Thursday, March 15, 2018

Data Enumeration in the 21st Century

The BIOS beeps through its routines,
faster than you can say “boo!”
Then the initial splash screen flashes.
Another session of the latest flavor of
Windows ™ is under way  - Ten!

All of the processes, services, schedulers,
threads and multithreads are flowing fast.
Soon, you see your login screen with a
lavish nature scene as a backdrop.

It will not be long now,
only a few more moments and then
you will be on the worldwide Internet.
Wondrous at one time, perhaps now a bit archaic.
A smartphone will get you there even faster.
But the possible foibles have just begun.

A protocol stack in memory is funneling
your packets to far-flung servers all over.
The responses flung back your way may
contain good data, or they might be viruses,
trojans, malware, any one of a thousand baddies.

Thus, everything coming back into your machine
gets channeled through a firewall, and antivirus software.
The mass data dance is underway, full speed ahead.
Those thousands of interacting code and data pieces all
must do their part just so. Most of the time, they do.

To someone working in a time of punch cards,
paper tape, magnetic tape reels, it would be
magical to do it all from the palm of your hand.
Even that single-line monochrome message box
that an IBM ™ technician held back in 1986 seems
pitifully quaint nowadays.
An antique, an anachronism.

Now that we are all interconnected,
bad actors from around the world can
savage our advanced civilization –
for they have little to lose compared to us.
Enjoy the magic, but beware.

I hope we all get lucky tonight.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

A Day at Nelson-Atkins

The Assyrian Apiashal eyes something to the side,
while his Egyptian counterpart poses in a dress.
A venerable temple frieze several feet wide
displays some forgotten battle, won or lost.

Statuary from ancient Greece and Rome,
household tools and jewelry decoration,
Crude to us but part of some lavish home,
Last remnants of a once mighty civilization.

The hieroglyphics and cuneiform have long
since been replaced, yet hint at past majesties;
the proud power projection of old kingdoms
has given way to crumbled, looted tragedies.

On that day when our own vaunted artifacts
sit dusty in some museum, will they know the facts?

Will anyone care what really occurred on any date,
or simply marvel at the tragedy of our own sad fate?


Monday, February 26, 2018

Monday No Relief

Run to the bathroom 1 2 3,
as if to music, A B C.

Fighting this cold and ejecting germs,
run to the bathroom, glad it's not worms.

Hurry to the restroom but it is piss,
not hard or runny stuff oh what bliss.

Second nap of the day is concluded,
a quick toilet stop must be included.

Perhaps another cup of coffee for me,
twenty minutes later, yup, gotta pee.

Being sick on a late winter day
is certainly not all happy and gay.

Even though I find myself getting well,
these runs to the bathroom seem like hell.

Surely there is a light at the end of this tunnel,
and not thinking about a spacecraft piss funnel.

Okay, maybe I am, for the family car.
Can there be a restroom not too far?

Surely this grim Monday will soon pass,
these restroom visits are a pain in the ass!

  - end

Monday, February 19, 2018

School shootings etc

What has happened to us?
High school used to be such
an innocent adventure.
Dramas were not deadly,
just embarrassing.

Acne, being turned down for a date,
school dance gyrations,
Fun parties after school or on weekends.
Never saw any kind of gun at my school.

Now it seems they should issue Freshmen
Kevlar vests along with school lockers.
Perhaps issue a pistol to each student,
so they will have some means of defense?

Not so far-fetched anymore,
when mass carnage takes place often.
Will Level 1 trauma centers replace the
school infirmary?
We exist in a state of hyper-vigilance.
The new normal
is amped-up and always looking over our shoulders.

Something has got to change.
Mental Health for troubled teenagers is number one.
More and better mental health can impact these events.
Early warning of threatening posts can help too.
Stay safe out there.

- end 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Mall - Memories

The heady taste of whipped orange,
air-scented with cinnamon rolls.
Sparkling electronics with sale signs eyed,
a salesperson scoots over to offer assistance.

Walking along, eying storefronts,
dodging other shoppers. A mall experience
was a Saturday delight, made all the better by
the Montgomery Wards charge card in wallet.

The possibilities seemed endless.
Who cared about the snarky, sarcastic girls
in packs roaming near the batches of boys,
who were trying to look tough and nonchalant?

The only thing that mattered was that
brand-new vacuum, complete with
extra bags and a maintenance agreement.
That and the miniature television on layaway.

The things that kept a young man enthralled
back in 1978 would hardly elicit a sneer now.
But it was all we had, all we knew. When
Personal Computers showed up, it was an
earthquake of modernity.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

blanketed again

Here we are blanketed again,
set inside, next to you, my friend.
Temps are going down to single digits,
A warm house, hot food a good blend..

Let's see what is on the cable channels,
cheer our favorite teams on to victory,
 or at least console each other in defeat.
There will always be another outcome
tomorrow, and the day after, and next season....

Winter seems to drag on forever,
but is made tolerable by a lover,
sharing the pleasurable and the dire.
We will make it through this February,
just like all the miserable ones before.

Only six more weeks until spring!

- end

Thursday, February 08, 2018

The Elan of Elon

Twenty-seven motors fired in unison,
a mighty triple stack lifted to space.
Myriad systems orchestrated perfectly,
three booster rockets fired, then landed.

On top of it all sat a Tesla Roadster,
an electric car complete with a dummy.
“Starman” sat in the driver's seat,
while a certain David Bowie song played.

The Roadster is headed to a heliocentric
orbit around the sun, whizzing past Mars.
It will end up in the Asteroid Belt –
a human hubris artifact for the ages.

A monumental feat for the consummate
twenty-first century industrialist baron.

He sent one of his products into outer space.,
atop another of his products.
Who else can come close to such a feat?
Will they erect a statue of him on the first
established city on Mars? Sorry, Ray B.
First metropolis may be named Musk City.

Someday bored students may ponder
mystifying math problems in some
classroom at Elon Musk High School,
perhaps erected in Valles Marinaris.

They may wish they were famous like him,
and so could get out of doing homework;
Overlooking the fact that because he did his,
his name is on many institutions of higher learning.

My thanks go out to this uber-industrialist,
who has given our journey to the future a
vigorous kick in the backside.
We may yet be able to live and work
permanently in outer space.