Today’s artwork is a set of altered book pages, done for the February lessons for my A Year of Altered Books class. The class is humming along nicely, with lots of good work being posted. I’m very happy with the amount of participation—something I’ve struggled with in other classes.

So, last week, I wrote my kiss off letter to Dell, because my “new” computer turned out to be a $1000. door stop. It’s out of date, glitchy, crashy, and several of the other seven dwarfs. I hate it with the glare of a thousand suns. Also, I’m really unhappy with the whole Dell experience, because it was very easy to place an order, but the whole tech support and customer care thing is designed to wear you down.

The final straw in my new computer saga came last night, while I was watching Downton Abbey. I was clear across the room from the dreaded machine, with no programs running, logged off, with the monitor off. Suddenly, I heard the grinding sound of a hard reboot. Sure enough, when I went over and turned the monitor on, there was a screen telling me Windows had closed unexpectedly. Even when nobody is using it, the Blue Screen of Death appears on my system. It happened again today, while I was out.

So. First thing this morning, I called a computer doctor, and asked if they could copy and replace the hard drive in my old computer. I’m waiting for the estimate, but all in, it will be much less expensive than the evil replacement cost. Next, I came home, and spent over an hour trying to get someone from the return team at Dell on the line. It took four calls—and then, 45 minutes of waiting for the guy taking my report to fill out the form, lose it, go eat his lunch, have a smoke, and come back. Or, at least that what I imagined he was doing when he put me on hold for 10 or 15 minutes at a time. I refused to hang up, put the phone on speaker, and kept working while I waited.

Now, I finally have the shipping labels and return authorization number to send this pile of worthless silicon back from whence it came. I’ll limp along with my old system for a while, and then, I think I’m going to look for a local guy to build me a new system, without a bunch of proprietary junk on it.

My days of just grabbing a box off the rack at Best Buy, or ordering one online are clearly at an end…