Monday, April 30, 2007



I wrote a post earlier, but then Safari decided to do it's little whirly-ball thing. :P It read:
After cleaning and taxes and enumerating and post office and groceries... my brain is mush, and I want to whine in a completely childish way. Waaaaaaaaaa! However, I just have a bit of time for a bite to eat before walking Nicky. *sigh*
Since then I've had "dinner" (a can of orange juice plus a can of stuffed grape leaves) and been walked by Nicky. Nicky was particularly energetic tonight. At one point he ripped himself out of my hands and went tearing off. I got him within a few minutes, but I hurt. whinewhinewhinewhinewhinewhinewhine. whinewhine. whine. I'm going to have a shower and go to bed. whine. whinewhine. whine.


Sunday, April 29, 2007

Found On Flickr

BSJ- Full View

Mmmmm! I want to make *myself* one (adult sized, of course) *just* like this one! I love the colours and the gradations, and the fact that it's all handspun! Plus it's a fun pattern. :)

Persistant Doggy

I took Nicky for a walk after lunch, and another ending just now. Each was well over an hour. According to Google Earth, tonight's walk was over four kilometers, but I'm sure Nicky walked triple that, the way he goes back and forth. What did he do when we got back from this walk? He drank some water, then walked over to the gate and looked at me: "more?"

Not tonight, doggy.

I think we met a drunk person tonight... or at least, a very strange one. He asked if Nicky was drunk, and then said he looked like me, that we looked like each other. I'd rather not look like a dog, thanks.

In other news, I discovered that some of the information I need in order to do my taxes properly (due tomorrow here in Canada) is still in boxes. What was *going* to be a quick half hour chore is now going to take rather longer. Whoops! This rather changes my plans for tomorrow. :P


I brought my camera along for Friday's walk and Saturday's run, and put together a short video of what Nicky is like. Enjoy. (Or not.)

It's grainier than ususal because I shrunk it down for "web streaming".

Update: higher res version

Damn Dog

Grrrr. I just got back from walking Nicky. The neighbours complained that his barking was keeping them up. Apparently putting him in the "bad dog box" wasn't working. *sigh* So I put on some clothes and went over there.

When I let him out of the crate, he looked like he had had intravenous caffeine. And no interest whatsoever in shutting up.

So we walked. And this wasn't some "what a lovely evening for an after-midnight stroll." No, this was a "I AM PISSED OFF AT YOU AND DON'T YOU DARE MESS WITH ME" power walk.

Two thirds of the way around our first lap of the block, wonder-dog spotted a rabbit. Nicky WANTED BUNNY RABBIT! I did NOT want Nicky to have the bunny rabbit. Nicky vocalized his burning NEED FOR BUNNY RABBIT loudly. Dog, don't you DARE mess with me! I shortened the retractable leash so that it was just long enough that I wouldn't step on his heels (I considered making it even shorter, so that perhaps he'd learn to walk *beside* me... but I'm not that cruel even when mad), and walked him along the busy road: no rabbits, and enough traffic noise that hopefully the sleeping people wouldn't be bothered by him.

Nicky pooped at the *far* end, so I'd got to bag and carry his stinky poop all the way back. He was really panting at this point, so I took him home for water, hoping he'd now had enough exercise that he'd settle down. I left his yard through my dad's house, hopefully fooling him into thinking I'm just inside. I then took the long way home so that hopefully I wouldn't spoil the ruse.

So far, not a peep.

He'd better not!

Now to wind down so I can get back to sleep. *sigh*

Saturday, April 28, 2007


I noticed that KnitPicks has a podcast now. In attempting to find their iTunes subscription, I discovered a bunch of new knitting podcasts! (Although I still haven't found the KnitPicks iTunes feed.) Not all are to my taste... I've listened to the first few minutes of one and unsubscribed. However, Changelings Knit and Stitch appears to be a gem! She only has one episode up so far, but it was fantastic. I look forward to hearing more. :)

...Off to listen to more new podcasts as I fold laundry.


What can you do with a dog that won't stop paging you? (When that paging involves yelps down the back lane for all the neighbours to hear?)

Cute Nicky videos to come.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Lovely Sweater

Oooo... this is lovely! Much nicer than the original Rowan pattern.


I am once again looking after my dad's dog, Nicky. As of yesterday. I had told dad I wouldn't agree to it unless my brother was happy. Apparently he's happy. Strange!

Yesterday afternoon I *really* needed a nap. However, Nicky apparently really needed some lovin' in the form of a walk, and was broadcasting it to the entire neighbourhood. *sigh* Half an hour into the walk I noticed that he was really panting a lot, so decided to take him home to get some water. (Usually when we walk, he can snap up some snow... but the snow is all gone now.) He alternated gulping water and lying down. He didn't seem to want to walk any more, and in fact went into his kennel. I got my nap!

I pre-filled one book worth of enumerating forms while watching Grey's Anatomy last night. (This enumerating is really cutting into the knitting time... but is also producing low-guilt yarn money, so I'm not complaining.) I still have one more book to pre-fill. I'm thinking of taking it over and doing it in Nicky's yard before our walk... in the hopes that he'll calm down somewhat *before* we start to walk, and also perhaps so that he doesn't get the idea that "barking=walk". I don't know how successful I'll be, but it's worth the chance. After I'm done walking him I'll go out enumerating again. I get home around 4, which is a bit early for most people to be home. And since I mosly just have second visits now, I figure waiting until after 5 is a good idea.

Grey's was good, but left me feeling rather remorseful... well, that's not quite the right word. More lonely, and missing what I used to have. I had a nice talk with J afterwards. I'm glad that we're still friends. He's dating someone else now... which makes me sad for me, but happy for him. I want him to be happy. He's a really nice guy, and deserves it.

I think I might be getting some athlete's foot. I hate that. I've switched to sandals in the hopes of heading that off, but I don't really have good everyday sandals at the moment. Last fall my Birkenstocks were so decrepit I threw them out, and my other cushy leather sandals have *huge* cracks in the soles... which are only really a problem when it rains. I have two pair of Tevas, but the pair that's good with socks doesn't have good arch support, and the pair with good arch support doesn't really work with socks. Time to go sandal shopping. I hate sandal shopping... it's hard finding a comfortable pair that looks respectable and won't fall apart right away. Plus the fact that decent sandals are expensive (~$100). Oh well... time to bite the bullet. This is a necessary expense... I can't go barefoot after all.

Found On Flickr

1948 knitting booklet

Hee hee! I love the drawing in this funny yarn ad. Cosymakes blogs about this photo here.

Found On Flickr

precious love


Thursday, April 26, 2007

Yarn Porn

Oooooo.... I thought I'd check out some of the yarn discounts available to sockapalooza members. I don't have my pal assignment yet, but boy, am I lusting after some of these yarns for myself! (So once again I'm using the "posting to save myself from buying" strategy.) ...but it was definitely the first that required the linkfest. ;)


H needed to deliver a few things to different places on campus, so we went for walkies. We noticed some new public art on campus. This piece is kind of neat:
Public Art
Public Art
It's a bunch of video tape tied to interlocked wire hangers, with a stool in the middle. The sound and the way the light glitters off the tape are quite soothing. Here's a video:

The other pieces weren't worth photographing.

I had a thought while we were out. You kind of have to wonder about the direction "modern art" is taking when you see something and wonder if it's "art" or vandalism.

Another random thought I had this morning, this one on the bus ride in while listening to a podcast: there should be a website called "the one-body problem" that assists single academics in getting together with other single academics in their university.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I shall title this post "How Many Prairie Crocuses Can I Show You Before I Drive You Stark Raving Mad"

Please leave the # in the comments. ;)
Prairie Crocuses
Prairie Crocuses
Prairie Crocuses
Prairie Crocuses
Prairie Crocuses
Prairie Crocuses
Prairie Crocuses
Prairie Crocuses
Prairie Crocuses
Prairie Crocuses
Prairie Crocuses
Prairie Crocuses
Prairie Crocuses
Prairie Crocuses
Prairie Crocuses
Prairie Crocuses
Prairie Crocuses
Prairie Crocuses
Prairie Crocuses
Prairie Crocuses
Prairie Crocuses
Prairie Crocuses
Prairie Crocuses
Prairie Crocuses
Prairie Crocuses
Prairie Crocuses
Oh... and yes, I *didn't* actually post *all* of the photos I took.

Good Things

I feel I should blog about some of the good things in my life... perhaps it will make me feel better too. (All the hugs are helping, thanks everyone!)

Good things from my time in Chapel Hil:
  • Lots of great friends.
  • The best SNB ever!
  • Spring pollen in Winnipeg is so *mild*... at least, it is so far. But given the misery my dad was in on Monday, I think I'm doing much better than I used to.
Other good stuff:
  • Reading good books I got from Freecycle. (I suppose this should be in the Chapel Hill list, since I got them before I left... I just didn't have time to read them before.)
  • I just helped a student with her LaTeX problem... I like being able to help people. (H is out at the moment.)
  • I'm thinking I'll let myself splurge a little with what I earn from enumerating... I'm thinking both some fiber from Lisa Souza and some beads. :)
  • I've another person I'll be doing a sock swap with, and Sockapalooza 4 will be starting soon.
  • Simple Sweaters arrived in the mail yesterday from Pink Su.
  • Seeing prairie crocuses yesterday for the first time. (Photos to come.)
  • Daffodils, tulips, snowdrops, and other flowers blooming in the garden.
Yes, this did help some. :) I'm still feeling slightly fragile, but I am feeling happier. Thanks again for all the hugs!

Feeling Glum

*sigh* Last night I was grouchy, this morning I feel like I could use a good, cleansing cry. I'm okay, but I hope you're feeling better.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Neat Idea

Cool: reusable knit swiffer pads/covers! I had been planning on cutting up an old terrycloth housecoat and hemming the pieces to make reusable pads... but never did get around to it. I really should. Although, perhaps now maybe I'll make knit covers. ;)

I suppose some of those cheap microfiber cloths from the dollar store would work too...

Monday, April 23, 2007

Contest Alert

Love knitting socks? Go here.

Sunday, April 22, 2007


54 homes enumerated (two books, or 100 people), and another 38 homes visited with no one home. (Or was that 58 and 34? Whatever.) So basically I'm around 25% done! (There are 215 homes in total.) Oh, and I had miscounted the streets: there are only three, not four. Woo-hoo! I also pre-filled two more books. I had intended to go out again today after pre-filling one, but both B and dad were out with their cell phones, and I'm not allowed to work alone unless I have a cell phone. After dinner there wasn't much time until the sun set, so I decided to just pre-fill a second book. I have three more books that need pre-filling. My thumb is still numb. I'm trying to learn to hold my pen differently so that hopefully the problem will go away.

Sheesh, this enumerating results in rather boring blogging. In more interesting news:
  • Our daffodils started blooming yesterday. :)
  • Apparently the wild prairie crocuses are in peak bloom now... hopefully I'll get a chance to go out and see them before they stop. (I've never actually seen them in real life... and yet they're the provinical flower!)
I'll try to manage photos soon.

Count Me In

The provincial election was called on Friday... although at 6pm, rather than noon. For the next two weeks I'm now working evenings and weekends as an enumerator, so blog posting and reading will be a bit sketchy.

Friday night we had our training... somewhat disorganized training, but then they also had six hours less to prepare than they expected. I managed to get the camera working so that we could take photos for the ids. (No, that wasn't in my job description, but the lady attempting to figure the camera out wasn't having much luck.)

Saturday morning I went in to get my ID... I didn't show up right at opening, I figured I'd give them a bit to settle in and get things organized. However, I woke up early for some reason, so ended up leaving home a bit after 9am. Although they were scheduled to open at 8am, things were a mess. Literally. There was a thick layer of dust and grit on all flat surfaces... not that there were many of those. I'm guessing some of it came from tearing down two of the internal walls the night before so they'd have a bit of open space in the former tanning salon. In addition to the dirt, there was basically no furnature. The lady attempting to figure out the hardware and software was sitting on a folding camping chair. The lady attempting to print photos for the ids wasn't having any luck with the provided equipment and manuals. They asked if I wanted to go for coffee and come back. Um, no: I don't drink coffee, and with tech support not answering their pleas for help (tech support was probably equally swamped by all the offices simultaneously setting up), they weren't getting anywhere fast. "I'm in CS, let me back there."

By around 10am I had the technical stuff (relatively) figured out and the lady (relatively) trained. One of the ladies had cleaned the flat surfaces, and the camping chair was replaced by a taller plastic chair that was much better. Papers were tidied up, supplies were accessible, and it actually resembled a functioning office. I got my id, filled out another form that wasn't provided Friday night, grabbed some more information pamphlets to hand out to households, and was out the door. Yay! (On my way out they asked if they could call me if they had trouble getting the network going.)

So, after escaping the office yesterday, I managed to enumerate over thirty households, plus leave information at another twenty where no one was home. Hmmm... that sounds wrong... I only did one and a partial sides of the four streets I've been assigned, which should mean I've visited about a seventh of my 215 households... but 50/200 is 1/4. Hmmm. Perhaps the houses were more tightly packed on the street I was on yesterday.

So far the worst part about enumerating seems to be the numb and tingly thumb I have from writing so much. I'm hoping to finish ahead of schedule so that I don't have this additional work hanging over my head. Pocket money is good, but it's cutting into my social life. Plus I still haven't done my taxes...

I'm not going to bother going out too early on weekend mornings... I like to sleep in, and not only that, but even at 2pm I was still getting people in their jammies. I'm sure they appreciate later start times too. ;) We aren't allowed to work after dark, so that means I won't be disturbing the morning people too late in the evening either.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


I pulled out my sock-in-progress on the bus this morning... and my size E crochet hook has wandered off again. *sigh* It's probably at home. This reminded me I meant to put a spare in my backpack. I guess I'll work on the kitty pi on the way home tonight.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Dwindling Sock Yarn Stash

Sock Yarn Stash

*gasp*! I'm down to 12 pairs worth of sock yarn! (Counting the emergency ball at work, but not the pair in progress.) Pretty soon I'll have to allow myself to go sock yarn shopping!

Mmmmm! All of this will make pretty, pretty socks! I'm looking forward to each and every pair. :)

WOW Wednesday

Wow! What a little purl of wisdom! I'll have to try this little tip, since I've noticed my knits next to purls in ribbing look funny. Methinks this calls for a swatch! Thanks Nona!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I'm Shrinking!

Met with the therapist today. Nothing exciting... typical first visit where I give him my history. You know, when giving my history, I'm rather impressed that I'm not more of a basket case than I am. ;)

Other thought: next time I give my history, I should tape it. Then I can skip past all future "first visits" by just providing the latest shrink with the tape to review before hand. They're all the same anyway. Well... this time I got to toss in an ex-boyfriend. Perhaps the history tape will require addenda.

Next shrinking is scheduled for two weeks from today.

Crochet Socks

Crochet Socks

These would be reason #5 that I really should visit the post office.

Somehow it seems a bit strange to be back to crocheting socks for myself again. Well, perhaps I'll get my sockapalooza pal soon.

I really need to rearrange my dresser so that I can have two sock drawers.



It appears I'm cursed.

Yesterday it was the hot water tank at home. Tonight? The dress rehersal of "Over The Tavern" I was attending with M got cut short due to, um... excessive moisture. It started in the corner of the theater that I was in, but then progressed out to the lobby... about when I went out there.

Tomorrow? Um, perhaps my friends at the department would rather I didn't come to the potluck? But then H wouldn't get to try the chocolate wafer log I made today! (She's never had one!?! I had to make it for her.)

Monday, April 16, 2007

To Sleep, Perchance To Dream the soothing sound of three industrial fans and an industrial dehumidifier...

...somehow, I don't think I need to worry about the ticking clocks in the laundry- and bathrooms irritating me tonight. (Normally I need the doors to those rooms shut... but the lack of walls plus fans in the doorways sort of prevent that.)


Other people's junk is now encroaching into my room. Here's a view from my room looking towards the hallway:
(I moved enough of it that I could climb over the rest.) This was once a finished section of the basement:
and off on the left there is the bathroom I use:
I forsee some stubbed toes for the next three nights before those machines leave.

But, let's sit back, and get a bit of perspective:
(That's a view along a former railroad track that M and I walked along yesterday. Yes, Winnipeg is flat, and that stuff the art teacher used to tell you about vanishing points really is true.)

Okay, now let's enjoy last night's sunset:
Sunday Sunset

Save Chocolate!

Yuck! Hershey's and other cheap chocolate adulterers want permission to call the nasty-fake-stuff chocolate! Evil! Protest at Don't Mess With Our Chocolate! You can bet that prices won't be going down: we'll just get cheaper, less tasty chocolate for our bucks, while "chocolate" manufacturers reap bigger profits. Grrrr.

(Found at Cecilia's blog.)

In other news...

I went to the doc last Thursday. She is highly skeptical that I might have hemochromatosis. However, she sent me for a blood test, and has given me permission to crow if I'm right. She figures it's the prozac, so we're weaning me off it. I was at 60mg, and am now at 40mg for three weeks, and then I'll go down to 20mg.

On Sunday I felt less sleepy (yay), but also got unreasonably grumpy at one point. I don't know if one or the other or both is a coincidence... we'll see.

I'm having second (well, possibly third) thoughts about my trip to NB... I'm thinking it's not all that smart to plan month-or-more-long trips while fiddling with my antidepressants. My dad is driving down to Toronto at the end of April, so I could still get a meeting in with the prof there. I hate trying to decide if the bad outweighs the good: am I being smart, or am I letting this be a reason to chicken out? (I'm generally a big chicken about these sorts of things.)

A therapist finally called... mom gave me the number, but when I called back, I got an answering machine. Speak of the devil... the phone just rang. I have an appointment tomorrow at 11.

WTF?!? My right ear just started hurting! (Hmmm... and I've had a bit of a cough the past few days, and some headaches too.)

Okay, I'm going to end this blog post here, before something else happens!!!


Here's the story: my brother now has a blog. He sent out an e-mail a few minutes ago, letting us know what the address is. I went there to read it, even though there wasn't going to be much there yet. I found this.

Now, a bit of an explanation: I live in my mother's basement. Not only that, but a few weeks ago I moved several boxes from the garage to my basement bedroom floor so they wouldn't get wet from the water that comes into the garage in the spring. Since there isn't anything urgent in them, they've been just sitting there, waiting to be unpacked or properly stored.

My reaction: aaaaaaaaaaack! Basement flood! Water! All my stuff!!! Nooooooooooooooo!

My actions: call mom. (Phone busy.) E-mail mom, B, and brother.

Aftermath: phew! It turns out the water just went from the tank, across the floor to the drain on the other side of the basement. The carpet is wet. A filing cabinet needed to be moved. Probably lots of other stuff too, including at least two bookshelves... I didn't talk long, because mom was understandably busy. But *thankfully* my stuff is okay.

Hopefully the basement carpet doesn't start going moldy: I'm allergic to mold, and it's already allergy season as it is.

One last word on the water heater: it was replaced 10 years ago. The warranty on it was for nine years.

Sunday, April 15, 2007


Yay... I don't need to file US taxes. :) That just leaves Canada and Manitoba taxes, which shouldn't be too bad, and also aren't due until the end of the month.

Unusual Brownies

About a week ago, my folks and I were watching TV, and saw a recipe for brownies that reduced the amount of fat by using mashed beans. Strange! Tasty looking... could this be a low-guilt chocolate fix? Well, mom baked them up yesterday, and they were pretty good! They weren't identical to your regular brownies, but hey... they were low-guilt and tasty!

One slightly odd thing about the brownies was due to the fact that mom used the blender instead of the food processor: there wasn't enough liquid for the blender to mash them all properly, and so the occasional whole bean ended up in the brownies, and there were a number of bean skins that stuck to your teeth. If you make these, I highly recommend making sure the beans are thoroughly mashed! ;)

If you're curious and want to try the recipe for yourself, it's here.

Two other changes mom made: she used romano beans because she didn't have pinto beans (she forgot to write down which beans they called for, misremembered while at the grocery store, and we decided the two were probably close enough), and she used oat flour instead of wheat flour to make them gluten-free.

If you want another recipe to try, this is another gluten-free bean brownie recipe I found. I found it this morning when I forgot the url for the first recipe, and tried googling it. I haven't tried it yet, so I can't comment on it.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Square #97

Square #97

Washed; not felted; into the blanket it goes!

Spring Is Sprung

The bulbs are popping up:
Crocuses, Tulips, and Daffodils Crocuses, Tulips, and Daffodils
...and I'm gettting my geek on:
New Sunglasses
Brand new granny sunglasses to prevent granny cataracts! ;)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Pi Are Squared

Kitty Pi, Version 2

Ah! This second version (being knit from the ripped first version) is much more planar. :)

(Does anyone find the title as funny as I do, or does it leave you clueless? I'm mixing at least three joke references, and I'm not sure if they're getting too confusing.)

Fun Scarves To Knit

Hee hee! Check out these Morehouse Farms scarves: sheep, dragon.

(My blogging instead of buying tactic seems to be working pretty good so far!)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Random Act Of Literacy

Bookcrossing Book Released

I've released my first BookCrossing book! I wonder where it will go? If you'd like to follow along, you can see its entry here.

Kitty Pi

Kitty Pi

Hmmm... I don't like this frequency of increases, even though it matches the pattern. Time to rrrrrrip it?

(Has anyone else made kitty pis and have advice?)


In other news, my joints hurt. Ow. Tomorrow's the day I pester my doc once again.

Speaking of doc, I have a grammatical question: is it "doctor's appointment" or "doctor appointment"? (As in "I have booked a [fill in blank here].") When I speak, I add the "s", but typing it l always wonder.

I had a weird dream last night. I've been having a bunch of weird dreams lately, but in this one I was blowing my nose constantly. Gee... do you think I'm dreading spring? (I think my allergies may be starting up now, but they're still nothing like in Chapel Hill. But then, it's currently just snow mold... the trees haven't started having wanton sex yet.)


I've signed up... have you?! Remember to read what you're agreeing to!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Broken Cable Needle
On the positive side, I do have another small cable needle (a very slippery metal one), and I'm now one row shy of finishing the first repeat of the second chart. Here's a no-flash photo:
Durrow Sleeves WIP
I've glued the cable needle back together, and after the glue cures, I'll give it a test. I was kind of suspicious about those cross-grain sections. *sigh*

Update: My appologies for not linking earlier... the pattern for Durrow can be found here.

Monday, April 09, 2007


More Fun Quizzes at

Boy, is that ever *silly*... for a Winnipegger, at least. What use is an *umbrella* in *February*?!?