First World Problem


Since it doesn’t make fiscal sense to have my Mac repaired—the estimate being only a couple hundred dollars less than the cost of a new machine—I am now faced with finding a replacement.

At the time I bought it four years ago, my machine was the top of the line: 3 GHz i7, 8GB RAM, and a 512GB SSD…so obviously I’m going to want something similar.

Apple is still offering all models of the 2015 MacBook Pro (MagSafe, multiple ports, retina display), but with a refresh imminent, it’s hard to say for how long they’ll be available. With Ben’s education discount, I can get a 2.7 GHz i5/8/512 for $1559. If I want to bump that up to a 3.1 GHz i7, the price jumps to $1829. Both of these are custom orders, so I can’t just walk into an Apple Store and go home with one.

And this is where the conundrum comes in.

I can get the 2016 non-Touchbar model (2.4 GHz i7/8/512) for $1899. This would also be a custom order.  For the same price I can get the Touchbar model with a faster processor (2.9 GHz i5/8/512)…and it’s in stock.

When the Touchbar Macs came out last year I was immediately enthralled, but despite the “cool” factor, I still do question the ultimate usefulness of the feature. And then there’s the whole loss-of-ports thing. How much of a problem that would ultimately be for me is probably overblown since the only items I connect via USB2/3 are my Time Machine and occasionally my phone—and USB C to USB2/3 adapters are readily available.

It’s all kind of academic at this point since I can’t do anything about this for a couple weeks. Let’s just call it a birthday present to myself.

Thankfully I have Ben’s old 2010 MacBook to use in the meantime. After several extremely frustrating hours I think I’ve finally beaten it into enough submission that it’s now properly syncing messages with the phone and only occasionally prompting me to enter my Apple password to validate a piece of purchased software.

Best Case/Worst Case

At Ben’s recommendation, instead of taking it to Apple, I took the Mac into a local, highly-recommended shop today.

Worst case scenario is the system board. $900 including labor. (Better than what I was reading about Apple.)

Best case, $50 to simply clean the thing out.

The tech told me it might also be a simple matter of the power button being hosed. If that’s the case, it’s an upper case/keyboard replacement (because both items are apparently sealed to each other) at around $300, including labor. (The fact the charging light came on was a good indication the system board wasn’t fried.)

Should hear something from them within 24 hours.

Fingers crossed.

UPDATE: Worse than Worst Case. Pretty much everything except the display is shot and needs replacement. Time to buy a new Mac.

At least Gazelle is giving me $185 to offset the cost of a new one a bit…

I Knew It Had To Happen Sooner Or Later

Angry Mac is angry.

I’m going to blame Sonic and their goddamned thin-as-fuck Route 44 styrofoam cups.

Last night I went to pick my drink up. As has happened a dozen times before, the top came loose, my thumb went through the side of the cup, and 44 ounces of iced tea exploded. Unfortunately this time, it exploded over my open and powered on Macbook.

I suppose I’ve been lucky. I’ve been a laptop user going on nearly ten years now and have never had an accident like this.

I immediately powered it down, drained the liquid out and removed the back.I propped it up in front of a desk fan overnight, hoping against all odds that I got it turned off quickly enough. Apparently I didn’t. This morning it’s completely dead.

So tomorrow night it’s off to the Apple store and probably a thousand dollar repair, since I can’t afford to buy a new one.

In the meantime I thankfully have Ben’s old 2010 Macbook to use. It has no battery, it’s got half the RAM and hard drive capacity of my machine, but at least it will get me through until mine is repaired. I was amazed that when I went to do Internet Recovery it actually loaded (and is running) Sierra. My most recent Time Machine backup was yesterday morning, so I really didn’t lose much of anything, but I wasn’t able to restore iTunes (too big for the size of this hard drive), and I’m belatedly discovering that not all settings get transferred when doing anything other than a complete restore.


Absolutely Beautiful

A lot has been written the past few days about the very passionate and graphic gay love scene—between two Middle Eastern men, no less—in the most recent episode of American Gods. Indeed, it was wonderful and in many ways groundbreaking and left me applauding the writers and actors, but what really got me about this all-around awesome episode was the opening.

If there is an afterlife, this is the afterlife I want to experience.

Why Should I Pay Indeed

Congressman Rod Blum in a Dubuque town hall (Monday) night asked, ‘Why should a 62-year-old man have to pay for maternity care?’

I ask, why should I pay for a bridge I don’t cross, a sidewalk I don’t walk on, a library book I don’t read?

Why should I pay for a flower I won’t smell, a park I don’t visit, or art I can’t appreciate? Why should I pay the salaries of politicians I didn’t vote for, a tax cut that doesn’t affect me, or a loophole I can’t take advantage of?

It’s called democracy, a civil society, the greater good. That’s what we pay for.” ~ Barbara Rank, Hidden Oaks Court, Dubuque

Dead Man Lying


We’ve reached a magical time in the great story unfolding before us, the time when everybody knows that Trump is guilty, but the verdict is not yet in. I remember exactly how it happened in the Watergate story, when everybody knew Nixon was guilty of ordering the break-in at the DNC headquarters at the Watergate hotel and office complex and supervised the cover-up, but evidence sufficient to prove his guilt wasn’t yet available. Guilty men lie, and lie repeatedly. Their early lies beget later lies; their little lies beget bigger lies; their implausible lies beget extraordinary lies; they tell more and more outrageous lies as their day of reckoning closes in. It was true of Nixon and now it’s true of Trump. The lies multiply, they become ever more far-fetched, and finally the day arrives when lying doesn’t work anymore. We’re there with Trump. He lies practically every time he takes a breath, but his lies aren’t working anymore. He’s choking from lack of oxygen. He’s a dead man lying.


I Have No Idea…

…of the legitimacy of what this article is reporting. It was forwarded to me last night by a friend and I’m unfamiliar with the particular source, so it could be nothing more than some fever-fantasy (one that, admittedly, is shared by millions of my fellow Americans), or it could be truth. I don’t like spreading idle gossip on this here blog thingie, but this idle gossip made my heart flutter a little and gave me hope that our national nightmare may be coming to an end.

From Patribotics:

Several sources familiar with the matter say that Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah is being given security briefings to prepare him for the Presidency.

Sources close to the legal community indicate that matters are proceeding rapidly in the forthcoming proceedings to remove Donald Trump from office, and to indict the co-conspirators around him.

Sources with links to the intelligence community described a sense of both inevitability and urgency over the unraveling of the Trump-Pence administration over their attempts to obstruct justice. “Trump’s presdidency ended May 9th,” said one source, referring to the overtly politicized dismissal of FBI Director James Comey.

Donald Trump and Mike Pence have both violated their oaths of office in plain sight over the unconstitutional dismissal of Director Comey, these sources say, and elements of the Judicial Branch are asserting the separation of powers described in the Constitution. This matter is separate from, and additional to, the substantive charges of collusion with the Russian state, and of money-laundering, sedition, violation of the Logan Act, and other crimes with which both Trump and Pence may be charged. As I exclusively reported earlier this week, Speaker Paul Ryan, normally third in the line of succession, will be excluded as the intelligence community has an intercept in which Ryan openly admits that he knew Sergei Kislyak was washing Russian money into the GOP. This will convict Ryan on RICO charges; as I have also exclusively reported this week, a RICO case exists against the GOP as a body. The raids earlier this week on a data and consulting firm close to Paul Manafort formed part of evidence gathering in this RICO case.

Some of the violations committed this week by Pence and Trump include, but are not limited to, lying that Director Comey told Mr. Trump he was not being investigated; explicitly connecting Trump’s firing of Comey to the investigation of his connections with Russian hacking; using White House spokesmen knowingly to lie to the public, for example, Sarah Sanders Huckabee claiming Comey “committed atrocities”; having the Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, involve himself on a matter on which he was recused; explicitly stating that the White House wishes a new FBI Director to bring the Russia investigation to a conclusion; and witness tampering with threats to Director Comey.

As a result, sources say, steps are being taken by aspects of the Judicial Branch to preserve the constitutional Separation of Powers and these steps include ensuring a smooth transition of power. In order that Senator Hatch, the fourth in line, be ready to assume the duties of the office he will shortly be undertaking, several separate sources with links to the matter, report that the Senator is receiving copies of security briefings he will need upon becoming President.

There will be further reporting on this breaking story later today.

Now admittedly Orrin Hatch would not be my first choice to replace 45, but if this is what is required to remove the rot in the White House, I’m all for it.


It’s only taken four decades for the light to come on, but it finally did.

It was on the occasion of my 19th birthday, and several of the friends from Tucson I’d made since coming out at the start of my second semester away at school made the trek up to Phoenix to help me celebrate.

As I was now of drinking age and could finally legally go out to the pubs, the biggest question was where to go?

The decision was unanimous—and it was to become my favorite watering hole/dance-my-ass-off venue for the next two years. It was a cavernous place on the east side of 16th Street, tucked up against the canal just south of Indian School Road that went by various names as it kept reinventing itself (or changing owners). That first night—and for probably a year or so thereafter, I believe it was going by the name Moon’s Truck. Then one night out of nowhere I arrived at the door to see it had became HisCo. Disco. (The order of those names could be reversed. Cut me some slack; it’s been nearly four decades!) All I know is that anyone who’d been going there for any length of time simply referred to it as Maggie’s and regardless of what the sign on the outside of the building said, that’s what we called it.

Anyhow, one of the great mysteries of my life had always been that name: Moon’s Truck. Never made a lick of sense to me or anyone else. Whereas The Connection (which became my preferred place to pick up men in the early 80s) had an actual Mac Truck parked within the building, Maggie’s had no such claim. And Moon? What was that all about?

Well today, while going down the Internet rabbit hole and trying to find something—anything—about the place, it finally dawned on me:

Moon’s Truck = Moonstruck

I can be so dense sometimes.

And I still couldn’t find a thing.

36 Years Ago Today…

Nightclubbing, the fifth studio album by Grace Jones, is released. Produced by Chris Blackwell and Alex Sadkin, it is recorded at Compass Point Studios in Nassau, The Bahamas, in early 1981. Issued as the follow up to the critically acclaimed Warm Leatherette, it is the second album Jones records with a group of musicians that includes Sly Dunbar (drums), Robbie Shakespeare (bass), Wally Badarou (keyboards), and Uziah “Sticky” Thompson (percussion). Spinning off three singles including Demolition Man (written for Grace by Sting, with The Police recording their own version later in the year), I’ve Seen That Face Before (Libertango) and Pull Up To The Bumper (#5 R&B, #2 Club Play). It is her commercial breakthrough on a worldwide basis.

The album is also supported by the groundbreaking concept tour A One Man Show, which is filmed for a live concert video (released in 1982) and is nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Long Form Video. The album is remastered and reissued as a two CD Deluxe Edition in 2014, with the first disc containing the original nine song album. The second disc features 12-inch mixes and previously unreleased tracks from the recording sessions.

Nightclubbing peaks at number nine on the Billboard R&B album chart, and number thirty two on the Top 200.