Serenity Out of Gas

It could have been worse, or so I keep telling myself. The price tag for my stupidity is pretty high, however.

A new hard drive with lifetime warranty, plus data retrieval of whatever they can rescue from my dead drive. A new battery, required because my laptop was declared vintage within the last couple of weeks. That means Apple will no longer manufacture the parts, and since my battery was about to die, I needed to get a new battery while they're still available.

Therefore I was going to postpone my planned RAM upgrade until I could recover from this financial gut-punch. However, I figured out that if I did the RAM now, it wouldn't cost me any additional labor costs and it came with a lifetime warranty, as opposed to the 'crack the case and pray' warranty that comes when I do the work myself.

Total cost: $525. To be fair, the cost would have been the same if I hadn't been stupid. However, I wouldn't be sitting here praying that they are able to rescue my files.

See, I had a horrible realization on my way to the indie Machead shop. I'd been approaching this with the mindset that I hadn't backed up in about five months. Stupid, yes. I was thinking of the photos I'd taken, the financial records, the manuscript to the new book, travel itineraries.

But I'd forgotten that the reason I hadn't backed up was that my backup drive was corrupted. Um. The backup drive was corrupted. Not only had I not backed up in five months, but my old backups were likely gone. Therefore, everything I'd done since the 1990s was at risk.

And still is. The Macheads were reasonably confident they could rescue most if not all the data; the old drive has bad sectors and cannot boot, but it is showing up as existing, which is a promising sign. No guarantees, they said, but I stand a good chance.

As the parts ship from Apple, I am waiting to see how much they can save from Serenity. Yes, I named my laptop the day I got her. Why Serenity? What a ship is, is freedom. She lets me fly.

The timing sucks. Well, there's never a good time to get socked with a $525 repair bill. But it's especially unpleasant because a) we are still waiting on the outcome of the Stolen iPhone Saga, and b) next week, my son and I are supposed to go on a road trip.

We're going to Baltimore to see my niece Alexis graduate from high school. We're going to meet my new baby niece Olivia - born two days before our wedding - and spend some time with the family. I'm going to show Ian my old stomping grounds in Baltimore. And if I can afford it, we're going to go into Washington D.C. and Ian will fulfill his lifelong wish of seeing the Lincoln Memorial, the Mall and the White House. Or at least driving past them.

It's a mother-son road trip, something we're really looking forward to now that we have a decent car that will actually make it. Ian is especially excited about Washington - when he heard it was possible to go to the nation's capital while visiting my sister, his eyes bugged out and he exclaimed, "Are you flipping serious??"

Only now I'm wondering how I can feed the teenage boy that eats like a football team for a week on the road when we just emptied the fund on a computer repair. Thus, a plan.

• I have put both Gethsemane and Infinity on sale for the time being (the former is available on Kindle Unlimited) in the hopes of encouraging extra sales. If you haven't picked either of these up, now is an excellent time to do so.

• As always, my paperbacks are available on and usually at prices cheaper than Amazon. For the time being, you can get a 10 percent discount with the code CARD15.

• Finally, some of you have asked if you can help directly. After consideration... yes. I will take Paypal at But it's not a donation per se! For any amount given to this problem, I will send you an art print. So be sure your PayPal has a current address attached. If you request it, you can even get one of the new Elmwood Cemetery photos. They haven't even been put out in the etsy shop yet, because they only exist on my dead hard drive and Ordering prints off Mpix might be the only way they ever see the light of day.

Thanks for the kind advice over the last couple of days, folks. This too shall pass, as they say. And I am determined to see my nieces and show my son the Lincoln Memorial, even if I have to walk.


  1. Be sure to ride the metro while you're in DC. That was one of the high points when i went. and I think the Smithsonian is free.

  2. Be sure to ride the metro while you're in DC. That was one of the high points when i went. and I think the Smithsonian is free.


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