Monday, July 28, 2008

Monday: This is What Happened . . .

I had no calls today, but that's not such a big deal because I looked and even on weeks when I don't work Monday, I still make more than I deserve, because what I do isn't actually "work" so to speak, it's more like an artistic expression of my technological awesomeness.

Yesterday I helped Brian and Cory put together a swing set at Brian's house. It went great. It wasn't too hot out and we actually put the thing together, and it works! It is a pretty impressive achievement considering all three of us work with computers.

I ran today, after a week off. I took the week off in order to drink beer and play World of Warcraft and do personal hygiene deprivation experiments. That and I vacuumed the pool five days in a row and it grows algae faster than I can vacuum it out. I don't understand "PH" and all this other alchemy mumbo-jumbo. I took chemistry at community college and got a D! This is the last year for the pool because it is a pain in my ass and I don't want to take care of it anymore. The city pool is free. I'll take the kids there.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

generic blog post

I had a lot of work this week. Monday I dropped a machine off at the Landscaping place with the anti-abortion signs all over it. Then I set up an old laptop for somebody who had a machine fail on them. Later in the week I set up a brand new MAC for that same business. Then I had an emergency at an insurance place: UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME. That’s a Blue Screen of Death at FULL POWER! Of course, I fixed it. I made an attempt, and failed, to clone the Hard Drive against future failures, but it wouldn't clone. I can clone every hard-drive in my house, but not the paying customers. So we reviewed her back-up strategy bla bla bla. But yesterday, yesterday was the Crème de la Crème of workdays. I worked all day, spreading my technological awesomeness from Greenville to Downtown GR to Jenison. My awesomeness knew no bounds, and I didn't finish work until NINE AT NITE! That's way past my bedtime.

Today I renewed my World of Warcraft subscription, and I will never let it lapse. I love that game! Why should I deny myself this simple pleasure, when all of humanity seems to be on the precipice of destruction? (I'm exaggerating on purpose.)

feel the awesomeness of Savannah's chalk art

is it not fantastic?

Self? Really?

I have to pump my own gas? When did this start? Oh, about thirty years ago? Hm . . . do they really need this sign?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Waiting for the Bank To Open #2

I'm back at the bank again. It is 9:25 and my car is the only one in the parking lot. A blue jeep with white rims and a black top just pulled through to use the ATM machine. The parking lot entrance is blocked off by orange cones on the North side of the street.

A guy in a white button-down shirt and blue jeans pulled up in a little gold colored car. He gets out and walks right up to the doors and tries to open them. They're locked.

"Come on!" He exclaims. "What the heck, it's nine-thirty!"

(It's nine-twenty-eight.)

All in a huff, Mr. Impatient gets back into his car and turns it around so it is pointing nose-out. He waits, staring straight ahead across Plainfield.

There is no one waiting at the door. I'm right up next to the closest handicapped parking spot.

It is partly cloudy and humid.

Now Mr. Impatient has his driver's door open.

On each side of the front entrance stands a tall blue "Handicapped" sign. The parking spaces in front of these signs are painted blue. There is a section with six diagonal blue lines drawn between these two parking spots, about half the width of a regular parking spot.

A black guy driving a silver Chrysler with a dented rear quarter-panel pulls in quickly and gets out. He's wearing red basketball shorts and a green and white checkered shirt. He walks right up to the doors and goes inside. Mr. Impatient and I didn't see the stealthy bank employee unlock the doors.

Mr. Impatient, seeing this, gets out mumbling and talking to himself. He has been denied First Place.

A middle-aged guy in a maroon McDonald's uniform carrying a blue deposit bag walks in.

I have to go in!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

today a salesman tried to sell us some water filtration system. We sat politely while he conjured many amazing tricks to show us how bad our water is, and how badly we need a water filtration system. Of course we both knew there was no way we were going to spend a fortune on that tom-foolery, but the science experiment entertained the girls, and how often can you get a magician/chemist to put on a show in your home for free?

We told him in no uncertain terms that we "couldn't afford squat" and that there was "no way" we were signing up for anything. That's what Deb told them on the phone before they sent the guy down, but they didn't listen. That's what happens when you enter a sweepstakes to win a new washer and dryer at the movie theatre.

Waiting for the Bank To Open

I'm sitting in my car in the bank parking lot waiting for the bank to open. There's a woman in a gray Toyota waiting a few parking spaces over. She has the passenger door open to let in the breeze. She has three small kids with her. They fidget.

It is overcast and breezy.

Now a bulldog looking woman wearing a golf visor driving a new cream colored Cadillac pulls in. She leans on her elbow, which she rests on the door unrolled window.

Here is a red van.

They’ve recently built a new Meijer supermarket next to the old one, which has since been torn down. A large backhoe is parked about half a block away behind the chain link fence of the "deconstruction site."

The woman in the nurse's uniform gets out of the red van at the far end of the parking lot. She is pale, has gangly Ichabod Crane features. She has dark curly hair in an awful haircut that makes it look like she's wearing an old-style football helmet. Not content to wait in her vehicle, she stands by the door. She will be first! She is the scout! She will be the signal for the rest of us.

Let her stand out in the sun. We'll sit back and listen to the radio in our cars until the doors open.

She is joined by a gray-haired man in a beige shirt that has blue flowers stitched along the bottom seam of the shirt. He wears green shorts and probably sandals, but I can't see his feet because of the short bushes that surround the bank.

The bank is brick, with four Romanesque classic columns.

Now SUVs and pickups arrive. The woman with the kids is out of her car. The doors are open! I have to go!

I'm standing in line inside the bank.

The lady with the kids had a "tramp stamp" on her back, right above the waistband of her Capri pants. It is a pointy figure drawn with thin red lines, two elongated diamonds point out. She has three sons, between ten and six. The youngest one says "Alert! Alert!" before the oldest puts him in a full nelson, then picks him up and pretends to do a back-breaker over his knee, but he is very careful not to hurt his little brother.

"Let go of me, poop!"

"You're a poop."

A fat guy in a cowboy hat stands too close behind me in line.

The guy in the beige shirt, it turns out, is wearing sneakers.

Everyone is talking about last week's storm that closed the bank branch on the 3rd of July.

Friday, July 04, 2008

4th of July parade in our neighborhood

finally. a day without Internets is like a day without sunshine.

It's 3:44 AM, and I still have no Internets. The cable modem now has three green lights, a shining beacon of hope in my hour of most desperate need.

Why do I love America? Because we have broadband Internet access. This is the country of Bill Gates, ARPANET, Cisco Systems, Google, Blizzard Entertainment, and Hollywood. This is the country of Professional Wrestling, American Idol, The Right to Bear Arms and Super Sweet Sixteen.

We invented the TASER, SCUBA and GITMO. We the American People have brought the world the Automobile, "404 Page Not Found" and the ever enduring sitcoms "Seinfeld" and "Who's The Boss?".

We beat Hitler and we made Conan governor of "Kali-Four-Ya."

To this day, D.B. Cooper, Elvis, Hunter S. Thompson and Jimmie Hoffa run covert operations for the FBI. They report directly to Jesus Christ himself, who in turn reports to the preserved head of J. Edgar Hoover.

We are the country of Starbucks, the Atomic Bomb, and Thomas Jefferson and Britney Spears. We are Henry Ford and Jeffrey Dhamer.

We gave the world Microsoft Word and the Taco Bell Dog. We invented Pizza Hut, Olive Garden, Applebee's and Chili's.

While America is not perfect, even if she is on the brink of either a devastating depression or discovering of a cure for cancer, she is my country and I love her. God bless America, and God, please restore my connection to the Internets, because I can't very well post this awesomeness to my blog without it.

Thursday, July 03, 2008


The Internet AND the cable is out. My life is a shambles! Luckily I got a call about a PC that needs to be redone. I also got a call about a laptop that had a screen "going in and out". I've had many such calls, and each one has been something expensive, either a motherboard or a screen. This usually makes the customer decide to "just get a new one" which is usually a good idea because the laptop they have in the first place is usually ancient.

But not today. In each case I have hoped, to no avail, that the problem was a "loose connection". That has never been the case, until today. It was actually a loose connection. I took the laptop apart right there and reseated the connector near the hinge. That has never happened before.

I want to go get a beer, but I know it is only because I'm bored. No Internet, no World of Warcraft, no cable TV. I'm dying here. It's like living in the seventies. What I need to do is either take a nap or work on my novel. Or I could lie down AND work on my novel. That would probably be the best plan of all.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

generic blog post

I heard a couple of interesting things on the radio today while dropping off a PC. Did you know that a C5 Galaxy, the Air Force's biggest transport plane, gets a whopping 0.07 miles per gallon? Look carefully at that number. For those of you (including myself) who went to public school, that's not seven-tenths of a mile per gallon, but seven-one-hundredths. Awesome.

The other thing I heard on the radio was that a smoking ban in Amsterdam means that in the coffee shops, they will no longer be able to mix tobacco with their pot, but will have to smoke it "pure". This is a new and brave world we live in.

I made 70 in World of Warcraft, which doesn't mean anything, but I gotta say it because it's just a goofy thing I've been "working" on for a long time, and now that I've "achieved" this "accomplishment" it has left me underwelmed. I suppose I can start writing again.

I sold another story to a magazine. My story "Pegged" about magical pegboard games that can control other people's lives has sold to Tales of the Talisman magazine. The lucrative payment I received (I'm joking here, it's nothing) has convinced me to redouble my efforts in writing a bestseller, because short stories don't pay shit.

About Me

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I am the author of 5 books: Android Down, Firewood for Cannibals, The Cubicles of Madness, Robot Stories, and most recently, Various Meats and Cheeses. I live and write in Michigan. My website is at