Friday, March 31, 2006


I think I'm allergic to birch pollen. My allergies had been doing pretty good, but, starting about yesterday, my eyes have been itchy. At the same time, birch showed up in my pollen allergy alert. I think this happened last year too.

Tonight B came over and we watched "Good Night and Good Luck." Interesting. Somewhat strange. I had been hoping to learn more of the history from the movie than I did, but it was still somewhat informative. I wound another ball of Pachuko, and edged five squares. Wheee! ;)

In the news...

Prayer has no effect on heart patients in U.S. study

Having people pray for heart bypass patients had no effect on their recoveries in an American study, researchers say.
(Note: Not "bizarre, prayer has no effect," but "bizarre, someone would actually study this.")

Minor Whine

My right hip and left knee hurt. And I broke my big toenail the other night. I'm not sure how, but there was a big chunk hanging off when I put my pajamas on. Luckily it didn't go down below where the nail meets the skin!

My neck is stiff. However, the spot on my back is feeling better.

It's probably too early to tell, but I think the increased Prozac dose is helping. Not that I've actually accomplished anything yet...


I've booked my flight for Tempe, AZ... Pam, can you send me your e-mail address so we can figure out if/when we can get together? I'm not sure I have it... your comments come up as "". (If you don't know mine, you can click "e-mail comment" or "noricum" at the bottom of this post.

I got direct flights both ways! How cool. :) (Although one transfer option had me going through Houston, but it wasn't enough of a stopover to even say hi to P.) It's a loooong flight, though... and somehow takes (by my calculations) 3 hours and 47 minutes on the way there, but 5 hours and 10 minutes on the way back. Over an hour difference? That doesn't make sense! Is Phoenix on a weird time zone or something? I think I'll need to allow for an extra pair of socks just for the flights!

To make up for yesterday's blogging faux pas, here's a photo of Bron's socks "in the wild" at the (noisy highway) bus stop this morning:
Socks in the Wild
The problem with using three balls of yarn is they get tangled.

And, since I had the camera out anyway, here's what happens to Chapel Hill streets when the summer heat is combined with heavy buses:
It's a veritable tidal wave of asphalt, moving at glacial speeds.

I had a mini SNB for lunch today, and Bron's first sock is now past the heel. (B: your feet are next on my list... you should order your sock yarn soon. I'll send you an e-mail.) I didn't have my camera with me at SNB, so no "in the wild" shots from there.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

One of these things is not like the other.

According to, the following is Trekking XXL 100:

This is what arrived in the mail a week or so ago:
Trekking XXL 100
Hmmm... one of these things is not like the other.

It's funny... I'm *positive* I've seen Trekking 100 like the swatch photo, but when I searched recently, they all looked like the skein I received. I'm not complaining about the skein I received... I quite like it... it's just not exactly what I was expecting.

Okie doke... it's now *well* past time for bed. Good night!


I love mail... even bills and junk mail... it means someone knows I exist. ;) Well, yesterday I got fun mail!
Look... big croaking frog now has a little croaking buddy. :) Aren't they sweet?
Friendly Frogs

So, today was my turn to send out fun mail... look at all of it!
I mailed all those on my way to donate blood. (Whee. Loooooong waits... I'm glad I had Bron's sock and my iPod!)

Tonight's excitement included edging a square:
Afghan Square #52
and winding a ball of yarn:

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Afghan Square #53

Afghan Square #53
Afghan Square #53

Wheee.... I edged a square.

Socks On The Go

Socks On The Go
Socks On The Go

How do spring socks travel? In rainbow pouches, of course!

Bron's Socks

Bron's Socks
Bron's Socks

Here are the toes for Bron's socks. They feel very spring-like to me!

As I was sitting in K's office earlier today, I thought "ooo... if I embroider eyes on the toes, it'll look like a snake!" K suggested I check that Bron actually likes snakes... and I decided that bumpy eyes embroidered on the toes might be uncomfortable. So it's looking like no snakes here.

A snake would really need a tongue too... and not only would that be uncomfortable, but I don't have red cotton sock yarn.

The Happy Hooker

Debbie Stoller
Debbie Stoller

Debbie Stoller's book signing was fun and interesting! I like how she had lots of the items from the book to pass around. In the book they look okay, but they're quite a bit more fun and fabulous in person!

I'm currently an unfunded grad student, so I got her to sign my design notebook, rather than buy a copy of the Happy Hooker. Although I liked the items, I'm not sure I'd make many of them anyway.

I told Debbie about my "Acrylic Orb of Wisdom"... she thought it was neat! I hope one day it makes it into a book and then becomes common knowledge.

I had forgotten when I was there... it was actually B that named it that. I was going to show her the trick, so I brought out a ball of brown acrylic yarn and handed it to her. She said "What's this, the acrylic orb of wisdom?"

Sock Update

Sallie's socks are finished! I finished them up at lunch today. I'll post a photo once she's received them. (Unless she tells me otherwise.) I'll be putting them in the mail tomorrow with a gazillion other packages. (At least, that's what it feels like to me.)

Bron's socks are started! So far I've done one toe. ;) I'll post a photo tonight.

Afghan Square #55

Afghan Square #55
Afghan Square #55

After all the excitement, I felt like crocheting another brain-dead square when I got home.



Isn't it beautiful? M's husband made it for me as a going away present. It's sooooo smooth! It's made from North Carolina Dogwood. I wound a test ball at SNB last night. (Which is one of the reasons why the sock didn't grow more. The other reason is that I was late... the Debbie Stoller book signing ran until after 7, what with the line... and talking to all those knitters and crocheters!)

I have seven more balls of organic cotton, and four balls of laceweight, to wind right now, so this beauty will be getting plenty of use in the next few days. And I'm sure lots thereafter, too. :)

If you visit me, I might let you pet my nostepinne. ;)

Wyvern Socks WIP

Wyvern Socks WIP
Wyvern Socks WIP

My Wyvern sock grew a few more rows last night at SNB. :) This yarn is *soooo* nice!!! B enjoyed petting it. Of course, I enjoyed petting her Morehouse Merino as well. ;)

Leaning Trees

Leaning Trees
Leaning Trees

I'm curious... did someone carefully plant these clusters of trees to lean at the same slight angle? Do these trees simply like to grow crooked? Was there some freak weather that affected only these trees? Or maybe something to do with the soil condition? Does anyone besides me wonder? Are you wishing I didn't have a camera batter to test? ;)

Orange Signs

Orange Signs
Orange Signs

There are a plethora of orange construction signs on campus.

Sadly, this spot on the road doesn't have one:
Ratty Road
Here's a closeup:
Ratty Road

Redbud Tree

Redbud Tree
Redbud Tree

Of course I couldn't resist taking more photos of the redbud tree!

Sitterson Hall

Sitterson Hall
Sitterson Hall

Yesterday on my way back from Student Health I pulled out my camera to test one of my new batteries. I will now inundate you with some of the photos I took.

This is the buiding in which I work. Or, at least, try to work. :P


Smelly guy is gone now... now I just need to wait for the residual smell to dissipate.

Whining Continued

I'm out in the hallway now... and I can still smell him. It isn't as bad, but I'm whiny. Whine, whine, whine. I wish my tongue felt better. I wish people didn't wear perfume. I wonder how far down the hallway I need to go to escape the perfume... and whether I'll be able to hear my phone from there.

I wonder how many people will ask me why I'm sitting in the hallway. There's no one around right now, but there will inevitably be someone, and they'll ask me. There's someone now... but he's too far away to voice his curiosity.


I'm whining in this post. Feel free to skip it... I'll post interesting stuff (from last night) later.

My tongue is bothering me. Ugh! Maybe it was the cookies, or maybe my spring allergies. I dunno, but I wish it would stop!

There's a tech guy in my office working on my officemate's computer. I think he's wearing cologne. It's bothering me. I wish he wasn't, or that he wasn't here. I could leave, but I don't feel like going to another floor, and the lounge and meeting room on this floor are situated such that they don't get wireless internet access.

Maybe I'll just leave to eat lunch.

But then I won't be in my office if MT calls... we've started having crafty lunches because she hurt her knee and isn't mobile.

I started on the higher dose of Prozac this morning, but it's too soon to tell if it'll help or not. Of course.

Gah. Maybe I'll just plop down in the hall outside my office... the air should be better there, I'll have internet access, and I can hear my phone if it rings.

Monday, March 27, 2006

H's Laptop Sleeve

Before embarking on cookie baking, I finished off H's laptop sleeve: I sewed on the buttons and button loops. I decided to only sew on one pair of buttons... H, if you don't like where they are, then you or I can move them. I was too cheap to buy four buttons, and figured the higher-up ones might get in the way of the folding.

Here's the sleeve with my laptop in it:
Finished Laptop Sleeve Finished Laptop Sleeve
H: Your laptop should fit this time! ;)

Don't those big red buttons make the scale of the laptop sleeve look much smaller? Like maybe it's a PDA sleeve?

I had some trouble choosing buttons. There was the red pair, some nice square horn ones, and some wooden toggles. I think the red buttons looked the best. They happened to be the cheapest too, but the price of any of the three options wasn't excessive. ;)

Afghan Square #54

Afghan Square #54
Afghan Square #54

I needed something brainless to crochet while I was watching TV and baking cookies. This fit the bill nicely, and also got me one (edged!) square closer to finishing my crazy afghan. :)

If you want to check my afghan progress, there's a link in the WIP section on my sidebar.



I swear there's something wrong with my oven. At least I didn't burn more than those seven. After the first group through the oven, I moved both racks up, and that seemed to help.

I didn't finish baking the entire batch... I'll finish tomorrow. (The dough was getting too warm and sticky, and I was lazy.)

I baked cookies partially because I felt like eating homemade cookies, and partially to use up some of the ingredients I have around the house. Like molasses (all gone) and butter (half gone). I don't want to be throwing stuff out when I leave, and there's probably a limit to what my friends want. After all, how many people use molasses these days?

Maybe next weekend I'll buy some milk to use up some chocolate pudding supplies. ;) (Chocolate baking squares and corn starch... plus I still have lots of white sugar, but that should be easy to get rid of.)


Are you finished eating? If so, check out this post (video link at the bottom) on what it's like to eat a live octopus tentacle.

Documenting Me

Yep, my body is acting up again, and I'm using my blog to keep track.

There's a spot just to the right of my spine that hurts. Pinched nerve, maybe? It's tender, including the skin.

It made me wonder, though, if maybe my abdombinal pain is also a pinched nerve type thing... and that the reason it feels "deep" is due to the excessive insulation I have stored down there. Muscle pain is much less worrisome than other things that could go wrong.

My tongue is acting up again. It started last night after I had some chocolate chips, and is still bothering me this morning. I know it wasn't chocolate chip related the other day when I was wearing my sweater, though, because I didn't have any chocolate chips that week. It is a bit annoying that multiple things can cause my tongue to act up, though. I need to check the ingredients on the chocolate chips to see what the cause is... I do have an allergy to chocolate, but other sources of chocolate hasn't been making my tongue swell.

I'm going to call and make an appointment with my doctor... emotionally I feel like I'm "just hanging on"... and I'd like to actually accomplish something in the next two months, rather than just hang on.

I did accomplish something last night... I took down my Christmas tree ornaments and put them away. :) Now I can freecycle my Christmas tree... hopefully someone will be interested even thought it's the end of March.

I need to eradicate the dust bunnies again... they're getting quite numerous. Oh... and bleach the corner in my shower that likes to grow mildew. I actually need to clean the whole tub, which is why I've been putting it off. I might as well do both at once, but cleaning the tub takes effort. And stinks... I hate the chlorine smell of the cleaner! It kills my lungs. :P

Update: Appointment made.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Brown Sugar Bag

Brown Sugar Bag
Brown Sugar Bag

Oops... the first time through, the strap looped around the agitator. This resulted in the bag getting a bit stretched, which the two subsequent fullings didn't fully fix. However, it's still cute, and I like it. :) (A bit small... but cute!)



Here's the potholder for my step-sister. Above, pre-fulling, below, post-fulling. It shrank quite a bit... but is still useable.

Filet Crochet Stag

Filet Crochet Stag
Filet Crochet Stag

Nearly done... and completely out of thread. Oops! And only five rows left. *sigh*

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Brown Sugar Bag

Brown Sugar Bag
Brown Sugar Bag


Afghan Squares

I steam blocked square #51 this morning:
Afghan Square #51

Last night I was having such fun with the stitch pattern in the brown sugar bag pattern, that I made two afghan squares with it:
Afghan Square #52 Afghan Square #53
I may do one more in a solid colour. (Even though I'm starting to get bored with the stitch. ;) )

My bag is nearing completion... I just have a bit more to do on the strap, and then assembly. I have a fair amount of yarn left over, and I'm rather fond of the bag. I may keep the bag, and send my stepsister some rainbow square potholders instead. ;) (Plus, I think the bag will need a lining, and I won't have time to make that before I have to mail her batteries.)

Friday, March 24, 2006

Religions Baffle Me

So, there's a guy right now facing a possible death penalty over in Afghanistan... for converting to Christianity from Islam. President Hamid Karzai is assuring Canada that this won't happen, but there are Muslim clerics calling for his death.

First off, I disagree with a death penalty for *anything*. Life in prison for certain crimes? I'm all for it. But not the death penalty. Judicial systems can and do make mistakes, and nothing justifies murder, even if that murder is committed on behalf of the government. Besides, people can change and redeem themselves. Death is final. (Especially for an atheist like me.)

However, in this case, the thing that really bothers me is the "crime". Ignore what the religions are... that's not important. Although death penalties aren't necessarily involved, lots of religions have crap like this. Religion A wants to punish person X for abandoning A and joining B. Think about it. Now, wouldn't it mean *more* if people were part of your religion A as a *choice* than out of fear of what you'll do to them? Sure, you may believe they'll burn in hell, or whatever equivalent, but shouldn't they have the right to *choose* what they believe in? Don't *you* have a choice to belive the way you do? What if someone was forcing *you* to convert? Wouldn't that tick you off?

I like to have a "live and let live" policy where it comes to religion. I have none, but I'm fine with you having your beliefs as long as you don't try to force them on me. However, should you come to my door in an attempt to "save" me, I reserve the right to question and/or ridicule and/or insult your beliefs. (After all, you started it.)


I just noticed my tongue is feeling a bit funny... it had gone back to normal (I'm not sure exactly when, but I do know it hadn't been bothering me recently)... and today I'm wearing my Canada sweater. Egad. This calls for more experimentation. (Mainly, testing my reaction to this yarn when it *isn't* spring allergy season.)

My strange abdomen pain seems to have gone away, though. I don't think it was bothering me yesterday either... and for a while I was sitting in a mannor that European Doctor Lady would *certainly* not approve of. (I was curled up in a chair in the reading room with the papers I'm supposed to be reviewing... and my knees were probably above my head. ;) )

My neigbours moved out yesterday. Hopefully the new neighbours won't have a kid bouncing off the walls. Or anything worse.

Last night B, K and I went to the opening reception for the community art project "Lost and Found". It was fun. :)
B and K at Opening

I bought some adorable little finger puppets at the gallery shop... I couldn't resist.
Finger Puppets

Walking back to the car afterwards, I saw a neat piece of art:
There's something about it that I really like.

Then, after I was back home, I started a Brown Sugar Bag.
Brown Sugar Bag WIP
What? Follow the instructions? Me? Where's the fun in that? Aren't they more like "guidelines" anyway? ;) I expect to have the finished (pre-felted) bag done tonight. I'm thinking of giving this to my step-sister for a graduation present. She graduated from a cullinary arts program back in January. (Tardy? Who, me?)

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Mr Etherknitter

Mr Etherknitter had a rough flight home after his dreadful skiing accident. Please join me in sending him good wishes and a speedy and full recovery!

Mr E's story reminds me of a time when I was flying over to Europe for a vacation with friends and family. The day before I left, I came down with a horrible cold/flu/something. I figured it was too late to cancel, and that I might as well go. As I was getting off the plane in Toronto (where I caught a connecting flight overseas), a stewardess peered at me, then asked "are you the boy who requested a wheelchair?" (I had short hair then too.) "No," I replied. "Would you like one anyway?" I stupidly declined (the cold must have messed with my brain too), and regretted it half way to my connecting gate... which was *waaaaaay* across the large airport. (There weren't any moving sidewalks either.)

On the flight overseas, we started off with an hour or two of turbulence... which did *not* go over well with my queasy stomach. All I wanted to do was lie down, but couldn't because of the seatbelt requirement. After the fasten seatbelt light *finally* turned off, I asked if there was anywhere I could lie down. No such luck... it was a *full* flight. Luckily my dad and I were in an exit row, so we had a teeny bit of foot room... which I promptly lay down in. I couldn't quite tuck up far enough, and so the trolleys kept running over my toes. At one point, I had to use the washroom. I stood up and stated this, despairing at the length of the line. All the people in line took one look at me, and insisted I go first. (I didn't need it *that* way, but I took them up on the offer.) It does make me wonder what I looked like that day.

I spent the first three days in Germany sleeping, occasionally getting up to eat mandarins. I think I consumed an entire box of them, and nothing else.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Woo-hoo! I've invented a fix, and it looks pretty good to me! Here it is from the front:
Fix (front)
and here it is from the back:
Fix (back)
(Sorry about the not-so-good photos... this was the best I could do.)

Here's how I filled in a square below a (to be) filled in square:
1. yarn over three times (four loops on hook)
2. with the hook and working yarn *behind* the chain row you would normally work around, work around the next lower chain row, yarn over and draw through (five loops on hook)
3. yarn over, draw through two loops (four loops on hook)
4. yarn over, draw through two loops (three loops on hook)
5. Loosen last loop so that it doesn't get pulled out, then remove from hook.
6. Bring hook around to front of the chain row, add loop back onto hook and tighten. (Loop now in front of chain row, working yarn in back)
7. yarn over, draw through two loops (two loops on hook)
8. yarn over, draw through two loops (one loops on hook)

Then I repeated this process for the second space-filling double crochets.

Hmmm... it's Wednesday... I'm going to add this to my WOW Wednesdays. ;)


Goofed Again!?!

Filet Crochet Stag
Filet Crochet Stag

Hmmm... I *may* be able to fix this one without frogging two rows. (I'm going to "invent" a double-double crochet. Wish me luck.) However, I'm thinking it's time I stopped trying to do this tonight... I don't seem to be paying enough attention to what I'm doing.

Wyvern Socks

Last night at SNB I continued working on my wyvern sock. Here's how far I am now:
Wyvern Sock WIP (top) Wyvern Sock WIP (bottom)
I actually made a mistake, but it's not noticable, so I left it. (I forgot a plain knit row, so I did two in a row after the early pattern row.)

Afghan Square #51

Afghan Square #51
Afghan Square #51

For some reason this square has taken me three evenings! Of course, yesterday I also had SNB, and Monday I was also working on the stag.

I'll post another photo after I've blocked it. Hopefully in natural light, so you can see the stitch pattern. (Which happens to be seaweed.)

Filet Crochet Stag

Filet Crochet Stag
Filet Crochet Stag

Can you spot the oops? Aargh! At least I only have to frog two rows.

Silly Quiz

You scored as Hermione Granger. You're one intelligent witch, but you have a hard time believing it and require constant reassurance. You are a very supportive friend who would do anything and everything to help her friends out.

Hermione Granger


Ron Weasley


Remus Lupin


Albus Dumbledore


Severus Snape


Harry Potter


Sirius Black


Ginny Weasley


Draco Malfoy


Lord Voldemort


Your Harry Potter Alter Ego Is...?
created with

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Silly Quiz

Networked Operational Replicant Intended for Calculation and Ultimate Mathematics

I like that "intended for calculation and ultimate mathematics" part. ;)

Sock Yarn Alert

Oooo! Nice sock yarn at Elann for good prices!

(I will be good... I will stick to my budget! ;) )

Monday, March 20, 2006


After Fulling
After Fulling

I forgot to mention... the stripe widths are based on the Fibonacci sequence. ;)

Always Amazing

Will I ever cease to be amazed by the fulling process? I doubt it. Here's the new laptop sleeve:
After Fulling

And here are before and after shots with the laptop for scale:
Laptop for Scale After Fulling, laptop for scale

Yes, it's still long. However, I did try to err on the large size, and added four inches to both the circumference and length just in case it decided to over-full. (After the debacle at Christmas, can you blame me?) Besides... too long can easily be remedied using scissors... and too short cannot.

Circumference-wise, it's quite nice. Not too loose, and not too tight. :)

Now to e-mail H... (I'm giving her a choice... this one as it is, this one after an attack by scissors, or my old one).