Zone Doubt, a.k.a. 'Surreal Я Us'...
Joules, trusted by... dozens... to make a drama out of your crisis...
:: JAT :: WaveWrights :: Publications ::
I live to write. It's not wise to get in my
If you come across any words you don't recognise in this blog, take a look at the Taylorspeke Glossary in the left-hand infopane, you'll usually find a definition there.
Adventures in Orchids
Apparently I am now collecting them...
EO - Everlasting orchid. Phalaenopsis. I've had this orchid for at least 15 years and it just keeps flowering...
AO - Alien face orchid. Phalaenopsis . Bought 2018 - lovely little flowers, all different patterns!
RO - Rescued orchid
TO - Tiny orchid. Phalaenopsis. Bought at Tesco 21.8.20. It just begged to come home with me. How could I say no?
CO - Crimson orchid. Cambria. Another Tesco find. This one may be going to live in Ken's room once we've redecorated and put up the new shelving; it prefers a cooler, less sunny windowsill. If so, I'll need to find another cambrian to keep it company.
GO - Golden orchid. Phalaenopsis. Saw this one when I bought CO and left it behind - then immediately regretted it as soon as I got home. Never seen one like it before. Ken, bless him, went back over to Tesco in the rain and bought it for me...
Monday, January 31, 2005
... where'd the weekend go?...
It was fantastic. FotR on Friday evening, then TTT and RotK on Saturday (with a break for dinner). There was silence after the end credits, but of the satisfied sort... I think both Carol and Sue enjoyed it!
On Sunday we watched Matrix Revolutions ([sigh] I'm still no closer to resolving how to tally my Twinfics with the end of the trilogy) and Lara Croft, Tomb Raider (which I bought cheap at Sainsbury's - not a particularly good film but it's pretty, and OK to have on in the background) - but the real treat was The Calcium Kid...
For anyone who's forgotten, this is the British comedy starring Orlando Bloom that I liked the look of and got as a Yule present. And it's wonderful, very very funny indeed. I'd love to see Bloom in more comedies, he's a fine comic actor with a fantastically expressive face. Great stuff, a real feel-good film.
[sigh] It's never long enough though, is it? Thank you, both, for coming over - I had a terrific time!
I even had time to get some 'spring-cleaning' done, and annoyed everyone by ploughing through my four stuffed in-trays (I've done no non-essential filing for about four years) while Dalziel and Pascoe was on TV. Threw out fuge amounts of useless stuff, and now have three empty trays (the bottom one is still fairly full, but I need to buy some king of storage before I can clear it - it's all misc. stuff).
Back to CH tomorrow, but tonight it's Dystopia. We've estimated that two more chapters from both Lutra and myself, plus another one or two joint, and the story will be finished. That'll be another major project complete!
It's time to get as much finished as possible. Though whether Transposition will ever be completed is now doubtful. I don't want to leave it unfinished, but I no longer have any enthusiasm for the story... Perhaps if I re-read it it might help.
Sunday, January 30, 2005
[blink] Oh, now that's intriguing...
Normally I wouldn't post the result of a quiz like this, but I got to the end of this one - and found myself faced with a three question tie-breaker.
There are tie-breakers in online quizzes?? Well, in this one obviously.
Just look at those scores...
You scored as Autumn. You are Autumn. You appreciate all that you have, and are willing to share with others. You are a friend in the truest sense of the word, and can easily focus your attention on those who need you, placing yourself on the back burner. You make sure your responsibilities are met before you allow yourself 'free time'.
created with QuizFarm.com
(Yes, I changed Fall to Autumn. Fall is what you do when you trip over something. Autumn has a beautiful, melancholic euphony all of its own... Can't see me with cute little butterfly wings, either. Whacking great eagle or dragon wings, perhaps...)
... Ken will vouch that every month or so I'll say - "It's my favourite time of year." Which it always is, regardless of season, weather or mood. It's kind of nice to see that reflected.
More tomorrow. For the moment - Thorne, love the pictures! I'll be more specific later...
Saturday, January 29, 2005
[happy sigh] I'm sitting here with Twin 1 on top of my monitor, Twin 2 on the left hand side and Haldir on the right below it...
The Twins action figures are my joint Yule/Bday present from Sue - and they're wonderful! Beautifully detailed, perfectly smooth - gods, even their rings are correct! I'd given up hope of ever getting them, given their rarity... [bemused and delighted grin] So chuffed...
And Sue also brought over the Helm's Deep Battle set she bought for me on ebay last December... ye gods... talk about detailed! The costumes are completely accurate, the weapons (all of which can be unsheathed/nocked and placed in the figures' hands) are completely accurate, even the relative heights aren't far off! And the faces, while not perfect, aren't bad at all...
And they each have a 'weapon action'. Twist Aragorn's upper body and he swipes with his sword. Push the knob on Theoden's back and he hacks with his. You can fire Legolas' arrows (they travel a good five feet too!), and Haldir is supposed to be able to fire his own, but the mechanism is a little temperamental and fiddly - I'll experiment with it later.
But the one that had us all in stitches was Gimli. Squeeze his legs together and his axe rises... [smirk]
They are amazing, very good value for money. My only criticism would be about the colour of the elves' hair, which is light brown rather than blond and silver-blond. But I may be able to correct that myself...
We watched FotR tonight: aiming to watch the other two tomorrow. Still highly enjoyable for me even though I've seen it a good few times now. It's the first time Sue's seen any of the films - and she hasn't read the books - and she enjoyed FotR, which bodes well...
Friday, January 28, 2005
Well, there was very little in it that I didn't already know/suspect. What can I say? That the administration is corrupt, obscene, only concerned with power/oil/money? That Bush and his cronies are loathsome excuses for humans? Liars? Hypocrites? So are most politicians: these bastards just take it to a new level.
Boycott Bush. Go here to find out how. It's one small way we can all make our opinions felt.
It's a good, well-made film, though. Understated, piles up the evidence, lets the malefactors convict themselves with their own words, and leaves you to make up your own mind. It should be required viewing - especially in the States...
I thought I'd check out the webchat with Michael Moore after the film - not really expecting to be able to login, as I was fairly sure they'd be swamped. I was right -
Online Chat with Michael Moore, brought to you by Channel 4 After the UK premiere of Fahrenheit 9/11 on Channel 4, director Michael Moore will be joining us for a live webchat for one hour from 11.30pm GMT on Thursday 27th January to answer your questions on all aspects of his film-making, opinions about the US government and what his future plans are. Sorry, we are not accepting any more logins due to sheer demand. Please come back later for a transcript.I'll see if I can check out the transcript later - though I anticipate it being far too long to be useful here...
Watch the film - then ask yourself how Bush can conduct a 'war on terror' when he and his administration are the biggest terrorists on the planet.
Thursday, January 27, 2005
Had a call from MFI to tell me Kai's bed delivery will be delayed until March 10th. To be honest, I was expecting it, the page on the website is currently showing extended delivery dates, and I supposes it was such a good deal and so popular they underestimated their stocks. It's not a problem - gives me more time to get his room redecorated - but I got the distinct impression not everyone feels the same way; I could practically feel the poor woman flinching over the phone as she gave me the bad news. I think she was stunned by my not complaining about it...
Hm. Fahrenheit 9/11 is on Channel 4 tonight. I know I need to watch it - I think everyone should! - I'm just worried about my blood pressure! (Actually, we'll probably video it, might be one to keep.)
Which reminds me, we rented The Day After Tomorrow (The Day After Yesterday, as Kai kept accidentally calling it before bursting into howls of laughter...) over Yule, probably a little before, I can't remember now. As a film it was OK, we thought. (It was let down by the ending - the most amazing piece of wishful thinking I've seen in a very long time. As if America would get that sort of compassionate treatment after the way it's behaved over the last few decades! What planet was Emmerich living on when he wrote that?) I don't remember hearing any howls of outrage from the scientific comunity, so I assume the science is mostly plausible - and very frightening.
Rosa's definitely bigger, and her legs quite a bit longer. Still can't see properly as she's scrunched against the wall closest to the heatmat at the moment. We'll be able to get a better idea in a few days, when she's ready to feed...
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
[phew] Well, the shed went OK; Rosa's now out and about and has been stretching. I won't worry so much next time (Ken said watching me up and down from my chair to check progress was like watching someone pacing outside a maternity ward...) She doesn't look that much bigger at the moment, from what I saw earlier, but she's back in her burrow now so it's difficult to tell.
Thanks for the good wishes, everyone!
[snaffled from onna's blog - quite a good one, this]
You scored as Verbal/Linguistic. You have highly developed auditory skills, enjoy reading and writing and telling stories, and are good at getting your point across. You learn best by saying and hearing words. People like you include poets, authors, speakers, attorneys, politicians, lecturers and teachers.
created with QuizFarm.com
Is anyone surprised?
Had some sewing [bleurgh] to do this morning, so I slapped in the new Yami no Matsuei DVD to see what the dubbed version was like...
Never again. I could only bear to listen to it as far as Hisoka's intro, just to hear what they'd done with his voice. The whole thing is dire, Hisoka sounds about 30, the chickens sound like Worff, Tatsumi and the Chief's voices are too high, and Watari's been given a truly horrible overly-precise fake-British accent... The only character who's come off at all well is Muraki, whose VA is (fairly) similar to his seiyuu.
The subtitled version, on the other hand, is great. If you do buy it, forget the dub and watch the sub!
I'd heard the rumours it was happening, of course, but Viz have now brought out the first three YnM manga (only they use the English name, Descendents of Darkness) - more to go on the collection list...
They're also releasing the Ultimate Muscle series!
Tuesday, January 25, 2005
[biting nails...] This morning we found that Rosa had spun a lovely, thick, comfortable bed of silk ready for her next shed. The stupid spider is now lying upside down half in and half out of her burrow instead of on the silk.
And I'm having kittens in case she doesn't have enough room to push off the old exoskeleton/flip herself over afterwards. I know Tracy managed it, but she was a hell of a lot smaller than Rosa at the time. And of course Rosa is such a prima donna about the whole thing...
I suppose, if the worst comes to the worst, we (read, I) could always reach in and lift off the burrow (it's a curved piece of wood), though I'd rather not have to, shedding is stressful enough for her without being interrupted.
We have Kai home today, too, with a nasty stomach bug.
However, the vet was fairly pleased with Quyn: the cream has worked well on his leg, and for the time being I just have to keep an eye on the lump in his neck (we've found another one on his stomach while grooming, just a fatty one this time). It's on the other side of his body from the site of the cancer, and the vet thinks it's probably OK - but to go right back if we're worried.
Monday, January 24, 2005
... I can see the knuckles on my left hand...
[grin] Well, it's been so swollen just recently they kind of disappeared. A weekend of not doing very much has eased it significantly - problem is, I can't keep not using the hand...
This was quite amusing, if not wholly accurate...
You're an agitator! Your kids have grown up on the
front lines of rallies and pickets, and chances
are that you boycott at least one company for
its bad business practices. Your kids are
learning what matters to you and how they can
change what matters to them.
What kind of a freaky mother are you?
brought to you by Quizilla
Read a few more manga over the weekend: it's amazing how varied they can be in subject and style. Samurai Deeper Kyo is nicely drawn, but the story less than gripping for me (demon and human medicine 'peddler' sharing a body, demon surfaces when human gets angry, human is accompanied by pretty female bounty hunter who wants the bounty on the demon...). Scryed is something of a mess visually, what could be a reasonable story (seismic phenomenon that created the isolated Lost Ground also sparked a human mutation allowing its possessors to alter reality) spoiled by graphics that make the story hard to follow.
Immortal Rain (read from right to left, top to bottom: ->), however is most intriguing. Rain Jewlitt (the pretty one with the earrings) is truly immortal, he can't die, can't be killed. He's currently 624 years old - and those who know about him (including a girl who wants to transplant the head of her dead king onto his body in order to return the king to life - sound familiar?) are trying to catch him to find the secret of his immortality in any way they can, regardless of what that does to him.
It's a miserable life, and filled with pain, not just because his body can't be permanently damaged (temporarily yes, but he eventually heals from the most terrible damage) but because of the appalling loneliness: everyone dies eventually, except for him. It's a refreshing contrast, after reading/watching so much where the search for immortality is all-consuming, to see the other side of the equation. After all, those who want immortality rarely consider the consequences.
Thought-provoking, poignant, funny in places (faint echoes of Vash, too, another immortal who's suffered at the hands of mortals), pretty, restrained artwork... Another one added to the list to collect.
(That little creature in the top left panel is a three-eyed cabbit - cross between a cat and a rabbit for those who've never seen Tenshi Muyo. It's incredibly cute.)
... I've just watched That's So Last Week, sort of by accident - I'd only planned to have it on in the background while I caught up with emails, but ended up chortling all the way through. It's deliciously funny, wonderfully bitchy, and quite addictive. Well worth watching if you have Channel 5.
Sunday, January 23, 2005
JAT is now live, though nowhere near finished: I haven't even created the navbar buttons yet. But at least I've shunted all the Professionals and Lexx stuff over, and clawed back about 10 megs of memory at WaveWrights. I've been working through some of the pages today, converting them to CSS - a long and very boring job but necessary...
I went to check a site I haven't visited for a long time a little earlier, to find it wasn't available. But I was rather tickled by the error page: there've been apocryphal rumours about them but I wasn't aware they actually existed... Haiku 404!
Though you scream and shout What you ask cannot be done. The server has failed. Ask a man nonsense And you will reap confusion. CGI has bug.So cute!
... back to it...
Friday, January 21, 2005
[sigh] Doesn't it just get right up your nose when you find a good site and then it disappears with no forwarding address...?
After thoroughly enjoying the Love and the City blog for a week or so, the owner has now moved and deleted the old blog, dammit - and I can't find his new one. (Admittedly I haven't hunted very hard, don't have the time.) So I'm taking it off my list of blogs in the infopane until further notice...
Band 2 now finished (all 31 pages of it). It'll be posted 'friends only' (because of the content) in the next few hours in the CCO808 Lj first, so those members whose characters I've borrowed (Valkyrie, Sylverthorne and Kendohotchick) have a (brief!) chance to read it before I open the link in The Zone tonight.
It's been such fun writing it! Not quite as rib-ticklingly funny as the first one, but there's still enough in it to raise a chuckle...
Ploughing on with CH...
I've made time to read some of Windlily's manga (breaks between CH spreads), and have thoroughly enjoyed it. Well, mostly - RahXephon is pretty standard mecha (yawn, doesn't even have any decent bishies). But Under the Glass Moon is great - unexpectedly whacky, and the male characters are terrific (gotta love a grouchy bishie wizard who favours leather, spikes and bondage gear!): unfortunately there's also two of the most irritating female characters I've ever come across - you thought Bulma was a pain in the arse, meet Nell. You just want to throttle the brat. Sage Maxillion is pretty obnoxious too. Luckily the pair of them are balanced by Madame Batolli, one of the best female characters I've found... I need to get the other two books in the series just to see where the hell it's going!
Rebirth is interesting - vampire story with a twist - although I could live without the loooong fight scenes (not quite as bad as DBZ, and at least you can turn the pages to skip the boring bits). The big surprise, however, was The Demon Ororon (->). The art is spare, hard and not at all 'pretty', and the story is extremely, graphically, violent, but it's extraordinarily compelling: I couldn't put it down. There are currently four in the series: I have to get the two I'm missing, I want to know what happens next!
Haven't managed to watch any of the anime yet, unfortunately. May have to wait until CH is finished, dammit...
I've now had the next lot of books for review - including [happy bounce] The Dark of the Sun, the latest(?) St-Germain book by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro. I love the St-Germain books, been collecting them for years - they're not that easy to get hold of over here (at least, I haven't found it easy, though I suppose they could be ordered...) Yarbro is a far better 'vampire' author than Rice, as far as I'm concerned (The Vampire Chronicles were pretty good until Tale of the Bodythief, which took me two months to plough through, as it kept sending me to sleep, and after that the series went downhill rapidly...). I'll save this book for last!
Right, where was I? Oh yes...
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
I joined in the fun!
See how much you know about me - try the Quiz on QuizYourFriends.com!
(Check the scoreboard here.)
Monday, January 17, 2005
[growl] What is it with us and the medical profession? I took Quyn round to the vet, only to find that the person I spoke to on the phone last Friday (stressing I wanted an appointment as early as possibly this week) had booked us in for 12.15 Jan 24th...
Fortunately they were able to squeeze us in at 3pm. But I don't have any definite diagnosis: they aren't sure if it's just a fatty lump, swollen lymph node or something more worrying. I get the impression they're not too bothered though, and to be honest, given that it's a soft lump that moves when you touch it it's likely to be something fairly benign. At any rate, I have to keep an eye on it. Vet seemed more concerned about the raw patch on his leg - just a tiny spot that he's been nibbling at and made sore - and has given me some ointment to rub on. I have another appointment for next Monday; might find out more then. (As we all agreed, Quyn is 12 years old now, no longer a young dog, and I'd rather he didn't have to have a general anaesthetic if it's not necessary.)
Kai spent all last night coughing and spluttering, and didn't feel well this morning, so we kept him home from school. He's considerably better this evening, so the plan is for him to go back tomorrow.
Which will make life easier for us: it's almost impossible to get any serious work done with him home, even though he is very good...
[dazed] I arrived back from shopping to find a fuge whopping great parcel had been delivered while I was out - my Yule parcel from Windlily (the opalescent dragon of the centre) in Florida...
I'm boggled. I now have about three weeks worth of anime and manga to watch and read, and need to clear another shelf to hold it all. Let's see...
Anime DVDs Blue Gender 1 (eps 1, 2 & 3) - caught some of this on Sci-Fi channel, looks interesting! Soul Hunter 1 (5 eps) - don't know this one... Arc the Lad - Hunters and Monster - I kept missing this on Sci-Fi, but it sounds intriguing. Ceres, Celestial Legend - Destiny - I've read the very first part of this and really enjoyed it: looking forward to watching. Descendants of Darkness, 1 - Vampire's Lure - the English dubbed version of the first part of Yami no Matsuei. It's going to be very interesting to see how badly it's been dubbed (and subbed, there are both on the DVD)... Get Backers 1 - this sounds very good! Saiyuki 1 - The Journey Begins (5 eps) - the one Onna has been talking about! This is first on the list to watch, along with Wolf's Rain.Those by themselves will take eleven hours and twenty minutes to watch, and that's without the 13 eps of Haibane Renmei and the 30 eps of Wolf's Rain Onna gave me last year... [whimper] ... need clones, T.A.R.D.I.S, immortality... failing that, some haddock would do...
Manga Demon Diary 5 & 7 - YAY, now complete! Trigun Maximum 1 [sigh] Somehow I need to make time to re-watch Trigun too... Scryed 1 - don't know this one. Rebirth 1 - ditto. Immortal Rain 1 - ditto... Samurai Deeper Kyo 1 & 2 - ditto The Demon Ororon 1 & 2 - ditto! RahXephon 1 - ditto (mecha, apparently. Pretty artwork!) Angel Sanctuary 1 - YAY! Wanted this for quite a while! and Under the Glass Moon. If the text on the first page is anything to go by I'm going to really enjoy this (creator's comments in [ ] brackets)"Once upon a time there was a fair princess who lived in a beautiful castle with a glorious queen. Then one lovely day two brothers came and asked for her hand in marriage. As in most fairy tales the brothers were, naturally, princes... [Aww yeah! All narrative cliches aside, this little tale is already developing nicely!] One was a handsome, strapping young man [Whooo!] And the other was... um... [Okay, they were both androgynous pretty boys. So sue me. All right, I am coming clean. They weren't really princes, and she wasn't royalty. No queen, no castle. It didn't even happen "once upon a time". But before you close this book, you gotta trust me on just one thing. There was plenty of magic!]"
The black-haired, golden-eyed one is Luka (greatest Dark Wizard of the 21st century), the golden-haired, blue-eyed one is Luel (a "bookish sorcerer" and Watari clone!)
[happy sigh] And there was chocolate (Whetstone lime chocolate and raspberry chocolate balls, and Lindor truffles), Piñon incense, two very cute handmade clay pins, a scarf that looks like it should be alive (amazing silky ivory white 'fur') and a beautiful big hair clip decorated with an amethyst coloured 'crystal' chrysanthemum with a cluster of pearls in the centre...
I'm quite overwhelmed...
[GLOMPS Windlily] Thank you!
Sunday, January 16, 2005
Tch', no update since Wednesday. [slaps self about the head with a startled haddock] Shame upon me...
Mind you, it's been a little busy. We're nearly half way through CH; I've archived another couple of gigs-worth of old files; I've worked a little on Haadri; we've done some more tidying up and chucking out around the house, the plans for the redecorating upstairs are coming on apace; and we've held a gift-recycling session for BRISTAL.
I've also been preparing the material for joulestaylor.com; now have the webspace (well, I will have when Supanames confirm) so with a little luck I can have that up and running in the near future as a frames site, with the navbar across the top for a change. The logo's done already, but I can't decide on a design for the buttons. An eye, perhaps...
On the health front, I'm beginning to wonder if my hand will ever get back to normal; it's still swollen and sore and I still can't wear my ring, which feels wrong. Kai's brought another blasted bug home and has spent the weekend sneezing and coughing (I seem to have avoided the worst of it so far. Then again, I still haven't fully recovered from the last one he brought home... <droll> so nice to have a child who likes to share... </droll>). One of his loose teeth came out when he was eating dinner last night: the one underneath is half showing already!
I take Quyn to the vet tomorrow: he's had a lump come up under his jaw. Several years back he developed cancer and had three teeth and part of his jaw cut out, and the vet said at the time that if it recurred it would most likely attack the lymph nodes in his jaw and neck. Obviously we're hoping it's no more than another of those fatty lumps he had removed last year (it's on the same side of his body). Keeping fingers crossed.
[bemused] 'Grass pills'... I assume everyone else is getting spam promoting these. I find it amusing that the ads are becoming more and more like the results of a game of Chinese Whispers, with bizarre phraseology and the most dreadful spelling. Is anyone actually stupid enough to try these things?
Adverts... I don't care how hard they try to convince me that 'shakin' that arse' is sexy, the Megane will never be anything but an ugly hunk of metal to me...
Wednesday, January 12, 2005
Dived over to The Range again on the way back from the school this morning: picked up a few more bits and pieces, including the purple/aqua voile inner curtains for Kai's room. I have to admit it was nice being able to take my time looking around without Kai, good as he is when it comes to shopping. I've pretty much decided how I'm doing our room - just need to sketch it, have Ken tell me what a bad idea he thinks it is, then go ahead and do it anyway... [grin]
Anyone who's visited our house may have noticed that plants like me, and tend to grow somewhat big in my home (wherever that might be). Normally this isn't too much of a problem (just remember to bring your machete) - with one exception. I 'inherited' an asparagus fern ('fern'? hah! Should be called an asparagus thorn the number, sharpness and length of the spines. My poor hands...) from Ken's grandmother after her death. It's a handsome plant - but in common with my others, it's grown rather large, the leaf strands five to six foot long. Finding the right place for it, heat and light-wise, has proved difficult: hooked along the top of the lounge window it's in full sun in the summer, and where it's been for the last year or so - on a shelf above the radiator in the hall - it's both in the way and too hot. So today I moved it to the landing window, where it's doing duty as a living curtain. It's a little leggy at the moment, but should now improve, with the correct light conditions.
This month's review went off this morning - eight days before the deadline! It was an... interesting book, Thraxas at War by Martin Scott. Odd. Reads almost like an AU comic parody crossover of LotR, Sherlock Holmes and Xanth with a little Jeeves and Wooster thrown in - but luckily without the Marty Sue elements... I didn't like it very much, or so I thought initially - but now I simply have to read the others in the series, so it obviously had some kind of very strange effect. Most intriguing.
The latest Arianna Huffington newsletter arrived in my inbox this morning. I signed up for this some time ago, and it's often very interesting, though of course I take everything I read with a large handful of salt these days ('I'm a professional cynic but my heart's not in it...') It talks about 'The Rapture', and to my surprise, when I mentioned it to Ken, he'd never heard of it. So I had him read the article - find it here. Then Kai wanted to know what we were talking about, so we spent the walk to school discussing the whole notion of people so selfish and irresponsible they'd let the world suffer in order to speed their own way into some mythical 'heaven'.
Kai wasn't impressed. He wanted to know what could be done to make them see sense - or at least someone else's point of view. I didn't have an answer for him. In my experience bigoted, self-righteous, deluded cultists like this (they aren't Christian in any sense of the word. If Christ returned tomorrow He'd be appalled by them) simply refuse to listen to anyone who doesn't agree with them. Arguing is pointless, and even if they could be presented with physical proof they'd refuse to acknowledge it. (This is the primary reason I find patriarchal monotheism intellectually offensive and morally repugnant. Just my opinion, of course, you worship who or what or how you want - as long as you don't hurt anyone in any way. Or the planet.)
It did, however, make me consider statistics (no, I let Ken do the maths, so if the numbers are wrong, blame him!) According to this site (go take a look, it's frightening to watch the numbers change) the world population is approaching 6.5 billion. Of which getting on for 300 million are American. That's less than 5% of the world population. (And yet they produce 25% of the world's pollution. Reprehensible, ne?) Of those 300 million, around 50 million are rapture cultists (for want of a better term). That's 16% of the population. And 0.77% of the world's population.
Why are we letting less than one percent of the global population hold the world to ransom?
If they were dogs they'd be put down.
Monday, January 10, 2005
... bits I keep forgetting to mention...
My mother found a rather nice little waistcoat for Kai, so he can use his pocketwatch. It's a bit on the small size, so she's keeping an eye out for another, but he can (just) wear it and is very proud of it!
Took him over to Avon Meads (where the Showcase cinema is) to buy a new pair of shoes after school today (he's managed to get a hole in the upper of the ones I bought him last August [sigh]...) However, on the way we found that the big store that used to be Staples is now The Range (home and leisure). More like Heaven! Crammed with wonderful things at criminally low prices. They have all the material I need for the two bedrooms, fantastic kitchen wear, hobby materials, candles, lighting, great furniture - and a whole load of things I've been looking for for ages but never been able to find (like big sturdy freezer bag clips). Will be spending a lot more time and money in there, I can tell!
And we picked up another 28 gel scented pens: Kai is now dead chuffed, as that means he has getting on for 60 and that makes him the undisputed scented-gel-pen-owner-champion of his class, if not the whole school... [shrugs] Don't ask me. At least it's cheaper than Beyblades!
Our garden table blew over in the high winds we've had, breaking one of its legs and squashing the bonsais that were on it (not badly, they've recovered). I think we'll get a green oblong one to replace it, be more room for the chairs around it. And perhaps we can use it a little more this year!
Midsomer Murders last night was all about orchid-smuggling, and reminded me of this wonderful site I found one night. I had no idea there were so many orchids, or such a glorious variety of shapes and colours... (take a look at the stanhopea range, pages 78-80. I can't decide whether they look deliciously evil or wickedly sensual...)
Lutra's off camping on Wednesday til Sunday: I'm afraid Band 2 can't be finished and posted until she gets back. However, it's now 22 pages long and we're nowhere near finished, so it should be a decent read by the time it's done.
Sunday, January 09, 2005
[snarl] BlueYonder broadband went down this morning. It's still down now nearly twelve hours later. I am not happy. Dial-up is expensive...
But I shouldn't complain. At least we aren't flooded, unlike up north. Heh, and they say climate change is a fallacy.
Had a satisfying, though not exactly exciting, day; I've spent it doing electronic housekeeping. Archived to CD something close to 20,000 emails (going right back to when I first got the computer in 2002), backed up then cleared all my old anime material, and deleted thousands of files, not because I need the memory, but to start tidying up the 60 gig hard drive - I've never defragged this machine... [wince] Going to set it going while we Ringfest, I think: might have finished by the time we've watched all three films.
I recommend checking out Love & the City, a blog I've recently discovered. It's rapidly become a favourite, by turns lyrical, insightful and poignant - a fascinating read.
... Right, back to B2...
Saturday, January 08, 2005
[knackered] Well, looks like our bedroom is going to have to wait...
For over a year now we've been promising Kai a cabin bed, and since I'm in the mood to redecorate, I asked him how he'd like his room done. It's to be clock-themed (of course!) and he fancies dark purple and ice blue (much like his website, actually). So today we went out to pick up colour charts and price up paints. I've said we'll paint the joining wall purple (the other three walls will be blue) and if he draws a design of cogs and gears we'll make some stencils and he can help me paint them onto the purple wall - Focus (across the Bath Rd, five minutes from the house) do some rather attractive 'feng shui' metallic accent paints which will do nicely for our room too. While we were over there we checked out the Fabric Warehouse - which was my favourite place and which I was relying on to provide me with everything I need for our room, and which [sob] is no longer there, it's an ex-stock sofa place now... - and MFI.
Where we found this. Only our local store had knocked another 20% off and it was on sale at £79.20 (free delivery). However, being me, we went up to B&Q and the bed superstore up Flowers Hill (where the cheapest cabin bed was £260+) to check prices... Long story short, we came back and I went over to order the MFI bed: due to arrive Feb 3rd (so, Sue and Carol, you'll be the last people sleeping on the guest beds!)
Of course, this means we have to buy a sofa bed for when we have visitors, but we badly need new sofas anyway, ours are positively painful to sit on. This is about the best bet from MFI but we can't afford it at the moment. Will have to see how things go this year! We don't really need it until next Yule.
[One and a half hours later after dinner and clearing out one of the pedestal drawers...] And now I've forgotten what else I was going to say... Ah well. Back to Band 2 - hoping to finish it before Monday if at all possible.
Lutra asked me to take a photo of my mother's face when she opened her Fur Real kitten Yule present - so here you go! (Photo posted with mother's permission, although she hasn't actually seen it yet, only arrived in the post today.)
Band 2 is now seventeen pages long and still going - and an awful lot of fun! It's slightly more serious than the first story, but not by much...
I didn't manage to get much of CH done today, but I've proved I can finish a spread a day, even when I'm not at my most enthusiastic, so hitting our deadline shouldn't be a problem. As long as I keep to my schedule during the week.
Earlier, on ICQ...
[Joules] ... what I did do was finally gather all the passwords I've had on bits of paper, put them into one file on a floppy (not on my C drive, don't keep them there) and get a print out - something I do every year or so. Took a couple hours but badly needed doing. So no time wasted! You up to working on Band2? [Lutra] Yup! Goodgood! [grin] Lead me! ?? Quote from Footfall (larry Niven and somebody else) a phrase the aliens used to their leaders. [waggles antennae and blinks five of the seventeen eyes] N'bzztig. Waaaaah! [rolling around laughing] [smirk] The aliens in the book were elephantine [smirk] [waves trunk and bellows] [falling over backwards!] Think I prefer my version though.... [grins] So... B2... where did we get to? Sengoku lemon threesome. [wriggle]One wonders what it's going to be like when we finally meet face to face...
As promised, Tracy before burial. Beautiful little thing, like holding a mouse...
... back to it...
Friday, January 07, 2005
... we believed we'd catch the rainbow Ride the wind to the sun Sail away on ships of wonder...Words. I love words. ([grins] You'd noticed? Curses, foiled again...) The Stranglers Golden Brown was on VH1 a few minutes ago. I've always liked the song - the euphony of the lyrics strikes an odd chord somewhere in my head (and yes, I do know what the song is, ostensibly, about...)
Golden brown, texture like sun Lays me down with my mind she runs... Every time just like the last On her ship tied to the mast To distant lands Takes both my hands Never a frown with golden brown...Jack Bruce's Golden Days has the same sort of effect (maybe it's something to do with 'golden'...?)
Trying to sail where rapids run Riding our frail ships out to the sun Playing for signs, searching for time (Long ago, so far away/Where the fires spark and play) Keep the softest flame burning . . .Evokes all sorts of images... This is why I can't work without music.
Part 2 chapter 1 of Lutra's excellent Elga now posted on the site!
Mysteries of Life No. 39. Why do cheques always arrive in the post the day after we've been to the bank?
And on the subject of money, apparently the UK general public have now donated £100 million to the tsunami victims fund, over and above the goverment's £50 million. Not bad for a small country. It's interesting to see the spread of donations...
Wonder if this will affect us much? If they enforce the TOS bit about lack of use - I only have an LJ account so I can comment on friends' LJs: I much prefer blogger's software - will I still be able to access the CCOedo808 Journal? No doubt time will tell...
Rainbow - Catch the Rainbow
Thursday, January 06, 2005
The BRI still don't have any of Ken's results.
I swear, if the incompetence doesn't kill us, the stress will... Ken's now borderline anaemic again, as well, even though I've been trying to keep up the iron-rich foods. Better increase them again, I suppose. (No, he can't take iron pills, they're processed by the liver and it's his liver that the Hep C is attacking.) No wonder he has no energy at the moment. Having problems sleeping too.
And after taking Kai out of school early to make his dentist appointment, we were 50 minutes late getting in: the dentist had a whole load of emergencies he had to deal with. Fair enough, that wasn't his fault, and it's not something that happens often at all - I just could have done without it after racing up Talbot Hill to get there on time. Nothing wrong with Kai's teeth, of course - the check-up must have lasted all of 90 seconds once we got in there... He has four more adult teeth ready to come through, two at the top, two at the bottom.
Third chapter of CH now almost finished. Ken's offered to write two of the spreads - they're more his sphere than mine. I'll start on chapter four tomorrow.
In anticipation of the follow-up, I've now posted Band in The Vault (I was in two minds as to whether it should be in the passworded section, but opted for the fiction pages since although it's definitely adult-rated, it's not graphic and is far tamer than most of the passworded stories!) You don't need to know the anime to enjoy the fic, either. And it has a terrific illustration by Valkyrie!
[sigh] And all the strain on my hands over Yule has resulted in a teno flare-up: my left hand is swollen (have had to take off my ring) and hurts from my fingertips all the way up to my elbow (though the 'prufen is helping keep it under control): my right hand is now painful as well. Still, as long as I take things easy and let Ken do all the lifting it should settle down.
Tuesday, January 04, 2005
Is Firefox particularly sluggish this morning, or is my computer just boggled that I'm up and working this early?
I have a sudden desperate craving to listen to some King Crimson - specifically The Court of the Crimson King. I don't have it, of course - I never do have what's needed to satisfy these odd urges...
[sigh] Ah well. I'll check Amazon later. For now, we've started the third chapter of the new book (hereinafter referred to as CH) and I'm now working on the second spread (of six).
Ken's just suggested things might be slow because Grisoft is virus-scanning in the background. He's right: the new version was set up to scan at 8am (must have been automatic - I'm not daft enough to schedule it for a time I'm not usually here!) Now amended and things are back to normal speed (which still isn't fast enough but which will do for now...)
Monday, January 03, 2005
A little late, but that's the first two chapters of the new book done. Lutra and I have also started work on Band 2, at last! (And I haven't forgotten Double Vision, Marie: will get that finished as soon as I can.)
While restoring my room to its normal state of disorder, I came across a handwritten poem, given to me many moons ago by an old friend - Louis MacNiece's Prayer Before Birth. I first read it when I was about 13, I think, and have never forgotten it. Such a powerful piece of writing.
It's beautifully complemented by another favourite poem, Mary Frye's Do not stand at my grave and weep. The beginning and end of life.
Ken's hospital appointment is on Thursday, the day Kai goes back to school. Think they might have his results this time? We can only hope...
Sunday, January 02, 2005
[blinks] ... whoah... I checked the WaveWrights' site stats earlier (something Lutra said on ICQ reminded me I hadn't looked at them for a while). And to my surprise (and absolute delight) we seem to be showing a steadily increasing number of hits. Used to average about four and a half to five thousand a month: over the last six months that's gone up to five and a half to six thousand - and the December total was 8,085! That has to be the highest ever. Not bad for a site I really don't do much to advertise!
Hoping to buy some joulestaylor.com webspace from Supanames come the end of March - I need to move the Professionals, Lexx and my own non-fic reviews and articles somewhere, we're at 93.57% capacity on the WaveWrights site now, and I need more space...
... Thinking about it, 2005 has actually started off extremely well, personally. It would be wonderful if it continued, but these days I take nothing for granted. If you expect the worst, you can't be disappointed - and if the best happens, it reduces you to tears of happiness. Best sort, as far as I'm concerned!
Saturday, January 01, 2005
[happy sigh] Carol drove me over to the Staples store in town, where we found a chair almost identical to the one I ordered - a little more expensive originally than the Topstar but £10 off, on special offer! With the back seat down and the boot emptied the box fitted in the car, and I'm now sitting on a royal blue fully adjustable deliciously comfortable operator's chair...
[GLOMPS Carol] My back will love you forever!
It's been a lovely day. Coffee and croissants for breakfast (well, it would have been croissants for breakfast except that I forgot Kai likes croissants so he ended up with mine...) Dinner was a taster of the Casserole of Pork (made with considerably smaller amounts of the spices this time - much better) and Pork Stroganoff, followed by Tesco's Chocolate Decadence (chocolate, chocolate mousse, rum soaked chocolate sponge, yum...)
I think I can probably take tonight off - then it's back to the new book tomorrow. One more spread and the first two chapters are done: another eight chapters and it's finished. Barring crises, it shouldn't be a problem. Barring crises...
At least I now have a comfortable chair to work in!
Please let it be better than 2004...