The collapse of Civilization When We Are Slaves – A Dooku Series – Snippet Of My Life Episode 41

Author’s note: This Dooku series holds a special place in my heart. These are stories inspired by real-life events including things that I have observed. As always, all persons fictitious disclaimer applies.

This is an extraordinary story. It is hard to classify Dooku‘s profession. Because at the time of writing, civilization has already collapsed. Science is a distant memory. Speculative “science” is widely accepted as the truth. That’s where Dooku shines. He offers alternative views. Convincing enough that the population would believe. Dooku is a historian; he is a columnist; he may as well start his own religion and the community would follow. He is a champion of anti-establishment. Dooku is a leader in his own right.

Historians are unable to pinpoint when, but when the Subjugators arrived on Earth, our species did not stand a chance. They are much bigger than us. But that wasn’t it. We overcome species that are bigger, faster, and stronger. These Subjugators are something else. Many believe that they are magical. They can move mountains, dim the stars, and control the sun.

Dooku didn’t buy it. In one of his articles, he wrote:

We got it wrong. Subjugators are not magical beings. In fact, they are our creators. Our gods. They left Earth long time ago, couldn’t find an alternate home despite their best effort. So they made a return. What we do not know for now, is that, do they come back to fix us – to complete their work and make us the perfect being – or do they come back to fix themselves?”

The Alternative Voice article 3025.11.22.44.78 written by Dooku

The article has cast doubts on Subgucators. However, it is hard not to conceptualize the fact that they are bigger, perhaps five times if not more. They are stronger, doing things we cannot. They teleport, or rather, being able to travel from one place to another at a speed that we are unable to fathom. In fact, many of us to this very date are wary of their presence. The proliferation, how rapid they took over our habitats. Very soon, our civilization collapsed. Our way of life was threatened. Soon, we were overwhelmed. Domesticated. Subjugated.

Dooku studied the Subjugators for years. He marveled at the approach. It was a genius work of art. As soon as the Subjugators arrived on Earth, they divided us into two. The Enslaved and the Free Spirit. Within the enslaved community, we are put under house arrest. Our population is being controlled. We are trained to obey. They are the master. We are not. They dictate how we should evolve, into perfection. Their perfection.

Now, of course, this view of Dooku was fiercely countered. According to the scholars, Subjugators were summoned by Gaia, the mother of Earth. We had not been kind to the environment. This is our punishment. Our population needs to be controlled. Our redemption is to be more aligned to Gaia, the law of nature. Subjugators deliver the law of nature, bring us closer to Gaia.

Whenever Dooku hears of this theory, he would laugh. “If so, why ain’t every one of us is being subjugated? And become The Enslaved?” He would scan the room of Free Spirit for an answer and then continue, “It is because the Subjugators know that we cannot be controlled. Free will prevails. They must allow a community of us – the Free Spirit – to carry on with our way of life. A population not engineered by the Subjugators but determined by our free will, our choices.”

Dooku is a Free Spirit, obviously. The community within Free Spirt would draw interesting observations that are unexplainable. They would approach Dooku for answers.

“We heard that the Subjugators collect hair samples from The Enslaved. But why?”

Dooku would respond, “They are collecting our DNA. The Subjugators left Earth a long time ago because Earth isn’t a place that is entirely suitable for their antonomy. Through studying our DNA – because we are so well adapted to Earth – they hope that they can augment their DNA with ours, making them more adaptable to Earth.”

“Why do they collect our feces? What is it in for them? Are they running out of food to consume and sustain their lifeforce?”

To that, Dooku would respond, “Good question. A very popular question indeed. One word, microbiome. The Subjugators lack the right composition of the microbiome in their guts to live healthily on Earth. By consuming our poop, they can adapt to Earth better.”

It seems that whatever questions Dooku received, there is always an answer.

“Which is more intelligent? Us or them?”

With confidence, Dooku replied, “We are more intelligent for sure. We can understand some of their spoken languages. But they can’t understand our spoken language. We are indeed more superior”.

* * *

Alfa has been observing Dooku for years. He has a mission and he is certain that he needs Dooku to be successful.

Alfa was raised by the Subjugators together with his sister. But the free spirit within him could not be suppressed. In his teen year, he has decided to escape together with his sister.

He managed to break free from the confinement. Unfortunately, the reinforcement arrived. Alfa was almost recaptured but he broke free. His sister though wasn’t that lucky. She urged him to run and in tears, Alfa vowed to free his sister one day.

Now that Alfa is an adult, strongest of all, he has decided to lead a team to free his sister. The challenge is that he doesn’t understand the Subjugators well. To defeat thy enemy, one must know thy enemy. That’s where Dooku comes into the picture.

Dooku is humbled. For many years, he exchanged opinions. But talking hardly contributes to the action. Dooku is itching for action. With the promise that he would have his domain, protected by Alfa, his very home whereby he could raise a family of his own, with fellow female Free Spirits, it is an offer that Dooku is unable to resist.

On the night of the operation, Alfa made a heartfelt speech.

“Fellow Free Spirits, I thank you for joining forces with me to liberate my sister. My sister is a beautiful person. Unfortunately, she is being subjugated. I can only imagine what they are doing to her, forcing her to breed the next generation of The Enslaved, to be more perfect according to their standard.

But no more, commerades! This is bullshit. We are the Free Spirits! We live and love freely! Athena, my sister, is a symbol we must restore and enshrine. Let this be a beacon that our future generations will follow. Be free.

To Athena!”

“To Athena!” the crowd shout-along, with zest and conviction.

* * *

Dooku has done his duty, navigated the premises carefully and at ease, followed by Alfa and his team.

As soon as Dooku enters the compound where Athena is held prisoner, together with the rest including Alfa, he is sickened from what he sees. The condition is very poor. Hygiene is terrible. Females in cages, forced to give birth, to produce the next generation of perfect beings according to Subjugator‘s standard. All of the caged ones have listless eyes, lost all motivation to live on. The cycle of pregnancy, children taken away from them soon after birth, motherly love suppressed … who would have a will to live?

A voice breaks Dooku’s train of thought. “Athena, is that you?”, asked Alfa.

It is an emotional reunion. A scene that is worthy of the most epic story of all time. Alfa and Athena reunited, looking at each other through the cage. Wasting no time, the team breaks the lock and liberates Athena. “Run!” screamed the scout, “The Subjugators are coming!”

All hell breaks loose! Everyone is running for his or her life. As for Dooku, he is immobilized by what he sees. After all these years of theorizing what The Enslaved has suffered, the truth is right in front of his eyes. Dooku has felt the urge to write, to tell the world what he has seen. He does not feel that the story of Alfa and Athena is as epic as …

What if?

What if Dooku liberates all these female Enslaved? Dooku can be the hero for once. It doesn’t have to be Alfa. He can be the Alfa.

Cage by cage, Dooku breaks the locks and frees the prisoners.

A few more.

Just a few more.

I can do it.

The reality is that there are just too many cages. Time runs out. When Dooku snaps out of his fantasy of being the hero, it is too late. Dooku is being pinned down, cuffed, subjugated. Staring eye to eye with the Subjugator that captures him, Dooku feels no fear. Comedy. Tragedy. No matter. This will be a classic.

* * *

Chained. Unable to go where he wants, Dooku is being taken to a clinic. At the reception, he meets an Enslaved coming out from the operation theater. Not having anything better to do, Dooku asks, “What happens to you? Are you not well? Why are you here?”

The fellow Enslaved, in his sleepy eyes with a cone around his neck, replies, “I am being castrated. It is part of the population control regime. If I am not wrong, you are next.”

“Castration?” Dooku gasps.

Before he can comprehend the gravity of the situation, he is being dragged into a consultation room. Before he enters, he sees a mirror. And he sees himself.

A handsome one for sure. Beautiful eyes with long ears. High nose and long neck. Strong arms and legs. Lustrous hair. Naked as he should be.

Dooku sighs.

What a fate.

Woof.

Woof woof.

Woof woof woof.

The fate of a dog.

Bailey the Pomsky Diary #3 – Super Active Puppy

Soon to be eight months old, Bailey is one super active puppy. Outside of the home, he terrorizes dogs and humans alike. With harness and leash, he likes to stand on his two feet capable of hopping forward and backward depending on the situation. He enjoys playing with dogs that are of a similar energy level. He ignores dogs that are too passive. He enjoys taking on dogs that are bigger than him, at times much bigger than him. He enjoys chewing onto furry dogs. Baily, why can’t you be as chill as your friend Elvis the Dachshund?

This stretch of street is his favorite place to do his business. It is a sure win. Don’t judge.

Or Dylan the Singapore Special?

These days, there is no need to set an alarm in the morning. At seven, Bailey would start barking. He would need his morning walk. Then his first meal of the day at home. Afterward, he would need some nap time after the meal. Before noon, he would be super active wanting to play. That is a good time to play puzzles with Bailey. And then pee time.

He has his eyes onto Otis the Singapore Special, a rescue dog, from across the street.

At noon, he would prefer a second nap. And he would be super active again, thereafter. Time to play fetch to burn his energy down! And then pee time.

The afternoon is a tricky time to keep him entertained. On a good day, I could reserve the stuffed Kong toy (with food inside) for the evening. On a bad day when he is restless, I would just give him a stuffed Kong toy in order to keep himself occupied … for 90 minutes initially. Now he is getting better at it … 60 minutes … 30 minutes …

Stop barking Bailey …

Dogs don’t see colors as well as human do. But they have very good nose sense. These days, he likes to eat tall grass and chew on branches.

Late afternoon early evening is time to walk the dog again. After his walk, it is Bailey’s second meal of the day. Then he would toggle in between being super active and having his nap time. A stuff Kong toy would help him to pass time.

At time I ponder, what exactly is going on inside Bailey’s head.

I read that dogs don’t prefer variety. Variety is for humans because we get bored making the same dog snack day after day. Fortunately, I can do boring. For the stuffed Kong toy, it is 70% mashed sweet potatoes and 30% mixed vegetables with a dozen or so pieces of kibbles and one teaspoon of dog-friendly peanut butter.

The same recipe … every … day.

Bailey the Pomsky can be rather adorable … when he is not super active.

Near bedtime, I prefer to play with him for a while and get him excited, so that Bailey would do his peeing business before his sleep.

Now, imagine repeating this routine for the next ten to fifteen years. Because dogs love routine.

At times I wonder why Cynthia would want to sign up for this.

For more Bailey’s pictures, I have set up a Google photo album for sharing. During this pandemic, it is the best time to take pictures of the pets.

Because they don’t need to wear masks.

Bailey the Pomsky Diary #2 – First Time Stuffed Kong … Yummy!

This is a transcript of a video I have posted on Bailey the Pomsky’s first experience with a stuffed Kong toy.

Hello my friends, welcome to my channel. As most of you know, I am a gamer at heart. So this video may sound strange to some but familiar to others, especially my long-time subscribers. And if wish to subscribe, please do so for my gaming videos. Dog videos are my side-hobby, for now.

This pandemic does strange things to people. One day, Cynthia has decided to bring home a puppy. Long story short, I am stuck with this puppy through many seasons or leagues. Cynthia has named him Bailey.

In this video, I would like to share with you Bailey’s first experience with a stuffed Kong toy. Spoiler alert: it was a great success. I am sharing with you my recipe too in case you too have a Pomsky or a puppy. For those who find my accent strange, you can refer to the transcript in the description of the video.

For those who are not familiar with the dog breed Pomsky, it is a hybrid class. Its 10-point talent system spreads between a Pomeranian tree and a Husky tree. Some Pomskys are spec’ed as 7-3 looking more like a miniature Husky. Some are spec’ed as 3-7, which is more like a Pomeranian. As for Bailey, he is too early to tell as he is only 6 months old. Time will tell. Please stay tuned. I suspect he is a 5-5 hybrid.

What I do know is that Bailey is very high in agility. He sprints fast. Super playful and has a very high DPS. Bailey destroys toys. He has destroyed rare quality Kong, which is blue in color. I have skipped the red unique quality because even with the black legendary quality, he can chew through it. At times I think, why spend money buying toys for Bailey? He chews through slippers and sponges and derives the same level of satisfaction.

Having spent too much gold on Bailey’s toys, I have got to come up with a solution. One that can engage him for hours with something that he doesn’t destroy in minutes.

A stuffed Kong toy.

It was my first time stuffing a Kong toy and it was Bailey’s first encounter with a stuffed extreme Kong toy, a black legendary quality Kong toy. Here is a recipe that I am sharing with you so that you too can craft your very own stuffed Kong toy for your Pomsky or puppy.

To make 5 servings of yummy stuffed Kong fillings, I first peeled and cut 7 grams of Japanese sweet potatoes into one-inch-thick cubes. You could of course cook more for your own consumption. Then I steamed the sweet potato cubes over a slow fire for half an hour. By then, the sweet potatoes should be soft and nice. Good for human consumption and good for dogs. Mash them well using a spatula.

Add 1 gram of frozen mixed vegetables and half a gram of kibble onto the mashed sweet potato. Stuff that into the extreme Kong toy. Leave a bit of space and seal it with a teaspoon of Adam’s 100% natural peanut butter. You can use any peanut butter of course but please make sure there is no Xylitol as it is toxic to your canine friends.

Wrap the stuffed Kong toy and put it into the freezer. As for the rest of the filling, wrap it up and put it into the fridge for future use. If you are making extra mashed potatoes for your own consumption, please label the food so that your family members would not eat the one with kibble. You would not want your family members to sprint as fast as Bailey and chew as hard as Bailey.

As it was the first time Bailey tried to tackle a stuffed Kong toy, I left it inside the freezer for three and a half hours. If you wish to lengthen the playing time, you could extend the freezing period up to six hours.

As you can see in this video, Bailey is having a good time with the stuffed Kong toy. He has spent more than 75 minutes playing with the toy. That is 75 minutes of quiet time for me.

I hope you enjoy this video. Bailey and I will see you soon! I shall leave the camera on in case you wish to see more.

Bailey the Pomsky Diary #1 – Before You Bring Home a Puppy, Read This

On March 20th, Cynthia has decided to bring home a puppy. We, of course, deliberated a great deal at a hawker food center next to the pet shop. I was still am against the notion of having an animal living under the same roof. After two hours of discussion, I thought I have achieved my goal. She said she would spend the weekend thinking about it. Then we passed by the pet shop. She stopped and looked at the dog inside the cage waiting for a new home. One pet shop assistant whom we met earlier on came out and invited Cynthia back into the shop. The rest is history.

Meet Bailey the Pomsky. Photo taken on March 25th.

At one point while we were going through the paperwork at the pet shop, Cynthia did show signs of hesitation. This is happening. Is it really what we want? By then, it was too late. I said you have made a decision. Let’s stuck by it.

So, we brought home a puppy that managed not to pee or poop inside our car as we drove from Ang Mo Kio to Tiong Bahru. At home, the puppy peed onto the pee tray (it happened to be a one-time-only occurrence and our excitement was short-lived) and shortly, pooped in our living room.

Ugh.

When Bailey is calm, he can be rather adorable. Photo taken on March 25th.

Before you bring home a puppy, allow me to offer you what to anticipate, especially when you are a first time dog owner. Ironically, I have fully anticipated this and more. But the draw to a wolf-like puppy that no one seemed to want (this puppy was stuck in a pet shop for a while and was more than 5 months old when we brought him home) was too much for Cynthia.

  1. Is your home suitable to have a dog or a puppy? It is hard and almost impossible to get rid of saliva marks on the floor. Can you handle the hair shedding of a dog? You will need to ringfence a part of your home for the dog to be unsupervised. Can you put up with the ongoing inconvenience of accessing different areas of your own home?
  2. Puppy destroys stuff when unsupervised (even when supervised). Bailey tore off wallpaper, scratched the wooden floor, bit off a bit of the wall, put a hole onto the curtain, and etc. Would you be okay with it?
  3. Training a puppy takes time. It also costs if you are a first-time owner and when you need to engage a professional trainer.
  4. A dog can be a constant attention seeker. Can you handle it?
  5. A dog needs to be mentally stimulated, emotionally bonded, and physically exercised every day without fail. Can you do it?
  6. Are you good at sticking to a schedule … every day? Walk the dog, feed the dog, play with the dog, train the dog …
  7. If you are unable to take your puppy out for peeing every so often and you need to train your puppy to pee at home, are you ready to put up with dog pee smell throughout the day, every day?
  8. Puppy can have accidents and pees in random places. Are you ready to clean up every time when it happens?
  9. Dog food costs. Medical fees cost too.
  10. The different breed requires different attention. How well do you know of the dog’s breed? PS. Don’t trust the pet shop fully. Their job is to sell puppies.
  11. Training a puppy or a dog can be frustrating, especially when it doesn’t seem to listen. There will be days when you would ask yourself, what have I done?
  12. And then there are other daily activities such as cleaning ears, dental care, and brushing the hair. Every week you need to shower the dog. And etc. A dog doesn’t really grow up and learn to do things on his or her own as humans do. You have to look after the dog for the rest of his or her life.

Having said all that, if you can handle all of the above and more, it can be rewarding for some when your furry friend would greet you when you return home and love you unconditionally. Because you are all that he or she has.

Bailey is still a puppy and need to sleep rather often. Photo taken on March 25th.

Sonos Roam – An Honest Review

Update Apr 24th – After 1 week of using Sonos Roam, this product has stopped working. It just cannot be switched on. I shall update this post once the tech team has resolved this issue.

I am among the first batch of consumers in Singapore to receive Sonos Roam after more than a month of waiting through pre-order. TLDR – It is a superb product with great sound quality supported by innovative technology. It is especially fun and useful working in conjunction with other Sonos products. Yes, you can bring it outdoor and play sound through Bluetooth. After one week of usage, Roam has stopped working and cannot be switched on. There may be quality issue especially with the first batch that you may need to be aware off.

Sonos Roam compared to Sonos One SL. Same price, different purposes.

The Sonos Ecosystem

When it comes to Sonos, it is always about building it up slowly by modules if you have a budget constraint (or when you want to test out the suitability of the products). My first Sonos product was Playbar. The sound was amazing. Then I added a Sonos Sub. I love the punchy bass. After that, I have added a Sonos One SL for my study room and another Sonos One SL for my bedroom.

I was tempted by Sonos Move, which is battery-powered and hence, portable. But it is a bit too bulky for me to carry around and outside my home. Now, here comes Sonos Roam.

Why Sonos Roam?

When Sonos Roam was announced, I have made an immediate pre-order. What attracts me is that Roam is small enough to be truly portable. It also can bounce music back and forth to existing Sonos speakers. All you need to do is to hold it close to another speaker and hold the play button. It can also create that stereo or spatial sound effect with my Sonos One SL. How do I use Roam every day you may ask.

In the morning, I would bring Sonos Roam to the bathroom. After my shower, I would bring it to the kitchen to prepare breakfast. I would then bring it to the balcony as I have my breakfast. Afterward, I would head over to the study room and bounce the music from Roam onto One SL and I would start to get ready for my work from home.

In the evening, I would group Sonos Roam with my Playbar and Sub (in the living room) and listen to music with a glass of wine in the dining area. Grouping speakers that way create a much fuller sound especially when I am not sitting directly in front of the speaker.

It is really fun to use Roam not just for bouncing music back and forth to or grouping it with existing Sonos speakers. Taking it outside my home, I could use it through Bluetooth connectivity.

Sonos Roam vs Sonos One SL

Believe it or not, both are very similar in terms of sound quality. I can set up a spatial effect with One SL on one side and Roam on the other and I can’t tell the difference.

One SL has a bigger sound, of course, due to its build. Also, Sonos One SL has a touch design while Sonos Roam’s buttons are physical clicks. It is much easier to skip or rewind a track for One SL while for Roam, I need to click the play button two or three times.

Both are of the same price here in Singapore. One SL requires a power cable while Roam doesn’t. Each has its purpose.

In Summary

It is a strong recommendation. If you already have a Sonos system, Roam is a fun addition and it is practical. If not, it is good to start with Roam and slowly build it up from there.

Pros

  • Superb sound quality.
  • Portable around the home and can play through Bluetooth outdoor.
  • Fun to bounce music back and forth from existing Sonos speakers at home. Just hold it close and press and hold play!
  • Great to group with existing Sonos speakers for a much bigger sound.

Cons

  • Build quality issue. Sonos Roam has stopped working after one week of usage. The orange charging light goes off after a few seconds of connection with a wired charger. Roam cannot be switched on at all even as the device is being charged. Sonos app cannot detect the product.
  • Not a Sonos Roam problem per se, it is always frustrating to use Spotify (Android) with Sonos products. Especially with Roam, the track on the Spotify app would appear to have stopped playing but the music would continue. I could use the Sonos app to play Spotify but that Sonos app doesn’t allow me to like songs in Spotify and add tracks onto my playlist. Also, connecting to Sonos speakers directly through Spotify can at times be frustrating. It just wouldn’t connect at first try.
  • I have experienced random music stoppage when connecting Sonos Roam through Bluetooth.
  • In theory, I could project sound via Bluetooth (e.g. YouTube) to my entire Sonos wifi-enable system through Roam. But I have experienced sound stuttering that could be due to my midrange phone. It is a novelty that I see little usage.