Hair, Card, Math.

Days pass. Writing, long pauses of thought, rewriting, writing, long pauses of thought. I love this.

There is a comfort here, with social media turned off and the occasional glances at the real world that penetrate maybe too deeply for most people to be comfortable with.

The Hair.

Having seen the state of my hair in the mirror this morning, I realized that the errant grey hair were demanding an appointment with sharp objects. If you have not discovered the joys of grey, they are individuals sticking out in the sea of hair. There are not yet enough of them to agree on anything on my head, which makes this more of a problem.

It’s not that I care too much what I look like, but I generally like to be taken seriously when I deal with other people. A recent experiment, with growing the goatee out, has impacted how people deal with me. The grey, I suppose, makes me look wise, like I know things.

After a few days, I decided something should be done and I had the misfortune of having to break my revery to do it.

I went to a new place to get my haircut today since the traffic from some government work made the usual spot untenable. It had been a while since I enjoyed a good barber shop, we men talking about the world.

We spoke of crime in Trinidad and Tobago, the socioeconomics from perspectives, and much more. It was a good chat with others, a true episode of a barber shop. From there, I wandered to a pharmacy.

The Card.

Maybe it was the haircut or the goatee or the grey in them, but I was suddenly asked whether I was married. It was an odd question, so I followed through. It ended up he was trying to get a card for a couple who had been together 25 years and he, and these two younger women helping him, had no clue. None.

The only thing that could make sense to me would be a single card to “the couple”. I would never have thought to buy cards separately. I still don’t understand how that’s an option, and for those who don’t understand – I saw 3 today – it’s amazingly simple. Nobody splits cards received as part of divorce settlements. If you’re wishing the couple the best, the couple is singular.

He went off for a second opinion. I laughed. I don’t care.

The Math

I glance at a newspaper and see “TSTT CEO: Retrenchment of 468 Saves 12m a Month“. It caught my attention.

The math seemed off, and Newsday is pretty good at reporting what was said, so I will bet that she actually did say that. The math comes down to each of those employees that were sent home saving the company about $25k each per month. That’s big money.

If that is what TSTT is paying, Lisa Agard could probably afford to lay herself off.

This is why I don’t read newspapers, generally. People believe this stuff, and then we wonder why people have trouble with math.

The Return.

Back home, I boggled at why I had went outside in the first place. Maybe my hair can look weirder. I’m not sure going outside is worth the disturbance of the revery.

The Veil

I have managed to get the 2nd chapter done, but I’m revisiting it today because of distractions. If it wasn’t the phone ringing, it was my stomach growling, or a water interruption to monitor, or…

You get the idea. A symphony of distraction. Granted, I will sit in concentration for long periods of time, but the distractions are easy without subscribing to cable, or checking social media, or anything else.

I call it a symphony because there’s always someone running through with a cowbell and using cymbals for dramatic effect.

So, today, the phone is on silent, the stomach sated just enough, and a general ignorance of the world drops like a veil as the only sound is that of muted music in the background and the rhythmic pulses of keys leaving a trail of letters on a screen…

When Hope Fades.

Sitting and writing the first chapter of the project was pretty fast and fun. Of course, there was a symphony of distractions, but when that happens you just find the right rhythm to go with them.

Having gotten the first chapter done, I started thinking about how to get to the 2nd chapter, did some research and decided that the 2nd chapter will be different. Tomorrow, I rewrite the first chapter after I sleep on it and get to the 2nd chapter.

Having done that, I picked up a new book from my reading stack and delved in to forget about the project for a bit. I came across this:

When hope fades, anger flourishes.

Lawrence Lessig, “They Don’t Represent Us” (2021)

That to me is poetry. It fits times I felt anger in some way or the other, being cornered or when the hope that others will behave better or do better is lost. What he’s writing about is ripe with that issue, and his book hopes to provide hope, I suppose. It’s been interesting so far, I recommend it particularly if you’re American.

In a world where instant gratification is sold as a tangible item maybe hope lasts only 47 seconds anyway. The world is coming at people faster these days and there’s more of it.

There are days I reminisce about waiting a month for a printed magazine, checking the bookstore to see if it got there earlier, so that I could have some insight into technology, the world, and maybe find out what the humans around the world were up to. Time magazine, National Geographic, Byte Magazine… portals into other parts of the world opened once every 30 days and then back to life for another 30 days.

Now we’re being bombarded with shit that’s spun not through a fan, but some specialized shit shredder that lets you build your own shit stories in your head from the temporally disparate scraps, based partly on landmines of truth someone accidentally left in, like corn. No wonder there’s a general lack of hope turning to anger. Nobody knows what’s going on, nobody’s trusted to tell the truth, and when they do there’s a distrust in it because it doesn’t smell like the rest of the stuff we’ve been covered in.

You have some corn on your nose. There. Got it.

I have some bad news, though. We’re producing what we’re wearing. No, not you as an individual, that would be something you would have to see a doctor about – well, we all would, I suppose. No, I’m writing figuratively about society.

If people would just take a deep breath and stop watching, listening to and reading all the crap out there and demand a substrate of truth that is regularly watered, I imagine we would have more hope. There was a time when for fiction, I went to the comics and horoscopes in newspapers, but now I just look at the cover page. I’m sure some of it is real, but it’s so distant and unable to be changed that it may as well be fiction.

If Jean Luc Picard jumped out when I was scanning the headlines and said, “Quick, come with us, we need your help to save the universe”, I’d likely arch an eyebrow and say, “Fascinating.” Clearly he came through a rip in the space-time continuum, and whatever’s happening there would seem a lot better than what’s happening here.

But hope is not lost, and so anger shouldn’t flourish.

We just have to take control of what depends on us and go from there.

The Next Writing Project

Starting today, the 22nd of May, I’ll be embarking on a new writing project – a new stab at a novel.

Over the course of the last weeks in particular, I’ve re-energized this blog and the one over on, doing posts daily and sometimes with a little extra. This will continue. There will be scheduled posts, and I’ll check in on comments and such as I can throughout the day without interrupting myself.

I’ll take a moment and thank all those who are following and have subscribed, whether because you enjoy my writing or because you enjoy some of the eclectic things I’ve written about.

Generally speaking, I’m trying to write about my time being a human here, and all that it entails, and more systemic stuff on They’re mixing now a bit as technology increasingly mixes the two, but they won’t merge.

For those of you whose writing I enjoy, whose writing I reference, etc, my interactions will continue but will be more condensed.

What am I writing about? Well, it’s a stab at an original science fiction novel that doesn’t follow the formulaic crap out there, something I would want to read. Will it be any good? Hell, I dunno.

I just gotta do it.

The Elephant Trail.

Elephants. We tend to talk about dinosaurs a lot more frequently, maybe because they’re extinct and we can imagine them without fear since they are gone, with the exceptions of the birds and reptiles left behind.

It’s captivating to think, though, that as humans migrated from what is now the African continent they might have followed some elephants around.

If I were a human leader at the time, responsible for a group of other humans – even the annoying ones – I’d probably stay not far from elephants.

By the time we figured out fire, elephant dung could have been useful – not to mention all the broken branches and trees around them which could easily become sharp, pointy spears. I imagine a few tribes might have gotten hungry enough to try an elephant herd and it’s not hard to imagine that not going too well.

We tend to think we were pretty awesome at hunting, but I’d also think that since I’m typing this my ancestors had a disposition which allowed for survival. Being friendly with the elephants could certainly come in handy for the predators that were running around back then that might mistake a human for a tasty treat.

I’m not sure, but I’d say that the Asian elephants were African elephants that decided to head to Asia, for whatever reason. Maybe humans worked with them in some ways, or maybe we just decided following the elephants was a good idea.

A fun idea to play with in odd moments. How did that work, if it did?


Since I’m down to one face

I have been spending way too much time on Facebook trying to convince friends and acquaintances that I have written something of worth, sharing my ideas with the world to people who don’t seem to like or share. This is likely also a factor of Facebook algorithms, and paying to get a post noticed when you’re not earning money from the post is…


It’s also kind of weird when people like the post but don’t share it. It’s sort of like the person that their mind is having an affair with. Is it too much to be willing to share? Maybe.

I have a Facebook page that automatically links stuff from RealityFragments (here) and The same happens with my Twitter account, which I still have despite Musk and his Muskovites. I’ll be paying attention to that instead.

There’s too much time wasted on Facebook and whether for algorithmic reasons or defective connection reasons, the net sum is the same: I’ll mainly stay on the blogs, decorating pieces of time with what time I have left.

One Face.

Clearly, I’m back to writing online.

There are a few reasons why I had not written as much the last years. Some were health related – 2 surgeries, possibly with a side order of depression.

Another reason was confusing my friends with readers, where friends might like what I wrote and not share it, or not even read it in the first place. That can be frustrating when you’re on social media, reading what a friend posted with a link to an article that looks amazingly like something you wrote but didn’t. That’s a bit annoying.

There’s not much to be done about those reasons, but there were other reasons related to who I am, what I think about, what I write, and getting the mechanics of it to all work together. has been my original site, and it evolved over decades. Had it not been for Bluehost screwing up my backups, there would have been a lot more in that site. I lost years of stuff I wrote on that, and because of that I do not recommend them at all. That was certainly a knife to the chest, but statistically I am unimportant to them, just as any individual user is. Lesson learned.

I tried a variety of ‘side sites’. Because was more technical, I found it necessary to break off in a way where was left brained (analytical), and the side sites were right brained. Of course, the theory for left brain/right brain is antiquated now, or should be because of neuroplasticity – and the reason I bring that up is because by speaking of them separately, we enforce a divide that isn’t necessarily there.

The idea that one can be creative and analytical is a matter of chutes, in my experience. In secondary school, I was great at literature and sciences, but they shoved me into the science chute – maybe because I failed art despite my keen stick figures and last minute water paintings that were still wet when I handed them in. It was decided for me that I would be a ‘sciency’ sort of person, and I embraced that with computers because when nobody else will listen to you when you’re growing up… at least a computer is predictable and will do what you say.

The truth is, I would find years later, that I could be both in a world that wouldn’t allow you to be both. And so it was with online writing, where one is supposed to write about the same shit over and over again to drive traffic so that… so that what? Well, friendly reader, so that you can be ‘successful‘, whatever that means.

During the dot com boom, 1 of 300 sites did well and survived. That didn’t stop everyone from drinking the Kool-Aid, with quite similar results with the exception that some people spent millions of dollars on bad ideas that someone happily took their money for to build something that wouldn’t last. Planned obsolescence that the owner wasn’t aware of that churned them into statistics with no happy ending.

All the while I was learning something important. Something which, had I pursued humanities more despite the chute bureaucracies shoved me in, should have been learned much earlier. I didn’t have 2 faces. I didn’t have multiple faces. I have one face.

This is to say we all appear different to others, but what they see isn’t our face as much as how they see our face. Life is indeed a costume party, and so I decided not to be ashamed of attending life with my real face. Say what you wish of me, and there are some that do…

I’m authentically me.

Which gets us back to the writing, the two sites, etc. I’ve created a division of content that is merging, and it seems to be working so I’ll just follow that path. There are no hard rules to it, as both sites are different views of the same face.

And finally, I think that the key problem – me – is finally figuring that out.


It’s not often that I’ll write about a movie, but “Discontinued” seems to deserve it. Granted, the lead character, played by Ashley Hutchinson, reminded me in some ways of at least one person I once knew.

If you’ve lived long enough to have had to reinvent yourself because the ‘world’ as you know it is ending, this is a nice comedy-drama that shows a character wandering around in a simulation that smells slightly of Douglas Adams.

The idea that the world is a simulation isn’t new, of course. In that regard, this is like the Matrix without the action. Yet it’s a very human story, with an actress who made the character come to life in ways that honestly amazed me, along the lines of Tom Hanks in Castaway.

Of course, in Castaway, Tom Hanks character was alone on an island. In Discontinued, the lead character, Sarah, is alone in crowds.

The writing was great for this. The acting, from the lead character to the raving psychiatrist (Robert Picardo) to the ubiquitous Guide (Langston Fishburne), there is much to enjoy and even more to consider in a world that constantly reinvents itself… maybe faster than we can reinvent ourselves.

Practical Communication

Over the course of the last few weeks, the board related to the condos I live in have been trying to get the sprinkler system tested. This requires people to be at their condo.

The communications seemed written by committee. In fact, I suspect it was. The emails were long, detailed, and largely uninteresting after a request for people on different floors to be home at different times, with a schedule and a verbose explanation of… well, honestly, I didn’t read that first email fully because it was annoyingly verbose.

I spoke to a director, and how they explained it in person took less than 3 minutes. The explanation happened to be incorrect. Given the director, I should have expected that, so that’s my fault.

Another email came around with thinly veiled derision about people not being home during scheduled times, etc, etc.

Then a 2 page photocopied collection of words ended up shoved under my door, stapled together in such a way that opening it destroyed part of whatever they thought was important enough to try to communicate to us. On skimming this

Eventually, the testing was done, and it was very, very simple. It took about 20 minutes to do our floor, though not everyone was home because it was scheduled on weekdays. It’s a little silly to expect that everyone could be there at the same time. Well, not a little.

For me, this process was roughly 3 weeks of communication that did not get the message through to a lot of people. Better communication would have given better results, I’m sure, but there was no way that they were going to get 100% participation. People have lives and commitments.

One of the things I noticed almost immediately was that there was a call to action to start with, which is good. There was an offer to give the office the key to the condo to do the testing, which, while nice, opens up liability questions should things get broken, go missing, or any of those things claimed. That, to me, was a mark of desperation.

There was also an implicit misunderstanding of the lives of people who live in the condos, as if everyone could just snap their fingers, pause their lives and get home during the middle of a work day to handle the issue.

What could have been done better?

Know Your Audience

If you’re going to schedule something during the work week and you know people work, you missed in concept already. I ended up asking if they could have done it on the weekend, when more people would be likely to be home, and their response was that it was more expensive.

Given they have had to do this 2 times so far with some floors, I’m not sure that’s the case.

Keep It Simple

The test was a matter of bringing the water pressure to a level and making sure the sprinklers didn’t leak. It took less than 20 minutes. It is a required test that helps keep insurance cost down for condo owners.

You don’t need a bunch of paragraphs to say that. That’s generally what happens when people are trying to look smart, or browbeat people into submission, particularly with a captive audience.

Better Targeting

I know for a fact that the technology exists to target people by floor for emails. Nobody on the 9th floor really cares about the testing on the 1st -8th floors. The communications we got had a schedule for every floor, which made it annoyingly difficult to read.

It Wasn’t That Bad.

Honestly, given that the board is made up of volunteers, the administrative person in the office is alone and overloaded since for some reason the board has not found a new property manager yet… it could have been worse. Because it could have been worse doesn’t mean that it could not have been better.

The previous board was actually horrific when it came to any sort of communication, with everything from the past chairman becoming a meandering story that lacked so much more than all of this. Oddly, he’s writing for media in Trinidad and Tobago which is a poor reflection on those parts of the media he writes for, but he’s politically connected so he makes people suffer his syllables. He’s so bad that Tolkien would have suggested that he be more brief, and Tolkien could take 3 chapters to describe a chair if he was so inclined. It would have been a kick ass description, though, so there’s that.

There are lessons here. Speaking for myself, I often need to tighten things up myself, so the criticism isn’t coming from perfection. I would never claim that.

But we can avoid people wanting to stab themselves in the eye with pencils when we write. I think that might be a goal for any writer.

Friends and Readers.

I’m connected to a lot of people on the Internet of different cultures, religions, political ideologies and lengths of nose hair. I do not have empirical evidence of the latter, so let’s call that a theory. I digress.

When I publish something – anything – on the Internet, I find my connections may like something I write but not share it. That implies they don’t think it’s worth sharing. It’s sort of like having a hot dog stand where people you know walk by and say, “that’s nice” and wander off in search of hamburgers, rotis, and sauteed goat testicles.

It doesn’t really matter to them. They don’t like hot dogs, or the algorithms that decide what they see think they don’t like hot dogs enough.

Fortunately, I’m not selling hot dogs.

I could go off and write stuff that would engage my eclectic arrangement of acquaintances I’ve collected over the course of a lifetime, some in real life through real world experiences and some through online experiences. Some may just think that you’re already awesome and that you don’t want your content shared. Some may find you the guilty pleasure that they don’t share with their own audiences.

Friends are not necessarily readers. Readers are not necessarily friends. We’re lucky when people are both.

I’ve recently been writing more frequently online again, and I am not one to write in a niche about a particular topic. I like to mix topics, swirl them around with the abandon of a naked abstract artist spinning around to fling paint on the canvases of the world, decorating a piece of time. It can be disheartening at times when people who you know are posting things others have written about the same things. Maybe they’re ignoring you, maybe not.

It doesn’t really matter when you write as an outlet rather than writing for an audience. That’s the key difference.

So, I have noted I have gained more readers, and I’d like to thank you for your time and interest. I wander around when you have websites and look at your stuff too, leaving comments and even riffing with some of your stuff.

I’m having fun. I hope you are too. Don’t be afraid to comment!