You are the sunshine of my life.
Well, maybe more like the grey cloud that obscures half the sun.
But the clouds are still important in the ecosystem and pretty even when they’re gloomy, just like you!
Entry #114 (Oct 15 2023)
There was apparently a partial annular solar eclipse (local) in Edmonton this weekend, so it felt a little bit darker than usual in the morning, but not by a whole ton. Apparently our next total solar eclipse here in Edmonton won’t be until August 2044, at which point I hope to still be blogging, but that might be overly optimistic. I know I’ve seen a couple of major solar eclipses while in Singapore, though I don’t remember much about them, but I don’t really remember any major ones while in Edmonton and I’m not sure this really counted as a major one either, even though the shadow of the moon allegedly obscured 53% of the sun here.
The camera was utterly useless in taking pictures of the eclipse, and the sun in general. I knew this, but took pictures anyway for comparison. These first two pictures are from Friday the 13th, when I went out to the library and then grocery shopping. One at 11:42 am:
And one at 2:00 pm:
How weird that the sun seemed to be peeking out through a perfect hole in the clouds at both times. Anyway, this one is from Saturday, Oct 14 2023, at 9:36 am, an hour or so before the maximum:
And this one at 10:28 am and 23 seconds, our maximum coverage:
Nope, a regular phone camera doesn’t even show anything other than a ball of fuzzy light still! Plus it likely damages the camera, so I wasn’t going to play around with it any further. I went back indoors right after. Even playing around with brightness and contrast in post-processing does nothing since the image quality wasn’t there in the first place, but at least I got some neat trees out of it.
Mell‘s dad, credited as Frank Dibbell here, did get a picture of the eclipsed sun from where they live down in California, they had an 86.7% eclipse and it looked like this:
Now that’s a real photographer’s picture! It really looks like a moon through the picture, and I love the partial cloud cover giving it a mystical look, like the clouds parted just enough to create a small hole through which to view the eclipse. One day I might be an expert photographer too, but for now I will live vicariously through others’ lenses.
Mil also got a picture of the sun from where he is further south and east, in New Mexico, where he got a 96.1% magnitude annular eclipse:
It came out to what looks like a nice copper ring image from a fantasy tileset.
Moving on to other events in the week, that trip on Friday down to the library was to pick up the book that the video that I mentioned last week had talked about in it, All the Knowledge in the World by Simon Garfield. I’m only a little ways into it thus far, but I like the subject that it covers, the imperfection and history of encyclopaedias and how and why they got made. It talks about works that predated the first Encyclopaedia Britannica in 1771 and the commonly known works at the time that it tried to condense into one set of books, works that are now pretty much unheard of and unknown outside of specialized scientific history circles. It goes all the way up to the modern-day Wikipedia, and I wonder if things like Wikipedia and the Internet Archive will one day be replaced by other things, too. The Wikipedia is our modern ultimate encyclopaedia endeavour, and I’ve been trusting it in to the point where I don’t set (local) mirrors for it when I link to it (and I link to it often!) because I assume it’ll always be there to some degree. But I wonder what will come along and replace Wikipedia, the Internet Archive, or even the Internet in general eventually.
But it’s hard to think on that large of a timescale. Heck, my library book will be good for 3 or 4 weeks, and even in that timespan alone, tens of millions of people on Earth will have been born and will die, snowfall will probably have started here in Edmonton, three or four new long-winded blog posts will have been written on here, the new Fall 2023 anime season will be half-over, and I’ll have long decided what to do about my impending driver’s license/learner’s while still slacking off on not starting my game dev courses due to having other things to do.
For that driver’s licence test, the first thing I need to do is pass a written, multiple-choice test, and apparently there’s this practice site (local) that will in all likelyhood be more than enough for me to pass it if I just study that, I just have to find the time to do so. There’s also a digital copy of the Alberta Driver’s Guide as of Spring 2023, and I suppose I should mirror that here because, funnily enough, the link on the official site (local) is actually broken right now. Classic Albertan government.
I donated a box full of my remaining clothes this week to the nearby donation clothing bin, this box consisted of some clothes from my pre-transition stage that I hadn’t worn in probably close to a decade, but still I did feel a little bad throwing some of it away. Just a little though. I did save some math camp related t-shirts that I should take pictures of somewhere down the line, and also some dress pants from Dad that I returned to him as they were from our Singapore era and I was surprised that they even still existed. And a coat that’s larger than a jacket but a little smaller than a trenchcoat. Everything else left my circle of existence, and I hope they find good new homes or otherwise. I’ve probably gotten rid of somewhere between 60-70% of the clothes that I owned at the start of the year now. I’m obviously not a hoarder, right?
About hoarding, I finished uploading everything from my Life Through A Mailbox page to archive.org this week. I now have over 50 uploads there, which means I’m eligible to request my own private collection, which I called Shiara‘s Library, I think. I have to file it somewhere though and I wasn’t sure where it should go under, and the request apparently takes upwards of two weeks to fulfil after requesting so I’m still waiting for it. Probably just whatever the generic Images/Scans category is. Since everything from that page is uploaded to archive.org now, I removed the Local/Archive.org column from it, and added it to the next section, currently entitled A Potpourri of Papers, and will start uploading those soon as well. Soon I will finish uploading all those too, then I’ll work on uploading my backlog of ads that have been scanned but not uploaded, and then I can work on scanning and uploading more interesting things, like papers from Singapore or Japan.
I also tossed archive.org a small donation for all their important work for humanity. And, this is more a small note for myself than anything else, but eventually once I get a vehicle for myself I kind of want to put up an ad somewhere saying that I will drive to their place and pick up boxes of things to scan and digitize and then discard for free. With the catch being that I must get permission to upload the things I scan to the Archive. I’m sure I can get some bites of interesting things doing that, and can pick and choose what I want to do or not. So that’s another reason that I want to get my driver’s licence eventually. Can’t really do that with public transit.
Finally, here are some signs of autumn around the neighbourhood:
Somewhat colourful non-green leaves!
Most of my free evenings this week were spent on archiving and uploading, so I didn’t play all that much this week. I played a very little bit of Hitman 2, and did enjoy what I played, but that game plays like a daunting (and taunting) to-do list for every single mission, with multiple ways to kill the target that earn you xp and “levels”, and it’s kind of a chore to play, especially when the second mission is a boat mission that I remember spending a ton of time on already the last time I played this game.
I also bought the DLC for TROUBLESHOOTER: Abandoned Children, which after many, many free content patches and bug and localization fixes, has finally “completed”, story-wise, its first season. Next they’re working on a separate game with an improved engine but set in the same world, but is a different story told from a different point of view, apparently.
In terms of co-op, Nak, Satinel, and I finished the Monster Hunter: World story mode quests this week, the second time Satinel and I have done so. I’m not sure if we still plan to play it now and then, but I’m glad we’re no longer pushing it almost every day after our daily AMQ sessions. Satinel and I have also been messing around in Elden Ring, using the Seamless Co-op mod (local), and although it has its own share of bugs for sure, for the large part it has been fairly pleasant. We defeated Shardbearer Godrick on Friday night, which is further than I got in solo play back in March 2022, back when many of the monsters were invisible for me on my old graphics card.
Plushie of the Week #110 – Fuzzy Pink Bunny
Just like my last couple Plushies of the Week, I have no idea where this pink bunny is from, but I do know she’s fuzzy! And likely from my Edmonton 4012 stint, so sometime in the 2010s. Or maybe late 2000s.
Tag 1 front:
Tag 1 back/Tag 2 front:
Tag 2 back:
Song of the Week #87
Title: Total Eclipse of the Heart
Artist: Bonnie Tyler
Album: Faster Than The Speed of Night (1983)
While this one is a classic song that I like very much, I don’t really have strong memories one way or the other attached to the song, other than actually listening to and jamming out to it. My strongest memory of the song is probably linked to Dad‘s large collection of CDs, as he played the song from his collection sometimes, and how they used to be stored in our various family homes. (I hope to scan all of those one day. Totally the main reason I want them to move in with me.)
It apparently wasn’t a strong enough song entry to be in my top 100 lists back in 1999 though, as per links in the Memory Snippet segment below — those lists are primarily late 1990s music and I didn’t incorporate many older songs into it until much later. Nonetheless, it’s probably in my top 50 now, which doesn’t sound like much but is honestly pretty high considering that my overall list would now also include a bunch of Japanese and New Age music. But above all, I figured it was a good, thematic week to share it, what with the annular solar eclipse that happened this week, so here we are. Enjoy the track, like I am doing!
Writing Prompt of the Week #30
This week’s writing prompt reads:
“Top 10 time! Name your top ten role models growing up. These can be people in your life, fictional characters, or cultural figures. What qualities did you admire in them?”
Hum, this is an interesting one and also kind of rough. I’m not sure I had any strong role models when growing up. Definitely not cultural figures. I don’t think parents or family were in the mix. Definitely not teachers. Maybe some friends, but those were more along the lines of “I wish I were them due to gender issues” than “They’re a role model”, so those don’t really count either. This specifically states growing up, so I can’t use anime characters in that since I only started watching that four years ago, or we’d be talking about Mio from K-On!, Akebi from Akebi-chan no Sailor Fuku, Nijika from Bocchi the Rock!, Yuuna from Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru, and so on.
They’re in no particular order, but if I venture into the realm of cartoons and comics, I can probably name Rogue (local), from X-Men, as one, because she had a really cool power but also because she had a lot of problems that stemmed from being able to absorb people’s memories, which I found fascinating. She was also the only hero I played and brought to max level in Marvel Heroes a few years ago before that game went defunct in 2017.
If I venture into the realm of books, they’re not one person but I enjoyed the Famous Five and Secret Seven series of books by Enid Blyton when I was very young, so maybe a mix of those characters (the kids in the Famous Five and Secret Seven) might be considered people I looked up to. The Adventures of Tintin, by Hergé, was another series of books that influenced me quite a bit, and I really liked Tintin from that, so I guess I liked detective-adjacent works. Or at least something about the pursuit of truth.
A little further on in time, I started reading fantasy books in Primary 6 or Secondary 1 or so, and I likely had some role models from there too. Vanyel from Mercedes Lackey‘s Valdemar series, for example, because he seemed to be an extremely complex and tragic sacrifice sort of character. And became soulmates with a lovely telepathic horse. I read several other fantasy novel series but am not sure I took any of their characters as a role model to become. Maybe Midnight (local) from Forgotten Realms, whom I liked a lot, and I now can see also strongly ties into the dual themes of the pursuit of knowledge as well as self-sacrifice.
Outside of books and shows, I also really liked a character from the L5R card game, Shiba Tsukune (local), a warrior lady from the magical Phoenix clan, which I favoured playing, and who eventually became their champion and leader. And goddess. I suppose that would have counted as a role model sort of situation too.
The question wants ten examples though? That’s not happening! Life was complex and I didn’t look up to that many people, real or fictional. I think I looked up more to ideals in general than people or characters.
Memory Snippet of the Week #94
I wanted to highlight a number of old websites this week. Our Secondary 2 class website, 2L’s class website, for example, was located at Geocities, in the Athens neighbourhood, and then the Oracle sub-neighbourhood, at address 5623. You can still see remnants of it at archive.org:
I also checked out the link to the other class’s website, the 2K website, located at Athens/Delphi/6879:
- Site Map
- Main Page (but this is broken, and only shows a current feed of world news in the main frame somehow)
- Classmates (the one page that is working, and probably the most important one to have working, so at least that’s something. I wonder who wrote this?)
Then there was my own webpage, “next door” to our 2L class website — that one was Athens/Oracle/5623, mine was at Athens/Oracle/5624 since I was looking for side by side vacant “houses” when I created the 5623 class website back in 1998 so that I could create mine next door at the same time. I even know when both sites were created — between Jan 29 1998 and Feb 01 1998, but just how I know this is fodder for another article in the future.
- Site Map
- Main Page
- Fun programs. I remember all those. I’ve searched for that specific 3D Pacman clone (spc3d050.zip) over the years but have failed to locate it. It was a first person Pacman game and I only ever really solved the first level. And I still have all of those downloads on my external hard drive except the 3D Pacman one. Every last one except that one! Grr. Liero really was very fun though, I remember that most fondly. It was basically Worms in real time, respawning battles in a dirt arena with wacky weapons. I played it lots with siblings too.
- A list of class in-jokes/philosophies that I maintained
- Some of my thoughts on life back in 1998
- A top 100 list of my favourite songs (dated Jun 30 1999)
- Another top 100 list that I inexplicably made as a separate page. While undated, I believe this is a later list (due to the release date of some of the songs on the list, and due to how I phrased the preface of the first list) but also made in 1999 (since I see no 2000+ songs there at a glance.) Wow, I’ve forgotten about some of the songs on these last two lists! My mega Spotify list got a lot of additions today.
- MTV Asia’s Top 100 videos of 1997. Why did I make this list? I have no idea.
- It also looks like I tried uploading lyrics at some point, but only two survive, Tender by Blur and In Our Lifetime by Texas. I had downloaded and even printed many of these lyrics out as text files from what was lyrics.net at the time though.
Then… there were older webpages.
- Our Secondary 1L webpage was at Athens/Forum/7212 on Geocities in 1997, but it isn’t archived. We moved out around the start of 1998 and some new guy moved in and never set up his page.
- We also had an interim webpage at SouthBeach/Lagoon/8264 in 1997, but that is also not archived.
- I had another personal homepage at Area51/Cavern/7884 in 1997, but that isn’t archived too.
- I had yet another at Area51/Rampart/2127 too, but the one archived from there isn’t mine, mine was a year or two before that.
- Yaoxiang had a webpage at TimesSquare/Alley/7475, but that similarly isn’t archived. The archive catches someone else’s webpage on that spot years later instead.
- Heidi had one at SouthBeach/Marina/4963, but yet again, it’s an earlier incarnation than the one that archive.org has saved. She also had one at pacific.net that isn’t saved.
- Allen had one at Soho/Lofts/9515, but that one isn’t saved at all.
- Harvey had one at Southbeach/Pier/9851, but no surprise, nothing was saved.
- Paul had one at Southbeach/Tidepool/9003 that wasn’t saved.
- Debbie had one at EnchantedForest/Glade/6555 that was not saved.
- She had another at homepage.nu that was not saved either.
- Jianwei had one at Athens/Oracle/9803 that did not get saved.
- Eisen had one at Geocities after they abolished neighbourhoods that did not get saved.
- Outside of Geocities, we also had a class website at thunder.prohosting.com/~aliens, and I had a personal site there too, but neither one is archived. Same for crosswinds.net/singapore/~aliens, nothing saved.
What was saved?
- This site from Yiwen, at EnchantedForest/Glade/1128, is partially saved. Her main cjb.net one and side cjb.net one are too, although both are just redirects. I knew very little about her even though I liked her and I think she’s not currently involved in our Dunman group’s social circle. Not sure where she is or what she’s up to now.
- Yiwen had two other side ones on tbns.net, this one and this other one. Also this one on diaryland.com. She drew pig art and adopted them out! Very neat.
- Debbie had a very little bit on cjb.net that was saved, and that includes links to another site on cyanflame.net where two poems were saved.
- Huihan had a webpage on flying.to but only a couple of redirects were saved. They led to a site on sphosting.com and a site on faraway-starlight.net with several things saved.
- Allen had one at members.tripod.com/~happysmiley that is also partially saved. None of his linked poems are saved — very sad!
- Sandra had one at EnchantedForest/Meadow/4663 that is partially saved, insofar as it redirects to www.crosswinds.net/~sjase here. A lot of the stuff on both sites aren’t saved, but some are. Neat. She also has a couple of cjb.net glimpses here and here, one of which links to this virtue.nu page, and then this one, but that latter one is largely unsaved. Also this tbns.net one.
- Similarly, Rachel had one at Athens/Troy/4381 here. Both Sandra and Rachel loved horses and fantasy/enchanted creatures and seemed to be part of an equine gif adoption webring.
- Jean had a website at crosswinds.net but only part of the site layout was saved.
- Heidi had a website at digicron.net but only a redirect was saved and I’m not sure that was a real redirect.
- Allen had a website at tripodasia.com but only the front page was saved.
- Harvey has a partial webpage from SouthBeach/Tidepool/9520 saved here.
- Jianwei has a webpage at Geocities after they abolished neighbourhoods partially saved here.
It was my first time visiting most of these sites, how humbling.
I do remember what was on my Area51/Cavern/7884 webpage though. I had a library page, which was styled as a lost traveller coming across a bleak door set in the side of a hill during a snowstorm in a distant, desolate land very similar to how the Northern Steppes in Book 4 of the Fabled Lands gamebook series is set up. The door opens, and a wizened old man is inside the cozy underground building, with shelves stuffed full of scrolls and books. I was going to turn that page into a repository of trivia lists that I created from around the web. Never did. But I prefer how this blog is turning out 25 years later anyway.
Oct 09 2023
- After school in the afternoon one day, I had a multi-part quest that started in the building I was in to escape the building, steal a car waiting outside together with Dad, escape to an airport, and then take over a plane from there or something. The building had been taken over by some armed people, who were mingled in with regular students on the four levels of the building — the bottom level was the lobby, second level were the classrooms, third level waws some sort of scientific research lab, and the fourth level was a library.
- I killed a couple of armed guards but otherwise made it out stealthily enough, where I saw Dad on the phone as he arrived at the building exterior and walked toward the lobby area. Apparently he was on the phone with a deaf kid using teletype to communicate with him and the kid said he wanted to be a kind professor like Dad when he grew up.
- I went over to meet Dad and hurried him through the lobby and out the other side where the car was supposed to be — but it wasn’t there. I noticed, much to my frustration, that I had a quest overlay UI and it said that I was still on Part 1 of the quest — to kill 4/20/652 people. I realized this meant that I had defeated 4 guards, but needed to defeat 20 out of 652. There weren’t even close to 652 guards in the building though, and even though the time was ruined for the day now as it was going to stretch into the evening, I went back in and picked off guards with my own rifle until I hit 17/20/652.
- The last few I took out were in the library, and then when I went back to the elevator, Ronnie also appeared in front of me and wanted to take the elevator to another level. But immediately after pressing the button, he decided against it, so he cancelled the elevator selection button, which caused the entire elevator to bug out and stop working. After I and some tech support person over the phone teased him about that a bit, I just decided to leave for the day and come back the next morning.
- The next morning, we had classes again, though it was a self-study class and our class just had 3 people in it. One of the other girls was writing a Japanese skit for us about living in the countryside, and asked me if she could include a reference to a mosquito coil in it that our teacher had pointed out in the textbook, something about the word for it sounding a lot like another word. I said sure, and noted that it seemed that every Japanese class I took had a skit and my skit always had a homonym pun in it played as a joke for whatever reason anyway.
- For my part, I wrote my dream diary, noting in particular the number of floors in the building and what was on each level. I concluded that the 652 number wasn’t the number of armed guards in the building, but the total number of people in the building. I also reminisced about a previous class where there were 6 people in the room including Eileen, although I believe this was not a real dream from my past.
- After school, I went back up to the library. I had a different plan this time, which was that I had brought along a DNA swab and swabbed the wooden lock on one of the doors to see if the DNA of the last random person to touch that door would count toward the quest. It did! I opened the door and Shelley was in a room there studying by herself, I asked if I could have a sample of her DNA to help with my quest as I didn’t want to kill anyone and she complied, and that plus swabbing another nearby piece of metal got me to 20, and so the next phase of the quest finally triggered.
Oct 10 2023
- I was living with Mom, Dad, and Jon, and the TV was on, showing a soccer match rerun between Galatasaray and some other team. It was near the end of the match and the score was 0-0 but the Galatasaray fans were cheering, apparently because they had won 2-1 in their away leg in the previous week, so the opposing team needed to score twice to avoid elimination due to the away goals rule. I had suspected that this match was a rerun though and Dad proved this right when he changed the TV channel to one that was showing match results and showed that that match had taken place four rounds ago in whatever competition they were playing in.
- There was a conversation about what the most boring sport was, I said it was baseball. Someone brought up soccer as an option and I said that while that could sometimes be true, at least the time kept on ticking even when the ball was dead, unlike baseball where innings just stretched on and on.
- There was a large, grown-up white tiger roaming around the house, it was friendly to us and understood rudimentary English but was too destructive and rough so we needed to get it into a pit. We did this by first digging the actual pit and putting other animals in there too, then making a little voxel platform over the pit, luring the tiger over it, and digging out the blocks so that it fell in.
- I went out at some point to get something at 10pm and came home a little before 12am. Jon was waiting by the door when I got home and was visibly relieved that I had made it back before the clock struck midnight for some reason.
- The next day, on Sunday, we went out as a family to a ramen shop. The tiger wanted to come along, but we said no, but added that if it promised to behave, we’d bring some food back for it. Mom had a list of three promises, which she then extended to seven promises, one for each day of the week, that she tried to extract from the tiger in return for us bringing back the ramen for it, but I told her that the tiger probably did not understand her as the English was too complicated.
- I brought along two coupons for the shop, both that were only usable on Sunday. The one that was expiring soon was a mango ramen coupon for $2.50. The bowl and helping turned out to be very small though compared to everyone else’s regular $10+ meal, so I ended up cashing in the other coupon as well.
- Snippet: Much earlier in a separate dream, I had the ability to project my consciousness from person to person and used this ability to escape in a truck from a multi-level warehouse or building full of armed guards that I had infiltrated. After boarding the truck in my latest body, I tried to wait for my previous body to catch up to me to see if she was friendly or not, but she was aggressive and attacking me so I quickly drove off in the truck instead.
Oct 12 2023
- The dream started with me finishing up a small class in which I was a student. There was a girl whom I wanted to become friends with and she had mentioned among other things that she did not have an email address because her likes and interests were too unstable and changed too much and she could never decide on a name. She brought out a small phone and played a tune as an example of a song that she recently liked, and she asked if anyone in class recognized it. I nodded, although I had to confirm with her much later on what song it actually was, as I knew it was either an insert song by Kana from Oshi no Ko or by Kanon in Kami Nomi zo Shiru Sekai. It turns out it was the former.
- Anyway, for now, the class ended and I invited her to a homework and study session. She asked where I was going to study, and I said I often did it at the canteen. It was 1pm and Dad was picking me up at 4pm, so we had about three hours there, and Huihan often joined us as well. It would actually be busy and noisy in the canteen for the first 20-30 minutes after school ended, but it would rapidly thin out after that.
- We started to make plans to study there but something happened and we ended up going back to my dorm room to study instead. Sandy and Johannes also shared the space there and were supposed to be around, but when they learnt that the girl and I were going there to study, they assumed that I was trying to woo her or something and stayed away despite me calling them at one point to inquire where they were.
- Before studying, I went to a nearby train station and saw a bunch of parents waiting around two carriages of a train that acted as a kindergarten. It had pulled up at the station and I knew that Jon and Kel were onboard as students, and I saw someone that looked like Mom coming to the station to pick them up. I waved to her but she didn’t wave back and I realized that she looked similar but was someone else different. I wasn’t sure if Jon or Kel had someone to pick them up so I wanted to wait around for them, and I witnessed the train door approaching and the crowd of parents surging forward to press against the door while the conductors used machines to extract the children one by one from the train and place them outside. There were kids inside the train still seated at their tables too, which lined the aisles of the narrow train, along the windows on both sides.
- I eventually saw Kel‘s table through the window, and even went in and walked the length of the carriage before stepping out again, but I never did see Jon or Kel so I assumed they made their way home. The train moved off, and at that point I saw that the kindergarten only encapsulated two carriages, and the carriages before and after those carriages were normal passenger carriages. There were also lots of train tracks winding through the station platform, some crossing from one side to the other, and I had to sidestep a little train locomotive with no attached carriages as I headed back.
- I made my way back to the dorm room where the girl was and had a shower, then when I emerged, I found that she had helped me put away my clothes while I was showering. We then started studying, though it was apparently already 3:30 pm by then. I had a small brochure, three pages long and double-sided, that was apparently some sort of History assignment, I unfolded it and one of the pages had a number of questions in bullet points down the side. It was something about Japanese onomatopoeia, and I finished it easily enough.
- Later on, when I returned home, I had to climb a wall to actually reach my apartment where Mom, Dad, Jon, and Kel were. I hesitated and hung around just below the rim of the wall for a bit, listening to my family chatter with each other, until Mom flew over and hovered over the edge to look at me and mentioned that she would transfer me some money for accompanying Jon and Kel earlier on their way back. I said I didn’t even manage to see them in the end and climbed up the rest of the way.
Oct 14 2023
- I was waiting for the leadership transfer of some sort of organization to come to me, this involved the leaving of our old Discord server and the joining of a new one as well. Eventually we created a new server anyway and I invited everyone to it, though I noticed soon after that one of the other admins below me had done some customization to it, for example giving someone called Ame a teal-coloured role in the server. I surmised he must have paid for special privileges or something.
- As part of the organization, there was a wing of people who were becoming mech robot pilots, which included James and three other people who had just taken the test. At one point during the dream, the marks were released, and I look at a board in a room that showed me that everyone had passed- — the score needed to pass was 32 points, and they had all scored between 33 and 42. James had 38 points.
- Mom was in the bathroom and/or taking a shower at one point with Kel helping her out due to her still recovering from her surgery. Later on they left and I had my turn in there too, and I noticed that the bathroom door had a little rectangular vertical flap in it that looked like a mini door so that she could open it and call for help if needed without opening the entire door. The bathroom was also tiled Singapore-style so the entire bathroom could be used as a shower room.
- Mom drew an elephant on a square tablet at one point, then was dissatisfied with it and redrew it so that it looked like the picture of a road winding away in the distance, except that the road was actually the elongated body of an elephant standing on its hind legs. The elephant head was in the clouds toward the top of the picture. I thought it was rather clever.
- Finally, at one point I saw a TV show interviewing Elon Musk and a few people and he was mentioning that there was a secret society that he was part of called the Tail Keepers or something similar to that that saw themselves as gatekeepers of things. he said that one of its most famous members had been a 17 year old goalkeeper playing for some EPL team, possibly Sunderland, that had gone 140 games in a row without letting in a goal, and that eventually he got a talking to by his own secret society for being too zealous/good, at which point he settled into a more steady rhythm of occasionally choosing to let the ball slip through his fingers and roll into the net.
Oct 15 2023
- I was part of an entourage of people heading east along a dirt road that I think was loosely based upon train station routes and train tracks, except we were a caravan convoy train pushing/driving carts along the road, and stations were towns set upon the road instead. Our group split up at one point, with several of us including our largest caravan heading southeast toward a peasant town to sell some grain there, while the rest of us headed east toward another town to start buying things there, as it was the 30th of the month already and there was a special purchase we could make if we reached the next town to the east before the 31st. The group that headed southeast planned to take another northeast road from the peasant town to rendezvous with the rest of the convoy after.
- There was a minor sub-plot about car racing here somehow, as I’m fairly sure the scene occasionally transformed back and forth between dirt roads with carts and modern roads and train tracks with cars and trains. I don’t remember any exact details of this though.
- There was also a troll following us a little way behind us on the dirt road, though it got confused when we split up. It eventually followed us east, but due to the delay from the hesitation and from gathering a dark army or something, it did not attack us until the split caravan had joined back up with the main group in the eastern town.
- The attack, when it came, involved a bunch of ground troops but also some flying ones on an ice disc that we apparently found very difficult to defeat, according to a commentating voice, as they had destroyed our air defences first. We eventually defeated it and then set up some more air defences that looked like a really large test tube rack with 11 or so holes, and a flag set in hole 5, with some spear-shaped objects also placed in holes 1, 3, 9, and 11.
- In the aftermath of the attack, Jeremy pulled me and someone else aside and gave us both a photo each, which he said he had taken during the battle, that showed the identity of the leader that attacked us. It was a passport-sized photo, and although I did not recognize the man in it, I admired the fact that Jeremy was able to take that photo. But he was a bit of a loner, travelling along a little ways away from the group, and for some reason he did not want to share this with the rest of the caravan.
- He didn’t even fully trust us, he said, and the photos he had given us were stored in different folders with different passwords on his computer, even though he didn’t mind both of us looking at the other person’s photo as well. They were taken from slightly different angles. We returned him both photos afterwards.