Notes from the Worst Apocalypse

Day 84
It’s really hot outside. I can’t go to the movie theater for air conditioning because it’s shut down. Decided to fake a doctor’s appointment to get on the bus for a couple of hours just for the air conditioning and someone coughed in the back of the bus. Do they have COVID-19 or is it just a cough? Impossible to tell since we still don’t have widely-available tests.

Day 122
Went to the store for groceries. Still no beans. Walked through the produce section and someone behind me coughed. I looked around – the person was a man about 35. He turned pale at the realization that someone saw him cough. He knelt down on his knees. I wondered what he was doing. He pulled a long knife from his backpack and apologized for coughing and, before I could react, gutted himself. He collapsed forward on the Fred Meyer floor. The other shoppers and I looked at each other, wondering what to do. Finally, the stillness was broken after someone saw that he had a roll of toilet paper in his shopping cart and a melee broke out over it. The PA system chimed on and a staff member said: “Associates, we have another brawl in Produce.” The system turned off and then back on: “Also, another honor-suicide in Produce. Bring a mop.”

Day 180
I forget what it is to do things in person. We never got the 2-months-on-1-month-off-plan that the Brits and MIT recommended, so we’ve just been confined – more or less – to home. Cops are now tailing “suspicious” people and marking the amount of time they’ve spent outdoors at any given point. It’s like having a walking buddy, but one that can fine you for wanting fresh air. The hospital system collapsed today. Trees in Laurelhurst are dropping their leaves – much like I dropped my good mood when a cop told me that I had been outside too long when I just wanted to walk down to Laurelhurst, yknow?

Day 210
Mitch McConnell shot Chuck Schumer on the Senate floor. I joined an “e-community” that I’m pretty sure is a cult.

Day 211
It’s a cult. Their leader keeps referring to himself as Brother Hyman and reminding us all that the continued presence of the Internet is his doing. I’m thinking about dropping out, but none of my friends are answering their phones anymore and I refuse to get back on Facebook. (Fuck Zuckerberg, right?) The cult – “companionhoodspace” – communicates mostly through charades. Kill me.

Day 215
Left the cult when I remembered I joined using my spam email account and they couldn’t do anything to stop me. Schumer died of complications and Trump gave McConnell a medal of honor.

Day 223
Biden and Trump have announced that they will be co-Presidents. This follows the shutdown of all voting places in the country. I still have not contracted the coronavirus and am beginning to think I never will. Test kits are still not available and Lindsey Graham has announced that he has contracted it for the fourth time but “each time makes me stronger and more vibrant than ever.”

Day 224
Joe Biden has died and Trump has crowned himself Imperator.

Day 225
Vague reports out of Washington that Trump killed Lindsey Graham and ate his heart for strength.

Day 300
Still can’t find beans. I miss my kale and white bean stew something fierce, I tell you what.

Day 314
Work is still going strong, though Europe has been on shutdown for almost a year and China is in its fourth lockdown. I had to write someone and tell them that they could not use a logo because the text was too thin. As I hit “Send” I wondered just what the hell it is I’m doing with my life. I looked out the window and saw a shanty town on the street where, the day before, there was not one. All I wondered was if they had the coronavirus.

Day 353
Had a long phone call with a product submitter wherein I had to explain the need to comply with logo guidelines during the state of a global pandemic. Why? I don’t know anymore.

Day 365
I made it one year! [party horns] There are rumors that Trump has created an “Infinite Life Throne” in the West Wing and that he has suggested that sacrifices from ICE detention centers will carry him through to eternity. A massive government bill in support of this proposal has been fast-tracked by McConnel and Graham. Still no beans in the grocery store.

Day 370
Found a can of beans! They’re pinto beans but good enough!

Day 371
Recovered from the assault and robbery. They stole my can of pinto beans.

The Form Factor Email

From: Danica Lyons

To: Aaron Simon

Sent: 7/23/2014 2:30pm

Subject: Form factor

 

Hi,

This seems to be a good time to remind people that “form factor” is not hyphenated, even when it looks like it’s being used as an adjective. The term form factor is a noun.

According to Wikipedia, “n computing, the form factor is the specification of a motherboard – the dimensions, power supply type, location of mounting holes, number of ports on the back panel, etc.”

Please do not hyphenate when it appears it is being used as an adjective, as in “General purpose, two-socket, standard form factor boards.” The adjectives in this case are “General purpose, two-socket, standard” describing the “form factor boards” as the noun.

Thanks!

Danica Lyons

Team Lead

Web Editor Group

WDC Development Corp, LLC

—-

From: Aaron Simon

To: Danica Lyons

Sent: 7/23/2014 3:00pm

Subject: RE: Form factor

Hi Danica,

I understand where you’re coming from, and, indeed, where Wikipedia is coming from in its definition, but I think we’re missing something very important.

What about the intent of the phrase in its appearance?

Thanks,

Aaron

Web Editor

WDC Development Corp, LLC

—-

From: Danica Lyons

To: Aaron Simon

Sent: 7/23/2014 3:15pm

Subject RE: RE: Form factor

What?

Team Lead

Web Editor Group

WDC Development Corp, LLC

—-

From: Aaron Simon

To: Danica Lyons

Sent: 7/23/2014 3:20pm

Subject: RE: RE: RE: Form factor

Hi Danica,

Let me extrapolate.

We live in a time where quantum physics has seriously undermined what you might think of as the “real” world. For example, most of what we consider to be “solid” objects are actually empty space. They’re held together by subatomic particles, that then make up protons, neutrons, and electrons, which—of course—make up elements. I bring up this fundamental fact to illustrate the idea that everything is not what it seems.

Now, from there, we must consider the idea that not only is our fundamental understanding of “reality” flawed, but so might be our fundamental understanding of “ideas.” Is it possible that “ideas” have as much intent as what we perceive ourselves to have? After all, there runs a school of thought that says that, due to the nature of the universe, we actually have no free will. All things run on a predetermined course. If that is true, then can we say that we have ideas? Would it not be more accurate to say that, in reality, we move along a predetermined path and just fill out roles, like actors on a stage?

Coupled with that, we must think about the possibility of parallel universes. This, according to many physicists, is a perfectly valid theory. If they are correct, then every choice you make has an alternative in some other universe. (For the sake of ease, let’s assume that you’re only working with binary choices, so for each choice you make, there’s another universe where you made the other choice. On that note, let’s further assume that those universes run completely parallel and do not involve that other you making choices that have come up as a result of making another choice that cropped up because of the first choice that was made.)

From there, we must ask the question: If this is all the case, what if there were, at some point in the distant, distant past, some choice that was made by some entity (perhaps God) to allow ideas to have intent. Is it not inconceivable that this hypothetical universe could, occasionally, intertwine with our own? After all, if we have a binary pair of universes that share these “choice points,” as I’ll call them, then, at some point, they might interact, thanks to the choices made by the entities within the universes. So, in thinking about all that, we should consider whether or not the idea of “form factor” has as its intent the being-as-self of not being hyphenated.

As a company that values individual choice and prides itself on being inclusive, then it is my opinion that we should embrace all spellings of “form factor” (or “form-factor”) in order to continue to be seen as an industry leader in ethical best practices. If you’d like, I can bring this up to human relations.

I’m also considering drafting an e-mail to corporate about forming “idea relations,” in light of our enlightening discussion today.

Best,

Aaron

Web Editor

WDC Development Corp, LLC

—-

From: Olaf Christianson

To: Aaron Simon

Sent: 7/23/2014 4:38pm

Subject: Outlook Invitation: Drug Screening

Hi Aaron,

You’ve been selected as a random participant in a corporate drug screening initiative. Please see your on-site administrator to set up a time to participate.

As a friendly reminder, WDC Development Corp, LLC has a zero tolerance policy on illicit substances. In the event that such substances are discovered in your system, we will move to terminate your employment immediately.  I’m sure that won’t be an issue, though.

Best,

Olaf Christianson

Head of Human Relations

WDC Development Corp, LLC

—-

From: Aaron Simon

To: Olaf Christianson

Sent: 7/23/2014 4:44 pm

Subject: RE: Outlook Invitation: Drug Screening

[Rejected]
—-

From: Olaf Christianson

To: Aaron Simon

Sent: 7/23/2014 4:45 pm

Subject: RE: RE: Outlook Invitation: Drug Screening

Your participation is mandatory.

Olaf Christianson

Head of Human Relations

WDC Development Corp, LLC

—-

From: Aaron Simon

To: Olaf Christianson

Sent: 7/23/2014 4:48 pm

Subject: RE: RE: RE: Outlook Invitation: Drug Screening

Is this because of Israel’s actions in the Gaza Strip? I may be Jewish, but that’s no reason for you to target me.

Aaron

Web Editor

WDC Development Corp, LLC

—-

From: Olaf Christianson

To: Aaron Simon

Sent: 7/23/2014 4:50 pm

Subject: CANCELED: Outlook Invitation: Drug Screening

Wherein I take a swipe at low-hanging fruit

Really, this was extremely lazy. Ah well, had to write something today.

WASHINGTON, D.C. During a Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations hearing on Apple, Inc.’s (AAPL) offshore tax holdings, Senator John McCain (R, Ariz.) was quoted as saying, “I’m out of time, but what I really wanted to ask was why the hell do I have to keep updating apps on my iPhone all the time, and why can’t you fix that?”

Though the moment was played as a lighthearted end to a session grilling Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, anonymous McCain aides have stated that this was not the first time Senator McCain has expressed bafflement at modern technology.

“I know the office – and everyone on the subcommittee – thinks the Senator was joking,” said one aide, “but I’m not so sure.”

The aide talked about various moments in the past when the Senator expressed severe confusion and, at times, anger about technology.

In one instance, said the aide, she was called in to the Senator’s office to find Mr. McCain staring and frowning at his computer. She asked what was wrong and the Senator said, “It’s im-[redacted]-possible to pick up Cronkite on this [redacted] thing. Fix it.”

During the campaign, she continued, referring to the Senator’s 2008 bid for the Presidency, the candidate was “infuriated” and “damned to tarnation” the iPhone 3G. Staffers had insisted that McCain use one to appear as tech-savvy as his opponent, but the campaign often found the Senator “holed up in the bus and trying to use it as a remote control.”

“It’s [redacted],” he was quoted as saying at the time. “You tell me why a [redacted] remote control needs a [redacted] screen. You sit there with your [redacted] and you [redacted] tell me that, you filly.”

Responding to an e-mail regarding Mr. McCain’s outburst in the Senate Subcommittee, the McCain office stated, “Senator McCain is extremely tech-savvy, despite his portrayal in the media as a curmudgeon confused by devices that have been largely unchanged for five years.

“Further,” the office continued, “Mr. McCain would like to challenge any of you to sit down and take him on, one versus one, man vs man, in Pong. Or Frogger. But nothing that moves faster than those, or anything with more complicated graphics than an NES game. Modern media confuses him, and often gives him a headache.”

Though critics of the media coverage of McCain’s question say that giving the statement attention is a waste of time, many members of Congress have taken up technology – utilizing Twitter, Facebook, and, in some cases, Tumblr – to interact with potential voters.

One of the best known cases of Congress’s presence on Twitter was the Anthony Weiner scandal. After tweeting photos showing his penis to female followers, the Weiner case became a guidebook on how not to act on Twitter.

McCain himself is no stranger to social media faux pas. After initially joining Twitter, some of the first tweets on the McCain account were, “Too many [redacted] on this site. #whitepride”

The tweet wass quickly deleted, and the office of the Senator offered a statement that the account had been compromised.

The Senator’s second account, @TheRealMcCain, was fairly innocuous until a tweet reading, “When it comes to money, Romney’s half a Jew – and that’s what we need in government. #Romney2012” sparked an uproar.

The Senator’s spokesman stated that the account was hacked again, blaming “teenagers with too much time on their hands, too busy playing World of MagicCraft to get a job.”

Since then, @SenMcCain has been tweeting steady, nonoffensive tweets, though it has been rumored that an intern has been in charge of the account, rather than Senator McCain himself.

“Don’t understand what the big deal is,” said Senator McCain in a tweet. “I fought for this country. I can complain about this app crap.”

He followed the tweet with: “And remember, Apple. I’m on the subcommittee hearing your case! #government” and http://www.google.com search for why does palin haunt my dreams