Remembering A Dad Moment

1971

Besides being a rock fan and fifteen years old, I was an auto racing fan. My father was in the U.S.A.F. He’d just returned from being stationed in Germany and was now stationed at DESC near Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio when I moved in with him. He surprised me with tickets to the premiere of LeMans with Steve McQueen.

Whenever I hear the movie’s opening minutes, I’m back in that packed movie theater, one of the few children in the place, remembering the movie’s beginning, and Dad. The start is just the sounds and images of racing cars of the era screaming around the French race track. To non-fans, it’s probably noise. But to racing fans, the sounds of Porsches and Ferraris of different-sized engines, Alfas, Corvettes, and Matras can all be heard as individual howls.

Dad had no interest in seeing the movie, but he knew I wanted to. So, thanks, Dad.

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Kithold

Kithold (catfinition) – psychological, emotional, or physical grip cats employ to control people and situations.

In use: “The cat did not move, but emitted a high-pitched growl and stared. The kithold effectively froze the people and dogs in place.”

A Failure

I failed yesterday.

I’m one of those optimists who believe they can do anything, if they think, work, and try hard enough. I believe this despite my multiple failures at doing everything that I’ve tried, or coming up short. I’m just a freaking optimist.

Yesterday’s failure involved my wife’s Macbook, specifically her Retina A1398 15″ Retina edition. Her touchpad started malfunctioning. Her cursor would freeze and become unresponsive, or act like a crazy trapped bee. It’s been going on for a month.

I’ve fixed computers before. In my mind, fixing a computer is like replacing the points and plugs in a car. (Remember when cars had points and plugs?) Hell, I said, it might just be a new touchpad is required. Let me buy a new one and try to replace it. It’s only a few dollars.

Sure. Why not?

I ordered and received the part, opened up the Mac, disconnected the power, and attacked the battery. 

I should say, the damn battery.

I’d read stories, but scoffed at those others who tried and failed. I AM MICHAEL, right?

Well, I couldn’t remove that battery, either. Nobody was exaggerating when they noted as Apple glued that sucker in there. It’s a fascinating solution, essentially six packets of different sizes glued into place along the leading edge and behind the touchpad. However, it’s also disturbing because it’s not easy to replace that battery, which means those Macs probably get trashed because their batteries failed and can’t be easily replaced. That means more toxic trash will be put into our environment, even though the computer still works. More depressing is that other manufacturers will probably follow this course because they can design smaller and lighter machines.

So, I failed. I don’t mind. As with every failure, I learned quite a bit. I just can’t worry about failing, or I wouldn’t try anything, right?

The kicker is, after I put the computer back together, her cursor worked fine, and has since that time. We rationalize that it must have been undue pressure on the touchpad, and that I’d relieved and shifted that pressure when I disassembled the computer.

I’m sure this story isn’t over yet.

Today’s Theme Music

I heard this song, “Join Together,” by the Who on the radio yesterday. It’s a song that came out the year I turned sixteen, 1972.

Naturally, my mind started looping it. I find the beginning, with the Jew’s harps and mouth organs a fascinating start, and enjoy how other instruments pile in. I admire the lyrics’ sentiments, too – join together. During this era of increasingly divisive politics, it’s a refreshing break to think about joining together and going on.

The Direction Dream

Hartford, CT.

It seems like a strange place for a destination for a writer living in Oregon, but that’s where I was going in my dream.

It began as a confused melange of chaotic colors. A story emerged. I was with my wife, and a friend, Mark (not his real name), and his wife. We’d survived something and had come together. Now we were going to Hartford, CT. Then we’d fly out of there. I don’t know where we were flying to.

I said, “Okay, I know the way. Follow me.”

My wife and I got in our car and started driving. Mark and his wife were in an eighteen-wheeler truck. Mark drove. His truck was glossy black with neon green trim. At first, I was leading, but coming up on two other eighteen-wheelers, I became stuck behind them. Mark passed us. The three trucks were aligned across the highway, blocking all three lanes. All three trucks were painted the same color and style, glossy black with neon green trim.

I managed to pass them with some aggressive driving. The highway entered a woods and then became an unpaved rough path that grew fainter and narrower. We finally stopped because it seemed like the wrong way, and we couldn’t go on.

Meeting up with Mark, he said, “I have GPS. I’ve mapped out the way. Follow me.”

I said, “Where are we going?” I knew we’d said Hartford, Connecticut, before, but it seemed odd.

“Hartford, Connecticut,” Mark said.

“Why Hartford, Connecticut?” I said.

Mark laughed. “Don’t worry. We’re going to fly out of there. Trust me.”

We drove in our vehicles, me following him. In a surprisingly short time, we stopped. We weren’t in Hartford, Connecticut, but in someplace we’d stay until we could go on. My wife went ahead with Mark and his wife while I stayed behind to help a homeless person, chatting with them while giving them food and money.

Then I went to the hotel. I told the desk agent who I was and who I was looking for, but they knew me, and said we were already checked in. I prepared to pay, but they told me it was all already paid for, and showed me into a luxury suite. It was gorgeous, with a private dining area for the suites on that floor that was on a balcony overlooking an amazing vista. That’s where my companions were sitting and chatting.

Mark had it all arranged. All I needed to do was to trust and follow him. I agreed to do that.

After buying some food for our trip, we departed. Two cats traveled with me. Sometimes they were in a kennel, but sometimes they wandered about freely. It seemed like we were traveling in our suite at that point, confusing me. I’d get in my car to drive, but the entire place would go, not requiring me to do anything but trust Mark. My wife and I socialized with him and his wife.

His wife had a birth defect that left her without feet. Instead of feet, her legs ended in two knuckles that she walked around on. She had several animals, too.

An issue emerged with her. She was eating soldiers. As this hubbub arose, I rushed to learn what was going on, and to basically get involved. What she actually ate were small plastic soldiers. While it appalled me because they were plastic, probably didn’t taste good, and lacked nutritional value, I defended her against the rest, and they agreed. They didn’t like it but she wasn’t doing anything wrong. 

After that, I fed my cats and found several extra sandwiches that I’d bought for the trip. They were in my car, in a compartment made to hold them. The sandwiches were of the kind called submarine sandwiches, or subs, like I bought at G.C. Murphy’s when I was a child. I didn’t eat the sandwiches, because I had food, but hung onto the sandwiches to eat them later.

That’s where it all ended, giving me a lot to think about on my walks today. We were still enroute to Hartford, Connecticut. It was the place to go, according to Mark, and we’d get there, if I just trusted him.

I’ve already taken some ideas from it. Chiefly, Mark is my muse, and I need to quit second-guessing him. If I do, I’ll get where I want to go.

Hartford, Connecticut? It’s not a matter of the name of the place, but rather a destination that I don’t know. It’s named, but it’s a surprise.

There was another dream, but I feel too exhausted from thinking and writing about that one to go into now. I’ll write about it another time.

Trust me.

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