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General Discussions => General Discussion => Topic started by: Ed on October 22, 2007, 03:49:05 AM



Title: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on October 22, 2007, 03:49:05 AM
This is just a place to touch home and share any daily trivia you don't feel warrants a new thread. Things like what you're up to today, what you hope to achieve, what you did today, how you got on.

Me? It's just Monday morning again :grin: My eyes are firmly fixed on that Friday evening, but it seems an awfully long way away right now. Lots to do on site, lots to do at home.

So what does your day hold for you? :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on October 22, 2007, 03:54:10 AM
Good morning! Today I will be working on a couple of ongoing art projects, continuing discussions with my editor about my forthcoming poetry collection, trying to get an idea for the story contest here, editing a few other stories, writing at least one haiku and another poem, giving a couple of violin lessons, try to get on top of some basic housework, errr... that's enough I think  :shocked:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on October 22, 2007, 04:07:21 AM
Yes... Monday morning. Sigh. The beginning of another week of working for The Man and wondering if this is all there is. I'm a few thousand words into a new short story tentatively called "Down In The Basement At Midnight" and I'm hoping to find half an hour at lunchtime to do a bit more on that. But I also need to go and buy a cheap sweater as cycling to work this morning I was a tad cold. Brrrrr.

Del


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Sallyq on October 22, 2007, 04:49:55 AM
Hubby is off out for the day, so I'm going to be working on some new story ideas - as in trying to find some ideas rather than those I've already got! There's nothing that's shouting 'Write me!' at the moment.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Walker on October 22, 2007, 08:51:33 AM
Had a great day yesterday when my son, his friend and I got out for a quick round of golf. The temp here was about 26c and sunny, nice warm breeze and to top it all off I shot the best score. I'm glad I was able to get out with my son one more time as he's so busy with university he seldom gets out now. An excellent day and some good exercise.
Today I'm working alone, which I like, and hope to spend some time during my lunch hour to write a bit. Thank god I don't have a window in front of me because it's going to hit at least 26c again today and sunny. A duplicate of yesterday.

On a separate, boasting note, regarding my son, he found out last week that he's been selected for another scholarship award, so this Thursday at the presentation he's going to recieve 2 awards. We're so damn proud of him! 
:dance:
I'll never, ever complain about paying his way through university if he keeps on working as hard as he is so far. He's a great infulence on his younger brother and sister, who incidentally have also started getting ver good grades. Come to think of it, I think I've bragged about all my kids here before. Sorry if I have. I can't help it.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on October 22, 2007, 09:34:17 AM
Come to think of it, I think I've bragged about all my kids here before. Sorry if I have. I can't help it.

Don't apologize for bragging about your kids! I'd be proud too. I just hope my son does that well. He's only five now and **BRAG ALERT** he wrote his first sentence the other day! It was "I have a dog." (He doesn't have a dog. Think he's trying to hint at something?)

My day: Well, it's rainy and dismal and I'm trying very hard not to slink back into bed for a couple more hours sleep before I go to work. I've just upped my writing schedule from ten pages a day to twenty to meet a personal deadline, and I know sleeping would interfere with that. (Must be the weather conspiring against me again!) ::)

Have a good day everyone!!!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on October 22, 2007, 12:06:21 PM
I went to the chiropractor today. Note to my fellow writers: our posture sucks. If we use laptops, it sucks harder. Do yourselves a favor and see a Chiropractor at least once a year, twice if you can swing it. Last time I went was shortly before getting married and you would not BELIEVE the noises my neck made! This time my neck was fine, but my back needed a good crack.  :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SharonBell on October 22, 2007, 12:15:48 PM
I could use a good cracking up!  :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on October 22, 2007, 03:09:05 PM
Evening, all :smiley: Nice to see so many people sharing their news. You really are mutli talented, aren't you, Delph? Yours sounds like a busy but quite pleasant day - I hope it all went well.

Sally - me too, re the nothing screaming 'write me'. I've been writing the same damn story now for three or four weeks, and I just can't seem to get the words down - can't decide where the plot is going and which of the characters I want to turn bad :scratch:

delboy - I know what you mean about the wondering if that's all there is. Can't remember who it was who said it, but the phrase is, "A man can bear anything but a succession of ordinary days." Something like that, anyway, and I seem to get waaay too many ordinary days for my liking :grin: Each year I start off deciding to do more with my weekends - go on short breaks, take up a new hobby, get out more, etc. But come the weekend I like to be at home and relax, especially during the summer. The way I see it, I spent all this time and money building this damn house, so it seems only right I should spend some time enjoying it, too :afro:

Good to hear your nipper is doing well at college, Walker - you have a right to be proud. Sounds like you did a good job of raising him, and I'm sure your support means a lot to him :smiley:

Stark - my tip is to write with a big black marker pen and use double spacing on the lines - you'll get through those twenty pages in no time :afro:

Sam - I keep meaning to try a chiropractor instead of my osteopath - I'm not convinced he's doing me any good. Doesn't matter where the pain is in my back, he just does the same thing and the last couple of times I've come out feeling no better. Neck noise - argh - I hate that crunching. I keep thinking another inch or two and that'd be me up shit creek :shocked:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on October 22, 2007, 03:14:07 PM
It's normal to be scared, I get nervous too when he does my neck! The key is to make yourself relax when the time comes and find a good chiropractor. I believe that mine works primarily with athletes, which is great because it seems like he's seen everything *lol*
I came to him with what I thought were the most obscure symptoms in my arm/hand and he knew exactly what I was talking about! Turns out it was the way I sit with the laptop plus a bit of weight gain. What can I say, brain storming and writing tend to to extremely sedentary activities  :/


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on October 22, 2007, 03:33:17 PM
Talking of obscure symptoms, my wife went through a phase of having neck spasms, due to a trapped nerve in her back. She would be walking along minding her own busines, when the next thing she knows she's looking at something over her left shoulder when she really doesn't want to :grin: The osteo said he was very worried about her posture (she types a lot) and said if she didn't make a conscious effort to sit properly and keep her shoulders back and head up, she would most likely end up with a dowager's hump in later life :shocked: Fine if you go to lots of fancy dress parties, but you don't want people referencing bells and calling you Quazi when you're walking down the high street.

She didn't do anything but worry about it, but the next time she went to see him, he remarked on her 100% improvement and said he was no longer worried about her posture. The only thing that had changed in the interim was that she went to a bodypump aerobics class twice a week at the gym. I was thinking about doing it myself, since my posture is all to hell, too :scratch:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Sallyq on October 22, 2007, 04:01:10 PM
Quote
me too, re the nothing screaming 'write me'. I've been writing the same damn story now for three or four weeks, and I just can't seem to get the words down - can't decide where the plot is going and which of the characters I want to turn bad


Tell me about it. The story I wrote for the Desolate Places anthology took me over a month. Usually if a story is there, I get it all down at once, but I had to work at this one. I just hope it's worth the effort.

I've ended up writing nothing today, but that's partly because hubby came back early and decided to finish carpeting the stairs and hallway. I didn't have to do anything, but I did have to stand there and tell him what a wonderful job he was doing (funny he never says that to me when I'm doing the dishes...). Still, I've got carpet up the stairs again now, after weeks of bare - and very cold - boards.



Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on October 22, 2007, 04:18:12 PM

She didn't do anything but worry about it, but the next time she went to see him, he remarked on her 100% improvement and said he was no longer worried about her posture. The only thing that had changed in the interim was that she went to a bodypump aerobics class twice a week at the gym. I was thinking about doing it myself, since my posture is all to hell, too :scratch:
[/quote]


Yoga is also good, but make sure to do very basic stuff. I have a beginners Rodney Yee DVD that is lovely.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on October 22, 2007, 05:14:41 PM
I hate laying carpet - that's one thing I'd much rather pay a meat head to do than suffer it myself :grin: At our last house, I laid the vinyl in the kitchen, which cost a few quid and a lot of swearing. Finally got all the appliances back into place without damaging anything. Job's a good-un. :afro:

So I come home from work the following day, and there's a big mat, right bang smack in the middle of the kitchen, covering up most of the vinyl :scratch: Turns out the missus had dragged a huge mixing bucket across the floor with a bag of artex in it... and a little sharp stone was trapped underneath the bucket, which slashed the vinyl for almost the exact same length of the new floor mat :bangh:


Can't see me doing yoga, TBH - I'm not bendy enough :/


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on October 22, 2007, 05:53:48 PM
Well I never said I did it well   ::)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SharonBell on October 22, 2007, 06:21:35 PM
Well, I trollied off to work, thinking quite highly of myself, happy that I have a "sweet, contemporary romantic short story" ("Catatastrophe") COMING SOON!! from The Wild Rose Press http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=page&id=19&chapter=0&zenid=eb6e3912523c2d33716a4b88e6f76a76 , feeling quite upbeat.  :cheers:

Midday, I checked my email and got a lovely rejection email from a different editor at The Wild Rose Press--for a romantic suspense tale that I had been told by a different publisher "was extremely well-written"--but THEY fell off the face of the earth. So, I'm not quitting the day job, but it does show how very subjective this fiction writing thingie is. One loved it--but never got back to me; the other told me (in a nice way) that I needed to learn how to write. Same story, different editors, totally different responses.  :scratch:



Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on October 22, 2007, 06:56:55 PM
 :batterup: And I suppose it's frowned upon to turn up and beat the brains out of the editor who said no :/ Ain't that always the way?

Sorry to hear that, Sharon. As you say, this business is notoriously subjective in nature, but then you would think a publisher like that would have an editorial policy that all eds stick by, wouldn't you? :scratch:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on October 22, 2007, 06:58:17 PM
Well I never said I did it well   ::)

Better than me, for sure :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SharonBell on October 22, 2007, 07:54:26 PM
:batterup: And I suppose it's frowned upon to turn up and beat the brains out of the editor who said no :/ Ain't that always the way?

Sorry to hear that, Sharon. As you say, this business is notoriously subjective in nature, but then you would think a publisher like that would have an editorial policy that all eds stick by, wouldn't you? :scratch:

LOL! Yes, I was a TAD surprised at the I LOVE YOU, I DON'T LOVE YOU response from the same publisher...HOWEVER, it is a different line, almost a different genre. Methinks that's part of the problem.  :scratch: Romance has waaaaaay more subgenres than some other. Although I know horror has its own subsets, it's taking me a bit of time to learn the rules of the road (or the Roses, if you will).  :grin:

No zombies, thus far, but there is a Paranormal Line (Black Rose) for the vampires, shape-shifters, et al. And there is a Faery line for the fantasy romance fans. BUT, it's always, always, always (did I say always?) about the romance and the Happily Ever After (HEA) ending. Just in case you want to submit something, Ed.  :kiss:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on October 22, 2007, 09:18:12 PM
She would be walking along minding her own busines, when the next thing she knows she's looking at something over her left shoulder when she really doesn't want to

If it happens again, you might try an excorcism instead of a chiropractor.  :evil:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on October 23, 2007, 03:50:48 AM
She would be walking along minding her own busines, when the next thing she knows she's looking at something over her left shoulder when she really doesn't want to

If it happens again, you might try an excorcism instead of a chiropractor.  :evil:

It's top of my list of things to do if she ever does a 360 degree turn with a cackle :afro:

No zombies, thus far, but there is a Paranormal Line (Black Rose) for the vampires, shape-shifters, et al. And there is a Faery line for the fantasy romance fans. BUT, it's always, always, always (did I say always?) about the romance and the Happily Ever After (HEA) ending. Just in case you want to submit something, Ed.  :kiss:

Yak - no, not for me, thanks. I don't mind buying a bunch of flowers from time to time, but I'll leave writing about all the icky sticky stuff to you :grin:  I hope you have better luck with your novel elsewhere. Just goes to show it has what's necessary to make it somewhere, though, doesn't it? You should take heart in that :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on October 26, 2007, 04:12:57 PM
God, I'm knackered. My youngest nipper's bedroom is almost ready for him. The carpet is coming on Monday, I've got two walls in his cupboard to skim with plaster, skiting, architrave, painting, and a door to hang. Should manage it, just. Can't wait for him to move into it, because then we get to shift all our gear from the current office into the new one, where everything will be shiny new and nice.

I've also got my solar panels turning up on Monday or Tuesday, which I expect I'll be fitting next weekend. Though I'm mildly excited by the prospect of lots of free hot water, at the moment it just looks like yet another thing on my to do list. I'll have to overhaul the heating electrics and control systems at the same time, I suppose.

Lots to do. Lots to do. :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on October 26, 2007, 10:00:12 PM
Well, Ed, we're gonna be moving to a new place in a couple of months and, seeing as how you seem pretty handy, you oughta come by and do all the work for us. We'll pay you in Kibbles n Bits.  :yes:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Sallyq on October 27, 2007, 03:45:24 AM
Blimey Ed, you are going to be busy. I don't suppose you could find time to come and fit the carpet in my loo, could you? Den's got bored with carpet fitting now so whilst the hall and stairs look very nice, I'm still having to put my feet on bare boards in the loo. Still, I suppose I should be grateful I don't have to walk to the bottom of the garden...


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on October 27, 2007, 04:53:55 AM
Stark - you sound like one of my wife's friends. I was doing the skirting in the main room when she walked by and said, "Ooh, could you come and do ours?" Her chippy let her down half way through the job - just stopped turning up. I said no, because I've got enough on my plate between my day job and rebuilding this house in my spare time... and she was willing to pay me in good old fashioned cash  :azn:

Sally - you're having carpet fitted in the loo? Sod that. A while back, I walked into the bathroom to find our youngest mopping up a large puddle of pee from the tiled floor, where he missed the toilet, and to my horror I watched as he put the hand towel back on the ring :shocked: I dread to think how many other times he had done the same thing without anybody noticing. Still, I don't suppose you would get that problem with carpet :grin: Besides, I don't do carpet - it's one of my pet hates :/ Hey - maybe you could give Den a busman's holiday by changing over to lino in the bog? :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on October 27, 2007, 06:01:10 AM
I have a carpeted loo. I am not in the habit of peeing on the floor (and neither are my grown-up children or husband) so that's okay. You can't beat the feeling of soft pile carpet under bare feet...

Just been out this morning to post some little knitted things to my grandson. Hope they arrive before he outgrows them. The rest of the day will be spent in a frenzy of writing and drawing, as hubby's going to the footie so I have an uninterrupted afternoon. Tonight, it being Saturday, we will eat, drink and be merry  ;)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Sallyq on October 27, 2007, 07:26:55 AM
Quote
find our youngest mopping up a large puddle of pee from the tiled floor, where he missed the toilet, and to my horror I watched as he put the hand towel back on the ring


Ugh Ed! It doesn't bear thinking about!

I prefer carpet too, Delph. We've just got rid of a load of laminate flooring. It's okay if you're one of those very tidy people with hardly any stuff to draw dust. That just ain't me. Also, I prefer hoovering to mopping. We are having lino in the bathroom though.

We've still got laminate in the back of the house where we spend most of the time with the dogs. But to me, carpet feels much warmer.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Walker on October 27, 2007, 08:28:52 AM
The wife and I got free tickets to a seminar here in Toronto about retiring in Mexico. We're already late and still not ready to go yet, but it's an all day affair listening to lawyers, immigration, and real estate dealers. Still, the tickets were free and the information and experience is priceless.
Tonight we're going to build a bonfire and have a few beers to celebrate my oldest son's recieving 2 scholarship awards on Thursday evening at a ceremony at the university. So damn proud of him.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Sallyq on October 27, 2007, 08:51:01 AM
Well done that lad, Walker! :afro:

So are you thinking of going to Mexico? Or are you just going for the wine and cheese?


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on October 27, 2007, 11:31:28 AM
A while back, I walked into the bathroom to find our youngest mopping up a large puddle of pee from the tiled floor, where he missed the toilet, and to my horror I watched as he put the hand towel back on the ring :shocked: I dread to think how many other times he had done the same thing without anybody noticing. :smiley:

Oh ewwwwwwww. That's worse than any horror story!  :shocked:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on October 27, 2007, 03:16:36 PM
Sorry to hear of your love you hate you from the same publisher, Sharon. I arrived home from Spain to find Analog finally wrote their rejection note after 6 months thinking about it. But I also found an acceptance email for it from another one - a 200 USD dollar difference in fee - as in none for the acceptance - oh well.

In Spain I was pickpocketed in a bus mob - no queue in Fuengirola. I say pickpocketed but all he got was air and maybe a paper hanky. Everyone crushed to get on the bus but I felt this bloke's arm brushing mine so I became suspicious. The second time it happened I put my hand to my pocket and found his hand insided my zipped pocket! I grabbed his wrist and yelled into his face, "Get your hand out of my pocket!!!!" He was in his 60s and more terrified than me, so I let him go. He had to push back through the bus crowd as they hissed and booed him while thumbs in the air and bravo for me! hah! Nevertheless, I counted my Euros just to make sure he wasn't stupid enough to take some and put the wallet back.

My wife said that holidays with me are never normal.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on October 27, 2007, 03:42:18 PM
Yeah, I agree that nothing feels as nice under bare feet as a good quality carpet. I do like my bathrooms to have a tiled floor, though - it's easy to keep clean and maintain, lasts for as long as you want it, and for the amount of time I spend in there, I can do without the luxury. Some of the bigger bathrooms I've seen have had carpet around the bath and basin areas, but tile around the WC. I think that's a good compromise, but there aren't that many bathrooms big enough to make it look right.

I absolutely loathe laminate floors. Sure, they look OK, but they're noisy, make the rooms echoey, they're not particularly comfortable underfoot, plus they seem to breed dust bunnies. The only bit of laminate floor we've got is in the dining area, but when I get around re doing it, it's getting ripped out and replaced with either a proper hardwood floor, or some nice travatine marble.

Walker - are you really thinking about retiring to Mexico? A few people I know have retired to Spain, France and Portugal, mainly for the weather, which sounds great. Occasionally you hear stories of people who've had to come back to Blighty, because of health concerns, etc. Most seem to get along just fine, though. Personally, I'm not sure I could handle the summer heat in those places, but the winter sun sounds awfully good at this point in time :smiley:

Geoff - I hope you had a good hols, despite forcibly holding hands with a complete stranger in the privacy of your own pocket :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Walker on October 27, 2007, 06:51:13 PM
Walker - are you really thinking about retiring to Mexico? A few people I know have retired to Spain, France and Portugal, mainly for the weather, which sounds great. Occasionally you hear stories of people who've had to come back to Blighty, because of health concerns, etc. Most seem to get along just fine, though. Personally, I'm not sure I could handle the summer heat in those places, but the winter sun sounds awfully good at this point in time :smiley:
ya, my wife and I are hoping to spend the winters there and the summers here in Canada. We love Mexico, the people are some of the nicest I've ever met. We're hoping to volunteer when we're there-- Melinda in the hospital and me likely in a school or something-- maybe bikini inspector or tan-line investigator.  :o
That's a long ways off yet, but the time to plan is now. The seminar today was excellent. I was worried it would be a big two day sales pitch but it turned out to be very well run and hugely informative, particularly what the financial planner had to say.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on October 27, 2007, 07:07:18 PM
Sounds good to me. Although I enjoyed the three weeks of Canadian winter we experienced, I can imagine three or four months of it could get to be pretty waring. Over here we so rarely get snow and ice that when we see it it's something special. :smiley:

Most of the time it's just moderately cold and rainy, here. It actually feels colder here at +5C than it does there at -15C, because of the humidity, I suppose.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Walker on October 27, 2007, 11:45:45 PM
We used to live in an area that's notorious for getting lots of snow. Along the sides of our driveway we had snow banks so high they blocked out the sun, and we had to shovel every bit of it. It sucks and it's expensive to live here in the winter because it gets so damn cold. I don't play hockey anymore, not into skiing and I won't miss ice fishing, especially when I'm catching fish in eighty degree weather.
You're right about the humidity, Ed. When it's damp there nothing more miserable. At least when it get's cold enough the humidity drops so it's easier to cope.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on October 28, 2007, 06:15:23 AM
Yep - you haven't ever really felt cold unless you've suffered a British winter. It's the kind of cold that drills into your bones and sends fridgid tendrils throughout your body. Sure, your Canadian cold can freeze your nose to the point where it's in danger of snapping off, in under fifteen minutes, but it still doesn't feel as cold as ours :grin:

Well, on to today. I'll set my watch back an hour when I've finished this post, then I'll take a shower and get on with my work. I've finished the plastering, got a halogen lamp in the cupboard to help it dry, and today I'll be slapping some architrave around the door opening, hanging a new door, slapping some skirting on, and painting it all ready for tomorrow, when the carpet is coming. Furniture is coming on Tuesday. Nipper will be moving into the room on Wednesday, I'm guessing. And life will have gotten incrementally better for all of us :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on October 28, 2007, 06:19:56 AM
Walker, your rural recreation descriptions are great and urge my feet to trample our own rather feeble hills and valleys - cute though! In fact your tales are reminiscent of Robert Blevins, who as I speak is camping somewhere in the Mount Rainier area - just east of Greenwater on Highway 410.

Me? I had to forego my usual bike ride to fetch a Sunday paper and walk in torrential British rain instead.

This Tuesday I'm hiking in Snowdonia with a friend and I'm hoping to find time for a three-day bike ride in the Long Mynd and other Shropshire hills next week or the week after before the days get too short for sensible cycling.

A weird aspect of blogging is that while I was not adding to it all this week in Spain I had more hits than usual! OK, I don't get a great number - between 60 and 200 per day - and many of those linked to it from worried writers seeking info on the sham scam agent Christopher Hill. But it still seems odd to have more folk logging on to my words when I'm not there!

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Walker on October 28, 2007, 10:10:22 AM
Ed, it sounds like things are coming together nicely. You're a damn handy guy to have around, I can imagine.
Thanks, Geoff. I think. I'm a pretty cheap guy and could have bought a snowblower on any year but I didn't, instead I enlisted my son's help and he, deeply instilled with the 'cheap gene', seemed to take right to it. He has the right attitude, too-- when it snows we take it personally and get really upset thereby infusing the necessary amount of anger and adrenaline to get the job done. We've moved out of the snow-belt now and this is a lifetime first for me. Our new neighbours said they shoveled their drive twice last winter. Last winter we shovelled twice a day. I can't wait until my only jobs are to bike to the market for some veggies and then wade out into the surf and catch a fish for dinner.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on October 28, 2007, 04:42:44 PM
Sounds good to me, Walker. I've only ever been to Tijuana, which was frankly horrible, but I hear there are some beautiful places in Mexico. Always fancied the idea of going to Acapulco, ever since watching Elis Presley films when I was a kid.

lol at the 'cheap gene' :grin: Personally, I've got the 'anything for an easy life' gene, and I'd have the fully automated V8 snowblower, and damn the outlay.

There isn't much I can't turn my hand to in construction terms, or any kind of craft for that matter. The main difference is that I care about what I'm doing and I don't take short cuts, whereas virtually all the tradesmen I work with and sometimes employ to help me, will occasionally drop the ball, and they don't do the work to the standard I want it done to unless I hassle them constantly. I'm not a perfectionist, but for example I want a full coat of gloss paint on my skirtings and architraves, not one thinned with turpentine :afro: I just want it done properly, that's all.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on October 29, 2007, 09:41:08 AM
CAUTION: RANTING!

Okay, so I have finally completed THE ARTICLE FROM HELL, and I feel like a major weight's been lifted off! I write some articles for a local magazine, and the editor is a little picky. He sent one of the articles back to me for a complete revision, because he said I didn't follow his directions. Here were his directions, verbatim: "I need you to write a piece on ___ Company. We want a short 500 words about them. They have been around a long time and sell stuff all over. Other than that, I don’t what is there, but the premise is 'I bet you didn’t know there was an outfit like this around here.'" DUDE! I wrote a decent article, and I always listen to criticism. It can really help. And it has in the past. But if you're going to criticize, you need to actually have an error or oversight to do it!!! Was I just supposed to read his mind and know what "direction" he wanted? ARGHHHHHH!  :pissed: :pissed:


Okay, all better now. At least he said my other two articles were good, and he liked the revision. Thanks for letting me rant!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on October 29, 2007, 12:22:09 PM
I've been there too, STG. More recently though it has been the other way around for me.

I contacted an amateur writer but who works at one of NASA's top establishments. I set out guidelines for her to write my magazine an article on what it is like to work at NASA, rubbing shoulders (and other parts) with real astronauts, etc. I gave her a deadline and she needed more days so I gave them to her several times until we really needed it cos I was going to be flying to Spain and the mag chief ed was jigsawing the mag pieces together that weekend. The writer then said she's finished the article but I couldn't have it until it was passed by her NASA boss. I worried over this cos I knew from editing her other pieces that it will need some changes. However, after more delays the piece eventually reached me an hour before I had to leave the house to catch my plane. The piece was riddled with errors such as Noble Peace prize, encumbered with pleonasms & over the agreed word limit by 150% and so I did the fastest ever copyedit and sent it to Robert Blevins at Adventure Books of Seattle as a finished piece. As it went three things happened:
1) my wife tugged my elbow - she'd already lugged the cases into the car. Her hand was on the electric plug for the 'puter.
2) the writer e-mailed to say don't forget it has to go through clearance again if I change anything.
3) I realized I'd seen another error.

Arrrgggh. Editors don't always have it easy.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on October 29, 2007, 12:54:03 PM
Wow...that sounds like a big hairy pain in the ass!
That's why I get my hubby to edit for me. He's anal about it and catches stuff I would never even see. I find it's helpful to edit a piece until you want to hurl yourself out a window. Then edit one more time, check for style, then send  ;)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: joneastwood on October 29, 2007, 02:16:26 PM
Whenever i get my girlfriend to read something i've written, she will pick up on the smallest things, and we end up discussing that for ages. I just want to shout READ THE DAMN STORY!!!
...though its always useful (of course).


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on October 29, 2007, 02:43:38 PM
I'm not sure if my hubby has ever read a book in under ten years. He tried one of mine. With the best will in the world, couldn't manage, bless him.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on October 29, 2007, 03:03:14 PM
I hate it when people leave you to use your own initiative, because of their lack of guidance, and then criticise what you've done, on the grounds that it wasn't what they would have done/isn't what they wanted. Do it yerself then, innit? :batterup:

I've had the day from hell today. My oppo didn't turn up on site, again (he didn't turn up on Friday, either), and the developer's son rang me to bleat about me not being there this morning. This despite the fact they owe me three invoices' worth of payment, which totals tens of thousands of pounds. I made out this was the main reason for me not being there, but it was really just because I couldn't be arsed. When I finally got there at about midday, I found everybody had their arse chewed that morning, not just me. All except this tosser, the head chippy, who was the one who stirred it all up to begin with, as he usually does. So basically, everybody was in a bad mood, and it felt pretty gloomy. Then to add insult to injury I got stuck behind a large van and two cars all the way home, travelling at 35mph, with the van at the front on main beam, so all the oncoming traffic blinded him in retribution, and me as collateral fallout because I was tagging along behind. Urgh...  >:(


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on October 29, 2007, 08:24:41 PM
Wow, sounds like it's been a heck of a day for everyone.

Geoff-That writer sounds completely inept. What a pain. Even though I ranted to you guys, I was still professional with the editor. Even if he was wrong, it's their magazine and they're paying me. And deadlines are too friggin' important to ignore. That's why I always submit early; when the editor wants to get picky (or if I just screw up) everyone has plenty of time to fix it!

Ed-It sounds like what you need after today is a martini and a backrub from your wife!

Well, let's look on the bright side: Halloween's almost here (the funnest time of the year) and the 3rd anniversary contest is fast approaching!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on October 29, 2007, 08:32:34 PM
 :dance: Yep.

When I have days like this, I just think against the backdrop of eternity it doesn't mean a whole heck of a lot, really. Worse things happen at sea, as my old man used to say. Not sure what he was on about, TBH, but I'm sure he's right :grin:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on October 29, 2007, 08:47:45 PM
:dance: Yep.

When I have days like this, I just think against the backdrop of eternity it doesn't mean a whole heck of a lot, really. Worse things happen at sea, as my old man used to say. Not sure what he was on about, TBH, but I'm sure he's right :grin:

Well, think about it. Bunch of macho straight guys at sea for months at a time. No women folk around. Eventually someone's gonna have to put on a dress and play house  ::)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on October 30, 2007, 04:20:17 AM
:dance: Yep.

When I have days like this, I just think against the backdrop of eternity it doesn't mean a whole heck of a lot, really. Worse things happen at sea, as my old man used to say. Not sure what he was on about, TBH, but I'm sure he's right :grin:

Well, think about it. Bunch of macho straight guys at sea for months at a time. No women folk around. Eventually someone's gonna have to put on a dress and play house  ::)

Hmm... maybe he was talking about the old hippy in a barrel trick :scratch:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on October 30, 2007, 04:31:19 PM
I climbed to the summit of Moel Hebog today. A 3,500 feet climb. I discovered how unfit I was! The friend walking with me had to keep waiting for me!



Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: sylvrilyn on October 30, 2007, 05:57:27 PM
Tuesday evening and I have to go to work.  This means the productive part of my day is over.  After the triumph of actually finishing my entry for the competition, work is a huge let-down.  But then it's been like that a lot recently.   ::)

That sounds fun, Geoff!  *is envious*


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on October 30, 2007, 06:36:16 PM
Argh - it's only moderately cold here at the moment, but I've been working with wet hands a few times lately, so my knuckles have become chapped, and now they've split across the hard skin and around the callouses. Every time I bend my fingers the splits open up, sting and bleed. I've started to superglue the splits closed now, and it's helping quite a lot with the pain, but the glue doesn't hold particularly well when the skin gets wet. Happens at some point every year. Very annoying :/


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on October 31, 2007, 04:04:44 AM
Blimey Ed, don't you use these pre-work swarfega protective gels or gloves? You need to take care of your hands.

Speaking of which I dislocated my little finger on my hike yesterday. I stumbled coming down the mountain, put my hand out to steady myself and my finger bent back to the wrist! Instinctively, I used my other hand to pop it back in. Luckily we were within an hour of a cafe and they gave me ice in a towel to keep the swelling down. Sore and swollen but OK now. My walking companion said I shouldn't have re-located my dislocated finger...  until he photographed it!

Photo of me climbing and landscape beyond in my blog
http://geoffnelder.wordpress.com/

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on October 31, 2007, 04:34:42 AM
Oh, I can sympathise there, too, Geoff - a couple of years ago I dislocated my thumb. I was pushing down on something from above, with the whole of my weight on my thumb, just as my idiot apprentice hit it from below. If you ever needed to know the meaning of the words 'sickening crunch', hell, that was it for me. My thumb, like your finger, stuck out at a very strange angle until I hit it back in with my other hand. Apparently you only need to worry if there's a dent in the skin around the joint afterwards, which might indicate cartilage damage.

Probably my worst dislocation was my coccyx :shocked:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on November 01, 2007, 05:58:35 AM
Quote
Photo of me climbing and landscape beyond in my blog

Bloody 'ell, Geoff! If I was that high up on rocks as sheer and as steep as that I'd want crash helmets, ropes, parachutes, supporting helicopters, teams of medics, sherpas, massive cushions at the bottom of the mountain, and enough supplies to last me a month in case winter closed in unexpectedly. You look like you're just popping out for a pint of milk and a packet of fags. Fair play!

Del


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Sallyq on November 01, 2007, 06:03:30 AM
Quote
Probably my worst dislocation was my coccyx


Ouch! They thought I'd fractured mine last year, and that was painful enough. It turned out that the arthritis has gone into my spine (at least a fracture would have healed).

Great picture, Geoff, and wonderful view!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on November 01, 2007, 01:26:43 PM
*shakes head* Men and their fingers. This is why we make you do chores around the house!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 02, 2007, 06:43:14 PM
Busy, hectic week for me. Didn't finish work until about 7PM. Got home to an empty house, had to make my own grub, which was nice. Caught up with the events of the day online, sent a few hassling e-mails and PMs, and it was only just a few minutes ago, when I went to put the kettle on again, that I suddenly realised it's Friday night :cheers: and the whole weekend is ahead of me. So I'm celebrating with a bottle of Bud.

 :dance:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on November 02, 2007, 08:26:30 PM
Strange day for me tomorrow - actually later today.
Daughter had arranged a day's hike and slap-up lunch. My idea to celebrate my birthday instead of a big party. Then she phoned yesterday to say would I organise the walk - and lunch. So I have. It's like someone saying Happy birthday, here's a new sweater, ah , but do you mind knitting it yourself!  On the other hand I'll be hiking up Tegg's Nose near Macclesfield, and I've been eager to do that for years.

Should be a good day!  :cheesy:



Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on November 02, 2007, 08:30:00 PM
Sounds fun! Is your birthday tomorrow? I'll send you some yarn for a sweater.  :grin:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 02, 2007, 08:34:56 PM
Happy birthday, Geoff. I hope you have a pleasant day :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SharonBell on November 02, 2007, 11:07:05 PM
Geoff--This one's for you (ahem!)

<Drunken, Off Key Karaoke Singer>

Happy Birday to YOU!
Happy BIRDAY TO YOU!
Happppppy BIRDAY, DEER GEOOOOOOOFFFFFF!!
HAPPPPPPY BIRDAY TO YOOOOOOOOOOUUUUUU!!!

(Okay, where's the friggin' kissing emoticon when I need it????)

Cyber hugs and kisses, me friend!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on November 02, 2007, 11:19:54 PM
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
 :dance:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: sylvrilyn on November 03, 2007, 12:50:28 AM
Happy birthday!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on November 03, 2007, 03:27:25 AM
Gee, thanks folks.

Erm, I'll save those congrats and re-read 'em on my birthday!  hah. Today is the celebratory hike in the hills with my family, but the date of my birthday is Guy Fawkes day. (for non UK, that's Nov 5th. It's traditional for big polluting bonfires to be made and for local kids to chase me, tie me up and throw me on top of the pyre.)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on November 03, 2007, 09:19:44 AM
I guess that would make more sense if I knew who Guy Fawkes was.  :scratch:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Sallyq on November 03, 2007, 09:30:43 AM
Here you go, Stark

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guy_Fawkes

Basically he's the only man to ever go into the Houses of Parliament with good intentions. :D


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 03, 2007, 12:48:16 PM
Ain't that the truth :grin:

I've never understood why terrorists didn't emulate the gunpowder plot and blow up all the twats we hate in one sitting. Can't see the public objecting to the government getting wiped out :scratch: I wouldn't rush to condemn.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on November 03, 2007, 08:10:22 PM
Ah, thanks Sally. That clears things up a bit.  :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: neilmarr on November 04, 2007, 01:14:40 AM
Happy birthday, Geoff. Happy Bofire Night to other Brits. Neil


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 07, 2007, 03:58:08 AM
Well, I've put up a bit of scaffolding, and now I'm waiting for the solar panels to be delivered. Haven't quite figured out how I'm going to integrate them into my heating system, yet. The plumbing aspect isn't complicated - I'll just put the liquid from the panels through a stainless steel heat exchanger (like the ones used on swimming pools) which I'll connect into my existing primaries. It's just the control system that's marginally complicated, but only because I haven't got my head around how to do it, yet. Once I've figured it out, I think it'll be easy enough. Trouble is, there aren't any wiring diagrams for what I'm trying to do. If I can pull it off, it'll save me the best part of a grand, so it's worth trying.

When you think about it, although the startup cost is quite high, the principle is very cool. I only realised it when I was explaining what I was doing to my kids. You know the old "What're you doing, Dad?" question. Then it was, "What's a solar panel, Dad?" So I tried to explain it in terms they would understand, and told them it's like a boiler you put up on the roof which gives you free hot water whenever the sun shines... forever... and doesn't cost anything to run... and why the hell didn't I do this before? :grin:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 11, 2007, 05:20:38 PM
I was looking at plasma screen TVs today. I've always fancied getting a really HUGE one, but the picture quality is crap on them. The bigger they get, the fuzzier the picture, even with the high definition thing turned on. Plus, not many of the TVchannels have HD programmes on them, anyway. So I don't see the point of stumping up £1200 for one.

Funny, too - I was looking at one TV that was discounted by £200, which took it down to £999 (double it for dollars). On the price tag it said it was 'imperfect', and had 'slight damage' to the bottom left hand corner. Slight? It was mashed - somebody had obviously dropped it and it had landed with all its weight on the corner. The thing was absolutely knackered, and they still wanted a grand for it :grin: I can't believe anybody would be mug enough to pay that, especially seeing how it was ex-display as well, so it's probably been switched on for 16 hours a day for months on end ::)

Then I wandered into Maplins, where they had these remote control helicopters on special offer. My kids would have loved one, but I had a good look at the thing and found it would fly for 12 minutes on one charge. Trouble was, the charge takes four hours. What use is that? :scratch:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on November 12, 2007, 04:14:14 AM
Quote
Then I wandered into Maplins, where they had these remote control helicopters on special offer. My kids would have loved one, but I had a good look at the thing and found it would fly for 12 minutes on one charge. Trouble was, the charge takes four hours.

Ed, surely a man of your capabilities could knock up a little dynamo-based system that fixes to the main rotor shaft and thus charges the helicopter as it flies, thereby giving it unlimited flying time, inventing perpetual motion, achieving massive fame and fortune, and probably a Nobel prize, too. It seems like a no-brainer to me especially as the choppers were on special offer...  ;)

Del


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: PaulH on November 12, 2007, 05:10:26 AM
Or you could replace the regular rotor blades with tiny solar panels so it recharges as it flies!  :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Walker on November 12, 2007, 08:34:26 AM
I was looking at plasma screen TVs today. I've always fancied getting a really HUGE one, but the picture quality is crap on them. The bigger they get, the fuzzier the picture, even with the high definition thing turned on. Plus, not many of the TV channels have HD programmes on them, anyway. So I don't see the point of stumping up £1200 for one.

Plasma's are a little more high maintenance than LCD's for sure. There's a good chance you'll have to get a plasma recharged every few years and it's also much more susceptible to image burn. When we went looking we checked out a few plasma's but decided on a 42" Toshiba LCD hi-def. An adjustable picture size makes the image a lot more cleaner on regular-def channels, but the hi-def is stunning. I love nature documentaries and the picture from the LCD is mesmerizing, to say the least. Put in a good James Bond movie and crank the surround sound and it's like being in a theatre.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 12, 2007, 06:41:32 PM
Good ideas, all of them :afro: Perpetual motion, eh? Easy peasy... :azn:

Walker - thanks for the tips. I've only just started looking at the things with a view to buying something. We're having our lounge decorated sometime this month (hopefully) and when that's done we were planning to get a new TV. It was only when I started to look at them I realised I was out of the loop as far as understanding the technology went - what was best, lines of resolution and all that jazz. From what you say, the LCD sounds better than the plasma. I wasn't even looking at them, but I will now. :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 12, 2007, 06:56:58 PM
Heh, irony - Mrs Ed bought a Christmas Ule Log cake on friday. Today we notice it's best before date is the 26th of November ::) Merrrrrry Christmas! :grin:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on November 12, 2007, 07:31:30 PM
Our dishwasher is over 15 years old. As such it's likely to be the least green one on the planet although there are some grimy green gunge in a corner I can't reach. Finally the other day the door refused to open. Luckily it is empty. A friend suggested I logged onto a High Street dealer clearance website -
http://www.clearance-comet.co.uk/

There you can bid, E-bay-like, for returned household electrical goods that retain their warranties and many are brand new, albeit with the odd scratch and dent.

So I searched and found a Bosch full size dishwasher I thought might save my time washing up and bid a quid. The bidding ended today at 4pm. Funny thing is that the bidding kept going up to 80% of the full retail price at which it is silly to go on. By the time delivery is charged the auction final price exceeded the price of a new model! I think like e-bay some folk assume it will be cheaper and maybe sometimes it is, but not always if you let your mouse seek other options.

I hope one comes soon. I've run out of clean crockery and pans, and even the mice are leaving home.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SharonBell on November 12, 2007, 08:55:39 PM
For all but fine dining events (say, with the family and boss) we have resorted to PAPER PLATES <GASP!!> Even then, my dishwasher gets filled with mugs, glasses, DOG DISHES, and assorted flatware. Damn this eating habit. Wish I could get a patch for it.  :bleh: I'd put it on everyone in the friggin' house!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 13, 2007, 03:43:10 AM
Yeah - it's ridiculous how people get jumble sale fever on these discount sites. My brother in law bought tons of junk off Ebay for sttupid money. And all that crap no doubt went from somebody else's garage to his, where it still moulders, unused. ::)

Sharon - good idea, I reckon. I do the same thing when my wife's away. It's probably more environmentally friendly than firing up the dishwasher, especially if it's just for a few sandwich crumbs.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 15, 2007, 03:48:48 AM
Well, it could be an interesting day today. One of the main companies I sub for currently owes me tens of thousands of pounds, which equates to three invoices they should have paid weeks ago. Last week, I found out they were 'holding the money back' until I finish a block of houses, which is against the terms of the contract. I thought I had sorted out the problem on Friday and was expecting a cheque on Monday, but it turned out the bosses went on a trip to Germany on Monday and wouldn't be back until today, and they left without signing my cheque ::)

I don't know whether it was just an oversight or not, but I won't be doing any more work for them until I'm paid. I've been in situations like this before, where clients essentially blackmail you with the money they already owe, in order to get you to do more work and spend more of your own money, and then they fold up the company. I'm not getting caught like that again.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on November 15, 2007, 09:07:04 AM
What jerks! I hope you get your money, Ed.  >:(


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on November 15, 2007, 11:35:08 AM
Douchebags!

Here's an urban legend you might enjoy:

A contractor builds an elaborate fireplace for a fairly rich client. He does a fantastic job, but when the time comes for payment the rich wanker decides he doesn't like the price and refuses to give the contractor his money. Two days later he calls the contractor in a panic; he lit a fire in the fireplace and now the room is full of smoke! There's nothing stuck in the chimney and no one can figure out how to fix the problem.
The contractor agrees to fix it, but demands to be paid first. The rich asshole consents, and as soon as the money is in the bank the contractor comes over with nothing but a ladder and a brick. He climbs onto the rich guy's roof and drops the brick down the chimney where it promptly shatters the plane of glass he had installed earlier  ;)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 15, 2007, 03:06:15 PM
I got half of it, which is a start. All they've done is shot themselves in the foot, though - once I heard about them holding back the money, I cancelled all the material deliveries I had lined up, so now they're going to take another week to come than they would have if they'd paid me as they should have ::) Twats.

Still, the three days we took off this week enabled us to get the heating working on another contract, ahead of schedule, which cheered up the client no end. I froze my arse off plumbing in the external oil fired boiler, but it felt good to be appreciated, for a change. We've had the first frosts of the year this week, and the temp tonight is meant to get down to -5C with light winds. She practically kissed our feet. :grin:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on November 15, 2007, 06:34:57 PM
At my local Writers' Circle tonight, I read out loud my Witch's Alien mild horror / sci fi story. Halfway through I realised I had a pronoun in the wrong place - or at least the preceding subject was wrong for the pronoun. Being a slick operator with 30 years of teaching experience, I continued reading but somehow my brain was disturbed by the discovery. So my eyes and mouth carried on reading aloud to the group while my brain thought - hang on - this story has been critiqued by at least 6 people including here, so why wasn't that error picked up? It was only when I had to turn the page that I thought I'd better refocus on the job at hand!

At the end of the reading they politely happyclapped, which reminded me why I hardly attend. But outside (Yes, Ed, already -1 here) one lady said to me: "Geoff, your story was horrible. It made me feel sick."
I said, "That's marvelous, Dilys, thanks."
Her friend looked puzzled so I continued. "Horror stories are meant to evoke a reaction. It would be a rubbish story if it was so bland you didn't feel ill. My challenge next time is to make you vomit!"

Hah!

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on November 15, 2007, 07:29:46 PM
We should all strive for such puke worthy perfection  :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 15, 2007, 07:42:31 PM
Sounds awful, Geoff :scratch: Well done for keeping going. That sort of thing can make you stumble, can't it?

I hate reading things aloud to an audience, but it's a necessary part of being an author, I suppose.  :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: JonP on November 15, 2007, 07:58:42 PM
Strange things, Writers' Circles. I've been hearing a lot of comments about how bad they are on other forums lately. But I have to say that ours is great. You could read pretty much anything out to them and they wouldn't bat an eyelid.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: sylvrilyn on November 15, 2007, 09:18:21 PM
Hm...I'd like to find some kind of writer's circle around here, but so far everyone I've heard of meets when I'm at work.  On the upside, I had a great time at our NaNoWriMo write-in this evening...lots of writing, no reading aloud, just random socializing and realizing we'd all met a bunch of the same people.  Small town.   ::)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 16, 2007, 03:26:17 AM
I've never been tempted to join one. TBH, it's never even occurred to me - it's only recently that I realised there are such things going on in real life. There's a poetry society in our village, but I had always supposed it was because of our links with TS Elliot. I doubt we have a writing one :scratch:

BTW, I'm a bit wary of those 'no smoke without fire' glances when you're reading out your latest gory axe murderer piece :huh:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 16, 2007, 06:23:07 PM
Yum - I've just had a late night supper of strong cheddar cheese, and thickly buttered fresh crusty bread, all washed down with an ice cold bottle of Budweiser. The cheese was so strong it made the beer taste sweet. Lovely :smitten:



Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on November 16, 2007, 07:41:25 PM
Why is it that when you oversleep, your whole day is thrown off? I NEVER wake up late, but when I do . . . Urgh!!
I could use an ice cold Budweiser right now. But all we have in the house is Kahlua.  >:(


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on November 16, 2007, 11:24:52 PM
Yum - I've just had a late night supper of strong cheddar cheese, and thickly buttered fresh crusty bread, all washed down with an ice cold bottle of Budweiser. The cheese was so strong it made the beer taste sweet. Lovely :smitten:



I love cheese!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 17, 2007, 06:02:15 AM
Why is it that when you oversleep, your whole day is thrown off? I NEVER wake up late, but when I do . . . Urgh!!
I could use an ice cold Budweiser right now. But all we have in the house is Kahlua.  >:(

If I drink beer during the day, you can't expect any work out of me afterwards. That's part of what I love about Christmas Day - it's about the only time of the year where I know I don't have to be anywhere else, so it's safe to have a few drinks with dinner, and then snooze in front of the fire during the afternoon, sporting a wrinkled paper hat and draped in multi coloured bunting from party poppers. Mmmm :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Sallyq on November 17, 2007, 06:54:45 AM
I can't drink in the daytime either for fear of falling asleep after lunch, though when I was away with my friends for a week in September, our motto quickly became 'The sun must be over the yard arm somewhere in the world'  :grin:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on November 17, 2007, 12:23:20 PM
After decades of near teetotal existence, my father-in-law and my dad started drinking a sherry each night, and some mornings, in the last few years. We joked that they are becoming geriatric alcoholics, and they laugh their denials. Then last week my father-in-law was told he has jaundice and this could be liver damage from all his drinking! While blood tests are being done, he's now on water, which he never drank except thickened with strong tea (or sherry). A side effect is that my wife won't let me drink my whisky, and I only have a couple of doubles, or so, a week. While I went to a friend's book signing today, my wife visited her parents and noticed that her parents' tea was Earl Grey. Apparently her mum bought it by mistake but being thrifty weren't going to throw it away. My wife remembered that Earl Grey contains Bergamot, and that if you drink too much your skin looks tanned! Hah! Yep, the GP said his 'jaundice' is probably the Earl Grey but he's not to sup sherry until the blood tests.

I raise a glass to tea-drinkers!

Geoff - hic


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on November 17, 2007, 12:26:08 PM
Damn! That is interesting  :shocked:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 17, 2007, 07:19:05 PM
 :scratch: Wow - I've never heard of that before. Personally, I don't like Earl Grey. It tastes like perfume to me. :/



Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on November 17, 2007, 08:57:42 PM
I don't like tea at all. (I'm not going to be lynched, am I?)  ;)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Sallyq on November 18, 2007, 03:23:26 AM
I agree about Earl Grey being too perfumey. But how interesting, Geoff. And a good idea for a story too.

Stark, remember you're among the British here. That was close to sacrilege ;) :D


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 18, 2007, 04:04:40 AM
I don't like tea at all. (I'm not going to be lynched, am I?)  ;)

 :shocked:

Hang her from the yard arm! >:(

I can't get through the day without a good mug of tea, at least one an hour. I love a good cup of coffee, too, but I can't drink much of it without it making me hyper, which would be fine, but for the headaches and heart palpitations that go with it :grin:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on November 18, 2007, 06:27:09 AM
I do like Earl Grey, but reserve its consumption, along with a toasted teacake, only after a tough bike ride or hill walk. Somehow, the enhanced flavour of Earl Grey goes down best after exertion.
I've only recently discovered the existence of Lady Grey too. I wouldn't mind giving her a go...

Grrrr I had to shorten my Sunday morning bike ride cos of rain - roads slippery with mud too. Farmers should be made to sweep up after them!

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on November 18, 2007, 07:22:27 AM
I drink pints of tea every few hours throughout the day. First one is sometimes Earl Grey.

I have a cup of coffee once a week.

This is perfectly normal. Believe me.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 18, 2007, 09:54:15 AM
I wonder how many people say they don't like tea because they've never had a good brew. It's one of the things that annoys me on holiday - you only ever seem to get that crappy bag-on-a-string Lipton's tea, and you need two of them per cup, really. The best tea I've ever had is the old NAAFI tea. A close second is Yorkshire Tea. I like it very strong, but with plenty of milk.

One of our neighbours across the road brough me back some loose tea from India - jet black and very strong. Lovely stuff :smiley:

I've always fancied the idea of drinking ginseng tea, or Chinese green leaf tea, but the reality is plain awful :P

On a separate and unconnected note, I'm looking at buying a wood burning stove with a back boiler. Because we're out in the boonies, we don't have a mains gas supply, so we're reliant on kerosene for heating, and the price of it is steadily going through the roof. Ten years ago, it was about 15p a litre (30 cents), but now it's up to 50p, which is ridiculous, especially seeing as how the pound is strong against the US dollar at the moment, and oil is dealt in dollars per barrel. Somebody is making a lot more money out of it than they should.

Still, between my solar panels (which I haven't had the opportunity to put up yet) and my new wood burner, we will at least have other options, should we need them. Both of which are carbon neutral, too, so they're more environmentally friendly than burning oil. :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: PaulH on November 18, 2007, 04:06:38 PM
Tea... bleaugh!!! Can't drink it at all. Used to drink the odd cup of Earl Grey black, but not even that anymore. Give me my black coffee every time, thank you! And yes, I'm British!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 18, 2007, 04:41:10 PM
Isn't that treason, or something? At the very least it's unpatriotic, for sure :scratch:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Thewobblydickle on November 18, 2007, 04:50:37 PM
I don't drink tea or coffee.

This always makes me feel very antisocial cos it's one of those social pleasantries, to be offered and to accept a cuppa. People often assume it's some sort of strict health regime I'm on.
In fact, I simply don't like 'em.

Oddly, I love coffee cake and particularly coffee cheesecake.



Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 18, 2007, 05:31:10 PM
I hadn't thought of the social aspect of not liking either, but I can see what you're saying. Similar sort of thing with smoking and non smoking people - if somebody offers you a cigarette and you don't smoke, it almost feels like a snub to decline it. Talking of which, a friend of mine used to accept any cigarettes offered to him, break them in two and throw them in the nearest bin. The way he saw it, it wasn't any different to burning one, and he was probably right on some kind of level, but it damn near got him punched a few times :grin:

I suppose it would be like accepting a cup of tea or coffee and then chucking it down the sink :scratch:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on November 18, 2007, 05:35:39 PM
My sweetie is from HK and adores tea (both English and Chinese style) while I am a dirty, dirty american who loves her coffee  :cheesy:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: PaulH on November 18, 2007, 06:41:34 PM
I think it's more the smell of tea than the taste that puts me off. Smell and taste are so closely linked that if the smell of something is unappealing to you, then you're predisposed to dislike the taste.

Oh, and there's also the fact that my mum makes tea that tastes like gnat's piss.  :evil:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on November 18, 2007, 09:39:40 PM
I'm a coffee gal too. Tea would probably be healthier, but . . . ugh. I have a friend (who lives in Canada) who visited England and came back loving tea. She can't get enough of it. I do drink green tea with echinacea when I'm sick, though, even though it tastes horrible!!!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on November 19, 2007, 03:56:03 AM
I don't drink tea or coffee.

Neither of my kids drink tea & coffee. I put it down to us not giving them coffee or tea when they were little o account of the scare stories in the late 70s about how caffeine robs the body of vit C, messes up nerves etc.

Ironically, my son has a superb Italian coffee machine 'cos he likes the aroma, but sips at the espresso like a liqueur.


Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on November 19, 2007, 09:20:35 AM
I love the aroma of coffee. Up until I was eight, my dad worked at a Folgers coffee plant, and he'd come home with his overalls smelling like coffee. It's funny how we associate smells with good memories. Like at Christmas, my mom would always make biscuits with hot chocolate syrup. Now, it's pretty rare for me to smell chocolate syrup, but when I do, it takes me back.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 19, 2007, 02:33:57 PM
Smells are supposed to be the most evocative of memories, out of sights, sounds, textures, etc. I don't know why. Strange, really - we take our olfactory senses for granted, but being without a sense of smell is awful. I love the smell of coffee, especially when it's being roasted. We used to have a proper old coffee shop in the town near to us, but it shut down ten or fifteen years ago. It was a great place to have a drink and something to eat, plus the smell of the roasting coffee used to waft right down through the high street. Wonderful. Funny thing is, if they'd kept going a little longer, they would be making a killing these days.

My top three favourite smells are probably coffee, cut grass, and beer (hops). :smitten:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 02, 2007, 03:32:34 AM
Hung over this morning - quite an alien feeling for me. I very rarely drink more than a couple of beers. In fact I can count on one hand the number of times I got drunk last year, and funnily enough they were all around December. Last night was a fortieth birthday party for one of my wife's freinds. The music was too loud to talk over and the DJ seemed to limit himself to playing one of those "let's have a party" CDs. Urgh ::) Still, I quite enjoyed getting out of the house and mixing with the locals.

Can't see myself doing as much work today as I had planned, though :scratch:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on December 02, 2007, 06:36:12 AM
Cos of rain showers this morning I dashed out on my mountain bike to fetch the paper. Then realized my local papershop is closed for refurbishment. Grrr. So I cycled on to Town. Then remembered I was to buy a rail ticket for my mrs to attend an interview on Tuesday in London, so cycled onto the station. I popped into the WHSmiths in there to buy papers, chocs, a magazine and water - I'd not had breakfast or a drink yet! Then reached my bike and realized it was the mountain bike - no panniers on it for shopping like on my drop-handlebar-road bike. Aarrrggh. So I drank all the water, stuffed chocs for the mrs in my cycling jacket pocket, emptied the papers and mags of all the junk mail adverts and set off cycling one-handy in the rain that had started again! I don't like riding carrying a carrier bag with heavy papers. Its all right for a mile or two but my left hand is still weak & hurting from my dislocated little finger a few weeks back and my right tires holding onto the plastic handles and the handle bar especially over the many bumps. I cycled madly illegally through a big but empty park then over, illegally again, a pedestrian suspension bridge over the River Dee and the remaining 3 miles through a small wood and along cycle lanes homes. Heavy bursts of rain now but while the sun shines too! Terrific feeling - really! I arrive home and my wife takes the bag off me and silently shakes her head while pointing at the unused car sitting on the drive. She'll never understand...


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 02, 2007, 11:54:43 AM
Me neither, TBH, Geoff - I like things with engines and sides with glass in, so you can stay warm and dry while traveling :/


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on December 02, 2007, 05:26:02 PM
Me neither, TBH, Geoff - I like things with engines and sides with glass in, so you can stay warm and dry while traveling :/

Maybe it's like describing how exhilirating sex is to a virgin who only sees it as something messy and potentially lethal ;)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 02, 2007, 05:36:10 PM
Me neither, TBH, Geoff - I like things with engines and sides with glass in, so you can stay warm and dry while traveling :/

Maybe it's like describing how exhilirating sex is to a virgin who only sees it as something messy and potentially lethal ;)


You get her into my car, Geoff, and leave the talking to me, mate :afro: :grin:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on December 02, 2007, 07:10:14 PM
Me neither, TBH, Geoff - I like things with engines and sides with glass in, so you can stay warm and dry while traveling :/

Maybe it's like describing how exhilirating sex is to a virgin who only sees it as something messy and potentially lethal ;)


You get her into my car, Geoff, and leave the talking to me, mate :afro: :grin:
who said the virgin was a she? ;)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 02, 2007, 07:23:27 PM
OK, you win :/


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on December 03, 2007, 03:25:02 AM
I must admit (now I've won) that the only times I've fallen off my bike during the last 10 years was in rain or just after. And overnight an email from an old college buddy has made me envious. He lives in Melbourne, Australia running online training courses. He & wife often take a train 150 miles or so away and take a leisurely 3 days to cycle the Great Ocean Road back in DRY weather!!

Morning all.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 03, 2007, 04:22:58 AM
Morning Geoff :afro:

I'm a fair weather cyclist, fisherman, gardener, etc. I don't mind walking in the rain too much, but I have many a miserable memory of doing a paper round on rainy mornings that put me off ever recapturing those feelings.  :grin:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: joneastwood on December 03, 2007, 04:35:35 PM
Now, you see i used to do a paper round and it would often rain, but for some weird reason i always enjoyed it. I would wake up, hear the rain and then be happy. How strange... I think I just like the way rain makes the day look more interesting!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 05, 2007, 04:23:36 AM
I think you might be a bit strange there, Jon ;)

Twas blowing a hooley outside last night and chucking it down with rain, right through until the not so early hours of the morning. Had to plug my ears to get to sleep. I expect the ground will be boggy as hell on site today because of it, which is annoying - I somehow manage to get plastered in mud from head to toe if I'm not careful :scratch:

Talking of plastering, I'm knocking my fireplace around and getting it ready for a wood burning stove. So far I've taken down the old shearstone fireplace (urgh ::) ugly looking thing) and I've knocked out up to the lintel, put a ceiling into the recess, rendered the face up as far as the picture rail, and now I'm skimming the rendering with finish plaster. I've got two more evening's worth of skimming, then Friday I bed the hearth. Saturday I line the chimney (as long as it's not peeing with rain), Sunday I install the wood burner. Monday I pipe up the back boiler. Tuesday I box the pipes. Wednesday the painter and decorator is supposed to turn up. Phew... I'm knackered just thinking about it :/

And I've got to makes time to do all my critiques for the crit group around that - but at least that's quite enjoyable :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on December 05, 2007, 06:03:20 AM
Yes, it was a trifle breezy last night. Friend of mine, whose greenhouse had survived unblemished for twenty-five years, woke up to find the trampoline from two doors down had flown through it.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Sallyq on December 05, 2007, 06:58:00 AM
Ouch, poor greenhouse. It's rained almost incessantly here for a couple of days, but it's stopped now and the sun has come out. I don't mind rain if I'm in the house, warm and dry, and I love thunderstorms.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: joneastwood on December 05, 2007, 05:21:36 PM
OK, I've changed my mind about rain somewhat today. I'm doing a low quality touring panto at the moment and i had to get up at 5.45 (in the rain) to meet the rest of the cast in kingston (who were late), and then drive (in the rain) to Rochester, carry the set out of the car (in the rain), do the show,  take the set down and carry it back to the car (through the rain) then drive back (through the rain) to London, and then make my way through the rain to an audition in Warren Street (did i mention it was raining?) before making my weary way home, quite thoroughly drenched and exhausted.
Oh, and tomorrow i go to Swindon...


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 05, 2007, 06:26:06 PM
Sounds like fun, Jon :afro: Good luck in Swindon - I hear it's quite a metropolis these days. Can't say I envy you having to perform in front of gazillions of screaming kids. I bet it's tiring just listening to the noise. :/

I'm getting on with my plastering quite well - I've only got a couple of small cheeks to skim and it'll be finished.

My critiques aren't going too well, though. I was trying to read and comment on a story earlier on, after I had eaten my dinner, but my wife came into the office, sat down, turned the telly on and sat watching it. Being Hollyoaks it was full of people arguing (typical soap), so I couldn't read what I was trying to read, because I couldn't get the voice of the narrator in my head over the noise of the actors arguing. After trying for a while, I decided to get on with the plastering instead, meaning that I had to keep going back and trowling it every so often. I've only just finished it, but my wife has finally retired to bed now, which means no more interruptions. Trouble is, it's 11pm and I'm knackered by now. This is why I can never get anything written, either. Something is going to have to change around here, for sure. :batterup:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on December 05, 2007, 06:53:05 PM
Nyquil.
In her tea  ;)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Walker on December 06, 2007, 08:07:41 AM
Maybe a television in the bedroom.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on December 06, 2007, 08:47:06 AM
Quote
Trouble is, it's 11pm and I'm knackered by now. This is why I can never get anything written, either. Something is going to have to change around here, for sure.

I know that feeling. It's why I've loved the flash challenges over the last month. It's been the one tenuous link to anything I can call writing during an on-going busy period in my life. I keep thinking that things are going to settle down and I can start work on something a little more ambitious again. But now I'm realising that's not the case so it's up to me to make time.

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 06, 2007, 01:41:48 PM
Maybe a television in the bedroom.

There is one in the bedroom, but she likes to spend time with me (understandably :azn: ) so wherever I am, she is pretty soon by my side, which is nice - I like spending time with her, too (that's a fairly big part of my reason for marrying her in the first place, after all), but occasionally I need a bit of time to myself. I feel guilty about asking her to go upstairs, but - right now, while writing this post she has come in, sat down and put the telly on, and I've just asked her to watch it upstairs - explained why I can't get on with what I'm doing with a telly going in the background, and she has left me to it, without getting snakey, too. A result, I think :afro:

Now, I'd better hurry up and get on with my crits....


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 06, 2007, 01:44:42 PM
Quote
Trouble is, it's 11pm and I'm knackered by now. This is why I can never get anything written, either. Something is going to have to change around here, for sure.

I know that feeling. It's why I've loved the flash challenges over the last month. It's been the one tenuous link to anything I can call writing during an on-going busy period in my life. I keep thinking that things are going to settle down and I can start work on something a little more ambitious again. But now I'm realising that's not the case so it's up to me to make time.

Derek

Flashes are great for keeping your hand in with your writing. They're also a very good starting point for longer stories when you have time to do them. Sometimes you'll find there are two or three you can combine to make a very interesting plot, too. :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 06, 2007, 07:25:04 PM
Finally got a couple of crits done :cheers:

I'm having real trouble connecting to this website, though - I'm having to use a proxy to post this. It's not the host that's at fault this time, though. It seems to be a network problem with British Telecom. After the first few hops I lose the connection and time out. At first I thought it might be my IP address being rejected by the server - sometimes it happens that you inadvertantly end up with a banned IP address if you're on a dynamic connection, rather than a fixed IP addy. Thing is, I'm using a transparent proxy, so that can't be it.

Anybody else having trouble? Geoff? Sally? :huh:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on December 07, 2007, 03:28:08 AM
I often have trouble connecting to this site. Sometimes I write a long reply eg  a crit and the page freezes. I leave it to go on a bike ride, return to find the 'Cannot connect...' error message. If I reboot the PC then I can usually, but not always, connect OK but even so it is slow. I use BT Connect and there is always work being done down the road on the BT cables  :'(  But Cafe Doom site seems to be the slowest and most prone to freeze than all the other programs I use.

Oddly, if I trick my wife out of her computer, then CD always works well on that one! Same network too.  So it must be this Dell computer. I often flush out the cookies, temp files, etc. Not done a defrag for ages - not usually necessary with XP these days, but maybe I'll do that tonight. I could have another go at other non IE browsers. Tried Opera and Firefox in 2006 but they caused worse problems! Not tried Mozilla and Safari, and I'm not willing to spend the time to go down the Linux route.

Well, lets see if this sends OK. Time to put my morning coffee on anyway!

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 07, 2007, 03:50:50 AM
Thanks for letting me know, Geoff. I'm still having trouble this morning, and it doesn't matter whether I'm using Opera or IE. This comp is a little slow anyway - the hard drive is 75% full, which is never good for virtual memory, etc. Funny that I can connect through a proxy alright, though, eh? I've had Opera on a proxy and IE without, side by side trying to connect to this site, and I absolutely cannot get on using IE without a proxy.

I think maybe I should get on and change hosts, once and for all, just so I can rule something else out of the equation. >:(


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on December 07, 2007, 04:26:06 AM
I use a very basic Dell pc and IE, on a slow broadband connection, and never have problems connecting to the site - nor does it ever freeze, so maybe... errr... I dunno. I do use a much simpler whatjamacallit (babylon) than most of you though. Doubt if that has anything to do with anything, but you never know.

delph_ambi, computer ignoramus


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 07, 2007, 04:50:46 AM
Thanks for letting me know, Delph. Who is your internet service provider? I'm wondering if the fault lies with BT's broadband network.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on December 07, 2007, 05:39:41 AM
My ISP is Vispa.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on December 07, 2007, 08:47:25 AM
My PC is a Dell too. A Dell Dimension 5000.
CD is working fine at present  :sthumb: :santa_grin: :santa_rolleyes:  don't you just love these Crimbo ones?  :santa_cheesy:

I wonder if its cos I've just come in from a very blustery bike ride (its not nice going sideways :santa_cry:) and CD was the first thing I went into after booting up. Maybe this Dell needs more memory. Also I wonder if the Crit weeks messages take longer to load cos they're getting longer?  :santa_undecided:

Walking to town now, but I've printed Derek's Silver and a red pen while I wait for Mrs N in a cafe  :santa_rolleyes:

Geoff



Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on December 07, 2007, 10:32:26 AM
I have had zero problems with the site and I'm on (gasp) dial-up. I know, Iknow. We're moving in a couple of months though and plan to switch to broadband, than.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 07, 2007, 01:51:34 PM
My ISP is Vispa.

Thanks  :sthumb: I haven't heard of them before.
I have had zero problems with the site and I'm on (gasp) dial-up. I know, Iknow. We're moving in a couple of months though and plan to switch to broadband, than.

Oh wow - I couldn't go back to using dialup now. I've only got a slow broadband connection, because that's all my local exchange can handle, but the internet became a completely different thing for me after I got it. You will love it when you make the switch.

Geoff - I'm getting myself a new laptop soon, maybe even this weekend, so I'll see if a fresh hard drive and tons of RAM make any difference. I still think a big part of the problem lies with the BT Internet network not liking the connection to our server, though. :scratch:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on December 07, 2007, 02:21:30 PM
Every so often I have trouble getting onto the site, same goes for the Message Board of Madness and Graveside Tales. Maybe because I use a Mac?  :scratch:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 07, 2007, 07:14:36 PM
Every so often I have trouble getting onto the site, same goes for the Message Board of Madness and Graveside Tales. Maybe because I use a Mac?  :scratch:

I very much doubt it has anything to do with your Mac - your connection problems are more likely to be because of a full browser cache or hardware problems. Speaking of which...

I couldn't connect here again, earlier, so I tried closing my broadband connection and restarting it, hoping to get another IP address where the contention ratio wasn't full up - sometimes that seems to work quite well. Anyhow, when I tried to reconnect to the internet I couldn't get a damn thing. An error message kept coming up saying I couldn't connect to the remote computer (my ISP) and the ppp link was down. So I ran a few diagnostic checks that led me to the modem, which my wife (or la saboteur, as I like to call her  :santa_wink: ) had covered with a stack of crap and the dust cover from her dictaphone - it was pretty warm. So I unplugged both the leads to it, left it unplugged for five minutes, plugged it back in and restarted the computer. Established a connection straight away, and it's like a new machine. Everything is loading much faster and working like a dream now :dance:

So, yeah - try unplugging your modem for five minutes and then restarting :sthumb:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on December 11, 2007, 09:24:36 AM
Ugh. I hate being sick. I'm a relatively healthy person, but when I do get sick I am so whiny! It (finally) got cold here, and when the wetaher changed, both my son and I got a cold. I'm miserable, and my vitamins and echinacea tea and electric blanket just aren't helping. I was just wondering if anyone had any home remedies they like to use (for a chest cold)? And DONT' say go to the doctor; I'll take my son to see his doctor, but I refuse to go!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on December 11, 2007, 09:38:31 AM
Honey. Recently scientifically proven to be far more effective than any over-the-counter remedies, whether by sucking it off a teaspoon, adding to hot water, or any other preferred method of consumption. Tastes nice too.

Also, eat the hottest curries you can stand. Works a treat.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Walker on December 11, 2007, 03:09:54 PM
If your chest-cold brings a cough then I know an incredible remedy that sounds crazy and works like a charm. Put a generous amount of Vicks Vap-rub on the bottoms of your feet just before bedtime then put on a heavy pair of woolen socks and go to bed. This isn't a joke, it really works!
The mention of honey is a good one too. Mom always gave us honey when we had a cold, and even if the cold doesn't go away you still get to have lots of honey and it doesn't get much better than that.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on December 11, 2007, 03:17:31 PM
That makes sense to me! When my feet get cold my nose gets all barfy  :santa_tongue:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 11, 2007, 04:55:10 PM
Apparently, the only thing proven to quicken your recovery is chicken soup. Can't say I've ever tried it myself, though, not as a cold remedy anyway :scratch:

I find that if I take two ibuprofen every four hours or so, I feel a lot better. It makes sense, really, because it's made to reduce swelling, and I guess most of the discomfort of a sore throat is caused by inflammation. Hope you're feeling better soon, Angela :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: neilmarr on December 12, 2007, 03:36:08 AM
I'm on a high speed connection and seldom have problems, but Cafe Doom was running really slowly for me yesterday. Odd because other sites were operating as usual. All seems fine again this morning. Luck of the draw, I guess. By the way, any of you guys with Dell disappointed with the keyboards? I find that some letters and spaces don't register at my usual typing speed and have to either slow down or backtrack and make repairs. Neil


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on December 12, 2007, 04:31:23 AM
I have the most basic Dell keyboard, used at breakneck speeds for the last couple of years, and have had no problem whatsoever (beyond the letters wearing off, which doesn't matter as I touch type). Best keyboard I've ever owned. Sounds like you've got a duff one, Neil.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 12, 2007, 04:41:42 AM
With the site speed problem over the past couple of days - the hosts had to reset the server a couple of times, because the operating system froze. If you ask me, that's because they're not running the servers  as they should be. As soon as this crit session is over I intend to move to a better and more reliable host, but the site may be down for a day or two, or we may lose a few posts from that day or two, while the name propogates to the new DNS server.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on December 12, 2007, 05:43:39 AM
There's a hard frost on the ground, everything's sparkly and white, and I want a TREE! The urge has come upon me... so I'm going to wrap up well and motor down to Raby Castle. Best place to buy them round here. Always freshly cut, always cheap. "Why do you want a tree?" hubby asks. "For the children," I reply. "Ha!" his look says. Okay, it's for me really - the children are grown up, and might query the lack of a tree when they visit, but probably wouldn't be heartbroken.

 :ssmiley


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on December 12, 2007, 09:18:53 AM
Thanks guys. I'm feeling tons better. I'm definitely gonna go ahead and try the honey, though, because my throat still feels like I swallowed gasoline followed by a lit match! I don't know about the VapoRub thing. I sometimes put lotion on my hands and feet (dry skin) and wear socks and gloves to bed, so it wouldn't be too weird. Maybe I'll try it tonight, if I'm not at 100 percent.



I've had a Dell keyboard going on 5 years now, and never had a problem out of it. My computer, on the other hand, sucks!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 12, 2007, 02:14:19 PM
There's a hard frost on the ground, everything's sparkly and white, and I want a TREE! The urge has come upon me... so I'm going to wrap up well and motor down to Raby Castle. Best place to buy them round here. Always freshly cut, always cheap. "Why do you want a tree?" hubby asks. "For the children," I reply. "Ha!" his look says. Okay, it's for me really - the children are grown up, and might query the lack of a tree when they visit, but probably wouldn't be heartbroken.

 :ssmiley

Go for it, Delph  :sthumb: I think anything that brightens the house at this time of the year is worthwhile. To me, it's one of the best parts of Christmas - the decs, a few good blowout meals, meeting up with family and friends, etc. Good stuff  :ssmiley


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on December 12, 2007, 02:37:46 PM
I just mooch of my parent's holiday spirit  :santa_wink:
They get the tree, we visit and admire the tree. And of course we bring their furry little flatulent grandson with us! It wouldn't be christmas without a dog dressed up in a stupid outfit.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on December 12, 2007, 02:59:46 PM
I threw away my Dell keyboard within a couple of months (I had to press too hard for some keys to work, and the backspace sometimes took two characters away at a time as if it was a hard editor!) and bought a cheapo.

My legs are stiff today after a 15 miles hilly hike over three mountains yesterday, all in the interests of fiction authenticity! Details and photo link in my blog.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on December 12, 2007, 05:59:03 PM
I bought the tree, and was delighted to find some sprigs of mistletoe tangled up in the branches. Also bought a partridge, couple of rabbits and some venison.  :ssmiley


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on December 12, 2007, 06:22:48 PM
Oh man, that sounds SO much better than what my mom cooks!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: JonP on December 12, 2007, 06:42:30 PM
Ah, we don't eat rabbit in this house since our daughter started keeping them as pets. It would just feel wrong  :ssmiley


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 12, 2007, 06:53:59 PM
You saying that reminds me of watching one of those tribal programmes, where the tribe lived in Indonesia, in an ever shrinking forest. They had a pet dog, but would hunt and kill dogs to eat, among other things. When the reporter pointed at their dog and asked if they would ever eat it, the native guy looked taken aback, maybe even insulted. His answer was, "No, of course not - he's one of the family." It suppose it might seem weird to some, but I can see where he was coming from :scratch:

I love venison, Delph - are you going to make a game pie with all that free range meat?


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on December 13, 2007, 04:15:48 AM
mmmm.... game pie. Salivating at the thought. Might well do. I'll ask the kids what they want when they come home at Christmas. Poor old hubby won't be eating it though - after a boyhood spent shooting pigeons and rabbits etc for the pot, he can't face game these days and is virtually vegetarian.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on December 13, 2007, 06:24:27 AM
I was going to cycle a 34 hilly miles round trip to grab a haircut this morning, but the roads around here remain white with frost so I chickened out.



Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on December 13, 2007, 10:08:20 AM
Geoff - master of nature - chickening out?!  :santa_cheesy:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 13, 2007, 01:31:42 PM
I don't blame you. The first time I had my front wheel slide out from under me was on a motorbike, and it's something I'll never forget. Given that something like 80% of your braking is on your front wheel, it's a bit of a surprise when instead of slowing down as you had expected, you're lying winded on the road wondering WTF just happened. You go down so quickly there's no time to react - one minute you're up, next hundredth of a second you're in a heap on the road with a car sliding towards you :o


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on December 13, 2007, 01:47:16 PM
I did that on a push bike once. Seriously unnerving. Not to be recommended.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 14, 2007, 07:59:07 PM
Well, I'm off to bed again, absolutely knackered. It's been one of those days, today. I didn't really get enough sleep last night, so consequently I was a bit accident prone today. Picked up and tried to push together some 22mm copper pipe I had not long since unsoldered and wiped clean. I soon put it down after realising that sizzling sound coupled with extreme pain meant it hadn't cooled down quite as much as I thought it had. So now I've got a very sore blistered patch on my thumb and in the crease of the top joint on my index finger. Lovely :afro:

Then later on in the afternoon I was chiselling back some plaster with a claw hammer and cold chisel when the earplug of my mp3 player swung forward, caught in the claw of the hammer and pinged off as I hit the chisel. Apart from the annoyance of breaking the headset, I had to put up with the discomforrt from nearly garoting myself with the cord, too. Insult to injury and all that ::)

Anyway... off to bed, now....


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on December 14, 2007, 11:00:46 PM
Holy crap!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Sallyq on December 15, 2007, 03:50:10 AM
Ouch Ed! You're not quite as bad as my hubby's friend. Years ago, this guy lost one of his fingers in an accident, so you'd think he'd have learned to keep his fingers out of the way when he's using electronic cutting equipment. Last week he somehow managed to chop two more off on the same hand. Apparently they can't sew them back on, though I thought they could nowadays.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on December 15, 2007, 05:21:06 AM
At my 3S readers group meeting in October one of the women had chopped two fingers off by stupidly unjamming her electric lawn mower while it was connected. In her case they did plastic surgery them back - and the right way round! Imagine the worried surgeon with his eyes nictating between her hand and the two fingers (index and one next to it). Similar size, colour and shape - so would it really matter if he got them switched?

Come to think about it I'd ask if he could stitch the index finger back the wrong way around. It could be handy to be able to bend it opposite to the rest!  :santa_cool:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 15, 2007, 08:05:36 AM
Ouch, and double ouch :o

I've known a few people with missing fingers from various accidents. One was a woman who lost her little finger playing swingball, of all things. She didn't realise she had broken it until it turned black and withered.

Probably the worst was a chippy, named Ken, who cut off the tips of all four fingers of his left hand with an electric planer - he was cupping the timber in his left hand, while holding the planer in his right - swept it up the timber (I think more than once) and it was buh-bye to all four finger tips down to at least the first joint :shocked: There's no sewing them back on, for sure :huh:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: neilmarr on December 15, 2007, 09:16:32 AM
I've been a jazz trmpet player and guitarist for coming up half a century now. I was so bloody terrified of losiing one or more fingers, I learned trombone and harmonica -- pretty well the only two instruments you can play without 'em. Neil


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Sallyq on December 15, 2007, 09:56:44 AM
My Uncle Don lost one of his fingers in his bike spokes. He had the bike upside down in the back yard spinning the wheel (this was about sixty-five years ago) and my gran said 'Donald, you'll lose a finger.' He ignored her and five minutes later 'Ouch!'.

My dad, who was a nipper then, picked up the finger and said 'Can't they sew it back on, mam?' Everyone laughed at him at the time, but he says now that he obviously prophesied that they would be able to one day (though I think Uncle Don's finger might have been a bit shrivelled by the time they could).


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 24, 2007, 05:34:39 PM
I've been a jazz trmpet player and guitarist for coming up half a century now. I was so bloody terrified of losiing one or more fingers, I learned trombone and harmonica -- pretty well the only two instruments you can play without 'em. Neil

Wow - multi talented. I wish I had taken the time to learn just one instrument. I tried to learn guitar, but my fingers weren't supple enough to hold down the strings to make chords. After that I didn't get around to trying anything else, although I was lead singer of a band for a while, so I'm not completely without talent ::)

So here we are on Christmas Eve. My kids are absolutely zinging with excitement. There's a plate on top of the new wood burner with a few carrots for Rudolf (none of the other reindeer ever seem to get a look in), a chocolate chip cookie, a banana muffin and a glass of milk for Santa (as if he isn't fat enough already). The wife's wellies are wrapped and under the tree with a card from me and the boys (and a little secret something else she doesn't have an incling about ;) ). All ready for tomorrow. Waking up at the crack of four AM, no doubt :santa_undecided:

Ain't Christmas grand? :santa_grin:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on December 24, 2007, 06:25:22 PM
A banana muffin, eh? Hope your toilet is in good working order! Not sure how well Saint Nick can handle that much bran at once  :azn:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 24, 2007, 06:29:21 PM
A banana muffin, eh? Hope your toilet is in good working order! Not sure how well Saint Nick can handle that much bran at once  :azn:

Should be alright - Mrs Claus skinned them first :sthumb:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 25, 2007, 10:08:03 AM
Well, the prezzies went down a treat. I bought my wife a little something extra on top of the red wellies - I've been meaning to get her an eternity ring for a while now. Back in January of last year we were looking at them on holiday in Lanzerote, but didn't see any we really liked. So I thought I would have one made for her as a surprise. It's a bit of a long story, in all, but I've got all day and so have you, I expect.

The day before we got married, ten years ago, my wife was walking up through town with a bunch of flowers in hand, wearing a summer dress, looking forward to the big day, when suddenly, out of nowhere, she was accosted by an old hag. This old gypsy woman was offering to read fortunes, palms, etc. My future wife was up for that, being quite superstitious, especially with her not wanting to upset the old hag on the day before her wedding. So the old hag reads her palm and as they part she puts two glass beads into her hand and says, "These are for your two boys." We didn't have any kids at the time, but when the two of them were born, one had very dark hair, the other was mousy - the glass beads were blue for boys, but one was dark and the other lighter. It just seemed quite fitting somehow.

Anyway, instead of getting the standard eternity ring with rubies or sapphires I thought it would be nice to do something a bit different. So I got the jeweller (same one who sold me the engagement and the wedding ring) to make me a half eternity with three diamonds with one deep blue sapphire and one pale blue (London blue) topaz set in an 18ct mount. Ordered it weeks ago and finally got to pick it up last thursday night (I was a bit worried it wouldn't be ready in time).

I wrapped it individually and stuffed it into one of the red wellies, so it would be a nice surprise for Mrs Ed. She is delighted with it - speechless for a while. Result :afro:



Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: neilmarr on December 26, 2007, 06:09:08 AM
One of the books my lass, Skovia, got for Christmas was a 311-page collection of short stories and poetry called 'La Disparition' by French author Georges Perec. It appealed to her sense of humour because he's written the entire thing without once using the letter 'e'. Why? Neil


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Sallyq on December 26, 2007, 10:09:11 AM
Oh Ed, you old romantic you. What a lucky woman your wife is.

Neil: I can't work out why someone would want to leave out the letter e either. What point does that serve?

I got three Lee Child novels off my dad. We're addicted to Child's character, Jack Reacher. I bought my dad an audio tape of one of the Child's novels, so we can discuss them.

Den and I have been to see I Am Legend today. If you're thinking of going to see it, I can't recommend it enough. It's a great film and whilst some were worried that Smith didn't have the gravitas to pull it off, I thought he was damn good in the role. I blubbed a couple of times.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on December 26, 2007, 10:39:22 AM
Well, the prezzies went down a treat. I bought my wife a little something extra on top of the red wellies - I've been meaning to get her an eternity ring for a while now. Back in January of last year we were looking at them on holiday in Lanzerote, but didn't see any we really liked. So I thought I would have one made for her as a surprise. It's a bit of a long story, in all, but I've got all day and so have you, I expect.

The day before we got married, ten years ago, my wife was walking up through town with a bunch of flowers in hand, wearing a summer dress, looking forward to the big day, when suddenly, out of nowhere, she was accosted by an old hag. This old gypsy woman was offering to read fortunes, palms, etc. My future wife was up for that, being quite superstitious, especially with her not wanting to upset the old hag on the day before her wedding. So the old hag reads her palm and as they part she puts two glass beads into her hand and says, "These are for your two boys." We didn't have any kids at the time, but when the two of them were born, one had very dark hair, the other was mousy - the glass beads were blue for boys, but one was dark and the other lighter. It just seemed quite fitting somehow.

Anyway, instead of getting the standard eternity ring with rubies or sapphires I thought it would be nice to do something a bit different. So I got the jeweller (same one who sold me the engagement and the wedding ring) to make me a half eternity with three diamonds with one deep blue sapphire and one pale blue (London blue) topaz set in an 18ct mount. Ordered it weeks ago and finally got to pick it up last thursday night (I was a bit worried it wouldn't be ready in time).

I wrapped it individually and stuffed it into one of the red wellies, so it would be a nice surprise for Mrs Ed. She is delighted with it - speechless for a while. Result :afro:



Awww, that is SO romantic!  :ssmiley


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 26, 2007, 03:00:45 PM
You think? :smiley: Everybody else has been saying that, too. I didn't do it with that intention - I just thought it would be a nice thing to do. Something a bit special in this age of rubber stamped uniformity :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 26, 2007, 07:39:49 PM
Wow - what a weirdo. One of my oldest friends came around for lunch today. While talking, I asked how his brother (we'll call him 'Billy') was, and it turned out he's just split up with his girlfriend. His girlfriend (we'll call her 'Wendy The Nutball') always struck me as a bit weird - the type of person who displays 'unexpected' behaviour. For example, if you give her a wrapped present, she begins to behave like she's five years old, making all the little shrieking noises that an excited child might, while wearing a gleeful expression and blinking more than is normal.

Anyway, they lived together for quite a few years, right next to (in the shadow of) a canal that literally brims with water whenever it rains particularly hard for a few days in a row, but it never actually bursts its banks. The banks of the canal rise up to about eight feet above ground level and the water in the canal flows past his house about level with the tops of his ground floor windows when it's at its highest. Suffice to say the groundwater level is high, and the ground thereabouts particularly boggy for much of the year.

She had a dog when they first met - the biggest blackest Doberman you've ever seen in your life. She used to take it to training classes and, after a while, got into taking it to those agility competitions, where they did quite well.

Life ticked along. Time passed, as it does. The dog died of old age a year ago. The relationship between Billy and Wendy gradually soured. They finally split a week ago. Since Billy had a house before they moved in together, they agreed that she would in the event of a breakup only be entitled to a percentage of the house value that took into account and reflected Billy's initial investment. Despite this, the breakup became quite acrimonious, they haggled over the value of the house and how much he had to pay her when she moved out. Eventually they went to arbitration, the deal was hammered out, she took the built-in machinery from the kitchen, this that and the other, took the money and left. Hey-ho, thinks Billy, such is life. Shit happens.

A couple of days ago, he comes home from the pub, staggers through the front garden, a bit worse for wear (shitfaced) and falls headlong into a big muddy hole that's brimming with ice cold bog water. It's a big hole - very deep (approx 6ft). And this is where the truth really is stranger than fiction.

She -- Wendy The Nutball -- had returned while he was out, shovel in hand, dug up the dog and took it with her :o

What a loon, eh? :hidin:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Sallyq on December 27, 2007, 03:52:44 AM
Oh my God! :shocked: I thought she was going to have turned out throw poor Billy in the canal, but somehow this is weirder!

It's a great story though, isn't it?


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 27, 2007, 07:53:29 AM
Yeah, but you really can't imagine any sane person doing such a thing, can you? I'd be very worried about having her around :grin:

Can you imagine what a state that dog must have been in after a year buried in that sodden wet soil? Can't have been pretty :/


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Sallyq on December 27, 2007, 08:37:55 AM
It's very strange, and no, the dog wouldn't have looked (or smelled) very good, would it? Ugh!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: neilmarr on December 27, 2007, 10:26:38 AM
What a tale, Ed. N


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 27, 2007, 11:43:53 AM
One of the books my lass, Skovia, got for Christmas was a 311-page collection of short stories and poetry called 'La Disparition' by French author Georges Perec. It appealed to her sense of humour because he's written the entire thing without once using the letter 'e'. Why? Neil

What was that about then, Neil? Do you mean he simply left out the letter, replaced it with another, or that he only used words that didn't contain the letter?

Could it be as simple as something like a broken typewriter? :scratch:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on December 27, 2007, 01:12:44 PM
A lipogram is a story written without words of a particular letter. A story without E was Gadsby written in the 1930s by an eccentric but I've forgotten his name.

So today we've been in Nottingham in the shops - aaaarrrggh. Actually, Gaynor ended up buying nothing but while she spent hours fighting crowds in shoe and clothing shops, I spent a pleasant 20 mins buying some gear in a bike shop and finished off a story on my laptop in Starbucks! Magic.

BTW I had a neighbour who loved his dog more than people and he dug up and took a buried dog with him when he moved house. His dog was in a coffin so it wouldn't be so ghoulish as your mate's ex-partner's experience.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: PaulH on December 27, 2007, 06:09:00 PM
That is a truly bizarre story.

Sadly, I had to bury my cat today. She died on Boxing Day night.  :'(


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 27, 2007, 06:18:01 PM
Sorry to hear that, Paul :/

I'm not a cat lover, but I remember how I felt when our dog died a couple of Christmases ago - it's like losing one of the family, only worse, because you actually liked the old bugger.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on December 28, 2007, 05:31:43 AM
Billy's house:  the water in the canal flows past his house about level with the tops of his ground floor windows when it's at its highest.

... and you call Wendy a loon!!!

Tell Billy to get out of that house!!! We're gonna have more floods not less.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 28, 2007, 05:37:42 AM
Billy's house:  the water in the canal flows past his house about level with the tops of his ground floor windows when it's at its highest.

... and you call Wendy a loon!!!

Tell Billy to get out of that house!!! We're gonna have more floods not less.

Geoff

Yeah, I agree - must admit I was alarmed by the level of the water in that canal and absolutely could not live in the shadow of the thing like he does. Sure, it's beautiful in the summer months, but in the winter - dear God - you cannot possibly relax with that thing brimming less than ten feet away. ::)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 28, 2007, 04:23:19 PM
Well, I've been really busy again for the past few days. Went out and bought a new telly yesterday in the sales - bought a 42" Samsung plasma screen thingy, with a surround sound gubbins, complete with a DVD player and black glass stand. That's getting delivered (hopefully) on Monday. Went out and bought a new carpet for the living room, today, and that's getting fitted on Wednsday. Also went out and bought a pair of huge sofas, which are getting delivered on Friday. Spent an absolute sodding fortune :/


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Sallyq on December 28, 2007, 05:15:30 PM
Did you win the lottery or something, Ed? Or are you really JK Rowling, only pretending to be the mild-mannered  host of a Dark Fiction forum?   :santa_cheesy:

I bought vegetables today ... Oh and a melon. On reflection I'd prefer a plasma TV.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 28, 2007, 05:48:57 PM
 :grin: I wish I had JK's millions. The sad thing is, I can't even begin to comprehend how it would be to have that much money. I'm coming up to the end of my financial year, and I have actually done better than expected this year, but it was only in the past four or five weeks I finally got my hands on the cold hard currency. Now I've got to be careful that I don't get hit with a whomping great tax bill, so I might have to buy a new car and/or a van, or something, to offset the tax burden. It's annoying, though, because I think this coming year is going to be a difficult one, and I could do with hanging onto some of the money I've made this year to balance out my earnings. Up until a couple of years ago, you could average your earnings over three years and pay tax on that basis. But now the government makes us self employed folks pay our tax immediately. So one year you might pay 40% tax on the majority or your earnings, but the next you might well qualify for benefits and have to go cap in hand to the govt, begging for money. It annoys the shit out of me :pissed:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on December 28, 2007, 05:51:49 PM


A couple of days ago, he comes home from the pub, staggers through the front garden, a bit worse for wear (shitfaced) and falls headlong into a big muddy hole that's brimming with ice cold bog water. It's a big hole - very deep (approx 6ft). And this is where the truth really is stranger than fiction.

She -- Wendy The Nutball -- had returned while he was out, shovel in hand, dug up the dog and took it with her :o

What a loon, eh? :hidin:
:shocked:



Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on December 28, 2007, 05:53:25 PM
That is a truly bizarre story.

Sadly, I had to bury my cat today. She died on Boxing Day night.  :'(

I'm so sorry to hear that  :'(
It's hard to explain how bad it hurts when a pet dies, as they are friend and family rolled into one.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: PaulH on December 30, 2007, 08:25:11 PM
Thanks for the sympathy guys. Big wuss that I am, today is the first day I've gotten through without crying.

JK Rowling and Harry Potter are banned words in my house. Nothing against her as a person, nothing against the books (when you've not read something it's hard to have an opinion about it), it's the idiocy that surrounds her. 'Sign with our agency, we'll make you the next JKR). Thanks, I've already got the long blond hair and by the way you're bloody lying. 'HP has saved children from illiteracy'. SO that's why literacy rates among school children are still falling every year, is it? All the cack that these people come out with hacks me off to the extent that I won't have anything to do with it. Maybe when the boys are older I'll let them read it. Or maybe I'll get them to read Mallory Towers and Lord of the Rings instead, figure it's probably about the same.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Sallyq on December 31, 2007, 03:26:05 AM
Sorry, Ed, I've only just seen your post about taxes and such like. What a rotten state of affairs that you can't hang onto money just in case you need it later. It's a long time since we were self-employed, things have obviously changed.

Paul, I understand what you mean about JKR. I was put off by the hype at first, but when you read the books all that goes away, imo. I get annoyed with some writers who are nasty about her because she's not highbrow enough for them (though I think it's the success that upsets them more) She's writing for children for goodness sake and she does a damn good job of that.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 31, 2007, 09:56:28 AM
Yep - bit of a bummer, really. But there's not much we can do about it, so there's no point dwelling on it too much :smiley:

Anyhoo - I've just started taking down the Christmas decs. It's no longer snowing in the forum header and I'm just about to put the santa smilies back in their box, too. Mrs Ed's taking down the tree in the other room, and TBH I'll be glad to see the back of the thing. Dunno why, but I didn't feel very Christmassy this time around. I was just glad of the time off. :ssmiley


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: canadian on January 01, 2008, 07:24:33 PM
We dragged our tree outside today. Stood it in a five foot pile of snow over the firepit out back. It'll go up like sparklers when we light a fire under it come spring!

Must admit I'm quite glad that the holiday season has finally ended, too. For the past few weeks, I've been feeling rather d'uh but today ... there's suddenly a spring in my step and I'm actually looking forward to the resumption of real life! It was nice to hang out with my family for a few days but I now know there's a valid reason why I've chosen to live rather far away from them.  :shocked:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: joneastwood on January 01, 2008, 08:01:05 PM
I've found the exact same thing this year. My girlfriend has been away for a month and i spent the festive season with my parents. After a few days I realised that most of my friends from back home have moved away and I didn't have the majority of amusing diversions that I keep in my house. After a week I was going crazy with boredom and made a sharp exit this afternoon.
It's not as if I have all that much to do here, but I already feel better for being in my own place.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on January 01, 2008, 08:24:35 PM
Funny, isn't it? You occasionally hear of somebody who, for one reason or another, goes back to live with their parents. Personally, I cannot think of any scenario where that option would even make a short list for me. I would have to be in a very bad way - Steven Hawking kind of bad, without the voicebox, otherwise I'd still be screaming "Get me the hell out of here!" in that Dalek accent of his. :huh:



Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on January 02, 2008, 02:55:23 AM
I had daughter, son and son's girlfriend staying, and it was bloody brilliant. Hope it was for them too... All gone home now, so it's back to writing/painting/teaching. First two are fine, but I could do without the last, even though I only do a tiny bit. Will just have to write a best-seller, I suppose. :scratch:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: PaulH on January 03, 2008, 06:59:57 AM
I quite enjoyed Christmas this year, losing my cat aside. Having sons of 4 & 5 makes Christmas fun I guess! We saw a lot of Mrs H's family over the hols as well and didn't see my family at all. That's a result in my book!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: chaobell on January 04, 2008, 12:19:45 PM
I got a laptop a couple of weeks ago! It is wonderful! I can take it everywhere and write stuff and do all kinds of things with it!

Or I could until last night.  *sings "oh, the hard drive on the laptop goes CLICK CLICK CLICK, CLICK CLICK CLICK, CLICK CLICK CLICK"*

Fortunately even though it was used it's still got a warranty, so all I have to do is go plop it back down on the counter and go "I can has new hard drive plz." Even more fortunately, I didn't keep the only copy of anything on it; everything important is either on my main machine, my USB drive, Google Docs, or all of the above.

But still: oh, my poor laptop  :'(


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on January 04, 2008, 02:18:30 PM
That's the main problem with laptops - they seem to go wrong more often than desktop machines. I suppose it's because everything is that much smaller and compact. Glad to hear you kept backup copies of everything. I'm just in the process of defragging my hard drive, backing everything up to disk and a portable hard drive, which I make a point of doing every so often.

I hope you manage to get it sorted out soon :smiley:

I'm having trouble setting up my surround sound DVD player with my new big TV - it works with the terrestrial channels and digital terrestrial freeview channels, but the sound from the satellite channels doesn't go through the surround sound. I can't figure out how to make it work properly, so that the TV station you're watching is always the one that comes out of the speakers :scratch:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on January 11, 2008, 04:44:35 AM
Well, it's the end of the first week back to work, for me. Looks like I've survived it thus far. Going to be a busy weekend, but I'm looking forward to it - getting things straight at home, ready to start on the next project in the house renovation.

Funny - yesterday I went to look at some new cars and vans, because I think right now might be a good time to change, what with the tax situation and this year looking like it might be a difficult one. Anyway, the car I most liked the look of and have had in mind for some time as my next car (Nissan Pathfinder) is about four grand more to buy than our first flat was - and we struggled to get a mortgage for that, because 2.5 times our combined annual earnings didn't equal the price of the flat. Amazing how things have changed in twenty years, isn't it? :/


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on January 13, 2008, 06:20:41 PM
It's been ever so quiet here over the weekend - I keep popping in to see what's up, and so do others I've seen, but we don't seem to have much to say for ourselves :grin:

I wonder if the cause is maybe something akin to post traumatic stress. After spending Christmas with bickering hyperglycemic children and then catching up with the workload of the first week back at work, perhaps we're all shell shocked. Must admit I feel a bit out of sorts, but I can't put my finger on why exactly. :scratch: How's everybody else doing?


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: canadian on January 13, 2008, 10:26:46 PM
I'm so busy trying to get the 2nd floor of my house looking like it might be liveable at some point in the not so distant future that I've almost forgotten there's a world out there!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on January 13, 2008, 11:39:04 PM
It's been ever so quiet here over the weekend - I keep popping in to see what's up, and so do others I've seen, but we don't seem to have much to say for ourselves :grin:

I wonder if the cause is maybe something akin to post traumatic stress. After spending Christmas with bickering hyperglycemic children and then catching up with the workload of the first week back at work, perhaps we're all shell shocked. Must admit I feel a bit out of sorts, but I can't put my finger on why exactly. :scratch: How's everybody else doing?

I've been feeling pretty out of it too!  :/ Christmas, catching up with work (or trying to), and the stress of gettign ready to move = one sick me. I'm hoping it's just a cold and not the flu! All I know is that I woke up last night with a fever and shaking so hard that it almost felt like a seizure.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on January 14, 2008, 02:27:14 AM
Quote
Must admit I feel a bit out of sorts, but I can't put my finger on why exactly.  How's everybody else doing?

Pure and simply a busy weekend for me. Had work to catch up with on Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday. In between managed to play a gig, and spend a few hours sorting out the garage - didn't really achieve much but I did go through two boxes of old books and I'm now re-reading Carrie! Had the cold virus that's been going around for the last week or so, too, which has coloured everything with tiredness, headaches, and generally feeling down.

Already looking forward to next weekend, which is such a bad attitude.  :(

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on January 14, 2008, 03:06:57 AM
Yeesh - sounds horrible all round :/ I hope you're all feeling better soon. So far, I've got away without catching the flu bug that's going around here, but I think it's only a matter of time - probably the week I'm at Borderlands, if my luck's anything to go by :grin:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: aexombie on January 14, 2008, 08:37:41 PM
Hi everyone, almost noon here, so I'm off to have lunch with the in-laws.

 :dance: free food, yay


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: chaobell on January 14, 2008, 11:33:17 PM
So I get my laptop back from the shop and what happens not even a week later? The power supply on the desktop box goes PTTTHHHHBBTH and dies on me! And even though I can swap a power supply blindfolded, in my sleep, and with both hands tied behind my back, this kind of requires me to actually have a new power supply in hand, which isn't going to happen until I can get out to get one next week! Fortunately, they're cheap. As long as they don't take, say, the motherboard with them when they go! Yay! Isn't that awesome?  :cheers:

Memorandum from me to all computers everywhere: please kiss my ass.



Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on January 15, 2008, 03:30:29 AM
Appropo to your power supply failure incident, CB...

5 years ago while systems manager in a large High School I could see a huge thunderstorm brewing one July late afternoon. After the students had left I instructed the techies to unplug all the stations - only leaving the servers on with their power surge protected power supplies. Sure enough we had a few lightning strikes, which knocked out the head teachers TV - hah - but no computers were damaged. I had a call from a school down the road saying a strike knocked out a whole computer lab - power supplies and motherboards all fried! I couldn't help feeling smug until the following day. Their school insurance was replacing all his damaged computers with brand new ones! Guess what our adopted strategy was after that when a storm was due?

Geoff
 


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on January 15, 2008, 03:53:44 AM
Does it involve large copper cables running up to the highest point on the building, Geoff? :grin:

Hi everyone, almost noon here, so I'm off to have lunch with the in-laws.

 :dance: free food, yay

Are times that hard, or do you just hate cooking? :huh:

As long as they don't take, say, the motherboard with them when they go! Yay! Isn't that awesome?  :cheers:


Oh crap - I didn't realize they could do that. Mine's making funny noises from time to time, like "Vzzzzz--vzzzz--vzzzz" but I took it the cause was the fan running off centre. I've cleaned it and it's better, but it still does it from time to time. Maybe I should go and buy one. :scratch:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: aexombie on January 15, 2008, 07:06:57 AM
lol, no because i might jump off.  :shocked: but the food was good. now just waiting on my muse to expose himself to me. hmm. 10pm and still slacking.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: chaobell on January 15, 2008, 11:19:24 AM
Quote
Oh crap - I didn't realize they could do that.

Oh yeah. I used to fix computers for a living, and I sometimes saw machines come in with power supplies that weren't content to just commit seppuku. No, they had to go "GOD SAID 'SHARE' LOL" and send a few bazillion volts along to something else they were connected to. It didn't happen too often, just often enough that anytime a box came in with a dead power supply we ran a 24-hour burn-in after the swap to make sure everything else was OK.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: PaulH on January 17, 2008, 05:21:18 AM
I've been posting on here today, partly because the shoulder is a little better, but mostly because I got some new painkillers and I can't feel a thing  :cheesy:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on January 17, 2008, 09:37:48 AM
I want some of those! My throats been hurting for days (even wakes me up). Every time I swallow it hurts, then today it got to where every time I swallow it hurts AND feels like someone shoved a sharpened pencil into each ear. My better-half says I have mucus gestating in my head tubes or something to that effect. Gross.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on January 17, 2008, 12:23:34 PM
Oh, so that's where I caught it :scratch:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on January 18, 2008, 03:06:45 AM
Oh man - today it's agony. I woke up feeling like somebody wedged a stick sideways in my throat, so whenever I swallow it digs in, just above my Adam's apple. It only hurts when I swallow, but I've come to realize just how many times a day I must do it. I'm really hoping it'll loosen up after a couple of hot drinks and some ibuprofen, otherwise it's going to be a very long day :(


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on January 18, 2008, 05:18:08 AM
It's not quite as bad now as when I woke up, but I've decided not to go in to work today - I'm just going to dose myself up with cold remedies and sit and watch old movies all day :afro:

Just wish I had something to numb my throat :scratch:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Sallyq on January 18, 2008, 05:53:19 AM
Ouch, Ed. I hope you're feeling better soon. A day watching old movies sounds the perfect way to recover. :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on January 18, 2008, 09:38:07 AM
Sorry you feel bad, Ed. I quit smoking about eight days ago, and I felt like I was sick for awhile there. Cloraseptic spray  (not sure about the spelling) and lozenges helped my throat a little. Hope you feel better!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on January 18, 2008, 09:50:15 AM
Thanks for the sympathy :smiley: I don't feel ill persay - it just really hurts. I'd forgotten how much these things could hurt.

Good luck with quitting the evil weed, Angela :afro: I did it nearly two years ago, now. Hard going at times, but once I'd thrown everything away and stopped, that was it - no more. And I'm very glad I managed it. If you find you're having trouble, look for a book called 'The Easy Way To Stop Smoking' by Allen Carr - it's about twelve bucks plus shipping at Amazon, and worth every penny, IMO. Donna, Walker, Dan and me, (from this site alone) all stopped smoking thanks to that book. I heartily encourage any smokers I know to read that book, even if they've already quit by other means :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on January 18, 2008, 09:53:12 AM
I'll definitely look into it. It hasn't been easy, that's for sure. At first, I thought "if I can just get through the first day." Then, "if I can just get through the first week." Now, I'm looking forward to getting through the first month! Oh well, I did it to myself, right? Enjoy your movies!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on January 18, 2008, 10:20:34 AM
I'll definitely look into it. It hasn't been easy, that's for sure. At first, I thought "if I can just get through the first day." Then, "if I can just get through the first week." Now, I'm looking forward to getting through the first month! Oh well, I did it to myself, right? Enjoy your movies!

The great thing about the book is it takes away that feeling like you're depriving yourself of a pleasure. I quit cold turkey, when, up until finishing the book, I had smoked nearly forty a day, had smoked for over twenty years, and had only ever managed to stop for (at best) a day, despite numerous attempts to stop, including the use of patches, gum, inhalers, acupuncture, hypnosis.

I didn't believe it could work, but it does - it just completely changes the way you look at smoking.

You should be very proud of yourself for stopping on your own, like that, though - well done :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on January 18, 2008, 03:02:00 PM
Sorry to hear you're feeling rough, Ed. All the best for a speedy recovery.

Donna has actually given up smoking? Nah - we've met in person a few times, and I still can't picture her wiithout her personal smoke cloud -  only kidding Donna.  I have to say that because she gives me a mighty Canadian bear hug when we meet, and my ribs have only just recovered...

Torrential rain forecast here - for EVER. My bike is growing moss. Grrrrr

Geoff



Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on January 18, 2008, 03:35:57 PM
 :scratch: Oops - maybe it wasn't Donna? Who was it that Walker sent his copy to? I can't remember... ever since packing in smoking, I ain't been the same, y'kno...

As for this sore throat - I just hope it isn't worse tomorrow. I went to bed last night thinking 'I wonder if this'll be better or worse tomorrow?' and quickly came to the conclusion it couldn't be worse. And lo and behold, this morning :gross:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on January 18, 2008, 10:57:25 PM
It's not quite as bad now as when I woke up, but I've decided not to go in to work today - I'm just going to dose myself up with cold remedies and sit and watch old movies all day :afro:

Just wish I had something to numb my throat :scratch:

Yup, we have the same thing! Drink oodles of water and take Nyquil before bed. Lucid is no way to endure being sick  ::)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on January 19, 2008, 04:02:47 AM
Thanks for the advice, Natalie - I've been taking a couple of ibuprofen on top of a Lemsip Max Strength every four hours, and sucking on Strepsil throat lozengers in between times. Slept a fair chunk of the day, yesterday, and spent the waking hours watching old movies and critting stories ready for Borderlands. I'm guessing I'll get the earache just in time for my trans atlantic flight ::)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: canadian on January 19, 2008, 12:08:22 PM
Sorry to hear you've got the icks, Ed. Sounds nasty. Sounds like you need some antibiotics.

And no, I haven't given up the cancer sticks ... yet. Still walkin' around in my own personal cloud. I did quit for a little while, years ago, after reading Alan Carr's book but it didn't stick.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on January 19, 2008, 04:17:43 PM
I'm feeling progressively better today, thanks. Even reached a stage this afternoon where it didn't hurt at all, but now I've dumped a curry on it... ahem.... :gross:

I know - it's my own fault :/ :grin:



Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: canadian on January 19, 2008, 04:37:44 PM
Yikes! Curry on a sore throat.  :crazy:

What were you trying to do, Ed? Cauterize it? Sterilize it? Carry out some sort of scorched earth policy?


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on January 20, 2008, 11:34:54 PM
I would tell your wife to spank you!

It's the only way you'll learn  :bleh:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on January 21, 2008, 03:39:15 AM
It has been a while since I got a good sound spanking :/

Throat is feeling a lot better today - I'm hoping that's the end of it now, but after talking to other people who've had it, it sounds like I've got another three or four weeks of various flue-like syptoms to look forward to. I hope they're wrong :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Sallyq on January 21, 2008, 01:09:22 PM
Hate to worry you, Ed, but my friend caught it before Christmas and is still suffering. The virus has gone but it's left her really depressed.

That's something nice to know on the most miserable day of the year, isn't it?  :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on January 21, 2008, 01:49:03 PM
Yeah, thanks for that, Sally. You're like a little ray of sunshine, aren't yeh? ::)

 :grin:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Sallyq on January 21, 2008, 02:05:54 PM
 :nope: :glad:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: chaobell on January 21, 2008, 08:37:46 PM
Yikes! Curry on a sore throat.  :crazy:

What were you trying to do, Ed? Cauterize it? Sterilize it? Carry out some sort of scorched earth policy?

Nuke it from orbit, it's the only way to be sure.

(still, ow.)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on January 30, 2008, 07:00:16 PM
Urgh - annoyed with myself for not buying US postage while I was there. I actually thought about it at the airport when I saw a stamp vending machine. There was a bit of a queue for it, so I decided to return later and, of course, never did ::)

Now I've had to order them online from the USPS website, which ended up costing me $24 instead of a couple of bucks :pissed:  Still, nevermind. If it leads to a big sale it'll be worth it. :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on January 31, 2008, 04:38:02 AM
The USPS website took months to send me my 90 cent stamps for SAE.

The first time I found they'd kindly sent me huge commemorative stamps - useless cos to stick enough on they covered up the name and address!

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: lucyblue on January 31, 2008, 10:01:16 AM
Why the hell can't they just reply by email?  I don't get it.

Jenny


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on January 31, 2008, 01:20:44 PM
My thoughts precisely - I don't see the point of sending hard copy over the Atlantic and them sending a hard copy accept/reject back again. It's easier, cost free and more environmentally sound to do it all by e-mail :scratch:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on January 31, 2008, 02:51:28 PM
Who did you send to? I'm waiting on a hard rejection myself.
Oh...oh that sounded so dirty.  :huh:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on January 31, 2008, 04:20:54 PM
Oh, I haven't shot it over there yet :grin:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on February 01, 2008, 03:25:47 AM
it's even more annoying to know that mags like Analog and F&SF insist on postal everything so my US friends get their rejections in days while I wait months. And yet I have received US post in two days once last year. I wonder if they see the Brit stamps at the editors office and have a special - oh, they're used to waiting - box.

I'm wired up today (not for sound) for a 24 hour bp monitor - hypertension again. So wife kicked me out of her bed and into th e spare room. Last time I could sleep through the hourly vibrating and pumping noises of the sphagmomomomomometer but wife couldn't - so she'd lash out half asleep, and thus I woke too.

Another half day to have my arm squeezed to the bone every 30 minutes.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on February 01, 2008, 03:52:34 AM
Yeah - I've got to send mine to F&SF. Doug Winter and Tom Monteleone suggested sending it to Azimov. I'll wait for a rejection from F&SF first, though. BTW, I thought I remembered seeing that F&SF and Azimov are linked in some way - do you know anything about that, Geoff?

Sorry to hear about your medical woes, although I've got no idea what hypertension is, it sounds unpleasant :/ Probably means you're working too hard.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on February 08, 2008, 03:49:12 AM
The only thing in common between F&SF and Asimov I know about is they both take months to reject my subs!

Tears rolled down my cheeks at the hospital yesterday. Too much to say here but it's in my blog.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on February 08, 2008, 03:53:11 AM
 :grin: People watching is a new national sport, isn't it?


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on February 12, 2008, 05:36:35 PM
Just to say that I'll be away from a computer for a few days. No need for search parties and sniffer dogs, although if anyone fancies offering a reward for my safe return I'm sure I could find a way of collecting it for the Nelder Benevolent Fund.

And don't think I've left the house unguarded...

I'll be back.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on February 12, 2008, 05:57:32 PM
 :huh: Another tour of the Amsterdam red light district, huh? Purely for research purposes (again) ;) :grin:

Have a good trip, Geoff, and thanks for letting us know this time :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on February 18, 2008, 03:54:47 AM
Last week I had naked young women thrusting their pointy bits inches from my face, I flew a mere 135 metres above London, hiked 14 hilly miles in one day and didn't write a single story. To see details you can visit my blog below


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on February 18, 2008, 04:14:30 AM
Sounds like quite an adventure :huh: Welcome back, Geoff :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on February 18, 2008, 09:39:58 AM
Let's see, last week I cleaned house, did laundry, went to work . . . yeah, your week was way more exciting than mine Geoff!  :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: chaobell on February 18, 2008, 11:41:02 AM
Yesterday I went to Texas Art Supply with my mom, bought not nearly as much crap as I was tempted to, then went to Katz's Deli for lunch. I had never been there. You wouldn't think fried dill pickle spears would taste so good. *om nom nom nom*


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on February 18, 2008, 12:37:24 PM
You wouldn't think fried dill pickle spears would taste so good.

You're right there :/

Sounds awful, but then I don't like pickles :grin:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on February 18, 2008, 05:11:56 PM
Bought books to throw on the pile, explored my new state. Still getting used to the mid-west (in a very nice way!)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on February 18, 2008, 05:27:01 PM
Where're you at again, Ash? Do I remember you saying Utah? :scratch: Probably not.

Glad to hear you're settling in OK, anyway :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on February 18, 2008, 05:29:48 PM
Missouri. The lack of Dunkin' Donuts and CVS bothers me, but other than that it's pretty neat.  :grin:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on February 18, 2008, 05:38:10 PM
So is that one of those places that's all plaid, pickup trucks and ten gallon hats? I've always fancied taking a long tour of the states and seeing ones that don't get many tourists, as long as it doesn't end up like Deliverance, of course :/


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: canadian on February 18, 2008, 05:46:45 PM
Today's a new statutory holiday in Ontario -- Family Day. But I was at work. Had two meetings scheduled with people comin' up from the big city ... one cancelled due to strep throat, the other only popped in for a few minutes 'cause the other two people from my company weren't in the office -- they were stuck at home with severely iced over driveways.

Ah well. I got lots done in the wonderous quiet.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on February 18, 2008, 06:04:24 PM
So is that one of those places that's all plaid, pickup trucks and ten gallon hats? I've always fancied taking a long tour of the states and seeing ones that don't get many tourists, as long as it doesn't end up like Deliverance, of course :/

Not where I am, but I can't speak for the rest of the state. I think you have to go further south for the hats.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on February 19, 2008, 09:35:16 AM
This morning, the editor of my scifi, Exit, Pursued by a Bee, at DDP has said he's made hardly any changes. But I notice that he's added an extra space between all the sentences.  Like this.  I know that was done on typewriters decades ago, but I've yet to see a publisher do that these days. He says it makes it easier to read. Perhaps it does. I'm not making a fuss, but curious on other views on single space or double between sentences. He's also changed my No indents for first lines in new chapters and sections to having an indent. Again, contemporary publishers don't indent the first lines. I wonder if this is a rare example of UK publishers being ahead of some US ones?

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on February 19, 2008, 05:11:14 PM
Hmm, weird :scratch: Hardly anybody uses double spaces between words these days. My wife does, because she's a legal secretary, and you know what the legal establisment's like - very slow to change. In fact, very slow in every respect...

On a separate note - I still haven't received my postage stamps from the USPS online :pissed: :bangh: I'm utterly frustrated, because I desperately want to take F Paul Wilson's advice and send my story off the this US mag, but they require all submissions to include a self addressed envelope with 90c US postage :'(  USPS say they can't track the order because it was sent 1st class, but can confirm it was dispatched on the 1st of Feb 08 - nearly three weeks ago. They've given me a freephone number to ring in order to file a claim, but it doesn't work trans Atlantic. How could something so fucking simple turn out to be so complicated? God I'm pissed off :(


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on February 19, 2008, 05:52:39 PM
Send me your address, Ed, and I'll throw you a couple of 90c stamps. No probs.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on February 19, 2008, 06:33:59 PM
That's exceptionally kind of you, Geoff, thank you - I really appreciate the offer. Turns out, though, after checking the submission guidelines again, I can use an international reply coupon instead, so I've been fretting all this time for no good reason ::) (damnit)

Thanks again for offering - you're a gent :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on February 19, 2008, 08:54:21 PM
I personally am distrated to see the spaces between sentences, but I'm partial to paragraph indentation, so I'm no help there, Geoff.  :scratch:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on February 20, 2008, 03:47:53 AM
I personally am distrated to see the spaces between sentences, but I'm partial to paragraph indentation, so I'm no help there, Geoff.  :scratch:

I'm not referring to the normal indentation of paragraphs. Reach for your bookshelf and pick any contemporary book (like my Escaping Reality - hah). The chances are that you'll notice the FIRST line of any chapter or section is NOT indented, even though all the other paragraphs are.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on February 20, 2008, 09:39:04 AM
Ah, I see what you're saying now. Funny, I never even noticed before!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on February 23, 2008, 01:42:17 PM
Woo-hoo  :dance: Managed to ditch the kids on mother-in-law for tonight, so we're going out for a meal and then a movie. I'm guessing we'll have an Italian, because we both like pasta dishes, then we're going to see Cloverfield at the cinema. Looks like a bit of a disaster flick, but it has five star ratings from several criticsa, so I'm guessing it should be good :afro:

Looking forward to it, anyway :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on February 23, 2008, 06:25:13 PM
God, that was awful. They spent $25,000,000 making that? How? Certainly didn't spend it on the cameraman. If I'd realised it was all going to be filmed on a shaky hand held camcorder, I certainly wouldn't have gone to see it - I spent most of the time staring at the floor because I couldn't bear to watch the screen. Terrible. I still feel sick now, and I've been out of there half an hour. Could quite easily hurl that Pollo al funghi (sounds delicious, doesn't it?) I ate before the film. :/


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on February 24, 2008, 05:29:17 AM
we saw a trailer of Cloverfield and that was enough to put me off! Not sure there's anything I'd have an urge to see at the cinema this week. Possibly Jumper - though it's a bit juvenile. U2 3D could be quite an experience, though I'd have to adjust my hearing aids!

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on February 24, 2008, 05:57:31 AM
Yeah, I thought about seeing Jumper, but after reading the reviews it didn't sound much good. I would have seen The Bank Job, but it wasn't scheduled for Saturday night, for some reason. My other choice would have been The Bucket List - I think that'll be the next one I see. It could be quite entertaining, I think. I'm disappointed by Cloverfield, because the camerawork was so bad that it literally was unwatchable, especially at times of action, when you really want to see what's going on.

The thing is, too - the premise was actually quite weak, so the film relied quite heavily on the gimmick of it being filmed by a party guest on a camcorder. Had the premise been that it was filmed by a news crew, with a professional cameraman behind the camera, they'd have had to work a bit harder at the plot. I don't know why it got so many 5 star reviews. I really don't think it deserved them at all.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on February 25, 2008, 02:43:17 PM
I missed today's morning greeting cos I was tied up at a meeting in my local Borders Bookstore. They agreed to take my Escaping Reality on sale or return! Yay! It's for sale in some tiny bookshops but to have it in the giant Borders feels great! Even if it is only one - the one at Cheshire Oaks, Ellesmere Port.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on February 25, 2008, 03:16:14 PM
That's very cool, Geoff - congratulations :dance:

I don't really have any news, other than I've got my Black Pearl MS printed out and ready to send off - the US postage finally arrived on Saturday - plus I've written a cover letter (brief and to the point). It's all stuffed into a big brown envelope, ready to fly across the pond. I got my wife to type up the address on the first envelope, but then noticed she'd got the zip code wrong, so had to do another. Good job I noticed, otherwise I don't think it would get there. I hear the USPS rely heavily on the zip codes and nothing goes anywhere without the correct selection of numbers and letters.

Odd, really - in the UK, you can quite often get away with very scant info on an envelope and it'll still get there. I remember one where somebody sent a letter with vague directions on it, like "Take your first left on the way down the hill into St Agnes and her house is near the end of the cul-de-sac - it's the house with the red VW in the driveway."

Anyhoo, I know it doesn't stand much of a chance of being published after seeing just how many stories they take per year, but if you don't try, you'll never know, right?  :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on February 25, 2008, 03:31:31 PM
Fingers crossed for you, Ed!

Didn't a Clive Barker novel start in a lost mail office in middle America?

Quick question, could you not have used IRCs? Or does this particular market insist on stamps?

Regards,
Derek



Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on February 25, 2008, 03:41:25 PM
Yep - it was only after waiting three weeks for the stamps that I re-read the submission guidelines and saw they'd accept IRCs. My wife bought three on Friday, then the feckin stamps turned up on the Saturday, which is fairly bloody typical, isn't it? ::)

Thanks for the crossed fingers - I'm going to need all the luck I can get :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on February 27, 2008, 03:18:00 AM
So, who felt the earthquake last night? :huh: Damn thing woke me up. Felt very strange - me and the Mrs lay there wondering WTF was going on. I decided the only thing it could be was a mild earthquake, so when I woke up this morning I intended to see if I could find out if one had been recorded. There weas no need to go looking, though - it was plastered all over the news 5.2 on the Richter Scale, apparently.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on February 27, 2008, 03:28:09 AM
Same here, but I was still awake. When it happened I also came to the conclusion that it must have been a quake (on account of there was no traffic at just that precise moment - the big trucks cause a similar shaking). But then about half an hour later I heard a huge plane go over - I'm guessing it was a B52, as the sound was very similar to that we heard a lot back in the daws of Shock and Awe - and I started to imagine all sorts of scenarios that might have involved the two elements.

Hope you weren't subject to any damage? Must admit not been outside to check this place yet, but we're far enough away from the epicentre that I suspect (hope) that there was no harm done.

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on February 27, 2008, 03:41:59 AM
I sleep through anything. Earthquake? What earthquake?  :scratch:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on February 27, 2008, 04:52:27 AM
My son has a penthouse apartment in a converted Nottingham silk mill. He woke up to the sounds of the roof tiles flapping!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Sallyq on February 27, 2008, 04:58:10 AM
I woke up to find the bed shaking at just before 1am this morning. It was just like a big truck going past but we live on a quiet estate away from the main road, so I guessed it wasn't that. According to the local news, a lad in Sheffield had his pelvis broken when a chimney breast landed on his bed.

The last time I felt a quake like this was in the seventies in Wales when there were several earth tremors over a couple of weeks. Makes you wonder what's happening beneath us, doesn't it?


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on February 27, 2008, 01:02:21 PM
If memory serves, I think we're pretty close to the edge of a continental shelf, but it's one of those joints in the earth's surface that moves apart, rather than together, so it's more likely to produce volcanoes than big tremors. The big tremors like San Fransisco gets are produced by one shelf trying to push under the other, from what I remember. Could be wrong, though.

It was a very strange sensation to wake up to. At first I thought it might be the muscles in my back gone into spasm or something, but as the undulating sensation continued my wife asked if it was me moving the bed, so I thought about it briefly and said I didn't think it was. It felt a lot like the sensation you get from one of those massage chairs. Apparently it lasted around ten seconds, but it felt longer to me. I guess we can expect an aftershock at some point, too.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on February 28, 2008, 05:31:52 PM
Dry day today so I did a 12 miles hike up North Wales hills around Aber Falls.
Legs like jelly now - wobbly and translucent green - hah.
When my train returned me to Chester I found a note on my bike. It said my panniers have been removed for security reasons. They'd been placed in the Station Supervisors office. Oops. I usually cycle to the station on my mountain bike with no panniers so this was the first time I'd used my road bike to the station. I went to the office and apologised but then asked if the Supervisor's office was bombproof - he looked puzzled then the penny dropped...


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on February 28, 2008, 06:47:09 PM
Ah, but the terrorists might have snuck their bomb into your empty panniers had the rail employees left them where they were :yes:

Funny how we never worried about this sort of crap when faced with repeated attacks from the IRA, but now the mad mullahs are the enemy, it's suddenly a concern. Why is that? ::)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on February 29, 2008, 03:22:04 AM
Ah, but the terrorists might have snuck their bomb into your empty panniers had the rail employees left them where they were :yes:

I thought that at first but it isn't likely is it? Emergency evacuations and bomb disposal detonations don't happen in case an abandoned bag might be used by an opportunist passing-by, bomb-carrying terrorist! :)
The station's action was to teach me a lesson - and it did.

Pictures of my walk are in my blog.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on February 29, 2008, 03:41:17 AM
I'd be tempted to repay them with a pair of panniers full of dog poo when the weather warms up a bit  :afro: I hate small minded people like that. Give them a little bit of responsibility and they get power crazed and start bossing people around for no good reason.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on February 29, 2008, 06:49:23 AM
I'd be tempted to repay them with a pair of panniers full of dog poo

Have you seen the price of panniers?  ;)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on March 07, 2008, 05:28:21 AM
Morning all.

Did a mountain hike yesterday in Snowdonia. We found loads of frog spawn under the ice!

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on March 07, 2008, 10:24:33 AM
We had a freak snowstorm here in Texas yesterday. Freaky, because we got about five inches in the span of a few hours. That, and the fact that most years we're lucky to see an inch. It was a mess! Add to the fact that it hit right before the schools let out, and that Texans just don't know how to drive on ice (myself included)! Let me tell you, by the time I got home, the first thing I did was open a bottle of wine! I know that just about everyone else here on this website is used to snow, but I'm not. I felt really stupid because I thought the access roads would be safer than the highway (less traffic), but I finally made it home with the only injury to my nerves!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on March 07, 2008, 01:56:40 PM
Evening, all :smiley:

I'm thoroughly fed up with out new car (Nissan Pathfinder), and we've reached the stage now where we're going to the dealership tomorrow to demand our money back. The car broke down within a week of us having it, and they've been unable to fix it in the four weeks since. They've supposedly spent over £2000 on parts so far, none of which solved the problem.

Since then they've been stripping bits off their demonstrator to put on ours, to see if anything makes a difference. Apparently they'd bolt a bit on from the other car and it'd work, so they's order that bit, fit it, then it wouldn't work. Last week they promised a guy was coming down from Nissan head office in Sunderland to advise on the problem. He didn't turn up, so now he's so-called coming next week. In the meantime they had us driving around in a fucking Micra for the first week. It was only after we kicked up that they gave us something bigger - an x-trail (more like an entrail) and I hate it. So yeah - thoroughly pissed off. It's really taken the shine off getting a new car.

On a positive note - thank God it's friday :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on March 07, 2008, 03:48:47 PM
Come back Rover, all is forgiven :)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on March 07, 2008, 05:09:36 PM
Funnily enough, I was looking at Land Rovers on the way home. Could be in the market for a Landrover Discovery, depending on what I think of the test drive. Last time I drove one was about six years ago, and it drove like an underpowered cathederal on yawing suspension. Apparently they're better these days. But I can't get the saying out of my head - If you want to cross a desert, take a Land Rover, but if you want to come back, take a Japanese 4x4 :/

Land Rovers have a very bad reputation for reliability, don't they? :scratch:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: bintarab on March 07, 2008, 06:20:35 PM
We had a freak snowstorm here in Texas yesterday. Freaky, because we got about five inches in the span of a few hours. That, and the fact that most years we're lucky to see an inch. It was a mess! Add to the fact that it hit right before the schools let out, and that Texans just don't know how to drive on ice (myself included)! Let me tell you, by the time I got home, the first thing I did was open a bottle of wine! I know that just about everyone else here on this website is used to snow, but I'm not. I felt really stupid because I thought the access roads would be safer than the highway (less traffic), but I finally made it home with the only injury to my nerves!

I didn't realize it had snowed, stark! It was frigid cold here in Austin but dry, and today's another, but I have to leave in 1/2 hour, at which point it will be even colder -- brrrr -- and I have to wait outside for a bus. One good thing comes of that: bus drivers are uncannily good drivers. Even when it snows/ices over/rains/hails here and cars are slip-sliding all over the place, the bus drivers are amazing at avoiding the mess and getting through their routes. They must have sold their souls to the devil to get that adept at it.

Come to think on it, someone should write a story on that ...

~bint


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on March 07, 2008, 09:01:23 PM
Ed - Sorry about the car. That really stinks. It really does make you think, if you're having this much trouble with it now, how much will you have down the road?!

Bint - Yeah, the snow was just northern Texas into southern Oklahoma. You lucky dogs down in Austin missed all the fun!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on March 08, 2008, 04:03:20 AM
I really like a bit of snow - every time it snows here, the whole country grinds to a halt, which (if we're lucky) means a few days off work and some fun for a change. It's very hilly around here, so all the kids (and some of the big kids ::) ) grab a plastic sack and go tobogganing :afro:

Not so much fun on the roads, though, unless you've got all terrain tyres. After a week of it I've seriously had enough. That said, we very rarely get any snow lately. Global warming, maybe?


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on March 08, 2008, 06:47:39 PM
The evening tonight started with my daughter asking for a lift to her hen night do in town. Then as I started driving and asking which pub or club she said - "oh please collect Lisa first." So off we go on a long country detour to pick her up. Then: "Dad, do you mind if we now go to Upton for Kerry?" So another litre of petrol later she directs me to another village to the East of Chester where her former boss lives, so we pick her up. Good grief as she climbs into the back seat all I can see in the mirror is naked legs!!
When I drop them all off, wife rings my mobile and so I park to answer it. "Where the b****y hell are you?"


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on March 13, 2008, 11:58:11 AM
I'm the only one here - -

Been to town to go to a nightclub - strippers the lot. Sadly it was only to collect my daughter's lost driving licence. Her new handbag kept falling open on her hennight bash on Saturday night as referenced in the previous post. Shame that the pole dancers keep their underwear on while rehearsing - it's not cricket.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on March 19, 2008, 04:04:41 PM
Quiet here - I got home from work and logged on to see the new posts from today, and there weren't any. I guess everybody's getting the work done ready for the Easter break, huh? :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on March 19, 2008, 04:54:24 PM
Easter is this week, right? I don't keep track of these things. Luckily I have a calendar  :afro:
I got a HUGE package from my mom today, so I guess it would be full of candy! Either that or stuff for the dog  ::) I swear, she misses him more than she misses me. Maybe even enough to get her butt on a plane and come visit. I wouldn't hold my breath though.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on March 19, 2008, 05:17:55 PM
Ha - I've got a mental picture of a pair of suitcases standing on their own inside the open front door of your house, and you standing with hands on hips while your mom rolls around on the floor with the dog :grin:

How's the budgie doing after that road trip - have you two made up yet, or was a thousand miles of squawking and flapping the breaking point in the relationship? :huh:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on March 19, 2008, 06:53:58 PM
Unfortunately Lando didn't make it. He got sick shortly after we moved and one day I woke up to find that it had gotten the best of him. We buried him in the front yard so he could hear the wild birds/make friends.




Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on March 19, 2008, 07:05:10 PM
Oh damn - sorry to hear that. I seem to have the knack of saying the wrong thing in these situations. One time I turned up at work to find the electrician looking very sorry for himself, so me being me said, "What's up with you today, you miserable bugger - did your goldfish die, or something?" He said, "No, my mother, actually." :lipsrsealed:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on March 19, 2008, 10:06:13 PM
Oh damn - sorry to hear that. I seem to have the knack of saying the wrong thing in these situations. One time I turned up at work to find the electrician looking very sorry for himself, so me being me said, "What's up with you today, you miserable bugger - did your goldfish die, or something?" He said, "No, my mother, actually." :lipsrsealed:

Ouch.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on March 20, 2008, 05:42:19 AM
Sorry to hear about Lando dying.
Ed, my trouble, and you won't believe it, is making too light of serious situations. My only excuse is that when I think of most of the people whose funerals I've been to, they'd have laughed too.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on March 20, 2008, 01:07:34 PM
Oh damn - sorry to hear that. I seem to have the knack of saying the wrong thing in these situations. One time I turned up at work to find the electrician looking very sorry for himself, so me being me said, "What's up with you today, you miserable bugger - did your goldfish die, or something?" He said, "No, my mother, actually." :lipsrsealed:

No worries, I'm sure he'll be reborn as something lovely. He had a lot of spirit! Too much for a little body  ;)




Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on March 20, 2008, 04:14:05 PM
Four days off work - bliss. Complete and utter bliss :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on March 21, 2008, 04:51:06 AM
Enjoy your break, Ed. Luckily my work is writing (very lowly paid) and editing (reasonable pay) - both a pleasure and done every day. The location is different for the next two weeks. I'm in Cyprus from tomorrow to make sure my daughter gets married, and the following week on a writer's course in Northern Cyprus.

I intend to hire a mountain bike the second week and have a go at the ridge of mountains going E to W. This means packing problems cos of helmet, cycling gear, etc as well as my suit for the wedding. BA only allows one suitcase. I expressed my problems to my son, who laughed. On top of his suit he's packing all his scuba gear!

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on March 21, 2008, 05:06:42 AM
Hope you have a great time, Geoff. I'm thinking this is probably the best time of year to go cycling in Cyprus, heatwise at least. I flew BA to Baltimore and they allowed two bits of hand luggage, so I wonder if you might be able to stuff your cycle clips into one bag and your sarnies into another  :afro:

Did they ever manage to fill the last few spaces on that writer's trip? Last time I looked it seemed liked they were a way short of the mark.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on March 21, 2008, 12:16:48 PM
There was a danger of me being the only bloke surrounded by women, but thankfully (I suppose) there are now other male scribblers along. The beds are now full.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on March 21, 2008, 12:45:44 PM
Ah, I'm sure it would have been awful for you to have been surrounded by scantily clad females, Geoff. I'd have believed you, even if Mrs Geoff didn't :afro:

Have a great time :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on March 22, 2008, 10:51:05 AM
Plastic bag bends metal!

Was out for a pre-breakfast cycle-ride this morning (in the snow!). Had done about 17 miles and was working my way back home when a very innocuous looking plastic bag was blown against my back wheel. Next thing I know there's an awful grinding sound, little bits of plastic(*) explode out of the wheel, and I grind to a halt. My rear derailleur's a right-off, the gear-hanger is bent out of shape, and I had to walk the last few miles home.

No wonder the government is keen to ban them!

Derek

(*) part of the gear mechanism


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on March 22, 2008, 02:12:35 PM
Apparently they're a hazard where giant turtles are concerned, too. I'm told the turtles mistake the bags for jellyfish, eat them, then get all bunged up. So you should thank your lucky stars it was just the bag you hit, and not a giant constipated turtle, Del :/

See - every cloud does have a silver lining :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on March 22, 2008, 05:40:56 PM
So... more on the car saga ::)

Finally, after (count them) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, SEVEN FUCKING WEEKS AT THE POXY FUCKING GARAGE, we got our car back on thursday evening, in perfect working order. Ooops - silly me - did I just say 'in perfect working order'? Ha! No. 'imperfect working order' was what I meant.

The central locking works when it feels like it, you can start the car without having your foot on the brake, and the electric wing mirrors make a zoon-put-put-put-put noise when you put the car in reverse. Marvelous. No.

We contacted the garage and told them our patience is at an end - we want a full refund - we want - require - demand a full refund. Eventually they cave in and agree we're entitled to our money back... but they want us to also have our part exchange vehicle back. But I'm thinking, hang on - I sold you that car - raised an invoice for it, and you bought it. Our car does what it says on the tin, so you're not entitled to your money back - you can keep the damn car and give us a full refund.

They don't see it that way.

So on it goes... ::)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on March 22, 2008, 06:48:19 PM
That stinks Ed. At least you're getting rid of the lemon, but they really should keep the car you sold them. What a headache!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on March 23, 2008, 09:21:29 AM
Yep - we're going to contact Trading Standards on Tuesday morning, see what they have to say about it, find out exactly what our rights are, and then decide just how much of a fight we want to make of it.

Problem is, if we get our old car back, we won't get as good a deal on it as we did back in January. Over here there are two new car registrations per year - one in January, one in August - and those dates dictate the value of used cars, too. So when we bought the Pathfinder we got a good price on our car prior to the new book price, plus a good price on the Pathfinder, because they'd already dropped the price by five grand in anticipation of the coming lower book price. Now we're at the end of March, we're not going to get the same kind of deal anywhere. Very annoying.

We went out test driving various cars yesterday, and I think the choice is going to be between a Land Rover Discovery 3 and a Mitsubishi Shogun, now. I like both in different ways, but prefer the look of the Discovery. The Shogun is less money for the same level of equipment, though. It's a real shame, because I loved the Pathfinder on sight, the level of equipment is better than every other manufacturer's, it drives well - everything I wanted. It really is a lemon, though. It's built off the same chassis as the new Navara, which is noted for having failed the encap safety tests, clutch problems on the manual boxes and shearing half shafts, so it doesn't even bode well if we discounted the electrical problems we've had. ::)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on March 23, 2008, 12:54:10 PM
If it were me, I would try to fight it. It's just not right to do people like that. I know you probably want to just put all the headache behind you, but they shouldn't get away with it!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: bintarab on March 23, 2008, 01:06:40 PM
Maybe articles or op-ed pieces in the local papers will help? Or even just dropping the suggestion of such to the folks at the dealership?

~bint


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on March 24, 2008, 05:45:50 PM
Hah - damn thing died again today. Went to go out in it and it wouldn't start ::)

Hopeless. Utterly hopeless. What a piece of crap. I look at it and I think what an obscenity it is for me to have paid the value of my first mortgage for this thing, and it just doesn't do what it's meant to. :idiot:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on March 25, 2008, 07:35:04 PM
They came and took the thing away today. Funny - the sales manager rang my wife and said he'd be coming to deliver our old car back and take away the new one. She said for him to make sure he brought a recovery vehicle, otherwise he'd have a long walk home ahead of him, to which he replied, cockily, "Why? All it wants is a new battery." My wife replied, "That's what we used to think, too."

On hearing this, I just had to make it home in time to see the show.

Matey turns up with my old Navara, hands over the keys. Gets this young kid who looks about fourteen to put a booster pack on the battery to jump start it. He tries to start it. Nothing - it turns over a few times and does not start. They have a fiddle with it, try again. Doesn't start. Booster pack dead. Battery dead. Slightly red faced, he asks if we would mind jump starting the piece of shit with our good old reliable Navara. We laugh at him and say not a chance, sunshine :grin: Then at the last moment, when he's resigned himself to a fifteen mile walk home, we say OK.

So we put the car in neutral, my wife sits in it to steer, and the three of us push the Pathfinder out onto the road, I hop in the Navara and put it nose to nose with the Pathfinder. They pop the bonnet (that's 'hood' if you're American) and connect the jump leads. They try again to start the Pathfinder - it won't start. Their jump leads look a bit crap, so I lend them mine. I attach the black clamp to the neutral on my Navara and hand the other end to the kid, who clamps it on the Pathfinder battery. He hands me the red clamp, which I attach to the positive side of my battery. Big sparks. Smouldering. A few seconds pass, Pathfinder does not start. "Oops," says the kid, and then he takes the clamps off the battery and puts them back on the opposite terminals, "Had them the wrong way round." He says.

Pathfinder is now completely dead. "I dunno what's up with it." says the sales manager. I say, "Well shorting out the battery wouldn't have done it any good -- you've probably blown the ECU." They hand back my jump leads, which are now pretty hot to the touch.

So basically - this is the same kid who came out and messed around with it last time, and you've got to wonder if this is what he did the time before.

Anyway, after a bit of toe kicking, they ring the recovery vehicle, and are told they'll have to wait until 6:30pm (2.5 hours). At which point we say goodbye and head off to the Mitsubishi showroom, look at a few cars, have dinner out, and finally return to see a tow truck outside our house, loading up the Pathfinder, bang on time, too.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: PaulH on March 26, 2008, 06:39:31 AM
The phrase 'poetic justice' springs to mind.  :bleh:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on March 26, 2008, 09:39:22 AM
 :grin: Looks like they got a taste of their own medicine!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on March 26, 2008, 03:21:58 PM
Yep - that's the last we'll see of those tossers. I went out and bought the Shogun tonight, on the way home from work. We take delivery of it tomorrow.

I hadn't realised how much all this crap has been getting me down - it's been just one more thing to think about in an already busy time. I've got four contracts in varying stages of completion at the moment, work to do at home, plus my wife's boss has just had a heart attack that he barely survived, so she's been trying to field his workload. It's been a bit hectic here :cheesy:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on March 30, 2008, 06:07:12 AM
I hope you've all sprung forward this morning - as per usual, I forgot and only remembered when I noticed my watch was an hour our of whack with the rest of the clocks in the house. Mrs Ed is more on the ball than me with that sort of thing ::)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on April 02, 2008, 07:39:38 PM
Ah, bit of a quiet day today, I see. It's getting to that time of the year when everybody's got something better to do than sitting in front of a computer screen.

I'm working up to starting a novel soon. With recession looming, my workload is diminishing, and I might not have anything to do at all by mid summer, if things keep going as they seem to be going. As long as I get paid for my current contracts, I really couldn't care less - a long vacation would suit me just fine, as long as I've got money in the bank.

I'm not quite sure how I'm going to go about this novel, though. I guess I should do a proper outline of the story and plan the thing to some extent. I'm quite conscious of something the Borderlands panel said about 'letting the story out', though. I think it was Tom Monteleone who said people would ask him what he was working on, so he'd tell them the story he was working on, but then after he'd done that, the story seemed to fall flat when he tried to write it. F Paul said the same thing. For one of his novels he went overboard on prep work - produced the most detailed outline he'd ever done, which ran into dozens of pages, but then when he came to write the thing he found he had no enthusiasm left for it - he'd let the story out already, and once it was out there was no recapturing it.

I've found that on a smaller scale before, when I'm writing a short story - sometimes I know exactly where I want the thing to go, but writing it seems like a real chore, then.

Anybody know what I'm talking about?


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: canadian on April 02, 2008, 09:36:38 PM
Anybody know what I'm talking about?

Oh yeah. Totally. I've set myself an April goal to write another 15,000 words on my "Various Dead Voices" collection. Put together a spreadsheet last month, listing all of the pieces I wanted to either write in full  from research I've already done or polish from an earlier draft. Thought I was just going to tear through it all, piece by piece, and have the book done by month's end.

I wrote a decentish bit last night but tonight, I'm sitting here with my head totally whirling, listening to too many dead voices. Can't seem to get into the right space. Not one of my planned ideas is sounding the right chord.

This being a writer thing is a pain in the butt. I know the words will come out ... eventually. They just hate being forced.




Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on April 03, 2008, 02:45:29 AM
Quote
I'm not quite sure how I'm going to go about this novel, though. I guess I should do a proper outline of the story and plan the thing to some extent. I'm quite conscious of something the Borderlands panel said about 'letting the story out', though. I think it was Tom Monteleone who said people would ask him what he was working on, so he'd tell them the story he was working on, but then after he'd done that, the story seemed to fall flat when he tried to write it. F Paul said the same thing. For one of his novels he went overboard on prep work - produced the most detailed outline he'd ever done, which ran into dozens of pages, but then when he came to write the thing he found he had no enthusiasm left for it - he'd let the story out already, and once it was out there was no recapturing it.

Yeah, I know that connundrum. I've been there and done that. Now I keep it all inside until it's written. At least, as far as telling the story to people goes.

To outline or not to outline, is something I've never really got to the bottom of. I think, at last count, I've written 5 novel length manuscripts, only one of which had anything resembling a plan (and that was merely a three page outline). The others have just gone where they want (which was partly the intention - to see if I could focus on one piece for the duration). Of these, one had to be totally rewritten as everything was too easy for my hero, and another falls flat because key plot elements simply don't work. In both casing, planning would have saved me a lot of time. Furthermore, the number of novels I've started writing and never completed because I've written myself into a corner number far more than 5. In each case some forward thinking could have saved me a lot of time.

But who's to say that, had I planned them, I wouldn't have lost interest because I'd let the story out?

Having said that, next time(*) I think I shall plan a novel in more detail. I'm not a quick writer and I don't think I can afford the luxury of spending a year 'just seeing how something comes out'.

(*) Hopefully soon. I have several self-imposed exercises and targets to complete/reach before I commence on the next epic, but I'm already looking forward to getting back to my true love  ::)

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on April 03, 2008, 03:20:53 AM
but I'm already looking forward to getting back to my true love  ::)

Derek

Who, Bessie the fat lass from number twenty-five? :huh:

Yep - same here, Del. I haven't got the time or the inclination to write something of that length without the slightest idea of how it'll turn out. I do it with shorts, but quite often find the 'story' too late in the process of writing it, so the upshot is that I'll end up with a story that doesn't quite hit the mark without a significant alteration/re-write. Something you don't want to do when the story's 80,000 words long :scratch:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on April 03, 2008, 03:41:14 AM


I wrote a decentish bit last night but tonight, I'm sitting here with my head totally whirling, listening to too many dead voices. Can't seem to get into the right space. Not one of my planned ideas is sounding the right chord.

This being a writer thing is a pain in the butt. I know the words will come out ... eventually. They just hate being forced.




Have you found yourself a comfortable little nook to write in yet, Donna? That makes a big difference to my productivity. Ever since I got myself a nice desk and a decent chair my work output has taken a nosedive. What I want is a big soft chair in a cosy little room, and a keyboard with a long wire on it, so I can slob around in the chair and still write.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: canadian on April 03, 2008, 07:31:16 AM
Yup, I've got an office with a comfy chair and a wireless keyboard and a door that shuts. Just don't have the necessary energy at the moment. I started yet another new job (third one in two years) a few months ago and am still finding my feet there. It's draining.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on April 04, 2008, 04:15:36 AM
See, I didn't even know you could buy wireless keyboards  ::)  I feel a visit to PC World coming on...



Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: canadian on April 04, 2008, 07:05:57 PM
My whole world changed when my son moved back in with me a few years ago. He came with really cool computer equipment. Of course, I had to upgrade mine just to keep up appearances! Ended up with a flat screen monitor (which freed up loads of space on my desk), a wireless keyboard and a wireless mouse. If you get them, Ed, make sure you keep a supply of batteries on hand. There's nothing worse than running out of juice and having no replacements when you're in the middle of doing something on the PC.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on April 05, 2008, 03:50:52 AM
OK, will do - I had a wireless mouse a while ago and seem to remember batteries running out once or twice. I suppose there's always a down side to everything, but at least I'll still have the old keyboard to plug back in if I ever get really stuck :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on April 06, 2008, 07:11:27 AM
Bought both a wireless mouse and a keyboard last night :afro: Looking forward to getting them hitched up later on today, so if I'm offline...

Anybody else get a dump of snow last night? I couldn't believe it when I woke up this morning to see a white landscape. It was like summer here yesterday - T-shirt weather, FFS :scratch: This morning, 8AM, my kids were out in the village having snowball fights and building snowmen. They loved it. Funniest part is, we didn't get any snow at all throughout the winter months - only a bit of sleet. Then sping comes and, boof! - snow :shocked:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on April 06, 2008, 07:50:29 AM
Snowed off and on all day yesterday - motored up Teesdale, and it was even prettier than usual. Just looked out the window and it's snowing again. One of my pupils told me she'd be going to Whitby today, so it was bound to snow, as it always snows when she goes to Whitby. So there you go. We can blame her.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on April 07, 2008, 04:24:42 AM
Are you still allowed to cane students? :huh:

On a separate note - I see Geoff's back from his hols. I bet he's feeling the nip in the air after getting accustomed to the warmth of Cyprus.

How was it, Geoff - did you have a good time? Hope so :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on April 07, 2008, 01:46:57 PM
My back is in fucking agony. The man of the house and I spent Saturday gardening, and I used by back more than my legs. I'm hopeless when it comes to doing stuff like that right. Anyway, I was useless Sunday and he had to plant my Japanese tree my himself pretty much. He's so virile and manly  :grin:

Today I'm laying on the recliner waiting for the over the counter pills to kick in so I can walk the dog and have lunch. Unless I feel a lot better soon, laundry and writing is out of the question  :'(


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on April 07, 2008, 02:14:33 PM
A bit of exercise would probably get it moving and feeling better - it'll be agony while you do it, but feel much better afterwards. Maybe try swimming to start with. If all else fails, a trip to the osteopath or a decent chiropractor will usually sort it out quickly and relatively painlessly. Hope you're feeling better soon, Ash :afro:

I cleared out my greenhouse over the weekend - that's about as close as I want to get to gardening. (love to sit in a nicely kept garden, but hate all the farting around that goes into keeping it that way). We picked up four tomato plants, two cucumber plants and a melon, too. We also picked up a few spuds to grow in dustbins - we asked the owner of the garden centre how to go about doing it properly. He gave us good advice and handed us a bagful of seed potatoes free of charge. Well chuffed, I was :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on April 10, 2008, 04:47:59 PM
Well, I had an interesting day today. Was working away quite happily when a random cable decided to stab me in the back of my hand, at which point I rapidly discovered it to be live with 250 volts 50 hz 30 amps. Is that burnt pork I can smell? :scratch:

My whole arm still aches from the belt it gave me. Just you wait until I see that damned electrician tomorrow :pissed:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on April 10, 2008, 04:57:54 PM
 :shocked:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on April 11, 2008, 03:13:28 PM
Yum. I've just finished cooking and eating my tea (tea = dinner in England, and dinner's at lunch time, BTW). I made myself fried lamb chops, mashed spud (creamed potato), petits pois (small peas), runner beans and Bisto gravy (gravy = sauce made from meat juices and vegetable stock, not your weird soup stuff). It was very tasty :wub: I like my own cooking - does that make me a bad person?

Wifey's taken the kids away for the weekend with her friend and her friend's kids, down to Bideford in Devon, so that means a whole weekend of blessed peace for me :dance: I might even get some writing done, for a change :huh:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on April 11, 2008, 04:17:35 PM
There we were tonight in Tesco, standing at the salad racks. My wife had a list: humous, cherry tomatoes, celery sticks, carrots and mixed leaf salad --- for 85 people.  Gulp - and 84 more gulps.

My daughter, now back from her Cyprus honeymoon has hired Chester Guild Hall - a 700 year old building - for her reception / party. We've been running around like bees in a tulip field collecting the cake (I thought I'd just go to Marks & Spencers, pick it up and carry it across town to the car, but it came in 3 heavy boxes!), candles, round table cloths, the DJ's kit - aaarrrggh. I thought that at least the Guild Hall keeper, when he said I'd have a key, would give me one of those 8 inch long heavy iron keys, but no it was a yale.

and I thought we'd have less to do as they grew up...

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on April 11, 2008, 05:41:48 PM
Sounds like quite a do, Geoff - I don't think I even know 85 people. Me and the Mrs barely managed to fill a skittle alley for our wedding reception do :grin:

I hope you all have a good night :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on April 12, 2008, 02:09:09 AM
Gaynor and I don't know half these wedding party folk, Ed. Many are work colleagues of Eleanor's (imagine a room full of accountants and tax adviers!) and family members of both - though we've only met the groom's mother. Now, my wife has ordered me to have a bulging wallet so I can buy folk their first drinks, etc, but guess who won't be able to have a drink cos he's driving on and off all night! Oh well, good job we only have one daughter, so the proverbial boat may as well be pushed out.  :dance:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on April 12, 2008, 03:44:26 AM
A room full of accountants and tax advisors sounds like my idea of hell, actually :scratch: I'll always remember walking into my accountant's office and catching the tail end of a joke, to which the punchline was, "He wrote 29.6 in the box!!!" At this point they practically wet their pants laughing, slapped the desk and rolled around in their chairs, with tears rolling down their ruddy cheeks. The laughter was infectuous, but I had a feeling I wouldn't have found the joke funny itself. They're on a different wavelength from me, I think :smiley:

I'm sure they'll be a good bunch with a few drinks in them, though - unlikely to get rowdy. I hope you all have a great time pushing that boat :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on April 13, 2008, 06:27:26 PM
Seems ever so quiet here today. Dunno if it's just that I've spent too much time online, or what. Weekends always seem a bit like that.

I had the perfect opportunity to sit and write in peace today, but I mooned around a bit, surfed the internet, watched a film or two, had a snooze, watered the plants in the greenhouse and achieved absolutely nothing. I feel kind of guilty about that, but at the same time I've been feeling very tired lately, so I think maybe it's just as well that I've had a couple of lazy days and a bit more sleep than usual. I've eaten well, too. I've sat in the sun and felt its warmth. Planted things that will grow and give me pleasure later in the year. It's all too easy to put your head down and rush from weekend to weekend without stopping to appreciate the things you strive to attain, I think. So maybe this weekend hasn't been wasted after all....


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on April 14, 2008, 02:34:33 AM
Well, my daughter's wedding celebration party swung along fine. I had no idea accountants and financial advisers could be so jolly! Even daughter's main boss man turned up, meeting me and Gaynor for the first time, telling us what a great job we did to rear such a hard-working and clever kid.  :bleh:  I had to stay sober to drive my ancient in-laws (who stayed until 2 am) and others around, but I still was in the mood for cavorting.

The only sour note was the next morning my daughter discovered that some of the gift envelopes had gone missing. Some rat had taken advantage of our admitted lapse in security on the gift table. And one of the envelopes missing was from her boss. So today daughter has to tell him in case there was a cheque inside for him to stop. I'm going to the Guild Hall this morning to see if it had fallen behind the large table, which was difficult to look under because of drapes and darkness. Also the staff need to know that it may be one of them, though it is a grim possibility too that one of the guests left with more than my paid-for wine inside them. I've told my daughter to focus on the good and exhilirating aspects of the evening rather than the spoiling. Not easy though is it?

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on April 14, 2008, 03:13:25 AM
Sorry to hear that, Geoff - hard to believe there are such scumbags out there. I hope they get what they deserve. Like you say, though - it's best to dwell on happier thoughts. It sounds like the evening went well and you all enjoyed yourselves :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on April 14, 2008, 07:16:05 PM
Time for bed (http://www.cafedoom.com/forum/Smileys/classic/yawn.gif)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on April 21, 2008, 03:00:44 AM
Fifteen hours of art exams start in one hour's time. Wish me luck! (It's not all in one go, luckily; five hours today, another five on Friday and the last five on next Monday.)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on April 21, 2008, 03:14:04 AM
Good luck, Delph :afro:  I'm sure you won't need it, though :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on April 21, 2008, 11:38:03 AM
Thanks Ed. Managed to get all the underpainting (in acrylics) done in this first five hour session, which leaves me ten hours to top coat (in oils) the picture and write a brief evaluation. Should manage, but the hours fly by horribly quickly.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on April 21, 2008, 12:00:34 PM
Sounds like quite a challenge. Do you think it's a fair measure of an artist's worth, though? It strikes me that the Sistine Chapel would have looked a tad different if Michaelangelo was working to the clock :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on April 21, 2008, 05:24:44 PM
It's fair enough, because the qualification is based on an evaluation of the entire year's work, of which the timed assessment is just one element.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on April 21, 2008, 05:40:20 PM
Ah right, I see what you mean. This coursework thing being taken into account is a good idea, I think, especially for those people who suffer badly from exam nerves. Good luck on the next two bits :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on April 22, 2008, 03:20:26 AM
Heh... shouldn't laugh, really, but my wife said she heard on the news that James Blunt broke a finger during a concert, because he jumped off the stage and nobody caught him :grin:

I expect they were either too busy slashing their wrists, or they couldn't uncross their arms in time. Even after he was flat out on the deck clutching his hand, I bet 99% of them were still staring at the stage through their valium haze 'enjoying' the silence. I bet he was a whiny kid :fugly:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: JonP on April 22, 2008, 04:20:52 AM
There was a nice gag on The Now Show the other week about James Blunt's vocal style being an example of "extraordinary rendition"  :D


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on April 22, 2008, 06:13:14 AM
You blokes just can't stand the fact that lots of women (self included) think he's gorgeous.  :D


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on April 23, 2008, 04:02:42 AM
Watched the Liverpool - Chelsea match last night and remembered why I'm a rugby fan. 90 minutes of my life gone, just like that.

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on May 01, 2008, 02:18:35 AM
Good morning >:( My eldest woke me up at 4:45am because of a bad dream, then just as I was dropping off back to sleep, he woke me up again, and again, and again. When he finally left me alone I was already wide awake and couldn't get to sleep again, so here I am, bleary eyed, yawning and thoroughly pissed off, having not slept since 4:45 >:(


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on May 01, 2008, 09:48:08 AM
Ug, Ed. I'm sorry, but believe me, I've been there! My advice: coffee and lots of it!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on May 01, 2008, 02:10:16 PM
Thanks for the sympathy, Angela - you would think I'd be used to this type of thing by now, but I can't handle being deprived of sleep. I've had a really crap day today, too. Made lots of silly mistakes, and anything that could have gone wrong, did. I'm likely to murder somebody if I don't get a decent night's sleep tonight ::)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on May 02, 2008, 05:04:48 AM
Struggling to get going myself, today. Maybe it's the knowledge that it's a Bank Holiday weekend and we have an extra day!  ;)

Anyway, in a somewhat vain (in both meanings of the word) I used an online Spanish to English translator to bring a short story of mine back into the mother tongue. Here's the results:

You must understand it: all we thought that the type was crazy. There we were, six musicians who fought, that is to say, that fought to follow alive. We did not fight with music... we had list, a splendid mixture of Shuffle and Cajun of New Orleans, with a blues touch superficially. Food for the soul, uncle! But we could not eat music, and music never put gasoline in the van or replaced the broken amplifiers, so we spent the days and the nights going through the highway of a cheap performance to another one, of beer and food free in the premises if we had luck and the Gods had positions their hats of boogie. Until, a day, appeared he there.

One approached to us with dust in the shelter and the boots, the silver-plated and little hair, the dark and sunk eyes, and the skin consumed and tense on the bones. It had the long and deformed and encallecidos fingers. It seemed to count about one hundred years, but one moved as if it had only seventy. An old man. Nevertheless, he could sing like a bird that flew for the first time. We were touching in a boat, one of those old rehabilitated boats of the Thames like restaurant. There were perhaps fifty or sixty people there putting Chile in the mouth and moving the feet to the rate of music. He was the 4 of July, and although the ocean between us and the United States of America was everything, the majority went it in great and it celebrated it as if those had been the Brits that had won that war.

There were steps that lowered until the boat - we were touching below the waterline -, old wood steps which they were a little dangerous for a young person, still more for an old with the soles of the shoes wet and supported type in a cane. One stopped to half of way and it watched to us, with the deeply hidden eyes in his river basins, doing that were impossible to us to hold the glance to him. What grima! I lowered the Vista to the cords and initiated agreed ones clumsily. When the finishing the first one happens we had forgotten him completely. We were seated preparing the order of the songs that we would touch in the second it happens when suddenly he appeared right behind me and asked with smooth and warm voice (it would have bet pelas that that voice could not leave which not outside he) if we would like to obtain a performance.

 :huh:

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: rsmccoy on May 02, 2008, 10:21:13 AM
I'm guessing something got lost in the translation.  :D

It would be interesting to see the original.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on May 02, 2008, 10:36:57 AM
I've no idea what they are, but I quite like the phrase "encallecidos fingers".

I'd post the original, but I don't have it in electronic form. It dates from the days of typewriters and carbon paper.

Del "showing his age" boy


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: JonP on May 02, 2008, 10:50:06 AM
"encallecidos fingers".

There's got to be a recipe for that somewhere ...


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on May 02, 2008, 03:55:21 PM
It's amazing how there aren't more wars, isn't it? Del - did you put the English version through a translator and then the Spanish version it came up with through the translator again to change it back, or did you originally write the piece in Spanish? :huh:




Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on May 02, 2008, 04:29:20 PM
Quote
It's amazing how there aren't more wars, isn't it? Del - did you put the English version through a translator and then the Spanish version it came up with through the translator again to change it back, or did you originally write the piece in Spanish?

It was amongst the first of my published stories, Ed. It came out in a short-lived mainstream magazine called Fear. About 15 years later I inadvertantly discovered that it had been translated into Spanish by someone and was appearing in Spanish horror anthologies. The other week I stumbled across the entire translation on the web.

Regards,
Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on May 02, 2008, 06:08:33 PM
Quote
It's amazing how there aren't more wars, isn't it? Del - did you put the English version through a translator and then the Spanish version it came up with through the translator again to change it back, or did you originally write the piece in Spanish?

It was amongst the first of my published stories, Ed. It came out in a short-lived mainstream magazine called Fear. About 15 years later I inadvertantly discovered that it had been translated into Spanish by someone and was appearing in Spanish horror anthologies. The other week I stumbled across the entire translation on the web.

Regards,
Derek

Oh no - you mean to say somebody translated the hooky version, and now it's out there with your name on it? Argh, nightmare :shocked:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on May 03, 2008, 03:47:26 AM
I'm guessing somebody took the original story and thought it was so good it was worth translating into Spanish and including in an anthology. Still guessing, I figure they were so amazed at the quality of the tale that it slipped their mind to even mention any of this to the author... Years later, (still guessing) when sales of the anthology dried up the Spanish version finds itself on the web; and it's this version I translated back into English. No idea what the story comes over like in Spanish as the only language I know is "Dos Cervaza, por favor."  ::)

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on May 03, 2008, 09:46:37 AM
Summat's up with my main puter. It hasn't let me into Cafe Doom for days. I'd deleted cookies, etc, then guessed the password. Still no joy on that PC but this little laptop lets me in :)

Maybe I changed the password a while back.

I only wanted to brag that a book company created a Wikipedia page about me. Go on, have a laugh at it. Go Wikipedia and type Geoff Nelder in the box. Donna took the photo.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: rsmccoy on May 03, 2008, 10:32:28 AM

I'd post the original, but I don't have it in electronic form. It dates from the days of typewriters and carbon paper.


No problem, a scanner and some OCR software will convert the scanned image into a usable word Doc. Back in 94 (showing some age, but not as much), my hard drive crashed while I was writing my senior thesis. I had just printed a full copy and had been halfway through making the edits when the drive fried. I scanned the document, ran it through the OCR and saved it as a Word doc. The only words it had trouble with were the Russian words and names. 56 pages and I only had to correct about 5% of it, and that was back in 94. I'm guessing they have much better now, but I haven't had the need to use it since (I now back up my back ups).


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on May 03, 2008, 11:59:02 AM
Summat's up with my main puter. It hasn't let me into Cafe Doom for days. I'd deleted cookies, etc, then guessed the password. Still no joy on that PC but this little laptop lets me in :)

Maybe I changed the password a while back.

I only wanted to brag that a book company created a Wikipedia page about me. Go on, have a laugh at it. Go Wikipedia and type Geoff Nelder in the box. Donna took the photo.

Geoff

Congrats on the Wiki page, Geoff - I'll take a look at it in a minute.

Funny, I was just thinking this morning that I hadn't seen you around lately. I can reset your password for you, if you like. I'll set a temporary one for you, send it to your e-mail addy, and then you can change it to whatever you want. Let me know if that's what you want to do :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on May 03, 2008, 02:06:49 PM
Cheers, Ed, but it seems to be working all right now.

I think it might have been when I messed around with the IE security settings and then allowed defaults to kick back in again.

So no need for action, thanks.

I've not been in much either cos I'm editing a loooooong novel (one of the writers who was on the Writers' week in Cyprus with me). He's paid me loads to get his novel done quickly cos it's about terrorists bombing the London Olympics and would like to see it pubilshed before 2012!

Cheers

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on May 03, 2008, 02:29:49 PM
OK, no worries, Geoff. But the option is there if you ever need it :smiley:

I like the Wiki entry. BTW, I was reading something the other day, where a writer said they had a Wiki entry for a couple of years and then it was deleted. I wonder what you have to do to keep it current. :scratch:

Sounds like an interesting premise for a novel, there - let's just hope it's not prophetic :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on May 03, 2008, 03:02:13 PM
I like the Wiki entry. BTW, I was reading something the other day, where a writer said they had a Wiki entry for a couple of years and then it was deleted. I wonder what you have to do to keep it current. :scratch:

Yes, BeWrite Books had a Wiki page but then it disappeared. One factor might be the essential citations.  Where possible it is necessary to link every fact to either another Wiki page or web page of some authority. Referencing and cross-referencing is essential.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on May 06, 2008, 05:15:09 AM
We had a peonie just appear from nowhere in our front garden a few years ago, in a really bad place, which leads to it getting trampled every year by lunkheads and children (is there a difference?). They're beautiful flowers, so it makes me a bit sad to see them ruined, but they apparently don't take kindly to being moved, so I left it where it was.

When I saw a bag full of rhysomes (sp?) a few weeks back, I thought I'd buy them and plant them in a better place, in the raised bed that runs down one side of our patio. One came up within days - stout and healthy looking, with a flower bud swelling in the centre of the plant as it grew. I've been watching it grow, looking forward to seeing it bloom. On Saturday, I looked out of the conservatory door at it, and it didn't look quite right. One closer inspection I found slug had taken a huge chunk out of the stem, low down, and the plant had collapsed under its own weight :/

I've had an absolute gutful of things getting wrecked by mindless vandals - be they children, morons, mice, slugs, dogs or snails. The self same thing that happened to the peonie also happened to a nerine last autumn - I watched it grow, then just as it was about to bloom - munch.

So I went to the garden centre yesterday, and I bought a big box of slug pellets. My wife always worries that the dogs will eat the pellets and die (because they're that stupid), so when I saw a container that said 'pet safe', 'child friendly', etc., I decided to get that one. With a look of grim determination on my face (my wife tells me), I opened the box, cut open the bag within, grabbed a handful, and... WTF? I had bought a boxful of fucking gravel :pissed:

Apparently the slugs and snails don't like crawling over it, so it works as a physical barrier. Problem is, I don't want my garden covered in white gravel, and quite apart from any aesthetic concerns - I WANT REVENGE!!!

Eh... heh... as you were. :lipsrsealed:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on May 06, 2008, 06:08:59 AM
Try this: http://www.nickys-nursery.co.uk/seeds/pages/slugx.htm (http://www.nickys-nursery.co.uk/seeds/pages/slugx.htm)

Environmentally friendly and requires you to drink most of a can of beer. Can't be bad.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on May 06, 2008, 09:34:04 AM
That stinks, Ed! You're not gonna start hanging slugs on pikes outside your house, are you? ;)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on May 06, 2008, 01:45:45 PM

I've had an absolute gutful of things getting wrecked by mindless vandals - be they children, morons, mice, slugs, dogs or snails. The self same thing that happened to the peonie also happened to a nerine last autumn - I watched it grow, then just as it was about to bloom - munch.


I have several potted plants at the seedling stage. I brought them out from under the roof over the weekend adn arranged them since they're big enough to deal with the weather (I hope). Anyway, the dog was out on a tether and just as I was almost done with my gardening...*SMASH*...there is one of my most promising pots on it's side and it's contents strewn across the driveway.  :'(  We tried to save some but it just isn't the same.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on May 06, 2008, 07:04:44 PM
I know how you feel, Ash - takes the shine off it, doesn't it?

That stinks, Ed! You're not gonna start hanging slugs on pikes outside your house, are you? ;)

No, I'm not that crazy. Although I have dug little pits and lined the bottoms of them with punji sticks made from cocktail sticks, and then covered the holes over with blades of grass and a thin layer of soil. Is that normal behaviour, or do you think I'm going too far? :huh:

Try this: http://www.nickys-nursery.co.uk/seeds/pages/slugx.htm (http://www.nickys-nursery.co.uk/seeds/pages/slugx.htm)

Environmentally friendly and requires you to drink most of a can of beer. Can't be bad.

I would sooner use brick acid than waste good beer on the enemy >:( Although I could get them roaring drunk and then wait until they're hung over the next morning, with really bad headaches, then shout at them really loudly. That'll learn 'em :fugly:

No, I took a trip to B&Q and bought some organic slug pellets that are supposed to be dog safe and child friendly, or perhaps it was dog friendly and child safe. Nevermind, as long as it murders the slugs  :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: canadian on May 06, 2008, 10:57:31 PM
Ordinary table salt works a treat, Ed. Just sprinkle it on the damn things and watch what happens.

Have to warn you the process is rather messy. Muwahahahaa!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on May 07, 2008, 03:01:28 AM
Ordinary table salt works a treat, Ed. Just sprinkle it on the damn things and watch what happens.

Have to warn you the process is rather messy. Muwahahahaa!

Yep, apparently that's the only reason why the French don't eat them - sprinkle salt on them and they disappear :fugly:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on May 07, 2008, 05:26:03 AM
I've been battling with a mouse in my garage. Well, several, over the last few months. But there seemed to be just one left and no matter what bait I put out he either took it off the traps without setting them off, or ignored it altogether. I tried cheese, chocoloate, grapes, and apple, all to no avail with this particualr rodent. then, last night, I had a brainwave - why not try an orange fishing boilee - I've caught plenty of carp on them, why not a mouse? And bingo! Got that little blighter. I don't actually feel good about killing him, but there's a time and a place for mice, and my garage right now isn't either.

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on May 07, 2008, 09:20:41 AM

That stinks, Ed! You're not gonna start hanging slugs on pikes outside your house, are you? ;)

No, I'm not that crazy. Although I have dug little pits and lined the bottoms of them with punji sticks made from cocktail sticks, and then covered the holes over with blades of grass and a thin layer of soil. Is that normal behaviour, or do you think I'm going too far? :huh:


Oh, of course not! That's perfectly rational behavior! (But look who's talking.) ;)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on May 07, 2008, 12:55:46 PM
A few years back slugs ate all my lettuces. As a veggie animal activist and soft as a tired tongue, I don't want to put slug pellets down or murder them with Donna's salt. So I planted lots of different plants to see which survived best. Surprisingly spring onions didn't but a variety of strawberry - Cambridge Favorite seems to be ignored by them - especially with the old trick of surrounding them with straw. Birds left those strawsberries alone too, which then made me wonder what was wrong with them!  :scratch: The only veg that slugs and snails didn't touch at all was Kohlrabi.

The next year a toad took up residence under my shed.

I could grow whatever I liked and the toad grew fat --- sorry slugs  :/  Always a veggie's dilemma...

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: canadian on May 07, 2008, 08:12:21 PM
A toad. What a great & simple solution, Geoff.

Anybody know what to do about a groundhog? We've got one who's happily ensconced behind & under our shed ... right beside our new veggie garden. The dogs have tried booby trapping the main exit holes with steamy piles to no avail. Brie even dropped one straight down its tunnel!

Maybe Doug should lie down outside its hole all night and make noises like a hungry coyote. Think that'd scare it off?


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on May 08, 2008, 03:42:53 AM
We've been letting nature take its course where vermin are concerned, in the garden anyway, but it seems like something's out of kilter, because we're overrun with slugs. We've got slow worms at the top of the garden, plus a few resident frogs/toads (wouldn't know the difference TBH), so if between them they're not coping, I think there's something wrong. Saying that, I was considering scattering slug pellets all over the garden, until I remembered about our little friends. Because of concern for them, I've only treated a raised bed at the bottom of the garden, which is about a foot wide and fifteen feet long.

TBH, I don't like killing things and don't kill anything unless it's destined for the dinner table, usually. Even when we were plagued with rats and mice, I found myself feeling sorry for the mice I found dead in the traps - cute little buggers. Always looked to be in really good condition, too. When it came down to it, it was them or us, though. Had to be done.

I've no experience with groundhogs. They're basically a rodent the size of a small dog, aren't they? Never seen one. Perhaps a stern talking to will do the job? :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on May 13, 2008, 07:00:57 PM
What a day. I woke up feeling absolutely awful this morning. Only got about five hours sleep, so I was never going to feel wonderful on it, but I also woke up with a nasty cold (out of the blue), which made it worse. Worked all day in the sun, stuffing myself with vitamin C and trying to sweat out the virus. Felt fairly ok by the end of the day, but still a bit dizzy. Went out tonight to watch a standup/improv show with Paul Merton and friends, which was quite good. Had a few bottles of lager at intermission and after the show, and right now I'm feeling properly half cut. It feels good after such a long hot day suffering cold symptoms.

And now I'm going to drink some more water before hitting the sack. I'll hopefully wake up feeling better tomorrow :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on May 13, 2008, 08:30:27 PM
Nyquil, baby. Nyquil.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on May 14, 2008, 03:09:10 AM
Turns out I slept really well, thanks :afro: Still got a runny nose and a cough, but I think it feels a little better - at least my throat's not sore any more :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on May 14, 2008, 09:43:03 AM
Man oh man, I'm starting to wonder what I've gotten myself into! I decided to start watching three of my friend's kids (along with my own) in the evening after work, because she's been paying more in daycare than she's actually earning! It's been lively, that's for sure!  :/


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: bintarab on May 14, 2008, 11:01:35 PM
Tornado warning in Austin tonight -- hope you are safe, stark!

~bint


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on May 15, 2008, 02:48:14 AM
It's wet here after a week of gorgeous weather. Was that our summer? I wonder.

On another subject, I'm not getting any writing done at all at the mo'. I've got several ideas awaiting pen to paper, but it feels like I'm hanging on by fingertips to just getting all the chores and necessities of life done, let alone anything extra (like writing).

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on May 15, 2008, 03:26:17 AM
Urf - other people's kids. I feel your pain, Angela :/  We had ten OPKs in our house about two weekends back. Both our kids had friends around, and they all required fuelling, plasters, etc. Then there's the issue of OPK's rules, "Toby's mum lets him say the 'F' word, and the 'S' word, and the..." Oh, that's good then - he'll understand me just fine when I tell the little shit to fuck off home ::)

I hate to hear kids swearing. I think it's because its a sign that their innocence is ebbing away, which is necessary, I suppose, but sad all the same.

Del - I've been saying the same thing. This happened last year, didn't it? Heat wave for a couple weeks in May, then it rained until September. I don't think I could handle another summer like that. I've really enjoyed the past few days, sitting out on the patio in the evenings, eating outdoors, planting things and watching them sprout up through the soil. Hopefully there will be plenty more of it to come before autumn :smiley:

Sorry to hear that you've been too busy to write, but I think sometimes it's good to let an idea swell in your brain for a while before writing it. Seem to flow more easily.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on May 15, 2008, 04:23:38 AM
Nearly forgot - I had a really good nightmare last night. There was a tree trunk lying along top of a 6ft stone wall, and for some reason I was chopping out this thin layer of bark from where the two things met. It came away easily, in thin strips an inch or two wide to reveal a cavity between. When I looked closer I could see snakes in the void, which slithered out as I worked my way along. They looked to be quite small, but bigger than adders, and more solid looking. They didn't worry me too much. As I worked my way along the wall, the snakes seemed to get bigger, until when I knocked out the last section there was a huge snake in there - like a boa, but slightly thinner, more lithe, fast, but ten feet long. I jumped back from it and ran away along the road, being chased by the snakes, and only just staying ahead of the biggest one. Then for some reason I thought of trying to sidestep it and double back, so I veered off to one side and doubled back. The snakes carried on along the road, so I guess they weren't chasing me at all - it just seemed like they were.

I'm sure that means something relevant to my life and subconscious worries. They say you can tell a lot about what people are thinking by examining their dreams. Hey, perhaps I'm paranoid? :scratch:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on May 15, 2008, 05:42:39 AM
Small snakes, gradually growing to big snakes, and then you being chased along the road by them. I think you're right... your subconscious is very revealing!

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on May 15, 2008, 09:22:27 AM
No, Bint, I'm up near Dallas, so no twisters here last night! Of course, I was so busy, one could have passed through the backyard and I wouldn't have even noticed!  :grin:

Well, Ed, I think the trick is to teach OPKs how to follow the house rules. It's sure isn't easy to get them to break bad habits, though! On the plus side, I got all four asleep within thirty minutes last night and curled up on the couch with a book!  THAT was sweet.

Oh, and I used to have a dream dictionary somewhere, but I don't think I'd have to look up snakes to tell you what it's supposed to represent!  :grin:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on May 15, 2008, 02:58:24 PM
I looked up the meaning of snakes i dreams on google, and it's not as clear cut as you might think, actually :grin:

In my case I think I know what it means, though - I'm fast running out of work to do, and I dropped into a job I'm supposed to be starting next week sometime, only to find somebody else doing it, so I think the snakes are more literally representing liars and deceitful people. Could be time to change direction, perhaps? :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: bintarab on May 15, 2008, 03:16:59 PM
No, Bint, I'm up near Dallas, so no twisters here last night! Of course, I was so busy, one could have passed through the backyard and I wouldn't have even noticed!  :grin:

It ended up being a right wicked hail storm -- reminds me of your flash because my lawn is a mess! I spent hours this morning trying to clean up and only got a fraction of it done, but my back is killing me so I had to stop. Power went out sometime last night not surprisingly, but it's all back now. And I got to meet my next door neighbor for the first time in 9 months while we were both cleaning up, so there's the silver lining.

~bint


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: joneastwood on May 15, 2008, 07:28:11 PM
Thought this would be a good place to pop a few cool zombie pics from my new job. Unfortunately, I don't get to be one of these guys - I have to do the wordy shows that people see before they boogie on down to zombie town, but i'm going to make sure I have a go scaring people witless in the next few months. Everyone does their own make-up, which I think is pretty cool.
Bit of background on the place - its called The London Bridge Experience and it's built into the foundations of the bridge. It was designed to be just a big scare show, but now it's two floors. The top floor is a series of educational(ish) shows about the history of London Bridge, but the zombie scare show is the floor below. They found thousands of jumbled up human remains when they were digging it all up. Apparently the area used to be used as a plague pit in the 1600's. Pretty cool eh?


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on May 27, 2008, 02:03:27 PM
Weird - I thought I had replied to this. Excellent pics, Jon. Very cool idea :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on May 28, 2008, 06:05:29 AM
Off to London this afternoon to meet my publisher, other writers, family and friends. Busy schedule, so won't have time to visit the zombies under the bridge, unfortunately. Hoping to get some writing done on the train (two and a half hour trip) but probably won't, as I usually end up staring out the window all the way. MUST do some research for the latest novel. Must, must, must. Will. Definitely. Hope to return with words bursting out of me. Or something.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: rsmccoy on May 29, 2008, 07:54:17 AM
Very cool Jon, great pics. It went from "Bring out your dead" to "Ugghhh brains....."


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on May 29, 2008, 01:51:06 PM
Cuh - if we were a real cafe we'd have sold just one cup of tea and an iced bun today :grin:

Quiet, innit? I guess everybody's busy finishing off their stories ready for the June crit session. It's looking like being a good one, I reckon :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on May 30, 2008, 04:33:05 AM
It absolutely empted down yesterday afternoon. I blame the dickhead dancing around in the middle of the road wearing a sun costume. He caused a traffic jam on the way in to work, ironically celebrating the start of 'The Sunrise Festival', and the torrential rain caused nose to tail chaos on the way home.

On site, I packed up all my gear and made several trips to the van (the rain intensifying every time I came out of the building), which left me pretty much drenched to the skin by the time I'd finished. Then I drive home along the 303, and the rain is so intense that I'm forced to slow to 30mph because the windscreen wipers can't keep up with the rain hitting the screen. I turn off the 303 at Ilchester and lo and behold it's like somebody lifted a curtain (a big grey soggy one), because literally the second I turned off the 303 my wipers started making a screeching noise, because there wasn't any water on the screen. I looked at the road and saw it was bone dry - it hadn't rained there at all during the three hour lashing we'd had just ten miles away. As I get closer to home, it's getting brighter and brighter. Finally, when I'm just about a mile from home it's sunny, like a summer's day, oddly enough. So I rang my wife, who was no doubt carrying on as if it really was a summer's day.

With big black clouds gaining on me by the second and spots of rain speckling my windscreen again she answers the phone, and the first thing she says is what a lovely day it is - she's got a line full of washing out, she's set the table outside for tea, and to cap it all she's got her accursed mother there who's as nervous as a nag at the glue factory (especially) during storms.

I pull into my garage, the heavens open, and the rain intensifies as I run for the house. My wife has rescued everything from outside and has set the table inside. Just as we start to eat there's a flash of lightning and an explosion of thunder. The mother-in-law looks like she's about to dive under the table, and begins to shake uncontrollably. I wonder if I'm going to have to slap her out of hysteria in a moment. No such luck.

We finish the meal and she heads for home. Next thing we hear on the radio is all the roads around us are flooded and there's a wall down across one of the roads she would have taken home. Manhole covers are lifting with the volume of storm water coming up through them, and pretty much everywhere is impassable. It took her an hour to travel three miles.

Now this morning the news reports say several roads are closed where the storm drains have broken and lifted the tarmac, leaving the roads no better than farm tracks in some places. Yet it's a bright sunny day today. Typical English summer.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on May 30, 2008, 06:59:08 AM
Are you a Somerset boy, then, Ed?


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on May 30, 2008, 01:20:39 PM
Are you a Somerset boy, then, Ed?

Well, sort of - I live in Somerset and have done for most of my adult life, but I'm originally from up around Delph's neck of the woods. No trace of the accent left, though. I'm told I have no accent :scratch:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: neilmarr on May 31, 2008, 09:56:06 AM
Somerset lad, Acker Bilk, wrote a piece called 'Summer Set' back in the sixties. It made the charts, but I think he meant it as a joke. Hope it's brightened up for you, Ed. Bestest. Neil


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on June 03, 2008, 01:46:47 PM
Thanks, Neil - it's a bit brighter now :afro:

Is it just me, or was the forum down a minute ago? I tried a tracert and couldn't even get the domain name to resolve. Seems to be OK now, though :scratch:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on June 03, 2008, 03:33:04 PM
Just had a neighbour bang on the door flourishing the free mid-week paper (even though it's only Tuesday). My photo is on the front page and a short piece repeated on the inside from last weeks press release about my Exit, Pursued by a Bee ebook. The photo is the same as I posted in here somewhere a few days back. It's not as cool as JonE's photos but just as scary ;)

ah, here is the thread link http://www.cafedoom.com/forum/index.php/topic,2099.15.html

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on June 03, 2008, 06:38:05 PM
Cool :afro: Good publicity - I bet you get a few sales from it, Geoff. Hope so, anyway :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: PaulH on June 04, 2008, 06:19:39 AM

Is it just me, or was the forum down a minute ago?

I told it a few jokes and slipped it an anti-depressant. Seems to have done the trick.  :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on June 04, 2008, 12:58:06 PM
*groan*

 :cheesy:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on June 05, 2008, 03:22:49 AM
I've really got to get on with sending out stories to markets - dunno what's up with me, but I never seem to get around to doing it. Hopeless ::)

Busy crit session this time around, which is nice. Seven stories to work through, and I think that's about the optimum number, really. Any more and it starts getting difficult to organise so that everybody gets their share of feedback. It's strange, though. I look at the new posts this morning and there's quite a few to read, but they're all in the crit group, so anybody checking in from outside the group must think there's nothing going on here. Weird.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on June 05, 2008, 03:46:13 AM
ah... wondered why you were all so quiet. Busy critting. Okay.  :yes:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on June 05, 2008, 04:29:02 AM
Yeah, and you don't need to crit my Auditory Crescendo story, Delph - as you already have ;)

It's funny meeting folk on different forums - you, ~bint, del, and others. It's like catching different buses but seeing the same passengers. ummmm, a story idea simmers...

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on June 08, 2008, 10:49:35 AM
Beautiful day today - warm, sunny, not a cloud in the sky. Makes it all the harder to go back to work tomorrow, doesn't it? ::)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on June 09, 2008, 06:39:12 PM
What to do. Work has officially dried up - I've got about three day's worth left with my regular clients, and I've had to lay off my employees, because there's nothing left for them to do.

We've known this was coming for a few weeks now, and I was actually looking forward to having a few weeks, or maybe even months, off to concentrate on finishing my house, and on writing a novel. I'm in the fortunate position of being able to afford it, because I've managed to save a bit, plus I did better than expected on the last contract.

Now comes the dilemma. A friend of mine works for a different company that does more up market work. He's soon going to be moving to Spain. Their other main man is moving to Canada. And they want me to take their place. And because it's up market work, it isn't affected by the current credit crunch and slump in property prices, so there's lots to do.

Trouble is, I'd have to start right away, otherwise somebody else will step in and the opportunity won't arise again. So instead of the nice break I was looking forward to, I'm going to be chasing my tail until Chirstmas, and probably beyond :huh:

Mustn't grumble....


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on June 09, 2008, 06:41:55 PM
The new tree came today! Now, in three to five years, we'll have delicious cherries.  ;) We have another cherry tree, but that one isn't edible for humans. Next we're getting a peach tree!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on June 09, 2008, 06:53:13 PM
We've got an ornamental cherry tree out front. It's beautiful for about a week every year, and if we leave our bedroom window open the fragrance from the blossom fills the room and delicate pink petals litter the floor like confetti. The rest of the year it's just an ugly tree, and it doesn't even have cherries on it. Seems fairly pointless when you can get cherry trees that produce cherries.

In the back garden we've got a bramley apple tree, two purple plum trees and one golden plum tree, two pear trees and two eating apple trees (not sure what variety they are). This in addition to  a couple of buddleas (sp?) a weeping willow (my favourite useless tree) and a eucalyptus. Heh - nearly forgot the two hazel trees.

I love home grown fruit. I like trees a lot, too :afro:

I'd love to be able to grow peaches - that'd be great. We don't have the climate for it, though.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: RichardP on June 09, 2008, 07:02:54 PM
So Ed, what did you decide? Take the contract?


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on June 09, 2008, 07:17:01 PM
I don't know, TBH. I think I'm going to have to take it. Opportunities like this don't come along very often, so to turn it down would be verging on foolhardy, especially considering the current climate and the shape of things to come. It's not just this year I've got to think about, but the next five or ten. It's really annoying though - financially speaking I'd be ok without working until at least next february. And to add insult to injury this new work is going to take up even more of my time than the old one, pay slightly less for more hours, plus the client isn't a regular payer - blood and stones spring to mind.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: canadian on June 09, 2008, 09:29:32 PM
That's a real tough call you're gonna have to make, Ed. My first reaction when I read about the offer from your peer was 'suck it up'! I mean, work's work and when you don't have it, it's scary. But after reading about the client ... sheesh. Take the work until it ends, hope it's all paid for and THEN take the break???


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on June 10, 2008, 02:27:49 AM
My advice would be to take it. As already said, work is work, and however grim life is with it, it gets even grimmer without it. I'm finding out right now how annoying it is to be so busy (without extra pay) that many other things in life have to be put on hold. One starts to look at one's priorities and say things like "This isn't right..." but then another bill comes through the letter box (and those things - bills, not letter boxes - ain't getting any smaller) and one realises that it's the nature of the beast.

And you're not losing the option of any time off. It it turns out to be the wrong choice there'll no doubt be a get-out position somewhere along the line and then you can take your time off!

Del


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on June 10, 2008, 09:28:44 AM
My advice is the opposite of Del's  :evil: But to be serious unless you are desperate for the cash, and you aren't because if you were you couldn't have been looking forward to a few weeks writing and relaxing. My advice is to take the time off from work for a short while. Forget the house decorating stuff too. Chill out, take time while you can and are fit and able enough to enjoy it. I wish I'd did more - take the odd day week month. Especially to do the stuff like I did yesterday. Piqued? Have a quick look at my blog and the link within in http://geoffnelder.wordpress.com/ for today.

I'm getting a bit rickety for that kind of walk now although I feel quite good today apart from blister and thigh muscles screamng for a lie down.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on June 10, 2008, 09:45:53 AM
Geoff, you are SO LUCKY to be able to go walking there. *sigh*

Drum is one of my favourite mountains. The views... just magnificent. Haven't been there since I was seventeen, but it's still vivid. I've 'borrowed' one of your photos (yet again) for my wallpaper.  ;)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on June 10, 2008, 10:24:56 AM
Quote
My advice is to take the time off from work for a short while. Forget the house decorating stuff too. Chill out, take time while you can and are fit and able enough to enjoy it. I wish I'd did more - take the odd day week month.

Geoff is, of course, quite right. The only reason I've posted anything here today is because I got angry at the work commitments that are encroaching on my personal passions and have been determined to take five today. Alas, I'll now be working late to make up for all these fives .

And in the end that's the key. We all see things from our own perspective, and mine may be very different to Ed's. Hopefully in years to come it'll change...

Depressed Del


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on June 10, 2008, 02:11:51 PM
Yeah, it's difficult to know where to draw the life/work line sometimes. Thing is, as I get older, I realise that there are whole years that I can't remember anything about, other than perhaps a holiday, or a job I worked on. It's not just one or two years, either - I'm talking the best part of a decade.

Back in the early nineties, Britain was still in the throes of a bad recession, and I suddenly got a big payout from a job that I had done a couple years prior that the clients refused to pay for. I cleared 3.5k from it at a time when I was scratching around for work and had been for quite a while - at least a year to 18 mths. We hummed and hawed about it for a while, but in the end we threw caution to the wind and took a three week fly drive around California, Arizona, New Mexico, etc. Had a blast. It's something we both remember vividly and still talk about. It was money well spent.

The way that I see it is life, in the end, when all's said and done, is a collection of experiences and memories. What we should be doing, if we're smart, is working just enough to afford a little adventure from time to time, have some of the things we want, go to some of the places we've never been to. There's no point in saving all your pennies for tomorrow, because today is just as important, if not more so - today you have your health, your friends, your family - there's no guarantee you'll have any of it tomorrow.



Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: canadian on June 10, 2008, 06:50:42 PM
So, you're not taking on the new work then, Ed?


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on June 11, 2008, 03:38:14 AM
Morning all.
My upper thigh muscles conspired against me yesterday in protest at making them hike so much in the mountains on Monday. I've talked them into cooperating a bit today but it is apparent that muscles used in hiking are not the same as in biking.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on June 11, 2008, 04:29:31 AM
For the last two days I've cycled into work (which I do every day), left my bike in the (very secure) bike shed and come out in the evening to find the front tyre flat. Both times the tyre was fine when I left it yet  when I've investigated the issue there have been long splits in the tube but not a mark on the tyre - these weren't slow punctures. Monday I caught the bus home. Yesterday I walked. It's only four miles so not a patch on your hikes, Geoff. But today I'm working from home!

Lunchtime I'm buying new tyres and tubes and rim-tape!

My catalogue of cycling troubles this year include having to replace two wheels, the gear-hanger, rear derailleur, chain, rear cassette, gear cable and (this time by choice) chainset on my road bike. Three times in two weeks I went out and spokes broke and I had to limp home. I've got through about six inner tubes on that bike.

On the mountain bike I've had two new tyres and about six punctures.

Everytime I think I've had my share of cycling woes something else comes along! I even used my life-time guaranteed tyre removal lever so much it broke. But at least they're sending me a replacement!

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on June 11, 2008, 07:06:16 AM
Since my wife bought me a new bike, Dawes Super Galaxy road bike in November, I've not had a puncture with it in spite of cycling over 2000 miles in hawthorn hedge country. Fair enough they are new tyres and not slicks but winter armadillo, which are puncture resistant.

I've had long splits in inner tubes but only if they're say at least 3 or 4 years old. I do replace parts such as chain sets every 3 or 4 years. Compared to replacing car parts it's nothing!

Ive never had a spoke break since my first Dawes 12 years ago. My lack of bike damage could be down to luck, buyingexpensive in the first place and my oh-so-slow cycling speed ;) Average is 12 mph on long hilly journeys. It would be slower but I have a go-faster stripe on the crossbar.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on June 11, 2008, 03:32:07 PM
So, you're not taking on the new work then, Ed?

I'm going to try for the old have your cake and eat it approach of compromise - I'll do a bit now, on the understanding I'll get offered a lot more later. It's complicated, but I think I can see a way to make it work both ways. If not then I'll take a deep breath and let it go, I think. Something always turns up. I'm highly skilled, well qualified and I'm good at what I do, so I'm fairly confident that I can find something at a later date, if and when I need to. Might even be the opportunity I need to change direction.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on June 11, 2008, 04:14:36 PM
The tree is still alive, so it seems I didn't manage to kill it right away! Also on the agenda: a burning peach for teh front yard (dwarf fruit tree), two hydrangeas for a backyard that could use some splashes of color, and a dwarf butterfly bush for the front. I have a large on in the back, but right now it's just a little skeleton stuck in the soil. It's only been a few weeks though, so it's probably getting used to it's new home. The better-half is endlessly amused by all of this, as before we moved I had little interest in plants. Now I'm like a heroin addict.

Oh, and my Empress of India is coming up!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on June 15, 2008, 01:46:04 PM
Sorry I haven't been around too much lately, guys. I'm all fizzled out, so to speak. I'll be gone until around the end of June, on vacation. Hopefully staring at the mountains for a few days will revitalize me! So, see ya'll in a few weeks! Have fun and behave (I know I'll be doing the first one but not the second)!  :grin:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on June 15, 2008, 05:12:34 PM
I know the fizzled out feeling well - last week was quite hard going, and I've spent all weekend building a go kart for my kids, so I'm feeling not at all rested. Kids are happy, though.

Hope you have a good holiday, Angela :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on June 16, 2008, 03:54:17 AM
Quote
Since my wife bought me a new bike, Dawes Super Galaxy road bike in November,


Very nice! I think next time I shall go for more of a tourer. 2000 miles since November! I'm impressed.

 
Quote
my oh-so-slow cycling speed  Average is 12 mph on long hilly journeys.


Nothing wrong with that. I average 14-15 on short not very hilly journeys.

Quote
I'm all fizzled out, so to speak. I'll be gone until around the end of June, on vacation. Hopefully staring at the mountains for a few days will revitalize me!

Have a great one! I'm feeling fizzled out, too. Just heard from a teacher I know in the States who's now finished until September. I knew I should have chosen a different career!

Haven't even thought about writing for a week or two. I was reading a novel last night and I started to feel that rumble deep inside that "this is what I want to do". I reckon if I can keep a lid on that feeling for a week or two more then the pressure will build nicely!

Del



Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on June 16, 2008, 01:20:32 PM
I received a bike for Father's Day. Don't know what make it is, but it's a mountain bike style, with suspension front and back and eighteen gears (fourteen of which are pretty much pointless, IMO). Apparently Halfords tried to give it to my wife flatpacked in a box, to which she said, "Do I look like the type of person who could make a bicycle?" :grin:

It's to make sure I don't have any excuses to get out of going on family bike rides. Must admit to enjoying cycling around Center Parcs with the kids last time we were there.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: canadian on June 16, 2008, 07:35:28 PM
Now you can go and run into Geoff somewhere, Ed!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on June 17, 2008, 02:35:19 AM
I don't think I could pedal that far. What I need is a tandem, so I can get a lacky to do all the hard work :grin:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on June 17, 2008, 07:50:21 AM
My bike has 24 gears  :bleh:

and I use them all.
Not every ride, but it is a bit hilly in Wales.

I struggled extracting my long ladders from the garage this morning. I'd forgotten that I'd locked one of my bikes to them but the crashing and squealing reminded me. I used the ladders to reach and then clean the upstairs windows.

It's raining now.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: elay2433 on June 17, 2008, 01:38:51 PM
Good Morning all,

Got some great news when I checked my email today - I've been accepted to attend the 2009 Borderlands Boot Camp for short fiction. :cheers: Feeling a bit nervous now.

All you bicyclists out there - ever check out Audible.com? I bought a seven speed Raleigh beach cruiser last year when gas started going nuts. I ride to work every day, (about 25 minutes each direction) and if I'm not listening to music on my ipod, I'm listeing to a book on it. Makes the ride fly by - just have to be careful of traffic.

-elay


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on June 17, 2008, 01:55:09 PM
Congratulations, Elay :afro: I might well see you there, but I'll be doing the novel writing one, if I attend.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: elay2433 on June 18, 2008, 12:13:34 AM
Cool. I hope to see you out there, Ed.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on June 18, 2008, 05:58:08 PM
Heh - saw this one while looking for a pic for the 'Caption this' thread -

(http://www.funpic.hu/files/pics/00034/00034303.jpg)

And the first thing I thought of was, "Not now, Kato!"


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on June 19, 2008, 02:21:16 AM
I'm sure cats are aliens.

I had an odd email yesterday but unlike the usual spam it might be genuine. It was from a Tim Wood, and he gave his house address in Kettering. He says: "Dear Mr Nelder, Please would it possible to get your autograph. I am a big fan and would love to add it to my collection."

After thinking I could offer my editing services (the missed 'be') I replied saying he can have my autograph on a signed copy of Escaping Reality for a tenner, and on Exit for fifteen quid.

No reply yet.

Geoff



Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on June 19, 2008, 02:51:08 AM
Ah - so you're one of those authors who will only inscribe, huh?  :huh: It's a good idea, though - once word gets around amongst the autograph hunters, you won't get mobbed so much in town on the days when you just want to be plain old Geoff Nelder :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on June 19, 2008, 03:11:18 AM
LOL. But as I just realised, my signature is already on thousands of school reports I've written over 30 years.

I thought maybe this chap was after my sig for some ID fraud but that would be too obvious. I'll send it to him with some adverts.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on June 19, 2008, 12:53:07 PM
I suppose that's another advantage to writing under a nom de plume - fewer opportunities for fraudsters to use the signature for nefarious purposes. Sad that we even have to think along those lines.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on June 19, 2008, 05:35:58 PM
Minor crisis going on here for the past couple of days, hence the quiet me. Normal service should resume presently. Will read the stories in week three and make intelligent comment... well, I can guarantee a comment at least :scratch:

G'night all (http://img39.imageshack.us/img39/3986/yawn.gif)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on June 20, 2008, 02:28:47 AM
Hope everything's cool, Ed.

"Normal" service here continues to mean a lack of writing at the moment. Did 13.5 hours for "the man" yesterday and came home too tired to even pick up the TV remote let alone a pen. Haven't even had chance to engage brain over the flash story this week and I chose the word - so I'm feeling guilty. Will try and come up with something today!

Del


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on June 20, 2008, 04:49:36 AM
Abnrmal service here.
1000 A5 flyers arrived here just in time for me to take half to the Space, Time, Monsters and Machines event in south Wales tomorrow, but I'm catching the train this lunch. The other half of the flyers are to go to the editor of Partners, a small press poetry magazine. Ian Deal there is going to distribute my flyer to his members. The flyers have an advert for Exit, Pursued by a Bee on one side, and a call for submissions to Escape Velocity on the other.

My rucksack bulges with EV mags and Dimensions anthologies. No room for overnight stuff! Good job the train is taking the strain and not my poor bike - its breathing a sigh  of relief!

See you Sunday

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on June 22, 2008, 05:35:58 PM
Good stuff - I hope it went well, Geoff :afro:

Del - sorry I didn't get around to writing a flash for your word. It's been quite a hectic week all told. I'm hoping to get more writing time next week.

Had a fun weekend this time. Went to a barbecue/presentation event on the field out the back of our house yesterday afternoon, where my youngest nipper (8 yrs) received a trophy for his fearless goal keeping. We ate a good cheeseburger and a hotdog each, and I sank a few bottles of chilled beer while talking with friends and neighbours. Earlier in the day, me and the nippers tweaked the go-kart I built for them last weekend out of an old bike, half an aluminium ladder, the bed of a wheelbarrow and the wheels off my cement mixer, plus assorted junk, half inch galvanised steel pipe and nuts and bolts. They spent most of the afternoon with all the other kids taking it in turn to push each other around the field - they had a great time with it.

We also put the finishing touches to our scarecrow for the village scarecrow competition - we went for a contemporary theme - Spongebob Scarepants. I'll post a pic of him... when I can find the right lead to connect the camera to the PC ::)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on June 22, 2008, 05:54:27 PM
Here's Spongebob Scarepants, resplendent in a pair of 54" waist Y-fronts everybody assumes are mine :/ I've decided of my own volition that if my waistline ever reaches the size where these pants might fit, I'll almost certainly be taking up that gymn membership we've been discussing.

(http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b298/blunt_ed_d/DSCN1194.jpg)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on June 22, 2008, 08:21:16 PM
Wow, Ed, all that go-cart stuff and scarecrow is so timeless - well, since the days of Huckleberry Finn. Great how pushing around and riding in home-made vehicles can be so much fun!

Yep, the Welsh con went very well. Sold a couple dozen Escape Velocity mags, gave some away too - the uni library and my stall sharer, Steve Upham, the artist and publisher of Screaming Dreams. He does some of BeWrite covers too. I also met Ant who wrote Big Bang. one of the best books I've read and definitely the funniest and yet deepest book at Adventure Books of Seattle, but that's another story. Meeting Jasper Fforde was a real buzz as I say in another thread and on my blog. I filled 8 pages of my notebook with his comments. It'll take me all tomorrow to work it into an article for EV.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on June 23, 2008, 03:03:17 AM
Yep - that's the great part about living in a small village. Even though we're only a few miles from town, in many ways it's like travelling back in time fifty years. There's a sense of community, plus the kids get to go to a village school and do stuff they couldn't do growing up in town. They've got the run of the place - build dens in the woods with their friends, take part in village events, like the scarecrow comp, harvest festival, nativity, etc. Reminds me of my own childhood :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on June 23, 2008, 12:11:15 PM
He kinda looks like a bran bar. Trying to give the kids a little subliminal messaging  ;)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on June 25, 2008, 03:04:55 AM
I see what you're saying - I thought he looked a bit like a big Weetabix, too.

Took my bike back to Halfords and told them so shove it. I thought it was a really nice surprise for my wife to get it for Father's Day, but (typical Halfords) it weighed a ton, the gears didn't work properly and the disk brakes rubbed. It was even an effort to push the damn thing, so riding it three or four miles up hill and down nearly killed me. When she complained about it not being set up properly, the kid serving her said there wasn't anything wrong with the way it was set up - it was just that it was cheap crap, to which my wife said he wasn't making a good job of selling it to her. He replied, "I don't care." Which I suppose sums up Halfords in a nutshell.

Went to Tri UK, got personalised service, a discount, a properly set up bike that weighs about half what the other one did. It's a bit more money than the last one, but the difference is immense. 24 gears this time, but no rear suspension. It's not as pretty, but I'm more likely to use it.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on June 25, 2008, 03:57:55 AM
Yes, BikeHut (Halfords) haven't got a great reputation. I've read scores of stories just like yours, Ed. Still, at least you've got your wheels sorted now!

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Grillmeat on June 27, 2008, 07:03:59 AM
Good Lord, it is 4apm here :shocked:
Well wish me luck. Off to spend the day at the USDAA Agility Team trials. (that's a dog and handler event where you run courses together for time and the best team time wins.)  We're trying to qualify for the Nationals. We failed the first two times this year and this is our last shot.  (crosses fingers)
See you all Monday


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on June 27, 2008, 07:40:45 AM
Good luck :afro:

I've taken the day off to take my wife to lunch at a posh restaurant. It's her birthday today, so the diet's going out of the window and damn the expense :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on June 27, 2008, 08:54:11 AM
Just been down the pub saying goodbye to a couple of fellows who are retiring today. Time marches on, eh?


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on June 27, 2008, 12:51:55 PM
Good luck :afro:

I've taken the day off to take my wife to lunch at a posh restaurant. It's her birthday today, so the diet's going out of the window and damn the expense :smiley:

That's precious  :grin:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on June 29, 2008, 04:16:47 PM
It's been another good weekend :smiley:

Had a nice meal on Friday, as planned, and my wife cried when she saw the dozen red roses I'd arranged for them to have on the table ready for her. Friday evening we ditched both kids at Cub camp for the weekend, returned to an empty house to veg out for the night.

On saturday, one of my wife's friends took her to London to watch Lloyd Webber's show, Joseph, which she thoroughly enjoyed. Meanwhile I got in some valuable writing time with a few bottles of beer and a Chinese takeaway (which involved a stand up argument with a copper because I'd allegedly gone down a road I wasn't allowed to go down in the car ::) Gave him a gobful of home truths and sent him on his way with his tail between his legs :grin: ).

Today we spent the morning vegging out, and then had a sunday roast at a local farm shop/restaurant before heading off to pick up the little darlings. I cooked steak with all the trimmings for tea (that's British for 'dinner'). Watched Doctor Who with the sproglings and here we are again. Sunday night. Wishing the working week was shorter and the weekends longer :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on June 29, 2008, 07:57:07 PM
Hey all! Poking my head in for a bit. Just got back from vacation and it looks like I'll be gone again for awhile because I've decided to move. It's crazy and impulsive, but what the hell? You only live once, right? I'm just not looking forward to another twenty hours in the car!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on June 29, 2008, 10:47:17 PM
Neat. Are you moving across the country or just between houses?


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on June 30, 2008, 03:33:56 AM
Nice to see you stopping by, Angela. I hope you had a good holiday :smiley: Twenty hours in a car puts you a thousand miles away :scratch: The place you're moving house to wouldn't happen to be the place where you went on holiday, would it?

You're right, though - you only live once, and all that holds us back half the time is a phobic fear of change. Good luck :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on June 30, 2008, 09:58:36 AM
Thanks guys. Yeah, I'm moving from Texas to Arizona. And, yes, it was where I went on vacation! The trip's just a little over a thousand miles. It's a pretty big change for me, seeing as how I've lived in Texas all my life. I'm (usually) a creature of habit.  :grin:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on June 30, 2008, 12:02:09 PM
That sounds like fun! I moved from CT to the midwest, and it's been a wild ride!  :grin:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on June 30, 2008, 03:39:31 PM
Good luck with your move, Angela. I know of a couple of good writers who live in Arizona. It is tempting me...


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on June 30, 2008, 04:24:47 PM
I visited Arizona (OMG) sixteen years ago and was amazed by how verdant it was - I was expecting landscapes out of a  Roadrunner cartoon. Apparently half of it is like that, but the other half is lush with plantlife. We stayed in Flagstaff for a couple of nights before moving on, and were kept up by freight trains running through all night blaring their horns.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: bintarab on July 01, 2008, 06:19:08 AM
Ah, back from the netherworld and feeling human again -- I had to scramble to get that Terrifying Toys story finished, but after I sent it in, my friend emailed me his feedback, suggesting I cut about 500 words and flesh out the truly interesting part of the story.

Oh well. So maybe I can fix it up when it loses the contest and submit it somewhere.

One thing: I sent the story to AlienSkin as an rtf doc -- does that not preserve the italics? My friend says it didn't. Oops -- the story is hard to follow if you can't see that the toy's dialogue is italicized?

And ... did I really miss two whole flash cycles? Good grief!

~bint


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on July 01, 2008, 12:06:11 PM
Thanks guys. Looking forward to the adventure.

Ed, I thought the same thing the first time I visited Arizona! Here's a picture of the area I'll be living in. It's much more beautiful in person. Besides, photography has never been my fortay!  :grin:

(http://a387.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/119/l_f5e959db26baffb2e9eb28f442e1b8fa.jpg)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: elay2433 on July 01, 2008, 02:24:24 PM
Welcome back bint,

I was hoping to see the final draft of your terrifying toys story. I liked it. I tried coming up with something for the contest but can't seem to fit everything they want into the required word count. Good luck with your entry. Why did you have to scramble - isnt' the deadline July 30th?

-elay


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on July 01, 2008, 03:18:51 PM
I was beginning to think you must be off on your hols, Bint.  :afro:

Re the italics, I'm pretty sure .rtf preserves them. You might lose them in .txt files, though. Like Elay, I thought the deadline for terrifying toys was the end of July rather than the end of June. Good luck with your subs :smiley:

Angela - that bit looks pretty dry, so I take it it's down south? :scratch:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on July 01, 2008, 03:57:51 PM
If you close one eye, squint with the other, and tilt your head sideways you can see that hill is actually one of the Roswell aliens in repose.

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on July 01, 2008, 04:12:24 PM
*squeels* This is a great Tuesday. If you go read Necrotic Tissue, there are koi fish everywhere! It's adorably gruesome.  :smiley:



Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on July 01, 2008, 09:49:26 PM
Yep, Ed, pretty much as far south as I can get without being in Mexico!  :grin:

Now, am I the only one squinting my eyes and tilting my head!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on July 04, 2008, 01:21:23 PM
It's the night of the big party tonight. Wife is stressing because so many people have let her down at the last moment when they'd previously said they were coming. Why do people do that?

It's an 80s themed do. I'm supposed to be going as George Michael, though I've absolutely no idea why, other than we've already got the wig for it. And I'm thinking there could be trouble if somebody else turns up as the motorcycle cop from the Village People, singing, "Let's go outside."  :huh:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: PaulH on July 04, 2008, 07:39:19 PM
Worry will turn to panic if you have a mirror ball in the loo!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on July 04, 2008, 08:58:51 PM
It was a great night, I thought... I know - because of all the spelling mistakes I'm making. I've got a nasty feeling I'm going to wake up with a headache tomorrow morning, despite the three glasses of water I've drunk since coming home :idiot:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Grillmeat on July 04, 2008, 10:30:58 PM
Hair of the Dog that bit you Ed. Its the only sure fire cure!! :D


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on July 05, 2008, 12:21:49 PM
Thanks for the advice - and it's true, actually. A hair of the dog works surprisingly well. The only thing is, it stops you being able to drive for that much longer. Boy, but did I feel it this morning. I went to bed at something past two, and then woke up at five thirty and couldn't get back to sleep, so I got up. The longer I was up for, the rougher I felt. Then at about seven I felt like I could sleep, so I snoozed until about nine. Felt like crap for most of the day, though. That's the trouble with drinking too much - you really do pay for it the next day, and the price probably isn't worth it.

Everybody has been ringing and texting to say what a great time they had, so that's good to know. There were some seriously cool outfits, and the party was a roaring success, which is a great relief for my wife - she was scared nobody would turn up. Half the people we invited didn't bother to come, but I think the right people turned up, so it didn't matter so much about the others.


Title: Upgrading
Post by: Ed on July 06, 2008, 02:10:26 PM
Urgh - I'm going to bite the bullet and upgrade the forum to the latest version of SMF sometime soon. Usually it causes some problems for a while, but it looks like I'm going to have to do it, because I've just had a couple of the usual Turkish script kiddies trying to join the forum, which means they'll try to exploit the vulnerabilities if I don't patch them. Why the hell they can't get their jollies some other way, I don't know. It's not even as if there's any skill involved in the process. All they do is copy instructions on how to exploit the software and then do it. What's clever about that? ::)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on July 06, 2008, 07:39:50 PM
Yep, well, that didn't go as planned, as per usual ::)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on July 07, 2008, 03:15:13 AM
I don't see any difference, ed. Is that cos you restored it to previous or users wouldn't see any difference anyway?


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on July 07, 2008, 03:35:28 AM
I don't see any difference, ed. Is that cos you restored it to previous or users wouldn't see any difference anyway?

It's just one of those critical updates that patch holes in the PHP code of the forum, Geoff, so you wouldn't see any changes, other than the smilies tend to get wiped out along with the attachments and the portal whenever I have to upgrade. I've replaced all the files that need replacing, but the forum refuses to do the upgrade - I guess I'm having the same functionality problems as the Turkish script kiddies who have failed (so far) in their hacking attempts. We've been under attack for the past month or more. Tossers.

Ah - I think I might have figured out what the problem is. I'll give it another try tonight. Sorry for all the down time.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on July 08, 2008, 06:47:47 PM
Still having problems trying to upgrade, but we'll get there in the end, I'm sure.

Just booked my hols. Going to Italy again, back to the same hotel we stayed at last year. There's still a lot of stuff to see around there that we didn't get to do last time, so we thought we'd do the same hotel again. Probably shouldn't spend the money, what with work being very shaky at the moment and recession looming, but what the hell - seize the day, huh? We could all be dead tomorrow.

I still wish I could sit back and relax about the work situation, but I can't seem to bring myself to do it. I've always got my sights set way ahead, trying to see into next year and plan for the future, keep on an even keel, make sure we've always got prospects. I really shouldn't worry, but I can't help it - that's just the way I am, I suppose. ::)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on July 09, 2008, 05:57:53 AM
It is only to be expected that the booming house prices would periodically crash.
Shame cos my son bought a nice penthouse apartment in Nottingham for £110k 3 years ago and others (not penthouse) are going for £90k in his block lately. He needs to sell now he mostly lives with his girl but what should I advise? Maybe he should rent out and keep the flat for a) when prices rise again, or b) he and girl are not an item.

Parenting isn't easy even after they leave home.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on July 09, 2008, 06:41:03 AM
Property is just a waiting game, Geoff - always has been. If he sits tight he'll make that money back and more in the future. My advice is to rent it out until the property prices come back up again. Only sell if you've got no other option. After all, that £20,000 shortfall represents a significant chunk of disposable income, and just because it's spread over twenty-five years and doesn't seem very much like that, it still is, and it'll have trebled to £60,000 by the time he's paid twety-five years' worth of interest on it.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on July 11, 2008, 07:15:24 AM
A couple of good discussions going on in the crit group at the moment about writing taboo subjects, and about how much of ourselves we put into our characters. Again, I'm aware that for those not in the group the forum probably looks a bit quiet, but there is more going on behind the scenes than meets the eye sometimes, and this is one of those times.

The group is not an elitist thing, and if anybody wants to join at any time, they're welcome. Members are expected to do some work, though - so bring a shovel :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on July 11, 2008, 07:26:54 AM
Okay. Seems like I'm missing out on the fun, so may I join the non-elitist crit group please? I can bring my own shovel.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on July 11, 2008, 09:46:10 AM
Yep - welcome to the non-elitist group, Delph :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on July 14, 2008, 06:05:05 PM
Hmph - what a con. I've just booked my hire car for my forthcoming holiday. I looked at the various prices last week, and picked out the cheapest hire company as being holidayautos.co.uk - fine, I think, I'll book that at the weekend. Lo and behold, the weekend comes and the price of the car rental has gone up by £50 (double it to get dollars). Talk about gutted. Again I look through all the different companies, and they're still the cheapest (but at the same time double the price I paid last year for the same thing in the same place, bastards).

So tonight I decide to bite the bullet and book the damn thing. I get most of the way through the booking process, and they ask me if I want to add Damage Excess Waiver. Now, there's long since been a big con going on with all car rental companies, called Collision Damage Waiver, which always used to cost an arm and a leg. The idea of CDW is if you have a collision, the CDW covers the cost of the damage - it's basically a form of insurance. Happy days - they now include it in the price of the rental, but now there's this new ripoff they've all latched onto - DEW, Damage Excess Waiver. They've put a £1,000 excess on any claim made on the CDW (the bastards), so they tap you up for the DEW, but it's not as simple as all that - you can either have Standard Damage Excess Waiver, or Total Damage Excess Waiver, which either covers some, or all of the excess, should you have an accident. And SDEW is half the price (£28) of the TDEW, but I can't find anywhere in the small print exactly how much of the excess gets waived for the SDEW - which is probably down to me not understanding all the legalese.

But... while reading the small print, I find that both the SDEW and the TDEW do not cover me for the excess should the damage be to the underside of the car, the roof, the wheels and or tyres, or the windscreen, or the interior. Furthermore if I'm driving 'dangerously' or off a paved road, I'm not covered for any damn thing.

I really, really, really hate being ripped off. But there's nothing you can do about it, because they're all doing it :pissed:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on July 16, 2008, 07:54:31 AM
Yep - we've all been there. Not only that but you queue to process the car rental paperwork for hours at the airport. You are given the keys and a description of where the car is so off you go. Then you spot a scratch on a hubcab. This isn't covered as you say unless you pay even more, so what to do? There's (deliberately) no carrental person to note the scratch so you mark it on the outline diagram of your paperwork and rejoin the queue back at the airport. I've even taken timed and dated photos before getting in the car.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on July 16, 2008, 08:19:39 AM
Crikey. Remind me never to rent a car. Not that I exactly go abroad that often, so it's pretty academic. Last time I went to France I took my own, so there was no problem.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on July 16, 2008, 08:49:33 AM
My daughter had a scan today to confirm she is pregnant - yeay I am to be a grandad - hang on - I still want it to call me Geoff.
I told Eleanor that Nell Gwynne was born on Feb2 so she could call her Nell, if a girl, or Chip if a boy (her married name is Monk) Hah

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on July 16, 2008, 09:19:11 AM
Congrats!

My little grandson has four grandmothers (one on his mum's side, three on his dad's), so goodness knows what he'll call us all when he's old enough to talk.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on July 16, 2008, 07:24:50 PM
Congrats, Grampa Geoff :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: JonP on July 16, 2008, 07:26:54 PM
Congrats, Geoff!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: canadian on July 17, 2008, 07:19:44 PM
How wonderful, Geoff. Guess I'll have to call you Gramps from now on ... :)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: desertwomble on July 18, 2008, 12:18:42 AM
Yo! 'Grandad Geoff'! Or is that 'GG' - Or perhaps 'Grandad G'.

DW :cheesy:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on July 23, 2008, 05:43:06 PM
Funny thing. Just lately I've been really enjoying my food, and I'm not sure why. Thing is, my wife says it's taken this long for my tastebuds to recover from twenty odd years of smoking. I don't think that can be right, though - I remember reading somewhere that your tastebuds replace themselves every 2 days. But then your tastebuds only register sweet, sour and salty, don't they? The vast majority of your sense of taste actually comes from your sense of smell, so I guess it could have taken this long for my olfactory bits and bobs to lose the layer of soot.

Anyhow, I've enjoyed everything I've eaten today. Especially enjoyed the chicken and mushroom curry I made for tea, though - I could eat that again. My own recipe :afro:  What I do is fry a chopped onion and two cloves of freshly crushed garlic in some olive oil. Roughly chop about six decent sized button mushrooms (I quarter them), chuck them into the frying pan, along with enough leftover chicken to feed two people - don't cut it into chunks - tear it with your fingers (for some reason it feels nicer in your mouth when you come to eat it). Then sprinkle 1 teaspoon of Chinese five spice, 1 teaspoon of medium curry powder, half a teaspoon of white pepper over everything in the pan. Sprinkle a couple of heaped teaspoons of cornflour, too, along with a chicken stock cube. Add a bit more olive oil - probably about three tablespoons. Let it fry off for a while (five minutes), turning occasionally. Boil the kettle, then pour enough boiling water over the contents of the pan to cover. Gently stir and let it simmer for another few minutes - don't let it boil aggressively, otherwise the chicken will turn stringy. Next pour in a little double cream, probably about three tablespoons. Chuck in a handful of frozen peas and let it simmer another five minutes. If you need to thicken the sauce, just mix some cornflour in some cold water and add it to the pan. The sauce should be thick and creamy. Serve on a bed of boiled rice. Lovely :afro:

Try it and tell me what you think.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on July 23, 2008, 07:19:53 PM
Curry and I don't always agree, unfortunately. And chicken... :P 

Lest you think I'm a snob, it's mostly that I was born in the Northeast. Seafood is king there and my dad catches his own fish, which we then eat fried and dipped in mayonaise  :grin: When I was a kid I used to steam my own shellfish (also dipped in mayonaise).


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on July 24, 2008, 02:38:10 AM
I adore curry, but make it completely differently to Ed's method. Here's a cauliflower curry I made earlier this week (quantities for 2):

First make your spice mix. Using a pestle and mortar, roughly grind 2 tsp coriander seed, pinch black mustard seeds, a few fenugreek seeds, 1/4 tsp cumin seeds, 4 peppercorns, 2 cloves. Add 1/2 tsp haldi (turmeric) and 1/2 tsp paprika, plus hot chilli powder to taste.
Chop up four medium onions and about an inch or so of fresh ginger. Fry gently in plenty of sunflower oil for ages. Add splashes of water every so often to stop the onions burning and keep them plumped up. The longer you keep this process going, the sweeter the curry is at the end. When they're caremalizing nicely, add more water and throw in your spice mix. Cook on a high heat until the water has evaporated and the oil is fragrant - it should look like a finished curry at this point. Add half a pint or so of boiling water, and a sachet of creamed coconut (or use less water and add a tin of coconut milk). Stir in a heaped tsp of tamarind paste if you have it, or a splash of vinegar if you haven't. When it's bubbling nicely, throw in some cauliflower florets (or any other veg) and simmer until done. Serve with plain boiled basmati rice.

Delicious!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on July 24, 2008, 03:26:38 AM
Take loaf of sliced bread from bread-bin. Put two slices in toaster. Wait. When done, butter and apply Marmite. Job done.

That's the one recipe I know.

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on July 24, 2008, 03:49:46 AM
Ash - I can understand people not liking curry (BTW this is a very mild one) but I don't understand why anybody would have an issue with chicken. It's usually quite a bland meat, I think. It used to be my favourite for a long time, but now I prefer lamb. Chicken seems to have lost most of its flavour over the years, what with factory farming and Frankenstein chickens. Alarming to think there's 100 more calories in a chicken leg now than there was in the 1970s. Still chucking some curry at it seems to fix the flavour issue, for me anyway. I'm with you on the pork - not keen at all.

Delph - thanks for the tip. I'll have to give it a try... only thing is, I've just realised we don't have any of those spices :scratch:

Del - move over Gordon Ramsay :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: joneastwood on July 24, 2008, 04:21:03 AM
I miss curry - the other half doesn't like it and cant stand the smell, so its one of those things I jump at when I get the chance. I went to India for a few months a while ago - oh my god - is the food different than the sloppy English curries.
The best thing is that, while I've been a vegetarian for ages, the south of India has been mainly vegetarian for thousands of years - and they know how to cook!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on July 24, 2008, 05:05:28 AM
My issue with chicken is that I can't afford organic free range, and I absolutely, categorically will not buy battery birds on moral grounds.

My husband's issue with chicken is that they have feathers, and he won't eat anything that once had feathers. He thinks it's probably because he used to shoot pigeons as a youngster, and is now overcome with guilt or something. He won't eat rabbit for much the same reason (the shooting, not the feathers) which is a shame, as it's one of my favourite meats.

I adore toast and marmite! Talking of which... delph scurries off to the kitchen



Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: joneastwood on July 25, 2008, 12:33:37 PM
Hey, just delighted that, although I'm still off work ill, I've managed to be productive. The Mrs is at work and all my friends are busy, so I sat down and wrote my submission for Scott's anthology. Turned out quite well I think. Was one of those ones that just came out in a few hours. Love it when that happens.
Probably read it tomorrow and hate it...sigh.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on July 25, 2008, 01:01:08 PM
My issue with chicken is that I can't afford organic free range, and I absolutely, categorically will not buy battery birds on moral grounds.

My husband's issue with chicken is that they have feathers, and he won't eat anything that once had feathers. He thinks it's probably because he used to shoot pigeons as a youngster, and is now overcome with guilt or something. He won't eat rabbit for much the same reason (the shooting, not the feathers) which is a shame, as it's one of my favourite meats.

I adore toast and marmite! Talking of which... delph scurries off to the kitchen



Non-organic tastes like balls in the states. Foul stuff, and not just the chicken  ;)

For me, I draw the line at veal, swordfish, and sharkfin soup. Anything else is fair game!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: neilmarr on July 26, 2008, 01:49:40 AM
If you want really bubbly champagne, just add a couple of drops of good washing up liquid (French -- none of your imported muck) to each glass. Tastes rotten, but it really does bubble like mad. If you don't believe me, ask my wife and her daughter and new husband. Neil


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on July 26, 2008, 02:21:18 AM
Weird. I always understood that if your champagne goes flat straight after pouring, it's because there's some washing up liquid residue still in the glass. Maybe you need a good couple of drops to get it foaming, rather than the homeopathic quantities that kill the bubbles.  :scratch:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on July 26, 2008, 04:15:09 AM
Urgh - that reminds me of a time when I had a cup of coffee at a friend's house. He handed me a mug, and I sat there watching some video we'd hired, took a sip, felt something slimy against my lips, then the toungue-scraping flavour of Mild Green Fairy Liquid (washing up liquid) invaded my mouth. Ack.

Turned out instead of washing the mugs properly, my mate used to squeeze a few drops of detergent between finger and thumb and then 'rim' the mug, figuring the only really dirty bit would be where lips had touched the mug, only this particular time he'd forgotten to rinse the soap off :cheesy:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on July 26, 2008, 04:21:47 AM
Hey, just delighted that, although I'm still off work ill, I've managed to be productive. The Mrs is at work and all my friends are busy, so I sat down and wrote my submission for Scott's anthology. Turned out quite well I think. Was one of those ones that just came out in a few hours. Love it when that happens.
Probably read it tomorrow and hate it...sigh.

I want to write something for that, too, but inspiration hasn't struck yet. Re hating it - dunno about you, but I go through phases with what I write. Usually straight after I've finished I think it's pretty good, but probably needs tweaking here and there. Leave it a day or two and I think it's crap. After a week it's irredeemable crap. Then maybe a year or two later I'll find it, read it, and either I'll immediately spot the bit that needs changing, or I'll read it and think, wow, why can't I write like that any more? :grin:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: joneastwood on July 26, 2008, 04:30:10 PM
Well, I read it and I still like it, although I did spot a couple of typos. Much to my chagrin, I've already sent off the submission email. What a fool! I was just caught up in that heady feeling of finishing something and blithely emailed it without checking properly. Lesson learned.
Scott, if you are reading this - the missing word is "piano" and I believe I somehow managed to spell "it" wrong in there towards the end.
Straight to bed with no supper!  >:(


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on July 29, 2008, 04:44:56 AM
Jon, after years of writing and editing, I still send off a sub of a short too soon, caught up in the euphoria of thinking I've written a great story! Hopefully you'll learn where I haven't.


Slummed it in sunny Blackpool yesterday with wife, son, his girlfriend, her 2-year-old daughter. Kiss Me Quick hats, candy floss, and paddling in the sea. Most excellent 

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on July 29, 2008, 12:08:47 PM
We have toads! So far I've seen two and they are darling  :smiley: This brings the wildlife ratio in the yards up to fur, feathers, scales, and warts! And if you include the fireflies, glowing butts.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on August 03, 2008, 01:05:45 PM
I wish we had fireflies over here. Can you imagine what the first settlers made of them? They must have thought they were something magical.

Strange day today. I'm trying to work out a system to water my plants while I'm away on my hols. I've taken the solenoid valve out of an old electric shower and I've mounted it in a box, connected it to a washing machine hose for an inlet and some garden hose as the outlet, and I've attached the solenoid to a timer. Seems to work pretty well, but it kinda feels like a waste of time with all the damn rain we've been having. Sod's law that it'll be the hottest two weeks of the year while we're away, though :grin: Oh well.

Used up a load of the stuff that's ready and will spoil while we're away. Cropped my potato plants that I've been growing in bins, plus a load of peas I've been growing in containers, and loads of strawberries, tomatoes, and cucumbers. It all tastes so much better than what you get in the supermarket. Definitely worth that little bit of effort it takes to grow them.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on August 04, 2008, 01:59:29 PM
Ever so quiet here today. I was expecting to come home from work and see loads of new accounts requiring approval, after I'd posted about the comp on a few different forums yesterday. I've posted details to Ralan's, too. Realistically, it'll take a while for it all to kick-in, but I guess I'm just a bit impatient :grin:

Sorry to spam it around, but I'll probably send you all an e-mail about it, too, using the forum 'newsletter' facility. Maybe we'll see a few old faces dropping by. :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on August 04, 2008, 03:09:28 PM
I haven't any thing noir enough for the comp. I'd set to it but there's also a BSFA comp with a mid-August deadline diverting loads of scifi writers, who, like me,  might also write horror. 

Also, other lucky sods are on their hols. Mine isn't until September.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on August 04, 2008, 03:32:49 PM
Quote
Also, other lucky sods are on their hols. Mine isn't until September.

Just extra busy at work here. Eight till eight so far today. Tomorrow and Wednesday are shaping up to be the same. Got next week off, though, but my hols are likely just to be a couple of nights in a B&B somewhere if we're lucky.

In other news, just sold my car. So I'm on two wheels now - bicycle and motorcycle. Blame the credit crunch!

Del


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on August 04, 2008, 05:05:13 PM
I read your story last night, Geoff, and had a think about it today. I'll try to make some intelligent comments on it in a moment :afro:

Del - that's awful. Seems like you deserve to be doing better, especially given all the hours you work. I hope things pick up for you soon.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on August 04, 2008, 05:11:25 PM
It's not too bad, Ed. Just being careful before it's too late. Strange feeling to be car-less for the first time in over 25 years. That said, it's a helluva good excuse to ride the Kawasaki and Claud Butler more  :afro: On the plus side, I'll get to drive in nicer cars, too. Already hired one for a business trip to Watford on Wednesday, for which I'll be able to claim the money back.

Del


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on August 06, 2008, 04:46:10 AM
Off on my hols in about ten minutes time - I'll try to pop in from time to time and make sure everything's running smoothly, grant new registrations, etc.

Cheers :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: JonP on August 06, 2008, 05:53:27 AM
Have a good one!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on August 06, 2008, 05:06:10 PM
Thanks - settled into our hotel now, in Roma. Hot and humid here, which is a nice change from the dreary rain of home. Just got back from a lovely meal, had a few beers, and now I think I might have a shower before hitting the sack. So far everything's been hassle free and enjoyable. Just going to kick back by the pool tomorrow, then go off exploring after that. :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on August 07, 2008, 05:38:32 AM
Enjoy your hols, Ed. Plenty of inspiration around Roma for great horror stories :)  My son managed to find a 'hidden Roma' type tour, which took him underground and into places tourists rarely see.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on August 07, 2008, 04:46:26 PM
Thanks, Geoff - that tour sounds interesting. How did he find out about it? Tonight I'm charged with finding out which day the pope makes an appearance, because my wife wants to see him. No idea why, because we're both devout athiests :scratch: Still, when in Rome and all that.

Had a pretty bad meal tonight and it cost £85 :shocked: The kids got adult portions, which they barely made an impression on, my wife got a huge slab of beef that was burnt on the outside and still mooing in the middle, and I got some kind of chilli pasta with lumps of cow thrown in, complete with some truly horriffic shards of bone. The service was great, the people friendly, but the food was gopping. Still, nevermind - tomorrow's another day.

I see we had another four new registrations today - sorry to those of you I've kept waiting for admin approval, but I really hate spammers and script kiddies, so I like to check out all new registrations.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on August 07, 2008, 05:54:03 PM
Your meal horror story makes me glad to be a veggie, although that usually means we have to self-cater or in Italy eat huge amounts of pasta, rice and omelettes - delete the last dish for vegans. My son stayed at Rome Youth Hostel and found out about odd tours from there. I would have thought the tourist info would know about them.

If you can spare the time, catch a train to Vesuvius and Pompei - I can't tire of either.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on August 08, 2008, 01:32:58 PM
Thanks, Geoff - I'm a bit more confident around here this time around. I still remember a few of the roads and routes from last time. We pland to visit Pompei and Herculanium sometime mid week next week. We also planned to see the pope this time around, but apparently he's on his hols, too, so away from Rome for as long as we're here - perhaps he heard we were coming :scratch:

Google maps have been invaluable. We still can' t seem to lay our hands on a decent map, and when we asked to hire a GPS with the car, the guy said he had seven units, but all seven were broken. Typical - if there was ever a place where a satnav was a must have item, it's here. Still, nevermind - we're doing ok so far. :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on August 10, 2008, 05:49:10 AM
Yeay Gt Britain just won the gold at women's cycling. In pouring rain for 2 and half hours too. Spectacular scenery at the Great Wall.

and there's me - a wimp who returns home when it rains on my bike rides!

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on August 10, 2008, 07:06:55 AM
Yeah, great race! I thought Nicole had blown it coming round that last corner. Me of little faith!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on August 14, 2008, 03:46:52 AM
Amazing what a difference a week off work in the rain makes. I've written ten thousand words this week, don't feel tired, and am thoroughly enjoying being able to write, write, write.

Today I have a bunch of things to do but I still feel confident that I'll get several hours in (already spent an hour revising a story I wrote yesterday).

Wouldn't it be nice to be able to do this all the time!

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on August 14, 2008, 04:54:18 AM
I know what you're saying, Del, but please don't wish any more rain on us! My cycling and hiking muscles have flabbied (love making up words).

Had a long friendly chat (up?) with the buyer at my local Borders yesterday. She wants me to do a signing in October for my Exit, Pursued by a Bee book. She read it last week, liked it (I think she identified with the woman protagonist) and is going to stock it. Yeay!

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on August 14, 2008, 05:47:11 AM
Very cool, Geoff :afro:

Del - glad you're enjoying your writing time. If I had brought my own comp here I'd be banging out the words over the next few days. My wife and kids are pool and sun worshipping in this sweltering 30C heat, which really isn't my scene at all. I've read most of World War Z and don't feel like reading any more (of anything) but I do feel like writing somthing.

Went to Pompei yesterday, but ye gads it was hot there and packed with tourists. To my and the kids' disappointment, there weren't any bodies turned to stone there. I get the impression all the artefacts are in a museum in Naples :scratch: Which doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

Oh well - better hurry up and log off - my internet card is just about to run out :/


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on August 14, 2008, 02:33:03 PM
Quote
I know what you're saying, Del, but please don't wish any more rain on us! My cycling and hiking muscles have flabbied

I know what you mean. I've been very lax this last month and am really noticing it - a general lethargy more than anything. The rain hasn't helped, admittedly. But I have just had a quick ten miles on the bike in between storms this evening. Must get back into it... One of those "week-off resolutions" that one make when one has time to sit back and really consider how one's life is going.

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on August 14, 2008, 06:55:12 PM
I managed a slow 30 miles cycle ride in the sunshine today.  :dance: (we need a cycling smiley). I met three other local cyclists I haven't seen for weeks, and a spitfire flew over me about 200 feet up! I suppose it was a replica but even so I had to  stop and watch it head for Harwarden airport.

Off for a long weeked in the car  :( to visit relatives and pick up books for FantasyCon in Nottingham next month.

I'll have Internet withdrawal symptoms by Saturday...

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on August 15, 2008, 05:40:00 AM
We're on our last couple of days here in Roma, and as per usual I'm beginning to capisce da lingo just before I return home. Today is a national holiday, so we are beginning to regret bringing travelers cheques, because all the banks are shut for the holiday, and will be tomorrow too, because it's saturday ::) Had to go to the airport to change a few up, which cost us a 10% commission :shocked: Ouch.

Still, nevermind. We'll be home by sunday night and wishing we were still here. I love driving here - they're all lunatics. That's something I'll miss, along with the good food and warm weather.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on August 17, 2008, 06:38:50 PM
We heard the pilot announce that we'd soon be starting our descent into Bristol. Shortly thereafter it suddenly got dark, and I looked out from the window to the ground below and would not have been in the least bit surprised to see bands of marauding orcs circling an all seeing eye. It's difficult to believe one could go from 30C and dauntless sunshine to 15C and pouring rain in just two and a half hours. There's progress for you, eh? :/

Still, home now, and looking forward to sinking into my own comfortable bed tonight.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SharonBell on August 17, 2008, 07:28:58 PM
Welcome home, Ed!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on August 18, 2008, 06:16:04 AM
Thanks, Sharon :afro: I get the impression it might be the last holiday we get for a while. The news reports are full of the word 'recession', which is likely to impact on my work for at least the next couple of years ::) May well be time for a change of direction, I think.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: T.L. Kenworth on August 18, 2008, 11:00:24 AM
Today, gotta get the bios done for my characters for book 2 in a series.     I like to sort of interview my characters so I get to know them a little better. :hidin:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on August 19, 2008, 12:24:24 PM
Funny how they take on a life of their own, isn't it? :scratch:

Getting more and more into our (limited) self sufficiency tip, here. Tonight's meal is a fish chowder made almost completely with home grown produce - the spuds, onions, peas, parsley and the runner beans are all from our own garden. For pud we've got our own strawberries slathered in double cream from the farm shop down the road from us, so it's nearly all locally produced and very tasty. Dunno how the figures stack up on whether we've saved any money or spent more, but that's not the point, really. Not when it all tastes so good and you know nothing has been sprayed on it except water. Love it. We've also got pumpkins and melons coming along nicely. Tomatoes and huge cucumbers, plums, apples. My makeshift timed watering arrangement gubbins worked a treat, although I think the outdoors stuff was probably getting enough h2o on it's own anyway. It kept everything going in the greenhouse, though.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on August 20, 2008, 05:12:14 AM
I really ought to get on with some work, but I can't seem to get myself moving. I've got several jobs that need pricing, but every time I pick up the paperwork a feeling of dread washes over me and I find some excuse not to do it. I probably need some exercise to get the blood circulating again after a week and a half of stagnation. Funny, while on hoilday I was twitchy, feeling as if I should be doing something, unable to just lie back and relax. Now I'm back, all I want to do is lie back and relax. Such is life, huh? ::)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on August 20, 2008, 11:37:42 AM
Today, gotta get the bios done for my characters for book 2 in a series.     I like to sort of interview my characters so I get to know them a little better. :hidin:

It's fascinating how our fictional characters develop a life of their own, and sometimes different to the future we originally map for them. Naming them is an interesting occupation too. While considering a scifi short story for our Escape Velocity mag I've had to ask the writer to consider changing the man's name from Bobby. Maybe it is because I'm a Brit but Bobby doesn't inspire me with a strong and rugged personality the writer tried to portray.

Related to names, I was chuffed to bits today because a major national newspaper's (The Guardian) scifi book reviewer now has a copy of my Exit, Pursued by a Bee. Normally the nationals only review hardback books from major publishers but he said his load was quiet at present and will give it a read. Then I wondered if I'd used the reviewer's name for a vile character! I admit to avoiding my own family's names in my writing. Do other writers not only go positively for strong names but deliberately avoid others such as friends and family?

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Pharosian on August 20, 2008, 12:54:06 PM
While considering a scifi short story for our Escape Velocity mag I've had to ask the writer to consider changing the man's name from Bobby. Maybe it is because I'm a Brit but Bobby doesn't inspire me with a strong and rugged personality the writer tried to portray.

If I may be so bold, I don't think it has so much to do with being a Brit as the fact that the name Bobby is a diminutive of Robert, just as Johnny and Tommy are diminutives of John/Jonathan and Thomas. They're names typically applied to growing lads to distinguish them from their fathers, and don't carry the gravitas of the "adult" names.

Related to names, I was chuffed to bits today because a major national newspaper's (The Guardian) scifi book reviewer now has a copy of my Exit, Pursued by a Bee. Normally the nationals only review hardback books from major publishers but he said his load was quiet at present and will give it a read. Then I wondered if I'd used the reviewer's name for a vile character! I admit to avoiding my own family's names in my writing. Do other writers not only go positively for strong names but deliberately avoid others such as friends and family?

Geoff

Congratulations!

Yes, I tend to avoid using family names, too. How does one explain to one's mother that there was really no connection between her and the evil bitch in the story who killed off her lover(s)? or the victim who came to a grisly end?   ::)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on August 20, 2008, 01:43:39 PM
It's looking like Exit Pursued by a Bee might be your breakthrough novel, Geoff - fingers crossed for a glowing review from the man at the Guardian :afro:

Re the names thing, I don't think I've ever named a character after a family member or a friend. Not conciously anyway. I used to have a bad habit of naming all my male characters 'Steve', at least until I'd found a more satisfactory bespoke name for them. Now I usually begin with a character in mind, and once I've thought about him for a while a name comes to me that would suit them. Likewise with secondary characters. I don't think I've written a female lead character for quite a while. Probably because I usually write a very close third person, and I don't think I can carry off a convincing female voice. Ahem... *cough*... (up an octave or few) ... ahem... no. :huh:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: elay2433 on August 20, 2008, 05:42:29 PM
Quote
Do other writers not only go positively for strong names but deliberately avoid others such as friends and family?

For me the name doesn't need to necessarily be a strong one so much as it needs to be a real sounding one. Just has to ring true to my inner ear as I'm telling myself the story. Because of that I think I've nearly exhausted my supply of family member's names. Conversely, if I've "borrowed" character traits, or anectotes from a family member, I make sure their name appears nowhere in the story. Afterall, a name is just a name, but the way my brother Ryan - er... I mean Jesse used to slurp his cereal at the breakfast table until it annoyed the hell out of the rest of us is a little personal.

-elay


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: T.L. Kenworth on August 23, 2008, 12:29:27 PM
It's saturday and just finished 4 chapter critique for cp.     i have to do some revisions-2 chapters and a preface and then flesh out chapters 3 &4.   also check out more agents to send out my first book to.    a full plate.  lol


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: neilmarr on August 25, 2008, 04:26:55 AM
I've just been reading John Grant's *Dragons of Manhattan*, a superb book that was spoiled to some extent for me because  a main character is named Deepa Kandaswami (a mutual pal in India). And because Deepa, who's a professional reviewer, is also the contributor of one of the back cover review puffs, I thought this character name even more of an error. I think that unnecessarily including the name of someone who might be known to the reader is a bad move. It destroys that carefully crafted suspension of disbelief. I think John (Geoff will be meeting him soon at the UK FanCon), who's a highly experienced author with about 60 best sellers to his name and a mantlepiece sagging under the weight of Hugos and other awards, should have resisted this temptation. There are plenty good names in the phone book. Neil


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on August 25, 2008, 05:21:22 AM
Hmm - strange thing to do, isn't it? I'm always wary about choosing character names that sound familiar. The first novel I wrote featured an MC whose name was Charles Stone, which isn't so bad until you know I started off by shortening Charles to Chuck as his childhood name. Now there's a kid you wouldn't want hanging around by your greenhouse. ::) It was many thousands of words into the book and after writing many flashbacks that I realised my mistake.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on August 25, 2008, 02:39:06 PM
Just received confirmation from www.ralan.com that our competition listing has gone live. That guy really is a star for all the work he puts into that site. What a pro :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on August 25, 2008, 02:44:18 PM
Well, the Olympics are over and now I don't know what to do with myself! I spent two weeks wrapped up in it, especially gymnastics and diving. Now regular TV seems so...dull. I miss rooting for China. Especially the men  :azn: Oh, how I love those divers.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on August 25, 2008, 03:39:07 PM
Yeah, I really enjoyed the Olympics, too. More than usual. The cycling and the rowing were great! But all of it was great - I felt privileged to the witness the 100m and 200m - what amazing performances. What happened was I had a fortnight off work, and through accident rather than design, this coincided with the games. The weather also conspired to be so bad that thoughts of going away for a few days were scuppered, and then - by dint of the dog - I was up at seven most mornings so was able to have a few quiet hours in front of the TV before the rest of the house (all on school hols) rose.

I also managed to do more writing in the last two week sthan in the last two months put together. I could get used to not working!

Alas, tomorrow it's back to the grind. I have a whole new set of resolutions around not working so hard (or, at least, so long) and not getting quite so stressed (the day before I left I had a meeting with my boss and it wasn't good and the resulting stress lasted well into the first week of my leave...) but I suspect that such resolutions will have been blown clean out of the water by lunchtime tomorrow.

Grrrr.

Del


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on August 25, 2008, 04:24:03 PM
Urgh - I feel your pain, Del. I've got my accountant coming at ten tomorrow, then I've got to go and put in a tender for some work and probably negotiate for it (which I really hate doing), then I've got the dentist to look forward to in the afternoon, followed by having my ears syringed at the doctors the following day. In amongst all that I'm also expected to do some work ::)

What do you do for a living, Del? Is there any way to delegate some of your workload? It all sounds very stressful. If you're anything like me, you keep a civil tongue as the shit's unfolding and then brood about it for evermore. I envy those people who can just switch off and not think about things that are bothering them. I'm not one of them. I wonder if it's a skill a person can learn? :scratch:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on August 28, 2008, 07:35:31 AM
Afternoon all. I'm packing for my Isle of Man holiday next week.

Umbrella, kagool, towels are all needed according to the rain-every-day forecast. Nevertheless, I have ordered a push-bike hire to cycle the famous TT course in both directions :)

The rain will probably not be so bad as to stop the family hiking the glens and experiencing the face-lashing as we walk the coastal paths! However, gentle warm dry evening strolls are unlikely so I'll have a chance to catch up on my reading. I have acquired some of the books folks suggested for Ed on his hols - hah. And a few review copies to read.

If I am silent next week, think dry wind for me please.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on August 28, 2008, 10:25:18 AM
I hope you have a good hols, Geoff. Re the books - I must get on and write a few reviews. I think you would probably like Space Captain Smith, from what I've read of it so far. It's made me laugh a few times and inwardly smile most of the time. Moab isn't gripping me, and I'm finding it quite boring to read, actually - many similarities between this and The Liar, which IMO is the better book. World War Z was pretty good, but a tad samey by the end - it lacked dramatic tension because of the format, I think. It was OK, but ultimately left me wondering why I had read it all.

Of the books I've read over the past year or so, I would recommend Cell by Stephen King, and The Taking by Dean Koontz. Those are the two that have stayed in my mind as entertaining reads, anyway. :smiley:

Had my ear syringed yesterday - boy was that loud. I think the machine must have had fresh batteries in it or something, because it felt for all the world like the nurse had rammed a road drill in my ear. I was again completely deaf in it for about half an hour afterwards, until I felt a drizzle of warm water escape from my lughole, and now I can hear a pin drop at a hundred paces.

The accountant told me how much tax I have to pay for the year, which put him in my bad books straight away. He told me I shouldn't shoot the messanger, to which I replied I had always prefered the use of poison over firearms. He seemed strangely reluctant to drink any more tea afterwards. :scratch: The damn government have closed all the juicy little tax breaks we used to get as self employed people, so I can no longer claim tax relief on the purchase price of my car, and a bunch of other things I was hoping to write off :/


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on August 28, 2008, 12:09:36 PM
Forgot to mention yesterday - my wife's friend's mother died while we and they were on (a separate) holiday, so when she turned on her phone at the luggage carousel, the first message she heard was somebody informing her of her mother's unexpected death. She hasn't been allowed to see the body until now, though she's been back for over a week by this point. The undertakers told her because her mother was a large woman they had to order a bespoke coffin for her and it hadn't arrived yet, hence no viewing. Anyhoo. Not wanting to be on her own, she decided to accompany her husband to Birmingham and back in his lorry on the night shift. They get to Birmingham, pick up the load, at which point he stands back and says, "Hang on - what's that on the top tier? It looks like a..." he walked around the truck a dozen times before he plucked up the courage to get in and tell his wife they, on the first time she had ever accompanied him, were carrying a bespoke oversized coffin addressed to the undertakers her mother was at. What are the chances of that happening? :huh: 

Anyway, a day later and the undertakers ring to say she can view the body, and she begs my wife to accompany her. My wife knew the woman's mother well, and is the daughter's best friend, so she agreed, though it was the very last thing on earth she wanted to do. I warned her that after being dead for over two weeks she wouldn't look anything like herself, but she said she and her friend were not in the least bit prepared for what they saw - she said she looked thirty years older, and her face had almost imploded. Thing is, after two weeks you're well on your way, I suppose. I'm guessing they'll both have nightmares about it. It's sad how events conspired to make the whole thing so harrowing.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: JonP on August 30, 2008, 06:25:22 PM
Space Captain Smith

In case you want to read more, Book 2 ("God Emperor of Didcot") hits the shops next week. I have also been privileged to hear some of the material from the as-yet-unnamed Book 3 recently, and Toby's showing no signs at all of running out of steam.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on August 31, 2008, 09:29:57 AM
For our holiday next week in the Isle of Man, I've packed books, laptop, cycling gear, hiking boots, hiking and cycling shirts, shorts, socks and a kagool, and maps. I add a few vegan food ingredients.

"There, finished!" I said, off to make a cup of tea.

Then my wife shouted: " You idiot. You've forgotten to add any 'normal' clothes at all!"

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on September 01, 2008, 05:56:35 AM
Thanks for the heads-up, Jon. :smiley:

On the home front: Got a few days work coming up, starting tomorrow - it's going to come hard because I haven't done a decent day's work since before I went on my hols, and that was around the 6th of August. We're into September now :grin:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on September 01, 2008, 01:38:39 PM
(http://www.funpic.hu/files/pics/00034/00034380.jpg)

Apples, apples, everywhere - we've got tons of them here. I was going to pick a load more tonight, but typically - a weather front has come in and it's now blowing a hooley and peeing with rain, which means most of the ripe apples will hit the deck, get bruised, and will not be fit to keep for any length of time ::)

So... that was the summer, that was... ::)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: PaulH on September 01, 2008, 05:34:50 PM
No wonder they say an apple a day keeps the doctor away - he'd be too bloody frightened to come near! What is that? A Golden Deadlicious?


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on September 02, 2008, 02:20:26 AM
No wonder they say an apple a day keeps the doctor away - he'd be too bloody frightened to come near! What is that? A Golden Deadlicious?

No, I think it's a Bramley Stoker :scratch:

Guaranteed to keep the kids away from the fruit bowl. Actually, I was thinking I might make a few of these as toffee apples for the kids at halloween. I reckon they'd be a hit :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: PaulH on September 02, 2008, 05:40:59 PM
Definitely a Corpse's Orange Pippin.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on September 02, 2008, 06:10:05 PM
Or a Gammy Smith's...


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on September 03, 2008, 05:58:23 PM
So, so tired - there's a million things I should be doing, but I can't keep my eyes open. I just wish I could sleep and wake up feeling refreshed for once. Argh... :/ must go to bed.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on September 04, 2008, 02:58:49 AM
I know that feeling, Ed. Two weeks off and then within days of going back to work I was/am sleeping far less well, getting stressed, working far too many hours... I'm trying my damndest to work it all out inside my head.

On top of all of this, ever since I sold the car it's been raining raining raining. Last night I was out on the motorcycle in some of the most atrocious weather I can recall. My leathers are still drying out and I have to slip into them again later. Nice.

Del


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on September 04, 2008, 04:17:20 PM
Urf - that's a horrible feeling. I hate pulling on wet, cold clothing - even if it's a wetsuit. You know you're about to go and get wet anyway, but it's horrible all the same.

I spent all day today marking and drilling holes in joists while labourers chipped away lime plaster above me, which created clouds of irritating dust all day, and at the same time rained sandy grit through the gaps in between the floor boards above my head. To make matters worse I had to be constantly looking upwards, while a mix of the dust and the wood chippings from the drill bit blew into my eyes from the fan on the motor of the drill. Awful. I marked and drilled over 200 25mm holes today - 36 joists, 6 holes in each, ten feet off the ground. This doesn't count any of the holes I drilled in the floors and framing timbers :/

I swear this is where the word 'boring' came from. It probably started out with people who had experienced the mind numbing tedium of boring a hole using nought but a stick and some sand, and they'd come to say of something tedious, "It was like boring." To which a fellow serf might ask, "Wood, or stone?" Whereupon the first serf might reply, "Stone - it was akin to boring a ruddy great hole in stone, using nought but a stick and some sand." Over the course of history we've dropped the simile and now refer to anything mind numbingly tedious as simply 'boring'. That's my guess, anyway. ::) Faaaak....


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on September 05, 2008, 04:13:23 AM
Sounds grim, Ed. Hopefully today you're getting to put things in the bored holes, or at least do something less monotonous. I've had a very busy week both during the day and in the evenings and am now feeling weary. If I can keep the energy levels up for another eight hours then I shall crack open a cool one and allow myself to do nothing for a while.

It's stil raining here. The first floods are back. Friend of mine with the funeral parlour was flooded yesterday. Roadwise, the usual suspects are starting to become impassable. And it's still coming down.

Del


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on September 08, 2008, 03:41:16 AM
So Monday rolls relentlessly around again. It seems the older I get the quicker the weekends go. By the same token, the weeks flash by, too.

It's another busy week at work and outside - got two rehearsals with different bands this week, one for a one-off gig for which I'm meant to learn about forty songs. I know half of them so far... and Thursday's not too far away.

Trying to keep the pedal to the metal on the writing front as well, of course, but it's a struggle to write every day at the moment. Did manage a complete short story Saturday morning before anyone else got up and 3000 words last week on a novel that I'm trying to find my way into. At the moment it's early days and I haven't got much of a plan or any in depth character studies so I'm writing to discover, sotospeak. This will mean quite a lot of redrafting at some point in the future but I guess that's the way it is for me. I've never been one to be able to plan a long piece out before sitting down and writing.

Hey ho... to work!

Del


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on September 11, 2008, 04:55:18 PM
Back from my Isle of Man family holiday. Rained most days - quite exciting steering the car around floods, dodging huge waves crashing over Douglas promenade, and finding a dry hole in the sky so we could hike up Snaefel to the summit cafe.

Caught up with some reading. I was thrilled and inspired by a short story anthology by A.L. Kennedy but she spoilt me with her literary stylle. So when I tried to read Relentless by Simon Kernick, it felt so plodding and predictable I couldn't finish it. Ditto with Ken Follett's Whiteout but at least I skim-read it to find out what happened. I'm now reading Margaret Atwood's Coryx and Crake because it is the nearest to a literary science fiction I have on my shelf. It is too, and I've decided to try harder to imbue my own writing with a more literary feel. Could be a long haul!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on September 15, 2008, 04:54:50 AM
Monday morning blues, today. Stacks to do, but no enthusiasm. It was a good weekend - Gloucester beat Bath away for the first time ever in the Premiership, I got to do lots of writing, ride the motorcycle, ride the pushbike, take the dog out for a few walks, enjoy a takeaway, learn a few songs on the guitar, take a bunch of rubbish down the tip etc etc. All of which goes even further to make this morning feel gloomy.

Ah well. Onwards and upwards...

Del


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on September 15, 2008, 04:15:18 PM
Yeah, I know the feeling, only I spent the whole weekend working at home, so I don't feel much like I've even had a weekend. Then I get to work today thinking I'm probably going to have a half day, but I end up having to do somebody else's job as well as my own, and I've just got home now, at gone 9pm ::)

I'm eating my tea right now, which was kept hot in the oven for a couple of hours until it went black around the edges, at which point it was removed and left to cool for an hour before irradiating with microwave energy. It's stinging hot and soggy. Yum :/


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Pharosian on September 17, 2008, 12:35:41 AM
Sunday afternoon a terrific wind storm blew through our area, and around 2:30 PM the power went out. We figured it would be back on by evening, but it wasn't. Went for a drive and found out just how bad it was around the neighborhood. Many, many trees damaged and limbs fallen on power lines... or the whole tree in some cases. Monday morning my boss called and said there was no power at the office, so I had the day off. Nice, but still no power at home, either. We are now into day 3 of no power.  Over 3/4 million people in our area were affected, and only about 50% have had power restored. My office had power today, so I'm able to send/receive e-mail and get back on the Internet after a couple of days without. Luckily, we have a gas hot water heater at home, so at least we can take showers, but it's been a bit rough. Some of us may not have power until Friday or Saturday!  :shocked:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on September 17, 2008, 02:38:57 AM
Whoah - that must have been some storm to knock out power for three days. I guess you must have a lot of overhead cables around your area. You're lucky to have a gas fired hot water system that doesn't need power to operate - pretty much all gas water heaters in the UK have solenoid valves as part of the control system, so no power = no gas. It's only the old 'geyser' type dedicated water heaters that work without.

Our longest power outage here was about six or seven hours, but that was bad enough. I've got a generator, so we could have made it through in comfort, but I reckon the neighbours would have moaned about the noise from it. Around here it's a bit rural, so all the telegraph poles have both power and telecoms on them, which makes life interesting for the BT technicians, but also results in some pretty bad power surges in the telephone lines from time to time. We had one phone melt, backalong.

I hope you're back to normal soon, anyway. A day or two is tolerable, but after three days it starts to feel like the end of the world, I'd imagine.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on September 17, 2008, 11:17:03 AM
This morning, my daughter had her 20 week scan and her baby is a boy and apparently already riding an invisible bicycle!

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on September 17, 2008, 03:13:25 PM
Was it the helmet or the cycle clips that gave him away? :fugly:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: neilmarr on September 18, 2008, 02:57:10 AM
A can tell Geoff's back from the Isle of Man because there's somebody beating me at Scrabble again. Neil


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on September 18, 2008, 04:36:47 AM
A can tell Geoff's back from the Isle of Man because there's somebody beating me at Scrabble again. Neil

Not true. Neil Furoored my Frump on a triple. What can I do? It's always a pleasure to lose to a manic genius ;)

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on September 19, 2008, 04:12:23 PM
I've got an apple in my hand. I've had my eye on it for a long time - it was the biggest, reddest apple on the tree. I watched it grow and ripen over the past few months until the point where I thought it was nearly ready to pick. Another two weeks, I judged, and it would be perfect. Then I came home from work last week, strolled up through my garden to the apple tree, and noticed my apple was missing. I looked around on the ground for it, thinking perhaps I had been wrong and it was already ripe, but it wasn't there. Turns out my youngest son, aged 8 (I sometimes think it will be his uncommonly good fortune to make the age of 9), had picked it. Apparently he'd had his eye on it, too.

It sat on the kitchen windowsill ripening for a week before my mother came, and my wife gifted her with a carrier bag full of eating apples, whereupon I noticed my apple once again missing. Luckily, I managed to intercept the bag before it left the premises and I retrieved my apple. It's been another week now, and as far as I know it hasn't met with any further trials or mishaps. I've washed it, though it's had nothing unnatural, save for my youngest son's grubby mits, in contact with it, and it's still thick with a natural wax, so once buffed you can literally see your face in it.

I had cauliflower cheese and grilled bacon for tea, and I was feeling pretty full afterwards, but decided tonight is the night I'm going to eat my apple. I keep sniffing it, and it smells sweet and delicious. I think I'll give it another ten minutes and then tuck in.

It might seem like I'm making too big a deal out of this, but over the past week or two I've heard sad news about several people I know who have met with terrible misfortune, some have unexpectedly dropped dead, one has lost his mind to a particularly aggressive strain of Alzheimer's, another has learned of his imminent demise, and yet another had a very close scrape. And the thing is, I think it's important to stop and smell the flowers, the coffee, or the apple once in a while and just savour the moment.

You know? :huh:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on September 19, 2008, 04:24:22 PM
That is so true. How many of us grow a garden, work our muscles to the point of blistering pain planting trees and bushes, then forget to actually stop and LOOK at what we've done and enjoy it. I should send all the butterflys in my yard a muffin basket for reminding me that there are actually flowers in the yard  ::)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on September 19, 2008, 07:19:31 PM
I'm with you on that one, Ed.

Last night we went out to celebrate my partner's daughter's seventeenth. A lovely evening, but my partner's dad took a bit of turn. I was sat opposite him and it was real scary. I thought for a few moments we'd lost him. Luckily there were two recussitation nurses dining on the table next to us and they stepped in and the ambulance turned up in under two minutes. Brilliant work all round by the health professionals (in the midst of all this turmoil about massively paid bankers losing their jobs these are the real stars of the show). But it certainly brings it home to you how fragile our hold on this life and this world is.

Alos, this week, for the first time this year, I did my hours at work, well, maybe one or two over, but as close as dammit. Normally I'm so far over it ain't funny. And boy does it feel weird. It feels like I've hardly been in. I feel guilty for working so little.

Two things there that highlight a total need to change priorities. It's still easier said than done, but recognising the issues is step one!

Oh, I had a Mars bar instead of an apple, but it was nice, too!

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Pharosian on September 20, 2008, 12:28:54 PM
We finally got power back Thursday afternoon. Had a bit of a scare when it went out again an hour later! Don't know what went wrong there, but it was back on in another hour, and has been continuous ever since. You talk about the small pleasures... amazing how much we take for granted. Just being able to have the lights on after dark is a big thrill for me these past couple of days.  :cheesy: All told, we were without electricity in the house for 98 hours, and we weren't even the last customers in this region to have power restored. There were still tens of thousands of families waiting for crews to remove trees and to repair lines when we were returned to The Grid. And we're a thousand miles from Houston where the major hurricane damage was done and a little over a million people are still without power.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on September 21, 2008, 06:37:08 AM
That is so true. How many of us grow a garden, work our muscles to the point of blistering pain planting trees and bushes, then forget to actually stop and LOOK at what we've done and enjoy it. I should send all the butterflys in my yard a muffin basket for reminding me that there are actually flowers in the yard  ::)

I suddenly got the bug for it back in March, when I saw a box full of bulbs on special offer - over 100 bulbs for a tenner. Then I went into another shop where they had loads of clearance stock from somewhere, with fruit canes and vegetable seeds, etc. So I bought some of that, too. We've got a raised border around our patio, so I brought the level up and planted a load of stuff in there - lilies, ananomes, gladiolas, begonias, fuscias, petunias, ranunculas, dahlias, even some onions and rhubarb, too. Some didn't make it, but the majority did, and because it's all in a seating area we get to sit and enjoy it more than if it was all in a border somewhere. I've never paid much attention to flowers and stuff before, but I've noticed they have a positive effect on my mood. It's a bit like having an ever changing canvas outside to look at.

I'm with you on that one, Ed.

Last night we went out to celebrate my partner's daughter's seventeenth. A lovely evening, but my partner's dad took a bit of turn. I was sat opposite him and it was real scary. I thought for a few moments we'd lost him. Luckily there were two recussitation nurses dining on the table next to us and they stepped in and the ambulance turned up in under two minutes. Brilliant work all round by the health professionals (in the midst of all this turmoil about massively paid bankers losing their jobs these are the real stars of the show). But it certainly brings it home to you how fragile our hold on this life and this world is.

Also, this week, for the first time this year, I did my hours at work, well, maybe one or two over, but as close as dammit. Normally I'm so far over it ain't funny. And boy does it feel weird. It feels like I've hardly been in. I feel guilty for working so little.

Two things there that highlight a total need to change priorities. It's still easier said than done, but recognising the issues is step one!

Oh, I had a Mars bar instead of an apple, but it was nice, too!

Derek

Good for you, Del - I've worked a few twelve hour days lately, for private customers, but I've been enjoying the change of scene, so it's not so bad. On the main contract I'm running, the guy who I'm sub contracting from gave me a £30 a day pay rise because he was so happy with what I've been doing. I'm still only working an eight hour day for them, though. Just goes to show that different employers value you in different ways. The old firm that I worked for would never do anything like that.

I hope your prospective father-in-law is feeling better now. Sounds like quite a scare.

We finally got power back Thursday afternoon. Had a bit of a scare when it went out again an hour later! Don't know what went wrong there, but it was back on in another hour, and has been continuous ever since. You talk about the small pleasures... amazing how much we take for granted. Just being able to have the lights on after dark is a big thrill for me these past couple of days.  :cheesy: All told, we were without electricity in the house for 98 hours, and we weren't even the last customers in this region to have power restored. There were still tens of thousands of families waiting for crews to remove trees and to repair lines when we were returned to The Grid. And we're a thousand miles from Houston where the major hurricane damage was done and a little over a million people are still without power.

Wow - that was one hell of an outage, wasn't it. TBH, I quite enjoy making do for a while. Anything out of the ordinary, in fact. I even enjoyed the one occasion when we were snowed-in and the whole country seemed to grind to a halt. It's a times like that the blitz spirit rises again and people start helping each other, sharing and making do, which is what life should be like all the time, but for some reason we don't.

Welcome back to the 21st century :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on September 24, 2008, 05:06:16 AM
Had my first go at pottery last night - great fun. It was a lot different to what I'd expected, too. I thought the clay would be sloppy and would flop around all over the place as I tried to throw a pot, but it's actually quite stiff and resilient. By the end of the night I had made a finger bowl by manipulating a ball of clay in the palm of my hand, and I had thrown three one and a half pound cylinder pots on the wheel. Next week I'm supposed to be putting handles on them.

My wife's spitting feathers, because it took her months to be able to centre the clay on the wheel and actually make something worth keeping. She's a bit cack-handed, though, I think, and she doesn't generally have an eye for detail. Most of the time it seems to me like it's the small stuff that make the difference between success and failure with these types of thing. :scratch:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on September 24, 2008, 08:32:43 AM
I've just started a GCSE maths course. I'm doing it for fun, and loving it. Everyone else is doing it because they desperately need a C grade to get anywhere workwise, but would really rather be somewhere else. Anywhere else. Makes for an interesting class.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on September 25, 2008, 07:54:03 AM
I have a maths degree, DA. just shout if you need a hand. Bear in mind my degree was in 1973 when half the studies were on the philosphy of number, group theory and linear programming that had nowt to do with computers!

My legs are stiff after a 60 miles mountainous bike ride in North Wales yesterday. I cycled to Llangollen the hard way to find a copy of The Book Thief by Zusak in the marvelous we-have-every-book shop there. They didn't. I also needed the training. The sun broke through as I wobbled over Horseshoe Pass, so I stopped for a snack and a sunbathe - really!

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: JonP on September 25, 2008, 01:51:53 PM
I did my Maths degree in 74-77, so I'm slightly more current  :D

I'd be interested to hear what you think of The Book Thief, Geoff. My opinion shifted several times during the reading of it.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on September 27, 2008, 02:43:11 PM
Quiet day on the boards, huh? Funny how some days are just like that - nobody's got anything to say, or maybe they're too busy to go on their computer that day.

I've been trying to finish off my shed today - trying to get it done before the rain sets in again. The weather forcasters say the wet weather will be back with us on Tuesday, and no doubt that'll be the end of the sunshine for 2008 (I hope I'm wrong about that). I've just got the corner beads left to do, along with the fascia boards and soffits, and half of it left to paint with creosote. I'll probably end up putting some guttering on it yet, too. There's a load of other stuff I want to do as well, but I've got to get my priorities straight.

The reason for the humongous shed is to have somewhere to put all the stuff from a couple of the rooms in the house, so that I can get on and gut them. I'm going to take down the ceilings and the lath and plaster from the walls, rewire them, insulate and then clack fresh plasterboard over everything, skim it, second fix carpentry, paint and decorate. Then all that leaves to be done is the extension at the back of the house, which is to include a nice big new kitchen/dinging area. Can't wait to get all that finished, then I'll finally have time for a proper damn hobby, like normal people.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: evildeadgirl on September 27, 2008, 04:37:41 PM
At work till 4:30--not busy small b-day party for a student. Then home to work on my costume for a Sci-Fi con next weekend. Then squeezing in some writing.  Off sunday--then back to work Monday.

DL


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on September 27, 2008, 05:12:38 PM
Sounds hectic :huh: So, what's the costume -  Trekkie, Barbarella, Star Wars, Flash Gordon, The Clangers? :huh:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on September 27, 2008, 06:25:17 PM
Several of my relatives and friends are in hospital - mostly recuperating though some have non-operable conditions. So I've been bedside annoying them. Also last weekend was FantasyCon and the aftermath of reacting to review copies - both for me to do and to send books out for.  Another con is coming up, NewCon4 for scifi mid October and I'm busy preparing books etc for that. How am I going to get my bike rides in?

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on September 27, 2008, 06:37:36 PM
I intended to visit Fantasycon, but it's such a long journey for me that I decided against it in the end. It sounds pretty small scale and low budget, too, from what people have said about past ones. What was your take on it, Geoff?


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: elay2433 on September 27, 2008, 07:35:37 PM
Lately my weekends are devoted to prop-building. Completed a 12' scarecrow last weekend. This weekend is tombstones.

-elay


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on September 28, 2008, 06:53:25 PM
That sounds like way more fun than building a damn shed. Are you building the props purely as a halloween celebration, Jerry, or are you making a low budget movie, or something? That'd be cool.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: elay2433 on September 29, 2008, 12:34:19 PM
It's all just decoration for Halloween.  Tons of fun once it all comes together. Right now I've got far too many half-finished projects. I move on  and start a new project when I get frustrated with one, or it becomes too much work. Kind of like I do with my stories.  :)

Here's a link to one I finished last year.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6b2FTpIp6w


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on September 29, 2008, 01:14:00 PM
Hah - I really ought to do something like that for my kids while they're still young enough to appreciate it. Good stuff.  Thanks for the link :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: evildeadgirl on September 29, 2008, 03:41:09 PM
Sounds hectic :huh: So, what's the costume -  Trekkie, Barbarella, Star Wars, Flash Gordon, The Clangers? :huh:
something dead;) i think a zombie pirate--though one year I was a priestess of wild e coyote


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on September 29, 2008, 04:26:04 PM
Ah - cool :afro:


Title: Saffron - why?
Post by: Ed on September 30, 2008, 01:17:36 PM
Saffron, pound for pound is worth more than gold and maybe even diamonds. I planned to make a chicken and mushroom risotto for dinner tonight, because my wife had to go to a funeral today, which left me to fend for myself and the kids, and I thought it's be nice for her to come home to. So I looked up a recipe on the internet, went to Morrison's, bought the ingredients and set about making it. I started at 4pm and it took until 5. One of the last things to go in was a quarter teaspoonful of saffron, finely chopped. With the risotto pretty much finished, I tasted it, to see if it needed any seasoning. Yak! It tasted/smelt like it had been contaminated with chlorine, or something. It was horrible. Vile.

So I poured some wine into it to try and mask the flavour. To no avail. I added a stock cube, then another. More wine. No good - it tasted and smelt awful. I thought maybe it was just me, so I got my kids to try some, but they hated it too. In the end I had to concede defeat and throw the whole lot away. Luckily I had decided to cook the chicken separately - cut into small slices and lightly fried in olive oil, with finely chopped chives, sage, parsley, a spinkling of sea salt and black pepper, a touch of paprika and some thickly sliced chestnut mushrooms. I served it mixed with some Uncle Ben's microwavable rice, and the kids wolfed it down.

I was still left with the mystery of what had caused the risotto to taste so bad. I sniffed the mushrooms ad wondered it it might be them. Even wondered about the fat grained rice for a moment. Then I remembered the chicken stock I had bought contained 'ground basil leaves', and that seemed most likely to have been the problem, but on a whim I thought I'd check if the saffron had a scent or flavour - I'd always assumed it was just a colouring, but if it had a taste I would expect it to taste something like cinnamon. That was it - it stinks. Less than a quarter teaspoonful had tainted the whole dish. Hideous stuff.

Why on earth does it command such a high price? :huh: Who would want it?


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: PaulH on September 30, 2008, 06:35:57 PM
That's exactly how I feel about caviar.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on October 01, 2008, 03:55:44 AM
Your recipe was rubbish.

Saffron is a fantastic seasoning. You need to take just a few strands (not a quarter teaspoon - that's far too much) and steep them in a little hot milk or water for half an hour or so before adding to the risotto. I usually grind them up a bit in a pestle and mortar first to extract maximum flavour and colour. The spice is delicate and sweet, and is what makes a paella such a fantastic improvement on risotto. You could also try making a saffron cake. Yummy!

Btw, always buy saffron strands, not powder, as the powder could be adulterated with any nasty yellow stuff. That was a hanging offence in the middle ages.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on October 01, 2008, 06:09:40 AM
You've inspired me (Cathy, not Ed) to grab some saffron sticks to try in my own vegan risotto meals.

Thanks to both for showing me what not to do, and vice versa.  :bleh:

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on October 01, 2008, 12:57:41 PM
See, I always remember having bright yellow Easter Biscuits when I was a kid, and loving them for their flavour and that sprinkling of sugar on the top - and they get their colouring and probably their flavour from saffron. I wonder if the pot I bought had been contaminated, or something. How does it smell, Delph? If you stick your nose in the pot and sniff, does it smell offensive? This stuff does. I couldn't believe how such a small amount could completely ruin a meal.

When I looked up the taste of saffron online, I find peoples' perceptions of it vary, but for the most part people describe it as tasting and smelling like slightly bitter honey. Ours smells and tastes like chlorine and old wooden cupboards ::)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on October 01, 2008, 05:13:26 PM
I'd say it smells a bit like fragrant honey; certainly not like an offensively chlorinated wardrobe. Sounds like you bought a duff batch.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on October 01, 2008, 05:27:53 PM
Hmm - I think I'll take it back and see if I can get another type, because this stuff really does smell awful. Difficult to describe just how bad it smells. It's earthy - smells of damp, old wood, and chlorine. It's very strange. My wife smelled it again, earlier tonight, and when she smelt it she remembered having a paella on holiday somewhere that she couldn't eat because it tasted earthy, like this smells. Perhaps it it just the quantity. Too much of a good thing. Some things are like that, aren't they? Perhaps three or four strands would smell lovely, whereas too much becomes kinda toxic. I don't know :scratch:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on October 01, 2008, 06:00:19 PM
From a writer's perspective your confusion means you can't say something has the aroma of saffron, though mostly it is used as a description of colour.

Earthy and musty smells in cooking ingredients usually means a bacteria is happily multiplying within.

Next time I'm in the deli I'll insist on a sniff test.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on October 01, 2008, 06:38:19 PM
There doesn't look to be enough of anything there for bacteria to consume, or even hide behind, Geoff, but there's a definite boskyness to the stuff. I still can't believe just how little of it you get for your money. It's a standard sized herb/spice pot that it's in, but no doubt aware of just how stingy it would look to put the actual contents loose in said pot, they've put a skinny little clear plastic envelope containing a few strands of withered things in the pot. Half a gramme for £3.85 :o


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on October 05, 2008, 02:10:46 PM
Urgh - what a dreary day it was here. It reminds me of the Autumnal Sundays of my childhood, with grey-blue half light leeching through steamed-up windows, the smell of earth and apples, the cold, cloying air when you step outside. Yuck - I'm not keen on this time of year, especially after such a wet and dismal summer.

Still, I've plugged all the last big holes in my new shed today, so it's now weathertight. I can't believe how much work went into building the damn thing, though. I reckon it's probably taken me close to a couple of month's worth of spare time. It's still not finished yet, either. I need to get on and do something with the threshold, and I could do with putting some guttering on it. Either that, or install a French drain all around it, otherwise the soil splashes up from the grass and makes it look untidy. It won't hurt to stay as it is until I get around to it, though.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on October 05, 2008, 03:40:00 PM
Bright sunny day here today. Sun poured in through the living room window all day, and it's still warm as toast in here as a result.

Sorry! ::)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on October 05, 2008, 04:30:39 PM
You beast, Cathy. I woke to rain that only improved to dribble by lunchtime. I go for a bike ride every Sunday morning, but am on orders to abort when it's rainy. Consequently I harbour a mental database of rain=non bike ride Sundays. It's only happened 4 times this year - amazing. Of course I still go out if it is overcast and just the odd spot, even so it is a testimony to the rain-shadow aspects of Chester's microclimate. It was sunny this afto - yeay. But we expected visitors so I couldn't go out - boo. They didn't turn up -- double boo.  Something about they were burgled last night - seems contrived plot to me, but they do live in the pool. (as in Liverpool for the non-colloqual).

I found a coincidence today while playing online scrabble, called Jamble. We exchange messages with each move - handy for keeping in touch, and for selling books. One of my players is a Maltese (no candy jokes) building a house on Gozo. My novel-in-progress is based on Gozo when in 1551 pirates abducted its entire population. My Jamble partner is going to Libya soon for a short term contract. The Gozo abducted were taken to Tripoli, Libya to be sold as slaves. I told him some of the Gozitans were taken to Tarhuna in Libya and that some descendents are thought to still live there. Although my Jambling partner is Maltese he didn't know or had forgotten his school history and so was unaware of the 1551 abduction and the connection to Tarhuna. Guess where his contract is? Yep, Tarhuna. So I've given him a list of research questions...

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on October 06, 2008, 06:55:47 PM
Duno why, but I'm feeling quite exhausted tonight. Felt the same this morning and for most of the day, too. Hence I've been a bit quiet and haven't done as much as I had hoped to. For instance, I wanted to get on and crit a few stories in the current session. I'm hoping to do at least a few quick ones over the next couple of days. I'm out tomorrow night, but I'll hopefully have a bit of time.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on October 07, 2008, 03:39:49 AM
You needn't spend time on my song story, Ed. I've already re-written in the light of the collective wisdom in the group. I'll enjoy the chats in week2 and put the revised story in later too.

A frend sent me a note overnight saying his third suicide attempt is imminent. I need a good psychiatrist to communicate with :(

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on October 07, 2008, 07:08:31 PM
There are some people that you just can't help, no matter how hard you try. I have heard of only two treatments that work on suicidally depressed people. One is intense psychotherapy under the influence of LSD, and the other is working for aid organisations in third world countries. Both seem to put things into perspective in a way that's cathartic, somehow.

I hope your friend comes through alright. I'm guessing I know who you're talking about.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on October 08, 2008, 04:05:04 AM
Yep, you probably do, Ed. Luckily he seems to have pulled through yesterday after I phoned his mum and rounded up a few of his online friends. He reactivated his Facebook and put in a message "I've applied for a brain transplant." I laughed so much --- and knew he's back to his typical black humour.  True it probably won't last but hey ho...

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on October 09, 2008, 07:03:10 PM
You may have noticed we've had a few server problems tonight. Not sure what caused them, but I don't think it was anything to do with the forum itself. More likely a MySQL problem, I think. Still spent all my evening trying to sort it out, rather than getting on with stuff I wanted to do ::)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on October 10, 2008, 04:34:48 AM
You fixed it good. :)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on October 10, 2008, 04:41:00 AM
Looking forward to the weekend. It's been a down week. Sometimes they're good, sometimes they're not. And sometimes, whichever it is, it's for no apparant reason, which is the case at the moment.

Del


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on October 10, 2008, 10:03:50 AM
I'm a hopeless shopper. I had to cycle three times to the shops today cos I'd not thought through the ingredients needed for visit of son and girl friend + tot today. Also under orders to buy apparatus for physics experimental demonstrations for Gaynor. She needed currants but I bought sultanas - doesn't work, had to be currants. She needed a can of diet coke and a can of regular coke for a density experiment. (diet can should float but regular not - it used to work well but these days the diet coke just floats higher) Two cocktail glasses - preferably plastic to do a maths / volume illusion. Finally, I forgot the icecream - for both an experiment needing cold for Gaynor and to go with a fresh fruit flan I made. Gaynor's confiscated the blueberries I bought for one of her surface area to mass experiments with sparkling water. Then I realised I needed to buy silver balloons for my dealers table at NewCon4 tomorrow to sell Exit, Pursued by a Bee.  Nothing is normal in this house!

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on October 10, 2008, 02:16:31 PM
I can say categorically that you have a unique set of problems there, Geoff :afro:

Personally, on the work front, I'm making hay while the sun shines - I'm likely to be very busy right up until Christmas, and probably most of January, but after that I think work is likely to get pretty sparse for the rest of the year. I really don't care if it is, though. I quite fancy having a quiet year.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: elay2433 on October 10, 2008, 02:57:56 PM
Works drying up around here. Getting a little scary. I'm used to being buried, looking ahead at a full months worth of work I need to get around to. Now I cant' see stretching next weeks workload to make it last. This particular week, it's a good thing. I just realized the deadline for turning in my story to Borderlands Boot Camp is the Oct. 15th, not the 31st like I thought. I'm taking off Monday and Tuesday to get some writing done. Now if I only had a brilliant idea for a story...


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on October 13, 2008, 03:42:06 AM
We had absolutely beautiful weather here over the weekend. Took a trip down to Burton Bradstock beach yesterday. Had a wander along it while our eldest and the dogs ran between us (the youngest is away with the school at the moment - yay! :cheers: ). Stopped away from the fifty or so people who had the same idea as us and then lay out in the warmth of the sun before retiring to the beachfront cafe for a caramel slice and a mug of tea. Frightfully civilised, it were. :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on October 13, 2008, 05:12:02 AM
Indeed, we took advantage of the weather to have a quiet walk in the woods with the dog. Lovely!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on October 13, 2008, 11:52:04 AM
 Went to the sci fi con in Northampton at the weekend. We were warned the fishmarket building isn't heated so to wear our warmest clobber. Aaarrrggh - perspiration ran down my legs - at least I hope that what it was. I had nice chats with scifi folk such as Iain Banks, Ken Macleod, literary agent John Jarrold, and dozens of others I normally meet on the web. I hadnt realized that Jon P here knows Toby Frost with whom I can count as a friend.

More in my blog http://geoffnelder.wordpress.com/ along with pics of me with Northampton's Jester

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: JonP on October 13, 2008, 01:32:59 PM
Went to the sci fi con in Northampton at the weekend. We were warned the fishmarket building isn't heated so to wear our warmest clobber. Aaarrrggh - perspiration ran down my legs - at least I hope that what it was. I had nice chats with scifi folk such as Iain Banks, Ken Macleod, literary agent John Jarrold, and dozens of others I normally meet on the web. I hadnt realized that Jon P here knows Toby Frost with whom I can count as a friend.

More in my blog http://geoffnelder.wordpress.com/ along with pics of me with Northampton's Jester

Geoff

Yup, Toby's a good mate of mine, and I've watched his progress with interest and ac ertain amount of envy! I think I'm right in saying that I was there when he read out some of Space Captain Smith the first time (cue Hovis music).


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on October 13, 2008, 04:00:41 PM
Jon - watch out for Toby. At the end of yesterday we were chatted to by best selling YA fantasy author Mark Hobson.  He was urging Toby to modify his stories so they would be appropriate for secondary age pupils. By doing so he could sell far more books, he said, and gave examples where he is on a register of authors that visit schools. Advance notes go to parents along with order forms. He sells hundreds that way to each school he visits, plus around £250 a visit fee plus expenses. With the royalties he reckons he makes up to £600 per school visit. This isn't possible with sexual or violent content for obvious reasons. Toby nodded more strongly with each argument! I think he is seeing an end to his day job...

To clinch it Mark told us of his largest audience. 1,000 elderly listeners, venue - a Bradford church and Mark did his reading from the pulpit! He sold hundreds of books that day. He must drive around in an articulated lorry.

I've done a bit of school visits speaking to small writers circles and sold a handful at a time. To step it up to Mark Hobson's level isn't my scene. I know a former dentist who writes kids story books and he does it all over Wales, Derbyshire and Cheshire. It's tiring and he only sells between 20 to 50 copies at each school.

Another aspect that worries me about the Mark Hobson formula for making it rich is how many schools would take on more than one fantasy author as a speaker that they have to pay so much for? However, if Toby goes that route, good luck to him.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on October 23, 2008, 10:10:34 AM
I'm in a bit of a panic today. I'm to do a reading at the Chester Literary Festival tonight. Not rubbing shoulders with the celebs that infest such events these days, but to an open-to-the-public meeting of the Chester Writers group. I'm taking a few copies of Exit, Pursued by a Bee just in case some are inspired to purchase a copy. TBH I don't feel that well - not fear of public speaking. I've been a teacher too long to take any notice of the audience! Hah. But my dentist has put me on antibiotics for a tooth root / abcess infection. Hence I'm technically ill. I laugh at ill people cos I don't do being ill - not had a cold for over 10 years. Now I can't have a pre-event drink either! Aaarrrgggh.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on October 23, 2008, 02:41:12 PM
Good luck, Geoff - I hope all goes well and that you're soon feeling better.

I've just got back from Truro, after a long day that started at five-thirty this morning. I was there doing a manufacturer's course on ground source heat pumps. How to size them and install them, plus the various advantages and weaknesses associated with the recovery of low grade heat. Very interesting. I hadn't realised before that a poorly sized installation could result in literally freezing parts, or the whole of your garden :grin: "Frosty out there today, luv... but why's our's the only one? And why, after a whole day of sunshine, hasn't it thawed?" :scratch: Weird.

Awful journey home. Heavy rain and gusts of wind strong enough to push us around on the road. Nasty.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on October 24, 2008, 04:35:14 AM
That's a tough journey, Ed. I only had a short two miles walk home in drizzle last night from the book reading. It went reasonably well but there was a raucous party in the room below - grrrr. Details in my blog
http://geoffnelder.wordpress.com/

Back to driving conditions. I worry about my wife. She drives all over the Midlands and Merseyside visiting schools as part of her Institute of Physics job. More and more she is held up for hours in congestion. That bad accident on the M6 recently for instance. Now our car is showing that orange engine fault sign on the dashboard. Last time the garage rebooted the car's computer and the warning sign went away. But it is a Rover 25 bought a week before the company went bust 4 years ago! Hah. Time for a new one. I know as much about buying cars as I do about knitting. I can detect the car dealers rubbing their hands already!

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on October 24, 2008, 02:43:56 PM
I hate buying and selling cars. Doesn't matter who you go to, you might as well just drop your pants and grab your ankles, because you know full well you're going to get reamed.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on October 25, 2008, 01:24:38 PM
Good news this morning.  Liz Williams, best selling author of fantasy such as Bloodmind, Darkland and Banner of Souls, runs a witchcraft shop in Glastonbury. My Exit, Pursued by a Bee starts and finishes on Glastonbury Tor as does the cover art. Liz has asked for a small stock for her shop!

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on October 26, 2008, 05:11:43 AM
Well done, Geoff - that's a good sale :afro:

Don't forget to put your clocks back this morning, everybody - there was me telling everybody the clocks were going to go back this weekend, all week, and guess who forgot? ::)

Edit: And another reminder for those of you who haven't managed it yet - don't forget you've only got four more days to enter the Cafe Doom 2008 competition :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on October 31, 2008, 12:58:58 PM
3 miles out of Mold and near the top of a snow-covered hill, I had a front wheel cycle puncture. It was the most picturesque place I'd had my hands frozen while in puncture repair mode for years.

Brrrr Geoff, warming up with whisky and tea


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on November 02, 2008, 03:33:19 AM
Reminds me I must get another Crank Brothers tyre removal tool. The tyres are so tight on my rims that it's the only lever I've found that can do the job, but even that lever has disintegrated after several removals.

Put my lights back on ready for tomorrow's commute in the dark. Oh the joys...

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on November 02, 2008, 05:10:18 AM
Del, I had a hell of a problem both getting the tyre off, and worse putting it back on. I'd not had need to remove the tyre since new - 32C x 700 Schwalbe Marathon. I've had a bit of forearm tendonitis lately and what with the cold...

The hawthorn had gone through a thick part of the tread too. I'm changing the tyres for Armadillos and slime inners - that's my birthday money spent!

Hey don't we sound like biker nerds! :)

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 02, 2008, 06:02:05 AM
Dunno. With the Armadillos and slime inners you sound more like roadkill experts, though I can't imagine you get very many armadillos around Chester, Geoff :scratch:

I spent all day yesterday fitting a solar thermal store and hitching it up to my wood burner. I reckon it'll take at least another two day's work to get all the pipe runs finished, probably more like three. I've got roofers here at the moment, too. They've stripped off the five year old Redbank Duchess slates (which had bent like bananas) and are replacing them with proper decent natural slate. Next they'll start on the back roof and I'll have to hurry up and fit the solar panels before they drop the scaffold.

Went into Maplins to buy a thermostat kit for a differential control on the woodburner. It only operated in a range from 5C to 40C or so, which isn't any good for what I want. I still managed to come home with a new multimeter and a remote controlled plane, though ::) As you do....


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on November 02, 2008, 02:33:59 PM
Quote
32C x 700 Schwalbe Marathon

I'm going to try wider tyres next time out. I have 23s on there at the moment and I feel every single grain of sand I cycle over. I don't have the ability to warrant such narrow tyres.

Del


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on November 05, 2008, 11:09:28 AM
I've packed my panniers, including laptop (battery removed - I once found it very hot when I left it in and in all the jiggling the laptop became switched on!). I'm  off tomorrow to Alt-Fiction residential writers course in the Dove Valley, Derbyshire. It is run by Alex Davies (lit development officer for Derbyshire) and the focus is on horror / noir fantasy or scifi. The two tutors are William Conrad and Kim Lakin-Smith. They are both literary - the former writes gutsy horror and Kim has a poetic elegant style. I'm looking forward to both the 70 miles bike ride to get there and the course.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: elay2433 on November 05, 2008, 12:16:40 PM
Sounds like a blast, Geoff. Have fun.

-elay


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 05, 2008, 02:52:17 PM
A seventy mile bike ride without the assistance of an engine or a dupe on the forward portion of a tandem sounds like my idea of hell, but I hope you enjoy it, Geoff. I think I'd like the writing part of it - sounds good :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 07, 2008, 02:16:06 AM
Well, it looks like the recession is starting to bite. My brother-in-law lost his job yesterday, and I've heard of several companies reducing the rates they pay to their workforces - the choice is 'take a cut or fuck off', literally.

AFAIK I'm stacked out until the end of February, but I'm not sure what's out there after that. I'm lucky to be able to see that far ahead, though.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: elay2433 on November 07, 2008, 12:16:01 PM
I work in small shop. Just two full time employees. My boss just laid one of us off. Now my work load is beefed up a bit, but still it's nothing substantial. We're looking at it almost day to day now. Hopefully things turn around sooner rather than later, but it looks like things are just getting worse. How do you suppose all this affects publishers? Probably going to make it even harder to sell a piece as more and more small press markets drop off.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 07, 2008, 01:06:31 PM
I don't know, but historically it seems that people are prepared to spend a bit of money on entertainment to cheer themselves up during recessionary times, so you might find book and magazine sales actually do as well, if not better than normal.

It's difficult to believe that we find ourselves in such a bad way, financially, on a global scale, again, and it's not really that long since the last recession. Has this kind of crap happened right the way back through history? I can't believe that it has. I hope your job remains safe, Elay. Just the threat of impending doom is enough to make life feel quite depressing, though, whether or not your job is technically safe. It's the uncertainty that hurts.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on November 08, 2008, 02:58:22 PM
  I went down to the local DVD store today, when I came out and tried to unlock my bike from the railings I found that the lock was jammed. After about ten minutes of cursing and turning the key back and forth, I went in search of a shop selling WD40. I had no luck there but did manage to buy a small can of oil from a guy in a pound shop. He told me he had a pair of bolt cutters I could use if need be, so after finding out that the oil was of no help I took him up on his offer.
 
  It took a while to cut through the metal, those D-locks are tough sob’s, but I eventually got the bike free. As I was walking back to the shop I spied a police car waiting at the traffic lights, the thought crossed my mind that I might look a tad suspicious with a pair of bolt cutters in one hand and a broken lock in the other. I was right. Just as I was handing the cutters back two coppers descended on me. I explained to them what had happened and that I was the owner of the bike, after producing the offending lock key they seemed satisfied.
 
  I just hope that’s the end of my bad luck for a while, in the last two weeks a drive belt snapped on my car and the windscreen cracked.
 
  On the plus side I’ve recently found a job after being out of work for five weeks and the guy in the pound shop was selling poppies, which was good as I’d been looking to buy one all morning.     


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 09, 2008, 03:51:55 AM
I thought you were going to say it was then you realised it wasn't your bike - just one that looked remarkably similar, and you had in fact driven your car into town that day :grin: That's the sort of thing I would do.

Can't seem to get anything right myself, lately. I spent a good few hours messing around on my roof, off a ladder, taking down my chimney pots and feeding a twin wall stainless steel flue liner down the flue to my woodburner. After struggling at every turn, I finally got the liner down there, attached a few vitreous bends, shoved the flue liner up out of view, and sited the wood burner. Job done, I lit the fire and it worked like a charm. At that point I wandered into the kitchen to make myself a mug of tea. That's when I saw the offcut I'd cut from the bottom of the liner and realised I'd installed the liner upside down :pissed: Dipshit.

So I know what I'm doing today, now. ::)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on November 09, 2008, 12:43:33 PM
I hate it when things like that happen. I’ve made similar cock-up’s more times than I care to remember. The latest involved a shredded drive belt, I really should’ve made sure it was properly seated in the alternator pulley before starting the engine. Doe!!  :pissed:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 09, 2008, 01:41:58 PM
Done it now, and it didn't go too badly, though I did get a good drenching into the bargain.

I cooked a pork belly for dinner tonight. Basted it with a marinade of soy sauce, port wine, brown sugar, honey, butter and black pepper over a bed of carrots, onion, celery and garlic. I roasted some potatoes in olive oil, thyme, sage and more garlic. Boiled some runner beans and swede to have with it. Made a sauce from the stock and roasted vegetables, put it through a sieve, reduced and then thickened it with cornflour. Absolutely lovely meal. Even the kids raved about it.

Must admit I enjoyed the minute steaks I cooked for dinner last night more, though - they were really tasty seared in a hot skillet and served with mashed spuds, fried onion and field mushrooms. Everything about it was delicious. I really enjoyed it. The kids were begging for more, so my wife promised to buy them one each next time she goes to the butcher, instead of them splitting one between them.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: evildeadgirl on November 09, 2008, 03:49:44 PM
Hi all--Big howdy Ed-- just popping by. Ruff week ending with me having to teach a  martial arts class to 25 --- 11&12 year old girls----talk about horror--- well I am back to my house work.

dl


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 09, 2008, 04:25:30 PM
Hi :smiley:

Sounds like a complete nightmare. Anything involving 25 eleven to twelve year-old girls sounds pretty awful to me :scratch:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on November 13, 2008, 04:06:09 AM
Seems to have been a quiet month here - no doubt folks reading and voting on the competition entries and then following the voting thread. But for me, the ever increasing pressures at work are taking their toll. I'm still trying to write every day - and I have four or five projects on the go, a couple at various stages of rewrite, one awaiting a final reread, one in the early stages of creation and another at over 30k of words - but the aforementioned pressures are seeing me sleep poorly, wake-up tired, and by the evening just wanting to crash out. It's a real battle to get some words on paper so I'm quite pleased that I'm still doing this (it's actually one of the few things keeping me sane at the moment); but it's left little time for the Cafe.

I suspect that throughout the ages it's always been thus, it just feels particularly bad at the moment - I also suspect it's because of the financial down-turn, the housing market situation, increasing unemployment, which together create a virtual narrowing of options, meaning that instead of saying 'stuff this for a game of soldiers, I'm off to build Cotswold stone walls' one has to (realistically) ride it out in a sensible manner. Sigh.

All that aside, I shall look on the positive side of things, take things one day at a time, and rejoice in the good things I do have. As Ghandi once said, "I thought I was poor because i had no shoes, until I met a man with no feet."

Del



Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 13, 2008, 03:04:24 PM
Yep - it has been a quiet month here. Usually the site's a hive of activity when the competition is on, but not this year.

I've been having much the same experience as you, Del. Funny how bosses treat everybody with more contempt than they'd usually dare when times are hard. I had one company I do work for try to drop my rate today. They don't give me much work at the moment anyway, and they're a pain to work for, so I told them to get somebody else - somebody not as good - somebody cheaper than me. But they turned around and said they wanted me to do it, just for less money. I said no, and repeated what I'd said, and they eventually backed down, offering to pay me my current rate. Others haven't been in the position to call their bluff and have had their rates drastically cut as a result. It's unfair, too, because the bosses can afford to keep paying the same rates - all they're doing is taking advantage of the situation.

What's most annoying to me is this recession - hell - the whole economy is just bullshit and fakery. The last major recession was only twenty years ago, and I'm seeing the same things happen this time as last, like a big game is being played by more powerful players than ourselves. Has this happened every twenty years for the whole of human history? Not a chance. All the boom and bust cycles began with the advent of the rise of the stock market about a hundred years ago.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: canadian on November 13, 2008, 06:01:35 PM
I think I'll just hide under a rock until everything stabilizes again.

The charity I work for is in trouble. As soon as the word 'recession' hit the newspapers, all of our corporate sponsors sucked in their guts and eliminated the words 'corporate giving' from their vocabularies. We'll know in about a month whether we continue our work ... or not. Meanwhile, I'm applying elsewhere. Fingers crossed.

What gets me is that all the wealthy people are still wealthy. They're just less wealthy on paper. Those at the top won't lose their jobs or need to cut back on their grocery store spending. They'll still be going south for the winter, buying posh gifts for Christmas and living it up (perhaps with a less expensive wine) in local restaurants. The rest of us will be the ones paying the piper, won't we?


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on November 14, 2008, 12:13:57 PM
I agree, Donna.
This is what happens when the economy is based on rumour, speculation, greed and chance. No one wants to be regulated and controlled but more is needed if we're to avoid this situation in the future.

Geoff


Title: On the plus side
Post by: Ed on November 16, 2008, 09:33:24 AM
I know consumerism is bad and all that, but I do love my new iPhone 3G. I decided to treat myself to a new mobile and a new network, because the Orange network doesn't seem to work anywhere I do, whereas O2 seems to do better. Anyhoo - I've fancied getting an iPhone ever since I went to the Borderlands Bootcamp and saw Rich Payne's in action.

I didn't realise just how good it was until I got one though. It's got all sorts of gadgets, like GPS, for instance. You can press the 'maps' button, press another button, and it'll not only tell you where you are but provide a satellite image/map, or hybrid of where you are. I tried it at home yesterday and it dropped a pin on the satellite photo that zoomed in until I could see the umbrella over our patio table out back and my car on the drive out front.  :shocked: I was amazed. From wherever you are you can press in a destination and it'll plot a route for you as well. It's got games, photos, camera function, music, unlimited web browsing through 3G or Wi-Fi, a 3 gig download limit, which is better than I get with my home connection. There's an interactive calendar, too, where you can put in an event, set its frequency, like weekly, monthly or one off, and set varios timed reminders for yourself so you don't forget it.

I'm very impressed with it :dance:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on November 17, 2008, 05:14:10 PM
Hey guys. Just wanted to say hello again. I'm finally settled in my new place and am no longer sans computer, so ya'll should be seeing me around a bit more. Dun-dun-dun.  :cheesy:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 17, 2008, 05:49:21 PM
 :cheers: Yay - good to have you back, Angela. I hope life's been treating you well in your new location :smiley:


Title: Re: On the plus side
Post by: JonP on November 18, 2008, 03:16:10 AM
It's got all sorts of gadgets, like GPS, for instance.

Just got back from Hong Kong, where on the last day one of our friends there produced a phone he'd just bought (for around £60), which takes two SIM cards (neat idea if you're visiting the mainland a lot) and - wait for it - a TV. The reception wasn't at all bad, either. So watch out for that when it comes over here. Mind you, I'd never heard of the make, and there's probably a reasonable chance that it will give out after a couple of months. But I was still dead impressed.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on November 18, 2008, 02:07:16 PM
Yet another attack of the stupid’s today. I took up the floor boards in one of the rooms of my home so that I could check on the condition of the sleeper walls. As I suspected a few of them were in need of repair. It wasn’t a great surprise as the building is the best part of a hundred years old. Anyway, I sorted out the walls, relaying the bricks where I had to and re-pointing the less damaged parts, then I re-laid the boards and fitted the carpet back into place. As I was packing my tools away I suddenly became aware that my level was nowhere to be seen.
 
  Yeah, it was still under the floor. I wouldn’t have minded so much but I’d seen it just before I put everything back into place and still left it there. What a dummy.    :bangh: Fortunately I’d only nailed a few of the boards back down, the rest of them will come later when I’ve changed the less than straight joist in that room. Old buildings, what a joy they are.   


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 18, 2008, 05:35:37 PM
Oh, tell me about it - I've literally rebuilt this house from the foundations up, but not in that order. Seems like the work never ends. I'm taking tomorrow off to finally install my solar panels, because I've currently got roofers here stripping and redoing the roof we put on only about five or six years ago, so I thought we might as well take advantage of having the scaffold here and labour to help lift them into place.

In other news, I was chomping on a bit of pork crackling the other night, heard a crack from the back of my mouth, assumed it was the crackling, but a few days later a big chunk of tooth fell off one of my wisdom teeth. It's really sharp, so it keeps slashing the inside of my cheek. Can't get a dentist's appointment for a couple of weeks. In the end I got fed up waiting and had a go at it myself with a set of needle files I bought and never found a use for until now. I say that, but the one that seemed to work best tasted terrible and looked to still have brass filings in its teeth. Seems to have done the trick, though.

No wonder British teeth have such a bad reputation if you can't even get to see your dentist in an emergency ::)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on November 18, 2008, 08:50:52 PM
Ouch Ed. That doesn't sound like it was fun! And, thanks. It's good to be back.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Pharosian on November 18, 2008, 09:31:54 PM
I spent all last week in Portland, Oregon on business, where it was rainy most of the time. Came back with a rotten cold and a migraine that lasted 2 days, so I'm just getting back to normal.  :(

Ed -- congrats on the new iPhone! Way cool!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on November 19, 2008, 03:36:26 PM
I'm drooling - why?
The printers accidentally sent me copies of a NATO document of the
French attitude to global strategies.

I'm smiling at the thought of 50 NATO people who are reading my scifi Exit, Pursued by a Bee. Just think how it might work into the future...

Geoff



Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on November 22, 2008, 02:45:10 PM
 :grin: I wish I could've seen their faces.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Grillmeat on November 27, 2008, 12:05:42 PM
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!!
May you all be visited by the four F's
Family
Friends
Food and..............
FOOTBALL!!

Have a great day, see you all again on Monday!!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 27, 2008, 05:30:47 PM
I feel kind of left out every year when the Americans are celebrating Thanksgiving. We get absolutely squat to look forward to in November here, except more shorter drearier days to come.

Given how churlish the British are as a nation, I'm surprised we didn't instigate a 'Glad to see the back of the puritanical religious zealots' holiday, back in the day. Especially after you won the war of independence. Let's face it, we generally hold a grudge over here :scratch:

Nevertheless - happy thanksgiving, everybody :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on November 28, 2008, 11:10:14 AM
 :afro: Hey, any excuse to drink, right? Nah, I didn't drink yesterday, on account of being pregnant and all, but I did overstuff myself and enjoy the company I had. . . and, the Cowboys won.  :cheers:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 28, 2008, 06:04:12 PM
Congrats, Angela - when are you due? :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on November 28, 2008, 06:52:15 PM
I give thanks every morning to have cheated the grim reaper.

I'm off for a week. Log cabin retreat in the wilds of Wales. I was looking forward to cycling there but the mrs decided she'd come along too and doesn't like sitting on the crossbar.

I've a few review books to get through - nothing to excite you horrible CD lot - and I'm smuggling in my laptop.

CYA

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on November 29, 2008, 01:01:28 AM
Thanks Ed. I'm due in March. It can hurry up and get here already!!!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: elay2433 on November 29, 2008, 02:20:53 AM
Just wait for February, then talk about wanting to hurry up and and be done. I took snapshots of my girlfriend pretty much bi-weekly throughout her pregnancy. It made for a good flip book. In the final weeks the two things that grew the most were her belly and her frown. The last shot showed a gigantic, impossible growth at her midsection and her face, which was a curious mix of impatient anticpation and sad resignation. Ah but she's a happy camper now. It's all fun when you look back on it.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 29, 2008, 04:40:40 AM
Hope you have a good time, Geoff :afro:

Angela - yep, my wife was like that. After a certain point you can't wait to get it over with. Just be thankful we don't have the gestation period elephants have - they're pregnant for the best part of two years AFAIK. :shocked:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on November 30, 2008, 12:09:54 AM
Two years . . . ugh!!! Sounds like a horror story to me!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: i_abomination on November 30, 2008, 10:49:02 PM
I dunno, from the moment you begin labor, you'd probably trade a portion of your pinky for a few more months in the womb.

Yeah, it's weird Brits dont have anything in November.  The Germans have some weird holiday - I dunno what it is, but it became illegal to dance after midnight a couple weekends ago when I was at the bar.  Then the Weinachts Fest begin usually around the last week of November.

On a separate note, I was supposed to go to Leiden Holland over the weekend.  That's where the puritans [and the beginning of my family line in America] went to for about six years before makin the voyage to America - so it was gonna be a sort of neat-thanksgiving-this-is-where-you-stem-from sort of thing.  Alas it fell through, and I just ended up studying all weekend - but I did crank out a story and the wife cranked out 2.  Long weekends tend to last a little longer when you just take it easy.  Now here it is, 445 in the morning and I'm about to head back into work.  Igggh


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: i_abomination on December 01, 2008, 12:47:29 AM
Oh, tell me about it - I've literally rebuilt this house from the foundations up, but not in that order. Seems like the work never ends. I'm taking tomorrow off to finally install my solar panels, because I've currently got roofers here stripping and redoing the roof we put on only about five or six years ago, so I thought we might as well take advantage of having the scaffold here and labour to help lift them into place.

In other news, I was chomping on a bit of pork crackling the other night, heard a crack from the back of my mouth, assumed it was the crackling, but a few days later a big chunk of tooth fell off one of my wisdom teeth. It's really sharp, so it keeps slashing the inside of my cheek. Can't get a dentist's appointment for a couple of weeks. In the end I got fed up waiting and had a go at it myself with a set of needle files I bought and never found a use for until now. I say that, but the one that seemed to work best tasted terrible and looked to still have brass filings in its teeth. Seems to have done the trick, though.

No wonder British teeth have such a bad reputation if you can't even get to see your dentist in an emergency ::)

Yeah, but if your dog broke a tooth, you could get him into a vet that day since it's not socialized.  They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 01, 2008, 02:10:06 AM
It's a private dentist, actually. There's something of a crisis over dentistry in the UK - none of them seem to want to work for the NHS any more, so many people were forced to go private or face life without one. Creeping privatisation. The sad thing is that dental cover has got worse instead of better. It's so difficult to get one if you've moved areas or lost your usual dentist that people have been know to travel very long distances for treatment.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: i_abomination on December 01, 2008, 03:36:01 AM
eesh - what the fuck!  The more I see the world around me, the more institutionalized I realize I am.  I'm beginning to have doubts of my ability to exist "outside" haha


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on December 01, 2008, 04:11:23 AM
The whole dental thing is madness. My stepson has a five hundred mile round trip to get to his dentist because he daren't try to change to a new local one. My own dentist went private, so I'm paying silly money now, but I'm one of the lucky ones in that the standard of treatment and waiting times have actually improved.

Nothing in November in the UK did someone say? Of course we have something in November. Remember, remember...


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on December 01, 2008, 11:11:11 AM

Yeah, it's weird Brits dont have anything in November.  The Germans have some weird holiday - I dunno what it is, but it became illegal to dance after midnight a couple weekends ago when I was at the bar.  Then the Weinachts Fest begin usually around the last week of November.


I was lucky enough to visit Germany during Christmastime a few years back. Aaah, it was beautiful and fun (the gluweihn helped)! It makes me wish the US had something like Germany's Weihnachtsmarkts (sp?), but too many Americans are just too lazy to enjoy that anyway!  :grin:

The whole dental thing is madness. My stepson has a five hundred mile round trip to get to his dentist because he daren't try to change to a new local one. My own dentist went private, so I'm paying silly money now, but I'm one of the lucky ones in that the standard of treatment and waiting times have actually improved.


Wow, that stinks. I used to work for an insurance company, and it never ceased to amaze me what a rip-off insurance is (especially dental). Now that I'm on the border, though, I can just go to Mexico if I have a dental problem. At least while the American dollar has SOME value anyway!!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 01, 2008, 12:23:22 PM
That's what happened to mine, Delph - he went private and said we all had to, or the alternative was to find another dentist, which plain isn't possible. Very annoying. >:(


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: i_abomination on December 02, 2008, 12:04:32 AM
We do have weinachts markts - they're called malls, haha.  I do like the superficial atmosphere of them, until I realize it's not like in America.  In America, manners for the most part come out this time of year in force - in Germany, at least where I am, the people just become more pushy and rude than usual.  Which is amazing, because they really are the rudest Europeans that I've encountered - but I  hear the Italians are even worse.  So far, the French, Dutch, and Spanish are leagues above them in the whole sea of kindness, heh.  However, I'll give Germans this - since every alpha male they had died 60 years ago it only takes a cross look to remove them from the line they just cut into, keep them from cutting you off in traffic, or from muttering obscenities.  I am totally open to the possibility that it's just where I'm at, though.  It could also be that I'm just ready to get back to America after not living there for three years, haha.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 02, 2008, 02:31:27 AM
Yep - must admit I cannot stand the Germans abroad. Even their words for 'excuse me' mean 'excuse you', which gives you a starting point in understanding them. I'll always remember me and the missus going for a walk on holiday in Lanzerote. Every day we'd come out of the hotel and walk down the hill, and somewhere along the line the Germans would be walking up the hill. Brits would generally make way for each other, but not the Germans - they just barged through between me and my wife. By the third day I'd had enough, and so when I saw the same three young men tromping towards us, I set my shoulders and leaned forward slightly, whereupon two of the three bounced off me and hit the deck. They didn't say a damn thing.

I like the Italians - at least they have a bit of passion about them. They're vibrant and full of life.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: i_abomination on December 02, 2008, 02:41:16 AM
Hahah, that's pretty much what you have to do with Germans.  If you don't they'll just keep doing it.  Once they've identified you as an American,(kind of easy to get a make on me with "Last Man On Earth" tattooed across my throat, haha) they tend to just give a wide berth to you, but it really shouldn't come to that.   Makes me want to be a Manners Vigilante, haha.  Yeah, I don't know the Italian thing first hand, I've just got a few friends that live there.  They really aren't keen on Americans, but what can I say - neither am I, haha.  I do know, and will say - I fucking love the French.  I grew up hating them, and enjoyed hating them.  It was fun.  French jokes are funny.  But then I spent a week in South France - and have to say, I've re-evaluated my hatred of the french to such a degree that I actually looked into joining the Legion, haha.  But that was only after the British recruiter told me I had to be British, haha.  Apparently my 1609 roots to England aren't current enough, haha.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on December 06, 2008, 10:27:45 AM
  After not having seen my back garden since last weekend, I leave for work when it’s still dark and return home after dark, God I hate the f@*#‘in winter, I can honesty say I was a tad pissed when I walked into the kitchen this morning and found that the grass by one of the fences had been striped away :pissed:. I know who the culprit is and had devised a cunning plan to rid myself of this miscreant. After making some inquiries I was informed that it would be illegal to lay landmines in my garden, it’s officialdom gone mad if you ask me, so alas Mr Fox won’t be going Boom, Boom as I had planned.

  Oh well, I’ve settled for hammer some stakes into the ground in the hope that this will thwart his nocturnal tunnelling. If anyone knows of a better way to scare the foxes away then please do let me know. Cheers.     


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: i_abomination on December 06, 2008, 12:34:07 PM
Actually, it's a well known fact that foxes are terrified of Tigers.  Keep a tiger in the backyard.  Sigfried and Roy can probably let you foster one of theirs, but animals that have been sexually abused require a lot of care.

Good luck!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on December 06, 2008, 02:42:26 PM
Thanks for the tip :afro:. I’m not sure if I can rustle up a real tiger, damn my luck, but there’s some three by two in the shed I’ve been eyeing up, I’m sure it’ll make a fair pair of stilts, and a tin of yellow paint. Now all I’ve got to do is find that old house cat of mine. 


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Woody on December 06, 2008, 06:57:46 PM
I know everyone is becoming a little short due to the economic downturn and it's probably best to keep the odd bit of 3 be 2 and paint in reserve, just in case. But, as I've recently discovered from the font of all true knowledge, Wikypedia, foxes really hate raspberry milk jelly - so for the cost of a pint of milk and some essence of rendered cow, and a small expense on procuring some raspberries, you may be able to forestall your fence problem. Give it a go. Just place the jelly in front of their run (make sure you've got a web cam up and running, it is truly funny to see the way they react) and watch them try to figure out what they've got. It is a well known fact that they are partial to a bit of raspberry - they've been spotted nipping one or two berries from the hedgerow in the summer, but when they can't grasp the idea of the jelly, mainly because they can't grasp it. They piss off elsewhere.
I did this once with some problem badgers, obviously exchanging the jelly for a pond (badgers couldn't give a toss about jelly, raspberry or otherwise), and as soon as they found their run interupted by an expanse of water they soon changed their route through my garden.
Give it a go and let us know what happens - you'll find it is a lot cheaper than wood and paint.   ;)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: i_abomination on December 07, 2008, 01:13:08 AM
That's a good point woody - tigers really aren't economical these days, haha.

Seriously though, I'm assuming you're not a dog-lover or you'd already have one.  If ya do, I'd make him sleep outside a few nights.  It'd only take a single run in for the fox to decide to move along to a yard without one.  Same premise as the Tiger, haha.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on December 07, 2008, 12:51:57 PM
Thanks for the tip Woody, I'll give it a go. The house cat was kicking up a real stick about having stripes painted on her fur anyway. :grin:

I haven't got a dog, i_abomination. I do like the old mutts but lack the time to look after one properly. Nope, what I really need is for someone to set up a branch of Rent a Rottweiler, that'll scare the crap out of Mr Foxy.   


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 07, 2008, 01:32:48 PM
Can't remember whether it was foxes or badgers, or maybe both, that can't stand the smell of human pee. Might be worth getting out there and marking your territory the old way :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on December 08, 2008, 05:22:37 AM
Been away a week - not good in a cold damp apartment but managed some reading and writing. Pics etc in my blog. Good was that it included a tour of Portmerion and so I relived Patrick McGoohan's The Prisoner and imagined the white latex ball chasing me!

I'm on a blog talk radio tonight!
Dec 8 at 10pm
British Time. At least I hope it is British Time!!
the link is
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/stations/bc/compulsivereader

It will be a triangular situation because I am a Brit in the UK, the
interviewer, Maggie Ball is in Australia, and blogtalk radio is in the
US!
I'll be talking about Escape Velocity as well as reading an extract
from Exit, Pursued by a Bee

I've warned my family not to cough or snigger while I'm talking, and
I've ordered the neighbour's dogs to hold their barking until I've
finished.

Wish me luck!

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on December 08, 2008, 06:12:41 AM
Good luck (from another 'The Prisoner' fan)! I had a look at the site, and it looks as if people can download the interview after  you've done it if they're not around to listen to it live.



Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: JonP on December 08, 2008, 06:34:41 AM
Good luck, Geoff - sounds fun. And add me to the list of Prisoner fans (I was even a member of "Six of One" for a while, which is bordering on being a bit sad).


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: desertwomble on December 08, 2008, 11:24:22 AM
Yep, good luck Geoff!

For a long time at work I was #6 on the employees' list, so I know what it's like to be a frustrated nonentity.

DW :cheesy:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SamLeeFreak on December 08, 2008, 12:54:13 PM
Good luck, Geoff!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on December 08, 2008, 05:38:11 PM
Thanks for the support everyone.
I was as nervous as a goldfish in a shark tank but once I started it was all right - I think. When Maggie Ball finishes the processing and sends me a link to the archive I'll post it everywhere - unless I sounded very baaad!

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Pharosian on December 08, 2008, 06:01:06 PM
You sounded just fine!  :afro: I listened to the live broadcast. Very interesting!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on December 08, 2008, 06:10:53 PM
Thanks, Pharosian, you are tooooo kind.

I think Del might feel at home listening to my soft slow Gloucestershire accent. I worry now about my errs and umms, but hey ho.

It is archived here
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/stations/bc/compulsivereader/2008/12/08/Interview-with-Geoff-Nelder

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on December 09, 2008, 02:18:46 PM
I just had a listen, thought it was a good interview. Must admit at times I thought you sounded a bit like Melvin Bragg, which is a good thing. :)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on December 09, 2008, 03:08:31 PM
Great interview, Geoff. You came over as relaxed, intelligent, interesting, and a natural interviewee.  :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on December 11, 2008, 08:58:08 AM
I've downloaded this but haven't had chance to listen yet. Everything's catching up with me again and this is one of those weeks where I seem to have no time for anything. Roll on 5.00 on the 24th!!

Del


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on December 12, 2008, 04:53:21 PM
Good stuff, Geoff! Very enjoyable.

Quote
I think Del might feel at home listening to my soft slow Gloucestershire accent. I worry now about my errs and umms, but hey ho.

You sound very posh compared to me - I sound like I've just come in from the sprout field when I talk!

Del


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on December 12, 2008, 07:45:12 PM
Good stuff, Geoff! Very enjoyable.

Quote
I think Del might feel at home listening to my soft slow Gloucestershire accent. I worry now about my errs and umms, but hey ho.

You sound very posh compared to me - I sound like I've just come in from the sprout field when I talk!

Del
You are too kind. I must admit that when I go home to Gloucestershire and get on a bus, I wear a smile listening to my 'old' accent, but after a couple of days, I'm saying fertilyzer and zider just like the locals!

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Grillmeat on December 12, 2008, 07:57:35 PM
Very nice interview  ;)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on December 13, 2008, 06:27:03 AM
Thanks everyone.

I love writing but now I've a pyramid of Crimbo cards to wade through even though for most it is the winter solstice we celebrate than a fictional magus.  :/

Cheers

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 17, 2008, 07:09:18 PM
Long day today. It started with me clambering around on my roof at 07:45. It ended with me driving home from Wells and eating my evening meal upon my arrival here at 22:30 - and now I'm going to bed :santa_rolleyes:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on December 18, 2008, 09:32:37 AM
Quote
It started with me clambering around on my roof at 07:45

Putting chicken wire over the chimney again, Ed? Keep that pesky Santa from pinching all your mince pies?


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Grillmeat on December 20, 2008, 03:50:57 PM
 Well I was going to show you some pictures of the snow at my place--doesn't happen much in Oregon where I live.
Apparently, however, I am not smart enough to upload them........ :scratch:
Oh well, time for a beer then.......


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 20, 2008, 07:28:46 PM
Upload them to a place like imageshack.us or www.photobucket.com then post the url :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Grillmeat on December 20, 2008, 10:48:53 PM
Ah yes. I knew it had to be something deceptively simple.............. :santa_embarrassed:
OK, lets see if this works.  Pictures of the snow from Saturday at my place in Oregon


(http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x261/Gastroboy_bucket/100_0255.jpg)
(http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x261/Gastroboy_bucket/100_0256.jpg)
(http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x261/Gastroboy_bucket/100_0257.jpg)
(http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x261/Gastroboy_bucket/100_0263.jpg)

The picture is the remnants of our summer patio garden. The next two are of our backyard and the last one is a shot from our driveway looking at the neighbor's house across the street.  Hope it puts you in the Jolly Ol' Christmas Spirit.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: canadian on December 20, 2008, 11:00:01 PM
Snow in Oregon. Wow. Those are great pics, Grill!  :ssmiley

Here's what I've been waking up to nine times out of ten lately:

(http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b128/VictoriaPark/morningwakeup.jpg)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 21, 2008, 03:48:26 AM
You're both lucky to have a nice covering of the white stuff - all it's done around here lately is rain. Last week three people died in floods around our area. I know it gets a bit waring after the first week, but at least it looks nice :ssmiley

BTW - is it unusual for it to snow in Oregon? I thought it was one of those places that got a huge dump of the stuff on a regular basis :shuh


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: canadian on December 21, 2008, 08:41:23 AM
You're both lucky to have a nice covering of the white stuff

Ya wanna come help shovel it, Ed?  :santa_evil:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on December 21, 2008, 11:04:56 AM
Yep, Ed has it right - its been more wet stuff than white stuff in Britain. The frost can look good though ;)
(http://geoffnelder.com/pennal.jpg)
Erm, anyone know how to reduce the pic size?
I'll help you and Doug, shovel Donna, and GrillMeat needs a hand with getting rid of some beer no doubt ;)

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 21, 2008, 12:01:11 PM
You're both lucky to have a nice covering of the white stuff

Ya wanna come help shovel it, Ed?  :santa_evil:

Yeah - for the first week anyway. After that you're on your own :sthumb:

Geoff - if you upload the image to Photobucket they give you the option before uploading to reduce the image size :smiley:

Lovely pic - well done for capturing it. I spotted a beautiful scene on a frosty morning last week as well, but I didn't have a camera with me. Perfect scene with a weak sun casting a golden glow over a field full of sheep, with tractor tracks leading the eye across the picture and off into infinity, with a backdrop of trees and a clear blue sky. Picture postcard stuff.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: i_abomination on December 21, 2008, 12:05:03 PM
Yeah, here in Germany it's been snowing a lot but not really stickin.  Just enough to dick you off and ice over your windshield.  But I was over in east Germany last week on business and there was some considerable snow, but nothing like I saw in Austria the week before.  I'd never seen snow that frickin deep.

More impressive than snowing in Oregon, I hear it snowed in Houston - so much for the global warming theory.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on December 21, 2008, 12:40:49 PM
Wey-hey, it's the solstice, summer's on its way :dance: :dance: :santa_cheesy: Happy midwinter all.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Grillmeat on December 21, 2008, 12:46:36 PM
Ed said:
Quote
BTW - is it unusual for it to snow in Oregon? I thought it was one of those places that got a huge dump of the stuff on a regular basis


It depends on where you live.
If you're up in the Cascades, near Mt Hood or over on the East side of the mountains then you get snow every year for 2-3 months.
Down in the valley, however, it is unusual to get anything more than flooding or freezing rain. 
We ended up with around 8 inches around my part of town. Haven't seen that for about 4-5 years.  Needless to say, I'll be staying in doors today..... :santa_shocked:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 21, 2008, 02:11:31 PM
Wey-hey, it's the solstice, summer's on its way :dance: :dance: :santa_cheesy: Happy midwinter all.

Ah good - the nights are giving out then. Funny, it never feels like mid summer either, when the time comes.

Ed said:
Quote
BTW - is it unusual for it to snow in Oregon? I thought it was one of those places that got a huge dump of the stuff on a regular basis


It depends on where you live.
If you're up in the Cascades, near Mt Hood or over on the East side of the mountains then you get snow every year for 2-3 months.
Down in the valley, however, it is unusual to get anything more than flooding or freezing rain. 
We ended up with around 8 inches around my part of town. Haven't seen that for about 4-5 years.  Needless to say, I'll be staying in doors today..... :santa_shocked:

I spent a few days in Bellingham, years ago, and now I come to think of it the climate was much the same as Vancouver, where it also very rarely snows and sticks. Pretty similar to the weather around here, actually, just a bit colder at its extremes.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Grillmeat on December 22, 2008, 04:29:19 PM
Thought I might send you an update from snowville :santa_cheesy:
At this time, we have had the fifth highest accumulation for snow ever recorded. The last reading was 14.5 inches in the metro area.
A lot of roads are closed around here and about 40,000 people to the south of us are without power.  Gresham, a town just five miles to the east of us, declared a state of emergency since emergency personnel cannot navigate the roads.   There is a horror story in this somewhere but I need another day of cabin fever before I can do it justice I think.
Anyhow, here are a few more pictures of how things have changed since the last photos I took.


(http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x261/Gastroboy_bucket/100_0269.jpg)
(http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x261/Gastroboy_bucket/100_0270.jpg)
(http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x261/Gastroboy_bucket/100_0274.jpg)


The first picture is a shot of the side of the house looking towards the front gate. Halfway up is the front door which we have not been able to open for two days.   The second picture is a shot of the length of the backyard. In the previous pictures you could still see the stone planters--now gone under at least two feet of snow.  The last picture is my wife at the entrance to the backyard by the shed and our Champion working Shepherd Booboo.
Hope you all are cozy and warm!!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on December 22, 2008, 08:55:39 PM
Dang! The closest we've got to snow here is a little bit of fluff in the mountains that looks like someone dumped an ashtray on the peaks.  :santa_grin:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 23, 2008, 02:19:44 AM
I hope that snow doesn't give you any trouble when it melts, Kevin :sthumb:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Grillmeat on December 24, 2008, 11:37:32 PM
Merry Christmas everyone!!
May there be some mulled (?) wine, spiced cider or cup of nog at table for each of you :santa_cool:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 25, 2008, 03:03:48 AM
Merry Christmas :ssmiley

Our kids had us up at six - they set their alarm clocks - can you believe it? Still, every other year it's been five-something. I'm feeling very sleepy all the same.

We'll be having roast duck for dinner. I'll be cooking it, because my wife can't cook any sense. I thought she was faking it before, in a long drawn out attempt to get out of doing it, but I genuinely believe she has no aptitude for it whatsoever now. Hey ho.... :santa_rolleyes:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on December 25, 2008, 03:43:50 AM
Merry Christmas to you all!

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Woody on December 25, 2008, 06:33:06 AM
IT'S CHRISTMAS! Ow, my head. Who shouted that? :santa_grin:

Have a great one everyone.

all the best

Woody


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: desertwomble on December 25, 2008, 06:54:21 AM
Merry X-mas, everyone!

By the way, I've put a Christmassy tale into the flash challenge to warm the cockle of your hearts!

DW :santa_cheesy:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on December 25, 2008, 12:46:24 PM
  I went out for an early morning bike ride first thing, I always do on Christmas day, it’s so peaceful at that time, kind of apocalyptic really. When I reached the town centre I stopped for a breather. There was no one there and the only sound was the cries from the gulls and crows as they argued amongst themselves, there was none of the usual clatter and chatter of shoppers. It struck me as strange that I only noticed this due to its absence. 

  Happy Christmas all. :ssmiley


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 25, 2008, 02:03:52 PM
Sounds good - I like that sort of thing, where huge public places stand deserted and you can almost believe you're the only person on the planet. Maybe I'm a megalomaniac on the quiet? :scratch: Or a repressed misanthrope :santa_grin:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on December 25, 2008, 09:15:26 PM
Merry Christmas everyone!  :santa_kiss:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 31, 2008, 12:08:33 PM
I hope you all had a good Christmas :sthumb: Happy New Year everybody :smiley:

Personally, I was so busy on the run up to it that it kinda passed me by when it actually arrived. Our tree is already down and the decs are packed away - no twelve days this time around. I was just thinking about getting rid of the snowy CafeDoom furum banner, but I think I'll leave it until tomorrow. It looks strangely nekkid when the old one goes back up.

We're off out tonight, going to a friend's house, which is what we do most years. A group of us meet up and each bring some food with us. I made a lovely chicken casserole the other day, so my wife suggested that I make it again for tonight, which is what I've done - it's cooking now, and it smells lovely. My wife isn't trusted to make anything edible, so the hosts (knowing her well) said she could make something for the children who are going (because they'll probably not eat it anyway), but at the last moment she got a phonecall saying not to bother - somebody else is cooking for the kids. They just have to find a way to stop her taking a pudding along.

Last time she made a pavlova to take, which looked like it'd been in a car crash on the way there - as if the car it'd been in had flipped and rolled a few times. Hence, this year, instead of taking great care and it still looking like pot mess, she's taking Eton mess. She can't go far wrong with that, surely.

Anybody doing anything exciting tonight?


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on December 31, 2008, 01:27:16 PM
Night in for me. I'm normally gigging, but this year I turned the chance down. Just felt - and still do - that I need to kick back and recharge the batteries.

Enjoy your night out!

Health, wealth and happiness to one and all in 2009!

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 31, 2008, 01:32:58 PM
Have a good night in, Del - I'll think of you at midnight and raise a glass to your good health, mate :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on December 31, 2008, 02:43:58 PM
I'm avoiding too much celebratory booze tonight so I'm fit to drive early morning. Off to visit my Gloucestershire clan - not by bike this time. Looking at the forecast of freezing fog I'm glad Mrs N has a satnav in her car: I'll just be able to blindly follow such instructions as 'in one hundred metres turn sharp left'.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 31, 2008, 02:48:19 PM
Me too - I'm determined not to drink too much tonight. I hate losing the whole of the following day to a hangover, and I'm supposed to be ripping out our old kitchen tomorrow, which isn't something you want to do with a throbbing headache. :scratch:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on December 31, 2008, 08:50:04 PM
I'm sure I'll be asleep before the witching hour strikes!  :santa_grin:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: evildeadgirl on January 01, 2009, 03:19:13 AM
Happy New Year:)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on January 01, 2009, 06:29:57 AM
Didn't drink too much, but didn't get to bed until 3am, so woke up at usual time feeling very sleepy. Funny how you get used to waking at the same time every morning regardless of what time you want to sleep until :scratch:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: i_abomination on January 08, 2009, 10:34:09 PM
Ugh - went into work at 6 a.m. yesterday and didn't get home until 8 - if that isn't a pain in the ass enough, the schedule looks the same until mid-February.  Oh bleakness. :ugly:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on January 09, 2009, 02:33:10 AM
Ugh - went into work at 6 a.m. yesterday and didn't get home until 8 - if that isn't a pain in the ass enough, the schedule looks the same until mid-February.  Oh bleakness. :ugly:

A two hour day sounds quite appealing to me :afro:

I'm working my ass off at the moment.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on January 09, 2009, 02:48:34 AM

Quote
I'm working my ass off at the moment.

Me, too. The annoying thing about it is how it affects my home life, and even my health. Over Christmas, when I had 11 days off, I was relaxed, fun to be around, I was enjoying life, got a stack of writing and reading done, watched some movies with the family, etc etc. Back to work with a bang, and I'm stressed out, tired, having to force myself out of bed in the morning, finishing work so mentally f'#@#ed I just want to sit in a chair and close my eyes, not talk, no reading, no interest in TV, definitely no mental energy to write, I can listen to music and that's it.

This can't be right.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: i_abomination on January 09, 2009, 03:09:30 AM
hahah, a two hour work day would be great for me, too, but I think you may've read it wrong.  That's a 14 hour work day - and one that I'd gladly do without.  And it's all paperwork and inventory type stuff.  Meetings... Nothing remotely interesting.  The next month and a half.  I wake up at about 0350 so come 2030, I'm fighting to keep my eyes open.  If it weren't for iced coffee, I don't think I'd make it.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on January 09, 2009, 05:28:52 AM
Your 14 hour days take me back to my 'proper' working life as a system manager and teacher. I used to be at the high school with the caretaker at 7am and often didn't leave until he needed to lock up after the evening classes left at 9pm. Okay, most of the middle bit was teaching but the extra time either side, besides marking and lesson prep was installing and debugging software, installing cables, troubleshooting the system. I didn't need to do all the extra - certainlly didn't get paid extra for it, but it was very satisfying to see the kids and staff have a proper working network during the day.

Now I'm fulltime editing and writing, the pressures are quite different. My wife thinks writing isn't work anyway and gives me household chores while shes swanning around the country with her Institute of Physics work. At the moment my 8-month preggers daughter is at home until her new house is ready. It is a delight to take her swimming and to midwifery appointments. So my writing is nearly zero until the baby comes and she moves home.  One of her friends came round with her newly born kid. Isn't it funny how a baby will let you put its whole foot in your mouth  :idiot:

Geoff
please vote if you haven't for Exit, Pursued by a Bee at http://www.critters.org/predpoll/novelsf.shtml


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: i_abomination on January 09, 2009, 01:41:24 PM
I actually lucked out today - I sort of pulled a quickie and ran out early before I got hey-you'd into something else.  I think next week it's really gonna hit, but I'm slightly more motivated for it now.  I'm on salary, too, Geoff - so no bonus for me, haha.  I guess just sort of a i-can-do-this satisfaction, coupled with a told-you-i-can-do-this, haha.

Maybe the wife doesn't think your writing is work because she's probably seen you spend countless hours doing it for free, haha. 

Funny you mention the baby thing - the Onion once did an "article" that "proved" babies were in fact stupid, haha.  http://www.physics.mcgill.ca/~arobic/funny/babies.html
It should answer any questions regarding babies and their rearing.





Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on January 10, 2009, 02:20:23 PM

I’ve been working in an oil refinery down on the Thames estuary, close enough to the water so that I can see the tankers at their moorings. Oh-boy is it cold down there, I swear blind I heard brass monkeys singing alto.   


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on January 10, 2009, 06:57:20 PM
I've been working in a half-built hotel, with plastic sheets flapping at the window openings and damp concrete all around. It's actually been colder inside the building at times than it has been outside. Midweek, the plasterers asked me to thaw out their water hose with my blowtorch, but it was refreezing as quickly as I thawed it. As they were slapping the plaster on the walls you could see lumps of ice in the mix. Can't see any of it staying on the walls. The painters were slapping emulsion on the walls, but as fast as they tried to put it on, it froze. They tried to water the paint down to thin it, but then it froxe in the buckets they were mixing it in. Ridiculous.

Doing twelve to fourteen hour days in those conditions has really been getting me down. Feel like I've got to make hay while there's still a glimmer from the sun, though. Could be that by the middle of the year there won't be any work around.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: i_abomination on January 10, 2009, 07:10:52 PM
Things really gettin that bad around there?  I've heard England's talkin about goin on the Euro - what a horrible mistake that would be.  Especially with all the eastern countries trying to get on, it would sign a death sentence.

Yeah, I've been lucking out with the cold.  I'm out in the coldest part of the day - right before the sun comes up, but most of it I'm either inside or in my car.  That sounds frickin miserable, Ed.  I frickin hate the cold, but I'm sure my tune'll change this summer when I'm livin in the swamps of Louisiana with a hundred percent humidity to couple the triple digit degrees. 

I think I'll have an office job until I move, though - so that's a nice victory over the cold - the only downside being more hours with no increase in pay, haha.  Can't win 'em all.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Pharosian on January 11, 2009, 03:43:11 PM
I guess I should be grateful that I still have a job, but this past week management sent out a memo stating that all merit increases would be suspended for 2009. They "hope" to resume "normal" pay increases in 2010. Normal was a maximum of 3% per year. I work in an office, so I can't complain about the cold, either. Hope you guys get better conditions soon.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Grillmeat on January 11, 2009, 04:10:26 PM
Wow, hope the work conditions get better soon for you guys.
I think I will never  complain about being at the clinic at 6AM again.............. :huh:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on January 12, 2009, 02:14:32 AM
Sorry about the outage. It was caused by a database error. Not sure what caused the database error, but the server seems to have been a bit sketchy again lately. I've repaired the DB anyway, and we'll have to wait and see if that's done the trick long term.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on January 12, 2009, 04:12:48 AM
I'm on guardian watch all daytime lately. My daughter and hubby staying with us while their new house is a couple of weeks from being ready for them. She looks as if she could burst and a little alien leap out any moment. 8 and a bit months pregnant and unsteady on her feet. So everytime she wanted to go out during the icy spell I've gone with her. We both slid around like a Laurel and Hardy sketch.

She has been rounding up friends she recalls having bought my Exit, Pursued by a Bee and urging them to vote for it at P&E. What a doting daughter. I think she's more frustrated than me that Exit stays at #2 it seems no matter how many of our contacts vote for it.

In case you've not done so and would like to, the free vote link is
http://www.critters.org/predpoll/novelsf.shtml

Cheers

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on January 12, 2009, 01:53:42 PM
Looks like the hosts are still having problems today. I've sent them yet another complaint :tdoff:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on January 12, 2009, 04:08:03 PM
Started at 8.00 this morning and just finished at 9:00. Didn't even stop for lunch, though I had a break at 6.00ish. Off for a shower and a sleep now. I have a story I want to write, too. Alas, for the time being such luxuries as spare time seem to have gone the way of the car and the holidays. Grrrrr. So much for a life outside of work.  :(

I wonder if this was what it was like for serfs...


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on January 12, 2009, 07:20:25 PM
Quite possibly. It's a bit like the principle behind the workhouse. You accrue a debt by everyday living that can never be fully repaid to the company, but you keep on working in the hope that you can at least keep a roof over your head and food in your belly while you work.

I often wonder what it would be like to have nine acres, a house cow and a few sheep and chickens. With maybe a day or two of outside work a person could happily persist/subsist/exist, I reckon :scratch:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on January 12, 2009, 10:18:07 PM

I often wonder what it would be like to have nine acres, a house cow and a few sheep and chickens. With maybe a day or two of outside work a person could happily persist/subsist/exist, I reckon :scratch:

Oh, I bet I could get by easily on that . . . but I'd also have to work from sunrise to sundown to do so!  :grin: My mom was raised on a farm; there was always something that needed done. . . And homemade bread may taste great, but do you realize how long it takes to make completely from scratch? Sheesh! There's a good reason for that expression "the greatest thing since sliced bread."


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: i_abomination on January 12, 2009, 10:27:03 PM
I feel your pain, Del.  I went in at 6 and got home at 9,  yesterday.  Here it is just past 4 and I'm up again with a day more bleak than the one before - just one of many before the months out.  I've even got a potential 4 day weekend at the end of the week but I'm looking at it as more of a burden than a break.  There's so much crap to be done, and I don't feel like I'm getting anywhere - like there's just not enough time.  I don't think I feel as much like a serf as I do a hamster on a wheel.

Maybe a coal miner, though.  Work long hours, no real life beyond - and no matter how much work you do, there's always more that can be done.  Behind is the sunlight blearing into the tunnel you entered some time before, and ahead is only a straightline further into the bowels of hell.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on January 13, 2009, 02:21:21 AM
And it's being so cheerful that's keeping us all going :grin:

I spent a fair chunk of my childhood growing up on a farm, so I know what you mean, Angela. It's a different mindset in farming, and it's not necessarily one I could drop into TBH, but a few years ago I did some work for a local farmer whose farm was way off the beaten track in a dead end village (the road only went to the village and not through it to someplace else). It's a tiny village that consists of only ten or fifteen houses. He had never taken a holiday in the whole of his life, and he was in his sixties. He's never even been outside of the county. When I asked him why, he said he was happy there and there wasn't anything he wanted anywhere else. I could see his point - it is a beautiful place, but I don't know if I could really handle the isolation in reality.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on January 13, 2009, 05:52:43 AM
I'd enjoy isolation. Seems mean but I've done much less writing and critting since the people in our house doubled in number - only temporary and they are delightful company, butbutbut.

As a teen I used to have a weekend job on a farm between Cheltenham and Gloucester - so not too far from where Del lives. I had to get there just before dawn or an hour after in summer. Most of the work was running repairs of fences and walls - me! Brick walls I hasten to add cos the farm was on lias clay not the limestone of nearby hills. I am to skilled brickwork as a banana is to a wheelbarrow! Doubt those walls remain standing.

Agent sent me a copy of the reject letter from Del Rey for my Left Luggage trilogy. Took them 9 months and Betsy Mitchell was involved at one level of the decision. Liked the premise but this season they're looking for more action thriller type scifi. What I need now is for Exit to hit the #1 spot at the P&E spot!

That reminds me. At the risk of pestering and losing my friends here, there is one day left for the poll. Exit is at #2 but I don't know if one more vote is needed or a thousand. If you feel inclined please click on

http://www.critters.org/predpoll/novelsf.shtml
then scroll down to find Exit, Pursued by a Bee and then hit its button

Your grovelling mate

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on January 13, 2009, 08:28:43 AM
Quote
As a teen I used to have a weekend job on a farm between Cheltenham and Gloucester - so not too far from where Del lives. I had to get there just before dawn or an hour after in summer. Most of the work was running repairs of fences and walls - me! Brick walls I hasten to add cos the farm was on lias clay not the limestone of nearby hills. I am to skilled brickwork as a banana is to a wheelbarrow! Doubt those walls remain standing.

I grew up between Cheltenham and Gloucester. I recall fondly those days of knocking down fences and walls from the nearby farms...  :azn:

Derek

PS You have my vote, Geoff.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on January 13, 2009, 10:03:30 AM
Quote
As a teen I used to have a weekend job on a farm between Cheltenham and Gloucester - so not too far from where Del lives. I had to get there just before dawn or an hour after in summer. Most of the work was running repairs of fences and walls - me! Brick walls I hasten to add cos the farm was on lias clay not the limestone of nearby hills. I am to skilled brickwork as a banana is to a wheelbarrow! Doubt those walls remain standing.

I grew up between Cheltenham and Gloucester. I recall fondly those days of knocking down fences and walls from the nearby farms...  :azn:

Derek

PS You have my vote, Geoff.

LOL. I forget the name of the farm near Churchdown, but I did a bit of knocking down myself. Made sure there was work to do the following weekend.
Thanks for the vote.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on January 13, 2009, 11:25:33 AM
Yep, Churchdown was my old stomping ground, from fishing in the old gravel pits, tobogganing on Chosen Hill, mooching along the railway track, and watching the airshows and motorcycle racing at the airfield. Grand days, Gromit. Grand days.

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on January 13, 2009, 11:52:28 AM
for a couple of years in the late 1990s my dad lived in Melville Road, Churchdown. He once hired a skip and quickly filled it with broken furniture and junk before neighbours filled it with theirs. Next morning the skip was empty.  It stilll creases me to recall seeing his face.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on January 13, 2009, 02:07:20 PM
  I never lived on a farm but the house in Antrim I lived in when I was a kid backed onto fields. We had great fun there chasing the cows, building dams in the stream, the farmer weren’t very happy with that one, and exploring the woods. We spent a lot of time trying to demolish an old house by throwing stones at it, walking the disused railway lines and trying to make double headed coins by laying two pennies on the live lines. We even used to put our ears to the tracks, cowboy film style, to hear if a train was coming.

  Memory’s a wonderful thing, it makes me realize how lucky I am to still be alive. 


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on January 13, 2009, 03:47:50 PM
Quote
We even used to put our ears to the tracks, cowboy film style, to hear if a train was coming.

  Memory’s a wonderful thing, it makes me realize how lucky I am to still be alive.

Not sure about memory - but under the circumstances hearing is a wonderful thing to keep you alive, too!

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: JonP on January 13, 2009, 04:06:58 PM
double headed coins by laying two pennies on the live lines

Ever read Vanessa Gebbie's story "I Can Crush the King, Tommo"? Second in last year's Bridport Prize.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on January 13, 2009, 06:40:55 PM
I voted for you, Geoff - good luck in the poll :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on January 13, 2009, 08:39:03 PM
That reminds me. At the risk of pestering and losing my friends here, there is one day left for the poll. Exit is at #2 but I don't know if one more vote is needed or a thousand. If you feel inclined please click on

http://www.critters.org/predpoll/novelsf.shtml
then scroll down to find Exit, Pursued by a Bee and then hit its button

Your grovelling mate

Geoff


Don't apologize. I'd pester too if I were you!  :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on January 14, 2009, 11:05:59 AM
Thanks Ed, and everyone,

The poll ends in 6 hours time and my Exit, pursued by a Bee has swapped places at #1 and #2 several times today. The other book has two authors and so two lots of friends and family - good luck to them too.

If anyone has yet to vote and would like to support a doomer then the link is

http://www.critters.org/predpoll/novelsf.shtml

I'm a nervous wreck.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on January 14, 2009, 01:53:05 PM

Not sure about memory - but under the circumstances hearing is a wonderful thing to keep you alive, too!

Derek

 :grin:

Ever read Vanessa Gebbie's story "I Can Crush the King, Tommo"? Second in last year's Bridport Prize.

I've never read it, but if it's reminiscent of my childhood days in Ireland then I might give it a go?


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on January 15, 2009, 09:06:20 AM
A rare glimpse into how life could be today. Decided to take a lunch break and do some writing. Knocked off over a thousand words in 45 minutes. Was right in the zone, standing there with my character, seeing what he was seeing, and (especially for Geoff) smelling what he was smelling. Was great, except for the fact that my lunchbreak seemed to vanish in a flash.

Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a life where such moments were what one did all the time? Instead, it's back on the treadmill now. Sigh. Still, better a few moments like that than none at all.

Regards,

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on January 15, 2009, 03:48:38 PM
I know what you mean, Del, but at least you're still getting good ideas for stories, too. There's been a few times lately when I've wished I'd had a laptop with me so I could write in my lunch break. I only get half an hour, though. It'd have to be flash fiction :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on January 15, 2009, 04:09:22 PM
This is a much longer piece, Ed. I've even done a first for me and planned much of out before starting. I think that's why I was able to write so much - I knew exactly where I was going.

Regards,
Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on January 21, 2009, 07:44:53 AM
The zany Oz publisher, Lutz Barz has posted reviews of Exit on the web. link in my blog. It has warts and typos and the oddest review but it's positive and urges readers to buy it.

I see the icon Britney Spears has a £10m advance on her life story. I meant to have offered my ghostwriting services but someone beat me to it.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on January 23, 2009, 03:44:14 PM
Wow, and here I was thinking you should actually do something interesting or important to have your life story written.  :huh:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on January 29, 2009, 03:49:49 PM
Whoah - I've just watched Slumdog Millionaire - excellent film. I can see why it's been tagged for an Oscar or five. Fantastic.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on January 30, 2009, 02:26:46 PM
  I went down the rubbish dump today; the car was piled up with old floor joists and gone off plaster. There was a queue when I got there, so just to pass the time of day I said to the guy at the gate, ‘you busy then,’ he replied that the cars in front of me were the first that had been in that day, the time was round about midday. I said it was typical for everyone to arrive at the same time, he agreed. But it got me to thinking about how odd it is that people with no connection, except for their need to dump some junk, should all choose to do it at the same time. It wasn’t as if there were any further cars waiting to enter when I left, so why would this small group of people all head for the same place at the same time? I do believe that people, maybe not all but some, possess some kind of, maybe this is the wrong phrase but I can’t think of a better one, telepathic link. I know there are many reasons why this small event could’ve happened, but it’s not the first time I’ve noticed things like this and it does make me wonder.

  A better example of this happened the last time I was on a plane. I took my seat and after a few minutes, this guy ask if he can take the seat next to me. I say, yeah of course he can, and think no more of it. The plane starts down the runway, I open up a book, it was Clive Barker’s Coldheart Canyon, and not long after the plane taking to the air the guy next to me falls asleep.

  The flight was only a short hop over to Belfast, but I read a fair bit of the book and was engrossed by the story.

  As we were coming into land, I closed the book and the guy in the next seat wakes up not long after. He looks over at me and says, ‘I just had the weirdest dream, it was all about silent movie stars, it was so strange,’ or words to that affect. I started to laugh and said that Clive Barker’s book was all about silent movie stars and that he must have picked up on my thoughts as he slept. We chatted about it for a while then went our separate ways. Got to admit though, it was pretty strange.  :shocked:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on January 30, 2009, 03:09:06 PM
Synchronicity, eh? I've seen too many examples of weird coincidences to rule out some kind of telekenetic/telepathic link between people/animals/places.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on January 31, 2009, 10:41:03 AM
I wrote an article on coincidences and a bit of mathematics to show how some of them aren't as far-fetched as first appears. The piece is in issue #2 of Escape Velocity and is for free download at present at
http://www.escapevelocitymagazine.com

I still collect coincidence type facts if you have any.

I always go to our 'Household waste recycling centre' as soon as they open at 0830. I've never had to queue at that time. On your telepathic experience I took a fridge from my son's flat (I carried it down 64 steps) to the Nottingham city dump on Thursday. As I placed it among about 100 others in the fridge resting place, a thought occurred to me: what if Rob realized he needed parts off this fridge? So I put it next to the only one that stood out - a large bright red SMEG freezer. Sure enough when I staggered (I have a bad knee) up to his penthouse flat, he said: 'I just thought - I could have done with the screws from the front hinge unit.' He'd swapped left to right handles with the new, but same make, fridge but was having trouble with the screws. So after laughing at the telepathy, which isn't a big deal in the circumstances, I went back to the dump with a screwdriver knowing I'd find his fridge easy enough.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on February 01, 2009, 07:51:51 PM
Had a gorgeous roast dinner tonight - belly pork roasted on a bed of onions, carrots, celery, garlic and thyme. I put it in at about 3pm, deeply scored and salted. Basted it a few times, served it up with roasted spuds, swede, cabbage, and a lovely thick gravy from the meat juices and roasted veg. The crackling was perfect. Yum :smitten:

Funny part was that my wife bought it a week ago, long before the Jamie Oliver prog about pork. I'd asked her to buy some pork from the butcher last week, ready for this pork and butter bean casserole recipe I found. Trouble was, that recipe required decent sized lumps of pork, so I was thinking belly pork wouldn't work very well. In the meantime I watched the Jamie Oliver prog and saw the roast he did with his belly pork. It looked so good that I thought I'd get on and try it. Glad I did now. The kids wolfed it down. Plus with it being a standard roast it gave me plenty of time to lay the laminate floor in between bastings.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on February 02, 2009, 11:17:24 AM
Yum, Ed! I think I'm drooling a little here.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on February 02, 2009, 01:30:54 PM
Yum, Ed! I think I'm drooling a little here.

Yep - it was delicious cold in sandwiches today, too. Very tasty. Will be doing it again for sure :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on February 03, 2009, 06:32:26 AM
Having a great day today. I rang up to see if anybody was attempting to make it into work, but pretty much everybody of importance was snowbound, or not risking it, so I've taken the day off. Went sledding with the kids this morning and a bunch of us are supposed to be meeting up in the pub later for lunch. Lovely to have an unexpected day off. :smiley:

Anybody else having a similar day?


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on February 03, 2009, 09:05:07 AM
Working, here. The benefits of broadband - when all else is stuck at home and unable to work, I'm stuck at home able to work. On the other hand, when I wake up and it's a miserable and dirty day, instead of cycling into the office I can just walk across the landing. Some you win, some you lose!

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on February 03, 2009, 05:26:40 PM
Not so easy to make a clean break from work when it's that close to home, but as you say it has its advantages.

I spoke too soon - by midday my day had turned to shit, and I ended up having to drive to a customer about 30 miles away because their heating had packed up (ground source heat pump). The journey there was a tad slippery, but nothing compared to the trip home. We pulled out of the customer's drive and then spent about an hour inching forwards, stopping, inching forwards, to cover the first mile - black ice up the hill and down the other side, cars, vans, buses and lorries sliding all over the place. I set off at six and I've only just made it home ::)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Pharosian on February 03, 2009, 11:30:17 PM
It snowed all day here. I worked from home, which was nice. Several times I looked out the window to see snow whipping around. Then this evening, the local TV station pre-empted the national news to do a special half-hour weather report. "Yep, it's really coming down, and the roads are backed up somethin' terrible... folks are gonna be comin' home late tonight, that's fer shure." OK, they used proper English, but that's basically what they said. The "meteorologist" always get wrapped up in his computer simulations, and shows the same data about three different ways. You'd think the end of civilization was at hand to hear them talk about a simple storm front. I'm originally from a few hundred miles further north, where it REALLY snows in the winter. These guys don't know what an actual blizzard is, so they panic when three inches of snow falls in the same day.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on February 04, 2009, 02:15:57 AM
Yep, and as quickly as it came, it's gone. The roads are all clear this morning and most of the snow has gone from the roofs and gardens here.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on February 04, 2009, 01:48:21 PM
The snow that was dumped here on Sunday night and Monday still ain’t shifted. The side roads are still covered by hard ice as are the pavements. The only thing that seems interested in clearing the ice of these roads is the sun, it’s been wall to wall since the storm passed. Think I’ll get Icarus to deliver my next council tax payment.   


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on February 06, 2009, 01:26:18 PM
Another very cold day at work today. Slightly annoying, too, because I could have got away with not going in. But then I would probably have had to give up a coming Saturday or Sunday if I had taken today off, as we're working to a deadline and there's already too much work to do in the available time.

Ever so quiet in the forum over the past few days. It always seems that way to me if there's no critique session running. Hopefully we can get back with the programme in March.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on February 07, 2009, 04:23:34 AM
Very little snow here so far - none for a few days. Temperatures though have hovered around zero so the roads are too salty for my bike. I hate having to either wash it after every winter ride or need to buy new transmission - chain, cogs, etc - in the spring. We have an abundance of salt being as Cheshire has salt mines - so many that most of our houses mid-county have subsidence problems. They're not just from the salt mining below ground but natural as groundwater removes sedimentary salt and then the surface sinks. As a result Cheshire has more ponds and 'meres' per square mile than anywhere else in the UK.

Anyone need salt? I'll email some to you.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on February 07, 2009, 05:24:57 AM
You would think all that salt underground would make the groundwater, rivers, streams brackish. Is it?   :huh:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on February 07, 2009, 05:36:36 AM
No new snow today, but yesterday's has frozen solid so we have some very interesting back and side roads round here. Scuppered my plan for a bike ride, too. Last Saturday I rode down to Arlingham and where you can look across the river  to Newnham (Geoff will know these places) where the Church sits high on a hill above the Severn, which is very wide at this point. It would have made for a beautiful photograph today, everything snow covered and frozen, but it would be a major trek to get down there today.

Reading an uninspiring book at the moment (I wish I could just abandon books, but for some reason I have to get to the end) which has meant I haven't felt inspired to write much this last week or so. Also, as ever, work is getting busier and busier and by the time I finish the last thing i want to do is look at a screen again. Some nights I don't even have time to, even if I felt inclined. There's a growing culture from above that 'you're lucky to have a job and you need to do more and more work to prove your value and thus keep that job' and it only takes a few people to subscribe to that notion to mean everyone has to.

Got a whole bunch of old stories and re-writes and rejects that I need to submit but I'm feeling uninspired in that area too. There are ten submissions I sent out last year (some dating back to April) that I've heard 'owt on. I know one said in their guidelines that the response time would be long, but it still doesn't inspire to keep posting things out into what feels like a black hole. I need a little feedback and (hopefully) success once in a while to keep me going. Somedays I even think my email mustn't be working...

Hey ho. Onwards and upwards.

Del


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on February 07, 2009, 09:46:26 AM
Ed, the groundwater in parts of Cheshire is salty which is one reason why drinking and irrigation water is piped from the Lake District or Wales. River water too isn't saline since much is from runoff after rain and not so much comes from deep down.

On long submission times - I too have some over 9 months since submitted. Another problem is that some mags are reducing their size and frequency, if still in production, cos of the financial situation and so the backlog of subbed stories is growing. If you subbed to Screaming Dreams, the back log is over 9 months cos Steve  Upham has been very  ill and has recently moved house. Escape Velocity has skipped an issue or two - even though I offered to contribute funds - while Robert focussed on the book side and transferring  from Lulu to Lightning Source for printing. I also found by pestering that two of my stories hadn't been accepted for anthologies but that the editors had forgotten to tell me!

My foot hurts. Ironing board catastrophe. I wasn't even on top of a mountain at the time!

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on February 07, 2009, 03:16:46 PM
Just finished another culinary excursion involving diced shoulder pork, chorizo, wine, tomatoes, chilli, onion, garlic and butterbeans. The final touch was a tablespoon of honey and a good helping of finely chopped parsley. Recipe here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/database/porkchorizoandbutter_90830.shtml It looked very good in the casserole pot and the sauce tasted great, though pretty unusual. I was really looking forward to digging in, but as soon as I tasted the chorizo - yuk. Tough and very smokey. The taste of it pervaded everything once I'd had it in my mouth. Horrible.

The pork had so much liquid in it that it boiled instead of frying. I think that might be my fault for not having the pan hot enough before I put the pork in. Generally, it seems like if you sear the meat quickly it seals-in the moisture. So the pork was tough as well as the chorizo. The dish had no redeeming features after I'd finished with it. Very disappointing.


Geoff - I've never heard of salty groundwater before, but it makes sense. I briefly wondered if locals have evolved in some way to tolerate salt more than other Brits, but then I remembered that drinking water is a fairly new phenomenon for us Europeans :scratch:

On long submission times. I've also had a couple of stories out for several months. Apex was the longest. I get to the stage where I stop caring whether the story will get published or not and start to want nothing more than a response, sometimes.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on February 07, 2009, 04:44:33 PM
I've taken a look at the recipe, and a couple of points occur. 45 minutes isn't nearly long enough cooking to make the pork meltingly tender. And regarding the chorizo, did you skin it? The skin can be horrendously tough, even on the chipolata size chorizo that looks like it doesn't have any skin. It does. Also, there are many different types - some are smokey and hot, others are really mild. If you try the recipe again, use a different type. Make sure it's genuine Spanish one. Make sure the pork is outdoor reared. Makes a big difference. Won't be all watery.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: JonP on February 07, 2009, 05:50:19 PM
Speaking of submission times, what's the current turnaround time for EV, just as a matter of interest? (Just so's I know if to pester you guys or not ...)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on February 07, 2009, 06:16:09 PM
Thanks for the pointers, Delph. Yep, I did skin the chorizo - just caught it in time before I chucked it into the pot. Got it at the deli counter in Morrison's, so I've no clue where it originated, but I am wondering whether it was the real deal or not, because much of what you buy 'smoked' these days isn't - it's an added chemical flavouring. Like with kippers. They're just painted with a yellow dye and favourings to make them look and taste right, instead of being cured by smoke like they used to be.

The pork was from our local butcher, so it should have been proper, but I do wonder about some of his pork based products, because his bacon is very watery too. Could be that he tumbles it in water, I suppose. It's a shame that you have to think about stuff like this, isn't it.

I might try it again sometime, but if I do I think I'll use the chorizo for flavouring and then take it out before serving, and I'll cut the pork into thin slivers to reduce the cooking time but still leave the meat tender enough to eat.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on February 07, 2009, 08:15:31 PM
Speaking of submission times, what's the current turnaround time for EV, just as a matter of interest? (Just so's I know if to pester you guys or not ...)
If you've got something send it directly to me - Robert's  snowed under.  Metaphorically and literally.
I'll respond within a week, Robert says he has unread subs dating 3 months back.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on February 07, 2009, 08:17:08 PM
Ed, being a regular vistor to the Isle of Man, I can verify that Manx kippers are smoked the traditional way.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: JonP on February 08, 2009, 04:15:53 AM
Speaking of submission times, what's the current turnaround time for EV, just as a matter of interest? (Just so's I know if to pester you guys or not ...)
If you've got something send it directly to me - Robert's  snowed under.  Metaphorically and literally.
I'll respond within a week, Robert says he has unread subs dating 3 months back.

Geoff

OK, many thanks - will do.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on February 08, 2009, 04:31:01 AM
Ditto Craster.

(ie, Craster kippers are smoked properly)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on February 13, 2009, 02:46:20 AM
Will have to give them a try :afro:

Funny old week here. If snow was last week's signature weather, this week's has to be rain and floods. I know of a couple of shops and pubs that have literally only just reopened after having all their flood damaged repaired from the storms of two months ago, and within two days were flooded again :huh:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on February 15, 2009, 12:51:52 PM
The whole DAB radio signal has vanished in my corner of the world. Maybe it's country wide for all I know. There's no Planet Rock, no Arrow Rock no rock stations of any kind. I'm having to listen to a badly tuned FM station because the local radio station interferes with the best FM stations and I will not listen to Radio 1.
Dammit, where's all the rock gone  :pissed:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on February 15, 2009, 01:00:03 PM
Do you not have a digi box for your telly? There's always Kerrang! if you have.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on February 15, 2009, 02:03:14 PM
Owen, the chippy, has a DAB radio at work, and I complimented him just the other day on the higher quality of the static he was playing over that of a standard FM radio. It really was something to behold. Me, I just stick with my MP3 player - with exclusion earplugs it actually makes a very good pair of ear defenders, as well as playing high quality crystal clear music with no banal yapping breaks between tracks. Ideal :afro:

Cooked pan fried duck with creamed cabbage, smoked bacon and caramelised pears for dinner tonight - lovely :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on February 15, 2009, 02:28:40 PM
The radio's picked up Kerrang and abXtreme...crisis over, well sort of, Planet rock's better...rats!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on February 15, 2009, 04:09:16 PM
Been listening to Thin Lizzy and Steve Earle today. Picked up a gig for St Patrick's Day so having to brush up on my Galway Girls and Whisky Jars.

Dere


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: JonP on February 15, 2009, 04:58:20 PM
Ah, I love Thin Lizzy. "Tonight, there's gonna be a jailbreak, somewhere in this town ..." Like where? The town hall? The cinema? Asda? No? Well, try the jail then ...


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on February 15, 2009, 05:07:06 PM
Not keen on rock music myself - I prefer the funkier stuff on the whole, although I quite like The Script and other stuff that doesn't fit that description as well.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on February 16, 2009, 03:57:06 AM
Quote
Ah, I love Thin Lizzy. "Tonight, there's gonna be a jailbreak, somewhere in this town ..." Like where? The town hall? The cinema? Asda? No? Well, try the jail then ...

 :grin:

Absolutely agree! One of my pet hates is lazy lyrics. There are so many great songs that are let down by lyrics and rhymes just shoe-horned in. I remember seeing a Paul Simon documentary where he said sometimes he'll wait for a year or more before finishing a song whilst he waits for inspiration to get just the right lyrics. That attention to detail certainly shows in his work.

Quote
Not keen on rock music myself - I prefer the funkier stuff on the whole

75% of my listening is jazz. But the other twenty-five is made up of classical and country and rock and rock'n'roll and blues and r'n'b and, in fact, everything save for opera and pop. I still love listening and playing along to the rock music of my youth - Thin Lizzy, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Deep Purple, UFO, Hendrix (albeit I missed him by a few years) - I guess it all makes me feel young(ish) again, plus for guitar students the lead playing of that era is generally a lot more melodic (and hence easy to learn and remember) than what passes for soloing these days.

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on February 16, 2009, 11:12:49 AM
I'm an opera  buff bluff, but I admire the  carefully crafted lyrics of some pop songs. For example These Foolish Things (and I like Bryan Ferry's  rendition) lyrics by Eric Maschwitz is brilliant. Another sung by Bryan Ferry is Smoke Gets in your  Eyes with literary clever lyrics too.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on February 16, 2009, 11:41:02 AM
I'm a total opera nut, can't bear jazz and country, listen to lots of indie rock. Decent lyrics / libretto are vital, and can pop up all over the place. I'm always disappointed that one of my favourite bands (Muse) tends to have such banal lyrics.

I do love the deeply pretentious lyrics of seventies prog rock. "Straight light searching all the meanings of the song, Long last treatment of the telling that Relates to all the words sung, Dreamer easy in the chair that really fits You". Yeah. That sort of thing.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on February 16, 2009, 03:15:31 PM
I find it hard to believe Paul Simon agonised over any of the lyrics I've heard from him, especially on the Graceland album :scratch:

"You Can Call Me Al" - I rest my case :idiot:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on February 17, 2009, 02:28:09 AM
Looks like a quiet morning on the internet - I've checked my e-mails and visited the three sites I regularly look at, and there's officially nothing going on. This is the only post I've written.

I hate months when the crit group isn't operating. It's altogether too quiet  :/


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on February 17, 2009, 03:12:27 AM
I've just picked up a couple of rejections from stories I felt pretty good about. Going through one of those periods when I simply don't think I'm good enough at this writing lark. Yet I also know that refusing to give up is one of the required traits of the successful writer. T'aint easy. Sigh.

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on February 17, 2009, 03:53:45 AM
You're on the wrong sites, Ed. Plenty happening on t'internet. Quiet here though - that's true. But that's not necessarily a problem. Often this site is an oasis of calm when many of the others are full of the most absurd squabbling.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on February 17, 2009, 04:43:44 PM
Yeah, I can't be doing with all that stupid bickering - life's way too short. Better deathly quiet than raucous any day.

Del - keep plugging away. Perfectly good stories get rejected for all sorts of reasons, so don't beat yourself up about it at all.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: JonP on February 17, 2009, 05:10:54 PM
What Ed and delph said, del ^^^

Some of my favourite stories are still out there, searching for homes. The important thing is to keep chucking 'em out. Make 'em work for their living.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on February 19, 2009, 04:28:28 PM
if YOU feel your stories are worthy and they've  squeaked through crit groups like CDs then keep sending them out. There's loads of reasons why mags and anthos don't take a story several of which  are not a reflection on the story's qualities but on what has just been accepted, space left in the mag for a  particular length, other balances etc.

Keep sending, sending, sending.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on February 20, 2009, 05:06:48 PM
Urf - I have to work tomorrow. Five days a week is sufferable, but six is unbearable. Thankfully I don't have to do it very often.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on February 21, 2009, 01:04:05 AM
I'm off at the moment - a well deserved fortnight's leave. Lucky thing, too. Last week the dog spent two crazy nights howling and barking and growling at nothing and kept us all awake until 3.30am twice. Them's the days you don't want to have to get up and go to work in the morning!

And last night my house alarm suddenly started to go off (the internal warning alarm - still plenty loud enough to keep everyone awake, but luckily not disturbing the neighbours) every hour. Looks like the battery has had it so the alarm is letting us know. Thanks alarm, once would've have been fine... but every hour! There doesn't appear to be anyway to turn it off other than tapping in the code... and then an hour later it goes off again. So I've been up since 3.00 am on alarm code tapping duty. Just me and my cup of coffee. Tomorrow I shall either need to source a battery and have a go at swapping it out or I shall call out the professionals... probably the latter.

On the bright side, I've already spent two hours writing, and it's only six am.

Them's also the days when you don't want to have to go to work in the morning!

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on February 21, 2009, 02:23:03 AM
Sounds like you might have mice, Del. We had the same thing happening, and that's what it turned out to be - they were getting in through a broken airbrick. All this cold weather will have sent them scurrying into different territories in search of food, I expect.

Dogs hear them scratching around in the ceilings and behind the skirting boards, and when they can't hear them they can smell them. That will keep them barking and whining indefinitely. If the mice get out into the rooms they set off the PIR sensors, so your house alarm will keep going off, too. Really annoying.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on February 21, 2009, 01:42:13 PM
I heard back from Hadley Rille books today. I'd submitted a story for their Footprint anthology, it made the final list  :cheers: but not the final selection  :(
It is a bit of a downer to get close but not make it, it's happened a fair few times now, but a least they didn't laugh themselves silly when they saw it, which is a bonus.
I like this writing stuff, not sure if I've got the knack of it yet, or if I ever will, but when a story starts flowing, which is less often than I would like it to be, it can even be fun.
Ho hum, back to the drawing board.   


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on February 23, 2009, 05:39:49 PM
That's a bummer alright, but still an achievement to make the shortlist. I've just received yet another rejection for my critically acclaimed Black Pearl story - I think it's probably time to give up on that one ::)

Still, on the upside, I've had a couple of job offers over the past couple of days, but the guy I'm working for at the moment says he's confident he's got enough work to keep me going, so I'll probably stick where I am for a while at least. I said to my wife when the new build work went tits-up that my ambition for this recession is to just keep working, with the aim of keeping our savings intact so we can take advantage of the opportunities it's likely to throw up later down the line. Last time we had a biggish recession we had to spend all our savings in order to stay on an even keel.

On an unrelated 'note', here's Seasick Steve. A man who truly understands music, I think:

http://www.youtube.com/v/Px8R2a7ZLpA&hl=en&fs=1

BTW, Del - you would know this - is that guitar he's using tuned to one chord?


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on February 25, 2009, 03:46:08 PM
Keep submitting, Caz. Have faith in  your work and one day an editor will have a slot begging  for it.

My legs are like jelly. Why?
Yesterday I set off to cycle the 38 miles from Chester to Urmston in Trafford, west Manchester to see them. I don't like getting shouted at on the motorway so I used the Cheshire Cycleway through bylanes and Delemere Forest. I got a bit lost so the journey took nearer 50 miles and just over 3 hours! Today I returned but I got lost in a different place and a gale tried to prevent me reaching home. My face is red from getting lost and from windburn but it is worth it to have played with and cuddled little Oliver - and my daughter!

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on February 26, 2009, 03:20:17 AM
Quote
TW, Del - you would know this - is that guitar he's using tuned to one chord?

Yep. You can do some very nice sounding stuff when tuned to an open chord. The thumb playing the bass notes and the slide playing a melody on top. Classic stuff!

Saw an interesting documentary on Seasick Steve a few weeks ago when he drove round a few of his old haunts in Mississippi. An interesting and engaging guy who - when he chooses to - can play and sing exceptionally well!

Quote
I got a bit lost so the journey took nearer 50 miles and just over 3 hours!

Good going Geoff. Yesterday I set off on a route to tackle a hill that beat me last year... and it beat me again. It was a 30 mile round trip and that took me two and a half hours. I can't figure out why this particular hill is getting to me. It's 14-16% at it's worst, and I've cycled up steeper (though admittedly, that was last summer, and I'm currently out of practice). Some of these hills  just seem to be steeper 14%s than others. Might have to get some lower gears. I run a compact chainset - so smallest front cog is 34 - and I have a 25 on the back. I'm wondering if a triple on the front would make all the difference, although the cost of change would be exorbitant and really it's simple a excuse to stop considering a new bike...

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on February 26, 2009, 03:04:45 PM
That's a bummer alright, but still an achievement to make the shortlist.

Keep submitting, Caz. Have faith in  your work and one day an editor will have a slot begging  for it.

Thanks for the encouraging words Ed and Geoff, it means a lot.  :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on February 28, 2009, 06:48:27 PM
Del, I have a triple and it  helps a lot. I still have to dismount & push my pushbike especially with full panniers. Losing a few kg from my belly helps too!

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on March 01, 2009, 05:29:20 AM
I was supposed to be working today, but escaped at the eleventh hour, much to my relief - I felt exhausted by the end of Friday, and the thought of having to work today made me very unhappy. Annoyingly, I awoke at five to seven this morning thinking it was Monday morning. In my confused state, I cursed at how short the weekend had been and tried to work out exactly what I had done with it. Confronted by the prospect of a missing day, I finally gave up trying to figure out what I'd done on Sunday and checked my watch to confirm what day it was.

Although it was a relief to find out the truth I was too awake to go back to sleep, so ended up getting up early anyway ::)

Quote
TW, Del - you would know this - is that guitar he's using tuned to one chord?

Yep. You can do some very nice sounding stuff when tuned to an open chord. The thumb playing the bass notes and the slide playing a melody on top. Classic stuff!

Saw an interesting documentary on Seasick Steve a few weeks ago when he drove round a few of his old haunts in Mississippi. An interesting and engaging guy who - when he chooses to - can play and sing exceptionally well!



I would love to be able to play like that. I watched a few of his vids on youtube, and he can still kick up a storm on a one string diddley bow - amazing. There's something to be said for the hobo lifestyle. You'd surely get all the time in the world to practise, wouldn't you? Sometimes I wonder how many more skills, how many more books I would have read, how much more I would have written, if it weren't for the combined distractions of work, TV and computer :grin:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on March 01, 2009, 03:06:44 PM

Quote
I would love to be able to play like that. I watched a few of his vids on youtube, and he can still kick up a storm on a one string diddley bow - amazing. There's something to be said for the hobo lifestyle. You'd surely get all the time in the world to practise, wouldn't you? Sometimes I wonder how many more skills, how many more books I would have read, how much more I would have written, if it weren't for the combined distractions of work, TV and computer

The great connundrum! How to fund a lifestyle that will allow one to become good enough to make a living at something whilst practicing that very thing, rather than working...

Here's a somewhat less successful musician messing about on an open chord:

http://www.youtube.com/v/1FeKGZyALNI&hl=en&fs=1

Regards,

Del



Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on March 01, 2009, 06:12:11 PM
Nice one, Del - thanks for that :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on March 02, 2009, 03:27:21 PM
Urgh - first time I've been able to get online today. I woke up to a power cut this morning, so had to forgo my usual first cup of tea until I had trudged up to the top shed in my dressing gown and crocks to retrieve our camping stove. From there I lit the woodburner to get some heat into the house, treated myself to a lukewarm shower, and then struggled to get my van out of the garage, because it has an electric door opener fitted, which I had to disengage and then haul open without the aid of counterweights.

Great start to the day.

Turns out, though, most of our neighbours still had power. I guess just the one phase was out, and it just happened to be the one we're on ::)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on March 03, 2009, 02:53:11 PM
Not sure what to do for the best about placing our eldest son in the right secondary school in September, so any input is appreciated. We had a tour of three schools in our area. One (my old school) looked very run down, the kids looked rough, the teachers seemed bedraggled, and the whole place left me cold, so we didn't apply for that one.

The second was my wife's old school, and it seemed a fair bit better in comparison, but some pieces of equipment, for instance this mixing desk, were still around from when my wife went there twenty-five years ago, FFS, and their gfx department was on Photoshop version four, whereas I've got version nine on my comp. It all looked a bit worn and shabby, and I didn't much like the teachers that I spoke to. This is the school my nipper wants to go to, because most of his friends are going to go there and he seems to think he's going to get an easy ride there.

The last school we looked around was immaculate. The place was built in the mid nineties, whereas the other two were built in the sixties, so the architecture was far more pleasant from an aesthetic point of view, plus the classrooms had tons of natural light, as well as being well heated and spacious. Each of the classrooms were well equipped with new and well maintained machinery, every room had interactive white boards and the computer suites looked fantastic. It's also a C of E school, run by a board of governors independent of the local education authority. The only problem is this school is outside of our catchment area - the first school is the one my nipper is meant to go on to from his present school.

We applied for him to got to the third school and the second school was our second choice. He's been granted a place at the second school, but refused a place at the third.

Now, here's the dilemma - if we appeal, there's a reasonable chance that we can get him into the third school, but he really doesn't want to go there, because all his current friends will be going to one of the other two schools, and because he thinks it looks like hard work there, and the others looked easier ::) There's also the issue of transport. All three schools would require him to take a bus journey to reach them, but the closest place the third school picks up to us is about a mile and a half away, so we would have to give him a lift to catch the bus, which isn't ideal. Then of course his brother will follow on behind him in two years time, so we're potentially looking at another nine years of having to drop off and pick up every day and work it around a workday.

So here's the question - which school do we send him to - the one that's clearly the best, but harder work all round, with no friends to start with, or do we take the easy option?


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Woody on March 03, 2009, 04:29:14 PM
I would go for the one you feel would set him up best for the future.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Pharosian on March 03, 2009, 06:52:24 PM
Disclaimer: I don't have kids of my own... but if I did, I'd want them to go to the best schools with the best equipment and nicest surroundings. Even though I'm leery of religion itself, it seems probable that the third school would do a far better job of educating your kid(s) than the "local education authority."

That being said, you have the issue of your nipper hating you (at least for a while) if you force him to be separated from all his friends. Are his current friends ones that are worth keeping, or would he be better off separated from them? Does he even care about ancient versions of Photoshop? If not, you're going to have trouble selling him on the strong points of the better school. But if he likes his speedy Internet connection and latest versions of software, and nice warm classrooms in the winter, then you stand a chance of persuading him on the merits.

I don't know if any parent can be objective about his own offspring, but the final consideration should probably be based on his aptitude. If he's bright but lazy, he probably needs the push (third school). If he's average and very sociable, maybe leaving him in the second school would produce the best outcome. Not everyone is destined to be a scholar. What does he want to be when he grows up? That, too, should play a part in the decision.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on March 04, 2009, 02:29:00 AM
I'd say he falls into the 'average but lazy' category, and I can't say much about his current friends' suitability/worthiness, other than they're unremarkable - i.e. AFAIK they don't lead him astray or inspire him to any great degree. He did recently lose his best friend, because his parents relocated, which he took pretty hard, so he's had to make new connections with the kids around him that I'm reluctant to break.

When I was his age I had already moved around from school to school all over the country, and I hated always being the new kid who had to fit in and make new friends. It was hard. I lost all my close friends to another school when I moved up to secondary, and the only kids I knew from my old school were the geeky kids, but I remember it not mattering too much when it came down to it, because within a month or two I had a whole bunch of new friends. It was difficult at the time, and I think it will be miserable for him, but he'll get through it, I suppose.

Thanks for the input :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on March 04, 2009, 03:51:25 AM
Second school, without a doubt.

He keeps his mates. That matters. A lot.

It may be a pretty average school, but pretty average schools can turn out exceptional kids. I sent two of mine to the local comp - easy walking distance, bog standard comp, they each won the school cup for highest GCSE results, re-located to a top quality sixth form college after GCSEs, and ended up at good universities doing exactly what they wanted to do. And they kept their friends.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on March 05, 2009, 08:24:52 PM
I'm with Delph. I'm slightly biased, though. I can't stand to see parents who push their kids too hard at everything; it's almost like they're pushing so hard for the future that they don't have time to enjoy the present. I've known kids that are so overwhelmed by their parents' eagerness in their schooling and extracurricular activities that they've seemed to lose a bit of their childhood. It's just my opinion, but as long as my son makes good grades, stays out of trouble and seems to be learning the right morals, I try not to push him too hard. Let him be a kid, and enjoy it!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on March 06, 2009, 02:40:50 AM
Yeah - I agree. I hate pushy parents, especially when you see the distress in their child that they're oblivious to. Too many of these kids go on to mental breakdowns, and there's even the occasional suicide. The thing is, though, with this in mind we've consciously not pushed either of our kids academically - we've encouraged them to enjoy their childhood, be outdoorsy, be secure in their own skins, and have left their education firmly in the hands of the professionals, but neither of them is doing well in school, so I guess we're doing something wrong. We've now been told (in the last year he's at this school) that our eldest has got 'processing difficulties'. Now, whether this is a real condition, or whether it's just that he spends too much time off with the fairies is anybody's guess, but I wonder if a new setting with new friends would help, or make him worse :scratch:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on March 06, 2009, 03:14:03 AM
My other daughter - the one who didn't go to the bog standard comp - has got what you might call 'extreme' processing difficulties. At the age of 25, she still can't talk, and can only understand half a dozen words. She went to a school that always came at the bottom of the league tables, because nobody there ever managed a GCSE. However, it was possibly the best school in the county, and she had a great time. Okay, that's an extreme example, but if your kids aren't doing brilliantly academically, it's more often than not because it's too hard for them. It's great if they're clever-clogs, of course, but if their skills lie elsewhere than academia, then that's great too, and it doesn't matter; the important thing is that they're encouraged in the things they can do, and not made to feel inadequate for the things they can't. Putting a child who is not particularly academic in what is effectively a grammar school, is not a very kind thing to do.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on March 06, 2009, 05:35:05 PM
Second school would be my choice. It was our choice for my daughter. She was fed up being in my clever cloggs son's shadow all her school life, so she didn't want to go to his high school. By coincidence his school was the one I taught at. Her choice was chosen because her best friend went there. Ummm. It was a damned nuisance because she made more friends, all on the wrong side of town - (not wrong side of the tracks) so we spent hours and energy costs ferrying her to friends, them to us, her to all her fads - ballet, singing, gymnastics, horseriding etc all with friends miles away. However, she was happy and did  better at that school than she would have done at her brothers. Happiness is  the key. Ed, you can always join the Home-School organisation and raise funds to update equipment. I just hope the other teachers are better than the ones you  talked to.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Pharosian on March 06, 2009, 10:18:44 PM
Could someone please translate for the American audience what "bog standard comp" means? Thanks!  ;)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Woody on March 06, 2009, 10:31:12 PM
"Bog standard" is almost equivalent to or equal to "de facto standard". "Comp" in this context is, as I take it, Comprehensive, meaning a Comprehensive school; "A comprehensive school is a secondary school and State school for children from the age of 11 to at least 16 that does not select children on the basis of academic achievement or aptitude. "

hope this helps.

all the best
Woody


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on March 07, 2009, 02:46:23 AM
There's another angle to this, too (who could guess such things would be so complicated?). The third school is rural, and the second is in town. Our kids have grown up and been schooled in the village all these years and are very much country kids, rather than being streetwise. Either way, I think it's going to be a big culture shock for them :scratch:

Thanks for all the input so far, everybody.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on March 07, 2009, 03:23:06 AM
The town/country dilemma's probably a bit of a red herring. You ideally need experience of both. I went to a rural primary school, a town centre secondary, a rural college in the heart of Devon, followed by post-grad at Uni in south London (Goldsmith's). Which did I like best? Well I hated the secondary school, because it was a direct grant (spit) snob school, but I loved all the others.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on March 07, 2009, 05:55:16 AM
My daugher's chosen secondary school was rural, my son's urban. It took him a few months but he learnt more than Mathematics and English, etc: he learnt how to avoid trouble and to spot it coming. Yes, it was a school with a rough Liverpool overspill as well as posh genteel Chester. The experience has helped  him enormously to cope with living in Nottingham now.

What Delph says is right IMO. The location of the school is not important although the pupil's sociological intake will affect things one way or the other.  Much depends on the child and how adaptable they are.

Geoff



Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on March 09, 2009, 04:22:31 PM
We're appealing to get him into the third school, with the attitude that if he gets in it's meant to be and if he doesn't then that's alright, too. I really don't know what to do for the best, but after seeing all three schools with my own eyes I think he would do better in the long term if he goes to the newer school.

I've seen it so many times where old staff taint the newcomers with a sense of hopelessness and despair that comes with making do with old faulty equipment in cold, ill equipped rooms. It happens in schools, factories, offices. You end up with a big miserable slug of an organisation that's incapable of inspiring anybody who has to work there towards greater things. I think there's something to be said for new beginnings, with good, new equipment, light, spacious and well heated workspaces - if you give people pleasant surroundings to work in, it raises morale, and the opposite is also true. My gut feeling tells me the third school is the best of the three.

On a completely separate note, something funny happened at work today. The foreman is the most accident prone person I've met in a long while, and today I could see exactly what was going to happen. We're refurbing a pub and making it into a hotel. It's due to open in a couple of day's time, so the brewery lorry turned up today with barrels of beer that had to make it down the half built cellar steps, which are steep and uneven. I watched as the brewery worker rolled a barrel over to Brian, saying, "It's heavy, mind." Brian struggles to pick it up, turns awkwardly, takes two steps down into the cellar, his eyes widen and his body begins to tilt at a precarious angle, he shouts, "Beeeelooowwww!" and disappears from sight, headfirst.

I truly feared what I was going to see when I looked down the stairwell, but Brian had landed on the landlord, who had broken his fall. Somebody lifted the barrel of beer out of the way to rreveal the landlord, who sputtered, shaking his head and blinking, "What happened?" To which Brian replied, " I dunno - I've only just got here myself." :2funny:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on March 09, 2009, 09:29:12 PM
 :2funny: :2funny: Now, that must have been something to see!

Hope everything works out at the school for ya; there's nothing wrong with following your instincts, especially when it comes to your children!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on March 10, 2009, 03:25:15 AM
Thanks for the support, Angela.

How's your pregnancy going? I guess you're at the stage now where you just want it over with :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on March 11, 2009, 06:08:02 AM
'I only just got here myself' Brilliant, Ed  hah.

I'm feeling chipper  cos I have three articles in a book that won an EPPIE Award last week in Vegas. Details here
http://geoffnelder.wordpress.com/2009/03/11/my-writing-wins-an-eppie/

I know awards don't increase sales significantly but it's good to have recognition in the industry.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on March 11, 2009, 10:01:27 AM
Nice one, Geoff.

Reading the blog it sounds like things are going well - keep it up!

Regards,

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on March 11, 2009, 04:04:32 PM
Yep - sounds great, Geoff - well done :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on March 13, 2009, 08:00:57 PM
Things are okay, Ed. And, yes, I totally want it over with! I was due last Tuesday, so I'm pretty uncomfortable now. But it all comes with the territory, I guess. I keep trying to remind myself it's worth it in the long run!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: i_abomination on March 14, 2009, 10:08:09 AM
Finally made the move!  Went from freezin my ass off to baskin in 85 degree sun, and it's been awesome.  Until about two days ago anyway when the rain moved in.  But at least I'm back in the States, and only 10 miles from the Texas border, woo!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on March 15, 2009, 07:19:45 PM
Things are okay, Ed. And, yes, I totally want it over with! I was due last Tuesday, so I'm pretty uncomfortable now. But it all comes with the territory, I guess. I keep trying to remind myself it's worth it in the long run!

A week overdue - poor you. That must be pretty uncomfortable. I hope the birth goes smoothly for you :smiley:

Finally made the move!  Went from freezin my ass off to baskin in 85 degree sun, and it's been awesome.  Until about two days ago anyway when the rain moved in.  But at least I'm back in the States, and only 10 miles from the Texas border, woo!

Good to have you back, Elliot. 85 degrees sounds very appealing to me at the moment - the winter is beginning to feel like it might last forever here, although today was a beautiful sunny day. That doesn't mean much in this climate, though - anything could happen tomorrow, from a foot of snow to near tropical sunshine. Nothing surprises me any more ::)

Still, down in my hole it's pretty much irrelevant. When I started this lot a couple weeks ago, I had to climb down a ladder through an 18" square hole in the snow to get to it. Once down there I had to work by the light of a portable work light, which kept going out. My feet were sloshing around in two to three inches of icy cold water and sometimes flooded overnight to within six inches of the three phase consumer unit and its 440 volts at 100 amps. Yeesh. Now that I've nearly finished all my connections they've finally screeded the floor and put in proper lighting, so I can see what I'm up to.

This lot has taken a couple of weeks to do, off and on, and I'm now on my third day of insulating it:

(http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b298/blunt_ed_d/IMG_0120.jpg?t=1237157575)

(http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b298/blunt_ed_d/IMG_0117.jpg)

Looks pretty impressive, though, doesn't it? Apart from the temporary electrical connections, that is.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on March 16, 2009, 05:12:07 AM
It looks superb. What the heck is it?  :scratch:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on March 16, 2009, 06:20:56 AM
Mightily impressive! Just hope the foreman doesn't stick his head down the hole and say, "Ed, they've decided they want to plaster the wall before you do that pipework. You haven't got too far, have you?"

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: desertwomble on March 16, 2009, 12:24:57 PM
Some people go to great lengths to make moonshine!

DW :cheesy:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on March 16, 2009, 01:57:35 PM
Some people go to great lengths to make moonshine!

DW :cheesy:

Good one, that's what I was thinking!

My computer must be clogging up its arteries cos several sites seem veeerrry slow to load. Yahoo Mail and groups, Cafe Doom even, and other less worthy sites take up to 10 mins to load. However, I am tres busy lately. We've released Escape Velocity number 4 - at last - still sorting the site details but more  or less OK. I'm judging Whittaker Prize entries, emptying a shed in which rats made a home over winter, making ready to go to Cyprus on April Fool's Day for a week's writing shin dig, playing with my 6 weeks old grandson - whether he wants to or not (daugher said: 'Stop buying him toys - he doesn't play with them, he only wants to stare out of the window.' Hah - a born writer!

Must dash

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on March 16, 2009, 02:05:16 PM
It looks superb. What the heck is it?  :scratch:

Thanks :smiley: The big red thing is a 'header' - a flow and return to a massive boiler comes off the right hand side, and runs underground through an insulated duct for about ten metres. On the left hand side of it all the flows to the heating system come off the top, and all the returns feed into the bottom. It's basically a shunt loop. There's a baffle half way up the header to stop the water circulating through the loop at the expense of the draw-offs.

Other stuff there - the round faced things are pumps. The top right one is a bronze pump (£250 on its own) which circulates water through the domestic hot water pipes so whenever somebody opens a tap anywhere in the building they get hot water instantly, without having to draw off loads of cold water first. The red pump under it is the one that circulates heating water through the shunt loop and back to the boiler. The others pump water around various heating circuits, and the pipes without pumps connected go to underfloor heating manifolds with their own pumps. There's over 4.5 kilometres of underfloor heating pipework connected to that header. The things with the yellow handles are lever valves, which shut off a circuit to each part of the building.

This pic was taken before we fitted the big booster pump set and the water softener, but there's also hard mains cold water pipes there, soft mains, soft tank fed, boosted soft, which all got a bit confusing at times. That's only a small proportion of the basement pipework - it all runs around the ceiling to other ducts as well. Then there's the boilerhouse....

Mightily impressive! Just hope the foreman doesn't stick his head down the hole and say, "Ed, they've decided they want to plaster the wall before you do that pipework. You haven't got too far, have you?"

Derek

It wouldn't be the first time, Del :shocked:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on March 16, 2009, 02:06:48 PM
Some people go to great lengths to make moonshine!

DW :cheesy:

Good one, that's what I was thinking!

My computer must be clogging up its arteries cos several sites seem veeerrry slow to load. Yahoo Mail and groups, Cafe Doom even, and other less worthy sites take up to 10 mins to load. However, I am tres busy lately. We've released Escape Velocity number 4 - at last - still sorting the site details but more  or less OK. I'm judging Whittaker Prize entries, emptying a shed in which rats made a home over winter, making ready to go to Cyprus on April Fool's Day for a week's writing shin dig, playing with my 6 weeks old grandson - whether he wants to or not (daugher said: 'Stop buying him toys - he doesn't play with them, he only wants to stare out of the window.' Hah - a born writer!

Must dash

Geoff

And there was me thinking I was busy :cheesy:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on March 16, 2009, 03:17:25 PM
Looks complicated Ed. I've taken to doing a bit of plumbing over the last few months, showers, sinks, rads that kind of thing. Nothing as difficult as you've been up against. Don't think I ever would've tried it if it hadn't been for the pre-soldered joints, they really are a Godsend those things. It's just a way of trying to drum up a bit more work, the bricklaying side of things is dead down here, come to think of it the building side of things is dead down here. Still the sun was out today, it was warm in the garden and I've got a good book. :cool:   


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on March 16, 2009, 06:08:27 PM
I think I'm going to be flat out for the next four or five weeks, but after that it could get a bit wobbly. TBH, I'd be glad of a few weeks off - I'm absolutely knackered.

It's been a lovely couple of sunny days here, too. What's the betting that when the work runs out it'll pee down until I find some more? ::)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: i_abomination on March 16, 2009, 10:55:33 PM
Wow, Ed - that's pretty impressive.  I think the most plumbing I've ever tackled was changing the tank pump in my father-in-law's crapper, haha.

I ended up takin 33 days of leave or so in the process of comin back to the States, but with buyin a house, collectin the crap we need to make it a home, and gettin my car ready for the voyage, it went pretty quick.  So now I'm takin 12 more days off.  Unfortunately, it just makes me want to never go to work again, haha.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on March 18, 2009, 07:18:06 PM
I envy you, and I can imagine not wanting to go back after so long left to your own devices. A taste of 'life how it should be', huh?

My workmate has just gone off to Spain for six weeks touring in an RV. I like the sound of that, but then when you add a six month old baby into the deal, I'm not sure it's going to be all that relaxing from time to time. Six weeks of holiday would be amazing, though. That's enough time to completely relax and forget about work.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on March 19, 2009, 03:45:49 AM
Get a job at John Lewis! It's a partnership so all employees get the same % bonus each year (obviously some are more highly paid than others) but after 25 years you get six months paid leave as a thank you!

I got a letter from our chairman for my 25 years and then promptly went back to my desk.

Del


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on March 20, 2009, 02:32:59 PM
Just noticed that the bit, don't know the technical term for it, that's toward the bottom of the right hand side on the home page, it's the one that say who's on-line and how many people have been on-line, has vanished. Strange, could be those damn greys again I suppose. :shocked:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on March 20, 2009, 03:23:44 PM
Just noticed that the bit, don't know the technical term for it, that's toward the bottom of the right hand side on the home page, it's the one that say who's on-line and how many people have been on-line, has vanished. Strange, could be those damn greys again I suppose. :shocked:

That's probably one of those weird tech glitches that comes with a change of user group. It's something to do with the permissions :scratch:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on March 20, 2009, 03:35:00 PM
Get a job at John Lewis! It's a partnership so all employees get the same % bonus each year (obviously some are more highly paid than others) but after 25 years you get six months paid leave as a thank you!

I got a letter from our chairman for my 25 years and then promptly went back to my desk.

Del

Might be time for a change of scene, Del. If there's one thing I've learned from my years of self employment its that moving around leads to an increase in pay and better perks. If you stay put in the same place too long you can find your pay has slipped behind what others are getting for the same job, even within the same company sometimes.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on March 23, 2009, 08:26:17 PM
I've been a little busy the past week. My little one, Emily Ansel, was born on March 15. 7 lbs 9 oz, and an absolute doll. She had my heart from that first wail!  :smitten:

(http://c4.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images02/89/l_4d6230af6fa049d4a681cff3dfea961f.jpg)

A week later, and not only is our little family healthy and happy, but I've FINALLY gotten the urge to write again! It's like a fog's been lifted. And Emily's so easy going, she gives me plenty of time to write.  :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: desertwomble on March 23, 2009, 09:14:14 PM
Awwwwwwwwwww!

She's lovely! Congratulations!

DW :cheesy:

Er, so I suppose this means we'll be seeing you in the flash challenge again, now! ;)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on March 24, 2009, 03:23:32 AM
She's a beauty, Angela :smitten: Congratulations.

I hope she had a relatively easy birth - she looks pretty relaxed about it, if that's anything to go by.  :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on March 24, 2009, 03:35:06 AM
Congratulations!!!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: JonP on March 24, 2009, 04:35:23 AM
Awwww! Many congrats!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on March 24, 2009, 05:18:46 AM
Great, Angela, congratulations. Now I am a new parent vicariously by being a grandad, I am re-living the whole thing again. When my wife and I return home from Manchester, we get withdrawal symptoms from not cuddling Oliver after a few hours!

Enjoy your Emily Ansel - as you say- even through the wails  :cheers:

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on March 24, 2009, 11:51:25 AM
Brilliant! Many congratulations. She's beautiful. :smitten:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: HoraceJames on March 24, 2009, 07:39:05 PM
Awwwww!

Beautiful! Congratulations.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on March 25, 2009, 03:23:06 AM
Congrats to JonP too ;)

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: JonP on March 25, 2009, 05:29:11 PM
Thanks, Geoff! I'm assuming that this doesn't have anything to do with babies ...


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on March 25, 2009, 05:56:39 PM
Thanks, Geoff! I'm assuming that this doesn't have anything to do with babies ...

Only in the literary sense.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on March 26, 2009, 03:47:27 AM
Urgh - it must be a slow news day. So far this morning on BBC Breakfast News (national) we've had the presenters talking at length about one of the presenter's garish blouse that she wore yesterday. The main news story appears to be about local councils using anti terror legislation to prosecute people for the heinous crimes of littering and dog fouling. And the backup story is a reporter reporting from a school where the pupils have got their hands on a video camera and are trying their hand at... guess what - yes, reporting. They've got nothing more to report than the main news, but still they continue.

What gets me is the bad news the media usually reports is a mix of grindingly, desperately horrible stuff, and important stuff like the state of the economy, but when it's a slow news day, the topics they choose to report don't measure up in terms of importance - they report trivia and they make news to fill the gap :cheesy:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on March 26, 2009, 02:41:57 PM
There was an article in the paper today, it caught my eye as it was about Raymond Chandler, even I've heard of him and I'm no great fan of detective fiction. So I'm reading about his life and the stories he wrote when a few quotes for his books came up, it was this one that made me burst out laughing,  "From thirty feet away looked like a lot of class. From ten feet away she looked like something made up to be seen from thirty feet away."  Now that's what I call funny. What a cool guy :cool:

BTW, congrats Stark. She's a cute little thing.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: JonP on March 26, 2009, 04:26:37 PM
Raymond Chandler is a genius. Forget genre - he is a fantastic writer, full stop.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on March 26, 2009, 05:56:09 PM
That quote made me laugh out loud when I read it to my wife, but she didn't see anything funny about it :scratch:  Maybe it's something men see that women don't?


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on March 26, 2009, 07:34:08 PM
I thought it funny too.

Before the moment passes, my congrats to Jon was over his winning the poetry section and coming #2 in the short fiction section of the first leg of the Whittaker Prize this week.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on March 27, 2009, 04:03:03 AM
Ah, now I understand what you were on about :afro:

Congrats, Jon - well done :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: JonP on March 27, 2009, 04:40:52 AM
Thanks, Ed! Although I fear I may have peaked too soon. There are, after all, eight more rounds to go ...


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on March 27, 2009, 05:13:37 AM
I'm at my daughter's with baby Oliver on one knee, Cafe Doom on the other. Baby is happy gurgling... ah, it was me.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on March 27, 2009, 05:55:06 AM
Quote
Raymond Chandler is a genius. Forget genre - he is a fantastic writer, full stop.

Seconded.



Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on March 27, 2009, 02:05:34 PM
Thanks everyone!  :smitten:

DW: Yep, about to post my flash now!  :afro:

Ed: Let's just say she's well worth it!!!

Geoff: Is this your first grandbaby? That must be great; you get all the cuddling without the huge bags under your eyes from lack of sleep!  :grin:

Jon: Congrats!!!! I'll keep my fingers crossed for you!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on March 27, 2009, 03:53:11 PM
Baby grandson is 7 weeks and going to be a cyclist. His legs whir like mine - bandy and in all directions.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on March 28, 2009, 03:17:42 PM
Don't forget to spring forward tonight at 1am :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on March 31, 2009, 02:58:34 PM
I'm leaving my wife.
Not for  the first time.
This time it's the UKAuthors annual workshop / break to Cyprus. Paphos area. I'll be continuing the judging of Whittaker Prize entries as well as writing and critiquing each others' stories. (not nearly as rigorous as Borderlands Boot Camp). I'm  looking forward to renting a bike and exploring western Cyprus - where Aphrodite skinny dipped, and Akamas peeping tommed.
It won't be easy but I'll try and stay out of trouble.
And I hope my key fits the door lock  when I return.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on March 31, 2009, 03:01:57 PM
Nice one Geoff! Have a good time. I've come to the conclusion that this writing lark is best served by having nothing to do but writing, so the retreat sounds wonderful.

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on March 31, 2009, 03:29:33 PM
Would have liked to have joined you, Geoff, but work is as predicted - busy, still. Shouldn't be for much longer, though. Would have been ideal if it'd been in a couple week's time.

Hope you have a great time :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: JonP on March 31, 2009, 03:37:38 PM
Sounds excellent, Geoff - have a great time!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on April 02, 2009, 06:20:51 PM
Urf - not looking forward to tomorrow. I'm going to have one of my wisdom teeth extracted. I've got five of the damn things, so I'll be back down to four after this. Perhaps I'll suddenly be normal. :scratch:

In some ways it's been good that I've been so busy, because I haven't really had time to dwell on it until now, and TBH I'm not sure how I feel about it. In one way I'm dreading it, but in another I'm not that concerned about it. I'm pretty sure I'll be bricking it by the time I actually reach the dental surgery, though. What would be great is if it'd suddenly start hurting tomorrow, so that I'll be glad to get rid of it, and actually look forward to having it yanked out.

Anyway, by this time tomorrow I'll probably still have a numb face from the novacaine (I hate that) and it'll hopefully be all over with - that's assuming the dentist doesn't cock it up.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on April 02, 2009, 10:05:25 PM
Ooh, good luck with that Ed. Gotta admit, going to the dentist is one of my biggest fears!  :/


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on April 03, 2009, 02:42:40 AM
Thanks, Angela. When he told me, "I think we'll pull that one out," I nearly said, "You'd better get on and do it now, because you won't get me back, otherwise." :grin:

I've got too much else to think about to be all that worried about it.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on April 03, 2009, 02:48:37 AM
Look on the bright side... there has to be a good story in the experience about a rougue (psycho) dentist and a beautiful assistant...

Good luck!

Del


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on April 03, 2009, 11:30:12 AM
I don't think there's much mileage in a story about a red dentist, but thanks for thinking of me. I'm just having my last drool-free cup of tea of this evening, and then I'll be off to have me root tugged. Ooer missus :azn:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on April 03, 2009, 03:01:35 PM
Well, that wasn't so bad, actually. He literally injected me, selected the tools he would use, fiddled around a bit, there was a snapping noise, which made me think he'd snapped the root off in my gum and we'd be there for hours, but I was wrong - he'd finished. Good bloke. Job jobbed. I was probably only in there fifteen minutes in total.

The numbness is wearing off now, and it's hurting a bit, but again, not too bad. I've suffered much worse injury before.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on April 03, 2009, 03:36:25 PM
Glad it went well. Now it's just acase of sitting tight and finding out what wisdom you've lost.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Bec on April 04, 2009, 05:36:54 AM
Glad it wasn't too bad, Ed. You must be relieved it's all over.

My dentist retired this week. I've been going to him for 16 years, and now I'm going to have to get used to a new dentist.  :'(


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: starktheground on April 04, 2009, 07:27:31 PM
Sometimes the worst part isn't the act, but the apprehension leading up to it, huh?!  :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on April 05, 2009, 12:48:30 PM
Thanks, all.

This was my first proper visit to this dentist - my regular one left the practice and moved away. The new one is South African, and very good. Better than the old one, actually. He was a bit of a knob.

It's been a busy weekend, all told. Tooth out Friday evening. Saturday my wife spots a piano for sale in the local paper, for £120, so I said let's get it for our youngest, because I've been looking for an excuse to buy the electric accoustic for my other nipper, but didn't want to get one something without treating the other the same, so we went and looked at it yesterday evening, gave the guy a deposit, rang a friend to organise a tail lift box van for today, then on the way home stopped into the music shop to buy the electric accoustic for the eldest. Last night went out for the evening to watch comedian Dave Spikey, then on to a friend's birthday party in town. Sank a few brews.

Woke up with a stinking cold today, went and picked up the piano - and boy was that heavy. With the help of the guy who sold it, his son, my brother-in-law and nephew, we managed to set up planks from the back end of the tail lift, straight to his front door at one end of the journey, and straight to our front door at the other, and from there into my nipper's bedroom. Only trouble was the piano wouldn't go through the doorway, so we had to up-end the damn thing. Then we went to watch a daredevil stunt show, featuring monster trucks this afternoon.

Now it's 5:45pm and I'm knackered, ready for work on Monday again ::)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on April 09, 2009, 03:11:12 PM
I never took you for a dental phobic wimp, Ed. Hah. The beasts have had too much of my money already but now I've hardly any that have not been filled at least twice.

I've now returned from my writers week in Cyprus and I enjoyed it muchly. I've written an interim account up in my blog. Between you and me I found last year's Northern Cyprus  trip more eye-opening and perhaps more enjoyable simply because it was more 'foreign'. I can't say I approve of the Turkish government's behaviour over the Kurds or  their mysogenic attitudes (in spite of having a woman political leader) nevertheless, the Turkish Cypriots  were  friendly and I enjoyed more exploring the medieval ruins up there. Having said that I did find a flint tool a  couple of days  ago. The area of Cyprus around Agios Georgios where  we  stayed this year  is mostly limestone and chalk. Flint is often found in that  geology, but the piece I picked  up near a  rough  trail near a cliff looked as if it had been chipped to be a small scraping  tool or a rough arrow head. There's no way of knowing whether it was  made 6000 years ago or last month! I am reminded when as a kid I used to scramble around the Cotswolds and often found the odd arrowhead and old coins. I once took quite an obvious flint arrowhead  to the curator of the Cheltenham museum. He kindly took me the basement and showed me rows of Victorian wooden cabinets. He pulled out a drawer. It was stuffed with envelopes. He opened one and it contained an even more obvious arrowhead. Nevertheless, he  took a new envelope, on it wrote my name, the date and the  grid reference  of my find. Then he stuffed it in with the rest. No doubt it is still there!

I returned to find that my grandson, baby Oliver, has  grown and has more control over his head movements. Gaynor bought him a play mirror and he gurgles and smiles at his reflection. I don't think babies have self awareness but he probably considers the image of humans as  hilarious as  other species probably do! Just wait till he discovers it IS his  own face!

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on April 09, 2009, 05:39:17 PM
I'm not bothered by fillings and stuff like that, but all the people I know who have had wisdom teeth out have bleated about how bad it was. A girl I used to know had to have her jaw dislocated to have hers taken out, and afterwards she looked like she had done five rounds with Mike Tyson. Another guy at work came out with two black eyes from the bruising. Yet another had the roots keep snapping, and ended up in the chair for three hours, had chunks of gum cut away, then had to go to hospital the next day to have the job finished properly. Seemed like every person I mentioned it to had a horror story to tell about it. So yeah, I was apprehensive, but I still went and put myself up for it. I felt quite elated after it was done - dunno what all the fuss is about.

Glad to hear you had a good time, Geoff. Did you get much writing done?

BTW, your input was required in the crit session regarding a sci-fi question while you were away - FTL travel type stuff, etc. I'm sure you would have a point of view on it :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on April 10, 2009, 05:10:40 AM
 I had a couple of wisdom teeth pulled out many years ago. The dentist had his knee against my chest and was pulling for all he was worth. It was painful so I bit him. He was a tad pissed off with that.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on April 10, 2009, 06:22:53 AM
BTW, your input was required in the crit session regarding a sci-fi question while you were away - FTL travel type stuff, etc. I'm sure you would have a point of view on it :afro:
Please point me at it?

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on April 10, 2009, 08:17:25 AM
I had a couple of wisdom teeth pulled out many years ago. The dentist had his knee against my chest and was pulling for all he was worth. It was painful so I bit him. He was a tad pissed off with that.

I rested back in the chair and when we were ready to start I reached over and caught hold of the dentist's gonads. Once I had a firm grip established and he'd stopped wriggling I said to him, "Now, we're not going to hurt each other, are we?" Seemed to work like a charm :shocked:

Geoff - this is the post that started the discussion: http://www.cafedoom.com/forum/index.php?topic=2556.msg26796#msg26796 which in turn sprang from points raised in Pharosian's crit.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on April 10, 2009, 09:10:15 AM
It's happened again - a day off work and I knock out two thousand words in the morning. It is sooooooooooo much easier to write when one isn't working. Just wish I could figure out how to maintain such a position.

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on April 10, 2009, 11:13:38 AM
I haven't done  a full crit but I've added my take on the physics and feel  of the story. Thanks for the alert.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on April 10, 2009, 04:21:23 PM
Thanks for your input, Geoff :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on April 11, 2009, 04:50:41 AM
So, how's everybody's Easter break going - got anything planned for the weekend, family visiting, going away?

I hardly know what to do with myself. Being so busy with work over the past few months has meant I've fallen behind with a lot of the home chores, so I'm torn between getting on with that endless list, writing something, or just sitting and relaxing.

Had to go to a call-out at work last night. First time in months I get four days off in a row, and it doesn't work out that way after all. Worst part about it was that it was a waste of time and turned out to be completely unrelated to any of my work. ::)

Oh well... what to do. I think I'm probably going to plant a few veggies this morning, and then do a few chores, and that'll probably run into tomorrow as well, but I think I'll make sure I leave Monday as a day of complete rest. Sounds like a plan :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on April 11, 2009, 05:59:06 AM
Four days in a row for me, too! Yeeha  :cheers:

Spent yesterday morning writing, and in the afternoon took SWMBO into town for a spot of shopping. This morning I've done a tad more writing, some reading and rustled up a fried breakfast for everyone. Need to go and see my folks later. Tomorrow it's my brother-in-law's brithday and wedding anniversary, so it's all round his house for a bit of a do. Monday, chilling and wondering where the four days went. Somewhere in the midst of all that I want to get a few miles in on the bike, too, and play a little bit of geetar, too.

Good days!
Del


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on April 11, 2009, 07:24:24 AM
All right for some! I've been working this morning, but have the rest of today and Sunday off, then I'm working again on Monday. No particular plans. Daughter's away - gone down to London to visit her brother, and then they'll both be going down the Isle-of-Wight to see grandma (my ex mother-in-law). Hubby and I will have a quiet evening in. He's bought some half-price Champagne, so it'll be shampers and the Dr Who special tonight, after which we probably won't be fit for much. Tomorrow will be spent dealing with the hangover.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on April 11, 2009, 12:25:36 PM
We were visiting wife's parents today, taking my son and his fiancee and her little girl. Because in-laws were also having three other  family visitors on top, I knew I was to be superfluous and took my rucksack with laptop.  I did loads of writing :) Then we piled into son's car to visit daughter and my baby grandson. Only when I reached home did I realise my rucksack -with laptop - was left at my daughters! Grrrrr. Guess where my sunday bike ride is going tomorrow?

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on April 14, 2009, 04:54:06 AM
So that was Easter then... came and went and it's now back to the grind. Sigh.

Did manage to write a 5k short that now needs a lot of TLC before being submitted. Bit like my last short (in this month's crit) I fear this may have enough material within it to be better presented as a novel.

Got up at the crack of dawn yesterday and had a really nice cycle ride in the fog. Did just under 30 miles and got hime in time for breakfast and a day's gardening. Now my tender hands are blistered and my legs are aching.

Hey ho, back to it.

Del


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on April 14, 2009, 01:17:00 PM
Sounds like a full weekend all round.

Really enjoyed that four day break, myself. I was still working at home, but the weather was nice and sunny and it was good to spend some time at home, so it didn't feel so much like work. Got my kitchen odds and sods finished off. Stuff like bits of boxing that needed doing and the edging strips between laminate floor and other floors, kickboards on the units.

Dug out one of our apple trees yesterday, to make room for a small vegetable patch. Gave it to my brother-in-law, complete with root ball, so it should survive alright, I think.

Twas back to the grind again today, though. Another few busy weeks ahead, I think. The next month is fully booked, but I'm hoping things will ease off (a little) after that. :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on April 17, 2009, 06:48:00 PM
I signed up for Twitter with my username of geoffnelder. Not a lot has happened. What's all the fuss about?

Anyone else sucked in but found it useful?

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on April 17, 2009, 07:21:49 PM
That's one I haven't bothered with. I signed up for myspace and facebook and maybe another one, but I've never seen the point of any of them, TBH, and I don't bother looking at them any more. I suppose they might be handy for promotional purposes :scratch:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on April 18, 2009, 06:16:11 PM
Made some tasty meals today. Had a couple of toasted muffins for breakfast, smothered in butter and strawberry jam - lovely, but that's not what I'm talking about. For lunch I made us some pita bread with cracked black pepper corms in it, served it with a sauce I made from tinned tomatoes, fresh oregano, basil, garlic, over which I sprinkled bacon lardons and grated parmesan. Very tasty - the kids loved it, too.

Then for tonight's meal I made a chicken and mushroom risotto with white wine and chicken stock, garnished it with fresh chopped parsley and grated parmesan. The kids each had a friend over, which I was a bit apprehensive about, because other people's kids can be very fussy, but they both liked it, and one even asked what it was, because it was 'lush' and he wanted to tell his mother about it so he could have it again - he asked for seconds, too. Result :afro:

Now, if I could just write something worth keeping :scratch:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on April 19, 2009, 02:46:06 PM
JG Ballard. RIP


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on April 20, 2009, 10:13:52 AM
Quote
JG Ballard. RIP

Don't know much about JG, I'm afraid. I think I saw a few films that were based on hsi work, but can't recall reading any of his work.

Does this mean there's a vacancy in the UK 100 Professional Writers list, now...?  :'(

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on April 20, 2009, 01:46:00 PM
Must admit thought the name rang a bell I couldn't think of anything he'd written. It turns out his most famous books are Empire of the Sun, based on his childhood spent growing up in a Japanese prisoner of war camp, and Crash, which was recently turned into a very controversial film. The book was apparently as controversial when it first came out, forty or fifty years ago.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on April 20, 2009, 04:29:29 PM
Ballard wrote a heap of apocalyptic stories, some made it to novel length. Then there's The Wind from Nowhere.

So no one else at CD is twittering?
I'm at http://twitter.com/geoffnelder

but there's no need to follow. I'm following Stephen Fry, along with over 400,000 others. He's not following me - yet

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on April 21, 2009, 02:45:10 PM
I hear on the radio that Tesco have announced they're making a billion pounds a week. They've recorded the highest ever pre tax profit for a British retailer - can't remember how much it was, but it's a lot. Their mouthpiece was busy talking them up, saying how it was great news for the country, and how they were going to pay so many billion in tax, which was going to help the economy as a whole, but there's a very obvious flipside, I think.

Tesco have undercut highstreet retailers with their buying power, we're told they've driven many farmers into bankruptcy by devaluing their produce, and they're even trying to corner the niche markets and undrcut farm shops by offering their range of 'extra special' foods. Petrol stations are getting fewer and farther between, because they can't compete with the supermarkets.

I don't think these profits are cause for celebration. Look down any high street in the UK and you'll see boarded up shops, and on the roads you see demolished garages, and part of the reason for their failures is Tesco's success.

Will the town centre of the future consist of only two or three rival supermarkets flanked by Starbucks?


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on April 21, 2009, 05:38:01 PM
Sounds like a JG Ballard novel...


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on April 21, 2009, 06:02:13 PM
Ah, Dystopia :smitten:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on April 21, 2009, 06:08:49 PM
I've just got home from work, again. Had a relatively early day today - got hom at about 5:30, worked on the house for a couple of hours, had some grub, came on the comp for a while, went back to work on the house, then got called out to an emergency 20 miles away, and now it's suddenly 11pm and I'm knackered :idiot:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on April 24, 2009, 02:49:48 AM
Had a couple of very long days myself with work this week and I'm weary, too. Alas, the pressure and stress is ramping up again. I'd love to do something different, but now is not the time, and listening to the news last night about how long the country is forecast to be in the brown stuff it seems like never will be the time. The list of people I know who have been made redundant seems to grow by the day, and so far only one has found new work - a welder, who is now working in a garden centre about 30 miles away from where he lives. Scary times, all round.

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on April 25, 2009, 06:35:10 AM
  Found a book. It’s funny how they come along to fit a mood.

  This one is about the history of horror, up to the early eighties anyway which is a bit of a shame as I would have liked to heard the discussion on later films. But still, there is enough about classics stories and b-movies to pull me in.

  I’m about halfway though. I’ve been hit with advice, revelations and a simple truth. Monsters lurk in our earliest years.

  I’ve revisited the man with x-ray eyes and swear blind that I saw him take his own. Shared a common love for alien and await the rats and other stories.

  There’s a Pound well spent.   


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on April 25, 2009, 08:28:47 AM
Sounds good, Caz. Not Danse Macabre by any chance? That's a great read about the history of horror.

Been a good morning for writing. Reread the 15000 words I'd previously written and abandoned on a story I'd been working on; and was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't the pile of crap that I'd believed. In fact, I was quite pleased at how fast a read it was, and how I left the situation hanging at the end of several chapters (alas, not all), and how few errors I picked up. I knocked out 1200 more words, and know exactly where the tale is going.

Off to town now to buy some birthday pressies but already looking forward to writing more later.

Hey, I even submitted a story last night!

Del


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on April 25, 2009, 08:41:43 AM
Simulpost, Del - funny that I started off with the exact same words as you :grin:

Sounds good, Caz. It's surprising just how many films and stories we regard as new are just reitterations of older works, so even though it stops at the eighties my guess would be that it's going to cover a lot of the same ground as later stuff. That said, I think the 80s and 90s were the golden age of horror films for me, because the FX were that much more realistic than the older films. Which later films would you have liked to have been in the book, Caz?

There have been some great horror films over the past thirty years. Probably my favourite of recent times was Sixth Sense. My all time favourite has got to be The Exorcist, with Jacob's Ladder running a close second.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on April 25, 2009, 02:38:01 PM
Sounds good, Caz. Not Danse Macabre by any chance? That's a great read about the history of horror.



  The book is Danse Macabre. It could have turned out to be boring, sometimes these history of books are, but with the master at the helm that was never likely to happen.

  The thing with the man with x-ray eyes wasn’t that they didn’t show the eye-gouging scene at the end, that’s my memory playing tricks, but there was this line that wasn’t included because it was too scary, “I can still see.” The film scared the life out off me as it was. That final line, if it had been there, would’ve had me running for the door.

Which later films would you have liked to have been in the book, Caz?



  Terminator is one of the films not in the book which would have made a good talking point. I saw it on first release and had no idea that the android was just that until the words and numbers started scrolling down the screen. I’m not sure if it was an original idea but for me the revelation was unexpected and shocking. It might not make it into a book on horror as the film could be considered sci-fi, but as King says about Alien the spaceship setting is incidental to the horror story and I suppose the same could be said of the time travel aspect of Terminator.   

  A few other films that spring to mind are, Pitch Black, bit of an Aliens rip-off but still good. Aliens itself, a rare breed, a sequel that’s as good as the original. 40 Days of Nights, best Vampire film I’ve seen in years. Gataca, spelling’s wrong for this one I’m sure but it stars Jude Law. An American Werewolf in London and The Others, the latter of which could be described as more ghost story than horror.

  There are many others but sadly too few, as horror movies seem to have lost their way in recent years. I’m no fan of the torture porn that seems to be popular at the moment. I’ve watched a few of them, the first Saw was one of the best, but avoid them now as they appear to be no more than mindless crap.

  The golden age of celluloid horror for me was my teenage years. I watched re-runs of The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, saw endless creatures crawl out off swamps and lagoons and revelled at the spectacular Star Wars. I also saw the Exorcist for the first and last time.         


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Grillmeat on April 25, 2009, 03:12:46 PM
Well its official
My wife and I are grandparents.
Little Shelby arrived at 730pm last night PST.
She is 6lbs 12oz and about 22 inches long with a healthy head of brown hair--which beats her grandpa here as I came out smoother than a cue ball.
I'll be gone to California for around ten days.
Catch up with everyone later. Though I'll have the laptop for organizing all the pictures we will likely take, I probably won't be on too much.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on April 25, 2009, 03:53:39 PM
Congratulations!  :cheers:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on April 25, 2009, 04:23:26 PM
Nice on Grill! Congrats!!!  :cheers:

I haven't read Danse Macbre in years, but one of the things that struck me about it was how in the hell King had time to write it.  It's 500 pages of dense writing - none of that dialogue stuff that enables you to write a page in about a dozen words - and it comes hot off the heels of Salems Lot and The Stand and a bunch of other big books. The guy must have been a machine in those days. A top quality machine, too, because those, and others from that period, are the great books.

Del


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on April 26, 2009, 03:42:22 AM
Congratulations, Grill, or should I call you Gramps?  :afro: Have a good trip.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on April 26, 2009, 05:17:32 AM

Which later films would you have liked to have been in the book, Caz?



  Terminator is one of the films not in the book which would have made a good talking point. I saw it on first release and had no idea that the android was just that until the words and numbers started scrolling down the screen. I’m not sure if it was an original idea but for me the revelation was unexpected and shocking. It might not make it into a book on horror as the film could be considered sci-fi, but as King says about Alien the spaceship setting is incidental to the horror story and I suppose the same could be said of the time travel aspect of Terminator.   

  A few other films that spring to mind are, Pitch Black, bit of an Aliens rip-off but still good. Aliens itself, a rare breed, a sequel that’s as good as the original. 40 Days of Nights, best Vampire film I’ve seen in years. Gataca, spelling’s wrong for this one I’m sure but it stars Jude Law. An American Werewolf in London and The Others, the latter of which could be described as more ghost story than horror.

  There are many others but sadly too few, as horror movies seem to have lost their way in recent years. I’m no fan of the torture porn that seems to be popular at the moment. I’ve watched a few of them, the first Saw was one of the best, but avoid them now as they appear to be no more than mindless crap.

  The golden age of celluloid horror for me was my teenage years. I watched re-runs of The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, saw endless creatures crawl out off swamps and lagoons and revelled at the spectacular Star Wars. I also saw the Exorcist for the first and last time.         


Oh yeah - Terminator was fantastic for its time. I liked the sequels too. Alien was a classic, and again I liked the sequels. I agree that Gattica was one of the best horrors of recent times. Wasn't keen on any of the Saws, TBH. What did you think of Silent Hill and the Resident Evil films? Some great concepts there. The scene in SH where the MC had to find her way through all those demonic nurses sticks in my mind. Very creepy.

Star Wars was, if not the first, then one of the first films I ever went to see at the cinema. Fantastic, especially when you consider what they achieved when SFX was in its infancy.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on April 26, 2009, 07:51:40 AM
Terminator (and sequels) - great. Alien (and sequels) - great. Sixth Sense - great. Total Recall - great. Haven't seen Gattaca. Star Wars (and sequels) - over-hyped load of wimpish shite.

Funniest horror movies: 'Carry on Screaming', naturally; and Vincent Price's finest hour, the totally brilliant 'Theatre of Blood'. Bliss!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on April 26, 2009, 01:22:38 PM
What did you think of Silent Hill and the Resident Evil films? Some great concepts there.

  Silent Hill, now there’s a good film. I loved the apocalyptic atmosphere and freaky monsters. The whole thing has a nightmarish quality to it It’s great for something that was apparently based on a game, as are The Resident Evil films. The scene with Alice and the Dobermans in the original springs to mind, I wondered how she was going to get out of that one.

  A few other modern classics imo are Dawn of the Dead, the original and remake. Twenty Eight Days Later and its sequel. The Ring, the Hollywood version not the Japanese as it has a cheap and tacky feel to it, the story line is good but for me it was much better with the injection of some American money, and, not strictly a horror film but it still portrayed hell on earth, Letters From Iwo Jima.

  I recently saw Romero’s Diary of the Dead and a funny film it is. Not in the same league as Carry on Screaming but what is.

  Thinking about Vincent Price I must track down the film he made that was based on the book ‘I am Legend‘. I saw the Will Smith version, it’s good as is Charlton Heston’s take on the character but both films took liberties with Richard Matheson’s story. It will be nice to see if Mister Price fares better.             


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on April 26, 2009, 02:20:55 PM
I don't know the film, but Mr Price is usually shivery good the moment he opens his mouth.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on April 26, 2009, 02:56:07 PM
Yep - The Ring was spooky as hell, as was The Grudge. I never saw the Japanese version of either one of them, but the American remakes were hellish good in both cases. I love films that give me a shiver like those ones. Excellent :afro:

Letters From Iwo Jima was a good film - captured the madness of war very well. I saw another great war film recently, set during the first world war, but I can't remember the name of it for the life of me. It was set in the trenches and at some point featued a German airship blowing up.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: JonP on April 26, 2009, 06:31:31 PM
Saw "Don't Look Now" again recently, and it was even better than I remembered. I also really like "Cube" (haven't seen either of the  sequels, mind). The first "Halloween" was great, too. Quite recently they repeated one of those excuse-for-Jimmy-Carr-to-earn-a-few-bob things on Channel 4 which was something like the 100 greatest scary moments ever, and some of the creepiest ones were public information films.

Also ... it's not a horror film per se, but has anyone else seen "Hard Boiled"? Early John Woo film, and quite possibly the daftest film of all time. Certainly has one of the highest body counts I've seen. £2 from Sainsburys and worth every penny.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: desertwomble on April 26, 2009, 08:54:11 PM
Caz,

That film with Vincent Price would be 'The Last Man on Earth'. The Charlton Heston version is 'The Omega Man'.

Also, thought the name of the author escapes me, the guy who wrote 'I am Legend' also wrote 'The Incredible Shrinking Man' - two classic books from the paranoid era of American history when there were Reds under the beds.

DW :cheesy:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on April 27, 2009, 02:48:35 AM
Richard Matheson wrote the original 'I am Legend' published in 1954. Matheson helped write the screen play for the story's first film adaptation, The Last Man on Earth, but was dissatisfied with the Italian film location.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on April 27, 2009, 05:26:01 AM
I didn't think much of the Will Smith version of I Am Legend - it fell a bit flat on several levels I thought.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on April 27, 2009, 05:46:42 AM
Haven't kept up with the horror movie world in many a long year - though the kids insisted I watch Saw recently. And Saw 2. From what I can gather the ability and availability to create much more realistic gore and diabolical machines of torture has taken over from the slow scary suspense of the fillums of my youth (Halloween, for example).  Is Cronenberg still making horror movies? I recall throughly enjoying some of his early low budget works.

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on April 27, 2009, 02:13:52 PM
  DW,

  The Incredible Shrinking Man, what a great film. I’ll never forget the battle with the spider. The terror and suspense of it all. Many modern film makers seem to have forgot how to scare an audience in that way and have settled for grossing them out instead. The book is one of the ones King recommends reading, there’s a whole list of them at the end of Danse Macabre.

  Maybe the powers that be should go through the list and give us some proper scary films, ones that don’t involve severed limbs and buckets of blood. It’s the kind of thing I’ve seen too often for it to have any real impact, though I'm sure I'll still watch some of them. I guess all a story really needs are some dark corners and the knowledge that something is waiting there to make it a spine tinglier.
         
  Not sure if Cronenberg is still making movies. I saw one of his films, can't remember what it was called but it was rather weird.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on April 27, 2009, 02:43:05 PM
Quote
The book is one of the ones King recommends reading

I remember collecting and reading all of the books that King analysed in the Horror Fiction chapter of the book - Ghost Story, Julia, The Haunting Of Hill House, The House Next Door, Rosemary's Baby, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, The Doll That Ate Its Mother, Something Wicked This Ways Comes, The Incredible Shrinking Man etc etc. Great books every one of them. I recall he also did a large section on Harlan Ellison and I wa sreally annoyed because I could never get anything by Ellison in those pre-internet days. Times have changed and I now have a great breezeblock of a book called The Essential Ellison. I must read some more of the stories in there... and I must reread King's chapter on him.

I must reread Danse Macabre, too!

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: elay2433 on April 27, 2009, 03:31:57 PM
Speaking of Matheson, another good movie based on one of his novels is A Stir of Echoes starring Kevin Bacon. Not terribly scary, but really good.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on April 29, 2009, 02:30:47 AM
I see the conspiracy buffs have sunk their teeth into the potential swine flu pandemic. Predictably, they're saying it's an engineered virus that is being field tested. They point to the fact it's unusual for a flu virus to start out of season, and not come from the East. Like all good conspiracy theories it's got a second string - suggesting the virus may be part of a global plan to reduce the population, and that the mysterious deaths of microbiologists in recent years could be connected to this outbreak-- scientists who could help stop a pandemic were taken out. Another source posited flu fears could be deliberate hype by governments in order to distract the public from the recession. :afro:

I love conspiracies :smitten:



Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Pharosian on April 30, 2009, 01:56:50 AM
I normally roll my eyes when I hear people speculating about "the government" experimenting on the population for one nefarious purpose or another. But I admit even I wondered when I heard the newscaster say on the first night the news hit the airwaves that this mysterious new flu had "swine, avian, and human genes." My first thought was, "that sure sounds engineered to me."

But as with most things, it's ignorance at the root of our fears. I just went to the all-knowing Google to see what I could find, and lo and behold, here's this tidbit from a  timeline of the progression (http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5iqxiswE34qfOj0C2bUjQ2ilA53Mg) of the swine flu pandemic:

Quote
1998:

An H1N1 swine flu virus containing swine, avian and human genes is recognized in pig populations
in North America. This virus will later be recognized as a parent of the new swine flu.

Holy cow! I had no idea its origin could be traced back 11 years. Then, in  another article (http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/20090427/hl_time/08599189402900), there was this bit about mutation and immunity:

Quote
The influenza virus is constantly mutating. That's why we can't get full immunity to the flu, the way we can to diseases like chicken pox, because there are multiple strains of the flu virus and they change from year to year. However, even though the virus makes us sick, our immune systems can usually muster enough of a response so that the flu is rarely fatal for healthy people.

But every once in awhile, the virus shifts its genetic structure so much that our immune systems offer no protection whatsoever. This usually happens when a flu virus found in animals--like the avian flu still circulating in Asia--swaps genes with other viruses in a process called reassortment, and jumps to human beings.

While I think it's possible for scientists to engineer a flu virus, I don't think it's possible for them to control what happens to it once it's out in the wild. Given the rapid mutation and unpredictability of responses, I find it hard to believe that a secret program could be conducted AND remain secret AND attain any goals reliably. it's not like they could do testing on animals first: the response would be totally different. It just doesn't make sense in this scenario, even if you're willing to believe the government would do it if they could.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on May 01, 2009, 07:36:26 AM
It's been a really busy week both at work and in the evenings. I'd just got into a writing groove and was working morning, noon, and night on a couple of pieces and then suddenly I didn't have two minutes to rub together. Hopefully this weekend, it being a long one, I'll get back into the swing of it all - though I suspect other plans will be made to thwart my solitary endeavours.

Del


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on May 02, 2009, 01:50:17 PM
  I went down the town today armed with the list from Danse Macabre of books to read. I expected to buy two, maybe push the boat out and buy three. I left the shop with one. I can't believe that in a major high street book shop I could only find one of the books on Stephen King's list. Jeez, that's ridiculous. :bangh:
  Still, The Shrinking Man is good.   


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on May 04, 2009, 05:29:13 AM
  I heard something similar to this last night on Planet Rock and thought it too good not to share.

  It has recently been reported in the press that Francis Rossi, he of Status Quo fame, has parted with his ponytail. After the hair cut the whereabouts of the ponytail was unknown. It has since been located, captured and sectioned as it is quite clearly off its rocker.   



Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on May 04, 2009, 02:17:24 PM
*groan*

Shame about the book shops. Cut price books as offered by the supermarkets are all very well, but the scrapping of the net book agreement did untold damage to our high street book shops and, one by one, they've gradually cut back and then closed, leaving only the internet retailers and the supermarkets who sell books. The supermarkets are only interested in the blockbusters, so anything that's slightly quirky doesn't get stocked. Sad, but I don't know what the answer is.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on May 05, 2009, 05:17:49 PM
Heh - today my wife had to write a letter to somebody whose surname is Moosehammer. It's a German name, apparently :idiot:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on May 06, 2009, 09:48:28 AM
Sounds like a good name for a brand of Vodka!

So how is everyone? Who's doing what? Who's working on what? Where's the action at?

I've just finished the first draft of a SF short story, but it's suffering from my usual problem of leaving too much unsaid and relying on the reader having to do too much work. So I shall be rewriting it later.

I've actually sent a few shorts off recently (including two brand new ones that I would have put through the crit group given time... or rather patience!) - and have already had one rejection. A nice rejection though, they said it was fast paced exciting read (this was for The Add-On Man that some of you may recall from the crit group).

I'm also a few chapters into a fun fantasy novel, but I'm unsure of where it could fit - the language is a little coarse for teenagers and the subject matter a little childlike for adults. Not sure what I'll do with it. Also got a cool idea for SF/Horror novel that I'm itching to write - I've plotted it all out but want to go back and re-think some of this plan before starting the actual writing. It's an experiment in trying to get the plotting sorted before I start.

But at the moment I seem to be mining a rich vein of short stories so I think I might keep on at those for a few more weeks.

So lots on in my writing world.

Anyone else?

Del


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on May 06, 2009, 09:59:15 AM
I'm currently writing daily haiku and flashes/poems for the Grail forum, weekly poems for TWI, weekly flashes for Musemuggers, weekly poems for UKAuthors, fortnightly poems/flashes for W4F, fortnightly poems and short stories for the Whittaker prize, plus stories/poems for the Earlyworks Press workshop -- as well as revising for maths exams at the end of this month and beginning of next, so I've had to put the novels on hold for the time being. Once we get to early June, I'll have finished the maths and intend to learn French, plus try some art experiments in different media as I have a painting holiday coming up, and I'm sick of carrying around ten tons of acrylic paints and assorted paraphernalia - intend to go for lighter-weight media instead.

In between all of this I attempt to earn some sort of a living by giving music lessons.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on May 07, 2009, 09:37:38 AM
Plenty on there, Delph!!

I occasionally make some pocket money through music lessons but I think I'd have to do the number of lessons in a week that I currently do in a year to make a living at it - Jealous Del  :idiot:

Had a call this morning to find that half of our team are being made redeployees - one step away from voluntary redundancy - and the rest, including moi, are having to take on their work. "You'll all be doubling your work load," the boss said to us this morning.

That might mark the end of my writing for a while if it really does come to pass that way. Yesterday I worked seven until seven, had some tea, spent two hours redrafting my latest SF piece , and crashed out. It's not a lifestyle that I'd be able to maintain for many days.

Del


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on May 07, 2009, 02:10:41 PM
Dirty tricks all round. I don't see how any reasonable employer could expect their employees to double their workload. It's not sustainable, surely?

Things seem to be getting steadily worse on the work front. One of the builders I've been working for is trying to fire several of their employees or make them quit, in order to get out of paying redundancy. Many of them are due over twelve years' worth of payout, which amounts to a fair bit of money. They have been given impossible tasks to do within ridiculous time limits, insulted, yelled at, had their company vehicles downgraded. It's unbelievable :/


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on May 07, 2009, 03:36:02 PM
Yep, there's a lot of this type of thing around. Fingers crossed the economy picks up over the next few months and the workers are empowered a little more.

Just bit the bullet and submitted my latest tale. I'm trying...

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on May 11, 2009, 01:46:30 PM
My friend kindly gave me some fresh scallops today, and I was really looking forward to trying them, because I've had clam chowder before and loved it, so I was thinking these would probably be of a similar texture. I went to all the trouble of cleaning and gutting them, fried them in a hot pan with some butter and olive oil, and served them with a tomato salsa.

Yuck - not keen at all. Didn't like the texture. I think I may have slightly undercooked them, but I can't see them getting substantially better with longer in the pan. I'm disappointed. I expected to like them a lot.

Edit: While there was still a few left, I tried cooking them longer, to see if it made any difference. The flavour improved, but the texture was still really offputting for me. I worked out what it was it reminded me of - squid. Similar taste, same texture, only bigger. Like a big lump of squid meat. Bleaaaach :buck:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on May 11, 2009, 02:17:08 PM
It's been an odd few days for me, too. Funny baccy, saucy women, a book launch that wasn't. Hey ho. Fun but I shan't repeat it all now but it is in my blog at
http://geoffnelder.wordpress.com/

Geoff
PS I thought I'd already posted this but can't find it. Spooky.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on May 12, 2009, 06:09:58 PM
Wacky-baccy - you, Geoff? :huh: Surely not :cheesy:

Shame the book launch was delayed like that. You probably could have sold a few copies while you were there.

I had one of those painful days today. Sometimes it's like that. I was working in a tight space, stood up and smacked my head on a lump of timber, which took a chunk out of my scalp, which in turn bled profusely. It took three plasters to stop it bleeding. To add insult to injury I then hit my head at least four more times, then burnt my finger - it sizzled, and I now have no fingerprint on my right index finger. ::)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Woody on May 12, 2009, 08:47:58 PM
then burnt my finger - it sizzled, and I now have no fingerprint on my right index finger. ::)
Probably the best way to go if one enjoys the holy herb, especially if you want to foil CIS!  :grin:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on May 13, 2009, 03:13:50 PM
Blimey Ed. I felt the agony in your post, and fancy leaving your DNA everywhere even if you are removing fingerprints!

We didn't set out to smoke  wacky backy but when you amble down the narrow streets lined both sides with the 'cafes' the air is thick, and sweet. Unless you hold your breath there is no choice but to inhale  :buck:

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on May 13, 2009, 05:18:15 PM
Ah yes - I left a drop or two of the old claret behind, Geoff. Let's just hope they don't find any more incriminating evidence there. I tell you what, I'm never going to bury the ashes of my victims in that crawl space again, whatever happens, especially not while the urn is still that damned hot :idiot:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on May 19, 2009, 03:22:00 AM
Went to an appeal hearing at County Hall, yesterday, as part of our attempts to get our son into the school we wanted him to go to. We both adressed the panel, along with other parents, and our appeal was subsequently granted. We were both dreading telling our son, because we knew how reluctant he was to go there, but to my amazement he was overjoyed - he high-fived and hugged his best friend, who now also turns out to be going there, and they're both very excited at the prospect of attending the school.

Go figure. :idiot:

I wonder what his reaction would have been if we had gone along with his original wishes and not pushed for him to go to this school. It just goes to show, I think, that you can't and shouldn't leave important decisions to 11 yr old kids. The practicalities of getting him there and back every day for the next five years are difficult, but I'm sure we've done the right thing as far as his education is concerned.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on May 19, 2009, 04:08:56 AM
He's going to the same school as his best mate. That's all that matters to him. Simple.

Eleven year olds are great like that.  :grin:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Pharosian on May 19, 2009, 09:14:04 AM
Congratulations on winning the appeal, Ed. Having good teachers, top-notch equipment, and a pleasant environment should all contribute to a far better experience than what you described of the other school. With luck, your son will make some new friends as well.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on May 19, 2009, 05:15:39 PM
Good news then, Ed.

Spent a pleasant afternoon leading a writing workshop to a group in a Welsh seaside town, Llandudno. They bought my books and paid me a fee. Now I have a bit of money to buy some roses for our anniversary tomorrow. Altogether with the Awww - sweet.  :smitten:

One problem at the session was that although most of the group bought copies of Exit, Pursued by a Bee only 3 bought Escaping Reality. Some of them said: "Yes that's a really funny book and quite naughty. I recommend it." Apparently, their chairman, who I know from years ago, had bought Escaping Reality and lent it to the treasurer, who then lent it to her friend, and so on - like a library book. Good to know they liked it, but not good for sales!

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on May 19, 2009, 06:50:08 PM
Thanks for the congrats, Pharosian. Cathy - funny how he wasn't his best mate a few months ago, and now he is. Hopefully the friendship will survive the summer :grin:

Geoff - sounds like a good day. It must be nice to have fans who think highly enough of your work to pass it on to a friend. It might not pay well, but money isn't everything, is it? :smiley:

BTW, even with the patchy (crap) weather we had today, one side of my solar panel east-west split shut itself down at 240 degrees Celcius after heating a full cylinder of hot water, for a cost of nothing but running a 40 watt pump. Pretty impressive I think :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on May 20, 2009, 05:47:19 AM
Ed, I envy your construction skills.

At the risk of sounding classist, I had to stifle a laugh on the bus. I clambered aboard to a Hello, Sir from a former pupil sitting at the front. She was too large to walk to the back, where her friend sat. In spite of the passengers in between, the two engaged in conversation.
Though they’re all shite he should see a doctor.
D’ya go to that queer on Glebe Street?
Nah, the Indian at the top.
He’s Australian.
Puss comes out now.
Then a respite as the bus stops to let a family on.
He’s got a bad head now.
Boy to girl. I haven’t got a bad head, ave I?
Girl to boy. Course not.
And green yuck comes out of his ears.
Boy fingers his ear. Mine’s yellow.
Could be causing his bad head.
Girl to boy. Praps you have got a bad head then.
Got crabs too.
Boy to dad, can we get off?

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on May 20, 2009, 03:52:02 PM
They're the type of people who go on to have ten kids apiece and a zillion grandchildren before they even hit twenty years of age, aren't they? :grin:

Another full tank of free hot water today - 300 litres in the thermal store that'll run our towel rails, heat the airing cupboard and give us hot water for washing, etc. It's a great feeling.

People balk at the cost of getting set up with it, but when you compare it to the cost of a second hand car and then consider it saves you money for as long as you own the house, I think it's good value, and it future-proofs your energy needs :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on May 25, 2009, 03:31:12 PM
  I went down the seafront today to watch a bit of the air show. I don’t normally bother as it’s on every year and I can see bits of it from my back garden. But it was a nice day so I thought I’d take a cruise down there on the old ten speed. 
 
  The Red Arrows were good. They scared the life outta me when they come roaring in from over the cliff. There was some helicopters. It just don’t look right when they fly with their noses pointed to the ground and the tails aimed at the sky, amazing stuff really. But the show stealer was the Battle of Britain flight. The wonderful sound of those Merlin engines never fails to hit the spot.  :afro:
 
 



Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on May 27, 2009, 04:47:00 AM
Tacked an extra day's leave to the long weekend to make a nice four day break. As it happened I didn't do much with the etxra day except take a bunch of rubbish down the tip, walk the dog, and go for a bike ride. I failed to get up a particular steep hill (but I will... next time, or the time after) but I did increase my maximum speed to 45mph on the descent. I shall aim for 50 mph soon, but the road was a tad twisty and there were a few cars parked and I didn't quite fancy the idea of someone walking out from behind one of them.

Back to work today...the joys!

Del


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on May 27, 2009, 05:10:26 AM
My cousin belted down the same twisting downhill road on his paper round every day for months, until the day he woke up in the back of somebody's car, covered in blood and little cuboid chunks of toughened glass. There had never been a car parked there before.

I'm having a quiet few days, workwise, so I'm taking the opportunity to do a few things at home, in-between pricing jobs and talking on the phone. This recession is really starting to bite now. I've just managed to get a cheque for about 60% of what I'm owed by a builder, which equates to about two month's work. Trouble is, his cheques have been bouncing lately. A few suppliers have put him on stop because of it and the vultures look to be circling. I'll be gutted if I don't get that money, because I've worked damn hard for it and it's meant to be my cushion against the worst of the next few months. Time to say a little prayer, I think.

On the upside, I've been offered six week's work by another guy that I know, and I'm pricing a few jobs.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on May 27, 2009, 06:26:51 AM
I'm having an enforced quiet week. Half term, so most of my pupils have cancelled and gone off on holiday. That means I don't get paid. Grrr... I don't charge for missed lessons, as that's the way to lose pupils, which I certainly can't afford.  >:(


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: candyo121 on May 29, 2009, 11:19:00 AM
Good morning :)

I had my writers workshop last evening and it was supposed to be our final meeting. Everyone decided we would continue to meet and instead of once a month we will hold weekly meets and critique circles. I am very excited about that, I really like the face to face critiques with people who will give honest advice and opinions to help me improve my writing. The workshops are always very helpful, too. :)

When I got home last night, a friend had emailed me to say I was posted on Twitter with the Tweet the Meat contest they do each week. It's a micro horror site that is a lot of fun, anyway, my 'horror tweet' was chosen as one of this weeks winners. That's pretty exciting....never been published by an ezine or micro horror site before LOL Oh well, anything is good I guess :)

Today I am working sporadically...it's a multitasking day. :)

Happy Friday everyone!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on May 29, 2009, 01:11:11 PM
Weekly? Wow, that's one busy group. I can't imagine having the time to crit that often and write as well. I'm at an all time low as far as my own productivity is concerned. It's getting better as my workload eases off, though.

On a completely unrelated subject, I came home to find my solar panels had got my thermal store up to 75 Celcius by 5:30pm, which is great. That's enough hot water for all four of us to have a shower, and run a towel rail circuit for an hour afterwards to dry the towels, and still have enough left over for other things. All on free and sustainable energy.  :cool: Tres cool


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on May 29, 2009, 01:59:42 PM
They'll be taxing sunlight soon, Ed. Same as they do rainwater...


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on May 29, 2009, 02:27:52 PM
You know, it wouldn't surprise me in the least  :bangh:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on May 31, 2009, 03:34:18 AM
More fantastic weather, yesterday and today. Full tank of free hot water again :afro:

Although I spent most of yesterday trying to track down a fault in the controls for my heating system, made all the more difficult by the complexity of it and the distance between various parts of it, I really enjoyed the day. Found the fault in an underfloor heating control centre that I'd used for its relays (I had wondered why it was left over on the job after apparently being hacked around by electricians), which had in turn blown the microswitch in a zone valve. Spent the rest of the day helping my kids to build a tree house in the back garden, then had a barbecue on the patio, and a glass or two of wine, and watched the final of Britain's Got Talent - voted for Diversity (first time I've ever voted for anything on the TV) and they won over Susan Pustule (can't stand the woman) :cheers:

Now, what to do today... :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on May 31, 2009, 06:41:14 AM
Yeah, Diversity were my choice, too, though I didn't vote.

Been a good morning so far - and it's only 11.30  :cool:. Lie-in till 8.30, toast and coffee whilst I finished the last few chapters of the Spenser novel I was reading, been out for 22 miles on the bike round the back lanes of Gloucestershire which I managed at an average of 15.5mph, not fast by most standards, but plenty good enough for me. Just going to shower and change, and then complete putting a barbeque together. This afternoon I'm hoping to get down to the docks to have a look at the tall ships, back home for some dinner, and then this evening I get to choose a new novel to read. In between, somewhere, hopefully, I shall knock off a few hundreds words on the latest story.

If only all days could be thus.

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Pharosian on May 31, 2009, 06:05:45 PM
They'll be taxing sunlight soon, Ed. Same as they do rainwater...

Urf?! They tax rainwater in England?! How? Or is that a joke? I guess, like here, there could still be meters on the drains, so it wouldn't matter where the water came from, you'd still be charged for the sewerage. Is that what you mean?


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on June 01, 2009, 04:54:13 AM
Yeah, that's pretty much it Pharosian. Tax is probably the wrong word, but essentially there's moves afoot right now to increase the costs for getting rid of rainwater from one's roof. For houses and businesses and so on they already pay, but churches and other organisations, many who've long been exempt, are now facing massive cost increases as, due to their physical size, they collect a lot of rainwater, thus they're going to have to pay a lot of money. I wonder if the costs go down in a drought, or if all the rain storms miraculoulsy miss the church roof? I also recall reading a story about a pub somewhere high in the Pennines that wasn't connected to the sewers, and who collected massive amounts of rainwater for their own use, but they still had to pay....

Derek



Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on June 03, 2009, 03:50:20 AM
In a bit of as funk at the moment. Not sure why. There's nothing wrong, nothing amiss, no major traumas... it's just a feeling of wishing for more, or rather, wishing I was doing something different and contributing more. Maybe one gets to a certain age and starts to look at more rewarding professions... yet the economy and mortgages and other commitments means a simple change of job is not really an option. Which, in turns, leads to a feeling of being trapped - hence the funk.

The writing remains fun, and I'm doing plenty of it at the moment, but even with that I'm always thinking "Let me get this story out of the way and then I can get onto the one that I really want to write."

Sigh. Maybe it's the sunny weather... and I'm inside working.

Del


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on June 03, 2009, 04:29:07 AM
In an angst hole today.

Spent last week moving my 83-year-old dad & my 71-year-old step mum from Ledbury near Hereford to Peebles near Edinburgh. They refused to let me do a reccy. Found the place empty of everything and no one met us with keys. Luckily found a housing association employee who arranged a locksmith to break in and leave a new lock. More by the kindness of Peebles people and luck I kitted the house  with cooker, TV, carpet, phone etc. Arrived home Sat night but yesterday got a phone from Borders hospital in Melrose to say dad is admitted. Seems like his kidney cancer last year is paying another visit. I was hoping he'd be able to enjoy a few years in picturesque Peebles. Still a chance of that. I spent evenings at a rural guesthouse - wrote two chapters of Xaghra's Revenge and judged 19 stories for the Whittake (they are getting  real good now). Did some hiking up in the marvelous hills. Now it looks I might have to pop up there again.

Problem is dad's dementia accelerates when he's in hospital and sleeps most of the time. On Tuesday I'd shown him the cover art he did for the UK's first scifi mag. He's famous now in the small esoteric world of the BSFA fanzine cover art. He remembered details of how he  did that  artwork and the American Indian picture he used to create the space image. It looks crude by today's standards but then I had to help dad pinprick a waxed skin to make it 51 years ago. (sorry if I already mentioned all this but I am proud of the old coot.) You can see  the cover art here http://geoffnelder.wordpress.com/

If I go quiet again you'll know I'm back up in Peebles!

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on June 03, 2009, 02:44:42 PM
Sorry to hear your dad's back on the sick list, Geoff - it must be worrysome for you. Shame he's not decided to settle nearer to your home where it'd be easier to give him the support you want to give him. It seems strange to me that he wants to head up north of the border when most folks make a point of heading south in their old age, where it's warmer by a few degrees, year round. Best of luck to him and you. I hope his prognosis turns out to be good.

Del - I think it's, in part at least, the growing realisation of all the things you haven't done with your life that you had hoped you would, or hadn't realised you needed to do earlier. The narrowing of options as time goes by. That sort of thing. But that might only be me projecting the way I'm feeling. I had thought I would find my place in life by now, but I still feel as uneasy as I did as a teenager, as if there's something I should be doing that'll lead to something more important. Destiny, or summat, maybe? I dunno... :scratch:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on June 04, 2009, 07:27:06 PM
Quite enjoyed today. Wasn't particularly well paid (as in nada), but it's always nice to get a pat on the back. Had a meeting with the builder, client, architect and manufacturer's rep/tech advisor at a couple of properties I fitted ground source heat pumps in. The manufacturer's tech guy said, "You've made a lovely job of the installation." Practically drooling over it. And after seeing the second job and having a talk to the client, et al, they tried to recruit me as one of their recommended installers, feed me with all their leads in the area, etc. :afro: Sadly, I had to decline, because I was installing on behalf of another middle man, and I may be many things, but I wouldn't knowingly step over somebody I know to advance myself at their expense. Still nice to know my work's appreciated. :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on June 05, 2009, 03:59:35 AM
Good stuff - well done!

You're right, a bit of praise and decent feedback goes a long way. And the karma created by doing the right thing by the guy that actually employed you will no doubt come back and see you right, too!  :afro:

Del


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on June 10, 2009, 11:08:20 AM
My dad passed away just as I was phoning his nurse - spooky. My sister said he must have been hanging on until I phoned butbutbut...

Earlier I was able to read him his favourite verses from Omar Khayyam and Robert Burns. Fitting then that he died in Scotland. It would have been trickier moving him to the modern Persia.  It's been tough and I know we all have to go through becoming orphans eventually.

I put the latest photo of dad in my blog and one taken before mum and dad thought of having me.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on June 10, 2009, 01:32:46 PM
Yes, it's inevitable, but I know from my own recent loss that it doesn't half hurt. Thinking of you, Geoff.

Me and my brother and Mum are going to scatter Dad's ashes in the Yorkshire Dales in a few weeks' time. We had a great holiday there decades ago. Happy memories. Feels an appropriate place. We can sit on the top of Whernside and eat Wensleydale and reminisce.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: JonP on June 10, 2009, 02:12:21 PM
Condolences, Geoff. Good to know that you were able to read something to him that he loved before it happened, though. My Dad's 94 this year, and life gets tougher for him all the time.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on June 10, 2009, 02:15:33 PM
My thoughts are with you Geoff.

Derek



Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on June 10, 2009, 03:31:20 PM
Sorry to hear of your dad's passing, Geoff. There's nothing quite like the death of a parent to bring mortality into rude focus. It's a tough time for his widow, too, I can imagine - the loss of a husband, and she's in an unfamiliar place, away from friends and family. She must feel doubly alone and lost. Awful all round.

I get the impression you were a good son to him, Geoff. I'm sure you were in his thoughts a lot of the time.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: desertwomble on June 10, 2009, 09:35:57 PM
Sorry to hear this, Geoff.

DW


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Pharosian on June 11, 2009, 04:16:59 AM
My condolences, Geoff. It was good you made it into your sixties before losing him, though.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on June 15, 2009, 03:17:01 AM
I spent the weekend camping with the family down near Dartmouth. It was nice to spend some time with the kids, out and about, but the food wasn't too good. I made the mistake of putting sausages and burgers on at the same time as the chicken. Course, all the fat dripped out of the burgers and sausages, which turned the barbecue into a roaring furnace, so everything ended up black and sooty, even with me taking it off and putting it back on when the flames died down. So yeah - typical barbecue chicken - black and crispy on the outside and raw in the middle ::)

The second batch was OK, though, once I'd got the hang of it. I was glad to get home and have some decent grub last night, and sleep in a proper bed. Made some leek, bacon and potato soup and had it with thickly buttered fresh wholemeal bread and opened a bottle of wine, too. It was lovely. :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on June 15, 2009, 03:40:37 AM
Was a lovely weekend - ideal for camping, I'd have thought (food aside). I had a quiet weekend. Mowed the lawns, had a haircut, went for a bike ride, had a walk by the canal, saw a few relatives, watched a movie, and did a stack of (not very good) writing. The piece I'm working on is going to be won or lost on the rewrite, I think. I'm just trying to get to the end so I have some raw material with which to work.

Monday comes round relentlessly again. The sun is out, I'm working from home, yet I feel...a little down. No reason. No reason at all, except that I feel like this is it, and it isn't enough.

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: evilthing69 on June 15, 2009, 01:25:47 PM
Friday night I went to an old friend's birthday.  22 years is a long time to know someone, it got me thinking.  That's two-thirds of my life, (I think...not much of a mathematician...still a long time).  Had a blast, though.

Saturday was a nightmare.  Home-remodelers came to fix and insulate the drop-ceiling in the bedroom and install a new faucet in the kitchen...  It got the cats, and my girl, quite upset.  I tried to tell her to relax, its no big deal, but she gets upset over little shit very easily...10 hours worth of little shit  (and 2 schizy felines) in this case.  I personally didn't really care. It needed to be done, no big deal.  Its done.

Sunday went to the flea market, grocery store.  It was a bit hot but nice.  Watched a couple of interesting Spanish horror films and went to bed.  Not bad overall.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on June 15, 2009, 01:30:02 PM
I've just noticed that I can't spell 'potato', FFS ::) That and 'persay' the other day, makes me wonder if I'm going slowly insane.

Speaking of which, I was staring (bored shitless and completely devoid of motivation) from the upstairs window of the house I was working in today, when seeing a fish in the pond made me suddenly remember a weird dream I had last night. It didn't strike me as weird when I was dreaming it, oddly enough. There was a glass tank of water in the dream, approx 36" long and 20" high, and swimming around inside it were two goldfish, and a dog. The dog, I was told, was amphibious, and as I watched, it swam up to the surface, took a breath of air and then swam back down into the depths of the tank, blowing bubbles as it went. It was the size of a King Charles Spaniel, but white from head to toe. It swam around in the tank, just like a seal. I remember saying to the owner that he needed to put a rock in the tank, so that the dog could rest itself without drowning, and I wondered just how long the dog had been swimming without respite.

I got to thinking what the dream might be about - you know how some people reckon they can tell stuff about your life by what you're dreaming of. The more I thought about it, the more I felt like the dog in the tank, you know? :huh: I'm guessing you do, Derek :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on June 15, 2009, 02:08:52 PM
  The weekend was good. I drank some lager, watched a DVD of Valkyrie, good film that, put in a few miles on the ten speed and sat in the garden with the cat and my new best book. :cool:
  Back to work this morning, which is also good. Apart from a few odd jobs I've not had any real work since January so it's nice to be back in the swing of things again. It'll be even nicer if I ever get paid for the work I did at the start of the year. 
   


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on June 16, 2009, 03:13:32 AM
Ouch - I didn't realise you'd been out of service for that long, Caz. Things generally seem to be looking up a bit now, though, don't they?

That said, I've got one builder who's looking a bit iffy at the moment, which is a bummer, because he still owes me four grand. Not sure I'm going to get it. Another I do some work for is about to start a site of sheltered housing, which will either be a godsend for me, or a complete waste of time after he's knocked my prices all to hell. I've got bits and pieces coming in from all angles at the moment, so I'm not particularly concerned. If anything I'm wishing I could have a few weeks off to do some work on my own house. Not too many weeks, though.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on June 16, 2009, 09:01:18 AM
Fingers crossed that you're right, that things are on the turn. I guess it'll start with the building trade and the knock-on effects of recovery will follow the same way they did with the down-turn. But locally things still seem to be getting worse. Each week I hear of someone else I know being made redundant, the C&G has just announced the closure of all high street branches which means a fair few job cuts round these parts, and our council has just announced 300 losses, likely to rise to 500. All in all, it remains a fairly depressing outlook, so any sign of recovery will be welcome.

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on June 16, 2009, 02:33:11 PM
 
Things generally seem to be looking up a bit now, though, don't they?


  I’m not sure if things are on the true in my neck of the woods. There’s still a lot of building workers around here who haven’t got jobs. A couple of reasons for this is that a lot of the new build sites shut down months ago, I guess they paid too much for the land and can’t sell at a profit now, and there’s too many people chasing too few jobs. There are a lot of none English workers in the south east, I’ve worked with a few of them and they seem like decent people. But the fact is the government lied when it said there’s a skill shortage in the construction trade. All that was achieved by opening up the labour market was to force wages down and make everyone uncertain about where their next days work was coming from. I’ve heard tell that there are sites in London where there are no English workers and the people there are doing skilled jobs for as little as £45 a day. That ain’t right.

  I’ve always relied on site work and not done much of what I call private jobs. So when the shit hit the fan I found myself at something of a loss.     
   


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on June 16, 2009, 03:11:26 PM
Must admit I've been very lucky, because I've always done newbuild, too. I made a lot of money in the year to May 08, so I had a good nest egg when the sites suddenly shut down. Then I picked up a steady gig with a business that does refurbs and the occasional one off newbuild. That, along with doing the occasional ground source heat pumps and solar thermal installations has kept me going until now. But that company is feeling the bite now, and has just laid off six staff. They don't have anything much coming off for me for a while at least, but I'm now hearing that the newbuild is beginning to come back online. The company I used to do most of my work for is about to start a sheltered housing site and is doing the test holes for another six spec built houses. I'm getting bits and pieces coming in from all ways, all of a sudden, so I think things might be starting to come good again. Could be wrong, though.

I know Taylor Wimpey and a couple of the other big boys have managed to refinance their debts and have put out new share issues for the purpose of raising money to restart their stalled sites, so that's good news. Like you say, though, Caz - the government needs to get a grip on foreign workers and kick their asses out of the country. After all, there's no point in us having another million British workers on the dole when their jobs are being done by Russians, Czecs, Lithuanians and Poles, who send the money home. So their taxes aren't even going to support the people they've put out of work. I've seen their work, too - and it isn't good. It's cheap, but it's shoddy.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Pharosian on June 16, 2009, 11:00:35 PM
- the government needs to get a grip on foreign workers and kick their asses out of the country. After all, there's no point in us having another million British workers on the dole when their jobs are being done by Russians, Czecs, Lithuanians and Poles, who send the money home. So their taxes aren't even going to support the people they've put out of work.

Like that's going to happen! Any more than the US government is going to do anything about all the illegal immigrants from Mexico that have slithered in over the past decade or two. Not only were they not vigilant in keeping them out in the first place, I think they deliberately allowed the situation to develop, hoping nobody would notice until it was too late to do anything substantive about it. Here's why, and why the two situations are similar: the grand scheme is for the standard of living worldwide to become more uniform. In order for that to happen, our standards (US, UK, Western Europe) must decrease, and theirs (Mexico, Eastern Europe) must increase. Hence the massive outflow of money from workers in the US and UK back to their home countries. Hence the enormous pressure on West Germany to bring East Germany up to snuff after the wall fell, and for it to finance much of the eastern bloc today. Germany isn't happy about it, having been fiscally responsible compared to some of the other EU member nations... But if you look at what's going on today through the lens of redistribution of wealth, you'll see that it has nothing to do with what's good for any given sovereign nation, and all about what's good for "the global economy" -- read "The New World Order."


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on June 17, 2009, 02:57:40 AM
I don't know if there's actually a foreign policy behind it - I think it could be simpler than that. I think the rich are always hankering after a bargain, and if getting one means exploiting somebody somewhere, they don't seem to care. That could be because they feel as if everybody is always trying to rip them off. I know a few millionaires, and they're all the same.

The contractors have been as much to blame, though, because their prices have rocketed to the point where they aren't affordable. But that's capitalism in a nutshell, isn't it? The free market economy is dependent upon competition, and when the balance between supply and demand becomes unequal the whole thing falls apart.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on June 18, 2009, 01:03:30 PM
Quiet day here, I see. No posts since Del's at about 8am this morning. Must be holiday season, or summat :scratch:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on June 18, 2009, 03:24:12 PM
Just plugged the laptop in to do a spot of writing. Holiday season is still a month and a half away for me.  :(

Del


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on June 19, 2009, 03:10:41 AM
Toothache season, more like. Hard to write with a throbbing jaw.  :/


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on June 19, 2009, 08:19:14 AM
Toothache season, more like. Hard to write with a throbbing jaw.  :/

True - every time I try to write with a throbbing jaw I tend to hit five or six keys at the same time. I suppose my chin could do with being pointier :scratch:

I hope you feel better soon, Delph :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on June 19, 2009, 08:42:00 AM
Thanks Ed. I'll stop moping soon. Promise.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on June 20, 2009, 03:23:30 PM
Quiet day here, I see. No posts since Del's at about 8am this morning. Must be holiday season, or summat :scratch:
Been too busy charging up and down the motorways to Scotland and back for my dad's moving house two weeks ago and then his funeral on Monday. Plus the writing muse has left me though family and friends said I created and delivered a fitting eulogy. I know throwing myself back into the last chapters of my fantasy will help - dad enjoyed me telling him about it. Then day before yesterday I cycled the 45 miles to manchester to help daughter with baby Oliver. I was the only bloke at the Rhyme and Time session in Davyhulme library with 15 women and 18 tots! My dad used to do that too so it was fitting. Plus I can see my dad in baby Oliver - nosing at any new scenery.

Thanks to the Whittaker judging though. A great distraction and all the entries are so well written and imaginative. A pleasure to read - shame to have to allocate marks.

I'll be back.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on June 20, 2009, 03:44:01 PM
Nice to see you dropping in, Geoff. It must have been quite a week for you - hectic as well as harrowing. Very tiring. A good time to spend with family and friends, though. I think it helps when you're grieving, if there's anything that really can help with it.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on June 21, 2009, 10:34:00 AM
Happy Father's Day to all the dads :dance:

I'm marking the day by sitting here and trying to write something, for once, while the kids are at scout camp and my wife's hopelessly lost on the way to pick them up, two hours late, ringing me in a panic every five minutes asking what to do with the satnav to make it tell her where the place is, and I'm also in charge of cooking the dinner. Meh... if there's no peace for the wicked I guess I must be downright ferkin evil :scratch:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Pharosian on June 21, 2009, 02:05:34 PM
Happy Father's Day to all the dads :dance:

Meh... if there's no peace for the wicked I guess I must be downright ferkin evil :scratch:

Hope you enjoy your Father's Day, anyway, Ed!

Over here, the way I learned the phrase is, "There's no rest for the wicked and the righteous don't need any." So maybe you're in the latter camp...


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on June 22, 2009, 03:41:23 PM
Umm, no, but thanks for the thought :afro:

Just finished making some elderflower champagne (the first step, anyway). Went out and picked the flowers last night, but didn't have any white wine vinegar, so had to wait until today. It's busily steeping as we speak. Can't wait to try it. I love elderflower wine, too, but it's a bit more involved.

Funny, I was reading up on recipes for the stuff, and I read that Elderflowers contain a substance that fights off flu. Apparently it's the same chemical that's in Tamiflu. It bonds to the part of the flu virus that invades cells and spreads the infection, and in doing so negates it and stops it doing what it's meant to. So the next time you have the flu, or even if you think you might be at risk, I suggest you get yourself well and truly shitfaced on elderflower champagne, wine, or elderberry wine, and if anybody asks why you're led, sprawled, face down in a pool of your own juices, just tell them it's purely medicinal and Doctor Ed said it was fine :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on June 24, 2009, 06:57:31 PM
Typically, I've now come down with a cold. Managed to avoid getting one all through the coldest winter we've had for years and get one in the warm weather. WTF's that about? ::)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on June 26, 2009, 08:25:46 AM
 :scratch: Somebody do me a favour, please - I'm the only person who has posted since I upgraded the forum, and I'm now wondering whether everybody is just going through a lurking phase, or whether there was a glitch after all and I'm the only person who's able to post. Somebody say something, or send me an email to tell me they can't on blunted at cafedoom dot com. Thanks.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on June 26, 2009, 08:37:54 AM
No problem posting from here, Ed.  :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on June 26, 2009, 08:40:15 AM
Thanks, Delph :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SharonBell on June 26, 2009, 09:04:12 AM
I see we have a new member: "buygenericviagraonline"

Is he a dickhead?


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: desertwomble on June 26, 2009, 09:33:37 AM
I see we have a new member: "buygenericviagraonline"

Is he a dickhead?

Nah! He's a limp biscuit!

Dw :cheesy:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on June 26, 2009, 02:33:40 PM
I sweated buckets today, damn it's hot. Got caught in the rain, that was cool, and heard that 125 people phoned up for a plastering job. It's good to hear that the economy's on the mend. :pissed:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on June 29, 2009, 06:38:40 AM
If my bike has a puncture I know straight away by the banging on the road followed by the bike and me lurching into the hedge. Still a hassle cos my fingers aren't so strong and the tyres so damned tight these days.

On our car, it's not so easy to tell if you have a puncture. At Tesco's carpark I thought the near rear tyre looked flatter than the others but kicking it sounded the same. I drove home not exceeding 60 - mostly - and then checked the pressures. Aarrrgh, 10 psi if that instead of the 30 it should be. Fancy being able to drive with a flat tyre - amazing.

Took it to ATS, who had a special offer making them cheaper than QuickFit for a change. I left it with them so I could buy a paper. On my return they said there was a nail - Mr Nelder. Umm, how did they know my name? If they put in my car reg and found it on computer isn't that a breach of the Data Protection Act? I was about to query when I noticed he was grinning. The mechanic poked his head round the door: Remember me, Mr Nelder? You taught me Geography in the 90s.
 I didn't remember him. I taught over 5,000 people in 30 years. Many I do recall even their names - the very good, and the very bad.
So it goes.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on June 29, 2009, 06:51:57 AM
"If my bike has a puncture I know straight away by the banging on the road followed by the bike and me lurching into the hedge." You know what -- that would be a brilliant story opening. Here's me, trying to get inspiration for the last round of the Whittaker, and I read your sentence, and think 'yes!' swiftly followed by, 'oops, no!'. On the one hand, I'm delighted that you're judging the contest, but on the other, it's bloody infuriating. Not that I would nick your sentence, of course. Perish the thought. But still...


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on June 30, 2009, 03:13:05 AM
Scary to think a single teacher influences 5,000 kids in 30 years - imagine the widespread damage a bad one could do. The former student obviously had fond memories of you, though Geoff, otherwise I'm sure he would have had something to say about it. Tyre fitters aren't known for their reserve or finesse, are they? :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on July 02, 2009, 04:00:16 AM
Is it me, or is the depression getting worse? Last few days I've heard that Lloyds and Virgin are cutting jobs as are Diageo and Corus, as are three engineering companies with local depots round these parts. Pearsons are asking people to work for nowt - something BA have already done. Jaguar land Rover want to delay paying people. All of this on top of everything else that has already happened. Every time someone mentiones greenshoots then the next week seems to be full of even more gloom. I wonder where it's all going to end?

Having said that, I know two people who have bought new cars (and not cheap ones either) over the last two days, so there is some money still out there.

D


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on July 02, 2009, 06:18:58 AM
Morning all.  I live in Scunthorpe, which is 'renowned' for the massive steelworks we have, and that's owned by Corus.  500 people are losing their jobs, apparently.  My friend who works there was told they'll all know in 90 days who keeps their jobs and who goes, which is scary for him because he's just become a dad, and obviously needs the money now more than ever.

I'm not really bothered by politics, but when something like this recession hits, it's hard not to take notice.  In my town, for instance, there are so few jobs that the amount of people applying for them is so insane it's almost not worth bothering in the first place.  Almost.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on July 04, 2009, 06:21:40 PM
I think it might be getting worse in certain areas, but around here (dare I say it?) things seem to be picking up a bit. House prices are holding firm, and some reports even say they're rising slightly.

What I really don't understand is why companies like BT feel the need to lay off thousands of workers - how is the recession affecting them as a company? Surely the infrastructure work carries on regardless of outside factors, and I'd have thought revenues are hardly changed from what they were a year ago. Maybe I'm missing something, but I really don't get why they have to lay people off.

Corus I can understand, because demand for steel has dropped right off with manufacturing industry winding down.

The drop off in construction must have wide ranging effects, too, because it's the biggest industry in the country, employing more people than any other, so when that workforce is kicking their heels the knock on effect must be felt in the retail sector. Perhaps that's part of the reason why our highstreets are suddenly full of boarded up shops? More seem to be closing down every week. It's quite alarming to see.

I'm still scraping by on the work front, helped in part by specialising in new technologies, namely heat pumps and solar panels. I'd dearly love to take some time off, but daren't right now, because I feel like I have to keep going in case the work dries up and I need my savings for us to live on. Can't feel too sorry for myself, though - there are plenty of people worse off than me.

I'll be very glad when things get back to normal, all the same.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on July 05, 2009, 01:52:16 PM
I heard the other day about another small building firm that's gone bust. Not sure of the reasons behind it but a guy I know who worked there hasn't got a hope in hell of seeing his last two weeks wages. It's always the guys at the sharp end who get shafted. The bosses haven't got any money to pay out what they owe but they all live in big houses and drive flash cars, strange that.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on July 05, 2009, 02:05:47 PM
Yeah, I was surprised to find out how easy it is for a company to go bust and then spring back up the following day with the same premises, vans and tools, etc. The directors do it by privately buying all these things and then leasing them back to the company. That way they make an income from all these things as well as drawing a salary. Then when the going gets tough they shaft the little guy who works for them and all their suppliers, while their liability is limited to only £1500 by the companies act. They walk away with everything, leaving the empty shell of a company behind them. And the worst part is it's all perfectly legal.

The average working man can't afford to lose two week's money, especially when it's followed by unemployment. They are the people who end up losing their houses.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on July 06, 2009, 02:59:16 AM
I'm really glad we made the effort to get our kids interested in learning a musical instrument. It doesn't seem like very long ago that they were complete novices, but more and more lately I've been turning down or off whatever I'm listening to so I can hear one of them practising. The eldest play guitar, and the youngest plays keyboards/piano - it's him that I'm listening to as I write this. He's playing the piano beautifully. Not a note out of place, perfect tempo, soothing, melodic. Great stuff. Wish I could play something.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on July 06, 2009, 05:30:35 AM
I've been in bands for 15 years and I still wish I could play an instrument  BOOM BOOM!  But seriously, I'm very good  :cheesy:

Now, on with helping my dad paint a fence! 


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on July 06, 2009, 07:58:40 AM
My son, Robert, played sax and clarinet - not simultaneously, though I did suggest it - for the Chester Schools Concert Band. He travelled Europe with them and particularly enjoyed a gig above the Arctic Circle at the Norwegian rocket range place. My daughter played flute. Both kids accompanied my efforts on piano and it succeeded in keeping cats and vermin from venturing near.

Agreed, Ed, it's great to hear your offspring springing off musically.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on July 07, 2009, 03:39:13 AM
Quote
My son, Robert, played sax and clarinet - not simultaneously, though I did suggest it

Check out Roland Kirk! One of my favourite artists. Sadly a lot of people don't see beyond the two/three horns at once gimmick and realise that the musical mind behind this astonishing physical facility is one of the greatest that ever lived.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on July 07, 2009, 05:28:08 PM
I have just taken on the role of administrator and equal partner at small press, Bewrite Books.
http://bewrite.net
It's a challenging job and puts me on the other side of the desk from being a writer. I'm told that once established I'd only need to spend a couple of hours per week day at the job then I'd have plenty of time for writing my own stuff. I'll have to represent the company at book fairs in London, Frankfurt and  America, which might be interesting. BeWrite currently don't  publish many scifi or fantasy books except as favours to editors and friends such as John Grant. I intend to establish a sci fi and fantasy imprint. Not sure any of my work would be published by BeWrite though. My earlier humorous thriller was rejected.

If I recall correctly, Ed and I first met in the BeWrite forum. In fact BeWrite started about 10 years ago as a writers' community but the owners, Neil Marr and his son, Alex, used it to launch the small press, mainly print-on-demand literary novels. We are to experiment with some short print runs too.

Full press release is in my blog and written by Neil Marr.  http://geoffnelder.wordpress.com/

Wish me luck - please.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on July 07, 2009, 05:34:29 PM
Oodles of luck, Geoff. You'll do a fantastic job.  :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on July 07, 2009, 05:52:28 PM
Absolutely - loads of luck and congratulations to you, Geoff. I'd say you were made for the job and vice versa. Exciting times ahead for you and Neil.

BeWrite Books forum was one of the first writing forums I joined, and I have some happy memories of the place, though sadly I joined quite near the end. It was where I met a few people for the first time - Geoff, Delph, Donna, Robert Blevins, Neil, of course, among a few others.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: JonP on July 07, 2009, 06:14:18 PM
Huge congrats, Geoff and the very best of luck to you!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on July 07, 2009, 06:24:12 PM
Les Floyd we met first at  BeWrite too, and Sally Quilford. I've met those in person and Donna, Cait and Alex Marr. I sometimes visit authors I meet on forums when I travel around on my cycling tours.

Thanks for the best wishes. I need them, especially in the first few months / years!

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on July 08, 2009, 03:03:43 AM
Cracking news, Geoff. I'm sure you'll do a splendid job!

Congratulations,
Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on July 11, 2009, 09:05:47 AM
Spending today clearing out my garage and moving lots of stuff around. Looked at my elderflower champagne bottles and found they're ready to drink, having been bottled for more than 14 days, so I decided to try one of the smaller bottles to see whether it worked. The cork came out with an impressive POP! of pressure, and as I poured the contents into champagne flutes, it fizzed like the real thing :dance: Tastes lovely, too.

For lunch I made us minute steaks, cooked on a griddle pan and basted with garlic butter, served with fresh minted peas, fried onions, and proper home made chips, par boiled, par fried, and then deep fried. Gorgeous, especially when washed down with some elderflower champagne :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on July 11, 2009, 12:31:32 PM
Where was it you live again? Think I'm coming round for lunch next weekend  :grin:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: SharonBell on July 11, 2009, 01:06:10 PM
Hooray! Work is good!  :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: desertwomble on July 11, 2009, 02:03:00 PM
Where was it you live again? Think I'm coming round for lunch next weekend  :grin:

Is that lunch with lashings and lashings of Jerusalem artichokes?

DW :cheesy:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on July 11, 2009, 03:56:38 PM
Strangely, I don't have any yearning to try them :scratch:



Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on July 11, 2009, 05:05:24 PM
After two years since starting it, this evening I wrote The  End  of my magic realism novel, Xaghra's Revenge. Oodles of fieldwork research on Gozo and in various Mediterranean museums and it's  104k words. It's going through the BSFA crit group and I'm sure to lacerate at least 4k. I already know the chapters are too long - at  least in accordance of the mini-chapters now prevalent in contemporary novels. So still much work but it felt good to write those two words.

My wife was in York these two days teaching rocket science to physics teachers. Imagine our in-family jokes about things being as simple as... On the way to Chester station to pick her up tonight, it was raining. So the thousands of well-dressed Chester race goers presented a cross between a wedding reception and a wet T-shirt competition  :bleh:

At the station carpark I had to swerve to avoid two suits brawling in the street puddles. I reckon their suits cost more than all my clothes, but they'll need dry cleaning now!

An eventful day,
Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on July 11, 2009, 06:19:43 PM
Congrats on finishing your novel, Geoff - I hope you find a good home for it soon :smiley:

Had to chuckle at your comment about your wife teaching rocket science to teachers. I can't imagine what it must be like to have a super intelligent wife. Mine has many fine attributes, but I've yet to find anything she knows much about, apart from soap operas. I encouraged her to do 'O' Level law, years ago, when her employers said they'd train her to be a legal exec if she could pass the 'O' Level. She took the evening course but dropped out after just a few weeks - kept falling asleep during lessons. That was twenty-two years ago, and she hasn't had, let alone fulfilled any academic or career ambitions in the meantime.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on July 12, 2009, 06:51:40 AM
Excellent news on the novel, Geoff. Fingers crossed all that work pays off.

Just come back from a Sunday morning bicycle ride. Did 50 miles round the country lanes, over a corner of the Malverns and back through a pretty horrendous storm. My legs were aching pretty badly by the last few miles but it feels good to have done  all those miles, and still be home by 11:00am for coffee and toast.

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on July 12, 2009, 11:08:17 AM


Just come back from a Sunday morning bicycle ride. Did 50 miles round the country lanes, over a corner of the Malverns and back through a pretty horrendous storm. My legs were aching pretty badly by the last few miles but it feels good to have done  all those miles, and still be home by 11:00am for coffee and toast.

Derek
Agreed completely. Marvelous to have conquered self doubts after looking at the hills, the distant cumulo-nimbus and felt the headwind but so exhilirating to have achieved it. Better than sex. Well...

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on July 13, 2009, 05:20:17 AM
Got up super early to help my dad with some gardening (now he's retired it's all he does), only to find he doesn't need me yet  ::) it's a lovely day in Scunthorpe, just right for a spot of re-turfing  :grin:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on July 24, 2009, 02:40:30 PM
There was a bang like a bomb going off, then a rattling against the window like machine gun fire and I instantly thought the north Koreans had invaded. But no, it's just another British summer time storm, oh joy. :pissed:   


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on July 24, 2009, 02:43:57 PM
Yeah, we had that thunder and toronto rain this afternoon. Good old fashioned English summer. Can't wait to get away  ::)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on July 26, 2009, 06:07:52 PM
Well, after yet another driche day (overcast grey, with constant pelting rain) I finally decided - to hell with it, I'm booking a holiday. So in a few week's time I'll be winging my way to Pisa, en Italia, for a few days, and then on to Florence for a week in a nice secluded villa, with its own pool, and views over the Tuscan hills :dance:

Cost an arm and a leg, but what the hell - life's short, isn't it?


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on July 27, 2009, 02:32:39 AM
Sounds idyllic, Ed. Definitely the right decision.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on July 27, 2009, 02:34:49 AM
Just done the same here, Ed. A week in the Algarve. Like you said, cost a bit, but what the hell!

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Woody on July 28, 2009, 06:52:21 PM
Ed - is anyone looking after CD whilst you're gone?


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on July 29, 2009, 02:36:39 AM
I generally manage to find internet access and pop in once or twice every couple of days, Woody. Derek has mod status for anything that crops up on the board, too, but it pretty much runs itself, TBH.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on July 29, 2009, 03:24:43 PM
Good for you, Ed, and Del. We're not gonna need our passport until October. What a wet summer! My feet are going rusty.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on July 29, 2009, 06:06:52 PM
It's been a really awful month for weather, hasn't it? I thought it felt quite autumnal today. Last year was possibly worse, though.

Re the hols - the Algarve is a good choice, Del. It's only about an hour's flight from London, isn't it? Hard to believe that few hundred miles could make such a huge difference in weather.

I thought about putting off our hols until October, too. It's both cheaper and cooler then, which suits me fine. I used to take my hols in May and October for that reason. This year I don't think I could make it to October without some respite, though. I feel bone tired after the year I've had. I'm still managing to keep going on the work front, but I think it's getting progressively harder. Week by week I'm hearing of more and more people losing their jobs. I don't think the recession has bottomed out yet.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on July 30, 2009, 03:36:45 AM
Quote
This year I don't think I could make it to October without some respite, though. I feel bone tired after the year I've had

Same here. It's been a very long and very stressful year. Maybe it's because the holiday is just days away so I'm mentally preparing for it, but I don't think I could make it another week, let alone a few months.

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on August 11, 2009, 05:27:34 AM
Welcome back, Del - how was it? I hope you enjoyed yourselves and came back relaxed and happy :smiley:

I'm off later today. Staying in a hotel near the airport tonight, and then flying out at about 7am tomorrow morning. I'm not sure when I'll next get internet access, so can I hand the crit group batten to you for the next few days, please, Del? There is a few ongoing dicussions, and another four threads that can go into week 2 if you can think of a discussion topic to go with them. It's not always possible to think of one, so don't worry too much if you can't.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on August 11, 2009, 05:39:42 AM
Yep, no problem, Ed. I'll try and keep things ticking along. Have a great break yourself!

Portugal was great. Totally relaxing. A tad hot for old pale face Del, but we had our own pool so there was no problem in staying cool. Excellent food - especially the local Piri Piri chicken. The driving experience was wonderful. Had a nice little Peugeot and I think there are only about other six cars in the whole of Portugal. No traffic jams, no trouble with parking. Only traffic jam I came across was back in Wales after we landed - masses of tailbacks on the M4. Sigh.

Plyaed lots of chess around the pool, taught the boy some card tricks, and read a couple of books out there. One non-fiction book on Remote Viewing which was very interesting and is a subject that warrants further investigation, and another that was an object lesson in what happens when an author doesn't adhere to Elmore Leonard's advice of "Missing out the bits that people skip". It was a six hundred page book that not only changed viewpoint (I hate that - a book starts in the third person limited, then jumps to an omniscient narrator who had a view of the moment of creation, and then jumps to a first person hard-boiled PI narrator and thereafter moves between them) but was also filled with so much redundant prose that I found myself skimming great swathes of it. In the end I skipped the last two hundred pages and left it in the living room cabinet for the next holiday maker's enjoyment... Having said that, the author is a best selling pro writer and I have to go back to work next week... >:(

Great to be back!

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on August 11, 2009, 09:25:48 AM
Thanks - I'll certainly try. I just hope the kids don't complain as much as they did last year.

This time I'm taking my laptop along, and my wife actually suggested it, which makes me think she might just let me do some writing in peace, in the shade, while she tops up her skin cancer risk. I would like to get a few thousand words into writing a novel, if I can.

Glad to hear you had a good time in Portugal. There's nothing worse than a disappointing holiday, especially when the time and money is as precious as it generally is. Shame about the 600 page doorstop. I looked at a 600 pager in Waterstones at the weekend, but decided against buying it, because I didn't invisage reading it all in just ten days. It'd be nice if I could write that much, though.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on August 12, 2009, 02:16:28 PM
Enjoy your break, Ed.
Del, come on - I want to know who what that book was. Several I have in mind fit that awfullness. Alistair Reynolds is one, especially his Pushing Ice. Great premise, awful cliched, pleonasmed, POV-head-swapping delivery. Amazingly bad considering it is published by Gollancz but then he is established so folk will buy it all the same.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on August 12, 2009, 03:50:49 PM
Thanks - I've actually got 3G Internet acces via my iPhone, which is really cool. The only annoying part is it takes ages to write a reply with the keypad, when I was expecting to be able to tether it to my laptop. Turns out you have to pay more for that and set it up before you go. Predictable, really - things like this always tend to fall short of what you're led to believe f
by the advert, don't they.

But anyway, hello from sunny Pisa :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on August 12, 2009, 04:25:04 PM
Geoff,

The book in question was Black Angel by John Connolly. I really wanted to like this book (which was why, out of everything I could have chosen, I took this one on holiday). Never read any novels by John Connolly before but I have read a number of his horror short stories, his journalism, and a lot of his pieces on writing and together he came across as a really great bloke with a mass of knowledge about the business of making it as a writer. His website is brilliant and well worth a read. I was aware that he'd created a PI called Charlie Parker (great name!) and that his novels were a crossover between the hardboiled PI stuff that I adore and the supernatural. I've always thought that there must be great potential in such a crossover (I have a copy of Hjortbergs' Falling Angel - made into the movie Angelheart with Mickey Rourke - and that covers the same ground, but there's not too many such crossovers that I'm aware of).

So, it was with great anticpation that I started the book.

But it just didn't happen for me. As already mentioned, the viewpoint change is one that I simply dislike. In my opinion, if there's first person narrative in a book then the whole thing better be first person. How can it logically work any other way?

On reflection, the other thing that I didn'tget was any sense of Charlie Parker's character. There was very little revelation or insight about him. He moved through the book hardly revealing anything. I've read some other reviews of Black Angel and it's been said that the earlier books in the series didn't have this fault.

Also, there were times when Charlie was talking back in a sharp Spenser/Marlowe manner, lots of witty one liners and a cool sense of repartee; but there didn't seem to be any consistency to such speech characteristics. Charlie's side kicks reminded me very much of Spenser's Hawk, and some of the descriptions of minor characters evoked John D MacDonald. Comparisons with Robert Parker and Chandler and MacDonald ought to be great - and certainly point to a high level of writing ability - but here they seemed to come across as a bit of a mish-mash. All in all, I never really 'found' Charlie Parker, and though the plot was clever and straddled all of his history it's character that I look for over plot every time.

Finally, there was a sense of Dan Brown about this. As I was reading it I kept thinking here's another writer who's tried to come up with a plot that's as vast and as epic, as biblical and as potentially world changing as The Da Vinci Code (I haven't checked any dates- so I may be well off the mark here). Plotwise, he probably succeeded.

So there you have it. I'm sure some people will have this as their most favouritist book of all time. Me, I'm wondering if maybe my thinking that genres can be combined is actually right or wrong.

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on August 13, 2009, 03:12:51 AM
From what you have said about liking crossover novels, it sounds like you might like F Paul Wilson's Repairman Jack series. I'm just about to start Tomb from the series, so I'll let you know what I think of it. I finished Ghost Pirates on the plane. Have to say I found it a bit meh, but will discuss it in more depth on the book club thread.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on August 15, 2009, 05:46:16 PM
Did a book signing at Waterstones in the Manchester Trafford Centre today. I've had more successful signings, only 12 copies signed and sold. This was because my fans had mistakenly joined a huge queue a few hundred yards away at WH Smiths. The author, her pen raising friction-burn smoke, was Lorna Byrne, and her book - Angels in My Hair. I thought it was chick lit and asked the manager at Waterstones, but he'd not heard of her. I sneaked out and asked one of her mesmerised queue. Lorna is Irish and since a baby has seen and talked to angels. Her wisdom and advice from the ethereal is in the book. What chance had I? Hey ho.

Nevertheless, I did enjoy conversations with folk wanting author-signed books (often no matter the genre). One man asked me about Escaping Reality. So I gave him the humorous thriller concept - fugitve escaping jail - across the moors to the Lake District and then to Amsterdam to prove his innocence. More chat with the man and he was really interested. Eventually I said - Do you want me to sign a copy for you?
"Oh, no," he said, "I only read biographies."

Anyway, Waterstones want me back. I told them perhaps near Christmas, but I'll check on where Lorna is first.

Geoff
 
 
 


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on August 17, 2009, 08:34:36 AM
Sigh. Summer hols are fading fast in the rear view mirror. Back at work with a vengeance. Lucky to have a job and all that, but...


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on August 17, 2009, 01:57:35 PM
It's absolutely gorgeous here - I'm currently sitting on our patio area, overlooking the Chianti hills. I can see for about ten or fifteen miles, and all there is between me and the horizon is olive groves and forests. To my right there is a huge vinyard covering acres and acres of the hillsides - beautiful. I made a tomato and Parmesan pasta dish for dinner, with oregano and fresh basil sauce. Fresh crusty bread drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkled with sea salt. Lovely washed down with a bottle of local vino.

Don't want to go home.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on August 17, 2009, 02:46:59 PM
My girlfriend's treating me to a long weekend away soon in Berwick.  I'm really looking forward to getting away from EVERYTHING for a few days.  Woop!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on August 17, 2009, 04:17:13 PM
A few days away from the daily grind is great - I would have been happy wth a week at Ourgate if only it had stopped raining for five minutes in the past month. I hope you enjoy your break, Rev :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on August 18, 2009, 06:52:03 AM
Thanks Ed  :smiley:  The only thing that might dampen my holiday is that my missus loves itinereries, and has already drawn up a schedule of things to do  :cheesy:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on August 18, 2009, 08:21:53 AM
I hate itineraries - I'd far rather just go with the flow while on holiday. Right now I'm only a few miles outside of one of the most beautiful cities in the world, but we've decided it's too hot to go wandering around old buildings and museums with the kids, so we're going to leave it until we get bored. If we don't get bored then we won't go. Some people might say this is a mistake, but the whole point of the holiday is to relax and enjoy ourselves, so what the hell.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on August 18, 2009, 09:19:11 AM
I really wanted to go to Silves when I was in Portugal - it's one of the old Moorish fortified towns, and I love an old castle, me. But having ventured out in the daytime on a few occasions we decided it was far too hot to be going site-seeing, so we bought some fresh bread and ham, some cold beer, and sat by the pool instead!

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on August 19, 2009, 05:12:27 AM
The final proofread is done. Ah, the relief! The discussions over how far to bend the rules regarding commas are over. The trouble with commas is that if you go absolutely by the book, you don’t necessarily convey the intended meaning, and you certainly can’t go entirely by the book in direct speech, or everything sounds far too formal. If you decide to trust your word processor’s grammar-checker, you end up inserting semi-colons unnecessarily all over the place, so you change half of them to dashes, and then think – hang on a minute. This is stupid. What’s wrong with a comma? And then you count twenty commas in one sentence and take half of them out, and your proof-reader tells you you’re breaking grammatical rules and tries to re-instate them. You’re so busy counting commas that you nearly miss the fact that half your name is missing from the biography page, and a line that should be straight on the cover has a small kink in it.

Too late to change things now. ‘Small Poisons’ is winging its way over to the printers even as I type these words. I will have the first copies in my hands in a fortnight or so. That’s the point at which I’ll notice that Esmerelda’s name changes to Albertine halfway through, and Edgar’s eyes change from blue to brown depending on whether he’s appearing in odd or even numbered chapters.

Luckily none of these characters appears in the book.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: JonP on August 19, 2009, 06:01:56 AM
... as far as you know.

Congrats on finishing it. My WIP has almost hit 10000 words, and I'm feeling way out of my depth already.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on August 19, 2009, 06:17:23 AM
Ooh, wouldn't it be weird if Esmerelda etc were in the book when it came back from the printers  :shocked:

I love writing novels. I've been itching to get back to the one I was writing before, but this one really needed to be done and dusted with single-minded something-or-otherness first. Next job is all the marketing (yuck). Sitting in empty bookshops with a pile of books, a bright smile, a pen, and a plate of liquorice allsorts.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: JonP on August 19, 2009, 06:45:29 AM
I've never had the commitment to write one before (apart from a kid's book that I wrote about 15 years ago and which stretched to 35000 words), but I'm being pressured by loads of people in my writers' group to do this one, and every time I try to abandon it they shout at me.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on August 19, 2009, 09:57:56 AM
I've just started writing a novel - the first time
in about three or four years. I'm finding it difficult to stay enthusiastic about, and then I think if I can't stay enthusiastic about it, then what chance do I have of keeping a reader interested :scratch:

I think my main problem is my typing speed. If I could type as fast as my wife I could write a novel in a fortnight.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on August 19, 2009, 10:05:08 AM
That's a good point, Ed. I type far faster than I can write longhand, ie pretty much the speed I talk. It makes a difference. I taught myself to type from an old-fashioned 'teach yourself typing' book a few years ago when I did a word-processing course at college. It was well worth the effort. Your fingers need to be virtually as fast as your thoughts. Don't need to be accurate, as you can always go back and edit, but you need the speed.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: desertwomble on August 19, 2009, 10:21:33 AM
I type pretty much the speed I talk.

Crikey! That fast?

DW :cheesy:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on August 19, 2009, 10:52:47 AM
I've become quicker as time has gone by, but I still sometimes lose the thread of what I was saying before I get around to putting it down in words. That's really annoying, especially when you can't then recall the great plot twist you had in mind for the briefest of moments.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on August 19, 2009, 02:07:08 PM
I've become quicker as time has gone by, but I still sometimes lose the thread of what I was saying before I get around to putting it down in words. That's really annoying, especially when you can't then recall the great plot twist you had in mind for the briefest of moments.

Been there. Try receiving that great idea while stomping on your pedals up a hill. You get off at the top (cos no cyclist likes to re-start halfway up), get out your notepad and pen, then... aarrggh.

Your Italy hol description gives me itchy feet - marvelous.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on August 19, 2009, 02:19:09 PM
Couldn't log on to the cafe last night, kept getting a timed out page, and  I've noticed that the picture of my cat (it's not actually my cat, she doesn't wear glasses) has disappeared from the top left hand side of the home page. As has the access to any personal messages and other assorted stuff that gathers in that corner. Strange indeed. :shocked:

  Sweltering hot down this way today. We talked about filling the skip with water and having a swim. Didn't do it but the thought was tempting.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on August 19, 2009, 04:44:28 PM
Yep - sorry about that - it's our crappy hosts again. Had me worried sick because I though it was a fault on the forum itself. The only Internet access I've got at the moment is on my iPhone, so it's not easy to work around a cpanel to rectify faults. I saw a php error line, so logged into repair our database, but it made no difference. Turned out apache had hung on our server, AGAIN. Hence I had to email our hosts and ask them to reset it. Tossers.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on August 19, 2009, 05:49:16 PM
I've become quicker as time has gone by, but I still sometimes lose the thread of what I was saying before I get around to putting it down in words. That's really annoying, especially when you can't then recall the great plot twist you had in mind for the briefest of moments.

Been there. Try receiving that great idea while stomping on your pedals up a hill. You get off at the top (cos no cyclist likes to re-start halfway up), get out your notepad and pen, then... aarrggh.

Your Italy hol description gives me itchy feet - marvelous.

it is glorious here, but boy is it hot - even the locals are complaining about the heat, saying this is Siscilian weather, not Tuscan. It's way too hot for me. The mornings. From about five until nine are beautiful, though - cool and crisp. Lovely.

Geoff
[/quote]


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on August 20, 2009, 03:27:25 AM
Caz - is everything back to normal for you now?


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on August 20, 2009, 05:00:08 AM
The Cafe Doom site is working fine for me. Much quicker and smoother on this new PC than on last year's Dimension.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on August 20, 2009, 02:25:41 PM
Caz - is everything back to normal for you now?

No, there's still no sign of the kitty and other assorted bits and pieces that appear in that corner.

It's no big deal though and can easily wait until you're back from the hols.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Woody on August 20, 2009, 03:20:56 PM
Ed, about things unusual; my "Show unread posts since last visit" link fails to show any unread posts! Anyway, as Caz said, nothing to worry about and carry on enjoying your hols.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on August 20, 2009, 03:34:40 PM
Ok - only one more full day left :( so I'll take a look at it on my return fairly soon. I've got a hunch it might be because you've gone up a user group - there's a bunch of stupid settings I can select for each user group that open and close restrictions for all sorts of things. It's so mind numbing that I never bothered to set it up properly. I've got a funny feeling it'll end up having something to do with that bloody thing.

As for the unread posts thing - I've no idea what that's about :scratch:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Pharosian on August 22, 2009, 12:35:23 AM
Woody -- is there any chance you've recently upgraded the version or brand of browser you're using to one of those that displays a page of screen shots of your frequently visited sites? I'm using Safari 4.0 and Firefox 3.0 (depending on which computer I'm on), and both of those browsers now have this feature whenever I ask for a new tab. Since Cafe Doom is one of my most frequently visited sites, it shows up as one of the icons.

The problem is that if I don't click that icon FIRST, that constitutes a "visit" so that when I come back a couple of minutes later and want to view unread posts, I'm out of luck. I've learned to avoid asking for a New Tab, or when I can't avoid it, to try to visit CD first. When both of those fail, I click the Home link and look for the "new" icons in the list of Recent Posts.

The first few times this happened to me, I thought the Recent Unread Topics feature had stopped working, but then I worked out what was going on.

It just occurred to me that if a person had more than one "favorite" site to read new posts on, there would be no way to avoid this situation. Which made me realize that there must be a preference for turning off those previews, and sure enough, there is. In Safari the feature is called "Top Sites" and you can choose whether you want that when you open a new tab or just your home page or a blank page, etc. I'm not on my PC right now, so I'm not sure what it would be in Firefox, but I'm pretty sure there is an option to change that. If you're using IE, well... God help you.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on August 22, 2009, 04:50:14 AM
I'm sitting in the departure lounge of Pisa airport at the moment. Our flight has been delayed by half an hour. I've reached that point in the journey where I just want to be home as soon as possible, but I've got another four hours of travelling left.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on August 22, 2009, 05:25:52 AM
Me and my big mouth. Now we've been delayed another four hours...


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on August 22, 2009, 06:17:50 AM
Ah, the joys of travelling.  :/

I'm about to depart for the Lake District (with a paintbox). Shouldn't take more than a couple of hours to get there, but...


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on August 22, 2009, 12:51:19 PM
Ah - back in good old gloomy blighty. It's cold, overcast, not yet raining, and it feels like home. Dunwantoomuch of that there bluskiededsunniness - caint be good fer ye.... ::)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on August 22, 2009, 04:48:15 PM
I've an infected sinus. The antibiotics warning says to avoid zinc, iron and strong sunshine. Damn, the forecast is sunny for tomorrow for my usual Sunday bike ride. I'll get withdrawal  symptoms if I avoid my iron bike. On go the gloves and instead of a cycle helmet I'll be wearing a sombrero!

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on August 22, 2009, 05:58:30 PM
So what happens if you go out in the sunshine, eat spinach, touch galvanised things, Geoff - will it make you come out in purple-green hives? :scratch:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on August 23, 2009, 06:06:31 PM
Just wanted to sing the praises of my iphone again. Fantastic piece of kit, that phone - it made a huge difference having it with me on holiday, not least of which because of the 3G internet access. When we first got there, we had trouble finding the hotel in Pisa, so I went into the maps section, which pinpointed our position with GPS precision. Then I put in the hotel name and it plotted us a route to it - complete with all the surrounding road names and aerial photograph. Mental.

At night after eating dinner out on the patio we'd sit around, chat and sing along to some of the 1200 songs I've got on there as mp3s. The kids both took turns playing games on it. And on top of all that I could make and receive phonecalls, texts and e-mails, take and view photographs on it as well. Brilliant. I love it.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: JonP on August 23, 2009, 06:33:47 PM
... and I'm locked into my current contract until next February  :tdoff: :tdoff: :tdoff:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on August 23, 2009, 06:59:54 PM
I've got another few months to run with this one. I think I bought it in about May 08, and signed up for 18 months. When the time is up, I'll more than likely sign up again for the iphone 3G S. It's supposed to be better again. The only complaint I have with the iphones is they're more difficult to get info/music/photos to and from than a standard mp3 player or memory dongle. It doesn't have to be that way, but they seem to be heavily into DRM and are intent on making it difficult to swap music from phone to phone. Bluetooth only works for connecting to hands free kits and stuff like that, and not to other phones. The 3G S might be different, though. I hope so.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on August 29, 2009, 02:09:01 PM
The little darlings have been banished to Granny's house for the night, so we're off to the cinema tonight, to watch the film adaptation of Audrey Niffenegger's (sp?) novel, The Time Traveller's Wife, which we've both read and enjoyed. Looking forward to it.

Made chicken in white wine sauce for tea *hic*, which was lovely. Simple to do as well - just a finely sliced onion, a carrot and a stick of celery fried off with the chicken in a pan. Salt, pepper. Deglaze with a good glug of white wine. Add a clove of garlic, some fresh thyme, pint of chicken stock. Simmer for fifteen minutes, then finish off with a good glug of cream and, if you like your sauces thick, some cornflour. Alternatively, you can add some (about a dessert spoonful) plain flower to the mix during the frying stage, which will thicken the sauce early in the cooking process. Served up with mashed spud and finely cut runner beans and a bottle of Budweiser on the side - lovely.

Got an hour to do a bit of writing before we go out, so I'm going to try and make some headway on my novel. Might just spend the time on doing a flash for the challenge instead, though, if inspiration strikes.



Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on August 29, 2009, 03:35:55 PM
Best laid plans... my wife isn't feeling well, so the film's off. On the upside, I suppose I can finally get some writing time without interruption  :huh:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on August 30, 2009, 02:28:40 PM
Woop! Back in internet land!  I missed it!  I've been helping a chum with some of his writing, which is very funny but needs a serious critter's eye on it so I've been trying to bully him into joining here  ;) in other news, he's been lending me loads of books to read, including Only Forward by Michael Marshall Smith (which was ACE) and Neuromancer by William Gibson, which I'm looking forward to tucking into.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on August 31, 2009, 02:42:34 AM
I hope he doesn't live in Belorus, because I might have just inadvertantly told him to fuck off :huh: Had a sudden rash of spammers trying to get in over the last few days.

Finally got to see The Time Traveler's Wife yesterday. I'd rate it 90 to 95% as good as the book, but it doesn't cover as much ground as the novel, and it ends slightly differently from what I remember. Still one of the best films I've seen in the past year or three.

How was your holiday in the Lake District, Delph? Get plenty of painting done? Any nice weather at all? :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on August 31, 2009, 03:09:53 AM
Had a great time in the Lakes. I usually do acrylics/oils, but had decided to have one final attempt at cracking watercolours this week. I can't do them. Know this for certain now. However, I was pleasantly surprised with the pictures I did in oil pastels, so intend to do more of those. Also managed some pleasing drawings. Weather-wise, there seemed to be an awful lot of water around. Yes, I know it's the Lake District, but familiar paths were under a foot of water, and that's not usual. I don't think the tail end of Hurricane Bill helped matters much. There was sunshine though; enough for us arty types to sit outside and be artistic for hours on end. Good fun. I accidentally left a pencil sharpener at Buttermere, so if anyone's passing that way, maybe they could retrieve it for me. Thanks. Otherwise I'll have to buy a new one, and they cost 19p  :shocked:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on August 31, 2009, 02:46:38 PM
My father-in-law once left a penknife he'd had for 40 years on a bench in Scarborough. I found it on a wall near York Youth Hostel about a year later! No, my dad-in-law hadn't been to York for many years.

So, Delph, look for your pencil sharpener in, say, Carlisle.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on September 09, 2009, 04:21:40 AM
My wife yesterday had been to Liverpool Womens Hospital for hormone implant. They make a tiny cut in her tum and slip in a capsule. Usually they put in a suture or just a steri strip. When she arrived on the train back in Chester her wound dripped blood. I said off to casualty, but last time we'd spent 5 hours with no treatment (politics- staff from other hospitals don't like interfering with treatment from another. & they may have thought the bleeding would stop eventually when there was none left!) Gaynor insisted on going home. The bleeding worsened and the bed sheets  soon ended up as tomato soup in the bath. I had a dental appointment but Gaynor insisted I went - would have incurred a £75 fine if I missed it again. Daughter and baby Oliver are staying with us so I ordered her to call emergency services if the bleeding worsened. I leapt on my bike to the dentist. Course I shopped in Boots buying up different kinds of plasters etc. But at the dentist I'd had had an injection. Speech slurred in the shops.  Not till I reached home and found Eleanor, baby and Gaynor laughing at me did I see the left side of my face had drooped like I'd had a stroke or Bells Palsy!

And - there are no mags to read at the dentist. To avoid the spread of swine flu, they said, they removed mags and papers. Hey, what happened to the Escape Velocity mags I'd donated?

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on September 10, 2009, 02:33:47 AM
If it's more than about half an inch long, you need to get that cut sewn up pretty quickly, Geoff, otherwise it'll be open and weeping for a very long time. I was told there's a window of time when you can stitch a wound and it'll knit together, but after that it won't take, and the cut will gradually heal from both sides to the middle, leaving a bigger scar and taking weeks or months to close, all the time open to infection.

I knew somebody it happened to ages ago, and his wound took over a year to heal, if my memory is accurate. That was probably a bigger incision than Gaynor's, though. His was from an appendectomy.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on September 11, 2009, 03:56:27 PM
Gaan oot dancin, like :dance: Got my tux on, polished my brogues, even got a clip on dickie bow. Doesn't work with me, though - less of the James Bond and more of the bouncer look ::) If yer name's not down, you ain't coming in....


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on September 11, 2009, 04:56:59 PM
Even I can look good in a tux. I don't go out often enough to make it worthwhile owning one, so I hire. I do own my cycling clobber, but scared myself in the mirror a few years back so I don't look any more.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on September 11, 2009, 09:21:42 PM
A'm back, like. Aye, it were borin as fook - me damn brogues fell apart - soles flappin aroond like a clown's shoes, they played crap music all night and even after four pints of Kronenburg a'm sober as a judge, like. Disgustin... :huh: Spent fifty quid annaall.... :shocked:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on September 12, 2009, 04:38:36 PM
Opened a bottle of elderflower wine tonight, and had a couple of glasses of it with my grub. Tasted lovely. Wish I'd made more. Strong stuff, too - after two glasses my legs started getting a pins and needles sensation, like they were going numb. God only knows what it's doing to my liver :grin:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on September 12, 2009, 06:36:45 PM
Go steady on that homemade brew, Ed. Pins & needles sounds like it is more like anaesthetic you've made!

Whenever my grandson baby Oliver cries for any reason, me singing 'I can sing a rainbow' always quietens him. I wonder if it is the song, or my voice? If my voice - is that why so many of my pupils fell asleep in my lessons?


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on September 14, 2009, 09:39:36 AM
went blackberrying in field near us off Lache Lane. I tried to get too many in my hand and one fell. I was going to look for it cos it was a big one but a field mouse beat me to it!

I had cause to regret going there in my shorts. Prickly undergrowth - good job there were dock leaves to assuage the nettle  stings. I was hoping the farmer would come along and try and charge me for the berries. I would gladly pay but would ask his name first. He'd plowed over the public right of way footpath last autumn - I'd have words.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on September 14, 2009, 09:52:11 AM
Too damp and mizzly here to even think about going blackberrying.

Managed to photograph a wasp through the double-glazing. Nice to be able to get so close with no danger of being stung.

(http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j91/delph_ambi/wasp.jpg)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on September 14, 2009, 02:30:28 PM
excellent photo, and your windows are cleaner than mine.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on September 14, 2009, 02:47:25 PM
That's pretty damn good for a pic through double glazing :afro:

I'm not overly keen on blackberries - too many seeds for my liking. I'll eat them, but I wouldn't go out of my way to pick them.

Got five gallons of plum wine in the making, a gallon of elderberry, and a big tub full of grapes from a friend, so that's hopefully going to turn into another gallon of wine. That's roughly 35 bottles of vino collapso  :cheesy:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on September 17, 2009, 06:12:20 PM
Seems to have been a lot of talk about the economy over the past couple of days. Many people saying it's getting worse. I can't tell what the hell's going on. Personally, I'm very busy, and I've been told there's plenty of work to last me until Christmas at least. Hopefully that's true.

I wish I knew more about economics - I'd love to understand commerce. To me it seems like a huge machine where we're the parts and our only functions are to save the rich from working, and to procreate in order to keep the machine in spare parts.

It's easier to understand how it was years ago, before the modern age. If you sailed a ship to India and brought back a cargo of spice to sell, you took something plentiful from one place and then sold it at a profit in a place where there was none. Now the same sort of thing is happening, only now it's along the lines of pretty much everything being made in China, where the labour is cheap, and will be until the people of that country catch up with the rest of the world. Meanwhile, Britain makes next to nothing - manufacturing industry has all but died, and we are now a service based economy, meaning we all have jobs looking after each other, basically. So what we do as a nation is look after each other and buy stuff that's made in China. We give our money to the Chinese, and to countries that are energy rich, which in turn makes them financially rich, at which point they turn up over here and buy up anything of value.

So to summarise, we seem to end up owning nothing of consequence and working to feed ourselves and serve other people. Is that how it's meant to be? Is it sustainable? Am I missing something? WTF's it all about? :scratch:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on September 19, 2009, 02:01:45 PM
 I think you got it just about right there, Ed.

The way I see it is that a service economy works until one small part of it misfires, as we're seeing now. Folk caught up in that misfire stop calling on the other services offered, usually due to a lack of funds, this leads to another misfire and the engine stalls. Now we're all pushing this jalopy along, looking for a down hill stretch and hoping the thing bump starts. Meanwhile the driver and shotgun rider sit there without a care in the world.

I hate to see my country being sold off to the highest bidder. It will stop one day though, when there's nothing left to sell and the country is no more than... well, a mixture of all the kinds of greed the world has to offer. We are truly fucked.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on September 24, 2009, 06:28:54 PM
I'm feeling absolutely fried at the moment. I've got eight jobs and four clients to manage, and each of them is baying for me to do their work first. The earliest I've got home this week is 6:30, and I'm under ridiculous pressure to work Saturday, but, even if I wanted to, it's my son's birthday. I've arranged to spend the day with him, doing the things he wants to do, and that's that.

The thing is, even if you put yourself out for these people, you never build up any credit for the times you've got them out of the shit - they never give you a break - you always have to do what they want at the click of their fingers, otherwise you're suddenly the lowest of the low. It's a case of what have you done for me lately, every time. If you dropped dead from exhaustion on the job they'd step over your corpse to reach the phone and have you replaced the next day. Within a week it'd be Ed who?

Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful that I've still got the work, but sometimes it drives me insane :idiot:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on September 24, 2009, 06:53:31 PM
My girlfriend has a job wherein she's always working overtime, always doing extra work, always helping out, and never gets any real credit.  It pisses me off because the job actually makes her ill, and it even made her suffer a seizure a couple of years ago, because of stress...yet she daren't look for anything else as she's used to the money.  And then the recession 'came along' and she uses it as an excuse to stay where she is.  ARGH!  On the one hand, I'd rather be out of work than stuck in a similar loop, but on the other...I'm bored of being unemployed :D


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on September 25, 2009, 02:55:38 AM
Smaller scale, but I have loads of pupils who don't bother to let me know when they're not going to turn up. The number of times I've been standing around, twiddling my fingers, doing nothing at all just in case they arrive. As they can arrive as much as half an hour late, I have to put great chunks of 'empty' time between lessons. Don't get paid for that, obviously. I have to teach six days a week, or I'd lose pupils, as they all have just a tiny 'window' when they can come. And that can be morning, afternoon, and/or evening, dotted around at odd times. Drives me nuts. The sooner I become an international best-selling author the better.  :tdoff:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on September 25, 2009, 03:02:51 AM
Seems to me that this is the norm' rather than an exception. It must be a sign of the modern world - or at least the British attitude to it, and the constant desire to try and do the right thing for everybody even at huge personal cost. I know I've had a week like that. At least there's no pressure to work Saturday this week - I'm looking forward to a chilled out day. On the downside, finishing late, often having worked very intensely all day with few - if any - breaks is not a good conducive to writing, is it? The most I can manage in the evenings is to walk the dog, eat some food, and sleep.

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on September 25, 2009, 03:13:40 AM
You're right that it's not conducive to writing. There are other problems, too. I made a real effort yesterday to do some decent writing in between the pupils who didn't turn up, and got a fair amount done. Then I went to cook myself something for tea, and found there was no food in the house other than a tin of pilchards. I hate pilchards, but keep a tin in for emergencies. I can't remember the last time I went out food shopping, but I'm going to have to squeeze in a trip to ASDA today somehow, as if I don't, all I have to eat today is the other half of the tin of pilchards.  :'(


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on September 25, 2009, 03:21:28 AM
True - I can't seem to write anything worth keeping at the moment, and haven't been able to for months - months when I thought I'd have lots of downtime and plenty of opportunity to write ::)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Pharosian on September 25, 2009, 12:04:13 PM
As they can arrive as much as half an hour late, I have to put great chunks of 'empty' time between lessons. Don't get paid for that, obviously. I have to teach six days a week, or I'd lose pupils, as they all have just a tiny 'window' when they can come. And that can be morning, afternoon, and/or evening, dotted around at odd times.

Why can't you put them on notice that they have to pay for their hour regardless of how much of it they show up for? If you have one who's half an hour late and the next student arrives on time at the the top of the hour, well too bad for TardyBoy... It seems that your accommodating attitude only reinforces their bad behaviour.  :scratch:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on September 25, 2009, 12:14:59 PM
I'd love to tell them exactly that, but in the current economic climate, I'm lucky to have any pupils at all. I cannot afford to give them any excuse to stop coming.

This is why I need to become an international best-selling author. Dogs are reading my books now, but I could do with a few more humans...


(http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j91/delph_ambi/John%20Benn/IMG_1139.jpg)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: JonP on September 25, 2009, 01:20:05 PM
Ah, that reminds me ...


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on September 28, 2009, 04:43:52 AM
Managed to get out for a 30 mile / 14.5 mph average ride on Saturday. It was a good warm-up for the World Championship cycling roadrace on Sunday, which I settled down to watch. They set off at quite a lick, and already my legs were feeling a bit tired. Watched for half an hour whilst enjoying some coffee and toast (with orange marmalade) and then went and cleaned the kitchen floor whilst listening to some Rory Gallagher on the CD player. It was hard on my knees, so half a CD later I took a break and had a glance at the TV. The riders were pounding up a very steep hill at a very decent paste. My legs twinged in sympathy. I went out and mowed the lawns and cut the hedge. Came back in. An hour and half into the race and they're starting to pick up speed. I got a little cramp just watching them. Took the dog out for a long walk at an average pace, not really pushing Alfie too hard, content to let him stay in the peloton behind an ageing cocker spaniel and a westy. Came back. The riders were really pressing on now. I had a Pane Au Chocolate and a coffee to give me the strength to keep watching. Then I took a wander down Tescos to buy some dinner and a paper. Came back. Several hours in, and there's a break away - the small group really getting their heads down, grimacing in pain. I eased myself down onto the sofa and spent an hour working through a fortnight's worth of bills, paperwork, junkmail, and stuff, whilst keeping my fluid levels up with a cup of tea (no sugar) and a Twix (lots of sugar). Read the paper whilst making sure I was well positioned to understand how the leading group were doing. Six hours into the race and I made some more coffee and toast, took a deep breath and worked my way up the stairs (forty-five degree gradient, I reckon) and fetched my laptop. Watched the remainder of the race - including the very impressive final break by the eventual winner Cadel Evans - whilst surfing the web. It was a tough race, but I think I handled it well.

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on September 28, 2009, 05:13:51 AM
Brilliant commentary!  :grin:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on September 28, 2009, 11:40:43 AM
yes, great one, Derek. I had to forego my usual Sunday ride cos family were visiting. Last time I snuck out of the house at 7am but didn't return till 11am and family were waiting for me to return before they could leave. This time, my wife hid the garage key.

I did manage a 50 miles round trip to get a haircut on Wed. Tough hills but I only average 12 mph or less.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on September 28, 2009, 02:24:30 PM
The old ten speed's been out off the shed and on the road a fair bit lately as I'm chasing work again. I've no idea what speed I'm doing but the chain is on the second largest back cog and the smallest front cog. I pedal for all I'm worth along the seafront then hit some of the hills that run up the cliff. There's some speed cameras along the coast road. I don't want to break the law but I am curious. Could be time for a gear shift. ::)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on October 04, 2009, 07:34:55 AM
Putting off going to bed last night, I flicked through the channels and caught the last half of the 2004 film Night Watch. Not seen it before. I was very impressed by the whole tenor of the film production and the characters and plot. It demonstrated how we don't need everything explained in order to live the story and be engaged. Even though I'd missed the first half, I feel I knew what it must have contained by the time the film finished. Yes there were some easy-to-guess actions - eg the boy being caught by the vampire and his choosing the dark side of the Others. Nevertheless, I'm inspired to rent the DVD and watch it all.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: PaulH on October 04, 2009, 06:57:25 PM
You should - it's very good. Not got round to watching Daywatch yet, although I've had the DVD for a while (a familiar story with me)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on October 05, 2009, 06:06:49 AM
I had a couple of hours to myself last night. Didn't feel guilty about not choosing to do any writing as I'd already done a thousand words, so I thought I'd treat myself to a couple of hours in front of the box. I debated watching an old Hitchcock film (I love 'em!) or maybe watching the second half of Natural Born Killers (I hated it the first half - hence why I still had the second half to watch), or even re-watching Bird or Ray. But in the end I slipped in a DVD that came free with the Mirror about a year ago on the Apollo moon landing missions. It followed the entire NASA story from the moment JFK announced that they'd put a man on the moon - right up to the moment itself. Great stuff. Totally inspiring. Afterwards, taking the dog out into the garden I saw a low and very clear almost full moon. Went and got the binoculars and could clearly see the Sea Of Tranquility. It was quite humbling. Then seeing all those stars... thinking about our place in the grand scheme of things... wondering what's out there. Jupiter's been very clear recently, too. That juxtaposition between the incredible heights of man's technical and scientific achievements and the vastness of space is wonderous and fills me with great hope for the future (and not a few ideas for fiction, either!).

Del


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on October 05, 2009, 04:51:07 PM
Totally agree, Del.
On the 10th October at 9:44 BST there is an eclipse of Jupiter's moon Europa by Io and on16th October Jupiter's moon Ganymede will eclipse Europa at 10:10 BST. It still awes me that we can know these things in advance.

This Friday night, weather permitting, my wife is taking me to a campsite near Nuneaton. She along with other members of the IOP (Institute of Physics) are on an astronomy field trip. Venus, Saturn and Mercury are due to line up. When you look at Andromeda, the M41 spiral galaxy, just think it is the farthest thing you can see with the naked eye. 2.5 million light years away!

We're taking the 1.5 man tent I take on cycle camping trips. Better pack hot water bottles.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on October 05, 2009, 04:59:14 PM
When I've been on the computer too long, I... well... just click the link (http://www.shibumi.org/eoti.htm). 

(And I know I've posted this before, but sometimes I need a reminder.)

 :huh:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on October 06, 2009, 04:38:47 AM
Excellent! Wouldn't it be great if there really was a final page. "Thank God for that! I've finished the internet. Now I'm going to take a crack at War And Peace."


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on October 06, 2009, 05:14:10 AM
I haven't rode a bike for ages, and reading the above posts makes me want to...except my parents chucked all our bikes away a while ago during a massive garage clear-out  ::)

I've got to go sign-on today at the job centre, and it's pissing it down   :( I'm getting a bit annoyed that they themselves acknowledge there's no suitable work for me in my home region grrr!

On the other hand, as it were, I really like crap weather.  I think it's my muse!  I'm going to crack on with some novel ideas this afternoon I think, and continue re-working some older short stories  :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on October 07, 2009, 05:42:23 AM
Hurray!  I've got my first shift at my local art gallery tomorrow!  I got the job in MARCH but they didn't need me yet  :cheesy: I'm really looking forward to it - I only hope they have more shifts after this one (it's casual hours)...


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on October 07, 2009, 01:52:01 PM
Congrats on the job Rev :afro:. BTW bike riding's not all fun. I got a puncture the other day. Rode the bike back home with the front tyre flat, fixed the puncture, went out again, the tyre went down after about half a mile. Back home again, fixed the new hole then realised that by riding the bike with a flat I had split the sidewall of the tyre. Ho hum, of to the bike shop to buy a new tyre...drat!. :bangh:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on October 07, 2009, 02:55:38 PM
Hope you enjoy your time at the art gallery, Rev :afro:

I fixed a puncture for my nipper the other day and, too lazy to take the whole wheel off, I just peeled back the tyre, inflated the inner tube, felt around for the puncture and then fixed it. A minute later, he's back - tyre's gone down. So I do the same thing again. Off he goes. Back literally a minute later. By this time I've done my quota of puncture repairs for the year and I'm on the verge of strike action, but nevertheless I decide to do it properly this time. I take the inner tube off the wheel altogether and submerge it in a bowl of water, whereupon I find three more punctures in the same damn inner tube ::)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: elay2433 on October 07, 2009, 08:48:13 PM
I do about ten miles round trip to work each day. In the summer time, with goatheads (a nasty three pronged thorny weed-seed) about, I probably average four or five patches a month. I've got saddle bags strapped to the back with everything I need to fix a flat, and a couple of spare tubes for the quick switch if I don't have time or facility to do a patch job. I try and ride rain or shine - keeps the beergut in check.  :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on October 08, 2009, 10:34:25 AM
I've had some very strange puncture experiences. A few years ago the front tyre on my road bike kept exploding. I'd put a new tube in there, pump it up, and for days it would be fine, and then suddenly bang! Hissssssss. The strange thing was I wasn't riding it. At the time the bike was leaning against the wall in my hall, nowhere near a radiator either. Just there, minding it's own business. I think I had that happen about three times in a week.

Similarly weird, I had two days running where I'd ride the mountain bike to work, leave it in the bikeshed with a fully inflated set of tyres, and come back to find the front was flat. Not slow punctures either. When I came to replace the tubes I found huge great splits in the inner tubes - the air would have escaped in a second. The odd thing was, the tyres were fine, unmarked...

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on October 08, 2009, 01:07:30 PM
Either your missus is one hell of a practical joker, or you did something to upset her, Del :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on October 08, 2009, 07:19:52 PM
That is weird, Del.

I reckon I've had around 20 punctures in the last 50 years of riding almost every day. I use armadillo puncture-resistant tyres because of all the hawthorn hedges around here though apparently Specialized now make an all-seasons tyre that is better. My hands seem to have weakened over the years and I have difficulty removing and replacing the 300C tyres on my touring road bike so I just carry a pump and a ETA card. ETA are a kind of road service (like the UK AA or RAC for cars). I phone them if I have a breakdown and within an hour a garage vehicle arrives and takes me and the bike home. Not bad for only around £35 a year especially on my 50+ miles runs.



Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on October 09, 2009, 02:52:42 AM
NASA Woman Driver ;) To Crash Spacecraft Into The Moon 

This looks like it could be a story looking out for later today:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8297811.stm (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8297811.stm)

Apparantly Severn Trent have already got the water bills ready to send to NASA.

Derek



Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on October 09, 2009, 03:04:16 AM
I really hope they don't break the moon. All the scientists are saying it's only the equivalent of one and a half tons of TNT exploding. Imagine if one ton of TNT would be enough to crack the moon in two, and one and a half will just shatter it into about eight or ten huge chunks, which will then fall to earth at some point in the near future :scratch:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on October 09, 2009, 03:25:42 AM
I can sense a story coming on...


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on October 09, 2009, 05:14:27 AM
I'm off to Derby today for a friend's stag do, and then I'm best man at his wedding tomorrow!  I've already warned him my speech is full of total lies haha have a good weekend everybody!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on October 09, 2009, 06:17:09 PM
Go gittem, Rev :afro: Hope you have a good time. Your friend is crazy having his stag night the day before the wedding - sure fire recipe for disaster there :idiot:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on October 11, 2009, 07:41:55 AM
Went to a wedding party last night with the missus. It was interesting because these were all my workmates and she didn't know a soul, so for once she got a taste of how I feel at all her friends' parties when the boot is on the other foot. She hadn't appreciated how boring it can be when you feel like a third wheel. I hadn't thought of it being awkward for her until she said - I had assumed she would enjoy meeting all the people I talk about at work that she hadn't seen before.

I didn't get bladdered - just had about three or four pints, which was enough to induce feelings of merriment, but not enough to garner a hangover. Actually managed a lie-in this morning, too. I woke up at seven, then dozed until eleven, which is very unusual for me. I'll usually wake up and then not be able to get back to sleep.

Must have needed the rest (http://img39.imageshack.us/img39/3986/yawn.gif)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on October 11, 2009, 09:08:41 AM
We ended up just going to a restaurant for a nice meal - I must be getting old :D his wedding was really nice, and the reception was a lot of fun.  I started my speech with "Congratulations Colin, now you've got two wives!" which made everyone go "uummmm" then followed it straight up with how he met his first one whilst we were staioned in Vietnam, which got a big laugh as everyone could then see how the rest of the speech was going to go :D Now I'm wasting time on the internet whilst my missus has an afternoon nap haha


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on October 11, 2009, 10:08:45 AM
Sounds like a laugh :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on October 12, 2009, 06:22:27 PM
To give daughter a break I took baby grandson to Land of Play in Trafford today. Great place where for a quid the nipper (8 months old) can play in the pool of plastic balls, crawl through padded rubber tunnels, ooo at large plastic mirrors and chase balls while I, with shoes removed, follow. He gets to socialise with his peers by pulling their hair while I drool at their mums. Then one mum says - hey isn't that Oliver? You must be Eleanor's dad. I get introduced to my daughter's playgroup mums. Ii itched to escape until one said that I signed a book for her at Waterstones last month.  :dance:

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on October 13, 2009, 04:34:11 PM
My son wants my old Dawes Super Galaxy touring bicycle so I'm taking it to him tomorrow. He assumed I'd either take the front wheel off and pack the bike in the car, or take a train from Chester to Nottingham. But where's the cycling fun in that? Just over 60 miles from here is the beautiful Ilam Hall Youth Hostel so I've booked it for tomorrow night. Set in the Derbyshire chunk of the Peak District I'm in for some wonderful scenery even if I have to dismount and push the pushbike now and then. On thursday I have about 40 miles to reach son's house in Nottingham then I'll catch the train back to Chester. I'm looking forward to the trip even though it's been a tricky route to plan. Most cycle ways are longitudunal rather than west to east up these parts. A lot of map reading, which will disrupt my plot and character thinking time but my legs are already itching to rotate.

Del will empathise even if Ed sees my expedition as further proof of madness.  :cheesy:

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on October 13, 2009, 04:55:04 PM
 :idiot:  :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on October 13, 2009, 04:58:54 PM
Sounds great, Geoff. My legs are itching to put some miles in, too, but the last week I've been suffering with cold, cough, sneezing, and all that malarky, so I figured I'd just baton down the hatches, turn the heating on, and chill out until I'm fighting fit. Alas, somebody forgot to tell my boss so the chilling out element hasn't happened yet.

There's a lane in the Forest of Dean that I discovered by accident a few rides back and I'm looking forward to giving it another go. Half way down there's a wonderful abbey, tucked away in a valley. First time out I was speeding downhill so never took the time out to explore. Next time I'll put my tourist hat on!

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on October 15, 2009, 01:40:04 PM
Lovely day today so I went out the front and tore down the old cast gutter that ran across the bay window and front door. Replaced it with a new plastic one and repainted the fascia and the edge of the roof trusses that showed through. Then I moved on to the brickwork below the window. It's covered in a ghastly coloured terralean, no idea how it's spelt, and has caused a fair few of the bricks to blow their face. Tried scraping it at first and it proved a real sod to get off, so it was out with the blowtorch. That stuff burns. I love a good fire me. :cool:     


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on October 16, 2009, 05:15:28 AM
I'm back home after my 100 hilly miles cycle across England. Details and photo of Ilam Hall youth hostel, who let me and all cyclists down, in my blog at http://geoffnelder.wordpress.com/

Legs a bit stiff now but otherwise surprisingly well. Pity about the rain and fog yesterday, but the feeling of elation to reach the boundary of my destination, Nottigham, was orgasmic (nearly).

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on October 17, 2009, 08:41:57 PM
Glad you're back safely, Geoff :afro: I find just the thought of it exhausting, TBH.

Can't believe Saturday's already at an end. It's been such a busy few weeks that the days slip by like shit through a goose. Again, I've slept a lot today. I was lucky enough to get breakfast in bed this morning, ate it, drank the tea, then slipped back to sleep for a couple more hours. Then again after dinner tonight, I had a glass of wine then succumbed to the ZZZs again for another hour or two. Trouble is, it's now 1:40am, and I'm still not particularly sleepy, but I bet I will be tomorrow morning ::)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on October 18, 2009, 08:11:38 AM
Second weekend on the trot I've felt crocked because of this throat. But I fancied a blast of fresh air so took the bike out anyway, even if it was just for an hour and a bit on the flat. Did about a dozen miles in the company of an ex-racing cyclist, but luckily he was on a fold-up bike and was suffering from a cold, too, so I was able to keep up.

Not sure if I'll have blasted out the virus or given it more of a foothold, but the fresh air was very nice, the canal and the river were peaceful, and my leg muscles have been duly reminded that they need to keep themselves in shape, or else I'll do it for them.

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on October 18, 2009, 12:36:56 PM
I've managed to spend the entire weekend without leaving the house, which is nice and relaxing but makes me feel a bit fuzzy-headed and guilty I haven't 'done' anything...

A friend who lives miles away gave me a call earlier, which was nice.  And what's even nicer is that we're now going to have a go writing a story together! 
He also told me a publisher (he didn't tell me who) has got back to him with a contract for his sci-fi novel.............but they want £3000 off him!!!!!!!!!!! 
I said "not to piss on your picnic, but no publisher should ask for money, especially not that much" 
He's a smart lad but I'm afraid the idea of getting his first novel published, and so quickly after finishing it, will blind him to the obvious foolishness of the situation.  He started trying to defend the publisher by going "well they need the money for publishing costs etc" and I said "even small publishers don't ask for money so please promise me you won't send them anything". 
He relented and said he'd write to them and ask them about changing the details of the contract.....I'm still very worried about it all!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on October 18, 2009, 01:10:02 PM
If he's desperate enough to pay three grand to get his novel published, tell him to take it to Publish America instead - they'll publish it for no charge. It's a much better deal, but it's still what I'd call vanity publishing, and better left well alone by 99% of aspiring authors, IMO.

Never - never - never pay that kind of money to a 'publisher', though. Any other option is preferable. It's a blatent rip off.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on October 19, 2009, 02:41:26 AM
Feeling really sketchy this morning. I think it's because it's the start of another crazy busy week, and I don't handle chaos well - I like everything ordered, so I know where I am all the time. Currently, I've got seven jobs to get my head around, split between four clients, no, hang on, it's eight jobs and five clients - see, it's doing my head in just trying to think about it :idiot:

To cap it all, the clocks go back next weekend, so that means shorter working days and having to set up lights mid afternoon, otherwise I can't see what I'm doing. Then it's extra time at the end of the day, waiting for the lights to cool down before they can be moved and wrapped up. Urgh - I hate this time of year. It feels very austere.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on October 20, 2009, 01:46:19 PM
I had a bit of a problem with the computer last night, I was locked out of it and kept getting a message that said ‘can not load user profile.’ I have no idea if this was as the result of a malicious act or just one of those things. Anyways, I phoned Woody and he told me of a way to get round this problem. I fired up the PC with a minimal set of drivers and all seemed fine.

What happened next was my own fault.

I thought it would be a good idea to delete the profile in question and with that done I rebooted. Alas I was wrong. I first noticed that the desktop background was gone and that several icons had vanished. Then it hit me. All that I had written over the last two years was no more including the story I’ve been working on. Worst of all there was no backup for any of it. I tried system restore but what’s not there anymore can’t be restored. I could’ve screamed.

It’s not that any of it was that great, but some of it weren’t to shabby.

Oh well, there’s a lesson learned.   :bangh:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on October 20, 2009, 01:52:57 PM
ouch

Commiserations...


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on October 20, 2009, 02:30:17 PM
Ouch, indeed. I'd hang fire a bit though, Caz - I seem to remember that nothing is actually deleted from your hard drive unless it's overwritten. I'll ask a few friends that are into this stuff and let you know if there's some kind of programme you can get to recover the info.

I know it's not much consolation, but at least you've got a few stories archived in the crit group section of the forum. You've probably got a few attached to e-mails still in your sent box from when you've subbed them to places, too.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on October 20, 2009, 02:53:34 PM
Yep - Caz, take a look at this article, and don't use your comp any more than you absolutely have to, until you've read this - http://lifehacker.com/393084/how-to-recover-deleted-files-with-free-software


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on October 20, 2009, 03:05:31 PM
Cheers for the info, Ed. I downloaded one of the apps and here's hoping.   


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on October 20, 2009, 04:29:11 PM
Fingers crossed for you. I hate that feeling when you realize you've done something awful like that. It feels like you've been eviscerated, doesn't it.


Title: .
Post by: Woody on October 20, 2009, 08:19:10 PM
mustn't have my stuff here, ed keeps it.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on October 21, 2009, 01:51:32 PM
I tried three of the free apps and thought I had found some of the stories, but all I found were shortcuts no sign of the stories themselves. Looks like it's a lost cause.

It feels like you've been eviscerated, doesn't it.

I had to look up 'eviscerated' in the dictionary Ed and it does feel a bit like that. We all put a lot of effort into this story telling and to lose everything in one fell swoop is a real  :nk: but it's a lessoned learned and one I won't forget in a hurry.

I'll salvage some of the stuff from the crit group as 'Damned' was one of the stories I'd been working on, just got to try and remember what the hell it was that I added to it.

Bloody hell, Caz. That's bad

Not your fault Woody. If I'd spent a bit more time thinking about what I was doing instead of charging in like a runaway bull, nothing new there, the I'm sure the outcome would've been different. 


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on October 21, 2009, 02:31:23 PM
Sorry to hear that, Caz. I asked some friends and they suggested this one - http://hotfile.com/dl/15198197/8946799/GetData.Recover.My.Files.Professional.v4.0.2.441.Cracked-DJiNN.rar.html - might be better than the ones you've already tried.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on October 21, 2009, 04:00:56 PM
Had a proper nightmare last night, but was strangely calm throughout. I dreamt I was at work, patching together some electrics with spade connectors and the like while the electrician made concerned noises, and said things like, "You're going to do it like that, are you?" with a raised eyebrow. I tried plugging one wire into another, hoping for the best, then there was a fizzing noise, followed by smoke from behind the panel. The electrician suggested I pull the contacts apart, but I'd already looped a screwdriver behind the wire and given it a good yank by the time he'd finished saying it. Then the junction box below the one I was working on set light to a stack of paper that was wedged up underneath it. It burned fiercely, as if in a highly oxegenated atmosphere.

I picked up a towel and legged it outside to a tank, where I dunked the towel, rung it out and ran back into the building, but by the time I reached the fire, the electrician had already put it out. It wqas only then I realised how stupid it would have been to try and put out an electrical fire with a wet towel :idiot: The dream ended there, and I awoke feeling quite calm. If anything I was actually feeling pleased at having had a dream I could actually remember. Weird.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on October 22, 2009, 01:42:36 PM
Thanks for the link , Ed. I'm going to give it a try now.

Sounds like a strange dream btw, premonition maybe. The one I had last night turned out to be. It was about cheese and cling-film and it reminded me that I had to buy some today. :cool: 


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Rook on October 23, 2009, 02:29:40 PM
I am sick. I have a nasty little virus.
My head aches splintering all sound into shards of pain. Every time I move the room spins delightfully. Lovely little shivers run up and down my lethargic body as I stare at the computer screen, wishing I was not too distracted to write something of substance.
I HATE BEING ILL!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on October 23, 2009, 02:38:25 PM
Yeah, it sucks mightily. I had a pretty bad cold last week - head spinning, hot flushes, coughing, sneezing and generally dopey. I dosed myself regularly with ibuprofen and lemsips laced with elderflower cordial. The worst of it was over with after about two days, but it still lingers a week later.

I hope you're feeling better soon, Rook :buck:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Rook on October 23, 2009, 05:38:46 PM
Thanks for the commiseration, Ed!

I'm using my mother's cure-all trinity- Unsweetened cranberry juice, yogurt and tea. And ibuprofen.
Between them I'm sure I'll be over it in a few days, but my grandmother (who I can thank for this) has a sinus infection on top of it.
Luckily, she's a tough old bird.
Of course, it doesn't help that its been cold and grey all day.

Allright, I'm done complaining.

Thanks again!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on October 23, 2009, 11:28:03 PM
4.30 am. Just finished my toast, enjoying some coffee, and then I'm doing the run to Heathrow and back. It's half term and 50% of the family is off to New York. I have a week of dog and boy sitting, and hopefully writing several short stories. But first I have to wake up.

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on October 24, 2009, 04:31:25 AM
I love the feel of airports, which is strange because I don't usually like crowds of people. Must be some kind of happy vibe, I suppose, like the atmosphere at a concert.

Have you got the time off work, Del, or is somebody else looking after your son during the day?


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on October 24, 2009, 04:46:44 AM
Back now. 200 miles before 9.30. Feels like lunchtime already.

Yep, I love airports too. Just wished I was off to Manhattan as well. But I do have the week off. The last month has been manic at work so I'm just happy to have some time to chill and, hopefully, write. Might have to do a bit of work work on Monday but that depends on whether a script/speech I wrote for my vice-president meets her requirements or not. The brief she gave me was very, uh, brief so I don't know if what I wrote meets the needs. Doing such things is only a tiny part of my job, but it's nice to be able to use the old writing skills in the workplace once in a while.

Del


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on October 24, 2009, 06:14:55 PM
Clocks fall back an hour tonight. Lighter mornings, darker earlier in the evenings, rain, cold, dismal, dreary, urgh...  :gross: I hate this time of year.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on October 25, 2009, 06:28:23 AM
I love this time of year! The smell of the leaves, the colours, the sharp, bright frosts... everything!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on October 25, 2009, 07:31:44 AM
It's not so great if you're colourblind with a blocked nose. :buck:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on October 25, 2009, 05:03:44 PM
I forgot about putting the clocks back and thought I woke up at 10:30, then spent two hours really confused and hungover haha I had a full day at my local art gallery yesterday and my back's killing me, but it was worth it - I helped kiddywinks make paper pumpkins and get all arty!  It was really cool.  And I got to take a real pumpkin home to do something "arty" with...I'm thinking of making up a fairy tale about a prince who turns into a pumpkin then writing it all over the pumpkin.  Phew!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on October 30, 2009, 02:38:38 PM
I knocked up, barrowed and levelled four ton of concrete today and now my back hurts. Oooh the pain.  :ugly:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on October 30, 2009, 03:00:12 PM
Did you swap hands with the shovel every so often, or just do the whole lot the same way? I always try to alternate if I'm doing something strenuous and repetitive, then at least you get symmetrical pain. :grin:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on October 30, 2009, 04:56:08 PM
I do the same when riding my bike on 50+ mile journeys. No, I don't mean I alternate left and right foot  :bleh: But remembering to lift my feet upwards instead of always pushing down. With the cleats there's still rotational energy when pulling up and it both relieves some leg muscles while exercising others.

Every few miles, when no one else is on the road, I windmill my arms or my shoulders get cramped.

Small fry compared to shoveling 4 tons of cement, sand, anything!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on October 31, 2009, 08:06:59 AM
Did you swap hands with the shovel every so often, or just do the whole lot the same way?

No I just bit the bullet and struggled on, might try that idea though. I think the worst part of it was the barrow run which was mostly up hill and included a bouncy scaffold board ramp. Oh, what fun.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: digitaldeath on October 31, 2009, 08:28:09 AM
being short of cash and common sense I bought a ruin in Spain. Now it is a five+ bed farmhouse. In four yours I have lost count of concrete and cement render, maybe a hundred tons. Then 250 square metres of ceramic floor tiles. All that with a deformed spine after a head on motorcycle accident, lorry on wrong side of road. It just proves I mad. Mind you that is why there is so much pain in the horror writing! :dance:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 02, 2009, 06:44:26 PM
Sent out three subs to magazines tonight. Fingers crossed now :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: desertwomble on November 03, 2009, 02:22:58 AM
Sent out three subs to magazines tonight. Fingers crossed now :smiley:

Is it your birthday, ED?

DW :cheesy:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 03, 2009, 08:14:45 AM
I think it might just be, judging by the lucky escape I've just had. I was kneeling on the ground, drilling through a wall with a two inch diamond core when there was an almighty flashbang - I'd hit a mains electric cable that some idiot had threaded down the cavity - three phase 440 volts at 300 amps. Had I been touching any of the metal parts of the drill at the time, I'd be dead right now.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on November 03, 2009, 08:19:34 AM
Bloody 'ell, Ed...  :shocked:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: JonP on November 03, 2009, 08:49:28 AM
Good grief. How do we know it's you that's posting, though, Ed? This is Cafe Doom after all.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Rook on November 03, 2009, 09:02:11 AM
Damn....

I wouldn't take any risks for a few days, I would bet you've used up your luck.

I thought it was a cardinal rule not to attempt to electrocute your co-workers. What did the idiot have to say for himself?

Of course, JonP has a point.......perhaps it was no accident......


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on November 03, 2009, 09:05:41 AM
Sheesh! I'm glad you got all the competition stories posted at the weekend, Ed. Imagine if you hadn't!!

On a technical note, is it not the done thing threading a cable down the cavity wall? Not that I've ever thought about it before, but were I needing to run a cable from, say, the loft to the kitchen, dropping it down the cavity would seem like the most sensible solution. But I guess that's why I'm not a sparky!

Anyway, glad you're oka.

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 03, 2009, 01:13:09 PM
Rook - it wasn't anybody on site - it's the main from the street, before the meter and anything fancy like fuses or breakers. It would have been installed by the utility company. I wanted to channel my house's incoming mains down the cavity, sheathed in a steel pipe, which some companies let you do, but my provider won't allow it under any circumstances. This one was in a plastic pipe, which I'm pretty sure is illegal.

I didn't think much of it until the guys on site started calling me a lucky bastard. Usually I would have had one hand on the gearbox, which is aluminium, and the other hand on the handle pressing the trigger. If I had done that today I would be dead. It was a very close call when I think about it.

The guys on site said I should do the lottery tonight, because today must be the luckiest day of my life. I'll probably get hit by a bus on the way to the shop, now.

Del - funny, I thought the same thing. If I'd done the home perm thing, posting on the forum would have been the last thing on my wife's mind. Chances are I'd have just dropped off the radar and not been heard from again in and shape or form. Complete mystery.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on November 03, 2009, 01:45:53 PM
Well done on surviving the shock, Ed. I've been zapped myself, one of the times I thought my arm had been blown off, painful stuff. Sounds like that dream you were talking about a few posts back may well have been a premonition. 


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on November 03, 2009, 05:04:37 PM
Glad you are still with us, Ed. Funny thing is that on my bike ride to Nottingham, I hurtled down a steep hill and thought - wow, if my brakes melted and I flew over that wall at the bottom into that overgrown field, no one would find me for weeks. Instead of thinking that I haven't made a will I thought about the forums I inhabit. Would I be missed - probably not, especially after a few weeks. Sometimes I get emails from folk on other forums I've let go but there are so many forums and so many members leaving them, a disappearing member (so to speak) wouldn't be so odd.



Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 03, 2009, 05:54:23 PM
You've been missed here in the past, Geoff. I remember making enquiries in various places because I hadn't seen you around in a week or two. Whether Gaynor would come online and say you'd taken a header would determine whether we would find out if anything happened to you. My Mrs doesn't have any interest in anything online, so the chances are nobody would know what had happened to me if I suddenly stopped coming online.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on November 04, 2009, 03:12:06 AM
With the above in mind I'm thinking of writing an 'in the event of my death' note with the web links and passwords, etc, and requests. Not a will exactly but similar. I'd leave a copy on my main home PC but no one might look closely enough inside the files though son and daughter might dive in there to retrieve family photos and docs so I'd leave a copy there. Also in the family safe - funny how all our valuables can be put in a tiny box with room for more.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Pharosian on November 04, 2009, 11:00:36 AM
With the above in mind I'm thinking of writing an 'in the event of my death' note...

Odd... After reading the posts about Ed's near miss and your long biking treks, I had a similar impulse. I've wondered in the past what would happen if I got hit by a truck on the way to work one morning. How would people in the online community ever find out? One of the authors on another forum died a couple of years ago, and her husband notified the admin. I always wondered how he knew how to do that... whether his wife left instructions (her death was sudden and unexpected, though, so it wasn't done in anticipation, as it might have been had she had a lingering illness) or whether he just went through her browser shortcuts on her computer.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on November 04, 2009, 11:59:19 AM
Yeah, I too knew a writer friend from another forum who passed away unexpectedly. She was someone I'd spent time with in the real world and got on really well with. Hadn't heard from her in several months and it was a shock when I visited that forum and discovered she'd died. When it happens to me you can rest assure that I'll simply vanish and it'll be like I was never here save for a few megabytes of crap on various servers and a couple of ex-library westerns being sold off for 25p in musty old bookshops. I really ought to run up some reasonably large debts. That way at least someone will care when I go.

Del


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on November 04, 2009, 05:11:35 PM
Ah, Del, you mean much more than that to us.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 04, 2009, 06:29:03 PM
Turns out the electricty board came just after I left site yesterday. They looked at the cable and asked what happened to the guy who drilled it - "bet he got blown half way across the road, didn't he?", they said. When the guys on site told them I'd walked away unscathed, they were incredulous. Said I must be the luckiest man alive. Scary shit.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: elay2433 on November 04, 2009, 10:11:24 PM
Pretty damn lucky I'd say. Glad to have you with us still, Ed.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 05, 2009, 02:36:23 AM
Thanks - yeah, I went and bought a lottery ticket last night on the suggestion of my workmates. Didn't get hit by a bus on the way there, but I'm still waiting for the Yin-Yang backlash, Final Destination style.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on November 05, 2009, 02:10:27 PM
Crikey Ed!  Being a holy sort, I can officially label you a Walking Miracle (tm).  If that was me, I'd probably lock myself away from all possible further harm.  Like the girl in Final Destination 2, in fact  ;)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on November 09, 2009, 04:24:23 AM
Got those Monday morning blues again. Not a bad case. I don't think there's a hellhound on my trail. But there's a relentlessness to work at the moment (and has been for some time) that feels like an increasing weight on my shoulders. Best as I can work out it's to do with being deep into the working life with an equivalent amount of time stretching ahead, and no prospect of doing anything different in the immediate future. It's like a long flight when the early hours are full of excitement about where you're going and what it's going to be like (and checking out the air hostess's legs), and the last few hours see a sense of the journey being done, survived, almost over, and the destination is upon one. But those middle hours are just dull and relentless and feel like they're going on forever and that the monotony will never end...

Or maybe it's just Monday.

Del


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 09, 2009, 05:23:18 AM
Trouble is - the final destination isn't a long and happy retirement, Del. This is it. I keep drumming it into my kids that the one thing they've got to do is work towards a career they enjoy doing, because they are going to spend a lot of time doing it. You very much are what you do in this life, I think.

Recent forced changes in my work situation have taught me some valuable lessons. I've spent a lot of years working for the same group of miserable bastards, and I now realised I've suffered under them when I could have been enjoying those years of work with companies who not only pay the same or more, but actually praise me for my work and openly value my contribution.

The funny part is I would have stayed where I was because I thought it was easier, safer, etc. It's only because my hand was forced that I've found a better slot for myself. A friend told me a long time ago that you've got to keep moving if you want decent pay and conditions, because the people who stay where they are out of fear or misplaced loyalty fall behind and get overlooked, maybe even mistreated by the bosses. I didn't really believe her at the time, but I think she was right.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on November 09, 2009, 06:27:52 AM
Yeah... I know the journey is it. That life isn't about waiting for some point in the future when everything's sorted and one can finally start enjoying oneself. But it's still tough turning that knowledge into reality when it's Monday, and the difference between Saturday / Sunday and Monday is night and day.

Del


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on November 12, 2009, 04:26:12 PM
I'm going to be a godparent! 

My best mate asked if I'd like to be the second godfather to his son, and of course I was delighted to accept  :smiley: the only trouble is, I can't find 'proof' I was Christened (in Australia) so I don't know how the church here would look upon that.  I'm going to keep searching my attic but otherwise I'll have to call my friend and give him the good/bad news, see if he'd like me to get re-Christened in this country (I'd be willing to) otherwise I'll understand if the hassle/delay causes him to withdraw his offer. 

I do think it's a bit daft that you need to prove a Christening, surely it wouldn't matter anyway because the point is you're promising to do right by the child in the eyes of God, and whatever your religious beliefs, that's something you'd take very seriously...?


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Rook on November 12, 2009, 05:26:50 PM
Congratulations! :)

I am constantly amazed at the injection of bureaucracy into everything. Apparently, no one trusts anyone. ::)

Good luck on your search!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 12, 2009, 05:29:43 PM
I agree - it's more about the promise than anything else, isn't it? Maybe you could try contacting the church where you were christened - I'm pretty sure they keep the records and could maybe send you a duplicate. Did you do the confirmation as well, or just the first one when you've no choice in the matter? I hardly know anybody who did it.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on November 13, 2009, 12:31:25 PM
Just the first one where I had no choice in the matter  ;) no-one in my family knows/remembers the name of the church (it was done in 1989 and my aunty and uncle who 'organised' it passed away years ago) and it's uncovered all this secret family politics I had no idea about until yesterday (I wasn't Christened when I was a baby and this was a huge taboo in my family, which is why it eventually happened when I was 9 or 10).   :shocked:

I told my friend I only know it was 'Perth, 1989' and he said I just need to speak with their vicar to make sure it's not a problem (he doesn't think it will be).  Fingers crossed!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on November 13, 2009, 03:23:15 PM
Had the old winter vomiting bug this week. Boy, that was grim. Lost half a stone in weight, coffee and food now taste horrible, I ache all over and am having trouble concentrating. Though I'm not sure I can blame the last one on the bug!

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 13, 2009, 04:58:21 PM
Sorry to hear that, Del. I thought you'd been quiet this week. Chucking-up is horrible, but it does tend to clear out all your nasal passages and you generally find you can taste your food much better for a while after. Strange you should say it tastes worse. I've had the opposite experience in the past.

Hope you're feeling better now, anyway.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on November 14, 2009, 06:11:14 AM
Maybe I'm suddenly tasting stuff as it really is - and thus the idea for a story is born!

Not right, yet. But slowly getting back to normal. I reckon another 24 hours and I'll be at my fighting weight again.

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on November 14, 2009, 01:48:56 PM
Went down the town today and picked up Stephen King's latest book 'Under The Dome.' One of the big high-street book sellers had it on special offer. Normally I wouldn't buy a hardback but at a tenner I couldn't turn it down. The weight of it though, it's like picking up half a dozen bricks. A workout for the mind and the muscles all in one. :afro:

I also read an article about a guy called Robert Rines in the paper this morning. He passed away this week and had been a lawyer, scientist and Nessie hunter amongst other things. He believed the monster existed, it probably is,was, a plesiosaur. He knew this because he saw it with his own eyes. It's always a shame when someone of great belief leaves us as there's so few of them around these days. 


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on November 14, 2009, 03:23:36 PM
Sorry to hear about your vomiting bug, Del. Better out than in and all that.

Know what you mean, Caz, about losing someone unique. As a kid our garden led to a block of flats in Cheltenham. An elderly couple befriended us to the effect that me and dad often did their decorating and odd jobs. The old fellah was a classic old soldierl from India with many stories. He was also stationed in Canada and reckoned he was the first person to drive a car there. He had the wonderful name of Captain Saddington-Jarvis. He'd died by the time I returned from uni in the mid 1970s and I felt it wsa the end of an era. Not that I'm particularly proud of the way the British Empire coloured pink so much of the globe.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on November 15, 2009, 04:18:25 PM
Did a spot of fishing today for the first time since I sold the car two summers back. I've been missing the fishing - every time I cycle by the river or the canal or see a decent lake I get that old urge. So when I woke early today and saw it was a beautiful crisp morning I thought hey ho - let's go. I cut three loops of string from a bale of twine, tied my rod and landing net to the crossbar of my bike (just like I used to do when I was 12 or 13), slung a small bag of tackle over my back, and cycled off to the canal. Didn't catch anything, but it was great fun, and very liberating. The last few years I'd got caught up in that whole adult thing of believing one needed loads of tackle - and hence a car - and here I was tootling down a (very) muddy towpath (coming off the bike on a couple of occasions, but luckily landing on my feet) with just the bare minimum. Totally relaxing, got a bit of fresh air, some exercise, and rekindled a passion. Can't argue with all that that before breakfast.

Del


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 15, 2009, 05:04:08 PM
Sounds great, Del :afro:

I've just finished today's chores, set the dishwasher going, and the washing machine. The kids are in bed, the wife's out of hospital now, but still very weak. I've made sure she stayed put all day, with a duvet on the sofa, watching TV, eating what she can stomach, etc.

I'm absolutely knackered. Still got seven stories left to read and crit, but I'm hoping to get them done by the time James comes back with his results. If I can do another three tonight and four tomorrow I think I should be in with a shout :afro:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on November 16, 2009, 03:56:05 AM
Puncture on the way to work today. Getting fed with up this. Had one on the way home last week, when I last rode into the office. Not sure why I get so many. Haven't got any puncture repair gear with me, either, so I'll have to buy a new tube and a mini-pump lunchtime and get all dirty in the bikeshed. Ah well. At least it's not raining...

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: digitaldeath on November 16, 2009, 07:30:14 AM
What about that stuff in cans, puts gunge and air in at the same time. Works for most small holes. I use a quad on my land over here. The thistles kill goats from ten feet. A couple attacked the quad tyres, I made the hole larger with a nail and pumped silicon mastic in then turned the puncture to the ground and left it over night. One worked, one may be iffy, but there may be another hole. I'm not a cheap skate, just broke.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 19, 2009, 02:22:46 PM
I spotted this stuff in Tri-UK that advertised itself as making your tyres puncture proof. I asked the guy behind the counter whether it actually works, and he said it greatly reduces the number of punctures you get. It's a long thin strip that you put into the tyre before the inner tube, similar to the one that protects the inner tube from the spoke ends. It's made from tough plastic. Might be worth a try, Del :afro:

Seems ever so quiet around here after a competition has finished, doesn't it? Bit of an anticlimax after all the voting drama.

In other news - my nipper has uploaded a video of himself (filmed by my youngest, who's nine) playing his flying-v, which he bought with his birthday money. I think he's pretty good for a twelve year old kid. Shame about the tune - he can play more interesting tunes, like Love in the Afternoon and Smoke on the Water, Paranoid, by Black Sabbath. Here's the vid (shame he didn't think to tidy his room first :grin: )

http://www.youtube.com/v/ekD0g1jxwM8&hl=en_GB&fs=1&



Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on November 19, 2009, 04:16:59 PM
Proof Britain does have talent!  Cool sound.

And his room IS tidy.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 20, 2009, 03:46:15 AM
I've been paying for him to have guitar lessons at school for probably three or four years, and he loves it, but since moving to his new school we've had to get a private tutor for him, because the new school's tutor lost an arm in a motorbike accident during the summer holidays. Can you think of anything more horrific for a musician to bear?


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on November 20, 2009, 05:13:21 AM
Jeez. That's awful  :(   I recall the Kings Cross tube fire all those years back, one of the guys who's hands were terribly burned was a professional guitar player. I still remember that the journalist describing the wounds said the fellow's hands had melted. I was teaching a guy for a while who had to give up the guitar because his partner lost a leg in a car accident and he was suddenly the one doing all the jobs and tasks that we take for granted someone else will do. We are very fragile beings.

On a brighter note, there's nothing greater than playing music. Few things greater, anyway. One of my students has just 'cracked' the blues - suddenly started to improvise properly and fit the right phrases in the right places. His face, when he realised what a great sound he was creating, was brilliant. Makes it all worthwhile. My job, next week, alas, is to pull him back from such glory and make sure he's not neglecting his chords. Mean Del!

Derek



Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: digitaldeath on November 20, 2009, 06:43:08 AM
I feel sorry for Beethoven, deaf so although he had the tune in his head he didn't know if people were doing it justice. Hell, listening to the Pastoral you can almost imagine pictures


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on November 20, 2009, 12:39:12 PM
Beethoven was only completely deaf for his last symphony, the ninth. His hearing started to deteriorate in the 1790s so he would have lost some of it by the time the pastoral was written. Quite an achievement to have written many works in the completely deaf period of his life - apparently he could detect beats by placing a long reed on the piano and to the bone behind his ear. Apparently it is true that after he'd finished conducting the ninth symphony with the famous Ode to Joy choral, he had to be turned to see that the audience were giving him a standing ovation!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 20, 2009, 12:47:10 PM
I didn't know that. I had assumed he was deaf for most of his life.

Del - thanks for the note - I reckon he'll be chuffed when he sees it. I know what you mean about that moment when something clicks and everything falls into place. It's a great feeling, and one I haven't had in a long time. I really should get on and learn something new in my spare time.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on November 20, 2009, 01:31:33 PM
The composer Janacek not only went deaf, he suffered bad tinnitus, which meant he heard a specific high pitched note all the time (which he later included in one of his string quartets).

Plenty of professional musicians have to stop for one reason or another. I'm one. Can't play any more due to disability. Do I let it get me down? Not for a moment. I write and I illustrate, with reasonable success, and getting better at it all the time. And I can still teach violin, even if I can't stand up and play in a concert hall any more.

Years ago, I went to a master class given by Jaqueline Du Pre, when she was wheelchair-bound due to MS. She couldn't half teach still, even though she had no way of playing a cello. I learnt a lot from just that one session (and I'm not even a cellist).

Btw Ed, your sons are impressive, both playing the guitar and filming a very watchable video. Innate musicality and great visual sense combined. They should go far. 



Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 21, 2009, 06:37:52 AM
I was quite impressed that they cooked up the scheme between them to make a video and then post it on YouTube. It was all done unprompted, and the only bit I gave them any help with was getting an e-mail account to use for the YouTube account. When I saw the camerawork I thought it was great fun to watch. Much better than I had expected.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 22, 2009, 09:29:47 AM
Dunno if it's the weather or just the past few weeks catching up with me, but I feel absolutely knackered. I slept like a baby Friday night, then woke up late Saturday morning. Felt sleepy again after lunch and slept the afternoon until about 4:30, went to bed at eleven and slept right through again, until mid morning. Maybe I'm just getting old :scratch:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on November 22, 2009, 06:21:15 PM
It occurred to me that when I write a story I have to be there, be part of it. Oh well, gotta start somewhere. :cool:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on November 23, 2009, 05:46:51 AM
Well, it's still pouring down here. Was hoping to get out on the bike at the weekend, but the weather put paid to that. Ended up going Christmas shopping...both days.  >:(  Still, a few brownie points accumulated.

Must be something in the air, Ed. I'm struggling to get the old motor up to speed these last few weeks. This morning is no exception. Maybe it's the body adapting to the coming cold season, reducing the call on reserves, getting ready to hibernate, all that.

Del


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 23, 2009, 03:07:59 PM
I vaguely remember reading about the adding and taking of an hour at the beginning and end of summertime takes several weeks to adapt to, during which time your body feels something like jetlag. Not sure how true it is, but it would seem to fit with how I'm feeling. Could be down to the crappy weather though. Seems like endless rain at the moment ::)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on November 25, 2009, 08:11:47 AM
It seems like the monsters are changing! The kids were off to see the latest in the Twilight saga last night, and they were telling me all about the books, which are, apparantly awesome. There are werewolves and vampires... and as they explained the plot I said, I thought werewolves only came out on a full moon...and: surely vampires die in the daylight? "No, " said Max. "These glow in the day. They're more real than the old vampires."

Excellent!

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 25, 2009, 04:33:01 PM
Bram Stoker's Dracula could walk in daylight, but had diminished powers, so they're just going back to the beginning again, I suppose. Them busting into flames when sunlight touches them is convenient for some writers, but I prefer the original idea.




Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on November 25, 2009, 05:29:48 PM
There's me showing my ignorance again. Long time since I read the original. For me,  Dracula is those first three Hammer films with peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. Three of the greatest horror films of all time.

Derek


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: desertwomble on November 26, 2009, 12:33:26 AM
I think you'll find that the 'diminished powers' scenario was put into Francis Ford Coppola's 1992 'Dracula' for cinematic purposes.

As far as I know, vampire, the Count included, frazzle in sunlight according to Bram Stoker.

DW :cheesy:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on November 26, 2009, 11:20:28 AM
A quick look at the interweb is full of interesting articles on this subject, and lots of snippets of information that could breathe new life into many a vampire story. Maybe that's what's happened in the Twilight story - certainly it's taking the teenage readership by storm.

Wikipedia has an excellent article and even explains the genesis of the term Penny Dreadful ("...a story by delboy. The term captures both the quality and the likely renumeration of this author's work.").

Regards,
Del


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 26, 2009, 03:30:34 PM
I think you'll find that the 'diminished powers' scenario was put into Francis Ford Coppola's 1992 'Dracula' for cinematic purposes.

As far as I know, vampire, the Count included, frazzle in sunlight according to Bram Stoker.

DW :cheesy:

I'm searching the text for the passage where the count is wandering around London in daylight, but I haven't found it yet. I found this bit, though:

Quote
The next instant, with a sinuous dive he swept under Harker's arm, ere his blow could fall, and grasping a handful of the money from the floor, dashed across the room, threw himself at the window. Amid the crash and glitter of the falling glass, he tumbled into the flagged area below. Through the sound of the shivering glass I could hear the "ting" of the gold, as some of the sovereigns fell on the flagging.

We ran over and saw him spring unhurt from the ground. He, rushing up the steps, crossed the flagged yard, and pushed open the stable door. There he turned and spoke to us.

"You think to baffle me, you with your pale faces all in a row, like sheep in a butcher's. You shall be sorry yet, each one of you! You think you have left me without a place to rest, but I have more. My revenge is just begun! I spread it over centuries, and time is on my side. Your girls that you all love are mine already. And through them you and others shall yet be mine, my creatures, to do my bidding and to be my jackals when I want to feed. Bah!"

With a contemptuous sneer, he passed quickly through the door, and we heard the rusty bolt creak as he fastened it behind him.

***shortened***

Godalming and Morris had rushed out into the yard, and Harker had lowered himself from the window to follow the Count. He had, however, bolted the stable door, and by the time they had forced it open there was no sign of him. Van Helsing and I tried to make inquiry at the back of the house. But the mews was deserted and no one had seen him depart.

It was now late in the afternoon, and sunset was not far off. We had to recognize that our game was up.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on November 26, 2009, 03:41:24 PM
I watched the first Twlight film recently to see what the fuss was all about, and thought it was adequate.  Although, either the director etc perfectly captured the stilted awkwardness of teens in love, or everthing from the direction etc was hideously stilted  :cheesy: I did laugh at how Edward sparkled in daylight; I'd only watch the second one if the werewolves glow in the dark.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on November 26, 2009, 06:52:28 PM
The trailer seemed so 1960s Hollywood to me - not always a bad thing, but it was in this case. Then with all the hype it would have to be amazing to live up to expectations.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Grillmeat on November 26, 2009, 07:17:25 PM
Well its a little late here, but happy Thanksgiving to everyone. In my defense, I've been enjoying the family and eating waaaaay to much food. Hope everyone's day was grand!!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on November 27, 2009, 07:06:38 AM
This week seems to have really dragged. It's been raining all week (although the sun's out now so I'm going to take the hound for a walk), let's hope for a nice weekend. I'd like to get out on the bike or spend a couple of hours on the canal bank, but the way things have been I might well be holed up trying to keep dry. Still, soon be Christmas  :ssmiley

Del


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 27, 2009, 01:27:22 PM
A belated happy Thanksgiving to our American cousins :afro: I'm never quite sure when it's supposed to be, because I've never seen one, but it sounds good :smiley:

Can't wait for Christmas to come along - looking forward to as long a holiday as I can get away with. I'm going to try for two weeks.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on November 28, 2009, 10:20:14 AM
Since end of September I've looked at the 10-day weather forecast for N.Wales urging it to show a min of 4 dry days for me to go cycle camping to Snowdonia. Even now its winter with expected cold, there seems to be no high pressure giving us cold but dry days for more than 2 at a time. I don't mind cold if it around 5 C or more - I soon generate heat while cycling and have a warm sleeping bag for night. But its suicidal riding in rain. Grrrrr

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on November 29, 2009, 09:47:59 AM
In spite of my (only cycle in the dry) comment above I set off this morning to get a Sunday paper. Overcast and only 4C but my legs yearned for rotation. Half an hour's exhilarating country lanes later the sleet hit me in the face. No turning back without having reached Pont-y-Bodkin paper shop so I set my attitude to enjoy-whatever and curiously I did.

At least the rain was behind me on the way back unless I exceeded 15mph at which speed I caught it up and got a wet face again!





Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 29, 2009, 11:41:10 AM
Urgh - better you than me, Geoff. If there's anything I hate more than being rained on, it's getting pelted in the face by rain while cycling. It's as close to misery incarnate as is possible, I think :scratch:

Still, at least you enjoyed it, which is the main thing :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Pharosian on November 29, 2009, 11:52:27 AM
Things have been hectic here, hosting the family Thanksgiving get-together this year. Nine of my relatives arrived on Wednesday, including parents, aunts, siblings, and my adorable high-energy 18-month-old nephew. Fortunately, my part of the deal ended at providing the venue; my brother agreed to do the cooking, as I'm hopeless in the kitchen beyond a few simple dishes (not to mention the fact that my stress level increases exponentially with the number of people involved).

It all worked out well, though. We had a lovely Thanksgiving meal on Thursday. On Friday my mother made her traditional "leftover" meal of creamed turkey and peas with biscuits on top (I'm not sure what that translates to for the Brits, but "biscuits" doesn't mean "cookies") and on Saturday my dad took us out for dinner. The first two relatives departed yesterday; the rest leave tomorrow, and I go back to work on Tuesday... but only for the four days. After having so many people around for several days and all the stress leading up to their arrival, I need a *real* vacation.

So next Saturday I'm heading to sunny Kauai!  :dance:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 29, 2009, 04:08:11 PM
Sounds great - wish I was going with you. Right now I'd kill for the chance of a couple weeks off in the sun :afro:

I think it's nice having Thanksgiving when it is - I get the impression that Americans use Thanksgiving as a kind of starting block for Christmas, so everything from here onwards is 'the festive season', whereas here in the UK and in the rest of the world Christmas can and does kinda sneak up on you. Blam - it hits you, and then before you know it it's all over and you wonder where it went.

BTW, what you call biscuits we call scones (some people say 's-cones' and others say 'sc-ons'). I remember me and the missus sitting in a diner somewhere in California, staring at the menu and asking what the hell biscuits and gravy was about. It's soup and scones - so why not call it that? :idiot:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on November 29, 2009, 05:35:16 PM
Sounds like a cobbler to me. That's a sort of scone mix top over a casseroled base.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 29, 2009, 07:17:23 PM
No, it's not a cobbler, Delph - we saw somebody eating it. They had a bowl of soup with scones instead of bread.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on November 30, 2009, 06:29:19 AM
Now that's just weird   :grin: mind you, I'm always impressed when I go to American restaurants for breakfast and see everything from pancakes to jelly(!) on offer. 

I haven't written anything in almost two weeks, so plan to use today to crack on with several stories, but I'm in a kind of malaise, in that I know what I want to write, but it's actually doing it that seems harder than anything else. Kind of like I have so many ideas I can form a coherent start point for something, if that makes sense.  Also, my parents are back off holiday so I think my dad will drag me along to the supermarket with him which'll eat up the day.

edit: and speaking of Christmas...

At work this weekend, I had a table full of kids to look after and help with art activities and one of them mentioned Christmas.  This young lass, about 7, asked the others "Who believes in Santa?" to which all the other youngsters raised their hands.  This lass then goes "I don't.  He's not real."  The silence that draped itself over the table was really, really uncomfortable  :P I said "well do you leave mince pies or beer out for Santa?" and she goes "Yes" and I said "and do they get eaten and drunk?" and she goes "yes" and thankfully a parent piped up with "We leave him things like that too an he gobbles it all up" and this lass goes, a little more uncertain, "I don't think he's real though" and I said "If he's not real, who delivers my presents?  Because I believe in him." which confused her a bit but seemed to do the trick haha I think it's terrible kids that young have reason to question something as joyous as Father Christmas.  I think I believed in him right up until I was nine, but so did all my friends so it wasn't like I was a 'late bloomer' so to speak.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on November 30, 2009, 07:12:32 AM
I never believed in Santa. Didn't occur to me to believe in him. When I was little we went to department stores and I enjoyed going round Santa's grotto, but the man himself was so obviously just any old bloke in a costume (and the gift he gave was such a load of cheap plastic shite) that to 'believe' would have been completely irrational. I've never been that irrational.  ;)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: desertwomble on November 30, 2009, 09:20:34 AM
I never believed in Santa. Didn't occur to me to believe in him. When I was little we went to department stores and I enjoyed going round Santa's grotto, but the man himself was so obviously just any old bloke in a costume (and the gift he gave was such a load of cheap plastic shite) that to 'believe' would have been completely irrational. I've never been that irrational.  ;)

You've gone too far this time, Del!

I'm sending the elves round!

SC (aka FC, aka SN) :cheesy:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: elay2433 on November 30, 2009, 10:29:02 AM
Quote
When I was little we went to department stores and I enjoyed going round Santa's grotto, but the man himself was so obviously just any old bloke in a costume...

We've got two malls in town (right next to eachother), and each has their own Santa. I've pointed out to my son that these are obviously not the real Santa - merely helpers. They're there helping him get his lists together and such. Seems to have worked for the time being.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on November 30, 2009, 02:42:07 PM
My eldest still believes in Santa, and he's twelve, FFS. I'm worried that he'll make a fool of himself at school because of something he might say in innocence. We did too good a job of keeping the secret, I think. Right from a young age my parents fucked it up for me. Even by the age of five I'd sussed them sneaking around in the night, so I don't remember a time when I believed in it all. I don't know which is worse. :scratch:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: PaulH on December 01, 2009, 06:42:10 PM
My eldest brother screwed it for me from as far back as I can remember. Maybe that's part of the reason I'm such a bah humbug type? That and working in retail for years on end... bloody Christmas shoppers!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on December 09, 2009, 01:23:56 PM
My eldest still believes in Santa, and he's twelve, FFS. I'm worried that he'll make a fool of himself at school because of something he might say in innocence. We did too good a job of keeping the secret, I think. Right from a young age my parents fucked it up for me. Even by the age of five I'd sussed them sneaking around in the night, so I don't remember a time when I believed in it all. I don't know which is worse. :scratch:

I can forsee a plot to relieve your son of his belief playing out like an episode of some terrible BBC sitcom haha twelve's a bit late, but I didn't stop playing with action figures until I was 13 so maybe it's not so bad  ;) although I have to ask - does he know the birds and bees aren't a literal way of making babies?  ;)  :cheesy:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 09, 2009, 02:06:07 PM
My eldest still believes in Santa, and he's twelve, FFS. I'm worried that he'll make a fool of himself at school because of something he might say in innocence. We did too good a job of keeping the secret, I think. Right from a young age my parents fucked it up for me. Even by the age of five I'd sussed them sneaking around in the night, so I don't remember a time when I believed in it all. I don't know which is worse. :scratch:

I can forsee a plot to relieve your son of his belief playing out like an episode of some terrible BBC sitcom haha twelve's a bit late, but I didn't stop playing with action figures until I was 13 so maybe it's not so bad  ;) although I have to ask - does he know the birds and bees aren't a literal way of making babies?  ;)  :cheesy:

Yeah, that's what makes sex education at junior school seem so completely off base to me. Do they really need to know the ins and outs when they're still so innocent in every other way? I don't think so :/


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on December 09, 2009, 05:23:27 PM
I believe in Father Christmas. His name is Tony.

This morning, I got in my car, attempted to start it, got as far as a few slow turns of the engine until it gave up for good. I swore quietly for a few minutes, but clearly the battery was completely flat, beyond redemption (I've had it in the car for at least six years). I went indoors and phoned the local garage. Tony, who runs the garage, said the van was out at the moment but he'd send someone round when it came back. I expected a long wait. Actually it was only ten minutes. Couple of mechanics turned up, collected the car, took it away, came back fifteen minutes later having fitted a new battery. They said I could pop down the garage any time to pay -- no rush, just when I was passing.

As I say, I believe in Father Christmas, and his name is Tony.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 10, 2009, 05:19:39 PM
I sincerely hope Tony is still in your good books when you get the bill, Delph. We once had a pet mechanic whose name was 'good old' Robin for a while. He eventually came to be nicknamed Robbin' Bastard, sadly.

It is nice when you find a good old fashioned garage, though. We've got one now that lends us a replacement car when we need one - no paperwork necessary, just take the keys and go. Don't even have to put petrol in it - take it empty and bring it back empty, though most people tend to leave a few quid's worth in it for the next person anyway. The last decent garage we used shut down, got knocked down, and is now the site of a dozen or so flats. They used to have a couple of really old petrol pumps outside, where all the old dears used to come to fill their cars because it was attended service.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on December 10, 2009, 05:58:07 PM
Tony is still in my good books. Halfords would have charged £62.99 to supply an appropriate generic battery. Goodness only knows what a Suzuki dealer would have charged for a branded one. Tony's garage charged £63 to collect the car, fit the battery and return the car all within an hour of me first phoning them up. They also apologised for the high cost. Said it was because it's a bit of an unusual battery (it's a tiny car with an engine compartment the size of a small carrier bag).

The car's eleven years old. I want to try and keep it going another three years. The battery's got a two year guarantee. That means it'll probably just make it, I reckon.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 10, 2009, 06:42:07 PM
That's very good service for the money, isn't it :smiley:

Talking of money, I had my accountant over tonight, with the books for the year. Turnover and profit was down by about 30% on the previous year (which was a phenomenally good year for me), but I still made a decent living, and the good news is I've paid too much tax on account, which means I've got a two and a half grand rebate coming. He said if he files the books tomorrow, online, I'll have the money in my bank within ten days :dance:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Pharosian on December 10, 2009, 11:28:16 PM
Talking of money, I had my accountant over tonight, with the books for the year. Turnover and profit was down by about 30% on the previous year (which was a phenomenally good year for me), but I still made a decent living ...

Back in the middle of June you were worried about a builder who was looking iffy, said he still owed you four grand... did that all get sorted? The speculation back then was whether the economy was turning around, at least as far as the building trade. How's it been going in your part of the world lately? Any fears of heading back into recession, or do you think it's clear sailing from here?


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 11, 2009, 03:08:33 AM
Yes thanks, Pharosian - so far I've been lucky enough to claw-in all the money that was owed. Generally speaking, I'd say the building trade is still depressed, and those people who still have money to speculate by building new properties to sell when things pick up a bit have helped keep things going, but if those places don't sell within the next six months or so I think it might all grind to a halt again.

I don't currently have any work on the books for the first part of the new year, though I have a few jobs brewing for february, march, and that suits me fine. Clear sailing it isn't. Things are still very difficult and house prices are still too high to provoke a strong recovery. I think we will plod along for some years to come, and another boom is a long way off yet. I also think we're going to see fewer people aspiring to own their own house in the future, purely because they know they cannot afford to buy on an average salary.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on December 11, 2009, 03:54:47 AM
Glad you are happy with the lower workload coming up, Ed. Better than you thought it might be when the recession kicked in.

Been hectic here. Mother-in-law has recently been diagnosed with bowel cancer. That's been cut out then a scan found lumps in her liver and now in her spine. The op scheduled to remove the liver lumps is cancelled cos of the spine 'hot spots'. She's 85 but sprightly. Doc said her age didn't come into the decision to not operate - to do major surgery on her liver would mean postponing rad / chemo on her spine. Such is life. So my geographical knowledge of several Merseyside hospitals has improved no end with all the chauffering I've been doing along with my wife. Sat Nav really useful though yesterday at University Hospital Aintree, the site is so big it covered three post codes. I dropped them (dad in law is also 85) off at the main entrance then off to find a parking spot in one of the 9 car parks. No problem - then a mile walk back to find them!

To top it wife and I thought it a spendid idea to combine a work visit of hers to Magna in Rotherham with me visiting old uni friends in Sheffield. While in Sheffield it's only a few miles down the M1 to Nottingham to visit son. I think we'll be asleep all next week to recover.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on December 12, 2009, 04:02:57 AM
Figured I better finally start my Christmas shopping, so I'm off to town now on the bike with a small bag and a lack of ideas. Sigh. That could be epitaph: Here Lies Del, He Had A Small Bag And A Lack Of Ideas. And A Bike.

Apparantly it's the party season. I keep seeing articles and adverts all about "What to wear this party season" and "How to survive the party season" and "How to look your best this party season." Bah humbug. I have no parties to go to. I blame my small bag.

I remembered a great western horror story I wrote that would have been perfect for the competition mentioned elsehwere this week. Guaranteed winner, I reckon.  ;) Alas, I've gone through every file on my laptop and I can't find it anywhere. I have a horrible feeling it's a "disc story". I have a few of them. Alas I have no means of playing the old 3.5" discs anymore. On the bright side that's the first story I can recall wanting that I couldn't find. It could have been a lot worse. And the story probably was.

Del



Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on December 12, 2009, 07:49:48 AM
I'm abandoning my western story for a current LOTLD antho to instead sub to that comp, as it really needs something more interesting than a 'zombies come back for revenge' plot...time to get pulpy!  :grin:
 
Back to Chrimbo - my mum, bless her, always wants to get me "nice clothes to wear" but I'm quite happy with what I've got.  This year, I actually found something online I liked, a golfing top, of all things, but it's £65 haha whoops oh well nice things cost more.  Maybe I'll just stick to asking for books  ;)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 12, 2009, 08:50:35 AM
All I'm looking forward to this Christmas is a nice long break, a few good blowouts and a few nights out away from the kids. Couldn't care less about the presents. Funny how things change, isn't it? When you're a kid, the presents are all you think about. As an adult you just worry about getting the right ones and the business of ploughing through crowds of irate shoppers to get them. It's a shame the Christmas spirit doesn't extend to the shopping part of the season. It could be very pleasant.

I spoke to somebody who went on an organised Christmas shopping trip to Greenland or somewhere, and they said the streets were covered in packed snow, with huge wrought iron baskets full of burning coal at intervals along the pavements for shoppers to warm themselves on. Sounded very atmospheric. :smiley:

BTW, Del - you could probably take that disk into somewhere like PC World to get the info off it. I've still got a comp with a floppy drive as a backup for my main one. If we lived a bit closer together I'd offer to do it for you.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on December 12, 2009, 12:14:33 PM
The trouble is, Ed, I have about two dozen of those discs and I have no idea which one it's on... I have hard copies of most of the stories from those days, although not of the western one for some reason. No problem. It was probably awful.

Del


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 12, 2009, 01:37:31 PM
I know what you mean. When I look back through my early stories I see so little in them worth saving that I might as well wipe the lot. Not much better with the recent ones, but I'll hopefully get the hang of it one day.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on December 13, 2009, 02:55:49 PM
Del, I was going to say you could post me those 3.5 inch floppies to me and I'd copy them onto a CD for you. However, probably cheaper for you to buy a USB linked floppy drive!

I have my first novel (unpublished) written in Wordwise plus on the BBC Master and saved on a 5.25 inch disc circa 1983. A few years ago I was about to transfer them to CD when I saved time by reading a few random pages. I need to start it from scratch!

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 13, 2009, 04:59:44 PM
Forgot to say, earlier - anybody who's in Western Europe (may be the whole northern hemisphere for all I know) should look out for the geminids meteor showers tonight. Apparently at their best between 9:30 and midnight tonight. It's a clear night for a change, too :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: PaulH on December 13, 2009, 06:07:59 PM
Going to be a weird Christmas. The boys (6 & 7) are massively excited of course, so they'll be fun. For the rest of us though, it might be a bit subdued as Catherine's father passed away a few weeks ago. I had a very strange moment in Tesco this week, just saw a Toblerone and almost burst into tears because we nearly always used to get him one for Christmas.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 14, 2009, 02:08:52 AM
Sorry to hear that, Paul. It's a shame there's no moratorium on bad things happening this close to Christmas.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on December 14, 2009, 03:21:31 AM
Know exactly what you mean, Paul. My Dad died earlier this year, so it's the first Christmas I haven't bought him a gift. I used to love buying presents for Dad -- usually stuff for the garden. None of my kids have gardens. I don't have a garden. My Mum doesn't like gardening. I have no-one to buy gardening stuff for any more. It hurts.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: PaulH on December 14, 2009, 05:57:01 PM
I know how you feel Delph. I've been much closer to my father in law than my own dad for years and to have him gone so swiftly... it's a cliché, but there's a hole in our lives. It helps though, to know friends have been there and understand what it's like. Thanks guys.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on December 15, 2009, 09:30:39 AM
We have much in common. My dad passed away unexpectedly in June this year. I always bought him a box of Maltesers as an extra. Phoned him every sunday after my morning bike ride to update him on Nature observations and compared them to his. Nothing is the same.

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 15, 2009, 02:41:36 PM
I get on better with my father-in-law than I do with my own dad, too, strangely enough. We used to do a lot of stuff father and son are supposed to do together, like fishing and DIY projects - things I've never done with my father. F-I-L's still alive, but completely changed from the guy he was before a car accident he had about ten years ago. He took a bad blow to the head during the accident, which I think changed his personality. He also mashed one of his legs during the accident, and the other was weakened by polio when he was a kid, so he finds it difficult to get around these days.

When my father dies, I get the impression the news is likely to be met with universal relief from everybody who ever knew him, sadly. So I suppose we should all be grateful for the enjoyable time we spent with the people we care about. I think the worst time in the grieving process is the first time you think to tell the person something, and you realise they're not there to tell any more.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: PaulH on December 15, 2009, 07:07:53 PM
Isn't it strange how our life experiences touch on one anothers? James, my FIL, had a stroke about 10 years ago. He was still a lovely guy after it, but he became easily frustrated as he found it harder to access the encyclopedic knowledge locked in his mind and his handshake became bone crunching as he never regained full sensation in that hand.

My own father, like yours Ed, will probably not be much missed except by his drinking buddies. Talking to my mum today, I realised that I can't remember the last time I spoke to him. He always suggests we meet at the pub when I do speak to him, never seems to click that his habits are the reason I'm nigh on teetotal.

Thanks again for sharing with me Geoff, Delph and Del. I hope it's helped you as much as it's helping me.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 17, 2009, 06:43:24 PM
I've got a ridiculous amount of work to do over the next few days. I just hope my friend doesn't let me down next week - he's promised me a day, but maybe two. One will get me out of the do-do. Two days would be a huge help, though. I might even get it all done in time if he gives me two days.

Haven't done any Christmas shopping yet, either. Working Saturday morning. The dreaded drinks party on Sunday, and back to work again Monday, for three frantic days. Argh...

To cap it all, somebody offered me a toffee this morning, which was rock solid because it was so cold. I chewed once, twice, then felt a crunch in it and realised immediately what had happened - a gold inlay had come adrift. So I've got an emergency appointment with my dentist at 4:45 tomorrow, when what I really need to be doing is working.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on December 18, 2009, 02:50:01 AM
Good luck, Ed. I hope you manage to fit everything in. I'm almost the opposite. Got an online event that I've been organising to get through this morning. It's been stressing me out big time for a week and I was working until 10:00 last night on the last minute changes that the-powers-that-be want. Still hadn't received all the data I needed by 10:15 so I went to bed. Haven't logged in yet to see if it's arrived this morning... But once I get to lunchtime I'm hoping I can start to relax and enjoy the festive season. Fingers crossed!

Del


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 18, 2009, 03:05:23 AM
Thanks, Del - good luck with your event, too. The most frustrating point about my workload is that all the jobs are so far apart, and there are fixed appointments that stop me getting to places earlier and leaving later. Like this morning, I have an appointment at ten that's about an hour's drive from the main job, so there's no point in going to the main job first, and at the end of the day I've got the dental appointment, which I'll be away from after five, so there's no point in driving anywhere but home afterward.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on December 18, 2009, 06:43:39 PM
Spent today babysitting our grandson, Oliver in Manchester. Not sure who tires out who since we took him to RhymeTime in the morning (Library singing and pulling Santa's beard fun - he had a pressie, a pop-up book). Afternoon at Trafford Centre play centre where he took me up padded-cell-like tunnels, bumps and slides. But the best thing he enjoyed is in the video here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Lk-4GhZIaw

Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: desertwomble on December 18, 2009, 11:13:50 PM
Spent today babysitting our grandson, Oliver in Manchester. Not sure who tires out who since we took him to RhymeTime in the morning (Library singing and pulling Santa's beard fun - he had a pressie, a pop-up book). Afternoon at Trafford Centre play centre where he took me up padded-cell-like tunnels, bumps and slides. But the best thing he enjoyed is in the video here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Lk-4GhZIaw

Geoff

If only all kids were like this!

DW :cheesy:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on December 19, 2009, 03:27:34 AM
Ha! Love it! Can I borrow him please?


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 19, 2009, 04:06:17 AM
Are you sure his name isn't Henry, Geoff? :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 20, 2009, 05:46:59 AM
Unbelievably frantic Friday. I had four jobs to go to before the phone rang and added two more. Half way through the second job, my mother rang me to say British Gas had been to service her boiler, had seen the pressurised cylinder I added, didn't know what they were looking at, told my mother they thought it was an illegal installation, condemned and disconnected the lot, told her a load of horror stories about how 'dangerous' it was and left her quaking in her boots. As if I would install something dangerous in my own mother's house - WFT? To sooth her nerves, I managed to get a sooty that I know to go over, reconnect it and reassure her it was just those officious conmen trying to sell her a new boiler. All added grief I could seriously do without. I had the dentist at 4:45, which I was hoping would be my last call of the day, but I ended up going back to work afterward until 8, in the dark and the freezing cold, hobbling around on joists, by the light of a battery torch (flashlight if you're American) to complete an underfloor heating installation, which would save me having to work there on Saturday. By the time I got home I felt absolutely wasted - used up. I didn't have an ounce of anything left in me, still hadn't eaten my lunch by that time, but didn't feel hungry. I just felt agitated and thoroughly pissed off. Took me a couple of hours to come down and feel normal again, aided by half a bottle of Pinot Grigio. No way to carry on, is it? ::)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on December 20, 2009, 07:11:38 AM
Quote
No way to carry on, is it?

You're right there, Ed. Too many days like that will get you in the end, one way or another. Just take care out there -make sure you're looking out for number one at least some of the time.

I remember British Gas disconnecting a boiler in my first house as unsafe - saying (quite belligerently)  who installed this? It's totally unsafe. You did, I told them. A different team, but still British Gas. About a week before, too. They still wouldn't allow it to be turned on.

On the upside, I've had a relaxing weekend. First time in ages I've not felt stressed about the job as I only have two (hopefully quiet days) to go before the Xmas break. I know come January I'll be wound up and anxious again, but for now I've put it out of my mind.

I've read an entire novel in just a day and a half (just like the old days!) and written 90% of the first draft of my short story for the Dead Westerns anthology which I'm really quite pleased with. Much like my comp entry was an examination on pain, this one is looking at courage. Downside, I'm missing today's rugby on account of family coming round for dinner, which is a tad annoying as I already have the ticket, but c'est la vie.

Anyway, hope the weekend was better than Friday, Ed!

Del


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on December 20, 2009, 07:22:32 AM
Sorry to hear of your bad Friday, Ed.

I've had completely bad days as a teacher. One day over 10 years ago a 15-year-old who objected to being in school at all decided to demonstrate his prowess by throwing a chair at me. No problem - I caught it, but I was concerned that it had only just missed the heads of other pupils. As he picked up another chair, I got the endangered pupils to scoot out and get help. Two more chairs had to be caught and placed out of harm's way before I could corner him where there were no more chairs. I would have just left him in the room but some of his mates wouldn't evacuate and yet they remained in danger too. By then a deputy Head had arrived but he was useless. The kid then pulled out a sheaf knife and pointed it an inch from my chest. His mates laughed at me and the deputy head and yelled at their friend to 'stick me'. All I wanted to do that lesson was to illuminate their lives with the wonders of volcanoes! Eventually, I'd persuaded him to avoid a youth-prison outcome and he threw the knife on the floor.  Reaching home, I too was drained that day - not from physical exertion and the pressures you have, Ed, but from a thankfully rare situation in teaching.

That kid now helps run the pleasure boats on the River Dee in Chester. He has a young family and nice as pie to me.


Geoff


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on December 21, 2009, 08:41:55 AM
I'm just back from the shops where I didn't get killed by a falling icicle. It missed splitting my skull open by a smidgen, and merely grazed my forehead.  :cheesy:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on December 21, 2009, 08:54:17 AM
Blimey!

My brother and I are doing some last-minute shopping for our dad.  I had no idea is was so difficult to find a bean bag in Scunthorpe haha a lady who comes into the gallery quite often suggested a RHS giftcard (to get my dad) so me n my bro went one better and have got him a year's membership!  He's got dodgy legs so doesn't get out as much as he'd like to, but thanks to this he'll be able to plan proper nice days out to some really wonderful gardens.  ;)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on December 21, 2009, 09:29:40 AM
They don't mention that on those Channel Four adverts, do they? "Accident at work? Not your fault? Been killed by a falling icicle? Call 0800 SLEAZE for a no-fee consultation..."

Cycling to work this morning it struck me that I was doing something actually quite dangerous. The sides of the road and the cycle paths were slick with ice, the bridge over the canal was sparkling with the slippery stuff, lorries were thundering by inches from my head, and the kerbstones looked very hard and eminently capable of cracking open a skull. It was great fun!!  :smiley:  It'll be worse when I go home. As above plus very dark. I reckon there'll be a story in there somewhere.

I've struggled with buying Christmas pressies this year. The older people get, the harder they are to buy for (so I must be very difficult!). Still managed to rack up a very impressive bend in my flexible friend though.

Del


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on December 21, 2009, 11:48:23 AM
That's a great gift for your dad, Rev.

Delph, sue God.

Del, I stopped attempting to cycle when there's ice or snow. The inadvertent lateral slides unnerve me too much!


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on December 21, 2009, 01:23:55 PM
I've not been able to ride my bike since the last week's heavy snow fall. Only the main roads are clear, all the side roads and pavements are covered by two inches of solid ice. It's dangerous to walk on it let alone cycle. I hope it rains soon and clears it all away. :tdoff:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 21, 2009, 05:14:50 PM
I don't think I'll ever forget the front wheel slide I experienced on my motorbike when I was seventeen. Well, I say I don't think I'll forget the slide, but it's more the aftermath - I had no recollection of sliding at the time. One minute I was riding as normal, and a split second later I was face down on the road. No time to react. It happened with amazing rapidity.

There's no way you'd get me out on two wheels in this weather these days. I'm not happy about being out on four, even.

Went to a Christmas drinks party at a friend's house yesterday, had a few beers, then half way through the party I got a phonecall from the manager of a hotel I look after, saying both his boilers had gone down, so they had no heating or hot water. As I'd been drinking, I couldn't get out there, but I talked him through a few things to try, which enabled him to get one back online until I could get there this morning, on the way to somewhere else. My friend (the one who promised to help me today and tomorrow) turned up late and then immediately made his excuses and left me to it. I'm hoping he'll be more reliable tomorrow.


Title: .
Post by: Woody on December 21, 2009, 05:51:50 PM
mustn't have my stuff here, ed keeps it.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 21, 2009, 06:47:32 PM
The conspiracy theorist in me tells me it's the old 'divide and conquer' strategy at work. Governments hate unity, so the more they can divide the people, the happier they are, and the easier we are to rule.


Title: .
Post by: Woody on December 21, 2009, 07:56:47 PM
mustn't have my stuff here, ed keeps it.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 22, 2009, 02:39:00 AM
Sorry that I'm a bit late with the decorations this year - forgot all about it until just now. Merry Christmas, everybody. I hope you all have a good one :ssmiley


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delboy on December 22, 2009, 04:42:16 AM
Just been flicking through a few old notebooks (well, thick narrow lined A4 pads, yellow legal pads, and hundreds of loose pages) and it's been both interesting and disheartening to see what's in there.

Interesting, because there are some handwritten first drafts of stories featuring  masses of crossings-out and corrections, usually followed a few pages later by a list of bullet points of things to change that have been ticked off. Several of these stories have been subsequently rewritten, typed up, and a few have even been published. So it's nice to see the entire process in action, and know that those original scribblings would eventually find a home.

Disheartening, because the majority of the work - I'd say 90% - remains unfinished, or unrewritten/revised. There are pages and pages of notes and ideas, first chapters and initial sections, practice pieces, paragraphs "in the style of", newspaper cuttings that sparked my interest, and most disheartening of all there are five - five(*)! - novels that run to tens of thousands of words each, and were each something I firmly believed in at the time. Looking back at them now, I think they all remain great ideas, but what it shows seems to be a lack of persistence and dedication on my part. I will try and put this right from this day forward. At least I'm not short of material.

Anyway, back to work. It's my last day and I have plenty to do. No slacking, boy. Get on!

Merry Christmas!  :santa_azn:

Del

(*) I foolishly opened another drawer and found three more! A couple of half-written westerns, and a children's fantasy novel. I also know there's a cabinet in the garage full fo similar stuff. I think my sig' says it all, don;t you?


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on December 22, 2009, 01:36:05 PM
Enough of the pack ice had shifted by this morning so that I could get out on the bike for the first time in a week. Blasted along the sea front through bright sunshine and freezing air and it felt great. Then I rode up one of the big hills that lead up to the town and realised how quickly the old body gets out of shape. Still it was nice to be pulling in big lungfuls of cold air again. :sthumb:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on December 22, 2009, 02:27:08 PM
Merry Christmas and associated holiday greetings! 

The crap weather brings with it hordes of awkward teenagers looking to hole-up in the gallery where I work, and I have to keep asking them to leave because they lie down on the stone floor (underfloor heating!) and cause a right nuisance  ::)

Bloody kids!  ;)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 22, 2009, 02:39:46 PM
I'm making tomorrow my last day. I've got so many places to go that I'm having trouble remembering them all, though. I'm going to deal with them in order of need, and those who don't really need probably won't get a visit. I've had enough.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Geoff_N on December 22, 2009, 05:28:00 PM
Caz, sounds great. I'm inspired to de-ice my bike tomorrow and give it an airing.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Bec on December 23, 2009, 04:24:27 AM
Happy Christmas/Happy Holidays to all of you!  :smiley:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on December 23, 2009, 01:18:18 PM
Caz, sounds great. I'm inspired to de-ice my bike tomorrow and give it an airing.

Watch out for the black ice, Geoff. I hit a patch this morning on the seafront run, it was a real heart stopper.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 23, 2009, 04:06:29 PM
Well, that's me done. I'm hanging up my spurs for a couple of weeks now. I didn't make it to all my appointments, but I did all the important ones. The rest are just the finishing off of bits and pieces that'll free up money for other people, and they can afford to wait, so....

 :ssmiley

Crazy weather conditions this morning, though. I pulled up at a merchant's and went inside, then it rained for a few minutes, which made me think 'good - that'll thaw some of that ice out there'. Wrong. It froze, and turned the whole world into an ice rink. I went out to the van for something and very nearly went on my arse. It was the most slippery ice I've ever known. I had to go to another merchant after that, but when I finally got there (a few hundred yards in five minutes) somebody waved me off, saying if I went down there I wouldn't get back out. This guy had come out to get in his van - sat in, slammed the door shut and with that the whole van began to slide sideways across the road. I decided to walk the rest of the way, but could only make way by dragging myself along from bollard to bollard, car to wheely bin, etc. Crazy. Never experienced anything like it.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: NoxInflux on December 23, 2009, 08:45:35 PM

Got up, started working on the PC. Rained all day. And ending the day back on the PC .. compiling works for a potential book and some magazine submissions.
And I still am short just a couple gifts. I'm not the biggest Christmas fan, but happy holidays anyway!
 :cheesy:


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: PaulH on December 24, 2009, 05:06:03 PM
Hope you all have a great Christmas!

Mind out for something claiming to be an antivirus package downloading itself to your PC - got it on mine yesterday, it's been to the engineer and I now have a completely virgin PC as he had to scrub the whole thing. Just hoping to God I've saved all my stuff on a pen drive or something somewhere.  :'(


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Grillmeat on December 24, 2009, 11:02:54 PM
Hope everyone finds a little something they want under the tree and gets to spend the day with friends and family!!
Merry Christmas everyone!  :sthumb:


Title: .
Post by: Woody on December 24, 2009, 11:26:44 PM
mustn't have my stuff here, ed keeps it.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 25, 2009, 07:44:31 AM
This has been the first Christmas Day I can remember not being woken at the very crack of dawn by the kids. Usually it's a 5AM start, but today they let us sleep in until 7AM :dance: As a result, I'm in a much better frame of mind than usual. Normally I'd be groggy and feeling quite splenetic by around this time.  :ssmiley

I got a pasta making machine, a pair of oversized underpants, a Toblerone and a bottle of red wine. I bought my wife a gold necklace adorned with Peridot, Tourmaline and Amethyst. We had agreed not to spend very much on each other, but what the hell - you can't take it with you, eh?

Merry Christmas  :ssmiley


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on December 25, 2009, 01:01:37 PM
 I had to work for my dinner today, cutting up spuds and pouring gravy down at the local church :santa_cool: Merry Christmas all.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Ed on December 26, 2009, 07:58:11 AM
I hope I'm not speaking too soon, but I upgraded the forum this morning, to the latest version of the software, and for the first time ever I was able to use the package manager - two or three clicks and it was done without a hitch. Normally, the package manager stalls half way through installation and I'm left having to manually edit templates, which is a real chore. Not this time. I wonder if it has anything to do with us changing internet hosts. I bet it does. Asmallorange seem to configure their servers in very strange ways that really don't agree with SMF forum software.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: delph_ambi on December 26, 2009, 08:29:21 AM
On a stroll yesterday morning, we came across a real life Christmas card who stayed still just long enough for me to snap his photo.

(http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j91/delph_ambi/Christmas%2009/DSCF2578.jpg)


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Pharosian on December 26, 2009, 10:10:48 AM
Wow... that really *does* look like a Christmas card. I had to look hard to see the snow -- it looked like that airbrushing effect.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Grillmeat on December 26, 2009, 02:23:22 PM
That's very cool!
It does look like a Christmas card.


Title: Re: The good morning, good night thread
Post by: Caz on December 27, 2009, 01:06:13 PM
"That said, only do this in the editing phase, otherwise you'll sit and pain over every sentence as you write, and you'll get nowhere. Better to get the words down and the story forward before fine tuning."

Hope you don't mind, Ed, but I got the above line from the comments you made about Woody's 'East Scythe' story. I've heard similar comments before but it was the bit where you said, "pain over every sentence" that hit home. It something I've always done and I guess is why I write so slowly. Anyways, I took the advice and a couple of house later had added over a thousand words to my latest story. Which is way more than I would normal do.

Great advice, cheers.  :sthumb: