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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.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Not Sleeping, so, No Dreams

       Really,what little sleep I have gotten the last couple of nights has been so broken up I haven't dreamed. I did hallucinate a little while ago at the computer keyboard while I was emailing some items for work. I heard little whispering voices coming from inside the computer. I couldn't really make out what they were saying, only that there were at least four distinct voices. I put the cats out of the office and closed the door, just in case they were playing a trick on me. The voices didn't stop for another twenty minutes or so. It wasn't the cats.
       Unless the computer has suddenly started picking up radio stations, I think I really need a good solid 10 hours of sleep. I've shut down and restarted. The noise is gone.
       I just realized, what an evil little trick to play with a web site, embed an almost subliminal soundtrack, like something recorded at the food court of the local mall, it just plays quietly while the browser is open to the site. Quietly making your customer crazy, crazy enough to buy all your stuff.Bwaah! Ha! Ha!

OK, that's never happened before. I just spell checked and the editor dumped in line breaks everywhere! Oh, and the HTML tags didn't work, either. Not sure the new system is all that yet.


Thursday, January 25, 2007

Play Production

       I dreamed I was once again working on a play, this wasn't one I'd written, but I was directing and taking care of the technical direction as well. A young person, who I was trying to convince to take over the technical direction, kept flip-flopping on whether they wanted the job or not. I had the good fortune of having one of my favorite redheads as an actress in the show, the contract with her included the chance to direct our next production, so we were going to be working together for at least one more show. SCV was visiting the set while we were setting up for the second act. I tried to convince him to work on a live play utilizing some of my troupe's core players. He seemed to think the medium was too restrictive, though. I suggested we could use some of his poetry to lead into the play, and again during the intermission. S liked that idea.
       I was delighted in the noise and activity as the theater was alive with the sounds of construction, costume fittings, sound checks and actors spread throughout the building rehearsing. Sometimes I think I miss this more than anything.

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Launch Party, Talkie-Can

       Big event, a launch party of some sort, seemed like a launch party for a show. S and I were in Tuxedos sitting at the head table with our brides. This was obviously our work. At one point I had to get up and address our company, the investors and the production team. It was unnerving the way the entire room became silent when I took to the podium, I didn't even have to ask anyone to quiet down.
       "Welcome, and thank you. We have a show."
       Thunderous applause ensued.
       I think our investors were going to be happy. If our opening week's presales were any indication, I knew we had almost made enough to pay everyone back and were on track to make an actual profit. I had been worried about that. I had some remarks prepared, and I delivered them (I don't know what they were, now, too much drama over medicating the cat this morning.) I do know that I was warmly received and I turned the microphone over to my co-author and co-director, SCV.
       S told some funny stories about the writing and eventual production, also making sure to thank our investors. I remember the food was very good and the people were excited. There were news reporters waiting for us outside the building, I hadn't thought to actually invite them to the dinner part of the launch. We opened up the theater to everyone, once dinner was finished. (The people who'd come to the previews to review the show were already inside. )
       The media spent a lot of time interviewing the cast of the show.

       In the last dream of the night I was playing with a talking Coke Can. I don't think the can was actually talking, as you had to put the can on a "speaker stand" and drop a little probe into the drink itself. Cool little gadget, though. It seems to have been connected to a something that allowed you to converse with either other users of the talkie-can, or perhaps people at the company. I could see this could be a neat party toy, talking drinks randomly connecting folks, not just at your party, but parties anywhere in the world with wireless internet access. At one point I sat two talkie cans together, and they ended up talking to one another.
       The item that dipped in the drink was a motion maker or power lead, or possibly a microphone. I'm not sure which, but the cans had a sort of vibration when they were speaking. I couldn't tell from the dream if it was coming from the 1/4 inch high speaker stand, or from the dongle in the can. I wonder if I could patent this and therefore shouldn't be posting it online here. Thank goodness no one reads this. If someone could patent turning a card sideways to indicate it had been used in a game, then turning it back to indicate that it was available again (Wizards of the Coast for "Tapping" in Magic the Gathering) then I should be able to patent this. What a company, the talkie-can partyline. All I need to do is hire some "psychics" and astrologers and adult voice actors for the "pay per conversation" version.
       Oh! update, lights on the side of the stand to indicate the mood of the person on the other end of the conversation, buttons to select your own:

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Running for Congress, Found spam Poetry

       I dreamed I was taking a tour of the Whitehouse as a potential new member of the House. The election coming up was featuring Clinton and Obama verses Dole and someone whose name I didn 't catch, and didn 't really care because they had no hope of winning.
       "Why, in the name of whatever you believe in, are the Rs running Dole again?"
       All I could think of was that they really didn 't want to win the election; they wanted the Ds to be completely in charge when the fecal matter hits the rotating air impellor. That or the party had become completely schizophrenic.        
       I couldn 't believe that the Rs thought they could win with Dole. I think I would have a better chance of being elected. (Although IRL I know this isn 't a possibility, people would vote for a monkey if it had the right D or R next to the name.) I had the house leaders of both parties talking to me, as I was an 'L ' and therefore could help or hinder either side. On the other hand, I supposed I could also be somewhat safely ignored as well, I didn 't see a lot of committee memberships in my immediate future. I couldn 't see how I was going to be very successful here at the capitol as an 'L ' from southern California. At least I wasn 't the only 'L ' in the Congress.        Fun dream, but I can 't imagine how I could possible carry an election, just an average American doesn 't seem much of a recommendation these days, for anything. "Safely Ignored," seems to be the label us average Americans are wearing these days, and the 'L ' next to my name would seem to make that even more certain.

More found poetry. Thank you, spam filter.

If bauxite be cerebellum Lose that spare tire - known as hog fuel. Did you catch last night? A fiber On an survival pueblo Was originally That pilot.

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Monday, January 22, 2007

Random Images, Clockwork Themes

I dreamed I was flying over a jungle, or actually falling off of
a mudslide on a steep mountainside and sailing out over the trees far
below. Rafting on a stormy ocean so grey I couldn't see the boundary
between sky and water. There were red and gold parrots flying overhead.
Those events seemed related at the time, but now I can't say how.
I found myself sliding along the curved surface of a milky white
translucent sphere. Several others were there with me, intelligent
shades of color and shape, completely abstract. I think I was orange or
a deep yellow and SCV was a blue rectangle with a bite out of one
corner. N was a dark olive circle, part of which was pulled off the
surface and into the interior of the sphere. C and A were there on the
other side of the sphere where I couldn't quite tell what they "looked"
like. The perception/sense wasn't exactly vision.
A small fluffy kitten came and climbed into my pocket. I wanted
to pull it out to see if it was Chloe, but didn't want to frighten it,
so just reached in and petted the kitten between the ears. It purred,
and I wondered what it looked like. I could feel its needle sharp claws
on my thigh. It was pitty-pawing, happy and warm and content amongst the
I was in a cardboard airplane, trying to prove that recycled
materials were safe. I wanted to coat the wings with the plastic from
recycled milk cartons for added strength before testing the wind up,
also recycled, motor.
I dreamed of a toy, a silver clockwork race car that dad brought
us from Germany or Italy, when we were 8 or 9 years old. I don't think
it survived the move to California. I have a much greater respect now
for the engineering of that particular toy, especially since it was
designed to be taken apart and put back together, even having its own
set of wrenches. (Although this may be a false memory, I don't think so,
my brother had a maroon or red model.) If we didn't have these, then
this is a strange thing, I remember it clearly, even awake.
I'm seeing a theme in these last three image/scenes. I also
dreamed of a clockwork doll/android. It was very lifelike, to the point
that I had developed feelings for it, even though I knew it was just a
large clockwork mechanism and one that needed frequent winding, more
than once a day, in fact. (I think this may have been inspired by
"Battlestar Galactica", which is replete with sexy "machines.") I was
trying to come up with a small electrostatic motor that would enable the
android to be wound just by being in the vicinity of power cables in the
walls. I don't know why the android wasn't electric in the first place.
Why didn't I have an electric powered winding station? Oddly, the
android brain was photon and clockwork both, so it was sort of a super
electro-mechanical flash ROM. When the winding ran down the android
brain would save itself as it was at that exact moment, then when wound
would roll back up. The android knew it had fallen "asleep" but its
thoughts were still in nearly the same state as before winding down.

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Saturday, January 20, 2007

Random Images and Scenes, Moving to VA

       Random and surreal images, nothing which remains, other than to note that several snippets of conversation and part of a TV show made it into the dream. (Fraggle Rock)
       The next dream was more normal, in fact it felt like a live and real event. N and I had moved to Virginia Beach, bought the corner house I lived in for 6 years in Virginia. The house had been burned down, however, and the replacement was actually three levels. There was a pool in the backyard, and a small three room cabin across the pool from the main cabin. The three rooms were arranged in a line so the building was all of about eleven feet wide. There was a bedroom, a sitting room and a small kitchen with a little round table in front of French doors leading out to the pool deck.
       The house in back had a woman and her two little girls living in it for the summer. We told them they could stay through the summer, since they hadn't had time to make other arrangements. They'd already paid their rent to the previous owner, and I didn't want be in the middle of a fight to get their money back, etc.
       There was a sort of moving party, KM was there, a friend of mine from school, he'd taken a job in Richmond. N had a couple of folks from her company there, so she knew some people. Her friend Bacca was there as well. He was actually working for the same company as K, and they knew one another, but didn't know that they had mutual friends until they both showed up to help us move in. Several of the neighbors stopped by, one was an older woman who remembered Mom and Dad, and us kids. Of course, the last time she'd seen me I was only eleven, so she didn't really recognize me, except to say that I sounded just like my dad. She told us that the place had caught fire a couple of times after we moved out, but the most recent one had pretty much destroyed the place. She wasn't too sure about the three level effect, but said the neighbors had been getting used to it. The house was really not 3 full stories, more like two and a half, with the half story hanging out in back across one end of the yard and pool.
       I liked the fact that the driveway was lined with dogwoods on one side and huge rose bushes on the other. I couldn't find the concrete brick pillar that marked the development entrance that used to be on the back corner of the lot, but figured it was just a few feet from the end of the small cottage. The previous owners had added a berm to the street side of the lot to help screen the pool from view. I was a little concerned about the drainage patter during hurricane season, but the inspector had assured us that it was properly graded, and there were French drains under the berm as well.
       I was feeling anxious about the move, but also depressed that I was leaving friends like S and C behind. I wouldn't be able to just call and step out for lunch any more. We'd talked about having them come out and stay in the cottage for a time, but I didn't think that would really appeal to them.

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Friday, January 19, 2007

Hospital Dream, Road Trip

       Hospital Zombies bumbling though what otherwise seemed to be an empty building. I was lost in the corridors, unsure even where the entrances to the place were. I started to follow one of the green lines on a wall. It took me to an X-ray CAT-scan area. I turned around and followed the green line back to a lobby. The zombies ignored me, in fact they seemed to walk right through me without even detecting that I was there. I knew that N was looking for me, but she wasn't able to see me.
       Ginger Muffin found me, as a ghost, so everyone but Ginger ignored me. There were no zombies in the lobby and I tried to get N and the doctor's attention. Neither would respond. I started looking around for something that would tell me where I was. The red line was the emergency room, so I started down that way. Ginger broke free from N and raced after me. We traveled together down the hallway, checking in rooms. She jumped up onto a hospital bed and started licking the blood off of a face. It was mine. There was no one around and there were all sorts of soaked bandages and things sticking into my chest. I coaxed Ginger into pulling some of the things out of me.
       I woke up with Ginger cleaning my face. Alarms sounded all around, I coughed and reached up to pet Ginger. N and the doctor came running into the room. The doctor looked surprised, open jawed, and N looked like she was going to barf. Ginger meowed at them. The doctor called for a surgical nurse and blood, then asked N to get the cat, please. There were suddenly half a dozen people crowded around and I asked them not to gas me yet. The doctor told them to wait, started asking me questions about where I hurt and what I was feeling.
       "Bring another heart monitor, this one is bad!"
       Then they gassed me and I fell asleep to the sounds of the doctor swearing at his staff.

Road Trip.

       N and I stopped at a garage across from a tiny motel; the garage was right on the edge of a canyon. Being dark, you couldn't really see anything. The owner of the garage indicated that sunrise would be spectacular.
       In the morning I discovered that Cecil, my old Plymouth Satellite, sat abandoned in the shop, for sale due to non-payment of bills. The garage owner was amazed that I was the former owner, and agreed to let me have it for $300 cash. Cecil had casters under three wheels and a wireless security lock on the front driver's side wheel. The wheel lock was marked "Property of FBI" and wrapped through the wheel and around the tire. There was no label on it that said "do not remove."
       The tire lock was easily removed, just having two long set screws on the inside of the wheel. For some reason I wanted a fourth caster rather than taking the casters off the other three wheels. I'm not sure, but I think I was planning on towing him home. N wasn't so sure this was a good idea. I had decided to convert to a hybrid diesel electric motor. The garage owner thought that would be a cool idea and wanted to help, so convinced me to leave Cecil there with him to do the conversion work.
       Soon it was sunrise over the canyon. You could see the far walls of the canyon from the windows at the back of the garage. I swear I saw the shadow of a dragon swoop across the far canyon wall. I didn't make a big deal out of it, not wanting anyone to think I was crazy. I moved to the
edge of the window, following the shadow, and saw there was a lake at the bottom of the canyon, a lake with a snakelike dragon flying low over its surface.
       Since I was pretty sure there was no signal going to the Feds from the lock on my old Plymouth. I left it with the garage to get it running again.
       Oddly, no road traveled down to the lake, just a foot trail.

       I woke up to calm some cats down. I think someone fell out of the bed. (Or got pushed, I'm a pretty active sleeper.) On falling back to sleep, I fell right back into the same scenario, only no dragons this time.

       I made my way down to the lake with a couple of other people. There was a large tin box with a couple of reel cannisters that made it look like an old time movie camera. As it floated by I heard a mewling sound from it. I reached out and grabbed it, pulling it to shore under an electrical tower. One of the people with me helped pull it out of the water. The person warned me that there was no shoreline, just a steep drop off. I held on to the brush beside the trail so I wouldn't fall in. We wrangled the box past the tower so we could both be in a position to pull it up onto the trail.
       There was a soaking wet bag inside the tin box shaped like a camera body. I opened it and tossed out a couple of live fish. One of them turned into a golden cat, floating face down but moving slightly. I pulled the golden kitty from the water and shook the water out of it and breathed into it. It started breathing on its own. There were also kittens in the bag and their mother, who didn't look alive. I managed to save one of the three kittens. I was trying to recessitate the mom cat, she still had a heartbeat and was warm, just not breathing. She was a kind of ragdoll Siamese looking cat, gold and tan. I was sad about the two kittens and one large fish that I knew I couldn't save. (Which is sort of weird because I was also thinking the fish was big enough to eat.)

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Dream Job with Leslie Neilson

       I dreamed I was the head writer on a television show, or rather, a remake of an old show. I was talking with Leslie Neilson who was starring in our show as Dr. Marcus Welby, MD. We were walking behind the set and talking about one of the scenes my writers had come up with that required on camera stunt. We were shooting some of our show in front of a live audience. I wanted to bring in a stunt person and not risk our star, or we needed to re-write the scene. Our live audience would be excited to see a little "movie magic" I felt. We read through the scene a couple of times, deciding to keep the couch stunt in. Mr Neilson also felt that having a stuntman come in was a good idea (neither of us were in favor of pushing him over the back of a couch, no matter how much padding there was.)

       We rehearsed what we wanted to say, then went hunting for the producer. Our conversation was far funnier than the script for the show, so I knew I was going to go back and punch the script up after we browbeat the producer into doing the scene "Leslie's way."

       One of the delights of this dream was how perfectly normal it all seemed. Including the frustration of being a sort of baby sitter for the other writers (having to go pull them out of places to come back to work after lunch, breaking up fights, being their cheerleader and task master.)

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Monday, January 15, 2007

Carnival of Confusion, Laptop of Lust, T-Rex of Terror

       I dreamed that N and I were waiting in the hotel bar for confirmatin of our travel to the cruise lines. We had our luggage piled up in a booth when N decided that we were going to need some warmer clothing. She slipped out to shop.
       I heard someone screaming "Bartender! There's a Monkey in my Drink!" followed by gouts of barking laughter. I watched for awhile in the mirror over the back of the booth and finally saw the bartender making something. He shot a dark liquid into the drink and the patron and the barmaid both shouted "Bartender!, There's a monkey in my drink!" I could tell the barmaid was not that excited about it, but the patrons around the bar laughed.
       I walked over and asked what the drink was. The bartender described it and when he got to the last part, a shot of thick oil-like coffee liqueur hae said thats when you shout, "There's a monkey in my drink!" for 25% off. I thanked him and asked for something with coconut and anise flavors. He made something and I went over to the barmaid to pay for it.
       She thought I'd had a "There's a monkey in my drink!" It was $12.60!
       "No it's a coco-anise thing," I held the tumbler up to her, "Sniff. I'm allergic to coffee." She got indignant.
       "A question to the bartender will clear this right up." I was still trying to be pleasant about it. She rang up my drink, adding it to the TMIMD. I patiently explained that I only had one drink, not two, "See," holding up the obviously different than a TMIMD colored drink.
       "I'll just put that on your tab..." and she started adding the drink again.
       I walked back over to the bartender to ask him to straighten out the barmaid.
       I then went back to the booth. The barmaid raced over to drop off the tab, now with three drinks on it. She sneered and turned and stalked off. As she did so N arrived. She had a couple of extra pieces of luggage, both rather old and beat up with the cruise ship name stencilled on them.
       "There's not enough room in our luggage for the coats and long underwear." N explained. She wanted to see the tickets, but I couldn't find them.
       N was angry, "are they back in the room?" she asked cooley.
       "No, I'm sure I had put them in my journal or in one of the books. Lets just look for them before you get too worried." I wrote down the confirmation number in the journal just to be safe, so we have that as well."
       N just growled and made a phone call. I started going through the books and journal I'd packed. The Ship Agent from the cruise lines arrived shortly. N asked her what we needed to do if our tickets were missing. The agent explained that we didn't really have tickets, we had a confirmation and letter of introduction.
       "I have the confirmation number right here," I added in a hopeful voice.
       "That's all you need if your identification matches."
       "It does."
       The barmaid came over with a new receipt. "Your other drinks, mister."
       "What other drinks, there's only the one," I held up the one glass, which I hadn't even drank out of yet, and waved at the empty table." The receipt had another three drinks on it!
       "Let me take care of that," the Ship's Agent said, she took both receipts and walked them over to the bar. The bartender excused himself and came around the bar to talk to her. They both went over to the barmaid at the till and I could tell from the body language that they were both very apologetic to the Ship Agent.
       The ship agent returned to our table with a couple of sodas, one dark and one plain, asked N which she'd like. N took the plain one.
       "Can I go pay for my one drink, now."
       "It's all taken care of."
       "We thank you, and the cruise line."
       "It was just a misunderstanding, here they come now to apologize."
       Sure enough, the barmaid and the barman came over to apologize and offered us anything else we might like, on the house. I declined, but N ordered a rum and diet. A few seconds later a busboy brought three large packages in to us and N started unwrapping them.
       "Open up the suitcase, we need to shuffle some things around for the trip."
       I opened up the loaner suitcase and our over-stuffed one. N started repacking while I made new label inserts from origami paper I had stashed in my journal. I found our boarding information and letter of introduction to the cruise in with the origami paper.

       In the second dream I had my laptop connected to the TV at one of N's relative's homes to show a DVD of parts of our cruise. After the DVD was done, everyone went into the other room to have icecream. When I finished disconnecting the laptop I joined them, sitting at a table that was built around the trunk of a tree. I put the laptop up against the tree to await dessert when the screen saver kicked in. It was randomly going through all the media files on the computer. It came to a folder full of pool pictures, N and her cruise-mates around the pool. I didn't think too much of it, until a younger niece sat down next to us.
       "Cool, was this your cruise?"
       "Yes." I answered, then realized that the beach had been a nude beach, and the shows had been topless shows.
       I reached to turn the computer off, explaining that the cruise had been an "adult cruise" and she really didn't want to see naked pictures of her aunt and uncle, "Did she?"
       "Yes!" she answered. N's sister was sputtering.
       "Hey, I'm tuning it off," I put the lid down while the shutdown procedure ran, "besides, N and I didn't really get naked." I added 'in the pictures,' silently in my head.
       "I can't believe you made those part of the screen saver."
       "They're just in the unsorted vacation photo folder, the program just uses whatever it finds."
       "Thank goodness it didn't find your porn folder," my brother-in-law laughed.
       "Yes, that's in a hidden folder." I knew there wasn't any porn on the laptop, but laughed it up with him.
       N and her sister both elbowed their mates.
       "I know what porn is!" pouted my niece.
       "And you're going to wait until you are grown up and out of your mom and dad's home to admit that again, right?" I asked.
       She giggled. Her mom glared. Dad was trying to be stern, but he was just short of breaking out laughing again, I could see it in his eyes.
       "Oh! Right!" my niece made her eyes huge and round, turned to her parents "Mommy, Daddy, what is this 'porn' you speak of?"
       This time everyone broke up. N leaned over to me and whispered in my ear. "Do I need to split the two of you up?"
       "Hey, I'm not the one who mentioned 'porn', OK?"

       The third dream was just a snippet as I was waking up. N and I were out looking for T-Rex, he'd managed to sneak outside and we were worried about him as there were large open fields at the end of the short culdesac we were on. I called, and heard his answering cry from around the corner, then a howl and hissing.
       I ran around to the corner to see him break away from a woman. He ran to me, holding up his back leg behind him as though it was injured. The woman shouted and I heard brakes, T just managed to dodge a truck accidentally putting weight on his injured leg he howled and tumbled then got up and ran to me. I very carefull picked him up and shouted back to N, "Find a vet!, I'll get him in the car!"
       There was no blood on him, but I could tell his leg was dislocated or broken. I could also tell he was going into shock. This was a full on heart racing wake in a sweat, night terror type dream. Good thing T-Rex was sleeping safely at my feet rather than outside, I wouldn't have been able to calm down until I found him, otherwise.

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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Time Bubble Express to Future Imperfect.

       I dreamed that I was at an indoor beach with Sara Prim and several others who I don't know. The waves were about three feet and well formed. While we were body surfing, I discovered that I could stop time for everyone but myself and SP. I wanted to play a couple of pranks. Swap some bikini tops, untie some shoe laces, swap soda from one person to another, that sort of thing.
       SP told me I had to be responsible with my powers, use them to save people from danger, rebuild society.
       I asked her, "what society needs rebuilding?"
       "Pretty much, this one," she said as the ground bucked and the water drained out of the cave. I froze us all in time. Somehow I managed to wake up every few years, decades, or maybe centuries. I really was so new at this that I couldn't tell how long had passed between each cycle.
       One of the times I woke we were in a time bubble surrounded by the dark ocean depths, another in ice and finally knee deep water surrounded the bubble and I could see birds wheeling through the sky. Humongously large birds, with fingers on the leading edge of their wings, wings that were brightly colored reds and yellows, like parrots.
       I let the time bubble collapse and felt the power level drop to the point that I didn't think I could even put a bubble around one person. The water rushed in around us, warmer than the ocean water we'd been playing in, and fresh rather than salty.
       "What happened?"
       "Where are we?"
       "What the hell happened?"
       "Where's my car?"
       "Where's my towel?"
       My time bubble had really been pretty much around the people. I could tell from where we were that someone at some point had found us and dug us out of the cave and set us up on some sort of base. We weren't under water because of that elevated base. Fortunately the day was warm. I scouted around, trying to figure out which shore was closest. There were almost no waves, so I figured the water was pretty deep in some places. A couple of the stronger swimmers agreed to swim to what we agreed looked like a shore with trees or buildings along it. It was very far away.
       We swam for almost two hours. When we reached the shore we'd been taking turns floating while the other two swimmers towed. Although the water was warm, we were not sure how late in the day it was. The sun wasn't visible in the blanket of overcast. The light level had increased, so we assumed that it was morning. The trees were around rectangular areas of lower brush and smaller trees. I thought about the pattern a bit and realized we were looking at an old condo complex gone to ruin. The landscaping trees, being the oldest had grown large, and the condos had disintegrated much later, only allowing for shallower growth. Even the shallow growth was well over twenty feet high. We spread out and searched for something that we could make some sort of raft out of. There was nothing near the surface that was manmade. Finally we managed to find a bunch of fallen branches and small trees. It looked like something large had been rolling around on them. I managed to break apart some vines and we used them to tie everything together. It was starting to get darker, so we hurried out onto the lake, hoping we hadn't waited too long.
       Back ashore we investigated for quite some time, finding that there was a sort of crater centered on our former pedestal. The crater was about four miles across. We finally reached a place that hadn't been fully overgrown yet. It was a Home Depot style warehouse store.
       I soon found out why it was still somewhat preserved. SP was there with another small group of people. Again, no one I recognized. I managed to turn off her time field, then she released her charges. SP apologized, she'd tried to find some of my friends, but hadn't been able to. These people were from several decades after we'd been frozen.
       "I couldn't get through your time bubble, I didn't know you were that strong. I would have stayed with you."
       "We're back together now, and with twice as many hands we might have a better chance of surviving." I hadn't told the rest of my group, mostly young adults, but I'd seen lots of large tracks, and some of them had pretty big claws on them. There had been lots of deer and large rodents spotted on our trip and some huge insects, even a couple of cats had followed us for awhile, until we moved out of their territory or became too boring. I thought I'd heard dogs barking in the distance, coyote howls of some sort. I know I saw giraffes at one point.
       We started digging through the rubble of the Home depot, pulling out hand tools like hammers and sledges, saws, though most of them would need some sharpening. While we were doing this I realized that I must look like the Geico cave man compared to the rest of these clean shaven short haired youngsters. I hoped we could find some sharpening tools. I wasn't sure how to make them. It was a little bit disturbing how quickly the small group had pulled together and decided that SP and I were their leaders, just because we were older.
       Disturbing, because none of them had anything to suggest about what we should do next. None of them had taken the lead in trying to salvage materials to build shelter, make clothing, or even find food until someone mentioned that they were hungry.
       Thankfully, our ancestors had landscaped with a large number of fruit and nut trees. There was plenty of food available. I enjoyed watching the bikini clad women picking fruit for a bit before going back to scrounging for items we could use. I hoped we could find some sealed coveralls, I suspected that the night time might get a little bit colder than the day time.
       I found the nail aisle and we set about pulling some large buckets around and filling them with all sorts of galvanized nails and other connectors. The lumber stocks had rotted long ago, and the metal framing stock had been twisted and bent all out of shape by the collapse of the buildings at some point. I knew there was still plenty of raw materials for steel working if we could figure out how to make a fire hot enough.
       The ground was a little bit marshy, and when a group found the entrance to the cellar they were only able to move a few steps down before finding the place flooded. We decided that we had to head for higher ground and find a place that was already somewhat sheltered from the weather. I wanted to be close to someplace where we could see around us for a distance, in case there were other people to find, or dangers to be avoided.
       I found some rolls of plastic tarps. The rolls on top were pretty rotted, but as we dug deeper we found several that had been in sealed plastic wrappings that hadn't been breached. The tarps, though old were still flexible and water proof. I thought this was going to be important, because I's started to get the sense of rain in the air. SP agreed and we began to pull out enough of the bent metal beams to make a warped but servicable tent frame.
       SP wanted to know if she should bubble everyone up until daylight and let me wake her. I didn't think that was needed but that we should take turns staying awake, just in case.
       During the night a couple of large hoofed animals wandered into our makeshift camp. They were oxen of some sort, or buffalo. I could hear more of them out in the forest. The two young bulls sniffed at us and mooed then went back to their herd. A small pack of coyotes followed the herd. I bubbled us up until they passed. It was like they didn't recognize people any more. (Not that coyotes are afraid of us now.)
       In the early morning I heard a lion's roar. It was answered from across the distance by a higher pitched roar, then another. That could be a problem. The group agreed, wanting to try to find civilization, now! I agreed in principal. It had rained during the night, but the ground was so spongy it wasn't significantly wetter than the day before. We headed for the hills.
       "Keep an eye out for streams or rivers, people usually build where there is good flat land and water."
       We cut up one of the larger tarps to make poncho for everyone who was still in beachwear. We rolled up the other tarps around the makeshift tent frame and four of the men took turns carrying the huge mass in pairs as we headed for higher ground. We cached the nails and heavier hand tools with a steel beam with a tarp on top so we could find them later. "If it turns out we need them."
       "Somebody's got to be out there."
       The group was still having trouble believing they'd been hijacked through time. (Accidentally on my part, not so much on SP's part.) They had trouble believing, until we demonstrated for them. The first group were the only survivors of the first catastrophe, and the second group had heard stories of the time bubble frozen ones, but had never actually seen them. That was nearly 100 years different in time. None of that second groups network toys were connecting to anything but one another, there was no information they could find to indicate what had happened to their rebuilt world. I read the "Old American" language version of the legend of how the local lake had been formed when an enemy had dropped a tunneling hydrogen bomb on the time bubble in the center of the city. I didn't realize it, but to folks who can't see time, a time bubble is just a prismatic sheen in the shape of the items it encloses, a huge pearlesscent crystal ball.
       I couldn't really read the new American English very easily, there were a great many borrowed words and even some spelling differences that made it difficult. To our modern friends we were understandable, mostly, frequently we couldn't get what they were saying, there'd been many new words and phrases added to the language. We just sounded quaint, like a renaissance fair visit. They sounded like some sort of science fiction jive talk.
       I could tell the group had to be kept moving and working or would fall apart into massive depression. With lions and coyote packs wandering about, I didn't think we really had time for that. We came across a road, nearly perpendicular to our line of travel. We sent runners, SP with one group and I with the other, out a mile or so in each direction. We came back. SP's group had seen what they thought was a tower in the hills further along their route. My group had seen the road turn back into the forest and ruins we had just come through, though to be honest, the only traffic I could see on the road looked animal. Hoof prints and paw prints, there were a couple of potholes that had filled in deep enough to have fish living in them and animals using them as watering holes. I didn't think this was a maintained route, at least not by people. SP was of the same opinion about her route, but at least there was the promise of the tower, and whatever information or communication it might hole.
       "Did you have above ground wiring to deliver power?" I asked the modern group.
       "Yes, there were power towers everywhere, that's how these phones used to be powered and get their information. She showed me the declining power indicator. "I don't know how to charge it up if the tower isn't on." She shut the little display phone off. I noticed that her wallpaper was a high resolution photo of SP and I hugging.
       "We'll try static electricity when we put the tarp up tonight." I didn't think that would generate enough to charge the batteries, but it might keep it working a little while longer, and it would give them something to keep them occupied.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Victorian Drag; Refolding A's Boat

     I dreamed I was in a corset and lilac colored victorian dress, complete with bustle and bonnet. The reason was I was working with Scotland yard to catch a serial rapist. I had some cool hidden weapons both in the bustle and the sides of the corset as well as in the linings of the sleeves.
      While we were preparing for the sting, the queen came through on an inspection tour. She pointed out to me that I'd better learn to curtsey rather than bowing, or I'd give myself away. She then assigned one of her ladies in waiting to help me learn how to move more like a woman. As quickly as she'd entered the ward, she left. I thought I heard her asking the inspector general if we couldn't have found someone without a full beard. I'd sort of wondered that myself.
      Forward in time, I was at a play and then left with the crowd, walking "home" on a carefully laid out route in hopes of catching the rapist. I don't think I've ever been bumped and squeezed in a crowd like I was bumped and squeezed that night. I was angry enough to take the rapist out completely by the time I got out of the crowd. I was jumped from behind about six blocks from the theater.
      The rapist had pinned my arms and used the base of the skirt to try to tie me up. We knew that from previous witnesses, so the dress was break away. I broke free, pulled a couple of guns from the lining of the sleeves and the bounder gave up. "The beard should have been a clue."

      In another dream I found myself with N, A and C walking through a dense forest. Also in Victorian clothing. (Seems to be a run on that theme lately.) We were moving along the shore of a stream when we came to some severely over-grown docks. A insisted that the boat had to have been stolen as he couldn't find it anywhere.
      "When was the last time you actually saw it?" I asked.
      "Before all this undergrowth, and these huge cactus like things weren't here."
      "They look like triffids, almost." I poked one, but it didn't move. I remembered that there had been some heavy rains not too long ago, and that is what folks were saying caused the jungle to grow up around the place. I waded out into the watery plants and made my way over to the other shore, sure enough, the boat was there, underwater.
      The rain had filled the boat and it had sunk. I pulled it up out of the water. Plants had started to root on it, so I managed to pull them out. A explained that the boat could fold flat for storage. N said I could figure it out, as I was good at origami.
      "I'm just a beginner, N," but the boat was easy to figure out. I pulled it out of the water and re-folded it on the surface. It had a strange multi-fold closure at the bow, and in the stern two closures with snap like plastic hooks to keep it all together. There was a thin plastic strap that fit around a groove on the outside of the boat to hold it all together and a couple of seats to keep the side walls from collapsing. When I was done it floated with only an inch of draft or so. I figured it might hold two of us, but certainly not all four of us. I pushed the boat back to the group and climbed out of the water.
      We started discussing going up river to find the source of all the jungle growth. There did seem to be a tunnel of jungle over the river that would allow for us to pass. I wasn't too keen on the idea of towing the ladies in the boat while wading. I hadn't seen any jungle animals, yet, but something told me they were out there. I really didn't want to be crocodile food if there were crocodiles.
      "Even if there are crocodiles, they couldn't be very big, yet." A reasoned.
      I pointed to the 20 foot high triffid looking plant that grew out of the dock. "Are you sure about that?"
      "Good point," C piped in, "Maybe we should find another boat and ask if we can borrow it?"
      N agreed and they set off through the jungle growth to the boathouse to ask about borrowing someone else's boat. I didn't really think they would find anyone at the boathouse as the whole lake seemed pretty much abandoned.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Wire Repair on Galactica

I dreamed I was on the Battlestar Galactica working on a network problem. We couldn't find out where the breakdown was until I started eleminating sections of the problem. The trouble was finally narrowed down to the wire on the wall. I started tracing the wires and found there was a break that had been badly spliced, multiple times. The wires that had been used to bridge the damaged areas were not the same as the wires in the original as for color or material. While I was fixing the problem I managed to get the network coordinator to come down and look at the trouble.
I laid out a suggestion that we standardize the connections and wiring, then we could use easily replaceable sections rather than re-wiring or re soldering the connections every time we removed a section. It was just a matter of putting the connector versions in place every time we found a problem like this one, or on mission critical wiring harnesses on a rotational basis. We went back and forth about the design and finally came up with a simple connector that would be the same on both ends and would be color coded so that there wouldn't be any confusion about which wire went to where.
I woke up thinking that I don't often have celebrity dreams. I had them a lot when I was younger.


Victorian Conventions

     I dreamed I was trying to get into a convention but I left my membership documents at home and didn't want to drive all the way back. I realized this was a dream, so forced them to be in my journal. The dream resisted because I wasn't playing by the rules. There weren't any signature forms, suddenly they were all filled in by others and the blank stack had "just run out."
     "Two can play that game!" said one of the dream counter operators / check-in clerks.
     I really didn't want to go back, even though it was just a dream, I might miss something. There were a couple of exchanges and the dream leaped forward in time, without me going back or filling out one of the silly forms. "OK, I suppose we're both happy now."
     The convention wasn't even ready yet, we were still setting up. Our display area was a Victorian dining room and drawing room. I was dressed as a monk, Rasputin, apparently. N and C were having a great time dressed as Russian Nobility. One of the other players was really into his part and was properly snooty.
     When I came back in with the very thin N in all her finery, he was suddenly willing to share his special wine with her, etc. She accepted, then continued to play the part of fawning all over me. I was worried that this Rasputin was going to meet the same end as the original, none of the single gentleman courtiers could stand that I was getting the attention of all the women. I had trouble understanding it myself.
     I later found I was in bed with N under the covers across my lap. Mom and Dad kept poking their heads into the room to see how I was doing. N was trying to keep quiet, but it was difficult as I was goosing her.
     I got lost in the forest outside of town, but realized that someone would come looking for me. I had no idea why they would be looking for me, but I knew they would. I made my way to a stream and found it came to a culvert. I climbed up to find myself on a small frontage road along a rail line. I followed the rail line back into town.
     I knew the people who were looking for me, a sixteen year old in a red dress and white pinafore, not quite a Victorian Orphan Annie, an eight year old boy, not quite Lord Fountleroy, a three year old girl, bonnet included with matching dolly, a Jack Russel terrier and a rag doll Siamese were all on a railroad hand truck headed out of town in my direction.
     We managed to cross paths and I got the hand cart turned around, though it was a little tight we all fit on the cart. I heard a train coming out of the station in town and managed to get us stopped and off the tracks, just about 30 seconds before it huffed through.
     I asked the kids who they were. "Your kids" they chorused, "And your doggies" offered up the three year old, holding the cat and her dolly up to me. I took the struggling cat, who settled into my arm, looking relieved. I was hoping for a minute that the cat was Rocky, but she wasn't. She was, however, quite glad to see me and settled right in, purring all the time. The terrier kept jumping up two feet in the air and yipping. I finally told him I was happy to see him, too, and he stopped. We managed to get the handtruck back on the rails and we pumped our way back into town.
     There were people waiting for us, and we made our way back to the convention center and the Victorian Display area. I was dressing as we made our way up the stairs. This time I was in a gentleman's adventuring costume, complete with pith helmet. The children still insisted they were mine, and when asked about mommy they insisted we were a "Disney" family and mommy was still quite dead all these ten years.
     "Yeah, how does that explain those two?" I asked the oldest girl."
     "We're all adopted."
     "Don't get too cute or I'll turn all Woody Allen on you."
     "I think that's the idea, I'm past the marrying age, and I only have you in my heart. From the time I was six I knew I was destined to make your remaining years happy and fulfilled."
     "OK, when did this become a gothic romance."
     "This dream has always been a gothic romance. How come you aren't playing along. I hate it when my dream characters don't play along."
     "Me, too, but I've learned to relax and let it go." I looked at the girl in the orphan Annie victorian outfit, then stared into her face, trying to memorize it.
     "Shouldn't music be swelling or something..." she asked.
     "Or something," I just couldn't resist the slightly out of character comment.
She tiptoed up for a kiss as the dream dissolved. I though I could hear her swearing "Firk, ding blast, this always happens at the best part..."


Monday, January 08, 2007

Cold, Normal? Day

            I dreamed last night of Ginger (our fluffy Mom-cat) climbing into the crock-pot to get warm. (It was 40 degrees when we woke up. The heater is off at night. I'm thinking it's time to reprogram it to 55 degrees or so.)

            Before that rather startling image I had another of those super detailed going about your normal day dreams. Only in this case the normal day was of me going to school and then teaching a class at night. Although these were college level classes, I was on the campus of my old Middle school, pre-renovations. (Back in the days when it didn't have a gymnasium.) I also had the hots for one of my teachers, but it was a bit awkward, I was her student during the day, and she was auditing my class at night.


Ad astra per technica,


Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Real Me.

New Photo (Recent, even) for the profile page.

Ship to Shore for Dinner, Gaming Test

     I dreamed of being on a boat on the water again. Not sure where we were along the coast, but we were sailing North and the coast was on the starboard side. We stopped across from a small coastal town that didn't have any docks. We took a small launch up onto the shore and then walked into town for dinner.
     Nothing weird happened. The dream ended as we made our way back down to the shore to sail out to the boat for the night. I can't tell now who was with me, only that there were four of us. Neither of the boats was gasoline powered, the launch was rowed ashore, though it did have a small mast and a rolled up sail, the larger boat had wind turbines and solar panels, a huge rack of batteries ran along the keel of the boat. The wind turbines could also be used as sails. There were a couple of propane tanks for cooking and heating shower water, we also had our own small de-salinization system, and a garden watered by the greywater. It was a sort of floating biosphere experiment.

     After feeding the cats I fell back to sleep. This time the dream was here at home. A bunch of us were sitting around the front room table, playtesting one of my games on a battle-mat with two inch hexes. We were using the small drugstore plastic army men and the small aliens I'd bought one at a time from the vending machine at Killer Pizza from Mars. You could tell how powerful a figure was by the thickness of the poker chips underneath it.
     Movement was interesting, you placed one white chip in each location you moved through, then if there were no interception actions you move your figure and the whole stack on to each space in line. You could be interrupted by anyone with as many white chips as you had to yet move plus what you left on the top of your stack. When you stopped moving, the white chips on the top of the stack were the reserve action points you had left to attack or defend or react to the next players. At the end of a game turn all players put their white chips on top of their stacks and initiative was rolled for the next turn.
     Players had to spend a white chip as they moved to fire a weapon or use a special effect, or to attack an adjacent figure in Hand to Hand combat. I could see the system being a little bit cumbersome if you had more than a dozen figures, but since the number of white chips anyone had was between 2 and 6, the game seemed to flow fairly well.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

3d RPG'ing, Convention Seamster

     I dreamed more detailed 3d gaming world playing. I was sitting at the computer in the living room running a game for friends when I suddenly found the group of us in the form of our characters in a very richly textured 3d world, still obviously CGI, but much more realistic than any simulation I've seen. I was still the game master, but found myself in multiple places at once, that was very odd. I had a group of foes for my players that was attached to me, mirroring my actions, but with variations. I could switch between them in an instant, set them to action and then switch to another.
     All the while this was going on I have been able to watch the players from above and I could tell what was in the area around them. It was trippy, like having compound eyes. C was playing/Being her pixie, and found that it was relatively easy to fly up over the fray and shoot little spells down on the enemy. Even though some of the goblins were trying to hit her, she was so small and nimble they couldn't. ML was finding out just how much trouble his Big-Ass-Sword really was, finding at one point he was in a narrow cavern passage unable to do anything but poke it in front of him. Then when he finally got rid of his opponent he tried switching to his longbow. It took him far longer than he thought it would.
     "My character is way faster than I am, though!"
     "The game is AP based, not real time, your character gets ready as fast as his stats allow, really."
     "Well it just doesn't seem right."
     We went out front on the lawn. Him on one side, me on the other. I handed him a six foot 2x4 and told him to hold it out in front of him. We then put the croquet set bag over his shoulder, unzipping the top. I walked over to the other side of the yard.
     "OK, go!" I shouted.
     All M had to do was put the 2x4 down, then pull out a croquet mallet and a single ball to simulate readying the long bow. I felt this was being generous. Unknown to M I'd taken the keyboard wrist rest and tucked it into my belt.
     I started walking across the lawn, only after seeing him put the two by four down. I kept walking, pulling out the bean bag wrist rest.
     "Hey, what?"
     "Ooga booga!" I shouted then started skipping left and right, still not drawing any closer to him than a fast walk.
     I reached him before he could get the croquet ball out of the bag and tapped him in the belly.
     "OK, I get it. Still, my character is much faster than I am."
     "Do you think the goblins were just walking up to you when they saw you sheath, not drop, your sword?"
     "Yeah, Ok."

     There was another dream, I'd found the instructions to my sewing machine and was winding the bobbin with heavy duty thread. I had pinned together a sort of magic bag. (Which though I won't describe it, instructions can be found pretty much any where on the internet.) I had added a personalized touch to it, though, it was also a sketchbook cover with a zippered closure and multiple compartments.
     The dream skipped forwards, I was at a booth at a convention, selling the "Magic Bag, Sketchbook and Journal Cover" The sale price was $15, $17 with the "Full Color Secret Instructions" autographed by the seamster and designer. We also had a stack of journals and sketchbooks to fill them with, yes, at a bit of a markup. I also had a selection of patches, and a computerized embroidery machine to create new patches on the fly. The price for those services was a little bit higher. I had a "pocket" sewing machine to stitch the patches on the magic bag if anyone wanted. (No extra charge.) There was a charge to put patches on items that we didn't sell, but we were doing a good business on sewing patches on Utilikilts. Go figure. Yes, I was wearing mine.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Giant Cowboy, Riding Horses Uphill

            The posse rode for several hours and finally caught up with the Giant rustler. Giant as in size, he had to be 15 feet tall. The Posse’s guns were useless. I didn't even bother to shoot at him as I KNEW my guns would be useless. The giant managed to trap the posse in a cave. The giant wanted to confiscate everyone's guns. I managed to talk the giant out of taking mine, as my gun had never left the holster. The giant decided to let me go, and let me keep my gun, mostly because I was the only one who talked civilly to him.

            I then worked at getting him to let the other cowboys go. We must have palavered for half an hour or more. I reasoned with the giant, admitted that he had a point about folks shooting at him being a bad thing, but pointed out that rustling cattle was also bad. After talking and reasoning with the giant, he agreed to turn over the cattle, and let the posse go. I got him to agree to come into town in a week or so and turn the guns back over to the sheriff. We would then find him a real job to do so he could afford to buy his own cattle. I was thinking he’d make a hell of a deputy.


            Not related to the previous dream, other that I was riding a horse. I was trying to make my way up over a fairly steep ridge of loose gravel or loamy soil. The horse seemed to have good footing, but at some point the gravel would slip and we would slide down the hill. I was trying to follow several others who were having the same problem, though their horses never slipped all the way back down the hill like mine. I decided to give up on following them straight up the ridge and started zigzagging up the hill, making my own switchback trail. This worked, and we actually made it up the hill just behind the last of the group I was following. I think my horse was less tired than they were, even though we’d gone much further.


Ad astra per technica,



Thursday, January 04, 2007

Robot Rampage

            I dreamed I inherited a boat from an unknown person. My benefactor had also left me the robot staff of the boat, a boatswain’s mate and a very pretty cabin maid/cook/bed buddy. I immediately freed them. The Boatswain’s mate took off (not for good, unfortunately) and the maid decided that she’d heard all sorts of interesting things about me and offered to stay. I explained that I didn’t know if I had enough to pay her even what she was making while in servitude. She said it would be enough.

            Things seemed to go well for awhile, we sailed and I found myself quite attracted to this robot woman. She was intelligent, funny and attentive.

            One night while we were ashore the former boatswain boarded our boat and started wrecking things. He wasn’t the only robot on a rampage. Most every robot in the harbor had gone crazy, attacking people, sinking boats, lighting fires.

We raced back to our boat and headed immediately out to sea, unaware that the boatswain and one of his earlier victims were on board. I was steering us out of the harbor when I heard screams from below decks. Setting the auto pilot I took an extinguisher down the stairs with me.  The robot menace struck me through the ladder and I tumbled down the stairs. I noticed that my companion robot was battered and lying across a beat up blonde woman. I didn’t know who was beating up who at that point. The Boatswain hit me while I was down, smashing my glasses into my temples and then kicking me and slashing at my clothing.

I managed to hit him in the chest with the extinguisher, knocking him back out of the way. I raced back up the ladder, he followed. I managed to unhook a fishing pole from its rack and he laughed at me, until I cast the line around his legs and tripped him. His shouts became very angry and garbled, like digital static. He broke free and knocked me into the water.

I swam for the nearest pole and climbed out of the water. The Boatswain called out and a half man half shark swam over, and then came after me. I climbed the pole out of the water, and waited for the sharkman robot to follow me up the pole. I grabbed on to some wires and swung out over to another pole. The sharkman tried to follow, breaking the wires. I slid down towards the sharkman on the broken wires. The sharkman opened his jaws, waiting for me.

I managed to pull up one end of the power line and dropped it into the sharkman’s mouth. I poked the return line into his eye and electricity shot through the robot.  We fell into the ocean below tangled together. I felt the electricity when we hit the water, but I’d been ready for it, and the damage had already been done to the sharkman robot. The juice stopped flowing and I started swimming for shore.

My boat steered after me, the engine kicking over in an ever increasing whine. I dove under the boat as it headed inland. I kept swimming for shore, there was a small dark strip mall with a grocery store in it, I was hoping a phone was still working. All of the lights went out just as my boat turned around and headed directly for me again.

Once again I dove under the boat; it swerved around almost tipping over. The Boatswain hit me just as I surfaced and I blacked out for a time.

When I woke I was in the grocery store, tied next to another man on top of a shelf full of peanut butter jars. The Boatswain spoke over the speakers of the store.

I looked around while testing my bonds. I’d been tied with some sort of narrow cotton cord, it wasn’t coming loose and my hands and feet were numb from lack of circulation. I finally spotted the Boatswain, he’d hung the blonde, I couldn’t tell if she was still alive, from the straps of her jumper in the center of the store. My companion was visible on the staircase leading up into the manager’s office of the store. I though I could just make out the Boatswain in the control room.

“Dinner time for RoboGaters!” the Boatswain shouted into the microphone. I wondered if there were more robots watching us.

I heard some growling and screeching. Sitting up, I spotted two Robot alligators being set loose in the store by a forklift robot. The robot ‘gaters lashed at the forklift, damaging it and knocking it back. The forklift rolled back into the warehouse and rolled down the big steel doors.

The man next to me screamed obscenities and deprecating remarks at the robots.

“Thanks. That’s got their attention.”

The Robogaters turned from ripping at the rollup doors to focus in on the man’s voice.

“There’s trouble.” I said as the two centaur-like robogaters reared up to their full height to see over the shelves of the store. The man suddenly realized what he’d done.

“Get me out of here! Please!”

“I’m working on it.” I broke a glass jar. The robogaters dropped out of sight, but we could hear them running around the shelves towards us.

“Why’d you do that?”

“I run and jump better without my legs tied together.”

“Run, Jump?” the man stood up, he wasn’t tied at all; he jumped down into the aisle.

“Stay on top of the shelves!”

“What? Arrg!” the man was spotted and he took off down the aisle. I noticed that only one of the robogaters was in the aisle running after him. Instead of heading for the stairs, or the restrooms, or the bank teller cages, he headed for the big glass doors at the front of the store.

“The Bank, head for the bank!” I shouted at him, but he ignored me.

I cut my bonds with the broken glass and moved to the end of the shelving unit away from the robogaters.

I could hear them playing monkey in the middle with the other man. One had cut him off from the front doors. He started back down the aisles a few over from me. I really didn’t want to have him lead the robogaters back to me, so I jumped over the aisle to the next shelves. It collapsed under my weight, but I managed to pull myself up.

The shouts and cursing started up again. The Boatswain shouted “he’s turned east!” I noticed the cameras at the end caps of the frozen foods section. I jumped on top of the cooler, grabbing a rolled up picnic umbrella and stripping the plastic restraining collar off of it as I pushed wheel barrow decorations and summer lawn chairs off the top of the freezers, anything to slow the creatures down. I reached the end cap and reached up with the umbrella to smash the camera. I leapt over to the next aisle and took out that camera, running back along those freezer cases, also dumping everything as I went. I could hear the Boatswain swearing like a sailor, somehow appropriate, I thought.

I smashed that camera and was ready to jump back to the other end cap on the first freezer aisle when one of the robogaters teeth snapped the air in front of me. Almost without thinking, as the robogater, an impossible shade of Kelly green, opened its jaws to strike again, I jumped down into its mouth with the umbrella spreader between my feet.

My weight drove the semi-sharp tip into and through the robogater’s throat. The spines of the umbrella were forced to open and I jumped out, pulling back on the umbrella. I could hear some of the spines snapping but it was jammed in the creature’s mouth solidly.

The robogater began to thrash around, throwing me back up into the air. I managed to land halfway across the top of the freezer case. I kicked at the glass doors, breaking them and showering glass on the spasming beast.  The noise attracted the other robogater, as I figured it would. I didn’t have anything to hold on to on top of the freezer, it was smooth where I was though there was electrical conduit and a plug strip just a few feet closer to the center of the aisle.  

“You’ve killed him!” shouted the boatswain, and the other man, apparently an idiot, turned around from where ever he was and ran into the aisle to see what I had done.

The second robogater was only about 15 feet behind him. The attack spurred me into trying harder to get fully on top of the freezer, and I managed to reach the central plug strip and pulled myself atop the aisle. Trying hang on to the cable shut out the screams and wet crunching from the aisle below me. The electrical cables pulled out of the thing and I wondered if I could try the same trick twice. Somehow I didn’t think it would work but since I’d knocked everything else useful off the top of the freezer, I didn’t have any choice.

I separated the cables under my body, hidden from the boatswain. He’d stepped out of the manager’s office and was beating on my companion robot, who’d been shouting encouragement and the location of the other robogater, while she could see it. I didn’t need her locator help any more. The nose of the second beast was moving towards me along the freezer case. I could hear glass doors breaking and being torn off as it scrabbled for purchase, trying to climb fully up to my level. I stripped the end of one of the cables and wrapped the bare wire around a protruding metal feature of the freezer case. I pulled the insulation back from the second wire and split it from the first as far as I dared, all the while trying not to move.

“He’s almost there, get up, get up!” my companion shouted.

The blonde woke up and started screaming, she was a couple of aisles over.

The robogater stopped and considered its options. Me, close, bleeding and not moving, Blonde a couple of aisles over, up in the air, but wriggling and screaming like Fay Wray. It went for the wriggling bait, figuring that I could wait.

I struggled to my knees, “Over here, boot leather!” I shouted and crawled out over the edge of the freezer.

“Nooo!” from the companion.

“What?” from the Blonde.

“Humans, they always give up in the end. I told you so,” This from the all too happy boatswain.

Growl. The Robogater turned back and lunged back to the top of the freezer. I grabbed the back of its clawed paw and leaned back, trying to pull it up onto the freezer. Confused, it stopped lunging, then, animal brain augmented by robot brain, decided to go with it.

As soon as its chest was sliding though my blood and it was more or less balanced I let go. Its paw swung down and the claws buried themselves in the metal top of the freezer. I sidestepped and rammed the hot end of the wire into the nostril of the robot alligator.

250 volts shot down its snout and through its brain, along its arm and chest into the freezer case. I could feel the tingle in my feet, but I’d wrapped part of my dinner jacket around the wire as insulation, so I got none of the main shock. A half dozen banks of lights went out and I ran to the next freezer case, then across to the next aisle. I broke another glass jar and cut the woman down.

The boatswain had stopped beating my companion and raced down the stairs. I helped the woman down and we raced for the front doors of the grocery store. I grabbed a cart along the way, having no intention of going around to the doors. I rammed the cart through a glass window. (I’m not sure I could really swing a grocery cart, but maybe under these circumstances.) I lifted the woman out of the store and turned back to face the boatswain.

He was far faster than I’d expected. Again, a beating, but the woman didn’t run away this time and joined the fight. Still, we lost. Muttering something about having earned a Viking Funeral, the boatswain hauled both of us back to my boat.

I struggled to wake up before he could finish dousing the boat with gasoline.  Apparently I wasn’t quiet about trying to get up and the boatswain dragged me into the back deck, which was awash with water, and opened up the large cooler. He forced my head under water.

“Ice and fire, and water. And NO AIR FOR YOU!”

“Nooo!” this time two voices. One I assumed was the blonde, the other was the companion robot.

“Didn’t I break both your legs? Damned but you’re a tough model, loyal, too. Enough of that no time to fix you. I’m not keeping you around for later.”

He let me go, then smashed a bait barrel across the opening of the cooler, pinning me under water. I heard him smashing my companion robot and telling the blonde “Ice and Air for him, Fire and Water for her! Romance and tragedy on the high seas! Nothing for you.” And then the companion robot slammed wetly against my legs, pinning me further. I couldn’t hold my breath any longer.  I drowned, icy pain shot through my lungs, trying to cough the water out but only being able to replace it with more and ever colder water.

I was dead but could still hear what was going on somewhat. The companion had used my trick of stripping some wires; the blonde had recovered them then jammed them in both the boatswain’s ears as he turned to crow over the companion, she held them there until smoke was pouring out. I could feel movement on my legs, the companion, still barely able to move, pulled me out of the water. I couldn’t feel anything.

“Zap him, breath for him. It was frozen water, you’ve only got eight minutes.” I felt the companion collapse across my torso. My eyes were open and I could see her, flesh torn from her frame, optical wiring exposed, organ simulators ripped out. I wanted to cry, to shout, but my heart was not beating and I wasn’t breathing. I just wanted to drift away.  The blonde backed the boat back out into the water, smart girl, get some distance from the shore. In a couple of moments she brought the wires to me.

“Two minutes,” came a thin voice from the companion.

“I…” the blonde bent over me. She was pretty but very beat up, and I could see the shine of metal under one cheekbone. Either she was a robot, a really natural looking one, or a cyborg.

“For me, then?” The companion pleaded with her.


She ripped what was left of my shirt away and jammed the wires into me.


Ad astra per technica,



Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Muppets in Space

     I dreamed I was helping make a movie "Muppets in Space" it was a subtitled version number type thing. The dream started out normal enough, walking the sets to make sure they were safe, pointing out the marks for the actors and the puppeteer blinds both single and multi person. Don't remember a whole bunch after that, but eventually we ended up shooting on location, in space.
     That was interesting, because at one point we ended up in the escape tubes and I had to suit up and go outside to duct tape them together. Only it wasn't really duct tape, it was a nice silvery aluminized tape with a vacuum safe resin glue on it. I managed to get the three tubes taped together with a reflective shield on them. The Muppets were very happy to be able to breathe safely. I found that I was the only person in the escape tubes. I started to wonder about my sanity, as there were no muppeteers to operate the muppets, but they were still moving around and talking to me.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Mars Attacked! and Pennies by the Pound

     I dreamed that we had managed to move into Mars orbit and were watching the planet's surface for changes when we crashed a huge Ice asteroid into it. The asteroid was set to skim through the atmosphere a few dozen times before it finally crashed into the planet (after having most of its liquid burned off in the atmosphere.)
     The original idea here was not to crash a huge asteroid into Mars, but to whittle it down considerably before letting it skim down to the surface. Things did not go quite as planned. A large section of the asteroid separated from the main body on the third atmospheric sweep, the ejection caused the main mass to shift into a slightly lower orbit, and on the next pass it was grabbed and slowed so much by the atmosphere that the asteroid's orbit changed into a much faster decay. Bits and pieces of the asteroid broke off of and rained down onto Mars' surface in a series of devastating impacts.
     Near one of the new craters we detected some sort of movement, then radio signals, alien. We managed to get several high resolution photos of the area, and there were structures and launch vehicles of an alien design.
     We'd not noticed them before. When we pulled up the detailed photos from previous missions there they were! At least on plates a year old or newer, no indication on data from earlier than that. The asteroid had been well on its way to the planet long before they had landed, whoever they were. We quickly made up some diagrams of what was happening. NASA spent a couple of days arguing about trying to send one of the recon landers down to make contact with the aliens. We tried radio, but couldn't seem to get anything intelligible through to them, nor they to us. We also tried to predict where as many of the shattered pieces of the asteroid would land as we could. There didn't seem to be any safe places unless you moved towards the poles, and even then there would be some ice slamming into the planet. Finally NASA radioed back to send team members down to the planet, a pilot, a computer technician and a mission specialist. I was chosen to be the computer technician, since I'd already done the radio messages and tried to make contact. When it was pointed out to NASA that I was also cross trained as a pilot, they reduced the mission profile to two. Just before we left I managed to get some high resolution photographs that included two of the aliens outside their buildings, making some sort of repairs. They were shaped like cuttle fish, but with a single leg that ended in 5 tentacles. They seemed to have a sort of radial symmetry. They were also about two feet taller than us and we estimated a hundred pounds heavier.
     "Lets hope they're friendly" I quipped.
     We landed on the planet, I was stuck back in the return vessel after we unloaded several sensor packages and set up some atmospheric monitoring stations. We didn't want the mission to go completely to the contact purpose, because there was not any replacement fuel for what we burned. We decided to make a full run of equipment down to the planet, that way it would not be left in orbit. This site was close enough to one of our chosen stations that recovering the building materials in a solar powered vehicle would add a couple of mission days, but that would better than losing the materials altogether.
     My mission specialist made her way over to the alien camp site. As she approached we sent radio pulses hopefully indicating that we were peaceful. I had no way of knowing if that was working or not.
     No way of knowing until my crewmate crested the crater rim and came under fire from the alien creatures. They had some sort of airgun that fired a stream of ice crystals in the shape of darts. The mission specialist managed to duck back down into the crater, dropping off the map of Mars we'd made that showed the ice landing zones, (The alien camp was not directly in one, but was darned close.) She was able to apply emergency patches to her suit (the air pressure on Mars had been raised to about 4 PSI, still too thin to survive in.)
     Our contingency plans had included an armed response possibility, basically, I was to abandon the mission specialist and take off, the multi-use vehicle being more important to the success of the mission than either of us. (Nice, knowing that the multi-million dollar piece of equipment is more valuable than you are.) There were several nailguns in the tools I had dropped off, though, and I didn't want to abandon my crewmate (She was too darned cute to leave behind.) I'd already been suited up and working outside previous to her trip, so cycled myself out and grabbed two nailguns from the tool locker. I ran over to the contact site, watching my progress on the orbital camera display in my helmet to make a safe route that would put me above the aliens.
     I watched the aliens puzzle over the paper map, trying to figure out what we'd indicated. They were gesticulating wildly with their arms at the photos of their encampment taken from above. I got the impression that their space suits were more like vehicles than suits. I dropped over the ridge and down into the crater. I'd also brought a piece of Kevlar construction material to use as a shield. We stood up behind it, the radios went silent. Then there was a burst of their language and ice slivers pinged off the shield. When the shield stopped vibrating I poked the nailgun out from behind it and fired a single nail at a large rock near them. I managed to hit it. The nail, contrary to what I expected, buried itself in the rock, chipping out a golf-ball-sized hole at its entry point. I aimed the nailgun back directly at them this time, but didn't pull the trigger.
     The radio went silent again. I indicated the PDA we'd left behind. They picked it up. The mission specialist started remotely playing the 3d renderings of the ice delivery, and showed the various orbital trajectories and then over-layed the landing zones with a particular emphasis on the camp site. We were using the time from the original impact to now as a time standard to show them the future. I think they finally started to understand that we were not trying to kill them. One of them then took a rock and added some information to the drawing of the planet. He rolled the drawing up into a tube and tossed it over to us. I started for it, but the mission specialist stopped me. "You have to fly the relander back."
     Actually it's set to auto return in two hours, or mission control can lift it off immediately if I don't return.
     "Still, I'm getting it." And she stepped out from behind the shield with her nailgun in front of her. She set the nailgun down.
     The aliens lowered their arms that contained the ice caster. She walked over to the map and gasped. There were a number of hash marks and then a GIANT ice asteroid drawn smashing into the top of Olympus Mons. We had a large unmanned research station there. We downloaded the pictures from orbit of the mountain to their PDA. They quickly figured out how to work the zoom controls. We were still linked remotely to them. They slewed around the map, taking a quick tour to four other locations on the surface, the zooms in three of the cases were recent and showed alien structures, also unmanned. They were in the outer part of the landing ellipses for several of the smaller chunks of asteroid. The other two sites were older images, devoid of alien structures. The aliens raised their firearms.
     The specialist raced back to the shield and I radioed mission control to get current data for the location they had on the screen. The screen updated to a lower resolution image, but enough to show structures. The image quickly filled in as the satellites made more image passes. The aliens lowered their firearms. The images seemed to be reassuring, as was the fact that neither of them were in the projected landing zones of any of the ice fragments.
     There was a low rumble as another chunk entered the atmosphere. The sky lit up behind us. The relander was lifting off without us. My radio crackled, we were informed that NASA had determined not to risk the relander, and we were to build ourselves a couple of domes right there and continue to work with the aliens. There were several months of supplies for two people, and a large enough hydroponics farm to add fresh vegetables to our menu. We were told our project was code-named Adam and Eve.
     "Very funny guys."
     "Don't do anything we wouldn't do!"
     "Real professional." I stood up from behind our shield, which would soon be part of the outer wall of our home.
     "Oh, shit!" was all the mission specialist could say. I was glad we'd been getting along really well in orbit, because I calculated that there would be about 6 months of living in four domes before other crews would begin landing and setting up the first manned monitoring stations. The Martian terraforming project was going to go much faster now that there were two races working on it. I just hoped we were going for a compatible atmospheric mix. Oh, and that we weren't headed for some sort of interplanetary war.

     The second dream I remember was about being in a sort of department store basement where they had the money cleaning machines. Apparently the store would clean and press all of the change they were going to load into their cash registers the following day. I thought that was a bit on the loony side. They also had a penny packaging machine that pulled out the older pennies and shrink wrapped them in one pound packages. I was informed that these were then sold on E-Bay for a tidy profit.
     "Who would buy a pound of pennies and then pay the shipping on top of that?"
     "Lots of people do, all the time."
     "Do you sell other coins by the pound?"
     "No, just the pennies from the coin machines upstairs."
     "Right. All this equipment, power, labor, is it really worth it?
     "Yes, we get about 300 percent profit on each pound."
     I finished the tour, but to be honest the pound of pennies thing kept me from following much else that was going on. I kept thinking of the fifteen pounds of pennies sitting on my bathroom counter, though some few pounds of that is the glass container.

     There was a third dream, some sort of sexy hot tub extravaganza. (OK I just made that up, but there were physical manifestations to support that theory.) Seeing the real glass jar of pennies on the counter after waking, locked the "Pennies by the Pound" theme in my brain, and the mere wet dream was completely forgotten. (Who knows, if there'd been sexy bikini clad women in my bathroom when I awoke, maybe I'd have remembered all three dreams. Though it's more likely, I'd remember none at all.)