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
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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
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01/01/2005 - 01/31/2005
02/01/2005 - 02/28/2005
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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
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11/01/2005 - 11/30/2005
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02/01/2006 - 02/28/2006
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06/01/2006 - 06/30/2006
07/01/2006 - 07/31/2006
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10/01/2006 - 10/31/2006
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12/01/2006 - 12/31/2006
01/01/2007 - 01/31/2007
02/01/2007 - 02/28/2007
03/01/2007 - 03/31/2007
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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
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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
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01/01/2010 - 31/01/2010
01/02/2010 - 28/02/2010
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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
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01/04/2011 - 30/04/2011
01/05/2011 - 31/05/2011
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01/12/2011 - 31/12/2011
01/01/2012 - 31/01/2012
01/02/2012 - 28/02/2012
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01/08/2012 - 31/08/2012
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01/10/2012 - 31/10/2012
01/11/2012 - 30/11/2012
01/12/2012 - 31/12/2012
01/01/2013 - 31/01/2013
01/02/2013 - 28/02/2013
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01/01/2014 - 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
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01/01/2015 - 31/01/2015
01/02/2015 - 28/02/2015
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01/05/2015 - 31/05/2015
01/06/2015 - 30/06/2015
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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
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01/01/2017 - 31/01/2017
01/02/2017 - 28/02/2017
01/03/2017 - 31/03/2017
01/04/2017 - 30/03/2017
01/05/2017 - 31/04/2017
01/06/2017 - 30/06/2017

Friday, April 30, 2004

Quyn is fine and ready to come home - I'm now trying to arrange the pet taxi for him. [relieved grin]

The kits will be happy: Argent's been wandering around meeping all day, missing him, and the other two haven't been exactly happy either.

It occurred to me that most people reading this won't know Quyn's medical history, or why finding any sort of lump is such a big deal. A few years ago - 3? 4? can you remember, Carol? before I started this blog, anyway - I took him to the vet with what I thought was an ulcer on his jaw: it turned out to be cancer, and the poor pooch had to have his upper left canine, the teeth around it and a chunk of the underlying bone cut out. He had the most miserable few weeks afterwards, until his gum grew back over the wound, heavy painkillers that made him lethargic and the softest food we could buy, but it did the trick and he's been clear ever since (though I have to check his mouth and the lymph nodes under his chin every week). So we're very very wary of anything out of the ordinary.

Many thanks for the good wishes, everyone! It all helps.

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There's an uneasy sense of absence in the house when one of the four-footed members of the family is missing. The kits are wandering around looking for Quyn (even Argent, whose usual interaction is to sit somewhere he can conveniently thwap Quyn's nose as the dog tries to walk past...), and I feel there's something missing...

He was very good, very quiet, shivering hard (which is new and heart-wrenching) and pulling towards the door all the time, but he's there now, had his pre-meds and is just waiting for the op.

I have to get some sleep - two hours isn't enough, even for me. More later, when I know he's OK.

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Thursday, April 29, 2004

Quyn is booked in to have the lump under his 'arm' removed tomorrow. The vet implied it's a fairly simple and safe operation, but there's always a danger with a general anaesthetic, especially in an older animal, as we know... I can ring at 2 p.m. to see how it went, and get a time to bring him home. We'll have to book a pet taxi: although it's almost literally around the corner, the less walking he has to do the better.

I have a hankering for another tarantula. There's a photo here of the sort I'd like (warning: it's a big photo...) - a Brazilian white knee, beautiful and fairly docile, though a little more skittish than the Chilean rose. Kai is of course delighted, Ken less so (though he seems pleasantly surprised I've overcome the arachnophobia). It would be a lot less expensive the second time around, of course, because we have a lot of the equipment already (though we'd need a second heatmat and gauges), and the spiderling itself would be cheaper: the British Tarantula Society sell spiders between themselves for much less than a shop, and Kai's now a member. But it's not going to happen soon,

I've too much else on the ubiquitous platter right now.

[shakes head] I've just read the comments on an FF.net story: the reviewer has corrected the writer's spelling - with further mispellings. I despair, I really do...

Heh, back to Palingenesis, which is happily becoming more complicated the further on I go. [happy grin]

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Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Sometimes I wish I wasn't quite so thorough...

I needed to find out how retractable claws actually work, so I checked google. And found this article on de-clawing - a practise that's illegal in Europe and considered inhumane, uneccessary mutilation here but is, I understand, common in the States (to protect the owners' furniture, apparently). How people who claim to love their pets can inflict what is, essentially, the amputation of the first joint of each toe of all four feet is beyond me. I feel sick just thinking about it. Cruel is too mild a word...

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Swimming went well, though only four lengths (and an uncounted number of widths with Kai). More satisfying was that I finally broke through the block that was holding up progress in P03 (not writer's block, more plotter's block...) It's written now, and I can get on with the rest of the revisions!

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Tuesday, April 27, 2004

[sigh] Got to bed at 6am. Ken woke me at 8 (so I was awake in case the engineer came), arrived back from taking Kai to school around 9, whereupon I went back to sleep. To be woken at 12.36 by Quyn barking at the engineer knocking on the door...

The diagnosis? A 'sticky' thermostat. Someone else will be coming to replace it. Sometime soon. Candy will ring to let us know. In the meantime the thing is working, but I'm not sure how far I can trust it. I 'll have to keep an eye on it.

[growl]

Knackered and pissed off. But going swimming with Jenn, Kai and Thomas after school, with a bit of luck that'll kick-start the brain again.

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Monday, April 26, 2004

Have I mentioned how much I loathe having to deal with utility companies...?

empiredirect emailed back with the number for Candy, which I rang. Number connected me to Sales front office (in Wales) who gave me an 0870 number to ring for their service centre. Sat for 20 minutes listening to the same piece of music over and over again (some pseudo-classical trumpet thing) before I gave up and rang Sales back. Person I spoke to said she'd put me through to customer service... 20 minutes later I gave up listening to the same music and rang Sales back again. Pointing out this was the third call and would she take my number and get someone to ring me back. She apologised and said she'd put me through to the direct number - and promptly transferred me to a bloody FAX line...

The fourth person I spoke to was sympathetic, apologetic, and transferred me directly to service for Briz - so quickly that the phone didn't even have time to ring before it was answered, which threw me completely. (Heh, I should have got her name, she deserves a medal...) The upshot is we have an engineer calling tomorrow morning (before 1, and at least the person I spoke to did warn me that if the engineer couldn't get an answer there'd be a £25 broken appointment charge.)

It would be funny if it wasn't so f%$£*&g infuriating. Why me?

Anyway - I did actually manage to salvage quite a lot of the food, cooked up the mince (spag bol on Wednesday), and the chicken (lunch and supper tomorrow) last night; Ken and I are having steak [sob. I was saving that for the weekend...] for lunch today, and we're all having pork chops for dinner tonight. (I'll make a curry later, that will use up the diced pork.) Everything else should be OK in the fridge 'til Thursday and Friday - except for the ice-cream and the fish, had to dump all that. The fourth person I spoke to did mention something about claiming compensation, but to be honest I don't know if I have the energy. I've wasted over an hour this morning trying to sort this out.

But thanks for the comments, folks. I'm not entirely sure where we stand with the thing: after I'd posted last night we turned the thermostat up to [super] to see if that made any difference, and after half an hour the freezer kicked back in. Turned it down to [3], which is the right setting for our kitchen at this time of year, and it's still working, though the fridge feels a bit too cold to me... There's obviously some sort of fault, but the thing is actually operating. Will see what the engineer says tomorrow.

This is the sort of thing Watchdog loves...

In other news, FL now finished.

And Littlesaru is on holiday in Cambodia, and having a wonderful time!

I'm so glad someone is...

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Sunday, April 25, 2004

I could cry. Went to get some ice-cream out of the freezer half an hour ago - to find that the freezer had packed up. It must have gone sometime last night - everything's defrosted, and I'd only just restocked. £60 worth of food...

Have emailed empiredirect in the first instance: no doubt they'll send us the contact details for the nearest Candy service engineers.

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Saturday, April 24, 2004

OK - have re-organised the Other Anime section of the (other) Zone (the clickable cels aren't great, but will do for now), and uploaded my next AC, Foreboding (will hold the update until I've posted Lutra's Naissance pt 2, which is almost finished). Haven't tackled the Must See Sites yet; soon...

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Friday, April 23, 2004

Friday nights are Kai's TV nights. My Family, then for the last few weeks The Worst Week of My Life, the family favourite Have I Got News For You (beautifully vituperative tonight!), then Jonathon Creek. Ken took Kai to Tesco for some essentials after dinner - poppy-seed baguette, organic milk and butter (OK, so the baguette isn't really essential but we like them) and a big bag of toffee popcorn. Kai's choice. Apparently it's now 'traditional' to eat popcorn with Jonathon Creek!!

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Happy St George's Day!

(Thanks for reminding me, Wendy! When are you going to get a blog? [cheeky grin])

No Radittsu and the big lizard this year, I'm afraid. But it's a beautiful day, warm and sunny, the apple tree is in flower (I love the scent of apple blossom) and my wisteria is completely covered in buds. Must take a photo of it in flower this year.

Next AC almost finished (so is Lutra's, I think): hopefully posting that later today. Then I'm going to take the weekend to re-read FL - umm, after I've finished a monthly book review, which was due in on Wednesday and which I completely forgot about in the excitement of Eostre [hides under the desk]

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Thursday, April 22, 2004

Do I want a Gmail account? Do I really need one? Somehow I don't think so...

Just can't get my brain in gear this week. Pile of things that need to be done and I can't summon the enthusiasm for any of it. I loathe weeks like this - just means I have twice as much to do when I finally manage to kick-start the synapses again. Doesn't help that I really don't want to be here (i.e. on this planet) right now...

Bratling fell over on the way home from school yesterday: arrived back with a puncture wound in the centre of his left palm, not bad but painful. Slathered it with honey (anti-septic, anti-bacterial and promotes the growth of new skin: all I ever use for cuts etc.) and wrapped it: it'll heal in no time.

Oh - cute little thing while we we were in Exeter. Kai announced, after we'd walked around the Cathedral (heh, there's a carving of a woman there, with two left feet - sculptor's error!), that he was all 'wow!'ed out...

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[thoroughly pissed off] I'm so annoyed with myself...

Took time to copy/paste the YnM translations into text docs tonight, re-reading them as I did so. And I must be getting senile in my old age, because it suddenly dawned on me that the whole Gensoukai/Kurosaki arc is, essentially, cyberpunk. A beautifully Oriental version of cyberpunk, admittedly, but I can't believe I didn't make the connection right away.

I shall go out into the garden and eat worms...

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Wednesday, April 21, 2004

[grumble] I have no objections to 'net searching when anyone needs info, of course I don't, but did Ken really need to ask while Casualty was on?

I'm not really complaining. I'd guessed the plot five minutes in - it's becoming too boringly predictable. And actually what I was looking up was more interesting anyway...

Apparently Kai's class were talking about the earth's magnetic poles today, and his teacher came out with the observation that the magnetic poles don't change - which is nonsense, of course, the North magnetic pole moves by a fair number of miles each year, in a sort of wandering circle. (The South magnetic pole doesn't, you'll be fascinated to know....[grin]) Kai knows this, and told the teacher. Who told him he was wrong and then wouldn't let him say anything else in class. [sigh] Well, I can appreciate how irritating it must be to have a class-member/child contradict you, but Kai does so like accuracy (heh, wonder where he gets that from!) He told Ken about this as he was getting into bed, obviously still feeling aggrieved, so Ken had me hunting up the details so Kai can show his teacher tomorrow. This is, of course, only Kai's side of the story, but he tends to be pretty truthful. Heh, perhaps that should read bluntly truthful...

I also managed to find a couple of reliable articles on magnetic pole shift (or 'flip': where the poles reverse themselves) - eventually, after ploughing through pages of absolute rubbish on the subject put out by the hollow earthers, ufologists and atlantis fans... And people think I'm weird. [frowns at Butch] Well, OK, they have a point...

Comfort - the latest OT chapter - now posted!

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Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Routine, the next OT chapter, now posted - and the next one again almost finished too, should be able to post that later.

Also posted is the next part of Lutra's Elga arc, in the DemonRealm. It's good. It's bloody good. This whole story is far too good to restrict just to password holders, subject matter notwithstanding. I'm going to move it to the Vault - with appropriate warnings of course - so anyone can read it. (You might actually get some feedback then, Lutra - though I wouldn't hold my breath...)

On the subject of moving files around, I took a look at the (other) Zone main page and wondered exactly why I still have YYH as a separate section when there are only three stories in it. I mean, they're terrific stories, but... I have eighteen UM stories (and one pending), ten OT chapters (with two pending and another three plotted), three Arslan Senki scenes (and another two planned, if I can ever make the time to watch the rest of the anime - which I found on an old tape after I thought I didn't have it...) It will make more sense to move the YYH fics into an Other Anime - Short Stories section and create an Other Anime - Mini-Epics section. [sigh] Which means creating at least one new clickable table cel... But it would be worth it. And I may as well tackle the Must-See Sites page while I'm at it: it's under-utilised at the moment. I need to add a couple of new sites to it - onna's site among them; so glad you already have banners, onna! Some links to info pages might be useful too.

Heh - fun. I like re-orgs.

Then it's back to Haadri, before Ken starts nagging...

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Monday, April 19, 2004

OK, Seclusion (next AC6) and Lutra's lovely Revolution (AC Side Stories) now posted in the (other) Zone.

What shall I do next?

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Sunday, April 18, 2004

Rosa obligingly climbed up the front of the tank. Her body is now just over 4 centimetres (one and three quarter inches) long and she's nearly 10 centimetres (almost four inches) diagonally toe to toe. Looooong legs (though her abdomen is tiny at the moment, she's skinny after shedding) and her hairs are the loveliest shade of flamingo pink!

Just spent five minutes sticking the humidity and temperature gauges back on the inside of the tank (both of them fell off, one of the hazards of moving them from tank to tank I suppose. Or maybe deliberate so buying new for every tank is necessary...), filling her waterbowl, and generally tidying up the tank. It's full of silk - she seems to be treating the whole thing as her hide rather than the now too-small hollowed log half we bought to start with - and I think we'll have to move her to the next size up tank soon.
Watari from Yami no Matsuei (manga)

(Borrowing the idea from onna) It would have been Watari's 51st birthday today. Looks good for someone who died in 1977, doesn't he? [grin]

I made a start on the kimonos pic while I was away, but couldn't finish it (didn't actually get much time to do anything terribly creative, though ideas for fics were bubbling). I'll try to get it done in the near future. Also have an illustration I'd like to do for Rain, but will have to see how much haddock I can trap...

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Friday, April 16, 2004

Tadaima!

And I need a holiday to recover. It was fun though (apart from the journey back: the coach was late arriving at Exeter, so late arriving in Briz, so we missed the 8.07 Bath bus and it's pissing down and we were cold and tired - with far too much to carry - so trudged into Broadmead to catch a #1...) We managed to do everything we'd hoped, with the trip around Exeter happening this morning, and Kai had a wonderful time, so I'd say it was all a success.

Rosa shed while we were away: Ken sat up with her (midnight 'til 4am) to check everything went OK and she's fine. And a lot bigger. Will try to measure her later.

Glad you liked the books, Carol! Thank you very much for the info, onna, and for taking the time to check the manga for me. Lutra - [wince] sorry about the Angel confusion. I was going to call Maria 'Angel' until I realised that would cause too much confusion - by which time the name was firmly entrenched in my head... when someone refers to Angel I sometimes think of Maria first, which is what happened here.

My sleep cycles are now arse-backwards again (woke up without prompting at 7 this morning) and I have the next two OT chapters - mostly - plotted. Remains to be seen whether I can actually get anything done tonight. I'm tired.

Lovely chatting last night, Wendy! Hopefully see you again soon.

Oh, and I managed to buy a pair of peridot studs (for the tops of my ears) and a pair of jade studs (to replace the green sapphire (that turned blue) and tourmaline (ditto. No idea why) in my right ear). Looks good!

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Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Happy Birthday Carol!!

Um, there is a parcel on its way to you... at least, there will be tomorrow... I kind of sort of forgot the post would be up the creek over the Eostre weekend... [hides under the desk]
Hope you have a brilliant one!

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Monday, April 12, 2004

[sigh] ... aaaand ICQ stops working again...

Just about ready to go: have to be up at 7 tomorrow am to make sure we get into the bus station for the 9.20 coach. [groan] I am not a morning person - well, not unless I've stayed up all night, anyway. (I'm going to get a T-shirt made, with 'I don't do daylight' and a bat on it. Or maybe a hedgehog. Or an owl.) Too edgy to finish Seclusion, but the two new pieces should be enough for this week (YnM Sacrifice and Lutra's AC chapter Naissance).

While I'm away I'll see if I can make a start on a little Dystopia chapter I planned a while back but haven't done anything about yet. Zone/Darkside members will probably remember Maria, the pet mermaid: Sylverthorne has drawn the most gorgeous picture of her, which will illustrate the chapter once it's written. [GLOMPS 'Thorne] - thanks for the unwitting kick to get me to write it! (Heh, reminds me I haven't written the followup to the Gremlins lemon. Need to get that organised too. Too many stories, too few haddock...)

peaking of bats, there's one flitting about the garden at the moment. We're pretty certain it lives down the road in Arno's Cemetary: it likes our garden, lots of insects!

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[growl] OK - so getting rid of downloader.vb/pup.exe has also wiped out my windows media player... However, I do have ICQ back again and winamp and musicmatch jukebox both seem to be working OK. I can play small mpegs in Irfanview for the meantime (I try to have backups of everything as far as possible). And I should be able to download an upgraded version of WMP anyway (mine was the one that came with the computer and there's been at least one newer version released since then). Heh, does that sound suspiciously like 'famous last words'? Will worry about it after I get back from Exeter.

I'm a couple of pages into Seclusion, the next AC, but took time off to watch YnM (to prevent withdrawal symptoms while I'm away). Ken watched the Nagasaki arc with me (the church where Tsuzuki meets Muraki is the Oura Catholic Church, by the way...) and quite enjoyed it, enough to want to watch the rest, anyway. This is a good thing.

Will have to finish Seclusion next weekend. Unless I manage to make some time tomorrow. We'll see.

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Sunday, April 11, 2004

(This should have been posted at 4.30am but blogger was playing silly buggers and wouldn't let me...)

[pacing frustratedly] I want to know and I want to know now...

Touda looking up at Tsuzuki after being freed... 'K... Touda was imprisoned in the depths (dungeon) of Tenkuu. Tenkuu, despite being a building (a palace, apparently) is one of Tsuzuki's shikigami. [shrugs helplessly] Please don't ask me how a building can be a shikigami, I haven't worked that out yet. Gods know how Tsuzuki could summon it (or why, come to that). Though there's something vaguely... perverse about a building being a sentient creature. At the very least there'd be no privacy. Beings going in and out all the time. Privy to so many secrets... Where was I? Oh yes...

Touda was imprisoned by the other shikigami because he's too dangerous (canon, I believe). Well, he can kill shinigami - not an easy thing to do. He freely admits he's... um, he doesn't actually say evil, I gather, just 'not good'. I get the impression (extrapolated) he has difficulty controlling his powers. He does exactly what Tsuzuki asks him to - no more, no less - regardless of the consequences (which brings him into conflict with Suzaku - canon). His power called to Tsuzuki's power (probably canon but extrapolated from the translations) - and we know how much Tsuzuki hates anyone suffering...

Tsuzuki bargained with the other shikigami and the Golden Emperor (fanon mixed with canon) for Touda's release: it was then that the visor (a control device - canon) and the short hair (canon: remember I said a shikigami's power seemed to be bound up with the length of its hair? Hn. Now, Watari's the shinigami with long hair, does the same apply? After all, his ability to animate the inanimate is actually bloody powerful if you take it to its logical conclusion...) were stipulated as part of the terms for his release. Not freedom (extrapolated): just release into Tsuzuki's custody.

[whimper] I need the manga and the ability to read Japanese...

I like Touda. I really like Touda. He's a beautiful and tragic character.

The two versions of Touda

Scans shamelessly stolen from Freed Soul - A Touda Shrine. Was on Geocities, now closed down.


[external pov] This little ramble through the current incarnation's psyche was brought to you by the goddess Eostre, the ningen's 'I'm on holiday I'm allowed a break (would brush guilt under the carpet except it's glued down)' need-to-know, and 003. Don't ask me what it's doing here, I'm not even sure what planet I'm on....

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Saturday, April 10, 2004

[snarl] I do not need this. My daily virus scan showed I'd picked up the downloader.vb trojan, at just after 3 pm today. At that time I was taking a random peek at other blogs, and had clicked on one (dammit, can't now remember which one) which popped up two windows with virus alerts. Got out of them as fast as I could, of course, but looks like the damage was done. Grisoft isolated and deleted it, and I can't find any of the erroneous files in my registry (checked as far as I can because from what I've read downloader.vb and pup.exe are persistent and nasty things) but from what I've been able to see I'm clear. Now running another complete scan to check. [growl] This is wasting my time...

Decided to take Kai round Exeter while I'm there. My hometown is quite an ancient place: there was a fairly important settlement there even before the Romans arrived (circa 55CE), and Kai's never been exloring. (Gives me a chance to check out two of my favourite second-hand bookshops too!)

.... OK, the short hair and visor were conditions for Touda's release from prison - but why was he there in the first place? Need to hunt further...

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[sigh] The latest round of viruses seem to be clogging up the 'net again - my BY email checking has been consistently failing for the last hour due to 'too many concurrent connections', and is now asking me for passwords every time it checks the mail. (19 passwords... sometimes my memory amazes me...) I still think being locked in sealed room with a flask of ebola is too good for these pig-ignorant little bastards...

'SARU!! hugs. Sorry, only just found your comment (HaloScan comment for Friday April 2nd). Glad you're OK, and at least have some 'inet access. Thanks for the info too. Heh, I'm positively jealous! [big grin] Hope all's going well.

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... ICQ2go still working... this is good... for both my sanity and blood pressure...

Musekick also still working, which is even better.

Kai dragged Ken off on another 'adventure' today, up to Dundry (they got the bus there then walked back... mad fools...). He's so excited about the last couple of days' trips he's still awake up there, chattering to his dad!

Amusing incident earlier. In the middle of watching The Three Musketeers (the most recent, Oliver Platt/Keifer Sutherland et al version - fun to have on in the background) BBC3's 60 second news came on, with a news item about HIV and how to avoid getting it... Cue Kai turning to us and asking, "What's a condom?" Cue me collapsing in hysterics as Ken's face gets redder and redder... (I think Kai was fairly satisfied with the answer he got.)

BlueYonder are now putting anti-spam filters in place on all their customers' accounts. I'm very pleased: the amount of crap we used to get on our eight BY email accounts is no odds to no-one. Now if Supanames would just do the same for their ValueHost customers we'd be all set and I wouldn't have to spend minutes every day dealing with the rubbish.

Shaman King... Hn. Beyblades with ancestrel spirits instead of bit beasts, and with the same spiky look (which I always associate with a Korean hand in the animation) as Beyblade.

It's OK I suppose - and Amidamaru is a cutie - but I've given up taping it, just hasn't 'grabbed' me. Now keeping fingers crossed we get Orfen. Or Weiß Kreuz - heard altogether far too much about that and now want to see it...

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Friday, April 09, 2004

Well, that worked. Today, at any rate. Tomorrow it might not work, or at least, not in any way I can use. Heisenberg's uncertainty principle as applied to what passes for real life...

But ICQ2go didn't crash, which is the important thing for now, for me. And my musekick is still blasting into my ears most beautifully - a mix of Yami no Matsuei and Gravitation. I like contrasts.

Really quite pleased with Rain, the little piece I wrote tonight, for Lutra. I sometimes wonder if I perform better under a self-imposed deadline. It's certainly worked the last two times I've tried it!

However, as Lutra says, I'm not posting this one until I've finished the Oriyal Tales, for reasons that will become obvious when you read it. Whenever that is. [frowns] I think I'd better stop here while I'm still making a modicum of sense...

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Thursday, April 08, 2004

It's been peaceful today. Kai wanted to go out 'exploring', so Ken bussed them both out to Saltford and they walked the two miles (each way) to the Wansdyke at Stantonbury. A long day: they didn't arrive back until quarter to eight, a little late for Kai to have dinner but once in a while it doesn't matter. Bratling was knackered, bless 'im! But very happy, thoroughly enjoyed himself.

It occurred to me that my security settings might be causing the problems with ICQ2go, so I reduced the java permissions from high to medium and so far (well, for half an hour anyway) I've managed to stay connected. Hopefully I'll still be connected when Lutra gets online... What I don't understand is why it's worked perfectly fine (heh, well, as much as ICQ2go ever works, anyway) for two days before playing silly buggers. Butch must be having a field day.

Lutra's next AC chapter - Naissance pt 1 - is finished and waiting for me to code/upload: wondering if I can get my next done this weekend too. That'd be two chapters before I go down to Exeter, which would be good... Heh, see how I go.

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OK...

Before opening machine (or winding up goddess to play with Butch - thanks for the reminder, Carol!) I thought I'd do something completely out of character and check the instructions... (i.e. take a look at the troubleshooting guide).

Lo and behold, something [glares at Bamzooki] had buggered up my volume control settings: corrected them and I now have sound again. No, I don't know how it happened: the control window is three levels down in [Programme] [Accessories] - Ken doesn't dare touch any of my settings, Kai wouldn't know how to and it's been so long since I've done it I had to follow the instructions step-by-step...

Thanks for the good wishes, though, folks - sure it helped! (It wasn't just winamp and WMP, of course, though that was bad enough. Just think, no Ai no Kusabi or Gravitation sound. No RealPlayer anime clips. No Japanese pronunciation sound files! Nightmare...)

Then I uninstalled Smith (well, Kai's lost interest, and tech support still haven't got back to me, and the less useless software I have on my computer the better. It always did resize my windows. I retract my recommendation of Virtual Creatures as a nifty piece of software - don't bother with it.) And suddenly everything internet-related stopped working - even Eudora crashed, and since I upgraded it's much more stable than it has been...

Panic stations. Though at least this time I created a restore point and took Grisoft off automatic update. But the fact I couldn't access the BlueYonder status page made me think it was perhaps their problem, not mine (for once). And in the last few minutes I've been able to load the status page and they are having regional access issues. But things seem to be more or less back to normal

now, so it appears to have been a co-incidence. Fingers crossed nothing else goes wrong...

[growl] Still can't get ICQ2go to load , though. Sorry Lutra....

YAY!!! See Here! A small triumph, but a significant one...

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... I want to go home...

Or at least I want this week to end.

I now have no sound on this machine. Nothing. No winamp, no WMP, not even any incoming email notification. I know it's not the speakers - the feed from the TV (through the lounge stereo) is fine - and I've checked all the cabling. I assume it's the sound card packed up. Not that I know anything about sound cards (except that Maplins sell them reasonably cheaply) but I don't know what else it could be. I'll check the guts of the machine tomorrow in the no-doubt vain hope it's just a loose connection (heh, nothing's that easy in this house...). Thank gods I have Nappa. I can't work without musekick.

Just posted the latest OT - Sacrifice. The Gojozaka area of Kyoto is apparently renowned for the number of potters living and working there. And it occurred to me that I've automatically assumed, with nothing to back it up, that KoKakuRou is the name of the restaurant. Naughty. I'm not normally that lax. But right now I'm too bloody fed up to do anything about it.

So, it's OK to kill people at prayer as a retaliatory measure, because you're trying to restore a 'decent' standard of life to 25 million other people. Does this strike anyone else as a somewhat dangerous way to think? What standard are we talking about here, anyway? Whose standard? One appropriate to the times and conditions in the country in question? And how many people is it acceptable to kill to achieve that aim? 5%? 10%? More? Ah, but of course, these don't count as real people with lives and loves and children, do they? You're trying to change your Constitution; why not do the same to the Ten Commandments? 'Though shalt not kill thy fellow religious fanatics: everyone else is fair game...'

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Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Back from town, wet, cold, and thoroughly pissed off. Managed to tear a nail half-way down the nail bed (never bloody fails: I just get them looking decent and one breaks...) - which hurts if nothing else. [snarl] And I swear I will throttle Ken if he ever again downloads anything to my computer without asking me first so I can set up a restore point in case anything goes wrong. Since he d/ld Bamzooki, the Virtual Creature software has crashed and is asking me to pay again (and getting an answer out of their tech support is about as easy as knitting with giraffes), I've lost the ability to send files over ICQ, and now I can't even get ICQ to load. And that's just the conflicts I've found so far. And Kai wants to download the Bamzooki update? I don't think so...

Still, shopping was fairly successful, so something went right today.

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Monday, April 05, 2004

Order (next OT) posted. I'm quite pleased with this one - I think it works well.

Also posted Lutra's Elga pt 5 in the DarkRealm. whoa! This one took me by surprise!

It's great (and no, that isn't what surprised me!!)

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Sunday, April 04, 2004

Illusions posted. Decided to save the angsty introspection for another chapter.

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Saturday, April 03, 2004

Hn.

Illusions - the next in the OT - is finished. Except that it isn't. Yes, the basic text is OK, but I don't think it goes deep enough. Yet I don't want to labour the points I'm - not making, exactly, implying perhaps. The subject matter of YnM is, after all, pretty grim to most people, the story told with a veneer of lightness and a little comedy that makes it more comfortable, but there's much that's unexplained, leaving it to the viewers to deduce things for themselves. (That's how it appears to me, at any rate, and of course I'm talking about the anime here, not the manga.) I find my style echoing that, to some extent...

Perhaps I ought to take another look at it, see where I can improve it.

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Friday, April 02, 2004

Spelling certificate

Kai brought this home with him tonight - a certificate for getting top marks in his spelling (he has a test nearly every Friday: he practises spelling aloud at home with us) three weeks in a row! Dead chuffed. Now if we can only find a way for him to translate that into what he writes on paper... [grin]

The first Jonathon Creek ep was on cable tonight; we let Kai stay up to watch it. He loves the programme (heh, I can see him getting into Agatha Christie in a few years time!) Have to admit it was fun to catch it again.

Researched Kyoto while it was on - not in any great depth, but enough to know I want to go there! Amazing place. And Mts Hiei and Kurama are in the area too.

The Hisoka track (I have it listed as Norowareta Tsukiyo no Kioku: no idea what that means, I'm afraid...) on the YnM soundtrack very nearly reduces me to tears...

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OK, that's Contemplation posted... I'll mention it in the normal update but for anyone who wants to read it now, it's in the usual place in the (other) Zone.

I'm enjoying writing these, not least because of the research I have to do to make sure I get my facts right.

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Thursday, April 01, 2004

Spring has definitely bounced in, all fragrant and sunny and sweet-natured. Our greengage is covered with flowers and early bees, my spiraea is living up to its nick of 'snow in summer', and the bay and apple trees are full of buds - as is my acer, to my joy. The bluebells will be flowering in a few days (the snowflakes and cowslips are already), then the bulbs in the front garden, then the lilac... I love this time of year. (Actually I love all times of year, but there's no harm in saying it every now and then!)

Had a DigiGuide alert a few minutes ago - Fox Kids is finally screening Shaman King, starting this Saturday. Only problem is it'll be showing during the week at 3pm, which is when I collect Kai. Still, Jenn and I are having a go at taking it in turns to collect the sprogs at the moment, so I'd only have to ask Ken to tape it every other day, after Eostre. Assuming I like it, that is!

Speaking of the sprogs, we're also debating letting them walk half the way to school together without us after the holiday. They've both been asking if they can go by themselves the last few weeks, and while we won't let them cross the Bath Rd by themselves (that road is a nightmare for adults, let alone children: rush hour drivers frequently ignore the crossing lights), we think they could manage Bloomfield Rd OK. Well, they can if Kai can convince me he's road-savvy enough to watch out for both of them (Thomas is partially-sighted)... We'll see.

The next part of the Oriyal Tales is nearly finished [ducks - sorry Sue, I know I'm supposed to be re-reading FL, but I needed a complete break. I should have taken one right after finishing the revision: I'll know better next time...] and I have a hankering to draw a scene from it. Going to take my drawing stuff down to Exeter with me week after next and see if I can draw in the evening/night.

Back to it. It's kind of nice not having to pick Kai up every day, makes the working afternoon feel twice as long. (My turn tomorrow!)

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