Sunday, April 30, 2006

Ass Wreath Growth

(Yes, I'm bad. But B also thought it was a funny title.)

The ass wreath circumference looks fine:
Tank Top WIP
...and has grown enough since then that it's looking more like a tank top, and less like an ass wreath:
Tank Top WIP

It's been a while, so I should update you on the crazy-ghan. The first two rows have now been seamed together:
Afghan WIP
By my calculations, I'm nearly at the halfway point for finishing. (That's counting putting a simple edging around the whole thing.)

And... uh... I started yet another project:
Vest WIP
What can I say... it's shiny, pretty colours on big needles. ;)

Good night!

Tank Top

I finished the edging (for the second time) while friends were over. I didn't attempt to kitchener before everyone was gone, though... that takes concentration! I didn't want to cut the yarn, but realized that if I "undid" one row after the cast on, I'd have enough tail to kitchener! I prepared by following the path of that row with a contrasting yarn:
Prep for Kitchener
I think it turned out quite well:
Kitchenered Seam

It looks like the right circumference:
Tank Top WIP
(I know it's wrong, but I keep thinking "ass wreath.")

I continued working with the remaining yarn from the first ball, and then started the second ball:
Tank Top WIP
I've now come up with it's official name: Forest Purl. (Yep, I'm actually purling it, rather knitting it inside out. I figured the leaves near the neck would be easier that way.)

I haven't tried it on since it was at the "ass wreath" stage. Maybe tomorrow I'll give it a try... at worst, I'll just have to pick up a few more stitches, because the ass wreath is plenty loose. (Even though my gauge calculations says it shouldn't be.) I do have another 32 rows with this version, which results in 16 more stitches picked up. (I picked up one stitch for every two rows. Although with the way the two stitch garter stretched, perhaps I should have picked up more.)

I think I need to concentrate on purling tighter... my gauge looks a bit loose. Or maybe I'll go down a needle size. Changing gauge around the waist will probably actually be beneficial. ;)

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Fun Day

I had a fun day today. S is busy tomorrow, so B, S, and K all came over today instead. I was kind of crabby (from my lack of sleep, headache and backache), but enjoyed myself. I hope I didn't dampen the enjoyment of the others too much. (Sorry! I'll try to be more pleasant next time!)

Mary Jane Bootie

Mary Jane Bootie
Mary Jane Bootie

A commenter at the flickr page found the pattern link. :) (Thanks!)


Head hurts. Spine could really use a good chiropractic crunch. I did *not* sleep well last night... and most of the time I did sleep, I dreamt that I wasn't sleeping well. Not fair! Of course, that may have been better than my dream in the early hours of the morning: it was some sort of Tom Cruise mission impossible style dream... although Tom was also kind of like spiderman. (I don't like Tom and his misogynistic MI movies... MI1 was okay, but MI2 was horrible! I refuse to watch MI3. Although I don't like Tom as a person, I will watch him in some of his other stuff.) Oddly, I wasn't part of that dream: I was observing it.

I didn't take any Ambien last night. I wanted to get it out of my system, and figured a Friday night was a good time for that. If last night was any indication of how I would have slept the previous two nights had I not taken Ambien, it's no wonder I didn't sleep better *with* it! (Of course, last night could have been rebound insomnia, but somehow I don't think I should have withdrawal after only two nights.)

I had the headache last night too, and took some Tylenol for it. I'm guessing that since it came back, I should try something else. Although Tylenol did work yesterday morning... mostly. I think it's a weather headache. There have been some fronts moving through here recently.

Friday, April 28, 2006


Yay for Friday!

I slept too late this morning. I did get into bed by 11:10, but then remembered I had to call in a prescription refill. By midnight I still wasn't asleep. So I took an Ambien. I didn't wake up with that same "wow" feeling, but I also wasn't groggy like yesterday. Yay! Still... between sleeping late and stopping at the pharmacy on the way in, I was rather late. :P

There was an insane squirrel outside my apartment this morning. It was pouncing on a fallen branch, like a cat would on a mouse, and then running away. Maybe it was practicing it's fighting techniques. Whatever it was, it sure looked bizarre.

The roses are blooming now:
These were on my walk from the pharmacy to my department, outside the Sonya Black Center.

I finished a mary jane bootie for K:
Mary Jane Bootie
The pattern (from Martha Stewart... K, can you post a link?) is messed up on the bottom, but the rest is fine. Assuming, of course, your baby has big feet. K wants to make one for a newborn out of thicker yarn, and having a 3D version she can adapt is easier than guessing. When she's done with it, I'll make a mate to this one, add buttons, and then find some unsuspecting baby to foist them upon. It's pretty fast.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Brain Dead

Tank Top WIP
Tank Top WIP

It is *definitely* time to stop knitting leaves for the night.

I rewound the two other green colours, and this one I'm working directly from the old leaves. I started with smaller leaves, but after doing two, decided that they were a bit too small. I think these should do the trick, and look cute too. (I could do the math... but for some reason, my tired brain is balking.) I estimate I'm now getting 22 rows of edging with the same amount of yarn as 18 rows on the old version.

Half way through the fifth leaf, I realized I had made a mistake with the fourth leaf. I managed to frog and fix that leaf, but it's definitely time to stop for the night.

I seamed a bit more of the afghan while talking to my dad. Now I'm back to seaming while watching ER. As soon as that's over, I'm going to bed!!! (If I were smart, I'd tape ER and go to bed now. But that would require my brain to be working.)

Good news from Dad: dad's friend is loaning him his truck to pick me up at the end of May... it's bigger, more fuel efficient, and diesel. More room to pack stuff in, plus cheaper gas? Woo-hoo!


Somehow people here seem to consider me a LaTeX expert. I have no idea how they got that idea... I pretty much bumble my way through with my LaTeX book by my side. However, there are at least two people that come to me with questions. I've tried telling them that my advior is the LaTeX genius. Perhaps they're too intimidated to bother a professor with their questions. (Although my advisor is totally approachable.)

I bring this up because one of those people just came into my office and asked me what the title of the yellow LaTeX book is. (He said there's three main books, and he wants to know the title of the yellow one. I just have the blue one.) I suggested searching on Amazon for a yellow coloured LaTeX book, but apparently the second edition is out, and has a different cover.

Some helpful soul in the hallway said they think it has a German author.

I hope he finds the book he's looking for.

Atoms Sans Bondage

Thanks for the great/funny comments on my last post! It's really helping improve my day. :)

My test set atoms are definitely bondless, and that's also what made some of my output look weird: it was missing some of the output (including the newlines!) which only printed if an "if" statement was true... and when there's no bonds, the "if" is false. Now I need to track down why my atoms weren't being assigned bonds... is it a problem with the code generating the bonds, or are the atoms themselves getting lost? I'll keep you posted. ;) (Yeah, like you have a clue what I'm blathering about anyway.)

The only problem is... I had been working in my advisor's office to help stay awake... but he's had to leave early. :( Hopefully I'll figure out this bug before the end of the day, even with having to battle sleepiness.


I'm feeling kind of groggy today. It might be the fault of the Ambien I took last night.

The first two times I took Ambien, it was amazing. At first I would feel even less like I was going to sleep, and then I'd be out within 10 minutes. Not only that, but I didn't wake up *at all* before my alarm went off. I didn't think I slept badly before, but *this* was amazing! Besides a deep desire to snuggle in bed for longer, I didn't seem to have any adverse side effects.

Last night was different. Maybe it was the dishwasher making noise, or me thinking about my dissertation stuff. It still took an hour to fall asleep. I don't have that same feeling that my rest was more restful, and now I'm groggy. I tried turning off the alarm and sleeping a bit more, but that didn't help. I'm going to work in J's office this afternoon, to help me stay awake.

I got the "I suck because I didn't meet my goals this term" form signed and ready to hand in. (No, that's not it's official name, but that's how I feel about it.)

I'm pretty sure I'm going to frog and restart the tank top. I'm thinking now that I may make the body reverse stockinette so that I can add some of the leaves up near the neckline (hanging down, of course)... hmmm... that will take some adjusting, given they're normally worked bottom up. I think I can manage.

Last night I realized why I wasn't getting data from my test sets... I forgot to click a button. Doh! Well, now I have data, and get to interpret it. I think it is telling me I'm not generating all bonds for a set of points like I thought I was. (Previously I entered the bonds I wanted to use, but this time it was faster to enter the atoms and have it generate the bonds.)

Well... this is good news, at least. It isn't a "yay I have a test set," but it isn't a "no, there's no transmission core," either... it's something where I have a clear path forward, and haven't (yet) found a roadblock to my destination.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Tank Top in Time Out

Tank Top WIP
Tank Top WIP

Hmmm... it's okay, but I think I'd like it better if I started over with smaller leaves (so I could get a larger girth) and stockinette instead of ribbing.

It's in time out for now, while I decide whether I want to start over or keep going.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Swift Bag

Swift Bag
Swift Bag

I made this last week, but didn't blog about it: H reads my blog. I made a hand-sewn bag for H's swift. Because nifty old swifts need nifty hand-sewn bags. Especially nifty swifts that come apart in three pieces. (I used stuff from my stash! Less to move!)

Sadly, there was no nifty bag for S's yarn winder. My enthusiasm for hand sewing just barely lasted through the swift bag. Sorry S.

Bumper Sticker

Bumper Sticker
Bumper Sticker

Tank Top

Tank Top WIP
Tank Top WIP

Does it look a bit more like a tank top in progress now?

I've just started the third colour of Pakucho Cotton. I think I'm going to throw in some decreases now. The ribbing bags a bit, but can be smoothed flat. If it looks horrible when I'm done, I'll just frog and restart.

It's my CS tank top: the leaves are at the bottom. ;)


My mom pointed out the following horoscope for me in today's Winnipeg Free Press:
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

You're very fortunate this year in terms of career, your life path, making a great impression on others, and establishing a respected reputation for yourself. In fact, because of this good fortune, many of you can now turn the abstract into the concrete. (Your dreams are doable!)
I wish I had more faith in horoscopes.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Apple Chill

Two more notes on Apple Chill...

1. We drove to Apple Chill, because I thought they were going to charge outrageous prices for the shuttle busses. (I think they're $5 on game days.) While reading yesterday's paper this morning, I discovered the shuttles were, in fact, free. Oops.

2. The town council took a vote, and unanimously decided this was the last Apple Chill. The three shootings were the last straw.

Leafy Beginnings

Look! I kitchenered:
Kitchenered Join
Well... not a real kitchener... I didn't use a provisional cast on. I did sew the live stitches to the first row, though, and I think it came out pretty invisible.

I ended up with thirteen leaves, and, through the magic of "negative ease," decided that thirteen were sufficient and didn't require being reknit. (I wasn't crazy about having thirteen, but not enough to rip the leaves out and restart.)

I picked up stitches and started knitting in the round:
Leafy Wreath
Hmmm... 117 stitches, with a recommended gauge of 20 stitches per four inches... is a *lot* of negative ease.

I ripped back to the picked up stitches, then knit in the front and back of each one, which I then turned into 1x1 ribbing:
Leafy Wreath
I think this should work... although I haven't put it on waste yarn to test. (I did with the 117 stitches... I don't need that much stretch in the material emphasizing the girth of my rump.)

Yeah, I know those last two photos don't look that different. They *stretch* different, though.

I'll do the waste yarn test after a few more rows. It's going pretty quick, anyway.

Pantry Dinner

Tonight I decided to use up some pancake mix that was in my pantry. Sadly, I also temporarily lost my ability to cook pancakes.

The first one stuck when I tried to flip it.

??? I don't need oil, do I? I don't remember needing oil... the instuctions don't say to use oil... maybe my seasoning on the frying pan is bad? I'll try oil.

(I wash out the frying pan, add a little oil, and try again.)

The second one stuck when I tried to flip it. Plus it had a "fried" look.

??? Maybe it's the pan that's defective? Should I switch back to the teflon pan? I don't think I've cooked pancakes with this pan before, so maybe I should switch back to teflon.

(I wash out the cast iron frying pan, get out the teflon frying pan, and try again. Without oil.)

The third one... um... well, this is it:
This is the first one I ate. "Edible" is about as much as I'd give it.

Luckily my pancake cooking skills returned by the fourth pancake, although I still had trouble hitting the middle of the pan:
Turns out I wasn't waiting long enough before trying to flip the dang things.

I still need to try again on the cast iron frying pan, to see if it's seasoned well enough. Maybe I should buy one more package of pancake mix... I do still have a bit of maple syrup, after all.

The View

Recently I've been having lunch with M... we eat and then craft. It's nice. We meet in the reading room, which has a lovely view. This is the view looking south:
View South
and this is the view looking north:
View North
Although it's tempting not to, we do keep an eye on the clock. ;)

Big Tree

Big Tree
Big Tree

I love big trees. This one was on my way to the international center... to hand in my departure notice.

Winnipeg has nice trees too, though. :)

Blah, blah, blah

First up... I think these plaques at the *front* of the busses are cute:
They went up shortly after Rosa's death... it just took me a while to blog about them. Sorry about the blurry photo... it's hard to take a non-flash photo that isn't blurry when you're riding the bus. (Brass plaques aren't readable with flash. Also, I didn't want to distract the driver. Distracting the driver is bad.)

Next... mail! I won Zarzuela's blog contest! Look at the fun goodies:
(For some strange reason, this package was at my door *Sunday* morning... I'm pretty sure it wasn't there Saturday, but I could be wrong.) Do you think I could make a little vest out of the four balls of red and blue ribbon yarn? (I'm not really the decorative scarf sort... they don't work so well in Winnipeg... and I think it would be too rough for a tank top.) Maybe I could use the black as trim on the vest. Hmmm! The sock yarn is pretty, but I already have a pair in identical colours (although perhaps not identical stripes)... I'm thinking this'll be a "share the love" yarn! Let's see... who's next on my birthday blog contest...? Wendy! I'll send you an e-mail with your prize choices (socks from my stash that I'm willing to part with, socks from yarn you supply, or a "norigurumi" ;) ) plus the measurements I'll need from you for socks. Yours will be next on my list after Bethany's socks... unless I've already promised someone else a pair that I've forgotten about? (I don't think I have.)

In WIPs, what do you do when you get bored with seaming an afghan? Start a completely different project! This is the start of a tank-top for me:
However, I may need to frog and restart... I'm only about half way around, and the center-pull ball is looking rather hollow:
I'm going to see how far I get, and then calculate how much yarn smaller leaves would get me. (I have one ball of each colour of pakucho cotton, so I want to do the bottom trim from a single colour. And no... I have no idea if I have enough yarn for a tank top.)

Apple Chill, a local street festival, was fun. B, S, K and I wandered around and looked at all the crafts. I, uh, got sucked into buying something... this cute crab plate:
Crab Plate

However, the town still hasn't figured out how to stop "After Chill"... the unofficial after-party where souped up cars and motorcycles race around the city. There was apparently three shootings, plus "crowd rushings." :P

After getting back from the street festival, B and I sat and knit for a bit. Then I had dinner and went grocery shopping. On the way to the grocery store, I got *puppydog* kisses! My backyard neighbours have an adorable little black lab puppy. :) Two other dogs greeted me on the way to the store. :) I enjoy random doggy-love!

At the store, I found some treats in the leftover-Easter-candy bin. :) Half price is definitely the right price. :) (Or less... I wouldn't complain about less.. ;) )

If you've read this far, congratulations! I'll now point you in the direction of a wooly blog contest!

Sunday, April 23, 2006


Not feeling well. Had a good/full day despite that... will blog about tomorrow. (Reminder to self: mail!, afghan, new WIP, Apple Chill, plate, puppy, grocery shopping, Easter... and, um... plaque from Friday. Oh... and After Chill shootings.)

Good night!

Saturday, April 22, 2006


It's raining, it's pouring, I spent the morning snoring!

One of the things I rather enjoy is lying in bed listening to the rain on the roof. I also enjoy watching the rain up at the lake... we have large windows and the couches sit facing them. It's nice to pull out a book or a craft and enjoy being warm and dry inside. A cup of hot chocolate goes well with the watching too. ;)

Speaking of the lake, I've been thinking of starting a second blog with my memories from the lake. I'll post a link if I do.

The first of Bethany's socks was within two inches of being done, but her unusual foot shape foiled me. I'm glad I had the opportunity for her to try it on... I had suspected as much when I measured her feet on Tuesday, but I didn't compensate enough. I need to rip back to an inch before the heel. Oh well... even then, these socks are going fast. ;)

Bethany came over last night and we watched The Chronicles of Narnia. (I'd seen it before, but Bethany hadn't.) Bethany wound some of her yarn and finished her Slytherin scarf. I seamed a few more rows of my afghan. I only have three rows left to seam... and then all the rows to seam together... and then some edging... ;) I may manage to finish it this weekend. Or not. It will be done soon, however.

I think I may be coming down with a bit of something... I had an upset stomach last night after dinner (which may have just been from eating too much), and then a sore throat before bed. It's still somewhat sore this morning. :P

Oooo... the rain's coming down again. :) This'll be a nice day to work on my afghan, do laundry, and stay holed up in the house. ;) I'll leave the grocery shopping until tomorrow... I prefer to stay dry while carrying my groceries home.

Tomorrow is Apple Chill, the local spring street festival. Bethany and I are planning on going to look at the arts and crafts booths. I don't know if S is coming... I haven't heard from her yet.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Nothing Happened

(Me babbling about dissertation stuff.)

I finally buckled down and assembled a test set to see if it found a transmission core. Nothing happened.

Nothing? Didn't I write code so that it would at least acknowledge I gave it a test set? Is there a bug? I need to fix this.

Either my test set didn't produce a transmission core (likely), or there's a bug, or both.

I think I will also start writing up the documentation for this stupid plugin, so that I at least remember what is *supposed* to happen.

I hate context switching.

Strange Turns

Life takes strange turns. So far, mine has not gone as planned. I'm okay with that... I would have preferred it otherwise, but good things (ie friendships) have happened on this path that I wouldn't give up for the world.

I was just talking to another student (who wishes to remain anonymous) that (s)he also plans to leave grad school. This is someone who has been making great progress (unlike me), but has decided this is not the path for them.

Isn't life strange?

Thursday, April 20, 2006


Help a student, and get a chance to win some sock yarn! (Hmmm... will posting this help improve my karma?)

Cake, Anyone?

Yarn cake, that is!

Last night I used the borrowed swift and ball winder to wind yarn.
Yarn Winding Setup

I started off with the three skeins of Lost Lake laceweight... *much* faster than doing it by hand without a swift and ball winder! I had heard that when using a swift and ball winder the cakes can end up wound too tight, and they should be wound a second time. Uh... that gave me a *really* poofy yarn cake! Here's the three ways I wound my Lost Lake laceweight:
Laceweight Three Ways
In the back is the ball I wound using my nostepinne (and no swift). On the left is the cake I wound directly from the hank, and on the right is the cake I wound twice. It was so poofy, I decided to rewind it again, this time using my fingers to add a bit of tension.

After I zipped through all of my Lost Lake laceweight, I decided to dig through my stash for everything else that needed balling:
Skeins In Need Of Winding
Abra Cadabra!
Yarn Cakes

Isn't this a nifty antique(?) swift?
Antique(?) Swift


There's a Crochet Hyperbolic Coral Reef Project!

Crochet Sock in Progress

Crochet Sock in Progress
Crochet Sock in Progress

I'm still loving these socks!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


I may not have felt too bad yesterday after my no-mask experiment, but I woke up stuffy this morning, and with some yellow crud in my lungs. Needless to say, I went back to my mask.

I am *loving* these socks I'm making for Bethany! I may need to make myself a pair... or maybe a pair for Bob.

I went to the doc yesterday for my increased-prozac check-up... prozac is staying where it is (I'm doing well... yay!), and he gave me a prescription for Ambien for those nights I have trouble falling asleep. I'm not sure I'll use it, given how I tend to overreact to sleep-aids, but maybe it will be nice to have for nights that I *cannot* fall alseep. (Like last Sunday and Monday nights.)

Silly Quiz

This is freaky:

You Should Weigh 170

If you weigh less than this, you either have a fast metabolism or are about to gain weight.
If you weigh more than this, you may be losing a few pounds soon!

(Note: I do currently weigh 170.)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Leafing Out

The tree across from where I was catching the bus to SNB is leafing out with pretty silvery baby leaves. It was so pretty in the light with the blue sky, I thought I'd share it with you:
Silver New Leaves

I liked the branch structure of this one, also across from the bus stop:
Silver New Leaves

SNB was fun. (Of course!) I did a few rows on my wyvern socks, but was having trouble "getting in the groove"... I think my missed week really affected me. The needles also seemed more flexible... humidity, maybe? So after a bit I gave up, and just helped Heather with her crochet edging, and Bethany with her tangled former ball of yarn. (I'm a bit weird... I rather enjoy untangling yarn. It's like a challenging puzzle. And yes, I really enjoy topology.) It took me a bit to get started on the tangle, so I brought it home with me and finished up tonight.

On the way home with Sue, we stopped at Heather's so I could borrow her swift. (I'm also borrowing Susan's ball winder. For those skanky laceweight hanks.)

Getting out at my place, I looked up. (I often do at night.) The sky had continued to be unusually clear, and I could actually find the big dipper and the north star... although I still couldn't make out the little dipper. It's usually hazy enough down here that I can't make out the big dipper. I can usually find Orion and Cassiopeia, but the big dipper and the north star say "home" to me. I miss them. And the crystal clear nights watching the stars in Winnipeg. (Not all our nights are crystal clear, but we get waaaay more than down here.)

Crochet Socks in Progress

Crochet Socks in Progress
Crochet Socks in Progress

Bethany was away until today, so I started a pair of socks for myself after I finished Bron's socks. (I was going to do a pair for her next, but the yarn didn't arrive before her trip.) However, she brought the yarn (looooovely trekking xxl #109) to SNB tonight, so I measured her feet and started her socks.

Mine will go on the back-burner for now. ;) Mine are Action! sock yarn that Josie brought back from Germany for me. Also *really* awesome yarn!

Sans Mask

I decided to try not wearing my dust mask outside today... I'll be in and out several times where I can't wash my face afterwards anyway (doctor appointment and SNB tonight). I think I'm doing okay so far. A bit of itchy eyes, but nothing extreme. :)

My neighbours were playing with the water again this morning, but I managed to have an okay shower. Did they stop when they heard the shower running? Was it coincidence? Did the plumbing decide it's okay for two people to use water at once? Who knows... but I'm thankful!

The shower drain was slower than usual, though.

I'm *so* looking forward to SNB tonight! :)

Happy Feet!

Yay! Bron's socks arrived safe and sound, they fit, and she loves them! (She actually e-mailed me yesterday, but I waited to post this so I could link to her post. ;) )

Monday, April 17, 2006

Seaming Commences

Seaming Commences
Seaming Commences

First three rows seamed... but not to each other. (Okay, yeah, so that second row was easy.)

I was dead when I got home, and just wanted to go to bed. However, I didn't feel like going to bed that early... and then I wanted to watch the PBS documentary on the Armenian Genocide. (Uh, Turkey? Time to get your head out of your butt and say you're sorry!) Now it's over, and I'm going to bed!

Good night. :)



Looks like I won't need to wear my dusk mask on the way home.


I've really been enjoying Andrea Echeverri's "Amortiguador"... I think I got it in an iTunes free discovery download, or something like that. Right now, I think it's my favouite song! (Well... until I overplay it...) If you'd like to listen, there's a video here... the video is a bit strange, so, for the first time, I suggest closing your eyes and letting the music wash over you. (There's nothing wrong with the video, but I think it may distract you from appreciating the music.) If you'd rather, here's an Amazon link.

Monday Morning

Man, am I *dead* this morning. Why? Um, ...taxes. For some reason, given a three day weekend, I wait until late Sunday night to start them. (Well, I had started them previously... US federal had already been submitted, state I just had to make a good copy, and then there was my federal and provincial for Canada.) And *then*, when I finally finished the taxes up, I "discovered" all of the unfolded laundry on my bed. (I had left it in a laundry basket Saturday night, and then dumped it on my bed in the morning so I could put dirty laundry in the basket, and force myself to fold the clean laundry.)

By the time I had everything done, it was after 2 am.

*Then* I was so over-tired I was wired, and it took me over an hour to fall asleep.

I may have book-smarts, but my living-smarts could use some work. :P

Passover question: (Sara, maybe you have an answer.) I was watching the news at some point this weekend, and they mentioned that it was also Passover, and that Jews abstained from "bread and pasta" because of that whole exodus-no-time-for-bread-to-rise thing. Bread I understand... but pasta? There's no yeast in pasta! Were these reporters confused, or is there some truth to the no-pasta thing?

And if you're curious what I was doing most of this weekend rather than my taxes... I was reading "Sunshine" by Robin McKinley. I normally don't go for the vampire thing, but I quite enjoyed Sunshine! (Thanks H!)

Sunday, April 16, 2006

All Squares Edged

All of the afghan squares are now edged. I've done a bit of shuffling of the layout, but not anything drastic. I'm going to start the seaming tomorrow evening.

Cinnamon Buns

I wanted to share my mom's recipe with you, as she e-mailed it to me:
I just make a bread dough from a recipe book like your Betty Crocker one. After it has risen the first time roll it out flat, spread softened butter on it, cover with brown sugar, sprinkle with cinnamon, roll up and slice into approx. 4 cm slices. Put in a greased pan that has brown sugar spread on the bottom and let rise. Cook according to whatever it says in the recipe book. Turn the pan upside down so the sugar runs over the buns. Take the pan off after 10 min. or so and let cool until you won't burn your fingers or mouth when you taste test them. Don't eat anymore than 3 or 4 at once or you will get fat.

You can use frozen bread dough if you feel like it.
I love my mom. :)

My notes: I *really* like my Betty Crocker cookbook. I highly recommend it. Also, if you want to make the pecan version, put a layer of pecans at the bottom of the pan after the sugar, but before the cinnamon buns. Be liberal with the brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon. If the sugar on the bottom doesn't become all syrupy, you should have used more butter at the bottom.

Besides the risk of getting fat, eating a bunch at once gives me heartburn. I try to limit myself to one... or two when they're warm from the oven. ;)

Destashing The Pantry

Pantries gain stash due to sales (buy one, get one free, cheaper if you purchase five, that's such a good price that I can't pass it up... you know how it goes), when you get tired of something after you've stocked up on it's ingredients, or the fact that rarely do items come in the exact quantities you need. Dead bananas show up in the freezer due to the nature of bananas.

Bananas have three states according to my family: yesterday's bananas (brown), today's bananas (yellow), and tomorrow's bananas (green). At my mom's grocery store, you can actually frequently buy all three (yesterday's bananas are in the produce clearance section), but my grocery store stocks only today's and tomorrow's bananas, and rarely both at the same time. Buying bananas is never as simple as saying "seven bananas for seven days." This is because for the first few days, you will likely only have tomorrow's bananas. Then, on one (unknown in advance) day, you will suddenly have seven today's bananas. What you don't eat that day become yesterday's bananas, although occasionally you can get today's bananas to last two days.

Due to my allergies, I am particularly fussy about my bananas being today's bananas. I suspect that precisely today's bananas has the fewest compounds I'm allergic to. (Although I can't always eat them, either.)

Yesterday's bananas are not a total disaster, though. For baking, yesterday's bananas work best. And, if you don't feel like baking at the precise moment they're rotting on your countertop, simply stick them in the freezer.

So... a lot of these pantry items keep pretty well, and you'll use them eventually, right? Right! So where's the problem? Moving. In particular, moving long distances, especially when there's an international border involved. Now, I plan to foist my leftovers on any friends that will take them, but I'm trying to use up some of my more, um, shall we say "unfoistable" ingredients. Like the dead bananas in the freezer, a partial tin of "getting older" quick oats... stuff like that. And if I use up some of my foistable ingredients while I'm at it, so much the better... I seem to do a bit more baking than my average friend. There's probably a limit to how much I can foist upon them.

Anyway, last night around 9pm, I felt the urge to go out and have both human contact and a bit of exercise. So I wrote up my grocery list and went grocery shopping. When I was making up my list, I had a look at some of the pantry stash, to see what I could make if I had the correct perishable ingredients. I found out that with a 1 L bottle of milk and a six-pack of eggs, I could make banana bread, oatmeal chocolate cake, and chocolate pudding, probably using up nearly all of the milk and eggs, and a bunch of the items in my pantry. I also have all the ingredients for fudge on hand, as long as I use baking chocolate rather than chocolate chips. (At a 1 to 1 ratio... last time I used less baking chocolate, I got a very tasty chocolate syrup, but it was not fudge.)

Today I started with the banana bread. I put chocolate chips in, because I like it better that way. It occured to me I could also use up the last of my pecans this way... since I would have to buy more brown sugar if I were to make more cinnamon buns. (And then have leftover brown sugar.) Pantry stash used up: all dead bananas, all pecans, half of chocolate chips, one stick of butter (one left to go), and I also made a dent in my white sugar and vanilla. (Between fudge and chocolate pudding, I may be able to use up the rest of the vanilla too.) I think I did pretty well with today's effort at destashing.

So... anyone want to visit me now? I've got fresh banana bread!
Banana Bread

Lazy Weekend at Haus Noricum

Yeti Yoga
George practices his yoga.

Nori and Ted
Nori explains the facts of life to Ted.

Bacon Brothers
The Bacon Brothers read the paper.

Hanging Around
Monkey hangs around.

Laceweight Balled
I ball my first skank of Lost Lake laceweight. I'm probably stating the obvious, but it takes a loooong time to ball a skank of laceweight. I have three more skanks to ball.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Wikipedia Meme

February 10

Three events:
1. 1763 - French and Indian War: The 1763 Treaty of Paris ends the war and France cedes Canada to Great Britain.
2. 1954 - President Dwight Eisenhower warns against United States intervention in Vietnam.
3. 1996 - The IBM supercomputer Deep Blue defeats Garry Kasparov for the first time.

Two births:
1. 1898 - Bertolt Brecht, German author (d. 1956)
2. 1939 - Adrienne Clarkson, 26th Governor General of Canada

One death:
1. 1722 - Bartholomew Roberts, English pirate


Friday, April 14, 2006

Yet Another Post

Today was nice and relaxing, but a bit lonely. It would have been nice to have some human contact. I would have gone out looking for some... had it not been for the high pollen levels. :P

Normally I have friends that come over on Sunday, but this weekend one is out of town, and the other has parents visiting. The one with parents visiting said she might include me in something, but was uncertain what.

I will get a bit of human contact when I go grocery shopping, but that's probably it for this weekend. Is there anyone nearby that wants to visit me?

Another Invitation

I received another invitation recently: a wedding invitation for the couple whom I've had to call 911 for. This is the one where the guy beat up the girl, and she couldn't find her cell phone. The guy does seem to have improved since his run-in with jail and an anger-management program... but I can't help but wonder if it's a mistake.

The bride-to-be came with her daughter to deliver the invitation. I was in the middle of dinner, and a bit surprised, so I didn't think to invite them in. I wonder if I should have? They were holding another invitation, and so were probably going there next, but I still could have invited them in for a few minutes.

I did decline attending the wedding. It was an easy call... it's in June, and I'm leaving at the end of May.

Now... do I give them a present? And if so, what? I hardly know them. I wave hi when I see them, and have interacted with the girl some (I even gave the girl a crocheted teddy bear), but that's about it.

So, if you have any opinions on this, please let me know.

(Blogs are great things... like personal advice columns! ;) )

Do I, or Don't I?

I've been invited to a "Women in Sciences Dinner" for "advanced women doctoral students in the physical sciences." (Someone in the department identified me as willing to show up for this kind of thing.) The dinner is at Penang Restaurant. From the name, I thought it might be Chinese, but it's not. I've looked it up, and it serves Malaysian and Thai cuisine. Checking their full menu, sesame seeds are only mentioned twice. It's two days before I leave for the conference in Tempe, and they'd like an RSVP by May 1st.

Do I go, or don't I?

+ It's over at 7pm, so I shouldn't have problems catching a bus home. (Busses only get *really* annoying after 8.)

- I am allergic to peanuts, but not as bad as sesame seeds. (And peanuts only show up seven times on the menu.)

+ Free food is nearly always a good thing, and this restaurant looks like it should be nice.

- I will have trouble figuring out what is in stuff, since I have very little exposure to Thai and Malaysian foods.

- sesame seeds and oil may be much more prevalent than what the menu indicates. (And I can react to the smell of sesame seeds when they're heated.)

+ despite my picky eating habits and numerous allergies, I actually enjoy food from other cultures. (If it weren't for my sesame and MSG allergies, I'd be eating Chinese a *lot*.)

If you were me, what would you do?

Filet Crochet Stag

Filet Crochet Stag
Filet Crochet Stag

Unblocked and ends not woven in.

Good Morning

I've had a nice, leasurely morning. I slept late, read blogs, ate breakfast... and now I'd like a shower. However, my neighbours are doing that weird thing with the water. :P Not only will it mess up the water pressure for my shower, but it's noisy too.

I think I'll go read for a bit... maybe they'll stop playing with the water eventually.

Thursday, April 13, 2006


Review done!!! I finished in time to catch the 6:10 G bus home. :) Now for those taxes... um, tomorrow will be soon enough. ;)


...I knew I was filling my taxes out at work, and that I owed $13 to NC. Do you think it occurred to me to bring my chequebook? *sigh*

I guess I won't be mailing that one today. :P

There's mail pickup on Saturday, right?

I think I'll leave my Canadian taxes until tomorrow too, and that way I'll have enough time to finish this review before I go home today. I will pop on over to the post office to mail my federal taxes and Bron's socks, though, just to get that out of the way.

Bron's Socks

Bron's Socks
Bron's Socks

One pair of socks (fini) on top of one paper to review (not fini).

This afternoon:
1. Finish up last little bit of taxes.
2. Go to post office.
3. Finish paper review!!!
4. Start long weekend. (No weekend until paper reviewed!!!)

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Office Scents

It smells like someone's been barbecuing up here on the thrid floor. (That's "grilling," for all y'all southerners. And if I misspelled "y'all," please forgive me... I am a northerner after all.) It smells like something I wouldn't be too excited about eating (I'm a picky eater), but I am enjoying the smell.

K was really nice and picked up some thread for me. It looks like I used South Maid. I'll give it a try tonight (reviewing and taxes permitting) to see if it matches, but I think it will.

This time I'll also keep the label tucked inside the ball. ;)

To Sleep, Perchance To Dream

Dogwood Flowers
Dogwood Flowers

I'm in late again today... but then, I worked late last night, so I feel somewhat justified.

The dogwoods and azaleas are blooming beautifully... and since they have showy flowers, they are insect pollenated, rather than wind pollenated... which means they aren't contributing to my allergies.

I had a weird night last night. After going to bed late, it took me forever to fall asleep. My brain was too busy. I was thinking about stuff here, and how things are going to be different when I'm home. I was thinking about how one applies for a job at a yarn shop or bookstore. (I've never worked in retail, and I expect it's rather different from applying to be a professor. ;) Will they want transcripts? Is my "resume" totally useless, due to the fact that it's geared towards a totally different discipline? Will they even want a resume, or do I just fill out one of their standard forms? (If anyone has any experience, please let me know!)

Anyway, I eventually fell asleep. I had the *weirdest* dream. (Warning... I'm about to describe extreme weirdness.) Apparently my subconcious has aspirations of writing comic books, because my dream was this wierd "becoming a team of superheros" thing. I don't remember most of it now, but I drove a fancy sports car, there were bizarre, spinning elevators (one per superhero, with dots on the walls where we were supposed to put our fingers so we'd keep our balance... I was still getting the hang of the things), and I was pregnant with one of my twin brothers... one of the other (male) superheros was pregnant with the other. No, this dream did *not* make logical sense, although it was amazingly coherent. I think I actually gave birth to a female twin, who became a superhero immediately (she grew really fast), but was a midget and emotionally scarred from having gone through my birth canal. The other twin had problems, and somehow had to be reconstructed from parts run through the spinning elevators. I can't remember what my superpowers were, but I do remember them being pretty cool. (Much cooler than being pregnant with ones sibling.)

I woke up from the dream in a cold sweat, curled up and with my shoulders *aching*. Getting up in the wee hours, in a cold house, to change into dry pajamas isn't terribly fun.

Oh... and the mockingbird is back. However, he's improved his song drastically. Every morning for the past few days he's serenaded me around 6 am. He starts off with a prettier tune, and then sings just a wee bit of the "car alarm" sound to let me know it's him. He seems to like the tree not far from my bedroom window. He only sings for a few minutes, and then lets me get back to sleep.