Category Archives: Just Because
*This is a test! Trying to move from handwriting to completely Swyping my random thoughts. All activity here conducted on a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3…so far, very impressed!*
If ever there was a time i felt most determined by the stuff i have, it is now, with this tablet, my first accessory i don’t actually need! Do i feel guilty? Yes. Do i feel indulgent? Also yes. Do i feel deserving of this sophisticated device? Actually, yes.
I am willed towards device technology, and i am sorry. But people can change their perspectives, and really, why am i still trying to uphold an old man’s lamentations, when the most sophisticated communication device of his era was the transatlantic cable? Is this conformity? I feel not. It’s that buried catholic guilt that’s making me feel bad. Think of the poor, think of the have nots. If they had their hands on this, wouldn’t they revel in its awesomeness? Hell yeah, they would! So play along, be determined, just don’t compromise your creativity just to accommodate a tool. Remember, this is just a hammer. You could just as well break a rock by hand. It’d hurt like hell though.
What happens to the machine when the human abandons it?
Behold, the personal computer. A Packard Bell desktop, to be precise, with all the whiz-bangs the end of the 20th century allotted: 100 megahertz Intel processor, 1 gigabyte SCSI drive, a floppy and a CD drive, and, the creme-de-la-creme, a 28.8 bits per second dial up modem!
The programmer who owned this box passed away in 2011, and it, like many of his material things, just sat where he last left it. Now the CPU, keyboard, and start-up flops are in my house, and I’m attaching my 50″ flat screen to serve as its monitor.
Quite the whimsical juxtaposition of What Once Was with What Now Is.
Back in the IT days, we referred to an abandoned system as a ‘dead man’s locker.’ The typical service call was someone not information technology inclined asking me to figure out what Billy Bob did to make the pooter run before he croaked. The task at the user level was difficult; every system administrator has peculiar habits – a certain naming convention that doesn’t make literal sense, the redirect of master files from the default directory to a special access directory (and the guys who do this still: STOP IT YOU’RE BEING A DOUCHEBAG) and the lovely discriminate limitations to certain users to start business-specific applications.
Every ‘box’, including the one you’re using to read this, has its required components but all are completely customizeable to the whim of the box’s owner/operator. We all have a certain signature applied to every program we run, and, for us of the IT world, we go so far as to change the way the machine thinks, encouraging dominion.
So how did this fellow exact dominion over machine? He was a COBOL programmer, so was I. If his operating system was DOS-based, then he ran MicroFocus COBOL, which means, he likely signed all his subroutines a certain way.
Yes, all programmers sign their subroutines. :)
The task was made simple: see if you can boot it up and if so, see if there’s any files worth saving.
Geez. I gotta make that call? It’s good I’m the neutral party in this arrangement!
The box came up and went through its basic start sequence. I listened for the tell-tale spin of the hard disk and the immediate hunt of the arms. I didn’t hear the distinct song.
The Jumbotron displayed ‘i/o error remove disk then hit <Enter> to continue’. With nothing in the other drives, the i/o error had to be anything along the SCSI controller.
Tool bag out, cover is off.
Everything looked…OLD. Even when I was supporting systems eons ago, this was considered an old box! Checked the bands, the relays, the connection…looks like he never touched it. I did attempt to open the case fully, but alas, the final screws were smaller than the heads I have in my toolkit.
This is the point of system analysis when you gotta ask: is it worth pursuing further?
I thought back to the original request. This was HIS computer; no one else even knows how to code. The only auxiliary access was via fax machine, which they didn’t own anymore. They already have a current-century box working fine in the household. Even if I was to get the arms moving and the drive spun up, the only person who would understand his codes was gonna be me, the neutral party, and nobody in the world is looking for home-spun programs written in MicroFocus COBOL.
Then I think to myself, this would be a fun short story to write. :)
I go about trying to find anything that could fit these screws, but I’m just shearing the heads at this point. While I wanted to resolve this and discover he was indeed a talented programmer in his heydey, my curiosity was quelled by limited access to the technology.
In plain words…the needle-nose screwdriver I require costs more than this entire box, code included.
Slow week, huh? Not really trying to work or start anything new, huh? Well, do I have the best time-wasting post for you! :D
Revisiting my last successful and hilarious account of actual Inkpad Notepad app entries, I’m plucking out the most outrageous, spanning last summer to early 2014. Just like last time, I offer poems, quotes, and dialogue with just enough explanation to validate my insanity!
You guys love these raw, visceral displays of vulnerability…
You get the sense I spend most my awake hours perpetually screaming in anger, spewing flames, like that mine shaft in Pennsylvania. What’s the name of that place again? Gotta be somewhere in my notes…
Visiting the NOMAD art bus during the Florida Bookstore Day after party. The non-profit organization visits disenfranchised neighborhoods to provide creative activities otherwise nonexistent for residents. Please visit their Page and support art for all!
What a gift to live in Florida…round the year sunshine, beautiful beaches, and a stretch of shenanigans to get into mid-state!
This past week, me and the BF made our way to Orlando with the plan to ride as many roller coasters, as many times possible, in one day. We arrived an hour after opening, and got kicked out at closing!
Usually by mid-Week 2 of NaNoWriMo, the WriMos in my immediate vicinity start to peter out for various reasons. Before you join them my dear, lemme share this true-to-life story that will keep you in the saddle.
Don’t worry, it’ll be quick. ;)
I started participating in National Novel Writing Month back in 2012, after a good friend of mine suggested we participate in it together from our respective places on Earth. In 19 days, I managed to hammer out The Black Parade, and I was really proud of the effort. That personal achievement boosted my creative energy and pushed aside the trappings of my ego, providing me the freedom to deliver a manuscript to a local independent publisher.
By the time NaNoWriMo 2013 ramped up, I Blew Up Juarez was in the hands of my editor, getting polished for a February 2014 debut.
For NaNoWriMo 2013, I teamed with my writing partner, Marie, to put together a psycho-terror work. I’ve never written horror before, let alone have an interest in horror films (Human Centipede? Really??) but Marie, a fan and writer of horror, encouraged me to enter that wormhole. When I showed her what I was working on, she shared, “You really can write horror!” Now I know that comes off as Marie stroking my cock, but Marie doesn’t stroke cock unless she really means it, and THAT’S WHAT MAKES HER A GREAT WOMAN. So, happily, I championed Momma’s Boy for my second halo.
This week, Thirteen Press released Night Walkers, a horror anthology featuring authors from around the globe, and Little Miss Stretchy Pants over here is in it!! :D I’m the first short story, which is cool; the opening act now, maybe down the road I’ll be the grand finale! But again, by persevering and completing a NaNoWriMo competition, my work isn’t in the bowels of my notebook backup routine. I’m bonafide!
So hey, buddy, I know you’re feeling like folding the cards and collecting your chips, but please please consider the why of it from the get go: you love to write. You LOVE to write, and you HAVE to write. You’re amongst like-minded and weak-willed artists; lean on us! Who cares about the word count, just get the story out. And then, maybe later down the line, when you’re up to it, you’ll get published, and then NaNoWriMo is no longer a competition…it’s a refresher course. ;)
STICK IT OUT! KEEP ON WRITIN’!!
Why we write…