Friday, December 22, 2006

Blogging Paralysis

Lately I have been paralyzed by my blog. I want to take pictures, and post them in my blog, and discuss them. But then I can't find the camera. Or I'm too lazy. Or it's already dark, so it wouldn't be good to take the picture right now.

So then I don't blog. Because I have nothing to discuss, since I haven't taken any pictures.

Clearly, I need to do something to break out of this pattern, so I'm starting by posting this post, which contains no pictures.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Measuring the speed of memes

A blogger who's also a grad student is doing an experiment to measure the speed at which memes spread across the blogosphere. He's asking everyone to post a link to his plea: http://acephalous.typepad.com/acephalous/2006/11/measuring_the_s.html and then to ping technorati so he can measure it. I think this is an awesome experiment (hey, if I'd gotten to do experiments like this, maybe I wouldn't have dropped out of grad school), so please play along!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Walking in the Clouds

My walk home from work today was interesting. My MP3 player died the other day, so I was walking in silence, instead of listening to the "Pride and Prejudice" audiobook, as I've done every other day I've commuted. (I'm dying to know what's going to happen, too!)

It was really foggy. So foggy that I could actually see the wind blowing the fog around. This gave me the impression I was walking home through a cloud. It was very cool.

On my way, two fire trucks passed me, both headed towards my house. Is it just me, or is it impossible not to think, in some small way at least, that your house may be burning down if you see fire trucks headed that direction? I spent some time in contemplation of the consequences of my house burning down. Oddly, I didn't even consider my yarn. I did consider that the receipt for my MP3 player would burn up, and I wouldn't be able to get it fixed under warranty. But then I realized that insurance would buy me a new MP3 player, so that would be okay. And I considered the cats, of course.

When I got home, it wasn't burning.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

I had $11,329 in my cubicle today

At work, I was in charge of one of our United Way fundraising events. This event raised about $47,000 for the United Way, $11,329 of which was in cash. And all of which was in my cubicle for several hours today, until I could get it to the finance person to go deposit it in the bank. Let me tell you, it's kind of stressful having $11,329 in cash in your cubicle. And kind of cool holding it in your hands.

And, unfortunately, when I handed it in, the number the finance person came up with was $200 short of the number I got. I don't know whether the $200 was stolen out of my cubicle while I was in the washroom or whether I just mis-counted. The thing is, I counted it twice. And when I went to lunch, I took my key with me so nobody could steal anything. I just wish I knew what happened. If I mis-counted, that's OK. If someone stole it, that's not OK. And I don't know which is true. Either way, we're $200 short and that will just have to do. No point stressing over it now.

At least we raised a lot of money for the United Way.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Well, we've moved

It's been 4 weeks since we moved in, and we still aren't totally settled. But we're getting closer.

Today there are strange men in my basement installing a new furnace for us. The old furnace was really old, and really inefficient, so we're upgrading it. Here's the old one:

Assorted 170

It's hanging out in the front yard, waiting to be taken away. Thank goodness the cost of a new furnace includes taking away the old one.

The furnace men told us it would take a couple of hours to install the new furnace, and they've been here for almost 5 hours so far. I think they must have run into some unexpected problems. I just hope it all turns out okay!! My feet are cold.

And now I will share some photos of our lovely (heh!) new bathroom.

Main Floor Vanity Main Floor Bathtub Main Floor Toilet

Note the lovely puke-yellow fixtures. When we moved in, the vanity was really filthy, but now that it's clean, it looks a little better. Still, not something we want to live with for the next 5 years. Plus, last weekend, I discovered that the bathtub was leaking into the basement ceiling, which is not something we can really allow to go on. We taped up the leak with some "Magic Tape" - that might not be its real name, but it's designed for that sort of thing, anyways. It's not leaking now, but some half-assed tape isn't exactly a long-term solution. So now we need to start shopping for bathroom renovations. Ugh! I mean, it'll be great to have that bathroom renovated. The tile floor is loose and everything is yellow. But I don't look forward to interviewing the contractors, and deciding on all the new stuff to put in, and having it actually renovated. Nope, not at all.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

T - 3 days

The move date approaches ever nearer. I'm afraid the blog hasn't been very interesting lately, as I've been rather preoccupied with the whole moving thing.

The floor is nearly finished. The hardwood part seems to be completely done - they just need to do the tiling in the foyer and put the baseboards on. They've got 2 full days to do it before we move in on Sunday. I'm extremely paranoid that we or the movers will manage to scratch the brand new floor when we move in - hopefully I will be proven wrong! I got some good tips on avoiding scratches so I'm trying to be optimistic.

I promise once we've moved and unpacked, I'll start taking some pictures again. Actually, I think I'll take some with my cellphone just for fun (please excuse the poor picture quality).

I have been knitting in the meantime, but haven't been photographing or posting about it. I joined the Monthly Dishcloths KAL group, and knitted the "early October" dishcloth. Amusingly, it turned out to be a pattern of a cat, which is identical (or near enough) to the cloth my secret pal sent me in the Summer Fling swap. Now my only two hand-knitted cloths are matching. I think of hers as a facecloth, though, because it's so soft and nice. Mine was knitted out of crappy Michael's cotton (Bernat Handicrafter) which isn't so soft, so I think of it as a dishcloth.
19-10-06_2113.jpg

I'm also still working away at my fleet of shopping bags. I now have five (or I thought I had 5, till I tried to photograph them, and found only 4). They evolve a little bit each time I make a new one. I think it's almost down to a science now. For my next one, I'm going to try using lace-weight cotton, to see if I can create a strong, large shopping bag that will nonetheless be able to fit easily into my purse and extracted when required. In theory I think it should work. The handles may be uncomfortable, though. In this pic they're arrange top-to-bottom in order of making. The bi-coloured one is my first attempt, and the one on the bottom right is my latest. The pattern calls for making an I-cord shoulder strap, but I wanted bags for grocery shopping, so I modified it to I-cord handles on the first two attempts. It was annoying to do, and looked kinda ugly, so on my latest attempts I've been casting off a few stitches (10-12, not sure exactly, I just cast off till it fits my hand), and then casting them back on during the next row. That's much easier, and I think it makes a nicer looking handle, too.
19-10-06_2115.jpg

My cat seems to like them, anyways. (And here you also get a good view of the unassembled boxes I have yet to fill.)
19-10-06_2117.jpg

And my never-ending Branching Rib pullover is still in process. I'm now about 6 inches into the second sleeve, so the end is in sight. I'd like to finish it by mid-November, so that it gets finished within a year of starting it. That would be good.

Friday, October 13, 2006

I now own two houses

For the next week and a half, anyways. We got the keys to the new place today! Very exciting. The floor guy is supposed to be bringing the flooring over tonight so it can acclimatize to the house.

I have to admit, I'm having a little bit of fear that we won't like it there. That our stuff won't fit into the house the way we expect it to. That the floor we're getting installed will be ugly. You name it, I fear it. And to add to the fear, we closed the deal on Friday the 13th.

We had a little excitement with the closing, because part of the conditions of our offer was that the old people would remove a bunch of broken-down old appliances from the basement. Our real estate agent went to check yesterday, and they were gone - along with the dryer we'd been expecting them to leave! And the washer, which apparently we didn't include in the contract, and our agent assures us was a broken-down old thing we wouldn't want anyways. So they're paying us the price for a bottom-of-the-line dryer, and we have to go out and pick out new appliances. On the upside, it will be great to have new appliances, but on the downside, we're kinda busy with all this packing and stuff - and now we have to go appliance shopping too?

Luckily our agent is giving us $1500 to spend on appliances, so we should be able to easily pick up a washer/dryer for that.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

If you need me, I'll be in my cave

As of Friday, our house is officially sold. While this is great news (and believe me, it is!), it leads to a whole new set of stresses. We're now closing on our new house on October 13, which is less than two weeks away. Our real estate agent is away on a cruise this week. I'm trying to arrange for a mortgage, movers, insurance, new floor installation, etc, etc, and all of it needs to be done ASAP. Not to mention we need to pack.

On the upside, we don't need to move out of our old house till Oct 25 (that's the closing date). We're tentatively planning a move date of Oct 22. The in-between time when we own both houses is to give the floor guy time to do his magic, and also to give us a little buffer on moving.

Last time we moved, we hired Two Small Men with Big Hearts. We liked the company name - they just *sound* trustworthy, don't they? Well. We had them booked to arrive at 3pm, if I remember correctly. By 9pm they still hadn't arrived and we'd made several calls to the office, and had done lots of freaking out. At about 9:15pm (I should note here that this was the last day of our lease in the apartment) they arrived at our door. We were so relieved. They then told us that since the elevator was no longer on service (the super stops work at 7pm and won't put the elevator on service after that), they couldn't move us. We told them that we would hold the elevator doors and make sure everything went smoothly. They said "We just need to go check with our driver", and left. After waiting about 10 minutes for them to come back from "checking with their driver" I went downstairs to look for them. Gone. Vanished. No more.

We ended up the next morning frantically calling rental truck places, rented a van for a half day, and moved ourselves. Money saving? Yup. Stress reducing? Not at all.

So my only experience with professional movers hasn't exactly been stellar. But, we have lots of furniture, including a king bed that needs to come down a fairly steep/cramped staircase, so we're going to try it again. Hopefully it'll work out better this time. I can tell you right now who we *won't* be using!

The title of this post refers to how I feel right now. I wish I could just crawl into a cave and hide there till after the move is done. I'm a massive bundle of stress. Don't expect many blog posts this month!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Painting myself into a corner

Well, still trying to sell the house. Nobody wants my lovely house! So we spent the past 3 days painting the basement to brighten it up a bit. We had previously painted it dark blue, to optimize the movie-viewing experience. But apparently people were complaining it was "too dark" so we painted it beige. Tuesday night was shopping and taping edges. The paint store people scoffed at us when we wondered if we'd need two rolls of tape ("I've painted 6 rooms and I still have tape left!" said the one girl.). So we bought one roll of tape, and ran out.

Wednesday night we primed. I'd done some investigation on the internet about whether priming was necessary or not. The general consensus was that it was, because we were going from a dark colour to a light colour. I have very bad memories of right after we moved into our current house. The previous owners had painted what is now our office, but for them was their daughter's room, Pepto-Bismol pink. I have nothing against Pepto-Bismol, but I don't think it makes for a very appealing room colour. We decided to paint it pale yellow. After 3 coats it was STILL looking patchy. We ended up having to buy a wallpaper border and install it at the top of the room because we could not get the top edges to look at all decent. So this time, we primed.

Thursday I took the afternoon off work, and we painted. The primer *really* helped. We did one coat and then went around and did a few touch-ups, and it looks great. I highly recommend priming.

I'd post before and after pictures, but we didn't take any.

We've also dropped the price a bit, and our agent is putting an ad in the Toronto Star, which has huge circulation, so hopefully that will help.

In other news, both Kenneth and I have gotten the same cold at exactly the same time. It's kind of weird. So rather than spending our weekend hiking, which was the original plan, we're thinking matinee movies (because there are open houses both Saturday and Sunday afternoons) and general vegging out.

Friday, September 01, 2006

House stuff

I haven't posted in ages, because I've been too busy stressing out and cleaning my house non-stop.

We bought a new house! Up top, in my flickr photostream, you can see pictures of it. It's much closer to work than our current house - instead of a half hour drive, it's a half hour walk. OK, so the commute time will still be more or less the same (although, in the evenings, it generally takes me at least 40-45 minutes to drive home). I'll be getting automatic exercise daily. And I really think it will help me to feel better. I've been having lots of chronic muscle pain lately, which I think is aggravated by the fact that my life consists of: drive to work, sit at a desk all day, drive home, sit on a couch and watch TV, sleep. Too much sitting! I'm hoping adding in an hour walk per day will help loosen me up and rid me of some of this annoying pain.

The tradeoff for moving closer to work is that instead of having a modern 2-storey house built in 1997, we're buying a bungalow that was built in the 50's, and it's costing more. The new house (the bungalow) will need a bit of work, but I really like it, and it's in a great location with a big yard. We need to do the following things almost immediately:
  • Have the basement waterproofed. There are signs of minor moisture damage in the basement and we want to stop that trend before it goes any further.
  • Get a new furnace. The current furnace is 35 years old, according to the home inspector, and he says that they have a normal lifespan of 30 years.
  • Have the attic insulated more, and install more venting. I really think this is a priority as it will save us a bunch on heating this winter.
  • Buy a washing machine. It doesn't have one.

Things we'd like to do, but can wait:

  • Refinish or replace the hardwood flooring on the main floor. It's pretty scratched up. I don't mind it so much, but Kenneth is adamant that he wants it fixed. Ideally we'd do this before we move in, while the house is still empty. It would be a bitch to have to move all the furniture into the basement or something so they could re-do the floors. It covers the living/dining, hallway, and all 3 bedrooms. I'd like to do bamboo. Kenneth would like a dark colour. Maybe we can compromise on a dark coloured bamboo.
  • Remodel the bathroom on the main floor. It has 70's style dark yellow fixtures, and an ugly dark yellow tile floor.
  • Remove the wallpaper and paint the living/dining/hallway.
  • Buy a new fridge. The existing one is a little old and a little small.
  • Buy a new dishwasher. The existing one is a little old. But we'll see how it works before making any decisions in that department.
  • Buy new window coverings. The existing ones are pretty old and ugly.
  • Buy new light fixtures. We've got some *seriously* ugly light fixtures, dude.
  • Buy a bunch of topsoil and roto-till the back yard to get rid of the weeds.

There may be more things I'm not thinking of but those are the main ones. So it's going to be a lot of work, but I think it will be worth it in the end. And I'll get to walk to work! We'll also be saving a bunch of money in terms of day-to-day living. I'll get to terminate my $100/mo parking contract at work. We'll sell one of the cars, which means that's one less car to insure and maintain and gas up. Kenneth is thinking of taking the bus to school instead of the car, so if he does that, we could even insure the car as "casual" instead of "commuter" which would save a bit of money. I'm also thinking of terminating my gym membership because we have lots of weights at home, and why should I log all my gym gear to the gym to work out when I can do it at home? Right now, my motivation is because the commute is a lot shorter if I drive in first thing to go to the gym. But if I'm walking, the commute will be the same either way. I could just work out at home, shower, and then walk to work. Oh, and we will probably be moving Oct 27, or thereabouts. That's our official closing date for now.

That's all I have to say about the new house for now. Then we come to the old house. I need to sell it! I do NOT want to be in a position where I have to beg my dad to co-sign for a mortgage with me because I haven't sold my old house at the time I get the mortgage for the new house! He already told me he'll do that if I need him to, but come on. I'm 34 years old. I don't want my dad co-signing anything for me.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

IKEA funny



The latest IKEA catalogue arrived recently. Kenneth heard the DJ's on the radio talking about it, and pointed this out to me.

At first glance, it just looks like a happy family enjoying their IKEA furniture. But look closer.

The dog seems to be enjoying the IKEA furniture a little *too* much.




Sunday, August 06, 2006

My little brother is married!

I've been off work since Thursday. Monday is a holiday - that means I have a five day weekend. So luxurious!

My brother got married to his long-time girlfriend (Irene) on Thursday. Kenneth and I were the only invitees to the wedding, and we were only invited because they needed to have two witnesses to sign the papers. I feel quite honoured that we were the two people they selected to use as their witnesses, though.

It was a lovely wedding. They had it in a little non-denominational wedding chapel. The ceremony was completely religion-free which was what they wanted. Kenneth took lots and lots of pictures.

After the wedding, we went back to their apartment and found Irene's family had arrived for the reception (an hour early!). We hung out eating and drinking, while Irene's dad took lots of photos with his extremely high-tech camera. After about an hour, my parents arrived. More eating and drinking ensued.

Finally we all trooped off to a local wilderness area (actually part of the Bruce trail! It's going to be cool when we finally get to that part of the trail and see it again.) and took pictures by a waterfall. Unfortunately, it started pouring rain after about 10-15 minutes of picture-taking, so they didn't get quite as many pictures as they were hoping for.

Dinner was at a restaurant called the Old Mill. It was a little bit snooty. Several amusing things happened. We had 2 waiters, we'll call them Snooty Waiter and Nice Waiter.
1) We had been drinking chardonnay and someone ordered some pinot grigio. So Snooty Waiter came around asking everyone if they were going to have any pinot grigio, and if they said yes, giving them a fresh glass for it. Irene's sister said "I don't mind using the same glass", and Snooty Waiter just said "No." and gave her a fresh glass.
2) Kenneth ordered the pork, but they brought him the ribeye. Snooty Waiter basically accused him of forgetting what he had ordered. Kenneth replied with "I don't even eat beef, so I know I didn't order it!". After a few minutes Nice Waiter came along and apologized, saying the buttons for ribeye and pork were right beside each other on his touch-screen, and he must have pressed the wrong button. Snooty Waiter appeared to be upset with Nice Waiter for having made this mistake.

I was also mildly amused that they left our wine bottles on the sideboard, instead of on our table. This meant if we wanted more wine, we had to call over a waiter and ask for it, instead of being able to help ourselves. I did not view this as a feature.

They also kept forgetting who had ordered what. If you're going to be snooty, you should have flawless service to make up for the snootiness, in my opinion. However, the food was absolutely delicious, I can't fault them there! Mmmmm.

Anyways, enough restaurant review. We had a nice time at the restaurant, and then there was a cake ceremony at the apartment afterwards. We then drove back home.

Oh, I forgot to mention, we also dragged our bikes and hiking gear all the way to Hamilton for the wedding. The thinking was, we'd continue from Hamilton to Niagara where we would do a day or two of hiking (Hamilton is on the way to Niagara, over halfway in fact, so it made sense). But we realized when we arrived in Hamilton that we'd forgotten to pack our raincoats. It was raining. It wasn't calling for rain the next day, but you never know - and we would have had to pay $100-ish to stay in a hotel in Niagara, only to find out we couldn't hike because it was raining and we didn't have our raingear. So we decided to cancel the hiking plan and just return home. People kept asking us why we had our bikes on the car and we kept having to explain the whole thing.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Modeled Soleil


Modeled Soleil, originally uploaded by spudd.

Finally got a picture taken with me modeling Soleil. We should maybe have taken a few more to get one where the expression on my face doesn't look so dorky, but oh well.

I've worn it in public twice so far. Nobody's commented, so either it looks storebought or it looks hideous. ;)

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Long weekend

It's not officially a long weekend, but I'm taking Monday off work, just because I can. It feels great to sit here on Saturday night and know I have 2 days left in my weekend!

Last night I finished knitting a Turkish string bag, and today I took it on my trip to Costco, where I discovered that when filled with heavy items, it stretches so much it touches the ground. Oops. I think by shortening the handles just an inch it should keep it off the ground. I'm planning to knit a fleet of them (yes, I call it a fleet - I'm a dork). Then I will use them to save the environment. Of course, knowing me, I'll just forget them in the car and be too lazy to leave the supermarket to go get them. But let's pretend that won't happen.

No pictures today. The camera's out of batteries, and I'm not feeling motivated to go searching for more.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

The sun'll come out...

Soleil is finally finished! It's blocking as we speak. When I tried it on pre-blocking, the lacy edge was rolling up. But after it went through the wash, it looked like it didn't even need blocking to stay unrolled. Just drying it flat should do the trick. But I decided to block it anyways.
Soleil
I think I'm pretty happy with it. The crochet edging wasn't as hard as I'd feared, and it really made the neckline more decent. Pre-crochet, the neckline was rather revealing. I was thinking I'd have to put in a lace panel there to make it decent for work. But post-crochet, I think it's just fine. I can't wait to try it on again after it's finished blocking.

In other news, my brother-in-law just sent me my Christmas present! It had been back-ordered and then the company forgot about him, and he forgot he'd ordered it. But it's all sorted out now and it's here.
Selbustrikk
It's a Norwegian book of patterns - it has mittens, gloves, socks, stockings (above-the-knee socks), hats, and scarves. I posted pics of a few of my favorite patterns from the book at Flickr - here's the pic that turned out best:
Selbustrikk scarf
If you click through to Flickr on it, you can browse back and forth to the other pics I took from the book.

I just love these patterns. They're so intricate. Some of them really crack me up, though - they have above-the-knee stockings labeled as "Men's stockings". Um, yeah. My husband would love that. He said "You don't know the Norwegians!" when I mentioned it to him as being funny. I guess they're part of the Norwegian traditional outfit, but it still cracks me up to think of men wearing them.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Lots to report on today

I took Thursday and Friday off work last week, and Kenneth and I went hiking again. This time we brought our bikes, and we parked the car at the end-point for the day, biked to the beginning point, and hiked back to the car. Then drove back to pick up the bikes. A bit convoluted, but it saved us from taking a cab. The downside was that I'm way out of shape on the bike, so by the time we started hiking, I was already tired from the biking. But we managed it. The second day of hiking was very strenuous - first the bike was longer than the one the day before, and then, to quote the guide, there were "a few challenging inclines", then it "climbed steeply", and finally, "climbed steeply up a set of stairs". Apparently, at our end point that day, there was a spectacular waterfall, 2/3 the height of Niagara Falls - we were too tired to even think about trying to go see it. Heh. We'll see it next time. We did see this waterfall:

Waterfall

Yesterday, as I was on my way home from work, I got in a car accident. The other driver fell asleep at the wheel and sideswiped my car. Luckily, nobody was hurt, and the car isn't too badly damaged (driver's side mirror is broken, and some cosmetic paint damage). But it wasn't much fun. But then I arrived home finally and found a package on my front porch from my Summer Fling secret pal (from knittyboard.com). What a great way to turn my day back from bad to good.
Secret Pal Package!
If you click on the picture, you can see my notes on what everything is. Oh, and there was also some Green & Black chocolate included, which I forgot to put into the picture. It's safely in my chocolate cupboard, out of my husband's reach. Can't wait to try it!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Finished Bobblicious and SP Gift!

I finished Bobblicious quite some time ago, but I've been lazy about getting my husband to take my picture wearing it. I finally got around to it today. Here it is! It was his brilliant idea to take my picture in front of a mirror, so you can see front and back in the same shot. Pretty snazzy, eh?


The cats also like Bobblicious.


In other news, when I picked up the mail today, I had a packet from my secret pal from the Knittyboard Summer Fling secret pal exchange. She (I presume) sent me the absolutely cutest card EVER, and a lovely lace knitted bookmark. Hey, pal, if you read this, did you make that card yourself? It's one of the best things I've ever seen!



I wish I was a bit more social, sometimes. I trekked all the way downtown to go to AmyKnitty's "Leap" party, to celebrate her quitting her day job and working full time on Knitty. I had also heard that something my secret pal wants might be available there, so I had 2 reasons for going. I got down to the area about 40 minutes early, so I went to a restaurant and had a fabulous vegetarian meal at King's Cafe. Generally one should arrive late to a party so as not to be alone with the host, so I wasn't worried when I saw it was a little after 7 by the time I finished eating. I strolled over to Lettuce Knit and found that it was already PACKED with people. They were all chatting amongst themselves, and I didn't know anyone. I stood there for a bit debating what to do, then I decided to go shopping. I went inside and found something cool for my secret pal, which I successfully purchased. :) And then I went home. It was still a good evening, but it would have been better if I'd had the nerve to say hello to any of the people like I was kind of hoping would happen when I headed down there.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Bangs or no bangs?

I'm trying to decide if I should grow my bangs out. Right now is the critical time to decide this, because they're too long for my liking, if I'm going to keep them.

Here's me with bangs (please disregard the fact that they're disheveled - I haven't taken a shower yet today). They normally look nicer. Try to focus on how they make my face look.



Through the magic of Photoshop, here's how I'd look with shorter bangs...



And finally, the no bangs look:



Please let me know which one you think is best!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Sorry...

I'm just now seeing the light at the end of the tunnel at work, and hopefully will begin posting more very soon.

But for a quick update - I found the solution to my crappy-looking swatch. I was indeed twisting my stitches - apparently, somehow, in the year or two I took off from knitting, I forgot how to purl correctly. All is now well.

I'm enjoying making something girly and pink.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

My swatch looks like crap


swatch, originally uploaded by spudd.

I was swatching for Soleil, and since it's knit mostly in the round, I swatched in the round. But at the top you have to split apart and start knitting flat, so you can have arm holes and a neck hole and such. So after I'd swatched a sufficient amount in the round, I switched to swatching flat so I could make sure it would get the same gauge. And look at it! The top part is the part that was knitted flat. It's not nearly as nice and even as the part that was knit in the round.

I *think* my problem is I'm purling too loosely, but I'm not sure. If anyone has any suggestions to make my flat-knitted area look better, please let me know!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Bruce Trail, part 2


Carved stump, originally uploaded by spudd.

The weekend of June 3-4, we completed our second leg of the Bruce Trail.

Saturday was very rainy - it rained almost non-stop the whole day. I was feeling okay in my breathable raincoat but Kenneth was miserable (he brought a raincoat, but neglected to put it on - and then once he was soaked he decided there was no point to putting it on). We stopped a little earlier than originally planned (about 3K earlier). This put the end of our leg at a mall. Yes, the Bruce Trail goes right past a mall.

Sunday was gorgeous hiking weather. It was sunny and warm, but not hot. We found this cute stump. We ended up walking further than we'd originally planned for Sunday, but were 2K short of our goal for the weekend.

I'm thinking of buying a bike rack for the car so we can take our bikes next time, and ride our bikes back to the car after each leg instead of having to call a taxi. This time the taxis were actually good, but you never really know if the taxi will know where you are, and it's a bit nerve-wracking.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

PokerStars Blogger Tournament

Texas Holdem Poker

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker!

This Online Poker Tournament is a No Limit Texas Holdem event exclusive to Bloggers.

Registration code: 1169812


I'm kind of excited. I played in this last year and did pretty well (not well enough to actually win a prize or anything, though). And for a while, I was at the same table with Wil Wheaton. A brush with fame!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Next Time, on the Amazing Lace

Spudd is a 33 year old computer geek from Canada. She's been training for the Amazing Lace by hiking the Bruce trail and knitting Bobblicious, neither of which seem extremely relevant. So far her fitness and knitting skills haven't improved much, but she does have some cool accessories. Will her partner have to pick up all the slack? Her team-mate is Soleil, who will be knitted from Elann "Endless Summer" Collection Sonata, in a very fetching pink pearl colour. Soleil hasn't been started yet, in fact, the yarn was just ordered today. Will it arrive in time for the race? Only time will tell!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Bruce Trail has begun

It's official. We started the Bruce trail this weekend. We were going to drive down (it starts about a 2 hour drive from our house) Friday night and start hiking Saturday morning, but the weather forecast convinced us to wait. So we saved 2 nights in a hotel, and drove down bright and early Sunday morning. We arrived at the park where the trail starts at about 10:30 or so, and proceeded to look for the beginning of the trail. We knew it was marked with a cairn. According to the map (it is important to note this is the official trail map put out by the Bruce Trail Association), the trail was north of the Brock monument, so we started at the monument, and went to where we thought it should be, based on the map. It wasn't there. We went back to the monument. We considered our options. At 11, the restaurant opened for brunch, so we went in and asked for directions. The two waitresses had no idea. We went back out and kept looking. We found a trail, but it wasn't marked as being the Bruce trail. Feeling we were out of options, we decided to hike on it and see what happened. After a short distance it ended at a road. Hmm, we said. This doesn't seem right. We decided to go back to the car and look in our map book (a driving map book, not an official trail map), because it also had the Bruce trail marked on it. When we arrived back at the car, we saw a cairn-looking thing, across the parking lot. Kenneth went to go see, and I looked at the map book. It turned out to be the Southern Terminus Cairn. We'd literally parked IN THE MIDDLE of the Bruce trail. On the line leading from the cairn to the first marked tree. Yet it took us over an hour to find it. Talk about an inauspicious start to the day!

Anyways, we hiked the first leg of the trail, a 7.2 km section, without too much incident, once we actually managed to find it. We considered going further, but decided we probably shouldn't push it on our first day. We called a cab to bring us back to our car. According to the map (official trail map, of course) we were at Firemen's Park. Well, little did we know, that about 400 metres down the road was a parking lot with a big sign saying "Firemen's Park". Where we were, there was no sign. After waiting for a long time we set off down the road and discovered this parking lot. Doh! We called the cab company again and explained our mishap, and they said the cab would try again to pick us up. After waiting for a long time, we decided to walk a little further down the road, until there was a fork, where we stopped in case the cab came along the other road. We waited there for a long time. Eventually, the cab arrived. It turns out that where we were was actually "Old Firemen's Park", and the cab had been down the road at the new "Firemen's Park". At this point we were none too pleased with the map.

Day 2 went a little better. We went back to the cairn and took our picture, because we'd forgotten to do it the day before, and we wanted photographic evidence. Then we drove back up to Old Firemen's Park and parked the car, and started hiking. The hike was quite nice, except that there was a group of 50 hard core hikers, all hiking the opposite direction to us. We know there were 50 because we asked one of them how many of them there were. The path is quite narrow so every time we ran into one of this group either we or they had to stand aside to let the other pass (normally we did, because they were all hiking very quickly and with sticks - while we were unarmed ;) ).

We learned that chipmunks can climb trees, really well! We watched one chipmunk climb a 40 foot tree, then launch himself off the top and fall straight down to the forest floor. I hope he meant to do that!

I hurt my foot part way through Day 2, while we were walking through a weedy field which had uneven ground. Because I couldn't see the ground through the weeds, I stepped funny. I managed to make it to the first planned stopping point, but we were both disappointed we couldn't go further because of my foot. Near the end of our walk on Day 2 we saw this sign. It made us laugh, because it looks like "Business People Crossing". Our theory is it was the closest they could find to "Watch for Hikers", but seriously. Business people crossing?


Things we learned on our first Bruce trail outing:

  1. Chipmunks can climb trees.
  2. Bring wet-naps.
  3. Cabs don't seem to know where anything is.
  4. Don't trust the official trail guide maps.
  5. Even though your "compass/whistle/thermometer" seems dorky, it will come in handy.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Crazy work days

Boy, I'm really earning my salary this month. So much so, that I haven't blogged since April 30! We're doing a huge, important project at work, and I'm coordinating all the testing of it. This means I've been working long hours, and when I get home, I just want to collapse into a chair and watch TV. Thus the lack of blogging.

This weekend is a long weekend (Victoria Day), and I'm right now just revelling in the fact that I won't have to go back to work for 3 whole days. THREE whole days! I wish it was three whole weeks, but you can't have everything.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Not much to report

Not much has been going on this week worth blogging about. Turns out, after my long walk last weekend, I came down with a bad cold. Maybe that's why the walk was so difficult for me - I probably had a cold and didn't realize it yet.

I did go on a business trip this week, which was fun. I got to see my friend Aly who lives in Cincinnati, so I hardly ever see her. And she bought me chai latte and a chocolate bar! She's so sweet. :) I also went on a mission to get my best friend some dental floss we can't find here in Canada any more (that reminds me, I need to get it into the mail!).

Yesterday we went geocaching, and couldn't find the cache, because we didn't know how to use one of the features on our GPS! I think we'll go back and try again today.

No real knitting news to report. I casted on for a tea cozy, but it's nothing to look at yet, so I won't post a picture. I'm still plugging away at the forever sweater. I'm officially changing its name from Branching Rib Pullover to Forever Sweater. Maybe it'll be done by the time winter returns.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

11 km

I just walked 11 km. I feel totally drained. I know part of it is because it was so chilly outside, and even though I've been home for an hour, I still feel cold inside.

The Bruce trail is longer than 11 km.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Skadeglädje


14-04-06_0913.jpg, originally uploaded by spudd.

Skadeglädje is a Swedish word which means "joy from the hardship of others".

Our next door neighbour, ever since we moved in, has always had a much nicer lawn than us. His lawn is always lush and green, weed-free, and mowed to a perfect length. He's out there every day during the summer watering it. Having read up on lawn care when we got our house, I always said he was over-watering - the wisdom is that you should water once a week, an inch of water at a time. If you water more often, it makes the lawn dependent on the water and weakens it. However, his lawn always looked far better than ours even though I was following the conventional wisdom and he was not.

Well, the worm has turned. This is a picture of our front lawn - the neighbour's half is on the left and our half is on the right. Who's got a nicer lawn now? *evil laugh* (I know come mid-summer, his lawn will look better again - I have to enjoy this moment of triumph while it lasts!)

Thursday, April 13, 2006

IWantToKillMyself.com

So, I was sitting here, finishing up a beer and surfing the web. I was feeling a little grumpy, for some reason. So I decided, randomly, to go see what was at www.iwanttokillmyself.com. (I don't recommend going there unless you have a pop-up blocker - Firefox blocked a popup when I went there, and if it's like other portal sites, it probably has more than one popup.)

(Click on the picture to see it full-sized. I'm afraid if I post it full-sized in the body of my post it won't fit in with the sidebar and everything.)

Is that hilarious or what? First of all, someone registered it as one of those portal sites, which isn't really entirely unexpected. But what cracks me up is the links they chose. Some of them are predictable, like "Depressed Teen", or "Ways to Commit Suicide" (although that one is rather disturbing!). The ones I like best are "Christian Singles" and "Russian Brides". OK, Russian Brides may want to kill themselves because they have to marry some unattractive American guy. But Christian singles? Is it really THAT bad being a Christian single?

In other news, I was researching backpacking books at Amazon today, and one woman gave the book I was looking at a 2 star review, because the author stated that people should not bring a gun with them when they go hiking. She said she liked the rest of the book all right, but she took real offense to that statement, which prompted her to go to Amazon and give the book a poor review. I can understand if this woman thinks bringing a gun hiking is the thing to do (personally, I would never, but whatever). But I can't understand slamming an entire backpacking book because of one sentence about guns. Seems a little extreme.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Bruce, you will be mine (maybe)

First, an update on the illness front. I'm feeling much, much better. I do still have a nagging cough, and don't feel up to anything strenuous, but I'm hoping that too will be gone in a few days. Whew! It's great to feel like a human again.

Now on to the meat of the post. I enjoy listening to audiobooks in the car, while I commute. The book I'm listening to at the moment is A Walk in the Woods, by Bill Bryson. It's an excellent book, about an out-of-shape middle-aged man (the author) who decides to hike the entire Appalachian trail (which is over 2000 miles or kilometers long - probably miles, since he's American). Then, the other day at breakfast, I read a blurb in Explore magazine about a guy who ran the Bruce trail end-to-end in 15 days (700 km). Crazy, right? Well, those two things have somehow combined themselves to inspire me to walk the Bruce trail end-to-end.

Now, I'm not crazy enough to think I'll do it in one shot. Kenneth and I are not exactly pinnacles of fitness, and we have little to no camping experience. I'm thinking we'll do a week a year, for 7 years, and that should do it. That would mean walking for less than 20 km a day, which I think should be doable.

Kenneth is game, but prefers we stay at motels rather than lugging a tent and sleeping bags through the woods. I tend to agree, but I don't know if it's feasible to expect to find a motel at the end of each day. I suspect we will likely have to camp. The next step in the master plan is to buy a trail guide, and start doing some plotting.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

RNA Soldiers of Pain

A few weeks back, my husband got the flu, or something. He was feeling better somewhere around March 16 or so, if his blog is any indication. Well, at first when he got sick, I was paranoid about catching his illness. I moved into the guest room so he wouldn't breathe on me during the night (and also so I could sleep despite his coughing). We didn't kiss for weeks. And it seemed like it worked! I was healthy. Until Wednesday last week. Which, for the record, is almost exactly 2 weeks after he recovered. I was mildly sick on both Wednesday and Thursday (I worked a half-day both days, but by noon was too wiped out to continue). Friday it struck with a vengeance and I was horribly ill for 4 days straight (which you'll note includes the weekend). Today's the first day I've felt close to normal, but I'm still coughing a lot and feeling kind of weak.

My husband referred to his disease in his blog as "RNA soldiers of pain" which I thought was horribly clever. And now that I've lived through it, horribly apt as well. Now my only wish is that it IS the same disease that he had - because if it's not, he's likely going to be in for another round, and he won't be pleased about that.

Thank goodness I prepared my "Flash Your Stash" post well ahead of time and saved it as a draft, or there would have been no flashing from this blogger. I was even too sick to play Oblivion, which is my new videogame obsession. The fights tired me out. Yes. Twiddling a small knob on a videogame controller was too strenuous for me in my weakened condition.

I'm pleased to say that I seem to be well on the mend. I would even go to work tomorrow, but I've got no meetings, so I think it's better to stay home in case I'm still contagious. I was able to work a full day from home both yesterday and today, which is good.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

It's Flash Your Stash Day

On my knitting forum, today is Flash Your Stash day. On March 11, I spent several hours organizing my stash. Some of it was desperately scary. Lots of unlabeled, unknown yarns left over from who-knows-what. Lots of 100% acrylic. Huge bunches of Bernat Handicrafter Cotton, in colours that don't match. Why did I think it would be a good idea to buy those and attempt to crochet (which I've never gotten the hang of) an afghan out of colours that don't match?

There's some nice stuff too. There's stuff I forgot I had. It's pretty neat seeing it all laid out in all its glory.

Here's the whole nine yards. OK, let's face it, there's a lot more than nine yards here. In fact, if my geeky calculations on my knitting spreadsheet (credit goes to Trillian42 for creating this masterpiece) are correct, I have over 11,000 yards. The basket in the upper left corner of the picture is where I keep all my oddballs. One of these days, I'll have to make some kind of stash-busting afghan to get rid of all the oddballs. I really do have a lot.

The yarn in pristine plastic bags near the front is the yarn I got at the Kertzer warehouse sale. The link leads you to my blog entry about that, with more pictures, so I won't bother to re-photograph them up close for this one.


This is a 100% cotton yarn I bought at a craft show and sale quite some time ago. I got discouraged with it, because the directions say that you have to knit a big gauge swatch and then machine wash and dry it and measure how much it shrinks. This is actually a good thing, because it means that the finished product will be machine-washable. But I just don't enjoy knitting it much, and I'm nervous about trusting my gauge swatch.

The company that made it (Summit Yarns) has since gone out of business, or at least, their website listed on the yarn labels no longer exists. So these are kind of a collector's item.

And finally, who can resist free yarn? Bernat was offering a free ball of Disco to anyone who signed up on their website. I had to do it. But now that I have it, I'm at a loss. To make things worse, the name of this colour is "Mr. Brown". Doesn't that sound appealing? NOT.

I'm thinking I may make a cat toy or stuffed animal of some kind. Either that, or I'll make my husband a fun fur thong. Yeah. That's the ticket. I think this will be resting in my stash for quite some time before I feel inspired to knit it up.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Time, Love, and Tenderness

My MP3 player is out of batteries, and I'm sitting at work, trying to be productive, and going slightly mad from having to be productive without music to keep me company. To make matters worse, I have a song I hate in my head - "Time Love and Tenderness" by Michael Bolton.

I was having a conversation with a friend about this situation, and he asked me who the song was by. I didn't know, so I googled.



I was much amused by the resulting sponsored link. Boy, you really *can* get anything on EBay! Who knew?

Saturday, March 18, 2006

I'm hungry

But I thought before I go make something for breakfast, I'd make a quick blog entry.

I just had a big moment of relief. Ever since I organized my yarn stash last Saturday (read all about it on April 1 - you'll have to stay in suspense till then) I've been minorly obsessing that the yarn I bought at the warehouse sale back in November wouldn't be enough to make anything decent out of. So today I decided to search for a pattern that would fit with the yarn. I tried a few long-sleeved sweater patterns, but they all called for more yarn than I have. Finally, I remembered the pattern in the current (winter) issue of Knitty.com - Bobbilicious. I have to admit, when I first saw this pattern a couple of months ago, I wasn't a big fan. But upon reflection, I think it will be great to have around the house for when you feel chilled. And I have enough yarn for it! So I think that's what my Wendy Pampas is destined to become.

Kenneth stayed up till 4am last night playing Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter. I guess it's a fun game. I haven't even tried it. It would have to be ridiculously fun for it to make me stay up till 4am, though.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Cuba vacation recap

I just looked at my blog, and realized I haven't blogged since Feb 12! That's like a month. I better pull up my socks.

I do have an excuse. From Feb 17-24, I was in Cuba on vacation. Obviously, I couldn't blog while I was there (without paying through the nose for resort internet access, anyways). The first weekend back was spent recovering, unpacking, etc. The second weekend back, we went to Ottawa for a visit with my best friend. I've been working late-ish during the weekdays, because I suddenly am massively busy at work (combination of leftover stuff that piled up during vacation, and just general busy-ness). So all in all, this is the first moment I've really had to blog.

So, here's a recap of our vacation.

On our first day, we were walking down the beach and we came across a sea turtle flipper that had washed up on shore. Very cool! We're hoping said turtle died a natural death and not some sort of hideous man-made death. (In this picture, it's next to hubby's foot to give a sense of scale. Must've been a big turtle!)





Here's a view of the resort from our front porch. All the rooms were bungalows, spread out across the grounds. It was a really nice setup, made it feel more homey and less hotelly.








This is me on our beach. The little river you see in front of me was the natural boundary between our resort and the (much nicer) one next door. They had security guards posted there constantly to ensure that the riff-raff (aka people from our resort) wouldn't wander over and use the facilities at the nicer resort. Aside from the 2 resorts, we were in the middle of nowhere, which I wasn't sure I'd enjoy. But it turned out to be great. It was very relaxing.




As you can see, the lifeguards were very hard-working and made sure we were safe at all times. LOL.










The only scary thing about our beach was that we kept finding these Man O' Wars washed up on the beach. They're supposedly really poisonous and can give you a good sting. A couple times, the beach had a red flag up due to the number of Man O' Wars. One day we were all set to go snorkelling, and we went down to the beach and found it was red-flagged. We started talking to some other guests, who were also wanting to snorkel. They were thinking the red flag was an over-reaction, "After all, it's not like they move fast, you can just stay away from them! And there's only one in the water right now.". We decided to play it safe and not snorkel. Well, the next day, we saw the same people, and found out they had decided to snorkel after all. The woman had gotten badly stung on the ankle by a Man O' War! Boy, were we paying attention to the beach flags after that. ;)

We went out scuba diving several times with the resort next door. Our resort also had a scuba diving facility, but when we asked them about it, they were very nonchalant ("Just show up when you want to dive"). Given that it had taken us 2 days to even find them in their shop, we weren't too confident that we'd be able to just show up and go diving whenever we wanted. Plus, we asked if they have a boat, and they said they'd take us out on one of the paddleboats! Um, yeah. So we investigated the scuba shop next door, and discovered they had scheduled dives every day, a power boat, and they charged the same amount per dive as our scuba shop. Oh, and they accepted credit cards, which our scuba shop did not (this was critical, because we were in the middle of nowhere without access to additional cash).

One of the coolest things that happened on our dives was that the divemaster caught a puffer fish and showed it to us, all puffed up. I've seen puffer fish before (I think) but never puffed up. It was very cool. He had to massage it while he was holding it, because they hold their breath in order to puff up, and it would've died if he hadn't massaged it to get some water into it. After he let it go, it swam off, slowly de-puffing. This divemaster was the coolest one I've ever gone out with. He also brought along bread and gave it to us so we could feed the fish. And he caught a lobster and let me pet it.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Sweater progress

I'm working on the Branching Rib Pullover from Creative Knitting magazine. It's not going very fast because the yarn I'm using is DK-weight (for non-knitters, that means it's really thin). I'm getting semi close to finishing the back, so I thought I'd post some update pictures.

This is an overall view. It gives you an idea of how far along I am.
















And this is a closeup of the rib stitch. I think it's a really neat stitch. It also is fun to knit which is a huge advantage in a project of this size.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Brokeback to the Future

This cracked me up!

Brokeback to the Future

Lookie here...

You are Brigitte Bardot
Naturally sensual and beautiful
You're an exotic beauty who turns heads everywhere
You've got a look that's one of a kind

OK, not. But I'll take it.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Cuba, baby!

OK, it doesn't have the same ring to it as "Vegas, baby!", but I don't care.

We just booked a one-week all-inclusive vacation to Cuba! How exciting. I've never been to Cuba before. I'm slightly concerned about their policy on what you can bring in, though. Apparently you can't bring in fridges or stoves - OK, we can handle that. But you also are not supposed to bring DVD players. And the question is, if we were to bring our laptop which has a DVD player built in, would they notice? I'm leaning towards making it a low-tech holiday - just books, cards, and Travel Scrabble for entertainment, rather than take the risk of getting our electronics confiscated. But the final decision will be up to Kenneth, since I have already decided I will refuse to bring *my* laptop, and everything else is his.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

New Year's Resolutions check-in



This is my record of how I'm doing on my New Year's resolutions so far. The red stars represent exercise and the blue stars represent housework. So I'm well on track with exercise (except the 2nd week of January, when I was sick as a dog), but need to pull up my socks in the housework department.

That's gonna be tough, because my Roomba is broken. The bumper gets stuck in the "in" position, so it thinks it's up against a wall. I've called the help desk, but they weren't able to help me. I plan to call them back today and make them tell me how to get it serviced. It's still under warranty (yo, I bought it this month!) so they better fix it for me. I just hope I won't have to live without it for too long.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Election Day

Today's the day. Kenneth and I walked over to the polling station after supper and cast our votes, thereby fulfilling both our civic duty and my exercise commitment for the day.

Apparently in Sweden, casting a blank vote or voting for Donald Duck is a common way to express your dissatisfaction with the candidates available. I looked at my ballot tonight and discovered that it is not possible to write in a candidate - you can only select one of the candidates who is actually running. This morning on the radio I heard that spoiling your ballot is illegal, so I wondered if casting a blank vote would also be illegal. To that end, I went to the Elections Canada website to learn the truth. In the process, I learned that it is illegal to eat your ballot. It is apparently legal to cast a blank vote - as discussed here.

We had a surprising number of candidates running in our riding. I think there were 6 altogether. The Liberal put up his signs around the neighbourhood the day the election was announced. The Green Party put theirs up a week or two later. The Conservative didn't bother until a few days ago. But there were 3 parties (NDP, Libertarian, and Progressive Canadian, I think) who didn't even put up signage at all. Actually, I'm slightly lying - I did see one small, lonely NDP sign when we were out shopping the other day. I wonder how many votes the guys from the Libertarian and Progressive Canadians will get, since they didn't bother campaigning at all. They didn't even send a pamphlet in the mail.

Now it's time to sit back and watch the election results roll in. Let the fun begin!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

What kind of yarn are you?

You are Merino Wool.
You are Merino Wool.
You are very easygoing and sweet. People like to
keep you close because you are so softhearted.
You love to be comfortable and warm from your
head to your toes.


What kind of yarn are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Monday, January 16, 2006

It's official: Jinxing is real

You know how I said in my last post that I might be jinxing myself? Well, it's Monday and I'm STILL feeling under the weather. I spent just about the whole weekend in a reclined position. This cold is really tenacious. Bah.

In other news, we spontaneously bought a new sofa this weekend. We've been watching TV in La-Z-Boy recliners, separated by an end table. This seemed like a good idea when we bought them, but I missed being able to snuggle while watching TV. Kenneth's recliner is getting a little threadbare after nearly 5 years, so we felt semi justified in replacing it. Mine, well, it's still doing OK. But you can't just replace half of a pair of La-Z-Boys - it would look funny. So we went to the La-Z-Boy store and bought a sofa. It's a 3-seater, and the back of the middle seat folds down to form a table with cup-holders. It's ideal. Put the table down when you want to sit using the recliners (both ends of the sofa recline) and have your beverage handy. Put the table up when you want to snuggle or lie on the couch, or if you have a 3rd person who wants to watch TV with you. I'm excited! We got a discount, because they had accidentally ordered the wrong fabric on a sofa in the model we wanted, and they couldn't sell it to the person who had ordered it (because they wanted a different fabric). We're not in love with the fabric, but it's neutral and will be fine. We looked through their big books o' fabric, but nothing really grabbed us as being "that perfect fabric". So we decided to go for the discount and the instant gratification.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Feeling Better, Finally

Let's hope I didn't just jinx myself. I've had this cold for over a week now (last Wednesday was the first day I felt really bad, and it has continued till yesterday). But today I feel remarkably good, all things considered. I'm thinking full health by tomorrow! Let's hope for the best.

My New Year's resolution has been massively thrown off by the illness, of course. You can't really exercise 3x/week for 30 minutes/time when your nose is running like a faucet. I did make it to the gym on Wednesday and did 15 minutes, but felt like I was ready to collapse by the end of it. Bah. The housework has also suffered, but not quite as much. Tomorrow's a new week, and I should be feeling better, so everything will get back in motion then.

We've hit a cold spell again. It's been an unseasonably mild January, not that I'm complaining. Today it's actually looking chilly again. According to Accuweather, it's -3C but it feels like -14. Yikes, it's supposed to be even colder tomorrow. We're supposed to go to the zoo this weekend to film something for Kenneth's monologue (his current assignment in film school). But damned if I want to go to the zoo when it feels like it's -15. I bet the penguins are happy, the giraffes and monkeys not so much.

I finished my mom's first slipper yesterday. It's HUGE. Of course, post-felting it will be just the right size. Or so we hope. ;)

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Fun 80's quiz



Click here to find out your score!

This and That

My father-in-law arrived from Sweden for a 10 day visit on New Year's Day. On the day he arrived, he and Kenneth spontaneously decided to drive to Florida (about a 24 hour drive). So they left on Jan 2nd, and only returned Saturday night. It made for quite an easy house-guest experience, all told! Today FIL is returning home, meaning that from a 10-day visit, he was in our house for 3 of them. Not bad! He's quite sick (nothing serious, just a bad cold) so I hope his flight is okay. It's just miserable to have to travel when you're sick.

In the knitting department, I have nothing to report, really. I'm knitting a sweater from the Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns, but it's stockinette in the round, so I am ultra bored with it at the moment. 3 balls down, 8 balls to go. I think I may have to start making something else on the side to add a little excitement to my life.

We watched "The Machinist", starring Christian Bale, on the weekend. Wow. I had heard he lost a lot of weight to do this movie, but to actually see it was shocking. He was just skin and bones. Seriously. When they showed him from the side, his stomach was significantly further in than his rib cage. They interviewed him in the "behind the scenes" documentary that was on the disk, and he said "I just didn't eat. That's it.". Man. And then RIGHT after that, he had to buff up to play Batman! I wonder if he damaged his health at all. They say yo-yo dieting is bad for you. Anyways, aside from the weight loss thing, the movie was pretty good. It was a weird movie, very surreal, but I liked how almost everything tied together in the end. There was only one thing about it that really bugged me, and I won't say what it is, since it's kind of a spoiler.

New Year's resolutions are going all right. I did 3 of each last week, but then I got a cold, and have been lying like a lump since basically Friday. I'm feeling better now, so hopefully tonight I can do my housework and tomorrow I'll get back to the gym.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

New Year's Resolutions

I made 2 resolutions this year.

1) Do housework 30 minutes, 3x/week.
2) Exercise 30 minutes, 3x/week.

My stretch goal is to do these both 5x/week. But I will consider it a success at 3x/week.

So far so good. Of course, we're still in the first week. But here are my results to date:

Monday: 30 minutes cardio, 15 minutes core workout, vacuumed basement, tidied
Tuesday: full body weights (didn't time it, but I know it was more than 30 min), put away Christmas decorations, emptied/filled dishwasher, vacuumed top floor
Wednesday: No exercise, did laundry
Thursday: 25 minutes yoga, vacuumed main floor

Not bad, eh?

Of course, what I haven't mentioned yet is that I used my new Roomba to do all the aforementioned vacuuming. It still takes time, because you have to pick up anything Roomba might get stuck on, and empty out his bin at the end, and put everything back. But it's a hella lot easier and more fun than traditional vacuuming.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Androgynous
You scored 50 masculinity and 70 femininity!

You scored high on both masculinity and femininity. You have a strong
personality exhibiting characteristics of both traditional sex roles.



My test tracked 2 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 19% on masculinity
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 80% on femininity
Link: The Bem Sex Role Inventory Test written by weirdscience on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test