I just got back from two weeks in Manitoba.  I have 682 unread emails, and there’s a stack of as-yet-unidentified but vaguely frightening papers and envelopes in my “In” tray.  It’s Wednesday morning, time for a blog post.  I’m brainless.

I pre-planned carefully for exactly this situation.  I have 38 half-written blog posts in my “Blog” folder, ready for the day that I can’t think about anything to write.  Just like a boxed meal in the freezer, all I have to do is take one out, add some seasoning, and serve it up.

I’ve tried three different ones so far.  They’re all flat, boring, and tasteless.  And that’s “tasteless” in the sense of “bland and flavourless”, not “rude and potentially offensive” (which can actually turn out to be fairly entertaining on occasion).  Apparently those posts were not only half-written, they were half-baked.

I feel the same as I did at three A.M. the day I was planning to begin my fourteen hour drive home.  “Thump-bang-bang” woke me.  This is not a happy sound at three o’clock in the morning.

I got up to discover that the pulley from the furnace blower motor had flung itself off its shaft and was lying uselessly in the bottom of the furnace.  I spent a good half-hour trying to reinstall the pulley in my semi-conscious stupor before I realized that it was just around zero outside, there were electric baseboard heaters in the rest of the house, and we were highly unlikely to freeze to death if the furnace didn’t run for a few hours.

The pathetic part of all this is that there’s only one way to put the pulley back on the shaft.  It’s not like you can do it wrong.  I tried over and over.  The same way.  The same result.  It wouldn’t go back on.

Hands covered with black grease, mind circling as uselessly as the remaining pulley on the now-disconnected drive motor, I stumbled into the bathroom to wash up and fell back into bed, realizing as I shivered under the covers that it probably would have been smart to put on slippers and something warmer than a thin robe before attempting repairs in the middle of the night.

The next morning, the problem was miraculously simplified when I looked at the furnace again and realized that both the driveshaft and the pulley had been gouged when the pulley twisted off, leaving a slight burr on both.  A few minutes work with a metal file solved the problem.  Amazing what a few hours of sleep and a modicum of alertness can do.

I’m hoping to regain a useful level of alertness soon, and maybe the judicious application of some honing and smoothing tools will fix up those blog-posts-in-waiting.  I’ve also resolved to get a few of them completely written, once I get my brain safely reinstalled on its driveshaft.

Meanwhile, anybody got a brain file?  Apparently I’ve got a nasty burr somewhere…

P.S. Many thanks to all who offered encouragement to my step-mom.  Her first treatment went very well, and she wants me to thank everyone for their good wishes.

23 thoughts on “Brainless

  1. Hey you’re back and I’ve got posts to read! 🙂 I did not know this. I could’ve sworn I subscribed to your blog several times over . . ah well, I’ll subscribe again. lol

    Glad your step-mom’s treatment went well. 🙂


  2. Pingback: Cooking With Spam | Diane Henders

  3. Hi Diane, good to hear the news about your step-mom 😀
    My half finished posts aren’t anywhere near a half baked state – I don’t even know why I’ve saved them. They wouldn’t come in handy if they were my last resort to enter a really bad post competition, and that comment doesn’t even touch the surface… and, I don’t even want to start to comment on any repairs, middle of the night or otherwise that I’d ‘attempt’. You’ve impressed me, you have! 😀


  4. Glad to hear that the first round of treatment went well 🙂
    I don’t have a brain file, I’m afraid..I just accept the fact that my brain runs away once in a while, which isn’t as bad as the times when both brain and mind decide to take a jaunt to Jamaica or the land of Zabadoo..


  5. Very glad to hear your mom’s doing well so far; Yay! Also, I’m waiting on my dead-tree edition of the first book – I’m a dead tree kind of guy, I’m afraid.
    And finally, I too am impressed with 38 ideas in the hopper. I know I always feel better when I’ve got things lined up, camera-ready, and scheduled to post by themselves (as today’s did, to my amusement, since by noon I’d forgotten I set it), but I only have 4 or 5 posted “draft” at any given time – and I’ve often found that whatever it was I thought was going to be so funny or interesting at the time hasn’t held my interest long enough to still be funny when I do to finish or polish it. I suspect that they’re drafts because I really knew they weren’t good enough to roll with even then. If I don’t get it 90 percent done all at once, I’m probably not going to – no matter what I think at the time.
    If you don’t mind, once you’ve caught up on your emails, I’d love to pick your brain a little about the logistics of the dead-tree editions in addition to the e-books. I’m getting ready to launch my first e-book (I have the ePub ready and I’m working on the MOBI for Kindle); not sure “what’s next” on the to-do list.


    • Wow, that’s exciting – congratulations! I can hardly wait to get your book. Hey, everybody, if you haven’t checked out the BUMD blog, go do it now: You won’t be sorry!

      I’m happy to help with the “dead-tree” logistics, too – just send me an email through the “About Me” page, and I’ll bounce back to you from there.


  6. by the by, my husband was recently in Toronto and he tried to get me your book but they didn’t have it. ???Is it only on Amazon? I am anxious to read your spy thriller!


    • Thanks for trying! It’s a painfully slow process to get the paperbacks into the brick-and-mortar bookstores. So far, the paperback version of the first book has made it to,, and Chapters/Indigo online: For some reason, Chapters has decided to list it as “used and rare”, for the ridiculous price of $19. I don’t know why, but I’m looking into it. or .com is a much better deal. I hope the “dead-tree” version of the second book will be up shortly.

      And of course, the e-books are available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Diesel, and Apple, soon to arrive on Kobo and Sony (again, I don’t know why the long delay, but all electronic versions are also available from Smashwords right now: The e-books are a lot cheaper, and you can download free software to read them on your computer if you want. That might be a more economical option if you aren’t attached to the “physical book” experience.

      I appreciate your letting me know – I’ll keep pushing at the bookstores. 🙂


      • Thanks for your response. I will look online again for the ebook for my IPad.
        Also I just spent some delightful time re-reading lots of your old posts. The toilet stories are totally fun and very entertaining. At least you didn’t speak about ah, you know……No 2.
        ha ha ha
        Have a great evening.


  7. I think 38 ideas, even half-baked ones, is amazing. I have about 4 one-line ideas, and live in terror of what happens after that. I am pretty happy when I or my spouse does something stupid: MATERIAL!


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