Zone Doubt, a.k.a. 'Surreal Я Us'...

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

Other sites:

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

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

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

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

The Poppy Tales

(Transformers fanfiction!)

Transformers mini-comics here.











I'm a Member of 

UK Veg Gardeners!


My IMDb ep summaries

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

For later:

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


Silver birch at Eastwood 

Farm

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

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

Autumn...

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

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

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

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

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

(Joules, Autumn 2004)


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


In Memoriam

17.03.09 - Argent

25.07.08 - Raptor

18.12.07 - Quyn

02.12.06 - Ryme


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

Currently reading:
Various Transformers books and graphic novels.



Currently working on:
Heart, The Poppy Tales

Currently chuffed with:
My garden

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

Currently maintaining:
BCHS
BCP


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




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

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

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

TPTB - The Powers That Be.

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

biteable - referring to an anatomical part vb, tasty.

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

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

Cumbles - n, cucumbers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Splish - verb. A combination of slosh and splash.

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

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

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

Murfs - noun, moths.

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

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

Shrumps - noun, mushrooms.

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

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

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

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

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


The Updates Blog

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




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

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

Butch by the talented 

Sylverthorne

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

Joules' 

Haddock

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



A'lestrel by 

Valkyrie.

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



Kood, my new mp3 

player.

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


Albino Alsatian Benten (c) MEBird 

2004

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

Radittsu, an oekaki for my birthday 04 

by 

Onna

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



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




The Zone Plant from
The Zone 

blog 

plant

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

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

I'll leave that to others to decide.

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


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

How could I resist?

Just too adorable...

and to complete the rainbow...

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

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

Yamato -
Fabulous anime figures

Anime Lyrics
A huge selection... evil popups

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

Owned:
   DVD
   Dj: June Special
   CD: Ambivalence

Cyber City Oedo 808

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

From Eroica with Love

Owned:
   Manga Vols 1, 9, 11

Mirage of Blaze

Owned:
   DVD Vol 1 (eps 1-4)

R.G. Veda

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

Twelve Kingdoms

Owned:
   Anime Vol 1-12: complete

Under the Glass Moon

Owned:
   Manga Vol 1, 2
Vol 3 needed

Vampire Hunter D - Bloodlust

Owned:
   DVD

   Vampire Hunter D Book 1



New Vampire Miyu

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


Yami no Matsuei

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


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


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

(Thanks, Lutra, for the quote!)

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

Saturday, September 29, 2007

K&K had a great day - Kai more so as a friend of his does volunteer work at the Avon Valley Country Park (pushing a broom, picking up litter, trimming grass, working on the miniature railway, occasionally manning the till, that sort of thing I gather) and took him on the miniature railway. Kai now wants to work there too, which I don't have a problem with as long as I'm sure there are no Health and Safety issues. The problem is it's difficult to get to without a car, and his friend lives over in Kingswood: I doubt whoever gives him a lift would want to come all the way over here to pick Kai up every Saturday. Well, we'll ponder. It might be possible.
Quyn is poorly again. Completely off his (human) food. Will keep a close eye on him.
Knackered. Taking the night off.

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Friday, September 28, 2007

[grump] Right - I want my Friday refunded...
It started with a phone call from the Furniture Mill, the people providing us with our new sofas. Ken took it as I wasn't yet awake. Heh. They can't make the covers in the material we chose.
They wait til Friday of the week they were supposed to be bloody delivered to tell us. Miffed? Damn right.
So after taking Raptor to the vet - nowt serious, just to get some Frontline - I left Ken to carry her back (because I can't even safely lift the carrier any more, my hands just won't do it) while I went over to the place to collect the samples swatch to bring home so we could decide on an alternative. Growling all the way. They were very apologetic, said they'd only discovered two days ago that they couldn't use our preferred material, but the frames had been made and we'd have the furniture in another two weeks...
We've opted for a colour/pattern scheme that actually fits better in the lounge than the one we'd originally chosen, although it's a little paler and less 'formal' (which is probably more suitable for us). I'm still disappointed though. Ken took the swatch back and argued them into giving us free delivery, under the circumstances, which helps a little.
Then I found Kai had gone to school without his gym shorts, which were on our radiator - this right after getting a letter last week from the school stressing how important it was for all the sprogs to wear the correct uniform. (Everyone got the letter, not just Kai.) Though actually that was OK because he'd grabbed his old John Cabot CTC shorts (as opposed to the new John Cabot Academy ones; they're identical except for the name) so didn't get into trouble.
Then another spotty young oik knocked very quietly on the door (instead of using the screaming door bell) and in hurrying to answer I managed to put too much weight on my under the desk exercise pedals and heard something snap. [growl] When I got back from answering the door - "No, we are perfectly happy with our gas supplier, now go away" - I found the shorter legs are no longer fixed and the thing's wobbly and unusuable.
AARRGGHH.
THEN I installed the Supanames cgi pack I upgraded to yesterday on my JAT site and Ken tried to get the Haadri mailing list working. [sigh] Error page after error page. I've had to email Supanames technical support, who are usually pretty good, but in the meantime I've wasted several hours of my precious time.
But Kai was feeling chatty when he got home, so we sat and talked about his school for a while. They're studying Frankenstein in English, and had a fun class the other day. The teacher showed them pictures of monsters, starting with the zombie with its arm hanging off and various body bits missing, and growing progressively more normal-looking as he clicked through. Then the kids had to discuss which they found the scariest - the point being, of course, to show that the most frightening monster is the one that looks like your next door neighbour (no, not Dave next door!) but is thoroughly evil inside.
They're studying the bible in RE. Kai's annoyed about it, as he'd much rather be finding out about Buddhism, Hinduism and other world religions, and I have the sneaking suspicion he points out the bible's innumerable contradictions and inconsistencies to the teacher. Today they were discussing whether Jesus was actually an historical figure, as depicted in the gospels. I think the general consensus was that he probably did exist, but the proof was very thin on the ground (and I gather the teacher used Josephus as one of her proofs, and I understand that those passages are of, shall we say, questionable authenticity...) But at least the teacher isn't prosetylizing, and the kids seem to be being taught to think critically.
They're still doing rugby in outdoor sports (on Wednesday), which he really hates (and quite frankly isn't built for: he's skinny and wiry, taking after Ken rather than me). His homework this week was to watch a game in the World Cup to see how it should be played, which he did with much reluctance and scuttled off to bed early to avoid having to sit through the second half. If that's what it's called. But he doesn't mind indoor gym so much. They've been doing balances and patterns, and today had a sort of competition. He thought that the team that won wasn't as good as the team that came second...
The last class of the week is design, and they're designing hats. He tells me he's not enjoying the class as much as he hoped, as the teacher is a bit moody - but he went on to say that things are a little chaotic at the school as a whole at the moment and she's new, which probably explains a lot.
Kai took my exercise pedals to bits this evening, and between them he and Ken think they can fix the thing. Although they'll need a no 6 metal drill bit (Ken has 5.5 and 6.5...) so it'll probably be Sunday before it's done, as they're planning a trip to Avon Valley Country Park tomorrow. Kai wants to ride the miniature railway...
OK - back to work. I need to do some minor tweaks, but otherwise the font is just about ready. Hopefully I can get the font creator downloaded over the weekend - not going to risk it tonight, I'd probably break the internet - and have it operational next week.

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This is quite fun -
Dating

The result says: "This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:
* bastard (3x) * hell (2x) * pain (1x)"
Pain? Pain?? Since when has pain been a 13+ rated word?

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Haddock. Need haddock. All haddock gratefully received...

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Support the Burmese protesters.
Sign the petition here.


It's the least most of us can do.


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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I've given in. The heating is on and the winter downie on the bed, and I've switched t-shirts for a long-sleeved working top. Autumn's here and it's really quite chilly. Possible frost tonight, they say. So I suppose I can wave bye-bye to the handful of late strawberries that were fooled by last week's sun into thinking they stood a chance...
The mater is home after her op on Friday, and feeling relatively chipper. She says the staff at the hospital were wonderful, and while she didn't exactly enjoy the experience, it wasn't too bad. Now she has to take it easy for a couple of months - and they do mean easy, no lifting, no stairs, no dancing and just a little gentle walking for a while until she feels stronger.
It's going to drive her spare - she's very active at the best of times. Still, if she doesn't, she'll be back to the start and she really doesn't want to go through that again.
Wendy reminded me I hadn't mentioned that all the rain has filled our water butt to the brim again, which is great as I use it for the indoor plants as well. And the blueberries are doing very nicely!
Kai had an interesting class assignment the other day in science. The sprogs had to write a description/story, in the first person, of how a sperm reached an egg. They were graded on the number of correct scientific terms they used, and for imaginative use of language. He scored nine, which was apparently quite high (most scored seven or eight). [bemused] If my science classes had been that much fun I'd probably have carried on with them!
Quyn is back to normal and grumpy because he's not having his nice human food any more. Can't win!
Back to the font. More on the Haadriblog later.

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Fonting most of the day. Poggled now, and head and hand hurts.
Frodo came round for dinner and a jaunt down to the park with Kai - nice to see him again, he's a great sprog.
Today's FSTDT:
"[re: the bible saying 4 corners of the earth, therefore can't be round]
A circle has four corners dear lady on the inside not on the out. Thus the Bible is right."
... I have no words...
Except to say let's turn to something beautiful - and sensible - instead: my two favourite Gandhi quotes. Though I was doing this well before I knew the quotes - or even who Gandhi was...
Be the change you want to see in the world.
Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.

Back to it. On chapter 56 now...

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Monday, September 24, 2007

So, after the main weekly shop then cooking rice and nuking chicken for Quyn, I started preparing the sample for the printer...

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

It's all over at the Haadriblog...

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Fun day, sort of. Ken sprayed another coat on the fence - I've done something really painful to my left hand and can't lift or even hold anything at the moment. The job has taken six tubs of Cuprinol sprayable paint at [wince] £9.99 a tub (and that was on special as Focus is closing down) but still cheaper than replacing the whole fence. It's quite old now and getting a little battered.
I played with Adobe Acrobat - more on that at the Haadriblog.
Quyn seems a fair bit better, his nose is cold and wet again, and he's brighter. And he is, of course, thoroughly enjoying his 'human food'. But tonight he's a little restless, and I'm wondering if the Metacam is wearing off. Have to check him tomorrow and see if he's OK to go back on his own food and the medication.
And today's little fundie gem...
"how come, if "there have been billions and billions of years," we're only in the year 2007?"
commented by not-andy
One could hope the commenter is around five or six years old...

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Friday, September 21, 2007

(will be cross-posted to Haadriblog later) [sigh] Installed Adobe .pdf creator this morning. It proceeded to wipe out all my macros...
It does still allow the 'record new macro' function to run though, so hopefully - fingers crossed - I can simply re-record them.
The software looks surprisingly easy to use, and very intuitive, so I don't think that will be a problem. [grin] And I'm close to being happy with the font design. It's all coming together...
Edit: very strange. My macros have come back...
Today's gem from FSTDT:
"Gravity: Doesn't exist. If items of mass had any impact of others, then mountains should have people orbiting them. Or the space shuttle in space should have the astronauts orbiting it. Of course, that's just the tip of the gravity myth. Think about it. Scientists want us to believe that the sun has a gravitation pull strong enough to keep a planet like neptune or pluto in orbit, but then it's not strong enough to keep the moon in orbit? Why is that? What I believe is going on here is this: These objects in space have yet to receive mans touch, and thus have no sin to weigh them down. This isn't the case for earth, where we see the impact of transfered sin to material objects. The more sin, the heavier something is. "
comment by Trinidad and Tobago

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

[growl] I really do not find it amusing when, after a long day in town and having walked a mile further than I needed to because sodding multimap mismatched the postcode and the house number, and the bloody road name sign was absent, to be stopped at Sainsbug's till by a smart arse newbie asking me to prove my age when I try to buy a bottle of wine. I've had no illusions about how old I look since I was kicked off a bus five stops too soon at the age of thirteen and a half by a bastard of an inspector who refused outright to believe I was under eighteen. (I had to carry my birth certificate with me after that.) At least said spotty youth had the grace to apologise after I told him, loudly, that no, I didn't have any proof of age and he'd better call a supervisor...
Stupid berk.
But Kai is pleased with the flip top, Star Trek style Freecycled mobile phone I FirtsDay bussed out to Kingswood to pick up for him, the reason for the hike into town in the first place. We need to see if we can swap simcards - never done that before, should be interesting...
And have the first inklings of the Haadrifont (see the Haadriblog for the reason why I need one). Will hassle GoodTwin and Sue later for feedback...
Today's FSTDT gem:
Jesus was tempted with gravitational theory by satan.
No, I have no idea what that means either...

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Replying to GoodTwin's question in comments - Quyn is OK. His temperature is normal, and he is a lot better today. Vet said to not give him any more Metacam (his arthritis stuff) and to feed him four small meals a day - boiled rice, scrambled egg, chicken and white fish, soft and easily digestible food - until he's back to normal, which actually shouldn't take more than three or four days, if that. Like the rest of the family, he usually bounces back quite quickly.
So he had rice with scrambled egg tonight. Ooh, he loves his mum now! [grin]

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Arrr, it be talk like a pirate day, arrr....
And that's your lot, 'fraid I can't be arsed to type a whole blog post in pirate.
Latest gem from FSTDT:
[Commenting on Christianity being, in comparison to others, a very young religion] "You forget that Adam was a christian and that before the egyptians noah and abraham were christians."
So surreal it makes my head hurt...
Had two parcels arrive today - the Passing of the Technomages trilogy from Sue [GLOMPS!!] and a surprise from Wendy - two Very Serious Indeed facemasks to wear when I'm painting so I don't eat any more paint (one at a time, obviously). Thank you! Now I just need to remember to wear them...
Aaaaand the BT blokes came back with a wayleave form for us: they're going to use underground ducting and come under the wall after all. Happy now. (Nice guys - you can always tell a man's character by how they treat animals, and both of them petted Quyn and Argent. And the beastlies let them, which is also a good guide.)
More later.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Gordon Bennet, what a day...
Quyn is still not right, is nibbling at his food, but then later throwing up. And he has the runs. But I have a vet's appointment for him for at 3.45 tomorrow, so hopefully they can sort him out. Though I have a sneaking suspicion he might have been 'cleaning up' after the hedgehog (dogs can be disgusting sometimes, and I remember he used to do that for the kits when he was a puppy - with much the same results). It would certainly explain the absolutely toxic smell - made me feel sick. Luckily it seems to have stopped tonight. Ken bathed him, so at least he smells a bit sweeter on the outside!
We've had a couple of visits from the contractors for BT these last two days. Apparently a nearby business needs new phone cabling, and the easiest way to do it is to stick up a bloody 36 foot pole in the lane - right where we can see the damn thing. The other option is to run it underground up the lane - then under our wall and across the top corner of the garden. We don't have a problem with this, as long as it's done properly, but there are a few legal-type stuffs involved, so we'll have to see...
And Autumn is here with a vengeance - it's actually quite cold at night now. Ken suggested putting the winter downie on the bed and switching on the heating: I don't like doing the latter until October but I think we might have to. Long term readers may remember I don't usually feel the cold too much but it's affecting my hands this year. [ping] But I have a pair of fingerless leather gloves - they'll work!
It's been busy, but most of the news is over at the Haadriblog.
Back to the loom!

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Lutra: How's things? Joules: OK. Up to ch 18 now. Neat! Not too bad. Also drooling over Gunner [Zap in Space] yummmmmmmm... [sigh] the appeal of the psycho... LOLOL! I say nothing... [smirk] ... oh. He does look a bit nummy there, doesn't he? [drooling] oh GODS yes... [smirksmirk] [melting] Have had that pic on the screen all day... LOL! [happy sigh] I would LOVE an action figure of him. That'd be cool! One more to add to your collection of psychos : ) [grin bounce] yeah!! Hm. I do have quite a few, don't I? I collect fish. You collect psychos. Thus nature balances itself...
[Big Evil Grin...]
Just to be clear, Gunner is the one with the long hair in the bottom-most frame...

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Monday, September 17, 2007

There are always hysterically funny quotes on Fundies Say The Darnedest Things, but one of today's crop had me spluttering with laughter...
"Evolving is a sin. God made you with love and created you to be completely unique - different in a way that no one else is.... If you fear God, do not evolve. God provided a way for us to be saved from our sins, even the sinful desire to evolve, by sending His Son to die for us on the cross... When we go without evolving and God Himself (who does not evolve) does not evolve, we have known God."
This particular piece of complete nuttery is by a poster calling itself Gottservant. It's a name to watch out for, along with Carico (the moronic attention whore), JohnR7 ("if I don't understand it it don't exist"), AV1611VET (from Opposite World), B®ent (not quite sure which planet he lives on but it ain't this one...), Trinidad and Tobago (simply wrong), and Supersport (overweening arrogance and a complete inability to understand anything with more than two syllables is not a pretty mix - though it does make for some very funny comments!)
Heh. Enough hilarity. Back to the rockface...

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Sunday, September 16, 2007

LOLBird
I found the pic on Dark Roasted Blend and added the words myself as a sort of half-hearted attempt at a LOLCat...

Frantic rush in the garden today to tidy before it rained. Veg patch weeded, new slug-pub set in place and the netting pinned down with the hooks I bought on Friday, and I've scattered crushed and pebbled chalk ([GLOMPS] Goodtwin!) around the magnolia stellata. Kai helped Ken prune the buddleia overhanging the lane (before the neighbours complain) and tidied up his den and log scramble a little. We still need to prune the goat willow, greengages and the ivy from the stump, but a lot of the autumn work is now done. We couldn't give the fence a second coat as it was too windy, but I think it's well enough covered to be protected from the rain.
Which is now falling! Not heavy, but steady, and it's supposed to increase later tonight. Fingers crossed as we badly need it.
There were strange little birds flitting around a thermal over the garden this evening. They were too small and their tails wrong for swifts, and the flamewings had vanished south by Lughnassadh: we think they might have been housemartins. Apparently very unusual here...
Seems hedgehogs are on the protected list. Ken's been keen to get a hedgehog house, so we've priced them up. Best bet is one from Gardens4Less, who do free delivery (we'd prefer a custom job but Denis the carpenter says it would cost him about £50 to make one, as he'd have to buy the raw wood). Have to see how the budget goes...
Quyn has been off his food for a couple of days. He has eaten today, but not a lot, and is now extremely smelly. I'll see how he is tomorrow, but I might need to get him to the vet.
Early night. Busy day tomorrow. (Why do I keep saying that? It's always busy here...)

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So I slept in a little, woke up to the sound of drilling (Denis the carpenter has now hung my new cupboard doors) and somehow ended up painting the fence...
Well, before he went on holiday Dave next door volunteered the use of his Cuprinol fence sprayer to do our side (the one we Freecycled didn't work very well and Kai now has it to play with). And the fence is completely dry at the moment, but there's supposed to be a slight change in the weather on its way (pleasepleaseplease let there be a weather change on the way, I'm down to the last eight inches in the water butt and the blueberries and orchids will only drink rainwater...) so it made sense to me to get it done now. And even though I had to keep charging the pump (hell on the hands) and rinsing the nozzle to maintain a fine spray, we (Ken did the last two panels for me, I'd had enough by then. The paint tastes 'orrible) did the whole fence in about three hours, when it takes two whole afternoons with a paintbrush.
It's 'forest green', and I'm not sure I like it. I suppose it blends in with the plants more than the reddish brown, but it feels a little dark and gloomy down at the patio end. An excuse to get something bright and colourful planted though, I suppose.
Going to take tonight off and read: hands are extremely sore and burning when I type, and I have a lot to do next week. Oh, and on that subject, [GLOMPS] to Sue for finding The Passing of the Technomages trilogy for me! I shall look forward to reading those.
Lie-in for us all tomorrow morning.

Why are my 'view blog' buttons now in German?
'Blog anzeigen (in einem neuen Fenster)'

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

... it's Winter. Orion is clear and beautiful in the southern sky above the rooftops...

I want a telescope.

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What a lovely day!
GoodTwin and Sue arrived just after midday and after a couple of cokes and a bag of M&S nibbles (very nice too!) we headed off to Congrebury... Bought the Brigitta blueberry (it's a beauty), some more oriental salad leaf seed, a slugtrap (one with a cover to stop the beer being diluted by rain), a pair of bonsai snippers and a bag of 'tent hooks' to hold down the veg patch netting (at the moment it's held down by stones, and of course slugs live under stones, which kind of defeats the object). Had a good look around as well - some gorgeous stuff there.
And some not so welcome. The garden centre staff were putting out the Yule decorations. And there was a Yule tree, still wrapped, but ready for display...
We spent a very pleasant afternoon and evening with films and chat and cheese and chocolate (not together!) and they've not long left to drive back. Thank you both for a terrific day - and for the chalk for the magnolia and the lavenders!
As they were heading out we saw the hedgehog - on the pavement, heading towards the gate, but seeing us he turned round and scuttled into Dave next door's instead. No doubt he'll be under he fence and rootling around in our garden later.
Today's BBC science newsletter had a personality quiz. Apparently [mwahahaha!!] I'm a Mastermind:
Your answers suggest you are a Mastermind
The four aspects that make up this personality type are: Planner, Ideas, Heads and Introvert. Summary of Masterminds * Visionaries who put energy into achieving their goals * Prefer to work independently and dislike inefficiency * Think of themselves as logical, thorough, and bright * Values practicality and common sense above ideas and theories More about Masterminds
Masterminds create a vision for the future by gathering and organising information. They then develop strategies to achieve their goals. They have a rare gift for looking at almost anything and seeing how it can be improved. These skills and the Masterminds' high standards often allow them to reach leadership positions at work. Mastermind is the least common personality type in the UK, according to a nationwide survey. Masterminds value independence and prefer to work on their own. Once they have decided on a course of action, Masterminds rarely change their minds, although they can be persuaded by clear reasoning by someone they respect. In situations where they can't use their talents or are unappreciated, Masterminds may cut themselves off from a group and criticize people who don't understand their plans. Under extreme stress, Masterminds may overindulge in sensory experiences like eating, shopping or watching television. Masterminds often have an unusual sense of humour, which arises from their ability to spot surprising links between seemingly unconnected facts. Mastermind Careers Masterminds are drawn to jobs requiring logical analysis or abstract thinking common in science or technical fields. It's important to remember that no survey can predict personality type with 100 percent accuracy. Experts say that we should use personality type to better understand ourselves and others, but shouldn't feel restricted by our results. (The 16 personality types from the What Am I like? Personality test: Big Thinker,Counsellor, Go-getter, Idealist, Innovator, Leader, Mastermind, Mentor, Nurturer, Peacemaker, Performer, Provider, Realist, Resolver, Strategist and Supervisor.)
Very silly. But fun.
The Intrepid Earth site is also fun - some intriguing pics here.
And finally, link from the Alternate Brain blog - What Your President Has Done For You.
Death's too quick for the bastard.

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

My mother got a shock the other day - a bill for £800 for my father's first macular degeneration injection... Apparently any further treatment will be free on the NHS, but they still had to pay for that first one. [sigh] The consultant could have made that clear: they were considering a short holiday later in the year.
Busy day in house, garden and 'net, but it all looks good and the outstanding client stuff is done. Can relax tomorrow.
Early night, if I can manage it...

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[still chortling] Well, much as I'm enjoying Get Backers I have no overwhelming urge to own the complete series - but I have to have vol 8. Episode 39 is absolutely hysterical, had me laughing aloud. Funniest thing I've seen in quite a while.
On a much less amusing note, we had this from Virgin earlier:
From time to time we need to undertake maintenance to our e-mail services to ensure their smooth operation. Our next scheduled maintenance work will commence from Thursday 13th September at 22:00 and run for up to 16 hours.
SIXTEEN BLOODY HOURS?! What the fuck are they doing that could take sixteen hours? And no bloody email while it's being done?! [snarl] At least it shouldn't affect 'net access. Though that too could be famous last words...
I have a sore throat. I think it's where I tried to swallow a too-big crisp and it scratched. At least, I hope that's all it is...
Better get something constructive done.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

[bemused] Sainsbug have their Yule chocolates on the shelves... It's not even the middle of September yet...
The Congresbury garden centre rang this morning, apologetic for not getting back to me yesterday, to say they have six different blueberry varieties in stock. After a bit of a confab with Ken, we think our best bet is Brigitta. It fruits later than the Northlands bush, with plentiful large, very tasty berries that freeze well. So GoodTwin, if you're sure you don't mind the extra driving, I will say 'yes please' to the offer of a trip out there on Friday!
We now have a very snazzy, and cosy, carpeted garden loo. And there's enough carpet left over to replace it twice more, when it gets irreparably grubby. We're both chuffed.
I've finished the last Spiral review (very disappointing anime, by the looks of it created just to force you to buy the (15 volume) manga to find out how the story ends. Bit miffed about that...)
APAG meeting tonight, though I didn't have to stay long, it was just a brief discussion about the group's sub-directory on the BCP site. In a little while I'm hoping to watch Get Backers vol 8, which arrived from LoveFilm today. Then a little more H:PC - itching to get it finished. We should have the business Paypal account and the pre-order page set up over the weekend - but please note that should: the way things are going at the moment don't hold your breath!

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Talk Like A Pirate Day be just a week away, arrrh...
Midvalley the Hornfreak Today the Midvalley and Rai-dei figures arrived.
They're both amazing. The Midvalley is, as Ken opined, lean and elegant and beautifully detailed - even Sylvia (the sax-come-weapon of mass destruction) is incredibly realistic.
But it was Rai-dei that threw us. The figures come in packs, in pieces - seems that practically all of them do (my little Zaabon, for example, was in five pieces; SSJ4 Vegeta in three), and you assemble them on receipt. (And here I should comment that I've consistently been amazed by the extraordinary accuracy and precision of the pieces of every figure I have: they've all fitted together very tightly and precisely. If only everything made in China was of the same high quality!) Midvalley was in four pieces, my Legato in five - Rai-dei was in twelve. Including his immensely long top-knot. I really thought that was going to give me grief, given the tiny plastic plug that fitted into the top of his head, but it glued in just fine (even if I did have to hold it in place for the full ten minutes instead of the ninety seconds most things require...)
Beautiful, beautiful figure. The photos really don't do any of them justice, but especially not Rai-dei - the detail is mind-boggling.
Rai-dei the Blade

I am extremely chuffed! Although I really don't know where this fondness for obsession with 'action figures' has come from. I absolutely hated dolls as a child - much preferred my brothers' toy cars and Lego - and still don't like them even now. Eh well.
In other news... Ken painted the waterproofing in the floor of the garden loo, so with a bit of luck we can lay the carpet out there tomorrow. I transplanted my miniature roses into a container - think they'll be happier there. I tried ringing the Congresbury garden centre to see what varieties of blueberry they had, but at the time there was no-one free to check for me. They said they'd ring back but haven't yet. Maybe tomorrow. I did, however, find out that Whitegate Nurseries - known to us as the Secret Garden, the place hidden up a tiny road behind Wyevale that Ken and I found accidentally soon after buying the house (it's where my calicarpa, eucalyptus and the manhole cover growing container came from - have the Jersey variety for £9.99. Jersey fruits a little later than the Northland bush I bought from Focus (who are closing down, dammit! We were NOT happy to hear that, there'll be nowhere else within walking distance once they go). So that's an option.
And I'd like to try growing one of these, if it'll suit our soil. It's in the Thompson and Morgan catalogue that also arrived today and over which I wasted a good half an hour drooling, so I assume it'll grow readily here.
This evening I made sushi, which was nice. Finally found a recipe for cooking the rice that actually works. However, I won't be using cheap tinned crabmeat again: even with a ferociously wasabied dipping sauce they still tasted unpleasant. We learn.
Tonight I watched and enjoyed Get Backers vol 7. Only three more to go and I'll have seen the whole series!
I keep planning for an early night and not managing it. It's terrifying how fast the haddock keep slipping away...

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Woke up late after a disturbed night (partly Quyn's restlessness and partly the bloody mosquito that was whining its way around the bedroom last night: it eventually landed on my forehead and I swatted it, but not before it bit Ken twice on the shoulder... ouch... very large and nasty bites too), this has felt twice as long as the average Monday...
Have to admit we got a lot done though. After the problem with my figurine shelf (details a bit further down, you'll know when you get to it) I tanked off to Proper Job just down the Bath Rd (used to be a supermarket, now a cheapo bits 'n' pieces place) to see if they had any rawl-plugs, as we were running short. No rawl-plugs, but they did have a whacking great container, the size of the one the blueberry's in at the moment, for £2.50, so now I have the compost and container and just need to get over to the garden centre at Congresbury to buy a second blueberry. (Maybe next week. Better ring them first though, to see what varieties they stock...)
Then I did main Monday shop, staggering home carrying far too much again as Sainsbug had organic specials galore (FRUIT!! Bananas and plums and grapes and strawbs and blueberries and kiwis and apples and melons...) Arrived back to find the post had been... SSJ4 Vegeta
SSJ4 Vegeta ->
It's a gorgeous figure, beautifully detailed, and so pretty! (in a 'crush your windpipe' way, as Lutra said). I don't know whether it's the tail, or the fur, or the hair, or just the red eyeliner, but this version of the little bastard is by far the most appealing...
The timing was useful too: yesterday I decided to sort out the figurine shelf, only to find it had pulled almost all the way out of the wall (terrible plaster in this house). This would explain why Sesshoumaru (whose foot broke) and Vaako fell off, of course. Ken put it back up for me this afternoon - it required drilling deeper holes and using longer rawl-plugs (he found some in the toolbox) - and afterwards we did a little gluing: close up of Legato figurine's facethe spikes on Legato's shoulder, Sesshoumaru's foot, SSJ4 Vegeta's tail, and the wall and cactus behind Vash, which have always been loose. The shelf looks a little more organised now, and I still have room for a couple more figures...
A close up of Legato's face. Not quite as clear as I could have hoped, but any closer and the camera wouldn't focus. Given that from chin to eyebrow is about 5 millimetres the detail's not bad though.
Made dinner - spagbol - then sorted out the containers in the garden, which mainly involved clearing them of plant failures and weeds, hauling them over to the GH, and laying comfrey leaves on the top to help rejuvenate the compost ready for next year, though I was wary of taking too many leaves as I suspect our hedgehog might be sleeping under the jumble of plant and wood beside the big compost bin. Yes, it's still around: was in the front garden the other night, snuffling, I could just see it by leaning out of the window.
Watered everything indoors. Gave the crickets fresh food and water. Answered a few business emails. Oh, and caught the rampaging stegasaurus. Then finally sat down to watch the Earthian DVD onna sent me...
Very interesting. The four stories on it aren't repeats of the manga - they're new. I have to confess this threw me at first, but once I realised I really enjoyed it. The artwork is lovely, though the speech sync is a bit off in places, and the story will make no sense whatsoever unless you know the manga. The ending was a little 'wha...?' too, but that happens in anime occasionally. I would also have loved Raphael to be in it, but you can't have everything. Overall it's terrific. [GLOMPS onna] Thank you. It's a treasure.
Going to attempt an early night...

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Monday, September 10, 2007

Domestic Archaeology!
Decided to do a proper job in the larder, and put insulation foam around the water pipe there: we had some pale grey left over from ages ago. Ken carefully cut away the newspaper that had been used as lagging around the pipe (and painted over several times) and managed to read a scrap. It was a news article from 1956 about a cold snap, saying thousands of homes had their water cut off because of frozen pipes! The then tenants must have read it and decided to take action before it happened to them...
But the larder is now finished and all reorganised. Looks much better, and everything is now to hand.

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Sunday, September 09, 2007

If there's one job I really really loathe it's cleaning the litter tray. Not scooping out and disposing of the stuff in it - that's just part of having cats, even if it is less than pleasant with Raptor's bowel problems. No. I mean emptying it and scrubbing it with hot water and large amounts of disinfectant, drying it and then refilling it with litter. We use the really big one with high walls that GoodTwin gave us. It's great, but it takes a lot of scrubbing!
We have a painted larder. Finally it looks like a part of the kitchen rather than being a somewhat grubby bit stuck on the side. Tomorrow, when the gloss has completely dried, I shall reorganise and restock the shelves. And finish scrubbing the floor - did half of it today (the really bad half). Another unfavourite job...
But K&K had a great day! Went to Clifton Rocks Railway, St. James Priory, and then out to Midsomer Norton to a heritage railway station. Outside of which was a pillbox, inside of which was a bat!
bat! bat too!
Not bad given it was too dark inside to focus the camera properly!

There's now a comments facility over on the Haadri blog...

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Friday, September 07, 2007

[growl] I swear I'm being stalked by a stegasaurus...
(For those not fluent in Joules, stegasaurus is Taylorspeke for tegenaria. This is a tegenaria. They're big, and fast, they like to hide in folds of material, and when alarmed they run upwards, making them a bugger to catch.) Over the last seven days I've found six of the damned things. Three of them (one by one over four days, not all at the same time) were on the curtain between my room and the lounge: those were relatively easy to evict, I just had to be quick with glass and postcard. And the one in the outdoor loo I booted out without problems. The big one up in the corner of the stairwell was a bit more of a hassle, as it was well out of my reach, but Ken could - just - trap the thing in the usual glass, and I deported it to the top of the garden.
So far so good. But last night (well, early this morning) when I dragged myself up to bed, there was one in the bath. A large one. Which would have required me to come down for a glass and postcard, catch the thing, unset the alarm, and throw spider out into the garden, and I was just too tired. So I pulled the shower curtain outside the tub and took the bathmat off the side of the bath so it couldn't get out, and left it for later in the morning.
Only Ken put the curtain back in and hung the mat back in place before I had a chance to speak to him, and when I commented that he'd deported the beastie, he gave me a blank look and said "what stegasaurus?"
[sigh] So we have a rampaging stegasaurus somewhere in the house - probably upstairs. (Don't worry, GoodTwin and Sue, it'll be gone before next Friday.) This is annoying, but I suppose it goes with the territory.
It's been a strange sort of day - a lot of housework type things, shopping, washing (the weather's been glorious) and general tidying up. Ken's thinking of taking Kai out tomorrow - it's the 2007 Bristol Doors Open Day, and apparently there's also a Masonic Hall open in Bath, which might be helpful research for his Dartmouth trip in November. I'm thinking of finally painting the larder - and if I'm going to do that, I may as well clear the kitchen floor and give that a scrub as well. Then again, there's a lot of garden tidying up still to do...
See how I feel in the morning. For now, back to Haadri.

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Last night ended up being rather later than I'd originally planned - but then, the Ch 11 rewrite was slower than anticipated. Result was I overslept, so was late getting into town.
But that was OK. After checking out Forbidden Planet I decided just to shop at Fresh 'n' Wild rather than bus across town to the Better Foods Supermarket (will try that one next time!), so I was able to take a longer wander around the shop than previously.
It really does have everything, and for the basics the prices are very good - almost all the same as or less than Sainsbug's for their organic fruit and veg. Picked up a perfect, large organic cauliflower head (cauliflower cheese supreme on Saturday, I think), broccoli, spring onions and carrots, a small jar of my favourite yeast extract (Vitam's Essential), and a packet of Britannia Health's XyloBrit. First time I'd come across this, and while it's a bit pricey I thought I'd try it (I've been using Canderel - when I've been using anything - as a sweetener but I really don't like the chemical aftertaste, and the possibly health hazards of the ingredients put me off too...) And hey, it comes from birch trees! (For anyone who didn't know, birch tree sap is sweet, like maple sap, and can be used the same way. Though I'd not recommend trying to tap the tree unless you know what you're doing!)
Also bought a small bottle of 'revitalising' Carpe Diem botanic water drink. I've seen this on sale, in larger bottles at an extortionate price, in supermarkets, and wondered what it was like. Well, unfortunately it's 'orrible - tasted vaguely soapy - so we won't be buying any more. Still, you never know unless you try, do you?
What the shop also has is shampoo and bath foam in glass bottles. It's been bothering me lately, the amount of plastic bottles we get through, and I want to change to glass wherever possible. Only problem is they're very expensive, and I didn't see any refill facility. Must remember to check Better Foods when I get over there...
And on the subject of plastic, sort of, I picked up a couple of Stony low-fat organic yoghurt desserts (the Never too Chocolate - see the bottom of the page) when I was last in Sainsbug's, just to see what they were like. And they were very nice indeed, lovely rich vanilla yoghurt and a not-too-sweet chocolate sauce. Their multipacks of yoghurt look good, too, and they come in recyclable cardboard cartons, not plastic. That being said, I normally buy Yeo Valley dairy produce anyway: local, recyclable packaging, and the products taste great. However, I really like Weightwatchers yoghurt multipacks of citrus (pink grapefruit, lemon, lemon and lime, and orange and nectarine), and toffee and vanilla - but the packs are plastic, and not recyclable. So I'm switching. I can always add my own citrus fruits to a Yeo Valley natural yoghurt if I want (and can make the time).
Right, that was all a bit pointless. And Kai will be home any minute, and then Ken has to leave for the John Cabot meeting. I'd better go get the naan bread ready. Shall rave about Yu Yu Hakusho later!

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

... so I took another look at ebay and found the SSJ4 Vegeta on a 'buy now' from the same seller for a total of £5.20...
That's on its way now too.
Busy day - news over on the Haadri blog.

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

sweetheart vine in bathroom
Some years ago, when I was still actively collecting house plants, GoodTwin asked if I'd like a cutting from her philodendron scandens (Sweetheart Vine). I wanted a largish climbing plant for the corner of the bath; it's not an ideal position - only gets sun in the morning - but the room is bright, warm, and humid at least once a day when I shower, so I thought I'd try it.
I think I ought to organise some sort of trelliswork in that corner (and possibly the ceiling) so it can carry on spreading without rooting itself more deeply in the wallpaper...
(It's two photos stuck together in PS, hence the awkward join. The bathroom is not big!)
A few things I've been forgetting to say.
Kai's showing an unexpected musical talent at school, and enjoys the lessons: we already knew he has a fine singing voice. We suggested getting him a keyboard for Yule, and he was quite enthusiastic, so that's the plan with his Yule money. And I've told him I'll commission him to make some background music for the Haadri site!
My father's first macular degeneration treatment (the injection straight into his eye) was a complete success, and the 'hole' has closed up in record time. Even better, his consultant somehow managed to get him treated under the NHS - so they don't have to pay a thing. Needless to say we're delighted and relieved. He goes back for regular checkups to keep an eye (pun intended) on it, but so far the consultant is hopeful that he might not need any further treatment.
We're now keeping fingers crossed that my mother's operation is equally successful (nothing life-threatening, just a somewhat painful and very inconvenient condition. Pre-op check is 11th of this month, operation is 20th if all goes well. She'll be in hospital for 4-5 days, then has to take things easy for a couple of months afterwards.)
Remember the Yamato Legato I bought from ebay last year? I found a matching Rai-dei the Blade and Midvalley the Hornfreak on ebay at the weekend. (Yes, I know I promised I wouldn't check ebay for a month after finding those Trigun djs - but that was in August, and it's September now.) Beautifully detailed and - as Ken said - very elegant. And the starting bid was just 1p. (The postage on each was £5.99, mind you...) Ken said to go for it. (I sometimes wonder if he's happy he's married to someone who doesn't want expensive things, like designer clothes or cars or jewellery...) So I put in a bid (gave a first max price of £2) 20 mins before the ending time. I was the only bidder, and got both of them. For 1p each. Plus the postage, of course.
[bemused] I feel I've ripped off the seller! Mind you, his shop is just fantastic, with some of the best figures I've ever seen (he had an SSJ4 Vegeta I'd have loved to grab, but unfortunately the bidding ended (with it unsold) before I could get mine in). Maybe it'll be back in a month or so and I can try again. I shall certainly check the site out thoroughly - all 98 ebay pages of it - and put some figures on watch.
Will take photos when the pair of them arrive.
Anything else... Been a bitty week so far, and it's only Tuesday. I'm planning the trip to town on Thursday instead of tomorrow, as Ken is going to the school for a parent info thing (just to listen and take notes - I do the face-to-face stuff) so I'll get a FirstDay bus ticket for me to get in during the day (Bank, Forbidden Planet to see how much other people are charging for hefty paperback books these days to help us with the Haadri costing, Fresh 'n' Wild for some Ecover refills, then I'm heading off eastwards to try to find the Better Food Supermarket) and Ken will use the same ticket to get to JC in the evening. Busy, busy day...
Yesterday - well, it's done now. Nothing to worry about.
Back to the rockface...

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Shopping.
Busyness.
Depressing BCP meeting.
Later.

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Monday, September 03, 2007

Well that was productive...
I'd mentioned to Ken (though perhaps not to you) that I was on the lookout for a cheap, bog-standard garden table to put beside the GH to act as a potting bench: I've been using the green dining one that lives outside the kitchen widow, but it's a nuisance having to take everything off when we want to eat al fresco - ooh, cannibalism! - not to mention that it's a pain scrubbing it down before use. Anyway, Ken found a sturdy white resin one being Freecycled from just beyond Broadwalk, and this morning he and Kai went to collect it (Kai carried the legs). It's great - sits perfectly between the GH and the fake blackcurrant bush (I really must find out what that's called... Irene?) out of view from the house but really really handy.
It was while I was tidying out the GH that I realised I had a large square terracotta-coloured plastic pot (about a foot to each side and a good eighteen inches deep, minimum. It was hiding behind the rosemary bush) which would be much better for the blueberry than the temp one I'd planned to use. Only problem was that being it was so much bigger, the 10 litre bag of ericaceous compost that Ken lugged back from Wyevale for me yesterday barely filled it halfway. Focus sell 60 litre bags, but they're enormously heavy and impossible for us to carry. It's hard enough just lifting the damn things.
"Of course," I said, half-joking, "we could always take the wheelbarrow over and barrow it back..."
[grin] I'm not sure whether Ken really appreciates my bright ideas or not, but an hour later I was filling the pot with handfuls of compost: Kai happily pushed the barrow both there and back, sparing Ken the embarrassment. The blueberry is very happy, and there's plenty of compost left for a second plant, when I can get around to buying one. Although I need to find a pot first. Tanking into town on Wednesday: will check Wilkinsons then.
So, busy and quite tiring day doing gardening type stuff. Kai had Ken saw off a few branches from 'his' tree in his den, to make climbing to the top easier (sounds good but it's only about six or seven feet from the ground. Not that that bothers sprog - he's delighted to have it.) I've finally trimmed and potted the accidental goat-willow bonsai, and as said above cleared GH and the dining table. Not bad all told. And I even made time to watch Get Backers Vol 5 tonight.
Coming week looks to be about as busy as this one has been. But I'm having an early night - I'll get everything planned tomorrow.

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Sunday, September 02, 2007

Kai's feeling a lot better today, although he still has the cough. We all spent a fair bit of time in the garden this afternoon, trimming, weeding and tidying up. And checking the soil. [growl] Our soil has a ph value of about 6.2. Our compost is a perfect neutral 7. The blueberry needs an absolute maximum of 5.5, and preferably a lot lower.
Bugger.
Going to have to grow it (them, when we've got the other one) in a container, and buy ericaceous (acidic) compost. The recommended final size pot is one 2' across - and that's a BIG container. A very expensive big container: Ken went to Wyevale to pick up a bag of the compost for now (I have a largish container that will do for the meantime) and priced up the snazzy frost-resistant ceramic pots. Ouch. I really don't want to have to fork out between £30 and £40 for a pot! Then again, he said even the plastic ones were around £20, which seems extortionate to me. Going to have to keep an eye out for bargains...
But my Trigun doujinshi arrived today (that's very fast) and they're fantastic. Can't read a word, but I don't care: the artwork is beautiful, and there are a couple of stories where it's not necessary to understand the language. And a very cute story all in chibi! Dead chuffed, I am.
Made another couple of loaves, one of which just vanished immediately. They really are rather nice.
Thinking now I should perhaps watch the second volume of Yu Yu Hakusho before I get stuck into Haadri...

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Saturday, September 01, 2007

[sigh] Kai has picked up some sort of bug - for once not at school: he says it started last weekend. He has an annoying tickly cough and the glands under his jaw are slightly swollen, probably fighting off the laryngeal complaint, and says his sinuses are stinging, poor sprog. We'll keep this weekend nice and relaxed, and see how he does, but he's so fit and healthy he normally shrugs these things off in a day or so, so fingers crossed he manages this time too.
I slept in. I've actually managed to catch up on a lot of sleep this week - Ken tells me I'm not looking so haggard, and a quick look in the mirror made me think he's probably right. Quite a busy day though - made two dozen beefburgers for the freezer and four Celtic loaves, three of them also for the freezer, for me specifically. But Kai tried a couple of slices of the fourth loaf and decided he likes it a lot, so I'm baking two more tomorrow. [grin] It's just wonderful dripping with butter. And I made these with sunflower, sesame and poppy seeds for interest and trace elements - extremely yummy.
The rest of the day was business-type stuff. Haven't managed any Haadri yet - about to start now...

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