The surprise birthday party!

Like a number of days lately, I have been off from work. I had a productive day. I started the morning off by working on my blog for an hour. Then I had a rigid schedule of alternating studying and following up on different tasks. I followed up on some freelance work, and I also checked in on my stupid laptop with HP. They didn’t pick up:(

Not a week ago, the chair on my nice office chair broke off. I called and emailed the company, they are on the west coast, so the phone call didn’t work. Hopefully the email will.

Later on I ran an errand to the vacuum store just up the road to drop ours off to be looked at. Turns out I didn’t something with it I shouldn’t have that may have not damaged it permanently, but it will need a tweak. That’s fine, we’ve never even had this hand me down looked at, and it looks like a hunk of junk. They are going to fix the bag door, and work on a better system for storing the cord.

By the time I got back, I had a little bit of time to study and then I went and lifted with Dave.

Onto the big event for the night. This is the story. The three girls(Sarah, Kim and Kate) originally had this big scheme. Brian turned 30, Wes will turn 30 in a month, and I was right in the middle, not turning 30:)

The idea was, throw the two of them off, by giving them a surprise birthday party at the Rothe’s. Or, that is what I heard the plan was. I wasn’t supposed to hear that at all, actually. Sarah said Kate sort of let it slip, it was supposed to be for all of us. Naturally, I was pretty bummed about that. In my mind, the party wasn’t at all for me anymore.

Wes and Kate got to our house after work, and from what I was told, Brian was supposed to show up, and the three guys were supposed to leave and have drinks or something. (The girls cover was a “jewelry party”, the whole story had quite a few holes, but it all ended well.) Brian never came, and I just assumed that the girls wanted us to leave, so Wes and I headed just down the road to try out some of the “local” bars.

We stayed at the first one for about 5 minutes, with country music blaring, a guy and what looked like another guy making out, and some other interesting characters it was a little too much “local” flavor for the both of us. The second bar / restaurant was better and we stayed there until about 7:45.

I figured Wes had it all worked out before we left, and when we got back I thought it would be obvious, but he was still surprised. We had a good crowd, 20 or so people, the usual folks from church and another 6-8 of Brian’s high school friends and Wes and Kate’s neighbors. Brian ended up having to work late, and was under the impression the surprise was for me, so he was waiting for us to come back when he saw some of his buddies show up, and then he was surprised. Just not in the overwhelming instantaneous fashion.

Party was great, people stayed a long time. The people we didn’t know as well stayed until probably 11, and the core group hung out and chatted until after midnight. The guys were outside, joking and laughing by the rip-roaring fire, the girls inside on the couches laughing at the guys.

It was a great party, and the arcade games got some good use, maybe 45 minutes or so I got to show off the Jr. Pac-man and people played Pengo on the new 96 in 1 Pac-man kit that I installed last night.

Great night. Wish I could have been part of the surprise…but maybe next year.

Laptop is in the mail

I finally got to send it out on Saturday morning before the gym.

Friday night, I went over to Indyweb’s new location and Mike helped me back up my hard drive. It was pretty easy actually, the drive in the laptop is a SATA, so I should be able to mess around with it at home as well on my SATA hard drive enclosure.

He didn’t end up charging me anything for the 20 minutes of work. I barely had any files on the computer really, so it was an easy job. We did it pretty quick, put some on my flash, some on a CD.

Later on Friday night I hooked up my drive again to my desktop and I just went through and deleted personal files. Don’t like the idea of HP going through my DV9225 laptop to fix stuff and just browsing through whatever. The whole process is very invasive, I don’t like it at all.

Fedex told me that it didn’t matter whether I brought the box by on Friday night or Saturday morning, it wouldn’t arrive to Monday either way. So, I took that time to do the backup Friday night and went Saturday instead.

Now, 7-9 days to fix. They will probably have to replace the motherboard if video is built on. Not a small deal, glad it is under warranty. I will have to check with them Thurs-Fri to see where things are at.

HP DV9225 Laptop broke, video display issue

A week ago when Chapman’s were down, my laptop screen wouldn’t come back out of sleep mode. All of the lights were on, and all indications were that it was working fine by the lights, but the screen wouldn’t come up.

I have an HP DV9225, and it was pretty high end when I bought it in February. But it is still brand new in my mind and shouldn’t be having any issues.

I spent over an hour on the phone, maybe two, with some Indian tech support that I could hardly understand. After removing and putting the battery back in the computer came back up fine. He had me reset the BIOS, and I also went in later and removed the John Deere software I had installed over the weekend. I figured things would be fine.

But this weekend it did it again. I got the series of three beeps again like I did the first time when I freaked out. I know a series of beeps is a hardware error.

This time tech support had me do the same stuff, and re-seat the memory. Nothing worked. So, now I get to be without it for two weeks at least to send it back to them on their dime to repair it. It is a video display issue, and I hope it doesn’t magically fix itself in the mail on the way to them.

But to say that I am disappointed is an understatement. There is the obvious inconvenience, but there is also the fact that I chose this laptop based largely on brand loyalty. I have had good luck with HP stuff in the past and I thought I would stick with it. I had gotten the blue screen of death (BSOD) a couple of times since I had it, some sort of memory dump. So, I am hoping that the video display part was just faulty and it will work perfect for a long time when I get it back.

But I have to think about buying HP again in the future. I don’t like ever being without my machine, and don’t like the fact that I can’t return it somewhere more local. The tech support guy couldn’t tell me where the repair location I was mailing the DV9225 laptop was located, he just didn’t know. I have to wait on the box, and then wait on them. It should be under the manufacturer’s warranty, but if it is not, I know that I won’t be buying HP again. I can only assume replacing the whole screen potentially on my dime, would be costly.