Monday, March 31, 2008


Over the weekend, Daniel and I went down to Portland to see my college friend, Matt. I was originally thinking of taking the train (save the marmosets and all that), but then Daniel offered to drive...and why wouldn't I want to travel in luxury in his Acura, with him and his GPS co-piloting? :)

We made reservations at a Motel 6 near the racetrack, just outside of downtown Portland. We did this because it was a $60 room. The area wasn't so bad (a little industrial for my taste), but the motel had really thin walls, and the bath towels were the same size as the bath mat, and far thinner. I think next time we'll spring for something a touch nicer. I'm sure if I take the time to hunt around more before we go, we can find something a lot nicer for not much more money, as well as closer to downtown.

I was still sick, and Daniel developed a recurrence of his pinkeye, so we were really a sight. Daniel was wearing his sunglasses late into the night to avoid the bright lights (or, rather, changes in light), and I sounded like I had emphysema. But it was great to see Matt, and also see his friends Duff and Bryce, who I'd met a few times in the bay area, but never really hung out with - I see that time has made everyone mellow out. :)

Here is a shot of me and Matt at Powell's bookstore - they claim to be something of the world's largest bookstore... it's like stepping into Amazon's warehouse. There are different areas designated by color, and the place pretty much takes up a city block, which is not even mentioning the science-specific store they have about two blocks away. Matt picked up a Mark's standard handbook (a sort of mechanical engineering reference bible), and I picked up a book for my brother there.

At the "normal" Powell's, I swear the store threatened to take away my entire paycheck. I did well, though - I came out with two cookbooks, a gardening book, and two Italian workbooks requested by my dad. Daniel bought some fantasy novels, and some financial books to round it out - I am looking forward to seeing what "Smart Couples Finish Rich" has to say. (Maybe I should read my "Smart Women Finish Rich" to prepare for it).

While we were inside Powell's, it started to snow. Here is a shot of me and Daniel, outside a coffee shop where we stopped for a drink after lunch. If you look in the background, on the left side, the awning has some snow on it. (I am very proud to say that I made that hat and finished it on Thursday night - hand-spun and hand-knit!)

After lunch and the coffee pit-stop, we took a break and met up again for dinner. Daniel and I went back to the motel - it was really too cold for me to be out and about, and Daniel seemed to be getting a headache, so we went back, and he napped while I read. Then we all met back up for dinner. We tried the Kennedy school, which is an old elementary school that the McMenamin brothers decided to revamp and made two bars, a restaurant, and a hotel within it's confines.

Here are Matt and Daniel standing at the main doors to the Kennedy school:

We tried to eat dinner there. It was packed and there was an hour wait for dinner. We tried a wing joint, but they were packed, too. Duff decided on a Mexican place a little ways down from the wing joint, and we finally had some decent food. After dinner, there was talk of going to a strip club, but it was going to be too loud for me, and too much strobe-light action for Daniel (the naked women were not the problem for either one of us). So, after some hemming and hawing, we ended up at a bar.

We all had a drink, then Daniel and I peeled off, went back to the motel, and fell asleep.

We all met back up at Powell's late Sunday morning for breakfast. Finding a diner with room for 5 was another iterative process similar to the ones enjoyed the previous evening. After filling up our eatin'-tanks, we tooled around the city and went to the Sunday market, which proved to be more of a street fair than a farmer's market, but that was okay. Afterwards, we took the public transportation back to Powell's, and hit the head, and I bought those Italian workbooks. Then it was time to go, but not before Daniel got a picture with a big pile of kiddie bikes:

I definitely want to return to Portland, but, you know, when it's warmer and we're both well and neither of us has any weird ailments.

And guess what? Having 4 guys with me helped me avoid all talk of going to any sort of yarn shop...even Yarnia (sigh)... next time, I will prevail.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Socks are Done! (March RSC spoiler alert)

Well, I'm sick. I sound like a radio that isn't tuned correctly - my voice fades in and out. I called my sister today to tell her Happy Anniversary. It's tomorrow, not today (but we agreed I got credit for calling). I checked in with Daniel to see if he was coming over or not (not, which is good and bad - good because I won't get him sick & I can dork out and read, knit and watch TV while blowing my nose and throwing the dirty Kleenex on the floor; bad because I miss him).

However, another good thing? Might I introduce Daniel's socks - done and ready to go.

A flat view: the wedge afterthought heels look a little uneven, but the one on the bottom is just folded up a bit (and they aren't blocked, either):

Here they are, on my feet:

And here they are in their "gift roll" status, ready to give to him Friday! :) (OK, so it won't be a big surprise, because I suspect he might keep up with this blog). :)

And fun stuff came in the mail for me today! Not only did I get a new Netflix DVD (Star Trek TOS, yeah!), I got this:

And THIS! The March Rockin' Sock Club shipment! Woo! There is a 10% off coupon in there, the pattern, dyers' notes (which are neat), the red thingies are little fortunes or something (haven't figured that out), and of course the yarn!

The RSC blog asked for those who got a key image on the back to email them for a free skein of yarn. No such luck here! I got a heart (sigh). :) It's awesome yarn, though. And the Midweight, which is my favorite weight (ok, I haven't tried the heavy weight, so I can't say that, but MW seems to knit up faster... :) )

I've got plenty of stuff to amuse myself with tonight! Oh, and I got sucked into Oprah's "Secret Lives of Hoarders" 2-part show. I'm watching the second part tonight, if I remember to turn on the TV for it. I normally don't watch talk shows or anything, but... I have a fascination with hoarders. I just don't get it...and it's all so...fantastical... that I have a hard time believing what I see on the screen.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Saturday WIPs

Finally, some time to write a WIP update post!

Well, whoever reads this and cares, Let 'Er Rip!

Up first is my first of "Bartholomew's Tantalizing Sock", by the genius Cat Bordhi. She is freakin' amazing, and her patterns just work..and fit really well. Whenever there is a mistake, it's always been Operator Error (shock!). If you look really closely, I muffed the toe on these, and I had already yanked it out and re-done it twice, so I said To Hell With It, and finished it a little pointier and bubblier than I would have liked. I don't think any of my sock pairs has been perfect thus far. Ah well!! :) I love it just the same (although the leg is a little high for me, and cuts into my calf muscle a bit).

Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts' Socks That Rock Midweight, color "Metamorphic"
Needle: size ....1, I think (2.25 mm)

Here is Daniel's first sock. I finally got up the gumption to stick the dang afterthought heel in(courtesy of the Twisted Sisters' Sock Book), and here is the result, on my foot, which is why it's baggy. :)

Here is the progress on his second sock. See, see, I'm almost done! :-) If I get on it, I could have it done tonight, which would be a great weight off my back in terms of knitting projects. Oh, I know, knitting projects are supposed to be for fun, right? Well, this puppy has been going on at least a year. Although it gave me excellent experience! (Let's just say I bought some superwash yarn for his next pair...his SIL suggested I make him construct a shrine to these socks :) ).

May I present a somewhat-more-finished Ms. Marigold vest? Argh...stockinette. Takes. Forever. And is boring. But I don't want to wear a heavily cabled least not till I'm < size 10! :) Once I'm small, I will wear whatever the hell I want and look fabulous.

I told my friend Chris (the guy I went sailing with today) that I had about 15 lb left to lose, and he laughed and said something to the effect of "Just grow a pair and do it, and be done with it!!" Yes...thank you, guy, who is naturally tall and thin... (just kidding. I really like Chris and his wife, Melinda, but I think he doesn't have a lot of empathy for people who aren't naturally thin. And I'm going to stop playing the victim now! :) )

Finally, comes the Gift Hat. Again with the stockinette stitch. Holy S. At least Knitpick's Wool of the Andes yarn is really nice and squishy....and CHEAP! Holy cow! :) I got yarn for the pair of hats for $16! I am, overall, happy with how my stitch evenness is coming out in the stockinette.

Sailing, Sailing / Over the ocean blue...

Greetings again! It's been a while, and entirely my fault.

However, I've got a couple of neat posts. This one is devoted to the random call I received late this morning from my friend Ryan, inviting me to go sailing with him and Chris. Well, heck, I'm always up for sailing! And luckily, he'd caught me after my shower. So I bundled up (remembering how absolutely frigid it was the last time I agreed to do this (I was holed up in the cabin for the last 90 minutes of the trip because I couldn't take the freezing winds), and they picked me up.

It was only after they'd picked me up that Ryan admitted to being hungover. YAY. I wondered aloud why he was going on an unstable vessel that rocked back and forth, and he said it was a good cure for a hangover. Fine... well, towards the end he said he wasn't feeling very good, and I was very afraid of him horking over the side of the boat, but he ended up being fine and said he felt much better after we finally got back to the marina.

Check out the photos! It never occurred to me to ask one of the guys to take my picture doing something on the boat... Next time. :) I'm actually getting better, though - Ryan had me help hoist the main sail (I moved a rope clip and untangled a line), and also untangle the jib(e?). Basically, I asked if they needed any help, and just did what he told me. I also got to steer for some of the trip, which is fun, now that I am getting the hang of it - the last time I went out, I thought that the rudder was more sensitive than it really is, and I was barely moving the keel (is that the right word? Obviously, I didn't grow up doing this!) at all.

Here is Chris when we were first getting ready to unfurl (?) the main sail:

Here is a great view of the Olympic mountain range beyond the sail....oh yes, and my face ;) :

Here is Ryan, steering. I think this is when we were first leaving the marina, so he was using the outboard:

OK, here is the landscape of the Olympics:

And, finally, the Yachtette. I love reading the sometimes ridiculous names people decide are fit for their boats. It reminds me of the Futurama episode where you see Calculon's yacht "Calculon's Pride" sailing in a pool on a gigantic yacht called "Calculon's Talent":

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Indian Youtube

Indian "Nipple" video

Indian "Thriller" video

"Drop it like a FOB" video (one of my personal perennial favorites)

Presidential Pokemon

In it's 8-or-16-bit glory (teehee):

(thanks to Randy for the link)

Iraqi Perspectives Project

As a moderately intelligent citizen, sometimes I feel out of the loop when it comes to current events. Luckily, I try to edify myself by listening to NPR on my commute, and I podcast a news/humor show from NPR called "Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me!". I think it balances out the knitting and Star Trek.

However, I am lucky enough to have friends like Randy, who has a side project called "Lawyers for Warriors". He recently emailed me the text from a post about a report from the Joint Forces Command entitled "Saddam and Terrorism". The point is that the government is not making the report available as a PDF file online for public consumption, but rather apparently chose to make the report harder to come by. Randy's post has links on how to obtain a copy of the report on CD (as a PDF), in hopes that, by lots of people requesting this CD of the report, the government might actually just make it available online. However, should you choose to reap the benefits of NPR, they have posted a copy here.

Anyway, I am not trying to espouse political views here (ok, maybe I am), but I do think the government should make publicly available all reports that are not deemed to be confidential or secret. I am a firm believer in transparency in all processes! :)

Friday, March 14, 2008

I've Moved Again!

I was having some problems with Wordpress.

I've moved back HOME to Blogger! Ah, it feels "right". :)

However, if you have problems finding me, my new address is: