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!
Monday, July 30, 2007
[growl] Got to the dentist a quarter of an hour early to find a sign at reception syaing, 'closed until 1.45, please come back later'. Which I did, although my appointment was at 1.45. But no-one actually came through to reception until nearly two - at which point they told me my appointment had been cancelled and the letter advising me so went out two weeks ago.
This is the second bloody time I haven't received a cancellation letter from them.
I've made a new appointment for the 24th for myself and Kai.
Still, I found the new Wilkinson's (next to Somerfield) at Broadwalk, and picked up a roll of 29'6" green plastic flexible bed-edging for around the veg patch (it's a nightmare trying to stop the lawn growing into the productive areas). Planning to get some serious gardening done later in the week.
Transformers tomorrow with Kai and the N sprog...
Bristol Harbour Festival
We went to the Millennium Square first, to check out the Cirque Bijou...
<- This aerial artist is from Israel, and I think the act is called Avital (I can't be certain as they simply didn't seem to be sticking to anything like the programme times or schedules!) She was amazing - so elegant. Her partner climbed up and down the staging at the side of the stage, acting as her counterbalance with the strap contraption fixed to his belt. A lovely polished performance it was, too.
This pair -> are from Siberia, we were told, and their act was really beautiful (I couldn't believe how strong she is! She held him like that for a good few seconds before they sloooowly twisted back up to the trapeze...) A gorgeous performance, graceful and lyrical.
<- This acrobatic (and limbo-dancing) team are the Black Eagles, from Tanzania, very talented - and terrific clap-along music - but exhausting to watch!
In between the acts we were kept entertained by the two compères - one of whom treated us to a display of juggling from his mouth, of all things - and the Beach Boys, a pair of cute blokes in bathing suits who did acrobatic type things on stage... There were also, of course, far more acts than I have pictured here, but the place was packed and I didn't have a very good position until the end, alas. (I took about 200 photos but don't have the energy to sort through them and make slideshows tonight. Maybe later.)
The last performance we stayed for, however, was the one I'd been particularly looking forward to, Gamarjobat, the Japanese mime double act... -> Hysterical - simply hysterically funny. Not to mention delightfully rude... I had a sore throat from laughing at the end, and the kids at the front loved them. (So did the bigger kids at the back.)
I gather they were on Blue Peter recently too. If you ever get the chance to see them, I'd recommend going: they're simply brilliant. Hugely expressive and very skilled, and wonderful improvisators as well. Forget everything you know about mimes and prepare for riotous fun.
I confess I was bemused by the stage crew - escapees from (or perhaps clones of) Young Einstein by the looks of it...
We stood for well over an hour in hot sunshine (it was supposed to be cloudy with sunny spells today...) watching the acts: my back and legs are killing me, and my face is singed, dammit! (Luckily I have some that Definity stuff left; it worked in Exmouth, it seems to be doing the trick here.) Kai wanted to ride the Harbour Railway afterwards, so we queued up to get over Pero's Bridge (yes, it was that busy!) then over the swing bridge - to find that the Matthew was sailing up the Floating Harbour! So we paused on the bridge to watch (and take photos) as she reached the widest point of the harbour then was turned ready to go back down to her berth near the SS Great Britain
While we were waiting for the train the Jeannie Johnston pulled away from the dock, on her way towards the Cumberland Basin. I'd love a trip on one of these replica old ships one of these days.
It was a half hour trip to the Create Centre and back, and rarely have I been so pleased to be sitting down! But all in all it was a great afternoon (we left home at ten to one and got back at five thirty) and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Well, except for the heat and the tiredness. And the dehydration. And the sunburn. But everything else was wonderful!
Tomorrow I have a dental appointment - just a check-up. Since I shall be up at Broadwalk I'll check out the new Wilkinson's and see if I can get the clay pots I need for my orchids...
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Quyn after having a good nose in the grass this morning. We still haven't managed to get all the grass-seeds out...
[sigh] On discovering that there was to be a firework display in the evening, I decided to have a decent lie-in and take Kai to the Festival a little later than I'd originally intended. Unfortunately I didn't find the Festival schedule until this afternoon: the fireworks were due to start at ten pm, which would make it very difficult for us to get home (not to mention that it started raining at eight). By that time it was too late to make the trip: we're planning to try again tomorrow.
So it was a day of fairly laid-back pottering. Kai watched Hoodwinked (before I woke up) and Hot Fuzz; I took half an hour for some orchid care (averted incipient scale-insect attack to the soon-to-flower phalaenopsis); and I'm not sure what Ken was doing. Tonight Kai stayed up til eleven to watch Jaws, which he enjoyed.
Wasn't that exciting?
A surprising number of my lupin plants have survived, and I've managed to combat the gastropods enough for this one to start trying to flower. Amazingly tough things, lupins: the survivors are really big and robust and replace leaves almost as fast as they get eaten. Just wish they were as poisonous to slugs and snails as they are to everything else.
Yes, it looks like some sort of hideous deformed caterpillar, but that's the Lone Cucumber. It may survive. It may even be delicious. I'm just not sure I can bring myself to eat something that looks like a grub...
Better get something constructive done today...
Saturday, July 28, 2007
New tablet installed and working fine, though it'll take me a while to get used to the smaller size. The sprogs had a fine time today, and I'm taking the N sprog over to see Transformers with Kai next Tuesday (the M sprog will be on holiday with his family. The afternoon was qute interesting, actually, as N sprog is the same age as Kai and trusted to watch - or not watch - films on his own judgement, while the M sprog is a good year and a bit younger and not allowed to watch anything above a 12 certificate. The N sprog really really wanted to watch Hot Fuzz - but it's a 15. Kai solved the problem by keeping the M sprog happily occupied with one of their old projects upstairs while N watched the film in the lounge - and loved it, chortling away happily once he'd got into the swing (because the first twenty minutes or so are a bit bewildering for the newbie...)
Once everyone had gone home Kai watched Hoodwinked - by himself, as it has to be one of the ugliest and most irritating films I've seen in a long time. Didn't help that Red Riding Hood wore a skirt over flared jeans, one of the foulest fashion f**k-ups ever dredged up from the diseased brain of an insane fashionista (the other being those grossly hideous jeans with the crotch down around the knees that make boys look like stumpy Neanderthals) and one of the reasons I can't stand Leila in Sky High (the other being that intensely wince-inducing voice)... Where was I? Oh yes... I 'switched off', Ken went upstairs, and Kai watched it alone.
After sprog had gone to bed we watched Kai Doh Maru - and what an oddity that is. Slow, graceful and elegant, the whole thing's made in soft and subtle pastel tones (except for leaves, flowers and blood, which are vivid primary colours), and it would be incomprehensible without reading the synopsis first. And it feels like an episode half way through a much longer series. The animation is limited - though pretty in places - and the dialogue... Well, I can only go by the subtitles, which made it seem distinctly lacking in any sort of structure, full of innuendo and half-revelations. Altogether it was a visual treat but a story-telling disaster. Glad I hadn't paid to rent it!
Tired, and looks like I'm taking Kai to the Bristol Harbour Festival tomorrow - the weather's supposed to be reasonable - so will try for an early night...
Friday, July 27, 2007
Create your own picture - this is mine. Lots of fun!
Create your own here.
Ken and I spent most of this afternoon trying to clear the blockage in the drain outside the kitchen window. Not the most pleasant of jobs, but with Ken up to his elbow with the hosepipe on full from the manhole cover end and me poking down the drain with a stick, finally it went GLUUURRRRP and cleared.
Our copy of Hot Fuzz arrived this morning (happy sprog!) So did the next two LoveFilm rentals - Hoodwinked and Kai Doh Maru - which we will watch later. The new tablet arrived this afternoon: looks good, will install it later.
Better start getting dinner ready!
WHEEEEE! This blog is FIVE YEARS OLD today!And I haven't prepared anything to celebrate it. Tch'.... Maybe later.
Labels: Happy Birthday
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Well, credit where credit's due, Staples are delivering the tablet tomorrow. However, they aren't collecting the external hard drive 'til next Monday. No, no idea why they can't do it at the same time, seems a bit of a waste of transport to me. Eh well.
Kai came with me to Sainsbug's and helped carry the shopping home without complaining, bless him. Heavy rucksack too. Tomorrow he has a friend coming 'round for the afternoon, which should be fun. It's supposed to be sunny: will try to get a little gardening done if possible.
So far I have one cucumber developing in the mini-greenhouse. It's rather cute: curls right around in a spiral! If it survives - and it may not given vagaries of weather and bugs - I'll take a photo.
[GLOMPS GoodTwin] The GH has been a wonderful help this year. 'course, the problem now is that I want a full-sized greenhouse (but not glass - too fragile) on a flagstone base up where the mini one is. I'd have less worry about the weather, and it would be easier to keep the bugs under control. [sigh] Heh, maybe next year...
Q: In your opinion, what is the first rule of survival? A: Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger (unless it bites your legs off, in which case it just makes you shorter).Kristine Kochanski, Red Dwarf, Space Corps Survival Manual (p 102)
Staples. Anyone remember the hassle I had with Staples when trying to get my chair? They're still being incompetent. Ken recently bought a metal under-desk filing cabinet from them. When it arrived it had been dropped on its side at some point and the frame buckled, so the drawers are a little sticky and the lock doesn't work.
And today my new tablet was delivered... Or rather, it wasn't. I probably forgot to mention the tablet's been playing up, with the pen on the screen skittering off all over the place, highlighting things I didn't want highlighted and opening applications I didn't want opened. It's a hardware problem, and I think it might be my fault, as while I was organising the figurine shelf I knocked several heavy things off the other shelves and they landed edge-on on the tablet. Though that being said it had been playing up a little for a while... Anyway, we found a rather lovely Wacom Graphire A5 tablet on amazon.uk at a price we could just squeeze out of the business budget - but it was expensive, and I'm not an artist, and me using a Wacom tablet as a pointing device is a bit like using a Samurai sword to chop down trees. So I found an A5 Trust tablet at a third of the price of the Wacom at Staples online and ordered that instead.
Now waiting to hear back from Staples customer service as to how quickly they can get it to me and collect the Freecom external hard drive they delivered in its place...
In the meantime I'll have to struggle with a mouse.
Labels: domestic disasters. LOLCats
Peppers! I picked the largest one (which is still rather small for a pepper but then it was grown indoors) to add to tonight's curry - Jalfrezi, which Kai likes a lot - and collected three small but very tasty courgettes (they aren't doing very well at all in this weather) from the garden to go in as well. I'd forgotten how satisfying it is being able to cook with things you've grown yourself.
I rescued one (single solitary poor lonely) ripe greengage from the tree, too: a lot of them are rotting before they ripen this year. Gave Kai a taste, as he'd never had them before. His verdict - nice, but a bit bland (tasted of a cross between apricot and mango to me, but not so strong. On the bland side, yes, but nothing that couldn't be improved by a little sugar/maple syrup/brandy...) I'm hoping for some sun - it would be nice to salvage something from the garden this year...
Unchained pt 3 posted at the snupin Lj. Making a start on pt 4.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
[chortle] Following a link from FSTDT I found the RationalWiki site. Idly pulling up a goat - as they suggest on the main page - I randomly clicked on polar bear, and found this:
ACD:Polar bear The polar bear (ursus capraphagus autoiakius) is a left handed (properly 'left pawed') quadrupedal liberal beast. Its liberality can be determined by observing its propensity for grand theft auto and also eating goats. These traits are exclusively demonstrated in QED. It should be noted that these same habits (car jacking; goat consumption) are frequently symptomatic of conservative tendencies. It has not been determined where polar bears stand vis a vis evolution/ID/creationism and much research is underway to establish their stance and thus their position on the Communist baby eater / Fascist infant beater spectrum. The 'Friday rule' obliges orthodox polar bears to fast on Tuesdays but they may, if given dispensation by the earthly representative of their deity der Heimschulermeisterobersturmbanführer eat any shrimp paté or raisin bread found unattended.I like this site...
Wheeeeeee! Sun! No rain!!
Frog in clover. I think, from the size, this is one of last year's. ->
He hopped out of the sorrel to watch me as I hung out the fifth machine load of washing (taking advantage of the weather, of course. No idea when we'll get another good day, so I did all the towels and bedding as well as clothing.) So cute.
We pottered again: Ken mowed as Kai frog- and slowworm-wrangled (so they didn't end up under the mower), and we did a little more to the outside loo (almost finished) and the kitchen (removed the old water-purifier spout to make room for a proper sink-tidy. Was quite fun actually, me groping about under the sink with an adjustable wrench - then finding out I'd been turning it the wrong way and had actually tightened the nut. Oops.)
Nothing much planned for tomorrow. I'm hoping to... uh... persuade sprog into clearing up his room. Not that it's too bad, but we do have a few tottering piles of books, papers and less identifiable stuff on just about every surface at the moment and I'm sure half of it could be chucked out. Wish me luck!
Off to do something constructive.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
There's a wonderful and for me irresistible open meme over at Kitchen Witch's blog. Words. I adore words, as entities in their own *write as well as for what they mean. What is life without communication, eh?
The Bloody Good Words Meme: thirteen words (in no particular order) without which life would be ineffably dull..It's not easy just sticking to 13!
*Pun intended, for anyone who hasn't twigged...
Verbascum thapsus (great mullein) growing up by the veg patch. This one is taller than I am: we have another down in the rockery that's taller still, a little over 6 foot I think. Impressive plants, they are.
With the new TV came the offer of 10 free rental DVDs (over 30 days) from LoveFilm. On Friday I joined and ordered a couple of films, which arrived today.
Voices of a Distant Star is just a hair short of being perfect - and it had me in tears. Absolutely beautiful film. We really need to get a copy. Then this evening we watched The Covenant...
My first thought was that the film seemed to draw quite heavily on Vampire High - and then I realised that Danvers' home is the same building that was used for Mansbridge Academy in VH. [sigh] Well, the film was OK I suppose. Tried to be stylish at the expense of substance, and I found myself nodding off about half way through (I know I'm afflicted with permanent tiredness right now but that doesn't happen too often). It was all rather pointless, really. I'm glad we got to see it for free, as I'd have been more disappointed if we'd paid to rent it.
Anyway, since the service seems to be pretty good, and they provide pre-paid return envelopes, I took an hour to look through a few of the other DVDs they had, and ended up ordering 8 to make up the ten. Well, Kai's home and the weather doesn't look too hopeful, and films always go down well. So we have Hoodwinked, Open Season and Treasure Planet coming for Kai, and some anime for us: The Place Promised From Our Early Days (the second film by the guy who made Voices), Kai Doh Maru, a couple of oldies (Black Jack and Sol Bianca)- and Kekko Kamen by Go Nagai (Violence Jack and Devilman), which I've wanted to see for over ten years.
We'd planned to cancel membership after these ten, but they have a load of anime series I want to see - GetBackers, Gantz, Excel Saga, Burst Angel, Le Chevalier D'Eon, Yu Yu Hakusho... (they also carry Trigun, Wolf's Rain and Saiyuki, which of course I already own. These people have taste!) The smallest package is £4.99 a month: I'm trying to work out if/how we can fineagle it into the budget...
I took a look through the sci-fi DVD options too, and came across Space Rangers, a series of which I'm inordinately fond. This reminded me I'd meant to see if I could buy it... I found a copy on amazon.com - at $72.99!! Not even new! (Can we say rip-off? It was Region 2 as well!) Sod that, I thought to myself, and checked ebay, where I found it from a seller in Caerphilly (just over the Severn in Wales) for £9.95 + £1.75 p&p. So that's my Yule pressie from Ken sorted!
I was less happy to find that, this week only, amazon.co.uk have a Panasonic LCD 32" TV for sale at £399.99 reduced from £599.99... Eh well.
The floods are simply heartbreaking, not to mention terrifying. Haven't reached us yet - I'm hoping they never do.
Monday, July 23, 2007
K&K went on an adventure to a sekrit country location today, to ride miniature steam trains. And yes, it has to stay secret, at least on the internet: the place is already a victim of its own success, there were a hundred people queuing for 45 minutes to ride at one point. They're in the process of extending the railway, but for now, although Kai says it's quite a long ride, over bridges over a watermeadow and through tunnels, across proper miniature level crossings and past stations, it's not big enough to cope with demand.
It's also only open about three times a year, which doesn't help!
But they had a wonderful day. Left at 20 to 10 and didn't get back until just gone 7. Me, I pottered for a bit then fell asleep on the futon; managed to make up two cycles of much needed rest.
Haven't done much today - only a little more of the snupin - but it's been nice not to be charging around. We don't have much planned for Kai's holiday (having to fork out for the new TV has kind of put the kybosh on doing a lot) but he says he'd like it to be relaxed and laid back anyway: his first year at John Cabot has left him a little weary! We'll try to do at least one day out each week, and I've said if he wants to invite anyone 'round just to let me know so I can make sure I have the necessary feedings.
Right. Be nice to finish this ficlet tonight if I can...
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Later edit: midnight: WARNING. Lutra and I are now discussing the book in comments. Don't read if you don't want spoilers.
Hm. Took me about ten hours, less several short breaks and a couple of longer ones for food. 60-65 pages an hour? Slow for me. Then again, I wasn't trying to hurry.
What can I say that won't be any sort of spoiler? That before I started I wrote down two finale predictions on a piece of paper and found it very satisfying when they were both proved right? That as I was reading through I found myself entertaining strong suspicions that I later found to be correct?
It's interesting. And well worth the read, even if I don't wholly agree with some of the tenets put forward.
And I'd better stop there. Will look forward to everyone else's opinions, once they've read the book.
Standard warning - read the comments at your own risk. Now I've read the book I'm not worried about spoilers appearing there, so all comments are welcome.
Off to have a well-deserved glass of wine now.
Labels: Deathly Hallows
I forgot to say: there were only thirteen people at OotP yesterday, and only two of them - including Kai - were sprogs...
Right, my copy of Deathly Hallows arrived earlier. I shall now be incommunicado until I've finished reading it. After I've eaten brunch, that is: Ken's making scrambled eggs with mushrooms on toast with crispy bacon on the side - that should keep us going.
Wendy, will read/respond your comment later: Mailwasher shows the first few lines of Haloscan comments so I know you mention the book but not what you say about it. I've been very careful not to see/hear/read any spoilers and don't want to do so at the last minute!
Again, please read any comments to this post at your own risk. Haloscan doesn't seem to have a function whereby I can just turn off comments for individual posts, unfortunately, but I will delete and ban anyone who leaves spoilers (for me, I should have said!).
Here's two big LOLCat pics that should take up enough space to prevent anyone who hasn't yet seen the film/doesn't want any spoilery-type opinions from seeing what's written below them. If this is you, don't scroll down past the pics.
Oh, and read any comments at your own risk!
Kai's comment? "That was the most depressing thing I've seen in ages."
... um... right...
I have to confess I was disappointed: the film skates over the surface of the book, moves too quickly, is unevenly-paced, and left me feeling very dissatisfied. And yes, I know it simply wasn't possible to include everything from the book in a two and a half hour film (it might have made more sense to make two films of it. Eh, I can dream...), but there seemed to be so much missing. I admit I could be wrong, as it's been a year since I read the book. I think. The film seemed to focus on the dramatic action scenes rather than the - to me - more interesting intimate scenes. I was particularly annoyed that the film makes Cho the DA traitor rather than Marietta Edgecombe, even though it was obviously done to avoid bringing a minor character to the fore. And while it was great to see more Snape in this one (yes, of course I like Snape. Angsty, tortured, tormented, complex or just plain evil is much more fun than good-guy. I really don't care what the outcome is in Deathly Hallows, he's still probably my favourite character, in the book as well as the delicious Alan Rickman's version of him. Where was I? Oh yes.) that whole 'worst memory' scene was over so quickly I could hardly grasp the details. Though it did seem to me that James looked particularly malicious at the end. If it was James - it shot past so fast I'm not sure. And for having such an estimable cast, a lot of them were wasted, scenery rather than active participants. Not to mention that there was bugger all mention or use of the Order itself.
Good points (using character names rather than actors): Luna Lovegood is simply wonderful. Umbridge is superbly loathsome. Lucius (mmmm, that hair!) chillingly evil. Bellatrix disturbingly unbalanced - and I love the laced-up leather outfit! And to my surprise Sirius was rather good too (surprise because I'm not fond of Gary Oldman as an actor, think he's somewhat overrated: he appears to play pretty much the same character in everything I've ever seen him in. 'Scuse grammar, I'm tired.)
Overall, however... no, not too impressed. We'll get it - I want the full set - but Kai has already said he's not keen on watching it again, and I principally want it to try to catch the scenes that went by so fast I practically missed them.
I shall grumble about the boring end credits too, and the rather odd and ill-fitting final theme music. HBP has the same director - David Yates - which is a little worrying.
Another LOLCat in case anyone is reading this from bottom up...
TO ANYONE READING THIS FROM THE BOTTOM UP (what do you mean, what a daft idea? I do it all the time.) Above the LOLCat is my opinion - and possibly spoilers - of the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix film, so if you haven't seen it/don't want to know anything about it please just go straight up to the top.
And read any comments at your own risk.
Ideally I would now go and finish Unchained part 3, the snupin I got snagged by, but I feel thoroughly glaikit - hardly slept last night, dreadfully aching back and legs - so don't know if I have the wakefulness or energy.
Also have distinct feeling blogger is playing up...
(It was. Took me three attempts to post.)
Friday, July 20, 2007
Nigel (the external hard drive) is just like a whopping 320gig pendrive and just as easy to use. All my stuff is now backed up. And given how much space we have, we may as well back up the laptop as well...
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
[blink] GoodTwin sent me this 'Which LOLCat Are You?' quiz, but I'm not at all sure I agree with my result...
Your Score: Serious Cat
51 % Affectionate, 69 % Excitable , 46 % Hungry
Hungry for knowledge in any internet forum, you demand decorum. Any off-topic remarks, absurd statements, or tomfoolery on the interweb is deeply frowned upon by you. Truth has no room for drollery.
The OKCupid site isn't one of my favourites, I have to confess. They insisted on me getting an account with them before I could take the quiz, then I had to backspace to get back to it, since I wasn't interested in any of the other 'services' they offer. It's quite fun though!
Kai escaped having to act, so he enjoyed the day a little better than he otherwise might have. However, it was school report day, and while it wasn't a bad report, it could have been better: we have a few things to work on for next term - not letting other people distract him and being more focussed, specifically.
A bit of OAP parent-type news. My father is in the early stages of macular degeneration (the 'wet' sort) and has been recommended for treatment by injection to stop it getting any worse. This sounds great - well, apart from the fact that it's injections straight into the eye - except that they found out today it isn't available on the NHS. And he's been told he'll need three injections. At £800. Per injection. And after reading up on the subject it looks to me as though there's no guarantee that it would stop at three - it might end up being three (or more) a year for the rest of his life.
[sigh] They're going to skip their main holiday this year to pay for it. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it becomes available on the NHS. (I'm also keeping my fingers crossed the sort he has isn't the one that's hereditary.)
And while we're on the subject of medical matters, Ken started a course of injections today, recommended by his BRI consultant; preventatives for Hep A and Hep B. He thought it was just going to be one or two jabs, but no - he has to go back for four or five more over the next six months. Still, if it helps...
This is fun though (blogger's pick of the day), if a little bizarre...
One of my ordered Vampire High DVDs arrived today - very fast delivery. The other order, however, was cancelled by the seller - a1books_usa - with no reason given despite my emailing them, and the DVD is still showing as available to buy from them. Not impressed. I've left appropriate feedback on the amazon site, and wouldn't recommend using them. (I've reordered it from amazon.ca, but it won't be delivered 'til October...)
Right! [wanders off to do... something... useful before the new series of Wire in the Blood starts...]
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Spent much of the day performing a major clean up, reorg and rationalisation of the hard drives, in preparation for backing them up onto Nigel, the external drive. Took the time to change the random old LocoProf files to .txt files as well, something that's needed doing for about eight years: there are some stories there that might even be usable...
Kai had 'inter-tutor-rounders' afternoon today, and apparently they won. Well, drew with the other team that got through all the heats, anyway. Tomorrow it's the school's drama festival. Apparently Kai's in it, playing a drunk driver who runs someone over and kills them... Not his choice of part, he says, he's been allocated this by the rest of the group. He's not overly happy about it, but says he has no choice. I'm debating contacting the teacher: he seems to be being coerced into a few things he's not keen on just recently. On the other hand, I know he can also exaggerate a little... Perhaps we'll chat over the summer holidays, when things are a little more relaxed.
He's very tired though, mainly from yesterday, so we decided to delay OotP 'til Friday. He finishes early then, will be on the bus home at 2 pm, so we'll have plenty of time to eat and wander over without hurrying. We're both looking forwards to it, and I'm hoping it'll be out to buy by Yule: we'll get it as a family present.
Better get something constructive done...
Later edit: And a Happy Birthday Thorne for yesterday. Sorry I missed it: new computer, old reminders lost, new ones not yet in place...
Up early to make tortillas and see Kai off on his school trip to Drayton Manor. The letter about the trip didn't say whether the kids were supposed to wear school or own clothes, so 6.30 am had us ringing the school to ask. Unfortunately there was no-one there who could tell us - so I ended up packing him off in school uniform with his jeans and a comfortable thin fleece in his rucksack. And just as well we did as it was own clothes, and he had time to change before they boarded the (double decker with mini-screens for films: they watched Shrek 2 and Fantastic Four 1 on the way back...) coaches. They were due back at 7 pm, and everyone was asked to make arrangements to collect their sprogs.
I found out this evening his main worry had been that he'd been paired with a couple of schoolmates who had already planned what they were going on - all the 'thrill' rides - without bothering to take Kai's views into account (which I am, quite understandably, miffed about since one of them is a boy he considers a friend). However, when they got to the park 'Sir' (yes, they call the teacher that!) decided to revise the plans and have them in groups of four instead, and Kai ended up in a group of six (no, I don't know how that happened) which included at least two like-minded sprogs who also weren't keen on attempting the 'thrill' rides.
The result was Kai had a wonderful time, trying the slower, less dramatic but still exciting rides instead. He wolfed down all the food he'd taken (after asking me this morning if I'd be upset if he didn't eat it all) and shared his Chocoboy Japanese biscuits with the group. Apparently they really like it when Kai takes in Japanese sweets...
While this was all going on I went out to PC World to take back the Samsung Pleomax hard drive ... Isn't that a lovely word? Pleeeeee ohhhhh max. Pleistocene to the Max! Plesiosaurs and Pteradactyls and Ankylosauruses.. Probably got my eras mixed up but what the hell... Where was I?... Oh yes...
Thought I'd have time to grab a FirstDay ticket, head out at three, and be at the school to meet Kai at seven. I was a little late leaving, but even though it takes an hour each way to get to Cribbs Causeway I should still have had plenty of time...
Got to PC World, took the hard drive out and before I'd even unpacked the cable the assistant sighed and said "They sent you the euro plug one, didn't they?"
He offered a replacement, which I was happy with, although I was also going to ask for a refund of the P&P since I'd had the extra cost of busing out there to return it, but when he came back he was carrying one of these, 100 gig more storage and a little more expensive than the Samsung - which, apparently, has been withdrawn, though whether because of the plugs or because of the alarming rattling we found on lifting the thing up he couldn't say. Anyway, I'm happy with it, and very pleased with the service. Headed back to the bus - and that's when things started going wrong.
Ken rang to say Kai had rung to say they'd be home early - an hour earlier than expected, at six instead of seven. In other words, I had slightly over an hour to get to the school. But, said Ken, I could get either a number 1 or a number 40 bus, they both dropped off at Penn St, which is where the 41 and 43 (the buses I needed to get to the school) pick up. It's a half hour trip back into town from Cribbs Causeway on the 1, a twenty minute trip up to Kingswood, and a ten minute walk to the school from the bus stop - tight, but doable.
I'd missed the number 1, but the number 40 was ready to leave, so I leapt on...
Ken hadn't bothered to check the route, or how long it took to get back into town, and I had no idea, I've never caught it before. I know now. It goes almost out to Avonmouth before doubling back on itself and crawling along the scenic route through places I'd never heard of. It was an hour before I got back into Briz, by which time Kai had rung twice, once to say they were a little delayed (which was good) and a second time to say they had arrived - before I'd even got to Broadmead. End result was I arrived to pick him up at twenty past bloody seven.
Of course, this also meant we missed the bus back down the hill that would have got us to the bus station in time to catch the 8 pm X39. We did manage to make the 8.24 number 1 from Penn St but it was close: luckily we were on the bus when it absolutely bucketed down or I'd probably have been homicidal by the time we got back.
Anyway, we arrived home at a little before 9 pm, tired, stressed out and - in my case - really really pissed off. Not only did it throw the whole day out but there was also the embarrassment (and guilt) of having to apologise to the poor staff waiting - they couldn't go home until all the kids had been picked up.
It's the sheer unnecessariness of it that makes me angry. Ken knew how tight the timeline was - why the hell didn't he just look up the bloody times?
Taking my foul mood off to try to do something with it...
Monday, July 16, 2007
Slept in, got up late, spent the whole day deliciously indulging in the Dr Who fest on UKTVDrama. Actually managed to watch all of The Empty Child, which I've always somehow managed to miss before. They screened the 1996 Dr Who film, starring Paul MgGann (which I watched because I like the actor and because of the T.A.R.D.I.S. interior shots - the plot was really, really naff...) It was wonderful to see the last two Rose eps again (and yes, that last one brought a lump to my throat. Though I still haven't forgiven the crew for bringing in that bloody awful Tate woman and spoiling the sheer intensity of the final scene...) It was oddly chilling to see the Face of Bo in the hospital on New Earth, knowing what was implied in the last ep of the most recent Dr Who series (no spoilers: I know Lutra hasn't seen them all yet.) And I knew I'd heard the Torchwood theme tune before - it was background music for the most dramatic scenes in Doomsday!
I think terran technology has finally caught up with my vision of how Dr Who should look and sound and feel and be. Before MgGann, I could take it or leave it. Now I drop what I'm doing to sit and watch it, loving every second. Best and longest-running sci-fi serial in the world, and David Tennant has, in my not at all unbiased opinion, quite rightly won UKTV's award as the best Doctor ever.
Still find the flying pepperpots funny not frightening though.
And Torchwood season two should be on our screens in a couple of months (fingers crossed anyway - September is the start of autumn). Can't wait!
Later edit. Being thorough (not obsessive) I looked up Bad Wolf Bay - Dårlig Ulv Stranden - on Google Earth, and apparently it is a real place, as desolate and forsaken as it appears in the episode...
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Gideon: "I thought you said you don't hold grudges." Galen: "I don't. I have no surviving enemies. At all."I like Galen...
This rockery succulent is flowering for the first time. ->
It's rather pretty.
<- The meadowsweet is flowering too. Wonderful smell of vanilla. (Although I can't smell anything at the moment, dammit.)
Pottering sort of day. Planted the Jerusalem Sage on the sunny bank at the top of the garden, started weeding the rockery, swore vociferously at the gastropods who have eaten through the two lupin flower spikes that had struggled to make it through all their predations - not eaten the flowers, mind you, just cut the spikes off so the buds all die. And you wonder why I hate the buggers... - and did a little general maintenance while the sun shone. Oh, and put through three machine loads of washing, which is now drying nicely outside. UKTVDrama is having a Dr Who fest all day, showing favourite episodes from each incarnation. The animals are all dozing, and I'm trying to summon up the energy to do something constructive. The cold is on its way out, but has left me feeling drained...
It's a kit's life... ->
<- Elegant cat. (Those are grass seeds in the fur on her leg, by the way, not some dreaded lurgy...)
Right. time to get organised...
TV arrived in a timely fashion at 2.43 (I do like the way Comet ring you to let you know it'll be with you in half an hour!) but we waited 'til Kai came home before unpacking and setting it up. (I let K&K do it: they're much better at following instructions than I am... [grin]) We hoped, for a few minutes, that we might be able to have the VCR working by feeding it through the black box co-axial cable, but the TV - which seems to want to be called Frederick for no readily apparent reason - was having none of it and refused to auto-tune.
So if we want to watch videos, we'll have to swap the scarts over, until we can pick up a splitter as GoodTwin suggested. I'm sure we'll manage!
It's great! The clarity is fantastic, the colour/brightness/contrast etc. adjustment much better than the old TV (though the sound adjustment isn't as sensitive) and, to my great joy, there's no reflection off the screen! (No, I know there's not supposed to be, but it hadn't actually occurred to me that that would be such a wonderful feature of the thing. The old TV reflected everything...)
Anyway - we're very happy with it. Though I now have to find somewhere else for the mimosa to live...
Kai arrived back with his new uniform sweatshirt today. They've kept the same turquoise, which is good, but the new logo is a little disappointing. Eh well... Thinking we'll go to see OotP next Tuesday instead of Friday: Kai's after-school clubs have finished, so he'll be home early enough for us to make the 5.30 screening. We're itching to see it.
Right. What shall I do this evening?
Friday, July 13, 2007
Brought down our ancient, tiny (15 inch), Ferguson portable colour TV from the bedroom to use until new TV's delivered. Surprisingly (because I think it must be more than twenty years old - I'm sure we bought it when we still lived in the Totterdown flat - and it's been repaired twice) it works fine - with the black box, at any rate, so we have all the cable channels even if we can't watch DVDs ('scart? What's that then? I can't be doin' with all this new-fangled technology stuff...')
I feel dreadful, but it is at least just a normal nasty cold, and the throat has eased off considerably. Chocolate ice-cream helped. Tomorrow's the third day, then the damned thing should start going. K&K have, luckily, not gone down with it. It's left me with a brain full of cotton wool though, which I hate.
Eh well. It's finite.
Labels: nowt really
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
[sigh] The external hard drive we ordered from PC World arrived today. The transformer is fitted with a two-pin continental plug instead of a three-pin UK one.
The artwork for Celtic Messages arrived today too. It's very pretty. It also doesn't have my name on the front cover. (Though in all honesty the editor has said this isn't the final draft, it still needs a little work.)
You can go off Wednesdays, you know...
On the marginally more positive side, managing to knock back 'prufens is keeping the throat pain bearable as long as I remember to take the next lot before it gets bad again, and we've ordered one of these as a replacement for the TV (paid a little extra to have it delivered on Friday 13th... Haven't we already had a Friday 13th this year?) I was hoping the old one would struggle on until we could afford a 32" beast, but there you go. (Can't really afford this one but we need it. You know how we love our films.) It only has two scart sockets, though, so it'll be a case of leaving the DVD plugged in and swapping it on the rare occasion we want to watch a video. Or buying a small TV just for video playing. Maybe one day... We're gradually replacing our videos with DVDs anyway, so it's not too big a deal.
Kai arrived home in good spirits, but then, he's had a nice easy day: the only event he took part in was the 'Sponsored Walk for Gambia' (he came back with a medal, but I get the sneaking suspicion every sprog who took part got one...) He was pleased that his group - Faraday (the others were Brunel and Newton. This quite tickled me!) - were the overall sports' day winners.
... It's too quiet here. I've spent all day thinking I should put on a DVD to have in the background then remembering I can't. And of course I can only have music through the headphones as I haven't risked trying to restore the factory settings for the audio software until I can make a full backup of all my drives. Which the external hard drive was supposed to be for. Only since I can't plug it in I'm still in the same position as before. [snarl] Not happy.
Shall go and find someone to hurt (metaphorically speaking, of course. I haven't finished the snupin yet)...
[bemused] I swear spam is getting weirder. This arrived earlier:
Vision Airships is set to become a worldwide operator of blimps used for advertising around the world. As the advertising market gets more crowded in conventional mediums -- the use of alternative forms of advertising is gaining more and more traction -- this is where Vision Airships comes in and supplies the end to end solution to major advertisers worldwide with its unique form of alternative displays. The size of the market worldwide will support 24 airships which would bring in approximately $400,000,000 annually.... riiiiiight...
And it just gets better and better... Kai was snuffly last night, and by the time I got to bed I had a raging sore throat. This morning it hurts like hell - feels like pharyngitis (like laryngitis but the inflammation goes all the way down the inside of the throat. Last time I had it the doctor said there's no treatment, just to take painkillers and soothing drinks til it ran its course. Given swallowing honey [bleurgh] and lemon in hot water is painful enough, not sure how I'm supposed to swallow 'prufens...)
And this morning Ken switched on the TV to be treated to a crackle and fizz and the sweet smell of burning circuit boards. I'm now off to try to find a replacement we can actually afford.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
... shopping. Oh joy...
Actually it wasn't too bad. Had to get out to PC World at Cribbs Causeway to pick up replacement black and yellow cartridges for the new printer (nearly empty. Anyone surprised that I still have 53% of the magenta left?), so did everything else while I was at it - banking, picking up odds 'n' sods of stuff at the market and Wilkinson's (and the Chinese supermarket - I has ramen again!), and, on the way back, refilling two empty Ecover 1.5 litre laundry liquid bottles and 2 half litre bottles of fabric softener at Fresh 'n' Wild up at the Clifton Triangle.
Have to confess I adore this shop - even walking into it is a lovely experience, with all the gorgeous scents of fruit and baking and coffee, and the delicious wafts from the restaurant part. They sell the luscious Clearspring organic mirin too, the only place I've found it in Briz... Where was I? Oh yes... I was delighted to find they do refills. Ecover's plastic bottles are recyclable, but I'd much rather use them 'til they fall to pieces and then chuck 'em in the recycling bank - even if it is a bit of a way for me to go and a bit of a heavy weight to lug back in the rucksack. Still, as long as I combine it with other chores it works well.
I was chuffed to discover that opening a business account with PC World, which I did for free when I bought this machine, was an excellent idea, as I saved a little over £10 on the price of the cartridges and a spindle of DVD-R discs (approx 20%... [counts on fingers] Yes, 20%!)
All in all a good day, but I'm tired, and it takes such a long time to get to Cribbs Causeway and back. Still, I'm sure a bowl of duck-flavoured ramen will give me the strength to get this blasted snupin finished (it's being recalcitrant).
It's Kai's sports' day tomorrow (parents not invited), then next Monday his year have their end-of-year-7 treat, a trip to Drayton Manor. He's not really looking forward to it - I think kids who've been before have been telling scary stories about the 'thrill' rides. Like the sprog who ate a whole bag of sweets before going on the Maelstrom, with predictable results all over the people waiting in the queue below... He breaks up for his summer holiday next Friday, and I'm tentatively planning to take him over to the Showcase for HP5 after school. Yes, I know that's rather late after the opening, but I don't like crowds, and Kai's not keen on them, and we'd rather let the rush die down before risking it!
Right. Ramen. Then Deeper...
... rejection letters, no matter how many you've received, are always depressing...
Still, thanks to Lutra's painstaking research ([eyebrow] thorough, of course, never obsessive. We fish are never obsessive) we've decided that the mystery plant (see last entry) must be a Jerusalem Sage. This is good news: it's drought tolerant, and bees like it - it'll be perfect for the bank at the top of the garden that gets full sun most of the year.
This -> however, is not so good. Yes, they're blackberries - perfectly ripe and juicy blackberries on the bramble plant growing in the top of the wall (the section that Ken hasn't yet tackled). It's the beginning of July and the blackberries are ready for eating. Our strawberries finished fruiting early - the wet and lack of sun put paid to the later crop. And the UK agricultural news is grim, with massive crop losses due to the record-breaking rain - the price of fresh food is going to go through the roof this autumn/winter (already noticed prices hiked by between 3p and 6p per item on tinned goods over the last three months, presumably due to fuel prices: I need to do some sort of comparison of fruit and veg soon. And I shall probably hit, very hard, the next person who pooh-poohs the idea of global warming...)
If you haven't already done so, go here and sign the pledge even if you don't do anything else. (That was all we could do, as we've been doing the rest for over a decade already.)
And of course, with the interest rate rises our mortgage has gone up yet again (5 times in the last year, I believe). I'm just happy we don't have any credit cards or similar debts, as it's going to be enough of a struggle as it is...
I should get to bed, but I know I'm going to have bad dreams, so am putting it off a little longer.
Monday, July 09, 2007
Useful morning - the pic is up on the wall in the loo, and I now have hooks on the pedestal and the back of my chair to hold my headphones and their cable: hopefully it now won't keep getting tangled when I'm using them. We've also finally planted the fuschias, and got the euphorbia in the ground (and just finished when it started raining, so good timing.)
This is the mystery plant. Can anyone tell me what it is?
The Arnos Park Funday was fun!
The anti-rain dances paid off: it was a pleasantly sunny afternoon with a nice breeze to ameliorate the heat - much better than last year's blistering heat.
There was a lot going on at the Park, but this was Kai's favourite. He sat in the driving seat of a police car while the officer explained all the controls (Kai loved it, although he didn't get to sound the siren.)
And I treated myself. Please meet Castor and Pox...
I also picked up a couple of plants, a euphorbia and a mystery. No idea what it is, it has leaves like a foxglove but the most peculiar flowerhead arrangement. (Must get a photo.)
On the subject of flowers, this, finally, is a photo of the acanthus. -> Wonderful blossoms, I think, but also amazingly sharp spiny bits.
I know there was more I meant to say, but the brain's gone AWOL tonight. Been a hectic week and I really need more sleep. Generally speaking, I mean.
Sunday, July 08, 2007
So, garden a lot tidier and shelves made, put up and populated. Kai helped with and thoroughly enjoyed the sawing to size (though I nearly had kittens watching him at the workmate with the blade so close to his hand. Overprotective? Me? Heh...) And I finally got to move the poisons off the table.
And tonight we watched Equilibrium. Rather to my surprise I really enjoyed it, horribly predictable as it was. One to put on the 'to buy' list for when I see it cheap - I'd like to rewatch it to pick up the things I missed.
[sigh] And I gave in and pre-ordered HP & the Deathly Hallows from amazon uk, mainly because even though I can't in all honesty call myself a dedicated fan, I really don't want the ending spoilered, and I know if I do my usual and wait until the price comes down someone is bound to let me know, even if only accidentally. Eh well. Suppose I'll have to take a day off to read it once it arrives...
While I was there I thought to check Vampire High DVDs. Regular/long time readers might remember me mentioning how much I enjoyed the series when it came on the Horror channel a year or so back, and managed to get hold of the first DVD with the first four eps. Well, there have since been another two DVDs released, taking the story up to ep 10 (of 26) - and amazon sellers had both of them for just over £3. So I now have those on order, and will keep checking to see if any more are being produced. I'd like to have the whole series if possible.
Right. Back to Deeper. I'd hoped to have it finished by now...
Saturday, July 07, 2007
WHEEEEEEE! Look, sun! ->
So of course we took advantage. Two machine loads of washing and the woodwork painted in the loo later and I'm knackered. But it's all good stuff, looks warm and clean in there now, a soft peachy colour instead of the stark grubby white and orange that we inherited. Memo to self though - cheap satin paint from The Range is OK for quick and cheapie jobs but wouldn't do for inside the house.
Ken's finally managing to mow: with all the rain the grass was almost knee-height in places, which is great for frogs (a large one bounced off my ankle on its way to take refuge from the mower behind the water-butt) but also, unfortunately, for the gastropod scourge... When he's finished I have to trim around my shrubs. Then I'm hoping he's not too tired to drill some holes for the loo shelves: I'd like to get them up today if I can. (Yes, I can use a drill, and a saw and hammer and screwdriver, learned plenty of DIY when married to Broom, who couldn't even wire a plug properly, but the hands can't cope with the weight of the drill any more.)
The snupin follow-up to Unchained is coming along nicely - though I think I'll have to make the fic a multi-parter rather than hurry it in two chapters. Will see how it goes.
Back to the garden. It's noisy out there - given this is the first good weather day in weeks I think the whole road is out mowing!
Awww... Kai is out helping, shooing frogs away from the advancing mower!
5.30 am snuck up on me like a ninja haddock: I'd meant to get to bed rather earlier. But I'm quite glad I didn't. Standing at the patio doors, sky-watching for a moment before setting the alarms, I was startled and bemused to see three sunrise-pink clouds shaped like very large pigs, side by side (by side), snouts high and ears pricked, racing across the sky...
The winds had ripped them out of shape before I recovered enough wits to grab my camera, alas. But it's not every morning you see flying pigs before breakfast...
Vexed now uploaded. I'm not completely satisfied with the background tile, but it'll do for now. I tried making one with a ringed planet, and while the background worked OK, and the planet worked OK, when I put them together they just weren't convincing. I need more practise with Bryce. And PhotoShop come to that.
Back to the loom - time to get some other stories finished.
Thursday, July 05, 2007
Slightly lighter day today. It rained (so much for the forecast!) so I couldn't paint, but I have just about finished Vexed, another Haadri short that I'll post in the Haadri library when I've done the background tile.
Kai brought home three of his poems for us to read, and says I can post one of them here (trying to persuade him to code up the others and post them on his own micro-site, then I'll link to them). I ought to add that I've corrected Kai's spelling: he's not the greatest speller in the world, something we're trying to address. His brain often runs away from his fingers though...
Forgot to say I caught Kill Bill 2 the other night, and although at first I thought I wasn't going to like it, I ended up quite engrossed. Intelligently violent and very nicely crafted. On the strength of the Kill Bill films I may even risk watching some other Tarantino.
Aiming to make a proper start on the funny snupin follow-up after House tonight.
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Well that was interesting.
APAG - the Arnos Park Action Group - are having their fun day on Sunday; they come under the BCP umbrella, hence my involvement. Ken got involved through the history group - he's prepared a little historical booklet about the park and surroundings and will be at the stall in the park on the eighth. He also did their press release and whapped it off to the local papers (having once worked for the Bristol Observer has its uses!) - with the result that Bristol Community Radio rang this evening to ask if anyone could tank over there to do a 20 minute live chat with the presenter about APAG and the funday.
No-one else was around to do it, so Ken wolfed back dinner this evening and leapt into a taxi (there and back, but the group will pay the fares). Apparently it went quite well, so we're hoping for a good turnout on Sunday. (I'm taking Kai down for a little while. [grin] Have been performing anti-rain dances in the garden for the last few days in an attempt to persuade the weather to be nice!)
My day was as busy as ever, and I still haven't quite completed the bread and butter stuff. But I was quite chuffed to discover, last night, that even though none of our books have been translated into Japanese (yet), my Celtic Symbols and Celtic Messages are being offered on the Kinokuniya Book Web site, despite not being actually published 'til Samhain. Nice, ne?
Back to the rockface...
Obviously this is being a busy week...
Took a break and tried this, snaffled from the very excellent Hoyden About Town blog:
That was me rushing to keep up with today's... um, yesterday's... um, Tuesday's haddock.
I blinked and there it was, gone.
Got a lot done though. And there was a three hour hot, windy and sunny break in the rain, so I even managed to get a wash put through and dried!
Going to fall over now...
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Oh this is very silly. But since it's so bland, I'll post it here for once...
Now that was a proper Monday: had lots to do and got nearly everything completed. Ken went into town (instead of me), to the bank then Staples to buy his long-promised office chair, while I prepared and sent off second quarter invoices, spent half an hour on orchid care, and hoovered. Well, dysoned really.
Then when Ken arrived back I took his FirstDay ticket and trundled out to Wyevale to pick up a deep windowsill trough for the pepper seedlings and some clay pots for orchid stability (until I'm sure what I'm doing I've decided not to try to repot. However, they're all terribly top-heavy and the plastic pots fall over at a glance, so I've started just putting the plastic pots into slightly bigger clay pots, which holds them steady and prevents any accidental water damage - orchids don't like wet feet. It's not exactly pretty, but at this stage I don't care: they're coming along very nicely and I don't wish to make any mistakes). I found Wyevale sells packets of the Thompson and Morgan Mixed Oriental Salad leaves seeds we like but had run out of please 'scuse grammar, so grabbed one and a smaller windowsill trough to grow them in. Bussed back and just had time to pot on the pepper seedlings, start the salad leaves, and get the melon plant onto the top shelf in the kitchen window before Kai arrived back and I needed to make dinner.
Then I had a BCP meeting - which was really very interesting. And, we were advised by the police officer who attended, 'terrorist counter-measures' are supposed to be mentioned, if not discussed, from now on at every community group meeting throughout the country. Which makes sense, I suppose, though it's a very sad reflection on the state of things. Religion, who'd have it, eh?
Heh, they've even changed the late film on ITV. Was going to be Die Hard 2: instead we have Cliffhanger. Not that I'm actually watching, mind you...
And after watching the news tonight I am seriously pissed off. It was bad enough when TeleWest sold out to NTL. It was worse when NTL sold out to VirginMedia. I was distinctly unimpressed when we got a bulk email late last week advising us that the old national rate tech support number was being phased out wef beginning of July and the new number phased in. At 25 fucking pence a minute!
(To put that in perspective, we run with the Telephone Co-op for our landline, pay a small premium every year then all local and national calls are 3p to connect and 1p for up to an hour. I think it's something like 3p per minute for international calls, but have never made one so can't be certain about that.)
And then tonight to find out that VirginMedia may be taken over by a bloody American, potentially asset-stripping, company... Well, we spent half an hour checking into BT's setup. Turns out it would only cost us £1 a month more to switch. Not that I like BT - used to work for them and ended up heartily loathing them and their business practises - but I do quite like my nose where it is...
We're going to consider it for a while - and I need to speak to a customer advisor, as the site didn't give me everything I need to know. Hopefully I'll get someone like I was when I worked for them, someone who actually knows what they're talking about, rather than some useless airhead only intent on keeping her numbers high. And if that sounds bitter, it's because it is. Gods I hated that company...
[takes deep breath] Anyway. On to more fun things. I was bitten by a plot spider a couple of days ago. Well, last Thursday actually, while watching Sky High. I found it intriguing that All-American Boy and Mr Medulla seemed to be particular friends, standing together for that seminal Save the Citizen scene - and they're dancing together at Homecoming. (If you can call it dancing, that is...) Hence small ficlet now being written...
Back to it!
Oh perfect. Now my broadband has gone down...
Later edit: back - but who knows for how long...
Links to the VirginMedia fiasco -
The squabble, which lost VM a lot of customers...
and the latest...
(We really don't care about Sky - never watched it, thought it was overrated and overhyped.)
Sunday, July 01, 2007
Finally managed a half-way decent photo of the acanthus spinosa. It's lightened slightly in PS to make it a little more obvious, as it has the odd ability to merge into the background if you let it. Wonderfully strange looking plant...
Spent the morning (finally) sorting out Kai's wardrobe, and now have a binbag's-worth of too-small-for-sprog clothes to go charity. Had roast pork for dinner - with home-grown roast spuds and home-grown carrots! All very tasty.
What else...? Not a lot - although whatever the bug was has mostly gone (24 hour thing, fortunately!) I still feel a little rough. Kai's fine though: he'll be OK for school in the morning.
This is my galia melon seedling on the kitchen windowsill. It's getting a little out of hand, but I don't have anywhere else to put it: the one I placed in the GH was completely eaten within hours... Once I've planted on the peppers I'll see if I can put it on the higher shelf. And pinch out some of the shoots - that might help.
Kai's brought some sort of bug home - what I thought was hayfever has turned into burning sinuses, aching body and a bit of a temperature (Kai's was 100° earlier, but the nurofen is helping there...)
Sooo, the Dr Who season finale... Struck a fine balance between the heart-breakingly poignant and the needlessly messianic, I thought. Powerful stuff. And we loved the Captain Jack bit at the end!
Looking forward to the Yule special - and the next season of Torchwood!