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][20/03/2019 - giving up. I don't have enough time to update the blog atm, let alone edit old entries!]

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

First, a recommendation. Dive over to The Jonathan Day Fiction Site and try some of the stories. I love this author's writing - it's funny, bitingly witty, dryly incisive, chilling, and deliciously subversive by turns. Absolutely well worth a look!

The Poppy Tales

(Transformers fanfiction!)

Transformers mini-comics here.














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)
The Café

For later:

Earthian
BBC Lion, witch and wardrobe
BBC Caspian and Dawn Treader
BBC Silver Chair
(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
BCW


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...



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...



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 [>]
[::..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
:: 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.
:: 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...

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
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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
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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
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10/01/2005 - 10/31/2005
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07/01/2006 - 07/31/2006
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10/01/2006 - 10/31/2006
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01/01/2017 - 31/01/2017
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01/01/2018 - 31/01/2018
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01/12/2018 - 31/12/2018
01/01/2019 - 31/01/2019
01/02/2019 - 28/02/2019
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01/09/2019 - 30/09/2019
01/10/2019 - 31/10/2019
01/11/2019 - 30/11/2019
01/12/2019 - 31/12/2019

Friday, October 07, 2011

Bonus post - Disturbance, Part 4 of the cracky Transformers and Lutra inspired fic Appliances. (For the other three parts see Suds, Chillin' and Collecting, below.)

Disturbance

Poppy was getting used to the trio of voices greeting her when she got back from work every evening...
     Sucker – his real 'designation' was Suckmaster, he'd told her cheerfully, but she refused to call him by a name that sounded like some sort of sex-toy - and Steamy – whose full name was, apparently, Heatsteamcontroller – were, she had to admit, incredibly useful. Even if it now sounded as though she was sharing her flat with the cast of a bad porno film. But Steamy cooked her food exactly as she wanted it (she hardly used the oven or hob any more), somehow managing to steam even widely disparate foodstuffs to the perfect texture all at the same time. And as for Sucker – well, his various attachments meant he was able to keep the flat spotless, without Poppy having to do a thing.
     She could get used to this!

On the third Monday after their arrival in her flat, however, she arrived back from work to hear raised voices, and unlocked and entered in a hurry. As the door swung open everything went silent – well, her sentient appliances went silent, at least – only to resume as she called out "Only me!" and closed the door.
     "Oi's glad you'm 'ome!" grunted Sucker, his broad country accent sounding distinctly aggrieved. "'E's bin 'oggin' TV all day."
     Poppy looked into the kitchen. Steamy was perched on top of 'Spin, with Sucker sitting on the floor in front of them, all three positioned where they could see the TV in the lounge. Sucker gave the impression he was sulking.
     "Oh dear. What's happened?"
     And they all started talking at once.
     "I wath here firtht! I get to choothe..."
     "Oi wannid t'watch me gardenin'..."
     "I had t'miss my favouritest cookin' programme cos he wanted to see..."
     "Whoa, whoa!" Poppy raised her hands. "Please children, one at a time. I gather that you" she pointed at the washing machine "have not been sharing screen time with the others?"
     'Spin whirred peevishly.
     "But I wath here firtht, Poppy, and I'm the oldetht."
     "But Oi do more 'round t'ouse."
     "An' I cook every day!"
     Poppy giggled. They resembled nothing so much as a group of arguing kids.
     "You need to learn to share. Why don't you work out some sort of schedule? You know – 'Spin gets to watch his favourite soap, then you switch to something the others want to watch."
     "But Poppy, they all clash!" Steamy was quivering earnestly. "And I need t'watch my programmes so I c'n keep you well!"
     Poppy sighed, then grinned.
     "Well, you'll have to work something out between you. Otherwise we'll just have to let the fridge choose what to watch."
     She'd expected a chorus of chuckles: what she got was deadly silence. Very slowly she turned to the fridge, eyeing herself mistily reflected in the brushed steel of the slowly opening door.
     The voice that emanated from the machine was low and cultured.
     "Well, that's dashed decent of you, Poppy."
     "... what?"
     She scowled and whirled to glare at 'Spin.
     "Another one of you?"
     "Yes, I am, actually."
     Poppy glared over her shoulder.
     "I wasn't talking to you!"
     "I do beg your pardon..." The fridge shut up. Poppy turned back to 'Spin.
     "You only said Sucker and Steamy!"
     'Spin fidgeted minutely.
     "Um... I wath afraid you might not be too happy if I told you everything..."
     "Guess what? You were right!" She folded her arms and glowered around the kitchen. "Who else is here?"
     "Oh, no-one, Poppy."
     She eyed the washing machine narrowly.
     "OK, Captain Literal. Who else is here in the flat?"
     "That'd be us." The voice floated in from the lounge as the TV and blu-ray player blinked their on/off lights at her. Poppy grabbed her hair in both hands.
     "AAAARRRGGGGHHHH!!!"

But actually, it only took her a few days to get used to TeeVee and Blue; she assumed that having a kitchen half-full of sentient machines already she was becoming inured to the shock. Especially since they very rarely spoke. She had trouble warming to Chillvern, however. Something about storing her food inside a creature that she could hold a conversation with was very offputting. 'Spin had tried to help.
     "He'th really nithe, Poppy. And hith whole mithion in life ith to pretherve your food, make thure nothing nathty can get in. Make thure you're healthy."
     "I appreciate that, 'Spin, but all the same..."
     She jumped as the fridge's urbane voice came from behind her.
     "I deeply regret that you find my presence unsettling. If you wish to... sell me and buy a human refrigerator I will not object."
     That little catch in his voice... dammit. She'd hurt his feelings. Determinedly not feeling guilty, she asked, "What would happen if I did?"
     A moment's silence, then, "It is very unlikely that my new owner would be in possession of others of us. I would most likely be a little lonely, but we are all of us used to that."
     She wondered for a moment if he was trying to gain her sympathy – but no, it was more likely he was simply being honest. One thing she'd learned about them was they had a noticeable lack of guile. Well, when speaking to her, anyway. Mostly. If she made sure she got the whole truth.
     She sighed. "No, I wouldn't be that cruel. You're friends with 'Spin, aren't you?"
     "We... have been acquainted for a considerable time, yes."
     She raised an eyebrow and glanced at the washing machine.
     "Yeth. We're friendth. Have been for ageth."
     "Very well. You can stay. But" she raised a finger warningly as 'Spin almost visibly perked up, "no more!"
     "I promith! And...thank you, Poppy. We are all grateful. You are very kind."
     "OK. Just don't make me regret it!"

A week later she arrived home to find two men standing on her doorstep. Two very officious looking men, with severe raincoats, bulky briefcases and matching frowns. And Electricity Board IDs hanging around their necks.
     "You are Ms Poppy Moss?"
     She eyed them nervously.
     "Um, yes?"
     "Resident at this address for the last three years?"
     "Yes... What's this about?"
     "Perhaps we could speak inside."
     Poppy frowned. Their IDs looked genuine, but...
     "Tell me what it's about, first, please."
     The balder of the two sighed. It sounded both irritable and exasperated.
     "It has been brought to our attention that the amount of electricity you have been using over the last two months has dropped considerably from its previous level. It is the Board's suspicion that the meter may have been tampered with. We are here to investigate."
     "Oh. Oh, all right then." Mentally crossing her fingers – she didn't think her 'tenants' had done anything to the electrical installation in the flat, but regardless, one didn't argue with people who had the ability to cut off one's energy supply – she unlocked the door and let them in. Apparently the appliances had heard the conversation: everything was switched off and silent, including the TV.
     "I've bought some new appliances just recently." she offered. "They're the highest energy-efficiency rating I could afford, all A ratings. And I've not been switching on as often as I used to." She tried a somewhat nervous smile. "Trying to reduce my carbon footprint."
     The less-bald official nodded negligently as his colleague opened the meter casing, peering closely at the wiring underneath by the light of the small but powerful torch he'd pulled from an inner pocket. His inspection seemed to take ages: in the meantime the other was wandering around the flat, checking sockets and switches, and noting down everything electrical she possessed. Finally less-bald grunted, straightened, and closed and fastened a tamper-proof seal on the meter.
     "Nothing there." he frowned at his colleague. "All as it should be."
     "Hm." Baldie scowled. "We'd better check downstairs." He turned to Poppy.
     "Very well, Ms Moss. We can't find any evidence of tampering, and I've noted that, as you say, you are being very energy-conscious. That's a good thing. We may need more information in the future, but for now, thank you for your cooperation."
     Poppy sighed silently with relief.
     "Any time." She followed them to the main door and watched as they climbed down the stairs, then closed the door and slumped against it.
     "Are you all right, Poppy? Your pump ith operating very fatht."
     She jumped at 'Spin's voice. Pump? Oh. Heart. She wobbled into the kitchen and dropped into a chair.
     "I'm OK. That was just a bit scary." She frowned at him. "OK, so, enlighten me. Do you lot actually use electricity?"
     "Not a lot, no. Only if we really really mutht. We have our own... power thellth. We normally top them up with tholar power when we need to."
     "Oh great. No wonder they noticed."
     "... have we cauthed you problemth?"
     Poppy managed a small grin.
     "Well, I appreciate the saving on the electricity bill, but it's not fun, people thinking you're defrauding them."
     "Oh. I'm... we're thorry. Do you want us to thtart uthing the... mainth thupply?"
     "Oh god no! That'll just make them think I was on the fiddle and have now put it right to stop any further investigation! No, I think it's best just to carry on as you are. But for gods' sake don’t use any less electricity, or they'll be back right away."
     "We can do that."
     "We're reelly sorry, Poppy." Steamy sounded upset, and she patted his cover.
     "It's OK, honestly. You weren't to know."
     "'f you're sure..."
     "I am. And after all that, I need something to eat!"
     Immediately the little steamer brightened up, chattering happily about what he planned to make her for dinner: following his instructions she lifted ingredients out of Chillvern and dropped them into his baskets.
     Twenty minutes later, eating her lemon chicken with mixed steamed vegetables and listening to the appliances chatter, she suddenly realised how comfortable – no, contented – she felt. They may not be human, but it was nice having company.


© JAT Oct 2011


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