water palava

Desk sketch 042220
So we are still at home here in California, sheltering in place. As it turns out, I’m glad I drew the living room so often when this coronavirus period started, because it looks totally different down there now, I say as I type from the desk upstairs. This sketch is from nearly a month ago – time flies when you’re having fun, huh. The Global Shared Experience is evolving, as different countries and different areas grapple with different rules and reasons. I want things to return to normal but they will not do so just because we want it to. So we carry on. It’s hard to believe it is mid-May already. I should have been preparing for the Davis World Cup next weekend. As it is I’ve been watching lots of old FIFA World Cup games, including the one pictured on my iPad above, Argentina v Cameroon from 1990. A classic game I last watched while getting my hair cut in the barber shop behind Tesco in Burnt Oak when I was 14. This is – was – my desk downstairs, my workspace working from home, and my workspace when doing anything else as well. Bit close to the kitchen snacks, mind. Well, a couple of days after drawing this scene, late on a Friday afternoon, I stood up from my seat and felt a splodge at my feet. There was water coming up through the laminate flooring, getting worse toward the wall, and it was obvious there was a huge leak coming into our house from next door. It’s a good job I was home, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to get all our furniture out of the way in time, and get someone out to do something about it, there was nobody next door. They had some sort of bad leak in there, thankfully it was stopped but it soaked our walls and floor. So, they brought in big noisy air dryers and dehumidifiers to try and dry the place out. I moved that desk, and put the bookshelves in a different spot. We stopped the water getting any further.
on couch 042420
I sat up that night with a beer and sketched the view from the couch, while one of our cats lay on the top shelf, not really minding the noise I guess. I drew some of the noisy green machines in our dining area. I set up a new desk area upstairs. A few days later our landlords sent us a large pod to put our furniture into while the floor is torn up, and prepared for more drying of the walls – another week of noise.
dining room after flood
Eventually they took away the air dryers, satisfied the moisture had gone, and our living room looked like this. We’re basically living and working in just one half of the house now, not ideal. People have come in and patched up the wall, they’ll be doing more this week, and hopefully giving us a new floor too. So all this has been fun during this already fun time. I’m glad I drew the living room so much now.
empty living room 051420


the answer my friend is blowing in the hair-dryer

hair dryer

How did a hair-dryer save my computer’s life?

It’s a fairly¬†old computer as pcs go, six years old now and very cranky. It gets so dusty inside an periodically I have to clean it out (not with a hairdryer though) to stop it making that awful loud fan noise. Anyway, after the last time cleaning it out, I tried to turn it back on again, but got nothing. “Please, man,” I said, but no response. I am not a techie and didn’t know what to do. I need a new computer, been on the list for a while, but I also wanted to get back those items which hadn’t yet been backed up (including a load of hi-res scans of work that’s now at the Pence). Mostly I wanted to turn the machine on so I could just tell it to sod off, one last time. Ok, it’s not the worst machine in the world, not that slow, every now and then it plays up but it’s still got a fair bit of life in it, and lots of memory. There haven’t been any operating system issues. So what was wrong, had I broken some important tiny part inside it?

Thankfully I have a iPod and was able to google the symptoms straight away. On the back of the machine a little green light was flashing, which would otherwise be green. I love that you can google this stuff, and that so many people have had this exact same issue. Apparently it was something to do with the power source unit, and most of the places I looked said to replace it. Yes very helpful, I thought, but kept looking. Some forums said to go inside the machine and unplug this and reconnect that and put a paper clip here and hold down a button there, and all of this seemed very confusing and unecessary. Then someone said, just get your wife’s hair dryer, aim it at the power source unit, blow on full power for two minutes, and bingo, back to life. Nah, come off it, I thought, but it was followed by about a hundred comments that all said, “oh wow it actually works! Oh wow my computer hadn’t worked in months but two minutes with a hair dryer, and it’s back to life, it’s a miracle!” And words to that effect. Even then, thought, surely not, butwell I had nothing to lose.

I tried it out on cool air at first, but that had no effect. Then I did it on warm, again no effect. I remembered that it had to be hot – this was not just about the air blowing, but about the heat. I was convinced I would cause something to blow up, but I came back, hair dryer in hand, and aimed.

Two minutes later, the green light came back on! I pressed the power button, and the computer was back, as good as before. Back from the dead, like that fellow ET. Who would have thought? It’s a Christmas miracle!

I wish it would work on my awful cold though…