Zone Doubt, a.k.a. 'Surreal Я Us'...

Joules, trusted by... dozens... to make a drama out of your crisis...

Other sites:

:: JAT :: WaveWrights :: Publications ::

I live to write. It's not wise to get in my way.

... I'd write my autobiography, but no-one would believe it....

If you come across any words you don't recognise in this blog, take a look at the Taylorspeke Glossary in the left-hand infopane, you'll usually find a definition there.

The Poppy Tales

(Transformers fanfiction!)

Transformers mini-comics here.

Adventures in Orchids

Apparently I am now collecting them...

There's room for one - or maybe two, at a pinch - more on that bedroom windowsill (the only one in the house that's ideal for them). Let's see what I find. Well, that didn't last long...

EO - Everlasting orchid. Phalaenopsis. I've had this orchid since 2007 and it just keeps flowering...

AO - Alien face orchid. Phalaenopsis . Bought 2018 - lovely little flowers, all different patterns!

RO - Rescued orchid photo to come when it flowers. Phalaenopsis. Rescued from a bin up the road in 2019. Classic!

TO - Tiny orchid. Phalaenopsis. Bought at Tesco 21.8.20. It just begged to come home with me. How could I say no?

CO - Crimson orchid. Cambria. Another Tesco find. This one may be going to live in Ken's room once we've redecorated and put up the new shelving; it prefers a cooler, less sunny windowsill. If so, I'll need to find another cambrian to keep it company.

GO - Golden orchid. Phalaenopsis. Saw this one when I bought CO and left it behind - then immediately regretted it as soon as I got home. Never seen one like it before. Ken, bless him, went back over to Tesco in the rain and bought it for me...

DO - Dendrobium Orchid. Smells of wisteria, so beautiful...

RO2 - Rescued orchid no 2. Phalaenopsis. This is the one I rescued from the wall along the road middle of 2021.

PO. Pink orchid. Phalaenopsis. This is the one I bought at Cabury Garden Centre on special, late 2021. It's much happier here!

TWO. Teeny weeny orchid, Phalaenopsis. Rescued from Tesco end 2021 (I think).

My IMDb ep summaries

Arthur of the Britons
Star Maidens
The Starlost
Space Rangers
The Sentinel (part: seasons 2 and 3)
Swamp Thing (part: season 3)
Gravedale High
Transformers: Armada
Transformers: Energon
Transformers: Cybertron (part)
Misfits of Science (four eps)
Zoo Gang
Jupiter Moon
Transformers: Beast Wars (part: seasons 2 and 3)
Transformers: Beast Machines (part)
Vampire Princess Miyu
Nathan Barley
No Heroics
Undermind (3 eps)
Will Shakespeare (Tim Curry version)
12 Kingdoms
Trigun (ep 8)
Hyperdrive (season 2 ep 3)
The Café

For later:

Missing Earthian ep
Missing Haibane Renme eps)
(And possibly Marine Boy...)

Silver birch at Eastwood 


"Autumnal - nothing to do with leaves. It is to do with a certain brownness at the edges of the day... Brown is creeping up on us, take my word for it... Russets and tangerine shades of old gold flushing the very outside edge of the senses... deep shining ochres, burnt umber and parchments of baked earth - reflecting on itself and through itself, filtering the light. At such times, perhaps, coincidentally, the leaves might fall, somewhere..."

(Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead Act 2: Tom Stoppard)


I love this time of year. I love the colours, the sharp slant of sunlight on the trees, mosaics of acid-yellow and harts- blood, velvet and darkness and a haze of mist-grey over the hills. I love its immanence, its mellowness, the tang of frost just around the corner of the year...

Watching the little birds in the goat-willow in my garden, I realised something more.

I love this land with a fierce, possessive love, deep-rooted in two thousand years of history. From the frosted beaches and cloud-brushing peaks of the north to the wind-haunted meanderings of the rivers of the east, from the sensuous rolling patchworked hills of the south to the demanding dark moors of the west, this land seeps into bone and blood and synapse, mother of motley nobility, culture, individual freedoms. It can be known. It can be understood. It can be felt deep inside.

I love its effortless eccentricities, its vigour and vibrancy, its flawed perfections, its silent strength and tenacious resilience, its hard-won tolerances and intense and variable beauty, the profound energy in its sacred mythical landscape.

Home and more-than-home, the forces that shape and protect and bind, in me, as I am in the land. Love returning love in the stillness for those who'll only take the time to listen...

(Joules, Autumn 2004)

All photographs taken by Joules unless otherwise specified. All photographs © Joules A Taylor or other specified individual.

In Memoriam

17.03.09 - Argent

25.07.08 - Raptor

18.12.07 - Quyn

02.12.06 - Ryme

Currently enjoying:
Transformers - IDW, Prime, Animated, Rescue Bots.

Currently reading:
Various Transformers books and graphic novels.

Currently working on:

Currently chuffed with:
My garden

Currently miffed at:
Nestlé, Nonpres Tinyhands Fart, Toadface Farage

Currently maintaining:

Blog Pics
I've gathered some of my pages of photos together: the page of links is here. I'll be adding more as time goes by!

Evil Squid
A Little Glossary of Taylorspeke
(in no particular order)

plit popints - n. Typo for 'plot points' typed on a keyboard with more than half the characters worn off...

[PING] (alt [ping]) - n. A brainwave. The text equivalent of a lightbulb going on blindingly over someone's head. Usually mine. And usually at the most inconvenient of times. [sigh]

TPTB - The Powers That Be.

wulmet - n. A person of little or no talent who somehow inveigles himself into a position where he is in power over other, far more talented people and uses his position to downplay them in order to try to make himself feel superior.

biteable - referring to an anatomical part vb, tasty.

Flatterfed - vb. 27.02.08: my typo for flattered, but since it's so cutely apt I thought it would fit nicely here. Lutra defined it as "the lovely warm feeling of satisfaction resulting from enthusiastic reviews..." (which I've been getting for my MB fics).

Composted - vb, 'compos mentis', mentally capable of working. Contrast with uncomposted or non- composted, not 'compos mentis', not capable of working, hungover...

Cumbles - n, cucumbers.

Kewp - how Ken says 'thank you'. We rather like Lutra's 'nanx', too...

Musekick - noun, music, without which I cannot work.

'feinne - noun, caffeine, essential for correct mental functioning, especially first thing in the morning. I prefer mine in the form of SodaStream Diet Coke. And on that subject...

Skoosh - verb, noun. To skoosh - to add CO2 to a sodastream bottle filled with water to make it fizzy, prior to adding Diet Coke syrup (or just drinking as sparkling water). A skoosh - a bottle of water that has been skooshed. Skooshy - something that has been skooshed, water, or that whipped cream that comes in tins you have to shake then upend and press the nozzle...

Shoogle - verb. To shake gently, for example, of roast potatoes in a roasting tin to ensure they're covered with oil. I have vague memories of this being a real Scottish colloquialism...

Stegasaurus - n, spider of the genus tegenaria. Why? No idea. I just find it easier, that's all...
Edit 08.09.07: Lutra thinks that Brian is a good name for a mini-stegasaurus. From now on, any 'Brian's in the posts may be assumed to be a tegenaria. Except where otherwise specified.

Viterals - noun, vitamins + minerals. Also a pun on victuals.

Splish - verb. A combination of slosh and splash.

Parrots - noun, paracetemol (from the old joke "Why are there no aspirin tablets in the jungle? Because the parrots eat 'em all...")

Maggles - noun, magpies. As opposed to non-magical people.

Flamewings - noun. Swifts. So called because the first time we became aware of them was an early summer evening when they were flying high, the light from the setting sun seemingly turning their wings to flames. Lovely little birds. We always know summer's arrived when we hear their high-pitched squeeing.

Murfs - noun, moths.

Peasant cut - noun, roughly cut up into big chunks, e.g. vegetables chopped in a hurry for a hearty stew or soup. By extension, anything prepared in a hurry - haircut, material, even a first draft of a story...

Giraffe - noun, a carafe (of wine, coffee or water, for example).

Shrumps - noun, mushrooms.

Splings - noun, Kai's spelling homework: by extension, any spelling.

Tyops - noun, typos. var toyps, typso, psyto, psoyt, etc. Usual result of a dose of the fingerials (see next entry).

Fingerials - (pr. fin GEEE ree yalls) noun, fingers that will not type what you want them to.

Haddock - noun, time, of which I never have enough. (Origin of this term here.)

Sleep - noun? vb? a.k.a. sheeeeeeeeep.... I used to know what this word meant...

The Updates Blog

The place to stay notified of WaveWrights' Fiction updates: Zone, Darkside, DarkRealm, Matrix, Vault, Safehouse 13...

my computer gremlin Butch. click the pic to see the larger image

Butch, my computer gremlin. Click the pic for larger version, and read his adventures here...

Butch by the talented 


A gift for me! Butch by the very talented Sylverthorne. Click pic for larger image.



This is MY haddock. It was caught exclusively for me by Talon. No, you can't have any. I need all the haddock I can get!!

A'lestrel by Valkyrie.

A'lestrel - a gift for me from Valkyrie...

Albino Alsatian Benten (c) MEBird 


Another gorgeous Valkyrie gift for me - Benten the Albino Alsatian! Click thumbnail for larger image.

Radittsu, an oekaki for my birthday 04 



Oekai by Bakayaro Onna - Radittsu at his sexiest...

The Zone Plant from
The Zone 



OrganicHTML (which alas no longer seems to exist...)
[::..My Regular Reads..::]
:: Astronomical Pic of the Day [>]
:: What is Space... [>]
:: Dark Roasted Blend [>]
:: BLDG [>]
:: Watchismo Times [>]
[::..Fun Places..::]
::PALEOMAP Project
Absolutely fascinating.
:: Skymap
Check out the night sky where you are!
[::..Useful Sites..::]
:: GreenNet
First stop for environmental matters
:: The Forest of Avon
Our local community forest and places to visit
:: The Guardian
Online Guardian Newspaper.
:: Symbols
Exactly what it says
:: World Timeserver
For checking the current time around this world
:: Universal Currency Converter
Actually it's just a terran-global currency converter, not universal, but it's still useful...

So what is it with the haddock? Am I some kind of fish freak?

I'll leave that to others to decide.

The tale (or tail if you prefer) harks back to October 2000, when my GoodTwin and I, ably assisted by Sue, ran the first UK Professionals convention...
It's common knowledge that I never have enough time, and I was determined not to bewail the fact that weekend: hence I promised not to use the 'T' word...
Of course, that didn't really work (if nothing else I had to let the trainees know what times things were supposed to be happening!) so we decided a substitute word would be employed instead. There were several suggestions. Banana came very close to being chosen. However, I eventually decided that 'haddock' fitted the bill nicely. Ever since, haddock=time. Hence the title of my forthcoming autobiography,
My Half-Life in the Haddock Space Continuum....

Normally I wouldn't, but these were just irresistible...

How could I resist?

Just too adorable...

and to complete the rainbow...

These Too-Kawaii Kitties
were adopted from
Ghost's Anime Page (which appears to have disappeared, alas...)

Useful sites:

Yamato -
Fabulous anime figures

Anime Lyrics
A huge selection... evil popups

Anime still needed to complete series' I'm collecting... Many thanks to everyone who has helped me acquire the collection!
Ai no Kusabi

   Dj: June Special
   CD: Ambivalence

Cyber City Oedo 808

   All 3 eps on Video, dubbed
   Dj: Cyberage 1-3
   Illustrated Book 2 (Benten's) in Japanese

From Eroica with Love

   Manga Vols 1, 9, 11

Mirage of Blaze

   DVD Vol 1 (eps 1-4)

R.G. Veda

   English Manga: Vol 1
   Japanese Manga: Vol 1-7 complete
   Tarot Pack
   R.G.Veda video

Twelve Kingdoms

   Anime Vol 1-12: complete

Under the Glass Moon

   Manga Vol 1, 2
Vol 3 needed

Vampire Hunter D - Bloodlust


   Vampire Hunter D Book 1

New Vampire Miyu

   (Studio Ironcat) Manga Vols 1 -5 (complete)

Yami no Matsuei

   Viz Manga: English translation, Vols 1 - 11 (complete: I believe vol 12 is only available online)
   Japanese 3-DVD set
   Central Park Media: Descendants of Darkness Vol. 1, English/Japanese subbed.

[::..Joules SPfied..::]

... this is Terra? How the hell'd I end up here...?

(Thanks, Lutra, for the quote!)

07/01/2002 - 07/31/2002
08/01/2002 - 08/31/2002
09/01/2002 - 09/30/2002
10/01/2002 - 10/31/2002
11/01/2002 - 11/30/2002
12/01/2002 - 12/31/2002
01/01/2003 - 01/31/2003
02/01/2003 - 02/28/2003
03/01/2003 - 03/31/2003
04/01/2003 - 04/30/2003
05/01/2003 - 05/31/2003
06/01/2003 - 06/30/2003
07/01/2003 - 07/31/2003
08/01/2003 - 08/31/2003
09/01/2003 - 09/30/2003
10/01/2003 - 10/31/2003
11/01/2003 - 11/30/2003
12/01/2003 - 12/31/2003
01/01/2004 - 01/31/2004
02/01/2004 - 02/29/2004
03/01/2004 - 03/31/2004
04/01/2004 - 04/30/2004
05/01/2004 - 05/31/2004
06/01/2004 - 06/30/2004
07/01/2004 - 07/31/2004
08/01/2004 - 08/31/2004
09/01/2004 - 09/30/2004
10/01/2004 - 10/31/2004
11/01/2004 - 11/30/2004
12/01/2004 - 12/31/2004
01/01/2005 - 01/31/2005
02/01/2005 - 02/28/2005
03/01/2005 - 03/31/2005
04/01/2005 - 04/30/2005
05/01/2005 - 05/31/2005
06/01/2005 - 06/30/2005
07/01/2005 - 07/31/2005
08/01/2005 - 08/31/2005
09/01/2005 - 09/30/2005
10/01/2005 - 10/31/2005
11/01/2005 - 11/30/2005
12/01/2005 - 12/31/2005
01/01/2006 - 01/31/2006
02/01/2006 - 02/28/2006
03/01/2006 - 03/31/2006
04/01/2006 - 04/30/2006
05/01/2006 - 05/31/2006
06/01/2006 - 06/30/2006
07/01/2006 - 07/31/2006
08/01/2006 - 08/31/2006
09/01/2006 - 09/30/2006
10/01/2006 - 10/31/2006
11/01/2006 - 11/30/2006
12/01/2006 - 12/31/2006
01/01/2007 - 01/31/2007
02/01/2007 - 02/28/2007
03/01/2007 - 03/31/2007
04/01/2007 - 04/30/2007
05/01/2007 - 05/31/2007
06/01/2007 - 06/30/2007
07/01/2007 - 07/31/2007
08/01/2007 - 08/31/2007
09/01/2007 - 09/30/2007
10/01/2007 - 10/31/2007
11/01/2007 - 11/30/2007
12/01/2007 - 12/31/2007
01/01/2008 - 31/01/2008
01/02/2008 - 29/02/2008
03/01/2008 - 31/03/2008
01/04/2008 - 04/30/2008
01/05/2008 - 31/05/2008
01/06/2008 - 30/06/2008
01/07/2008 - 31/07/2008
01/08/2008 - 31/08/2008
01/09/2008 - 30/09/2008
01/10/2008 - 31/10/2008
01/11/2008 - 31/11/2008
01/12/2008 - 31/12/2008
01/12/2008 - 31/12/2008
01/01/2009 - 31/01/2009
01/02/2009 - 28/02/2009
01/03/2009 - 31/03/2009
01/04/2009 - 30/04/2009
01/05/2009 - 31/05/2009
01/06/2009 - 30/06/2009
01/07/2009 - 31/07/2009
01/08/2009 - 31/08/2009
01/09/2009 - 30/09/2009
01/10/2009 - 31/10/2009
01/11/2009 - 30/11/2009
01/12/2009 - 31/12/2009
01/01/2010 - 31/01/2010
01/02/2010 - 28/02/2010
01/03/2010 - 31/03/2010
01/04/2010 - 30/04/2010
01/05/2010 - 31/05/2010
01/06/2010 - 30/06/2010
01/07/2010 - 31/07/2010
01/08/2010 - 31/08/2010
01/09/2010 - 30/09/2010
01/10/2010 - 31/10/2010
01/11/2010 - 31/11/2010
01/12/2010 - 31/12/2010
01/01/2011 - 31/01/2011
01/02/2011 - 28/02/2011
01/03/2011 - 31/03/2011
01/04/2011 - 30/04/2011
01/05/2011 - 31/05/2011
01/06/2011 - 30/06/2011
01/07/2011 - 31/07/2011
01/08/2011 - 31/08/2011
01/09/2011 - 30/09/2011
01/10/2011 - 31/10/2011
01/11/2011 - 30/11/2011
01/12/2011 - 31/12/2011
01/01/2012 - 31/01/2012
01/02/2012 - 28/02/2012
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01/05/2012 - 31/05/2012
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01/09/2012 - 30/09/2012
01/10/2012 - 31/10/2012
01/11/2012 - 30/11/2012
01/12/2012 - 31/12/2012
01/01/2013 - 31/01/2013
01/02/2013 - 28/02/2013
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01/06/2013 - 31/06/2013
01/07/2013 - 31/07/2013
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01/10/2013 - 31/10/2013
01/11/2013 - 30/11/2013
01/12/2013 - 31/12/2013
01/01/2014 - 31/01/2014
01/02/2014 - 28/02/2014
01/03/2014 - 31/03/2014
01/04/2014 - 30/04/2014
01/05/2014 - 31/05/2014
01/06/2014 - 31/06/2014
01/07/2014 - 31/07/2014
01/08/2014 - 31/08/2014
01/09/2014 - 31/09/2014
01/10/2014 - 31/10/2014
01/11/2014 - 30/11/2014
01/12/2014 - 31/12/2014
01/01/2015 - 31/01/2015
01/02/2015 - 28/02/2015
01/03/2015 - 31/03/2015
01/04/2015 - 30/04/2015
01/05/2015 - 31/05/2015
01/06/2015 - 30/06/2015
01/07/2015 - 31/07/2015
01/08/2015 - 31/08/2015
01/09/2015 - 30/09/2015
01/10/2015 - 31/10/2015
01/11/2015 - 31/11/2015
01/12/2015 - 31/12/2015
01/01/2016 - 31/01/2016
01/022016 - 28/02/2016
01/03/2016 - 31/03/2016
01/04/2016 - 31/04/2016
01/05/2016 - 31/05/2016
01/06/2016 - 30/06/2016
01/07/2016 - 31/07/2016
01/08/2016 - 31/08/2016
01/09/2016 - 31/09/2016
01/10/2016 - 31/10/2016
01/11/2016 - 31/11/2016
01/12/2016 - 31/12/2016
01/01/2017 - 31/01/2017
01/02/2017 - 28/02/2017
01/03/2017 - 31/03/2017
01/04/2017 - 30/04/2017
01/05/2017 - 31/05/2017
01/06/2017 - 30/06/2017
01/07/2017 - 31/07/2017
01/08/2017 - 31/08/2017
01/09/2017 - 30/09/2017
01/10/2017 - 31/10/2017
01/11/2017 - 30/11/2017
01/12/2017 - 31/12/2017
01/01/2018 - 31/01/2018
01/02/2018 - 28/02/2018
01/03/2018 - 31/03/2018
01/04/2018 - 30/04/2018
01/05/2018 - 31/05/2018
01/06/2018 - 30/06/2018
01/07/2018 - 31/07/2018
01/08/2018 - 31/08/2018
01/09/2018 - 30/09/2018
01/10/2018 - 31/10/2018
01/11/2018 - 30/11/2018
01/12/2018 - 31/12/2018
01/01/2019 - 31/01/2019
01/02/2019 - 28/02/2019
01/03/2019 - 31/03/2019
01/04/2019 - 30/04/2019
01/05/2019 - 31/05/2019
01/06/2019 - 30/06/2019
01/07/2019 - 31/07/2019
01/08/2019 - 31/08/2019
01/09/2019 - 30/09/2019
01/10/2019 - 31/10/2019
01/11/2019 - 30/11/2019
01/12/2019 - 31/12/2019
01/01/2020 - 31/01/2020
01/02/2020 - 29/02/2020
01/03/2020 - 31/03/2020
01/04/2020 - 31/04/2020
01/05/2020 - 31/05/2020
01/06/2020 - 31/06/2020
01/07/2020 - 31/07/2020
01/08/2020 - 31/08/2020
01/09/2020 - 30/09/2020
01/10/2020 - 31/10/2020
01/11/2020 - 30/11/2020
01/12/2020 - 31/12/2020
01/01/2021 - 31/01/2021
01/02/2021 - 28/02/2021
01/03/2021 - 31/03/2021
01/04/2021 - 30/04/2021
01/05/2021 - 31/05/2021
01/06/2021 - 30/06/2021
01/07/2021 - 31/07/2021
01/08/2021 - 31/08/2021
01/09/2021 - 30/09/2021
01/10/2021 - 31/10/2021
01/11/2021 - 30/11/2021
01/12/2021 - 31/12/2021
01/01/2022 - 31/01/2022
01/02/2022 - 28/02/2022
01/03/2022 - 31/03/2022
01/04/2022 - 30/04/2022
01/05/2022 - 30/05/2022
01/06/2022 - 31/06/2022
01/07/2022 - 31/07/2022
01/08/2022 - 31/08/2022
01/09/2022 - 30/09/2022
01/10/2022 - 31/10/2022
01/11/2021 - 31/11/2021
01/12/2022 - 31/12/2022
01/01/2023 - 31/01/2023
01/02/2023 - 28/02/2023
01/03/2023 - 31/03/2023
01/04/2023 - 30/04/2023
01/08/2023 - 31/08/2023
01/11/2023 - 31/11/2023

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

And off we went into Basingstoke to Ice Planet (the local ice-rink)...

Carol thought it would be fun for Kai to try ice skating. (She and Adrian can both skate: I can't. Fell over and broke my wrist, when I was about 8, trying to teach myself to roller skate, and I've been afraid to try any sort of skating ever since - though since I have a tendency to break bones when I fall over it's probably just as well...) First time round he clung to the ledge and Carol's hand. Second time round he let go of the ledge to move past people. Third time round he held both their hands and cheerfully went out into the centre. And then he just didn't want to stop...!

Didn't get as far as trying it by himself, but he loved it. Carol's talking about us going to the Bristol ice-rink next time she comes over, which would be great. I'm wondering if there are any skaters amongst his schoolfriends/parents: I'd love for him to be able to keep it going...

It was fun watching - and taking photos. We met Carol's friend Anna, her children Thomas (6 and a beyblader), Catharine (10) and Catharine's friend Sarah there, and Kai got on well with them. Then half way through we took a break...

Anna had to dive back to her car for something while Carol kept me (as she told me later) 'distracted'... Anna arrived back with a cake-box - which she handed to me...

Standing in the middle of a crowded ice-rink foyer, I had to open the box while everyone sang 'Happy Birthday'. Inside was a cake. A gorgeously iced cake. With Radittsu on the top!! (Carol had given Anna a copy of the pic I did for the AC1 chapter Contact for reference.) It's not often I blush but I could feel my face burning. Evil GoodTwin! And she smirked and said "How to cause your friends maximum embarrassment!"

I haven't cut it yet - need to get a photo or two first (will post one here later).

I'm wondering if I can actually keep the Radittsu, I really don't want to eat him - well, not like that anyway... [*smirk*]

And Lutra, thank you so much for the birthday fic! It's wonderful! [The ningen's right... *smirk* ... I like stories with us in them...] Going to read it again later...

We're having a terrific time. And so far I've finished a Devon portrait (quite pleased with that one), the tenshi-Lutra pic (with which I'm unlikely to ever be satisfied [though I think it's beautiful]) and the Hijau/Zha'haarak one I sort-of promised Lutra. The Merica/Ti'aasaan/Jagung threesome is half-done, and I think I've sussed how to tackle the Helena/Sengoku/Benten threesome too... Not too bad so far.

Off to scour the charity shops tomorrow...


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Sunday, February 23, 2003

Right, that's me all packed and ready. We'll be off after we've eaten dinner. Heh, a whole week...

I need this holiday. Just hope I can get the drawing head/fingers in gear!
Catch you all next Sunday!


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The 300th member has just joined the Zone!

And I'm going to try a tenshi-Lutra pic to go with the bishie-Alestrel one...

Forgot to say thanks to onna for the suggestion of colouring onto a transparent layer: that's what I used for the first colour version and it works wonderfully. Just two layers for now - using channels seems to be a bit more complicated, so I'll have a go later when I've a little more time...


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Friday, February 21, 2003

Heh, and then I did the colouring before writing Devon...

First attempt is posted at the Pond - very pale watercolour-ish, and I certainly need more practise with light and shade. But it's OK for a first try, I think.

What the bloody HELL is up with blogger! It's taking a minimum of two 'post and publish' attempts for me to get anything to show in the browser...

[growl] It says this was posted at 10.13 pm but at the time of writing it's 4 am....


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[lassooed on onna's blog]

*holds out arms to block the door*

You forgot the skylight...>;-P

You WILL find it fun and ADDICTIVE after you get used to the tools, really! And it is a great way to gear down at the end of the day.
[blinks] Days are supposed to have ends? There's a novel idea!

But seriously....

[wanders back from looking at the oekaki board, wide-eyed and unblinking] I can't do THAT!!

But I think I can learn how to use channels (and layers properly) from your instructions - much better than the ones that came with PhotoShop, which are about as friendly as a slap in the face with a wet cow...

Going to have a go tonight, after writing a bit more Devon (Purgatory, not Dystopia. Planning on trying a (Dystopia) Devon portrait while I'm away). I'm glad you suggested the airbrush tool; it and the smudge tool are my favourites...


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Thank you, onna (and everyone else who commented on the bishie-Alestrel pic!) I can already see things wrong with it (that tree is cringeworthy, the shadows all wrong - oh, and it's not the lemon tree, Saru, it's the back of one of the trees at the bower) but I'm still very pleased with it. I still can't quite believe I got the face exactly right! Several people have said they'd like to see a colour version, so I shall give that a go (probably once I get back from Winchester, hopefully with a load of new pics to scan in!). But I won't ink it first: let's see if I can do a half-way decent job with the tablet, and using a much lower opacity value than usual. Heh, you never know, I might even manage to get the hair looking like hair for once!

OK - I've seen oekaki, but how do you get involved in it? And how does it work?
I love the idea of an artists' get together, though I'd never dream of classing myself with some of the names you've mentioned! I can imagine it being very lively - not to mention stimulating...

From Saru re: the scarf:

Yes, the scarf is cotton, but woven very carefully. It's from a hill-tribe up in Sapa, but I'm not exactly sure which one. There are three or four who live in the region and they all have their own distinctive styles, despite living in such close proximity. You can choose between the Black Mhong, the Zhair, the Flower Mhong or the Red Mhong. That's in order of proximity to the place I bought it from. But they all trek in to that area since it's the only market in the region that provides them with an outlet for their craft.

Thanks for that!

Time to get ready to collect bratling from school...


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Thursday, February 20, 2003


[GLOMPS LittleSaru] Your parcel arrived! It's wonderful!!

Oh, where do I start...?
Prosperity cat Saru spent Yule travelling around Vietnam: I am now the proud owner of a Vietnamese scarf (it's cotton - I think, I'm almost certain - but the way it's been made it has a sheen like silk, quite beautiful. And it's blue, gold and green!!) and a little carved wooden tortoise. At least, it's a tortoise if you lie it on its stomach: if you perch it on end it's the figure of a bearded, robed man. Ken tells me it's the representation of supreme knowledge. Apparently, in feng shui terms, the tortoise symbolises the northern mountain, the symbolic abode of the Sage, whose wisdom is as central and unchanging as the North Star. The North Star can be regarded as the throne of the Supreme Celestial Emperor. (It's amazing what he learned while researching for the Early Heaven book...). It's sitting with Lutra's Golden Turnip of Prosperity on top of the TV at the moment....

A luck cat keyring (tch', can't remember the proper name - Lutra would know, she collects them...), another little wooden figure - a thoroughly ferocious demon, this one, will have to find out who he is! - wooden 'prayer beads' (beautifully grained wood), GIANT POCKY!!! (the tub they're in is 11 inches long! And there's a whole load of flavours, orange, custard, apple - 'ringo' is apple according to my dictionary, Saru - blueberry, and one that might be green tea.... will report back on those when I open them), a box of 'mousse Caplico' - which from the cover looks like a strawberry ice cream in one of those sweet sugar-cones, but is mousse not ice cream (obviously!) - a 'smiley' headband, stickers, strawberry Kit-Kats!, and badges - one of them with a little monkey sitting on a banana!! Perfect, Saru!

Thank you so much! [GLOMP]

And the bishie-Alestrel pic is about to be uploaded to the Pond...

[lassooed on onna's blog]

I would love to sit around and draw with Joules sometime and share how we did things and actually draw something together as a collaborative piece.
What a wonderful idea!

(Oh, Lutra says the luck cats are maneki neko. Thanks, tenshi!)


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I thought it had gone quiet. It's snowing!!


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Oh, it's so frustrating when you want to show someone something and can't get hold of them...!


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Hn. Finished the pencil sketch of Alestrel-bishie. I'm quite pleased with it - waiting for Lutra to get online so I can show her...

[regards sketch critically] Not sure if I really want to ink and colour - it's quite nice just in pencil. Oh, decisions, decisions...


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Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Great. Wonderful. I now find out that a number of my emails have gone astray. Carol's missed about four since the end of last year, as best I can tell, and I'm pretty certain onna's not received at least three from me. Reshenna's sent something like four or five that never reached me, and I know for a fact there are three Lutra sent that I never got. And that's just the ones I'm aware of.

If it wasn't that we just can't afford to change hosts til April I'd move to ClaraNET tomorrow. BusinessServe are appalling.

For any other Brits who caught Watchdog tonight, click HERE for the online Telephone Preference Registration site. I've just registered. With a bit of luck it'll save me having to shout at any more cold callers claiming I filled in a survey. (Not that I could right now - I've lost my voice with this latest bug... Tch... peace reigns in the Taylor household...)


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And the temperature hits -7. I know I deal with cold better than heat but this is all a bit much...


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Monday, February 17, 2003

Number One on the much maligned Top of the Pops these last two weeks has been 'All The Things She Said' by the Russian group Tatu.... Ye gods... Forget boy bands, girl bands are for now...

I wasn't even listening properly when they first came on, but after maybe two seconds I turned my computer's speakers up LOUD and just swivelled to watch.

Powerful music...

This is fabulous.

Not only are the two singers extraordinarily beautiful, they are also proactive lesbian teenagers (although apparently they say they aren't lesbians, they just love each other... gotta love that hatred of being pigeonholed!) using their music to get their message across. I'm gobsmacked that 'Aunty Beeb' allowed them to be shown (although the camera did swing to the audience for the live, onstage kiss) but so very glad they did...

I'm going to treat myself to the single for my birthday, and mp3 it (for American and Antipodean friends, in case the single doesn't make it to a radio station/store near you)....

[shakes head, happily bemused] Wonderful, wonderful stuff....

It's viciously cold out there again...


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Sunday, February 16, 2003

Re: Card Captor Sakura...

he info Lutra is referring to came from the lovely Kaze-chan some years ago when we were discussing CLAMP's work, which we both love...

It has a very heavy yaoi sub-plot to it. Sakura's older brother Touya and his best friend Yuki [Julian in the dub] are "together" (and are 17 & 18), and Sakura (age 10) has a huge crush on said best friend, and Sakura's Card Captor rival (a boy her age) also has a huge crush on said best friend, and Sakura's best friend (a class mate who makes her costumes and video tapes her escapades) has a huge crush on Sakura. Also is a side line where one of Sakura's classmates is secretly engaged to the teacher... A bit much for stuffy American TV, to say the least...rather amusing that over here they've released two versions of CC Sakura on video/DVD. One is what is out on TV, the other is straight sub conversion of the source material. You can't get that one in English, even on the 'hybrid' DVD......tells you how uneasy the US companies are about it, neh? ^_^

The angel bishie is Yue

Yue is actually Yuki in his 'Guardian' persona - his symbol is the Moon (where Kerberos is the Sun). He's a real bishie in either form, though I prefer Yue (it's the hair...)

Personally I really like the series (though it's been difficult for me to catch: it's on Fox Kids over here) - especially once I became aware of the subplots!
Heh, fount of useless information, me...!


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Hmmm.... Presage is about finished, though it's a little shorter than I wanted, only 7 pages. Quite important pages, nevertheless, but not very many of them. I may add some more text tomorrow when I'm a little less tired.

Having grabbed every ep of Cowboy Bebop as it came on the TV, regardless of order just so I could be certain I had everything, they're now being repeated, and I'm taping them again, in the correct order. 1.50am every night. Tonight was Jupiter Jazz pt 1 [sigh] I do so like Gren. I'm veering towards a one-off Gren/Vicious short...

Which reminds me - Talon, did you ever read my Trigun - Interludes sequence? I know you were pissed off at the ending (though you've no doubt found out since that the ending of the manga and the ending of the anime are completely different) - so was I, so my ending is a little - different...

I'm proud (heh, well, as proud as I ever get of my own writing, which isn't saying much!) of Interludes. Also of Lustre, and the AC chapter Midnight (in my opinion the best AC material I've ever written, and certainly the best Radittsu pic I've ever drawn). There are a lot of others I'm pleased with, but those are the ones closest to my heart(s). Which is actually a little worrying, because they're all old fics...

Ah well.

Kai wants to go to the Sunday market tomorrow, to hunt down some cheap beyblade clones, so I really should get to bed soonish (after rooting bratling out of my side of the bed again... [sigh] At least he's sleeping better these last few days...)

And the letter and fax terminating our contract with BusinessServe has gone off to them. To my surprise no-one has yet rung up asking why we want to leave - annoying, as I'd really like to tell them in considerable detail. However... So, come April, I should be uploading to a new host with twice (oh bliss....) the storage space of BS. There are some fics I'd love to host once I no longer have to worry about bytes (well, for a few years anyway....)


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Saturday, February 15, 2003

Hn. It's daylight outside. I suppose I ought to get to bed, get a little sleep at least....


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OK - that's better. Got back into the AC swing again...

[smirking] You can blame Lutra for that...! My tenshi's awfully.... good...

*'pathed* by Alestrel

[glowers] Please ignore the interruption - he's incorrigible.
Four pages in and should have Presage finished by the end of the weekend at the latest and barring domestic crises!

(Have to review Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days - a quite astonishing read! - for Crowsnest asap too...)

It's -3 out there! The heating's on full and I'm still cold...


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Friday, February 14, 2003

Disconnect - Lutra's Dystopia chapter - now posted...


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OK - I now have the story of the story (Pandora's Box 2). Kai had been struggling with it for some days, according to his teacher, and his story plan was chaotic and sounded as though he didn't know where it was going - and he was horribly frustrated because he couldn't write it down (quickly enough). Eventually his teacher took him over to one of the class' computers and typed what Kai dictated...

It's a damn fine story! A follow up to the original Pandora myth, apparently, starring Pandora, Hope, Hermes, Epithemeus, the Sun Ghost (and his sun stones), monsters and elves (it's OK, Lutra, one of the monsters (Fear I think) ate the elves...). And it is four pages long. He's even managed to work in some electrical circuits! He read it aloud to Ken when he got home from school, too, very chuffed, both of them.

I think the main problem was he had so much to say and couldn't write it fast enough, so we'll start working on increasing his writing speed next week. His teacher was pleased with the literacy work he managed today, so we may be on the right track.

The next Dystopia chapter is coded, and I can post once Lutra tells me what it's called!

Onna, that card is cute! Also very scary...

Aren't the little hearts on the weatherpixies just darling?

Friday the 13th is on CNX at the moment - amazingly we've never managed to catch it until now. It looks a little dated, but then it is 23 years old... "You're doomed - you're all doomed..."

... Back to Presage...


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Cold. It's about -2 outside. Damp too - which means my sidelocks go into ringlets, which, while cute according to some perceptions, looks stupid on me. Also tired - need more sleep. So what else is new?

However, things have improved a little. One of the actual scholastic problems Kai has is finishing work he's not overly interested in - namely, literacy. Not his reading - he has a fabulous vocabulary and is reading far better than I was at his age - but his writing. He was managing less than a full sentence in the prescribed 20 minutes. So for the last three evenings we've sat him down for just a little extra homework, writing a couple of sentences in 20 minutes. It's worked well; he was a little resistant at first, but got into it. His spelling is pretty good, though he doesn't have much confidence in it yet, and his punctuation not bad, although he has the ubiquitous its (possessive) problem that drives me nuts... But that will come with practice.

I said - making sure he realised I was joking, since he can be very literal - that if he could finish his literacy task on time his teacher would fall over backwards and wave his arms and legs in the air... Tonight he came home pleased with himself. He says he wrote four pages of his literacy task (the story of Pandora) today, and his teacher is going to show me when I pick him up tomorrow... He gets golden time (extra playtime) for the class if he fulfills set tasks, so he's dead chuffed!

The Austin Powers films (1 and 2) have screened on terrestrial TV this last couple of weeks... We struggled as far as the first ads with #1, and maybe ten minutes further than that with #2. Offensive, puerile, unfunny crap are the words that come most readily to mind.

Still, I've managed to make tracks with the next AC - Presage - and the next two Dystopia chapters are coming along nicely too. And I've penciled the Alestrel pic... I can do it - if I can just manage a suggestive smirk...
I can't wait for my break...

Lutra sent me this site (OkapiPrincess found it). It's hysterical!

And thanks, onna. That seems to have solved the problem!


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Wednesday, February 12, 2003

..... why me?.....

For a little while Kai has been having a few 'behavioural' problems at school. Nothing major, much of it very familiar to me from my own childhood: inability to concentrate on things he doesn't particularly enjoy (he has no problem with maths or science...), overreacting to perceived slights or injuries, mis-hearing or misinterpreting what's been said - nothing terribly disruptive or destructive. I've had meetings with his teachers and we've discussed ways to improve matters, and they work, a little, for a little while. But it's all getting worse. The week before last the class had a temporary teacher, one who's worked in a 'special needs' school - and he commented to Kai's main teacher that he wondered if Kai might be somewhere on the autistic scale.

Now, I've read up on autism and I know Kai isn't autistic. But in the family conference the night before last I told Ken about what had been said. And he completely bloody floored me by saying he wouldn't be at all surprised if Kai has some sort of disorder - after all, he (Ken) is 'people blind'...

At this point I hasten to add he'd never even thought about the possibility of anything being wrong before we had Kai, he (and I) simply assumed that he was asocial, particularly cool and reserved in his dealings with 'other people' (i.e. strangers). But over the last few years he's been thinking more about himself and the way his mind works, and come to this conclusion.

I asked what he meant by 'people blindness'. Turns out it means he has a real problem with 'reading' people. Body language and the subtleties of facial expression are to a large extent mysteries to him. He has only limited perception of how anyone will react at any given moment to any particular stimulus. (At its worst, it means he wouldn't recognise danger if it walked up and shoved a knife in him. And having gone grey from watching Ken in situations where something like that was a possibility, and gaping at his complete disregard (as I saw it) for dangerous people or situations, I can state with some certainty that this is indeed the case.)
Ken's father is pretty much the same. I don't know enough about genetics to know if this - whatever it is - can be passed on. I do know that Kai exhibits a number of the same 'symptoms' (which I'd previously shrugged off as being simply a case of a very active imagination and a reluctance to fit into what is laughingly called real life. Hell, I have that problem myself!) - a lack of awareness of time passing, inability to read other people (except for Ken and I, mostly), proneness to 'drifting off' into a dream-world... I don't know how much of that is simply him being an impressionable and bright, imaginative child or whether there is a real problem, but I've set things in motion to get him assessed by the local educational psychologist. Even if there is nothing physiologically or psychologically wrong, I need advice on strategies and tactics to help him overcome his behavioural problems...

My first reaction to Ken's revelation? The most horrendous pain behind my solar plexus - which I realised a minute later was relief. Like a tangled knot of barbed wire had suddenly dissolved. This explained so much of the bewilderment and incomprehension of the last fourteen years.

It didn't last long, of course. I now have to work through the ramifications and rethink personal, family strategies for coping, and Ken knows he won't be able to help, especially not at the moment with the medication buggering up his mental processes. As he said himself on the phone to a friend, he can handle things for about an hour a day: I have to carry the other 23.

We'll cope. We always do, somehow. But I am so bloody sick of fighting. My whole damn life has been a 'two steps forwards, one and a half steps back' struggle, every little advantage I've gained has demanded a near-equal sacrifice as recompense. I don't expect things to be fair - the universe doesn't work that way - but I'd really hoped this lifetime might be a little easier.

The next AC chapter will be a little delayed. And could I ask people to please not refer to this post on their blogs or LJs. Carol, Sue, Wendy and Lutra all know I cope with this sort of thing better if I'm left to deal with it alone, without getting emotional over other people's kind and supportive thoughts. Later, yes, perhaps, but right now I can't afford the luxury.
What passes for 'normal' service will be resumed as soon as I can recover from this latest kick in the face. I will now formally stop whinging...


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Sunday, February 09, 2003

Ye gods, how I love Bremner, Bird and Fortune! It has to be just about the best - and certainly the funniest, in a dark, viciously sardonic way - thing on TV at the moment...


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Well, it's been a wearying sort of a week, but Kai's better now, whatever the bug was he came down with on Monday has gone (and so far I've managed to fight it off) and he's back to school tomorrow. YAY! I can have VH1 again instead of Cartoon Network all day. I can settle to write without the cries of "Mum...!" drifting through from the lounge every half hour or so. Though I can't really complain - he'd been very good, really, hardly ever gets ill, but when he does he puts up with it without whinging much at all...


Re: the Hyoujin... Those amendments to Raionu and Torai faces are just right, thank you. As for noses... After all that hassle I think the more human-looking nose works best after all: the facial fur will be mostly very close, more like velvet than pelt. The profile of the Hyou (delegation pic far right) is perfect. She's lovely, too, and would be my choice for Zaheen. My suggestion for the Hyou charas would be (left to right)

Chalak, Taiz, Khiyal, Zaheen.

I really like the delegation pic. The heights are pretty good (though perhaps Taaqat could be a shade taller?), and those headpieces are very attractive.
I'm hoping to get the bulk of the next AC chapter - Presage - drafted tonight, if I can stay awake. I've been getting to bed at 6 and 7 a.m. this last week: Kai's wanted to sleep my side of the bed and oiking him through to his own room wakes up him and Ken, so I've been leaving it as long as I can. Means I'm a little on the tired side, though. Ah well.

Need to finish the CCO808 short Double Vision, too - and try to catch up on the Purgatory sections I've missed. Then there's the Dystopia shopping trip, and I have a vague idea for a short 'Outside' fic bubbling as well. And a Haadri short story. Not to mention the Sengoku/Benten lemon! And Zone membership is now 293, and Valkyrie has put in a request for a Lure illustration (the Benten/Sengoku/Helena threesome - talk about a challenge!) which I shall attempt while in Winchester...

Haddock. Need haddock...

Is anyone else having 'Error 503: unable to load template file' come up when publishing to Blogger?


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Next two chapters of Dystopia now posted in the Darkside...

When I booted up this (sorry, yesterday) morning I had an email from Valkyrie with the URL to a Russian site... Gorgeous, gorgeous yaoi CCO808 artwork, primarily Benten and Sengoku... ah, Benten...

Of course, now I want to write a Sengoku/Benten lemon... dammit do I want to write a Sengoku/Benten lemon! And not like the lemon of Lure either, something much more.... intimate...

.... Think I'll ever have the haddock to write everything I want to....? [sigh]

The aforesaid URL can be found on The Zone's index page. And if anyone reading this knows the artist or how I can get in touch with her/him, please let me know....


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Saturday, February 08, 2003

[lying on floor trying to gulp in air past hysterical laughter....]

Have just read Day of the Ham-Hams (Xero Sky)...

Absolutely brilliant - funniest thing I've read in quite a while...

[spluttering] Love it...


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Friday, February 07, 2003

[lassooed on onna's blog]

I was a bit miffed the haddock pattern (that's right, Joules!) had no rice bowl, only very large serving bowls. I really wanted to get you a bowl of "haddock".

WAI!! You can actually get haddock patterned crockery? Ye gods... Thanks very much for trying, onna. I love the one you sent, it's classically elegant and beautifully subtle. And on your sayso I tried another of the Super Lemons, and you're right: after that first mouth-scouring blast they're really tasty!
Re: Dystopia... There's a followup to Next Day close to being finished, and the followup to that is in progress, and Lutra's moving fast on the followup to Kitty too, so there'll be more being posted soon...

Re: waiting staff at The Liquid Rodent Bar

[also lassooed on onna's blog]

[Alestrel] Anyway.... gender confusion aside, they're not my sort of thing. Too young, too - frail, hair's too short, and with three real-life tails among us I don't see any point in fake ones... This is more 'me'...

Okay! He's hired! Someone assign him a locker, tell him to strip and pass him an apron!

[sigh] Alestrel says can he borrow that particular bishie every now and then? (No, I didn't ask why, I'm sure everyone can work that out for themselves...)...
Oh, and on the subject of the obstreperous hybrid, since I didn't know what 'CFM' meant and therefore didn't draw the heels high enough on the shoes of the 'waitress' pic, I've kind of promised the Okapi a pic of him in thigh boots, thong and jewellery...


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.... whipped strawberry cream Pocky.... oh my.... [gazes into the distance, eyes glazed, savouring...]


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There we were, tucking into my Potato Soup ™ [grin] when there came a knock at the door...

It was my parcel from onna!

Wonderful things - a beautiful ceramic bowl (in shades of blue with screentone-type patterns!), chopsticks with a delicate floral and gold design on the handles, POCKY!!! (strawberry and one I've never heard of, whipped strawberry cream... [smirk]), elegant metal reindeer tag, gorgeous, gorgeous YaoiCon postcards (including another Shinju and Okami one, Lutra. If you don't have it, I'll scan and email it: I want another Shinju & Okami Dystopia story please. Based on the pic. Soon. Tomorrow will do) - and a pile of lemon goodies, currently sitting in the bowl. Very lemon goodies. The butter lemon cracker sandwiches are lovely. And I tried one of the Super Lemon hard sweets, but only for about 30 seconds. Imagine holding concentrated feshly-squeezed lemon juice in your mouth until it starts burning a hole in your tongue - it was kind of like that, astonishing stuff. Ken and I decided they're probably used as some sort of initiation in Japan - you know, finish one of these and they let you join the Yakuza, finish three and they let you take over! Heh, they're great! About as lemony as you can get, and wonderfully inspirational! They'll last a loooong time...

Many many thanks, onna! [GLOMP]


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Hn, interesting. The 'waitress' animation works fine in IE (6) and Opera (6.05), but in Netscape (6.2) and Mozilla the frames stack up one on top of the other - which for this particular animation doesn't matter too much, luckily. I used a slightly different animation process this time, maybe that's what's caused it...


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[lassooed on onna's blog]

Need some kind of real torture device for a fic? Give your charas a toothache!

PING! went the lightbulb...

Seriously, I do sympathise onna. Went through something similar myself when I had three teeth capped, some years ago: two of the caps were too big and had to go back to be altered, but by then my dentist had done the work on the teeth and had to put temporary caps on - metal ones of all things... They fell off after 24 hours and I decided I preferred the pain of what felt like exposed nerves to that of having electricity continually jolt through my jaw. Was a week before the caps were ready. Not a nice experience. And once I'd developed resistance to the aspirin (heh, about two days!) no pain relief worked...

Really hope yours gets sorted out soon...


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I'm chuffed. It took me just 30 minutes to pencil and ink the Alestrel pic for Lutra's Pond. Another hour and a half to scan, colour, tidy, tweak the face (I didn't try drawing that again, just used a pre-done portrait - ditto the hand) and generally get it ready to animate, and it's by no means a good pic, but it was only intended to be a daft bit of fun in the first place... I haven't drawn anything for months, so I'm really pleased it worked - bodes well for the pics I have planned for while I'm at Carol's!! >;-D

Onna's blog has a WeatherPixie on it: I went to take a peek at the website. Such a brilliant idea! So I now have four (over on the left, below the links box: you're only allowed up to five...) - one for me here in Briz, one for Lutra, one for Saru (well, OK, it's not exactly where she is but it's the best I could do for now) and one for Kaze-chan (ditto). It's great being able to see what's happening where friends are!


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Wednesday, February 05, 2003

Happy happy joy joy...

My Hewlett Packard printer isn't working. We were having problems a wee while back, and they got worse, and now it won't print in any application. Ken brought down his Lexmark for me to try - which meant I had to unplug my scanner, always a tricky option, since the Lexmark has a USB plug - and yes, it worked, we think, though couldn't tell properly because the cartridge was empty (and what a rip off they are! Tiny, expensive little things that hardly last any time at all...) Problem is, my stack only has 2 USB sockets, and they're currently full of scanner and tablet, and given the hassles I had installing both bits of hardware I'd rather not mess around with them.

Then Ken suggested getting a USB hub, to increase capacity to 4 sockets. Staples sell them for £30 (ouch). But you have to open the stack, take off a panel, and plug the thing into the guts of the computer in order to install it, and quite frankly I really don't feel inclined to mess around with the poor things innards, it has enough to put up with as it is.

So why the happy happy joy joy?

Well, I had to go to Staples anyway, to pick up printer cartridges, and while I was looking 'round I found a Trust track ball mouse with a PS plug (as opposed to a USB) - for £9.99 (ridiculously cheap, but then everything uses USB these days so I assume they just wanted to flog the thing). Anyway, I checked I could return it if it didn't work and bought it. We installed it this morning - and it works perfectly. In concert with my Trust tablet, too - I can chop and change between pen and mouse without changing applications. Chuffed? Oh yes. The wireless mouse that came with the tablet is a pain in the arse to use, has never worked properly, and I'm a great one for right clicks, which are nigh on impossible with the tablet's pen. It'll take me a little while to get used to the new one - the trackball is on the top rather than on the side, and the left click button is worked by the thumb, the reverse of my original trackball - but it's already a joy to use.

Still don't have a decent working printer, though. (Kai's still works OK but is slow and little and only prints in B&W.) Have emailed HP in the hope it's a software glitch rather than a hardware problem: we can't afford a new printer. Fingers crossed...


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Right.... Having recovered somewhat from that earlier outpouring of delight in the human beauty that can be found on this planet, I've now coded/uploaded Next Day - the follow up to First Meeting and second Joules and Lutra joint Dystopia chapter - into the Darkside, and sent the update to the people who've requested it. Which isn't very many... Ah well, it's noted on the main site index, the fiction index, and the Zone index page - can't do much more than that!

I suppose I ought to think about getting to bed. Though we don't have to be up early in the morning: Kai's poorly - some nasty bug doing the rounds at school, and since Ken was told to keep an eye on the family after his hospital visit (one of the wards was closed due to the Norvalk (thanks Carol!) virus) it's probably a better idea to keep him home until he's better. Kai's upset about it - he's just got a commendation for 100% school attendance - but he's running a temperature and really isn't very well, poor bratling, and the school would also rather he doesn't spread it. It's so rare he gets ill it kind of hits him hard.


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Tuesday, February 04, 2003

[Blink.... wide eyed stare....]

Now, I guessed from the trailers I was going to enjoy the CNX AAA movie 2002, but bloody hell!!....

Cops, ghosts, ghosts who are cops, ghost-cop/cop partnerships.... all dressed in black leather.... and REAL LIVE bishounen...

Ye gods. Talk about beautiful young men... Nicholas Tse, Stephen Fung, Fong Lik-Sun...

It could have been daft. It wasn't. I'm hooked...

[Grits teeth and repeats mantra: "I have too many other projects, I promised me I wouldn't write any more slash... I have too many other projects, I promised me I wouldn't write any more slash..."]


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[... prod....... prodprod.....] Hn. I think the ningen's in shock. She's just watched half of an episode of Hamtaro so she could see what Lutra's picture was all about and it traumatised her.

[glares at Lutra] You broke my ningen!!!
*'pathed by Alestrel*


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Sunday, February 02, 2003

[Big Satisfied Sigh] Well, it's taken some hours, but my Kinfolk and Lutra's Consequences pt 2 are now coded/uploaded, the links to the Darkside are open, and the Zone Update email has been sent...

Seven brand new chapters/interludes in total. Not bad, ne?

And I was going to treat myself to a break - but GoodTwin read Kinfolk and came right back to me saying...

Forget the break, I need to know what happens next...

... so I guess I'll have to wait until I go to Winchester... >;-D

Oh, Ken says it's year 4,640 (since the Yellow Emperor instituted the calendar). Just so's you know!

Off to do a bit on the follow-up chapter to First Meeting....



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Kinfolk is finished. Damn but I'm pleased with this chapter!



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Quiz result:

Congratulations, you're an Iele, a blood-sucking cat who hunts humans.
What kind of female faerie are you?
Take the female faerie quiz by Paradox.



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..... and BusinessServe goes down again.....

Still, I've checked with ClaraNET and got the information I need to give to BusinessServe to effect the transfer, and drafted out the letter giving notice. I'll get that off to them this week.



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Saturday, February 01, 2003


The revised, extended Dystopia is all coded and uploaded (there are now eight chapters), along with the new Darkside intro - but don't go looking for it yet, I'm not opening the links until Kinfolk and Consequences pt 2 are finished and also posted, which should be sometime tomorrow. My tomorrow that is: Lutra's today.

Wonder if I could draw Devon? Cloudburst? Shinju and Okami? Ox?...

Bratling can be very funny at times. I was explaining 'black ice' to him yesterday, and he asked if there was any on the roads. I said no, there couldn't be, everywhere was dry and we hadn't had any rain for days... "Oh no! It's a drought!!" he chirped...

(Brits will understand that. I'm not sure if anyone else will!)



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... need a break...

Happy Imbolc!

Imbolc, the Festival of the White Lady. A quiet and much underrated feast, celebrating the beginning of the awakening of the Earth from her winter sleep. The sun had warmth again today, in sheltered spots out of the wind. And Imbolc's flower, the snowdrop, is blossoming in the woods. It's a time of quiet joy, quiet anticipation for the times to come. Eat white things - chicken, rice, white grapes, pears, white wine and sparkling elderflower presse to appreciate the good things in life...

Darkside recoded offline, ready for upload when Safe from Harm and First Meeting are revised and coded: there will be eight chapters there once everything is live (that's including the three already posted). And I'm five pages into Kinfolk - the next AC chapter - as well: should have that done and ready to upload with the rest. And after this I'm taking a couple of days rest, my hands are aching like hell. Hoping to go kite-flying down at the park with Kai on Sunday...

The Kid Buu Saga starts on Friday. Looks like I've missed all the fusion fun while we haven't had CNX. Dischuffed? Damn right...

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