The Fingerprints Dream

I was working for a company whose mission seemed to be tracking fingerprints on the Internet. A young and brilliant bearded guy was our leader. Many young people worked there.

I’m not certain of my responsibilities with this company. I also had a second job with the NSA. When I came into work at the company, they told me, “We can’t find any traces of you on the Internet. Your fingerprints are completely missing.” They took some time to explain that was very unusual.

I resumed working but kept thinking about what they were saying. I knew that the NSA was always covering my tracks and hiding my fingerprints. I suspected something they were doing was spreading to other activities.

I took my suspicions to the CEO and engineering time. They didn’t know I was working for the NSA but thought that what I was suggesting was possible.

It was time to party. The company was celebrating a milestone. As part of that, they were re-creating early scenes from the company. Everyone but me was involved. I hadn’t been there, so I stayed back to watch. It mostly involved people singing, dancing, and laughing.

The CEO visited with me. “Do you want some tea?”

“Sure,” I said.

We were both lying down, which is how we worked there. He turned. Behind his back was a small white tray with two tiny white cups and a small and delicate teapot and creamer.

He handed me a thimble-sized cup. I reached for the pot to fill it but discovered it already full.

“What is it?” I asked.


I drank it down. It scalded my throat but tasted fantastic.

“Wow,” I said. “That’s amazing. I feel like it’s a shot of energy.”

Nodding, the CEO answered, I”It is,” and walked away.

The dream ended.

Dissecting A Diversion

I was ready to start a new chapter, and went back to where I’d stopped yesterday.

Main character was on a zeppelin. I decided I needed to get him there, so I moved back in time. Yeah, my process is very non-linear. I’d written what I saw the day before, and that meant he was on a zeppelin, taking a trip. Now I needed to get the hero and team there. I decided to pick up the action where he first encountered the zeppelin. I began visualizing that moment. The zepp is tall. How tall? How big? To the Google!

Wikipedia was a bitcoin mine about zeppelins. A company had built some and had been giving tours, but folded. The company was based at Moffett Field. Well, shoot, used to live there!

I needed technical information on the zeppelin. How many engines did it have? What’s its payload, crew size, etc. Remembering my time on Moffett, I recalled the U.S.S. Akron. Well, let me search and read.

From the Akron, I went to the Macon, and on through the history of German, British, and U.S. military and civilian zeppelins, designs, and disasters. Nevil Shute helped design R100 and R101 for the British military. A side path was followed to a summary about his autobiography, Slide Rule. Clicks uncovered information about hybrid air vehicles (HAV), dynastats, rotastats,  Long Endurance Multi-intelligence Vehicle (LEMV), the Airlander 10, and the Flying Bum.

This novel is set in a future dystopia so I needed to wrap my head around how HAVs may progress from now to then. Then, what limitations would be encountered, and how they would address those.

Hours had elapsed. I’d taken bathroom breaks, replenished fluids, and stretched and walked around. I hadn’t written, although I’d collected a stack of information as building materials. It was almost four by then, so…well, I needed a break. I’d do a Sudoku, and then write. But, by the time I finished the puzzle fifteen minutes later, well…I went on to my jigsaw puzzle in progress.

And that is how a novel doesn’t get written.

Got my coffee. Time to try to write like crazy, at least one more time.

Net Effect

I read it on the net

you know you better bet

that it’s the greatest most outrageous and incredible thing


I saw it on the net

you know I won’t regret

believing everything that I’m seeing

and hearing

It was spread across the net

so you better be set

to know this is the truth and won’t go away

it’s out there for-


So just put it on the net

with a link for them to select

and you know you’ll have them reading writing raging and de-




Flooflanthropist (floofinition) – 1. An animal who protects and promotes the welfare of other animals. 2. A person who seeks to promote animal welfare, especially by generous donations.

In Use: “Parallel to the worldwide web’s rise has been a growth of flooflanthropists who reach out to rescue animals and find them homes, especially in the wake of disasters.”


Floofnet (floofinition) – 1. Quantum communications systems used by animals to share information such as gossip, homes that give out food and treats, and warnings of danger. 2. World wide web that’s devoted to animals.

In use: “People always assumed that animals sniffed one another to pass messages and learn more. The reality is that such behavior was respected by the animals as an ancient tradition, although they admitted that it was also part of their disinformation campaign to keep humans ignorant of their abilities. They’d long before replaced sniffing with the floofnet, an almost instantaneous method of sharing information across long distances.”

The Internet of Floof (IoF)

The Internet of Floof (IoF) (floofinition) – connecting devices to share information about animals, often focusing on housepets and their antics, or the love relationships between odd animal couples, usually through social-media postings.

In use: “On the Internet of Floof, it’s not surprising to discover dozens of posts a day about a neighborhood saving a cat in a tree, an old dog living on the street being saved and finding the safety and comfort of a home for the first time, or a pig raising orphaned kittens. Anything is possible on the IoF.”

List of Grievances

I presented my Festivus list of grievances to my beer buddies the other night. Although the grievances are supposed to be personal and about the people present, I had a general list, and I took a humorous, provocative approach.

One of my items that generated much discussion was the hacked butt plug. I know that I’m not part of the demographics of people that use butt plugs, so I don’t know much about them. I also didn’t know that they could be hacked, or why others would want to do that. Still, it’s part of a larger world that I don’t get, not because I’m over sixty, but because the shit people do is alien to what I think of as fun. Besides hacking butt plugs and other smart sex toys, a term called screwdriving (hah!), I don’t get people doxxing others, or eating Tide pods, or catfishing. Yes, I understand the intellectual reasons behind people doing things, just like people doing weird shit when I was a kid, but those things didn’t appeal to me then, either. Being a writer, though, is about trying to understand, looking into people, thinking about their motivation and the impact of what they do has on them and their lives. So, I explore…

While mentioning the butt plugs the other night, over half present reacted, “Why would you want to know more about butt plugs?” But others were like me, saying, “How can you not want to know more?”

You see there the sprawl of human differences. Some invent butt plugs. Others use them. Another group hacks them. Someone else shies away from knowing about them. Someone else writes about them, and others read and talk about them.

It’s a wild, wild life that’s teeming with diversity. It makes it a much more interesting world.

At least, to me.

The Manual

A new hitch in his giddy-up manifested in his hip when he rose for the morning and stumbled from his bed to his bathroom. Muttering to himself, to which his cat and dog paid no attention, he went about the business of feeding the cat and dog, opening the blinds and checking the weather (looked cold, looked like snow), and made coffee. With the coffee done, he went into the other room with it, turned on his computer, and then pulled his Owner’s Manual from his desk drawer.

“Trouble-shooting,” he said. The book automatically opened to that curled and worn, wine and coffee-stained page that marked the section’s beginning. He expertly flipped the pages, perusing them until he found, “Hip,” “Pain,” and “Stiffness”. Following the instructions, he turned to page one seventy-nine, “Routine Repair for Stiff Hips”. After reading the three paragraphs, he sipped his coffee and smiled.

It was easy enough to fix. He’d do it after he finished his coffee.

Fondly he regarded his Owner’s Manual. Best thing that he’d ever found on the ‘net.

Best twenty dollars ever spent.

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