Avionics, Travel, Belize and Other Topics

I had mentioned this memory in a piece before, a little over four years ago, but I wish to mention it again and with more details: It was almost twenty-five years ago, at the time of writing this piece, that a certain childhood memory occurred.

The memory entailed me hanging out on the western side of my paternal grandparents (now my cousin and her husband’s) house.

I had a fascination with that side of the house because it is where the electric meter, the gas meter, the telephone network interface, and the cable hookup were located.

All of that fascinated me ever since early childhood and still does, to be honest.

I hated school and wished I could have stayed home, however, I was looking forward to Christmas Break which was coming up shortly.

Also, one of my mom’s students had discarded a calculator, so she picked it up and gave it to me.

That December 1997 morning, I was standing on the western side of the house as mentioned before with that calculator in my school pants pocket.

The weather was slightly cold or at least cold enough to where I could see my breath when I exhale.

While I was standing there, a low-altitude plane was flying over me. I mean that neighborhood is under a considerably busy flight route.

I think children in the 1990s were more imaginative than children of today are, but I imagined myself on that plane helping the pilot navigate with the aid of the calculator in my pocket.

I cannot remember anything about that calculator except that it was a mid-grade scientific model made for or by an office supply company known as Royal. I also would imagine that it came off the assembly line either in the 1980s or very early 1990s, probably no later than 1991. I last saw my sister playing with it sometime in 1999 or 2000.

Also, since my breath was visible in the cold air, I wondered if the pilot and whatever passengers on that plane could see my breath and maybe thought that a ten going on the eleven-year-old child was smoking a cigarette.

In later years, when passing by a certain small airport, I could see the fuel storage tanks from the local road and always thought that everyone near them durn better not be smoking. And then in even later years, I thought how anyone near them durn better be using explosion-proof or intrinsically safe equipment.

I purposely used the word durn, because, for whatever reason, it was forbidden at my school.

Dang and darn were allowed, but durn was forbidden.

I think the teachers and staff at my school liked to make those nit-picky rules because their private parts tingled and oozed at the thought of oppressively controlling [mostly] defenseless children.

Even more fervently, I believe that the teachers and staff at my school must have durn near achieved an orgasm every time they confiscated a handheld video game.

All right, I know that I am slightly off track, but still, I feel the need to say this, because what I mentioned is just the tip of the enormous iceberg of how cruel teachers and staff at my school were.

And just maybe, I harbor this foul attitude towards my school because I have special needs, I’m sure most of my teachers realized I have special needs, and yet they refused to make any sort of accommodations for me nor did they step in when I was harassed by other students, except in really major incidents.  However, the teachers and staff at this wretched school made accommodations for other kids and they feverishly protected other kids from harassment.  They did the literal bare minimum for me.

I just thank God that for a considerable time of me attending that school, I carried a flashlight either on my person or in my backpack and it never once was confiscated. Other students viciously harassed me for my love of flashlights, though.

At one point while writing this, I was hanging out at my adopted sister’s apartment and my adopted niece was stating how she is addicted to hot chocolate. Off the top of my head, I made up a scenario where a long haul truck driver stopped at a travel center, before dawn on a cold December morning filled his rig with Diesel fuel, then went inside and bought a large cup of hot chocolate and several King Size Mister GoodBars then got back on the road. The energy-dense food and drink gave him the nourishment and comfort to effectively drive that rig for the next several hours before needing to stop again.

By the way, the teachers at my school would have sneered at such a profession, although, it is what I would love to have chosen for a career, but am disqualified from it because of the medication that I am required to take.

I know I don’t need one and I don’t plan on purchasing one, but I have had a fascination with calculators designed specifically for aviators. I believe the Texas Instruments TI-58 or TI-59 was a general-purpose calculator but had an available ROM cartridge specifically for solving problems related to handling an aircraft, among other applications. Later there were other purpose-built calculators designed solely for aviation. I would like one of those, maybe or maybe not. There are also slide rules, some even featured on wristwatches crafted for pilots.

This piece was originally supposed to be about aviation calculators and/or flight computers, by the way, but I had to add my other words of whatever you, the reader, perceive them to be.

I do and have had a fascination with calculators since infancy and I think I have made that pretty clear on this blog and other forms of media.

I also have a waxing and waning interest in avionics. I think all of that communications equipment, RADAR, flight computers, and other instruments are so neat. I am greatly fascinated by all other modes of transportation but it seems that aviation has the most interesting equipment.

Soon after that plane flew over, the school bus arrived and I boarded it. I was in fourth grade and it was a rough school year. Honestly what saw me through was my God, although I was not yet saved and my interests outside of school. I felt very relieved that Christmas Break was just days away.

The era in which I am most fascinated by avionics and handheld calculating/computing is the decade of the 1980s. It is the decade in which I was born but also a time when personal mobile phones were not yet widely used and smartphones hadn’t been thought of yet. Because of that, one needed a dedicated electronic device for each task he or she wished to accomplish. And there was something so astounding about that.

On an unrelated note, it was in the 1980s that tactical flashlights became compact, the first being in 1984 with the Mini Maglite. Well, I’ve seen and heard of many pilots carrying Mini Maglites. I carry a vintage Mini Maglite from 1993 in my eyeglass case, but that is for another piece.

I do want to either get Red Mini Maglite Spectrum in either AAA or Solitaire, for nighttime travels.

This desire stems from traveling through the Mississippi Darkness on either the I-55 or I-59 Corridor as a passenger and not wanting to disturb the driver, yet having to locate items in the dark. My Green Mini Maglite spectrum simply doesn’t cut it.

But a Red Mini Maglite Spectrum would be ideal for nighttime aviation, especially for reading instruments in a non-glass cockpit.

Red light is easier on the eyes in total darkness than any other color including and especially white.

SureFire took the idea of compact tactical flashlights and ran with it!

About a year ago I was doing some research about the country of Belize. It seemed like a really interesting place and just about the only place South of the Border, I would want to set foot in, although God is dealing with me about that. The only way I would know how to easily get there without paying too much would be to hire a charter flight or some nice person with a Cessna and possibly take off from KHUM (The Houma-Terrebonne Airport) or possibly even L83 (probably only in a Cessna), then fly over the Gulf of Mexico. What I find amusing is that there is an airport in Belize known as “Gallon Jug Airport”, though there are a few other airports in that country. I’m wondering if anyone who reads this blog wonders what airport I am referring to when I say “L83.” I shall explain: L83 is the callsign issued to the Thibodaux Municipal Airport, which is located in the Thibodaux, Louisiana suburb of Schriever. It is also the small airport I frequently passed by, saw the fuel tanks, and had my thoughts about those standing near them durn better not be smoking and durn well better have intrinsically safe equipment. I thought L83 was a small airport, but it appears that Gallon Jub Airport is even smaller, although it has a nice place to relax, almost on par with a Swiss chalet, and possibly a longer runway, unlike L83. While L83 has a tall tree hazard Gallon Jug has mountains. Maybe I would be better off landing in the capital of Belize City, where I could then go watch marine traffic. Another humorous aspect of Belize is that fried chicken is referred to as fried chicken. I especially appreciate this because some folk from Louisiana’s Bayou Country refer to ground [beef] meat as “grind meat.” From what I gather Belize has quite a few things in common with Louisiana. I wish I could explore Belize on the ground in a Range Rover from the mid-1980s, specifically a 1984 to 1986 model but that is currently just a fantasy. Of course, in that Range Rover, I would have some sort of a scanner radio, that is a given and it would have to be one capable of tuning in both civilian and military aircraft. I would also have an amateur radio transceiver with antennas tuned for 80 Meters, 40 Meters, 11 Meters, 10 Meters, and 6 Meters. I would have to be cautious on 11 Meters because it is no longer an amateur radio band and hasn’t been since 1958. It is the location of HF Citizen’s Band among other things but now in 2022 mostly obsolete except for a few die-hard Citizen’s Band users and hobbyists that have migrated to the now unused portions in addition to the CB portions of 11 Meters. I would probably also have my EDC backpack and in it would be some scanners and portable 2 Meter and 70 Centimeter transceivers.

If you, the reader, didn’t realize, I have been thinking about all of this for some time now!

Maybe God wants me and possibly my wife to do some supportive work for missionaries in Belize and that is why He is putting all this in my head and heart. I’m not sure though. It’s quite possible that my wife maybe is called to be a pastor, but I am happy just as a servant or administrator.

I know my writing performance isn’t at what it usually is, but I will say that it is the end of the month, my breakfast consisted of sliced bread, cane syrup, and sausage, with chocolate milk to drink with that. On top of that, I am feeling slightly under the weather. My wife and I are nibbling on some Chester’s Hot Fries (one of our favorite snacks) as I am finishing up this piece and she is doing some research for her writings.

Life is much better though since I was in school.

One good thing that is still common is that I am looking forward to Christmas as it is my favorite season.

I wish to roast a goose this Christmas as I have done once before but I will have to settle for a turkey.

The reason being is that I already purchased my turkey and even the smallest goose is over $60.

As it turns out, I have just been summoned by my adopted sister to cook some white beans for her and her family, so I will cut this piece short now.

I do enjoy cooking and I don’t mind helping out my adopted family, so I will be on my way shortly.

That means this piece is now concluded.

I hope that you, the reader, have been informed, enlightened maybe even entertained.

May God richly bless you!

Back to “Personal Reflections”

How Eli met Hannah-a.D. MMIV

Tuesday August 3, 2004:

Eliezer Mouton was walking out of Radio Shack with his scanner radio, a Uniden BC72XLT on full blast. His SSI check was deposited a few days ago and after saving some of it, he used the rest to purchase that said scanner as he had wanted one for a while.

He had a huge smirk on his face, given the fact that he could tune in to the mall security.

Hannah Bienville was also shopping at the mall today as it was recently her birthday and she had some cash left over. She noticed Eliezer listening to the security guards with a mischievous smirk on his face. She was very much attracted to Eliezer so she smiled and waved at him.

He smiled back.

They stared at each other for a moment with smiles increasing and some blushing.

Hannah then motioned for Eliezer to come to her which he did.

They then went to sit on the bench in front of Kay Jewelers and Dillard’s.

“You’re so cute and handsome! What’s your name?” Hannah asked.

“Eliezer Mouton, but I liked to be called Eli.”

“That’s neat. My name is Hannah Bienville, but my dad gave me the nickname, ‘Hannah D.'”

“You could totally be a radio DJ, with a nickname like that.”

Hannah giggled and smiled from ear to ear.

Eli then continued, “Wouldn’t it be so cool to have a radio station that plays video game music?”

Hannah’s eyes lit up, as she said, “Whenever the war in Iraq is won the station could play the ending credits to Star Fox 64!”

“I think that is a pointless and illegal war but maybe there could be a news service that covers all the dirty things the government does and play the music from the Surface 2 level on Goldeneye!”

Hannah giggled heartily, then said, “You’re very sexy!” She then covered her mouth, blushed, and apologized.

Eli hugged her and then replied, “Well I think you are beautiful!”

Hannah’s blue eyes lit up even more and she smiled from ear to ear.

She then said, “You don’t know it yet, but we match.”

Eli was puzzled and asked, “What do you mean”

Hannah replied, “I will show you only if you promise to be my boyfriend.”

“I would be honored to be your boyfriend!” Eli said as he held Hannah’s hand and softly kissed it.

“Okay, here we go!” Hannah said as she slightly lifted her blue denim skirt and showed him her modesty shorts.

Both blushed boldly once again and Hannah giggled uncontrollably, as she said “Your yellow shirt and black pants match my yellow and black modesty shorts.”

Eli replied, “I guess that cupid has a bee’s stinger instead of a quiver of arrows because I could see myself falling for you!” Eli then held both of Hannah’s hands, then asked, “May I kiss you?”

“Of course!” Hannah replied.

Their lips sweetly pecked and then locked as they gazed into each other’s eyes. Something beautiful was blossoming.

“I am going to need your phone number,” Eli told Hannah.

“Of course. And I want yours as well!”

Eli pulled out a Motorola i60c and Hannah pulled out a Motorola i285 and subsequently programmed the numbers in.

“We both have Boost Mobile, can we also exchange our beep-beep numbers?” Eli asked.

“Sure. As if you even had to ask,” Hannah replied.

They then exchanged the Chirp numbers.

Hannah then said, “I’ve never seen a Boost Phone like yours.”

“Well, that is because it’s an older Nextel phone. I had one of my buddies order it for me on eBay. It looks just like the phone that one of the characters on my favorite soap opera uses and it is quite rugged, so I like it.”

Hannah then asked Eli, “Where do you go to school?”

Eli replied, “I dropped out and get SSI. I hope that you still want me after knowing this.”

Hannah simply kissed him again and say, “Of course, I do!” She paused then said, “I’m thirteen and in the fourth grade, so I kind of know what you’re going through.”

“Thank you for being so sweet. You’re beautiful inside and out!”

“You must have vision problems if you think I am beautiful.”

“Why would you say that?”

“Because of my weight.”

“I like bigger girls but was always afraid of what others would think of me.”

“Nobody has to know about us except my mom and dad.”

Eli looked at Hannah and said, “But I’m no longer afraid of what others think, I had talked with my social worker about this and he helped me realize that people don’t talk that much anyway. I would show you off to everyone because you’re so beautiful and you have a good heart!”

Hannah embraced Eli, planted several kisses on his face, but then asked with slight distress, “How old are you though.”

Eli replies “17.”

Hannah then said, “Well you already know that I’m 13, but I really like you and I still want you to be my boyfriend.”

Eli replied, “As long as your parents are okay with it.”

Hannah then asked, “I’m just wondering, If you dropped out of high school, see a social worker and get SSI, are you okay?”

“I have schizophrenia, I hope you’re okay with that.”

“Of course. I have Autism, by the way, and I hope you’re okay with that.”

“It’s fine. Schizophrenia and Autism are similar, so I think we will get along just fine. I just hope your parents let me date you.”

“I think they will, at least as long as you treat me right and marry me when I am old enough.”

“I definitely would marry you.”

Hannah looked at Eli with puppy dog eyes and said, “You really would?”

“Yes: You have a really good heart, you’re beautiful and I recently became a Christian so it would be the right thing to do.”

“I became a Christian when I was eight, maybe you could come to church with me.”

“Yes, I’ve been meaning to find a church.”

“How did you come to the Lord?”

“Earlier this year, I was listening to a radio broadcast on shortwave and it had my undivided attention and as I listened, I realized that I was a hellbound sinner and Jesus is the answer to my condition, so I called on Him and I’ve been praying to Him ever since. The preachers I listen to on shortwave talk about joining a local church, but I have no ride to get there.”

Hannah then said, “My step-grandpa can take us. He already takes me.”

“My grandparents as most of my family are stuck in their catholicism.”

“We need to pray for them.”

“My parents kicked me out when I dropped out of school but my grandparents took me in.”

“I’m so sorry that happened.”

“It’s for the better. Is there a way I could meet your parents?”

“Of course, we could walk to Chick-Fil-A right now and meet my mom.”

“Then let’s go.”

Both were slightly nervous wondering what Hannah’s mother’s reaction would be.

Sheepishly they walked into the Chick-Fil-A where Beatrice was manning the cash register.

“Mom, there is someone I would like you to meet,” Hannah said.

Beatrice looked up from the register and asked, “Hannah, who is this young man?”

“This is Eli,” Hannah said beaming, and continued, “He is my boyfriend, that is if you’re okay with it.”

Beatrice looked at Eli and asked, “Exactly what are your intentions with my daughter?”

Eli looked at Beatrice and said, “I think she is the sweetest person I have ever met and to me, she is more beautiful than anyone else I have ever laid eyes upon. I would like to be her boyfriend and hopefully, one day marry her, when we are old enough. I am a Christian, so I do believe I should date to marry.”

“How old are you, son?” Beatrice asked.

“I’m 17.”

Beatrice then looked at Hannah and asked, “How did you meet him?”

“I just saw him walking out of Radio Shack and I thought he was handsome, so I motioned for him to come to talk to me and he’s nice.”

“Okay. I will let y’all date, but because of the age difference, y’all must be under constant supervision and no one can know about it.”

“That’s fine,” Eli replied.

“Of course,” Hannah added in.

“Do you work anywhere, Eli?”

“No ma’am, I get SSI for being schizophrenic.”

“I understand. Hannah is also special needs, so maybe y’all can help each other out.”

Beatrice then took her lunch break and came to sit with Eli and Hannah. She ordered them each a meal and continued conversing with them.

“What is your living situation, Eli?”

“I stay with my grandparents. We help each other out.”

“Where are your parents?”

“They emancipated me and kicked me out when I started receiving SSI. I guess me getting help from the government for having a disability was too big of an assault on their pride and ego, so my grandparents took me in.”

“You deserve all the help you can get. But you should be wise with it.”

“I try to be. I think they are also angry at me for dropping out of school.”

“Not everyone is meant to have a formal education. Hannah struggles with her studies and she is also bullied by other students.”

“I wish I could protect her from all that.”

“Just be there for me and comfort me, baby,” Hannah added in.

“You know I will. I thank God for you.”

“I thank God for you too.”

“How do you get around?” Beatrice asked Eli.

“My Pappy drives me.”

“How about I get you and Hannah each a bus pass.”

“That would be wonderful.”

“Good, then you can come to visit Hannah when she’s not in school.”

“Thank you, I appreciate that.”

“You’re welcome. Just only come visit her when I am home.”

“Sure thing. If it’s all right, I would like y’all to meet my grandparents.”

“Yes. We can do that.”

Hannah and Eli finished their meals, then continued holding hands.

Beatrice then finished her meal and said, “Well, I have to get back to work, but there’s some bad weather moving in later this afternoon. How are you getting home, Eli?”

“My Pappy is going to drive me home whenever I call him.”

“How about you take the bus home with Hannah and me and you can meet my soon-to-be ex-husband? It’s a long story.”

“That’s fine, I’ll tune in the weather on my new scanner in the meantime.”

“Now y’all go walk the mall together and get some exercise!”

“Yes ma’am,” Eli replied.

Hannah then kissed her mom and thanked her. She then asked Eli, “Are there any stores you want to look at?”

“What about Sears?”

“Sure. What do you want to look at in there?”

“The computers. I like to write, but it hurts to write by hand. So, I need a computer of some sort.”

“I’m working on a book as well.”

“Awesome. I think God put us together for a reason.”

“So do I!”

Hannah and Eli walked into Sears and were looking at the computers. They then went to look at the televisions. Finally, they went looking at the clothing on clearance.

Hannah then asked, “How does my outfit look on me? Do I need a new wardrobe? Be honest.”

Eli looked at Hannah’s grey Bobbie Brooks tee shirt, her medium-length denim skirt from Wal-Mart, her purple and black striped socks, and her blue tennis shoes, then said, “You look perfect just the way you are? In my eyes you are beautiful.” He then planted a kiss on Hannah’s forehead.

She kissed his lips in return.

“I can’t wait to be old enough to marry you, Eli!”

“I feel the same way. I thank God we crossed paths!”

“Me too, baby!”

They then embraced and kissed once again until they heard a loud crash of thunder.

Hannah grabbed Eli tightly out of fright, then said, “Sorry, I’m just scared of thunder.”

“I understand completely. Why don’t we go to a more interior part of the mall so we can be safe.”

“Lead the way, sweetheart.”

Hand in hand, they walked to the middle corridor of the mall. There were several more thunderings and rain began pouring down in torrents.

Hannah grabbed Eli’s arms several times. Eli rubbed Hannah’s back and kissed her.

They then made it to the bench.

Eli tuned in to the Weather Radio broadcasts on his new scanner.

They were notified of a severe thunderstorm in progress.

Hannah leaned against Eli and then said, “The storm isn’t so bad, since you are right here.”

Eli put his arm around Hannah and kissed the top of her head as he spoke, “You feel so wonderful pressed up against me.”

There was a deafening peal of thunder, then the power went out.

Hannah tensed up in heavy distress. She began breathing heavily as Eli held her with his left arm.

From his right pocket, Eli retrieved a Blue Mini Maglite and turned it on.

The look of distress on Hannah’s face turned to a beaming smile as she said, “It’s so sexy how you’re prepared.”

Eli blushed but was speechless.

Hannah grabbed Eli and planted several more kisses on his face.

Eli continued listening to the Weather Radio broadcast in case a tornado warning would be issued.

Mall security had begun to escort customers out.

They approached Hannah and Eli, to which Hannah said, “My mom works at Chick-Fil-A and she is our ride home.”

“Come this way, then,” the two guards, a husband and wife team, said as they walked Eli and Hannah to the restaurant.

By the light of the guards’ flashlights in addition to Eli’s, they safely arrived.

Beatrice greeted Hannah and Eli then said, “Sit tight, my shift will be over in about forty-five minutes.”

“We can listen to that radio device you have, until then Eli,” Hannah said.

Eli nodded and they sat at a table with Eli’s Mini Maglite in Candle Mode.

Beatrice then said, “Well Eli you are certainly a very resourceful young man.”

“Thank you, Ms. Bea, Eli replied, then continued, “My Pappy always taught me to be prepared and I take his words seriously.”

Beatrice did her work while Eli and Hannah sat and continued listening to the Weather Report.

The power came back on with ten minutes to go.

Beatrice continued preparing the work area for the incoming shift.

She then clocked out and walked with Eli and Hannah to the bus stop…

Back to “a.D. MMIV”

Synopsis to “Dystopian Affection”

On the morning of February 9, 2003, I was dreaming a dream that would have a tremendous impact on my life.

I believe it was that dream that was one of the catalysts which caused me to decide to take up writing.

The dream took place in the Greater New Orleans area and it appeared to be some time in the dystopian future.

I think I can credit that dream to two factors:

  1. I had frequented the New Orleans area more than usual.
  2. The high school I was attending assigned a great deal of dystopian fiction for us to read. (Not complaining at all.)

I had just made sixteen at the time and in the dream, I was with an uknown teenaged girl, who had become my lover.

We were trying to run away, likely to get out of this dystopian civilization and be more free.

However, drugs were planted on us (and the penalty for drug posession was death and apparently without due process.)

We were subsequently arrested and held in seperate cells, awaiting execution.

I was miraculously able to summon superhuman strength and broke the handcuffs off of me and off of my lover.

The building then collapsed and we escaped.

I borrowed a line from the song, “The Space Between” by Dave Matthews and told my lover, “take my hand, cause we’re walking out of here!”

A female cop then performs our wedding on a street corner, then we begin walking out of the city.

Suddenly my lover collapses in my arms.

She is dead.

I am able to get in contact with her family.

They come in a Blue, single cab 2001 Chevrolet Silverado and lay her body in the bed of it.

I ride with her but end up taking my life and waking up.

Over eight years later, I had the idea to turn this dream into a story, which this piece will be a synopsis thereof.

The story begins on a Monday Morning with eighteen year old Josiah Adler, playing on the school library computers before class begins. He is playing video games until the librarian demands that he do something more productive. He notices another student, eighteen year old Kaela Blum, who suggests that they read together. They are also mutually crushing on each other. She presents to him the works of a blogger who was a New Orleans resident prior to the Second Civil War. To avoid military service, he fled the city and wound up on the West Coast. His blog is targeted to the citizens of Nazi Orleans (which is one of the fragmented American City-States that were formed at the conclusion of the Second Civil War) and consists of current Orleans Parish and Jefferson Parish between the Mississippi River and Lake Ponchitrain. As its name suggests, it is controlled by a Neo Nazi styled government. This blogger consistently condemns the practices of this new government and writes about bygone times. As they read the bloggers work, Josiah asks Kaela to imagine if they lived in those bygone times and fell in love. Kaela replied she could but also she could even see it happening in the present, to which she subsequently kisses him. They decide to meet together again at lunch time. The morning bell rings and they share a hug.

Josiah’s first class is communications and it teaches how industrial workers communicate on a system known as Tuff Talk, civillians use Pocket Packet and Screen Link, and government workers use Tac Talk. The teachers gave the details but Josiah was more interested in what he and Kaela would do at lunch. Then there was math, then science and then citizenship class and the lesson of the day was obeying the NOPD blindly. It went on to teach how marriages are arranged by a supercomputer known as the LoveMatc1933. Josiah became depressed because he knew that he couldn’t marry Kaela because of this. The next class was English, which he and Kaela had together. They got in trouble for talking and were forced to reenact the first kiss scene from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and share a kiss at the conclusion. The whole class applauds, but the teacher pops them in the mouth, then lectures the class that falling in love is detrimental to society. Kaela rebuffs, commenting that love is wonderful and should be expressed by everyone. The teacher threatens Kaela that she will call the S. R. O. on her if she questions her or the City doctrines again. Part of that scene was inspired by The Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer, I won’t lie.

Then comes the lunch period and Kaela and Josiah find a secluded area of the campus to spend the period. Kaela cradles Josiah’s head in her lap and they begin to talk.

She asks Josiah where he works during the weekends, to which he replies that he pushes shopping carts for a grocer on Stealth Bomber Highway. She points out that the grocer used to be known as Schwegmann’s and Stealth Bomber Highway was formerly known as Airline Highway. She goes on to explain how she works as a kitchen aid at a teaching hospital and that in bygone times anyone could get medical attention regardless of ability to pay.

He then tells her what he learned about the supercomputer in citizenship class and how he has feelings for her.

She tells him that she feels the same way and that since they feel that way they can defect from the city and other refugees will come to their assistance.

She goes on to say how there is a railroad interlocking tower across the river and out of the city’s jurisdiction where they can stay until a refugee train takes them to the West Coast.

Josiah expresses his opinion about being caught to which Kaela replies it is better to die in freedom than to live in oppression.

She eventually convinces him to run away with her, to which they begin to make plans.

The bell rang and the rest of the day dragged on.

When the bell rang, Josiah asked Kaela if he could walk her home and meet her family.

She happily agrees and goes on to say that her parents and sister are also followers of the blogger.

They walk to her home.

Kaela’s older sister Casey greets them and briefly grills Josiah, but then realizes that he is of pure intentions, then explains that she has to go to work.

Kaela asks her to drive them across the river on Saturday night, so they can do whatever they please.

Casey grills Josiah further, but agrees to bring them.

Kaela’s parents Mark and Katherine Blum soon arrive home and she introduces them to Josiah.

They go on to say how they disagree with the city government’s practices, but that he hacked the LoveMatic1933 in order for it to match them together.

They then prepare dinner as Josiah and Kaela do their homework and spend time late into the night until Josiah realizes his mom might be worried. He messages her through the Pocket Packet and tells her he is all right and about to come home.

When he arrives home, his mom is working and he eats a quick meal, showers then goes to bed.

The next day in citizenship class the teacher is instructing the students on how a free press hindered the operations of the city, so it was done away with. A fellow student was then struck for not paying attention.

Then came English and the teacher was explaining how Juliet ought to have married Paris as her family commanded and how nowadays weddings are carried out much more efficiently.

At lunch Kaela and Josiah go to their secluded location and she reveals to him that she is sick but her parents insurance won’t cover the treatments because it is a pre-existing condition. She goes on to say that there are cysts on her ovaries and they keep growing and any kind of physical trauma can cause her to hemorrhage. She goes on to say that she can be treated for free on the West Coast, to which Josiah further fomented his commitment to running away with her. They spend the rest of the lunch period holding each other in a semi peaceful silence as those thoughts raced through Josiah’s mind.

They headed back to class after the bell rang. The rest of the day, Josiah was riddled with anxiety of the health and welfare of Kaela.

They met in the hallway after the dismissal bell and shared to kiss to which their English teacher slapped them.

Kaela told Josiah to message her on the Screen Link later in the night.

Josiah went home and completed his homework.

He then messaged Kaela.

She messaged that she was sorry she got them slapped but not sorry for kissing him and went on to say that there are no consequences to public displays of affection on the West Coast.

They then began to vide chat.

Josiah was wearing a tee shirt and school pants. Kaela was wearing an oversized tee shirt and panty.

Josiah is aroused, but then overcome with anxiety and Kaela asks him about it because she can see the expression on his face.

Josiah says how he is worried about her sickness and doesn’t want her to die.

Kaela replies that if she must die she wants it to be in his arms.

Josiah said how he couldn’t go on without her.

They on on to plan their escape from the city.

Their English teacher who could not see their messages but still knew they were communicating reprimanded them.

Josiah messaged the teacher and said that Kaela might be dying, to which the teacher replied how she better do it quicker so they don’t have to spend money to euthanize her.

Josiah screen shot those messages, then went to sleep.

The next day in citizenship class, the teacher was explaining how the criminal justice procedures of the past were inefficient and how those former civil liberties were wasteful. Rights to not being detained indefinitely, bail and to not be tortured used to exist, but now they don’t. Josiah became immensly angry at how broken this system truly was.

He was still angry come English class and put his head down in protest. The teacher lashed him with a strap.

Kaela cried for her not to hurt him.

The teacher called the S. R. O. over the Tac Talk.

In a short spell he stormed into the room, began yelling at Josiah and Kaela, then popped them in the mouth. He raised his hat to the teacher to which she saluted him.

At lunch Josiah and Kaela went to their secluded area and he begged her to stay off of everyone’s RADAR so she doesn’t incur injury. Reluctantly, Kaela agreed.

Kaela then motioned Josiah to lay in her lap to which he, happily did.

Seconds later she flipped her skirt over his head and held him under their for about a minute saying it is a preview of Saturday night.

She then demanded a kiss to which they became lost in the moment of virginal foreplay until the bell rang.

That evening they messaged each other lovingly not realizing that the NOPD was monitoring their communications.

The next day in citizenship class, the teacher was explaining how disability and free health care for the disabled and low income were wasteful ideas and now anyone declared disabled is put to death. Josiah was even more angry at learning this and but kept his cool knowing he would soon be out of the sewerage hole known as Nazi Orleans.

In English, they were assigned to write an essay on why falling in love is troublesome and obsolete.

Kaela messaged Josiah and said how they should write the opposite instead, since they will be leaving the city anyway.

At lunch period, they cuddled in the grass. Kaela told Josiah to come to her house that evening and they will write their essays.

At the end of the day, they went to Kaela’s home and wrote that pure love brings happiness and how happy workers are more productive. They continued that a worker who loves his or her spouse will want to be a good provider, therefore a productive worker. Their final point was that a couple in love will raise children in an ideal environment and that those children will be productive workers instead of troubled citizens. Finally they said that love is not obsolete and the doctrines of the fascist hell hole of Nazi Orleans are dead wrong.

It was now late in the evening, so Josiah kissed Kaela good night and tucked her in bed then went home.

The next morning Kaela messaged Josiah and asked if he wanted to watch her get ready.

Josiah happily agreed.

They began to video chat and Kaela lifted her nightgown revealing her panty. She then further lifted it and showed him her breasts, then dressed in on camera for him.

When they arrived at school, they went to the secluded location.

Kaela lay on top of Josiah then she sat on his chest to which he could clearly see up her skirt. He put his arms around her and pulled her closer to him, until she was sitting on his face and all went dark. They stayed in that position until the morning bell rang.

In citizenship class the teacher was ranting and raving how Nazi Orleans is the highest power. The students were given an allegiance card to sign over the weekened. Some signed it right away. Josiah planned to burn his. The teacher then allowed the remainder of the period to be free, to which Josiah went to sleep.

In English the teacher began to rant and rave about the blogger and how he is actually one of her former students. She went on to say that he is a coward and a terrorist, who helps traitors and cowards. Finally she said anyone caught reading his work will be fined and delayed in graduation.

After the last class of the day, Josiah and Kaela went to her family’s house.

Her sister Casey was getting ready for work, to which Kaela reminded her to bring them across the river Saturday evening.

She basically asks if they are defecting to which they admit they are.

Josiah then says he wants to make sure Kaela gets medical attention and if she dies he wants to die as well.

Casey then goes to work, agreeing to bring them.

Josiah and Kaela are about to deflower each other when Kaela’s parents arrive.

They stay up talking until Josiah realizes he needs to go home and pack.

The next morning, Josiah packs a bag then places it in his work assigned locker. He then diligently pushes shopping carts until his shift is over.

He cashes his paycheck and clocks out.

Casey pulls up with Kaela in a blue pickup truck, then drives them across the River without incident, then goes home.

They arrive in the old Avondale railroad yard and are given supplies for their journey by other defectors.

Subsequently, they go into the interlocking tower and fall asleep together.

At nightfall they become intimate and Josiah is startled by the blood, to which Kaela reassures him that it was normal.

After much lovemaking, they fall asleep in a sea of blankets.

On Sunday morning they woke up and secured their belongings preparing to board the train.

There was a knock at the door and the knocker claimed to be the train conductor.

No sooner was the door opened, the NOPD SWAT team headed by the S. R. O. came in and extradicted them.

They had also massacred all of the other defectors seeking refuge in the train yard.

Kaela and Josiah are bound, placed in a wagon and taken back to the city.

Kaela said how the city might take away their freedom but cannot take their love away.

Josiah replied how the city may destroy their bodies but cannot destroy what is between them.

They are housed in seperate cells of the police station.

Their English teacher says how she read their essays and will see to it that they are charged with sedition.

The S. R. O. begins to interrogate Kaela and hooks up a stun gun to her genitals when she doesn’t comply.

After she is incapacitated he attempts to rape her, but Josiah yells that he falsely has his gun and will shoot.

A female cop enters, catching the S. R. O. in the act and shoots him dead.

She then unbinds Josiah and Kaela and explains that she read their essays and they opened her eyes and how she is quitting the force.

Kaela asks her to perform their marriage ceremony as her final duty to which she agrees.

Their marriage is performed on a street corner where a church was formerly located.

She then began to walk Josiah and Kaela out of the city until Kaela began bleeding profusely and collapsed.

The female officer checks Kaela for a pulse and announces that she is dead and they need to notify her family.

Josiah takes his broken Pocket Packet and removes the memory card, to which the female officer places in her Tac Talk device.

Casey comes in her truck and Kaela’s body is laid in the bed. Josiah lays next to her body.

The next day a memorial is held for Kaela.

At some point later, Josiah writes the whole account saves it onto memory cards places them on Kaela’s grave, then blows his brains out with a revolver, concluding the story…

Back to “Works of Fiction”

Synopsis to “The Textfile”

First of all, to explain the featured image on this post, they are a pocket knife and penlight carried by my main character, Grayson Thomas, until they are lost in a work-related “accident.”

On a Saturday, I believe it was December 10, 2005, I was walking around Bayou Cane, Louisiana, (for those who don’t know, that’s a suburb of Houma, located to its north and west) mostly for shopping but exercise as well.  Walking around that city always inspired me to write.  A few weeks prior, I had also watched a certain movie on home DVD for the first time.  That movie had an enormous impact on me writing this, both at the conscious and subconscious levels.  Other people noticed it too and when reading it, would frequently say how it reminded them of that said movie.   I also recently got my own computer though it was terribly out of date.  It still served its purpose I needed for writing things.  I was a backslidden Christian at the time, which was a major factor in me deciding to write this.  My pain hangup was about certain sects of Christianity, specifically the ones that taught one must speak in tongues to be saved, but other unBiblical teachings.  They turned me off to Christ and brought me almost to the brink of apostasy.  Thank God, for rescuing me though, and drawing me back to Him in late 2008.   I finished the original draft of this story in June of 2006 and had edited it a couple of times to make it better.  However, I believe sometime in 2013, I destroyed it altogether.  In June of 2017, after taking a trip to Tennesee, I decided to rewrite it again, mostly from memory, and completed it in the Summer of 2019.    This new version, while still attacking cultish forms of Christianity that either teach false things or turn people off to Christ, does not attack genuine Christians.  If anything it paints them in a very positive light.

The story begins with eighteen-year-old Anna Ryan riding home from school on her bicycle.  The church she attends forbids its members from driving mechanized vehicles or getting a driver’s license, watching or owning a television set, or using cell phones.  She is supposed to go home and get ready for youth service, but instead, stops at a local bar and grill and enters.  She sits in a booth and looks around the room.  Soon, she notices a young man.  He is sitting at the bar sipping on bottles of Budweiser and eating peanuts.

Anna is attracted to him though she can only see him from behind.

To get his attention, she pretends to sneeze.

The young man looks at her and says, ‘God bless you.’

Anna replies, ‘Aww thanks.’

He begins to sip his beer again but then does a double-take.  He’s very much attracted to her and begins to stare.  She smiles at him and he blushes then looks away.

Anna pretends to sneeze again and the young man says,  ‘God save you!

Anna replies ‘Thanks.   It must be all the dust from these peanut shells that’s stirring up my allergies.’

He tells her that she has a cute sneeze and then asks to come and sit with her.

She accepts.

The young man remarks that he’d never seen her in this place before and that he comes here every afternoon to kill a few beers.

Anna confesses that it’s her first time there and he says how he hopes it’s not her last.  He then tells her his name: Grayson Thomas.

Anna introduces herself as well, to which Grayson said how he didn’t know there were any Ryans in the town of Melody.

Anna explains that her family keeps to themselves and only associates with those at her church, which is a fragmented, mixed-race church with doctrine similar to the UPCI.

With slight irritation, Grayson remarks, ‘Oh, jee whiz, I’ve heard all about them.  Your parents would probably beat the hell out of you and press charges on me if they knew we were talking right now.’

Anna explains that they would indeed beat her, but they cannot press charges on him because he’s a legal adult.

Grayson then wants to know what she is doing later that evening.  Anna explains that she has youth service.  Grayson tries to talk her into hanging out with him instead.

Anna says if her parents would find out they would be livid and beat the daylights out of her.

Grayson then asks her a very piercing question, “Are you happy?  Do your parents really make you happy?  Does that insane church make you happy?”

There’s a silence, but then Anna replies,  ‘No-I am not happy at all.  I am miserable.  My parents only allow me to go to church and school.  They beat me sometimes for a yes or a no.  People at school make fun of me because of the way the church forces me to dress.’

Grayson then asks her, ‘Do you think I could make you happy?  I definitely think you could make me happy, in my twenty-two years on this earth, I’ve never beheld anyone as beautiful as you!’
   
Anna says that it would be worth a shot.

They continue talking and getting to know each other better.  Anna says how she wants to be a writer, and she does actually write but her parents would be furious if they knew exactly what she wrote, they would destroy every copy and then, of course, beat the daylights out of her.

Grayson suggests that she press charges on them.

Anna says that she would go to hell for not honoring her parents.

Grayson explains that the law is not a guide to save yourself, but rather proof that you cannot save yourself.

Anna says how she likes the way he preaches, and never thought she would hear those words coming out of his mouth because he was drinking beer.  She also says how she wants to know him better as well.

Grayson explains that he is a mechanic for the Melody City Dockyard and works the 6 AM to 2 PM weekday shift.  He also says how he has a cabin on his mother’s property, where he stays.  He finally says that he’s been wanting someone for a long time.

Anna said she would gladly be that someone but she just has to get away from her parents.

Grayson holds Anna’s hands and says,  ‘You just let me know if you need any help with that.’

His G-Shock then beeps indicating Four PM.

Anna says how she has to get ready for youth service.

Grayson convinces her to spend time with him instead.

Anna agrees and says she’ll meet him back at the bar and grill around Seven PM.

Grayson drinks several glasses of Wild Cherry Pepsi to help sober him up.

He pulls out his smartphone and searches for the church Anna attends.  He finds their web page and learns the doctrines of how they are forbidden from driving, watching television, or owning a cell phone.  He also read how church members were forbidden to associate with non-church members.

Anna arrives home and is sternly reminded of youth service, by her parents Sean and Janice Ryan.

After an exchange of words, she goes bathe and imagines the night she will share with Grayson.

Her mother bangs on the bathroom door and tells her that God can see everything she does, especially behind closed doors.

She then got dressed and mounted her bicycle and pretended to go to youth service.  Her dad squeezed her arm and said for her not to embarrass him at the service.

She drives secretly back to the bar and grill, runs up into Grayson’s arms, wrapping her legs around him.

Grayson pays off his tab, then they leave the bar.  Anna puts her bicycle in the bed of his truck then they ride to his cabin.  Grayson lets Anna drive his truck in the fields on his mother’s property as the sun goes down.

He then escorts her out of his truck by the light of his Pelican 1920 penlight.

They then walk into his cabin and dance in the kitchen to music on Pandora for an hour or so.

Afterward, they go on his balcony and Grayson says how he comes here to drink beer or whiskey and contemplate life.

Anna says how she could be inspired to write all kinds of things because it’s so beautiful.

Grayson says how ‘it’s nowhere near as beautiful as you, Anna!’

They then share a kiss and begin to pet each other when Grayson’s G-Shock beeps again, indicating Ten O’Clock.

Anna says how she has to get back home before her parents become livid.

Grayson writes down his house and cell numbers on a piece of paper and says how he knows all about her church and how they forbid cell phones, but to call him whenever she can.

Anna hides the paper in her brassiere, and says, with a distressed giggle, ‘It’s close to my heart, just like where I want you to be.’

Grayson then drives Anna to her parents’ trailer, all too quickly arriving.

Anna says, ‘I know you want to get the door for me and let me out, but it’s not safe here if you’re an outsider.’

Grayson replies, ‘I understand.  May I at least give you a good night kiss?’

Passionately, Anna tells him, ‘Of course, Grayson!  Just so you know, I’ll take that kiss to bed with me!’

Their lips meet one final time, then Anna takes her bicycle out of the truck bed and goes inside.

Grayson drives back to his cabin, drinks a few shots of Crown Royal put his phone on to charge, then goes to bed.

Anna walks into her parents’ trailer and her dad, with a belt in hand, confronts her about not going to youth service.  He tells her the pastor, Brother Darryl, called him and said she didn’t attend.

At first, Anna tries to keep silent, but her dad strikes her with his belt several times.

She then says how she’s eighteen now and it’s none of his business, to which he beats her even more.

Her mother comes out of the bedroom, smacks her across the face, then says,  ‘It is our business, the church’s business, and most importantly God’s business and always will be.  Now answer us!’

Anna still keeps silent. 

Her mother takes a claw hammer from the kitchen drawer and threatens to knock Anna’s teeth out with it.

Anna breaks down and confesses about how she spent the evening with a young man and how’s he’s so much better than the young men at her church.  She goes on to say that while they were indeed alone together, he never took advantage of her and she does have feelings for him.

Her mother flings the hammer at her toes, then says how her feelings are sinful energies, brought on by evil forces.

Anna boldly states,  ‘No, they feel very right and natural.  You and dad have no affection in your relationship, whatsoever.  You never kiss, you never touch, you never speak any romantic words to each other.  I don’t want to be subjected to such a cold marriage like that and if I marry one of the men at church, that’s exactly what will happen to me.’

Her dad slams her to the ground and says,  “You have invited so much sin into your life, you’re driving and dancing, which is absolutely forbidden, and now you’re attacking your me and your mother’s marriage just because you never see us behaving lewdly in front anyone!  This is all because you are very rebellious and always have been.  I tell you, it is going to stop right now if you know what is good for you!”

He then tells her to go to bed because she has school.

The next morning, Grayson gets up and prepares for work.

Anna too gets ready for school, then rides her bicycle there arriving early.

At around seven-thirty in the morning, Anna goes to the student office and asks Mrs. Barabara McGregor if she could use the phone.

Mrs. Barabara agrees and Anna calls Grayson’s cell number.

Grayson takes a coffee break to talk with her.

Anna tells all that her parents did her last night and Grayson suggests once again that she press charges.

Anna then says God would punish her if she did.

Grayson says how parents aren’t supposed to provoke their children to wrath and they obviously do, because they are trying to keep her from being happy.  Grayson then asks if he even makes her happy.

Anna says that he definitely does.

Grayson says that she makes him happy too and that he was lonely before her and uses alcohol to temper the sting of loneliness.

They continue to talk and flirt on the phone until Grayson’s coffee break comes to an end and other students need to use the phone.

Anna goes to a secluded area on the school campus, then fantasizes about Grayson, lapsing into a trance until the bell rings.

Meanwhile, Grayson is assigned two forklifts to repair, with a little assistance from the foreman, Mr. Jed McGregor.  He works until Noon, then goes to eat lunch.

At lunch his mom, Kathy Thomas calls him over Skype wondering why he didn’t come to dinner the previous night.  Grayson tells her about Anna, then explains her background.  Kathy warns him about the people of Anna’s church, Grayson pulls out his Snap-On pocket knife and says, “Wait, let them try something.”  Kathy warns that he would go to pen.  Grayson states that Anna is worth it.  Kathy says she wants to meet Anna, then goes back to work.  Grayson finishes his lunch, then clocks back in.

Jed McGregor has him do a tune-up on the dockside truck as the last assignment of the day and comments how he notices Grayson is in a better mood than usual.  Grayson tells him too about Anna and the whole situation.  Jed says how he and his wife will pray for them.  Jed McGregor and Barbara McGregor are married if you haven’t guessed that already.

Grayson does the work on the dockside truck and soon enough has it running.  He drives it to the docks and tells the dock foreman how it is fixed.

Grayson then clocks out and heads home suppressing the urge to drink alcohol, since Anna might call him.

Anna is sitting in English, the last class of the day, studying the works of George Gordon Byron.  She thinks of how her parents would be furious if they knew about these works, but also thinks of the previous night on the balcony with Grayson.  The teacher goes on to talk about Byron’s scandalous life and early death.  Anna begins to feel nervous wondering if she will die for what she is told is rebellion.  However, she knows her feelings for Grayson are valid and genuine. 

Finally, the dismissal bell blares and Anna goes down to the office to call Grayson.  Anna asks him to pick her up from school, to which he agrees.

Mrs. Barbara asks Anna if she is serious about whomever she is talking to on the phone.  Anna says how she hopes it is.  Mrs. Barbara asks, “What’s his name?”  Anna says “Grayson Thomas.”

Mrs. Barbara goes on to say how he works under her husband and she’s heard many good things about him except how he’s lonely and not to break his heart.  Anna says how she’d never dream about it.  Mrs. Barbara asks if Anna is eighteen yet.  Anna says she is.  Mrs. Barbara goes on to say how that’s good because if she wasn’t Grayson would be in a world of trouble [with the law.]  Anna says she’s more worried about what her church members would do.  Mrs. Barbara says she and her husband will pray for her and to go wait outside for him.

Anna goes out to the bicycle rack just as Grayson is pulling up in his truck.  He parks his truck then gets out and they kiss with passion until the SRO makes them stop.  Anna unlocks her bicycle [and puts it in the truck bed], then Grayson opens the door for her and she gets in.  Grayson then gets in on the driver’s side and they leave.

As they are driving, Grayson talks Anna into secretly getting a smartphone so they can keep in touch.  At first, Anna is reluctant but then realizes he is showing dedication to her and it means a lot to her.

With that, they drive to the Best Buy Mobile store in the mall…

Grayson ends up purchasing Anna a mid-grade Samsung smartphone that is on clearance.  Afterward, they eat at a corn dog restaurant, use the bathroom, then Grayson partially takes Anna home, she rides her bicycle the rest of the way.

Anna’s parents confront her about being late, to which she fabricates a partially true alibi that she went to use the bathroom at the mall.

Her parents lecture her about malls being sinful, worldly places but believe her otherwise.

She then goes into her bedroom pretending to study.  She barricades the door with several heavy objects, then hides in her closet whilst texting Grayson. 

They fall deeper and for each other and end up exchanging those three words via text message.

Anna’s dad barges in but she quickly hides the phone in her underwear and pretends to be sleeping in her closet.

Her dad angrily yells at her and they begin arguing to which he ultimately punches her in the head, knocking her unconscious.

Grayson blows up her inbox, thinking she ghosted him, then drinks a fifth of Crown and passes out in his bed.

Friday morning, Anna comes to, uses the bathroom, and reads all of Grayson’s text messages.

She replies to him, frantically explaining all that happened.

Grayson is hungover, but hears his watch alarm and then sees Anna’s message.

He says how he is glad she still wants him, but her life is in danger and she should come live with him.

Anna agrees.

Grayson explains how he drank until he passed out when he thought she ghosted him, but he will take a personal day to sober up and then prepare his house for her.  He promises her that there is no more alcohol in his cabin and that he will quit drinking at least until this situation is resolved.

They further discuss their plans via text.

Grayson calls his boss to take a personal day, then Anna’s mom orders her out of the bathroom.

She packs all of her valuables, her flash drives, and composition books, some hygiene products, and a few changes of clothes in addition to her new phone, then heads to school.

Before the morning bell rings, Anna talks to Grayson on her phone from the girl’s restroom.  They further discuss their plans.

Grayson picks Anna up from school at the end of the day.

He takes her to his house and minutes later his mother shows up, stating that she is having issues with leaking oil in her car.

Grayson introduces them to each other, then fixes his mother’s car, the problem was that the oil filter was on loosely.

Afterward, Grayson washes up, then takes Anna out for shopping and dinner.

Whilst shopping for clothes, Anna’s corrupt and overbearing pastor confronts her in the mall.

Grayson stands up to him and he eventually backs down stating how Grayson has won the battle but not the war.

Anna has a panic attack, but Grayson eventually calms her down.

They then go eat out and are waited on by one of Anna’s school friends.

The night turns out very pleasant and they retire to Grayson’s cabin.

That Saturday, Grayson, and Anna decide to hang out in the park and watch boats pass from the bed of his truck.

At some point, a girl from Anna’s class begins to harass them.  She makes a sexual advance at Grayson to which he sharply turns her down, then she threatens bodily harm to Anna, to which Grayson retrieves his shotgun from the box in his truck pumps it, points it at her, and scares her away.

They later go to the library, then the grocer to buy the supplies to make dinner, Shepherd’s Pie.

While shopping they see the pastor’s wife in the store purchasing collard greens for the next day’s dinner.  Anna gets nervous because the woman carries a gun in her purse and would be crazy enough to shoot Grayson with it.  A stocker overhears their conversation and hides them in the warehouse until the pastor’s wife leaves.  The stocker is based on another infamous character of mine.

They then go home, prepare dinner, eat, watch movies then fall asleep.

That Sunday, they wake up, then sit outside and watch the sunrise from Grayson’s front porch swing.  Afterward, Anna feels the urge to write, then composes a story and reads to Grayson. 

Everyone at Anna’s church is angry over her leaving and they form a plan to kidnap her back and harm Grayson for revenge.

After Anna reads to Grayson, his mother calls them over for Sunday Dinner.

Anna ends up helping prepare the dinner and she learns about Grayson’s childhood.

On Monday their plan is carried out.  Several longshoremen who attend Anna’s church decide to sabotage the dock crane.  Grayson has to go to the top to repair it and one of the longshoremen assists him, but purposely causes him to fall.

Grayson is seriously injured and rushed to the hospital.

Anna is called to the office over threats Grayson made with a gun to a fellow student.

She is suspended from school while the matter is investigated.

Anna tries calling Grayson to pick her up, but his phone goes straight to voicemail.

Her Dad is called.  He along with her pastor secure a ride and pick her up from school.

Barbara is watching the whole situation unfold and calls her husband Jed.

Jed and Barbara are talking about these events and realize that foul play is the reason why Grayson fell from the crane.  They call the police, who charge the disgruntled longshoreman.

An APB is also put out on the van.

Soon it is located and stopped, Anna’s dad and her pastor are arrested.

Anna is asked to be taken to the hospital, but ironically says she wants to be with her boyfriend. A detective later informs her of all that is going on, then takes a statement from her.  She is then taken to the hospital where she meets Grayson’s mother.

They along with the hospital chaplain and an unknown person pray for him around the clock.

For two days Grayson is in a coma, but then he wakes up, with Anna being the first person he sees.

Grayson ends up proposing to her…

Back to “Works of Fiction”

Synopsis and Commentary to “A Disabled Electrician turned Writer”

This is my first blog post since Hurricane Ida.

I want to thank all of my readers for their patience.

First I want to explain the items in the featured image of this post. The well-used Mini Maglite flashlight and Klein Pocket knife were used by my main character, Johnny Joseph Elder when he was employed in the electrical trade. The Streamlight Junior LED flashlight and Leatherman Style PS are what he carries now after being given them as gifts for Christmas.

In the latter parts of 2016, I realized that my first offshoot of my “Grocer and Writer” stories, the love story between a lonely train conductor and aspiring writer was not gaining much traction, and therefore decided to pursue something new.

So it was in February of 2017 that I was inspired to write a new story series, “A Disabled Electrician turned Writer.” I had borrowed some of the themes from my, “Grocer and Writer” stories, but was determined to make it less offensive.

The inspirations for this piece, actually predate my “Grocer and Writer” stories. My then-wife, now ex-wife, and I visited an impoverished couple shortly after we tied the knot and we broke bread with them. Then in September of 2011, I was acquainted with some teenage girls, that were high school seniors who were associated with my now ex-in-laws as they were preparing for Tropical Storm Lee.

There are also people on my mom’s side of the family, whose locations and lifestyles provided me with some inspiration.

So, this piece will be a synopsis and commentary on, “A Disabled Electrician turned Writer.”

In essence, it is a love story between twenty-five/twenty-six-year-old Johnny Joseph Elder and eighteen/nineteen-year-old Annabelle Jenkins.

It is written in first person limited from the perspective of Johnny Joseph Elder.

I have decided to present it in chronological order instead of how it came to me.

Johnny Joseph Elder had a promising career ahead of him as an electrician and was dating a single mother who was twelve years his senior. After a night of wild but bizarre sexual encounters with her, Johnny was distracted on the job while connecting power to an outdoor condenser unit in the New Orleans area, was shocked by the 240 Volt current, thrown from the eight-foot-high platform, and landed back first onto the top bar of a hurricane fence. The impact damaged his lower back, leaving him in debilitating pain. His girlfriend dumped him when she realized he would be permanently disabled. He had just bought a fixer-upper house in the suburb west of New Orleans known as Metairie. His company compensated him well and he was able to seamlessly transition from Workmen’s Compensation to Social Security Disability. He was twenty-three at the time of his injury and had been continuously employed since the age of eighteen. Therefore, he was able to meet his existing financial needs and live somewhat comfortably. So, for the next two years, he spent his days writing on his computer, watching broadcast television, befriending his neighbors as well as the employees at his local grocer, Melinda’s Massive Superstore, and doing whatever work he could on his home, which was an older wood-frame house. The woman he was dating was toned, tanned, and muscular. He grew to deeply resent her and instead prayed that he would meet a young lady who was the complete opposite of her.

Annabelle Jenkins had a very happy early childhood. Her mom Debbie Lou Jenkins and dad Rupert Jenkins had a very happy marriage. Rupert was a Born Again Christian. Sadly, he was killed on the job in an accident, leaving Annabelle and Debbie to collect Social Security Survivor’s Benefits and Welfare. Debbie Lou had become angry and bitter. They moved from a decent ranch-style house in the suburbs (Kenner) into a fictional public housing complex in Metairie. Annabelle extensively romanticized the way things used to be. Debbie Lou subsequently got into a relationship with a single dad, Oliver Hudson, but they didn’t marry because of financial reasons. Oliver spends his days drinking, taking pain pills, and watching sports. While in the Second Grade, Annabelle was talking about age-inappropriate affections, remembering how her parents loved and cherished each other openly and, as a result, sent to the principal’s office. The principal molested her, doing incalculable amounts of mental and physical damage. She gained enough weight to be considered clinically obese and remained that way when she met Johnny Joseph Elder. She also had mood swings and would frequently butt heads with her stepdad, Oliver Hudson, and stepbrother Maurice Hudson. Annabelle was afraid of her mom’s reaction to the principal molesting her, thinking she would get blamed for it, so she kept it to herself. Because of her weight, she is frequently harassed in school. She is very lonely and longs for a young man who would accept her, for her, treat her with kindness, and shower her with affection. She resented men like Oliver and the principal, plus all the jocks who would torment her. She knew good men existed, because her dad was good to her, hence the reason why she set her standards so high.

Fast forward to May of Annabelle’s senior year of high school. She has a part-time job cleaning houses for cash, but Oliver frequently takes her money to buy pills. She is shopping with her mom at Melinda’s and asks her to buy her a phone card to keep her service on and a flash drive so she can write her term paper, which she needs to complete to graduate. Her mom tells her to buy it herself. Annabelle replies her Oliver stole her money to buy pills. They end up in an argument and Debbie Lou abandons Annabelle in the parking lot.

If that weren’t enough Tropical Storm Alidore, there to my knowledge never was a Tropical Cyclone by that name, which I did on purpose, is threatening the Louisiana Coast and specifically the New Orleans Metro. It is also forecast to become a strong Category 1 or weak Category 2 hurricane before making landfall. So, Mrs. Angela Fulton is at Melinda’s purchasing a Weather Radio and walking out with her purchase when she witnesses the whole event between Annabelle and her mom. Angela drives Annabelle to her house. She then calls Johnny Joseph Elder (her next-door neighbor) to come over and set up the new Weather Radio for her.

Johnny promptly crosses over and knocks on her door and Angela lets him in. He and Annabelle briefly exchange a smile, then he goes into Angela’s master bedroom and unboxes then programs the new Weather Radio for Angela. In the process of doing so, he asks her about the beautiful girl in her living room. Angela explains that the girl’s mom abandoned her in the parking lot at Melinda’s. Johnny comments the mother getting charged with child abandonment. Angela explains how the girl is eighteen. She then says how Johnny should go talk to her. Johnny says how he is twenty-five and wouldn’t have anything in common with her. Angela corrects him and says that age is just a number and that her husband was seven years older than her, how they deeply loved each other, and that she misses him to this day. Johnny says how marriages like that are pretty much non-existent. Johnny is very much attracted to Annabelle but is more afraid of rejection. Angela encourages him all the more to talk to Annabelle and agrees to help him out.

After the weather radio is programmed they both come out of the bedroom and Angela introduces Johnny and Annabelle to each other. She then tells Annabelle to explain her situation to Johnny and how she needs to buy a flash drive to type her term paper to graduate and a phone card. Johnny offers to buy one for her at Melinda’s because he has a revolving account there. He goes on to say how he was going there anyway to purchase a Weather Radio from there since a hurricane is coming. Angela interjects how she should accept his offer because he is a good man and couldn’t stop saying how pretty she is. Annabelle asks Johnny if he really does think she is pretty, to which he nods with a bold blush and a wide grin. She asks if he really would buy those things for him and he tells her he would unless she had a boyfriend. She comments that she is fat and that is why she doesn’t have a boyfriend, because no one wants her. Johnny replies how he thinks her weight compliments her appearance. Annabelle smiles and blushes then say how everyone at school harasses her because of her weight. Johnny says how they are cruel but once she graduates none of them will ever matter again. Annabelle says how she won’t graduate if she cannot turn in that paper. Johnny then suggests they go to the store and he will buy it. Annabelle agrees to walk with Johnny to Melinda’s. Angela tells them to have a good time.

As they are walking, Annabelle asks Johnny what he does for a living.

Johnny explains how he is on disability but was an electrician’s helper on his way to becoming an electrician.

He goes on to explain how he injured his back on the job and that being on disability allows him to pursue his main passion-writing.

Annabelle states that she also is a writer.

They begin to discuss wanting to read each others’ work.

Johnny says how he wouldn’t want to show some of the more steamy pieces to a lady like her.

Annabelle says she might like the steamy pieces even more, though.

Johnny asks her if she’s eighteen, to which she replies that she is, then asks Johnny his age to which he says, twenty-five and that he hopes he’s not too old for her because he likes her.

Annabelle says how age is just a number and that she thinks he is cute and sweet, plus he is taking care of her and that a lot of guys she knows are either immature or total jerks but he seems different.

Johnny exclaims that he feels like he is on Cloud Nine, to which Annabelle says she does as well.

They then share a hug as they enter Melinda’s.

Johnny selects a Weather Radio, a flash drive, and a prepaid phone card.

The cashier, Mrs. Sally Smith Williams, checks them out and tells Annabelle how Johnny is a keeper and to treat him right.

Annabelle exclaims how Johnny is indeed a keeper and cute as can be, to which she then smacks his buttocks.

Johnny and Annabelle then sit in the food court and exchange phone numbers, after Annabelle adds the funds to her GoPhone account.

Afterward, they leave Melinda’s Annabelle says how she now needs to type her term paper. Johnny offers her his computer, to which she gladly accepts. 

They walk to his house.

Upon entering, he shows her around, they awkwardly stare at his bed, then smile at each other, blushing. Annabelle says how she will get to work, to which Johnny logs her in. He offers her dinner; some oatmeal because it’s near payday for Johnny, and he is running low on food and cash. Annabelle agrees to stay.

They share a hug, then a kiss, to which Johnny apologizes, but Annabelle says it was sweet of him.

She then begins writing her paper.

Johnny sets up his new Weather Radio and places it on his kitchen gadgets rack. He then watches television and prepares dinner.

Annabelle finishes her paper, then they say grace and eat oatmeal. Afterward, they wash the dishes.

After the dishes are done, they agree to read their stories to each other but are interrupted by Johnny’s Weather Radio and Annabelle’s phone alerting them to a Hurricane Watch in effect.

Johnny offers to walk Annabelle to her mom’s apartment.

Annabelle states that she and Oliver will be on edge.

Johnny offers her his spare bedroom, to which Annabelle gladly accepts and instructs him to walk her to her bus stop in the morning.

They then begin to read to each other, especially the steamy parts, until Annabelle realizes she needs to bathe.

Johnny provides her with fresh towels and soap, and she goes to bathe.

Johnny watches television until she comes out, wrapped in a towel.

Annabelle then says how she will go to bed and asks Johnny to kiss her goodnight.

They exchange a kiss and Annabelle says she wants to do so much more, then goes into the spare bedroom and gets dressed.

Johnny also goes to bed in his bedroom, concluding the first piece.

The next morning, Johnny is woken up to Annabelle’s alarm on her phone.

He retrieves his flashlight which he usually EDCs and puts fresh batteries in it.

Annabelle becomes slightly annoyed because she is in a hurry.

They walk out the door to the bus stop and Annabelle apologizes for rushing him, stating that she is nervous as to what her mother and Oliver’s reaction will be when she walks in the door to get her backpack and a fresh change of clothes.

Johnny states how he wishes there was something he could do, to which Annabelle says to just be there for her.

Johnny assures her that he isn’t going anywhere, except to Melinda’s [Massive] Superstore.

They begin to share hugs and kisses under the glow of a streetlight until an uptight motorist sounds the horn.

Johnny then walks Annabelle up to her mom’s unit, then kisses her goodbye.

He then goes home, retrieves his personal shopping cart then walks to Melinda’s to buy some storm supplies and non-perishable groceries.

Sally checks him out again and says how her husband, Rodney Williams, is terminally ill and on Oxygen and states that she will be evacuating with him as soon as her shift is over.

Johnny offers to pray for them, to which she thanks them.

Johnny takes his loaded shopping cart and sits in the food court as he sips on a blend of coffee, chicory, and hot milk.

When the sun is finally up, Johnny walks home and secures his purchases.

As he is cutting across his front yard, Angela stands by the hurricane fence and asks about how it went with him and Annabelle.

Johnny picks up everything, then goes over to tell her about it.

He notices a local government truck is parked in front of her house and asks her about it.

She replies that her son, Roger Fulton, is there.

He comes out, introduces himself, and explains that he is a fleet mechanic for the fire departments.

Angela says how Johnny looks out for her and helps her out a lot.

She then asks Johnny how it went with him and Annabelle, to which Johnny says he is glad she set them up.

Roger shouts from outside that he is going to hook up the generator.

Johnny says how he has to board up his windows.

Angela says to have Roger help him, so his back doesn’t get further messed up and that he needs to be able to be a lover to Annabelle.

She goes on to say that Roger will especially help him if he can properly wire the generator.

Roger has the mechanical aspect of the generator figured out but is clueless as to the wiring.

Johnny explains how he was an electrician’s helper for five years and would have become a fine electrician had he not injured his back.

He then goes on to properly wire the generator albeit with terrible back pain as a result.

The generator is proven to work, then, Angela requests Roger to assist Johnny in boarding up his windows as well as hers, to which he agrees. After the tasks are complete, Roger heads to work and Johnny presents him with a high-quality ratchet and socket set that he no longer needs.

Johnny then prepares all of his appliances and electronics for the storm, then once finished he walks to the park and writes in a composition book. Annabelle is the source of his inspiration. He writes until she calls him and has him meet her at the bus stop. She says how she turned in her term paper and the deadline was extended because of the storm, but she is getting extra credit for turning it in early.

He meets her, then they exchange a kiss. She goes inside and packs her bags, then twelve minutes later she comes out.

Johnny attempts to carry her bags but collapses on the sidewalk.

Annabelle apologizes saying how she didn’t realize how badly damaged his back was and that she will carry the bags.

Johnny says how he is afraid she will leave him now that she knows.

Annabelle replies that even though his back is messed up, he has a good heart.

Johnny gets back up and Annabelle hugs and kisses him. Another uptight motorist sounds the car horn, to which Annabelle gives the “Metry Salute” (her middle finger.)

Hand in hand they walk to Johnny’s house.

Johnny shows Annabelle the storm supplies and groceries he purchased then hands Annabelle a personal-sized flashlight to keep in her purse.

She asks him to read to her, which he does until they are alerted via phone and Weather Radio of a Hurricane Warning now in effect.

Annabelle becomes nervous and tears fill her eyes.

Johnny tries his best to comfort her and promises to take care of her.

He then takes a sealed bag of frozen white beans from his freezer and warms them up.

As the beans are getting hot, they share kiss after kiss.

Then dinner is ready and Johnny pours pancake syrup on the white beans and they say grace and eat.

Afterward, they wash the dishes then go watch Breaking Dawns Parts 1 and 2 on DVD, then fall asleep in each others’ arms, thus concluding the second piece.

Annabelle and Johnny wake up to howling winds and driving rain as the feeder bands are passing through.

Johnny makes them an egg omelet for breakfast.

After they are finished eating, Annabelle begins to wash the dishes, until there is a flash of lightning.

Nervously, Johnny commands Annabelle to get away from the sink.

She questions him with irritation but he explains, that the lightning can hit her through the pipes and they will worry about the dishes later.

Johnny then listens to the radio and the reporters paint a grim picture.

He then apologizes for yelling at Annabelle, to which she rubs his chest hair and kisses him, accepting his apology, and then says that Oliver makes her do dishes no matter what the weather.

Annabelle then asks Johnny to change the radio to a music station because she wants to dance with him.

They find a music station and dance until they are sleepy from the physical activity and breakfast.

Annabelle cradles Johnny in her lap and they fall asleep.

Hours pass until they are woken up by even more howling winds and whipping rains and Annabelle needs to answer nature’s call.

As she attempts to turn on the bathroom light, she realizes there is no power. Johnny reminds her there is a flashlight in her purse.

Annabelle walks to the bathroom with her purse and shuts the door behind her.

In time Annabelle steps out, then Johnny goes to relieve himself as well.

After Johnny steps out, Annabelle rushes up to him stating that she is scared.

Johnny promises that he will try his best to comfort her, then suggests that they hunker down.

Annabelle says how usually she enjoys hurricanes because of all the junk food, then she says ‘look how fat I am.’

Johnny tells her that he thinks she is beautiful, body and soul.

Annabelle says there must be something wrong with him.

Johnny admits that he thinks he is a perv because he likes big beautiful women.

Annabelle grabs him and says that he is her perv.

They exchange kisses until her glasses fog up.

Annabelle then asks if they could cuddle in his bed.

He agrees.

After a moment of cuddling and increasing affections, Annabelle comments that she could so make love to Johnny.

Johnny replies that he would want her to.

She then asks if he was sure, then reveals what happened to her in the principal’s office.

Johnny then reveals what happened with his ex-girlfriend.

Annabelle then promises that if they do make love, she won’t throw him away as his ex did.

They then become intimate both climaxing as the eyewall passes over them.

The storm settles down, so they get dressed, step out and Johnny observes all the damage.

Angela also steps out of her house and greets them.

Johnny is nervous wondering if his house will stand the storm.

Angela says how her house stood all the previous storms and so did his and that the only damage is blown off siding and shingles and those are small potatoes. She goes on to say how he should take advantage of being alone with Annabelle.

Annabelle replies how they already have and it was wonderful.

Angela tells them to do it some more because there are a plethora of health benefits associated with coitus.

The storm starts picking up again and Angela tells them to go love each other.

Johnny and Annabelle agree and make love until they are too tired to move, falling asleep in each others’ arms until morning, thus concluding the third piece.

I must add that, while I would have written a story involving fornication in 2017, I definitely would not write something like that in 2022. I have since grown in The Lord and was heavily convicted for writing this and similar stories. I still think this series of stories communicate some ideas that I tremendously value, hence my reason for sharing.

There is an interlude that takes place, then it is the Fourth Wednesday of May and payday for Johnny Joseph Elder. 

During the interlude, Annabelle graduates and moves in full-time with Johnny.

Johnny gets dressed and collects his EDC items after checking his bank account and confirming that his SSDI check was deposited. He then listens to the forecast on his Weather Radio, which tells of high heat and high humidity with a significant chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon (which is typical for Louisiana in the late spring and summer.)

He knows that he needs to run his monthly errands and get home before the thunderstorms are due.

Annabelle is slowly waking up and he asks her if she wants to come run errands with her.

She agrees and gets dressed.

They leave the house on foot and walk to the transit terminal. Johnny renews his transit pass and also purchases one for Annabelle. 

They then board the bus and go to the bank.

After waiting in line for several minutes, they see a teller. Johnny pays his mortgage and takes the paperwork.

He and Annabelle then walk half of a mile to Melinda’s, to which Annabelle comments how she needs to lose weight.

Johnny replies for her not to lose too much weight because he thinks she is sexy just as she is. He then tells her that he would want her whether she was big as a house or tiny as a toothpick.

Annabelle blushes then they begin to exchange hugs and kisses publicly with hands in each other’s back pockets.

Several uptight motorists sound their horns at them as they make their way to Melinda’s on foot.

Finally, they arrive, out of breath.

They walk to the customer service desk where Johnny pays off his credit line in addition to his utilities.

After they are done, he and Annabelle go shopping, and he purchases Annabelle two romance novels and himself a multi-tool and a phone card.

They are once again checked out by Sally Smith Williams and she asks how did they fare for Alidore.

Johnny replies how there are just shingles and siding blown off, but the storm brought him and Annabelle closer together.

Annabelle then winks and she rubs her nose against Johnny.

Sally then said how she drove her husband two hundred miles inland and they stayed at a church.

Johnny said how he thanked God they excused her absence and that he wouldn’t shop at Melinda’s if he found out that they were cruel to the workers.

Sally replies not to worry and how they are like one big family.

Johnny pays for his items with his debit card and is approved.

He and Annabelle then go to the deli and order a fried chicken meal which they eat in the food court.

After they are finished eating, Johnny applies the phone card funds to his Go Phone account, then begins playing with his new multi-tool.

Annabelle giggles and comments that he is cute.

Johnny blushes slightly.

They refill their drinks and then walk back to their house.

They sit on the sofa and Annabelle reads from the books he bought her.

Johnny logs onto his computer and pays his wireless internet bill.

He then does a little research on his computer, until he gets a tap on the shoulder.

He looks away from the computer screen to see Annabelle standing in her undergarments.

Assertively she says, ‘you…me…the bed, right now Johnny Joseph Elder!’ As she kisses him with excitement.

Johnny replies, oh bae, your wish is my command!

She then pulls off his clothing and he removes her undergarments.

They become intimate as a thunderstorm unleashes its power.

After making love they eat a meal of boiled hot-dogs and canned chili, thus concluding the fourth piece.

There is then approximately a six-month interlude between this previous piece and Thanksgiving. It entails Johnny getting his house fixed, including a personal loan to cover what his insurance did not. Of course, he and Annabelle fall deeper in love during this time and their relationship grows more serious, as you, the reader, will see.

Johnny and Annabelle are slowly waking up on the morning of Thanksgiving.

The gas-powered floor furnace is on full blast despite it only being late November in Southeast, Louisiana.

Both step out of bed and Johnny throws his arms around Annabelle and rubs her buttocks.

She beams brightly and giggles then comments on how she almost wishes that they didn’t have to go to dinner so they could instead spend the day making love.

Johnny replies how he feels bliss when they make love, but they are at least getting a free meal.

Annabelle then says how it is free monetarily but they pay in other ways, to which Johnny says how they can just leave.

Johnny goes on to say that if they make her feel uncomfortable and distressed, how he will leave with her and he doesn’t care what they think.

Annabelle says how he is making her want to stay home even more.

Johnny said that if he didn’t have to cover that deductible, then he would have money for his own Thanksgiving meal.

Annabelle says that he is responsible and wise with his finances, unlike her mom or Oliver.

She then goes to relieve her bladder.

Johnny enters the bathroom after he hears the toilet flush, then they make love while showering together.

After they are clean, Johnny turns on the gas valve to his bathroom heater and strikes a match as they lovingly dry each other off.

Annabelle helps Johnny get dressed, then she dresses in front of him.

Johnny comments how Annabelle’s outfit drives him wild.

Annabelle replies how she loves him because he adores her including her weight. She goes on to say that she also loves him because he has a heart of gold, he takes care of her, and he’s level-headed and cute. She asks what made him fall in love with her.

Johnny states that it’s the fact that she still wanted him despite his disability and that she is still very sweet despite all those bad things happening to her and the fact that she takes care of him as well in her own way and he went on to say that since he first laid eyes on her he thought she was the most beautiful girl ever.

Annabelle then says how she guesses that they do have a lot to be thankful for no matter where they celebrate Thanksgiving.

Johnny announces that it is an hour until she is expected at her mother’s.

Annabelle suggests they go visit Angela.

They then cross over and she greets them but says how her son is coming over in about an hour to take her to his house for dinner.

She then asks Johnny to check and see why her Weather Radio isn’t charging.

He figures out that the fuse for her bedroom receptacles blew.

She comments how that must be why her portable space heater doesn’t work either.

He installs a new fuse and offers to run a dedicated line for her space heater tomorrow when the stores are open.

Angela says how she will pay him so they can go shopping for Black Friday.

She then goes to her kitchen and calls her son to see where he’s at.

After hanging up the phone, she says how Roger is only a few blocks away.

Minutes later, he arrives and Angela tells him how she needs him to take Johnny to the supply house so he can run an electric line for her heater.

He agrees and states that he’s glad Johnny watches out for his momma.

He then takes Angela to his house.

In the bleak biting cold, Johnny and Annabelle walk to her mom and stepdad’s apartment.

Oliver lets them in.

Debbie Lou states how they have takeout from KFC, and Annabelle angrily whispers to Johnny how they were too lazy to cook anything.

Debbie Lou asks Oliver when he wants to eat, to which he gruffly replies halftime.

Annabelle asks how long until then.

Oliver says how there are two minutes left on the clock but in real-time it could be five to seven minutes and that she will live and she’s not exactly starving.

Johnny whispers for Annabelle to ignore him and that she’s beautiful.

Annabelle places her face in Johnny’s chest then looks up at him and says thank you.

They begin to hold hands and exchange kisses. Johnny even kisses Annabelle’s stomach.

They both exchange those three little words, then go sit on the sofa and engage in even more affections, until Oliver bellows for them to cut it out.

Annabelle says how he’s not her dad, no not even close.

Oliver reminds them that it’s his apartment and it disgusts him to see them pawing at each other like randy cats.

Debbie Lou interjects and asks that they all eat.

Annabelle agrees and says that she is hungry.

Oliver remarks that she is always hungry.

Annabelle comments that he probably weighs as much as her.

Oliver then replies that he is a man and men can bet fat but fat women and fat girls, like her, are disgusting.

Johnny is now angry and tells Oliver that Annabelle is not disgusting by any means and that she is the most beautiful young lady he ever laid eyes upon, weight included.

Oliver calls Johnny a chubby chaser and that he stays with her because his back is messed up and no one else wants him.

Johnny said how he’s glad no one else wants him because that means there’s no temptation.

Annabelle tells Johnny that he’s so sweet and sexy as hell. She then calls Oliver a douche bag.

Oliver threatens to kick them out.

Debbie Lou asks Annabelle why is she disrespecting Oliver.

Annabelle replies that he called her fat.

Debbie Lou then says that she told Annabelle how she needed to lose weight for years.

Annabelle goes on to say the reason why she is obese. And that her grade school principal molested her in his office. She went on to say how she was talking about her daddy who recently died and about all the affection he showed both of them the teacher thought it was inappropriate so she was sent to the office where the principal molested her. She went on to say how she never told her because she was afraid of being whipped.

Oliver said that if he would have known, he would have flattened the principal like a bug.

Annabelle said how he harassed her about her weight more than anyone else.

Oliver apologized and said how she’s the closest to a daughter he ever had and even though they never got along, he wouldn’t have ever wanted her to be molested.

Debbie Lou stated that her appetite is ruined but they need to report this.

Annabelle said how the principal is now out of the country, having his way with countless other little girls.

Oliver wants to know how can he make amends.

Annabelle tells him to be more understanding in the future and not to say those horrible things he says about heavyset women and girls, to take care of her mom, and to stop taking those pills.

Oliver promised to seek treatment for his addiction and that he was a star football player in high school and college but an injury ended his career. The pain from his injury became unbearable and that is how he got hooked on pain pills.

Annabelle then asks if they can eat to which Debbie Lou serves the food.

Silently they eat dinner, thus concluding the piece.

The next day Johnny is up early and is making breakfast in bed for Annabelle.

He listens to his Weather Radio and learns about cloud cover all day with high in the upper forties and an eighty percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after dark.

He then serves Annabelle breakfast.

She is woken up by the dishes rattling, softly rubs her eyes, and puts her glasses on.

They eat together in bed.

Annabelle asks if they could cuddle until it’s time to go.

Johnny replies how he couldn’t think of a better way to spend the morning.

Annabelle wraps her arms and legs around Johnny and Johnny kisses her stomach, then says how she is the sexiest lady he’s ever seen.

The passion increases but is interrupted when Roger knocks at the door.

They exchange those three little words, then Johnny leaves.

Roger drives Johnny to the supply house and they order all the parts they need.

When the order is filled, they drive to Angela’s and Johnny installs the electric line for her portable heater.

The room is now very warm.

Angela sees the conduit and thinks Johnny laid a gas line.

Johnny shows Angela how it is an electric line but only for her heater.

He also lectures her not to put anything within three feet of that heater.

Angela then pays Johnny $200 and instructs him to go Christmas shopping.

Johnny places the bills in his wallet and walks home. Annabelle is dressed and ready to go shopping, thus concluding Black Friday Part 1.

Johnny and Annabelle then walk to the bus stop and take a bus to the shopping center.

Upon arrival, Johnny walks to the supply house and purchases a high-end screwdriver set for Roger. He and Annabelle then go to the adjacent Wal*Mart and that she will purchase the gifts for the females and he will purchase the gifts for the males, and they split up.

Johnny buys a Hyper Tough tool-set for Maurice, two sports almanacs one for his dad and one for Oliver, and a Bluetooth headset for his brother.

He and Annabelle later meet up in the food court and began their public displays of affection until reprimanded by a policewoman working on security detail.

Johnny tells her that he will purchase that at Melinda’s later in the evening after they pick up the other gifts.

They then take their purchases to the bus stop and ride back to their stop. As they are riding Annabelle shows Johnny the gifts she purchased, body wash and an Oldies CD for Angela, a Snuggie for Johnny’s sister, and “Law and Order” DVDs for Johnny’s mom and that is everything except a bottle of cherry wine for her mom. Johnny tells Annabelle that he will purchase the wine later in the evening at Melinda’s and offers Annabelle to go eat some turkey sausage gumbo sold in the deli. She gladly accepts, stating that she is hungry. The bus soon arrives at their stop, then takes them to their home stop. Johnny and Annabelle walk home and put away the gifts.

Promptly, they walk to Melinda’s and purchase the wine.

Sally cards Johnny, then checks him out, trying to keep a straight face.

They then walk to the deli and each purchase some gumbo and drinks, say grace then happily eat.

When finished their meal, they walk home. On the way, Annabelle asks if they should pick up where they left off this morning, to which Johnny replies, bae you wish is my command.

They then rush home and passionately become intimate, thus concluding Black Friday Part 2.

At some point, Johnny purchased train tickets for himself and Annabelle to take the train on Christmas Day to see his family.

There is then a three-to-four-week interlude, but then the next piece takes place on Christmas Eve Morning, with Johnny and Annabelle getting out of bed and lovingly exchanging affections, which ultimately leads to Johnny performing cunnilingus on Annabelle and then making love to her afterward.

Subsequently, they exchange gifts.

Johnny then gives Annabelle a promise ring, stating that he promises to be hers and hers only and that he wants no one else and that he hopes she feels the same way.

Annabelle says how the ring is beautiful and that indeed feels the same way, then gives Johnny a smartphone and explains that he is about to be twenty-six and therefore needs to upgrade from his rugged flip phone.

Johnny says how he is glad that he doesn’t have to be tied to his computer anymore for internet access and that he can combine his phone plan with a data plan and save money each month.

They exchange those three little words, then Johnny says how he wishes he bought Annabelle and an engagement ring instead but didn’t want to scare her. Annabelle says how it wouldn’t have scared her but would have been a dream come true.

Johnny offers to buy her an engagement ring once the deductible loan is paid off, to which Annabelle says for Johnny to give her his time, loyalty, and affections. To which he assures her that she has those forever.

After the lovemaking they are hungry and Johnny makes them some French Toast AKA Lost Bread.

They then get dressed together, then go bring Angela her gifts.

It is sunny and mild outside.

A moment later they arrive and Angela welcomes them in.

They hand her the Oldies CD and some body wash.

Angela gives Johnny as TSA compliant Leatherman Multi-Tool and Annabelle a $40 Target Gift Card.

She then gives them some Christmas punch which is spiked.

Johnny and Annabelle dance together to the music of the Oldies CD, then they all watch a Christmas movie together.

After the movie is over, Johnny and Annabelle walk to her mother’s apartment and they exchange gifts.

Johnny and Annabelle each get a $100 gift card to Melinda’s.

Maurice then watches gamers on YouTube, Oliver reads his sports almanac and Debbie Lou gradually gets drunk on the wine.

Johnny and Annabelle snuggle on the sofa until everyone goes to bed, then they walk home and fall asleep in each others’ arms, thus concluding the Christmas Eve piece.

Johnny and Annabelle wake up slowly in each other’s arms. It’s seven-thirty on Christmas Morning.

They exchange several kisses, then Annabelle relieves her bladder in the bathroom.

After she flushes and steps out, she tells Johnny that if she didn’t have to meet his family, she would want to spend the day making love to him.

Johnny states that he hopes her family accepts him and that he’s worried they will have the wrong assumptions because of their age difference.

Annabelle reassures him that she isn’t worried about that and she loves him for him and he just happens to be seven years her senior.

They mutually agree that they cannot picture themselves with anyone else.

Annabelle then pushes Johnny onto the bed and begins to sit on his face, when her phone rings.

It’s Maurice calling asking if she is ready to which she says she will be in ten minutes.

They then get dressed together with their bags already packed.

Johnny then turns off all the lights in addition to his floor furnace. Annabelle gets the gifts, then they deadbolt the door.

The weather is bleak, humid, and cold.

Maurice pulls up in his pickup truck.

They place the gifts in the truck bed.

Johnny opens the door for Annabelle and peeks under her dress, then climbs in.

Maurice drives them to the train station and asks Johnny what did he do before he went on disability.

Johnny explains that he was an electrician’s helper, but ruined his back on the job.

Annabelle then chimes in how Johnny would have made an awesome electrician, but he is very good at laying pipe.

Johnny corrects her and says that to an electrician it is known as conduit, not pipe.

Annabelle then says that whatever he calls it, it’s amazing.

Maurice comments TMI but admits he wishes he could find a relationship like that.

Then Johnny said that for Maurice to make himself more desirable Johnny could teach him how to be a handyman.

Then Maurice says he could teach Johnny how to fix computers.

Annabelle then says how they could both teach him how to write.

Maurice then says how they all need to get together soon as they arrive at the train station.

Johnny and Annabelle retrieve their gifts and bags, then wish Maurice a Merry Christmas. Annabelle then says how she will call him to pick them up when the train returns tomorrow evening.

Johnny and Annabelle wait until they hear their announcement that their train is ready, then board. After being seated, Johnny calls his mom and lets her know that he is on his way and that his girlfriend is with him.

The train begins to head west, thus concluding Christmas Day Part 1.

Annabelle falls asleep on Johnny until the train begins to cross the Huey Pierce Long Bridge.

Johnny wakes her up so she can enjoy the view.

I, myself, make an appearance in the story as I am also a passenger on that train and I am listening on a portable scanner radio.

I stare at Johnny and Annabelle for a moment then apologize to them, and explain how it’s always amazing when I see people in real life who resemble characters in the stories I write.

They say how they are writers as well.

Annabelle then asks what am I listening to.

I explain that it is a scanner and I am listening to the train crew’s communications but also marine communications on the Mississippi River.

Johnny tells me how he always wanted one, but could never afford it.

I tell him he can get one for cheap on eBay, assuming he just wants to listen to railroad and marine.

Johnny says how he lives near a railroad yard (KCS West Yard) and is a few blocks from The River.

I then say how I don’t like to turn my scanner on in front of ladies, because of the language some of those marine workers use over the radio.

Annabelle says how Johnny doesn’t curse in front of her either.

I then ask what they do for a living.

Johnny explains his disability and Annabelle says how she cleans houses for cash but how she wants to become a security guard at Melinda’s.

Johnny adds in how she could practice her defensive tactics on him and it would be a turn-on if she wrestled him down and sat on him.

Annabelle blushes and says how Johnny is such a perv but it is sexy as hell.

I tell them that they are a cute couple and they thank me.

I then ask where are they getting off and Johnny replies the very next one. I tell them how I am headed out west to meet up with other bloggers.

Annabelle asks if I can hear the workers at Melinda’s on my scanner, to which I tell her that I can.

She then tells Johnny that she could buy him a scanner for his birthday.

I tell her how I can only hear them when I am near the store.

Johnny replies that they’re only a block from Melinda’s.

I tell him then they could listen to all they want.

I then start reading on my phone.

Annabelle falls asleep on Johnny’s shoulder.

Johnny looks outside seeing ponds homes and forests.

Finally, an announcement is made that the next stop will be in ten minutes.

Johnny calls his mom and states his location to which she replies that they are on their way now.

I then tell Johnny and Annabelle that it was a privilege talking to them because they are so much like the characters I create and how I hope I can find love that is like the love expressed in the stories I write about.

Annabelle tells me not to give up and to keep writing and one day a young lady will come along and realize that she is the one for me.

Johnny gives me his email address and suggests that we exchange each other’s work.

I then program it into my phone and send him the link to my blog via email.

Annabelle says how she and Johnny will read it together.

The train comes to a stop with Johnny and Annabelle disembarking.

Johnny’s parents are waiting in their CUV.

Johnny and Annabelle load the bags and presents into the hatch, then Johnny opens the door for Annabelle and they ride to Johnny’s parents’ house, thus concluding Christmas Day 

Part 2.

Johnny’s mom asks Annabelle what are her intentions with her son.

Annabelle replies that she loves him a lot and he loves her.

Johnny’s mom asks whether or not she will leave him suddenly as the last one did.

Annabelle confidently states that Johnny has her for good.

Johnny’s dad asks how they met.

Annabelle said that Johnny’s neighbor set them up and she is so thankful that she did.

Johnny’s dad asks Annabelle if she works anywhere to which she replies that she cleans houses for cash but is trying to get hired on as a security guard at Melinda’s. He then asks if he thinks she could handle a dangerous customer. Annabelle says how she could sit on him or her until the cops arrive. Johnny then adds in how he will let her practice on him so she can get good at it. Johnny’s mother tells him to watch it. She goes on to say how she thought his back was ruined or was he just making it up.

Johnny and Annabelle silently exchange those three little words.

Johnny’s dad then asks her if she is going to school anywhere. She says she is done with school for good and that she graduated high school this past May. Johnny’s mother asks why she doesn’t further her education. Annabelle states how she is sick of being mistreated because of her weight but Johnny is the only man that ever made her feel beautiful and that is one of the reasons why she fell in love with him but it’s definitely not the only one.

Johnny adds in how Annabelle makes him happier than he ever dared hope or dream and just about everyone around him can see it and how his ex ghosted him once she found out he would be disabled but Annabelle is right there by his side and so much 

more beautiful inside and out.

Annabelle then says how she wants Johnny for his heart and his looks as well.

Johnny’s mom comments that Johnny is settling because Annabelle doesn’t mind him living off the government.

Johnny states how he was settling when he was with his ex and how Annabelle exceeds his standards and to him is wife material.

Johnny’s mother then turns around, looks at them, and sternly says how she wants them to be contributing members of society and not two lazy moochers who make babies they cannot feed.

Annabelle comments how she does indeed work and Johnny adds in how the income he gets is drawn from what he paid into the system when he worked.

Johnny’s dad says how they’re almost home and suggests letting it be peaceful.

Johnny’s mom says how they’ll discuss it later but she is very upset.

They then pull into the driveway.

Annabelle and Johnny step out of the vehicle and share a kiss.

They go inside and sit on the sofa.

Johnny apologizes to Annabelle about his mother.

Annabelle replies that her mother and his mother should go jogging together.

Johnny says how he hopes Annabelle still wants him.

Annabelle says more than ever that she felt so special when he told his mother how she exceeds his standards and is indeed wife material. And how when they get home she will practice her security guard tactics on him and see where it leads, then showers Johnny with kisses.

They then exchange those three words yet again.

Johnny’s siblings and their significant others arrive.

They all exchange gifts and Johnny introduces Annabelle to them.

They talk amongst themselves while the parents finish up the Christmas Dinner.

As Johnny’s dad is taking the ham out of the oven, he notices the heating element is on fire and panics.

Johnny cuts off the breaker to the oven, then takes a wet bath towel and puts out the fire.

He then uses the screwdriver element on his multi-tool and removes the damaged heating element.

Annabelle whispers to Johnny that he is so sexy when he fixes stuff.

Johnny suffers from multiple shooting pains in his back as he performs the task.

His mom offers him some Excedrin.

Johnny says he has to let the pain run its course and that he hopes she realizes that he isn’t making it up.

His mom says how she wishes he could make more money and not live off the government.

Annabelle interjects that money cannot buy happiness.

Johnny adds in how there are plenty of people with good-paying jobs, nice houses, and multiple vehicles yet they are still absolutely miserable.

His back pain then eases up and he finishes removing the broken element.

He then writes down the model and make of the oven and instructs his dad to take it to a supply house.

Johnny’s dad states how he will pay for Johnny and Annabelle’s train tickets back home since he will fix the oven.

Johnny’s parents each give their children and the partners a $100 check then they all watch television.

Hours, later, Johnny’s siblings and their partners leave.

Even more hours later, they all go to bed and Johnny’s mom instructs that he and Annabelle sleep in separate bedrooms.

Johnny says how the others are allowed to sleep in the same bed at her house, though.

His mom says that the others work and he doesn’t.

Johnny says he would if he could.

His mom says for him to get a job that doesn’t affect his back instead of living off the government.

Johnny says that he would then be at the mercy of employer-sponsored health insurance.

His mom says how that’s life and to get over it.

Johnny points out to his mother that she is angry that there are people who don’t achieve as much as she does yet they are still happier than her, including himself and Annabelle.

His mom rebuffs that those on disability have it way too easy and that she has to bust her butt so where’s her happiness.

Johnny further points out how perceived prosperity is not the key to happiness and that even the working poor have it worse than her, yet many of them are still happier than her. He then went on to say how when he was younger she told him that money makes a person comfortable not happy.

His mom states how she was more idealistic then but now deals in reality. She also says how if they want to make babies and with her tax dollars supporting them then she cannot stop them but she won’t let it happen in her house.

Annabelle soberly tells her that they wouldn’t have coitus in her house because she wouldn’t disrespect her like that but she would like Johnny to keep her warm because it is cold.

Johnny’s mom still refuses them.

Johnny and Annabelle attempt to share a good night kiss but his mom stops them.

They then go to separate bedrooms and text each other all night long, thus concluding Christmas Day Part 3.

There is another month and a half interlude and then the Pilot piece occurs.

That was the first piece I wrote and it takes place in February. I never covered the events of Johnny replacing the oven’s heating element, the train ride back home, or Johnny’s twenty-sixth birthday, all of which occur during this interlude.

Johnny introduces himself, his girlfriend, and his entire living situation to the reader.

The piece continues with Annabelle stepping out of the bathroom and saying, bae, let’s go make groceries, which is NOLASpeek for grocery shopping.

Johnny struggles to get his jacket and shoes on, then they walk out the door.

They walk the block to Melinda’s, then enter.

After walking the store for a bit, Johnny asks Annabelle what she would like for dinner.

She replies with homemade fried potatoes.

Johnny says, say no more, then selects a large bag of Russet potatoes, a gallon jug of Wesson cooking oil, and a canister to Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning.

They then ask an associate on skates to show them where the Remoulade sauce is located, which is a clear reference to my “Grocer and Writer” stories.

Finally, they select a two-liter bottle of R. C. Cola and some Moon Pies for dessert.

Annabelle reminds Johnny that she is going to gain even more weight, to which Johnny says he thinks she is sexy as hell and feels ecstatic holding her at night.

They begin exchanging their public displays of affection, then check out.

Sally comments how they always make such a cute couple.

Johnny thanks her and then says how they usually get harassed for showing PDA.

Sally says how the world needs more love and less hate and how anyone who harasses them is either jealous, uptight, or both.

Johnny charges the items to his revolving account, then they walk out with the items in his personal folding shopping cart.

They go home and become intimate, until the hunger pangs set in.

Johnny then prepares dinner and they eat.

Afterward, they watch some old DVDs, until Annabelle suggests that they go write.

They create romantic fantasies together until they are too sleepy to keep their eyes open.

They go to bed and hold each other all night long in a peaceful slumber, thus concluding the Pilot piece.

There is then a three-month interlude, in which Johnny comes out of his backsliding, pays off his deductible loan, and purchases an engagement ring for Annabelle.

He is walking home with the ring on a late afternoon, in May, the first anniversary of them being a couple.

Annabelle greets him, then he walks her to the park, saying he has a surprise for her.

She puts on her shoes and then heads to the park with him.

Johnny tells her that he is blessed to have her in his life and he wants her to know that for sure.

Annabelle says how that’s so sweet.

Johnny then says he wants her by his side for the rest of his life, to which Annabelle agrees.

They enter the park and Johnny says now for your surprise.

He gets on one knee pulls out the ring and proposes to her.

Annabelle covers her mouth and her eyes fill with tears and she happily says yes.

Johnny places the ring on her finger and they share a passionate kiss.

Johnny points out that today makes one year that they are together.

Annabelle states that she hopes for many more.

Everyone in the park cheers and claps, another reference to my “Grocer and Writer” stories.

Johnny then tells Annabelle that he has been a Child of God since the age of seventeen but had backslidden for years but now he is running back to God and knows in order to please Him they must marry.

Annabelle says that she wants to be a Child of God as well and what must she do.

Johnny suggests they go home and he will gladly explain all of it, thus concluding the piece.

Johnny and Annabelle walk home and then go sit on the sofa.

Annabelle says how her daddy always claimed he was a child of God and therefore will go to Heaven when he dies and she wants to be a child of God too.

Johnny replies that he will do his best to explain it and he wants her to be a child of God, more than anything else.

Johnny gently states that we are all sinners and deserve to go to a sinner’s hell.

He continues by saying that God does not want that to happen though, because He loves us immensely, but still our sins must be paid for and the payment required is very high. It is so high it requires us to spend eternity in hell paying for it. Someone paid that price for us in full. God was also satisfied with the payment. That Someone is Jesus Christ. He went to the cross and suffered terribly to pay for the sins of mankind because He loves us that much.

Johnny finally tells Annabelle that she must first off acknowledge that she is a sinner deserving of hell. Then she must realize that Jesus Christ loves her and took her punishment, but she has to be willing to invite Him into her life and let Him rule her life and accept Him as The Lord of her life and the Savior of her soul. And believe that His payment is sufficient.

Annabelle asks how to do that.

Johnny then tells her to talk to Him sincerely but to please do it as soon as possible because this is the most important thing she will ever do. Just pray to Him, and in that prayer, invite Him as your personal Lord and Savior and ask Him to save your soul and rule your life. If you truly mean it and you truly believe what I am telling you, then you will become a child of God.

Annabelle closed her eyes and bowed her head reverently.

Tears began to flow from her eyes and a smile came to her face.

She then exclaims, ‘I believe it all! And yes I have asked Jesus Christ to save me and rule my life. I am feeling very guilty about living with you and having coitus with you even though we’re not married, but I have nowhere else to go.’

Johnny explained how That was the Holy Ghost convicting her of sin and how he has felt guilty about it too, just he loves her so much and never wanted to lose her, so that is why he slept with her.

Annabelle admits that If she would have known exactly how wrong having sex with him was, she wouldn’t have done it, but what is done is done and she is glad they’re getting married now because she strongly feels the need to. And that because he’s so sweet to her, he would have never lost her.”

Johnny explains how they need to find a church to start going to and they need to marry as soon as possible.

Annabelle asks Johnny if he would be offended if she slept in his extra bedroom until they are married.

Johnny says that if she feels that is what God is telling her, then listen to Him by all means.

Annabelle tells Johnny that she loves him so much and thanks to him for being so understanding.

Johnny tells Annabelle that he loves her too and he is immensely joyous that she is saved and that he’s been wanting her to be saved ever since he met her, but he, himself, had been in a horrendously backslidden state.

Excitedly, Annabelle says that she will see her daddy again when she dies and that she was angry at God for years for taking him away from her, but now she knows that God has him safe and sound and she thanks Him for that.

Johnny then prepares them some white beans, thus concluding the series…

I had finished work on the series at some point in 2020.

I know there are some loose ends and I apologize for that, but I did pour my heart into this story series. Furthermore, the loose ends are probably since my writing of it spanned a period of a failing marriage, a divorce, a new blossoming and promising romance, and then sadly a breakup.

I hope this has been an entertaining and informative synopsis and thank you for taking the time to read it.

Back to “Works of Fiction”

I am a Self-Taught Computer Technician

I’ve mentioned it before, but in case you, the reader, didn’t already know, I am a self taught computer technician.

I taught myself how to fix computers initially out of necessity, but now soup up old computers as a hobby.

My fascination with computers can be traced back to the late 1980s when I was a toddler.

The first time I ever saw a computer was either in late 1988 or some time in 1989 when I was shopping with my parents at the Sears in Southland Mall (which is located in Bayou Cane/Houma, Louisiana.)

It wasn’t until I was seven years old that I had found out that there was such a thing as home computers.

Some of my classmates had them, but my family didn’t.

We briefly had a home computer in the Summer of 1998 but didn’t permanently have one until the Summer of 2000.

The model my parents purchased as a family computer, looking back was pretty pathetic, even for the late 1990s and early 2000s.

I don’t remember the exact model number, but it was a Gateway Essential

The specs were:
15 GB Hard Drive (later upgraded to 20 GB.)
64 MB of Ram (later upgraded to 192 MB.)
566 MHz Intel Celeron Processor.
DVD ROM Drive (a CD-RW drive was later added.)
56K Dial-Up PCI Slot Modem (an Ethernet card was later added.)
Only 2 USB Ports
PS/2 Keyboard and Mouse Ports
AND
If I remember correctly the graphics (VGA 600X800 at best), sound and game adapter cards were all part of the mother board.
And if those specs were not cruddy enough, it ran Windows 98 Second Edition.

We made due with this computer from July of 2000 until some time in 2008.

Let me say that I didn’t have a car until the Summer of 2006, and was basically home unless at a school function, so my social life, my reading, my writing, my entertainment and my research were all done on this computer. I used it probably more than any other family member.

We didn’t have adequate virus protection and starting in 2003, began subscribing to cable broadband Internet so, this machine was frequently crashing.

When it did, I would fix it. My parents are fiscally conservative, especially when it comes to technology, if you haven’t figured that out already.

They are also pretty ignorant with technology, so I took it upon myself to fix it.

At first, it was with Gateway Technical Support over the phone, where they would walk me through reformatting the computer.

After doing it enough times, I was able to do it without help from tech support.

This was the beginning of me becoming a self-taught computer technician. I mean my source of many good things in my life was dependent on it.

So it is quite possible that had my parents owned a better computer, I may not have needed to teach myself how to fix computers.

I had known about Linux since 2001, while reading about it in a computer magazine in my school library.

I didn’t actually try it until 2005 when a friend gave me a live boot-able copy of Ham Shack Linux, which I would run on that said machine.

The ease and efficiency of Linux definitely caught my interest back then.

There was no need for hardware drivers everything was plug and play.

There was also no need for virus protection!

This also began my hate relationship with Windows that continues to this very day!

In December of 2005 I had purchased a gently used, but ten year old IBM Think Pad 365E, mostly for writing my stories but also for playing old games. I modified it to run MS-DOS 6.22. Had I known about FreeDOS, I would have loaded it on there.

From the help of a computer professor over the phone, I learned how to make partitions and modify boot sequences in the BIOS memory. This was in March of 2006 or so.

I had that laptop until December of 2006 and I wish I could have kept it.

Also around 2005 and 2006, I began to teach myself how to build computers and mix and match parts.

One of these days I am going to build one from scratch.

But in late December of 2006, I purchased a Compaq/HP Laptop which ran Windows XP Media Center Edition and could be upgraded to Windows Vista.

This is the machine that I discovered WiFi on.

However, it could only do 802.11 a and b.

Then it killed on me in 2008. My family’s Gateway also finally killed on us around this time as well.

My Mom bought a Hewlett Packard in early 2009, which ran Windows 7 and was a good machine until it became bogged down with viruses.

Early in 2009, I had purchased an Asus Eee PC 900A netbook.

It has some decent specs for its size and price:
WiFi built in 802.11 b and g.
1.3 Megapixel WebCam
8 GB solid state drive.
1 GB RAM.
USB and Ethernet ports.

I would have it until 2016 and it was one of the best computers I ever owned.

In December of 2010, it was extremely bogged down with viruses, so I finally figured out how to write an .ISO image to a flash drive and modify the boot sequence.

I ended up installing JoliOS 1.2 which served me very well for over a year. I also installed JoliOS 1.2 on my Mom’s Hewlett Packard.

By the way, it was ruined by a power surge following Hurricane Issac in 2012.

I gave my Dad an older Dell to use which a friend had given me.

He had it until 2019

I subsequently used other versions of operating systems, all from the Linux family on that computer.

In 2015, I finally purchased an Android smartphone. This allows me to Google for a solution when I am working on a computer and I come aross a hiccup.

That was a huge milestone, because before, I needed another computer as well as an Internet connection to get a solution when things didn’t go right.

In 2016, I began to put together a kit of tools that I EDC for my computer repair hobby. The featured image on this pages shows what I am carrying as of February 2020. These tools are kept in a special compartment of my EDC backpack.

In 2018, through most of 2019, I had attended a church and fixed the computers of several members.

By this point in my life, I had obtained a reputation as a computer guru.

There are several friends who come to me when they need their computers fixed and usually I am able to do it.

Now as of 2020, I frequently find myself restoring older computers and making them useful again.

This usually entails me taking a Windows computer and reformatting the hard drive or solid state drive with a version of Linux that has modern functionality but runs well on the hardware. Sometimes I will also upgrade the RAM chips or disk drives.

I wish I would have had this knowledge and skill when I was a teenager. I could have made that old Gateway run like a high spec machine, but if it wasn’t for that cruddy old Gateway, I may never have taught myself how to fix computers to begin with.

I hope to fix computers for the rest of my life because it is a fun and useful hobby.

I know I can also bless other who otherwise cannot afford a new computer but will make their machines run like new.

If it wasn’t for me being dependent on several expensive medications, I would try to make a career out of this, because it is something I can do from dawn til dusk or until those medications kick in, then I am dead to the world for twelve to fourteen hours. However, I would be self employed and have to worry about health insurance. We do need some serious reforms in this country and Obamacare doesn’t cut it!

I guess this concludes my piece on how I am indeed a self taught computer technician. I need to take those medications right now, actually.

So, I hope you, the reader, have been informed and entertained.

Thank you for reading!

May God richly bless you…

Back to “Personal Reflections”

A Review of the Streamlight Pro Tac 2 AAA Tactical Penlight

Just for the record, I do not own the featured image on this page. It is actually the property of Streamlight Inc.

Since my teens, I have been a self-taught computer technician.

I had become considerably proficient at fixing computers in my early twenties and by my thirties, people are frequently coming to me for a repair or at least consulting me for advice.

I guess I can say that I am a computer nerd. And I am proud of it!

However, there are those that want to make trouble with people like me.

And then there are those who just want to make trouble.

There are people like these even in the best of workplaces.

Then there could just be someone off the street who wants to commit a robbery, I mean computer equipment is very valuable and computer repair equipment is also somewhat valuable.

How does one defend oneself against such a belligerent individual?

I mean, they are probably more fit physically and carrying a weapon of any sort is at best heavily regulated and at worst downright illegal.

Meet the tactical flashlight!

Specifically, meet the Streamlight Pro Tac 2 AAA model, which this piece will be a review of.

I have owned three of them, but misplaced two.

I bought my first one in January of 2018, then another in March of 2018 and my current one in March of 2019.

I EDC my current one with the rest of my computer repair tools for self-defense purposes, rather than general or specific illumination.

This neat little flashlight is slightly longer and thicker than an ink pen, meaning it can be tucked away in a backpack or purse and not noticeable until needed.

The Streamlight Pro Tac 2 AAA can be programmed to three different configurations, which is a feature known as “TEN-TAP® Programming.” The three different modes are:

1. high/strobe/low

2. high only

3. low/high

I have kept mine set on the default high/strobe/low configuration (more on why in a bit.)

The LED light engine has somewhat generous specs, at least for its hardware setup:

High Mode features a 130 lumen 70-meter beam, runs for 1.75 hours and has a beam intensity of 1,230 candelas.

Low Mode features a 20 lumen 30-meter beam, runs for 13 hours and has a beam intensity of 230 candelas.

Strobe Mode runs 3.5 hours and is available for signaling help or disorienting an opponent for defensive purposes.

This flashlight is somewhat water-resistant and has a rating of IPX7 which means the unit is waterproof to a depth of 1 meter for 30 minutes.

It is also impact forgiving and was tested to withstand a fall from a height of 2 meters.

It is constructed of a very durable and abrasion-resistant machined aluminum with a Type II Mil-Spec anodized finish.

The openings are O-ring sealed to keep harmful fluids out.

The glass lens is more robust than say a polycarbonate lens.

It is 5.62 inches (14.27 cm) long and weighs 2 ounces (57g) with batteries installed.

So how is this flashlight a potential self-defense instrument?

I will explain:

First off it is made of a hard Aluminum.

Then, the front bezel is scalloped making a semi-sharp striking weapon.

Finally, it features a strobe which can disorient an attacker, especially in darkness.

The idea is one knows he or she will near any trouble makers to have this flashlight in a place where it can be quickly deployed.

Then if confronted by a violent or threatening individual, especially in the dark, the idea is to activate the strobe, which is done by two quick presses of the switch and shine it in the opponent’s eyes. As the opponent shields his or her face, the next step is to either run away and get help, or to stike the opponent as hard as you can with the scalloped bezel. Places to hit would be the face, eyes, throat or temple as hard as you can. When the impact is made, push and turn into the point of impact as this will break the skin and cause more pain and therefore more stopping power. There are a few videos on sites like YouTube that can show how to execute these movements with better precision and effectiveness than what I am simply describing on my blog. Yes, this methodology turns a small flashlight into a potentially lethal weapon. The good part is that, while it is not considered a weapon legally, it, therefore,may be carried almost anywhere.

Also for the record, I am not liable for any criminal or legal penalties you, the reader, may incur for using this as a weapon. Take my advice and the advice of others at your own risk.

Unfortunately, we live in a society that punishes people for simply defending themselves, even against armed and dangerous criminals. This is a curse that seems to be falling onto the entire Western World.

However, it is better to be judged by twelve than carried by six.

I would advise using this only if the opponent is wielding a weapon, has battered you first or has demanded your property.

This is meant to be a defensive, not an offensive weapon.

Still, it can be a legal equalizer without the red tape, obligations, and requirements of a concealed carry weapons permit.

My one complaint about this flashlight is the faulty pocket clip.

That design needs to be completely redone, as it was the faulty clip that malfunctioned and caused me to misplace my first two.

I keep my third one in a dedicated compartment of my EDC backpack with my computer repair tools and if I felt the need to carry it, I would not clip it to my pocket but rather store it deep in my pocket.

I wish the LED could also be at least 200 lumens instead of 130, but that I pushing it, I get it.

All in all, I give this product a 4.75 out of 5 stars because of the faulty pocket clip.

If the pocket clip were as robust as its 2 AA sibling, I would give it a full 5.

This, therefore, concludes my review of the Streamlight Pro Tac 2 AAA.

I hope you, the reader, have been informed and entertained…

Back to “Product Reviews”

A Review of the Victorinox Cyber Tool S Swiss Army Knife

For the record, I do not own the featured image. It is the property of Victorinox.

As I’ve frequently mentioned before, I am a self-taught computer technician.

Repairing computers is one of my more useful hobbies.

Since July of 2018, I’ve added to the items that I everyday carry when working on computers.

I still have everything previously mentioned except for the Baval branded case, which broke on me-I was sorely disappointed.

In addition to the Incandescent Mini Maglite (which is carried with these items just for general personal lighting in a post EMP situation), a Texas Instruments TI-36 X Pro (which is for assisting a computer programmer or computer scientist, though probably overkill), an Energizer HardCase Inspection Light (for looking inside a tower or mainframe while it is running) the usual USB flash drives and a Victorinox Cyber Tool S (which is for actually having to open up a computer and what this piece will be a review of.) I have since added an additional flashlight, a 2 AA Streamlight ProTac in march of 2019 (mainly for personal illumination protection should I be needed to work on a computer in a shady area or be confronted by a trouble maker in any area.) These items are all kept in a dedicated compartment of my Wenger SwissGear EDC backpack.

I have been using Swiss Army Knives on and off since 2005.

I purchased this particular Swiss Army Knife (a Victorinox Cyber Tool S) in 2018 and it is currently my favorite one.

I use this mostly for when I am working on computers, but I will also open a canned meal with it or if I have to cut something open. Though the blades are some of the sharpest steel I’ve ever encountered, I wouldn’t advise using this for self-defense purposes unless nothing else is available. I see this as much more of a tool for nerds than a weapon for a fighter.

This is what Victorinox had to say about its awesome product, “We took the traditional Officer’s knife functions and added tools like a bit wrench to match new standards in the electronics industry. And that legend continues into the digital age with the CyberTool pocket knife. It’s everything you need to become a superuser.”

Victorinox is a very reputable manufacturer, that should be common knowledge. I mean they’ve been around since 1884. And Victorinox is a Swiss firm, which I believe the Swiss are the world’s finest craftspeople, change my mind! For the record, I am not Swiss, but I do indeed admire them as a people and a sovereign state. I’ve purchased their products many times before and they have always served me well. Furthermore, I have used this particular product frequently in conjunction with my computer repair hobby, so I completely and wholeheartedly agree with their aforementioned statement. The MSRP is 75 American Dollars. Yes, Swiss goods come at a premium price, but they are worth every single penny. Swiss Army Knives easily outperform and outlast all of their East Asian knockoffs and are a hair above their American-made Leatherman counterparts, or so I’ve read. The Swiss take pride in their work, probably more than anyone else, so their products are indeed superior so that is why they have a premium price tag. I justify this purchase because I use my computer repair hobby to assist others, especially since many times cannot afford a new one. Probably the most important lesson I learned at the high school I attended was the importance of being kind to others and I do get a tremendous amount of happiness when I can be a blessing to my fellow human being.

This handy gadget is 4 inches long, 0.8 inches thick and has a net weight of 3.4 ounces. This means that it is lightweight and compact enough to be carried in a pocket and not noticed until needed, but offers a plethora of useful items when deployed!

In addition to the main features of large blade, small blade, corkscrew, reamer, punch, and sewing awl, can opener, screwdriver (3 mm), bottle opener, screwdriver (6 mm), wire stripper, key ring, toothpick, straight pin and tweezers found on many medium sized Swiss Army Knives, there are also the following implements which are indispensible for all computer technicians: a pressurized ball point pen, a precision screwdriver slotted bit which fits onto the corkscrew, a slotted screwdriver bit (size 4), a Phillips screwdriver bit (size 2), a Phillips screwdriver bit (size 0) (Pozidrive), a Phillips screwdriver bit (size 1) (Pozidrive), a Torx screwdriver bit (size 10), a Torx screwdriver bit (size 15), a bit case, a bit wrench, a female Hex drive (5 mm) for D-SUB connectors, a female Hex drive (4 mm) for bits, a Hex screwdriver bit (size 4), and a Torx screwdriver bit (size 8.)

The handle is made of a red translucent plastic known as Cellidor, which means it could easily be located in a backpack when needed.

Actually, Swiss Army Knives are mostly red because there is a lot of snow in Switzerland and they need to be easy to locate should they be dropped in the snow! Probably also the colors of the Swiss Federation are red and white.

This is the least expensive of all the Victorinox Cyber Tool models, yet it has everything I need and even things I probably won’t need, but are still good to have.

The most useful implements in relation to computer repair are the Philips, Hex and Torx Bits. Of course, the Hex wrench that drives these bits is equally important.

These bits have just about every size needed to open up a computer and even a disk drive for the most advanced of users!

Honestly, if Victorinox could make a Cyber Tool without any knife implements, but instead had those important bits and a high capacity flash drive (such as 128 GB or 1 TB) where the knife blade would be, I would definitely save the money and buy it. The reason why I could want such a high capacity flash drive is to store all of the image files of the Linux distributions that I download. Also, if such a tool existed, it could be taken to school without the owner catching a charge and on a plane without getting confiscated. This would be a hit with IT students, professionals and even amateurs like me.

As I’ve said before, the knife implements are some of the sharpest steel I have ever seen and felt, but I would much rather a flash drive in their place.

The can opener implement would, of course, be useful for getting lunch out of a can in the break room or just to have should the power fail and one needs to eat canned food.

The bottle opener implement would be useful for drinking beer or high-quality soft drink after a stressful day when all the equipment had a mind of its own.

The wire stripper on the bottle opener implement would be useful for any computer technician should he or she have to assist maintenance personnel with wiring a receptacle or switch.

And I could take or leave the corkscrew, but I fully understand it could have a use when opening that bottle of bubbly to celebrate a career milestone.

The precision screwdriver bit that attaches to the corkscrew could be used to perform minor repairs of eyeglasses on the fly, Lord knows most computer repair people both amateur and professional will need some sort of eyewear because of all the reading of screens, components and motherboards that ages the eyes prematurely.

I don’t have any complaints about this product whatsoever, I just wish a more legal version was available.

This, therefore, concludes my review of the Victorinox Cyber Tool S.

I hope I have been informative and entertaining.

Back to “Product Reviews”

Notes on the Electronic Calculator

Since infancy, I have had a great fascination with calculators, in fact just about as much as with flashlights. This is because they were always around me growing up. Before my dad became a special education teacher, he was a bank executive so therefore he always had a calculator until his career change. My mom has taught high school math since 1980 and she has always EDCed a scientific calculator or two. I had EDCed a calculator on and off since the age of eight and then permanently since the age of twenty-five. Though both of my parents are teachers, I am not. I am more or less of an amateur tradesman, especially in the trades of electrical and computer repair. Because of this, I greatly realize the need to EDC a calculator, though not for the same reason as my parents. For a while, I have been also EDCing a composition book on which I take notes on subjects that I consider important to me. On October 2nd and 3rd of 2018, I did some research on electronic calculators and took notes into my composition book. I am transcribing these notes for others to read.

Without further ado, here are my notes on electronic calculators:

Wikipedia is the source I cite as that is where the bulk of this information comes from.

The first solid state electronic calculator was created in the early 1960s.

Pocket-sized models came avaailable in the 1970s after the first microprocessor, the Intel 4004 was invented.

By the end of the 1970s, basic calculators were affordable to most and became common in schools.

In 1986 ~41% of the world’s general purpose hardware capacity was represented by calculators. As of 2007, it is only 0.05%.

Processor Components:

The Scanning/Polling Unit scans the keypad waiting to receive an electrical signal when a key is pressed.

The X and Y registers are where numbers are temporarily stored during calculations. All numbers go into the X register first, the number in the X register is displayed.

The function for the calculation is stored in the Flag Register until the calculator needs it.

The Permanent or Read Only Memory or ROM is the instructions for built-in functions that are permanently stored and cannot be deleted.

The User or the Random Access Memory or RAM is where numbers can be stored by the user and contents can be changed or erased by the user.

The Arithmetic Logic Unit or ALU executes all arithmetic and logic instructions and produces results in binary code.

The Binary Decoder Unit converts the binary results into decimal numbers which are shown on the display unit.

The clock rate of the processor chip refers to the frequency of which the Central Processing Unit is running. It indicates the processor’s speed and is measured in clock cycles per second and expressed in the unit of Hertz. Basic calculations can vary between a few hundred Hertz to the KiloHertz range.

The first devices used to aid in arithmetic calculations were bones, pebbles, counting boards and the Abacus which was used in ancient Egypt and Sumeria before 2000 BC.

Computing tools started to arrive in the 17th Century with inventions such as the Geometric Military Compass, made by Galileo.

Logarithms and Napier’s bones were invented by Scottish mathematician John Napier of Merchiston (1550-April 4, 1617.)

The slide rule was invented by English and Welsh clergyman, mathematician and astronomer Edmund Gunter (1581-December 10, 1626.)

In 1642, the mechanical calculator was invented by German professor and minister Wilheim Schickard (April 22, 1592-October 24, 1635) several decades before the device invented by French mathematician, physicist and writer Blaise Paschal (June 19, 1623-August 19, 1662.) Schikard’s device used a well-thought set of mechanized multiplication tables to quicken the process of multiplication and division. Paschal’s calculator could add and subtract two numbers directly.

German polymath Gottfried Leibinz (July 1, 1646-November 14, 1716) spent four decades attempting to design a four operation mechanical calculator he called “The Step Reckoner. he was not successful but in the process, he invented “The Leibinz Wheel.”

At that point my medication kicked in and I went to bed, then resumed taking notes on October 3, 2018.

There were five other unsuccessful attempts to design a calculating clock in the 17th Century.

The first successful calculating clock was invented in the 18th Century by Marquess physicist, mathematician and antiquarian Giovanni Poleni (1683-November 1761.)

Assumed Italian inventor Luigi Torchi (1812-?) invented the first direct multiplication machine and the second key-driven machine in the world, following James White’s invention in 1822.

Real developments began during the Industrial Revolution of the 19th Century. This made large scale production of devices that could perform all four functions of arithmetic.

The Arithmometer was invented in 1820 and put into production in 1851. It became the first commercially sold unit and by 1890, 2,500 units had been sold. There were even clone units from Burkhardt, Germany, in 1878 and Layton, UK, in 1883.

In 1902, American James Dalton invented The Dalton Adding Machine with the first push-button interface.

In 1921, American Electrical Engineer Edith Clarke (February 10, 1883-October 29, 1959), the first female professor of Electrical Engineering at UTA invented the “Clarke Calculator” which was a simple graph-based calculator for solving line equations that involved hyperbolic functions. This device gave electrical engineers the ability to simply calculate inductance and capacitance in power transmission lines.

In 1948, Austrian engineer Curt Herzstark (July 26, 1902-October 27, 1988) invented the pocket portable calculator which was called the “Curta.”

Casio released the Model 14-A in 1957. It was the world’s first all-electric compact calculator.

In October of 1961, British Bell Punch/Sumlock Comptometer ANITA, which is an acronym for “A New Inspiration To Arithmetic/Accounting” was announced. It used cold cathode tubes and Dekatrons in its circuits in addition to 12 cold cathode Nixie tubes. There were two models displayed: the Mk VII was for Continental Europe and the MK VIII was for the UK and the rest of the world.

Tubes began to be phased out in 1963 when the American-made Friden EC-130 was built of an all transistor design. It featured a stack of four thirteen digit numbers and a five-inch cathode ray tube. It also introduced Reverse Polish Notation. This machine sold for $2,200.

In 1964 Sharp introduced the CS-10A. It weighed 25 kilograms or 55 pounds and cost 500,000 yen or $4,457.52.

Italian company Industria Machine Electroniche also introduced the IME-84 with several peripherals so several users could make use of it (but not simultaneously.)

Several manufacturers followed including Canon, Mathatronics, Olivetti, Toshiba, Smith Carona Marchant, and Wang. These calculators used Germanium as opposed to Silicon for their transistors. Displays were either Cathode Ray Tube or cold cathode Nixie tubes and filament lamps. Memory was either delayed line memory or magnetic core memory. However, the Toshiba “Toscal” BC-1411 possibly had an early form of Dynamic Random Access Memory.

In late 1965, the Olivetti Programma 101 was released. It could read and write stored programs on magnetic memory cards and display the results on its built-in printer. Memory was achieved with an acoustic delay line and could be partitioned between program steps, constants and data registers. It could be considered the first commercially made personal computer and won many industrial design awards.

Also in 1965 the Bulgarian made ELKA 6521 was released. The name is derived from a portmanteau of ELektronen KAlkulator. It weighed 8 kilograms or 18 pounds. It was the first calculator to feature a square root function. Later in 1965 the ELKA 25 with a built-in printer was introduced. The ELKA 101 was released in 1974 and was ELKA’s first pocket model. It featured Roman script (I guess as opposed to Slavic)since it was exported to Western Countries.

In 1967, the Monroe Epic was put on the market. It was a large printing desktop model with an attached floor standing logic tower. It could be programmed to carry out many computer-like functions. Unfortunately, the only branch instruction was an implied unconditional branch (GO TO) at the end of the operation stack, which returned the program to its starting instruction. Therefore it was impossible to include any conditional branch ie (IF-THEN-ELSE) logic.

During this time period, the absence of a conditional branch sometimes determined the difference between a programmable calculator and a computer.

Also in 1967, Texas Instruments American electrical engineer Jack Kilby (November 8, 1923-June 20, 2005) led the production of the first prototype of a handheld calculator, the “Cal Tech.” It could perform the four basic operations and printed the results on paper tape.

In 1970 a calculator could be produced with just a few low power chips and be powered by rechargeable batteries. Also in 1970, the first portable calculators appeared in Japan and were sold around the world. Models included the Sanyo ICC-0081 Mini Calculator, the Canon “Pocketronic” and the Sharp QT-8B “micro compet.”

Desiring to reduce power consumption, Sharp introduced the EL-8 which was also marketed as the Facit IIII. it was close to being a pocket model and weight 1.59 pounds or 721 grams, had a vacuum fluorescent display, rechargeable NiCad batteries and sold for $395.

In early 1971, the first “Calculator on a chip” the MK6010 was made by Mostek. Also in 1971, Pico Electronics and General Instrument introduced the chipset for the Monroe Royal Digital III calculator.

The Busicom LE-120A “HANDY” was the first truly pocket-sized calculator. It was the first to feature an LED display, first to use a single integrated circuit and the first to run on primary batteries. It measured 4.9 inches by 2.8 inches by 0.9 inches (124 millimeters by 71 millimeters by 23 millimeters.)

The DB800 was made in 1971 in Buje, Croatia, and was the first European made pocket calculator.

The Bowmar 901B was the first American made pocket-sized calculator which measured 5.2 inches by 3.0 inches by 1.5 inches (132 millimeters by 76 millimeters by 38 millimeters) and was put on the market in Autumn of 1971. It featured the four basic functions, a red LED display and sold for $240.

Then in 1972, the first slimline pocket calculator was released. It was the Sinclair Executive. Measuring 5.4 inches by 2.2 inches by 0.35 inches (137.2 millimeters by 55.9 millimeters by 8.9 millimeters), it sold for 79 Pounds.

The first pocket-sized Soviet-made calculator was the Elektronika B3-04 was developed in 1973 and put on the market in 1974.

In 1973, the Sinclair Cambridge was launched. It sold for 29.95 Pounds or $38.40. Because of their lower price, Sinclair units were popular but they were slower and sometimes produced inaccurate results with transcendental functions.

The first Soviet-made, pocket-sized scientific model B3-18 was completed by the end of 1975.

Texas Instruments introduced the SR-10 (SR stands for “Slide Rule.”) It was an algebraic entry-level pocket calculator using scientific notation and sold for $150. Afterward, the SR-11 was released and had a dedicated key for the Pi constant. The following year, the SR-50 was released and added the trigonometric and logarithmic functions. It was a competitor model to the Hewlett Packard HP-35.

In 1976, the Texas Instruments TI-30 was launched and descendants of it are still in production.

In 1978, Calculated Industries made special purpose calculators such as the “Loan Arranger” which was marketed to Real Estate professionals. In 1985 they launched the “Construction Master” which was marketed to the building trades.

Programmable calculators such as the Mathatronics and Casio AL-100 were very heavy and costly.

The Hewlett Packard HP-65 came out in 1974 and had a capacity of 100 instructions and could store and retrieve programs in a built-in magnetic card reader. The HP-25 introduced continuous memory which stored data and programs in a CMOS. The HP-41C was released in 1979 and could be expanded with Random Access Memory and Read Only Memory. It could also be connected to bar code readers, microcassette and floppy drives as well as printers and communication interfaces such as the RS-232, HP-IL, and HP-IB.

The ISKRA123 was Soviet-made, grid powered and released in the early 1970s. The Elektronika B3-21 was developed at the end of 1976 and put on the market in early 1977. Its successor, the B3-34 was widely used and hundreds of thousands of games and program were written for it. The Elektronika MK-52 was used in the Soviet Space Program.

The Hewlett Packard HP-28C was released in 1987 and was the first calculator capable of symbolic programming.

The Casio fx-7000G was released in 1985 as the world’s first graphing calculator.

In 1981, the Hewlett Packard 12-C was the first financial calculator…

Computer Instruction Notes

I have been EDCing a Composition Book containing notes I have taken on subjects that I’d like to be well versed in. This page and others will feature the notes I have written so others can be as educated as I am on these subjects.

This particular page will deal with my Computer Instructions, specifically on how to get a better operating system for your computer. These are very general, but I still find them to contain valuable information.

The reasons why you may want to change your operating system is either because you are sick and tired of dealing with Microsoft Windows’ painfully numerous shortcomings or the version of Linux you are using is out of date and no longer supported. Maybe you are like me and you liken trying different flavors of Linux to trying different flavors of ice cream.

Whatever the reason, these instructions should be quite useful.

Without further ado, here it is:

…October 1, 2018, is when this was written…

Upgrading your computer’s operating system.

Check the hardware specifications of machine desired for upgrade.

Determine whether your machine is 32 bit or 64 bit.

Search for a distribution that is compatible with hardware specs.

Download the .ISO file.

32 Bit .ISO files work on both 32 Bit and 64 Bit hardware.

64 Bit .ISO files work only on 64 Bit hardware infrastructure.

Athalon AMD is typically 64 Bit.

Intel X86 is typically 32 Bit.

Use Startup Disk Creator (in Linux at least) or Unetbootin (otherwise) to “burn” the .ISO file to installation media (USB stick or SD card.) Use CD burning software to “burn” .ISO file to CD or DVD.

Insert installation media into computer desired for the upgrade, then shut down.

Start up the said computer again and access the BIOS, which is usually achieved by repeatedly pressing one of the Function Keys during and right after power up.

Go to the Boot Menu within the BIOS memory. Here you will modify the Boot Sequence.

Select the device containing the installation media to be the first boot device.

Save changes, then exit the BIOS and restart.

Follow instructions as the new operating system boots.

Restart when finished and be sure to remove installation media…