Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Robots, Crop Circles, and Russians, OH MY!

    Wow it’s been quite a while since I’ve had time to update my blog. I’m seeing a common theme here, and in truth a troublesome character arc. But I have bored you with enough excuses already over the years so I shall just pretend like I haven’t let anyone down and go forward with what’s been new and going on in my world. I have moved once again and downsized in a 1st step in a continuum of downsizing to the point that I can either start work on the manuscript,  Left Turn No Fixed Address", or get the travel bug out of my system for a couple of years.
    Some good news I have actually been working quite diligently on the  next instalment of Grey Redemption. It had really died on the vine earlier and I was having difficulty restarting and remembering which reality, in which world, we are actually working in and that creates a lot of continuing issues in continuity. I think once a writer becomes an author one of the hardest things or challenges that this new reality brings is trying to guard your time. Between promotion and marketing, doing various dog and pony shows, attempting to get exposure in new markets and give attention to old markets, the beginning author can really get overwhelmed. I thought it was just me and that I was poor at managing time. But like most things in life when we think where the solitary person afflicted with the problem, in reality, it is hardly the case.  I watched a good friend do the exact same thing for his 1st year as a published author. However, the difference being he ignored, for the most part, the marketing promotion dog and pony show and continued on what he does best which is  write. Subsequently, he has his 2nd novel coming out published by a small but very well respected  horror publisher. So let me take this opportunity to congratulate Mark  Fuson on his 2nd book.
    Some of you know I use dictation software instead of typing manually just for the speed and break it gives me. Being  dyslexic provides a few challenges when typing and sometimes when my ideas rolling faster than my hands can keep up  I find it challenging and frustrating. So I’ve always found it easier to use new technology to adapt and overcome some of the disabilities, yes I said disabilities, not challenges. Challenges are what you give yourself if you want to be an Olympic athlete. If by nature, nurture, or damage things become harder it is not correct To say: a challenge. It is by its very nature a disability. So yes I know the PC police will cry foul, and I’ll get a series of e-mails about how this person or that  overcame their disabilities because they didn’t see them as disabilities but challenges.   Great,  hurrah for the special  class. This is my blog and I see it as disability. 
 It can also be incredibly amusing. Using dictation software and reading  when it  types what it thinks you said can be more than a little  funny. It also helps you work on your antonyms and synonyms because quite often you will say something and not quite articulate it correctly, and it will put down something completely absurd. But it’s  a robot and like the computers that run them, they are prone to do stupid things. I think the idea that we are all on the cusp of a Utopian society aided and helped by our electronic  toys/tools is about as far fetched as Hollywood coming out with something new and fresh in the movie.
     A great example of this is my  Roomba. I picked one of these up a few weeks ago as I like  the house being cleaned on a daily basis and I know I’m not going to do it. So this little round disc does an admirable job of rolling about the house picking up various pieces of  debris, entertaining the  Cat, while at the same time picking up his  hair. But, it is far from perfect and it is in that imperfection;  bloody hilarious. You see IKEA  Poang  chairs are the international nemesis of  these robotic cleaners. The legs are about 3 1/2 inches wide and so the robot sees this as a transition between perhaps carpeted and hardwood floor. Confused it tries to climb over the transition onto the carpet and then back over the transition onto the carpet, and then thoroughly confused it centres itself like some oddly round Jeep and  cries for help. This means I have to run to its rescue or rescue it when I get home.  It has of late been doing odd things. Perhaps growing tired of the molestation from The Piker. For example, the other day it was stuck underneath the chase lounge despite having more than enough clearance to go in or out. I also found it stuck underneath the leather theatre seating. How it got under the theatre seats I have no idea. Perhaps drawn to its prison by popcorn or perhaps hiding from the aforementioned evil creature. I know this sounds slightly paranoid, but in truth this little robot does seem to try and avoid any interaction with the cat  after it was attacked, viciously so, when it decided to "spot clean" near his food dish. Not knowing that the kibbles on the floor upset the robot as much as the robot upset the cat lingering far too long near his food supply. A happy medium is perhaps too much to ask for. I see artificial intelligence trying its best to be malicious. This is evidenced by the concentric circles in the  living room. The robot is obviously going around and around and around in an attempt to make the cat  ill, Or it has been possessed by alien technology and is doing crop circles. Which in itself may not be that funny however what is funny is thinking that any alien technology who would develop some sort of highly advanced engineering mode of travel and in doing so probably depleting many resources on their own planet. Would then travel through the vastness of space using navigational technology that we have yet to even conceive of, only to land on blue planet,  to push down some fucking corn. but I guess it works as a joke.
    Also new on the agenda for me is learning Russian. Yes I mean the Russian language. Now this is actually a challenge, the language having no easily recognisable characters in English and being quite foreign sounding is providing a new level of frustration. However difficult this is, it was significantly less difficult than working with the customer support section of Rosetta Stone. That was a experience not too unlike  conducting a deaf orchestra in a rousing rendition of “There’s a hole in my  bucket”. However, that challenges now been overcome I am slowly learning how to speak the Russian tongue.  Why, might this be important? Well, I guess you’ll just have to stay tuned for the sporadic, erratic, and less than scheduled posts to learn more.

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