When Everything You Touch Turns to Dust

Have you ever had one of those weeks or months when it seemed that everything you did or tried was an utter and complete failure and it seemed that everything you touched turned bad?

I’ve had a two week spell where it seemed that everything I turned my hand to failed.

Laptop woes

My laptop pc started throwing Windows errors at me and I thought it was just another virus and that I could fix it.  I spent a day working in safe mode to try different means to fix the issue and ended up burning out the system board – effectively killing the laptop – no display at all, just a black screen and no way to get to safe mode either.  System boards, as it turns out, are expensive, hard to replace and usually spawn the need for an operating system reload….cheaper to buy a new laptop – so I did.  I still think it was a virus that started it!

Broken toes

I stumbled into the bathroom one night, banging my little toe on the base of the exercise bike.  I had just had my bone density scan and was notified that I had some bone loss, so I wasn’t surprised that the little toe seemed broken.  It hurts like a son of a gun!

Google goes

Meanwhile, Google decided they didn’t like my websites much anymore and kicked me down in the search results.    I decided I didn’t like Google much anymore and decided to convert my blog from their Blogger platform to WordPress on my own site.  Using our desktop, I prepared to start the conversion by setting my blog to point back to Blogger and installed WordPress on my webhost – but got stuck at that point – WordPress plugins are refusing to bring over my Blogger posts.  I also had to stop and deal with desktop virus issues at this point.

Desktop slows

As I was testing the conversion on my desktop computer ( my last remaining internet connecting device), the interface got slower, and  s l o w e r, and  s   l    o   w   e   r. When I quit for the day, I decided I should run a scan, and found that my anti-virus software told me I needed to renew it (something I haven’t had to do since I get it through my internet provider as part of the package).

The next day, I did an online chat with the anti-virus company, where they tried to uninstall and re-install the software and ended up with them telling me that I needed to contact my internet provider as ‘their system’ is slow.  I succeeded in re-installing the anti-virus and started a full scan.

The scan ran for about 4 hours with no signs of finishing so I started an online chat with the internet provider support team.  Guess what?  They too wanted to uninstall and re-install the anti virus software, but the computer kept getting slower, and s l o w e r, and    s   l   o   w   e   r!!!!!.  We succeeded finally in killing the scan that was running and uninstalling the software, but then the tech (who had valiantly hung in there with me for two hours) got disconnected and I couldn’t get her back.

I finished removing the software and re-started and re-installed the anti-virus program, with the very same result (it told me I needed to renew).

Meanwhile, windows started throwing critical error shut down messages and memory error messages at me. Fearing that I would kill it’s system board by continuing, I shut down and unplugged.

Repair and replace.

I admitted defeat on the laptop and the desktop and found a local repair shop, who declared the laptop mother board dead and the desktop so severely infected that it required a hard drive wipe and operating system re-install and data cleanup.

The next day I gimped over to every store that sells laptops within a 20 mile radius and came home with one.  I successfully got it set up and protected with anti-virus and connected to the internet for the first time in a week and a half (ever had connectivity withdrawal?).

Web host goes

Using the laptop to access the internet I tried to go to my blog and web sites and found they were down.  We were just leaving for a car trip so I hopped on an online chat with my web hosting provider and tried to make sure my sites were also not infected!! but had to leave before anything was resolved.  I later found that they were under a DNS attack – slowing down my shared server.

Setup woes.

I’m still trying to get the desktop set up with all of our programs, shortcuts and etc.  The DVD drive has stopped working, with no signs of revival, even after multiple attempts (uninstalling some software, updating the driver, uninstalling/reinstalling the driver, restoring the system to an earlier point in time and removing computer casing and inspecting connections for the drive). The printer install software was on a cd, as was my wireless router installation.

Frustration rules

Anyway, you catch my drift…. I touched my laptop, trying to fix it and it died.  I used my desktop, to make sure my blog could be converted away from Google and got it so badly infected I had to get it repaired.   I try a task, it fails and leads to more failures.

At one point, I found myself in the woods in the back, screaming at the trees about the whole situation!

What would a millionaire do?

There is a book called The Top 10 Distinctions Between Millionaires and the Middle Class by Keith Cameron Smith.  The number one top distinction he lists is “Millionaires ask themselves Empowering Questions” Middle-class people ask themselves dis-empowering questions”.

These past two weeks, I started out asking myself why all of these bad things kept happening to me. Finally, after railing against the universe for 14 days, I am starting to ask myself different questions – questions such as “What options do I have to avoid this kind of situation in the future?”

Smith’s book lists another distinction (number 7) that says “Millionaires take calculated risks, the middle-class is afraid of risks.  Millionaires overcome the fear (of loss, failure and rejection) of the risks.  Middle-class avoid the risks to avoid the fear.

Computer virus’s and technology problems started my string of woes.  I’m convinced I caught a bad bug on my laptop that then transferred to our desktop.  Using the internet day in and out for hours at a time will result in attacks. Now I am trying to figure out how to mitigate those risks – so that we always have at least one clean pc.

Do I have millionaire distinctions?

I think so, but these past two weeks sure put them to a trial!!

Life’s like that.  Sometimes it is smooth sailing and everything falls effortlessly in place and other times, every detail is excruciatingly difficult, complex and painful. Just when it seems that failure will always follow failure, things start breaking your way again, if you persist.  Winners regard failure as part of the process and learn from their mistakes.  Losers give up.

How did you handle your streak of bad luck failures?

This post was written by Marie.


When Everything You Touch Turns to Dust — 21 Comments

  1. I’ve had those days and weeks, and I’ve never been so happy to be married to a network engineer than when I ran into computer troubles. Other problems I can usually figure out easily on my own, but computer issues drive me crazy! Glad to hear you finally got yours sorted out!

  2. Man am I sorry! I hate when there are weeks like that. Everything goes wrong, AND everything that goes wrong is expensive to fix! But yoru story reminds me to BACK UP my computer files. A complete computer breakdown seems inevitable.

  3. Wow That is some terrible luck. Not that this is the point of your post…but now that you have the new laptop can you clean your desktop back to factory and keep it just as a back up?

  4. Ouch! I’ve had some of those woes, but not all at once. A tip on antivirus: don’t use the stuff your isp gave you. Microsoft Security Essentials is free and takes up fewer resources on your computer than most of the paid av software.

  5. Sorry for these challenges! What struck me as I read your post is how much life has changed over the past decade or two. All of the issues you’ve been struggling with are products of technological change over the last relatively short while. I love technology, and I’m no Luddite, but it does make one wonder sometimes whether technology truly does increase our productivity and give us more ‘free’ time.

  6. Oh Gee! That’s a heck of a lot of serious issues to have to deal with all at once. I can just imagine how terrible all of this must have made you feel. In any case, I’m glad that things are back to normal. Also, I came across The Top 10 Distinctions Between Millionaires and the Middle Class by Keith Cameron Smith a few weeks ago, and found it to be quite eye-opening. Your last statement said it all. “Winners regard failure as part of the process and learn from their mistakes. Losers give up.” Great point!

  7. I have been dealing with a couple viruses lately. I seem to get them deleted, but then either I get another one or the original comes back. Very frustrating. I feel your pain.

  8. Personally, I’d go for a long swim, calm down and start again with one thing at a time.
    It would probably help your toe as well, (takes the weight off it for a bit!).
    Have you thought about keeping an old PC off the internet? I do this with my recording business. It’s never connected, so is essentially virus proof. For the internet I still use my laptop, but the old PC can always be used as last resort.

    • Excellent idea. I have one that we keep our finances on – it has Windows 98 lol! But it works and is never connected…. We also have a desktop that is connected but only used for limited access now, and then the pc.

  9. Sounds freaking miserable, I’m sorry dude. Yeah, sometimes every work project I do seems to take longer than it should and I’ll hit my finger with a hammer and I’ll slip on a roof and get roof burn on my hand catching myself and my tire will get a flat and I’ll jerk my back wrong hauling a bucket of tar so that my back will be sore for days …. some times there are just weeks like that. And you just trudge thorugh until your luck turns!

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