Thursday, June 30, 2005

In the news...

Wow... Canada actually made the US news last night... our Health Minister stated that we can't be expected to supply drugs to the US:

Canada will ban the bulk exports of prescription medications when needed, as part of strategy to control internet pharmacies, says Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh.

It strikes me as rather arrogant that an athiest government thinks it can declare who the religious leaders are:

A teenage boy whom China is grooming to become Tibet's new religious leader has reportedly been allowed to meet thousands of people during a rare trip within China.

I'm happy this ancient creature was allowed to go free, rather than be stuffed and mounted:

A Manitoba angler could land his name in the record books for catching a two-metre sturgeon near Kenora.

It would have been nice had people not caught it in the first place (I only catch fish I plan to eat... I need to eat, I don't need to harrass and torture wildlife for "fun"), but it's better than nothing.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Status: falling leaves socks done (you didn't think tonight would be *all* work, did you?), and sockapal2za ready to go!



I just wanted to clarify that I didn't make the granny square afghan or embroidered pillow in this picture. The pillow was made by grandma S (who is turning 90 this August), and the afghan was made by my stepdad's aunt, who just celebrated her 93rd and a half birthday! (Mom and Bob were just out there, and they have a party when they're there.) Grandma S is actually my stepdad's mom, but I love her tons. ;) (And you can never have too many grandmas!)

*So* not the love I need...

Well, the postman left me a present today, but it was one I really didn't want. My tuition bill. As usual, tuition went up. What do I owe? Oh, just $5,017.76... around $300 more than last term. *sigh*

Another thing I could have done without tonight: waiting for a bus for 20 minutes, as 5 busses sailed past me (the first one marked "full," the next four were near-empty express busses) and mosquitoes dined on my flesh. So not only does the university request it's pound of flesh, the university mosquitoes take a down payment.

I'm about half way through reading that chapter... guess what I'm doing tonight? Wheee.


Well, I'm actually managing to accomplish something today... not dissertation something, but something nonetheless. It's my turn to present a chapter from "Molecular Driving Forces" to the group tomorrow, so that means I actually have to read said chapter. ;) Amazingly, I'm managing to do so. Nothing like a looming deadline that is also a manageable one. (Unmanageable ones just make me freeze up, and distant ones get forgotten.) It also helps that Dill and Bromberg seem to have a nice, readable writing style. (I could use a bit more background, but I'll survive.)

Well, back to reading. I *must* figure out what these "dipole moment" thingies are...


I took my vitamins today... did you?

I hadn't seen this one...

Amazing... an *new* e-mail story going around!

Catholic Parrots

A lady goes to her priest one day and tells him, "Father, I have a problem. I have two female parrots, but they only know how to say one thing."

What do they say?" the priest inquired.

They say, "Hi, we're hookers! Do you want to have some fun?"

"That's obscene!" the priest exclaimed; then he thought for a moment.

"You know," he said, "I may have a solution to your problem. I have two male talking parrots, which I have taught to pray and read the Bible. "Bring your two parrots over to my house, and we'll put them in the cage with Frank and Jacob. My parrots can teach your parrots to pray and worship, and your parrots are sure to stop saying that phrase in no time."

"Thank you," the woman responded, "this may very well be the solution." The next day, she brought her female parrots to the priest's house. As he ushered her in, she saw that his two male parrots were inside their cage, holding rosary beads and praying.

Impressed, she walked over and placed her parrots in with them.

After a few minutes, the female parrots cried out in unison: "Hi, we're hookers! Do you want to have some fun?"

There was stunned silence. Shocked, one male parrot looked over at the other male parrot and exclaimed,

"Put the beads away, Frank, our prayers have been answered!"

In the news...

Another reason to like Canada... fewer gun deaths:

The risk of death by gunshot has been cut in half in Canada and is far smaller than in the United States, Statistics Canada says.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


I'm tired... and have been for a while. Months, it seems like. Sleeping doesn't help much. I do sleep. I'm just tired all the time... and can sleep more, given the chance. K's started going to an "integrative health" place... run by a doctor that was trained in Western medicine, but has also learned Eastern medicine. They have a "whole body" outlook... they try to figure out what's causing everything, not just individual symptoms. If it works for K, I'm thinking of trying it too. The nurse practitioner she saw thinks it may be a hormonal imbalance. I did some reading... maybe that's what's causing my problems too... from the tiredness to depression to weight gain. I am on the pill... which could be causing the other problems, but I can't just go off the pill... it's what prevents my horrible monthly cramps. (Which were so bad, I'd lose an entire day to pain each month... pain nearly as bad as my kidney stones.)

I'm supposed to visit my doc here in July, so I'll see what he thinks... whether he has any solutions for my tiredness, or if he thinks Plum Springs might be worth a shot. I'll also be talking to my doc in Winnipeg while I'm there, and maybe she'll have some ideas.

I can't work when I'm tired. Not making progress makes me feel like crud. Great feedback, huh? :P Then there's my advisor asking for progress reports, and I feel even more like crud, because I don't have a reasonable amount of progress to report. *sigh* Maybe I'll do better tomorrow. I sure hope so.

On the upside, I'm nearly done the falling leaves socks, so I'll be able to start my sockapal2za socks any day now. (I don't want to have more than two pair going at once.)

Well, I'm for bed... tomorrow is another day.

Folded Throw


Folded neat and tidy, ready and raring to fly off to it's new owner.

Question: should I wash it first? It's not "dirty", but it may have picked up some dust while it was being worked on. However, it may pill if I wash it... and I'd sort of like the recipient to receive it in it's "pristine, unspoiled" state. What do you do?

Alternate Use


Here's the throw all spread out... a perfect fit for the top of a twin bed. (However, I really doubt the recipient sleeps in a twin sized bed.)

Suggested Use


Not a great photo, but then, I had to use the timer on my camera.

The throw is a perfect "nap on the couch" accessory!



Wheee! The throw is done! :) It's so nice this is off my WIP list. Although I like it, I've decided to give it away. It's perfect for snoozing on the couch, and I know someone who could use a few couch snoozes. ;) I sure hope she likes it!


I've started redesigning my blog. I've been wanting to do it for a while, but never had time. I've been getting annoyed with how long my sidebar is, so I've stolen the "menu compression" stuff from Deneen.

The little blue menu titles don't match my current blog design. I was going to make them match, but I've been wanting to switch over to a blue-based design anyway, so I decided to leave the titles the way they are.

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that my blog is going to look a tad ugly while I slowly get things the way I want. I'll let you know when I'm "done." ;)

You Can't Make It Up

But this blogger can post it! Her blog is hilarious. She's had a few good "Tom is nuts" posts lately, namely this one, and this one (scroll to the bottom).

I've been trying to resist, but here's my opinion, Mr Cruise: I think you could do with a few anti-psychotics yourself these days. Yes, ADD is overdiagnosed, and in many cases, turning off the tv and making kids run off some of that energy will help... BUT, you know *NOTHING* about depression (and post-partum). I have never had post-partum, but I've had depression. And until you've experienced depression, keep your big, idiotic mouth shut on the topic.

One last "Tom" thing... I know FOX news has been criticized a lot, but I thought it was at least pretending to be a real news provider. Doesn't this article make them sound like a trashy tabloid? (But it does make me wonder if Katie's been brainwashed... that, and her recent behaviour.)

Another funny post at You Can't Make It Up.

Socks in Progress

Socks in Progress
Socks in Progress

I'm getting some funky things happening with these socks... the falling leaves socks totally changed nature above the heel, and the sock for mom had the pale colours line up, and made this weird zig-zag pattern.

Okie... now it's *really* time for bed!

(I'll post a picture of the throw spread out tomorrow evening, after I decide what to do to finish it.)



As I said, not quite. I got a row of the "lacy" bit done, but not the return trip of single crochet. (With sc on the left, without on the right.)

Does it look better with or without that last row of sc? In other words, do I frog just the partial row of sc, or the sc plus the lacy row before it?

Ironically, now that I'm (nearly) done, I'm having thoughts of giving this throw away. Do I or don't I? I know there's no way I'm ever going to make another (too hard on the wrists), but will I enjoy it more than the person I'm thinking of? Hmmm...

Yarn Left

Yarn Left
Yarn Left

This is how much yarn was left when I started uploading the first photos... is there enough for another repeat?

Answer: almost. (Post to come.)

Monophotographic Posts


Kinda like monosylabic posts, but with multiple syllables.

I'm dead... it's waaaaaaay past my bedtime, but I'm waiting for the last of my photos to upload to flickr before I can go to bed. Blargh. Dial-up sucks sometimes. (Choosing to upload photos at this hour isn't terribly brilliant either...)

Anyway... lotsa yarn came, I want to play, but must finish at least one WIP first. I chose the throw, of wrist killing properties.

"It's not bothering me that much tonight." (I imagine my wrist tomorrow.)

"There's not that much yarn left." (I ignore the clock.)

"I want to finish this ^$&*#%*(%^#(&#$^@% thing!!!"

Mail Love

Mail Love
Mail Love

Lots of love in the mail today! (I didn't bother including the credit card offer... it wasn't as exciting as the rest.)

I got a really nice pair of circular knitting needles from Cara (thanks Cara!), yet another tempting catalog from KnitPicks (I *will* be good!), the yarn for my sockapal2za pal's socks, another Weasley kit (the yarn in the bag), and two balls of "blueberry" yarn, which will become a Sophie! (The blueberry yarn from Lanark Mills is neat... I think I can still feel the lanolin in the yarn, it's *sooo* pretty, and smells nice too! It came with the Weasley yarn.)

Why, oh why, couldn't the mailman spread the love out over a few days? *sigh*


Monday, June 27, 2005


This morning on NPR, they were interviewing Cornelia Funke, author of "The Thief Lord," "Inkheart," "Dragon Rider," and a bunch of other books that sound interesting. It turns out she's German! Ah-ha! I thought... here's some books that would be pretty good to read in German (since I want practice), because they sound interesting, *and* I'll be reading the original, rather than a book translated into German. So I checked I wanted to see how much it would cost to order some of her books. Ouch! It looks like they only have hardcover over there, and cost between 15-20 Euros... even before shipping! It doesn't surprise me too much... when I was over in Germany before, I remember being shocked at how much books cost over there. How do kids afford it? Is it because of smaller production runs? Do the authors earn more? Or are the publishers making a killing?

Hmmm... Paulina is over there right now. I could ask her to keep an eye out for a decent priced paperback... but it's probably hopeless... so I won't distract her from the fun stuff. ;) (I hope you're having lot of fun Paulina!)

In the news...

Well, I'm behind again, so here's my take on last week's news.

I'm glad I already have my ticket for my trip home this summer:

As the price of crude oil touched a new high, Canada's dominant airline said it's raising domestic fares by $8 to $15 each way to offset what it called record prices of aviation fuel.

Uh-oh... we're turning into Americans:

Almost half of Canadian households spend more money than they earn, with much of that spending financed by debt, a Statistics Canada study suggests.

One step forward:

Islamist and conservative politicians shouted in protest as Massouma al-Mubarak, Kuwait's first woman member of parliament, was sworn in on Monday.

Those Newfies aren't so stupid after all:

A group of high school and university students from eastern Newfoundland has won a robotics competition at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

(I want to take a tour of Atlantic Canada one of these days... when I actually have money and vacation time. ;) )

Maybe of those surveyed, but they didn't include Winnipeg:

Ottawa is the cheapest North American city in which to live, according to research released on Monday by a global employment consultancy.

On my eventual tour of Atlantic Canada, I think I'll skip this:

Police in Halifax have busted an operation that sent dealers to people's homes to deliver telephone orders of crack cocaine, magic mushrooms and other drugs.

Wish I were there... it's hot and muggy here:

People in Fort Nelson, B.C., are hoping for an entry in the record books after staging what they believe to be the world's largest water balloon fight.

I wonder how much stupidity would have been prevented had Guiness never started that book...

Yeah, right... even Hitler did a few good things... when he wasn't busy committing murder:

The Ku Klux Klan is a "peaceful organization" that did a lot of good in Mississippi over the years, a defence witness said Monday as testimony wrapped up in a triple-murder trial dating back to 1964.

Hey potato-head, that's not how dictionaries work:

British spud farmers protested outside Parliament Monday to demand that the term "couch potato" be taken out of the Oxford English Dictionary, saying the description is harmful to the vegetable's image.

You are not allowed to infect others with horrible diseases... take your meds, or else:

A court in Ottawa has ordered a man with a highly infectious form of tuberculosis to be held in custody while doctors treat him.

This is just stupid:

An attempt to erect a 16-tonne ice pop in a New York square froze traffic and created a sticky situation for the company behind the stunt.

Tip to lost kids... if you've been gone for a really long time, perhaps some of those people are there to HELP you find your way home? Parents... remember to teach your kids to *THINK*:

An 11-year-old Utah boy who spent four nights lost in the woods is doing "remarkably well" and catching up on his sleep, his visibly relieved parents said on Wednesday.


A small, fossilized mammal had what appears to be poisonous fangs that allowed it to bite like a snake – the first such find in an extinct mammal, Canadian researchers say.

Non sequitur:

A New Brunswick rotary club is drawing criticism over a plan to raise money for a new eco-centre by raffling off one of the largest gas-guzzling vehicles on the market.

Now if it were a nice little hybrid, I'd be buying a raffle ticket.

Another neato... those tiny little birds sure are smart:

The warning call of a chickadee packs more information than previously thought, say scientists who found the songbirds can communicate what type of predator is lurking.

I wonder who's downwind:

Afghan officials burned about 60 tonnes of narcotics Saturday in huge bonfires throughout the country.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Silly Quiz

The Stupid Quiz said I am "Totally Smart!" How stupid are you? Click here to find out!

If I change my answer for the number of planets from ten to nine, my score improves:

The Stupid Quiz said I am "Totally Smart!" How stupid are you? Click here to find out!

But didn't they find a tenth planet out past Pluto?

I imagine I got the number of states bordering the Gulf of Mexico wrong... my US geography sucks... but then, I'm Canadian. ;)

Oooo... if I claim I don't feel stupid, my score is even better:

The Stupid Quiz said I am "Totally Smart!" How stupid are you? Click here to find out!

Hmmm... and looking at the Atlas, I actually got the state count right... although one of them was Alabama, not Georgia.

Update: it looks like they aren't going to classify Sedna as a planet... here's what I found. Looks like Pluto shouldn't be one either. ;)

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Being Good

Wow... I was good tonight! I washed dishes (long overdue), made my bed, and folded and put away my clean laundry... all *before* midnight! Not only that, but I "cleaned" off my coffee table in preparation for "company" tomorrow. (S is bringing a friend, and by "cleaned", I mean I moved all my WIPs from my coffee table in the living room to my craft table in my bedroom.)

Well, I suppose I should brush my teeth, and tuck myself into my freshly made bed. Good night!

Forced Laziness

Here I am, having a lazy day. I finished reading Alta this morning... well, sort of morning. I finished before having my shower. The book was quite enjoyable, and I look forward to the last in the series coming out in paperback... even though I heard it wasn't as good as the first two, and mostly just tried to wrap the story up into a neat tidy package. But then, Mercedes Lackey likes doing that.

I've been doing laundry while I read... but not terribly actively. I figured that since I only have three loads, being super-prompt wasn't all that important. Three loads before bedtime isn't much. It's come back to bite me now... I only have two pairs of shorts that fit, and both are dirty... and just happen to be in the last load, which isn't even in the wash yet! So no going out for me. I only just discovered this, since I only had my shower at 3. ;) Now I sit here in a tank top and undies, eating a popsicle.

Cool... I noticed on the package that they're made in Canada. I'm feeling very patriotic as I sit here in my undies. I may be far from home, but I'm supporting my economy!

Looks like we also export really tacky humour to educate the American young. The joke on my stick: What is the most musical bone? A trombone.

Can this be some pathetic act of Canadian revenge?

As you can tell, I have really deep thoughts, sitting around in my undies.

I do have some fabric that I got on sale, intending to make into shorts. I wonder how funny they would turn out if I tried making shorts without using a pattern? Do I dare experiment? Will the experiment be worth it? In other words, if I'm too embarrassed to be seen in public in them, I'm no better off than I am just sitting here in my undies. Of course, I'll probably also want a zipper for them, and I don't have a zipper. Unless, of course, I pillage one from a pair of shorts that don't fit any more.

Another alternative is to pine away here with no groceries (the reason I was considering going out), until my old shorts fit. Although I imagine my other shorts will be out of the wash long before my pining does any good.

So I guess I'll just make the best of it.

Ah... the dryer just stopped. Time to flip the loads, and put my shorts in the wash.

Friday, June 24, 2005


Hey everyone, Misfit taking a poll, and is hoping to receive more than last week's record response of 14. Misfit complimented me the other day... she thinks I'm funny! I do so want to be considered funny... although I know I'll never rank up there with the Yarn Harlot and Crazy Aunt Purl. But anyways, I was so tickled by the fact that I have one admirer, that I wanted to return the favour somehow. So, if you don't mind sharing your favourite place to crochet, click on over!


I'm feeling kind of blah today. I'm not sure why. Possibly because it's Friday, and I haven't accomplished much this week. I wish I knew why I was sleeping so much.

I've thought of a possible definition of implied hinges, but am not sure I like it... it's kind of ugly, and not well organized. I'm trying to figure out how much I should play with it before I e-mail it to J, for him and B to laugh at work on.

I wish I had an officemate who was around. My officemate also has an office in another building on campus (over in Radiology, or something similar), and has been spending most of his time there. I think today I'd like some company. I haven't even been having lunch with K, because she's been too busy lately. (I hope you have a good doc appt today!)

I should decide whether I want to return my library books tomorrow. I finished reading one, and barely started the other. I probably *should* return them, but I don't really feel like messing with the bus system tomorrow... and I can renew them online for another three weeks. One of them is an older book, and the other is in German, so I doubt there's anyone clamouring to read them. Of course, if I did take them back, that would mean I would get some human contact... if not very exciting human contact.

I haven't been watching as much TV in the evenings. I've been enjoying the reading, but it's still lonelier than TV. Strange.

I think I'll try to finish my slippers tonight so that I can felt them tomorrow. They're a bulky crochet, so shouldn't take *too* long, once I get up off my butt and do them. I had stopped, because I lost confidence in the pattern I'm inventing. I've decided how to change it, but haven't gotten up the guts to attack it again. Silly, I know, but that's me.

Well, lunch is over, so I guess I should either work on my implied hinge definition, or figure out if there's a bug in my code. (I'm not sure if there's a bug, or I'm just giving it the wrong data. I need to work out a good example by hand, and then run it through my code.)

I hope you're having a nice Friday.

Thursday, June 23, 2005


No love in the mailbox today... not even a bill or a flyer. Of course, I've got a phone bill from a couple of days ago that I've been saving. (Or something.)

However, I did get two e-mails saying that yarn bliss will soon be mine! One from overseas saying my Weasley kit (and two balls of "blueberry" worsted for a Sophie) are now winging their way to me, and one from saying my sockapal2za yarn is also coming. (Can you believe someone has finished already!? I'm so astonished, that I think this is the second time I'm commenting on it.)

Lots of sockly progress here today. Falling leaves is past the heel, I finished off one toe sock, and, due to a group meeting, I made quite decent inroads on mom's socks, even though I only started them this morning. If I'm lucky, I'll finish either falling leaves or mom's socks before my sock pal's yarn arrives... I want to start them when the yarn arrives, yet I'd also prefer not to have three pairs of socks in progress. I had been making such nice progress about cutting down my WIPs, but recently I've been backsliding.

I had intended to make some progress on the LB throw, but my wrist was clicking even with just socks, and the TV movie I was planning on watching (The Mexican) turned out to be something else (Married with Children, I think). So I read Alta instead.

I was bad, and stayed up until nearly 1 am yesterday... I *must* exert more willpower tonight! (I exerted willpower with the yarn recently... so willpower for bedtime must be possible, right?)

Well, it's late, so I'll go brush my teeth, and maybe read one more chapter before bed. ;)

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Socks & Restraint

Socks & Toe Socks
Socks & Toe Socks

Here's Bob's socks. (I still need to weave in the last ends, but they're basically done.) Also shown are the latest two pairs of toe socks for Grandma S (both using yarn from Jess) and the falling leaves sock in progress... in case anyone (besides me) is curious as to how the yarn is working up. There is some faint striping occasionally... it really is quite fascinating yarn.

I've decided to be good, show restraint, and not place an order from Knit Happens. I don't need the yarn right now, there will be other sales in the future, and finding a nice Noro/Cascade (or other solid coloured wool) combination will be easiest if I have the skeins in front of me.

I'm feeling pretty proud of myself, for being such a good girl!

The toe sock I'm working on currently is using the leftover variegated yarn from Bob's socks. I finished Bob's socks part way through a practice talk (black is a bit of a pain in a darkened room), and the leftovers is what I had with me to start toe socks. So I don't get to start the yummy Koigu just yet! ;)

My next pair of socks are some rainbow stripe Regia ones for my mom. (They need to be done by August, and falling leaves don't.)

Still no sign of my sockapal2za pal's sock yarn. It should arrive sometime this week.

I started reading Alta... I'll try not to stay up too late. ;)

Grommetless in NC

Dang. I just checked my Amazon order, and the estimated delivery for my grommet kit isn't until July 2-12. I WANT MY SHOWER CURTAIN! After all that work I put into it in the wee hours of the morning! *sigh* (I ordered the kit last week, and chose "super saver shipping"... no the grommet kit didn't cost $25, but I added two books to top up the order... nothing like needing an excuse to buy books. ;) )

Speaking of excuses to buy stuff... I'm somewhat peeved that Jess pointed out that Knit Happens is having a 20% off sale. (No, I'm not peeved with you Jess.) I'm over budget this month, and I'm trying to decide whether I can afford to splurge even more on yarn. *sigh* No, I don't *need* more yarn. I have planned projects coming out the wazoo. But I *want* some Noro Kureyon and Cascade 220 to make a fulled knit bag with a two-colour pattern. I had been planning on getting some Noro at Ram Wools when I was home in August, since I'd be able to look at the balls in person then. However, it'll be cheaper if I buy it now from Knit Happens. I'm thinking #40 for Noro, and Forest Heather for Cascade. Do you think that would make some neat Fair Isle style knitting? (I have until Friday to decide.) Juli is working on a booga bag from Noro 40, and has a good picture of the colourway (in partial bag form). I think the Forest Heather will provide a nice "neutral" contrast colour. One of the books I ordered from Amazon is 101 Folk Art Designs for Counted Cross Stitch, and I think it'll have some lovely patterns for two-colour knitting. Black would be a better contrast colour, but I'm not a big fan of black. I basically want to design my own Kristina Bag, which only uses one ball of each of Noro and Cascade... but I want mine bigger. I'm thinking 2 balls of Noro and 3 of Cascade should produce a decent sized bag, and any leftovers can be made into more fun potholders to RAOK people with.

And would you look at this latest Alison Effect:
Alison effect
Her powers seem to be increasing. They've *doubled* since the last spike. I'm impressed! ;)

Oh... and with my Saturday experiment... I got more hits this Saturday, but it's still the lowest point of the week, even with no posts on Friday. Conclusion? Everyone's off having fun on Saturday, and it has nothing to do with my Saturday posts. ;)

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Snowflake Monday


Yes, it's Tuesday. However, I finally beat this snowflake into submission. I still need to work in the ends and block it, but I proclame it "done". Yes, even though it's missing a picot on the bottom right spike... I didn't notice that until after I cut the thread and was trying to take a picture. Maybe a warm gust caught the snowflake and melted that picot off. And aren't they supposed to all be unique?

Time to put my fried brain to bed. With NO 266 page books to keep it up. (Although I do have a 434 page book I'm saving for tomorrow night... ;) )


That's how mush my brain is... I'm not reading a proof of the molecular conjecture, but for a necessary and sufficient condition for 3D rigidity. They're related, but different. Sheesh.

Perhaps it was the book. Last night I was reaquainted with the problem of reading before bed... luckily the book was only around 200-300 pages. (I haven't looked to see exactly how long it was.) I think I finished before 1am, but I'm not sure. (Did I mention my brain is mush?) Anyways, the book was quite good. It was a "make fun of fairy tale stereotypes", but written well enough that it wasn't just another cliché. The female characters weren't idiots either, which is always nice. ;)

What else is new... hmmm... one of Bob's socks is done. That's good, because I want to finish two pair for my mom before I go home in August... and my Sockapal2za yarn should be arriving soon. I haven't worked much on my big projects recently... those toe socks have been distracting me. The grommet kit hasn't arrived yet either. (Heap of shower curtain is occupying my craft table.) I cut my hair again on Sunday... nice having nice short hair. Okie... this list is getting boring. Later...


I got free pizza, but giving demos is exhausting. I gave a bunch of little 15 minute demos, which is just long enough to get them really bored if I describe what I do, but not long enough to fold some origami. (My demo title was "Origami"... because some of what I do is "folding," and I help J with his Paper to Proteins class.) Missy only asked me to do the demos yesterday. The kids were in grades 7 and 8, which is usually the age I do modular polyhedra with, but 15 minutes is way too short. I'm rambling and repeating myself, but after repeating myself every fifteen minutes for two hours straight... my brain is mush. I was supposed to talk informally at lunch hour with the girls, but some lady from the university talked too long... but that may have been because the demos ran late. At any rate, I got to eat pizza while the girls asked the univeristy lady about the social life in the dorms... totally not what they were "supposed" to be asking, but apparently what they were interested in.

I like free pizza, but I don't like mushy brain. I now need to apply my mushy brain to the molecular conjecture, to see if I can "rescue" a proof. (J and B think they have one, but I'm not so sure. So I guess first I have to understand what their rough write-up means before I can poke holes in it... and it's tough going, when there are \cap vs \cup typos to contend with. J and B are over in Europe, so we can only communicate via text.)

Well, I think I'll let my mush brains recover with a tiny bit of blog reading before I reattack the proof.

Mushily yours...

Monday, June 20, 2005

In the news...

I'm a little behind, but here goes.

I don't buy it:

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper will hit the festival and barbecue circuit across Canada this summer to persuade voters he's a nice, warm guy with a good sense of humour.

Like we need more TV:

A Winnipeg man believes television advertising could be the key to pumping more funds into the city's struggling transit system.

Kids... don't sniff!

Parents are being warned that some young teens may be inhaling computer duster products, an extremely dangerous method of getting high.

My kind of "vandalism":

Guerrilla gardeners are launching an attack on Winnipeg's downtown, filling empty city planters with blooms to try to cut down on urban ugliness.

Fun history:

Ancient Egyptians made glass out of raw materials more than 3,000 years ago, say archeologists working in the eastern Nile delta.

Stupid "science":

A drug company should be able to market a heart failure drug to blacks only, an advisory panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommended on Thursday.

(It's not the skin colour that's affecting the medication... find out what it is, and market to *that* group!)

This happens every year... parents, WATCH YOUR KIDS!:

A nine-year-old boy drowned in a pool in a Winnipeg apartment building Thursday evening.


I needed a good walk, so went out galumphing. I galumphed over to the arboretum, galumphed several loops through the arboretum, then galumphed over to the bookstore. I had intended to get two books, some postcards, some envelopes, and some of that resist stuff used in watercolours. (Walking through the arboretum reminded me that I wanted to play with watercolours.) I couldn't find the resist stuff, nor the right sized envelopes. I did get some postcards (I wish they had a larger selection... I hope I don't send any repeats), and two books, although not the two books I had intended. I did get "Alta" by Mercedes Lackey, but instead of getting the latest paperback Pern novel by the McCaffreys (which wasn't in), I got "The Unhandsome Prince" by John Moore. (Who also wrote "Heroics for Beginners," which I haven't read either.) It looks to be an amusing light read.

I'm somewhat peeved to see that while I've been too busy to read, authors keep publishing! Sheesh. They don't publish enough when I do have time, and then when I don't... *poof* they overproduce. (Don't try to claim it has something to do with my reading speed.) It looked like there were tons of books I'd be interested in, but I managed to restrict myself to two. There's also sequels out to lots of books I've read... but I read them long enough ago that I'd have to re-read those earlier books... and I have even less time for that. I've got a whole *stack* of books on my nightside table!

I think it must be all this blog reading that's cutting into my fiction reading... I think I'll turn the tv off for the rest of the summer to catch up on all my reading!!!

Bad Smells

Notes to self:

1) Ben & Jerry's ice cream tastes good, but contains eggs. Eggs give me gas. Smelly gas. Do not eat Ben & Jerry's if planning on going out in public in the next 24 hours. Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!

2) When the pantry starts smelling like dead fish, check the potatoes. Check them well. Even if I only bought them recently, and the ones on top look fine. Do not trust the potatoes. They are tricksy, my precious.

3) Homemade hummus tastes yummy. Adding 6 cloves of garlic instead of 3? (Because some were small, and then you might as well finish off the head.) Probably healthy. Tastes yummy. Likely ensures all after-lunch meetings end quickly.

Anyone else interested in homemade hummus? I make it myself because I'm alergic to sesame seeds. Here's my recipe:

2 cans organic garbanzo beans (aka chick peas, ~15 oz cans?), drained and rinsed
3 (or more) cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp lemon juice (check the best before date... expires fast)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika

Add all ingredients to a large bowl, and mash with a potato masher to the desired consistency. (Lumps add nice texture.)

To quote my dad, "Easy, huh?"

Sunday, June 19, 2005

To Do... and Done

Done: Shower curtain, red toe socks.

To do: finish pita bread. I started early, but still have to put them in the oven. (It's ready to go in the oven, but I was busy with my shower curtain... a bit silly, since I can't use the shower curtain right away, but need the bread for tomorrow.)

Did anyone else try baking pita bread? How did it turn out?



Ro asked about my watches. The new one is on the left, the old one on the right.

Shower Curtrain

Shower Curtrain
Shower Curtrain

Well, I finished my shower curtain, except for adding the grommets. (The grommet kit hasn't arrived from Amazon yet... I only ordered it on Friday.)

When I was nearly done, I found myself asking "why." Why did I spend nearly two days making a shower curtain? I'm a grad student... do I really need a "pretty" shower curtain? When I add in the cost of my time, is making it myself really a good deal?

Although sewing isn't my favourite craft, I decided that yes, I was having fun, and I *will* enjoy it until it wears out. So yes, it was worth it.

I went with two blocks instead of three across the top. It meant a bit less sewing, and I'll have some of the batik fabric left over for my quilt. :) You can't really see it in this photo, but it's a pretty mottled blue with yellow leaves. If I have spare flickr bandwidth at the end of the month, I'll post a close-up of the fabric. ;)

More socks I've made for me

Socks I've made for me
Socks I've made for me

These are the socks that were in the wash when I took the first photo.

All of these socks are cotton blend. From right to left (on both rows), we have:

Lang Jawoll Cotton... *love* these. Whenever I tell people I made yellow and orange striped socks, they think I'm crazy. But then they see these, and come around. ;) I'm not normally a yellow and orange person, but I *love* these crazy socks!

Meilenweit Cotton Fun & Stripes... mmm! My rainbow fix for summer! Very comfey too.

Meilenweit Cotton Fantasy... third pair of socks I made. I bought this yarn last minute before a conference, when I didn't have much selection. I wasn't crazy that the colours looked a bit faded, but they're very practical... they match lots of my t-shirts. (Even though I'm a "blue" person, I seem to have lots of green t-shirts.)

Regia Jacquard... I made these too long (I was curious how much came in a ball... *too* much), and am not crazy about the colour either. However, the yarn was cheap.

Lang Jawoll cotton... not my favourite colourway, and they've faded a bit, but still nice socks. Lang makes very nice yarn... very comfortable.

Sockotta... great colour, no pooling, very comfortable, and *great* price.

Last: another pair of Meilenweit Cotton Fantasy. Same comments as above, but this time they match my tank tops. ;)

Besides socks for me, I can remember making at least 8 other pairs... 3 for Alison, 1 for Bob, 2 for Mom (one pair of which was originally for me, but I couldn't wear because of the elastic), 1 for Valerie, and 1 for Josie. In the works: 1 for Bob, 2 for Mom, and my Sockapalooza pal's socks.

My original thought was that I'd reach an equilibrium where socks would wear out at the same rate that I was making them, but I have yet to wear out a pair. My sock drawer is getting rather full... but then, there's always different fun socks to make. ;)

Socks I've made for me

Socks I've made for me
Socks I've made for me

I've made a lot of socks for me over the past year, and I feel like reviewing them. Here's a bit over half of them... these are the ones that were clean before doing laundry yesterday. (The rest are in the second photo.)

Most of these are wool socks, since I'm not wearing wool too much these days. (At 90F, can you blame me?) In the top row, the blue stripe socks (Regia Cotton), and the greenish pair (KnitPicks Dancing) are both cotton. I put the blue stripe pair on after taking the photo. I'm wearing the greenish pair today.

The purple pair in the bottom left (Kroy, winter eclipse) is the first pair of socks I ever made. I don't wear them too much, though, because I made them too tall without making the legs fat. Same with the red pair (Sock It To Me Colori, Sonoma Sunrise). The blue pair with the funny top (Kroy) is mostly fine, but the top never gets seen... it's covered by pants in winter, and this pair is too hot for summer. Oops.

Middle row, left to right: Koigu... very nice, but a pain to hand wash. I think I also made them a bit big, and I'm not sure they're as durable as other socks I've made. Wolle Rodel from Josie... ended up a bit shorter than I prefer. The yarn is on the thick side for sock yarn, and there's less per ball. (Only 150m/50g.) Lang Jawoll Color Superwash... I striped two similar variegated colours. I *love* this pair! Great stripes, lovely colours, and *sooooo* soft! Last, but not least, Scheepjes Invicta Extra. This pair is quite soft, and the yarn was on the thin side... but it seems that every colour is different when it comes to softness & thickness. But they all tend to be the thinner sock yarn... which I like.

Top row, left to right: Regia ringel color... mmmm! Regia Cotton... I started with some of the original Regia Cotton, which is thicker and has less yardage, and thus had to buy an additional ball. However, I ended up with a very nice pair of socks, if a bit thicker than I really prefer. Last is the KnitPicks Dancing socks from Jess. I hadn't realized there was elastic in this yarn until I got it, but it's all in the center, and so doesn't appear to be causing a problem yet. Hopefully it won't, because I quite like these socks.

Update: I forgot to mention the socks in the bottom right corner: KnitPicks crayon... nice, but the yellow was a bit "dirty", and there were splashes of colour where they didn't belong.

Saturday, June 18, 2005


Well, nothing exciting to report. I did my grocery shopping, had dinner, and watched a movie. I didn't bake my pita bread, or work on my shower curtain, but I'm fairly happy with what I did manage to accomplish today, and there's always tomorrow for the rest. ;)

Just heard from Suzanne... we're not getting together tomorrow, so that leaves me free all day. Plenty of time to procrastinate doing pita bread and shower curtain. ;)


Since my last post: brushed teeth, had shower, got dressed (impressive, I know... but wait! there's more...), first load of laundry in dryer, last load in washer (I got away with only two loads today... shocking!), washed dishes (except for two plates... ran out of bubbles, and didn't feel like refilling the sink for just two plates), and... get this... washed the pollen off my back door! Yay! (I felt like I was letting old pollen into the house every time I opened the door. The front door is okay, because the screen door is actually glass.)

Still to do: pita bread, groceries, dinner, washing dishes (yes, I'll need to repeat this step after baking and cooking... *sigh*), and shower curtain.

It would be nice if I cleaned up around here a bit too... but if I get everything else on my list done, I'll be pretty happy!

Clickety Clack

Accomplishments so far today: ate breakfast, finished reading a National Geographic (that I was nearly done reading already), read blogs, posted to my blog, crocheted half a toe sock (using the red rainbow yarn from Jess), and e-mailed my pita bread recipe to Deneen.

Today is definitely a good day for sewing my shower curtain... as I was working on the toe socks, my wrist was going clickety-clack. (Indicating that if I don't stop, I'll make the pain start up again... so not much crochet in store for today.)

If anyone else is interested in my pita bread recipe, here it is:

Pita Bread recipe:

1 pkg yeast
1 tbsp sugar
2 c lukewarm water
1/3 c milk
6 c flour
2 tsp salt

Dissolve yeast, sugar in 1/2 c water, let sit 5-10 min. Put flour & salt in bowl, mix, make depression in centre. Mix water, milk, yeast mixture & pour in depression. Mix. Knead until smooth & elastic. Let rise until double, approx 2-4 hrs. Cut pieces from edge & shape into orange size balls. Let rise for 1.2 hr. Roll balls to 1/4 inch thick. Let rise for 1/2 hr. Preheat oven to 475F. Place bread directly on racks. Cook 2-5 min until puffed up. Place under broiler for a few seconds.

I also toss in some oat bran for more fibre, since I can't have whole wheat flour.

Oh... and when I say "place under broiler for a few seconds," I *mean* a few seconds. Watch through the window, and when the element turns red, take the pita bread out. Also, if you watch through the window, you'll know what I mean by "puffed up"... they puff up like balloons. (If you have kids, watching through the window is a job they'll likely enjoy... and it'll save your knees. ;) )

Other hints: For the first rising, put the bowl (covered by a tea towel) in the oven with the oven light on. This produces a great temperature for making bread rise. When you have the balls & rounds, place on a tea towel, and cover with a second. It doesn't really matter what size you make the balls... you'll just end up with different sized pitas. So it's really a matter of preference.

Although there's a lot of rising, making pita bread really is low effort. Most of the time you spend ignoring it. ;)

Lazy Day

Today is a lazy day. All I need to do is laundry, grocery shopping, pita bread, dishes, ...well, ignoring all that, it's a lazy day. I don't need to deal with the crappy Saturday bus service, so I can do all my errands on *my* schedule. (Which means putting them off and doing everything really late, because my day has disappeared without me noticing.)

Since I'm around the house today, I thought I'd try an experiment. I've noticed my blog hits are really low on Saturdays, and I was wondering if that was due to my lack of posting (because I'm out waiting for the bus somewhere), or because all of my readers are off doing something. So, I figure I'll try to post more today, and see what happens to my hit count. ;)

Besides chores and random blog posting, I think I'll try to finish up my shower curtain today. Or, as much as possible. I've decided to use grommets instead of a tab top (since I don't have enough material for a tab top, and buttonholes are a pain), so I need to wait for the grommet kit to arrive from Amazon.

I did stop at the Wally World complex on my way home from Duke on Thursday. (I might as well get as much as I can out of my $4 round trip bus fare.) I found the rubber mallet I needed to install the grommets, but I didn't see a grommet kit. I saw some grommets, but not the gadgets for installing them. (Is it called "installing"?)

I also bought a replacement folding umbrella, and actually found a replacement carabeener watch! This one doesn't have a compass though... I did see one with a compass, but it didn't work. The compass, that is. The packaging said the compass was for decorative purposes only, and sure enough, the compass didn't point in any particular direction. Geez... if you've gone to the effort of putting the water bubble and compass face in, is it *really* that much more effort to add a magnet? Sheesh. So I got one without a compass... I didn't want to be looking at the compass and wondering why it didn't point north. (Which I so totally would be doing if I had bought the compass one.) The numbers on the watch face sure are funky, though. Ro, if you don't like that tilted coffee cup, *don't* buy this watch! It is a Timex, though, so hopefully the quality will be decent. So far it hasn't decided to beep annoyingly, so that's good! I was a bit miffed that it didn't have a timer as well as a chrono feature, but I guess they don't do much on their $15 watches. :P

I stopped in at Michaels too... (no grommet kit there either) and bought some postcard watercolour paper, a storage box on sale, and some bamboo circulars that were on sale $5 instead of $9. It was a size I don't need, but I thought I'd give them a try... I had lots of recommendations to try out different kinds, so I figured finding a pair on sale was a sign I should try it. ;) The others were regular price (and it turns out the Boye and Susan Bates were only about $5, so my whine about all circulars being outrageously expensive was unjustified), so I figured I'd try those when I needed ones in those sizes. No point in buying needles I don't need when they're regular price. ;)

Hmmm... methinks it's time to go eat breakfast... ;) Later!

Friday, June 17, 2005


Well, I don't like having so many WIPs. Since I had to frog the toe to midnight waves anyway, I figured I might as well just wind the yarn back onto the ball, and put it away for later. That was an easy UFO pledge achievement. ;)

I finished the mottled green toe socks tonight. I'll post a picture later. I can't decide which pair to do next... a yummy koigu pair, or one where I don't need to wind the yarn into balls first. The koigu is calling to me, but I can't decide which of the two colourways to do first. And I'm sort of "saving the best for last." I guess that means I'll either do the red variegated, or the blue sock it to me.

Well, it's long past time I should be in bed. I just wanted to finish up those toe socks first. Good night.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Puppy Love

There's nothing like having a soft, fluffy puppy in your lap. Even if he likes chewing a bit, the puppy kisses totally make up for it! Soft, warm, alive... I'm in love! Unfortunately, with someone else's puppy. *sigh*

I met Rip (short for some variety of ripple ice cream... I forget which) over at Duke. I had a meeting with one of my committee memebers over there. Rip's a poodle something-or-other cross. (Okay... so I really wasn't paying attention to anything Rip's "daddy" was saying... I was totally engrossed with Rip... who I've renamed "Rip Chew.")

Lots of puppy snuggles and licking with no allergies!

Mmmmmm.... :))

In other news, the meeting went well, and I made lots of progress on Bob's socks on the way there and back. (I was feeling like I'd be carsick if I tried to work on my laptop... that happens occasionally.) On the way there, some nitwit was smoking for a bit. He stopped just as I figured out who it was. I'm not sure if he was doing it on purpose, or if he hadn't completely put out his cigarette before boarding, and didn't notice. However, it was lit long enough that it stank up the bus. :P Between the smoke and the heat (after exiting the bus... busses down here have AC, thank goodness!), I had a splitting headache by the time I got to the building where my meeting was. Luckily I had the puppy to make the nasty headache go away! ;)

... I am in puppy love!

Yay! Bug squashed!

I fixed my "out of memory" error, and it was indeed the fact that the ArrayLists weren't being garbage collected. :) I switched from ArrayLists (which I used "clone" for my save/restore operation) to regular arrays (for which I had to write an iterator, but could use the same memory and copy the elements manually), and the error went away. :)

Okay... now I can try to find a nice set of test bonds for rigidity transmission... assuming they exist.

I suppose I should test my code on an example where I know transmission exists... that would be logical.

I'm off to generate such an example... lets hope I have something interesting to show by the time I get to Duke for my meeting... ;)

Silly Quiz

You know that broken quiz that thinks everyone is "slow and steady"? Well, I actually got it to produce a different result:

Shy and Withdrawn
People think you are shy, nervous, and indecisive.
You're thought of as someone who needs looking after...
People see you as a worrier who always sees problems that don't exist.
Some people think you're boring. Only those who know you well know that you aren't.

It turns out that if you don't fill out *any* answers, it thinks you're indecisive. (Gee... really? ;) )

Good Morning

I straggled in to school this morning at a much better hour. Not ideal, but better. Of course, the panic due to an afternoon meeting may be my driving force.

Speaking of panic, I've been having more of my little panic attacks since decreasing my Prozac. My mood is still good, just more of my little occasional bouts of 10 second "ackIcan'tbreathIambadwhatamIdoingIambadbadbadIneedtohurlack" attacks. They go as quickly as they come... leaving me a little tense, but some conscious relaxation helps that pass too. They're a nuisance, but I can handle them. The only time one *really* bothered me was one that happened when I was walking with my dad, and realized I was talking/muttering out loud about the crazy racing thoughts in my head. Luckily my dad's a bit deaf, so I don't think he noticed.

My apartment looks strange to me now. It's so naked. I wonder how the lack of shrubbery will affect my cooling bill?

The temperature was much nicer as I came to school this morning. I'll have to see if I can manage even earlier tomorrow. :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Swatching Sockapal2za

Swatching Sockapal2za
Swatching Sockapal2za

I followed Jess's advice, and tested my stash yarn by swatching. (Swatching for socks means starting them, since I start with the toe. ;) ) Since my sock pal's feet are narrower than mine, I decided to swatch with the same brand yarn that I'll be making socks for me with, and see how they fit. The yarn recommended 2.5-3 mm needles/hook, and I usually use a 3.5 hook. I checked out my selection of sock hooks, and the only one in the recommended range was 2.75 mm, so I started the blue toe with that. I found it annoying... I kept snagging the yarn when I tried to crochet. I ended up with a very dense fabric (boy, would those keep feet warm!), and much smaller than usual. I checked the ball band of another sock yarn I used, and it recommended a 2-2.5 mm hook, so I figured if the 3.5 produces fine results with it, it would likely be fine for these. Plus, this yarn is pretty similar in weight to the Scheepjes yarn I used once. So I started a swatch in the orangey yarn. Much better!

However, it's not striping. From looking at the ball, I was thinking it would produce subtle stripes, but it appears to be a regular variegated. Nice, but not stripes. For some reason, I really want to do stripes for my sock pal.

I think I'd prefer to create the stripes myself, rather than use self striping yarn. Since I don't have any strong feelings about the remaining three options that meet my desires, I'll go with the Silja. Economical is good. ;)

However, since these balls have been "broken into," I guess I'll just have to add them to my WIP list, and keep working on them! (I *have* wanted to play with this yarn since Josie gave it to me in January.) I can use the start on the orangey yarn (which I'm calling "falling leaves"), but I'll have to frog and restart the blue yarn (which I'm calling "midnight waves").

Also shown in this picture is the latest pair of toe socks. I've renamed them "silver lining," because they remind me that "every cloud has a silver lining". ;) They look like the rainbow that comes after a storm. I really think grandma S will love this pair! I can't wait until she opens her birthday present, and sees all the toe socks I've made her. :))

Silly Quiz

Pirate Monkey's Harry Potter Personality Quiz
Harry Potter Personality Quiz
by Pirate Monkeys Inc.

Odd... I used to be a T rather than an F, but I can see, based on the questions, why it thought I was an F. Of course, it's not exactly an accurate test. ;)

Update: Interesting... had I come up with my usual INTP/J, I would have been assigned Voldemort/Snape. Of course, it's all in what you *choose* to do with your life. ;)


I came home to discover a massacre had occurred in front of my apartment. The carnage had been hauled away, but the result was evident. My shrubs have been mutilated.

Before: thick, lush shrubs, about 5-6 feet tall, with suckers shooting up another 2-3 feet. (Yes, the suckers needed to be dealt with.)

After: 2 foot twigs sticking out of the ground, with a little bit of green here and there.

I don't know where my complex hires these landscapers, but they seem to be clueless when it comes to pruning a shrub so that it looks nice. (The only reason these looked thick and lush is that I had snuck in a little care myself.)

Ironically, they didn't prune the eucalyptus tree (which they had lopped off as a shrub the last go around). Why do I mention this? After the last lopping, the stress caused half the remaining branches to die. It would have been nice if they had removed the dead branches.

Site Statistics

Time again for more fun site statistics. Boy, was the Alison Effect ever strong yesterday:
site visit graph
Oh... and that big spike back on the 17th? That was her too. (She posted about the blue socks I made her.) Another fun thing I noticed? My blog's popularity seems to bottom out on Saturdays. (21, 28, 4, 11)

Yep, we can even tell what time she posted about me:
site visit graph
(Shortly after 9.)

Noo-nee-noo-nee-noo ... just me having fun with statistics! (I *like* graphs.)

Squeaky Clean


Well, I used it yesterday and today, and it's great! Thanks Natalie!

Now to figure out where I've seen it before... and then kick myself if it is indeed at Whole Foods...


Here, in no particular order, are my other ideas for my autumn-loving sock pal:

1) Lang Jawoll 0118:
sockapal2za sock options
Total cost = $5.50 x 2 = $11

The last three options I'm considering is to use three colours, alternating narrow stripes of each, with solid coloured heels and toes:

2) Regia 1994/315/327:
sockapal2za sock optionssockapal2za sock optionssockapal2za sock options
Total cost = $5.95 x 3 = $17.85

3) Silja charcoal heather/dark red/tan:
sockapal2za sock optionssockapal2za sock optionssockapal2za sock options
Total cost = $4.49 x 3 = $13.47

4) Soft Touch Heather charcoal/cajun spice/sand:
sockapal2za sock optionssockapal2za sock optionssockapal2za sock options
Total cost = $7.50 x 3 = $22.50

What do you think of these options? I naturally have a preference for the cheaper ones... being a starving student and all. ;) I also *love* my Lang Jawoll socks... they're *soooo* lovely and soft... so I think that's a plus too. I've never tried Silja or Soft Touch Heather, but their descriptions sound nice. (Oh... I should mention... if I order sock yarn (instead of using that ball from my stash), I'll be shopping at, because they have free shipping, and a better selection than my LYS. Either that, or I can buy some yarn in person at Ram Wools when I'm home in August. That wouldn't give me much time to make my sock pal's socks, but I'd have enough time.

Striping with three colours will probably be a bit of a pain (keeping the yarn from tangling, etc.), but would be more of a "personal touch" than just using a self-striping yarn.

Hmmm... decisions, decisions!

Toe Socks & Yarn

Toe Socks & Yarn
Toe Socks & Yarn

Three things.

1. Here's the finished merino fire toe socks (thanks Jess!).

2. I'm thinking of using this pale blue (instead of black) to finish off the easter egg toe socks. What do you think?

3. The orangey yarn is one option I'm considering for my Sockapal2za pal, who likes "autumn colours". Pros: (a) it's in my stash, (b) it matches my sock pals "likes", (c) I've been dying to try this yarn ever since Josie gave it to me (and I'll still have two balls of it for me). Cons: (a) I've never used this yarn before, so I don't know how it'll work up... it's thinner than other sock yarn I've used.

In my next post, I'll show you the other options I'm considering.


Walking across campus at the crack of noon is not a smart idea... not when it's 89F, out there. I am *so* NOT looking forward to summer. Something tells me it's going to be a heatwave year. :P


Tardy, tardy, tardy. I am so tardy today, and it's going to get worse... I need to stop in at the post office and pharmacy on my way in.

Yet another reason to wash *all* of my dishes when washing dishes: I'll have a better ratio of containers to lids when I'm chopping my coleslaw. (I had more than enough containers this morning, but was short three lids. Oops. In my defense, I only stop when the dishrack is full... and I mean FULL! Perhaps this is a sign I should wash my dishes more often...)

Knitters & crocheters are *so* nice! Thank you, all you *wonderful* people!!!

I got an e-mail from my secret sock pal! I'm *so* excited about sockapal2za! I'll post some of my ideas for my sock pal's socks later today. :)

Well, off to do my errands, so I can straggle in to school!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005


I have a killer headache. I was going to blog about sockapal2za stuff, but my head hurts too much. I'll blog tomorrow.

I finished the merino fire toe socks. :)


Knitting Question

Well, since Alison is sending a whole bunch of knitters over my way today, I'm thinking it might be a good day to ask a knitting question... and maybe some knitters will be kind enough to answer. :)

Recently I've been learning to knit. I'm thinking of buying some circular needles. I've noticed that a single pair of circulars (are they called a pair, even though it's one item?) costs in the range of $10-$20, with most around $15. Then there are interchangeable sets that are around $50. Right now there are two different sizes of circulars I'd like to get... that's $30 there. Am I better off biting the bullet and shelling out for a set? Or should I play with different ones first, to see what kind I prefer?

Another question... why is it that I can buy straights for less than $5, but add a cord, and they jump by more than $10 in price? And then when you take into account how many different sizes there are, both in diameter and in cable length... is this some evil ploy?

Brazen Invasion

There seems to be an invasion of giant, brazen roaches today. They're about 2" long, and marching across the middle of the floor, bold as all getout. One sauntered from the student lounge into my office, then scurried behind the filing cabinet before I could get a good swing at it. The second was meandering down the hall. Deepak smashed it to bits before it could escape. That's only two so far, but both were in the past half hour. Plus, the first one is still in my office. *shudder*

I hate roaches. :P

Stripey Sockapalooza Socks

Stripey Sockapalooza Socks
Stripey Sockapalooza Socks

Here's a photo of the tan stripe sockapalooza socks being modelled by Alison's feet. (Photo brazenly stolen from Alison's blog. With permission.)

Monday, June 13, 2005

Good and Bad

The number 100:
  • 100% on a test: good
  • $100 in a birthday card: good
  • "feels like 100F" as tomorrow's forecast: bad

My carabiner watch:
  • clips on my belt loop, keeping my wrist sweat free: good
  • dead compass: bad, but not fatal
  • suddenly deciding to beep every hour, on the hour, even in the middle of the night, starting last night: bad.
I've played with the settings, to no avail. I think I'll keep my eyes open for a new watch... too bad carabiner watches aren't more popular... it's going to be hard to find another. :P


I got MAIL today! Lots! I feel so loved! :) Look at all the mail I got:
Isn't that amazing? Three packages and a card. :) I got so excited, I had to take pictures of everything! (Well, except the card... I'm new at flickr, and am not really sure how many pictures I'll want to upload on an average month... and the free limit isn't *that* big.)

1. Thanks for the card Alison! I'm really glad you like the socks. :) And if you can't fix mine, don't worry. I'll love them even if I never get to wear them.

2. Thanks Colette! The buttons you sent me for the swap arrived today. :) I didn't mind waiting. Wow! Look at all the nifty buttons:
I love the little blue ones, and the white one with the metal trim, and the clear one, and the... um, you get the picture! ;) I love the tissue paper you used too. (I love old maps... they're so neat!)

3. Thanks Natalie! I opened the package and found *two* bars of glycerine soap!
And, um, they looked eerily familiar. Oops. Do they actually sell this around here? Did I try it back in 1999, decide I wasn't fond of it, and then forgot it existed? I'll feel really stupid if that's the case. Well, I'm going to try it out tomorrow morning, and will let you know how it works. :)

4. Last, but definitely not least, I got a nice, big, yarny package from Jess:
Most of this yarn will become toe socks for my grandma, and the white yarn will become a little R2D2 ornament, to go with Darth Tater. ;) (I have such great friends that they'll let me raid their stash! Don't worry... I'm sending (& sent) stuff to Jess in return.) I've already converted the lovely yellow/orange/red merino into toe socks. At 2.5" they're a bit short. Since this yarn seems about DK weight, I'll use some charcoal merino I have for my wool blanket to lengthen them a little bit. :) I shouldn't have any trouble with running out with any of the other colours, though. :) I'll post pictures when I have a few pairs done. ;)

Other news around here:

I do not like it, Sam I am. I do not like the weight I am. *sigh* Yet, did that stop me from eating four cookies and a popsicle to get me through washing dishes? No. Did I get on my exercise bike tonight? No. *Must* work on willpower! And NOT being tempted by cookies and yarn! (I wanted to do toe socks instead of riding my bike.)

I'll try to be better tomorrow night. At least I won't have to wash dishes before dinner tomorrow. ;)

In the news...

I guess I'm not the only Canadian who doesn't like Krispy Kremes:

Krispy Kreme's Canadian assets have been put up for sale seven weeks after the U.S.-based doughnut company had the firm that owns and operates stores in Canada placed under bankruptcy protection.

The hills and forests of Yukon are awash with wildflowers these days – some varieties blooming weeks ahead of their usual times, to the surprise of people who monitor plants.

Weasley Vote

Well, the votes are in and counted, and 100% of responders (me) say to scrap the current Weasley attempt, order a second kit, and just make the larger Weasley for me.

You'll notice that Weasley progress has already been set back to 0. *sigh*


Sunday, June 12, 2005

Snub Cube

Snub Cube
Snub Cube

One snub cube later, the memory of the insanity fades, and two happy people part until next weekend.

Inane Babbling

"You don't need to be smart to be a control freak, but it's better for the end result if you are."

Says me... who is desperately trying not to rip the modular polyhedra out of Suzanne's hands, to finish myself. (I am a control freak. Suzanne made some comment about me being smart. I said the above... the two are not related.)

Hiding in my office and blogging is helping me control my control freak tendencies. (I'm even a control freak over my tendencies.)

While in the other room, I'm working on Bob's socks.

This is Suzanne's polyhedra. I helped fold the 60 edges, and now it's her time to play, not mine. No, not mine at all. I must sit and keep from tearing it away from her! (Tearing and paper don't work well together.)

Well, I should stop ignoring my guest, and go back to Bob's socks.

Back of the Envelope Calculations

Envelope Calculations
Envelope Calculations

Last night I decided to estimate how much yarn I'll need to make a Weasley for me. Looks like at least 10 balls.

I still had plenty of envelope left, so I started calculating how to cut my piece of fabric in order to make it into a shower curtain.

Recently I've been reading how 10 oz cotton duck makes shower curtains that work to replace those nasty vinyl ones I'm allergic to. Since I'm trying to cut down on allergens, I thought I'd give it a shot... we'll see how it holds up to NC humidity. :P

I googled cotton shower curtains, and found they range in price from about $40 to $80. (The $80 ones were hemp, and supposed to be more resistant to mildew.) Even $40 was more than I wanted to spend on a shower curtain.

However, I was able to find 60" wide 10 oz cotton duck for less than $5/yard at one of the craft supply websites I frequent. Much better price! (72" wide would have been much nicer, but I've got brains and a sewing machine.)

The fabric arrived Friday, and I prewashed it yesterday. I also got a bit of batik fabric for some fancy trim. (Add another $5... still well under $40.)

I measured my 3 yards of cotton duck after prewashing... it had shrunk by a foot!!! Well, better before making the curtain than after! ;) However, this is making it somewhat challenging to construct a nice looking 72"x72" shower curtain. Hence the envelope. ;) (The other constraint is the amount of trim fabric I bought... half a yard.)

I might play with the numbers a bit more, but I've pretty well finalized the design. I'll post pictures of the final shower curtain when it's done. I posted this picture because I thought the thought process was kind of amusing. ;)

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Weasley Vote

Here's the situtation:
1. I'm nearly finished the back of the kid-sized Weasley.
2. I'm fairly confident at this point that I'm not going to have enough yarn to complete the kid-sized Weasley.
3. Rowan Felted Tweed is *expensive*... especially enough to make a Weasley for me.
What am I thinking? Order a second Weasley kit in the same colour, hope the dye lots are fairly close, and start over, making a Weasley for me by combining the two kits. Does this make sense? What would you do?

In other news, my Pakucho cotton arrived yesterday:
Pakucho Organic Cotton
Isn't it neat? Looking at the catalog, I thought I liked "Forest" best, but seeing it in person, I *love* the "Chocolate"!

Also, I headed over to the farmer's market this morning ($4 for a pint of blueberries, but boy were they good! How many "servings" of fruit are in a pint? I'm wondering if I made my recommended daily intake today...), then stopped in at the quilt shop (for some fabric), and the yarn shop (to kill time while I was waiting for the bus). Ivy, Amy and I had an impromptu SNB. It was fun! (I can't go to the regular evening SNB nights because the busses don't run late enough in the summer. There is a Saturday afternoon SNB, but it's at a bar, and I'm not fond of bars.) Here's Ivy showing off her fabulous new shades:
It's a small world... Ivy is dating a member of my CS department, so I told her she should visit me there some time. ;) Update: I forgot to mention that Ivy was knitting an amazing pair of socks... right off the spindle from yarn she spun herself! The colours were absolutely gorgeous!

Here's Amy:
Amy will be moving north to take a library science degree at one of the SUNY universities. She doesn't want to do it here because she's really interested in the textile preservation that SUNY offers. (I think I remembered their names correctly... I suck at names.) We talked about things like how low-rise pants are stupid, and how duty-free wine is *waaaay* better as a weapon than knitting needles and crochet hooks. I once again wowed all the customers that socks could, in fact, be crocheted. I also gave bad knitting advice to customers with questions. (I did warn them that I had only learned to knit, and hadn't gotten past rectangles.) I stayed until my stomach told me that I had waited *waaaay* too long for lunch, and then reluctantly said good-bye. (Note to self: next time, pack a lunch.)

Friday, June 10, 2005

In the news...

Awwww... Chance found a friend in Boo:

A real-life Disney plot is playing out on a game farm in the Yukon as an orphaned baby muskox has become fast friends with an orphaned baby caribou.

In a first for medical research in Canada, scientists in Toronto have developed two stem cell lines from human embryos.

Lowly underwater life with medicinal potential deserves regulatory protection, according to a UN report to be released on Thursday.

The rest of this post is all death and destruction. :P

It's only a game:

A court in China has sentenced an online gamer to death for the real-life murder of a fellow player after a confrontation over a virtual weapon.

Even more disturbing:

Grisly details have been revealed about the slayings of an elderly couple in New Brunswick – at the same time that questions are being raised as to how their accused killer was able to get into the U.S. armed with a bloodstained chainsaw and various weapons.


The only person to apply for the post of police chief in the violent Mexican border city of Nuevo Laredo was shot and killed seven hours after taking the job.

Liquid Sunshine

It's a bright sunny day out, with a few puffy clouds up high... and it's pouring.

I'm *loving* my Easter egg socks! They're so soft, comfortable, and pretty! They fit perfectly too. :) (You know, at this point I should probably stop being surprised when my socks fit.) I got the yarn here, Meilenweit cotton stripe 351. I think I'm going to have to get some of that 336 too... once I've been good and gone through more of my stash, of course. ;) There's others calling to me too, but 336 comes first. ;)

I suppose I should "fess up" and admit that I bought some Pakucho Organic Cotton at Elann. I've never got to play with naturally coloured cotton before, and couldn't resist. I bought a ball of all 8 colours... and plan to make a funky tank. ;) If it works up and washes nicely, maybe I'll pick one of the colours to make a sweater. (Does anyone else find it funny that one of the colours is called "natural"? They're all "natural"!)

I'm still hoping to make a KnitPicks order, but I'll be good and hold to my promise. (I didn't wait for the Pakucho, because sometimes Elann sells out of stuff quickly.) I've now finished more than enough socks, and just need to finish off two large projects.

Looks like the rain has stopped, so I should pack my lunch and head in to school.

Silly Quizzes

I found these through Trish.

Your IQ Is 130
Your Logical Intelligence is Genius
Your Verbal Intelligence is Genius
Your Mathematical Intelligence is Genius
Your General Knowledge is Above Average

The True You

You want your girlfriend or boyfriend to be more open with you.
With respect to money, you spend carefully and save your pennies.
You think good luck doesn't exist - reality is built on practicalities.
The hidden side of your personality tends to be satisfied to care for things with a minimal amount of effort.
You are tend to think about others' feelings a lot, perhaps because you are so eager to be liked.
When it comes to finding a romantic partner, you don't have any particular type in mind, but you are inclined to look for someone who will say yes when you ask him / her out.

Slow and Steady
Your friends see you as painstaking and fussy.

They see you as very cautious, extremely careful, a slow and steady plodder.

It'd really surprise them if you ever did something impulsively or on the spur of the moment.

They expect you to examine everything carefully from every angle and then usually decide against it.

Your Star Wars Pickup Line
"I may look like an Ewok, but I'm all Wookie where it counts, baby."