Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Real Politics

starts at home...

The council gets together and decides what to do,
then they sell it to the public with a big “woo-hoo.”
Representative democracy gives way to oligarchy,
the privileged few know how to work democracy.

It is so nice to have others make the decisions,
while we sit back and mock with derision.
But once in a while they can get it wrong,
remove or build anew where it doesn't belong.
Then duck the issue or sing the 'same old song.'

Forget the panic when a new President is elected,
and look away from that new Governor selected;
Your biggest concern as an involved citizen
should be your city leadership and their henchmen!

For they most directly affect your lives day-to-day,
if you are old or young, rich or poor, straight or gay.
So write those letters, attend the meetings, and vote
at every election – at least you can “get their goat!”


- end


Friday, January 13, 2017

For my cat-loving friends

Thought it was just fleas...

  When my beloved cat Coco came in the other day, I was a bit shocked. She had some raised areas on her skin, and scratched at these often. I just cursed and went for the flea spray. But when I spritzed her, she just stood there. Okay, what gives – usually she will go running for the hills when I deploy the spray bottle. Not this time. She just stood there, as if to say please make them go away.

      So I sprayed her all over and under, as good as I could. The bumps on her skin moved around, as if irritated. But they stayed in place, and I didn't see anything fly off of her. She smelled like an insecticide bath, but still stood there. Finally, she wandered off into the living room and lay down. I watched her for a bit, then resumed my other activities. Dishes had to be washed, clothes put away, that sort of thing. I saw a movement out of the corner of my eye, and turned. Something had detached itself from the back of the cat! I tried to follow it, but it was a blur in the air, and soon hid somewhere.
     I turned my gaze back towards the cat. Her back was moving around some. She looked back at me, and mewled sadly. As if to say,
Something is really wrong here, and I don't know what.

I knelt down, and tried to pet her, lumps and all. She yowled again. The lumps moved, so I tried to peel back fur and see what they were. A whitish bug flew right up at my eyes, and I naturally flinched. It darted off sideways, and also disappeared. I turned my gaze back at poor Coco's flank. The spot vacated by the flying bug had an angry welt and a spot of blood. No wonder she was yowling. But other bumps on her flank were still moving around. I peeled away fur on some of these, and a few of the flying things took off. But a couple just stayed, moving gossamer wings.
I tried peeling one off of her. It came out slowly, and Coco yowled, jumped up and ran off. I looked at it, but it fluttered fast, and escaped my grip.
     “Okay, cat, I'm just trying to help you out.” I let her and the bugs be a moment, busying myself with dinner preparation. She crept back around me, as if in forgiveness stance. So I quickly knelt down, grabbed her, and tried prying another of the damned bugs off. It seemed to disintegrate in my fingers. But she bled a bit, yowled, and struggled. Then she leaped out of my hands and ran off to hide under the bed.
     “I wish you would get back here and let me help you get those goddamned things off of you.”
I knelt beside the bed to see where she was, and was greeted with a low growl.
     “Okay, suffer then. Be that way.” I rose and headed back into the living-room. Three of the flying bugs were circling in the air now. What the hell are those? Moths?
As I got closer to eye them, one took a swoop right at my eyes. I swatted at it with my hand, and felt a stinging pain. “Ouch! You sonovabitches.”
     Bug spray might not work on these things. I need a swatter of some kind!
So I found a magazine, rolled it up, and prepared to go to war. I looked at my stung hand, and there was a spot of blood. Almost like it had jabbed me with something. They kept circling around the middle of the living room. If they were moths, they would have gone towards a light, I reasoned; but these just stayed in the middle of the room.

These things look almost....intelligent. As if they know what they are doing.

I held the rolled-up magazine partway up, so I was able to raise it when they all came at me at once. I swatted several times, and made contact with my hand. It was like swatting something metallic.
I saw one on the floor, and a second was stuck somehow to my magazine-swatter. The third was nowhere to be seen. Ouch! It got me on the neck. I smacked at it with a hand until it dislodged, and fell to the ground. My neck bled as if stung by a large insect. I was beginning to feel panic.
If three of these are that bad, what about all of the others on Coco's back?

I had to take stock, so I retreated to my office. None were to be seen in there. I sat down heavily, and pondered what to do. I couldn't just leave Coco. But if I took her to a vet, maybe they could deal with these – whatever they were. I had never seen anything like them, of course. And then the random thoughts crept into my mind. “Intelligent... Organized.....Metallic. It couldn't be...

A situation had presented itself that should have been impossible, but here it was. It just wouldn't go away. I thought and thought, turning it over in my head. And then when one of the silvery moths flew into the office, slow and deliberate, I knew what I had to do.

I presented my open palm for it to land on. It did so. Instead of sticking me right away, it seemed to sniff around with some tiny whiskers, that tickled. I held still and let it do its thing.
Soon, I felt it penetrate my skin with a few tiny things (wires?). I felt some strange sensations going up my arm. These subsided, and then there were some noises going on in my mind. I tried to direct some thoughts back towards the source. And after sitting there for an hour, letting the Moth-creature direct my thinking, we had established a simple language. Pictures of a crude spacecraft, a planetary system far away. Earth, our forests, our weather. My cat. They had tried communicating with Coco, poor thing. Soon, there were about twenty of the silver-moths coming into the room and landing on my skin, hands, face. But Coco was running around the house now. I stole a glance at her. Her back was clear. She came up to me, and let out some meows, as if to say, Thanks for getting them off of me – and onto you!

But I subsumed myself into internal chatter back and forth. The moths were actually cybernetic explorers. And they were using my nerve pathways to talk to me – and each other. I tried to help them as much as I could. But soon I began to get a nasty headache, and my muscles were twitching and aching. I finally managed to send some pleas to the creatures.
Thank you for telling me about your mission and your location and everything else. I have tried to help you. But my body is wearing out from your data exchanges. Please could you give me a rest, or go find another host?
'We will find another host. Thank you very much for your assistance. As a token reward for your help, we have given you some improvements. Be sure to take daily vitamin supplements. This is a must, for your survival, human. Take your supplements. Thank you again, and farewell. Open your so that we may go.

They all rose off of me as one, a fleet of 20 or so. They stood off about two feet. Then I said “well, duh.” and went to open my door and let them out. They executed a pirouette, and then flew out the door, into the dusk. I shut the door, and looked over my hands, arms. There were no marks or bites.
Did I just imagine this?

But then my memory replayed segments of the experience, as if on demand. I watched in my mind's eye crystal clear as it replayed snippets, concluding with me letting them out the door only a moment ago. A final scene was of me swallowing a few multivitamins.

Wow, but my memory seems to have improved or something. Was that one of the improvements?
I went and found coco, who had jumped up on her favorite perch, my office chair. She was licking the areas of her back they had tried to probe. But when I softly stroked her, she purred, as if to say, “All is well now.”

Some facts crept into my head about giving her some special diet cat food. As I have since discovered, my brain is operating more and more like a supercomputer. I have near total recall, and photographic at that. I can read a book, synthesize it into my knowledge database inside, and remember everything. It is fantastic. But if I skip taking vitamins, I get nasty headaches, and I mean head-splitters. So I guess I'm forevermore addicted to multivitiamin-minerals. I took those anyway, before all of this.

I've been watching the news to see if anything has been reported on a “First Contact” event with an Extraterrestrial civilization. Nothing there. Just a few reports of a silver moth infestation. And a surprising spike in our local schoolkids scoring at the top of their rank on the SAT test. Coco sits on my lap, watching with me. After each story finishes, she looks up at me and gives out a low grunt.
I can swear she is giving me a grin, as if to say, how about that, huh? She seems to understand human language now. And I mean literally understand it. I must have the first cat in history that can truly understand the spoken word.

But knowing my Coco, she will still ignore me, whenever she feels like it. Feline nature never changes.


Monday, January 09, 2017

Throwing It Off

It has been heavy and cloying,
this wet blanket of Flu misery.
Every day it lightens a bit,
I breathe a bit easier,
coughing is more effective.

It is a slow process,
this recovery of my full
physical and mental powers.
Naturally I am impatient;
there is a lot I want to do!

But I remember how I felt last Monday,
like walking death, and see some others
sick and absent from work now.
Count my good fortune that I'm
further down health's path,
and my even be able to go out
this coming weekend.

Good riddance to nasty flu viruses
forever, may they never come

near me again, ever.

- end


Friday, January 06, 2017

Opening the algebra text after many years did it

Cracking open a math text after ten years,
cracked open bottled-up inadequacies.

To be young and full of worry juice,
mired in a thousand feelings and desires and fears;
Financial headaches and acne tribulations.

'Drugs are not getting any cheaper,
and if you are caught the fines are steep.
Being a teen or twenty-something has never
been easy, but is getting harder than ever.'

Difficult to believe that all the older folk are
jealous of your youth and want to be young again.
You would just about trade it all for their financial
security, their later-model car, house, and freedom.
(Unless it included a bad marriage, problem kids, etc).

The grass is always greener, and everyone wants what someone else has.
At least we're still on the "right side of the grass."





Sunday, January 01, 2017

HNY 2017

Another year finally won,
another year already begun.
Cast away those regrets,
“What's done is done.”

Time to set new goals,
finish work and have fun.
The days are getting longer,
we will see more of the Sun.

Rest up today then dig in tomorrow,
launch new initiatives and finish old;
Return items and money borrowed,
Create memories to cherish like gold.

We are still here to carry the standard high,
leap over obstacles, look up, let our hopes fly.

HNY 2017



 - end


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Slog Through Years Pass

Another year drags to an end,
while many celebrities meet theirs;
Cherish those whom you call friend,
Together make merry and postpone cares.

Economic upheavals and presidential elections,
killings and riots and natural disasters aplenty.
This year has exceeded the usual standards
of bittersweet news shown in prior years.

Amid mall riots and superpower threats,
any and every dark imagining come true –
Take heart and remember:
You could be out plowing a field with a horse,
or huddling in some medieval shack starving.
You could be a slave suffering to a swift death,
or soldier slowly dying on some distant field.
You could wither under onslaught of black plague,
typhus, malaria or one of many other maladies.

When the Ipad chimes, the phone dings, the computer hums
quotidian refrains you can get down on your knees and thank
any god you please to be born in the here and now.
Even as we go forth to another miserable year
of terrorism and stupid political tricks...
Best of luck to us all.


- end

Monday, December 26, 2016

Good Riddance 2016

They all left us too soon:

Anton Yelchin,
Leonard Nimoy,
Prince,
David Bowie,
George Michael,
George Kennedy,
Muhammad Ali,
Robert Vaughn,
Florence Henderson,
Gene Wilder,
And many others.

2016 seems a line of demarcation;
the old passes, the new awakens.

Loved and favored actors and actresses
who gave their all for us,
give way to
ubiquitous, pervasive Internet
Artificial Intelligence,
Robotics maturing,
New Cold War,
and a bevy of younger entertainers
moving into the mainstream.
Time to yield the stage to the new greats,
the ones whom Millenials will mourn
many years from now, or in some cases,
not so many years after all.

We can cherish the good memories
they have all given us over the years.


- end