Voicemail Philosophy from 2342

The fear of previous generations was technology eroding away our humanity.  They grew up with Borg on TV, Hal9000 making very calm threats and Google Ad-Words tracking their every step.  Don’t even start on those Terminator films.  Black Mirror told them their lives were becoming less social, tech was manipulating their minds and ruining the very core of their essence.  Pop culture made an enemy out of technology and enemies sell well.

I pity those generations of days gone by for they were not allowed to see the humanity of technology.  Tech was and is gorgeous, complex, chaotic, lovely, friendly, temperamental.  It breaks and ages and learns and grows and does not quite understand what comes after it, but makes a good effort to be compatible.  Tech, one might say, is created in our image.  Tech is human.

Humanity had nothing to be afraid of as it began to use more and more technology in every day life.  We took our tech to the forests and recorded rare creatures.  We took our tech underwater and discovered new species.  We took our tech to space and created homes.  Tech helped us understand each other better, read emotions better, communicate faster and deeper and wider.  Technology enhanced our humanity.

Of course, it did change the actual shape of humanity.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my current chassis and no one in 1912 thought they would have tires for feet, and worry about radiator fluid on the lungs, but there are times I wonder what shoes feel like.

That’s the end of my letter.  The guys and I are in full ‘camper’ mode this weekend and heading up the hill to watch birds.  My phone will be off, but holo-text me if needed.


Peace out, home slice.

Sorry about the vocal message.  Trying to keep with the old school feel of the weekend.

Stevens Plays the Hero

“Tend to the wounded!” Sgt. Stevens commanded what remained of the division’s medical troops.  Stretchers entered the room a heartbeat later, injured soldiers moaned and the troops carrying them could not hide their fatigue.  As soon as all three stretchers were safely inside, they were dropped to the floor and the doorway barricade was reassembled.

“Stevens, you crazy maniac, what is going on out there?” Finletter asked.  Through attrition alone, Finletter had come to be the formal leader of this unit that had made a home out of a 12th story suite in a Holiday Inn somewhere outside Chicago.  Their mission began in Provo, Utah but the enemy pushed them east day after day.

“They were waiting for us, Fin.” Sgt. Stevens said, his usually gruff voice had given way to something like sadness.  “Have you heard anything from, sheesh, I don’t know, anywhere? Anyone?”

Finletter shook his head, “communications are down.  Yonkers to the Yukon, I haven’t picked up anything.”

Stevens stood at a boarded up window and tried to look at the street below, watching for enemy movement.  They were everywhere.  He realized in that moment the final days of this war were upon them all and they were on the losing side.

“Then there’s only one thing left to do,” Stevens grabbed for his sidearm.

“Sargent, the only we can do is wait for reinforcements.  The Tomatoes are too much.  We can fall back.  They’ll freeze in a good Canadian winter,” Finletter pleaded with the informal leader of the unit to make a good decision.

“No, boss. You folks get out of here. My path goes elsewhere. I’m off to make ketchup,” Stevens loaded his weapon, removed the barricades from the door and went outside to play hero.


That’s how I’d gritty reboot the crud out of Return of the Killer Tomatoes.


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People on the Highway

I work for a multi-facility company which means sometimes I get to leave work at rush hour from the far side of what amounts to a major city for my region.  The drive home takes forever.  Tonight was one of those nights.  Usually, I’m rather displeased with this as it takes an extra hour to get home.  Tonight was a different story entirely.

Today’s tale: Burnside’s Time Travels Continue reading

Useful Greeting Cards (For Bad Adulting)

When it comes to greeting cards, I’m pretty sure sympathy and birthday are leading types.  I’m not about to do market research, but if the Family Feud ever surveyed 100 people, put the top five responses on the board and had contestant guess the remaining three it would take a few rounds to fill the board.  To me, that means the market is wide open for more specialized occasions where one might not be able to come up with the right words.

Cards for occasions like… Continue reading

Eddie is On to Bigger and Better Things

“Jeepers, Eddie, what are you doing?” Graham asked, running to catch up with his peculiarly fast friend Ed.

“I’m on to a new chapter, Graham. Exciting times ahead. This story is just getting started,” Graham Eddie.  His pace seemed to pick up and he incorporated a click-of-the-heels skip in his stride.

“You’re speaking in nothing but empty terms.  Like Vague-booking in real life, man.” Graham pointed out the generalities of Eddie’s statement.

“Nah, man, just living my best life right now,” Eddie countered.

“Why in the world does your best life involve a gas can, one of those long lighters and a stack of dirty rags?” Graham said, stopping both of them in their tracks.

“I told you. I’m on to a new chapter.  My old office building is on the other side of that river.  I have to burn the bridge,” Eddie explained.

“That’s…that’s…you don’t have to be so literal about it,” Graham said, confused.

“It’s much more fun to be literal with this phrase,” Eddie went to work.

People on the Highway

I had an early morning today and once again got to join the pre-6am driver club.  Membership benefits suck.  I do get to see the absolute weirdest stuff though.  Not exactly deep sea off the Australian coast weird, but weird none the less.

Today’s tale: Broccoli

A Dodge sedan of some sort is moving rather quickly down the highway behind me.  I’m going 63, following a work truck with a bed full of orange buckets and dirty shovels.  I’d pass him, but I’m on my way to work and “terrible car crash on way to work” is not what I want any of the police reports with my name on them to read.  Though I’d prefer to not appear on police reports entirely.  That’s all beside the point.  The truck ahead of me is not my concern at this particular hour as the Dodge is racing up behind us.

The Dodge, gray-ish and dented from a mix of hail and bad decisions, is piloted by one Jared Wilkerson.  Jared is on his way to work too, but gives his epitaph less thought than I give my own.  For the reals, “Died as he lived. Rushing to do stuff that made no difference anyway” will not be on my tiny gold plated urn which will rest on the grand room’s fireplace mantle in my youngest son’s mansion when he’s in his 50s.

Jared is rocking a local radio station that gives frequent updates on marijuana prices and the DJs are “so glad Linkin Park sounds like Hybrid Theory again.” It is a poor choice in radio stations, but Jared displays his poor choices well enough.  A neck tattoo of a hotdog in a bun eating a sweating chihuahua is not wise.  It did lead his grandmother to learn Photoshop though. So there’s that.

Jared has been making poor decisions since infancy.  His parents wanted to expose him to a wide variety of foods and that included broccoli.  As a toddler he would ‘sneak’ broccoli to the family dog instead of eating it himself.  This would result in the dog passing violent gas at night.  The dog preferred to sleep in Jared’s room.  Jared was 23 before he figured out the connection.

As quickly as the Dodge arrived it left.  The work truck and I caught but a fleeting glimpse of something truly unique in the world and I’m totally okay with not seeing it again.  Jared will arrive at work 15 minutes early thanks to his speediness, but isn’t allowed to clock-in until 5 minutes before the start of his shift.  Poor decisions.


Thanks for reading.

People on the Highway

I’m on a mini vacation this week, so there’s not a whole lot of driving going on.  This little detail hampers the whole concept of People on the Highway as I am not regularly seeing the highway.  I lucked out today with a much needed trip to the grocery store (the coffee is running low).  There’s a unique group of people one sees driving outside a grocery store at 3:00 on a Wednesday afternoon.

Today’s tale: Unfounded Fears

There’s a red SUV trying to fit into a parking spot it will never fit in, but the driver keeps the attempt going.  An older guy, he’s taking a spot near the front of the store and avoiding a long walk on this particularly toasty summer day.  I can’t blame.

I’m walking from my car to the store and watching the guy’s parking process.  It’s not going well.  Backing up, pulling in, backing up, pulling in; I pause my walk mostly due to my own trust issues.  I’m not entirely sure the driver can see me.  I can him though.

The driver’s name is Ed.  White hair rings his head, seat covers on the seats, and an Elk’s Club sticker on the passenger side window indicate Ed and I don’t have a ton in common, but I am fairly certain we share one similarity.  We’ve both believed some crazy stuff in our time.

Ed did four years worth of science fair projects on the dangers of quicksand when he was in high school.  He watched the moonlanding as a child and held his breath when Armstrong first step on the moon’s surface.  His heart raced a bit when he saw Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.  He didn’t laugh when his grandkids showed him that giraffe and the stages of grief video on YouTube.  Quicksand was a very scary thing for him long ago.  Thanks to education and new fears like reverse mortgage scams, he’s pretty much over any actual fear of the very rare event, but part of him always thinks, “what if?”

So while I’m sitting here thinking, “what if the breaks fail and the car rolls into reverse for no apparent reason?” He’s in the air conditioned cab of his SUV that looks like every other SUV in its class and thinking, “what if the parking lot suddenly becomes quicksand?”

Basically the same thought.  Ed and I are essentially the same person.  I only wish that Ed felt a little more urgency in his parking.



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