Thursday, May 28, 2015

Origins, Ideas and Inspiration

This post is not so much a gripe as it is a bit more constructive, though I don't take back what I've said about being abused and stalked. Its a harrowing experience and one that I shall never back down from but not just for myself but for its innocent victims.

Yesterday morning I purchased a project kit (something like a raspberry pi) which met my design requirements and very limited budget. It was advertised as a wearable computer which is something a friend of mine that I had worked with in the past had spoken of.

I have no intentions of building a wearable computer at all and as a matter of fact, the device I chose to work with was actually a bit too big for what I have in mind, but it's a great device and it seems to have a great variety of features and information to draw upon. So I have no intention of building a wearable computer, or for that matter stealing anyone else's ideas even if they were a part of Dick Tracy comics more than 80 years ago and part of his wrist band communicator back then.

But if you did want to build a wearable computer, or a HMD (Hat Mounted Display) Workstation (the computer on top of the beak of your baseball cap while a mini lcd that flips down from underneath the beak with camera based gesture control system like Microsoft Kinect), or the micro brain module for a giant robot, or the software and algorithmic systems of a biomagnetic diagnostic device similar to a medical tricorder from Star Trek using a phased array of small magnetic field detectors attached to the device and breaking down the output for analysis by frequency spectrum (Fourier or Fast Fourier) and then apply a heuristic algorithm to recognize patterns that represent anomalies that coincide with common health issues, or even evaluate different clothing wearable solar charging capabilities to power or charge such a device with the sun when you're out for a stroll (for a few ideas off the top of my head), you might want to check out the ODroid.

Keep in mind that you'll be getting your hands dirty in programming code (I haven't seen mine yet but I'm thinking whatever is available that I work in for the installed O/S which is either Linux or Android) and maybe a bit of solder. I like coding, but I'm still a bit wry in the improvised electronics department. They're still usable though without the need for tinkering so that's always an option too.

So check out the ODroid if you're the mad or happy inventor type (or both like me). Then you might want to order from ameriDroid like I did (I'm sure they'd love the business though its a high demand area right now with great potential).

They'll ship it to you good and quick and in no time, you'll be building that giant robot, or a micro-controller for a fleet of ten thousand flocking algorithm based aerial drones to wreak havok on your enemies.

Hwaaa haa haa haa haa. <rubs hands together>.

...for ten minutes until the batteries run out and then you have ten thousand dead flocking drones fall from the sky at once. Still working on overcoming that hurdle.

Personally I'd want to use such a system of flocking drones for search and rescue operations. My love interest where ever she is right now made me say that part.

Highly recommended if you're a tinkerer or aspiring tinkerer like myself.

None of my ideas, including A Lady's Prerogative or The Butterfly Dragon come from others. Some coming to life were inspired by others and there's a very big difference. A Lady's Prerogative started with a tale I wrote in my pre-teens about a Witch who used her powers for good and formed a group of like minded Women with such powers to do good. For the show Charmed, A Lady's Prerogative served as a tip of my hat to the creative people who came up with the show, neither is really similar beyond the fact that they both put Women at the forefront and as the central heroes of the idea. Its an inspiration. Just like Joss Whedon's adaption of Buffy The Vampire Slayer for television and all of the shows it spawned or just about any James Cameron movie where the Women are central figures and the driving force to the plot (though I still think that Tia Carrere's character in True Lies should have had a redemption scene and switched sides but that's another matter). Big influences in my life, but not the source of my material but rather partly the inspiration for it.

The Butterfly Dragon's first story where the field appeared was when I was around 13, and wrote a story about Weltherwithsp's field and about what happened when someone left some trash in it (ie someone dropped a can). My parents even read that story too. No Weltherwithsp in it yet, but that was part of the plan (although his name had not been thought up at that point, but there was a dragon that lived there mostly because one of my favourite tales when I was a child was Puff The Magic Dragon which my Mother used to sing for me with her guitar). The Chinese influence in the story is and Heylyn's character (whose real name in the story is actually Ai Yuanlin Ying) is a composite of some very influential Women in my life, including two who were girlfriends, both of whom were from the Far East. Norler is a bit of my dad, and a bit of some other guys that I've looked up to and very much respected for their world view and attitude. What they did with their influence no matter where it came from (even the friend who came up with the wrist wearable computer idea is in the character for drive and fairness in business). When I was growing up, I knew a girl that was a bit heavier that was very pretty and she ended up with a good looking boyfriend. She wanted to be a lab researcher (for real and I mean that). So Alicia was inspired by her, and a character who represented beauty on many levels by her intelligence and virtue though she might have lost out had she not found a friend like Heylyn who helped her to get over her lack of confidence and poor self image. This is the power of the Butterfly. Beauty and artistry are not just about vanity and selfishness at all. That's what the whole children's story of the Butterfly Dragon is really about. The idea that those who people might see as being the most frivolous and unneeded might be the ones who in the end save you.

The story is published at The Field, The Butterflies And The Dragon, a children's story that I wrote to accompany the story The Butterfly Dragon: Heroes Of Our Own and to represent the story that Heylyn's Mother and Grandmother told her as a child. As a child, Heylyn got it right away and when she was older, she used her artistry and talent to help Alicia overcome her poor self image and her fears.

Here is the children's tale in full:

The Field, The Butterflies And The Dragon by Heylyn Yates (as told to her by her Grandmother and her Mother when she was a child)

Dedicated to Universal Children's Day

The Field...

This tale is about a large field where many creatures lived

and to the things that lived there the field was their entire world.

All of the creatures that lived there lived there in harmony,
and some were more dangerous than others.

They still managed to live together peacefully.

There were the creepy crawly ants with their long antennas.

There were the slimy worms with rings around their bodies.

There were the buzzing hornets with their sharp stingers.

There were the slithering snakes with their tough scales.

There were the squeaking mice with their sensitive whiskers.

There were the soaring birds with their plumage of feathers.

And there were the butterflies with their grace, beauty and artistry.

They had no enemies and the field would provide all of the food that they needed to grow up and have children, starting the whole cycle over again.

It was very peaceful there until one day the animal collectors happened upon this field.

A very vile group of animal collectors whose cruelty was without equal would collect the most beautiful specimens of each of the creatures and keep them trapped inside of a jar while they tormented them.

These cruel animal collectors would show up and claim one of the most beautiful of each of the creatures from the field young and old alike every time, taking them away never to be seen again where they were kept in a jar while they were tormented and exploited for the benefit of the animal collectors.

The creatures had a meeting and every one of them that lived in the field showed up.

The creatures tried to figure out what they were going to do about these cruel animal collectors.

The mice said: The snakes can bite them.
The snakes replied: They're too big. They will throw us and stomp on us.

The worms said: The birds can eat them.

To which the birds replied: They're too big. They will hunt us down and capture us too.

The ants said: The hornets can sting them.

To which the hornets said: They're too big. They will smack us with their hand and we'd have to say "bye bye".

The birds said: The mice can scare them.

The mice replied: They're too big. They'll just jump on us and squash us flat.

Then the butterflies said: We can stop them.

To which the rest of the creatures laughed asking them:

What ever can a butterfly do?

All you have is grace, beauty and artistry?

The butterflies left the meeting feeling worthless and like they could not help because they could not do anything but be graceful, beautiful, artistic and vain while all the other creatures could at least do something.

...The Butterflies...

One night the butterflies got together and decided to make a cocoon.

When they made it they included an antenna from the ants,

a whisker from the mice, a feather from the birds,

a stinger from the hornets, the ring from one of the worms,

and the scale from one of the snakes, and a pair of their wings.

Then they left it to grow and grow it did.

One day the cruel animal collectors returned to the field to collect one of each of the rest of the creatures.

Each of the creatures was put in the jar as the next one was collected.

When the animal collectors went to take a butterfly the already humongous cocoon opened.

...And The Dragon...

Out came a ferocious Dragon.

The Dragon had the wings of a butterfly so it was beautiful.

It's butterfly's wings had the feathers of a bird so it could fly.

It had the scales of a snake so its skin was tough.

It had the antennas of an ant so it could read minds.

It had the whiskers of a mouse, so it could sense danger from afar.

It had the rings of a worm, so it could heal very quickly,

And It had the stinger of a hornet so it was deadly.

The Dragon said to the cruel animal collectors:

You've taken one each of the creatures of the field.

You may keep each one but for a price.

For the mouse, I will take your left leg.

For the worm, I will take your right leg.

For the ant I will take your left arm.

For the bird I will take your right arm.

For the snake I will take your neck

and for the butterfly I will take your head.

The animal collectors dropped all of the creatures they'd collected that day and tried to run before they were stopped again by the Dragon.

The Dragon spoke:

For all of the creatures that you've already taken I will take your lives.

The animal collectors cried:

No, no! We shall return them at once.

The animal collectors returned a short time later with all of the creatures they'd collected and set them free though the creatures had been tormented to no end and were emotionally frail and distraught.

The Dragon then asked the returned creatures whether the animal collectors should be allowed to go free or to pay the price to which the creatures replied...

After the creatures had made their decision the creatures of the field never laughed at the butterflies from that day forth and they lived happily ever more.

The End

So that story is really only a piece of the whole and it is not taken from anything else that I've seen or read by someone else. It is inspired by the people that have made a difference in the lives of others that few seem to recognize but I think that is changing.

The ideas are drawn from inspiration, not someone else's control. There's a big difference. Control is the usurping of someone's freewill by whatever means to bend them or twist them into saying or doing something that they might not say or do otherwise. Inspiration is the choice of an individual to acknowledge and represent those who've set examples before them that have affected their life for the better. Control over another is the antithesis of freewill while inspiration is the manifestation of freewill with regard to others.

While control might be fun role play to some in the bedroom (me included), in real life situations using any abusive means, abusive emotionally, abusive physically or abusive biomagnetism to do so and especially against the freewill and consent of a victim is just plain wrong just as reversing the definition of words to their opposites to get away it is. Once again like a rapist who uses "I thought no meant yes" as a defense for their case. Regardless of whether one is sure or not, one should always stop and talk if their partner is saying "no" or "don't" or "this is making me uncomfortable".

Unfortunately my stalkers and tormentors, the ones I complain about from time to time are not as such at all and freely attempt what they do without mercy. They believe for whatever reason that their essence makes a person do what they do, and they've made it a competition of twisting this effect to their benefit and for their credit. A form of theft and extortion if you will. Even something like this post they'll try to steal as their own for their credit and then dump their day's deeds upon their victim (while of course they parade my deeds as their own). They even use illegal eavesdropping technology for spying on what others do on their computer so they know what there is to steal using their method.

Even the impression of their want to control others via hate, they often try to push onto their victim (myself they do this to often). I would never try to control anyone against their will in real life, but often I get punished for what this cult attempts upon me.

It regularly swaps identities with their victims so that one of their members might seem to be the victim while the victim is the perpetrator! A very devious cult for certain and one whom I will never trust again. Ever. Every time I've relaxed enough to let down my guard, they've done the whole thing over again. Once bitten, twice shy.

So suffice it to say that A Lady's Prerogative, The Butterfly Dragon and The Field, The Butterflies And The Dragon are all my original stories with original characters not taken from any creative property. The superhero characters of The Butterfly Dragon don't have their origins in name or abilities in any other character that I've seen in comic book or video game history. They are inspired by all of those who I've taken time to mention in my inspirations page and many more that can be found on The Butterfly Dragon page.

And by the way, my real life love interest is a Chinese lady and the way I feel about that is something that only I can change and that she has the last word on. This cult has been trying for years since I`ve discovered them, and they've not budged me even once since I've known about them and their schemes both past and present. I am grateful and very fortunate to have been in a relationship five years ago with a Korean lady, my last relationship to date (and I don't sleep around and I am definitely monogamous). I have always been grateful when a lady chooses me and shares her time and her intimacy with myself.

Thank you for reading my books,

Brian Joseph Johns

The story The Field, The Butterflies And The Dragon is a mythical fairy tale written by Brian Joseph Johns for the story "The Butterfly Dragon: Heroes Of Our Own" also by Brian Joseph Johns

Dedicated to children everywhere and released on Universal Children's Day.

For my Mother Rita Johns with love made butterflies her whole life. For my Grandmothers who taught their children to love. For Yi with just the same. For Jan my friend and priceless in a deadline. For Jasmine may you find your peace. For Yaya Han who might be what Heylyn Yates would be like in real life. For Kelly Hu who is as I pictured as Heylyn in look and in character. For Miranda for being a real hero. For Katrina whom I hope achieved her goals and dreams. For Giselle, Hannah, Lillian, Jennifer, Keri, Louise and Lianne lovers and friends alike. For Jake and Carter who helped me to remember what it was like to be a kid again. And to my family thank you.

For Moms and Dads of all nationalities everywhere who care for and nurture their children.

Look after your field and remember that your butterflies might be your saviours some day.

Assumed mythos origins for purposes of the story:
Far East, Norwegian, Scandinavian, Polynesian, Aboriginal North American

Themes: defending grace, beauty, artistry, the vulnerable

Heylyn Yates (Ai Yuanlin Ying) is an assumed name for the purposes of the narrative of the story, The Butterfly Dragon: Heroes Of Our Own.

Copyright © 2014 Brian Joseph Johns

Friday, May 22, 2015

Truckers Are No Schmuckers...

During my pre-career education (trained as a database programmer on a database built around a pascal back end) back around 1986 I used to work part-time and weekends for a furniture moving company.

I came into the company with a lot of assumptions about the nature of the people I'd be working with and despite those assumptions, I found a core of good people who are actually quite amazing.

One of the things that you'll find about trucking, is the fact that none of the drivers are really schmucks. Especially the ones who run their own business, own their own trucks. That being said, most who do are running a serious business that requires their full attention to many details.

You have to be good at geometry for one. Your business and finances depend upon it. If you're running with empty space during a shipment, that's lost money the more distance its empty. So being able to fill all of your space is of utmost importance. Most of that space is measured in cubic feet (or by weight in the United States) where a load is roughly seven pounds per cubic foot on average for common consumer goods and items. Keeping all of this in consideration, accurately knowing the space you have to work with and filling it pin to pin is what its about. Warehouse to warehouse its all on skids, going from other locations though, like residence to residence or residence to warehouse and you've got a whole different matter.

All of it has to be packed safely and soundly within the truck so as to avoid damage (that costs the business as well both the insurance deductible and the insurance rates and business repute). So packing an entire three bedroom house into a 2500 cubic foot truck and then unloading it requires a special talent and touch despite what most people may think. Being able to do such a feat, with three guys, sometimes four if your lucky without damage is another. So usually the driver, and the crew will do better based upon their conception of geometry, their endurance, their ability to be polite and courteousness with the customer.

So truck drivers who run their own fleet, whether its pin to pin doing any kind of goods, or household and consumer items still have to know a great deal about those aspects, and then on top of it the business finances of owning and operating a truck (which is similar to a household mortgage and costs about as much). Then there's the insurance and special licenses one must have to haul certain kinds of goods. Different load technologies and load platforms too require special skills and licences as well. So hauling flammable liquid might require different licenses and insurance than hauling frozen goods might. Then, when the driver has their load, and is on the road, not only do they have to be mindful of their own mistakes, they have to be mindful of those of others as well in order to keep everyone safe. Not quite so simple when the back of your vehicle might be as far as seventy feet away from your driver's seat. Not only that, but the mechanics of steering it when you're backing up are like the mechanics of trying to fly a fighter jet or a spacecraft. You actually encounter similar hurdles if you're not careful such as gimbal lock (in old space and air craft when the instrumentation of old direct drive surfaces of an aircraft were represented by euler angles and when one axis would cross over into the control zone of another axis, locking your control surface and preventing you from steering in either pitch or roll). So despite some age old cliches, when you really think about it, most truckers actually have to be quite on the ball to avoid these caveats. Maybe they do have the right stuff?

Not to mention the fact that when dealing with their load and in the pounds or cubic foot notation, they have to pretty good at math, because once again, empty space in your load means lost money. And that means that your gas and insurance are costing you more (ie their cost is being amortized across the breadth of shipments that you're driving with so more shipments of value means those expenses are absorbed into the cost of the total shipments). These are all consideration when it comes to such things.

When writing software, and especially working in 3D coding (I do work in that paradigm occasionally having written my own antiquated engine and API) there are many concepts that one encounters while dealing with volume problems, similar to those that Sir Roger Penrose used to tackle in his mathematical proof of surface tiling.

So maybe the next time you look at them, you might do so a little differently.

Copyright © 2015 Brian Joseph Johns

PS: I started out at there at 79 East Don Roadway (in Toronto) and then worked several other locations across the city.

[My name is Brian, not Ryan or Jason or Chuck or Sammy or Bobby or Mike or Kane]

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Stories Update...

Stories Update:

The stories from have been moved from here to their own respective sites since I last updated them here almost a year ago. I hadn't been managing the site frequently and therefore hadn't notified anyone.

In that time some of the books have been finished and a sequel started (in the case of The Butterfly Dragon). 

Meanwhile in a similar note, A Lady's Prerogative II: Wounded Aerth is finally finished though there might be a second draft edit soon.

A Lady's Prerogative stories are all now located at:
  • Testament Of Time - [In Progress] 
    A group of strangers awaken in a cramped dungeon, each from a different place and possibly a different time. A couple searches the world for clues to an ancient mystery. A pair of friends two centuries in the past are about to stumble upon that mystery. 

    Now in its own home at Original fiction. In progress. Updated infrequently.
The Butterfly Dragon stories are all now located at:

  • The Butterfly Dragon I: Heroes Of Our Own - [Finished]
    A beautiful fashion designer and her struggle to match the expectations of her. A long lost friend from high school with a secret that could change everything. A nemesis motivated by power and greed.

    Now in its own home at 
    Original fiction. Finished.

  • The Butterfly Dragon II: Dragon Butterfly - [In Progress]

    Alicia, Heylyn, Monique and Valeria are back in the second tale of The Butterfly Dragon.

    Heylyn Yates adopts a child after she travels to Japan, Korea and China in search of the answers her parents' death and to find the secret of the ancient Oriental children's tale told to Heylyn Yates by her Mother and Grandmother and ultimately her hidden legacy.

    Alicia and Norler have found love in one another and are looking to start a family. If her alter ego, her career and their dedication to their work don't get in the way, then a side effect with the SY formula that resulted in her powers might...

    Meanwhile the heroes find themselves the targets of Mr. Zek's replacement who is even more devious and dangerous, using hidden video, blackmail social media and their secrets to ruin them and their reputations forever.

    A serial killer who selects their victims carefully has been leaving victims scattered throughout the city. One of the girls, her super powers revealed becomes the prime suspect.

    All of these stories collide in Toronto, Canada at Dundas Square where a touring fashion show, Alicia's research and The Butterfly Dragon stand off against an ancient threat to the future of the world itself:

    The Dragon Butterfly.

    Now in its own home at 
    Original fiction. In progress.
  • The Archive - [In Progress] 
    Set in the future where the entire world of organic and inorganic matter takes part in simulation and computation. Enter Hadden, an Archivist who retrieves animal and plant specimens from simulations of our past to replace those missing from the genetic record. He finds himself embroiled in a plot with galactic consequences when he is asked to take part in a real life retrieval with the mysterious woman of his dreams...

    Now in its own home at Original fiction. In progress. Updated frequently.
I am Brian Joseph Johns and this is

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