Saturday, February 09, 2008


Okay, so I've been hiding for a couple of days. Two things have been on my mind.

The first, and most important, was that my daughter, Carol, was taken into hospital in Bangkok to have a biopsy done on a tumour growing on her liver.

The poor wee soul had a miserable and painful time. She wasn't allowed to move for four hours after the procedure, and was then kept in overnight.

That was Thursday night, California time. Through the wonders of technology, I talked to her in her hospital bed that night. She was in quite a lot of pain, and pretty miserable. She had to wait until early afternoon the following day to get the results. A tense and stressful period of waiting.

I found it difficult to concentrate on much all day Friday, phoning finally late on Friday night. She and her husband, Chris, were just checking out of the hospital. And she was on cloud nine.

The tumour was benign. Huge relief all round.

Carol and Chris on their wedding day

A tiny coda to the story. When the doctor was examining ultra-sound images of her liver he said it was otherwise in excellent condition. I expressed my amazement to her: "After the amount of booze YOU put away?"

She laughed and said: "That's exactly what I said to him."

The other thing on my mind - which was, of course, put firmly into perspective by Carol's predicament - was the purchase of a new laptop computer from the local Apple store.

Damned thing had "issues" as they say here. It was gobbling up memory like a hungry dog on speed. Suddenly a 120 gigabyte hard disk had 450 megabytes left!!!

Not only that, but for some reason it wouldn't run a critical piece of software that I am using right now for research on my new book. A graphics-hungry little number that takes me into a virtual world. Crashed the whole system everytime.

So I have spent more than four hours, over two days, standing at the Genius Bar in the Apple Store trying to solve the problems. First they replaced the computer. We reloaded my files and software. Bingo! Worked like a treat. But still wouldn't take me back into my virtual world.

Further investigations revealed a conflict between a new video card and the access software. A problem that looks like it won't be solved any time soon.

So now I have another computer on the way. Should arrive Tuesday. Hopefully that will solve the problem. All digits crossed!

A final word to Joe, our genius at the bar. We kept the poor man at work way past his going home time - wife and kids waiting for him round the dinner table. But he dealt with us with patience and good humour. Even when he saw us returning the next day, and his heart must have been sinking.

Joe.... thank you. But if the new computer doesn't do the job, expect to see us again on Tuesday!!!

1 comment:

Carol and Chris said...

Feeling a lot better today Dad and, once the pain goes completely, am looking forward to celebrating the fact that I have a benign tumour and, since I officially have a healthy liver, I think the celebration will involve a good bottle of wine!!

Hope you get your apple problems sorted if you had a PC *Sniggers*

C x