Zone Doubt, a.k.a. 'Surreal Я Us'...

Joules, trusted by... dozens... to make a drama out of your crisis...

Other sites:

:: JAT :: WaveWrights :: Publications ::

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

... I'd write my autobiography, but no-one would believe it....

If you come across any words you don't recognise in this blog, take a look at the Taylorspeke Glossary in the left-hand infopane, you'll usually find a definition there.

The Poppy Tales

(Transformers fanfiction!)

Transformers mini-comics here.

Adventures in Orchids

Apparently I am now collecting them...

There's room for one - or maybe two, at a pinch - more on that bedroom windowsill (the only one in the house that's ideal for them). Let's see what I find. Well, that didn't last long...

EO - Everlasting orchid. Phalaenopsis. I've had this orchid since 2007 and it just keeps flowering...

AO - Alien face orchid. Phalaenopsis . Bought 2018 - lovely little flowers, all different patterns!

RO - Rescued orchid photo to come when it flowers. Phalaenopsis. Rescued from a bin up the road in 2019. Classic!

TO - Tiny orchid. Phalaenopsis. Bought at Tesco 21.8.20. It just begged to come home with me. How could I say no?

CO - Crimson orchid. Cambria. Another Tesco find. This one may be going to live in Ken's room once we've redecorated and put up the new shelving; it prefers a cooler, less sunny windowsill. If so, I'll need to find another cambrian to keep it company.

GO - Golden orchid. Phalaenopsis. Saw this one when I bought CO and left it behind - then immediately regretted it as soon as I got home. Never seen one like it before. Ken, bless him, went back over to Tesco in the rain and bought it for me...

DO - Dendrobium Orchid. Smells of wisteria, so beautiful...

RO2 - Rescued orchid no 2. Phalaenopsis. This is the one I rescued from the wall along the road middle of 2021.

PO. Pink orchid. Phalaenopsis. This is the one I bought at Cabury Garden Centre on special, late 2021. It's much happier here!

TWO. Teeny weeny orchid, Phalaenopsis. Rescued from Tesco end 2021 (I think).

My IMDb ep summaries

Arthur of the Britons
Star Maidens
The Starlost
Space Rangers
The Sentinel (part: seasons 2 and 3)
Swamp Thing (part: season 3)
Gravedale High
Transformers: Armada
Transformers: Energon
Transformers: Cybertron (part)
Misfits of Science (four eps)
Zoo Gang
Jupiter Moon
Transformers: Beast Wars (part: seasons 2 and 3)
Transformers: Beast Machines (part)
Vampire Princess Miyu
Nathan Barley
No Heroics
Undermind (3 eps)
Will Shakespeare (Tim Curry version)
12 Kingdoms
Trigun (ep 8)
Hyperdrive (season 2 ep 3)
The Café

For later:

Missing Earthian ep
Missing Haibane Renme eps)
(And possibly Marine Boy...)

Silver birch at Eastwood 


"Autumnal - nothing to do with leaves. It is to do with a certain brownness at the edges of the day... Brown is creeping up on us, take my word for it... Russets and tangerine shades of old gold flushing the very outside edge of the senses... deep shining ochres, burnt umber and parchments of baked earth - reflecting on itself and through itself, filtering the light. At such times, perhaps, coincidentally, the leaves might fall, somewhere..."

(Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead Act 2: Tom Stoppard)


I love this time of year. I love the colours, the sharp slant of sunlight on the trees, mosaics of acid-yellow and harts- blood, velvet and darkness and a haze of mist-grey over the hills. I love its immanence, its mellowness, the tang of frost just around the corner of the year...

Watching the little birds in the goat-willow in my garden, I realised something more.

I love this land with a fierce, possessive love, deep-rooted in two thousand years of history. From the frosted beaches and cloud-brushing peaks of the north to the wind-haunted meanderings of the rivers of the east, from the sensuous rolling patchworked hills of the south to the demanding dark moors of the west, this land seeps into bone and blood and synapse, mother of motley nobility, culture, individual freedoms. It can be known. It can be understood. It can be felt deep inside.

I love its effortless eccentricities, its vigour and vibrancy, its flawed perfections, its silent strength and tenacious resilience, its hard-won tolerances and intense and variable beauty, the profound energy in its sacred mythical landscape.

Home and more-than-home, the forces that shape and protect and bind, in me, as I am in the land. Love returning love in the stillness for those who'll only take the time to listen...

(Joules, Autumn 2004)

All photographs taken by Joules unless otherwise specified. All photographs © Joules A Taylor or other specified individual.

In Memoriam

17.03.09 - Argent

25.07.08 - Raptor

18.12.07 - Quyn

02.12.06 - Ryme

Currently enjoying:
Transformers - IDW, Prime, Animated, Rescue Bots.

Currently reading:
Various Transformers books and graphic novels.

Currently working on:

Currently chuffed with:
My garden

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

Currently maintaining:

Blog Pics
I've gathered some of my pages of photos together: the page of links is here. I'll be adding more as time goes by!

Evil Squid
A Little Glossary of Taylorspeke
(in no particular order)

plit popints - n. Typo for 'plot points' typed on a keyboard with more than half the characters worn off...

[PING] (alt [ping]) - n. A brainwave. The text equivalent of a lightbulb going on blindingly over someone's head. Usually mine. And usually at the most inconvenient of times. [sigh]

TPTB - The Powers That Be.

wulmet - n. A person of little or no talent who somehow inveigles himself into a position where he is in power over other, far more talented people and uses his position to downplay them in order to try to make himself feel superior.

biteable - referring to an anatomical part vb, tasty.

Flatterfed - vb. 27.02.08: my typo for flattered, but since it's so cutely apt I thought it would fit nicely here. Lutra defined it as "the lovely warm feeling of satisfaction resulting from enthusiastic reviews..." (which I've been getting for my MB fics).

Composted - vb, 'compos mentis', mentally capable of working. Contrast with uncomposted or non- composted, not 'compos mentis', not capable of working, hungover...

Cumbles - n, cucumbers.

Kewp - how Ken says 'thank you'. We rather like Lutra's 'nanx', too...

Musekick - noun, music, without which I cannot work.

'feinne - noun, caffeine, essential for correct mental functioning, especially first thing in the morning. I prefer mine in the form of SodaStream Diet Coke. And on that subject...

Skoosh - verb, noun. To skoosh - to add CO2 to a sodastream bottle filled with water to make it fizzy, prior to adding Diet Coke syrup (or just drinking as sparkling water). A skoosh - a bottle of water that has been skooshed. Skooshy - something that has been skooshed, water, or that whipped cream that comes in tins you have to shake then upend and press the nozzle...

Shoogle - verb. To shake gently, for example, of roast potatoes in a roasting tin to ensure they're covered with oil. I have vague memories of this being a real Scottish colloquialism...

Stegasaurus - n, spider of the genus tegenaria. Why? No idea. I just find it easier, that's all...
Edit 08.09.07: Lutra thinks that Brian is a good name for a mini-stegasaurus. From now on, any 'Brian's in the posts may be assumed to be a tegenaria. Except where otherwise specified.

Viterals - noun, vitamins + minerals. Also a pun on victuals.

Splish - verb. A combination of slosh and splash.

Parrots - noun, paracetemol (from the old joke "Why are there no aspirin tablets in the jungle? Because the parrots eat 'em all...")

Maggles - noun, magpies. As opposed to non-magical people.

Flamewings - noun. Swifts. So called because the first time we became aware of them was an early summer evening when they were flying high, the light from the setting sun seemingly turning their wings to flames. Lovely little birds. We always know summer's arrived when we hear their high-pitched squeeing.

Murfs - noun, moths.

Peasant cut - noun, roughly cut up into big chunks, e.g. vegetables chopped in a hurry for a hearty stew or soup. By extension, anything prepared in a hurry - haircut, material, even a first draft of a story...

Giraffe - noun, a carafe (of wine, coffee or water, for example).

Shrumps - noun, mushrooms.

Splings - noun, Kai's spelling homework: by extension, any spelling.

Tyops - noun, typos. var toyps, typso, psyto, psoyt, etc. Usual result of a dose of the fingerials (see next entry).

Fingerials - (pr. fin GEEE ree yalls) noun, fingers that will not type what you want them to.

Haddock - noun, time, of which I never have enough. (Origin of this term here.)

Sleep - noun? vb? a.k.a. sheeeeeeeeep.... I used to know what this word meant...

The Updates Blog

The place to stay notified of WaveWrights' Fiction updates: Zone, Darkside, DarkRealm, Matrix, Vault, Safehouse 13...

my computer gremlin Butch. click the pic to see the larger image

Butch, my computer gremlin. Click the pic for larger version, and read his adventures here...

Butch by the talented 


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



This is MY haddock. It was caught exclusively for me by Talon. No, you can't have any. I need all the haddock I can get!!

A'lestrel by Valkyrie.

A'lestrel - a gift for me from Valkyrie...

Albino Alsatian Benten (c) MEBird 


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

Radittsu, an oekaki for my birthday 04 



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

The Zone Plant from
The Zone 



OrganicHTML (which alas no longer seems to exist...)
[::..My Regular Reads..::]
:: Astronomical Pic of the Day [>]
:: What is Space... [>]
:: Dark Roasted Blend [>]
:: BLDG [>]
:: Watchismo Times [>]
[::..Fun Places..::]
::PALEOMAP Project
Absolutely fascinating.
:: Skymap
Check out the night sky where you are!
[::..Useful Sites..::]
:: GreenNet
First stop for environmental matters
:: The Forest of Avon
Our local community forest and places to visit
:: The Guardian
Online Guardian Newspaper.
:: Symbols
Exactly what it says
:: World Timeserver
For checking the current time around this world
:: Universal Currency Converter
Actually it's just a terran-global currency converter, not universal, but it's still useful...

So what is it with the haddock? Am I some kind of fish freak?

I'll leave that to others to decide.

The tale (or tail if you prefer) harks back to October 2000, when my GoodTwin and I, ably assisted by Sue, ran the first UK Professionals convention...
It's common knowledge that I never have enough time, and I was determined not to bewail the fact that weekend: hence I promised not to use the 'T' word...
Of course, that didn't really work (if nothing else I had to let the trainees know what times things were supposed to be happening!) so we decided a substitute word would be employed instead. There were several suggestions. Banana came very close to being chosen. However, I eventually decided that 'haddock' fitted the bill nicely. Ever since, haddock=time. Hence the title of my forthcoming autobiography,
My Half-Life in the Haddock Space Continuum....

Normally I wouldn't, but these were just irresistible...

How could I resist?

Just too adorable...

and to complete the rainbow...

These Too-Kawaii Kitties
were adopted from
Ghost's Anime Page (which appears to have disappeared, alas...)

Useful sites:

Yamato -
Fabulous anime figures

Anime Lyrics
A huge selection... evil popups

Anime still needed to complete series' I'm collecting... Many thanks to everyone who has helped me acquire the collection!
Ai no Kusabi

   Dj: June Special
   CD: Ambivalence

Cyber City Oedo 808

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

From Eroica with Love

   Manga Vols 1, 9, 11

Mirage of Blaze

   DVD Vol 1 (eps 1-4)

R.G. Veda

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

Twelve Kingdoms

   Anime Vol 1-12: complete

Under the Glass Moon

   Manga Vol 1, 2
Vol 3 needed

Vampire Hunter D - Bloodlust


   Vampire Hunter D Book 1

New Vampire Miyu

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

Yami no Matsuei

   Viz Manga: English translation, Vols 1 - 11 (complete: I believe vol 12 is only available online)
   Japanese 3-DVD set
   Central Park Media: Descendants of Darkness Vol. 1, English/Japanese subbed.

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

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

(Thanks, Lutra, for the quote!)

07/01/2002 - 07/31/2002
08/01/2002 - 08/31/2002
09/01/2002 - 09/30/2002
10/01/2002 - 10/31/2002
11/01/2002 - 11/30/2002
12/01/2002 - 12/31/2002
01/01/2003 - 01/31/2003
02/01/2003 - 02/28/2003
03/01/2003 - 03/31/2003
04/01/2003 - 04/30/2003
05/01/2003 - 05/31/2003
06/01/2003 - 06/30/2003
07/01/2003 - 07/31/2003
08/01/2003 - 08/31/2003
09/01/2003 - 09/30/2003
10/01/2003 - 10/31/2003
11/01/2003 - 11/30/2003
12/01/2003 - 12/31/2003
01/01/2004 - 01/31/2004
02/01/2004 - 02/29/2004
03/01/2004 - 03/31/2004
04/01/2004 - 04/30/2004
05/01/2004 - 05/31/2004
06/01/2004 - 06/30/2004
07/01/2004 - 07/31/2004
08/01/2004 - 08/31/2004
09/01/2004 - 09/30/2004
10/01/2004 - 10/31/2004
11/01/2004 - 11/30/2004
12/01/2004 - 12/31/2004
01/01/2005 - 01/31/2005
02/01/2005 - 02/28/2005
03/01/2005 - 03/31/2005
04/01/2005 - 04/30/2005
05/01/2005 - 05/31/2005
06/01/2005 - 06/30/2005
07/01/2005 - 07/31/2005
08/01/2005 - 08/31/2005
09/01/2005 - 09/30/2005
10/01/2005 - 10/31/2005
11/01/2005 - 11/30/2005
12/01/2005 - 12/31/2005
01/01/2006 - 01/31/2006
02/01/2006 - 02/28/2006
03/01/2006 - 03/31/2006
04/01/2006 - 04/30/2006
05/01/2006 - 05/31/2006
06/01/2006 - 06/30/2006
07/01/2006 - 07/31/2006
08/01/2006 - 08/31/2006
09/01/2006 - 09/30/2006
10/01/2006 - 10/31/2006
11/01/2006 - 11/30/2006
12/01/2006 - 12/31/2006
01/01/2007 - 01/31/2007
02/01/2007 - 02/28/2007
03/01/2007 - 03/31/2007
04/01/2007 - 04/30/2007
05/01/2007 - 05/31/2007
06/01/2007 - 06/30/2007
07/01/2007 - 07/31/2007
08/01/2007 - 08/31/2007
09/01/2007 - 09/30/2007
10/01/2007 - 10/31/2007
11/01/2007 - 11/30/2007
12/01/2007 - 12/31/2007
01/01/2008 - 31/01/2008
01/02/2008 - 29/02/2008
03/01/2008 - 31/03/2008
01/04/2008 - 04/30/2008
01/05/2008 - 31/05/2008
01/06/2008 - 30/06/2008
01/07/2008 - 31/07/2008
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01/11/2008 - 31/11/2008
01/12/2008 - 31/12/2008
01/12/2008 - 31/12/2008
01/01/2009 - 31/01/2009
01/02/2009 - 28/02/2009
01/03/2009 - 31/03/2009
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01/01/2010 - 31/01/2010
01/02/2010 - 28/02/2010
01/03/2010 - 31/03/2010
01/04/2010 - 30/04/2010
01/05/2010 - 31/05/2010
01/06/2010 - 30/06/2010
01/07/2010 - 31/07/2010
01/08/2010 - 31/08/2010
01/09/2010 - 30/09/2010
01/10/2010 - 31/10/2010
01/11/2010 - 31/11/2010
01/12/2010 - 31/12/2010
01/01/2011 - 31/01/2011
01/02/2011 - 28/02/2011
01/03/2011 - 31/03/2011
01/04/2011 - 30/04/2011
01/05/2011 - 31/05/2011
01/06/2011 - 30/06/2011
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01/12/2011 - 31/12/2011
01/01/2012 - 31/01/2012
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01/12/2012 - 31/12/2012
01/01/2013 - 31/01/2013
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01/10/2013 - 31/10/2013
01/11/2013 - 30/11/2013
01/12/2013 - 31/12/2013
01/01/2014 - 31/01/2014
01/02/2014 - 28/02/2014
01/03/2014 - 31/03/2014
01/04/2014 - 30/04/2014
01/05/2014 - 31/05/2014
01/06/2014 - 31/06/2014
01/07/2014 - 31/07/2014
01/08/2014 - 31/08/2014
01/09/2014 - 31/09/2014
01/10/2014 - 31/10/2014
01/11/2014 - 30/11/2014
01/12/2014 - 31/12/2014
01/01/2015 - 31/01/2015
01/02/2015 - 28/02/2015
01/03/2015 - 31/03/2015
01/04/2015 - 30/04/2015
01/05/2015 - 31/05/2015
01/06/2015 - 30/06/2015
01/07/2015 - 31/07/2015
01/08/2015 - 31/08/2015
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01/10/2015 - 31/10/2015
01/11/2015 - 31/11/2015
01/12/2015 - 31/12/2015
01/01/2016 - 31/01/2016
01/022016 - 28/02/2016
01/03/2016 - 31/03/2016
01/04/2016 - 31/04/2016
01/05/2016 - 31/05/2016
01/06/2016 - 30/06/2016
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01/08/2016 - 31/08/2016
01/09/2016 - 31/09/2016
01/10/2016 - 31/10/2016
01/11/2016 - 31/11/2016
01/12/2016 - 31/12/2016
01/01/2017 - 31/01/2017
01/02/2017 - 28/02/2017
01/03/2017 - 31/03/2017
01/04/2017 - 30/04/2017
01/05/2017 - 31/05/2017
01/06/2017 - 30/06/2017
01/07/2017 - 31/07/2017
01/08/2017 - 31/08/2017
01/09/2017 - 30/09/2017
01/10/2017 - 31/10/2017
01/11/2017 - 30/11/2017
01/12/2017 - 31/12/2017
01/01/2018 - 31/01/2018
01/02/2018 - 28/02/2018
01/03/2018 - 31/03/2018
01/04/2018 - 30/04/2018
01/05/2018 - 31/05/2018
01/06/2018 - 30/06/2018
01/07/2018 - 31/07/2018
01/08/2018 - 31/08/2018
01/09/2018 - 30/09/2018
01/10/2018 - 31/10/2018
01/11/2018 - 30/11/2018
01/12/2018 - 31/12/2018
01/01/2019 - 31/01/2019
01/02/2019 - 28/02/2019
01/03/2019 - 31/03/2019
01/04/2019 - 30/04/2019
01/05/2019 - 31/05/2019
01/06/2019 - 30/06/2019
01/07/2019 - 31/07/2019
01/08/2019 - 31/08/2019
01/09/2019 - 30/09/2019
01/10/2019 - 31/10/2019
01/11/2019 - 30/11/2019
01/12/2019 - 31/12/2019
01/01/2020 - 31/01/2020
01/02/2020 - 29/02/2020
01/03/2020 - 31/03/2020
01/04/2020 - 31/04/2020
01/05/2020 - 31/05/2020
01/06/2020 - 31/06/2020
01/07/2020 - 31/07/2020
01/08/2020 - 31/08/2020
01/09/2020 - 30/09/2020
01/10/2020 - 31/10/2020
01/11/2020 - 30/11/2020
01/12/2020 - 31/12/2020
01/01/2021 - 31/01/2021
01/02/2021 - 28/02/2021
01/03/2021 - 31/03/2021
01/04/2021 - 30/04/2021
01/05/2021 - 31/05/2021
01/06/2021 - 30/06/2021
01/07/2021 - 31/07/2021
01/08/2021 - 31/08/2021
01/09/2021 - 30/09/2021
01/10/2021 - 31/10/2021
01/11/2021 - 30/11/2021
01/12/2021 - 31/12/2021
01/01/2022 - 31/01/2022
01/02/2022 - 28/02/2022
01/03/2022 - 31/03/2022
01/04/2022 - 30/04/2022
01/05/2022 - 30/05/2022
01/06/2022 - 31/06/2022
01/07/2022 - 31/07/2022
01/08/2022 - 31/08/2022
01/09/2022 - 30/09/2022
01/10/2022 - 31/10/2022
01/11/2021 - 31/11/2021
01/12/2022 - 31/12/2022
01/01/2023 - 31/01/2023
01/02/2023 - 28/02/2023
01/03/2023 - 31/03/2023
01/04/2023 - 30/04/2023
01/08/2023 - 31/08/2023
01/11/2023 - 31/11/2023

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Still tired... Ken's says it's a pity we don't have a digital camera: we could post a pic of his back (or face, come to that) and offer a prize to the most original and/or inventive 'join-up-the-dots' picture...

More seriously, he's feeling worse today, temperature of 101.5 (which is what Kai's was), itching horribly, and terribly tired but can't sleep properly - though whether that's the chickenpox or the ribavirin we can't tell.

Hopefully it won't last too long. Though Kai's was about two weeks...

But the tarantulas are happy again...

Very small ficlet posted in the CCO808 section of the (other) Zone - Haven, the followup to Harm.

And Lutra's working on a cracking little piece about Jade and Benten's first meeting - Muse. Though we're not sure where it's going to be posted yet. Possibly in the CCO808 community...

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Monday, June 28, 2004

[bemused] Up early after 4.5 hours sleep, took Kai to school, got (rather heavy) shopping on way back, then into town to throw money at bank and hopefully pick up crickets to save trip to Reptile House...

Arriving at busstop, To the Moon and Back on Nappa happily drowning out hideous Bath Rd traffic noises, was accosted by young woman waving a piece of paper at me. Switched off sounds to see what she wanted: turns out she was an Algerian refugee and couldn't understand the letter she'd received... It was a letter from the Home Office stating that she'd been granted temporary admission to the UK but could be deported at any time, and to report to the Immigration Officer at Bridewell Police Station next month... [shakes head] If I'd remembered Algerians speak French before I got off the bus I could have been a little more help to her...

Then a couple of girls asked me where the Courts were (that at least was easy) - and I got divebombed by a screeching pair of seagulls whose youngster was wandering dazedly along the pavement outside Revolution (the Russian bar near St Nick's Market).

And no crickets, so I still have to get over to the Reptile House... I'm knackered already...

But Ken isn't feeling too bad - it seems to be a mild version, like Kai's. Admittedly the interferon injections do seem to help fight off just about everything, and he'd administered this week's last night before he realised he had chickenpox (this is relevant because he's not supposed to take it if suffering from any other virus). Left a message with the hospital explaining the situation - hopefully they'll ring back soon - but they seem happy for him to go up for his blood test on Thursday, assuming he feels well enough...

Many thanks for all the good wishes - we really do appreciate it.



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Sunday, June 27, 2004

... Ken has chickenpox.

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... limping along...

Rucksack bought - nice sturdy aqua and black one - and discovered there are a few new stalls at the market, including a nice garden plant one (hibiscus! I love hibiscus!) Aiming to go back next week with a little more money...

I'm about half way through Haven, the follow-up to Harm (in the other Zone), but whether I'll finish tonight is open to debate - I'm knackered, can hardly keep my eyes open. And tomorrow (or Tuesday) we need to buy some more crickets: Tracy's eaten all the ones that were the right size for a spiderling. Trip to the Reptile House required.



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Saturday, June 26, 2004

OK - writing this quickly just in case.

For the second time in a month we had a couple of tiny powercuts tonight, just enough to turn everything off and then back on. The problem with that is it turns off this computer - and I can't get it to turn back on again (there can be few things that make me feel as though I've fallen over a cliff more than pressing the 'on' button and nothing happening.)

Both times Ken has taken the fuse out of the plug and tested it (Kai made a little battery and fuse tester out of old copper wire, cardboard and a magnet) and it's been fine; he's replaced it in the plug and the machine has switched on. But I'm not assuming that will continue. So, if you try to reach me and don't get an answer, either on ICQ or by email, it's more than likely that'll be the reason. (I'll find a way to get a message to Carol and Lutra so they know what's what.)

[growl] I need a new stack. Built to my own specs. It's next on my list: I really can't keep limping along like this, it's not good for my nerves or blood pressure...



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Finished Double Vision pt 3 and will post in the LJ when I find out if I'm supposed to change the security setting first...

Lutra read snippets on ICQ, as usual...

[Joules] [smirk] I think I'll leave it there....
[Lutra] Aaaaaarrggh!
Can't put all my lemons in one basket - gets boring if I do that. noitdoesn't!
... just think of all the juicy lemony bits you have to look forward to!
[big big sparkling eyes]
[big grin] ... I enjoyed writing that!
I can tell [evil grin]... awww... ham-hams! (on TV)
AAARRGGHHH! [hides under the desk and sends 'lestrel to blast the pestiferous beastlets]
[growl] I'll cut off your lemon allowance....

... the power... the power...



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Friday, June 25, 2004

Good - the back is a lot better today. Many thanks, all, for the good wishes!

It's been a low key day. I've finished and posted the (unusually short) Two, the next AC, updated the Shadows in Jade blog, and dealt with a few little bits and pieces that have come in. Quite relaxing really. Tonight I'm planning to tackle Double Vision pt 3 (and hopefully get it posted...)

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Thursday, June 24, 2004

... ouch. ouchouchouch...

Don't know what I've done or how I did it but my lower back is killing me. Was walking to collect Kai and Thomas from school yesterday, and by the time I got to the end of the road my spine felt as though it was crumbling from inside. Bloody painful. Got the sprogs home then had a nap, and an early night last night, but it's still hurting today. Must be muscular - it doesn't hurt if I don't move (yeah, like that's an option!), but if anything touches it - like the back of my chair - it feels as though someone's been kicking me. Need to take it easy for a couple of days, I suppose. (Good excuse to re-watch CCO808!)

The proposed book commission hasn't gone through, not from anything at our end - the publisher is very impressed with our breadth of knowledge, style and efficiency and wants us to consider other possible titles we could write for them - but because of the size of the book and its intended (initially American) audience: a 366 page 'gift book' would be prohibitively expensive. Pity, but them's the breaks. We'll have a think about the other options that have been suggested and get back to them.

In other news - it looks like there will be a gardens festival at Westonbirt this summer, although it's not listed on their (new) website (the link to the old site now takes you to someone else, who isn't using the name - looks suspiciously like their registration ran out and some sod grabbed the name before they could renew it. Gods I despise people who do that!) there was a small item on our local news saying that it was going ahead. I'll try to find out more, Carol - if it is on we'd love to go again (and yes, Kai did grin all big eyed and nod happily when I suggested it.)

It's finally stopped raining, and the garden's looking green - but the damage has been done at Pilton, and all the Glastonbury Festival goers face a rather muddy weekend, again... shame upon me, I've never actually made it to one of the festivals! Always wanted to but never managed it. And it's too expensive these days. Eh well, maybe one year...

Right - back to it...

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Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Well, as expected, Kai's not got through the final selection of Bamzooki... Though apparently they'll be doing the same again next year, so - if he's still interested (and that's a big IF given how quickly his interests change) we could try again then.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2004

[happy grin] First part of Double Vision posted in the CCOedo808 LJ...



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[big happy grin] Valkyrie has created a Cyber City Oedo 808 community on LiveJournal! Check out her LJ to get more info... Go see! Go see!! And make sure you read the comments...



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Saturday, June 19, 2004

Dik Dik front

[happy grin] My Kinnukuman Nisei 'phone danglies' arrived! And I'm dead impressed with the quality. They're only two and a half inches tall, but beautifully moulded. (Except for DD's face, but [smirk] the body makes up for that.) Of course, I have no way to hang them from my phone - that's not why I bought them - but I've taken the little hook attachment thingies out of their backs and they're standing under my monitor...Dik Dik back
I do wish they'd made KMask wearing armour instead of street clothing, though. Perhaps I should suggest it when I email the feedback...

The BBC rang yesterday about the Bamzooki screentest. They did go to the school, and interviewed Emily and Bill, even though Kai couldn't be there (I suppose it was scheduled in and they couldn't change it). They'll be sending out a letter in the next few days to let us know the final result - but I don't hold out much hope... Ah well, we tried. Kai doesn't seem to be too horribly upset about it.

On the subject of the Beeb... This is today's BBC1 programming.

6.00-12.00: standard crappy talking head morning fare.
12.00-16.50:Football Focus, The Road to Athens, Athletics: European Cup, Tennis: Eastbourne.
16.50-19.30: I'd Do Anything ('real life', supposedly), Lottery, Strictly Come Dancing.
19.30 Saturday-4.55 Sunday: Match of the Day Live, A Question of Sport, International Boxing, Royal Ascot, Rugby Union, Match of the Day Europe 2004.

Kevin Mask front

So if you don't like sport, tough.

[grumble] There isn't even a Jonathan Creek on! I suppose it'll be a video/DVD night...

Half-watched City of Angels the other night - I like Nicholas Cage's acting. Took me a while to remember it's a remake of the Wim Wenders 1987 film Wings of Desire, which is an old favourite, and is, I've just discovered, available on DVD from! (One to add to the Yule list, perhaps.)

Eh well, time to get a couple of BCP pages done then tackle the next AC - had feedback from a (n other) Zone member which convinced me the cliffhanger in the last chapter had the effect I was looking for...

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Friday, June 18, 2004

[blinks] Y'know, I think I spend too long sitting at this computer. Quyn woke me (by barking at the postman) from the middle of a dream this morning. At least, it was a sort of dream. Except that I was trying to code the dream before I dreamed it. (Real code too, CSS and html...)

Reminded me of another dream I had a couple years ago, when I was trying to work out which application to open the dream in, word, excel or photoshop... [shakes head] I love my work. Probably just as well...

But we've finally decided on the new name for WordWrights. Took us a couple of hours trying out variations, and crosschecking them (and all variants) against WHOIS and the UK Patent Office TradeMarks database, and our first choice - WebWords - was well gone. Ken quite liked WebWeavers, but it's really too soft and fluffy for our identity. I wanted something short and preferably two syllables with both hard and soft sounds in it. And more expansive. So, as soon as the registration is confirmed, we'll be Waves as in brainwaves and lightwaves as well as oceanwaves - because it's no longer just to do with words.

We're pleased with it. It's so similar to WordWrights it shouldn't cause too much hassle for anyone, and we don't need to change our logo - though I'm very tempted to create a silver/metallic version. And maybe change the overall look of the site. I have to make some major changes anyway, to make it at least marginally DDA-compliant: this would be the ideal opportunity for a different colour scheme. Hn, I'll have to think about that. (I like change - it prevents stagnation.)

Ken says Many Thanks for all the birthday wishes!

This is entertaining. Make sure you read to the bottom of the page... [29.12.15 - No longer exists.]

[grins] Off to learn how to make cgi forms DDA-compliant. Or I could leave that til tomorrow and do something fun tonight. It's been quite a productive couple of weeks - I deserve a break!

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Thursday, June 17, 2004

Anime Me!

Make an anime YOU! This site is such fun! (Yes, OK, so my hair isn't white, yet, but it's going that way - can't wait... I tried a version with green hair and golden eyes and it looked quite good, but there's no option for blue skin. [grin] Heh, wonder why not?)

Tracy has now come out of her burrow and is climbing the back wall of the tank - looks as though she was just recovering from shedding while she was hiding away. She's very pretty, and quite a bit bigger. In contrast Rosa seems to have decided she likes her burrow and is spending a lot of time in it, for the first time ever. Heh, tarantulas, eh?

Ken's birthday today. He's feeling a little better, so we're hoping it's the interferon and not chickenpox...

Lutra's Zoo pt 3 now posted in the (other) Zone - it's wonderful!
Anime Me!

Kai had a go!

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OK, that's Retreat coded and posted in the (other) Zone. Lutra thinks she may be able to finish Zoo pt 3 in the next 24 hours, so I'll delay the Update til then...

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Wednesday, June 16, 2004

...and that's Jenni's site, basically, finished. There are some soundbytes of her music to come, and a list of other compositions, and I'm not completely satisfied with my flames-in-prism logo, but generally speaking it's done.Jenni Roditi - old site...

This is how it looked before: you can check out the redesign here. (I really wanted a gentle transitional animation for the words but it came out at over a meg in size...)

I'm quite pleased with it, though next time I want to try something slightly different - a top navbar, perhaps...

Kai is still home, and probably won't be going back to school til next week now - new spots keep appearing, only one or two but it means he's still infectious. Other than that he's perfectly fine, appetite back to normal, and last night we had fun with the hosepipe (the medlar and my acer were looking thirsty so I watered, and found we have a mullein coming up over by the fence, which I'm pleased about: I thought we'd lost it.) That's fun as in Kai running round the garden shrieking with laughter as I chased him with the hose, spraying him with water as he tried to hide under the old shell-shaped sandpit - heh, he looked like a tortoise at one point, creeping along with just his head and hands poking out, had me in hysterics...

Ken is feeling nauseous today. That didn't happen with the last lot of meds, and we're not sure if it's the interferon or if he's going down with chickenpox (his mum couldn't remember if he'd had it either.) Fingers crossed it's the drugs...

Fingers crossed hayfever season finishes soon too - I'm fed up with sneezing and snuffling!

This is Kai standing at the top of Mary Steps: back in Mediaeval times this was the main southern route into Exeter! The Tudor house you can see at the bottom is original.

Kai at the top of Mary Steps, Exeter

Retreat is about half written - will try to get it finished tonight.

Then I can get back to Haadri!

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Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Parliament St, smallest street in Europe

This is Kai standing in Parliament St in Exeter - the smallest street in Europe, I do believe.Kai in close-up, not enjoying the enclosed space. Kai didn't enjoy it very much, I think, if his expression is anything to go by... very claustrophobic.

...OK... Rosa has started excavating in her hide, making it slightly deeper - no bad thing now she's that much bigger: fascinating to watch! And Tracy, we've discovered, has shed, while still in her hide: the exuvium is shoved up against the tank wall at the moment. We can't get at it without lifting the entire hide. The worrying thing is that we could have unknowingly disturbed her while she was shedding, since we have to lift and turn the tank to see into the hide... She still won't come out (though she's eating crickets so I suppose she must come out at some point during the night) Definitely needs a tarantula bishie to tempt her into the open...

New addition to my blog template! Check out the infobar! Regular readers might remember my saying, a wee while back, that there really wasn't any reason why Kai shouldn't call his brachypelma Tracy, after Tracy Beaker, since I'd always fancied getting an albino Alsatian and calling it Benten. Well, Valkyrie's drawn him for me! The thumbnail is clickable to the full version of the picture. [GLOMPS] Valkyrie!

And now posted: in the Darkside, Lutra's Zoo pt 2 and my Loan pt 5, and you can find a lovely (adult) sci-fi fic, Strawberry Blue by Lutra, in the non-passworded Vault on the main site...

Good heavens, I do believe I've caught up with everything I intended to do today! Well, except for Retreat, which I'm now going to tackle before anything else urgent comes up...

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Monday, June 14, 2004

Oh joy, a trip into town...

Actually it wasn't that bad. Managed to find everything I went in for (bank, birthday present for my mother, Ken's shower gel, new trainers for me, lots of packs of ramen and some sesame mochi, which we'd never tried, and which Kai and I don't like but Ken will happily eat) - and a couple of things I hadn't planned on...
I really should avoid Forbidden Planet. They had Fake Vol 6 - and they had the complete Darkside Blues manga in English...

       Meet Darkside.

The artwork is intriguing, stark in places, intricately detailed in others... It looks very good. I shall enjoy reading it.

Infobar anime list updated accordingly. Now, can I make myself wait to read Fake 6 until I've managed to get hold of Vols 2-5? Extremely unlikely, I'd say!

[clipped from onna's tree]

OK, now these were... disturbing...
How to make an Alestrel
5 parts pride
3 parts humour
5 parts leadership
Add to a cocktail shaker and mix vigorously. Add a little cocktail umbrella and a dash of sadness
How to make a Joules
5 parts pride
1 part crazyiness
3 parts
Layer ingredients in a shot glass. Add wisdom to taste! Do not overindulge!
How to make a Flare
5 parts intelligence
1 part humour
5 parts joy
Layer ingredients in a shot glass. Top it off with a sprinkle of lustfulness and enjoy!


Personality cocktail


3 parts WHAT!? Mystery? Invisibility? Haddock?? AARGH!!

As for the death scenes, well, I was perforated by a pretty hefty woman in an anthill in NYC, shouted "Make sure my mum gets this ring" and am survived by a goldfish (that should be the Tetra That Will Not Die, surely!), A'lestrel was savagely stabbed by a homicidal maniac (on the 3rd of Aug this year? Shall have to have words about him mucking about with time travel again...), last words "Did you hear something?", while Flare was carefully crushed like a grape by passing aliens and is survived by fifty or so gerbils (unlikely - they'd have been eaten by now...)

What a very strange site. But good strange. I think...

OK... Better get Jenni's recordings page finished, then go tackle Retreat, the next AC.

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... what the hell happened to Saturday...?

Well, Sunday was hectic, so I suppose Saturday was too. And Lutra's right, I have finished two Dys chapters since Thursday (25 pages in all) - one of them, Loan pt 4 is now posted, but L5 needs to wait until Lutra's finished Zoo pt 2... Soon, we think! She's written a lovely short sci-fi story that I'll post in The Vault - tomorrow, when I have the energy to create the background tile...

I had planned to write the next AC on Sunday too, but Jenni arranged to ring to discuss her site at 8pm, and by the time I'd made all the necessary changes it was midnight and I was poggled... Will try again tomorrow.

Oh, one thing I did do though - treated myself to a small reward. Found these -

Dik Dik and KMask phone danglies

on the Strapya site. (They're actually only tiny, but who cares?) Grand total of £8.70 including p&p. Now Kevin the phone can have Kevin his namesake dangling underneath him. Along with Dik Dik. [smirk]

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Friday, June 11, 2004

[blinks] Uh, right...

Prepared the letter to go to Candy re the fridge-freezer, then Ken commented that he thought it should maybe go to empiredirect in the first instance, since we paid them for it. Went 'net hunting to try to find out the procedure: the DTI website is good, so is the OFT. I emailed the latter because while what they said was clear enough, it didn't specify who was the seller in our case. They emailed back within half an hour to say they couldn't help but to contact our local Trading Standards (you can find out how to contact yours here, in case any Britons reading this need to use them!) So I emailed them, asking the same question, and within ten minutes an email came back asking for details, which I supplied... and twenty minutes later an email arrived saying they'd investigate the complaint for us, but given how busy they are it could be up to four weeks before they can make a start. (To my mind this proves three things - that they're definitely on the ball and keen to help, that consumers here are no longer prepared to put up with substandard goods and services, and that there are far too many substandard goods and services being provided these days!)

Now this is great - but it wasn't want I wanted to know... I'll ring them Monday to ask for advice. Given it'll take them that time to get around to our case, I don't want them to cancel it, but we haven't actually made any official complaint to empiredirect/Candy yet, and I'd have thought we should do that before getting Trading Standards involved...
Updates as I find out more...

Ken's taken the first and second doses of ribavirin, and isn't feeling too bad: we think they've changed the formula slightly. It still gives him headaches and aches and pains, but not as bad as last time. This is good. However, he doesn't self-inject the first dose of interferon 'til tomorrow, and they warned that that could be most unpleasant for the first couple of days. (And it was bad enough last time.) So keeping fingers crossed for a few weeks, until his system adapts again.

Kai's site is now live! It's very simple, just a few pages with pics, but we'll make it more sophisticated over time. I've added the link to the navbar.

Kai is feeling fine; appetite's still a little off but otherwise he's bouncing back already (it's great having such a healthy child!) The spots on his face have almost gone (though he has them in his ears, which he hates) and he's managed to avoid scratching, mostly (he may have one scar under his chin, another at the end of his right eyebrow, and one behind his ear, but they won't be very noticeable, and there may be one or two on his back. Altogether I think he's done brilliantly! It's possible he'll be OK to go back to school on Monday, but we'll see. Our thanks to everyone for your sympathy and good wishes! [group GLOMP]

My Exeter photos arrived back a couple of days ago. I've scanned in some of my favourites and will post them here over the next few days, but first, here's one from my birthday!

It snowed on my birthday 2004!

Right, back to it. I have to see if I can create flickering flames inside a prism...

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Thursday, June 10, 2004

Ohhhhh Kay...

Well, I tried to get hold of the Beeb, but there was no answer, either that evening or the folowing morning. No answer to the urgent email either. I rang Emily and Bill's parents to let them know Kai wouldn't be in, of course, and the school. But as to what happens now, I've no idea - no one's been back in touch...

Kai is covered in spots, all over his face as well, poor bratling. But he doesn't feel particularly ill (woke up with a sore throat, and keeps getting headaches, but Calpol knocks those on the head and other than that he's OK) which is a relief. He was experimenting with ice, salt, and mashed mahonia berries today...

Ken's back from the hospital with a month's supply of ribavirin and interferon: planning on starting the course tonight. Fingers crossed it works this time: we should know within the first three months.

Been playing around with animations for Jenni's site. Made the one I wanted, and it looks gorgeous, but it's far too big so I've had to opt for something a lot simpler. It still looks nice, just not as good.

Got somewhat carried away with the latest Dystopia chapters: Loan pt 5 is currently 10 pages and not yet finished. Hoping to wrap up 5 (and 4) by the weekend.

These were quite fun: -

Myers-Briggs result for today (tomorrow it'll be different...)

INTJ - "Mastermind". Introverted intellectual with a preference for finding certainty. A builder of systems and the applier of theoretical models. 2.1% of total population.
Free Myers-Briggs Word Choice Test
personality tests by

Global Personality (Don't think I particularly agree with most of this one. But I wonder what country it would make me?)

Global Personality Test Results
Sensate (40%) moderately low which suggests you are not very empathetic, sensitive, or considerate of others.
Intellectual (80%) high which suggests you tend to be very internally motivated, self seeking, and independent.
Assertive (60%) moderately high which suggests you are proactive, direct, competitive, and intense.
Take Free Global Personality Test
personality tests by

This one was unexpected, though! (Not that I'd disagree with it, particularly, mind...)

[waves at Littlesaru] Good to hear from you!


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Wednesday, June 09, 2004

I should be a little more tired than I am, I think. Finally got to bed around 6.30 yesterday morning, then Ken woke me at 7.45, shoving our old solar eclipse viewing shades in my hand with an enigmatic "You can see it..." I stumble to the landing window and squint out (the window faces east) at a roasting hot morning with the sun in a completely cloudless sky. Several minutes later, when I could persuade my still sleeping eyes to focus, I saw it, too - Venus, a tiny circle at bottom left in front of the sun.

It really brings home the sheer scale of the planetary system. Venus is about the same size as earth, and 65 million miles from the sun (28 million miles from us), and orbits at nearly 22 miles per second - and it took around six hours to cross the face of the sun. And it's tiny. And the sun is HUGE. And yes, I knew all that, of course, but to actually see it...

We checked again a couple of times during the transit. Amazing sight...

(Oh, and I did get more sleep - went back to bed for a few hours after that first sighting.)



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Tuesday, June 08, 2004

[head in hands] Well, we've found out what's wrong with Kai - he has chickenpox...

Of all the lousy timing. Doctor says he should stay off school for the next couple of days until the spots have all scabbed over, because he's infectious until then. Other than that she was quite pleased: apparently it's extremely nasty if you get it as an adult, so having it now is much safer. (Which is a point: I've had it but can't remember whether Ken has... Heh, neither can Ken...)

We're all relieved, of course, Kai particularly (much easier to cope with an illness once you know what it is, and he really doesn't feel that ill) - but his zooks...!

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Oh ye gods.... I worry sometimes....

[Joules] The phone's so cute! It needs a name...
[Lutra] ROFLMAO! cute? cute?..... Sally... Sakura...
Kiki [smirk]
[bigger smirk] Dik Dik... ...KEVIN!!! [falls off chair in hysterics]
Actually I like Kik... ROFLMFAO!!! [gasping] oh gods...
That's it - my mobile phone is called Kevin...
Kevin the mobile phone... [choking]
oh shit [choke]
oh gods...
Nappa the mp3 player and Kevin the mobile phone... this is known as keeping technology in its place.
ROFLMAO!! Until it all rises up and slaughters us all for the indignity of the names given to it [smirk]
[evil smirk wiping tears of laughter from eyes...]

So if your toaster attacks you at breakfast tomorrow, it's probably my fault... [grin]

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A mixed bag of a day...

Ken and I both have new mobile phones. Yes, I know that's a wicked extravagance, but... Our old, 'family' mobile was a Motorola on the (very expensive) Orange 'pay as you go' network - 35p per minute/call (which is outrageous). It was also - 4? 5? - years old, bought from Argos (or should that be Arguth?) with Ken's Yule pressie money. It was big, and clunky, and you had to use up your credit every six months or lose it. (That actually wasn't so much of a problem, given how I used the phone.) But over the last few months the battery has been going. We've recharged it overnight, only to have it give us at best 3 hours of use before the battery was flat again, and given its age, we weren't even sure if we could get a replacement. And it was horribly complicated to use any of the functions - actually, I never bothered, just used it to ring home or Carol.

The Nokia 3310 was on sale at Tesco, £39.99 reduced from £79.99 - half price. It's 'pay as you go', you only need to make one call every six months to keep it active, it connects to the Tesco network - no idea how good/bad that is, yet - and only charges 20p max per minute/call (though most of the charges are less than that, I think: haven't had a chance to learn everything yet...) And it's deliciously easy to use - I was adding numbers to the memory and setting the time and date within minutes of registering it. You can lock both the SIM and the keypad. And, Lutra, it'll send international texts for 20p, if I've read the booklet correctly - so let me know your mobile number, ne? [note to self - learn to text...]

[grins] But what I was really chuffed to discover, on reading the instructions, is that it has a ringtone composer. I've always wanted a snippet of the Cyber City Oedo 808 opening theme (the dub version, not the original) as a ringtone, and now it looks as though I can do it! (Though working out the notes is going to be fun. Going to rope in Ken and Kai to help with that - Kai has his little electronic keyboard and Ken reads music...)

Kai is still not feeling right. Had a bit of a temperature earlier - mind you, so did I, it's been hot here today - so I put him to bed early, our bed, my side, with the ceiling fan on. It seemed to help a bit. We'll have to see how he feels in the morning. I don't want him to miss school, especially with the Beeb visiting Wednesday...

Trying to pin down what it could be. Possibly some sort of mild food intolerance? We need to keep a diary of what triggers it, I think - though I'm pretty sure some of it's emotional/the stress of growing up...

It's now been a couple of months since the fridge/freezer started causing problems. The fridge is currently operating at 8 degrees (which isn't cold enough, I think) and the freezer at -18 degrees (which is far too cold) even on the minimum setting; as far as I'm concerned it's now a health risk, especially with the summer heat. Despite contacting them on numerous occasions Candy quite obviously don't give a damn, and I've had enough. I'm preparing a letter to go to them stating that we want a full refund (so we can buy a replacement from a decent company): if I don't get a response within 7 days I shall throw the whole matter to Trading Standards. And I will never buy anything from Candy again, and I would suggest that anyone considering buying from them think very carefully before going ahead. Heh, might still contact Watchdog and see if they'd be interested...

Have also started my next Dystopia - Loan pt 4 [grin]

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Monday, June 07, 2004

A short while ago, in ICQ discussion with Lutra about my next Dystopia chapter (because I have Alexei nagging me...)

[Joules] I must be gearing up for a Queen of Casual Torture session again
[Lutra] Yippee! [boingboing]
But you do it so well!
Why thank you!
I aspire to that level of nastiness... : )
ROFL! Nah, you don't want to live in my mind...
Oh gods no, but it's fun to visit. Dungeons don't go deep enough in my mind, I have to visit yours for that.
[blink] Heh, you haven't got to my dungeons yet!
[blinks, backs away] oookaaay....
[big evil grin] You stay above ground where there's still an escape route. Leave the dungeons to me...

So that's next on the list, now I've finished my UM project. [Hey, I've actually finished something tonight!]

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And that's Dessert and Unmask both posted...



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[dazed but no more confused than usual...] It's been fairly productive, though. Posted the latest Kinnikuman Nisei chapter (ye gods - the nineteenth!) and have nearly finished the twentieth: that should be posted later tonight (er, this morning). This one will be the last in that fandom, at least for the moment. Although I've said that before and then found myself re-inspired... I really want to illustrate this one, have the scene in my head, but it's been so long since I managed any drawing I think it may be beyond me.

Jenni's site is getting closer to completion, though I can't actually code any more pages until I'm sent the updated biog and composition list. I'm quite pleased with the way it's looking, though - not to mention growing more and more impressed with the things that can be accomplished with CSS!

Rosa is considerably bigger after her shed, but is still recovering at the back of the tank, so I've had no opportunity to measure her yet. Kai told me that she'd been 'combing her hair' while I was out, earlier: I'd have liked to have seen that! The new hairs are a lovely shade of pink.

[sigh] But Tracy is still in her burrow... Heh, I suppose we should be thankful we have at least one tarantula that doesn't mind staying out in the open...

Back to it.

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Saturday, June 05, 2004

My haddock are escaping! A net, a net, my.... um.... tartare sauce? for a net!

We didn't manage to get to Leigh Woods after all - Kai's been feeling a bit poorly (stomach again). So we've gone out to nearer places, just down to the park. Maybe in the summer, Carol?

It's been hectic. But productive. And I've learned a whole new load of CSS and the basics of creating a secure online merchant account. All good and useful stuff.

Time to write that KMask/Eskara lemon Lutra asked for, I think...

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Thursday, June 03, 2004

[sigh] So much for an early night...



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Well that was fun - except that Kim was feeling poorly... She put it down to a delayed reaction from going on nearly all the rides yesterday at Alton Towers (this is the offical website and it's horribly badly designed: you need to click on Park Info in the top navbar, then on Experience in the paler secondary navbar that appears in order to get to info about the rides...) But the three sprogs (Joseph came today, too) enjoyed themselves - went to Hengrove Park in the end, my favourite - and we caught up on the news. Hope you feel better soon Kim.

When we got back at about 5.20 Rosa was just beginning to ease out of the old skin, so after Kim had gone we sat and watched for a while. Absolutely fascinating. She was completely out by about 7, and then started working on turning herself the right way up. Kai and I both wanted to see that - and then she managed it in the two minutes it took me to eat my dessert, dammit! Ah well, maybe next time. She's now sitting close to the heat mat recovering. Keeping fingers crossed she'll be ready to shed again when you come over, Carol.

Done a little more to Jenni's site, and started working on the design. Should be done by Friday, I think.

I'm tired. Will see about an early night.

[snarl] and the bloody ClaraNET servers go down again... Heh, shouldn't really complain, it doesn't happen that often...

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Wednesday, June 02, 2004

[grins] Very last two Alliance Chronicles chapters now re-written and ready to read - when we get that far.

But that's all I managed to do last night. And when I came down this morning (er, afternoon) Rosa was on her back with her legs in the air (no, not dead, just shedding, as I predicted. I'm quite pleased that I'm now familiar with her behaviour). Kai excitedly told me - with appropriate actions - that he'd watched her flip over this time: was cute seeing him lying face-up and spreadeagled on the floor being a tarantula... No movement yet, but with luck it'll be nice and quick again. Heh, will have to try to measure her later!

Tracy remains immured in her burrow. I'd be worried that she'd died, except she moves every now and then. Not the most interesting of spiders so far, though.

Kim's coming 'round at 2.30, we're taking the sprogs to the park (Keynsham probably, haven't been there in ages). Then tonight I need to take a crack at Jenni's logo...

[brief edit]

We had an election leaflet through the door - a new party (formed Jan this year), Respect, the Unity Coalition. They sound good (except for the LibDem smear), but I'll have a read through the site later. What I found interesting, though, is the photo here (Luckwell Rd is in Bedminster, over where Kim lives). You note the middle name is Esso? Anyone else noticed the new Esso ads on TV, trying to convince us that they're the future of the energy industry? They're great ads, very smooth, very reassuring... yeah, right! That's like Powergen trying to convince us nuclear power is perfectly safe and doesn't affect the environment...

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Tuesday, June 01, 2004

So that was Van Helsing.

Hm. Disappointing. Hugh Jackman was OK (well, apart from the lupine type-casting and the odd accent that seemed to veer from mock-Hollywood to fake Scots to pseudo-English) and Carl (David Wenham) was very funny as a sort of blithely oblivious 19th century M. The sfx were pretty much as we've come to expect these days, and not at all bad. The costumes were great (love the black leather). And the sets weren't too bad either, shades of Bram Stoker's Dracula and LotR. But the rest - well, I haven't seen such awful (over)acting since Gary Oldman spoofed Dracula (and Richard Roxburgh ain't no Oldman).

Fair enough, it was, apparently, supposed to be a parody, but it was neither clever enough nor camp enough to work for me. And why make a parody with that sort of ending?
Still, nearly-naked Jackman has a very nice bod, even if we only got to see it for a couple of minutes. There are worse ways to fritter away two and a half hours. And Kai loved the film, so that's OK...



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[puzzled] Is the US 'Memorial Day' a new thing? I don't remember hearing anything about it before this year. (Then again, my memory for events on this planet isn't the most reliable...)


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