so last night i started the arduous task of cracking open my macbook pro so i could replace the old 120GB hard drive with the newer 320GB drive. i even bought special tools just for the occasion, stainless steel .000 philips and a T6 torx. it's probably the closest i'll ever get to actually performing surgery, as i methodically remove the series of screws. i had a hard time getting the case to open but i finally managed to snap it apart with a scary cracking noise. i checked for broken parts but everything looked to be in place. 30 minutes later i had the new drive in place and reassembled the computer. i noticed the front edge of the computer didn't close completely, but it's a minor cosmetic imperfection, nothing i can't live with. because my internal disc drive won't read dual-layered DVD, i had to start leopard from an external disc drive. it took me another 30 minutes before i started to get the feeling that the system disc was bad. the OS 10.4 disc that came with the computer still worked, but i needed to install from a leopard DVD in order to restore my hard drive via time machine backup. i decided to go to bed, worry about it tomorrow.

i knew i gave julie a copy of OS 10.5 a while back but i wasn't able to get in touch with her before she left for work in the morning. faced with no other options, i reopened my laptop and put back the old hard drive. i was relieved to see everything still working (i had this nightmare scenario of being stranded with all my work stuff locked in either backup limbo or a dead drive).

client B dropped a bombshell in my lap today: you're going down to newark sunday morning if the latest interactive continues to crash. i wanted to respond back with some impolite language but caught myself before i did. although they still owe me a final third of the money, i've worked enough hours on this project that i'm basically working for free at this point. in fact, every hour i continue to work for them is like me paying them at this point. i didn't complain when they sent me to newark back in september, but i can't continue to let them bully me around. this project is the single most stressing thing in my life right now, and to be honest, i could care less about the money. i never signed a contract with them so they're completely at my mercy. in fact, i'm thinking about staging a fake suicide just so i don't have to work with them anymore. if i suddenly stop writing, it's because i've gone into hiding. to add insult to injury, i think they plan on having me carpool the 5 hour trip down to jersey (the rest of them are going to pennsylvania) and then i'd take a plane ride back to boston.

like i didn't have enough problems: got a mail from blue cross today with a $2400 bill related to my broken foot treatment this past summer. i immediately got on the phone with them. i thought because i have health insurance, when i got injured, blue cross would foot the bill. apparently that's not the case. actually my motorcycle insurance is supposed to pay first, and whatever amount exceeds the coverage limit, blue cross will then take care of it. but why a bill 6 months later? apparently i never filed an injury claim with my motorcycle insurance, and when blue cross learned that my injury was motor vehicle related months later (who told them? they must have spies), they decided my motorcycle insurance should pay my medical expenses. by that point blue cross had already paid the hospital, but because they never got my other insurance information, they're coming after me for the money they think they're due. so tomorrow i'm going to be on the phone, trying to resolve this crisis. i did speak to a woman at blue cross and she basically told me i wouldn't have to pay (whew), but i'd just need to file an injury claim with my motorcycle insurance. i just hope there isn't a statute of limitation for claims. that little motorcycle accident back in june not only resulted in a broken foot, it also ended my summer riding season, cost me $300 to repair the bike, will most definitely increase my insurance rate for next year, and now i'm stuck with a $2400 hospital bill. why even bother having insurance in the first place when in the end i still have to do all the paperwork?

i set up the test machine for client N today, a mess of cables and boxes on the dining table. this one particular interactive involves 3 touch screens attached to a single computer. up to this point i've only worked with single touch screens, so there was a great unknown as to if it'd even work. but for once everything went according to plan, each screen calibrating independently. that was my one (and only) good news of the day.

for lunch i had more sausage burger, and then some hot dogs for dinner. julie finally got in touch with me, told me after searching through her cd collection that she probably most likely threw away the OSX dvd i gave her when it didn't work on her older machine. now i'm forced to acquire leopard using less legitimate methodology.

later at night i spent a few hours shopping on amazon.com. what i wanted was easy; what was hard was trying to find something that'd put me over the $25 limit so i could get free shipping. my roommate's birthday is next weekend and i got him a folder for his state quarter collection. i also bought a copy of bioshock (now on sale for less than $20) to replace the emptiness after i finished doom 3.