I drove up to Milwaukee yesterday with my beloved to go see the Old 97's play at a place called the Rave. It was a neat venue, a lot more modern than some of the places I’m used to going to in Chicago. I already saw the Old 97's when they started their tour here last month, and the show was spectacular. Lead singer Rhett Miller looked a little sick last night, those months out on the road must be rough.

Mary and I got up there pretty early because one of my best friends from high school now lives there and I wanted to hang out in the city with him. Milwaukee is one of my all-time favorite towns, everyone up there just feels so normal and unpretentious. It’s also currently a swing state and I am a complete political junkie looking for a fix. Since Kerry is up by 16% in Illinois and our Senate race is a complete joke, I was itching for a little hot sweaty political action and I wasn’t disappointed. There were crowds of people milling around, some even blocking the streets, protesting and making their voices heard. It was a little odd because there weren’t any signs and the crowds just ended up wailing and screaming at each other. It’s kind of sad what the American political process has mutated into. There was also a gruesome scene of a bunch of people around what looked like ripped up bodies lying on the sidewalk. I assume it was some sort of over-the-top anti-war display by a bunch of trustafarian Marquette students.

It was really great hanging out with my friend Rob. Not only am I a political junkie, but I’m also a total mass media dork and he’s a bigger dork than I am, and since he’s also a reporter at WTMJ, the top news radio station up there, we had a lot of catching up to do. Unfortunately after a couple hours he got called into some big emergency at work and had to ditch us. Knowing Wisconsin, I bet it had something to do with some sort of record-breaking cheese castle or something.

The Old 97's show was rollicking as always, and even though Mary had never heard of them before, I was happy that she really seemed to get into it and had a great time. The crowd seemed pretty rowdy, especially in the back where a couple fights broke out and someone ended up getting carried out screaming. That’s another thing you can say about Milwaukee, people seem more willing to get drunk and stupid there.

So everything was going pretty good up until Mary and I started to make the trek home after the show. The traffic on I-94 was terrible and we crawled for hours until we finally saw what the trouble was. You see, right along the highway there is a park named (I shit you not) the Bong Recreation Area. Not only is the recreation area there, but there is also a big sign announcing its existence. Needless to say, stoners steal this sign approximately every few weeks. Well this time, the Bong Recreation Area was FUCKING ON FIRE! The fire trucks had closed of some of the highway and it looked like the Kenosha county cops were trying to clear out all the people that shambling out of the woods. (Mary claimed she heard gunshots, but I’m calling bullshit on that.) The trip ended up taking us almost all night.

When we finally got back to Chicago, Mary and I went to grab some breakfast. We stopped at Manny’s, which is this amazing old-school Jewish deli a few blocks from my apartment. It is seriously the place to go to get the New York deli experience around here. Unsurprisingly, the place was totally packed even this early in the morning, and the customers looked suitably ragged for being up too early. It got really gross too when we were waiting in line, all these old guys with these hollowed-out eyes kept ordering the brains. “Brains, brains, brains!” – it was like a litany throughout the whole deli. There have been times where I was tempted to try eating some tongue, but never the brains, BLECH! Mary and me ended up getting some huge corned beef sandwiches (that’s another thing I love about her, her appetite’s almost as big as mine :) ). If we weren’t tired and weirded out enough about the whole night, this freaky little kid bit Mary when we were walking out of the place! Of course he was running around with no parents nearby, big surprise there. I’m fucking sick of these people who let their little brats run wild. All they end up doing is growing up into monsters that society has to deal with.

Well, that was my most excellent night. Heh, Mary just came over and started nibbling on my neck (there’s that appetite again). I love it when she gets frisky. See ya.

I don't usually daylog. It's just not something I'm good at, so all the random blather goes to my LJ. But today I feel compelled. Why? Because today is my 2 year E2 anniversary. Yes, 2 years ago today, a certain friend and co-worker introduced me to the massive whirlpool that is E2, may he be blessed forever.

So, for the next few minutes, it's all about me, okay?

I love this place. Have I mentioned it lately? Well I do. That's why I knit for it, and participate in things. It supplies me with silliness and seriousness in proper measure at the proper time, sometimes at one and the same time. I come here for intellectual stimulation and to blow off steam. I've met some of you in person, and I've chatted with some of you so much that I wonder why we haven't yet met in person. It's not about the XP, it's not about the C!s, it's about the noders, and the things I didn't know, and the things I learn every day.

I haven't posted much in a while. Things are busy here in grad-school-land. The next thing I post will hopefully be a recipe for Pumpkin Pasties, both savory and sweet. I'm testing sweet and alternate savory versions tonight, and once all varieties are deemed 'good' I'll write 'em up. I'd like to do so in time for Hallowe'en, as they seem appropriate.

It's odd shopping when one is broke. I dashed into the supermarket tonight with my wallet and a pasty related list. It was unusually empty, but that was good as there were so many bad drivers on the road weaving and being altogether brainless, that I was in no mood to have to fight through the aisles. I think it might have been because of the weird smell in the store. I should listen to local radio more often, as our usually clean and vaguely vegetably supermarket had a distinct funk about it. It was a weird heavy odor, sort of sweet in a really really bad way. It was strongest near the back, so I figure something must have gone wrong with one of the walk in refrigerators.

Anyway, back to the realm of unaccustomed poverty. I noticed that all the meat was marked down. This substantiates the broken refrigerator theory, at least. I was looking for oxtails, but they didn't have any. They did have a large new display of liver, kidneys, tripe, sweetbreads, and brains though. The barrel of onions placed suggestively next to it was odorously amusing. I would have picked up some brains just to see what all the fuss is about (it seemed to be popular as the section only had a few packages left), but I didn't have enough cash for them if I wanted to get everything else I needed. I imagine brains have a nice tender texture, like marrow. Kidney is too chewy and tough, and I'm under the impression that sweetbreads are spongy, but if brains are like marrow, I can see the appeal.

So, I dashed through the store picking up flour, and butter, and a few other things. Some people seemed to have come shopping straight from a party. 5:30pm is a bit early for a party, but they'd clearly been drinking heavily, if not also indulging in other things. I also hadn't realized there were so many goths in my conservative little neck of the woods. Learn something new every day. I had to step over one person who was lying in the baking aisle, twitching. I tried to find someone to tell, but the store seemed understaffed, and I didn't see anyone except the cashiers, not even baggers.

Anyway, I was trying to explain how odd it is to not be able to buy whatever one wants upon sight. I bought extra butter because it was on sale, and I avoided the green filled Shrek Twinkies (oddly popular, the display was gutted) without a backward glance. *shudder* But I had to give the ice cream a lingering look. In the past, I've purchased up to 4 kinds of ice cream on whim. And I didn't buy any fresh chestnuts, and I studiously ignored the specialty cheeses. This not having serious gainful employ is starting to get me down.

Perhaps it's lucky that by the time I got to the ice cream, though, I was in too much of a hurry to get out of there to mourn overlong. The smell was getting worse, I could almost taste it breathing through my mouth (which was disgusting, I must say). The line at the checkout was interminable, even though there weren't that many people in the store. There were only two registers open with some poor half-dead high school students who looked simply exhausted. I used a deserted self-checkout and was out of there much faster. More morons on the road, though, and not a police car in sight. *sigh*

Ah well, it's not all about money. One day in the next year or so, I'd like to put together a cookbook of about a dozen Harry Potter themed foodstuffs, and send it to JKR just for the fun of it. I'm talking recipes for things she mentions in her books, that are average wizarding fare. Things which are amusing riffs on regular foods, like the pumpkin pasty. This is a little like my Lord of the Rings food experiments, except that it's more like lembas and less like baked Orodruin. Although, I think that some of the spectacle foodstuff skills may come in handy for the less typical of HP items. Because several minds are always better than one, if anyone has any ideas as to what I should make a recipe for, please let me know. If I can make a realistic recipe for it, I'll also node it.

Oh, also, I have a prodigious quantity of sourdough starter in need of a home, despite having sent out eight batches. If anyone wants some, let me know!

On the upcoming election: I remain convinced that the tendency for undecideds to break against the incumbent will result in a victory for John Kerry and the end of Dubya's Reign of Terror. However, it's going to be a close one, and I have a lot of friends who seem terrified of what another four years of Bush will bring. In particular, I have a friend who has whipped himself into a frenzy of paranoia about the upcoming election. He's been stockpiling guns and survival gear, and now with November 2 coming up, he seems to have snapped. He called me up this morning and breathlessly informed me that if knew what was good for me, I'd pack up the wife, kids and dog, and head for the hills. What a maniac!

My friend is a classic geek: he works at the Bluestone Center of the Santa Rosa Institute. This is the biogenetics program here in Albuquerque which is outgrowth of the World War II era Zozobra Project. My friend troubleshoots the ever-shrinking supply of Unix boxes at the Institute, and is total *nix zealot. He's always telling me horror stories about what will happen if the biohazard security systems from the old FVZA are migrated to a Microsoft Windows. I think his job is too stressful for him, and this latest paranoid episode is just his subconscious asserting the need for a break and a vacation.

Even if the worst happens, and Bush gets re-elected (or re-"selected", heh) life will go on. There will be no rioting in the streets, no massive shortages, no martial law. That sort of thing just isn't good for business. The toughest fights will be, as always, the fights for our civil liberties in the courthouses and legislatures.

As for me, I'm getting tired of living in a "battleground state" and I think this weekend I will keep the radios and TVs off to avoid the saturation bombing of political ads. In the meantime, it's Fall in New Mexico, and when you get a nice, windless Saturday like this one was perfect for burning weeds. I get inspired to get out the old weed-burner: a metal wand attached by a hose to a portable propane tank. With this little flamethrower, I can incinerate a tumbleweed, even if it's still a bit green, without getting all scratched up. And burning the damn things makes sure their seeds don't spread. It seems everyone else had the same idea and the propane place down the street was a madhouse, and everywhere I looked, this afternoon, it seemed like someone was burning something.

Yesterday (Saturday) I went over to see La petite Mort in the afternoon. We saw Louis Wain's cat drawings at the Wandsworth Museum. Very good. Man, the electric cat looks like it belongs on a blotter! Then after supper, on to Boo!'s concert in the evening, meeting up with some old Capetonian friends. It wasn't actually Boo!'s last concert - there's another one next week, I don't know where. They still have what makes them good anyway, and I hope Chris Chameleon makes more music somehow.

It was quite late, 12:30 when we got back by tube. A lot of drunken people were about in London last night. There was a guy at the northern line platform at Kings Cross, just stilling on the bench. When the train came, he tried to get up but just fell off the bench, twitching and drooling on the tiles.

The other good news is that NTL have finally got our cable TV working, so we won't be leaving the flat much on Sunday. However I had to go out, to book an air ticket to Cape Town in January from Flight centre.

A lot of wierdos around this morning, and I don't mean the Goths. The usual bag-lady had company, and instead of her usual routine of hunching in a doorway, zealously guarding her collection of junk, she and her friends were going for people, sounding even less intelligible than usual. I gave them a wide berth.

The people at the tube station seem half alive, muttering in unintelligible languages. But this is north London anyway, nobody plays much attention to people that they don't know, even if they are groaning and drooling. It bugs me a bit though. Still, it's not polite to interfere.

So today we're closing the doors and watching Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and The Return of the Jedi - the DVD set arrived from Amazon on Wednesday, and then the Sci-fi channel on Cable. I hope those guys out there have sobered up and gone home by the time we're done.

I am soooo pissed off! Man, some day's life sucks and blows at the same time.

Last night after a very nice dinner with StrawberryFrog we went off to see a band together. Now this was the band's last performance and it was not hard to see why. In short they stunk! Now don't get me wrong, the music was great but the general appearance of the band left a lot to be desired. The audience were not much better, I would have thought the Generation X Antipodean crowd would not have smelt like a bunch of hippies that had not showered for twenty years and had been rolling around in dog shit and dead things. Maybe it is because Goths seem to smell a lot different and it has been a long while since I have been in a 'normal' club.

The band sang and played really well but did look very much worse for wear being at the end of their break-up tour. They seemed to be breaking up in more ways than one and the guy who played the brass instruments seemed to be under the impression that leaf mould was the accessory of the moment. I think I would have had a word to the person who did their lighting as well as the colours of the gels where very unflattering. I am sure the lighting tech had put up too many blues and ghastly greens into the lighting rig casting a washed light over the band highlighting their tired and sunken faces.

Being out in the Goth clubs you come to accept that half of them are going to be out of their gourds from various drugs. My memories of heading out into non-Goth venues are a large amount of drinking and puking from the paying club goers. This is where the night got freaky even for me, the entire crowd seemed stoned this was a totally odd experience. I remarked on this to StrawberryFrog who gave his usual enigmatic shrug and continued to bounce around with the dead eyed audience. There also seemed to be also a higher than normal amount of spilled drinks on the floor making it treacherous to walk upon.

It was truly a freaky experience and took the gloss off the night even though the music was good and the company dishy. This morning my favourite shoes are coated in crusty goop and my clothes smelt as if I spent the evening in an undertaker's. I will suggest next time we want to head out that we go to the comparative saneness of a dark and macabre Goth club.

So those of you who don't know me, hi. I'm a lurker, and I've got a story you won't believe.

I run a pirate radio station out in the Arizona desert, mostly kooks calling in about seeing foo fighters and government activity. I humor them - people lap that shit up - but what I'm really interested in is the occult.

So yesterday this guy calls me. Of course the first thing he tells me is something's up with the DOD, and I just kind of rolled my eyes. More garbage. But then he mentioned something that got my attention: The Shelley Project.

The Shelley Project actually has a rather innocuous history in the American government. Most of the time, you know, all the secret projects are to keep the power up in the Illuminati, usually by covertly misinforming and undermining the power of the masses at the bottom. Or as we like to say in the biz, "standard operating procedure." But the Shelley Project's a bit different. Back in 1906, William KL Dickson, a former protege of Thomas Edison, was working in New Jersey on cameras and motion pictures. He was approached by a scientist on the government's payroll with a proposition to borrow some of his equipment, mostly electrical in nature. Dickson was a curious sort, and got in on the gag. It turns out the scientist was attempting to recreate the old Mary Shelley sci-fi classic Frankenstein and reanimate the dead!

Needless to say, that whole "shock the loose parts" bit was just that - science fiction. But the two worked together for nearly 20 years, and then the program went stagnant until about 1942, when Franklin D. Roosevelt began looking into the program from a more budgeted and operational angle.

Anyway, it's been running for the past 60 years or so, working on virtually every premise known to man to try and reanimate the dead. Watch out if you donate your body to science - you might wake up again one day monitored by some spooks and a lab tech!

So needless to say, when this guy mentioned it, my ears perked up and I got him on the air right away. So this guy, he starts rambling, I mean total mushmouth, and so I try to calm him down, but I can't get anything good out of him. He's just yelling about supersecret space payloads, the Mir space station, geiger counters, and a bunch of other weird stuff that didn't seem to relate to The Shelley Project at all.

Anyway, the only reason I mention this is because a short while after he calls, I get a flood of calls. I mean, lines across the board. That was odd, but what was odder was that everyone onboard wanted to talk about the Shelley Project some more. They all wanted to know how true it was. And they all had a weird story about seeing someone who looked like they had been raised from the dead.

So I called it a night and went to bed. Lights on. Didn't sleep.

Alright, I actually don't daylog, this is my first. I don't even read them. Still, I can't think of an existing node to put it in or a suitable title. What I really mean is that I feel guilty for daylogging.

Wow, this self-indulgence stuff is neat. I feel better already.


I happen to live about four blocks away from my college. It takes me about 15 minutes to walk there, which I do four days a week. My route also takes me past my old High School, and herein comes my point. I went to this school when it was new, so I know what it's supposed to look like under all the litter and graffiti. Don't get my wrong, litter sucks. If you can't take responsibility for your packaging, you shouldn't have whatever was in it. My point is about graffiti. Sort of.

I have nothing against graffiti, reclaiming the commons is all double-plus-good in my book. In many cases, I like graffiti. I am interested in what the twelve-year-olds are writing about each other on bus benches, it makes me feel connected with the youth of today. Maybe I'm crazy. Probably, I'm crazy. Anyway, today I saw something downright cool.

So I happened to be passing ye olde secondarye schooleee this damp sunday. I went to this school, and I know how sucky it is for anyone who isn't a mindless boring turd on legs. Still, it seems that the youth of today1 are cleverer and more ambitious than we ever were. The closest thing we had was that day where a bunch of drama students pretended to die during second period so they'd have an excuse to shame people for not sending money to starving Ethiopians or something.

What, you have been asking for the last three paragraphs, did I see? Zombies, baby. I don't know if it's because Hallowe'en's a-coming and there's groovy zombie movies out or it's a clever kind of artistic statement about consumerism, morality, imperialism and biological ethics. I like to think it's all of the above. I know we never thought to smear fake blood all over the place, break windows and pretend to fucking eat Mr. Greaves' brains out on sunday morning.

We wouldn't have, anyway. We would have got in trouble. Maybe there is hope for the younger generation yet, eh?

1 Okay, they are, like, four or five years younger than me. Still. I'm an old man. I'm twenty fricking two. Jeez.

When you work in the information technology biz, or ‘know a bit about computers’, word invariably gets around to family members. Because you’re family (and therefore free or cheap), you become the first line of technical support when they have a problem. I don’t mind it; I’m happy to help and keep them from falling into the clutches of places like Best Buy.

I don’t usually get a lot of those calls, but a few days ago it was as if the moon had moved into the right zodiac sign or something. No less than three members of my partner Tom’s family had computer problems on the same day.

First it was his uncle Jim in Lexington, reporting a failing hard drive in his laptop. I bet that one’ll have to go back to the manufacturer because the drives are proprietary. Then it was his grand-aunt Betty with a system that “just locks up all the time”. Next up was his grandmother Allene, and for her I’ll probably wind up building a totally new computer, hers is so old.

I decided it’d be easier to work on the computers down here in my basement where I have everything I might need, so I asked each one to drop the offending boxen off at their convenience. I promised to deliver them once the work was done. It took me a couple of days, but I got all the computers built or back into fine working order, except for Jim’s laptop. I was right – the hard drive is trashed, but I managed to save most of his files.

Yesterday morning I started calling all of ‘em to tell them that their Friendly Computer Repair Person was finished and the boxen were ready to go. Now, Tom’s family is a pretty laid-back bunch. They’re all easy going and rarely in a hurry about anything. It’s one of the things I like best about them.

So I figured I’d return the computers, then, each time I had an occasion to go into town, over the next few days or so. I didn’t think there was any rush. Was I ever wrong! Every one I talked to was insistent that I bring their computers by as soon as I could, preferably today.

Oh well, I can understand that, I get impatient myself when one of our systems is down.

Since Jim was the farthest, I started there. Lexington’s a small, sleepy village, so I was kinda surprised to see so many people milling about on the streets. Humph, I thought, early Friday evening and already the drunks are out. As I drove by some of ‘em, it was odd – I kept getting that “you’re not from around here” look like you see sometimes in old Western movies. Anyway, I found Jim’s house, came in, and I told him what the story was with his laptop. There was a little kid there I’d never met, turned out to be one of his grandchildren he was babysitting.

She was a nasty little piece of work if you ask me – as I was replacing the laptop on the desk, the little monster came up behind me, grabbed my right arm, and tried to bite it! “Hey!!” I yelled, jerking away. I looked at my arm. The little bastard didn’t break the skin, but she left a mark and there was oozy saliva all around it. Grabbed a few tissues from a box on the desk, I wiped the muck off. It was like trying to wipe a sticky, stinking jelly off, but I think I got it all.

“Carnie’s a little stinker, eh,” Jim said. That was putting it mildly – she stunk to high heaven. She must’ve been what I’d smelled when I first walked in. He turned to the girl. “Now you go in the other room, Granddad’ll feed you later.” She walked out of the room, very slowly, as if she’d just woke up.

“Um, yeah, she is.” I didn’t tell him what I actually thought of her, since I don’t like kids much and didn’t want to offend him. I said my goodbyes and got back on the road. As I passed through Lexington again, it seemed like there were more people wandering around, now in groups. They were walking along kind of stiffly, with their heads bent down as if watching every step. People that can’t hold their liquor, I thought. As I drove by, some of ‘em looked up at me with the weirdest look on their faces. I got back on the freeway and turned the radio on. Odd, I thought, all three of my favorite stations seem to be off the air.

I made my way to Betty’s house near Armington. They live way back in the woods and I’m never sure I can find the place. Finally, I found the road up to Betty’s and turned. I pulled up in the driveway, Betty opened her door, and I brought her computer in. She showed me where to put it, and I started set it up, reconnecting all the peripherals, and turned it on.

Betty’s been real sick lately, her doctor’s got her on some kind of heavy-duty drugs, and the house had that kind of “sickness” smell to it. So I wasn’t surprised to see her lurching around just a bit. I was surprised, though, when she bent down, as if she was going to put a disk in the computer – and instead tried to take a bite out of my bare leg. Maybe she didn’t like it that I was wearing shorts on such a cold, rainy day or something. Before I had time to think about it, I stood up real fast, and backed away from the computer desk. Betty looked up at me with the damnedest expression on her face.

“Um, everything looks OK and I’ve got one more to drop off so I’d better get going,” I said all at once, as if it were one word.

“Oh, but you just got here, and you must be hungry, I sure am …” Betty said, sounding like she was stoned or something. She lurched toward me, and then I noticed the odor in the house was just like the smell at Jim’s place. Time to get the hell outta Dodge and I wasn’t wasting any time.

“Thanks but gotta run see you later let me know if there’s anymore problems OK,” I said, running toward the door.

Gotta run was right. I ran all the way back to my car, jumped in, and floored it – something I never do. I drove away as fast as I could over the gravel driveway back to the main road. That dame needs her medication adjusted, I thought, as I headed to Bloomington and Tom’s grandmother Allene’s house.

Reaching the outskirts of Bloomington, I turned down the street that led to Allene’s. I pulled up in her driveway, grabbed the computer, and rang the doorbell. Allene answered and showed me in. She seemed a bit distracted and not completely “with it”, unusual for her. Anyway, we went to the back bedroom where the computer would be set up. I got to work.

I asked her where Doc (her husband, Tom’s grandfather) was, and she replied, “Oh, he’s din – I mean, he’s gone out to get dinner. I hope he gets somethin’ real good, I’m real hungry tonight. I’m so hungry I could eat just about anything.” She looked at me with that same damn weird look that Betty had on her face. Then she clamped her hand down on my arm and, for an old lady, she was pretty strong.

I pulled my arm free – she really had a hold of it, but I got free. And she smelled – just like Betty and Jim’s granddaughter! This time I didn’t linger to say goodbye or anything. I ran to the door, tripping over some crap on the floor, flung it open, and ran to my car. Thank the Gods I hadn’t locked it. I quickly jumped in and locked the door. You can bet I broke the 30 MPH speed limit getting out of there.

By this time I was starting to wonder what the hell was going on. I knew some of Tom’s family had their little quirks, but this was ridiculous. As I drove on, I decided it was probably nothing to worry about. Probably stressed-out people. Yeah, that was it. Nothing to worry about at all.

Just as I pulled into our driveway, my cell phone rang. It was Tom, calling from work. He wanted to know what was for dinner. He said he was tired of the vegetarian stuff I’d been making, could we have something with meat in it …

I don't particularly like coming in to work on weekends, but I thought I'd be in for two hours, three tops.

For those of you who don't know, I'm an engineer at a factory in Minnesota. We have three main production lines and three auxiliary production lines. The auxiliary lines make specialty products and only run weekdays 7AM-3PM, but the three main lines run constantly except for holidays and a maintenance day every three weeks. There was a two hour break scheduled for today for a product change-over and I needed the time to run some tests and find out why a new machine wasn't working properly (I'll spare you the details, the mounting brackets were uneven).

So anyway that's why I'm here on a Sunday. The zombies are why I'm still here on a Sunday and will probably be here through Monday.

Yeah yeah, I don't have any excuse for not knowing about them at this point, it's been all over the news by now, not to mention daylogs over the last couple of days. I did know, I just thought it was too cold for zombies in this part of the country in October. Don't they migrate South or something? The first one shambled in through a loading dock door about 10AM, and I didn't even know about it until it was all over. Fortunately it didn't bite anybody and the shift supervisor was able to club it over the head with a pipe wrench. The only reason I even found out was one of the older machine operators had a heart attack and they called for the first responder over the PA system.

The first responders are specially trained employees at the plant who deal with emergencies, like heart attacks and major cuts and injuries until the ambulance can arrive. We pulled out a defibrillator (we've got several in the plant) and got his ticker going again, but 911 was tied up. When we finally got an operator we were told they didn't know when they'd get an ambulance out. Right, the zombies. So we treated him for shock (head down, feet up, wrapped in blankets) and moved him to the interior offices (not the front offices, which I'll mention later).

Emergency over, everybody back to work.

Well until the second zombie shuffled in. I saw this one and managed to distract it while they got it with the pipe wrench too. Zombies are only really dangerous in large groups of course. So I called the shift supervisors for the other two lines and found out, yep, another zombie had wandered in, and they managed to spear it with a forklift truck. I told them to bash it over the head if it was still moving and close up all the loading dock doors, and lock the outside entrance doors. Then I had the other two production lines do the same thing and I locked the front office doors myself (as the only salaried employee in the mill at the time, I was the only one with the keys to the front office, the supervisors can only get into the interior offices).

Which, by the way, meant that I was more or less in charge here. Well I had no intention of taking responsibility for the plant in the middle of a zombie invasion so I called up the plant manager and told him what was going on. I was expecting advice. I got "I'll be right down."

I don't think I need to tell you how dumb that was. Zombies out shuffling around, multiplying with (almost) every victim, and the plant manager is driving over? I suppose it's the SUV, turned him into Charles Bronson. See, my company has a contract with Ford. In exchange for our fleet vehicles being exclusively Fords, we get a substantial discount on them. Plant managers get a free SUV. Anyway I'll get back to him later.

Meanwhile we're buttoned up in the factory, all the doors shut and locked. We don't get deliveries on weekends but we still send trucks out, so we called to cancel all outgoing shipments since opening the dock doors would be suicidally stupid at this point. The roll down dock doors are pretty sturdy and I don't think the zombies could break them in. Even if they could, we've got welding equipment. The exterior walls are brick and the regular doors are metal, and all the windows are made of glass block except in the front office, which I locked up anyway. Meanwhile, the shift supervisor says that so long as the electricity was on, the natural gas was flowing, and the raw materials held out, we should probably keep running the plant.

And well, rationally, there is no reason to stop the mill. The plant is fed from three phase, 161 kV power lines that are about 30 feet in the air so I don't think they're in any danger. We pump in water from the river, the natural gas is piped in underground, and we don't get deliveries on weekends anyway so the raw materials are going to hold out at least until Monday. So what the heck, we keep churning out product during the zombie invasion. It strikes me as kind of surreal, but we're relatively safe inside.

So about this time the plant manager pulls into the parking lot. I head up to the front office to see what's going on. Since there's nobody in there to attract attention (what with it being the weekend), the zombies haven't bothered to break in yet although I'm sure they could easily. Anyway there's a couple hundred of them crowding around the factory at this point trying to get in. Nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd, and that's doubly true for zombies. So the plant manager plows through about a dozen of them and then gets his SUV stuck on a pile of corpses. I see him try rocking the car a bit, alternating forward and reverse, but the door windows don't last long and he gets his dumb self pulled out and eaten alive. Looking back, I wonder if he had the presence of mind to try four wheel drive.

So I head back into the mill before I could attract attention and let the three shift supervisors know what's going on out there. We decide to let everybody take turns using the phone to call their families, but we keep running the production lines. We've got three million square feet of warehouse, let's use it.

Anyway it's about lunch time at this point and since I wasn't planning on staying this long I didn't bring a sandwich. You know the funny thing about being surrounded by zombies, even if they can't get in, the power is on, and the vending machines are working fine, somebody's going to take a folding chair to the display glass so we can get all the food for free. I suppose people will use any excuse.

There's a few radios in the plant the employees listen to while they're working, so we decide to turn on the PA system and set the receiver next to the radio speaker to broadcast the new reports through the whole mill. The whole place started complaining when we heard the national guard wasn't going to make it up here until late this evening, until the supervisors promised everybody time and a half for the rest of their shifts and then double time for any hours they have to work overtime.

Whatever, I'm salaried. I don't get overtime. I suppose there's a couple things I can do until we're rescued, there's a bug in the servo controller for the foil cross-cut saw I haven't bothered to fix yet, and production has been on my back about getting the interlocks running from the grading station downstacker to the other parts of the line, so I guess I'll get those done while I'm here. But I don't have a Lovecraftian compulsion to keep writing even as I am being devoured, so don't expect me to node something like "Oh no! They're breaking in!" later. If you don't see me in the chatterbox tomorrow you'll know what happened.

In any case, it's time Human Resources got off their keisters and formulated a workable zombie invasion plan. We've got emergency procedures in place for fire, tornado, heart attack... but of course a real emergency comes along and we have no procedure for it. That's corporate America for you.

You know how they say to be careful what you wish for? I am feeling that wisher's remorse today. Everything is always so noisy around here. I live in an apartment complex off of a busy three-lane two-way street, so there's always traffic noise in the air. People are always shouting as they play basketball in the court adjacent to my building. Helicopters are always flying over to do traffic reports. My neighbors are always blasting loud music. And then there's this one idiot who drives a motorbike that feels the need to loudly rev his engine and peel out anything he goes somewhere. Now today it's dead silent out there. No basketball players, no sound of traffic, no helicopters, no bike idiot. After reading the other daylogs and seeing what's going on, I guess I can assume that the infestation has reached this area, so either nobody's going out for their own safety or there's not many people left to go out. Lord knows I'm not going anywhere today; aside from the safety factor I have a whole stack of DVDs to go through.

Thanks to an Amazon.com gift certificate I scored $60 in DVDs for free. I ordered up the first season of Angel and the new Star Trek: Generations collector's edition. The original DVD release was just the movie itself, and while I liked the movie that edition just wasn't worth the money. This new edition has commentary from the writers (and they explain all about the film's many plot holes) plus there's a second disc of deleted scenes and documentaries that are actually interesting. For years Paramount seems to have believed that fans would buy anything with the words Star Trek on it, but now as the franchise is enduring a low point they must realize they need to put forth some effort to sell products now. The set is very well-done and I recommend it. Just don't go out to the store to get it. Order via Amazon or some other online vendor that will deliver to your door, and don't open the door for anyone except the mail carrier.

Today we should be seeing some response in the subjects today,and if we're lucky everything will work out as planned.

Right now Steve is in the lab with them taking their vitals and swapping their drips. We were keeping them lightly sedated to keep 'em still, but stopped the dope feed over two hours ago. With luck, they'll start coming around before the shift ends in an hour.

Oops, here comes somebody, more later...

It was just the cleaning guy. He's cleared for the whole facility so I just let him in. Maybe he'll startle Steve.

If this "BB stuff" works, everybody will get phat paid. Even the Janitor has options, because the big boys want us all busting our asses to make it work. Having the key to near-eternal youth is a big enough boat to float everybody involved to easy street.

I better go get Steve, shift change is in 20, and we have to go through the checklist before Jim and Mike show up to relieve us.

HOLY SHIT! - I was just in the lab, and it's like a bad science-fiction movie in there! Steve and the Janitor are tied up and the subjects are doing something to them! I managed to close and bar the door, but I don't think it will hold them for long.

I managed to get the boss on the line and told him what was going on. I also tapped into the surveillance feed for the lab. Both Steve and the Janitor are walking around now, but they aren't trying to escape or anything. They're tearing the sheets up into strips and weaving them into rope. (They won't need much, the lab is on the third floor.)

Its as if they're all some kind of zombies or something, but they don't really act like it. They aren't staggering or anything, and are acting purposefully. It's as if they are under some kind of hypnotic trance.

I understand now. The BB's took over the subjects, and the subjects infected Steve and the Janitor. We actually created smart zombies. God help us all.

I have to get out of here, but if they get out there won't really be anyplace safe.

Well, I've got the fire axe and I found a can of pepper spray in Mary's bench drawer (I wonder what she was afraid of?) I'm going to make a break for it.

This room is cold, uncomfortable and too damn small for four men. We’ve got three broken windows letting in the wind, a wretched smell of dead fish (from Terry and me) and smoke (from the city). In fact, the only good thing I can say about this room is that it’s completely surrounded by water. But that’s really all we can ask for at the moment.

It’s early, but it’s already getting dark, and the rain has faded into a deep fog. We still have power, but the way things are going I’m not sure that’s going to last. So I figured, seeing as how I’ve sort of made it my life’s goal to be a writer, I might as well be the resident reporter, and use this down time to let people know what’s going on. And here he is now, our man on the front line, live from Freak City, Connecticut. What can you tell us, DM?

Static...It’s looking grim, Jim. Ghost of a smile...

Actually, that’s not my style. Let me give it to you my way. Bear with me a while, okay? I’m a great believer in background information. I don’t have time to polish things up, but I’ll do the best I can.

Before I moved to New Haven, I lived across the river from New York, and I always thought New York was Freak Central, but after living here for a year and a half I think I can safely say that New York has nothing on us in the weird and crazy department. This town is maybe one twentieth the size of NYC, but freaks seem to feel an irresistible attraction to the place. They’re on the streets, pissing behind the bus shelters. They’re on the bus with you, in the senior citizen seats, eyes traversing back and forth like hungry dogs every time anything female gets on the bus. They’re looking for remnants of Little Mermaid fabric at Wal-Mart, telling you they’ll get rid of Bush if you give them a dollar, asking you out of the blue if you’re lonely. They’re knocking on your door at two AM asking you for a cigarette.

Down at the docks, there’s a guy named Paul. Paul seems like a pretty decent character, except you can’t talk to him. He just totally ignores you unless you’ve been a lobsterman for at least ten years. Acts like you haven’t said a word. He’ll talk to people, but not if they talk to him first. But he seems okay overall, I mean he’s helped us unload pots and things like that, never expecting to be paid or anything.

But this guy Paul is not a lobsterman. He’s a construction worker. It’s just that he’s been on strike for fifteen years. Nobody even remembers why he went on strike, but he still expects to go back to work any day now. He sleeps in his car, and he never parks it the same place two nights in a row because They’re looking for him. And you hear this, and you think uh-oh, another freak. But They really are looking for him. They’ve already tried to kill him once. This is documented.

They caught him in a phone booth, back in the days when there were phone booths. A car pulled up behind him, window open, bang bang bang bang bang bang. At point blank, six bullets, at least one of them right in the back of the head. The car was pulling away before he even started to fall, which is good because he didn’t fall. He hung up the phone, dialled 911 and reported the shooting. Then he fell.

These things happen.

On the other end of the spectrum, you have the old New England weirdness. This is the landscape that produced H.P. Lovecraft, Washington Irving, and Herman Melville, amongst others, and you can feel that vibe still hanging around us. We have some of the oldest churches in America right here in town. There are crypts. The ghosts of the Puritans are still with us. The Skull and Bones society is based about a block away from the coffee shop where I do most of my writing, and even though I’ve never bought any of the Illuminati hype that is invoked under that name, the mood of the society fits perfectly with New England’s particular craziness. The first Europeans who settled in this area were fucking morbid, okay? The gates of the biggest and oldest cemetery around read “the dead shall be raised”, I shit you not. Maybe that means something holy and hopeful to a Christian. To me it just says “Welcome to Goth country, enjoy your stay.”

There’s an undercurrent.

Anyway, this morning we officially opened the winter lobster season. I’d been waiting for it for a long time. My wallet was so fucking empty even the moths had gone off to look for greener pastures. I got up at five AM, turned on the coffeepot and went online to check the weather.

Whenever I tell people that lobstering depends on the weather, they nod and say, “yes, it’s been pretty cold and rainy lately,” or something like that. But that stuff doesn’t matter to us. We will fish in rain and in the cold. But we can’t fish in high winds or overly rough seas. So when I go online to check the weather, I don’t even look at the regular weather reports. I go straight to the coastal forecasts, which tell me that today the wind is going to be 10-20 knots out of the northeast, with gusts up to 25, fading away towards afternoon. I think it’s going to be extremely shitty for me, dangling my ass over the back of a boat in 20-knot winds, but we haven’t worked in far too long, the weather isn’t showing any sign of lightening, and I really need some money. So I dress warm, fill my Thermos with coffee, and head on out.

If I’d seen the landlubbers’ weather report, I might have known that something was up, and I might have stayed at home. And I would already be dead, most likely.

I got my bike and locked the door. Just before I rode off, I saw my cat come out of the bushes. I hadn’t seen her in a couple of days, and she looked pretty beat up. Actually she looked downright mangled. Her fur was all matted in tufts, and one of her eyes was swollen to a slit, and she had something in her mouth. I chirruped to her and opened the door for her to go in and warm up, but she just gave me that “I’ve been really naughty so fuck you, human” look that cats do so well, and shrank into the bushes again.

“Come on, you stupid cat, it’s freezing out there,” I coaxed, but the bitch actually hissed at me. She is not what you might call a nice cat, and sometimes I can understand why my wife hates her so much. And I was already running late. So I just locked the door and got back on the bike, hoping my wife would take care of her despite their rocky relationship.

One of the things that’s kind of creepy about my job is that I have to ride my bike right through hardcore freak territory at five in the morning. You don’t usually see people out at that time of day, but when you do they’re always freaks. One morning I passed a half-dressed blonde girl wandering around in a daze, and she just looked at me and asked me for a cigarette. Some mornings I see guys sitting in cars at the gas station, waiting for god knows what. Most times it’s just a couple of people trudging down the street in hoodies, probably guys like me who work ungodly hours trying to make a buck, but even they scare me at that time of day.

This morning there were more than usual, maybe six or seven people out just hanging around, walking slowly along the sidewalk, slumped against telephone boxes trying to make collect calls to their drug dealers, whatever it is these people do. I almost hit one guy crossing the street in a shuffle, not looking right or left, as if he’d bought the fucking street. He didn’t even look at me when I passed him. And he had that smell people get when they’ve lived on the street for years, makes you think they’re rotting or something.

But I got to the docks intact, we loaded a few miscellaneous pieces of gear and set out. On our way out, the Thompson Street bridge operator warned us to stay close, because there was some freakish weather coming up. It wasn’t long before we saw what he was talking about. As soon as we passed the jetty we could feel the waves building up, and by the time we went through the breakwall we had our rain gear buttoned up tight to fight off a wind that was a lot closer to 20 than 10. The boat was jumping around like a rodeo bull, and I could see Terry thinking maybe we should just turn around and go home.

If it was up to me, we would have. But Terry is sort of a lobstering Ahab. Lobstering is his quest. It’s in his blood. He hates to miss a day on the water. And on the first day of the season, and considering our last season sucked abominably, it probably would have taken a hurricane to convince him to give up. So we kept on heading out, thinking we could set one line at least and see how it went, so we could at least get some traps fishing. Lots of days start out with horrid weather and turn into beautiful days by eight o’clock, so it was worth a try.

Today wasn’t one of those days. When the sun came up behind the clouds the sky was sort of green, like it gets in tornado season, and there was some major lightning flickering away behind those green clouds. It was only raining in spurts, but the wind was a constant bitch. By the time we finished setting that first line we were both more than ready to call it quits. Terry gave me the wheel and ordered me to go north. He never says “take us home” or “that’s it for the day.” Just “go north.” It’s like he doesn’t want to admit that the day is over.

We could see that shit was going down before we even cleared the breakwall, even driving straight into the wind and rain. The biggest, darkest clouds were right over town, and it looked like smoke was rising up to join them from several different spots. Lightning was going off every ten seconds, and as soon as we entered the harbor we could see police flashers on every road. There was a lot of action on the water, too - it seemed like every fucking pleasure craft docked in New Haven had just decided to go for a spin. Right about there, I decided that something was seriously wrong, because those rich guys don’t even dare leave the marina if there’s any chance they might get their L.L. Bean raingear wet.

And the Thompson Street bridge was up. That’s not normal. That bridge is a pretty important access road. It never stays up for more than a minute. We called the bridge operator to make sure he wasn’t about to lower it on us, and to find out what the hell was going on.

Sorceress to Thompson, come in.” Silence. “Sorceress to Thompson Street bridge, come in please.” Nothing. “Sorceress to Chapel Street.”

There was silence for a few more seconds, then he answered.

“Chapel Street, Sorceress, what can I do for ya?”

“Are you hearing us all right, Chapel? Thompson isn’t answering us, I thought it might be our radio.”

Again, it took a while for the guy to respond.

“I hear you just fine, Sorceress. Thompson might be a little busy at the moment.”

“Can you relay that we’re going under him right now? I don’t want him to close on us.”

“He’s not gonna close on you, Sorceress. We’re staying open. Stay out there.”

Our radio sucks, and I can never understand what the guys are saying on it, so I glanced over to see if Terry had heard what I heard. And over his shoulder I saw the edge of the Thompson Street bridge. We were just starting to go under the bridge, and the edge of the roadway was about twelve or fifteen feet above us. And there was a mob around the southern tower on that side, what looked like a few dozen people pressing forward to get to the tower’s door, to the stairs going up to the control room.

It was still raining.

The radio crackled. “I say, stay out there, Sorceress. We’ve got rioting. Bridges are staying open, and I advise staying out in the harbor until the situation is back to normal.”

“What’d he say?”


“That’s what I thought.”

As we drifted past the bridge, one of the guys in the crowd swung an axe at the door. I think Terry and I must have thought of our families at the exact same second. I jumped belowdeck to get my celphone, and called home. Terry told me to hurry up, but he was calling his wife too.

“Hello?” said my wife. I knew right away that something bad had already happened at home.

“Hey. What’s going on over there? I’m seeing all these guys out trying to wreck the Thompson Street bridge or something, and the guys are telling me there’s rioting.”

“Rioting? What are you talking about?” she spat. “Your fucking cat just bit Daigoro.”

“What? Which cat?” If there’s a stupid question to be asked, you can usually bet that I’ll be asking it. It’s one of my talents.

“Which cat do you think? Robin. She bit Daigoro, and tried to scratch me. She won’t quit. I think she’s got rabies or something, she looked all messed up. I locked her ass in the bathroom. This is it, God damnit. Those cats are history. I don’t care how much you love them, I’m not putting up with this shit anymore. I’m taking Daigoro to the hospital, and by the time we get back I want those cats gone.”

Did I mention my wife doesn’t really care for my cats?

“I don’t think you should go out right now,” I told her.

“I’m not waiting. If that cat has rabies, Daigoro needs to get a shot right away. Shut up, Robin! Your stupid cat’s still trying to claw through the door. If she messes up my door I’m going to kill her myself. And the other one keeps hissing at the door. Robin bit her, too. Where are you?”

“I’m by the bridge. I’ll be home as soon as I can.”

“Well, I’m going now. Get rid of those fucking cats. I’m serious.”

I don’t know what was worse, my news or Terry not getting any answer at home or on his wife’s celphone. I told him my news and he made up his mind to move.

“Chapel Street, this is Sorceress. We’re coming in.”

“You’re fucking crazy, Sorceress. We’ve got major trouble over here, and it’s happening all over town. I’m telling you, stay out on the water.”

But of course we wanted to get in and go as quickly as we could to see what was happening at home.

By this time we were drifting around the inner harbor, in the space between the bridges, and we could see what the bridge guy was talking about. There was another little crowd on the road by the Chapel Street bridge, which is right before our dock. Chapel Street is a much smaller bridge than Thompson, and it’s a turntable-style bridge rather than a lifter. There was a line of four or five cars stopped at the bridge, and a good-sized crowd of people surrounding them. They were smashing windows, pulling doors open, reaching into the cars. Screams came over the water quite clearly. It was like some kind of mass hysteria.

We were moving towards the bridge slowly, and the closer we got the worse it looked. When we were almost at the bridge itself, we saw another car pull up behind the stopped cars. The driver hit his horn a couple of times, perhaps thinking the bridge just didn’t realise there were people waiting to cross. But honking was a bad idea. As soon as they heard the noise, the angry crowd turned as one, like they were robots, and started to limp towards the new arrival. Right before we floated by the bridge, hiding them from our view, one big rioter put his entire arm through the driver’s window. Then the screaming started all over again.

“You sure we really want to dock?” I asked Terry. I knew he was having the same doubts, but he wasn’t about to admit to them.

“Get ready to scramble,” he told me. “Tie the back end loosely, we might want to take off. But if it’s clear out there, we’re gonna run for my car as soon as we can.” As he spoke, he was checking the little flaregun he keeps behind the instrument panel.

I put my celphone in my pants pocket under my rain gear and got a hammer out of the toolbox. We came in fast, and it was all I could do to keep the stern end of the boat from slamming into the dock. I tied my end up and jumped up the ladder to unlock the gate. Just then I heard a car coming with tires scrambling over the gravel.

Before I even got to the gate, I saw Paul coming at full speed in his beat-up brown car. Crazy Paul. Construction-worker-on-strike Paul. Resident psycho and all-around nice guy. He was driving like a guy who’s spent far too many hours playing Grand Theft Auto.

He skidded to a Blues-Brothers-type stop right in front of the gate and was out of the car in a second. “Open it up!” he was shouting before he even got out. “Open the gate! Don’t stop your engine, Terry! Hurry up!” He was holding a shotgun.

“We were going to go home, check on our families,” I told him while I fumbled at the padlock.

“Shut up, greenhorn. You can’t go anywhere. Nowhere to go. Come help me with these things.”

I wondered what things he had in his trunk, but before I could ask him he was dumping weapons into my arms. The guy had an entire arsenal there. Shotgun, rifle, two automatics, flares, even a hatchet. With lots of ammunition for every piece. I started to realise that his famous assassination attempt might not have been just another case of mistaken identity.

“Put all that on the boat,” he ordered.

I was about to ask him what he was doing (see intelligent questions, above) when I saw the first rioters come around the corner of the parking lot about a hundred feet away. They were moving slowly, and quite a few of them looked like they were on their last legs. But there were twenty, maybe thirty of them, covered in blood, looking at us as if we were lunch. I told Paul to hurry up and ran the weaponry back to the boat, where Terry was already casting off the lines we had tied. He couldn’t have seen the mob yet, but I guess he had seen enough weirdness to trust Paul without questioning.

I handed the guns and stuff down to him as quickly as I could, and turned back to see how Paul was doing. He had gotten everything he needed out of the trunk and was in our yard, trying to lock the gate. Then the first rioter reached the gate.

I don’t know why I keep calling them rioters. I know well enough what they are. Do I just not want to say it, like Terry not wanting to admit when we’ve finished fishing for the day? Do I think that if I don’t say it, it won’t be true? Maybe I just don’t want to face the fact that what bit my daughter, what trashed our boat, what surrounds us even now, groaning and hissing, is something undead. Because that’s just too much. You don’t want to believe that things have gone so massively wrong. That this could be the last time I ever write a daylog, and that very soon there might not even be anybody around to read daylogs. Because I seriously doubt that zombies do E2. There, I said it. Zombies.

“The dead shall be raised.” You stupid fucks, don’t you know writing a thing like that on a cemetery gate is just asking for trouble?

I’m losing focus here. The more I write, the more I think about it, the worse it gets for me. I’ll try to finish before I break down. I’m losing daylight, anyway.

Paul was wrestling with the chain and the lock, and I guess he didn’t hear the things approaching until the first one got to the gate. Without even pausing, it bent down and grabbed his fingers through the chain link, put its face down and bit. Paul screamed and went flying backwards, having no fingers to grip the gate with. Immediately the things started pushing the gate open.

I had nothing to use as a weapon, so I just went and grabbed him by the shoulders. I strained a muscle - Paul is a really big guy, something along the lines of Marv in Sin City - but I managed to drag him back towards the boat. I was just running on autopilot by then, old army training taking over when my brain stopped working. I got him to the ladder by the boat, and he managed to cling to the ladder until Terry took hold of him, and I jumped down and helped Paul into the wheelhouse. We spun out of there as fast as a lobster boat can spin.

It wasn’t fast enough. Two of the things fell on us before we got away - they didn’t jump or anything, they just walked off the dock and fell. One of them landed on the stacked lobster pots we hadn’t cleared off the boat. The other hit the deck right behind Terry, going straight for him without a second’s pause. He let out a yell and tried to shake the thing off. I had just seen the second zombie clinging to the side of the stacked pots. I saw Paul’s hatchet lying on the floor next to him, and eventually figured out that one plus one equals two. Grabbed the hatchet and went out the back door to chop the ropes tying the stack together while Terry fought with the other one.

As soon as the rope was cut, the stack collapsed under the zombie’s pull, and it went overboard still holding on to two pots. We lost six or seven pots there, but I figured that for once nobody was going to yell at me for losing pots. I turned around just in time to see Terry finally hurling his opponent over the side. Unfortunately, the thing had distracted him at just the wrong time, and about a second later we ran into the structure supporting the Chapel Street bridge.

The impact flung us all around pretty hard. I got some pretty nasty cuts and bruises from the lobster pots falling on top of me, and Terry got knocked up some on the wheel. But we didn’t find the worst damage until Terry tried to reverse. We heard a hideous grating sound, and the boat shuddered violently, but didn’t move an inch. Terry jumped up to the front deck and leaned over to look at the hull. “We got a hole,” he shouted back to me. “Big one.”

The zombies were standing on the dock, watching us and groaning, and I was still afraid that one of the ones that went in the water would suddenly pop up and jump onto the boat. But I guess they don’t swim, because those two vanished without a trace and none of the others looked eager to jump in after us. Mind you, you couldn’t really say that any of them looked eager for anything. It was right at that moment that I think all three of us realised what the things were. It was pretty obvious that they weren’t ordinary rioters. They were covered in blood, and most of them were missing pieces. Half of them were muddy and wearing grayish old rags that hardly covered a thing, while the other half wore newish clothes and didn’t seem to have been buried. I guess they were recent victims.

“Let’s get up to the bridgehouse,” I suggested. Terry didn’t want to abandon the boat, but between Paul and I we managed to convince him. The bridge tender didn’t really want us there, but between a shotgun, an axe and a Beretta we managed to convince him, too.

So here we are. Me, Terry, Paul and Angelo the bridge tender. We’ve got a little bit of canned food pulled out of the boat, we’ve got all the weapons we could want, and we’re surrounded by water. Our celphones aren’t working, but we’ve got Internet access. I used that as soon as we got settled in, scanning various news sites and alternative sources. Of course the big news chains aren’t carrying anything except reports of “health care crisises” (sic), “freak storms”, and “pre-Halloween pranks perpetrated by Goths”, but looking elsewhere I’m hearing about things like the Shelley Project and the Zozobra Project, plague, deathworms, space-borne virii and other choice delicacies. I read Jet-Poop’s daylog, and notice that the BBC News is reporting some kind of anthrax outbreak near Lubbock, TX. I hope the guy is okay. I have this image of him holed up in a bunker with a flamethrower, surrounded by bottled water and tins of caviar. But seriously, there’s a lot of daylogs about this thing, and a lot of rumours on alternanews websites, and I’m kind of curious about how long the news conglomerates think they can keep this bottled up.

Then again, I might not be around to see the real story unveiled. Looking at various webcams around town, I can see that a fair portion of New Haven has gone undead, and most of the rest of it is smoking. Looking up at the sky, I can see the lightning getting more frequent than ever through the fog. And I’m wondering if my wife managed to dismember the cat, or if she still expects me to get rid of it. And I’m remembering that Paul got bitten, and he is by far the biggest, strongest, and best armed member of our little party.

It’s almost dark now.

OK daylog.

Some of you know me. I know my fellow members of Freedomforum are well acquainted. I keep them abreast of current events over here in South Korea, and we chat about current events and bitch about current events.

At any rate, I've just signed my volunteer statement for SFAS. I'm not your normal noder I guess. I see a lot of culture here dealing with subjects like, "I'm a geek", or I'm your average liberal collegiate genius.

I'm a soldier, and YES I'm proud of that. No I don't care if you like that or not. I also don't really care about politics. I've learned to take it in stride, and I'll cast my absentee ballot and move on, not paying much heed to politics unless someone starts taking my paycheck.

But yeah, I'm volunteering for Special Forces. If you're curious as to what I'll be enduring, check the node on SFAS, as that's what I'll be attending in January if I pass my physical. I'm not all too concerned with the politics you see, because there will always be someone for me to fight, Iraq or no. Take it how you will, but do it silently.

Well, I'm a month and a half into graduate school and with class work, teaching first year physics labs, searching for a research supervisor, class work, marking first year physics labs, and more class work, I'm more than just a little busy. But these last few days have made me think I've snapped under the load. Let me explain.

Alright, Thursday. Thursday mornings I teach a lab at 8:00 in the morning, a.k.a. ridiculously early (at least for the non-morning person I am). The lab went fine and I think there are 21 more people in the world who know how to use an oscilloscope because of it, but that was only the beginning of the day. After lunch I settled in to the computer lab to work on my quantum mechanics assignment. That was a relatively uneventful eight hours except for five minutes right in the middle.

Around 6:30 I heard these horrible screams coming from outside the building. They went on and on but I couldn't see any source for it because the dense foliage outside the computer lab windows. Those of us who were still around the lab after-hours guessed that someone had a bad drug experience as we went outside and saw no evidence of any sort of altercation. By the time I went home I paid it little mind because, well, I was tired.

Friday, on my way to the university, I saw some weird things while I was riding on the bus. First, up on Burrard Street, I saw this group of street people (or at least I guessed they were street people; they looked like they hadn't had access to a shower or laundry machines in the last week) walking down the street, with this odd shuffling gait in perfect synchronicity. Later, along Broadway, I saw some more people walking along with that odd gait, only these ones were in really rough shape. And I mean really rough shape. We're talking spreading blood-spots, half-severed limbs, and the like. The strangest part was that they didn't seem to care. Friday was another busy day so I didn't have time to see if there were more people acting like this around the university.

This morning was the last straw. Someone looking rather worse for the wear shuffled up to me on the street, grabbed my arm, and moved as though he was going to chew on it. Naturally, I tried to get away from him, but my first attempts failed. Feeling somewhat desperate, I jerked my arm sharply away and was able to free myself. Looking back at him, I noticed that I had broken four of his fingers right off, and he didn't even flinch. Blood and even more distasteful things were smeared over the arm of my jacket. I seized this opportunity to run away, noticing that the guy wasn't moving very fast.

Now I've been really absorbed in my work lately, it's esoteric work, and I've heard people talk about advanced mathematical theorems as a psychoactive substitute, but I didn't think they meant it this seriously. If there was some evidence that other people had seen some of these things maybe I wouldn't think I'm going crazy...

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