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

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Well, that's not too bad! Checked the stats - it's exactly a year since I transferred WordWrights to the new server, and in that time we've apparently had 60,125 visits (that's visits, not hits. Hits are apparently 669,998). Ken was quite impressed!


Re: comment - thanks onna! Found the kanji in the YnM sketchbook (and surprised myself by being able to read the hiragana above them, obviously something sank in over those hours I spent with the online flashcards!)

Anyway - feeble attempt at writing the kanji for Watari Yutaka - Watari Yutaka.

Yutaka looks like the kanji for warmth! (Which is appropriate...)


Six lengths... tch', I'm unfit! Haven't been swimming for a year...

Curled up with the third YnM. Yes, the shikigami referred to as Tern Snake is Touda (Tsuzuki calls him by name). Then went hunting info on geisha as opposed to prostitutes. Lots of info on geisha (did you know that waaaay back in the beginning there were male geisha too? I didn't 'til about half an hour ago. And that the concept of geisha originated in Kyoto? And that novice geisha - maiko - were housed in a dormitory-like room called an okiya and looked after by a woman, often a retired geisha herself? Where was I? Oh yes...) but precious little on prostitutes (well, nothing that was of any real help, anyway).

Soddit, I'll just have to fudge the issue until I can understand what's actually being said. It doesn't affect the story anyway, I just like to have my basic facts right. (You mean you hadn't noticed?)

Does anyone know what Yutaka means? I ran a quick search on my favourite 'names' sites and it's listed as a Japanese male name, but with no meaning given. (Heh, couldn't even find the others, but then I wasn't hunting too hard.)

Let's see how much I can get done before I go cross-eyed....



Post a Comment

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

And discussing Gensoukai with Lutra - [ping] - I checked out Chinese myth...

[from Larousse Encyclopaedia of Mythology pp 398-9]

... there are 18 Hells distributed among 10 law-courts to which they are attached... The Kings of Hell have satellites to carry out their orders... When the registers of Life and Death kept by [... the king...] show that a man has reached the end of his earthly existence, [he] sends two of his satellites to [collect] the soul...

Hence YnM's 10 chos (districts), the 18 shinigami, and the fact that they have to travel in pairs.

Happy now!

Still have to find out where Gensoukai fits in, but that shouldn't be too difficult...


Um, in response to Lutra asking what the hell shikigami are and what's the difference between them and shinigami...

Shinigami means god of death. In YnM these are humans who, when they died, had reasons for not proceeding to whichever afterlife they deserved, but opted to remain alive (though not living) to a) resolve their own problems and b) 'guide' to Juohcho those whose term of life had ended but who for some reason have not died. (Juohcho is the organisation that judges them according to their deeds in life.)

Shikigami are (to quote mythical and spiritual deities that can be summoned by those that they have agreed to serve - the shinigami in YnM. There are scans/descriptions of them here. (My knowledge of Japanese mythology is pretty sparse, so whether these are traditional beings or a modern invention I'm not sure. There doesn't seem to be any mention of them in my Larousse. [sigh] Yet another thing to check up...)

Of course, that's still not much use to anyone who doesn't know YnM...



Post a Comment

OK - Corner finished (six pages only, I'm afraid, but it progresses the story a little) but Lutra needs to read it, really, before I post it, so hopefully tomorrow.

Heh - got to swimming to find the Easton pool closed for renovations, so came back and let the sprogs play in Arnos Park for half an hour. Going to try again tomorrow evening, at the local pool (Jubilee)...

Since I posted that scan of supposed-Oriya at the end of Aureole (in the other Zone) it's been bugging me (and you know how dangerous a thing that is [bemusedly watches friends running for shelter]...). The more it bubbled, the more sure I was that it isn't Oriya. The clothing (what there is of it) is wrong and the hair is far too long. Then tonight I remembered a snippet from one of the translations I read through. I think the scan I've posted is of Touda...


All the shikigami have human forms (in the manga - we don't see them in the anime. Byakko is extremely cute, has a striped tail, and is disturbingly similar to inu-Tsuzuki in attitude and behaviour!)     

Apparently Tsuzuki 'acquired' his shikigami Touda (Tern Snake in the anime, I believe, end of the Kyoto Arc) by releasing him from prison at some point in the past.     

Touda in human form now has short hair and wears a visor, but the face underneath it, as far as I can tell, is the same as the manacled figure in the scan. He also wears a buckled collar very similar to the one in the scan (though that's hardly conclusive!)     

As for the short hair - I have a vague memory [thwaps metaphysical head on virtual keyboard - HADDOCK! I need more HADDOCK!! Well, haddock or an eidetic memory. I don't have time to read though however many eps it was to find the reference. ...] of reading that the longer the hair the more powerful the shikigami, though that doesn't explain why Touda is arguably the most powerful of all yet has had his hair cut (nor why Kurikara chops his off just before he starts fighting, but that's a whole 'nother can of dragons.
    The other scan - which is the same character (you can tell by the tattoo) but rather more clothed: easier to see if you turn the pic 180 degrees - has the same type of... hand decorations? claws?... as Touda in the manga scan....)

OK, I could be wrong, but that feels right. And of course, the figure in the background of the Aureole scan could very easily be Tsuzuki.

Thorough or obsessive? [blinks at foregoing spiel] Of course, this will be of no interest whatsoever to anyone who doesn't know what the hell I'm talking about! But anyway, it's stopped bugging me. Which is a relief. I shall now go and celebrate by watching the second DVD...

Oh - nearly forgot - [GLOMPS onna] The YnM soundtracks arrived today! Magical stuff... [happy grin]



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Monday, March 29, 2004

[growl] ... couldn't settle... managed all of four pages of Corner, the next AC. I guess the heart just isn't in it any more... (Yes, I will finish it, I promise. There's still a fair bit of story to tell...)

Watched the first YnM DVD instead - and only just noticed that Hisoka isn't in the first opening credits sequence. Well, no, of course he wouldn't be, would he? Tch' - doesn't usually take me three watches to pick up on something that obvious...

It's wonderful though. Just can't get enough at the moment.

[shakes head] I mentioned to Ken (yesterday? day before?) that our bank is introducing chip and PIN cards over the next couple of years (and about bloody time! say I. When do they bring in retinal scans?) His reply? "Ah, good - I can never remember my signature..."

Which is not quite as daft as it sounds. Mine's changed over the years I've had my card, too, and the card's not due for renewal til next year.

Swimming tomorrow after school, Kai and I with Thomas and his mum Jenn!

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Sunday, March 28, 2004

... this place is a zoo...

The cricket-breeding programme proved unsuccessful (the apple went rotten), so Ken took Kai over to the Reptile House to buy more today (one of which is extraordinarily tuneful!). So it was get-the-crickets-into-their-tank-without-any-escaping-or-spilling-them-down-self day. Successfully achieved - I'm getting good at this... I don't think I mentioned Kai now has a tank with several handfuls' worth of tadpoles (hatched from spawn from our pond) in his bedroom, did I? No, thought not...

So, daily tasks now include: feed and water crickets, feed and water Rosa (who is getting bigger, I swear!) twice a day, feed tadpoles (bits of raw meat strung over side of tank on opened out paperclip), feed cats, feed dog, feed Tetra of Immortality (yes, the bloody thing is still alive...), feed Kai, feed Ken. Oh, and feed me, which I keep forgetting.

There is an amphibian - frog or toad, not sure which - in the wild bit of our garden that insists on singing at night, something of a cross between a loud belch and a grumble...

Have added the comment code that Lutra found to the blog, so please, slap a squid! (You know you want to...)

[lopes off to be creative]

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Saturday, March 27, 2004

I have a copy of To the Moon and Back!! [GLOMPS] Wendy. Thank you!

Zoo, Lutra's next Dystopia chapter now posted, as is Rest, the next of the Oriyal Tales. And on the subject of the OT...

[text of a conversation earlier, on ICQ, after a brief discussion of one of the less talented, less tasteful Pros slash writers]

Lutra: Right, think of something… pleasant... :)
Joules: [grin] Watari
[silly grin] and Oriya…hey, who'd be seme?
Interesting question, ne?
O assuming/offering to be uke cos that's what he's used to, then going all gooey when W goes for equality?
Hm.... that would work nicely....
[sillier grin]
… if it ever happens, of course.... [evil smirk]
[blinkblink - howls of dismay]
please! pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease!

[blinks, staggers back under the force of the pleas]

[evil grin] Well chibi eyes don't work, time for a new tactic...

Heh, it might work, too...

Toonami are finally showing the second half of UM, starting April 10th, so I'll be able to finish the sequence after then. (I want to see the KMask/Croe interraction before hauling KMask into the mix.)

Aiming to have the next AC chapter done by end of the day Monday.

[growl] We lose an hour to BST tonight; Lutra and I will be three hours apart again...

[adapted from last October's blogging] .... perhaps I should explain that... we've been 11 hours apart (it's 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 when it's winter here and summer there, instead of 3.

And now we're back to BST here. This means that when it's midnight here, it's 9am there. Which meant that by the time Lutra usually gets onto ICQ (9-ish am and pm, usually) it's already midday and midnight here, and I either have to leave to collect Kai or stay up till dawn in order to chat....

Like I don't have enough problems with time without them messing around with bloody haddock again... Heh, what the hell, I'm usually up til dawn anyway these days...

[pondering comments on Sylverthorne's blog] I think all of the creative people I know - those who are driven to be creative, I mean - seem to have had miserable childhoods and/or been loners who had problems fitting in with other people. Are we creative because of our childhood, or was our childhood unhappy because we are creative?

Or is that just a load of rubbish?

Congrats on the weight, onna!

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Friday, March 26, 2004

[blinks, rubs aching eyes] Heh, my own fault for spending hours reading/saving the YnM translations I didn't get to last night. All 47 of 'em...

[growl] It's bad enough when a writer leaves stories unfinished (and no, I'm not excepting myself here. Keep nagging me - I'll get there in the end...) but when a mangaka does the same - especially with something this compelling - it's enough to make you scream...

Still, it was useful. And convinced me I simply have to have the manga, even unfinished. In Japanese, now I have the translations. (Can't find an English version anyway. VIZ seem to have acquired the copyright, but there's no indication of when it might be published.)

In other news, Kai's had another good day today: hopefully the problem's resolved. [cautious quiet sigh of relief]

Had a wonderful (other) Zone feedback email today, from a new member - the sort of mail that leaves you grinning for hours and thinking it is actually all worth it. Read it out to Ken, who also grinned - then told me to hurry up and get Haadri out so more people have the chance to read my work... [sigh. grumble. hiss Tatsumi-clone...]



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Thursday, March 25, 2004

Ohhhh Kayyyy...
Kai had a good day today, no problems. BIG [GLOMPS] to everyone for their support and good wishes - it all helps.

Quyn has a fatty lump (non-malignant but growing steadily) under his shoulder/armpit, that will need to be removed sometime in the next few months to prevent it getting so big it gives him problems walking. Vet's initial (and definitely not to be quoted) estimate for the op is £200 (+). But they will work out a monthly budget plan for us if need be, which is good...

I've completely lost all track of haddock and feel somewhat disorientated. I believe I tried to sleep after taking Kai to school, but if I remember rightly - which is unlikely - I was woken first by Quyn barking at the postman and secondly by yet another person coming to check that the boiler/heating was up to scratch (though this time they didn't need to check out the airing cupboard. Which was probably just as well as I don't think I could have dragged myself out of bed even in an emergency....)

So I thought tonight might be a good time to read/'save as' the YnM manga translation pages on

[groan] Y'know, the phrase 'can of worms' could have been devised for me. All I wanted to check out were some hints and clues to Watari's personality so I can be accurate in the Oriyal Tales, and what happens? I very very stupidly dip into the Gensou Kai chapters...

[flings hands in the air] OK, fine, I give up. 'Obsessive, not thorough'. (OK Lutra?)

Too tired to delve properly tonight. Tomorrow I will see if I can get my brain 'round 'Mother' (the computer that seems to control Juohcho - shades of Ai no Kusabi's Jupiter?) and work out just what the hell Tatsumi (and Watari) are up to...

... and that's without even mentioning the intricacies of the King of Swords Arc. How the hell can I find out the significance of the Tarot to the Japanese...?

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Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Kai to school, headteacher and class teacher advised and will keep an eye out for any problems (swimming should be fine, it's only Kai's class today), shopping bought and me now off for a cycle's nap...

Quyn to vet after school this afternoon for the second half of his injections.

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This is fascinating for the anime fan. I found it on this site, which is fun for everyone - one of my faves... (Teriyaki Chicken pizza, mmmmmm...) No longer exists, alas (edited 11.9.15)

Kai's headmistress rang at around 1pm, to say there'd been a bit of an upset at lunchtime. Apparently a younger boy had been pestering Kai so much Kai had shoved him away...

May not sound like much, but Kai doesn't do things like that.

Neither of them were hurt, although apparently Kai was thoroughly shocked/upset that he'd done such a thing.

I collected Kai and Jodie from school - Jodie came round for tea tonight - and while I was chatting to Jodie's mum said younger boy (younger does not = smaller) met his own mum in the playground, cuddled into her side and then started yelling threats at Kai. I couldn't make out most of what was said (except for the - unfortunately - standard, "I'm going to kill you tomorrow") but the viciousness of the delivery rather took me aback.

Kai and Jodie had a lovely time - at least, I assume Jodie pouting and not wanting to go home indicates that she enjoyed herself... Then Ken took Kai to Tesco for a quick shop, then it was bratling's bedtime. And then he came and cuddled me - not something that happens too often these days, alas, he's growing up and only allows kisses and cuddles when he feels he needs them. Which is tearful, but expected, and I won't force the issue...

Seems that a little while back Kai found said younger boy (hereinafter M) beyblading in the loos - which isn't allowed - asked him to stop, and when he wouldn't, told a teacher. [One of those tricky things where despite my telling him he really shouldn't try to interfere himself, he feels he needs to uphold the rules...] I think it's reasonably safe to assume that M has held a grudge since.

Today... well, Kai's account was a little garbled, but as far as I can gather he and Jodie wanted to play at lunchtime, M came over, started interrupting, insisting he was going to join in the game, and refused to be put off. I have the feeling it upset Jodie - and that's something Kai just won't stand for. Bit like his mum, my bratling, fiercely protective of his friends. I hope that loyalty will be returned, one day.

As far as I can gather, Kai ended up telling a teacher again - as we've told him to do if he has problems. [Have we done the wrong thing? Do all his schoolmates see him as a tale-teller? Do the teachers actually believe him? Heh, that last is unfair - I know that they do, they just have an awful lot of other children to tend to as well...]

The upshot is that Kai is now scared about tomorrow. He's worried that M - who apparently has an awful lot of friends - will try to retaliate. He's worried that M will be waiting for him at the bottom of the steps when he goes out of the school building for lunch-time play, possibly with some of his friends. It wouldn't be the first time - twice before Kai's ended up in the middle of a ring of hostile brats pushing, taunting and almost-hitting him.

I'm rather more worried that Kai has swimming tomorrow with M. Bratling's already had a run-in with another thoroughly obnoxious little thug who tried to push him underwater and keep him there.

So Kai finally settled to sleep after I said I'd take him in the morning and speak to his headmistress - I like and respect her, and she knows I won't make a fuss unless I believe there is due cause. I may be able to speak to his teacher too, hopefully. Not sure now whether to try to sleep (difficult) or just to stay up all night. I'm too... fraught to actually accomplish anything creative, but there are things I could usefully do that don't require much thought...

It's heartbreaking to see Kai caught up in this. It's so similar to my own experiences of school (though I didn't bother telling my parents, not after the third time I was told not to be so silly/not to make a fuss/I was making it up...) But at the same time I don't want him to be a part of the crowd. I want him to be himself, intelligent, creative, sensitive, individual.

There has to be a way to make this work, there just has to be.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Aaaaand Walk, the first part of the second Oriyal Tales arc, now posted. Another little Haikuficlet... No, I've no idea how many I'll write!

Onna, many thanks - will await eagerly...

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Monday, March 22, 2004

Third of the Oriyal Tales - Aureole - now posted in the (other) Zone, along with a handful of pics. I'll send the Update later.

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Sunday, March 21, 2004

Mothering SundayKai's Mum's Day card

Kai presented me with this card - all his own work - and told me the words are all absolutely true....

The words inside

I was brought breakfast in bed - scrambled eggs and (oyster) mushrooms, and Kai sat with me eating his milky-way spread on toast, telling me there was a surprise downstairs for me...

There was too - his corner (which I've been asking him to tidy for a week and a half) is immaculate - and he and Ken between them made me this unizook as a present....

Unizook! It gallops too...

I love my family...



Absolutely bloody terrifying...



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Friday, March 19, 2004

I really loathe it when depression strikes, when even sitting back and looking at everything I've accomplished only results in a 'so what?' feeling of uselessness. I suppose I should be thankful that it doesn't last very long - except, of course, feeling thankful isn't an option either.

There is absolutely no escape, not even into writing, and that's the most terrifying thing of all. Even knowing things should look brighter in a day or three is no consolation.

... just grit your teeth, switch over to autopilot, and try not to cry where people can see...



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Thursday, March 18, 2004

And the first part of the Oryal Tales now posted in the Other Anime section of the (other) Zone. And yes, it did hare off in a completely unanticipated direction - but that's OK. Maybe a reflection of how I'm feeling at the moment...

Will try to get the second part written tonight.

Onna - thank you so much. I shall look forwards to that.



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Wednesday, March 17, 2004


[bounces around the room like a demented gibbon] Got a parcel out of the blue (well, out of the red Royal Mail van anyway...)

From Lutra! Packed full of goodies, lemon-scented from the bar of Lush Bohemian soap inside...

what you get if you cross a tiger with a ham-ham!Swiss Miss drinking chocolate sachets (had one for breakfast - yummm!); Bruce's Aussie Dictionary (Bruce being the shark from Finding Nemo) - very interesting, this. We have a lot of phrases in common, plus a whole load of others that are purely Oz...; an Aboriginal-carved fridge magnet (at least, that's where it's stuck now) of a strange... six-legged?... beastie....; two cutely dopy looking stick on purple lizard hooks (for hanging things on); a gorgeous volitans tile (how the hell did you manage to find a volitans tile!!?); an oozy tarantula that creeps down the wall if you throw it, and a squidgy bag of spiders (for Kai); a hanging star made out of two spare stars from Lutra's quilt - beautiful reds and swirly gold waves, see below - the quilt must be gorgeous: and the X DVD!!

And of course, this card... Inside it says: "<smirk>... I just wanted to see your face when you opened this... What do you get if you cross a tiger with a ham-ham?"

[grinbapGLOMP] Yeah, quite....


[happy sigh GLOMPS Lutra]

quilt star

AND... Valkyrie's sent me two pics for the Cyber City Oedo 808 section of the (other) Zone, a version of that wonderful Benten pic for Vanessa's birthday (many thanks, Vanessa, for permission to post it) and a delicious illustration for Leather... I shall post them later.

[GLOMPS Valkyrie] Thank you!

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[blissful sigh] ... no good... I started writing the first of the Oriyal Tales and suddenly, desperately needed to hear the Yami no Matsuei opening credits (Eden, finally got it together to get the song's name...) So, not wanting to wake Dave next door - or Suzanne or Claire come to that! - I tried googling and (thorough, not obsessive) I found a Russian site with a number of YnM zipped mp3s....

I've uploaded the zipped Eden file Here for anyone who'd like a copy (and yes, this time I have taken off the right click disabled code!) I ran it through my AV software before I unzipped it and it was fine then. (This is the full, 4 minute 11 second version, Carol.) I also found the lyrics, in Romaji and English (URL on the page): I've actually found about 5 different translations of the words, and this isn't the best, but it gives the general idea. (I have a dream of one day doing my own translations of my favourite

You can find the Russian site here. There's a karaoke version of Eden - heh, I'm soooo tempted to learn the Japanese lyrics and give it a go!

[happyhappy bounce....] Loading into Nappa first thing my am....

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Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Aaaaaaand the fridge-freezer is in and working, and the water in the ice-cube tray has frozen, so looks like the freezer part is fine. I'll restock tomorrow.

Ken arrived back from town with two tubs of brown crickets from Pets Paradise, extra cheap because quite a lot of them were already dead. I cleaned out the two tubs - the evil black crickets are now in the bottom of the freezer - and put the smaller crickets in one tub, the larger in the other (noisy creatures they are, but it's a lovely summery sound, just like in our garden...) Half an hour later two of the big ones were mating (Kai told me with great glee) and a little later again the female was laying eggs in a slice of apple... [sigh] we now have a nursery tub on top of the 'breeding' tub. The things I do, ne?

Rosa very obligingly climbed the glass at the front of her tank earlier (she was being active: I guessed she was hungry and given the way she pounced on her cricket I was right...) and I was able to measure her. Diagonally from toe to toe she's 3.5 inches (9 centimetres) and her body is a little over 1.5 inches (4 centimetres). And her fangs are quite impressive!

Kai's application for membership of the British Tarantula Society went off today (thanks Carol!), and I'm trying to find a time when we can sit and make a start on his website. Not easy during the week, and at weekends he'd rather be out in the fresh air, but if nothing else he has the Eostre break coming up, and we've nothing planned for the first week. Will see what we can do then.



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OK - that's the fridge-freezer arrived. And the plug doesn't reach the socket (old house, socket half way up the wall....) We'll have to get a small extension cable. Why us? Can't use it for 24 hours, either: have to try freezing some ice cubes first to make sure it's all working properly. It's a nice machine, though, a little smaller externally than our old one but seems to be the same size internally: makes sense, the tech must have improved in the last 12 years...

I'm pleased that the fridge shelving from the old machine fits the new one - they never provide enough shelves for my liking.

Latest review - Hal Spacejock 1 and 2 - finished and emailed off.

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Ended up taking the night off. Re-watched FAKE and the parts of Yami no Matsuei that I need for the Orial Tales (should be able to start those now...) Sheer self-indulgence but ye gods I enjoyed it!

I was pondering cultural/generation differences in the use of expletives earlier (as you do. Well, as you do if you're me, anyway, which is - perhaps fortunately - not a common occurrence...) I tend not to use the word 'fuck' as an expletive unless I'm very angry, and generally speaking, for my generation anyway, it's considered too crass and crude for everyday use. I have to point out that that's my generation, nationality and social class, not the current state of play. Yet I'm perfectly happy to use 'bugger' and 'sod' in my day to day language - I don't consider these to be particularly strong or 'rude'. I'd love to think that that is because the homosexual connotations (wrong word but it'll do for now) are perfectly acceptable and tolerated - they are in my case but whether that's an aspect of my generation or simply me I really couldn't say... [idly grumbling] An American.... person... of my acquaintance once (many many years ago) wondered aloud on a list if I knew the true meaning of 'bugger'. Heh, with an honours degree in English Language with philosophy and linguistics, [insert sarcasm] yes, I think I could be said to know the meaning of the word... Stupid twat. And yes, I know the meaning of THAT word too...

Hn. Not sure if that made sense. Ah well...

.... the opening theme to YnM is glorious... I need it mp3'd...

And on the subject of YnM, I found the most gorgeous little fic - Fledglings - by a very fine writer indeed calling herself Ysabet, on FFNet, of all places (yes, I still do drop in occasionally. Sometimes it's worth shovelling through the shit to find something this good.) It had me very close to tears. But there's no point reading it unless you know Yami no Matsuei, I'm afraid...

... Although.... no, I think it can be read without knowing the background, there are enough internal clues to have it make sense...

... and having re-read it and nearly had myself in tears again, yes, it can be read without knowing the background. It's beautiful...



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Monday, March 15, 2004

[sigh] No fridge-freezer... And I was up at 8 to be awake for the delivery, since they said any time between 8am-5pm. I ended up ringing empiredirect, only to be told that it's due to be delivered tomorrow. Ken assures me they said Monday 15th when they rang. Eh well, at least they apologised when I told them that. Just as well we hadn't mentioned it to Dave next door!

Kai had tea round at Jodie's tonight - thoroughly enjoyed himself. I need to get organised for repeat visits...

It's surprising what you can find while searching. I needed some background on brainwashing/hypnotism/'conditioning', so tried googling. Some very interesting results, including a rant from the Scientologists, an intriguing piece from Dick Sutphen, and a quite astonishing... thing called Brainwashing America - I'd mutter things like 'conspiracy theory' except that an uncomfortable amount of what's... ranted... here sounds all too plausible...

But I also found a wonderful site - The Word Spy - which is about to be added to my left-hand infobar...

[grumble] I have to be up at 8am again tomorrow for the delivery. Sleep? Who needs it?

Off to make a start on P04...

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[snarl] A tiny wee fraction-of-a-second power blip and my computer reboots...

I suppose I should be grateful it was only that, given the hassle I had last time with a major (i.e. 5 minute) power outage. House alarms going off up and down the road (ours just sat and *beeped* loudly to let us know it just couldn't possibly work properly under these circumstances), phone beeping at me, me groping for the torch... Heh, one of my best ever purchases was that surge-protected extension board, Carol! [grins thanks]

ANYway, as I was about to say before I was so rudely interrupted - I found the zook 'help' doc (in bloody pdf format. Have I mentioned how much I hate pdf? I have now....), downloaded it Friday night, and Ken and Kai used it Saturday to get the zook moving in something other than slow, on the spot circles (and mum's a hero again...! To explain to non-Brits, Iceland - our freezer-foods specialist supermarket - have recently been running a series of TV ads, wryly funny and very apt ones, with the tagline, 'cos mums are heroes'. The first time Kai saw one he came over and gave me a big hug, and told me I was a hero, just 'cos I was... [watery grin]).

Heh, what a reputation to live up to!

Thorne, sounds like you had a fabulous time with the kites. I'm very sorry to hear about your fish though - that's upsetting. Hope you can get something sorted out soon.

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Sunday, March 14, 2004

Fun afternoon: Kim came over with Sarah and drove us all to Oldbury Court Estate, where Kai and Sarah had great fun in the adventure playground before we took a walk along the river. It's a lovely place, part of Bristol's community forest.

Still haven't been able to measure Rosa, though she is substantially bigger than before her shed, and now covered with very pretty salmon-pink hairs.

Fridge tomorrow!

Get Well Soon, GoodTwin...

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So that's Snapshots 5 now posted, all 11.5 pages of it...

I still haven't posted onna's birthday pic of Radittsu. Sorry 'bout that, I just haven't had time to work my way through the dicing tutorial yet.



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Saturday, March 13, 2004

Seven pages into Snapshots pt 5, the next AC - sort of a joint chapter, this one - and still going strong. No, I haven't forgotten I'm supposed to be re-reading/tweaking FL: will start that after Kai's gone to bed. Weekends can be awkward for sustained concentration, with Ken/Kai asking questions/wanting attention/walking back and forth behind me...

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Friday, March 12, 2004

The snow was all gone by this morning.

The training session ended up being four somewhat intensive hours of teaching how to create a DDA-compliant frames site, but my client went away very pleased with everything she'd learned and confident that she would be able to upload a basic but workable site in the near future. She thinks she might like to come back for another, shorter session later to cover the things we didn't manage to get to. All in all very satisfactory (though I feel a little poggled...)

But look!

Kai's 'time' certificate

Kai came home waving this proudly - we're so chuffed! So I let him play with his zook software for a little while this evening...
Zooks are the latest craze. Ken downloaded the software ([growl] without checking with me first), I installed it - to my relief it doesn't appear to have conflicted with anything else I have - and we took a look at it. It's fun, but there's no help file with the software, and it's not the most intuitive piece of kit I've ever seen. But Kai loves it (and is going to have a lovely long play with it tomorrow morning while I have a lie-in).

PS6 has gone flaky on me, stopping responding when I try to save PSDs and then crashing. I thought it might be a conflict with ICQ (it has crashed before when I've been working on graphics and chatting at the same time) but it happens even when ICQ is down, so it's not that. So far I've recovered most of what I've done and finished it in PS5.5, but it's hardly an ideal situation. [shakes head] I don't care what they say about the stability of XP, I do not like it...

onna - Eclipse? [swoon] Absolutely the most beautiful eyes I've ever seen... I want to draw eyes like that... Will look forward to the pic...

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I was about to close down, then realised it was all too quiet...

It's snowing again, the biggest 'flakes' I've ever seen, a silent, swift, enveloping snowfall, brilliantly daylit orange-gold from the citylights bouncing off the snowclouds. Inches deep in the garden already, the shrubs bowing from the weight. The deadliest sort of snow, soft and fluffy and hiding destruction behind its picturesque beauty.

If we're lucky it will thaw by morning.



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Happy Birthday Lutra!!

In other news, Entrée now posted - as is Lutra's Haadri fanfic (oh, you have no idea how chuffed I feel inspiring a person to write fanfic in my continuum... [sniffle happy grin]) though I can't open the links to that until FL is published. By which time there may be more chapters, I think, maybe...

Now I start nagging Lutra to get back to Dancing. Wonderful as it is to have people wanting to write fanfic for me it's not going to help her get published.

It snowed earlier, and it's so cold the little white stuff we had is still lying on the grass. This is a long, cold winter. And we still have the spring floods to come. Assuming they do, of course. They might not. The weather is unpredictable...

More tomorrow: I should have some breathing space once the training session is over. In the meantime, take a look here: I tried accessing DShield (and was relieved to find our IP address of the day wasn't on the list!). All fascinating stuff - not to mention worrying. There's no excuse any longer for anyone to plead ignorance of the subject, nor act irresponsibly by not installing anti-virus software, or indeed a firewall. There are freebies available that do an excellent job...

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Thursday, March 11, 2004

[growl] Having one of those weeks where every time I try to settle down to work, something urgent comes in that needs attention now...

Still, Quyn has now been inoculated (took him to the vet straight from picking up Kai last night), the EBJC added to, Entreé (latest UM) finished though not yet code/uploaded, and most of the outstanding corres dealt with. I'll code/upload Lutra's Haadri fanfic later, though no-one will be able to read it until FL is published (except for the pre-readers of course!). Tomorrow I have a couple of hours training (that's me giving the training). I'm aiming to re-read FL over the weekend for any last minute tweaks before it goes to Sue; I'll do a final word count then as well. Oh, and the new fridge-freezer arrives next Monday.

And I still haven't started the next AC! Will try to get that done tomorrow night...

[sigh] VH1 Classic have just played Savage Garden's To the Moon and Back... I love that song... if anyone ever finds an mp3 of it, can they let me know please...?



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Tuesday, March 09, 2004

... knackered...

Kai's had a lovely day, though, and the birthday tea went well - Bill, Thomas and Jodie round for cake and chaos. We came through the park on the way home for them to run off some energy, and they spent a little time in the garden chasing and being chased by Quyn (and fighting with balloons)...

Nine years. I can't believe how fast it's gone.

I think we've done OK, though, as parents.

Many thanks to everyone who sent cards/wishes! He's really enjoyed himself today.



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Monday, March 08, 2004

Got up ridiculously early to tackle the house. Amazing - even the housework isn't so much of a chore with Nappa plugged in and Shining Collection blasting in my ears...

Didn't accomplish much over the weekend. With Kai's birthday tomorrow and friends coming to tea, I'd better see what I can do today - tomorrow is likely to be busy.

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Sunday, March 07, 2004

[whimper] There I was, ready to start on the next AC, when Ken came through from the kitchen, frowning.

"Have you noticed anything wrong with the fridge?" he says...

And our fridge-freezer has packed up. It's still making working-type noises, but the refrigeration is no more.

Cue mad panic search for the best replacement, plus calls to people to see if they had spare freezer space (I'd just stocked up on Sainsbug's special price organic mince, and duck legs, and ice-cream for Kai's birthday tea)... Dave next door has let me put everything in their chest freezer until the new one is delivered - a Candy (best buy in the Ethical Consumer) from EmpireDirect - some time within the next 3-10 days. £300 that we can't afford - we've had to dip into the overdraft for the first time ever (fair enough, we only got it for emergencies, and I think this counts as an emergency...) We wondered about trying for a repair, but the old one has already been repaired once, and is 13 years old: it would probably cost almost as much to fix as buying a new one. And the Candy has an A energy efficiency rating, and is frost-free (like the old one). The SOFA project might be able to use the old one, if only for spares...

[scowls] See, I said those crickets were evil. They put the kybosh on the freezer so I can't euthanise them!

I need more website commissions. Or a best seller.

On a more positive note, Kai had a good half-yearly school report (except for his English, where he's below satisfactory but we think that's because he's still having problems finishing work on time. We can keep working on that), so he and Ken spent the weekend in the garden digging another 'test pit' beside the one they did at last year's Big Dig - Kai's choice of weekend occupation. Don't think they found anything terribly interesting, but Kai had fun grubbing in the earth.

Right - I shall now try to get something done. Though perhaps I should code/upload Harm first, the CCO808 ficlet I did last night...

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AAARRGGHH!! Every bloody time I settled down to write tonight something came up that needed immediate attention. I am now about to make a start...

On another CCO808 ficlet, Benten and Jade, that I've had bubbling for a few days and that won't take long to do. Then I'll see about the next UM course...

Rosa is still on the other side of the tank, and only just beginning to stretch out, but Kai is right, she's a lot bigger than she was yesterday. And the new hairs are a lovely sunset pink. Heh, she's a big, beautiful spider - and to think it was only January when we got her as a wee spiderling. Kai's finished his new camera's first film, so I expect he and Ken will try another tarantula photo-session soon (I've given up with my camera, without being able to focus properly I just can't get decent results.)

But those black crickets have got to go - neither Kai nor I like them. They're big, and noisy, and they look positively evil. The quickest way to euthanise them is in the freezer, so I may well do that (no way I'm releasing them, they don't look native to me, and are related to the cockroach). We'll need another trip over to the Reptile House to get more of the cute brown crickets instead. [re-reads paragraphs and shakes head. The crickets are evil and the tarantula is big and beautiful? Whatever next?]

[trapped at the Mousehole]:

spotted in The Zone
Temporary index page now up at Kai's Place
EEEEP! You might have warned me...

Also spotted in The Zone

I really didn't expect it to happen that fast
It's probably a bit like giving birth - the second one always comes quicker... [g]

'Made a cake...' hmm. Know the phrase. Has something to do with that room at the back of the house where food magically appears from...

(In order) [grins] Sorry about not warning you - but I thought you'd have known! After all, it's Kai's site...

[blinks] uh, yeah...

[falling off chair in hysterics] Uhuh.... so nice for you having a husband who not only can cook but is perfectly happy to do it all...

[trying to slow down to near human speed] Congrats to the folks, Sue!

RIGHT! Off to have a little fun with my favourite bishonen...


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Saturday, March 06, 2004

Temporary index page now up at Kai's Place (he liked my design): later we'll sit and see if we can get his very own homepage done.

Rosa is sitting at the far side of the tank, recovering, but scrunched up so I can't see how much bigger she is. Kai barrelled into the bedroom saying she was ginormous, at whatever time it was I woke up; hopefully later I can measure her.

P03 proceeding apace. Planning to do another 'Snapshots' chapter for the AC this week, to catch up with what's been happening with all the characters who haven't had a mention recently. Be nice to finish Entreé too, (Next UM): that's been hanging around for two weeks now. And the next Dystopia chapter is nagging... So many tales, so little haddock...


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[blinkblink] eeep!!

I was pretty certain Rosa was going to be shedding fairly soon - she spent quite a bit of yesterday spinning a thick silk platform against the wall nearest the heat mat - but when I checked her a couple of hours ago she was still right way up and sitting by her waterbowl. I've just checked again and she's done it! The exuvium is lying by the waterbowl and she's a wee way from it, preening her legs and looking rather thin. I really didn't expect it to happen that fast, given that last time, from realising she was upside down to her pulling herself the right way up, took about eight hours in total!

And dammit, Kai asked me to wake him once I realised she was on her back, so he could watch. We've missed it!

On the plus side, it appears to have been successful, and this time the room was dark and quiet, which was probably less stressful for her...


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And I should really be in bed, but haddock has somehow warped...

Pal and O rewrites proceeding steadily - though in the case of Pal it's more like writing the book anew. Not that that's a problem at all (to be honest I'd expected it), it just takes a little longer to produce something I'm happy with.

We've bought Kai his own domain for his birthday - Kai's Domain. There's nothing there yet: I've made him a little 'coming soon' index page but the ftp connection isn't yet accessible so I can't upload it - nuisance that. I think he's a little overawed at the moment, but he already has a feel for coding, and seems to be looking forward to learning how to create and manage the site. And he's fun to teach! (And I have to confess, the fact that being web-savvy won't do him any harm at all when it comes to applying for John Cabot College did have something to do with us deciding to get it this early rather than waiting a while longer...)

What a horrible sentence! Heh, must be tired... It's been a hectic week (do I have any other kind?)

Bed, methinks...


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Thursday, March 04, 2004

[beaming grin] We've found the secondary school we want Kai to go to! And it's Kim's fault [GLOMPS Kim].

Have a look at John Cabot College. This is perfect for Kai (ye gods, it would have been perfect for me if they'd had such things when I was at school!) and its performance is amazing. Kai loves the sound of it too, and I've diaried for us to go to their open day in September. The only problem is they only take 156 new students a year... Entry is partly by academic ability and partly by aptitude; there are two assessment interviews (one of them consisting of an IQ type test, I gather)... I think if we start - very gently - working towards it now, by the time he's ready to apply we should have overcome any academic problems he has... I'm so excited!

But what actually threw me completely were the transport arrangements. The College is over in Kingswood, two ordinary bus rides away, and the school day starts at 8.30 am. There I was, trying to work out how we'd manage it, whether it might be possible to arrange lifts (forward thinking, me! I do like having things planned and settled in advance) when I spotted a navbar link saying 'Bus Timetables'. So I hunted through them. And the third one along - school bus number 132 - stops in Kensington Park Rd. Which is 60 seconds away from our house. Without even having to cross a road!

Is it an omen, I ask myself?

Ken and I have already agreed that if we can get him in there, we'd be prepared to stay in Briz (even if things do work out so we could afford to move over to Winchester) throughout his school years. Neither of us particularly like Bristol, but we both love our home, and since Kai's education is so important... We can always move later.

Of course, I shall now worry for the next two years in case he can't get in! Oh, the joys of being a parent...

Onna, thanks for the concern. It's eased a little today (I've done much less) but it does go with the territory. It's a chronic condition, I just have to put up with it. Damned if I let it stop me doing what I do best! [grins]


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... Unfortunately the crickets are far too big... Ah well, they might breed, and then we can feed Rosa the small ones...

F64 and F65 - Epilogue finished and away: that's FL complete - though with no way to celebrate it all felt a bit anti-climactic. Thank you for the card, though, Carol - it was great and had me chuckling.

Have made a start on the Palingenesis revision; first chapter needed very little, chapter two needs a fair bit of new material, so will continue with that tomorrow.
For now... I need to rest the hand, I suppose - still hurting, everything 'clicking' when I move my fingers - feels as I'd imagine a ratchet would feel, similar to the way my shoulder's been for the last few months. (Heh, I'm falling to bits!) Thanks for the symps, Valkyrie.

I can't work out where the bruises on the back of my hand have come from - I just don't bruise (well, not at all easily anyway. Was always a trial when I was younger, being able to take really hefty knocks without anything showing, and no-one believing me when I said it hurt.)

At which point I shall shut up and consider going to bed.

Total wordage for FL (before tweaks and tidying up) - 173,872. Actually a little less than I'd estimated, so perhaps I've been a little more succinct that I thought. No bad thing, that!


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Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Great health news, onna and Valkyrie! Very good to hear.

Ken has braved the town today, to throw money at the bank and hunt for birthday presents for Kai. On his travels he checked out the pet stall at St Nick's Market - and found they sell tubs of crickets! £2.80 (20p more than Reptile House) but since we go into town every 2-3 weeks anyway it saves the extra bus fare.

For the first time in six years I'm having to wear a splint - my left hand hurts like hell today. Been doing too much recently, obviously. Dammit, I'm half way through F64 and I am going to finish it before I go to bed tonight, even if I have to type one-handed!

Can take a rest afterwards. Have asked Ken for a quick lesson in how to use Xara: I have some floor plans to create. Should only need my right hand for that. I hope. I should also be able to get the first Palingenesis chapter checked and sent out, I don't think it needs much doing to it...


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[happy bounce!] Had a nap after dinner, and have now finished F63! One more chapter and the Epilogue (which remains essentially unchanged) and FL is done - bar the final couple of reads and tweaks...

And with a bit of luck I can get F64 finished tomorrow. Exciting!
Thanks for the support, onna. In theory and principle LETS is a wonderful idea, but in practice it requires cooperation, willingness and a fair bit of work, and unfortunately apathy runs rife... ('scuse the oxymoron). Eh well - not my problem any more!

It's Kai's birthday next Tuesday and we have no idea what to get him. He's an amazingly contented bratling, not one of these "I want..." kids. I know he wants to join the British Tarantula Society (£12.50 p.a.) so will probably use some of his grandparents' money to do that for him. He mentioned at Yule he'd like the second Lilo and Stitch film, but only said it once, so we don't know if he still wants it. I'm not risking the disappointment we had last year - we're having a birthday tea here with just a couple of friends, and Ken or I will take him on an 'adventure' (no idea where, yet!) the following weekend. Kai loves 'adventures', heading off with Ken, his scooter and Quyn and just keeping going ("just a bit further, dad...")

On his Eostre break (first two weeks of April) I'm taking him down to Exeter, staying in one of the spare rentable rooms at my folks' sheltered housing place, for three nights: mum wants to take us to Crealy for one of the days, and we'll hopefully pop down to visit grandma and grandpa in Babbacombe another day. This site is right about the fish and chips, by the way - if I remember rightly it's a tiny little shop down a side street and consistently wins awards for its quality. You have to get there early and be prepared to queue for ages to get served!

([whimper] I shall be without internet access for three whole days!! WAHHHH....)

I'm still rather hoping to take him up to Dartmoor at some point soon: we've never managed to get there and I love the place. Have to wait 'til the trip after, though, I strongly suspect. Maybe in the summer. Be lovely to take in a trip to Becky Falls at the same time...


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Tuesday, March 02, 2004

[yawn...] Well, after Ken waking up (I didn't wake him, honestly!) at 2.30ish and letting me rant at him for a while I calmed down and we discussed how best to handle the matter - of which more later. I finally got to sleep at something gone 5, having said I'd get up at 7ish to take Kai to school then go and pick up my latest parcel of books for review (too big to go through letterbox, and I was asleep and couldn't wake up in time to get to the door before the postman left, so it was taken back to the sorting office. My fault, and I didn't mind: plugged in Nappa and tried not to dance all the way there in the sunshine...) So I'm very tired.

Anyway! Regarding BristolInterLETS... Ken was pretty angry too when he read what had been written, essentially accusing me of being unprofessional. A quick check of the appropriate series of emails confirmed that I was not. I have now emailed the LETS UK Secretary to explain why the site is in its current miserable state - which is basically that I have been unable to run it because a) everything had to be approved by committee before I could do anything, b) no-one has ever provided me with any content, despite frequent requests and c) the co-ordinator never bothered to answer my emails. I've now renounced the site altogether, emailed the ftp details to the co-ordinator, and want nothing further to do with the group. I absolutely loathe incompetence. The real pity is that LETS groups need active, proactive members to keep going, develop and expand, but a lot of the current members seem to view efficiency and professionalism as anti-LETS. So it's not really any wonder that LETS in the SW is in such a dire state.

Still, BRISTAL will keep going - we have a much more forward-looking attitude.

Hotmail had hiccups last night: all the Zone members with hotmail addies bounced back to me. I'm going to assume it's because of the viruses...
We are being completely inundated by virus emails - Mydoom and Netsky variants. At the moment I'm trying to update my AV software every few hours, but the main hassle is the network is so overburdened half my automatic email checks are failing. I've changed the frequency to every 15 minutes instead of every 10, but it's still limping. Worst of all are the spoofed emails, of course.

Why the hell don't people get their acts together and install AV software? It's irresponsible not to these days.
F63 is still limping too - I'm not likely to get it finished tonight unless I can make time for a nap this evening (and even then might not make it). Terribly annoying when I'm so close to finishing! Well, should be done by the end of the week.

Then I can start on the next one...

2,000 hits is great, onna!


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Monday, March 01, 2004

[GLOMPS Carol] - SQUID!! - details on the Haadri blog

The second Gremlins fic is finished, and about to be coded/uploaded. And I've just realised I didn't send out the Zone Update at the weekend. I'll try to remember to do that later.

At the moment I'm fuming. I was asked to create the BristolInterLETS website a year and a half ago, and have since been trying to get information/committee approval to actually get the site up and running. All my emails to the coordinator (who appears to be completely incompetent) have been ignored: 2 weeks ago I finally posted a complaint with the basic details on the smartgroups members' site. No response, of course. I'm debating whether to email the LetsLink UK secretary to explain exactly why the site is in the state it is... Any goodwill I ever had towards the organisation is exhausted and I'm quite frankly disgusted with the way I've been treated. Heh, and they wonder why LETS is dying in the South West!


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