Project 313 – Post No. 073

A few posts ago, I mentioned Wabi-Sabi and how tourists value “hand-made” trinkets over mass-manufactured trinkets. But, how does one know if something is man-made by a true artisan of the culture or man-made by cheap labor in a third world country?

Some of the hand-sewn Hawaiʻian quilts one can find in local shops are hand-sewn but imported from elsewhere. Plus, sewing machines can now be programmed to produce irregular stitches making it seem as if the product was hand-sewn. 

Soon — if not already — automation will be good enough to mimic the imperfections of humans. In fact, AI-driven machines may surpass human ability to make something look like it was made by a human. 

It’s a bit ironic, don’t you think? If some artisan slaves away at making something and by sheer determination and skill manages to produce a flawless product, people might think it was mass-produced. Clams face the same issue when making pearls. 

I just read somewhere that artificial diamonds are now better at being diamonds than actual diamonds. 

I mention all this because we’re entering a time when the way we value things — anything from human labor to products to services — is likely to be up-ended by “smart” machines.  

There are two camps when it comes to talking about the coming (if not already here) AI revolution.

One camp maintains AIs — like other technological innovations in the past — will create jobs, not take them away. 

The other camp maintains that this is truly different; AI and AI driven machines will replace most jobs. 

Let’s look at two examples at opposite ends of the technological spectrum.

First, self-driving trucks. About four million men hold jobs involving some sort of driving. They will all be eventually replaced. The support infrastructure (processing, planning, loading, unloading, scheduling) will also suffer a large reduction if not outright replacement. Some people maintain this will create jobs but what kind of jobs? A typical 40+ truck driver with a High School diploma is not all of a sudden morph into a computer tech. Per everything I see coming down the line, those people will be out of their jobs and the only replacement jobs are likely to be lower paying and subject to increased competition thus ensuring the pay will remain low. They will, in fact, overlap the generation of truckers that would have eventually replaced them . . . and now have no jobs waiting for them. 

Second, let’s look at a radiologist . . . they spent a lot of money for school and earn a high salary . . . but there are already AI-driven computers that are more accurate in reading and diagnosing diseases by “looking” at x-rays. That’s because machines can differentiate many more shades of gray and colors than the human eye. In short order, patients will prefer/demand computers as opposed to humans reading their scans. Poof! A high-paying job out the window. What does this unemployed radiologist all of a sudden do? They’re highly specialized in a field that no longer needs them. 

I heard a good discussion of all this and one statement, for me, characterized the difference. The internal combustion engine was a great innovation but it is a machine. It was a tool used by people. AIs are not tools for humans . . . they are replacements for humans. Not only that, they can replace humans from the most menial and repetitive tasks to very sophisticated and complex operations. 

Some will argue that AI make mistakes . . . yes, and so do humans. Besides, AIs are already more reliable than humans. Automated manufacturing already produces higher quality products than those made by traditional workers on an assembly line. 

Other advantages AIs have . . .

They have immediate access to all prior knowledge, mistakes, successes, and can “learn” from all that data a lot faster than humans. Whereas a human needs training, an AI just needs a data portal. If I own a company, I know a human worker will take some amount of time before they can become proficient at their job, before they learn all the pitfalls, before they encounter all the obstacles that need surmounting to gain experience. An AI has all that a few seconds after it’s plugged in. If I need to make a change in the process, it means weeks of training human workers. It means an upgrade and reboot of automated machines.

Whereas the knowledge a human learns is difficult to share (apprenticeships take time) and is subject to an incomplete transfer, AIs can instantly share knowledge even with AIs in other parts of the world. There are no pay-grade tasks nor hierarchy of knowledge. Pick any of your AIs and they will all be as reliable and knowledgeable. 

Some say we are ten to twenty years away from AIs exploding into the work environment and because humans have a difficult time thinking much further than a few years, it doesn’t seem like an immediate problem.  Politicians think in terms of re-election cycles, so either two or four years.

Do you remember ten years ago? Doesn’t it seem like it was only a few years ago? Yup. Nothing to worry about.

And now, the photo:

Project 313 073

Some of these logos are easily discernable . . . others won’t be. Some people won’t like these treatments . . . others will. 

The cartoon reminds me of something I used to face in photography . . . I used to have a yard full of flowers. No, wait . . . I used to have flowerbeds full of flowers. Anyone who used to follow me back in the day knows I snapped many photos of flowers (for example).

I don’t recall ever clipping (picking) a flower and taking it inside to better control the picture-capturing process. Mind you, I’ve photographed picked flowers but they were bought by me (or others) as opposed to picked by me. An important distinction. 

Wait . . . I stand corrected. One instance of me picking something to photograph (HERE) although technically that’s not a flower. In my defense, I would have plucked that seed ball anyway and disposed of the seeds. 

Speaking of AIs, I wonder how they would see themselves . . . would they even take selfies? Paint pictures of themselves? I presume so if their consciousness is comprised of something resembling the ego. This is what a Computer Self-Portrait might look like. I think. Maybe. I guess we’ll have to wait and see. 

Computer Self-Portrait

 

And . . . that’s it

Some of these posts will likely be longer as the mood hits me, but most will be thus; short, uninteresting, bland, and relentless.

You can read about Project 313 HERE.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Note: if you are not reading this blog post at DisperserTracks.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Finally, if you interpret anything on this blog as me asking or wanting pity, sympathy, or complaining about my life, or asking for help and advice, know you’re likely missing my subtle mix of irony, sarcasm, and humor.

Posted in Other Stuff | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Project 313 – Post No. 072

This being Sunday (I think — I’m writing this on Wednesday) I thought I’d keep it light and reward the few new readers who stop by with something from back in 2015 when I did a post about Romance. You don’t need to click and read it because I’ll bring in the funny bits from it. 

First off, I tried my hand at writing traditional romance. Note: I edited and changed the name of the horse from PileDriver to Destiny. That’s because in the process of responding to one of the comments I realized that was a much better name. Anyway, here goes . . . 

Disperser Writes Romance

© 2015-2018 E. J. D’Alise

The wind kept Bafio’s hair from blinding him as they raced atop the black stallion, Destiny. Unfortunately, Bafio’s hair lashed at Iofna’s face as she tried holding on for dear life while sitting behind him. Her arms barely encircling his sculpted torso, she wished he hadn’t shaved his chest hair. At least that way she would’ve had something to grab onto. Iofna buried her face in the crevices formed by his also sculpted back muscles and pleaded for him to please stop.

“Stop! I can’t take anymore!” she yelled as Bafio’s hair snapped at her like a jealous lover. Sensitive to her predicament, Bafio slowed to a gentler pace, letting Iofna catch her breath and get a better grip.

“Ouch!” he yelled. “Not the underarm hair!”

She let go and promptly fell off Destiny, who kept on galloping. Luckily, Iofna fell atop one of the stallions massive dumps, which cushioned her fall.

With amazing agility and speed, Bafio dismounted the still galloping stallion, rolled, and ended up next to her in the tall grass, but clear of the dump.

He never gets any shit on him!” Iofna breathlessly thought.

Bafio stared into her eyes as he sought to remove her soiled clothes. He kept staring into her eyes as he fumbled with the knot securing the lacing of her bodice.

After a half a minute or so he lowered his gaze down to the knot. On the way, Bafio’s eyes feasted upon her heaving bosom. He would have gotten lost in the moment had he not remembered his own pectoral muscles dwarfed hers. He looked down at his own open shirt cleavage and did get lost in the moment.

“Hey!” Iofna yelled, “Eyes down here!”

“Sorry,” Bafio replied as he resumed his attack on the knot, now with renewed vigor.

“It’s no use,” he said after a few minutes of trying to get the thing undone.

“You have to use your teeth,” Iofna reminded him.

“Oh, right!”

Bafio dug into the suede material, bit down hard, and pulled with all his might.

The bodice came off and flew above their heads where the wind caught it and flung it at Destiny’s rump. The stallion, startled as it grazed, kicked hard and by sheer bad luck caught both Bafio and Iofna on the side of their heads.

His Destiny had brought them death and — finally united — would now spend eternity in each other’s company . . . unless passing scavengers made off with their various body parts. Damn scavengers!

The End

I thought it a pretty good effort given it was my first attempt at traditional romance writing. Later in the piece, I lamented how looks (beautiful or ugly) and money (poor or rich), or combinations of the two, always determines the romance either happening or not happening and how even if one of the protagonists starts out as ugly and poor, they eventually end up either beautiful, rich, or both.

I wrote this next bit as something you would never read in a romance offering . . . 

Disperser Extreme Romance

© 2015-2018 E. J. D’Alise

She saw him from across the room. The movement of his hand as he adjusted his package drew her eye. Well, it was actually his other hand lifting his overhanging stomach so he could reach his package that caught her eye.

No; truthfully, it was the whole; the gelatinous beer belly, the remnants of a cheese pizza on his pants leg, the unidentified stain on on his shirt (she hoped it was seepage from the open sore on his chin and not ketchup), the slack jaw, shifty eyes, and the way his greasy hair stuck to his scalp. She heard him belch and hoped his farts would be as loud.

Immediately drawn to him and hoping her vast inheritance and ample breasts would be enough to make that man hers, she went to him as a moth to a flame. Unlike a moth, she was already consumed; consumed by his intoxicating presence. No, really; he hadn’t showered for at least a week.

The End

I’ve learned a lot since then . . . maybe one of these days I’ll turn all my gained knowledge about writing romance into a masterpiece for the ages.

And now, the photo:

Project 313 072

Hmm . . . the white frame probably wasn’t a great idea given that the background of the page is also white. Oh well, whachagonnado? 

Recently, someone made the comment that my comments are often longer than their posts. Understand, these would be comments that I leave in response to other people’s posts. My posts are long enough that exceeding the word count in a comment would be truly impressive. 

I think I’ve come close a few times but only if I added all of the comments up and considered them as one offering. 

Anyway, I explained that through the years I’ve become sensitive to being misunderstood. Misunderstandings cause all sorts of  . . . well, misunderstandings. Ergo, even in comments, I tend to repeat what I say two or even three different times using different words and descriptors with the hope that at least one of the offerings sticks and the recipient would have to work really hard at misinterpreting what I’m saying . . . and sometimes, they do. 

Well, It’s getting late and I want to process a few more photos from the Pensacola Naval Aviation Museum. Believe it or not, I never presented any of the photos on this blog. 

I probably got sidetracked by this or that news item that riled me up and caused me to write lengthy castigations aimed at people who would never see them and wouldn’t care if they did. 

I’ve mellowed in my old age. Well, mellowed is the wrong word. I think we’re past the point of no return and are royally screwed and so I don’t see the point of getting all worked up. Even when something is so egregious that it does work me up, it doesn’t last long enough for me to put thoughts into words. Besides, there’s already a lot of my thoughts out there if anyone is really interested.

There is one thing that still gets me riled up . . . or it would if I had one. Right now we’re renting but I look forward to the day when I can once again open the door and yell out . . . Get Off My Lawn!

Get Off My Lawn!

And . . . that’s it

Some of these posts will likely be longer as the mood hits me, but most will be thus; short, uninteresting, bland, and relentless.

You can read about Project 313 HERE.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Note: if you are not reading this blog post at DisperserTracks.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Finally, if you interpret anything on this blog as me asking or wanting pity, sympathy, or complaining about my life, or asking for help and advice, know you’re likely missing my subtle mix of irony, sarcasm, and humor.

Posted in Other Stuff | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

Project 313 – Post No. 071

I mentioned views and likes and comments . . . what I didn’t mention is that I tag all of the Project 313 posts the same: doodles, humor, photographs. Nothing else. 

This goes against what most people advise as far as increasing traffic to your blog. You want to let potential readers know if they might find something of interest in your blog. Plus, you know, if someone is looking for humor, they might be surprised at finding 300-400 words dealing with serious and often depressing subjects. Where’s the humor, they ask. Well, there’s always a cartoon, but it’s like dieting so you can have an extra piece of chocolate after dinner. You won’t enjoy the dinner and the chocolate is not enough. 

I suppose I could change the tags, but that too can be misleading. Unless dealing with a specific subject, it’s difficult condensing the content of a post into one or two tags. 

I just looked and I have 1,330 blog posts and over 2,300 tags. I don’t think I actually have 2,300 different topics I’ve covered, so that’s more a matter of me being sloppy with the use of tags. That’s another thing they tell you when advising blogger what to do for increasing readership. 

That, and to be more focused and targeted when posting something. Of course, me being me, I tend to do the opposite. Hence why I go all over the place. 

Speaking of which, what’s with all these bloggers giving advice on how to get more readers? Only two things seem to attract readers . . . photos of cats and hinting that you have the secret to attracting readers.  

Try it. If you write a blog, title a post “The secret to having a successful blog” and then include a photo of a cat in the body of your post. You don’t even need any words (transient visitors seldom read words). 

I’m willing to bet that whatever your normal readership, that particular blog post will get at least three times the traffic you normally see and likely more. 

OK, I think that’s enough words for this first part.

And now, the photo:

Project 313 071

I’m trying to make these classic cars macros as unique and interesting as possible. Wait, that’s not true because I don’t know what’s possible. Let me rephrase that . . . I’m trying to make these classic cars macros unique and interesting.

How am I doing?

I mean, it sounds like that should be easy to do, right?

 

Most people tend to think something is easy until they actually try doing it. That’s where the saying came from. You know . . . those who can, do; those who can’t, teach. 

I know, I know . . . I should teach more and do less. 

Anyway, this is now at the end and all that’s left is naming the doodle . . . it sounds easy but all I came up with was . . . Dust Bunny on Steroids.

Dust Bunny on Steroids

And . . . that’s it

Some of these posts will likely be longer as the mood hits me, but most will be thus; short, uninteresting, bland, and relentless.

You can read about Project 313 HERE.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Note: if you are not reading this blog post at DisperserTracks.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Finally, if you interpret anything on this blog as me asking or wanting pity, sympathy, or complaining about my life, or asking for help and advice, know you’re likely missing my subtle mix of irony, sarcasm, and humor.

Posted in Other Stuff | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

Project 313 – Post No. 070

I’ve recently got reminded of Wabi-Sabi. Boy, if only the publishing industry accepted the idea, I’d be in great demand and have my stuff swamp everyone’s lives. Come to think of it, if that aesthetic concept had any merit, my blog would be the N0. 1 stop of the blog-reading public. 

On the other hand — as it seems primarily a Japanese culture aesthetic — it just could be I’m in the wrong country or continent. 

For them not familiar with the concept, Wabi-Sabi attests to imperfection and transience as having inherent value if not outright desirability. Based on the idea that nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect, the concept seems — at least from my non-Japanese perspective — very conducive to the appreciation of the world as is and valuing our differences instead of condemning them as flaws.  

Interestingly, many people instinctively apply the concept . . . hand-made things are often valued more than mass-produced items specifically because you can see the imperfections. The uniqueness of those imperfections creates a value beyond that of the object itself.

As a very simple example, I could go to Wal-Mart and buy a nice wooden Tiki for a few bucks . . . one that looks the same as a hundred others on the shelf. But, as a tourist, I might instead opt to pay someone at a local shop many times the price of the mass-produced piece for one nearly identical but bearing the marks of having been “hand-made” . . . in other words, flawed. 

We don’t seem to feel the same about opinions. When it comes to opinions, we want simple as opposed to nuanced; a simple sound-bite, as opposed to a complex and reasoned argument; black-and-white as opposed to gray. Imperfections make us think, and who wants that, eh?

And now, the photo:

Project 313 070

Many of these classic cars macros will suffer multiple treatments and some will be presented both as color and B&W offerings. And, of course, to the non-joy of some people, they’ll all be offered framed. Yay. 

Back to my favorite topic (at least these days), most of the strife we see in today’s public arenas stems from the fact that people assume everyone has the same goals. 

In many instances, that’s just not the case.

I’ll leave it at that as people likely aren’t thrilled with my philosophizing. Understand, my goal is not to bore the crap out of my readers or to assume they don’t know these obvious facts. 

I get that I occasionally sound like I’m lecturing. And yes, a part of me is lecturing . . . but not to you, my regular, smart, deep-thinking readers. 

I’m lecturing the transients who stop by this blog unprepared and receptive. If I can enlighten even one of the unenlightened . . . well, then, my job here is done. 

To wit, I think today’s doodle befits the discussion at hand . . . I give you Ts into Ys and Ns into Zs.

Ts into Ys and Ns into Zs

And . . . that’s it

Some of these posts will likely be longer as the mood hits me, but most will be thus; short, uninteresting, bland, and relentless.

You can read about Project 313 HERE.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Note: if you are not reading this blog post at DisperserTracks.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Finally, if you interpret anything on this blog as me asking or wanting pity, sympathy, or complaining about my life, or asking for help and advice, know you’re likely missing my subtle mix of irony, sarcasm, and humor.

Posted in Other Stuff | Tagged , , , | 15 Comments

Project 313 – Post No. 069

There’s been an interesting depressing shift in the way people discuss, report, debate, or otherwise explore pretty much any topic. 

I don’t know how many people know Ray Dalio . . . well, I don’t “know” Ray Dalio either. I’ve read some of what he’s written, watched a few of his videos, and did some light research on the man. None of that matters here because I’m sure if people are interested they will do their own research. I also want to stress I’m not a critic of the man and I’m not a fan of the man . . . like I said, I don’t know enough about him. 

. . . but I read something he wrote and it struck me how much it encapsulates the social, political, and economic states we find ourselves in. Here’s what I read . . . 

“It pays to negotiate by finding out what the other party wants most and try to give it to them and to have them reciprocate rather than to find out what will hurt the other party and give that to them because little wars have a tendency to quickly get out of control to become big wars and anyone who has ever gotten into a big war wishes that they hadn’t because they are so horrible.”

He wrote that in a piece dealing with the looming trade war but it resonates with me because I see the underlying message warning as applicable in all manners of dealings.

It also seems to me that as a country, as a society, as an economy, and even as individuals we’re taking an approach completely opposite the warning contained within that paragraph. 

Social issues challenges we face? Check!
Political issues challenges we face? Check!
Economic issues challenges we face? Check!
Interpersonal issues challenges we face? Check!

The sad part of all this? Easy; from history, we know that humans gravitate toward the inevitability of wars. Pinker’s contentions notwithstanding, we all know where all this is heading. We may deny it as we hold our breath until we get our way, or as we outscream the “other guys” until we get our way, or as we justify questionable actions until we get our way, but deep down we know . . . we know we are ready and prepared to go to war because we have no memories of what wars are like. Even those who remember have suppressed the horrors and glorified the act. 

I believe we — the collective we — have lost the ability to compromise, to “work things out”, to find the common ground that lets us go forward. 

You’d be surprised — or maybe you wouldn’t — how often I’ve encountered individuals who believe that those who hold different opinions from themselves (read: the group they identify with) have no value and the world would be better off without them. 

Yes; Republicans, Liberals, Democrats, Conservatives, different races, different religions, different genders . . . people who walk among us and who vote and yet don’t believe in opinions — and interests — other than those of their own groups as having any merit. 

I confess I’m there with them . . . I agree with all of them. 

And now, the photo:

Project 313 069

It occurred to me I wanted to relook at some of the macro shots from the 2015 Tri-Lakes Classic Cars Show I attended in — you guessed it — 2015. That’s the first of many. Some are going to be  . . . different. Still, I think they’ll have merit. 

I mentioned before the Willy ‘n Ethel (really, Joe Martin) comic offers keen observations of human nature and especially married life (although I think also applicable to other relationships).

Go ahead; read it again. 

As for the doodles, I often have to really reach in coming up with a name . . . but not this time. I give you . . . Mustache Infiltration

Mustache Infiltration

And . . . that’s it

Some of these posts will likely be longer as the mood hits me, but most will be thus; short, uninteresting, bland, and relentless.

You can read about Project 313 HERE.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Note: if you are not reading this blog post at DisperserTracks.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Finally, if you interpret anything on this blog as me asking or wanting pity, sympathy, or complaining about my life, or asking for help and advice, know you’re likely missing my subtle mix of irony, sarcasm, and humor.

Posted in Other Stuff | Tagged , , , | 19 Comments

Project 313 – Post No. 068

I’m cutting this close . . . This is supposed to go live in less than three hours. 

I was a bit distracted by something odd; I had many, many messages letting me know of “likes” to the previous post. And all of them from readers with weird long names . . . and all of them from Russia. I had over fifty notices of “likes” and the visit map showed the majority were from Russia. I occasionally get one or two views from there so this jump was . . . different. 

As I write this, all them “likes” and “views” have since disappeared. I assume WordPress took care of something or other that was happening. Still . . . I now have to wonder if I’m about to get elected President. 

Anyway, as I’m late in writing this, I thought I would copy and past one of my many flash fiction pieces since I got such a tremendous response to yesterdays fiction . . . not!

I mean, I knew from experience that my fiction gets minimal views, so it wasn’t a surprise and as the following is a rerun, it’ll draw even fewer pair of eyes. 

An Ordinary Hero

Copyright 2014-2018, E. J. D’Alise

The farmhand lifted his hand, shielding his eyes from the glare of the sun. He looked around. His adopted parents were working another part of the field, and his step-brother was getting a drink from the well.

The sound of horses drew closer. Twenty-seven riders crested the hill on a trot, they and the horses covered in dust.

Leaving the road, they rode toward him, spread out as they neared, and stopped after forming a circle around him.

“Are you Codrin Kouns?”

“I am,” the farmhand replied.

As he did so, Codrin focused his Chi as his now dead mentor had taught him. He’d never believed the legend, but it didn’t hurt being prepared.

Another rider spoke, this one a female.

“I am Tepin Nazarian, ruler of this land.”

Codrin registered her beauty, but also a coldness about her. He’d heard stories of her tyrannical rule and cruel treatment of her subjects. It was also rumored she liked broccoli. Codrin shuddered at the thought.

“You are the one from the legend; the one destined to end my rule.” As she spoke Tepin raised her hand. Twenty-six riders raised their bows in response, their notched arrows now aimed at Codrin.

“If you’ve heard of the legend,” Codrin replied as he steadied himself and gathered more Chi to his bidding, “then you know it’s futile to fight it.”

Tepin lowered her hand, and twenty-six arrows all but shredded Codrin’s head.

“Idiot!” Tepin said, and then she and the riders turned their horses and faced the rest of the people in the field.

“He probably believed all that Chi crap. Still, it doesn’t pay to have these legends linger.” Tepin pointed at the family now huddled by the well. “Kill them.”

Tepin the Terrible’s reign lasted two hundred years. During that time, she dispatched dozens of wannabe-legendary characters and ate lots of broccoli.

The End

As I said, this is one from a few years ago but that just gives the opportunity for readers to skip most of this post and just look at the pictures . . . if even.

And now, the photo:

Project 313 068

That’s a small part of a long mural lining a portion of Palani St. just before it turns into Aliʻi Drive. There’s another mural on the other side of the street. I’ve photographed them both a number of times and I’m not yet happy with the results. 

Still, one of these days I’ll have to break down and show the dang thing. 

Due to my solitary nature, I’ve never been one to have a group of friends (male or female) and especially not a group that would come by the house as depicted below.

I mean, we’ve had friends and we’d occasionally host poker parties or — when I was still playing — Magic The Gathering game nights. Still, those were mutual friends and not someone I hung around as in “doing stuff with the guys”. 

Certainly, I would never invite anyone over without it being planned. 

What I mean is, I’m with Ethel on this one. 

Another mandala-like doodle . . . I really should get more creative, but I do like these kinds of patterns. This one is called Impossible Labyrinth

Impossible Labyrinth

And . . . that’s it

Some of these posts will likely be longer as the mood hits me, but most will be thus; short, uninteresting, bland, and relentless.

You can read about Project 313 HERE.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

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Note: if you are not reading this blog post at DisperserTracks.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Finally, if you interpret anything on this blog as me asking or wanting pity, sympathy, or complaining about my life, or asking for help and advice, know you’re likely missing my subtle mix of irony, sarcasm, and humor.

Posted in Other Stuff | Tagged , , , | 17 Comments

Project 313 – Post No. 067

This post is long (but less than 1,700 words) because it incorporates a short story. It’s fiction. Flash fiction. It’s the first fiction I’ve written in months. It’s kind of silly and not that well-written, but just ride the notion of it and don’t look at the vehicle too closely. 

Here goes nothing . . . 

New Kid in School

© 2018 E. J. D’Alise

Dean waved at his mother as, by agreement, she left him at the curb and drove off. First day at a new school was bad enough, but to be accompanied by his mother would make him an immediate target.

Other students were also being dropped off and most paired off or joined existing small groups heading toward the front door. Showing a confidence he didn’t have, Dean merged into the flow; the new kid in school heading into the high school already in the middle of the school year. He knew from experience it wouldn’t be easy. 

He’d learned the key was to keep a low profile, avoid long eye contact unless confronted and walk with a measure of confidence. He’d learned that looking too hesitant drew bullies like predators to a wounded prey. He’d also learned to keep to himself until he figured out the school hierarchy. Most of all, he needed to quickly identify the bullies so as to develop patterns of avoidance. Hopefully, he could delay confrontations at least until he made some friends.

“You’re new here.” It was a statement, not a question.

Dean looked around and felt the cold jolt of fear ripple down his spine. Tall, strong, confident, attractive . . . jocks. Instinctively, Dean held his backpack a little tighter and said nothing. The adrenaline rush erased the chill of fear only to replace it with the heat of anxiety. He didn’t look away as he stopped and turned to face them.

He became aware of a bead of sweat traveling down between his shoulder blades until it caught in his undershirt and joined others that were already making his clothes feel clammy. He forgot to breathe as he waited to see what they would do.

“We’ll see you at lunch,” one of them said as they walked by Dean without stopping.

Dean turned and watched them walk to the entrance, not once looking back at him. He let go of the breath he had been holding and fought off a small shudder from the excess adrenaline.

So much for keeping a low profile,” he thought.

His morning classes were a blur; he didn’t remember the names of his teachers and only mumbled responses to other students who tried speaking to him. He couldn’t help but focus on the clock and count down the hours until lunch.

He formulated and dismissed various plans to avoid lunch altogether but, in the end, decided it was best going ahead with it. Whatever happened, he’d at least know what was in store for him for the rest of the year. By the time he sat at an empty table in the cafeteria, he was past anger and past fear. This was his lot in life, at least until he could graduate. Perhaps as an adult, he would fare better, but he’d seen enough of the world to know one never entirely avoided bullies.

He put his tray down at an empty table and looked around as he sat. People around him were involved in their own world and their conversations formed a general din that seemed normal and calming . . . or would have seemed normal and calming. He didn’t see the jocks and for a few minutes, Dean hoped they’d forgotten all about him.

But no; they came in together and after grabbing their food, they scanned the place and made a beeline for his table. Dean looked down at his food and mumbled responses as they each said some sort of greeting. When nothing else happened, Dean risked looking up. Two were discussing something or other, but the one seated across the table was looking at him.

“What’s your name?” the jock asked.

“Dean.”

“Hi, Dean. I’m Brian. These guys are Frank and Ted.” As he spoke, the other two briefly focused on him and said “Hi, Dean” almost in unison and then returned to their discussion.

“I’ll make this quick because we got practice. We three,” Brian said as he pointed to himself and the other two, “and two others are part of the No Bullying Enforcement Squad. We —”

“You’re what?” Dean interrupted.

Brian looked at him for a few moments.

“You thought we were going to pick on you?”

“I . . . yeah. I’m used to jocks . . . athletes bullying everyone,” Dean answered as he broke eye contact. “Look, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean —”

“Don’t worry about it,” Ted answered. “Sorry we didn’t make it clear earlier.”

“Yeah,” Frank picked up. “We just assumed you knew. Anyway, if anyone bullies you or you see anyone bully someone else, let us know. We try and work things out before they get out of hand.”

“Also,” Brian continued, “we hold a once a week class on basic self-defense techniques, but only if you’re interested.”

Dean just looked at them, his mouth open.

The silence stretched a few seconds before Ted rested his hand on Dean’s shoulder and said “Welcome to our school,” after which they all resumed eating and making small talk until the three finished eating and left a few minutes later.

Dean sported a silly grin as he watched them go. His phone rang to snap him back to the present.

“Hello?”

“You were supposed to call me,” his mother said, her voice tinged with worry. “How are things?”

“Sorry, Mom,” Dean answered, still smiling. “Things are good. No. Things are great. I think I’ll like it here. A lot.”

The End

I made a comment on a previous post that people with power and privilege should be held to a higher standard . . . it got me thinking that — in an ideal world — they should hold themselves to a higher standard. 

People with true strength and power don’t need to oppress or victimize others to prove or assert their privileged positions. If they do, they’re just bullies.

The world would be a much better place if people who enjoy a place of privilege, influence, and power would step up and ensure abuse doesn’t take place. If they made it their goal to use their power and privilege to make things better for everyone and keep things in check. 

I like that simple story but it is, after all, nothing but fantasy. By far, the experience I’ve had with people who have even a bit of power over others is that they tend to be jerks. No, sorry; wrong word. They tend to be bullies. The same often goes for most people who — because they won the genetic lottery — are bigger and stronger than average. Again, not all . . . but way too many. 

Some say we’ve become more civilized . . . I’d agree when looking at a broad perspective. I strongly disagree when I look at today’s athletes, politicians, supervisors, bosses in general, and most people in a position to exert their will onto others. 

It shouldn’t be, and it’s not universal but I’ve either been extraordinarily unlucky in my life or I’m correct in my view for my experience strongly reinforces my opinion. Heck . . . you just have to listen to the news and you can see for yourself. 

It’s not that there are no decent people out there . . . it’s just that decent people tend to have little influence, power, and prestige. I also think we’re going to see it get worse because even if regular people get a little power, most turn into dicks. Again, that’s based on personal observation and why I tend to shy away from organizations and groups in general. 

I’d love to be proven wrong, but it’s been 60 years . . . I’m kind of losing hope. 

And now, the photo:

Project 313 067

There’s a Gelato place we like to go to. They have the best selection and best-tasting Gelato in the island (that we’ve tried). It’s Gypsea Gelato. I also like punny names.

I didn’t pay much attention to the steering wheel but snapped a photo because it looked nice . . . it also happens to be authentic. It bears the mark of John Hastie & Co Ltd, steering gear manufacturers, Greenock, Inverclyde, Scotland. They made steam steering gears. Next time I’m there, I’ll ask them about that wheel. Perhaps they know the history of it and what ship it came from. 

Anyway, we’ve always had difficulty finding things we absolutely like. Sometimes you can get lucky . . . 

. . . but most of the time it’s hit-and-miss. The only way is to try places and when you find something you like, you latch on to it and hope they don’t change owners or go out of business. 

Of the two options, having them close is the best option because you’re at least left with good memories. The other way, where they change owners, or change the menu, or change cooks, is often the most disappointing because you’re left with — sometimes, literally — a bad taste in your mouth. 

I keep doing these doodles. Before posting any of the doodles, I always check what I’ve used before; they tend to blend into each other and sometimes I Can’t Tell Them Apart.

Can’t Tell Them Apart

And . . . that’s it

Some of these posts will likely be longer as the mood hits me, but most will be thus; short, uninteresting, bland, and relentless.

You can read about Project 313 HERE.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Note: if you are not reading this blog post at DisperserTracks.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Finally, if you interpret anything on this blog as me asking or wanting pity, sympathy, or complaining about my life, or asking for help and advice, know you’re likely missing my subtle mix of irony, sarcasm, and humor.

Posted in Other Stuff | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments