Monday, December 19, 2016

It Always Sucks When Your Laptop Dies ~ Monday 12/19/16



Monday is supposed to be Domestic Monday but it's Christmas Week, Greg is on vacation, and my old laptop is finally dying.  So I have more pressing issues on my mind than cleaning the house, namely moving all my files over from my old laptop to the new one before it completely dies.  That's over 500 G of files. Arrgh.  

Yes, I have been backing-up the old laptop onto my external drive so it should be just as easy as installing the back-up files on the new one, but I'm paranoid that it will corrupt them somehow or that something will go wrong, so I'm still backing up each folder to my external drive manually and then I'll transfer everything back to the new laptop. It is a completely retarded way of doing things, but it allows me to feel like I'm in control!

I had a bad night last night, a night-long hot flash coupled with a kitten (Explorer) who would just not leave me alone and insisted on trying to settle himself on top of me when I was already dying of heat.  Ugh.  I didn't sleep much.   It might be time to move back to my bedroom and let the kittens fend for themselves downstairs at night. I'm quite sure they'll be crying out from behind the door, though.

Youngest son has finals today through Wednesday, which means that the kids are being released at 11:00 a.m. and somehow the buses can't run at 11:00 a.m. (?!) but they CAN run at 1:30 p.m., which isn't their regular schedule on Mondays and Tuesdays either.  So that means that either the parents go pick up their kids at 11 a.m. or the kids around wait 2.5 hours.

Our high school only has 1 road leading in and out, and it shares it with several subdivisions. It's ALWAYS a freaking mess and very dangerous at that, to go pick up the kids early on those days and I'm not looking forward to it. I might make Greg come along so he can calm me down.  Our son is an excellent student and kid, so it doesn't feel right to ask him to wait at school, especially when he still has a lot of work to do that apparently was given to be turned in on Wednesday. WTF, teachers?!

Greg's new phone is coming in to his office today so he wants to drive all the way there to go pick it up instead of waiting until after the break.  That's crazy (one hour each way, all on toll roads!) but we decided I'd go with him and we'll turn that into a date by going out to lunch and doing some Christmas shopping in that part of town.  As usual, our son declined to come with us (but he has to study and work on those projects anyway) and my daughter has to work tonight.

Our Christmas is shaping up to be very low key indeed.  Daughter will be going to her dad's later on this week and she's working this weekend. She will come home after her shift on Christmas afternoon.  Middle Son also has to work.  So we decided that Greg, Youngest Son and I would have our Christmas "dinner" (Greg still insists we'll have a buffet, whatever) on Saturday night and then open our presents on Sunday morning, and then we'll open presents with Daughter on Sunday afternoon.  We could have just had the buffet on Sunday night and waited for Daughter to be home to open all our presents with her, but the sad reality is that the days when everyone could be here at the same time are long gone, and we all need to adapt to a new way of doing things.  Still, that and the fact that we don't have a tree this year isn't helping making me feel very festive. Plus, it's HOT.  Australians are used to Christmas being in the summer, but even though we're in Florida, let me assure you that temperatures in the 80s at Christmas are NOT normal.

So this morning I'm working on painstakingly moving files from the dying laptop and that's pretty much it. The laundry and other chores will have to wait. 

Also today's post will be very boring because I didn't take any pictures and I'm too busy dealing with trying to set up the new laptop tonight to even insert clipart.



  • Move all my files from the old laptop to the new one - in progress
  • Reinstall software - in progress
  • Make sure everything works fine
  • Delete sensitive information from old laptop
  • Consider taking old laptop to get fixed



  • No lunch period today, which means my son will eat lunch at home.

  • Greg's on vacation this week, which technically means little driving and NO TOLLS. However, he wants to go to his office today so that'll be a splurge.

  • Having bought and received the new laptop already means that I'm not completely panicking about my old laptop dying on me :)  Thanks, honey, again, for my birthday gift.

  • Microsoft (Bing) Rewards is working again today and I earned the maximum amount of credits for today. However, I never was credited for those that I had earned yesterday so I emailed Customer Service this morning.

  • I earned a few Swagbucks. I'm not going to worry about meeting any goals today.


  • I took two RaceTrac surveys and earned reward codes for two new freebies. Woohoo!

  • We went to pick up our son and didn't encounter any problems. We left the house 10 minutes after the beginning of the pick-up period so we got there 20 minutes after the start... most people had already picked up their kids so it went pretty "fast" and traffic wasn't bad. Phew. I'm doing the same thing again tomorrow.

  • We didn't buy the $150 hiking boots that Greg suggested we get for me as a Christmas present. We got the $41 hiking boots instead.  There, now it sounds "frugal"!

  • We didn't buy dinner. I made my son a grilled ham and cheese sandwich and tomato soup, Greg heated up another can of soup for himself and I'm skipping dinner because I had fajitas for lunch and I'm still full.

  • I had an unexpected success after a failure with CVS (see "Failures")!

  • Thanks to the Slickdeals user who checked his/her Discover Rewards late in the month, realized that there was a $10 off $30 in-store Discover Deals available and posted about it!  As usual, if you have one of those (search "Kohl's" in Discover Rewards, if all you have is Kohl's Online then you don't qualify for it), open your Kohl's app and under "Wallet", manually enter the UPC code as well as the PIN code for your offer(s) and you will receive $10 in Kohl's Cash that you can get scanned at the store checkout without meeting the $30 minimum.  I checked both my and Greg's Discover card accounts (we have separate accounts) and we each had the offer so I have $20 in Kohl's cash to spend before 12/31. Woohoo!  I can get him a couple more presents...


  • Some bright news in the middle of a major annoyance and failure with Microsoft Office (see "Failures", again!) is that I did go through Swagbucks to access the Microsoft store so I should get close to 600 SB (4 SB per $1 spent) and since I also was logged in to my Microsoft Rewards account, I should be getting 149 Microsoft Rewards points, I think.

  • Greg finally remembered to check how many Microsoft Rewards points he has in his account and he has over 12,000 points. Which is nothing considering that he started using that before I ever did and has never redeemed anything, whereas I've earned over 169,000 points in a shorter amount of time and redeem my points every time I hit the threshold needed to get a $5 Amazon gift card, lol.  I commandeered his computer and quickly had him earn more points. He said he was going to take his time to think of how to redeem his points. He might get the credit for Groove Music since he currently pays for it.


  • Gas to go stand in line and pick up my son from school.

  • Gas and tolls to drive to Greg's office and back and run Christmas shopping errands

  • Lunch at Chili's for Greg and myself.

  • We bought more Christmas presents because Greg still needed to get me something from HIM (although now I know all the presents that I'm getting so no surprises for me!) and also wanted to get a couple of small things for our son.  We didn't use coupons, didn't price match.  Such is the price to pay for shopping with a man. Seriously.  I'm sure we could have bought everything we bought cheaper on Amazon (and with free shipping).

  • Gas for my daughter to go to work and back.

  • As I saved several geneological documents, I created very long file names for them.  The technology now allows us to have long file names. However, either the external drive or the process to move the files over isn't allowing long file names!  And then it won't tell me which files weren't moved. Comparing folders (I have a ton!) and files (lots!) would take forever so I'm reduced to copying files folder by folder to a USB key and then moving them to the external drive and new laptop manually, little by little. I guess I wanted control, right?  Ugh.

  • I'm grateful for the new laptop and I don't completely hate it (so: success?) but I don't like it and I hate Windows 10. Or maybe the ClassicShell which is probably better than Windows 10 but far from being perfect and looking exactly like I wanted it to look (probably because I have my old laptop set up to look like Vista!).  Everything takes twice as long to do because instead of 1 click action, now I have to find a menu on the damn "ribbon" and then click. So at least 2 clicks when before I just needed one. That is NOT progress.  Also it's way too hard for me to select files and at the same time way too easy for files to be moved where I don't want them to be moved and apparently there is no way to unable a dialogue somewhere that would ask me if I'm sure that I want to move the files there. How stupid is this?!  The only way to fix this, apparently, is to increase the drag time for the drag and drop so I guess you'd have time to say "hey, let's not drop this here by mistake".  Well, that's dumb.  Ugh, ugh, ugh, I feel like I'm back writing with big fat crayons even though I'm using supposedly more "advanced" technology.  I want to scream!  Also, moving everything is taking forever and I'm dreading connecting my phone to the new laptop and screwing something up because, of course, iTunes still sucks.  You'd think that, by now, they'd have fixed it.


  • CVS emailed me a survey promising me $10 in ECB if I qualified to complete it, and then proceeded to ask me to rate my recent shopping trip in Gainesville, FL.  Gainesville is 2 hours away, I almost never go there and I certainly didn't shop there. So I didn't qualify and didn't get $10 in ECB, which is fine, but this is the 2nd time that they email me surveys about a shopping trip in Gainesville and I'm worried that my records are getting mixed up with someone else who might even be getting my rewards.  So I emailed their Customer Service.  Update:  They are equally concerned and are, supposedly, investigating, but in the meantime they email me a link to print the $10 ECB.  Woot!  Thanks, CVS!  Also, since I had been disqualified, they had emailed me a $2 ECB consolation "prize" so I think I can print and use both?!  I'll have to see.  I needed to get candy for stocking so I guess my candy will be free. Way to turn a failure into a success for me, CVS!

  • This one, I'm pretty pissed about even though I feel guilty about being pissed because he's being very sweet about it, but still... so I had bought Office 2010 (3 licenses) on disc years ago and that's the version I was using on my laptop (the other two are on Youngest Son's desktop and Middle Son's laptop).  I asked Greg what I should do so I could install it on the new laptop and deactivate it on the old one so he said to first uninstall it from the old one. I did that.  Then I opened my Office 2010 disc box to find my disc and reinstall it on the new laptop and... there was no disc in the box!  The last person to have used this was Greg, back in August 2015 when he reinstalled Office 2010 on our son's new desktop. Arrgh!  He and I looked everywhere and we couldn't find the disc. I was trying not to scream and he was sweating it because he knew I was quite upset about it as I didn't want to have to update Office and worse... pay for it all over again!  Finally, I told him to forget about it, that I'd buy Office 365, although it burns me to have to pay for it every month. He was very relieved and said I could buy whatever I wanted. Hmm, OK.  Well, come to find out. I could either pay $100 a year to use Office 365 on 5 machines and get a bunch of stuff I didn't need or want... or pay $150 to buy Office Home & Student 2016 Edition to use on just 1 computer, flat fee.  So I did that.  I'm in the process. in the middle of everything, to try to repersonalize every program the way I had it in Office 2010 but since I can't look back at the old version to see exactly what icons I had placed on the toolbar and in which order, it's taking a while.  I'm not happy to have had to spend another $150. What a fiasco... I've been whining an awful lot today and not paying any attention to the kittens who are trying to be cute but are just another annoyance right now, the mood I'm in...


  • Fed the kittens
  • Earned rewards on my programs
  • Starting moving files from the old laptop to the external drive
  • Took customer satisfaction surveys
  • Emailed my son to remind him that his library book is due in 3 days
  • Picked up my son from school
  • Went to run errands and Christmas shopping with Greg
  • Fed the kittens
  • Continued to move files from the old laptop to the new one
  • Cooked dinner for my son
  • Continue the moving files process


  • That Greg insisted on my getting a new laptop prior to the old one dying. It's one fewer worry. I'm very privileged as many people wouldn't be able to afford this.  But this is why we're being quite frugal in many areas.
  • For an easier school pick-up than I anticipated
  • For a delightful afternoon with my husband
  • For a sympathetic CVS Customer Care person who credited me with the ECBs that I was disqualified from through no fault of my own
  • For my husband's patience as I sigh and groan and scream my way through switching laptops.  I'm not an easy person. Or a patient one.