Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Mercury is retrograde. *sigh*

So, here is the most important thing you need to know: Our computer crashed and we're snowed out of or shop. SO, rest assured - we will get back to normal tomorrow (We think) but if you have emailed us in the last few days, we are NOT ignoring you, we just are having some temporary technical difficulties, and we thank you for your patience!

Now, the long-winded version of that announcement.

Tuesdays are always busy days for us, because we are closed Sundays and Mondays, so we have lots of orders to process and pack, phone calls to return, emails to answer, etc. So it was quite a shock to our system to show up on Tuesday (yesterday) to find that our computer had mysteriously stopped working.

Now, it probably shouldn't have been a surprise. Our Gateway is 4-5 years old, and is a WELL-USED machine. See, our business runs pretty much entirely with that machine. We use it to pull orders, answer emails, process credit cards, and print labels. Without it, we grind to a halt pretty much immediately.

So, we spent the morning trying to trouble-shoot, and fix the durn thing. (Those of you who know Donna and I are now laughing hysterically at the idea of us trying to fix a computer. We can use the things just fine but fix them - um, no. Lots of "um, errrrr"''s were muttered, heads were scratched, toes were scuffed, swear words invoked.

A note: The weather yesterday was dreadful. COLD, and we had had loads of snow and blowing the day before. We had to brave snowdrifts up to our butts (yes, literally) to tromp through to get from the house to the shop. (Necessary, because house has food and a bathroom and our shop does not).

We eventually decided to give it up, and just buy a new computer. So the search ensued. We figured out what we wanted to spend and poked around online, then decided Maggie should just drive to Des Moines and buy one.

Off I go in my van to Des Moines, to visit 3 different stores. Meanwhile, it starts snowing. ALOT. and then some more. Oh, and look - the wind is picking up! Great. By the time I visit 4 stores to figure out what we want, and actually make the purchase, we have a little mini-blizzard going on. I head home. Wine was consumed.

This morning, we woke up to big snowdrifts. For those of you who haven't visited our farm, lemme 'splain. The setup is thus: we have 2 acres (almost) of land. Donna's house is on the land, as well as our shop and various outbuildings. It is on a gravel road, surrounded by cornfields, pretty much in the middle of nowhere. The part of Iowa we live in is very, very flat, and when we get blowing snow, we can easily get drifts several feet high, making it impossible (impassible?) to get around. So even a few inches of snow, combined with high winds, can REALLY screw things up.

So, Donna is currently ensconced in her warm house, surrounded by large snowdrifts. The winds are still howling. The HIGH temperature for the day is 2 degrees. The low? So glad you asked. A balmy -14. The winds are holding steady at 15 to 20 mph with some gusts up to 29 mph, giving us a delightful windchill factor of -20 or so. Eventually, the winds will slow down. At some point after that, the county trucks will plow out her road. And at some point after THAT, our nice snow guy will come plow out or driveway so we can get to the shop.

Until then, the new computer waits patiently in my van, 30 miles away, and Donna waits, not at ALL patiently, for her new computer to show up. You folks have NO idea how much it is bothering her that she can't fill your orders and answer your emails!

So until then, stay warm y'all.....we'll be in touch with tomorrow...hopefully......


Aster said...

Oh man! I hope you have a good supply of hot cocoa! :P

Just fyi (and feel free to roll your eyes at me if you know this), if your new computer IS sitting out in a sub-sub-zero van, I'd suggest that when you bring it inside you take it out of the box and let it sit somewhere warm overnight before you hook it up and turn it on. Just to make sure no condensation's on any of the parts inside it when you start it up. Possibly over-cautious, but still!

Good luck getting back on track! :)

girlwithasword said...

oh, my gosh. I never THOUGHT of that. OH HELL, now I have to tromp outside in the -20 degree temps to get my new 'puter! (but thank you for the info!)

Aster said...

Oh, leaving it out there won't hurt it, really! I moved in an incredible cold snap one time and the computer was in the back of an unheated moving truck for about 72 hours. I was a bit worried about that and looked up how cold affects computers.... The answer, according to the all-knowing internet was "...they're metal and plastic. They'll warm up. Just don't try to power it until it's been good and warm for awhile." :)

ML said...

Oh, snow. Not sure what that is, but I've heard of it. Hahaha.
We actually had a few flakes here in Houston back in November.
It sounds way too cold me, I'm strictly subtropical. 70 is getting cool to me.
You stay warm and don't worry about the orders, etc. Your store should be just fine, after all, everything is "on ice". No need to worry about anything melting.