Long, long lapse in posts due to many mitigating circumstances.
This is the third computer since the last post.
I decided to save some money when WinXp went out of favor by converting the machine to Ubuntu Linux. I discovered that Linux is a tinkerers paradise. Sadly, it's not the kind of tinkering I'm best at. Eventually, I got it to a condition I could live with.
Earlier this summer, M'lady and I took a weekend holiday up in Glenwood Springs.
We had a fine time. I collected my first speeding ticket in the Miata, 83 in a 65. Met up with some friends and drank good whiskey and soaked in the pool. Came back through Aspen and over Independence Pass. Had a picnic. Life is good.
We get back and we have a mystery; there's debris from the tree all over the backyard. We begin imagining scenarios involving mating racoons when we find the burned end of the phone line that corresponds to where it was touching the tree. The box mounted to the side of the house is barely attached and looks like it exploded. Lightning has struck somewhere very close, but fortunately, not the house.
In the end the losses were two computers, one cable modem, one answering machine, the sprinkler control box, and our peace of mind.
The cable was back up in two days. The phones were out for a week and a half.
This happened on M'ladys birthday that ends with "0".
Not that we're superstitious or paranoid or anything.