Mental Chess Versus Imagination

The message board Terry found was part of the dark web, a section of the internet similar to the sketchiest slum you could imagine. It was possible to find something benign and not quite illegal but the majority of items or favors sought were anything but. Out of curiosity and a peer-pressure fueled nudge from his classmates, Terry found himself Searching for something but nothing in particular. Scrolling through bits of unconfirmed leaked multi-government files and the occasional pornographic image he found a topic titled “Just another face ;Terry = – ).” He knew right away that this was something deeply wrong. There was no way or reason there would be someone tracking him. Nothing but coincidence led that topic to his eyes. Ignoring it he continued to scroll down, eating some snacks along the way and grabbing the obligatory glass of water. After hours of burying his face in a computer screen long enough to hear his eyes blink he called it a night.

The next day on the walk home he was talking to his best friend Pete who was familiar with the message board and was on the same night. “Hmmm yeah I remember seeing the pic of the girl on that motorcycle but the topic after had nothing to do with you. I didn’t see anything last night that said Terry… Maybe you fell asleep and thought it was real or something?” “Nah man, it totally said Terry and had some smiley thing at the end of it. I’ll take a pic and send it to you if it happens again.” Terry turned to press the crosswalk button and dropped his cellphone. ” You have got to be kidding!” After picking it up he saw it fell directly onto the camera. “Dude, it might still work just pick some off the glass off.” Terry messed around with the camera for a bit before snapping his first picture at the sky. “….Damn man my mom said I should’ve got a case when I got this phone. I never break my stuff. Hey, what does that cloud look like to you?” “A marshmallow floating on the dreams of angels!” Terry resisted the urge to smack Pete. “Seriously though! Doesn’t it look like a smile or something?” “Nope! I think you need to relax with that business. Just let it go. Even if it was there, what are the chances that you, ‘The Magnificent Terry Schaffer: World Renowned Sophomore’ is the Terry they’re talking about?” Terry laughed and gave Pete a quick punch to the solar plexus. “Yeah, Ok.”

Terry went back to his room to see his computer already logged in to the message board. The topics for all of the boards spelled out a message saying “Good luck telling anyone! They can’t believe you. I won’t let them. = – ).” After he scrolled down to the last topic his computer shut down and then restarted. At the same time his mother called him down to the dining room for supper. While eating Terry asked his mother if anything strange had happened to her. Startled by the question she gave him a confused facial expression. “Is someone messing with you at school?” “Not that I know of but I think I’m getting hacked and someone is bullying me online. I could take it. I just wanted to be sure nothing was happening to you.” Silvia took another bite of her food and shrugged her shoulders. “Don’t worry about me. Ever since your Dad died I don’t need you to fill the ‘Man-of-the-house’ role. I am YOUR parent and I care for YOU. Just worry about school and this mess about hackers I’ll look into it. Maybe the police would be able to help.” Worried of what the police would uncover by delving into a teen’s cyber life Terry was quick to respond. “Cops?! Forget it. It’s not that big of a deal. I’ll just setup a better firewall. I’m good.” Supper resumed without a hint of unfamiliar essences. When Terry got back to his room his computer was left at the log-in screen. After logging in, his desktop wallpaper was a short note, “I’m sorry to have frightened you. I just want you to know there is something more to everything. It is here! I Love You, Terry! Don’t be afraid.” Terry pushed the keyboard tray in and stepped back. After fifteen minutes of pacing back and forth and biting his nails he unplugged his computer. He ran downstairs fast enough to trip over his own feet and quicken his descent to the ground by a few seconds with no favor to his face.

It was another day at school but he couldn’t concentrate. All that was on his mind was the voice he had read every message in. It felt like he knew who was talking to him. Where there was apprehension and nervousness now came a feeling of wanting. All that Terry wanted was to know what truth there was to what was going on. He never felt a powerful obsession like this in his life. After school it became a ritual to find a new message. What was hidden and why was beyond him but the need to seek was paramount. Three months had past with a complete silence just enough to drive him mad. He had lost his friends being unable to carry on any coherent conversation. Pete had gone missing during the first week of silence. Everyone around Terry believed that Pete’s disappearance is what started to diminish his mood and ultimately lead to his recent bouts with depression. The counselors who were assigned to Terry thought it to be in his best interest to stay at home to process what happened to Pete but all he could do is replay in his mind the few messages he received over and over again.

After a walk around the neighborhood with his mother he found a note on the ground. The paper looked more like a piece of cloth. There were dark red stains towards the edges the same size as Terry fingers. The writing on it was cursive with instructions written like a recipe. The list was short and simple. The person who plans to invoke the summoning of knowledge needs a candle and a dark room full of emotion. Terry felt confused but certain it was left for him. Everything he had experienced to this point felt like following a trail of bread crumbs he left while fearing he would be lost. The fork in this road was one approached before but he was not sure how he could know where to go. He shoved the note in his jacket pocket and ran straight to home. Terry’s mom shouted for him to slow down but he would not. Tears of excitement were sliding across his face. He ran upstairs to his room eager and lost. On the way in he kicked a yellow envelope packed with something labeled “You needed to know. = – ).”

Sitting in a room lit only by a candle light app on an adjacent smart phone, Terry felt like he was losing it all. His mind was just coping with the loss of itself fumbling with the pieces leftover from a blunt force of a traumatic sensory overload. On the floor beside him was the envelope, torn open like a long awaited gift. Each photo was on a holographic plate that only showed, at most, a 5 second stream of moving pictures. The plates were commonly used to string a few things together. Typically a quick “Hi Mom!,” or a troll shouting spurts of offensive material at some poor victim. This set was just a stream of what the worst humanity has to offer. Graphic scenes of war crimes of various nations, missing children being abducted and the unfortunate state some were found in, animals being sent to an unnaturally early grave. The graphic images suddenly stopped and a voice came through. It was deep, barely in the spectrum of human hearing but somehow familiar to him. “I’ve found heaven, son. You just need to follow.” Terry’s father had killed himself 2 year prior from suffering from depression longer than Terry had been alive. Terry felt a small poke at his foot and saw a knife with a small note that appeared from the envelope. Hands shaking and tears flowing in a constant stream was compelled to drive the knife into his neck. The note laid beside him, “Pete followed so should you. = – ).”

Silvia finally made her way upstairs and found Terry’s room the way they had left it but without her son. The sense of dread was overwhelming. She knew something was terribly wrong he was lost where she could not follow. She kept reminding herself she saw him come in. Frantically checking every room there was no trace of him. She called the police explaining the past events but they seemed to be more concerned that she may have been the cause of his disappearance. That night she cried for hours sitting in Terry’s room reliving the days events. The light to the room slowly dimmed black and turned full bright as she saw Terry laying in a pool of his blood with the knife where he left it. Silvia’s heart stopped and she dropped to her knees over his body. She felt his still warm body and wept repeating she loved him and she saw him come in. As quick as he appeared he was gone and she was left holding nothing. She slowly felt her mind losing control while she beat the floor boards until her knuckles were bloody. Silvia looked up after she felt an immense amount of defeat and saw her late husband Gregory standing in a black suit at the doorway. Gregory slowly approached her, knelt and gave her a gentle kiss on the forehead. At a complete loss Silvia was paralyzed. Gregory stood again and slowly spoke but nothing seemed to come out of his mouth. A knife and a small note fell out of his pant leg and laid in front of Silvia. “Terry followed so should you. = – ).” Gregory was gone and Terry’s body returned.

Sensory Input :: Zero

Sensory deprivation tanks are so amazing! For those who are unfamiliar with them here’s a brief description of the place my wife and I go to. It’s called the Art of Floating in Bloomsburg, PA. We tend to call ahead and book an appointment in advance. Once you have you time set and arrive accordingly someone greets you at the door. It’s a bit like a check-in at a hotel or possibly another spa like facility; I haven’t been to many. After you have checked-in and paid the person at the front desk you then take your shoes off place them on a shoe rack nearby and begin to walk to your own personal float room guided by the person from the front desk.

Once inside the room turn around, lock the door, and the hour(ish) is yours. In this room there is a towel rack, a dark bronze shower setup, a toilet and a take with 8 inches of water with about 1000 pounds of Epsom salt dissolved into it. Prior to entering the tank there you must take a shower. After your shower, the choice to put a bathing suit on or stay in your birthday suit is up to you. Personally I enjoy sans-clothing to get the sensation of the warm water becoming my skin as I drift into oblivion. The last bit of the pre-float ritual is putting in  wax ear plugs to prevent your ears from getting filled with salt water. After all this is said an done you are ready to hop in!

The tank has a door that you can choose whether to keep open or shut. The room is equipped with an occupancy sensor that will turn off the lights after no movement is detected for a certain amount of time. Occasionally you can hear the hum of the air conditioner unit on the wall but it has never detracted from my float. The water is at a warm temperature around 92.3 degrees to match that of the outside temperature of skin. The extreme amount of salt in the water allows you to float effortlessly. With my consistent back pain it helps get things aligned and back to copacetic.

In my experience it never feels like the one hour that elapses. The float session lets you lay in your thoughts until they are exhausted and there becomes a point where your  mind will make new thoughts out of the nothingness around you. The transition to a sleep state in this tank is practically seamless. The journey inside the tank is different every time and for every person. It ends when the light inside the tank turns on. I never saw the light turn on. I always remember laying and wandering into a half awake dream state. Then when I finally remember that I’m not in space hopping off planets to an Enya song, I realise that the light is on and my time to shower and put my clothes back on has arrived. Should you bring a friend or significant other to a float session, you can set up an appointment for multiple rooms and afterwards discuss what your group experienced on your journey in what is called the tea room.

The tea room is basically a living room with super comfy couches that you can sit and drink tea or water and relax some more with your friends and talk about your thoughts on anything. I would sit here with my wife for usually around 15 to 20 minutes and have never felt rushed to leave. The first time we went the person who led us to our rooms came out to the tea room and we all just sat and talked about random stuff. Basically anything that comes to mind when you are first meeting someone.

In such a short passage I cannot do this place enough justice. It is an experience you must have at least once and for what feels like a consistent sale of $35 a float per person (I believe $60-65 for full price) you can make a quick day of it.

Here’s a link :

The Art of Floating Bloomsburg, PA

Daily Prompt: Float

Fundamental!

Boy is reading that! I’m half-way into Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’ and I just love his style of writing so far. I’ve never read any of his books before this. Honestly I’m fairly new to reading as a hobby but I am really enjoying the experiences. There is a brief part of ‘On Writing’ that describes writing as a form of telepathy. That is so spot on it has completely replaced my whole thought process on the activity. Prior to reading this book, I would imagine writing as a form of time capsule for my memories. I can barely remember things as it is but I can remember pictures and scenes pretty well. I usually start off with painting a scene in my mind and just write what I see and go with the flow. Several times I have been caught off guard as to how a scenario would pan out. That is a feeling of blowing my own mind is hilarious, exciting, and I hope to continue on that path.

 

Video Games With Backwoods Internet: A Thoughtless Ramble on Current Video Game Affairs

I swear sometimes it just seems a bit trying when I’ve tried to play online games with friends that require a decent amount of bandwidth. I wonder how long will it take for the backwoods to get some decent internet speeds. I often tend to think of that episode of South Park when they only have 1 ISP and they are just utterly awful and sit smug with the “Sucks to suck” motto written all over.

Recently my wife and I have been playing Minecraft. A game of which I never really got into until now. I feel as if I have to give myself the smallest goal in order to keep myself engaged. If I push for something grande, I can easily loose myself in a consistent grind of “just one more block.” With that said ……… The Elder Scrolls Online.

I actually haven’t played ESO in a bit due to the fact that I’ve essentially replaced that time with Minecraft. However, there has not been many days that I haven’t thought of it. I thoroughly enjoy, as a solo player, the ease of hopping into a group of dungeon runners and nabbing some loot. Along with the constant flow of having one mission laid out in front of me after another the social aspect of the game is one that can basically sum up the internet society as a whole. 3 parts genuine sincerity, 1 part insane, 1 part deliriously hilarious (it must total five because.) It also isn’t as hard on the psuedo gaming rig I have as say Deus Ex : Mankind Divided is.

Deus Ex :MD is still an uncompleted game in my library mainly due to the fact that ………..”I wasn’t reaaady.” I was testing the limits of a Quad Core 3.0 GHZ, 8 GB DDR3, Radeon HD 7850 2GB setup knowing that it wouldn’t even cover the minimum. It did run for a bit and I was able to get a good amount of gameplay in before my mind just said “Dude, this is not the experience you were hoping for. Time to save up and wait to finish this gem.” Of the amount of game that I have played I was suprised to see that it didn’t feel as fast as I thought it would be. Maybe if I felt more completion out of playing the side missions than what I experienced that would change my outlook. Either that or the fact that my lack of adequate caused Jensen to run through molasses everywhere he went.

Even though my PC isn’t ready for DE:MD, it just may be ready for Elder Scrolls Skyrim: Special Edition. Although I saw the few articles about how it is currently in the mixed review category on Steam and the intense bugs including the awesome “Horsecopter.” I still have nostalgia goggles on for this one. I’m down to give it at least 100-200 hours of my time and possibly a fair amount of mod downloads. At least until I find a way to grab some funds for the upgrades.

With a packed library and nothing else to do. Time to let gamer rage get the best of you!

https://giant.gfycat.com/UnfitElegantAxolotl.webm?_=2

It has been awhile!

Some things to check out:

Religious Leaders Want Exemption From Hiring LGBT Employees

MH Makes Jewlery/Art

Bill Nye and Ken Ham Debate

 

There have been a few things that have happen since I last posted. My fianceé and I moved to the woods and it is so awesome! I’ve been able to do some yoga and meditate more and much more comfortably than in the apartment. The amount of hostility that is abundant when only 4 families with different lifestyles share a roof is amazing. Another shocker is the amount of passive aggressive hostility that was in the complex. I feel like being passive aggressive is like not wanting to hurt someone’s feelings but at the same time giving them hints that may just end up adding to the problem in the first place. Being straight-forward may seem a bit harsh at first and may heed results of the person being the same way to you at a later time (possibly out of spite), but it’s like taking off a band-aid, sooner or later it has to be done.

 

I have had a large amount of time to start thinking about life changes and large moves. It is one thing to love your trade and get paid a comfortable amount of money in it. It is definitely something else  when someone gets a considerable amount more and has the task equivalent to that of an automaton. I went to school and trained for close to a decade just to see someone who is sliding a product down a conveyor belt have a better wage. Now be that as it may I don’t plan to get completely upset about the whole situation but it does open my eyes. Working for a company is not going to satisfy my urge to do as much as I can for society in the long run. It feels like I can do so much more. I want to make a nice amount where I could vacation a decent amount out of the year and work on my own terms while actively enjoying and improving the product I am creating. Even if it isn’t a commercial product and it is some sort of out of the box science idea that I later find the math for and realize “hmmm no one has looked at this problem from this angle let’s try this and see what happens?” There just has to be a better way and I most certainly intend to find it.

My XBOX One has become a large paperweight.

I have decided to lock my hair using the twist and rip method. A week into having locked my hair I am enjoying it. I looked up things before and still continue to research methods of maintenance and future styling for my hair. For not having cut it in about 3ish-4 years I still wish it were longer haha.

There also has been music in the mix! I am so happy for that. Our next practice is on the 27th and I am extremely excited for it. Everyone’s work schedule is difficult to sync up so it has been a slow process to create our album but it is still a work in progress and the great part is we keep moving forward.

Life has been showing us a lot of tests of virtues and it has been, in my opinion, wild that we as a species cannot grasp that if we work together and set aside differences, that we can go a long way. Everyone has a sense of cooperation but there is always a dividing line that prevents further cooperation and sets groups of people away from each other. What is right and what is wrong seem to get lost in the mix too. When the day comes, may it be some unreal global catastrophe that no one can argue is real or not, where everyone puts down the offensive agenda since the world has been sectioned off into regions and nations and expansion via military is already seen as invasive, abrasive, and at times medieval. Cooperation towards better living for everyone and the expansion of our knowledge of life as we know it. At that time humankind will have attained what we have wanted all along. Our own place in heaven and we made it. I guess that’s why it seems so fake and people could only hope to die to see it. I feel that we can do this eventually. I don’t have the confidence to say that it will be during my lifetime or even my grandchildren’s lifetime but I feel it can happen.

I have more to say and I hope tomorrow comes so I could say it but until then.

Better yourself humanity! For your sake and no one else!

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