by Marcia Kaoru Wilbur

for my little sister, Sue who claims to have enjoyed my writing and said, “I don’t know why you do that technical stuff!”

Episode 1 – March 16, 2021: Mexico Raspberry Pi Lab Adventures

Mexico was fucking amazing!

I touched the ground in Mexico City, single mixed Greek Yankee Japanese woman from the US… a “cheena”. Immediately, upon exiting customs area, I was met by a man who spoke English. He approached, I thought he was a taxi service worker.

I sat in the back of the car, knowing this was a scam. The locking of the doors echoed clickkkkkkkkkk! Thud. This guy drove like a maniac. They could have at least blindfolded me! The way this guy drove… Was supposed to be a 2 minute ride. Supposedly, taking a cab was safer than walking to the bus depot. Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa…. right!

I was ferociously texting my point of contact, Adam. This was the worst driver in all of Mexico! What company would let this guy drive! Reality sunk in. I may be in a little bit of trouble…

Escape plan mode: on

Defcon: 4

The reason for the trip was to set up and maintain a few school labs, check out the college lab, meet with college staff in Oaxaca. All those years in Arizona and never once did I go to Mexico.

Dad told us not to go there, especially Tijuana. So, I avoided it…until this GNU Linux crusade. See, I didn’t need the internet. I didn’t need electricity… When you can rock offline… it’s life changing.

Life. Changing.

All those years in poverty, all those cold and hungry nights… rigging my equipment with paperclips and old storage… cleaning out the dust bunnies so I wouldn’t overheat and get shutdown during a chat in irc. Oh, I had experience with old, slow and broken equipment… it was called… my boxen. Not like the EdgeLord I recently designed.

All those missed opportunities, taking work as a technical writer just to get my foot in the door. Someday, someone will recognize my talent – I tried to convince myself. I was learning while there, anyway. I ended up going off on my own terms, being flown for migration and programming contracts, put up in 5 star hotels, wined and dined. Right out of the gate, I was sent to San Francisco in 2003 for LinuxWorld. 15 years later, and now that I had every financial luxury… now, I landed here – in this 3rd world country because of the story I heard about the last trip which indicated they really needed someone with tech. They did.

I mean I could list all the issues… starting with their inability to resize/truncate an image to trusting someone who knew Ubuntu to bring a repo. He showed up… without dependencies, with old vulnerable versions as well. Servers were missing at one site. At another, simply connecting the computers to the server and adding a link solved some of this lab’s issues. An earthquake had hit one lab. There was a need.

Here I was…by choice! Granted I was a little disappointed this was nowhere near sea turtles or fishing…

But there I was in the back of the car, the 2 men in front, knowing they were trying to get me somehow. You know, I’m a survivor. I’ve been beaten for less. I lived on MLK and Bonanza in Las Vegas back in the 90s, as an Asian in the ghetto during the Rodney King riots – I wasn’t scared of these 2 Mexicans. I knew I was there for a purpose and I would fulfill this purpose. These fools just wanted my cash… One was the confidence man, the other the wheel man. Classic scam.

“Ok Miss we are here. He is calculating the price.”
The car was locked.

We were in front of the bus depot in Mexico City. I just needed to get out of the car. All I had was a backpack and laptop bag so … I considered the window… as a last resort.

“55 dollars”

“55 dollars! pesos?”

“US dollars.” He was trying to fast talk me about why.

“Listen, I was told this was a 2 dollar ride. Clearly, you took the long route and no. I don’t have 55 dollars cash.”

Bitch, I’m a Connecticunt. I don’t keep cash in one place when I travel. Duh.

He didn’t believe me, I pulled out some pesos and 2 american dollars. Far too large a tip for this heist. He kept insisting. So…

“I have a credit card. Do you have square? Square? Venmo?”

They looked at each other and pointed to the ATM outside and I was like… whoa, they have this racket planned out well… but I insisted.

“No ATM! Square!”

They just gave up and unlocked the car. Well, it was their fault for not taking venmo or having square!

Episode 2: Bus Depot – no habla

Andrew’s stove

Today, my son, Cordell, and I went to Andrew’s “bachelor” pad to drop off some cash. I had to go to the Poly campus and Cordell’s advisor was there so, I took him along.

Andrew doesn’t have venmo or paypal, our favorite sushi place was nearby and he gave us a key so, we went.

For almost 2 years, he’s been waiting for a new stove. The other day, he told us he was getting a new one.

When we got there, we saw Andrew finally got his new stove!!!!!!! It looked like, he didn’t know… like it happened when he was at work.
So, I texted him:

Me: I put the cash in the stove
Him: Crazy

I only wish I could see the look on his face when he goes in and sees the new stove, opens the stove to check if the cash was really there.

I like being the ex better than being with him.



So, I made it to 500 people in my network.. Woo hoo. I have to admit… I stopped connecting with people I knew and started connecting with cute guys. What…? LOL

I’m kind of old and kind of fat…

Old I can’t change. Fat.. well, that’s relative.

But I’m also kind of tired of being alone. I do so like to be alone. However, I also like company.

So, if you are a techie.. if you are a g33k or a haxor…If you know what it means when I say – ping me when you get a minute…


Taken April 2017

I am seriously fat.

I see more disgusting women than me with dates. OMG… It must be… my personality. LOL.

Is it my stye… I’ve had this damn eye thing for months… UGHHHHHH!

It’s the big glasses… isn’t it…


It’s because I have a shitty phone cam…!!!!

God damn, I’ve been single over 3 years.

My ex has had 13 girlfriends in that time.

The only action I’ve seen was getting groped by 2 guys – unwanted, incidentally.

WTF shit.

Am I so awful? I have hair, most of my teeth and I’m Asian – with boobs! LOL. I know. Not… attractive.

Check this out. I was working on helping this lady at a Coffee hour with her Thunderbird… and then her husband wanted help – I said, “I just got lucky” and without missing a beat he goes ,”Come on… when was the last time you got lucky.”
Laughed my ass off.

Write Good Code or … that day I thought Grady Booch was a grad student

The year was … 1998. I was a student in the computer science program at Arizona State. We were invited to CS Night. Back then, they had very few people attend. It was somewhat informal. My friend, Sindhu and I were hanging out and decided to go. Free food is always a good thing when you are a student!

So, we are sitting down and we see this hippy looking guy walk in. I hadn’t seen him before so I figured him for a grad student. We invited him to sit with us. He starts talking with us and then when they are about to start, he apologizes that he has to sit up front because he’s the speaker. I go, “Oh, I thought you were a grad student!” He says, “not for a while”. It was Grady Booch. That day, he gave an analogy of Dorothy and the red shoes and coding. “Write Good Code” was his message.

I’ll never forget the emphasis on writing good code and the Booch method. 2 years later, the CS program had a more Formal CS Night.  The speaker was the guy who created UML. He was telling us how he had a fat million dollar deal and check in hand when his chair called him about finishing his dissertation. He was also a great speaker. However, at that time at Arizona State, the program switched from UNIX to Windows and eliminated the X terminals in the computing commons for Windows machines. These were sad times for a free software advocate.

The truth of the matter was that the support team could not support the x terminals (Sun Solaris boxes) and the college wanted to get rid of the terminals. The IT staff was surveying the usage – in a most unfair manner – by setting times they knew there would be little to no usage, intentionally! They admitted the reason. This was quite upsetting.

Fortunately, around the same time, Arizona State East campus had implemented a lab full of Red Hat dual boot machines. This was somewhat fortunate, but not exactly the same thing. It was something…

My personal opinion on the Operating System course switching from UNIX to Windows fell upon deaf ears. Money is king, right?

Another interesting thing was that Intel and Motorola pushed for the curriculum to include serious math, which is fine. However, the math amounted to a minor in math with only 3 more courses required to complete a double major in Computer Science and Mathematics.  The adviser in the computer science department was someone I helped to get the job in 1998 and in 2000, she had completely changed. There were walk in times with no appointment available. My friend who is African American and a female was turned away from advisement twice, even though she was enrolled in the program! When I complained, the department chair’s solution was not to help a student but to eliminate walk ins. Wow. The program got worse and worse. Ultimately, I decided to forgo a degree in computer science for a few reasons:

1. The adviser miscalculated  my GPA – then told me “I” needed more math! LMFAO

2. The department was targeting women enrolled and claiming they were not doing their work and were monitoring emails to try and find proof but could not.

3. There were some women who were NOT doing work. I met one girl who when asked by another student to explain push and…. push and… she said PULL… not pop. I said, Oh, are you a freshman? She said, “I’m a senior! I’m graduating this semester!” At that point I was like, omfg.

I went to a mentor/professor who proceeded to defend her. I was like, 4th year and you don’t understand Stacks and she gets the degree. This is a WORTHLESS degree program!

So, I was going to go into law. However, ran out of funds before I could get to law school. Too bad, I could have defended hackers. That’s my only regret.

Somehow, though, after leaving the program, I made my way to the FSF and EFF. So, despite not having a BS in comp sci (only an AAS), I was able to have amazing experiences!

Some of my hacker friends say I’m good at social engineering. I do tend to get free passes to cons that cost 1000s…
This past year I attended Cactus con even though there were no available spots and I hadn’t registered. It was free… I didn’t think I had to register!

Then, less than an hour later, I saw some people who turned from free to proprietary for money. Hey, that’s life – right. She was there at the Auth con with a police man and another Linux User group president. So, as she saw me she said to them, “Oh, I guess they let just anyone in.”

I thought, yeah… I guess they will.

Later, I caught her in the hallway alone. I said, “I’m surprised to see you here”. She told me she goes every year. Yeah, I’m not surprised at that… I mean, anyone can get in, even people who work with Canonical. LOL.


June 2016 – Restricted? I don’t think so.

I spend a lot of time alone. I do.
The worst part is what I do if I have too much time alone.

So, one night I was tired. I was not broke but had been in the past. The girl at the store overcharged Zack for a cup of ice. Dude… I’m not paying 1.50 for a cup of ice.

I went back into the store. She wasn’t behind the counter. She was shelving something. She didn’t even turn around when I said “Excuse me”.

“excuse me, how much is it for a cup of ice?”
“25 cents”
“Oh, then this was rung up incorrectly.”
She went behind the counter.
I placed the receipt on the counter.
“Was this at another location?”
What an odd question. Ok, I’ll play.
“No, this was just now, here.”

Her face turned. “Oh, that was full. I know both were.”
“No, one was a cup of ice.”
She couldn’t have possibly made a mistake in her own little mind… right?
“You’re going to have to bring those back inside so I can check”.
“You’re joking right.”
She had a serious look on her face.
“Are you fucking serious?”
I go outside, get the cups, shout to zack how I think this bitch must be on drugs and slam them back on the counter.
Then I give my – Ok, irrelevant idiot, did I earn the freaking dollar, you idiot look – face.
and I say in my most sarcastic tone:
“This is some pretty amaaaaazing customer service!”

She gives me the dollar and crumples up my receipt and I’m like… yeah, I’m going to need that.
She gives me a different receipt.

Then, she tells me I can never come back to that Quiktrip again.
Oh, hell no.
“Excuse me?”
“Leave or I’ll call the cops!”
I was confused and wtf!
“Go ahead” The judge in this town baptized my kid. Bring it on you crazy drugged up bitch.

So, at this point, I’m thinking… why (except Costco) do I have to deal with these minimum wage level people who make about 2x minimum wage so they have attitude. Like does this 30k a year undereducated person behind the counter really think it’s ok for someone in her position to talk to me… a customer that way. I could be a homeless customer and still… she should be more polite. Seriously.

It happens at QT, it happens at Habit. All these places that pay these irrelevant ignorants more money to stand around and serve people… their employees have horrible attitudes and the customer service is seriously lacking. I worked at a gas station years ago. It was my job and I was not a jerk like this. In fact, I had rapport with my customers. I had the prostitutes and the dude who dressed in drag for shows. I had some other regulars. What? It was Las Vegas and it was graveyard shift. It was fun. I loved my customers. And seriously, what isn’t there to love?!

So, she hangs up the phone and says, “I don’t know what you want from me.”
I said, “an apology would be nice.”
She goes, “That’s NEVER going to happen”.

So, long and short of it is… I was complaining about her to management. I told them to play back the tapes. Seriously. How did this mistake of hers escalate to this point.

I can say my perspective here.

She made an error –
She was upset she made an error –
She was afraid of problems because of her error –
Thereby making more errors –

Human. We are.

The problem is me. The company violated her privacy. Gave me her full name. I found Patty, her relative and 188 of her close friends. I felt kind of sorry for her… what with her myspace account she updated about 2 years ago. Really? Myspace.


However, my drive was still to research her. Sad, huh.

Social engineer? Me… nah

After much insistence by my associates, I have come to the conclusion that yes, I do this and I guess I do it well.

Let’s think about the background …

1. Grew up broke
2. Father turned over millions in electronics engineering as President and Founder
3. Could go anywhere and do anything and get away with it in a small town
4. Ended up broke and penniless – Nothing to lose – Could go anywhere and do anything – No worries
5. Moved from East Coast to West – Adapted to new environment
6. Moved from West Coast to East – Adapted back to different culture and wow… what a difference!
7. Communications degree
8. Technology grad degree
9. Interview and writing skills from years of experience.
10. Mother worked in court system for 25 years.

Story 1:
I was a student, a single mom and I wanted to stay in Connecticut after my degree. Computer sciences corporation was paying pennies on the dollar, a measly 30k for a degree in Comp Sci. Please. The year was 2000. Jobs were plenty all over the country. So, I headed to Hartford with copies of my resume in hand. I wanted to find a software company or somewhere my skills would be useful. I found a company in Hartford as I was driving through. It was early morning. There was a large black steel fence surrounding the offices. I fit through the bars.
Next was getting in to see someone to hand my resume. I managed to get the attention of the man who was buffing the floor. He let me in. I stood by the elevator and saw that software was on the 3rd floor. I got in the elevator after a couple of people and got out the 3rd floor.

I handed my resume to the reception lady who said, “How did you get up here!”
I told her.
“The elevator” I don’t usually take stairs anyway. LOL
She said, “I mean, how did you get in the elevator!”
I said, “I just walked in.”
That’s when she started to get upset.

“This is a highly restricted and secure facility. Now tell me how you got in here before I call for security!”

I was astonished and confused. I wasn’t even trying to get in.
I said to her, “Look, I’m just a student trying to get a job. I had no idea this was a restricted area. I’ll leave but here’s my resume. Obviously, you could use someone like me, if this is as restricted as you claim.”

“I need to know how you got in, exactly.”

I said, “Listen, I didn’t break in or anything. I saw the gate and it was accessible. I went through. I couldn’t get in the door, so I got the attention of someone inside and was let in. Then, I got on the elevator with the others. Here I am.”

“Who let you in the door.”
“I don’t know the person’s name.”

She really wanted to know and I really wasn’t going to tell her.

Needless to say, they never called me.
Restricted Access… LMAO

At least put up a no trespassing sign or something… hahahahahahahaha

P.S. I always loved picking locks and escaping locked situations… that is… as a kid.

I’m ready.

Something I’ve been thinking about though.

With every heartbreak.
With every moment of disappointment.
Every heart ache.
Each and every day in captivity.

For Every single pain.
Every stinging word.
For when I mourned my life, for when I was beaten for crying I received no love.
For Every time violence was experienced.
For Every belligerent action experienced.
For every single moment of pain.

For every second, minute, hour, day, month and year knowing I was unloved and uncared for.
For every night I wept myself silently in fear to sleep.
For every loveless companion.
For every lonely night.
For every judgmental look by sisters who were married.
For every unkind rumor they established about me.
For all the dinners I was not invited to because I was unmarried.

For every broken dream
For every lost hope
For every day I denied love was real because I knew it not
For every night I sat in the dark, staring into the nothingness that my life had become
For every warm tear falling from my heavenly eyes
For every prayer in hope of freedom
For every time I snuck out and was beaten for going to church against his will
For the times I was beaten for my faith

I held my love back, captured deep within my heart, waiting – waiting for that one day when someone deserving could appreciate me completely.

Since Jesus loves me, I know it’s possible I can find love.

“When the time is right in the Lord, you will meet a worthy member holding the Holy Melchizedek Priesthood who will take you to the temple and you will be sealed for time and all eternity. Great blessings will come into your life.”

Of course there are all those unworthies trying to sabotage this… I noticed.

So I think it’s close!

At this point, I realize – with unworthy men, weaknesses become vices, vices become part of their character.

At this point, only a worthy member could be strong enough to be with me. I’m not that special but he will need to be. This may not happen.

1. You can’t just show up
2. You can’t like me but not care about me
3. You better not be too shy or take too long because I’ll be gone.

I can’t help but feel like the one I had hoped for – the one who I have been waiting for… the one with heavenly eyes… will be prepared for someone else. And… That I should be gracious enough to help and let it happen. Yeah… I’m not that gracious, but I always do what my father requests…even when it does hurt me so.