Should I worry…?

Should I worry when I can’t taste the food I’m eating, when the coffee has no flavour, when the people around me seem like cartoon projections through a translucent screen?

Or do I know this is my normal state now, no longer a part of this world, just a passing stranger with only myself I’ll ever understand, if I know me at all?

I am tired, naturally so.

Time for bed rest, this five-year old in a fifty-five year old body wants to forget himself in his dreams for a while, maybe never wake up…

Autopolis

The cat’s out of the bag, and no, it’s not Schrödinger’s cat.

My team has elected the next project leader for the next project, an autonomous greenhouse, which is basically a building-sized robot that feeds itself and grows/harvests food for humans.

Interestingly enough, but not surprisingly so, they chose a project management algorithm to lead the project, giving over all decision making and late night number crunching to a software team member who/which won’t need weekly meetings or summary reports to get its point across when fingers are pointed toward the causes of failures in achieving project goals.

The algorithm already mines Bitcoins to generate revenue for the project so cost has all but been eliminated from concerns on this project.

Practically eliminating humans from the design and construction phase reduces labour costs; so, too, during operation and maintenance.

The algorithm has a flexible set of milestones to complete the design and construction, this being a new project for all involved.

I trust my team.

However, I’m building my own scale version of this to compare one human’s design to that of an algorithm.

In my case, cost is of paramount importance, labour cost is primarily my free time and schedule is within a few weeks/months depending on weather conditions and my free time.

Wish me luck!

Coffee, power, breakfast 

Arms and shoulders tired, sitting in a sunny cafe, waiting for breakfast to energise my morning physical therapy…

Brain is relaxed, thoughts moving slowly…

Should this writer expect more than a day’s pay for a day’s work, or can one invest one part of one’s earnings to build a personal trust fund which gives one a life after one’s useful working years are over?

What value does one place on instant gratification?

Tiny yacht, big feet

Raubine’s legs wobbled on the floating dock.

A sign on a boat read, “Work like a captain, Play like a pirate!”

Her eyes tracked the flight path of a large white heron, hoping it was a whooping crane lingering on its journey northward.

She looked down into the water where aquatic plants surrounded the dock.

No fish.

She set her rod and reel inside the starboard rail.

Raubine missed her father and their fishing trips in warm weather.

She wanted him here now, telling her the best way to cast and draw fish out from under the dock.

He always caught enough to eat, never more, never less.

She choked up.

She could barely remember how to hook a worm so she asked advice at the bait and tackle shop on the highway, three short blocks from the dock.

They sold her a cardboard cup of nightcrawlers and a few artificial lures to try out.

She stopped by the adult beverage store and bought two six packs of craft beer, wanting the high alcohol content to drown her sorrows for the weekend.

Stepping down into the boat, she looked across the small bay where the local yacht club marina was hosting a Mother’s Day Gala featuring local celebrities auctioning off an afternoon with them on a two-hour regatta.

Raubine took a deep breath.

She and her father had sat on this dock how many times?

She grabbed the mast and sobbed.

Had he been gone five years already?

She looked at all the boats on the water.

The last time they sat together on the yacht, he had told her about the radiation poisoning he had suffered at the nuclear plant, guessing it was going to shorten his life.  They laughed it off because, no matter what, they were going to outlive every fish they caught that day.

Raubine removed the moorings and pushed off, leaving the sails furled.  She’d paddle around the bend, out of sight of the regatta, to a spot her father loved.

It didn’t take long.

She dropped anchor.

From inside the hold, she removed a large tackle box and opened it to reveal it was a container for her father’s ashes.

She poured his ashes into the water around the yacht, crying the whole time, knowing he was where he always wanted to be.

Raubine pressed her arms to her chest, wanting her father’s hug one last time.

There had been many men in her life but no one like her father.

She closed the tackle box and picked up the rod.  She still had time to catch something for dinner.

Chips and salsa

As an experiment, I asked myself what’s the difference between attention and love. Then I tested the question on myself. Who around me do I love you and who in return loves me?

Of course, the easy answer is family, including spouse.

Can we see the difference between someone loving us and someone giving us attention, especially at our most vulnerable, needy moments?

Good question.

We ought to sense the body signals that signify the difference such as the teenager who wants attention and senses the pop music star singing on stage to thousands is speaking directly to her.

But often we don’t understand ourselves let alone the unintended signals we send others.

Which brings me here, drinking a Dos Equis beer in a Mexican restaurant on south Huntsville, waiting on my wife and her work colleagues, one of whom we’ve shared dance classes (and who I helped teach WCS the first time I helped Jenn teach with me playing the role of a follow (no, autocorrect, not a dollop) — my first step into the joy of teaching dance), with whom Jenn and I had fun singing and performing with a blues singer years ago near Madison Ballroom.

The decision is not instantaneous. 

For that, I am thankful.

What if…

Many of my conservative friends used to tell me that the government kept secret kill lists and secret tracking lists, following us by our cell phone GPS signals and Internet usage so the government could arrest or kill us at any time — I would either keep quiet and think they were being a bit paranoid or try to reason that it was too costly for the government (let alone private companies like Google) to track so many people.

The Snowden leaks proved them right and me wrong.

What if the other things my conservative friends and family tell me are true?

For instance:

  • Are Bill and Hitler Clinton longterm Soviet communist/socialists sleeper cells?
  • Is President Obama secretly following a Black Panther/Islamic agenda?
  • Is Ronald Reagan the greatest U.S. President ever?
  • Are we living in an Animal Farm world where some pigs think they’re more equal than others now that they’re on the podium, getting there by promising a more equal world until they got their hands in the till?
  • Will the banking and financial sectors, which were barely slapped on the wrists for causing the Great Recession, cause another economic meltdown because they feel invincible now that they’re “too big to fail”?
  • Are urbanites planning to steal land from the ruralites, incarcerating and killing those that get in the way of corporate greed to own all the means of food production and oil/mineral reserves?
  • Are corporations like Monsanto trying to own all the seeds that feed the people, in cahoots with a “star chamber” to control the whole population?
  • Was Obama brainwashed by Chinese communism when he lived in Indonesia?
  • Do we live in a dystopian technocratic society where our leaders with no formal military ethics training kill their own people using push-button, remote-control drones without getting blood on their hands?
  • Do cell phones cause longterm cancer?
  • How exactly does fluoridated water work on the brain?
  • Are cell phone towers secretly sending massive brain control signals?
  • Are mosquito control spraying programs the localised version of “chemtrails”?
  • Do the FBI and CIA create false files on people so they are kept in constant fear that they can be arrested at any time for any reason whatsoever and shipped to secret torture sites out of the country and out of the view of the American public, thus making the American people more accepting of socialist programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act?
  • Do large corporations purposely keep employee wages so low that they’re forced to rely on the government for food and thus unwilling to revolt against a suppressive government?
  • Is there a list of more conservative fears I could find to investigate these questions I never took seriously before Edward Snowden opened my eyes to the reality that “just because you don’t believe they’re tracking you doesn’t mean they aren’t”?
  • Does the UN stockpile weapons in your city in anticipation of largescale riot control when food and water become scarce, driving prices out of reach of most people?
  • Are government scientists secretly developing a Soylent Green program to convert huge numbers of incarcerated people, arrested for the flimsiest of reasons, including being upset because the police raided the wrong apartment/house, into food when the time is right?
  • Could a teacher really be so drunk on vodka that she could get by with walking the school hallways wearing no pants?

In this Brave New Post-1984 World, anything is possible, even the repurposed use of Pinkerton-type “detectives” to track and keep people in line. Anyone think the Anti-Pinkerton Act is valid anymore?

Thank goodness I know that Richard Nixon was the greatest U.S. President who ever lived!

On days like this, finding ways to entertain myself is endlessly fun!

[On a side note, while typing this up, I got a call (“Hello. This Rachel from cardholder services…”) that the Caller ID said was from my own phone number.  How funny is that? (And how easy it is to create your own Caller ID info, if you know how.)]