## Wednesday, November 30, 2005

### Good News

Oh... and the other good news is that I got paid for this month. Yay!!! (Not enough for rent, but better than nothing.) I'm guessing this means I'll get paid for December too. :))

### Happy

I'm feeling much happier today. The sun is shining, and I'm just all-round happy.

Last night it really poured during dinner, but it had mostly let up by the time I left for SNB. I'm not sure if it was still raining a bit, or if it was just the oak trees dripping.

SNB was fun. I passed around the chicken nuggets, which were a big hit. (They were a big hit in the department too.) I showed off the baby blanket, and wove in all the ends that popped out in the wash. (Now I just have to track down those parents...) Then, finally, I pulled out picovoli and continued on with her. I had let her sit for a bit because I needed to put her on scrap yarn to see if it was time to start the increases... I'm pretty short waisted. It was, so I started the increases last night. I had, however, forgotten how to do m1 right/left increases. Luckily Sue was able to show me. :)

After SNB Sue gave me a ride home, and it had stopped raining. So I went out and bought my groceries. Yay! I had cereal for breakfast, and juice for today's lunch. :)) And other stuff... like more chocolate coated craisins! (I didn't eat them *all* last night... but I'm sure I must have eaten about half the package. I was trying to restrain myself.)

As I went to bed last night, I noticed my knee was complaining a bit. This morning it's having quite a diatribe, with my hips adding a few mutterings. I wonder why it seems mainly one joint acts up at a time, and sometimes it's a hip, and sometimes a knee. Is there a logical explanation? Who knows. Both hip and knee seem to be on the right leg recently.

But, today is a beautiful sunshiny day, and I'm feeling happy! I had cereal for breakfast! I was up late last night with grocery shopping, so I let myself sleep in a bit. Now I'm working on an illustration of the movement of glycogen phosphorylase... I found a neat angle yesterday, so I'm going to try to get a good snapshot of it today. It'll be good for my dissertation, etc. I'll post it here later.

I think I'll walk over to the post office today for lunch... it's such a beautiful day, and I need to mail the chicken socks. (I didn't get a chance Monday or yesterday.)

I also solved the mystery of the missing papers this morning... I haven't been able to find the papers of GP I had printed out... it turns out they were in my backpack, stuck in the paper-holder in case I was somewhere and felt like reading a paper. ;) Silly me!

Hugs to everyone, and I hope you're having a nice day too!

## Tuesday, November 29, 2005

### Stress

The other reasons I'm grumpy is that it's still raining, and I need to buy groceries. Mom said not to let myself be distracted by grocery shopping until the poster was done, and then I really didn't feel like shopping in the rain last night.

It's still raining, I didn't have any juice for my lunch today, and I don't have enough cereal for breakfast tomorrow. Which means that I'll have to go shopping in the dark and rain tonight, after SNB. (I don't *want* to skip SNB... I could use the cheering up, and I need to return the dpns I borrowed.)

Yuck.

Anyone feel like doing my grocery shopping for me? :P

### Poster

Poster

For those who are interested, here's my poster. It definitely could have used more "polishing." And more pictures and less text... but I'm currently at a state where I have text but little in the way of useful pictures.

Don't try to read it. Even if you can decipher the characters, the text likely won't make much sense. And if it does, I'll just feel embarrassed because it needs more polishing.

There's nothing quite like the stress of standing by a WIP that's been blown up to 3x5 feet to show all it's inadequacies... luckily there's enough text here that pretty much no one read it... they just asked for a synopsis, which I'm pretty good at giving.

Youch... I'm in a snarky bad mood today. I just snarked at my mom... and it hurts. I love my mom tons, and always feel bad on the rare occasions I snark at her. The silly thing is, she didn't even see my snark... I had attached my poster, and the e-mail was rejected because the file was too big. I still feel rotten, though. Because I snarked, and I shouldn't have.

I'm not sure why I'm in such a sucky mood.

Last night I caught the bus home shortly after 6, which was when the poster session ended. It was drizzly, warm, and humid yesterday. I was sweaty-sticky when I got home, so I had a shower and put on some comfy soft dry clothes. I had eaten a bit at the poster session (cheese, crackers, veggies, 2 cookies), and so wasn't really that hungry. I was feeling relaxed and relieved after having made my deadline, so I spoiled myself and did what I wanted. Which was have a nap on the couch in front of the TV. I didn't want to watch TV (nothing good on Mondays), and, although I was tired, it was way too early to go to bed. I didn't feel like going to bed then anyway... I felt like curling up on the couch was exactly what I wanted to do. With the TV on. I don't know why, but I was spoiling myself, so I went with what felt good.

At 9 I surfed the internet, then had a bowl of cereal and went to bed. I was in bed by 10, read for half an hour, and then went to sleep.

At 5:55, I woke up, feeling like it was just before my alarm was about to go off, and feeling "awake but I want to go back to sleep." I checked the clock, and realized I still had another hour before my alarm, so went to the bathroom, adjusted my blankets, and went back to sleep. (I took one of the blankets off because I was feeling hot... flushed is a better description... like when I was in Barbados and waking up with a different rash every morning from the strange foods I was eating. Of course, then I was cold. But I went to sleep anyway.)

I woke up again at 8... having slept through an hour of the radio. (I have the radio set for 7, and the alarm for 8:05, hoping I'll be motivated enough to get up and move at 7, but can sleep until 8 if I really need it. I quickly learned to sleep through the radio, but keep hoping it'll work.) I was annoyed, because I was hoping I'd actually get up at 7 so I could ride my exercise bike. (It's been too long.) I caught the 9:30 bus in, but stopped off at the international center to get my I-20, and then talked to Kelli for a bit, so it was still rather late (~10:30) by the time I was sitting at my desk. (Reason to feel annoyed with myself #2.)

Then I wasted time. (Reason to feel annoyed with myself #3.)

Then I was so tired that I had a nap. (Reason to feel annoyed with myself #4.)

I got up at 12:30 when my computer beeped for a meeting, but a quick check of my e-mail indicated that it had been cancelled while I was sleeping.

J came in as I was finishing up, and asked about progress. I had none. (Reason to feel annoyed with myself #5.)

I went to work in J's office, and made decent progress until 3, when he had to leave for a meeting.

I went back to my office, and checked out a funny cat video from a link at Bitch, PhD. (Reason to feel annoyed with myself #6.)

I thought the video was funny, so I sent it to a few people.

Mom responded with
I was hoping for a copy of your poster.

Love Mom

but this was good.
and the bit about my poster just set me off. She was trying to add some helpful pressure this weekend about the poster, and so my first reaction was to think that she didn't believe that I had actually met my deadline. As soon as I sent her a snarky response with my poster, I regretted it. She wasn't trying to be annoying here... she probably actually was curious what my poster looked like... even though it would be complete gibberish to her. (Reason to feel annoyed with myself #7.)

But it made me realize just how crummy I was feeling. (Reason to feel annoyed with myself #8.)

I went through the whole "this is silly" talk with myself, but that didn't help.

Writing it all down here seems to have helped, though. I'm feeling much less snarky and miserable. Not good yet, but like I've gotten things off my chest, and that I'll feel better soon.

I think I'll take a screen snapshot of my poster to send to my mom. She won't be able to read it, but then it wouldn't have made any more sense to her if the text actually was big enough.

There are very few people who have any idea what I talk about these days. At least, when it comes to my research.

## Monday, November 28, 2005

### Printing

It's done! It's done! I'm off to go set up. :) (First of Bob's socks is also done, and toe started.)

### Printing

Final image should be emerging soon... oh, the suspense!

Poster set-up begins in five minutes (in a building that's 15 minutes from here), but the actual poster session doesn't start until 3:30. And how long does it take to put four tacks in a poster anyway?

Yay! Final image is emerging!!!

Soon... it'll finish printing soon...

### Printing

Text-on-pictures worked!!!

I have one other kind of image at the bottom, but other than that, I think (hope) the rest should print without problems, given what's printed so far.

Now, if only it would print faster...

### Printing

Pictures! I'm getting pictures! Any moment I should see if the text-on-pictures worked. :)

### Printing

The text and background seems to be printing fine... it'll be getting to an image soon. How exciting! And nerve-wracking! I'm glad I brought the socks...

### Printing

I see a title... this is good!

Blogging while printing is probably dangerous, but the data has finished spooling to the printer, so I hope it's safe.

I dare not go so far as to make my machine do real thinking, though.

### Printing

The poster is printing. We will soon find out if I have done anything to anger the printing gods.

I'm occupying myself by working on Bob's socks... I dare not use the computer for fear of drawing the attention of the malevolent god of the HP plotter.

### Getting Closer

To both being finished, and the deadline. Which will come first? It's a race!

### Gone Again

Another e-mail eaten by the ether bunny, but J came to my office to see the poster on my screen. Feedback given and received. Good feedback. I'm feeling more positive, and have ways to make my poster better.

### Here and Gone

J is here. Draft is missing. He didn't respond because the e-mail never made it to him. Strange... neither of us received error notices, and it's not in his spam folder. Yet it is in my sent folder.

Sent again, this time not zipped. (I seem to recall now that they're deleting zip attachments due to a virus going around.) Zipping didn't actually shrink it by much anyway.

Powerpoint posters are mega-bloated. :P

### Blargh.

Stress and lack of sleep does not make for happy tummies. I'm looking forward to 6pm. (When the poster session ends.)

Yes, despite my promiscuous posting here, I am making poster progress. Posting here merely helps me keep my sanity with all the pressure.

Promiscuity is my word of the day. Interesting how it starts with "promise"...

### Poster

There's still a big blank spot on my poster, but the tea is starting to kick in.

J still isn't here to give a yea or nay on what I've done so far. I could use a bit of positive reinforcement right now. (My self esteem is only producing negative reinforcement at the moment. It does that.) And no, this is not a time when "you go girl" comments from online friends will help. I need my advisor to comment on the poster itself.

Blargh.

PXR is promiscuous. Time for me to be monogamous with PXR.

### Tea

Need tea. Must. Stay. Awake. Must. Summarize. PXR.

Brew faster! Cool faster!

Argh.

Dictionary.com's word of the day for today: lassitude... lack of vitality or energy.

### Morning.

Wow... look how early I made it into the office! 10 after 8. Amazing what a deadline will do.

No, I'm not quite done my poster. Ironically, as I went to bed last night at way-too-late o'clock, I realized the initials for today's event are "BS." Hopefully my poster will not be BS.

Well, I'd stay and chit-chat, but I have a deadline speeding towards me. (Poster session starts at 3:30, so I probably need to start wrestling with the poster printer no later than noon. Murphy says it likely won't be feeling cooperative today, and it's tempermental at best.) Ta ta.

## Sunday, November 27, 2005

### Two More Squares

I finished two more squares last night. (Only 20 left!) Both were fun... I'm enjoying "painting" with leftover sock yarn... and I have quite a nice palette to choose from. ;)

The first is a welcoming cabin in a snowy field at night:

The second has a somewhat stunted ("natural looking") oak leaf:

I was going to make some of the lobes a little thicker, but I couldn't find the other leftover scrap of this yarn.

I'm rather fond of both these squares.

## Saturday, November 26, 2005

### Finished Toque

Finished Toque

Wow... it looks like a toque. Not only did I have enough yarn, I have *leftover* yarn. (Which is good, because I was *really* tempted to add green and a stem at the top... and I really doubt my dad would wear a pumpkin hat.)

Oddly, the last part of the hat went much faster than the first part... and I think it was more than the shorter rows. I think having the row counter (observable progress), more to hold onto, and curiosity helped speed the finish along.

Here I am testing it out:

I sure hope dad's head is about the same size as mine... I doubt it will stretch much more. (I have a big head.)

It appears to be completely functional... although the black spots detract from the look a bit.

(As I imagine making it purposely have cheetah spots... no! Must resist!!!)

### Fun!

I signed Felt Wee Folk out of the library. :) (No, I haven't bought any of the supplies, but I wanted to read it anyway.)

### It's Getting Bigger

WIP Toque

Oh, the suspense... will I have enough yarn? How short will I be? What colour will I use to finish it off? If nothing else, the suspense is finally adding some interest to this toque. (It sure is dead boring to knit. I blame the dpns.)

You can see some of the yarn's dirty spots in this photo.

I've started adding some decreases now. Pulling it on my head, it seems to actually approximate a toque so far... impressive, given I've never knit one before, and am not using a pattern. ;) I want it a little longer so that it'll cover my dad's ears. I wouldn't want him to get frostbite. (And belive me, he needs all the common sense I can gift him... I started doubting him when he drove his 4-wheeler on the ice too early in the season. He had jumped on the ice, and it seemed solid. However, he ended up going through the ice at one point anyway. His lips were blue by the time he made it back to civilization.)

### Afghan Square #41

Afghan Square #41

I'm getting closer to 63 squares... the end is in sight. :)

And I've been good long enough that I think it'll be okay to start a crocheted cardigan soon... just as soon as the knit hat (which is taking much longer than I had expected) is finished.

## Friday, November 25, 2005

### Party Girls

Party Girls

Wow! My chicken nuggets arrived from LadyLinoleum today, and I *really* love them!!! Aren't they great?

I've named the one on the left "Sunny Side Up," and am working on a name for the wild lady on the right. (Any suggestions?) They'll be great on my Christmas tree!!!

### Christmas Ornament

Christmas Ornament

It's the most wonderful time of the year... but not for my wallet. I succumbed today and bought another Christmas ornament. There were several more that I really loved, but I managed to restrict myself to one.

I think I may try to make some "friends" for this fellow the next time I'm at the lake. I like how he gives me crafty ideas, in addition to providing fun on my tree.

I also loved the felt tree skirts at the store... I should make one of those too.

### Observations

No bad weather today... my hips must have been commenting on the 40F drop in temperature last night.

It takes a lot longer to walk to the bank when you're trying to not bend your hips.

People are a lot more willing to wait for you to cross the street when you're obviously in pain... even though they have to wait much longer, and could have easily turned before you got there.

I feel ashamed when I'm "handicapped"... that I'm "letting a little pain get the best of me."

On the way back I saw some clever nuthatches. They were taking the pin oak acorns, wedging them in the rough oak bark, and then standing above them and pounding their beak on them to crack them open. I was amazed at the evolution that led to them having the right structure to cling "upside-down" to trees, since this appears to give them a forceful advantage when it comes to cracking open nuts. It was neat seeing them use the oak bark as a "tool." I wonder if this is a learned or instinctive behaviour?

## Thursday, November 24, 2005

### Beautiful Poem, Beautiful Photos

not there

I sometimes click on the random photos that flickr decides to show me. I'm really glad I clicked on jennwallace's photo... she has some really gorgeous photos, and this poem she found on a tombstone is beautiful too. It reads:

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep,
I am a thousand winds that blow;
I am the diamond glints on the snow,
I am the sunlight on ripened grain;
I am the gentle autumn's rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift up lifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight
I am the soft star that shines at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there, I did not die.
I'm going to have to google this, to find out who it's by.

...It appears to be by Mary Elizabeth Frye.

### Cute

Cute: mittens with an ipod pocket. Although I think a scarf with a pocket would be slightly more practical...

### Temptation

Simply Sock Yarn sure knows how to tempt me! I recently received some Opal Ladybug from them (sent by H, so I can make her more socks), and, like last time, they included a "teaser" of Shelridge Farms Soft Touch Ultra Yarn. Last time they sent the colour Opal, and I instantly fell in love. This time they sent Crocus, and it's love all over again! Now they're both on my list of "one day MUST buy." Possibly even for a striped pair... they're both heathered, and I think they'd look nice together. :)

You know, that soft touch ultra doesn't look all that exciting on the screen, but I love both samples. Maybe I'll have to try the entire line... ;) (One day when I'm rich... hmmm... $7.25 x 9 =$65.25... that qualifies for free shipping! ;) )

### Chicken Socks!!!

Wheee! I finally got around to adding the last finishing touches to LadyLinoleum's chicken socks! :) I'll mail them when I can get time to go to the post office... probably Tuesday, due to a poster session Monday afternoon. (For which I need to finish the poster...)

I'll post photos after they arrive at LadyLinoleum's. :)

### Miscellany

My hips are speaking to me. If they know what they're talking about, there's a doozy of a weather change on its way. Ow.

I've taken photos of the crayon blanket... as mentioned, I'm not posting them here until it's published (or rejected). If you're a friend of mine, and desperate for a sneak peek, send me an e-mail. ;)

### Wool as a Floatation Device

I'm washing the baby blanket. (I've taken some photos, and hopefully some of them will be considered "good enough"... I am *not* a magazine photographer.) I set the water level to medium, and wash on delicate. After the water filled, I peeked in to make sure there was enough. The blanket was only half covered. What!?! Um... upon further examination, it was floating on the water. So I pushed it down. It's still floating some, but hopefully the agitation will fix that.

Well, I suppose it'll give the baby a bit of an advantage should it fall into a lake while wrapped in the blanket... ;)

I read an article the other day that was talking about SIDS (there's a new study that shows that babies that have died of SIDS have high testosterone levels), and it said not to overheat babies... it's jumper and a thin blanket should be sufficient in a heated house. Um... I just made a baby a wool blanket... wool is supposed to regulate temperature, so the blanket *should* be okay, right?

Speaking of keeping warm, I've splurged and turned the temperature up to 64, since I'll be hanging out here all weekend. (I'll turn it back down at night.) However, I've noticed several things while keeping the house set at 60. I'm calling this "you know you've turned the thermostat too low when..."
1. ....you wear a toque around the house.
2. ...you consider wearing the toque to bed.
3. ...you find it even harder to get out of bed in the morning.
4. ...you wonder if there's a way to store your yarn stash on *top* of your bed.

;)

### Hello!

A happy, sunny good morning to everyone! (And a happy Thanksgiving to Americans.) It's a beautiful sunny day out, and I'm feeling happy and well rested. :) I have to make sure to get out and do the baby blanket photo shoot today. (I wish I could post photos right away, but I'm submitting the pattern to Crochet Me... *sigh*)

Well, I hope you all have a lovely day. :)

## Wednesday, November 23, 2005

### Silly Quiz

The Count's Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

It started with a simple affection for counting and the terror it induced in others, didn't it? But now it's turned into a full-blown life-consuming chaotic nightmare of order, repetition, zealousness, and perfectionism. You used to be so grand, but now you find yourself obsessively worrying over the littlest things--like, maybe if you don't check the light switch at least once every two minutes, the electricity will go out (and damnit, you're a vampire--that shouldn't be a problem!), or maybe if you don't wash your hands until your seams are coming out, you'll get some fatal disease. Get yourself some treatment.

Which Sesame Street Muppet's Dark Secret Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

### WIP Toque

WIP Toque

Here's dad's toque in progress. (That's a "knitted hat," or "ski hat," for you non-Canadians. I still refuse to refer to it as a toboggan for you southerners... a toboggan is a sled, and would be painful to wear.)

### Afghan Square #40

Afghan Square #40

Oh, look! Another square.

I seem to be making a number of P-inspired squares. (She likes sea life, and halloween.) No problem with that... lots of happy memories with P. :)

I used a bit more of my leftover orange. I hope I have enough for Dad's toque. Does it take more than one 50g ball to make a toque? (I have a bit over one ball left.) Ah, well, I can always add stripes of afghan yarn to finish it off.

### In the news...

One point for the little guy:

MEXICAN SHOPKEEPER 'THE BOSS' IN HUGE COKE FINE
The owner of a small store in one of Mexico City's impoverished neighbourhoods has won a battle against Coca-Cola in the company's efforts to muscle out a competing brand.
FULL STORY:
http://www.cbc.ca/story/world/national/2005/11/17/MexicoCoke_051117.html

Children need affection:

LONG-TERM EFFECTS IN 'BONDING HORMONES' SEEN IN CHILDREN NEGLECTED EARLY ON
Adopted orphans who suffered serious emotional and physical neglect
early in life show hormone deficiencies long afterward.
FULL STORY:

Go give a loved one a hug.

## Tuesday, November 22, 2005

### Row Counter & Jump Ring

Row Counter & Jump Ring

I made these on Sunday when S&K were over... a row counter for my knitting (with the beads representing the numbers 0-7 in binary), and a jump ring.

Actually, I only half made the jump ring. S started it, but was having trouble with the filing and final "squishing," so I was annoying and did one on the first try. However, she had already shaped the wire and made the cut. But still... it's my first jump ring. ;)

### Afghan Squares

There may have been some afghan progress around here...

First up, using all the leftovers (except most of the orange, which will be a hunting toque for my dad) from the baby blanket, the rainbow rectangle, which gives an "essence of monsterghan" to my "crazyghan:"

(Complete with edging!)

And then squares #37-39:

The flower is from Marnie's fun flapper hat. Square #37 is of course another friendship jewel. (I guess I must be pretty friendly with myself.)

### Blah

Still feeling kind of sick this morning. I've decided to sleep it off.

## Monday, November 21, 2005

### Sick?

I think I'm coming down with a bit of something... I was wiped at school (had a nap), came home, snoozed on the couch, and I think I'll go to bed now. :P

Hopefully it'll be gone by tomorrow.

### FO!!!!!

The crayon baby blanket is DONE!!! I finished it up at SNS at lunch. :) (I then had to wander around the whole department showing it off.) I promised to bring it in to SNB, but I think not many people are planning on coming tomorrow because of Thanksgiving and other stuff. Hrmph. I want to do a photo shoot for the pattern before I give it away, but it's raining today, and I think it's supposed to rain tomorrow too. :P

(Did I... and Murphy... make it rain? To all the people on water restrictions in the area: you're welcome.)

### Silly Quizzes

(Yes, I'm trying to wake up.)

 You Are Mud Pie You're the perfect combo of flavor and depthThose who like you give into their impulses

 Your Eyes Should Be Brown Your eyes reflect: Depth and wisdomWhat's hidden behind your eyes: A tender heart

### Yum!

Speaking of grocery shopping, I discovered a *really* yummy treat yesterday! Chocolate covered Craisins. Mmmmm. Good chocolate (not waxy), plus the dried cranberry insides that let you pretend you're eating healthy!

Sadly, the packaging says they're seasonal.

Of course, that's probably a good thing for my waistline. ;) (The package says it has "4 servings," but I polished off nearly the whole thing last night over the course of the evening. It *was* a long evening, though... ;) )

### It's Raining, It's Pouring...

...I spent this morning snoring. I meant to be good and get to bed at a reasonable hour last night, really. I went to start my pita bread as soon as S&K left, only to discover I was out of frozen milk. So I had to leave starting until after I had gone grocery shopping, which I didn't do until I had eaten dinner... since I don't like shopping on an empty stomach.

It was nearly 3am by the time I got to bed. :P I purposely left my alarm off, with the hope I'd be awake enough when I *did* get up that I'd still have a relatively productive day.

Baby blanket is *nearly* done... just two more crayons to sew together. I'll finish that up at SNS at lunch. I need to finish the chicken socks too! If not at lunch, then tonight. Then I can cross *two* WIPS off my list. :))

I had told myself that I could start a crochet cardigan after I finished the baby blanket, but I think I'll wait a day or two... that way I'll have a few days to dedicate to my wool afghan. ;)

## Saturday, November 19, 2005

### Blargh

Uck. I think maybe I'm sick. My the advil, etc, seems to have fixed my headache, but I still have an upset stomach. Now that I've gone to the post office to pick up a registered letter, I think the rest of the day will be spen snoozing on the couch. (With the odd trip to the washer to change loads, of course... the downside to living alone.)

### Ow Again.

I'm back... this headache is hurting enough that it's giving me an upset stomach!

Time to walk away from the computer and *do* something about it. :P

### Ow.

Ow!Ow!Ow!Ow!Ow!Ow!Ow!Ow!

Killer headache this morning! I felt it coming on last night, but I was cold. So instead of taking a few extra minutes to have some advil and magnesium, I hopped into bed with my hot water bottle.

I'm paying for it this morning.

It hurts right behind my eyes. Or maybe it's around my eyes. Or maybe it's my eyes. Plus my left temple.

Ow!Ow!Ow!Ow!Ow!Ow!Ow!Ow!

And it's still cold in the house. (I'm stingy, and set the heat at 60F. P would be an ice cube were she still here. A very vocal ice cube.)

## Friday, November 18, 2005

### Sacrificial Square

Sacrificial Square

This was to be a square in my afghan, but I needed the yarn to finish the crayon letters. *sigh*

### Lemon Jacket

Lemon Jacket

Here's the lemonade jacket with buttons. (J likes it!)

### Froggy Jacket

Froggy Jacket

Here's the froggy jacket with buttons.

### Buttons

Buttons

Last night for dinner I baked me up some Sculpey buttons... and then had cereal to eat. Not terribly nutritious, but lots of fun. :)

### Sitterson Sit 'N' Stitch

I took some photos at SNS (the name for SNB that the more conservative members of the department won't freak over), but several people wanted to be cropped out. So, here's what's left:

I've been "volunteered" to teach some more people too. This crochet thing is spreading like a virus. How cool!

### Rosebud

Rosebud

This is the bag I was designing for Crochet Me, but then decided it didn't turn out quite how I wanted it. I still really like it (and would *so* be keeping it if it wasn't a Christmas present for someone), but I don't think I'll bother submitting the pattern. I may post the pattern here, and then submit a better pattern when I have the bag perfected. ;) (Which won't be until my yarn diet is over... I don't have more yarn to make another.)

I took this photo before I added buttons. I need to take another photo. I used the cute dragonfly buttons I got as part of the Crochetville button swap. (My brain died, and I can't remember who I got those from... I need to look it up on my blog so I can send them a photo-thank-you.)

## Thursday, November 17, 2005

### Sloooooow

Tonight: a half dozen rows on picovoli (it's addictive), and "G E Y E L" sewn on. I also finished off making all the letters... the last few were "U R P E". (The L was done out of order... last time I wasn't paying attention when I was making an E, and so ended up with the L.) I was hoping to get more done, but it's late, and I want to get up at a reasonable hour. (Must remember to turn the heat on... the low is forecast to be in the 20s. And yesterday we actually got up to 80F. Bizarre.)

Photos tomorrow of some Sculpey buttons. :)

Good night!

### Baby!!!

D and S had their baby!!! Early!!!!

Gee... now I really need to finish those crayons! Today at lunch I attached "O R A N", so I'm slowly getting there. :)

## Wednesday, November 16, 2005

### Picovoli Progress

Picovoli Progress

Both arm holes are done now! It's definitely looking more finished. :) (Of course, I still have the entire bottom to do... plus weaving in ends.)

### Why didn't I think of this before?

I like low-effort meals. I like roast chicken. Roast chicken is dead simple, and I can also roast just a breast. Why didn't I realize this before? Sheesh.

Steps:
1. Move packaged chicken from freezer to fridge in morning.
2. Come home from school.
3. Remove chicken from packaging, run under water to get off frozen-on pad thingy.
4. Dump chicken in oven safe dish.
5. Place dish in 325F oven.
6. Knit for 2 hours while contemplating side dishes. (Consider basting if feeling energetic in last half hour of cooking.)
7. Remove chicken from oven, let stand for 15 minutes while preparing side dishes.
8. Slice off portion of chicken breast.
9. Eat dinner.
10. Toss remaining breast in ziploc bag, then place in fridge.

Even though I wrote that out as ten steps, it really was easy. Only one ingredient, so it's pretty hard to screw up. :)

The side dish was super easy too, since I had leftover baked potato from dinner Monday. (Another oven safe dish, heated with chicken for last bit of cooking.) Although the potato did give me a bit of a scare, when what I thought was butter didn't melt. After eating it, I'm guessing the white substance was cream cheese. Whatever it was, it had a mild garlic flavour, and didn't taste out of place. In fact, leftover Firebirds baked potato was really yummy. Perhaps I should see if I can mimic them, then freeze them for easy meals.

I think the chicken, however, was related to Godzilla. Here's the monster before roasting:

and here she is roasted:

Yes, it's chicken, not turkey. And not even a whole chicken... just a "breast with rib meat." The rib cage on the flip side looks like it might fit a cornish game hen. What on earth were they feeding her? (She *must* be a "she.") I wouldn't want to run across this bird in a dark alley.

I definitely have leftovers from this sucker. (Does roast chicken freeze well? Perhaps I should make and freeze some soup.)

### In the news...

Tee hee:

PQ LEADERSHIP VOTERS INCLUDE DOG, PLANT: REPORT
Thousands of Parti Québécois members are voting for the party's next leader – as a report suggests a dog and a houseplant are among the registered voters.
FULL STORY:

Although it would have been even funnier had the dog and plant been *running* for the leadership.

Ewwww!:

CALCUTTA PATIENT VICTIM OF EYE-EATING ANTS
A woman who underwent a cornea operation in a hospital in Calcutta has died after giant ants were discovered nibbling on her eye during her recovery.
FULL STORY:
http://www.cbc.ca/story/world/national/2005/11/15/ants-eye051115.html

Can you imagine living to 175? How about when all you do is nap in the zoo?:

HARRIET THE AUSTRALIAN TORTOISE TURNS 175
A tortoise that was hatched in the Galapagos Islands when Charles Darwin was developing his theory of evolution has turned 175.
FULL STORY:
http://www.cbc.ca/story/world/national/2005/11/15/oldest-tortoise20051115.html

I hate smelling cigarette smoke, even outdoors (and they bother me even from 20+ feet away), but isn't this going too far?:

SECOND-HAND SMOKE CAMPAIGNS TARGET GREAT OUTDOORS
Smoking has been banned in workplaces, restaurants and theatres, leaving the great outdoors as the next frontier for anti-smoking campaigns.
FULL STORY:
http://www.cbc.ca/story/science/national/2005/11/15/smoking-outdoors051115.html

So, when does the invasion of the USA start?:

U.S. OFFICIAL ADMITS PHOSPHORUS USED AS WEAPON IN IRAQ
A spokesman for the U.S. military has admitted that soldiers used white phosphorus as an "incendiary weapon" while trying to flush out insurgents in the northern Iraqi city of Fallujah last year.
FULL STORY:
http://www.cbc.ca/story/world/national/2005/11/16/phosphorus-fallujah051116.html

If the cat had nine lives, how many did the lizard have?:

CAT AND LIZARD START FIRE IN P.E.I.
A cat and a lizard are being blamed for starting a fire on Wednesday morning in an apartment in Charlottetown.
FULL STORY:

Anyone consider moving the sparrow outside? Perhaps not leaving the doors open?:

ACTIVISTS CRY FOUL OVER KILLING OF DOMINO-SPILLING SPARROW
Animal rights activists in the Netherlands want charges laid in the shooting of a rare sparrow that knocked over 23,000 dominoes as a TV company was setting up for a world-record attempt.
FULL STORY:
http://www.cbc.ca/story/world/national/2005/11/16/sparrow051116.html

### Sunset

Sunset

This is the sunset from Monday, a bit after 5:00. (I can't remember the exact time.) I was in my office waiting to meet my friend for dinner. I happened to notice the pretty sunset, and luckily had my camera with me. (I was just too lazy/busy to download it until today.)

### Picovoli Progress

Picovoli Progress

Look! Sleeve picots! ;)

### Update

Throat feels better. Head feels (mostly) better. Right kidney is saying hello. (Not a full-blown kidney stone, just a little "hi, I'm here, and am considering making your life miserable.")

V found my E hook!!! Yay!!! (It was in the conference room where I had listened to the talk yesterday.) Watch me do a little happy dance. :)

## Tuesday, November 15, 2005

### Misc.

Notice to all ladybugs: crawling on the back of my neck does not bode well for your longevity.

I hate deadlines. I'm missing one tonight. I didn't sew the letters on the crayons on Sunday because S and I went shopping instead. Last night I was busy with a friend. So I packed up my crayons and took them to SNB tonight. It took me an *hour* to sew on "R E D"!!!!! Sheesh. And I'm tired. So, CrochetMe deadline? Sorry. I'll finish it up this weekend, and I'll be early for your next deadline. ;)

In other crafty news, picovoli has picots on one sleeve now. I'm thinking I probably won't do green on the bottom... my green is starting to look low, and I think blue will look as good or better. (I don't need bright green accentuating the girth of my nether regions.)

Okie doke. Time for bed. Nighty-night!

Oh... and I discovered at the bus stop on my way home that my E hook has escaped! I'm hoping it's in my office. Luckily I have another, or my Christmas crochet would be seriously curtailed. I think I'll have to buy several more when I'm home at Christmas. (Ram Wools stocks them, and by getting them there, I don't have to pay shipping.)

### Update

Headache is much better than yesterday, but still present.

My throat is making itself known.

Hopefully I won't get any more than just a few hints of a cold.

### In the news...

Great news if it's true:

HIV-INFECTED BRITISH MAN BELIEVED FREED OF VIRUS
A British man's claim to have cleared himself of the virus that causes AIDS has researchers clamouring to run more tests on him.
FULL STORY:
http://www.cbc.ca/story/world/national/2005/11/14/aids-cure-051114.html

A case for wool socks:

RESEARCHERS EXPLAIN WHY BUNDLING UP MAY PREVENT COLDS
Mothers who advise wrapping up on cold days are supported by medical researchers who have found people with cold toes are more likely to get runny noses.
FULL STORY:
http://www.cbc.ca/story/science/national/2005/11/14/colds051114.html

### Snow

Snow

I wish I were home.

### Lunch

Went to a talk at lunchtime. I estimate I'm about 10% into Bob's Christmas socks. (Chicken socks are 99% done, just need one final touch before mailing... I hope Regina likes them!)

### Spam

Dear Professor XXX XXX,

We take this opportunity to attract your kind and immediate attention towards the fact that we have taken an initiative to bring out Journals on Mathematics Sciences. You are hereby requested to spare a bit of your valuable time to find the details of purpose journal and accept our invitation to become the Chief Editor of the International Journal. [snip]
I think someone needs to do their research...

## Monday, November 14, 2005

### Spoiled

Man, was I ever spoiled tonight! A friend is in from out of town, and he treated me to a *really* great meal, and then we traded a foot massage for a back massage. (I got the back massage.) I am one contented bowl of jello!

### In the news...

Interesting:

OTTAWA ACKNOWLEDGES WARTIME IMPACT ON ITALIAN CANADIANS
Prime Minister Paul Martin has announced his government will spend $2.5 million to tell the story of Italian Canadians affected by Ottawa's wartime measures. FULL STORY: http://www.cbc.ca/story/canada/national/2005/11/12/war-redress051112.html My grandparents on my dad's side were from Austria, and were also labelled "enemy aliens." However, they weren't imprisoned. They merely had to report to the RCMP on a regular basis. I wonder if that's because they were Austrian rather than Italian? Or perhaps because they were farmers... and working the land was more important? I'm guessing the reason why the story focusses on Italian Canadians is because that's the group that complained... but it would be nice if the *whole* story were told, not just the groups that complained. ### Ow. My head hurts. Still? Again? I don't know which. But this time I've got that "coming down with a head cold" feeling. Sore neck too. Blech. ### Silly Quiz Numenorean To which race of Middle Earth do you belong? brought to you by Quizilla ### WIP Clutter I need to do something about my WIP clutter... like maybe finish some of these WIPs. ;) (WIP = Works In Progress.) Funny note: whenever someone new sees my stack of afghan squares, they say "my, that's a lot of potholders..." ### Socks for Josie Socks for Josie I stole this photo from Josie. These are the socks I made for her a while back. :) ### Picovoli Progress Picovoli Progress Picovoli is chugging along. Why is it I'm working on summer wear, when I should be working on afghans and sweaters? I'm weird. ### Beads for Jute Baskets Beads for Jute Baskets These are the beads I splurged on this weekend. Bad me. But the're *sooooo* pretty! ### Maintenance Yay! Maintenance guy is finally done playing with my toilet! (He seemed to be really enthralled with flushing it for a while... but I guess that was part of his job.) Time for a shower and off to school! (Dang... I just realized that I haven't made my hummus yet this week... and my wait could have been made productive! Dang. I think I'll skip that part of my lunch today, since I'm already so late.) ### Silly Quiz  Your Birthdate: February 10 Independent and dominant, you tend to be the alpha dog in most situations.You're very confident, and hardly anything ever shakes you.Mundane tasks tend to drain you - you prefer to be making great plans.You are quite original. When people don't "get" you, it bothers you a lot.Your strength: Your ability to gain respectYour weakness: Caring too much what others thinkYour power color: Orange-redYour power symbol: Letter XYour power month: October I don't really like orange-red... ### Oops... Um, I kind of forgot to turn my alarm(s) on last night. When I did wake up, I could hear the laundry going next door, which meant I had to wait for my shower... unless I wanted a cold water shower in a 62F house. Not me. And now that the laundry next door has stopped, I have a mainenance man playing with my toilet. (To see if he can get the tank to fill faster.) Granted, he *did* ask if it was a good time, but I kind of like having them here when I am, so I can keep an eye on them. Not that I don't trust them in my apartment, but that I don't have faith that they know how to do their jobs. (I have good reasons for this.) So here I am, grimy and in my pjs and housecoat, reading (and writing) blog entries when I should be at school, or at least getting ready for it. Oops. In knitting/crochet news, I (nearly) finished two secret projects this weekend, so, sadly, no photos yet. :( I still haven't finished the crayon baby blanket. I was going to work on that yesterday when S came over, but we went out shopping instead. And, um, I spent money... I now have nifty beads to make some Donna's nifty jute baskets. In my defense, I've been looking for nifty beads since the pattern came out, and the bead store had a sale on yesterday. Then we went to Michaels, and I bought a frame (on sale) for my birches watercolour, and, um, beads for another basket. *sigh* Yes, I was bad yesterday. I've also made progress on picovoli. (Why? Is it because it's the thing that doesn't have the closest "deadline"?) And I also did two more repeats on my qiviut lace scarf. I've discovered that I can work on it quite well with the radio on... so it's now my radio knitting. ;) (Weekend NPR: Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me; Car Talk; Weekend America; The Splendid Table; I don't go out of my way to listen, but I do turn them on when I remember.) 9:48 and the maintenance guy is still here. ## Sunday, November 13, 2005 ### Evil Santa I was at the grocery store tonight, and they've started putting out their Christmas stuff. I like ornaments, so I went over to have a look at their mercury glass ornaments. Two of the santas had red eyes... one of which was blurry, so they looked like the eyes were glowing. Santa with a hangover? Evil Santa? What do the underpaid labourers over in China think of us? Speaking of bizarre, there was an ad for "guided tours" at CVS. Huh? Who has a lame enough life to want a tour of CVS? (CVS is a drugstore.) Looking for the details (I couldn't help myself), I discovered they were "tours" of medicare. That made more sense. No explanation found for evil Santa, though. ;) ## Saturday, November 12, 2005 ### Silliness The latest craze to sweep the blog world... where are my readers from? The button is also on my sidebar, for when this post gets buried by all my random babblings. ;) ### Ow part deux Head still hurts. Took more aspirin... About the Noro patterns... part of what makes the three Noro patterns I want to make is the Noro yarn. I'm thinking I can probably find a substitute the dark green in the one pattern, but others less so. I'll just wait until I'm rich. Nothing to stop me from dreaming now. ;) I don't think the scratchiness will be a problem... Weasley is somewhat scratchy, and it doesn't bother me. I usually wear something underneath my sweaters, so it's just my arms that come in contact with the sweaters. I can see how a scarf around the neck would be a problem, though. ### Ow. I woke up with a headache today. I guess I shouldn't be too surprised, since I went to bed with one last night. It wasn't that bad, so I didn't take anything last night... I figured it would be gone by this morning. No such luck. I took two asprin with breakfast, but they haven't kicked in yet. I finally found a site that lists the names and yarn requirements for those other two Noro sweaters I want to make... and OUCH! First up is Williamsro: Yarn requirements: Bust 36 (40-45)" knit using 13 (14-15) skeins of Noro Cash Iroha (shown in #80), 5 (5-5) skeins of Noro Blossom (shown in #4) and US 12 needles and 1 cable needle. That's around 20 balls of yarn for my size. Assuming I can find the yarn for$8-10 dollars per ball, that's around $160-200. Plus shipping. Plus needles. (I already have a cable needle, at least.) Ouch! Next, Rocktorp: Yarn requirements: Bust 37 (41-45)" knit using 8 (9-9) skeins of Noro Cash Iroha (shown in #22), 7 (8-9) skeins of Noro Shinano (shown in #13) and US 7 & 9 needles. So 17 balls for this one... and a total of$136-170 plus shipping. Of course, I don't have these needle sizes either.

I wonder if one of my family members will get me the Boye needlemaster set... it's on my wishlist, and I have my fingers crossed! ;) It's the right price range for my dad, probably, but I rather doubt he'd buy me knitting supplies... he likes to go for stuff that he also finds interesting. (I do have a set of straights buried somewhere at home, but sweaters on straights aggravate my carpal tunnel.)

## Friday, November 11, 2005

### In the news...

I'm all caught up now. ;)

Here's a little Canadian humour for you:

Stronach aims Viagra remark at Harper
CBC News
Human Resources Minister Belinda Stronach, who defected from the federal Conservatives to join Paul Martin's cabinet last spring, made a bawdy remark about her former leader in a segment taped for this week's edition of This Hour Has 22 Minutes.
Full Story

(Click the link... the funny text is near the bottom.)

### More Old News

This is a perfect story for today:

ISRAELIS RECEIVE ORGANS FROM PALESTINIAN BOY SHOT BY TROOPS
The father of a Palestinian boy shot dead by Israeli soldiers has donated his son's organs to Israelis waiting for transplants.
FULL STORY:
http://www.cbc.ca/story/world/national/2005/11/08/palestinian-organs051109.html

On Remembrance Day we remember the horror of war, and those who fought. The real goal is *peace*.

Ah-ha... for once, my weird dietary habits are good! (Cola makes me sick.):

COLA LINKED TO HIGHER BLOOD PRESSURE RISK IN WOMEN, COFFEE NOT
Women who don't have high blood pressure may not need to worry that drinking coffee will increase their risk of developing hypertension, but the picture is less clear for drinking cola.
FULL STORY:
http://www.cbc.ca/story/science/national/2005/11/08/caffeine-bp051108.html

STATE OF EMERGENCY DECLARED IN FRANCE
French President Jacques Chirac declared a state of emergency throughout his country Tuesday, shortly after France's cabinet invoked a 1955 law that will let local governments impose curfews in an effort to stop nightly riots.
FULL STORY:
http://www.cbc.ca/story/world/national/2005/11/08/france-curfews051108.html

The dangers of lousy sex-ed:

TALK ABOUT EMOTIONAL SIDE OF SEX, TEENS TELL PARENTS, TEACHERS
Parents and teachers need to talk about the medical risks and emotional consequences of sex, say teenagers who define it differently than previous generations.
FULL STORY:
http://www.cbc.ca/story/science/national/2005/11/10/teen-sex051110.html

A cautious "yay":

U.S. HOUSE DROPS ALASKA OIL DRILLING PLAN
Environmentalists have won a temporary victory after Republican moderates forced leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives to abandon a controversial plan to open up an Alaskan wildlife refuge to oil drilling.
FULL STORY:
http://www.cbc.ca/story/world/national/2005/11/10/arctic_congress051110.html

A good idea:

GOVERNMENT TRAINING PRISONERS TO TATTOO EACH OTHER
Inmates at six Canadian prisons are practising the art of tattooing on each other as a result of a new $700,000 government training program. FULL STORY: http://www.cbc.ca/story/canada/national/2005/11/10/tattoo051110.html ### Silly Quiz You are Woodstock! Which Peanuts Character are You? brought to you by Quizilla ### iPod Flea This was a good chuckle. :) ### Felt Wee Folk Felt Wee Folk Cute!!! I went by M's office to show her my felted purse (on K's suggestion), and she had this book from the library. So cute!!! I want. Pleeeeeze! ;) I think they'd make cute little tree ornaments. And I could make a few of the fall themed ones for P's halloween display. Not that they'd really fit in with what she already has... ;) Maybe one day I'll buy it for myself. Not that I really need *more* crafts to work on. ;) If you want to check it out, look here... Amazon's "search inside" seemed less useful for this book. I'm being really tempted to spend money recently. I've noticed that Amazon has several of the dvds I want at 50% off, and are thus a really nice price. Then there's the craft books. But I must be strong... remember the Noro! I will reward myself if I'm strong!!! I'd put the book on my wishlist, but frankly, my family almost never buys me books from my wishlist. I don't know why I bother. (Not my amazon wishlist... they don't know about that... I use my amazon wishlist to "bookmark" thinks I like, so I can use them to top necessary orders up to$25 for free shipping. I like free shipping.)

And the book M showed me *was* a library book... so I can always ogle it for free there. *sigh*

;)

### Remembrance Day

Today is Remembrance Day.

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

- John McCrae, 1915

## Thursday, November 10, 2005

### More Old News

I won't say who's being stupid, because I don't know the whole story:

'WYRD SISTERS' CANNOT STOP HARRY POTTER
An Ontario judge has dismissed a motion by a Winnipeg band that would have blocked the release of the new Harry Potter movie in Canada.
FULL STORY
http://winnipeg.cbc.ca/regional/servlet/View?filename=mb_wyrd-sisters-20051104

I always knew most telemarketers were evil:

'DO-NOT-CALL' LISTS INEFFECTIVE, SAY TELEMARKETERS
New legislation is supposed to ensure telemarketers will put Canadians on a "do-not-call" list if they ask for it, but some telemarketers in Winnipeg say that's not always the case.
FULL STORY
http://winnipeg.cbc.ca/regional/servlet/View?filename=mb_telemarketers-20051104

Modern day pirates are not cool. Storybook tales of adventure, yeah, but not real ones:

PIRATES ATTACK CRUISE SHIP OFF SOMALIA
Pirates armed with rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns attacked a cruise ship off Somalia on Saturday, but the vessel managed to evade capture.
FULL STORY:
http://www.cbc.ca/story/world/national/2005/11/05/pirates-somalia051105.html

All things must eventually crumble and fall, but this is kind of sad:

WALL COLLAPSES AT ROMAN FORUM
A stretch of wall at Rome's ancient Forum has collapsed, raising concerns that the site is no longer safe for tourists.
FULL STORY:
http://www.cbc.ca/story/world/national/2005/11/06/colosseum051106.html

Another?!? Okay... this seems a bit more reasonable... it looks like what they're trying to do is extend insurance coverage to *all* passengers of a car, rather than blaming the mother:

NEW PUSH FOR FETUS LITIGATION RIGHTS
A New Brunswick woman has new hope that her province will draft legislation to allow her child to sue for injuries sustained in utero.
FULL STORY:

I just hope they word any legislation *very* carefully...

### Old News

I've fallen way behind on my news reading. I thought I'd use my lunch today to catch up a bit. Here's the articles I found interesting.

Now this is just sad, but I'm glad the police caught them:

CHILD-SEX RING UNCOVERED IN WINNIPEG, POLICE ALLEGE
Winnipeg police say they are investigating one of the largest sexual exploitation rings ever seen in the city, allegedly involving more than 30 children ranging in age from 18 months to 17 years.
FULL STORY:

NAME CHANGE OPENS DOORS, IMMIGRANT SAYS
What's in a name? Plenty, it seems, if you're an immigrant looking for a job in Nova Scotia.
FULL STORY:

Okay, now for some happy news about Chance and Bou:

ABANDONED MUSKOX GROWING STRONG, HEALTHY
Chance, the abandoned baby muskox, and his caribou companion are healthy, strong and successfully settling in to their new Yukon home, say wildlife officials.
FULL STORY:

Hmmm... yeah, I do this too:

WALKING TO THE BEAT BAD FOR BRIDGES
Scientists have developed a model to predict wobbling bridges, like the high-profile problem with London's Millennium Bridge.
FULL STORY:
http://www.cbc.ca/story/science/national/2005/11/02/millennium-bridge051102.html

I don't think I like this... I really like big trees, but people should be able to choose how to landscape their properties. I think the real solution is to have developers of new neighbourhoods go back to sidewalks and boulevards with trees.

PROPOSED BYLAW WOULD PREVENT CHOPPING DOWN TREES
A movement to save mature trees in Winnipeg has ignited a debate over property rights in the city.
FULL STORY
http://winnipeg.cbc.ca/regional/servlet/View?filename=mb_trees-20051102

This sucks:

U.S. SENATE VOTES FOR OIL DRILLING IN ARCTIC REFUGE
The U.S. Senate voted Thursday to reject a final attempt to protect Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil drilling.
FULL STORY:
http://www.cbc.ca/story/world/national/2005/11/03/arcticoil-051103.html

This seems wrong:

MOTHERS COULD BE SUED FOR INJURING FETUSES: ALBERTA BILL
Alberta's justice minister says he will be introducing legislation allowing children injured in car accidents while still in the womb to sue their mothers.
FULL STORY:

Mildly bizarre:

WHAT'S IN A NAME? PLENTY, SAY SOME RABBIS
A group of rabbis in Israel has blacklisted several names for Jewish children including Ariel, Shirley and Danielle.
FULL STORY:
http://www.cbc.ca/story/world/national/2005/11/03/NamesRabbis_051103.html

This is nice:

BIOGRAPHIES PERSONALIZE GERIATRIC CARE
A seniors' home in Montreal is putting together biographies of its residents with dementia to help preserve their dignity.
FULL STORY:
http://www.cbc.ca/story/science/national/2005/11/03/dementia-biographies051103.html

RED GREEN SAYS BYE TO POSSUM LODGE
Don your plaid and get out the duct tape.
FULL STORY:
http://www.cbc.ca/story/arts/national/2005/11/04/Arts/reggreen_051104.html

Good for you, but not for me (allergic):

EVIDENCE MOUNTS ON HEALTH BENEFITS OF FLAX
Flax, a grain that has been used for thousands of years in food and linen, is finding new popularity for its health benefits from fighting heart disease to preventing constipation.
FULL STORY:
http://www.cbc.ca/story/science/national/2005/11/04/flax-study051101.html

Curious:

MYSTERY SIGNAL BLOCKING OTTAWA DOOR DEVICES
Many automatic garage doors in Ottawa have suddenly, and strangely, stopped working, due to a powerful radio signal that appears to be interfering with the remote controls that open them.
FULL STORY:

Yay! My waist-to-hip ratio is much better than my BMI:

WAIST-HIP RATIO BEST MEASURE OF HEART ATTACK RISK
Using a measuring tape to check hip-to-waist ratios is a better predictor of heart attack risk than calculating a person's body-mass index, say researchers who studied people in 52 countries.
FULL STORY:
http://www.cbc.ca/story/science/national/2005/11/03/waist-hip051103.html

Well, lunch time is over, so back to work. I'm still about a week behind on the news...

### Weather

It rained last night. My joints (and head) hurt a bit this morning, but nowhere near as bad as my hip hurt last night.

Chicken socks 90% done.

## Wednesday, November 09, 2005

### Ow.

My joints inform me that the weather is changing.

### Algebraic Independence

So, I was going to write a post explaining algebraic independence, but then I decided that it's probably nearly impossible to explain it so that *everyone* understands. Instead, I've decided to post the summary that makes sense to me. If you want more details, feel free to ask.

A subset $X = \{x_1, \ldots, x_n\}$ is \emph{algebraically independent} over a field $F$ if there does \emph{not} exist a polynomial $f$ with coefficients in $F$ such that $f(x_1, \ldots, x_n)=0$. The elements of $X$ do not have to be in $F$.

A transcendental number is algebraically independent over the rationals, $\Q$.

I hope you don't mind the LaTeX... I just cut and pasted from my notes.

### Kelli's Bag

Kelli's Bag

Kelli finished her bag! I think it's nifty. :)

We walked over to Franklin Street so she could buy some lunch. Here's a tree we saw:

And for those of you who haven't seen enough fall colour, here's a tree outside my apartment:

Chicken socks are now around 80% done.

## Tuesday, November 08, 2005

### Deutsch

Guten Abend. Ich möchte nochmal mein Deutsch üben. Warum? Daß weiß ich nicht. Es hat auch gestern passiert.

Ich denke mein Deutsch ist schlimmer als jetzten mal.

Ich habe noch nicht Drachenreiter gelesen. Ich sollte es lesen. Ich möchte es lesen. Aber ich muß viele Bücher lesen. H hat mir viel Bücher ausgeliehen, und ich möchte sie alle schnell lesen. Dann kann ich die Bücher zurück geben am Weinachten. (Und mehr ausliehen!)

D. Eppstein ist toll! Er hat mir alles von "algebraic independence" erklärt, und ich verstand es! Morgen wird ich es dir erklären. Ich wunder... was denkt er als er sein Namen gelesen hat? Wegen ich in Deutsch geschreiben haben? Hoffentlich ist es kein Problem.

Es ist spät... ich soll schlafen gehen. Schlaf gut!

### Weather

The weather here is still bonkers. It gets up near 80F during the day, but dunks down when the sun sets. However, my apartment warms up enough during the day that I've had to temporarily turn the AC on the past three evenings. It's NOVEMBER, folks! I should *not* have to be paying for AC. :P

Yeah, I could open the windows, but that would let in the damp night air, and all those annoying allergens. Speaking of which, my eyelids have been swelling at night again. I wish I knew why, and what I could do to prevent it. :P

### Aargh.

Algebraic independence is driving me around the bend. In the matroid paper I'm reading ("Matroids from Discrete Geometry" by Walter Whiteley), it states "if the coordinates of a configuration are algebraically independent reals then the configuration will be generic."

"Generic" is an important concept in rigidity matroids. I understand generic. I'd like to understand "algebraically independent reals" so that I can, say, generate a set of generic coordinates at will. Most embeddings will be generic, but not all are. When you test the rank of the rigidity matrix and it is not full rank, that means that either there are dependencies, or the coordinates are not generic. I'd like to know which. I'm not using this method in my software, but it's always good to understand alternate methods... they're particularly good at verifying results. ;)

I've googled "algebraically independent", and found descriptions at sites like MathWorld and PlanetMath, but this bear of very little brain is having trouble parsing them. I need some good, concrete examples. Anyone have any suggestions?

On the up side, after the lunchtime group meeting, I'm now about 70% done the chicken socks. ;) (I didn't do any knitting or crochet last night because I wanted to finish the Yarn Harlot's book, so I could give it back at SNB tonight.)

### Bus Update

I had an idea this morning... I could ask my bus driver! She had a rather thick accent, and her answer seemed to be lacking in consonants, but I gather there was indeed no emergency. At least, not that any one told her.

My "conversation hat" activated twice this morning. Once on the bus, and once in the department. I really should make my own version, so I can answer "yes" when people ask if I made it.

I made it in early so I could work with J, and he's not here. (Not as early as I had intended, but earlier than him, apparently.) I guess I'll work on my own.

For some reason my screen is lagging behind my typing. I'm not sure if it's Blogger, Safari, or what... I think I'll reboot... that'll clear it up.

Cheers!

## Monday, November 07, 2005

### 911

Strange.

Growing up in Canada I never called 911. It was only for BIG EMERGENCIES where someone was GOING TO DIE if they didn't get help IMMEDIATELY. And, frankly, I was never in such a situation.

Living here, however, I seem to be making a bit of a habit of calling 911.

It's not my fault. Really, it isn't. The bus told me to.

Really.

It did.

I left my house to go grocery shopping, and I see the bus coming up Hamilton. Out of habit, I look at the sign to see which it is. It's a bit far off, and it looks rather unlike any of the signs I would expect to see on this street. I wondered if it had some sort of "out of service" sign on, so I watched it as it came closer.

It said "emergency."

Wierd... is this a bus that's on an emergency route? I've never seen one before.

Then, as it's driving by, I see the side sign says "help."

Huh?

Then, as I watch it going off in the other direction, I see that the back says "call 911."

So I went back in, called 911, and told me the bus told me to call. I gave them the details... but since I was so startled by the signs, I hadn't taken a good look inside. I remembered it being fairly empty, but I can't remember whether there actually were any passengers. He said it might have been switched to "emergency" by accident, but he notified the police and transit control.

I saw two cop cars on my way to the grocery store. Neither had their lights flashing, but both were headed in the general direction the bus had gone.

Well, I guess that was tonight's entertainment.

### Lunch

Another fun lunch today... a group from the department had a "sit 'n' stitch." Me, K, M, and A. A knit, and the rest of us crocheted. K brought her acrylic orb of wisdom (hers is a pretty blue/purple variegated), and I taught the technique to M. K's bag is really looking neat... she's added some ribbon and a button. :) She doesn't appear to have new photos up yet. K worked on a scarf for her mom, M worked on a secret throw for her daughter, and A was working on a shawl or something. I was the only one not using homespun. ;) (I worked on the chicken socks.)

## Sunday, November 06, 2005

### New Allergy

I felt like branching out and trying a new Jello. I had avoided "Berry Blue" because of the colour. However, today I decided to give it a try.

It tastes kind of like perfume.

And now my mouth itches.

I wonder what artificial ingredient caused this one...

### Alphabet Soup

Also done: B L U E P L

Pita bread is about ready to go in the oven, and I decided to leave grocery shopping until tomorrow.

I scrubbed my sink... and then remembered I was going to ride my exercise bike today. Um, it's a little late for that.

Letters left: U R P E, and, of course, sewing them all on. And sewing the crayons together. And writing the pattern up for Crochet Me. But, the end is in sight.

### Silly Quiz

Well, not really a quiz, but definitely silly:

My blog is worth \$18,065.28.
How much is your blog worth?

### Alphabet Soup

B came over today, and I worked on the lettering for the baby blanket. I finished R E D O R A N G E Y E L L O W G R E E N, and still need to do B L U E P U R P L E. However, I need to start my pita bread, have dinner, and go grocery shopping first.

I've also discovered that vice grips make acceptable nut crackers.

## Saturday, November 05, 2005

### Squirrels

Ichabod

Prepare yourself for cuteness, and then check out all the photos in my flickr set. ;)