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!
Sunday, March 31, 2013
They... they killed off Dinobot...
But... he was my favourite. Why do they keep killing off my favourites?
HOWEVER... Tf: P season 3, Beast Hunters, is turning out to be a lot better than anticipated (with one possible exception. We aren't there yet though so I'm keeping fingers crossed). And we watched the new Doctor Who tonight on replay - most enjoyable. I still don't like Matt Smith, but I suppose I'm getting used to him.
Feel absolutely dreadful. Can't believe this came on so fast. Apparently it can last for a couple of weeks - really hoping it doesn't. Brain AWOL and stuffed with cotton wool and not able to do anything that requires me to, y'know, think...
Saturday, March 30, 2013
Dammit, I'm going down with a lurgy: throat is really sore and feels like a tennis ball is stuck halfway down, and sinuses are stinging...
Friday, March 29, 2013
Managed to wake up ridiculously early, and it's a wonderfully sunny day between the light cloudy spells, so I went out and cleaned the sun-ward half of the greenhouse inside and out - the sunlight can get in properly now. Seedlings are out enjoying the sunny breaks, and I've got leeks, courgettes, peas, salad leaves and watercress (in a seed tray in a solid seed tray half filled with water - will see if it works. Ken's going to need as much iron-rich food as possible and watercress is great for that) now on the go. The cold weather's not over yet but I'm hoping keeping them in the greenhouse will give them a good start.
Later on I'm hoping to persuade Kai to hoe the veg bed so I can start the carrots (and if he rakes behind the greenhouse I can throw down some sunflower seeds - thought that would be nice for a change and maybe tempt more birds and insects). Also going to sort out potato planters: the Talbot Rd Allotment Society sell seed spuds in the shop, and I can pay my year's sub and pick up a handful at the same time next weekend. I only need two or three of two different varieties and I'd rather buy from them that have to pick up two whole big bagfuls from a garden centre.
We had a long-tailed tit in the medlar earlier, hopping around from branch to branch. Then it flew off - and twenty minutes later flew back with four of its friends! I hope they become regular visitors - they're just so cute.
Thursday, March 28, 2013
I don't think I actually accomplished anything today.
Oh, no, I put the sticky copper tape around the uprights of the outdoor staging that I germinate all the outdoor veg upon. Stuff's supposed to deter slugs and snails. I'll believe it when I don't see any gastropods amongst my leeks and lettuces...
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Well that was fun!
Because we (very very) occasionally eat at the Glassboat we were sent a voucher around Yule - buy one two course lunch and get one free (offer ending 30th of March). Ken's folks sent us up a little cheque for Eostre, so Ken thought it would be nice to take advantage of the offer and the gift and go out for lunch!
It was very nice. I had chicken liver parfait (fancy paté) with sweet onion... thing and toast, followed by roast belly pork on lemon cabbage and mash (Ken had plaice with prawn butter, which was also very tasty) and blood orange polenta cake with chantilly cream for dessert (this is probably my favourite dessert of all and I should try to learn to make it...) And of course the setting is always wonderful.
Afterwards, since we were in town anyway, we bussed up the Gloucester Rd to check out the charity shops, but unfortunately I've done in my Achilles tendon again and it was too painful to walk far.
Made spagbol for dinner (more for Kai than us - he had the big serving!) then settled down for another three eps of Cowboy Bebop (Vicious has just entered the fray...) Did I mention that Steve Blum (the voice actor for Tf: Prime's Starscream) voices the main character Spike Spiegel? And his non-SS voice is just meltingly sexy...
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
I'm fed up with the cold.
But at least it's not snowing here. Yet.
We started watching Cowboy Bebop tonight. It seems I've forgotten most of it, which is fine. It has the most wonderful sight gags and running jokes, and Kai and I were chortling from the second ep. Not sure Ken is quite so grabbed but we'll see...
Monday, March 25, 2013
So we watched the last four eps of Wolf's Rain and all I can say is
Stunning. Even with the dreadful sub.
Sunday, March 24, 2013
The usual Sunday. Ken came with me to help with the shopping (Sainsbury's were out of organic potatoes and eggs - I hope it's just a Sunday lack of delivery because it's going to be a pain if they're stopped supplying them) and after dinner we watched Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium, which wasn't as good as I was expecting.
And that's about it. It's bitterly cold here at the moment, makes going out not a lot of fun.
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Lost a day again...
Friday's highlight was being invited to dinner with a friend of Ken's - Alex, an aspiring writer. She made vegetarian lasagne, which was delicious but very filling, and a wonderful lemon pie (I must ask for the recipe). It was a very nice evening, and we got a lift there and back (she lives out at Patchway).
Ken went to Glastonbury today, to visit the Abbey for research for the St Anne's Well book (he's not back yet, in fact). Kai has been working on his own projects upstairs, and me... I haven't done much. Kind of a day off, though I have client stuff now stacking up which I must tackle tomorrow.
Labels: nowt really
Thursday, March 21, 2013
An odd sort of a day. Tidying, trying to get client stuff done and failing, and [gasp!] finally writing a new post for teh serious blog. On fanfiction. Heh.
Kai's last day at school tomorrow then Eostre holiday for two weeks.
Interesting things noticed in Tf: Beast Wars - Remember that weird ripply mouth component Bayverse Shockwave had (can't find an image or a Youtube snippet with a decent view I'm afraid)? Predacon Tarantulas has the same mouthparts. And the blue energon crystals in Prime? Straight out of Beast Wars.
There's also a bizarre moment in the second ep (I think) where Cheetor is taunting Dinobot and suddenly stops and gazes at him - and the pupils of his eyes get absolutely huge... Heh. I can feel a fic coming on...
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Um... nowt really. Finished the 26 eps of Wolf's Rain - strange ending, but apparently the four OAVs (which Onna very kindly also included) explain it, so we shall be watching those next.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Remember a while back I'd decided I had enough Bot Shots, except that I'd really like a Shockwave? I then found out he didn't come by himself but in a boxed set with a couple of others. However, up at Wilkinson's last week I found said boxed set going cheap - and the other two bots are Ironhide (who I didn't have) and Brawl (the box says it's Brawl- who I do have - but it looks more like Bonecrusher to me, so that's who it is as far as I'm concerned).
So I now have the cutest little Shockwave!
<- Lovely alt mode, although he's come out looking blue rather than the royal purple he is in reality.
Just so cute! ->
We're still watching Wolf's Rain - up to ep 20 now. It's been slightly spoilt because the people who did the subtitles appear to have run them through Babelfish twice, once in Chinese and once in Latin. Spending time trying to work out what the hell the subs mean is definitely not on my list of fun things to do while trying to understand a deep and philosophical anime.
It's still beautiful though.
Thinking about watching Cowboy Bebop next.
After liking Beast Machines I'm now watching Transformers: Beast Wars on Youtube, and to my surprise I'm rather enjoying it. It's funny. And the characters are cute. Though I'm still having trouble with accepting Megatron as a T Rex and Dinobot (a raptor) as an ex-Con turned Bot who sounds like Starscream... There were three series in total though, so while season one is fun, I can't vouch for the rest yet. Will see when I get there.
Monday, March 18, 2013
[sigh] I have now managed to correct the posts for the whole of the first year of blogging - which brings me up to July 2003 (and page 40 of 44 pages of posts). They are all correct from March 2010, which is when I tweaked the template. Oh joy. Seven years of posts still to correct...
Saturday, March 16, 2013
Sixth part of New World 2 - Operations 3 - now posted over at The Poppy Tales (link above).
Kai's letter from Bristol Uni arrived today. It's scattered with 'excellent candidate', 'impressed with your web design and programming self-study', 'enthusiasm', 'excellent exam results and references'...
Firm acceptance of his application for M.Eng in Computer Science, subject to A, A, B grades (one of the As to be in Maths).
Chuffed and proud? Damn right!
Friday, March 15, 2013
Thursday, March 14, 2013
A day of glorious sunshine. Seedlings out in the greenhouse for the whole day, and after Tyjer came in I did a little spraying to try to clear the grass from some of the places it shouldn't be. Everything's coming into bud. It's very pretty.
Client site stuff most of the rest of the day...
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Client site stuff. Then shopping. Then eps 4 -6 of Wolf's Rain (a present from Onna a good few years ago now). Kai suggested it. He's become quite fond of us all sitting down to watch something after dinner, and now we've finished Beast Machines we needed something else, and since Kai and I never managed to get all the way through and Ken never watched any at all, it's a good choice.
And it's beautiful. Everything about it, the art, the backgrounds the characterisation, the music - oh, the music... We're all gripped so far.
Heh. Watching the news with dinner tonight: Kai on the smoke signals for the pope's election: "They can't even choose a new pope without polluting the planet."
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Fifth part of New World 2 - Operations 2 - now posted over at The Poppy Tales (link above).
Also heard back from Kai's psychology teacher. She's requested that his exam paper be returned so they can see what went wrong, and if it wasn't Kai's fault, ask for a regrade. Will report back when we know.
Monday, March 11, 2013
I mean, bitterly cold. Went out to empty the kitchen compost bin, when I came back in I couldn't feel my fingers. Wind chill taking it down to around -6. And it keeps flurrying with snow. Making chilli con carne tonight to warm us all up!
An Obsession of Starscreams. Click the pick for the big (2000px) version. (There are 23 Starscreams here - well, 24 if you count the small jet inside PretenderScream.)
Sunday, March 10, 2013
Vanilla coffee and scrambled eggs and mushrooms on toast - very nice! Took it easy mostly, went over to Go Outdoors in the afternoon to buy new boots, as mine now leak (but will do fine for the garden), then had a steak dinner. All very relaxed and pleasant.
Tomorrow I need to rethink the proposal (again...)
Labels: nowt really
Saturday, March 09, 2013
Kai's 18th Birthday!
Spent quietly, which is what he said he wanted. He had his new watch, Stalker and a daft 18 mug from us, and lots and lots of money from everyone else! (For which, my thanks. He'll email his own later, if he hasn't already.)
We took him over to the Black Castle for lunch: it's changed hands since we were last there and the food is not as good (and took 45 minutes to arrive). But we had a good old chat (about how I handle online comms with friends and how base 16 is much more sensible than base 10 for measuring anything) and enjoyed our Chicken New Yorkers. Unfortunately he has a lot of homework this weekend and has to get some of it done today or he won't have time to finish it, but he's taking it as easy as he can. I'm hoping we can watch Starcrash with the snacks we're having later...
Friday, March 08, 2013
I somehow managed to get up at 6.20 after getting to bed at 1.30. Went shopping at 7.30, then put wash through and booted up. More client stuff, then a little Poppy. Then Ken produced our financial forecast for this year and I started looking up how much selling organs would bring in...
Kai's 18th birthday tomorrow. Ye gods. He was only a wee sprog when I started this blog. It's terrifying how fast the time goes.
Thursday, March 07, 2013
We arrived at twenty to twelve and signed in (well, Kai did) then sat and read the folder of info until everyone had arrived. Then at midday it was down to lecture room 1.11a for the hour-long introductory talk by Dr Hollis and a third year student - all very interesting, although we knew a lot of it already, having done our homework. At one it was back up for a very nice buffet lunch (although we were late as there was much enthusiasm and many questions from everyone).
At one thirty it was back down to the lecture room for the parents and carers Q&A session while the kids went off in groups with their allocated professors - and that's when the parents were told that this was in fact the students' 'interview' (Bristol Uni doesn't do formal interviews), which is what I'd gathered from the website. It's a great way to find out what the kids are like without the stress of knowing they're being assessed - but nerve-wracking for us!
Then at two it was a mini-lecture on optical recognition and its uses (particularly in the field of conservation), then another on computational neuroscience (which I could just keep up with and which was fascinating.
A break for drinks. then back down again for a talk on robotics, which was very interesting, then finally back upstairs (that made ten trips up and down the stairs. No wonder my legs are killing me!) to one of the computer labs to play a game designed by the students - a demolition derby. (I managed the impossible on my first attempt, ended up crashed upside down floating in midair...) Then a final farewell (and two large heavy books of info to bring home) and we were finished at 3.45.
It was wonderful - and I want to go do the course myself! [grump] I was born too soon...
I took Kai over to Cabot Circus afterwards, to see about buying him a decent watch for his birthday. He chose a rather nice Lorus one from WH Samuel, who were having a sale so bonus!
I mentioned about the APAG meeting already.
Today has been all client stuff, and I'm still not quite finished.
Kai picked up the results for the exams he took in January today. We're all rather chuffed - A* for Maths, A for Physics, B for Computing - except for the Psychology, where something has gone seriously wrong - he got a U (Ungraded). We have no idea why (one of his peers got the same as well: the tutor wondered if perhaps the exam board lost half his paper) but it's obviously something at the exam board end, so the tutors are going to investigate. He can take it again if need be (he shouldn't need to to get into Uni), but he really doesn't need the extra work and stress. As it is he thinks he wants to retake physics to see if he can push the result to an A*, and will probably retake the Computing to try to push that to an A. (And this is his idea, not us pushing!)
Machine Wars Starscream - handsome, easy to transform, but not much articulation. Quite large too...
Wednesday, March 06, 2013
Well, the Uni trip went very well, and was absolutely fascinating. We won't know whether he's being offered a place for two weeks though - so I shall still be biting my nails for another fortnight...
I'll go into much more detail tomorrow: we'd just got home and I was getting dinner done when the APAG Treasurer rang to ask where tonight's meeting was... meeting? ... AAARRGGHH! MEETING!!!. So dinner was hurried, and I didn't have time for a shower until I got back, and now I'm knackered but can't get to bed until my hair has dried. [sigh]
But Machine Wars Starscream arrived while I was out (Ken had the day off so took delivery) - and now my collection is complete! (Well, for now anyway.) I'd still like a normal-sized Bayverse one if I can pick one up very cheaply, but I have the Cyberverse version so it's not essential. Will try to take photos tomorrow.
Tuesday, March 05, 2013
Wonderful sunny day! Seedlings out to the greenhouse again - and I've spent some time drawing (illos for the rp). It's been ages, and was quite enjoyable.
Kai's Bristol University visit tomorrow... Fingers crossed!
Monday, March 04, 2013
A useful sort of a day. Up early, wash put through, chicken stock on the go, two eps of Armada watched before I booted up, chat with Lutra, client stuff finished, then watched the last three eps of Armada before Ken arrived home at 2 (the entire boxed set plays just fine!) Not bad for a Monday.
Sunday, March 03, 2013
Just a normal Sunday. Tyjer is feeling a bit poorly with an upset tum. Rather afraid he's eaten something that's upset him...
Saturday, March 02, 2013
(Friday.) My latest Lovefilm was Dante 01. The trailer looked good... I didn't check the language though (well, does anyone?) or I'd have known it was French (subtitled, fortunately, as my French wouldn't have been up to it, Kai opted for German after a year, and Ken has none at all).
How can I describe it...?
Actually, I can't, not in full, because I kept dozing off and missing the dialogue. It made little to no sense, and the ending was a dose of 2001-esque WTF?ery.
But today has been very successful. It was sunny, so we all went into the garden. Ken mowed, Kai weeded the patch of the veg garden where I've been bringing on native bluebells (dozens this year from about half a dozen a year ago - very pleased), half-filled the greenhouse water butt from the main one and cut down more ivy, while I pruned the greengage and rosemary, cleaned out the blocked piping that carries rain from the greenhouse guttering to the water butt, repotted the cucumber and tomato seedlings and generally tidied up my planting and potting area. All good stuff!
After dinner watched the first two eps of Beast Machines series 2... Much less running and shooting, and an interesting premise. I really rather like this continuity, it's quite different to any other.
An interesting coincidence: two of the voice actors for Transformers - Garry Chalk (OP in the Unicron Trilogy and Beast Machines) and Michael Dobson (Starscream in the Unicron Trilogy) have both appeared in The Sentinel. Unfortunately the eps involved aren't in Season 1 (which I have on DVD) and it's going to be a while before I can get around to transferring my tapes of the rest of the seasons onto DVD. I'd love to hear Dobson's normal voice. His Starscream is just plain sexy (especially that lovely little growl he uses every now and then...)