Zone Doubt, a.k.a. 'Surreal Я Us'...
Joules, trusted by... dozens... to make a drama out of your crisis...
:: JAT :: WaveWrights :: Publications ::
I live to write. It's not wise to get in my
... 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.
Adventures in Orchids
Apparently I am now collecting them...
EO - Everlasting orchid. Phalaenopsis. I've had this orchid for at least 15 years and it just keeps flowering...
AO - Alien face orchid. Phalaenopsis . Bought 2018 - lovely little flowers, all different patterns!
RO - Rescued orchid
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).
Monday, May 31, 2004
But it's been a fairly successful day. Coded/uploaded Lutra's latest AC, Naissance pt 3, checked Jenn's cats, spoke for an hour with Jenni then made a start on her site (only the functionality side at the moment, though the ideas are bubbling for the design). I think I need to take a break tonight.
[sigh] For the last couple of nights my computer has been squeaking very annoyingly, sounding just like a cricket. I've ignored it, assuming it was the fan playing up again, which is still does occasionally: since I wear headphones so I can play musekick as loud as I like without disturbing anyone this wasn't too difficult. Tonight, however, it was really loud, so I sat and listened... and realised it wasn't the computer... it was in fact the cricket in Rosa's tank... [shakes head despairingly]
Need to make some plans for the week. Tuesday's sorted - dentist for Kai and I (checkups) then I'm taking him to the Showcase to see a film (Van Helsing probably. We'd rather see The Day After Tomorrow or HP, PoA but they've only just come out and the screens will be packed - we'll try during his summer holidays). One of the days I want to take him to Leigh Woods. And there's a possibility we might be able to arrange something with Kim and Sarah too. Then there's his website... I still have a few things to do on the WW site as well - including updating our biogs. Be nice to have links to the sites I've designed.
Busy week. Again.
Saturday, May 29, 2004
[blink] Where did today go? Come to that, where did this last week go? (Time is an illusion. And my haddock are revolting!)
OK... I'm a page and a bit into my next AC; I've completed the first and second floorplans for the FL castle (quick rave about how wonderful CorelXara is and how [GLOMP]ful I am to Carol for providing the software!); and Jenni is happy with my suggestions for her site, and is ringing on Sunday afternoon to discuss. She's also mentioned that her publicist is looking for a manager for her own site - MusicInterAlia - and would I be interested? Well, that depends how much time it would take. It wouldn't take long to make the site DDA-compliant, but I don't know how often it would need updating. I'll think more about that next week.
Kai's now on half-term, and I'm determined to have his site up and running by the time he goes back to school. I'm perfectly happy to code it for him, as long as he sits with me and tells me what he'd like. I think he should have a section for his spiders (including his fabulous and perfectly accurate sketches) and maybe another for his designs, including his jewellery. (No, he hasn't forgotten, Sue, just hasn't had time to really think about it.) Have I mentioned Kai makes jewellery out of computer components? Probably not... I have a lovely pendant made from the laser part of a CD player - I should scan and post it on the site.
Jenn and family are on holiday this week - Budapest - and I'm keeping an eye on the house/feeding the cats while they're away. I haven't really met the cats - only seen Blossom very briefly after she'd been bathed and did not want to speak to anyone, let alone a stranger. She's a pretty cat, white (and fluffy when dry) with very big, very blue eyes. The other cat, Sally, I've yet to meet. Raptor gets very affectionate and protective when I smell of other cats - I can see my shoulder's going to be raw again...
I also forgot to mention I'm now a domain: Ken wanted me to buy joulestaylor.com, so I did a few weeks back. At the moment I have it pointing to the WordWrights site, but if I ever feel so inclined I can easily design another site to promote... oh, I don't know, my web design talents? Non-fiction? Reviews? The WW site is getting very big again, over 70 megs last time I checked. Shunting the non-fic over to another site might be a good idea.
Well, we'll see. Can't afford it right at the moment, but that may change in the near future.
Right. Eyes are beginning to sting and the hands are a little sore; time to stop typing, methinks. I'll make a start on the castle's third floor for half an hour or so before I close down...
Thursday, May 27, 2004
[In response to Carol's rant at The Mouse Hole - I originally posted it there then decided it was too long...] Heh, I'm getting them (fraudulent emails purporting to come from a bank/building society/credit cared co.) at the rate of 10 or so a day at the moment. I did originally try complaining - at any rate, I looked up the real bank/credit card/building society website and tried using their feedback button to bring it to their attention. I did get a sort of reply from my own bank - supposedly - but no-one else bothered to respond. I've had a quick look around the bank sites today and they do, finally, seem to be taking the fraud more seriously (unlike the last time I checked, when one of the Big Four's advice was, basically, if you let yourself be hoodwinked by the fraudsters then tough, it's your own problem). Would it really cost the banks that much to mail all their customers advising them to ignore the emails?
Me, I'd like to see these scum flayed, staked out on the beach and left to the crabs...
Oh, but here's a new one just come in! We are glad to confirm that your mor tgage application has been accepted. We specialize in less-than-perfect cr edit, and you will soon be making enormous monthly sav ings.
Could you please take 1 minute to fill out your final details in this short form.
We look forward to hearing from you.
We are glad to confirm that your mor tgage application has been accepted. We specialize in less-than-perfect cr edit, and you will soon be making enormous monthly sav ings.
Could you please take 1 minute to fill out your final details in this short form.
We look forward to hearing from you.
And this came in on the Haadri main email! (with, of course, the standard 'return messages would bounce' message...) [snarl] Oh sure I'm going to reply to an email that suggests my credit is less than perfect, especially when I know full well that it is! Shall I report it? Do I have the time? Would it do any good?
Actually, according to ZNet, Comcast (a firm favourite with the spammers - I must have forwarded something like 40 porn spams to them in two weeks when I first started complaining) are finally doing something about their problem. Now isn't it about time all the other ISPs did the same?
[blinks] 'Any similarity between your reality and mine is purely coincidental.'
I was going to roast some chicken legs for dinner this evening - only, as I've just found out, I forgot to take them out of the freezer... I really thought I had, too. Ah well, at least I had a pizza in there. We'll do junk food today and real food tomorrow, for a change.
[bemused] Tracy has immured herself in her hide. She's piled up substrate to completely cover the entrance, and we're wondering if we should shift it - she's been in there nearly 24 hours now. (I know she's OK; the other end is against the tank wall, so we can see in, and air can get in.) Only we could have a hermit spid... Rosa's abdomen is looking pale again, and she's off her food, so I anticipate another shed soon.
[snerk - to quote Thorne] There's a film on Hallmark tonight - Dead in a Heartbeat. I shouldn't laugh, really I shouldn't, but the blurb had me in hysterics.
Oh, the images. Positively Python!
First drafts of P08 and 9 now done: P10 in progress...
I seem to have a had a busy day, somehow. Possibly because it has been a little hectic, in a quiet way. We finished the sample for a possible - emphasis on the possible, more info if it becomes fact - non-fic book commission, and I took a look at Jenni Roditi's website (yes, she's happy to hire me to overhaul it for her. And having looked at the coding it's more like major surgery than an overhaul... It'll be interesting. I've set myself a challenge as to how quickly I can get it done). There's been some BRISTAL and IAVMT site maintenance, a Purgatory update, dog-bathing and even a little RL housekeeping! Then I made the mistake of watching Bodies, the new docudrama on BBC3...
Back to Haadri now. Much more fun.
Tuesday, May 25, 2004
Hn... very very tired last night, went to bed about 10pm... slept 'til 1.45am - then woke up and couldn't doze off until the alarm went off at 7.30... heh, I should have just come down and got something done. Or watched my copy of 2002. Or some anime. [sigh] And it was too noisy for a nap this afternoon. Eh well...
Took another call from the BBC earlier. They've arranged to hold the 'screen test', for Kai and his teammates Bill and Emily, at the school (rather than here - I think maybe because Bill is on holiday all next week, it's half term) on the 9th June (many thanks to the school!). If this goes well, they'll be through the finals and onto the programme!
Ooop, haven't sent the update yet...
Sunday, May 23, 2004
Normally I wouldn't post them, but thought these (well, the first two at any rate) were rather apt....
Saturday, May 22, 2004
[dazed blink] Well, when I finally surfaced I checked mail, online funnies and blogs, as usual on booting up, and in a moment of idle interest clicked the link to Dominic Deegan, Oracle for Hire on Thorne's blog...
Two and half hours later I'd read the whole thing from the beginning, alternately chortling aloud and cringing at the dreadful jokes and puns. It's now on my list to check every day, and I heartily recommend it (though perhaps not for children of a sensitive nature, it's a tiny bit gory in places, nothing too bad in my opinion). Thoroughly chuckle-worthy!
An idea-bat for Sylverthorne
Ken took Kai adventuring to Bath - he's just rung to say they're on their way home - which gave me time to revise Rain (that's the YnM ficlet I wrote for Lutra) and code/upload it to the (other) Zone. Heh, only two more chapters and the Oriyal Tales is finished (although I have ideas for a couple of additional stories: a child-Tatsumi ficlet - if he died a hundred years ago, how does he know how to fly a helicopter? - and a first person Touda soliloquy. Will see how I go...)
So that's two of the three things I wanted to complete this weekend done, and it's only Saturday. Will have a bash at the UM chapter later tonight, maybe...
Hn... Well, that was quick and painless (I speak metaphorically of course, my hands are going to be playing merry hell tomorrow...)
Restless (the next AC chapter) written, coded and uploaded in four and half hours. Now that's good, even for me. If I could keep that up, I'd have the whole of the Alliance Chronicles - and all the other soon-to-be-finished projects - done in no time flat. Unfortunately there's no way I can continue at that pace; even if the hands would cope, what laughingly passes for RL, plus all the other looming... eh, pardon, pending work, is going to interrupt...
I ought to think about getting some sleep. Four hours in the last thirty is a bit on the slim side, perhaps. Never mind - I can sleep in tomorrow!
GLOMPS] everyone for Kai. He's really quite excited, and has chosen his team (yes, he's the team leader and zook creator, the others are there for support and to share in the glory if he wins, I think....) I have some telephoning to do tomorrow...
Friday, May 21, 2004
[big grin] Just took a call from Sunny at the BBC - Kai's through to the next bamzooki stage! Now he has to choose a team (1-3 friends: we have to check with the parents that they approve) and the Beeb will come to us to speak to the sprogs, see how they behave in front of the camera, etc... All jolly good fun.
Re: previous post - many thanks, everyone, for your good wishes for Kai!
Thursday, May 20, 2004
Kai's been complaining of stomach pains over the last few days - an intermittent sort of pain that sometimes (like last night) makes him feel sick. So he stayed home from school today, and Ken took him to the doctor, who gave him a thorough check up and couldn't find anything wrong (though we won't have the results of the sample for a while.) So, since this happens when he is at home (strange but true, he's fine at school) I wondered if there's something here that's worrying him - given that my stomach plays up when I'm really worried I wouldn't be at all surprised if he's the same.
Well, after talking, and taking into account the recent bad dreams and mood swings, I think it's actually his age. Hormones, in other words, poor bratling. He told me he gets upset when I'm not here. So we had a chat about growing up, and the way he might feel and the changes he's going to go through ('Am I going to get my grown-up voice?' he asks, all pretend-growly) and that there's nothing wrong with any of it, and that we're always here to talk to if he wants to know anything, or to moan, or have a hug.
Not a lot else we can do except muddle through it...
Wednesday, May 19, 2004
Heh... I was supposed to be a) finishing my review of Choice of the Cat for Crowsnest, b) beta-ing D10 for Lutra, c) joining-the-dots in the second Haadri joint chapter. Instead I've spent several hours trying to find the names of the angels of the 365 heavens of the gnostic Basilides (a.k.a. Abraxas. Long story, best not to ask at this stage.) I've reluctantly come to the conclusion that said names - and in fact most information on the subject - is either amongst his lost writings or simply not available online. Most likely the former, unfortunately. Ah well.
Quyn's stitches are now all out. The area's still a little swollen, but as long as it doesn't get any bigger, and goes down in the next 2-4 weeks, they don't want to see him again. 'ooray!
Computer is still a little noisy, but I wound up the Computer Goddess last night [grins at Carol] and she's sitting on the upended stack - presumably having fun with Butch, since the fan that seems to be making all the noise is considerably quieter now...
Tired. Need a nap. Mane still damp from shower...
I finally watched X last night. Enjoyed it greatly! Lutra's actually described it perfectly -
Heh, me too, all too often...
For anyone who's interested, you can find character bios here. I was sure that was grown-up Sumeragi Subaru fighting with Sakurazuka Seishirou - Tokyo Babylon (the anime) was my first introduction to CLAMP many moons ago - and was pleased to find out I was right. Asagi Shougo is intriguing, as is Nataku: I think you'll have to bring the series with you when you visit, Lutra - I'd love to see the whole thing...
We've managed to catch sight of comet NEAT over the last two nights, though it's not the most impressive celestial object I've ever seen, a faint fuzzy blob even through binoculars (though it would probably be more impressive out in the countryside, Briz' orange light wrecks astronomical observations). Be interesting to see if we get the chance to catch the transit of Venus on the 8th of June.
But what's really put me off is that they support NAFTA - the North American Free Trade Agreement. I don't want to be part of Europe - but I sure as hell don't want to be part of America! I'm not going to rant about the current situation - plenty of others are doing that - though I am following the news on the Topical blogs (left hand info pane) and the veritable flood of information at wotisitgood4 and Intel Dump, and much of what I'm reading is downright terrifying. Mind you, Ken and I knew, before he was even elected, what sort of president Bush would be: shares in armaments firms shot skywards when it looked as though his tantrums were going to result in his election.
The quiet tragedy in all this is it's the normal, sensible American citizen who's going to suffer in the end. It's going to take years, if not decades, for America to regain any respect or friendship in the world, after Bush. The most memorable image of the whole Iraq débâcle for me isn't the pictures of Abu Ghraib, appalling as they are. It's of Rumsfeld on the BBC news, smug, arrogant, self-satisfied smirk on his face, standing in front of applauding US soldiers in Iraq, telling them no matter how it seems right now, one day they'd look back on these days with pride.
Tuesday, May 18, 2004
Appointment went OK. [bemused frown] We've been told it might be useful to Kai if we have 'tiffs' every now and then, so he can get some idea of what sort of things are and aren't important, making up, and teasing (apparently these are things that he finds difficult in the playground...) 'Tiffs'? We don't have tiffs. Never have. I've occasionally got so exasperated (usually when I'm tired and/or Ken has done something particularly stupid - like downloading software to my computer without asking first) I've shouted, but that doesn't last long. We've never fought - never had any cause to. And we'd much rather sit down and discuss matters than argue about them. [scratches head] I can see what the doctor's getting at, but how to tackle it I'm not at all sure...
Computer's playing up again (yes, it's still on its side; with the old fridge packing up we haven't been able to afford to get it fixed...) - horrible grinding noises last night. After we got back today we opened the stack, cleaned inside (it was very dusty and there were a couple of hairs caught in the fans, which obviously wasn't helping) and tried to fix the heat sink again. It didn't work - system closed itself down after fifteen minutes upright - but at least the worst of the noise has stopped now, more a whirring than a grinding. Fingers crossed it lasts just a little while longer... (that's the computer, not the noise.)
Tracy has excavated a large burrow underneath her hide, with a tunnel to the outside (it's up against the wall of the tank, so we can see it clearly). It's quite extraordinary to watch her working, she's shifted an awful lot of substrate out. We're just concerned that the side of the hide is now unsupported except by the substrate inside it: it looks precarious to us. But she seems perfectly happy. Only thing is, red knees are supposed to be opportunistic burrowers (using anything that's handy as a burrow), not obligate burrowers (insist on digging their own). I guess that makes two strange spiders in the house...
Monday, May 17, 2004
It's not often I'm glad a weekend's over, but I am today. That was surprisingly stressful, all told.
Still... both spiders are now settled. Rosa's started making silk, and is still pouncing on crickets (so she's not ready to shed yet), while Tracy ([shakes head] a tarantula called Tracy is about as daft as a wrestler called Kevin...) has made herself thoroughly at home, deepening her burrow by shifting substrate out of her hide with her pedipalps and piling it up outside, then shoving it around until she's satisfied. Fascinating to watch. She's so small, not much bigger than a 50p piece, but so... purposeful.
Quyn's wound is still looking a little red and fragile - I think he managed to scratch it - but hasn't reopened. Vet on Wednesday, will find out more then.
Kai's had to have a day off school tomorrow: it's the family appointment with the doctor at the Children's Centre.
And my hands are still hurting - not as badly, but it seems to be taking ages to ease off this time. Mind you, Quyn pulled so hard to get out of the vet's (the actual examination room: Ken had the lead to get him the place and back) I ended up with rope burns on my wrist, which didn't help. He's a heavy dog.
Our white lilac is in flower - the most beautiful sweet scent is wafting into the house (in this heat all the windows are open). Such a pity it only lasts a few days...
Saturday, May 15, 2004
Not quite nul points then...
It's become so silly over the last few years, with political and strategic voting, the songs don't matter any more. Though that being said, I did say to Ken, after goggling at the Ukraine's entry, that they deserved to win for the giggle-worthiness of it all. As Terry Wogan wouldn't stop saying, "Whips... leather... boots... Xena and the Goths..." Great fun!
And no, we didn't actually watch it, it was the best thing on before CSI Miami, then we turned back to catch the voting: you can usually get an insight into who's supporting (or alternatively afraid of insulting) whom by who everyone votes for...
[happy grin] I've pushed the BCP site to Triple-A WCAG compliance - dead chuffed with myself. Learned all of the things to look for and the css codes to use too, so while it took a couple of hours it was well worth it. Now I have to do the same for BRISTAL. And WordWrights. And Early Heaven. And Haadri. And ChoiceCards, VoiceMatters and BCHS. I'd like to get the IAVMT site to at least Double A rating (it's single A at the moment, so it will be legal come October). And I have to put the style sheets and coding in place for Kai's site - if I can ever persuade him to sit down and make a start on it. Still, at least I have a few months to get it all done...
This has ended up being a very expensive weekend, what with the new tank, heatmat, gauges, substrate etc. Expensive on the nerves too: Rosa was upside down this morning, and thinking she was getting ready to shed, Kai didn't feed her. When I surfaced, however, she was climbing the walls and obviously still lively, so we prepared the new tank and then tried to move her.
Heh, ever tried trying to persuade a stubborn, hungry tarantula to move? First she bit at the cricket-feeding tweezers I was using to try to nudge her to a more convenient place in the old tank (it's quite an audible 'click' when her fangs strike, and given the reaction I have to insect bites I've decided I really don't want to risk having her bite me...), then she squashed herself into the corner and would not move... We ended up with me easing her into the old cricket tub while we turned the old tank on its side in the new one, then nudging her out. So of course the first thing she does is climb the wall, necessitating a hurried fluffle to get the new tank's lid in place. She's in, and safe, but still at the top of the tank, very ruffled and sulking. I don't know about her, but we're still traumatised! We're going to get some advice on the best way to move her without causing so much stress - to her and us - and without actually having to handle her. (I have to confess that it's making me think twice about a Brazilian white-knee - they're more skittish than the Chilean rose.)
In contrast, Tracy is unbelievably placid. Didn't even react when I nudged her gently from the plastic cylinder the tub used as a hide into her new tank, just ambled off and went exploring. She's eaten two little crickets today, too - healthy appetite, that one.
Lutra and I have made a start on the follow up to the first joint Haadri fic: will probably work on that tonight.
Eurovision Song Contest... what d'you bet we get nul points again?
Friday, May 14, 2004
The new tarantula is called Tracy...
[head in hands] Only in the Taylor home... Send 'em out for a tub of crickets and they come back with a brachypelma smithi...
That's a Mexican red knee tarantula. Actually the sort Kai wanted to start with but they were too expensive at the time. This one was amazingly cheap (I assume there's a glut of them at the moment) at £12, and it's a pretty little spiderling, its knees a lovely pinkish red already. So we now have substrate drying in the oven, and the spiderling is sitting on top of Rosa's tank in the warm until we can get a small tank ready for it. It doesn't have a name yet...
Quyn still has three stitches in, and I have to take him back next Wednesday, but he doesn't have to wear the collar all the time any more, which is a relief to us all (you should see the bruised shins!). He has another, stronger sort of anti-biotics for the next few days. I shall be very glad when this is over!
Thanks for all the congrats for Kai!
Well that was fun!
We had a call from the BBC while I was making the spag bol. Actually I should rephrase that - Kai got a call from the BBC. It seems his zook - an admittedly pretty beast based on Rosa, beautifully articulated, fast and strong - has passed the first stage of selection to appear on Bamzooki and they rang for a telephone 'interview' to see how he handled speaking to a stranger. (I thought he did very well, myself, though obviously I could only properly hear one side of the conversation.) Anyway, they were pleased with the results, and if he's passed this stage we'll hear by the 26th. I'm not sure how many selection stages there are, but if he passes them all it would mean him appearing on prime time CBBC in competition with other zook winners!
Keeping fingers crossed...
In other news... Designed another very small and simple site (here: haven't checked it against Bobby for DDA-compliancy yet, which is why there's no icon) and have been asked by Jenni Roditi (an associate member of the IAVMT) to have a look at rejigging and managing her site. Looks like I might also have another training session coming up as well. It's all good stuff!
(Other) Zone membership has just hit 389.
The Haadri side story chapter is now twelve pages long, and Lutra still has to add her sections. I'm really rather pleased with it! (Tch', writing side stories before the book's even published...)
Quyn to vet at 11.30 tomorrow. Then I'm taking Kai over to the Reptile House to pick up the equipment for Rosa after school, instead of Saturday (bit of a relief that, means I don't have to drag myself awake after a couple of hours sleep). And with the warmer weather the substrate should dry out faster: hopefully we can move her to the new tank next weekend.
Wednesday, May 12, 2004
[grins] yes, I am still up! This has been a very good and productive night, and I've no intention of closing down just now...
Maybe in an hour or so. See how much more I can get done first.
[blink] I did some tidying up! I can find things on my desk again!!
Also gave in and had a nap earlier...
This is interesting. Reminded me of the Treacle Mines of Dunchideock (pronounced dun CHID ee uck, in case you wondered). Come to think of it, I've actually never visited the mines. Think we can make time when you come over in the summer, Carol?
(No of COURSE there are no such things as treacle mines, but it was great fun fooling the grockles (Deb'nshire colloquialism for seagulls but used disparagingly of tourists - much like the emmets (ants) of Cornwall...)>
Labels: nowt really
Tuesday, May 11, 2004
... bleurgh... Tired last night (might have something to do with only four hours sleep the previous night and no nap during the day, I suppose...) so I went to bed early (2.45 is early for me). Then I couldn't sleep. Tossed and turned until daylight then finally dropped off (must have been about 6-ish). Ken woke me at 10 - had to, Quyn was due at vet's at 10.45...
Vet was fairly pleased - the big incision has healed, but still looks a little raw and fragile, so she's removed four stitches from either end but left the middle six or seven still in: I have to take him back again on Friday to check and probably (hopefully) have the rest of the stitches out then. In the meantime he's still in collar and socks and on anti-bios, poor pooch...
Still, it all looks hopeful!
Wrote two and a half pages of the little Haadri fic last night: looks like it's going to be a joint one with Lutra, which is great. Gives me a chance to show some of the background, which I don't have time to do very much in the main narrative. It was helpful in focussing the mind on the problems with P05, as I'd hoped, so I'm planning to take another look at that tonight (assuming I don't flake out in the meantime, that is...)
Monday, May 10, 2004
[glances at clock, winces] Heh, better get to bed soon...
Review - the next OT chapter - now posted. Short but sweet...
[growl] And as usual I sent off the Update, and this time all the Earthlink addies bounced back. I get so tired of this. Yes, I appreciate that it's probably some kind of filter set up so that multi-recipient messages - which are, after all, usually spam/viruses of some kind - aren't allowed through, but I only send the update to people who've asked for it, and I don't have time to email people individually. I think I'll have to add a warning to my applications pages.
Oh, and hotmail addresses are also playing up again...
In brief: Kai's fine - shrugged off the virus and now just has slight sniffles (heh, all that careful feeding as a baby seems to have resulted in a very tough immune system!); so far I also seem to have avoided getting it (fingers crossed); Quyn's healing pretty well as far as I can see; Rosa has pulled back the silk and dug a pit in one of the corners of her tank (I have no idea why. She's a strange spider sometimes. I would have thought it was a bit early for her to shed again, but you can never tell...).
It's been a day of documentaries on TV: whirlpools, Time Team (in search of London's first bridge episode), What the Tudors did for Us - that was fascinating, and while google-hunting for old maps of London I found this, also fascinating. There's a lot here I didn't know. (Didn't find any maps, though...) Later we watched the first episode of Kingdom Hospital, which I rather liked and Ken found too slow to get going. Will stick with it for a few eps and see what happens.
Other than that it's been an odd, uneasy day. I haven't been able to settle, my hands are still sore (though not swollen any more), and I've slept too long. I want to get something accomplished today but I don't know what...
[blinks] I don't know whether to snigger, groan, or be hopeful...
And for the record, I can't say I like the new blogger much, nor can I see the need to have changed it. It feels like a kiddie version of the software.
Sunday, May 09, 2004
... so that was Spawn...
I watched the animated version last year - this was the live action film. Hn. Interesting. Actually I rather enjoyed it (though the creatures in hell were rather disappointing). Not brilliant, but enjoyably OTT. Nice costumes. Couple of good lines, too -
On the subject of recent TV watching, I took a gander at Duel Masters. Heh, beyblades with cards... (Hang on, didn't Yu-gi-oh already do that? I don't really know, I only ever watched one extremely tedious episode...) The odd (very odd in some cases) long haired bishie, but other than that it's pretty much a non-starter in this house. Though it too had a good line -
Kai has a rhinovirus again ([grins at Lutra and Carol] that's a cold, not a pet rhino or even a herd of plot rhinos) and spent the day curled up on the sofa watching the box. Cartoon Network to start with, then Men in Black, then FotR. I haven't accomplished much, coded/uploaded Climb and made a desultory start on the next OT, but then my hands are still aching, so pushing it isn't a good idea anyway. See how I do tomorrow.
Has anybody been able to get the 'learn' function of the blog spell-checker to work? I can't...
Saturday, May 08, 2004
That was a little surprising. In a bit over two and half hours I've finished the first draft of the next AC - Climb, just over five pages. I've used the chapter to tie up some of the loose ends that have been flapping in the breeze for ages. I'll check it tomorrow, but I think it's basically done. Amazing what a short break can do, isn't it?
But my hands are really hurting. Quyn pulled like hell on the lead on Wednesday, both there and back: I should have used the halti but stupidly thought he'd be subdued... Anyway, will need to rest them a bit over the weekend, and I'd better wear the splints tomorrow (hate them, really hate them). I'd rather like to do the next of the Oriyal Tales, if possible, but it might not be. (Possible, I mean.) We'll see.
Kai has a bad sore throat. This may mean a bit of a 'cuddled up on the sofa watching TV' sort of weekend...
There's a very interesting article here: scroll down to the post for Thursday May 6th...
Friday, May 07, 2004
Too tired. Too tired to concentrate, even to read. I'm going to have an early night (in about an hour) and see if tomorrow I can kickstart the brain into getting something constructive done.
Thursday, May 06, 2004
Well, so far so good with Quyn. The collar, and the combination of elastic bandage and micropore to hold the top of the socks closed, seems to be working...
But we have a problem. One of our new BRISTAL members came over last night (at our request) to talk to us about patents (I could make jokes about Einstein but I loathe clichés so I won't... It was absolutely fascinating, and something I needed to know for Palingenesis) and trademarks. And apparently another company registered Wordwright as a trademark back in '98.
Now, we had no idea, the company concerned don't appear to have ever actually used the name on any of their products (they make advert-funded guide books, mainly) and they've either never noticed us or never bothered to contact us, but the fact remains we're infringing their trademark. We have several options open to us: we can pay to have a specialist check up and see if they are actually using the name, and if they haven't for five years we can appeal to have it cancelled (not the right terminology but that's what it amounts to); we can write to them asking for their permission to use the name, since we have been using it all innocently for slightly longer than them; we can offer to buy the name from them; or we can change our name - which is of course the cheapest option, and by far the least stressful. We can still call ourselves wordwrights - that's a job description! - so we won't have lost that...
So at the moment we're thinking of names... Then I have to check everywhere I can (fortunately all the info I need is available online) to make sure no-one else has it - then I suppose we're going to have to somehow find the £400 - £600 it's going to cost to register it...
So if at some point in the near future you visit the site and it says, WordWrights is changing its name to....., you'll know why. At least we don't have to change the domain name, just buy the new one and have it point to the old.
I'm glad we found out about this now rather than having it explode on us some time later (because it would, you can bet on it), but we really don't need the hassle.
Labels: legal matters
Wednesday, May 05, 2004
OK: they cleaned, debrided and re-sutured the wound - under a local anaesthetic! without me there to help! - gave him an injection of antibiotics and I have a course of tablets for him (three times a day). And he's wearing one of those cone-shaped plastic collars to stop him licking/nibbling at the small incision on the inside of his leg: that's all inflamed, too, but the nurse thinks the anti-bios should fix it. And I have to keep his paw padded and covered at all times so he can't scratch... I asked what would happen if it didn't heal: apparently it would mean more surgery and frequent redressing - one small dog with something very similar took six weeks to heal. I can't stay awake for six weeks: keep your fingers crossed today's visit and the anti-bios sort the problem out. Will know more next Tuesday when I take him back for a checkup.
Can I go home yet?
[head in hands] Despite all the watching and sock-wearing, Quyn has managed to rip out one of the middle stitches... We now have a gaping, weeping two inch long hole. I've rung the vet: they'll make time to see him at 3.
[blinks] Huh? Well, I suppose it's better than being a bunny. Or a ham-ham...
(It's official, I'm NOT CUTE AND FLUFFY....)
This was Rosa before her most recent shed. The batteries in Ken's light-meter were running out when he took this, so the colours aren't quite as bright as they are in RL, but it's not come out too badly. It's taken from above, looking down through the 'skylight' that opens up so she can be fed and watered without having to take the whole lid off. Pretty isn't she? [grin]
In other pets: Quyn is ploughing on. The wound is healing from the ends inwards, and not looking too bad, though he does have a buildup of fluid under it, as we were warned. I think he's OK though; at least, he seems more comfortable now...
Ryme has taken to sleeping on the end of Kai's bed, guarding him, we think. She always was a very protective cat, mothering Argent when we first got him, then Quyn, then Kai when he was a baby. Raptor sleeps on my pillow, wrapped around my head a lot of the time, purring. When she thinks I need a break she puts her front paws up on my thigh when I'm sitting here, and mews for attention: when I lift her up she cuddles into my left shoulder - digging her claws in so she can't be dislodged. My shoulder is covered with scars... Argent lies anywhere he'll be in the way...
P05 largely rewritten, but still not completely happy with it...
Oh - this little 'poem' is stuck up on the wall inside Kai's school's office, above the hatch. It had Lutra's cubs giggling hysterically, and made me chuckle too...
Tuesday, May 04, 2004
[blinks at previous entry] Heh, I was tired, wasn't I? But I slept wonderfully well, and had difficulty getting up (went back to sleep twice) - which is no bad thing given how little sleep I've had recently...
I am very tired...
Haven't managed to get anything done tonight, but that's OK, it's been a bit of a stressful weekend...
.... we have a set of bedding that's fifteen years old - nothing fancy or even colourful, just pillowslips and a downie (i.e. continental quilt) cover and sheet in solid grey and black. It's so old now it's almost transparent! But it's also pure cotton, was quite expensive when I bought it, and now... It feels like silk should feel against the skin, soft, smooth, luxurious and comforting. You can wrap yourself in it and feel... safe, somehow. A sensation balanced between erotic and innocent - and no, I have no idea how a simple piece of fabric can feel like that. But it's almost magical. On the increasingly rare occasions that I put it on the bed I tend to delay going up, knowing that I'll sleep extraordinarily well when I finally do go to bed.
Interestingly, Kai feels the same - and gets quite annoyed when I insist that I have to be the first to sleep in it every time it's used.
[blinks] not at all sure that made any sense, but very shortly I'm going to close down, get Quyn settled, set the alarm, and go up and luxuriate in an ancient piece of cotton. Am I easily pleased, too fanciful, a hedonist, or simply sensitive? (And do I really care? Probably not. Simple pleasures are the least harmful.)
Monday, May 03, 2004
Well that was fun!
Ken woke me up, as requested, just before midday (which I thought was quite early enough after a 6.30 bedtime) with the news that Kim had rung: she was taking her sprogs to the May Day fair at Nailsea and did Kai and I want to go too? Bit of a rush, but we were almost ready when she arrived at 1...
Had a great time! Kai bought some spent rifle bullets (no, I've no idea why he wanted them) and a Spirograph [grins at Carol; he's been after one since he had a go with yours last time we were over], only £1 at the car-boot sale to one side of the fairground: Kim, Kai, Sarah and Joseph went on two rides, the second of which Kai didn't enjoy, he was sitting in the middle and got badly squashed, so I took him on the Ghost Train to make up for it. (Incredible rip-off, worst I've ever been on, but it was Kai's first and he loved it...) and he had some candyfloss. Lovely weather too.
Not been back long, and now it's the frantic rush to get everything ready for tomorrow. How much I'll manage to get done tonight I don't know - I'm knackered already.
Labels: days out
Right, that's the next two Dystopia short chapters posted, Lutra's delicious Madre Diablo pt 1, and my own short Succour. Lutra's was inspired by one of the amazingly talented Sylverthorne's pictures (the pic is at the bottom of the chapter: the character will also be making a guest appearance in the DarkRealm when I can snare enough haddock to continue Demons...); mine is illustrated by Sylverthorne [happy grin - Thank you, Thorne! GLOMPS] There are some new banners in various sections of the (other) Zone, too, gifts from the uber talented onna [GLOMPS thanks!]
Quyn is brighter today. He's just come in from the garden, and the wound looks wet, but that's probably because we have a heavy mist and everything out there is wet. At least, I hope that's all it is. We've kept a close eye on him today and everything was looking clean and dry before he went out...
Hoping to manage the next AC chapter tomorrow, before I get back into Palingenesis once Kai's back to school.
Sunday, May 02, 2004
There can be few things more frustrating than staying up all night, keeping ear and eye out for scratching and licking, feeling pleased about the dry, clean wound, then letting Quyn out into the garden for just a couple of minutes while you dive to the bathroom - then coming back down and letting him in to find he took advantage of you not being here to scratch...
It's not his fault, he's a dog and he's uncomfortable and in pain, but we now have a wet, bleeding wound again, and I now can't get to bed until Ken comes down to keep an eye out.
I've done this before with Argent, and it doesn't get any easier, except that Quyn at least understands "NO!" and "be gentle". Not that he obeys the commands when you aren't here, of course - but at least he does when you are...
Sod it, I'm shattered. I really do understand why people don't have pets... then again, an awful lot who do don't treat them the way we do...
Heh - Ken calls me the 'mother of all kits' (and that's 'mother' as in 'mama', not as in m-f). Perhaps that should be extended to include dogs...
OK - that's the Short Stories index sorted out, with links to Elga and onna's Over Breakfast in place. Next weekend I'll see about the Must See sites page...
One of the cable documentary channels is having an Eaten Alive weekend, all about the bugs and parasites that live on/in human beings... Fortunately Kai was more interested in watching the Jonathon Creek special (so was I - first ep with Rik Mayall as D.I. Gideon Pryke. He's so tasty when he's not playing an idiot...)
Saturday, May 01, 2004
[wince] Now Quyn's recovered from the anaesthetic we can see the damage more easily - a long incision down his ribs, a smaller one between his shoulderblades (where we asked them to remove a small warty lump that used to catch in his brush) and another on the inside of his right knee (where there was a strange 'blood-blister' type of thing that also used to catch. The two smaller ones were nuisances more than anything - I had the vet check them when they appeared and confirmed they weren't malignant). The big fatty lump (tch', I wish I could remember the proper medical terms) had formed partly between muscle layers, the vet said: they've stitched everything as tightly as possible but there's still a small risk of the area filling with fluid now the lump's gone, though unless it gets really big this is nothing to worry about, as the fluid will eventually be absorbed. The main thing at the moment is to try to stop him licking/scratching the main cut (which is bleeding slightly, but not enough to worry about).
Enough grue and gore! I have to recommend LJ's Pet Taxi. The vehicle itself is a largeish van with a large, comfortable secure cage in the back, and LJ herself professional, competent and really nice. The fare was reasonable, too, given that she's providing a specialist service, and taking into account how expensive human taxis are in Briz. Anyone in Bristol wanting to contact her, the Pet Taxi no is 0795 00 18932 (mobile). (Her leaflet also says she does other Petcare Services - cat feeding, dog walking, house sitting, mucking out...)
I had planned to take Kai over to the Reptile House today to buy a new tank, substrate, waterbowl etc., but after sitting up with Quyn 'til nearly half six (yes, I know that's not too far off my usual bedtime but last night I was knackered by half three and would have loved an early night!) I didn't wake up until midday, and I'm still tired and it's raining and miserable, so we'll leave it 'til next weekend (they're closed tomorrow and Bank Holiday Monday). In the meantime Ken is rearranging the shelving - the bigger tank won't fit on the current shelf, so we're moving one of the wider bookshelves from the other side of the chimney-breast and trimming it to fit.
On the subject of spiders, nearly had a fit when I checked Rosa early this morning - I couldn't see her in the tank... She was hanging upside down on the 'ceiling'! First time she's done that. Oh, and Ken asked about white knees when he rang the Reptile House: they have some in at the moment, but they're Bolivian, not Brazilian, and not so pretty, so we'll wait. As I said, I'm not in any hurry. (Though it was interesting that Ken thought to ask. He seems to be quite keen for me to get one...)
Watched the first ep of the new Astroboy yesterday evening (to my surprise it's on BBC1, not one of the cartoon channels. Then again, it must have been on BBC1 waaaay back when it was first aired, so I assume they kept the broadcast rights). Kai loved it - well, the worker robots all resemble insects - and I thought it was positively charming! Looks like it'll be a regular watch each Friday...
[Why is it I can only use ICQ at the weekends, and the rest of the time I have to use ICQ2go?]