Saturday, September 27, 2008


*Awesome* t-shirt!


If you're going to call someone at 3 am, *please* make sure you (a) have the right number, and (b) actually enter that number correctly! *sigh*

Monday, September 22, 2008

Sock Yarns

Sock Yarns

As part of the airing of the stash, I'm sorting things so that they're more organized. I thought I'd put my sock yarn in it's own (admittedly smaller than the other) bins. It doesn't fit. And that's not counting the three pairs worth I have at school, the socks in progress, or any of the scraps. Or the four pairs worth I just ordered from The Sweet Sheep. (I stupidly read that she stocked more LoveSticks, and then I also noticed that she had some lovely sKNITches Syncopation. Whoops.)

Can someone please remind me of this the next time my mouse is hovering over the "check out now" button...? (But they are all pretty and lovely...)

Yarn Skeins

Yarn Needing Winding

Um... I think it's time for a ball winder...

(Dear Santa...)

You light up my life... eventually

The burned-out bulb:
How would you interpret that warning? Are totally enclosed fixtures okay?

Desk Photos

From September 12th:



From September 21st:



Sunday, September 21, 2008

Can I get an Ewwwwwww!?

So I went over to my mom's to do some more stripping. (*Furniture*, that is... get your minds out of the gutter!) It's humid tonight. I'm a sweaty person. At one point I started noticing random drips, and wondered where those were coming from, since the respirator and goggles traps a lot. Then I lifted my hand up, and a *stream* of sweat poured out of my glove. Ewwwww!


1. It is hard to swat mosquitoes while wearing solvent-resistant gloves... you don't want to swat with something that will get paint stripper on your skin!

2. I should not wear my shorts that the zipper falls down on, even if they are now grub shorts... it's hard to zip the fly back up while wearing solvent-resistant gloves. (See above, in addition to the awkwardness.)

3. Imagine two photos, one before, and one after. The difference between the two (besides locations of various items) will show most of the paint stripped off of the two pull-out shelves, and a patch partially stripped on the side of the desk. (I was curious to see if the side panels were oak. At least that one is.)

4. Paint stripper, when a small amount comes in contact with your skin, burns for a bit, and then stops. (I stupidly used my leg to prop up the shelf, and I must have got a bit on the surface that my leg was supporting.)

5. When goggles fog up, they're hard to see through. (I eventually gave up and took them off, figuring my glasses provide some protection at least, and I tried to be careful to not have any back-splash. I figured being able to see was also a safety issue.)

The TV that ate my livingroom

(I mean that in the nicest way, of course.)

Had I remembered to bring home my camera cable, you'd be seeing a photo comparing my new old TV with my old old TV.

My old old TV (TV #2) is a 15" (well, the visible portion measures a smidge over 13"... how do they measure TVs? If it were a monitor, it would be labelled 15"), and my new old one (TV #3) is 26" (well, that's what my dad's fiancee told me... the visible portion measures just under 27"... so now I'm thoroughly confused). The new one is *much* bigger than the old one... the old one sat comfortably on top of my little VCR, the new one has the VCR perched on top, with lots of room to spare.

A 19" or 20" would have been a much more appropriate size for my needs, but shopping through friends' and family's used TVs doesn't exactly come with lots of options. ;) (It does, however, come with a much better price than buying new.)


I decided that even though I have a ton of posts that I need to write that are weighing on me, and I don't have time for all of them, I'd give you an update (with photos) on the lightbulb issue.

It turns out that I forgot my camera cable at school. (I had thought that perhaps I'd have time to do a post or two there. HA!)

Well, here's a summary sans photos:

1. I decided to break down and replace the bulb. Taking longer than 10 minutes to come on is just completely unacceptable. I already have trouble getting up the motivation to cook properly, or wash my dishes, without the added procrastination incentive of a non-working light.

2. (Imagine a photo here.) The top of the plastic lightbulb base is a nice golden toast colour. (A little on the light side for my toast preferences, but probably a little on the dark side for my former roommate from Texas.) It used to be white.

3. (There was a photo for this part too.) On the lightbulb itself, and on the *inside* of the packaging (but nowhere on the *outside* of the packaging (that I can find), it says the following: "Not for use in luminaires/fixtures ... in totally enclosed recessed fixtures." Do you think they're missing an "or" there? The fixture I'm using is one of those old styles that has a frosted glass ball enclosing it, but it is not recessed at all. Do you think that is the problem? Or is it the electricity, or a lemon bulb? At any rate, if it takes less than a year for this one to burn out, I'm going back to regular incandescent bulbs. :P

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Although it wasn't on when I wrote my second whining post, the kitchen light is now on. I don't know exactly when it came on, or how long that was... but it was *too* long. *sigh*

Found on Flickr

South Fork Twilight

More gorgeousness to admire!

Found on Flickr


While you're waiting for a nicer personal post by me, here's a really pretty example of couching for you to enjoy. It makes me want to embroider. :)

More Whining

While I'm whining anyway, can I complain that my neck has been killing me for the past few days? I tried advil and a bath last night, but it didn't do much. I had more advil this morning. It's killing me again now. Whine, whine, whine. Grump.

(Don't get me wrong... besides my neck, the lightbulb, the TV, the smelly student, the whiny student, and the yarn explosion all over my living room (I aired the stash to look for swap yarns), life is actually pretty good for me these days. I hope to have some nicer posts up soon.)

Electronics hate me.

Feel free to ignore this post, but the electronics that hate me seem to act better for a while after I whine about them.

Now, you've already heard about my TV. Things have gotten really ridiculous, though. Last week, one day it took over *thirty* minutes to come on! Luckily it was a half hour before the news was due to start, and I was just having a nap. Since I knew my TV was being cranky, I figured I'd get it started, then turn the volume down while I napped. I only ended up missing the first few minutes of the news.

You may think I'm nuts, but after whining in an e-mail to a friend... it now only takes a couple minutes to come on. (It may also help that I've told my dad's fiancee that I'd buy a TV she doesn't need any more for $100.)

Anyway, now that my TV is working better again, my &%$#@ kitchen light has decided to do the same thing!!! I turned my kitchen light on before starting to type this post, and it's *still* not on! Now, my typing speed has improved from high school, but not by *that* much! Aaaaargh!!! It better not be the bulb... I put it in sometime around February, and those compact fluorescents are supposed to last a long time to make up for their high cost!!! (How many exclamation marks can I use in one paragraph? Can you tell I'm ticked?!?)

Yep, I just went and checked, and the light switch is definitely in the *on* position. I don't think the bulb is totally burned out, because it did this the last time I turned the light on, and it eventually did come on after a few minutes.

Aaaaaaargh! Grrrr...

I can understand that it takes a few minutes for the light to warm up to full strength... but to be completely off for several minutes?!?!!!

I think the electricity in this building must be flakey. But what can I do about it? It's an apartment. I can't exactly tell them I want them to rewire my suite. I did check the outlets, and got the ones that were wired backwards corrected, so it *shouldn't* be that. (Of course, I didn't test the light sockets, but that wouldn't explain the TV issues I've had since moving in.)



I'm airing the stash before I head over to a knitter's housewarming (we're doing a yarn swap as part of the party)... and I discovered I have yarn I spun that I had *completely* forgotten about. I recognize it now that I see it... but to forget about handspun that is less than a year old? Scary!

Found on Flickr

Seriously Spontaneous Spinning Club by Loop

I got a spot!!! (She has a club for her baby cakes too... but hurry fast... there were only a couple spots left when I paid for mine.) Direct link to

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Benefits of Tutoring

I'm finally getting around to learning Emacs so that I can teach it to my student.

(Um... why is my browser having *so* much trouble today loading web pages? Are the DNS servers under attack, or is there something messed up with my browser? Grrr...)

Update: My other browser (Firefox, rather than Safari) is having the same stupid errors... so it looks like the DNS gods hate me...

Monday, September 15, 2008


I hope you don't mind that I flooded your feed readers with Found on Flickr posts... I'm done for now!

Found on Flickr

Felted sweater and blanket ornaments--red and white button snowmen

Hee! I *must* make a few of these too! (At least they'll be faster than some of the other things in my queue...)

Found on Flickr

Sugar Cookie Ornaments

I *love* these! Hmmm... I wonder how they're made... (I don't think I saw an etsy page in her profile... must look again...)

Found on Flickr

liberated churn dash

I love this quilt too! (Can I have more walls and/or beds to display all the quilts I'd make during the extra hours if I had them??)

Found on Flickr

Two wonky flying geese dolls quilts.

*want*! (Can I have another few hours added to my day so that I can do quilting too?)

Found on Flickr

love bird wall hanging 006

I love the peaceful, folk-art feel of this, and the colours are wonderful!

Found on Flickr

lime guy


Found on Flickr

SEW News Lanterns

I *must* make some of these! (My crafting queue goes on and on and on...)

Found on Flickr

noro robot

I *love* this photo! Mars attacks!!!

Found on Flickr

windmill plush

What a fun windmill!

Found on Flickr

Leaf IV


Found on Flickr

A Gentle Cascade of Flowers necklace

Oooo... pretty swirlies!

Found on Flickr

Wee Hedgehog Tweed

Did I mention that I love these Hedgies?

Found on Flickr

Playing around with the edging

I *love* these!

Found on Flickr


So fun!

Found on Flickr

Tucson Throw

*Gorgeous*! It's so much more stunning in a solid cream like this, than the multi-colour version at the pattern page. (As always, click through to the Flickr page for the photographer's details, which, in this case, include where to find the pattern.)

Found on Flickr

rollin with my gnomies


Found on Flickr

Wee Hedgehog Tartan

So so *so* adorable! I love these little hedgies!

Found on Flickr

"Reaching"- An Original Chinese Brush Painting of a Hummingbird and Flower on 6x6 Panel

Beautiful! (I want to learn Chinese brush painting one day...)

Found on Flickr

flying sheep


Found on Flickr


Adorable! (I want one on my Christmas tree!)

Found on Flickr


Cool design!

Found on Flickr

carpeta en forma de estrella

Wow! I love this design.

Found on Flickr


What a beautiful bedspread!

Found on Flickr

Knitted Paper (?) Chain

Hee! What a fun idea, and it would be perfect for using up leftover bits of yarn. :)

I have way too many tabs open in my browser, so perhaps I should spend a few of my spare minutes (assuming I get them) posting my "Found on Flickr" posts...

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Thanks to teaching this summer, I'm now on the *cool* book mailing list... I just received The Art of Computer Programming, Volume 4, Fascicle 0: "Introduction to Combinatorial Algorithms and Boolean Functions" by Donald Knuth (who happens to be my great-grandadvisor). This is much better than fifteen books on how to program in Java. :) (Not that there's anything wrong with learning to program in Java, it's just that I already know how, and there are *so* many of them! I don't need them cluttering up my bookshelf.)

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Take Me To Your Leader

Take Me To Your Leader
My friend loaned me a respirator... and dude? I *want* one! (Dear Santa...) Breathing through it was surprisingly easy, and I didn't smell the acetone at all. The Darth Vader sounds were entertaining, and even though it got all drippy inside, it wasn't at all icky. The seal is great and comfortable too! No, I'm not loopy on fumes. (Well, I don't *think* I am...)

Here's how things looked when I started tonight:
Before Tonight
and when I finished:
After Tonight
Can you see the difference? No, not the light levels. And yeah, the drawers are now empty of stuff, ready for refinishing, but not that either. No, ignore the fact that the tools and stuff are in different locations. Look closely at the upper left corner and the trim around the top... can you see a difference yet? No? *sigh* Well, there is a difference, although minor.

Here's a close-up on the corner that spent the most time on:
Tiger Oak
The corner in the bottom right has pretty much all of the glue stripped (an area about one square foot), and the spot to the left of that corner is mostly stripped. This is going to take much longer than I had initially budgeted. But I think I'm okay with that.

I'm beginning to wonder if maybe those black stains *are* ink, rather than iron... although I'm not sure it'll make much of a difference in how to attempt to remove (or at least minimize) them...

Neat Old Buildings

I saw these neat old buildings on my way home from Pollock's:
Old House Old Church
I love the architectural details! They're both in disrepair... that addition on the back of the house looks truly scary! However, it also looks like both are being fixed up. There are signs of work-in-progress on the house, and the church is being converted into condos. (It's funny... I was thinking "gee, that would be an awesome building to turn into living space"... and then I saw the condo ad out front!)

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Odd Detrius

River Trash

I was walking over the bridge (to get to Pollock's), when I noticed something that looks like a tanned cow hide. (I think it's in two pieces... either that, or there's more than one hide down there.) I wonder how it got there? (Well, I know the river washed it up, but what was a tanned hide doing in the river?!?)

I'd recommend not clicking through for biggie view if you're squeamish. It's not too disgusting, but it's not really a pleasant sight.

Chemical Warfare

Desk Refinishing

I went to Pollock's Hardware Co-op today for supplies for "Me vs the Desk" round two. They didn't have lacquer thinner (out of stock), and suggested the acetone instead. They didn't have either of the two things to take out iron stains from wood either, so I'll worry about that later. I forgot to ask for glue for the veneer... so ditto.

Another $30, and I'm now over $100. Hopefully I don't manage to poison myself tomorrow. (They didn't have respirators with carbon filters, just more dust masks. Does no one bother with protective equipment?)

Friday, September 05, 2008


Hey there! You may be wondering where I've been, since I promised I'd start posting once I got back home. Well, life never stops!

I arrived back Tuesday night, and about all that got done that night was some e-mail reading (nowhere near all of them, though) and unpacking.

Wednesday started with a doctor appointment, followed by grocery shopping. Then I did some more e-mail reading, blog reading (there were over 5000 posts!!! ...although over 3000 of those were photo streams, which are fairly fast to skim through), dinner with family, and then Knit Night. I didn't get much knitting done, though... I got BABY TIME! Here's MathGirl with the baby, during one of the brief times I let go of the little sweetheart:
Baby Time
(No, it's not MathGirl's baby either.) Mmmm! Holding a baby, smelling that baby smell... heavenly!

Thursday and Friday I spent playing with this:
That's a solid oak desk that was painted grey, then faux finished to look like wood. Sort of:
Ugly Faux Finish
Pretty nasty, huh?

Anyway, that tiger oak veneer you see on top was hidden under green linoleum. I think the top must have originally had glass... I'll have to get a piece. The linoleum glue is driving me around the bend! I used most of a 500 mL can of paint stripper on it, and there's *still* glue there! (The paint stripper mostly works much better on the paint, but I haven't done much stripping of paint because I'm now out of stripper.) I think the glue might be an animal hide glue, and so perhaps steam might be the right approach... hopefully that will work without damaging the veneer.

I was ready to call it quits this afternoon, and pretend that the desk was just fine in it's current half-stripped condition. (Do I really care that I've already spent around $75 on stripping and refinishing supplies?) However, after a liberal application of chocolate, a bath, and a DVD, I'm ready to go out and spend more money tomorrow, and continue my quest for a beautiful solid wood desk. (Sheesh, refinishing is expensive! And a lot of work!)

To buy: more paint stripper (to be used solely on the paint), mineral spirits and possibly denatured alcohol (whatever those two things are), oxalic acid (to remove the black stain on one corner), and whatever I need to reattach the veneer in the places where it's bubbling (probably some sort of glue and a syringe). Of course, I haven't figured out how I'm going to steam the hide glue off the veneer... whether I should buy something to do it, or see if I can rig up something with my electric kettle, or risk trying to use my iron. (I don't want to damage the iron... I want to be able to use it for clothing after.)

So yeah, I've been busy. It's late now, so I'm going to head to bed. Hopefully I'll get in a post or two tomorrow between loads of laundry, shopping, and that beast of a refinishing job. Oh, and visiting a friend in the evening.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Apartment Entertainment

The stink wafting in my third storey window reminded me of two lines my neighbour said to me the other day...

1. "Did you know that's two guys?" (Referring to the couple "all over each other" on/beside the box that contains the garbage cans for the apartment block next door. I must admit I had wondered if the one was a guy or a funny looking girl. I don't care that they're gay... but, um, on top of the garbage shed? It's not exactly romantic, and they get intimate enough that perhaps *inside* their apartment would be better.)

2. "I can smell their pot from here." (We were a good twenty or thirty feet away.)

Oh... and my neighbour's children's father is back in jail. Whee. (He broke his parole conditions, plus he smacked around my neighbour before she finally got him out of her apartment... with the help of three police officers and his mother.)

No, my street doesn't exactly have high-class residents. It's safe enough, though.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


I'm back home, and have a working computer! Yay!!!!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Brief Update

The wedding was *great*! Oh... and we stopped at a roadside stand for *tree* *ripened* *peaches*!!! It turns out I'm not allergic to them if they're ripe when picked! (Not that I was going to let an itchy mouth stop me... I make exceptions for tree ripened peaches.) I had a great time catching up a bit with my cousin M. I'm talking my dad into using some more of his points to fly her out for a visit... I haven't got to spend too much time with her, and I'd love to get to know her better. She's such a fun person! Y, on the other hand, is now happily married, and will be living in NY state once silly visa issues get worked out. Hmmm... perhaps I'll have to find a way to visit her around the time of NY Sheep and Wool? ;) (Hmmm... looks like it's still quite a ways... but at any rate, I can't afford a trip this year.)

Time for a shower... more later!

PS: Swatchy visited Niagara Falls. He'll be posting lots later too.