Stroke Update 24 – Lightning

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Late today, I discovered that all three of my home computers had serious problems, causing them to either refuse to boot up at all, or to boot up, but then lock-up randomly. I figured out that my heme’s electrical system must have been hit by lightning, which caused my modem/router, my laser printer, and my network attached storage device (with ALL of our work, and ALL of my ministry’s financial records for the past several years on it), to all get toasted. I have to igure out if I can remove the hard drives from the NAS device and recover their data, plus I have to research a good monochrome laser printer to order. Sheesh.

Update, Wednesday, May 30, 3:51 AM: I managed to get all three of our home computers working again, by deleting the startup lines that tried to access the NAS, and by making a few other hard-to-figure-out changes to each computer’s browser, email program, file manager, and a few other programs that tried to access the dead, lightning-struck NAS, to change it all to access local files instead. I still need to buy a printer, and to restore some data that I backed up many months ago — before I had my stroke, last December.

Update, Wednesday, 9:27 AM: I worked on the computers until 4:00 AM this morning, and slowly… painfully got them all working again. Then I got up again at 8:00 AM, to fix a few details, so that my wife would be able to do her remote work, from here to Alabama. This morning, I also ordered a highly rated laser printer/copier/scanner, a Brother HL-L2395DW from Amazon.com. It’s supposed to be here by 9:00 PM tonight.

Lightning, man.

Update, Wednesday, 2:38 PM: Drove to the homeless church. Spoke with several people. Helped take care of a toddler. Drove 3 men to a laundromat. Drove back to the chuch. Took a woman and her preschool son, to deliver some food to a needy family. Took them both to McDonald’s and back home. Drove myself home. Total of 18 miles of safe driving.

Update, Wednesday, 8:37 PM: Picked up a woman at her home. Drove her to her last of 22 court-ordered drug rehabilitation meetings. Took her home. Total of 17 safe driving miles.

Update, Thursday, May 31, 5:14 AM: My new laser printer arrived last night. I haven’t had the time to open its box yet, let alone set it up. I’ve been working, for untold hours, on getting my main computer up and running again. If you can believe it, my main computer was plugged into my UPS (uninterruptible power supply), but it was only plugged into the “surge protected power” side of it, instead of the “uninterruptible power” side of it. So, after I stayed awake until 4:00 AM, yesterday, getting my main computer to work again, it was a victim of a household power failure, yesterday afternoon, while I was gone (what are the odds?). When I returned home, my main computer was shut off, and it wouldn’t boot up — the power failure had damaged its hard drive’s boot block. I just finished getting it all up and running again. And yes — now it’s definitely plugged into the “uninterruptible power” side of my UPS.

Update, Thursday, 7:27 PM: Mowed the whole front lawn, and made wide “paths” through the ludicrously tall grass — it’s only been 6 days since I last mowed it! — for the dogs to use, in the back lawn. Took all 4 wheels off and cleaned/oiled the back drive shafts, to make them roll easier, both forward and backwards. Got all of my old data back onto my computer, for the second time (I lost the newest data, due to lightning, then, again, due to a power failure). It will take me a week or longer to set everything up close to the way it used to be, but all 3 of my computers are back, running, and connected to the web and email again.

I also did a bunch of work today, driving people all around for many miles, and helping lots of people. I’m not going to bore you with those details any more. I keep track of them in a spreadsheet that now records my ministry activities, 7 days a week, but contains a big hole of missing data, from my two, recent weather-related computer failures. One of these days, I’m going to try to remember some of what that missing data used to be.

Update, Friday, June 1. 7:27 PM: Helped several people at the homeless church, advocated for one at a pharmacy, and drove a few people all over the place.

This evening, I mowed the back lawn, using my new (used) mower. After it died 3 different times, due to the long, wet grass, I realized that, after I had removed all of the wheels yesterday, I had re-installed two of them on the second hole from the wrong end of the adjustment. It was trying to cut the grass way too short. So, I adjusted the height of those two wheels, and after that, it cut right through all of the long, wet grass. Now my lawn —front, back, and sides — is all cut, and looks really smooth, like green carpet.

Update, Saturday, June 2. 7:16 PM: Mowed the front lawn again, for the second time in a couple of days. This time, I set the mower height adjustment to 2 clicks from the end, instead of 1 click, to cut the grass a little shorter. Two clicks turns out to be a little too short — it doesn’t look long enough to look like grass to me. So, I’m going to see if I can invent a way to set the height adjustment between 1 click and 2 clicks from the end. I think that might be perfect.

Got my new printer moved to my office, unpacked, and plugged-in. Without being connected to any computer, it does a great. really fast job of making copies. So I made ten copies of a church document in probably less than 15 seconds.

Update, Sunday, June 3. 4:46 PM: Here’s some insight into how frustratingly my brain sometimes works, as it tries to “come back” from my devastating stroke. As you know, I figured out that a mower height of “1” left the grass a little too long, but a mower height of “2” left it a little too short. So logic dictates that a setting that’s between “1” and “2” would probably be “just right.” I spent a few hours, today, working on my mower inside my garage. People who are condemned to hell were laughing at me, because even their residence was cooler than my garage was. With a headband that couldn’t stop the sweat from pouring into my eyes and onto my glasses, I slowly and carefully found nuts and bolts that would fit into the “1” and “2” height-adjustment slots, to “block” them from being used, while creating a new, “1-1/2” space between the bolts, for the height-settings lever to fit into. Thw whole job went really slowly, because my left hand still doesn’t have as much small-muscle dexterit, or the ability to hold onto tiny objects, without dropping them, as my right-hand does, and my eyes don’t yet focus correctly on tiny objects that are an arms length away, making it almost impossible to handle and maneuver the tiny bolts and nuts that I was using. Also, I keep forgetting what I’m doing, in the middle of doing it, and I keep misplacing tools that I set down near me, just a minute ago, and I’m constantly surrounded by stuff that’s on the floor, waiting to be stepped on or tripped over.

But, finally, I was able to finish the job.

Just as I had planned, it worked perfectly. Good brain!

But it wasn’t set to a height of “1-1/2.” It was set to a height of “2-1/2” instead.

Bad brain!

Thanks to my brain not having fully recovered yet, I had spent a few hours, working on setting my mower to the wrong height. Sheesh.

Mr. Peanut, at church today.

So I started the whole job all over again. When I finished the second time, the front wheels were correctly set to “1-1/2”, while the back wheels were still set to “1.”

I can live with that, until I figure out a way to lower the back wheels to “1-1/2.” They’re mounted way too close to the mower’s body, for anyone to be able to use the same kind of bolts that I had used on the front wheels.

Another example: My wife sent me to the store, to buy pop and bread. She even wrote it on a post-it note for me.

I bought pop and milk instead.

I think maybe the part of my brain that wants to do things is all better, but the part that actually does stuff isn’t quite back yet.

Update, Monday, June 4, 10:26 AM: This morning, I bought some new bolts that are only 1/2″ long, instead of the 1″ long bolts that I had installed on the cutting height adjustment plates of the mower’s front wheels, yesterday. Then I carefully bent the mower’s two rear cutting-height adjustment plates out from the mower body, about 1/16″, to give me room to install the new bolts and nuts. Then I inserted an allen wrench into the appropriate adjustment slots, and turned it, to make the adjustment slots slightly wider, to accomodate the new bolts. When I finished, the rear wheels had a new cutting height adjustment of “1-1/2”, just like I had hoped. Then I used my handheld grinder (with a cutting disk), to cut off all 8 of the new bolts, flush with the new nuts. After that, I mowed the entire front lawn, to see how long it cuts the grass, and to confirm that nothing that I had installed would slip or fall off.

It all worked, and now, the mower’s cutting height is perfect! It’s long enough that, after being cut, it still looks like grass, but it’s short enough that I won’t have to mow it twice each week, to keep it looking good.

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