Floofiebrity

Floofiebrity (catfinition) – the quality of being a feline.

In use: “The tabby’s floofiebrity inspired her to decide that being herself was best expressed not by conforming to others’ expectations, but by finding and being her own true, confident self.”

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The First Major Injury

It might just be me, but I think it’s pretty damn impressive that the volcano in Hawaii has been getting more and more jiggy, but it’s only today after two weeks, that the first major injury was reported.

I don’t envy the victim. Sitting on his third floor balcony, lava splatter hit him on his leg and shattered it below the knee. That’s how it’s been reported.

I appreciate technology more with this eruption. It’s amazing to see those explosions and flows, something that I can see from my home’s safety in Oregon as the volcano blows thousands of miles away. Jaw-dropping is the term I often hear when the footage is described. I, with my limited imagination, think, stunning and powerful.

 

Sunday’s Theme Music

Wasn’t streaming anything in my head this morning, save the theme music from “Magnum, P.I.” by Mike Post. I think Mike Post wrote half of the theme music for television shows in the seventies and eighties. Sure seemed like it.

I decided today needed something crunchier. As I walked, my mind recovered a little gem from 1999 by a man named Lenny Kravitz, “Fly Away”. I like those opening chords, and the general message, “I’d like to fly away.” 1999 was a damn fine year for me, maybe my favorite year.

Crank it up and sing it with Lenny. You can even play the air guitar.

Cat Day

I guess, to give it a start, it began with the cat.

The rest is backdrop. Setting. Background. This started with the cat and her kittens.

They were totally unanticipated. We were starting another football season. Done in by injuries, my team had finished second, losing in the Superbowl by two stinking points the year before.

Unfortunately, I lost to iBot. He’s the housebot. Thinking I’d be funny and play against casting, iBot has the most masculine personality among the bots. I also made him the most abrasive. So losing to him sucked. iBot isn’t a gracious winner. I guess I should say, wasn’t, since we’re talking about the past.

There were twelve of us, and the eleven bots. Our league was three divisions of four teams each. You played your division opponents twice, and each team out of the other divisions once, for an eleven-game regular season. Then we had the playoffs. Eight teams with the best records squared off.

Cat Day, as iBot officially named it, was the first day of the season. I thought I could take the Lombardi that year. We were playing by the 2030 rules. I had Ben Roethlisberger at QB (my Dad, before he was killed, used to tell me I was a big Roethlisberger fan when I was young), with Franco Harris (Grand Dad’s favorite) in the backfield, Mike Webster at Center (another of Grand Dad’s recommendations) and big Gronk at TE. I’d managed to add Alan Faneca. Wide receivers were Antonio Brown with Larry Fitzgerald in the slot. It was on defense where I’d improved, managing to add Ron Woodson, replacing Sherman, along with Troy Polamalu. I’d had enough money to get the 2010 version of Troy to go along with my 2009 version of James Harrison. I was set.

I’d settled into the Immersion Deck, opening day at Heinz under a gorgeous warm fall day. The crowd was roaring, my beer was cold, and my pizza was hot. TinBot’s Bengals, with Tom Brady under center, was my opponent. TinBot had finished last the previous season. He’d given up a lot to get Brady, although it was old Brady. I expected a good game.

They’d just placed the ball at the twenty when the alarms went off. iBot immediately roared, “Game’s starting. Shut that fucking alarm off.”

Arya said, “It’s an intruder alert. We can’t just turn it off. It must be investigated.”

“You’re fucking security,” iBot said. As Arya said, “I know who I am,” iBot finished, “Get it done, bot.”

“Game pause,” I said, as the only human, and the only one for which an intruder actually mattered. “Delay the starts until the alarm is resolved.”

While every bot except Arya cursed me, I brought up the security monitors. I figured this was a false alarm or malfunction.

“Where is it, Arya?” I said.

The interior cams caught her moving across the domescape. Drones overtook her.

“Don’t know yet, boss,” she said. She carried two weapons. The drones were armed, too. I pitied any intruders Arya might find.

The security net immediately pinpointed a breach back by a drain. That worried me. As the drones closed on the grassy place beneath a big black oak tree and hovered, their cameras picked up the cat.

“A cat,” I said.

“Yeah, we all have fucking eyes,” iBot said. “Thanks for the news report, egghead”

Protecting three kittens, the cat looked unafraid and ready to fight. The kittens looked like they were just a day or two old.

Arya arrived on the scene. She had her weapons ready. “Instructions,” she said.

“Nuke ’em,” iBot said. “The game’s waiting. Kill them and let the games begin.”

“No,” I said.

I had no need for a cat and kittens. I’m not an animal lover. I have livestock but that’s because I eat real food.

But I saw no reason to kill the cats. She looked like my first girlfriend’s cat. The girlfriend was Joy. The cat was Snuffy. Snuffy was male, though.

A cat with kittens in my sanctuary sowed a shitload of questions that required answers. Besides the breach, her presence meant something was going on outside of my fortress. Plus, being in the dome was one thing, but how had even reached it was almost as critical.

Shit. I didn’t say it, but I thought it about nine times in a row. I wasn’t going to start the football season that day. Not until I knew what the hell had happened to my security and what was going outside of my fortress.

So, see, that’s the day everything changed.

On Cat Day.

 

This Is Your Life Dream

Of an indiscriminate age, I was at work somewhere. The place was vague, basically dark office facilities somewhere, like I worked in during the forty years that I was employed or in the military. My occupation and that location weren’t defined. Tired, I was waiting for word that I could leave. I was almost asleep. No one else was there, but every now and again, as I waited, the theme music to the old Tom Selleck “Magnum, P.I.” television show would play. I don’t know its source, and its timing for being played seemed random.

A phone call came in. It was my old friend and boss from my start-up years in coronary angioplasty. I could go home now, but I needed to be back or call in at ten. There was big news, and it was really exciting. Laura wouldn’t say more, but she seemed pumped.

Ten was only a few hours away. I hastened to leave but decided the place needed to be tidied before I left, to present the right image. As I began that, another guy, from my military days in Germany, came in. I started cleaning, and told him to help me. The two of us began picking up and doing dishes.

A friend from my time stationed at Kadena Air Base in Okinawa came and went. Then some friends from my assignment in Germany entered. I was almost done cleaning, and was hurrying to leave. Their arrival slowed me. I had some stuff to take with me. I wanted to put it in a bag, but the others would ask me questions and divert my attention. I kept going back to get a bag.

An ex-commander came in and ordered us to run a mile. When he did that, I saw that there was a quarter mile track. Everyone else began running. Food was being served. I think it was soup. Some of the bowls being used had been washed but were still dirty. I realized that the other guy had done a poor job of washing the dishes. That pissed me off, but I took it on myself to collect the bowls and wash them again, and then I rushed out and ran the mile, as directed.

The “Magnum, P.I.” theme music played. Time was running out. I  felt exhausted. I just wanted to put my head down and sleep. I began believing that there wouldn’t be time to leave and call in, and that I would be better off staying where I was. I didn’t want to accept that. Others were talking about the news. The others were mostly military friends and co-workers, but there were some people there from my civilian work. The military personnel heavily outnumbered them, though.

I finally found a bag. It was a folded brown paper grocery bag. Another friend of mine saw me with the bag and said, “That’s what I need.” I took him back to the bags, showed them where they were, and gave him one. I put my stuff into a bag. I thought that I couldn’t leave but needed to wait, but I was stumbling around in exhaustion, with my eyes barely open, so tired that I struggled to think straight. I was asked to set up a connection using the phones for a conference call, but my lack of rest kept me from doing it right. What should have been done in seconds stretched out as I had to start over several times.

Laura, my old boss, arrived to give us the news. She saw me and hugged me. Everyone was told to gather to hear the news. The “Magnum, P.I.” theme music played.

Putting my head down, I went to sleep.

End of dream.

####

Writing this helped me recall and realize the elements in it, and put it into perspective. That’s why I write, to help clarify what’s in my mind and help me understand what I think. Running around, and being delayed, doing my duty, catching up, and waiting…it all made sense. Even the theme music from the television show made sense. They’re re-booting that show, the current entertainment parlance for remake. They like to say something is being rebooted, or re-invented. I believe that I’m being rebooted, again, as I was with so many military assignments, and then again with start-ups after retiring from my military, and again with my move into the formal corporate structure at IBM. I associate Laura with wonderful things happening, such as advancement, and financial pay-off. Working with her, I learned a great deal. She was a great mentor.

Either that, or this was a stew of hope, anxieties, impatience, memories, and wonder.

That works, too.

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