One-word Daily Prompt: Noise
Silence breeds empowerment
Filter shit — keep wit.
The most valuable sex education lesson I learned took place in my high school geometry class. Computers and geeks mixed in with the sex ed.
Unlike my previous year in algebra, I loved geometry. How I went from barely passing to straight As in math, I’ll never know.
One day, my geometry teacher took us to a special room at school that housed a couple of computers. Nothing that I’m familiar with today, but large, mechanical desks with no screen that spit out punch tape and later ate it up again for the input and output of data.
Two guys in my class were already experts with these machines. They poked and prodded them into functioning. To everyone else, it was kind of magical yet boring at the same time. These geeks ended up with a four-year math/science college scholarship.
After our visit with the machines, our teacher told us that in the future every home will have a computer. That blew our minds, early 1970s style. What would we use it for? How many people could afford this thing? That computer looked bulky, complex, and unfriendly. The two geeks were the only fans.
Later in the semester, my teacher somehow brought up the topic of sex in geometry class. He told us that sex takes up less than 1% of your time in married life. He ticked off necessary distractions such as working, shopping, cooking, childcare, cleaning, and whatever else needed to be done.
Today his lessons in love still stick. Although neither marriage nor heterosexual relationships are a given part to that theorem. Those few short minutes in some few short nights don’t seem to be worth the societal controversies. Whatever gets you through the night. A small part of our small time.
My first lesson with computers created an ambivalence within me which still remains. I love the possibilities and I hate my dependence. Like the human bond, deep feelings can move through the spectrum. An embrace may not be far removed from a push away.
Geometry class: you expanded the possibilities in my mind. I remember you fondly.
One-word Daily Prompt: Believe
I often ride my bike to a nearby condominium complex that has a man-made pond with a fountain at its center. I also enjoy dozens of ducks and Canadian geese that gather in and around that site. A couple of times this year, I saw a huge white swan floating on the water. I nearly took out my phone to take a picture. Another time I saw two swans floating around.
I told myself, next time I will snap a photo of those swans. So on another bike ride, I saw a swan floating majestically at the far end of the pond. As I rode around the curve of the water, I noticed something that looked like a white board jutting out of the water. As I got closer I realized that board was the underbelly of a swan decoy. The geese must have done a massive shoulder shrug (do they have shoulders?) and probably head-butted that phony swan onto its side.
This saved me the humiliation of looking like a fool in front of the owners of those condos while snapping photos of swan decoys. Also my friends and relatives didn’t have to feign admiration of my phony birds.
I went home and discovered websites devoted to selling tools to get rid of geese and their large piles of poop. (Poop like a goose for a reason.) I won’t get started on the piles of waste produced by other animals (ahem, humans), maybe another blog post.
One goose-riddance website said that, “White Swans are very territorial, making it great to help keep geese away!” These geese saw through this deception, I did not.
If the swans don’t work, and apparently they don’t, the website also sells dive-bombing drones for geese removal. Great, now I can enjoy the water and birds while getting more paranoid by that drone following me. Or is it repelling geese? I usually look on the dark side so I’d guess that dive-bombing drone is out for my blood.
One-word Prompt: Launch
“A word made flesh is seldom”
Flesh on paper — Saved
One-Word Daily Prompt: Planet
I’m egocentric. The only planet that matters to me is earth despite the fact that an infinite number of planets may exist.
In my high school days, ecology became the darling of the media and school discussions. Save the planet before we kill it. “The Population Bomb” was our bible. Earth Day celebrations began and recycling was the buzzword.
My recycling center accepts only clear glass. And I often wonder how many resources recycling actually preserves after factoring in the recycling process. Trucks must haul the used glass, it must be cleaned and remade into another item. Is there a net benefit after all?
The plant hardiness zone of my metropolitan area changed from a cooler 5 to a warmer zone 6. The climate warmed due to a greater cluster of people living together; more people, cars, concrete, and steaming piles of garbage.
“The Population Bomb” preached the dangers of the exponential growth of the human population on the planet. The human population still grows every year, but it has slowed down since the highest point in the 1960’s when the book was published.
Today a massive increase of machines/technology shows no sign of slowing down. Computers increase in numbers at astounding rates along with their voracious appetite for fuel.
It is hard to believe that electrically powered machinery did not exist 150 years ago. The instinctive reach for a light switch is as natural to us as breathing.
Machines/technology create better sanitation, crop yields, medical care, making life easier so we love it. Machines require fuel and pollute the planet, making the planet exposed to more toxic waste so we hate it. Machines replace the labor of humans, making life more economically difficult, less meaningful and, coming full circle, making life harder.
Logically the only way to save the planet is by moving backwards. We would have much less including less people, less machines, less stuff. But the planet will probably move on as it has been until machines and people eat up all our natural resources. Feed life or machines. Or will that be one and the same thing? Maybe the planet will just shoo us pesky life forms off the surface.
One-word prompt: Recreate
Holy Smoke! Politics, espionage, Russians, uranium, a billionaire and his wife. Surely a Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon revival is due. Those old cartoons from the Cold War era were great.
So far no such revival in sight. The artsy Hollywood types, most likely to recreate a cartoon, apparently don’t see the potential humor new episodes could bring.
Just a few years ago, our former president said that Russia is not such a big threat anymore. Even though Russia has been known to mess around with American elections for decades. Who knows how many other countries try to influence the elections of other places. The good guys, US, are on that list as well.
Then a new president gets in and all of a sudden, we have Evil Empire redux. The Russians are hiding under every rock, Russians behind every potted plant. This time the attack on democracy is for real! Rocky and Bullwinkle we need your help!
Surely we can eke out some new cartoons with just a few minor tweaks:
And now, can’t someone give us something we’ll really like?
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