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, November 30, 2013
Still tidying up, but have now forwarded all my Eudora mail to my Thunderbird client (will be using it from now on - it has drawbacks but once you get used to it it's fine) and will make a start on replies this afternoon. In the meantime, with today's lovely weather I've emptied the manhole cover of spent earth and weeds, refilled it with the potato compost and planted stonecrop in it; made a start on dismantling the birdtable; and moved the feverfew to the front garden.
Have some photos!
The front, with obligatory cat. Not exactly looking great right now, but wait til spring (the garden that is, not Tyjer)... *g*
New feeder - snazzy, ne?
[grump] Can't get the spell checker working...
Friday, November 29, 2013
Yesterday was fun. 10.30 appt for Kai: the cultures they took last week all came back negative, so that's good. He didn't need any transfusions, although he'll need platelets, at least, on Monday. I tanked over to the pharmacy to pick up his meds myself to save time, and was somewhat staggered to see just how huge the hospital is (I'd only seen oncology and haematology before). So we were able to head home at 2.30, in time for me to get to my 4 pm appt to ask about this skin problem (it's fungal. I have ointment). While I was on my way up there Computer Geeks rang the mobile to say computer was ready for collection.
So charged back from dr, grabbed cheque book and business card, tanked to bus, tanked from bus station to Citibase, only to find door locked and no-one at reception - which meant Nick had to come down and open the door for me. Sorry about that. But he's done a fantastic job: the new machine is a huge jump in quality and speed and all (well, nearly all, some of the stuff on the old one was so prehistoric it was completely incompatible with todays software) the old data has been migrated to the new machine (and he's even put a clone of the old in its own folder on the new, just in case!) He had to take remote access at one point to correct a very stupid mistake of mine (misread a site and managed to d/l malware. Me! After all the suspicion and paranoia I bring to the virtual world the first thing I do on the new machine is get it wrong! I am so embarrassed...) which is always bemusing, but it's now running smoothly.
I am very happy. It uses Windows 7, which I can't say I particularly like but I'm getting used to it, and I've just got ftp to work, which means I can delay learning FileZilla until another day. The old machine has also been MOT'ed, and is now usable: I'm giving it to Kai to explore and experiment with.
I still have to get my online spellchecker working, which I'll worry about tomorrow. For now, everything is fine!
So have some Prime Transformers!
Cyberverse Shockwave, at last...
Seeker armada. They're so cute!
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Computer is with the Geeks, and if the sudden mysterious emptying of my webmail inbox is anything to go by, they were working on getting everything up and running earlier this evening. Hoping I can collect it tomorrow...
Of course, that included your email, GoodTwin, before I could reply, but the 15th would be great, as long as you're sure. If you could pick me up from outside the house - or better yet stop for a few mins to see the garden - perhaps we could head off to Cadbury? They'll have all the Yule stuff out, and the cafe is pretty good.
Kai's feeling a little better after Monday's blood transfusions, but is so tired he's sleeping a lot of the time. Still no news re: the cultures they took last week, which is probably a good thing.
Fingers crossed for tomorrow.
Monday, November 25, 2013
Arrived at the BRI for 10.30, finally got home at 9.40 pm... the day unit was short-staffed and everything was delayed. Kai needed platelets and two units of blood - always makes it a long day. Now watching Energon second disc.
Computer Geeks can do just about everything I need so will contact them tomorrow and see when I can take the old stack in. Should have everything by the weekend, fingers crossed.
Thanks for suggestions: I can plug in mouse or tablet but can't be bothered given the length of time it'll be needed.
Sunday, November 24, 2013
Stack is now refusing to work, and this family laptop is sloooooooooower than pouring treacle, won't load skype or Eudora and takes 10 minutes to boot up (not to mention that this tiny, non-ergonomic keyboard hurts my hands and the B button needs 2 - 5 presses before it works. Kai used to use this one to run Auran and his Lego trains: to be honest I'm surprised it still works at all...) BUT I can check and reply (painfully slowly) to webmail and connect to the net, so it will do until I can replace the stack.
So, quick update: Kai is feeling a bit better, but now the steroids are wearing off his appetite has decreased, so now I need to find good things he likes to tempt him with, and his tastes keep changing. Going to be interesting.
Went to Tesco for the Sunday shopping - and found a Cyberverse Shockwave! So now no longer looking for him. (They had an aerial Eradicon as well so picked him up. Now have three Vehicons and three Eradicons - enough to make the small army and armada needed.)
And that's about as much as I can manage. Off to set up the new bird feeder. Photos when I have my new machine.
Friday, November 22, 2013
Well, I was going to go and see Gravity in 3D, but when I went in to say I was heading out Kai was looking ill and his temperature is up a bit, so I'll see about going tomorrow instead, when Ken's here to keep an eye on things.
I'm also going to have to buy a new stack. For the last few days this one has been taking longer and longer for the initial fan to settle down before getting as far as booting up: this morning it refused completely and I had to turn it off at the switch. It worked on the second go, but I can't delay sorting it out any longer: I'm lost without it. Nick at Computer Geeks (as ever my first port of call) emailed me over a pdf of their current offers, and a basic stack (2.7 GHz, 4 gig RAM: my current one is 3.39 GHz and 1.75 gig RAM) looks like it will do the job. They will also migrate all my current stuff over to the new machine, which is a relief, as last time I had to do it it took days and I lost some data in the process.
So if I disappear completely for a couple of days, that'll be why.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Nebuliser today, and they took some cultures just to make sure there's nothing unusual making Kai feel so poorly. (They seem to think that it's the combination of the meds and withdrawing from the steroids, but just to be sure...)
Skin's rubbed and weeping - and itching like hell - on the top of my left foot. And I'm tired. Going to try for an early night. Loads of emails to get to tomorrow again...
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
And winter came in with a vengeance! It's bloody cold out there today...
So we stayed in mostly. The bird feeder has arrived and it's very snazzy, but really needs two people to put it up so will do that at the weekend. Cleaned out my stack (damn it needed it!), got a load of client stuff done, put a small wash through, cleaned the landing, Kai's room and the bathroom, and found the Cyberverse Shockwave figure on ebay - but only from the States or Australia, and while the figure price is very reasonable, the postage is obscene. Going to wait a little while: I never thought Prime Starscream and Soundwave (both Cyberverse and Deluxe classes) would appear over here and both did. And now that the aerial Eradicons are selling here Shockwave may appear after Yule. If not, I'll have to resort to ebay again...
Kai is feeling really rough and completely without any strength, along with getting the odd aches and pains. We were kind of expecting it - it's the withdrawal from the steroids - but we'd really hoped it wouldn't be too bad given how well he's coping with the rest. He actually asked me to take his temperature today, just to check, he felt so ill. Then again, having barely had a day's illness ever before this, I think he feels it worse than he might otherwise do. I just hope that it goes soon.
Did I mention that I've managed to get Star Trek: Into Darkness for £9.99? It should be £13.99 but the box had been mispriced. They let it through at the cheaper price though, which was good of them. And I found The Wolverine for a tenner too. Now just need Iron Man 3, though I'll probably have to pay full price for that. That's OK, I can't be lucky all the time! We want Thor: The Dark World too but that probably won't be available before Yule. Something to look forward to in the New Year. So Yule is going to be an amazing film fest. I suppose I'd better get in lots of popcorn!
Monday, November 18, 2013
That was a very long day...
Kai needed both platelets and blood, as we thought, so I went Yule shopping. Did quite well too, got nearly everything I was looking for. Unfortunately the heat and scurry has made my skin problem flare up again - sore weeping patches on my torso and the tops of my feet. Doctor next Thursday - hopefully I can get it sorted out.
Kai kept trying to find the pelt I like last night...
But then he did! So I saved it.
And then he found a really pretty matching mask, so I saved that too. Now I just need to find the antlers I'm after and I'll be all set.
Saturday, November 16, 2013
So, last night, I start getting Kai's evening meds ready, and realise to my absolute horror that he only has two ciprofloxacin tablets left: he has to take two twice a day. (This is what happens when I try to keep on top of things when I'm ill...) Cue a frantic call to haematology, where I spoke to Lucy (the lovely night nurse who was in charge of Kai when he was first in there for tests), who spoke to the doctor and assured me they'd have a pack for him in the morning. So I'm at the bus-stop at 8.30, at the BRI just before 9 - only to find that the fire alarm is ringing in the haematology and oncology unit and no-one can enter, at least along the link corridor from the main buildings. (The BRI is built on the very steep St Michael's Hill - known locally as cardiac hill because walking up it is likely to give you a heart attack. Gradient is 1:4 at Marlborough St, 1:6 for the hill itself - and as a result and the way the hospital was built, the main entrance is on level 2 and you go up to Lower Ground 2 (LG2) for the haematology unit. It's extremely confusing until you get used to it). So I hiked a short way up the hill to the main oncology entrance in time to see the fire engine pulling away: it had, luckily, been a false alarm. The ciprofloxacin was ready for me, so I was able to get back in time to give him the morning meds just a few minutes late. We'll need more ciclosporin this week, but I can organise that on Monday.
Run on sentences - we lubs dem...
Friday, November 15, 2013
Children in Need Friday...
... bwahahaahahahahaaa! We turned up the TV volume to 30 and bopped along to it.
Labels: strangeness and charm
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Kai's appointment this morning was actually quite quick. His platelet and red blood cell count is reasonable, so he won't be having any transfusions til Monday (at which point he'll probably need both), but we need to increase his morning dose of ciclosporin to 100 mgs instead of 75 until told otherwise, so I'll need to check how much we have and ask for some more next week. However, he is now booked in to have a nebuliser treatment next Thursday and every four weeks thereafter, which he's not looking forward to. We're getting to know all the doctors now: the one today isn't one of my favourites. It would help if I could understand what he says, of course, but over and above that he's... dismissive. Not rude, just impatient. I hope we get the female one next week, she's lovely (and fun!)
We got back in time for me to bus up to Broadwalk to pick up birdfood, and I found another Eradicon at Wilkinson's: I have two now, which almost counts as a Seeker Armada. I'll keep an eye out for a third...
My birdtable is finally about to bite the dust. Expire. Fall to bits. It's done extremely well (they aren't supposed to last more than a couple of years) but the weather and the rain have pretty much rotted it through, and repairing and repainting it would cost more than buying another. So I've ordered one of these, which should last a lot longer.
I also found this, used but in very good condition, for £33 (+£2.80 p&p) so - despite the fact that it really is the weakest and naffest of the three parts of the Unicron Trilogy - for completeness sake I've ordered it. Treat to myself for doing the spreads for the other author.
Then, of course, I find that Shout!Factory have agreed with Hasbro to release the DVDs of the whole Trilogy... [rolls eyes] Eh well. It'll only be a little bit cheaper, most likely. However, it will mean I can get the third part, Cybertron, for a more reasonable price than I've seen it elsewhere (I think someone was asking over a thousand quid for it...) Even better, there's a good chance Shout! will also release Tf: Animated Season 3, which has never been released anywhere yet! Very pleased about that.
The Forest last night... I kind of got adopted by two fauns, and another stag, who spent about ten minutes experimenting on me (he's the one with the butterfly pelt).
He must have tried at least ten different enchantments for masks and a couple of pelts - it was quite amusing, he kept galloping off, then coming back with another one (I guess there was a tree with enchantment-granting mushrooms just out of my pov).
This is the African mask. I'm not at all fond of any masks, but definitely not this one! However, different masks can alter the sound of a call, so I dutifully called with every mask I got. (I imagined the other player busily writing down the masks and the vocal effect they had!)
This one is quite interesting, but not as pretty as my original, so I reverted back to that one before closing down.
Cold is still being miserable...
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Quickie, very tired and miserable cold is miserable...
Last couple of days Ken and I have done a fair bit of gardening (as my nagging back and legs are letting me know in no uncertain terms) - I shall try to take photos of the front in the next couple of days, although things aren't really going to look like much until next year, and I'm still trying to find a nice BIG pot to take the honeysuckle and jasmine I plan to train up around the porch. I dug up what few potatoes I managed to grow (about enough for four meals. They've been pretty much a failure every time I've tried over the last three years - think I'll give up!) and Ken weeded the grass out of the veg bed and emptied the small compost bin onto the area I use most. That will be nicely replenished ready for planting next year.
Kai has taken to staying online til about seven am then sleeping most of the day - it's not too bad given it's winter, and we're not objecting at the moment (I used to do it myself. Well, stay up all night, anyway. Oh, if only we'd had the 'tubes when I was younger...) He knows that will have to change once he's a bit better, but for now, it's not doing any harm and he's chatting to friends on skype and enjoying the Forest. He has power and control there, whereas here his body has, essentially, betrayed him. It's not exactly a lot of consolation but anything that helps...
On the subject of the Forest - the fountain which feeds the pool, from above,
And from ground level.
Heading over there shortly for a few mins before going up to fall over...
Monday, November 11, 2013
Normal Monday appointment at the Haematology Day Unit: Kai needed platelets, which meant a shot of piriton, which always makes him sleepy. Add to that the tiredness associated with decreasing the steroids, and the fact he only got about an hour and a half's sleep last night, and he really isn't up to much at all at the moment.
So we watched Pacific Rim, which the assistant was putting onto the dvd display as I got over to Tesco to buy some Sinutab (as I have managed to get myself a cold) so I bought one. Loved it...
Got enchanted with another pretty pelt last night and learned how to bounce in a circle. It's all fun!
Sunday, November 10, 2013
Got most of the client stuff done yesterday, after Ken and I did the usual Sunday shop a day early. Today we've done some more to the front garden -
It's autumn in the Forest! Everything's gone reddish...
I rather like this design.
This isn't bad either!
And much dancing was done...
Friday, November 08, 2013
[sigh] Kai's appointment yesterday was for 2.30. By the time they'd faffed around with blood tests and a ridiculous delay in getting the two units of blood he needed, and then a panic as the pharmacy had closed and we thought we weren't going to get his repeat meds (and he'd taken the last aciclovir that morning) it was 9.30 when we got home...
But the meds did finally arrive (they've swapped the itraconazole syrup - which he hates the taste of - for tablets, and upped his cyclosporin to 75mgs twice a day instead of 50, and on the plus side he's now down to 5 mgs of prednisolone (the steroid) per day from the original 60mgs and once we run out we stop), and he feels a fair bit better today - walking yesterday left him breathless.
Not done much today. I have a whole load of client stuff come in and I just don't feel like doing it. Going to have to though. Maybe after Prometheus, which I picked up from Head yesterday, along with Deathly Hallows 1 & 2 (for £10).
I spent a lot of time being red in the Forest last night.
Kai and I watching the sunset from the bridge by the pool.
Wednesday, November 06, 2013
HEEEE! I growed up overnight!!
Labels: Endless Forest
Tuesday, November 05, 2013
A quick quickie... Kai's appt went OK on Monday - had platelets but will probably need a blood transfusion on Thursday as his count is borderline. I've now managed to catch up with the client stuff (except for what arrived this evening) and Ken and I have made a start on the garden: most of the plants that were ready for the front are now in the ground, and today we planted the two fake blackcurrants up at the top out the back, one on the slope behind the bench and the other next to the elder. They'll be great there, the bees love the flowers. We've also planted an acanthus on the slope, and I'll probably put another one out the front. That still leaves me with several to give away - GoodTwin and Sue, like one?
Kai fancied watching Vampire Hunter D this evening. I only have the dubbed version, which irritates me intensely as the dub is really bad. However, Kai quite liked it. The sequel, Bloodlust, is a much better anime and my version has both subbed and dubbed soundtracks: might see if he fancies watching that tomorrow. We did decide that this year when he can't do much is a great opportunity for him to watch the insane number of films we have on DVD, and I shall take some time off to watch them with him. He hasn't see the vast majority, and we have some I think he'll like.
And as for Yule... My 'to buy' list currently comprises: Wolverine, Star Trek 2, Thor 2 (assuming it's out by then), and definitely Pacific Rim (again, if it's out by then)... and there were others, but I'm tired so will add them another day.
Sunday, November 03, 2013
Usual Sunday. Finished spreads. Watched the third ep of Toast of London (very strange and surreal). Hoping for an early night as Kai's appointment is at 10.15 in the morning...
An interesting sleeping stag...
The front garden after pruning away a good half of the cherry tree. As you can see, my efforts at killing off all the grass, moss and weeds have been fairly successful. We make a start on getting it all planted up from this week...
Saturday, November 02, 2013
Wendy came up to visit today. Dawn (of the Chepstow trip) had given Ken half-price tickets for the Bishop's Palace at Wells, and as it seems the season tickets will no longer be accepted as FirstDay SouthWest tickets at weekends from tomorrow, and since I'm still trying not to bring any risk of infection into the house, we both went to Wells for the day...
It was fun! The weather wasn't too bad - at least, we were indoors for most of the rain and it was sunny as we walked around the Palace gardens - and the cup of hot toffee apple drink and slice of lemon cake (quite possibly the best I've ever tasted) was lovely, as was the jacket potato with prawns and avocado and a delicious side salad at Pickwick's Caffe. No charity shop finds, but I do now have a really good beech chopping board for the kitchen.
Arriving back we tried the new pub on the Bath Road, the Lowdekka, but it was packed, and noisy, and pretty horrible, so we walked back to the Black Castle and chatted for an hour or so before Wendy had to go for her train. It was a highly enjoyable day - [GLOMPS Wendy] Thanks!
Kai's daily breakfast...
Friday, November 01, 2013
My blasted skin is playing up again, have a quite nasty itchy rash that weeps if I scratch it. Going to have to get up to the doctors (again). What is wrong with my skin at the moment?! I've never had anything like this before...
The Forest is still misty and eerie and everyone is still more companionable than they were. And the dancing music is still wonderful. (Kai says it's the normal plinkety plinkety music played backwards through a filter, which makes sense.)
Trying for an early night. I'll leave Kai's last aciclovir upstairs with him, save me staying up.
Wendy's up for the day tomorrow - hoping to head over to Wells...
Edit: and then I found a Youtube vid with the music! The quality isn't perfect, but the first is when you dance alone, the second snippet is when you dance with someone else (the plinkety plinkety as I described it to Lutra) and the last is the eerie Hallowe'en music...