Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Lovely Quote

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

-Robert A. Heinlein

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Saw this picture, and wanted to see if I could do a "story" of two sentences about it.

Looking back, Alzheimer's seemed not so bad for poor Grandpa Whately.
Especially since the Rest Home won't let him back in.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Cog: Prologue

The following is the only part of Cog so far that I am remotely satisfied with. Its a short little intro, and I am fond of how is came out. Short, sharp, and with at least one character I intended to be faceless standing out and possibly being more of a factor than I had originally planned. The little intro line at the start is an attempt to seem archaic and interesting, but I'm afraid it may just make me seem like a pompous dick.


Introduction: In which we are introduced to a man of great importance to coming events, and bid him farewell at the hands of other Dramatis personæ

In other circumstances the Comptroller would have been proud, perhaps boastful, of the speed with which he moved his otherwise ponderous bulk down the access ramp leading out of the pumping station. In the same circumstances any bystanders would have been outright amazed. Granted he was moving down a ramp so momentum was garnered from his considerable mass, but even so one could not deny that he was approaching the personification of the Irresistible Force. His body shook with each jarring step, flesh heaving from his running, the thudding of custom made boots against the rusted metal ramp that moved alongside the aqueduct, an escort for men to match the critical resource that ran within the glazed clay trench.

The men behind him had no pride or amazement, only frustration as they chased their quarry through the darkness that had settled around the pumping station now that the industrial area it serviced had passed into a sleep cycle. Power cut to service other sectors left he area cold, quiet, and silent but for thudding feet and the labored breathing from the hunting party and their prey. He whipped his head about, vision blurring as his view swung crazily about, eyes wide, frantic, seeking some sort of shelter. The change of perspective finally ended his personal record-setting flight As he failed to notice A rusted bar at his feet that caught to tip of his boot and sent him sprawling across the ever-present rusted plate that served as a walkway in all but the richest areas of the city. His skull hit the ground and sent his glasses skittering away, the sound of the glass lost in the rattling crash his body threw up like a warning alarm to his death, which now approached with cheers of success. The prey was down, now came the kill.

Where are the drones? His mind screamed as he scrabbled away on all fours now, small droplets of blood welling from the metal shavings that poked his hand. The plant was down, but those creepy, soulless things should still be nearby, on standby mode. The should have picked up the anomalous sound, should have told CPU, should have...

The unmistakable stactto thunk-hiss of an automatic rifle filled the air, and he felt the pneumatically thrown dart rip past his ear... no, through it, as pain blossomed, blood arcing up and out after the projectile's passage like water from a child's mouth in the baths. He screamed, a half-mad sound, but tinged with success. CPU. The base of this aqueduct section was an outflow gate. The cameras! The cameras!

Comptroller Reflo (His full name, though eh always preferred just “Comptroller” to help convince himself he was somehow above the rest of the seething functionaries that shared that title) hated the drones, hated the cameras, had always fought to keep his spaces clear of oversight. Privacy was power, success, he always said. A man must have his solitude, he always said. The CPU was for lower people, the upper folk don't need it he always said.

Fucking cameras couldn't come up fast enough, he now said.

There would be cameras at the outflow area, to monitor that they were being opened and closed properly, since this was controlled by men and drones, not CPU directly, and that meant it would have its glass eye on it. CPU always watched places of interest. It had to know. Pushing off with his feet, he scrambled to the side of the aqueduct and grabbed the lip of the stained white retaining wall. His shoulder slammed into it with the speed he was moving, and stars again swam, the world blurring, only snapping back to focus when another dart tore into him. Shoulder blade splintering with a disgusting, meaty cracking sound, he cried out again, eyes watering.

Fight it, you have a head start. Fear, pain, all of it pushed his out of shape body to the limit, but he stumbled out into the open area around the gate, looking wildly around as the clattering of combat boots got closer. He spied a camera, never so happy to see the eye of the CPU, and stopped. Froze. Blood solid in his veins as he took in the ragged, boxy device, the polished eye, the... unlit light.



“Unlit,” he croaked out, throat suddenly dry and every muscle in his body alive,awake, and clamoring to tell him how much they hurt all at once, adrenaline flooding out. He'd never in his life even seen an unlit camera. Even when power went out to a sector, the CPU watched. The cameras glowed. He always knew where they'd be, where the computer's eye was, to be avoided and now...
Turning with a laborious exhalation of the last breath in h is burning lungs, Comptroller Reflo slumped back into the retaining wall, causing it to creak just slightly under the pressure. The hunters closed in around him, slowly moving forward with knives at the ready. Ammunition use would be a waste when they can simply render the man by blade.

Writers block.

Lets be honest, my novel has been stalled in a pathetic state for ages. I can blame a number of things, but even now when I sit with a clear head to write it, I can't. I look at where I left off, and just get lost rewriting passages long ago proofread, or struggling with where to go next while this sense of dissatisfaction tugs at me.

So fuck it, I'm going to start that shit ovcer.
Yeah I know. Its retarded. But fuck, if I can't get past a chapter because its now an addled mess of half assed rewrites over 2 years? And I can only do about 3 pages at a time at best because I constantly am reworking it? Yeah, there's an issue with it, and a serious one at that.

So. Going to scrub everything but the prologue. Cause fuck it.

Friday, June 17, 2011

My First Post, My First Arrest

I feel like I should have done some sort of "introduction" post here, but I think its better to just... post a real blog entry. Its more honest, less indulgent, and gives you a better sense of me.


I was fucking arrested earlier this week. Fucking. Arrested. Cuffs. Lights. A fucking cell.

I'm a Jew, we don't do well in jail, so this was somewhat agitating to me. I was going to write a nice, gentle, pithy post, but fuck it, profanity seems to fit the situation perfectly. Besides, I was on the inside. I came out a changed man, darker, edgier. I was going to shank the biggest guy I was incarcerated with to earn respect, but I was alone in my cell and I think it would have done little for my street cred to shank myself.

How was the illustrious author arrested, you ask? Was it because I finally snapped and hunted down some idiot on the internet who uses “u” and “y” instead of “you” and “why”, killing him by ramming his keyboard down his throat? Did I get arrested by pressing my bare rear end against the window of a Democratic Congressman? Did I get caught trying to induce a suicide cult for the lulz?
No, I say, none of those expected outcomes. Indeed, I was arrested due to the power of Red Tape.

I was driving. It was a nice day. I had music playing, and was passing a town I never had any interest in visiting. Suddenly, behind me I see lights. The fucking blue and red of “You gon' get legally raped” in the rear-view. This officer had been hovering behind and to my left for a mile, hence my pulling up to let him in. Officer of the law needing to merge, me being a good citizen, doing my civic... fuck. He's pulling me over. Fucking goddamn cops. Note the immediate change.

As an aside, I've found that one's respect and like of law enforcement officials suffers a dramatic change when one is being pulled over.



The officer helpfully informs me that I was 'too close to the person in front of me'. The fact that I did so because he was acting like he wanted to get in behind me went unremarked upon as he was too busy being more helpful in explaining how it was one of the “Fatal Five” or something.

I swear to fucking god, that’s what he called it. The Fatal Five, sounds like a fucking comic book villain team. “The Tailgater faces off with Spider-man! Next month! THE RETURN OF THE FATAL FIVE”. Jesus H fucking Christ on the handlebars of a tricycle peddled by Shiva.

So anyways, after telling me about the FATAL FIVE with the seriousness of explaining to me why I was being arrested for plowing through a pack of preschoolers, he asks me to step out of the car.

Then asks me if I have any “weapons”. I decided my snide wit was not a factor, but was now quite agitated. I knew, right now, I was going to be arrested for some reason or another. There was two officers now there, and even though he'd told me it was going to just be a “warning”, he was acting like I was going to get cuffed.

It was, to say the least, fucking surreal. I had apparently done nothing wrong, but I was being checked for weapons and my car was being searched. The fuck? Looking back, its clearer to me now, that I was likely going to be ticketed for something, they just hadn’t found a good reason yet.

I never really thought about it at the time, given the whole “Don't want to piss the cops off” thing, but fuck fuck fuckity fuck. Its feeling like they were fishing.

So, I sit down, he runs my license.

Its apparently suspended.

I was unaware of this. I tell him this. Indiana never told me of this, no one informed me, what the fuck?

This is also where he tells me when he pulled me, he smelled “marijuana”.

Ooh fucking BULLSHIT.







Oh well, Mr Officer replies.

And on go the cuffs.





For something he keeps telling me is “making him feel bad” and “I wish I didn't have to”, which I think may be BS because again, they were treating me like John fucking Dillinger from the start.

Now comes the most bizarre part of our sordid tale.

He starts discussing payment options. Not a bribe, obviously. He's talking about bail.

But this is what he goes immediately to. Not things I can do. Where I'm going. Where my car's going. No, how I can “pay”.

I'm being told they accept credit cards so I can purchase my freedom. I'm panicked right now. Its surreal. Its fucking wrong. I'm being cuffed for a bureaucratic oversight, I'm being arrested, and the cop wants to discuss my “payment options”.


This would be my mental state at this point.

So I'm brought into the County Jail (FUCKFUCKFUCKFUCKFUCK) and there's two officers who obviously don't give a shit if I live or die. A few phone calls later, bail is set up, I'm going to get out...

And then I'm put in a cell til my “payment clears”.


So there I am in a tiny concrete room without a working sink, with a solid metal door without a window so I have absolutely no view of the outside, and two mattresses that smell like hot bum and sick, and they won't let me take my laptop or a book.

So its just me, two mattresses, and my clothing. Minus my belt or shoes since I may try to kill myself, being a criminal.

Criminals are like that. So basically in the eyes of the state troopers, I've gone from a cheerful, if surprised, college student being pulled for a minor infraction to a tough, nasty criminal type who may try to harm myself or others given access to shoelaces. A haze descends, I'm feeling it. The Man is oppressing me. Soon this becomes the only world I know, the outside is scary, I can never be out, I'm inside, I'll always be inside, I'll...

Oh shit, they're opening the door. Right as I start to pee.

Gee, thanks.


So without further ado, I am deposited outside, without even being told where my car is. The next 3 hours are spent wandering a town, getting a ride from a sweet little old lady, getting my car from impound from a dude with 3 teeth, and figuring out how the FUCK I'm getting home.

And that's the story of my first arrest.

P.P.S. In the interests of brevity I have left out a single thing that was a constant through this entire experience: The fact that in the back of the squad car there was a dog. Barking. Like fucking crazy.

The entire.



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