Short Stories From Quarroc: The First Door Prelude

Welcome to the curious desert land of Quarroc.  Do not mind the heat my friends, it is a dry heat that bakes the sand and clay alike.  The drab background of light tan buildings indistinguishable from the ground only serve to curate the colorful apparel of the residents.  As we enter the main gate, we are greeted by the din and hubub of the bazaar.  Watch your valuables!  And watch your tongue even more so with the sellers!  If one isn’t careful, one could wind up penniless just buying a coffee mug.  Be skilled in negotiating, or else leave the bargaining to me.  Move quickly now.  We don’t wish to be trampled.
Ah, how about some refreshment?  Now sit back and relax, we have an excellent view of the palace.  Oh, I know the plain exterior isn’t terribly exciting.  But look at that size!  Huh.  Oh, never mind me.  I just happened to notice that man over there, in the grey.  So unusual to see one of the old timers here.  Young you say?  Ha, you are right.  Around here “old timer” refers to the practitioners of the old ways.  They once ruled the land.  People rejoiced when our king subdued them.  They forced the tenants of their beliefs upon the nonbeliever and murdered many in horrific ways.  They avoid the palace area as a rule.  So what is one doing here?  I do hope it is nothing despicable…

Short Stories of Quarroc

I’m working on a new post for Monday.  My imagination has concocted the land of Quarroc.  So, I will occasionally write short stories featuring this fictional land.  I will be starting with the series of the three doors.  I hope you all enjoy.

Shocking the Automotive Flatline

I had a crazy day the other day.  I won’t go into it all, just the car.  I thought my battery died.  I was sitting in the car, in line to pick up my oldest from her first day of school.  I was a quarter-hour early, so I shut off the engine to save gas.  Then the line moved and I turned the key.
Click, click, click!  It wouldn’t start back up.  Then it stopped trying to click. 
I waved the other cars around.  One of the other parents offered to help when the line was gone.  I gratefully accepted.  When the cars had passed me, I walked to the doors to pick my daughter up.  The other parent let her sit in the back of her van and the kids watched cartoons.  Meanwhile, the other parent, the teachers, a custodian, and I all pushed my dead car to a parking space.
We tried vainly to jump the car.  We had to use jump points on my car due to design issues upon which I will later elaborate.  Nothing.  The other parent gave my daughter and I a ride home.  My father-in-law got the car home.
To access the battery on a Chrysler Concorde, one must prepare for surgery.  After opening the hood, you have to remove the entire air filter assembly.  Now jack the front passenger side up.  Remove the wheel cover and tire/rim.  Now tackle the five screws holding an access panel i place.  Remove access panel.  Now, remove the bar holding the battery in place by way of two nuts.  Remove terminal clamps.  Now move the battery carefully out the access panel (it won’t come out of the top.)  Fun right?
At this point, I suspect Rubik as the identity of the engineer responsible for this inane design.  Come to find out, the terminal clamp needed replaced.

Cardinal Sins For Political Activism And Debate

I’ve mentioned before how I do try to keep politics out of most of my posts.  My personal leanings are moderate conservative, somewhere along the Libertarian/Tea Party Republican border.  That said, I thrive on oppositional research.  Conservative and liberal feeds stream almost constantly into my social media.  I’ve noticed certain trends on all of the political spectrum which need to stop for one reason or another.  No one reading this can feel superior by thinking, “Well, MY party doesn’t do that!”  Whether big two or independent, these problems are plaguing EVERY party.

1.  Fraudulent social media reporting. – I used to see conservative pages frozen or shut down all the time only to come back with the note that someone reported to whatever social media site that they were posting pornographic material, which of course they weren’t.  Liberal social media pages seemed to be unaffected from where I sat.  Then I read another WordPress blog called A Girl Named Jack.  Her latest post was a general complaint of someone doing the same to her Facebook page and she wondered why it only ever happens to liberal pages.  What we have here is a case of greener grass on the other side of the fence. 
If you do oppositional research, as I do, then you still are likely to follow more sympathetic pages than opponent pages.  This increases the chances of noticing this sort of thing happening to your side than the other.  Not to mention the fact that you’ll notice the occurrences on your side more due to less investment on the other side.  If you do no oppositional research, you have no real idea whether this happens to the other side or not.
In any case, don’t be that jerk.  Ignore the post.  Or, if reporting is warranted, report honestly.  Facebook has admitted they don’t have sufficient staffing levels to sort it all.  As a result, blocking is done without review unless appealed by the person to whom the blocked account belongs.  Reporting an opponent’s page as pornographic (unless there is indeed pornography) is fraud.  It is the dishonest, underhanded abuse of a tool and is not conducive to earnest debate.

2.  Name calling.-What are we?  5 years old?  Do we need to be put in a corner for time-out?  Calling each other “Libertards” and “Republicunts” is out of line. Period.  If you pull this move in a Twitter argument, you’ve already lost.  It doesn’t matter whether you are on the right side of the issue or not nor does it matter how worthy your cause is.  You’ve already shut down communication while simultaneously making your side look bad.  Debate over.

3.  Slogans.-Slogans are great tools for lectures, posters, and other one-sided outlets.  But slogans have no place in debate.  If the only argument you have is to parrot a slogan, you’re out of ammo.

4.  ALL CAPS.-WE HAVE ALL RUN ACROSS THIS ON SOCIAL MEDIA AND IN COMMENT SECTIONS.  SERIOUSLY, KNOCK IT OFF.  IT IS THE TYPOGRAPHICAL EQUIVALENT TO YELLING, SERVES ONLY TO ANNOY, AND THERE IS NO GOOD REASON FOR IT.  Every device with which you can type has upper and lower case letters.  Make use of this feature, or type lower case.

5.  Death threats.-So obviously inappropriate, I can’t believe the sheer frequency with which it occurs.  I have had too few comments on my blog (Go ahead, I don’t bite.  Much.), but if I receive a threat then I will take it seriously by reporting it to the proper authorities.

6.  Hyperbole.-OMG!  People who overuse hyperbole all time a murdering the language beyond death!!!  If this continues, they’ll rape your eyes with all of this overly overdone extreme ranting!!!!!

7.  Putting words into the other’s mouth.-The only reason no one can argue with a person who commits this error is due to this action abandoning logic and reason altogether.  It also closes more ears than it opens.  I began to listen to the Associated Geekery podcast after hearing about it on the Arkham Sessions.  I shut the episode off part way through and have never listened to it again.  Part way through the episode, a co-host went on a rant about how she thinks that companies should know what charities and politicians a person donates to (nevermind that the lack of such info protects employees all along the political spectrum).  During this rant, she gave an example of if her boss donates to a pro-life charity.  “So you’re okay with me working here, but you think I should be barefoot in the kitchen raising kids” (quote from memory).  Those are two seperate things.  The pro-life camp isn’t saying that.  Sufferagette Susan B. Anthony was against abortion and saw it as a tool by which women would be oppressed.  Pro-life does not equal anti-feminist.  If you are going to bring an argument like this to the table, show the link.

8.  Just repeating the same post over and over.-’nuff said.

8.  Just repeating the same post over and over.-’nuff said.

8.  Just repeating the same post over and over.-’nuff said.

Did I forget any?