I Do Believe

Since a ship can be designed to right itself if it capsizes or becomes out of balance, so that it will sit perfectly upright in the water again, this made me think about the possibility of making a post that could write itself.  I would have to input all of the prompt words and create a program for it to search the internet and find appropriate stories and then group them together in a coherent manner.  I dabble around with this every day and although this may seem like an unlikely idea for a computer to do this under the current standards of technology, it is very likely that someday this will become the future of writing.  If a machine writes a post, does that mean the post is writing itself?  The first post that is written this way will seem like magic.

This could be a real opportunity for an ambitious person to instigate a new method that will change the world.  They already have a computerized oven that knows how to cook your food for you just the way you want it.  Computers are great when it comes down to achieving accuracy and they don’t require a cozy spot to get things done.  They have already become useful for reading documents and they have the ability to reason about the task for which they are trained to perform, but they have not reached the point where they have something that resembles general reasoning power yet.  They keep getting better, but they don’t really understand things the way people do.  Stories are out there and they are looking to be told, but a computer is not capable of being able to reel any of them in yet.

Machines lack emotions and although in the Terminator and Matrix movies, they both featured computers that became evil, this is probably not going to happen, as it will be a cold day in hell before a schism emerges between man and computer.  My computer has been acting sickly lately and it is easier for me to get a new one than send mine to the computer hospital.  My old computer has lost its magic.

Since I am writing about computers today, I want to respond to Fandango’s question which asks, “Do you believe in magic? Define magic any way you wish and explain your belief about magic.”  Computers are machines that basically sit around doing nothing all day, that is unless they have code installed inside of them.  I worked with a lot of computers and they need to be told what to do, before they will respond.  People who do not understand code often think that computers are magic, which in a way they are.  Computers influence our lives every day, but they don’t use any mysterious or supernatural forces to do this, so they are not magic, even though a computer is capable of creating an illusion that most people are not able to explain.

Dragons can be viewed as volcanic devils, and since they can breathe fire they are magic, but Puff the magic dragon originally wasn’t magic.  He was developed from a poem and he hung out with a little black kitten named Ink, and a little grey mouse called Blink, a little yellow dog who was sharp as Mustard, but since this dragon was a coward, he was called Custard.

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Dabble, for Roger Shipp’s Daily Addictions prompt – Could, for the Daily Spur prompt – Accuracy, for Fandango’s Provocative Question #39 – believe in magic, for FOWC with Fandango – Instigate, for Melodye Shore September show-and-tell – Cozy Spot, for August Monthly Writing Prompts – Volcanic devils, for Ragtag Community – Schism, for Sara’s Closet Full Of Notebooks Prompt – Opportunity, for Paula’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Reel Oven Hospital, for GC and Sue W Weekly Prompt – Reading and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Unlikely.

50 Paths Of Dorian

Hurricanes are notoriously harder to track than land-based weather systems and since the strong winds and heavy rains from a hurricane cover a path that is usually 100 miles or so across, they can change in less than a day.  Although the models have gotten much better, we still can’t really predict how strong they’ll be when they arrive, as most hurricanes are caprice having a mind of their own.  Some predictions say that storm is expected to grow in size and could hit Florida as a Category 3 hurricane by early Monday, while others say that Dorian is set to become a Category 2 hurricane.  Right now it is still a tropical storm and it is closing in on Puerto Rico.

Storms are exciting but they can be scary like a nightmare.  They can bring irrefutable danger with them, as the strong winds could knock your roof off, or you might be hit with some flying debris.  A hurricane can be an exquisite puzzle carrying exponential risks that might place you under a state of emergency.  When homes are destroyed and infrastructure is damaged, people could suffer a huge debt.  My biggest worry is losing the power, as that will prevent me from blogging and watching TV and I wouldn’t even be able to prepare any instant oatmeal.  I have a bunch of candles and flashlights ready, so at least I could play gin rummy.  NOAA plays a big role, doing aerial survey missions to assess damages to affected areas to develop recovery strategies, facilitate search-and-rescue efforts, identify hazards and to locate errant vessels.

I live in the Cambridge neighborhood at Kings Ridge in Clermont, Florida and they have already distributed these placards for us to place on our front door during the hurricane.  One side is green and it says “Okay” and the other side is red and it says “Help”.  When the hurricane arrives, I will stick the green Okay on my front door and hope that I don’t have to turn it over.  I did get to know some of my neighbors when my dog was still alive, as I walked her around the development, but now that she passed on, I don’t see that many of them anymore.  My neighbors are sort of friendly, but mostly everyone sticks to themselves.  We wave to each other, but I don’t really know many of their names.  My development has a block party every year, which I stopped going to and they also put out a quarterly newsletter, which I don’t bother to read.

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Exquisite, for Roger Shipp’s Daily Addictions prompt – Puzzle, for the Daily Spur prompt – Debt, for FOWC with Fandango – Irrefutable, for August Monthly Writing Prompts – Exponential risks, for Ragtag Community – Caprice, for Sara’s Closet Full Of Notebooks Prompt – Hope, for Paula’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Nightmare Oatmeal Gin, for GC and Sue W Weekly Prompt – how you really feel about your neighbors and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Errant.

Swinging In The Breeze

Some men just can’t keep it in their pants and they love to take it out and brandish their most prized possession any time they are given the opportunity to do so, putting their pride and joy on display, thinking this will stimulate another.  Size maters, but most women are looking for an average guy, one that is not too big, not too small, one which would work out nice because it would be manageable.  I guess that most women will weigh their options before they select a mate, but I don’t have any actual facts to make a substantiation of this claim.  I think that most women are seeking a commitment, someone that is in it for the long run, so they need to have a few lovers in order to tell what they actually like.  Love is not supposed to a surprise party where you are served mediocre manicotti.

A man must try to leave a lasting impression on the woman that he dreams about being with, so he needs to be versatile, because women are looking for both charisma and sincerity and not having both of these attributes would ruin the moment. I have always wondered if women find it irresistible or unattractive when a guy gets inked or a pierced.  I am not particularly fond of needles but I did hear about this tattoo butter from my Aunt Helen, which will moisturize your skin, so you won’t feel too much pain if you decide to get one.  Finding that special person who you can share the simple joys of life and being truly honest with is not an easy task and you may crash and burn a few times before you figure it all out and find the right person.

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Substantiation, for Roger Shipp’s Daily Addictions prompt – Moment, for the Daily Spur prompt – Burn, for FOWC with Fandango – Tattoo, for August Monthly Writing Prompts – Mediocre manicotti, for Ragtag Community – Charisma, for Sara’s Closet Full Of Notebooks Prompt – Surprise party, for Paula’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Aunt Sincerity Butter, for GC and Sue W Weekly Prompts of the Photo Challenge – Size matters and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Options.

Come See My Etchings

Back in the 60s, this was the line I used to seduce innocent young girls to get them into my room, so they would feel that it was proper to be alone with me.  After a night of shared passion, one girl actually asked me where my etchings were, which puzzled me as every other girl knew exactly what my intentions were.  I was in trouble, as I had no scintilla of artistic talent, so I showed her a picture of a flowerbed that my 8 year old niece drew.  She said that it was nothing more than masterful scribblings, and she did not consider it to be art.  I came clean with her and told her that I was a busboy and not an artist and that I only lied to show her that I had a sense of humor.

She told me that she was a lawyer and that she could sue me for false pretenses, because I misrepresented myself.  I told her that I had never gotten any complaints before from any of the other women who I lured up to my room to have sex with and I told her that it looked like she needed to unwind and said that I could rub her back for her.  She said that she wasn’t having any of that and she wasn’t about to be duped again.  I inquired about the trip or flight that she mentioned that she was taking and said that I could give her a pre-travel massage to help to loosen up and relax her muscles, as well as increase her circulation.  She reluctantly agreed and when I started taking my clothes off she told me that I should go on a diet.  I asked her if she wanted me to massage her breasts and she said fine, but don’t forget my beaver.  I told her no problem and said that I was happy that the beaver population was coming back in Maryland.

Written for Roger Shipp’s Daily Addictions prompt – Trouble, for the Daily Spur prompt – Trip, for FOWC with Fandango – Diet, for August Monthly Writing Prompts – Masterful scribblings, for Ragtag Community – Scintilla, for Sara’s Closet Full Of Notebooks Prompt – Sense of Humor, for Paula’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Busboy Flowerbed Maryland, for GC and Sue W Weekly Prompts – Unwind and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Flight.

Meet The New Boss

I drove to Fresno on my vacation, as I always wanted to see those Underground Gardens that were created by Baldassare Forestiere which consist of Roman-catacombs-inspired subterranean passages and courtyards.  I took this trip in order to enhance my wellbeing, as things at work got real hard for me to handle.  My work was never given the attention that it deserved, as I was always being kept in the shadow of my boss who would steal all of my good ideas.  He was a backstabbing glory hog who always presented my ideas, claiming that they were his to make up for his own shortcomings.  I purposely made mistakes on my last report, deciding this was the time to pick my battle.  As expected, he took all the credit and that lead to his destruction and now I am the boss and hopefully this will be for keeps.

The promotion came with a one month vacation which was fortuitous, but now I would be required to play golf, so I could mingle with the clients.  My game was OK, but I never had enough time for this sport and I needed to work on my loft, because I had a tendency to hit a lot of balls along the ground and that would cause me a lot of trouble at the course where my company membership was.  I decided to check out some of the parks in Fresno and I went to Woodward Regional Park which has a bird sanctuary and a Japanese garden.

Next on my list was an hour and a half drive to Yosemite National Park where I wanted to check out the waterfalls. California’s Sierra Nevada mountains are so serene with the giant, ancient sequoia trees and the granite cliffs of El Capitan and Half Dome.  I was lucky enough to get to see the spotted bat, with its huge ears and vivid white spots, which I knew was a resident of the park.  I went to the Ansel Adams Gallery and I picked up one of his nude pictures to decorate my new office.  I checked out the shops and I bought a cotton tee-shirt which looks great on me and then I went to a restaurant and had squid for lunch.

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Destruction, for Roger Shipp’s Daily Addictions prompt – Bat, for the Daily Spur prompt – Handle, for FOWC with Fandango – Shadow, for August Monthly Writing Prompts – For keeps, for Nova’s Daily Random Word prompt – Loft, for Ragtag Community – Fortuitous, for Paula’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Squid Cotton Fresno, for GC and Sue W Weekly Prompts – Parks and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Wellbeing.

The Drafter

After I received my Associates degree in Electrical Engineering Technology, I got a job as a drafter.  I did not learn anything about drafting in college, so I was not very useful to the company that hired me.  They only paid me $8 per hour, so I guess they were getting their money’s worth from me being a go-for and doing whatever I was told.  They set up a drafting class for all of their newly hired employees and I was selected to attend this class.  Back in the 1980s everyone was still using blueprints as engineering documentation.  This is before the technology of digital images was available that allowed drawings to sent to plotters that are similar to large laser jet printers.  Before the advent of CAD Computer Aided Design, all Engineering drawings were created on vellum paper, which was a thin parchment that was translucent and from this blueprints were made.

Manual drafting takes time and a lot of it is repetitive, so there were two methods available that allowed copying images to cut down on the time.  One method was to make a Mylar print and the other was to make a sepia print, which could both be reproduced and allow changes to be made on them, while the original remained intact.  Sepia prints normally formed dark brown lines, a brownish pigment the same color that is derived from the ink sac of the common cuttlefish Sepia, on to a translucent background.  Having the ability to create a secondary original and make alterations on this drawing saved a lot of time for drafters.  The ammonia based blueprint machines were eventually phased out when CAD came along and I was happy when I did not have to smell that anymore.

Written for GC and Sue W Weekly Prompts of the Photo Challenge Sepia.

Are We There Yet

A doubting Thomas is a skeptic who refuses to believe without direct personal experience.  This expression is derived from the apostle Thomas who refused to believe that Jesus was resurrected from the dead and had appeared to the other ten apostles, until he could see and feel the wounds received by Jesus on the cross.  Today our world is filled with propaganda, urban legends, scammers, disinformation, alternative facts that is known as “fake news”, so just because you can see and read something on the internet, that doesn’t mean that it can be trusted.  I feel that there is a line of demarcation between those people who question everything (the constant questioners) and those who are skeptical (people who are not easily convinced, those who have doubts or reservations) and this line lies in their intent.  The skeptic will take everything with a grain of salt, evaluating things while keeping in mind that it may not be completely true or accurate, typically due to the unreliability of the source, however their heart is set on rejection and disproving.  The constant questioner has a desire to learn and by asking questions, so they can make better judgments.  This type of person also enjoys engaging in conversation.

Humans are innately curious creatures and we look for reasons and causes that allow us to find answers for things that we see.  We question stuff all the time, so we can conclude what makes sense to us.  We are motivated by reason, logic, and fairness.  We make decisions for a proper course of action after we come to our own conclusions.  The more intellectually engaged humans will often do exhaustive research to obtain answers.  The constant questioner may be percieved as being overly curious to the point where they become a pest.

It is human nature to classify things into groups, because we use our brains to absorb information and we understand that information by grouping it.  Certain things fit nicely into groups and that is why we have nouns and verbs and apples and oranges, but people don’t always fit as they can reside on the line of demarcation that distinguishes them from being classified as a skeptic or a constant questioner, or they can waver to either side of this line depending on what day it is.

When I was in High School, before the days of the internet, I asked my Earth Space Science teacher, “How much does the Earth weigh?” With Google this search takes less than a second and it says 5.972 × 10^24 kg, or about 13,170,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 pounds.  Our Earth is much too big to be placed on a scale, so scientists use mathematics and the laws of gravity to figure out the Earth’s weight.  A much better question for me to ask would have been, “What is the mass of planet Earth?”, so my teacher explained the difference between mass and weight to me, with weight being the result of Earth’s gravitational pull on another object, and since the Earth cannot pull on itself, knowing Earth’s mass instead of weight is more appropriate.  I have always been curious and I just discovered that Earth is gaining weight!  At the present rate, Earth gains about 40,000 metric tons each year from space debris that bombards our planet, yet there is no reason for the Earth to go on a diet.

I believe that the constant questioner is different from the person who constantly asks questions like ‘are we there yet’, as it shows ignorance to keep asking the same question.  As Albert Einstein once said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”

Written for GC and Sue W Weekly Prompts where they have invited everyone to tell them if we are a constant questioner whose need for the facts goes beyond reason or do we know someone whose unreasonable interrogations tend to raise our blood pressure levels.