Poor PC repair, beer and Dave

Sleeping in on Saturday was a good thing, but by the time I got through with showering, stretching, and making some bacon and breakfast it was almost 2PM. And I was planning on leaving at 3 to go to a free Pat McGee band show in Alexandria. I realized I’d get back around 8 and have no time Sunday to to the computer stuff I’d promised myself, so I decided not to go.

Instead I spent nearly 3 hours trying to repair the display on Jill’s laptop. The display was dim and I’d read it was usually the flourescent bulb (or possibly the inverter). So I’d ordered a couple bulbs and I took the display apart to get to the old one. I got it out, then discovered I didn’t have any solder for my soldering iron. I spent a long time (and burned a couple fingertips) getting some solder off old wires and soldering the new bulb to the connection, only to put it back together and discover the display was completely dead. I gave up at that point, may try an inverter next (I can connect it to a spare monitor in the meantime).

Next I put together the PC I’d purchased several weeks ago. My regular PC is 6 years old and showing signs of age (it rarely shuts down properly, forcing it to run tests on each boot, and sometimes won’t run programs). I was originally thinking of getting a fancy machine to import digital video from my camcorder, but the HDD/DVD recorder does that, and I can burn it to DVD and edit it on the PC. So I just got a bottom of the line PC (eMachines T3985 with a 2.93GHz Celeron processor, 512MB memory, 80GB hard drive and a 16x ┬▒RW multi-format double layer DVD burner). I spent a couple hours deleting the crappy software that came preloaded and loading my own. When Jill got home from work, she wanted fajitas, so I made some, then she read for a while before going to sleep and I continued working on the PC. I went on the old PC to surf and blog, then burned 5 CDs worth of files to transfer to the new PC. By then it was 2:30, so I went to bed.

Sunday I had neurosoma, so I was out the door by 9:45. I got back at noon and Jill was up. I called up our friend Stuart to see if he was going to the beer festival, and he was up for it (he rode his bike there last year). He wasn’t ready, so Jill got coffee and cash and I read the paper. We picked him up around 1:30 and headed to Ashburn. The festival wasn’t too crowded, but it was hot and the sun was shining. The beer was good, but we faced bitter disappointment. Magic Hat was scheduled to be there, but had run out of beer on Saturday and packed up (I’d even brought our growler to fill it up, which we last did at our wedding). It was still good. I only had 3 small beers as I drove, but Jill and Stuart enjoyed themselves, and I also had ribs and some Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. We left around five after they finished using all their beer pogs.

All that time in the hot sun wore us out, so we collapsed in the ac at home for a while. We finally got motivated and left around 6:30 for Nissan Pavilion and the Dave Matthews Band. It’s interesting: last year I went to 7 shows there and never had a traffic problem. But trying to get to a sold out show when the headliner starts was a mistake. I thought we’d get there by 7:30, but I didn’t get to my seat until 8:30. We took 29 in, and it was just stop and crawl for the last two miles. When we finally got into the parking lot, I let Jill out and continued around for another 15 minutes to get a spot. I finally made it through the gate, but then had to wait in the bathroom line, and a line for drinks (and the drunk guy in front of me couldn’t understand the whole “you need a wristband for proof of age” thing). I heard the crowd holler, but knew that lately the band comes on stage and noodles for a couple minutes before starting a song. Sure enough, I’d just gotten to my seat when they started.

I hadn’t had any time to unwind from the stress of getting in, so it took a while to get into the show (though playing “One Sweet World” helped). What really did what was a tasty Carter solo into the first “Say Goodbye” in 2 years, then a high spirited “Too Much”. The set was heavy with the new tunes (10 of the 13), but we were forewarned by looking at setlists for other shows on the tour, and I’d been playing the heck out of it the past few weeks. At first listen, the CD hadn’t grabbed me (with the exception of the songs I’d heard before, the single “American Baby” and “Hello Again” which they played last year), but it’d really grown on me with repeated spins. And the songs were excellent live; “Hunger For The Great Light” and “Stand Up” in particular.

There were two high points of the show. The first was a jamming “Warehouse” with great lighting (including a fire dancer made up of lights) and a boosa nove section at the end with Dave doing his “happy feet” dance (and here’s a crappy phone picture). But that was overcome by them bringing out Robert Randolph, the young but already legendary pedal steel guitarist. He helped make the last two songs of their set, “Stand Up” and “Louisiana Bayou”, into incendiary jams. He sits down to play the pedal steel, but when Boyd or Dave came up, would stand and play. He was even a match for Dave’s “happy feet”, getting up and dancing with his feet while continuing to play, even standing on his chair (one more phone picture – Boyd with Robert).

We left before the encore, our usual practice at Nissan, especially since traffic was bad on the way in. I was bummed to read this morning that Robert Randolph had joined them on the encore for “All Along The Watchtower”, but Jill had to get up at 6 this morning and we couldn’t risk sitting in the parking lot for two hours or more. We were both worn out from a solid two hours of dancing and were out pretty quickly.

2 thoughts on “Poor PC repair, beer and Dave”

  1. You’re a braver man than I, I won’t crack open a monitor as there are components in there that can hold a dangerous to lethal charge long after it’s been unplugged.

  2. The first thing I did was remove the battery, the second was unplug the inverter – all good!

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