Happy 4th of July, if you’re in a place that celebrates the day. My correspondence today is going to be a bit shorter than usual as a result, but I did want to share a few things with you. First, after writing to you on Monday, I spent the day upgrading my and my wife’s computers. She had a 3 Gig system running a 32 bit operating system, and Secret World didn’t seem to happy about that. She’d gotten a few crashes due to running out of memory, and while I suspect that’s something that Funcom’s going to have to address as time passes, I doubt it’s a priority since 32 bit OS’s are quite out of fashion. I put 3 more gig of ram into her computer and updated her to a 64 bit OS, and she’s feeling fine.
If only my own computer had behaved as well. I bought 2 more gig for myself (bringing me up to 6, same as my wife) and a new video card since the last card I bought was just a cheap stop gap measure when my previous card failed (more on that later). Upon installing the ram and the new video card, the computer failed to boot properly. It turned on, the hard drive was spinning, but nothing was happening. I checked the hard drive in my wife’s computer, the monitor and video cable to make sure it wasn’t just a display error, and nothing. So I put all the components back and tried again, to the same result. Piece by piece I tested everything except, of course, the motherboard, and was unable with my junior level of technological expertise to identify what the problem was, so I had to take it to a shop.
I used to like little town shops. When I lived in Rock Hill, SC, I bought a computer from a local place that saved me a lot of money, ran very well and for a long time, and was guaranteed service should something go wrong. When I moved to NYC, I started buying from Dell, but I wasn’t ever particularly happy with their customer service, and since I know for a fact that they stuck a refurbished POS video card in my computer when the “new” one I had failed (which then itself failed less than a year later, when I had just gone out of warranty), I don’t think I’ll ever do business with them again. So I figured I’d try the little shop that I’ve passed daily on my way to work.
To summarize, the guy got the computer fixed in less than an hour (good), but overcharged me 300% on the part he put in to the computer (bad). I was pretty sure he was screwing me while I was in the store, but without any real evidence, I didn’t want to confront him, and since he did diagnose and repair the thing so quickly, I figured I should just be happy with what I had and move on. I did check when I got home, though, so that’s yet another place I won’t be frequenting again.
So overall, both my and my wife’s computers got upgraded, and I learned a little about local businesses in my home town.
As for TSW, I’ve been playing it on and off and enjoying every moment. One “feature” I like is that you can always begin fresh and respec to pretend like you’re a starting character. When my wife was raiding in WoW last night, I removed all my strong elementalism abilities and started playing just with my claw abilities, and I redid the starting quests in the zone. It was a lot of fun and a very different feel for the character, and I didn’t feel like I was mowing through everything. Finally, a game that asks you to play better, not more. In any other game, you’d have to roll an alt, but here, you can just dabble as you see fit.
Lastly, I got a bit of an injury yesterday when I played racquetball for the first time (that’s a hell of a spelling, by the way). I’m fat, you see, and while I have very good balance, I don’t do a lot of lateral movement, so when I tried to run for a ball (which was the first mistake), I rolled my ankle quite nicely. It’s nothing major, but I mention it because I essentially never get injured. In the last 11 years (since I’ve known my wife), this is my second “serious” injury. My first happened while my wife (then girlfriend) was in England, and I got a rather nasty scrape from playing the most dangerous of sports, duck-duck-goose. I slipped on a wet surface and ripped a 12″x4″ hole in my pants – and leg. It got infected despite my “best” efforts (basically nothing) and swelled up to massive proportions, which resulted in a buddy of mine driving from about 2 hours away to take me to the hospital (apparently the British just say “to hospital” (according to Doc Martin), which I think sounds nicer) where I got a needle in my ass, which is why I hate going to medical places, because it seems any time I go I get a needle in my ass.
My point is this; my wife has never seen me injured before, and it’s somewhat endearing while simultaneously being a bit frustrating. She seems to be under the impression I shouldn’t be moving at all, even though with a wrap on my ankle I can do well enough to get around. It’s charming, I guess. I’ve seen her injured repeatedly due to illness (Crohn’s disease resulting in a massive diverticular infection and 6″ of her large intestine being removed plus a cancerous tumor in her mouth resulting in having oral surgery to remove it) and soccer (she once got hit in her torso in the front and in her legs in the back at the same time by two players who were both large men (she’s 4’11”) and literally went head over heals, landing on her forehead. I went from the bleachers to her faster than the ref could get there, but she was okay). I guess I’m as much of a mother hen as she is, but still; I just don’t get injured often. I’m not used to being on the receiving end of this. At any rate, it’s weird. Should I point out the irony that on Independence Day I’m less independent than ever?
Enjoy your holiday, if you have one!
Stubborn (and resting – “by any means necessary”)