F Is For Fun, Fun, Fun…

There I was, sitting in my chair, in the Family Room, watching Agents of Shield, preparing to write something for the letter F. I was ready to write, so I picked up my Chromebook, and turned it on.

And stared at it for a minute or two, as it didn’t do a thing. Not one damn thing.

Being the curious me that I am, I turned it off. You have to understand. It’s a cheap Chromebook. I can’t count the number of times it’s done that very thing. Turned on, it’s little blue power light shining in the dark, and never displayed anything on its screen. I know what to do when a computer does that. Start at the beginning. Turn it off, and try again.

And within 10 seconds, it responded. But… It wasn’t what I was expecting at all. Instead of a white screen with a Chrome Logo, and the word Chrome under it, the machine displayed a two inch tall exclamation mark, and two sentences. “Chrome OS is missing or damaged. Insert a USB Recovery Stick to restore.”

I rolled my eyes. Sometimes I swear I can see my brain. “Step 2. Duplicate the problem.” Off goes the power. On it comes again. And less than ten seconds later, there’s that same message, with that same exclamation mark.

I sighed. I hadn’t planned on reinstalling Chrome OS on the Chromebook tonight. It meant I had to stop watching my TV program. I’m not happy about that, but it’s not a big deal. I can watch it On Demand on Thursday. I picked up the Chromebook, and hauled it upstairs, to my desktop computer. Another of the computers my kids would call a Frankenstein, since I’ve raised it from the dead with various parts as needed.

I learned something new as I tried to download the recovery image to a flash drive I keep specifically for the purpose of repairing the Chromebook. Google changed how you get the recovery image. Oh, joy. Now my desktop PC has Google Chrome on it, just so I can run the Chromebook Recovery Utility, which only runs in the Chrome WEB browser.

I started the download. And watched it reach ⅔ complete. Then it died, and posted a red message, “Download interrupted. Please try again.” I did. And promptly duplicated the problem. So, I changed the desktop from the wireless connection to the network to the wired connection. And… Duplicated the problem once again.

That meant it was time to walk down the hallway, to the loft, and cycle the power on the Verizon FiOS router, ‘cause it’d lost its mind. After I’d done that, I tried the download one more time. And duplicated the problem once again.

“I’ll try this one more time!” And I kicked off the download one last time. It’s still running. It’s taken over 40 minutes. I don’t want to touch the desktop computer, in case that causes the download to fail again.

Geek that I am, I decided, “What the hell. I’ve got time to kill.” So I pulled the battery from the Chromebook, pulled the bottom plate off it, and stared at its guts. The hard disk drive was obvious. It’s ⅓ of the guts. I couldn’t resist. I knew the machine was rated for a 160 GB HDD. So, I grabbed one of my toolkits, and pulled the screws holding the HDD in place.

Then I looked at the HDD.

It’s a 320 GB Seagate Momentus slim line hard disk drive. 320 GB. Not 160. That said, do the math. 160 X 2 IS 320. So, it’s probably got its own backup. I considered hooking it to the BlacX on the desktop, and taking a look at it. But decided not to, since the download was still inching along.

I took a look at the RAM. A single 2 GB SODIMM. And a slow one at that. By some company I’d never heard of. I enjoyed peeking and poking around. But decided it was time to put it back together. The RAM clicked into its slot. And that’s when I noticed the cables connecting the HDD and the touchpad to the system board were… There’s no polite way to say it… Cheap. Among the worst I’ve ever seen.

So, I reseated the cables.

Then, I put the HDD back in the machine, and sealed the whole thing back up.

“I need to write for the letter F. But I don’t want to touch the Desktop. And the Chromebook’s a brick. That leaves… The iPad Mini.”

I loaded Google Drive, and then opened a new Doc. And started to peck away at the touch screen on the iPad. The iPad’s OK, but not something I’d used to type anything. From that perspective. It sucks.

So, I decided to look at the error screen on the Chromebook one more time. I turned it on. And the bitch booted Chrome OS.

Turns out the problem was the HDD cable had come loose, and the Chromebook couldn’t find the HDD to load the OS.

And I just killed a frickin’ hour and a half figuring that little detail out. Sigh. Hence the title of this little story I’ve written tonight. A true tale, written on my Chromebook, waiting for the Chrome OS Recovery to finish downloading and setting itself up on the USB Flash Drive. And I’m OK with that. Because I learned something new tonight.

The hard way. But still… I learned something new.

And as always, I had fun, fun, fun.

Hey, stuff like this is what I do. Every day at work.

And I’ll have fun, fun, fun, to the brain cells in my noggin’ burn out. (With apologies to the Beach Boys). So. This will have to be what I write for the letter F. This little story of me having fun, fun, fun.

Yeah. I know. I have a strange definition of fun. But then, I have strange definitions of damn near everything. And yes. This is a true story. It really happened. Just now. Trust me on this. I can’t make this stuff up.

It’s April 7th, the sixth day of the 2015 A to Z Challenge. This is the sixth of 26 pieces I’m writing in April. Today, the letter F. Tomorrow, who the heck knows? That’s the mystery of life. We take it as it happens.


#ThursThreads Week #74 – Not Even A Little One?

Mars sat at the bar, Bacchus noted his mug was empty, and refilled it for the Mars day before the king and queen did not go well sixth time. Mars picked up his mug, and drained it. Bacchus sighed and shook his head, “Not even a little one?”

Mars frowned, looking at his empty mug, trying not to cry, “No. Not even a little one.”

Pluto approached Bacchus, “I need a drink.” He looked at Mars, “He’s getting me depressed.”

Bacchus put a mug before Pluto, and filled it with blood-red wine. “Ah, Pluto. You must forgive him. He’s had a bad day.”

Pluto looked at the calendar behind the bar. “Oh. This was his day before the court wasn’t it?”

Bacchus nodded. “He made his request of Jupiter and Juno this morning. It did not go well.”

“Tell me what happened.”

“Mars asked for a war. Any war. Even a little one. Between two tribes in South America. Tribes known to hate each other.”

Pluto sighed. “Juno didn’t approve, did she.”

“No.” Bacchus looked at Mars, great sorrow in his eyes. “She didn’t even approve of his little war.”

Pluto put a brotherly arm around Mars shoulders, “Another drink for my friend, barkeep! On me!”

Pluto wished that bitch Juno would die, or find a deity to run away with. Since she’d married Jupiter, the old man had just become pussy whipped, and being a deity on Earth had become no fun at all.

246 Words

I wrote this for Siobhan Muir‘s #ThursThreads, Week 74. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are good reading.

#5SF : Purple

When I asked what her favorite color was, she said, “Purple.” I’d spent all day shopping, and never found anything until, as a last resort, I stopped at Victoria’s Secret. I’d found purple, lacy, almost not there lingerie. As I drove home, I kept hoping she’d try it on for me, and then we’d have fun that night. I also kept hoping she wasn’t going to slap me, and make me sleep on the sofa for a week.


Here’s my weekly attempt at Lillie McFerrin‘s flash fiction challenge, Five Sentence Fiction. This week, the prompt is Purple.

Please, go read all the other entries to this week’s Five Sentence Fiction. It’s amazing what creative people can do with just five sentences.

#FSF : Delicate

Imagine our surprise when the delicate flower of the office, Amanda, showed up at my house for the Super Bowl Party, wearing denim jeans, a pair of old Nikes, a copy of Ray Lewis’s Baltimore Ravens jersey, Ravens purple nail polish on her fingernails, Ravens purple stripes in her platinum blond hair, and Ravens purple stripes beneath her eyes. She was carrying a six pack of Mike’s Hard Winter Blackberry, which was a good match for Ravens purple, a giant bag of Doritos Jacked Smoky Chipotle BBQ chips, and a tub of Tostitos Hot Chunky salsa. “Go Ravens!” she screamed as she walked in, heading straight for my sofa and my big screen TV, plunking everything down on the coffee table, and wedging herself between two of the guys on the sofa, which the guys didn’t mind at all.
Lemme tell ya, delicate had nothing to do with that girl watching the Super Bowl game that day, the way she hissed like some angry, wet cat whenever the Niners scored, and cheered and chugged Mikes like it was water when the Ravens scored, nothing at all. Me and the boys had so much fun watching her, we plum forgot about the game, and wound up inviting her to come over and watch all the games in the next NFL season.

Here’s my third attempt at Lillie McFerrin‘s weekly flash fiction challenge, Five Sentence Fiction. This week, the prompt is Delicate.

Please, go read all the other entries to this week’s Five Sentence Fiction. It’s amazing what creative people can do with just five sentences.

Disciplined? Me?

There it was.
A note from her.
“You’re so disciplined!”
It started.

And I laughed.
Since when?

But I thought a while.
I do that, you know.
It’s how I figure out
This world I never made.

I remembered as I thought.
All the times I’ve heard those words.
Through the decades of life
I’ve been blessed with.

And I finally understood.
It all fell into place.
Another puzzle piece
Made sense.

I would like to say
I’m not disciplined at all.
But I suppose I am
In my own way.

There’s just so much
Other people
Just don’t know.

Let me ask about
Your kitchen sink.
Are there any dirty dishes,
Pots and pans,
And empty cans
In it?
How long have they been there?
Since this morning?
Since last week?
Will the kitchen sink be empty
When your day ends,
And you go to sleep?

Mine won’t.
It almost never is.
I have fits keeping up
With the dishes.

I try.
Gods, how I try.
And sometimes,
I get on a roll,
And get them done
Every morning.
For a week.

And then…
Things just don’t work out.
And I end up
With dishes in the sink.
Sometimes for several days.
Before I get around
To them.

When was the last time you swept
Your kitchen floor?
Last night?
This morning?
Even once a week?

You know.
I can’t remember when
I last swept mine.
It’s been a while.
It’s something
That just slips my mind.

But I get to it
Every now and then.
When my feet tell me,
“I’m not walking in there

Thursday was trash-day
In my neighborhood.
Put the trash bin out
By the curb.
And when the truck comes by
It all just goes away.

I’m mostly good at that.
I collect it up
And get it out.
Almost every Thursday.
Every now and then.
I just hose that up.
I get the bin to the curb.
Just before the truck arrives.

And everything inside the house
Collects in the bin
For a whole week.

Silly me.

Then there’s laundry.
Oceans of it.
I’m betting you
Almost never
Run out of socks.
Or pants.
Or under-ware.
Unlike me.
I run out frequently.
Seems I just can’t keep up
With the laundry to be washed.

I end up with it
Piled mountain high
In the hallway downstairs.
Washing it all
At one time.

Even though I know
It would be easier
To wash and fold it
As I go.

Do you vacuum your carpets?
I’m not saying that I don’t.
I mean,
Just this week,
I cleaned the one in the Family room
Right up.
Vacuumed that sucker

First time I’ve cleaned it
In two months…

Oh, yeah.
I’m disciplined.

I used to think
This was all bad.
I was such a failure.
Because everyone knows
You do those things
To take care of your home.
And your family.

And I felt like
I was broken.
As if something was wrong.
When I couldn’t keep up
Every day,
And every week,
With the things
Everyone else gets done.

But I’ve learned.

I’m not good at those things.
They’re hard for me to do.
It takes time.
It takes effort.
It’s hard work.
Other things I do
Are simple for me.

And that piece of the puzzle
That just fell into place?
That’s exactly what it says.
I do things
That I can do.
That I like to do.
That make me feel OK.
That make me feel good.

And then I do the things
I have to do.

Isn’t that what you do too?

It makes people feel good,
I suppose,
To have the perfect home.
Where not one single dish
Sits in the kitchen sink.
And you could eat an egg
Off the kitchen floor.

Some people,
I suppose,
Like the idea
Of the carpets being clean.
So you can’t even see
A single cat hair
On them.

And some people
Seem to like
That the laundry’s always clean.
That everything’s all folded,
Put away in drawers,
Or hung up in a closet.

I’ve even known some people
That collect the trash
Through their whole house
Ever single night.
And put it in the trash bin
Before they go to bed.

And I’m OK with that.
But that’s not me.

To me,
They’re disciplined.
And I’m a wild man.
With no rules.
And no discipline at all.


Not one single bit
More than you.

I’m just different.
That’s all.