OCTOBER 2018 - BAD PROBLEM, SIMPLE SOLUTION


When the unexpected slap on the side of your head, or a catastrophe that happens when you least expect, it is important to your survival to keep going no matter what. When it happened to me I decided to do the best I could and practice what I preach… or shut up. My computer stopped working. That may sound like a peanut of a problem, and certainly hardly anything to be upset about. For me, it’s a little different. I write. That is about all I know how to do. When my computer stops working it is a number one, big time calamity. That’s because a good part of my life is writing. My several newspaper and magazine columns and my books take up most of my days, and once in a while a good part of a night. When something happens where I can’t write, I become useless. I must write. If I try to write by hand, my handwriting is so bad I can’t even read what I’ve written. So, you see why having my computer go on the blink is a major disaster. Now for most folks a computer that gives up the ghost is not any great shakes or a problem. Get it fixed or buy a newer computer. if it isn’t possible to get a new computer, you take it to get fixed. That’s what I did. I called the one person I always call to find out why my computer stopped talking to me. Claudia, a lady most of my friends know, is the owner of Konocti Computers. She cares about Lake County and she is a good listener. Claudia was out doing a good deed so I drove to Lakeport, broken computer in hand, and turned my sick computer over to Tim. Tim is one of her army of efficient and highly intelligent Worker Elves. He took my sick computer promising to run his miracle diagnostic machine over my computer and make it well. Tim said he’d call when it was fixed. I drove home to wait for the good news. What would I do with my time now that I could not write for 24 hours? I felt lost. I tried the TV but every channel had something that only brought me deeper into my gloom as I learned Soap Operas were the same as they were fifty years ago. The actors were young again but the problems of love and deception were not. I tried to solve a Sudoku puzzle. One of the Four-Star super hard Sudoku puzzles took me an hour just to fill in the squares. Unless every step of the process for solving a Sudoku puzzle is not followed to perfection it will come out wrong. I did it wrong. Talking to myself to calm down, I gritted my teeth and attempted to solve a second Sudoku puzzle. This one I manage to solve but it left me limp as a dishrag from effort. Next, I tried reading. It was a book I borrowed from my daughter, Dolly, on the subject of Logic. A cartoon to demonstrate critical thinking made me smile. It was a reprint of a Fusco Brothers cartoon by J.C. Duffy, the cartoonist. The two cartoon panels showed a male and a female. In panel one the male wants to date the lady and she wants to make sure he knows she is available and not married. He says, “So, are you single or what?” She replies, “Actually, I just divorced my husband of 14 years.” The discouraged male, looking glum, says, “You’re probably lucky you did. I think they have pretty strict laws against having, a 14-year-old husband in this state.” See what happens when one does not use critical thinking or speak carefully? Both characters lost out. I ran out of puzzles, books to read, movies to watch and people to call. The next day, Tim called me with the Good News; my Computer had a miraculous recovery and all was well. I got there in 30 minutes. The problem that knocked out my computer and disrupted my life was simply, a faulty old power cord. Tim fixed me up and I was back in action. I brought my computer home and set myself up for work. I plugged in the new cord, turned on my computer, turned off the TV, put the books away, and went back to my writing— satisfied that I managed to recover from my latest unexpected slap on the side of my head.

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Copyright ©2018-2020  Gene Paleno, PAL Publishing Inc.

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