Aug 25, 2004

Taking matters into my own paws

It's rather unpleasant to wake up one day, boot up your computer, and discover that your CD-ROM drive is missing. Oh, it's there physically, but Win XP decides it'd rather have nothing to do with it, so one couldn't access a CD on it for the life of them. I abhor the process of calling up tech support, being on hold for twenty minutes, then having a technician go through with me a long list of standard troubleshooting methods that anyone who isn't completely computer illiterate has already tried. I'd rather spend two or three hours tracking down the source of the problem myself than have my intelligence insulted in such a manner. I messed with it a good deal last night. Nothing the Dell help files suggested worked. Microsoft's recommended solutions proved useless... only this morning, I ran a search on Google and happened to stumble upon a website that actually provided some useful information that didn't inherently assume the viewer had to be a moron. Microsoft probably never would have told me all I had to do was delete the Upperfilters and Lowerfilters values from HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318} to get everything working properly again. They probably just don't want most people messing with that sort of thing without geek guidance, but most people are liable to screw everything up. Well, that fixed everything for me. I don't expect anyone reading this to find any of this interesting thus far, but it does lead up to a point. Resolving such issues as these entirely on my own, even-- well, especially if it takes hours of research, trial and error, and episodes of intense frustration, is truly gratifying. Anything that validates how truly independent I like to perceive myself as... is extremely uplifting.

In retrospect, I'm astounded that I managed to cope with attending a consecutive seven and one half hours of class two days out of every week for two straight semesters, especially when I find myself getting fidgety after only two straight fifty minute class periods. Holy Arcy, how did I manage to condition my mind and body to sit on hard chairs for such a length of time on such days? I cannot help but stress once again that my furry butt just isn't designed for that kind of thing. A similar phenomenon is how I can train myself not to become annoyed by the persistent screeches of all the little kids at the preschool just down the street. A few days ago, I could barely tolerate it, and always had to have music playing to drown out the cacophonous noise, but now, I hardly notice it. The power of adaptation truly is phenomenal, and should not be taken for granted as often as it is.

Looking at the big picture, because the various pixels that comprise it are themselves usually not worth fussing over, life is good. Having no more than three hours of lecture per day works out extremely well for me. I honestly feel like an old hand at college anymore. When I was a freshman, everything was entirely chaotic, confusing, and unfamiliar, as one might imagine. Now, it all seems routine... not to sound pompous at all, but I'm starting to feel like a professional student. It seems I always know what to expect when walking into a new classroom, and my maturity has developed so that mandatory personal introductions on the first day of class no longer intimidate nor irk me. Every semester, I gain a plethora of new experience that builds on to all the experience I already have, and just recognizing this fact is extremely satisfying. Over the years, I have managed to train my mind to hardly ever wander off during a lecture, no matter how dry or dull the material is. I've even grown accustomed to the criminal textbook prices. I sure am drawing out my tenure as a student, and I believe my parents have already caught onto that fact. Fortunately, they aren't rushing me, and have no serious qualms of my not graduating in a quick four years and jumping straight into the workforce. I'm enjoying the college lifestyle too much right now, but I have a strong feeling that in another year or so, I'll become rather sick of it. Hopefully, by that time, graduation won't be much further away.

I really need to check out yard/garage sales more often. Last Saturday, my father and I decided to drive down to Waikoloa, "a village" we rarely visit because it's located in the middle of a semi-desert wasteland, and look for furniture. There were yard sales seemingly everywhere, but the first one we went to, we found a nice single bed, headboard, and plenty of sheets and blankets thrown in for a mere $75. A marvelous deal, considering the quality of the bed and headboard. We threw the bed in my old bedroom, and I took the headboard into my new apartment, where it's proven to be a valuable addition. The real score, however, was a big dark blue vinyl recliner for $40. The material shows some considerable wear, but not to the point of holes or patches... and the mechanisms work nearly good as new. It's perfect for my apartment, as well. I now understand why many people enjoy spending their Saturdays yard saling.

I have much more on my mind, but I must get ready for class. It's such a pleasant overcast day, I may just ride my bike to school today.

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