The Random Griffith

Rest in peace, Apple MacBook

Posted in a b c = apple butthurt column by Jackson Griffith on 07/07/2012

Of course, here I am again, apologizing for my lack of posting. The other night, I’d begun working on something for this space, and my MacBook started making this weird beeping noise. It crapped out on me, I restarted it, it couldn’t find the hard drive, then I tapped Apple key + C and got it to load, then it started beeping again. I opened up a utility called DiskUtility or something to repair permissions, and the hard drive was marked in red and it told me it could not be located or saved. I’m not a computer person, my credit right now is shit, I’ve got some other pressing bills to pay, and so the prospect of buying another computer is outside the realm of possibility for the near future.

I need a quick get-rich-quick scheme, because I’d begun recording and cataloging my songs for an upcoming project, and that’s out the window now. Also, I would like to do some short song-length videos of me playing my songs to upload to YouTube, so if anyone can help me out there, you can reach me at I’m not going to apologize here again, but I will tell you I am very frustrated. It’s just been one thing after another.

Hope to be back soon. —Jackson Griffith

I wasted a whole evening

Posted in a b c = apple butthurt column by Jackson Griffith on 20/07/2011

Goddammit. I wasted a whole fucking evening typing a long (1,200 word) post. I clicked to post it. I got the spinning Steve Jobs beach ball of death. It went on for 10 minutes, and then I finally force quit. When I opened up the browser again, only a fraction of what I’d written got saved as a draft. I don’t have the motherfucking time to rewrite this tonight. And it was some serious shit.

Fuck you, Apple. Seriously, fuck you. —Jackson Griffith

See you in 2011, most likely

Posted in a b c = apple butthurt column, apology for not posting for a while by Jackson Griffith on 11/12/2010

Okay, so I figured that before I pull the hard drive out of this MacBook thingee and give it back to the guy I borrowed it from, I should post something on this blog in case anyone wonders how to get hold of me. Not that you might want to, but I’m gonna give you the option if you like. I may be back soon, or more likely it will be a while. I’m working again, but I’ve got some, ahem, government-style amends going on right now that are taking a pretty nice bite out of the ol’ paycheck, and that imposed poverty’s going to be going on for a while, so it’s likely to be later rather than sooner that I can get a replacement hard drive for this troubled MacBook and then get it serviced and back up to snuff. I’m prepared to not be posting anything online until sometime after, oh, 2010 turns into 2011. Which isn’t the situation I’d prefer, but that’s just the way it goes. I’m not Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, or Kim Kardashian, or even David Hasselhoff, and I haven’t figured out how to get paid for being a groovy guy or how to channel money from the aether. I’m stuck.

Not to mention somewhat of an idiot. Not only did I lose the under-warranty hard drive that I was going to send back to get a replacement during my recent move, but I also lost all the Mac OS X program discs, so I won’t be able to get this thing back up even when I do get a new drive. Being that rare combination of frustrated and stupid, I’m too flummoxed right now to figure it out. After a few good nights’ sleep and maybe some quality food, I will figure out what the next step is. Right now, I don’t. I’m too mad at myself for messing up once again. Yes, I am an idiot, or a moron, or a cretin, or whatever.

Anyway, there’s always notebooks, and music. I want to continue this blog, but I can’t access it from work, nor should I access it from work. Work is work. Writing blog stuff is just one of my avocations. But if you’d like to get in touch with me, my email is I can access that on Mondays through Fridays, and on the weekends, well, mental telepathy works, unless you want to call me.

Have a really great holiday, and maybe I’ll see some of you around town. Or, maybe I won’t, if I get too embarrassed to own my recent rash of dumbness. I can’t remember a week when I’ve lost my phone so many times like I have this past one. I feel like I’ve had a lobotomy, or else I’ve been doing stand-up comedy with mortgage brokers and life-insurance salesmen. The operating word is feel.

Anyway, happy solstice-related shenanigans. Warmly yours, Jackson Griffith.

Oops! Not so fast, there, podna

Remember what I was saying about hey, it’s good to be back, and more soon, I promise? Well, I kinda jumped the gun. I’m going to be going offline now, maybe for a while, and I won’t be able to access this blog or Facebook, at least until I get a replacement hard drive for this troubled MacBook, and then get this computer serviced or overhauled or whatever it’s going to take to bring it back to the living and functional.

The good news is, I’m working. The bad news is that I’m probably going to be broke for a while, or diverting my capital resources to other, more pressing obligations, and so it won’t be right away that you see much from me. Which may turn out to be a good thing. At least I’m going to look on the bright side and take that tack, and catch up on some other things, like reading and Top Ramen recipes. So be well, have a great holiday season, give somebody a big hug and I’ll catch up with you all down the road.

Gosh darn, if I’da had the $300 extra for that AppleCare warranty three years ago …. —Jackson Griffith

MacBook still busted, for all intents and purposes

Posted in a b c = apple butthurt column by Jackson Griffith on 13/05/2010

Not going to embark on another “my Mac’s busted” rant. If I had the money, I’d take it in and get it serviced. Maybe the optical drive slot might get fixed, and I could get OSX install disc 2 out of the drive, so I could insert disc 1 and locate the missing iMovie program, which disappeared, so I could make a little movie of me singing a song I wrote called “I Need a Job,” so either people could get a few laughs about this middle-aged white guy abasing himself in a last-ditch attempt to get somebody to see the wisdom in hiring him so that he can stay in Sacramento, and I’m talking about myself in the third person now, which I generally dislike, but at least I’m not framing it like: Jackson needs a job, like right now, so won’t you consider hiring a guy like Jackson?

So it would help to have a working computer — for that, and for my writing. I’ve got lots I could be doing, but, well, I don’t want to go into my situation, but it’s the most random and bindlestiffian existence of my entire adult life. Most people drink lots of cheap wine and smoke lots of crack cocaine to get where I am, but I did it stone cold clean and sober. Yes, you’re seeing my byline around, but that’s not enough; what little I make in writing, I eat, or pay my storage, or pay to keep my phone turned on. Right now, I’m down to my last $20. Not complaining, mind you, just stating a fact. So having a working computer — I can’t even load my Microsoft Office suite on this third hard drive of my computer’s 28-month existence, because of the design flaw in my MacBook’s disc-intake slot — would really be a plus. I am hobbled, as it stands. Not good.

Anyway, didn’t want to rant. I want to turn this life around, which has been thrashing around like a fish on the dock since my marriage crashed and burned, followed by the company where I worked. I’d prefer to stay here, or in Northern California, but I’m going to consider moving somewhere else where I can find a day job. Austin, Texas? Thinking very seriously about it.

Somewhere. Anywhere that will have me. This is really starting to suck. —Jackson Griffith

Dear Mister Steve Jobs

Posted in a b c = apple butthurt column by Jackson Griffith on 02/05/2010

Dear Steve: Now that your Apple Incorporated company has launched the iPad, perhaps you guys there in Cupertino can get back to some basic housekeeping. For starters, I’d like to recommend that you acknowledge that those MacBooks you’ve been selling, the ones that that have the slot insert for optical media — e.g., CDs and DVDs — contain a serious design flaw that needs to be fixed. I would like my MacBook fixed. I would like the Apple OS X disc that’s lodged in the drive to be removed, where it tries to eject and gets blocked by some obstacle, and then begins spinning in the drive, and sometimes will keep trying to eject unless I turn the computer upside down which causes the disc drive to engage. There’s nothing wrong with the optical drive itself, contrary to the putative “genius” at one of your stores who told me that it would cost me around $300 to get the drive replaced.

Now, I don’t expect you to figure out what’s wrong with this computer other than the drive slot problem, or why I’m on my third hard drive in 28 months. I will freely acknowledge that I stupidly did not purchase the AppleCare option when I bought this computer at the end of 2007, when I got laid off from my last job and needed a good computer to launch a freelance career as a writer and songwriter. I was watching my pennies. I expected this MacBook to be substantially more durable and reliable than it has been.

Here is how having a broken Apple MacBook impacts me. I won’t go into the shredded first hard drive, which contains a partially completed novel, some memoirs and a bunch of musical files; that’s my stupid for not backing them up on another drive. But as it stands now, I can’t load Microsoft Office, so I have no way of reading Word files (I’m a writer, and that’s unfortunately the standard of our trade), and I can’t submit my work to editors in MS Word. Fortunately, the kind folks at Google have a Documents app that allows me to compose onto their cloud, and I can even send any documents I compose and save there to people as an MS Word attachment via GMail. Isn’t technology wonderful? Thank whatever deity for Google, for those times when Apple stuff stops working, right?

But I digress. There are other things wrong with my MacBook, which might be easily fixed if I could load the first OS X program disc. For example, I no longer have iMovie, which I just went looking for. Where’d it go? It was on my computer before? There’s a folder for it. I could go grab the missing application off my install disc, but there’s that other disc (OS X Install Disk 2) jammed in the drive. D’oh!

You see, I’d gotten the great idea to take one of the songs I’d written and then recorded in GarageBand (one of the few apps that seems to be still working on this MacBook), and I thought I’d mate an MP3 of my song with some generic footage, like me looking out the window or something, and then I would load it onto YouTube. I’m trying to get my music out there where someone might appreciate it, and since I can’t burn any CDs in iTunes because there’s a disc jammed in the drive, because of the stupid design flaw in the disc slot on the side of my MacBook, I don’t have that option, and I was trying to do some kind of end-around maneuver. And now, iMovie has disappeared, too.

Grrrr! Boo! Hiss!

Look, Mr. Steve Jobs. I’m not saying I’m anything real special, but your company needs people like me. I’m very creative. As a very creative person, I depend on tools that work. And when a certain manufacturer of tools becomes so flaky that it won’t fix design flaws in the hardware it sells, and those tools stop being useful, or there are problems that outweigh the utility of those tools, then people who depend on those tools start looking for alternatives. And I’m getting pretty fed up with Apple, and with the “we are so godlike it must be your problem” attitude of your company.

I’ve lived with a crippled computer for a few months now. My crippled computer is hurting me professionally, as there are things that I used to be able to do that I no longer can do. It shouldn’t be like this. This computer should work, and work right, and this design flaw in my MacBook should be addressed by your company and fixed, and you should fix the computers of other MacBook owners with the same problem. And if you don’t think it’s a design flaw, like the keyboard top of my MacBook that was flaking around the edges, which your company did fix, for free, poke around online and you find other disgruntled Mac users with the same problem.

I’m mad. I’m not going to go away, either, and I won’t shut up until my problem gets addressed. I may be a nobody Joe Doakes, but I’m a nobody Joe Doakes who knows how to communicate. And what I’m communicating to you is: Fix the design flaw in your MacBook optical drive slots. Now. —Jackson Griffith