I wasn’t sure I was going to get this Tall Tale to you.

The computer desktop I rely on went “kaplooey.”

I know, “kaplooey” is not computer-savvy. If I were computer-savvy, I wouldn’t have to use it – and I would know what to do.

I did all the things you are supposed to do, mainly reboot. Reboot is fancy computer-talk for turning everything off, then turning it back on again.

I did that. I even unplugged it.

Still, my right screen wouldn’t, well, whatever the computer-savvy term is when it goes “kaplooey” and won’t work.

I need that right screen. Yes, a matter of life and death when I am in the middle of authoring another Tribune front page story or composing another Tall Tale. That is where I read my notes, view webpages of organizations I am writing about, Google my research.

I blame my lack of computer-savviness on my old job, the one I retired from at Memorial Hermann. They were wonderful to work for but, if your computer went “kaplooey,” under no circumstances did they want you to figure out why. There were times when I was told NOT to reboot, you know, turn it off, then on.

Fortunately, the IT people were just down the hall. If they couldn’t figure out what was “kaplooeying,” they would run down the hallway for a personal visit.

They were terrific. Always got me going — computer-wise, that is. The downside was that I never learned what to do when things go, well, “kaplooey.”

Exasperation doesn’t begin to describe how I felt. Exasperated — and all alone. With a blank screen staring back at me. What we used to call “ … the dreaded blue screen of death.”

We’ve got a practically new laptop in the closet that we take on the road. It is great for reading the Omaha World-Herald, but I am spoiled. I LOVE my desktop — the one here with the “dreaded blue screen of death” staring back at me.

If I were a millennial — sorry, it has been a while since I picked on millennials – I wouldn’t need anything as primeval as a desktop or laptop.

Nope, I would be working my iPhone.

I remember watching one of those millennial reporters from the Big Downtown Paper work her iPhone when we were both covering some event. Her thumbs flew across that tiny keyboard.

“What are you doing?” I asked. “Taking notes,” she answered. She probably “thumbs” her story on that phone, too, I thought to my disgusted self. Disgusted because, frankly, my thumbs aren’t agile enough to fly across my iPhone. Even spell-check can’t keep up with my misspells.

And, since my miracle eye surgery, I can barely read my own phone. The type is as big as I can make it and it still is too small. After growing up practically blind, I had laser surgery a couple years ago. One of the smart things I did. Now I can see all the way to Rapid City, but I can’t see anything right in front of me.

And then it hit me. The flash from heaven. Donald, yes, Donald.

Donald set up my home office when I retired. I was in a bind. I wanted what I had at Memorial Hermann, but there wasn’t any Memorial Hermann behind me to get me on track.

Donald got me there. On track, that is.

He wasn’t who I was going to call. I had asked an acquaintance for a recommendation and, typical me, got confused.

There are many Kingwood computer fixer-uppers and I called Donald.

Best mistake I ever made.

So, I thumbed my email to Donald. He asked all those questions the Memorial Hermann IT people used to ask me. I answered, trying to avoid using words like “kaplooey.”

He sent me an Amazon link for a cable, or something. I ordered it. My screen is working!

Two lessons learned:

1. Next time my desktop goes “kaplooey,” call Donald.

2. I will never EVER criticize Amazon’s “fast delivery.” You know, those rants about how now we expect instant delivery. I got that lifesaving cable in six hours. Yea, Amazon!

This week, at least, Donald is my hero.


Tell me your hero, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Tom Broad
Author: Tom BroadEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Besides being a proud graduate of The University of Nebraska-Lincoln and, therefore, a Cornhusker, I am retired from Memorial Hermann. I am a correspondent and columnist for Lake Houston's hometown paper, The Tribune, as well as a director of the Lake Houston Redevelopment Corporation, a member of the board of the Humble Area Assistance Ministries, and Volunteer Extraordinaire for the Lake Houston Area Chamber.

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