John's Dreams

Axe Duel
The Blob
Cat Attack
Nuclear Attack by Dirigible
Water Blob Gun
Giant Electronic Brain
Reptillian Invaders
Shooting Rampage
St. Louis Sunrise
Rampaging Crocodiles
Tunnel Chase
Spider Hallucination
Falling Elevator
Struck by Lightning
Gargantuan Cockroach
Ancient Hyperintelligence
Memory Loss
Leg Zit
Nanotech Bomb
Organ Replacement
Blowing Off Fingers
Child Supergenius
Tipping Skyscraper
Dead John
Creeping Darkness
Radioactive Knife
Incinerated John
Choking Newborn
Reservoir Drowning
At The End of the Universe
Nuclear War
Peeling the Planet
Destruction of the Universe
Gray Goo
The Sun Goes Out
More Gray Goo
Beach Dynamite
Atomic Firecrackers
Nitrating the Stadium
Building a Missile
Low Tide
More Flying
Glowing Apples
Octopedal Robot
Neptune Shadow Diffraction
Flat Tire
Hardware Order
Future Transport
DVD Tree
DEC Arcology
Heroin with Dan and Jade
Giant Waves
Henry Spencer
Giant Bug for Dinner
Remote Controlled Car
Eating Embryonic Lenses
Interview with God
Reed Switch Bug
[ general ] Message 10408 Fri Aug 9 1991 1:47am
From: Zaphod, Fugitive Galactic Prez (spcecdt@ucscb)
Subject: Larry tried to kill me with an axe.

I don't quite remember how it started. People were trying to kill me with axes. I remember my encounter with Larry most vividly. He was good with his axe. Also, he and all the other bad guys (Matthew, Qarin, Tim, etc.) had the power to cause things they suggested to me to happen for me (I think they only existed in my personal reality so they weren't in any danger from their suggestions). So while I was axe-dueling with Larry they were all suggesting horrible monsters and things to me and I had to kill the things they suggested to me while fending off Larry.

But, eventually I developed some technique for resisting their suggesting so I was able to concentrate on Larry. I finally got him. My axe bit into his flesh, again and again. It was the one that I used to rip up parts of the Echo house. He must have very strong bones, because I wasn't able to chop off any body parts; my axe kept bottoming out when it hit his bones. The sensation was like chopping vegetables on a cutting board. CHWOCK! CHWOCK! I sliced him all over. Oddly, I don't recall him ever saying "don't CUT me man!"

I finally killed him. He wasn't terribly bloody but pieces of his body hung loosely from each other. I left him upstairs. I think we might have been at the Echo house. Downstairs, Tim was cooking. It occurred to someone that Tim could probably revive Larry, what with being an EMT and all, and it looked like Tim was going to try it. But then he was distracted by his cooking and forgot about Larry, so he remained dead.

Many other strange things happened. They fade in my mind. I'll probably be trusting them all again in no time.

[ general ] Message 24035 Tue Aug 18, 1992 2:49pm
From: Zaphod, Fugitive Galactic Prez (johnd@scoke.sco.COM)
Subject: fun furn

We were at the main beach of my home town last night, Lover's Point Beach (actually short for Lovers of Jesus Point, a legacy of the city's origin as a religious retreat). I was there, as were Dan (crisper) and Katherine (brie), and perhaps others. We were setting off fireworks. The tide was coming in. Dan grinned at me wickedly and handed me matches and a bundle of three sticks of dynamite. One of them was all prepped with blasting cap and fuse. The thought briefly passed through my mind that perhaps I shouldn't do this, but the desire to blow a gaping hole in the beach was overpowering. I had trouble lighting it with the wind and water everywhere, and the police ready to pounce on us with their helicopters, but...

[ Dream ] Message 235 Mon Oct 11, 1993 4:57pm
From: zzzzzzzzz
Subject: Westworld

I had a looong dream, none of which I remember except the end. The end took place in something like Westworld (no, I didn't just see it). I was being chased by Yul Brynner (sp!). Somehow I defeated him. He was on his back, and to put him permanently out of commission I had to put a long wooden stake through his abdomen. He wasn't a vampire or anything, I just happened to have the stake handy and it would do the job.

Before I put the stake through him, he transformed into a quite lovely female (this was reeeaaal transformation for him, believe me). I put the stake through her anyway. As I did so, she screamed EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!! For some reason (perhaps because she was an android) this reminded me of the way that a particular type of boot failure makes my UNIX system print EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE across the screen. I found this so terribly hilarious that I laughed and laughed as the android twitched and managed to laugh myself awake.

Now I can't help but wonder if the androids in Westworld run UNIX.

[ Dream ] Message 266 Wed Oct 27, 1993 12:23pm
From: zzzzzzzzz
Subject: beep

Someone had chopped down a totem pole belonging to a tribe. The person had then been informed that this was a real bad idea, because the tribe wouldn't take kindly to having its totem chopped down. So he was busily trying to reconstruct it out of ice. It was terribly cold, so he was applying water to the stump of the totem and forming it into a replica of the chopped-down part as it froze.

But he was too late. A vast hoard of aboriginal types suddenly swarmed out of the brush, all carrying spears. A very Indiana Jones-ish scene. They closed in on us. The guy who had chopped down the totem tried to impress them by doing some wacky dance. They ignored him. But just before they reached us, a loud, repetitive beeping broke out. They stopped cold, and looked about for its source. It turned out to be the digital watch on the wrist of the leader of the expedition. He held up his wrist. BEEP BEEP BEEP. They all spontaneously knelt down in awe.

I woke up and hit the damn snooze button.

[ Dream ] Message 382 Fri Dec 3, 1993 2:36pm
From: zzzzzzzzz
Subject: this morning

I went with Bela and Irene to tour a vast, arcology-like DEC facility and look at various things they manufactured, particularly their large-scale phone switching equipment which we were considering buying for the Armory. They were very nice. I was surprised that they let us wander around without supervision.

[ ZaP! ] Message 50 Mon Sept 5, 1994 5:12am
From: Space Cadet (spcecdt@deepthought)
Subject: a few nights ago

The blob was bright orange. As in most of my dreams about it, it was vast and thin, covering many square Km of the land, and ever expanding. In this case, it was so large that its edge, the one that was traveling toward us, might as well have been straight. It stretched from horizon to horizon. The only thing we could do was flee.

I was with Ford in Corsair. We were driving down a road in a wooded area, and it was coming up behind us... featureless, amorphous, enveloping everything. It wasn't traveling especially fast, but Corsair wasn't doing very well, so it was gaining. We were accelerating, but very very slowly. Ford said "Give me some speed, John!". Since I couldn't do anything to give Corsair more power, I took this to be a request to unburden it, so I jumped out and ran. I ran fast, and left Corsair behind.

I looked behind me, and saw Ford and Corsair still accelerating, but not fast enough. The thin sheet of blob crept up behind Corsair, and slid under its rear wheels even as they turned. It looked like Ford was a goner. And me too, since it was gaining on me, though not as fast.

But even with its rear wheels on the apparently-slick blob, Corsair was still accelerating, and before the blob had reached the front wheels, Ford and his machine pulled away. They reached me, and I jumped on board.

Alas, it occurred to me that having wheels grind into it must have flung bits of blob about. This was a bad thing to think because it made it have-happened. From out of various holes in Corsair oozed Tang-orange tendrils of blob. They became long and thin, and swayed about searching for we morsels... and then the ends of the tendrils metamorphosed into the form of the head of Alecto, Irene's recently acquired quite-orange albino Korn snake.

This was just too ridiculous, so I saved my bacon by bailing out of my dream. I hope Ford managed to escape somehow too.

→ Dan's Blob Dream
[ Dream ] Message 1048 Sat Nov 19, 1994 10:54pm
From: zzzzzzzzz
Subject: i dreamt

that I was at the End of the Universe. Like in the Hitchhiker's Guide, except that there was no restaurant there. Just me. It was really quite spectacular. In the end, I was engulfed, but I didn't mind. I felt privileged to be there and see it all. Having died, I woke up feeling good.

[ whine ] Message 27624 Sat June 17, 1995 2:16pm
From: Zaphod, Galactic Prez (spcecdt@deepthought)
Subject: since yam:dream node is down, and we're talking about mike

A heinous dream I had last night:

Carny came out from Colorado to visit, bringing with him his latest creation: a powdery substance that could turn an enormous volume of water into fuming nitric acid. We made a vat of it and brought it to a huge stadium in which a football game was taking place, and proceeded to nitrate everything - the players, the crowd, the stadium, the hotdogs, everything. We somehow did this without anyone noticing. Then we kicked back and watched the fun. Apparently nitrated humans are both temperature and shock sensitive, because all sorts of things were setting them off. A couple of football players slam into each other... BLAM! Someone tries to light a cigarette... KABLOOIE! People were going off all over the place. Finally Mike & I decided we'd better leave because eventually someone was going to set off the stadium. They did. It was glorious.

[ Dream ] Message 1287 Wed Aug 9, 1995 8:53am
From: zzzzzzzzz
Subject: urgh

I was going to turn a spigot on, for some reason that I forget. It was the middle of the night, and very dark out. I turned into the grassy space between two buildings, where the spigot was. It was really dark there; inky blackness. But, I knew where the spigot was. I walked to where it should be, and reached down to turn the handle. Near the ground, my hand encountered something warm and sticky, with a strange texture. I felt it, trying to figure out what it was. Suddenly, it clicked. It was a head, caved in and bloody. Somehow I was sure it was a woman's. I was overwhelmed by a sense of being threatened. I ran.

[ Dream ] Message 1673 Mon Oct 21, 1996 2:42am
From: zzzzzzzzz
Subject: strangeness this morning

I was dreaming this morning when something woke me up. I looked over at the sheet that hangs in front of our closet. There was a huge crablike insect crawling up the sheet on the opposite (closet) side. Like a big pasty white spider with short legs. I couldn't see it directly since it was on the other side of the sheet, but I could tell from the effect that it had on the sheet roughly what it was. I leapt up and went over to examine it. I watched it approach the top of the sheet. It was revolting. I don't usually kill spiders, but something about this one made me want to exterminate it. So, I flipped the sheet around, intending to smack it (with what? I don't know).

It wasn't there when I flipped the sheet. I was wondering whether it had fallen into the heap at the bottom of the closet when it occurred to me that what I saw might not have actually been there. I wasn't wearing my contacts, and with my uncorrected vision it's really unlikely that I could have seen the kind of detail I remembered from the distance I had been. After being weirded out by it for a bit I decided that it must have been some kind of hallucination, maybe brought on by having awakened from a dream. But when I went back to sleep, I scootched over to the far side of the bed...

[ Dream ] Message 2155 Tue April 14, 1998 12:26pm
From: zzzzzzzzz
Subject: for carny

A snippet...
We lived in a huge warehouse-like building. There were cats all over the place. Mean ones. I didn't like them. One of them attacked me and clamped its jaws on my right index finger. It didn't actually embed its teeth in me; more like wrapped its front teeth around my finger. But I wasn't going to stand for that. I started swinging it around and whacking it against every solid object in sight, particularly large slabs of concrete. Wham! Wham! Wham! At some point it turned out that it was actually a rabbit on my finger. That was even more annoying... a rabbit attacking me! I slammed it with renewed vigor. It eventually lost much of its internal structure, and became more red than white, but was still attached to my finger.
The end.

[ Dream ] Message 21 Mon June 8, 1998 3:03pm
From: zzzzz
Subject: dream fragment

We were supposed to nuke some Japanese city. Instead of a single bomb, we had five small ones, which were all set to go off at slightly different times, which is silly because we were delivering them all on a single dirigible. We brought it into place high over the city, then dropped down on ropes (which must've been darned long) to escape. I ran, expecting the bombs to go off at any moment. I ducked behind a structure to try to hide from the thermal pulse. One or more of the bombs detonated. The overpressure wave hit me. I was knocked unconscious. The end.

[ Dream ] Message 47 Thu July 16, 1998 3:21pm
From: zzzzz
Subject: dream

I was in a military space corps. We were on shore leave, at some facility set up for R&R. One of the games involved squirting each other with water using highly capable water-projecting weapons. I created a new weapon that instead shot ping-pong-ball size water blobs at high velocity. It was very effective.

Gosh, it sure is hot. When's Darkwater gonna have another water war?

[ Dream ] Message 111 Mon Nov 23, 1998 4:34pm
Subject: dream snippet

Standing on the night side of Neptune (yeah, I know), looking up into deep space, which was illuminated by the sun due to (I think) an excess of interstellar dust. And up there were 12 holes in the illumination, of varying darkness, caused by diffractive interaction of the shadows of Neptune and some other planet.

[ Dream ] Message 38 Wed April 28, 1999
From: jhdiii
Subject: oooh!

Excellent dream :)

It reminds me of one I had when I was a kid. I popped a zit on my leg and pus started flowing out. I squeezed it and more came out. I squeezed and squeezed and an unending stream of this revolting crud drained out of the hole and spread across the floor. Eventually, my leg started to wither away, and it continued to do so as the discharge proceeded until it was just a wrinkled withered sack wrapped around my leg bone. It was terribly embarrassing.

[ Dream ] Message 91 Fri May 14, 1999
From: jhdiii
Subject: classic elevator dream

We get in the elevator, near the top of a fantastically tall building, meaning to travel to the very top. The elevator starts heading down instead of up. Faster... faster... then there's a loud noise that I know is the elevator completely disengaging. I'm barely held to the floor. I lie on my back and rest my head on my hands to cushion it when the collision comes, knowing that there is very little chance I'll survive.

Someone slams the front door. Lucky me.

[ Dream ] Message 187 Thu July 29, 1999
From: jhdiii
Subject: wow

I didn't grow up thinking there was a significant chance of all-out nuclear war. I did have a nuclear dream once, though, maybe because I read loads and loads about nuclear weapon technology and defense and the politics of it and such.

Missiles were on their way, and we fled the city. We hid in a large, empty building with a single incandescent lamp overhead. Suddenly the bulb flashed and burned out. I knew it was caused by the EMP from a nearby bomb blast, and the radiation must be lancing through me, unfelt, at that very moment, and the shock wave would arrive soon.

[ Dream ] Message 216 Fri Aug 20, 1999
From: jhdiii
Subject: snippet

I had replaced a flat tire on my truck with my spare, which consisted of a small, inflatable enameled tin cup. It seemed to be running low. I stopped at a compressor and asked Ken Schwartz what pressure I should inflate the cup to. He suggested 9 PSI.

[ Dream ] Message 373 Fri Feb 11, 2000
From: jhdiii
Subject: forum discussion->dream

Last night, crisper and jade were in the cab of my truck with me, directing me through the streets of some strange hilly city to a place where we would all shoot up with heroin. A cop started following me, which worried me because the registration on the truck had expired and I think we may have had the heroin in the cab with us, but they weren't concerned and indeed I wasn't pulled over. Everything after that has faded. Hmmm.

[ Dream ] Message 394 Tue Feb 29, 2000
From: jhdiii
Subject: last night

I was struck by lightning. It leapt out of my feet, scorching them badly, but the only permanent damage was to my right ring toe, which was utterly incinerated; nothing left but a crispy matte black stub of charcoal. I was glad that the damage had been done to a part of my body I could live without.

[ Dream ] Message 453 Fri March 24, 2000
From: jhdiii
Subject: another early dream

I remember flying down our spiral staircase, arms outstretched.

For a long time, I was pretty darn convinced that I had done that, and sometimes could barely restrain myself from leaping down the stairs to fly again. But there was just enough edge of doubt to stop me, which is a good thing, because the stairs were made, IIRC, from heavy, sharp steel forms filled with concrete.

[ Dream ] Message 496 Tue April 11, 2000
From: jhdiii
Subject: yeesh

Dreamt that I ordered a bunch of big-ol' hardware (large nuts and bolts and other stuff), and when it arrived it was in the form of a big slab of steel an inch thick and maybe 2' x 3', with the parts mostly milled out of this sheet, but still attached to it, and also with huge curved shavings of steel hanging off of them.

[ Dream ] Message 611 Tue June 6, 2000
From: jhdiii
Subject: so

After traversing the meandering concrete skyways of SF last Saturday, I dreamt that I was traveling along some futuristic transport system, which consisted of endless troughlike body-slides that ran for thousands of miles and were periodically tied together in huge looping interchanges like great Gordian knots. I somehow took a wrong turn and ended up on an unfinished offramp, which resulted in my doing a high speed face-plant into a dead end.

[ Dream ] Message 745 Fri Dec 8, 2000
From: jhdiii
Subject: this morning

Huge waves were rolling in over Ocean View Boulevard in Pacific Grove (which runs next to the ocean, but high enough that only a tsunami would actually reach it). At first the tips of the waves just barely reached the road, but they came higher and higher until they were flowing over it.

I have this dream about the waves & that road every once in a while, enough that I'd swear it had had happened if I didn't know it couldn't. But this time, I was in my grandmother's house (on Ocean View Blvd), on the second floor, where there was a big picture window facing the ocean (where there isn't actually, nor a big room like we were in for that matter). The waves rose and rose until I saw a huge one coming in, taller than the house. I was sure it would crash through the window and tried to get everyone away from it. But the window held somehow as the wave rolled over the house. A big gush of it poured down the chimney and out the fireplace that also doesn't exist on that floor.

At this point I decided that it was time to go get my camera, so I left the house, probably to head over to my parents' ex-house where I suppose my camera would be. This of course means walking down Ocean View Blvd, not such a wise move. Another wave came and washed me down the street. I grabbed a gate and held on for dear life so I wouldn't be swept out to sea. My brother Laurence saw this and tried to come rescue me, but he too was caught by the waves, and ended up holding onto the same gate as I. Somehow none of this seemed particularly frightening - the waves were awesome and I was enjoying seeing them, just mildly concerned about being towed into the sea and worried that I might not get pictures of the waves before they ended.

[ Dream ] Message 804 Fri Jan 26, 2001
From: jhdiii
Subject: lovely dream this morning

I was a kid again, reliving the days when we'd occasionally get hold of a pack of firecrackers, disassemble it into individual crackers, and then try to figure out how to set each of them off without our parents hearing them.

Except that what I had was a pack of atomic bombs. Firecracker size, but full yield. It could only have been more perfect if the label had declared them to be Little Boy or Fat Man brand. I didn't get as far as setting any of them off, because our problem turned out to be a difficult one, as we gradually concluded after discarding one scheme after another. Burying a nuke under a pile of dirt scooped up with your hand just doesn't cut it, nor does the old cracker-in-a-tin-can-inverted-in-another-can-of-water trick.

But I can still taste the anticipation. It was truly something to savor.

[ Dream ] Message 808 Sat Feb 3, 2001
From: jhdiii
Subject: oops

This morning, I accidentally triggered an alien mechanism and set off an explosion destined to ultimately propagate throughout the entire universe, destroying everything.

Fortunately, Irene woke me up at a point at which only a few star systems had been annihilated.

[ Dream ] Message 818 Sun Feb 18, 2001
From: jhdiii
Subject: like peeling an orange

Dreamt that a powerful alien civilization came across our world, and decided that we were sufficiently developed that it was time for us to go out on our own and leave the main body of our planet behind. They or we - I forget which - set up force fields over the continents to contain the atmosphere, and gravity generators to replace the natural gravitation of the planet, and then they peeled the continents off of Earth and sent them off into space to fend for themselves. Humankind was not in favor of this, but we were powerless to stop them. Their idea was that the planet would grow new continents, and new species would eventually colonize them, and a new civilization would arise, and eventually they'd do the same thing to that one, too. This was their way of increasing the civilization-producing capacity of the limited number of planets available.

[ Dream ] Message 878 Mon April 9, 2001
From: jhdiii
Subject: last night

I parked in a dirt parking lot outside the library and then spent a while having wild and wacky adventures inside. Among other things, I found that an automated system was logging use of the card catalog to keep track of lookups. When I left, I found just the antenna of my truck poking out from the mud. The mud was eventually washed away by the river, but I then found that the mud pressure had crushed my truck into a sort of trapezoid shape.

[ Dream ] Message 886 Fri April 13, 2001
From: jhdiii
Subject: this morning

I was at a school (I think it was a Mormon school, probably thanks to Dan's pictures yesterday). I was supposed to be swimming, but couldn't remember the number to the combination lock on my locker, or for that matter what my locker number was, so instead I was lying on a bed reflecting on the sorry state of my memory. A gargantuan cockroach edged into my view on the ceiling. It was about two feet across, and had a complex but perfectly radially symmetric carapace. It came to a point in the center - only moderately sharp, but quite large. As it edged toward the region of ceiling directly overhead, I began to worry that it would fall off and skewer me (it appeared quite massive), and my obit would say that I was stabbed to death by a cockroach. But I was saved by my alarm.

[ Dream ] Message 1040 Mon Dec 24, 2001
From: jhdiii
Subject: this morning

I was still living with my parents. A nonexistent ex had stopped by. We had lived together at some time in the past, and divided joint property up when we broke up, and she had come by and dropped a bunch of stuff off that it turned out she didn't want after all. I was trying to find places for it all. But the main feature of this dream was that while I was doing this, Henry Spencer came by to visit. He wandered around checking out my electronics lab while I worked.

I've only actually met him once, several years ago.

[ Dream ] Message 1053 Thu Jan 31, 2002
From: jhdiii
Subject: this morning

I was at the Lovers' Point Beach in Pacific Grove, taking pictures. I noticed that the tide was particularly low (as low as I'd ever seen it). I hadn't known that it was going to be low, so this made me happy. I wandered around for a while, then headed up on the pier, where I couldn't see the water. When I came back, I was shocked - the tide had receded far, far out into the bay, perhaps 1000'. I had no idea what was going on, but it was amazing to see that much sea floor exposed. I started taking pictures, trying to capture the astounding scene as best I could. As I did so, the ocean began to rush in, and within a couple of minutes was back to its normal height.

[ Dream ] Message 1063 Sat March 2, 2002
From: jhdiii
Subject: this morning

Ford, Evan and I were building a two-stage liquid-fueled ICBM with a non-nuclear but explosive warhead, to exact some sort of terrible vengeance. Evan was worried that the construction noise would wake Ben up.

[ Dream ] Message 1104 Sat April 27, 2002
From: jhdiii
Subject: at work this morning

DVB showed me the latest result of research his department was conducting. He held out his hand and showed me seeds for a tree that would produce DVD players as fruit. They looked like the burnt cracked kernels that are left after making popcorn.

[ Dream ] Message 1157 Wed July 31, 2002
From: jhdiii
Subject: last night

We had traveled back in time to what should have been a prehistoric period, but found the remains of a civilization. Our archaeological work awakened something the people of this civilization had created. It was a vaguely robot-like, but really more of a mobile hyperintelligent construct. Apparently these people had had many such around toward the end of their time. The machine was advanced enough that its means of locomotion were not obvious, and though it did not seem hostile, we had no insight into its vast and subtle thought processes. At first it did whatever we asked of it, but as its mind worked, it grew to consider us irrelevant. Later it determined that it needed us for some unknowable purpose, and directed us to follow it. We did as it instructed, because it was of such overawing power. We were bugs, with buglike minds, being ordered around by a being whose purposes we couldn't comprehend. It was not comfortable. I was glad when I woke up. Or when it usurped my experience of reality...

[ Dream ] Message 1161 Sat Aug 10, 2002
From: jhdiii
Subject: weird dream

A bunch of us went out to a house where some people were doing some strange rocket stuff. I went with Bela in his car. I remember that one of the rockets had a nose cone consisting of a conical spiral nichrome heating element with fins embedded in the wire. The element wasn't being used for heating; it was just convenient to use it as something to embed the fins in, up there on the nose.

We then headed back from this place to my parents' (previous) house. We were driving down Central Avenue in Pacific Grove, with Bela at the wheel again and me in the passenger seat. I noticed some sort of strange thing happening over on the left side of the road - there was a huge bunch of helium balloons, with person-like things being dragged under them, bouncing around. Or maybe they were bouncing because all of them had just fallen out of a vehicle - I couldn't tell. I also couldn't quite tell whether they were people or dummies. I decided on the latter as we drove past them and I returned my attention to the road.

It was then that I noticed that I was in the left-hand seat. I appeared to be driving, but this was so jarring that I wasn't quite sure. I looked to my right, and there was Liz. Just to be sure that it wasn't me over there, I asked her who was in the passenger seat, and she said "Liz". I asked her who was driving, and she said I was, and seemed to find this question just a little bit odd, but not very. I asked where Bela was, she said he was in the back seat, which he was. So I continued driving, with my mind in turmoil, and got us back to my parents' house.

There I asked a few more questions, and it turned out that it was the day after we had gone to see the people with the rockets, and Bela had gone to some medical center because he was having vision problems, and I had picked him up in his car since his eyes were still screwed up. So it seemed that I lost my memory of an entire day. Erased. I thought about it and came to some sort of conclusion involving that part of my memory being weak, and then short-circuited by the similarity of the scene as I drove down the street in Pacific Grove. On the whole I found it highly disturbing, and was not a happy camper for the rest of the dream, and was very happy when I woke up.

[ Dream ] Message 1172 Sat Nov 2, 2002
From: jhdiii
Subject: tasty

I brought down a gigantic insect with a harpoon. Then the nine of us - all of the constituents of our unnamed geek house as well as those of Omino - fed upon it, and it was good, as we were hungry.

This may have something to do with the Jerusalem cricket I saw on the sidewalk the other day.

[ Dream ] Message 1212 Mon Feb 17, 2003
From: jhdiii
Subject: ack

Watched the gray goo spread over the planet.
Ran hither and thither trying to avoid it.
Eventually watched as it consumed me, from the feet up.

[ Dream ] Message 1253 Fri May 2, 2003
From: jhdiii
Subject: ack

I had to build a steam engine out of waxed paper cups in order to escape from the island I was marooned on.

[ Dream ] Message 1255 Sat May 3, 2003
From: jhdiii
Subject: ow ow ow

I fell through the roof of a cave of some sort, and rather improbably there were nettle-like plants all over the bottom, so I ended up with my hands covered in nettle hairs. As I considered the situation with some despair - there was no way I was going to get all of these things out of my hands - it morphed into something worse. It turned out that it wasn't tiny hair-like needles in my hands, but rather full-size cactus-like hard spines, with a difference: each spine had on its end a barbed J-hook, like a fishing hook but with a smaller J (just a few millimeters across the hook). And they weren't all over my hands, but rather there was just one in each finger tip. Unfortunately due to the barb it was absolutely impossible to remove them.

I was advised that those who end up with these hooks embedded in their bodies have to simply leave them in until they are expelled from the flesh, like a splinter. I was somewhat resigned to this fate, but decided to stop by the emergency room just in case there was something they could do for me. A doctor there looked at my fingers and told me that they could probably cut slits in each fingertip to allow the hooks to be removed. They were preparing to perform this surgery...

[ Dream ] Message 1261 Fri May 30, 2003
From: jhdiii
Subject: apocalypse

There were only three of us at home - Mike, Phil, and I. We had heard that a teleportation device was going to be tested somewhere in the Nevada desert. There was speculation that it would produce a tiny seismic disturbance, and someone had created a web application that would show any such event. As the time approached, Mike sat in front of a table in the Armory's upper living room (just to the side of front door) with his laptop running the application. I stood behind him, watching. A hairline cross showed the location at which it was believed that the test would occur. The front door was open, and Phil was out front - I think he may have gotten the ludicrous notion in his head that he would be able to see something from this far away, though it wasn't going to involve an explosion or anything. The teleportation mechanism was large and wasn't supposed to be destroyed in the test.

Finally the time reached zero, and on the screen a faint irregular ring spread outward from the cross. The test had done something, anyway. We wondered what it would mean for us if it had actually worked. Then, unexpectedly, another, more intense ring spread out from the cross. And out front, Phil gave a shout - he had seen something, a faint flicker to the east. Apparently they had done another test, this one so spectacular that it had been visible from many hundreds of miles away. I went out front and gazed eastward, thinking that they might do yet another. They did - and this was no flicker. The horizon lit up, then dimmed away. I was amazed, awed, and happy that I had been able to see this. To think of the energy that must have been released! I wasn't worried; I assumed that everything must be going according to plan. After all, if these tests were destructive the apparatus would have been destroyed.

But then there was another, even bigger. Everything lit up, not just the horizon. I began to wonder. This seemed strange, one test after another, each exponentially more powerful than the former. When the next flash came, bright enough to be painful even through closed eyes and warm enough to feel, I wasn't surprised, and for the first time I was a bit worried. What if this wasn't intentional? Something went wrong, and now it's growing out of control? I didn't want to see any more. I went back inside, and watched the windows light up. I hoped it would stop soon - but it didn't. When the beams of light poured through the windows and lit up the room achingly bright, I finally imagined what was going on far to the east. This wasn't the way it was meant to be, so it was probably being immensely destructive. Titanic explosions. Vast chunks of Nevada volatilized and blown off into space. If there weren't mountains in the way, who knows what we'd have seen.

I tried to find a spot as far as possible from any windows, because the light hurt. The explosions came again and again, each more powerful than the last, and I huddled inside waiting for it to end. I didn't want to think about the possibility that it wasn't going to. Then when everything lit up, I felt warm, not just outside but inside. I knew that this was radiation coursing through me. X-rays, gamma rays, neutrons, maybe all of them, but something that could penetrate the house. There was nowhere to hide from it. With each cycle, the flash of internal heat became greater. Painless, but ominous. Part of my mind told me that any amount of radiation that could produce heating like that was certainly fatal, while the irrationally optimistic part told me that no, somehow I was going to survive this. Somehow. But the rational part was winning. Even as I clung to the idea of survival, I became depressed.

It got brighter and brighter until the flashes of light were searing my eyeballs even through the walls, and everything else faded away. Just me, the walls, the light, and my imagination. By now I imagined that the Earth itself must be ripping open, and the shock waves would reach us soon. One foolish experiment, and humanity had brought an end not only to itself but to the entire planet. I now accepted that I was going to be dead, probably very soon. The light closed in around me.

Brighter, and brighter.

[ Dream ] Message 1311 Wed Dec 10, 2003
From: jhdiii
Subject: this was a dream

Irene's car had some sort of problem. I needed to get it to a mechanic, but I also needed my truck so that I could get to work. So I quickly modified the car with servo controls for the steering, clutch, brake, accelerator, and gearshift, and put a complex remote control center for all of them in my truck.

Then I headed off to the auto shop, with her car trailing me. Operating the remote control while I was driving my own vehicle was extremely difficult. I kept having to pull over so I could get her car out of some sticky situation. When I got into traffic it got worse. Finally, inevitably, my poor handling of the car initiated a huge accident. People died, and it was all my fault, because what I had been doing was stupid, illegal, and indefensible. I got that wretched sinking feeling that comes from an oh-shit-this-is-as-bad-as-it-gets situation.

Then I woke up. I remember thinking, "gee, I should be feeling an immense wave of relief that it was all a dream", but I didn't. The dream-situation just disappeared without the wave-of-relief being part of the process.

[ Dream ] Message 1329 Sat Dec 27, 2003
From: jhdiii
Subject: this morning

The Sun went out. Blink! Just like that. At first, everything was pitch black, but my eyes adjusted and the stars came out. There was one other person near me. We talked about it. I assumed that whatever had happened was permanent; the Sun wasn't coming back. I figured we had maybe a couple of days before the planet cooled down below survivable temperatures, and then we'd all be dead.

So, the question of what exactly had happened was rather academic, but I speculated anyway. It seemed obvious that this was not a natural phenomenon - stars don't just wink out. I had a feeling that there was some malign influence involved. Perhaps some alien beings had stolen our sun for their own use, or had shut it off as a means of destroying us.

I heard that there was chaos throughout the world, as the reality that this was The End sank in. People fell into despair or they rioted, planning to go out with a bang.

But then, just as suddenly and unexpectedly as it had gone out, the Sun came back, bright as ever. Now I really did wonder what had happened. My best guess was that something really big and moving very fast had passed near the Sun, temporarily eclipsing it. I was quite relieved, and was left with the awareness that there are greater things out there than I had dreamt of. Well, figuratively...

[ Dream ] Message 1338 Mon Jan 12, 2004
From: jhdiii
Subject: partial dream recollection

Someone set off a "dirty nanotech bomb", which dispersed some sort of nanotech virus. It infected a couple of hundred people, including me. I watched as strange blue streaks appeared on the skin of others, and then me. It was supposed to be pretty bad, but whatever the real badness was, it didn't show up immediately.

We were quarantined in a building. The authorities were trying to decide what to do with us, and they wanted our help in figuring that out. Unfortunately my only thought was to euthanize the lot of us. They were preparing to do that, and on the one hand I was kinda bummed about dying, but on the other I felt good about having come up with a solution to this dreadful problem.

Then something happened that broke the quarantine - maybe someone breaking us out. I was tempted to leave, since it would mean I didn't die soon, but the engineer in me was annoyed that my simple solution had been ruined, and everything was getting complicated again.

Fade out.

[ Dream ] Message 1343 Thu Feb 19, 2004
From: jhdiii
Subject: recent dreams

A while back, my liver and kidneys failed. There were no human organs available, so my liver had to be replaced with a sheep liver, and my kidneys with pig kidneys. The operation went well, and they were expected to work fine, but have shorter lives than the human versions.

Night before last, I was taking a calculus class taught by Irene's father. Irene reacted with appropriate horror when I related this nightmare to her.

Last night, I had some sort of chronic disease that required that I have a live-in nurse...

[ Dream ] Message 1351 Sat March 27, 2004
From: jhdiii
Subject: flying dreamz

ca. 1970: I fly down the spiral staircase that connected 3 levels of our house. No arm-flapping - I just stretched out my arms (which were small then, so I still fit within the radius of the staircase), launched myself down, and flew. For several years after that, I was pretty much convinced that I had done it, but when I stood looking down the staircase, with its steps made of huge steel forms filled with concrete, something made me hold off on launching. With each passing year I became less sure that I had actually done it.

Mid-70s: My father brings us out to Sand City to play on the tall, steep sand dunes. They're a lot of fun. We also play on the abandoned sand plant equipment. While we're there, I see my first hang gliders. They're barely able to get in the air - I gather that the equipment of the time was heavy and low-performance. Still, I wonder what it'd be like to be able to take to the air like that.

Mid-80s: My first really lucid dream. I want to fly, so I will myself to float up into the air. Beautiful. I have a couple of lucid dreams after this, but in both cases I'm unable to get myself up in the air.

Today: My first lucid dream in ages - maybe since that first set. I'm at the house I lived in from 1977-1986, on the top bunk of the steel-frame bunkbed I used for a time, and I'm being attacked by the blob (again). It engulfs my left arm. But I become aware that this is a dream, and I stop caring that it's enveloped my arm. In fact, I start punching it with my other arm. The thing pisses me off - it's a !$^&* '50s camp horror movie monster, and yet I've had 'way too many dreams about it. It's so liberating to be unafraid of it. I even start verbally taunting it. Ha-ha! Stupid blob! You bloated sack of protoplasm!

Later, I take a few running steps down a tall dune in Sand City, arms outstretched, and slip the surly bonds of Earth. I'm soaring with the seagulls. It's amazing. I'm up, up in the air, yet utterly unafraid; I feel as safe as when I'm on the ground. And perfectly lucid, aware of the sea breeze rushing past me, the tang of salt in the air, the calls of the gulls, the whitecaps ahead. It is quite unlike anything I've experienced before. Wow. I wish it could last forever, because my dreams fade so fast after I wake up. Which I imagine I'll be doing any time now.

[ Dream ] Message 1376 Tue June 15, 2004
From: jhdiii
Subject: ugh

Blew off two joints' worth of each of the two leftmost fingers of my left hand. Nuthin' but silly-looking stubs remaining. Main thing going through my head: damn, it's going to suck to type from now on.

[ Dream ] Message 1380 Wed June 23, 2004
From: jhdiii
Subject: this morning

Marc and Laura had another kid. We went to visit them when he was a couple of years old. I gradually realized that he was some sort of super-genius, already operating above average adult level intelligence and obviously destined to go far beyond that. He was clearly aware that he was smarter than most of those around him, and I got the impression that he thought they were even less intelligent because they mostly interacted with him as though he was a baby. Marc seemed to be aware of the situation and trying his best to ignore it. Next time we visited, the Child had developed to the point where he was acting his age - really acting. But I could tell that he had reached even greater intelligence. I left fervently hoping that he would end up with the best interests of the human race at heart, but also with a nagging feeling that I was being irrationally optimistic in that regard, because we were all likely to end up so far below him that he would have a hard time empathizing with us.

[ Dream ] Message 1385 Tue July 6, 2004
From: jhdiii
Subject: this morning

I found that a curious fad had developed: People began to pick lenses (of the photographic sort, as used on SLRs) off of lens trees before they had fully developed, so that they looked like lenses but were still soft and squishy enough to cut with a knife. They were being served as delicacies (like that Filipino dish that involves chicken embryos). I tried one and it tasted OK, but the fact that it was squishy and had obviously undeveloped features inside made it feel unpleasantly like eating a fetus.

[ Dream ] Message 1393 Thu Aug 19, 2004
From: jhdiii
Subject: this morning

I was a member of a race of nanobeings.

It turns out that there is enough Room at the Bottom to allow a being of approximately human intelligence to exist in the nanorealm. I had no memory of where our species had come from - whether we had been created or had evolved - but my body had a more mechanical than organic feel to it. A minimal, efficient structure for containing and maintaining my sentience, with a few effectors poking out here and there to interact with the physical world. A nanobot with a mind.

We had a fine, interstellar civilization going - with one problem. The gray goo, plague of our species! We were small enough that we weren't powerless against it; it could not easily consume us because we could individually destroy any gooon that attempted such. But it was even smaller than we were, and hardier for its simplicity, and it would spread and consume all energy and material resources, and fighting its spread always proved futile. It pushed us out of one star system after another. Somehow it always followed us wherever we went. The uber-kudzu of the nanoworld. We never did find a solution.

[ Dream ] Message 1396 Tue Aug 31, 2004
From: jhdiii
Subject: giant electronic brain

I was trapped in a humongous electronic computer/brain. It occupied several cubic miles, stretching as far as I could see in all dimensions. It was arranged as a three-dimensional lattice of neurons, with corridors between them. Bizarrely, each neuron, as near as I could tell, consisted of a seated person wielding a cord with a modular plug on the end. In order to form memories or any other persistent state, this plug would be moved by the operator (under some unknown influence) between the jacks in what looked like a big patch panel.

Despite its electronic nature, the whole operation really had more of the feel of an organic brain than a simple computer. The operators were part of it and subservient to the whole. It was self aware, and existed for its own purposes, and it knew that I was inside of it. It was quite inimical to me (perhaps it considered me an invading organism), and kept trying to home in on me with some sort of immunological response that travelled over the same cables that formed its nerves. Fortunately it was slow thinking, and I could tell when the immune agent was approaching me and move on.

What I really wanted to do was to escape from it, but I had no idea how to find my way out.

[ Dream ] Message 1400 Sat Sept 25, 2004
From: jhdiii
Subject: couple of dreams

Night before last:

I was on the top floor of a really big skyscraper, like the Sears Tower. There was nothing unusual about the construction of the building, but it had a problem in that it was just barely balanced. Everyone had to be very careful in the way that they moved around. Stepping away from near the center of the floor gave one the feeling that the building was about to tip over in that direction. I sat in an office chair, and felt reckless as I spun around in it, with even this slight movement producing at least the impression of dangerous swinging about of the building in concert with my rotation.

Last night:

I was dead. At least, presumably I was dead, because I was being processed for admission to heaven. I had no recollection of how I came to be in this state. I was in a large building on a mountainside, made of stone, sort of castle-like but not quite (no parapets or anything like that). I stood in line for a long while, and answered a few preliminary questions. I wasn't sure why they needed this information - surely they already had it?

Finally I was brought into an office for an interview with God - no minor functionaries for this critical evaluation! He had the form of an ordinary, fit looking man, maybe 50-60 years old. He wasn't overly kindly but seemed nice enough, and had a perpetual feeling of being slightly amused. He asked me a number of questions, none of which I remember. None of them was really pointed, but I had the definite impression that there was subtext to them, and that my answers really would tell God whether I should be admitted to heaven or not. As I answered, I tried to let my mind wander as little as possible, because underneath everything I was suppressing my general disbelief in anything of this sort. But if this, somehow, really was God I was talking to (and at this point I certainly didn't reject that possibility!) I didn't want Him picking up on my questioning of His very existence.

Finally we were done with my interview, and I was told that I would indeed be admitted to heaven. I was relieved and very slightly surprised, having been a nonbeliever for so long, but decided that He must have seen that regardless of that I'm a good person. I got in another line where I was given an Italian soda (except that they were out of one of the ingredients), and moved on.

[ Dream ] Message 1419 Wed Nov 17, 2004
From: jhdiii
Subject: urk

Irene and our unborn child were killed by reptillian alien invaders wielding machine guns last night. Very traumatic. As I held her body, crying, my sole thread of hope was the intimation I'd had that they might have the ability to "reset" time to an earlier point so that they could have the thrill of doing it all again, at which point I might be able to save her life.

[ Dream ] Message 1420 Fri Nov 26, 2004
From: jhdiii
Subject: Switch Bug

I was in my room at my parents' old house. It had a very large walk-in closet, which I used as my electronics laboratory. On the closet's door-jamb I had mounted a bare reed switch, presumably for some experiment or as part of an alarm. The type of reed switch I used looks like a thin tube of green glass with a stiff wire projecting out each end, and a couple of contacts inside visible through the glass.

As I was entering the closet, I noticed that there were two reed switches, side by side. Rather odd! Upon closer examination, I determined that the one on the right was not a reed switch at all, but was some sort of insect that looked so much like a reed switch that it was clearly not a coincidence that it was sitting next to this one. It almost seemed to have evolved to camouflage itself as a reed switch, though more likely it was either a fantastic coincidence or it had some ability to morph itself to blend into its environment, and had chosen to look like the thing it found on my door-jamb.

I stepped out into the room to get my camera to take a picture of this amazingly cool bug, but when I came back it had moved from sitting alongside the switch to perching below it, in line with the switch. Since I wanted a really close-up picture of bug and switch next to each other, I tried to induce it to move back up, but it freaked out and started skittering all over the place. Nothing I did got it back just where it was. Finally it leapt off of the wall and started swinging around on a piece of silk, like a spider. I got tangled up with it and it started walking along me on its "wires". I wondered whether it was dangerous. The end.

[ Dream ] Message 1439 Sun Jan 30, 2005
From: jhdiii
Subject: this morning

In some wooded land, a friend had discovered a type of apple that if crushed or shaken would glow brightly, like a lightstick. He gave one to me. I shook it and then gazed upon it in wonderment as it blazed at me. The friend led me through the forest to one of the apple trees. There was a whole branch of ripe apples, hanging low. I had an idea for something really cool to do with them.

Then Irene woke me up. Too bad - I'll never know what my plan was.

[ Dream ] Message 1443 Thu Feb 10, 2005
From: jhdiii
Subject: very bad dream

Dreamt that I made some sort of automatic feeding device for John. It involved a pool of formula or something in front of him. After setting him in this contraption I came back and found him tipped forward, with his face submerged in the pool. His face was deep purple, bloated, stiff, and shiny. I knew immediately that he was dead, and it was my stupidity that had killed him. I felt sick and started to freak out. Fortunately, before it went on too long, something clued me in that this might not be real. Would I really have something as careless and idiotic as that - at least, where my son was concerned? My suspicions regarding the nature of this reality quickly awakened me.

Either that, or drove me to escape into this dream world...

[ Dream ] Message 1458 Thu March 24, 2005
From: jhdiii
Subject: early this morning

I had a just-waking hallucination. Something woke me at around 5AM. The full moon beat mercilessly upon my hapless bedroom window. I stared at the curtain, annoyed at the hail of unprovoked photons assailing me and making it harder to get back to sleep. Then something started creeping up over the window, from the bottom. It was just... darkness. A formless void slowly obliterated the light, from the bottom up. The room went dim. Suddenly I wanted that light! O lunar luminance, forgive me my disparagement! Come back!

I thought for a brief time that it was a shadow or some trick of the eyes, but the irregular edge of darkness kept climbing the curtain. By the time the window was half covered, the void-thing had begun to really frighten me. I jumped up in bed in a panic and fumbled for the light. Finally I got it, and the blackth winked out under the cold radiance of a fluorescent lamp.

Later, when I put the light out, the moon was there to gently wash my window with its comforting phosphor gaze.

[ Dream ] Message 1467 Mon May 23, 2005
From: jhdiii
Subject: A Bad Dream

Irene and I had gone to some parklike place, possibly to see "America's Oldest Log Cabin". Irene wasn't with me at the moment, and I was walking along the side of a classroom-like building, which had a water fountain set into the side in between each pair of rooms. I was thinking about using one, but there was a man walking near me who was acting a bit strange, so I didn't stop. After we passed the building, I moved away from him but kept an eye on him.

Suddenly he pulled out a very homemade looking shotgun-like contraption, and started shooting people. I had no idea where Irene was, so I just ran, though I could never get far from him even though he was moving slowly and shooting people and didn't seem to be following me. Every couple of shots he had to stop and fiddle with his gun to reload it, presumably with shotgun shells. The mechanism looked like it involved rubber bands and such, probably inspired by my visit to the Police Museum in Memphis a couple of weeks ago, where they had some confiscated crude improvised guns on display.

Then I saw that Irene was sitting peacefully on the ground, not noticing this rampaging maniac shooting people, and he was moving in her direction, and he was closer to her than I was. I watched in horror as, in a moment, he aimed at her and fired, and she slumped over. He walked past her. I saw that he was heading for a tall chain-link fence with a gate on it, possibly a cage of sorts though I couldn't tell if it was closed on the other side. He walked through the gate and I slammed it closed and latched it. I was sure he couldn't open it even though the latch had no lock. I ran back to Irene. I thought she was still alive, though she wasn't moving and had a horrible shotgun wound.

I picked her up and she seemed light as a feather. I ran with her until I saw a policeman, strangely wearing a British-style bobby cap. I shrieked at him to call an ambulance. I laid her body down at his feet and looked for signs of life while I freaked out. I kept screaming at him to call an ambulance even though he probably already had. I felt like my head was going to explode. I had the urge to go back to the cage and find some way of killing the gunman, though I wasn't going to leave Irene, and the policeman would probably stop me in any case.

I woke up in a sweat and threw the covers off and listened to my heart pound.

[ Dream ] Message 1471 Thu May 26, 2005
From: jhdiii
Subject: Re(1468): ugh

Liz called me over to her house because something strange was going on with a kitchen knife she had. I walked into the kitchen and saw that it was burning a hole through the side of the drawer it was in. Through the hole it had burned, I could see that the blade itself was glowing cherry red. The only explanation of this behavior that I could think of was that the blade was, inexplicably, made of some relatively short-lived metallic radioisotope, in which case it would be flooding the house with neutrons and such. I could almost feel it, though I knew that must be my imagination. I asked Liz if she had a Geiger counter, and it turned out that she had mine for some reason. I adjusted it to its least sensitive setting and the meter still pegged. I knew that meant that I'd probably suffer radiation sickness at the least, and Liz and Craig had been exposed long enough that they were certain to die in the gruesome manner of radiation poisoning...

[ Dream ] Message 1490 Mon July 18, 2005
From: jhdiii
Subject: dream fragment

A few days ago, so I've forgotten most of it. It may have come from my noticing that John is getting kinda tan (which doesn't actually worry me!) from all of the walks we take him on.

I put John into a tanning machine and closed the door over him. I set it for 15 minutes, which I thought would be fine. While it was running I started worrying about it a bit. At the end I opened the doors and found that he'd been mostly incinerated. There was just a little bit of him left. I think it was alive but I didn't have much hope for him; he'd be better off if he didn't survive. I felt sick.

But fortunately, as has been happening more often lately, the wrongness of the situation tipped me off. I thought about how irresponsible what I'd done was, and how I'd never actually do anything that would hurt him. I started hoping that this was just a dream, hoping to wake up. Eventually I did. Actually I "woke up" from that dream into another one, which John was also in, but as I recall it was a good dream.

Also, a dream fragment from Irene, who in the past hasn't experienced nightmares:
She was holding John so that a surgical operation could be performed on him. They were going to cut his skull open with a circular saw, and for some reason couldn't use anesthetic. He could talk, and kept telling her "no, Mommy, no!"

[ Dream ] Message 1522 Tue Dec 6, 2005
From: jhdiii
Subject: pseudo-sunrise in st louis

Irene and I were camping our way across the states, and had stopped in St. Louis, just as we did this time of year 10 years ago. As then, John wasn't with us. We were wandering around an area of closely-packed apartment blocks. Something strange was going on; I kept getting glimpses of SWAT-type people scurrying around. And then I heard one of them in an apartment; it sounded like he was negotiating with someone in there - someone who was threatening to blow himself up or something like that. The negotiator spoke into a phone: "Mr. President, we have a live nuke in St. Louis". Uh-oh!

Irene and I had become separated, but I quickly found her. My goal was to get us as far away as possible, as quickly as possible. I told Irene that we should hurry but not make it obvious that we were fleeing, because I was afraid that if they knew that we knew what was going on, we'd be detained for fear that we'd spread the word and start a panic. We got out of the apartments and back to our truck, and sped away. We reached a forested area and couldn't go any further in the truck. We got out, and I had a sense of impending doom, and that we should hide. We got behind the truck, which was pointed back where we'd come from, and there was a brilliant flash. A fireball rose sun-like over St. Louis.

I had only a moment to wonder whether the truck would be sufficient protection when the blast wave hit us. The truck did a good job of deflecting it, but the truck and we behind it were picked up whole and thrown hundreds of feet as the blast raged past us. Somehow when we hit ground, not only were we OK but the truck was still operable. We got in and I drove away through the trees, trying to escape the chaos and fallout.

We were stopped twice, both times by police/emergency personnel, who had set up roadblocks remarkably quickly given the breakdown in infrastructure. Each time they wanted half of the supplies that we had in the back of the truck for camping (first half of what we had, and the second time half of what was left). Each time I complied, because they had grim, authoritarian attitudes and I wasn't sure they would let us pass at all if I made any kind of fuss. I didn't mind giving the supplies away, but the process of getting them out for them seemed to drag on interminably, and I felt that the bomb's effects, social and radiological, were closing in on us faster than we were getting away. But after the second stop, we seemed to be on an open road with the sun behind us...

[ Dream ] Message 1525 Mon Dec 12, 2005
From: jhdiii
Subject: crocodiles

A limitless horde of rampaging crocodiles attacked my brother, my father, and me. Good thing we all had guns, and an enormous supply of ammunition. We also seemed to be perfect marksmen. They came and came, their bodies piling up in great green hills, but we killed them as fast as they came, and our endurance was as great as all of theirs put together. It never did become clear why they wanted us so badly.

[ Dream ] Message 1548 Mon July 24, 2006
From: jhdiii
Subject: nothing like an early morning dream to get you out of bed

Irene was going to have another child, and was in early labor. We were at home. I went out to my truck to prepare for a maternity trip. When I came back in, Irene met me at the front door, and handed me our new baby (looking about like a newborn does) - it had just slipped out! I was happy at first, but then saw that it had somehow breathed in its umbilical cord, which was blocking its airway so it hadn't actually breathed any air yet. I frantically tried to pull it out but it wasn't working...

I was at some sort of complex reservoir system. Irene and John were with me. There were others with us, swimming in a concrete channel tributary of the reservoir. I had my camera with me, and I wanted a picture of some swirling water, so I moved over to another part of the channel. As I did so, a couple of us ended up being caught in a current and swept away, down toward the main reservoir. At first I wasn't worried, but then saw that there were huge drains in the bottom of the reservoir, and water was being drawn into them so fast that the reservoir surface was considerably depressed over the drains. I realized immediately that if I wasn't able to get out of the current, I would be pulled down there and stuck to the grate at the bottom and would drown like those people whose butts get stuck to the drains at the bottom of swimming pools and hottubs. I swam as best I could. It did no good. I screamed for help. It didn't help. I (and the other person who had been caught up) rapidly approached the drain area, and our doom. At least Irene and John hadn't been drawn along with me.

[ Dream ] Message 1550 Mon July 31, 2006
From: jhdiii
Subject: the other morning

I was on a narrow strip of beach between a tall cliff and the ocean. A tsunami was coming in. I could see it out there, rising slowly into the sky. At the base of the cliff was a large mechanized door, and next to the door was an industrial-type control box, with “OPEN” and “CLOSE” plunger buttons. I pressed the “OPEN” button. But the control box had firm ideas about when the door should be opened, and it did not think that this was one of those times. I tried to convince it that it was wrong, but it wasn't having any of it. “I know what I know, and I know how I know it”, it said, in a firm if slightly anxious tone. Its voice was that of Bomb 20.

[ Dream ] Message 1558 Sat Aug 12, 2006
From: jhdiii
Subject: dystopia

We lived in a techno-authoritarian hyper-surveillance state. Everything you did - every door you passed through, every switch you flipped - was monitored by someone Up There at a security panel. They depended more on specific sensors than on video monitoring, though the police were omnipresent in person as well. It was a rigidly stratified society, with a small, very intelligent man at the top, sitting somewhere, observing his society and dictating lives.

The place seemed to be an arcology of some sort. Only John was with me, not Irene.

I wanted out.

I began making plans and making contacts. I was very fortunate. There were plenty of disgruntled people, including some in higher positions, who I befriended. Many of them went to extraordinary lengths to help me, and that was good, because it would take an extraordinary effort for even one man and his son to escape.

Finally it came time to act. There were many and varied barriers to exit, and passing through each one meant, approximately, mingling with the next higher caste in this society. At each stage a friend at that level helped me, giving me the appropriate clothes or letting me through the appropriate door.

At one point we passed a control panel, and John, being the switchophile that he is, reached out and happily flipped a toggle. My blood ran cold, because I knew that this was an anomalous event and would surely raise a security alert. But again I was lucky - one of my other friends was at the security station where the proto-alert was raised, and managed to quench it at a stage where it had raised only slight suspicion.

At another gateway, I needed to cross a deserted area. I was given a complete environment suit. Its job was not to protect me from toxic surroundings, but rather to prevent any of the vast number of chemical compounds that humans emit from escaping from my person and being detected by a sensor. I was supposed to put the suit on while holding it only from the inside, so that none of my biomarkers would end up on the outside, but I had to squeeze John into the suit with me, and though he didn't mind, it was difficult. The bottom part of the suit started to drop, and I grabbed it, and realized that now my hand-stuff was on the outside. I hoped that that wasn't enough to set off the sensors. It wasn't.

Through the entire odyssey, I could feel the organism of the State, and especially its top-brain, on the edge of becoming aware of my flight.

I neared my goal. I was now mixing with the highest level, and they were smarter. A final trip required riding in a roller-coaster-like transportation system. I got into one of the cars. My presence itched at the people near me - they could tell that something wasn't quite right about me. But their hubris, and the sheer unthinkability of what I was doing, saved us; they turned away and went back to their own business.

At the end, there was a final door. This area was thick with enforcement agents. As I approached the door, it all clicked for them, and they realized what I was doing. I ran and made it through the door. Suddenly I was on a busy, brightly sunlit street. John and I had popped out onto some avenue in a city in southern California. The enforcers spilled out of the door behind me, but I had gotten far enough from the door that they couldn't just snatch me and pull me back.

They eyed me, and wanted desperately to get me, because my escape was such a heinous transgression against their State. They were right on the edge of coming after me, even though they were out of their jurisdiction and it would be a very serious matter to do that. But they looked at the alien society around them, the people freely coming and going and driving by, and though none of the passers-by was really paying attention to us, it frightened the agents. When I saw the fear in their eyes, and knew that they would not act - I danced. Seriously. I held my son and did a dance of joy, because I would never, ever, be under their thumb again.

After I woke up, the society that I had been in seemed terribly familiar, and I had a sudden lurch as I wondered whether that was my society, and my escape had been a dream. But no, for all its recent problems, ours is still the society that I escaped to.

I kept wondering about that familiarity, and as I wrote this, I realized where it probably came from - the feel of the society, and in particular the man at the top, were those of the authoritarian society in A Wrinkle in Time.

[ Dream ] Message 1578 Mon Nov 20, 2006
From: jhdiii
Subject: this morning

Mike built an octopedal robot, one that walked like a spider. It was small - maybe 1m across. All shiny metal. He was showing it off at some outdoor mall-like place. He went off to do something, and while he was away, it occurred to me that I could put John in it - it even had a sort of recessed area at the top of the main body, so only John's shoulders and head stuck out. Somehow it responded to his will and went where we wanted it to go. John loved it and it was very cool to see him zoom around in it. It scuttled off down the pedway and went around a corner. I ran after it, and when I turned the corner I couldn't see it. I had a brief sinking feeling, but then noticed John standing up on the counter of some shop. The robot was nowhere to be seen; I had to assume that someone had snatched it. I was relieved to find John but wondered what I'd say to Mike when he got back. “Oops.”

[ Dream ] Message 1589 Sun May 13, 2007
From: jhdiii
Subject: Tunnel Chase

A more fun recent dream: My team and I were being chased through long dark tunnels by Very Bad Guys. This was fun because my method of holding them off involved the liberal application of Very Large Explosive Devices. We'd stop, set up a big ol' explosive, and then continue our flight though the maze of twisty passages. I timed them or otherwise triggered them such that just as the bad guys arrived, the explosives would detonate, and the roof would come crashing down and bury a bunch of them under tons of rubble. The downside of this was that the explosion would punch clear through the tunnel ceiling and up into the open air, so the tunnel wasn't actually blocked; more of them could come tromping down over their buried comrades and continue the pursuit. Part of me was bothered that I didn't seem to be making a dent in their numbers, but at least they never caught up to us. And for our part, we seemed to have an endless supply of explosives, and dang it was a blast setting them off.

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