything inside looked completely untouched, so I really wonder if anything was taken out and looked at at all.

I guess all I can really do is try my best to hang on and try to settle in as best as I can with the old laptop.

Day 4949 (V:673) - 1/18 - Hopefully not the worst Tuesday

Today will hopefully not be the worst Tuesday. The last couple of weeks have been pretty much the worst. As bad as things have been though, they could always get worse. So I continue to try to hang on as best as I can and hope that they don't get worse.

Week 708

Day 4950 (V:674) - 1/19 - Three last tries

Today I did three last tries to get the laptop on. Not surprisingly, even though it was a different order of what was unattached and what was attached, nothing changed. It is still cold and dead. It still feels like a weird and terrible dream how I gave the company $1200 just over a year ago (double checking the bill the previous $1400 I thought it was included the 1 tb M.2 drive), it's catastrophic and sudden death, and the company really not caring at all. There is no way what they are asking for replacement is just or fair.

There is really not much to say about it. I guess maybe over the next week I will do final things with it, then put it up for sale and hope I can at least get a few hundred for it. But with it being such a fatal death, unless some hobbyist repair person wants to make an attempt at it there is no way it would sell. It's beyond even someone like me who could probably literally put together a desktop blindfolded, but has effectively zero electrical knowledge.

My tummy is still being weird. I got another cooked meal to help and it feels a little better. But it's still feeling weird almost all the time. The strangest part is it's like if hunger and hunger pain were a 1 to 10 scale, it seems like my tummy now goes 1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 10. All of the middle seems to be missing where it's like, "I feel hungry, I should eat soon," and it just jumps to straight 'I've been starving for days and am in great pain.' I hope it's not a serious issue.

That's really it for today. I'm trying to hang on, but with the dead laptop I'm extremely broken hearted feeling all the time in addition to my lingering depression. This will probably take quite a while to recover from.

Day 4951 (V:675) - 1/20 - One final test

Today I decided to go ahead and get something for one final test on the dead laptop. If it doesn't work I can return the test item and probably lose no more than $10 for the purchase/return, if anything. Which is well worth it for peace of mind that if I do decide to sell it for what will probably be a fraction of its value, the buyer won't turn around and say it was a super simple thing I could have easily replaced. Without this test I may always wonder if a really simple thing was the issue. Both shops should have checked for this issue, but the more I thought about it, the more I worried what if they just claimed they did.

I am still very heartbroken, and I'm barely playing anything to try to be happier. It's such a struggle at times. The low frame rate and struggle is as painful as simply not playing. I hope in time I will feel more ok, but I worry I will remain heartbroken and low until I can get another new laptop. Plus with the old one on its way to 9-years-old I always feel like it could die at any time.

My tummy is still a bit off. I hope it goes back to normal soon. It doesn't feel bad exactly, but it doesn't feel like it should or used to.

I guess all I can do is try my best to hang on in these worst of days.

Day 4952 (V:676) - 1/21 - The final nail

Today I did one final test of the laptop. As I expected, but not hoped, it failed. So at this point I am ready to bury the new laptop, confident in that I went above and beyond all testing and there is nothing I can do to save it. A friend said she may know someone, but in our brief chat it seems the issues would be beyond their experience, so I am not hopeful.

I expect by the end of next week I will have put it's carcass up for sale. It's been so long since I used that site I don't remember what the longest sale period is. I'd like to probably have it up a week or maybe two, maybe start it at $250 with a buyout at $550 (offering to cover up to $50 in shipping). I'll be happy to get something in the middle of those. I mean, I won't ever be "happy" outside of the company offering to repair it for $100 or less, but since it was only one year of coverage, legally they are in their right to charge whatever they want for a repair. Even if it is unfair to charge much more than $100 as any single part retails for that or less.

I guess I feel a bit more settled in to my old life, but having this brick I paid $1200 for is still mind boggling. In all my life, in all my purchases, only once thing ever has come this close to as catastrophic of an unjust travesty against me.

I still don't know how I'll recover. All I can do is try to regain what I can. And maybe someday put this behind me, though I'm sure I'll never fully forget. And maybe hopefully soon a miracle will happen and I can again try to have a new laptop that can do all the things, hopefully for years to come.

Day 4953 (V:677) - 1/22 - A big sleep

Today started very unusual. I got a chance to sleep in and I guess I got about 12 hours of sleep. I haven't slept that much since years ago when I think I was running a fever and throwing up. I guess all this extra stress from the dead laptop is taking a much bigger toll than I thought.

I'm trying to be ok and have a normal homeless life, but it is still extremely rough to be back on the old system. I am having a hard time having fun in my games and playing like I used to. I am watching more shows, which I guess is good, but my mind is always thinking about my loss, my limitations, and how restricted I feel again.

All I can do is try my best to feel as ok as I can. Maybe some extra help will come this year and I can get back on a new laptop soon.

Day 4954 (V:678) - 1/23 - Pictures of the corpse

Today I took pictures of the new laptop corpse. I don't think I'll hold onto it much longer, maybe just through the first week in February. I keep hoping my complaints will get noted or I'll find somewhere else to reach someone that gives me a reasonable repair option. I did find a different area of the 'official' site to input a request for repair, but the page fails. I enter the information requested, and nothing happens. It just sits there. I did decide to complain to a 3rd party arbitration site, but I am going to guess the company will say, 'neener neener you are out of coverage period, so too bad', since legally they are in their right to charge whatever they want, no matter how unfair it is to the customer.

My tummy still feels a bit off. It seems mostly upset at salami. I guess I'll just try to avoid it and get more chicken items. But the store often overcooks the tenders and they are way too dry, and tends to undercook the shredded chicken, so that often makes me feel sick.

I guess I'm okish today, but I am still too cold all the time. And I am still just completely baffled and heartbroken at the sudden new laptop brick death.

Day 4955 (V:679) - 1/24 - Still very low

Today I am still feeling very low. I haven't heard anything on my special complaint about the laptop repair, but that may take maybe a week for them to get back to me. And again, I really don't have any 'legal stance', just moral/ethical, which a big company likely won't care about at all.

Feeling pretty sad I'm barely playing or doing stuff of any real value or lasting effect. I'm more just killing time or watching little nothing things. Hopefully I'll feel better soon.

Day 4956 (V:680) - 1/25 - Hopefully not too sad Tuesday

Today I don't know what to expect. It should be a pretty regular homeless day. I may see some news at the library about an hours change, as I heard a rumor they may start expanding hours and be open on Sundays, so that would be great. That would mean I don't have to be outside and cold unless it's a holiday or I choose to be. Maybe a miracle will happen and my dead laptop complaint will get some positive momentum.

All I can do is continue to hope for the best and try to hang on.

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