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Whatever a dudgeon is, I’m in an extremely high one.  Thursday afternoon, I booted up my computer and was going to read my blogs and comics, and blog about my BFF coming over, and I thought I’d better check if the licenses were up to date on my MP3 player.  I don’t actually own the music I listen to on Rhapsody; I just rent it by the month, which means plugging my MP3 player into Rhapsody once a month so it can tell my MP3 player I’m still allowed to play the songs I’ve downloaded to it from Rhapsody.  Well, I brought up the Rhapsody player and it wouldn’t sign me in.  Told me to connect to the internet and try again.  Since I had just read emails, brought up Firefox, pulled up NewsFox and downloaded new posts to my RSS feeds, I felt reasonably sure I was connected to the internet. I tried uninstalling Rhapsody and reinstalling it.  No joy. I tried resetting the password.  Still no joy.  I thought maybe it had something to do with Microsoft’s latest security vulnerability patch, but no, Rhapsody still had a latchkey and was free to come and go.

Then I remembered that Rhapsody is platformed on Internet Explorer, so I pull Internet Explorer and it gives me this error message that it can’t connect to the proxy server at — and it gives me an IP address that doesn’t exist.   To begin with, I don’t use a proxy server.  I use a LAN.  I go in to options and try to uncheck the connect by proxy server option and switch it to a LAN but I can’t because the dialog box where the proxy server option is checked is greyed out, which means I can’t do anything about it.  So then I think maybe my copy of Internet Explorer is corrupted and go to install/uninstall programs to uninstall it, and guess what. I can’t because Internet Explorer does not appear on the list of programs!  By now it’s sneaking up on 8 o’clock.  So, while I’m running Malwarebytes (which takes foreEVer), I’m scouring the internet looking for information about my particular problem.  I visit this forum and that forum and join Bleeping Computer forum that  lookeds like it might be helpful, and post my problem.  I got no useful advice; everything they told me to do I’d already done. It’s been over 24 hours since I joined the forum and the advice that wasn’t useful is all the advice I’ve gotten. (Evidently the good ol’ geeks there are afraid of getting neophyte cooties.) So I scour the internet some more.  By now it’s well after midnight.

Now it’s 6 a.m. Friday and still no joy. I get something to eat and ponder my options. By now I’ve run two antivirus scans and I’ve looked every way I can think of on the internet for some clue to what’s going on.  Creeping up on 9 a.m. and I think Geek Squad. I call the hangout of the local Geek Squad (our Best Buy store).  They want me to bring it in (and leave it, although they don’t actually come out and say it). which is something I’m not prepared to do.  So I go to their online chat.

Well, to make an aggravatingly long and way beyond merely annoying story short, the triage geek came onto my machine remotely, saw the problem, verified that I did indeed have quite a doozy, and told me it would be $70 (£41.85/€50.47) for their diagnosing and treating geek to connect to my computer remotely and see what could be done.  I cough up the dough, and here comes the D&T geek.  We chat briefly about symptoms.  That was about 10 a.m.  I’m sitting there watching the cursor fly about and programs open and close, and this investigated and that perusal.  At some point I fell asleep in the chair and woke up around 2 p.m. and we are still at it, with a Windows security scan munching its way through my 500 GB hard drive, so I go get a book. At some point a Malwarebytes scan is started and takes almost 4 hours to run. While all this is going on, the white one has been whinging and whining and generally being his usual obnoxious and I’ve generally been venting my angry and frustrated spleen in his direction.  Long about 7:30 p.m. the D&T geek says not only has the operation been successful, but by some miracle, the patient has lived.

Yeah.  In the process of curing the patient, she antivirused my Western Digital Passport Essential backup drive’s updater before I could react and tell her not to, and she completely emptied out my Startup folder except for three things. It’ll probably take weeks for me to finally figure out everything that was in there, but I think I got most of it.  And finally, in the process of being on for nearly 36 hours straight, and not to put too fine a point on this whole fiasco, the circuitry in my DisplayLink USB to VGA display adaptor couldn’t take the heat and fried or died or otherwise quit working.  I dug out an old SIIG USB to VGA adapter that I had used on my Vista machine when it was the new kid on the block, finally found a driver that would work and grandfathered it in, and we’re back to two monitors again. Hopefully, by Tuesday the replacement will be here, before anything else goes kaput, so next week, if I want to pay my utilities bill and car insurance bill, I’ll have to   make $200 instead of just $100 slaving away at that jive outfit where I work, while daddysitting on Sunday, Wednesday and Saturday, and going to the dentist on Tuesday.  If I can manage to turn $25-$30 a day, I might can manage.

In other news, my BFF came over Wednesday and watched “Pacific Rim” on Roku/Amazon Prime, and it was actually pretty good.  I’d been wanting to see it for a while, and she hadn’t seen it and wanted to.  This Roku thing is a WiFi device that lets a non-WiFi- equipped TV connect to the internet over WiFi and stream from Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, PBS, Pandora, and a host of other internet based streaming video services, most of which you must throw money at each month to use, so you can watch it on a larger TV screen instead of on your phone, tablet, or computer monitor.  My BFF was really interested in the Roku, once I explained to her what it does.  Her TV is older and smaller than either of mine, and I told her I was getting rid of the TV we had watched the movies on when I moved, and she was interested in getting it from me, which I will let her pay out (since she won’t let me give it to her), and forget to dun her for it.  After we enjoyed “Pacific Rim,” we watched “Thor 2: The Dark World,” I for the first time, she for the third, and we ogled Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and Tom Hiddleston (Loki) and had such fun.  Both films are still in my queue and I will watch both of them again, at least two or maybe three times.  Then there’s the Captain America films with Chris Evans, and all three of them in The Avengers . . .

tumblr_n0ukjryjA91qzasxmo1_500 So, after a post (and nearly 48 hours) full of such Sturm und Drang, I’ll leave you on a lighter note (see left) and **fold into tenths like an Arab and silently steal away*. That soft whump! you will hear shortly will be me landing in and being gently enfolded by my bed.

Cushion eated me

*And the night shall be filled with music
And the cares that infest the day,
Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs,
And as silently steal away. –

final stanza of “The Day Is Done

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

**The marvelous Longfellow misquote is courtesy of the brilliant and much lamented Walt Kelly, which took the scenic route through his comedic and satirical masterpiece, Pogo. Frankly, I like the misquote better than its anapestiferous, tetrametrical, hold- one’s-coat-lapel-with-one-hand-whilst-emotively-intoning source.  (Can you tell I had to listen to “The Wreck of the Hesperus” repeated in its agonizing entirety by each of the fourteen 9th grade students who preceded me in the alphabet, by me, and by each of the sixteen who followed me, all of whom had to recite the durn thing from memory? As for the teacher, I have no pity for her.  It was her idea.  TooLongfellow was one of the more repeatable things we called him.)