Zone Doubt, a.k.a. 'Surreal Я Us'...
Joules, trusted by... dozens... to make a drama out of your crisis...
:: 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][20/03/2019 - giving up. I don't have enough time to update the blog atm, let alone edit old entries!]
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.
First, a recommendation. Dive over to The Jonathan Day Fiction Site and try some of the stories. I love this author's writing - it's funny, bitingly witty, dryly incisive, chilling, and deliciously subversive by turns. Absolutely well worth a look!
Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Well, I knew it was too good to last.
Ken had his blood test results. While the liver functions are 'within normal limits' right now, the Hep C is back. The hospital will send him another appointment in a couple of months to discuss what new medication might be available. In the meantime - well, we just continue as normal.
And the dentist is a little concerned about Kai's tooth. It's going back into place reasonably well, but she's warned us that there's a possibility - just a possibility at the moment - that the root is damaged and he may need a root canal. She wants to keep an eye on it. In the meantime, she wants him to use an electric toothbrush. Which I've now bought him...
And the Trainz software installed OK, but it's over 4 gigs worth and takes impossibly long to run on Melkior.
Well, we were going to buy Kai a decent computer anyway - it's just going to have to be sooner than we wanted. Still going to have to wait until the next advance, all the same.
Fed up now.
Dropping in quickly...
Vin (kendohotchick) has a new blog with some amazing photos of her Japanese expedition - find it at http://spaces.msn.com/vin666/. I couldn't access it in Firefox, had to use Netscape (it'll probably also work fine in IE, but I don't boot up that unless I absolutely have no choice...) Fabulous trees, and those views from the hotel room are just amazing. And of course, the photos of Tokyo Tower reminded me irresistibly of Gogul...
Sorry I couldn't leave a comment, but you have to have an MSN passport to sign in, and I don't have one. Will be checking back frequently though!
Valkyrie tagged me for the Seven Songs meme (first time I've ever been tagged. I feel so loved! Only seven, though? That's so hard!) So here's my current top seven.
Yami no Matsuei opening theme (To Destination - Eden) Sing for Absolution - Muse Phantom of the Opera - Nightwish Bring me to Life - Evanescence Holiday - Green Day Slow Hands - Interpol Oh My God - Kaiser ChiefsWhat can I say? I love BIG sounds...
Not actually going to tag anyone, but if Carol, Sue, Wendy, Blue Witch and Vin feel like joining in - either in my comments box or email me and I'll add the choices to the blog - I'd love to know what music you listen to! (That's me not including the people Valkyrie has already tagged.)
In other news - Band 3 is now on page 14 and I'd estimate I'm not even half way yet. It's picked up again after a brief depressed spell on my part.
Oh, and Kai's Trainz pack has arrived! That's what I call excellent service.
Monday, January 30, 2006
Took Kai to school this morning, bought a Firstday bus ticket in Sandy Park Rd; bussed out to John Cabot to hand in Kai's acceptance personally, and confirmed that a letter with all the important info and an invitation to 'meet the tutor' should reach us around the end of March; bussed back into town; bussed up the Gloucester Rd and picked up a whopping big bag of sushi rice, a tube of wasabi and a couple of packs of chocolate Pocky from the Korean mini-mart. Bussed back down to Broadmead, bought crickets for Rosa from the pets' place in St Nick's Market, went to the bank, bussed home. Tired now.
While I was doing all that Ken was walking around some of the sites in the Briz Ghosts book with Alex Lewis (the presenter of Radio Bristol's Afternoon Show) - and I'm now taping it: the first of Ken's slots, on Arno's Park, is on at the moment! (Yes, I thought it was a bit quick too. Adrian - big begs - do you think you could help edit it at some point and burn to CD for us? The only thing is it'll be a biggish job unless we can do some editing ourselves: the Afternoon Show is 2 hours long, and I'm not sure yet if the slots are going to be on at the same time every day...) Ken sounds good on the air.
Tomorrow will be busy too. Ken has his appointment at the BRI (to get the results of the blood tests) and I have to take Kai up to the dentist again (to check that mis-placed tooth is going back into place OK). Means him missing the last lesson of the day, unfortunately, but it's a looooong hike up Talbot Hill through the park, not my favourite walk.
Thanks, Wendy and BW, for the info and suggestions. Will take them all on board.
So, tonight. More Band 3 I think. It's turning into a bit of a monster...
Sunday, January 29, 2006
Oh yes, I forgot to mention - Drawn Together season two started tonight. [beg]
So, now the euphoria has calmed a little...
First, thank you, everyone, for the congratulations. Kai says he feels he has family all around the world!
When the post arrived yesterday, K&K were in the garden, positioning the mole trap (Kai did all the work except for lifting the turves). The envelope was addressed to Ken, franked second class and no logo or anything on it to suggest it was anything important - so I put it on Ken's sofa to wait until they came in.
Which was half an hour later. [sigh] There are times Ken is so laid-back and understated I could stick a rocket under him: he opened the envelope, read the letter, then started saying something to Kai - something to do with him deserving a treat, but also that success was its own reward, I was in this room so didn't catch it all. But I did hear him mention John Cabot, and shot through to the lounge immediately. Ken calmly hands me the letter to read. Kai is at this point staring at his dad with his eyes wide and his mouth open...
Heh. Anyway, it still hasn't quite sunk in - though pricing up the (compulsory, logo-ed) new school uniform went a long way towards grounding us. [wince] At £20 per sweatshirt (standard outer wear) and £13 per polo shirt (terms 1, 4 and 5 only - I think they're supposed to wear a white shirt and school tie in terms 2 and 3. Or something like that) and £25 per track suit it's not cheap. I've yet to discover how much the season ticket for the bus will be.
It's a very different environment to school, though. I spent some time prowling the website last night, and Kai and I talked about it on the way to the Sunday Market this afternoon. He's very excited and looking forward to the more 'grown-up' atmosphere.
In other news... um, there isn't much. House was - odd. Disquieting. Somehow distasteful. But a little more in keeping with the first series. We caught the first ep of Supernatural the other night - interesting, quite fun, not an absolute must-see, yet, but I'll give it a chance.
As for the mole... the little bugger filled the trap with earth but avoided getting caught. [shakes head] We're trying in a different tunnel.
This was fun. I didn't know quite what to expect, but it probably wasn't what I got!
Saturday, January 28, 2006
Just had the letter delivered.
Kai's been offered a place at John Cabot.
Many many thanks for all your crossed fingers, 'fluences, wishes and spells - they all helped.
More later - we're having a wee family celebration now!
Friday, January 27, 2006
I recently pruned my dracaena (it had nearly reached the ceiling. Again) and to my delight and for the first time ever, it's started putting out two sprouts in a couple of places. The one on the left looks like it's holding up its hands in horror (or being held at gunpoint, but my first thought was Glemph - from Ghastly's Tentacle Monsters and the Women who Love Them (um, is that the right name? I can't view it, can't get through the firewall, and I'll be damned if I'm lowering mine just to read a bloody comic!) - when his young nephew asked him what 'tentacoo wape' was...)
Right, where was I...?
Ah, yes. Kai's been home all day - woke last night several times with an upset stomach, continuing into the morning, so had to stay home from school. Ken oversaw his homework and a couple of other school-work type things (staying home from school in this house doesn't mean you get a day off!), and I think, overall, it won't hurt him too much: he tells me all they're doing at the moment is practising for SATs. Adding that he's a bit bored, they're going over the same things over and over again. I established that it's basic, fundamental stuff: seems that some of the sprogs are having trouble fixing it in their heads, hence the repetition... He's OK now, just a bit off-colour. Will keep an eye on him over the weekend.
Ken's been invited to be interviewed by Radio Bristol about Brislington Ghosts. He's not exactly keen - neither of us are too fond of interviews - but it might help boost sales. More later.
The additional Dreams text has been OKed and signed off, and sent to the inhouse editor, someone I haven't worked with before. Not sure how much more involvement I'll have with the manuscript, though I should at least get to see it before it goes to print. Overall the format seems satisfactory, though, so hopefully not too much shredding will be necessary.
So, tonight. What shall I do? Write (carefully - hands are still painful)? Read (now that would be a change!)? Draw? Something else? Decisions, decisions...
Thursday, January 26, 2006
The new text went off this morning, and I started research for the next (potential) book; we need to send off a sample within the next two weeks. No, no hints yet, not until we know if it's going to fly...
Today's been a touch awkward, haven't been able to do very much. Sore sore hands. Though the arm is a lot better this evening. Have so far avoided taking 'prufen today, but it might be a good idea... (And no, BW, no chamomile oil. I can't bear having anything touch the backs of my hands when they hurt this much, not even to try to help.)
House (second series) is on in a few minutes. We weren't completely convinced by the first ep - the series seems to be missing something, somehow. Perhaps with the second ep I can pin it down.
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
I've just finished the extra Dreams text, an additional 6.5K words in total. No, I only did just over 2K of it today. And yes, I did push this last lot, I know I did: my right hand is aching, and my left arm, from fingertips to upper ribs, feels like someone's taken a meat tenderiser to it (and that's after taking 2 'prufen an hour and a half ago). Swollen tendons are not a pretty sight. Going to be hell tomorrow. But it's done. And I can take tomorrow off.
Going to have a glass of wine now. Even if I do have to use both hands to lift it.
This is a good site - a list of phishing scams from 2003 to the present day. Well worth while checking if you've received a worrying email. Mind you, everyone reading this should know by now to DELETE any emails asking you to input any personal or financial details anywhere. No reputable organisation will ask you to do so - these bastards are just after your money.
And I managed to get some more new text written after all!
K&K didn't manage to find out anything more about Harry Edwards than that he used to be an engine driver, hence the train on the gravestone.
The Museum visit was more interesting. Remember a year or two (or more - how long have I been writing this blog now?) we joined in the Time Team's Big Dig, excavating a hole in our garden. Well, when I say we, I mean Ken and Kai. They only managed to get down about four feet before hitting solid sandstone, the lovely russet rock that gives Redcliffe its name. According to the Museum Man, that sandstone is what's left of a 225 million year old desert. We once, long ago, had little dinosaurs running around in what would much later become our garden. Of course, there were many other layers laid down over the ages, but they've all eroded away and the desert is just below the surface now. I find that incredibly evocative...
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
I like moles, in the abstract. They're native, they're fascinating, they have amazing hands and the most beautiful fur. You could even call them cute. In the abstract.
But when they uproot my jasmine it's an entirely different matter. That mole has got to go!
Ken rang Wyevale yesterday, to find, rather to our amazement, that they stock a humane mole trap. At a quarter of the price of the online one we found. Accordingly, this morning I decided a mole-trap-hunting expedition to Wyevale was called for...
So I took Kai off to school - only to pause outside the park at the distinctive sound of a woodpecker! We couldn't see it, but heard it three times: two other passers-by stopped to listen too. Quite an exciting start to the day. I dropped Kai off with Matt and Tom then picked up some fruit juice cartons from Sainsbug's (apple, and tropical, both organic: Kai takes them in for his breaktime drink along with fruit of some kind. It's been organic clementines the last few months - he loves them, but they seem to have finished now. The school has a policy of no chocolate, biscuits, cakes or fizzy drinks for break - has to be fruit and fruit juice. Kudos to them, say I! ... where was I? Oh yes...)
While I was in Sainsbug's (the shopping was really to get some change, although we did need the juice) it occurred to me that since I was catching the bus rather than walking - it's a good two miles to Wyevale, all hills - I might as well get a FirstDay hop-on-hop-off all day ticket and dive into town as well, get Rosa some crickets (we're out, and we don't really want a hungry tarantula prowling the tank) and see if the Chinese supermarket had had any sushi rice in since my last visit...
It was actually rather pleasant, been a while since I've been able to take my time and just wander around Wyevale by myself. Picked up some moss for my orchid branch, the mole trap, some cheap 'kids' seeds for Kai to try (indoor cress and tomatoes), and a couple of birthday presents (we have Adrian, Kai, Carol, Mum Taylor and Dad Taylor one after the other over the next three months. Oh, and Lutra of course, but we tend to swap un-birthday parcels...) They had lots of pretty shiny, sparkly, chimey and fragrant things there too. But no snowdrops. I'd really love some snowdrops for around Roeg's Pool...
Came home via Tesco, shopped, lugged everything back, sat for twenty minutes then headed into town.
Heh. No crickets - delivery Thursday.
No sushi rice either - or nori - though I did pick up the cooking sake. I'm going to need to go in again.
Arrived back in time to video the 2pm episode of Vampire High and saw Ken off to collect Kai. They'd been mooting the idea of taking some of the archaeological finds from the garden into the Museum to speak to the expert there: Ken took advantage of my FirstDay bus ticket to take Kai in after school. Heh. Never has a £3.50 bus ticket travelled so far! (I love FirstDay. Excellent value for money.) They're currently at the central library on College Green seeing if they can find out anything about Mr Edwards of the train gravestone - as much to avoid the start of the rush hour as anything: Ken's rung to say the bus queues are horrendous...
So, quite a satisfyingly busy day so far (though my legs are aching like gods' know what). However, I haven't yet managed to get any more Dreams text done - have to start that after dinner... Have a whole load of emails I haven't answered too. I need that 60 hour day!
Monday, January 23, 2006
So I rang ClaraNET...
They have the standard 'press 1 if... press 2 if... or hold if you want to speak to the switchboard' thing set up (is it called a 'phone tree'?), which I did - only four easy steps - and got straight through to speak to a nice young man, who said he'd put me through to the right department. At which my heart sank, as I've been here before... Sure enough the call dropped out. So I repeated the call, got through to a different nice young man, who was very apologetic (and called me Madam! Ye gods! Not sure whether to be impressed or insulted!), said that I'd be 18th in the queue and that length might have been why the call dropped out, gave me the direct line number in case it happened again, then put me through...
Quite nice music their system plays...
I didn't have to wait very long, and spoke to an extremely efficient woman (with a French accent, I think) who explained the procedure succinctly. I then went ahead and ordered the SoHo package (the same as we already have for wordwrights.co.uk) for wavewrights.com.
Then whapped over to fasthosts, unlocked the domain name and emailed them saying I'd unlocked it in preparation for the transfer and authorised same.
Too easy, wasn't it? I'm waiting to see what goes wrong...
[grin] Actually, I'm pretty confident not much will. We've always found ClaraNET efficient and helpful - and being able to speak to someone who knows exactly what you're talking about, even if you don't know all the jargon yourself, is a sheer joy after the hassles I'm still having with Supanames.
I'll never recommend them to anyone again!
JAT is due for renewal in May. I'll be transferring that too. Jenni's site is up in June, Early Heaven and BCP are due in November. I'll probably be transferring them as well: Clara's cheapest package (which is more than enough for most people) is only £9.48 more expensive than Supanames over two years, and really worth it for the extra service.
WaveWrights.com should be up and running within five days, but I need to take an hour or two to set up the password protection - it'll be just the one login this time, no faffing about with three different pages. And you'll have to login to access it. So any Zone members who want to change their IDs and passwords to something easy to remember, let me know now please.
Hm. I usually write a couple of fics to celebrate a transfer, don't I? [smirk]
In other news, the extra Dreams text is getting there, slowly. Band 3 is also coming along nicely. And Henry's getting heavier...
Sunday, January 22, 2006
Gloriously sunny day - if cold, Roeg's Pool had a layer of ice this morning. Ken took Kai to Arno's Vale Cemetery (next to the park at the end of the road) to take this -
Yes, it's a train, on a gravestone!
Kim came round with Sasha and Sarah and drove us all (well, not Ken) to Keynsham to the park in the afternoon. It was fun, if cold, and the sprogs had a great time, climbing trees, swinging in the play park, and feeding ducks.
Now trying to settle to get some more of Band 3 done, but I'm tired, and I need to be up early tomorrow, so how much I manage to do before I stagger off to bed is a matter of some debate...
Saturday, January 21, 2006
[...yawn...] Not enough sleep again...
But it's been reasonably successful. Kai invited Matt and Tom around for the afternoon (but not for tea, this time, they had some sort of thing to go to in the evening) and the sprogs played nicely together, with the Trainz software for a lot of it. That was really an excellent buy: Kai's created his own world and customised everything in it, and is having a great time!
And Band 3 is coming together well. No ETA yet though.
Oh, and the plan is to move wordwrights.co.uk to wavewrights.com (on ClaraNET) early next week. Wordwrights.co.uk is due for renewal in March, but Ken's wanted us to become WaveWrights for a while now. So if all goes according to plan, on Monday/Tuesday I'll organise the webspace, upload a direct copy of the current WW site to the new site, then let wordwrights.co.uk lapse: there'll be an overlap of about two months when you can reach the site on either URL. We'll keep the name for another year - should be able to organise a redirect for the mail, at least, and probably the old URL as well.
This is a hint that I'll be advising everyone to update their bookmarks in the near future.
Of course, if it all falls to pieces I'll let you know!
Friday, January 20, 2006
Of all the utensils in my kitchen, and there are a lot, the one I like most is my wok.
I think it's the fourth - or maybe fifth - one I've had, and it's certainly my favourite. It took a lot of finding: it's big, deep, steel (not aluminium. I won't use aluminium. Aside from its possible link with Alzheimer's, I understand it's extremely polluting to refine), but nevertheless very light - I can lift it with both hands when it's half-full, unlike my last one which needed two hands when it was empty! - with a safely broad flat base. I'm the only person allowed to use it or clean it (no idea how, but Ken managed to scrape off the non-stick coating on my last wok when cleaning it...) and when not in use it hangs from the ceiling in the kitchen, above the worktop in front of the window.
I have a recipe book I particularly like too, Entertaining with a Japanese Flavour, primarily generic Japanese dishes, but geared towards a Japanese/Western fusion. Which sounds odd, but the book is actually both entertaining and informative, and has useful things like a photographic step-by-step guide of how to make onigiri, shows the various toppings for a Japanese pizza, and tells you how to prepare a traditional Japanese New Year dinner. I found the book second-hand at the Leaping Lemon in St Nick's Market - one of my better buys.
ANYway... Tonight I thought I'd try one of the recipes - Tori to kuri no nimono (Chicken Chestnut Stew. Though since it's made in a wok in about 25 minutes it's not really what we'd call a stew over here...)
marinade chicken fillets cut into strips (fairly big, chunky ones, this isn't a stir fry) in equal parts sake and shoyu for about 20 minutes beforehand in the fridge cook thinly sliced ginger root and garlic for about 30 seconds in a little vegetable oil in the wok add the chicken, sautée until lightly browned add a couple of carrots, sliced diagonally into chunks about a quarter of an inch thick, and a drained and rinsed can of water chestnuts cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes, then add a mix of equal parts sake and shoyu, a good three quarters of a large glass of wine and about a glass of water with a sprinkling of chicken gravy granules (that should really be a quarter pint of proper chicken stock and a couple of tablespoons of mirin but I've run out of both, so I substituted lots of Hock instead) cook, stirring occasionally (the water chestnuts will stick if you aren't careful) for about 25 mins, until the liquid has reduced and the chicken is cooked add a handful of previously lightly cooked fine green beans, cut into half inch lengths, a couple of minutes before the end of the cooking time. Serve on a bed of rice.It was delicious! I only gave Kai a little, along with his pizza, because I wasn't sure he'd like it, but he loved it, wolfed it down. So that's on the list of favourites. It's extremely rich, too, so you don't need a lot to feel full (I used two chicken fillets and it would have done the three of us easily).
Ken and I sat down and watched the Xena video For Him the Bell Tolls earlier. [shudder] Reminded me why I loathe the series so much - utter crap. Craig Parker was the best thing in it - and he was actually pretty good, just not on screen for long enough. But as for Karl Urban - oh ye gods, how he could look anyone in the eye and expect to be taken seriously after that showing is beyond me... And those have to be absolutely the ugliest wings I've ever seen.
In other news... The ftp facility for the IAVMT site finally resumed this afternoon, almost 24 hours after the fault. In the meantime I've requested info and charges about transferring into ClaraNET (I can't remember the procedure, it's been a long time since I've done it). I'm about half-way through the new Dreams text and ploughing on. But tonight I'm taking a break and seeing if I can continue Band 3. I'd hoped to have it finished by now!
Thursday, January 19, 2006
So - I spend a good half an hour this morning coding up the events page for the IAVMT site, uploading and checking it. All good, no problems. This afternoon, having still had no reply to my query, I thought I'd better get the site's online renewal paid: given that Supanames are ignoring my emails I don't feel I can trust them not to stop the site in advance of the actual due date (26th January).
You can imagine my horror, then, to not only find that the site was down, but also that ftp wasn't working, nor was the control panel. And neither Firefox nor IE were accessing the payment page at the site.
[growl] I posted a complaint at the site, and as a last resort tried to make the payment via Netscape - which worked (though we've found that before: a number of the payment sites we use for utilities will only open in NS. No idea why, but it's a damned nuisance.)
Ten minutes later the site was back - though, according to the email I received a few minutes thereafter, its disappearance was due to the server on which the site is hosted suffering a 'hardware fault' (and nothing to do with non-payment of the renewal). They 'remotely replaced' the machine, which at least had it online again within 20 minutes - but had to use a cached version of the site, which does not have the new information I uploaded this morning. And just to add the cherry on the top, ftp won't be available for another 12-15 hours, so I can't even re-upload it.
Miffed? Oh yes. And they still haven't answered my queries, and they now owe me 10 months' worth of domain name registration.
I'm seriously considering transferring the site to ClaraNET: I'll need to check the figures, but I think it'll only cost a little more than Supanames, and it would be worth it not to have this hassle. I think it's simply a matter of Supanames now having too many customers and not enough support staff to deal with them (most of their facilities are automated, which is fine until you have a problem), and if that is the case, it isn't going to get any better.
Of course, this has stopped me hitting my wordage goal for today...
I had a letter from Hoover-Candy this morning - one of those nice 'Without Prejudice' ones (we like them) offering us a year's extra labour warranty, and their usual five year's parts warranty. Not quite as good as I was hoping - under the circumstances the full five years would have been more appropriate - but as Ken says, if the fridge-freezer lasts that long it should (crossing fingers and touching wood) survive the full term (which we are now assuming to be five years if we're lucky...)
But YAY!! Big kudos and thanks to BW, who suggested trying for this in the first place. A Value Witch if ever I heard of one!
All things come in threes. That's the first piece of good news through the post: dare I hope the other two results we're awaiting (John Cabot and Haadri agent) will also be good?
No. Don't want to jinx anything. Besides, it's safer to have a backup plan...
Review emailed, wordage target (finally) achieved and exceeded, now I aim to do something more fun...
Nice series of events earlier this evening. I spotted Hyperdrive on Digiguide's BBC2 listings - only it was the second episode, and we found our PIN didn't work to operate TeleWest's Teleport system (no, sorry Lutra, it's not a cheap transporter, it's a way of watching programmes they've already shown) so Ken rang to find out what the problem was. No problem, we just needed a new PIN. Typed in new PIN and watched the first episode.
But we watched the second, just to be sure. Doubly oh dear. No, it wasn't gross, or crude, or tasteless (mostly) - it was just dull. Such a pity.
Afterwards I came back to the computer, while Ken kind of slumped, watching Newsnight - at which my ears pricked up. "That's Muse!" says I, of the very quiet background music. "It is?" he replied from the sofa. Of course, I then had to place the track: it wasn't on Absolution, so I went back to Muse's multimedia site, being fairly sure I'd remember which it was on sight (which I did, it's the first couple of bars from New Born. I'm not going to say I love the track, just assume that I've never heard a Muse song I don't like...). That spurred me to check Amazon.co.uk - where to my absolute delight I now find an import EP CD listed, with four different Sing for Absolution versions on it, US remix, Making of the video, and a DVD audio and DVD multimedia track! Surely one of those MUST be a DVD of that fabulous video, surely? It's now top of my birthday list...
So, after that discovery, I went back to the site to play a couple of the RealPlayer tracks I hadn't yet listened to - and found Feeling Good. Turns out it's only Muse's version of that song I first heard and fell in love with on the bloody Nesc*** advert! [spit spit Nessh*t]. You know -
"It's a new dawn, It's a new day, It's a new life For me And I'm feeling good..."[grin] It's a cracking version too. And it's on the Origin of Symmetry CD - along with New Born and Bliss. (That's on the list as well now.)
That all made up for a fairly humdrum day. Happy now. Can get something creative done!
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Right, OK, I'd better just accept that this week is going to be full of irritating little bits and pieces and stop trying to work on any one thing for any length of time. Yes, I can give in gracefully when I really, really have to.
So far today... This month's review's nearly finished. Made a start on the new Dreams text. Trashed 350+ bounced and undeliverable mails sent from a spoofed IAVMT address [snarl]. Received a standard reply from Supanames re: the IAVMT situation - lot of help that is. Sent two new synopses to our agent for two potential non-fic books (need to earn a living while the fiction finds a home). And I'm now a little concerned that some of the emails I send aren't getting though - at any rate, the questions I've asked haven't been answered.
Or maybe I've been sent answers but not received them... Thorne?
If I can get the review sent off, and 750 words of new text written, I can spend some time on the fiction this evening. Back to it.
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Well, I remembered what I'd forgotten - I bought Kai a small tub of Cadbury's mini-eggs on the way home from school yesterday: he crunched down on one and it made his wobbly tooth fall out. Nearly swallowed it, thinking it was the egg!
Today's been yet another clearing up bits and pieces day. Although the grumble with the Dreams book has been resolved (if you can call having to write several thousand more words any sort of 'resolution'). Though apparently I'm not the only author having publisher hassles at the moment, just one of the calmer ones...
Needs to be written as soon as possible - by the end of January at the latest.
The only thing I've heard back from Supanames is a duplicate of the acknowledgement email they sent me on the 3rd Jan - a lot of bloody use that is.
But the orchid branch is coming on nicely. We've started working on the base, and choosing which smaller branches are staying or going. It's going to look good, I think.
Back to the review. At least I thoroughly enjoyed the book - Gil's All Fright Diner, a rollicking good read, and beautifully dryly funny.
Monday, January 16, 2006
I'm really getting very annoyed with Supanames. I manage eight websites with them, and while the sites are small, you'd think I could expect some decent customer service, wouldn't you? It's taken them two weeks so far to not sort out the problem with the BCP control panel (I want to set them up to receive site stats: it requires a small, chargeable upgrade, and should be really simple. But I can't access the control panel. It's only that site, I can login to all the others without a problem). And as for trying to charge me twice for the IAVMT domain name registration... I can't find a phone number for them, although they do have a fax number: I'll try that later.
It's particularly irritating as up to now I've had no problems with them at all - in fact they've been very helpful. But just before Yule they had a major update to their servers, providing more webspace for all packages for free, plus changes to the login software, and I get the feeling this is what's buggered things up. That doesn't excuse them ignoring me though. And I don't need this hassle.
I'm tempted to complain to Nominet. And consider using another hosting service in future.
In other news... The stump is coming along nicely, though I can only do a little at a time because it's tough on the hands.
Kai loves Furuba, has read the first manga through several times now and is angling for more.
There's a fun meme doing the rounds at the moment - Five Weird Things About Myself (I found it over on Pandagon). I don't think I can do it though. I don't consider anything about myself to be weird...
On the writing front, I'm re-reading FL (and yes, still tweaking) and pondering Band 3. It got off to a great start, then I suddenly realised it wasn't funny any more, so it's on hiatus until I can kick-start the chuckle motor. 2AC is progressing slowly as well.
I know there was something else. Can't remember what it was, though. Heh. Better go and make dinner: I might remember while cooking...
Sunday, January 15, 2006
Another day of clearing up bits and pieces. Ken took Kai to see Aladdin at the Bristol Old Vic this afternoon: they were supposed to go around Yule time but there was some sort of health and safety problem so it was rescheduled. I gather they enjoyed it, though it wasn't quite what they were expecting (not much like a traditional pantomime). Hm. Looking at the programme there are some interesting events coming up. Wouldn't mind seeing Nights at the Circus - it's a fascinating story.
Ho hum. Not the most inspiring of weekends. Still, it's got shot of most of the business-orientated stuff. Except for Supanames. I have a couple of hassles with them at the moment - I can't access the control panel for one of my client sites (the rest are fine), and another is due to pay their next two years' subscription, which would be OK except the company is trying to charge again for the domain name re-registration - which I've already paid, last October. I've had no response to my emails - looks like I'll have to hunt around for a telephone number and actually speak to someone. [bleurgh]
On the subject of telephone calls - great talking to you, Wendy! Sorry the timing was a bit off, but the casserole was great. I'll have to make it for you sometime.
Back to the loom...
The Sunday Sushi.
Pointless post number 65.
Saturday, January 14, 2006
Irritating sort of day. No, actually, that's not really a fair description. I wanted to get on with some writing, but ended up working on client sites instead. And making sushi, with a fraction less sugar this time: it's worked well.
Finished tweaking the Haadri site last night. It occurred to me I didn't know what the no-frames (index2) page looked like: all my browsers are set up to support frames. Decided I'd take the frames view off one of them - first choice was the old Mozilla browser but I couldn't find an option there, so ended up setting up Opera with no frames view, and discovered the page looked a mess. Functional, yes, but not pretty. Luckily coding it to match the rest of the site only took a few minutes, and it's fine now. I also decided to have the short stories open in a new, no-frames window, making the background tiles (into which I put a lot of work) more prominent. Much happier with it now!
Thanks for all the support for Kai, folks! BW, we don't know exactly when we'll find out: the letter only said they aim to tell everyone 'by the end of January' - could be any time from now until the beginning of Feb, I suppose. I'll post the result here as soon as we know it.
'alf-inched from Valkyrie's Lj - this had me chuckling...
I rather like the fact that I'm mercurial, and another name for a nuclear bomb. Wasn't the first ever site sex.com (or is that an apocryphal story...)? The first and last are definitely wrong, though.
Right - enough of this jollity! Time for something constructively creative...
Friday, January 13, 2006
Well, we're back...
Actually, we've been back for about an hour, but were hungry so had some dinner first. Pizza for Kai and duck ramen for me - it's junk-food Friday.
So, not knowing what would constitute the interview, and at Kai's request, we tried a sort of casual role play, asking him some of the standard questions, like, 'why do you want to go to the college?', and 'what do you think are your talents and skills?', figuring that if nothing else it made him think, and that would be useful no matter what.
We arrived at John Cabot in plenty of time, and off he went to the waiting area with the 'guardian' fifteen minutes before his interview slot while I found a seat outside and waited. It was nerve-wracking, until about four minutes into his allotted time, when I suddenly felt calm and relieved. That was about the time Kai discovered that it wasn't going to be a question-and-answer type interview but something much more fun...
He enjoyed it! He was asked to explain how a kinetically-powered torch works - and wouldn't you know it, we bought one for Yule? - then choose four pictures out of a selection and explain why he chose them: his were a suspension bridge (because whoever first came up with the idea was brilliant and he loves making things like that), a bee with a microchip (because he's fascinated by the idea of cybernetics), a silicon chip (because he likes them!), and a set of drawing instruments (because he enjoys drawing). Finally, he had to choose a pencil case and explain his choice: he went for the tin one, saying it was sturdy, easy to see and select the pencils you needed, and he preferred function over design (as in appearance). [proud grin] Bright sprog!
He's done the best he can, and feels happy with his performance, and that's all we can ask. Thank you everyone, from Kai and me, for all the good wishes, crossed fingers and positive 'fluences - I know it all helped. Though we'd appreciate it if you could all still keep virtual fingers crossed: I don't know how or when the college makes the selections...
We dropped into Modelmania on the way home, and he bought himself a Hornby 45 ton steel carrier model from his pocket money. Back in town we dived into Wilkinson's (I had a £5 gift voucher as a thank you for doing one of those extensive consumer surveys a month or so ago): they'd had a delivery of new kitchen storage containers and I found one that's perfect for nori! (£1.99 too, a pound cheaper than the one I had been planning to get.) With that, some shampoo for Quyn, and a buy-one-get-one-free offer on facial wipes, I only had to pay 23p at the till. Chuffed? Oh yes.
We dropped into the Chinese supermarket - on the way in, since I didn't know how late it stayed open - and picked up nori, Pocky (apparently, sharing his Pocky when he takes a packed lunch makes Kai very popular...) and ramen. But they had no sushi rice, dammit! I only have enough for this weekend. And we didn't have the time/energy to try the other Chinese supermarket, at Montpelier. [grumble] Will have to get into town again soon.
Ken's gone to pick up the Fantastic 4 DVD to rent, and we shall collapse in front of the TV for a few hours. I think it's deserved tonight!
... poor Kai is so nervous. Took him ages to get to sleep. And it's not us, we're being very laid back about the whole thing, we both know it just makes it worse if you stress...
But it'll be the first time sprog has ever done anything like this. We've really no idea what it'll involve, so haven't been able to do much more than suggest a few simple things, like "remember they aren't trying to catch you out, just see if you'll do well at the college", "it's OK to be nervous - everyone else will be too," and "be as polite as you can".
But oh, I can't wait for tomorrow to be over. This is the first time I truly can't help him, he has to do it himself. And I know that he can, it's just... Heh, any parent who's been in the situation will know immediately what I mean - and I know that anyone who doesn't have sprogs can easily imagine what it's like, even by just thinking back to a time when you yourself had to do something frightening and very important - by yourself...
Better sign off now - I need a little time to think myself into my 'cool mum' persona.
Thursday, January 12, 2006
Agent's letter in the post first thing this morning. Now we wait.
Many years ago, when we first bought the house and Kai wasn't even dreamt of yet, we signed up to Thompson and Morgan, the seed company. Their latest catalogue, which arrived with a no-strings-attached £5 gift voucher, has a page of exotic plants - including a pack of fifteen Tacca chantrierei seeds... This has to be one of the most amazing, thoroughly alien plants I've ever seen - and it's a perennial. Going to give it a try, I think! (If it works, there will be photographs...)
Taking a day off to work on the Haadri site - it needs a little tweaking...
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
The day continued well, too. We had a standard letter from Hoover Candy a couple of days ago - the one I was waiting for, recommending we pay them for an extended warranty. There's a letter going back to them tomorrow: following BW's comments of a while back, I've suggested that it would go some way towards restoring our faith in the company if they provided us with the five year warranty for free - as a goodwill gesture, of course... I'll let you know what happens.
And a Haadri sample/synopsis/intro letter is enveloped ready to go off to an agent tomorrow...
Rather less satisfyingly I've heard back from the Dreams book editor. Can't comment on that at the moment though.
In the haste to backup/tidy-up yesterday I downloaded the new Bamzooki software and let Kai install it on Melkior: cue one sprog very happily occupied for a couple of hours after homework and dinner.
And now... a little more Band 3 I think.
It's brightly sunny outside, I slept for SIX WHOLE HOURS straight, and the computer booted up just fine. What a great start to the day!
Onna - Queen of the Damned has arrived - thank you!
When we first decided on the 2007 Australia trip, I thought it would be a good idea to get myself a piggy bank to help with saving spending money. I refused to buy a new one - £10+ for a thing to save money in? I don't think so! - so hunted my favourite charity shops looking for a second-hand one. But even they were a bit on the pricey side. And then I found Henry, here ->...
Henry's a puggybank! He's getting quite heavy now, too, just with 10p and 20p coins, with the occasional 50p and £1 thrown in from the change from the shopping (1p, 2p and 5p coins get dropped into a carved wooden bowl to be paid into the bank, and generally speaking 50p and upwards goes back into the housekeeping). And to actually get at the cash inside, you have to pull off his head, which is quite an offputting thought, so there's less danger of me being tempted.
When we cleared the rockery last year, I had Ken trim the old rosemary bush down to the stump, with the aim of turning it into an orchid branch. I can't find an illustration online, but this is a way of fixing epiphytic orchids onto a dried branch so they can be displayed somewhat as they would be found in nature. They can look really gorgeous. Anyway, the stump has dried quite well, and I've brought it in and started flaking off the crumbling bark. The wood underneath is pretty - light honey-coloured ranging to a faintly greenish cork colour - and silky. This is how it looks at the moment: later it'll be trimmed to shape and properly cleaned, and a selection of my fake orchids - most notably the lovely brassavola sprigs I found in Winchester - set in beds of sphagnum moss arranged along its length.
It'll be quite a hefty thing when it's finished, and really too big for the bedroom, so the plan is to sit it on the top of the bookcase outside Kai's room, up on the landing (sorry about the camera flare, those little mineral display cases have mirrored backs. They'll be moving into Ken's room later.) I need to repaint first though - the hall/stairwell/landing is going to be the same pale blue as the non-feature bedroom walls - and I don't yet have a schedule for that. Hopefully in the summer, but we'll see how we go. The main problem is affording a new carpet!
Kai's fighting off a cold at the moment: he's all snuffly and his voice is croaky. I'm trying to get plenty of C vit into him, in the hope he won't be too bad come Friday. We can't miss his interview at John Cabot: the only way it can be rescheduled is if we get a doctor's certificate on the day stating he's too ill to attend. Luckily he responds well to cold relief tablets (mild ones - first time I've tried him on them but in an emergency...)
A few minutes ago on ICQ...
Lutra: Ooh! I can see a possum on next door's electric cable thingy! Joules: [blink] Is that dangerous? Only if they slip upside down and thereby make themselves a conduit. [bemused] ... uhuh.... Sometimes you see fried possums hanging by their tails from the wires. that's a bit sad. ....... ...I'm sorry... MWAHAHAHAH!!!! ...that image is just so funny. And sick..... ....... Fried possums... ..... [snortsplutter] ...... [hangs head in shame, still choking] [beg giggling] yes, well... [snerk] It's the look of surprise on their face as they get umpteen thousand volts up the backside.... [collapses over keyboard in hysterics] Bwahahahah! though... ick... please, I'm eating... [snigger] [pissing self laughing] errrr sorry.....I worry about me sometimes, I do...
Right! Back to the loom...
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Grabbed a cycle's sleep before collecting Kai, but it wasn't really enough. Band 3, however, is now at 9 pages and proceeding apace. I've managed a major on- and off-site backup and trashing of megs worth of archived files, which is good. I might even try [gasp] de-fragging the hard drive at some point (though I'd rather Carol was here for that.)
Haven't tried rebooting though. Too nervous to do that so far. Will close down as normal tonight and hope I can boot up OK in the morning. (So if I'm not here tomorrow, you'll know why...)
Kai's John Cabot interview is on Friday, at 2.15. He's nervous already - but I've told him it's OK to be nervous, everyone else will be too... Please keep fingers crossed, folks...
... aaaaaaand awake again... this is ridiculous.
Didn't help that when I tried to boot up, I went straight into the... um... can't remember what it's called. The screen that tells you if something's wrong. Which announced that my hard drive had changed and I should press [f1] to enter setup to make any necessary amendments. Which I did, and exited without changing anything, since I don't have a clue what any of that means. Though I had to OK Norton to allow ewido to access the 'net to pick up an update, even though I have that set to automatically allow. [whimper] I'm hoping frantically that it's just Butch playing silly buggers and not Ken having done something awful to my machine while he was burning his backup CDs...
May as well get some work done. And do my own backups, just in case...
Monday, January 09, 2006
Five pages into Band 3, but it's no good - I have to get some sleep.
Perhaps I should take up hibernating...
This is all a bit rambling: you might want to skip it...
[sigh] 'Good night's sleep'. What is the definition of a 'good night's sleep'? Quantity? Quality? Got to bed at 1am - early for me. Took a valerian, dropped off quite quickly - then woke up again at 3.55am. And couldn't get back to sleep. Eventually dozed off for long enough to have a peculiar dream starring John Cusack...
The reason for him being in it is fairly obvious to me, if a little convoluted: I had Con Air on in the background last night. (Occasionally I like a nice bit of Hollywood gratuitous violence and death and destruction - especially if I'm feeling pissed-off, which I was last night since it hurt to much to write - and Con Air has all that and a feel-good ending - plus Nicholas Cage, whom I quite like as an actor. Mainly for that extraordinarily vulnerable expression he puts on, as though he's forever on the outside looking in at the unattainable. Or something like that. Where was I? Oh yes...) John Cusack is in it as well, and it struck me how young and fresh-faced (literally) he looked. And that reminded me of another old favourite film - Dark Angel - which I thought he was in, although actually, on checking today, the actor I was remembering was Brian Benben: gods know why I associated them as they really don't look anything like each other... maybe it was a similarity of their characters in the films... Anyway, I haven't watched Dark Angel in several years, and thought idly last night it was probably about time to dig out the video again.The good news is the hands are less painful today, and will probably hold up for a little work, as long as I don't try lifting anything. But Ken mostly does that for me these days anyway.
7.45am and K&K now getting up - time to get ready to take Kai to school. More later.
Sunday, January 08, 2006
[grumble] Seem to have spent most of the day asleep. Must have needed it.
Have managed sodall as well - left hand (and now arm) too painful to type. I shall be very annoyed if I'm getting rheumatism on top of the teno. Arthritis runs in my family too, apparently...
Eh well. A good night's sleep - must remember to take a valerian - should help.
No, I didn't understand most of it, just the odd word (and verb) here and there, but not having subtitles detracting from the picture was lovely: I was able to really look at the cityscapes, and the parks on the topmost layer, and confirm - from the 'space elevator' shot - that Japan as depicted here still has large areas of woodland (that is, it's not completely urbanised, which means the bike fic I wrote for Valkyrie still works. And you're right, Val, Sengoku does have golden brown eyes, first time I've noticed. Then again, I'm usually focussed on [MINE!!] Benten...) Oh, and Hasegawa uses the 'kisama' form of 'you' when addressing Sengoku for the first time. He may have done so on other occasions too, but the speech is normal speed (i.e. it left me far behind) and I didn't notice.
[happy grin] I can't remember how many times I've watched the series. It was at least a couple of times a week back when Kai was a baby, and of course I have to watch it every time I write another fic, to make sure the details are correct. I still love it, and it's still my favourite, along with Trigun (and Furuba, now). I really really wish there'd been more than three stories, the premise was so intriguing...
Suppose I ought to think about getting to bed.
Heh. Maybe I'll read a couple of CCO fics first. One of the first things I did when I got online, however many years ago that was, was to find, download and print out all of the fics on the original CCO Geocities website, which is now here - with, I note, Valkyrie's gorgeous trio pic. It took me all night, and it's definitely a mixed bag when it comes to quality, but it was worth it. Heh, you could even say that was my first introduction to fanfic writing. And we all know where that led!
Saturday, January 07, 2006
Ken needed a major backup session this afternoon, so I treated myself to a mini film-fest - Buckaroo Banzai and 2002. [GLOMPS Lutra] I'd forgotten how terrific the latter is - and I still think Fung and Chiu make a gorgeous couple. Pity there were never any sequels made. (Gen-X Cops is available from Amazon.co.uk though - looks like fun!)
I was planning to watch CCO808 afterwards (been a while), but Sea of Souls was on, and Ken wanted to watch it. Interesting episode it was too.
Back to Band 3...
I took a break tonight and started the third CCO808 'Band' story (which reminds me - Thorne and Valkyrie, do I have your permissions to borrow Daicha and Helena again? Kendohotchick has already agreed for me to add Shoko) and had cause to check some sushi terms online...
[pissing self laughing] After all the comments about pendrives, I found THIS.
WAIII! I want one!
The light-up ducks are pretty surreal too - and as for the spaghetti USB extension cable - ooh yeah! They even do a real 'thumb' drive!!
Then I looked at the prices...
Eh well, when I get that best seller....
Friday, January 06, 2006
[sigh] Three hours sleep last night - my own fault though, I got carried away. But I had a nap after K&K arrived back from school, so that's OK.
It's been a productive day though. 2AC 1.4.04 started. Onna's beta finished. Carol's adult Professionals story posted. Carol and Sue's terrific joint story read (and I forgot to ask if I could host it...)
We all watched Pitch Black (special edition) DVD tonight - I do like that film. The special has some very nice 'missing' segments in it, not huge, but they add a richness to the story.
[snaffled from Lutra's blog] -
personality tests by similarminds.com
Hm. Not very accurate, I feel...
Ah. Just caught an ad for Underworld: Evolution. Will have to watch that when it's out to rent, see if it has any more substance than the first. Not that pure style is a problem - once in a while.
Back to the loom...
OK, three pages at the end of 2AC 1.4.02 moved to the beginning of 03, and a new page and a half written for the beginning of 02 balances everything out nicely, introduces the genesis of the warrior aspect of Zb (in attitude, at least!) and still lets me finish 03 on a cliffhanger. Not a bad bit of work though I say it myself.
On to 1.4.04. Readers of the original Alliance Chronicles will remember this bit - it's where R fights Death...
Thursday, January 05, 2006
Me to Ken [watching Kerching on sprog's TV, frowning at actress playing middle-aged mum wondering aloud how 2
My son is wonderful for my ego sometimes...
[sigh] OK, we're back to the 'four-hours-sleep-a-night-is-normal, take-a-nap-later' syndrome...
Eh well, it gives me a start on the day, I suppose.
Much, much later (9.15 pm, in fact)...
Weird day. Cleared mail/comics/blogs, then beta-ed the next part of Onna's fic and whapped it off before K&K came downstairs. Took Kai in, shopped on the way back, looked at 1.4.03 and realised I need to expand either that chapter or the two before it. Sat and stared at it for ten minutes then realised I was going nowhere fast and couldn't keep my eyes open, even talking to Lutra on ICQ and with Vampire High on the Horror Channel on the background (heh, after moaning about how bad the channel was, they show this, which on one ep's showing isn't bad at all. Then again, it's Canadian, and I've never yet watched a Canadian production I haven't liked. At least some of.) So I went up for a sleep. During which I dreamed I had a heart attack. Erk.
Woke later than I'd intended, made dinner, then we watched the rest of Furuba. [sniffle] It's beautiful. Will have to get the manga though - can't just leave it there...
And K&K are now having fun with Trainz, which has installed perfectly happily onto Melkior and which Kai is thoroughly enjoying. He's a high-speed passenger train at the moment, travelling though British countryside (he went over a viaduct a few minutes ago) with real British weather - it's raining... I can see this is going to keep him quiet for quite a while over the weekend and beyond.
(Ended up we couldn't even add a new graphics card to Ken's computer: it needs 128meg RAM and he only has 64. Yes, the machine is that old...)
And now I need to get something constructive done: I haven't read the Professionals fic Carol sent over yet, nor done anything regarding e's dream interpretation, and I have to sort out the hassle with 1.4.03. Heh. Too much to do, too little haddock. And I'm still tired, dammit!
Back to it...
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
TeleWest (or is it NTL now?) have recently blessed... um, perhaps cursed is a better term, us with a new channel, Horror (only with the final R reversed). It specialises in 1 star films, like Rana: The Legend of Shadow Lake (on tonight - OK, tomorrow morning if you're being picky - at midnight 50). I think DigiGuide are embarrassed to have to include the listings: they don't provide the channel number, and neither does the banner! You can only actually find the channel by trial and error (or by tediously flicking through the channels via remote). [frown] I think it's 144. But I could be wrong. I only had it playing in the background once and it was so awful I switched the TV off after about five minutes...
If you're a regular visitor here, you'll probably have noticed that I can't write without musekick (music, for the literal-minded). Quite often I have MTV2 playing on the TV while I write (I feed the sound from the digital black box through the stereo to my computer's 'in' line, so I can have the sound through my speakers and see the TV by looking 97° to the right. OK, not great for my neck, but then, I'm listening rather than watching). I like MTV2, it's where I discovered Green Day, Killers, System of a Down and the amazing Muse.
I'll rephrase that. Usually I like MTV2. Today they're playing '101 singles you must download', and they've just shown Art Brut's 'We formed a band'. At least, I think that's what it was called. The words are 'We formed a band, we formed a band. Look at us, we formed a band'. Or something almost identical. Over and over and over again. [blink] And your point is?
Of course, I could be missing some obscure, profound and very clever existential or epistemological symbolism here... Or not. Nah - I'll bet the latter. This is just crap...
Four pages into the angst-filled 2AC 1.4.03. Quite enjoying this part, been a while since I wrote any angst!
I've decided to do something about my backlog, along the lines of aiming to write one fanfic a week (or maybe a fortnight) as even-lighter-relief from Haadri and 2AC. I have several promised, after all: there's Band part 3, the orgy in Heroes (Drawn Together), the fourth Matrix Twins fic, and another gremlins orgy. There's an Arslan Senki ficlet started too. And I still want to finish Transposition, even after all this time. Then there's Leander Pryne. There was a little Interstellar 5555 story planned, and of course now Furuba is nagging (I think that'll be a case of writing just one fic to 'get it out of my system', as it were... Hm... I've said that before, haven't I...)
Right - dinner then some more anime!
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
Well, as you can see, Blogger Command sorted out the problem for me!
2AC 1.4.02 finished and 1.4.03 started. My silver tree taken down and carefully put away for next Yule. And we've made a dramatic start on tidying/reorganising the book/video/DVD shelves (there's a large pile of books to go to the Leaping Lemming at St Nicks).
Ken went shopping with Kai: sprog arrived back with a Trainz simulator CD-rom - which he can't use on his or Ken's computers because it needs a minimum 16 meg graphics card, and Ken's (which is an old Acer) is only 8... (Yes, I could install it on mine, but that would mean me getting off my computer while Kai plays, which he's going to want to do a lot. Not to mention that every time I install anything new on my machine I risk Butch throwing a tantrum...)
Cue emailing Carol, who knows more about these things than me.
But neither of us were quite tall enough to make head nor tail of the instructions for choosing the correct upgrade graphics card for Ken's antique machine. So we're going to install the software on Melkior tomorrow - which serves two purposes: one, it gives the wee thing a bit of a workout, since he hardly gets used, and two, it'll make Kai very happy indeed, he really really wants a laptop, mum... (OK, so it won't be his to own, but he'll enjoy using it.)
He's back to school tomorrow - but I think he's enjoyed his break. I know I have!
We'll try to watch some more Fruits Basket tomorrow: I'm itching to find out what happens next.
Monday, January 02, 2006
[sigh] Bed at half midnight. Finally fell asleep at 3.34 am. Woke at 8 and couldn't get back to sleep. I really must remember to buy some more valerian...
But I had a couple of hours to myself before K&K came downstairs - AC 1.4.02 now at seven pages.
Kai has started doing card tricks. His delivery needs a little more polish, but they're not bad tricks at all. He seems to planning on performing them at school...
Grabbed a cycle's nap at 2.30pm: woke up after an interesting dream. I was back at a place I perceive as a holiday camp, and went into the fairly packed TV lounge to wait for Ken and Kai (don't know what they was doing, but we were due to leave to come home shortly). I can't remember what was on the TV - it was one of those suspended from the ceiling - but everyone was watching it intently. I'd put my shoulder bag on the floor beside me - I was sitting on the floor, as usual - and someone kicked it, scattering everything over the floor and leaving it lying some distance away. Before I could gather everything up and retrieve the bag, a group of elderly women in extremely expensive clothes and hats (the sort that used to be worn to weddings) arrived, making the sort of 'look at me' fuss that pretends it doesn't notice it's disturbing the peace.
Of course, one of them tripped over my bag and nearly fell.
... I left after telling them to sit down, shut the hell up and let everyone else watch the TV in peace. (Hm. Interesting. Thinking about it, the one who tripped reminded me of my first mother in law - who was the original m-i-l from hell. I escaped from that situation before I'd had the chance to tell her exactly what I thought of her...)
ANYway, not far from the building was a shop, Paula's Botanicals (not, as far as I know, a real shop) which I'd visited in a previous dream, but hadn't been able to afford to buy anything. A gorgeous place, on two levels, selling fake plants. Every sort of fake plant you can imagine, including fungi and what looked like alien plants - and of course, silk orchids.
I eventually narrowed my choice down to seven, including a paphiopedilum and a couple that were sheer fantasy, almost iridescent. I was about to pay for them when I woke, alas...
Kai asked to watch some more Fruits basket... Heh. Explaining Ayame to Kai was - interesting... Luckily he didn't ask about the (so far only implied) relationship between Shigure and Ayame (and if it's more than that don't tell me: I've been carefully avoiding spoilers!) But I like Ayame. I can feel a lemon bubbling. Which is an appallingly bad idea given my backlog.
Back to the loom...
OK - trying to post this I'm getting an error message - 001 java.io.IOException: No space left on deviceblog/0/34/13/alestrel/archives/2006_01_01_alestrel_archive.html - with the option to repost index or entire blog... what to do...
Nothing works. Have emailed blogger support
Sunday, January 01, 2006
... and the first of 2006...
2AC 1.4.01 finished and I'm now 3 pages into 1.4.02. Working on New Year's Day? Of course I am! Nothing like starting the New Year the way you mean to continue.
Quickie before I close down. Made time to watch the rest of Drawn Together uncensored. Gross gross gross and very funny! Annoying, however, that the one scene I'd hoped would be in it, wasn't. Ah well.
I thought I'd just see if Kai's digicam would capture the Evil Squid Lutra sent - and it did, quite neatly. That's my magnificent octopus and bronze Owl weight behind it...
My (Sainsbug's cheapo) Buck's Fizz last night had pips in it. [bemused] I suppose that was to prove it was made with real oranges...
The fireworks were beautiful.
Adrian, Kai had a joke in his New Year Cracker he wants me to tell you:
Why did the cat want to be a nurse?
Answer: Because she wanted to be a first-aid kit!