... at the whole "blogging every day" thing. But I ran out of YouTube videos to entertain you all with, so really it was all about protecting your sanity :-P

Had a lovely quiet Thanksgiving weekend. Made a whole roast chicken instead of a turkey, and it turned out rather nicely - very tender, very moist, quite yummy. I made chicken stock from the leftovers yesterday, and just need to finish the soup for dinner tonight (and tomorrow, and the day after that). Finally figured out the stove settings for boiling a huge pot without it boiling over. Now I just need to maintain that ability for smaller pots.

Walked to the post office in the first snow of the year on Friday (nothing stuck though), which was nice, if cold. Dropped off a swap package, now to wait for mine to arrive :-)

Worked on lots of knitting stuff, finished quite a bit too, but that's another post. I'm still trying to figure out at least two Christmas presents, so there may be desperate deadline knitting yet :-P For now, though, I'm thinking I'll end up buying something. What kind of something... who knows.

Alright, back to writing... it's actually going well, so I should keep the momentum going :-)

I love Anthony Head. And Bradley James. And Colin Morgan, and Richard Wilson, and Angel Coulby, and Katie McGrath. That was just priceless :-)
White House Pushes Science and Math Education

Ok, I get not liking math, and not wanting to learn it. I'm still not a big fan, although I appreciate being able to convert currency and crazy imperial measurements without having to use the internet (much)... no wait, I learned that in chemistry. Anyways...

Programs like this are a good idea, but it always seems like they've either been done before, or they completely miss the mark. Sesame Street has had spelling stuff since I was a kid (and before, I'm sure), but people still don't know how to spell "a lot" or "desperately." When I was working on some things for a work charity campaign about literacy, I found a statistic (darn math again) that said that 40% of adults don't understand the label on their prescription bottle. You know, the stuff that says "take with food" or "don't take with milk." How do you graduate high school without knowing what that means?

But anyways, back to the "I don't like science" crowd. I hated physics. Still kind of do - I just don't get it. Never got past basic physics, like trying to figure out how much energy is stored in a spring or how fast a ball should roll down a carpeted hill vs a hardwood surface. And you know why I didn't get it? Because nobody told me why I should care. I didn't plan to routinely have ball races down different surfaces, and nobody said "well, but if you know how to calculate this, you can figure out what road surfaces are better for gas mileage, or what metal to use for train tracks so the train can go faster." (I just made that up - am I even close?) That probably wouldn't have made me any better at physics, but at least I would have known why I was learning this apparently useless stuff in 6th grade. Same with math - why do I need to know how to calculate a "log base 2" for some random number? Still don't know that actually... all of the biology calculations I remember were log base 10, which was much easier.

I guess my point is, if teachers told kids why they were learning stuff, and why they might need it later in life, or that it's kind of cool that they know this because the people who build computers and video games use the same stuff, maybe there would be less need to spend billions on TV programs that are supposed to make science and math cool. And then teachers could get paid more, which means they may not actually give up and go the "because I said so, and because you have to pass the test to get out of here" route. School being kind of fun? I know, it's the science geek in me talking again.
But it was successful nonetheless :-) Christmas goodies from World Market, supplies for a swap and some prize projects I promised to a Rav group, dresspants for 40% off, and some cozy flannel PJ pants for when I actually start noticing that we have yet to turn on the heat. Also, Panera breakfast and chili for dinner. Too bad tomorrow's Monday already... it could have been a perfect day. However, three-day week! Yay for Thanksgiving.

PS Yes, I know I fail at blogging every day. I try though :-P

Let me summarize my reactions:


Is it Christmas yet?

Also, BBC America is showing the special on December 26th at 9pm Eastern. One day after the UK. I can't believe TV people are getting something right for a change :-)


Nov. 20th, 2009 08:05 am
Dear Supernatural,

I hate you. Leaving people hanging until January 21, with the last words of the episode being "hello, Death" and the last shot being Dean this close to snapping? Just not fair.

Of course, Castiel having a conversation with Lucifer? Awesome. Castiel getting out of a trap by being totally badass? Even better.

I guess I do still kind of love you.
A yarn club with sock yarn and coffee... yeah, I couldn't help it :-)

It's got silk in it, which makes it lovely and shiny and soft - I think this is going to be a scarf of some sort.
One of the best parts of Waters of Mars was getting the official trailer for the two-part Tennant finale. Spoilers abound, obviously, and I'll be over here in the corner, squeeing like the fangirl I am.

(click for bigger)

Because handwashing is just so overrated.
Oh. My. God.

That's about as coherent as I'm going to be about it tonight. That was... incredibly creepy. And doom-y. I'm going to have to watch that again. And the preview!!!!

I can't wait until Christmas.

Oh. My. God.
I love Glee :-)

But this picture of Laura's cat Valefor is hilarious nonetheless :-)

Last weekend, she looked like this most of the time though.

Looking at that, is anyone really suprised I wanted to take a cat home from the humane society in South Bend? One day...
The next Doctor Who special is this weekend! To prepare, a bunch of Ravelry people exchanged Who Watching Kits (everything you could ever need to get through a Who special), and I got my package as an early birthday present on Monday :-)

A battered box, all the way from Australia!

Easter grass... I haven't seen Easter grass since I was six.

A freakin' police box pillow! Handknitted! Labeled "Dalek protection"! Yeah, I was excited. Also note the nifty labels on the other wrapped packages.

Everything unwrapped: TARDIS pillow, sock yarn, Doctor Who magazine and a Romeo & Juliet booklet, Australian jelly babies, evil chocolate Santas with instruments, rose-scented soap paper, rose-printed tissues, edible ball bearing stitch markers, a banana, and musk-flavored Lifesavers (which I asked about like a month ago and my partner remembered).

This was way too exciting... an awesome early birthday present :-)
We dyed some awesome roving in South Bend using Kool Aid and a crockpot. We started by sprinkling a package of strawberry red on one half of the wet fiber and two packets of Lemon yellow on the other half, not stirring at all, and just letting things set. The red basically overpowered the yellow, so Laura added orange over the yellow parts for some awesome results. I carded different-colored bits together to blend the colors some more, and Laura spun me a really pretty bit of yarn :-)

20 Years...

Nov. 9th, 2009 06:47 pm
20 years since the Berlin Wall fell. I feel old :-)

I have vague memories of sitting in my grandma's living room and watching the TV coverage, but the clearest thing that popped into my head was this song. They played it constantly for the rest of 1989, and when I found it on YouTube today, I actually remembered some snippets of the lyrics :-) The song is called "We are without borders," which very much summarizes what it's about. And how's this for pathetic... I'm actually tearing up listening to it. I may not remember that much from when it happened, but this was a huge deal. Still pretty much is, really.

Today, they did a commemorative art event project in Berlin, where they had artists paint huge domino pieces and then let them fall all in a row (I believe along the same line where the wall used to be). There's not one good video of the whole thing, but YouTube's full of different views. I think it's a pretty cool concept :-)

Random Fact

Nov. 8th, 2009 07:28 pm
The Girls Gone Wild tourbus is bright pink, covered in pictures of scantily clad blonde girls, and currently heading west on the Indiana turnpike. I could have lived without ever knowing any of that, so I'm sharing to lessen the mental imagery in my head :-P
I don't know... just not working for me right now. Maybe some other time, on a different wheel. I think a double treadle wheel would be helpful so I can focus more on the fiber in my hands than on keeping the wheel going. A spinning class may be in order at some point - if I can find one close to home :-P So now Laura is spinning the awesome red-orange roving we dyed yesterday, and I'm carding the green from Thursday night. Dyeing is definitely something I want to try more of - may have to get a bunch of undyed yarn from KnitPicks one day. We also still have some yarn soaking in the walnut dye, which has to sit overnight before we rinse it. It looks a very promising chocolate/coffee brown right now, and hopefully it'll keep that color after washing out the excess.
Thing Number One: Kool Aid dyeing is awesome. I have to do more of that.

Thing Number Two: Spinning is hard. And kind of frustrating to learn. Must not give up on it quite yet though - trying again tomorrow with some nicer roving. For now I'm sticking to Christmas present knitting.

Thing Number Three: Boiling walnut hulls for natural dyeing smells disgusting. You really only want to do that when you can have the windows open to vent the air. Meaning northern Indiana in November might not have been the best choice :-P
Sitting in a coffeeshop on a weekday morning is kind of a weird experience if you've never done it before... I stopped at the Starbucks in Dublin on my way to South Bend today, and just people watching there was pretty interesting. I got there around 8:30, so there were still a bunch of businesspeople there who had stopped in on the way to work to have breakfast or something. Lots of people in suits, but also people in casual clothes typing away on Blackberries and Palms. I mostly sat in a corner and worked on a letter to a friend in Germany, but when I looked up every once in a while, the businesspeople trickled out (mostly), and the next set of people came in. Those seemed to be mostly housewives out on a coffee break, as well as some students, or at least people with lots of textbooks. However, there were still businesspeople in there, which really confused me... you would think people in suits would have offices or at least better places to do business than a busy coffee shop? I mean, there were people apparently having job interviews and contract negotiations and such. Not that I was listening, but it was hard to avoid.

Anyways, I'm in South Bend, playing with cats and soaking roving for dyeing. And there's a spinning wheel softly calling my name in the corner :-)



January 2017



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