Playback Before the Gendarmes Arrive

This rough sketch continues the story started in The “Great Engine of Atosa” and picks up after “Before the Gendarmes Arrive.” Atosa, being one of the things on Hlau’s list 800 years later, is the site of a gigantic engine mainframe complex, built during a period that is comparable to Earth’s 19th century.

Jing and Zo led the errant priest to the data terminal where they had witnessed the hack in progress. The data spool was still in place and hadn’t been re-wound yet. Even with the all the analytical engine mainframes down, electricity still fed into the complex from the windmills and the nearby river, stopped-up by a hydro-electric dam. The terminal couldn’t connect with the engines in its current state, but it could display the data that was recorded onto the spool. Zo pulled down one lever to re-wind the roll of punch paper and pushed it to stop, and then hit a button to play the data.

Ikaya grabbed the cable that connected the monitor to the the keyboard, the telegraph key, and the engine when the day’s data come on. He had Zo fast-forward the roll to the point when the mysterious access happened. He had clearly sensed something before, even if he didn’t say it. When the source with no origin appeared on the screen, it confirmed that there was something more to this than a masked identity. He knew something.

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Lessons in Impermanence, Part III

This continues the “Lessons in Impermanence” series, with continuing some thoughts directly after “Part I.”

Life after grad school also had its share of impermanence as I continued at the urban community college and had a brief stint teaching English at the FIDM. I then tried jumping ship by getting a more “regular” job at one hot mess of a labor union’s headquarters. That lasted for six months, followed by six months of unemployment. Then, during that time, I courted English department chairs and a director of a foreign language school, and I found myself on the freeway flier circuit in the fall of ’07. After a year and a half, I didn’t return to any classes with one district, continued to work for another until I got laid off.

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Support Your Public Library, Wherever It Is

I came across this public service announcement for the New York Public Library, which is awesome. It’s wonderful to see the famous and fabulous shout out the library system of New York City. It’s great that the A-listers shout it out for the New York Public Library, but other library systems all over the country need support. In a cash-strapped California, where the State has no money and threatens to take funds from the counties and cities, making sure that the libraries keep going is even more of a necessity.

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Hard Gay (ハードゲイ)

I forgot all about Hard Gay until Avril sent me some videos. Essentially the Bruno of Japan, Hard Gay played pranks on the Japanese public. Here, he decides Yahoo! Japan has stolen his “Hoooooo!” catchphrase and decides he wants to be in a commercial for them. After all, he would be perfect. And the results are hilarious.


Part one: Hard Gay’s visits Yahoo! Japan‘s headquarters, gets a headshot done with the color copier, then sexually harasses some male employees. The guy who walks into the massage room really doesn’t put up much of a fight.


Hard Gay crashes a staff meeting, sexually harasses the boss presenting, and puts his first cap up for auction on Yahoo! Japan, hoping that will be impressive enough for the ad. In the end, Hard Gay takes matters into his own hands. Ya…… hoooooo!

Simpler Living: E-Mail

If there’s one thing about the Internet I absolutely detest, it’s e-mail. It represents all that was wrong with the late 20th and early 21st centuries, which seems to be hell-bent on making our lives insanely unlivable. Then again, those living in mid to late 19th century must have the same thing about pneumatic tubes and the telegraph system. Even if the operators of those quaint systems felt overwhelmed, there really wasn’t some steampunk equivalent of spam or excessive bombardment of ephemerally important messages. No doubt it would have been too expensive. Unfortunately for us, e-mail is relatively cheap, especially for the senders. Forwards, spams, automated bot mails, and the all-important work-related memos — never, ever noticed. Unfortunately, some important e-mails get lost in the mix.

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Battlestar Galactica: Caprica

Warning: Spoilers ahead.
bromance2The beginning of a beautiful bromance? Perhaps not.

With Battlestar Galactica coming to a close in Hitchhiker style, Sci Fi (or is it SyFy) were quick to notice the vacuum in the fans’ lives, one that they have decided to temporarily fill with the pilot for the upcoming Caprica series, a prequel with events leading up to the destruction of the Colonies.. After a few years in development hell, Ronald D. Moore and company give us a finished product that is just as impressive as the prototype Cylon created by Daniel Graystone, the brilliant scientist who gets involved in a bromance gone bad with Joseph Adams, a Mafia-connected defense attorney. Of course, there’s more to Caprica than that, as it is a tale of the dangers of the unwise uses of technology and religious extremism, issues that resonate with us today.

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