An Open Letter To My Computer

They burn bright but not like the light in the eyes of my kids. Shot by Scazon.

They burn bright but not like the light in the eyes of my kids.
Shot by Scazon.

Dear Computer,

I gather from your refusal today to start and the multiple groans disguised as beeps, clicks and whistles you were none too happy when I figured out how to breathe some life back into you.

Wish I could tell you it is ok for the lights to go dim forever and to let you enjoy that eternal sleep that good computers are granted when they are given license to go wherever it is old computers go when they retire, but I just can’t do it.

You see it is Chanukah now and that means it is a really bad time to ask me to spend money. I know you don’t want to hear it, but it is the truth.

Got stuck with a nasty dental bill last week and of course my car and life insurance are due this week so you can see I can’t give you the time off. Can’t do it, won’t do it, shan’t do it.

The Kids Deserve More

Damn you computer, you know that you and I are a team and that I can’t do my work without you. Can’t pay the bills without you by my side and if that means I have to be the task master, well then so be it that is what I’ll do and who I’ll be.

I am adaptable.

Is it coincidence that I am listening to Eminem and Rhianna sing “Love The Way You Lie?” Maybe, or maybe not. It is not my usual fare of Johnny and June or Ray Charles but it feels appropriate.

Been a harder holiday because some clients defaulted on paying and a few are playing the “check is in the mail” game so we are doing a little dance of our own.

The children aren’t really suffering or I wouldn’t ask questions about whether they can receive too many gifts but that is because their grandparents have taken care of them. I am not really crazy about that, but it is not a horrible thing.

Truth is I wish I could do a bit more for them in a couple of areas but it is nothing we have to have. It is just what I want us to have and there is a world of difference between want and need.

…the size of a misfortune is not determinable by an outsider’s measurement of it, but only by the measurement applied to it by the person specially affected by it. The king’s lost crown is a vast matter to the king, but of no consequence to the child. The lost toy is a great matter to the child, but in the king’s eyes it is not a thing to break the heart about.- Mark Twain’s Autobiography

Dear Computer,

That quote is one of my favorites. It is one I plan on sharing with my son because he is finally old enough to really appreciate it and that is kind of hard for me.

Hard because I look at him with such pride and joy because he is on the right path and if I can help here and there I can see he is going to grow up to be one hell of a man.

Smarter and better than myself and that is what I want. Don’t need to add much other than to do what I can to make sure he understands gratitude and hope that along the way he figures out that what you need to be fulfilled can only be found within and not without.

Don’t think he has my wanderlust and I am good with that. He has a different sort of fire in the belly and that is good.

My Girl

Can’t talk about my big guy without giving my girl a couple of words too. No one knows how to torment her older brother like she does but she has no bigger hero.

When they aren’t trying to kill each other they are tight and I see that if we have done nothing else we have helped form a tight bond between them. It is enough for me to be confident that they will always look out for each other and that pleases me.

I kid around about having to beat the boys off with a stick, but I know it will happen. One day some boy will catch her eye and she won’t let me scare him away.

She’ll probably let me mess with him a bit, but I can see a time when she’ll say something like “daddy leave him alone.”

Got a mess of years before that happens so I don’t know why I am thinking about it now, but I am.

A Simple Request

So computer I am asking you to suck it up for a little bit. I need you to walk down the road just a little bit farther and then we can go our separate ways.

Don’t do it for me, do it for the kids. It is Chanukah and the time is right for a new miracle. But to be clear I need more than 8 days so don’t go getting any funny ideas.

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  1. Adrienne December 11, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Mine isn’t ready to bite the dust quite yet Jack but man has it ever been slow today. I’ve cleared everything out and shut it off once and it seems to be picking up steam. I think it’s just having one of those days you know. Sure hope that’s all that’s happening with your faithful friend.

    Having to get another computer at this time of the year just doesn’t seem fair. Too much going on with the holiday’s approaching unless you’re stoked with money. I have a feeling though that’s not the case.

    Wishing you good luck that he can hang on for a bit longer. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for you.


    • Jack December 11, 2012 at 11:51 pm

      Hi Adrienne,

      Sometimes computers remind me of us, you know there are those days where they just don’t want to wake up and others where they can’t be stopped.

      One thing I have learned over the years is that car repairs, health issues and computer trouble never come at a good time so I guess we just have to roll with the punches and see what happens.

      Hope you have a great Wednesday.

  2. Tim Bonner December 11, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Hey Jack

    Good luck with the computer. I hope it holds out for a long time yet.

    My kids are only 4 and 2 but I’m already bursting with pride over my son’s school report. He has come on a long journey in the last year and it’s paying off at the ripe old age of 4.

    Keeping my fingers crossed about the computer!

    • Jack December 11, 2012 at 11:49 pm

      Hi Tim,

      Kids are good for making hearts swell just a little bit larger. They are a never ending source of pride.

      Thank you for the good wishes regarding the computer. If you don’t see me round these parts you’ll know that I have gone Gandalf versus the Balrog on the computer.

  3. Julie Jordan Scott December 11, 2012 at 9:41 am

    I still haven’t gotten into Mark Twain’s autobiography. I love this quote though. I have visited his house in Hartford, Connecticut as well as a replica of the house he lived in near Angel’s Camp, California and where the whole “Jumping Frog” thing started.

    I am grateful you revived your whining computer. Hopefully s/he will take your words seriously!

    Glad I found you via Just Write Tuesday today!

    • Jack December 11, 2012 at 11:46 pm

      Hi Julie,

      It is always good to run into another Twain lover. He was a very fine writer and one I look up to. It sounds like you have been to Calaveras County. Been about 28 years since I was last there but I plan on going back.

      I am busy whispering sweet nothings to the ‘puter now, hopeful she takes heed. Hope to see you around here again real soon.

  4. Judy Lee Dunn December 11, 2012 at 8:03 am

    I fear that I wasn’t able to deal with this with such a grand sense of humor as you, Jack. Four weeks ago my iMac didn’t just get sick slowly, it exploded, black screen, smoke coming out the top. My book was not completely backed up because the back-up function kept saying error, which should have been a red flag. Lost some sections of my book, but hopeful that they can be retrieved from the old hard drive.

    It is unfortunate that sometimes these things happen at holiday time. Your kids are lucky to have such a fine set of grandparents! Bob and I had decided to stop using credit of any kind, so he did a blitz promotion of some of his blog packages (I’m not coaching and copywriting since I got serious about the book) and we garnered enough to get me a brand new iMac!

    I totally get how important your computer is to you. It is your business, your life blood. Sending good thoughts your way. : )

    • Jack December 11, 2012 at 11:42 pm

      Hi Judy,

      It is not all that easy to look at this with a smile because if this sucker dies I will be in serious trouble.

      Black smoke coming out of the computer? Oy, did you forget to bow down to Jobs before he died. That is crazy.

      I sure hope you can recover the lost files. The computer before the one I am working on now died a sudden death and couldn’t be resuscitated. Fortunately a dear friend is a tech expert and was able to use a couple of utilities to pull my data from the old hard drive.

      Took a few weeks before he had time, but I got it. Hope you get yours too.

      Maybe this can serve as good material for your book. Best wishes to you and Bob for the holidays and the new year. Can’t wait to read your best seller.

  5. Stan Faryna December 11, 2012 at 7:22 am

    I doubled up in the RAM (2 to 4) and replaced the HD to squeeze a few more miles out of my laptop – but it’s not happy about the situation.

    • Jack December 11, 2012 at 11:36 pm

      Hi Stan,

      I have been debating whether to invest in the extra RAM. The ‘puter can sure use it but I worry about tossing another $150 here when I am not certain about what sort of return I will get from it.

      Call me superstitious, but I almost feel like waiting until I have to buy a new unit is better. I have multiple externals I use for backups so…

      Funny to think about how dependent we have become on these things.

  6. Tony Dowling December 11, 2012 at 6:48 am

    That made me laugh!
    I’m 43 years old and I can think of no bigger or better achievement in my life than to help make my sons better men than me.
    My twin boys are 7 years old now, and already make me burst with pride, thank you for making me think of them during this, my work day

    • Jack December 11, 2012 at 11:33 pm

      Hi Tony,

      Has anyone told you that you are an old man. Ha, 43 is a pretty good age, but I am betting that 44 will be far superior. Ask me about it next May and I’ll let you know what I think.

      Anyhoo, I obviously love kids and am a huge fan of fathers. Twins are a handful. I know a bit about it, not as a father but as the older brother of twin sisters.

      Glad I was able to make you smile and lighten the load a bit during the work day.

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