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, June 30, 2012
Uploading The Poppy Tales bit by bit to Archive Of Our Own (or AO3 as it's affectionately known). FFNet (a.k.a. the Pit of Voles) are having one of their occasional purges and removing works the kids find offensive, and while I don't think I have anything terribly terrible over there, the mods appear to be being very heavy handed. And having put so much work into Poppy I do want it archived somewhere as well as on our own site.
AO3 is actually a rather nice place with some crackin' writers on it!
Sixth part of New World - Fragments - now posted over at The Poppy Tales (link above).
Friday, June 29, 2012
Out with Kim, great day...
Almondsbury Garden Centre - fun, even in the rain. And I found two affordable heucheras: will try to get them planted tomorrow and take a photo (if it's not raining too hard).
Stopped at the Bedminster Sainsbury's on the way back. Found a Bumblebee and a Brawl Bot Shot and bought them both. May as well accept I'm going to collect the lot!
Poppy after the Sanctuary season 4 finale. Tired though, might not get it finished...
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Back from an hour's appointment with the (very nice) physiotherapist.
However, I now know what the problem is (almost certainly) and that it's treatable (relatively easily, we hope). I'm told it's De Quervain's of the snuffbox. Yes, I know it sounds like something Zaphod Beeblebrox would use, but the snuffbox is that bit of the wrist just below the thumb, where in the olden days people use to put their snuff just before snorting it.
So, treatment... Well, I have to wear a thumb spica all the time I'm awake (except to wash and shower although I'm not to use my thumb to do so, oh joy) to keep it completely immobilised until he says otherwise. I don't have it yet, they only had a right hand one. It'll arrive in the post.
I'm to take Ibuprofen to the maximum dose to help reduce the inflammation (apparently it's only harmful if you take it continually for years - a few months won't hurt) with added parrots if I need additional pain relief.
I'm to stop doing so much.
I said I'd go nuts. But apparently a change is as good as rest in these circumstances, so if I just take frequent long breaks from my desk - 40 mins typing (not using the immobilised thumb) followed by 30 mins light gardening or a walk, for example - that will do. Although I should still rest - he's a little concerned about the overworked and 'lumpy' muscle in my right forearm (presumably from overcompensating for not being able to use my left hand properly). Perhaps I'll watch more DVDs...
It's going to take a few months, but once the inflammation's gone I can start physio to get strength and movement back - although with the chronic teno neither hand is ever going to be as good as it was twenty years ago. Bugger.
On a more positive note, the next Poppy chapter is almost done and should be posted soon. Soon being a relative term, you understand...
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
[sigh] Woke up at 4.56 am and couldn't get back to sleep, so got up at 5.45. Usual chores (feeding and watering Tyjer, Rosa and crickets) then did a Tesco shop. Heh, got back before Kai was even awake!
Watched three eps of Tf:P (for inspiration), did a little client stuff, cleaned the bird table (horrible job) and have started next Poppy. Only I'm tired already. This week is not being easy...
Oh, and we need a new TV. It's been getting slower and slower booting up over the last few weeks and now when it first switches on we have sound OK, but the screen resolves to (rather pretty) shifting bands of gradiated colour that eventually settle into the normal picture. Not sure how much longer it's going to last. Fortunately it's done it at a relatively convenient time, as with the global recession everyone has been reducing their prices. We won't be able to afford the wonderfully snazzy blue-ray/3D set I was lusting after, but we should at least be able to grab a 40 incher. As you may have gathered, our films are our main entertainment. It would be fantastic to watch them on a large screen!
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Another busy day, nothing much of note...
Labels: nowt really
Monday, June 25, 2012
[sigh] This is Mirage.
Mirage is able to make himself invisible (which may be why I now have him. He followed me home...)
Knackered. Four loads of washing (sun was out and hot and there's more rain forecast so took advantage), a couple of hours client stuff, greenhouse tending, general mundane bits and pieces, and I started off two demi-jons of cooking wine, standard medium red and medium white.
May try for an early night...
Sunday, June 24, 2012
A pretty normal Sunday...
We watched my latest Lovefilm last night - Melancholia. It's... interesting. The intro is insanely tedious, the first half intriguing, the second half really frightening. An odd film. I don't think I liked it very much - but I can't stop thinking about it. So it's certainly successful in what it set out to do (if that's what it set out to do, which it is, I think).
Kai and I have also watched the first four eps of Transformers Armada (it arrived yesterday). As I said before, it's not great, but it is enjoyable, with enough character to keep it interesting. And a yummy Starscream...
Client stuff tomorrow morning...
Saturday, June 23, 2012
They ganged up on me. Demanded I BUY THEM. NOW!!
I had no choice. I mean, you can't say no to Starscream. (Well, maybe you can, but I can't!)
They are just adorable...
And the moral of the story is - Don't let me go shopping on three and a half hours sleep...
Fifth part of New World - Plans - now posted over at The Poppy Tales (link above).
Friday, June 22, 2012
So it was off to the park to plant the Blaise Nursery herbs and veg: Fiona and I got it all done but now back and legs and hands are killing me. Agreeing that things like Community Gardens is all very well, but it would be nice if a few more people helped out...
Next Poppy almost done, though - hopefully post it later tonight.
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Aaaaand another day of client stuff. Poppy is now really nagging...
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Happy Solstice. Summer (what summer?) is now half over.
Client stuff. All day. Apart from fineagling the newly washed winter downie over the rotary drier to dry, as it was very hot today, and doing a Sainsbug shop.
And now it's raining again. Oh joy.
A van went past me yesterday. There was a Darwin fish on the back - with Cthulhu written inside it!
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Later edit: amazon.uk had the first five volumes of Tf:Armada at stupid prices (1p, 28p, 38p etc +p&p) so Ken said go ahead and get them. Now ordered...
The first of my poolside irises has opened! I think this one is the variety called 'Flight of Butterflies' - you can see why! So pretty...
The last two days have seen a little garden work: Ken's weeded out all the irritating plants with the hook-like seedheads that get everywhere (especially in Tyjer's fur) while I pruned the goji berry, removed the Vietnamese coriander which sprouted from what should have been a pak choi seed and planted it into a pot.
Today was a quick trip up to Broadwalk to pick up red and white wines to make at home for cooking.
The bed behind the greenhouse - magnolia stellata, two different spireia, two new irises,
cerinthes, purple sage, pumpkin, and three different sorts of foxglove...
Watched six eps of Transformers Armada last night on Youtube (they're 20 minutes each). It's... interesting. Not as bad as Robots in Disguise, falls somewhere between that and G1, I guess. Nice animation, nice designs, interesting plot, but full of mistakes, mostly due to bad dubbing I think, and very formulaic. I like it though. Still want to get it, so will be keeping an eye out. (Be nice to have a Starscream figure from this continuity too - ye gods, the first and only Starscream without high heels!)
(Oh, hang on. Bayverse SS didn't have any either. His thrusters were on his back, not in his heels. Damn. Foiled again.)
Monday, June 18, 2012
The Sparrowhawk Returns!
It's a drama a minute here!
Alerted by a kerfuffle at the bird table, we looked out to see a strange bird (haven't identified it yet - largeish, perhaps a bit smaller than a collared dove, with black around its eye continuing in a black streak towards the back of its head. Not a woodpecker or jay) had managed to get past the bars and was squabbling with the blackbird who had also managed to get in (the bars are there to keep out pigeons and doves and anything largeish. Doesn't always work, although I've yet to see a pigeon manage to get in there). The starlings didn't like him much either. Unfortunately all the commotion attracted the attentions of our sparrowhawk (I'm pretty certain it's a sparrowhawk) who swooped down and perched on the fruitcage for a moment, terrifying everything that was trying to feed, before heading off after a pigeon.
<- Close up of first pic.
Or so we thought. Moments later it returned and perched on the top of the birdtable - sparrow in claw.
[sad] Poor sparrow.
Sparrowhawk flew away shortly after.
Photos taken by Ken from his study window, through the glass and in a hurry.
In other news, next Poppy chapter now started. And I'd like to collect Transformers: Armada (nicest and most noble Starscream of the lot) but the complete saga comes in two boxed sets at around £60 each. Heh. I don't want it that much! (It also comes in 1 DVD volumes but with only three eps in each and 52 eps in the whole series that's not really an option. Not to mention that the eps I want most start around the middle and go on to the end, and they don't seem to be available anyway. [rolls eyes] Never easy it is? Or am I just awkward? Yes, that'll be it...)
Sunday, June 17, 2012
Spent most of the day going backwards and forwards between house and the Park taking photos of the Community Payback Team stripping the turf from the area which will become the Community Garden. It was bloody hard work - the area was the inside of a barn and the ground was full of bricks and rubble, which they dug out as they went along. They didn't quite have time to finish, but we should be able to clear the rest of it fairly speedily. Going to get organised to start planting come Tuesday!
Saturday, June 16, 2012
Shopping, a little tidying up, a little client stuff. An altogether uninspiring day.
Labels: nowt really
Thursday, June 14, 2012
WAIIIII!! I haz a ST-3V3!!
[GLOMPS ONNA (and Crockett)]
The design - oh the design...
- to this -
- in 16 moves.
See? No kibble. And to do that the whole of the roof/boot/bonnet unfolds, splits into two lengthways, then folds, and folds, and folds, to create the legs.
I was impressed. In fact, I was speechless with admiration. Ken found this very funny.
(He's actually much more purple than he looks here - for some reason my camera has problems photographing shades of purple.)
I now need to arrange the figures and get some ST-3V3 / Starscream (/ possibly Soundwave) photos...
In other news, when I rang to make the appointment for Tyjer's boosters, I was told that he should have had them back in February and for some reason the reminder hadn't been sent out. [sigh] So he had to be treated as a new client and have the basic inoculations (a bit more expensive but not too bad and we have cash put aside for his needs). Anyway, the appointment was today. Ken carried him to the vets for me as he now weighs over a stone and there's no way I can manage it. In fact, they said he needs to lose weight to avoid health problems (bladder and kidney, and diabetes). Not sure how we're going to do that, as we've already halved the amount we used to feed him. They recommended cutting it back by a quarter and not to bother giving him dried food, as it's more calorific than wet. [bemused] Which surprised me...
Will see how we go. He has to go back in three weeks for the second half of the jabs: they'll weigh him again then.
Later edit: Well this is fun. I can't edit posts in Firefox at the moment - had to open Chrome to get the page to load. I suppose it might be time to update from FF 11 to 12 (heh, I bypassed 10 altogether. By the time I found the time to download and install we'd moved onto 11...)
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
With the back considerably less painful today I risked a light shop to Sains via the Hospice charity shops - where I found the season one part 1 boxed set of Transformers: Robots in Disguise for £4. This is a continuity I'm not familiar with, so I bought it just to see what it was like...
We watched the first ep after dinner. It's awful. Kid's anime quality (pokemon standard at best), much posing and shouting out the attack that will be used next (like [cringe] DBZ but without the giggle factor), and very very silly. I won't inflict it on anyone else. It'll do as background stuff at any rate. It might grow on me I suppose. G1 sort of did a bit, with the sheer insanity of some of the season 2 eps...
I also found an itty bitty diddy Cyberverse TfP Dreadwing figure at Sainsbug, beautifully made as ever, so treated myself. (Photo later, it's too dark now.) They had a TfP Ironhide too, but since he hasn't yet appeared in the show I delayed buying him. What's really annoying is that it doesn't look as though there's going to be a Cyberverse Soundwave, which is ridiculous! He's a major character. He has to be there.
I shall keep my fingers crossed.
The weather was good enough to get three washes put through and dried outside, including bedding and towels, so at least I have an empty washing basket now.
Back to Poppy after Eureka. Next chapter is a very important one so I need to get it right.
Monday, June 11, 2012
Third part of New World - "And now over to..." - now posted over at The Poppy Tales (link above). Enjoy!
[grump] The TfP ep was wrongly dated and did not air. I'm hoping that the rumoured 29th June is the correct date...
Kai, bless him, has planted my sweetcorn out for me, as I still can't bend. Hope this clears up quickly.
Sunday, June 10, 2012
*phew* There is a new TfP episode this week (though it hasn't been uploaded yet. Am waiting with bated breath, last one ended on yet another cliffhanger...)
So while I've been waiting all this week (*cough* suffering withdrawal symptoms *cough*) I've been keeping myself amused with things like this: -
You might need to adjust your volume before hitting play...
It absolutely cracks me up - partly because, worryingly, it works! And OP is having way too much fun with it...
You can find the originating page here, with links to the creator and other fun MMD stuff. There's a cracking one here (Skyfire, G1 Starscream, TC and Skywarp, Armada Starscream (x 2) and the Rainmakers at the back... It occurs to me I know faaar more about this phenomenon than is strictly healthy. Obsessed, not thorough... [g])
Back to Poppy. Hoping to have the next part up today: am pretty much chained to my desk as I've done my back in somehow and can barely move (my chair has excellent lumbar support so is the best place for me at the moment).
Saturday, June 09, 2012
I woke up with a nasty pain in my legs, so Ken went out with Kai - to Street, then back to Wells to see the swans...
Beautiful, this one.
Labels: days out
Friday, June 08, 2012
Dental hospital appointment. All good: the tooth is moving back into line just fine, but as suspected it no longer fits in the space because of the other teeth that have pushed it out of place. So he filed a millimetre or so from the edge of the tooth and adjusted the brace so it's now pushing on the other side (the side furthest away from the front) to shove that back. It aches. But he's fairly sure the next appointment they'll just need to take another mould to make a night-time retainer for me, and all should be done. (Although the option of a small permanent metal brace to be affixed behind the three front teeth remains an option.)
Unfortunately the tooth was not only pushed forwards but also downwards, so I'm now biting a different part of the inside of my lip. I'm assured that it can be filed back if it causes a problem once the rest of the work is done. Looking forward to the end of this, I have to admit...
Thursday, June 07, 2012
Second part of New World - Checking Up - now posted over at The Poppy Tales (link above).
Woke up in the middle of a Tf dream. Not unusual, I get a lot of them these days. Only this time I was a Tf - Starscream, in fact, just back from a long mission and about to sink into a hot oil bath... (Mildly alarming. I'm not usually another character in my dreams - too much of an ego to want to be anyone else, even while I'm asleep...)
Doesn't help that we had Pixar's Robots on in the background while I was coding. Never seen it before. The bad guy is called Phineas T Ratchet. Yay for cognitive dissonance...
Wednesday, June 06, 2012
Busy again. Client stuff, a page more Poppy, netting cage now over the fruit and Galia melons in the cleaned and weeded cold frame. Finale of Alcatraz and the next ep of Eureka back to back in five minutes.
[sigh] I can't even go to the cinema without them
We went to see Prometheus...
Hm. Disappointing. It's a prequel, so we know what it isn't going to do, and that removes some of the potential suspense, and I know that it's difficult to find anything new in s-f these days, but honestly... it's predictable and formulaic, reusing plot points from all the other Alien films, and despite its length (a little over two hours) it moved too fast. And it has plot holes you can drive a starship through. Oh, it's beautiful to look at, glorious landscapes, and the holographic depiction of the starscape is lovely (although it looked entirely too familiar to me, as it was almost exactly what I envisaged for the holographic representation of the Haadri galaxy in the library on Shaeda in Prime Contact donkey's years ago - though obviously that's not the film's fault...)
Enjoyable on a simple level, but it failed to satisfy. Such a pity.
Monday, June 04, 2012
Beacons! I like beacons. The London one was beautiful.
Our own street party has just finished, which is a bit of a relief as it became extremely noisy there at the end. We didn't participate (not really party goers) though the atmosphere (and the smells of the barbecues) was fun. And it was sunny - managed to get two washes put through, which is just as well as the forecast is for rain the rest of the week...
Tired though. Haven't been sleeping at all well the last few nights: hoping that eases off soon as it makes it difficult to get anything done.
[sigh] No TfP this week, and I can't find out why. Getting withdrawal symptoms...
Saturday, June 02, 2012
Finally, rain. Torrential rain. Water butts full, garden fully refreshed, and hopefully the pools will be filled too.
Spent much of the afternoon in the garden (rain only started at 7 pm), drastically pruning the buddleia, planting mange tout and the new berberis, and sorting out the small compost bin, which has failed dramatically this year (too much of the same stuff in it and allowed to completely dry out. It's now refilled in layers with a lot of my comfrey, and well watered. Means no compost for my sweetcorn, but we'll just have to manage. I didn't grow much in that bed last year.)
The alarm had now reduced itself to a dull, distant mosquito whine which I can ignore (although at the moment the rain is drowning it out).
This evening we watched my latest Lovefilm - Book of Eli... Interesting film. Probably the bleakest, grittiest and most realistic post-apocalyptic environment I've ever seen in a film, a fabulous soundtrack (which we have now ordered), good acting and a good twist, which I saw coming but was then proved not quite right. I like that. The only thing that was disappointing was the ending. Of all the books to choose from to reboot civilisation, this would definitely not be on my list. Although credit where it's due, it was suggested that the book caused the world's problems in the first place...
We also ordered the Transformers: Prime soundtrack (at £8.66 from the US, not the very expensive UK version) which I've been lusting after for a while. [g]
Managed a sort of nap this afternoon - by plugging in my mind CD to drown out the sound of people putting up bunting, drilling holes in walls, and the drummer practising with all the windows open across the road - and am a little more awake and a lot less grumpy now. So, back to Poppy! Part 2 of New World (in case you missed it, part 1 is up over at The Poppy Tales, link above).
[not sure whether to headddesk or sob] Was looking forward to a decent lie in - 'til about 10 - today. Got woken up at 7.13 by a horrible high pitched squeal, not overly loud but pitched to go right through my head. An alarm over the road is malfunctioning - not actually going off, just squealing. In the last three and a half hours it's gone from squeal to high-pitched bagpipe wail.
The owners are away for the long weekend...
Hate to say it, but I really hope the battery dies, because there's no way I can sleep with that going, I can hear it even with the windows shut. (Although with the windows shut I can't sleep anyway, it's too hot.) Oh joy. What a fun weekend this is going to be...
Friday, June 01, 2012
First part of New World - Settling In - now posted over at The Poppy Tales (link above).