Thursday, May 31, 2007

A Walk Around Fredericton

I *really* needed a walk at lunch. Why don't you join me through these photos?

Walking Bridge View From Bridge View From Bridge Church Sculpture
I'll be sure to take more photos on other walks... Fredericton is a pretty city.

I ended the walk with an ice cream ("wild blueberry") and some retail therapy:
Retail Therapy
(Pretty pink bag!!!) The sock yarn is a cotton blend (includes wool, sorry Bron) that I haven't seen before, and thus *had* to try. There were a lot of colour choices at the store. In case you haven't seen it either, here's a close-up of the ball band:
Ballband 2
After tax it was only $13.10! Canadian! (They had two colours of Regia Bamboo too, but it was rather pricier... I may decide to try it anyway, just out of curiosity.)

The walk helped, but I'm still feeling kind of lonely or "hide in a dark corner"... anyone have a phone plan where they can call Canada for free? I can send you my office and residence numbers. ;)

PS: Knittah, I didn't have Swatchy with me. I'll take him to the yarn store another time.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


*squeee* My brother reports I have a big, squishy envelope at home!!! I wonder if it's the Lisa Souza I ordered?!?

Update: It is Lisa Souza! It is! It is!

Life in Res

This is the closet of a room where I'll be sleeping for four weeks:
My walk-in closet of a room
Somehow it seems a bit different from the Toronto accomodations. At least it doesn't smell of stale cigarette smoke.

My closet is located in this building:
I was going to point out which room was mine, but I haven't quite figured it out yet. It's one of the ones on the third floor from the top on the left hand side.

At least my closet has a nice view:
Sunny day
Hmmm... looks like UNB also has a problem with dandelions:
York has lots too. I'm thinking U of M must have some fanatical gardeners by comparison, since I haven't seen sights like this at home. It certainly has nothing to do with the climate, since I can attest that the dandelions do just *fine*, thankyouverymuch, when not weeded in my yard.

The shared fridge on my floor is scary:
Dorm Fridge Fright
Not only was it too full for my stuff, but it *smells* of spoiled milk. I decided to do something about the smell. This is what I found on a cursory sweep:
These were the worst offenders:
Worst Offenders
(Can I point out that photo was taken May 27?) Even the most recent was, um, chunky.

The smell hasn't gone away, but at least now there's room. I must say I'm rather tempted by this flyer I found:
Dorm Fridge Rentals
$15 for one month? *Soooo* tempted. But I think I'll be fine... the smell isn't too overpowering.

Sunday I went out and got a few essentials for dorm life:
Supplies necessary for a dorm room
A shower caddy and sharpies to mark my food... I feel just like a freshman! I also bought some hangers and a few other items.

Residence decorations:
What to Wear
What to wear: toques, long johns, and parkas? I'm hoping they simply haven't updated this one recently. In fact, they seem rather stuck on the "cold" theme:
Cold Feet
Perhaps the other options aren't that much better?
Ah! Here's one I can use:
Free Fun
"Five fabulous free things to do in Fredericton."

Did I mention the view is nice?
My closet has a view


Let me just say that the Yarn Harlot's talk was a blast, so was the Spotted Dick (*full* of knitters), and I made new friends. :) Most of the photos I took were for Swatchy. Here's a bit of a teaser:

Me, Sarah and Aurora at Spotted Dick

And a video:

For more videos, read this post.

To meet a really awesome bunch of people, read this one. (The photos there are much better... I just didn't want to "repeat myself all over again".)

One more thing before you click away (or after you get back)... I was *recognised*! Pam says she recognised me from my blog! I was *so* tickled. I'd introduce you to her, but she was camera shy. It was so cool meeting a reader! :) (Lots of other people recognised Swatchy, or me after they saw Swatchy. ;) )

Tuesdays are for Spinning


...or so I've heard. At any rate, I felt like spinning a bit last night, so I pulled out the spindle for a half hour before bed. What you see is what I accomplished in that half hour. Not much, huh?

I'm starting to loosen up and trust the fiber more, allowing some spin up to grab the right amount of fiber to pull down, rather than pulling down how much I think and then letting the spin travel into it. It's sort of hard to describe... but since I barely have enough hands as it is for spinning, there's no way I'll be recording a video to show you.

Looking at my big, poufy fluff of fiber last night, I realized that I really should spin this all before I have to pack to go home. That shouldn't be a problem, however I now know I shouldn't predraft anything in my last few days here. ;) (It's good to have these things spelled out to me. I'm occasionally a bit dense.)

Found On Flickr


Neat! Origami quilting!


Heeheeheehee! Woolverine vs Poly-Cotton Blend. And it's even dedicated to Knitters Without Borders!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Pricey Toronto Housing

Downtown Toronto Development

The Office

When not sleeping or eating, I can be found here:
Computer Science
My office has a nice view:
Office View
My desk not only has a designer and manufacturer, it has a plaque:
Desk plaque
(And, at the moment, it also has a spider that doesn't take the hint when I blow it away from my mouse.)

Playing with Fiber

Last night I had an urge to play with my new BFL sliver. It was getting close to bedtime, so all I did was unbraid it and predraft it. It's amazing how at first it didn't want to draft at all, and then all of a sudden it became *so* easy to draft. In this shot you can see how a tiny bit of predrafting allowed all the fibers to align (the pills disappeared!) and decompress:
The predrafted fiber is on the bottom, the undrafted fiber on the top.

Look at how much bigger it is!
Looking back at this photo I took when I first bought the fiber, the entire braid was only about the size of two skeins of sock yarn:
It's definitely poofed out now!

Fredericton and Air Travel

I flew to Fredericton in one of those tiny planes that only has two seats on each side of the aisle. About half the flight was military boys. Seeing how young they were made me feel kind of old.

Fredericton has one of the smallest airports I've ever been in. It may in fact be the smallest, but I can't remember too much about the Grand Prairie, AB, airport. The Fredericton airport has no security screening that I know of. When I got off the plane (using stairs) then walked over to the terminal, I immediately entered the area where the baggage claim was... and just a few steps further was the door to the outside.

We had to wait for *the* (not *a*, *the*) ground crew because another flight landed at the same time.

However, despite Fredericton's tiny airport, there seems to be a large number of flights flying high up overhead. Whenever I look up I spot about five or six planes. Well, not when it's cloudy. I guess they must be mainly Europe-bound flights from the east coast US states? Nowhere near as many planes fly over Winnipeg.

Plane Contrails


Cherry(?) blossoms

It's spring here in Fredericton. The flowers are gorgeous! I took this photo on Sunday... before the rain brought down most of the fruit tree petals on Monday.

Art at York University

There are a lot of murals at York. I rather enjoyed this one:
Art at York University
I thought Deneen might get a kick out of the artist:
Art at York University
(Deneen: there's also a street called Dineen here at UNB! I keep bumping into reminders of you everywhere! It's creepy! ;) )

Here's an example of the outdoor art at York:
Art at York University

Hyperbolic Planes

I finished the hyperbolic plane (n=5) I was making for my professor in Toronto:
Hyperbolic Plane
I stopped at the point I did both because it was nearly time to leave, and also because there were two knots in what was left. That seemed a bit rediculous!

Here's the one I made with some others given to W previously (not made by me):
Hyperbolic Planes

I used the leftover to make a mini hyperbolic plane (n=3):
Mini Hyperbolic Plane
I plan to tie it to my suitcase to distinguish it from the others on the baggage carousel.

Drawing A Bath

Drawing A Bath

There was indeed no hot water on Saturday. Although there are some places where you can have a reasonably comfortable shower with just the cold water from the tap, Toronto in the spring does not appear to be one of them. The temperature was somewhere between fridgid and nearly solid.

I resorted to the old fashioned method of heating water on the stove... although I threw in an electric kettle and the stove didn't require any wood. ;)

After three full kettles, two medium pots, and one large pot of water... the bath was "bearable". Bearable enough, at least, that I gave up carrying nearly-boiling water up a flight of stairs. There's only so much danger I want to risk in the morning before bathing.

Let's just say it was a *quick* bath.

Catching Up

Okay now, where was I? Hmmm... the last photo I blogged appears to be the toque**. I sure have some catching up to do! I'll be doing it over several posts here and at Swatchy's blog. This may take me a while... I'll be posting when I want breaks from work.

**I belive both spellings of toque/tuque are correct, I just waffle between which is *more* correct.

Monday, May 28, 2007

I'm It

I've been tagged by Brit Knitter to give seven random facts about myself.

Here are the tag rules:

Each person tagged gives 7 random facts about themselves. Those tagged need to write on their blog the 7 facts as well as the rules of the game. You need to tag 7 others and list their names on your blog. You have to leave those you are tagging a note in their comments so they know they have been tagged and to read your blog.

Seven Random Facts:

1. My first word (besides gurgles interpreted as "mom" and "dad") was "Christmas tree." (Technically, I suppose that's two.) I was fascinated by my first sight of a Christmas tree, and when my mom said "that's a Christmas tree" I replied "Christmas tree" in a stunned way. She then said "isn't it pretty?" to which I replied "pretty!" I used "pretty" constantly the whole holiday season, but didn't say Christmas tree again until the following year.

2. To this day I love Christmas decorations.

3. I am an athiest. This doesn't mess with my love of Christmas: to me, Christmas is a celebration of friends and family.

4. My father tried to force me to be a Roman Catholic. I rebelled. It took a Roman Catholic priest to get my father to understand that I could still be a good person even though I'm not religious.

5. I'm stubborn. (If you haven't already guessed.)

6. I like frogs. I happen to collect frog things, but please don't buy me ugly frog stuff just because they have frogs on them. I still have good taste (in my opinion).

7. I like doing silk paintings, but haven't had time for several years.

8. I hate tagging people. So, instead, I'll list seven more random things, starting with this one. (Plus my first several items sort of flowed from each other, rather than being truly random.)

9. I cannot visualize 4D or higher. I wish I could.

10. I am pretty good at splitting firewood. (Well, I am when I'm not out of shape.)

11. I'm good at fixing lots of things.

12. I like untangling yarn.

13. I *like* drinking water. Well, not mineral water or fizzy water. Or well water. Or water from Regina. (Or was it Saskatoon with the bad tasting water? I can't remember now. I think it was Regina.)

14. I'm afraid of swimming in water that isn't clear. I sometimes get freaked out even when it is clear. I don't necessarily let that stop me from swimming, though.

Contest Alert(s)

Sara is cleaning up her old patterns and magazines, and will be running a series of contests! Here's the first.

Sunday, May 27, 2007


It must not be a hangover because it's still killing me. It subsided some during the day, but now it's keeping me from falling asleep. :(

I stopped in at a little grocery store, but they wanted over $5 for a bottle of 24 Tylenol. I didn't want to pay that, and there was another grocery store between me and home. However, when I got there, it turns out it was closed for the day. Bummer!

I hope my head stops pounding soon.

Another annoyance is that if I shift-tab in Safari to go from the labels field back to the area where I write the posts, I crash Safari. I don't know if the bug is Safari or Blogger... this particular shift-tab bug only happens when writing Blogger posts. I wonder if Blogger and/or Safari read "freedback" posts?


Feets hurts. *sulk* Either the shoes and sandals I'm wearing these days have insufficient cushioning and/or support, or I'm really getting out of shape. Or perhaps this is related to the fact that my feet start hurting the instand I attempt to stand in skates? Dunno. But anyway, I just spent the last three and a half hours walking. I'd say mostly uphill, but topologically I know that it can't have been more than half uphill, since I finished where I started.

I wandered over to stripmall-land to pick up a few essential res-life items (like a shower caddy) and a few grocery items I hadn't found at Sobeys last night. Thankfully I did indeed find a dollar store. And a bulk food store, a Zellers (Americans: think Walmart-like), and another Sobeys. I need to check the map to see which is closer. Even if it's not closer, I may visit this one since it's uphill on the way there, as opposed to the way back.

Head still hurts a bit. I should have bought some tylenol or something. I think I'll go drink some water.


Ow. My head hurts this morning. Would one glass of white wine with dinner last night be enough to give me a hangover headache? I drank lots of water with dinner too. I was thirsty from walking there. Perhaps my head hurts because I didn't drink enough water to rehydrate myself? It was a long walk to dinner and back. And the way back was also uphill carrying a few groceries.

My room is at the opposite end of campus from the computer science department. It's possible for the two to be a bit farther apart, but not by much. There's also a significant altitude difference between the two. I'll be getting lots of exercise this next month!

My e-mail access went funny too, so now I'm back to dial-up. So I *can* browse the web, but only slowly. So you'll still have to wait for photos from Friday.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

In Fredericton

Well, my residence room here in Fredericton isn't nearly as nice as the
one at York (this one is abut the size of a walk-in closet), but it has
the benefit of not smelling of smoke. Due to the, um, "network
security" in the residence, I can't use a web browser (not yet, at
least), but it seems to be letting me check and send e-mail. (This is
posted via e-mail.) So no photos from yesterday yet... I need a web
browser for that. Well, I suppose I could try uploading them with
Flickr uploader, but then I couldn't check what the urls for them were
anyway. So not much point in trying that. I could write the post, but
I don't feel like doing that when I can't add the photos yet.

I'm *dead* tired. I didn't get to bed last night until ~2:30 am.
Definitely time for bed. Toodles.

Lots To Blog Later

I'd love to tell you about the fantastic time I had last night, but I need to pack first. I'm *tired*! I didn't get to bed until 2:30. I met so many great people and made new friends. tiredtiredtired. My brain is like scrambled eggs this morning. Perhaps the cold shower will help. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that *lots* is coming after I make it to Fredericton. (Unless I miraculously finish packing and everything with tons of time to spare... but I suspect that if I do, I'll be having a nap.)

Friday, May 25, 2007

Answering Mea

Mea asked (ever so nicely) what my dissertation is on, and how Toronto is as a city. Frankly, I haven't seen much of Toronto... it's a big place, and I'm mostly meeting with professors. Lettuce Knit, however, is *awesome*! I highly recommend hanging out there on a Wednesday night for their SNB.

My dissertation... um, well, if I use the big words, I'm looking to see if protein allostery can possibly be explained by changes in rigidity using combinatorial methods. Using less scary words, I'm applying a mathematical idea to biology using computer science. Explanations are pretty long... how badly do you want one? ;)



I fixed the pom-pom a bit: using a yarn needle, I pulled some extra yarn bits through the "seam" to disguise it. It looks much more acceptable now.

I wouldn't want a homeless person to have to suffer an inadequate pom-pom. The indignity!

Did I mention that there was no weaving in of ends on this tuque? Two ends became the ties (braided with extra strands), and the final ends tied on the pom-pom. I don't actually mind weaving in ends, but I thought it was a cute touch. ;)



Hmmm... looks like I'll be having a cold shower tomorrow morning. I suppose I should be glad that the weather is so hot... a cold shower will be refreshing. (Or numbing. But let's not go there.)

Contest Alert

Woo-hoo! I'm famous! Well, temporarily, until the Yarn Harlot link effect wears off. ;)

One of the people who wandered over here via the Yarn Harlot is having a contest! The prizes are a knitting book and some sock yarn! (Mmmm! Sock yarn!) My directing all the Yarn Harlot traffic over there will totally kill my chances, but what the hey. It's a birthday contest. So go over there and wish her a happy birthday!

Oh... and Ms Yarn Harlot? If you need a confidence boost before your talk tonight? Here's your effect on my site statistics from you linking to my blog:

How do I know this jump is all due to the Yarn Harlot link and not something random? Let's just say I have a pretty good idea:

The Yarn Harlot effect also seems to be stronger than the Alison effect. ;)

Update: I fixed that last link to be what I think I had meant it to be...

Thursday, May 24, 2007

I'm All Alone

Hello? Anyone there? *sigh* Well, W and A said they'd meet me here around 1, but the exact time would depend on the busses. I was a few minutes late... around 1:09. It's now 1:45, and there's no sign of either of them.

I guess I'll just be working on my own until one or the other shows up. No big deal. It's just curious that neither of them came. Unless they came before I did, and didn't wait around at all? But that seems odd. Especially since W's office is across the hall, and he's not there either.

Update: Speak of the devils, all it took was this post. As soon as I hit "publish", they both showed up! A thinks W said 1:30. I can't remember.

Found On Flickr

deconstructing Relic

Clever! That's a much cheaper way to get magnetic clasps than buying them new! (At least compared to where I bought them in New York.) Plus you get the leather and other stuff. :) I had thought of buying a thrift leather jacket for the leather, but a purse hadn't occured to me.

Night On The Town

Last night Swatchy and I headed out for a night on the town... we joined the SNB at Lettuce Knit! Here's a few highlights, but for more details, go check out the post on Swatchy's blog. (I'll add a link after I've written that post.)

CN Tower

I liked these statues on the Toronto Library building:
Statue Owl

Lettuce Knit:
Lettuce Knit

The charity hat is finished:
Finished Tuque Finished Tuque Finished Tuque
It was a big hit at Lettuce Knit. :) (It's my own pattern! I'm proud!) Bron: do you recognize the yarn? ;)

I kind of went a bit overboard with the souvenir loot:
It isn't too bad... I stuck to my rules. I bought sock yarn for one pair of socks in a yarn I hadn't seen before (even though it wasn't local, but it is hand dyed), some lovely BFL sliver, a button, and two books by local authors that I then got autographed right there at the SNB:
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off Autograph No Sheep For You Autograph

There's *lots* more photos going up on Swatchy's blog. I'm off to write that post now!