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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.

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These include the Table of Contents, Glossary and links, all weeks, all pictures, and index.

Week 719

Day 5027 (V:751) - 4/6 - I'll consider it insurance

Today was pretty hot. I don't know it would get hot until mid-day in the library when I opened a browser window and saw in the top corner where it shows the weather that it had gotten up to 81F, which is crazy because that's basically summer temperatures and 10F higher than it's been lately.

I've been monitoring the laptop drive temperatures since I noticed it was warm that one day. Weirdly it has yet to reach that temperature and have the slightly rattly noise since I noticed it the other night. But yesterday I decided to go ahead and get a new SSD and call it insurance. After all, the system is around 8.5 years old and in that entire time I think I've had to replace the power supply twice and that's it. So, in terms of maintenance it's been pretty low cost. (A new power supply every 2-3 years seems average with the laptops I've owned.) So about $55 seemed reasonable to 'buy insurance' just in case the old school platter disk is on its way to death. Back in the day I knew people who had several drives they'd use die within 5 years. So far in all my computer use I've never actually had a drive fail (just a couple of usb drives.) So I think I've been lucky. So tomorrow at the library I'll go through the process of removing the game drive, putting the to be cloned drive in its spot, clone the drive, put the game drive back in its original spot, the remove the original platter drive and put it in the new SSD box for safe keeping. Hopefully all goes well and I don't regret using all of the gift money at the online store that I have. (Like with something like the power supply dying, which would immediately kill any use of the laptop since it has no battery.)

But I guess so far the day has been ok. I have felt completely exhausted though. I had some very stressful and horrible dreams last night. One in particular was going to the department store and when I came out the car's wheel had been cut off from the brake cutting the axel, and it had scrunched up like a half smooshed can, because apparently without the wheel the drive train smashed it like some kind of overpowered rubber band snapping without the support. It was very weird, and I'm sure a distortion of my subconscious being worried I'll not be able to brake in time and crash into someone and total the car. But that can't really happen. I only drive basically one mile each way, and only on city streets, so I typically don't go faster than about 35 mph, and if there's traffic, half that speed. I timed it a few weeks ago, and in total my day is about 10-30 seconds of very light braking time in total.

But hopefully the clone will work and my general windows use will be improved, at the very least my system should be safe from an operating system drive death. And hopefully someday I can get the help, or opportunity, to get some of the things I want and need, and at least restabilize a bit in my sad homeless life.

Day 5028 (V:752) - 4/7 - Misunderstood the term

Today I am recovering from 4 hours of loss and frustration. It took forever to find a software that was free to do the drive cloning. And then when I thought it had done it, I uninstalled the original drive, put in the new one, put the game drive back in, and it didn't boot. I put it back to have both operating system drives, and tried to copy it a few more times, each time showing an error and then not starting as it should.

So I quit trying and figured I would try again in a day or two after finding my external housing for fear of accidently copying the non-functional partly copied drive onto the old correctly working drive. But in talking with someone who knew the software I was using, apparently "clone" doesn't mean what I thought it meant. Apparently the cloning copies the drive data, and then moves over critical boot information from the original to the new drive. (Which is what wasn't moving and why it didn't work.) Which is not at all what I wanted, since that makes the original drive not a bootable drive. What I wanted was a full copy, to have the new drive in the old drive's place, and the old drive safely stored just in case.

So I guess I will just reformat the new drive so it's wiped clean and return it. I apparently can't do what I wanted, so I would be better off having the money for when an emergency does happen.

Not really anything else for today. I tried to relax from my frustration, stress, and worry. Though it's super hot today, like 90F, which is crazy. But really today I just tried to hang on.

Day 5029 (V:753) - 4/8 - Apparently needed

Today I am mostly feeling defeated, but I guess a small part of me feels safer and maybe a bit happier. I noticed using that special copying software that once I had the game drive installed so it could see it, the software said it was in danger of failing due to high use and should be replaced immediately. I thought about it for a while, and verified that drive's launch date, so it's possible that I didn't get the drive when I got my current laptop, but the one before it, meaning the drive could be roughly 11 years old. Even for an SSD that's quite old, especially since this was one of the first generation to be larger than about 200 gig.

So it turns out that I did need to get a new SSD to replace a drive in my old laptop, it just wasn't the drive I thought it was. It took about 3 hours to copy the drive over, but it seems like everything was fine after. I did have to change some shortcuts and adjust some things though because I did change the drive name and letter. (I am not sure if matching the name would have prevented those issues or not.) There is a lingering issue that my movie playing software isn't working, so I put in a request for help with that. They better let me reactivate it because I've bought that software at least twice, possibly three times, over the years I've been on laptops, including most recently on the new laptop which is now a dead copy.

I guess everything turned out as it was supposed to. But it feels strange to me that I didn't think to get software to check 'hardware health' before ordering the new drive. I suppose if I had it would have ended with the same result, with it showing that the old SSD was failing, and the platter based drive is actually fine. But I can't help but think it feels like my own health. I so often lack the means to do the most basic checks (or buy medicine in personal health), that it doesn't even occur to my brain anymore to do them.

But today I was exhausted from effectively having lost 7 hours to these issues. And I am very low and sad feeling from upcoming bills, new unexpected costs with the brakes, and of course now being on my old laptop, seemingly further than ever from being able to replace it. But I try to rest and continue to hang on... because that is all I can do.

Day 5030 (V:754) - 4/9 - Exhausted and cold

Today I am very exhausted for some reason. I do remember I had a lot of bad dreams last night, so that may have stressed me out in my sleep. I'm very hungry lately too, which isn't really surprising as more and more lately the foods I could eat are no longer foods I can tolerate. Two years in a row of eating ready to eat, mostly lunchmeat type foods, starts to become very undesirable to the tummy. And it is pretty cold today too. Though getting up to the low 90s the other day was more unusual. It's back to I'd guess the low to mid 70s now, which feels pretty cold in comparison.

Not much of interest today. My brain has felt half asleep most of the day, so I don't remember much, nor did anything special happen to remember. So I continue to try to hang on, and hopefully I can make it through to better days, and can maybe have a new laptop and fewer worries before it's too late.

Day 5031 (V:755) - 4/10 - Overly cold

Today I felt very cold. And still there is a bit of nervousness and worry. I guess it's just because of the increasing uncertainty of my future and all of my worry and fear of the things broken or on their way to being broken lately.

I did get some stuff that may have fixed the movie software, though I couldn't check since my internal drive doesn't play movies anymore. It stopped right around when I got the new laptop. It just kind of spins the disk and tries to read but can't actually read it. I'm not quite sure what's wrong. But I did replace it with an external one so I could watch things on the new laptop a while ago, so I can get that from the ex-garage and check if everything works again later.

I'm very sad today. I feel very nervous. To the point that I feel like I'm going to throw up. I'm barely sleeping or able to relax at all lately. Being very cold didn't help. I'd put back on some of the winter layers after the heat stopped, but I may need to put even more on.

As always, I try to let go of what I can't control, but it feels more and more lately like I have so little left. I am trying my best to hang on to what I can, but everything feels uncertain and like what little is left is crumbling around me.

Day 5032 (V:756) - 4/11 - And now rain

Today it is cold and raining, after being 90F just a few days ago. The weather is being so crazy lately. My old laptop is having a bit of a struggle staying online today. (My tablet seems fine on the same connection.) There were so many pauses I stopped doing the extra things in my MMO. Thankfully since I play my new shooter solo, it doesn't care if my connection stops or not. It doesn't need one at all, so I'll just mostly do that.

I got a shower and some micro food today. I even got a bit extra food since I've been so hungry lately. Hopefully it will help. I'm still having a lot of bad stressful dreams though, so I still feel exhausted when I can manage to sleep.

But I guess the rain is nice, and I find it calming. And so I try to relax and not worry about my troubles. And hopefully I can continue on.

Day 5033 (V:757) - 4/12 - Trying not to worry

Today I will try to not worry about my troubles. I've been sleeping horribly, and my back is starting to hurt from all the extra stress. I have to be careful how I eat too, as the stress makes my tummy more acidic, and causes my throat to close up, so I have to be sure to take the smallest of bites.

But I have to try my best to accept the things I can't control, or can't afford to fix (or replace), and try to hang on until better days. And hope that those days do come.

Week 720

Day 5034 (V:758) - 4/13 - Very exhausted

Today I am very exhausted again. I'm not really sure why, but I feel like I could flop over and fall asleep at any moment. Maybe I have a cold? I've been sneezing and had sniffles maybe a week now, and I have been ridiculously hungry, especially when waking up. I don't know what else it could be other than the extra stress of everything going on just weighing down on me.

I guess I had an ok time today. It was cold, so I stayed in my car before the library time. But I did everything I wanted in my games when I played, so I had plenty of time. I was almost even going to watch a show, but ran out of time since I had to make a special trip to drop things off.

I guess today was an ok day, but the stress and sadness of all my worries about the coming bills, and all the new worries like laptop, tires, etc., has me depressed and down.

Day 5035 (V:759) - 4/14 - A sad hello

Today was pretty forgettable, literally. I'm still so exhausted I'd almost completely forgotten that I took a shower and had a micro food by the end of the day. It was a pretty regular homeless day. There was one sad hello near the end of the day though. I got a message from someone I don't know who said they had the same kind of laptop death as mine, hoping in these past couple of months that I'd found some kind of fix. I told them from my research it seems it's been happening for at least the past 4 years with that model, and it seems Acer doesn't care at all about people outside their warrantee period. I did suggest some stuff they could try to see if that reset it and it's not really the same issue though. Hopefully they can fix it.

But I guess today was ok. I am still exhausted. I tried my best to rest and recover, but I'm not sure how much recovery I can do with my life being what it is. But I continue to try my best to hang on.

Day 5036 (V:760) - 4/15 - No special candy

Today I am again exhausted. I barely remember the day, as all my brain could focus on was how tired I felt. I know the morning started with a special trip a different store to look for my favorite bunny day candy. But like the food store, they didn't have it either. In general both stores had barely any candies.

Other than that I guess the day was ok. I had an ok time with my games and shows, but I don't clearly remember much. I feel so very tried.

Day 5037 (V:761) - 4/16 - Sad Saturday

Today has been a very sad Saturday. People are wishing each other a happy bunny day weekend, and I too hope people have a good weekend. But I know, even if there do wind up being a few good surprises for me, it will still be a day of heartbreak, homesickness, sadness, and worry. It would be basically impossible for all the things to be suddenly better, on what is probably my favorite holiday time, and so I can't help but feel sad.

Bunny day is about celebrating what there is, the people in our lives, and being hopeful for what may come, and so I will try to let my spirits be affected by that. But there is so much out of my control. And so often I can't feel better or not sad, with so much feeling lost.

Day 5038 (V:762) - 4/17 - Could have been worse

Today could have been worse. It was chilly, but sunny, so I got to be in the outside spot. The connection was pretty bad where I was, unlike my old outside spot that was usually very strong and stable. It did hang on to do my normal daily things in my MMO though, and then I just played offline for a bit. I lost half of my online time compared to a normal day, but I guess it was only about 2 hours compared to what it could have been in my old outside spot, so I pretty much got what I expected for what was available.

Today was very sad, especially since I heard no news of bunny day gifts, or gift money, that was on the way. I am extremely worried about the bills, and what with my insane loss trying to fix the dead laptop I also lost any chance at getting games I know would run on my old system, such as the upcoming MMO expansion that is out in I think two months. But I suppose things could be worse. It would have been raining. I could have lost something important. And so, I guess that is something.

Day 5039 (V:763) - 4/18 - Unfocused eyes

Today my eyes are pretty unfocused. That was happening yesterday too. I think the contacts might be old. I don't remember when I last changed them. I guess for now I should just try to remember to look away to focus on different distances. With how exhausted I feel typically my eyes are just half open due to exhaustion and stare at my screen.

I guess today I feel ok. I got a shower and micro lunch with a micro dinner for later, so that always helps to feel a bit better. Though I still feel like I have a cold, and am exhausted overall.

Day 5040 (V:764) - 4/19 - Pretty sleepy Tuesday

Today I'm not sure what to expect. Though with how tired I've felt lately I expect I'll still feel exhausted. Hopefully if I am sick with a cold I can rest and recover. But with only a gift card from dad for the online place I shop for bunny day I worry if I will have enough for upcoming bills. Things will be extremely tight, and I know there won't be enough for the end of the year bills, leaving no room for games or restaurant foods.

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