Zone Doubt, a.k.a. 'Surreal Я Us'...
Joules, trusted by... dozens... to make a drama out of your crisis...
:: JAT :: WaveWrights :: Publications ::
I live to write. It's not wise to get in my
If you come across any words you don't recognise in this blog, take a look at the Taylorspeke Glossary in the left-hand infopane, you'll usually find a definition there.
Adventures in Orchids
Apparently I am now collecting them...
EO - Everlasting orchid. Phalaenopsis. I've had this orchid for at least 15 years and it just keeps flowering...
AO - Alien face orchid. Phalaenopsis . Bought 2018 - lovely little flowers, all different patterns!
RO - Rescued orchid
TO - Tiny orchid. Phalaenopsis. Bought at Tesco 21.8.20. It just begged to come home with me. How could I say no?
CO - Crimson orchid. Cambria. Another Tesco find. This one may be going to live in Ken's room once we've redecorated and put up the new shelving; it prefers a cooler, less sunny windowsill. If so, I'll need to find another cambrian to keep it company.
GO - Golden orchid. Phalaenopsis. Saw this one when I bought CO and left it behind - then immediately regretted it as soon as I got home. Never seen one like it before. Ken, bless him, went back over to Tesco in the rain and bought it for me...
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
[happy grin] I has a new toy - a virtual server on my machine. I am now teaching myself php. (Well, it's useful for databases, mini-forums, forms - all essential for the BCP site redesign. Not to mention the JAT redesign, the WaveWrights redesign, revamping Jenni's site, finishing the IAVMT database...)
All jolly good fun for a rainy week!
Although it uses the same port as Skype, so I can't Skype and play at the same time. Eh well.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Sitrep on Operation Haunted Loo (I feel that 'haunted' sort of covers both cursed and possessed, in a very broad definition of the word):
The flush now works, although the previous system was an eco-friendly dual flush, whereas this isn't, so we'll have to put a milk container or two in to cut down on the amount of water we use; It looks as though the slow leak at the U-bend has stopped - or at least almost stopped; The seat is fine, although we have the same problem with it as the last one, the hinge is set too high so the pads on the seat don't properly rest on the bowl. As a result, the hinge is the weak spot, and will always be the first to go. Dammit. We could do with a new bathroom suite, actually - would be really nice - but that will have to wait.Main thing is, it works again. It'll keep us going for a year or so.
So I got up at 7 am, ready to watch the last two eps of Snuff Box (so I could send it back) before getting a little bit of shopping before starting the day's work...
First, Kai lifted the loo seat in the bathroom - and it come apart in 'is 'ands. Literally - the hinges snapped. Just as well the garden loo works OK. So after Snuff Box I headed off to The Range to see if I could buy a replacement...
But they only had white plastic, ones with dolphins, ripples or fish in them, or mahogany-effect, and I want pine...
So I tanked over to Sainsbug for the shopping, and they had loo seats - but only white plastic or dark wood. Rather more drastically, given how much of the stuff we get through, they had no kitchen towels. And I do mean none, not just the Revive recycled ones we always buy - someone had bollixed up their schedule and missed our store off the delivery route. And they may not have any in until the end of the week.
So I came back home, dropped everything off and trudged over to Tesco. Who have moved their recycling bins yet a-bloody-gain. Asking at customer services got me sent to the back of the store, where the bins were highly conspicuous by their absence. By now my were legs aching, I was very hot, and gaining grumps by the second: I went back to CS and was told they are now down on the main road - just drive towards the petrol station and you'll see them. [snarl] "I'm walking, not driving." got me a startled and disbelieving look from the assistant, but I eventually got directions and dumped the plastics before shopping. And Tesco did have a pine loo seat, but I have no idea what sort of fixings it uses as there were no details on the outside.
So it's now quarter past one in the afternoon, and I haven't even started the work I had planned for today.
And Ken's now replacing the cistern system, so if I'm not here later it'll be because we're flooded out. I swear that loo is cursed or possessed or something: that's the third time the seat has broken, and the third time we've had to replace bits of the flush system, and it blocks really easily too.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Knackered. But it was a good and useful day...
Summer again: we wore t-shirts and shorts in the garden. K&K dug over the veg bed, getting rid of most of the stones and glass, then Kai raked it - it's looking good. Planning to plant some carrots tomorrow.
I weeded half the rockery (before the hands started hurting) then pottered - cleared my potting table, organised small racks (broke apart an old wooden wine rack that has been lying about in Kai's den for years) to tidy away my watering bottles and the big coke pet mini-cloches, emptied four large pots that were overgrown with weeds. It's all much tidier now.
Tonight's dinner - taste the rainbow! And for the first time in a little while absolutely everything was organic (and the Swiss chard and apple home grown). The purple cauli was lovely, basic cauli taste but slightly sweeter and a little more delicate, I fancy - very nice, at any rate, and I'll be buying (or attempting to grow) some more. And the organic Stilton was just superb with the apple. Altogether delicious and Kai ate everything without a murmur.
Got some client site work done, but an important piece of software is not playing fair, necessitating an email to tech support, so the work needed for Jenni's site will be delayed (which I'm not at all happy about as she's eager to get the required sound files up to the site).
After sprog had gone to bed Ken and I watched the first four eps of my latest LoveFilm choice - Snuff Box... Hm... It has flashes of brilliance, a little like a scattering of rubies in a big pile of manure. Ken described it well - "it's horribly compulsive but I never want to watch it again". I think that's fair.
Tomorrow will be frantic...
Saturday, September 27, 2008
<- Glorious weather today again. This is the sumac, half in the shadow of the house, half in sun. There won't be many more photos of it, it's being cut down shortly (but I managed to get another one growing up at the top of the garden, so we'll still have a little vibrant autumn colour in years to come).
Well that was a day and a half!
You may remember me bewailing the closing down of Fresh and Wild at the Clifton Triangle, and my subsequent search for another supplier of Vitam-R, my favourite yeast extract. Being unsuccessful in my attempts, I emailed the Keynsham Food Co-operative, since I knew they stocked it. I had an email back last Tuesday saying to try Wild Oats: I rang them and indeed they do stock the Vitam-R. Even better, they were happy to put back for me the two jars they had and reserve another when the delivery arrived.
Since we were going into town anyway, we bought FirstDay tickets and tanked up to Redland (top of Whiteladies Rd, almost at the Downs)... I am seriously impressed. It's a fantastic shop, packed full of goodies (I managed to get a bag of xylitol there - not Xylobrit, which I would have preferred, but something similar, and they say they can order for customers if you email them the details), and very reasonable prices indeed.
They said they'll ring when the rest of the Vitam-R has been delivered, at which point I shall go back up with more cash, because right next door is a greengrocer stocking loads of organic, locally grown fruit and veg at ridiculous prices! The photo hasn't been altered or photoshopped in any way - this cauliflower is a rich purple colour and was a grand total of 99p (compare that to Sainsbug, who at the moment sell their organic caulis for £1.89). We just had to have it, and I'll cook it tomorrow with the other mixed veg for dinner. Bought some loose carrots too. Need to go back up with a list and stock up a little...
Next door to the greengrocer was a Salvation Army charity shop, and next door again was the Sheepdrove Organic Farm's Bristol butcher! (I stared at the window and drooled...) Their prices are very reasonable too. So altogether that little rank of shops has everything we need all in one spot. Just a pity it's a forty minute bus ride away!
Very happy (Kai because I treated him to a bar of Green and Black's organic milk chocolate!) we bussed back down into town in search of rugby boots. The sports shop is still there, but Kai is now into adult sizes (a SEVEN in rugby boots!) so they were a bit more than I'd calculated. Ah well, it's uniform, it comes out of the uniform budget...
We gave Cabot Circus a miss though - far too crowded. Although the bus got stopped on the way past by a bunch of zombies who were wandering all over the place... Yes, really, and of course I didn't have my camera with me. It was hysterical, and naturally I fully support the protest! (It tickled Kai too, he was mumbling about 'zombie shoppers' rights' on the way home...)
A quick lunch was had, then K&K went to the only B&Q near us (a four hour walk there and back or a four-bus trip, today taking advantage of the FirstDay tickets) to pick up a new thingie (cistern system) for the upstairs loo: the flush has been temperamental since the spring broke the last time Ken tried to fix it, and with my folks coming up for Yule - did I mention that? I thought it was a good idea for the first Yule without Lee, although Ken's not completely happy that we'll have to sleep on the floor so they can have our bed - it really would be handy to have it working. He'll probably have a go at that during the week (always a bad idea to try any plumbing repairs on a Sunday!)
While they were gone I got the third panel of bubble-wrap up in the greenhouse, then prepared a pizza.
<- Pic of pizza for Lutra, who is visiting her mum this weekend so won't see it 'til next week.
It's a bought base, spread with organic tomato purée, a little grated cheddar, then lightly sautéed onions, mushrooms and sweet pepper, topped with pepperoni, a little honey roast ham and home grown tomato. Ken and I loved it, Kai wasn't keen on the onion/shrump/pepper mix, but he's just going to have to get used to it because with the way the price of made pizzas has gone up while the quality has gone down, that's what I'm going to be doing from now on when we want pizza. (Mum has spoken: let lesser beings quake! [beg])
Tonight Kai and I stayed up to watch The Island (a bit late for Kai but every now and then it's OK). It's surprisingly good (surprisingly because it's a Michael Bay film and generally I've not been too impressed with his work), even with the obligatory chase scene, carnage and destruction. It's quite fun seeing how many other film influences you can spot - we picked up on Matrix, Logan's Run (sorta)... tch', there were others but it's now gone 1 am and my brain is rebelling. Suffice to say it's fun to watch but not one we'll be buying.
Right... I have an awful lot to do tomorrow, so will try for an early(ish, for me) night. Later!
Friday, September 26, 2008
Wee beast's latest bed, on my floor cushion under the table in my room. It's extremely cute the way he stays with me, wherever I happen to be - but not too close, in case I might think he actually cares... [grin]
The usual daily busyness. This evening K&K painted the fence (with the spray-painter borrowed from Dave next door): they did a very thorough job, so with a little luck it won't need doing for a couple of years now.
While they were thus employed, I made a start on bubble-wrapping the greenhouse. No, not wrapping it in bubble wrap: fixing bubble-wrap to the inside to help keep the cold out in the winter. A recognised method - see here - except I'm not paying that for it. We have piles and heaps of big pieces of bubble-wrap collected over the last few years (it's one of those things I don't throw out, mainly because it's not degradable) and I always knew I'd find a use for it! I've done two of the four side panels of the colder, fenceward wall and roof, fixing them with the things I bought at Almondsbury Garden Centre, and you can feel the difference already. I can't finish that wall until the cucumber and tomato plants are gone, but I think I have enough wrap to complete the job, and will continue tomorrow.
After shopping in town. [sigh] Kai's grown out of his rugby boots. Since he hasn't worn them in nearly a year this isn't too surprising, but he's had to borrow spare ones from the school this week and that's something I really don't like, so we're hoping the cheap sports shop in Broadmead is still there.
While we're in the centre we may as well pop into the new Cabot Circus shopping precinct (Ken thinks I'm mad. It only opened this week and I'm planning on visiting on a Saturday?) and see what all the fuss is about. There's a Harvey Nichols store, and apparently a city's status is boosted hugely if Harvey Nicks deigns to open a store there. Forget the quality of the city's arts, museums, drama or education, it's a bloody clothes shop that gains kudos. Sickening and sad at the same time. And you wonder why I have no patience for 'retail therapy'. [growl]
So, early night and early rise, I think.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
[sigh] And it appears that the files on the DVD are .mov, not mpeg4, so I can't use them.
The second version of the St George Community Centre site revamp has met with favour, but needs to be confirmed by the committee before I finish and make it live.
Small BCP site update also done today.
Transplanted the two peppers I plan to try to keep from their trough into large pots, and I also repotted the aubergine in the greenhouse. It's had two flowers, but I'm not sure if they'll fruit - I think it's too late. It's looking good out there though.
I really must find time to finish the reviews I have left to do...
In the meantime, do I want to watch Luoius Theroux's Weird Weekends (on pornography. Specifically male pornography. Hm...)
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
First stab at site revamp for St George's Community Centre, and Jenni's mpeg4s have arrived: need to code and upload them tomorrow.
Definitely chilly here...
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
[bemused] You might remember that last Tuesday I wrote:
...even managed to watch tonight's Horizon on Beeb2. It was very interesting. I'd have enjoyed it a lot more had it not been for the (female, British) narrator. Every time she mispronounced nuclear as 'nukular' I could feel my teeth gritting harder and harder, my fists clenching and my lower back tensing up. It's difficult to express how much I hatehatehate that non-word. It annoyed me so much that I dived over to the BBC website and put in a complaint.Well, this evening I had a reply:
Thank you for your e-mail regarding 'Horizon - The President's Guide to Science', broadcast on 16 September. We note your concerns regarding Helen McRory's narration and have raised the issue with Executive Producer, Andrew Cohen. He has responded with: "A number of viewers have pointed out that in the narration of this film the word nuclear was mis-pronounced. We apologise for this error and hope that it didn't spoil the enjoyment of this episode. We are looking into why this error was not corrected during the production process to avoid it occurring again, and future versions used for repeats and in the archive will have the word replaced with the correct pronunciation." Once again, thank you for taking the time to contact us. Regards BBC ComplaintsObviously I don't have their permission to quote their reply, but I have anyway as I was quite impressed! (Ken says it's not often you get to take Auntie Beeb to task - and get a response...) I'm very pleased, and keeping fingers crossed such mispronunciation doesn't happen again. It's not the sort of thing one expects of the BBC.
Other than that it's been the usual hectic day: lots of client site stuff and a little greenhouse tending. I've started filling the gaps with bubblewrap to keep the cold out over the winter. It's getting quite cool at night, these days: we now have the winter downie on the bed, and delicious it is too to feel it enveloping the body like a fluffy meringue when it's chilly outside.
I've also now had the go ahead to redesign the BCP site, so tomorrow I make a start. Early night again tonight I think.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Double shop [wince]; garden work continued (the veg bed extent now finished: needs thoroughly digging over then I'm going to get some carrot seed in, see how they sprout and overwinter); Kai practised keyboard. I've had to institute regular, dedicated practice, on Mondays and Thursdays after school, otherwise he'd just slide and the keyboard would gather dust. But he seems to appreciate it - came home quite eager today and has been practising and advancing his first composition, a splendidly eerie piece that I'm hoping we can record when it's finished.
And I can never remember the difference between practise and practice so no doubt have them wrong in the previous sentence.
Tired. Early night. More busyness tomorrow.
Labels: nowt really
Sunday, September 21, 2008
As planned, we all spent most of today in the garden. In shorts and t-shirts. (Except for Kai, who is reluctant to wear shorts, for some reason.) And it was hotter today than most of August.
So - the bay tree is thoroughly pruned, and I have a double handful of bay leaves drying in the greenhouse. K&K between them sawed the struts for the new staging shelf from a piece of wood we had saved in the shed: I now have four shelves for next year's seedlings. And six large pots filled with the last of this year's lovely rich home-made compost on the ground, ready for two cumbles and four heritage tomatoes next year. (Hopefully some more compost will be ready by the time I need it next spring...) And K&K dug another large section of the veg bed while I made dinner. Only one more smallish section to prepare and we're all ready.
<- Red Devil apple (outside). They're all about this size!So all in all a very successful day, if a very tiring one. Early night, I think. Tomorrow will also be busy.
(Oh, the eye was fine this morning - a decent night's sleep was a great healer...
Saturday, September 20, 2008
[flop] Another gorgeous day. K&K took advantage by disappearing off early on a FirstDay SouthWest bus ticket to investigate a supposed hill fort at Congresbury. Then they went on to Clevedon, then to Weston-super-Mare. Had a fantastic day - there may be photos tomorrow: tonight I don't have the energy to download and resize them - but didn't get back until 8.30 and are very tired.
As am I. Admittedly I wasn't climbing steep hills, but after clearing today's client site stuff I was also determined to enjoy the sun: started pruning the bay tree (but had to give up, as lopping the branches started my hands hurting), made substantial inroads into taming and shaping the bramble patch, then potted on my clementine and grapefruit seedlings in the greenhouse. They're looking very healthy and growing well. Unfortunately, I've managed to scratch my eye - either the surface of the eye itself or the very edge of my upper eyelid, it's difficult to tell since the whole area hurts. It's only tiny, but it's very painful, and I'm going to have to have an early night in order to keep my eyes shut and let it heal.
Because tomorrow we're all doing gardening!
Friday, September 19, 2008
Arrr, maties! It be talk like a pirate day! Thar be pirates in th'mall, wavin' their peglegs around!
[bemused] Woken by a strange dream this morning. We were all in the garden, Kai in his den, Ken pruning one of the trees, while I was inspecting Roeg's Pool. We'd finally managed to clear the algae from the water, and I could see the fish! All five were still there! And alive!
In fact, a bit too much alive. They'd all grown to about a foot long, and the orange one came right up to the surface. I leaned over to take a closer look, upon which it tried to leap out of the water towards me. That's when I saw it had grown fangs...
So I backed off a little, whereupon it flopped and squirmed out of the pool onto the surrounding rocks, and, using its fins as paddles, tried to come after me. Then one of the others - a bigger one this time - flung itself free of the pool, landed on the stones, and followed the first...
Admittedly the fangs were a little disturbing, but given the fish could only move at something only marginally faster than a snail, I didn't feel myself to be in too much danger.
But Kai nearly pissed himself laughing at the thought of his mum being chased by goldfish...
It was BioBank day today. All very straightforward and civilised: took nearly an hour and half and there were coffee and biscuits at the end. Discovered my lung function is good, as is my bone density, but my blood pressure is still worryingly high... yes, well, you have something the full length of your upper arm (he apologised and said they'd asked for smaller cuffs, but none had arrived) strapped tightly around said upper arm then blown up until your entire arm goes numb and feels like it's about to drop off and see how your BP looks! Hurt like hell and I couldn't use my fingers for a minute afterwards. He took a second reading a few minutes later, I assume in the mistaken belief that once I knew what to expect I'd be more relaxed. Just goes to show what they know!
[sigh] I've been told to go and see my GP as a matter of some urgency. I suppose I could make an appointment after the dentist in October...
But the weather was glorious today - trying to make up for the summer we didn't have, apparently, and it's supposed to be good all weekend. Ken mowed while I pruned and weeded a little (going to pay Kai to do some more intensive weeding for me on Sunday) and generally enjoyed the wonderful sunshine.
I've spent most of the evening on somewhat complicated client site stuff, and still have another update to do. And I have emails I really must answer, though I might put them off 'til tomorrow now, I'll be more composted...
Rockface clamouring. Back later.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
[dazed and bemused]
Where did the last two days go?
Client work, generally, although some of today was spent organising a treat for Kai. He's about the only person in his school year who has never flown or been abroad: back in the summer we explored the possibility of taking a short trip over to Eire, but Ryanair don't do their special deals during the school holidays. However, as JC hols are a little different to the rest of the schools in Briz, we've managed to book a return flight to Shannon in October, staying overnight at a B&B there - here, in fact. Only a quick hop over and back, but it should be fun! Typical though, the actual return flight for the two of us came to a magnificent £20 total, but by the time we'd paid the check-in fee and a priority boarding charge (so we can get on at the front of the queue so we stand a better chance of Kai having a window seat) it came to nearly £70. Then we have the B&B charge on top. Eh well. We'll enjoy it. And we did promise him...
Back to the rockface to earn the cash to pay for it!
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
The third and biggest marrow of the year. It will probably be the last, as well, unfortunately.
Surprisingly successful day. Made a start on the BCP site redesign (needs to be done from scratch and future-proofed as far as I can), slotted in APAG and BCP current site updates, finished and sent off a review, betaed a small piece, cleared much of my intray (including three important messages I'd been putting off, shame upon me) and even managed to watch tonight's Horizon on Beeb2. It was very interesting. I'd have enjoyed it a lot more had it not been for the (female, British) narrator. Every time she mispronounced nuclear as 'nukular' I could feel my teeth gritting harder and harder, my fists clenching and my lower back tensing up. It's difficult to express how much I hatehatehate that non-word. It annoyed me so much that I dived over to the BBC website and put in a complaint.
My back and jaw are still bloody aching.
Kai had a fantastic time today - field trip to Cheddar Gorge for geography. They climbed Jacob's Ladder, then what he called Jacob's Tower, which I think was actually Pavey's Lookout, then climbed almost to the top of the Gorge itself...
Hm. Hasn't come out quite as brightly as I hoped. The pepper on the left is one of the tiny stunted ones from the greenhouse, the one on the right shop bought. I was struck by the astonishing redness of the home-grown one, which was wonderfully crisp and sweet despite its size, much nicer than the other. Hoping to have many more of them next year.
Right - another important email to send and another review to finish. Back to the rockface.
Monday, September 15, 2008
Grumbleday. It really pisses me off when lazy, selfish, irresponsible prats park on the pedestrian chevrons at supermarkets. Especially when they're pig-ignorant old fossils in bloody Rovers. I am always sooooo tempted to 'accidentally' ram my trolley into their headlamps...
And a word to people touting garden maintenance, gutter clearing or any other casual labour: come to my door with a lit cigarette, so that smoke blows into my smoke-free house, and you will not get work here. Ever.
(Ex-smokers are by far the worst people when it comes to others' smoke, I think.)
On the plus side, the weather forecast is for a nice week: hoping to get a fair bit done in the garden Friday and Saturday. We need to empty the big compost bin - I need a lot of tubs filled ready for next spring, and the rest will go on the veg bed. In the greenhouse I'm now down to the two last cherry tomato plants, and it won't be long before they're finished and I can free up the pots. Going to repair the spare piece of wooden staging, saw props for it and make myself another lower shelf for next year's melons, which will give me more storage space underneath. And I need to pot on the grapefruit and clementine seedlings too. I'm thinking I'll try and take a photo a week of the greenhouse over the next year, to post here: it'll be a useful record of how it all goes.
Right - rockface calling...
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Autumn, season of mists and frosted spiders' webs...
Kai has a cold (which means I have one threatening by default) so we ended up not going to the Bristol Blue Glass factory open day as we'd intended. Maybe next time...
Just watched Brokeback Mountain - by myself, as I was pretty sure it was too mature for Kai and thought it probably wasn't Ken's 'thing'. I watched it mostly to see what all the fuss was about, and didn't expect to like it much (I've never been able to stand western/cowboy films) but it's beautiful, restrained and subtle, realistic, and so very sad. A wonderful film.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Afternoon meeting with the BCP secretary to discuss the site redesign. It'll be interesting and challenging: they'd like a completely different look, with a tag cloud and RSS feed, and while I'm at it I may as well redo the Directory as well. All good stuff!
The weather was gorgeous today, hot sun over an undercurrent of autumn: spent an hour in the garden. Well, in the greenhouse actually, pruning back old growth, ditching plants that had finished (melons, one of the cucumbers) and generally getting organised for the winter. Also pruned around the paved area - and found this frog guarding the strawberry planters! Wonderful colours. He stood still for the photos, then scurried under the planter, which made Kai laugh: there was barely enough room for him...
Friday, September 12, 2008
[frowns] what the hell did I do today...?
I know there was forty minutes worth of working on rough drafts for the BCP site redesign, but what else happened...
Oh. Right. Housework.
As for National Treasure: Book of Secrets... They aren't even trying for logic any more, are they?
Eh well. It passed a couple of hours.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Watch Joules spin round and round in circles (and fall over)...
Up early. Managed three hours client site work then Ken rang to say court had finished early and he was on his way home. He'd bought a FirstDay ticket, so on his arrival I dived into town to replace the dodgy skoosh and go find the BetterFood supermarket.
Which didn't have what I wanted (Xylobrit and Vitam-R yeast extract. Well, yes, they did have the latter, but it was of course purely organic Vitam-R, and I can't justify spending £5.75 for a minute jar when I can buy one four times the size in non-organic for £2.99. Especially when I'm the only person who likes it) and was really very expensive. So I came back home and scurried to make dinner so Ken could head out for his meeting this evening, while Kai and I watched National Treasure on FilmFlex (in preparation for watching the sequel, which is my latest offering from LoveFilm, over the weekend).
And I still have emails to answer. Fun fun fun.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
This is the third unicorn tomato we've had this year...->
<- And these are my sweet peppers, still green but doing very well. The little plant in front of them is one of the chilli pepper plants, also fine. I've been collecting bubble wrap to make protective covers for the peppers over the winter (aiming to see if I can keep them going: they are perennials after all, and it would save time next year).
Ken and I sat down to watch the LHC official switch on at 8.30 this morning - and the BBC announcer covering the event managed to miss it, wittering on as the first beam made its circuit and everyone applauded... [sigh] And then when they showed the entirely anti-climactic event, the BBC headline banner was covering the computer screen where the blip that indicated success appeared. Fortunately that clip was re-shown later, so we were able to catch both events, the offcentre first one and the fully centred second one. [grins at Sue - see, I said it would be OK! Mind you, they don't start the real experiments for a month, so there's still time...]
It's of particular interest to me at the moment because after struggling through Hawkings (A Brief history of Time) I'm now devouring Michio Kaku's Hyperspace (yes, I know it's ancient and I'll need to follow it with something more recent, but it's a good grounding in the basics of the subject) and loving it: he has a wonderful gift for making the esoteric more accessible and a real passion for his chosen field. I've always enjoyed his TV programmes: I must read more of his books.
Ended up shopping, yet again. Well, we thought we'd get the parcels in the post, and since I was heading to Sandy Park Road, it made sense to pick up the last bits I need this week from Sainsbug's. And the plastics recycling bag was very full, so a meander over to Tesco was also called for. But in between the supermarket shops...
Crumbs! I found a six-ep DangerMouse DVD in a charity shop for £2!
Well of course I had to buy it. I mean, it's DangerMouse, the greatest secret agent in the world. And when Kai arrived back I told him and he immediately begged to watch it (apparently he's seen snippets at school (??) and heard about it, but has never seen a whole episode). So after dinner, while Ken went to an APAG meeting, I threw the disc in the machine.
And Kai actually moved away from the laptop and sat on the sofa cackling with laughter (admittedly I was too, certainly over the first ep on the DVD, Custard - on YouTube here, slow to load when I tried it). I'd forgotten how gloriously, absurdly surreal the programme is, but was reminded when DM and Penfold vanished off the edge of the universe in the spacehopper (and had to wait for the inker to catch up with them before they could get back) and then made their way back to earth from the potty zone by stepping into a time traveller's potting shed... [shakes head] They don't make 'em like that any more.
Kai now wants me to buy the rest of the series. Series', I should say, there are [wince] ten of them, totalling [wincewince] eighty-nine episodes. That'll take some collecting! Worth it though - we love DM.
And the sprog now wants a big white fluffy caterpillar. I'm tempted to make him one for Yule (assuming I can find the time).
The rest of the day has been mostly taken up with client stuff - it's unusually busy at the moment.
These <- are the ordinary peppers I've been growing. These late season ones are, unfortunately, a little stunted - not enough growing space, I'm sure - but it's been fun watching them change colour. They went from green to a rich chocolate brown before turning red!
And these -> are my kiwi fruit plants. Little beauties, with red veins and a silver fuzz on the leaves. I'm keeping them in the greenhouse over winter (they should be OK, I know it can get colder in New Zealand than it does here) and see how they do, then next year I'll probably plant a couple out against the fence and see what happens.
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
So - mutton casserole...
Mutton, onion, leeks and mushrooms in wine and lamb stock, with creamed spuds and mixed veg. Ken liked it, Kai isn't keen on casserole/stew type things anyway, and as for me... Well, I suppose it was OK. It tasted like lamb, but much stronger and less delicate. A pleasant enough taste - but I didn't much like the texture, and it was a little too oily for me. I'm glad we tried it, but I don't think I'll be making it again.
Alliance Chronicles CDs now packaged and ready to go in post - hopefully tomorrow morning.
Monday, September 08, 2008
All the Alliance Chronicles CDs are finally burned and ready to go in the post. Should be able to do that by the end of this week.
Sunday, September 07, 2008
I needed to get up to Clifton to pick up some books, and dive into Fresh and Wild for Xylobrit and yeast extract, so gathered up Kai (who ummed and ahhed but finally decided he'd come with me) and headed off to the busstop and a FirstDay ticket...
It was fun! We went the long way round, up to the Downs and past the zoo, discussing dreamscapes on the way, got the books, found out that Fresh and Wild is closing, today being the last day (which is very bad news, although on the plus side it means I now have to go and find the other - independent and native - organic supermarket at St Werburghs), then hurried (since it was getting late and the event only a couple of hours from finishing) down through the park on Constitution Hill to the Harbourside, to check out the Organic Food Festival.
Which was most excellent. We came home with wild boar sausages (which we had tonight with creamed spuds, mushrooms, baked beans and a fried egg - absolutely delicious and hugely unhealthy but we're allowed every now and then!), six organic chicken legs (which the seller, Ensors Organic, reduced from around £4.75 a two-pack to just £2 as we arrived - damn good timing I say), and a pack of mutton (diced shoulder from four-year-old Welsh sheep). You don't find mutton very often, and we've never tried it, so I thought we'd give it a go. Needs to be gently casseroled (planning to cook it with onions and mushrooms in veg stock with a splash of white wine) for a couple of hours, but will be worth it to try something new.
So in the main a successful day, and Kai thoroughly enjoyed himself (though I think the wonderful tasters at the Festival had a bit to do with that - Yeo Valley cheddar, café latte ice cream, and an amazing chocolate-orange truffle brownie...)
It does mean I haven't managed any of the things I was supposed to do today (sorry Marie: will get the pencil out first thing tomorrow morning), but it was fun, and made a nice change from sitting in front of my monitor all day!
Saturday, September 06, 2008
Managed not to do all that much today, but we did watch the opening ceremony of the Paralympics, which was absolutely beautiful.
Aiming to get to the Briz Organic Festival tomorrow: weather's supposed to be a little brighter.
Friday, September 05, 2008
Another busy day with client revisions - and I've reinstalled Firefox 2 (thanks GoodTwin and Marie!) without any problems.
Not sure I said, either, but after GoodTwin mentioning Skype, I checked and found it came pre-installed on this machine, so kicked it awake and it's terrific! No message limit on IM, easy to use, great stuff. Might even use it for phonecalls one day!
LHC goes live next Wednesday...
Thursday, September 04, 2008
[bemused] So I wandered up the garden to check the damage to the veg bed - and found a hedgehog...
A very healthy-looking hodgepog (no obvious fleas or ticks) but a dopey, dozy one, sheltering under a big leaf. I dragged on the rose-pruning gloves, very gently lifted him (her?) over to the entrance to the hedgehog house we bought a while back and settled the wee beast at the entrance. When I went back to check an hour later it had gone, hopefully into the hhh as I couldn't see it anywhere nearby. That would be great!
Tch' - forgot to take a photo again. I must get into the habit of taking the camera into the garden with me.
The visit to Kai's school on Tuesday evening was fine, and I do now see what they're trying to do - get rid of the somewhat artificial divisions of age within the school and prepare the sprogs for what passes for Real Life.
Whether it will work or not remains to be seen. In the meantime, Mondays and Fridays are Kai's new least favourite days.
In other news... I made the really bad mistake of downloading the latest version of Firefox... I've lost my lovely choice of themes, and have had to install one that's more or less OK, as the default theme was hideous. My bookmarks have a whole load of addons that I can't see myself ever using, which have shunted my own down the page, necessitating scrolling to get to them. But worst of all, it's incompatible with RealPlayer, and crashes catastrophically any time I visit a site with realplayer files.
That means my client Jenni's site. Talk about embarrassing.
Of course, I also keep IE, Netscape and Opera (set up to not accept any images or frames) on my machine so I can check browser compatibility, so at least I can temporarily sort out the problem, but it's really not good enough. It's not just me either, there's an 88 (at the time of checking) item list of FF/RP bugs other people have reported.
All in all I'm not impressed. I've recommended K&K don't install it until they've sorted out the problems...
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
That was even more stupidly hectic, although it was also quite interesting.
Having another early night...
Monday, September 01, 2008
That was just stupidly hectic.
Having an early night.