Dogs and Medical “Athletic Wrap” (aka Medical Flex Tape)

Sunday night, we noticed Lola had a rather large chunk of skin missing from her foot (just above where her pad starts/stops) on the bottom of her foot. I talked to the vet Monday morning and she told me she’d do exactly what I had done; apply Neosporin and wrap her foot in medical “flex tape” this is a type of wrap that sticks to itself but not skin. She also suggested putting Lola in a cone if she wouldn’t leave it alone and of course, she won’t. It isn’t deep, just big, about the size of a nickel and when it isn’t covered Lola insists the best thing for it is her tongue.

If it isn’t significantly better by August 31st, she has an appointment with the vet. I am really hoping it’s better by then, but if not… We think it hurts her to go up and down stairs, because she’s been determined to come and go via the garage this week.

Convincing her she really needs to stop licking it has been a battle and we’ve resorted to putting children’s socks over the bandage to assist with preventing her from pulling the wrap off with her paw or with Kelly’s help. This has really slowed down my writing this week. And PS: Lola really hates socks.

On top of it, our insurance company finally got back with us on our camper damage from July 9th and they are certain they are just going to total it out. We have to go up and clean it out, so chances are that most of this week, I won’t get as much done as I’d like, but it needs to be done.

The book (a historical detective mystery) surpassed 40,000 words over the weekend. Competitive Dreams is with the first editor. Elysium & Mercurial Dreams audiobooks have released… I have been alerted that at least one person who downloaded it from Amazon UK had issues with Elysium Dreams not being complete. This appears to be a download issue, as the copies I listened to from Audible.com and Scribd were complete. Meaning if you downloaded Elysium Dreams and found one or more chapters incomplete you’ll need to contact the distributor to sort out the download issue, because it’s not a publishing/narrator issue and I do not have control over the audiobooks or distribution.

Lola

Lola decided this afternoon I needed help with my historical fiction novel. She refused to go up the stairs outside or inside and instead stood in my office and snapped at me until I moved my table and cleaned off the couch, where she is now laid out napping.

Another One Down

Well, I made it through another birthday. We had Kilian and Jude most of the weekend which was nice, but exhausting. It’s going to take me a few days to recover I have a feeling, because this morning I opened my writing program and just stared at the screen for about 10 minutes before deciding I didn’t have a clue what came next in the story I’m working on.

Tomorrow, the Elysium Dreams and Mercurial Dreams audiobooks release. The last two weeks of August in Missouri are supposed to be cooler (low to mid 80s most days) and I’m looking forward to working outside for most of it and hope it improves my mood a bit.

The last several months, have been a mental health struggle. I don’t really know what’s wrong except that I’ve felt kinda “blah.”

I have joined an online dart league, which has been good. I’m enjoying playing from home, it’s much easier on my body than in person in a bar play where sitting in brutally uncomfortable chairs between matches is more than I can handle anymore. I was the worst player in league but it has been more than 3 years since I threw a dart, so I expected it and I can only improve at this point.

I am writing on a couple different books right now. One of them is not dark and gory, which is unusual for me and might be a disaster by the time it’s finished. But I am still working.

Toddlers

For the record, I forgot how exhausting toddlers are. And Jude is not afraid to tell me I’m wrong. Jude asked why Uncle Cody wasn’t taking Kilian when he picked up Jude. I tried to explain about family… Cody is Jude’s uncle, but not Kilian’s because Cody is mommy’s brother and Kilian’s dad is brothers with Jude’s dad. Jude put his hands on his hips and said “You’re wrong, we are all family.” Yes I am Jude, you’re right we are all family.”

Not Dead

Elysium Dreams & Mercurial Dreams audiobooks will release August 17, 2020. This is a notice to let everyone know I’m not dead. I have been in a funk for a few months… I have also found myself less stressed since unplugging from social media. I am working my fingers off to get Competitive Dreams ready for editing by the editors. Anyway, with my stress level a little lower, I just haven’t wanted to log into social media. This is nothing against my readers, I just find it less stressful to do everything via blog…

One of those Weeks

I contacted a friend who is good with computers on Tuesday to let him know we would not be doing the scheduled updates in August due to my computer disaster. He and I exchanged a dozen messages and then he dropped a nuclear bomb on me “Basically the updates you intended to do will fix your computer.” What the f*ck!?

He told me this as I was setting up the replacement I just bought. What do you mean the upgrades I had planned for August will fix my computer? “Well, if the screen is just not plugged in properly and that’s what it sounds like to me, then replacing the original SSD hard drive, which is the damaged one, will get your computer back up and running once the screen is properly plugged in.”

So, if I buy a replacement SSD drive for $100… I will have 2 computers? Great, I spent $1,000 to replace my computer for no reason other than it will be 3 weeks before the other one gets fixed… Insert a string of creative swear words here…

I feel like an idiot… My consolation is that my laptop is 6 years old and it’s a good idea to have a backup…. I will now use the new computer for work and the old computer for gaming and fun.

It has sorta been one of those weeks.

The New Computer

Saturday morning, Kelly finally won the war with my electronic devices when she pushed my laptop off the bed onto our hardwood floor while the lid was open. The first noticeable problem was the screen. The computer sounded like it booted, but my screen stayed black. I shut it all down and took it back to my office. I promptly attempted to boot it again… this time the screen worked, the hard drive made some strange noises and then the ear shattering blast of a critical error.

After another try it booted to the BIOS menu and I ran diagnostics… sure enough, hard drive damaged. And then my screen went black twice while diagnostics ran. By noon, I had the laptop open…

The cord connecting the screen to the computer “appeared” fine… but the screen comes and goes and of course, the BIOS scan found hard drive issues.

Needless to say, I panicked. I use specialized writing software and it has RAM requirements beyond the basic 8GB RAM. I’m in the middle of editing a novel… I can’t be without a laptop for months and the secondary laptop we have (Jason’s) is a basic model that doesn’t have the RAM requirements to run my writing software. And so I began laptop shopping… I decided some months ago when my Dell bit the dust this time, I’d switch to a Lenovo. I’ve had terrible luck with HP and Asus, so those weren’t options.

I hate the new trend of small hard drives in laptops. I know a lot of stuff is now “app” and therefore doesn’t require a lot of hard drive space, but writing software is still a program, not an app… as is QuickBooks. My 256GB hard drive isn’t big enough to hold Windows, QuickBooks, and writing software… That’s not counting the JPGs of book covers or the files of books. I require more than 512GBs of hard drive space. My 1 TB hard drive is about half full now… The only Lenovo I could find “off the shelf” ready to ship had hard drives of 512GBs or smaller and customizing it, said it would take 4-6 months to ship because there’s a microchip shortage.

I can probably limp my laptop along for a few days, maybe even a week. 4-6 months would be impossible. Also, I’m not spending $2,000 on a gaming laptop. I don’t need the graphics and sound enhancements included with gaming laptops like Alienware. It took a couple of hours, but I found another Dell on Amazon that has 32GBs RAM, a 516GB SSD, and a 2TB HDD for about a $1,000. It will be here Tuesday.

Now for the thing I despise. I hate changing laptops almost as much as moving all the physical shit in my house. I have to transfer all my files, all my old emails, all my bookmarks… and holy Hell… I have to install updates and patches and then I have to install all my software. Oh and since everything is now a “download” I have to find all my license keys in emails.

Which is what I’m doing now… Printing out license keys for all my specialized software programs. Oh and passwords, I need to scrounge up all my passwords because I’m going to need to log in to everything all over again… crap.

Also, I always “lose” something…. I have no idea how.

I got to thinking about it during my despair, this will be my 5th laptop in 18 years. I can’t decide if this is a good record or not… I bought the laptop Kelly broke in the spring of 2015 and had reached the point it was going to require a RAM upgrade as well as a hard drive update (the now damaged laptop had 2 hard drives one SSD OS hard drive and one HDD hard drive for actual storage). Considering I average 10 hours a day, 7 days a week working on my laptop, I think I get pretty decent use out of them….

Anyway, I’ll be down most of this week getting the new laptop prepared for use. PS: if Kelly could destroy all our phones and tablets, she would. She does not approve of us using electronic devices when she’s around.

And finally, all this comes on the heels of mass destruction. July 9th a tornado hit my in-laws’ campground where our camper sits. Several of the campers were flipped over. Luckily, ours was not flipped. However, wind and hail damaged our slide out and we have some interior weather damage. I’m waiting for the insurance adjustor to schedule the appointment to come look at it… My frantic laptop purchase was done while I waited for J to get off work so we could go see the damage in person for the first time.

Kelly & Electronics

Our dog Kelly does not like attention be taken away from her and put on an electronic device… whether that’s a phone, tablet, or laptop she considers them all evil. It’s part of the reason I don’t bring my laptop out of my office except in my bag.

This morning, I brought my laptop upstairs to do something and it was sitting on my bed when Kelly promptly pushed it off. Now the screen won’t come on. I don’t know if it’s irreparable or not but I am really dreading having to buy a new laptop. We’ll find out tomorrow.