Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Vegas, baby!

We spent Christmas in Las Vegas this year. My parents went to Hawaii for Christmas, but neglected to invite us along. So rather than sitting at home by ourselves, we decided to go to Vegas instead. I only had one vacation day left, so we just went for a 4-day weekend, taking full advantage of the statutory holidays.

I hadn't realized how long it takes to get there! It was nearly 7 hours to get there (including a stopover in Chicago) and over 7 hours to get home (including a stopover in Dallas). The flights were fairly pain-free aside from the total trip length. Oh, and American doesn't serve food on their flights at all any more, it seems. You could buy a "snack box" if you were starving, but other than that you were out of luck. I was surprised you couldn't buy a meal.

It was my first time in Vegas and I have to say, it wasn't as tacky as I thought it would be. I thought it would be like Niagara Falls, only bigger. It was definitely bigger, but not as tacky. OK, parts of it were definitely tacky, but in an upscale sort of way. In Niagara Falls you kind of feel like you're at a carnival.

The highlight of the trip was the Star Trek Experience. It was more than just a ride. Of course, it also cost an arm and a leg ($38US per person, for a one hour experience!). But it was way cool. They had a museum (or so they called it - it was more of a hallway with displays along the side) with Star Trek memorabilia and props. Some of them were really neat to see. They had them arranged chronologically by when the shows were set - so Zephram Cochrane's outfit was first, followed by stuff from Enterprise, etc. Once you're through the museum, there are 2 different rides you can go on. They're both good. One was obviously a little older than the other, but both were fun and cool. My only complaint was on the one ride they REALLY throw you around in those hard plastic chairs. You weren't allowed to go on that one if you were pregnant, and I could see why!

The Stratosphere tower was also fun. We went up to the top and looked at the views of the city, then went on the "High Roller" which is the highest roller coaster in the world. It is built around the top of the tower. It was fun, even though I was really nervous at first. Kenneth then went on the "X-Scream" which is a ride that dips over the edge of the tower and looks like it's going to let you fall off. I refused to go on that one. I did document his ride with pictures, though. None of them turned out great so I won't bother posting.

We had fun in the casinos. We both lost a little money, but not too much. I was actually ahead at one point, but of course I lost it all back. One morning I was chatting with a bored dealer at the craps table (I was just walking past and he struck up a conversation), and he told me he had one guy who had come in with $500 and parlayed it up to $26,000! I can't imagine. Of course, I would never bet $500 in the first place. Anyways, he then proceeded to lose the entire $26,000. Isn't that awful??

The most freaky thing about Vegas is there are slot machines *everywhere*. In the grocery store. In the gas station stores. At the airport. It's bizarre.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Meme

FOUR JOBS YOU’VE HAD IN YOUR LIFE

  1. Sub maker
  2. Frozen yogurt store "supervisor"
  3. Computer programmer
  4. Travel agent

FOUR MOVIES YOU COULD WATCH OVER AND OVER

  1. The Princess Bride
  2. Pretty Woman
  3. Center Stage
  4. Dirty Dancing

FOUR CITIES YOU’VE LIVED IN

  1. Liverpool, England
  2. London, Ontario
  3. Toronto, Ontario
  4. Maple, Ontario

FOUR TV SHOWS YOU LOVE TO WATCH

  1. Lost
  2. Boston Legal
  3. Grey's Anatomy
  4. NCIS

FOUR PLACES YOU’VE BEEN ON VACATION

  1. Alaska
  2. England
  3. Jamaica
  4. Alberta

FOUR WEBSITES YOU VISIT DAILY

  1. Hotmail
  2. Yahoo Mail
  3. Knittyboard
  4. Talk Healthy

FOUR OF YOUR FAVORITE FOODS

  1. Asparagus
  2. Chocolate
  3. Canneloni in a pink sauce
  4. Pork ribs, nice and saucy

FOUR PLACES YOU’D RATHER BE RIGHT NOW

  1. On a beach with a pina colada.
  2. At home, playing Zuma.
  3. At home, shoveling the driveway (OK, let's face it, pretty much anything would be better than here)
  4. At the mall, buying Kenneth a Christmas gift.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Hat and Mouse

Get it?

We have a secret Santa sort of thing coming up at work, so I knitted a hat to use for it. We're going to be doing a "white elephant" exchange, which goes like this:

1) Everyone draws numbers to determine the order of gift picking.
2) The first person picks a gift from the pile and unwraps it.
3) The second person can decide to either steal the first person's gift, or pick a gift from the pile. If they steal the first person's gift, the first person picks a new gift from the pile.
4) And so on.

I'm of course secretly hoping that my hat will be super popular and stolen by everyone. I know it won't be, though.

This is my hat. It's just a basic rib hat. I made a small mistake in the ribbing in the red area, but hopefully it's not too noticeable. Can you see it?


When I was done with the hat, I had some yellow yarn left over. I decided to make a cat toy out of it. Without a pattern, I created a little yellow mouse. I didn't bother putting eyes or ears on it, because it's for a cat, and you know they don't care about that sort of thing. I stuffed it with bubble wrap so it makes a sort of fun crinkly sound when you play with it.

Here's Hope, enjoying (OK, that might be a stretch) her new toy.

Friday, December 09, 2005

XBox Bonanza

Kenneth came home from school today, having gone via Blockbuster. He brought home 3 XBox game rentals! I guess I know how we'll be spending our weekend now. Oh, and a Nestle After Eight bar for me. What a sweetie! I wish they hadn't reformulated their bar, though. It was SO much better when it was the Laura Secord Royale bar.

Games we rented:
  • Call of Duty 2 - A war game. It doesn't look like my cup of tea.
  • Gun - A western adventure game, I think. I haven't seen it yet.
  • Project Gotham Racing 3 - A driving game. We have PGR2 and it's pretty fun, so hopefully this one will be fun as well. I haven't actually seen it yet either.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Veggie Soup Goodness

Mmm. Today for some reason I had a huge craving for vegetable soup. We didn't have anything in the house, so I got out my trusty crockpot. I've never actually made soup in it before, but I didn't let that stop me. I threw in:

onion soup mix (the box was still taped shut from when we moved 4 years ago!)
2 carrots on the edge of going bad
frozen corn, beans, and broccoli
canned tuna & black beans
2 bay leaves for good measure
enough water that it looked "soupy"

How's that for winging it? I just had two bowls of it, and it's pretty good! The onion soup mix made it a bit salty for my liking, but it's not over the top.

I need to do that more often - just whip something up. Too often I feel constrained by the boundaries of recipes. I should remember that I have the power!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Seven Things

EDog said I have to do this, so here goes:

Seven things to do before I die:
  1. Go on a world cruise.
  2. Hire a maid.
  3. Get clematis to actually grow on my arbour.
  4. Scuba dive with whale sharks.
  5. Write my will.
  6. Own a doggie of my very own.
  7. Retire.
Seven things I cannot do:
  1. Crochet.
  2. Jump off high things.
  3. Make a fist properly.
  4. Believe in God.
  5. Tell the quality of diamonds (or care, for that matter).
  6. Draw things that look decent.
  7. Stop eating chocolate (not that I'd try!).
Seven things that attract me to my best friend:
  1. He's nice.
  2. He's big.
  3. He's Swedish.
  4. He takes care of me.
  5. He has nice legs.
  6. He has the cutest face.
  7. He has nice glasses.
Seven things I say most often:
  1. Hi
  2. Whatever
  3. Like
  4. Are you the biggest one?
  5. My name is Fosco, I am so macho.
  6. I love you.
  7. Hello, Susan speaking.
Seven books (or series) I love:
  1. Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card
  2. Stranger in a Strange Land, by Robert A. Heinlein (TANSTAAFL!)
  3. Anne of Green Gables, by L.M. Montgomery
  4. The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien
  5. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, by I forgot who wrote this one
  6. The Kite Runner, ditto
  7. The Caves of Steel, The Robots of Dawn, & Robots & Empire (the Lije Bailey and R. Daneel Olivaw books), by Isaac Asimov
Seven movies I watch over and over again (or would watch over and over if I had the time):
  1. The Princess Bride
  2. Pretty Woman
  3. Romancing the Stone
  4. Bridget Jones' Diary
  5. Back to the Future
  6. Dirty Dancing
  7. Strictly Ballroom

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Yarn Sale Goodies

I went to the Kertzer warehouse sale a couple of weekends ago. Till now I've been too lazy to post what I got, but I'm on a blogging streak today, so here it is.

The whole shebang (except for 2 hanks of brown 100% wool I used for the hat/scarf set, seen in the previous post):
All that was only $110 Canadian! Looking at it now makes me tempted to go back and get more - the sale is on till Dec 9, and maybe they've got more stock...

Anyways, here's closeups of each yarn:

Stylecraft Safari (10 balls):

Alafoss Lopi (10 balls) - I think this one is my favorite. I'm in love with the colour:Wendy Pampas mega chunky (10 balls):

I decided to stop being lazy

Well, sort of. I spent the entire morning playing online poker, reading forums, and updating my blog template. And I got off my lazy butt and photographed the finished objects and yarn I was talking about in my last entry.

Let's start off with some pictures of Fosco with his injured foot:

The bandage (see the cute little hearts they put on for him?):

The whole cat (note our house is protected by ADT *and* a fierce guard-cat):

And now for the knitting related content. Here's the hat/scarf set I made for Kenneth's grandma. It's the "Check 'n Garter Stitch Set" from Patons "Cool Weather Accessories" book. I wasn't sure the brown/blue would be a good combination, but it worked. My only real complaint with how these turned out is that my blue yarn was a slightly different gauge than the brown, so the blue stripes are a slightly different width than the brown. This was my first experience with mosaic knitting, and I think I like it! I don't really like that there's a right side and wrong side to the scarf - I feel like scarves should be double-sided. But that's a minor quibble.

I think I should stop here since this post is already pretty long. I'll post about my yarn sale buys another time.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Finally Friday

Supposedly, you can find the names of 75 bands in this picture. I could find nine. I'm not so good at the music quizzes.

We had a telemarketer call us tonight asking if we want to subscribe to the Saturday Star. I found this to be odd, because we already subscribe to it, and have for several years. They must have outsourced their telemarketing and not given the telemarketers their customer database.

I want to get a digital camera that connects wirelessly to your PC. I want to post some pictures of things I knitted, and yarn I bought, but am too lazy to go through all the steps.

1) pose things nicely for picture
2) take picture
3) find cable
4) upload pictures to PC
5) post pictures to website

I know, I'm ultra-lazy. But at least I updated my "last read" and "last heard" sections of my template!

Oh, and the reason for the title of this post is that yesterday, when I woke up, I was completely convinced for about 5 minutes that it was Friday. Needless to say, I was quite disappointed when I realized it was only Thursday. But today, it is *actually* Friday. Hope is celebrating by galloping through the living room for no apparent reason. Ah, the life of a cat.