Zone Doubt, a.k.a. 'Surreal Я Us'...

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

Other sites:

:: JAT :: WaveWrights :: Publications :: Joules... on writing [on hiatus] ::

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

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

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

The Poppy Tales

(Transformers fanfiction!)

Transformers mini-comics here.











I'm a Member of 

UK Veg Gardeners!


My IMDb ep summaries

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

For later:

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


Silver birch at Eastwood 

Farm

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

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

Autumn...

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

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

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

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

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

(Joules, Autumn 2004)


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


In Memoriam

17.03.09 - Argent

25.07.08 - Raptor

18.12.07 - Quyn

02.12.06 - Ryme


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

Currently reading:
Various Transformers books and graphic novels.



Currently working on:
Heart, The Poppy Tales

Currently chuffed with:
My garden

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

Currently maintaining:
BCHS
BCP


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




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

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

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

TPTB - The Powers That Be.

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

biteable - referring to an anatomical part vb, tasty.

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

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

Cumbles - n, cucumbers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Splish - verb. A combination of slosh and splash.

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

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

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

Murfs - noun, moths.

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

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

Shrumps - noun, mushrooms.

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

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

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

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

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


The Updates Blog

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




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

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

Butch by the talented 

Sylverthorne

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

Joules' 

Haddock

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



A'lestrel by 

Valkyrie.

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



Kood, my new mp3 

player.

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


Albino Alsatian Benten (c) MEBird 

2004

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

Radittsu, an oekaki for my birthday 04 

by 

Onna

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



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




The Zone Plant from
The Zone 

blog 

plant

OrganicHTML (which alas no longer seems to exist...)
[::..My Regular Reads..::]
:: Astronomical Pic of the Day [>]
:: What is Space... [>]
:: Dark Roasted Blend [>]
:: BLDG [>]
:: Pruned [>]
:: Watchismo Times [>]
:: Fundies say the darnedest things [>]
(Warning. This site is likely to have you screaming with laughter, shaking your head in sheer disbelief, or weeping for the future of your species. Often all three at the same time. I disclaim any responsiblity for any harm suffered by anyone who visits...)
[::..Fun Places..::]
::HubbleSite
Stunning...
::PALEOMAP Project
Absolutely fascinating.
::The Hacker Dictionary
Hackers with Humour!
:: Carol's Place
My GoodTwin's Homepage!
:: Skymap
Check out the night sky where you are!
[::..Useful Sites..::]
:: GreenNet
First stop for environmental matters
:: MailWasher
Excellent anti-spam software
:: About Bristol
The essential guide - and beautifully user-friendly too!
:: The Forest of Avon
Our local community forest and places to visit
:: The Guardian
Online Guardian Newspaper.
:: ZSPC Colour Chart
Check how your text and background colours look together before releasing them on the world!
:: Symbols
Exactly what it says
:: World Timeserver
For checking the current time around this world
:: Universal Currency Converter
Actually it's just a terran-global currency converter, not universal, but it's still useful...
:: Union of Concerned Scientists
Exactly what it says. Fascinating - and worrying...

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

I'll leave that to others to decide.

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


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

How could I resist?

Just too adorable...

and to complete the rainbow...

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

[::..Anime/Manga..::]
Useful sites:

Yamato -
Fabulous anime figures

Anime Lyrics
A huge selection... evil popups

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

Owned:
   DVD
   Dj: June Special
   CD: Ambivalence

Cyber City Oedo 808

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

From Eroica with Love

Owned:
   Manga Vols 1, 9, 11

Mirage of Blaze

Owned:
   DVD Vol 1 (eps 1-4)

R.G. Veda

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

Twelve Kingdoms

Owned:
   Anime Vol 1-12: complete

Under the Glass Moon

Owned:
   Manga Vol 1, 2
Vol 3 needed

Vampire Hunter D - Bloodlust

Owned:
   DVD

   Vampire Hunter D Book 1



New Vampire Miyu

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


Yami no Matsuei

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


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


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

(Thanks, Lutra, for the quote!)

[::..archive..::]
07/01/2002 - 07/31/2002
08/01/2002 - 08/31/2002
09/01/2002 - 09/30/2002
10/01/2002 - 10/31/2002
11/01/2002 - 11/30/2002
12/01/2002 - 12/31/2002
01/01/2003 - 01/31/2003
02/01/2003 - 02/28/2003
03/01/2003 - 03/31/2003
04/01/2003 - 04/30/2003
05/01/2003 - 05/31/2003
06/01/2003 - 06/30/2003
07/01/2003 - 07/31/2003
08/01/2003 - 08/31/2003
09/01/2003 - 09/30/2003
10/01/2003 - 10/31/2003
11/01/2003 - 11/30/2003
12/01/2003 - 12/31/2003
01/01/2004 - 01/31/2004
02/01/2004 - 02/29/2004
03/01/2004 - 03/31/2004
04/01/2004 - 04/30/2004
05/01/2004 - 05/31/2004
06/01/2004 - 06/30/2004
07/01/2004 - 07/31/2004
08/01/2004 - 08/31/2004
09/01/2004 - 09/30/2004
10/01/2004 - 10/31/2004
11/01/2004 - 11/30/2004
12/01/2004 - 12/31/2004
01/01/2005 - 01/31/2005
02/01/2005 - 02/28/2005
03/01/2005 - 03/31/2005
04/01/2005 - 04/30/2005
05/01/2005 - 05/31/2005
06/01/2005 - 06/30/2005
07/01/2005 - 07/31/2005
08/01/2005 - 08/31/2005
09/01/2005 - 09/30/2005
10/01/2005 - 10/31/2005
11/01/2005 - 11/30/2005
12/01/2005 - 12/31/2005
01/01/2006 - 01/31/2006
02/01/2006 - 02/28/2006
03/01/2006 - 03/31/2006
04/01/2006 - 04/30/2006
05/01/2006 - 05/31/2006
06/01/2006 - 06/30/2006
07/01/2006 - 07/31/2006
08/01/2006 - 08/31/2006
09/01/2006 - 09/30/2006
10/01/2006 - 10/31/2006
11/01/2006 - 11/30/2006
12/01/2006 - 12/31/2006
01/01/2007 - 01/31/2007
02/01/2007 - 02/28/2007
03/01/2007 - 03/31/2007
04/01/2007 - 04/30/2007
05/01/2007 - 05/31/2007
06/01/2007 - 06/30/2007
07/01/2007 - 07/31/2007
08/01/2007 - 08/31/2007
09/01/2007 - 09/30/2007
10/01/2007 - 10/31/2007
11/01/2007 - 11/30/2007
12/01/2007 - 12/31/2007
01/01/2008 - 31/01/2008
01/02/2008 - 29/02/2008
03/01/2008 - 31/03/2008
01/04/2008 - 04/30/2008
01/05/2008 - 31/05/2008
01/06/2008 - 30/06/2008
01/07/2008 - 31/07/2008
01/08/2008 - 31/08/2008
01/09/2008 - 30/09/2008
01/10/2008 - 31/10/2008
01/11/2008 - 31/11/2008
01/12/2008 - 31/12/2008
01/12/2008 - 31/12/2008
01/01/2009 - 31/01/2009
01/02/2009 - 28/02/2009
01/03/2009 - 31/03/2009
01/04/2009 - 30/04/2009
01/05/2009 - 31/05/2009
01/06/2009 - 30/06/2009
01/07/2009 - 31/07/2009
01/08/2009 - 31/08/2009
01/09/2009 - 30/09/2009
01/10/2009 - 31/10/2009
01/11/2009 - 30/11/2009
01/12/2009 - 31/12/2009
01/01/2010 - 31/01/2010
01/02/2010 - 28/02/2010
01/03/2010 - 31/03/2010
01/04/2010 - 30/04/2010
01/05/2010 - 31/05/2010
01/06/2010 - 30/06/2010
01/07/2010 - 31/07/2010
01/08/2010 - 31/08/2010
01/09/2010 - 30/09/2010
01/10/2010 - 31/10/2010
01/11/2010 - 31/11/2010
01/12/2010 - 31/12/2010
01/01/2011 - 31/01/2011
01/02/2011 - 28/02/2011
01/03/2011 - 31/03/2011
01/04/2011 - 30/04/2011
01/05/2011 - 31/05/2011
01/06/2011 - 30/06/2011
01/07/2011 - 31/07/2011
01/08/2011 - 31/08/2011
01/09/2011 - 30/09/2011
01/10/2011 - 31/10/2011
01/11/2011 - 30/11/2011
01/12/2011 - 31/12/2011
01/01/2012 - 31/01/2012
01/02/2012 - 28/02/2012
01/03/2012 - 31/03/2012
01/04/2012 - 30/04/2012
01/05/2012 - 31/05/2012
01/06/2012 - 30/06/2012
01/07/2012 - 31/07/2012
01/08/2012 - 31/08/2012
01/09/2012 - 30/09/2012
01/10/2012 - 31/10/2012
01/11/2012 - 30/11/2012
01/12/2012 - 31/12/2012
01/01/2013 - 31/01/2013
01/02/2013 - 28/02/2013
01/03/2013 - 31/03/2013
01/04/2013 - 30/04/2013
01/05/2013 - 31/05/2013
01/06/2013 - 31/06/2013
01/07/2013 - 31/07/2013
01/08/2013 - 31/08/2013
01/09/2013 - 30/09/2013
01/10/2013 - 31/10/2013
01/11/2013 - 30/11/2013
01/12/2013 - 31/12/2013
01/01/2014 - 31/01/2014
01/02/2014 - 28/02/2014
01/03/2014 - 31/03/2014
01/04/2014 - 30/04/2014
01/05/2014 - 31/05/2014
01/06/2014 - 31/06/2014
01/07/2014 - 31/07/2014
01/08/2014 - 31/08/2014
01/09/2014 - 31/09/2014
01/10/2014 - 31/10/2014
01/11/2014 - 30/11/2014
01/12/2014 - 31/12/2014
01/01/2015 - 31/01/2015
01/02/2015 - 28/02/2015
01/03/2015 - 31/03/2015
01/04/2015 - 30/04/2015
01/05/2015 - 31/05/2015
01/06/2015 - 30/06/2015
01/07/2015 - 31/07/2015
01/08/2015 - 31/08/2015
01/09/2015 - 30/09/2015
01/10/2015 - 31/10/2015
01/11/2015 - 31/11/2015
01/12/2015 - 31/12/2015
01/01/2016 - 31/01/2016
01/022016 - 28/02/2016
01/03/2016 - 31/03/2016
01/04/2016 - 31/04/2016
01/05/2016 - 31/05/2016
01/06/2016 - 30/06/2016
01/07/2016 - 31/07/2016
01/08/2016 - 31/08/2016
01/09/2016 - 31/09/2016
01/10/2016 - 31/10/2016
01/11/2016 - 31/11/2016
01/12/2016 - 31/12/2016
01/01/2017 - 31/01/2017
01/02/2017 - 28/02/2017

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Ohhhhh Kayyyyyy, what's been happening...

Busy day today. Kai was up early, all excited to go get his clock - until he couldn't find his wallet with the money he'd earned. The fuss looking for it woke me up (at 8.30 after getting to sleep at 6.30: I was not impressed...) He insisted he'd put it on the windowsill: it was actually underneath the jeans he'd dropped on the floor last night. [growl] By the time they left any chance of me getting back to sleep was right out the window.

Still, I finished another page of Beautiful Day while they were out, and went up for a nap when they got back - Kai proudly brandishing the clock (it's a nice piece of work, I have to admit).

Took bratling to see Spiderman 2 this evening. Rollicking good fun, and probably the best CG action I've ever seen - so far, anyway. Alfred Molina is amazing as Doc Ock. And I was pleased by the ending - unrelentingly tortured superheroes who don't get any breaks become tedious very quickly...

Just wish I didn't come out of the cinema with a headache every time I go!

Beautiful Day is now seven pages long, and I'm really quite pleased with it. It should be finished tomorrow night at the latest, but there's an illustration I'd like to try for it, so it might be longer before it's uploaded. And I'm strongly tempted to post it outside the (other) Zone for once, with meta-tags to let people know it's there... Will see what I think when I've finished.

So, Valkyrie, despite my initial disappointment with Matrix 2 and 3, the whole thing is growing on me. There's still a lot I don't like, but there's also a lot I now do. The trilogy does repay a more detailed examination...

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Monday, August 30, 2004

[growl] so there I was, early this afternoon, chatting to Lutra and working on Beautiful Day, when our area had a micro-powercut. Less than a second, but it closed down my machine and rebooted it again, and shut down the TV. Didn't last long enough to set the house alarm off or shut off anything else. Grumbling, I reloaded everything and carried on. Then Dave next door came through: his computer had closed down and wouldn't reboot (you may remember mine does that occasionally.) So I dived next door to have a quick look, and yes, it was doing the same as mine, so I suggested checking the fuse, and if that was OK leaving it a while and trying again later. But while I was in there we had another powercut, which did the same thing, only when my machine rebooted it couldn't find my keyboard. [sigh] Unplugged and replugged keyboard, which let me hit [del] to boot up and use my pen to close down again: on rebooting it found my keyboard...

Carried on for a few minutes and then we had a third cut. Same thing happened, no keyboard...

This time I closed down and just left it off (probably just as well, we had a fourth cut half an hour later): watched Matrix: Reloaded again (and made five pages of notes), then made Kai's dinner, then went up for a nap (got to bed at 6.45 this morning and was up again at 12.45, and it's been fraught...)

Things seem to be OK [strokes Butch's mane nervously] so far, but if I vanish, you'll know why...

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Sunday, August 29, 2004

... Kai has made me a clock.

Well, sort of. I've had to buy it.

Let me explain...

Ken took him scooting earlier while I worked on coding up the directory for the BCP site: in their travels they ended up at the tiny newly-discovered charity shop in Sandy Park Rd. Where Kai bought a finger watch (a lovely little thing with diamante around the dial) and saw a pendulum clock (not a grandfather clock - something a bit more suitable to his room... [off on a tangent] We checked out the grandfather clocks again at St Nick's market while we were in town on Friday, and the stall owner said he'd do me a deal since he was keen to sell the clocks (Briz not being the sort of place that many people would buy them), and would reduce the big one from £349 to £200, and the little one from £249 to £150 for us... Ken and I discussed it later and (regretfully) agreed that that's still an awful lot of money for what is effectively a piece of (modern) furniture that's both too big for our house and which Kai may very well not want in a year or so's time. We could do so much more with the money... Back to the main narrative...)

The clock at the charity shop is £15. Ken told him he'd have to buy it with his own money. The shop is closed until Tuesday, now, since Monday is a bank holiday over here.

Kai arrived back asking me if there's anything he could do for me to raise the money...

So to start with I commissioned a Spiderman birthday card for my brother (it's his b-day this month). We originally agreed a £1.50 commissioned price, but what Kai's produced is so good I upped that to £2. Then I commissioned another for my father (his is in November) and Kai's started work on it, but I think it was all a bit much, and it went wrong, so he stopped for the evening.

I have no idea where the clock idea came from, but he came out to me with it an hour or so later and asked what I thought. And it's exquisite! He's taken the circuit board from a floppy drive, fitted a quartz movement behind it (with delicate hour and minute hands) and popped the whole thing on a stand... I can't describe it properly and I can't scan it - it might damage the face (and the sharp metal on the board will scratch my scanner!) but I'll try to take a photo tomorrow. It keeps great time too!

ANYway - long story short, I said I'd love to buy it, and after some discussion we decided £8 was a good price. (Which beat Ken's offer of £5!) So I now have a gorgeous little clockwise clock (as opposed to the backwards clock on my wall) beside my monitor.

Be forewarned, friends and family - we may be commissioning more of Kai's original clock designs for Yule pressies! (Heh, that's assuming we can afford them! [grin])

And Kai now only has to earn another £5 for his pendulum clock. He's dead chuffed!

And no, we're not being mean. Kai gets pocket money, of course, but he currently owes us quite a bit for things he's bought on borrowed cash, so his pocket money gets split, half to pay off his loan and half to him - all agreed beforehand. Given how badly my notion of cash flow was skewed as I was growing up, I don't want Kai to have the same kind of problems I had when it comes to dealing with money. (We pay cash for everything these days: still refusing to have credit cards despite the almost desperate pleadings of the credit companies... The only loan we now have is for the mortgage, everything else has been paid off. That's a nice feeling. Heh, I digress...)

... I haven't started the next AC. I got distracted...

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Friday, August 27, 2004

WildWalk day today. I think Kai had expected to enjoy himself more than actually happened, but he saw the Goliath bird eater, and a new flame-legged tarantula, so he was happy.

We watched Spiderman last night. It's fun: good cg and SFX, an unpretentious and highly enjoyable superhero film, and very much in character (no, I'm not a Peter Parker fan, but my older brother is). We're off to see the second film next Tuesday (assuming it's still showing.)

Completed and posted Aftermath 2 last night, and will be starting 3 this weekend... But it's becoming more and more difficult to raise any enthusiasm for the AC: I want it finished, I have so many other more important projects in progress.

So sorry to hear about the computer disaster, onna. Can anything be salvaged? Do you have hardcopy of the stories? Does anyone else have copies of anything? Even if not, you shouldn't give up. Your work brings a lot of pleasure to a lot of people, and you're developing all the time, improving and refining your skills and talent. It would be dreadful if you let this stop you.

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Thursday, August 26, 2004

Where was I?...

Oh yes... Kim rang yesterday: we took the sprogs to Hengrove Park for an hour or so before the rain started (yet again). Fun - it was good to chat!

Watched Signs in the evening.

Hm.

Interesting. Nowhere near as good as Sixth Sense, but also not as dreadful as The Village. I think Thorne described it accurately (previous comments) as lacklustre. It's very low-key - though it really couldn't be anything else, given the plot - and it builds suspense fairly effectively. But I still found it slightly irritating: I think, if you're going to suggest horror rather than show it outright you need to be a little more subtle than this. And there seemed to be no attempt to produce anything new for the film: it appears to be primarily comprised of elements from other films bundled together (I had the same impression of Village but have only just pinned it down). That's not necessarily a bad thing - other films have used it quite succesfully, and there's precious little new under any sun - but I don't think it was used very successfully here...

Heh... Ah well, we've seen it now...

Animatrix, on the other hand, is wonderful! (Kai's watching it this morning - I viewed it last night to check the content.) Beyond is just gorgeous, Second Renaissance had me feeling sorry for the machines (not that that's so surprising given my jaundiced view of the human race), and Matriculated is an excellent way to end the piece. Most enjoyable!

But I still haven't finished Aftermath 2...

Kai's back to school next Thursday: I sewed his nametags into his sports clothes last night (have I mentioned I hate sewing?). Where did the summer go?

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Wednesday, August 25, 2004

So that was The Village...

I want my money back! (Marginally more detailed grumble at the foot of this post, so if you haven't seen the film yet, are planning to, and don't want my opinion, don't scroll down...)

Been a busy couple of days. I found Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions at the video rental place (I also found the first Spiderman dvd, but not until after I'd paid for the Matrices): we watched Reloaded Monday night and Revolutions last night...

Sorry, Marie, I found them very disappointing, a real triumph of style over substance. Mind you, messianic sci-fi gets right up my nose anyway (probably why I can't stand Dune - I really, really loathe all that mystical "the one" gibberish): at least The Matrix implied it rather than shoved your face in it. But over and above that...
Neo and Trinity? An 'item'? There's no chemistry there at all. And if the love-interest angle was introduced to make the sacrifices more poignant - well, it failed. For me, anyway. I really couldn't care less what happened to the pair of them.

And I nearly dozed off - during Reloaded, anyway. Endless interminable nearly-identical fights - physical fights, mind you, in a supposedly virtual world! - nearly as boring as the endless interminable identical fights in DBZ (which also used to send me to sleep). They just went on and on and on and on...

Oddly, I enjoyed Revolutions more - gods know why, since the section I particularly liked was the battle at the dock (I assume it was dock, and not lock?) with those Aliens-esque mecha, and as anyone who reads this regularly knows, I can't stand mecha. (Well, anime mecha anyway: the APU's were pretty well-designed. And I like the sentinels, could do with a couple to handle my housework.) Very nice strong female characters in the film too.

And I have to confess the twins were amazing, highly memorable and a great concept. So why the hell did they get killed off? [growl]

It didn't help, of course, that I managed to make the time to read Neuromancer recently and greatly enjoyed it (though I think I still prefer SnowCrash). After that pretty much anything was going to be a letdown. Ah well. Kai loved them. And if we ever see them going cheap, I'll probably pick them up anyway, just to watch the scenes I liked.

But I did manage to buy a copy of the Animatrix video - for £1 at one of our local charity shops. Haven't watched it yet: will try for that tomorrow...

pent a couple of hours updating Jenni's site this evening. Moose still haven't authorised the transfer - in fact, UKReg tell me that despite confirming that they would do so, they refused the first request and I've had to reissue it. Will see how it goes, but I am very very unimpressed with both their service and their business practices.

The (other) Zone now has 398 members. Eeeep! Perhaps I should start on that family portrait.

OK - The Village.

What a bloody anticlimax! This was supposed to be a psychological horror film? It's about as scary as going upstairs in the dark, with a transparent plot and an ending I saw coming before we were half way through. I couldn't generate any sympathy or concern for any of the characters - and if that place is what it's supposed to be, where's all the wildlife?

Even Kai was unimpressed. I was going to get Signs out on dvd to watch, but if this is typical of the director's work I won't bother.

Never mind. I have two books to read and review that I've been looking forward to, a signed copy of Just Desserts (thanks Simon!) - the third Hal Spacejock novel - and New York Dreams - third in the Virex series...

Wonder if I can get Aftermath 2 finished tonight?

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Monday, August 23, 2004

YAY!!!

Discovered last night that blogger comments don't work on an externally hosted blog (well, the Jade comments didn't anyway) so thought I'd use HaloScan instead. I couldn't remember where to put the code, though, so I had a look at the Zone template to check - and while I was there I was struck by the crazy idea that Blogger might have done something else without telling anyone (well, me, anyway...)

So I took a look at my navbar options. And [leaps up and down with joy] there was a new option there - OFF! So I checked it, and lo and behold the Zone navbar hath vanished into the murky depths from which it did appear...

Thank You, Blogger!

[long-suffering sigh] Heh, I should have waited. But never mind, the Jade blog really does belong in the (other) Zone, and I learned how to effect the transfer, so I didn't entirely waste my time.

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Another week of unsettled weather forecast. We're off to the Showcase tomorrow: The Village is showing and has been rated 12A, so Kai can see it (though as a 12A I don't think it's likely to be as scary as he's hoping!) On the other hand, the cinema might be packed since it's only just opened... He's prepared to wait until next week if necessary. Thunderbirds is still showing, as is Spiderman 2 (we haven't seen the first one yet, but given the weather I'm planning to visit the video rental shop when I go shopping later. We'll see if we can rent it for tonight.)

We watched The Matrix last night (taped from the TV some time ago) - first time Kai had seen it (first time he'd wanted to see it!) He enjoyed it: I'm going to see if Matrix 2 and 3 are available at the rental place too. Haven't seen them yet and I'm intrigued by the twins...

Other films Kai hasn't seen yet that I think he'd enjoy, that we already have; Godzilla and Fifth Element. I'm also very tempted to try him on Trigun - and maybe Cowboy Bebop...

For the rest, we're going to try to get to @bristol later in the week - Wildwalk, preferably.

Ye gods, there's only two weeks of his holiday left! Fleeing haddock or what?

[sigh] It's pissing down out there... Going to thunder in a minute, I think...

Oh, and our phoneline's back working: they rang us last evening to let us know it was fixed.

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Sunday, August 22, 2004

Sylverthorne's new ficlet now posted in The Vault, the fiction section of WaveWrights!

Go read - it's great!

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Heh, forgot to say... Tried the microwave today, cooked chicken legs for our dinner. Took 31 minutes 20 seconds, and another 10 minutes on the grill setting to brown the skin. I'm impressed! That's a good two thirds less time than in the oven - half the reason for getting the thing (apart from the fact it was £30 off in Tesco's sale, bringing it down to £49.92 - no, I've no idea where the 92p comes in!) was because, of course, our electricity is green, whereas our gas isn't, so any saving on gas usage is environmentally helpful - and they tasted great, much moister than when roasted in the oven. And it's so easy to use! Got it sussed already: I can see me getting an awful lot of use out of it...

Tempted to use it for the casserole I've planned for tomorrow, only the casserole dish I use is rather heavy (Pyrex so no problem with the material, just the weight) and I usually cook it with the lid on to keep it moist, which might not be a good idea... Then again, I probably don't need to use the lid since the operation is completely different to the way the oven works: just put some baking parchment over the top to stop the splattering. Hn. Might try it anyway, it's stewing steak, which takes hours in the oven to get the tenderness I want...

[sigh] I'm getting excited over a domestic implement again. Ye gods, what's happening to me in my old age!! Admitting to liking Matt Monro, waxing lyrical over bathrooms and mirrors and kitchen appliances...

Ah hell, I'll chalk it up to my multi-facetted personality (no, that isn't a euphemism for schizophrenia!). The day I lose interest in the latest advances in computer tech and astrophysics is the day I'll start worrying.

Lovely little family scenario, earlier tonight. I'm sure I've said how Kai loves sleeping on my side of the bed while I'm down here working: he tells me it's because he likes the smell of my pillow, and he feels safe and has nice dreams. Well, I've been trying to stick to the usual term-time routine while he's been on holiday (my bed only on Friday and Saturday nights, the rest in his own room - except when he has nightmares and comes through, of course). Tonight he came and cuddled, asking if he could sleep on my side, because he hadn't for a while and he was 'owed' at least two nights. (To explain that, there've been several weekend nights when it's been horribly hot and sticky, and Ken has been restless, and Kai has had to sleep in his own bed so Ken can get a decent rest without having to subconciously worry about waking Kai up).

Me: "And when did sleeping on my side of the bed become a right, rather than a favour?"

Kai, hugging tightly: "Sorry mum. But I love sleeping there. Please can I?"

So of course I said yes - it's Saturday after all, and he's been brilliant all week: we haven't been able to do much because the weather's been so awful but he hasn't complained. Well, only twice... BIG hug and happy child runs upstairs.

Ken, smiling: "He gets it from you."

Me: "Um, gets what from me?"

Ken, holding up hand: "This wrapping-round-the-little-finger gift."

Me: "It's a Piscean thing..."

Ken, with that smile I haven't seen for quite a while, eyes sparkling: "That explains it..."

My partner-husband is exceptional. And no, I don't take advantage of the 'wrapping-round-the-little-finger' gift - well, except when it's something that I really, really, really want, like the CCO808 DVD - that would be unfair.

And why partner-husband? Because anyone can be a husband - but it takes understanding and tolerance and compassion and real love to be a partner.

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Well, the Blue Yonder engineer arrived at 1.30 to tell me that it was a network problem at the box at the end of the road - about ten other people in the area affected - and they'd have to send out a network engineer. He couldn't tell me when, and the phone still isn't working, so I've no idea when we'll be back on...

I've found a way around the problem with Shadows in Jade by myself, a bit long-winded but it ends up at the password application page. So that's OK. I'm still singularly unimpressed with Blogger though.

My latest (shortish) Dystopia chapter, Buried, now posted in the Darkside, and Aftermath 2 (the next AC) started. There's a great little ficlet of Sylverthorne's that I'm going to be hosting, too, once it's coded and approved.

After all the kerfuffle about M$'s XP SP2 (see GoodTwin's Blog for details), and given that I can't use IE now for anything except checking pages I've coded offline (it crashes if I try to click on link) I thought I'd better see if there's any way to pick up critical XP updates without using IE (there is, but it's a bit tricky...) Anyway, I found the SP2 info page, so thought I'd take a look...
P

op-up blocker, antivirus, firewall (like I'd trust any firewall M$ provide!)... heh, nothing I don't already have. I'll give it a miss for now.

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Saturday, August 21, 2004

I spoke too soon - I can't find out how to post updates to an externally hosted blog...

Wonder how long it'll take them to get back to me? Or even if?

[thoroughly miffed]

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[bemused] OK, I tried moving the Shadows in Jade blog to the (other) Zone, figuring it's only tiny, it won't break the memory bank - and it appears to have worked, despite Bloggers <sarcasm> wonderfully detailed</sarcasm> help...

I'll try posting to it a couple of times before I try moving the Haadri blog, though, given that that one is both bigger and more important... (Hn. Will that cause problems for blog member log-ins? Will see...)

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Thursday, August 19, 2004

Folks were up visiting today, just for the day. A fun time was had by all - especially Kai (who took his Poppa scooting down to the park) and Quyn (who badgered Poppa into throwing balls for him in the garden - balls plural as he won't drop a ball unless another one is thrown for him).

I've just discovered we have a fault on our phoneline, no dial tone at all: rang Blue Yonder service from next door (thanks Suzanne!) and the earliest they can send anyone is Saturday afternoon. [sigh] Just as well I have the mobile, ne?

<rant> Don't get me wrong, I think the new little Blogger toolbar at the top of blogs is neat, and generally speaking a good thing. It's certainly better than the ad-box that was there before. The problem is, I didn't ask for it and I DO NOT WANT IT.

I emailed them asking them to remove it. I got back one of their cheery "we're so excited about it" emails, stating that only people hosting their own blogs can remove it.
Now, before anyone points out that Blogger is free and therefore they're entitled to do what they like to blogs (a worrying thought in itself), I originally paid for my blogs, because I didn't want anything on them that I hadn't personally posted. And I'd be perfectly happy to continue paying for them - but Blogger have taken away that option. And I don't have the time (or the room on WaveWrights: I'm up to about 91% of site capacity already) to wade through Blogger's less than wonderful help to transfer over to another site. Though I might try it for the Haadri blog if I can find the time.

As we know, it's not the first time they've made changes to Blogger without warning (and caused me, personally, intense frustration by buggering up my blogs, which took hours to put right). But unfortunately it's pretty much symptomatic of the Attitude that it's perfectly OK to waltz cheerfully in, uninvited and without so much as 'by-your-leave', and stick your bloody oar in where it's not wanted .

I'd have thought Blogger might at least have had the courtesy to give users the option. That's obviously too much to ask.</rant>

And as for Moose, Jenni's soon-to-be-late domain service... More on that when I've stopped seething.

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Wednesday, August 18, 2004

[blink] OK, we now have a microwave...

Arranged a LETS lift to get Raptor to the vet this evening (vet says to keep an eye on the lump on her lip, but she thinks it's just a cyst) for the second half of her injection, then Ken lift-ed over to Tesco to buy the microwave. Oven/grill combi. Probably going to give it a try tomorrow.

Kai wanted to see Two Brothers at the Showcase. I wasn't so keen, but it's his holiday: I took him to the 2.40 screening.

It's a well made film (I can't call it good, because I don't like films with 'performing' wild animals - certainly not ones as majestic as tigers), and, as I'd suspected, heart-breaking. And depressing. At the time of filming there were about 5,000 tigers left in the world...

Skyfall review finished and away (two days early) and I've started preparing the pages for the holiday pics. And Carol emailed over mp3s of Born Free and Elusive Butterfly (if that's what it's called, I've never really known...) Wonderful tracks. [GLOMPS Carol and Adrian]

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Monday, August 16, 2004

Lots to post... The photographs may take a little while to load, so please be patient!
Datura seed pod


This is a datura seed pod: slightly sinister looking thing, ne?

We watched Pitch Black with Kai - he thoroughly enjoyed it and wants one of those alien beasties as a pet. (Heh, that's my bratling!)

The bathroom is now finished-finished (paintwork touched up, gold flecks added to the blue gloss, mermaids on shelf and window sill) - well, apart from new towels and mat, and little things like blue body-buff instead of the current white one etc. I think our bedroom will be next. There's plenty of the rich blue gloss left over from the bathroom, which will go nicely with the (vague at the moment but I'm working on it) theme I want in there, blues, purples and golds.

Ken went into town on Friday - and arrived back with the mirror I'd admired, at the place with the grandfather clocks (which are full size, by the way: they aren't standing on boxes at all!), the day Carol, Kai and I went up in the HighPoint balloon [sigh - yes, I know I still haven't posted the holiday photos. I've selected, thumbnailed and resized them, but haven't had time to create the pages yet...] Rectangular, with a plain, broad, 'distressed' gold-painted frame: it's gorgeous! Now hanging in the lounge where the round pine-framed one used to be.

Carol and Adrian arrived Saturday lunchtime, and we tanked off to the Balloon Fiesta after dinner. Took two hours to get there this time (it's about a 15-20 minute drive without traffic) - the drive marred somewhat by the pig-ignorant bimbo in the (possibly stolen, certainly in no fit condition to be on the road) car with children in the back... (Which is a point, she was endangering them. Perhaps Social Services ought to hear about that...) But the Event itself was wonderful! Kai went on the Twister twice (once with Carol, once with me) and on the dodgems with Carol and Adrian - the rest of the rides were a little too wild for him: maybe next year...

Churchill!Churchill too


Found a good spot to watch the main ascent - including the Churchill balloon, which got an amazing cheer! (If you visit the site, check out the TV Ads. The Alien Invasion one cracks me up! "Go Home." "No." Oh, and don't miss the bicycling pigeon in the window!)

The wait between the mass ascent and the NightGlow was quite fun: we had parachutists leaping from the small airship and two very high-flying balloons - spot on landings too, very impressive. The NightGlow itself was beautiful - and for once the people in front of us stayed sitting, so no-one needed to stand in order to see the show!

NightGlow

Getting home again was another matter. We knew we'd have to wait for the place to clear a little - but nothing actually moved on the road for over two hours... Not too sure what the problem was - the link road was due to be closed for two hours until 11.30, but it was 2 am before we could leave, and Carol had parked the car closer to the exit than last year... Eh well, bratling slept for most of the time, and the roads were empty by the time we got out (I think it took us 15 minutes to get home.)

Sunday I installed FireFox - and have made it my default browser. What a lovely piece of software! Mind you, I haven't tried using it to log into the Supanames control panels yet... [grin] Very unforgiving, though, it won't allow incorrect coding - which is good as far as I'm concerned. But it had an odd quirk: it opened new sites in Japanese, despite my having English as the default language. Maybe it's Butch playing silly buggers with it... I've added English to the list of preferred languages (above Japanese and Russian) and it seems to have cured the problem. I hope.
So now I'm listening to the CDs Adrian burned for me (of a whole bunch of my truly ancient singles and the wonderful Adventures in Modern Recording (The Buggles) LP), singing along to them (I do remember all the words to We're Gonna Change the World, Carol! Matt Monro, 1970 vintage. How embarrassing!), updating, and trying to finish part 5 of Double Vision for the CCO808 lj...

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Friday, August 13, 2004

Tired. The kind of tired that just taking an evening off, or getting a full night's sleep, won't shift.

Amongst the advertising dross on TV at the moment is one small ad - I caught it just once, from the corner of my eye, and I can't even remember what it's for, probably something I object to, knowing me - in which the main image is of a woman relaxing at the shallow end of a narrow white pool. The water is dappled blue, and there are Grecian columns, perhaps some kind of temple, maybe just a folly, to one side. As the camera pulls back we see that the pool stretches out into the sea, is apparently a man-made extension of an inlet of the sea... tch', that doesn't describe it properly...

As I remember it, she's completely alone in this beautiful, tranquil space.

That's where I want to be.

I want to walk along the white sands of the Maldives before global warming washes them away forever. I want to float in warm blue waters under a cloudless blue sky.

I want a little time and space to myself - by myself - without this constant, grinding worry. And I know I'm not going to get it.

Goes with the territory.

[17.8.2016 - still hoping...]

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Tuesday, August 10, 2004

I, Robot...

Ken was concerned it might be a little sophisticated for Kai, but bratling thoroughly enjoyed it, and understood the principles explored. For my part, it was great to see Will Smith in a thought-provoking film as opposed to the usual gung-ho self-congratulatory-all-American twaddle I've seen him in previously. It's been donkey's years since I read the Asimov book (not since school if I remember correctly - back in prehistoric times) and I really don't remember much of the story now, so had little to compare it to, but it was easily enjoyed for its own sake. Forgivably predictable, given the quality of the acting and the relative complexity of the precepts considered. And superb special effects (though given the film's budget - $200 million apparently - they damn well should be!)

We both want to see Hellboy - the trailer looks amazing, in X-Men league (though I'll believe that when I see it!). Also The Chronicles of Riddick, though since that's a 15 I'm not sure if they'll let Kai in: sometimes they're lax if the child is with a parent, and Kai is certainly mature enough to enjoy the film (Ken and I decided he can watch Pitch Black to 'meet' Riddick first...) Kai likes the look of The Village (I think that is a little too old for him yet), and I want to catch Farenheit 9/11 while it's still showing. Will see how we go.

The film version of HHGTTG is due out next year. That'll be... interesting...

Three pages into Aftermath 1, the next AC.

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Sunday, August 08, 2004

I wandered off to bed at 6am (stayed up extra late to keep an eye on things), after letting the cats out: Ken says they were woken at about 8.30 by Quyn's large, cold nose poking in through the entrance and nudging them! The wind was picking up - there were storms forecast for today - so they took the tent down and brought everything inside. Kai loved it though, will probably want to do it again...

Rest (my next CCO808 part) and Scan pt 3 (my next Dystopia chapter) now uploaded, and I'm making a start on the next AC. Lutra has also made a start on her next Dystopia and AC chapters - looking good!

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That's incredibly cute! It's now daylight out there, and Ken and Kai are still in the tent. Kai took his huge spider toy out with him last night (the one he bought the day I had the last piercing done, if anyone remembers back that far! A whacking great wire, foam and rubber Red Knee Tarantula about three foot across) and put it outside 'his' side of the tent opening - and Quyn is doing his patented 'draught-excluder' thing, lying across the rest of the opening, guarding all within...

I have a fantastic family, all two-, four- and eight-legged members of it! [happy grin]

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Well, they're still out there...

s is Quyn, who can't decide whether he should be out there guarding them, or in here guarding me...

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Saturday, August 07, 2004

[bemusedly watching Argent eating a fried mushroom...] Ken put his old tent up in the garden earlier, and he and Kai are planning to spend the night there. (I didn't volunteer. Tents are too claustrophobic for me.) Well, we'll see how long it lasts.

My datura is producing seed pods.

And I'm three pages into Scan 3, my next Dystopia chapter. Hoping to finish that tonight, then I can make a start on the next AC.

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Thursday, August 05, 2004

Another bitty day. And Ken is now back on the medication. Keeping fingers crossed...

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[SNARL] Lutra gets online (at a public terminal) for the first time in days - and ClaraNET are completing an email migration and nothing is getting through, in either direction, possibly until 6am...

Anyone with anything urgent, please use one of my back up addies, either the blueyonder one (NOT joules@, remember, that reaches a vicar!) or my Yahell one.

That being said, I'm hoping for an early-ish night tonight. I did sleep earlier, but only for three hours, and I'm a little on the tired side...

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Wednesday, August 04, 2004

... We have a new (replacement) fridge-freezer.

Let me rephrase that.

We have a whappin' great over-six-foot-tall new (replacement) fridge-freezer.

It's huge. I mean HUGE. Much bigger than the other. Four adjustable fridge shelves (four in the door as well), four BIG freezer baskets (even the little one at the bottom is bigger than the other's largest was). It's frost free and energy efficiency rating A. And it's HUGE.

[big grin] I'm everso chuffed...

Even if everything doesn't fit in our little kitchen any more - only small things, like cat food, bin for composting, brushes and dustpans... Ken says we need a bigger kitchen to put it in...

We'll be fine as long as it works. Won't know for a couple of hours, the gases have to settle before we can switch it on. Though it clicked, hummed and lit up when they tried it briefly after bringing it in... fingers crossed.

Now I'm going up for a sleep.

Later!

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Aaaaaand the carriers rang - they'll be with us between 8 and 10 this morning. Dare I dare to hope this might actually go smoothly?

Or would that jinx it?

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Well, it's 7.15 am (I stayed up) and no delivery yet, though I assume they'd wait until after nine, to be honest, give the neighbours' cars a chance to clear off to work before trying to get a whacking great lorry in our little road. Ken's awake now, though, so I suppose I ought to think about getting some sleep. My eyes are stinging.

But I finished Rest, the followup to Party in the (other) Zone. Only problem is Lutra should really read it before I post it, since it involves her character...

[blinks] OK, so the timestamp isn't wrong, it's just me having the usual problem with numbers and haddock...

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OK... can't decide whether to go to bed - I'm not particularly tired - or wait up. Our replacement fridge-freezer is supposed to be being delivered today - some time between 6am and 6pm. That could be in just two and three quarter hours time (ignore the blog timestamp, it's wrong), though it'll probably be much later than that. It's not like I don't have plenty to do..

And the new music is enough to keep me awake! Stunning stuff! Paradise Lost are fantastic heavy metal: Simone's favourite tracks (Xavier and the title track Symbol of Life) are just wonderful. (The album ends with a heavy metal version of Jimmy Somerville/Bronski Beat's Smalltown Boy that's an absolutely knockout!) I find it enormously encouraging that this sort of loud, passionate rock still exists after all the hoohah about... umm... Darkness? gods, I can't even remember the name, I found them so bland and forgettable...

Nightwish... what can I say about this group?

... They're fabulous. I had to stop writing to listen. There's a version of Phantom of the Opera - a song I've always liked - on Century Child that I played... oh, six or seven times in a row, as loudly as I could bear it through my headphones... Take a gander at the lyrics on the site, they're terrific. And the singers' voices... It's the sort of album that really needs Adrian's quality of hugely expensive audio equipment to be enjoyed at its best, Carol (and I bet you never thought you'd hear me say that!)

[happy sigh] Gloriously inspirational.

[GLOMPS Simone] Danke schön!

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Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Just a quick note...

Two packages arrived in the post this morning: three music CDs from Simone [GLOMPS Simone!]; B5 - Soundtrack, Paradise Lost - Symbol of Life and Nightwish - Century Child. Thanks Simone! Looking forward to listening to them later... And THE PHOTOS!! [GLOMPS GoodTwin!] Thanks for getting them to me so quickly; they're wonderful.

There are also 339 of them, so it'll take me a little while to sort, resize, select and post onto a website for viewing - hopefully within the next few days. In the meantime, though, I've posted that pic of Lord Flash's backside at the very bottom of the Kinnikuman Nisei/Ultimate Muscle main index page in the (other) Zone.

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I should be in bed.

For a supposedly relaxing day this isn't one I'd recommend. Between trying to sort out Jenni's transfer (no, of course it isn't as simple as I'd hoped it would be, they never are, you'd think I'd know that by now...), blinking at the instructions for coding a MySQL database (the BCP want one on their site... [whimper]... help), Ken mentioning that my bay tree is causing probs for Dave next door (blocking out the sun on his patio) resulting in me going out immediately (because if I delay it won't get done) and pruning it quite dramatically - and then going on to prune the rosemary, the start of the goat willow, with Ken pruning the mahonia and one of the hollies - with more to do tomorrow... Well, I managed to write a page of the Jade/Damune ficlet...

My hands are sore, and Taranis is rumbling around the sky outside. The lights here have flickered once already tonight - not a good sign. We need to have a bonfire soon to turn the cuttings into fertiliser, hoping to do so tomorrow, but if everything's soaking wet... With a little luck all we'll get tonight is rumbles without the downpour (though it's so bloody hot and humid a storm would actually be really nice...)

Blasted nuisance when you can't decide what to hope for!

More later - I'm knackered.

And I forgot to mention that my datura (pics to follow) is fabulous - a night-blooming, fragrant variety whose scent fills the whole of the bottom of the house. Unfortunately the flowers don't last very long - but you can't have everything!

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Monday, August 02, 2004

Interesting... Opera won't let me login to blogger... I probably need to add something to the preferences, will check later.

Nearly caught up with the backlog - I can start writing again tonight!

Assuming the thunderstorms hold off, of course...

Onna, story in your intray. Most enjoyable!

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Sunday, August 01, 2004

A quick additional post - Carol has emailed over a gorgeous pic of Tracy...

Tracy after her second shed

Tracy, 1st August 2004 (a week and a half after her second shed). Pretty spider!


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Right, where was I? Oh yes...

Thursday we bussed into town for the HighPoint ascent. It was marvellous, as much for the relief from ground level heat as the fabulous view. Five hundred feet above Briz: we could see over to Wales (just, it was hazy). Afterwards Kai played in the park (and Carol photographed him sitting on a pig), picked up another couple of Jacqueline Wilson books for him and Neuromancer for me (though when I'll get time to read it is anyone's guess!) Home for dinner, watched the end of YnM, and then the first three eps of Carol's Ultimate Force DVD - which I really enjoyed. I've never been a fan of Ross Kemp, but he was rather good in this. Going to keep an eye out for the second and third series.

Friday we took Kai and his school-friend Emily to Westonbirt for the Festival of Gardens. It was fantastic - not quite as blisteringly hot as last time.

The gardens were very interesting this year. I'm certain none of the designers actually collaborate, but there seemed to be two distinct themes - walls, and holes in the ground (for want of a better term). Whether they were all a reaction to the world situation I couldn't say, but that was the impression I got... well-tended, peaceful, tasteful gardens within defensive walls (and that includes the ones in the holes in the ground). Little oases shutting out the world. Beautiful, all of them (well, with one exception): it was difficult choosing, but I think my favourite was The Underworld Garden, based on Celtic mythology, with a spiral triskele path to the entrance, made of pieces of stone that were hard on the feet - metaphor for life, perhaps? The entrance looked like an arch as you approached, but was actually two overlapping half arches. The path then led into a shady grove, with big 'statues' (the shapes formed out of wire mesh then filled with more stone pieces) - a serpent, Viking helmet, and Cernunnos mask...

The Loom garden was lovely - a rippling pool about an inch deep to paddle in, in a hollow whose sides were planted in reds and silvers, with sparkling strands of glass squares hanging from the two wooden arches over the garden. And there was another I really liked - I forget the name - that was arched over with tape that hummed in the wind: sand, minimalist metal seagulls and coastal plants, with pale screens which fluttered gently, that recalled the sea.

Arriving back, we tackled my computer... SpyBot, Ad-aware and spyblaster installed and run (found 42 nasties on my hard drive, not active, but lurking, including Xupiter and Coolweb). All clear now, which is very satisfying, but something strange has happened to IE... if I click on a link that opens in a new browser window on our index page, IE crashes and my CPU usage shoots up to 100%. Yet it doesn't happen if I click on the same in the Zone: only from the index page. Nothing I do seems to fix it, and I can't re-install IE because it came preinstalled and I can't uninstall it... For the moment we've switched to Opera for most i-net work. I'm hoping it might be a temporary glitch (Carol suggested that using the various new bits of software has stopped Butch visiting some of his favourite sites and this is his retaliation. That's quite possible...)

Saturday it was off to Clevedon, where Kai clambered and scrambled over the rocks while I sat and made notes about the major Haadri [ping] that happened in the car on the way there (more later on the Haadri blog) and talked kidnapping with Carol...

Today we rested, watched Critters and Critters 2, and Maris the Wondergirl (an old Rumik World anime that we both enjoyed - it's funny!) And Carol took more digital pix, the best of which I'll post here later (the cable connecting the camera to the computer unfortunately got left behind in Winchester). She left for home at 5.30 ([sigh] it's never long enough...) Thank you, GoodTwin - we've had a fabulous holiday!

It's going to take me a few days to get back on track - and now I know where I'm going with Haadri I need to get some work done there (so please don't expect a Zone update right away!) There are a few things I must do tonight though - including answering a few emails...

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