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I’m really feeling the passion and energy from this new job now even more!  The team is one of the most collaborative I have worked with in years, and I’ve just turned that mental corner where you “click” and REALLY jump into another layer of understanding of just what exactly we’re going to do and when we want to get everything finished.  This is a natural part of my ramp-up with new a consulting gig…I KNOW there’s a ton of stuff to do but don’t know the subject matter indepth…yet.

So I came home on Friday after a mentally fulfilling and yet exhausting week too.  I was ready to relax, heat up some leftover pasta and just veg.  But first, as I always do when I get home, I went upstairs to check email here in the home office.  Rather than seeing my usual, soothing aquarium-themed screen saver, I saw IT.  The loathed, despised…BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH!

Duhn duhn duhnnnnnnnnnnn….or maybe wahn wahn wahnnnnn sad trombone sound.  Pick your dramatic music of choice.

Thankfully I haven’t seen a BSOD in years.  I looked closer at this new screen booger, skimmed over a bunch of gobbledeegook and then this jumped out at me:  Bad Pool Caller.

Now, I appreciate technology and all even though I’m no coding expert.  A bad pool caller?  Sounds like a crappy judge in a swim or dive meet.   Flashbacks to our neighborhood pool when I was a kid – all those swimming and diving competitions.  

So, after restarting the laptop and praying it boots up alright (whew, it does), I go online and search on this strange error.  Turns out there’s a ton of stuff out there about it.  What’s true and what’s not?  Well, the windowstalk blog seems to sum it up pretty well in plain English:  “The ‘bad pool caller’ error is shown when Windows is not able to access the data-pool that it requires to run. The data pool is the technical term used to describe all the settings and options that your computer may require whenever it’s running, and as you may have guessed, it’s constantly being ‘called’ to help your computer run as smoothly as possible. Unfortunately, there are many occasions where Windows will try and call a setting from the data pool, only to have it show an error.”

What’s one of the recommended fixes? Try using a registry cleaner.  Hmmm…for years I did use one.  I don’t remember how I stumbled upon it, but I ran it every few days or so, it would call out errors and fix them and I’d pay my $30 subscription fee every year.  And never had any problems or issues with it nor with this laptop in general come to think of it.

But a couple of months ago I got hit with a bad computer virus, which took over 4 hours of phone time with Dell to troubleshoot and clean.  Viruses suck.  And there’s no way to tell when or how your computer got infected.  I learned that viruses can lie dormant for long periods of time and then suddenly spring to life.  Hell, when you’re on the phone with a tech all those hours you might as well ask and learn.  

Part of that troubleshooting was to remove any sort of accessory type thingy.  The tech was convinced my registry cleaner, among other things, was no good so I agreed to have him removed it (over the phone remote connectivity stuff is pretty cool).  We removed pretty much everything…he even was convinced my Google Desktop search agent had been downloaded from an unauthorized source.  So I felt like I was getting a mega computer antibiotic that cleared out the good stuff as well as the bad.  Bottom line, no more virus.

And (but?) now, this blue screen.  Anyway I poked around and found a different registry cleaner to try.  And it seems to have good reviews.  Do I dare dive into this again?

I signed up with it for a year.  A tad reluctant, but also a little relieved that this might just be one way to bandaid any problems with this ancient laptop before I pull the trigger on a new one.  Why reluctant?  Yeah, well, earlier this year I had to cancel my debit card because I thought it might have been compromised online.  Better safe than sorry, so I got a new one issued.  I used a credit card I hardly ever use for this new registry cleaning program, so if for some reason it’s a problem they don’t have my bank account number.

So, after a few ‘cleans,’ no more blue screens and we *seem* to be alright.  Dodged a boulder…maybe.

I also got some great girl-time in this weekend too…nothing is both more energizing and relaxing to me all at the same time.  Love it.  L and I went on a long-overdue walk around our neighborhood to reconnect yesterday.  I’m feeling a little sore today too which is a good sign!  And I drove down to S’s place this afternoon for a mini spa and facial party.

Most of you who tune in here regularly probably know I’m a makeup junkie.  I have zero brand loyalty…I do have my favorites but will try just about anything meanwhile.

At S’s party we had fun playing around with a product line she represents – Artistry.  It’s part of Amway Global.  Yes, Amway Global!  Surprised they have a makeup line?  Don’t be…and it’s top notch stuff.  We had fun pampering ourselves with some cleansing and exfoliating products, hot towels and all.  Sipping on wine and enjoying fabulous munchies meanwhile. 

After we did our mini facials we played with makeup and got matched for our colors in foundations and tinted moisturizers.  WOW, I’m very impressed with the foundation S recommended for me and can’t wait to get it!  I’ve tried just about every brand out there over 30+ years and this one really did a great job evening out my ruddiness and giving good overall coverage without being too cakey or grippy.  Even now it still looks fresh after a few hours…with no primer underneath (I swear by primer, always).  Nice.  I also love how it comes in a pump-style dispenser…much more sanitary than a jar and lid.

I also fell in love with the light-up lip gloss.  This is stuff of genius…a lipgloss that has a small mirror on one side of the tube, and tiny lights that light up at the base of the wand when you pull it out.  So, you can easily touch up your lips and do the good ol’ teeth check in the tiny mirror…love it!

Rounding out my mini-haul today…a green tea-scented lotion and body wash (two huge containers for just $15 total?  Unreal.) and a liquid facial cleanser I tried out today.  While I’m picky about skincare, I am open to trying just about anything that is not too drying and not overly-scented.  This cleanser has a very light outdoorsy and citrusy scent…so subtle it’s hard to pin down…perfect in my book.

Four great products for $95 including shipping and tax?  Oh yeahhhh…

And we’re going on almost 72 hours here with no BSOD.  Yep it’s a great weekend alright.