The important things that Mickey and I accomplish at work

mickeysmind316: did you find out Terry’s last name at
the pharmacy?

mangledhand: Harrycarrie

mangledhand: no

mangledhand: Terry Harrycarrie would be scary

mickeysmind316: I guess ill just put Attn: Terry on it

mangledhand: really scary if her middle name was

mangledhand: or Larry

mickeysmind316: to marry

mangledhand: What if she’s hairy?

mickeysmind316: that would be for a fairy

mangledhand: What if she was the captain of a ferry?
With her sidekick fairy?

mickeysmind316: his name is Harry Hairy

mangledhand: Larry, would you marry Terry Harrycarrie if she were hairy, drove a ferry with her friend the fairy?

mangledhand: Whoa

mangledhand: That was a Haiku

mickeysmind316: good one

Lions are Growing Like Yellow Roses on the Wind

So I’m doing some not-so-regular maintenance on last night and decide to see who has become a registered user of the site. I’m looking around when all of the sudden I see a registered user by the name of “pig”. Next to the nickname is “Matt Montgomery”. I laughed and said out loud: “Hey! I know a Matt Montgomery”. For grins I kept reading. His signature read: “Fence-eater”. My eyebrows curled a little and I thought to myself: “Hey, I know a Matt Montgomery who is a fence-eater”. By fence eater I mean that Matt and I were riding little 50cc Honda dirt bikes on my parent’s property when we were around 11 years old. Matt hit a sandy spot on the trail, rode parallel to a barbed wire fence and had his arm and leg chewed up pretty nicely. We spent the rest of the night in the emergency room.

Matt left a link to a homepage. After closer inspection I found out that the Matt who became a registered user on is the Matt that I grew up with. We used to be inseparable late in our elementary school years. I eventually moved out to Cat Spring with my parents and Matt and I slowly lost touch.

Matt is apparently living in Hollywood and plays guitar for the band Amen. Judging from the ensemble I’d venture to guess that they play inspirational Tejano music.

Though only virtual, it’s weird to see and find out about an old friend who I haven’t heard from in over a decade.

[9/2/05 Update: Matt is here. “Lions are Growing” is here.]

Thanksgiving 2003

Elise and I had a nice Thanksgiving weekend. As it’s been for the past four years now, we go to my parents’ house on Wednesday night, stay the night, eat, eat and eat on Thursday, wake up on Friday and drive to Grandma B’s house in Okeene, OK. I am finally to the point where I can blend in among Steve’s (Elise’s dad) 57 siblings and their offspring. This annual reunion and feast consists of approximately 741 people. Hungry people. Hungry people in a small farm house.

I really enjoy hanging out with Elise’s family. It was rather hard for me the first couple years seeing how I actually don’t have a family. I was spawned asexually by something. Judging from my overall physique, I would venture to say I am perhaps the bi-product of a praying mantis. Or maybe some type of starved albino primate species. I wouldn’t really know because I never had a parent who could sit down and explain to me from where I came. I only know this based on the limited genealogical knowledge I have gained from Google. The people that I call my parents are actually a nice couple who immigrated from Madagascar in the 50’s and used my existence as a tax write off.

I always have a good time hanging out with my brother-in-law, Eric. He and I spent hours in the basement, talking and playing Cricket on the electronic dart board. Saturday night Eric told cousins, uncles and yours truly stories or yore – of picking blueberries and cranberries in the Northeast, flipping a car sideways into the air and wedging it between two trees and tales of a trip to Jamaica.

On Sunday morning we headed out. Elise drove most of the way home. I took pictures. We stopped in Dallas for a potty break and I took the helm. Sunday after Thanksgiving traffic between Hillsboro and Austin can make for a pretty worn out clutch leg. The last week in November can make for a pretty expanded waistline.

The joys of computer ownership are hard to fathom

By computer, I think Mr. Pitts is referring to a Windows machine…

This hits sooo close to home.

Nov. 29, 2003, 5:09PM

The joys of computer ownership are hard to fathom
Knight Ridder Newspapers

It is spring. I walk into my home office ready to work. My computer is not. It seems to have smoked crack overnight and will not function, despite repeated rebooting, several sharp slaps to the CPU and curses upon the name Bill Gates.

I call technical support. Technical support explains that I am in deep waste matter and must reinstall the operating system. This, in turn, will require me to reinstall all my software and hardware.

Crying like a baby will not help.

I reinstall the operating system. Also, my scanner and printer, my Scrabble and SimCity, my Bible and dictionaries, and a bunch of other stuff. Working off and on, this takes a few days.

When I am done, the computer has more bugs than my old apartment in the projects. Worse, it has passed the crack pipe to my printer, which now declines to print because, it says, the paper is jammed. It says this even after I have removed every scrap of paper within a six-foot radius.

I buy myself an iPod, a device that will allow me to record thousands of songs to my computer, download them and carry them with me on the plane trips that are the bane of my existence. But when I get it home, I find that my new iPod isn’t. New, that is. There are some 1,800 songs already on it, along with more fingerprints than a toddler’s mirror.

I have been sold a used machine, packaged and priced as new. Far be it from me to embarrass the electronics superstore that did this by naming it in public; suffice to say, this wasn’t the best buy I ever made.

It takes visits to two stores, but I get a new new iPod. It serenades me while I beg my printer to acknowledge my existence.

Summer comes. I visit a writer friend in North Carolina. He’s computer illiterate and proud of it. I tell him the Internet is the best research tool a writer could have. I tell him to wake up and smell the 21st century. He just shrugs.

When I get home, I take my car to the shop. It occurs to me that if the auto industry ran like the computer industry, I’d be in a world of hurt. I can just see myself on the phone with Toyota Technical Support being guided through a transmission overhaul. Sometimes, it seems like I talk to technical support more than I do my wife, but I am determined to eradicate these bugs. Of course, the bugs seem just as bent on eradicating me.

Meanwhile, my printer is still on crack. Even at this, it is in better shape than my iPod, which has been possessed by Satan. It now refuses to download new songs, mysteriously erases old ones, and causes the computer to freeze every time I plug it in. It also levitates above the desk and spits pea soup when I reach for it.

Fall arrives. I decide to exchange my new new iPod for a new new new one. It turns out they no longer make the model I have. I ask the salesman if the updated version will be compatible with my computer. He says it will. He is just joking.

In order to use my new-to-the-third power iPod, I must buy and install a new computer operating system to replace the one I restored last spring. I do this, and a number of programs immediately stop functioning. My printer is still paper-phobic. I consider enrolling it in a 12-step program.

Instead, I take it to a technician who advises me to reinstall the printer’s software. Miraculously, this fixes the printer and it works for almost 20 minutes. Then it becomes jammed with invisible paper again. Somehow, I resist hurling it through a window. Instead, I buy a new printer.

As I’m hauling it to the car, I think of my poor writer friend. Still hammering on his typewriter. Still driving all the way to the library to do his research.

I am sad for him. He doesn’t know what he’s missing.