Sunday, January 31, 2010

Found on Flickr

doll quilt swap front

I love log cabin squares... especially wonky ones, used in modern designs like this one. :)

Found on Flickr

African flowers

Pretty! A great flower pattern, in lovely colours. :) Note to self: track down the pattern (by Elizabeth Cat).

Found on Flickr

Apple blossom blanket

Lovely! I love the colours, and the picot edge. :)

Found on Flickr

New Brown Owl


Found on Flickr


Awesome! I love the clean white, geometric modernness of it! I love how the seams make darker lines. I want to try something similar for my bedroom window, for when the "privacy frost" isn't there. ;)

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Owie. Wah. I have a headache. I'd take something, but I want to make sure my headaches aren't reaction headaches to painkillers or decongestants, so I've decided to go off them both for a while. (I've been having frequent headaches recently, and although I'd only take something maybe once per day, and never met the daily maximum, I wanted to check.) So, instead, I hurt. About all I can do about it is whine. *whine* Sorry, but also, thanks for listening.


Some spam-bot in Taiwan has figured out how to bypass the "word verification", so I've had to turn off anonymous commenting, and turn on comment moderation for older posts. Blargh. Deleting 15 spam comments sure takes a lot of clicks!

Speaking of spam comments, a sure way to turn a compliment into an insult is to leave a generic comment that you love someone's blog, but when they go to check your blog, there's a post saying that to increase hits to your blog, you should comment on other people's blogs... and it's clear from your blog that you have absolutely no interest in the blog you commented on. I've had to delete two of those this week. (I was going to leave the first, but changed my mind.)


Owie. Hacking away and heaving snow and ice for 50 minutes yesterday is taking it's revenge today. In addition to sore muscles, I think I may have something along the lines of "tennis elbow". (I've never had tennis elbow, nor have I googled it, but my right elbow hurts quite a bit.) The snow was light (thank-you, cold), but it was partially frozen solid, so I had to chop it with the shovel to loosen it up before I could shovel it. Plus, this is the first shovelling of the season for me, since I'm a lazy apartment-dweller.

Friday, January 29, 2010


It took me around 50 minutes to hack my dad's wife's car out of the snowdrift so I could pick the two of them up from the airport. (I didn't even do the shovelling properly... I just shifted it enough to get the car out.) I did get there on time... after they had arrived, but before their luggage had. Even with a short wait (but a long walk to and from the parking garage), parking was an outrageous $3.75. For $3.75, I want a %#$&ing heated walkway! (The parking garage should be better situated to the new terminal... whenever that gets built.)

Dad did give me $20 in return for parking and shovelling. I see a bath and/or hot chocolate in my future.


The first years have an assignment due today, and not one has come to ask me a question this morning! (Besides asking how to find their professors' offices to submit the honesty declarations.) I've only had one brief question from a second year student.

So, instead of helping students, I've:
• written up the sample solution to the first exercise in my online course
• e-mailed the sample solution to those students who completed the exercise
• e-mailed the students who didn't do the exercise to find out what's up
• e-mailed one student who only managed half the exercise to see if he wanted to talk about it, and give it another shot before I send him the solution
• downloaded and forwarded some files related to a potential academic dishonesty case from a previous term
• visited the ladies room a number of times... I'm having a bit of a "gastrointestinal oddity", that hopefully won't mature into a real problem.

Well, now I'll look at the draft assignment for my regular course, and then work on class prep for this afternoon. (Unless I've jinxed things, and the next 17 minutes is standing room only in the help centre, of course...)

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Titanic, scene 2

Hee! This sure gave me a good chuckle. :) Enjoy! (There's a whole set... click through to Flickr!)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


The classroom computer didn't like me today. (Really. Honest. And it was just *me*, not anyone else.) Two phone calls to A/V support, a student temporarily logging in for me, tech support interrupting later, and then the feature that I was trying to demonstrate is disabled anyway. I made an executive decision to not cover new material, but just to go over questions that students had about the assignment.

However, after class I had three head tech guys visit me in the classroom, and a half hour later, I *finally* have syntax highlighting working again. (Yes, it took all three. And if I teach in another room, I might need another visit from them.)

I hope the computer decides to work for me on Friday. :P

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Dishcloth Cotton

Dishcloth Cotton

Guess what Michaels had on sale last week?

I figured that since my dishcloths are wearing out rapidly at the moment, and these were only $1 per ball... I might as well get one of each of the colours I liked. (Less thinking for a toasty brain, and it was still less than $20, so not a horrible splurge.)

This may or may not be a lifetime supply, but I sure am set for quite a while!

Poppies (in progress)

Poppies (in progress)

A painting I'm working on... just for fun. :) It's based on a photo I took in my mom's back yard a summer or two ago. I've been wanting to try the same style I used on Kelli's pets on this one for quite a while now.

Monday, January 25, 2010

My Poor Students

My poor students... I bored them completely out of there little noggins today. Whoops.

But I have a really awesome assignment for my other class, and the grading of exercise #1 is done.

You can't win them all. Wednesday I'll try to go back to being awesome in class. (At least by my own perception.)

Six more hours, and then I can collapse in bed. Unless I call my friend and cancel going to the art club tonight. (She needs to borrow some supplies.) If I ditch her, I can go to bed earlier.

Short Circuit

Bzzzzt. Wired. I only got two hours of sleep (not good sleep either), and the weather is nuts. Yesterday the temperature was near zero, but it's been dropping like a rock, and it's going to get worse until this afternoon. High winds, blowing snow, weather is the BIG STORY on the radio. The privacy frost on my windows reformed when I wasn't looking. I've got arthritis in my fingers, and my muscles are buzzing from the lack of sleep. (I got a bunch over the weekend, just not last night.)

However, I got a bunch of work done.

Must make it through today.


How'd it get to be after midnight already? Man, I'm going to have a major case of the "stupids" tomorrow. *sigh*

(No, I didn't get out skating. Grump. But what with the nutty precipitation and high temperatures, the ice was probably crappy anyway. I'm just going to keep telling myself that.)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

I Kinneared Gord Leclerc

Gord Leclerc is a local celeb... he's the anchor on CTV Winnipeg news. January 6th, I was on my way to knitting (late, due to having to make a trip home to pick up something I forgot), and Gord Leclerc got on my bus! It took me a moment to recognize him in everyday wear, rather than his suit. I don't often run across celebrities, so I kinneared him:
Gord Leclerc, kinneared
He's the one behind the silver pole... sorry for the motion blur, but using flash would break the rules of kinnearing, as it would alert the subject. Given that he looked asleep, I risked a second shot:
Gord Leclerc, kinneared
After that, I stopped harassing the poor guy. (I know how I feel after a long day, and imagined he felt similarly.)

For those who haven't heard of kinnearing, see here, or here, or here.

Pretty Photos

Taken earlier this past week:
Click through to embiggen. They definitely look better in biggy view.

Linen Hand Towel

Linen Handtowel

I felt an urge to have an FO, and fewer things on the coffee table, and this was the closest to being done. Now it's done. I would have preferred it to be less square and more rectangular, but not enough that I wanted to rip it all out once I noticed I had screwed up my calculation on how many stitches to cast on. It'll do.

Of course, this'll reduce the number of "brainless knits" I have available (I think the rest of the stuff on my coffee table requires more thought), but I have a ball of Hempathy marinating in stash that I think will make a fine hand towel, should I decide I need more seed stitch. Which I probably will. (Note to self: locate Hempathy for emergency brainless knitting.)

Haitian Orphans

I don't know about you, but I've already reached "Haiti disaster overload". Yes, I want them to get help, but me watching the disaster on TV and listening to it on the news is not helping them. So, I'm sorry to contribute to your level of overload by putting stuff here too, but something else related to the disaster is starting to worry me, and I'm wondering if anyone else is noticing it too.

Here's what I've heard on the news:
1. The judge who approved/denied adoption was killed in the first earthquake.
2. Countries are fast-tracking orphans to come to them.
3. Human trafficking was *briefly* mentioned.
4. A story meant to highlight "people helping" followed a man who ran an orphanage. He had something like 30 children in his care, and was willing to take 60 more, but people were reluctant to give "orphans" over to him. One such infant was being looked after by his aunt, who was having trouble feeding him due to the lack of food available.
5. Just now on the news there was a story about a man who adopted a child, and noticed there was an address for the parents on the adoption papers. It was in a dangerous area, but he went there anyway to meet them. The parents had given their child up because they were unable to feed it, and were happy it was going to be taken care of. The man had also given up a child when he was younger (19?), because he hadn't been able to care for it.

That last story was presented in a happy-feel-good way. Yes, orphanages and adoptions are necessary... but perhaps they would be less necessary if other kinds of support was available? Those parents and that aunt obviously care for the children. If food banks, soup kitchens, or other supports were available, would these particular families need to be separated?

Food for thought.

Friday, January 22, 2010


It's *raining*! In *Winnipeg*, in *January*!?!?! I think this makes three years in a row! Climate change sure is effing up the weather.

Harper: get off you butt, and do something!!!


I would like to get enough work and chores done today and tomorrow so that I can go skating at the Forks on Sunday. Of course, that requires me to be organized enough to leave the house at a reasonable hour, but I'll jump that hurdle if/when I get to it. ;)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Just What I Expected

Latest response from the Union:
Yes, I made a mistake typing out the full address. Sorry about that.

At the last CUPE XXXX Annual General Membership Meeting in April 2009, quorum was lost partway through discussions and voting on the by-law changes (perhaps you remember the event). Some by-laws had been approved and these were forwarded to CUPE National for final authorization in June. It is the remainder of the by-laws that is to be approved by the membership at the January 26 meeting.

Copies of current and previous by-laws were made available at the April 2009 meeting. Both sets were also available on the website -- and the membership was notified of this -- for several months prior to that meeting. A notification of the January 26 by-law vote, including the location of the proposed by-laws on the website, was first issued to the membership by email in November 2009. Yours is the first complaint of its kind.

If you would like to take an active part in helping to improve the administration of this Local's affairs, I encourage you to seek nomination to one of the Executive, or Trustee, positions. There is currently one of each vacant.

So, to summarize:
1. The membership is not involved, as predicted.
2. No one has whined before, so why are you whining now? Didn't you get/keep information from last April?
3. You sound like you're interested in having things run properly... so please step forward, so we can give you lots of work to do.

Yeah, I realize I'm putting a negative spin on things. ;) I figure that if I'm paying for it, I can mock what I'm getting. (Especially if they make it difficult for me to take moderate interest in the goings-on. My choices seem to be all or nothing.)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


As a sessional employee of the university, I belong to the CUPE union that also represents student employees. Recently they sent out a meeting notice. Since I seem to be working here a bunch, I thought I'd find out a bit more about my union. (Not that I get much from my union as a sessional employee.)

After reading their e-mail, attached meeting flyer, the web page it directs me to, and their response to my e-mail enquiry about something... I am getting a strong feeling that my union is run by a bunch of baboons. I suspect that participating more in my union will lead to a great deal of frustration, and probably no personal gain unless I wanted to put in the effort to run for office and "fix" everything myself. (I'd rather get a good night's sleep, thank you.)

I suspect that my participation in my union will go right back down to zero. I don't need the additional stress.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Forest Chickadees

Forest Chickadees

I was having trouble with the gold resist, but I was able to recover from it.

Now to frame it, and decide what price to put on it. ;)

Sunday, January 17, 2010


I couldn't stop worrying about that book, so I ordered a replacement from an Amazon marketplace seller. If the other copy turns up, that means I'll have one to keep, and one to loan. It's an excellent book, and I've loaned it to several people in the past.


My book on drawing Celtic knotwork by Aidan Meehan seems to have wandered off. (I have several books by him, but the main one on the method he developed is missing.) I keep my knotwork books on a specific shelf, and that book is missing. Even more frustrating, I can't find an image of the cover that I remember on the web... which will make finding a replacement difficult, should it not turn up. I think the cover colour is mainly a creamy yellow. I'm pretty sure it's one by Aidan Meehan, not by George Bain.

I can't remember the last time I saw the book. (Did I loan it to a friend before leaving Chapel Hill? I'm pretty sure I had it when I was down there. Did I loan it to a friend up here? Is it still around somewhere, hiding?)

If you ever lived near me, and have an interest in knotwork, could you check to see if you have my book? (Even if you don't remember borrowing it?) Thanks! I really appreciate it!

Update: I found a link on the web! It's by Iain Bain, which is why I couldn't find it by googling! Amazon link.


The Calm Between The Storms

The workshop is done. The "students" enjoyed it and said they wanted to take it again.

I have a headache, which appeared shortly after leaving home (and thus access to painkillers.) I have now taken something. I'm going to have a nap now. Then I will get up and deal with the dishes, putting away the workshop supplies, creating an assignment for my students, and prepping for class tomorrow.

Workshops are fun, but I'm looking forward to having next weekend to sleep in. ;)

Saturday, January 16, 2010


I'm back to a state of "so tired I could cry"... and I'm not yet done the prep for tomorrow's workshop. *whimper*

Friday, January 15, 2010

Apartment Temperature

This morning, the apartment was still above 22 C, even though I had the kitchen window open about six inches for several hours last night, and my bedroom window open about two inches all night.

I think that's partially what contributed to my bizarre dreams last night. I was skating on a long, narrow ice rink on a cruise ship, and there were some pairs figure skaters as well. I miraculously picked up how to figure skate (my current level of skating is "mostly upright"), and started skating with the others. The ice rink was sponsored by a grocery store, and in return, we did some fancy skating for a commercial for them... and the ice rink was lined on the outside edge with grocery-store-style deli displays (which we got to munch on). At one point, there were budget cutbacks in the grocery store, and the deli displays went drastically downhill. Then, in addition to figure skating and eating, I was also painting pretty back-splashes on the tiles surrounding the deli displays. Near the end of the dream there was something to do with stranded boaters (possibly in a canoe or other small craft), who were accompanied by a whale. One of the other figure skaters was jealous that I got to lie on the whale (I had also stolen her figure skating partner), but then it turns out there was another whale (a black one) that she could lie on.

I woke up drenched.

Dreams are weird.

Failure To Launch

I was up late prepping for this weekend's silk painting workshop I'm giving. Although I get a reasonable amount of sleep on the weekends, during the week I'm definitely running a sleep debt.

This morning, my alarm went off at 6:30, as it was supposed to. What I *thought* happened next was I hit the snooze button once (ten minutes, still plenty of time to make it in to work on time), then, when the alarm went off again, I turned it over to the radio, got up, and went to the washroom. Had this indeed been what happened next, it should have been about 6:44 when I got back from the washroom.

It was not 6:44. It was 7:30. $H!T!!!!!

Through the miracle of wacky bus schedules, and the fact that I normally plan to be in to work a bit before I'm supposed to start, I was only 20 minutes late... but still. I feel bad.

I *suspect* what happened is that after I turned the alarm over to the radio, I passed out. Cursed sleep debt.

I still have more workshop prep to do tonight, but I *think* I can get it done early enough so that I can still squeak in eight hours of sleep. I hope. Fingers crossed.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Whoa... I just got home, and it's a balmy 23 C in my apartment. I called the landlord to find out what's up (he said he'd call the caretaker), and for now I've opened some windows. (Nice to get some fresh air again, but this is a bit silly.)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


What the outdoors actually look like:

(Photos taken yesterday morning. Or was it Monday morning? I think perhaps it was Monday morning. The hoar frost sure was pretty, though.)

My Hovercraft Is Full Of Eels

Third day of not getting to bed until 2 am, and then having to get up at 6:30 am. I would have managed to be in bed earlier last night, but I forgot to get the bread machine going before I went to knitting, and so had to wait over three hours after I got home before I could go to bed. (The bread machine itself takes three hours, plus there's a bit of time to add the ingredients, then cool and slice the bread afterwards.) I'm *wiped*. I'd have a nap, but I need to prep for class this afternoon. :(

There appears to be a bunch of kids in the atrium with hovercraft. (I had to look up the plural of hovercraft. Apparently it isn't a word I often try to use in the plural form.) The "track" for the hovercraft includes a shallow pool of water... sadly, there are no eels in the pool. I wasn't able to see if the hovercraft themselves contained eels, though, so perhaps there's hope. With the way I'm feeling this morning, any hovercraft really need eels. (Or perhaps I need chocolate.)

Question for knitters: How many strands of sport weight yarn (24 sts per 4") would you hold together to equal two strands of worsted weight yarn held together? ...I just realized how stupid that question is... not that it's not an interesting question, but I'm using a pattern I winged, so I could just choose three vs four strands, and wing the new gauge. A better question would be how much yardage I used for the last hat, so I know that I won't run out if I use the 50 g balls of superwash wool I'm considering instead, of the big skeins of acrylic I used on the last hats. Duh.

I need to get more sleep.

Photo of the hat I want to reproduce, but in different colours:
hat In progress
Uh... apparently I forgot to take photos of the finished hats. (I'm doing that fairly often with my knitting these days.) The two hats are awesome and squooshy and warm, though. (Well, I got back a review on the warmth from one person, I haven't remembered to ask the other person, though.)

Thank goodness... on my way from the washroom, I ran into my officemate from my other office, and he was headed over to UMSU to get some food, so I gave him some cash and asked him to pick up some chocolate covered almonds. They don't quite make up for lack of sleep, but they help.

Mmmmm... eating chocolate covered almonds. Thanks F! (Not that he knows I have a blog. I'll thank him again in person later.)

Here's a random photo from last summer, found while looking for hat photos:
I don't know about you, but that rather hits the spot, right about now.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

I hate allergies.

I must have touched something then touched my eye, because suddenly it's going berserk. Crazy itchy. I hate allergies.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

A Series of Unfortunate Events

1. I left work at 5:00.
2. I caught the #60 bus, instead of waiting three minutes for the #61 express, which passed us halfway to downtown.
3. Downtown I missed the transfer to the bus that drops me off right in front of my door... by two minutes. (I probably would have caught it if I had waited for the #61.)
4. The alternate bus pulled away just before I got to it's bus stop. (I definitely would have caught it if I had been on the #61.)
5. The next bus was incognito... right as it pulled away from the stop, it switched it's sign from "out of service" to #11. Liar.
6. I'm pretty sure the next bus was a bit late. Worse than that, however, is that we sat at an absolute standstill for over 15 minutes on Main Street. At first it seemed like there must have been some horrible accident or fire, given the number of police cruisers. However, when the first float showed up, I realized it was the Olympic torch "run". On the up side, I got to see the torch run live from the comfort of a warm bus. On the downside, I arrived home ten minutes after I would have had to leave in order to get to knitting on time. Since I hadn't eaten yet either, I decided to just stay in for the night. :P

Opinion Poll

I have two throw pillows that match my couch. I occasionally set them decoratively when I have company, otherwise I just move them to somewhere else whenever I want to use the space they're in. Should I:
1. find somewhere to store the cushions, should I decide I want them,
2. keep the covers, but toss the inner cushions, thus minimizing space but keeping my options open, or
3. toss the cushions, covers and all?
Thank you for your advice.

(This couch was a hand-me-down, but is in excellent condition. It's not necessarily the couch I would have chosen, but it is not objectionable.)

Note 1: Yes, I'm up past my bedtime. I went into the living room to do some "cramming" for tomorrow, and had to move the cushions in order to sit on the "more comfortable for reading" chair rather than the "positioned for watching TV" couch. The cushions had previously been moved off the couch in order to nap.

Note 2: I do have a gorgeous throw pillow that my grandma embroidered, and that one is staying. (It is my pillow when napping, beyond being beautiful.)

Monday, January 04, 2010


The organic gardening place recommended neem oil to get rid of pests on my plants. After doing some research online, I found out that neem oil works by making bugs not want to eat. They say it's because it messes with the bugs' hormones, making them forget to eat.

After smelling that stuff, I think the bugs are too nauseous to eat. :P

However, if it kills the bugs on my bay tree without making the bay leaves kill me, I'll put up with a temporary stink. (And if I have my appetite suppressed by the smell, well, I could afford to lose a few pounds. I don't think it worked tonight, though.)

I put it on the mango tree too. I have no intention of eating the mango plant (I highly doubt it will ever fruit), but I'm not fond of breathing in insecticide... which inevitably happens whenever I try using the stuff.


Where have the holidays gone?!? I'm not ready!

I'm being eased in gently, at least. Tomorrow I have an 11:00 appointment. That means I should catch the 9:40 bus, which means I should get up no later than 8:30. The part of my job that requires I get up at 6:30 doesn't start until next week. However, my 3 am bedtimes followed by noon wake-ups have *got* to stop. (The noon wake-ups will get me fired, the 3 am bedtimes will kill my health if not grouped with noon wake-ups.)

I am *not* ready for Wednesday, when teaching starts. *sigh* The clock is ticking. Off to do more prep, and hopefully be in bed by 12:30 to get eight hours of sleep...

Fat Cats

Are CEOs really worth 174 times what the average worker is worth? *I* don't think so. Want an economic boost? Cut that CEO salary in half, use it to double the average wage earner's salary, and watch the spending skyrocket. Whee.

Life in the Salt Mines

Working, working, working. I've accomplished a lot more over this break than I normally do over breaks. Why is it that I still have a Mt Everest "to do" pile looming before me? Gack!

My main work focus has switched from office-tidying to course-prep. (Not that I wasn't doing any course prep before, or that I plan to stop office tidying now.) I can't wait to have my "real" desk set up... it will be so nice to be able to spread my course prep stuff out over the desk, rather than on yet-to-be-unpacked boxes. *sigh* I am getting closer, though. Perhaps I'll get the final push done over "spring" break. (Or before? Please let it be before! Working, working, working...)

Previously it was too hot in my apartment, so I cracked the bedroom window for fresh air, and opened the kitchen window when doing dishes. Recently the indoor temperature seems to have dropped. I no longer need to open the kitchen window, and I closed the bedroom window several days ago. It's still only 18.0 C in the hall, or 14.7 C on the kitchen windowsill. (That thermometer is physically tethered to the outdoor sensor on a not-terribly-long wire. I've rearranged the contents on the top of the fridge to make room for it there now, but that's the only other place it will reach. I have a choice of having that one biased by fridge-heat or window-cold.)

18 C is kind of nippy in my jammies, but it's fine after I'm dressed and wearing a nice wool sweater. Even better when I have a large wool knitting project on my lap. ;) I've been up for a while, but I've been putting off my shower. (I always do that on home days... no idea why.) I think I should go shower now, so I can get warm!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Organization Progress Speedbump

Don't you hate it when your cordless drill runs out of oomph half way through a project? I just took half the stuff out of my office closet so that I could put up shelves (using those rails) on the side that doesn't currently have any, and my cordless drill gave up on me. Some people have spare batteries. I don't. I just have one bargain basement drill. (From a discount store. If you drill in the dark, you can see the sparks on the inside. It's yellow, like a DeWalt, but it aint no DeWalt. I'd *love* a DeWalt drill. I used one once. When it comes to drills, there *is* a difference in quality.)

Speaking of drills, I was watching TV the other day, and someone who was screwing things had *two* drills! One for the drill bit for pre-drilling holes, the other with a screwdriver bit for driving screws! How cool is that?!?! That way you don't have to keep switching between drill bit and screwdriver! Of course, that would make more sense for someone who is using drills on a daily basis, rather than someone like me, who pulls out her drill a few times a year.

If I did have two drills, though, I'd make myself a hip-holster, with a drill-holder on each side. And possibly wear a cowboy hat while drilling ;) Okay, not really... but fantasies can be whatever you want. Hmmm... now I'm having daydreams of having a hot drill-boy (like "pool boy", *not* like "underage male") to hold and hand me my drills. Perhaps I should go wash dishes while I wait for my battery to charge. (If I have a drill-boy, I'd like a dish-boy too. And a personal chef, who cooks tasty, healthy meals. And...)

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Sifting Through Memories

I'm going through a box of old stuff... boy, are there some memories there... both good and bad. This box has been pared down some, but much of it is being kept. What is being kept, though, is being assigned "away" locations, so that things can be "put away", and the box (that I had gotten down to half-empty at some point in the past) can be recycled.

Although most strangers would think my office is a disaster zone, I have made considerable improvements this holiday. Hopefully I'll make a bit more, yet. (Before the madness of term descends once more.)