Intellectual Property

That sanctimonious son of a bitch has the audacity to accuse me — me, of all people — of copyright infringement,” Sam said, indignantly.

According to his complaint, Craig said that he handed you a detailed plot outline, including story arc and character profiles, for a novel he wanted to write and you told him it was pure dreck. But he says that your latest novel is based upon what he asked you to review,” Dean said.

“That lying piece of shit is nothing but an annoying turd and I swat him and his complaint away like a pesky mosquito,” Sam said.

“Craig claims that you foster a lot of resentment toward him because you were suffering from writer’s block and when he came up with something viable, you stole his intellectual property and used it as if you had created it,” Dean said.

“Oh for God’s sake,” Sam said. “He’s straining to fabricate a claim against me, his mentor, that has no merit whatsoever, Dean. I recommend you squash that little maggot before this gets all blown out of proportion.”

“I gotta tell you, Sam,” Dean said, “I read your book and I read the materials Craig said he gave you to review and comment on, and they are remarkably similar. Almost identical, actually.”

“Craig must have created those documents after he read my book and is taking my work and claiming it to be his,” Sam said.

“Actually, Sam, the metadata on the materials he printed from his computer was dated a full year and a half before your book was published,” Dean said. “But Craig is willing to settle out of court if you list him as co-author and share the royalties with him. Otherwise, he’ll see you in court. I’d advice you go along with the settlement offer.”


Written for these daily prompts: Word of the Day Challenge (sanctimonious), The Daily Spur (copyright), Your Daily Word Prompt (according), Ragtag Daily Prompt (mosquito), My Vivid Blog (foster), and Fandango’s One Word Challenge (strain).

The Last Word

“I don’t know why you’re having such a conniption fit, Henry,” Ralph said. “The speaker is just taking a slightly different slant on the topic. Isn’t that the reason we convened this seminar? Didn’t you say that you didn’t want to hear the same dusty old approaches? I thought you were eager for some diversity of ideas.”

Henry paused a moment before answering Ralph. “The idiot making this presentation is just yammering away and making no sense whatsoever,” Henry said. “It’s just a bunch of word salad as far as I can tell. It’s like he’s trying to spray perfume over a pile of bullshit and expecting us to lap it up.”

“Henry, he’s the last speaker of the day,” Ralph said, trying to mollify Ralph’s aggression toward the guy standing behind the podium. “Just let it go for now, Henry. You’re giving the final presentation of the conference tomorrow morning and you’ll have ample opportunity to rebut the ideas and approches that you seem to have issues with.


Written for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (conniption/yammer), Fandango’s One Word Challenge (slant/topic), Your Daily Word Prompt (convene/diversity), My Vivid Blog (dusty/salad), The Daily Spur (pause/spray), and Word of the Day Challenge (aggression/final)

Failure to Communicate

“Give it a rest,” Dave, the contractor, told Nick. “The quote is what the quote is.”

“Give it a rest? That’s what you have to say after almost doubling your initial quote?” Nick said. “I’m flabbergasted by this. What are all these additional charges you inserted into this revised quote you gave me?”

“Now let’s discuss this with poise and grace, Nick,” Dave said, trying to calm down his client. “I think I know what the problem is. Your wife reached out to me and said that she wanted to upgrade to designer appliances and hardware, which is what those additional line items are. I guess she didn’t clear that with you before she contacted me.”

“No, she did not,” Nick said. “And you can cancel that designer crap she told you to get and go back with the baseline appliances and hardware we had agreed to.”

“No can do, Nick,” Dave said. “I ordered the stuff as soon as your wife asked me to. It’s been delivered and it’s only returnable if defective.”

“That’s your problem, Dave,” Nick said. “I never approved the changes to the original work order.”

“It’s actually your problem, Nick,” Dave said. “And it’s a lot bigger than about this job and the appliances. What you and your wife have is a serious failure to communicate.”


Written for these daily prompts from yesterday: Ragtag Daily Prompt (rest), The Daily Spur (quote), Fandango’s One Word Challenge (flabbergasted), My Vivid Blog (inserted), Your Daily Word Prompt (poise), and Word of the Day (designer).

My Grandmother’s Vase

“Why in the world would you do that?” Elaine screamed at her son after he took a vase and hit it with a hammer, breaking it into large, puzzle-like pieces. “My grandmother gave me that vase. It’s priceless and irreplaceable.”

Kintsugi,” Matt said. “It’s a Japanese technique I learned in my art class. It’s used to repair broken pottery by mending the areas of breakage with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. When I’m done using the kintsugi technique, it will be better than new.”

Elaine couldn’t contain her anger. “Enough with this jibber jabber,” she said. “I think you’ve gone plain crazy if you think you can make up for taking a hammer to my grandmother’s vase without even asking me. You weren’t brought up in a jungle, for heaven’s sake.”

“I promise, Ma, you’ll love it.”

Once Matt completed the project, he showed the finished vase to his mother. She looked at it, put her hands up to her mouth, and started to cry. “It’s beautiful,” she said, hugging her son. “Please forgive me, Matt, for doubting your lofty artistic skills.”


Written for these daily prompts: My Vivid Blog (kintsugi), Word of the Day Challenge (anger), Ragtag Daily Prompt (jib), Fandango’s One Word Challenge (plain), The Daily Spur (jungle), and Your Daily Word Prompt (lofty).

Nothing Is Easy

Our electric company’s fee structure is one convoluted mess.

They have time-of-day plans that offer peak and off-peak hours, but one plan has peak hours (i.e., higher rate per kilowatt hour) from 4 pm to 9 pm every day while the other plan’s peak hours are from 5 pm to 8 pm, but only on weekdays. And one plan has tiered pricing based upon whether or not you use over or under 100% of some undefined baseline, while the other plan does not.

And both plans, on top of all that, have seasonal rates, one for summer (June 1 through September 30) and one for winter (October 1 through May 31). Summer rates are, of course, significantly higher than winter rates. And there are apparently special plans available for owners of electric vehicles. Who knew?

I tried calling to see if someone could talk to me about which plan would be best for me, but I kept getting a recorded message telling me how important my call was. After more than an hour on hold, I got tired and hung up.

Given how much I’m paying for electricity, there’s simply no defense for poor customer service. Trying to get a human being to answer the phone, much less to find someone knowledgeable to help, is like trying to go on a barefoot hiking expedition through a field covered in bramble bushes and lichen.

I’ve had it. I’m going to look into converting to solar power and go off grid with my electric company. I just hope I can find a knowledgeable person to help me zen my way through the maze of solar options.

Nothing is easy anymore, is it?


Written for these daily prompts: The Daily Spur (fee), Fandango’s One Word Challenge (convoluted), My Vivid Blog (tired), Word of the Day Challenge (defense), Your Daily Word Prompt (expedition), and Ragtag Daily Prompt (lichen).