The Faraway Land of Abandoned Things


Faraway Land of Abandoned Things


On the side of the road, laces tattered, leather faded, a shoe soaks up the late day sun. Once a vessel for a seafaring man, its destiny determined by a fickle sea in a violent sway or lurch of a boat, both succumbed to the ravages of a sudden rogue wave; the shoe and its human companion, ejected then sucked into the rotting rut of the forgotten deep.

A year passed before the shoe washed onto a California beach. An epidermis of sand stuck to leather warped and salted in turbulent waters; the shoe was picked up and tossed into a truck for carting, to the faraway land of abandoned things.

One more bump along the way, the shoe flew from the truck, landing with a silent thump; its sole flush against pavement away from the sun, the shoe slips into the shadows of another waning day, just a dusty mirage in a rearview mirror, lying on the side of the road.


I’m participating in Lillie McFerrin’s weekly Five Sentence Fiction prompt. This week’s prompt – Abandoned.


I Have a Linking Problem


My name is Lauren and I’m a 404-aholic.

I first realized I had a linking problem when Mike from We Work for Cheese told me about a defective link in the post, Canadians Blamed for Blast of Frigid Air or is that Frigidaire?

I accidentally added an “http” at the end of the address, which resulted in a “404 not found.”

Pfft!  Bloody, “oops…404 error.”


Post Purgatory


Don’t pity me or other 404-aholics like me, those who may be afraid to admit they have a problem, afraid that people will pity their stupidity.

Not me!

I will never make excuses for my dysfunction, which is clearly due to an HTML disability, the root of the problem traced to my family history and an anomaly in the linking gene.

So, I set Mike’s broken link in a cast and continued blogging and linking and falling asleep on my desk when writing late at night.

Sleep is optimum blogging time for me. I rarely get into trouble during a REM cycle, except for an occasional dust up with a character in a dream. Like Nancy in “Nightmare on Elm Street,” I never get bludgeoned to death or end up duct taped to an exploding chair.

Face it. Shit happens at night in our dreams and during the day in real life.

This is real life. Right? Pinch me!

A month later, online and awake again, another linking slip-up in a post, a review of Luke Armstrong’s book, How We Are Human.

While reviewing the post after publishing it – like buying a car before test driving it – I noticed I had omitted a word from a sentence and had included a moldy link to Luke’s website: I discovered this after I clicked on the link and got a 404 page error.

Another day.  Another oops…404 error.

At that point, I entered a linking program with Dr. Drew, where I work on abstaining from one last hit of HTML.

Sadly, I fear I will never be able to completely give up linking, as it is inherent in what I do.

Last week, I went on a linking bender, failed an HTML webalyzer test and lost my browsing license. Going forward, I think I’ll be okay if I link responsibly and never, ever link while driving.

Do you have a linking problem?

I’m participating in Silly Sunday, hosted by Rhonda of Laugh-Quotes.


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Microsoft, what were you thinking?

Bad Computer!

You're Fucked!


Never uninstall SoundMax from your computer. Yep, I did that and now my computer is mute and possibly even deaf.


My computer can’t speak. Never could actually. That was my shrill voice echoing off the screen.

I just wanted to tidy up the desktop a bit – throw out the trash, get rid of all those piles – not the ones on my desk. I use them as barricades.

So, I went through the list of applications on CCleaner, a free software program that cleans PCs, kind of like a housekeeper for your computer.

And I saw this program called SoundMax.

I don’t need that, I thought. – Dump it!

Click! Wham, Pow! Splat!

I KOed that sucker, that stupid sounding application called SoundMax that I thought was cluttering up my hard drive.

I was proud of myself until I realized my computer couldn’t speak anymore – Not a whir or an oy vey!

“No active mixer devices found,” said the error message, in sign language, during a desktop search for a sound card.

Active mixer what?

I’ll put it another way. My computer stopped saying shit out loud.

But I didn’t – Shit!!!!

When watching a video, people’s lips moved but stupid crap didn’t spew from their mouths.


So, I went back to CCleaner to try to reinstall that SoundMax program I thought I didn’t need but really, really need.

I tried reanimating it but in the world of PCs, once you kill a program, you can’t breathe life back into it.

At that moment, my husband walked into the room.

I accidentally uninstalled SoundMax, I said.

You shouldn’t have done that.

You think!

Try downloading it.

Shit, yeah! Great idea. NOT.

I Googled sound drivers, found a program called Sound Blaster and downloaded it. It didn’t fix the problem and even made things worse. It moved into my taskbar with all of its relatives, and now I can’t get rid of them.

Sound Blaster wasn’t on Microsoft’s populated list of applications. Of course, why would it be?

After hours of searching and purging spyware from my computer with SpyBot, crap that I had picked up in my cyber travels, I clicked on a Microsoft update from the control panel or wherever I ended up on my computer, and downloaded it – unzipped it – the program – and followed the set up prompts. Just when I thought my computer would regain the power of speech, I got the message: Missing HDA Audio Bus Driver – WTF!

Two weeks later, my computer’s still mute, my brain’s still mush.

And Microsoft is ready to announce Windows new breakthrough operating system, Shade.

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Poetry 3.0 – How We Are Human by Luke Armstrong

A Book of Poetry for the Digital Generation

Like Groucho Marx who didn’t want to belong to a club that would have him as a member, Luke Armstrong doesn’t subscribe to an arcane poetic mindset that repels readers and embraces the obscure.

Luke’s disdain for the arcane is evident in his recently published book of poems, How We Are Human, in which his masterful use of language is eloquent and simple, musical and metaphorical, yet blunt at times when the material requires a heavy-handed approach.

In How We Are Human, Luke explores the humanity in himself as well as others. Luke, a humanitarian at heart and in practice, directed the health and educational development organization Nuestros Ahijados for four years in Guatemala, combating infant malnutrition.

Inspired by his travels, relationships and family, his grandmother in particular, who was also a poet, How We Are Human is warm and insightful, playful and serious, but always entertaining and thought-provoking, a lyrical book of poems that focuses on the thread that connects us to each other as well as the world around us.

How We Are Human is a book with wide appeal because of Luke’s desire to keep poetry simple and not entangle a reader’s brain in knots.

“I don’t like poetry that complains, seeks pity, is annoying or makes me search for the point like deriving ‘x’ in algebra.” –Luke Armstrong

I agree. Reading poetry can be torturous at times, more like a Rubik cube exercise for the mind than an enjoyable pastime. Poetry should be accessible as is the case in How We Are Human, a book of flash fiction that rhymes at times.

With a combination of humor and passion and concepts that are both relatable and insightful, Luke succeeds in demystifying and simplifying poetry, in effect, humanizing it, and in doing so, How We Are Human, or Poetry 3.0, as I like to call it, will engage a new generation of readers, people with hectic lives, who are exposed to a 24/7 information cycle.

“In our busy lives filled with distractions, what but the brevity of poetry offers such an immersive experience in the time it takes to floss?” –Luke Armstrong

Life is complicated enough. If we also complicate art, we prevent others from appreciating our expression of language and ideas. Luke gets that and brings fun and brilliant simplicity to his poetic ruminations.

In addition to How We are Human, Luke’s other book of poetry, iPoems for the Dolphins to Click Home About (2010) is also available in paperback or eBook.

For more information about Luke Armstrong, please visit his website



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iFeline Cat Robot with Dog Death Ray

iFeline Cat Robot with Dog Death Ray

iFeline Cat Robot with Dog Death Ray

The iFeline cat robot is so authentic looking you’ll swear it’s real!

After fourteen years (seven human years), our software experts at iFeline Laboratories have perfected the first responsive cat robot on the market, produced to replicate cat like indifference and stealth maneuverability.

Like an ordinary cat, the iFeline will sit on your lap when it’s in the mood and suddenly appear underfoot while you’re climbing stairs or running to answer the phone.

The rechargeable iFeline cat robot, with dog death ray, comes with portable charger, GPS system, durable plastic exterior, programmable purr and meow voice control, adjustable volume and vibration device and carrying case.

Its advanced spring-loaded hindquarter technology enables the iFeline to jump up to fifty feet and then land on all fours every time.

iFeline’s specially formulated natural fur coat is waterproof and can handle the most severe weather conditions. The iFeline’s durable handcrafted fur coat will not shed and is guaranteed to last through nine lives.

Every iFeline is fitted with retractable synthetic claws that never require clipping and is designed with turbo digging and scratching functionality. The iFeline can climb trees, as well as your furniture and drapes, can last up to 360 days outdoors, while hanging from a branch, and comes with a Wi-Fi activated parachute. iFeline tech experts are available 24/7 to handle any iFeline glitches or emergencies.

The iFeline is available in adult cat and kitten sizes and a variety of colors, including calico, primary colors, as well as shiny metallic pink, green and blue.

Batteries not included.

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