A Dream of Five

Oh, we’d been working, a long, hard period. There’d been many of us but now…well, the situation was different. Changing parameters meant only five remained, plus the overseers. I didn’t know who any of these were, outside of myself. Selected as one of the final five, I felt privileged and flattered. Then, classic imposter syndrome kicked in. I had no idea of what was going on.

It seemed like different things were ‘going on’. We were trying to help someone else find direction. There was a map to that effect. But we needed to gain their trust. Also, how did we convey map directions to them? Borders and other problems precluded simple, direct methods.

A huge map dominated one wall. I was summarizing to myself. Fix the borders. Define them. Find the person we were to help. Gain their trust. Get them over the border.

The map seemed to be taking shape. Mountains dominated — very mountainous place. We were adding borders but I stayed mystified. Why were we the ones finding the borders? Didn’t the borders already exist? Asking these questions, I learned in roundabout manner, the borders were known but were lost, so we’re recovering them.

We thought we’d done a pretty good job. Black borders were drawn in, though some areas, like in the south, remained open.

But the overseer was furious. She told us, “You’ve drawn a face.” I looked at the map but didn’t see it. “These are not the borders. You’re running out of time. What is wrong with you? Get it done.”

This berating restored my bewilderment and confusion. Worse, to me, it seemed to make sense to the other four. But I couldn’t comprehend it. What was wrong with me?

I was beginning to feel left out. Abandoned. The other four turned attention to drawing the other to us and gaining his trust. I was befuddled about who the other was. They all knew and seemed to think that I should know. With some surprise and suspicion, I thought a few of the other five were different people. When did that happen? Had they changed?

One stormed in with an idea. He — the one we were trying to lure to us — whoever that was — was a Niki Lauda fan. While I knew about Niki Lauda, this revelation only deepened my confusion. But, wanting to belong, I spouted Niki Lauda info that I knew. Niki Lauda, young scion of a wealthy family. Getting a loan to go racing. Racing in the seventies and eighties. Three time Formula 1 world champion. Big accident, almost killed. Retired from racing, had a failed business, Lauda Air, returned to racing. Also raced BMWs, didn’t he?

Wasn’t sure about that last but saying these things earned a greater measure of trust from the other four. We decided that we needed to rest. There was one bed. The five of us got into it together and rested, shoulder to shoulder on our backs, like we were in coffins. None of us slept. We were too keyed. So much remained to be done. What else did we need to do? The time was almost upon us.

I still didn’t know much but I felt better because I was more accepted and included by the rest. One would always pause to ensure that I was there whenever they went off to do something else.

We had some sort of breakthrough. The end was near. Naturally, I didn’t understand. We were so tired and hungry by then. Going to a new location, a venue where a celebration had been held, we stole in to find food and drink. You can’t be in here, we were told. You must leave. But another said, you can come in.

We went in. A woman came over and told us that we must leave. Another came in and told her that we could stay for a few minutes. She also said there was leftovers for us to eat. They had chicken. Would I like chicken?

Yes, I said. They brought me a bucket. Here’s a piece in here for you, I was told. That’s not chicken, I thought as I picked it up. Something about what it was made me not want to eat it. One of the other four said they would eat it, and took it from me. He tore into it. Rabbit, we all realized, it was a fried rabbit breast. Why would they tell us it was chicken? They lied to us.

I shuffled into another place. There, I saw people dressed in very fancy evening dress who’d been present for a celebration. The celebration was over. They were preparing to leave. A server, male, in white coat and black bow tie, brought me a cup and shot glass on a gold tray. He spoke soothingly to me as he poured a clear liquid in the shot glass and espresso into the cup. I told him I couldn’t drink that now. He reassured me, firmly stating, “Oh, you need to drink both of these now.”

Dream end.

Floofjesty

Floofjesty (floofinition) – 1. Animal-based humor, such as floof-fails and floof-flops.

In use: “One of pets’ enduring traits is floofjesty, their ability to make us laugh with the expressions they use and the silly things that they do.”

2. Impressive stateliness, dignity, or beauty of an animal.

In use: “Whenever someone met Mel’s St. Bernard, Bernie, they always commented on his innate floofjesty. Nothing ever fazed that dog.”

A Dream Without Me

I wasn’t in one of my dreams last night. It was about an android. He was a naked killing machine.

There was a woman who he was helping, also naked. She didn’t understand that he was an android. I keep ‘re-writing’ the dream, evolving awareness of who he was and what was going on. He needed to leave without the woman. She was trying to dissuade him by employing sex. She needed help. Protection. People were after her. He had another agenda, though. He knew leaving was required because ‘they’ were coming after him. He was a renegade android.

He’d come in on men attacking the woman. The android killed them — not because they were holding her prisoner, but because they came after the android. Others entered, chasing the android. He killed them, too.

Shocked by the violence, the woman was still grateful to ‘the man’. Although he and the woman screwed, he still departed. He was moving from house to house in a dark suburban neighborhood. He hid in a home where no one was home. Now, though, a small, brown yappy dog was inserted into the dream. This dog was befriending the android. The android didn’t want to the dog’s companionship. The dog kept running around a room the android occupied, barking. Is the dog also an android, my dream writer wondered?

As the scenes progressed, getting re-written but moving on, the android left, stealing away into the night. Planning to steal a car, he settled in bushes down the street to observe the scene. His systems could eavesdrop on electronic devices and he could hear better than humans. Police had arrived. POV was shifted to them, to one officer in particular. He was trying to piece together everything that had happened and managed to arrive at surprising speculation: what if the person they were after wasn’t a person? What if he was a machine? Others mocked his suggestion. He began looking for and finding details to support his theory, like precision of movements, trying to understand the android’s motivation. Considering the people killed, he put together the idea that the android had arrived, helped someone else, and then others arrived. He guessed that the others arriving were after the android. The android had killed them, as well, but then others came along, others who were related to the original killing.

As he was putting this together, he was trying to frame the dog’s presence, too. Why was that sweet little brown dog there? The dog was whining to leave.

Did the dog know where the android went? Could the dog follow the android?

Dream end.

The Sentencing Dream

I dreamed I’d been caught doing something wrong. Although I can’t recall details, it wasn’t major, like killing anyone, but constituted a significant failure on my part. A short trial found me guilty. Punishment was forthcoming.

I sulked, alone, although surrounded by others, none that I knew of as family nor friend. Returning to where I was staying, I discovered everything being rearranged. My room had been changed, which infuriated me. The whole place was dimly light, very dark, full of shadows. Seeking the common area where I thought I’d read and watch television, really, do anything to distract myself, I found a man there re-arranging everything. “Part of a big project,” he explained. I wanted to know more about this big project. Everything familiar was gone. The books and television had been removed, as had the chairs. The windows were covered, along with every exit except one door. Maroons and dark blues dominated. There was an old carnival funhouse feel to the room.

My exasperation leaped. “What’s going on? What’s the point of all of this?” The guy working on it, snide, young, smug, white, and bald, refused to explain anything, acting as though it was all above me. I had little grounds to do anything because I’d lost my authority as I awaited sentencing.

This drove me to attempt to leave the room. Extricating myself wasn’t as easy as it should have been, as others were coming through the door. Taking initiative, I found a panel which resembled a stylized red and white question mark. I was able to swivel it up and to the left, then leveraged myself out through the small opening.

Although I was outside my shared quarters, I was still in a building; it was buildings in a building. I was wondering when my sentence was going to come down. Maybe the delay was good news. Maybe it was bad. I walked around, spotting some familiar faces, including the judge who’d sentenced me. A few years older than me, he’d been boss and casual friend. Seeing me, he smiled and waved, but the turned away. Others, though, who’d been cool, were suddenly friendly. I’d been feeling like a pariah, I realized, but now they seemed to be letting me back in.

It was giving me hope. The dream ended on that note.

Ten Floofs After

Ten Floofs After (floofinition) – Flock (floof-rock) Floofish blues band best known for their legendary Floofstock performance. Originally formed in 1960 in Floofsfield, the band first had the name Ivan Floof and the Floofcats before changing their name to Ten Floofs After in 1966. Always a four floof combo, their greatest commercial success came in the period of 1966-1974.

In use: “Ten Floofs After appeared at Floofstock in 1970, when their infloofdescent performance of “I’m Going Floof” cemented their reputation in the Floofnited States as a hard-charging blues-influenced flock band.”

Sunday’s Theme Music

Today finds us at Sunday once again. I was just looking at the calendar, confirming that it’s April 25, and was surprised to realize there’s another Friday in the month. Just not paying attention.

The sun made it to Ashland at 6:15 AM and will make its departure at 8:03 PM. We’re getting close to almost fourteen hours of sunshine, which I do like. Like my cats, I am a sunshine fan. Don’t know how much sunshine we’ll see. The weather is continuing a drizzly, damp, chilly pattern. It’s 42 F right now, and we’re not expecting much higher. As I read on the net, the weather slowed down like a driver doing 75 in a 55 when he sees a cop behind him.

“Wedding Bell Blues” by the Fifth Dimension (1969) is looping through my mind. The great Laura Nyro wrote and originally recorded it. Her songs were hits by several others, like “Stoned Soul Picnic”, “And When I Die”, and “Eli’s Comin'”. She died way too young, 49, done in by ovarian cancer.

And while I like all those songs, I’m in the mood for something upbeat this morning. I challenged the mind for something. After a period of crickets singing and playing, the Foo Fighters crept in with “I’ll Stick Around” from 1995.

Upbeat? Up-tempo, I guess.

By the way, the three-day green-smoothie fast ended for me yesterday, day eight. Energy level just felt too low. Tired while walking, and didn’t achieve twelve miles for the day. Been a while for that. So I’m back on solids, and just finished a bowl of gluten-free oatmeal with peanut butter, cranberries, and pumpkin seed/flax granola.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, and get the vax, including the second dose, if you’re going the Moderna/Pfizer route. Cheers

Technology, Again

Our county library has changed its system.

Again.

I was happy with the old system. They didn’t ask me. Running the library was outsourced to a private, for-profit firm several years ago. They asked me. I voted against it. I was outvoted. As a result of that move, the library hours were immediately cut, and people were let go.

Then came the coronarivus…

They’ve been doing a pretty good job during the pandemic. Kinda hard to screw up. Put a book on hold. When it’s available, present self at door. Provide name and card number. Librarian checks book out and gives it to you. You return the book to a drop box when you’re done with it.

That all worked well but changes were required. Technology sprints ahead. We must catch up. ‘They said’ in their notice that it would be easier to search online content and find my books. I was having no problem with those things. They can’t be easier than that, can they?

‘They’ also told me that the first time I logged in, my PIN would be the last four digits of my telephone number. I logged in today and entered the last four digits of my telephone number. ‘That information is incorrect’, the system told me. Okay, reset password.

I went through that, receiving the link to do this in my email account. After I reset my PIN, I went to my account to see what telephone number was in my account.

It was a number that I didn’t know.

Naturally. Technology, right. GIGO. Garbage in, etc.

I changed the number. The system told me a librarian would review the information before updating my account.

Whatever.

I logged out.

A few hours passed. My wife wanted to know what books were on the hold list. She uses my account because she didn’t want to go through the bother of getting a new library card the last time that the system changed, a few years ago.

I logged in.

‘That information is incorrect’, the system told me.

WTF? No, it isn’t.

Well, the system disagreed. Everyone knows that the system wins in these instances.

I reset my password again via an email link. For extra points, I used the PIN that I’d previously created.

Yeah, it took.

I remained logged in afterward. But then again, I decided, log out, because if it doesn’t recognize me and I need to reset my PIN, well, three times is a charm, right?

Does technology know that?

Wednesday Wuthering

  1. On day five of the three-day green smoothie fast. Yesterday, besides three green smoothies, I enjoyed a few celery sticks, four prunes, a boiled egg, a cup of cubed watermelon, eight raw almonds and a handful of raw walnuts. I feel great, so why not continue? Sure, I was constantly mildly hungry throughout the day. And yes, my stomach talks to me in squeals, growls, and grunts all day, too.
  2. Okay, I cheated and ate a protein bar in the mid-afternoon.
  3. Well, the credit card ordeal might be over. Brief recap: was given new cards after reporting fraud on the previous cards. New cards received and activated. Wife wasn’t given chance to set her PIN. We tested: her old PIN didn’t work. Neither did my new one work on her card. Calls were made. A new PIN was set to her. We tested it. Nope. So, I commenced to pursue a fix. After spending over an hour on the phone with three different credit union reps, calling the numbers they specified, etc., I was turned over to a person in the credit card payment division. She listened to the tale. “You’ve been calling the wrong number.” I’d been calling the number the reps had given me. She gave another number. I called it. PIN changed, at least telephonically. We won’t be certain until we use it.
  4. Makes me wonder, though, you know? Why did it take so long for that number to emerge? Why is there a different number? Customer service and focus continues to die a slow death.
  5. Ah, technologically. I have a telemedicine call tomorrow. Video with a new family nurse practitioner. Annual event, to renew my meds for BHP and hypertension. Did the hardware check yesterday. Couldn’t connect to the video. Whaaat? The webcam worked last year. Went through all settings for hardware, software, security, privacy, etc. All was as should be. Even said that website had been given permission to use the camera. So…?
  6. Searched the web for advice and ideas. Microsoft, Kaspersky, HP. Talked to Chatbots for support. Uninstalled, reinstalled, updated drivers, rebooted machine several times, installed new webcam software, checked the device manager, registry, and so on. After three hours, the hardware check claims it works but I get nothing. Tested it on Zoom. Nothing. Nothing, nothing, nothing, except exasperation and frustration. Tested it this morning, just in case. No change.
  7. Forums are a joke in this regard. Many people reporting the same issue. No solutions found that work. Hell, most solutions were the previously-tried solutions. Ditto, the search engines on every browser and search site tried. They all regurgitate the same results. Remember GIGO? Garbage in, garbage out. Yep.
  8. Screw it, is my final position. I can use the iPad, which would be tres small. My wife generously offered me her iPad. That might be the way I go.
  9. Dad is out of the hospital. He was in at least two weeks, but don’t have greater details. He’d told me, don’t call, I’ll call you in a few days. That was weeks ago. He finally called yesterday. Has issues with fluid in legs. Turn bright red, swell, blister, etc., Medicos finally concluded, yep, heart weakening, kidney issues contributing. Wasn’t surprised, as he’s had COPD for decades. Some pulmonary issues were bound to reveal themselves. He’s in great spirits, mind remains sharp. That’s a tale I hear with many, many friends, though. I see the signs, and know where he’s going. Not unexpected, as that’s where we all go. Primary questions are about how long he’s in this declining state, how much pain and suffering he endures, and what his wife and family will experience during this watch.
  10. Dad and I are both retired military. Twenty-year vets. We receive pensions and healthcare. He retired about twenty-five years before I joined. That makes all the difference. He’s not paying anything for care. Tricare covers everything for him. Then launched into a “no wonder this country is going broke” stand. My Tricare is good, but I have co-pays. Dad does not. I have monthly premiums. Dad does not. I pay a small amount for prescriptions; Dad doesn’t. He also lives in San Antonio. A large military and retired presence there helps him. I live in rural southern Oregon. Time, age, location: that sums up the changes, right? Oh, yeah, and people are living longer, healthcare is constantly evolving, and it all costs. For example, he now has five people coming in each day to help him with different functions, from PT and leg exercises to bathing. He is married, and his wife is there, but I know how hard it is for a spouse to be a care-giver. She’s but a few years younger than him and has her own issues.
  11. Dissatisfied with offerings from U.S. television, we now watch a lot of foreign stuff. Mostly European. Dramas and comedies don’t work well, but thrillers, mysteries, and procedurals do. We try American offerings. We find them shallow, formulaic, and simplistic. Pretty people with fake issues to enhance tension dominate. Cry us another, you know? Right now, we’re watching Swedish, German, French, Italian, and British offerings. Don’t have anything coming out of Canada that entices me, which is a surprise. Same with the Aussies. But this might be the streaming gap, you know?
  12. Watching foreign television shows, we’re often entices by the settings. The procedurals often take place on the coast, an island, or a lake. They’re beautiful, intriguing places. I told my wife that we should set up tours to these places. That would cost a mint, and it’s impossible during the pandemic. If I had to chose one, I’d go to the Stockholm archipelago where “The Sandhamm Murders” is set.
  13. Okay, have my coffee. Time to write like crazy, at least one more time.

Tuesday’s Bumper Sticker

I admit to being jaded when seeing this. Given the proliferation of manufactured and fact news being rolled out via the net and reading of how people develop angry confusion after reading reams of misinformation, I need an asterisk on this bumper sticker.

*Please employ critical thinking when reading.

Tuesday’s Theme Music

It’s a chilly Tuesday morning, April 20, 2021. I wanted to put the year as 2015. I don’t know what’s causing that faux temporal shift.

We had our first sun peek at 6:22 AM and expect to bade farewell for the day at 7:58 PM. It’s chilly because clouds are shading the edge from the sun’s influence. Still, 55 degrees F is better than, say, ten, twenty, or thirty degrees colder. The cats are eating it up, diving outside as the sun breaks, staying out in the yard, floofzing away, awakening when yard work or birds disturb them. 76 degrees was seen yesterday, which was great for walking, sitting outside in a chair reading, etc. I expect today to be about six degrees cooler.

For music, I’ve trapped an old Ramones song in my brain. “Blitzkrieg Bop” is a short but rousing ditty that came out in 1976. I’d always interrupted the lyrics ‘tight wind’ as ‘time wind’. I thought the idea of a time wind was really cool. “Hey, it feels like the 1960s blowing through here.” A little disappointed when I learned the true lyrics.

They’re forming in a straight line
They’re going through a tight wind
The kids are losing their minds
The Blitzkrieg Bop

They’re piling in the back seat
They’re generating steam heat
Pulsating to the back beat
The Blitzkrieg Bop

Hey ho, let’s go
Shoot ’em in the back now
What they want, I don’t know
They’re all revved up and ready to go

They’re forming in a straight line
They’re going through a tight wind
The kids are losing their minds
The Blitzkrieg Bop

h/t to AZLyrics.com

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, and get the vax. Cheers

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