Out Here in “Cyberspace”

Why are you looking at this cracked and battered driveway? Read ahead…

I just realized on Wednesday that I have gotten noticeably past the halfway mark for this year. Having determined at New Yearʼs time to try posting daily for a month (or so), I am struck with wonder at the unbroken chain of posts that have followed that gentle near-resolution, most of which I am not ashamed to have put into the digital ether of cyberspace. (Now thereʼs a once-cool — or should it be “hot”? — word, supposedly coined by sci fi cyberpunk mensch William Gibson thwacking away at his typewriter, really sounding dated nowadays — along with the various cyberrealities imagined for late-Eighties and early-Nineties internet-caper movies.)

Although I did make fourteen posts back in 2009, today is the 198th update to the blog. Weʼre just past halfway through the year. Perhaps I should have waited to do this post on Sunday, which would celebrate both the Fourth of July and the 200th post, but in noticing the number as I opened WordPress to invent something to say, I realized I had gone half the year with a daily post (I never kept a journal/diary so regularly, although there are abortive attempts lingering on several computers — all not worth even considering a read). Some of the posts have been as pointless as I feel this one is going to be, but some have actually stretched my writing muscles or critical thinking. And having somewhere to find readers (however few there may be — check the ClusterMaps statistics) has gotten/did get me going on some fiction projects, however much I may have lapsed back into just thinking about plots and characters and settings too much. I even got a company to grant me a financial compensation for its “misdeeds” (I assume by not naming said corporation, no one will ever notice that remark here). And I have on e-mail a strange (Dutch) offer to advertise on the blog. The offer translates (on Google) very ungrammatically, but so do other languages like Norwegian (I do try to read/understand friendsʼ status updates on Facebook). Does anyone think I should accept the offer?

Hereʼs the message, which may take on another meaning if you click on the link I have created for the company/website below:

Geachte Webmaster,

Mijn naam is Babette Leers werkzaam bij Topspot Promotion. Graag
bied ik u een maandelijkse vergoeding aan voor het plaatsen van een
artikel of advertentie op uw web-site voor één van onze klanten.

Indien u geïnteresseerd bent in ons aanbod, verneem ik van u graag de
mogelijkheden. Heeft u nog vragen of suggesties, kunt u uiteraard te
allen tijde contact met ons opnemen.

To speak with one of our English-speaking customer support staff,
please email Liz Miller at liz.miller@topspot-promotions.net.

…figured it out yet?

So will I make it all year? I don’t know. Right now I would kind of like to, but reality may intervene. I am back at work with the Census as of my training on Wednesday. I spent a good part of yesterday getting myself organized, checking out the site where I will train others and contacting my new crew. The official work starts next week. The training at least will be much simpler than before, only a single day, and most of that dedicated merely to editing our manuals. On the other hand, my new district is more than twice the size of the old NRFU work area. I may even need to seek a different “office” to be closer to the middle of the district.

the view from the street

For the past four months retirement hasn’t been what I had imagined. Of course, I have made some money, enough to get Janet conceiving grand thoughts of home renovation. We have already begun. Within the next two weeks our driveway will be torn out and replaced with new uncracked, smooth and perfect concrete — hopefully solid enough and well enough installed to last for decades. That process will mean some confusion (and street parking) just at the height of the new Census operation. We also priced removing and re-pouring our also very broken rear patio, but that one will have to wait.

You already know that she wants to redo the kitchen slightly, but that project hasn’t progressed because of a lack of time and recent excessive heat. But it’s coming, it’s coming. Someday, possibly soon, we will also be doing some kind of renovation in the upstairs bathroom, the one we think of as “Janet’s bathroom.” I know she would like to gut the entire room and get a fancy, deeper and wider bathtub (presumably along the jacuzzi line for relaxation and muscle therapy and long, girlish soaks). The lighting in the room is also bad, being typical late Sixties minimalist glare. And she would also like new cupboards and sink, along with a more pleasant and modern countertop. Realistically, she’s also talked about repainting the cupboards in there. Whatever happens, I’m sure I will be kept busy.

We have gotten awfully mundane for a post labeled about cyberspace, but the post itself is out there/here in the digital ether. My other (actual?) writing has been stalled pretty flat for weeks now. I still havenʼt started dictating the Sepharad story to the computer, although I did have fun activating the speech commands function, something I could have done months and months ago, but I hestiated, even with MacSpeech Dictate installed (which does have its own set of speech commands it obeys), because I had experienced pretty poor speech recognition back in the Nineties with my old PowerMac. Things have come a long way, and I had fun asking the computer what time and day it was yesterday morning so it would answer me aloud. (Childish minds = easily amused, very easily.) The afternoon, however, was reserved for the Census (as is the time I am not outdoors mowing the lawn today).

Nor have I made any visible progress on “Mantorville,” outside my own thoughts.

Do I feel more comfortable with the words in solid rather than electronic reality (meaning in the notebook rather than just preserved as magnetism on the hard drive)? I donʼt think so. Once I got computerized (and the antique posts from early this year that comprised my currently rejected short story do have some vague parallels to my own acquisition of computer interest and mild skills), I was very happy to type everything I imagined. I have also used MacSpeech Dictate to digitize a lot of poetry (about twice what has been used for the blog — I hope everyone did enjoy being baffled yesterday, by the way). I have just gotten terrifically lazy about my fiction (and my resubmissions of rejected stories and plays). But I keep adding to this microscopic spot in cyberspace. Strange…

Eluding reality?

— Have an excellent weekend, all. Happy Fourth of July, especially those of you overseas!

©2010 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A.