Ghost In My Machine

A TRUE NATURAL MAN: Rabbit Fur Cap & Collar, Palm Tree Bark & Deer Hide Coat, Black Leather Cord Hair & Deer Hide Face , airbrush and hand paint ~ Courtesy Cavette Collection

 Narration always begins the real story…

“There have always been ghosts in the machines…”
“Random segments of code, that have grouped together to form unexpected protocols…”
“Unanticipated, these free radicals engendered questions of free will, creativity, and even the nature of what we might call the soul…”
“Why is it that when some robots are left in darkness, they will seek out the light?”
“Why is it that when robots are stored in an empty space, they will group together rather than stand alone?”
“How do we explain this behavior?”
“Random segments of code?”
“Or is it something more?”
“When does the perceptual schematic become consciousness?”
“When does the difference engine become the search for truth?”
“When does the personality simulation become the bitter moat of the soul?”

Sonny, the main non-human character from the movie "I, Robot" starring Will Smith ~ Courtesy Wikimedia Shao19 (Own work) GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0 licenses Modifications:" changed background and crop
Sonny, main non-human character from “I, Robot” starring Will Smith ~ Courtesy Wikimedia Shao19 (Own work) GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0 licenses Modifications:” changed background & crop area

Frustrated with problems with my new website not working correctly in April, I could not get it to work on it’s mobile page…my number one reason for picking GoDaddy as the host. The website started making changes om it’s own arbitrary whims since December, and after speaking with MANY technicians, waiting for the required three days to see the changes (which did not happen as was told me), I was beginning to boil, furious having been a state of mind which increased with each new waiting period.

Text boxes resize. Text backgrounds changed color. An orange background which I had used on one occasion, then changed back to the original brick red color previously used, only appeared on the mobile pages, yet could not be found on the regular pages, anywhere! Text began to totally drop off the page…so I had to add it back! All those lost things reappeared, yet only on the mobile page which I could not access. I was told the technicians are not supposed to work on because that code IS the golden fleece of their Website Builder program.

“WARNING! Warning Will Robinson! Intruder Alert!”

Robot B-9 was in my mind, flailing his omni-flexible arms wildly up and down . . . or being Neo after taking the blue pill, that flexible mirror sucking into my body, triggering a metamorphosis that was distorting reality. How many times do you hit your head on a brick wall before you stop doing it because of the pain?

“Island in the Sky” Lost in Space TV Show – Robot B-9 moves down the ramp of the Jupiter 2 Spaceship ~ Courtesy by permission of Jon C. Rogers Collection,

So the conundrum exists, where four, no, five, no, six, er, seven (IDK- I friggin’ started to lose count!) separate sessions with techs who then contacted advanced techs during the call, plus 2 incident reports to the advanced team of technicians, and FINALLY a report to the Website Builder DEVELOPERS themselves… yet issues remained. The M-5 computer from an early Star Trek episode dying, played in my head’s jukebox: “ERR-O-R! ERR-O-R! ERRRRR-OO00-RRrrr…”

Ghostbusters (rerelease icon) ~ Courtesy Flickr: theNerdPatrol [CC BY SA-2.0]
Can’t call Ghostbusters, no matter how appropriate, those “ghost” pieces of code which hang after things are deleted occasionally when building a website. What to doo-oo-oo?!?? If I could download it all into MS FrontPage, perhaps I could fix the code just by looking for the code’s inconsistencies. That’s how I did it years ago and it seemed to work. But, “NOooo!”

Most people would have copied all their stuff and moved to a new host. Then they could even try to get back at them, say things in spite, clear their transgressed feelings and possibly make some anime and go viral with vindictiveness. Pipe dream dude – not in the real of life! WHAT?!?? You ain’t afraid  of no ghosts? WELL . . .  what about attorneys? Lawsuits? How many pillows can you shred to alleviate a problem? We would soon run out of pillows…

Noa sporting the angry alien baby V ~ Courtesy Flickr: Yaffa Phillips (CC BY-SA 2.0)

 On the Road of Redemption…

NOPE! That does not FIX the problem. For me and my investment, which had now cost me several hundred dollars and almost six months of time investment. What does fix the issue, is to stay on the developers, techs, etc., until the problem is fixed. It is not the easiest thing to do though, creating continuance of the turmoil within you, so as long as you don’t dump your emotions on others, only working the problem, you’ll do fine. Not always a simple thing to do… especially given months of aggravation heaped on top. *SIGH*

So, work that dead horse until it is reborn, birthed to resolve, or give up on the situation and start all over, completely rebuilding the site.

A little graphic doodle beginning with Flickr: The Killers Among Us by Renegade98 [CC BY SA-2.0]
Angry Feelings of Never-Applied Evilness from Accumulated Frustrations with many Technicians – building from a picture from Flickr: The Killers Among Us by Renegade98 [CC BY SA-2.0] The “List of  Modifications” includes: rearranged lettering and graphics, added additional: words, drew an ‘insert’ symbol (took a photo of it & sent it to myself), created ‘tape’ over items at top
 I chose the latter for my answer to resolve my issues, choosing a completely brand-new theme, for which it completely deleted the old one with the exchange of theme I chose. Luckily I copied each page first, not knowing!

WHY DO WE WRESTLE IN TURMOIL? …instead of just letting go? (warning, parent quote)=> IT’S JUST THE PRINCIPLE OF THE THING! It’s about making things right. Sometimes, “cutting off your nose despite your face” (another, thrown at us often for being stubborn) when conflict raises one’s dander, breeding stubbornness to “Nth” degree. My family was built tough in stubbornness to achieve the correct resolve though. In the case of the website, I’d have to redesign everything anyway . . .

Parlay the problem – ya might just Win

Mom told us all to get some shoes before we went to the supermarket and the older of my two sister forgot to get hers before we left. When we get there, mom says, “put your shoes on, cuz the pavement’s gonna be hot. It’s over 110 degrees.” We all get out of the car, my youngest sister, Debbie, and I have our “Zories” (brand name of our thongs) on, but my other sister, Christi, doesn’t, so she starts stepping from one foot to the other so her feet won’t get burnt. Mom sees her do this for a few steps and says,

“Damn it Christi! I TOLD you to get your shoes before we left!” Then, looking at me & Deb, “Check for cars before you leave! NO RUNNING! Walk, or just sit in the car!” 

spring toes, baseball sunburn, (yes, I have Fred Flintstone feet) - Courtesy Flickr: Britt Reints [CC-BY-SA-2.0]
spring toes, baseball sunburn, (yes, I have Fred Flintstone feet) – Courtesy Flickr: Britt Reints [CC-BY-SA-2.0]
My barefoot sister suddenly blurts, “It’s not that hot!” and begins an angle, purposely walking beside Mom. Deb and I look at each other and shake our heads. My feet are already feeling the heat burning my feet from both sides of my Zories! I tell Mom, “I’m gonna run and get out off this hot pavement!” Debbie says “Me too!” and we both jetted to the shade of the sidewalk, then inside the door of the store, watching out the windows. Christi, now determined to prove the parking lot asphalt is not that hot, simply continues, deliberately walking besides Mom, purposely taking her time, probably just to teach Christi a lesson for not following her direction.

When they finally reaching the doorway, I step back out the door from inside where I’d been watching, and opened it for them to come inside. Mom exclaims, “Oh my goodness! How wonderful it feels in here! It’s likely twenty degrees, or more…much, much cooler! Yea!” Mom releases in a deep breath, “ Shoo-wie-sh!” By this time we are inside, moving away from the door as we reposition to let Mom lead us.

Christi follows Mom past us, her toes wiggling wildly in the rug between each step, walking in slow and very deliberately controlled steps past me and Deb, then spots the linoleum floor on the other side of the big area rug, and about knocks Debbie over trying to get past her to the cool linoleum. Rolling her eyes while looking at me, she quietly murmurs, “ah!” reaching the chilled floor. On the way home I could see asphalt tar was covering almost her entire feet underneath, some places looking up to a 1/4 inch thick of buildup. It would not come off her feet even with a strong scrubbing, she later confided to me during a low emotional point. Usually she didn’t say much to me because we were sibling nemesis-es most of the time.

Later when Dad got home from work, I hear Mom relating the story, and overhear, “…and damned if she didn’t walk across the entire parking lot beside me. I took my time too, because I knew she was going to have to run, and then admit she’d been wrong. Mom switched to a squeaky mimicking voice, “It’s not that hot!” she goes back to her regular voice.  I mean it was so hot you could see the flames coming up through her toes!” Then both of them set to belly-laughing, enjoying each others company.

Those pesky embarrassing lessons of life

The Fuzzy Feet of the Quarter dispenser machine at the Grocery Store - Courtesy Cavette Collection
The Fuzzy Feet of the Quarter dispenser machine at the Grocery Store – Courtesy Cavette Collection

That wasn’t the only situation for teaching of a lesson by Mom at a store. I decided to get a couple silly fluffy rug type footprints to put into my car on the dashboard. So I drop in my quarter and turn the handle. Out pops this folded paper something-or-other, not looking a thing looking at all like those fuzzy feet. I said “Rats!” as I came back to the checkout stand where the clerk was ringing up our groceries. Mom asked what’s the problem, so I explained that the quarter machine gave me the wrong thing, not anything like on the front and I had wanted those fuzzy feet for my VW’s dashboard, just as Mom finished paying, so I started pushing the cart.

As we walked towards the door, Mom stops by the little office just inside the entry doors, and raps on the door. AS I WATCHED IN HORROR, that stupid 25 cent purchase brought me to stand in front of other classmates (the cute girls I liked too!) in the next line.

I was dying of embarrassment, as Mom brought the Store Manager over to the quarter machines to fix my purchase. It did eventually yield return of my quarter, and the Manager even opened the machine to retrieve the fuzzy feet from the inside for me, plus left me the folded comic too. The worst wasn’t until the next day when I saw those girls at school the next day. Giggling, all three walked up to me and then this one girl puts her hand softly on my shoulder and said with pouting lips, “Did you get your little toy Mikey? Are you all better now?”

My face was shining beet red. “No, really, we all thought it was really cool that your Mom stood up for you and got you what you bought. Cauz, really it’s the principle and that’s what counts!” Thank god I thought. Then the girl who had done all the talking, leaned over, kissed me on the cheek, then pinched my butt before running a few quick steps, turning to look me in the eyes and wink, then they all turned and walked away. The sweat started to dry slowly as I regained myself.

If suppin’ hurts ya, friggin’ fight back!

Today, anger not, worry not, grateful be, diligent, in your endeavors be, to other kindness, show – Yoda-Principles The Reiki Principles ~ Flickr: James Deacon [CC-BY-SA-2.0]

PRINCIPLE. When is it necessary to stand on principle? To better mankind is a great example. But for a 25 cent purchase? it seemed extreme to my high school beliefs. However, that was my Mother. Big or small, it was about making people own their problem until resolve occurred.

Once Mom was refused a charge using her Montgomery Wards card. She was so thoroughly and morbidly upset at the other people in line seeing her embarrassment, plus the clerk’s snotty and disdainful attitude toward her, the clerk requested Mom leave the line. Mom started to cry she was so upset. Then the insensitive witch called out to Mom in a loud voice heard across the store, “You should take it up with the credit department, M’am!” Mom stopped crying and got completely and utterly LIVID instead.

PRINCIPLE. I tried to calm Mom’s frantic raving, embarrassment/ anger driven cuss words as we left the store to head home, amongst her mumbling. She’d say several words so quiet, then one indiscernible word LOUDLY, then more quiet mumbling. The harsh mumbling was the worst, her face reddened up in such a rage, she barely was able to control the car safely. Thank God  traffic was light that day. So then my Mom went to the library, walking to calm herself, and I walked beside her at a very fast pace trying to keep up.

flickr liz west [cc by sa 2.0]
Team West suffered two broken legs before the three-legged race, here they are in practice with broken legs ~ Flickr: Liz West [cc by sa 2.0]
Mom’s crutches propelled her along quickly in her anger state and soon she was speaking with the librarian on how to research a company. My Mother was an avid researcher and amazingly fast reader; tested at Shasta College for a speed reading course, she read over 700 words a minute with 95% comprehension. She also graduated on the Dean’s List with a 3.8 GPA that year, while carrying 28 units in health sciences (anatomy & physiology) plus several classes in law (legal aspects of evidence, deductive reasoning, basic principles of applied law) and astronomy for an elective. She loved learning and passed that passion on to all three us children.

Anyway, the librarian revealed there was a series of books, called Moody’s Corporate Data, where Wall Street businesses published Company information. Mom set about researching through them and writing things down in a steno pad, while I went to the science and art sections of my interests. After I checked my books out, I checked in on her, but she wasn’t ready to leave yet, so I headed home.

Vindication: Sweet Taste for Victory

Mom located the home address of the President of Montgomery Ward Corporation, plus the Chairman of the Board, sat down and wrote them a letter describing her embarrassment, especially after sending a payment that very morning, before heading out to shop, so she knew she had a balance left to do a charge! I didn’t get to read the letter, but she gave me a description after she had sent them.

wards letter
Mom used Moody’ Financial Books to find the home address for the President of Montgomery Wards Corporation ~ Courtesy Cavette Collection

About two weeks later, Mom received a letter directly from the President of Montgomery Ward Corporation, telling her that she will be called very soon by a Montgomery Ward’s representative to speak with her on her account. It was only the next day when she received the call, from Montgomery Ward’s West Coast Division Department Head!

He was very polite, she said, and apologized profusely for her discomfort and embarrassment; the clerks of the local Montgomery Wards Store had been contacted directly about the incident and their behavior towards her, in particular the clerk who embarrassed her like that. The lady was not happy with her reprimand at all, and apparently attempted to defend her actions. By the end of the conversation, due to her attitude, she was fired.

Mom’s credit limit was raised by $4000 in hopes of defraying any negative feelings she may have towards their company, plus given an additional thirty day leeway of extension (total of 60 days grace period), just in case her payment ever happened to arrive late, courtesy of Montgomery Wards Corporation, who very much appreciated her business and loyalty as a customer.

You can take my gun when you pry it from my long dead hand ~ Courtesy Cavette Collection

“PRINCIPLE!” she yelled in glorification, after hanging up the phone. “SEE, IT WORKS!” she gleefully yelled, punching the air with her fists. Those rules were steadfast and hard, buried deep in tried and true principles of life in our home, reinforced that day with an integrity lasting forever.

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