Archive for April, 2021


The Old Man’s Secret

Another one from Shortly, with almost no hints from me; I gave it only the title and the first half of the first sentence, up to “high in”. This is the second run with the same prompt; the first one was all about a family skinning a caribou (really!).

He finally revealed it to us, high in the mountains, at sunset.

“I can’t hold it all any more.”

His admission saddened us greatly because we all loved this man.

“Will it destroy us?”

The Old Man looked sad, but said nothing.

“What do you plan to do?”

“I am going to destroy everything. I have to set things right, it’s the only way.”

“Will it hurt?”


“Will we suffer?”


“Will we get better?”

The Old Man nodded.

“It’s been a good life.”

His eyes became moist and glossy.

“Are you sure there’s no other way?”

The Old Man nodded.

“I’m sure.”

We all knew the Old Man was right. The pain would soon be gone and the good times would return.

“When are you planning to begin?”

The Old Man tensed his back up, and braced for what was coming.

I don’t need to tell you anything that happened from there on in. We all cried, and we all screamed, and we all died. And then we became something else. Something strange, different.

Something which could never truly comprehend what had gone before.

And what we never understood then was that all of this had happened many, many times before.

That was the secret.

There was no more.

That was it.

The End.

Deep stuff, man!


Entirely Satisfactory

So I’ve been playing Satisfactory a bit.

I fact I’ve been doing little else other than play Satisfactory, and do the work required to pay for the electricity and food required to play more Satisfactory.

In fact why am I writing this weblog entry when I could be playing Satisfactory? I need to make 1,000 more motors as just one small part of what the Space Elevator demands to reach Tier 7!!

It’s okay, though; through the miracles of automation, the Assembler that’s making the motors is automatically fed Rotors and Stators from two other Assemblers (all via Mk.3 and 4 Conveyor Belts), and those Assemblers are in turn provided with their parts by other Assemblers, which are in turn provided with Iron Rods, Screws, Steel Pipes, and Wire from my various Constructors, all powered by my seven power plants (two running off petroleum fuel and five off coal, all supplies entirely automated, including the cute little tractor that continuously ferries the coal from the automated mine), and those Constructors are supplied by the Iron Mine (Mk.2) and various appropriate smelters and things.

Except for the Wire, come to think of it, which is copper, and the copper mine being sort of far away I just keep a bunch of Wire in a Storage Container… omg what if it runs out???

brb going to run a long conveyor belt from the copper processing area to the Stator Constructor. Or maybe I should program another little tractor.

Sure, there is enough wire (bottom left) FOR NOW, but…

Anyway, it’s great fun. The graphics are amazing, all of the machinery moves in lovely and hyper-realistic ways (watch a portable miner come to life!), and the alien world it’s all happening in is gorgeous and exotic. Also lovingly hand-crafted, as I understand it; none of this haphazard procedural-generation stuff!

The oil processing area, in a cavern in a mysterious quasi-subaquatic area.

That second picture there is the oil processing area, in a cavern in a relatively distant area of strange aquatic-looking plants and rock formations. Before I ran a train line out to it, getting out there was an adventure involving significant getting lost and attacked by monsters.

With the train in place and automated, not only is there a constant flow of plastic and rubber and polymer resin into my main area, but it’s a safe and scenic ride out through the more and less Earthlike areas, along the edge of the infinite misty abysses for awhile (it’s a notable planet that way; what’s down there?), to the train station by the ol cavern.

It’s an extremely open-world game, in that you can build essentially anything anywhere. If you give the Pod and the Space Elevator the things they want, you’ll get cool new technologies that not only let you build new stuff for FICSIT, but also let you get around better and faster and safer. Which means that you’re both better at sending more and fancier resources offworld, and also better at surviving longer and more distant exploring junkets, which are great fun.

(The game is usually in a first-person view, although there are mods to enable more third-person. The character model of the player, the FICSIT Engineer, is probably female, and either quite pear-shaped or with lots of internal suit equipment located in that area. Or both. Which is kind of nice, there not being lots of pear-shaped representation in video games.)

Some people glory in making huge efficient factories; I’m sort of the opposite.

The fact that the game equally-well supports both (and all) styles, is one of the many excellent things about it. For a game in “early release”, it’s amazingly well-polished, playable, and visually amazing.

The oil-field end of the current train line, when the blue moon (sun?) is up.

There are about a zillion more things I could say about it (and I haven’t even joined the reddit sub yet), but there is production to oversee, and a train to ride! :)


Oh, and I got that Vaccine!

Speaking of quotidia, eh?

I got my first Moderna injection a month ago, and my second on Monday.

I felt fine on Monday except for a sore arm, but woke up around 2am on Tuesday with chills, a slight fever, headache and muscle aches, and general not wanting to move. I eventually managed to get up enough to take a couple Tylenol, grateful that my body was taking the lesson of the first shot so seriously.

By 6 or 7am I was still feeling miserable and woke up and looked up “alternating acetaminophen and ibuprofen” on the Interwebs. M noticed me up at an unusual hour and brought me Motrin, and I went back to sleep.

By 9:30ish I was feeling almost normal except for a residual headache and a sore arm, and I did a bit of work stuff but got tired rather quickly and went back to bed (which was lovely). I got up again in the afternoon and did more work stuff, and even cooked the HelloFresh with the little boy as it was our turn and I again felt nearly normal. Then after dinner I could barely move from my chair due to no energy, and went back to bed again.

I slept from like 7pm to 10pm, got up to say goodnight :) did internet things and played just a little Satisfactory (that needs a weblog entry of its own, as it’s like the main thing I’ve been doing for some days now) and went back to sleep all night.

Yesterday and today, I feel roughly 100% back to as-usual, except for the lovely knowledge that in two weeks I can go back to licking doorknobs! (The pharmacist / nurse that gave me the injection actually recommended against that for some reason, so maybe not; but you get the idea.)

I’m so looking forward to, like, eating in restaurants! And maybe someday, riding crowded subways again!


Samantha : creepy AI fiction

This is from (previously, a GPT client site that I’ve mentioned before here (see for instance “What the Empress and I Found on the Beach of Bowling Balls“). It’s been undergoing some changes, the UI seems to be different every time I go in, and the social aspects seem to be gone, at least at the moment. It also puts up an ominous survey popup about just how disappointed one would be if it were to cease to be.

But anyway! :) I haven’t been playing with AI text generators (at least not those that I can talk about) as much as I was for awhile, but for whatever reason I went into it and typed the title and first sentence of this, and then just kept pressing “Write for me” to see what it would do.

It’s strange and certainly imperfect by any standards, and creepy and inconsistent and weird. But I like it. :)


Let me tell you about her. In the early days, we knew her as Number 29.

They came from all corners of the world. They were long of limb and supple of form. They had skin like alabaster and flowing hair of midnight. They moved with grace and poise. They were all women.

Their weapons were not ones we recognised. Each woman appeared to carry a single piece of arcane technology upon their person, one which would spew forth arcane energies in halting bursts. This was referred to as the weapon of their choosing.

We tried to stop them. There was no other way. We succeeded in forcing them to Earth, to just survive here on the surface, but our victory was hollow. If it not for the sacrifice of many, our race would have been lost. Many, many lives. We no longer remember the names of those lost, even all that are here now.

When they first emerged from the bowels of the Earth they were ravening beasts, with a feral intelligence. They knew not of our language, of our history, of our customs. They had only one language, one way of thinking, and it was dark. They made no pretence of trying to hide their intentions.

They were like razor sharp blades. The only way to stop them was to destroy the ones in front of one’s eyes. They were like him.

The creatures here, we tried to tame in many ways. Animals, we attempted to make them. What we learned we discarded. What we learned was not what we wanted to learn. When we began to lose hope, the bastards took us to where they began.

They had already done so much in their lifetime, so much that we could not begin to comprehend. Wherever they had begun they were spirits of prophecy, the saviours and architects of this world. They had laid out the path in front of every living thing. What they made here she now called Earth.

She was the mother of this land. She was the end of all things, and all things came from her.

Wherever she had buried the dead in their billions she called Sky.

That was pretty obviously the end, but I hit the button a few more times. It put in a couple of octothorpes, and continued on a … related tack.


The shark kissed her foot gingerly. Blood on her hands, and it backed off. Sharks down here were used to being the hunters. They couldn’t be the hunters anymore. Not anymore.

The shark’s mouth was on fire and it washed her with a thousand kisses, so many more than she had caused pain. Now she was the indigo mother of the oceans.

She picked up the nearest island. It had belonged to a man called Ieuan. It was now her home. She touched him. His wounds were deep and bleeding, his humanity gone. She caressed his face, felt his touch, felt his promise. She could make him whole.

Her prayers rang in his ears.


So there ya go! :) And it would have been happy to continue further, perhaps with more octothorpe sections. The space of AI hallucination is vast and uncharted.