Fandango’s Flashback Friday — December 3rd

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your 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 December 3, 2017.

Is That a Typo?

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I was sure that WordPress had a serious typo in today’s one word prompt, “tenterhooks.” I was absolutely positive the word was supposed to be “tenderhooks,” a word I’ve use occasionally to mean to be filled with painful or anxious anticipation or suspense. Like when you and your girlfriend are waiting to see if that plastic pregnancy test stick she peed on has a little plus sign in the window.

So I was going to write a snide post in which I would be laughing my virtual ass off at Michelle Weber, who posted the prompt, for her careless error. It turns out, though, that the error is mine. “Tenterhooks” it is! Sad!

Then I figured that tenterhooks must be hooks that campers use to secure their tents. I’ve tent-camped many times and had never heard of that term, so I thought maybe it was an archaic term for tent poles, stakes, or ropes. To confirm that, I Googled “tenterhooks.”

It turns out that tenterhooks have nothing whatsoever to do with tents. The word “tenterhooks” comes from the metal hooks that manufacturers used to stretch wool on a tenter while it dried. A tenter is a wooden frame, often in the form of a line of fencing, used to hang woollen or linen cloth to prevent it from shrinking as it dries. The tenterhooks are, not surprisingly, the hooks on the tenter used to hold the cloth in place.

Tenters are no longer everyday objects, but a hundred years ago, in wool weaving areas like the north of England, they were a common sight on the land around the many woollen mills, called “tenter-fields.”

Who knew? So I apologize to WordPress and to Michelle Weber for thinking it was a typo. And I am now swearing off ever using the phrase, “I’m on tenderhooks.”

By the way, she wasn’t pregnant.

Time to Call the Lawyer

Alex walked into his apartment to hear what sounded like chanting coming from the living room. He found his wife sitting in the corner with candles on the floor all around her. “What’s going on here, Tabitha?” Alex asked. “Is this another nonsensical screed of yours? It sounds almost like some of your brain neurons aren’t properly firing. You know, your crazy rants are beginning to wear thin on me,” Alex said to his wife.

“No, it’s not a rant or a screed,” Tabitha responded. “It’s an incantation that I read about.”

“An Incantation?” Alex said. “You mean like a spell or a curse? When did you decide to become a witch?”

“I’m not a witch,” Alex. “If you must know, this incantation is supposed to improve the relationship with someone you love. I’m desperate to save the remnants of our very broken marriage.”

“I can see consulting with a lawyer, a shrink, or even a priest, Tabitha,” Alex said, “but the casting a spell crap is just over the top, even for a crazy bitch like you.”

“You know, Alex,” Tabitha said. “You’re absolutely right. Forget about incantations and spells. It’s time to call a lawyer.”


Written for these daily prompts: Your Daily Word Prompt (screed), Ragtag Daily Prompt (neuron), The Daily Spur (wear), Word of the Day Challenge (incantation, My Vivid Blog (decide), and Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (remnant). Photo credit: iStock.

Fandango’s Flashback Friday — September 24th

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your 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 24th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.


This was originally posted on September 24, 2017.

My Batteries Need Charging

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I do almost everything on my iPhone. I barely use my laptop anymore because it’s simply more convenient to use my smart, handheld device than it is to chain myself to my desk and use my laptop. And, honestly, there’s very little that I need to do on my laptop that I can’t do on my iPhone. I’m even writing this post on my iPhone.

I have an iPhone 6, which is about two-and-half years old. That’s about 75 in human years. So it’s old. But it works.

A few days ago I downloaded and installed iOS 11.0 for my iPhone. I did it not because there was anything wrong with iOS 10-dot-whatever that was previously running on my iPhone. It was working just fine.

iOS 11.0 seems to be working just fine, as well. And it does have a handful of new features, one or two of which might even be useful once I discover what they are.

But I’m not writing this post to brag about iOS 11.0. I’m writing this post to warn you about it. If you have an iPhone, and it’s not the latest, greatest iPhone, don’t download and install the new operating system. It consumes your battery life at an astonishing rate.

You know that little battery icon in the upper right corner of your screen? With iOS 11.0, I can literally see the battery draining. Since installing the latest OS, my iPhone’s battery is usually down to about 20% within just a few hours. Previously, the battery lasted most of the day before I had to set it aside for a little while to recharge it.

And, by the way, recharging the battery back to 100% takes longer with iOS 11.0. A lot longer.

I think the problem is that the new OS is designed to run most efficiently on the newest hardware. So I guess there’s only one viable solution to this iOS 11.0 problem.

I am going to pamper myself and purchase a new iPhone X in November when it becomes available. I’m sure that will solve my battery life problems and all will once again be right with the world.


Written for today’s one-word prompt, “pamper.”


Post script September 24, 2012

I was fascinated when I found this post that I wrote exactly four years ago. Shortly after I wrote it, I noticed that my iPhone 6 was running much slower than it had before I upgraded to iOS 11.0. Apparently Apple had decided to intentionally (and without informing anyone) slow down the performance of its older iPhones in order to attempt to extend the batter life after iOS 11.0 started sucking the life out of the iPhones’ batteries.

I did buy a new iPhone in November, but it was an iPhone 8 Plus, not an iPhone X, and that saved me a couple of hundred dollars. I traded in my sluggish iPhone 6 for an iPhone 8 Plus because it was a larger device than my iPhone 6 and I figured that, as a newer device — albeit not the newest device — the battery would last longer, which it did. And, best of all, it was much faster than my older iPhone. Last year, I upgraded to the iPhone 12 Pro Max, an even larger device than my iPhone 8 Plus.

But what is most interesting to me, exactly four years later, is that Apple just introduced iOS 15.0 and I’ve been debating with myself about whether to install the new iOS or to wait for a while. If I learned anything from my experience from four years ago, it’s probably that I should wait. Unfortunately, I tend toward instant gratification, so the idea that this sexy new update to Apple iOS is available is gnawing at my desire to have the latest and greatest of whatever is available. I have a feeling that I’ll be installing iOS 15.0 sooner, rather than later.

Fandango’s Flashback Friday — May 28th

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your 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 28th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.


This was originally posted on May 28, 2018.

Happy Retirement

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The retirement ceremony was brief. “In a appreciation of his forty years with Klemperer and Sons, I am pleased to give this engraved silver pocket watch to our retiring head of accounting, Harry Rhodes,” the eldest Klemperer son said.

The two dozen or so employees who were gathered in the large meeting room gave Harry a round of applause. One of them started a “speech! speech!” chant and a few others joined in, prompting Harry to stand up and say a few words.

“I don’t know what to say, and as most of you know, I’m usually not speechless,” Harry said, his quip generating a smattering of chuckles. He looked at the pocket watch George Klemperer has presented to him. “Just what a retiree needs, right? A watch. So that I’ll always know what time it is when what time it is doesn’t really matter all that much anymore.”

Harry took note of the awkward silence. “After forty years with the firm, all working in the accounting department, I’m finally hanging up my visor, pocket protector, and armband and retiring. It’s a good thing I figured out early in my career how to embezzle millions of dollars off the books just for this occasion.”

Again, an awkward silence. “I’m just joking,” Harry said. Then holding up his pocket watch, “I guess I’d better, um, watch what I say, eh?” This time his comment drew laughter and a round of applause.

Harry spent a few more minutes shaking hands and bidding his former coworkers farewell.

As he was leaving the office for the last time, Harry went over to his personal assistant of the past ten years. He winked at her, leaned over, and whispered in her ear, “I wasn’t joking.” Then he placed the pocket watch in her hand and said, “give this to your husband,” and kissed her on the cheek and told her goodbye.


Written for today’s one word prompt, “ceremony.”

Fandango’s Flashback Friday — May 21st

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your 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 21st) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.


This was originally posted on May 21, 2018.

Let It Bleed — Nothing Ventured

“I don’t know,” Jon said to Angela, his older sister. “I feel really awkward.”

“You can do it,” she whispered. “I heard her talking to Sarah and she told her that she thinks you’re cute.”

“But she’s never even said hello to me,” Jon countered. “I don’t think she even knows that I exist.”

A look of frustration crossed Angela’s face. “Don’t be such a wuss,” she said. “She’s right over there on the bench sitting all by herself. Go talk to her, ask her out. What’s the worst that could happen, Jon?”

“She’d turn me down flat and I’d be devastated,” Jon said. “And then she’d tell all of her friends and soon I’d be the laughing stock of the school.”

“That could happen,” Angela admitted. “But think of the risk-reward ratio. Take a risk and ask her on a date. If she says yes, think how rewarding that would be.”

“But I’m also risking being rejected when she says no,” Jon said.

Trying to encourage her brother, Angela said, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

“I choose nothing ventured,” he said.

Angela was pissed at her brother about his lack of self-confidence. She walked over to the bench where Sally was sitting and started talking with her. The two girls looked over to where Jon was standing. Angela signaled for Jon to join them but he couldn’t. He just stood there, frozen.

He saw Sally stand up and walk towards him. He felt his stomach tie up into knots. “Hi Jon,” Sally said when she reached him. She stuck out her hand for him to shake. “Angela says that you would like to ask me for a date but you’re afraid I’ll say no.”

Jon hemmed and hawed for a second before finally finding his voice. “Well,” he said, “I’m sure you’ve got lots of guys wanting to go out with you.”

“You’re right, I do,” she said, smiling brightly. “But you’re smart and kinda cute and way too shy. So since you seem reluctant to ask me out on a date, I hope you won’t find it too awkward if I ask you to go out with me.”

“Not at all awkward,” Jon said. “I’m glad you asked.”

“You know what they say, Jon,” Sally said, grabbing both of Jon’s hands. “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”


This is a twofer, written for today’s one-word prompt, “awkward,” and the this week’s Let It Bleed prompt, where the phrase, “‘You can do it,’ she whispered,” appears in the post.