Fandango’s Friday Flashback — January 17

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of you earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember?

Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.

How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.

If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 17th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.


This was originally posted on January 17, 2008 (12 years ago!) on my old, old blog.

iMac Attack

7F25435A-B857-4ABD-B975-CE2905034797When my wife’s PC, an “older” (4 years old) HP desktop computer began to have serious performance issues (e.g., it would take around 10 minutes just to shut down), we decided it was time to get her a new computer. She uses her computer primarily for e-mail and internet access, so she really just needed something basic…nothing fancy. In other words, inexpensive.

My wife is a very good web researcher and she really focused on gathering intelligence about what to replace her aging HP with. She looked into PCs with Windows and looked at Apple computers, since our daughter and her husband both have Macs and love them. She read a lot of negative things about Windows Vista, Microsoft’s new operating system, and also read universally positive comments about Mac’s OS-X operating system. She read that Macs are less prone to internet and computer viruses and hacker attacks than are Windows-based PCs.

With all of this information in mind, we bought her a brand new iMac computer, the one that doesn’t appear to be a computer as much as just a large, flat monitor on a stand. We bought it at our local Best Buy store and also purchased he extended service contract (more about that later).

Sure, I wanted to spend no more than about $500 for a computer, but my wife insisted that the iMac was the better, albeit considerably more expensive, option. So I shelled out $1500 for the iMac, plus another several hundred dollars for software, since none of our Windows software would run on the iMac.
I even paid $100 for the Best Buy Geek Squad to come to our house, set up the computer, provide a brief Mac orientation, and transfer data files from my wife’s ancient HP to her brand new iMac. And it was good. My wife quickly got used to working with Apple’s operating system and with using the Mac software. The computer was fast, responsive, and, according to her, gorgeous.

Unfortunately, just three months and five days after we bought this allegedly reliable, state-of-the-art iMac computer, it simply stopped working. We took it to our local Best Buy, since we bought the iMac and its three-year, $250 extended service warranty. The folks at Best Buy said they’d have to send it back to the factory and projected that we’d have it back in a month. A MONTH! Fuhgeddaboudit, we said.

So we drove the 25 miles to the closest Apple store, where the guy behind the Genius Bar examined the iMac and took it into the “back room,” saying the computer either had a failed power supply or a failed multi-function board. He said they’d run diagnostics on the computer and would do what they had to do to fix it — in just 7-10 workdays. If they couldn’t fix it, they’d replace it, he said.

“Wait,” I said. “We bought a Mac because everyone said how reliable and dependable they are. Why would it fail after just three months? I have had dozens of PCs over the years and none of them failed that quickly.”

The Genius Bar guy shrugged and said, “Yeah, well it’s just a computer. Computers sometimes crash.” End of story.

We drove home and I hooked up my wife’s 4-year old, sluggish HP computer, which works fine, albeit a lot slower than, and not nearly as pretty as, her iMac. But, unlike her iMac, which failed after just three months, her four-year old HP just keeps plugging away, like the proverbial tortoise versus the hare.

Fandango’s Friday Flashback — January 10

Egads! I’ve been so focused on all of the tasks that have to be addressed between now and the time we move into our new home in early February that I completely forgot about my Friday Flashback post this week. Please forgive me for being a day late.

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of you earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember?

Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.

How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.

If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 10th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.


This was originally posted on January 10, 2014 on my old blog.

Random Questions

E5E4123F-3231-4DAE-9E8C-FA999170E829When I clean my ears with Q-tips, why is there always so much more earwax on the Q-tip I used in my right ear than on the one I used in my left ear?

Am I the only person whose finger sometime pushes through the sheet of toilet paper when wiping my butt after taking a dump?

If you can be overwhelmed and you can be underwhelmed, can you be just whelmed?

Why do women ask stupid questions like, “Do these jeans make my butt look fat?”

How many men, when asked by a woman, “Do these jeans make my butt look fat?” answer that question honestly?

Have you ever heard a man ask if his butt looks fat in his jeans?

Do Christians who deny evolution as “just a theory” also deny gravity as “just a theory”?

Am I the only one who can’t eat a pasta dish without getting at least a couple of stains from the sauce on my shirt?

Speaking about food, why do all of the foods that are not healthy for you taste so damn good while those that are good for you taste so damn awful?

If corn oil is made from corn and olive oil is made from olives, what is baby oil made from?

Is mauve really a color or is that just some sort of nonsense word that women use to make men feel stupid?

Why does hair now grow (and thrive) on parts of my body where it never grew before (and shouldn’t grow at all) and not grow at all where it used to and should, but doesn’t?

Why is it always so easy to say the things that you shouldn’t have said and so hard to say the things that you should have said?

Why do we drive on parkways and park on driveways?

Do all men pee while taking a shower, or is it just me?

Do women pee while taking a shower, or is that too uncouth and not lady-like?

What do you say when someone says you’re in denial, but you’re not?

If a woman wears a pair of pants, a pair of gloves, and a pair of earrings, why doesn’t she wear a pair of bras?

Has anyone ever been fooled by a comb-over?

Why do you get on a train and on a bus, but you get into a car?

Fandango’s Friday Flashback — January 3

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of you earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember?

Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.

How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.

If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 3rd) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.


This was originally posted on January 3, 2013 on my old blog.

Reading is Fundamental

6D858B2A-593D-49FF-A0C9-FBE09D6B6E32Here’s something few people know about me. I once was a voracious reader. Yeah, I know. Looking at how I spend my discretionary time these days, that’s hard to believe. I bet my own kids have never seen me pick up a book and read it unless it had something to do with my job.

Seriously, though, back in the day, when I was an avid reader, I immersed myself in suspense and conspiracy as I devoured books by authors such as Robert Ludlam and Ken Follett. James Clavell transported me to the intrigues of feudal Japan and the early days of Hong Kong, while James Michner guided me on exotic adventures across the globe spanning eons.

Robin Cook thrilled me with medical mysteries and John Gresham and Scott Turow got me all tangled up in legal shenanigans and courtroom chicanery. Stephen King and Dean Koontz sent chills of horror up and down my spine.

Philip Roth, JD Salinger, and John Irving helped me put into perspective the angst of growing up and the struggles and challenges of being a flawed human being. Issac Asimov, Ray Bradury, and Frank Herbert launched me through the time and space continuum to worlds beyond my imagination. And JRR Tolkein introduced me to Bilbo and Frodo Baggins and the Middle Earth.

During my reading days I would leverage the 30 to 60 minutes on the commuter trains each way between home and work to travel to far away places. On flights for business I would spend my time not only getting to my reality destination, but also being carried away to other times, other worlds, and even other identities. And rather than automatically turning on the TV each night, I would pick up a book and read myself to sleep. I typically got through maybe two to three novels a week back then.

Who Has Time to Read Fiction These Days?

But that was before myriad cable channels beckoned and DVRs turned us all into time-shifters. That was before the proliferation of laptops, netbooks, and tablets that you carry with you instead of leaving behind at the office or at home. That was before BlackBerrys, iPhones, and Android devices transformed us into always-connected workaholics or gossip-mongers needing to know what every one of our hundreds of “friends” is doing in real-time via our addictions to Facebook and Twitter.

Oh no! I forgot to “check in” at the place we ate dinner last night.

Now, as a telecommuter, I work from home, so I no longer have time to kill (and read) on commuter trains. When my job requires me to spend hours on an airplane, most of it is spent on my laptop, preparing for the meeting I’m about to attend, or documenting my notes from the one I just attended. Rather than picking up a book in my “down time” at home, I catch up on all of those TV shows we recorded on our DVR.

Reading for pleasure seems like a distant memory to me. And yet, in the far reaches of my mind, I have this vague recollection of delightful escapism when I sat down with a novel that transported me to times, places, and events far and wide; that introduced me to all kinds of wonderful (and sometimes not so wonderful, but certainly colorful) characters.

New Year’s Readolutions

As it’s that time of the year to make resolutions, I have decided to resolve to read no less than 24 books this year. A wide variety of books, but mostly novels of all kinds — historical, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, thrillers, humorous, whatever.

To that end, I downloaded the free Kindle app on my iPad and, being the cheap son-of-a-bitch that I am, immediately went to the “free books” section.

I “bought” two books, Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables and a murder mystery by an author I’d never previously heard of, L.L. Bartlett, called Murder on the Mind.

I admit that I could barely make it through the first few pages of Hugo’s sweeping novel that served as the inspiration for my favorite stage musical. I decided to shift gears and try something a little less formidable for my initial reentry into reading for fun, and the Bartlett novel was perfect…a quick, engaging read.

So let’s see if I can manage to read at least two books a month this new year. I’m feeling pretty confident. And maybe I’ll even be able to get through Les Mis before the year is over.

Fandango’s Friday Flashback — December 27

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of you earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember?

Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.

How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.

If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 27th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.


This was originally posted on December 27, 2009 — exactly one decade ago on my old blog. I honestly don’t remember why 2009 was such a bad year for me, but I do remember that 2010 was, indeed, a much better one.

It’s About Friggin’ Time!

Happy New Year 2010I am so glad that this year has finally come to an end. What a lousy, awful, miserable year it was. I can’t think of very many really good things that happened in 2009. Yes, I managed to stay alive for another full year, but beyond that there just aren’t many remembrances of 2009 that I can reflect back on fondly. In fact, when it comes to 2009, most memories make me wince.

And so it is with open arms and some high expectations that I welcome 2010 as I say a not-so-fond farewell to 2009. I am bound and determined that 2010 will be a much better year than 2009 was, and that just over 365 days from now, I will be able to look back on the year and say, “Thank you, 2010. I’m sorry to see you go.”

Fandango’s Friday Flashback — December 20

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of you earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember?

Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.

How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.

If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 20th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.


This was originally posted on December 20, 2017 in response to the WordPress Daily Prompt, “calling.”

Is There Something You Want To Tell Me?

Dave was fixing a quick dinner for his kids, since his wife, Maggie, had worked late again and had just gotten home a few minutes earlier. That’s when Dave’s cellphone rang. “Honey, can you answer that?” he asked his daughter, Darla, who dutifully got up, ran into the living room, and answered the phone.

As Dave was setting out the plates on the kitchen table, Darla handed him the phone. “It’s your lawyer calling,” she said.

“My lawyer? I don’t have a lawyer.” Dave put the phone next to his ear, “Hello, this is Dave. Who’s calling?”

“Hello Dave,” the voice said. “I’m sorry to bother you at dinnertime, but I’m Clarisa Ridgeman, attorney at law. I’m calling you because your wife has engaged an attorney, Daniel Dorfman, to represent her in your divorce. He contacted me and suggested that I call you, since you should engage your own lawyer.”

“What?” said Dave in shock. “You want to be my lawyer in a divorce case? My wife never mentioned wanting a divorce.”

“Yes,” said the lawyer. “And that’s why I’m calling you. You need to be represented.”

Just then Maggie came walking into the kitchen. “Hi hon, sorry I was late again,” she said.

“Hold on a second,” Dave said into his cellphone. “Maggie, is there something you want to tell me?”