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 :: Joules... on writing [on hiatus] ::

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

August 2011: the earlier posts in this blog are a mess, the result of me changing the format some time ago. I'm working to edit the entire blog from the beginning, but with over 4K posts and sodall time for such luxuries it's going to take a while... [02/09/16 - Now reached 09/10/2004]

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.











I'm a Member of 

UK Veg Gardeners!


My IMDb ep summaries

(completed)
Arthur of the Britons
Sky
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
Zodiac
Jupiter Moon
Transformers: Beast Wars (part: seasons 2 and 3)
Transformers: Beast Machines (part)
Vampire Princess Miyu
Starhyke
Nathan Barley
No Heroics
Undermind (3 eps)
Will Shakespeare (Tim Curry version)
Nightwalker
12 Kingdoms
Trigun (ep 8)
Rayearth
Hyperdrive (season 2 ep 3)

For later:

Earthian
Dragonball Z (season 2, part)
(Someone else beat me to it!)
Robotech (s2 ep14 Triumvirate)
BBC Lion, witch and wardrobe
BBC Caspian and Dawn Treader
BBC Silver Chair
Beauty and the Beast (part)
(Missing Excel Saga eps)
(Missing Haibane Renme eps)
(And possibly Marine Boy...)


Silver birch at Eastwood 

Farm

"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)

Autumn...

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:
Muse
Transformers - IDW, Prime, Animated, Rescue Bots.

Currently reading:
Various Transformers books and graphic novels.



Currently working on:
Heart, The Poppy Tales

Currently chuffed with:
My garden

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

Currently maintaining:
BCHS
BCP


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 

Sylverthorne

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

Joules' 

Haddock

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...



Kood, my new mp3 

player.

Soundwave! (Kood's still moving in...)


Albino Alsatian Benten (c) MEBird 

2004

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

Radittsu, an oekaki for my birthday 04 

by 

Onna

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



I now have an Amazon wish list - find it here. But please be warned most of the things on it are yaoi. If you don't like yaoi, or don't know what it is, you probably won't want to take a look.




The Zone Plant from
The Zone 

blog 

plant

OrganicHTML (which alas no longer seems to exist...)
[::..My Regular Reads..::]
:: Astronomical Pic of the Day [>]
:: What is Space... [>]
:: Dark Roasted Blend [>]
:: BLDG [>]
:: Pruned [>]
:: Watchismo Times [>]
:: Fundies say the darnedest things [>]
(Warning. This site is likely to have you screaming with laughter, shaking your head in sheer disbelief, or weeping for the future of your species. Often all three at the same time. I disclaim any responsiblity for any harm suffered by anyone who visits...)
[::..Fun Places..::]
::HubbleSite
Stunning...
::PALEOMAP Project
Absolutely fascinating.
::The Hacker Dictionary
Hackers with Humour!
:: Carol's Place
My GoodTwin's Homepage!
:: Skymap
Check out the night sky where you are!
[::..Useful Sites..::]
:: GreenNet
First stop for environmental matters
:: MailWasher
Excellent anti-spam software
:: About Bristol
The essential guide - and beautifully user-friendly too!
:: The Forest of Avon
Our local community forest and places to visit
:: The Guardian
Online Guardian Newspaper.
:: ZSPC Colour Chart
Check how your text and background colours look together before releasing them on the world!
:: 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...
:: Union of Concerned Scientists
Exactly what it says. Fascinating - and worrying...

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...)

[::..Anime/Manga..::]
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

Owned:
   DVD
   Dj: June Special
   CD: Ambivalence

Cyber City Oedo 808

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

From Eroica with Love

Owned:
   Manga Vols 1, 9, 11

Mirage of Blaze

Owned:
   DVD Vol 1 (eps 1-4)

R.G. Veda

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

Twelve Kingdoms

Owned:
   Anime Vol 1-12: complete

Under the Glass Moon

Owned:
   Manga Vol 1, 2
Vol 3 needed

Vampire Hunter D - Bloodlust

Owned:
   DVD

   Vampire Hunter D Book 1



New Vampire Miyu

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


Yami no Matsuei

Owned:
   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.
   Sketchbook


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


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

(Thanks, Lutra, for the quote!)

[::..archive..::]
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

Sunday, February 29, 2004

And in the end I had to ring technical support for them to refresh the system at their end while I did the same here. Blasted nuisance, but it seems to have done the trick.

Anyway, Collapse pt 5 and Consolation now posted. Thought I'd work through onna's slicing tutorial for the Radittsu oekaki and see if I can get it sussed before uploading here. And for tomorrow? Well, I have the next UM fic started, and two Gremlins fics I should be working on...

It's all go, innit?





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[snarl] BlueYonder's gone down - I have no connectivity. Well, yes, obviously I have some or you wouldn't be reading this - but I'm on the dialup and it's costing, so everything else I want to do, like upload Consolation and Collapse pt 5 (mine and Lutra's next AC chapters) and the Radittsu oekaki, will have to wait until I have my broadband back.

Always bloody happens when I have things to upload!

Oh, and Sylverthorne's sent me a birthday pic. Of Butch, with Murphy, Carli, Taipo, Sazuki and Syrine. An incredibly sexy Butch. Well, of course, I just have to write a story around it...





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Friday, February 27, 2004

Tch' - head like a faulty colander...

Keep forgetting to say Kai really likes NightWalker - keeps asking to watch it! (He's seen the first three eps.) Thinking I might try him on some of my other anime to see what he makes of it.

[GLOMPS] onna: the YnM sketchbook is wonderful. And yes, it is good source material for my own drawing (if I can ever make the time!) As well as posture and expressions, it's particularly good for clothing and fabric, folds and shadows.

Carol - eep! Thank you...

Lutra - [HUGS] thanks...

Stormy - [grins] thanks!





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AAAARRGGHHH!!!

[growl] OK, with Kai having tea at his friend Thomas' across the road, I took time out to watch the second NightWalker DVD. And I enjoyed it. It's a little different to the first, lots more flashbacks, how everyone got together... Not enough Cain, obviously, but what there was was deliciously slashy... And then they ruined it all with a hellishly cop out ending! (Heh, well I though it was hellishly cop out: no doubt Lutra's fluffy bunny would love it...) And it can't end there!! I want a second series! At least! [stalks off to find something to kill...]


[clipped from onna's tree]

Joules, you do realize I can only do oekaki like that because I saw your artwork first! Until I saw your wonderful style I would have scribbled the image to death. You have inspired a lot of my cel shading style.

[blink] ..... eeep..... Um, thank you...

Please don't get me wrong, I'm delighted (gobsmacked, flabberghasted) that anyone can find my attempts at drawing inspiring - but I just don't understand why. I mean, compared to the real (fic/fanfic) artists - onna, Valkyrie, Sylverthorne, Naomi, Pluto, Stormy, Manawolf - my stuff is simplistic and naïve, stiff and unconvincing. (And this isn't fishing, it's simply how I feel.) It doesn't bother me; as I've alway said, I'm a writer not an artist - I enjoy drawing and I know I've improved, but it's not that important to me. (Whereas I get homicidal if I can't write...)

On the subject of Sylverthorne... pish-tosh! No praise or gratitude needed. I'm delighted to be able to host A Successful Experiment! It's a fine, fun fic.

F62 well underway. Going to try to finish that before tackling the next AC - intending to have that posted this weekend.

Oh, and the WordWrights site gets a reprieve too - the sub's due next month, and Ken says it's covered for the next year. [relieved grin]





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Thursday, February 26, 2004

Wheeeeee!!

'Possibility of a light sprinkling of snow' they said... It's four inches deep out there and still snowing. (It's amazing how well snow sticks to a fleece.) And Ken's on his way back from the hospital - sort of, the roads are gridlocked, which doesn't really surprise me: not only is it rush hour but the roads are already treacherous, on the way back from Tesco we saw a van turn up Talbot Road and slide sideways...

Still, Kai's in the garden building snowcastles and having fun. I'm dreading tomorrow though - if it freezes tonight the pavements are going to be deadly in the morning. (Heh, Met. Office warning - more snow, temperatures below freezing, strong northerly winds and dangerous roads...)

Ken won't be starting his medication for another three months; apparently they like to leave a clear six months between courses. So we have a bit of a reprieve! Apparently the course he's already taken will have delayed the progress of the disease by up to five years, and they can tell if the second course is likely to work within three months of starting it. The next generation of Hep drugs are 4-5 years down the road, they've said - so fingers crossed.

Ken let me sleep in 'til mid-day - and my breakfast was delicious. The parcel is the (a?) gorgeous Yami no Matsuei sketchbook! (Lots of sketches of the characters, what look like storyboards - heh, this is where I really need to read Japanese! - and some beautiful full colour plates.) It's wonderful. So onna, do I [GLOMP] you or is this a completely out-of-the-red-and-white from someone else?

Then I watched FAKE... Mmmmmmmmm.... Such a lovely couple. (Though Dee could do with learning a little restraint. And that's Berkely Rose? Tasty!) Loved it! Wish there were more...

It's been something of a unicorn birthday: I have a small, pyramid-shaped glass paperweight with a glass unicorn inside it from Kai, and unicorn cards from Carol and Adrian, and Wendy (they really need to be framed and put on the wall). Thanks, all - and for the E-cards, Sue and onna! Such fun! (And the magnet sentiments are great, Wendy.) Older and wiser, yes, Valkyrie, and hopefully more intelligent - but beautiful? Nah! [grins]

Decided it might be useful (for Sue, since she had to scan the blog to check what I'd mentioned!) if I list all the anime/manga I'm collecting, and what I already have, in the infopane on the left.

Now what shall I do tonight?...





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Looking for the words to Brian Eno's Julie with... I stumbled over this - the best and most user-friendly lyrics site I've ever found. So good I've actually added it to my template! [grins and points left. No, my other left...]

I suppose I should think about getting to bed.

OK - thought about it. Now, where was I...?





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Well, I haven't quite managed to finish FL but it's damn close, only 3, 4 at most, chapters and it's done. Nice feeling!

It's cold! -3 outside. On this day in '95, with Kai a week and a bit away from being born, we were out in the garden in shorts and t-shirts sunbathing, it was so hot...

Onna, sending all best wishes for the health matters. Thinking of you. And have passed on your comments to Kai. (And Caroline wants the website to look how it is now, with the font that size. I don't mind with this one, as I like the effect of the two tiles against each other when the page scrolls...)

Rosa has finally stopped leaping on crickets; looks like the hungry spell is over. So I'd guess she's due to shed sometime soon...

Ken's due at the hospital tomorrow p.m. We're expecting him to be put straight back on the medication - so I snuck in a quick request for breakfast in bed tomorrow morning, scrambled eggs and mushrumps on toast (to eat while I pore over whatever is in this mysterious package from Japan...) Eh well, we survived one year, I'm sure we can survive another.

Going to try to make some time to watch my DVDs. [happy sigh] More Shido. Dee and Ryo. Bliss...

And onna has sent me the most gorgeous oekaki of Radittsu (the sort that makes you feel like throwing down your pen in despair of ever being remotely that good an artist!) I will post it here - tomorrow. Going to keep him all to myself for a day... [GLOMPS onna] Thank you!





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Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Sue, there's definitely something up with your email. I'd have said my email but Carol and Lutra both received F60 OK: I re-sent it to you at 11.26 this morning and I've just now (11.30 p.m.) had another Delivery to the following recipients has been delayed notification (that's twelve hours!) Are you aware of any other emails going astray?

Anyway, it's on its way to you, so if it doesn't arrive, please let me know.





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From OkapiPrincess via Lutra's Pond... (and no, I didn't even attempt to manipulate the results since the only one I could really be sure of was the otter. And maybe the skunk?)

Marbled Polecat
Your weasel is the Marbled Polecat. Never heard of them?
Well, they're beautiful, live in northern Asia
and are very rare. Did we mention the good looks?

Good news: A rather attractive and unique looking
mustelid. All the bluster of the big boys but
much finer outfitting.

Bad news: Well, no one has heard of you for a
REASON. You're endangered, buddy, like a lot of
other weasels. You just don't get the press
those darn prarie ferrets get.

Which weasel are you?
brought to you by Quizilla


[bemused] Not the prettiest of creatures - apt. Rare - possibly. Endangered? eeep! [hides behind... behind... um, Radittsu?]

Carol commented that our airing cupboard is in a very inconvenient place. Heh, not only that, but it also appears to be a meeting place for a variety of Welsh electricians and gas engineers - and I have a sneaking suspicion it's actually a TARDIS in disguise....

Love the funny on onna's blog! 'weapons of math instruction' indeed! [grins]

Rosa's laying webbing everywhere, including up the sides of the tank. And she's covered up half her hide entrance with substrate covered over with webbing. It doesn't look big enough for her to get in, but she manages it somehow. Heh, only we could have an agoraphobic tarantula.

Two pages of the next UM written: F60 off to be read: F61 being started...







Tuesday, February 24, 2004

[groan] So there I was, planning on trying for a bit of a lie-in after stumbling upstairs at gone 6 a.m. when at 9.30-ish there came another hammering on the front door...

[growl] It was the man from Gas Care come to change the leaky valve on our new hot water tank. Which is in the airing cupboard. Which is, I'm sure you'll remember, in our bedroom...

Though in one way it was probably just as well I had to get up, as I had another website commission at mid-day. Caroline knew exactly what she wanted and had prepared everything - in Word on her Apple Mac. Luckily it was easy enough to create the backgrounds she wanted in PhotoShop - and I rather like the effect of the reversed inner tile against the non-scrolling background, may use it elsewhere. The site is here. It's not finished - there are four more pages to be written/coded/uploaded - but Caroline has another appointment here next Friday so we should be able to get everything done then.

Two parcels arrived today, my second NightWalker DVD and one from Japan which I believe is from onna, but which Ken has hidden, saying if he didn't I wouldn't have anything to open on my birthday. Which is quite true, of course... Will thank you properly later, onna! [grin]

Had my meeting with Kai's teachers after school this afternoon, to discuss his progress. It was quite amazing. Went into the classroom, sat on one of the kid-sized seats (the only ones they have - even the teachers use them) and faced the three women who've been teaching his class this year. And his main teacher looked at me and said, "I don't know what to say..."

Turns out that practically the day after we talked about Kai's targets for the year he started meeting them, and has continued to meet them ever since. They now no longer have any worries about his progress and (with my agreement) he's off the 'special needs' register. Academically he's well above average with his reading, maths and science, and meeting the school's targets with his other subjects. And he's much more relaxed and at ease with his schoolmates, and no longer gets upset at the least little thing, although there is still the occasional hiccup (he'll be on 'class-watch' in future - if there are any problems the teachers will let us know so we can sort them out before they escalate.) We are, needless to say, delighted. (I think taking responsibility for Rosa has helped a lot.) We're so proud of him!

And while I was out, Ken took a phone call from the first therapist we saw, who - in light of the letter from the doctor we saw last week - has now taken Kai off her case list (though we're free to see her any time if we feel we need her support or advice). This is good news.

So all in all it's been a great day!

And I think F60 is just about done...





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Monday, February 23, 2004

[blissful sigh] I'd forgotten how wonderful it is to drown out the sounds of the city, especially the Bath Road, with mobile music. Nappa [smirk - well, I had to really didn't I?] works perfectly, slips into my inside pocket, and makes the trudge to school a pleasure. The walk takes five tracks!

Thanks so much, Carol and Adrian...





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Sunday, February 22, 2004

WAII!!!!...

[happy happy sigh...] Well, I had to open it, as instructed. Not to mention that Lutra was online somewhat eager to know what it was...

A NAPA [grins] mp3 player. 64 megs, with a smartcard slot for memory upgrades - holds 22 tracks (I know 'cause I made up a playlist and loaded it!) at near-cd quality and is no bigger than two small matchboxes side by side....

However, it came with an installation cd. And since I can't use my cd/dvd drive with the stack on its side, this seemed like a good time to try to fix the heat sink. So Ken tried, and went out and bought more wire while Carol and I watched NightWalker 1 (of which more in a minute), then Carol tried, and I tried, and we managed to get the thing back in the right place but not flush to the processor. Stood it upright - seemed OK, no suspicious noises, stayed cool - so I did a quick backup of the important stuff. Then had to reboot as my keyboard and mouse weren't working (loose cables we assumed). Only I couldn't. Kept getting a warning that the processor fan wasn't working fast enough before the system shut down. We finally sussed that although the heat sink was in the right place it just wasn't making enough contact with the processor for it to work correctly. So we left it for half an hour to cool down, then very very quickly installed the installation software (would have been quicker if the instructions in the manual had actually been the same as on the cd, but that's Chinglish for you...), closed down and put the stack back on its side. It's working normally again now...

The upshot is that we can't repair it ourselves, it'll have to be done professionally - which we can't afford at the moment. I can stand it upright and use the cd writer for 5-10 minutes at a time, which is enough to back up, before it gets too hot, and it'll probably continue working for a while longer on its side, but it'll have to be fixed at some point. Ah well.

But the mp3 player is wonderful! I have mobile music again!!

[GLOMPS Carol and Adrian]

And [GLOMPS] Sue too: had to open those parcels too, I was told... A Freda Warrington book, Dracula the Undead, signed by the author (have I mentioned how much I like signed books?), and the second Trigun manga! (Mmmmm Legato....)

I am being thoroughly spoiled...

And Kai had an early birthday present too - a lovely little camera of his own, which he proceeded to use with great determination... [grins and hugs Carol and Adrian - he's dead chuffed]

NightWalker is intriguing. Starts off quite light-hearted in a way, concentrating on Shido (vampire) and Yayoi (human female police officer - yes, shades of Midnight Cop and Forever Knight, though Shido's far prettier than Nick Knight could ever hope to be...) dealing with cases, then later becomes much more sombre, more personal, more philosophical. And for some strange reason there are unexplained design changes from part five onwards: Riho's eyes change from blue to brown, Shido's eyes are blue when he's not calling on his vampire nature, and his hair is suddenly twice as long (not that I'm complaining about that!) We watched the dubbed version - always easier the first time, means you can keep your eyes on the action: until I've watched the subbed version I've nothing to compare it to, but the voices seemed a little wooden in places (Vincent Hatcher was the VA for Shido).

Me, I thoroughly enjoyed it and can't wait to see the second dvd. The animation and overall design are good (although I could live without the overabundance of purple), the characters interesting and attractive (it's so good to see some strong female roles!) and the soundtrack terrific! (It was also fun playing 'spot the reference' throughout: there are homages to a number of other films, both live action and anime.) Writing the follow-up to Demons will be very enjoyable!

Many thanks, Carol and Adrian - and Sue - for making this such a wonderful day! Smiley







Saturday, February 21, 2004

[trapped at the mousehole]

And of course I'm secretly evil too. I didn't get any evil pop-up, although I was ready for it and the first window to appear got zapped...

You might have to wait to watch the DVDs, Joules, but there'll be no waiting on my pressie - you'll have to open it while I'm there

Squid?

Let's see - we have two 'secretly evil's, one 'happily evil' and one 'accidentally evil'. That spans the spectrum nicely!

[happy grin] Oh, OK, since you insist...

No, no squid, not this time either... Dammit, one day there will be squid!





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WAI!!

The first three DVDs arrived! Battlestar Galactica, FAKE, and Midnight Detective, the first NightWalker DVD (the second will be a little delayed, I think, as the emailed delivery note didn't come through with the others: I had to email to ask about it, at which point - I believe - it was dispatched. Fairly easy mistake I suppose, since at a quick glance it could have looked as though I ordered NightWalker twice...) I am very impressed with this company, caiman_usa - the order has taken just 11 days from start to finish. I'll definitely use them again!

Ken says I have to wait for my birthday before I can watch them. But I may be able to talk him round... [grin]





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Dire film. Really dire. It did have a magnificent octopus, but we didn't see enough of it...

[grin] Finished first draft of F59!





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Friday, February 20, 2004

Two cycles' sleep, steak, chips, 'shrumps (mushrooms) and mixed veg later and I feel more human. Unfortunately. Hn. Better do something about that...

Our electrician managed to blow the fuse three times in the end, the third time before I'd even finished re-booting (which of course led to the scary white-text-on-black-background screen warning me that there had been a problem last time and did I want to boot up in normal mode? the next time I tried - after the electrician had fixed everything and gone...)

For possibly the first time ever the UK and Oz - well, Lutra's bit of it anyway - are screening the same progs at the same time: we both watched the same Wire in the Blood this week. Have to admit I couldn't get into this ep - woman who believed she was Joan of Arc (mind you the actress didn't help. Lutra said she could believe the chara was loony: to me she just looked consciously evil...) and I have no patience with religious mania, always thought it was just another excuse for evil-minded people to justify their actions by blaming something else. As things are going, I'd say that the first series was better than the current one, but we're only two eps in so it may improve...

There is, as usual, nothing on TV tonight (hey, it's Friday! The under 40s are supposed to be out partying, the over 40s tucked up in bed with each other. Or their Horlicks. Or something...) So Ken's put on the first of the Octopus B-movies we got at Yule (a double-double pack with Kai's two Spider B-movies - horrendously predictable but it's spiders, mum!!) - mostly in the hope that the octopus will be magnificent...

Heh.

     

... well, so far the film has had a broken Russian sub dumping leaking barrels of toxic waste, shootings, death, gore and lots of things going boom, but no squidgy tentacled thingies. Yet. I'm off to work on 59...

Pilchards? Pilchards?? As in, 'You great pilchard'? [smirk]

Valkyrie, so sorry to hear about your tablet. Hoping it's a software thing, not a hardware problem...







[dazed blink] Was going to have a lie-in this morning - well, til 10.30 anyway. Then someone hammered at the door at something gone 9... Was the electrician to move the thermostat 'clock' inside the airing cupboard to somewhere where we could actually see and use it without having to be contortionists. He was supposed to turn up this afternoon. The airing cupboard is in our bedroom...

I suppose I can have a nap later. Heh, I'll rephrase that - I'll have to have a nap later...

[growl] After saving Smith's life last week, I told Kai he had to take better care of the beastie. He hasn't been doing so, and when I checked Smith at 5 this morning before closing down, he'd died (on the 18th). I've resurrected, fed and watered it, but I'm less than chuffed: virual creatures are resurrected as spiderlings, so he has all that growing to do again - and I was hoping we'd never have to use the facility.

Rosa, however, seems to be fine. She's spun some webbing in her new tank, and Kai's fed her this morning.

I have a sudden craving for hot buttered crumpets for breakfast. (We don't have any, and it's damn chilly outside, with bitterly cold winds - i.e. I don't feel like venturing out). Perhaps hot buttered toast would do as a substitute...

... that was fun: the electrician just blew a fuse - and all the power in the house...

Oh - I tried to save my Haadri blogs last night, only to find that I only have one entry showing for December - on the 5th. I'm sure there were more: can anyone confirm that before I email Blogger Support asking them what's happened to the posts?





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Thursday, February 19, 2004

What a lovely day! Watched films, talked, generally relaxed - it was great, wish I could do it more often. [GLOMPS Wendy]

Rosa was being very strange this morning, digging small mounds of substrate out of her hide, carrying them in her pedipalps over to her waterbowl and very carefully piling them up around it, then covering up the entrance to her hide. We wondered if she was getting ready to shed, but she happily leapt on a cricket tonight so we assume not. But we did move her into her new tank - joint effort by all three of us in the end - just in case she's going to shed soon.

Still horribly tired...





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It's taken nearly a week, but the substrate for Rosa's new tank is now dry. Looks like we'll be transferring her on Friday.

Hn. Should rephrase that. I'll be transferring her: Kai needs to lift out her hide and waterbowl and put them in the new tank, then the temperature and humidity gauges need to be peeled out of the old habitat and stuck to the wall of the new one (yes, it would have been easier to buy new, but at £12 for the pair? I don't think so....) So mother here has volunteered to catch said tarantula - no, not in my hands, not this time, the way she's still pouncing on crickets I'd rather keep my fingers away from those powerful little fangs. We've washed out a couple of individual-sized plastic supermarket-bought bowl-shaped dessert containers; I'll catch her in those and hold them closed while Kai sorts out the new tank, then pop the wee beast in. This will probably all take place on Friday. Oh joy.

Heh, I'm not that fussed really. She's a fascinating creature, and I still want to stroke her. I will one day, when she's a little older and isn't quite so skittish. Apparently the 'fur' on the bodies of adult tarantulas feels like mouse fur...

Dammit. I can't shift this irritating cough the latest cold has left me with, I've lost my sense of smell again, I have the awful suspicion I'm developing another abscess, and I'm absolutely shattered.

I really shouldn't be feeling this tired.... Run down? Moi? Whatever makes you think that?





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Wednesday, February 18, 2004

What a great day! Gloriously sunny (though the wind was cold); Kim drove us down to Clevedon, where the bratlings had a few minutes in the playground, then walked along the beach (pebbles, not sand), climbed on the rocks, had hot dogs and muffins (choc-chip and orange in Kai's case, as they'd sold out of double choc-chip) then a ride on the miniature railway. We stopped off at a bonsai nursery on the way back - gorgeous plants at pretty reasonable prices - then into Briz via Long Ashton at Kai's request. I'm not sure why he wanted to come back that way, but the village is quite nice.

Now I'm knackered...





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Tuesday, February 17, 2004

[blinks] OK, so that was quick - review now sent off.

Time to tackle F59...





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Well that was hectic!

Our transport to the Children's Centre for Kai's appointment was half an hour late (held up by an accident on the Wells Rd) and we didn't get into see the doctor until nearly one, but the appointment went very well (and the doctor is lovely, very gentle and quiet). He's going to contact the school to get their take on Kai's behaviour, and wants all three of us back to see him for another appointment in about three months (I warned him Ken will be back on the medication by then but probably have adapted to it again). After that - we'll see how it goes...

And we got back in time to just make it over to the 3.30 showing of Return of the King...
Elves and oliphaunts, it was exciting! More action, and even faster moving than the second film, but very enjoyable. I love the various towers and cities, so beautifully designed, and the anthropomorphic rocks. Kai just adored the Shelob section, and enjoyed the rest too - although being Kai, he came out with a cracker of a comment. Looking at the aerial view of piles of bodies after the battle, he muttered, "I wonder who's going to tidy all that up?"

But there weren't enough elves.

Kim's coming 'round tomorrow 12.30 and we're taking the bratlings out for an hour or so - which had Sarah cheering in the background while Kim was on the phone. Sarah's fond of Kai: last time she announced she was going to marry him, which caused considerable bemusement.

Suppose I've better get this review done tonight, then...





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Monday, February 16, 2004

Tch - forgot to post the photo showing one of Rosa's fangs: now added onto the end of the previous post!





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SPIDER ALERT

Ken's photos of Rosa arrived this morning: I've scanned in a couple and stuck them at the end of this post - so if you don't want to see them, don't scroll down... [grin]

Got the wills signed this lunchtime - glad that's done.

We had a flyer put through the door yesterday, for a new Indian Takeaway (or curryout, as they're called in this house). Pretty standard stuff, free delivery within 2 miles for orders over £10, but what struck me was the list of English Dishes...

Lamb Doner with Naan Bread

Lamb Doner with Pitta Bread

Chicken Doner with Naan Bread

Chicken Doner with Pitta Bread

1/4lb Beef Burger with Cheese

Veg Burger with Cheese

Fish Burger with Cheese

Chicken Tikka Kebab Naan

Chicken Tikka Shashlik Kebab

Lamb Tikka Kebab Naan

Lamb Tikka Shashlik Kebab

Mix Kebab with Naan

Chicken Burger

English dishes? Whatever happened to Cornish Pasty? Steak and Kidney Pie? Chicken and Mushroom Pie? Sausage and Chips?...

We watched Unbreakable last night. Interesting but very slow, and ultimately somehow dissatisfying, though I can't quite work out why. It wasn't that the acting wasn't good - with Bruce Willis and Samuel L Jackson that was unlikely... the basic premise, perhaps?

The cats' ways of attracting attention is cute. Argent mews complainingly and headbutts, and if that doesn't work he taps you with his paw. Raptor mews loudly and stares up, then puts her front paws up against your leg (and will climb onto your shoulder if you let her) - although she'll get you to follow her to the kitchen then look at her bowl and back at you if she wants feeding. Ryme is more 'mind over matter': she sits and stares at you until you realise she's there, then expects you to read her mind to know what she wants...

OK - I think that's probably brought me down to below all but the largest screen size, so:

Rosa is still getting through two crickets a day, and I'm beginning to wonder if we should ask someone about it - according to everything we've read she should only need to be fed twice a week. I managed to measure her tonight: her body is just under two inches long, and from toe-to-toe she's now a bit under three inches - quite a substantial spider. I wouldn't be surprised if she sheds again soon.

Rosa on her hide


Rosa on top of her hide.




close-up of Rosa on her hide


A close-up of Rosa on top of her hide.









Hunting...

I like this one! Very sinister. Rosa stalking the cricket (sitting on the cotton wool in her waterbowl).


And lastly... This shows one of her fangs fairly clearly...

Fang!







Sunday, February 15, 2004

[snuffle] Seven hours sleep and I'm still knackered. Might have a nap after dinner.

Moving - the next AC - now posted; not sending out the update yet though, in case Lutra's finished Collapse pt 4: hopefully find out later.

Congrats, Sylverthorne! Hope the next commission goes as well!

[grins at onna] 'Adorable'.... um, yes.... Haven't managed to start the second Gremlins lemon yet, planning to have a go later this evening...

Love this week's Van Von Hunter (comic #75) - but I wish they'd shown the Flaming Prince full length. For anyone who doesn't know, Kuja wears thigh-length boots. Purple ones...





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Saturday, February 14, 2004

[shakes head] I've just saved Smith's 'life'...
Smith again

It occurred to me that Kai hadn't visited his virtual tarantula in a few days so I'd better check on him. Poor thing was out of water, out of food, sad, lonely and neglected and about to pop off... A full waterbowl and six virtual crickets later he was looking healthier (the icons at the top right, from left to right, indicate mood, health, water and food) but still wasn't happy. So when he climbed the glass at the front of the tank I tried stroking his abdomen - and the mood meter went right up to a big smiley 'perfectly happy and content'.

[sigh] We have a virtual tarantula that likes having its tummy tickled.

Of course we have. How could I have expected anything else...?







[growl] I have another cold. Sore throat, bunged up sinuses, overly sensitive skin and stomach... Dammit, I wasn't over the last one yet!

I really hope this isn't going to be that sort of a year.

Still, I haven't lost my sense of taste yet, and dinner was delicious (roast pork, creamed potatoes, puréed swede, carrots/fine beans/sweetcorn/peas, and chocolate ice-cream for dessert)

Moving - the next AC - started...

The new series of Wire in the Blood started here (on Thursday) - excellent stuff. Lutra, Carol says Sea of Souls is very good, if it ever reaches your side of the world: I haven't watched an ep yet but it sounds most intriguing - I'll keep an eye out on the cable channels. The new series of Jonathan Creek starts here tonight!





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Friday, February 13, 2004

Hm... Kai assures me that the spider in the crickets' old tub is a crab spider and could safely be set free in the garden shed. Given that the thing has caught and eaten a cricket three times its size I'm not so sure... [visions of football sized eight-legged monster up in the corner being hunted by men in riot gear and elephant guns...]

Speaking of spiders, I'm sure Rosa has grown. She's not being very obliging at the moment, won't stay still long enough on the tank side for me to measure her properly, but at a rough estimate the toe-to-toe reading is nearly half a centimetre more than it was after she'd shed. She's certainly bigger around! Mind you, she's still getting through two crickets a day at the moment, so it's not too surprising. I suppose. We saw her drinking earlier, head right down in her waterbowl - most intriguing.

Kai loves his new mattress - I swear he hasn't slept so well since he was a baby. He doesn't even wake when I go in to pull back his kicked-off downie, and last night he opted for his own bed rather than ours (unheard of...).

Who ever said romance was dead? Other people get flowers or chocolates: I get dead pig. [grins] I'll rephrase that. Ken arrived back from shopping with a wonderful joint of pork for roasting - special treat as it's normally too expensive, and apart from very rare steak, pork is my favourite meat. So roast pork for dinner tomorrow!

Didn't get the wills signed today - one of the people is ill - so trying for Monday instead. And Kai's Tuesday appointment has been changed from 9.30 am to midday, so the cinema might be out...
Plan to finish revising F57 this evening, then take a look at 58 - then for a break I'll probably take a stab at the new Gremlins lemony PWP that's bubbling... Butch and Murphy (and maybe Dram and Taipo too)...

Fribble... I like that, Valkyrie! Can see us adopting it too...





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Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Happy little update...

Birthday cheque arrived from my folks today: was able to order the Fake, two Nightwalker, and Battlestar Galactica DVDs through Amazon.co.uk (rather looks as though the Amazons have got their act together at last, with co.uk referring through to the same suppliers as .com. Marginally more expensive than if ordered through .com, but not by much, and the postage is £4.96, which ain't bad). Being despatched on the 13th, estimated delivery 10-12 days, so might even get here in time! [chuffed]

Kai's feeling a lot better this evening, still snuffling and coughing a bit, but if he's OK tomorrow he'll go to school (the last day before their holidays is always fun, be a shame to miss it).

Back to F53, which is finally co-operating a little...





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[sigh] Kai woke up snuffling and with a sore throat, feeling poorly, so he's home today (and probably tomorrow, and the day after his half term starts [waves byebye to peace and quiet for daytime creative pursuits for a week]...) However, his new mattress has finally arrived (should have been a couple of weeks ago but the snow was so bad in the midlands the lorries couldn't get out of the depot), so he'll be comfortable at night now.

His appointment with the neuro development consultant is next Tuesday morning - they're sending a car for us! - and I'm hoping to take him to see Return of the King in the afternoon. And on Thursday Wendy's coming up for the day - looking forward to that! [grins]

In other news, we finally got our revised wills finished - getting them witnessed on Friday. Kai was most interested, so I told him all the provisions we'd made, which led to a discussion about what he should do if there was ever an emergency at home and he had to deal with it. All good sound stuff!

Back to trying to concentrate...





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Curses! - the Von Hunter PWP - now posted in the Other Anime section of the (other) Zone: the background is a tweaked version of one of onna's lovely designs...

Another advert made me blink, this one for Head and Shoulders dandruff shampoo. Woman sitting smirking at the camera, rolls her eyes towards a glass of water saying, "The things I do to rehydrate my skin!" Huh? Drinking water is a trial of some kind? What does she normally drink, one wonders...

Finally got completely pissed off with spam porn and started sending off complaints to the offenders' IP addies 'abuse@' email addresses, along with screen dumps of the messages, which these days are coming through as one big clickable link that doesn't appear to copy over to a forwarded mail. So far tonight I've emailed ISPs in China and Canada, and Stuttgart University...

Right - back to it...





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Tuesday, February 10, 2004

[happy sigh] Forgot to say... Walking into the bedroom at whatever ungodsome hour of the morning it was I last went to bed, I was greeted by the most glorious aroma: my jasmine has flowered again (first time in three years). Only four flowers, but it's enough to fill the whole of the upstairs of the house. I love jasmine - has to be my all-time favourite fragrance...

[sigh] I shouldn't have, but I did, to get it out of my system if nothing else - wrote a tiny (less than two pages) PWP based on last Sunday's Von Hunter (comic 74). I'll post it in the Zone later this week.





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Monday, February 09, 2004

Tired and hip is aching...

That's the furthest I've been since last Monday - I'll be stiff tomorrow! But we now have the next size tank (just fits on the shelf where the current one is) and a tub of crickets (which nearly ended up all over me when I dropped the eggbox section they were on into their tank - luckily only got a couple on my T-shirt. Don't mind crickets - as long as they don't get into my hair), so we're all set for the next few months. (There was a small spider in the cricket tub - we're keeping it in there just in case until we can identify it...)

screencap of Smith, Kai's virtual Red 
Kneed Tarantula


Took a screen dump of Kai's virtual Red Kneed Tarantula, Smith (the crumpled thing in the background is a shed skin) - it's not a bad little bit of software, even if it does resize my DigiGuide and ICQ windows every time he uses it...



On the subject of car windscreens, Valkyrie sent me this:

I think our windscreen crack repairers have an odd sense of humor... The company here called Novus want to fill your crack in!

[sung] Show us your crack... If your windscreen is lacking Novus can fill your crack in.

Um, yes, quite... Thanks for that!

Talon - sorry to hear you're having problems. Sending best wishes...







Sunday, February 08, 2004

Something of a productive week, that...

Posted Fade this morning, then wrote a tiny UM PWP, Interlude- Sorbet [grins at Lutra - food porn?], now also posted: Lutra plans to finish her next Dystopia chapter when she gets back in an hour or so, then I can post that too and send out a major Update. [thinks, counts on fingers] Five chapters/ficlets from me, one from Sylverthorne, and one from Lutra. Not bad going, even if they are all pretty short.

Is the latest advertising craze to frighten people? There's an ad on TV over here at the moment, for Auto Express or some other car repair company, about getting cracked windscreens fixed. Young guy pulls up, notices crack in his windscreen, gets out of his car - and the crack grows, cutting through his car's bonnet, then following him: he runs faster and faster to get away, the crack keeps pace, and finally catches up with him, at which point cracks appear in his face, hands and arms... It's bloody scary, worthy of a horror film!

Rosa is still eating voraciously, and we've now run out of crickets! I'm planning to take Kai over to the Reptile House tomorrow after school (it's just bus and walking, and walking doesn't hurt too much) to pick up another tub and a larger tank for Rosa. It'll be a week+ before we can move her, as the substrate takes a while to dry out once it's been soaked, then it'll be a matter of how we transfer her. I don't feel too bothered about actually picking her up, but she's fast and unpredictable at the moment - I'd be afraid of her dropping off my hand and being hurt... Well, we'll see when the time comes. We can always do it the hands-off way, nudge her into a small tub, cover the top, lift it into the new tank and let her out again.

Off to look at some Purgatory: back to FL tomorrow.

This week's Van Von Hunter had me in stitches... Oh, if only! A'lestrel Smiley!

(Of course, it helps if you've been following the story. Check out the <-[Previous Comic] for clarification...)







[blinks] Um... Ohhhhh Kayyyy, next AC - Fade - now completed (first draft anyway)...

That's unprecedented. Mind you, it's been one of those - startlingly productive - weeks: I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised.

Needs to be reappraised tomorrow, but I should be able to post before Monday.





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Finished the little Jazz Club site I was asked to do (just four fairly basic pages), but haven't managed a whole lot else, yet - kind of a 'bitty' sort of day, keeping an eye out for Rosa to leave her hide so Ken could finish off his film with some photos of her, clearing down emails, and laughing over a wonderful new Gremlins story Sylverthorne sent. She's let me host it on the site, in the fiction section: you can access it from here (if you've already read the introduction and the first Gremlins story, just scroll to the end of the page and click on A Successful Experiment. And start worrying... [evil grin])

I'd recommend a visit to Sylverthorne's site too: original fiction and some fascinating artwork. It's still being revamped at the moment, but looking good!

Valkyrie emailed a few more collective nouns -

A bonk of shags (the sea bird, of course!)
A flounce of gays
A snip of hairdressers
A tedium of accountants
A prevention of condoms
A grump of goths
A whisker of kittens
A crash of windows users
A booze of alcoholics...

I was planning to get more F53 done, but Tremors (the film) was on Sci-Fi Channel and I ended up half-watching it (Ken videoed it again: we tried to watch our original copy last weekend because Kai wanted to see it, but the tape was crimped all the way through and wouldn't play properly). It's such a great film, and so funny!

So I am now about to settle down and be creative: might start the next AC for a break ...

At least the hip isn't hurting quite so much. Just as well given how much I have to do this coming week...







Saturday, February 07, 2004

[big grin] And I wrote the gremlins lemon. Probably the first gremlins lemon, since I somehow doubt they'll leave me alone now...

Due to its yaoi nature it's posted in the Darkside: anyone with Zone/Darkside access can login from either section. The picture that inspired it is also posted there...

Right - that's one of this weekend's proposed goals achieved. Let's take a look at F53 before Lutra has kittens... [grins]





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Friday, February 06, 2004

[grins dopily] Valkyrie emailed me my birthday present...

It's a completely GORGEOUS picture of Butch and Taipo about to get up to all sorts of mischief at the hospital... Oh, that doesn't do it justice! [shakes head] Um... I have to write them a lemon around the pic. Or Butch will completely wreck my hard drive... [gazes and grins some more] I am going to have such fun working out what Taipo can do with those additional plugins... [huge smirk]

[GLOMPS Valkyrie (carefully!) ... thank you...]





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Thursday, February 05, 2004

It's been one of those days. I finished F48, which is good, and noted down a small scene for a future UM fic, coded up Jade - will open the links to both Leather and Jade tomorrow, now Valkyrie's seen them, as I know there's at least one person agitating to read them! - but didn't get a whole lot else done.

Following on from Lutra's comment about collective nouns, I went looking (no I'm not obsessive, I tell you! Just curious and thorough!) and found this. Some of these are crackin'! How about an abomination of monks? A fluther of jellyfish? A fesneying of ferrets? A thicket of idiots? [chortle] How about the poetic - a drift of swans or a skulk of foxes? A tower of giraffes? A prickle of hedgehogs? A glide of flying fish? I have to confess, though, my favourite - and it's obviously a new one - is an asylum of Microsoft programmers. (Is that where they find 'em or where they end up?)

I hadn't seen this, so thought I'd post it here in case anyone else has missed it too. (I've opted out, of course. It's none of their damned business.)

Connection's slow tonight - ICQ keeps dropping out, and BlueYonder seem to be having problems with their email servers...

And ouchouchouch... I twisted awkwardly while in the kitchen and have pulled a muscle in my back (over my hip) - I think, that's what it feels like anyway. Blasted nuisance. It's not too bad if I sit still [heh, I can hear the disbelieving sniggers from here - me, sit still? I'm not even still when I sleep...] but might be stiff tomorrow...





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Welcome Home Valkyrie

So glad you're OK.





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... I am being haunted. By Battlestar Galactica, no less...

No, not the new film, the one where they've made Starbuck female <Sacrilege! Outrage! Maim! Kill!!> - the original one, with Richard Hatch and Dirk Benedict . It happens about every three years or so; I'll suddenly feel like dragging out the books, watching the video, reading some slash... [grin]. Tonight one of the characters in Tremors the series was wearing a Battlestar Galactica T-shirt (admittedly he was a sci-fi nerd, but what the hell, it's still a valid omen...). So I checked the possibility of getting the DVD.

It's been deleted - over here at any rate. And I don't want the boxed set of 24 eps for £39.99: there are only about five eps I really like. However, Amazon.com have it listened, coincidentally through the same Miami company who provide Fake and Nightwalker... [happy grin] Ken says he'll buy it for my birthday, so I can now put in a bulk order, save on postage.

Carol, symps re the viruses. AVG is picking them up and dumping them from the 20-30 I'm getting every day, which is good (I run 18 email accounts from this computer for all the websites I handle), but it's a blasted pain getting the damn things. Worse are the bounced spoofed ones, of course - I dread to think how many of those are getting through. But what can you do? I've posted a disclaimer on the WordWrights site, can't do much more. If everyone would just be responsible enough to run AV software...

Had a sort of day off today. Finished F47, but other than that I've not done much. Now going to tackle the follow-up to Leather - Jade, a nice little pwp [grins]...





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Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Email from David - hopefully, Valkyrie will be home tomorrow.

Regarding spiders...


[clipped from onna's tree]

Warhammer has spider riders, goblins.

Here are some spider rider links not related to Warhammer:
http://www.gamegod.com/KIDDIE%20RIDES/Spider%20Rider.htm
http://www.wam.umd.edu/~gerakkag/spider.html
http://www.i-craft.com/crafts00/batchspider.html

Thanks onna! I'll show Kai when he gets home from school.

And:

[trapped at the mousehole]

spotted in The Zone

we'll find we've got the only mutant tarantula in the country and end up riding it

<shriek!> Don't say things like that...

Sorry!

And from Lutra:

[netted in the pond]

Spider rides? Eeeuuww! The mounts would be all... hairy..."<shudder>

Well, if the hairs were the same relative size, they'd look more like wire than hair, I suppose... Not terribly comfortable. Would need special saddles. And bridles. And special leatherworkers to make them. Heh, whole new cottage industry... [ping]

Managed to measure Rosa: she isn't any longer, but she's fatter and her legs look thicker and stronger.

F47 and 48 almost done.





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Tuesday, February 03, 2004

... such a pain when a craving for chocolate strikes and there's none in the house. Oh, I could go to Tesco and buy some - a 20 minute walk there and back in the rain, in the dark - the supermarket's open 24 hrs every day bar Sunday, but I really don't feel like making the effort. This, of course, is why I don't keep chocolate in the house. If it's not here, I can't eat it, and I have to be really really desperate before I'll venture out to buy any after dark...

On the subject of eating, Rosa's appetite is voracious at the moment. She's eaten eight crickets in three days. Heh, given my luck we'll find we've got the only mutant tarantula in the country and end up riding it around the place... interesting image. Spider-rider, has a nice ring to it...

The mind's going. Must be tired...





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Quick newsflash: Had an email from Valkyrie's husband David. They're coping, and Valkyrie's OK: still in hospital and Leyanna's staying with her for now. More news if he gets the time to email...





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Monday, February 02, 2004

[blinks] Well, this has to be the most productive Monday I've had in years... Inside, Voyeur and Leather coded/uploaded (no links to the latter until Valkyrie has read it), tidied up the IAVMT site, started sorting out onna's Gallery for the Zone, cleared a whole load of emails, took a look at the next site commission, even managed a little more Purgatory joint chapter. And wrote a little more F46 (more of that later). Will be beta-ing the first chapter of Dancing after dinner.

Kai's been feeding Rosa every day for the past four days (the books say tarantulas need plenty of feeding after shedding) but she hasn't been terribly enthusiastic until this evening. Bratling dropped a cricket into the tank - and she scuttled over to it and literally pounced! Amazing to watch. Kai's spent the last half an hour watching her eat it (well, hold it while the digestive juices work, anyway). For a small creature she has rather dramatic fangs. Going to give her another cricket later - it looks like there's a week or so's delay between shedding and feeling hungry, something to remember next time.





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Well that was hectic...

The IAVMT site is now live: I checked the ftp around lunchtime and found the old account had been cancelled, so went ahead and uploaded even though it's not completely finished yet, a few minor tweaks still to do, tomorrow. What's really bugged me though is that half an hour after I set up the email, I get flooded with bloody spam - most of it Chinese! Now I've used unicode for the email addies on the revised site, to help stop that happening, but unfortunately that wasn't done for the original site. Ah well, that's what delete buttons and anti-virus software is for...

Actually, that reminds me. If anyone reading this has my email posted anywhere - on a site or a blog - please could you copy/paste my email code from the source code for this blog (or email me and I'll send it to you), as despite setting up filters on the server and on my email client I'm still getting porn spam, which I don't want to have to explain to Kai (I swear if I ever find the time to route-trace these b*st*rds I'll make their lives hell...)

And for the rest of the day, I finished a CCO808 fic I'd promised Valkyrie: was going to do it later but thought it might make a nice present for her when she gets home from hospital - though how apt one of my lemons is for someone who's just suffered a heart attack, no matter how mild, is problematic... Heh, the fic's not too graphic, and I'll post a warning... Sending strong wishes for a full and speedy recovery, Valkyrie.

And Inside, the next AC, is now finished as well, but I'm tired, my hands hurt and I have a headache, so I'll code/upload tomorrow, along with a wonderful introductory chapter of Lutra's to a new DarkRealm arc.

Onna - yep, tarantulas 'peel' - amazing to watch! And I'm sure Rosa's grown again... Will try to measure her in the next couple of days. And the zipped file has arrived: I'll open it tomorrow though, I need sleep right now and can't concentrate properly...

Happy Birthday, OkapiPrincess!





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Sunday, February 01, 2004

Right!

I'd only planned to watch one ep, but as usual got sucked in. It's still my favourite anime of all time - even more so now I've seen the real version. I made notes all the way through, though I have to trust that the subtitles were accurate. As far as I could tell they seemed to be... So, for Valkyrie, and Vanessa, and all the other CCO808 philes out there (and we are a rare breed)...

General Notes

Benten doesn't swear. (We all knew that anyway, but now it's confirmed. And I know enough Japanese swear words to vouch for his not using any!)

Gogul is translated as Goggles, but pronounced Gogul, so I suppose either would do. He does swear, but not very much and only under pressure (a handful of 'kuso', 'shimatta' and 'kisama'). He also comes across as far more intelligent than his Brit VA makes him sound - the guy's a genius.

Sengoku swears, but again to nothing like the extent of the English version, and only where appropriate rather than every third/fourth word. He also comes across as a really nice guy, not the crude, self-centred git he appears to be in the English version (let's call it the EV for short). Examples of this below.

Hasegawa doesn't swear - I think. He also comes across as being very protective of his 'hounds' - yes, he still threatens to blow their heads off if they don't complete missions in time, but he supports them to the hilt.

The music is quite different to the EV, all the way through. I think I prefer the EV soundtrack for the 1st and 3rd eps and the Japanese one for ep 2. Valkyrie, I assume you've heard the original opening theme? If not, let me know and I'll upload it to one of my sites for you to download - I have both it and the EV (which I much prefer) as mp3s.

On to the episodes... Please note my quotes - especially the longer ones - might not be 100% accurate; I don't know shorthand and my scrawl is mostly illegible...

Data 1 - Memories of the Past

Benten's comment on being invited to join the Cyber Cops is - "The stars are right for a new venture."

Sengoku was drinking vodka last night!

The conversation in the control room was interesting. Sengoku tells Okyo that it'll all be OK, she'll be back doing paperwork tomorrow - then comments to Gogul, "Maybe I should have told her the truth.... but she's just out of the Academy, too young to die..." And at no point does Okyo mention floor numbers!

Gogul comments that Sengoku and Benten think alike... (!!!)

Sengoku's comment to Benten is - "You could spend all day at this." [yup, not a fairy light in sight!]

Kurokawa asks what the police can do to help him: Sengoku replies, "We're pretty good at handing out parking tickets." [Heh - he has a real sense of humour too!]

Hasegawa was in charge of the Amachi case 15 years ago so has a vested interest in his 'hounds' solving it. (Was that in the EV? I can't remember...)

Sengoku and Okyo's conversation at the end: he tells her to write "Insufficient information" on the report. She asks him if he wants to go for something to eat - he says no, he can't relax with the collar on. She offers to massage his neck for him! (He says "Thanks, not today...")

While he's outside of the window, his 'thoughts' are "One day I'll blow this thing (i.e. the collar) off, but first I'll get rid of this city's parasites and scum."

Data 2 - The Decoy Programme

Hasegawa knows who is buying the stolen Cyber Police data but can't prove it, which is why he has all three of them working on the case, I suppose...

Sengoku's comments on the first corpse - "Whatever he did, it's a rotten way to die."

Sengoku's byplay with Varsus is funny!

Sengoku: "Give it a rest..."

Varsus: "This unit is on 24 hour duty... and cannot rest..."

Sengoku: "Get lost!"

Varsus: "This unit has GPS and therefore...." etc etc...

Sengoku to Benten in the base: "You here to clean out the sewers?" [no mention of earring!]

Benten: "Something like that."

Benten's comment about the bodies - "A rather gruesome hobby..."

Gogul's comment to Sara: "You were my best partner. One day I'll get this collar off and we'll team up again. And this time they won't catch me..." [just begs a backstory, that!]

Sengoku's comment when told to get in the press - "Not an elegant way to die."

Hasegawa to whatsisface - the MOLCOS creator, dammit, Shirozawa? [whose voice is incredibly deep, by the way, nothing like the EV] - "Even criminals have rights. And this is unauthorised human experimentation, illegal under Cyber Law article 42 - the penalty is 150 years."

Benten, coolly (of Gogul going back to fight) - "He's quite impressive..."

Data 3 - Crimson Medium

My favourite ep of course...

I'll give the starlight quote at the end.

Benten to Remi, first scene: "I'm with the Cyber Police. Go back home where it's safe."

On finding the third victim -

Benten: "This is the third one, same neck wound, same blood loss, password written in blood."

Varsus: "The news service is reporting it as a vampire killer."

Now, that incredibly cringeworthy exchange between Benten and Sengoku in the garage... You know the one. If the subtitles are right, and I've no reason to assume they aren't, it really reads -

Sengoku - "Wow, spooky case! They got us looking for vampires now."

Benten - "Actually, the vampires of legend were tragic creatures. Eternally young, but forever craving human blood."

[BIG difference from the EV, ne?]

The crime boss' sidekick warns Benten that there are cyberpunks in the area looking for him, so he's prepared when he leaves the hideout. And they refer to the Cyber Cops as dogs, not pigs [barbecued dog, anyone?]

Benten's conversation with Kelly [another one begging a backstory!]

Kelly: "I still owe you."

Benten: "That was a long time ago."

Kelly: "It was a nasty line of work." Benten (as she walks away): "Kelly, forget it - you don't owe me anything."

Saionji tells Benten, if he wants a long life, to get lots of rest (as in the EV) - Benten's reply, "I wish I

could." [sounded wistful to me, too...]

Interesting comment from Remi: "I was born from an artificial womb, but it malfunctioned... my cells age too quickly..." (which was why she went into cold-sleep, waiting for a cure)

Sengoku's reply to Benten saying he'd have to get past him (Benten): "Sounds like fun." [Not, "I never liked you anyway."]

Benten to Saionji: "[quotes Saionji's long title] - Nothing gives you the right to use patients as guinea pigs."

Benten to Saionji, after being shot: "Nothing lasts forever, except one thing. Your crimes are eternal." [Not "I'll put you out of my misery" - although that is rather a neat line under the circumstances...]

Remi: "Please, let me die too."

Benten to Remi: "From now on you'll only have good dreams."

Remi: "Yes, I will." [Nothing about dreaming of him]

The starlight quote, from the end of the ep:

Remi: "It's amazing that starlight travels for thousands of years before finally reaching us."

Benten: "But most starlight is never even seen - it travels on through the endless reaches of space. It's a dark and lonely journey."

Remi: "Eternal."

Benten: "Now nothing will disturb your sleep ever again. You will travel forever, alongside the starlight..."

Anyone still with me? [grins] It's wonderful, and substantially different from the EV. So any future fics will have to take this into account. Though I think I got Benten right anyway.

Oh, and Valkyrie? You're right - Sengoku's eyes are brown...

Sayonara!

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