Daily Prompt 3/17/2016 | Technology Shelf Life

Why is it that the more money we spend on computers and phones, the faster they become obsolete? It is infuriating, especially since these days you need to have a smart phone, or a tablet, or convenient access to the internet in your possession to even function in society, but not everyone can afford to run out and get these things the second society demands that you have them.

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In response to The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 3/17/2016 | Shelf

“Technology has the shelf life of a banana.” ~ Unknown

Everything has a shelf life. Everything. Technology, specifically expensive items it seems, such as computers, phones, cameras, etc., seem to have shorter self lives than most. Why is it that the more money we spend on computers and phones, the faster they become obsolete? It is infuriating, especially since these days you need to have a smart phone, or a tablet, or convenient access to the internet in your possession to even function in society, but not everyone can afford to run out and get these things the second society demands that you have them.

Recently, I have been having some problems with my computer. Long story short, it isn’t really my computer. Well, kind of. I guess? It is a 7 year old hand-me-down that I got from a good friend, over 3 years ago, that he gifted to me when my ex threw me out, keeping my computer. Unfortunately, like most things technology, it has quickly become outdated. I have been having a hard time running more than one or two programs at once, even internet browsers, and forget playing any game that isn’t a Flash game, or has very low graphics requirements. The kicker? The drivers on it are so old, that they don’t even make updates for them anymore.

Yesterday, as an anniversary gift, Kyle bought me the game Stardew Valley, which he knew I have been crazy anxious to get my hands on. I quickly installed it, and played it for a majority of the night with no issue. It is unbelievably fun and addicting, which I will write about later on, hopefully! Unfortunately, when I woke up this morning, the game refused to launch, and keeps getting stuck on an “Preparing to launch Stardew Valley…” screen. This has sent me into a downward spiral of updates, forum searches, and failed installations.

Currently, I am installing Windows updates that I have put off for far too long, which I only have myself to blame for. After over an hour of downloading, I am finally installing update 15… out of 114. It has been an hour and 45 minutes total thus far, and since this process is pretty taxing on my computer’s system, I am unable to do much else. A friend of mine offered to send me one of his spare graphics cards, which would be a huge upgrade for me, but who knows how long that could take. I’m hoping that updating Windows helps, and I am able to play the game again.

It worked PERFECTLY last night, you guys. I’m so sad. Ugh.

Kyle get off work at 2:30 today, so hopefully we can get out of the house to take my mind off of this. First world problems, am I right? I really need a new computer, I know that, but they are so flippin’ expensive! Anyone have one they’d like to donate? Haha.

Thanks for reading, friends! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Jan

Daily Prompt 2/22/2016 | Triggering Memories

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 2/22/2016 | Drawing a Blank

When was the last time your walked away from a discussion, only to think of The Perfect Comeback hours later? Recreate the scene for us, and use your winning line.”

A comeback? No. I just wish I had the right words to say…

I sat helplessly behind the screen of the computer that he had given me just after my 15th birthday. I could barely read the words popping up in the X-Fire chat window through my tears, let alone see the keys to formula some kind of response. Not that it would have mattered at that point anyway.

I’m sorry.
I’m tired of this.
I’m coming over.

We had been arguing. Over the course of 3 years, he had been my everything, but he had broken my heart so many times, and I always came back. I didn’t know any better, and I had no one else. But not the last time. I had chosen to move on with my life, and had found someone else to share myself with, who didn’t treat me that way. He didn’t like it. I sat there for what seemed like hours, when really, the drive from his house to mine only took a few minutes. I heard the knock on my front door, followed by footsteps coming to my bedroom.

His eyes were red, and he was shaking. He reached for my computer, and began unplugging it, taking it apart to take back to his house. Taking away my only form of communication with the outside world, and my new, long-distance boyfriend. Taking away a part of me. He was angry, and he was hurt, and I didn’t try to stop him. At least, not from taking the computer.

You can’t do this…” I said to him, grabbing his shoulders, trying to calm him down. I was bigger than him, and stronger, but he was in a bad place, “I won’t let you do this.

He ignored me, and I choked back tears, trying to stay strong. I didn’t know if he wanted me to try to stop him or not, I didn’t know what he wanted to hear. I didn’t know what to do. My mom and her friend sat in the kitchen, just outside my bedroom door, and I thought about telling them what was going on, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t even speak. So I didn’t.

I watched him dismantle my computer, get into his car, and drive away. I waited until I knew he was back home, and called him. He answered, much to my surprise.

Please, don’t do this. Can we talk about it?

No,” he choked out, he was crying.

Then I heard the pill bottle, and my heart stopped.

Stop. STOP.” I demanded, but all I heard was sobbing, and the sounds of pills scattering across his desk. He was in his room. Was his mom home? Should I call the police? I’d have to hang up the phone. I couldn’t hang up the phone.

Don’t do anything,” he said, seemingly reading my mind,his voice raw, “I’ll unplug the phone. My mom has a gun upstairs. Don’t make me do that, Janise.

I was sobbing. I had no words. I was frozen. I could hear him counting pills out loud… 1… 2… 3… I didn’t know what he was taking. Why was he doing this?

Please…” I sobbed.

Thank you,” was all he said, then, “goodbye.

Click.

I sobbed loudly. My mom had already left with her friend, and I was alone in the house. Had I lost him? Was it too late to do anything? I curled up on my bed, and I cried. My body shook, and I soaked my pillow. I never did anything. I don’t know when I fell asleep, but I woke up to my phone vibrating. The sun was up.

I reached for it, and saw his name on the called I.D. I didn’t want to answer. What if it was his mom? What if it was him? I answered.

I need you to come over. We need to talk,” came his voice from the other end of the phone. I agreed, and he hung up.

The sobbing started all over again. I had my mom drop me off, and told her that his mom would be bringing me to school. She still did not know anything about what was going on.

I didn’t knock on his door, I hadn’t done that in months. I went straight to his room, where he was sitting at his desk. He looked awful.

Are you okay? What did you do?” I demanded, “Did you tell yout mom?

He nodded slowly, and told me that he had told her everything. Everything about us. Everything he was feeling. He had taken 22 extra strength Tylenol, and 6 of his ADHD pills last night. I dropped to the floor, crying. Why wasn’t he at the hospital? Why was he here?

I needed to tell you… that I’m sorry…” his breathing was starting to sound labored, and I looked up, just in time to see him fall from his chair. I heard myself scream, and his mother and younger sister came running downstairs. He was still lucid, and he got to his feet. He swayed, and tried to run to the kitchen, with us right behind him. He fell to the kitchen floor, and I knelt beside him, placing his head in my lap, while his mom sobbed into the phone. She had called 911. The ambulance was on it’s way. The wait was terrible. His mom was crying, his sister was saying this was my fault, and I was silent.

I rode to the hospital with his mother, who had some very cruel words for me. She blamed me for this as well.

I missed the entire school day, and spent nearly 8 hours in the hospital with him. I was there when they gave him charcoal, to flush his stomach. I sat by his side, holding his hand, and talked to him about everything. About us. About what was on TV. Everything. I was so thankful that he was alright, even though he wasn’t. I didn’t know if I was helping him, or hurting him, but I got my answer later. They made him talk to a therapist, and we were asked to leave the room. The therapist also blamed me, and they all agreed that it would be best if I get out of his life. Forever.

I called my mom to come get me, unable to stand another moment with his mother, and I broke down in her car, and told her everything. She didn’t blame me.

The weeks and months that followed were some of the worst of my life. I had lost my best friend, even though he was still alive. Every single friend that we shared, had turned their backs on me, and rumors flew around the school about what really happened that night and the following day. It was absolute hell. Seeing him, every day, and not being able to say anything to him, to see how he was doing, was awful, bur that’s what he wanted. He made that abundantly clear when he switched out of the 3 classes that we shared, and glared at me whenever we passed in the halls. How could people hate me so much, when I was simply trying to move on, and make myself happy?

I never defended myself. I never gave my side of our story. I never tried to correct people when they spread blatant lies. He was fine, but a piece of me had died that night, and it still affects me to this day. Triggers me.

We have since made up, and are friends from a distance, talking every once in a while via Facebook. We have never spoken of it, and I sometimes wonder if he ever thinks about that night, and if it ever cuts into him like it still does to me, nearly 10 years later. If I had the right words to say, would it have changed the outcome of that night? Or did what little I was able to say actually keep him alive?

I wish I could say this this was the last time that I was put in this situation, but unfortunately, it happened again more recently. However, that’s a story for another time.

Thank you for reading, friends. If you, or someone you know, is thinking about suicide, please get help.

US: 1 (800) 273-8255
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week

Jan

Daily Prompt 1/26/2016 | Out of Touch

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 1/26/2016 | Life After Blogs

“Your life without a computer: what does it look like?”

In April 2013, my ex and I separated suddenly after 4 years together. I moved into the basement, and we continued to live in peaceful co-habitation, until one day, he informed me that he was giving me two weeks to find a new place to live, pack up my stuff, and leave the apartment that we shared with our roommate. He also informed me that I could not take his old computer, which he had given to me 2 years prior when he upgraded. He didn’t want the computer, he just wanted me to suffer.

Up to that point, I had been living my life almost exclusively online. We had moved 5 times in 4 years, and I had packed up my life so many times for him, as well as his family. The last couple moves took me 4 hours away from my job, as well as the few friends that I had been able to make in the the 2 years we lived in that particular city. After moving away from the city, and settling into the small town where he grew up, I lost everything. His family made my life hell, I had a hard time finding a new job, and I had no one to talk to.

A few years later, after our break up, it all happened again. The friends that I had made no longer wanted anything to do with me, and I lost my management job a short time later. I was able to find, and move into, a small, rundown apartment, where I stayed on a month-to-month agreement (no lease). I had no electricity for the first week, and no hot water for nearly two weeks. Luckily, I was able to find a new job pretty quickly, and my now-fiance, Kyle, helped me get to and from work (I can’t drive, which had caused a lot of issue with finding work).

I never got my internet back, since I no longer had a computer. And we lived without internet, or cable, for over a year and a half. The first couple months were the hardest. I had given up my podcast, my Twitter friends, my blog, my long-distance family. It was awful. Around 4 months in, my phone broke. The one thing I had left that helped keep me in touch with the world. And it was gone.

Several months later, with Kyle’s help, I was able to get a new phone. My first smart phone. I was able to get online (wherever I could find WiFi), and reconnect with my friends.

Cut to November 2014. I was around 30 weeks pregnant, and Kyle and I had moved to a new town, leaving everything behind once again. We were finally financially stable, and decided that getting the internet would be useful, as I was about to be stuck home alone for a long time, once our son came. I had a hand-me-down computer that my friend, Brian, had given me, which I am still using, and was so ready to get back online. It had been just over a year and a half since I had logged into World of Warcraft, or put out a podcast episode, or wrote a blog post.

In early November, I returned to the world of the internet, but my joy didn’t last long. Reconnecting with old friends, as well as getting back into my old games and routines, did not go as smoothly as planned. After discovering that my computer could not handle playing World of Warcraft anymore, and that most of my friends had moved on with their lives anyway, I decided that it wasn’t worth the $15 a month subscription, just to play alone. I also decided to officially retire my podcast, as it was completely impossible to record anything with a crying baby, and horrible neighbors, making noise.

Even now, I don’t do much online. I still feel that sense of disconnection. I tweet and use Facebook, but mostly from my phone. I also watch YouTube mostly on my phone, as my son won’t let me sit at my computer for long periods of time without fussing. The only thing I really do on my computer that I can’t do on my phone is… well, this. Blogging. And other miscellaneous things, like filing my taxes. If I had a better phone, though? I probably wouldn’t need this machine at all.

So, to answer the prompt, if I didn’t have a computer, my life really wouldn’t be much different than it is now.

As long as I can keep my phone.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan