Hardness, Surveillance, EMP (Make me write bad checks)

From: my inner geek (geek@ifeden.com)
Date: Fri Jan 12 2001 - 01:53:02 MST

From: my inner geek

To: WCalvin@U.Washington.edu ; media@gatesfoundation.org ; feedback@cnn.com
; jobs@comedycentral.com ; admin-us@aiusa.org ; treinhart@sps-it.com ;
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Karin.Tansey@Watchguard.com ; ledwards@sps-it.com ; spawnstomp@aol.com

My doctor recommended that I contact the University of Washington to
participate in a controlled study of prescription marijuana. I use it
therapeutically to increase my tactility when reintegrating my dissociated
kinesthetic memory.

BRAIN TEASER: What would "hardness and surveillance" have to do with
nanotech and cryonics?

Dear Extropians:

I have been thinking a lot lately about "institutions." Which reminds me of
the term "institutional momentum" which I first heard in Engines of

My mother and I have some genes in common.

Monday - thru - Friday, she wakes up at about 5am and sits in front of a
make-up mirror puting on her make-up.

Around 7 am, she begins frantically running around the house looking for
various things: her purse, cell phone, paperwork.

At about 7:30 she leaves for her job at Boeing, where she enters Software
Problem Reports into a database (about one a month).

Most of the time, she surfs the web and files her nails.

Our house is very cluttered, as she has way too many clothes for the amount
of storage space. She also is obsessed with lipstick, and has a collection
of about 40 or so various shades.

I mentioned to her that if I was at work where she works, I'd probably just
create a web-based form so the programmers on her project (IUS: inertial
upper stage) would be able to enter their own software problem reports.
Unfortunately, there wouldn't be much left for her to do.

When I was a young kid, her job a Boeing was ferociously important to her,
as she was a military brat and it was her first real job. She needed the
money after the divorce to pay the rent and take care of my brother and I.


When I was 13 (the same year I stopped wetting the bed), she ended up
getting transferred from Vandenberg Air Force base, where she worked in
"Hardness and Surveillance", to Seattle, where she worked with engineers who
put satellites into the proper orbit. My brother and I stayed in
California, with my dad.



She was alone up in Seattle, and was naturally quite depressed and loney.
She amused herself by participating in various self-help workshops (Context
Seminars, Gestalt retreats to Hawaii), and by participating in the Boeing
Psychic Club.

We'd see her for 6 weeks each summer, in Seattle (got to see Mt. St. Helens
blow in realtime from Military Way over Southcenter).

In October of 1998, I got kicked out of my apartment (Hastings East, 3355
Pennsylvania Avenue, Fremont, CA, across the street from Spoons restaurant)
for making too much noise late at night (I was learning about electrostatic
charge by rotating a Chinese Medicine Ball inside a Wooden Bowl). I'd smoke
a little doobie and sit on the floor all night rotating the ball. As a
System Administrator (SA) at SGI, I had some great video games that were
great to play when I. Especially FOR-SA-KEN.


I was short on cash. Luckily, I had a SONY DCR-VX 1000 camcorder that I'd
purchased on the "9 months same as cash"[ 23% interest on all balance if not
paid in full with 9 months] from Fry's electronics. I qualified for SONY
card and a $5000 limit when I put in my application. I fibbed a little and
said that I was working for SGI, when really I was a contractor so my checks
came from the contract agency. Anywell, Wells-Fargo had offered me a
balance transfer promotion, so I "paid off" the SONY card right away and
enjoyed having the camcorder sitting on the floor in my room 98.6% of the

I was out of cash and had an eviction notice.

What the hell, I thought, place an ad in CLASSIFIEDS 2000 and sell the
camcorder at a $600 loss, good as new, still in the box.

Got a lot of calls that sounded suspicious, then one that sounded valid from
a sweet old lady named "Virginia Andrews". She called on Thursday and
wondered if I could ship it C.O.D. on Friday for overnight weekend delivery
on Saturday before noon. It was her husbands birthday and he really wanted
a camera. Sure, I said.

2 weeks later I got the check from UPS and deposited it no problem. Now I
had over $3000 in my checking account, so I'd be able to pay first and last
on a new apartment.

What the heck, I'll go up and visit Mom. She's so fucking lonely and
depressed. Maybe I can help her move out of the apartment and get into a
house so she can have a dog. That'd be some companionship so she wouldn't
have to sleep on the floor in the living room all the time because she
didn't "have the energy" to take the piles of clothes and shoes off of her
bed because there was just too many things that needed ironing and to be
sorted out for goodwill.

I put my shit in storage and drove up to Seattle (with my PC).

After spending about a week with my Mom and helping her clear a path between
the living room and her bedroom, I was encouraged to see that the rent for
homes was much lower in Federal Way than in Silicon Valley. I could help
her get moved by her birthday on October 30th, then go back to Silicon
Valley where I was raking in the dough. I went to the cash machine to get
some weed money and there was no cash available.

Couldn't get anyone from the bank on the phone for a few days, but had to
act quick. They said the check was counterfit. I did some research on
Virginia Andrews and found a few of them in the phone book, but none with
the same address. So I went to MAPQUEST and looked up the address. It was
on the corner of some street by the railroad tracks in Watts, in Los
Angeles. Shit! I fucked up. Called the detective in the area and he just
chuckled. "There's nothing we can do," he said. Gangs do this all the
time. Golf clubs, computers, camcorders. All kinds of stuff. They just
get Quicken or something and plug in the logo of a bank and go ahead and
make a laser printout on a blank check that looks real. Sorry, you're out
of luck". He said, as he finished his doughnut.


Anyway, I love my mother. She had a "Sim" and was gone for a while, so I
hooked up with some chick at Denny's with big tits and warm hands. She said
she worked at Boeing. I got my mom's bed cleared off in a few minutes and
had a lot of fun. Changed the sheets before my mom got back. Found a house
down the street, and got a two-bedroom. Luckily it was a problem with my


She has a nice smile, but she's been having trouble maintaining that smile,
lately. "You put me through hell," she says, referring to the two-weeks I
spent confined in Western State Hospital as a result of the 24-Hour Fitness
Supplements/DejaVu nightclub trial.

Anyway, anytime I criticize Boeing as being a "tyrannical bureacracy", she
says "Shut Up! My job's done a lot for you. Boeing paid for your braces.
Boeing bought your clothes. Boeing pays [my half of] the rent."

Yeah, I guess she's right.

So if I were working there, would I "automate" her job and give her a pink
slip (or golden handshake), or would I just be cordial and try to politely
look the other way as she surfs the web all day between e-mails gossiping
about the cat-fights between secretaries. She's also obsessed with making
it to the next "Sim" in Sunnyvale, where she normally makes the coffee.

Anyway, since I love her and realize she's been doing this almost 30 years
and doesn't have a lot of initiative left (on the surface), it would present
quite a "Catch 22 (my jersey number in pee-wee footbal league)".

Then I realized something: she's probably just like all the "government
workers" that are effected by downsizing of the government.

When I think about all the government bureacracies in school districts,
courts, city, county and state government... it's basically a lot of people
in a similar situation: file clerks when are running out of paper and things
to do.

Best solution, I think, would be to just keep paying her the normal salary,
but tell her to please go home and play so she's out of the way of the
engineers and not slowing things down. Funny how such a simple business
decision would actually improve the efficiency of the Software Engineers who
launch our spy satellites.

Just a thought...

Anyway, she makes it out of the office sometime before 5:30 every day, and
manages to tolerate the hour commute back home, where she does her nails and
watches tv.

On weekends, she normally sleeps in until around 1:30 or so, then lollygags
around the house saying she can't go out because she's "got a lot to do,
like clean up her room and sort out the shed." She's been saying the same
thing for about 2 years.

Last week month she was going through my things and found about 1/2 of a
joint. (It was the first I'd had in about 18 months, and costed $100). She
flushed it down the toilet when I was asleep. A few days ago, she called my
psychiatrist to tell him that I was smoking with my meds when I wasn't
supposed to be, and suggested that maybe I spend a few days in the hospital.

Having just spent 14 days in a hospital (at a cost to the state of
$330/day), I thought a voucher system might be better.

I could have spent the money on a trib to Club-Med in Mexico, or maybe a
week or so in Amsterdam.

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