.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

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.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Pool Boy

              I dreamed I was at the empty summer camp, the one with two side by side Olympic sized pools. The pools were looking a little unkempt, so I grabbed the pool sweep and got it started in the 5 foot deep pool and took the net over to the diving pool. The chemical balance was OK, as the solar heating and pumping system was working well, even on these shorter fall days. As I was pulling out the surface debris, and the leaves I could chase from the edge of the pool, I came across a couple of swimmers. The young women had apparently climbed over the fence; not too difficult a feat as the fence was barely four feet high, more meant to keep little ones and animals out than people. I asked them where they were from and they indicated that they were working at a “ranch” a few miles away. They'd found a hole in the camp's border fence and decided to come in and check the place out, even though we were closed except for day visitors.
              I cleaned around them, and they amused themselves by helping chase leaves into my strainer and chatting with me.
              The sun set, the air was rapidly getting cooler. They asked if there was a hot tub they could warm up in before dressing and going back to work.
              “Sorry, no hot tub, at least not here at the pool. Hot showers for a few more minutes, at least until the solar hot water gives out.”
              The women pulled themselves out of the pool, and that's when I realized they were swimming in their lingerie, which was quite transparent now. Neither seemed to be concerned, so I didn't let it bother me. They started to apologize and I stopped them.
              “Just call before you come over, I'll let you in just to keep you from damaging the fence. I swim here just about every night after doing the maintenance.”
              “You said there's a hot tub?”
              “Not here, up at my house,” I pointed to a hill a couple of miles away, you could just see the lights lining the walk.
              “That would be a long cold walk, and then even further back to work,” said the more serious one.
              I unlocked the showers for them.
              “What are we going to dry ourselves off with?”
              “Our shirts, we can put our jackets on and carry our wet things home.”
              “I have a couple of towels. I'll drive you back after I finish here, I have about ten more minutes.”
              The women peeled themselves out of their wet underwear and showered, using the last of the hot water for the day. I rolled out the pool covers, trying to not let their naked cavorting distract me too much.
              “I almost hate to hand you these towels,” I said as I finished covering the pools for the night as I handed the large beach towels over to the women, who were suddenly shy and trying to cover their breasts and crotches, which I had noticed were neatly trimmed in one case and completely shaved in the other.
              “Can we use your hot tub later?”
              “Hey, be nice, he didn't even have to let us shower and dry off before throwing us out. Besides, we have to be back to work.”
              “Tomorrow then?”
              “Sure, just give me a call.” I got them piled into my little car even though they had to sit one on the others lap, and gave them a flier for the the winter camp hours, my number was on the flier as the contact person.
              Let me know when you're ready to visit and you can show me where to fix the hole in the fence.
              “But it would be miles around to get to you,” the one on the bottom complained.
              “We'll put in a friendly neighbor gate.”
              “We'll show it to you now if you want. It's much faster than driving all the way around. There's even a little road most of the way there.” The gal on top seemed very eager to go back the way they came, rather than have me drive all the way around. However, as loaded as my little car was, I didn't think driving on our back roads was a good idea.
              I drove them around to their “ranch” which was actually a private strip club, which I suspect offered other, more intimate, activities as well. I could tell the gal on top was unhappy that I actually knew where they worked.
              “Hey, you are welcome to come and swim, just call me first so I can let you in. No more fence jumping.”
              “Especially knowing what we are, huh?” the one on top pouted.
              “You've both been delightful, so you're both welcome to come back any time. I just don't want to have to repair the fences.”
              The top one jumped out of the car and headed up the walk. The other stayed a moment and looked at me, her hair had started to dry and it was obvious the when dry she would have a lot of dark large curls. She smiled at me, “J's still worried what people will think of her when they find out what she does.”
              “Kinda makes this a tough business for her to be in, then.”
              “Only when we meet guys like you.” She leaned over and hugged me, “Thanks for the ride, thanks for not busting us. I'm looking forward to that swim, and the hot tub. It won't be the same as sneaking in, but thank you.”

Labels: , ,

Monday, November 23, 2009

Judge Swing

              I was bicycling and debating with the pretty brown-haired Judge. It was after dark so I didn't want her to have to bicycle home alone, especially since her bike didn't have a light on it. She rode in front and I had loaned her my wind-up light so she could see the road ahead. My bike had a working tail-light so I rode right behind her.
              During the trip, we were discussing the case of a student who posted a link that led to a video of a comedian who was reading the preamble to the constitution, translated into “Ebonics.” Not in and of itself a problem, except that the video was profuse with profanity. The parents, of course, sued the school district for violating the student's first amendment rights. A fairly complex case, because the words and video, were not in fact the students. The link had been accompanied by a warning about the profanity, and it was only posted in the comments section of a class forum.
              I made the argument that the removal of the video from its site would be a first amendment violation, if the creators had posted it. The Judge indicated that the school owned the forum and therefore had the right to remove the offending link and discipline the student. I listened to her argument, and told her that I had to agree, up to a point. The infraction was one of bringing a profanity laced publication into a discussion, to which it was, in fact, relevant, not one of misusing a computer in an attempt to harm the network or affect another's use of the system. So the schools punishment, a semester banished from using the computer, was akin to a school punishing a “Playboy” recommender by telling them they couldn't read anything for a semester.
              She asked what I thought a proper punishment would be.
              I told her that I didn't really believe in punishment as much as restitution. So in this case, I would say an apology was in order, a reiteration of the code of conduct as it involved the classroom forum, and I would tell the student that otherwise they did a good job of using their specific skills they'd learned to branch out into the realm of public discourse, which is, after it's all said and done, exactly what we want them to be able to do.
              The judge nearly crashed her bike and I had a hard time braking in time to keep from piling on.
              “You just made me change my mind. No one ever does that.”
              “You're a judge, I thought you were supposed to keep an open mind.”
              “You don't have to after you've made a decision. The parents would have been much better off having you as an attorney. You conceded the First Amendment point by going completely around it and went right to the meat of the matter. They didn't think the punishment imposed was appropriate. Too bad they didn't argue that.”
              “It gets into the whole mandatory sentencing thing, where we forget that we are human beings with human failings and that justice is a human concept not a natural concept. We end up trying to eliminate the human from justice in the name of fairness, but then lose that essential part of the whole idea of justice.”
              The Judge just looked at me, an odd expression on her face. “There's street lights, I'll race you home,” and with that she took off like a shot.
              I took off after her, but was no where near in as good a shape as her, and with her head start she vanished around the bend before I could see where she went. Fortunately I remembered the name of the street where she lived and was able to brake and turn in when it came up. The house, I thought, was going to be tough to find if I didn't see her bike outside.
              There was only one house with lights, on, though, so I rolled up to the house and knocked on the door.
              A teen opened the door, I hesitated, as the judge didn't have any children. The teen was very perceptive, and smiled, “She's my aunt, come in.” The teen skipped into the front room where there were piles of luggage and the rest of her family.
              The teen's father, I was guessing because of the age difference and similar hair and skin tones, greeted me, “So, you're the one my baby sister is in love with.”
              I blushed. “We're friends, just biked home from visiting my wife and I.”
              At that point the judge came into the room, having all ready taken off her jacket and with a towel around her neck. Her blouse was a very silky looking shimmer of creme that clung to her breasts and hung damply from her erect nipples. I tried not to stare. She took my arm and introduced me around.
              “I have your flashlight in my room. Come see the rest of the house, you haven't been here yet.”
              I followed her on a tour of the house. I pretty much forgot it all when we got to her room. A large mirror made up the headboard, and the canopy bed was done up in leopard patterned sheers with a chocolate brown cover. There was a trapeze or swing seat at the foot of the bed which she raised up out of the way with the soft whirr of electric motors.
              “Wow, sexy,” I turned to take in the whole low but warmly lit cream and brown experience. I suppressed the urge to make a swinging comment.
              “Not what you expected from a middle aged Judge?”
              “You're not yet middle aged, and no, seeing it, I have to say it fits you.”
              I looked into her eyes and immediately saw trouble. She was, in fact in love with me, or at least lust.
              “I have something else for you, just a moment I have to make sure our trip gets off. Wait right here.”
              I waited a moment or two, and then the whole house lurched and swung. I felt a slight acceleration and stepped out into the front room. “Where's...”
              “She's gone to make sure the connections are set.” The older brother pointed to the front door. “She said we should all wait her until she returns." The house rocked gently.
              “Right. I have to get home, though, so I'll see if I can catch up to her.”
              I opened the front door. The whole house had been set down on a rail car and was rolling towards a siding. I could see the judge up ahead along side the tracks, ahead of the electric engine that was pulling us. The front door was attached to a long horizontal pole, steel with the yellow enamel warning stripes peeling in places it was at least twenty feet long. The pole looked like it was about to catch onto brush along side the tracks so I stepped out and pushed the door shut behind me.
              “You're going to ruin the surprise!” came a shout from far ahead in the darkness.
              “I have to get home.”
              “Come with me, we're vacationing in the Rockies this year, three weeks.”
              “N's going to be waiting for me.”
              “I've been waiting for you. My whole life.”
              I walked along side the slowing house, realizing that my bike was back in the yard, so I would have to walk all the way back and I had the idea that was pretty far now.
              “I haven't anything packed.”
              “I'll keep you warm, and happy.”
              “I have no doubt, and that's really an attractive offer. I don't have words for how attractive. But you really wouldn't want a man who would drop his commitment to you for the first highly educated, intellectually stimulating and sexy woman who came along, would you?”
              “How often has that happened to you?”
              “Twice, I married the first one.”
              “But, you're the right one for me, and you know it.”
              We stood across the switch control looking into one another's eyes. I could feel the longing.
              “I have fallen in love with you, mister.”
              “And I with you, despite by best efforts not to. But I have made other promises...”
              “Which you will keep, making me love you all the more.”
              She wrapped herself around me and I held her as the house creaked to a stop behind us.
              “Let's call N and let her know I'm sending you home late.”
              "I don't know that she'd go for that." There was a large part of me that was concerned that this was a ploy to get me back in the house where I would be trapped. Even if it wasn't a trap, I didn't know that I would have the strength to leave again.
              “Or, better yet, let's call N and invite her along.” The Judge took my hand and lead me back towards the front door.
              I pulled out my cell phone, which brought a pout (a very sexy pout) to the Judge's cherubic face, my suspicions deepened.

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Beach Party Reunion, Alien Visitor

              I dreamed that the old College Days group was having a beach reunion. All of us 40 and 50 somethings were there with our spouses and had been sponsored by Speedo. Yes, all of us were in Speedo swimwear, as were our wives and husbands and children. There were cameras and reflectors everywhere as the company recorded our reunion party. Some of us do not look good with any amount of flesh showing, let alone as much as is revealed by a Speedo. Yikes! I think those shots would have to be used for a “please, don't” campaign. While we were running up and down the beach and playing, poorly, frisbee, I got a call.
              When my phone rang several of the people reached for their own phones. Digging frantically into beach bags or purses.
              “It's for me!” I shouted out for everyone so they didn't have to keep digging. The phone call was from our Learning portal administrator. The site had been hacked and she didn't know what to do. Neither of the engineers, nor the analyst were answering their phones. “It's Saturday, of course not. We don't pay anyone to be on call. Let me look at it.”
              I brought up the web site, sure enough it had been vandalized, every graphic had been modified to show swastikas or naked people, all rather poorly drawn. I couldn't see that any text had been modified, but there are over 1400 individual class sites to be checked. I let the administrator rattle on about how horrible it all was for a couple of minutes.
              “Contact Blackboard and have them restore from backup.”
              “We don't manage the site any more. We gave it back to the company, remember?”
              “But I can't log in!”
              “The Hackers removed your account or changed your password. I never had admin access since we moved over, so I can't do anything about this. Blackboard can, call them and let them take care of this. Have them change all of the administrator's passwords while they are at it. No point in restoring the site in hackable condition.”
              “Are you going to come in and supervise this?”
              “I don't have administrator access any more, so what is it that you think I could do?”
              There was silence from the other end for a moment.
              “This is an IT thing not an LSS thing.”
              “The IT support end is subbed out to Blackboard. So, let's get the portal administrator to call them.”
              “I'm the portal administrator!”
              “What's the contact name and number?”
              She gave me the information, and I wrote it in the wet sand with my toe. I called the number and told them our site had been hacked. I wasn't on their security principal's list, though so they asked me to have the portal administrator or the programming liaison call them directly.
              I called the administrator back, and gave her the good news. I then called my boss back to let him know what had happened, so he could call them and rant at them. And so he would know that I did what I could, because I knew that the complaint from the admin wouldn't be about the engineers and the analysts she couldn't reach, but about the person she did reach, who didn't have the authority or access to do anything about the problem.
              N told me I should put in a time sheet. The other tech geeks in the group agreed. “Over time rate. It's the weekend and you aren't even supposed to be on call.”

              Later I dreamed that I met an alien visitor, and we just seemed to click. (We're talking alien from another world, not just another country.) It was summer time, so I was off work, the aliens hired me to drive their investigator around. The investigator looked a great deal like TC, or Zap Savage, and admitted that they had seen the web site and decided they liked that image. That was how they had gotten in touch with me, as I was the most common author of the Zap Savage and the Hackers stories.
              We were in a Panera, video conferencing when a VC call came in from the State Department. They wanted to meet with the alien investigator, I handed the call over to him. The State Department flunkie seemed flustered to be face to face with the alien. He barely managed to get out his request.
              Without even pausing to think about it the alien replied “Ten o'clock, I couldn't possibly.... I have gazpacho with the Methodists.”
              I laughed so hard I woke myself up.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Other-world Casino and Cardboard Boat

              I dreamed I came into possession of a large number of gambling chips for an off-world casino. I managed to trade some of them for a round-trip jump ticket and bundled myself into my star boat and let myself be flung a quarter of the way across the galaxy.
              I had intended to just cash out the chips, but there was some issue with the time that they had been out of the casino, so I had to play them into games and take out the current version before I could cash them out. I spent most of my time on the video poker sort of machines, as they advertised a ninety eight percent payout. Soon I had turned about half of the chips into twice as much money, so cashed them out.
              I decided to just blow the rest of the chips on something high-stakes and exotic. I joined up with a game that seemed to combine Blackjack (well, a Blackjack like game) and Chess in some way, ignoring the first rule of gambling, “Never play a game that you don't understand.” This, of course, led to trouble.
              I was playing very conservative, I thought, watching the other players, watching the dealer, a position that you had to buy into, it seems. I didn't understand enough to be the dealer, so passed on that opportunity. The game progressed and each play with the dealer involved betting for or against the dealers current contest with the other players. Robot croupiers kept the chips flying and my stack rapidly grew smaller and larger in fits and spurts. Violence broke out between two of the players, both of whom had gone broke betting on a third to lose to the dealer. It appears there was some sort of collusion and the dealer had, unexpectedly, gone bust on a half dozen hands of Blackjack. There was the smell of ozone and both players collapsed. Croupiers turned security dragged all three of the players away from the game pit.
              It took a couple of moments to get the fine covered chairs filled with new players and then the dealer turned to me. I chose the chess challenge, which seemed to be a set number of moves and then the croupiers would tote up what they felt was the advantages and disadvantages of each side and pay out wins and take losses. Again, I set out about a quarter of my “tainted” chips and reserved my good winnings to cash in later. I was about ten percent in the hole at that point. I figured I should lose quickly and get the heck out, it wasn't as much fun as I'd hoped. We started to play. It wasn't exactly earth chess, so I had to keep checking the rule sheet. Bets rapidly piled up against me, the dealer choosing to cover them double and most of the player accepting the raise. I covered the ones who bet against me, too, figuring I could unload the rest of the “tainted” chips and return home with a tidy nest egg.
              The game took a bad twist and several of my opponent's powerful pieces jumped over my shoddy defenses. Five moves had been played and the stakes at the table doubled. The dealer could tell I was a neophyte, and only raised his stakes a little, fully expecting me to bow out, I believe. I put all but about 5K of my “tainted” chips in to cover. We resumed play, and I promoted a piece that had been ignored because of my impending check.
              The pit erupted, no one had seen the move, as it involved invoking a somewhat obscure rule, one that had been in the rules I had just read. Security came over to verify that the rules were just print and nothing that analyzed the game. I noticed the red dots of security rifles trained at my chest. The move stood, and the targeting lasers vanished. The dealer looked nervous and several players started to argue and try to cover side bets on my winning to mitigate their possible losses, but since most had bet against me with the house, there were not really any takers. A crowd had gathered, and that made me nervous. I didn't like the extra scrutiny, as I wasn't sure I had come into possession of the chips in a completely up and up way. I really wanted to lose them and get out of here.
              I studied the board. Instead of putting up a defense, the dealer chose to press his advantage, after all, there were only three moves left in the session. I moved one of my few defenders out to place his tower in check (not kings in this version.) The crowd craned to see the board, so the casino brought it up on a holographic display above the pit. I glanced up to see the board, and both of us, five times larger than life. I gave my attention back to the board, certain that my next and probably last move could not be prevented. I wasn't positive, but I felt that using another obscure rule, one involving the swapping of a pair of pieces, that I would actually be in a position where I had as much threat on my opponent as he had on me. I figured it would come down to the calculations of the croupiers to determine the actual standing at the end of the round.
              My opponent made a move that seemed random to me.
              I blinked, shook my head. The crowd grew silent. I reached for a piece that seemed locked in place, and swapped it for a much less powerful piece, but one that directly threatened his tower.
              The dealer looked at the board in shock. Red analysis line were projected onto the board and the threatened tower was shown to have been actually mated, the random seeming move had discarded his only blocking move. Low expressions of awe flowed into the pit from the gathered crowd. I comforted the dealer, “New players sometimes play so oddly that random chance comes into the game. Thank you for the game.”
              The croupiers indicated that I had the option of buying into the dealer's seat, but I really didn't want it. I took my winnings, and tipped the dealer the standard percentage, and then tossed in the last few K of my “tainted” chips as a thank you. The player immediately bought his way back into the dealer's seat with the extra chips, his translation device telling me that he would forward a percentage of his winnings, or pay me back in full.
              “Thank you, that won't be necessary, I've learned a valuable lesson from you.” I grabbed a waiter and bought everyone in the pit a round. I climbed out of the jungle smelling pit, using a vine to haul myself up to the casino floor.
              I found that I suddenly had lots of new “friends” on my way to the cashier. All told I had quadrupled my stake.
              I grabbed one of the “escorts” for a dinner date, choosing one of the less high class looking ones so we wouldn't stand out too much and used her presence as an excuse to slip quietly out of the casino. She did accompany me to dinner, where I paid her full night rate, but explained that I just needed her company until I could get back to my boat. She had the grace to appear disappointed and was such an accomplished actress that I almost had to believe it.

              Later, I was back on earth, money safely invested and home and vehicles paid off. I was out on the ocean swimming when I heard a shout for help. I swam out to where SV was paddling around his overturned boat. He wanted help righting it, but even when we managed to get the thing righted, I pulled myself aboard and tried to bale out enough water to allow SV to get aboard. The back flaps kept opening up and letting water in. Even with the flaps closed, I realized there would never be room enough for two of us, the displacement was barely enough to float me. We righted it again and this time I did it without getting in. We still couldn't keep the back flaps closed and the cardboard boat was becoming water logged to the point that I was concerned that it wouldn't hold its shape. For some reason only the outside of the cardboard boat had a waterproof coating.
              “Look, I swam all the way out here, we can just swim back.”
              “I can't abandon the boat. I can't swim that far. There are probably sharks...” SV carried on while swimming along behind me. I had all ready slowly headed back to my beach, disguising my motion as righting the cardboard boat one more time. I tipped it up so the open end was out of the water.
              “Just hold on to the front here, the extra floatation should help us make it to shore, especially with both of us pulling.” I grabbed the bow line and began to swim in earnest for the shore, towing the boat with SV swimming right along side the boat, keeping the open end out of the water.

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, November 13, 2009

Ant Farm

        Been a long couple of weeks. N has been in for surgery and is recovering. (Delivered up a 1.5 pound Freddy The Benign Fibroid with no complications.) Lots of dreams but no time to write them down. It is quiet for the moment so I am going to dash this one out.

        I was in the wood-panel and velvet walled house in the Dream city. (The one that crosses two short downtown blocks.) I was remembering an essay Id read one time where the writer was complaining about how sad the ant farm shed ordered in the mail was. The ants that were shipped didnt include a queen, so the colony was destined to die after just a few short weeks. What had triggered this thought is that I was removing some large red ants, and their little dirt cone like structures, from a sliding window frame. I thought about putting them in a glass showcase in the front hall, but realized I didnt want to go digging around for their queen.

Somehow that got me thinking about what if people in the city were like an ant farm.

        The queen arrived in the mail (Not sure how that worked.) She was all ready pregnant, and soon delivered quadruplets. Shortly after she was pregnant again and delivered more children. This was a human-like woman, delivering quick growing human-like children. I was struggling to find enough diapers for them, fortunately there was a baby supplies delivery service, though they must have thought it weird that I was suddenly ordering baby supplies for dozens of children all at once. As they grew I found that I had to lock up my walk in refrigerator.

The sudden population boom was creepy and only got more so when burglars broke in and soon found themselves swarmed by babies with mandibles. I had quite the time separating the burglars from their attackers, as I didnt want to hurt the babies. I only momentarily thought about letting the ant babies eat the intruders, but decided I really didnt want them developing a taste for human flesh, seeing as how I was one myself.

After I got the burglars into custody I decided I needed to have a talk with the queen about population control, and perhaps some sort of territory limit.

Ad astra per technica,