Sunday, August 28, 2011


I biked up to the park and back in about 40 minutes, I'd say. :) (I forgot to look at the time before and after, but I remember the clock saying 8:12 before I went to get my bike out, and it's now only 9:04, and I've been home for a few minutes.

I love riding my bike!

(Of course, now I could do with another shower...)

Saturday, August 27, 2011



Dear President's Choice Blue Menu,

I buy your fish for two reasons:

1. I like eating fish.

2. I would like to continue eating fish in the future, and your fish has the sustainability logo on it.

However, I am single. Thus, when I buy your package of two fillets, I intend to eat each fillet at a different time. Eating two fillets at once is both too much food, and dramatically raises the cost of the meal.

My mother taught me that re-freezing fish is not safe food handling practice. Thus, when you package your fillets together in such a way that the two are solidly fused together in a single block of ice... well... I regret having purchased your product.

I suspect you chose your packaging because it reduces freezer-burn. (Unless you didn't want to buy equipment to flash-freeze the individual fillets?) However, I would rather risk a little freezer burn, and be able to choose my portion size. Please consider changing your packaging methods.

Thank you.


Gardening hurts. (It's not just me, right?)

Today I filched a bunch of mom's compost
(well, I asked first, so I guess it's not filching)....

...and turned this:

...into this:
That last bit didn't get any compost or peat moss dug in... I ran out... both of the "magic soil" (what my landlord brought when I asked for peat moss, but beggars can't be choosers) and of "get up and go" (it "got up and left").


The area with the orange annuals also needs the soil amended, plus the dirt in front of the other shrub.

The shrub on the right is also smaller. (The caretaker came out while I was gardening, and complained again that it was bigger than it used to be... so I dug up parts of it.)

The bare spot will get plants once the soil is amended.

The crowd of day lilies will also be dealt with later. I'm "storing" them there until I have their final spots ready for them.


After I came in from gardening, there was a message on my answering machine, entirely in French. I figured it wasn't for me, and deleted it. Out of curiosity, I checked my caller id just now, wondering where the phone call came from. The area code was 704, which google tells me is a NC phone number. From what I saw on the news, NC is getting walloped by hurricane Irene today.

I sure hope that wasn't someone calling family for help. Even if it was something like "I'm okay, mom", that's also a message that would be best to get through.

Whoever you are, I hope you're okay, and are able to reach whomever you were trying to call. (R: Did I use who/whom correctly there?)

Goodby, Jack Layton

May your memory live long in parliament, and encourage its members to be better.

Update: Thank you to R, who pointed out my stupid mistake/typo. I'm not sure why, but I've been making that one a bunch lately.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Thrift Stores Rock

That's eight glass containers suitable for silk painting, for a whopping $1.35. I'm a big spender, I know! ;) (Although I only use a couple at a time, I need a bunch for when I'm teaching silk painting, for the students to use.)

I didn't make it to painting Wednesday (I was up too late finishing my colour design for the heron), but I did go with my mom today. :) I added a resist line that I decided I wanted, picked out mats for my block print, and then painted the sky and river on my heron painting. I may be able to finish it the next time I go!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Square One


Square? Check.

12 inches? Check.

Suitable for a man? I would think so.

Exactly as pattern described? That would be boring. (Right?)

Challenges overcome: hook one size smaller than pattern called for, and the green yarn is actually DK weight. Plus I ran out of cream. (The danger of using scraps.) Would you have known it wasn't intentional, if I didn't tell you that? Okay, even if you did, it still looks nice, right? (If you say "no", I'm going to tell you not to look a gift horse in the mouth. Especially since this "horse" doesn't need food or housing.)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Felted Lamp Shade




Suppose you were a burglar, and saw a light on in a room that you know is a storage/laundry room for an apartment block. Would you think:
(a) the door might be unlocked, this is a good time to break in, or
(b) there might be someone in the laundry room, this is a bad time to break in?

What would a burglar do?
break in
come back another time free polls 

Note: The lock has been replaced with one that locks automatically, but the burglar won't know that until the next time (s)he tries to break in.

Yay Bike Ride!

Bike rides, actually. These photos were from a bike ride three trips ago.

Me, looking well padded on top of the Chief Peguis Bridge:

Manitoba parfait:
(I had a scoop of chocolate brownie in a waffle cone.)

Weeding update:
The trash people actually *did* pick up all the weeds!

Today was brutally *hot* (by Winnipeg standards, and I am a wuss). Tomorrow is supposed to be better, but, instead of bike riding or gardening, I'm going to the art club with my mom. (Yeah, I'll have all afternoon, but I'll probably have a nap then. After all, I'm getting up at 8, and it's already 2 am!) Thursday is supposed to be *hot* again, but Friday I may get out and dig in the dirt. I guess that means Saturday is bike riding day! :D

Hip To Be Square

A friend of mine, R, learned to crochet a month ago. After finishing a pair of slippers, she decided to tackle an afghan. (She is fearless.) She was finding the instructions for one of the blocks a bit confusing, and so asked me to help her figure it out. The directions were rather complex, and so I decided to make it myself, to figure it out properly. So, I dug some leftover superwash wool out of my stash, and had a go at it.
Another friend of mine, P, is helping to make a comfortghan for the son of an online friend who had a rather nasty car accident. The squares are 12" (what this one is supposed to be, but is working out a bit smaller... but an extra-wide border will fix that), no colour restrictions, no fibre restrictions. Assuming I finish in a reasonable amount of time (which it is looking like I will), that's where this square will end up.

Two "good deeds" with one square... not bad. :) The fact that it uses up some stash yarn leftovers is a bonus!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Lovely Day!

This morning a friend picked me up, and we drove to another friend's place for spinning group.

Across the road, there was a flea market, so we stopped in for fun. I got a kick out of this old "wool winder":
Definitely hand made! The hooks are bent nails. I found an antique shoe stretcher for $2. (My grandma usually needs her shoes stretched, and mine could often use it too.) Plus it was neat, and only $2. (I left the $10 "wool winder" behind... I don't think I could use it.)

Then we continued on to the spinning group, where there were lots of animals to pet as well. :)
The llamas didn't come close, but Mikey the dog loved attention. And, of course, as the person allergic to cats, I was the only one who had the barn cat jump onto her lap. (Thankfully it jumped back down when I looked at her and said "NO".)

We spun outside (some in the sun, some in the shade... I chose shade), had lunch, then spun some more. (Some people knit, but that's okay too.)
It was a *beautiful* day, and not too hot. :)

After I got home, I had a nice nap (I didn't go to bed early enough last night).

I watched a movie I got in the "previously viewed" bin, it was quite enjoyable.

About an hour ago, I went out to take out some getting-stinky trash (I had shrimp for dinner last night), and did a little star-gazing. There were some clouds, but the rest of the sky was quite clear. I saw one shooting star (Perseid?), Cassiopeia, Polaris, Ursa Minor, part of the big dipper, and what I'm guessing was a satellite (moving south to north at a constant speed, but not an airplane) and possibly the space station (something extremely bright, to the left of the moon, apparently stationary). The police helicopter also circled overhead several times.

Hmmm... googling, it says that the space station isn't in geosynchronous orbit, so the bright thing isn't the space station. I tried looking it up on a star chart, but am having trouble wrapping my head around the placements. (I think I'd need to take my laptop outside, and hold it above my head... but I'd rather go to bed now.)

I hope you had a lovely day too! (I suppose tomorrow I'll have to actually cross something off my list... or at least tackle the dishes that have, somehow, once again stacked themselves up.)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

How Am I Supposed To Know?

The gastro doc prescribed an acid-suppressor. In the patient information sheet that came with my prescription, it says "before taking esomprazole, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it."

Um... how am I supposed to know before I take it?


When the doctor or nurse tells you that something they're about to spray in your mouth tastes foul, they *mean* it. The nurse described it as tasting like extremely rotten bananas. It was more like "OMGWTFBlechAwful!!!" with an aftertaste of bananas... and then a sensation like your throat is swelling up, and you are going to finally experience anaphylactic shock. (The fact that I have a mild allergy to bananas, and they had already put a plastic oxygen tube in my nostrils that smelled like plastic I'm allergic to didn't help.) However, the sensation is misleading, and I didn't die. Also, once I confirmed that I was, in fact, breathing just fine, all initial panic subsided. It was amusing that the spray to prevent you from gagging later does make you gag when being applied.

I was considerably less groggy from the woozy-juice than the other people I saw staggering out earlier. I even remember watching the monitor for parts of the procedure, but I do think I was sort of out of it. However, I was good, and did avoid operating machinery (including stoves) or signing legal documents. ;)

Unsurprisingly, shoving a pipe down ones throat and taking biopsies does indeed leave one with a bit of a sore throat. The doc didn't see anything (so I don't get any nifty pictures), but hopefully the biopsies will provide some answers as to why I sometimes have trouble swallowing.

In the news:

1. Recently I've heard on the radio that someone is (once again?) circulating a petition that Sesame Street allow Bert and Ernie to get married (to each other). Personally, although I can possibly imagine Bert as being gay, I always saw the two of them as brothers, and wondered where their parents were. (They didn't seem old enough to be living on their own, and they look so similar.) Sesame Street is saying they're just friends/roommates, and don't have sexual orientations. What's you're opinion? Gay, brothers, or friends?

2. One of the new Winnipeg Jets players committed suicide. (The death was reported as "sudden, no foul play suspected, and he suffered from depression".) Depression is a serious disease, not something to be ashamed of. If you have it, please get help. (You wouldn't expect someone with cancer to "just snap out of it", would you?) If you know someone with depression, please encourage them to get help.

3. Neti pots can KILL YOU!!!!! Well... maybe. *One* person who lives in the South, and used plain tap water got a funky brain-burrowing amoeba. I use distilled water, as recommended. Blowing your nose can kill you too, but that doesn't stop me. ;) (I'll save my worries for crossing the street, and similarly dangerous daily activities.)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


With the summer heat, I haven't been bothering with a blanket on my bed, just a sheet. However, just a sheet sometimes isn't *quite* enough. Laying my terry-towel housecoat on top works, but isn't really blanket shaped. I was at Mitchell Fabric yesterday, but terry fabric costs more than I felt like spending. Then I went to Superstore, and found these:
That's a set of eight facecloths for $5, and a pair of bath towels for $10. (I also bought that awesome, squooshy, apple-green bathmat yesterday, but it's going to remain a bathmat... my current bathmat is a bleach-stained, ratty old thing.) The towels and facecloths are thin, but I was looking for something on the thinner side anyway. Here's what I ended up with:
Awesome! I love it when my hair-brained ideas work out! Now to run it through the wash, and I can use it tonight. :) (Hopefully the dark blue doesn't bleed all over the white, but I was too lazy/cheap to pre-wash the blue.) It probably won't lay as flat after being washed (the edges and trims of towels always seem to shrink more than the terry part), but it will certainly lay flatter than my housecoat. ;)

Sunday, August 14, 2011


I've had a string of annoyances today.

First: I have an appointment next week where I'm supposed to stop my vitamins a week before. My antidepressants aren't working as well without the help from the B Stress supplement. I tried eating a banana at my mom's yesterday, but that didn't help.

I suspect my headache today is because I stopped taking my magnesium supplement. (Frequent headaches is the reason I take that one.)

Then, when I synced my iPod, it decided to remove all of my podcasts from the iPod. Some fiddling got them back.

When I went to cook dinner after washing dishes, I accidentally turned on the wrong element... heating up an empty pot that was drying, rather than the pot full of water. (I don't think it did any real damage, but there is some discoloration.)

Then, when I was done listening to a podcast, the dock didn't want to switch back to the radio function. (Unplugging it cleared that, but meant I had to reset the clock... I need to get a 9V battery for it.)

Time to go to bed. Hopefully tomorrow will be better. At least my mood is a bit better at the moment, and my headache has stopped.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

How Appropriate

A few minutes ago, I cleaned the toilet. Then I came in my office to cross it off The List. When I sat down at the computer, I noticed I had some e-mails to respond to. One was on Ravelry. So I checked the forums while I was there. A friend of mine had posted the following video link:
Age-Activated Attention Deficit Disorder
It was funny. So I posted a response, saying that I must have early-onset... but I was combatting it this break using my List. Then I remembered that I had come in the office in order to cross something off The List. Uh... whoops! I guess The List can't fix everything! ;)

Sunday, August 07, 2011


I spotted this little fellow while returning the shovel and broom to my mom's:
He was lying belly-up by the back door. I think he had only recently passed, because he was in good condition, and still flexible. I figured this was a good opportunity to get some reference photos without getting stung. (Who knows, maybe one day I'll want to paint a bumblebee? I saw a neat block print someone did of one, while researching wood block printing.)


I went over to my dad's place to get the weeds over to the trash for pick-up tomorrow. I also pulled some more weeds that didn't get pulled previously.

Hmmm... this box is full, I wonder how I'll get it to the trash?:
Perhaps if I stomp on the weeds to compress them? ...Nope, bad idea:
(Grrr... crap boxes!)

Looking better:
(Not good, but certainly better. Good will happen after I move in.)

Dad asked me the other day why I was gardening at the apartment block, rather than at his place (which he called my place, even though he hasn't moved everything out, and I'm not living there yet.) Possible reasons:
1. It's still his place.
2. It's not yet my place.
3. My brother is living there rent-free, and not doing any weeding.
4. I'm having a hard enough time keeping up with stuff at my place. (I may not be paid for the gardening I do here, but it makes it nicer for me to live here.)
5. Or, perhaps, it's because his yard looks like this:
Really?!? I'm supposed to have incentive to weed around his junk?

The weeds were brutal. They had thorns and spines that went right through my soft leather gloves. Near the end, I discovered this stick:
This stick was my friend. I could use it to push down the weeds, and, using a motion like twirling spaghetti, I could bend the ends of the weeds to get them in the box too. (The weeds were much longer than the box was.)

Here's a before and after shot that I *did* remember to take today:

You know, if the trash people took one look at this, and left without taking anything (they do that when people put out an unreasonable amount of trash), I don't think I'd blame them:
That's six boxes, one garbage bag, and three trash cans all full of weeds and pruned branches. :P

PS: I was hot and foul-tempered after dealing with this many spiny weeds with no assistance from my dad. The other gardening on today's list will have to wait for another time.

Dreaded To-Do List

I have about a month of unpaid leave between terms right now. I have a *long* to-do list. I keep getting pulled in different directions with all the things that need doing, so I thought I'd make a list of all the things that need doing, and break it down into manageable chunks.

Off the top of my head, and in no particular order, here's what I put on the list so far:
  • apply for jobs
  • call dentist
  • call scope
  • gardening (inside & out):
    • dad's weeds
    • dig in soil, (& transplant)
    • plant spruce seeds
    • transplant vft, amaryllis, (others?)
    • dispose of dead plants
    • remove stumps
    • transplant peonies
    • NW garden
    • SE garden
    • SW garden
    • plant crocus bulbs
  • format hard drive
  • art:
    • prepare canvases
    • paint cat
    • prepare demo
    • hang art
    • frame block print
    • frame loon
    • finish silk painting
    • call to arrange silk painting class details
    • order silk painting class supplies
    • print cards
    • print magnets
    • renew membership
  • clean apartment
    • clutter:
      • couch
      • coffee table
      • chair
      • desk (office)
      • desk (hall)
      • dresser
      • drawers
      • kitchen table
      • front hall
      • spinning area
    • bathroom floor
    • kitchen floor
    • old air conditioner
    • ac filters
    • fan from basement
    • oil (finish?) lr end tables
    • deal with boxes
    • mail
    • dust
    • mop
    • toilet
  • format hard drive
  • install lion
  • sew pattern magnets
  • sew pyjama bottoms
  • sew t-shirts (pyjama tops)
  • sew printer dust cover
  • make stitch markers
  • finish desk & move it into office
  • 2140:
    • prepare assignments
    • prepare midterm
    • prepare final
  • medical paperwork
  • scan & send instructions
Scary, huh? Some of the things are fairly quick, it's the length of the list that gets to me. (It doesn't even include regular stuff like laundry, dishes, etc! Or fun stuff!)

For tomorrow, I've chosen the following:
  • dad's weeds
  • dig in soil, (& transplant?)
  • Laundry
  • format hard drive
  • water plants
  • trash & recycling

  • office desk clutter
  • scan & send instructions
Tomorrow isn't supposed to be too hot, and isn't calling for rain until later, so is a good day to do at least a little gardening. Laundry needs doing, and the plants are looking wilty again. I bought a new back-up drive today, and so I should check to make sure it's working, and get regular back-ups going again. (The last two items are only if I have time, although setting up the back-up drive will be easier if my desk has less clutter on it.)

I'm tempted to start the drive right now, but, as it's nearly 4 am, I *really* need to get to bed. Good night!

Monday's list so far has the phone calls and applying for jobs.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Potato Cannon

Heh... family entertaining itself:

Crochet Socks

Sock production has certainly gone down, but I'm still slowly cranking them out.
I ran short of the main colour, so I added in some blue from my stash of scraps. I think the blue would have looked better as heels and toes, but (a) that would have meant starting the socks from scratch, and (b) the heels and toes have a reinforcing thread that matches the main yarn, not the blue. (Not that I made sure to line the patterns up, but it still would have looked more noticeable with the blue.)

What's your opinion on the blue?

Apartment Gardening


1. Looks like my landlord took me literally when I said the stepping stones "don't need to be pretty". I meant it, but I didn't really expect to get leftovers from some other project. Not that being leftover is a problem, but they're a bit on the small size. The fact that there is four, rather than three, might compensate enough. I guess I'll find out when the caretaker goes to prune the shrubs again. (These are to go behind and beside the shrubs so that the caretaker isn't compacting the whole garden when he's pruning the shrubs.)

2. I just noticed in the photo... looks like my landlord bought potting soil rather than peat moss. It'll probably work too, but won't go as far as peat moss would. (I need to work in some (non-clay) organic matter into the soil so that it is looser, and doesn't clump and crack as much.) I suppose potting soil will be easier to dig in than fluffy, dry peat moss.