Happy Emergency Telephone Number Day, United States of America!

I shit you not, in 1987 Reagan declared September the 11th the 9-1-1 Emergency Telephone Number Day.

Going back a few years, in 1297 the Battle of Stirling Bridge happened. 700 years later in 1997 a referendum was held and the people of Scotland voted to establish a Scottish Parliament, with tax-varying powers. The United Kingdom apparently maintains responsibility for defence and international relations.

Back in 1922 the British Mandate in Palestine began (some memo got approved on this date). Oh yeah, that really worked out well.

In 1940 George Stibitz demonstrated remote operation of a computer. Think about that for a moment.

61 years ago in 1943 Nazis started to wipe out ghettos in Minsk.

Pee Wee Herman went on the air on HBO in 1981.

In 1941 construction of an office building began. It would be in need of some repairs 60 years later.

Apparently the 11th of September is the date when, in 1857, some Mormons and Paiutes massacred all but the youngest members of a party travelling from Arkansas to California. For shame.

Some people who like animals formed the World Wildlife Fund in 1961.

Augusto Pinochet took over Chile in 1973.

Some Deaths

Some Births

There's lots more there too.

Not drinking
Here with
The scarred
And the beautiful
So close and far
I feel ill
And yet,
in the cold,

Amateur psychology
Actual people
In this unreality
In this lost time
Lost time

A new phase
Not smoking
In the night
Closer, closer,
Cheekbone expectorations
Korean Pop
Joy, joy, joy.

Out for a walk
Then back inside
Back to write
Inside, someone
Has discovered
a microphone
Bold MC
Made extreme
too extreme

A new phase:
Singing together
Red lit darkeness
Some must leave
We few
Unwilling to sleep
We wake up
One of the fallen
Talking loudly
about science


My cousin gave birth this evening to an 8 lb 8 oz baby girl. This is her first child.

My brother's sister-in-law beat her by 20 minutes today in delivering a baby boy. Also first born.

Two brand new lives starting today.
Two new members in the family.
It is a good day.

After the Geek Prom

I pull into the nearly empty parking lot of the QFC and swing the car around to point at the exit for a quick get-away. I take a five-spot out of my wallet and hand it to theother-ryano, and he saunters into the store.

“What are we doing here?” asks drowningweasel's friend who is driving the car that has been tailing me down the twisty hill.
“We got a call: we have to get toilet paper.” flamingweasel opens the trunk and tries to cushion the bottles of Matrimonial ESB from the rest of the curvy road with his and joyquality's overnight bags. When he's done, he steps away from the car and looks as if he wished he had a cigarette. I sneak up behind and give him a sudden hug.
“It's done, you're married!”
“I still think I'm forgetting something.” theother-ryano strides back across the parking lot, swinging a crinkly plastic bag, “Everyone was looking funny at me as I stood in the express line in my suit holding tee-pee.” We get in the car, and I drive east through the rest of the hills, through downtown, and across the Burnside Bridge.
“Did you leave food out for Ada?”
“Damn. We need to stop by the apartment.”
Now I lead our tailing vehicle south and east and around. As we pass in front of the Basement Pub, two cats are starring each other down in the middle of the street. They circle like samurai, oblivious to the light rain, oblivious to the cars. I would like to stop in the middle of the street and watch them, maybe book wagers.
I pull to the curb. flamingweasel jumps out and heads into the apartment. I step out and walk back to speak to our tail. “What I didn't mention about the toilet paper is that it is for the cat.” flamingweasel returns to the car, so I start up and pull out from the curb. I was expecting a bit of blocking from my wingman, but drowningweasel's friend is not on the ball. As I pull out, some guy driving slowly and safely noticed that I appeared in front of him, and he lays on the horn.
“And fuck you.” theother-ryano says. “Drive slowly now.”
“As long as he doesn't run over the tin cans dangling from the bumper, it's festive and celebratory.”
My car had been acting up, needed a muffler and brake work and assorted other crap, but it had also acquired this strange inability to start on the first try, no clicking, no churning, just a whole lot of nothing. So I got out early to find a mechanic, explained my troubles dropped off my car, and waited for the return call. They were "unable to reproduce the problem" and after checking the battery, alternator and starter, determined that my problems could all be solved by "wiggling the clutch a little" when I start it. I had a new muffler system put on (ah, quiet) and called it a day.

Chris and I made a fine dinner. Ate like kings who eat perfectly grilled, medium rare steak with fresh green beans and wine, and talk afterward about the greatness of the meat cut, the perfection of the marbling, the crispness of the beans.

I took the kids up for a bath, made great big bubbles, washed hair, tickled toes with soap and scrubbing, watched my son stuggle to get his big toddler head through the neck hole of his Dora t-shirt whithout wanting ANY help.

Then I went outside for a smoke. There was a man at the bottom of my stairs. At first I thought it was one of my neighbors, but then the guy turned his face and I could see blood dripping down. I was watching as he tried another phone number on his cell, only to click it shut again and sigh.

I went from wondering, what the hell is that guy doing on my stairs, to, oh man, that guy needs some help. I told the kids to kick it on the porch and I went down to investigate.

"Um. Hey. Do you need some help?"

He turned to me, his face all bruised, with a bloody scrape on one side. His eyes were wide and scared looking, as well as red, a bit drunk and shocked. He looked like he did not know how to process me.

"Uhm. Yeah, I kinda was like. I was at the game. And then these. There were these guys. I don't know. I have been drinking most of the day, so maybe it was my fault. I. hmmm."

At that point I excused myself, saying I will be back in a moment, and hooked the kids up with a video (Scoobi Doo) and hurried back with some paper towels and peroxide.

I handed them to him and he looked grateful. He handed me his cell phone. There was a woman on the other end screaming, "Holy crap are you ok?"

"It's my sister" he said, "...don't know where I am".

I told her where he was. She asked how he was doing. I told her he was a bit raw around the face, but safe. I told her how to get to my house, and again said he was safe, that I would mind him while she was gone, but to relax because he his safety was assured, because my porch is safe and I certainly wasn't going to beat him up. I handed back the phone back and asked him his name.

He has the misfortune of being a man named Courtney, this slight fellow with very old eyes, maybe mid twenties, this non-fighter with a bruised face. I bummed him smokes and made small talk. Go Bucks.

Mans inhumanity to man, we called it. I told him no beat up guy gets to sit on my stoop without some help. Case closed.

He wanted to know if September 11th was just a tainted day. I said no. Babies are born and love is made, and your team wins, and the sun comes up, and a stranger can be just as worried about another stranger as they would be about a friend. Some go for blood and revel in it, but some just want to see it cleaned up.

His sister came looking worried and mad, clucked near his wounds like a mother hen, thanked me like I did something, and then they were off.


In 2014 a bilogical megaweapon targetting people with specific genetic heritage has wiped out 98% of the population of Asia, leaving only those who could afford the expensive gene therapy required to cure the disease. The virus had been created by the ultraterrorist SECTOR 18, using technology stolen from American biotech and defense conglomerates during a series of increasingly daring and highly publicised raids.

In their last days the fractured Chinese administration, tortured by the disease that was attacking their nervous systems causing increasingly unbearable pain, retaliated against those they thought responsible using a weapon nobody had beleived existed - a QUANTUM DISASSOCIATION bomb that reduced the Middle East to a plate of glass over a mile thick.

The bomb, China's doomsday device, left most of the Earth's surface uninhabitable.

Left to their devices the Earth's corporate citizens sought safety in size. The top 1000 corporates consolidated in a series of swift and sometimes bloody mergers. Bewildered world governments looked on as they ceased to matter when compared to the top 5 newly created economies. Each UNION, as they called themselves, invested heavily in military hardware and defense technologies, seeking to set a new standard in 'peacetime security'.

As the rest of the Earth turned black during the resulting RESOURCE WARS, the Unions turned their hungry eyes toward developing countries. Finally, they sought to capitalise on hitherto untouched African resources. It was then that a group of African government officials came together to stand ground against the Unions:

A brilliant University professor in Kenya created a device that would transform economics and life forever: a quanternary CEREBERAL CO-PROCESSOR allowing read-only access to a small portion of the human brain. Overnight, life became THOUGHT INTERACTIVE as people were fitted with the expensive devices. The Unions were forced to outfit their citizens at tremendous cost, with all profit going the newly formed and wholly African controlled MBUKI CYBERWARE.

Entrapping the Unions in their own legal web that had made it illegal to reverse engineer new technologies, coupled with a merciless employment policy and anti tampering technologies that required someone to risk killing themselves trying to modify the proprietary firmware, Mbuki Cyberware became the dominant economy within months. Within two years they had controlling stakes in two of the Unions.

PHILIP MBUKI, creator of the 'Quasar' cereberal interface device, continued to innovate with the limitless resources he now had at his disposal. He intended to take his technology one step further by developing a way to simulate the chemical and electrical behavior of the human nervous system. In order to test his theories, Mbuki claimed he had to leave Earth and travel out of the solar system to an area between Sol and Proxima Centauri, where he claimed the electromagnetic interference would be low enough for him to 'dub' his neural patterns onto a superscaled version of his quanternary processor.

He announced the construction of a space yacht that would carry him and the supercomputer 'container' he codenamed XEN to the proposed test site. During the test he would remain in total radio silence and left a digitally signed will that would be executed by artificial intelligence in the event of his faliure to contact Earth within a period of one year after the test date.

It is 364 days since that date passed. Tomorrow, Philip Mbuki will be pronounced dead and his will read by his digital executive. Will the Unions move to seize control of Mbuki Cyberware by declaring his will illegal? Or will the shadowy BLACK CHAMBER, who previously controlled mankind's destiny but had been driven into hiding during the Resource Wars, make their presence known?

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.