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]
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!
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Ryme has a large, solid tumour in her gut. The vets say there's really nothing they can do - this sort of tumour grows into and around coils of the intestines and is almost impossible to remove, even if she wasn't such an old cat. And even if chemotherapy was an option I couldn't bear to put her through that. Vets have recommended putting her to sleep (funny, I've always hated that term 'til now) before it progresses so far it starts making her ill and miserable, two or three days at most.
In the meantime I've brought her home to be pampered and loved for a day or two. Tomorrow I'll ring to make arrangements.
You'll excuse me if I'm not around for the next few days.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Oh what fun we had. Got as far as the section where we had to choose which port to use, wireless or ethernet. Well, we wanted the ethernet port of course - but the choice we were given didn't make it clear which was which. So we tentatively opted for the realtek port (since that's what the computer uses for visual and audio control, and I didn't recognise the 1349 adapter). And nothing happened. So we unplugged the router and plugged the cable modem back in, and I reverted back to the restore point I set before starting. Only to find the machine boot up with the 'set up your PC' screen from the first time we switched it on. Heart sinking I took a look at 'my computer', and yes, everything had disappeared, from all my docs to the software I've installed since I bought the machine.
Holding my breath (literally) I tried undoing the 'revert to restore point' - which brought everything back... kittens? You have no idea. It's very worrying though, if the restore point function is bollixed (which I think it may be but am too afraid to test. Anyone heard of anything like this happening before?)
It was particularly annoying since it turned out that it was a loose connection at the cable modem end which stopped everything from working.
So we tried again - only to have the install software hang. This time it was relatively simple: I have Norton set to turn on security at startup, which it had, and that stopped the window running. [sigh] So I disabled everything again and we tried again. Third time it was successful - and Kai is over the moon, as he now has internet access from the laptop whenever he wants it - but now MailWasher is playing up...
I did say nothing was ever easy here, didn't I? I'm now a little concerned that I'm going to have problems when I boot up tomorrow. I shouldn't - it's only a router, after all - but I think it's best to expect the worst. Then if it doesn't happen we can celebrate.
In the meantime, I want to do something fun tonight.
Monday, November 27, 2006
"But why is the steak gone?"
"Yummy!" said Radittsu. "Calamari tonight!"
... too early...
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Ryme helping Kai with his jigsaw.
Early night. I'm knackered, and I have a horrendously busy day tomorrow.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
WHEEEEE! Woke up to a parcel from Lutra! Lovely stuff - a squid postcard, two odd little plastic... basket things in the shape of eyeballs (I forgot to ask what they were, but Kai thinks they're great!), a bejewelled hefalump of longevity, a gorgeous Erte 2007 calendar (I thought I knew just about all of Erte's works but there are some pics in here I've never seen), chocolate green tree frogs and baby bilbys (they didn't last long!), a Discovery DVD, On the Trail of the Giant Squid, and these lovely little glow-in-the-dark squidlets! (They're actually fishing lures - aren't they cute! I need to find a way to suspend them from my speaker brackets...)
[GLOMPS Lutra] Thank you!
Ken took Kai to a bring'n'buy at St Cuthbert's church hall today while I got a little more work done. They arrived back with a train jigsaw for Kai (which he's found hugely frustrating: I don't think we'll bother letting him have any more!), a tiny gardenia plant for me (fingers crossed. Never tried growing them before...), and Madagascar (for Kai) and Ultraviolet DVDs for the afternoon/evening.
Ken and I watched Ultraviolet after Kai had gone to bed. Yawn. Not one for the list.
There's 35 minutes of Muse on shortly, performing tracks from Black Holes and Revelations - be interesting to see what it's like and whether I want to buy it...
Tch'. I should be in bed. And I am trying to close down, honest. But I followed a link from tigtog and found this...
Anyone (male and female) who's ever felt... cowed by the images held up to us as 'beauty' should really go and have a look. Run your mouse over the pictures. All of them. Then go and look in the mirror, and grin, and tell yourself, 'Ye gods I'm beautiful! And it's all real, and it's all me!'
Because it's true.
Pass it on.
Oh, I've remembered what it was I forgot.
We watched an episode of Avatar, the Last Airbender tonight. Despite being American (yes, I have a low opinion of American TV in general, hadn't you noticed? Don't take it personally - I have a low opinion of quite a bit of UK TV too. Especially crap like Little Britain and so-called reality shows) it's absolutely charming, beautifully low-key, the characters and situations wonderfully realistic, the artwork a delight, and the overall concept, while not wholly original (but then, these days what is?) thoroughly appealing. I remember remindering it on DigiGuide on the old computer, but that packed up before the series started, and with all the kerfuffle of getting the new one up and running I'd forgotten. But it's remindered now, and I shall make time to sit and watch it - at least for a while.
It knocks spots off Naruto!
Friday, November 24, 2006
How to royally piss off a Joules: state definitively you want the project completely realistic then over the course of 36 (sleepless) hours change your mind twice and end up saying you want it wholly intuitive.
Let's just forget the subject of divinatory cards ever came up, shall we?
The other current project is going well - a third finished after eight days, with a due date of the 15th of January. Though we need to confirm that we're heading in the right direction. Next week, I think.
I keep forgetting to say - Wendy, my jade plant is flowering! Aren't they pretty?
I'm worried about Ryme: over the last two weeks she's suddenly lost an awful lot of weight and looks starved, so thin you can see a lot of her bones and I'm afraid to touch her in case I break something. I have a vet's appointment for next Wednesday: please keep your fingers crossed it's just old age...
... I know there was something else. I can't think what it was though. (That's what lack of sleep'll do...)
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Got quite a lot done last night - and lost track of time, not unusual when faced with a new and exciting project. When I finally looked at the clock it was gone 1.30 a.m, and I'd intended to get to bed around midnight. In hurrying to close down and leave everything ready for the morning, I put the frozen stewing steak for today's dinner on the worktop, instead of in the oven as usual, to defrost.
I couldn't sleep - mind whirling with divinatory card images, spreads, keywords and meanings: I was still awake at gone 4, so after I finally did manage to drop off Ken let me sleep in and took Kai to the corner himself.
He came back to find Raptor sitting on the worktop, chomping on raw stewing steak and chucking chunks of it down to the kitchen floor for Ryme and Argent...
[shakes head] So of course Quyn had to have some, too, and all the beastlies thoroughly enjoyed it and have turned up their noses at the tinned stuff all day, and fortunately I did have another portion of meat in the freezer so we can still have stew (with dumplings if I can remember how to make them) for dinner.
[rolls eyes] That'll teach me. But what the hell, it seems to have done them all good, happy little horrors.
Finished half of what's needed for tomorrow, which is good, though it's still going to be tight.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Right, where were we...?
Yesterday Ken and I attempted to install the new router. Oh, what fun. The CD wouldn't autorun in anything but IE, which I've recently - foolishly - upgraded. And I couldn't get the Smart Wizard pop-up to... um... pop-up. Apparently it was blocked. Which didn't make sense, as I'd disabled everything on the system. Then GoodTwin emailed asking if I had a google/yahoo toolbar in the browser, and perhaps that had a pop-up blocker enabled. No, I didn't, but on looking more closely I did have the ICQ toolbar, and that had a pop-up blocker. [sigh] I don't need that, I run ICQ independently. Uninstalling the toolbar solved the problem - and I can now access the comments on KW's blog again, though how the two things could be connected is beyond me...
So we followed the Smart Wizard step by ste - but when we tried to get computer to communicate with router and broadband our growing suspicion - that we had the wrong piece of kit - was confirmed.
[sigh] It was an ADSL router, and we, of course, have cable broadband.
So today off I went back to Cribbs Causeway to change it for the correct router...
It's a nice ride, and I had Kood and was able to plot, but it's also an hour each way, and with another 45 minutes to get the problem sorted once there I lost a substantial part of the day. Next time I'll check more carefully.
We'll install it tomorrow. Kai can't wait!
Arrived back to find our agent had just finished speaking to Ken: might I be interested in a new project, a set of divination cards plus a small explanatory book? Yes, I might be interested! And as it happens, it's on the same subject as the little project we're currently in the middle of ('scuse grammar). Only thing is, I have to have a synopsis, the description of four cards and their meanings, a sample spread, and the blurb for a supplementary book ready by Friday, as the editor is off to New York on Tuesday for a Book Club meeting the same day and wants to take it all with her: the actual commission depends on whether the idea goes down well or not, so it's by no means definite at the moment. Doesn't give me a lot of time to get it done, though. Eh well. Sleep, who needs it...?
Raptor has now decided she likes her new 'indoor tree', and sat up there to watch me making korma tonight. She's still a little hesitant about getting down - there's worktop where there never used to be any - but overall she's happy I think.
It's been months since I had my last diabetes test, so I dived into Lloyds the Chemist this morning - and have been told the result was 6.1, which is just over the border into 'go and get a proper test done within 14 days'. I have to get up to the doctor's soon anyway, so I'll get that organised in the next couple of days.
Something I'd like to do before Yule is get a FirstDay bus ticket and do the rounds of the charity shops: go out to Westbury-on-Trym, where every third shop seems to be an Oxfam, St Pete's Hospice or PDSA, then bus to the top of Whiteladies Road and walk down to the Clifton Mall, diving in and out of shops on the way, then bus down again to the Clifton Triangle and Forbidden Planet. There's a noodle bar opened just down the road since I was last there, too - be fun to check that out. Perhaps, if you can make it over for a few days in December, GoodTwin, we could both go!
Back to the rockface. I have rather a lot to get done...
Monday, November 20, 2006
Finally, we have saucepans hanging under the big new cupboard, and tidied saucepan lids between the fridge and the cooker. The kitchen comes ever closer to completion...
I go fall over now.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Another stupidly disjointed day with not a lot accomplished. Mind you, I really don't feel well at the moment: this damned cold/virus/lurgy is petulantly refusing to move on. And the weather's turned typically wintry, high gusty winds and heavy bursts of swirling rain. Glad I stocked up on ramen - it's the ideal winter comfort food.
But then there was tonight's Torchwood, which I found really frightening. Love the series so much, sexy and intelligent and a wonderful mix of sci-fi, myth and the human condition. I love the way so much is crammed into the time available (though I wish the eps could be longer), without feeling too rushed (mostly, anyway). And the characters are fabulous! For the first time in a very long time I find myself wanting to sit down and discuss the series with like-minded friends, and there's no-one here I can talk with, sod it... [sigh]
I found an interesting Torchwood/Dr Who blog, TimeWarden's Journal, and the Torchwood blog, which has details of the first DVD (first five eps apparently), for anyone who's interested.
Planning to try for an early night. Next week will be busy.
Oh, KW - if you're reading this, I can't even look at your comments, let alone comment myself: for some reason Haloscan won't let me access them on your blog...
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Ken took Kai up to Maplins at Flowers Hill Industrial Estate, and managed to get both a 15 metre Cat5e cable for his computer, and another 5 metre one for the laptop, so Kai can also be online before we get him his PC. Will investigate installing the router tomorrow.
My PotC2: Dead Man's Chest DVD arrived today from play.com: we watched it this evening. Such rollicking good fun!
PotC3 is listed with films out 2007. So is HP5. Two things to look forwards to, then.
Back to the rockface...
Friday, November 17, 2006
It rained. Actually, for a substantial part of the day it pissed down. Particularly while we were walking across the centre to the number 1 bus stop. [sigh] We were almost dry by the time we reached the Mall at Cribbs Causeway though. And the trip was fun: at Blaise Hamlet the way crosses the River Trym (I think that's the name: it's not much more than a stream at that point) in two ways - a ford and a narrow road. It's been raining so much the river had burst its banks quite dramatically - which didn't stop the bus fording it! Heh, the spray hit the upper deck windows...
The Mall was much as usual, hot, noisy and full of people (and it's not even December yet). I couldn't find any of the little individual shops that were supposed to be there: I suppose they've all been taken over by the larger chains. Which I'm really not interested in, since I find shopping an annoying chore rather than retail therapy. But we picked up the router and trudged back to the mini bus-station, and enjoyed the trip home. PC World didn't have the 15 metre cat5e patch cable we need, have to order that (or have it made).
We now have a large cabinet with doors that fasten closed (by dint of a pair of magnetic catches and a simple brass latch on the outside) and will have a go at the saucepan hooks tomorrow.
And this is our cute little resident kitchen spider, our 'mascot', as Kai calls it. It lives in the little 'cavity wall' to the right of the kitchen sink that holds the water pipes, and creeps out when it's quiet.
The pet stall hadn't had their cricket delivery - will have to get back into town next week. On the plus side, however, St Pete's Hospice had Welcome to the Jungle (director's cut) and Night Watch DVDs second hand at £2.50 each. It was a bargain...
Oh, and Sue's orchid has a new shoot! I was afraid it had died, but it looks like it's still hanging on. Photos if I can encourage it to flower.
Denis put the doors on the new cabinets today. This -> is the small one across the unused kitchen door. I think it looks great, and it's wonderful to have all the delicate glassware and china safely tucked away where it can't be knocked or tipped over. Not to mention it actually looks quite attractive!
The large cabinet isn't finished yet: the catches aren't right. I think we'll have to put a small hook and eye latch on the outside of the doors while Denis re-thinks the fastening. It is back up on the wall, however, and full, and tomorrow we'll see if the current hooks are large enough for the new saucepans (courtesy of The Range, same make as the big frying pan. I'd hoped the old ones would last a little longer, given how expensive this year has been already, but the teflon coating is now coming off in chunks - bit of a health hazard we thought... The new ones have a 10 year guarantee, so hopefully they'll last!)
Which reminds me, I decided not to go for the Luminarc Quattro crockery: the dinner plate is massive, and they don't appear to make a medium plate. Pity, as I love the look, but I need to be practical, and this just isn't suitable for our purposes.
Kai has an inset day tomorrow. We're grabbing FirstDay tickets and going out to Cribbs Causeway - via the Chinese supermarket for ramen and the pet stall in St Nick's Market for crickets for Rosa - to pick up the new router from PCWorld: a little in advance of planned, but Ken and I both urgently need internet access for current projects, so we really don't have a lot of choice. Kai likes the bus journey; it's quite long and goes all around the houses if I remember rightly. There are some nice small independent shops in the Mall, too - we'll take a wander.
Must remember to take the camera...
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
... up to our ears in Picts and Celts and Druids...
Disjointed couple of days. Busy - several client site updates - but definitely not composted. Not having had enough sleep doesn't help of course...
BBC have had a sort of mini 'sci-fi extravaganza' over the last two evenings, and last night Kai and I watched the first episode of Adam Adamant (to start with because sprog heard those irrestistible words, 'time travelling detective' and of course just had to see what it was about). But even though it had precious little to do with time travel, we both quite enjoyed it. As ancient series' go, it's not that badly made or acted. It would be fun to watch the whole thing: I'll have to keep an eye out. (It's so old it's in B&W, which rather threw Kai!)
The vet on Monday suggested we try to slightly reduce the dosage of Quyn's pain medication. Heh. Never again.
Anyone else find the latest round of Remington adds thoroughly shallow and repulsive?
And lastly, two questions.
1, how can such a small cat take up all of a double seater settee, and 2, would you really want to argue with those demonic headlamp eyes?
Early night. I'm knackered.
Monday, November 13, 2006
Today just doesn't bear talking about...
I am, however, very happy to be proved wrong. GoodTwin pointed out that there are in fact 13 eps of Torchwood, so we're not even half-way through yet!
[bemused] Ken's taken Kai to Cardiff a couple of times when he was younger, and they both enjoyed it, but I've never been. At least, not as far as I remember. The quickest way to get there is by train, under the River Severn - which, given my absolute fear and loathing of being in enclosed places underground, is the stuff of nightmares for me. But I'd like to go - I'm impressed by the architecture I've seen in Torchwood - and Kai would like to revisit, so I've been checking out how to get there that doesn't involve long subterranean/submarine tunnels. I looked at the National Express website - and then proceeded to read it wrongly (numbers, damnèd numbers...)
It looked to me that if we went by coach over the Severn Bridge, we'd have to leave Cardiff before we arrived.
Which was kind of apt, under the circumstances.
However, looking at the schedule more closely, if we caught the 2 pm coach, we'd only have two hours before we had to come back, which isn't really very long at all. So it looks as though I shall have to grit my teeth and close my eyes and take the train. There are at least plenty of services. We're thinking perhaps during Kai's two week break over Yule, maybe the first week of January...
[beg] Amazon.co.uk have Torchwood available to pre-order, with a release date of Dec 26th...
On a less happy note, it looks like next week's ep might be the last in this series. NOOOOOOOO!! They have to make more, they just have to!!
Sunday, November 12, 2006
But as suggested by the correct spelling of the above, the cold is on its way out and I have a minimally functional brain once more. Not sufficiently functional to actually do anything useful, but at least it no longer feels like soggy cotton wool.
I've done sod-all the last couple of days. Well, I've re-read the first few chapters of Haadri Bk 2, in preparation for continuing the work, but precious little else. However, I should be able to continue tomorrow. After I've written up the three outstanding book reviews, that is.
Torchwood this week... bloody hell... gods I love this programme! I'm buying the DVD set as soon as it comes out...
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Friday, November 10, 2006
I feel bloody awful. Haven't had a cold this bad since... the last time I had one this bad.
I'll stop whinging now. Just please don't expect brilliance - or even sense - out of me until it goes away.
One of the books I chose to review this time around is by A.R.R.R. Roberts, the author who wrote The Soddit and The Sellamillion, both of which I thoroughly enjoyed (and said so here but I can't remember when so sorry, no link) - The Va Dinci Cod. I haven't had time to read the book it spoofs (anyone surprised?) so tonight we watched the film...
Ken - who's read it - tells me that while the book has an awful lot more in it, the film is fairly close, so that'll save me reading the original. Which is probably just as well, as I found the film tedious as hell. Of course, the fact that's it's a complete rip-off of The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail didn't help: as an author myself I absolutely loathe plagiarists, scum of the literary world that they are. But even without that it's a very dull film. Except for Sir Ian, of course, who enlivens everything he appears in. And I suppose the names are quite clever - Fasche (combination of fascia and Fascist?), Sophie Neveu (neveu meaning nephew, but in Hank's accent sounding more like nouveau - new: so, new wisdom), and Leigh (as in lee, a sheltered spot). But as for the rest...
I look forward to the spoof. I suspect I shall find it infinitely more enjoyable.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
And there was I thinking - hoping - I'd might escape this time, as I did at the beginning of last term...
Eh well. It's finite. And I have lots of boxes of tissues stocked up.
The United Nations Environment Programme is launching a major worldwide tree planting campaign - plant a billion trees in 2007. Wonderful idea!
This is a fun site, for all things gothic. Including pink and grey baby-grows covered with little skull and crossbone designs...
And this was very silly, but fun (you have to sign up before you can take the quiz)...
There are many types of magic, but all require a sharp mind and a cool head. There is no puzzle I can't solve, no problem I can't think my way out of. When you feel confused or uncertain, you can always rely on me to untangle the knots and put everything back in order for you.
How about you? Click here to find your own inner hero.
In a little while I'm dragging myself off for an early night with a large glass of pineapple juice and some high-strength C vits, in the hope I can at least shorten the length of time this damned virus causes me grief. No doubt I shall be back in the morning, regardless.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Wheeeee! My CCO808 illustrated novel 2 (Benten's) arrived this morning! Just six days from ordering from amazon.jp to delivery from Japan - how's that for service, eh? And it's gorgeous, with lovely (and intensely intriguing) illustrations (fubuki_fan scanned and posted most of them over at Valkyrie's CCO808 Lj, which saves me breaking the spine of my copy. [smirks at Sue] Yes, there are a few books I'm very careful with. This is one of them). Of course, the whole thing is in Japanese, so I can't read a word of it - recognise the hiragana and a few kanji, yes, but that doesn't really count.
Then again, if anything was going to serve as a kick up the arse for me to learn Japanese, this would be it. It's not hugely big, and looks to be about half and half hiragana/kanji (i.e. less complicated than it could be). It wouldn't be too hard to schedule in an hour's study every morning (sticking to the routine would be the most difficult thing, but I've managed worse in the past)...
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
[sigh] Here we go again...
Kai is coughing and sneezing and feeling poorly, and I'm trying to fight the bug off as well. Looks like this is going to be standard for the start of every term, at least for a while...
Monday, November 06, 2006
Bit of a hectic day, that was. Saw Kai off to school, intending to walk to the T junction with him and continue on to Tesco (Sainsbug's don't sell herbs in pots. Or the Luminarc quattro range of tempered glass crockery that I rather like the look of. Remember my square white sushi plate? That's the range, comes in both black and white), only to remember that Tesco doesn't open until 8 am on Monday. That was OK last week, when the weather was fairly mild, but in this morning's freezing soggy fog I didn't really fancy the idea...
However, when I did get over there half an hour later, they had both basil and coriander in pots. But no organic garlic. [growl] However, they do have economy outdoor Yule lights at just under £6. Last year Kai thought having a simple strand of white lights in the cherry tree would be pretty, and these would do the job nicely. I'll see if they have any left next week.
Denis arrived a little early, installed the heater in the outside loo (the eaves filler, to our annoyance, is the wrong size - too small - so we'll have to find an alternative supplier/method), then put up both cupboards. But without the doors, as the hinges he'd bought were too big. He's coming back on Friday to finish them, but in the meantime I can use them as shelving. They look fantastic, especially the small one across the door (which now has the basil and coriander in matching plantpots sitting on top of it and all my Japanese crockery inside). I tried putting Raptor up there but she's not too sure yet, it's not quite the same as the laundry basket. I think she might come around though. (Denis thought the arrangement - two planters of herbs plus cat - was amusing!) Photos when the doors are on.
Kai had his first Anime After-school Club today; apparently he enjoyed it, but in between making dinner (chicken and chestnut stir-fry) and Kai wanting to watch Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust I wasn't able to get any details. Perhaps tomorrow on the way up the road.
I forgot to say yesterday. He had me in stitches on Saturday: he was in the kitchen with Ken, who was showing him how to cook pasta (Kai's not fond of bread, so we tried him on organic wholewheat pasta to get some B vits into him, and to my amazement he loves it. Can't stand the stuff myself...) So there he was, standing at the stove with a saucepan of wholewheat pasta (for him) and another of normal pasta (for me) bubbling away, wooden spoon in each hand, stirring both pots merrily and proudly proclaiming: "I can do multi-tasking, me!"
Back to the rockface...
Sunday, November 05, 2006
Right - time for a bit of a catch up, I think.
Regarding the not-quite-finished kitchen makeover: I finished painting the second coat of gloss on the cupboard doors today. Bugger of a job, they've been. Took me the whole of Narnia to carefully stick sillytape to the clear plastic, so I didn't get paint on it, and over half of The Two Towers just to paint on the primer. (Yes, I do measure jobs in how much of a DVD they take. It saves me bothering with numbers...) A trip over to Focus this afternoon netted me a pair of extremely elegant brushed steel brackets to help support the big cupboard, which will have the saucepans hanging from the underside: only £3.49 each, a real bargain. While there I also bought a couple of 'self-watering' pots for basil (a kitchen's not a real kitchen without a pot of basil!) and coriander (we've recently discovered the delight that is basmati rice with lime and coriander - even Kai likes it! - but it's expensive to buy ready made, so I'm going to have a go at making my own).
Picked up some cat grass seeds too, and have sown them, along with another tray of cat mint - I did manage to get it to seed, so fingers crossed I'll manage a good crop this year. (The cat grass is in the hopes that Ryme will eat that, instead of my blasted cyperus.)
Regarding the outdoor loo ongoing project: the eaves filler arrived the day after I'd ordered it, and the heater the next day again - damn fine service in my opinion! Ferndale Lodge is a great site, and I can see me ordering from it again next year: we need a new mower, we still need a water butt, and I want one of these - useful for potting on seedlings, and it would be fun to try growing cucumbers, amongst other things.
Denis is arriving at 9.30 tomorrow. He's fitting the heater in the outside loo first, but I'm hoping he'll feel up to putting up at least one of the cupboards (he's been ill just recently and isn't quite back to normal yet). It would be wonderful to clear some of the clutter!
We installed the scanner on Friday. Oh what fun that was! No, the computer didn't find the new hardware, and no, the installation wouldn't run manually... Finally, in desperation Ken plugged the power cable into a different socket on the surge-protected board - and then everything went smoothly. Except that I can't find the scanner software, and I need to to set up the OCR toolbox. [rolls eyes] Nothing's ever easy here.
Other than that, Butch is behaving beautifully - and I'm in love with the dual core processor. I emailed a 4 meg mp3 to Lutra the other evening: hit 'send', blinked, and when I opened my eyes it was away!
Anything else... No, that's about it. Just these two photos. Ken took Kai to Wyevale, just for a walk, this afternoon - and took the camera with him, so I had to ring to ask him to try to photograph the sunset...
Tch' - can tell I'm tired. Forgot to add something re: the previous post, the bus back from the Fiesta...
As the bus inched its way from the bus stop and around the corner into Blackboy Hill, jerking along in tiny movements to avoid hitting any of the people in the road, someone behind us called out to the driver (in a jovial sort of fashion, I hasten to add):
"Oh, just knock 'em all down!"
Her answer? "I would, but there's too many forms to fill out!"
[grin] I liked that driver...
Saturday, November 04, 2006
I took Kai to the Firework Fiesta tonight...
It ended up being quite a performance, in several senses of the word. Ken mowed front and back today (last mow of the year) but didn't finish 'til 4 pm, and our bus left Broomhill at five past five, so dinner (Korma) was a little rushed. We hurried to the bottom of Sandy Park Rd only to see a number 1 sail past - but it was actually the previous bus leaving late. And then the one we'd intended to catch was also late, so we arrived at Durdham Down just as the sprogs' display was starting...
It was beautiful (although the music was deafening), an excellent start to the evening. Afterwards we wandered around the fairground: there were some amazing rides, including Stargate (which spins upside down for part of the sequence) and the Roller (can't find a pic of that one, but it involves small cages sliding freely around the inner side of a loop that spins about its axis), all jolly good fun.
Kai was happy with a flashing windmill-type thing, luckily, as I really didn't feel up to fighting gravity tonight.
At quarter to 7 we found ourselves a spot partly under a tree (to deflect any falling debris) to one side of the firework arena, and while waiting for things to start listened to the special guest star (*cough*snicker*cough*) the one and only Chesney Hawkes, and to my extreme embarrassment I found myself singing along (as requested) to American Pie and bopping (um, sort of) and singing to The One and Only. I shall never live it down.
[sigh] And then the main firework display ran into some sort of hitch and was half a bloody hour late starting...
It was worth the wait though - most extravagantly beautiful display I've ever seen, knocked spots off the Balloon Fiesta closing fireworks. Some of the explosions were almost painful against the ribs. And terrific music! We even had a snippet of Justified and Ancient, and that gorgeous piece they've been using for the ads for Blue Planet. And the finale was just spectacular. Sore necks and eardrums afterwards, but Kai wants to go to next year's please, and maybe try some of the rides.
Getting back was a laugh. There were thousands of people there, and although First had laid on extra buses no-one was queuing properly, so we just barged on with everyone else. And it was far too overcrowded, with no room to move, and the driver had to creep along as the roads were full of sauntering happy people. But by the time we reached the bottom of Whiteladies Rd a lot of people had got off and we were able to get a double seat upstairs (much to Kai's joy).
But the walk from bus stop to the house was no fun: the air is thick with gunpowder fumes out there tonight, actually painful to breathe. We were glad to get inside.
So, a long but most enjoyable evening. I'm now knackered and looking forward to a lie-in in the morning!
Sorry, no photos: I just didn't want the added hassle of trying to look after the camera as well as wallet, phones and Kai in the crowds.
The display in the window of the Harbour Bookshop, Dartmouth (the Winnie the Pooh panel on the left is in memory of A.A. Milne's son Christopher Robin - who Ken met while he was living in Dartmouth).
The signings went well, I gather, both here and at the Torbay Bookshop in Paignton. ->
The radio interviews were fine (Ken was a little worried about those, as he tends to ramble if he's not careful, but what I've heard sounds good to me!). Reviews appeared in the local newspapers, and there's a four page spread in the Devon Life magazine. And there was even a snippet on the local BBC news that night - RealPlayer file here (the last link on the upper right, Halloween Video Report).
And this is Ken signing more books at the Flavel Centre later the same day. It was incredibly hectic and he's still recovering!
All in all though, it was an interesting experience, and the publicity has been great. And the books are selling well, we're told!
(Thanks to Richard Webb, the publisher, for permission to post the photographs.)
Friday, November 03, 2006
Thursday, November 02, 2006
By Jove, 'tis a tad chilly tonight, around 3°. And due to hit -2° later as well, and stay that way until around 8am tomorrow. Going from around 14° (at the weekend) to around zero in three days is a bit of a shock to the system, even mine.
But it's been glorious today - brilliant sunshine, in which the kits have spent most of the day lying (indoors, I mean), cloudless sky that oddly frangible winter blue, delicate, as though it should chime... Beautiful.
Ken should be back in about half an hour. I may have some photos to post later.
I found this on the Deleted Tomorrow blog: it's face recognition software that's supposed to match you up with celebrities that sort-of-resemble you. Or bits of you anyway. Lemuel on Deleted Tomorrow has nine matches (three of them female, which he seems a little miffed about): me - bugger all. Sorry, no matches. Out of thousands of celebrities, there's no one that resembles me. I'd say I don't believe it except that I find it funny and not really that unbelievable...
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
[grinning manically] Never let it be said I don't enjoy a challenge... A wee while back Vin said she'd ordered the Cyber City Oedo novels from Amazon.jp, and I asked her for the URLs, which she very kindly sent me along with her recommendation of seller (last one on the list of 8) who is happy to ship abroad. Well, today I hopped over there, got myself an account (looks like it's affiliated with the other Amazons but not so closely that my .com and .co.uk ID and password was accepted), stumbled through the pages that wouldn't translate into English, of which there were many and woefully confusing, though fortunately the actual ordering process seems to be the same no matter which Amazon you use, and ordered the second - Benten - novel.
At least, I think that's what I've ordered. If I end up with Zen and the Art of Crane-Folding or Teach Yourself Urban Sumo, well, it's only cost me ¥1,205; ¥5 for the actual book and ¥1,200 postage. A total of £5.40, not quite enough to break the bank account.
Of course, half an hour after ordering I got what I very much hope is the confirmation email: I can't read it, all but my name and address is in Japanese. [rolls eyes] And you thought silly season happened in the summer...
I shall post the book cover here, no matter what arrives!
When you wake up and your hair looks like Yahoo Serious', you know it's time to dig out the scissors...
Winter arrived with a thud last night. There was frost on the grass this morning, and Kai took one step outside then dived back in and dragged on his fleecy school jacket without demur. (He prefers not to have to wear it as it has to be left in his locker, which means he has to go and collect it at the end of the day, which means he gets to the school bus later than most. Though since he now has friends to sit with who'll save him a seat this seems to be less of a problem than it was last term. Which is perhaps why he didn't object...)
It was about 2°-3° when we got up, and is forecast to reach a maximum of 10° today. Overnight all this week the temperature is supposed to get below zero - which is a bit of a problem as we haven't yet bought the eaves filler or the little low-cost heater for the outside loo. Better get those ordered asap. [wince] More strain on the account.
Right. I have a client website update to get done, and a couple of reviews to write (not due yet but I may as well since I've finished the books), and I haven't started on the cupboard doors yet: that'll be fiddly. Better get going!