The Chinese menu touted
how off-center was this dish?
Was it at right-angles
or simply obtuse?
A mallard infarction,
or some game bird gone amiss?
Had it been surveyed
Had its right ascension been assessed?
My mind could simply not fathom
Copyright © 2002 by Joan Pond All Rights Reserved.
Life and All That
She smiles her Madonna smile
As she looks away
Far into the great beyond
Where she spends her time,
Her nights, her yesterdays,
Dancing on clouds
In the rhythm of a heartbeat
And you know she knows
Hasn't he wondered
What mystery lives there
Which riddle could he solve
And what is the key that unlocks
The gate to her soul
He can't begin to fathom
All women are an enigma
Beguiling, good lord yes
He'd like to say the heck with it
But he can't
Not while he still believes
In moonbeams and sunrises
And happily ever afters.
Nights he sees her as he slips
Into his unconsciousness
She grips a dream or two
Off in the ephemera
Yah, that's true.
Her smile hides something
Signifies nothing and everything
Look out for the undertow
Eyes that watch and mirror
And hold the key
But silly girl, sometimes
She just doesn't see
It would be hard to believe
So she doesn't
Mirror mirror on the wall
She doesn't ask the question
She knows the answer
Sleeping beauty she isn't
Not this time around
Maybe not the next time either
And she's too busy being busy
Knights live in fairy tales
She lives in the milky way
Star shine, shimmer on.
Isn't there a star somewhere
That needs its sparkle tuned
Or a phrase crying for an author
He turns in his bed
Who is she
She hasn't met him yet
Down here in the moil
He's just a dream
She's a phantom
And neither knows the plan
Heaven help them
They're only human
Laugh the spirits wise
As they plot their grand design
They love a good joke
And it's it the special ones
That need to have their noses tweaked
Every once in a while
Nothing comes easy if it's worth it
Or so they say
Throw a few forks in the road
Maybe they'll meet on a tyne
Maybe he'll see a special smile
Maybe she'll catch a twinkle in his eye
Or perhaps not
Caught as they are
In life and all that
Star light, star bright
First star I see tonight
I wish I may, I wish I might
Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord my soul to keep
Should I die before I wake
I pray the Lord
I have the wish I wish tonight
In my lover's arms.
C.M. Harris 2001
Left To Their Own
men in her life were as
she'd had as a child.
Left too long on a radiator,
Or, as the one she took,
from its shoe-box house;
he'd just given up the ghost.
It wasn't easy remembering
to give them
water and rodent feed.
Returning from school,
their bodies were lumps of clay,
as though she'd left them
to play with sharp objects.
Leslie would say,
"Men left to their own devices,
were as hamsters
she'd had as a child."
© 2002 by Joan Pond, All Rights Reserved.
(Anon Y Mouse?)
The twentieth century was a place, or state of mind, in which the forces
of darkness had their 9 days in the sun, to try to convert the earth into
their private vision of how the universe should be run, with every living
creature bowing to their unholy egos. But every single one of those people
believed they should be the ultimate god in our material universe and reign
over all the worlds and all beings.
We beat them, one at a time, with our love and understanding. They either
saw the light that had been beyond their powers of perception, or they
died, believing they'd been personally betrayed by all of us who failed
to acknowledge their right to rule over everyone and everything.
Our battles were not with swords, sometimes, not even with words. We fought
our battles in the lands of ideas, concepts, emotions and aspirations.
Most of us stumbled along, believing we were not connected, that we were
all in this separately and had no allies we could count on.
It was a wonderful day indeed when we realized that we had all been part
of a plan, part of a design. And somehow, our misgivings and imperfections
had not combined to ruin our chances. Something higher had managed to tease
us along, praising our positive efforts, teaching us to let go of our negative
designs, shining a little more light on the beautiful landscapes within
each of us.
Neither were our paths free of set backs and apparent failures.
Even as we neared our goal I remembered that I'd been to places (or states
of mind?) where I'd known the air was alive and aware of me, where I've
known that every particle of creation loved all of us. Where the trees
and flowers and bugs and critters all loved me and thought I'd be the perfect
human to watch over them and enjoy their company. I felt I'd failed miserably
when I'd let the confused ones convince me that I had to do anything as
silly as 'work for a living' inside the guidelines of the ungodly rules
of men who did not have our happiness or well being at heart. And it became
obvious that living by their rules kept all of us from living the lives
we wanted to live, that we had been meant to live.
And now, as I tell you all this history, I wish I remember exactly what
it was that we did and when we did those everyday, overlooked, yet extremely
important, small acts of kindness and love that inched our entire race
at such a maddeningly slow pace toward the 'heaven on earth' that finally
manifested as something we could all love and feel part of. Something we
all knew our highest selfless ambitions had helped to create.
in buying computers...
A major event: My credit card company decided to reward me for being a
good little consumer and paying my credit card bills on time by sending
me an application for a new credit card. Being suspicious by nature, I
wondered if they'd discovered a new way to hit me up for more or larger
fees. The propaganda they sent me said this application was for a "Platinum
Card" with up to a $5,000 credit limit. I guess I'm a sap by nature, and
figured it couldn't hurt, so I filled out the application and mailed it
(business reply mail, no cost to me) back to them.
So, a very short period of time went by and I got an oversized envelope
in the mail that looked like it came from my credit card company, welcoming
me as if I was a new customer. It said my new card would come in five to
ten days, if it hadn't already arrived.
Those five to ten days passed and the card arrived, not a platinum card,
but another "Gold Card" and it said the credit limit wasn't $5,000, but
$2,000. I wasn't crushed. I've learned not to expect much from any business.
One of my closer friends has made a point of saying, "There's a reason
the merchant class was one step up from the 'Untouchables' in the Hindu
Caste System." Most business people can probably spell 'honesty' but I
wouldn't want to bet any real money (or anyone's life) on their ability
to understand the concept behind the word. (I found it very interesting
that Jim has defined 'Corporate Ethics' within the concept of his 'Game
World' as: "You hope other people play by the rules, because that gives
you an unfair advantage." [It's fun to have insightful friends, especially
when they share your values...]
Okay, so a couple weeks go by, and I thought I'd check out a couple of
the links we've been adding to this site. Power On Computing? Hmmm? Looks
like they have some good deals on used or refurbished computers. I don't
know whether it's my Aquarius Ascendant, Scorpio Sun, or my Sagittarius
moon, but I really really hate it when I slam up against limitations, and
my old Power Mac (pre- G3) just couldn't do a couple things the newer kids
on the block took for granted.
I'm not stupid, I don't like spending money I haven't earned yet. But a
couple friends have been telling me that I could probably be making 'real
money' if I let it be known that my web skills and computer skills have
improved to where they are? So I checked back with Power On's pages a couple
times and noticed that their specials were disappearing fast. The cheaper
G3 (350 MHz chip) disappeared. The 400 MHz G3 was a hundred bux more than
the 350. Was it worth it? Of course I asked the wrong person and she said,
"Wow, that's a good deal." so....
I called the phone number and ordered the "Web package" It's supposed to
come with a zip drive and 192 Megs of RAM and a DVD player and a 15 inch
monitor and a 56 K Modem (& the keyboard and mouse). I talked to the
salesman. I asked him about the keyboard and the modem and he said I could
have an ADB keyboard and mouse. (Not very many people know this: The Blue
and White G3's come with an ADB [Apple Desktop Bus] connection. Cool. We
talked about modems. I asked if they were USB modems and he asked, "Is
that what you want?" And I said, "Yeah." (?) So when I finished talking
to the guy, I thought he was going to ship me a Blue and White G3 Mac with
an ADB keyboard and Mouse and a USB 56k Modem. I also expected it would
arrive by the following Friday. (He assured me it would be shipped on Monday
and be here by Friday. I thought he wanted to charge me more money and
ship it overnight, but I thought I'd rather eat a coupe meals than spend
money on shipping that I didn't need to spend.
Okay, shame on me, I believed the salesman. #1. They didn't ship on Monday,
they waited until Thursday. So I took Friday off for nothing. (So I could
be there when the packages arrived.) Luckily, I had plenty of time, so
I took Monday off, too. On Monday the Fed Ex truck pulled into my driveway
and walked one package up to the door, asked me to sign something, I asked
if there were more than one package, the driver said no, I said I was expecting
a whole computer system, the driver looked at the box, it didn't say anything
like box one of two or two of two or anything. The package was heavy, so
I carried it into the house (after signing for it) and opened it. Just
the monitor. A fifteen inch apple multiscan monitor without the tilt and
swivel stuff it was born with. I gritted my teeth.
So I took Tuesday off. The Fed Ex driver pulled into the driveway and,
with a big smile, announced, "Here's the other box you were looking for
yesterday." I signed for it and got a look at the shipping label which
announced that it was shipped 4 days later than the salesman said it would
be shipped. No big deal.
Then I opened it. Shame on me for believing salesmen #2. SCSI Modem. Shame
on me #3. The modem port on the G3 is covered over by a nice piece of stainless
steel or stainless steel look alike with a cute picture of a telephone
on it. (The signal that a modem connection would be there?) Shame on me
#4 The keyboard and mouse were standard USB, the narrow version that shipped
with iMacs? That's what it looks like.
Now the big set back. The G3 came with what certainly looked to me like
a non-standard video card. It came to me with a Rage 128y (?) card with
a "Universal VGA" connection for a monitor (It wants an IBM type Monitor.)
The monitor they shipped me has a standard Mac monitor configuration (DUI?)
Shame on me # 5, 6 & 7? I did not immediately get on the phone and
start screaming like a maniac at them for shipping me a system with incompatible
Okay, I've got this 'problem solving' mentality. I called the local CompUSA
and told them I needed an adapter to plug a Mac monitor into a VGA connection.
The guy on the phone said, "Yeah, we got them, Fifty bucks."
So, on my way out to CompUSA, I stopped off at an obscure little computer
store run by oriental immigrants. They have a VGA to Mac connector for
$15.00 Not $50. I bought it. (I bought stuff from them before and brought
it back when it was the wrong part, wrong configuration or wrong length,
so they know I'm a flake and like me anyway.)
Then I went to CompUSA and looked at their fifty dollar part. -Exactly
the same thing. I hurried home and thought I could hook the monitor up
to the G3... I mean, that's reasonable, right? Sorry. The adapter is for
hooking an IBM monitor up to a Mac Computer, Not hooking a Mac Monitor
up to an IBM type connection on a stupid video card.
I went back out to CompUSA and zoomed right in on the tiny selection of
exotic connection adapters they have there, and nope, not a chance that
they have the right one. I must look scary to salesman (maybe they all
instinctively know that I don't trust them and basically don't like them,
don't really like anybody who has decided that it's okay to be anything
less than, well, maybe 80% honest for a living?) (Do I have high standards?
Yes. Shame on me for that? No way.) So anyway. a Salesman swooped in on
me and nervously asked if he could help me with something. (People who
look like they know what they want must be an occupational hazard for salesmen.
My native intensity might also be a little scary.) I told him what I needed,
he pointed at the backward adapter, I explained that it was backward. (needed
to be "male" where it was "female" and female where it was male... made
a comment about sexist computer connections that made him look like he
thought I could be dangerously unbalanced...) He tried to look believable
and told me he'd told them they should have a larger selection of gadgets
and gizmos, and said I'd probably have to go to some online catalog service
for the part I needed.
I frowned, thanked him and went on an extended quest for exotic adapters...
got nowhere. I went home. Called half a dozen stores that carry computers
and none of them wanted to deal with this sort of exotic problem (Most
of them having had their brains removed years ago so they could believe
they were satisfied with IBM clones and Microsoft shit.) Then I went back
out and visited the same old stores I'd been to earlier, then branched
out and tried Computer Renaissance (where the clerk said, "They sold you
a video card for a pentium based machine. Even if we had anything like
that, which I doubt, it would be somewhere in there... [he pointed to a
pile of boxes and assorted disarray] we're remodeling." And I thought I
needed a little more frustration, so I'd visit a couple Radio Shack stores.
The first store acted like I just might be terrorist looking for something
I could use to trigger a stolen nuclear device. In the second Radio Shack
store, Nobody swooped down on me (everybody was busy with other customers?)
So I gravitated toward the guy behind the nearest counter who was just
about finished conning a customer out of his name and address so they could
add that person to their database and sell information about him to the
highest bidder... When the clerk looked up and frowned at me I told him
what I was looking for, he said they didn't carry anything like that, but
began to rummage around behind the counter. I didn't really believe he
just might have one back there. But this was strange enough behaviour to
capture my interest. He found a phone number and dialed it, looked at me
like I was interfering with his personal life, but then started talking
on the cell phone, identified himself (and I noticed his little Radio Shack
ID badge said "Manager" on it.) and said, "I have a customer who needs
to hook a Macintosh Monitor up to a VGA Connector." I blinked and a couple
minutes later, forked over 18 bucks for a $12.99 connector. (plus shipping
and handling) He said "Seven to Ten days-" and I probably looked heartbroken.
He shrugged, "That's the best I can do. Might get to you sooner, but we
can't guarantee that..."
So I waited a little more than a week, and sure enough, it arrived,
and guess what?
I now own two stupid backward connectors that were made to connect IBM
monitors to Mac computers, not Mac monitors to stupid rage 128 cards.
¿ - ? -
Okay, So I talked to a couple of my favorite women tonight, I showed them
the first part of this article, they had a good laugh. One of them asked
me why I didn't get back on the phone to power on computing and raise hell,
threaten all kinds of bad publicity and demand they send me a system that
works. The other thought I should find out who the culprit was, find out
who might have maliciously messed with my new, slightly used, computer
and make his life 'interesting'. Consensus seemed to be that 'they' probably
pulled good stuff out of the computer to sell at premium prices and stuck
me with something they couldn't give away.
Um, I was tempted. I've seen wild and far reaching plots for vengeance
and poetic justice hatch themselves in micro milliseconds within the confines
of my imagination. (I'm a writer. That's what I do. I grew up watching
televisions. They fill us with all sorts of violent images and 'getting
even' seems to be a popular theme.) But I love those bumper stickers that
smile at you and grin, "Kill your Television Set!" And I have this unhealthy
urge to question everybody's perceptions, especially (at times) mine. So
when I had this inspiration to jump on the web and fire up my local Google
search engine to see if Rage128 cards' manufacturers had any handy solutions,
I thought that might be at least slightly more wise than getting ballistic
on the phone with a salesman who's only crime tonight (maybe?) could have
been answering the wrong phone call at the wrong time... And I really don't
like making a fool of myself unless I have all the facts, and know I'm
"Dead Right!" (before I start scaring the pants off of innocent bystanders?)
Google is a great search engine. I probably had half a million sites to
choose from to look at stuff, anything I wanted to know about Video accelerator
cards. Lots of stuff I "couldn't give a rat sass about." [how's that for
creative euphemisms?] So I tried another search: "VGA to Mac Monitor adapters"
And after I blinked I found myself with the first ten of half a gazillion
possible sites to click on...
The first couple pages I looked at put egg all over my face. Apparently,
New Mac Monitors use 15 pin connectors that are just about identical to
VGA connectors. Oops. Good thing I didn't go postal before I did my homework.
Just before complete despair set in, I clicked on a link to "We Love Macs
dot Com" and right there on their index html page, there's an adapter that
says "VGA to Mac Monitor" [not 'VGA Monitor to Mac']. Hmmmm.
I clicked on the oddly shaped adapter, found myself on a new page, watching
this fuzzy space ship shaped thing 'virtually' materialize and take shape
before my own two little eyes... of course the edge that would tell me
everything I needed to know took an awfully long time to snap into focus...
Bingo! They had one! Guh-zactly what I need. $13.50.
I was still in "Reality Testing" mode, so I read a little more, pinched
myself, and the adapter did not turn into a space ship and shoot off into
web heaven or web purgatory or worse yet, Bill Gates Land.... So I pulled
out my last credit card receipt and did some furious calculating, I could
even afford the danged thing. Pinched myself again... Yes I could feel
it. What's wrong? The world has to end in about ten minutes, right? bin
Laden's gonna walk onto Manhattan with a Molotov Cocktail in his hand and
the U.S. 'Armed Services' are going to make sure they get him by having
a 50 Megaton Nuclear Device Home in on his cell phone when they call him
to tell him he's just won a free trip to Disney Land if only he switches
his phone company to one that promises anything but delivers bills that
keep pharmacists in business selling anti-palpitation drugs.
God Bless "We Love Macs dot
Com". & Lets hope I don't have a new chapter of this stupid tale
## 30 ## -
(Last updated 6 March, 2015)