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Fermius Firefly

A Dream Log, whenever I remember the dreams I've had.

My Photo
Location: San Marcos, United States

Fermius is a pen name drawn from a series of short fiction I wrote when I published the small press magazine Stellanova (on paper.) I play RPG games to escape from my daily grind as a technology wage slave for the state of California. I eat out a lot in order to do my part in supporting our increasingly service level economy. I am butler to 2 feline masters. If you ask them they will tell you I'm not very good at it, late with dinner, don't have enough hands with brushes in them, and sometimes I even lock them out of their office.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Crash Landed on Alien Polar Icecap

Dreamed I was on a flying saucer in the polar region of an alien world where I had crash landed due to some sort of malfunction. I had projected myself onto another ship to warn them about the conditions outside their vessel, and to guide them to where I’d crashed. I faded back through the walls of their vessel and into my own, but found that my own was filled with water and sinking rapidly. I swam up through the freezing water. I managed to grab onto the flukes of a large aquatic animal and managed to steer it to the surface and towards the vessel I had just warned. There were many book sized chunks of ice in the water. I started grabbing some up and putting them in my pack for later analysis. There was a large ice flow between me and the rescue vessel.

The aquatic creature swam up onto the ice flow and I released it with thanks. I helped turn it around and pushed it back into the ocean.

As it sounded I thought I saw it wave so waved back.  I began to trudge across the ice sheet towards the other vessel. As I crossed the Ice sheet I came across another animal, this one was very curious and followed me for quite a while. It sniffed me all over, deciding I wasn't food, I supposed. I climbed on its warm furry back and was able to guide it in the direction I wanted to go simply by pointing. It seemed fairly bright and friendly, I couldn’t tell how bright, but had to be fairly as most animals don’t get pointing.

Once across the ice sheet I spotted the ship and waved to them, they headed up to the ice sheet, scaring fish-like creatures ashore. My mount chased after them and consumed them in a single gulp each. It then waved to the ship. I told the pilot to circle around and come in again, driving a few more fish up onto the ice flow. The creature grunted at me, I said hello. It reached deep into its fur and pulled out a leather bag with some carved bone/ivory items in it. It handed me one. I was surprised. It was a lovely carving of a creature we hadn't seen yet. I reached under my dry suit and found a thin plastic holder with a set of photos in it of my cats. I pulled one out and handed it to the native. It made a chuckling noise and turned the image around and all over, particularly interested in the writing on the back.

The creature started writing on the ice, using it's sharp claws to carve into it.

I pulled out a knife and started numbering next to his drawing of one fish, two fish, even though having opened up my suit I was even colder than before.

When I woke, I discovered that the cats had stolen the afghan again. That explains the freezing part of the dream and likely the cause of the image of cat photos as well.


Ad astra per technica,



Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Dreamed of being at Work.

Only one scene and comment remains. We were in our conference room, I was sitting next to our IS supervisor, she turned to me and said “Isn’t that special.”

I have no idea what we were meeting about and what prompted the comment.

Isn’t that special.


Ad astra per technica,



Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Dream Interchange, Condo Warming

      Dreamed N and I were traveling on a highway we'd travelled regularly. We were talking, so I missed our exit. N insisted we take the next one, but when we did so I spotted the next exit 13 miles sign and pulled into the center hill inside the curve of the transfer ramp. I looked around, this was a transfer that had only an on ramp to this new freeway that we didn't want to really be traveling down.
      "It's only a 26 mile round trip," N noted.
      "But there's no transfer ramp here back to our freeway. Look!" I pointed to the sign on the other side of the freeway that indicated a junction with our highway in 8 miles, going in the other direction than we were headed.
      "We can run along the frontage road and cross over ahead."
      "We tried that last time, and flipped the car. Even though Little Red (my Honda Insight) is smaller than Cecil, I still don't think we can make it." I started across the ramp to the narrow trail that wound its way down the hill along a ridge next to the freeway.
      We followed the track for several minutes, annoyed by the insects and heat. Finally we came to a small ridgeline where the two wheeled track became a narrow one wheel path and steeply sloped at that. "This is where we fell last time." Last time was in a previous dream. I like it when my dreams contain references to previous dreams like it was just a matter of course. I noticed a small town not too far off the slope ahead. N didn't want to navigate the narrow path, so we climbed up into the brush along the top of the ridge and made our way to the town.
      The main road of town stopped at the top of the ridge, a guardrail with red diamond signs marking the view of the freeway from thirty yards above. I noticed as we walked towards the town along the hillside, that the hill was actually large concrete posts and lintels.
      The ground was made of four foot cross sections covered with dirt and scrub. Because there was sometimes a few feet between the concrete beams, you could see through one foot gaps into a fairly well lit underground area. It was vast and empty, between sixty and eighty feet to the floor. It looked like the floor was tiled in a crazed mosaic pattern that wasn't a pattern at all. N didn't want to cross the beams, as you sometimes had to jump the gaps.
      "There might be cracks or the gaps might be hidden."
      I went into town, checking the path carefully. I found a route that was overgrown enough that you didn't have to look underneath if you just followed the safe path. I came back and led N along the route to town. N was still a bundle of nerves until we climbed over the guard rail onto a piece of pavement with grass-filled cracks. I didn't have the heart to tell her that the town was also sitting on top of a huge underground cavern full of pillars, I had seen it when I had approached from another angle.
      In town, we were able to have a cool salad and a very good tuna sandwich at a little drugstore lunch counter. The folks we met were very pleasant. We got a standing tour of the town from the druggist, turns out you could see the whole thing from the sidewalk in front of his place. Eight buildings made up the whole of downtown. There was a gas station a couple miles down the main road, you could make it out from downtown. There were several houses on the surrounding hills.
      "Are they on top of a hollow gallery as well?" I asked.
      The druggist looked at me like I was crazy. It turns out that none of the town's folk knew about the hollow ground under their home. They had never been out past the guard rails.
      "They're red diamonds there for a reason, that hill is unstable. It's why our road don't connect to the freeway until six miles up ahead."
      "There's an interchange not more than half a mile that way," I pointed the way we came.
      "Yes, but this town ain't on that highway." was all the answer I got.
      We headed back, N insisting that we go overland rather than the way we came. The trip seemed much further along that route. In fact, I got to the point that I knew we'd walked much further than we should have to get to the road. I turned back around and we headed back to town. Once in sight of the town, I took us across the scrub to the hillside, found our two tired track, and led us back to the interchange.
      While we were at lunch the interchange had changed. There were dozens of roadsters piled up in the center of the curve of the interchange, so many, I couldn't find Little Red from the roadway. A mansion was being constructed on the top of the hill beside our original highway. We climbed up, hoping to find someone to help us find our car.
      From the mansion, I could see little red, there were about three roadsters piled up behind her, blocking her from view from anything but above. There was no one home and the place was unfinished. I commented on how the roadsters looked like the Monopoly game piece. Only instead of silver, some of them were red. They were scattered like they had been placed from above. The only tire tracks into the circular area were mine.
      "I found a phone, called Triple A, they're sending out a towtruck, what mile marker are we at?"
      I squinted and looked for the mile marker at the interchange. "One thirty seven; almost a mystical number."
      N relayed the information without my comment. We walked down to the side of the road to wait for the towtruck.
      The driver of the truck was surprised to find an interchange here. "I didn't know this existed, and that freeway, either."
      He went right to work hooking up the roadsters and towing them out of our way. I helped him. The roadsters not only looked like the Monopoly pieces, they were a cast hollow shell like them also, the wheels part of the casting, just painted black. I could tell the whole thing was weirding the towtruck driver out. "My wife isn't gonna believe this dream," he confided to me while N went to the cooler in our trunk to get us something to drink. (It isn't often that other characters in my dreams know they are dreams also.)
      Sipping on ice cold water, the tow truck operator refused to take our credit card. "Are these your roadsters?" he asked.
      "No" I answered, but wondering if, because it was my dream, then they might well be considered mine. We exchanged looks.
      "I'll just take the plate numbers and the department of motor vehicles will send the owner a bill. Thanks for the water. If you want to follow me back up the ramp I'll run my hazard lights for you."
      "Thank you, but we're going to head out the other way." I pointed down the freeway.
      The tow truck driver got in his truck and backed up the ramp a ways, changed his mind and made his way down the interchange. We followed him a couple of hundred yards bahind. About a quarter mile down the freeway, he put on his lights and turned around in the median, heading back the way to the 8 mile interchange, N looked at me, I shrugged, and we followed. We decided to take the exit to the little town we'd visited for lunch, and take a room there, if we could find one.

      In my second dream, just before waking, I had moved back into the condo on Autumn Drive. This in not something I would really do without a very good reason. Darned if I know what that reason might have been. While I was moving my stuff in a half dozen women and one of the women's boyfriends came over to "help."
      Help themselves to my stuff was the real reason. I almost caught the guy as he ran down the stair with my DVD player. I pulled out a pistol, but in true to my dream abilities, I couldn't even fire it if I was aiming at him directly. He was very far away when the thing finally fired, ineffective at that range other to spur him into faster motion. It made a good impression on the women, however.
      I made them strip and go outside (except for the girlfriend, her I made sit in a kitchen chair where I tied her with her own lingerie. (Not something I thought I would ever do, but I was really ticked off.)
      I found a bunch of my jewelry (like I have any in real life, don't know where all this came from) in their clothing. As I emptied the pockets and seams I tossed the clothing out the front door to them. They took off when I threw out the GF's clothing. She screamed after them to come back with her clothes, but they ran off. "Some friends you got there. How long before your Boyfriend comes back."
      She muttered. I handed her a cell phone. "Better call him, tell him I'll trade a working DVD player for you."
      "But what if he won't trade?"
      "Then you've not been a very good girlfriend for him and you should seriously think of finding someone better."
      Negotiations apparently didn't go well.
      "Better put something on for the police." I tossed her a long shirt and an old pair of shorts. She flopped down on my bed, giving me a nice view of a very spankable bottom. I was really tempted to take the DVD value out in trade, but then, I wouldn't have had anything to play my DVD's on.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Cecil and the Ninja Aliens

      Dreamed I was with N at my parent's house. Dad asked me to go into the garage, "But be careful."
      "OK, why?"
      "It's a surprise, and look out for the Ninjas." Dad was serious, he handed me one of his pistols, loaded with snake shot. "They're tricky and move too fast to hit with regular bullets."
      I took the pistol and opened up the door between the dining room and the garage. I looked in surprise. Cecil was there, restored, no longer beige, he'd been painted a metallic blue with black details. The pinstriping had been painstakingly hand painted.
      "The guy who restored it said the pinstriping wouldn't come off. They made really good adhesive back then."
      I'll say. The pinstripes had been twenty five years old when N sold the car. They weren't even chipped or faded. Of course there'd been over a dozen coats of wax during the time I owned the car, and I never stripped the older layers off, so that was part of it. The interior had been redone in tan vinyl, it was a nice combination, but not colors I would have picked. The chrome pieces were a very shiny black finish, unusual, but not unattractive. I still wouldn't have chosen those particular colors. I wanted to ask how much it had cost to get the car back, but the alien Ninjas chose that moment to jump up from behind the recycling bin and through the back door and the windows in the garage door.
      As is always the case, my pistol wouldn't fire. Dad managed to clear a path to the back door. I grabbed an 8 foot 1x3 from the lumber rack and used it to smack the three ninjas who tried to follow us.
      "Board Drunken Monkey Style!" I shouted as I smacked them like something out of a three stooges film. One of them threw a small grenade like object at me. I swatted it back into his groin area. "Nyuk! Nyuk! Nyuk!" I added for good measure as they ran back to the garage window to escape.
      "Your Monkey Fu is powerful! We will return!" they dropped their smoke pellets and ran.
      "If you have poo, fling it now!" I said to no one in particular.
      Dad had only fired the couple of shots but didn't fire into the smoke "might hit the neighbors." I was impressed at his restraint. I pulled the board out of the garage and looked at the end of it, the flat of the board was studded with small shurikin. I had intercepted them by pure luck. Apparently the ball the aliens threw exploded into tiny shurikin on impact. Nasty bit of technology, and very obviously not man made. The Alien Ninja had taken their fallen comrades so we had no evidence of them except the small shurikins.
      Mom opened up the widow "I got pictures this time!"
      Dad scolded her for exposing herself to danger, but was still grateful that she'd gotten at least some evidence that something had really happened. She had some great action shots of the board smacking the ninjas on the side of the head and in the abdomen. The face of the first one I'd hit over the head was priceless. I never knew that alien ninja could look so surprised. Still I felt they were lucky shots, all of them, photos and my "board druken monkey fu," too.

ad astra per simian fu

Friday, March 24, 2006

Two Nights, Same Dream, Campfire

Two nights in a row now nearly the only thing I can remember when I wake up is the jumble of images always ends with me in two different boots sitting up around a small campfire in a rocky depression. On the opposite side of the camp fire is a pair of large boulders, standing a dozen feet tall or more. I seem to be wearing a sort of knit cap.

The other thing from this morning was that I was looking in the mirror, and my head had been shaved, I looked almost exactly like my brother and dad. I haven't had a buzz cut since sometime in the 5th grade, over thirty years ago, but the feeling of air on my head and the pringle of short hair as I rubbed my hand over my head was exact. Only I didn't feel 11.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Wacky Dreams

            Flying fish in the front room, trying to chase them back into the tank. Driving in the rain, the back of the car was open and N would climb into the back to close it because she didn't want me to pull off the freeway.

            There was something about colors, just huge squares (white) with smaller red and green squares and quarter circles on the corners. The squares were about 3 foot square and flying around, each one had a different arrangement of corner decorations. They whooshed through the air in silence, but I had the impression they were singing. Streamers of yellow and orange light swirled away from their surfaces and where they intersected other squares they left a glowing afterimage. I stepped off the curb into the gutter; it was full of brownish red mud. I was unhappy that I would not be able to go back into the house with mud on my shoe. I wanted to take the shoe off, but was forbidden to for some reason. I tried to talk to the flying squares, they swarmed around me, inflating into spheres, the squares on the corners stayed square, but the quarter circles became a 270 degree circle. The wrongness of this acutely irritated me as there was no "logical” reason for it to be so.

            Driving dreams are always interesting, especially when you are driving over shag carpet (burnt orange and harvest gold) and then skidding out across tile. I didn't feel like I was in a matchbox car, but what I was driving over and through looked like I was. I got out of the car and picked it up. It was my favorite little red Volkswagen with the front two doors that really opened. (I still have that Matchbox somewhere.) I was delighted to find that the ball bearings were still in the driver and front passenger seats. I looked around and found that I was in the middle of a large spread of fallow fields, the milkweed and such were chest high, making it tough to see where the road ran past the curves a few hundred yards in each direction. Plant seeds on puffs of white were filling the air. I decided I should get back in the car and drive to somewhere with clearer air. I set the car down and was once again inside driving. I zoomed off down the road in the direction I'd been heading.

Instead of tile or carpet I was on a paved two lane road where I couldn't see what was around the corner, and had forgotten where I'd been. The passenger seat was graced by a shifting presence who was rather pointedly ignoring me except to sigh in exasperation at the lack of scenery or even progress of any sort. I soared around the corners, never seeing anyone else on the road at all. "Looks like the road less traveled," I spoke to my companion.

            "For good reason," she snarled back at me.

            I thought for a moment of stopping and letting her out, but instead stopped and put the car in my pocket and continued my journey on foot. I felt guilty, but satisfied at the same time.


Ad astra per technica,



Monday, March 20, 2006

Tub Triathalon a Classicly Surreal Dream

           I was in the bathroom filling the tub with water. An announcer began a sports commentary. Apparently, I am in some sort of triathalon. It starts with a dive and swim across the tub.
           "A dive? Swim? I'm going to have to be a lot smaller."
           Suddenly I was shrinking, and when I had shrunk to about 1/2 size I stepped across to the soap dish, and was suddenly on a small platform over a pool. I don't know any dives, so just jumped in, turning a half turn to land facing the side of the tub/pool. Once in I had to wait for the announcer to clue me in to what I was supposed to be doing. Turns out I was towing a boat with 500 lbs of bikini clad women in it to the other end of the pool, where I had to find and press a button under the water. I swam with the tow rope in my mouth and using a crawl mixed with a frog kick, that combo seemed to get the boat moving faster.
           The boat didn't slow as it approached the far edge of the pool, I realized that there was no way I could stop it, either. I dove under it and the boat coasted overhead, slamming into the side of the pool. A couple of the women fell out of the boat into the pool. I boosted them out of the water to the side of the deck. While I was helping them out of the water the announcer was commenting that I'd still lost less time than if I'd tried to slow the boat down. As I was lifting the last woman out of the water I was pushed under far enough to see the button I was supposed to push, so I swam for it as soon as I felt her feet pull away from my shoulders.
           I almost ran out of air, reached under the lip of the tub into the corner, pushed the button, then swam for the surface. I inhaled water with my fist breath and started coughing, (Still haven't stopped.) I realized that I had to swim back to the soap dish, so started back doing a back stroke as I wasn't ready to stick my face back under the water. I reached my destination and found that I had to climb about 20 feet of sheer concrete to get back to the patio/dish. I managed to get up onto the rim of the tub and leaped up to catch the corner of the washcloth. I found the long blade of a flathead screwdriver caught in the loops and freed it to help me climb. Climbing the giant terry cloth loops was relatively easy after that. I made it up to the soap dish.
           The soap dish became the patio of a small cabana overlooking a cliff facing the ocean. The announcer was on the roof, now holding a long barreled pistol pointed over the roof at me. I managed to flip the gun over and put the screwdriver between her finger and the trigger. She insisted on firing the gun, even though it was no longer pointed at me. It figures. In a dream where I don't want the gun to fire, the gun fires. She collapses over the roof on top of me. I recover the gun and pull her body into the cabana, all the while the announcer is still giving the color commentary, by which I figure out that there are more kidnappers in the building and someone I am supposed to rescue. The announcer woman is unconscious, but still talking. "At least I didn't kill her," I thought to myself. I looked around. The cabana was much larger on the inside than on the outside. There were four doors in the living room like area I'd entered.
           The one opposite was obviously the proper entrance and exit to the cabana. The one of the right was a beaded entry into the rest of the cabana, dining room and kitchen by the looks of it. The door to the left was a bedroom style door. It was locked, of course. I used the screwdriver to force it open.
           "A new record, much faster than searching the terrorist for the keys!" I glanced back at the announcer, she was awake and talking into a spoon. "That would have been fun." She winked at me.
           She then mentioned that I didn't know what was on the other side of the door and the "terrorists had certainly heard that."
           I ducked down behind the couch and made sure there was a round in the chamber of the pistol, not that I thought it would make any difference. Sure enough, two kidnapper/terrorists burst through the beaded curtains. I shot at them as they entered, but the bullet went through the target, having no effect. One at least ducked back behind the wall. The other kept coming. I spun the screwdriver around and jammed it in the barrel of his gun. He looked surprised for a second then pulled the trigger.
           He was really surprised when the slide bucked off and the hammer assembly flew back in his face, not fast enough to severely harm him, but enough for me to kick him and put him down. I pulled a grenade off his vest and rolled it into the other room. I heard a scream and then glass breaking. The other had jumped out a window.
           I hadn't pulled the pin on the grenade, so I knew it wouldn't be long before she came back. I turned and kicked the bedroom door open and found the kidnapping victim tied on the bed. It was a red headed version of Sara Prim, a regular in my dreams. I used the screwdriver to score and rip off the duct tape. I got her to her feet and pushed her out towards the patio.
           "What about my hands?" she shouted.
           "After we're out of here, jump!"
           "I'm not jumping without my..."
           I picked her up and jumped off the patio/soap dish into the pool/tub. Growing as we did so the announcer was giving my total time so far. We sloshed into the tub. I reached around and removed the now soggy duct tape from the now naked and soapy woman. She turned around and shut off the water.
           "I didn't know your freckles went down to there...."
           And I hadn't, either.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Dreams of Colliding Planets, Zombie Attack

Big Red Planet

          Ends up in Earth orbit, causes massive tidal waves, and volcanic activity, on both planets. The upper atmospheres are in turmoil. The planets are orbiting so closely that you can fly certain high altitude craft from one to the other. The other planet has a breathable atmosphere, but no higher life forms are still alive. Only the life forms that could in seed or frozen survive a trip through interstellar space. (Or perhaps it was hyperspace, we aren't sure.) There is a portal that opens around earth as the planet passes over and I am one of hundreds who is swept up to the new planet. Fish and insects are the highest form of life, everything is tri-lateral (like HG Wells' Martians?) and small. The plant life is purple rather like the ornamental plum on earth. There are only a few species of woody plants. The air is sulfurous from volcanic activity. It takes several days to find the source of the portal and to reactivate it. (We managed to get supplies from airdrops from various governments of earth.) On getting back we tumble out of the portal as it sweeps across the face of the earth. Now scientists have worked out its track and are clearing its path about 24 hours ahead. When we have all been clear of the planet a team shuts off the portal.

          I figure out that the planet was taking a sample of life from earth, collecting data like trawling the bottom of an ocean. I tried to convince folks of what was going on, how it would explain the wide variety of life, though in such small amounts, that we had found. Two weeks pass and the planet hurled itself into hyperspace again, leaving us with a moon in a new and highly eccentric orbit. Tides were still screwy and volcanic activity was at an all time high. Several groups of explorers were trapped on the rogue planet when it left our system. We did get a short transmission from the vicinity of Jupiter, and photos of the planet around one of Jupiter's moons. The explorers had found shelter and were trying to get into the machinery they had found on the planet.

Warehouse of Zombies

          Diablo II meets Army of Darkness. I was at work when a sudden blast of energy ripped through the buildings. Suddenly I found I had the ability to make computer and other mechanical parts come together and become animated. I also could feel the energies of the earth flowing into my feet and potentially out of my hands.

          I then find myself in our warehouse, building a huge computer golem from discard computers and old carts, and including an electric forklift. It turns out we need this powerful golem, the food services warehouse is being overrun. I ride on the forklift seat up to the industrial park. Entering the warehouse we are swamped by hundreds of zombies. The golem wades into the fray, electrocuting and throwing zombies in every direction. I am able to grab the small bits of overturned trays and POS systems and accelerate them in a ring of swirling debris that cuts down dozens of zombies at a time. Unfortunately the zombies are so thick and numerous that they overrun the golem and rip it to shreds. I am starting to feel week and after four more blasts of swirling debris, I can't even make the roll-up door behind me open up. I knew then that I'd made a mistake not keeping myself in the doorway. The zombies were so thick the last time I hit them that the damaged ones didn't even have space to fall down. They were just carried along with the crowd.

          I picked up a tray of rolls and flung them into the crowd. Instinctively they bent over to pick them up and consume them, I raced over their backs, using the empty tray to fend off attackers. I almost made it to the door and freedom.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Comics and Wish Baskets

I dreamed two dreams last night that I remember,

           The first was of a comic I was drawing on the Web. (Not truly a likely possibility.) The panel was a kind of Where's Waldo looking thing, but when you rolled your mouse over the people in the picture you could see what they were thinking of in the next panel over. The joke was that the men were all imagining the women around them naked, while the women we imagining families, cars, vacations, solving the world hunger problem, inventing an FTL drive, etc.

           The second dream. The second is a dream that I think will stick with me for awhile. I've already done thumbnails of the main prop of the story. I've already seen how to turn the treads of the dream into a story, or a series, or perhaps next years NaNoWriMo. (I don't know that I can wait that long.)

Here is the dream, the story will have to wait a bit.

           I was helping put the finishing touches on the consignment tent for the local Ren Faire. I operated the tent, it had once been part of my wife's St Vitus' Guild Dance Macabre changing room, but we had since acquired something better for them, as they had outgrown it, and I had purchased it from the guild. N didn't really approve, but consented as it meant I was at the Faire with her all day. I had struck upon the idea of running a two weekend consignment shop for the participants of the Faire. Old props, clothing, and even some furniture were gathered under my tent during the run of the Faire. It gave me a place to sit and watch the people go by, and a place for folks to exchange their junk, their stories, and sometimes, their luck. I had come in early to move some items out of the rising stream behind my tent. L was very concerned about her stacking two drawer chests, and was trying to move them on her own. I told her to wait for help lifting them.
"But you're not going to be able to lift these," she complained with an all-is-lost tone in her voice.
           "I have science on my side! Behold, the magic lifter!" and I pulled a old green and silver handtruck out from behind the back of the tent. I took an old real estate sign and placed it on the blade of the handtruck to help keep the mud from the bottom of her furniture, and helped her rock them back far enough to slip the handtruck beneath. I tipped them back, they really didn't weigh much of anything. I spun them out over the stream.
           "Oh! No! you wouldn't!"
           Then I pulled them back up the embankment to a flat spot next to the front pillar of the tent.
           "Oh, sorry, I thought...."
           "Remember, I get ten percent, I'm not likely to do anything to reduce their sale value." I smiled at her and she was mollified. L went on about her morning business, getting ready to take her place at the front gate where she would be sketching until my wife's first parade of the day.
           I pulled another couple of heavy items out from under the brown tarp and pulled them up the hill. These were much heavier, and I could have really used some help, but I managed. In the process I knocked over a pitcher. Immediately I smelled the scent of cobalt and turpentine. I spun around to see I'd knocked over a clay pitcher, someone had set a small can of dark blue paint in its opening. I dove down to the ground and began using the lid of the can to try to scoop the contents off the ground and out of the gutter leading to the storm drain. I didn't want the paint to join the runoff.
           I was angry at my hands and feet for making me clumsy. Angry at having been left. Angry at being alone to haul the heavy stuff. I really was, essentially, feeling sorry for myself. I heard the electric cart drive up next to me, saw, out the corner of my eyes the shoes socks and shorts of a mail carrier step out and wander into my tent. Grumbling to myself, I was not really ready to face a customer, yet. The mailman said something, but I didn't catch it, still grumbling to myself over the spilled paint.
           I started to say "I can't hear you," but thought better of it and said "I wasn't listening, I knocked over some paint here."
           "What did you say?" said the elderly man as he bent over to bring his face closer to seeing my face. From the cadence and volume of his voice and the tone, I could tell he was nearly deaf.
           I looked up. His smile could have safely lit a twisty two lane highway on a rainy night. I smiled back, not really able to stop myself.
           "Oh, I see you're a bit busy."
           "I almost have it. I just don't want to get paint in the runoff water."
           "That's uncommon of you."
I took it as a complement. I finished and the mailman waited patiently until I stood up.
           "You didn't even get any on you."
           I looked down, my garb was indeed free of blue spots, a small miracle. I smiled. "A fortunate day."
           "It is what you make of it."
           "Indeed it is." I suddenly found myself looking forward to my day, my customers, my friends, both old and new.
           The mailman held up a pair of baskets, wicker baskets with handles tied together by a long braided ribbon.
           They were hideous and lovely at the same time. The one hanging high on the wire hanger was trimmed in lace splayed out a couple of inches like stegosaurus plates across the handle and around the top of the basket itself. the inside was line with a red and white gingham plaid, a dark red velvet cushion filled all but the top three inches. Glass beads and crystals hung from colored threads woven into the handle every quarter of an inch or so. More colored threads and beads were woven into the basket itself. The bottom and lower couple of inches were covered with a rich brownish gold brocade.
The second basket was made much the same, but instead of lace, the grip was wound with black and brown leather with gold studs in it, the colored threads held metal beads, some iron, some copper some tin or pewter, and hematite glittered in the collection as well. The same colored threads securely held more of the same beads to the wickerwork of the basket, and the velvet cushion was darker, and the plaid in the basket the same.
           "Would you like me to sell them for you?" As soon as the question left my lips, I knew the answer was no.
           "A woman on my route passed away recently and left me these. I don't really need them, I am retired, yesterday, and have everything I need. I was just looking for someone who could use them." He looked around the shop.            "I think you can, so I am giving them to you."
           "Thank you." I took them as he handed them over to me. I felt something in the exchange. I looked into his bright blue eyes, it was something like looking into a mirror.
           "You're welcome." He smiled. "Yes, I know you can take care of everything."
           "I'll do my best."
           "Thank you. That's all anyone could hope for."
           "You're welcome."
           We shook hands as though sealing a deal.
           I thought about removing the tattered and faded braids holding the two together, then realized there was more than one set, over the years someone had added to the braid, the inner ones were thin and threadbare. I found some red and cream colored ribbon, and added N and my colors to the braid. It immediately looked more festive. I hung one basket on each side of the doorway into the tent. The ribbone draped in three loops, decoratively across the opening. I don't exactly know why, but I put the baskets at different heights, chest high for the darker one and waist high for the lighter one. I went into my supplies and took out the "Make a Wish SD" placard I had in a small basket by the money table and put it in the white basket. In the other, I made a sign "D and N's charity of the moment." Figuring that if anyone made a donation I would split it between the Lung Association and the Cancer Society, or even the CRES folks. Then I figured we'd let folks make suggestions.
           I made another sign for the center of the doorway, "<-Wishing Baskets->" and put the ribbons around the arrows, then the parchment above the "consignment shop" sign. The effect was to make us the "Wishing Baskets Consignment Shop."
           I slipped fourteen dollars into the white basket and seven in the darker one as seed money, and the day began.
           Morning wore on, everyone noticed the baskets, several donated. I started reminding folks to make a wish. Suddenly the customers and the money came pouring in, well, customers, anyway. The Money was mostly in coins, lots of pennies and dimes, but as the morning progressed, more bills joined my own as well. The shop itself did well, somehow always seeming to have someone show up with more items to sell just as current stocks were being lowered. I barely had time to play a chess match.
           While everyone was watching the Dance Macabre, I noticed a young woman sidle up to the dark basket and reach in to take some money out.
           "Ahem! Do you need it, or do you want it?" I asked.
           "I haven't eaten all weekend," she defended herself.
           "Well, who do you think you are?"
           "D. But I think the question is, who are you?"
           She dropped the money back in the basket.
           There was something desperate about her, in a sad way. "If you need it, take it. Just remember, each of those coins is tied by an invisible braid to someone's wish, that is a heavy responsibility."
           "How about the bills that were in there before opening?"
           "That's just one wish."
           Watching me carefully the whole time, she dug into the bottom of the pile and pulled out my fiver and two ones.
           "Teriyaki Chicken is nutritious and a good deal!" I shouted after her as she ran off. I thought I heard her crying.
           "Interesting." Commented the mailman, and went back to the game.
           Later, the girl came back, and tossed in the change from her Teriyaki bowl, carefully, one coin at a time.
           "One wish for five, hunh?"
           "Well, I, ah don't really bel..." she stopped. "Thank you. I really needed that. I'll stay here and help." As she said so, she grabbed a broom and started sweeping the morning's leaves and twigs off the carpet. As she spun around her skirt caught the sun and the multi colored panels were reflected in every bead and crystal in the two baskets. I could see the baskets had worked something for her, or, perhaps for me. It may have been some combination of both. The fact that she had come in and taken on the single most common chore I did all day that just brutalized my hands and feet was a good sign.
           She stayed the rest of the day, even helping pack things back up into the tent. She was surprised at me giving out almost all the money at the end of the day to the folks whose items had sold. I had to explain the concept of consignment to her. Many of the folks I could tell who had bought their items, and how happy they'd been. The story of the good folks who bought their items seemed more welcome than the money to most.
           L was disappointed that hers had not sold, but the girl pointed out that the price was very high. (I quietly explained that L didn't really want to sell them, and she was not to make any effort to do so tomorrow.) Somehow I knew the girl would be back. I paid her about half of what we'd made in the afternoon and she hugged me and started to run off. She put seven dollars in the basket. Then hesitated and dropped in seven more.
           "I might need to eat again tomorrow." she smiled and ran off. I knew that she was the shop help I had wished for. I also knew her adventure with the wishing baskets was just beginning. It was as though I could see the braids that bound her to the baskets, and specifically my wish.
           Participants began to stop in more frequently as the evening progressed, talking and donating, making wishes and whispering to one another. Somehow my little shop had become a popular hangout.
           Too popular for N, so N went off to get stoned and I was alone with the crowd.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Number Obsession, Flying Wing over Poway

Number obsession, tonight featuring: Counting.







            Why is it topping out at four. I cant seem to figure it out. Counting begins again.








            Finally figured out my brain was counting the cats that were snuggled on me in the darkness. It was a particularly cold evening, and I didn't have my half of the electric blanket on. I don't know why most of them were curled up on me; N did have her blanket on.


            I dreamed a giant flying wing over a ridgeline in Poway. White and several stories tall, to judge by the windows on it, it moved gracefully through the sky until there was a bang and a pop from deep within. It kept getting lower and lower. That is when I noticed there were flames coming from the wing, and puffs of smoke that looked like explosions.

            There was a panel truck, three axles, on the top of the flying wing. It flashed its hazard lights. I thought that was somewhat odd. The illustration on the side of the panel truck was as though you were looking into a full server room with all the UPCs, server racks and rack upon rack of switches and wires. The wing angled lower, heading for the houses on the top of the ridge. I raced to the bottom of the hill to get a better view. (The bulk of the hill was in my way.)

            As I ran down the hillside, the flying wing clipped the tops of several houses, but the truck bounced off of the wing and made its way down Frame, where I could only follow its progress by the smoke over the other houses. I managed to get my car around the corner and was heading into town towards Poway road. The Truck pulled out onto Pomerado, the smoke fading to nothing, and I tried desperately to see what was written on the back. There was a combination of green and red-orange lettering. The green lettering, above and below the logo kept changing, or I couldn't make it out. "Weapons" and "Fire" or "Fuel" were a couple that I though I could make out, "Compromise" was another one on the bottom. I could make no sense of the letters of the red-orange logo, however. I was sure they were letters, but the panel truck was swerving around in traffic and pulling away from me as I got caught at the light at 9th street.

"Why can't I read that," I shouted at Sara Prim, who was suddenly next to me. I figured she must have been waiting in the car.

            "Because, this is just a dream," she said.

            "Then I should know what it is without having to read it."

            "No such luck, try harder."

            "I'm trying," and I tried to take the dream over, but when I did I became too alert to maintain the free flow of the dream, and though I knew I could zoom ahead and catch the truck, I also knew the panels would not read the same as they did when I was trying to figure out what it said the first time. (And I also knew that, being a dream, the design may not have actually said anything the first time anyway.)


Oh, and this is too cool:




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Douglas Nicoll

LAN Administrator

ITS Helpdesk 8801 2260


Thursday, March 16, 2006

Homeland Security and the Bordello

            I had a dream that would take longer to describe in the level of detail it contained than it did to dream it.

            Nan and I were driving up a very steep hill in Cecil. I knew we had sold the car, and so immediately knew I was dreaming, but decided to just go with it and see where the story lead. We were talking about cutting and running, selling the house, taking the profit, I'd already quit for medical reasons, N was still working and expecting to go five more years to get the full retirement. We started looking at the numbers, as in, could we invest $300,000 in such a way as to keep us in kibble and a roof over our heads for the next 20 years or so.

            About half way up the mountain we were directed to pull over into the median for a Homeland Defense Inspection. Once there, no one arrived to tell us what to do. We waited, being patriotic and all of that. Finally, there was no one around, so I drove back out to the freeway. Only by now the freeway was up an embankment, and we were forced to stay on the median with several others. As we found a place on the side to merge back with the freeway we noticed that the freeway was cracked and broken, actually rougher than the median we were on previously.

            I found an exit that went along a dirt frontage road, it was much smoother driving. N was upset that I had gotten off the freeway. We eventually ran out of road and had to make our way on foot.

            Looking over the top of the hill, we could see where the cracked and broken freeway had collapsed completely, and several cars were headed out into the air of the newest ravine in the mountainside. N shuddered, not liking heights anyway. I told her I wanted to go and warn the other drivers who were still coming up the mountain. N decided to make her way over to a ranch house while I drove Cecil back down the dirt road and parked on what was left of the freeway with my flashers going. I managed to stop a couple of truck drivers, explaining that the road was out up ahead. Finally some CHP arrived, they wanted to give me a ticket, so I told them it wasn't my car, but I'd come down from the hill to warn about the road collapse.

            "Well, that's different then."  I smiled and waved, walking back up the hill. It really wasn't my car anymore, so I didn't mind so much if they towed it. (I did mind, but mostly because the person who'd bought it hadn't restored it yet.) Not that they would be able to get a tow truck to it any time soon. I watched from the hillside as they created a north bound lane on the eastbound stretch of freeway (it had not collapsed, as it took a lower route through the mountains.) I made my way up to the ranch house to collect N and see if we could get back to Cecil and get underway before the tow truck arrived.

            The ranch house was actually a bordello. N was getting a massage, not being interested in the other services. I found out they needed several workstations repaired, so spent about six hours cleaning up malware and swapping parts from some systems with dead MBs into other systems. They were very grateful and gave us "store" credit. I took a short massage with N and they offered us a room for the night, as it was now very dark, and our car had already been towed. We joined them for dinner, N and I helping out in the kitchen, creating a yummy soup from ingredients they had around. It was quit delightful being surrounded by lovely boobs and buns.

            N, on the other hand, was coping by insisting that it was just a massage parlor. OK, whatever keeps your wheels on the ground I guess. The Owner of the place, who looked like a famous actress, curly haired brunette, but I can't think of her name, offered me a full time job there, running the computer systems and maintaining the web site, taking photographs, writing material, running the BBS. I told her what N and I were currently (most recently) making. "That's all?" was her response. Since I was the one not working, N wasn't too keen on the idea of leaving her work, even though the dream had started with us discussing quitting, selling the house and getting out.


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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Quake VR, Mall, Shop, Dream Construction

Quake VR
I make General in single Player.
Too many Generals in the open server. Not enough troopers, everyone wants to be an army of one. The first group that gets over it and works together, they're the undisputed winners. I try to get my faction to work together, "Who made you the boss!" from half a dozen players, variations from a dozen more. I try explain that teamwork is needed. No luck. Finally I start EM painting my own side, and my own side starts gunning themselves down. It is hilarious for a little while. Finally one of the enemy faction convinces his side to form up and work together. They choose ranks based on whoever has the most kills up to this time.
I surrender to them, then tell them what is going on on our side. The enemy troopers start to sweep the map, allowing me to go along and by painting my former comrades, they don't even have to fire a shot sometimes. One of the winning team takes pity on me, and tells me about an Online server with real rankings, factions and affiliations. Where teamwork is the normal. We log out and meet there. We are on the same team this time. I have no record here, so I am a grunt, second class.
"Not the Slime Map!" groans my new friend when he sees the mission load up. He explains that the map is sometimes more dangerous than the enemy in this location. I get myself assigned to the squad under my new friend's leadership. I get to drive the jeep, which means that I am basically unarmed.
We abandon the jeep near the front line, and I am issued a laser targeting device. "I remember you're pretty good with that thing." I take my self out with the point man, and make my way off to the side. I find my first target and paint it up for the snipers. They don't have direct line of fire, so I paint a boulder behind the target, and my troopers unload with a rocket launcher. We get 5 of the enemy in a single shot. I get credit as the paint operator along with the heavy ordinance operator and the rest of the squad. By the time I'm finished with this game I have more individual kills than anyone else in the group (As the painter I share in all painted kills.) The enemy troopers begin to start hunting me, they've been offered a reward.)
This allows us to separate the enemy formation, as many troopers will break off to follow me. By luring them out, I manage to make a hole for us that allows the bulk of our squad to move through and behind enemy lines without any resistance. Soon my squad leader has managed to capture the objective and return to our lines. I am immediately promoted.
"Join a group near you, there's a Leader at MCHS!" I wasn't too sure that I was really much of a joiner, especially with the leader being a HS student. But I promised to give it a try.

Red Freckles at the Food Court. I get a yummy down blouse view when I mention that she looks broke. I share my dinner. We exchange phone numbers.

MCHS AV turned into a trinket store. I am in alone checking out some old video control equipment in the back when I hear noise.
The door has been left open (I don't remember even unlocking the front door) and the store is full of shoplifting kids. I finally manage to get them under some sort of control by pointing out that they are all on tape. Many of them get indignant and leave, tossing zipper pulls and the like on the counter and storming out. Finally I am down to just a few folks, they're older and, I figure out, a bunch of my former gamers. There are smiles and hugs all around, plus one huge hug, and kisses from RH.

After returning to bed with serious body aches I dreamed again. I'd built an addition to the house. A second floor library. It stretches from the peak of the roof to the hillside in back. 30 feet wide and 70 long, windows on the east, north and west sides. Bookcases set back several feet from the windows, out of the sun. There are comfy chairs along both sides and a group large enough for gaming together on the north end. We have cut the wall between the hall and N's closet to put in a 5 foot diameter spiral stair up to the hallway between the bathroom and the library. There is a tower on the east side of the house, that's where the upstairs washroom is located. Awnings and a double layer of glass help keep the rooms cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
In a sudden dream jump, I am out front putting the finishing touches on a stone wall at the corner of the property. We have removed the juniper bushes, and replanted with Ivy that climbed the stone and iron fence. There was a usable tower at each corner of the front yard.
I bet the architectural committee would have something to say about that plan. My argument was that it was a Mediterranean style wall, so the towers were an essential part of the ambiance.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Impaled and Forgotten Dream RPG, I just recalled.

Sleeping out in front of the house with my feet impaled by the Yucca and my hands out in the cold. I was awakened by a huge tan cat face huffing in my own. It was a mountain lion. I said hello and it backed away. It growled low, so I growled back. When T-Rex came out to see what I was growling about I tried to get up to chase the mountain lion away. The spines in my feet and frozen hands prevented me from moving, so I had to just growl louder. T-Rex spotted the lion and dove under the car, out of reach, just in time.


The second dream was much less disturbing, but now it is lost due to the huge amount of time that has passed. I really need to make the time in the morning to at least jot down a couple of notes. Darn. Oh, Now I remember, I was playing in a game being GM’d by ML. I was playing some sort of weak mage newbie, and for some reason the group had left me to face the mountain lion by myself. ML was really trying hard to kill me off for some reason, and was really upset when my first parry struck the lion on the head. He was even more ticked when he found out I was parrying with my torch, and not the very expensive staff. (Fire having a fright effect on natural animals.) I don’t know why he was so ticked off, his own characters in my games are tanks. I was attacked by the creature’s second attack and parried again “How can you have enough points to do that!”

“It’s only half strength, so I can save three more for running away when I finally have initiative. I have 12 action points, only used 6 for the first parry.” I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I actually had a parry/trip as a maneuver, so just tossed the dice, a double effect, and near max on the damage roll. I managed, with the few pints of armor I owned to avoid taking any damage. M refused, however, to apply my damage overage to the critter.

The rest of the players grumbled. I didn’t see any of them leaping in to help, though. “It must be a dire lion, or a possessed creature.”

“Perhaps it’s just rabid,” offered SV.

“I use my remaining AP’s to evade back towards the rest of the group, keeping the torch between it and me.”

“Why are you leading it back here!” AH complained.

“You’re the tank, you take care of it. I’m running around in a sack cloth dress!” I rolled for initiative. M rolled a two and changed it to an 8, claiming the lion had 6 carryover APs. (Despite having made two attacks, not possible unless it was magically enhanced.) I reminded the rest of the group that they had full AP carryovers for their initiatives. M grumbled, but had to admit that was true.

I woke wondering why I was being singled out for abuse, the random memories of every trap or ambush the whole night having been sprung on my character. It was so obvious that even M’s wife had commented on it. I wasn’t even running out ahead of the group or taking chances, playing a “classic” mage with very little in the way of protection from physical harm.

As I wrote that last paragraph, I realized that this is a recurring theme. My character, in a game of some sort, becomes the poop magnet.


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Sunday, March 12, 2006

Mixed Media Mashup

Dreams last night and this morning were obviously drawn from the days reading and TV viewing. Battlestar Galactica meets Naruto meets Knights of the Dinner Table.

I was running an RPG at a convention, and during the course of the game, there was a Cylon attack. Somehow we managed to avoid getting vaporized. Did we stop gaming. NO! We just retreated to a room down in the convention center basement and set up some windup lights and made the person who was taking a turn wind the crank, so the torch got passed around. It was a good system, it kept folks from hogging the game. For some reason the crank was fairly difficult, so no one wanted to spend more than a minute or so cranking the thing.

The game was plunged into blackness a couple of times when we though we heard Cylons walking around outside. During one of our blackouts an argument broke out about who's characters were tougher; Jolly Blackburn's Knights of the Dinner Table's Untouchable Trio, or Masashi Kishimoto's ninjas in Naruto.

The group was soon making up the stat blocks for both sets of characters so they could duke it out on the playing mat. I tried to explain that the story systems were different, very different. The argument then began to turn to game mechanics, and we ran up against the same issue we had with a group I played with in High School a Quarter A Century (!) ago. Most people can't reasonably play a fantasy comic book style character and maintain any real sense of game balance. Either you can't do what the character does without being hopelessly overpowering, or the system makes it impossible to survive an encounter with an appropriately balanced badguy. The game typically becomes rocket launcher tag. Some people find that a blast. Some of us would like the characters to live long enough to develop some sort of story.

In the dream it seems the system monkeys and rules lawyers took the Untouchable Trio and Trashed Naruto and his bunch, then the argument came up that the Trio was well experienced and battle hardened, while the Naruto bunch were basically Ninja Interns. Whole new argument began. Meanwhile I was starting to get concerned about the Cylons roaming the hallways outside our little meeting room. I also was becoming concerned about munchies, we were nearly out of chips and salsa, the Oreos were gone and I had whole wheat fig bars, but no one seemed interested. Finally I called a break, and some of the group decided to use their "Ninja Skills" to get to the restroom and rustle up some "real" food.

Real food turned out to be Mrs Fields cookies and rasberry twizzlers along with a couple cases of Dr. Pepper and Coke Cola. The gamers who'd ninjitsued ("nitwitsued" is what I actually called it in the dream) off to find the restroom didn't return, so I went after them.

At this point I knew this was about to turn into I can't find the restroom, or once I do find it it will be full of cylons and I'd have to wait an hour for a stall, so I woke up.

Back to sleep I fell right back into the convention game master role. A slightly different bunch of gamers, this time including two "Sharon" models and a "Six" model from BSG. There were a couple of battle robots with the shiny eye going back and forth watching over us. There was a long haired balding guy and ML who kept morphing into Brian, a former student. ML was trying to teach the cylons the finer points of rules lawyering, but pointed out that in a rules light system like mine, that was really difficult. Soon the game was underway, a Mike Mignola's "Hellboy" scenario this time. About ten minutes into the game, Six looked worriedly at me and asked if this was common on this world. The game broke up into a long discussion of what the difference was between strategic simulations and a RPG. Fantasy, story telling. The concepts were not novel to them, but they really didn't understand. Finally I asked if while playing she had felt anything more intensely, or been forced to think harder to solve problems in the game than she might of during a routine day.

She admitted that was so and looked thoughtful. She asked if Game Masters ever traded in game power for out of game rewards, like sex. I replied that Game Masters don't really get to have sex.

I hate night terrors.

As astra per sombula

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Visiting Dream

Visiting MS's new apartment.

N and I were in a back room teaching a petite blonde girl how to play one of my new board games. (Something with a board like a monopoly board but with Egyptian like symbols around its outer edge.) Each player had a dice pool and the items you could land on could add or subtract from that pool, either temporarily, or permanently. It was a much stripped down version of the SH game I've been working on recently. N wasn't really playing, being not much for board games. While we were playing N got out the collection of miniatures I had painted up for the convention version of the game board (The board was 4 foot square and covered with obelisks, pyramids and various miniatures of Egyptian statues.) The player pawns were miniatures of archaeologists and reporters. The girl was really enchanted by the miniatures. "I can't wait to play at the convention."
"If you learn it well enough, would you like to be one of the demonstration team?"
"You bet!"
N pointed out that we were here to visit with M, so should make our way out to see what he was up to.
What M was up to was playing host to a couple of dozen folks out on his patio. He was juggling for the crowd and telling stories, so we waved and went to find something to drink.
There was a young woman in the living room who was confounded by a rolling stretcher, trying to collapse it down. While lending her a hand I found out that she'd dropped out of HS but was planning on attending the continuation HS in my district to finish her last 15 credits.
I stopped her from crushing her fingers in the stretcher a couple of times, and N finally came over to lend a hand as well. The paramedics who belonged to the stretcher came back in from M's show and took the stretcher back out to their truck, amazed that the student girl had been able to figure it out. The male paramedic was hitting on her pretty hard until the female paramedic coughed out "Jailbait" under her breath. That was pretty funny. The student laughed, and pointed out that she was actually 19. The female paramedic just grabbed her partner by the arm and towed him away to the buffet. N suddenly got very cuddly on me. "I don't imagine white haired network admins are on her radar." I told N.
We went out to visit with MS, who, as is common at such events, lamented that we need to schedule time to get together on a weekend where he's not busy.
"Email," I said, "I still have the same address."
"Oh! Yeah, mine changed again." M gave it to me on a business card. Soon the crowd was back and M had to go light the grill or something, I went back into the kitchen for another grape soda, the blonde girl was sitting on the kitchen table, she flashed a breast as I went by to the refridgerator.
"That's very cute, don't ever change it."
She blushed, covered up quickly, apparently I wasn't the intended target of the flash.
Student girl doubled over, laughing. We got involved in another conversation, this time figuring out that we could carpool in the mornings, I could easily stop and drop her off near school before I rolled into work.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Taking a (Photo) Hike, Making Change

Taking a Photo Hike with N, C and SV. We came to a very steep mountain just before sunset. There were several flights of stairs up the side of the mountain. The steps were a rickety wooden contraption with handrails all catiwumpus. As we made our way up the stairs, we came to a landing and stepped out onto a path to let about 20 people go by as they went down the hill. They didn't have flashlights so were in a bit of a rush to get off the staircase before dark. It was a shame as the sunset was looking to be pretty exciting. N and C decided to take the level trail around to the west side of the mountain top, rather than climb all the way to the top right now. They didn't want to miss the sunset and because the steps were on the south east side were afraid that they wouldn't be able to climb fast enough to get to the lookout at the top before sunset. S felt that he could make it so we started up to the top, S taking two steps at a time. I was keeping up with him by taking one at a time, just going faster. S asked if my feet were OK. I pointed out that they hurt the same whether I was moving or not. It would be my calves that would be complaining later, especially after we headed back down in the morning. We reached the top and I managed to get some great photos of the sunset. I also took some silhouettes of folks at the lookout point, and was able to get a shot of N and C by hanging out over the railing at the top of the lookout. They were about 200 feet below us sitting on some rocks, C out over the edge, but N up against the mountain. They waved their LED flashlights at us and said they'd be up after the sun set.
 I was able to get some more shots of the sunset, and then took some timed exposures that came out quite pretty, sunsets, with stars. S's camera didn't do so well on the timed exposures.
 We went into the clubhouse and there was a bathtub full of blue liquid with darker blue thick gelatinous things the size of my thumb floating around in it. The whole thing looked like it was setting up like gelatin. A rather voluptuous blond woman stripped out of her clothing and stepped into the tub, posing for photos. S mentioned that the blue things looked like leeches, but she insisted that they were giant blueberries. Fortunately there were no disasters, and the large fake blueberries were harmless. Somewhere I managed to find some fill flashes and a couple of reflectors and shot about 100 frames, filling up a Gig memory stick. The model paid us about $500 and let us keep the fill flashes and the reflectors. She kept the memory stick. Eventually N and C made their way to the top, and we decided to rest up here rather than head back right away.
The last dream I remember this morning had me buying a $1.25 ticket to some sort of elementary school show. The parent who was making change complained that she was running out of quarters. So I started emptying my pockets and tool bag. I managed to scrape together five dollars in change (well four dollars and a $1 bill) and was trying to get her to give me a five for the change. She had some sort of mental block about adding up the dimes. I tried two or three times to lay them out, but she seemed to have difficulty with the concept that five dimes was the same as two quarters. "How can an odd number of things equal an even number of things." 
 As tempting as it was to accept her offer of four dimes equal to two quarters, I couldn't rip off the kids. So I managed to get her to take them "as a donation."
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Saturday, March 04, 2006

Auburn Demoness, Space Pirates Repulsed

I awoke from the first dream of the night, I'd come home from work to find an auburn haired woman in a revealing corset making food in my kitchen. I spun her around to ask what had happened to N when I caught scent of her. A combination of womanly desire and cinnamon. She grabbed me and kissed me. Haven't been kissed like that for quite awhile. I found myself kissing my way down her centerline and quite entranced. I managed to finally pull myself from between her thighs and took a deep breath turned away from her. I could suddenly make out the tail and horns. I didn't want to pull away, but wanted to at the same time. I was very concerned for N's safety. The demon's tail wrapped around my chest, trying to crush me. That is when I awoke with an asthma issue. I managed to clear my lungs and fall back asleep almost immediately.

There were random snippits after that, my day at work, being frustrated at not being able to connect by remote to a system to fix a font size issue that no matter how detailed the instructions I gave, the person on the other end could not make it work.

Downtown at the SD convention center, not at Comic Con, a game convention or an Anime Festival, but at a rug show. Thousands of Asian and Middle Eastern carpets. Lots of pattern and colors. Many of them with color changing patterns, like the inside of your eyelids after rubbing them from coming inside out of the bright sun. I was with K from work, she was giving me the tour and pointing out which ones were Iranian, which ones Iraqi, which from Syria or Jordan, which from Turkey and Kurdistan. She said she couldn't really help with the Tibetan or Nepalese as she had not spent any time in those parts of the Middle East. That lead to a conversation of how China considered them part of ancient China. She just muttered that the Chinese, and India for that matter, were wrong.

I was then part of a Lunar base, working on space ships that utilized captured alien technology. We were working to beat a deadline, and the only reason I was involved was that a couple of the engineers were former students. They had recommended me because I could solder and had lots of computer experience, as well as some degree of creativity. We managed to create several small ships with boarding pods. When the space pirates returned, we flew out to meet them in a living ship (which seemed to really like me.) We launched in the boarding pods, those of us who were not really engineers or were otherwise expendable or volunteered. I was a little of both, even though my engineer sponsors argued with me not to go. I had my Christmas present, a cold soldering iron and extra tips. My job, after shooting my way past a couple of pirate troopers, was to make my way down to the communications room and remove the control and jamming equipment.
This had a very Farscape feel to it. I didn't have a regular weapon, as we didn't want to damage the inside of the ship. Ours had taught us that this was like swallowing a pop rock, it might not kill you, but it wouldn't tickle. I was armed with a six shot taser. The idea was that I would take the pirate stunners off of them. Only issue was that none of the pirates had stunners, they all had big plasma rifles, which I just unloaded and took the ammunition with me. The aliens were quite a Henson mix, not a one of them looked like a human in a rubber suit. I did end up with a couple of insect like prisoners. They surrendered indicating that the taser would be fatal to them. They actually ended up having collars on them that I removed with the soldering iron, at which point they started helping me by indicating what to remove from the ship's communication organs. As soon as that was accomplished our ship convinced their ship to surrender and open up all the docking bays for us to come aboard and remove her infestation.
The pirates seemed quite taken aback that we had somehow managed to put together a fleet of more than a dozen ships in less than the month they'd been gone. Of course, the kept telling us we'd regret this when the dreadnought arrived. Then we surprised them in turn by revealing that we were not waiting for the dreadnought to return, we were going after it, liberating all of the living cargo and troop ships along the way. The troop ships looked a great deal like a cross between the Star Wars Hoth Troop ships and the Farscape Moya ships. Our ships looked a whole lot like two destroyer decks put together on top of a gun deck, and the intruders looked like a large 12 foot bullet with a pair of thrusters mounted every 90 degrees and three feet apart. There was a hatch in the back end and the windows in the front slid away when docked with the external docking ports of a living ship. This led to no end of rude comments from the space marines about being ejaculated into service and "I'm ready to come!" being shouted into the mic, just before we made it aboard.

By the time we reached the dreadnought we'd "liberated" about 14 cargo vessels and a couple of dozen tenders. One was a six ship supply convoy headed for the dreadnought. The Insect crew aboard were happy to be free, and helped us approach the dreadnought as it was preparing to bombard another world into submission. We contacted the world to let them know that resistance was not futile, and managed to take out the entire first salvo of nuclear missiles in space mere yards in front of the dreadnought. They started to power up their jump drive but we already had about fifty strike teams aboard. I was not allowed to go on the actual boarding mission, I was in command of one of the six living ships, connected via a slimy rope of neural tissue into its communication and sensor network. I managed to connect to the hull of the dreadnought, my ship complaining that she was likely to get pregnant this way. Four others of the group managed to get connected before the dreadnought jumped away with us attached. While in the jump my ship made me promise that we would raise her child properly and not let it become a slave ship. I ended up being the senior captain, so the ship relayed all of the details of the mission which I hadn't been previously privy too. I sent the smallest cargo ship back to the fleet with our position, as there was likely to be enough space on the remaining four vessels to take her strike teams back aboard. It didn't look like we would need to. As our strike teams progressed, they released the insect aliens, and they picked up weapons and joined our cause, treating me like a hive leader and reporting directly back through the ships communication network. It seems they evolved with the ships. Sadly, they had no queens themselves, as the pirates had killed them all. They were dying out. I promised them that when these pirates were dealt with we would find a free ship with a hive and take on a queen for them to serve and breed with. Some offered to breed with me, but I tried to explain that breeding really wouldn't work. I gave my sold soldering iron to one of the insects, and he took a crew aboard to start freeing the dreadnought. That team were able to convince the rest of their pirate slaves to revolt along with them, risking the punishment of the collar even. When I found out the dreadnought was also a living ship, I had overridden the orders to destroy it with nuclear charges, and successfully recalled those six strike teams and rearmed them with combat engineers.

I was not certain of our victory when the dream ended, but knew I would be able to evacuate our troops and a significant number of the aliens if the tide of battle did turn against us.

Notes from the Week. SuperVillians, Parades and Generally Assisting those Saving the Day.

Biosphere tyranny, Man transforms himself into mad scientist wrapped in ice armor. This is followed by becoming paranoid and killing and transforming all the other biosphere inhabitants. At the end only he and Lizard girl survive. (She listens to voices, mine.) We've convinced the tyrant that outsiders have developed the same super armor due to leaks (which didn't really happen, but since he executed a half dozen scientists out of paranoia of just that possibility, it was not too difficult to have lizard girl question him into believing that is what had really happened.) Then Super villain figured out how to build a weapon to cut through his own armor. Then lizard girl tipped a plot to attack along a certain route. Used her lizard tongue to knock the weapon aside and used it on him as the outside troopers approached. (I was talking to them also.) Looks like this particular line of biosphere and genetic manipulation is doomed to failure. I help lizard girl escape, because the troops have orders to sterilize the whole place. I lead her to safety, while leading the troopers to things interesting enough to keep them occupied while she gets away.

Young Damsel in distress. Her tormentors stripped her down to her lace underoos. I block the tormentors with my car, give her a sweatshirt to cover up. Money for a payphone to call her mom. Then I stay (in the car) to watch over her until her mom comes for her. Mom comes to get her and is quite the hottie. She wants to give me back the sweatshirt, it is obvious her daughter is uncomfortable giving it up so I give the mom my work phone and address, "we'll arrange to get it later, take your kid home now." As the Hummer drives away, I pretty much write off the sweatshirt unless the kid brings it back. I don't know, am find myself wondering, why didn't anyone call the police. Including me.

L's Parade: Triangle in the back row, rolling in formation with the rest of the band. Little sister is jealous, even though she had three performances that year all of which we went to see, and this was L's only one. Noogies for that one.

Riding Electric Transformer, it rolls away out of control dropping me in a "bad neighborhood," where I manage to act crazy enough for people to leave me alone. I manage to soak up enough electricity to rebuild my skin. I make it back to the dome for a Fashion Show, the new skins show, that end up looking like the old skins. I am a transformer/voltron looking robot skin who ends up fighting a transparent skinned Venom looking creation. "Go Super Dynamo Power Sword Gem Attack Beta!" Yeah, that always gets them. I just want to know, if that always works, why am I waiting until I'm almost completely out of power and have been stomped into seeing stars before I use it. Shouldn't I just use it first? End it before I really begin. OH, that's it, I have to wear my opponent out by letting him beat on me until I'm tired. I knew there had to be a logical explanation.