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!
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Well I never! A week without a Monday! How'd that happen?...
It's been hellaciously bitty today. Dribs and drabs of client stuff coming in - and not quick and easy stuff either. Had to get to Post Office (and then forgot to take the Lovefilm return with me so will have to go back); managed all of one page of Poppy; tried to make pancakes and either the spray oil is no good or both our frying pans have gone home, so will need to get that sorted; and I thought I'd make us a treat tonight for dinner - venison casserole.
I couldn't eat it. Didn't like the taste and found it very dry. (Ken later asked if perhaps it reminded me forcibly of liver, which I absolutely loathe and which makes me nauseous - he does have a point...) Won't bother again.
[grump] So now going to put my feet up and indulge in a little Bayverse Tfs for an hour - RotF I think. Only the transformer bits though. Got tired of the human bits a long time ago...
Sunday, July 29, 2012
Gah, tired again...
Have a pic of Breakdown and Dreadwing.
I now just need Knock Out, Wheeljack and Soundwave - oh, and Airachnid, I suppose. And maybe Hardshell the Insecticon, if they bring one out - in the Cyberverse (itty bitty teeny weeny diddy figures) Prime collection and I'll have the whole cast (at least, the whole cast as they've appeared so far. There's rumours Shockwave will be guesting in later season 2 eps - starting again on Aug 24th!! Can't wait. And who knows who they'll bring in in season 3...). Knock Out is going to be available in October, Wheeljack is available now (although I haven't found him yet), but the only Soundwave I can find is his alt mode from DotM (a Mercedes for those who don't know/have forgotten). [grump] That's no bloody use!
Currently two pages into Poppy 6.10 and a para or two in its accompanying short - Calming Blue - for the Things Poppy Never Knew section. Will continue tomorrow, too tired tonight.
Edit: Hm. Looks like it may be possible to find a Wheeljack packaged with his spacecraft, the Jackhammer. That would be fun! (Though probably prohibitively expensive. I'd be happy just with the figure.)
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Pics because tired.
The Poet's Walk path.
Wols at Weston! (Raising money for the owl sanctuary - £2 to have your photo taken with owl on wrist.)
They ranged from the huge Tango, the European Eagle Owl (look at those talons!)...
... to the tiny Chico (the Tropical Screech Owl, smaller than my hand).
Warm but pleasantly breezy day - we had a lovely time.
Friday, July 27, 2012
Ten Years Old Today!
(The blog, that is, obviously not me...)
Later edit: Olympics opening extravaganza tonight - fabulous. Loved it.
Essential reading for foreigners planning to visit the UK...
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Ninth part of New World - Repercussions - now posted over at The Poppy Tales (link above).
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
A week or so ago Kai asked if he could buy the game Terraria. (His friends were urging him to do so so they could all play together.) Well, at £5.99 we weren't going to say no, so he downloaded it and has been thoroughly enjoying it.
Then he asked if he could install the server on his machine - free, and would give the three or four of them playing more access. On establishing it wouldn't affect our machines, we again said yes.
It sounds like fun.
This is a screen cap of Kai (in the top hat. He likes being eccentric, and has collected shades, a goldfish bowl, a bunny hood, a plumber's hat, a ninja mask, and a flower. Just for the hell of it. And possibly for the kudos, as he tells me they're quite hard to find. The white things on his back are his wings. [shrugs] And why not, indeed...) This is the area known as the Hallows - he got there after defeating the goblin army and conquering 'the Wall of Flesh'. I didn't ask - where everything you meet deals huge amounts of damage. Which is probably why the unicorn has Decepticon red eyes...
Four pages into next Poppy and still going strong, despite the heat. Supposed to hit 29° tomorrow. Oh joy.
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Wheeee! I have my mouth back! I can now talk and eat and smile without mangling the inside of my lip!
He had to grind off a couple or three millimetres of tooth in order to make it the same length as the others, mind you, which was a bit of an experience. Though the tooth is dead, so I didn't need any anaesthetic. He took off a bit of the overlap at the back too, so everything feels smooth and level. I now have to wear the brace only at night until I go for my retainer in a couple of weeks.
Hopefully this is now the end of the problems!
Monday, July 23, 2012
Another hot cloudless day. Kai had the dentist, so after we bussed up to Broadwalk I left him to it while I picked up some birdseed at Wilkinson's. When we got back it was a little more garden tending - and then I got a phone call from the dental hospital asking if I could go in tomorrow instead of next week. Which would have been OK except I haven't worn the brace for the last week and half as it was ulcerating my lower lip... [sigh] Just have to tell them that tomorrow.
First two and a half pages of next Poppy chapter written!
Sunday, July 22, 2012
<- The last time Kim and I went out I picked up this lily from the Morrisons at Cribb's Causeway - 50p reduced from a fiver. First flower! Very pretty. They had some reduced at The Range on my way back from Boots yesterday, £1 instead of £4.99, so I bought one of these. ->
It's unlikely to flower this year but fingers crossed...
We'd planned to go to Weston this afternoon, but with the online timetable bearing absolutely no resemblance to the actual timetable that fell through. Will see what the weather's like next Saturday and try to go then instead.
So after my usual Sunday shop we got going in the garden. Ken mowed and hoed while Kai trimmed the grass around the beds and fruit cage, and I pruned the Snow in Summer spireia and weeded the (still struggling) chamomile lawn I'm (still) trying to establish. It all looks much better out there now. Though there's still far too much to do...
Saturday, July 21, 2012
So bloody tired...
Had to get up to Bishopston ironmongers this afternoon, after doing quorn cheese and leek escalopes for lunch. We tried some quorn mince a couple of weeks ago in a spagbol. I wasn't too impressed (the texture is horrible) but it's cheap and very low fat...
Unfortunately it violently disagreed with Ken. At the time we thought it might have been something else he ate, hence the escalopes today.
It wasn't something else.
So after slogging down the Gloucester Rd in the sun and coming home on a very full bus I ended up trying the pharmacy in Sandy Park Rd, who said the best (and really only thing) was Peptobismol. Only they didn't have any. Which meant a trudge over to the Boots in Avon Meads and then back to the house. Legs are killing me.
But it's worked. And I'm never using quorn again.
Am I awake enough to get some Poppy done? Don't think so but will give it a go...
Friday, July 20, 2012
Ken has made a start on the cosmetic household repairs we've been putting off and attacked the lounge windows - um, I mean, he's stripped off the flaking paint, sanded the frames, painted with primer, and will be painting tomorrow with the 'natural twine' gloss I picked up from Wilkinson's at Broadwalk this morning. It's a pleasant very light fawn, and will go nicely with the other colours in the lounge.
Kai did some weeding for me - heuchera bed (I can comfortably fit two more plants there: will be looking for colours I don't yet have), Roeg's Pool, the mange tout/bean bed (not that there's much there at present, it all got devastated by gastropods and too much rain...) and around the cerinthe in the bed behind the greenhouse (two plants have self-seeded and two of the seeds I planted have come up, so fingers crossed there'll be a pretty display next year).
I've had to trim back some of the tomato foliage in the greenhouse so the forecast sun we're due to have over the next week can actually reach the fruit: everything has gone tall and leggy with the awful weather. I do have some tomatoes coming, but it's not going to be a great harvest this year. The cherry toms have done better: Sungold tastes wonderful, and there's a handful of Black Cherry nearly ready to try...
Poppy coming slowly. On the subject of Tfs I wondered if a Transformers garden was a possibility. Sadly, not really. There's a new tomato called Red Alert, which I shall be trying next year, a begonia Inferno, and a beautiful sunset coloured iris called Skyfire, but that's as much as I've found.
Back to Poppy...
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Heh. Finally finished the client stuff (until more comes in, anyway) and can make a start on the next Poppy chapter.
Transformers: Prime still hasn't resumed showing. No explanations given, no notice of when it will resume, no nothing. Lovely customer service from the creators.
However, in the meantime I have brought myself up to date with Transformers: Rescue Bots on Youtube - and I'm enchanted. It's set in the same continuity as Tf:P, but instead of bots as heroes the four are... well, rescue bots, serving the same functions as human rescue services. It is a little kids' show, but that doesn't mean it's simple or dumb. It's a cartoon in the traditional sense, with simple but very attractive animation and pretty pastel colours, precious little violence, no expletives whatsoever and of course no 'adult' material - but it has the most adorable cast, with believable characters, and s-f homages everywhere! The town is based on A Town Called Eureka (if the girl skipping over a rope that's turning itself in the background of the first ep wasn't a clue, the police chief Charlie Burns even says it's a testing ground for new tech), and the chief scientist, Doc Greene, is a delightful amalgam of Henry Deacon (of Eureka), Isaac Sumdac (Tf:A), and Doc Brown (Back to the Future).
This of course opens up the story to just about everything, from a Dinobot (called Trex - yes, a Tyrannosaur) to a wonderful villain (Tim Curry!) planning to take over the town with his 'Morebot', who can replace all of the bots but causes complete devastation while doing so.
And the humour! Light, innocent but hysterically funny - I was in stitches. Much of it would go over the heads of the target audience but make it immense fun for their watching parents/carers.
The series focusses on life lessons such as the value of friendship and the necessity of honesty and tolerance, but it does so in such a low-key and gentle way you hardly notice them (compared to Armada where everything is spelled out in such a heavy handed way it makes me cringe).
It's on the 'must have as soon as available' list...
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Greenhouse cat knows the warmest driest place when the weather is sulky...
Physiotherapist is very pleased. He can now manipulate my thumb/hand much more without the pain I had to start with, and has given me a series of exercises to do three times a day (or two if it's painful). I have another appointment in three weeks, by which time he's hoping I can start on getting some strength back.
So, OK, obviously following orders sometimes works!
Apart from that it's been an APAG day. With a little shopping. And this evening Kai and I watched Blade Runner (the director's cut, of course): Kai had been discussing neural nets with his teacher, who had recommended he watch the film. It's been a fair while since I've watched it too, I'd forgotten how bloody good it is. And of course it is the source of that Tennant Dr Who quote (can't remember the episode) that always sends a shiver up my back - "I have seen attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion..."
Back killing me again today. Fed up with this.
Monday, July 16, 2012
Client stuff most of the day - except for when my pre-Nemesis Prime Starscream arrived...
Sunday, July 15, 2012
A pretty normal Sunday. For once it didn't rain, so was able to dry washing outside.
And I found these at Sainsbug's -
- Skyfire and Megatron! So cute...
Eighth part of New World - Meetings and Greetings - now posted over at The Poppy Tales (link above).
[bemused] This is the Jazz who lives around the corner by the park. A metallic baby pink Jazz.
This is Bayverse Jazz.
And this is the original G1 Jazz.
Of course, we can reconcile these. After all, Jazz is the consummate spy and saboteur - what better disguise than a... metallic... pink... thing....
Saturday, July 14, 2012
Forgot to say: yesterday morning Tyjer brought me a sparrow, carefully held in his mouth. Speaking quietly, I told him he was a good boy but to drop it, as we don't hurt the little dinosaurs. As usual he turned his back, but walked slowly (instead of running off as usual), with me following, up to Roeg's Pool - where he let it go. It flew off up to the roof, and looked to be fine. So I petted him and gave him a treat as a reward for releasing it: rewards work better than anything else with Ty!
Still researching for Poppy. I have most of the Consulates placed geographically now - and bloody hell am I learning as I go along! History, politics, geography, all the things I never had the chance to take before. And of course, being me, I never take the easy option: decided to place the South American Consulate in Peru (which I know soddall about) and wanted somewhere fairly remote (i.e. not a major metropolis). The name of the Ucayali area sounded suitably authentic - and then I discovered that it is one of the places whose ecology and native peoples are under threat from oil companies - there's a pretty horrifying report here.
This makes it ideal for my (literary) purposes, of course, but doesn't do my blood pressure any good. Then again I find myself angry a lot of the time these days. The short-sightedness, selfishness and stupidity of the human species is so bloody depressing.
[sigh] I take back yesterday's curse. I love my drive for accuracy and perfectionism, really...
Friday, July 13, 2012
Client stuff first thing - then I spent the rest of the day researching for the next Poppy chapter.
Curse my pernickety perfectionism! Curse it, I say! Hours and hours of work to get a relatively simple but important part of the story accurate.
Lutra, bless her, helped me hugely [hands over kinetic kudos. Just be careful they don't take your fingers off...] So, the next Poppy chapter - Meetings and Greetings - is now well under way. Given it's quite a complicated part of the story I won't be hurrying. Hope to post on Sunday, if possible.
... following a link from deviantArt I discovered Transformers: Rescue Bots. Oh ye gods they are absolutely the cutest! Though since they're designed for young kids (I'm sure I saw 4 - 9 yr olds mentioned somewhere) they should be. It's set in the same continuity as Tf: Prime, which gives it an immediate appeal for me anyway, but AWWWWWWW! Just adorable! I wish they'd had things like this when I was a child... [yes I know, second childhood an' all that...]
Not to mention it has echoes of Town Called Eureka, Steve Blum voicing Heatwave, and Tim Curry as a mad scientist!
Later edit: Watched the first ep on Youtube and was in stitches. Hugely funny, and it's all perfectly innocent fun. Sometimes one forgets that that is possible...
Back to Poppy...
Thursday, July 12, 2012
[sigh] Up at seven to take advantage of the few hours of sun to dry two washes outside. Forecast is for rain from this afternoon right through til Sun - and even then it's due to be showery. I WANTS MAI SUMMER!!
Tf: Armada pt 2 boxed set arrived today - now have to watch it all on the TV screen to check it's OK (before leaving feedback? Maybe...). Oh noes! [hand to forehead] What a trial!!
Just out of interest I watched a couple of eps of the sequel - Tf: Energon - on Youtube last night. Amnesiac Starscream with emerald green eyes is cute, but not cute enough to make the dull story worth following. (And as for that horrible kid... bleurgh.) So won't be bothering with that one.
More client stuff.
Back still horribly painful but not as bad as yesterday. Being careful today.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
ARGH my BACK...
It's triggered the old sciatica as well, and pain killers aren't working. Well, they probably are and I'd be in agony without them, but still...
Client work most of the day.
And there's something I keep meaning to say but keep forgetting, dammit. Will try to write it down when/if I recall.
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
WAIIII! I haz a Armada Starscream!!
Well, I have one, at any rate - the post-Nemesis Prime Starscream. My pre-Nemesis Prime version is on its way from the US. Because, you see, they're both Starscream (even if the blue one is wholly erroneously packaged as Thundercracker) and I need both... (and then I can have them... *fight* each other [beg])
He's... large. Seven and a half inches, roughly, which is partly why the pic is pretty crap, I have to hold him at a fair distance to get a full body photo and he's heavy and my hand doesn't like heavy. He's also very top-heavy - which may have something to do with the batteries, 'cause he comes equipped with sound: press that golden bit at the front (his cockpit, - ooh er missus!) and you get the sound of machine gun fire. (Make of that what you will!!) To get him to balance standing you have to tilt the body well down at the front, then you can't see the face. Which is a pity as he's probably the prettiest Starscream across all the continuities. The figure's face isn't bad but doesn't really do him justice.
And I like his face...
(Image on right is screen cap from Tf:Arm ep 47)
When the other one arrives I shall stand all my Starscreams together for a group photo. Heh, a flock of Starscreams.
Or should that be a murder of Starscreams? A backstab? A shriek? Hm...
In other news, it was mammogram day. Bleurgh. They have a snazzy new machine that squashes even worse than the old one. But they also have a snazzy new procedure, with just one very pleasant, patient nurse (rather than the three who were wittering on about last night's TV to each other that were in the room last time). All much less stressful.
I don't know why my back is on the verge of hurting but I'd like it to stop now, please...
Monday, July 09, 2012
Let's try that again... (needz moar sheeeeep)
Fourth part of Things Poppy Never Knew - Back Again - now posted over at The Poppy Tales (link above).
Warning - more spider related pics further down
We watched my most recent Lovefilm yesterday - In Time. Most intriguing, and a rollicking good watch (pun not intended but acknowledged). We thoroughly enjoyed it, and will pick it up at some point - it would repay re-watching.
I oiked Rosa's old skin out of the tank this afternoon and took a couple of photos - of the skin, not of Rosa. She really does have quite impressive fangs...
I really wouldn't like to be bitten, no matter how tempting it is to stroke her (that fuzz is soft as mouse fur...)
Sunday, July 08, 2012
WARNING!! LARGE SPIDER PHOTOS FURTHER DOWN
Yes, Rosa finally shed again. It's been several years, but now she's in a smaller tank and eating more regularly she's grown.
In other news - Lo and behold, Armada Starscream appeared on ebay at a price I could afford.
So I bought him.
[happy grin] Dead chuffed about that...
Mutant tomato is mutated.
Unfortunately it was also mouldy, so had to be ditched.
Is that enough line breaks to make spider invisible?
Always quite alarming to find spider like this!
Pushing old skin off...
Half way there...
Saturday, July 07, 2012
Well that was productive...
Into town with Kai today (he needed some new clothes for school). Took the opportunity to get up to Wild Oats and Better Foods before heading back down to Primark. Arrived back distinctly weary but got everything I went for so not too bad.
Thundercracker and Lockdown, who appears to be an amalgamation of at least two different continuities. Nice design though.
And a couple of other random things I've seen recently...
No, is my cactus. You no can haz.
Lies, fibs and untruths! They do not dispense dolphins. Only loo roll.
Friday, July 06, 2012
There was a squirrel upside down stealing the sunflower seeds from the veg bed feeder this morning. Bloody cheek! It had jumped up to the mesh 'saucer' and from there up to the feeder. Will have to raise or lower the saucer so it can't do it again.
Kai is home until next Tuesday (inset and intake prep days today and next Monday, I think) and did some trimming of grass around the fruit cage and veg bed for me. A foray in the rain over to Tesco netted me two more Bot Shots, Thundercracker and Lockdown (photos tomorrow. By the time I got back home at 5 pm it was so dark and grim we had to pull curtains and put on lights). And I'm a page into the next Things Poppy Never Knew.
Not a lot of news from the garden. The sweetcorn are grimly hanging on, but I don't think they're going to be very successful, it's just too cold and too wet for them. I do have two Swiss chard plants that look as though they might survive, which is something. My strawberries are rotting or being devastated by gastropods: I've managed to rescue enough for Kai to take in his packed lunch on three days, but the rest... Luckily the blueberries are doing OK. We're now eating cucumbers from the greenhouse (and very nice they are too!) but the tomatoes desperately need sun to ripen, and the forecast is for another two weeks of rain and very probably more after that.
I'm not going to bother trying to get anything more on the go this year. Fingers crossed the jetstream behaves itself next year. [wanders off to price up polytunnels...]
This had me in stitches...
Thursday, July 05, 2012
Later edit: I gave in and ordered Tf: Armada part 2 DVD boxed set at a just affordable price from amazon us (the vendor was one of the few who shipped internationally: the blurb said Like New and all original artwork - presumably the art cards that come with some sets - included). If I ever see part 1 at a sensible price I'll pick it up just to have the complete series, but it's not all that great so I can live without it.
[g] Just need the Armada Starscream figure now!
Well that was successful.
Tyjer is now fully inoculated (and has lost a little weight, which is good), my thumb spica splinty-thing has arrived (and while not particularly comfortable, it certainly serves its purpose of keeping my thumb completely immobilised. The rest I'll just get used to), and Cartoon Network are reshowing Transformers: Prime season 1 eps at 1.30 every day. Not in the right order, of course, but that's OK as I have it and know it backwards anyway. Point is I was told to relax with thumb/wrist/hand wrapped in a cold pack for at least twenty minutes every day to help bring the inflammation down - so now I can do that while (re)watching a programme I love! Win all round I think.
Wednesday, July 04, 2012
Later edit: Old Enemies, New Friends, part seven of New World, now posted in The Poppy Tales (link above). Enjoy!
First orchids of the year.
Unfortunately one of my plants died. Fortunately I had two the same, so all was not lost.
New Bot Shots! Left to right - Topspin, Brawl, Bumblebee.
Still a few more to collect...
Tuesday, July 03, 2012
[blink] So I had Robots in Disguise on in the background as I was working on the next Poppy chapter - and I had to stop and rewind to check I'd heard correctly...
Would you believe Optimus Prime to Skybite (a predacon with pretensions to poetry, at least in this ep)? And this series is supposed to be for little kids?
... must be the dub...
Also working on the next Things Poppy Never Knew (well, I usually do a Stronghold/'Beat bit after they've been hurt or separated or both). Not sure how soon the chapters can be posted though - hands and shoulders are aching summin chronic at the mo and I'm trying to rest a bit.
Sunday, July 01, 2012
Usual Sunday - wash (which I managed to get dry in the four hot cloudless hours between downpours: gods know how I'm going to get washing done this week as the forecast is for wall to wall rain...), shopping, planting my new heucheras and finishing uploading the rest of The Poppy Tales to AO3. Not a bad day's work.
Tomorrow starts with client stuff...