because life doesn’t fit in a file folder

TechSupport Answers, Part Tres

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This is the final installment in a series of answers that my 13-year old son has provided to all the faboo readers & bloggers who responded to my request to give him the gift of questions for his 13th birthday. Because nothing screams happy birthday like the prospect of being a guest writer on your mother’s blog. I know you are all devastated. He is riveting. But he needs to go back to school. And hopefully this little exercise got him back into the mood. Either that or he’s now burned out before school has even started. Click on the links if you’s like to read Part Uno or Part Dos.

Tech Support 2012

We’re jumping right in again.

pattisj said:

I love the Big Bang Theory. Do you have a favorite character?

TS: I love Sheldon because his reactions to things make me laugh. Like how he over-reacts to everything. I also love his roommate contract Part C, Section IV. I intend to get a full copy of the agreement and use it in my real life.

• • •

Jami Gold asked:

What are some of your favorite book series?

TS: I like the Gone Series, The Hunger Games, and The Maze Runner.

• • •

e. rumsey asked:

What is your favorite fiction genre? What are some of your favorite movies? Do you think you’ll like playing with LEGOs your whole life, like I do? Have you been to a show on Broadway, if so, which one and did you like it?

My favorite fiction genre is science fiction. I loved the Hunger Games movie, Iron Man, Captain America, and I really want to see The Avengers. I don’t play with LEGOs very much anymore, but I have a strange urge to play with them now.

• • •

Jay Donovan @ jaytechdad

Here’s a math problem: Using only 3s & any operators you want to use, write a math equation that equals 100. If TechSupport wants some real homework, tell him to install VMWare Player on his computer, install Linux, and figure out how to build a web server or get his own Minecraft server running. Afterward, he can enter minion training. We can always use another minion.

TS: Hi Jay.

Here is my best attempt:

33 x 3 = 99.

99+3 = 102.

102 x 3 = 306

306 – 3 – 3 = 300

300/3=100. 😉

I didn’t use any help to figure that out.

But now I have a riddle for you.

You have 8 potatoes. You need to feed 20,000 people in a village of starving people, none of whom are willing to eat potatoes. How do you feed them?

I just got my own computer, and I am planning to host my own Minecraft server. I’ll send you the IP address, if you are interested. Are you interested?

• • •

Coleen Patrick asked:

What was your favorite part of your bar mitzvah (and least favorite)?

TS: My favorite part was at the after party, dancing with all of my friends. My least favorite part was when I had to light invite people up to light the candles because I don’t like being alone on stage. I get nervous when I am the center of attention.

• • •

Go Jules Go asked:

Your mom told us about the books that you collected, organized & donated for your bar mitzvah. Do you have any other projects like that that you’d like to do or are already working on? Do you have someone you look up to when it comes to doing charitable acts (someone famous or someone you know personally)?

TS: Hi Jules. I feel like I can call you Jules because my mom talks about you all the time. Plus I know you were on the phone together when I was at fencing once, and you guys talked so long that her car battery died. I don’t have any mitzvah projects in the works right now, but I’m always involved in some sort of project.

I don’t really have someone who I look up to with regard to charitable giving. {RASJ’s note: Really dude, really?!} The book thing was natural because I love books. I started it with my own initiative. I’m sure I’ll stumble into something else at some point.

• • •

JM Randolph asked:

If you had a blog, what nickname would you give your mom? And what was the single biggest thing that helped you prepare for your Bar Mitzvah?

TS: I would probably call her Super Writer. Wow, that’s pretty lame. I guess that’s why I don’t have a blog.

I think the biggest thing that helped me prepare for my bar mitzvah was starting to study for it long before I had to.

• • •

Larisa asked:

Take one of the questions that your mom answered over at The Byronic Man’s page and answer it yourself.

I chose #13. “Which superpower would you choose if you could: the ability to fly, or to turn invisible at will?”

Neither and yet both. I would like to possess the ability to use other people’s strengths. By this I mean, I’d like to be able to think of another person or thing and utilize their abilities as my own. They wouldn’t lose their powers or anything. I would just stay looking like myself – a mild, mannered boy — but I would secretly have any power that I desired at any time I desired it. Basically, I want everyone’s power. Is that creepy?

• • •

Rivki from Life in The Married Lane asked:

What’s the most difficult task you’ve tackled, and how did you feel about it before, during and after?

TS: If I had to say there was one challenge I had to overcome it would be my 7th grade social studies experience. My teacher was…um…he…um…let’s just say I had to do a lot of independent learning. Which meant a lot of boring textbook reading and Internet quizzes. My parents kept saying, “One day, you’ll see that this class has helped you understand how to be a better learner.”

I don’t think so.

• • •

Diana asked:

[My son] is almost ten and dying to be a tween. He loves computers and reading and writing. Can you suggest a few books or series for him to read, and any cool web games/programs. (He’s currently into Minecraft and making videos with Adobe Aftereffects.)

TS: Have him read The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner and Gone Series. I loved all 3 of them. If you’re on a Mac, try Dimp Animator and if you’re on a PC try Pivot. They are stick figure animators that I think are pretty cool. I really want the whole CS6 Suite, but my mom says it is too expensive. {RASJ’s note: I said he has to pay for it himself.} I guess I’m stuck with freeware right now. Hey, maybe I could come live with you for a while. I mean, you have Adobe Aftereffects. So you probably have the CS6 Suite, right? That would be cool. {RASJ’s note: Oh yes. Go live with people you don’t know. Whaaat?}

• • •

Nathan Young asked:

What are your favorite TV shows other than Big Bang Theory? Many geeks love animation so what are your favorite cartoons and comic books?

TS: Hi Nathan. I love MAD Magazine. It’s hilarious. When I get it, I lock myself in my room and read if from cover to cover. I also get Mac Life, but that’s not a comic book, obviously. I like a few weird TV shows like Adventure Time, which is totally wacky — but very entertaining.

I am so tired. I’m sorry you are the last person, but I have to stop now. Right now.

Here is a little bit of Adventure Time to enjoy while I am playing on my iPod resting.

So there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. That brings Tech’s riveting answers to your questions to a close. I think this assignment took him more hours than all of his 7th grade English assignments combined. Maybe I should make a suggestion to his soon-to-be 8th grade English teacher to have the kids start blogs. Or maybe I should just shut up and stay out of things. Which do you think I’m better at? What Tech? No, I’m just kidding. No, I’m not going to contact your teacher. Sheesh, son, can’t you take a joke?

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Tech Support Answers, Part Dos

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This is the second installment of TechSupport’s answers to questions that people asked him when I implored folks to ask him some questions for his 13th birthday. If you’d like to read the first part of his interview, please click HERE. Most importantly, please be sure to click on the links of all these bloggers. Especially if you don’t recognize someone’s name. There are a lot of talented people here today!

Tech Support 2012

Hi everyone. I’m back. Let’s just jump into it this time.

The Good Greatsby asked:

How would you rate your bar mitzvah? My kids aren’t Jewish, but they do like parties and getting gifts. Is the party worth converting?

TS: 99.9/100. The only reason it isn’t 100% is because in my mind, nothing is perfect. Like we have to sit in temple for High Holidays and we have a bunch of fasting holidays, which are exhausting. But have you have ever had matzah ball soup? Or real potato latkes made by a Jewish grandma? If not, you’ve got to try these things. If they are made right, you’ll want to convert. Or at least, it would be worth a conversation.

Lisha @ The Lucky Mom asked:

Who’s your favorite video game character and why?

TS: My favorite video game character is Steve from Minecraft. I am currently in love with this game.

This is Steve.

Hibs asked:

What are you curious about????

TS: I am curious as to why you ended your question with four question marks. Seems like you only needed one.

 • • •

EllieAnn asked:

This is one of the hardest riddles I know. And for the record, I was not able to figure it out on my own.
Riddle: Paul is 20 years old in 1980, but only 15 years old in 1985. How is this possible?

TS: Paul was born in 2000 B.C.E. {sarcasm on} I totally figured that one out by myself. I did not have to Google it or anything. {sarcasm off}

• • •

Heather Marsten asked:

What items would you place in a time capsule to represent your life and the times you live in?

TS: A computer, a Smartphone, and a (broken) CD. Also the book Goodnight, iPad! If you haven’t read Goodnight iPad!, it is a great book for anyone who loves Goodnight, Moon! And likes parodies.

Goodnight iPad
Goodnight iPad (Photo credit: Jagrap)

• • •

Leanne Shirtliffe of Ironic Mom asked:

Besides dancing, what’s something goofy that your mom does that drives you a bit insane? What’s your favourite book? If you could visit any country in the world for one week (for free), where would you go and why?

TS: It drives me crazy when my mom won’t get off of the computer because she says she is “working” when she is really just blogging. I mean, I need to play my video games! I don’t have a favorite book but one that I just read and really liked was the Gone Series. If I could visit any country I would go somewhere in Africa because I’ve never been to that continent before, and it seems like a cool place to go.

• • •

pegoleg asked:

How do you envision the next 13 years will differ from the first 13?

TS: I think that in the next 13 years not much will be different except that technology will continue to develop faster and people will use it differently. We may even get A.I. (Artificial Intelligence). Who knows?!

[Mom jumps in] Tech, I believe Pegoleg is asking on a more personal level. How do you think your life will be different in the next 13 years. You know like… where do you think you’ll be between now and the time you are 26?

TS: Ohhhh! I will continue leaning in school and hopefully learn more about math and science. Hopefully, I’ll go to college somewhere. Don’t know where. Not worried about it yet. But I imagine it’s in the plan. Maybe land a job in sciencey-computery stuff. I imagine I’ll have a few roommates and live like the guys on Big Bang Theory. I’ll be the coolest one. Whichever one you think that one is.

List of The Big Bang Theory episodes (season 4)
List of The Big Bang Theory episodes (season 4) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

• • •

lexiesnana asked:

If I want to impress my 13-year old nephew and also look really cool in the adult world what should I focus on in music and video games? Also what is your favorite Olympic sport and why.

TS: If you want to impress your nephew, you need to understand Minecraft and the importance of collecting diamonds and red stone while avoiding creepers. Some adults like Minecraft, too. But most adults will think you are a dork. To impress those adults, I’d recommend getting some kind of Apple product and learn how to do little fixes like when your iPad freezes. Adults are very appreciative when you can help them with any kind of technical support. They will think you are a wizard or something.

My favorite Olympic sport is fencing because I fence!

 • • •

skippingstones asked:

Is the alternate drive on your computer (D drive on my crashed computer) something that can be taken out and put into a different computer? Or does it have to be accessed and copied?

TS: I’m a Mac.

• • •

August McLaughlin asked:

 If you could dedicate a song to your mom and one to your dad, what would you choose and who would sing it? And what song best depicts your childhood?

TS: The song that best depicts my life is “Bangarang.”

[NOTE from RASJ: Listen at your own risk. And turn the volume on your speakers down.]

I wouldn’t dedicate a song to my parents.

I would just buy my mom a steak and my dad some golf clubs.

I know what they like. Trust me on this.

• • •

Galit Breen from These Little Waves asked:

How do you feel about your mama’s blog?

TS: I think it’s cool, but she spends wayyyyy (that’s 5 bold y’s) too much time on it.

Stay tuned for the last installment of Tech’s scintillating answers to your questions.

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Will You Write My Son While He Is At Overnight Camp?

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This year my son decided he wanted to stay at his overnight camp longer. He was willing to leave behind his close-knit group of friends in August and strike out on his own to meet totally new kids in July to have that extra week. Now I’ve been pretty good about not freaking out about this because I know 65% of the staff at the camp and I have the phone number of the Camp Director, I’ve known the Staff Director for 30 years, and I’m playing WWF with the Associate Director, and I can reach any of them in about 3 minutes I know that I can stay in touch with him via letters.

As far as I’m concerned, when writing your child who is at overnight camp, there are two rules.

Rule #1: Don’t be sad. Never tell your child that you are missing her so much that it hurts. That’s a disaster. And if your kid writes to say he is sad or homesick, don’t get all hyper and tell him you’ll pick him up. Oy. He’s just venting. No! No! No!

Rule #2: Be funny. Camp is fun – and your letters should be too. Tell stories. Take a moment from your day and embellish it like crazy. When I write to Tech, I try to be entertaining. And by that, I mean, I try to entertain myself while simultaneously torturing him.

At almost 13 years old, Tech is currently obsessed with two things: dubstep and Minecraft. If you don’t know what these things are, you are probably not the parent of a teenage boy.

Here is the first letter from home that I tapped out to my son.

• • •

Hey Tech!

You have been gone for 12 hours. I imagine you guys are just getting settled into your cabin about now. You have to tell me all the stuff you know I want to know like which cabin you are in? And who are you sleeping next to? Were things decided pretty easily or did enormous fist-fights break out? If so, was anyone seriously injured? I hope you have met some cool new people. I also hope that there are no doojies in your bunk, but you know there is always one kid. (And sometimes two.) But hopefully not.

Okay, the standard questions: How did you do on your swim test? Which hobby did you get? Who are your counselors? Are you going to ask you-know-who on Shabbat walk? If you have given up on her, is there someone else that has caught your eye? Did your cousins greet you with hugs? I paid them a lot of money to make sure there would be hugs. Please let me know if you do not feel you received a proper welcome in which case I will request a full refund. Be certain everyone knows that A & A are your first cousins because 1) they are totally cool, 2) they are staff, 3) no one will screw with you if they know you have bodyguards on the premises.

Dad & I are redecorating your room. Are you okay with yellow walls and a pink comforter? I’m pretty sure that is what you said. Dad thought pink walls and yellow comforter. Who is right? And don’t say you don’t want your room redecorated. We know you will love it when it it done!

Oh — bad news — I accidentally deleted Minecraft from my computer so you will probably have to start building your world again. Oh, I’m sorry. Did seeing the word “Minecraft” make you experience withdrawal symptoms? I’m sorry to have mentioned Minecraft. It’s probably hard for you to be away from Minecraft. Did you find out if anyone else likes to mine? What about dubstep? By the time you leave, I’m guessing everyone will be digging Dead Mouse and Skrillex.

I love you eleventy-bazillion pounds. And that, my son, is a lot.

Have a great time and be the great person that you are.

(Or be that kid. Either way.)

Sending you all my crazy-embarrassing motherly love.

xoxoxox Mom

I’d love it if you would leave a note for Tech while he is at summer camp during the month of July! Write as much or as little as you would like. I will print out all of your responses and bring them to him on Visitors Day which is set for July 15. 

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