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
01/03/2012 - 31/03/2012
01/04/2012 - 30/04/2012
01/05/2012 - 31/05/2012
01/06/2012 - 30/06/2012
01/07/2012 - 31/07/2012
01/08/2012 - 31/08/2012
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
01/03/2013 - 31/03/2013
01/04/2013 - 30/04/2013
01/05/2013 - 31/05/2013
01/06/2013 - 31/06/2013
01/07/2013 - 31/07/2013
01/08/2013 - 31/08/2013
01/09/2013 - 30/09/2013
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

Friday, October 31, 2003

[pissed off growl] We've had a couple of months with bugger all rain, cloudless skies, and just recently very cold temperatures with early frost. Tonight was the best opportunity for observing the rare UK aurora borealis, sparked by the recent solar storms/flares - and what happens? It's rained for the last twenty four hours and the sky is covered by clouds...


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Thursday, October 30, 2003

[Sigh] so the first thing he does (after I've taken photos, luckily) is rip across the front of the cloak... Ah well, it was old, I suppose...

[Trapped at the Mousehole]

The costume sounds great, Joules, even if you had to suffer for your art! Will wait the photos eagerly - (and you missed the obvious answer - it's an Australian owl...)<eg>

Of course! Strigiforme Australis!! Tch', brain's confused with the change of seasons and haddock... Will tell Kai tomorrow.

Symps for the cold, Carol. Kai's managed to mostly fight his off, Ken feels terrible with his (he hardly ever gets colds), and as for me, well, I can feel it hovering, but I'm refusing to admit it - don't have time to be ill. Bloody miserable things...

Congratulations on yours and David's anniversary, Valkyrie!

Tired and my ears are ringing, there were twelve 8-10 year olds at the party, so I pitched in and helped Kim. Considering Kai only knew Joseph and Sarah, he did very well, although watching him really does bring it home how difficult he finds social situations and how hard it is for him to interact 'normally' with his peers. But at least he's happy to ask me what he should do and how he should respond when he's unsure. I'm wondering how to build on what I've seen tonight, to try to help him in future. Talking about it is all very well, but that's not the same as dealing with the situation for real. Will have to see what I can come up with.

Off to make a start... AC tonight, probably...


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... ouchouchouchouchouch...

Well, it was a bit rushed (and I had to get up at 9.30 to do it), and I've stabbed the needle under my thumbnail and my forefinger nail, and my fingers are aching, but Kai now has a cloak, my soft toy snowy owl has an elastic wriststrap so it will just about perch on his arm (and what fun that was! Could I get the bloody thing to sit properly? As Kai pointed out, it's bats that hang upside down, not owls!) and we found a pair of black plastic play spectacles that just about fit. He's now looking for his wand... He makes a really good Harry Potter!

(The cloak's fun. It was originally made for me by an elderly friend of my mother's for a fancy dress party when I was about 14 - went as a vampire - from the fabric used for nun's habits! It's old but still serviceable - practically a family heirloom now! In the words of Ivor Cutler, "nothing gets wasted round here...")

Will take photos...


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Wednesday, October 29, 2003


I've just posted Valkyrie's gorgeous illustration for Makeup (the latest Cyber City Oedo 808 chapter)...

Kai and I went for our dental checkups this afternoon. We have a new dentist - a really nice guy - and I had my teeth properly cleaned for the first time in several years (last dentist wouldn't do it). A little painful to do, but feels great now!

And we're going to Kim's Hallowe'en party tomorrow! (Cue frantic rush tomorrow morning to see if I can cobble together a costume for Kai - not absolutely necessary but he'd like it. Have to drag out the old sewing machine and see what I can find in the 'old clothes suitcase'...)


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Tuesday, October 28, 2003


Happy Birthday Sue!!


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.... tired....

Had a great day. Wendy very kindly volunteered to drive us if we wanted to go anywhere, so we ended up over at The Reptile House buying all the set-up bits and pieces (tank, substrate, water bowl, hide, thermometer, heat mat, tweezers etc) for the tarantula and placing an order for a female Chilean Rose, to be picked up on Jan 2nd 2004. So now we're committed. (And there are those that say we should be!)

It was wonderful just to sit and talk, though, catch up on the news and relax. [GLOMPS Wendy] It's just never long enough...

I had time to listen to a little YYH... interesting. Low voice, nicely rough, expressive, but not as deep as I'd expected, but then, this was Chiba Shigeru as Kuwabara, not as Radittsu...

Generation posted - and I've also posted the Amazing Kiss competition pic on the Side Stories index page.

Will tackle your FL feedback tomorrow, Sue - too tired right now!

Oh - that programme onna mentioned - Queer Eye for the Straight Guy - starts here on the Living channel in November...


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Sunday, October 26, 2003

[staggered...] Took a break and thought I'd look up Shiozawa Kaneto on the Seiyuu Database...

The list of characters he voiced is over 6 'pagedowns' long, and includes such personal favourites as: -

Iason Mink (AnK), Narsus (Arslan Senki), D (Vampire Hunter D), Larva (Vampire Princess Miyu), Bundoru (the bishonen whose name I couldn't remember in Goshogun the Time Etranger), Benten, of course, and a whole host of other anime, some of which I've never heard...

... not obsessed, just thorough...


[very big happy grin] Hayami Sho, Raoul's seiyuu in AnK, also voiced Zaabon... Finally I know what the original sounded like... Heh, me and S(econdary)C(haracter)S(yndrome)... [horribly tempted to do the Dance of Joy...]

[blinks] And Chiba Shigeru (Radittsu) voiced Kuwabara (YYH)? I'm sure I have him on one of the YYH tapes Kaze-chan sent me... Will have to have a look in the morning - uh, later in the morning...

Voices are very important to me...


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[manic grin] I'm getting the Cyber City Oedo 808 DVD for Yule!

I ordered a couple of DVDs as presents for other people from earlier, and mentioned to Ken that of all my anime collection, CCO808 is first on the list for buying on DVD. So Ken said to check out the price. is out of stock, is far far too expensive (£72 for the 3 part series and the 'special', which seems to be a 'making of' DVD if I've understood it correctly) - and didn't have it either, though two of their Z-shops did. Cue mild panic attack - it's not very popular and if I don't get it soon I may not be able to. So Ken said go ahead and order it, which I did. [happy bounce] The blurb says it has English and Japanese audio tracks (and English subtitles) so I can have both Benten voices! (His VA, Shiozawa Kaneto, now sadly dead, is melt-worthy too.)

I am very happy!

Ken and Tony watched Dragon Hidden Crouching Tiger (please rearrange to make the correct title, I can never remember the order), then put on the third CCO808 - Tony has never seen any anime (heh, cue me ranting on about the genres within it, how wonderful it is (except for mecha) and what a pain in the arse it is that we get so little over here) - for me to drool.... Honestly, I first saw it in 95 and it's still my favourite (not the best anime ever, but I really don't care). And Benten is still my favourite bishonen...

Currently having much fun on ICQ with Lutra, joint-writing our next 'l&L chapter!


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YAYAY! It's 1am again! We're back to GMT! That means that Lutra and I are now an hour apart!!

... perhaps I should explain that... Of course, we're actually 11 hours apart (it was 9 during BST) - Lutra's 11 hours ahead of me. But for all intents and purposes, there's only an hour's difference in the time now, instead of 3.

This means that when it's midnight here, it's 11 am there - whereas it used to be midnight here was 9am there. Which meant that by the time Lutra usually got onto ICQ (9-ish am and pm, usually) it was already midday and midnight here, and I either had to leave to collect Kai or stay up till dawn in order to chat. But now, when she gets online, it'll only be 10 here, giving us an extra two hours to plot and plan and be generally evil before what is laughingly known as RL gets in the way!

I'm sure everyone is delighted to hear that...


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Saturday, October 25, 2003

[happy happy sigh] Valkyrie's illustrating Makeup, the wee Cyber City Oedo 808 story I wrote for her birthday... I am so honoured. Peeked the first pic and melted, it's gorgeous...


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Friday, October 24, 2003

[sigh] You know you've been infected with your child's latest obsession when he shows you the 'bag of bugs' he bought at the supermarket and the first thing you notice is that the scorpions only have six legs...

Kai decided he wanted to make himself a bow. (No, I don't know what sparked it and frankly I'm afraid to ask...) Only he thought he'd use a piece of net-curtain cord (the plastic-covered tight spring with the loops at either end) - which is of course just floppy. So I got my 5-foot practise bow out of storage (used to love archery but had to give it up when the teno struck), strung it, and showed him how it works. And found I could draw it without it hurting (admittedly the draw weight (the pull in pounds) is only about 20lbs - I think, it's been so long since I used it I can't really remember, but Kai can draw it, with a little effort). My arrows (hollow aluminium) are a bit battered, but the quiver's fine: I still have a couple of armguards (though my fingertab is too big for Kai: might be able to do something about that) and the old target is in the shed. Kai wants to try it, so we'll get the animals in early one evening next week and set up the target in the garden. Heh, I'll see how bad I am after years without any practise!

And I'll take a photo of bratling to post here!

... farewell, Concorde...


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What's interesting about it is that while Stephan isn't at all my type, he sure as hell is Devon's!

Think I'll see if I can work that scenario (and all the thoughts/perceptions etc that went with it) into a forthcoming Dystopia chapter...


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Everything was white with frost when I went up at 5 this morning... Pretty, but doesn't bode well for a mild winter.

Had to be up early, so had a nap this afternoon (just one cycle - always feels like a waste of haddock, but I have a long night planned and would be too tired to take advantage of it otherwise). I tend to remember my dreams when I sleep during the day, and this one was quite vivid, though it was an 'observer' type (where I'm watching the action) rather than an 'action' type (where I'm a participant).

I think today's might have sprung from a thought I had while videoing the Sentinel yesterday (SciFi channel are repeating the whole thing, as they do, and I decided I wanted it to keep...) It was the Light My Fire ep, and when the main female character/Ellison interest was sitting on the steps I thought at first it was Blair, which made me wonder how many of the other female guest stars can also be mistaken for Blair from a slight distance... Going to see if I can keep a running tally! [grin] Anyway, the dream involved Blair being chatted up by a woman who looked like him from the back - he wasn't enjoying it but couldn't get away because we were all on a plane (big Boeing, I think). Inconclusive ending; Ken woke me as he was going to collect Kai.

A dream I had last week was much more interesting, however. I was Devon (that's Dystopia Devon, not the Purgatory one), on a mission with Stephan. Trying to evade being spotted by our quarry, we went into a bar/restaurant which was at the top of a tall tower where we could keep an eye on him (as well as have lunch!). There was a spiral staircase to get to the place: a solid grey stone central column, with the actual steps on the outside wall - there was a faintly greenish glass sloping floor joining the steps to the column all the way up, so you could see down the stairwell, and by the time you got to the top it was like looking deep into green water. The outer wall was grey stone to waist height, then more of the greenish glass. Very effective, if a little eerie. The restaurant at the top was all smoked and green glass, tubular steel, black leather, steps, straight lines and sharp angles, no curves anywhere - very striking. (Heh, I design buildings in my sleep!)

And the real life Stephan ([frowns] Can I call him real life if he only exists in my head?) is gorgeous, very sexy, very elegant, with a wonderfully... stimulating... deep voice... and a small lock of hair that keeps falling over his forehead no matter how often he brushes it back...

And of course, Quyn's barking woke me before I'd got any further than taking a couple of sips of the chilled low alcohol lager I was drinking...



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Thursday, October 23, 2003

Well, that was pretty successful. Yule presents bought for Ken's folks, a couple of others that need to be posted off soon, a few other bits and pieces - and a new ring (1.5 cm across, 5mm bead, in rainbow titanium) and barbell (2.3 cm with 4mm bead in beautiful metallic blue titanium) for me. Thought I'd try taking off/clicking back in the bead on the ring to see if I can manage it myself - Gordon Bennet! They don't 'alf make 'em secure! I can't even take the thing off by myself, Ken's going to have to do it, and then click it back on when I've got the ring in place. Then it'll have to stay in: I've hurt my fingers struggling with it, can't be fussed doing that very often. The good thing is the barbell should fit as well as the ring once I've got used to it...

Kai isn't going to Jack's tomorrow: his mum rang to postpone.


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Wednesday, October 22, 2003

[trapped at the Mousehole]

I can't deny I'm relieved to hear the tarantula-timing decision, Joules. I think it's wise (can you imagine Xmas with Kai rushing around, tank in hand, showing everyone?) and will give me more time to get used to the idea. You might have her trained by the time I come to visit, then <g>

[blinks, grins] A dancing singing tarantula! What an idea!!

Kai's perfectly fine with it. And Ken has given me some ideas for his dad for Yule. I'm off shopping tomorrow. And in the meantime, I have a lemon to write for F29...


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Right, decision about the tarantula. Given that the house is going to be crowded on and off over the Yule period (20th December to 2nd January) we're going to wait until the 2nd to get the beastlie. Xmas is not a good time to introduce a new pet into the household in any case, and I don't want my brother trying to lift the lid to look at it and letting it out.
Onna's Hamrantula!

Kai will then have nearly a week to watch it, and let the novelty wear off a little, before he goes back to school. He'll be a little disappointed, but will understand the reasoning!

This is the pic that I was referring to in the ICQ-lift - Onna's Hamrantula!! An eight-legged eight-eyed hamster. I'd say it's cute except I can't stand hamsters. (Well, I suppose they're OK barbecued on skewers... [evil grin])


[Joules] AAAARRRGGGHHHHH!!!! onna's blog.... take it away!!
[Lutra] uh oh.. haven't read that yet..
[on the floor laughing]

Umm, can I have a small copy of that please onna?


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Main shop Monday strikes again, except it was Tuesday this time... (And I'm writing this on Wednesday. No wonder I get confused.)

It's half term next week, and it's going to be hectic. Kai's off round to Jack's house from school on Friday; Ken's friend Tony has a course in Bristol Friday to Sunday, and will be staying with us: it's been a while since they've seen each other so I shall just plug myself into my headset here and let them get on with it. Wendy's coming up for the day on Monday; on Wednesday Kai and I have the dentist; Kim is planning to take us out for one of the afternoons; I want to take Kai swimming one of the days; and my folks are coming up on Saturday to collect Ken's folks' Yule pressies (to take down to Babbacombe when they go to visit/collect the Yule pressies that will be coming up here) - which is all very well but I haven't actually bought them yet... (Cue a trip into town tomorrow, bluergh. Don't have a clue what to get for Ken's dad: I'm sure he must be tired of chocolates by now...) And of course it's Samhain next weekend as well.

All of this means I have no idea how much creating time I'll have - though if things run true I'll find I need to write to recover from the exigencies of the day!

And in the meantime, Lutra's got her next AC more or less planned out, I've had a brainwave for the zhaneer segment of my half of the story, and I also have the plot of a little 'raadiin Side Story I really need to write. And of course there's the next 'l&L chapter to be done [evil grin]...

F28 done and away. Back to F29. Needs some major work...

Onna, congrats!! Knew you could do it.


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Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Look! Carol!! I'm not six any more!! [big grin]

Inner Child

My inner child is ten years old!

The adult world is pretty irrelevant to me. Whether I'm off on my bicycle (or pony) [unicorn?] exploring, lost in a good book, or giggling with my best friend, I live in a world apart, one full of adventure and wonder and other stuff adults don't understand.

How Old is Your Inner Child?

brought to you by Quizilla

Yes, I know I wasn't going to talk about spiders, but...
[clipped from onna's tree]

Joules, eeww, a tarantula for a pet? rat commented the problem with them is they will not give out any affection. I suppose Kai really isn't interested in that as much as observing behavior. The Cobalt Blue one really is a lovely critter. The one I got up close and personal with was the same colour as the brownish-red dirt we both were standing on. From the photos it looks like the Chilean Rose might 'pick' its colours from its environment. So maybe putting some rocks with the colours desired may do the trick. Of course, I could just be talking through my hat.

[grins] Affection from a spider... it's a cute idea, but no, we wouldn't get one for its lovable nature! The coloration thing is a fascinating idea, and taking another look at the pics it may certainly be worth trying. [sigh] Yes, as long as I can get the crickets from somewhere nearer than St George's, Kai is having a tarantula for Yule (pretty much a foregone conclusion, knowing me, wasn't it? And Kai actually asks for so very little, I hate disappointing him). Grandma and Grandad are sending present cash for the setting up costs, and I guess Ken and I will buy the beastlie for him.

Carol (and Sue, and anyone else who comes to visit), please don't worry. It will be shut away in a room for the duration, with something immovable on the tank lid, and you won't have to look at it if you don't want to. I've told Kai he's not to bother you with it - though spiders are all he talks about at the moment, and I can't do too much about that! - and certainly not to badger you into looking at it unless you ask first... You could try thinking of it as a small furry creature, like the rabbit, and the guinea pigs... Hn... an eight-legged guinea pig... with eight eyes... well, perhaps not...

mermaidMoving swiftly on... Regarding the merman Zb pic: I would have loved to have seen some of your fantasy drawings, onna. I was searching through the art orginals folder earlier, looking for the merfolk pics I did waaaaay back when I was designing my own 'mythical' Tarot pack (yet another project that was never finished, due mainly to my lack of confidence in my own graphic skills), and found this one, which was going to be the Princess of Cups. (I'd forgotten about it, can't remember how old it is. Ten? twelve years? It's a bit rough, I never finished it...) The Princesses and Princes were all going to be predators: this one was based on a shark. (The King was based on a dolphin. I'm sure that probably says something very profound about my mind...)

Looking through the folder, I actually managed to draw seven of the Court cards, six of the Major Arcana, and roughly sketch about a third of the Minor Arcana. Heh, another one to revisit if I ever retire!

Illustration to a poem

There's an awful lot of stuff in the folders, I really need to go through them properly and see what's worth showcasing. One thing I did find though, was this tenshi, actually an illustration to one of my poems in X-Calibre - heh, the pic is rather better than the poem!

The inspiration came from memories of an evening swim at Westward Ho! (North Devon - yes, there really is a place called Westward Ho! - it's great...) on a family holiday as a child - about 9 or 10 I think...

I'm wittering and procrastinating. I'm supposed to be working on F28 - and I am, honest! - but got distracted. And something's on fire somewhere near here, there's the most horrible burning smell making my eyes sting. Possibly a car, there's a distinct trace of rubber in the stink.

Better set the fragrancer going with some essential oils and get back to 28 before I get nagged! [grin]


Monday, October 20, 2003

But of course it wouldn't be that easy, would it?

The cooker's been delivered. Just delivered - our piping is so old they couldn't install it, didn't have the time or the tools... They did say it wouldn't be a long or difficult job, though. (Well, I'll believe that when I see it.) Now I have to traipse back over to Curry's after picking up Kai to organise the refund of the installation charge, and in the meantime we have to try to find the cheapest person we can to come and install it. I don't need this hassle.

And as for the snippet about the Catholic Church and AIDS (on Lutra's blog)... not content with covering up child abuse by its priests, they now seem to be encouraging the spread of one of the nastiest diseases on the planet. I'm sure the children born with HIV will thank them...


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Sunday, October 19, 2003

Subsequent to the comment about a merman Zb, I now have a picture in my head that I really must try to draw. But apparently the shortage of haddock is because of overfishing (thanks for the URL, Lutra!) which explains why I can never find any. [growl] Sue, Carol, time to buy that haddock farm...

Gladiator is on Five tonight; I suppose we'll have it on (in the background). Not my favourite empire/period of history, but it would be good to know what all the fuss was about!

Perhaps it might even help me get Sidestep finished...


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a dirty great big spider in the bath... Last words about spiders, then I'll change the subject for a while, and get back to Sidestep...

This is the tegenaria I mentioned a while back, that got itself trapped in the bath. The photos came back today, so I thought I'd post this one here for everyone to share [evil grin] I'm good like that... The ruler is accurate, by the way. I managed to find a reference to the legend that these frightened Cardinal Wolsey while he was at Hampton Court, but how true it is I couldn't say...

Oh, and apparently Jack was only joking about having a tarantula - as his mum confirmed on Friday! I think Kai's a bit miffed...

And I found this picture on Google - Haplopelma lividum, the Cobalt Blue tarantula, absolutely gorgeous, though not quite as pretty as the one with the golden abdomen. However it's nervous, aggressive and very venomous, and therefore quite out of the question as a pet...

Cobalt Blue tarantula

Saturday, October 18, 2003

[grumble] It would have made things easier if the bus driver had told us where to get off... (which bus stop, I mean...)

But we got there in the end, after an unnecessary slog up a long slow hill. It's a nice place, lots of gorgeous snakes and lizards, and very helpful staff: spent a good twenty minutes with us, answering questions and letting us look at the spiders they had available. No Mexican Red-kneed, but there were a couple of Chilean Rose tarantulas: the one in the tank on the main counter was lovely, the long hairs tipped with a light violet-pink, and little black hairy toes - daft as it sounds, it reminded me of a ballerina!

They suggested getting a spiderling (Chilean Rose is £15 - an adult is £25. In comparison, a Red-kneed Tarantula is £25 baby and £100+ adult) so it can grow up being handled - something I'm pretty certain I wouldn't have a problem with: I actually wanted to stroke the Rose we looked at, but the shop was incredibly hot and I didn't think it would appreciate wet fingers... Males live for about 5 years, and females around 7, so they aren't overly long-term pets. They vary considerably in appearance as they grow though, so we wouldn't know quite how it would look until it was adult.

Basic set up costs are about £28 (Kai's aquarium is too big for a spiderling, we'd need a smaller case to start with); they eat live crickets (at £2.40 a tub, which would last 1-3 weeks) - and the shop sells plastic feeding tongs so we wouldn't have to touch them.

Things to take into account: tarantulas assume a threat posture first when alarmed, then shoot hairs (which can seriously damage eyes, so there's a health and safety issue, for us, and the animals should it ever get loose). If after that, as the staff said, you're stupid enough to try to handle the beastie, you deserve to be bitten. Though the bite is mild, no worse than a bee sting, you never quite know how you'll react until it happens, so keeping anti-histamines in the house is a good idea. (I do anyway, I'm allergic to asparagus beetle bites and wasp stings.) Then there's the food - I'm not traipsing over to St George every month to pick up a tub of crickets (however, our local pet supplier might be able to get them for us. I'll need to ask them next week) Kai is also a little uncertain as to how happy he would be to handle it, though I think he'd be OK, eventually.

We're going to give it a week, see if the wish is still there by next weekend, and if so, we'll think further about the matter. Ken isn't keen about it, I know, and we're still talking a 6-7 year commitment. Well, we'll see...


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Friday, October 17, 2003

[sigh] So there I was, all ready to start on the next AC, when I made the mistake of looking at DigiGuide for tonight...

The X-Files episode Sleepless is on tonight (well, 1.30 tomorrow morning, but it's the same thing...). This is the first ep with Krycek in it, I understand. I don't normally watch the X-Files (been there, done that), always preferred Millennium, but this rang bells.

To backtrack slightly, some time ago OkapiPrincess found a new Theban Band LotR picture I hadn't seen, and I went to the site to see what else I'd missed (and join the update list so it didn't happen again). While there I took a wander around the rest of the site, and found some beautiful pictures of Mulder and Krycek as a variety of mythical creatures - the ones that caught my attention most were the centaur and winged pics, but there were a couple of merfolk ones as well. I mentioned these to Lutra, who commented that Nicholas Lea, who plays Krycek, is really quite pretty (sorry, Lutra, can't remember your exact words!) and an interesting character - which was promptly filed away in the cavernous museum archive I call my memory.

Finding that X-Files is on tonight reminded me of the conversation, and I idly - and very stupidly, as it happened - typed Krycek into Google (which is how I found out about Sleepless) and got sidetracked by a slash AU fanfic that had Krycek as an injured merman and Mulder as the oceanographer who cares for him.

I like merfolk.

I started reading it...

I got hooked (pun intended). Hence I'm now two hours late starting Sidestep, the next AC... (But wouldn't Zb make a gorgeous merman!? Heh, if I can ever find the time to draw again.)

Sue - thanks for the FL feedback. Looks like I have a lot of revision to do!
But not tonight. Tonight I need a break. Off to look at Sidestep...


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Thursday, October 16, 2003

That was fun...

There's a Curry's [sings "always cutting prices"] three stores down from Comet at Avon Meads. Went in there first, to find they had four different models with eye-level grills, including one in hunter green that is the same make (New World) as our current cooker! Unfortunately I also found out that most makes are discontinuing their eye-level grill models: apparently too few people like them. (Seems daft to me, but then, so do a lot of things...) Delivery's free if you opt to have them install, which actually makes them a little cheaper than Comet.
Went into Comet, collared a very polite young man at the enquiries/customer service desk, and explained the fun I'd had last night: asked him to ring (to save my phone bill) to check that my order hadn't gone through, which he did (and it hadn't). Then went back to Curry's and ordered the make we originally wanted (the New World cooker, unfortunately, was missing the grill holder, and while the store would have given me 10% off for ex-stock - it was the last one - I'd have to arrange for a replacement holder myself from the manufacturer, and there was no guarantee they could provide it).

Cooker is being delivered and installed on Monday - and I'm very happy with Curry's efficiency. And their prices!

Kai's teacher is great, very helpful. The three of us discussed an individual plan for Kai, with targets and rewards for reaching various stages: house points, a star chart, and extra time on the internet at school for managing things like finishing at least one set piece of work on time a day (real problem at the moment), putting up his hand and waiting rather than shouting to attract the teacher's attention at least twice a day, and writing the day and date within three minutes in literacy sessions at least four times a week (it's taking him so long he doesn't have time to do much of the actual work). Kai's usually very good with targets, so I'm anticipating reaching these before Yule, then building on them afterwards and discussing a new plan. We'll start working at home as well, as we did last year: that was very successful. Overall though, she was very pleased: Kai's playground behaviour has improved immensely since the beginning of term, and he's bright and informative in class (even if he won't stop talking sometimes!)

It's good to have things a little more under control, and it will be important when he moves to secondary school. Whichever one he goes to will be much bigger, with different faces, routines and culture, and we'll need new strategies for coping, so the more we can accomplish now, the easier it will be.

[puzzled] Kai's reported back that Jack's tarantula is now with the next door neighbours...

[grump] I have to get at least one review written today, the deadline is tomorrow; all I want to do is work on FL. But Lutra's next AC, Collapse, is now ready for code/upload, so I can do that in between paragraphs..


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Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Can I go home yet?

I will never, ever try to order anything from Comet ever again...

To explain. My folks are buying us a cooker for an anniversary present. We are delighted about this: the one we're using came with the house and was 16 years old then (and we've been using it for 13 years... the seal may be gone and the thing a little rickety, but they built things to last in them days...) I've found the one we want - very simple (less to go wrong), with an eye-level grill (very important to me since I use the grill an awful lot), Parkinson Cowan make - and did some comparison pricing on the 'net. £ for £ Comet work out as the best deal and will also provide CORGI-registered installation (for an extra £60). So I went to order online...

Selected the model and hit the [continue] button, only to get a 'page unavailable' screen. Normally I'd just assume it was a temporary problem, but Ken has also had problems accessing the TSP online bookshop and, more importantly, Scottish Power. (We want to switch to them for our gas supply. Remember I said Amerada had been bought out by Powergen and we did not want to have our gas supplied by the nuclear industry? Well, it took a bit of checking - and the recent copy of Ethical Consumer - but we found Scottish Power are the most ethical company we have access to in Briz... [shrugs] Yes, I know we're the other end of the country from Scotland...) So I reduced our internet security, and my firewall security, and everything else I could think of (even tried re-checking the Java 2 for applet box in my advanced options) but nothing worked...

As the machine was rebooting it occurred to me to try using Netscape instead of IE - and lo and behold, it worked. Well, it worked as far as the Comet payment confirmation screen. Then it froze, with me not knowing whether the order had been accepted (twice) or not. So I rang them. Multiple choice phone call. I went for the 'other' option, got to the end to be told 'sorry, all our staff are busy right now, try ringing back some other time' [click] Now thoroughly pissed off, I rang again, going for the 'purchase' enquiry option this time. "Your call is important to us - someone will be with you shortly!" said one of those disgustingly bright and cheery voices you just want to throttle, over and over again as I waited, at national rate, for nearly ten minutes before slamming down the phone and writing them a (surprisingly polite) email.

There is a Comet store over at Avon Meads - a short diversion on the way home from picking up Kai. I'm heading over there tomorrow after school. If you hear news reports of someone arrested for causing a disturbance in a Comet store, that'll be me...

Kai's been invited round to Jack's - a new friend - house next Friday. Jack has a tarantula. [head in hands] Kai wants to see the tarantula, and possibly hold it. That is, if Jack manages to find it and get it back in its tank before next Friday.

At St George - the other side of the river but not too far from us - there is a shop called The Reptile House. It sells tarantulas. Apparently they're quite cheap, around £10 (for the males, I assume. It would have to be a male; apparently they only live for a couple of years, as opposed to the females, which can live for 20+ years).

I'm not quite sure how it happened, but I've somehow (been?) volunteered to take Kai there on Saturday, to see the things and get some idea of how much it would all cost (tank, heating, food, maintenance etc)... And I've made it quite clear to bratling there's no way I'll voluntarily have a creature in the house that I can't handle. Which I suppose means I'll have to see if I can pick them up.

I can't believe I'm seriously considering this!

... I'm off to work on F27, it's safer...


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Cross-post with The Mousehole:

[Sue responding to my saying I want a learjet and a mermaid costume] Better get on with that bestseller then, Joules <g>
[Joules] [grins] You want me to write faster...?
Oh lor, what have I said? <bg>
[evil grin] Well, when it comes to speed, there are three levels above overdrive. Overdrive is good for getting from planet to planet. To get from star system to star system you need interstellar overdrive (pauses to see if anyone recognises the reference...): from galaxy to galaxy you need hyperdrive, and to hop from dimension to dimension you need something else. No idea what the name translates to in English, but at those speeds basic time/space laws become meaningless - as does literature, and indeed just about everything else... [thus spake the interdimensional ostrich...]

[shakes head] I need a holiday....


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Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Just off the phone with the language therapist we saw last term, the lovely woman who referred us to the week's socialisation course at the Children's Hospital at the beginning of Kai's summer holidays. She's collated all the information gathered from the course, and from her visit to Kai's school, and has now talked to his teachers: she feels that there is a problem (she thinks it is Asperger's Syndrome) and wanted to know if we want to press ahead for an official diagnosis. I've said yes, of course - much as I hate 'pigeon-holing', and aware as I am of the stigma that can be attached to labels of this kind, anything that helps make life easier for Kai has to be explored. His current school are very sympathetic (I've seen that already in his teachers' reactions to the bratling), but not all academic institutions are the same...

So she'll refer him to the next stage - their clinical psychologist, I think she said - for a further assessment. In the meantime, the school now have some guidelines, and hopefully I can talk to Kai's teacher about this on Thursday.


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[clipped from onna's tree]

Manga/anime has a specific look and there are REASONS for that.

Interesting you should say that. I was taking time out last night and had a wander around the Teach Yourself Japanese site (despite its somewhat innocuous title a very academic site with quite a lot of historical/background information) and found this (in the delightfully labelled 'Body Parts' section):

In Japanese culture, the eyes are the most important part of the face. Japanese has many proverbs about eyes, and one of them says "the eye talks as much as the mouth does", which means you can express and read emotions through eyes. This is one reason why eyes of Japanese manga and animation characters are exaggerated.

The same page notes that the nose is the least important part of the face in Japanese culture - a reason why anime noses are so small, perhaps? Intriguing stuff from a favourite site...

Onna, sending more 'fluences. The quicker the damn test is over the better. Try some chamomile tea, and/or a couple of drops of lavender oil on a tissue beside your pillow - calming and restful, both of them.<


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[sigh] If anyone's been trying to email me on my joules@wordwrights addy, you won't get an answer - I'm having problems with it at the moment. Please use my Haadri email address instead.


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Monday, October 13, 2003

(Lifted from OkapiPrincess' LJ) OOOOH!!! Look!! I want one!!

Nope, changed my mind - I'd rather have one of these. And flying lessons.

Or why not both! [grin] Then I could be a flying fish!!


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[clipped from onna's tree]

*shakes finger at Joules* Sleep, woman! You cannot afford to get run down!

[eyes finger nervously, expecting to see some sort of ki blast erupt from the end] But sleep is such a waste of writing time!

Sending 'fluences for the test...

ICQ discussion re: first contacts - to start with, at any rate... Surreal R Us…

[Joules] I should have been a linguist! ... actually, no I shouldn't: wouldn't have time to write...
[Lutra] ROFL! well you are, kinda...
[grins] kind of having my cake and eating it!
ROFL! mmmm.... cake.... tch, have I eaten tonight?
can't help you there....
you can't? tch, so much for omnipresence... but that makes sense, it's not one of your universes I inhabit..
ROFLMAO!!!! Heh - I spend as little of my time on this planet as possible... there are much more fun places to be. I suppose that makes me the multi-dimensional version of an ostrich...
      wonder what THAT would look like?

[thinks... boggles... brain starts leaking out of ears...]
[hands over earplugs]


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Sunday, October 12, 2003

[yawn] Sitting here wondering why I'm tired, then remembered I only managed about four hours sleep last night... That'll be it...

Right - An Honourable Request, Showdown, and Lutra's next 'l&L chapter, Rage, now posted. (We were going to wait and post this last after I'd done another chapter, but

decided to move the story along at a slightly faster pace instead...)
I've also finished the first draft of F20. Finally.

Ken took Kai and Quyn and Bill, Kai's friend from school, down to Nightingale Valley this afternoon, to what Kai is calling The Great Slope. Hunting spiders, I understand. [shakes head] I suppose it could be worse. I can't think quite how right now, but I'm sure it could be.

I have to see bratling's teacher right after school on Thursday (Parents' Evenings are coming up). Apparently things are progressing quite smoothly after the hiccoughs at the beginning of term. I'll find out more soon.

[sigh] I want to take an hour or so off and read something. Zaabon fic, to be precise. And there just doesn't seem to be any around that I haven't already devoured...


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Lutra's An Honourable Request side story finished and awaiting coding, and my latest 'l&L, Showdown, is now done. Lutra needs to read it first though, to check a couple of details and create a name for me. Should be able to get them posted tomorrow.


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Friday, October 10, 2003

Found a little more information here: an American site but the drugs and side effects are the same the world over... As far as I've been able to find out, the new course has somewhere between a 45-60% success rate, roughly comparable to the first course. I've no idea which genotype Ken has, though I'll assume it's type 1 from the reading I've done. The course looks promising. Which is just as well, as the further I look into the subject the more depressing it gets.

My thanks to everyone for your support and good wishes. I'll update here, of course: we'll just have to see how things go...

We didn't open the champagne.


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Thursday, October 09, 2003

His appointment is on the 4th December, and he will probably be put straight onto the second course of medication - more ribavirin (the tablets that make him feel so awful) and a once weekly injection of pegylated interferon. It's another 48-week course, apparently with different side effects.

That's about all we know at the moment. I have done some background reading, and it appears that once we get to this stage, the damage to the liver becomes life-threatening - if the medication doesn't work, the only other option appears to be a liver transplant. I'm being tentative about that though: until Ken's December appointment we simply won't know how bad things are. Apparently the upcoming medication course has a high success rate, so for the moment we'll have to wait and see. Me, I just prefer to anticipate the worst, that way if it happens I'm prepared for it - and if it doesn't, well, it's a cause for joy.


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OK - Ken's rung, and the medication hasn't worked. I'll find out more when he gets home.


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Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Clive's Cats bookmark - click to visit site
I meant to post this a while back but didn't get round to it - joke bookmark pressie from GoodTwin! (The joke being that I don't iron. Had to ditch my ironing board, it got too rusty - from disuse - to be safe...)

What I particularly like is the warning on the back. bookmark back It's absolutely true - I tried waving the bookmark at Lutra and it had no effect whatsoever...

It's all a bit tense at the moment, waiting for tomorrow. Ken's appointment is 2 pm, but he probably won't get out before I leave to collect Kai, so I won't find out the results until we all get home. We've decided to celebrate anyway, for making it through the last year: Ken has a bottle of champagne (a gift from a couple of years ago) that we've been saving for a special occasion - this seems an appropriate time to open it, whether to celebrate or commiserate...

F17 finished and off to be checked. F18 needs such substantial reworking it'll be, effectively, a new chapter, so is going to take a little longer than the recent ones. Other creative efforts are going to have to wait until I know what's happening with Ken - I can't focus properly at the moment, so I'm not going to guarantee an AC chapter from me this weekend. But Lutra's terrific side story - An Honourable Request - should be ready for posting by then (it's close to being finished - and it's great fun!)...

Monday, October 06, 2003

... tired... 'Main shop' Monday, day trip to Tesco, carried too much back, then to Sainsbury's on the way home from collecting bratling, carried too much back again... why do all the heavy things run out at the same time?

Started the LotrR/CCO808 crossover last night, but was too knackered to do much - and I really need to watch the films again before I go too much further. And Lutra's finished her next 'l&L, though I have to do one very long or two shorter chapters prior to posting it.

Ken has what will hopefully be his 'last' appointment with the consultants on Thursday: we'll find out if the last eleven months have been worth it. I have to chair a BRISTAL A-Team meeting the same evening: I'm hoping we can celebrate afterwards...


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Sunday, October 05, 2003

Choichan finished and posted in Play.

It must be nearly time for a Jackson interlude...


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Tch - rather obvious mistake in Outcome, to do with claiming... I've corrected it now. That's what comes of not waiting to check when I'm less tired. Sorry folks!

On Creation, earlier on ICQ:

[Joules] Mmm.... I like Mikan.

[Lutra] Mikan is rapidly becoming her own person : )

They do though, don't they?... [self mocking] Heh, we'd make triffic gods!

you would… I wouldn't, the responsibility would give me a headache!

Shall try to get Choichan posted tonight.

Sue, Carol, glad you had a good time!


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Heh, changed my mind and posted Outcome tonight instead...

[sigh] I'm really beginning to think aol simply won't talk to anyone but other aol users. One by one Zone members using aol are bouncing back 'mailbox unobtainable', and I can't imagine that all of them have decided they don't want updates but haven't bothered to tell me... Ken commented that Time Warner no longer seem to include aol in their list in the intro to their films...

And Kim, if you're reading this, I did reply to your email - but you're on aol too and I get the impression the mail didn't reach you... Ring me?


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Well, that's Outcome finished. I'll need to re-read tomorrow before I code/upload, of course, but I think it's OK. Heh - the use of the jewels at last!

Lutra, go check your mail. And remember you should never, ever issue anything remotely challenge-like... [evil grin]


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Saturday, October 04, 2003

Kai says "thank you", onna, he's happy you like his cartoon! We both tried to think of an answer that wasn't horribly gross but couldn't come up with anything: I think the dog is supposed to be just hot, rather than cooked (I haven't explained yet that dogs don't actually sweat), but I'll have to check that with Kai...

Flux now posted, I'm two pages into the next AC - Outcome - and I've started work on F16. It's been quite a productive week!


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Friday, October 03, 2003

[falls off chair laughing] You know the cartoon with the baby showing the parents how to programme the VCR? Well, we've just done it for real, with Kai teaching me how to use the 'black box' remote to scroll through the digital channels to find (and go to) Dr Who...

(In my own defence, I never use the thing, just look up the channel I want on DigiGuide and tap in the channel number direct. Then again, I never have been able to programme our latest VCR. But neither can anyone else, either!)

F14 and F15 finished, Flux finished and will be coded/uploaded after my shower, the pic of Choichan now ready and waiting to be coloured, and I shall tackle F16 this evening before taking a look at the next AC.

This is me in overdrive. Or as Ken would put it, 'the end of the world as we know it'...


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Thursday, October 02, 2003

Kai's first cartoon!

Kai did this this morning, his first cartoon - had everyone chortling merrily! I think it's brilliant!

We're now ten pages into Flux, the next joint Dystopia chapter and I've had to stop, otherwise I'll never get F14 done.

And Valkyrie has let me see her gorgeous Aragorn/Legolas costumes for the DressDolls! Heh, and now the story is bubbling even more furiously... Haddock!

And I really really want one of these... I love these people's artwork. Sue, if you were wondering about Yule presents... [big cheeky grin]

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

[points upwards] Bakayaro onna creates the most beautiful banners! There's a variant of this one on the Zone's main index page, and a different version again on the Must-See Sites page...

Thank you! They're gorgeous!


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[groan] I should be in bed. I should. I will be in about half an hour, honest...

F13 done. I haven't coded/uploaded Lutra's latest Dystopia chapter yet, though - will try to get that done tomorrow. Uh, later today...

Apparently the Flaming Prince does not have a name... Pity that... [evil grin]

The Haadri blog was onscreen earlier, when Kai came out - "Mum! You've got a thunderstorm on your screen!" came the excited cry. He was less impressed when I explained it. Ah well.

He can't complain. Last night I tried for an early night (4.30am is early for me right now) only Ken was awake - had been awake since 2, he has sleepless nights sometimes with the medication. So he got up and came down, and Kai woke up and wanted to sleep in Ken's side of the bed. Said OK, no problem - only the bratling would not keep still. End result, I dropped off around 6.30, got up again around 11-ish, and should now feel shattered but don't. [sigh] Think I may have gone a little too far in my refusing to let sleep get in the way of what I want to do...

Valkyrie is creating some new requested costumes for her wonderful CCO808 Paper Dolls project - Sengoku and Benten as Aragorn and Legolas... This of course sparked a story idea (or, as I said: [big eyes] ooooh.... erk! Sengoku and Benten as Aragorn and Legolas in slash-yaoi sex scandal... [sinks head in hands - ach, the visions, the visions....]) for a CCO808/LotR crossover... Sort of. Probably not quite what you're thinking. But it's bubbling away merrily...

[big eyes] You didn't tell me you'd done a wallpaper of the pair of them in those leather outfits...

'lestrel smiley

[growl] the 'learn' function doesn't seem to work on my blogs....

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