This Post Brought to You by the Gray Screen of Death


I was going to post a really cool blog about writing a multiple point of view novel. I was. Really. And then . . . The Gray Screen of Death. You might be more familiar with the Blue Screen of Death. I was. I had never met the Gray Screen. Until today.

I was happily working away this a.m. on my three-month old iMac when this gray curtain descended from top to bottom–you know, like a the curtain descending at the theater. The one that says the show’s over. This little box popped up repeating in many languages that I needed to restart. So I shut it down and then . . . It wouldn’t start again. Nothing. Nada. Dead as a doornail. As roadkill. As that skunk my dog got ahold of a couple of years ago. As those tomatoes in the back of the fridge that have been there for six months. As those fly corpses in the light fixtures at work. You get the point.

Amazingly, I did not attack it with one of the battle axes or swords that I have hanging in my office. I thought that was rather restrained of myself, actually. Nor did I yank all my hair out, scream wildly, throw myself on the floor and kick and cry, or go stick my head in the oven (which frankly would have crisped me nicely, but it’s not gas, so there’s  no real possibility of suicide there). I did, I will confess, raid the Halloween candy for a butterfingers bar. Or two.

I did fetch my laptop and go online and get the tech support number and called. The upshot is that it needs someone to look at it. I live in the middle of nowhere and so I’m going to have to drive it or ship it about a 100 miles away. I’m driving it tomorrow, because I can’t be without it for long.

Okay,I could. I have a laptop. But I prefer to work on the desktop when I’m digging hard into the novel. It’s got a bigger screen, the mouse, and it’s all set up the way I like it. Oh, and the ergonomic keyboard. *sniff* Okay, enough of that. The solution of course is alcohol and plenty of it. With cheesecake. Right? oh, maybe not. One thing that is clear is that two computers for writers is not a luxury–it’s necessity.

I did lose what I had written this morning. Timemachine hadn’t backed up the most recent stuff yet and I hadn’t backed it up to Dropbox or to my flashdrive. But I do have backups from before that. So mostly this is a dreadful inconvenience. And a reminder that every so often the universe likes to test my sense of humor about life.

Which reminds me, why do gorillas have big nostrils?




Because they have big fingers.

Go on now, comment with a good joke. Make me laugh. That’s what this thread is for. Jokes to make us all remember our sense of humor.


17 comments to This Post Brought to You by the Gray Screen of Death

  • Oh NO! My heart goes out to you. Big Virtual hug. I suck at telling jokes, so I won’t try. You might really cry then.

    I know what you mean about wanting to write on a bigger unit with all the bells and whistles when you are deep in a novel. I do too.

    But one thing that might help — you can hook the ergonomic keyboard and mouse up to the laptop. I do that when we travel so I can write on the road. It makes it soo much better. Save often. Another hug.

  • Oh see, now….you asked!

    How do you kill a blue elephant?
    Shoot it with a blue elephant gun.
    How do you kill a red elephant?
    Strangle it until it turns blue, then shoot it with a blue elephant gun.
    How do you shoot a green elephant?
    Tell it a dirty joke so it turns red, then strangle it until it turns blue, then shoot it with a blue elephant gun!

    I’ve got a million of ’em!

  • Mikaela

    Well… I promise to send you one of these!. Every author needs one! 😀

  • Two cannibals are eating a clown. One turns to the other and says, hey, does this taste funny to you? badum-tsss!

    Two guys walk into a bar, the third guy ducks! badum-tsss!

    Guy in a hospital bed can’t make it to the bathroom and poos in the bed. Mortally embarrassed, he opens the window and throws the soiled sheets out. Meanwhile, a drunk is walking by on his way home from happy hour and the sheets land on him. He goes nuts, wrestling and clawing at the bedsheets. A security guard from the hospital watches the whole thing and as the drunk finally pulls himself from the sheets, stomping on them for good measure, the guard finally comes over to ask if he’s okay. The drunk says, “I just got attacked by a ghost, but it’s okay. Looks like I beat the crap out of him.”


    Oh, rimshot! And speaking of rimshots…

  • Sarah

    That sounds worse than the pinwheel of death (well known to Mac users.) I hope it’s fixable.

    I don’t know many jokes, but I have a bit of situational humor; my freshman are constantly turning in papers with hilarious malapropisms. My two favorites so far:

    “Since the dawn of time, it has been the goal of men to woe women.” (Possibly true, but not what he meant.)

    “As I stood in chapel, sharing in these beautiful hymens with the entire campus community…” (And I thought chapel was boring. Must have changed since I went last.)

  • Thanks Faith!

    Misty–oh that hurts. I mean, i giggle, but that HURTS.

    Mikaela! *Where* did you find that?

    Daniel: And I thought Misty’s hurt. Though I sort of laughed for awhile at the ghost joke. So wrong. And yet . . .

    Sarah: I’ve never had the pinwheel of death. I hope it never ever ever visits me. At least this puppy is under warranty. Don’t you love the “Since the Dawn of Time” beginnings? I started giggling with that and then the woeing of the women . . . Gigglesnort! And the hymens. I want to see the event where the beautiful hymens are shared with the entire campus community.

  • Yeah, those were some of my worst. Then again, you’d be surprised at how many people you get going “huh? I don’t get it.” with the walking into a bar one if delivered properly.

  • Di, someday when we’re together at a con, over our second drink of the evening, I’ll tell you my Tarzan joke. It’s a little long, too long to write in comments, and it’s much funnier in person anyway. It’s simply awful, but it’s the joke that to this day will send our dear Beatriz into giggles if I merely say “Tarzan”.

  • Diana> I hope your computer is okay–normally macs don’t do that. Of course, that’s not comforting when it happen to you.

    Apropos of nothing… guess who just backed up all her writing to her flash drive!! *grins*

    A joke> So, a lawyer dies and goes to heaven. When he gets there, there are two other men who’ve recently died, as well. St. Peter greets them at the gate and welcomes them in. “Hello gentlemen,” he says. “Let me show you to your homes.” They walk for a while to a nice dormitory, and St. Peter leads them in. “Here,” he says to the first man. “This is your room, Father.” The room is small, but nice. The lawyer and the other man are led out by St. Peter. They walk more and arrive at a small cottage. St. Peter gestures to the other man. “Your Holiness, this is your eternal home.” He turns to the lawyer. “Follow me.” The walk for quite awhile longer and come to a gorgeous mansion. It far exceeds anything the lawyer ever dreamed of. “Here,” St. Peter says, “is your home.” St. Peter shows him around… there’s a pool, a view of the gardens, everything is perfect. “Is there something wrong?” St. Peter asks. “You seem distraught.” The lawyer hems and haws and finally says, “Well, those other two guys, that was priest and the Pope, right? Those are men of God. I’m just an average guy. Why do I get the mansion?” St. Peter pats him on the shoulder. “That was a priest and a pope. We’ve got tons of them up there! You’re the first lawyer we’ve EVER had!”

    My dad’s a lawyer. He used to collect lawyer jokes… I have others, but, well, this is a PG friendly site. 🙂

  • Young_Writer

    I hope it gets fixed, soon. I can’t imagine what I would do in your place… probably go for the axes. 😉

    Now about that joke, I can try. Here it goes: There are three men in an assulym. One man named Renfeild says, “I’m in here becasue I eat bugs.” Another says, “I see ghosts.” The third says, “I’m a writer.”
    I heard that form a friend and thougth it was pretty fun. Sorry about Renfeild, I’m writing about a vampire book and just had to use his name when I heard the part abotu the bugs.

  • Mikaela

    My local bookstore! 🙂 I probably should check and see if they still have it….

  • No jokes to share just now, but much sympathy. Hope the tech wizards at Mac can help you, Di. My condolences. And yes, I’m doing a bit of extra back-up as I write this…

  • Beatriz

    Tarzan? BWAHAHAHAHAAHAHA! That joke is the funniest “groaner” I’ve ever heard and still does kill me after all these years.

    Because you can never have too many elephant jokes:

    How do you make instant elephant?
    Open the package, add water and RUN!

    Why do elephants have grey skin?
    To keep their insides together.

    What do you do with a green elephant?
    Wait ’til it gets ripe.

    Sorry your ocmputer crashed, Diana. Hopefully it feels better soon!

    (this is for my favorite Captain)

    “May the candles on your cake
    burn like villages in your wake!”

    ~thud~ Happy Birthday! ~thud~

  • Unicorn

    Sorry to hear about the computer, Diana. Mostly when mine crashes I shout, kick it, and then write in the dust layered on the top, “SCRAP METAL”. Then I erase the S.

  • I’m sorry for your loss.

    I’ve gotten the Blue Screen of Death on my iPod, of all things. Which amuses my husband to no end, simply because since when did Apple products get PC problems?

  • Sarah

    @Moira – from your mouth to God’s ears. After I posted my joke yesterday my Word program crashed repeatedly. When I called in the techies they shrugged and said, “It’s a PC program on a Mac. They crash. Live with it.” *SIGH and EYEROLL*

    @Diana – oh the eternal “Since the dawn of time…” essay opener. It never goes away. It’s on my list of banned substances for my freshman writing seminar along with the gun control essay, the pot legalization essay, and the abortion essay. I don’t care what position they take on these issues, they never write the papers well so I banned the topics.

  • What’s brown and sticky?
    A STICK.

    (think about it for a minute. I had to. It’s my favorite joke. I especially love to tell this joke to writer friends.) **hugs**