Sometimes it feels like the Universe is against me. I’ve wanted to work on the blog for weeks, but every time I tried, something went wrong.
It looked like The Man and I would be in Flagstaff for a few days before we trecked off to Cali. I thought I’d find a nice coffee shop and use some of those days to hunker down and schedule a few weeks of posts before we headed up into the forest. However, The Man decided he really needed to be settled somewhere, so we didn’t linger in Flagstaff.
When we got to the forest, we tried to use the WiFi at the mercantile, but we couldn’t get it to work on our phones. It took The Man a couple of days to figure out we were trying to connect to the wrong server. We were both happy to finally have internet access. However, there’s no way I can write and schedule blog posts on my small phone, so I pulled out The Man’s old iPad.
Several months ago I’d used the iPad before to type up a blog post, and it had worked fine. This time, however, when I typed in the text box, no characters appeared on the screen. When I previewed the post on a new page, I could see the characters, but on the page where I typed–nothing. So I pulled out my laptop.
To use my laptop, I had to plug it into an inverter I bought at a truck stop. The inverter plugs into the cigarette lighter and sounds like a lawn mower.
You may wonder why I didn’t charge my laptop’s batery, then use the battery as my power source. Unfortunately, my battery had crapped out months ago. It only charged to 40%, and that charge dimished rapidly. This was my laptop’s second battery, the one my computer guy bought me when the original battery crapped out. The replacement battery lasted just about a year.
I plugged the inverter into the cigarette lighter and the laptop’s power cord into the invertor. Once I plugged the mouse (bought at a small-town garage sale in Colorado for $1) into the laptop’s USB port, I was sitting in a tangle of cords, but at least I’d be able to get some posts scheduled.
Not so fast! the Universe said.
My laptop would connect to the internet, but although I was connected, I was also told I had no internet access. I restarted the computer. Again, I was connected, but I had no access. I shut down the computer and restarted it. Yet again, I was connected, but had no access. I seethed in frustration, but nothing I did gave me access to the internet.
The Man said he’d take a look at it, and he did. He ended up uninstalling an update and finally (!) I was able to both connect to the internet and access it. I was mighty grateful.
I typed up and posted a dispatch from the woods. Although working in the front seat was a little crowded and I kept accidentally sounding the horn, at least I was making progress. The working conditions weren’t the best, but I could handle it.
On my day off, I parked in front of the mercantile early, before it opened. I plugged in all my cords and tried to get on the internet. Once again, I was connected but had not access! I was frustrated but tried to remain calm.
When I’d turned on the laptop, an update had immediately uploaded. Maybe the update had messed up something? I uninstalled the update and again had both connection and access. Thank goodness!
I had alrady handwritten a post about the 2017 Rubber Tramp Rendezvous in my notebook. I just had to type it up and add a photo, and it would be ready to schedule. I’d moved to the passenger seat, so I had a little more room and typing was a bit easier.
I had the post almost complete when my laptop told me the battery was critically low. Battery? I wasn’t using the battery. I looked at the icon that tells me if the power cord is plugged in. It did not indicate I had a power cord plugged in.
I jiggled the power cord. The icon showed it was working. I relaxed a little and typed in a few more words before getting the low battery message again. I jiggled the cord a few more times but couldn’t get the power cord to work again. Bummer. The power cord had crapped out.
[amazon template=image&asin=B01M7NVEWM]The Rubber Tramp Artist went on hiatus while a new power cord and battery were ordered. I went to the post office (26 mile round-trip) last Friday before work and picked up the new cord. That evening after work I went back to the mercantile to get the blog show back on the road.
I plugged the inverter into the cigarette lighter, then plugged the new power cord into the inverter. So far so good. I turned on the laptop and waited for it to connect to the internet. No! I was again connected with no access. Sigh.
Then, before I could figure out how I might correct the problem with the WiFi (which has been a reoccurring situation for everyone who’s tried to use the internt there in the last couple of weeks), I realized the computer was not recognizing the power cord. What the heck!?!
I was demoralized, to say the least. I put everything away and went back to camp in defeat.
Since then, I’ve determined the power problem was with the inverter, not the power cord. That was a relief. So now I have a new inverter on my wishlist for next payday.
I don’t know if I will be able to overcome the internet problem.
Currently I am at Panera planning to work for another five hours, to get as many posts scheduled as possible because I don’t know if or when I’ll be able to work again from the mountain. In any case, I’m nothing if not resiliant. I’ll keep posting, even if I have to come down from the mountain to do it.