Saturday, October 31, 2009

Time To Retire?

Time To Retire?

Admin Building

Admin Building

Earlier this week when the dark clouds parted to let in a blast of late-afternoon sunlight, I happened to be leaving work, and was able to snap a quick photo before it faded.

The Singing Revolution

The Singing Revolution

Wow. Estonians are heroes. This movie was uplifting and inspiring, and the singing revolution was truly amazing. I wish this movie was a required part of the school curriculum.


The workshop went much better today... the instructor wasn't nearly as grouchy. ;) I was still up late last night, but my accumulated sleep debt wasn't quite as bad, I think. I don't think I yelled at *anyone* today! (Although, for some reason, everyone today brought their *own* rock salt, except for the two people who weren't around when I flipped on the one lady.)

When I got home today, there were three calls on the caller ID, none of which were for me. One wasn't for my neighbour either... there was a message confirming someone's appointment, and it wasn't anyone I knew. So I called the dentist's office back and let them know about their mistake.

The phone still has a faint smell, but after giving it a quick sniff, I think I can go back to using it again. (Yay!)

After I got home from the workshop, I managed to start my laundry, even though all I really wanted to do was have a nap. Once the first load was in the dryer, I set two timers for 50 minutes and lay down. I didn't wake up until an hour and a half later. Whoops! I sure am looking forward to that extra hour tonight, and not having to have my alarm set for the morning!

The Singing Revolution arrived in the mail yesterday, so I'll be watching it tonight, and dropping it in the mail for the next person on the list on Monday. (Canada Post doesn't work on the weekends, so I'm not really messing up the "only keep it one day" rule. If I don't sleep *too* late tomorrow, I'll walk across the bridge to the closest (but not my) post office so that it heads out bright and early on Monday.) Since I *have* to mail things, perhaps I'll finally get to some of that stack of "to mail" stuff I've been neglecting as well. ;)

Well, the timer beeped, so I'm off to put the last load in the dryer. I hope you're keeping well! (I seem to have a morning cough... not too sure what's that about, but I've started taking my puffer just in case.)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Oink Update

The call from my dad tonight was about H1N1. A friend of his had a 24 year old son who just died from H1N1 in Alberta. My step-mom's son has had severe reactions to vaccines in the past. I assured dad that I wasn't going to keel over any time soon (from either the vaccine, or the swine flu itself), and suggested his stepson talk to an allergist.

On the news tonight: long lines and people being turned away from flu clinics at capacity, and how there isn't as much vaccine as expected, because manufacturers had to stop making the regular shots in order to make the non-adjuvanted for pregnant women.

Big Stink

Monday: My neighbour has a run-in with her ex. (Despite the restraining order.)

Tuesday, early evening: I loan my neigbour my phone while I'm out for the evening so she can call her mom to make arrangements to move back to her home province. I ask her to put it back in the bag on the door when she's done so that it doesn't smell as smoky as it has the past few times she borrowed it.

Tuesday, late evening: The phone is in the plastic bag hanging from my doorknob... but it's wet. With something scented. She tried to be helpful, but I'm allergic to perfume and scented stuff. I wipe it down as best I can, and put it back on the receiver.

Wednesday evening: a friend calls, but I can't talk because the phone is still perfumed.

Thursday morning: I leave a note for my neighbour, saying that I know that she meant well, but never *ever* do that again.

Thursday evening: My dad calls, but the phone still stinks. I talk briefly, but keep it short so that I don't get a headache. I try wiping the phone down with rubbing alcohol, but it still stinks.

Anyone know how to get perfume out of plastic? The phone body is hard plastic, they keys are soft plastic, and both stink. *sigh* Do I wait it out, or do I spring for a new phone? (Why do things keep costing me money this term? I know I'm earning more because of the teaching, but I'd really like to save that extra cash for a new laptop to replace my five-year-old one, and ideally a vacation too... at least for bus fare to the lake and back.)

Oink oink.

I did manage to get vaccinated against the swine flu yesterday... so if I get a craving for truffles this winter, it should be for purely culinary reasons. From start to end, it took a bit over two hours.

Note to self: if you may be getting a vaccine that day, it's best to think about that possibility while dressing in the morning. (I can't remember if the news that prompted the chain of events came before or after I was dressed, but I ended up wearing a top with narrow long sleeves... which meant I had to stick my arm out the bottom, and pretend that no one was looking at me.)

Thankfully I didn't fall over and die, or even have an allergic reaction at all. While checking for potential allergens, I did find out something about the adjuvant that, with my sense of humour, I found hilarious. I'm not going to blog it, though... e-mail me if you're dying to know.

I felt so little during the injection itself, I was kind of worried there was something wrong with my nerves. I'm more used to the needles used to give blood, which are quite a bit thicker. Of course, with the way some of the children were screaming (often before they got stuck at all), you'd think we were in Guantanamo.

The lack of pain didn't last, though. It started to feel sore when I left to go home, and by bedtime, raising my arm or lying on it caused pain. The level of the pain is around "bad bruise". Between the pain, and the fact that I prefer sleeping on my left side, which clearly wasn't an option last night, I didn't sleep that well. However, with a full eight hours between when my head hit the pillow and the alarm clock going off, I feel quite a bit better today than I have. (Yay!) I still hit a point around lunch time when I felt like a nap would have been a really good idea, but I've caught a second wind. Now I just need to finish my class prep for tomorrow, and I can go home. (Yay!... assuming it doesn't take me too long. So I should shut up, and go do it.)

The pain is still at bad-bruise level, and I've got some tingling in my left hand and arm as well. Hopefully that won't hang around too long. :P

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I'm *beat*

I *really* need a nap right now. Thankfully class went fairly smoothly this morning, and I made it through the tutoring session fine. Today should be light in the help centre too.

The good news is that I called my allergist, and I'm okay to get the flu shot even with my allergy. (My asthma puts me in a high risk group.) The bad news is that means I get to wait in line for several hours for the shot tonight, instead of going home and getting some sleep. I'm hoping I'll hit a lull, where the university crowd has mostly gone home, and the after-work crowd hasn't started. (Knowing my luck, though, I'll get there right after the after-school crowd hits.)

Hopefully I won't be here until the bitter end (they close at 8 pm), and will still manage to go to bed early tonight. Keep your fingers crossed for me, will you?


I still exist. *Tired* and not enough time, but I'm hanging in there. (Anyone want to teach a class on MS Access tomorrow morning? I'd be happy to sleep in instead!)


My apologies for those of you waiting for a reply to your e-mail, or wondering if I dropped off the face of the earth. Hopefully things will get a little less crazy soon. Prod me if your e-mail was urgent.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


I'm listening to Dispatches on CBC as I wash dishes. One of the dispatches was from Haiti. Sweatshop workers making t-shirts for Americans and Canadians are earning $11/week... and that's for a 60 hour work week. One lady they interviewed wouldn't be eating dinner that night, because she spent the last of her money on the bus ride home from work. The argument *against* raising the minimum wage to $5/*day*? That they wouldn't be profitable any more, and would have to close. Another country raised the minimum wage to $5/day, and lost hundreds of millions of jobs.

I want to know what the break-down is for the cost of the t-shirts we buy as consumers, and why it is that we can't pay Haitians (or other sweat-shop workers) enough that they can eat dinner... something that people wearing those t-shirts take for granted.

This is why I do my best to buy goods made in countries that have humane labour laws. It's not that I don't want my money to go to developing nations, but that I don't want to buy goods that don't even pay the workers enough to eat.

Sheesh. (Big business? Can you hear me? Helloooooo?)

I am Binky

Well... in one of my three jobs, I do the same thing as Binky.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Weasley Repairs

Weasley Repairs

Well, I wore Weasley to school today, and no one commented on all the patches... so either they didn't notice them, or they were being polite. ;)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Weasley's Back

Weasley Repairs

Weasley is getting thin all over, but I've duplicate-stitched some life back into the three worst spots.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Apartment Repairs.

Landlord: The caretaker will be away for a month, can you let me know if anything needs attending to?

Me: Sure. (I have e-mail, it's easy to shoot one off whenever I want.)

time passes

Me: The latch to the garbage area broke, and the door is swinging in the wind. (Plus a few more details.)

Landlord: "Thanks for letting me know. [The caretaker] is away for a little while yet so if you can do something temporary that would be great.



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Some days I feel like the world is taking advantage of me.

This weekend *sucks*

Yesterday morning the phone woke me up... someone calling my neighbour! I grumped at her, and asked her to make other arrangements.

Then I spent too much money while grocery shopping. Part of it was that I haven't been in a while, part was that I was stocking up, and part of it was that I was in an "ooo... shiny!" frame of mind. *sigh* And after spending way too much? The "free" item wasn't one I wanted, and then I discovered that I forgot things after I was home.

Backing into the parking pad, I scratched up my brother's car:
*shit*. The offending post:
I don't like backing into things. I'm fine backing *out* of things, but I really don't like backing into things. However, my brother likes his car pointed out, so I thought I'd put it back the way I found it. The turning radius isn't as tight as I thought it was. I noticed that I was getting close, so I pulled out and fixed my trajectory. Or so I thought. I was watching the *other* side, to see how close to the garage I was. The car is ten or so years old, and it's not like it's in perfect condition:
...but my brother wants the professionals to look at it, rather than just using the touch-up paint to make sure it doesn't rust. *sigh* Knowing what professionals charge, there goes a week's pay.

After that lovely experience, I went over to my mom's to drain the rain barrels. I attached the hose and straightened it out, so that the water would drain over near the street, and not next to the house. There must have been water frozen in the hose, because *nothing* came through. *sigh* So I just let them drain near the house.

My hot water bottle burst.
No, not in the sink. In my bedroom. Thankfully, not in my bed... but I didn't want that stuff on the dresser all wet either, and there was water all the way from my bedroom to the bathroom. :P Luckily it *did* happen *before* I started laundry, so I could use things that were going to be washed anyway, and thus didn't create lots of extra laundry for next week.

Both my mom and dad are out of town, so I don't have a thanksgiving dinner to look forward to tomorrow.

Finally, the hallway smells like cooking cabbage. (I think someone must be making holopchi.) I don't like the smell of cooking cabbage.

On a somewhat brighter note, my ADD student might not need me to tutor him tomorrow!

Linen Hand Towel


I finished re-knitting my linen hand towel this weekend. I had knit it before (with the pattern from MDK), but a weak point in the yarn broke. Since I didn't like the gauge anyway, I decided to rip and reknit. It sat in a ball for quite a while. These days, I'm so fried that I need simple knitting. Seed stitch is something I can handle. I did manage to put some rectangles at one end, for a tiny bit of decoration.

It's rather nice having my linen hand towel back. Now I have two hand knit hand towels I can switch between. (The other is a linen/cotton blend from KnitPicks.) I will soon have a third, because I bought another ball of linen for when I finished this one. (I look forward to having an unfried brain back.) I wish linen didn't cost $20 per ball.

Speaking of low-brainpower knitting, it seems to be really hard to get cheap glittery yarn for icord. Michaels didn't have anything, and all the sparkly yarn at Dollarama is also furry. I decided to try a red furry yarn from Dollarama for when my skein from Ram Wools runs out. (Ram Wools has some glittery yarn, but the stuff that comes in Christmas colours is full price, and the discounted brands aren't Christmas-y. I don't feel like paying full price for what will become icord tree garlands.)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Snow Photos

Here's how the snow looked at 11 am when a call for my neighbour woke me up. (I've asked her now to arrange for people to stop calling her on my phone. I need my weekend mornings to catch up on sleep I'm not getting during the week. I didn't say that bit, but I think she gathered it from my dishevelled look and grumpy demeanour.)
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The snow had been melting for a while when I took these photos... last night even the streets were covered, and the snow was thicker. There's less now than was in these photos. Although this snow probably won't stick around until real winter sets in, it also won't be long before real winter sets in. *sigh*

Friday, October 09, 2009


I'll be decorating for Halloween this year. :) I have some ribbons for hanging, I just need to check my hoop supply to see what I have and what I still need. Once I have them up, I'll take another photo.
There was even a cute sketch on the envelope tape!


I went to pottery on Tuesday. The place was full, so I just picked up some items fresh from the kiln:
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Uh, wasn't it summer weather a week or so ago? What is this white stuff I see?
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Didn't they say that we'd have a mild fall and early winter, through January???

1. Looks like I don't need to worry about gardening chores again until, oh... May? (Even if this snow doesn't stick, dealing with wet and/or frozen gumbo is a recipe for broken tools.)

2. There's a lot more white stuff out there now, but the sun has long since set.

3. I don't think I needed to water mom's hanging planters yesterday. (They looked pretty much ready to compost today.)

Monday, October 05, 2009

Blasted Mail


The post office used to be within walking distance. Now it's way out in a different part of town, and in order to get there and back by bus is crap.

I have a package slip. I have no package, and no reasonable way to get it.

Time to raise some H-E-double-hockey-sticks. Grrrr.

(But not tonight... my neighbour has my phone. *sigh*)


Finished class prep *waaaaaaay* to late last night. Only got around 2 hours of sleep.

My expensive hot chocolate is watery again. I noticed the sign that said they were out of 2%, and the choice was skim or homo *after* I ordered. They didn't ask which I preferred. After I got the hot chocolate, I discovered they were also out of whipped cream. (I went to put some cinnamon and nutmeg on top and realized there was something missing. Plus, after shaking the second shaker, I discovered they also didn't have cinnamon, and I was shaking cocoa on top.) In leaving off the whipped cream, they also left off the chocolate syrup. I got him to put it on anyway.

*wah* I need sleep!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Shave and a Haircut

This weekend I took a bit off the top... both of my hair, and of the apartment's trees. Dad and I helped with the trees.

Trees before:
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Those are elms, growing way too close to the foundation, and pruned to within an inch of their lives.

Dad first tried using his truck:
The group of three was too strong, so we tried one at a time. The first one was the dead one, and it snapped off at the base. The other two weren't dead... and thus were able to bend 90 degrees and escape virtually unscathed. Wow.

So, out came the chainsaw. It was a nice little electric fellow... not too loud, not too heavy.


Turns out the tree on the east was being eaten from the inside out:

The crazy lady and her husband disapproved of the tree removal. Since I disapprove of *them* (mostly their smoking and drinking, but I wouldn't be fond of them even if they did give up both those vices), I don't really care. The trees *didn't* look good, no matter what the C's thought, and the trees were too close to the foundation.

We took out the Manitoba maple stump at the front too:
We dug down, cut it below the soil level, and then put the soil back on top. Hopefully that'll encourage it to rot away, rather than sprout suckers.

Rest assured, I wasn't quite so drastic with my hair. (Of course, there's less there to begin with.)

Found on Flickr

Funky Cabin

Neat! I love how the pieces are connected together with jump rings. :)

Found on Flickr

Wall Hanging

Another awesome quilt!

Found on Flickr

Kitty face

Awww! What a little cutie! I love how the green eyes are glowing in the flash, like a real cat's would. :)

Found on Flickr

blue hydrangea


Found on Flickr

bookcover #07

Sadly out-of-focus photo, but adorable book cover! I love the combination of fabric stripes and embroidered heart flowers!

Found on Flickr

Quilted Colour Study Art Quilt

Cool! :)

Found on Flickr

kogin in process

Pretty! Hmmm... I could be wrong, but it looks like it might be a fairly fast type of embroidery. I love the design. :)

Found on Flickr

One Tree Hill :)

Adorable! I love the patchwork and the little sheep!

Found on Flickr

mistletoe ornament detail


Found on Flickr

Sheep in the Scottish Highlands

Adorable! I love the use of perspective in this photo too. :)

Found on Flickr

wool eater samples

Neat! Click through for a link to the instructions. :)

Found on Flickr

Smell my feet

Awesome! (Hee! I posted this in October! Happy Halloween!)

Found on Flickr

Penguin Ornament - Fused Glass

Cute!!! (I almost succumbed on Etsy, back when I first saw this... I resisted, due to lack of income.)

Found on Flickr

Finished Morse Code quilt

What a neat idea! (If you can't read Morse code... I can't either... click through for the quote.)

Found on Flickr

wagon wheels baby quilt

I love it!

Found on Flickr

gem quilt kite flying


Found on Flickr

Lacy Kerchief Scarf 2

Gorgeous! I love the shawl pin too. :)

Found on Flickr

hot water bottle aran sweater

Nice! (I've been thinking I should make a second cover so I can have one dry when the other is being washed. I also think I should get a new hot water bottle... the ageing rubber is getting worrying.)

Found on Flickr

"Under the Sea"

Oooo... pretty!

Found on Flickr

Point Edge Wrap


Saturday, October 03, 2009