The Cryorig M9a Installation.

Earlier this month (June 2016), I upgraded the air cooling system for the AMD Athlon X4 870K processor in my computer. This was a major undertaking, and required the removal of the motherboard from the case. I promised a few people I’d take pictures of the process, and share them. So, here the pictures are.

Now, here’s the explanation, starting from the top left picture, and proceeding across each row, the pictures are in order. The first picture shows the original system configuration, with the AMD heatsink and fan. The pictures show the disassembly process, the removal of the original AMD mounting bracket, the installation of the Cryorig mounting bracket, the installation of the Cryorig M9a mini tower cooling system, and the reassembly of the computer.

Since I took these pictures, the EVGA GT-730 graphics adapter has died. It has been replaced with a XFX Radeon R7-370. It’s not the best system on Earth by any means. But it’s more than sufficient for my needs.

The Cryorig M9a works very well. Combined with the three case fans, the CPU temperature reported by the MSI Control Panel averages in the mid 5oC range (51C to 57C), when all fans are turned up. That’s over 20C lower than the original AMD factory cooler.

It is worth noting that I could not have stuffed a larger air cooling solution into the case. The top of the M9a fits just inside the case, and the fan sits on the first RAM module. The R7-370 also comes close to the plexiglass cover of the case, but I could install a larger graphics adapter if I ever elect to do so.

This was not something I would suggest most people do, unless you have experience at repairing computers, or have made your own custom builds before, or have a friend who has, and is willing to help.

Mark.

Thoughts Denied

We all have them.
Thoughts we deny we have.
Feelings we don’t admit to.
Hatred we pretend isn’t there.
We all have them.
And we deny they exist.
We pretend we don’t.
We pretend we’re better than that.

We lie.
To ourselves.
All the time.

Let me explain.
Let me illustrate.
Let me show you
An example
Of what you deny.

This week
My autistic mind showed me
The picture of a gun.
An AR-15.
An ugly machine.
Designed with one purpose.
With one objective.
To make it easy
To kill.

Above that picture of a gun
My mind wrote the words,
“Tired of finding out she used to be him?”
Then, below the picture of the gun
My mind wrote the words,
“There’s a cure for that.”

And I knew so much about that image
Painted in my head.
I knew so many people
Who feel that way.
Though they won’t admit it.
Though they’ll deny it.
They’ll scream at you,
“How could you think I feel that way?”
“Do you have any idea how wrong that is?”
“I don’t condone using a gun in that way!”

The list goes on and on.

But the louder they scream.
The louder they deny the truth.
Of what they feel,
Don’t they.

It happens all the time,
Doesn’t it.
These types of lies.
These denials.
When we pretend we aren’t that way.
When we pretend we don’t feel that way.

But it shows,
Doesn’t it.
It always shows.
“Let’s just shoot all the trans people,
And be done with it.
Life would be simpler.”

Little glimpses of the truth.
Hidden beneath the words.
Hidden beneath the lies.

Lies like this one.
The words above the picture
Of a syringe,
“Putting my kids at risk by not vaccinating yours?”
And the words below the syringe
“Let me stab you in the eyes with this.”

Little glimpses of the truth.
The unspoken words.
The denied reality.
No one admits is there.
No one dares admit is there.

The words above the picture
Of another AR-15.
“People keep cutting ahead of you in line?”
And then the words below.
“There’s a cure for that.”

Little thoughts.
They flash through our brain cells.
Like single frames of a movie.
Blink, and you miss them.
“Did I really see that?”
“Did I really think that?”
“No.”
“I’m not that way.”
“That’s not how I feel.”

But always.
Always.
That image.
It turns up.
Again.
And again.
And again.
Without end.

And always.
We lie.
To ourselves.
“That’s not right.”
“I’m not like that.”

So many thoughts
We can’t face.
So many thoughts.
We can’t have.
So many thoughts.
That are just wrong.
Flat wrong.
And we’re not like that.

Thoughts that are always there.
Thoughts always hidden.
Thoughts always ignored.
Locked away.
Behind our lies.

So very many
Thoughts denied.

#ThursThreads Week 221 : Who Bought It?

It is somewhat disconcerting the first time someone still living walks through you. It’s also a good clue that you’re dead, dead, dead. That, and looking down at your body with a big ass hole where your forehead used to be, and seeing the shredded remains of your brain.

Getting walked through was my fault, really. I was too busy staring at the mush inside my head to notice Freddy when he walked up, his gun still smoking, and looked down at my dead body. Lenny stood a few yards behind him, “See if he’s got anything in his wallet.”

Freddy laughed, and put his gun back in its holster, under his left arm. He straightened out his jacket. “Who bought it?” He looked at Lenny. “Who bought the farm?”

Lenny giggled, and pointed at my remains, “He did!”

Freddy grinned at my remains, “You should’ve known better, Billy boy. You should’ve known not to bang Mr. King’s daughter.” He bowed his head. “You had potential, you did. But you crossed a line in the sand, and Mr. King said to me, ‘Freddy, Freddy, Freddy. Make sure Lenny buys the farm tonight.’ And you know I do what Mr. King tells me.”

Lenny giggled again, “Who bought it? Billy bought it!”

The two of them shook their heads, and walked out of my bedroom, leaving me to stare at my dead body, and wonder, “What the heck do I do now?”


I saw the prompt for this week’s #ThursThreads challenge, and this strange idea just kinda popped into my brain cells, so I wrote it. It’s for week 221 of Siobhan Muir‘s #ThursThreads. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read.

#VisDare 143 : Through

I wasn’t supposed to be able to get so close to the mansion. Normally, there were tourist there. Noisy people with cameras who shouted, “Don’t move, you giraffe!” or “Damn! He moved!” But the people were missing. It wasn’t normal.

People came and went, these big black Land Rovers hauled them in and out all the time. A new batch every few days. But the Land Rovers were still parked, and the batch that arrived two days earlier hadn’t left. The lights had been on all night, and no one showed up this morning.

The others told me to keep my distance, but I was curious. I cautiously approached the mansion. No one was there. I stuck my head in through an open patio door. No one was inside. I heard nothing. I saw no one.

The humans were gone. They’d vanished without a trace.


I decided to write something for Angela Goff’s Visual Dare, Week 143. Please read the other entries in this week’s Visual Dare challenge. Be amazed at the magic people can put into 150 words or less.

Here, I Am Free

The arguing is gone.
The people standing on the cliffs
On opposite sides of the canyon,
Yelling and screaming at each other,
Throwing things at each other,
Are gone.
Their rules are gone.

Their concepts of right and wrong,
Good and evil,
Yes and no,
Black and white,
Appropriate and inappropriate,
Can and can’t.
Gone.

Republicans and Democrats,
Libertarians and Greens,
Christians and Muslims,
Hard working and entitled,
Saved and damned,
Gone.
They don’t exist out here.
Outside the tiny world
I once was in.

Faith versus Science,
Man versus Machine,
Us versus them.
All the things they believe,
All the things they stand for,
All the things they cling too,
Fight for,
Go to war for.

Gone.

The battle of pink and blue,
Male and female,
What defines an individual.
Gone.

Out here,
There are no rules.
If a male wants to wear pink,
So what?
He remains a male.
If a female wears combat boots.
So what?
She remains a female.

Out here.
People are.
That’s all.
People are.
There is not gender war.
No homophobia.
No trans-phobia.
It’s gone.

All the rules are gone.
All the things that exist
Inside that dome.
Inside that world.
That predefined place.
Where everything is known.
Everything is believed.
Everything is bound.
Everything is limited.
The rules are all there is.

And everything
Is us and them.
What can be done,
And what can’t be done.
What is allowed,
Acceptable,
Correct,
Proper,
Right,
Just,
Good,
And what isn’t.

Out here,
Outside the little domes,
The rules inside the domes
Are visible.
The limits,
The constraints,
The chains
The rules place on everyone
Inside a little dome
Show.

I haven’t found the walls of the big dome I’m in.
I know I’m in a dome.
And when I break free of it,
I’ll be in another dome.
Larger still.
Filled with smaller domes.

There are rules here.
I can feel that.
I can sense that.
But I don’t know what they are.
Where they are.
How they work.

I don’t miss the little domes.
Don’t miss the limited rules.
The strict definitions
Of right and wrong,
Good and evil,
Just and unjust,
Pure and corrupt.

I don’t miss the conflicts,
Black and white,
Us and them,
Our god and their god,
Religion and Science,
Rich and poor,
Matters and doesn’t matter.

Here, everything is new.
Everything is different.
Fresh,
Open.
Unknown.

Here, I can explore.
I can seek,
I can look,
I can learn.

Here I have time.
I am not rushed.
There are things I elect to do.
Times I elect to do them.
There is my word.
My choice.
My decision.

Not how things are supposed to be.
Not how things are meant to be.
Not some set of rules
That defines me.
That gives me value.
That makes me useful.

Here,
I am.
And I am already useful.
I already have value.
I exist.
And I decide
How to be.
What to do.

And here,
I can change
Who I am.
What I do.

I am not trapped,
By a set of rules
I never made.

Here.

I am free.

I Left The Dome

Now, I sit at my computer.
Alone.
In silence.
There are no more messages
On it’s screen.
No more words from people
Scattered around the world.
No more links to stories.
No more memes.

I did this.
I’m the reason.
I disconnected.
Deliberately.
Purposefully.
I pulled the plug,
And ended it all.

I sometimes wonder
If I should explain.
But it doesn’t really matter
Does it.
Who would hear me?
Who would read the words?
No one.
And I know that.
I’ve known that all along.

It was another case of,
“You can’t do that!”
Another time I did something
That broke all the social rules.
I know the cost.
I know the price.
I’ve broken all the rules before.
I’ll break them all again someday.
Because.
To me, they’re just a bunch of words
Anyway.
Nothing physical at all.
Just words.
Written on paper.
“Here’s the proper way to behave.”

No one ever asked me
How I felt about that.

Just another case of me
Walking out of another world
Contained inside a dome.
The rules didn’t work for me.
I tried for over 5 years.
And the rules didn’t work.
So,
I left the dome.

No one follows you
When you do that.
To the people in the dome,
You’re gone.
You’ve left the universe.
Left the world.
Left them.

I could wander back,
But what would be the point?
I already know the rules
Inside that dome
Don’t work for me.

That’s why I left.

It will take some time
For me to figure out
What’s next.
It always does.
But I always figure it out.
Always have.
Always will.

Really, I’m just in a bigger dome.
One that holds a lot of others.
That’s really all I’ve done.
Left one tiny dome
For a bigger one.

I haven’t found the walls of this one yet.
But in time I will.

Everything’s wide open now.
Unrestrained.
I’m free to feel what I feel.
About everything.
And I can scream if I want.
Yell if I want.
Say what I really feel.
About anything.
Happy.
Sad.
Angry.
Frustrated.
Disturbed.
Calm.
Content.
All of it.

The rules of that little dome
No longer apply.
Not out here they don’t.

And no one is out here.
So no one hears.
And my words fall into silence.

Silence.

Because.
Everybody.
Everybody everywhere.
Lives inside a dome.
Even if they don’t know it.
Even if they think they don’t.

And they can’t see anything
Beyond its walls.
Can’t understand anything
Beyond its walls.
They live by the rules
Of their dome.

Now.
I’m outside that dome.
Among a sea of domes.
Watching.
Observing.
And learning.
And waiting.

Knowing that out here.
No one hears me when I speak.
Out here.
I’m on my own.

Out here
All the voices are gone.
They live in their domes.

Out here
I am isolated.
I am alone.
And
I am silenced.

Out here.
Outside all the domes.
I have to find my way.
On my own.

Perhaps it’s what I’ve been meant to do
All along.

How Do I Explain?

How do I explain?
How can I explain?
What is there to say?
When you can’t feel the sun?
Can’t feel the heat it makes.
Can’t feel the warmth.
Can’t feel the safety.
The certainty.
That it will always be there.

When you can’t feel the breeze.
The breeze you love so much.
The way it flows between your fingers.
Across the palms of your hands.
The way it touches you,
And lets you know you are alive.
And you can still feel.
Still care.
Still be.

When you can’t answer her.
When she asks,
“Are you OK.”
And all you can do
Is shrug.
And nod.
And mumble.
“I’m fine.”

What is there to say
When you wish
The numbness would go away.
When you wish you could feel.
Anything.
Hot.
Cold.
Sharp.
Blunt.
Bruising.
Blistering.
Tender.
Anything at all.
Anything but numb.

What is there to say
When you’ve given up on prayer
To some mythical God.
“Save me, God.
Mend me.
Heal me.”
When you know,
After 57 years.
It’s never going to happen.
And you’ll be this way
Always.

What is there to say
When the words are gone.
Meaningless.
Mindless.
Useless.

And all you want
Is for the numbness to be gone.
The emptiness.

What do I say
When there is nothing to say.
And all I can do is wait.
20 years.
30 years.
Or more.

Until the machine that is this body,
Finally,
Mercifully,
Stops.

And the numbness goes away.

If you don’t understand,
Know this.
There are things in life
You will never know.
And perhaps.
Just perhaps.
That is life’s gift to you.

But,
If you understand.
If you know
What it is
To feel nothing.
If you know.

Then know this too.

My soul cries for you.