Poor Biff’s Almanac — While My Laptop Slowly Dies

Poor Biff's Almanac Graphic (Colored) #1

I’m going to try to get this written and posted before my temporary, fill-in laptop locks up again.

I have already told you about how my regular laptop died earlier this week and left me virtually laptop-less.  I say “virtually”, because, like most people, I have a closet full of old, defunct laptops.

What?  Only I do that?  Hmm … strange.  I thought everyone kept their old laptops after they stopped working.

Anyway, I resurrected an old laptop I had used as an experiment to load Linux on.  This aged, Linux-infused laptop has allowed me to continue with my writing, and to access the internet for WordPress and checking my mail.

Unfortunately, this laptop cannot handle stress and if I open up too many windows at a time (like 3), it will get slower and slower and slower until it finally just locks up and I have to power it down and back up to make it work again.  Last night, for example, it locked up whilst playing music videos on YouTube and trying to write.  The music kept playing, but the screen, keyboard, and mouse were completely non-functional.  While this is fine for a radio, it’s not so great for a laptop.

So anyway, today I will finally go out and buy another laptop.  I really hate to do that because, in the past three weeks I have had to buy the following:

  • A new water heater (the old one died a month after its warranty expired)
  • A separate visit from a plumber to fix a broken shower valve
  • A new refrigerator (to be delivered in 2 weeks to replace one that is slowly dying)
  • A new windshield for my car this coming up week (the old one has a meter-long crack across it from a rock I took 6 or so weeks ago)
  • A new living room comfy chair (this one has become so ratty and tatty that I can no long ignore it — but I will write of this another day)


So, as you can see, the Biff finances have taken quite a hit in the past month.

But I simply cannot live without a laptop.  It would be easier to live without a refrigerator.


Well, I must go.  My temporary laptop is starting to hesitate as I type and the cooling fan is starting to sound like a jet engine about to take off.

Have a great Sunday!   Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there.



  1. Wouldn’t it be lovely if you could take all your old laptops in and exchange them for a new one? The store would then turn yours over to some wiz out there with a talent for recycling old laptops. They then sell them on Ebay as refurbished.

    But, by this time, most likely well before, you’re home playing/banging out way cool blog posts, on your new laptop. Later, you also find you now have space for other exchangeable cast offs. Sounds feasible to me!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s an expensive week! I have heard that in Texas, when it rains it pours.

    For what it’s worth, my wife thinks my laptop is actually grafted to my lap. I hate the way it bangs into things when I’m trying to walk to the refrigerator.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love that dramatic roaring sound, and the ticking sound (searching in the weeds, I call it) that laptops make. Does that not make them (as good as) sentient?

    Very funny Biff! They are canine in their ability to smell fear.

    For Mothers Day, my sister and I are making a concerted effort to get mum off her flip phone and into a smart phone. ‘I don’t want to learn anything new’, is her swift rejoinder. Who does? She does have a point. But now I hear they are making a comeback – perhaps we should hold up?

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think the singularity has begun. The rise of the machines is in progress. Soon we will be reduced to changing their ink and toner cartridges, changing their air filters, and vacuuming the dust out of them.

      Come to think of it, I think we’re already there!

      And good luck getting your Mom to update to a smart phone! It’s funny; my brother and I are trying to do the same thing with our Mom. Except she doesn’t even like flip phones. This may be an impossible quest.


    • I agree! I have been pricing laptops the last few days and they are outrageous. I am not looking forward to plunking down that kind of money. And even when you do, there’s no guarantee that they will last more than a year or so.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. If it makes you feel any better, in the past year, we’ve replaced or repaired everything in our kitchen (except our stove….which needs a cleaning badly). We’ve also replaced 2 vehicles, our family room furniture, and our patio furniture. It’s as if everything we own suddenly expired. 😏

    Liked by 2 people

  5. My sympathy, with a dash of empathy. My laptop has served me well for close to five years now, but it’s been bogging down—not yet crashing, but wanting to j u s t s l o w w w w l y y m o o o v e along to the beat of its own drummer. Of course I typically have about eight tabs open at any given time and run a second screen for editing efficiency, so that doesn’t help.

    I realized the other day that it only has 4G of RAM and is not upgradable, so I suppose I’ll be looking for a desktop computer to use for most of my editing stuff, clearing out the laptop of anything that’s not necessary, and using it only for traveling around instead of “everything.”

    You sound like what I call Dietz Law in my house (which would be Biff’s Law in yours): the timing of the death of any item/appliance/electronics is directly proportional to how important it is that it work properly right at that moment. Our printer used to always run out of ink the day before I had to print out loads of paperwork for school portfolios. My former laptop died the day after I landed a new editing client and had just started on his manuscript. And the day after I replaced it with my current laptop, our router died.

    Hmm . . . I may not be very encouraging, but at least you know you don’t have to suffer alone!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, you’re right … I have a very similar Biff’s Law. I have also always said that printers and copy machines can sense desperation and they will stop working if they sense that you really REALLY need them to work at that moment. Things do always seem to crash at the worse possible time.

      At least, in the case of my refrigerator, I am being preemptive and replacing it BEFORE it dies. Now I just need it to hold out another week until they deliver the new one!

      Liked by 3 people

  6. We woke up one night with our shared laptop making a high pitched screeching sound. After that, it wouldn’t boot up. I took it to the “laptop store” so the service department could try to transfer the data from the hard drive to the new laptop I purchased there. The serviceman turned it on, it booted up, and it’s been working ever since. Go figure!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ha ha! That’s funny! I mean … it’s not … but it kind of is. I’ve had similar experiences of things miraculously healing themselves just as the repair person arrived. A similar thing happens when I go to the doctor after suffering with a bout of something. When I finally get a doctor’s appointment after a week or two … the condition miraculously clears up the day of my appointment.

      Liked by 1 person

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