The House On Millcreek Lane
The sporty white convertible wound its way down the dark road. Most of the streetlights were out but occasionally a pool of dim light covered the road and dimly lit objects on the side.
“Wait! Stop the car,” yelled out Penny.
Chad hit the brakes and came to a stop. “What? What’s the matter?” he asked, turning down the stereo.
Penny pointed off the road. “Look at that house!” She was leaning halfway out of the car with her arm outstretched.
The house was dimly lit and shrouded by tall trees. It sat by itself. If the architect had tried to design the front of a house to look like a sad, old, entity he had succeeded. Its siding mottled by moss, mold, and peeling paint. Dark windows stared back at the car.
“Oh, yeah,” said Chad. “My dad said this place has been abandoned forever.
“We should totally spend the night here,” said Penny. “Maybe we’ll see ghosts or something. Think of the crazy young adult sex party we could have!”
Pam spoke up from the back seat. “For reals? You’d rather stay in a musty old house than hit the party at the beach?”
“With the rest of the group waiting for us?” asked Chad.
“And the beer?” added Mitka.
“And the music with the dancin’” added Pam, wriggling her hips.
“And the beer?” piped in Mitka, halfway on the floor.
“And besides, we can have sex on the beach,” said Chad.
“Somebody’s bringing vodka?” asked Mitka, slumped over the transmission hump.
Penny frowned slightly and sat back down. “Yeah, you’re right. Let’s go to the bonfire beach party!”
The stereo music was turned way up and Chad took off down the street.
And they all had a really nice time.
Except, it must be said, for Mitka who had a little too much drink and started spinning in circles letting his arms fly out and then bringing them back close to his body feeling himself slow down and speed up. Then he threw up. But he threw up in the water so it didn’t bother anyone except for a crab and some small fish.
The Night Creature
The trees swayed in the night, branches silhouetted against the full moon. Impenetrable darkness permeated the woods past the line of trees separating the open field from the gloom beyond. They stood like guardians.
A figure came stumbling from the darkness. A woman. She caught herself from falling and, spotting her car, ran towards it. She was wearing jeans and sneakers and a light jacket which is the sensible sort of thing to wear when on a hike in the woods. She glanced behind her, looking for signs of pursuit. The crack and snaps of dry brush in the woods spurred her on.
She reached for the closest door, the door handle springing out as she neared and unlocking when it sensed the key fob within range. She yanked the door open, dove onto the back seat, and closed the door behind her. She looked out the rear window and saw the lumbering creature. It was headed right for the car. She didn’t think she could get to the front seat before the hideous monster was upon.
“Start the car!” she cried. Dashboard lights lit up, as did the accent lighting which traveled in light pipes around the doors and center console.
The creature grabbed for a door but the handles had retracted once the car was started.
“Go to the nearest police station!” she commanded.
The car whirred off at speed, electric motors using the full amount of torque available. Brenda looked out the window again and saw the creature running towards her but falling behind. She took out her cell phone and recorded the monster as it fell away into darkness.
“Call 9-1-1,” she said.
After a few seconds, a voice came through the car speakers.
“Emergency services,” it said in a soothing voice. “What is the nature of your emergency?”
“I was hiking in Pikes Park,” said Brenda, still looking out the window. “I was attacked by some kind of animal. Or monster. Or creature.”
“I’ve got your GPS coordinates. Were you alone?”
“No, I was with my boyfriend, Sam. I think the creature killed him!” she cried.
“A SWAT team is en route,” said the voice. “Please stay calm and in your vehicle.”
Brenda nodded, even though no one could see her. Probably. She heard a helicopter pass overhead.
The speakers spoke again. “The SWAT team is on site. I’m being advised that the IR cameras have picked up a heat signature. They don’t know what it is, but they will dispatch it with prejudice.”
Flashing lights in the distance were, Brenda decided, the muzzle flashes of automatic weapons fire. They came in a burst and then fizzled out.
“I’m patching the SWAT commander through to you, ma’am.”
“Hello,” said a new, gruff, voice. “This is Commander Keegan. We have taken care of the threat and we will be looking for your friend. I suggest you go home, or to family or a friend’s house, so you won’t be alone. I’m sure you’ve had quite the ordeal.”
“Oh, I have,” moaned Brenda.
“Rest easy. You are in no danger. We’ll have an officer follow up with you in a couple of days. Keegan out.”
Brenda’s car drove her to her parent’s house, where they fussed over her. But she was busy posting her video, which came out nicely (thanks to modern optics, light sensors, and auto-stabilization) and updated her Twitter feed with her experience.
Apple had their WWDC keynote yesterday. Unlike most of the Internet, I don’t have much to cry over. Evidently, the world is split into three groups: the people who hate Apple and take dumps over anything they do, people who love Apple who take dumps over everything that they do, and the people who neither hate nor love Apple and think some of their products are pretty neat.
I’m part of the third group. I have a MacBook Pro from 2012 and I like it just fine. I have a Mac Mini and, for a while, it was my favorite purchase because it did exactly what I bought it for and never complained. I really wanted a Mac Pro because I love the design but, unfortunately, it was too much computer for anything that I would need it for and I wasn’t crazy enough to spend the copious amounts of money for something I couldn’t fully utilize.
Yesterday I noted to a friend of mine that there was nothing new on the Mini front. He told me that I should just consider it dead because it’s going nowhere. I can’t disagree, really. I mean, the last ‘refresh’ was the first time I’d seen a company downgrade a product and act proud about it.
The Mini’s main claim to fame is that (hold on for a surprise here) it’s small. A bonus feature is that it isn’t an All-In-One design so it’s cheaper than an iMac and you can buy whatever monitor you like. These days, though, there are plenty of smaller desktop computers running around and just about all of them are far more powerful than the Mini.
So, yeah, there’s not a lot of justification for keeping the Mini around if it can’t compete.
But… We know Apple is working on a new Mac Pro because the current one has a design flaw (that being it can’t, supposedly, be upgraded very much due to thermal constraints). So now they have a really nice design that will be discontinued.
But… Yesterday it was announced that there was official support for adding graphic cards via Thunderbolt.
So, what I would do, were I in charge of Apple, is take the current Mac Pro case, remove the two completely unnecessary workstation grade video cards, put in a proper medium to high-powered CPU with a just capable built-in video solution. If people want a better video card, they can now get one and add it in with a Thunderbolt enclosure.
Sell that as the new Mini. Or, since there’s a Mac Pro, iPad Pro, MacBook Pro, and now, an iMac Pro, why not brand it a Mini Pro? I would also keep the memory upgradable and put the CPU in a socket. Since it’s easy to get to the internal of the Mac Pro case, it would be negligible to upgrade the memory and CPU. This would also keep the masses… let’s say ‘less unhappy’ since most people just enjoy pooping their diapers over anything, anyway.