The End of Voting

Voter beware…

REDFLAGFLYING

I have always voted, ever since I was old enough to do so, aged eighteen. I voted in the General Elections, and always in the Local Council elections too. In most of the places I lived, and the one where I live now, my party of choice rarely if ever won, but I carried on voting anyway. If I lived somewhere where there was no candidate that I was enthusiastic about, I voted tactically, to try to reduce the majority of the party I liked the least. I never once failed to vote, not in the forty-seven years I had the opportunity.

When other people told me that they didn’t vote, or had never voted, I would pontificate on the history of the working people’s struggle to gain the vote, along with a mention of the bitter struggle of the Suffragettes, to get that same right for women. I reminded…

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Short Attention Span Theatre

I’m always amazed how thick some people are…

itinerantneerdowell

I’m sure there are those among us that will be dismayed, because Santa didn’t bring what they wanted.

Stuck waiting for punch lines, because there should have been more, but, there wasn’t.

Personal electronic devices allowed us the “have it our way.” That was until advertisers and spammers worked their way around firewalls and roadblocks.

Internet “click bait,” has the same content as supermarket tabloids. You Tube videos are chock-full of pop-up ads. Included political ads recently–to my dismay.

Has anyone tabulated the percentage of legitimate telephone calls received during an average day–compared to telemarketer and nuisance calls? What would it be: 5%? 10%? 1%?

Recently, a city hall clerk in a certain state, refused a marriage license, because the gentleman formerly resided in New Mexico. The clerk mistakenly thought New Mexico was a foreign country.

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…where did ‘Jack Calder’ come from?…

Like most memorable characters Jack was based on a real person. No real surprise. Any writer worth his or her salt does the same thing!

Seumas Gallacher

…as with many of my author friends, I’m frequently asked if the characters in my Jack Calder crime thrillers are based on real-life people… the true answer for most of them lies sum’where ‘twixt ‘yes’ and ‘no’… however, for the main man, Jack, the ex-SAS officer, there does exist a gentleman… a true gentleman at that, and a man I’m pleased to call a friend, who fits most of his characteristics… he would not thank me for naming him, but he lives in my books almost precisely as I’ve seen him behave in civvy street many times… without pinpointing the location in which the following event happened, let me describe one incident which enthralled me at the time… ‘Jack’ as I will continue to use his pseudonym, was owed some money by a guy who belonged to the local Hell’s Angels chapter, and was slow to repay the…

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Never Ending Songs

No matter how hard you try…

itinerantneerdowell

My wife’s complaint when eating pasta–the amount of pasta seemed to grow.

Washed the car today. Good weather for December. Kept finding more dirty spots and paint scratches.

I have a healthy appetite, but sometimes porterhouse steaks are too much to consume at one sitting. That’s what doggy bags were for.

Long layovers at the airport. Can’t get too comfortable, because it isn’t the same as home. Ears tuned to all messages played overhead. Maybe through some miracle, my flight will board early?

Graduation ceremonies: On all levels seem to go on and on; before candidates march to the podium. High school bleacher seats are downright uncomfortable. College level graduations, tend to have better seating.

Waiting at the doctor’s/dentist’s office.  You made an appointment and were on time.  Waiting for an hour in a tiny examining room is excruciating.  I know doctor’s are overbooked–doesn’t make it any easier.  Plenty of…

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The Snowflake #writephoto

The Snowflake #writephoto

A hint of whats to come in the next few weeks (or months)..

dnspectre

Another short story for the Thursday Photo Prompt!

Hope you will like it, Sue!

How much she craved the freezing cold!  In this hot tropical land where the temperature never dropped below 20, the sight of a single snowflake was a miracle. She hated that it never snowed here. She hated it even more that she was stuck in this humid hell. What she hated the most was even if it snowed she wouldn’t be able to get out of her wheelchair and enjoy the snow like the others.

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Why AI won’t work. Probably.

Not all scifi writers AI’s are malevolent. Mine most certainly aren’t!!!

Matthew Wright

One of the main tropes of science fiction has to be the self-aware robot or computer – one mobile, the other not, but both presented as self-aware and able to think as we do, although often better.

I think, therefore I am a slide rule.

Often, Frankenstein-style, the AI develops malevolence. That was a trope long before HAL; virtually all of Asimov’s robot stories from the 1940s onwards were designed to counter the notion of the AI turning on its creators. Asimov’s answer – which, apparently, was proposed to him by John W. Campbell – were the ‘laws of robotics’ in which machines simply couldn’t harm humans.

Inevitably, these laws didn’t work, and Asimov knew it; a lot of his stories involved finding ways that the laws failed. He spelled out the main point of failure in one of the final robot novels: all the builder had to do was…

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Thinking Aloud On a Sunday

More from our man in Beetley, Norfolk…

beetleypete

Births, Marriages, and Deaths.

With a recent birth in the family, followed almost immediately by a death, it is understandable that I woke up thinking about family this morning. I have written before on this blog about how families are spread out further these days, and how that close contact of my youth has come down to emails, text messages, and rare phone calls, in most cases.
So please forgive the familiarity of the theme.

By most standards, England is a small country. Many of my American blogging friends live almost a continent away from close relatives, and are used to travelling great distances to see them, and having to deal with time-zone differences too. But in this country, one hundred miles is considered to be a very long way indeed. Traffic, unreliable public transport, weather difficulties, and the high cost of tickets or fuel can make physical contact a…

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