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Fermius Firefly

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

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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.

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.”
              “What?”
              “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.

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