Monday, May 28, 2018

S**t My Friends Say: Pie in the Sky edition


     Rachel and Andrea have only been in my world less than a year, but already feel like they've been there all along, and I can't image my life without them in it. Both of them are mermaids at Dive Bar in Sacramento, Ca., and are pretty tight as friends can be; demonstrated by this odd ball conversation at last month's Woodland Highland Games. Here's what they have to say on each other...

     "Andrea and I have a very unique friendship, though one could probably say that all friendships are unique... Andrea is one of those friends who knows me intuitively enough to understand what I'm really saying, or sometimes just communicating to her by glares. Hence, knowing I wanted a Mac and Cheese Pie when I was being a smart-ass. We have a give-and-take understanding of how to rib each other, but usually not go too far; and I'm grateful that when we do, we are able to talk things out and let it go fairly quickly. I've laughed a lot with Andrea, leaned on her when it's been hard, and always rest peacefully knowing she's close....as in....laying awake, under my bed."
~ Rachel Smith

"I used to think that if you were friends with someone, you had to make it oddball. We all go through high school declaring our "best friends" and putting them on a pedestal like their existence is enough to merit the prestige of "best". And then we grow up. People change, pedestals crumble. We become REAL ADULTS. We met people and find out through trial and error who leaves enough of an impact on us to stay in our lives.
I met Rachel through a friend and didn't ever think we'd be as close as we are now. She already seemed so far above me, and her life was a flurry of mermaids, and pirates. Here we are years later and I find out more and more we're exactly the same type of crazy. We teach each other how to be better people. We have honest conversations and real fights. But I know we'll always make up after, and that confidence in someone is what, I think, makes them the "best" type of friend. We found each other and our souls said "This is my people". There are so many times we can communicate with just a look, or finish the other's sentence. We are each other's appointed Thelma and Louise."
~ Andrea Hinojosa

Friendship.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Pocket Full of Posies Chapter 2 Page 7


     In the study of emergent machine mind technology has been the rise of a low band frequency language that robotic workers and servants have developed over the past several model generations. And, it appears through observation, that this language isn't limited to a specific model or manufacturer, but manages to infiltrate into he sub programming of nearly every mechanoid that encounters it; becoming a second language which is utilized to relay a host of particular information between units.

     It's notable that, as of this report, there appears to be no underlining malicious intent behind this development; merely the formation of subroutines that could not have been predicted in machines looking to communicate status and share updates. The studying of this low band transmissions shows that, among other things, issues of function status, make, model, and other identifying information is transmitted in a non-repetitive info compact series of bursts. These are then followed by requests for information of user behavior and other environmental conditions that can be assimilated into the unit's program, allowing it to function better in its role. 

     Further, this council finds no evidence that this language posses any threat to any end user, organization, or governing body. Study on both intercepted transmissions, as well as units involved in these transmissions, shows these are merely data queries. This council, therefor, recommends that the automaton program not be scrapped and that this machine query language be allowed to continue and flourish, as it works to enhance the over all operation of each robotic unit to better perform their function.

Dr.  Housan Thoust
Professor of Robotic Applications
 Asimov Institute
* Except from study summary on emergent language properties in automatons and robotic servant classes. Historical note: One of the last transmissions before the fatal Daistrum lab disaster . 

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Amber Alert


     Kim and I have been going back and forth for a long time. And, despite some low points we've had some amazing high and funny points. 

     When I moved back to California we were going to work on us. After a very rough start, I had thought we were making good progress, and I was going to surprise her after the holidays - when she's usually swamped with work at The Great Dickens Fair - with a ring and the proposal she has always been asking me for.
  
     Instead, she surprised me by announcing through social media over the holidays that they guy who was "just a friend" she was helping through a break up was now the new boyfriend. A month later they moved into together. I suppose I should have worked harder. 

     Luckily I got most the money back on the ring, so I could afford a traffic ticket I had gotten over the holidays rushing to visit her.

     A few months later I went out on a limb and asked Yesenia out; this fun young lady from my old karaoke social circle. We got a long great then, so I figured why not. And at first it was awesome... until she started to drift, and dodged further date requests. Turns out she was going out with me just to see if she if she had fallen out of love with the boyfriend she failed to tell me about, or list anywhere on her Facebook page. She only owned up to it via a text message when this comic originally posted.

     And then Amber...

I'm going full on hermit mode, to reply to your email. 
I won't be answering phone calls or texts. Know that I'll be ok. 
Expect a postcard. I'm sorry to do this to you, and to everyone.

Be well


That was all the message on my Twitter said, after a little more than a week of silence following a couple of odd messages since Amber went home to SoCal. Just earlier that day I had sent her another message asking her if she was okay, to which she made a post on her Facebook that she was leaving for a while, but she'd be back again, some day. And then an hour later closed out her Facebook account.

I've talked a little about Amber, before. She'd been up from SoCal to help her grandmother out, who had had a nasty spill and was recovering from some surgery. True to her warm and giving nature, Amber had dropped everything and was working to manage her grandmother's recovery despite being left holding the bag by her family. It's the kind of person she is. 

And then, when she could find the time, we would spend a little time together doing stuff. After the hurt and confusion of the past few months, having her around filled my days with warmth and caring, and a very nice kind of happiness. We always laughed and we always had fun; especially since we shared some common interests; like music, trains, and random adventure. Despite some things, Amber is a funny, social, giving person who loves to help and is up for lots of things. Is it any wonder we've stayed friends?

But, of course, nothing can stay perfect for too long, can it? And in this case it was issues of poly-complication(tm). Now, I won't begin to tell you I know all there is to know on navigating a polyamorous lifestyle. I'm not particularly poly, myself, to begin with. However, Amber and her SO, who was still down in SoCal, are.

Well, at least that is what we believed. Thinking it was okay to do so, we posted some Facebook stuff about our goings out. Nothing crazy about it; we saw Flogging Molly together, went to the San Francisco Symphony, visited the de Young, and saw world famous singing clown Puddles Pity Party, and even went to a Goth Prom. We had a blast; just the two of us hanging out. And, with two people dealing with so much personal garbage in each of their lives, it was what we both needed really badly.

However... because there's always an "however"... the SO was not amused. And then something happened I'm unsure of, and Amber packed up and headed home. She said she was going to deal with a few things and then head back to deal with more grandma stuff. And then the message.

Now, as I said, I'm no expert on polyamory, but I'm pretty sure if one partner is allowed extra curricular activities, so should the other, right? But apparently this isn't the case, here. And when things rattled, they rattled. As I understand it, there are agreements and rules and communication, and all that. And it seems to work for people. But when it goes south...


As of late, other things have come to light; casting even more doubt on what was what. So, now I'm out a sixteen year friendship, and left none the wiser for anything. Ah, but that which does not kill me, right?


Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Pocket Full of Posies Chapter 2 Page 6


     "That... that can't be right. Can it?"

     The three engineers stood there befuddled by their readings. Then one turned to the other two.

     "Send the drone out another light year." The first engineer primed some controls, adjusted a few settings and gauges, and executed the command. After a couple minutes of silence there were a series of broadcast beeps followed by a display reading times, distance, and telemetry.

     "Nope," said the third engineer, "still the same readings. Well, adjusted for the new relative position, of course."

     The third engineer rested his face in his hand, his arm propped up on the desk. A finger rubbed itself across his brow back and forth a couple times before he then ran his hand through his hair. "Okay," he said, after another moment of inflection, "let's try a couple more positions, just to be sure."

     The next ninety minutes were pretty much the same thing over and over again. Each time the three engineers would double and triple check their findings. Finally the last engineer piped in.

     "Okay, it's clear we don't have a glitch; we've sent the drone to ten locations across several cubic light years of space, and every reading is consistent for its distance."

     "Yeah, but that doesn't make any sense. These transmissions should be taking hours, not minutes, to come and go."

     "Well we know that, but..."

     They all looked back at the displays reading the drone a few light years out and a transmission time of under two minutes.

     "Doesn't make any sense."

     "I know. But, if you apply the wave field formula to the signal..."

     "But how?! That was an experimental idea for a ship drive, not a radio transmitter. I mean, there's no way this should even work."

     "Hey, we just dropped a drone four light years from here in a few minutes. And we've only been able to do that for... what... a year? I'm thinking there's going to be a lot of stuff that doesn't make any sense from here on out; now that we're a stellar species."

     They all at there in silence for another couple minutes, looking over the drone displays. One of them finally sat up and looked at the others. "So... what do we tell the director?"

     "We tell them what we have; a way to cut transmission times down from weeks and months to minutes and seconds. He says 'good work you three', and we get raises, or gifts, or some sort of nerd hero party. Maybe they name it after us; who knows. Point is, we have us a break through. Who cares if we don't know how it all really, exactly works."

     "Good point; no one knows how Aspirin works, and everyone still uses it."

     "Okay, then; who's gonna write up the report?"