Dozer, the bulldog

Dozer, the bulldog
Dozer: Spring training is upon us!

Rockin' and rollin'

Rockin' and rollin'
The author of Mark's Work

Coleus flowers

Coleus flowers
Why I grow flowers

HappyDay Farms bees are happy bees.

HappyDay Farms bees are happy bees.
Air-borne bees

HeadSodBuster and BossLady at the coast

HeadSodBuster and BossLady at the coast
Love is the greatest power.

Beauty abounds!

Beauty abounds!
Heinz tomatoes, used for catsup

If you've seen one butterfly, you've seen 'em all, said no one ever.

If you've seen one butterfly,  you've seen 'em all, said no one ever.
Painted Lady

Fall Jewels

Fall Jewels
Praying mantis, attending services on a zinnia...

My souvenir from Reggae on the River, 2017

My souvenir from Reggae on the River, 2017
Something I have always wanted...

Mahlon Masling Blue

Mahlon Masling Blue
My friend and brother.

Mark's E-mail address

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

"Tech for Tots (Beginners' Version)" or "Lost in [Cyber] Space"

This is the first in a series of episodes, chronicling the shocking disappearance of the blog, "Mark's Work," thought at first to be simply overcome by cannabis, and certain to be found at the nearest pizza parlor. Or possibly the blog was moved by a particularly poignant episode of, "When the Scissors Trim." How wrong we all were and there's nothing more that needs to be said, except for maybe a generic statement of a techie nature. No more than twenty volumes. Hopefully. 

Tech for Tots (Beginners' Version)
Lost in [Cyber] Space

Fireworks abound, coffee flows freely and Pandora plays merrily on this Tuesday morning for me, as I kick-start my brain and prepare to do something I have not been able to do for two days shy of six months: post on my blog. 

I am a fervent believer that everything comes to him who writes, especially old age, but I was beginning to wonder if I were destined to be disappointed, when it came to “The Case of the Missing Blog.”

Fortunately for me there is a capeless hero right here in Mendo County, not riding his white horse while he does his brave deeds, and not driving away in his not-white pickup truck, when I proved to be somewhat of a disappointment in his Introduction to Tech for Tots, 101, (Beginners' Version).

Let’s back the quad up for moment here for some foundation work, a component missing in action when it comes to my own knowledge of anything remotely related to techspertise.

In a clear instance of you-never-know-what-you-have-until-it-is-gone, I sprang out of bed after my customary four hours of sleep one morning last winter and wished that I hadn’t. To my mortification, I discovered that  I had no access to “Mark’s Work,” the name I had given to my blog when I fired it up five years ago come this July. 

There is nothing flamboyant about either the blog or the title; it is a blue-collar blog.

So what does one do when one’s magic carpet is so rudely jerked out, metaphorically speaking, from beneath one’s feet? Where are the requisite complaint forms? Where does the queue form? For whom does the blog toll? 

Sadly, it tolled for me.

I checked the Yellow Pages, the Sears catalogue, and just for good measure, the Sporting Green, all to no avail. There were no newspaper advertisements urging erstwhile bloggists to contact the displayed number(s) for assistance. I know, weird.

Hey, no problem I figured. I’ll simply contact one of my resident techsperts, just as I have done so many times before. How else would I have been able to achieve the fame and fortune that I have managed to accrue in this dawg-eat-dog publishing world, where glitzy lights compete with glitter for the attention of the masses? 

I’d simply message Jackie, or Doug, or one of the Brandons, Belt or Crawford, if I had to, and he would come riding to my rescue on a white horse or a beat up Toyota Four-Runner. Hey, a scooter would be fine, Hunter Pence. It was all the same to me. Terms would be discussed, payment rendered and the presses would roll once again.

Unfortunately-or otherwise, as the case may be-the only rolling I did came in the form of fatties, of which I indulged at a prodigious pace, to try and temper the disappointment of being cast adrift in a sea devoid of my vessel of communication. What I had taken for granted for so long, was now seized from me, and all I could do was…nothing.

I have never struggled with doing “nothing” the way I battled this past winter. In my case, “nothing” translated into working with my fingers, or becoming Markie Scissors-Hands if you will, trimming the very medicine that was keeping me from going schizoid. It was and is a labor of love, and I am quite good at it.

Unfortunately, trimming requires every iota of my concentration and I can't do it for more than six hours at a time. And I cannot do anything else either. If I stray from the table, it's all over but the cleanup. So I rocked the scissors until the paper arrived in the early morning hours-on your doorstep-not mine. Who is going to deliver newspapers on Bell Springs Road?

The only paper I ever got delivered (She called it "served") was a, well, never mind.

The whole missing blog thing was kind of a moot point anyway. 

Because I only get four hours of sleep nightly, the prattling on paper has got to occur in a timely manner while I am still fresh. Am I fresh like that 28-mile-an-hour fresh breeze going on outside in the 35 degree early-morning air? Or fresh like that cabbage that has been fermenting in the nether regions of our stalwart refrigerator for longer than I care to admit?

Regardless, I couldn’t do the two in the same day. I could not work in both a challenging profession using only my fingers, and work in a business requiring both my fingers and my brain, even if I only trimmed six hours a day, and had the other fourteen waking hours to write. 

Kind of like not being able to walk first, and then chew bubble gum, I guess. In a macabre sort of way. Without a blog, I could skip the bubble gum.

And so the wheels simply spun while I took care of the more mundane components of life, like paying the bills. It’s not as glamorous as posting on my blog, because there are no adoring masses to “ooh” and “ah” with every receipt I dutifully submit to my Sweetest of Apple Blossoms. On the other hand, PG&E has not come out and shut off my solar-powered electricity either.

And then the world turned and I staggered.

One morning in late January, I shook Terra-Jean, my not-so-gracefully-aging computer, out of a groggy slumber, only to be smacked upside the head with the following ominous message:  

"This computer will no longer receive Google Chrome updates because Mac OS X 10.6, 10.7 and 10.8 will no longer be supported." Then followed the ever-popular, Learn More button...

Like most of what I see on my screen, the message did not compute; I know better than to blame the machine-only the operator. Usually the message is just an informative pearl of wisdom from the “Tech-for Tots” computer program (Beginners’ Version), but this particular message had a sinister tone to it.

It was like hearing the generator start to gasp for gas when you know it is filled.  

How was I going to explain this to Terra Jean?

Tomorrow: Tech-for-Tots (Beginners’ Version) goes on the road for a home-inservice, and lives to tell about it. Barely


  1. NOOOOOOO! I don't want to wait until tomorrow! You are such a fun and engaging writer. I am so envious. I keep wondering where I was when the writing or the music or the smart genes were passed out. You and the other sibs got them all! Write more today, please.

    1. Well, it's all written inside my head; I just need to transfer it to my blog...

  2. Oh serendipity! I look at your blog and there you are---after months of waiting! Welcome back!!!

  3. Glad to see you are back at it! :)