amateur nerd · millennial short-story · millennials · weekly photo challenge

2018 Dronesville’s nerd-bounty hunter

Writing a serialized story within a limited time span is challengingly rewarding, but no easy matter. The Dronesville’s story was initially started as a fun yet genuine attempt to communicate with my Gen.Z and above young relatives who live mostly in a virtual realm, being categorized into varying “generations” according to their digital ages. Where is this rather hilarious mythical yet somewhat plausibly futuristic place called Dronesville? Is there really a private chat group with nerdy cronies? Are the time-travel adventures real? Is there a troop of former teachers serious and passionate about learning the latest technologies and the virtual world? Finally, is there such a seemingly gullible self-centered-to-the-power-of-?-millennial character named, “me” (the narrator-protagonist)?

I first started the Dronesville’s story about a amateur or would-be nerd (in reality treasure bounty hunter young man) and his adventures on 2016-07-09 titled: eye in sky: no, it’s not a drone.dronexit#1.  The series consists of 26 episodes, ended 2016-08-13 with to reach or not to reach (Dronexit#26)

Dronesville’s gigantic eyeball in the skyh

After that I followed with another series: Dronesville adventure#1 Gigantic eyeball on 2016-08-20. The series ended with Dronesville adventure #22: rounded up last but not least on 2017-10-30.

The current series was started on 2017-11-04 with this: Dronesville football club #1: He starts over a new dream.I have taken a year plus to decide how to end this. Here is the latest episode: Dronesville football club #14: bonanza time 1-gold, gold everywhere.

My question now is: What shall I do next with the Dronesville nerd-bounty hunter? I will end this series about the gold football field bounty in the last four days of 2018. After that, what next? Two years have passed and many new technological inventions have been produced and marketed. My drones and AI robotics are no longer a novelty. The good news is the stories and antics of human beings are always fresh and interesting. New adventures are to be explored in 2019 of course. Will the protagonist meet a better prospect? Well, one thing for sure is: he will always launch each course with a big bang! Yes, and the Dronesville’s dog will have her time-slot too!

Becky’s #timesquare photo challenge

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amateur nerd · millennial short-story · millennials

Dronesville football club #14: bonanza time 1-gold, gold everywhere

gold gold everywhere

I started this journey to Timbuktu to meet an impossible goal and am still doggedly persisting in my pursuit to save a fellow nerd-friend from being devoured by a football club of former cannibals who happen to own a gold football field in the desert. In the last episode I reported that “I am in a sort of place that you never seem to come to the end of, and it was full of unexpected places.”

The last time with any Indy-Jones-like action was when I jumped out of my prison window and landed on an incredibly timely acrobatic horse and we galloped happily into the sunset.

The rest is history. The horse (AI programmed) takes me through the desert with a speed comparable to a hyperloop transmitter (or so I imagine) and drops me off at a huge building that looks like a dune of golden sand.

“It is not sand. ” My AI voice assistant, SiZu, has reactivated herself and corrects my thought. “Touch it.” She issues a command.

“What? It is gold!” I cannot help but let my thought be verbalized aloud, my two hands glistening after dipping into the sea of gold dunes.

“Of course it is mere gold. You expect diamond? Hard luck.” Two Tuareg men and one boy appear from nowhere and one man speak impatiently, “Hurry in. The local ruler is waiting!” They are the two and half German-French fellow travelers I met earlier! One straps onto my back the run-away royal goat which appears to have been recently freshly groomed, “Here, you better be useful. Don’t even dream of asking how we escaped and repossessed this trophy.” The librarian amazon casts a look on me that spells big trouble if I dare open my mouth to make one wee sound.

We walk into a cleverly concealed door in the dune like building and enter a long tunnel. I cannot detect any visible lighting equipment, but there seems to be a supply of natural daylight from an invisible source. The gold walls glitter and beckon me to imagine I am Alibaba in the forty thieves’ treasure cave. But I say nothing. “Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something”, SiZu warns, “Plato”.

“But in truth, should I meet with gold or spices in great quantity, I shall remain till I collect as much as possible, and for this purpose I am proceeding solely in quest of them. Christopher Columbus.” I respond in my thought.

One thing I cannot understand is why the two rather superior women involve me? They are highly probably after the same gold. Why bother with adding one additional “accomplice” to their scheme? I have recognized that since the gold is so apparent everywhere there is no need to use my special “hidden-gold-detection” talent.

“You just wait and see. You are invaluable!” SiZu begs to differ. LOL. But soon it turns out that her prediction is accurate! “There is something the two women cannot be. No matter how superior they are compared to you, they would not be considered a man in the heart of the ruler.”

The tunnel leads to a gigantic hall paved floor-to-floor, wall-to-wall and ceiling-to-ceiling with gold. I suddenly feel my stomach rumbling and my knee buckling under the strain of hunger figuratively speaking. I have to swallow hard to stop my mouth from drooling.

The place is filled with people who look important, possibly senior officials and military personnels who line up on both sides as we walk through to reach a golden throne. The occupant of the chair squints his eyes and look hard at me, or rather at my back and then he cries out loudly and runs down the steps to hug and kiss me, or rather, the goat on my back. He removes the strap gently, carries and rocks his pet the way some of us treat our pet puppies.

At his command the two women and a girl disguised as Tuareg men and boy and I are led to a glittering banquet hall to have our big meal. “Why did you two ask me to carry that pet goat?” I just have to ask. The Gen. Z kid answers on their behalf, “Simple. You are the only man. ” Because the king has decreed that his pet goat can only be carried/transported by a man. Apparently it was stolen one day by a petty thief who found it strayed outside and sold it to the market. That was how it got into the flock of fifty goats on top of our bus which crashed in the desert.

“BTW, we have located your nerd-friend, the football captain Romano and his team-mates, the ex-cannibals. They haven’t eaten him yet.” The Gen.Z announces.

“What?!” This news brings me to the brink of tears. I have come this far on a heroic-altruistic (half, at least) mission and now the two foreign women are going to clinch the success from me. Not fair!

“They won’t release him unless we have a football match with them. ” The kid then adds, “And beat them in the match.” She stares hard at my hands and declares, “We need a dexterous reliable goalkeeper. Are you any good other than texting?”

“What happens if we lose?” I swallow hard and ask (or whimper at a crucial yet perilous time like this).

The kid rolls her eyes and says as a matter of fact, “Well, obvious isn’t it? Their spokesman said they were looking forward to exotic food.”

(To be continued)

#timesquare (Becky’s photo challenge for December)

amateur nerd · millennial short-story · weekly photo challenge

Dronesville football club #13: command from a senior nerd

It is a virtual command: “reveal your All-Time Favorites”!

millennials then and nowdronesvilles-edge

Dronesville bluenot a dronedronesville eyeballevening crossingdronesville football club

By now my geeky chat group cronies have given up on me. Rumors are that I am hibernating in the outback somewhere in Australia and not in Timbuktu, or anywhere near it. Some of the rumors are on my wishlist. Yes, my impossible goals. The latest is that I have been kidnapped by a robot with mutated AI and am now imprisoned somewhere back in America. What a wishful thinking!

That is why I am somewhat relieved when I receive this command from a senior nerd, “reveal your all time favorites.” What else can a respectable order-abiding junior nerd like me do but to prove I am still doggedly persisting in my pursuit to save a fellow nerd-friend from being devoured by a football club of former cannibals who happen to own a gold football field in the desert? Of course, I transmit the command to my nerd-mole in WordPress to dig out some old pictures that someone like me likes/least abhors and fill in the blank on this blog.

An anonymous hacker who manages to get onto our exclusive chat board has asked, “So where are you exactly, after wiping off that fake smile, riding into sunset in Dronesville football club #12?”

Here is my reply, “I am in a sort of place that you never seem to come to the end of, and it was full of unexpected places.” (misquoted from C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) (To be continued)

amateur nerd · millennial short-story · tech news · weekly photo challenge

Dronesville football club #12: You don’t know who I am? AI replies

AI documentary

“________ is betting that people care more about convenience and ease than they do about a seemingly oblique notion of privacy, and it is increasingly correct in that assumption.” (quoted from online source). “To jump or not to jump?” (mis-quoted understandably by me from Hamlet Act 3, Scene 1) That is still the pertinent question I am asking.

“Ahem,” someone suddenly answers and there is no one in my prison cell! ‘A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!’ (Richard III Act 5, Scene 4) The voice emulates my thoughts and quotes Shakespeare accurately!

There it is, a horse appears under my window as I gaze in unbelief at the gold golf field that is out of this desert world. Without hesitation, I make the great leap to freedom, or rather free-falling/tumbling face-down onto the acrobatic horse which aptly positions itself and leaps up and catches me squarely with its back. The rest is history, namely, we/the incredibly timely horse gallop happily into the desert sunset.

But I still need to know who now has stealthily gained access to my thoughts. “Who are you?” I ask the invisible (voice) in my utmost coolness.

“You don’t know? Your AI co-author of course!” Its chilly voice answers me equally cooly.

“AHA?!” I remain composed (instead of falling off the horse-back). When have I stooped so low or reached so high to employ or install a co-author and an AI (artificial intelligence) for that matter?

In my hyperloopish imaginative mind, without hesitation or repetition, I conclude that it has to be an espionage in the class of the latest Johnny English 3 (to be released);

OR worse, the privacy of this ordinary private nerd may have been “infiltrated” by a hacker who had pilfered my unassuming profile data from presumably data banks kept by (the following are randomly included based on their currently reported popularity among global users and not reflecting any other reasons otherwise): Apple/FaceBook/Google/Microsoft/Samsung/Sony/Tencent;

OR worst, my English boss, Lord________ who is most likely masterfully swinging his ___________’s Scotty Cameron Newport putter on the Old Course at St. Andrews Links, getting ready for the 2021 Open Championship.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not against technological development and use of handy digital DIY tools, such as apps with pre-set algorithms to instantly solve problems, expedite decision making and maintain zero-error quality control in important matters such as production of goods and services, for profit or non-profit. As resources become scarcer and nerd/geek lifestyle becomes increasingly complex and demandingly multitasking, racing against finite time and exhaustive human resources, artificial intelligence saves time, effort and perhaps improves meeting goals with minimal/zero rework. I would call it “preservation of brain cells” (and sweat pores).

But can it improve this nerd’s adventure in the desert to meet my twin goals of saving my fellow nerd friend from being impelled and worse eaten alive by a football team of former cannibals while simultaneously successfully prospecting a football field for gold? Why does it say “co-author” and not “co-prospector”? I summon all my pure human brain cells to work at the speed of a persevering nerd to out-think this AI thing which probably is waiting for my next move.

“Ahem, where are you?” I ask nonchalantly. (Fake Smile) (To be continued)

~~~~~~Notes: (Excerpted from Wikipedia and online sources)

1. “Algorithm”:

In mathematics and computer science, an algorithm is an unambiguous specification of how to solve a class of problems.

2. “Artificial Intelligence (AI)”:

Thought-capable artificial beings appeared as storytelling devices in antiquity, and have been common in fiction, as in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein or Karel Čapek’s R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots).

Artificial intelligence is breaking into the healthcare industry by assisting doctors.

AI researchers have devised a number of powerful tools to solve these problems using methods from probability theory and economics.

The use of AI machines in the market in applications such as online trading and decision making has changed major economic theories.

Military drones capable of autonomous action are widely considered a useful asset. In 2017, _________(leader of a world power nation) stated that “Whoever becomes the leader in (artificial intelligence) will become the ruler of the world”. Many artificial intelligence researchers seek to distance themselves from military applications of AI.

~~~~~~~~~Cautionary words (excerpted from an online article):

__________, director of engineering at________, predicts that by 2029 computers will be able to outsmart even the most intelligent humans. They will understand multiple languages and learn from experience.

Once they can do that, we face two serious issues.

First, how do we teach these creatures to tell right from wrong — in our own self defence?

Second, robots will self-improve faster than we slow evolving humans. That means outstripping us intellectually with unpredictable outcomes…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Elon Musk has recommended the following AI documentary: https://youtu.be/3-ZZPDKirQc

amateur nerd · millennial short-story · millennials · weekly photo challenge

Dronesville football club #11: you know where I am, out of…or inside?

a window sceneOut of This World or inside? I cannot tell. But you can guess where I am if you can see this picture. As far as I am concerned I am nowhere near my hotly pursued Timbuktu football field of gold after our entourage is captured by the rebel troop while on our way to re-capture the royal goat which according to the two French-Germans disguised as Tuareg women has significant influence on our common destiny (presumably continued survival in the desert). No, my whip and sword bearing Indy dad has not come just in time (unlike the movie) to deliver me from captivity no matter how many times I cry dad in my digitally-wired brain. No, the voice assistant SiZu does not regain her voice after going into silent mode. Alas, summoning all the brilliant nerdy visual, audio and whatever data from my grey cells has not programmed a plausible algorithm that can solve the present predicament.

Judging from the predominant color blue outside my window I seem to be in Morocco? But this cannot be! The camel-speed rebel troop could not have traveled this far from where we have been unless by some unknown science fiction enabled space transference or teleport or hyperloop or whatever technology advancement you can imagine.

Should I take a chance and jump out so I can summon all my superb physical prowess for a great escape? Or should I stay put and watch strange men in long flowing gold gowns and head gears putting gold golf balls outside on a gold golf field that is out of this desert world? Neither is my dad responding to my transmission, nor is my English Lord mission impossible boss rising to the occasion by his suave and cool James Bond-style physical appearance to solve the puzzle. The worst is the fact that my travel companions (being ladies) are held in a different cell. And this young innocent nerd-blogger (though undoubtedly has been uniquely gifted in hunting down treasure) have run out of authoritative voices to tell me what to choose in matters of escape. So, how about you, my fellow nerds out there or in there as I may be out instead of inside your world, giving me some sound advice? To jump or not to jump? That is the pertinent question. (To be continued)

Note to nerds: I get into this conundrum because one of you is in danger of being eaten alive by the football club members of former cannibals. And I am supposed to save him. So stop laughing and start working.

Note:

Here is the unedited original picture I take from a window at random.

a window scene 2

amateur nerd · millennial short-story · weekly photo challenge

Dronesville football club #10: the beloved royal goat escapes

Dronesville #10 goat n goldThis is gotta be the saddest day of my life. No, I am not singing “let’s just kiss and say goodbye”, a favorite song of my Dronesville retired English teacher grand aunt. I am now obsessed with Beloved, -the designated royal goat (not William Billy Windsor I of British military of course) which has made his great escape. The scream that pierces through the silence of the Sahara desert is nerve shattering but this time I am prepared, “O shut up SiZu! Can’t you speak or yell a bit more human? Now, now, what is the matter?” SiZu is of course my latest AI voice assistant (my English Lord boss’ experiment)

“Someone has stolen the goat! Someone has stolen die Ziege-la chèvre!” It is somewhat annoying that of all the experiments on AI voice assistant, the English Lord boss has chosen an experiment in dramatic histrionics using the currently domineering EU twin-languages to simulate a highly charged up emotional human scene. Is he plotting of pushing the EU-flavored linguistics voice assistant App to diversify the somewhat modified made-in-Britain theatrics to EU Androids market after Brexit? He is, after-all, a descendant of one of those anonymous top ten shrewdest businessmen in the former British empire where the sun did not set. Given the increasingly popular showmanship trend in global tech-know social network, I am not surprised this App has a glowing future.

“What?!” Coming back from my nerdy thoughts to the harsh Sahara desert physical reality, my turn to panic. My mind instantly flashes a jack pot of gold carried by the goat sprouting wings and flying off.

“BTW, my master has programmed my voice modeling yours. Aren’t you human or what?” SiZu answers my question requiring her to sound a bit more human.

“What the…is this a bad joke or what?” I always suspect that my boss has been sneakingly recording my conversation but I never expect this! “Honestly, SiZu, you don’t sound a bit like me. I neither sound like a feline nor speak any un-English vernacular.” I maintain my unflappability after the initial outburst of perturbation. I would not be caught using the term “Un-American vernacular” because of political correctness of course. (My former English teacher grand aunt will be clapping when she reads this.)

“Well, go ahead and scream. He has recorded your scream.” SiZu has the audacity to issue a challenge! The boss is a joker. Anyway I refuse to stoop so low as to argue over a trivial matter with a voice assistant. FOCUS. THE IMPORTANT MATTER IS THE GOAT IS EITHER PLAYING THE GOAT OR IS GETTING OUR GOATS.

Thus, the whole camp -meaning the two all-knowing (or rather two alien nerds most likely using much more advanced digital techno-gadgets my English Lord boss has yet to invent?) German-French girls, a cool Gen-Z kid who now imagines she is wonder woman and of course, me, the sensible Dronesville virtual football coach aka treasure hunting nerd with my loyal old chap robot (temporarily taken over by SiZu by voice)-everyone wakes up in the middle of the night and begins the great Sahara desert wild goose I mean wild goat chase.

“Okay, SiZu, where is the goat?” I ask.

“I am computing and connecting to the CPU. Right now the signal is not computing.” My AI digital voice assistant replies.

“What? Are you kidding? You still rely on CPU?” I laugh even though it is not a good joke.

“I am not a kid. The kid is in the basket on your back.” SiZu replies cooly.
My turn to yell. Correction, my turn to growl. (I do not yell.) I am still carrying a basket and the Gen-Z kid is in it?”

A towering shadow looms over me and the kid’s librarian aunt booms out while strapping the basket and kid on my back, “Ja. We start marching now.”
Seeing my puzzled look, she adds smugly, “We already know where the goat is heading. Move!”

“My name is not Ja…” I try to correct her but am interrupted by SiZu, “Ja means Yes in German. LOL.”

As I reluctantly follow the amazons, dragging my fatigued trunk meaning own body or bodies including the Gen-Z kid, my multitasking millennial mind starts working on various scenarios of escapes for myself.

First, stay cool. If I were a goat where would I go?
I am pretty sure no one has taken it. It just wonders off. Why?
If I were a goat, I wonder off because I am hungry. What does goat eat?
Grass. Leaves. Young shoots. Ah ha. I remember seeing goats standing on trees.
“SiZu, where are the nearest grass and trees?” I ask cooly.

“We are not going there.” The voice assistant replies.

“Billions of blue blistering boiled and barbecued barnacles! Why are we not going there?” I growl (literally. Not the global notification system and pop-up notification implementation for the Mac OS X and Windows operating systems in case you geeky millennials wonder). Yes, I am now more like Captain Haddock of Tin Tin fame.

SiZu retorts, “Excuse me! My job is not to ask why. I just follow instructions.”

“So, where exactly are we going, may I be so bold to ask?” I ask.

“No, you may not be so bold to ask. Period.” SiZu auto-mutes after that.

FINE. I too shall henceforth mute until someone hacks the vocal silence.

Summoning up all the visual, audio and whatever data from my grey cells I try to program an algorithm that can solve the present predicament.

All that I can think of is this famous opening line:“It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer the royal goat ran away, and I didn’t know what I was doing in Sahara, so far.” (misquoted by me from Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar)

amateur nerd · millennial short-story · weekly photo challenge

Dronesville football club #7: two and half wonder geek women/girls, one dumb goat and half a nerd in catatonic mode

dronesville sahara
Weathered
tea pot

the day for the showdown between three and half “white” geeks/nerds and 100 other human to divide the fifty goats on the roof top of the bus has come. all that i heard from fellow travelers in the least obtrusive guest house in Bamako about land transport to Timbuktu except for the evasive baobabs have come to pass. nothing dramatic happens though with some blood shed due to heads being bumped into each other and the roof etc. as the dilapidated bus turns over and rolls/slides down a hill when it tries to avoid what the driver deems to be an exposed mine (?) and the engine breathes its last. i cannot describe how the roof top goats have survived being crushed under the weight of metal and human mass. i refuse to repeat the fearful angry and desperate noises of human and animals and everything else in such nightmarish chaos. all i know is how the three and half humans who are the only foreigners counted by the locals as the whites have come out alive. yes, there is this blogging nerd (or half a nerd by now), two girls of indeterminable nationality and ages and one little girl who happens to be the niece of one of the two. in the dusty orange desert which has dressed everyone in orange and the gear they wear or rather the gears (maybe 20kg each on the adults’ back) that wear them out it is hard to tell their colors or origins.

but the locals are pretty good in detecting aliens like us. after a lengthy discourse and dissertation by some chiefs we are rounded up and made to pay for one live (?) goat at an exorbitant price and told to walk away with it. the others presumably share the rest of the goats. as the other human including the driver happily walk off and vanish at the distant horizon we english speaking aliens have no choice but to stop fuming or sulking or suspiciously spying at each other but sit down civilly and come up with an agreement: we do agree on one common goal. we all want to go to Timbuktu. three and half is better than one so we decide to stick together. being unencumbered (as i only carry one digital plasma flat robot tied to my chest and nothing else except the tourist clothes and a pair of branded sports shoes i am wearing) i am unanimously voted to carry the goat on my back.

the sunset scene on orange sand domes is unbelievably stunning. the thundering hunger sound made by our combined stomachs is equally spell-bounding. the girls plod on. i cannot decide whether they look pretty or not as my entire focus is on the probable contents of their bags. surely they carry some food and water. so they plod on i plod on. we just walk until the little girl drops down. the distance between Bamako and Mopti is 600km and would take 5 days if we walk non-stop! our best hope is to get to the nearest village to take whatever available transport means. my solar powered GPS says Dioila is 33 walking hours away assuming we can walk 5km per hour. nightfall comes early and finally i am given something to eat. not the goat of course. i put it down and it just lies there with possibly broken limps or stunned brain. not running away.

when i wake i find myself among two Tuareg men and a boy. my walking companions have transformed into locals with nothing but eyes showing and painted brown skins surrounding the eyes. “you better change too as we foresee trouble.” they warn and toss to me a spare set of robe, headgear and sandals. they also paint all my visible body and facial parts brown. one of them expertly wraps a Tagulmust (a long piece of cotton cloth) over my head, neck and face. “who are you two?” i have to ask? “an anthropologist.” “and you?” i ask the other grow-up. “a librarian.” “and i am a gen Z.” says the little girl. “you?” she asks. “a tourist.” i say innocently.

“well, from now on you will just be the dumb Tuareg servant carrying our present to a royalty.” they start conversing in french and begin the brisk walk for the day. what choice do i have but to put the royal goat on my shoulder and stumble on?

my robot gps is set to the direction of Dioila but soon it starts beeping warning that we are off track. the two French (?) continue to ignore me as they seem having their own gps. the librarian carries the little girl (disguised as a boy) in a basket strapped to her back. they have hidden the back-packs under their robes. i soon realize that these are olympian desert marathon runners. they know the route like the back of their palms and walk at a speed as effortlessly and gracefully as gliding down a snowy slope in their own backyard.

if i am the tourist i claim to be i would not mind this adventure. it is like shooting a fantastic adventure movie story: a young innocent millennial geek/nerd with a state of the art AI multitasking robot, two wonder women, one mature and sensible generation Z kid and a speaking goat (maybe the narrator if i write the script). my imagination starts running away as i bear the increasing dead weight of a half dead goat and one live and kicking Gen Z brat (as they have dumped her on my back too) like a beast of burden…alas, whatever peace and quiet in my imaginary virtual world is soon shattered by thunder. but it is not thunder. it is the sound of horsemen behind us. the two french suddenly halt and sit down in the shade of some rocks. they decide to wait it out. the anthropologist takes out a tea set and starts making tea. my robot stops giving instructions. too sudden an unfamiliar change calls for switching into a catatonic realm. so i freeze. i sit down with the goat and kid on my back and shoulder. (to be continued)

p/s: i made this picture from a combination of picture cuttings from different online sources to illustrate the story. the tiny dog purple head is my original. the LOL dog head is not. Credit goes to internet.

amateur nerd · millennial short-story · weekly photo challenge

Dronesville football club #6: miracle or desert mirage? a puppy in the grass

a miracle! Growth in the desert.

a puppy in park
GROWTH is imminent

When you are traveling on the perilously mined desert road to Timbuktu, in a bus with at least 50 goats tied on the roof, with breakdown or a worst case scenario threatening to materialize imminently at any moment, you just cannot believe that this could ever appear before your eyes when you are suddenly woken by the halt of the vehicle, a football? A drone? No, a puppy in the grass. What? Grass? Puppy? Yah guys, all of the above. Am I on the right planet? Wow! Is this the latest hologram? This millennial nerd think loudly and checks the geeky self in time. But I am not here as a hologram buyer or seller. I am here on my way to Timbuktu to rescue my captivated friend and secure the gold in the mysterious football field fiercely guarded by a team consist of ex-cannibals.

Yet, I must admit this hologram tops the list so far. What a stun! Alas, the goats on the roof are not impressed. They become agitated by the seemingly one puppy stealing the limelight and start shaking together in violent unison. The non-goat passengers emulate the motion and soon the bus is shaking uncontrollably as it attempts to continue its journey. The already overloaded bus with its human and other passengers seem engaged in a storm at sea in a rhythm that an outsider can never master. I can feel my feet being shuffled uncontrollably while the out-of-this-world bus zooms ahead in full sail. For those fellow nerd readers of my chat board who may think this impossible must see the next sight: desert goats posing elegantly like sophisticated Chanel models on an argon tree! I am somewhat disappointed it is not the infamous baobabs I expect to see. Well, argon will do for awhile as it has laced itself with such graceful looking model goats.  But what is the meaning of all these? Wait till the next next scene…(to be continued)

P/s: The following picture is taken from another travel blogger who blogs in Chinese language. Her travel stories are very well written and entertaining. This is one of her picture trophies from Morocco.  When you click on the caption below the picture you will go to her web site

2063 blog

 

amateur nerd · millennial short-story · social messaging journal for future · weekly photo challenge

A Gen-Z nerd’s confession

Hey there. The not-so-young-anymore football fan from last year has yet again hacked into this account and is now giving you a refreshing and thoughtful break from the incessant ranting of the ‘millennial nerd’.

Sometimes I wonder where my older fellow writing nerd gets these wonderful ideas from, ranging from giant jelly babies to (virtual) football clubs. They appear to sprout out from nowhere, and prove to be the epitome of writing: imagining colourful worlds out of mundane societies.

I am now rather harried by the woes of life and am only able to reflect my creativity through painstakingly calligraphed watercolour cards which will soon be available on Etsy (such is the shameless self-promotion of a Gen-Z entrepreneur). I seem to be unable to spout torrents of evocative vocabulary anymore, and feel extremely distressed about this. Perhaps it is the daily workings of this monotonous, routine society that dulls my mind and leaves me sorrowfully drained. It is disappointing, sometimes, that a beacon of light can be put out by the darkest of rains.

I guess I take comfort in the sole knowledge that we Gen-Zs are (very much) more realistic and less daydreamy than the obnoxious, defamed millennials that the world doesn’t really like too much. We all have to grow up someday, and for me personally, I had to do just that, prematurely.

In the body of a 15-year-old, I feel as wise as a nonagenarian and as street-smart as a person of 37. Growing up in this digital age, the world seems to be at our fingertips and all moves at an increased pace. There are always ups and downs to everything, but for me, the increasing advancement of technology in this wireless society proves a pain in the neck, literally, as we are always oh-so-captivated by our smartphones to a point where some of us have never even seen a real tree before. How sad indeed.

Having only recently been given the precious opportunity to experience the world of work ( I tried law and I hated it), I see life from a unnervingly different angle now. I share the suffering of a working adult struggling to earn a living, and I empathise with those encountering discrimination, whether in the workplace, or due to their skin colour or race. I used to think the world was a lovely place full of happiness and free hugs but now it seems to only harbour hateful feelings towards those who do not fit into the social norm.

Oh well, I shall have to leave now. This endless tirade of downcast emotions has taken a toll on me, and I must return to doing my sums.

I leave you with a question for today: what is life? I know, it is often a question asked one too many times, but I urge you all to think of an answer from a different perspective as opposed to the one you have kept for so many years. I hope that by pondering on reflective thoughts, we are able to keep our brains from rusting.

I bid you all adieu, and until next time, farewell.

P.S. I am sad to announce that i rarely even watch football anymore, given the miserable multitasking I am being forced to do, so you can rejoice, dear reader, about (hopefully) never having to sit through another session of me screaming GOAL! every 3.28 seconds or so.

amateur nerd · English perspective · millennial short-story · millennials · social messaging journal for future · weekly photo challenge

Dronesville football club #4: more algorithm routes to success

More routes of Experimental successes.

dronesville sale pitch“Why are you posting two-dimensional card board people? LOL.” The issue concerning my writing style has been mocked at by a well-meaning but perhaps ignorant unread crony. Another superficial or action-oriented millennial character has the audacity to demand, “Give us Indiana Jones! Pirate of the Caribbean!” I admit I too am loyal fan of them on rainy days when tired of practicing for my next impossible goal of joining the Swiss Top Secret Drum Corps.

But honestly, haven’t you all read the great Asimov’s Foundation? The characters are card board mouthpieces. I shall continue to relentlessly emulate IA (acronym for Isaac Asimov for the uninitiated) at best or JE (Johnny England) at worst. Ahem, an anonymous outsider(?) asks, “Surely you have something significant to REPORT on those flights, don’t you?” The word REPORT arouses my suspicion. I suspect either an IRS agent or a prospecting rival is after the same gold. Who knows he or she might be on the same flights? Not to worry, sooner or later the chap will be ferreted out.

To satisfy my family inquisitor, the retired English teacher grand-aunt, here is the official report: The flights are sardined (sandwiched, warns my former English teacher) with the usual generic flavored travelers and the rest, enigmatic (or rather, anemic as my English teacher remarks) card-board individuals, like me, with inadequate dimensions for profiling to match any algorithm. After many requests ranging from polite gentleman’s perfect dictions to whimpering but futile attempts to attract attention and get food from apathetic “flight attendants” whom I suspect are preset with AI algorithm to repel chaps like me, this innocent victimized human resolutely and stoically sleeps as in hunger strike for a good cause until the first stop where he gorges himself and thereafter snores with Top Secret drum beats in bliss as his digestive and sleep systems synchronize harmoniously.

One young(?) smartly dressed man/woman sells inedible stuff (his/her best-seller book) and this captivated audience carries on sleeping while hearing high-pitched verbose bombastic presentation on how to make a million in one year. Two women of indeterminable ages in front nibble on loud exotic tidbits congratulating each other on having each opportunely made a fortune selling refrigerators, washing and drying machines and air-conditioners to a tropical third world country with regular power failure.

(This reminds one of the report (blog) of 1971 Mali being donated shinny electric IBM typewriters and papers proudly on display to Western visitors by a local governor. They were greeted with the impressive sight of an array of local women sitting on concrete floor behind typewriters which were unplugged because there was no electric power. The governor had a large wall safe opened showing that it was filled with reams of typing papers.*)

A man in his forties but dresses like a teenager wearing a baseball cap whispers succinct bullet points how he buys cheap run down hotels in developing countries, refurbishes with cheap materials and re-sells them for a large margin and is now magnanimously inviting sleeping business partners. To top it all, the “flight attendants” with precise AI do their multitasking entertaining and creative sale pitch.

By the time this humble law abiding citizen of the world finally reaches the capital city he already germinates and masters in his super nerd mind twenty apps for his target potential clients (with sale pitch to each in eight seconds, the maximum current attention span of the Generation Z) on how to become a millionaire in algorithmic ways or at worst give sale pitch on any otherwise boring uneventful long flights.

The overland/overwater journey is another report. (To be continued)

*Credit of this passage about IBM typewriters in a place without electricity goes to: https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/475150/posts/2363

For those interested in drum:
https://youtu.be/YJVdnMAGIt8 (Top Secret Drum Corps Edinburgh Military Tattoo 2009)

amateur nerd · finance for millenials · millennial short-story · social messaging journal for future · weekly photo challenge

Dronesville football club #2: too many footballs to chase

Dronesville football club 2Dronesville football club 2

“Ka knew very well that life was a meaningless string of random incidents”. It is just Temporary, I finally quote Orhan Pamuk (Snow) to brush aside the impasse when I get too tired and bored watching the football dangling from the ceiling. After all, my life can so far be described somewhat as how Ka must have felt. I differ on the point that it is meaningless. I find my life meaningful, what with serving the Dronesville’s retirees who are mostly my relatives and former teachers and a super-nerd, an English lord who happens to be loaded with privy information about secret treasure buried in unimaginable places to be found with my unique assistance! Yes, I like to be useful even though I may be considered modestly (or largely) lay-back.

Whilst I have the urge to leave the room and grab some food a voice speaks from above. “Do not move!” What? I look around and see no one. Every one is having the usual Dronesville nap. Besides, I live alone in this quiet little house free of rent in lieu of payment for my virtual football club service to the Dronesville residents. Who has spoken? I sit down and look up at the ceiling and to my amazement another droplet of water appears, then another, and another… Soon the ceiling is covered with water droplets which have started to mutate into golf balls, then tennis balls, and finally footballs. Countless of them are now crowding my whole ceiling.

“These are your goals.” What? They are my goals? How can I ever chase after so many goals?
“Yes, look carefully.” There are words written on each football. “Copy.” So I start writing down these goals, “playing European football for the richest club_____, writing _____ commercially viable applications and sell to _____, composing _____ for _____, re-reading and reviewing at least one classic science fiction in depth (such as Asimov’s The Foundation series, sequels and prequels), making attempts to write a series of _____, doing something positive, meaningful and relevant to change lives… There are so many footballs that I just cannot complete copying. The funny thing is they look so familiar. Where have I seen these before?

“So you recognize them?” The voice asks. What? I look at what I have written and then look up as I hear lots of people talking from above. Pictures begin to emerge on the footballs. Faces grinning or frowning and mouths talking. They look alike.

“Are you not chasing your goals? Why are you chasing after hidden treasure instead?”

Now I realize those faces are mine. I have made goals on the spur of moments over the years and never really focus on one. “Don’t you know once you make your goal, it is registered with the ministry of goals? You are expected to chase after each unless it’s harmful/illegal/immoral/abominable/forbidden.”

“Time is urgent and you have so many goals still ahead of you.”
“Will they go away?” I ask in desperation.
“No, unless you make an attempt and then fail. They will hang around you like this ceiling wherever you go.”

OK, that may sound bad but not as bad. I am still young and can start chasing one by one. But the list is so long. I suddenly think of a brilliant scheme. I will chase after the most impossible one and so on in the order of impossibility and eliminate them fast. “What kind of attitude is that?” The voice hears my thought. “You must follow rules. Succeed three before you can fail one.”

Boo Hoo, what can I do but fall face down and cry. To many footballs to chase away…I can imagine a life of “ceilings” dangling with boring footballs or be aswarmed with football looking bees which buzz like human but making no sense.

But I am an optimist. I refuse to be defeated. Whichever way it may look. (Like the two presentations of the same picture. LOL.)

I get up from the floor and look hard at the list of goals. My task now is to identify the three least impossible ones. (to be continued)

amateur nerd · millennial short-story · weekly photo challenge

Dronesville football club #1: He starts over a new dream

dronesville football club“No man runs the race until he sees the dream.” (Fred C. White). I, the Dronesville’s nerd dream of running a race, well, not exactly. It is like I am chasing an invisible football and hear this remark from an audience who seems to sit high up. I look up and see the football in the sky! Before I have a better Peek into the other arena I wake with the MacBook screen glaring at me. On it there is a gigantic football. What am I supposed to be doing? No, I am not the player. I am just updating the website for the Dronesville Retirees’ Virtual Football Club.

Since the teacher-retiree-residents start practicing their wealth of combined knowledge through modern tech-know skills online they have been fascinated with the seemingly limitless creative ways to compensate virtually for what they lack in the physical world. One of the programs they have successfully launched is virtual football competition with other retirees. They have appointed the youngest member in Dronesville to maintain the website. You guess rightly, I am the youngest. Most of the residents who are also former teachers are in their 60s and above. My former English teacher happens to be my grand aunt is one of the driving forces behind their enthusiasm to learn the digital age.

Life has been rather quiet since I return from my treasure hunt. Some readers may ask if I get my share of the treasure. LOL. You guess. Anyway I haven’t got away to some mysterious exotic island. I have been grounded and immediately reassigned to be the umpire and coach on the internet as there is a game being hotly contested between several retirees teams. The Dronesville team is not performing to the mark right now. Oh, yes, my boss the English lord is one of the players. My grand-aunt has enlisted him as a reserved player. He has become one of their favorites. Honestly I do not know how he has managed to wangle his way out of that extreme predicament on that fateful night with his container load of gold! It remains a secret. So now I have two virtual superiors to serve (sigh).

What happens to the lovely orange car? Well, it was on-loan from the other nerd (spy?) who chooses to remain under-cover in Dronesville, and I had to return it to a spot where he picked it up without my knowing who he really is. Actually the car-drone is remotely controlled by its owner/inventor. Gracie is as happy as ever being the sole Dronesville mascot dog and the Dronesville drone is safely back to my grand-aunt’s custody.

What is my own dream? What am I running after? I admit I have never thought about it until now when I hear this voice questioning me from above. Do I see my dream? I look up at the ceiling and see a tiny shinny spot. A supernatural manifestation? When I look closely I see it is just a drop of water from presumably a leak upstairs. But wait a second. There is no upstairs. A leak from the roof? But it has not been raining since Spring! Now it is Autumn! No, I have not sighted any chem-trails floating pass the roof top sky. Yes, I am a sky-watcher. As I gaze at this “water drop” it grows bigger and becomes a golf ball, then a tennis ball. And finally it grows to its maximum and becomes a football! A continental football. To be precise, an English football.

For hours I sit here dumbfounded staring at this football dangling from my ceiling, not moving or blinking for fear that this might be the dream I am destined to run after. (To be continued)

amateur nerd · millennial short-story · undeserved favor · weekly photo challenge

Dronesville adventure #22: rounded up last but not least

Rounded up last but not least. rounded car
When I hear the loud speaker blasting “No body moves! You are surrounded” I duck to the ground and my left hand shoots up as it has been ready for this moment of encounter. The snag is that it does not hold a gun. My companions do the best they are trained to do too. The drone surges upward and immediately becomes out of sight with its load of gold. The Dronesville mascot dog, Gracie, does her usual vanishing trick by darting with near speed of light (exaggerating here) into a bush. His Lordship keeps on walking as if nothing happens. I remain frozen on the ground with the vision of a car racing through my mind.

I admit I do have a way to get out of a mess. I have tried before and it sometimes works. You guess rightly, I can envision a way out in my blogging. So, here is this rounded car racing toward me out of nowhere. It does not hit me when it arrives because I am inside the car. In fact I am driving it. I can hear the wind giving way on both sides. I can hear sounds of moving obstacles parting, as the car zooms forward to an unknown realm.

As you can see from the picture, this car is a vintage beauty.

(To be continued?)

amateur nerd · millennials · tech news · weekly photo challenge

a space craft named New Horizons (haiku, NASA, Bob Dylan)

new-horizons-launchNew Horizon embedded in silence
ten long years evade my lens
questioning perchance (~a haiku from this nerd to spacecraft)

Here is an excerpt from the acceptance speech of the latest Nobel laureate in Literature, Bob Dylan:
“When I started writing songs as a teenager, and even as I started to achieve some renown for my abilities, my aspirations for these songs only went so far. I thought they could be heard in coffee houses or bars, maybe later in places like Carnegie Hall, the London Palladium. If I was really dreaming big, maybe I could imagine getting to make a record and then hearing my songs on the radio. That was really the big prize in my mind. Making records and hearing your songs on the radio meant that you were reaching a big audience and that you might get to keep doing what you had set out to do…Not once have I ever had the time to ask myself, “Are my songs literature?””

~~~~~~~Some information and thoughts about New Horizons (spacecraft)
Here is the latest news on Oct. 27, 2016: about a spacecraft named “New Horizons” (which was launched in 2006) “New Horizons Returns Last Bits of 2015 Flyby Data to Earth”:
NASA’s New Horizons mission reached a major milestone this week when the last bits of science data from the Pluto flyby – stored on the spacecraft’s digital recorders since July 2015 – arrived safely on Earth. Having traveled from the New Horizons spacecraft over 3.4 billion miles, or 5.5 billion kilometers (five hours, eight minutes at light speed), the final item… arrived at mission operations…in Canberra, Australia.
“The Pluto system data that New Horizons collected has amazed us over and over again with the beauty and complexity of Pluto and its system of moons,” said Alan Stern, New Horizons principal investigator from Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado…Because it had only one shot at its target, New Horizons was designed to gather as much data as it could, as quickly as it could…and began returning the vast amount of remaining stored data in September 2015.
“We have our pot of gold,” said Mission Operations Manager Alice Bowman, of APL.
(online resources mainly from National Aeronautics and Space Administration)

But why did it take more than a year for New Horizons to send back all of the data from the Pluto encounter?…
Pluto was discovered by Clyde Tombaugh in 1930, and was originally treated as the ninth planet from the Sun. After 1992, following the discovery of several objects of similar size in the Kuiper belt, Pluto has been reclassified as a member of the new “dwarf planet” category.
On July 14, 2015, the New Horizons spacecraft became the first spacecraft to fly by Pluto. Whilst Pluto was reclassified in 2006, this nerd likes to imagine that when the space craft New Horizons was launched Pluto was still the ninth planet from the sun.
New Horizons took ten years to reach a space close enough to carry out its mission, while flying pass Pluto (2006-2015). By then the status of Pluto has changed to a mere dwarf planet. (Even the stars can change status when we go further and look closer. Or rather it’s us who change and not the stars?)
I try to imagine the final words exchanged during their brief and first encounter after ten long years between New Horizons (the lone and persevering spacecraft which flew the ten years for a singular purpose to meet with the ninth planet) and Pluto, now a dwarf planet: “Well, the times they are changing…”

This is the first stanza of a 1964 song. It is a classic from possibly many nerds’ grandparents’ time. Title: “Times they are changing” (Bob Dylan)
Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’

Nerd’s note about the photo:
I did a search online and found this spacecraft with a name for the weekly photo challenge. I couldn’t take an original picture as I am ten years late of course. The credit of the launch photo goes to the NASA at the following link which please visit for more serious stuff: (https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/newhorizons/launch/index.html).

amateur nerd · millennial short-story

Dronesville adventure #14: I am an invisible nerd?

nerd-and-cell-phonesThe cell phone rings just as I wake from my nightmare on thanksgiving night. It is a recording: The voice says, “I am an invisible man. No, I am not a spook like those who haunted Edgar Allan Poe; nor am I one of your Hollywood-movie ectoplasms. I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids — and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me.” A Pungent smell like burnt rubber hits me. What happens? I run out of the homestay (which is called, The House of the Rising Sun”)and see my aromatic flower tea van in flame! The homestay workers are fighting the fire with a garden hose. “Alas, my van load of fragrant tea!” I sit on the stone steps and cry. After they put out the fire the front desk clerk consoles me by saying that only two back tires are burned and that the paint on the van has turned “a Whiter Shade of Pale”. Otherwise the damage is minimal. I inspect the goods and find that they are amazingly in tact. After replacing the two tires at a garage down the block, I make a fragrant tea and eat some dough nuts at a cafe named “Proud Mary”. The whole street seems to be lined with shops of names from some songs of yesteryear! As I watch the names walking down this street which is just outside Dronesville but I have never seen before until I check into the homestay, I cannot help but wonder whether I am dreaming in broad daylight or whether I have been teleported to another time and space.

Someone has sent the above quote from Ralph Ellison, “Invisible Man” (1952) to my cell phone. Have I become invisible to the Dronesville’ residents? Or have they (including all living creatures and food) turned invisible to me? I return to my van and try to think hard. Where am I and what have I become? My high tech robot does not work anymore. Neither is my cell phone except for that incoming recorded call by a stranger or robot. “Excuse me, Miss,” I decide to stick my head out of the window and ask a pedestrian, “What is this place?” She looks surprised, “Why, it’s the Twilight Zone, of course!” My first response is to duck under the van seat. “Impossible!!!”

As tech-know millennial nerd, we do not fear the high-tech unknown. But we are quite uncomfortable with anything of the past unknown. I park near a park and see some children playing and singing. One little girl sings, “Somewhere over the rainbow…” So I get down and ask her, “Where is the place over the rainbow?” She looks surprised, “Don’t you know? Of course it’s there!” She points toward Dronesville. OK. Point noted. I decide to give it a try again, entering Dronesville as an official aromatic flower tea seller.

I switch on the radio and hear a blast of 1976 songs with pessimistic and depressing titles like: Silly Love Songs, Don’t Go Breaking My Heart, Disco Lady, Play That Funky Music, Kiss and Say Goodbye, 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover, Sailing, Take the Money and Run, Takin it to the Streets, Let’s Call it Quits, Still Crazy After All These Years, Crazy on You, It Keeps You Running, Jailbreak, chain Gang Medley… What? There is no choice? A nerd can only take this much. I switch off.

As I approach Dronesville I realize that Dronesville seems not the Dronesville I used to know. It looks period. The houses seem different. Like a newly established housing estate. The place seems brighter and more cheerful. I park my van near my grandaunt’s house and ring the door bell. A young boy with a mop of unruly hair opens the door. “Who are you? ” I am surprised to see a kid of around seven in this house of ancient elders. He grins, two front teeth missing, “Who are you?” He asks me, his mischievous eyes twinkling.

He looks familiar. The missing front teeth reminds me of someone close. Who? I search my memory. Who has missing front teeth? I remember seeing a photo before. A grinning boy with a gap in his mouth. What! I know who he is. I ask the boy the date and he tells me. Yes. I know who he is. He shows me into the kitchen and we sit at the beautiful oak table and talk. Without asking me, he takes out two Yoo-hoo* drinks from the icebox and offers me one. Yes, my favorite at seven. We sit there, looking, or rather, staring, at each other.

“Where are the grown ups?” I finally ask. He shrugs his shoulder, “Somewhere? I suppose,” and continues to stare. Typical answer of a nerd. Not committing to giving any definite information until we are sure what benefits we receive in exchange. I put my hand into my pocket and take out my cell phone and show him, “Well, you know what this is?” I switch on the iPhone and show him the features. He looks incredulous. “May I try it?” He is definitely interested. I let him try a bit and take it back, “Wait, where are the grown-ups?” (To Be Continued)

BTW (by the way) it’s snowing out there.   It’s Not This Time of Year Without… snow?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`
Notes on “Yoo-hoo” (From Wikipedia) Not to be confused with Yahoo!.
Yoo-hoo is an American brand of chocolate beverage that originated in New Jersey in 1926 and that is currently manufactured by Dr. Pepper Snapple Group.
Since it is neither a soda nor a milk drink, Yoo-hoo’s actual ingredients have long been the topic of speculation. Its official ingredients are water, high fructose corn syrup, whey (from milk), and less than 2% of: cocoa (alkali process), nonfat dry milk, natural and artificial flavors…Yoo-hoo comes in several flavors,including chocolate, double fudge, and strawberry.

amateur nerd · millennial short-story · weekly photo challenge

Dronesville adventure #12: how I become the official therapeutic aromatic flower tea peddler

aromatic-flowersAn Aromatic therapeutic flower tea peddler nerd. After being thrown out into the street which serves as a boundary and banned from re-entering Dronesville by two seemingly alien women, I have lost contact with the boss, an English nobleman. Before I can ascertain the next move I stay away as much as possible so as not to put in jeopardy the innocents: Gracie-the Dronesville dog, the Dronesville residents including my retiree relatives (former teachers) friends, and the boss (possibly stuck in Dronesville somewhere) in that order. I still have the robot attached to my chest and it functions well as I can duckduckgo (instead of google) the internet but I cannot access email, Facebook, my private chat group or anyone I know! I have sent signals to Gracie’s drone but there is no reply.

Waiting to hear from the boss I check into a homestay outside Dronesville where I hibernate. Why am I confident to hear from him? You see, he is an ex-spy with 007 background. Even if my robot malfunctions he can still find me with his custom-made nerd detector. I believe he reads my mind through a chip implanted in my eye. To make myself useful I scan the internet for the two women’s information. The chip at the corner of my right eye has a good snapshot of them. By sending this picture to the internet I receive almost instantaneous biodata that match them.

The two are aunt and niece both scientists who have been sentenced to prison for seriously violating endangered creatures’ conservation laws in a foreign country but were mysteriously pardoned and disappeared soon after release. The niece used to be a utility who played in the All-xxx Girls Professional Baseball League. That explains the baseball bat she carries around. They seem to be commercial breeders of mutant giant jelly fish in Dronesville. Why? Where is the demand? I shudder when I think of the time they mercilessly threw me into one of the predators’ tanks!

While lying low in the homestay I meet an elderly, interesting but broke fragrance tea peddler. He has traveled from afar, the land of thousand fragrant flowers, where his family live. Having shared my meal with him I manage to persuade him to talk about his dream of going home as he has been on the road for half a year. “Why don’t you take over my business?” He suddenly becomes convinced that I am just the right sort of successor he has been seeking. “Not me…” I shake my head vigorously. Selling fragrant tea is the last thing on my mind. I cannot imagine becoming a tea drinker when I am saddled with a van load of fragrant tea no matter how romantic it may sound or conjure up in the imagination of delusive minds, a fragrant flower tea seller and connoisseur nerd. Never. But he is adamant in making a deal and gives me an offer I cannot refuse. “Look, young man, I may look tattered but I am not desperate. The business is good. I will sell you the van and the van-full of stocks for a pittance.” It is truly a pittance. “Besides, I have a yearly permit to enter Dronesville where 95% of the residents have been my customers for over forty years.” This is exactly what I have been hoping for, a way to enter Dronesville. To convince me further he makes some hot water and treats me to the best fragrant tea. “Ah…” He shows me how to make the tea and how to drink like a connoisseur.

That is how I become an aromatic tea peddler. My mentor signs over his business license and the ownership of his asset and duly deposits them online to my paperless asset custodian banker, while I duly transfer the e-payment to his bank account. He spends another two days training me and then returns to his homeland happily. Me? I become the official aromatic therapeutic flower tea peddler driving through the gate into Dronesville. (To be continued)

amateur nerd · millennial short-story · weekly photo challenge · young in heart

Dronesville adventure #11: banned from Dronesville

dronesville-adventure-11Banned!!! I cannot say more than this word right now. What happens on this fateful night is beyond anyone’s wildest dream or imagination. The boss and I manage to get into the backyard of the ‘Russian'(which is not Russian as we find out later) mansion, with me again soaked to the bone, this time exotically decorated with a few lively accessories like water lilies but predominantly live baby terrapins stubbornly clinging onto my hair, and some relentlessly fastening their beaks onto my trousers! The boss wears a mask but I can see his rigorous facial movement with his mouth moving soundlessly and I cannot figure out whether he is stifling his sniggering or sniveling. Anyway this is not my concern as I have more important thing in mind. Where is Gracie the faithful and brave Dronesville dog?

The boss seems confident and leads me swiftly through a back lane among the trees and bushes. It is unusually quiet. The residents seem asleep. How can this be? Surely they would have discovered my great escape, haven’t they? We walk through the dark garden and soon arrive at a row of old cabins made of train cars which seem deserted. No sound. No enemy activities. What a good adventure this will turn out to be. But I am congratulating ourselves too soon. A shot in the dark. We hear little running feet but cannot see anyone. Something attacks my feet and topples me. I am being dragged into a shed, dropped into a hole, and onto a moving conveyor belt, through a long tunnel. The thing that accomplishes this feat looks like a dog but is not a real dog. He has a lasso with one end tied to his neck and the other end latched onto my left ankle. Don’t ask me how this functions. I try to describe at best I can and it sounds incredible even to me. (I know some of my nerd cronies are sniggering or howling in laughters. “LOL. Who would believe this ridiculous description?” They would comment in our private chat board.)

But the next scene is more incredible. We are back into a well lit hall and who do you think are there? Haha, the two women I described as crazy in my previous blog. One of them removes the lasso from the robot dog and pets him, saying, “Good dog! Go and take your treat! ( A spray of fragrant stuff over it as it presses a button with its paw. Apparently it is programmed to like such stuff!) One of the women carries a baseball bat. She gives me the threatening unspoken look that seems to say that she may test her power throw or hit again using my head as a target. I do not see Gracie and that is a relief, presuming that she is safe.

One woman speaks, “Nerd, you have trespassed our property twice and there is no excuse. What are we to do with you? Give us a good reason that you deserve a better treatment than to be fed to the jelly fish.”

Another woman says, “We give you two choices: (a) To be fed to the mutated giant jelly fish; or if you are scared of water (b) To be banned from Dronesville?

The first woman says, “I am in a merciful mood now and besides, our jelly babies do not like your taste. So I let you choose to be banished. Ok, court adjourned. Dismiss! Dog, escort the prisoner into exile!”

The robot dog, with its menacing flying lasso, and the second woman with her equally menacingly swinging baseball bat escort me to the front door and throw me out into the street that serves as the boundary of Dronesville. “Goodbye, and don’t you ever step into Dronesville again. You hear me?” She says without waiting for an answer and slams the door in my face. (To be continued)

Notes on photos: The picture is a compilation of four original photos taken by this blogger while visiting an old gold mining town.

amateur nerd · millennial short-story · weekly photo challenge · young in heart

Dronesville Adventure #10: babies, water lilies, and promises to keep

Promises to keep. dronesville10-pond
“As soon as one promises not to do something, it becomes the one thing above all others that one most wishes to do.” There are times when I wish I had not promised the boss not to quit as long as there are treasures to hunt! What if I had not promised? I would have been sleeping and dreaming of stuff like eating ice cream, hunting Pokemon Go, or even racing down the street/park at midnight, chasing intruders, with half the work done by the Dronesville dog Gracie and the drone. I don’t mind working for the Dronesville senior virtual football club. Indeed, as my fellow cronies have complained all over our closed chat board, “When will you get up to living the status a nerd is called to be? This is now the tenth episode and you have not achieved anything except lamenting your seemingly inappropriate occupation?” One mysterious foreign woman caller managed to hack into my anonymous location and called up through a satellite phone and questioned, “Who are you trying to fool? Those two women (my former captors) are not Russians. You stupid nerd!” I tried arguing, “How do you know they are not?” She laughed and said, “It is obvious, baseball is not a favorite of Russian women!” (Foiled!) She further educated me, “The strongest and most organized women’s baseball leagues are in the United States, Australia, Japan, Taiwan, Cuba, Hong Kong, and Canada. Look, young man, I strongly suggest you look nearer home for your baseball women!” I realize later She was right.

Meanwhile the boss and I are in the second private garden. There is a gigantic pond in the middle of the garden surrounded by thorny bushes and there is no way to get to the other side except through the thorns or swim across the pond. This is a huge garden. It will take the combined power of the two miniature drones and quite sometime to take the boss across. In view of the urgency as Gracie is possibly in grave danger by now, I decide to swim, regardless that I no longer have my Armani to feed any water predators. I admit I am not a hero, but I have promised the former English teacher and the Dronesville community to take care of Gracie their mascot and it means to feed and shelter her and ensure that no harm should come to her. Anyway, before I can change my mind, the boss is already flying across by the two drones.

As I dive into the water I can hear strange sound like a rush of little feet except that the sound comes from under the water. Another strange thing is that the pond is not deep. It is like a flat span of shallow water lily pond after all! It is too dark to see beyond three feet and I wade through the water lily walking on soft and slimy ground, being entangled often by the giant plants, leaves, flowers, stalks and roots and all. under the starlit sky I can see aquatic plants all over the pond: lilies, lotus, water lettuce, water shield and fairy moss. I realize too late that I have stumbled onto a baby terrapin farm and I am stepping on and surrounded by them! Soon I have baby terrapins clinging onto my back, perching on my head, and some stubborn ones with their beaks firmly fastened onto the legs of my trousers!

By the time I manage my big escape and wade through the waist deep pond I no longer care what I have brought along with me. I feel thankful that the pond contains babies and not ferocious carnivorous adult terrapins. A drone carries me over the wall into the backyard of Gracie’s captors’ house. The boss is waiting in silence. This is only the beginning of the real Dronesville adventure. (To be continued)

Photography: The picture is a compilation of segments from several original photos taken by this blogger except for the drone and the man in suit. The pond is taken from a tropical aquarium. The H2O has a rather unique look (like layers of tiles on a roof) in the picture. The dog does pretty well too in standing on her hind feet.

amateur nerd · millennial short-story · weekly photo challenge · young in heart

Dronesville adventure #8: original H2O nightmare for a nerd

an Original nerd’s mess.
dronesville-adventure-aquariumIt is not a nightmare because I am not asleep. But it is a real life nightmare. How can that be? A dull thud and a distant scream. What happens? Has something happened to Gracie the Dronesville dog who is coming for my rescue?
I can hear the rapid churning sound of H2O like water being whipped around by the giant jelly fish who are getting impatient to come at me out of gnawing hunger. I have figured out that since the two women have not come to this room for a whole day the monstrous fish must be near starving. I can now hear rushing footsteps of the two women or perhaps it is someone else? Suddenly I am lifted up and thrown into a container with a big splash. I am still blindfolded but the Armani suit slides off my body perfectly as the jelly fish starts to gnaw at it. They seem more interested of the Armani than me, for after all it is made of a special material and texture that simulate that of small aquatic fish and their eggs and invertebrates. The Armani sticks to their tentacles. Why did I wear such unusual stuff? Hahaha. It is a requirement by my boss for the treasure hunt over the high sea or some potentially deadly ponds hidden in the backyard of some vicious landowners, in case we fall into the vicinity of water predators.
I can hear the two women leave the room immediately after they throw me into the tank. But there is another person around as a pair of hands pull me out of the water before the giant jelly fish decide to treat me as dessert.
He cuts off the rope that ties my hands and removes my blind fold too. I am most surprised to see that it is my English boss, Lord xxx. He is still wearing his hack-proof mask.
“Where is Gracie the dog?” I ask. But he shakes his head and signals me to follow him out of the room down a labyrinth of dark passages. We soon come to a tall wall and he signals for two drones to carry us over and into the world outside! A black car waits at the side lane and we are soon inside and speeding away from that dreadful place.
The customized car is built into three compartments: a front section with a silent driver, the middle section where the boss and I sit and a back section which is partitioned off by an opaque glass panel. I still think of the Dronesville dog, Gracie. What as happened to her? Was she captured by the two mad alien women while trying to come to my rescue? I shudder. (To be continued)

Photography note: The picture is compiled by segments of several original photos taken by this blogger with the exception of the three heads and the suit.

amateur nerd · millennial short-story · writing · young in heart

War between Dronesville’s Brave (dog) and Meanie the Plop (cat): Dronesville adventure #5

Plop
dronesvilles-adventure-dog-3“Dogs are wise. They crawl away into a quiet corner and lick their wounds and do not rejoin the world until they are whole once more.” (Agatha Christie, Death on the Nile). Like I said in my previous blog about me being able to speak and tech-know, I go into hideout by joining my robot dog friend Robby in the hyperloop. By now everyone should know how loyal we dog are to our human masters. “The world would be a nicer place if everyone had the ability to love as unconditionally as a dog.” (M.K. Clinton, The Returns).

The hyperloop place is cluttered with all sorts of machines and being a miniature dog I can slip in without being noticed. It is three in the morning and everyone is sound asleep. They do not keep a dog but there is a tiny pet entrance at the back kitchen for a cat. Yes, there is a cat there. Her name is Meanie (aka Goliath) the Plop. The drone carries me over the wall smoothly. As I approach the cat entrance I can smell the Plop. But I am not afraid. “What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight; it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” Dwight D. Eisenhower (34th President of the United States). Like my master, I am oozing oily quotes/misquotes from every pore and oil myself to the floor. (My Fair Lady) My master has done a good job daily drumming them into his and my head through repetitions during meal time.

I enter the house without a sound. But the Plop seems waiting for me. “What have we here? Haha a miserable intruder!” She hisses. She is huge for a cat. Sleek and huge. Grossly overweight. “My, a miniature dog! What is that on your back? Hand it over!” Her size is colossal. She stands up and arches her back, opening her menacing mouth, sticking out a blood red tongue. Her claws are long and sharp. Shifting into a war pose she blocks my way. What else can an otherwise peace loving decent dog do in this situation?

I won’t describe the Dronesville brave (dog) and the Goliath Plop of a cat fight scene. it is not pretty. Losing is not my game so eventually I signal my companion brave (drone) to land on her head. She is shocked beyond words. The crash landing of the drone knocks her out. By then Robby has appeared and leads us two braves (dog and drone) through a dark tunnel to his hideout. I spend the rest of the night and many nights thereafter licking my wounds. I shall not rejoin my master until I am whole again.

I must admit I do plop myself down on the hard tiled floor and sulk for sometime. Then I cheer up. Robby the robot dog seems trustworthy. He is good in finding food too (for me of course). The drone is my assurance. He is like a security blanket a toddler must carry around. I need his mobility and later communication with my master who probably will be frantic when he discovers that I am missing. Hahaha, my turn to laugh and congratulate myself for my ingenious scheme to help my master, despite the Plop’s nasty interval. My human master will be proud of me. Tomorrow will be a brighter day! (Misquoting Gone with the Wind). (To be continued)

amateur nerd · millennial short-story · weekly photo challenge · young in heart

a rare dog speaks: Dronesville’s adventure#4

Rare Miniaturedronesville night escape“Some of my best leading men have been dogs and horses.” This is from the mouth of my favorite actress, Elizabeth Taylor. You guess right. Dog ranting continues today. “Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen.” (Orhan Pamuk, My Name is Red) I am now plotting my great escape before the night is over. As you would have guessed, I am of minute or rather miniature size in real life. Why? Was I stunted? Was I a runt? I don’t know. I was an orphan abandoned on the entrance to Dronesville. Pink nose, yellow eyes. The kind former English teacher adopted me for this special retiree teachers tech-know-to-be community. My age now? Hmmm, maybe I am seven more or less. Yes, according to this famous quote I searched from the internet (when my master fell asleep with his PC on and forgot to put me outside)I rank among leading actors and horses. My size does not deter me from being the hero. LOL.

Back to business. I know where I can go to find a hideout so my master would not get into further trouble. I have developed a taste for biting his boss’ heel (without actually biting into his skin) and possibly annoying him. It’s therefore best for me to go somewhere to avoid being dragged by him to some foreign land treasure hunting with a hidden obsession to bite him for causing my master and I duress.

For those unfamiliar with dogs, I do have packing to do. “What?” You ask, your mouth wide opened and eyes rolling. Ahem, don’t forget I am not an ordinary dog. What do I pack? Goodies to eat during emergency of course. In this case I also take along my master’s grand-aunt’s miniature drone which she handed to him and he inadvertently left on the couch. How else do you think the drone could have landed on my master’s head or safely stored in his pocket in earlier episodes of Dronexit?

Thus with my miniature futuristic solar digital voice/bark/whimper operated dog-backpack already fitted on my back by my master as he prepared for the treasure hunt venture with his boss, and a last glance at my drooling master who is in deep sleep on the couch probably dreaming of futuristic robotics, I open the door, jump over the fence and speed into the night. My destination is of course the Hyperloop at the far end of Dronesville. I have been to this place many times and am familiar with its layout. I even have a canine friend there in the hideout! An abandoned miniature dog robot who has made his way there and made it his home. Being miniature is an advantage. We can hide in nooks which many humans tend to overlook. The disadvantage is that we need to watch out for bullies from our own animal world. As I am the only dog in this neighborhood I don’t need to worry about that. But Hyperloop is another world…(To be continued)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
For those interested about miniatures, read Pamuk’s novel, “My name is Red”. My Name Is Red is a 1998 Turkish novel (a philosophical thriller)by writer Orhan Pamuk translated into English in 2001. Pamuk would later receive the 2006 Nobel Prize in Literature. The novel, concerning miniaturists in the Ottoman Empire of 1591, established Pamuk’s international reputation and contributed to his Nobel Prize. The main characters in the novel are miniaturists in the Ottoman Empire, one of whom is murdered in the first chapter. Pamuk suggests that to some of the characters, viewing miniatures or “perfected art” is a way to achieve a kind of glimpse of eternity. Famous quote: “I don’t want to be a tree, I want to be its meaning.”

amateur nerd · millennial short-story · writing · young in heart

a night of rare decision for a dog: Dronesville’s adventure#3

Rare

dronesville#3It is time a self-respecting dog speaks his or her own view. By now you know i am the dog, Gracie. This is the dog ranting. LOL. i have a view too. i overheard the conversation between the boss and my very kind caretaker master, a young tech-know nerd. i heard my fate being decided by the humans (or rather one total stranger whom my master calls boss). Ahem, it is rather unfair. i am here happily minding my own business in Dronesville and keeping my own territory protected, and suddenly come this English lord who suggests i leave and trot round the globe with my master to seek some foolish worthless treasure! What treasure? To me, treasure means doggie treats with beef or chicken flavors and the illusive flying creatures with wings in the park. No, i am not going anywhere!

Yet, on second thought, i have been having this dream about a foreign golden hair glamorous dog wearing pretty red wear and looking real smart and glamorous. What do you think? Can’t we ordinary dogs have dreams of grandeur? i once heard someone said that opportunity is like a horse flying by and you just have to be ready to grab its tail and fly with it. Hmmm i am ready to grab this flying tail or not? Fame and fortune. Not bad. To become rare or not? That is the question. It is hard for a dog to keep up with the dog jones too. This is a rare opportunity for me to do something with my ordinary life. Maybe i get to know the world beyond Dogsville, oops, i mean Dronesville. Maybe i get to visit places with exotic flavored doggie food and lots of rare flying creatures with wings and catch some!

Glamour aside. The truth is,  what will I not do for my human master who has taken care of me so well?  No, I am not going to let him down. Why? i suspect he doesn’t have any choice. Neither do i.

That settles it. My decision is made. i am going to run away before the night is over. The blame will be on me and not my master. Being steeped in this tech-know community i am sort of a tech-know dog too. i know where i can go. LOL. (To be continued)

amateur nerd · millennial short-story · weekly photo challenge · young in heart

rare dog (Dronesville adventure#2)

dronesville dogThis is how the dog Gracie becomes a rare priceless dog sought after by many round the globe. The last episode’s piercing scream is like a extremely misplaced and most unwelcome nightmare drama being enacted in the dead of the night with realer than life spiritual alien actors/actresses suddenly infesting this normally peace loving and silence-obsessed community of retiree teachers tech-nerds-to-be. I run to the curtained window as usual and peep into the dark. Has an intruder suddenly appeared and attempted to rob my former English teacher who has just returned to her house alone and found that he has encountered a most ferocious umbrella wielding nemesis instead? I mean, in the dead of the night she could be mistaken as the most frightening apparition as she races down the street in her victorian white gown, white head-full of white glistening rollers and wielding a specially coated sleek-white umbrella that sparkles in white light in the dark, shrieking as piercing as she is accustomed to.

My dog Gracie decides she is not going to be left out of the fun. She starts her unique loud whimpering and squeaky barking like she does when she is uncertain whether her imagined nemesis is a physical creature or a spiritual thing. The screaming and shrieking and barking are growing louder and nearer to my house! I can feel the chills. I am out of control. I decide to fortify myself by turning on all the flood lights outside and the BASEL TATTOO 2016 “TOP SECRET” Drum Corps sound effect. The gun-like drum sound is of course my camouflage.

Alas, soon the outside sound seems to be drowning out my drum corps! Through the curtain I detect three persons at my front porch, no, actually four. The fourth party is Gracie the brave dog. One party runs away. One other party is my former English teacher (aka my grand-aunt). She is on the heel of the masked man who tries to do his great escape from her. She finally catches up at my front door. Gracie too has joined in the confrontation by biting his right heel. The grand aunt points the sword like tip of her steel umbrella at his chest displaying a modern rendition of the Disney’s Zorro (1957–59)with his sword. Now that the war is won by my two accomplices I venture to open the door. The masked man pulls down his mask and shouts at me, “You nincompoop! Get this creature off me!” I don’t know which one he means, but I get a shock at his revealed identity.

“Boss! How did you find me? Why do you wear a mask? ” My turn to panic.

The boss puts back his mask and continues to shout, “Get me to the clinic!”

“Huh, what for, boss are you sick?” I ask.

“Rabies! Tetanus! Nincompoop!”

I get the point. So I remove Gracie from his heel, pull down his sock and show him it is intact. There is not even a scratch. Gracie has become a master of dog-bite dexterity after thousands (or maybe hundreds or less) of little harmless bites of heels. She doesn’t really bite. She bites without actually biting as she hates the taste of blood. The boss examines every inch of his heel and finally warns me, “OK this time you get off. I will sue you to your last pair of pants next time for causing undue mental and emotional injuries.”

“Well, boss, you will need to sue Dronesville as Gracie is the community’s honorary resident and mascot of the senior nerds’ football club.”

“What kind of football? You are trying to fool me? I know the residents are 90% of 65 and above. There is no way they play football!”

“Ha, you are wrong, mister, we play a virtual football tournament and are among the top ten ranking!” My former English teacher corrects him.

“Who is this, ahem, gentlewoman?” The boss asks politely as he decides not to offend her.

The boss is an English gentleman and expects woman to be gentlewoman. At the introduction of his noble background, the grand-aunt is impressed and courtesies to him, addressing him “My Lord.” They immediately start exchanging polite small talk about the recent bouts of poor weather like they are at an afternoon tea party in the English garden of his Lordship.

“But, boss, why are you wearing a mask?” I am now obsessed with his sudden masked appearance at my doorstep.

“O, this?” He whispers mysteriously into my ear, “this is no ordinary mask. It is a hacker-proof communication filter through the quantum satellite we have just succeeded in putting to space.”

“What? I thought only the Chinese just put the quantum satellite up? How did you get it?” I just read the tech news two days ago of China’s announcement of another space success.

“Hahaha, how do I get other things? Huh?” The boss’ turn to laugh at my naivety.

I know. Never mind. But why is he here? He seems to read my thought. “To be frank with you I am here personally because I need your service urgently and it is a top secret. Not your Top Secret Drum Corps, you nincompoop. I cannot wait. Don’t argue or say a word. Just listen and obey! Got it?”

What choice do I have? I shut up and nod my head. Meanwhile he has plastered my grand-aunt (former English teacher) with humongous flattery and she leaves with a good feeling.

The boss tells me his latest discovery and plan. We are to leave without delay. I say yes. But he has a rare request/command, “I want that rare dog to go with us too!”

“What?” I cannot believe my ear. He repeats his statement and then tells me to get ready to depart in 24 hours. Then he vanishes into the dark, leaving me alone with my seemingly ordinary dog who is innocently waging her tail and grinning from ear to ear, expecting a dog treat for her bravery in biting the heel of the boss. How little does she know her fate of becoming the top secret and top sought after rare dog in the next episode. (To be continued)
Rare

amateur nerd · millennial short-story · weekly photo challenge · young in heart

gigantic eyeball (Dronesville adventure#1)

dronesville eyeball“It was a wrong number that started it, the telephone ringing three times in the dead of night, and the voice on the other end asking for someone he was not.”
I got this famous first line from Paul Auster (City of Glass). My phone rings three times in the dead of night. There is no one on the other end. Is it a prankster? Or have the Thompson twins caught on with me? I am chilling out in a secluded house provided by my seemingly unlimited extended family network of retiree teachers in Dronesville, while preparing for my treasure hunt adventure profession abroad.

When my phone rings a thousand possibilities actually race through my mind. My dog Gracie is with me outside guarding my new abode. Her old house is now occupied by the authority. Like me, she is sort of homeless. She starts barking frantically like someone has snatched her beef flavored goodies!
Who can it be? At such hour it can either be the law/criminal or the relatives.

I peep through the curtain and switch on the front porch flood light. Who but my former English teacher and her umbrella? “Ah, there you are, rise and shine, I need help!” She exclaims, waving to me with a hand that holds up a picture.

“See, what do you think this is? I took this last evening and now I have time to look at it. It is shocking, don’t you think? Like a gigantic eyeball in the sky!” She exclaims.

“Do you think the aliens are spying on us?” She is still panting because she probably has run all the way to my house. For those who are not familiar with Dronesville, the residents here are mostly of age 65-85, retiree teachers who strive to become technology savvy. They are mostly related to me in one way or another. My former English teacher also happens to be my grand-aunt. There are hardly any young people around and somehow the community treats me as their source of intelligence when it comes to tech know matters or something alien and smells of outer-space.

I look at the above picture and decide it is just the formation of the cloud and the sun and I tell her so. But she is not happy. She whispers, “You see, when I took it there was nothing up there. I was only shooting at the evening plain. I have a shock when this big eyeball appears in the photo! Don’t you think it’s rather rare and weird?”

She insists that it is a premonition and asks me to keep an eye for Dronesville since I am still considered comparatively loyal and trustworthy. “But, we have the police around…” I try to assure her. She rolls her eyes and shakes her head of white hair (she has recently decided it’s better to keep it un-dyed to avoid mistaken identity), and says, “No. I don’t know those young fellows. They haven’t proven themselves yet. So meanwhile you remain in position. Clear?”

“Here you are, the drone. ” She hands over her pride drone and gives me further instructions to keep watch. Then she disappears into the night.

As I examine the photo of the gigantic eye in the sky, a rare screaming comes across the sky. (Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow (1973)) (To be continued)
Eyes
Rare

amateur nerd · millennial short-story · undeserved favor · weekly photo challenge · young in heart

millennial short story

Fun!
millennials then and nowHere is the whole series of the fun-filled and futuristic adventurous Dronesville’s story which involves a young nerd and a group of retiree teachers who are striving to become technology savvy!

https://wheniamsixtyeight.wordpress.com/category/millennial-short-story/

amateur nerd · millennial short-story · social messaging journal for future · weekly photo challenge · writing · young in heart

to reach or not to reach (Dronexit#26)

Narrow

Dronexit#26
a narrow door -time portal

It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. This is the statement i have decided to use to finish this episode in Dronesville. My famous source is George Orwell in 1984 (1949) of course! By now the blog readers who are unfamiliar with this nerd, and who stray here without a reference from my cronies, would have noticed anyway that this nerd seems to be nerdy about English, British, WWII, drones, robots, vault, social media chat, messaging, nerd terminology, pictures created by cut and paste and overlay of objects and scenes taken or created by others on my own originals, story telling, adventure and spy movies reaching far back into history, science that borders on fantasy, overlay of individuals (often historical) on my current or fantasized scenes like what Pokemon Go does with little monsters overlaying on your mobile phone screens, pasting of my memes in your imagination with my blogs, and of course, cartoon characters, funny jokes, and literature quotes and misquotes etc.

the Dronesville residents call a meeting and give me a farewell party. The president of the Dronexit committee, a former botany science teacher, makes a descent speech about my contribution as the youngest (uncovered) member of this retiree community who belongs largely to the Baby Boomers and Silent Generation. “One thing we admit you do pretty well is being resourceful in trying and not giving up. And you dare reach where no one or hardly anyone dares.” He says.

The members reach an agreement and give me a gold medal with this inscription, “To reach or not to reach, that is the question” -a deliberate misquote from William Shakespeare – To be, or not to be (from Hamlet 3/1).

My former English teacher (who is also my grand-aunt) specifies, “We define the word ‘reach’ as follows:
[ no obj. ] (reach out) chiefly N. Amer. seek to establish communication with someone, with the aim of offering or obtaining assistance or cooperation: his style was to reach out all the time, especially to members of his own party | anyone in need of assistance should reach out to the authorities as soon as possible.
succeed in achieving: the intergovernmental conference reached agreement on the draft treaty.
make contact or communicate with (someone) by telephone or other means: I’ve been trying to reach you all morning.
(of a broadcast or other communication) be received by: television reached those parts of the electorate that other news sources could not.
succeed in influencing or having an effect on: their fresh sound and message reach people who may never set foot in a church.

Quite a tall order and prophecy for me and my futuristic journey in this blogging nerd’s life ahead. Blogging is all about ‘reaching’ an audience. The same with any social media. We just yearn to ‘connect’. Some prefer the word ‘share’. We like to share.

Whatever we use to describe this yearning behind every WordPress blogger, the motivation is similar. The mode of presentation too. We rely mainly on two things: pictures that say a thousand words. And a thousand words.

I have since discovered that this nerd’s targets do not read WordPress blogs or any blogs with words. To be precise, they do not read words unless the words interest them. How to make my words interesting to the millennials? My nerd friends tell me: fun and usefulness. And along this goal-path I shall plod.

I have not ferreted out the other two or three nerds hiding in Dronesville. They have moved house and do not seek to communicate. Apparently the lady who did not appear a nerd is one of them. She too vanishes into nerd’s air.

My time is up. I am due to travel to my distant and more exciting land treasure hunting. Good bye, Dronesville nerds. Time for my narrow door -my time travel portal now. Signed, a nerd from Dronesville. (Plodding on to reach my goals)

Reach

“To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,”
(William Shakespear)

p/s: This daily prompt stuff is good. I find lots of inspirations in formulating my nerd adventure story in Dronesville! Thanks! Continue to have fun, all!

Fun!

amateur nerd · millennial short-story · young in heart

hijacks and passwords. Dronexit#25

I see bombs exploding around me and marines fighting back with Anti-aircraft gunners. US planes and warships are in place too and a major combat at sea and air are in operation. I find myself suddenly adrift at sea and float between warships. The whole sky is aflame. Being still obsessed with the war I cannot switch to another mode. I float on watching the live battle between metal giants. I do not know how long I have drifted in the ocean of actions. The remarkable thing is nothing touches the time portal. I am totally unscathed. I am just a bystander. I finally fall asleep. When I wake I can see the sun is out the time portal has landed itself somewhere. When the portal reverts back into a robot strapped around my waist, I find that I am alone on a beach again. Has my mother’s warning come true? Am I now Tom Hanks (Chuck Noland)in the movie *Cast Away? I start looking for Wilson the volleyball which serves as Chuck Noland’s personified friend and only companion during the four years that Noland spends alone on a deserted island.

What I see is more shocking than the shocking volleyball if ever it is there. I see two men approaching. I am confronted by Thompson and Thompson the two who claim to be investigating for the Consumers Association. “Good morning! Nice to see you again!” One of them greets me with a handshake. The other one does the same in words and deed. They seem to ignore my condition: wearing old marines fatigue uniform, stinking of swamp creatures, with a swollen face due to insect bites. They escort me to the back of a black van and shove me inside. The windows are all shrouded with London fog and I can see nothing as the car speeds off. Soon I realize we are not on the ground. We are gliding in the air! “So you notice? We have our time portal too!” one Thompson remarks. “To be precise, this vehicle is a giant drone, not exactly a time portal.” Another Thompson remarks. “We have intercepted your blog and chat group beaming. Hahaha! So we know when and where you will land!”

I have been hijacked. Inside a drone with two lunatics. “We have no time for delay. You will give us the key and our agent will go to the house and open the vault and take the Drone#1 for us.” One Thompson says. “You see, we don’t even need you to take it for us or tell us what is inside.” Another says with a big grin. “Elementary. Just give us the key.”

“You see the fog? We are flying over the worst fog ever in the history of mankind. All we need to do is open the trap door below your seat and you will fall through into it. No one will see you again.” One Thompson tells me the consequence if I do not cooperate.

“The best option is to give us the key to the Dronexit#1. Once we receive confirmation it is in the hands of our agent, we will make sure you reach home safely like nothing has happened.” One says earnestly. “Yes, on our honor.” Another agrees.

“To be precise, your password.” Their hackers have failed. That is why they have resorted to this despicable criminal act. What choice do I have? To give the password or not to give? That is the question that matters now. The drone gives a running commentary of what we have below us, and right now it is a crocodile farm. Thompson orders the drone to hover over it as he says, “it is a perfect place to open the trap door!” Sadist!

“Password, please!” One of them is losing patience. One thing I am good at is originality. So I give him the password to one specific vault compartment which houses one box labelled Dronexit#1. Their agent soon confirms by mobile phone he has successfully got the box thus labelled. So These two clowns gentlemanly turn me loose at the entrance to Dronesville.

As I reach the street where I live, I can hear my dog Gracie barking like the house is on fire. The agent has chained her to her house and she is frantic. When seeing me, she barks again with relief and glee. I soak myself in a nice hot bath and take time to chill out later with a tub of ice cream with green tea flavor. Ah, home sweet home. My door bell rings and I know from Gracie’s bark who the visitor is. Who else but my former English teacher?

She has come to pick up her box in my self-custody. The box labelled Dronexit#1. “Is it safe?” She asks. “Yes, I have guarded it with my life.” I answer calmly. I key in my password and a specific compartment of the vault opens and releases the right box for the right owner.

I never know what the box contains. Being apprenticed in detecting fake diamonds I have acquired a skill to produce fakes when needed. Yes, you are right. I produced a few copies of the box with different contents. The vault has many compartments and each has its own unique password. The genuine safe keeping items require both the password of the owner and the password of the custodian (me) to access.

By the time the two Thompsons realize that they have failed in their mission I would not be around in this house. My former English teacher just told me that the police authority have acquired the property because of the famous vault. Since they will move into the neighborhood there will be no need for me to do the nightly drone patrol anymore! Hurrah! I can then be free to pursue my obsession with history. Remember? I am employed by the treasure hunters. Treasure hunting in historical sites of course! (To be continued for the last episode)

fog Londonphoto: Misty morning: A view of London from Greenwich, with Canary Wharf on the right and the Shard on the left in the distance. (by James Morrow)

*Cast Away is a 2000 American epic survival drama film directed and produced by Robert Zemeckis and starring Tom Hanks, Helen Hunt, and Nick Searcy. The film depicts a FedEx employee stranded on an uninhabited island after his plane crashes in the South Pacific and his Robinsonade attempts to survive on the island using remnants of his plane’s cargo. The film was a critical and commercial success, and Hanks was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role at the 73rd Academy Awards for his performance.

Obsessed

amateur nerd · English perspective · millennial short-story · tech news · young in heart

plagiarism memes surface Dronexit#24

quotes unseen“I’ve been imitated so well I’ve heard people copy my mistakes.” I hear this. As I ponder my fate of being stuck in the past instead of the future, I find myself in the time portal again! What a relief! As usual I have nothing to do than to rehearse the quotes in my head. The memes. The Pinterest. The Instagram. The whatever data I have been well fed as I grow up. Well, nerds, this is the best combination I can do today. This picture depicts the next worst case scenario if my robot goes wrong! What? You don’t like this? Excuse me! I think it’s really cool and chilling. Remember, you are not the one who is going to face my former English teacher who is now returning to Dronesville from her secret mission overseas. Am I not looking forward to see her if the robot time travel portal works perfectly? You bet. You try a day in Dronesville. Maybe the combination in the above picture of the day is more tolerable after all.

Surface

p/s: The Gen. X nerd-to-be lady who keeps complaining of my unpicturesque pictures please look beyond the surface. There is such depth and meaning deep down. Do me justice someone. I am not stupid you know.

pps: Mom just sends me this message! “Give me a break. You are not Elon Musk and I am not Maye Musk! Why can’t you stick to your millennial ranting about drones and robots and Pokemon Go? Now everyone starts asking me about you marooned in some silly Tom Hanks’ movie Castaway! The silly is for you and not Tom Hanks! BTW, I agree with that Gen.X lady. I don’t like your photos or whatever you call them! love and kisses, a harassed mom.

(Maye Musk is a model and dietician. Also the mother of Elon Musk, Kimbal Musk and Tosca Musk, she has been a model for 50 years appearing on the covers of magazines including Time.)

amateur nerd · millennial short-story · young in heart

Maybe we should start again. Dronexit#23

dronexit#23 home A chat with my nerd friends: Maybe I should start again? What for? After twenty-two blogs? Unfortunately, nobody explained to me the difference between grade inflation and the real education so I tend to demonstrate poor spelling and even poorer grammar, not to mention the contents. I flopped writing? Work too? Ahem, I stand to correct, at work, I, a true millennial, believe I am an overachiever who just cannot be understood by loser bosses. Even my mother said so. One thing I am good at is being original. Which millennial-nerd, I ask you, would dare write such a blog? Hmmm, noted? You should be happy with this blog as no other self-respecting nerd would be seen dead posting this (not even my former English teacher and her retired-teacher-tech-know-nerd-to-be cronies.) The least I should receive is gratitude. Anyway, enough of ranting. Back to business at hand.

I realize my three days’ back-to-past odyssey is over and I can safely return to my own time. I have to admit right now I am definitely not in the condition I came in. You laugh and say i am just a pampered cry baby? Wait till you see the marks of mosquito bites which have left no ground/skin untouched! Mosquitoes, leeches, all sorts of creepy things…Yet, come what may, I am all ready to be teleported home -back to Dronesville. I can imagine the shock of my fellow marines from 1942 when they wake up and find that their human metal detector has vanished into thin air!

The youngest nerd (from Generation Z) asks in the chat, “How can you be so sure you can come back?” Before I can answer, the others answer her, “That’s the way we millennials are, don’t you know? We trust the tech!” We have grown up with it. How not to trust it? I am once again full of confidence and hope waiting for midnight. Home sweet home. Here I come. Maybe.

As the digital clock on my mobile phone home screen blinks 11:55 I start feeling the change in the robot strapped to my body. This is immediately interrupted by gunfire and men running around. The enemy has located our camp and their bombers are firing at us overhead, with explosions all round and everybody running for cover. The camp is on fire. At first I run with the marines. Then I come to a halt. I am supposed to be teleported to future by the time travel portal. Why am I still here? Maybe my robot is not working? Maybe I get stuck in the 1940s? Maybe I never see home again? Maybe…I should start again.

(To be continued)

Maybe