Zone Doubt, a.k.a. 'Surreal Я Us'...
Joules, trusted by... dozens... to make a drama out of your crisis...
:: JAT :: WaveWrights :: Publications :: Joules... on writing [on hiatus] ::
I live to write. It's not wise to get in my way.
August 2011: the earlier posts in this blog are a mess, the result of me changing the format some time ago. I'm working to edit the entire blog from the beginning, but with over 4K posts and sodall time for such luxuries it's going to take a while... [02/09/16 - Now reached 09/10/2004]
If you come across any words you don't recognise in this blog, take a look at the Taylorspeke Glossary in the left-hand infopane, you'll usually find a definition there.
First, a recommendation. Dive over to The Jonathan Day Fiction Site and try some of the stories. I love this author's writing - it's funny, bitingly witty, dryly incisive, chilling, and deliciously subversive by turns. Absolutely well worth a look!
Saturday, March 31, 2012
Tenth part of Renewal - Home Again - AND its companion piece, Welcome Home (third ficlet in Things Poppy Never Knew) now both posted over at The Poppy Tales. (Link above.)
Friday, March 30, 2012
So, dental hospital visit was for them to take more impressions (using that horrible acetone-smelling, skin-singeing slimy pink gunge) for braces. Took them two attempts to do the lower jaw and three for the upper, oh joy... Not sure why or whether I'll get lower braces - it's the upper teeth that are problematic. Eh well, will find out beginning of May (the earliest appointment they could give me. sigh).
Back to Poppy...
Thursday, March 29, 2012
So, up early again, another wash put through, then treated myself to two eps (Shadowzone and One Shall Rise) of Tf: P. Cleared all my outstanding business stuff, started Poppy 5.10, then this afternoon I got the cat-scarer working, and planted radishes and spring onions while Ken spraypainted the fence (after an hour looking for the battery holder which I'd removed for safe-keeping and put somewhere so safe we couldn't find it...) After he got home Kai helped me repair the little upright greenhouse that I use for essential storage but which I can now use for bringing on seedlings, then after dinner it was the last three eps of Tf: P season 1. And Kai wants to know, now please, how soon we can get season 2...
I'll email Shout!Factory to let them know how much we love it. It won't get the season to DVD any sooner, but they might be able to give us a rough release date in their next newsletter if enough people show interest. They're only up to ep 7 in the States, so there's a long way to go yet. Season 1 is 26 eps long.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
The second of the four expected parcels arrived at 8.40 this morning (I was downstairs this time, kicking everything awake) - the new cat scarer for the veg bed.
And after that it was all go. The usual washing (why is there so much more of it than normal at the moment? Luckily it all dried outside in this ridiculously out of season heat. 22 degrees today).
Got mange tout, pak choi and some assorted lettuce seeds on the go. The year is creeping up on me again.
It was Kai's Physics Masterclass at the uni today. He really enjoyed it, and has brought all sorts of things home: will have a look tomorrow.
Sorted out a far neighbour's computer hassle, then went on the Sains to shop (far too heavy again). Watched the penultimate three eps of Tf: P - now just the three-part season finale to see tomorrow. Kai's already asking if we're getting season two as soon as it's available...
Next Poppy started, but a bit tired tonight, not sure how much I can do. Tomorrow I have to catch up with business emails before I do anything else.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Renewal part 9 - Farewell - now posted over at The Poppy Tales, link above. Enjoy!
And another later edit - the parcel was the lawnmower, but they left it two doors down at number 55. [stares at card] No, there's NO WAY that's a 5. It's a 9. But panic over. Until the next parcel anyway...
Days like these are really bad for my blood pressure.
Came downstairs this morning to find a card through the door from Yodel. Now, Yodel is the new name for DHL UK and HDNL Services - a parcel delivery service. They were on Watchdog a short while ago due to their high number of customer complaints (see here for more!) My card said they tried to deliver a parcel (couldn't have tried very hard since I was upstairs!) and have left it with a neighbour. At 59.
59 is this house.
Have checked with Dave next door, who hasn't taken delivery: my neighbours the other side aren't in at the moment, so I've dropped a letter through their door saying I'm here and has it been left with them...
We're expecting a large parcel - finally had to order a new lawnmower as the old one (which had done us proud at about 15 years hard duty) has finally packed up. And it wasn't cheap, and we need it. Will report back later...
Oh, and remember my rant about ECHO commenting system? I complained to them on the 2nd of Feb. Still hadn't heard anything, so I complained again yesterday - this time adding my title (WaveWrights Partner) and saying I expected a refund (to make a point more than anything, as the amount - £7.50 - is piffling, and would be very good value if the bloody company delivered). An hour or so later I got an email - well, I was cc-ed into an email from one of their staff to another of their staff, presumably in accounts, saying to organise a refund for me. Shortly after that, I got confirmation that the refund had been paid and was with Paypal.
No apology whatsoever, not even the non-apology of 'sorry you weren't happy with our services'. Can we say truly appalling customer service? Yes, we can.
Don't these people realise how bad they make their company (and their country) look?
Later edit: Oh yeah, and forgot to say, with this early spring, hayfever season is early too... And I have no local honey. Oh joy.
Monday, March 26, 2012
And another busy day - washing, making stock, client site stuff, the next Poppy chapter (which is almost finished) and a BCP meeting this evening, which got quite lively and productive and which has of course landed me with a bit of extra work as there's an important diary date coming up that needs promoting. Only I can't get it finished tonight, unfortunately. Will tackle it first thing tomorrow when I can get hold of what I need.
Back to Poppy. With a glass of wine I think...
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Aaaaand the haddock changed direction at midnight (heh, sounds like a song title...)
That was a stupidly knackering day.
In their infinite stupidity Sains have stopped stocking roast pork and roast chicken (the plain, non-stuffing varieties) in their deli (they've also stopped stocking the large organic wholemeal loaf we rely on for lunches. Needless to say I am not happy about that...) The roast pork is Kai's favourite, and Ken likes the roast chicken. However, Tesco are now stocking both. So first I did a Tesco shop, and then had to do a Sainsbug shops as well. Like I have the time to do this on a Sunday. Doesn't help that the Tesco pork isn't a patch on the Sain one. So by the time I'd finished the shopping I was tired and my legs - still aching from yesterday - just didn't want to move.
Still got two washes put through though. And got a load of fiddly stuff cleared. And watched another three Prime eps, and the Being Human season finale, which I thought was pretty good...
Tf: P was OK, but I'm not a real Wheeljack fan. It was fun seeing OP in action though.
Time to start the next Poppy chapter, I think.
Saturday, March 24, 2012
What a productive day! I picked up crickets for Rosa from the Reptile Planet shop on the Wells Rd (finally, a supplier within walking distance!) while shopping yesterday, so today shifted them into the tank (you know the drill, oatbran on the bottom, filtered water to drink, eggbox strip for shelter) and thought I'd give them some of the cricket food (a powder you mix with water). Problem is it always dries out really quickly as it soaks up the oatbran. Then it occurred to me that if I spread the mixture on a slice of apple it wouldn't dry out so quickly... We now have the best fed crickets in Bristol.
Two machine washes put through and dried outside, then a little client stuff, then I weeded the strawberry bed while Kai trimmed the grass around it and the honeyberries on the slope. (My hands and legs are killing me now.) Kai did homework/coursework on the bench while I potted on my tomatoes and got a few more on the go in the greenhouse.
This evening it was another three eps of Tf: P - including Shadowzone, which is a real favourite - it has a host of other film references all the way through, including Addams Family and Ghostbusters ('don't cross the streams!')
But possibly the best thing, for me, was checking amazon and finding that the AllSpark Almanac 2, which two weeks ago was £198.90 - yes, you did read that right. When I saw it originally it was around the twenty quid mark, and I didn't pick it up then, thinking there was no rush and I wanted the Prime figures more. Then the price suddenly rocketed. I assume the sellers thought there'd be some sort of mad rush for it, for some reason, and they'd make the proverbial killing - then last week was down to £64.92, and today came in at £26.95. So I ordered it. It may go down a bit more, but equally, it might go back up again...
Being me, I'm not counting my small domestic modern day dinosaur-descendants until I actually have it in my hands, but I am dead chuffed. I do so like having complete sets, and after loving the first one, it'll be such fun to read the second!
Friday, March 23, 2012
Renewal part 8 - Four Vital Days - now posted over at The Poppy Tales, link above. Enjoy!
Spring has sprung. I am in a t-shirt with the heating off, the patio doors open, and a machine load of washing drying outside in the sun... And I've seen a Red Admiral and a Peacock butterfly today - a great start to the spring!
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Tch - got carried away... Just about finished the next Poppy chapter and it's twice as long as usual. Want Lutra to check it first so it won't be posted until tomorrow...
Been a very productive day. Some client stuff first thing, then actually managed to get some gardening done - dead-headed sedum, acanthus and lavender, pruned tayberry and goji berry plants, and left the tomatoes in the greenhouse all day, which has done them a power of good. The frogspawn in the woodland pool has hatched and there are now hundreds of tiny wriggly things in there, and there's another load of spawn in Roeg's Pool. We now have a pair of robins haunting the garden, and our flock of collared doves has increased to five. (Maybe I should check out dovecotes...?) Unfortunately the mob of starlings has increased to seventeen. Not exactly huge, but they can still clear a bird-table in under a minute. Oh joy.
Liaised with Jackie re the Arno's Park Community Garden: plants decided upon, now just waiting to hear when the Community Payback team can come and clear the area for us. (APAG employed them to install the benches in
the park last year and they were absolutely brilliant, worked really hard and were easy to get on with.)
Another three Tf: Prime eps. Two more and we're caught up to as far as K&K have seen. From then on it's all new...
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
I knew I would have at least half an hour's wait at the doctor's last week, so I picked up a book in a charity shop to read - Val McDermid's The Last Temptation. Never read any of hers before, and I was quite enjoying it - until today and about 6/8ths of the way through, when the two main characters made a mistake so unbelievably stupid and fundamental and OOC that the book has now lost all credibility for me. [grump] I know why the author did it, but it's just so clumsy and... ridiculous! Quite put me off reading any more of hers.
On the garden front, at some point soon I have to get my tomato plantlets into their final pots and out into the greenhouse in mini-cloches: they've nearly reached the roofs of the propagator covers on the kitchen windowshelf...
Three more TF: P eps tonight, including my favourite Scrapheap. [grin] Really enjoying them!
Back to Poppy...
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
And Tuesday was the new Monday again. Shopping, made a stock pot full of cannelloni bean and sweet pepper soup (four double portions for Ken and I and one single for me for tomorrow. It's a favourite lunch!), got a significant amount of client stuff done, watched the last three eps of the Transformers: Prime pilot (can start the first season proper tomorrow, although we have seen the first 6 - caught them on CN before the buggers started just repeating it), then caught the first ep of Touch, Keifer Sutherland's latest - wasn't sure to start with but it definitely shows promise (and he just gets better and better...) then the second ep of Alcatraz. Still not convinced by the latter but still happy to give it a bit more of a chance, as it has picked up from the first ep.
Earlier, on Skype:
Lutra: Heh, heard today that Bay might be involved in a new TMNT movie...
Renewal part 7 - Sunday - now posted over at The Poppy Tales, link above. Enjoy!
Monday, March 19, 2012
My Transformers: Prime season 1 boxed set arrived!
So here you go, happy Joules as a happy rhino on a pogo stick bouncing around a room full of flowers and fluffy kittens. Well, a kitten anyway... (see post for Tuesday,
Watched the first two eps before Ken had to go to a meeting; will work our way through the rest little by little.
Next Poppy - Sunday - now under way...
Sunday, March 18, 2012
It was rather nice being woken up with a mug of coffee, a cute-funny card and a box of Belgian seashells: I'd forgotten it's Mothering Sunday!
It was otherwise a pretty typical Sunday - shopping, then I planted onions and carrots up in the veg bed and caulis and leeks in peat pots on the potting table. Kai has taken to sitting out in the garden to do homework when the weather is nice, which is great! Gets him some fresh air and sunshine.
But whoa, this week's Tf: P ep! A real AWWWWWWWW Ratchet [soppy grin] but also Starscream! NOOOOOOOOOO... [bites nails] Now what? Can't wait!
Not quite ready for an early night - probably time to start the next Poppy chapter.
Renewal part 6 - Saturday - now posted over at The Poppy Tales, link above. Enjoy!
Just out of interest, are commenters getting their comments posted to them as they used to? If not that's another problem to sort out...
Saturday, March 17, 2012
Well, it's not perfect - the template I'm using for this blog is ancient and the comments system no longer operational, so I've cannibalised from a slightly less ancient blog (Updates). I'm not getting proper white boxes at the moment but I'll worry about that later.
ECHO commenting system is the absolute fragging PITS
Haloscan used to be excellent - easily used, easily customised. Then they sold out to Echo...
I have had nothing but problems with this system, from the rude, sarcastic tech support to them taking cash to pay for my comments - up until December 2012 - and only emailing to say they had done so the day after with a link to a query page that ended up at a 404, and, as you may have noticed, they have now reverted my comments to the free UNPAID version, ripping me off for nine months worth of service.
I have lost all the previous comments, although when they first started Echo promised that all comments would be kept. My gravatar hasn't worked for months, they disabled comments on their blog, I can't login to their help forums as the system refuses to recognise me, and the email I sent them complaining about everything has been ignored. And with them taking away the system I have already paid for I have no easy way to contact them - not that that has done any good in the past. I am now going to remove their non-functioning commenting app from this blog and find an alternative commenting system.
I strongly recommend no one use them. They are either incompetent or simply don't give a flying fuck about their paying customers. I shall be cross-posting this to my facebook page, and anywhere else I can - please spread the word.
Friday, March 16, 2012
So now that the teeth problems are partially sorted, I thought it was a good time to go back to the doctor about my hand, because the gel she prescribed did nothing and the problem is gradually getting worse...
I now have to organise a course of physio. Personally I don't see quite what that will do, but it's the next step, apparently - it looks like the idea of steroid injections is out, which is a relief. It could take a month to get the first physio appointment, though, and in the meantime it's back to the 'prufen and parrots every day. [sigh]
This evening we watched Real Steel, my latest Lovefilm rental ("Battling robots?" said Ken. "I see a trend here...") It's great fun - a little predictable, but what isn't these days? Of course I kept seeing Tf shadows all through it - mention of G1 'bots, Atom is a G2, and one of the robots (tch, can't remember the name: its owner was the punk with the mohican...) looked a lot like Tf: P's Breakdown, mallet hand and all. But, as I kept telling myself, human-like robots are all going to have a similar look and build, there are bound to be similarities. Anyway, a fine film to go on the 'buy when cheaper' list.
Back to Poppy...
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Heh. Taken me all day to sort out the APAG stuff from last night, but it's nearly finished now. Well, 'til the next event anyway. If I'd known how much work was involved in being Sec of even such a small group I'd have thought twice about offering...
[sigh] Kai has an all-day Physics Masterclass at the university on the 28th. The schedule looks amazing - the uni has links to the LHC, and there'll be discussion of the work being done there throughout the day. My first reaction was to ask if I could go too! [sightwo] Ah well. Kai's promised to tell me all about it when he gets home.
Back to Poppy. Itching to get back to Diego Garcia and see how the operation is getting on, but there's more to do in England first...
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Client stuff most of the day, with the APAG meeting tonight (which means minutes and webwork tomorrow). Good and useful meeting though - got a lot done.
Was going to work on Poppy but I have a most painful/uncomfortable sensation right through my upper body - terribly distracting. Perhaps I should try for an early night instead - once my hair has dried...
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Renewal part 5 - ... still in England... - now posted over at The Poppy Tales, link above. Enjoy!
Monday, March 12, 2012
Actually didn't manage to get much done today, sadly...
Thoroughly enjoyed Tf: P s2e4 though - whoa!Starscream. [Yum]
Sunday, March 11, 2012
So off we went to see John Carter...
And loved it. Really engaging characters, fabulous CGI (the film had to wait until now to be made properly!), gorgeous story... it's a rollicking good tale and has gone on the 'must have' list. Cons - the 3D was OK but a bit flat (Viewmaster, anyone?) and the film won't lose anything without it, and I can imagine Rice Burroughs purists will find loads to hate, but I haven't read the books in decades, and without that baggage it stands up really well as a cinematic treat.
Other than that it's been a quiet day. Since I took last night off, I suppose I'd better get going on the next Poppy chapter tonight!
After I've revelled in this weeks' Tf: P of course...
Saturday, March 10, 2012
Renewal part 4 - Meanwhile, back in England... - now posted over at The Poppy Tales, link above. Enjoy!
Kai's doing homework downstairs again - which means MUSEKICK! So far we've had the Tron Legacy soundtrack, which is Teh AWESOME! and Pink Floyd's The Division Bell, which Ken picked up cheaply at a charity shop, and which is very pretty. Quite mainstream for the Floyd, but very nice, big but soothing sounds.
And it's been the warmest day of the year so far - we had all the doors and windows open for a blow through. Love it when it's like that...
Bizarrely, he's even more difficult to balance upright with the top-heavy kibble missing than he was before...
Friday, March 09, 2012
Kai's 17th birthday... ye gods, he was seven when I started writing this blog.
He had a nice day, loved his cards and presents - we went for a Tron based theme as he'd been asking when we were getting them and the soundtrack, so we bought both DVDs and the CD. Watched Tron Legacy tonight and thoroughly enjoyed it. It's still deeply flawed, which is very sad, as it could have been so much better, but the music is glorious and the sfx fantastic.
I took a few minutes to devise a backdrop of the Nemesis interior for the next mini-comic this afternoon - a rough plot is gradually weaving itself in my head - and I bought another Starscream while shopping. I discovered that the bulky fuselage kibble on his arms can be moved without damaging the figure - so I had Ken cut it all away for me. The second one I transformed into jet mode and it will stay that way. So I now have unencumbered figures to play with (and must hang the jet from a speaker bracket or something, it's rather cute...) Photos tomorrow - too late now.
Back to Poppy...
Thursday, March 08, 2012
Had a distinctly Inception moment this morning. Ken brought me a mug of coffee in bed, which I sat up and drank, then got up. Then realised that I was dreaming - the unicorn grazing in the front garden was a dead giveaway - so I woke up and drank my coffee - then realised I was still dreaming. On the third attempt I did actually manage to drink it. I think. Unless I'm still dreaming... Nah, the day has been too normal for it to have been a dream...
Couple of hours of client site stuff, then into town to the bank and to pick up some shopping - all very successful, got everything I wanted except for the fumigation candle for the greenhouse. Hopefully be able to get one at Hurrans next week.
We now have two Blackcaps at the bird table today. Be lovely if they're a breeding pair!
Kai came home with the results of the A Levels he took in January (part 1 of 4 for each of his subjects) - A's in Maths and Physics, C in Psychology - and a C in Computing. But apparently the whole class got C's, and the tutor is going to investigate - sounds like something's definitely gone skewiff somewhere.
SO we treated him (and us) to a Filmflex this evening - Johnny English Reborn which we thoroughly enjoyed. Great fun!
And now it's back to Poppy...
Wednesday, March 07, 2012
Renewal part 3 - Day Two - now posted over at The Poppy Tales, link above. Enjoy!
Tuesday, March 06, 2012
Personalised vet's reminder cards now. Whatever next!
So after the standard busy day, we watched my latest Lovefilm, Gnomeo and Juliet, which is cute and chuckle-worthy and well worth a watch. Yes, nothing particularly new in it, but so what? It was a delight. Just what we needed after a hectic day.
[BG] Just had confirmation my Tf: P first season boxed set has been sent from amazon.com. Can't wait!
Poppy5.3 under way...
Monday, March 05, 2012
Renewal part 2 - Day One - now posted over at The Poppy Tales, link above. Enjoy!
Sunday, March 04, 2012
Catch up time... Another busy Sunday. Sainsbug shop early, I finally bottled the cooking wine, and repotted my new basil plant (cuz an 'ouse ain't an 'ome without a pot o' basil an' a cat...)
We've had Teh AWSUM Playlist going all day, as Kai opted to do homework in the lounge instead of in his room (something I quite enjoy - nice to have company even if we don't talk much since we're both concentrating on our own work). Looking forward to Being Human tonight.
Wendy's mum's orchid has a rosette of leaves. It seems perfectly content in the meadow. And Ken saw a crow with a stick in its beak fly over the garden - must be bird-bonking time already...
And Transformers: Prime season 2 ep 3 is fragging AWESOME! Highlight of my weekend. Powerful, and beautiful, and the end brought tears to my eyes. Wonderful wonderful continuity; it just keeps getting better and better.
Have some screen caps of the interior of the Nemesis: planning to attempt a backdrop and create another mini-comic over the next day or so. Also have the next Poppy part in mind ready to be started tonight.
It's all go, innit!
Renewal part 1 - Arrival - now posted over at The Poppy Tales, link above. Enjoy!
Labels: The Poppy Tales
Saturday, March 03, 2012
Forgot to say - yesterday Kai found two mounds of frogspawn in the woodland pool! Keeping fingers crossed it survives - we didn't get any last year or the year before because the weather was so bad.
We went to see Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance this evening...
We're still trying to decide if we liked it or not. It was very different to the first one, much much darker (the way clowns are dark, said Kai). It felt experimental, as though a group of film and media graduates had got together to make it. Horrible cinematography, and the action was too fast for the 3D - but it had its moments. Really need to watch it again. Will pick it up when I can find it cheap!
Poppy5.1 is written - will be coded and uploaded in the next hour or so...
Friday, March 02, 2012
[blink] ... OK, who stole Thursday?...
I haz a bizzy.
Right, well, Thursday... It started with an APAG meeting down at the park (at the ungodly hour of 9.15 am) with a fellow committee member and one of our wonderful park wardens to discuss the feasibility of creating a community garden, and ended with the spot OKed by both the Parks Dept and us two (though the rest of APAG will need to ratify at our next meeting on the 14th) and a first idea of what would be useful to plant. Though I think the peach tree might have to wait til next year...
Then it was me into the Arno's Hotel to ask the manager what the situation was with park users using their loos. I know they aren't averse to people using them, but I'd like to know how far their leeway goes, so have asked for a little something in writing to present to the meeting. The park used to have its own loos but they were badly vandalised, back before APAG and the locals started taking more care of the park, and demolished. I suggested getting them reinstated, but a bit of research showed it would cost something in the region of £70K to £100K despite all the drainage and power still being there underground, and that sort of cash just isn't available.
Sainsbug shopping followed, then lunch with a natter to Lutra, then Ken and I made a start on this years' gardening tasks: he dug over my new mange tout and bean bed and edged it, while I cleared and cleaned my potting table so we could put a layer of gravel under it (for stability and drainage. Much better now). Only we both overdid it - my mind is still convinced my body is 25 and keeps trying to make it act that age - so today my legs and back are nagging like hell... [sigh] think I'll ever learn?
Relaxed with the penultimate two eps of Tf: A then actually managed an early night! (Well, 1.30 am is early for me...)
Up early again this morning for dental hospital appointment at 9.45. [grumble] Chair was tilted back so far it felt like I was sliding off and it did NOT do my aching back any good at all. But another x-ray (that makes the fifth) showed that everything was fine, so he put in the permanent filling... layer by layer and drying whatever he was using in between, as far as I could tell. At one point he was using a device that emitted a continuous beep - the last time he used something like that he warned me it was supposed to make that noise - which was fine, until he told his assistant, "take the temperature down to 200 degrees".
DOWN to 200 degrees??...
No, I don't want to know. He used a stronger anaesthetic this time that numbed half my face (although as usual it started wearing off half way through the procedure. I don't know why anaesthetics wear off so fast but it's bloody annoying...) so I didn't feel a thing.
And it's great! No pain, and he matched the colour of the tooth for the composite filling so it looks completely natural. And it still doesn't hurt! Fantastic!
I go back in another four weeks for him to check all's well and sort out how they're going to haul the tooth back into line. Oh joy. That'll be fun...
I was supposed to go to the bank afterwards but felt light-headed and a bit wobbly so just came home. And got hours of client stuff done - can have weekend off unless anything urgent comes in.
Made it over to the Grant Bradley Gallery for the preview showing of Ryoko Oikawa new works this evening. It was beautiful - although I winced at the prices, more than doubled on last year's. The cheapest was £285, and one of the largest, a gorgeous landscape, was £4,700. Luckily there wasn't anything there I really really liked...
This evening we watched the last two eps or Tf: Animated season 2. Wonderful stuff! Only now of course we all want to see season 3 and it hasn't (yet) been released on DVD...
However, my Tf: P boxed set should arrive this month, so we at least have that to look forwards to.
So, Poppy tonight!