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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Download/Upload (11/17/11)

TITLE: Who Rearranged the Furniture
By G Frank Miller


My hobby of photography has changed in a huge way with the advent of digital cameras. I now take hundreds of photos on a nature hike where I might have taken just one roll of film in the “old days.” It is not unusual for there to only be half-a-dozen or so “keepers” from the hundreds of photos.

I upload the photos to my laptop computer from the camera. On the computer, I can view the photos, deleting those I don’t want to keep and editing the ones I like. Now I download the ones I like to a flash drive memory device, and take them to Walmart to make prints. I’m not very technological, but this I can do.

The other day, as I started to work on some photos, I received a message on my computer screen that an “upgrade” was available for my photo software. I’ve been told these upgrades are something I should download because the software company uses them to correct mistakes that have been discovered since the software was installed.

When I clicked on “upgrade,” my computer asked me questions. They weren’t real personal questions. It seemed to want me to verify that I really wanted to do what I had asked it to do. I figured it was trying to be helpful, not nosey. Finally, it was satisfied that I meant what I said, and gave me a box asking me to click “download.” The next box or window as they are called, informed me that this would take a while, so I headed to the kitchen for a cup of coffee. Next thing I saw when I returned with my coffee was a box telling me the computer had to be restarted to finish the “upgrade.” The question that appeared in the box was whether I wanted to do it now or later. As I thought about how to respond, the computer screen went blank. Evidently, I had taken more time than was allowed and the computer made the decision for me.

Everything looked the same on the computer when the screen finally came back to life. That is until I went to look at my photos. Where were they? Nothing looked the same. The old familiar icons were gone, replaced by symbols that didn’t mean a thing to me. Now I felt like I was the one needing an “upgrade.” The sensation was like walking back into a familiar room you have just left, and finding all the furniture rearranged.

I called my friend Paul who told me he knew just how I felt. He had had a similar experience. I really hadn’t expected him to have a solution when I called; I just needed to talk to someone to share my pain.

When I asked what he thought I should do, he said he didn’t have a clue but he had his computer consultant coming over to his house shortly and would ask him.

“I didn’t know you had a computer consultant,” I said.

“It’s my ten year old grandson. Kids these days know a lot about computers. He comes over one afternoon a week after school and helps me fix the problems I’ve created during the week,” Paul said.

Getting off the phone, I turned to my wife and said, “I’m desperate, do you think I could run an ad for a ten year old rent-a-grandchild?”

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This article has been read 415 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 12/01/11
I could definitely relate to the MC. Thankfully, my computer expert is my husband.

My only suggestion might be to work more on showing vs telling. To help me do more showing, I think could I tell this to someone over the phone or is it more like watching TV? For example in the beginning if you wrote more like: While hiking through the woods, a deer trots across the path. I whip my camera out; the whirr of the shutter halts the deer.
It may be a tad awkward but it definitely paints a picture for the reader.

You have an excellent sense of humor. The start was a little slow but by doing more showing itwould grab the reader's attention.

You definitely covered the topic perfectly. I think your sense of humor flowed nicely and was consistent throughout.

I think your ending was quite strong and left me with a feel good feeling.
Nancy Bucca12/01/11
Now this is a funny story. It's clear, it has a great message, and I think everyone can relate to it in some way. My children are much more adept at using computers than I am, and I love the idea of "renting" a grandson.

This story is great as it is. However, I do agree that more "showing" than telling would make it topnotch. In fact, it would make this story a riot.

Laughing with you.
Lillian Rhoades 12/04/11
Your title was a perfect fit for the article. Definitely caught my attention! "My hobby of photography" is a bit awkward and sounds better written as: "My photography hobby." I suggest you go easy on the quote marks; use italics instead. With some exceptions, quote marks are reserved for direct quotes as per the latter part of your piece.

I loved the computer consultant line, and you conclusion sparkled
Lillian Rhoades 12/04/11
Your conclusion....
Hiram Claudio12/05/11
This was enjoyable and a good fit for the topic. I liked the way you took my on the journey of the questions the upgrade asked you.

Keep writing - this was a good piece!
Kristine Baker12/11/11
Well written, on topic.
C D Swanson 12/11/11
Wow - this was so good! Nice job, and you were right on topic. The message at the end was uplifting. Thanks. God Bless~
Nancy Bucca12/15/11
Congratulations on your Highly Commended!
C D Swanson 12/16/11
Congratulations on your win. God Bless you~