Thursday, September 05, 2013

Travels With Frank #5: Is He Kidding?

I had to work late tonight. I was supposed to be off work at 6 PM. Then there would be a half-hour drive across town to see Dad, and then I would have to go buy dinner, and then I would be able to go home and eat dinner. But my boss was still adding to my workload when 6 PM came. I ended up leaving work at 7:30  PM. So I didn't reach Dad's room until after 8 PM. He was in bed. That's the second time in two weeks that work obligations kept me from visiting before he went to bed.

He told me, as best he could given his aphasia, that the caregivers had made him take his clothes off, and given him a shower, and one of the male caregivers a shave. "Then a woman came in. And she wasn't you."

"No, it wasn't me,"

"So I don't know who you are."


"You know who I am. I'm your daughter, Karen."

"Yes, I know who you are."

I tried to pass it off as him teasing me, but I really have no idea. Did he momentarily not recognize me, or did he merely get tangled in his thoughts and words, meaning to say that he didn't know who the female caregiver a few minutes earlier was? I don't know.

This entry is being posted especially late. Wanna know why? I spent a good chunk of the evening trying to remove adware from my computer, the kind that turns words into badly formatted links to advertising. None of the pages I looked at provided an answer that worked, deleting cache and cookies didn't help, and Norton found nothing wrong when I did a scan. I did a registry cleanup, restarted Chrome and gave up. 

But when I started writing this entry, my computer started acting up. Blogger kept telling me that the page wasn't saving or publishing (I wasn't trying to publish yet) and the Internet connection troubleshooter wouldn't launch, but kept flickering as an empty dialog box. I rebooted, and there it was, the very thing I was worried about: a "ransomware" screen, absurdly claiming that the FBI had locked my computer for the crime of looking at child pornography, and to pay $300 to get my computer running again. I first had this screen a week ago, and managed to remove it once (so it seemed) but it's a nasty, persistent Trojan. It takes over the whole startup, and it's gotten even more aggressive so that the clean up methods I looked up on my iPhone browser no longer work.  I can't reach Safe Mode, and F8 does nothing except show me a list of options that don't include F8 or Safe Mode. System Recovery failed to complete, and before it started refusing to go there at all I got to Safe mode briefly, only for it to shut itself down a few seconds later. There is absolutely nothing I can do at this point except take it to Staples, and hope my most recent backup isn't likewise infected.

It's been a bad day.


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