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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, View/Download the Complete Epic Fail Book 2 .pdf paperback book
View/Download the Complete Epic Fail Book 3 .pdf paperback book, View/Download the Complete Epic Fail Book 4 .pdf paperback book
View/Download the Complete Epic Fail Book 5 .pdf paperback book, View/Download the Complete Epic Fail Book 6 .pdf paperback book
View/Download the Complete Epic Fail Book 7 .pdf paperback book, View/Download the Complete Epic Fail Book 8 .pdf paperback book
View/Download the Complete Epic Fail Book 9 .pdf paperback book, View/Download the Complete Epic Fail Book 10 .pdf paperback book
View/Download the Complete Epic Fail Book 11 .pdf paperback book
View/Download the Complete Epic Fail Book 12 .pdf paperback book
View/Download the Complete Epic Fail Book 13 .pdf paperback book
View/Download the Complete Epic Fail Book 14 .pdf paperback book
View/Download the Complete Epic Fail Book 15 .pdf paperback book
These include the Table of Contents, Glossary and links, all weeks, all pictures, and index.

Week 731

Day 5111 (V:835) - 6/29 - Green light

Today my good news was rapidly ruined by frustration. I got my new battery last night. On startup it showed 84% and charging up. It made it to full. I pulled the plug, it stayed on, I let it drain 10%, plugged it back in, and it charged to full again. So the old battery definitely was the issue, and the laptop connection port seems fine, so that's a relief.

But today in the late morning I decided to set up my sale account and post the corpse. When I tried to sign up, it said I already had an account, which I thought I did but haven't used in probably 10 years. I tried to log on and was given repeated password failed errors. There was apparently also no way to request a password change. To make a long and frustrating story short, I spent the next 1.5 hours trying to clear up the issue, eventually just giving up on my main email for the account and creating an entirely new one.

I then spent the next half hour setting that up, and creating what seemed a hopeful post for the dead laptop. (It recommended a starting price about what I hoped for a minimum and a buyout price close to what I'd hoped the max would be.) But about 5 minutes later I checked my email and there was a notice that they'd not only made the listing invisible, but suspended my account. It didn't say why or for how long, so I just gave up and decided to try things from a different connection point on the thought that maybe the library partial firewall was causing some kind of issues.

That was really all the good news I could have had for today. I still feel good about the battery news, but the more than 2 hours lost, and full stop on progress with selling the dead laptop, I've been really thrown off. All I can do is hope it is cleared up quickly elsewhere, and I have a better day tomorrow.

Day 5112 (V:836) - 6/30 - Banned for what?

Today I am wondering what I should do with the dead laptop. A crazy thing happened that's put me back in this position. After all my suffering yesterday to try and get things set up, when I contacted customer support in the email link I was told that I was banned permanently. My account, and any other accounts I may have had, or will try to create, will be banned. For what? Why? There was no reason given in the email, and no chance to correct anything they thought was wrong. My only thought is maybe because I used the phrase "dead laptop" and in the description I mentioned how I "was playing a game and it simply died." and maybe that triggered some kind of auto flag for 'dead'? But why would that be an auto ban? Especially one that's permanent. Why would that not flag it and prevent the input and recommend using alternate words? Why not flag it for a moderator who would see it and go 'oh I see why', and then they tell me to reword it? And if it wasn't for that, what would it have possibly have been for?

So after that I complained to the business bureau and unsurprisingly they have a one star rating there (out of 5). I'm not very confident they will agree to reinstate my account, and less so they'd agree to just give me $500 which would have been fair max value sale, in order to remove my complaint. A one star rating pretty much shows they don't care, and this likely has repeatedly happened to people.

It's mindboggling because if it was auto flagged for 'dead', what about all the other uses of that, like the music band the "Dead Kennedys", or the TV show "Dead Like Me", or who knows how many other uses.

I don't know, but now I am considering maybe I should put the smaller amount back into the dead laptop to RMA it. I guess when/if I ever get close to $600+ I can check and see what the current amount would be. I certainly wouldn't want to pay much more than that. At the original price of $1200 and using it a year, dropping it to a remaining value of about $800, that would match to something comparable in power bought new. And if I spent even just $600 to resurrect it, that would mean I'd have to use it an additional 5 years after I get it back (beyond the year I already had it) to get its value down to a reasonable per-year cost.

I guess, at least for the moment, I am back to just waiting, trying my best to hang on, and hoping my old laptop can hang on as well.

Year 15

Day 5113 (V:837) - 7/1 - Good sleep, but feeling not great

Today I had a good sleep last night and feel extra rested now, but overall I don't feel great. I've had a bit of a headache, ringing ears, eyes hurt, and some congestion. I guess I had an ok day, but overall I feel a bit extra sad, and maybe a bit hopeless.

I'm not sure why I slept better last night. I wonder if it was related to trying to sell the dead laptop. Like, maybe a part of me that was worrying about posting it was relieved by the attempt, even though it is on hold or failed. Or maybe the part of me that was freaking out how to ideally get $1500 for a replacement that would be a slight upgrade is relieved at the thought of spending $600 instead and just RMAing the corpse to resurrect it. (Though I'd really have to just ignore the loss of the initial $1200, as it was money unexpected from stimulus, effectively pretending that I never got it, and thus never spent it on something that died.) I still worry about that though. To be worth the invested total cost that would have to last 5 more years after I get it back. And while my previous one did last that long, and my one I'm back to now pushing into year 9, I wonder if an RMA unit would also last that long. It's a different brand, and it did die super fast that first time.

I'm really just as far from $600 as I am from $1500+, as I have nothing. (I still don't have enough to cover both year end bills and the one set of brakes.) The reality of it may wind up being that as more time goes on, and the fewer there are of that old model, it may become more expensive to RMA instead of less, or they may simply not be able to do an RMA and just offer me trade in value towards something newer. (Which again, I don't know that I'd trust that company again.)

I guess I will know more as time goes on. I think the people have a week to respond to my complaint before it turns into a black mark on their record and stays a while. But at one of five stars it still seems very unlikely that they care about their rating or being fair to people.

As always though, all I can do is try to hang on, try to enjoy what I have and what remains, and hope to make it through to better days.

Day 5114 (V:838) - 7/2 - Slow day

Today felt pretty slow and sad. I'm not really sure why. I had a good time I guess. I spent a bit of time helping some guildies in my MMO. And I watched some shows.

But for some reason I feel very small, ignored, insignificant, and not cared for. I don't really feel bad, in fact I had a good time helping the guildies, and for my terrible life overall kind of feel a bit happier. But in spite of that I feel those things deeper down, and I'm not sure why.

Day 5115 (V:839) - 7/3 - Feeling very sad

Today I am feeling very sad. Last night or early this morning I had sad kitty dreams. I woke up feeling very sad and sorry for the kitty I put out. I cried over her for a bit. I know my younger self was starting to get older and because of that my allergies were getting worse and I was becoming very fearful of extreme asthma or eye swelling shut, but I loved her so much, and she loved me, and I should have found a way to keep her. And I should have let her stay inside until she had a place to be.

My day was pretty calm at the library. There has been almost no one there lately. In my games I did just basic 'daily' things. I felt sad and left my online games early and spent a few hours in a single player game. I wouldnt be surprised if tomorrow was equally quiet in games due to the holiday. Hopefully I can have an ok day since I'll have to be outside.

I feel so very sad lately. And my struggles seem so difficult lately. But all I can do is try to continue to hang on as best as I can.

Day 5116 (V:840) - 7/4 - Hopeful

Today I guess, so far, I feel a bit hopeful. It's actually a touch chilly, so I'm hopeful I don't get too hot. And part of that is that the sky is very gray and cloudy, so I'm hopeful it doesn't get brighter and I don't need to move from the spot I'm at. (It's a much stronger and more stable signal.) I'm still miffed about the plugs being removed from my previous area, as both heat and brightness wouldn't be a concern there until late afternoon, nor would there be several ants on me at any given time like there is in this or the bathroom spot.

I lost a chunk of tooth with lunch today. I guess at this point it's expected that I'll lose what's left. Probably 30% of everything is already gone, and what's left is likely corrupt to the point none of it could be saved. I think this one was probably mostly an old cavity that had been breached, so it just eventually popped out. But still, it's strange and heartbreaking how it's just a thing now that I no longer cry over because it can't be stopped.

But I try my best to hang on. And hopefully today won't be too bad.

Day 5117 (V:841) - 7/5 - Hopefully normal Tuesday

Today hopefully will be a homeless normal Tuesday. I'll shower and micro in the morning, so that will be unusual. But the library will be open and so things will hopefully be back to homeless normal.

Week 732

Day 5118 (V:842) - 7/6 - Very very tired

Today I am very very tired. For about a week now I've lost a couple hours of sleep per night. It's like I lay down, things seem ok, but I just can't fall asleep right away. I'm feeling a bit off in general too. My tummy and system feel off, likely partly malnutrition due to how limited my food choices still are. But also, when playing it's like my eyes have a hard time 'seeing'. I don't know if it's the old laptop's monitor going possibly losing overall brightness or speed. But maybe it just feels like my eyes tend to not move, and when they stay still they just get an overall blind spot and so the field of vision closes in a bit. When not at my laptop things seem normal, but I do worry because my grandpa had something that caused him to lose his vision and he had to get surgery to correct it, twice. (Though I think he was probably in his mid-60s or even mid-70s before that happened.)

I guess I had an ok time playing. Though I didn't feel super into my games and left a bit early to watch stuff. As always, there were no jobs, and most of the ones that are aren't in my area.

I guess, all in all, it was just a day. And I guess I survived it ok.

Day 5119 (V:843) - 7/7 - Feeling very tired

Today I feel very tired, and I think maybe have a massive headache, but I'm so used to various pains that I haven't noticed. Now that I'm paying attention it kind of feels like someone is grabbing my head, pushing my eyes in with their thumbs, and pulling the base of my skull apart at the same time.

At one point my game dropped to ridiculously low FPS, indicating it was no longer plugged in. Moving the plug a bit fixed that. But I'm thankful that I got the new battery, as that probably saved me from what would have been two full drop shut downs. I'm not sure how, but when I was writing unplugged the other day it showed 1.75 hours charge with the screen at full brightness, and that seemed accurate as I monitored drain over time. Which is odd because I don't recall the original battery having that much. And this new one is supposed to be only half the capacity. It makes me wonder how many years the battery had been going bad for me to expect it to have much less charge. I'm pretty sure it was the original one, so I guess it makes sense it had gotten super bad.

I guess I had an ok day. But it was hard to enjoy things feeling exhausted and sad. I did the most minimal things in my shooter, did some stuff in my mmo, though nothing fancy. And I even left games early to play something else and watch some shows. My brain was exhausted, and fixated on thoughts about my old laptop.

There was much sadness, exhaustion, and worry today, but I guess I made it through.

Day 5120 (V:844) - 7/8 - Drank double

Today I drank double my normal amount so far today. I don't know why. Was I thirsty feeling and so I brought in extra drinks and then my brain thought it had to drink them? I don't think so because I've brought extra before and then not drunk any extra. I was inside and a touch chilly, which normally means I drink less, so that's extra puzzling.

I was in a lot of pain though. Where I lost the tooth chunk is hurting, so I guess maybe a week or so before that settles down. It got so bad today that I even put on some of the special numbing stuff I haven't used for months.

I heard from the better business bureau today that the case I submitted is now processing. They said the company has a month to respond though, which seems too long. I think I don't really care about it anymore. I mean, yes, they need to fix their policy, that is dumb, but I don't care if they restore my account at this point. How things worked out made me reconsider keeping the dead laptop to possibly RMA for a lower cost than getting a new one. Now, if I don't do that within about another full year from now, then yeah that would become questionable, as it would not be a small upgrade. At that time the power per dollar to RMA would likely be much lower since the next generation of CPUs and probably GPUs will be out, then making my RMAed unit two generations behind. (And my old laptop I'm on again would be 6-7 behind instead of its current 4-5 to the dead/RMAed system.)

But, as usual, today I did the best with what I have left. I tried to make the most of my options based on what I have and the bandwidth at the library. And I tried my best to make it through the day.

Day 5121 (V:845) - 7/9 - Recovery from a strainge pain

Today I have been recovering from a strange pain I hope was an isolated incident. Yesterday I ate pretty much normal things for a Friday, but as the night started my tummy and higher intestines were a bit grumbly for some reason. I did get to sleep ok, but I'd guess around 2 or 3 I was woken up by a pretty extreme pain. In the intestines, just below my tummy, it felt like a blockage and big gas buildup. It felt like someone had punched me there a few times. My muscles around that area started to cramp, and I felt a bit chilled and feverish. My lower back muscles started to cramp a bit too, I think in a reaction to try and counteract the front ones.

It took maybe an hour to settle back down and get back to sleep. When I had to wake up there was still a bit of odd feeling in my tummy, maybe something closer to high levels of hunger. Through the day I guess my muscles were still beaten up, as a few times a spot on my side, back, or front, felt like it was pinched.

It's nearly evening now, and there is maybe a touch of the odd feeling remaining and my muscles feel ok. I tried looking up the symptoms online to see what it was, but no results matched. Hopefully it was just an odd reaction to something and it doesn't happen again.

I guess today was ok. The library was more quiet, but I feel pretty sad and alone lately. I guess not a whole lot more than usual, but I would say I'm a bit down. But I try my best to continue to hang on, try to rest as best as I can from stress, sadness, and everything else.

Day 5122 (V:846) - 7/10 - Short focus

Today my focus was short. Both in terms of attention span, as well as memory. I was almost immediately forgetting what I was doing. I am recovered from the odd pain, but obviously the lost sleep is taking a toll.

I guess nothing of real consequence happened today. There were no jobs posted, and as expected no response from the company that banned me. But again since I've decided to keep the dead laptop until I replace it, it doesn't matter if they respond or not to me, just that things are improved for others in the future. And I had enough fun in my games, though there was nothing special or anything that stood out as memorable. It was really just a regular day.

I guess I survived ok, though I feel very exhausted.

Day 5123 (V:847) - 7/11 - Dream self

Today I feel a bit weird emotionally. Right before I woke up I had a very vivid dream. In the dream I was part of a 5 person gaming group. I went to the meeting, and a beautiful girl I'd been dating broke up with me. I felt sad, but understood, since she was a fair bit younger than me. (A rare dream where I was my actual age, or close to it.) 'The professor', someone who was the D.M., but I guess also teaching us(?) said we had to leave to go get some special supplies. Right as we were leaving a new girl asked to join the group, and I thought she was very attractive, said I knew where we were going so said I'd go with her in her car to guide her. When we arrived at the place I quickly stopped following the love interests, as I knew the place, and it had some great old memories. It was a huge 3 story 100+ year-old wooden mansion, not like ones around here, more like in the south east of the U.S., and I had several friends who used to live there. I ran in, but there was no one outside, and no one on the first floor. I found someone on the second floor, who directed me to where the current 'house lead' was. I went back downstairs and outside and found her and asked if she knew any of my old friends. She said 17.5 of them still lived there. (I think the .5 was someone who'd half moved out), but no one was around right now. I was thrilled to hear some were still there and started talking about the last time I saw them. It was a massive party that was so packed people were almost shoulder to shoulder, with three live bands performing; two on the grounds around the house, one on the second floor. I told her how when I saw my friends during the party I'd have to yell, "Hey! Hey! I know you!" so they could hear me over the noise. It had been years since I last saw them at that time, but they ran up to me excited, hugged me or just hopped in place, and told me stories about crazy things that'd happened since we last saw each other.

But when I woke up I was sad. I've never been that kind of person, and certainly never had those kinds of friends. In the dream the party had happened 25 years ago, again I was close to my real age self, but in real life there are only two people I somewhat regularly talk to who I knew that long ago. And maybe fewer than half a dozen I see online I very rarely chat with from that time.

My dream self is not me, and may never be. But the thought that my life could have gone more favorably, without constant hindrance and loss, that could have been me makes me feel an odd loss of self.

Day 5124 (V:848) - 7/12 - Maybe hot

Today will maybe be hot. Sunday and Monday were in the 90s. (Or Monday should be, as it's 81F at the time of this writing and it shows it's supposed to get just over 90F later.) Hopefully I can get some rest and things will be calm. My life is so sad and stressful all the time I have to try and hope for the most rest that I can get so I stop vibrating and shaking from constant stress and fear.

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