We haven’t mentioned Daniel on the blog before. He is one of the few male parts of L. He is 14, totally obsessed with sports cars and video/computer games and finds great pleasure in annoying myself and a few others as much as possible. Seriously though, he’s very protective and funny and knows how to keep me calm when I am freaking out. He’s actually a pretty super guy, considering being a dude. (Hopefully he’ll be contributing here soon.)
See, our laptop fans keep burning out, which is bad since we don’t want to fry the motherboard, right? But replacing the fans cost money and well… it’s not like we have a bunch to spare these days. But Grabby insisted on giving us the money for the fan. Maybe he found our multi-fan contraption a little ridiculous (we removed the keyboards, plugged in exterior keyboards and then used table fans to blow into the machine). But yeah, he gave Ben the cash, said to order the fan, and then wait for him to set up a time for his buddy (who does occasional computer repair) to do the switch.
Well, the last time Grabby’s buddy replaced one of the fans, the video card got damaged, meaning no playing our favorite computer games. We can’t prove he did it, but chances are the damage happened during the “surgery” because the stupid fan is attached to the video chip with thermal paste. If you aren’t crazy careful when separating the two, you can damage the chip and since the graphics were just fine literally minutes before handing the laptop over, well…
Needless to say we were nervous about sending our only other working laptop back to the reckless “doctor.” Even though Grabby was going to “cover” his buddy’s fee (in pot, no less) , we were reconsidering whether or not we should take the chance of losing another video card. Ben looked up info online and we decided to try it ourselves when he found step-by-step instructions.
Our choices were either to let Grabby do one more favor that he can (and will) hold over our heads, while risking our laptop to his pot-smoking-computer-surgeon buddy (our other laptop still has a lingering smoke scent and the laptop bag still reeks of smoke even 9 months later) or attempt our first PC surgery ourselves. We figured if someone ruined the video card, it might as well be us!
So we sat down with a bunch of mini tools and an extra lamp and went to town. Ben and Daniel worked together, checking the how-to guide online when necessary. Initially the non-working fan was difficult to get loose, but with the helpful tool we found in Emma’s easel box (I think it’s for smearing oil paint), it was simple.
What was funny and ironic though, was the removing of the old fan was supposed to be the trickiest, but it turned out the new adhesive pad was what gave them the most trouble. I guess it wouldn’t peel off the covering right or whatever. They got it off and laid it out in pieces in the end.
And then because it would have been just too easy to be done, one of the little screws that didn’t quite lock in place fell out when they flipped the laptop over. With the help of two pliers, a magnet and some careful shaking, it eventually fell out. Whew! So about 40 minutes later, they put everything back together and the laptop appears to be working great!
The best part is that we got to tell Grabby “Thanks, but no thanks” for the first time tonight in like forever. It felt AWESOME! Of course he was majorly pouty on the phone and tried to guilt Ben into letting him come up to get the laptop anyway. He repeatedly explained how much trouble it had been to get a hold of his buddy and how it would take a really long time to be able to pin down another time that would work. Ben repeatedly told him that we were going to take care of things and he obviously didn’t like that. In the end he even said “Fine, I’m not going to force you to let me do you a favor.” (Yuck)
Ben thinks he arranged this and was pushing it so hard as a way to create a reason to see L (we have been making excuses to keep him away). Some of us think he was upset because he’s paying his buddy with pot to do the repairs and with no laptop, he’d be trading pot for nothing (ha ha). Others think he didn’t like the idea that we suddenly didn’t need him for something. He NEEDS to feel needed. It makes him feel in control. He likes to keep people dependent on him. He’s joked about doing that (it’s not funny) with other people because it keeps him “linked in.”
Yuck, Grabby. You are yucky. But tonight I am so proud of Daniel (and Ben, for trusting us enough to try fixing the laptop ourselves) that even you can’t ruin my kick ass rockin’ night!