Friday, February 29, 2008

Sit Still, Please

While I usually try to avoid more direct references to my work on the blog, I will make an exception today to share with you this communication that I received today. The only adjustments I have made to it are to remove the sender and the office location. Otherwise I have left it entirely in tact.

"We are currently having issues with our badge readers. If you could please refrain from moving from one area to another for the next few minutes, while we try to correct this problem that would be greatly appreciated."

Thursday, February 28, 2008

January Yarn

So, now that we are practically at the end of February, I am getting around to blogging about the January yarn from the Stitch DC Stash Club. It is Three Irish Girls Adorn Sock yarn, in the Nora colorway.
It is a really neat colorway that hits that sweet spot where I really like it even though it is probably not a colorway I would have bought for myself.
I haven't decided it's destiny, although there might be something like a beret in it's future.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Nearest Book(s)

I saw this meme over at The Way I See It. The problem, if you choose to view it like that, is I sit next to a bookshelf. It is where the recently read (or re-read) books sit until the organizational fairy comes and smacks me and I move them to the organized shelf. So...I got a little carried away.
Rules: Pick up a book (nearest, theoretically). Open to page 123. Starting with the fifth sentence down, share the next three sentences. Quite fun.

Kay Hooper's Sleeping With Fear
Leah: It looked like things were going really well for you two, that we'd find out all this supposed occult stuff was just nonsense and Gordon was fretting for nothing. Now, with this murder, everybody's tense and jumpy, and none of us can think much about anything else. Occult or not, something's sure as hell going on.

Gena Showalter's Awaken Me Darkly
I gave a scissor-lock squeeze around his midsection forcing him to release my arms and focus on my legs. That's all I needed. With a four-finger jab to his trachea, his air supply was momentarily cut off, giving me the perfect opportunity to spring free.

Jill Monroe's Primal Instincts
Ava: Actually, I think the man's next moves are somewhat tougher. You have to show how big and powerful you are. You'll be a little louder than I am. Your motions will be broader, demonstrating the strength of your hand and arms.*

Vicki Pettersson's Scent of Shadows
Ben was the only person left who knew me as I was really meant to be.
I did nothing to disturb the silence of the house, moving quietly through the dining room and kitchen, knowing Ben was here, somewhere, sleeping. I couldn't help but try to scent out another woman's presence, even if it was just a whiff of perfume long gone stale as weeks, and hopefully months, had rolled by.

Wendy Roberts, The Remains of the Dead
"You're ready," Sadie said breathlessly. Sometimes the wonder of it all still amazed her. "Goodbye, Mrs. Yenkow."

Sandra Scoppetone, This Dame's for Hire
"How's tricks," I asked.
"Not a good way to greet a psychic," she said smiling, We went inside.

Consider yourself tagged if you wish to be.

*Yeah, I used four sentences, it just looked prettier for that excerpt.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Nutty Jeans

So. There was a Noro sale, and we all know how I am about the variegated. But, I hit the latter portion of the sale, so lots of Cash, not as many matching Silk Garden skeins. But really, isn't the point of yarns like Silk Garden that the color changes. So I bought a bunch that coordinated. (I think it was four.) And I picked up some Cascade because the original plan in my head was to use Cascade to break it up a bit and to make this not the most expensive sweater ever. (Not that I don't deserve a fabulous sweater and not that the stack of Noro I went home with was cheap either. But this was my thinking.)
So - what pattern did I have in mind. Mr Greenjeans.
Well, I ended up using less Cascade than planned, and went back to find more cash for the button band but ended up finding some Cascade Pastaza - ooh camel. Interesting. And both because the pastaza is a little less drapey and because I found a cut pin at a department store, I forwent (??) the actual, you know, button. So here it is in action.
Crazy Jeans Back
Love the pattern. I shortened the sleeves. The pattern went, for me, super fast, then it languished a bit while I got around to the button band. I'm very happy with the results.
Crazy Jeans

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Cocoa Buddy

So, my swapper had mentioned my buddy would make a great cat toy. So, I decided to test this out. I laid out the buddy. (Isn't it pretty?)
Buddy Bait
There was intense examination.
The cat looks
Interest was expressed
And then the buddy disappeared.
And the buddy disappeared

Note: The buddy was not harmed during or after filming.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Get Books!

Sorry for the blog silence, I was computer-less for a few days (as in without my computer rather than without a working computer). But, I am back to a version of reality, and here to share that this year's Dewey Donation Book Drive is on. So, feel free to go donate money or books or both to libraries in need. They have selected the Rockhouse Foundation in Jamaica and the Children's Institute in LA County. You can also buy a t-shirt that will proclaim your booky good hearted-ness to everyone.
Also, if you go to Amazon and search for wish lists with the word library in them, you may discover a library close to you has some needs.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Movie Knitting

Yes, so I went to the movie for the first time in who knows how long. (My movie buddy could not remember what the last thing she had been to with me or otherwise was either.) So, I needed movie knitting. The Cobblestone Pullover has proved to be great for knit night knitting, but I had visions of emerging from the dark to discover I had messed up the garter stitch strips something awful (hey, it's hard to knit garter stitch in the round - okay, harder at least).
I had some yarn bought in Redskin-esque colors laying around and that, plus some internet browsing led me to the Unbiased pattern. I have to say, this was enough fun, and a quick enough knit, that I can really see doing this again with something like Noro.
So, continuing my love affair with The Fibre Company (I bought some more this weekend, I really am an addict), this yarn is Savannah Bulky in Crimson and Marigold.
Bias pieces 4
To make the Marigold a little more gold, I carried Be Sweet Extra Fine Mohair in Tobacco with it.
Bias pieces 3
The two solid sides were done in the theater, the stripey sides were done in daylight. (I probably could have done stripey in the theater, especially sine I was going for random stripes, but the movie ended before that choice had to be made.)
I knit it on 8's which is smaller than typically called for with Savannah to try to account for the garter stretch and the change in fibers (the patter called for Sari silk). I'll have to road test the bag, but so far I am really impressed with this pattern - the simplicity allows for a lot of fun.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Cocoa Swap Package

AKA - I am not worthy.
It's here! My swapper is the lovely Hollyspinner.
<Cocoa Swap Package
I have been gifted with:
Tea (chai because she did some excellent stalking)
Marshmallows (that's what's in the Rocky Mountain bag
No Bake cookies (that's what's in the container- yum!)
A project bag
Stitch Markers
Buddy - a knitty kitty toy for me and my cat.
Hand spun hand dyed yarn in pretty cool colors! (She talks about the dying she did here!)
Thanks so much!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Unintended Results

We had an interesting discussion with the youth group recently which touched on unintended consequences, such as the helmet laws reducing the number of organ donors. I have to say that changing the shape of candy resulting in a change a cheap alternative for measuring puberty in males. Fascinating.

The Oily Truth

Ha! I don't actually have a car at the moment, but I got crap from a co-worker who discovered I was not a regular oil changer. (To be fair, I have learned the hard way what happens when you take it to extremes, but really, I'm much better now.) Well, it turns out that every 3,000 miles is aggressive to the point of being wasteful. And now I have proof that taking it a bit longer (not forever, just longer) is good for both the car and the environment.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Reading Synchronicity

I tend to mix up my reading, as well as planning for the time of week, expected bag size and so on. (This is what happens when you have a big enough TBR stack, not crazy like some people, but healthy.) So, I am always tickled when you see common threads where you hadn't expected them. I read Carolyn Parkhurst's Lost and Found and then followed it with Jill Monroe's Primal Instincts (with a little break for Gena Showalter's Savor Me Slowly). And - I don't think mentioning this gives away anything about either book - both Lost and Found and Primal Instincts have characters who go to Jukkasjärvi, Sweden. That is a bit less surprising in Lost and Found since the characters are all on a reality scavenger hunt taking them across the world. And Jukkasjärvi sounds lovely, but it is just unusual enough (although apparently well-known) that to come across it twice in such short succession was funny. I don't want to otherwise compare the books except to say that I scarfed them both (all) down as if I hadn't read for days. Good thing I have a healthy TBR pile to keep me going.

Monday, February 11, 2008

If it's Fundamental...

I think most people here know I love to read. I have been reading for a long time, and it never gets old. So, I was saddened to hear that current budget proposals have cut funding for Reading is Fundamental (RIF), which provides books to underprivileged children.

Author Laurie R. King has an excellent post talking about how she saw the benefits of RIF.

RIF has links on their site for how to advocate for them, should you wish to.

Thanks to the Cherry who provided this link.

Friday, February 08, 2008

7 Things: Land of the Cold

Stealing from Lani DianeRich Again (who stole it elsewehere) - I give you seven things.
So, Seven Things about the previously mentioned Land of the Cold, which I got to visit for work related reasons. The Land of the Cold is more commonly referred to as Salt Lake City, Utah - and city and state I had not previous visited, so it had that going for it.
1. It was cold. Not shocking really being mountainous and wintery. But it was indeed cold. I brought two pairs of boots and one pair of non-boots and the non-boots only got used inside the hotel.
2. It snows a lot. It snowed more of the days we were there than it didn't. Our unofficial count was twenty one inches during the two weeks we were there.
3. The hotel did not have Bravo. This is not really about Salt Lake City per se, but I had to wait until I got home to watch "Project Runway" - huge pain.
4. The people in Starbucks knew my by the end of the trip. (Oh the great irony.) In fairness I do not appear with such stunning regularity at my local Starbucks, but still, I was impressed.
5. We got stuck in traffic once and that amounted to having to drive slowly at a big merge point, once we merged were were back at full speed.
6. I don't know how much this is a function of our where our office and hotel were located, but I have never seen such a preponderance of check cashing places. They were everywhere.
7. We wondered at one point if you would ever get tired of all the various mountain vistas. We then decided it must be like the monuments in DC, in that you never get tired, you never stop marveling that this is where you live.
And more
Batch of Pictures here.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Things People Should Know: Boots

I generally think that catcalling is stupid. I have been told that it is a cultural thing and possibly that is so, but I guess I don't see the point. Am I supposed to be flattered that you think I deserve attention? This is not a lack of self esteem talking, but let's face it, if it's a cold day and all you can see is my puffy coat and shoes and I get the same level of response as when I am in more attractive clothing, well then, clearly the catcalling has little to do with me. (Is there a protocol for catcalling those in drag? Hmmm. May have to do field study...)
Anyhoo, I bought some new boots at Zappos.

And yesterday, even though it was a bit warm for boots (thank you, weather gods)I wore them out. So, not only did I get cat called, my boots got some attention to. Yes, erm, it seems that catcaller wanted to know if I liked to ride horses. (Sure, horses.) Sadly, I did not stop to pursue this line of questioning. But really, these a great boots, kick butt even, I think it's just as well I didn't engage.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

What's in a Name?

Yeah, I know - unoriginal title.
Yeah, I know, I actually blogged about names here and here.
But, I have pondered the 'title' for this blog, chosen when I was a nascent blogger who just needed something to go in that space across the top. I do like that "Intro to My Brain" makes my blog fall right before January One in my bloglines, but that's about all it's got going for it.
And then Lani Diane Rich started blogging more and mentioned that if you add pedia it sounds better. And that got me thinking. Well it turns out there is a RandomPedia out there, and while I have no plans to change my URL at this time, it still seems that would be problematic. But it seems that Talkapedia is available. (A google search showed some hits, but no one really using it). And I like it.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Apparently I am Dark and Twisty

Because the quizzes tell me so.

Happy Taxi

And, since it complained about my taxi experience on New Year's let me just share that returning from the airport was great, my driver and I chatted and he used to live about a block away from where I am now. He asked if I had a preference for the parkway versus just heading up the city streets (I agreed that late Friday night, there was little difference.) And the cab ride - still less than thirty five dollars.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Go Skins!

Art Monk and Darrell Green were selected for induction to the Hall of Fame.

Cat Adventures

So, as part of my trip to the land of cold (more on that later) I had to take the cat to the kennel.

Cat 2(Very sad, longest I've ever had to put her in a kennel. The only other time I've been away for two weeks, I had roommates who looked after her.)
Now I have heard tales - even seen for myself - of cats who willingly curl up in their cat carrier, snuggle in laps for car rides and so on. My cat is not like this. She made claw marks in the box she came to live with me in. I tried - before one car trip - a week of car desensitization to no avail.
So, originally I had a duffel style carrier, but after enough use, my cat had scratched holes in the mesh panels and I figured it was time for a new carrier. So, I got this.
It's cute, it has a shoulder strap, it has mesh side panels with skinnier mesh (thereby making it hard to make bigger holes, or so I imagine), a mesh panel that goes across the top and snaps and a top flap secured with a magnetic snap.
Well, on our way to the vet/kennel, my cat discovered if she poked her head against the top with enough force she could get her head between the top mesh flap (which only has snaps at each end) and the top flap and then from that position further head poking would pop the magnetic snap such that I looked over at a stoplight to discover my cat's head looking back at me.
While in the waiting room, filling out the paperwork, my escape artist jumped completely out of the carrier - fortunately at that time we were the only ones there. So clearly I knew it was time for a new carrier and had plans to purchase one after I returned.
Just in case I wasn't entirely sure, after I picked her up, I parked the car and then had a several block walks to the apartment building. I had checked the snap on top was walking with one hand over the side panel in a theoretically reassuring manner. (Yes, if you saw a woman in the Dupont or Mount Pleasant area this weekend talking to a blue bag - that was me.)
So, on a residential street, I heard sounds that suggested we had another breach and next thing I knew I saw a blur as my cat poked not her head but her whole body out of the carrier and ran underneath someone's porch.
Yes, this street was all rowhouses with porches. The porches were had lattice covering for the most part in various states of repair. Most had enough space at the bottom for a cat. None had enough space for a person, although one did have a squeeze worth of space at the side. So I stood. I called, I cooed, I told one man who was coming home that yes my cat was under either his porch or the one next door and he was very nice about it. (I did worry that people thought I was nuts or dangerous or something.) According to my watch it was about fifteen minutes later that my cat was convinced to appear in one of the squeeze spaces between two porches where I was able to grab her. It felt longer. She tried to escape again as I tried to stuff her back into the carrier. I kept a really tight grip on the thing for the rest of the walk home.
I worried that people were looking at the strange woman talking to her bag, but when I got a look at myself I realized if they were looking it was more likely the mud on my jeans and coat from wrangling a kitty that were attracting attention.
Since our return she is appropriately sweet and cuddly.
Oh, and yesterday, I bought this.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Fun Quiz #1

Yeah, but I liked my results here so:

I found these courtesy of Alyssa over here.