When you have a problem with a product, they say the first thing to do is RTFM. If you’re not familiar with that technical acronym, it means Read The F*****g Manual. Yeah, like a guy’s going to do that, right? Hell, we usually throw the manual away with the box the product came in, along with the warranty card.
And, of course, the next step is to Google it. I think between Google and You Tube, you can learn how to do just about anything, from castrating a goat to picking a safe to murdering somebody with an icicle. I know because I’ve Googled all of them. Hey, I’m an author, it’s research! And remember that if the Feds ever seize my computers and search my browsing history. I may need character references.
But sometimes you need an answer in a hurry, the Internet signal sucks, and you don’t have time for all of that. When I find myself in such a situation, I don’t Google, I Greg. Because I’m pretty sure that when the folks at Google can’t figure out how to do something, they call my buddy Greg White, too.
If Greg had a dollar for every time I’ve called him for advice, often in a panic, he could afford to hire somebody to screen my calls. But he doesn’t have that kind of money, so instead he listens to my latest tale of woe, asks me if I’ve RTFM or Googled it, and then he tells me how to fix my problem. Well, sometimes I think he first bites his tongue to keep from reminding me that I’m an idiot, but not often. He’s too nice a guy for that.
I had to call Greg for advice twice the other day, and both times he knew just what I needed to do. The first was when our Bose Sound Dock died. If you’re not familiar with what that is, the Sound Dock is a small stereo system that you use to play the music from an iPod with.
We’ve had the Sound Dock for several years and it’s given us problems a few times before, but I was always able to get it working again. This time around, even after Googling it and trying a couple of fixes we saw on You Tube, I was out of ideas and called Greg. He suggested a couple of things we had already tried and when we decided that it really was dead, I said I hated spending $150 on a replacement. That’s when Greg said I didn’t need to do that. All I needed was an inexpensive pair of powered computer speakers and that I could plug them into the iPod’s headphone jack and do the same thing. So after a quick trip to Staples and a $14.99, investment we have music back in our lives again.
A nice guy would send Greg an Amazon Gift Card or maybe a gift card to a nice restaurant to thank him for saving me so much money. Yeah, a nice guy would. But I don’t want to sully our friendship with filthy lucre.
Then, later that same afternoon I called on Greg again, this time in a real panic. We were in the historic Nye Beach neighborhood to check out a kitchen supply store that our friend Nancy Kissack had recommended, and were parked facing downhill on a steep street. When we were leaving I tried to put our Ford Explorer in gear and the shift lever (on the steering column) would not move more than an inch or so. I tried it over and over and the darned thing would not budge out of park.
It was about 4 p.m. and I was about to call Coach-Net, our roadside service company, but decided to call Greg first. I described the situation and he told me that there is a pin in the transmission that the shift lever moves when you change gears, and that the weight of the vehicle on the steep incline had allowed that pin to bind. Greg told me to jerk the steering wheel hard to the left and see if that helped. It didn’t, so he said to turn it as far as it would go to the right, and to jerk it hard. I did and the gear shift worked! Greg to the rescue again! I think the guy could be super hero if it weren’t for the fact that he just would not look good in tights. A cape maybe, but the tights… no. Thanks again, Greg!
Have you entered our latest Free Drawing yet? This week’s prize is an audiobook of Chesapeake 1880 by my friend Ken Rossignol, a tale of life in the Chesapeake Bay region as the industrial revolution changed the world forever. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.
And here’s another free contest for you. You can win a signed First Edition of The Ghost of Marlow House, the first book in the Haunting Danielle cozy mystery series by my pal Bobbi Holmes. Just click here to enter. Five lucky winners will be chosen November 27.
Thought For The Day – A true friend is one who thinks you are a good egg even if you are half-cracked.