## Saturday, April 30, 2005

### Dustin' an' Sweepin' an' Moppin' an' Cleanin'

Wheee. Yay me. I dusted, swept, and mopped my bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, and hallway! Yay!!! Although I dust and sweep periodically, I think this is the first time I've mopped some of those rooms since I moved in here. Whew! And it only took me about 2.5 hours for all that. Now I just need to do my livingroom/dining room and office. They're going to be a bit more of a pain, because there's more stuff to mop around. :P

Mopping sure is hot work! Am I the only one who thinks skivvies is appropriate attire for mopping? Ah, one of the benefits of living alone! ;)

Nothing else exciting to report: I spent the whole night cleaning. I still need to make my bed and fold my laundry, but I think I'll start by having an nice cool shower. However, I need to put the shower curtain back up first. :P I ran it through the wash with some bleach to kill any mildew trying to grow on it.

Did you know you can put plastic shower curtains in the washing machine? Yes you can! Don't put them in the dryer, though. :P

My room smells like lemon oil. Not only did I mop my bedroom floor, but I oiled my two nightstands. They're actually nesting tables that I bought at Ten Thousand Villages. They're some sort of wood from India with inlaid brass. They're really pretty... although they have a few dings. That's how I could afford both of them. My grandma sent me some birthday money, and when I went shopping, they had been marked down multiple times. :) I don't mind a few dings in order to be able to afford beautiful tables! The dings aren't too noticable. However, one of the tables (the larger of the two) seems to suck up the lemon oil like it's going out of style... and a few days after I oil it, it looks like I need to oil it again! I'm not sure if there's something wrong with the finish, or if I just need to reach it's saturation point. Anyone have any ideas? The small table stays nice looking for *much* longer.

Well, I should go play with my shower curtain, shower, make my bed, and then go to sleep. Good night! :)

### Ow.

My poor nose... it gets sooo much abuse. First spring allergies. Not only is there pollen, but I attack it with kleenex. Then, today, I bop it while trying out that sumo suit thing at the department picnic. It sure is protesting. I didn't break it, and it didn't even bleed, but it feels bruised. Luckily it looks like it's not going to turn purple, though. Poor nose.

The picnic was fun, and it (mostly) didn't rain. There were a few light sprinkles, but not enough to make the ultimate game stop. I didn't play ultimate... my asthma's been acting up, and I didn't feel like seeing if I'd have some more of those little black-outs again. :P

My allergies had been better because of the rain, but the wind was really strong today, and so I'm all snuffly again. (Sorry nose!)

Kelli, I put some picnic pictures here in case you want them for the newsletter. They aren't all that great, though... I don't think I was making sure to line up the green squares, because I was trying to take the pictures quickly. Also, it wasn't very bright out, so anyone who moved looked blurry. They're taking a while to upload... if there's fewer than 21, check back later. ;)

## Friday, April 29, 2005

### Inchworm...

...inchworm,
Measuring the marigolds,
Seems to me
You'd stop and see
How beautiful
They are.

Anne Murray was my favourite singer as a child. One summer I played her tape "Hippo in My Bathtub" until I wore the batteries out on my radio. They were generic batteries. If you want some long lasting batteries, check out the No Name ones at Superstore. My mom was convinced she'd go crazy before those batteries wore out! (We were at the lake, where there's no electricity.) Some day I'm going to buy myself the CD version... I'd like to play it when I'm feeling nostalgic. ;)

Tonight I inched along on my LB Homespun torture test throw, and got a few more rows done. I went really slowly so as to not aggravate my wrists. I think I managed about 1/4 of a skein. My wrists feel pretty good. :) There's hope I'll finish without severe RSI!!! (It'll just be a loooong time... compared to my normal rate.)

I made some more progress on Josie's socks today too... on the bus to and from school, and a bit while I was reading. I'm trying to figure out how to read papers and crochet at the same time... it makes me slow down and think about what I'm reading (not that I *need* to read slower... just think faster), and also prevents me from dozing off after a few paragraphs. ;)

Um, what else. Oh... on the topic of reuse, my old mattress was picked up by a lady I contacted on Freecycle, and her son likes the mattress! Now we're both happy. :)) I gave her the foam mattress topper I had bought for it too... I *don't* need it with my lovely new mattress. Speaking of which, we have a date scheduled for about now... good night! ;)

(Goggle Geek wants to say she's in storage... today's rain temporarily eliminated the need for her! But she will return again... when the skies are yellow, and the pain is great!)

### MathWorld

MathWorld is my friend. Instead of reading this math-heavy paper and saying, "gee all those terms look familiar... I sort of remember what they are", I can look them up. A bit slower going, but I'm understanding more. :) To help myself remember them (this time), I'm jotting down summary definitions in my notebook. so far: Inverse Function Theorem, Jacobian, diffeomorphism, codimension, manifold, and isometries. Now I just need to wrap my brain around an $n(n+1)/2$-dimensional manifold of isometries of $R^n$.

There's nothing like a little light reading for a Friday afternoon. ;)

### Fini

Yay, review of bad paper/video is done. :) It had potential, really it did... it just needed a lot more work.

Crummy upset stomach again today. I'd have some crackers to help settle my stomach, but I'm all out. :P

Ro liked the buttons I sent her! :) (E-mail just came in while I was typing this.)

Okay, enough bellyaching... time for me to get back to work. Too much time wasted on the review and meetings this week!

Speaking of buttons, here are the ones I got from Fiona:

I meant to post this picture last night, but spazzed and forgot.

Cheers!

I may have a lot of socks in progress, but this woman has *waaaay* more sock yarn than I do. I guess I should be glad I've got my addiction under as much control as I do. ;) Maybe her grad program is more stressful than mine?

### Waking Up

For some reason I woke up at 5:10 this morning. It was a kind of pleasant way to wake up... a bird was serenading me. I think it was the cardinal that's been hanging around, but I didn't look for it. I was able to get back to sleep fairly easily.

My second wake-up wasn't nearly so pleasant... NPR is having a pledge drive again. If you're curious, the number is 1-800-962-9862. They repeat it about every 0.2 seconds. Very easy to remember the number, but very annoying.

On the plus side, we're finally getting some rain!!!

## Thursday, April 28, 2005

Hello, my name is Andrea, and I am addicted to crocheting socks. Case in point:

These are my current socks in progress. Clockwise, from top left, they are: Josie's socks, Easter egg socks, blue cotton socks (in order to get to the other end of the dark blue ball I wrapped it around the nearly completed sock), sockapalooza cream, sockapalooza blue, and finally Bob's socks. (I won't be seeing Bob until August, so those have low priority.) The sockapalooza socks *were* completed socks, but they are being frogged and redone.

Tonight I finished off two more afghan squares:

I had made the green square and center of the gray square previously, and then added the finishing touches tonight. (The flowers on the green, and the gray border on the other.) Now I have 16 out of 63 squares done... I'm slooooowly getting closer to a real blanket. :)

And for other miscellaneous stuff, I figured out how to fix two problems. The first, I was having a problem with the zipper of the main compartment of my backpack coming open whenever I filled it too full. (Ie, all the time.) I solved that with a carabeener clip through the top handle and both zipper pulls:

Sorry about the not-so-great photo. (Note the Canadian flag! I actually sewed it on!) It still comes open a bit sometimes, but never enough for anything to fall out. The second, I fixed the reception on my radio:

It's supposed to have good reception, but I think they must have been talking about AM, because the dinky little antenna didn't do squat for FM. I'm a bit annoyed... this wisk, which is the one I actually use, gets much better reception than the whisk that I never use (and thus don't care if it sits up there getting dusty). The white eraser prevents the whisk from sliding around to where it doesn't get good reception.

Tomorrow a lady from Freecycle is supposed to come pick up my old mattress. I've been holding off doing my floors partially until I got that out of the way... well, that and I'm lazy.

I was going to ride my exercise bike tonight, but I kept sneezing unless I had kleenex shoved up my nose. I didn't feel like exercising with kleenex shoved up my nose. I'd prefer to be able to breathe easier before I get my big behind back on the bike. But I *do* need to get back on... my jeans have been feeling tight. :P

### Commentary

My allergies produce rather interesting comments. I was sitting here sniffling and snuffling and sneezing... until I couldn't stand it any more. So I shoved kleenex up both nostrils. I have to breathe through my mouth, but it stops the annoying allergy stuff. (Not that I could breathe through my nose right now anyway.) However, my desk faces the door to my office, and I'm right by the foosball room. (A popular destination.) Whee.

AL-F: You have something in your nose.
BD: I feel sorry for you.
JS: You look different every time I come by.
YL: Is there something wrong with your nose?

Perhaps I should close the door...

### No FO

At this rate, it's going to be a gazillion years before I see another FO. I started another pair of socks. To be fair, these were already on my sidebar and coffee table, so they still count towards the goal of clearing off my coffee table. ;) So good news, Josie... I started your socks! (Bad news Alison... yours are still semi-frogged.)

Last night was fairly interesting, but I forgot to blog about any of it. I was still at school around 6, trying to finish my review. I was feeling kind of hungry, and then remembered that Google was hosting a pizza party in the lobby at 6! So I headed down... the pizza was late though... it didn't arrive until 6:30. (And, with all the hungry students, only lasted until 6:35... I managed to scarf down two slices though.) The music was pretty cool. Montek was the DJ. (Way cool... a prof being a DJ! And he did a good job too.) I talked to people, which was fun. Then Tom brought his origami stuff by, and that was cool! Too bad I left my camera at home yesterday.

So I didn't end up getting home until nearly 9 last night... and didn't finish the review to boot. (Oops!) I'll finish that up now... it should only take a few more minutes.

I've been having upset stomachs lately... :P I wish that would stop.

Well, I should get back to work. Later!

## Wednesday, April 27, 2005

### Stockinette Avenger

I gave the Weasly another go tonight. I started a fresh ball on smaller needles. This time it looks like I'm getting 25 stitches per 4", where I should be getting 21. I think I was getting around 18 before. (I'm too lazy to recheck.) Previously I was using a size 6, this time I used a size 3. I've got size 4 (and 2), so I'll start another ball with the 4's, and try to loosen up on the knit stitches. (Purl is still coming out looser than knit, but its more even looking with the smaller needles.)

### In the news...

COMMON IRON OVERLOAD DISORDER OFTEN MISDIAGNOSED, STUDIES SHOW
An iron disorder is the most common genetic defect in North America, but is often misdiagnosed and undertreated, according to a new Canadian-led study that puts a spotlight on the condition.
FULL STORY:

BARENAKED LADIES MUSIC HITS STRATFORD STAGE
A psychedelic 1960s-era version of Shakespeare's As You Like It, featuring the music of the Barenaked Ladies, is hitting the stage at the Stratford Festival.
FULL STORY:
http://www.cbc.ca/story/arts/national/2005/04/27/Arts/bnlstratford050427.html

VANCOUVER PROMOTES INSURANCE BY THE KM
Vancouver city councillors think motorists should be able to pay for car insurance by the kilometre.
FULL STORY:

### Fidgety

Gah! I'm feeling fidgety, and don't want to do what I'm supposed to be doing... which is reviewing a video and paper that was probably written by an undergrad. Granted, it's not bad for being done by an undergrad (at least, I'm hoping the main author is an undergrad), but it's *not* up to snuff for a conference submission. There's the usual undergrad things of assuming that passing a spell check means the text is correct, and not having the experience to be able to express himself clearly. (It's not a blind review, so I know it's a him.) I can't really fault him too much... after all, I was the same way back in undergrad, but I'm surprised his advisor didn't polish it up before submission.

Gah! Blah! Fidget! Fidget!

*My* advisor doesn't want me to waste too much time on this, but he also wants a helpful review. It wouldn't take too long if only I could make myself read the text. It doesn't help that all the graphics in the paper are making Acrobat run as slow as a slug. (Of course, the pretty pictures mean there's less to read... a definite plus.)

Well, I should get back to it. I just needed a short distraction. Actually, I think what I need is a game of raquetball, but I can't play raquetball, and don't have the time or equipment. Tennis would work too, but same problems. Basically, I need something where I'm using all my muscles in a wild and abandoned way. (So weights don't cut it either.) I'm so fidgety I'm shaking.

Why do bad papers give me the equivalent of a sugar and caffeine high? BLAH! (And it's not a high that helps me concentrate!)

### WOW Wednesday

I feel I owe you two WOWs, since I skipped last week. This first one will be a "feel-good" WOW:

Everyone is a guru to someone.

Case in point: I know very little LaTeX... just enough to get me by, and I have my trusty manual to help where my memory fails. Someone else in the department is currently writing his first LaTeX paper... and I am his LaTeX guru. ;) In fact, last Wednesday, he phoned me up (my phone never rings!) to ask how to get the references to work. Answer? Bibtex the main file name, no extension. (I'm sure there's an extension that works, but I don't know which. Bibtex can figure it out if you leave it off.)

Now, a more normal WOW:

Air Freshener

For a nice, natural scent in the kitchen, run a lemon peel (tough ends removed) through the garbarator (kitchen disposal, for you Americans). I've never tried it, but a more environmentally friendly idea (given Tuesdays' posts) is to run it & some water through a food processor. After you get the nice scent, you can pour the remains on the compost pile. This method could even be used in any room of the house. :)

I wish I had a compost pile, but I don't think my apartment complex would let me get away with it.

You know, I think I like this WOW... you use the juice, then the scent from the rind, and then compost the remains! Very environmentally conscious, and none of that nasty chemical air freshener stuff! It doesn't even have any excess packaging, assuming you don't bother with the produce bags. :) (I don't... I'm usually only buying one, maybe two at a time.)

## Tuesday, April 26, 2005

### Weather

Still no real rain. A few sprinkles, but I want a long, gloomy, steady, pervasive downpour. I even tempted fate by not travelling with my umbrella when the clouds were threatening. No such luck. They know I want rain, and are saving it all for yarngirl! *pout*

;)

Nothing exciting on the crochet front. Today's bus ride saw some more progress on the Easter egg socks (now guiltily in the sidebar), and tonight I frogged two socks to just below the heel: the other blue, and the first cream. I'm leaving the second cream for comparison purposes... I want to make sure the ankles are correct. I'll frog it after I figure out what I want to do. And no, I didn't restart crocheting them tonight. (Bad again!)

Even though I haven't started them, I think I ought to add Josie's socks to the sidebar. Since they're promised to her and I've received the yarn, they're effectively WIPs. I'm not looking at my sidebar right now, but I think that makes a round dozen WIPs! Yikes! Time to finish some of these off! Maybe I'll crank out the felted slippers this weekend. They're a bulky crochet, and so should go fast. I had stopped working on them because I think the current size will end up too big, so I need to whip out my pencil and paper and do some real math, rather than just guestimating.

It's getting late, so I think I'll head to bed. I think I may do a few rows on the Weasley, just to feel like I've made some forward progress on my UFOs. (Fresh ball on smaller needles, to see if gauge works better.) I think the meditative stockinette will prepare me for sleep nicely.

I enjoyed Gilmore Girls again tonight, but my emotional level doesn't really like where they left us hanging tonight. :P Then I discovered I can watch House in focus. :) Strange show, but intriguing.

### Tuesday Tip for a Greener Life

Remember that there are "three R's": reduce, reuse, recycle. It seems that the third is the one that is pushed the most, but the first two are very important too. Reduce how much you use, reuse what you can, and recycle what can't be reused. I was reading an issue of "Organic Style" and there was a quote that said something along the lines that buying furnature made from environmentally friendly products was good, but buying used furnature was even better. Less energy is used by reusing something than by recycling it.

One of the things I do is I buy milk from a local dairy at my grocery store. Since the dairy is local, less energy is used to get the milk to my store. Also, the glass bottles are sterilized and reused, which is a step up from recycling... and the only waste is a little plastic cap. Even better... when I return the bottle to get a refund on my deposit, the total cost ends up being half that of the regular milk. I know not everyone has the same options, but keep your eyes open for those you do have. ;)

### Continuing Adventures of Goggle Geek

Goggle Geek wore her mask but not her goggles to the post office. Packages got mailed fine. :) Pollen levels have dropped to "medium", and rain is in the forecast. Goggle Geek hopes the end is in sight!

Good news on the taxes... since I don't owe anything, there won't be any penalty if my taxes arrive a few days late. :)) (I couldn't do them online because I didn't want to buy software. :P )

## Monday, April 25, 2005

### One more post...

Just one more post before bed. Everyone needs a good bellylaugh... go here and split your sides. ;)

### Monday

Tonight's Not-A-Snowflake Monday was spent washing dishes (so I could eat dinner), making a nice version of my taxes to mail (because I wasn't going to pay for software to do them online... stupid Revinue Canada... why do I need to use some comercial tax software?!? Just give me a plain form where I can type in all the numbers from my paper return!), and frogging half a sock. That sock just didn't want to go, and really held onto those stitches! I've been avoiding this sock... and it's mate, and the other pair, all of whom went to the same person... only to discover I made the ankles too small. I wasn't crazy about the socks in the first place... they were *completely* plain. Doing them *again* was not something I was looking forward to. And, so, being the procrastinator that I am, put off frogging them for two weeks. Bad me. But now I'm redeeming myself by getting to them. I should have finished them by now and sent them back, but I'll go easy on myself. Any progress is better than none. (Sorry Alison... I hope you don't mind the wait too much! I'll try to pick up speed!)

Having started the frogging process, I'm feeling better enough to admit that I had two moments of weaknesses lately... (1) I ordered more sock yarn (at the same time I ordered the additional ball of Regia Cotton to finish off a pair in progress), and then (2) I *started* yet another pair of socks. I haven't put them on the sidebar, because I felt a little embarrased that I had started yet another pair. But they're pretty colours, and self striping, and starting them didn't require any decisions to be made, like where exactly to place the ankle increases, etc. This weekend I needed some simple socks to take with me on my errands, because I really didn't want to do ankle planning on the bus. But tomorrow evening I'll do ankle planning, and that way will have plenty of UFO socks to take on the bus to work on my UFO pledge. ;)

This latest pair of socks are more Meilenweit cotton socks, in pretty pink, blue, turquoise, and lime. I'm calling them my Easter egg socks. They're so cheerful, it's hard to be mad at myself for starting such a fun pair. ;)

Well, time to crawl into my wonderful new bed. Sleep tight!

### Perking Up

update: just fixed typo in quote.

I seem to be perking up. I managed to work through a sleepy period earlier this afternoon... I would put my head down on my hands, and whenever I had come up with another pro or con for the two methods, I would put my glasses on and type it up. I actually did manage to come up with a decent number of pros and cons. :)

Now I'm making some forward progress on a paper by Asimow and Roth. My brain seems to be working pretty well, but I'm going to bookmark the sentence "since rank $df=k$ near $x_0$, $\partial{f_2}/\partial{x_2}=0$ near $x_0$" and come back to it. I think understanding the "why" of this sentence is important to another thing I'm working on. Right now I'm just happy I figured out other parts of the matroid. I do have a general intuition... that there "isn't enough stuff", but I'd like to understand it well enough that I can use a similar sentence in a proof of my own.

Well, I think I'll take a break and e-file my taxes. Wheeee. :P

;)

### Blah, Yuck, de Blah Blah

Still feeling somewhat cruddy but okay. I forgot to take my asthma medication. I forgot to pack my vitamins that I take at lunch. That includes the magnesium I use to keep my headaches at bay. :P I won't have a problem today, but I may tomorrow. :( I had a headache this morning (likely sinus), but I forgot to take something for it. Luckily it went away (mostly) anyway. I wish the cough would go away too. About my dirty lung cough: whenever I cough, I feel somewhat wheezy, and I get a bad taste in my mouth... like I have bad breath. :P

K is busy, so lunch on my own today. I filled out a grad student survey that took forever. I think it must have been ten pages long... they could have warned us! Well, I'm done eating, so time to make progress. Whee.

### Crud

This is just some ranty random post. Completely boring.

Yellow stuff indicates I've got a cold or sinus infection or something. :P I guess this means the dirty cough in my lungs mean infection of some sort too, and I should take my asthma meds. Blech. I hate that. But, if it'll make my lungs feel clean, that'll be nice. I didn't before, because I figured theres nothing the meds could do about the pollen.

I hate being "somewhat sick". If I'm sick, I want to be able to stay home in bed and recouperate. However, if I'm mostly feeling fine, I can't justify it. So instead I go in to work and try to do my normal stuff while not feeling quite up to normal. Rant, rant, rant, blah, blah, blah. I feel like ranting, but not I'm not really feeling up to ranting at the same time. Cough, hack, sneeze. Blech.

To top it off, I'm planning on staying late to enter my taxes. :P Plus, I wanted to start mopping the house tonight.

I hope your Monday is nicer than mine.

## Sunday, April 24, 2005

### Gray's Anatomy

Enjoyable show. I suspect it would be even more enjoyable if it were in focus... the better to ogle the hot guys. ;) However, Meredith has a nice dreamy quality this way. Ah, the joys of broadcast TV. I'm glad there's not too many shows on ABC that I like... the reception would get annoying.

Note to self: pita bread doesn't rise too well when the house is 64F. Seems to be coming out of the oven fine, however. On the flipside, it doesn't take too long for it to cool enough to eat. Mmmmm... definitely passes taste test!

Hmmm... its 40F outside right now, and supposed to get down to 37F. High tomorrow is 68F. Now do I set the heat to come on so it doesn't get too cold, or do I save up the cold for tomorrow...

...I think I'll go eat another slice of pita bread. ;)

### Tax Update

I finally worked out my Canadian taxes. Thanks to a small RRSP contribution, I owe nothing. :) I don't get anything back either... the education credits are now non-refundable. :( (I think they started that last year.) I'll e-file them tomorrow. I was going to do it tonight, but I don't want to have to figure out how to handle my computer hanging up in the middle. It dosen't often hang up, but it's already done so once tonight. :P

Well, I should go finish my pita bread. It's had enough time for the first rising, and is due for the second. I should manage it have it done in time to go to bed at 11:00. :) Mmmmm... my lovely mattress is calling! ;)

I haven't mopped yet, but I managed to get all my other chores done, so I'll forgive myself. I'll start the mopping process tomorrow... or sometime soon. ;) It really needs it though. I've got quite a bit of accumulated dust, and when I changed the air filter recently, I noticed it looked a bit yellow. :P So somehow, there's pollen getting in the house. Probably when I go in and out. Speaking of pollen, when I went out yesterday, I happened to be looking at a stand of pines when the wind gusted. A large yellow cloud came out of the pines. Yuck!!! (Not gross... but "yuck, that's the last thing my allergies need.")

The other pollen update? I bought a nice big 15 pack of dust masks at Lowes. They were a pretty good price. The only downside? They're mint green (not so bad), with instructions for use printed on the front. Joy... goggle geek will look even stranger! I think I'll leave goggle geek home on Tuesday so I can go to the bank and post office. I could go Monday, but I have a meeting with my advisor, so I'd prefer to be in reasonable enough shape to get some work done before my meeting.

Okay... off to pita bread! :)

### In the news...

A nursing home for wool-lovers:

NURSING HOME FOLKS COUNTING SHEEP
Residents at a nursing home in Nova Scotia have a few furry friends to watch over, thanks to a sheep farmer.
FULL STORY:

Hmmm... if 61% of Americans don't know the words to their own anthem, I'd think we can forgive a Quebec woman for flubbing under stress:

QUEBEC SINGER RECOVERS FROM ANTHEM SLIP
Montreal singer Caroline Marcil has won over the hosts of a U.S. TV program after twice flubbing the American national anthem at a hockey game in Quebec City on Friday night.
FULL STORY:

### Looking for a new house?

My grandma passed away last year, and we're trying to sell the home she and my had grandfather lived in. Looking for a new home near Drayton, ON? Check it out! The house is in the countryside, and the closest town is actually Elmira, but that's a pretty dinky little town, from what I remember. Drayton is bigger. Waterloo isn't too far away, either. (One option I considered for undergrad was living with my grandmother and attending the University of Waterloo... but I wasn't big on living with my grandmother. She's Roman Catholic, and I'm not. Not a good living situation... for me.) Hmmm... looking at mapquest, Elmira is about halfway between Waterloo and Drayton, but possibly a bit closer to Waterloo.

The house is awesome, and *huge*. It's even got it's own wine cellar! (My grandfather's family was in the wine making business over in Austria.) Some things, like the cabinets, are a bit dated, but the place is like a mansion (to me). It's got five bedrooms, three bathrooms, an enormous kitchen with eating area, plus informal and formal dining rooms. There's both informal and formal living rooms, plus rec rooms (yes, plural) in the basement. There's a cold cellar plus other rooms in the basement. *Huge* yard. (It is in the countryside, after all.) My dad did some calling, and the place is located where it can get some sort of highspeed internet if an antenna is installed.

If you know anyone who's interested, would you point them that way? Pleeeze?

I told my dad I'd put a link up. Advertising by me is now done. ;) (But do check it out... it's a great place.)

### Mattress Love

Mmmmmm.... I'm in loooove!

Last night as I was waiting for my dad to call, I decided to lie down on my new mattress. (I was doing laundry, so the main room was noisy.) Here's what my back had to say:

"GNKH!!!" (I give my back a crack, and try lying down again.) "GNKH!!!... Gnkh! Gnkh. Gnkh?.... ! ... gaa...aaaahhhhhhhh...."

Later on I had a *wonderful* night on it. Mmmmm! I woke up once with some screwy dreams, but got back to sleep fine. I'm up now because it was my mom's time to call... but I'm thinking I may go back to bed for a bit.

I wonder how much it would cost to get a queen sized mattress and box spring shipped to Winnipeg when I graduate? This mattress is *soooooo* nice. I'm now a really big fan of The Original Mattress Factory. :) This is my best tax refund ever!

Now if only my dirty-pollen-lung cough would go away. :P

## Saturday, April 23, 2005

### Unbridled Optimism Remix

Hmmm... there's some good looking summer goals over at Learning Curves. I'll take #1, but on my dissertation topic rather than a new problem. I prefer Scrabble with Delgatty rules, so I'll never achieve, nor want to achieve, #2. Substitute #3 with catching up on my stack of bedtime reading (need to return books belonging to others). That, and reading the Matroid book I've been renewing for over a year now. (I'll read it one of these days... if nothing else, it's telling the math library that matriod books are popular. :P ) Although I'd love to tackle something like #4, I rent... so I don't think my landlords would be too pleased with me. #5 with somewhat different numbers... I'll be happy if I ever make it back down to 129. Skip #6, or replace it with reading some interesting papers. And my favourite is #7:
Knit and crochet enough to cause the derivative of my yarn stash to become negative -- or at the very least, to get the second derivative to become negative.

I might as well add a vague #8: get lots and lots done on my dissertation.

My goal with Helen is to finish our next red-black tree paper. We're getting close, so it should be possible. :) (Yes, another publication that I can't use as part of my dissertation.)

### Silly Quizzes

 Your Boobies' Names Are: Siegfried and Roy

Hmmm... strange. Now, if I had come with alternate equipment, here's what it'd be called:

 Your Penis Name is: Free Willy

Rather ironic, I think. :P

### Early

My mattress was supposed to arrive between 12 and 3. Around 10:45 I get around to having my shower... no problem, I think, since it's still well over an hour before my mattress is supposed to arrive. I have *plenty* of time. I didn't sleep that late, but I was puttering around before my shower. Anyway, I'm drying off around 11, and here my phone ring. Must be the mattress people letting me know they're on their way. (I don't get many phone calls.) I go answer the phone. Surprise. Turns out they're early, and they're sitting outside my place. Eeek! I'm only wearing my birthday suit! I ask them to wait five minutes, throw on whatever's at the top of my drawers, and then wave to let them know it's safe. ;)

It's a *nice* mattress. I got a "bunkie board" too, because there's spaces between the support slats on my bed. Between the little bit added by the bunkie board, and the huge amount added by the padding on my new mattress, I'm going to have to *climb* into bed now! I'll be lying up there in the morning, and reach *down* for the snooze button on my alarm! (Possibly a good thing... I need to use the snooze button less.) I measured, and my bed is now 27" above the floor. On the plus side, I won't have to bend over as much when I fold my laundry. ;)

And, since they were early, I now have plenty of time to go out and run my errands. :) See you later! I'm off... (sneeze, snuffle)

### Regia Cotton

I started the toe last night, and the new Regia Cotton will do. I noticed it felt a bit different... not only is it a different thickness, but it has a different fibre content! Ironically, had my original balls been the same as this one, I likely wouldn't have had to order more.

Although we got a bit of rain last night, I don't think it was enough. I guess I'll find out when I run some errands later today. :P

## Friday, April 22, 2005

### Friday

Rain, rain, come my way,

Yay!!!! It just started! :)) I'll have to try that chant more often. ;)

Allergies are bothering me more today... I was sneezing at work, so I skipped changing into my alter-ego, and came home looking (relatively) normal. I could feel all the grit in the air trying to get in my eyes. :P

I got the call from the mattress company, and they'll be here sometime between noon and 3... which is nice for sleeping in, but not for going out and running errands, since the busses stop before 6. It would be fine if I just wanted to catch one bus, but I'd like to head over to Lowes (two busses) and stop at Wellspring & the Cotton Boll (for buttons) on the way home. That means I either need to get up early and be back by noon (ick), or hope the mattress people come early, and risk the chance I'll have to walk home. Hmmm... my library books are due tomorrow... I can't put off my trip, and have yet another stop to make. :P

I ordered extra yarn to finish off the blue cotton socks. I ordered a second ball of the light blue, with the intention of just not finishing off the dark blue stripes up the legs of both socks. The yarn arrived today. I knew it wasn't going to be the same dye lot, but the difference is annoying. Not only is it a slightly different shade of blue, but it's a different thickness. Even according to the label! Still a 50g ball, but 225m instead of 200m. *sigh* I guess I might as well give it a try...

Still to do: Canadian taxes (yuck, but *need* to be done! soon!!!), and Sockapalooza pal socks redo. (I'm sorry... I still haven't touched them. :( I'll try to get a bunch done on them this weekend.)

Hmmm... rain stopped after a light smattering... I hope it rains some more! I want that pollen washed out! I think a good rain will do it, because I noticed the pollen-producing pods have fallen off the oaks, so we just need to wash the air. Then I'll find out what other trees I'm allergic to. ;)

I felt a bit glum on my way home from work, but I'm feeling okay now.

That reminds me... in the category of "weirdos like to talk to me", I have another entry. Some guy started talking to me on the way home... he said something like he noticed that I had that extremely contagious (something something) disorder: lack of a smile. I was kind of grimacing at the time because my allergies were annoying me, and I was feeling glum. I couldn't decide if he was a nice person noticing my distress, or just another of those weirdos that like to talk to me. I said something and quickly walked on to catch the bus, since it was due soon. Maybe my belief that only weirdos talk to me is self-fulfilling? Since I believe only weirdos talk to me, I assume that anyone talking to me is a weirdo? I do know that there have been some definite weirdos, but maybe I misunderstood some of the normal people?

My wrist is a bit tender, but not yet painful, so I'm not going to work on my LB Homespun throw for a while. Stupid yarn.

I think I'll go back to reading my good book that's due tomorrow. Hmmm... I wonder if the Chapel Hill library allows online renewals? That would cut down on the number of stops I have...

### It's a small world

I visited Stitches of Violet after seeing the link at Zeneedle. Neat blog, so I left a comment saying hi. She checked me out in return, and mentioned she has a sister living in Chapel Hill. Small world!

Another small world item today... my officemate pointed out the first sentence in "How to Lie with Statistics" (which I still need to read), which is the quote "there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics," by Disraeli. Disraeli, I thought. Hmmm... I wonder... there's a Disraeli bridge in Winnipeg near where I grew up. I wonder. It turns out the quote is by Benjamin Disraeli, a British politician and author, and the bridge is named after the same guy. Cool. :)

## Thursday, April 21, 2005

### Easy Night

I'm taking it easy tonight. I watched some TV and worked on my LB Homespun throw... hopefully not enough to make my carpal tunnel act up, but I don't have my hopes up. I only did a few rows. My wrist did click some, no matter how hard I tried to keep it loose and relaxed. I'll wear my brace tonight, and hopefully that'll keep the pain at bay. I can't wait until this stupid throw is done. :P

I'm going to read a book until 10, then watch ER and head to bed.

Wishing you a nice relaxing evening too. :)

### In the news...

9-YEAR-OLD BRINGS A MESSAGE OF LOVE TO BAY ST.
A nine-year-old Winnipeg girl brought a simple message of love to Bay Street's captains of business Thursday as she pursued her quest to help the homeless – a personal campaign that has already raised $500,000 in donations. FULL STORY: http://www.cbc.ca/story/canada/national/2005/04/21/hannah-taylor050421.html ANTARCTIC GLACIERS SHOW MAJOR MELTING A comprehensive survey of Antarctic glaciers shows the continent is melting worse than thought. FULL STORY: http://www.cbc.ca/story/science/national/2005/04/21/Antarctic-glaciers050421.html MICE LED INTO HIBERNATION IN TEST OF MEDICAL POTENTIAL By forcing mice to hibernate and then reviving them, scientists say they may have found a new way to help cells survive low oxygen conditions such as stroke. FULL STORY: http://www.cbc.ca/story/science/national/2005/04/21/hibernate-mice050421.html GOT A PRAYER? E-MAIL THE POPE Two days after taking over as the spiritual leader of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI became reachable by the click of a mouse Thursday. FULL STORY: http://www.cbc.ca/story/world/national/2005/04/21/pope-internet050421.html ### Stutter Blogger, please stop repeating myself! ### Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! Sorry. I just needed to get that off my chest. The slides for todays class were created by someone else. I had seen them before... two years ago. J e-mailed them to me, since he decided they were what he wanted me to use *after* we had caught the bus, and I had left my CD with them at the office. (He was going through my material on the bus ride home.) The file was 5MB, and so didn't finish downloading until 11... so not much time to prepare before the 9:30 class. I gave the talk. Not the best talk I've given. I had to stop and think occasionally. However, I think the students (at least, the five that showed up) understood... they said they did, at least. Yay. Bleh. I need to go destress. ## Wednesday, April 20, 2005 ### Not so great day Bleh. Had trouble getting up, then had a long nap at school. Woke up to discover that my advisor unexpectedly has to be out of town tomorrow, and asked me to take over his class. I get to talk about my research, but I also get to do so on really short (for me) notice. All my dishes are dirty, so I'm washing them before dinner. Note to self... washing dishes while feeling wiped out is not a good idea, and hold onto the glass measuring cup when the glasses are in the sink. Glass count is now n-1, and I got to refill the sink with water after picking out the broken pieces. :P As a pick-me-up, I've turned the air conditioning on while I've got my hands in hot water. :P The house was 75F when I got home. Livable, but I'd rather not be sweating over my dishes. Well, I should get back to my dishes, so I can then cook and eat dinner, and then finish preparing for tomorrow morning's class, and maybe do my Canadian taxes if I have time. :P Class is at 9:30, so I need to get up at a reasonable hour. Why couldn't this happen last week when I wasn't so dead? At least my mood is pretty good. Feeling kinda glum right now, but nothing I can't handle. Definitely comfort food for dinner tonight. Cheers! Thanks to the nice Crochetville Fairy who sent me an Adagio gift certificate. :) I've still got lots of tea right now, but I'll hold onto it for later. ### Withdrawal? Ugh. I've been having a horrible time getting up these past few days. I slept late again today, took forever getting in to school, and now desperately need a nap. I've got a headache too, even though I've been taking my magnesium supplements. I wonder if this is withdrawal from cutting down on Prozac? I don't think the tiredness is allergies, because the goggles and mask have been keeping those at bay. I have been going to bed somewhat later the past few nights, but even when I do go to bed, I feel twitchy and alert. Also, I the days have been warm, and the nights have been cool, so I've turned off the heat/ac... which means it's around 72 in the house when I go to bed, and 60-65 when I get up. I sleep much better at 60-65 than I do at 72, so maybe that's it. Whatever it is, I'm rambling, and I think I'll go have a nap. Then I'll try to get work done. I don't think I'll accomplish much if I try to work in the state I'm in now. :P ### Continuing Adventures of Goggle Geek Goggle Geek needs to run three errands involving going outside: 1. library 2. bank 3. post office The library errand isn't urgent. Goggle Geek isn't so sure going to the bank and post office wearing a mask and goggles is such a good idea. Hmmm... it's supposed to rain later this week. Goggle Geek decides to put off her errands for a few days, and will go to school without any side trips this morning. Stay tuned for the continuing adventures of Goggle Geek! ## Tuesday, April 19, 2005 ### UFO Begone! Yay... one item off my coffee table, ready to be packaged up and sent off! I finished edging those RAOK squares: Not perfect, but I think they'll do. :) ### In the news... Fresh lobster in the prairies? I'm up for that! ON THE MENU: MANITOBA LOBSTER The owners of a company in Swan River believe they have created the perfect environment to raise lobsters in Manitoba. FULL STORY http://winnipeg.cbc.ca/regional/servlet/View?filename=mb_lobster-20050419 ### In the news... It's not just me: CATHOLIC FEMINISTS GO ONLINE WITH 'OPEN CONCLAVE' Some Catholic women are holding an internet conclave as a pointed protest against a tradition that gives only men a voice in choosing the spiritual leader of the world's 1.1 billion Roman Catholics. FULL STORY: http://www.cbc.ca/story/world/national/2005/04/18/open-conclave050418.html Reminder: don't drive tired: TIRED DRIVER BOWLS OVER MANITOBA CYCLISTS A country outing took an ugly turn for a group of Winnipeg cyclists Sunday morning when a tired driver plowed into them. FULL STORY: http://www.cbc.ca/story/canada/national/2005/04/18/sleepy-driver-cyclists050418.html Hmmm... he won't get this "junk mail" either: SPCA LUCKS OUT OVER POOCH'S PRIZE Little doggie Mr. Jengels will get the fame, but the SPCA will get his fortune. FULL STORY: http://www.cbc.ca/story/canada/national/2005/04/18/pooch-prize050418.html If you're going to mess with nature, determine the consequenses *first*: MANITOBA TO ARGUE AGAINST NORTH DAKOTA WATER PLAN The government of Manitoba is trying to persuade a North Dakota court to stop a controversial water diversion project that it claims will spread pollution and foreign species into Canada. FULL STORY: http://www.cbc.ca/story/canada/national/2005/04/18/devils-lake-manitoba050418.html ### Tuesday Tip for a Greener Life No idea if I'll make these regular, but I liked the alliteration. ;) Here's my first suggestion: Replace your porch lights (and any others that stay on for long periods) with compact flourescent bulbs. I find compact fluorescents take a bit to "warm up", so these are best for places where the lights tend to stay on for a while. I have compact fluorescents in my front porch, living room, and kitchen. I just bought another bulb, and will be placing it in my back porch. (Formerly I just didn't turn that light on, but it's *really* dark out behind my place. Having porch lights on are good for security. Oh, and save the bulbs you remove to use in other rooms where compact fluorescents aren't practical. And, like your mother always said, turn off lights when you leave the room. ;) ### Pledge In continuation of last night's theme, I'm joining the UFO crochet-along, and taking the following pledge: I will finish, or make significant progress on, two UFOs before starting a new project. In addition, the only items that qualify for "significant progress" rather than "finish" are my afghans in progress. That includes the one in limbo. Snowflakes are exempt from the above pledge, since they can be finished in a single night. (And thus are never UFOs.) ### Stutter I'm not stuttering, blogger is being stupid. :P ### Continuing Adventures of Goggle Geek I had one of my favourite bus drivers today, and he asked if I hadn't waited a bit late to start the allergy prevention. I explained that it took me a while to figure out the goggle trick. He wanted to know how I could see anything with my goggles fogging up. I actually prefer it that way... because I'm not wearing my glasses, my eyes stress themselves out trying to focus, until the goggles fog up... at which point, they realize they can't see anything anyway, and relax. Telling your eyes not to bother focussing is hard. The lady sitting in the seat across from me got a chuckle out of that... but thought the goggles were a good idea. ;) (begin rant) I've been trying to abstain from pope-bashing, but one comment on the news last night rather got to me... they were talking about the church's attitude on women, and the fact that they're basically second class citizens (my words, not theirs), and also about the church's attitude on condoms, etc. I remember hearing one high-up guy in the church saying something about how mature religions resist change. Well, maybe some of the church's ideas are mature (love thy neighbour, etc), but others were formed back in the dark ages, and could really use a rewrite. Yoo-hoo, you might want to notice a very large portion of your congregation is now in third world countries, and if you're not careful, you're going to lose them to AIDS. :P And what's the deal about not letting women be priests, huh? It's not like you're overflowing with priests at the moment. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth. (end rant) I've got a coupon for CafePress now, and will be placing my order soon. The first five people to e-mail me will get a coupon. :) Haven't seen it yet? Go check out the nifty Crochetville store! Woolie Bobbin says you need some of his stuff. ;) (No, I'm not profiting on this... I don't want to get kicked out of the US.) ## Monday, April 18, 2005 ### Determination & Decluttering Another Snowflake Monday that I didn't make a snowflake. This time, however, I have a new excuse. My RSI isn't acting up. I didn't forget. No, this time I was determined to use the time to attempt to declutter my coffee table. The main problem with decluttering my coffee table is that it's filled with WIPs, most of which require quite a bit of time before they'll be FOs. One project, though, doesn't need a lot of time, just some calculations and dealing with guilt and frustration. That's making some stitch swatch squares into RAOK squares. Here's the story: A while back I made some squares to try out some different stitches, using some leftover yarn. I intended to make a lapghan, even though I didn't really want or need one. It was just a way to try out some stitches, and use up some leftover yarn. (This was back before I aquired a "stash".) However, I stopped working on the project because I had other more interesting projects, and this was just a "use up leftover" project. Enter RAOK... several people asked for squares for afghans. Ah ha! A way to say "have a nice day" and deal with these squares. :) However, none of the squares were the same size, and also none were the size that people had listed on their wishlists. No problem... I'd just add a border to each. About a month or so back I tried adding a border to one square... and discovered I was completely incompetent at picking up stitches, and making rectangular blocks into proper sized squares. For a while, I thought that I would just send the squares they way they were, with extra yarn to edge them. However, I felt bad doing that... like I didn't think enough of the person to try to edge the squares. So they sat on my coffee table. Well, tonight I was determined to deal with them. I actually managed three squares! Here they are: They're not perfect, but they're a lot better than the first time I tried. :) I have five left: I really hope the recipient likes them! Hopefully I'll finish these off soon, and get them off my coffee table!!! I'll be sending the remaining yarn, too, in case they want more matching squares. ;) Updates on today's stories: 1. Goggles and mask worked great! I had a bit of residual allergy reaction from yesterday's pollen overexposure, but I was almost normal today! (Well, ignoring my exceedingly unusual appearance.) I may be the dorkiest geek around, but I'm a happy dorky geek. :) 2. I've got half a sidewalk. I'm not sure what's up, but I'm about three squares short of a walk. Maybe the elves will come back tomorrow. My neighbours all got completed walks. Mine was the only partial. (I guess I've been a bad girl this year.) 3. Boy Washie works! No idea why he was misbehaving before, but he is working now. :) I *like* clean laundry. (Um, but I'm not that fond of folding clean laundry.) Well, I should go and try to get some of my Canadian taxes done. (No, I still need to do them!) ### Clever Virus Writer Hmmm... this looks like a clever virus author. Of course, I'm not opening the zip. :P Hello, First, Very Sorry for my bad English. Someone is sending your private e-mails on my address. It's probably an e-mail provider error! At time, I've got over 10 mails on my account, but the recipient are you. I have copied all the mail text in the windows text-editor for you & zipped then. Make sure, that this mails don't come in my mail-box again. bye Another tipoff? It was sent to User@yahoo.com. Of course, it's also nice knowing I use a mac, and that virus writers seem to ignore us mac users. ;) ### Costs Yikes! Hmmm... I think a dog is a bit out of my price range. According to this website, dogs cost *quite* a bit: "LIFETIME TOTALS:$20,720; $2,375 in the first year,$1,975 annually; $2,140 for older dogs." That first year cost is half a year's tuition. :P ### Ignore this post Guten Tag. Heute möchte ich mein Deutsch üben ein bissen. Mein Deutsch ist nicht sehr güt, aber ich möchte es nicht total vergessen. Deshalb schreibe ich hier etwas auf Deutsch. Ich weiss es ist sehr schrecklich, und deshalb habe ich gesagt du sollst es nicht lesen. Ich möchte ein Deutsches Buch kaufen, aber sie sind nicht billig. Student Stores hat Harry Potter auf Deutsch, aber es kostet ungefehr funf und zwanzig dollar. :P Mit$25 kann ich drei Bücher auf Englisch kaufen. Vielleicht soll ich zum Bibliothek gehen. Ich weiß nicht ob die Bibliothek Bücher auf Deutsch haben. Hmmm... die Chapel Hill Bibliothek haben Harry Potter auf Englisch, Spanisch, und Latin... nicht Deutsch. Hmmm... ich denke UNC haben auch uberhaupt nichts auf Deutsch. Das ist ja eine Blödsin! (Ich mag das sagen!)

Ich denke ich sollte zurück zum arbeit gehen. Ich lese jetzt ein Article von Asimow und Roth.

Aufwiedersehen.

### Boy Washie?

Hmmm... I just got a call from maintenance that Boy Washie is working just fine. He better not be playing pranks... I'll stick a load in when I get home. They said I can call the emergency number to page them if he acts up again... they want to see him with a load in. I could tell them where to find my laundry, but I don't trust the maintenance people to not mess things up. :P

### Quiz

Several people have done this quiz now, but I don't believe it:

50% General American English
25% Yankee
10% Dixie
5% Midwestern
5% Upper Midwestern

I am neither Yankee nor Dixie!

### Latest in Spring Battle Gear

Pollen, here I come!

I sure hope that's the sound of you laughing *with* me...

### Sidewalk!

Yipee! I've got some little elves working outside, building me a new sidewalk! I see an end to mud in my future... and a sign that it's time to mop my floors. (Dust bunnies, you might want to migrate before the mass slaughter begins. Fair warning.)

Update:

When I left the house, my mud pit had wooden edging, but the little elves had wandered off. Hopefully they'll come back before I come home. Speaking of little elves, I hope the GL elves come to fix Boy Washie today... I'd like to finish off my laundry.

## Sunday, April 17, 2005

### Parties, Pizza, and Pollen

*snuffle* Today I went to Apple Chill with my friend S. Chapel Hill has two street festivals... Apple Chill in the spring, and Festifall in the fall. There's crafts, music, and public service stuff. (If I wanted to, I could have been tested for HIV. However, given my history, I figured the test would be better spent on someone else.) It was fun walking around and seeing the craft booths (ran into Josie's sister in that section!), but the pollen got to me. I only sneezed a few times while I was out, but I've had one heck of a delayed response, and taking a shower hasn't helped. The antihistamines and decongestants haven't helped either. Nor lying down with a damp cloth on my eyes. Nor rinsing my eyes with cold water, and using eye drops. *sneeze!* *sneeze!* I'll live, but I'm not too happy about my allergies at the moment.

I think it must be oak. According to the pollen forecast, the three top producers are oak, sweetgum, and birch. My bad allergies started around the time the oak made it into the top three, and didn't change when cedar/juniper dropped out, or when birch and sweetgum started. Of course, I'm sure they're not helping any. Of course, there's very few birches around here, and my neighbourhood is *filled* with oaks. *snuffle*

I did my grocery shopping today. Whee. I didn't get run over by motorcycles on the way back. I finished around the time that Apple Chill must have been ending, because the "After Chill" motorcycle brigades had started cruising.

To finish off a fun (albeit high pollen count) day, I made some pretty good pizza! I used the pizza dough recipe from my Betty Crocker cookbook, and did toppings sort of bruschetta style. Mmmmm.... very tasty! But, since the tomatoes would have made the crust soggy, I decided to eat the whole thing. *burp* I think I'll go roll myself into bed now. ;) I have an extra crust in the freezer (cut in half!), but I don't think this will be a regular thing... it took me over two hours to cook and eat dinner! And I haven't even looked at the dishes!

This post is brought to you by the letter P. *sneeze*

## Saturday, April 16, 2005

### In the news...

Um, great to hear how well you keep up with what's going on, Bush:

BUSH ORDERS REVIEW OF NEW PASSPORT RULES
Washington is having second thoughts about plans that would require Canadians entering the U.S. to have passports.
FULL STORY:
http://www.cbc.ca/story/world/national/2005/04/15/bush-passports050415.html

### Dogs

I met an adorable miniature schnauzer today. Apparently they don't shed. I think I'll do some research into schnauzers, to find out the pros and cons of this breed. :)

Update:

They're so *cute*!!!

Here's a summary of what I've found. They have a tendency towards a bunch of unpronouncable diseases, but many of them are being weeded out genetically, so you have to make sure you find a reputable breeder. White is not breed standard, so don't fall for the "rare colour" trick by puppy mills. Size is 12-14". Tendency towards plaque buildup, so I'd have to brush it's teeth. Doesn't shed, needs grooming (I could learn... I could clip the both of us at the same time... ;) ) and okay to bathe weekly. (Yesssss!) Good apartment dogs, but tireless if given space to run too. Can get kidney stones (I can sympathize), and gain weight if overfed (ditto). They're intelligent and learn quickly. Very social, and love to snuggle. They live around 15 years.

Except for the health problems (which can mostly be avoided by finding a reputable breeder), the mini schnauzer seems like a good choice. :) The question is whether I'm ready for a dog. They do require a lifestyle change. Plus, there's the whole allergy question. Well, for now, I'll just keep thinking about it. ;)

### In the news...

YUKON FORECAST FOR NEXT 100 YEARS: WARMER
Temperatures were warmer than normal over the winter in the Yukon. Climatologists said the trend could continue for the next century, reinforcing the territory's reputation as an international focus for climate change.
FULL STORY:
http://www.cbc.ca/story/science/national/2005/04/15/Yukon-weather050415.html

I've been reading a National Geographic article about some of the climate change going on lately, and it's pretty scary. It's affecting everything from polar bears to monarch butterflies to adelie penguins... all good reasons to live a greener life.

Get yours.

### Boy Washie

The Yarn Harlot has Mr Washie. My washer & dryer is a conjoined unit, so I think I'll call mine Boy Washie. I have yet to name his twin.

Boy Washie gets a post today, because he's not feeling well. He did one load of laundry like a good boy this morning. I put a second load in before I left to go to the farmer's market and mattress shopping. (The new mattress arrives next Saturday!) When I came back, I decided to eat lunch before continuing with the laundry. As I was sitting and eating, Boy Washie groaned. It was odd, because he should have been done making noises by the time I got back. I opened up the lid, and discovered that Boy Washie had skipped the spin cycle. (The noise was him draining some water that had dripped out of the clothing.)

I put in a maintenance call, but they won't look at it until Monday. (Unless I want to make it an "emergency maintenance" issue, but it's not on their list of what counts as emergency.) Luckily a friend of mine is home, and also has a unit with a Mr Washie, so some of my laundry has gone over to visit her. Most of what was left can wait, but I was in the middle of washing my bedding. I didn't feel like going without bedding until sometime early next week. :P

### Random Babblings

Recently I traded some unused air miles for a subscription to Organic Style magazine. I had no idea what it was like, but it sounded interesting. It turns out it's not my kind of magazine, but I do flip through it before putting it in the magazine swap rack at the recycling center.

April's issue has an article on vastu (India), feng shui (China), and wabi-sabi (Japan). It's interesting seeing the differences between the three. For example, feng shui likes the shiny and new, and wabi-sabi likes the old and worn.

I was amused to read that knitting is a recommended activity in wabi-sabi: "it's productive, meditative, and relaxing."

One quote struck a chord: in vastu, "physical clutter creates mental clutter." I mostly agree with this, but I think I'll change it slightly to "physical clutter aggravates mental clutter", since I know that some people can be unaffected by clutter. I'm not one of those... I *really* need to clean my coffee table, desk, and craft table. It's on my to-do list... right after my Canadian taxes. ;) A wabi-sabi approach? "Get rid of two items every time you buy a new one." Sounds like a good stash diet plan. ;)

I find it somewhat interesting that I designed my living space with no regard to any of these methods, and simply just did "what felt right". A friend of mine, that used a feng shui manual to organize her space, finds mine much nicer and more relaxing. In fact, when I let her stay with me for a few days while she was in the process of moving, she found my couch more restful than her bed. Go figure.

## Friday, April 15, 2005

### Weasley Woes

At the current tension, I think the sweater will fit me, but I don't think I'll have enough yarn.

So far I've knit a rectangle 100 stitches wide by 23.5 cm. So one ball is equivalent to 2350 sc (stitch x cm). Also, it looks like I did 11 rows/4cm = 2.75 rows/cm.

The back is 100s x (62 cm + 4 rows) = 6268.75 sc

I'm estimating that the front is the same, even though it should use a bit less due to neck shaping, and letter intarsia.

Sleeves: 2 x [50s x 5.5cm + 60s x (42cm-5.5cm) + (104s-60s)/2 x 32cm + 104s x 4.5cm) = 7274 sc

Neck: 82s x 4cm = 328 sc

So, that makes for a total of 20,319.5 sc. Dividing that number by 2350 sc/ball, gives 8.57 balls. I have 7 balls of the main colour, plus another 20g small ball of the letter colour.

Options:
1. Frog what I have, and attempt to achieve gauge. (Ending up with a sweater sized for my cousin, and I buy RFT for a sweater for myself.)
2. Order a second Weasley kit from Scotland and make the sweater for myself at the current gauge.
3. Modify the pattern, say, making the sleeves 3/4 length.

I'm not that fond of the third option. If you were me, what would you choose? Oh, and here's how it looks so far:

On the up side, I just washed my dishes, so I'm starting the weekend with clean dishes... not counting those I'm using to cook dinner right now. ;)

### Why I like my research

I got up to get my water out of the fridge, and noticed the a slide on my officemate's computer. The title is "Accomodating Bowel Gas". I think I like my research better. ;)

Of course, I did give a talk on "Safe Sets" once...

## Thursday, April 14, 2005

### Learning

Tonight I learned a new, and very important, knitting stitch. I learned the "tink". To tink, you first need to know knit. From Answers.com:

knit (nĭt)

v., knit or knit·ted, knit·ting, knits.

v.tr.
1. To make (a fabric or garment) by intertwining yarn or thread in a series of connected loops either by hand, with knitting needles, or on a machine.
2. To form (yarn or thread) into fabric by intertwining.
3. To join closely; unite securely.
4. To draw (the brows) together in wrinkles; furrow.
v.intr.
1. To make a fabric or garment by knitting.
2. To become securely joined or mended together closely, as a fractured bone.
3. To come together in wrinkles or furrows, as the brows.
n.
1. A fabric or garment made by knitting.
2. The way in which a fabric has been knit: a loose knit.

Tink, however, is too technical for Answers.com, so I'll attempt to define it here:

tink (tĭngk)

v., tink or tinked, tink·ing, tinks.

v.tr.
1. To unmake (a fabric or garment) by untwining yarn or thread in a series of connected loops either by hand, with knitting needles, or on a machine.
2. To form (yarn or thread) from fabric by untwining.
3. To unjoin carefully; divide securely.
4. To draw (the brows) together in wrinkles; furrow.
v.intr.
1. To unmake a fabric or garment by knitting.
2. To become securely unjoined or unmended together closely, as a fractured bone.
3. To come together in wrinkles or furrows, as the brows.
n.
1. A fabric or garment unmade by tinking.
2. The way in which a fabric has been tinked: a loose tink.

Okay, that was silly. "Tink" is "knit" spelled backwards. And that's the exact process. You very carefully undo your stitches, one by one, in order to undo a mistake. I got to tink somewhere around 175 stitches. Whee. Luckily I was able to guess the method, because neither of my knitting books thought to include the instructions... probably too advanced for one, and too basic for the other. Or maybe they just assume we're perfect. (Yeah, right.)

My mistake wasn't anything that would cause structural failure of the garment... just extra texture. For some reason, probably because I was trying to knit quickly while watching TV, I switched knitting/purling halfway along a row. Actually, I think I started wrong, then at one stitch, noticed I was about to make a mistake, switched to the correct method, and didn't notice I had done a half row wrong. I finished that row (which looked normal from that point), continued with the next, noticed that I was (again) doing the wrong stitch, "corrected" myself, knit a bit further, and then realized the two most recent rows didn't match the rows underneath. I stretched my arms out, and discovered that, for half a row, I had decided to knit on the wild side. :P I might have left it if I knew the sweater would fit me... it would be an amusing bit of texture with a story. But the sweater may be too small for me, and I'm not sure how pleased my cousin would be with crappy knitting. So, I had to undo nearly two rows.

Very educational.

Why was I trying to knit quickly while watching TV? Well, I was supposed to do my Canadian taxes tonight, but I wanted to relax for a bit. I decided to let myself knit until 9:00. I also wanted to see how far a single ball of yarn would get me, because I'm a bit worried I won't have enough. See bookbookbook, page 12: "The chances of running out of yarn on a project are directly related to the difficulty that you will have getting more." Given that this yarn came from Scotland, as part of a kit, and the yarn has no ball bands, lot number, or even yarn name... you can see why I worry. So, since I was nearing the end of the ball, I wanted to see if I could finish the ball before 9:00.

I refused to put down my knitting until I had tinked and reknit those stitches. I have now finished the ball. It is now after 10. Have I done my taxes? No. Will I do them tonight? No. I'm going to bed at a reasonable time tonight. Taxes aren't due until the end of the month anyway. I wasn't going to mail them tomorrow... the post office lines will be dreadful. So, I have plenty of time before Monday to whip up my Canadian taxes. (Famous last words.)

I still intend to buy a new mattress this weekend: based on past years, I shouldn't owe any taxes in Canada. All of my income is in the US, which charges me more tax than Canada would. Plus, I bought a small RRSP to take care of the Canadian interest I earned. (Not necessarily the best financial choice, but at least I have more money locked away until retirement.)

As to the yarn question, I stitched 100 stitches for 23.5 cm. I'll estimate the yarn requirements for my Weasley tomorrow. I'm going to bed.

### Yay

I mailed my US and NC taxes. That's out of my hair! Now, I just have my Canada & Manitoba taxes. I think I'll mail them on Monday, since they only have to arrive by the end of the month. I still want to do them tonight, but I don't feel like braving the post office lines tomorrow. I could just stamp them and stick them in a mail box, but they tend to be heavier, so I want to make sure they have sufficient postage.

I caught up on some miscellany at the Crochetville Wishing Well.

To do: fill out invoice for Origami Math teaching session (all done, except stopping by the international center & talking to T), proposal/dissertation/graduation. (Some of those are long-term to-dos. ;) ) It looks like my 1:30 meeting isn't happening, so I'll run over to the international center now and take care of that form. (Paperwork = yuck!) Of course, they may be swamped with international student tax stuff too. I'll see what the line is like... it's pretty close.

I was hoping for another drippy day, but it's annoyingly sunny. Hopefully it's still cool enough that the pollen won't be too bad. I seem to be doing fine so far. :)

Cheers!

## Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Good night. :)

I remember waaaaay back, I saved up $22 to buy my mom a mother's day present. At the time, that was a huge sum of money for me... my allowance was$1 per week, and jobs like mowing the lawn earned me $5. My dad took me to Sears, and we looked for something I could buy her. I found a beautiful collapsing umbrella. It was peach with little white flowers. It was absolutely gorgeous. It is still functional today. A bit grimy, but still functional. Last term I bought a light blue, collapsable, UNC umbrella at student stores when I got caught in the rain near there without an umbrella. As fortune had it, by the time I was out of the store, the rain had passed. I can't remember if I used it between then and today. It's my back-up umbrella, so I usually had a larger one when it rained. The pollen has been building up here. The past few days have been warm and sunny, encouraging the trees to have wanton sex. I spent a fair amount of time yesterday trying to convince my eyes not to itch. This morning, it was cooler, and the forecast said 80% chance of rain. It looked like rain. So I waited a bit to see if it might rain before I went in to school. It didn't. It got sunnier. I was very disappointed. When I came out of the department to go to SNB, everything had a definite yellow cast from the pollen. SNB was fun again tonight. I showed off my knitting, and I demonstrated spinning. I think I may have convinced a few more people to "give it a whirl". ;) Just as SNB was coming to an end, and I had to go catch the bus, we noticed it was raining. Finally! Air cleaning rain! I was so happy. When I left the building, the rain was only a fine drizzle. It wasn't *really* worth an umbrella, but I didn't feel like getting damp, so I pulled out my UNC umbrella. (I got in the habit of carrying a small umbrella in my backpack when I lived in Manitoba. The weather is rather changeable there.) I took off the slip case, undid the velcro, and gave it a shake to open it. The handle extended, but the top didn't want to open. So I played with it. It still didn't want to open. Finally I get it to open a bit, only to discover that the top of the umbrella has broken off the post. They don't make umbrellas like that old peach one I bought my mom. ### *Gasp* Ack! Nooooo! Has anyone else read page 45 of bookbookbook? The Yarn Harlot is insulting us! Crochet is not "wrong"! I shall go sulk now. Sulk done. Yarn Harlot is not bad, merely uneducated as to the finer points of crochet. ### Math Magazine Hey, this online math magazine looks pretty cool. Especially since it has an article that cites me. ;) Yes, I still enjoy the simple pleasure of being cited. :)) ### Book Sighting I saw a copy of Yarn Harlot's bookbookbook at UNC Student Stores. You won't see it though... it left with me. Maybe they'll get another copy. ;) Or, you can come to SNB tonight, and I'll pass it around then. ;) ## Monday, April 11, 2005 ### Forgot Again I forgot Snowflake Monday again. Of course, I was intending to spend tonight doing my taxes in front of the TV. What did I do? A few more rows of my Weasley. Oops! (I'm not feeling guilty about enjoying myself, I'm feeling guilty about not getting my taxes done... they're due soon!) Well, I at least gathered together the documentation I think I need. (I'll find out about what I've forgotten when I start actually doing my taxes.) I had told myself that I couldn't go to SNB tomorrow if I didn't have my taxes done, but I do get home by around 9:15. I think I'll let myself go anyway, and then see if I can whip out the federal taxes when I get home. Then I can do my state, Canadian, and Manitoba taxes Wednesday. (Gee... isn't it fun being a non-resident alien. I get to do *four* sets of taxes! Plus, if I screw up my federal taxes yet again, I get to *redo* ALL FOUR, because they all use numbers from my US Federal. :P I'm glad I'm not a mathophobe.) Well, it's late, so I should go to bed. I just wanted to do some tidying at the Wishing Well before bed, and now that's done. :) Good night! ...that reminds me... I slept *really* well last night. I think my new insight helped. ;) ### Libraries (Hi Paulina! ;) ) Just to clear up any confusion, I really do like libraries... or, at least, I like the concept of libraries. However, I don't like the fits of sneezing, itchy eyes, and hives I get in libraries. (The last I got while carrying a library book around a library.) I also seem to have the worst luck with grouchy librarians & other librarian staff... but don't misunderstand this either... neither Paulina nor my mother nor my aunt are grouchy (to me, at least)... but then, they're not my librarians either. ;) One day I hope to have my own personal library room... where all the shelves will have glass fronts to keep the dust off, and I'll replace individual books when they get too old and dusty. ;) I do prefer physical media over electronic ones, but I'm much less allergic to the electronic ones. ;) ### National Geographic I had my doctor's appointment this morning, and then dropped by the pharmacy. We've decided to cut my Prozac dose in half and see what happens, and I needed a refill on my antihistamines. While waiting at the pharmacy, I noticed an issue of National Geographic with a man with a sheepskin coat on the cover. I was curious, so picked it up instead of my crocheting. There was a nifty article on the history of wool. I didn't manage to finish... it was a 40 page article, and only a 20 minute wait for my drugs. I did, however, jot down the details so I can finish reading. If you're interested too, the article is in Volume 173, Number 5 (May 1988), pages 552-591 (I think... the last few pages were missing, but the following article started on page 592 according to the cover). I tried checking the local digital library, but our holdings don't go back far enough. :( I guess I'll see if the regular physical library has it. (Sneeze, snuffle... I'm allergic to libraries. :P ) ## Sunday, April 10, 2005 ### Growing up, taking stock, second wind For the longest time I've felt like a kid. I've always been a very "grown up" kid, and didn't really notice any difference between being a kid and being an adult. After all, I'm still in school. At age 29. And I'll be in school for at least another year. I've been putting a lot of things on hold. Like my life. I live it in bits and snatches here and there, mostly during brief vacations home. Any time I take "for myself", I feel guilty about... since if I hadn't "wasted" that time, I would be that much closer to graduating and being able to "start" my life. Yes, this is a screwy way to think, but somehow I have it in my head that while I'm in school, all my time and energy should be devoted to school. I keep thinking that this mysterious "free time" will appear once I have a job. Or, at least, I'll get a bit then, and then lots more when I retire. However, feeling guilty about taking time for myself, and holding myself back from pursuing happiness, is also holding me back in school. Don't get me wrong, I really love research, but there's more to me than just that. I have a wide variety of interests. I like to think of myself as "well rounded". Trying to channel all my energy into just one aspect of myself isn't healthy... even though it appears my advisor manages this life just fine. I may not be my advisor, but that doesn't mean I'm not cut out for research. I am. I believe in myself. And if I let myself start having fun in other aspects of my life, guilt free, I won't dread the "work only" times as much... and thus be able to enjoy them again too. It's time for me to stop living my life in a holding pattern. There is no need for my "living out of a suitcase" attitude... not, of course, that I have been. My apartment is very nice. But still I've held back, saying, "this is just temporary... I don't want to move a bunch of stuff back to Canada," etc. But it hasn't been temporary. Six years going on seven isn't temporary. Maybe if I have a nice tax refund, I'll splurge and buy myself a nice mattress. Sure, I may be using it for only a year, but that's one year less I'll be spending on my crappy mattress. Had I invested in a nice mattress to begin with, that would have been six years of sleeping well. I didn't because I kept thinking that I wouldn't be here much longer. Well, to heck with that. No, I'm not going to go hog wild... I've still got my limited budget to deal with, but I *am* going to stop this holding pattern, and start to live like I'd like to live... within my limited means. Strange though it may be, but coming to this realization has already made me more motivated and interested where it comes to my dissertation. It's like I've got my second wind. Let's hope it lasts till graduation. ;) I am now going to go to bed, and not feel one bit guilty about enjoying my weekend. Good night. :) ### Short Update Just a quick update tonight... I've still got lots to do, and not much weekend left. I had a nice phone call with my mom this morning, followed by washing nearly a week's worth of dishes. Blech. But, now I have lots of clean dishes. ;) I managed to finish with a few minutes to spare before S & L came over. We went to the Carborro Arts and Crafts Market, which ended up being kind of lame... one of the organizers forgot to remind vendors to come, so there were only six there. One guy with soap etc, one with turned wood stuff, a lady with knit & crochet stuff, a guy with laminated wood cutting boards, a lady with beaded jewelry, and a guy with interesting concrete stuff. I bought some cedar scraps from the cutting board guy to stick in my drawers and yarn boxes. (Um, yeah, I have box*es*, plural. Must work at stash reduction!) Afterwards we wandered over to the NC Crafts Gallery, and I bought myself a really nifty "soft sculpture" of a person holding a heart, which I plan to hang on my Christmas tree. This'll be my second handmade NC ornament, and third counting the manufactured UNC ball. Then, since we were right by Thimble Pleasures and Yarns, etc, we had a wander through both. ;) My budget didn't let me buy more stuff from Thimble Pleasures (I still need to use up what I already have), but I did buy a little bag of alpaca/tussah silk fibre to try spinning. It was only$3... it's not enough to make something with the resulting yarn, but I was curious to see how it spun. The other bags were all larger... I guess this one was some leftovers.

Afterwards we came back, and I started teaching L to crochet, while S made a better potholder. L picked up the motion pretty quickly, but she got frustrated, so played with my needles to see if she could remember how to knit. I worked on my weasley, and now have 4 cm! I think I'm getting the hang of this knitting thing. :))

After they left I had a nice dinner and did my grocery shopping. That reminds me... I picked up some of the regular Chlorox toilet bowl cleaner... that stupid teflon stuff doesn't seem to agree with me. My toilet is dirty yet again. I've signed up for Freecycle, and I think I'll get rid of the teflon stuff, plus some other clutter, on that. After all, maybe someone likes the teflon stuff better than I do. ;)

Notice anything missing? Yeah, that would be my taxes. :P I don't think I have a hope of finishing them tonight (not if I want to get up tomorrow at a reasonable hour), so I'll just gather all the stuff I need as a start. Then I'll watch Gray's Anatomy and go to bed. Tomorrow I have a doctor's appointment at a time that counts as "fairly early" to me, and I also need to slice up my cabbage for this week's salads in the morning. I *could* do that tonight, but I really don't feel like it. :P

I hope your weekend has been as nice!

## Saturday, April 09, 2005

### Hello

Hello! :) I've been having a pretty good weekend so far. Of course, that may have something to do with the fact that I still haven't started my taxes... um... but, I did do my laundry and bake my pita bread!

Last night Kelli came over and we watched Hidalgo. I've been wanting to see that. It was pretty good, although it could have been a bit better. I loved the horse. I was going to hook up my snazzy new sneakers for the movie, but then discovered the one cable they *didn't* include was the one that hooks up to the TV. Not only that, but my TV is too cheap to have sound out. however, the DVD/VCR combo does have sound out... so I can use my speakers with it. :)

I was going to get a copy of Easy Knitting at the bookstore, but they didn't have it. They only had *one* knitting/crochet magazine: Vogue Knitting. Of course, it was a kind of small bookstore. I forgot to check if bookbookbook was there. I'd like to get a copy of that too. ;)

The rest of today I spent doing laundry and baking pita bread... and avoiding my taxes. I was naughty and avoided taxes by watching a bad movie I borrowed from the front office (selection was lousy today) and working on my blue Regia Cotton socks. I got the first sock to about the length I wanted, and then weighed it. I'm using over half my yarn! And it was on the short end of what I wanted! Yikes! I've ripped it back a bit to remove some of the leg increases. They weren't *really* necessary. Unfortunately, I still don't think I'll have enough. Does anyone have any leftover Regia Cotton in colours 50 or 54? (Two shades of blue.) Or maybe in a colour that will coordinate? I could put a different colour stripe along the top. I have scraps of cotton sock yarn (not Regia), but nothing that'll coordinate with these blues. :P So, right now I *definitely* like Lang Jawoll Cotton better. Grrr. I think, for now, I'll wind the remainder of the sock yarn around the first sock, and start the second sock from the other ends. That way I'll be able to figure out the exact center, and not have any waste. I can just see the knots I'll get, though. :P

Well, it's late, and I *really* need to wash my dishes. I haven't washed them since last Monday... I've made it this long because Tuesday-Thursday I ate out for dinner (SNB, microwave at school, MUG meeting with free pizza). However, now I need to wash dishes so that I have clean dishes for breakfast. :P

Hmmm... I need to make my bed too. Maybe I'll start that while I run the water to get it hot. My apartment is kind of far from the water heater for this block. :P

I hope you're having a nice weekend too, and don't forget those taxes! ;)

## Friday, April 08, 2005

### Coffee Observations

Yep, caffeine has a diuretic effect. How much did I drink? Only a couple of sips so far.

I seem to be able to smell coffee all over the third floor... I'm wondering if that has to do with placement of my friends, or if I'm smelling my own coffee breath? (Does coffee cause coffee breath?)

Yes, I'm strange. You should know that by now.

### Buzzzzzzz

Hmmm... I think I can actually drink this stuff! (My head seems to be buzzing a bit, though. So *this* is what caffein feels like!)

### Delightful Smells

Mmmm... I opened up the tin of Tim Horton's coffee, and it sure does smell nice. A friend of mine is brewing up a pot to share with another friend, and I'll try some too. (Even though I'm not a coffee drinker.)

From my nifty new book, here are some Canadian inventions:
• the Abdominizer (Somehow I'm not sure how proud we are of this one.)
• air hockey
• antigravity suits
• basketball (Take that NC! Well, the inventor was Canadian, but I think he was on exchange to the US at the time.)
• chocolate bar (Did I mention I ♥ Canada?)
• dental mirror
• documentary film
• five pin bowling (Is this why my US friends have never tried five pin?)
• frozen fish fillets
• Fuller Brush Company
• ginger ale
• plastic garbage bags (We're so practical!)
• hydrofoil boat
• ice hockey
• Imax movie system
• instant mashed potatoes
• insulin
• Java programming language
• jet ski
• jolly jumper
• lacrosse
• lawn sprinkler
• lightbulb (Apparently Toronto med student Henry Woodward sold a share in the patent to Edison.)
• paint roller
• prosthetic hand
• snowmobile
• snowplough
• snowblower (Okay... no snide comments about the number of "snow" inventions, now!)