We’re Rich!

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Now we just have to figure out what to buy with it. A new rig, maybe?

Our son Chris brought our mail up to Brandi’s this past Sunday and last night I finally got a chance to go through it all. And here’s what I found.

A check as a settlement on a lawsuit. And a lawsuit that I didn’t know I was involved in. A check for a whole 16 cents!

16 cent ATTM Check

What’s even funnier about this is that it says it’s a sales tax settlement refund for overcharges on an AT&T Mobility Data Plan. But we’ve never had an AT&T Data Plan, or even an AT&T phone of any kind. We’ve always been with Verizon.

So I don’t know now. I guess we should split our largese with the kids. It’ll be their inheirance.

After monitoring my Progressive 50 amp EMS (Electrical Management System) a lot more closely the last two days, I’ve got a good idea what the problem is. At first I was thinking I maybe had a bad or floating ground, But watching the L-1 and L-2 voltages on the Progressive display told me different.

The two voltages go in opposite directions under load. When L-1 is showing 105 volts, L-2 might be showing 128 volts. Way too wide a spread. And just inside the Hi/Lo cutoffs of the Progressive EMS.

And even with both AC’s off, and nothing else on except the TV/Sat and the computer, we were only seeing about 111 – 113 volts, way too low. Last week at Lake Conroe we were seeing 120 to 122 volts at the same time of day.

To protect the rig, the Progressive will cut off power to the rig if the voltage goes over 130 volts or below 103 volts. And it doesn’t have to be on both L-1 and L-2, but either one of them. So when one voltage is at 104 and the other one is running at 128, a momentary change on either end can cause the EMS to drop out. So now I’ve got a good handle on what’s happening, but what’s actually causing the problem?

I said earlier that at first I thought it might be an floating ground. But seeing the opposite voltage swings says a open or high resistance neutral. And because it’s happened at two different sites in this ring, I suspect it might be located at the main panel or thereabouts.

So now it’s up to Jeff, the park electrical guy, to follow up on this. As far as us, Jan says we’re never parking in this area again. It’s too much drama.

Wrapping up, I wanted to pass on a recipe for this delicious salad our daughter-in-law Linda brought to our son Chris’ birthday bash held at our daughter Brandi’s this year. Jan like it so much she asked for the recipe. Turns out to be from an old Krogers ad. Quick and Easy, and really Good.

Strawberry – Orange Tropical Salad


Thought for the Day:

You never realize how boring your life is until someone asks you what you like to do for fun.


Another Day, Another Laptop . . .

Today started off dim and quiet. Dim because the shades and front curtains were closed when I got up, and quiet because Jan woke up with a migraine and I was trying to keep it down.

Once she had her coffee, she took a Sumatriptan and laid back down for a while. As for me, I quietly got back to work on another laptop hard drive replacement.

This one was a Dell XPS 15 that I picked up from a long time client the last time we were down in the League City area. But as it turned out this one was a bit strange.

Dell is really good about support, so you use the Service Tag number on the bottom to go online and find out exactly what your laptop had in it when it shipped. And this tag# told me the laptop had a 1 TB Western Digital HDD inside, so that’s what I ordered as a replacement. And the replacement came to Brandi’s this past Sunday while we were there for Chris’ birthday party. Love Amazon’s Free Sunday Delivery.

So my first step was to remove the laptop bottom panel so I could get to the hard drive.

Dell Repair 1

Removing six screws loosens the back. Then you can open the small silver panel, and remove the two screws underneath. And that where the first strangeness showed up.

One of the two screws was missing. And the only way that would be is if someone had taken the back off. Removing the one remaining screw gave me access to the hard drive. That’s it on the right.

Dell Repair 3

Removing four more screws and I could pull out the HDD frame.

Dell Repair 5


After removing the four frame screws and the data connector, I had the old HDD in my hand. And now the second strangeness.

Dell Repair 2

These two drives should be identical, but they’re not. The one on the left, the one I removed from the machine, is a Seagate 750 GB, not the 1 TB WD it should be. At this point I put in a call to the owner and left a voicemail, before preceding with the swap out.

Ten minutes later, I had the new drive in and the case back together. Then I plugged in my Win7 USB Installer and booted it up.

Win7 USB Installer Stick

Twenty minutes later Windows 7 was up and running, and I was downloading the necessary drivers from the Dell site.

Unlike the HP laptop a couple of weeks ago, Dell tells you exactly what drivers you need and lets you download them all at once.

About this time the client called back, and I confirmed that she had bought the laptop new, and that no one had worked on it until this problem. But, before she called me, not knowing if we were in town, she took it into Best Buy to have them look at it.

They kept it a few days, and then said it wasn’t fixable. So then she called me.

At this point the only thing that makes sense is that Best Buy found the original bad HDD and replaced it with another one. But I think it was one they just had lying around, and a used one at that. The date code on the HDD is two years older than the date code on the computer itself.

But I guess they didn’t know that the used drive was also dead. At this point they figured there must be something else wrong that they couldn’ fix, and sent it back. But with the new correct HDD installed, it’s working now.

Next up tomorrow, Windows 10.

By 4:30 Jan was feeling a lot better, and was hungry because all she’d had was some potato chips. So we headed into Columbus to have dinner at Los Cucos Mexican Restaurant, one of our favorites.

I got the Beef Fajitas Poblanas, with mushrooms, poblano strips, and red onions, in a delicious heavy cream sauce. Really good.

Los Cabos Fajitas Poblanos

Jan had her favorite Beef Fajita Stuffed Avocado. She says it’s the best she’s ever had.

Los Cabos Stuffed Avocado 2

And even better we had plenty left over for tomorrow.

Thought for the Day:

“It was a woman who drove me to drink, and I’ve been searching thirty years to find her and thank her.” – W. C. Fields