Tag: the daily post

Dronesville adventure #17: computer’s cold calculating logic, human perspective, a model mother

“The standard story about computers, generally, is that they lack many of our more appealing human qualities but are really good at cold calculating logic. You’d think that combining the two — using computers to emphasize our most coldly rational and greedy qualities, and then using markets to aggregate those computers’ individually hyper-rational behavior — would work really well. I guess it does; that’s why people keep doing it.” (Matt Levine) As I narrated in my previous blog there was a loud bang and it seemed the end of the word had arrived. I hear confusion and loud rather ungentlemanly murmuring,

“What?! Fire crackers? Come on, be real, this is not ______(another big global nation like the USA) yet!!!” I cannot detect who says by their voices and accents. All sound American to me with the exception of my English lord Sir______ of course. Someone says, “That settles it, I am leaving. I am not sitting around listening to some promotion of cheap trade-off.” Soon I hear chairs and tables being shuffled around and impatient footsteps of those leaving the scene. Distant sounds of engines of expensive automobiles too.

Who is speaking today? I wonder. Then I hear this cold voicing of a nerd/millennial’s quote on the stage. I cannot see the speaker. Is it a machine or is it a human? I wonder. He sounds ordinary alright, like you and me, or any cool millennial. I recognize the quote from Bloomberg View on Money Stuff, an email I subscribe to. Whoever is standing on the stage is a nerd from the future like me who happens to be around for no particular reason. But he continues quoting the whole article. Rather like the aliens who have landed speaking to the earthlings in seemingly same and yet incomprehensible language. I never realize how unreal we may sound to those who live in mere twenty years ago. How much has the world gone through from 1996 to 2016. Even a seven year old can become an adult taking care of number one (me) now. LOL.

Because I do not see the speaker and do not know his personal traits: race, skin color, nationality, physique, stature, weight, height, hair color, hairdo, dressing, facial, hand gestures, posture, overall mannerism etc I have to cast aside my personal prejudices (which I admit I still have), like William Blake declared, “For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.” I am not saying that the above nerd speaker’s quote (on computer etc) is great because it’s just an article I pick by random to illustrate a point about human perspective.

The sudden invisibility of all people around me has made me looked inward and outward beyond the narrow chinks of my cavern. Suddenly I see something right before me, a dried flattened earwig lying on the table as I turn over an invisible place mat. The poor earwig must have been there for ages. I recall an article in the Manchester Guardian on 6th March 1917, a hundred years ago, “Female Earwig a Model Mother”:
Quote: “It was the earwigs that I specially noticed, and I was almost sorry for them, for, like birds, they were sitting on their eggs. I had to stop occasionally to watch a half-awake mother earwig, if I did not happen to have damaged her with my spade. She turned up an expostulating and threatening tail, metaphorically rubbed her eyes, dazzled by the unexpected light, and then began to fuss round, striving to gather together those precious eggs. She is a model mother amongst insects, and when the tiny larva – very like her in general appearance – are hatched she looks after them in quite a correct manner, while the babes seem to recognise their nurse and crowd round her like much more highly developed animals, even crawling upon her back for a ride.”Unquote. What a wonderful mother!.

When I no longer encumber my eyes and mind with the things I tend to see physically, I see and recall stuff that may be rare and precious. Like treasure hunting in a realm I rarely visit. Guess this new vast empty space enhances focus on stuff that matters at the right time and right place.

In a way, it this NOT what Symbiosis MEANS? Human, other creatures, and even computers past and present co-existing.

WORD ORIGIN
late 19th century: modern Latin, from Greek sumbiōsis ‘a living together,’ from sumbioun ‘live together,’ from sumbios ‘companion.’
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BTW: “LOL, see how _____ suddenly becomes SOOO…INTROSPECTIVE!” My nerd cronies have lampooned at my previous blog ranting mercilessly in their latest comment in our private chat board. Well, this one will divert you guys so you go digging out the Money article and see what it is all about.

Dronesville adventure #16: A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees.

william blake quoteA fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees. This is what I learn today. Otherwise it will be Meaningless!
Well, I am now at the Dronesville city hall. I am still in an unseen realm. Others can see me but I cannot see them. Is this a reality check or what? The little girl told me yesterday I was to go to the Twilight Zone. Is this it? Someone sits down next to me and he whispers, “Hmmm, you are here finally!” He is my boss, the English lord. Oh well, I am not surprised that he has turned up. I recall a final scene in an Agatha Christie’s famous detective (either Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple) movie in which all the important characters gathered around the detective when he or she unveiled the murderer. Yes, they have to be around but what is the big announcement and who is making it? I wonder. What am I doing in my seven year old self? What happened on November 28? Here are three random quotes from someone (William Blake~ born 28 November 1757):
1. A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees.
2. Truth can never be told so as to be understood and not be believed.
3. If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is: Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.

So it is a matter of seeing and yet not seeing. I suddenly become concerned with the perspective of a man. How am I to get out of this narrow chink of my cavern? LOL. A millennial has to laugh at himself by himself. Let’s see if I can find a solution from these words of wisdom. A fool sees not the same tree. What am I seeing? Vast empty spaces where there should be stuff and people. It means I see not the same stuff as others see. Mind you I am not admitting that I am a fool. Am I regarding myself as the wise man? (Affirmative of course.) Who else (other than the fool) sees not the same tree? A writer. A dreamer. An artist. A creative person. An actor. An entrepreneur. An adventurer. A traveler. An explorer. A tech nerd. A blogger. A virtual being. A millennial.

Ok. I must understand my situation. I am writing a story. A futuristic blog for millennials. This virtual story is my current truth for this purpose. I can write myself to seeing things again of course. Why do I choose to have invisibility for others? Good question. Normally the writer or protagonist is the one invisible. But here he is exposing himself to everyone and hide everyone instead from his sight. LOL. What is the advantage? One obvious one is that he needs not describe their looks. Save space. Expand his horizon. Clean and neat screen…and many more.

The next thing I shall do is to clean the doors of perception of everyone here. For everyone has closed himself up and that is why I cannot see you.

A loud blast can be heard as if someone has exploded the sound system or worse…(to be continued)

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.

Dronesville Adventure #9: original tech-know mind reading boss

An Original tech-know way in mind reading.dronesville-adventure-car Some nerd buddies say that the loss of the Armani is no big deal. Well, unless you are me you will not feel how I am feeling right now. I am soaked and shivering under a blanket, with a hundred horses racing through my mind: Where is Gracie, the brave Dronesville dog? Where is my grand-aunt’s drone? Where am I heading in this condition, with an overworked mind exhausted beyond descriptions. The day’s vigil at the mad house had been traumatic. Shall I tell the boss that I need a medical break? But the boss is in no mood talking. The silence of the ride is deafening or rather thundering. If anything bad happens to Gracie or the drone, how shall I answer the wrath of my former English teacher (aka the nerd-to-be grand-aunt)and the whole troop of retiree teachers who are also Dronesville residents? They have been hospitable to me giving me free meals and lodging in Dronesville for about a year during my recuperation from three years of treasure hunting under extreme conditions. Gracie is the Dronesville mascot dog. As I have mentioned earlier she has gone through an overdose of gamma ray in the Hyper-Loop research building and has transmuted. Nothing spectacular except that she can hear and understand human language (English to be precise).

As I am busily figuring out and practicing various excuses in my mind to get out of this mess, I hear my boss says,
“Ahem, stop thinking aloud!”
What? I have been doing that? What a mess I must have become without even knowing it! “You mean me? O no, not me. You have eavesdropped the wrong person, boss. i didn’t even open my mouth.” I attempt to talk sense.
“Stop arguing. I hear your mind loud and clear with this new device.” He shows me a gadget hooked to his right ear lobe.
“What? This gadget reads mind?” I am aghast. Has ___(blank space in lieu of a name of a country) newly achieved another breakthrough in spy technology that my English boss is again perhaps involved in?
“Hahaha, use your grey cells. What are you wearing?” He points to the robot that is still glued to my chest. I then realize that I am still transmitting my thoughts through the robot to the drone which Gracie has taken with her and the boss has hacked into the transmission! The gadget is a receiver. As simple as that! Ha.
“BTW (by the way), stop transmission now. Gracie and the drone have been captured by the two seemingly Russian (?) women.” The boss warns.
“Thanks. Boss. How do you know all these?” I ask.
“Hahaha, use your grey cells. I am the one who let you sneak off with the robot. Don’t you ever wonder why?” The boss bursts into laughters.
“You mean the robot is programed to auto-transmit to you my thoughts and other info?” It finally dawns on me how big a fool I must have been in the eyes (ears) of the boss, Lord YYY (I will continue changing the substitute alphabets so no one can accuse me of giving away my boss’ identity).
The car comes to a halt in a deserted back lane. The boss gets out with the two drones and asks the silent driver to give me his shirt. “Follow me. We need to go through two private gardens to get to the back of the Russian house.” So he is going to rescue the poor dog and the drone of my grand-aunt. He is not without kindness after all. Even though I have stopped thought transmission the boss seems to read my thought and turns and says,
“Hey, I do this not without my own agenda. I need the dog in this forthcoming treasure hunt.”
“Noted, boss.” I am a bit crest-fallen but I still like to imagine he is not that mercenary for he is already super-loaded.
Some nerd friends ask me how I would rate my boss. Well, on a scale of one to ten, one being the lowest, I would say he is close to 8+ or 9-, because of the generous and fair monetary reward he hands out to all deserving workers after a successful big hunt. As a human being he is also very descent, courageous and honorable. He doesn’t run away from challenges and leave any of his hired men in hot soup to face the music alone. On technology nerdiness (a new term I have just coined)? Well, I would give him ten. He invents and innovates all the time. No, he is not EM (you know who). He is English and not South African.
As we approach the first garden all is quiet and perfect. The drones carry us over the walls without a hitch. Because of our weight and bulk compared to the drones, we use them to get across the walls only. At the second garden we encounter a strange thing. (To be continued)

Photography: This is an original picture taken in a vintage car museum. This blogger has not done any touch up to it as it looks a bit similar to the boss’ car (which of course is tech-modified). Alas, this blogger does not know the details of this car.

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.

Take a hike, nerd: Dronesville adventure #7

Hike
dronesville-adventure-7I am taken for a hike. In my Armani suit looking all respectable notwithstanding perching precariously on a ladder looking into a neighborhood sunny garden minding my own business calling out for my Dronesville’s dog, Gracie, who has disappeared overnight, the sudden blow comes and knocks me off balance completely, causing me unceremoniously free-falling over the edge of the garden down a steep slope gate-crashing into someone’s private property. Later I learn that the blunt object that hit me is a base ball which a Gen.Y woman power hitter hits with great precision and aim landing the ball right on my head as intended.

Once I reach the point of no return someone blindfolds me and tie my two hands together. Then two persons drag me to a prison cell (or a cellar of some sort). I cannot see at all so I start imagining the worst scenario. I can hear sound of running water. Am I in a dungeon? Then I realize I am possibly in the house adjoining to the hyperloop place. It is a large, seemingly ordinary and sunny looking house painted bright sunflower yellow. I can hear footsteps of people moving some furniture in the room. Then a woman voice asks:

“What are you doing spying on us?”

Another woman voice says, “You peeping tom!” (Because I was using binoculars before they hit me.)

“Don’t think that you can fool us by dressing up as if you are an ordinary salesman.” This woman thinks that I wear Armani suit to sell stuff to the dronesville residents!

“He is probably a con man. We have never seen salesman wearing Armani. Perhaps he is a pervert.”

“Maybe he is just a third rate actor who has been made redundant and is doubling up as a temporary salesman?”

“No he seems too foolish not to be a spy, like Johnny England. I bet he is a third rate spy. Let’s see, what shall we do with a spy? Perhaps cut off his index finger and mail it back to the M15 or FBI?”

I can only shake my head vigorously. They have gagged me so I can’t answer them. They don’t seem to want my answer anyway because they keep asking questions and answer them themselves.

Meanwhile, I am still blind-folded. My hands are tied and my mouth is gagged. I am like a sitting duck shaking my head like it is working on a head shaking upside down pendulum clock. The situation is getting out of control soon as the two hotly debate about my real motive and a pandemonium breaks out as they start throwing stuff at each other and causing loud bangs. What sends shiver down my spine is that the two women speak English with foreign accent.

“What shall we do with this intruder?” Finally one comes back to the crucial question.

“Well, maybe we feed him to the jelly fish? Our jelly babies will be delighted!”

“Hmmm, seems good idea. Only snag is he is too big and they get bored with eating the same stuff for too long. With that Armani he may cause indigestion too.”

“Deep freezing can preserve for months, in case we run out of food for the jellies.”

I recall having read somewhere this dreadful information: “Jellyfish are carnivores and excellent predators. They sting with tentacles to subdue small aquatic fish, and eat the eggs and invertebrates that stick to their tentacles.” I realize too late I seem to be in the hands of two possibly mad alien women who are hiding from both the M15 and FBI. But what are they doing breeding giant jelly fish? I shudder to  figure out.

They cannot decide what to do and decide to call it a day and leave me. I can sense the day dragging until nightfall. The two do not return to check on me. I have my window of opportunity to escape. Even though they have taken away my mobile phone, they have not detected my hair-line-thin-film robot glued to my chest. When I am finally convinced the two are fast asleep and certainly not within earshot I telepathically command the robot to communicate with the drone which I am confident that Gracie has taken with her.

Sure enough Gracie or rather the drone returns a signal to show that it is receiving my signals. I send my thought again to signal I am in dire strait if not life threatening danger. Soon the drone returns with an audible signal that rescue is on the way. The GSP link enables my robot to transmit my exact location to the drone which in turn can lead Gracie here. Will Gracie understand the drone’s signal? The drone will translate the signal to her in audible human language and being a transmuted dog she can understand alright! I become quite optimistic after all.

I can hear soft steps of little feet and an almost inaudible humming drone sound by the time I nearly doze off. Am I hearing things or am I imagining? But I also hear a loud thud somewhere…(To be continued)

(Still on)Edge

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)

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)

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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.”

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)

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

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

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/

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!

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

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.)

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

we search for memes-millennial jokes (Dronexit#22)

millennials then and now“A joke a day keeps the doctor away. LOL.”
“I am part of the millions of my generation who are addicted to meme culture. I follow more than 30 Instagram “meme accounts,” a combination of funny pictures mixed with relevant commentary. My generation turns to memes — our version of “joke searches” — so that we can connect and relate.”

Today I receive the above quotes from a millennial fellow nerd, saying exactly what I intend to do here as I switch off my history mode. The problem is what kind of joke am I in now? I have no joke right now as I cannot access the internet. My phone is restricted to receiving the social media group chat called Dronexit# which some nerd meme-jokers set up for me just for the laugh. No it’s not in Instagram or anywhere you may want to access. It is a private network. Anyway my own mind data storage is overloaded with historical quotes and keeps unloading right now.

Here is a good quote from an American WWII veteran.
An 18-year-old Bronx kid named Al “Duke” Dellaera recalls the initial hours that kicked off a grueling, six-month battle that helped turn the tide against the Axis Powers in World War II. Seventy years later, the Guadalcanal Invasion stands as a seminal moment in World War II, the beginning of the end of Japanese naval dominance in the Pacific Theater. It was the Allies’ first engagement with the Japanese Imperial Navy, which had for months been establishing bases and dominance throughout the Pacific Theater, threatening supply routes between the U.S. and Australia.
“There was so much action going on that you didn’t dwell on anything,” Dellaera remembered. “But believe me, I was afraid a lot of times before things got started. I’m not afraid to admit it. But when action started, that fear left you and you concentrated on doing what you had to do.
“They were desperate days,” he added, recalling times when he subsisted on maggot-infested oatmeal. “You’ll eat anything when you’re hungry. But I wanted to be there because the country was at war and I felt it was my duty.”
During one nighttime patrol along the Ilu River, Dellaera saw a “shadow up ahead” in the grass, just shy of where heavy vegetation began.
“It turned out to be a Japanese soldier … so there we were, face-to-face more or less, about 25 to 30 yards apart. He stopped and I stopped, and we just stayed there quietly. And he was probably thinking, ‘Did I see something there or was it my imagination?’ And I was thinking the same thing.”

The worst thing is I am still stuck in the history of heroic acts of the young people of the past. I have been teleported to Solomon Islands. On July 6, 1942, the Japanese landed on Guadalcanal Island and began constructing an airfield there. More than 11,000 Marines U.S. marines landed and launched a surprise attack on August 7, 1942 and took control of the air base under construction. The U.S. forces quickly took their main objective, the airfield, and the outnumbered Japanese troops retreated, but not for long. Reinforcements were brought in, and fierce hand-to-hand jungle fighting ensued.

“I have never heard or read of this kind of fighting,” wrote one American major general on the scene. “These people refuse to surrender.” The Americans were at a particular disadvantage, being assaulted from both the sea and air. Both sides endured heavy losses to their warship contingents. However, the Japanese suffered a far greater toll of casualties, forcing their withdrawal from Guadalcanal by February 1943. In total, the Japanese had lost more than 25,000 men, compared with a loss of 1,600 by the Americans. Each side lost 24 warships.(Quoted/excerpted from: http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/u-s-forces-invade-guadalcanal)

Being a present day nerd and am stuck in this 1940s history of real war, is the most difficult and challenging impossibility that no nerd, however brave, would want to go through. There is only one thing I was good at. I can operate my digital robot as a sensor to detect the concentration of enemy forces in a location despite the jungle terrain. My solar power robot works well for this function only. So as I march in the swamp with the marines I function like a first rate metal detector. In today’s picture you can see a typical nerd (not me, of course) in striped pajamas with a cup of coffee. Well, it illustrates how incongruous a nerd is in the midst of brave marines charging at the enemy’s territory. LOL. (My many fellow nerds old and young are rolling on the floor in laughters or rather hysterics, for which I subsequently receive positive ‘like’ comments.) (To be continued)

Joke

Note: dictionary definition of memes
meme |mēm|
noun
an element of a culture or system of behavior that may be considered to be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, especially imitation.
• a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc., that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users.
DERIVATIVES
memetic |mēˈmetik, mə-| adjective
ORIGIN
1970s: from Greek mimēma ‘that which is imitated,’ on the pattern of gene.

The stubborn battle of Britain (Dronexit#20)

Stubborn
Hms_rainbow_bow“On the sea of turmoil some hang on to life stubbornly and live on.”(Stubborn millennial’s lesson.)The day of the week was Friday,October 4, 1940. HMS Rainbow was a Rainbow-class submarine built for the Royal Navy during the 1930s.The boats were armed with six 21-inch torpedo tubes in the bow and two more in the stern. They carried six reload torpedoes for a grand total of fourteen torpedoes. Rainbow served in the Far East until 1940. She left for a patrol off Calabria on 23 September 1940 and was due to be back in Alexandria on 16 October, she was last heard from on 25 September. She is believed to have been sunk on 4 October in a collision with the Italian merchant ship, Antonietta Costa, which reported striking an underwater object at 03:30, followed by a huge underwater explosion on that date. (I quote this part of the history because it is sad and seems that the British and Allies have lost ground to the enemy forces.)

But all is not lost for the good guys as evidenced by history. The Battle of Britain was a stubborn battle involving major air campaign fought over southern England in the summer and autumn of 1940,  between July and October 1940. The Germans began by attacking coastal targets and British shipping operating in the English Channel. They launched their main offensive on 13 August. Attacks moved inland, concentrating on airfields and communications centres. Nearly 3,000 men of the RAF took part in the Battle of Britain. While most of the pilots were British, men came from all over the Commonwealth and occupied Europe – from New Zealand, Australia, Canada, South Africa, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Belgium, France, Poland and Czechoslovakia. There were even some pilots from the neutral United States and Ireland. Many people worked to defend Britain. Ground crew – including riggers, fitters, armourers, and repair and maintenance engineers – looked after the aircraft. Factory workers helped keep aircraft production up. The Observer Corps tracked incoming raids – its tens of thousands of volunteers ensured that the 1,000 observation posts were continuously manned. Anti-aircraft gunners, searchlight operators and barrage balloon crews all played vital roles in Britain’s defense. Anew danger had arisen. From the start of the war German submarines and surface craft, defying the convention which prohibited undeclared minefields dangerous to peaceful shipping, began to lay mines in British coastal waters. In September and October (1939 or 1940?) 59,027 tons of shipping were sunk by mines off the East Coast, in the Thames Estuary and elsewhere.

Well, I just think I might as well quote the above from horrible history in my mind data base so that other millennial nerds know what I am talking about. Crossing the channel in October 1940 is as easy as a nightmare. Mines underwater. Enemies’ planes overhead. The Christian Tandoori chef and his daughter are stubborn people. The man says, “We must cross tonight. We shall make it home alive!” The daughter nods her head and says, “Amen!” What option does a nerd from the future have against such stubborn and determined mind-set? NONE. So I nod my head and say, “Amen!”

My robot and mobile/cell phone remain quiet and still. They seem to be hibernating and I cannot get any signal at all. I am stuck in this 1940 horrible history whether I like it or not. But I can assure you it is very exciting and meaningful. It is far more interesting than playing the drone, the robot, and the Pokemon Go. The night becomes the most memorable night of my life.

As you can read from the picture I have included “close to death, six exhausted, freezing airmen are plucked to safety after surviving 11 days in a dinghy using their pants for a fishing net and their shirts as a sail.” “One can’t even begin to imagine the feeling of hopelessness and despair the men felt as day after day went by.” “Although they kept up morale by praying twice a day, two men became delirious.” This is real life. A stubborn struggle to hang on to life and hope, in the Atlantic 400 miles south west of Ireland. With limited supplies and no way to send an SOS, what followed was a desperate attempt to keep the crew alive. During the 11-day or­­­deal the men were capsized by huge waves, kept awake by freezing spray and had to bale out using their boots. They sucked rain-soaked handkerchiefs for water and tried to land fish in a pair of pants on a pole. But their only catch was foul-tasting jellyfish. After waiting close to the crash site for a week in the hope a search party would spot them, the survivors made a sail from two shirts to blow them towards safety. The dinghy’s speed picked up to two knots and after four days they were spotted by a British destroyer.*

What happens to our own tiny fishing boat and this fateful night? All I can write down is our captain is a brave man and he does not give up. He braves the dark night, the treacherous english channel waters, the threatening bombers, the deadly mines, and the worst of all, the fear of imminent death. It has taken him the whole night to battle the sea and its danger.

As we near the English side and see dawn, a German bomber appears overhead and we know all hopes are gone. The man and his daughter continue defiantly looking up and praying. Suddenly we hear another kind of engine. No, they are not engine sound. They are sounds from seven giant gulls. The winged giants fly powerfully and fearlessly towards the bomber head-on! The sight in the grey dawn is spectacular. The gulls look transparent and blend with a small round patch of blue sky that it brings with it but we can clearly see their outlines. They fly like they are the RAFs or even better. But they are not cold machines or hardwares. They are live birds. They are invincible. The bomber spots the giant birds and tries to fire at them in vain. The bomber panics and turns tail but it is too late. The birds encircle the bomber and capture it with their gigantic wings, forcing it to lose its engine power and plunge perpendicularly into the channel with an underwater explosion and sinks into its watery grave.

What do we do on the little French Brittany fishing boat? We give a standing ovation to the birds (or angels?). They fly over us and escort us until we reach British shore. It shows that it is good to be stubborn at the right time for the right goal after all. (To be continued)

~~~~~~~~~~~
(*The story about the six airmen surviving miraculously on a lifeboat is quoted from http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/real-life-stories/amazing-story-downed-world-war-7579828)

“On the sea of turmoil some hang on to life stubbornly and live on.” (Stubborn millennial’s lesson.)

unsung hero’s praise (Dronexit#19)

Praise
impossible sea“The impossible could not have happened, therefore the impossible must be possible in spite of appearances.”
(Agatha Christie, Murder on the Orient Express) Looking at the formidable raging sea on this side of the channel, my heart sinks. It is an impossible task to cross tonight. Yet the man and the girl are full of hope. This is what they say to me, “Don’t give up, stay positive and speak good words.”

The man who cooked the delicious Tanddori chicken and Naan bread is not the British soldier who did his solo escape from Dunkirk to England in 1940. This man is an Anglo-Indian chef stranded in the European great war and is determined to take his daughter back to England where she can be safe as she is half Jewish. His English-Jewish wife died in the war and he has vowed to keep the daughter alive.

My mind is full of stored data and as usual, I try to browse through and search out the more positive ones about making the impossible become possible. “Alice laughed. ‘There’s no use trying,’ she said. ‘One can’t believe impossible things.’ I daresay you haven’t had much practice,’ said the Queen. ‘When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast. There goes the shawl again!” (Lewis Carroll)
“Before I go on with this short history, let me make a general observation– the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise. This philosophy fitted on to my early adult life, when I saw the improbable, the implausible, often the “impossible,” come true.” (F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Crack-Up)

The man and his daughter have a story to tell. But they are not telling much. Instead, they read the Bible, sing praise hymns and pray. I keep to myself and cannot help but wonder why I am here. Why me? Why do I appear and cross the channel with them tonight under such precarious condition. The Great War is raging. There are mines under water. The Nazis strafing the waters around you, bombs landing nearby. The weather seems unpromising too. Everything seems to go against us three going to sea and crossing the English channel. Then the man says, “come, it’s time.”

“Nothing is more imminent than the impossible . . . what we must always foresee is the unforeseen.”(Victor Hugo, Les Misérables) Their house is quite near the sea. They have hidden a boat at a deserted spot. It is a small 1940s fishing boat which the Brittany fishermen commonly used. The man says it was badly damaged during the fateful evacuation at Dunkirk!

Late May, 1940, was a desperate time for the Allies. France, Denmark, Luxembourg, and Norway had been invaded by the Germans, and Holland and Belgium had formally surrendered. Strafed by the Luftwaffe, hopelessly outgunned by the German Army, the troops of the British Expeditionary Forces retreated to the beaches of Dunkirk, France. There was little hope of rescue by navy ships because of the shallow waters of the channel. A call went out from the British Admiralty for small boats that could be used in the rescue of the trapped British and French soldiers. Then came a miracle, over 800 boats–pleasure boats, fishing smacks, trawlers, lifeboats, paddle steamers and many other types of craft, captained by sailors of the Royal Navy and by ordinary civilians–set sail to save these men by either transporting them directly back to England or ferrying them out to British destroyers waiting offshore in deeper waters. 338,000 British troops were saved from annihilation from the Nazi onslaught in June 1940 by the “little boats.” (This paragraph is quoted from: https://theyearoflivingenglishly.wordpress.com/2013/05/26/memorial-day-2013-dunkirk-englands-finest-hour/)

The nameless chef volunteered to ferry the British troops too during that rescue operation. His boat was badly damaged. He has since repaired it and is now ready to take his daughter back to England. “You will witness the impossible coming to pass tonight.” The man is confident. Then he says, “The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.”
Yes, we set sail towards England at midnight. (To be continued)

Note: Is this going to be a miracle? The fact that I am still alive and writing this Dronexit# blog means it shall be a miracle. I even anticipate hearing my senior family members singing endless praises to God when I safely return to my timezone at the end of this time travel adventure. I am an optimistic millennial, remember?

Winter craving (Dronexit#18)

Craving
hungry drone
I don’t know how long I have waited at the coast. The snow comes and the cold starts creeping in. I browse through my brain data base on horrible history, and find this information that immediately causes shivering down my spine: “The winter of 1939/1940 was one of the coldest on record, with persistent cold weather from 22nd December through January. Temperatures were the lowest for at least 100 years in many parts of Europe. It is now theorized that the intense military activity in the North Sea was responsible for disturbing the sea temperature and therefore the climate. The loss of heat from the sea led to more cold air from the arctic being pulled into the European region, resulting in much colder weather overall.”* I have a jacket on but it is not enough to ward off the cold. Even though it is only October I can feel that the winter has arrived earlier. My robot time portal cannot be reset to return to my time until three days later. I cannot override its setting. I have no choice but to move myself from the coast and seek a warm shelter if any.

As I walk inland I see trees with branches laden by heavy snow! There are very few houses and none have their lights on. The roads are empty of lives. It looks as though the War’s rampaging flood has devastated the whole countryside, leaving ravaged faces of despair on nature herself. To be honest, I am a millennial who has had very secure and well provided and pampered life in my youth. My working life was comfortable too. Even when I trotted round the three continents to hunt treasure I always had reasonably good food and shelters. My folks and my employers took good care of me. The world that I have lived in has been sensible up to now. I cannot make sense when I look at the great wars. I never like them and now find myself stuck in one! And the worst thing is I have no food. I crave for a freshly cooked, warm creamy, mixed seafood Spanish chowder served in a bread trencher. Or savory and fast kedgeree- Curry, fish, eggs, and rice make for an easy, mouth-watering British take on Indian cuisine. OR ANYTHING HOT. Even a Nashville Hot featuring a perfect blend of spicy cayenne and smoke paprika!

As I stumble on I see this girl again. She seems to expect meeting me on this deserted road, “Nice seeing you again, come with me.” We enter a tiny cottage which seems to be in darkness. But I see light after we enter and the heavy wooden door closes behind us. Someone is cooking at the stone stove. It is not really a stove. It is an Indian Tandoori stove and the man is bending over the opening. I smell Tandoori chicken***. My craving is soon over as I am well fed with chicken and a bread called Naan topped with garlic and green pepper. A surprise dessert too in the form of Andes chocolate mints**. But this does not make sense. I am in France eating Indian food and a chocolate first introduced in 1950? I must be dreaming or fantasizing in my virtual world. whatever it may be, I am enjoying myself after all. (To be continued)

About this picture: I took the Indian food pictures recently in a tropical country. The winter picture was taken last winter in USA by a friend. The really heavy snow came a day after I left.

The following info is from Wikipedia:
**Andes Chocolate Mints are small rectangular candies consisting of one mint-green layer sandwiched in between two chocolate-brown layers. The candies are usually wrapped in green foil imprinted with the company’s logo. First launched in 1950, they are produced by Tootsie Roll Industries and made in Delavan, Wisconsin.
***Tandoori chicken is a dish originating in the Indian subcontinent. It is widely popular in South Asia, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Middle East and the Western world. It consists of roasted chicken prepared with yogurt and spices. The name comes from the type of cylindrical clay oven, a tandoor, in which the dish is traditionally prepared.
*winter weather passage quoted from: http://ww2today.com/a-cold-winter-arrives-in-europe

An Admirable Leap: Back to the future (dronexit#15)

Admireback-to-the-future
The twin men in black grossly underestimate me. Having been with the top secret team of advanced tech nerds for three years had amply equipped me to overcome any situation. I am not going to wait for them to come and get me or coerce me to surrender the Dronexit#1 which my former English teacher deposited in the vault and instructed me to guard it with my life. I call a nerd friend who owes me a big favor and instruct him to come and feed Gracie in my absence. Thereafter I prepare to go on a long journey and not appear until my grand aunt returns in three days. I know the Thompson and Thompson have guarded the entrance and exit to Dronesville. But I am not getting out in the physical realm. I have my Plan-C which I shall execute tonight.
Those who have watched Michael J. Fox’s and the mad professor’s Back to the Future movie series will guess the future events by looking at today’s photo which will give you some clues: The mad professor holding on to the clock, an antique car, a man’s brain interacting with machine, a mysterious doorway into another sanctuary where I can continue to chill out without disturbance. But I don’t know why I also pick the little girl with the snow goose. Hmmm it’s from a Paul Gallico’s famous story book. Is it a warning that something might go wrong? Or a diversion? But I have no time to ponder now. Anyway I take and merge five pictures at random from my stock and this picture comes out!
I don’t know what tech level you have when you stumble on this blog. I just have to assume you are living in the present time or future time. My Plan-B robot is versatile and can multitask quite sufficiently for normal tech tasks. It functions as a PC, projector, and game simulator generally, rather common nowadays. But the Plan-C robot is something of another class. It is a time portal that allows access to another time and space.
To be honest, I have never used this time portal. It is meant for emergency escape only. but I consider the present predicament an emergency. I cannot handle normal human social issue like Thompson and Thompson who claim they are from the Consumers Association with a product misuse complaint to investigate. I have never learned social skill and problem solving in school. So I now consider I am quite entitled to use the Plan-C to escape tonight.
As midnight draws near I can feel a rush of adrenalin and hydrocortisone to be exact. My palms are getting damp and my systolic heart rate increases. I am all dressed in my travel gear for the future. I have set the year and date I shall appear in the new world. The reader will think this is incredibly crazy. That is because you don’t know me and the incredibly crazy world I am at right now. No matter what you may be thinking you must admire that I am truly courageously unstoppable to have taken this daring leap of faith in action! (To be continued)

Millennial elusive song (Dronexit#12)

Elusive
droneexit12 elusive nerdsTonight I am turning the table by roping in two other young elusive nerds so there will be three of us and not one lone nerd-wolf in the digital wild.

I have this fail-proof nerds catching plan which I shall execute with perfection. As the night draws nearer to midnight I become more and more confident. Tell me, which nerd can resist the lure of the sight and sound of a low flying drone bearing the latest Pokémon Go free gift depositing on his or her bedroom window sill?

Hahaha, that is what I think as I walk down the street with my drone and robot flying above and my dog Gracie trotting behind. To cover the whole Dronesville I shall take at least three hours but I have since received renewable energy super-charged cell pack from SolarCity and the drone has been modified today for the job even if it takes the whole night!

The patrol goes pretty well and smoothly in that despite the temptation not one senior nerd opens his or front door or window to inspect the incredible noise the drone and the robot are producing as we walk from house to house. Many have obediently switched off their lights too. There is a false alarm in one case when one lady who apparently is not a senior or junior nerd has her lights on, opens her window and watches the whole show performed by the robot and receives her Pokémon Go gift pack with glee too.

Gracie the dog is not perturbed by the show. She seems in a serious mood. An hour has passed before we locate our first elusive prey. The blue building looks like a warehouse with all windows closed. But one can see light beaming out from behind one window. The drone flies near and the robot starts its show. From my mobile which is linked by blue tooth to the drone’s camera I can see the window scene closed-up. A young man opens his window and watches the entire drone-robot-show. He seems dazed encountering the incredible spectacle at his window. He retrieves the free gift too and shuts his window after that. The drone has taken a good video of this nerd and I have jotted down his street address too. There is no house number on his front door. But I can remember the location.

By the time I walk pass the last house in Dronesville I realize that the second elusive nerd has hidden himself really well. He has been alerted? Hmmm we shall see. Anyway I have caught one elusive nerd tonight and shall go home and call it a day/night. (To be continued)

fail-proof ferreting out: (Dronexit#11)

Elusive
dronexit11Today I become a detective. I am going to chase after the two elusive millennial nerds who are presumably evading the rest of the community. The majority of the residents are in their 65-85. Millennials are the rare handful. In fact, I suspect I am the only one as I have never met the other two who are rumored to be staying somewhere inside these few blocks of exclusive houses surrounding a little park. Since I am the only young nerd found/trapped in the open (unlike the other two apparently in hiding) for the whole community to access, I have become the common helper. I am therefore stuck with the after midnight drone patrol in my unofficial job specification for an indefinite period until I ferret out the other two millennial nerds if they do exist.
I decide to deploy all my Ethan Hunt’s skills and expertise to flush out the two young nerds from their chill out holes. Unlike Ethan Hunt of Mission Impossible I do not have access to official classified information. What shall I do? I have searched the Facebook for likely nearby residents in vain. They do not use land line and the phone book is of no use to me. Hmmm here is what I shall do:
I shall set the drone to fly low and attract their attention tonight. If I were one of them what shall I do if I detect the drone? What is a millennial like? Here is a list of negative stereotype characteristics from the internet:
1. Millennials grew up with instant access to the Internet, and demand instant gratification and immediate reward for their efforts.
2. Some Millennials need to be reassured by receiving recognition and rewards.
3. Some Millennials may become frustrated and may decide to quit before achieving.
4. The negative stereotype of being entitled and unwilling to work.
The drone must fulfill the following conditions: give instant gratification and reward effortlessly for the receivers. The millennials like something innovative, funny, and original.
I have my Plan-B robot which can help the drone to do all that. So I inform all senior residents to ignore the drone tonight no matter what happens.
My plan is simple and easy to execute: I shall set the drone to fly low and near everyone’s window with lights-on. The robot will be dangled beneath the drone and projects a comical virtual show complete with simulated laser beams, song and music when it detects a human audience. The drone will take a photo of the person who responds and looks out of his window, and also take a picture of the front of his house with its number. The drone will drop a self-adhesive Pokémon Go gift packet onto the window sill too to lure the person to open his window and retrieve the packet.
Armed with this fantastic fail-proof plan I congratulate myself and feel as elated as though I have already bagged the two poor nerds who will henceforth replace me in my after-midnight drone patrol. (To be continued)

a carefree spy dog (dronexit#9)

Carefree
dog spyingBy popular demand I continue to put in focus Gracie the wise and carefree dog who somehow lands herself in another mysterious heroic deed in our third drone patrol night. To be honest, I am quite pleased not to be involved if possible. Here is how Gracie does it again.

Gracie has a habit to spy on interesting thing or people. According to my senior retiree nerds, she may be considered in the class of Hercules Poirot (of Agatha Christie’s fame), whereas I, alas, they claim, more the inspector Clouseau of Pink Panther notoriety, no matter how much I fancy myself an Ethan Hunt of Mission Impossible. Of course in the olden days people spied mainly with their mind without technology. I admit in many ways the mind computer is far more superior than a digital mobile or laptop. The technology gadgets today are to help persons like me born and raised in digital virtual world starting from my nursery days and we have never been weaned. Tech to me is like a milk bottle without which I shall be helplessly whining.

Tonight I am armed with Gracie, a drone, a robot and my mobile as usual. We have been briefed to walk a different route and avoid the park altogether. Why? My commander Mr. Bee says so and it is so. We are told to walk a big round to the far side of the housing estate/development. It is 3am and the place is deserted. I set off the drone as usual and find a spot under a tree to rest and play my Pokemon Go. I congratulate myself when I start the hunt, as there are truly plenty of cartoon aliens in this new zone.

I play while keeping an eye on Gracie. Suddenly I see Gracie creeping stealthily toward a fence and stands up as she normally does when she wants to peep at the other side. The drone too has flown and hovered near the fence. My robot starts flashing a red warning signal to me. What is over that fence to create such an avalanche of signs and signals? I reluctantly get up and walk across to see what Gracie is watching.  What I see is beyond everything I can ever dream of or imagine.

“HYPERLOOPY ENTRANCE”. The sign flashes in front of a new building. I have never seen it before. There are parked cars in the compound but no sign of any human. What does Gracie see and why is the drone hovering behind Gracie like being unable to go beyond the fence? From what I know the capsules and transportation system are not yet in commercial operation. Suddenly Gracie barks and I realize too late as my two arms are being grabbed and bent backward, handcuffed, blindfolded, and my body dumped into a sack, tied and sealed with a rope, and hauled over the fence like a sack of potatoes. Someone or a machine arm catches this sack of human potatoes and places me on a moving conveyor belt which sends me sliding fast toward an unknown destination. THE FAST MOTION does not deter me from quick thinking. What will Ethan Hunt do in Mission Impossible? Scenes of what he does to get out of many sticky situations flash through but none fits my current predicament. My mobile phone is no longer with me. Suddenly it dawns on me that I am now in a capsule, a reduced pressure tube. And I am being propelled forward at a speed of at least 600mph. I have stumbled across an experiment. But why the handcuff? Why the gunny sack? I cannot comprehend. Why me? Again I cannot fathom the depth of such an adventure. What shall I do? Is there time to wiggle myself out of this most unpleasant journey? Can I remain carefree? Will I run out of air? My brain becomes overloaded with worrying cliche.

My pocket beeps like an email receiver. My Plan-B the robot which is strapped to my body is receiving emails and reading out my emails verbally! I issue voice command and it does its replying job perfectly. Mr. Bee is on the other side reading my email and issuing command to someone. They know where I am and tell me not to worry as the police has been alerted. When the machine comes to halt and I am released from my prison I realize that I have not traveled a bit as it is only an experiment. Apparently two deluded nerds have broken into the ground illegally and tried out this new digital ‘toy’! They mistook me as an enemy spy and thought it might be a good idea to teach me a lesson. How does Mr. Bee know about me being somewhere I should not be?

Apparently Gracie hid herself with the drone hovering over her head and led it manually to Mr. Bee’s house. The drone has taken a video of my capture. So Mr. Bee immediately alerted the police and they detected through my robot that I was still in the building. They found my mobile phone with one of the thieves with the digital Pokemon Go game still on. It helped the police to locate him.

So that is how Gracie the dog again saves the day. Was it a carefree night out for her? Yes, she receives plenty of goodies to eat and gentle pats on her head too. She really enjoys being the centre of attention. She sticks out her tongue and dances her usual circe dance. The senior nerds say that they have never seen such a happy dog before.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~wikipedia information:
Hyperloop is a tradename and a registered trademark of SpaceX for the high speed transportation of passengers and goods in tubes in which capsules are propelled by linear induction motors and air compressors.

a dog’s life (dronexit#7)

Unpredictable

tree and dog

This is how I become the neighborhood’s number one hero. The drone lands on my head precariously yet without a hitch beautifully executed by my Plan-B robot in my pocket. While balancing myself with the drone up there like a good oriental circus practitioner with super-human physical skills and dexterity, I am warmly ushered into the dining room of the oldest and most respectable resident senior nerd, the Dronexit chairman, Mr.Bee (not his real name)on this block. My dog Gracie too receives undeserved favor with my sketcher still hanging from her mouth.

The Dronexit chairman calls a meeting as all the members (ages between 65-85) are here. We have cups of hot tea with cookies. Gracie gets her doggie treat too. Mr.Bee, who is a retired botanist congratulates me for completing a truly difficult and near impossible task climbing up that tree with such speed with the dog dangling at one foot. But he warns that the next secret mission should not be so noisy and open for everyone to see. He expects discretion.

“But sir, I cannot do it in silence with Gracie insists on going the round with me!” I try to get out of this most unpleasant assignment. But they are not going to let me off. While all shake their heads, Mr. Bee says, “Young person, just look around the dinning table, is anyone of us capable of climbing that tree?”

“Is any head here capable of performing as a drone landing pad so perfectly?”

“Can any of us race up and down the streets in such speed and agility with a furiously barking dog right at the heel?”

“That settles it, none of us will be seen dead doing any of the stuff you do tonight!” My former English teacher finally declares.

The meeting is dismissed amicably and I get to go home to sleep finally, with the robot in one pocket, drone in the other, and Gracie happily trotting along, stuffed with doggie goodies. At least it has been a good night out for her after all. As for me? Speechless again. (to be continued)

drone patrol.dronexit#5

drone with zoom camera copyIt started with a phone call. A sharp and ear-piercing ring wakes me at 5am. ” Good News!” The caller continued, “After taking a trip to the first ever InterDrone convention in Las Vegas, I have been convinced and bought the best drone for the aspiring aerial photographer or videographer and amateur nerd. It has a forward-collision sensing system that will stop it in its tracks before it gets too friendly with a tree. it has built-in optical zoom and night vision too.” My 68 year old senior Dronexit (I have decided to give her this code name) is on the phone. She is full of positive news. Sometimes I suspect she has the intelligence of a potential rocket scientist nerd. She is truly a new breed of senior citizen tech-know-to-be in the neighborhood.

I want to commend her but suddenly realize that she is neither a photographer or videographer. What is the expensive drone camera for? She seems to have predicted my concern. “O, BTW, I am going to lend you this equipment to do the counter-spy work in our neighborhood. We have decided that you are just the right person to man our night drone patrol.”

“Huh?” I fall off the bed and collapse on the carpeted floor. “What? Who?” I mutter under my breath. But the senior has all the answers, “A group of us senior amateur nerds have formed a neighborhood dronexit cell group. You are our honorary member.”

She seems to read my mind and reassures me, “Don’t worry, all you need to do is patrol at night. A battery lasts around 28 minutes and you carry a spare one too. So it should not take you more than an hour!”

“I will personally bring you the drone and a random patrol schedule which we have worked out based on the latest probability statistics so you can start tonight.”

By the time she deposits the drone and schedule and leaves happily for her German and Russian class, I do not know whether I should laugh or cry. All her cronies are in the cell group. They are mostly retired teachers of old time and are now resolutely upgrading themselves in technology and languages.

Why me? I cry. Just in case you wonder why, I shall explain briefly. I am the youngest available person in this neighborhood. When I say young I mean I am in the millennial demographic group. Why am I currently so free and available? Because I just happen to be on my sabbatical leave from a highly confidential experimental project. Why do I have a vault in the house and keep receiving instructions from a former English teacher? Well, I am a rent-free tenant cum caretaker right now for the house which belongs to her husband’s family (which is in turn related to my extended family.)

All I need is sleep, watch old comedies and rest my brain. I even postpone getting involved with the Pokemon Go. BUT now I don’t seem to have any option. No, no slapstick humor this time. It is serious matter henceforth. I resort to my serious Plan-B. (To be continued)

drones n Pokemon Go. dronexit#4

Cowardicedrone pokemon Go
“Drones fly controlled by nothing more than people’s thoughts.” As I read this I begin to understand my former English teacher’s fear and resolution to protect herself against plausible intrusion of her privacy. She called me just now and asked, “Shall I invest in a drone of my own? I can even control it by thoughts! One day I could wear a brain-controlled interface device like I wear a watch, to interact with things around me!”

I gave her this warning I just read, “Once I know what the readings look like from your brain in a certain situation, I’ll be able to recognize you by that pattern again later on,” (a neuroscientist warns amid rise of computers that can read our minds.)

It is a frightening thought to manipulate and be manipulated by technology in the future world. Can any human avoid this invasion? I am pondering and hearing footsteps. Someone is at my front gate. No, not one person. It sounds like several people. What can they be doing? I mute my Mr. Bean and peep through the curtain at the French window. What a strange sight of grown men holding their mobiles, walking as dazed, gazing up and down, talking to themselves.

When I switch to BBC news, I read this on-screen: “Pokemon Go, a mobile game that has become a global phenomenon, has been released in the UK. It was already available in the US, Australia and Germany but some UK gamers found ways around the country restriction to get early access. The app lets players roam a map using their phone’s GPS location data and catch Pokemon to train and battle.”

Someone presses my door bell. Waving his mobile, he indicates he wants to enter my front yard which possibly is now infested wth creatures from virtual outer-space. I pretend I am not at home. My dog Gracie barks and jumps ferociously. But the man does not go away. He opens his mouth and says something. The commotion is deafening.

But like my former English teacher now being trained to teach German as second language, I too have my Plan-B. I duly put on my wig, floral skirt and fake gold-teeth and walk into the garden with a mop and a tin pail. I start speaking an unknown language in a falsetto. I wave my mop at him, reinforcing my lone brave dog. When he refuses to budge I pour the water on the ground and start banging the tin pail with the tin plate which is in Grace’s dog house. *

What happens now? You should see the poor man running down the street. Many others run behind him. What a sight. I treat Gracie with her favorite bacon snack, and me my favorite yam ice cream with coconut flavor.

yam ice cream

*Explanatory notes: the disguised dressing is meant to give the message that I don’t know their language. The banging of stuff is to make loud metal noise which is an ancient oriental traditional practice during eclipse of the sun.

I am a coward: resolution.dronexit#3

Cowardice
dronexit#2I am undone. My former English teacher (lately disguised as 002 -a code I now use to substitute the obvious) had deposited an iPad size box labeled DRONEXIT#1 with me in my vault and instructed me to guard with my life. She attends German class, registers herself with virtual addresses in famous cosmopolitan cities round the globe, orders her suits from Paris online, wears a blond wig, uses substitutes from Chinese words for endearing terms normally used between family members, attends underground church cell group, says soundless grace before meals with open eyes and claims now she is cosmopolitan and inclusive. She is really doing fine as a MT2 wannabe.

But I am stuck with the box in my vault. What is inside it? Why is she hiding it from the politically correct elite media drones? I have come down with insomnia. Nightly I sit inside the closet (which houses a secret door to a secret passage to my underground vault) and try to shut my mind from worries. What if she keeps some stuff inside that proves she is a mother or worse, I am one? No one will believe me that I can never be one nowadays with all sorts of advance technology for all sorts to become a mother. The what ifs are driving me into all kinds of scary and nerve shattering imaginations. What with the technology nowadays anyone can prove anything of any innocent person. Alas. Woe. Woe. Woe.

Ahem, I am not born to be treated in this inhuman manner. I did not ask to be born to be a human to see this day of doom for human family ways and godly values being stolen, killed and destroyed by aliens. What shall a human be if his or her ordinary humanness is belittled, ridiculed, trampled upon and forbidden?

I therefore make a resolution to henceforth spend more time looking for the remotest corner on earth. Yes, I shall also register myself with virtual addresses. No, not in cities. I shall become a citizen of the provincial poor and not-tech-know.

I am no hero.dronexit#2

Cowardice
dronexit#1I am not a hero. A piercing shriek followed by pathetic sounds of whimper in my front yard shatter my fragile peace. Shaken from chilling out on the lounge chair nursing my bundle of nerves by watching Mr.Beans, recovering from the disastrous news of my beloved nation opting to become number two again like the TB safely behind GB, now repeating history to have a MT2 behind EURO power woman AM, I venture to stir myself from hibernation.

Stealthily I creep to the curtain of my French window and peep through a minuscule space. what I see makes sense. No wonder my poor dog “Gracie” is whimpering, hiding herself in her makeshift storm shelter behind a thick sheet of indestructible plastic canvas.

A UK PM MT#2 complete with hairdo, hair color and makeup etc, but with the newest number ten wannabe smart Euro-suit dressing and German AM accent is shrieking at Gracie. I am not surprised that the social media drone has done its work and finally forces its presence at my front gate. I am not worried because I am prepared for this day.

“xxx!” She cries. “Open this gate and stop that politically incorrect person (meaning Gracie)!” It is the voice of my former English teacher! She is normally quite unflustered but today she seems a wee bit off her usual healthy wholesome outdoor English provincial farm mother colour.

She hurries into the house and hands me a IPAD size box labelled DRONEXIT#1. “Here you are, guard with your life!” She starts her monologue. “You know, I am quite politically correct now. I just told my old mother that I will henceforth call her in an ancient Chinese term,  Niang (for mom), which no English politically-correct person can ever guess. God (oops, I mean X) bless her. I also WhatsApp all my children to warn them not to associate with me in public, and call me Niang in private (beware of social media drones). I have registered myself as a resident in London City, Paris, Hamburg, Milan, San Francisco and Shanghai and to be precise I am now cosmopolitan and not provincial! LOL!”

Then she rolls her eyes with a tinge of sadness, “But I do miss being a mother and a provincial wife who happily makes shepherd’s pies for her sons!”

“Above all,” she whispers, “I miss calling God “God”” She has tears in her eyes. “I just have to make do with the substitute “X”. I asked Him for His forgiveness.” Then she breaks out into a full blast of weeping and lamenting in my sitting room. The thick white rice cake on her cheeks starts melting and she gradually looks more like my good old provincial English teacher whom we ex-pupils still love much in reverence for the godly values she drummed into our young and stubborn heads.

I cannot help but budge in as I focus my worries on her box. “What is inside this box?” I am not to be caught with anything with a hint of motherhood or being provincial. I can imagine the day when I wake up and find a social media drone hovering at my bedroom window taking snapshots so some social media (all the politically-correct ruling newspapers and internet/mobile social media and connect platforms) guru will have a field day with my secret life as a naturally born citizen of this nation. Of course, I am fully aware that the majority of this nation are silent as they are not tech-know. The silent majority who are provincial and mother-respecting cannot help me against the drone invasion.

She suddenly looks at her watch and exclaims, “O dear, I forgot that I have an appointment!” She practically speaks in exclamation. “I have enrolled in the German class. You never know what will happen to English language. I am patriotic but I need to camouflage and fortify myself for future since I cannot keep my English identity. You too, young person! (She is careful in using words with no gender connotation now. My former English teacher is a fast learner. I will vote for her if she ever runs for government…sigh.)

When I sink into my couch and start examining the box labelled DRONEXIT#1, I cannot help but think of two great books written by two famous English writers: BRAVE NEW WORLD, and THE CHILDREN OF MAN.

Quotes from Wikipedia
Brave New World is a novel written in 1931 by Aldous Huxley and published in 1932. Set in London in the year AD 2540 (632 A.F.—”After Ford”—in the book), the novel anticipates developments in reproductive technology, sleep-learning, psychological manipulation, and classical conditioning that combine profoundly to change society.

The Children of Men is a dystopian novel by P.D. James that was published in 1992. Set in England in 2021, it centres on the results of mass infertility. James describes a United Kingdom that is steadily depopulating and focuses on a small group of resisters who do not share the disillusionment of the masses.