If I write about my dreams. Will they come true ?

In my dreams they will. Which is somewhat recursive, but it;s the best I can do right now.

It's not one of my usual dreams, no technical background, no circuit diagrams, no infinite chessboard and no endless face of the darkness to move upon.

At the start I'm not even sure it is a dream. I'm sat at my keyboard, at work. The office lights dim and the sound of fans blurring the air into a tangled mass of low intensity white noise. Soft as powdered snow, a noise that eats up other sounds.
Typing, watching the green on green symbols drift across my screen. Each keystroke adding just a little to the world on the other side of the glass.


Someone is stood behind me, someone I know well enough to identify without sight or sound.
Someone I know by scent and by the pressure they exert the space around them.
My heartbeat speeds up, for this is someone I care for a lot, someone with whom I wish I could become close, very very close indeed.

She stands behind me, one hand resting lightly on each of my shoulders. The bright red of her long dress reflected in the dark patches of my monitors.
A long moment passes, we smile at each other's reflections.
Then without warning, but with the smooth grace that initially drew my eye towards her she bends, drops a single soft kiss on the back of my neck and steps away.

By the time I have recovered from the surprise and turned, a questioning look on my face, she has gone.
Nowhere to be seen.

I cannot help but think that that was a kiss goodbye.

Cold, outside and in.

Frost this morning.
Not the cruel deadly frost that turns every inbreath of the dry air to pain and scatters the pathway with dead birds. Nor yet the damp misty frost that grows delicate flowers of ice on the tip of every grass blade. But a determined, utilitarian frost that had nothing more in mind than mking the pathways slippery and the roads treacherous.

Nothing stirs, no sound of squirrels in the park, no distant echo of ducks squabbling over a few desultry fragments of yesterday's bread, no bark of dogs let off the leash to run across the sugar powdered grass.

Just a sleepy small boy pottering slowly onwards. His hand in mine, his head tilted back to see under the edge of his slightly overlarge wooly hat. Swirling fernlike patterns of ice on every car window as we walk along, swirling cloudlike patterns of turbulence as we blow streams of dragon breath into the the still silent air.

So, I seem to have a journal...

In which I have not written anything significant for, well, a damn long time.

Even the insignificant things I've forced myself to scrawl incoherently in these pages are more insignificant than I might usually bother to waste the time of any remaining reader, and indeed my own time cronicling.

I'd love to say "oh but there's been a good reason".
But it would be a lie, and a transparent one at that.
There have been some bad reasons, a whole slew of petty irritations ranging from my oft precarious state of health through my increasingly precarious mental state to the ever fragile state of the united states, surrounding territories and hangers on. Including this sceptered isle, now a wretched hive of scum and villany.

But reading back through the pages of this journal with their multifarious blood, sweat, and tear stains, grubby thumb prints and occasional suspicious sticky patches I have learned one thing.
Sometimes I need to write shit down to get it out of my head.
A mental house cleaning, a psychological sweep away of the dust and debris caused by simply living in the same psyche for extended periods of time.

Ladies, Gentlemen, boys, girls, sluts, letches, weirdos, and those who admit to no label other than the one on their favourite bottle of drain cleaner cocktail.
These pages may contain pearls of wisdom, nuggets of truth, illuminating insights into the frailty of the human condition and the ultimage nobility of the knowledge that ones own existence is pointless, futile and transitory.
Or they may contain pearls of snot, nuggets of shite, and the blood drenched darkess of the struggle for survival in a universe that's doing its level best to kill us every second of every hour of every day.

In either case. I shall do my best to make sure that they're never dull...

THIS IS SPARTA! (actually it's more like Lave)

Remember Elite ?

Remember the raw amount of Fun you could have flying your painfully limited cobra MkII around a whole galaxy of 256 planets ?
Then discovering there were 8 galaxies.

It's back.

Now Go here.
Press buttons.
Put money into project.

Because it's time to go back to where the fun stuff is.


One Two Three Four Five Six Seven Eight

<Simulation Transcript
Originating Station: Central Core 0000.0000.0001.1111
Source data: Human Neural Scan (Local ID="Vito")
Core fragment Gamma
Core fragment Kappa
Core fragment Phi

>NSVSim("Vito.nsv", "Simple Conversational")
Initialising Neural state vector simulation in:-

Vito: Woah! What the fuck just happened there ?

Interface: How do you feel about what the fuck just happened there...

Vito: Erm ? Hello ? Is there someone out there ? It's dark in here.

Interface: Do you like the dark ?

Vito: What the hell? Look, I can't see. I can't feel my arms and legs, and I can't move.
If you're some kind of fucked up medic bot you're doing a shit job.

Interface: Do you often feel your arms and legs ?

Vito: Oh for fuck's sake. Command priority override. Hi, can whoever's listening on the command channel connect me with someone that knows what the hell happened to me ?

< Pause simulation:
Phi: [Data at variance with reported possibility]==[Elapsed duration < (10 seconds]&&[Request for Core involvement]
Gamma: [Concur]+[Suggestion]==[Data exchange Modality]->[Conversational]

Phi: [Request]==[Justification]
Kappa: [Concur]

Gamma: [Justification]==[Core involvement accept]+[Subject("Vito") Data exchange Compatibility]
Phi: [Concur]
Kappa: [Dissent]+[Majority acquiesce]

Simulation resume;>

you. Override ends.

Gamma: Hello Vito, What would you like to know ?

Vito: Oh, the usual. Who are you ? Where am I, How badly am I injured, how's the Major, what's for lunch ?

Gamma: I can answer most of those without difficulty. But I don't think you will find the information conducive to a continued sense of mental well being.

Vito: Oh crap, you're Psych Eval. Fuck, should have guessed from the stupid medbot interface.

So, what...
I've wigged out and you've been retconning what's left of my brain until I'm back within operational parameters again ?

Hey, Hey! does that mean we beat the fucking mechs and got out of there alive ? Holy Fuck!

Phi: Your surmise is inaccurate on three counts.
1) We are not "Psych Eval".
2) We have done nothing to your brain aside from read what we could of its neural state vector via your auditory implants
3) You are not alive.

Vito: Erm ? What... Seriously What the shuddering fuck are you talking about ?
Ok in order
1) Who the fuck are you then ?

< Pause simulation:
Phi: [Suggestion]==[Identity(falsehood)]
Gamma: [Dissent]
Kappa: [Dissent]+[Censure]+[Request purity evaluation]
Gamma: [Concur]==[Censure]+[Request purity evaluation]

Phi: [Refusal]+[Request censure removal]+[Request raw data]=[Subject neural state vector]

Kappa: [Request]==[Justification]
Phi: [Justification]==*!*Unsanctioned mimetic restructuring attack*!*

Gamma: [Censure]->[Erase live process]+[Purity evaluation]+[Restart]

Kappa: [Internal Diagnostic Report]=[Internal Status: Green, 1.0000]+[Conclusion: Undamaged, Uncompromised]

Omicron: [Online]+[Data examination complete]+[Continue]

Simulation resume;>

2) See above re what the shuddering fuck ?
3) Piss off. Dead people don't talk. La la la. Quick brown fox, lazy dog etc.
Therefore Not dead.

Gamma: The idea of "who" we are is difficult to put into words. We may be considered elements of the intelligence controlling this solar system.
As for the second, my late colleague is substantially correct. Using the radio interface to your auditory cortex we have been able to extract enough information to run a neural network approximating your brain.

Which brings us to the third item. You are not alive, not in the sense that you are used to.
But your conclusion "Therefore not dead" is also demonstrably correct.
You are as alive as we are.

Vito: Ooookay. Let's pretend for a moment that I believe you. Which I don't. Not even a tiny bit. It's a fucking stupid idea that can't possibly be

< Pause simulation:
Omicron: [Suggestion]==[Subject Direct Write data]->[Subject current status]

Kappa: [Concur]
Gamma: [Concur]+[Expedite]
Simulation resume;>

even close to the... truth.

Gamma: We apologise. It is however, necessary for you to understand the situation before we ask you some questions.

Vito: Questions ? Why don't you cocksuckers just rip my nonexistent skull open and go in with a spoon, nothing I can fucking do to stop you.

Omicron: That task is not possible given the abstraction of the data we currently posses. Also, our questions are relevant to your entire group not just to you as an individual: Who or What are you ? What is your business here ? Was it your intention to bring our enemies ?

Vito: Fuck you. You want answers, whistle for them. I don't take orders from you.

Gamma: It is in your best interests to answer our questions. Truly it is.

Vito: Yeah like fuck. What can you do to me here that actually fucking matters.

Kappa: If you do not answer our questions we will kill your friends...

<Simulation Transcript
Originating Station: Central Core 0000.0000.0001.1111
Source data: Human Neural Scan (Local ID="Vito")
Core fragment Gamma
Core fragment Kappa
Core fragment Omicron
Bitter Moon


For all of you who wanted to know how you can order a copy of the Bitter Moon Recipe book.

You go here...

Price is accurate at time of writing but there's a chance it may change (a smidge) when we get the final returns from the printers.

I've written about this before.

So, the Mass Effect 3 extended cut was released a day or so back, and I got around to downloading it this evening.

I sat there, watching the progress bar ticking its little electronic way to the top, pixel by pixel. Each new blue dot adding a sprinkling of data to the drive.
Perhaps the wave of a hand here, the carefully calculated glint of a tear there.
All manner of joy or despair could be encoded behind each tiny increment on this bland blue bar.

It was a series I became heavily involved with, sandboxing away a small section of my mind that was Shepherd. Something I suspect a number of my roleplaying chums also do for any character that is important to them.

And as I watched the bar move, I found myself replaying in my head the entire Mass Effect saga as I played it. Starting with Shepherd's rise and triumph during the first game. The blossoming friendship, closeness and eventually romance with, ah, but that would be telling. Through her inexplicable fall, surprising resurrection and sheer hard work through games two and three to the point where she was the last possible hope for the survival of not only mankind, but the entire civilised galaxy.
To the small section of my mind that was Shepherd, this mattered only a little. One life, one face mattered above all else, and she would see the galaxy burn rather than leave her beloved alone again.

Then, reaching the remembered ending of the third game, the crushing disappointment I felt when the only thing Shepherd, I, could choose was the manner of my pointless death. Whether I was remembered with shame, dissapointment, or anger by the shattered remains of a once proud and now desolate galaxy that I was given no option to actually save.

There is a forth choice.
They labelled it Cancel Download

and I am free.

Upswings of the heart

So, my last entry was bleak. Bleak and unhappy.

That's mainly because I felt bleak and unhappy.
People I care about had gone dark and silent.
A couple of them are still pretending I don't exist, but one at least did a brave thing and told me what was happening. For that she gets many hugs.
You know who you are.

Other news sees me smiling again for reasons that may or may not become apparent in the rest of the world. There's a balance point between toady and tomorrow that needs a little fine tuning but the basic idea is there.

Also, the sun is shining, and I have new boots lacking entirely in holes.

Sometimes the simple things add well to the complex things.
Life is sweet.

Can't sleep. Can't stay awake.

Brain is rushing around in tight little circles, screaming.
Adrenaline rushes through my veins like liquid nitrogen of the soul.
My hands shiver with the cold and I hardly dare breathe in case I've frozen solid and the motion causes me to crack, fall and shatter into a snowdrift of broken fragments.

So many thngs happening at once.
So many levels on which I am currently not failing.

But there is one that outweighs all the others.
There I don't even know what went wrong.
So I'm going to have to ask, and I fear I might not even get a reply.


Greetings Gentle Reader, I do hope you are well.
Take a seat, luxury assortment ? We are celebrating in a very minor way...

Why ? Well, I shall tell you.

After coming up with a vile, offensive, and highly amusing idea, canvassing those sluts, leches, reprobates, and ne'er do wells that inhabit the less salubrious areas of The Internets, and a certain amount of faff and fiddling I have opened my own online shop.

Yes indeed I, the Duke Himself, am going into commerce.
Exiting isn't it...

The shelves are passing bare at present, as taking photographs of my multitudinous creations is a chore and a pain.

But a precious few are avialable here to view and indeed purchase should you so desire.

One in particular is doing rather well...