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][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!
Thursday, February 28, 2013
So there was a little birthday cash left over after everything was totted up...
We're still watching - and mostly enjoying, even though at least half of it is running and being shot at - Beast Machines, and I really like Cheetor's lean, elegant, long leggy design (he's a great character too). And as it happened, there was a Cheetor figure on ebay for half of what I had left...
He's an absolute bugger to transform, though that's mostly because he's almost new and the joints are really stiff. They'll loosen if I transform him a few times. And as you can see, there's no way on earth he'll ever stand up on his own without some sort of stand, blutak underpaw, or leaning against something...
... so he's just going to sit here all nonchalant instead...[g]
The last little bit of cash has bought the hysterically bad Starcrash from amazon uk.
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Spot the difference...
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Long, picture-heavy post is long with lots of pictures...
So Ken brought me up a mug of Douwe and Egberts Vanilla Coffee to start the day and it all went uphill from there!
The cards - oh, the cards! They told a story - and I opened them in this order too!
<- from Kim...
From GoodTwin ->
<- from Sue!! (Obviously after the six bottles of wine and the male stripper have kicked in...)
And this from Lutra! So cute...
And then - the birthday swag...
First, the little 'How to Draw Transformers' book - neat, and useful, but with one glaring error - they haven't included Knock Out. Everyone else, including Airachnid and Skyquake, but not everyone's favourite fabulous Doctor. Ooooh dear...
The Ark - the Autobot ship from the third Bayverse film. It's sized for the Cyberverse figures and I will populate it later, when I've reorganised my desk.
As a ship.
Transformed into a battle station. (There's a little cell at the back for holding captured 'Cons!)
Transformers: Armada Skywarp with his minicon Thunderclash. The second of my presents from GoodTwin and Sue. Although he never appears in the cartoon, he is in the (now sadly defunct) Dreamwave comics continuity. The wiki describes him as:
Doesn't stop him being very pretty though!
And lastly, Vector Prime from Transformers: Cybertron, with his minicon Safeguard. One of the original Thirteen, and the ruler of Space and Time. (And he runs on clockwork. The original, that is, not my figure.) The plushie mouse is his plush version [g]. I saw him in a charity shop for 30p and had to have him. I don't know if you can see the similarities but they struck me immediately
And in a few minutes we'll be having organic rump steak and chips for dinner...
I have had a wonderful day! Many thanks to everyone for making it that way.
Monday, February 25, 2013
Of course, what I forgot to say about the visit on Saturday was that GoodTwin brought the rabbit with her...
He's poorly and needs medication 2 - 3 times a day. Tyjer was thoroughly spooked and spent the evening after everyone had left wandering around looking behind and under things to make sure it had gone.
Feather showed an interest too, though that would have been a bit ambitious for her...
Today has been client stuff, mostly.
Sunday, February 24, 2013
Sunday again, where did the week go?
Interesting. After dinner we all watched the first three eps of Beast Machines (I suggested K&K just watch a couple so they know what I'm talking about). They're both intrigued and would like to watch more. I hadn't expected that...
Next!Poppy started but I'm too tired to do anything tonight.
Saturday, February 23, 2013
GoodTwin and Sue came over for the first day of my extended birthday (as decreed by Sue, whose birthday never ends). In honour of the occasion I opened and transformed my Transformers: Armada Jetfire...
He is magnificent! So show accurate and a beautiful piece of design. Love him to bits and he's out on my desk beside his Starscream and in front of Cybertron SS. (Only problem is I transformed his minicon Comettor more by luck than judgement and now I can't transform him back. The instructions are about as helpful as a slap round the face with a wet lettuce...)
We watched a couple of stories from Sue's Ace of Wands (season 3, which is all that remains of the series, alas), which was wonderful, then we played a couple of rounds of Tom Baker's Ultimate Sci Fi Quiz, which was great fun even if we all ended up floating in space forever, having not managed to get back to earth.
And then we played the X is for Unexplained board game I picked up from the charity shop a little way back.
Perhaps I should say we tried to play it. The questions had a choice of three answers each, the correct one being noted with a X (which confused me to start with as that indicates a wrong answer to me), and varied from 'According to Douglas Addams, what is the answer to the question of life, the universe and everything?' to 'How long was the column of toads that traversed the Liaonging Province of Northern China in 1966?' (Or something like that. The card is back in the pack now and I'm not going to dig it out. Oh, the answer is 1,000 miles. No, we couldn't fathom it either. That's an awful lot of toads...) I swear you have to be a life-long multi-conspiracy theorist to even begin to know the answers to most of them!
Just to make the game more interesting, if you land on a square with a X on it - you have to give the wrong answer... [sigh] Every time I got one my answer was correct. Every bloody time! I couldn't have done that if I'd tried...
I think Sue won? It was funny to play but I don't think I'm likely to play it much in future.
And Sue gave me these.
Yes, they are a real thing!
Steamy would love them...
And the Transformers: Beast Machines boxed set arrived! Will inflict the first two eps on K&K tomorrow.
It was a fantastic day - Feather even came out to be cuddled! - and as always it ended too soon. Thank you both - I had a wonderful time!
Friday, February 22, 2013
Fall of Cybertron Starscream arrived:
Very nice. The triple barrels of the guns rotate when that cog is turned. He is, luckily, smaller than I was anticipating - about five inches high.
And this is good, because a Machine Wars Starscream appeared on ebay that was actually affordable. And he is large. Not quite as big as Cybertron SS, I think, but getting on for it.
When he arrives - I'll have the lot! A complete obsession of Starscreams, at least one from every continuity. YAY!!!
(Don't anyone dare ask what I'll be moving onto next!)
Thursday, February 21, 2013
You know those days when you feel as if you are never going to do anything or accomplish anything worthwhile in your life? You look at the library-copy bookshelf, your home, your family, and your head is yelling "Don't be so bloody stupid!" but deep inside there's a sneering little voice chanting "you're a failure - always been one, always will be"...
Yeah. I hate those days.
Lutra said I'll be lusting after a sports car next. I said I'd rather have a Defender. Or a starship. Or a TARDIS.
Though I most certainly wouldn't say no to a Nemesis...
Today it was just very cold.
Labels: nowt really
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Well, in between finishing off the proposal (started off at barely 4 pages, ended up at 8 - fingers crossed!) and a flying trip up to Wilkinson's at Broadmead to restock the wildbird food, and then watching Battlefield Earth (a 99p what-the-hell buy from a charity shop - bad but not as bad as I remember...) to kill off the brain after dinner, Monday kind of disappeared. Again.
And today I did another fairly large Sainsbury shop, and am now going to take the afternoon off, flop on the sofa and continue watching Transformers: Armada
From Lutra's tumblr - this is adorable.
I just fall over the name. A Desert. Rain. Frog. Three words that simply shouldn't exist side by side in the same sentence...
Sunday, February 17, 2013
Usual Sunday. Kai came shopping with me and we stocked up the freezer with specials. The proposal is done all bar a handful of illustration suggestions and can go off tomorrow as promised. I now have one cucumber and two tomato seedlings (Glacier and Brandywine) showing and have started taking the covered seedtray out to the greenhouse during the day to get as much light as possible to them (weather's been gloriously sunny the last two days).
And that's about it.
Making a start on next!Poppy but it's going to be a little delayed...
Saturday, February 16, 2013
Kai has been working very hard, and fancied a trip to Glastonbury, so we FirstBused it out before lunch. Had a look around the upper part of the town (and he found a print he just fell in love with, and bought for himself: will have to get a frame for it) then carried on to Street for a quick shufti there. A lot of fun and a great afternoon out but I'm knackered now, we didn't get back until gone 6. Watching a couple of eps of Transformers: Beast Machines on Youtube to see what it's like, then hoping for an early night.
Friday, February 15, 2013
Another working day... Kai was upstairs today, but took a break outside while we had a blow through. Then he levelled out the stand for the greenhouse waterbutt (it started listing badly to the left last year) while I moved some foxglove seedlings away from the cerinthe patch.
He's been invited to Bristol Uni on a Visit Day (a special one, not the standard two they hold each year). I check on their website and this is what they say about Visit Days:
It's in reference to his application for one or both of two courses he'd applied for - Computer science M.Eng and Computer science with Maths B.Sc. I'll be going as well, to find out the stuff we need to know from our side. All so exciting! Fingers crossed please. Bristol is ranked in the top 50 universities in the world.
Edit: and a new Fall of Cybertron Starscream has just appeared on ebay at a decent 'buy now' price with cheap postage (from Weston-super-Mare! I swear this part of the country has more tf fans of multiple continuities than any other...) so Ken said grab him while I could. Out of packaging but in perfect nick, the description was, so my collection is now almost complete.
Because of course there's always one out of reach. These prices are insane, and I have no intention of paying them. I'm sure that one will turn up at a price I feel happy with, and until then I'm prepared to wait.
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Kai was working upstairs today, but took a break at 2.30 and we went to make a start at getting the ivy off the wall at the top. Ken cut through all the stems at the base and it's been gradually pulling away from the wall as it dies, but I DO NOT want it landing on all the plants on the slope (two pretty acers, one of which is now almost my height, the sumac, and the wiegela from Sue). We've got about half of it, which is pretty good going, and the plants are now safe. Of course, we have a massive pile of ivy offcuts, but not a lot we can do about that...
My daphne finally has flower buds! Lots of them!
I made us steak and chips for dinner, since it's Valentine's Day. And we watched Looper, which is very good.
The moss and lichen on the elder tree is amazing...
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
And the proposal is finally coming together - I woke up knowing exactly how to do it (and how to slant the style of the book). I love the way my brain works (except when it doesn't...)
Kai decided to work downstairs today, so we had music all afternoon as he ploughed through physics course work. I rather enjoy it when we're working 'together'.
Kai found this a while back and I meant to post it then forgot... It's beautiful. And heart-wrenching.
There are buds on just about everything in the garden. Fingers crossed for a very pretty year!
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
It's all one long slog at the moment. Waking up late didn't help, as I was all behind. The work on the proposal went well - then I got a slew of urgent! client stuff that had to be done right now (fair enough, it was time sensitive...) I've just now got a minute to rest and it's nearly 10 pm.
[grump] Needs a holiday...
Monday, February 11, 2013
Client stuff. Lots and lots and lots of client stuff. And a reprieve on the proposal, as I only have one chance to get it right so it needs to be bloody good.
But Skywarp and Jetfire arrived! YAY!! And are now closeted away upstairs (hopefully with pretty sparkly bows on them) until GoodTwin and Sue come over later in the month...
Sunday, February 10, 2013
[sigh] Normal Sunday. Nothing to see here, folks. Move along....
Labels: nowt really
Saturday, February 09, 2013
Fourth part of New World 2 - Operations - now posted over at The Poppy Tales (link above).
Friday, February 08, 2013
So - client stuff this morning, then the afternoon was spent teaching xhtml/css and general netiquette to Lizzie, who is taking on the day to day management of the BCAP site. It was most enjoyable - been ages since I've tutored anyone and I'd forgotten how much I like it.
Then after dinner we watched Total Recall (the 2012 version). Was OK, I guess. Rollicking film, slim plot, heavy on the action. Not one we'll be getting but OK after a very busy week and when feeling tired.
Not a lot of Poppy done and no proposal at all. Must do better. (Don't need an elephant, thanks, Lutra...)
Oooh ooh ooh! Goodtwin and Sue said they'd buy the Armada figures for my birthday (so I don't have to wait 10 months for them!) [GLOMPS!] That is really too generous. Thank you.
Thursday, February 07, 2013
Client site stuff for most of the day, but it is just about finished now. Tanked over to Tesco in the afternoon (to save having to do it tomorrow), and came back for some serious ebaying...
It's all Lutra's fault (of course). I idly commented on skype yesterday that I would quite like some more Armada figures, and she asked how easy they were to get hold of. My first reaction was "not", but then I thought I'd better check. Amazon - ouch. Only OP and over £100 if I remember correctly. So then I though I'd check ebay...
[headdeskheadddeskheaddesk] A man in Grimsby - oop north - was selling his entire collection of Armada figures... All of them. Unopened. In original packaging. Two ebay pages of them. Including the two I fancied - Jetfire and Skywarp...
To elucidate. Jetfire is fun. Next to SS and OP he's probably my favourite character. I honestly thought I'd never find one, but this guy had two. (Different decos - pre- and post-Nemesis Prime versions I think (haven't got there yet on my rewatch on the TV), and it was the pre- version I preferred.) Skywarp never appears in the cartoon, only in the Dreamwave continuity - but they made a figure anyway, I believe to give the series a Seeker trine like in G1 (i.e. Red pre-Nemesis Prime Starscream, blue post-Nemesis Starscream who comments in the English dub that he looks just like Thundercracker, and purple Skywarp.) So it's the first non-appearing figure I've acquired, but I don't mind this once, as he is quite magnificent. Basic SS body but the head is completely different and the knee-blades have fans in the middle!
But I may have to wait til next Yule to have them as they were more expensive than I wanted (and I had to resort to my patented 'wait until the last 20 seconds then put in bid and max bid and hope no-one can type faster than you' tactic in order to get Jetfire, as I watched the price creep up and up... erk). But I have them! Dead chuffed.
Proposal all day tomorrow - with breaks for next!Poppy.
Wednesday, February 06, 2013
But it was an interesting day. Got a little client stuff done in the morning (more still to do, unfortunately), then Kim picked me up early afternoon and we went to Bedminster (North Street, where the Tobacco Factory is) to check out charity shops etc, then over to Bedminster main shopping precinct for another browse. Didn't actually find anything but it was a fun afternoon anyway, lots of chatting and exchanging of news.
Then this evening Ken and I wandered over to the Thunderbolt for readings by member and friends of the Bristol Writers Group. They started very late, so we only caught half of the event, but I have to recommend The Time-Sweepers by Ursula Wills-Jones - a cracking short story I really enjoyed.
Now hopefully hoping for an earlyish night. Tired and my legs are killing me...
Tuesday, February 05, 2013
My package came today! Remember I said I was on the lookout for a
very cheap copy of the first part of Transformers: Armada? Well, I sort of found one on ebay.
Or rather, I found the whole series, eps 1 - 52, new, on a German import, for £24.99 plus £2.25 p&p.
The whole thing.
(It would have been over a hundred dollars from amazon u.s. for part 1 - I already have part 2 ...)
Chuffed? Oh yeah. I don't mind the four day delay, even if it was a bit stressful at the time.
The only thing I have to remember is to hit 'sprachen' and change it from Deutsch to Englisch every time I put a disc in, otherwise it starts playing with the German dub.
In other news - I got a handful of seeds planted, indoors, to see what will happen - the old favourite cucumber 'Burpless', and four tomatoes, Black Russian, Brandywine, Sweet Millions, and Glacier. If I can get those going we could have a much longer cropping season..
And lastly, a publisher is showing tentative nibbles around the last proposal I sent to agent. They want a more detailed synopsis, so I shall be working on that over the next couple of days. Fingers crossed please!
Monday, February 04, 2013
Anxiously waiting for an important package that was expected on Friday and hasn't yet arrived = not being able to concentrate.
But at least the fridge and cooker got a thorough cleaning...
Sunday, February 03, 2013
Third part of New World 2 - Misunderstandings - now posted over at The Poppy Tales (link above).
Saturday, February 02, 2013
So Ken and I took a day off, leapt on buses and FirstDayed it off to Glastonbury and Street.
Wonderfully sunny day, and there's a faint haze of green on the trees already - must be spring! We haunted the usual charity shops and I found The Little Book of Fast Cars for £1.50 - will be useful reference for when I want a fast car transformer alt mode, save me ages googling them. On the way back, just outside of Wells, we passed a garden centre - with two very large missiles (one looked old, the other much more recent) in the 'garden ornaments' section. I mean, large as in looked to be about 8 foot long... I'd love one! Would certainly be an interesting feature in the front garden. Might even scare off the cold callers!
Sun was setting on the way back - beautiful colours but the bus was going to fast - and heading away from it - for me to take any decent pics.
And this evening we watched my latest Lovefilm, Safe. Very violent but very satisfying.
Been a nice day, all told. And now it's back to Poppy...
Friday, February 01, 2013
On the sensible side, we got a little essential garden stuff done, and I've prepared a few minipots to start off some early seed, as I want to seriously get the successional growing right this year. But not until after the cold snap forecast for the middle of next week.
Poppy now nearly three pages in and going well. Should be able to post over the weekend.