It’s not enough that this chunk of gray matter rattling around inside my aging cranium produces its designs about as slowly as pouring cold molasses onto a frozen surface, two weeks of laborious effort just went down the proverbial tube in a swirl of megabits, lost its horizon and blasted off into the infinite reaches of cyber space.
How do you jot down from memory word for word an article that was forever to construct? The answer is you don’t, not even close though the theme and the scheme is yet fresh of mind.
Was it the machine or t’was it I? One cannot be sure and therein lies the dilemma; it’s the machine and another draft may meet the same fate, if it’s my doing what was it, and how do we avoid making the same mistake twice.
It’s not that that I don’t have access to tech savvy people, I do but help is not always convenient to the deal. My nephew Danny”took a course in cyber mechanics and is one of the top techs in the area, consulted, he tells me the lost article may be recoverable from the “hard drive” but current workloads prevents his immediate attention. The hard drive is a “high capacity storage device deep in the computers innards containing a read/write mechanism what stores all your data”.
Computer maintenance also falls to the expertise of my two sons in far Northwest Arkansas who have labored in the cyber industry for years and are the sustainers that keeping me up and a running.
Without their assistance the cost of professional cyber technicians would have forced me out of business long ago.
Oh yes, surely some folks reading these long winded bi-weekly ramblings would say that’s a good thing, and even the writer himself sometimes wonders if the frustrations are worth the effort; even without the myriad glitches encountered along the way, sitting him down at a computer and telling him to get from point A to point B was like putting someone at the controls of a 747 and saying son, there’s the gadgets for the wherewithal, now get us from New York over to Boston in one piece other than using the freeway.
While this cyber stuff has added significantly to quality of life in my latter years our relationship has often been spotty at the least. My California friend Big George, musician, singer, songwriter, actor lately of Shasta consulting and Web Design, had been trained in computer technology by the Santa Fe Rail Co. and eventually put in charge of the line that ran from Bakersfield over the Tehachapi always to Blythe.
The devil in the deal was that home base would be the desert town of Barstow. According to his way of thinking, that was no deal at all, sold his home pulled up stakes and moved to Redding Calif., where he involved in various managerial positions. We met through our common music interests and from the upper Sac’ spread our show to Yreka, to Scotts Valley in California and on northward to Prospect, Ore., the bay area south, and always over to Parker-on-the Colorado, Ariz.
George, I am convinced, could do anything he put his mind to. Raised above a bar in Reno Nev., an articulate self made hard-ass no nonsense managerial type on the job, off the job a first class gentleman a diplomat who knew all the protocols, could do music bluegrass to parlor, comedic timing, a polished master of ceremonies, had once entertained troops overseas and upon entering the military found his niche as entertainment director, a position he credits with keeping him from packing a rifle through the rice fields of Vietnam.
Had closer attention been paid to the verbal constructions of my tech savvy side-kick my cyber ignorance might not be so pronounced; miles and miles of entrepreneurial ideas floats by as he vocalizes the technical aspects of his schemes and dreams, all the while using me as a prop for explaining to himself the intricacies of his concepts and plans; all beyond my own ability and interests, all wafting into one ear and finding no place to root, drifting aimlessly out the other so that in the end, the end is same as in the beginning. The difference one supposes between white collar and blue, managerial and labor.
Through my friends connections I found a creditable and fair, locally based moving company to haul my domestic collections down to Arkansas when I pulled stakes and left California in 2006. And along with those movables was a computer, a bulky thing I knew nothing about and really didn’t want but a device Big George insisted would be invaluable in keeping in touch via something called email.
As they say, “that one lasted fast.” Doing a program down at Dyer, Ark., with a group of local musicians, a stampede of hot little thunderstorms moved through the area, ran us off stage and up the road a ways, fried George’s computer.
My son, working for AOL in Tucson Ariz., at the time, was compassionate enough to replace it by purchasing a used lap top on Ebay, which shipped it to me direct. The used machine worked okay for a few months but was full of bugs from the git-go; pop-up’s constantly, many of them “nekked” or scantily clothed females. At first, ways were found to avoid most of it but the problem grew steadily worse (from my perspective, anyways) until one day the machine froze up altogether just as one bare chested young beauty made a desperate lunge to escape the wiles of cyber land through the computer screen. And there is she destined to be forever imprisoned; absolutely nothing I could do to help.
After a troubled history with used or gifted computers my son, employed by the web designer GoDaddy, advised to get a Dell Apple, far more virus resistant, far less trouble and upkeep. And so I’ve found it to be true; the Apple by which these articles are produced has been in my hand nigh onto three years and the article which this one - hopefully replaces is the only one it has lost, though there were problems with the one before that.
Will shipping this little treatise, over which we now angst, be successfully delivered or will it also disappear down the rat hole of futility? Can’t know until its finished and delivered to the inbox, at which point the last was lost in transition, and the place at which it must arrive in order to be delivered to its intended destination.
All this with my ‘back to the wall, readying for a three week vacation to visit the California branch of my extended family, to see how my little “garden” has grown and expanded and prospered the last couple of years. We do keep a list of its growing membership but at the moment not current to the New Year.
And then there’s Big George sitting on the bank of the ol Sacramento, a big can of cold Fosters to beat the heat and a guitar in his hand ready to do some pickin’.
What, me worry? This is nonsense! There are other ways to remedy this without wading through all this cyber silliness; I should write exclusively partisan politics. Others do: Number the articles 1, 2, 3, etc. and when one is lost or misplaced just submit a number. Pick one. Since we know the theme beforehand we understand the scheme. Content is predetermined; word for word without reading a word. Closer to the mark than one might imagine.