Tuesday, May 31, 2005


Tonight I:
  • ate chocolate chip cookies and avoided my dishes
  • picked up my half finished snowflake, worked 1/6th of a round, and decided I wasn't up to thread work tonight
  • created a brownie (in reality, just the head... I had made the body on Sunday)
  • considered doing my dishes
  • read mail and blogs
  • posted photos to my blog
  • finally washed my dishes (including a million and a half tupperware lids I had put off from last time)
  • cooked and ate dinner
  • worked one repeat on my LB Homespun throw (two row repeat, and my wrist didn't start clicking...signifying impending pain...until the second row)
  • read more blogs
  • posted this silly list to my blog
Hopefully I didn't push my wrist too far. It would be nice if I could do one repeat per night without inciting pain... then it wouldn't take too much longer to finish the darn thing off. I want to be *done* with it!

Let's see... it's now the end of the month, and I had promised myself I could buy some KnitPicks Shine yarn if I kept my spending in check for the rest of May (I did pretty well), and finished three pairs of socks, the LB throw, and the slippers. (Or, 50% of Weasley instead of either the throw or slippers.) I've finished two pair of socks, one more repeat on the throw (I've been avoiding it & the pain), not enough of Weasley, and haven't touched the slippers. I guess I can't buy more yarn. *sigh* But, as a compromise, if I continue to be good about spending until I have finished the specified projects, I will reconsider letting myself buy some of this yarn. :)

It's always good to have an incentive to keeping my spending in check in the summer... I get paid more as an RA over the summer, because we officially work more hours. This tempts me to spend more than I should. But, this summer especially, I should save my pennies. If I'm lucky, I'll be able to save enough for tuition so that I won't have to transfer more money down from Canada... although that'll leave me pretty close to zero here. I hate losing money to exchange rates. Plus, once the money in Canada is gone, it's not coming back. (It's money I saved working co-op jobs as an undergrad.) My salary down here, however, is a renewable resource. For the time being, at least. (If I lose *that*, I'll definitely be transferring money down here! ...And pinching pennies to boot!)

No Vanity

Cabinet Outside
Cabinet Outside

Well, more accurately, no new medicine cabinet. I came home to discover the same "vintage" cabinet on the wall. I have pictures of the inside as well... meander over to flickr if you're interested.



Well, I finally got around to making a gods-eye brownie! The arms & legs are twigs, the gray yarn is wool I spun myself, and the red stuff is some fun novelty yarn I was gifted as a RAOK. I think he's a fun little fellow, and I love his "hands." I was going to sew on some bead eyes, but all I have are some tiny seed beads left by a "bead fairy." The seed beads were too small, and got lost in his face. I may add eyes at a later time. Or not. ;)

Not only is my little brownie a fun wall ornament, but I think he's a neat way to display my first handspun. I even had some of the singles left over, although I used all of the plied yarn on the body.

I plan on making him a few friends.

Hmmm... he needs a name. How about "Strawberry Firehair?"


I've made some nice progress on my program today... I've added the code for running test sets, now I just need to add the code for actually *specifying* test sets. Yeah, it's a little backwards... I can't test what I've written until I can specify test sets, but I'm fairly confident about the code. The new stuff is localized enough that it won't be hard to test once I can specify the test sets. I just can't see new pretty pictures today. ;)

It's 4:30 now, and I'm starting to feel dead tired. I think I'll let myself go home early, deal with the mountain of dirty dishes (again? *sigh* yeah), make dinner, and then maybe make some more progress after dinner. Given how drowsy I'm feeling, I'm unlikely to make more progress right now, so just "hanging in" until a specified time is rather pointless. I don't feel guilty, since I *have* made *some* progress today. I even jotted down notes on some ideas I had last night for my proposal text. Wheee.

There's hope for me yet.


Hey! Sockapal-two-za has been announced. :) I had fun with the first round, but I think I'll sit this round out... I need to cut back on my WIPs, and use up some stash yarn. (And knowing my luck, my sock pal will request something not found in my copious pile of stash sock yarn.)

Speaking of stash, I really need to update my reality check in the sidebar.

I wonder if socka cream has arrived at Alison's yet? Should be soon!

How Sweet!

Google directed someone searching for "Canadian hotties" to me! (We'll ignore the fact that I'm not a hottie.)

Leaps & Bounds

Running up the stairs a few minutes ago, I felt fit, happy, healthy, and my pants were loose! Was this due to the fact that I rode my exercise bike for 15 minutes yesterday? The fitness, maybe, but the loose pants, unfortunately, no... that's because I loosened my belt by a notch this morning. *sigh* This weight gain stuff sucks!

Pine Scented Office

My norfolk island pine was getting too big for my dining room table, so I brought it in to work. I put it where the honking big monitor used to sit. (The one I almost never turned on.) It's nice... green... very zen. (Not that I'd know zen if it hit me in the face.) Speaking of which, that's what my pine is hoping to do. I can see why it's "reach out and touch someone" attitude annoyed Suzanne so much. However, hopefully it will guard that corner of my desk from clutter.

Speaking of clutter, after posting last night I attacked my flat surface clutter some more, and I think I managed to nearly halve the layers on my craft table and one side of my desk. I feel better already, and am imagining how good I'll feel when it's totally clear. Feeling less cluttered, I went to bed (rather late), and actually felt I could think about my dissertation. Not that I did much then... I fell asleep faster than usual.

Even though it was after midnight when I got to bed, I got out of bed earlier than usual this morning. This occurance had nothing to do with the late-night declutttering... I didn't want to be in the shower when maintenance came by to replace my medicine cabinet. (I hate having people knock on the door when I'm naked.) They didn't come by the time I had left, but I'm glad I got up early anyway.

Maintenance is replacing my bathroom medicine cabinet as my "renewal gift." Every time we renew, we get to choose an upgrade. I wasn't too excited (since I had or didn't want most of them), but they've added new upgrade choices. I waffled quite a bit between a new medicine cabinet and new kitchen cupboard pulls. Both the existing cabinet and pulls are rather nasty. Not my fault... they were like that when I moved in.

The medicine cabinet has peeling, dirty paint on the inside, and the silver is coming off the scratched mirror. (I imagine a previous resident scratched it while trying to scrub off the paint splatters.) However, I can see myself in the mirror (when it's not fogged up), and there are two glass shelves I was able to get sufficiently sanitary to put my toothbrush, etc, on.

The kitchen pulls have nasty stuff in the crevices, and I think I'd have to take them all down and scrub them with a brush to clean them. (The crevices are in the back.) They also have paint on them, and the finish is pitted.

However, I decided it would be easier to do something about the pulls myself (assuming I wanted to spend the time and/or money), and so opted for the new medicine cabinet.

I hope they don't leave my bathroom a disaster.

Ah, the suspense!

Monday, May 30, 2005


My goal this weekend was to find some of the flat surfaces in my house... namely my desk, craft table, and ironing board. (Not that I really ever iron anything, but I had promised myself that I would keep it clear of clutter.) I had three days. You would think I could manage such a simple task. Well, I've nearly found the ironing board, and the layers on my desk have diminished by a minute amount. *sigh*

It doesn't help that most of the stuff on these surfaces need something *done* to them in addition to being put away, or I need to "create" their ultimate resting places.

Well, some progress is better than none.

Speaking of "doing stuff before putting away", one of the things I wanted to do was comment on two more quotes from bookbookbook. I'll do that here, so I can then clear off one more item from my desk. ;)

The first quote is by Woody Allen:
I took a speed reading course and read War and Peace in twenty minutes. It involves Russia.
At the time I was reading a paper at an exceedingly slow rate. (I'm still not done the paper, but I've set it aside while I make progress on my code.) I was lamenting at the geological speed at which I read papers, and then found this quote... and realized that although I read *really* slowly, I also understand what I read. I felt much better about my ponderous pace.

The second quote is by Douglas Adams:
If we see you smoking we will assume you are on fire and take appropriate action.
I like this quote!

In the news...

Strange... what a totally different lifestyle:

The king of Swaziland has taken an 11th wife and has lined up two other teenage girls to marry.

Bank of Canada governor David Dodge offered a bankerly rebuke to the United States on Monday for its borrow-and-spendthrift ways, which he suggested are a threat to world economic stability.

An ounce of prevention:

An Opposition politician is applauding New Brunswick Premier Bernard Lord for his government's decision to provide free medical supplies to people with diabetes.

Yikes! I'm glad I'm not a patient of his:

A hearing is underway in Australia looking into the deaths of dozens of patients linked to a doctor who was previously barred from performing surgery in the United States.

Whadda-ya-know, root beer is good for you

A Grade 11 student from Saskatchewan has won a national science award for her investigation into how root beer could one day be a cure for cancer.

I guess that's why I don't like root beer. ;)

Gifts from the Garden


Yesterday Suzanne and I went to the NC Botanical Garden. Assuming I got the link right, photographic evidence can be found here. (Photos are in the process of being uploaded... check back in an hour or so.)

Update: I'm done uploading photos now.

In the news...

Satire is lost on them:

An animated cartoon posted on an Ottawa-based website that depicts Pope Benedict XVI giving a Nazi salute to the Virgin Mary has raised the ire of a Canadian Catholic group.

In particular, I'm bothered by the following quote:
"The league does not believe that any public money should be directed to a publication that freely insults Catholics, or indeed any other identifiable group," it said on its website. "No matter how small the amount involved may be, it is unacceptable."
Satire has long been used by Canadians to criticize various things. One of my favourite shows, "This Hour has 22 Minutes," is on CBC, which is publicly funded. Ironically, their satire is directed towards the government (a definitely identifiable group). Should this be stopped? Absolutely not! Groups that wield a lot of power (such as the Catholics), should be open to criticism. Shutting down criticism is an aspect of totalitarian regimes.

As fiddlehead season kicks into gear, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is warning consumers to be careful in preparing the curly green fern.


An Australian woman has lost a Supreme Court battle to have her dead husband's baby.

Maybe if there is a connection, the spammers will stop trying to sell it to me?:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Friday it was investigating reports of possible blindness by some users of the anti-impotence pills Viagra, Cialis and Levitra.

Teens and people in their 20s are starting to get a very common form of skin cancer usually found in people over 50, the Canadian Dermatology Association said on Friday.

A substance long overlooked in the study of asthma may be key to a totally new approach in treating the affliction that affects more than two million Canadians, U.S. scientists reported on Thursday.

A bronze sculpture of one of the country's first openly homosexual public figures has been unveiled in Toronto's gay village.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

A Tale of Survival

Tonight we follow the quest of a young scavenger in search of dinner. We find ourself in a small brick building, where our protagonist discovers food in a large white chest, but it is cold and unpalatable. She tries the pantry, but the food there is similarly inedible. Our scavenger decides that the technology called "cooking" must be applied. There are many pots and dishes on the counter, but they are dirty and icky. She considers the white boxes mounted on the walls, but recalls that they are empty of the proper utensils. She tries searching them anyway, on the off chance new ones have grown. They haven't.

Our scavenger realizes she must brave the dreaded: washing the dishes.

She turns to the TeeVee for support, and discovers an appropriately horrible movie, "Titanic," to bolster her resolve to brave the kitchen. The scavenger bolts down some jello to sustain her, but simultaneously creates even *more* dishes. Reluctantly, she starts running the hot water, and approaches the mountain of dirty dishes.

After filling the rinse bucket with hot water, and the sink with hot and soapy water, the scavenger starts off with the least threatening dishes: glasses. These dishes will not let her cook dinner, but the ones she needs are at the bottom of the pile. After the glasses come the bowls and cutlery, along with the tupperware. There is much tupperware, and our protagonist retreats to her home office to check e-mail and renew her strength.

After a brief respite, the scavenger returns to the kitchen. After a colander and a mixing bowl, the pots are finally revealed! She quickly attacks the needed pots. While on a roll, she continues with the plates, which contain the gluey remains of parmesan cheese that had once graced some pasta.

Finally, the dishes are clean, and our scavenger can finally cook her dinner. She puts some water on to boil, and then returns to her trusty computer. (TeeVee is still telling the same bad movie.)




...zzz *snort* wha? huh? who? ...hm... must have dreamt that funny sound... mumble...


WHA? I didn't dream that!

...get up and peek out window... no one at my door, no people with funny equipment... must be my neighbours making strange sounds in their apartment.

...back to bed... mmmmm :)

Now that I'm up, I heard that strange noise in the back. Hm. Must be a woodpecker, or something.

Saturday, May 28, 2005


Star Wars 3 is indeed better than the previous one, and ties up all the story lines marvelously! I hadn't realized Frank Oz was still around... I like the puppet yoda better than the animated one, though. R2D2 is my hero, though!

Hmmm... must make a R2D2 ornament for my tree... need white yarn. Anyone have a small amount of plain white yarn they don't need? I've got cream, but not white. I'll keep my eyes open for some white yarn on sale... I don't need much, and it's not something I'll likely use again any time soon. ...unless... I could buy wool, and then make a felted bunny with the remainder... that would be fun! Knit Picks looks to have some Wool of the Andes that's pretty close to white... I wonder just how close it is?

Progress is moving along on Weasley and Dancing. Not enough to justify new pictures yet, though. ;)

I came up with a neat trick for knitting: how to tell if I have enough yarn left for one more row. (I don't like starting a new ball mid-row.) When I'm nearing the end of the ball of yarn, there are two states I recognize: (1) definitely enough for more than one row, (2) no idea if there's enough left for one row. Before I reach state 2, but after the yarn reaches a manageable length, I find the midpoint of the remaining yarn, and mark it with a slip knot. I then knit the next row. If I haven't encountered the knot by the end of the row, I have enough yarn left for another row. (If there's still a lot of yarn, I repeat the trick.)

Friday, May 27, 2005

Dancing Along

Dancing socks are now both at the heel... one done, and one started. I finished the second ball of yarn on Weasley too.

Nothing else exciting to report. (But when has this stopped me before?)

Weasley Dancing

Weasley Dancing

Here's my current progress on Weasley and the Dancing socks.

The stripes on the dancing socks are kind of neat... a regular spiral would have been nice, but it's also kind of fun how the stripes "dance around the sock" too. ;)

Gnome Sweet Gnome

I'm not normally the garden gnome sort... but this little fellow is worth a chuckle:
Bush gnomeBush gnome

Thursday, May 26, 2005

In the news...

A new evaluation of children's fitness gives Canada a failing grade, the head of a national charity devoted to boosting healthy living said Thursday.

Canadians aren't swallowing the low-carb diet craze, opting instead for pasta, bakery products and cereal-based snacks, Statistics Canada says.

The Supreme Court of Canada decided Thursday to hear the appeal of U.S. toy maker Mattel as it seeks to stop a Montreal businessman from registering the name of his restaurants – the same name as a popular doll.

Members of the National Assembly have given unanimous support across party lines to a motion blocking the use of Islamic courts in Quebec.

An 86-year-old North Carolina woman spent two nights in jail after police said she repeatedly called 911 to complain about pizza delivery.

A compliment can go a long way in easing a woman's anxiety over her looks, according to research to be presented at a Los Angeles psychology convention on Friday.

Moving in next to a farm can be a pleasant experience: animals, green fields ... but oh, the smell.

A four-legged hero is on the way to help a Winnipeg boy who suffers from a mysterious illness that causes him to stop breathing without warning.

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men

...oft go astray. I had intended to be "good" tonight, and wash my dishes and ride my exercise bike. I did wash (most of) my dishes. Maybe I'll make it back on the bike tomorrow.

I did do a few more rows of Weasley. I'm almost done the second ball of yarn. I'm looking forward to starting the third ball: I'll be ripping out my first attempt at the back... it'll be nice to have that tidied up. ;)

I need to go to bed. I was really tired today, and had trouble staying awake for the group meeting, even with my dancing socks there to help. I want to make good progress on my code tomorrow, and also sign my lease on the way in.

Prune Fingers

Signs it's time to wash dishes:
  • there are dirty dishes
  • dirty dishes cover all 28 inches of counter space, the sink, and the stove
  • there are more dirty dishes than will fit in the drip rack if washed
  • there are not enough dishes to cook dinner
  • I'm hungry, and can't cook dinner
Luckily I didn't wait until the last. I had just barely enough dishes for tonight's dinner... and then actually washed dishes (well, most of them) after dinner. :)

Dishes saved for an exciting Friday night: two cutting boards, two plates, a large mixing bowl, and a collander.

Saturday will be more exciting: I'm going to Star Wars 3 with a group. :)

Staying Awake.

I'm alternating reading about entropy and Boltzmann's law with Winnie, in order to stay awake. (Winnie wakes me up for Boltzmann, who puts me back asleep.)

Ah, the wisdom of Pooh. First sentence of chapter 1: "Eines Tages, als Pu der Bär nichts anderes zu tun hatte, dachte er, er könnte eigentlich etwas tun..." (Translation: "One day, when Pooh the bear had nothing else to do, he thought, he could actually do something.")

If you don't have anything to do, find something. :)


Itchy, itchy, itchy. Rash is worse today. Same (new) salad dressing for lunch. Must try different lunch tomorrow... which should be easy, since someone asked me & K to go out for lunch tomorrow. (Must remember cash...)

Of course, by eating out, if the rash continues, I won't know if it's the same rash or a different one.

Dangers of the Post Office

The easiest post office for me to get to is the one located in Student Stores, which also contains the campus bookstore. I have very little willpower when it comes to bookstores.

After mailing Alison's socks to her, I was curious whether the bookstore had any German books. It turns out they do have a few! I wasn't interested in the fairy tales, short stories, and some of the genres, but they did have a few I thought were interesting. :) I didn't want to pay ~$60 for the Lord of the Rings trilogy, so that left "Pu baut ein Haus" or "Der Kleine Prinz." I decided to go for "Pu baut ein Haus" ($12), and come back for "Der Kleine Prinz" ($10) another day. Yes, they're both kids books, but my German is a bit rusty.

I've always had a soft spot for Winnie the Pooh, given Winnie's history. ;)


My apologies to you if you haven't been able to comment recently. I think I have things set right now. I'm thinking some things must have been reset when they fixed that java error that was appearing the other day.

(My apologies for my bad spelling!)

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

In the news...

One last post before bed...


A surrogate mother in Belgium is under investigation for allegedly selling her baby girl over the internet for $24,000 Cdn to a Dutch couple.

I love the multiculturalism in Canada:

The Queen is on her way back to England after a nine-day visit to Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Have you ever wondered why we're fascinated by world records? Here's a bizarre one:

A Canadian record for the world's deepest live radio broadcast may soon join the Guinness World Records book.

I have to ask myself, what's the point? (Although, I do admit I was fascinated myself, back when I was knee high to a grasshopper.)


I seem to have a rash on the back of my calves this afternoon/evening. I wonder if it was that enormous slice of chocolate chip banana bread I had for lunch? Or the different salad dressing? Hmmm...

Nice Blogger!

I've played with some settings, and I have a happy little Soapbox again! (Hmmm... was it my chattiness earlier that caused blogger to switch to not having individual post pages? The dangers of talking too much...)

Definitely Fishy!

Well, I haven't gotten any messages saying "downloading flickr," but I can no longer get to the individual post pages, and thus cannot comment on my own blog, or see comments... although I do get to see the mailed versions. Hmmm... I wonder if it's just me, or if others are having the same problems? I'm going to go try commenting on someone else's blogger blog. (I hope they don't mind a test comment.)

BTW: I've reported my problem to Blogger Help, so hopefully my blog will be happy again soon!

Weasley Wabbit!

Or was that wascally wabbit? Whatever. Weasley seems to be zipping along, and I now have about 46cm done on the back. It's looking quite long! (I think I'm supposed to do 60-some... I should dig the pattern out...)

I started the Dancing socks, too. I felt it was okay (even with my UFO pledge) since I got the secret project done. I'm not bored with the socks I would have worked on (the easter egg socks), but I really wanted to see what pattern I would get with the Dancing socks. The pattern isn't the same as in the knitpicks catalog... obviously, since I'm crocheting rather than knitting, but I am getting an interesting spiral pattern. Well, it was a spiral pattern, but now the stripe is going straight up, or possibly reversing! The stripe direction really depends on the tension I keep on the yarn, and it's hard to keep the same tension with the elastic. But that's okay... the "wood grain" striping is kind of neat. ;) (Hmmm... now who's blog did I see wood grain striped socks on? Was it Julie, Jess, or someone else...?)

Question: Deneen reported that flickr is messing up my blog... she's on dial-up, and now she can't comment... it gives her some sort of "downloading flickr" message. I'm going to test this myself after I write this post, but I'm wondering if anyone else is having the same problem. If you are, can you e-mail me with details? (What browser, OS, etc...) Thanks!

Annoying Apartment People

Yes, I'm still feeling chatty. Have I driven you all crazy yet?

I just called the apartment office... to see if my new lease is ready *yet*... given my current one expires on Tuesday. I only asked to renew about two months ago, and have been phoning them weekly all of May.

Yes, it's ready. I can come any time.



(Sorry for yelling here... I didn't want to yell at the lady on the phone.)



Wheee... I have a flickr account now. (I felt like commenting on Kelli's pictures.) I just thought I'd see what using flickr photos in my blog is like.

Banana Bread

FYI, banana bread (with chocolate chips) goes over well at committee meetings... even with my low-carb prof.

Leftovers work to bribe other department members.


I want this.

No, I haven't a clue how to do multiple colour knitting. When will that stop me? ;)

(This is a reminder for myself... but I must reduce my stash and WIPs first. That, and increase the bank account... poor, wimpy bank account.)

Hmmm... I wonder if the library has it...


Why does someone (or multiple someones) keep searching for this image?

snow photo

It's really not that exciting. It's just big fluffy flakes of snow falling in Winnipeg.

Yay! Bug squashed!

With J peering over my shoulder, we found the bug. Yay! I had:

atm = e.atm;
// peb_dir = e.peb_dir;
// isbondT = e.isbondT;

Where I should have had:

// atm = e.atm;
peb_dir = e.peb_dir;
// isbondT = e.isbondT;

Sneaky little comment markers hiding on the wrong line!!!

Today's lesson in programming: always check your assumptions. We found this by printing a before and after save/restore version, to see whether the restore was working properly. It wasn't... peb_dir wasn't being set! (I had changed how I saved & restored atm and isbondT... they're arrays.)

Sunday's Adventure in pictures

Here's a quick snapshot of my adventures on Sunday.

Higgins Armory Museum:
Higgins Armory Museum
An early "leatherman":
combination tool
A fellow who has an overly optimistic view of what needs protecting:
suit of armour
Some mail pants that reminded me of freeform crochet:
armour pants
Queen of the rugrats:

Her footsoldier:

Someone a little too into history:

(Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

And, here's the great little deli where we had lunch:
I had a really great corned beef sandwich, potato pancakes, and raspberry-lime soda... they had their own brand of bottled soda! Great place. I highly recommend it if you're in the neighbourhood. (Apparently it's somewhat grungier than it used to be, but the gentleman running the place is getting quite old. The food is still fantastic.) My cousin recommends the matzo ball soup... I would have had some, but soup is difficult with my allergies... it's too hard for me to guess what'll be in it.


Yes, I'm writing a million mini-posts. I'm unwinding from my meeting this morning, so I'm blogging whatever pops into my head. Feel free to skip all these posts.


I made a discovery Monday night... my Scheepjes socks can withstand being baked in the dryer. They looked like they might be a bit smaller when I took them out, but they stretched right back to foot size when I put them on. I don't know how they'd handle regular abuse like that, but it's nice my carelessness didn't kill them this time.

Too Much Information

I'm an "earthy" gal, and will talk about stuff you really don't want to read about. This is your warning. ;)

Have you ever noticed your bowels prefer the home throne? Well, mine do. Several factors contributed to some abdominal discomfort this morning... my recent trip to Boston (from which I am still unloading), putting on a freshly laundered pair of jeans (bought at a lower weight), and my stomach tying itself in knots because of my little committee meeting. Not a great combination.

Warm Fuzzies

I get warm fuzzies that my sock pal is enjoying her warm fuzzies!

sockapalooza socks

(I stole the pic from her site.)

Alison, your cream warm fuzzies will be in tomorrow's mail. I have them all ready, but needed to prepare for a committee meeting today. (Yay! Another milestone checked off!!!)

Silly Statistics

Blogger behaving badly brought me tons of hits by people searching for something along the lines of "001 java.io.IOException: EOF while reading from control connection." I even got an e-mail asking me what to do. Answer: Check Dashboard -> Blogger Help -> Blogger Status to see if they know about the problem, and if not, report it. Then wait.

If you get bored while you wait, go read Crazy Aunt Purl... her blog is a lot of fun.

In the news...

Nothing like a little morning excitement:

A black bear ambled 30 blocks through Edmonton before wildlife officers caught up with it in the parking lot of a seniors residence just before 7 a.m. Monday.

Note to self... do more back exercises (in my copious free time):

Spinal fusion surgery for chronic low back pain is no better than intensive rehabilitation, British researchers wrote in two studies published on Tuesday.

I prefer cash, personally... no expiry date or fees:

The use of gift cards is growing so rapidly it's causing a shift in retail spending patterns, according to a study by Statistics Canada.


A drug treatment program in Vancouver that will provide daily heroin hits to some addicts is struggling to attract participants.

Winnipeggers can be cool too:

Local hip-hop dancers strutting their stuff at a Winnipeg festival have caught the eye of an adjudicator in town from New York City.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Naughty Blogger!

I had considered posting other stuff tonight, but blogger is acting up. My quiz made it through eventually, but I don't want to risk losing real posts. I'll post tomorrow. :)

Mmmm... Chocolate!

Your Icecream Flavour is...Chocolate!
You are the all time favorite, chocolate! Turning white kids black since the 1800s. Staining carpets, car seats, and bed sheets for centuries. One thing is for sure, you will never go out of style. You can't go wrong with chocolate!
What is your Icecream Flavour?
Find out at Go Quiz

Silly Quiz

You are .mp3 The kids love you.  You get along with just about everybody except the music industry.  You really make yourself heard.
Which File Extension are You?

Hmmm... I don't know about the music industry, but the kids sure loved me this weekend. :) (Well, while I was doing origami, not so much while I was telling the rugrats to behave.)

In the news...

...catching up on the past few days...

I don't blame him:

Saddam Hussein's lawyer says the former Iraqi dictator plans to take legal action after a British and an American newspaper published front page photos of him in his underwear.

Almost there:

A same-sex couple in Yellowknife is suing the Northwest Territories government over the right to get married, saying that refusing them a licence is a violation of their charter rights.

The second most frequent plea from the back seat during a road trip, after "Are we there yet?" is perhaps: "I've gotta go!"

A tactic used by some U.S. companies to screen out smokers may begin to take hold in Canada, but it faces stiff opposition from puffing advocates and medical ethicists.

Some Canadian companies are following an American trend of refusing to hire smokers, even if they smoke in their off hours.

Hmmm... I think I support something along these lines, but it would be better to help applicants to quit, or tell them they have x amount of time to satisfy the requirement. (I'm sorry, but smokers smell really bad.)

This'll make a dent in your livelihood, if you're a fisherman:

Villagers in central Russia are mystified by the sudden disappearance, overnight, of the town's lake.

Can you imagine waking up to find a "permanent" feature of your neighbourhood had simply vanished? I would have serious doubts as to whether or not I actually was awake!

Sorry we bombed you, here, have a rock:

Four Canadian soldiers who died in Afghanistan after a U.S. military pilot dropped a bomb on them will be honoured Monday at Fort Campbell in Kentucky.

Home, sweet home:

Chance the baby muskox has ended his roaming days, completing the long trip from the far north to his new home, a wildlife preserve near Whitehorse.

I wish I knew a way to fix my hometown's inner city:

Winnipeg police have laid assault and other charges against two teenagers after lighter fluid was poured on a 10-year-old boy's shoes and set on fire.

*sigh* ...clothing doesn't define the man:

Several shop owners in Britain have banned youths wearing hoods and baseball hats in an effort to combat what they say is a growing problem with crime and intimidation of customers.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Quick, Boring.

I'm back. Plane was an hour late leaving, but I stayed on the same plane for my connection, so that was fine... it just meant I got home late. The first load is still in the dryer, and I need to dry the second load before I can go to bed... my mattress pad, pillowcases, and pajamas were in the first (along with some other stuff), and the sheets and blanket were in the second. Looks like it'll be a late night. :(

I can get away without grocery shopping, I think. I'll need to make pita bread, but I'll leave that tomorrow. For some reason, my dishes didn't wash themselves while I was away, so they're still dirty. I had a bowl of cereal upon arriving home (I was starving), and then scrounged up a clean pot and pan to cook dinner. (Noodles with parmesan cheese, and the NC version of "Canadian bacon".) It's late, but since I have to wait for my laundry anyway, I think I'll do my dishes now.

My allergies are acting up. Sneezing, sniffling, itchy eyes, itchy nose, sinus headache... the whole bit. Joy. I'm not sure what the cause is. It started in Boston, but is definitely continuing here. The Chapel Hill forecast is medium pollen level for "Grass, Hickory/Pecan and Sorrel/Dock," but I may only be having a continuing reaction to something in Boston. I'll see what I'm like tomorrow.

Dryer stopped... off to flip the laundry.

I'm back.

I was a hit at show & tell today. Exhausting stuff, though. The teacher gave me a nice stainless steel travel mug to say thanks. It was cool getting it, but now I have two, and I have yet to use the first.

I didn't win the logo contest. Dang. *sigh* Oh well... there were a lot of nice designs, so I had tough competition.

Yesterday was fun... we went to the Higgins Armory Museum. I have pictures, but I'm too tired/lazy to post some now. Maybe I will tomorrow. Or maybe not. ;)

I finished the secret project. I'll post pictures after the recipient gets it. I'm not sure if she reads my blog (...often... she has on occasion).

I'm not sure what else to say, except I wish I could have gone to bed a few hours ago. *sigh* I think I need to try this going to bed around 8 or 9 like my cousin's family does. It shouldn't be too hard now that there's nothing good on TV for the summer.

I did do some work on my dissertation this weekend... I implemented one feature, but there's a bug in it somewhere. I had planned to hunt that down today, but ended up napping on the plane, and doing chores tonight. I hope I can fix it quickly tomorrow before my advisor asks me how progress is...

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Spinning Revelation

Wow! I was reading Marnie's blog, and discovered that roving has a direction! I wonder if I've been going forwards or backwards in my attempts? Hmmm... I'll have to try the other end and compare. ;) (Must find time to do spinning... I have hardly touched my spindle, and two yards of yarn will get me nowhere. ;) )

Saturday, May 21, 2005


Here's my morning in pictures.

I gave my origami demonstration at the Women at Work museum:
women at work museum
(Obligatory sock is hiding in backpack, and hands are too full of paper, origami books, and camera to coax sock out.)

Here's me at work:

Don't you wish you had my job? With help from a few interested participants, I'm constructing a snub cube out of Tomoko Fuse's modified unit. Note my nifty "science" t-shirt. I go all out for these events. I think this is the first time that I was a museum exhibit. Of course, it was only a teeny-tiny museum. I'm not afraid to start at the bottom, though. ;)

Here's the snub cube entertaining a museum attendee:
origami snub cube

If anyone is curious, here's my cousin and her spouse:

and my cousin's rugrats:

The upper head belongs to the innocent-seeming, evil tape monster.

And, on this lovely spring day, here's an iris from my cousin's garden:

No Strings Attached

I just found out that my cousin has wireless in her house! I can compute using my laptop!!! (Of course, this is risky in this household... one of my cousin's kids just tried to put scotch tape on my monitor. No harm done... neither to my precious, nor to the evil kid in a two minute time out.)

Why is it that kids think they can tell when two minutes have passed? (And after only about two seconds?)

The museum was kind of fun. It's just a tiny little museum, and there weren't many people, but I built a snub cube with the help of some others. Everyone was (overly) impressed with my origami, and the organizer wants me to leave her some for a display. I will, but after I do show & tell at my cousin's kid's school.

I'll report more later. My cuz and I are having fun with the wireless. (We both have laptops.)

Friday, May 20, 2005

My Entry

If anyone is curious about my entry for the Black Sheep Bags logo design contest, go here, and scroll to the last one. :) (And even if you don't care two bits about mine, go look at all the cute sheep!!!)


In addition to my adventures in origami tomorrow at the Women at Work museum near Boston, today I helped J with an origami math demonstration for a pair of grade six classes in Roxboro. This trip caused an increase in the NC population of modular origami cubes and butterfly balls, but sadly decreased the NC population of turtles by one. J tried to swerve to avoid it, but ended up hitting it squarely with a large, state-owned van. We didn't realize what it was until we were really close. J wasn't used to driving the state van instead of his own car. When calculating the difference in cost to the state between letting people use their own vehicles, and requiring them to use state vehicles, I think they forgot to factor in the turtles.

I'm not entirely sure why the turtle was crossing the road. I was rather impressed that it had made it across three lanes of a busy highway before it met it's untimely end. I feel sorry for the turtle.

One of Jacks toys didn't survive the trip either... that class was *very* rambunctious. It could have something to do with the fact that it was end of term, and there was only one teacher supervising two classes. I was mostly letting J handle the class, but at the end I started telling specific rowdy students to sit down, in my very no-nonsense voice. I apparently have a very effective no-nonsense voice. I used it indiscriminantly. I restored a level of order, but it was too late for Jack's toy. And for a neat stack of books that the teacher had sorted... but if the teacher isn't going to keep order, she has to face the consequences. She should know better... J doesn't. I seem to have a bit of a natural ability for handling kids... both singly and in groups... however, they were getting on my nerves by the end. I don't like noise. Of course, had I been in control of the situation from the start, it may not have gotten as noisy.

I forgot to take pictures.

Good Night

I'm all packed, and screw the dishes. I'll only be gone for a few days, and they're well rinsed. Nothing like coming home to a bunch of dirty dishes, anyway. ;)

I packed pretty light... sort of. I packed light if you don't count the five origami books (four of which are fairly hefty) and a box of folded origami. After packing the origami supplies, I didn't have much room left in my small carry-on sized suitcase.

I think the only things I've forgotten to do is visit the ATM, and buy a pack of gum. I always forget to buy a pack of gum. I like to have gum to help my ears pop. You'd think I'd have learned to remember to buy gum by now. Oh well... it's not the worst thing to have forgotten, and I feel I'm guaranteed to forget something. (I could pop over to the freaky 24-hour grocery store now, but I'm *tired*!)

Good night. :)

Thursday, May 19, 2005

In the news...

Please do!

The College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba wants to improve the statistic that one in three people do not wash their hands after using the restroom.


It's after midnight, and I still have to pack and wash my dishes. Oops! not to mention, but Jack is picking me up at 7:45 tomorrow so we can give an origami demonstration in Roxboro. (I.e., I need to get my lazy butt out of bed at a relatively early hour in order to be ready in time.)

I've never been to Roxboro before.

Puffy Eyes

I keep waking up in the morning with swollen eyelids. I wish I knew what was causing it, and how to make it go away. :( It's probably an allergy... but to what? The plastic chemicals should be gone now... and I've actually been having problems with this since January. (The lawn chair just made it much worse temporarily.) They're not itchy, just all puffy. Putting something cold on my eyes seems to help, but I don't exactly have a ton of time for lying around with cold stuff on my eyes... it's hard to accomplish *anything* that way. (Not only am I blind, but I can't wander around.)

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


In case you haven't noticed, there's a logo contest going on for Black Sheep Bags, over at boogaj. I'm pretty happy with my entry... I'd love to win an Elizabeth Bag pattern. :) Oooo... or a Kristina! Sophie is wonderful too, of course. I'll just sit here with my toes crossed, so that I can still type to code. ;)

Beantown, here we come!

Sockapalooza cream socks


More button swap buttons arrived today:
button swap
These are from Rebecca. The black and rhinestone ones are vintage buttons. I especially like the dragonflies; the blue buttons are really pretty too. :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


I'm going to Boston this weekend. Neat! I never thought I'd be the type to off and fly places willy-nilly for a weekend, yet here I am. I'm leaving on Friday, and coming back Monday... after show & tell at my cousin's kid's school. I've never been on *this* side of show and tell before.

Socka cream are now being fast-tracked... since I'll be in Alison's back yard, I thought I'd have them ready in case she wants to get them in person. (Of course, what looks like her back yard on google maps may still be quite a distance away.) I'd estimate the socks are now 75% done, so I should have no problem finishing them up *very* soon. (So they'll at least be mailed soon, Alison. ;) )

Hmmm... about the only other exiting thing tonight is that Lorelai asked Luke to marry her on Gilmore Girls. (Luke's response was "what", but I have no doubt that'll be a "yes" when the new season starts.) It was such a nice warm & fuzzy send-off... much better than most season finales. I'm still really excited to see next season, but it doesn't leave me emotionally in the lurch the way some other finales do. Two thumbs way up for Gilmore Girls.

Time for bed now... must get up early and make lots of progress on coding, to make up for skipping school part of Friday afternoon and Monday. Cheers!

(Oh, and to all you RAOKers... I'll be checking my e-mail sporadically this weekend, so I should still manage to get you the info you need. I'll just be a bit slower than usual. If you don't want a delay... try to get your requests to me by Friday noon.)


Neato! I won another blog contest! I seem to have good luck. :) Thanks Marlo!

And then there were five

I now have five committee members! Yay! I filled out the form saying who they are, and once I get a "recommendation for fixed term apointment to the graduate faculty" form filled out for the Duke prof, I've got a milestone checked! Yay! That's two now, counting the three-person meeting next week.

Silly meaningless milestones. Well, at least now I won't look quite as bad the next time the progress reports roll around. (And hopefully I'll have a better chance at keeping my funding in the fall... assuming satisfying these milestones in the summer isn't officially too late.)

I'll be much happier once I have both my proposal and orals taken care of. I'm not allowed to do those unless I'm registered for courses, so those'll have to wait until the fall. (Well, the paperwork can't be filed before then, at least. ;) )

Blech. That's enough beaurocracy for today. Back to coding. Later!


Socka blue has arrived, and fits!!! Yay! No more socka blue for me. :)

Here's Alison's feet in socka blue:
sockapalooza blue crocheted socks
(I wish I had a sparkly clean floor like her... so bright and shiny and clean... I occasionally manage clean, but they're old, dark, and dull.)

Interesting Life

Wow... I lead an interesting life. There's a chance I may be flying to the Boston area this weekend... my cousin's kid's school was doing an event on Saturday that included an origami demo, but the woman had to cancel. She asked if I knew of any other origami women in the area... I told her I'd e-mail my (guy) friend in Boston to see if he had any ideas, and jokingly said I'd do it if someone wanted to pay for the ticket. She's actually trying to see if she can find a cheap ticket!!!

It'll be really cool to see my family again, and origami demos are fun. I should find out what age group, and what sort of demo they'd like. (Assuming she finds a ticket.) I wonder if my MIT friend would like me to stop by too?

And yes, I know it's Tuesday... but as I said, this is my blog, and I'll do what I want. ;)


WOW Wednesday

I've pretty much stopped with WOW Wednesday... I got bored, and it's my blog, so I'll do what I want. ;) But, Adventures of a Stashaholic has a great knit/crochet tip, so you should go check it out. ;)

Monday, May 16, 2005


Temptation, thy name is KnitPicks. I *want*. Again. Yes, I know. My burgeoning stash, and diminishing bank account. *sigh*

What has me tempted this time? Shine, a machine washable (and dryable!) cotton/modal blend. I was just thinking it would make a nice yarn for a summer cardigan, and a raglan crochet version of the eyelet cardi would be fun!

Yes, I have yarn for two sweaters in my stash. But my stash yarn is alpaca & wool... totally not suitable for a summer cardigain!

Yes, I have yarn in my stash for summer wear... namely two tank tops.

Plus, I have *9* WIPs/UFOs! (10 if you count my half finished snowflake... yes, I finally did a snowflake for snowflake Monday, but I only started at 10, and so am not finished even though it's bedtime. I was having too much fun with Weasley to start earlier.)


I really should unsubscribe from the KnitPicks e-mails. But I won't. ;)

Hmmm... I need a plan. It's currently half way through May, and I've been very good about not spending much money for the first half. If I continue to be very good (darn, that means no Crochetville Woolie bag), and finish, um, say, my LB throw, slippers, and three pair of socks (or 50% of Weasley), I'll let myself buy yarn for a cardigan. Does that sound fair?

I made my grandma's potato salad tonight. She made good potato salad... my dad liked it so much, he got the recipe from her before she passed away. It uses Kipfler potatoes (aka banana/fingerling potatoes). Like all of her recipes, none of the ingredients come with quantities. Here's her recipe, as my dad e-mailed it to me:

(Banana potatoes)
Cook potatoes 20 min, peel when cool enough to handle, slice.
Add salt, sugar, vinegar (2 pts vinegar, 1 pt water), oil and chopped onions.
Toss and serve.

Complicated huh??

(That last bit is because I insisted dad e-mail me, rather than just tell me on the phone. I can be a complete klutz when cooking, and tend to forget ingredients. I've gotten better, but I still like to have recipes in writing.) Dad uses an egg slicer to slice the potatoes.

My favourite thing about her potato salad is that I'm not allergic to it. Cool, huh? Most potato salads contain mayo, which I'm really allergic to.

I've actually inherited all of her recipes, because I'm really the only one who can read German. My dad can speak German, but not read or write it. (I really can't figure that out... German is so phonetic! However, he actually speaks Austrian rather than German, which has a whole other spin on the pronounciation.) I don't have the recipes yet, though. I think they're at my uncle's for now... my grandma lived in another province, and dad only had so much room to bring stuff back. That's not all I inherited... I also got an embroidered picture my mom made for her, and $2000. And two tams, because they could be crammed in nooks. The tam I have down here is 75% angora, and survived a trip through the wash... oops... must remember to check pockets!!!

I didn't want much from her... not because I didn't want stuff to remember her by, but because some people on that side of the family tend to bicker, and I really didn't want to accidentally ask for something that someone else wanted. However, grandma specifically said the embroidery was for me... since she's no longer speaking to my mother since my mother divorced my father. (This is the Roman Catholic side of my family... they're *so* much fun. :P )

I had wanted to save the $2K for something really special... like a trip somewhere, or a piece of art to remember her by, but it's beginning to look like that "something special" may end up being tuition. (She would probably have wanted me to spend it on jewelry, but I'm really not the expensive jewelry sort... as it is, I pretty much never have opportunities to wear the bracelet she gave me for high school graduation... and those times I do wear it, I feel *way* overdressed.)

I'm looking forward to getting her recipes, though. In particular, I'd really like the recipe for that cake she would make for me, because she knew it was my favourite. That reminds me of another funny memory of my grandma... she would always comment on how we had put on weight, and then chide us for eating like birds. She liked cooking so much that she'd serve us dessert at every meal, including breakfast. And not only that, but we'd have a choice of three or four different things. Inevitably, we'd go home heavier than when we arrived.

Speaking of recipes and grandmas, my "third grandma" is going to teach me her perogy recipe this summer when I visit! She's turning 90 this August, so *someone* has to learn... as much as we'd like her to live forever, that's not going to happen. Bob and Mark kept saying they were going to learn, but somehow never found the time. I've booked her, however, and made plans. Setting a date helps these things happen. ;) She doesn't have any recipes at all, but I'm going to write things down as she teaches me what to do.

There's more of her recipes that it would be a shame to lose, like borscht, holopchi, prune perogies, and other special Ukranian dishes, but I don't eat those. Maybe once I'm back for good I'll get her to teach me, and write them down, so that we'll have them if Bob's kids want them. I love history and tradition, but I only have two weeks to visit this summer, and I'll be working with my prof in Winnipeg during the weekdays.

Well, I've sat and rambled on for long enough... I should go to bed. I'm tired, and it's late. Good night.

In the news...

Awwwww! He's soooo cute! Give him to me! I'll love him and hug him and name him George! Of course, I don't think he'd like NC very much:

A Yukon game farm says it's willing to take a baby muskox found abandoned in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut and now living in an airport hangar.

Go Canada!

Three young Canadians have beat out millions of challengers to take the top prizes at the world's largest science fair in Phoenix, Ariz.

Of course, I do wonder how much help they got from adults... sure, they did great stuff, but is it really fair to compare the students totally on their own to these kids?

Oooo! This sure sounds like a tricorder:

The next wave of add-ons for cellphones and laptops may help users keep track of their health.

Bunny Memories

I've visited UVic a couple of times... my grandma used to live down the road from UVic, and I've also attended a workshop there. I have fond memories of the bunnies. (How could I not? They're cute little bunnies!)

A friend of mine just returned from a conference there, and remarked on the bunnies (since I'm Canadian, he wanted to report to me that he had just returned from Canada). His comment was something like "the number of bunnies there is like the number of squirrels here"... and folks, we have a *lot* of squirrels here. And no, he's not kidding about the bunnies.

He wanted to know the story behind the bunnies, and no one there could give him a straight answer. (I think it's one of those things that's so common that no one knows the answer... like here, and why we're called "tar heels"... there are several versions of that story.)

I think the version I heard is that they're escaped/released lab bunnies. There's so many of them that the university has considered culling them, but that usually starts protests. I think I may have also heard that locals who no longer want their pet bunnies have also been contributing to the UVic population.

I tried googling the UVic bunnies, but couldn't find the real story... although I did find a fun statistics test question that uses them. ;)

Do any of you know the real UVic bunny story?


Alas, the 6am alertness was not to last.

Strange Morning

This morning is continuing strange... as I was making breakfast, I heard a gunshot-like bang, and the power in the house flickered. Something in the neighbourhood must have blown, although I'm not sure what.

Kind of makes me wonder what the rest of the day has in store. ;)

I don't understand

I really don't understand... I woke up shortly after 6 this morning, and felt awake. This wouldn't have bothered me, except that never happens, and I didn't get to bed until after midnight. I tried lying in bed for a while to see if my body wanted to go back to bed, but it doesn't seem to want to. (Although now that I've gotten up, I'm starting to feel a bit sleepy again.) So, the question is, if I get up now, will I be tired for the rest of the day?

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Crummy Title

I seem to be having problems coming up with interesting post titles lately... oh well, that's life.

It's been a while since I posted a photo of my Weasley progress, so here's it's current state.
Weasley sweater progress
The hem rolls nicely, so I used the spare knitting needle to hold the bottom flat so that you could tell the full length. The sides also like to curl behind, but you can tell the width from the hem at the bottom. The yarn ends coming out on the right mark where I started the second ball. I'm guessing I'm about halfway through the second ball, but it's really hard to tell with this yarn... it seems to go forever, and then suddenly runs out. Squeezing the ball to see how full it is isn't terribly helpful either, since they start out feeling rather hollow. Bizarre.

The socks on top are "socka cream" for Alison. Note that both socks now have heels. :) They are now in my little travelling project bag, ready to be my bus crocheting for this week. (Or, at least until they're done.)

I have been good and haven't started my Dancing socks yet. I must admit I was *sorely* tempted several times today. However, I also really want to keep my WIP/UFO count down to single digits. ;) It won't be *that* long until socka cream is done. (Yes, Alison, there's hope you'll see them again soon!)

I've been forgiven for handing in my review 17.5 hours late... at least, that's what the e-mail said. I'm happy. :) I hate disappointing people. Even though I seem to be doing that a lot lately. *sigh* I'm hoping that now my depression is pretty much under control that I can remember how to be a good student again. It basically comes down to regaining my discipline. That, and not letting guilt of past failures bog me down.

This is starting to be a glum post, and it's time for bed. Good night! (I'll just catch up on a few more blogs before bed.)


Yay! The review is done, and the rain has stopped. I'm off to buy my groceries before it decides to rain again. ;)


I'm almost done that review... S was just over for a bit. After some crafting (socka cream has one heel now) we went out for a walk. I hate my asthma... between it acting up this spring, the chlorine from the bathroom mildew massacre this morning, the pollen, and the humidity, a short half hour walk had me huffing and puffing. Grump.

Well, back to the review. I plan to have it done by 5:00... I still need to do my grocery shopping. (Although, from the rumbles I'm hearing, that may not happen... I have yet to figure out how to hold an umbrella *and* my groceries.)

Saturday, May 14, 2005


I didn't sleep well last night... I kept having the strangest dreams. Subsequently it took me forever to get out of bed this morning.

Thanks everyone for the comments on Darth Tater! :) I'm considering giving him irises, but I haven't decided yet.

Today is laundry day. Whee. I finally (eventually) did my dishes... but not before eating several meals consisting of cereal.

I was going to catch the 2:15 bus over to Burger King (for the toys) and library (to renew some books), but was running late, and threw the door open just as the bus roared past. Whoops. However, my open door revealed a RAOK! I got some lovely knitpicks sock yarn, and a MDS&W keychain!!! The sock yarn is "Dancing," in the colour "Jig"... and is really nice! It's soft. I wonder if it will work up with the pseudo stripes if I crochet the socks? I hope so! It has elastic, but the elastic runs down the center, so hopefully it won't be a problem. At first I said I had to finish all my current socks before starting this pair, but I'm wavering. Now I'm going to try to at least finish the cream sockapalooza socks first. ;)

I caught the 3:15 bus, no problem. It goes right by BK... but BK didn't have the star wars toys in yet. I didn't have to wait long for the return bus, because BK is close to where the bus turns around and comes back. I got off near the library and tried to renew my book, but it turns out we only get one renewal, and online vs in person doesn't matter. :P *sigh* I wrote down the page number and turned it in. I did pick up two new books... Hip to Crochet, which has a cardigan pattern I like (but pretty much nothing else), and a book on gingerbread houses... it had some neat tips. I need to decide how I'm going to "one up" the gingerbread treehouse I made last Christmas. The treehouse was *fun*!

Since the next bus wasn't for quite a while, I walked over to the mall and browsed one of the shops there. I got an interesting "posable magnetic sculpture" of this ridiculous looking cat for my brother for his birthday. It was $5, and he likes getting strange gifts. ;) I also found a father's day card for my dad. There's a thought bubble above a man's head that says "step one... cook book," and the man is lowering the book into boiling water. ;) (Step two: have a happy father's day!) My dad doesn't know about my blog. My brother does, but doesn't read it.

Tonight I did a few more rows on Weasley, and added a bit to socka cream. Yes, socka cream is now going forward, rather than reverse! I wonder if Alison got her blue socks yet (they went air mail), and if they actually fit this time. I sure *hope* so! On the up side, I am getting good at coaxing wool sock yarn to frog. ;)

*sigh* ...back to that dang paper review. I'm tired and want to go to bed, but the review is due today. Grump. I should have skipped the shopping trip, but my library books were due.


I must admit... although I usually blog just for me, because I find it fun, today, deep down, I'd *really* like to know what you think of my crocheted Darth Tater. ;)

Joy of Stash

The advantage to having a stash is that I can whip up little projects on a whim. :) For example, I couldn't justify buying Darth Tater, so I made my own little crochet version to hang on my tree next year:
crochet darth tater
The bonus is that Christmas ornaments never count as "clutter" for me. ;) Of course, the helmet comes off to reveal Anakin Skytater:
crochet anakin skytater
(Hmmm... I'm considering getting some of those Burger King plush toys to keep Darth Tater company... a little ewok and a jawa... maybe that ice monster and Chewy too.)

I also have another FO to report:
blue cotton socks
What can I say... they followed me to school, and there was a lunch time lecture. However, I'll get cracking on socka cream this weekend... just as soon as I finish the paper review. :P

Even though stash has its advantages, I do want to reduce my stash as much as possible... when my dad comes to pick me up next year, I *really* don't want to explain why I have so many boxes of yarn. ;)

Friday, May 13, 2005

In the news...

This sounds like a fun job:

At a tiny ranch in the Interlake, the animals start out the size of pinheads – and when they're full-grown, they're just released into the wild.

Social progress:

Four years ago, Elmwood had one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in Winnipeg, but those numbers dropped dramatically after a teen clinic opened at Elmwood High School.

And for the bizarre:

An Italian man who neglected to tell his wife that he was impotent must pay damages for depriving her of her right to be a mother, Italy's Supreme Court has ruled.


*sigh* ...I'd love a Darth Tater, but I know it's just clutter. Must cut back on clutter. Isn't he cute?
darth tater


I refuse to watch "Kingdom of Heaven". It looks like it may be a movie I'd enjoy, but I refuse to watch a movie that glorifies the crusades. The crusades are one of the many reasons I don't like organized religion.

On NPR this morning they were talking about how Pope Benedict was thinking of skipping the five year waiting period before making Pope John Paul a saint. I find this amusing, because my dad took me to watch him drive by in one of his parades. I guess this'll mean I've seen a real live saint. (Assuming, of course, that I believed in saints.) I wonder if that makes my pope button a holy relic? ;)


Interesting... I finished reading that Organic Style article on sleep this morning. It actually answered a question I've been having about my headaches. My mom had read that a magnesium deficiency can cause migraines. I had discovered that taking magnesium helped my headaches, but I wasn't sure why I had a magnesium deficiency. According to this article, which recommended taking magnesium for other problems, *stress* causes the body to become depleted of magnesium.

In other words, grad school is causing my headaches.

Somehow, I knew I'd feel better when I graduated. I just didn't realize in how many ways. ;)

Thursday, May 12, 2005


I'm procrastinating going to bed. :P On that note, here's a good PhD comic.

Strange... suddenly I need to type a word verification to publish my post... and I'm having a lot of trouble understanding the letters the way they've squished them all together. :P Hmmm... I think I'll copy my text here just in case...


Further WIP progress tonight: a few more rows on Weasley, and frogged the second cream socka to below the heel. Both cream sockas are now ready for forward progress. Whee.

I'm tired. Good night.

WIP-loss Goals

As part of my pledge to finish or frog all UFOs (unfinished objects), I'm also trying to reduce my WIPs (works in progress). Mostly because only one of my projects is truly a UFO, but I *really* need to cut back on the number of WIPs. To this end, I've made short, medium, and long term goals.

Short term: reduce n to n-1, where n is the number of WIPs + UFOs. This will be done on a priority basis, where higher priority items get worked on first. For items with the same priority, I'll work on the one that requires less time to finish... since that will result in faster results.

Medium term: reduce n to 5... my one UFO, the two blankets in progress, and at most two pair of socks at any one time.

Long term: n <= 4 WIPs... at most two simultaneous pairs of socks, plus at most two larger "home projects".

Also, given the current state of my bank account and future expected tuition costs... no more yarn purchases until I've worked through my stash projects. Excluding, of course, special travel purchases... which I don't expect to have any time soon. ;)

Josie's Socks

Presenting Josie's socks:
crocheted socks
(Down to 10 WIPs/UFOs!)

Killing Time

It's pouring out. It started just after 5... I saw the big nasty clouds, and decided to check the radar before heading out. While I was checking, it started raining. Since it looked like a small cloud, I figured I'd just wait it out. An hour later...

I've decided to update my bloglines... I've created organizational folders (which are a royal pain in the butt... I have to transfer each subscription separately, using at least 5 clicks each!!!), and am unsubscribing from a few... mostly those who don't seem to update much... those are the ones it's hardest to "get to know". Also, I need to cut back on my blog reading.

On the off chance you're stuck somewhere waiting for the rain to end, here are some pictures to entertain you:

1) My windows with tea towels... trying to clear the plastic fumes the other day:
allergy window

2) My button swap buttons from Kari:

3) A happy columbine flower that greeted me for the first time this morning:

Hmmm... I can't think of anything else exciting at the moment. I guess I'll go back to organizing my bloglines... or maybe brave the rain and head home. It isn't *too* heavy now... (and I'm actually glad it rained... we needed it, even with the pollen going down.)

Socka Blue

The blue sockapalooza socks are winging their way to Alison as we speak. To keep them company, my lovely ziggy socks are going in for a toe job. (Still searching for my sock pal's e-mail address... my desk at home is a BIG mess.)

I hope socka blue fits you this time, Alison. Feel free to let me know if I've messed up again. (Should this happen, please ignore the wailing and gnashing of teeth coming from the Chapel Hill area... it's not an emergency, and should pass quickly.)

Socka cream to come... I plan to start their reconstructive surgery tonight after a few finishing touches on Josie's socks. Note to self... e-mail Josie to find out where she wants her socks mailed...

In the news...

Do glaciers get freezer-burn?

Employees at a Swiss ski resort have swaddled part of a glacier in reflective sheeting to keep it from melting over the summer.

I've always kind of wondered about "discovering" a species the locals have known about all along.... Why doesn't some journal send someone out to ask all the locals what they know, and then we can get this artificial "discovering" over and done with.

A team of scientists working in Southeast Asia has discovered a new mammal resembling a rat, but in a rare move they had to create a new scientific family to categorize it.

More Miscellany

Wheee... I found a way... I e-mailed math prof's wife, and she'll pass the message along!

Paper reviewing... requested this morning, due Saturday. Yikes! At least it looks better than the previous paper I had to review.

No meeting today... found third prof, third prof needs more lead time. I had pretty much given up on having the meeting today anyway. (No little check marks this week. *pout* ;) )

Now, for the fun stuff, check out Store Wars... I found the link at Hip Hip Crochet. (Reading her other posts is my reviewing-break activity today.)


I wasn't able to dial-up until late last night, so I didn't bother blogging. My entry wouldn't have been too exciting anyway... something along the lines of (a) a truck knocked out an emergency pole and a fire hydrant, tying up traffic on my way home (and forcing me to walk out on the street, since there was a very large tow truck on the sidewalk), (b) I did a few more rows of Weasley, the back of which is now at 29 cm, (c) Josie's socks are nearly done, and (d) I hate silly "milestones".

I'll expand on (d), since it's ongoing this morning. Basically, I got a "friendly" e-mail reminder the other day that I should be checking off some milestones for my PhD, since I'm way behind. Background on that: when J first came here, he was never worried about milestones, and kept telling me not to worry... I couldn't convince him this wasn't a good attitude for this university, but he's recently come to this revelation. No, the e-mail wasn't from J... I'm behind enough on my milestones that I got an official e-mail. However, I'm not as behind as my milestones make me appear... most just need a tiny little bit more before they get checked off.

Like the one I was suggested to check off... a "simple" meeting with three or more potential committee members to discuss what would make a nice dissertation. What have I done in this regard? Well, I've met with several people individually, and actually started said dissertation. This meeting isn't really a big deal. What's holding me up with having this meeting? Finding a time where three or more of my committee members can meet simultaneously. Effectively, checking off this milestone doesn't mean that I have a better idea of what my dissertation is... it means I'm a scheduling genius. Now, if I were smart, I'd realize this is a sign that I should find committee members that are easier to track down, but I'd rather have people who have a clue what I'm talking about. That means including a well-known, frequent-travelling professor from the next town over, and a math professor who doesn't read his e-mail, and apparently ignores phone calls too. I'm seriously having second thoughts about the math professor... he's interested in my area, but perhaps one, while less interested, who actually reads his e-mail, would be a better choice. There are several great people in other states/countries who would be perfect for my committee... but I'm *not* going there. Well, the last two (besides my advisor) aren't that hard to get ahold of, but they're also the ones least appropriate for my committee... is this really the meeting I want to have? Well, if I do, it has to be today... because one of them is leaving for an extended period starting Saturday, and tomorrow is the faculty retreat. *sigh* However, the other doesn't seem to have gotten the e-mail I sent last night (after finally managing to talk to the one leaving), and so I guess this meeting isn't going to happen.

And the department wonders why I'm not checking off milestones.

There are several other milestones just like that... I've basically got them done, except for one silly little snag. And summer is not a good time for completing milestones that require contact with professors. *sigh*

If only the end of term hadn't snuck up on me... J and I had been putting off some of these little ones in the hopes I'd have my proposal ready, and could conquer a bunch of these milestones with one fell swoop. The proposal is getting there, but not quite done. J wants it to be my literature review as well, so I've got a bunch of math-heavy papers to finish reading. (I *like* these papers, really I do, but they're slow going.)

So that's where I am this morning. Trying to find a third professor, on the chance we can meet today. Plus trying to finish up my proposal... J thinks if we're dragging the Duke prof over here, it should be for something better than a 3+ person meeting, and suggests we make it an informal proposal meeting. (Aren't I supposed to have all 5 for the proposal? I don't think his plan is going to hold water... the dates the Duke prof gave me don't work for the prof who's leaving soon. And will an "informal proposal" fly with my other committee members? And department? Blargh.)

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


I have a headache. I forgot to bring my lunchtime vitamins today... which includes my magnesium supplement. (I doubt the headache is from that... it's too fast.) My neck kind of hurts too. Maybe my neck is actually causing my headache. Or maybe both are from a not-so-nice e-mail I got last night. Mostly I just feel like whining... and it's my blog, so I'll whine if I want to. (I do try to warn you, so you at least know to skip reading these posts.)

I had a bit of trouble falling asleep last night... strange, given how tired I was at the end of the afternoon yesterday. And I didn't have a nap at work, either, since it was nearly 5 when the tiredness hit.

Speaking of sleeping, according to an article in Organic Style, on average, women these day get seven hours of sleep per night (I can see that), but 100 years ago, women got *ten* hours of sleep per night. TEN! On *average*! Can you imagine? Wow. Somehow I find this hard to believe.

One summer I experimented, and found that I was quite well rested if I got 9 hours of sleep per night. However, between sleeping, working, and commuting to and from work, that left pretty much no time left. It was a rather dull summer, going to sleep so soon after dinner. :P


Oops... the piece of polar fleece I use under my wrist brace must have moved... I woke up with a lovely "mosquito bite" welt at the base of my thumb. I hate latex allergies. Modify that... I hate allergies. Period.

I think I'll double the thickness of polar fleece I'm using, and sew in an actual thumb protector. Maybe that'll prevent another mosquito bite morning.

Oh... and my eyelids are still swollen, but not *as* swollen as yesterday morning. :P

Tuesday, May 10, 2005


Derm was nice and saw me early, so I didn't spend as much time as student health as I was dreading. I was there long enough, however, that both of Josie's socks are past the heel.

The derm appointment was strange. A different doc (again), she didn't use the little magnifying device, and said that all my moles looked fine and dandy. (And she looked at *all* my moles.) Now, if only the derm doctor back in January had said that, I could have saved some time & worry! *sigh*

Well, back to coding. :)

Romance for one

I woke up with swollen eyelids again this morning. :P

I asked JS if he had any ideas on how to get rid of the fumes from the plastic. He suggested fire... if they're hydrocarbons, they might burn. I don't have a fireplace, so I think I'll have a romantic evening lit by tealights tonight. I doubt they'll help, but they'll at least be fun. Too bad I don't have anyone to share my romantic evening with. *sigh* ;)

Monday, May 09, 2005


You know, some days it kind of sucks being me. I realize things could be worse... after all, I can afford my groceries, I live in a relatively nice place, I have friends and family who love me, I don't have any diseases that are trying to kill me (at least, not at the moment... make my life miserable, maybe, but not actually killing me). But, today I feel kind of like a canary in a coal mine.

I've closed up the windows now, because I wasn't sure how much pollen was sneaking through the tea towels. My eyes are swollen and sore, my nose is itchy/sneezy/stuffed/etc, my mouth is kind of itchy, and I've been chewing on my tongue...

I wasn't feeling snowflakey tonight (just flakey), but I was feeling like working on socks... so Josie, your socks now have a heel and a half. I've got two doctor's appointments tomorrow (derm & reg), so there's a good chance I'll come very close to finishing them off.

I haven't mailed Alison's blue socks yet. I just wasn't feeling like going to the post office this morning, I'm out of the right size envelopes, and I still need to work in those two ends and write down where I made the increases, etc. (I want to do similar ones on the cream socks.)

I did do my dishes. And cook a real meal. Although I did try consoling myself with an unlimited number of chocolate chip cookies. Unfortunately, chocolate chip cookies don't seem to have any anti-allergy effects... no matter how many I ate. (I think I must have had somewhere around six... definitely not good for my waistline... but I'll worry about that later.)

Well, I'm going to go have a shower before bed, to see if that helps any.



It appears "spine-crusher" is indeed the current source of my misery. My allergies were bothering me enough that I decided to go home early and sleep it off. I put the lounger outside as soon as I got home, and then lay down for a nap. Several hours later... I'm awake, but my head hurts even more than it did, and my eyes are again as swollen as they were when I got up. Anyone know how to clear chemicals from the house without letting the pollen in? I think I'll try opening the windows, but taping towels over them to catch the pollen.


Yuck. Allergies are acting up again. :P At first I thought it was because I went grocery shopping last night without wearing my mask, but now I'm suspecting the "free lounger" (aka "spine-crusher"... it was a heafty thing to lug home with my groceries) is off-gassing. I woke up this morning with swolen eyelids and a stuffed up nose. I've offered the lounger on freecycle (I don't really have a need for it anyway), so it'll be leaving soon. In fact, as soon as I get home, it's going out to the back porch. Of course, that doesn't get rid of any chemicals that have already permeated my apartment... and since it's spring, I can't just open the windows. :P

The kleenex up my nose has stopped the sneezing, but it's irritating the lining of my nose today. So, instead of sneezing, I hve a lovely burning feeling. Joy.

Aren't you glad you're not me? Maybe if I'm lucky, Antonio Banderas will buzz over and offer me some "seasonal allergy medication". ;)

Well, I should go finish off a bit of coding before my 2pm meeting. Later!

Silly Quiz

You are 71% Rational, 14% Extroverted, 42% Brutal, and 42% Arrogant.
You are the Robot! You are characterized by your rationality. In fact, this is really ALL you are characterized by. Like a cold, heartless machine, you are so logical and unemotional that you scarcely seem human. For instance, you are very humble and don't bother thinking of your own interests, you are very gentle and lack emotion, and you are also very introverted and introspective. You may have noticed that these traits are just as applicable to your laptop as they are to a human being. In short, your personality defect is that you don't really HAVE a personality. You are one of those annoying, super-logical people that never gets upset or flustered. Unless, of course, you short circuit.

To put it less negatively:

1. You are more RATIONAL than intuitive.

2. You are more INTROVERTED than extroverted.

3. You are more GENTLE than brutal.

4. You are more HUMBLE than arrogant.


Your exact opposite is the Class Clown.

Other personalities you would probably get along with are the Hand-Raiser, the Emo Kid, and the Haughty Intellectual.

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
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You scored higher than 56% on Rationality
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You scored higher than 12% on Extroversion
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You scored higher than 46% on Brutality
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You scored higher than 45% on Arrogance
Link: The Personality Defect Test written by saint_gasoline on OkCupid