Friday, October 3, 2014

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Chapter 11: All Things Embraced

The text below is from a novel in progress. First draft so there's still plenty of editing that will need to be done before it's "ready."

Phineas read the story again.

It started on the front page, accompanied by the most incomprehensible picture he'd ever seen, and he'd seen many, many pictures, the story lacked some detail but even the generalities and the statement from the first responders to the scene – “I've been a paramedic for 20 years and I have never, ever seen anything like this.” – were enough for Phineas to realize that he needed to find out what was going on there. One other strange detail – and there were no officials that even commented on how it could have happened – was the blanket media broadcast that occurred alerting everyone within a bubble of 20 kilometers to the address of the biggest crime scene that part of the country had ever seen. The fringe corners of the Internet and late night radio were inundated with various recordings of the soothing female voice repeating the address over and over. This was something Phineas found out later. He also found that several other details were being purposely omitted by the mainstream media.

There was no hiding the details though. The fact that media, curious people, and first responders arrived on the scene almost at the same time, meant that amid the chaos of the scene there was no control, no one to put up police tape and push people out.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Difference of Opinion

What did you do that last time you had a difference of opinion between you and someone else?

Did you reach for your worst insults and psychopathic ramblings, step menacingly forward and crunch a meaty paw into the face of the one that dared to voice a difference opinion? Did you just shrug your shoulders and carry on with a, "Hey, we don't agree on this but let's grab a beer?" Did you banter back and forth, ironing out the wrinkles between you? Grope for understanding or staunchly dig your heels in, not wanting to understand?

A difference of opinion, is that really licence to threaten the other?

From my corner of the Internet -- or least the view from my corner of the Internet -- is that one. If someone dares to offer an opinion different than your own that's a blanket licence to threaten not just the person that holds a different opinion but also threaten friends and family of that person. And if the individual with a differing opinion comes from a woman and involves video games... oh dear God.

Suddenly it's "okay" to assume the persona of the Zodiac Killer and tweet epically vile hate in an effort to elicit terror and fear. What the hell is wrong with people?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

"Listicle"

It's amazing to me that until recently I had never heard the word "listicle." Out of context, it could describe either a popsicle gone wrong or the way a man walks after having a testicle removed (i.e. listing to the side, like a boat taking on water). For the uniformed (and a reminder to myself), a "listicle" is an article on the Internet which is a list. (They used to call "Top 10's" but for some reason that fell out of favour -- and besides coming up with 10 of anything is hard. The 5-8 range is much easier to hit.)

Topics of these lists oscillate between dumb to incredibly stupid. You've seen them before and you probably haven't seen the last of them.

One that caught my eye recently was posted on Inc.com, "8 Things You Should Never Do in a Job Interview." The list included such common sense items as don't eat during the interview, don't slouch, and don't answer any calls or texts during the meeting but in practicality there's no end to a list like this one, so I present to you "8 Other Things You Should Never Do in a Job Interview."

Don't Shit Your Pants
Take care of any bowel movements prior to the interview. Nothing sinks your chances of a getting a job faster than filling your pants as you say, "It's nice to meet you, too, Gerry."

Additionally, try to empty your bowels at home because you don't want to be known as that would-be employee who fogged the bathroom with an unspeakable and nose-exploding odour. And if you landed the job... It's the kind of thing a person has a hard time living down.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Why I Wear a Watch

With the prevalence of cell phones and clocks seemingly embedded in everything, it seems that the wristwatch (and to a greater extent the pocket watch) is losing it's purpose. It seems like it has become a status symbol more than anything.

I've been thinking about why I wear a watch a lot this week because I had the battery replaced for my watch.

I don't wear a watch as a status symbol. Besides having the current time always a glance away, I wear a watch in case I need to improvise...

I trace that thought back to all the James Bond novels (the original Ian Fleming books) I read as a kid. Though it may have only been mentioned a couple of times as Bond thought of ways to escape some diabolical trap or gain an advantage during a fight, it seemed to be very practical knowledge:
If there's no access to a weapon, use your watch as "padding" for your knuckles .
It's a handy Life Tip, like using club soda to remove stubborn stains.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Some From Chapter 6 - DRAFT

The text below is from a novel in progress. First draft so there's still plenty of editing that will need to be done before it's "ready."

Nicola Tesla loathed the nickname “Tessie” but he put up with it from the most astute and clever clerk he’d ever employed. Mind you, the idea Tesla has employing the clerk was slightly misleading. Tesla was flat broke and all of his funding was courtesy of J.P. Morgan. If anything, Michael Silver was in the employ of Morgan. The thought temporarily infuriated Tesla but was assuaged by the thought of these secret experiments being carried out on Morgan’s financial generosity without the financier’s knowledge.

Employees, both of us of that drooling imbecile J.P. Morgan. I have the barest of authority here at what is to be my crowning achievement. Wireless is but a shortsighted goal. The horizon brings limitless power!

“Tessie, shouldn’t we make all haste to complete this run prior to arrival of the inclement weather?”

The Wardenclyffe Tower dominated the horizon, it’s massive base extending nearly 200 feet upward and the squat mushroom-like (and barely finished) dome on top. Tesla turned to face the south. The inclement weather was a hurricane remnant flushing across the Eastern Seaboard. It was expected to arrive at nightfall.

“Quite,” Tesla said, turning back toward the tower and increasing his pace. He felt light-headed. He must have forgotten to eat. For two days, at least, he thought.


Monday, April 14, 2014

A Metaphor for Maple Syrup

These days I'd like nothing more than to be able to write an epic novel that confounds critics and is generally inscrutable to the general public. After years of public speaking tours and millions of copies sold, most of them to unsuspecting university students since the novel is part of the curriculum, I would be standing at a podium addressing a gaggle of elite academics. I imagine most of them would be either stroking beards or leaning forward on a balled up fist, listening intently.

I would be introduced.

I would approach the podium and offer a brief reading.

Some earnest doctorate student would stand up to ask a question.

"But what does it all mean?"

And I would say, "It's a metaphor for maple syrup."

At which point I would kick the podium over and disappear. Stage right.