Mastodon 2007 May —

Archive for May 2007


May 31st, 2007 — 11:24pm

Dan and Henry and I drove down to the Spreckles theater in SD to help set up the Rockola show for tomorrow night. Well, Dan helped set up, I knitted, and Henry played and waited for a chance to practice his songs. Alas, there was a problem with the lights so everything was delayed and the band never did get to play. Henry was very disappointed, poor boy, but we hope there will be time for a run-through tomorrow before the show.

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Horses and Penguins

May 30th, 2007 — 11:01pm

Henry was sick today, but by the time I put him to bed tonight he was feeling a lot better so we hope it will all be cleared up tomorrow. Um… what happened today.. I got my car washed! YAY! Now I can see out the windows and it’s all shiny and clean, inside and out. Also bought Henry two more pairs of his favorite shorts from Mervyn’s. The child is so skinny that I have to buy size 8 shorts and take them in two inches at the waist. Also did a huge grocery shopping, which Dan kindly carried in and up the stairs. Also created a horse costume for the Rockola show on Friday. I hope it’s horsey enough. Also cataloged the intriguingly-named Penguin Island, a solo read by Michael Sirois. It took two days to catalog. There are 62 files, and I changed my mind about the ID3 tag scheme so I downloaded them, re-did them all in iTunes, and then had to upload them, which took hours.

We just watched the season finale of House, which ended exactly as I predicted. Oh, House, what will we do without for you the next few months?

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Variety Show

May 29th, 2007 — 11:01pm

Busy day, many errands, many places to go and things to do. Bought more of Dan’s favorite shorts. Tonight was the Variety Show at Bayshore. Henry performed a karate kata, and very nicely, too. A few minutes after we got home he came down with a raging sore throat, poor child.

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May 28th, 2007 — 11:04pm

Henry and I went to Chloe’s house so he could practice with Bob for the show and so we could help out. Chloe and I made signs that the kids will hold up during Sgt Pepper, to cue the audience for applause and laughter and cheers. We printed out the letters in giant font, traced them onto the sign boards, and then colored them in with paint pens. We had to go back out for more pens because it took a LOT of ink (or whatever is in those pens). Also helped Bob straighten out the charts for Within You Without You, which had some messed-up rhythm in places, but we figured it out. We had a GREAT time seeing them!

I left my second, in-progress Wishbone Sock there, though. Grr. So I started another pair with the leftover Marra — I’m sure there’s enough if I make them shorter.

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Story of the Middle Ages, ch. 3, 4, 5

May 28th, 2007 — 8:31am

Three more chapters of The Story of the Middle Ages:
03 – The Wanderings of the West-Goths
04 – End of the Western Empire
05 – The Growth of the Christian Church

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Alexandria Helena Hixenbaugh

May 26th, 2007 — 4:19pm

EDIT: June 1, 2007 — Helena is home, safe and sound!

Have you seen Helena?

Alexandria Helena Hixenbaugh

She’s the daughter of a local homeschooling family. We don’t know her personally, but friends of hers attend Henry’s little charter school. She disappeared from her home one week ago. Her family is frantic. Please help find her!

More info here:

Updates on the Search for Alexandria Helena Hixenbaugh

Alexandria has made contact with her best friend by phone. We believe based on her conversation with the friend and other leads that she is still in the greater San Diego area, perhaps even still in Escondido.

At this point all media coverage has been shut down because she is runaway – not an abducted child. Amber alerts post only for known abduction cases of children. We are still working to get some media coverage – if you have any resources in this area we would greatly appreciate your contacting us via our email:

May 26, 2007

As of May 26, 2007- she has been missing for a full week. We want her home with us – safe – with the family that loves her unconditionally. If you know her whereabouts please communicate to her that we want her home. She is not in trouble for running away. Running away is a sign that we need to talk – that there are issues, we as a family need to work through. We are willing – we are waiting with open arms for her return home….Please help us find Helena.

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a boring post

May 25th, 2007 — 11:11am

Woke up with a bit of a sore throat, stuffy head, and gunky eyes, so I lay around knitting and watching movies and doing LibriVox admin work all day. And played a bit of WoW, too. Felwood is a horrible place, though it’s a bit better now that they’ve added another flight point. Another vendor or two would be nice, Bliz!

The wishbone socks are coming along nicely — turned the second heel and am working my way up the leg.

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Nice blog post!

May 23rd, 2007 — 8:47am

Give me humans. Give me LibriVox!

Thanks, Edward :)

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The Fair!

May 22nd, 2007 — 11:13am

After Henry’s classes this afternoon we drove down to Del Mar to deliver our entries to the fairgrounds. In previous years we’ve gotten there earlier and it’s always really crowded. We got there about, oh, 5:30 or so (traffic was amazingly good for rush hour) and there were no lines! We were able to just breeze in and out again. We’re very excited about the fair! I’m exhibiting my Shell-Pattern Socks and Henry’s exhibiting his Knitted Cuff.

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Busy Monday

May 21st, 2007 — 10:31pm

8:30am woke up, more or less, checked email, glanced at LibriVox, checked google reader
9:00am made breakfast smoothie for Dan, did chores, etc.
9:30am shower
9:45am left for dr. appt (endocrinologist, 6mo checkup)
10:00am Dr.
11:00am got blood drawn at lab
11:05am raced home, Henry and his dad were waiting for me
11:15am, chatted with Henry about the weekend, did dishes together
11:30am WoW
12:00 left for Science club in Encinitas
12:20 dropped Henry at Science Club, raced back to Oceanside to do errands
12:45 bank
1:00 vitamin store for iron supplements for me
1:10 grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s
1:45 quick lunch in car – veggie sushi from Trader Joe’s
2:00 drove back to Encinitas
2:30-2:55 waited for Science Club to end
3:15 home, lay down for half an hour to rest, read email, check LV again
3:45-5:00 piano students
5:00 ate yogurt
5:15 left for Karate
5:30-6:30 watched karate class, worked on second Wishbone Sock (got lots of compliments)
6:45 home, Henry helped me make dinner. Hawaiian marinated beef, steamed broccoli, ciabatta bread, cheese
7:30 helped Henry rehearse for Talent Show
8:00-9:00 read Martian Chronicles and Dragonflight to Henry for bedtime
9:30 heated up dinner for Dan
10:00 went up to say goodnight to Henry one more time, told him he could keep reading till 10:30
10:30 wrote blog, waited for Bob to call back

No time to record today, bah. Maybe tomorrow!

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Podcast Update

May 20th, 2007 — 10:40pm

Well, I’m a bit behind here :) I’ve already podcast up through section 40 of the poetry book. It’s silly for me to paste all those links here when you can just go download them directly from the librivox catalog page:
Poems Every Child Should Know.

I just sent this message out in my podcast feed: Message from Kara

So — on to another book! It’s time for some more children’s history — a really great book called The Story of the Middle Ages, by Samuel B. Harding. The wonderful Lisa of send me a reprint of this book to read from, which was a real treat, as I usually read off my laptop screen which is never as nice as holding a real book in my hands. I suggest you buy your own copy from mainlesson so your kids can read along while they listen. :)

Here are the first three chapters (now you’re actually AHEAD of the podcast subscribers!):
00 – Introduction
01 – The Ancient Germans
02 – Breaking the Frontier


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Wishbone Socks

May 19th, 2007 — 10:05pm

wishbone socks

Wishbone Socks, by Kara
Yarn: Regia Cotton (wool/cotton/nylon) (Two balls)
Needles: Brittany Birch 2.0mm

Gauge: 8st/inch in stockinette

To fit a very slender foot and leg. (If you need to make them bigger, buy another ball of yarn. For an extra inch of width, increase toe to 64 stitches, then remember that you’ve got 4 extra stitches on bottom of foot; the other 4 on the top of foot, one in each purl column, so purl columns are 4, 3, 3, 4. You might also want to inc 8 stitches at calf instead of 4. Distribute stitches logically.)

Cast on 16 st. using Judy’s Magic Cast-on. (8 st. on each needle)

Make a toe.

(if you need more specific instructions:
Divide evenly onto four needles.
Needle 1: k1, m1, k to end of needle.
Needle 2: k to last st, m1, k1.
Needle 3: k1, m1, k to end.
Needle 4: k to last st, m1, k1.)

Continue increasing every round until you have 32 stitches, then alternate plain rounds and inc. rounds until you have 56 st.

Rounds begin at needle 1 (side leg).

Needles 1 & 2 (28 st. total): p1, work 3 reps Wishbone Cable, p3
Needles 3 & 4 (28 st. total): k across.

wishbone cable
(Blodges represent purl sts, blank squares are knit. Cable crossing occurs on row four — diagram should make it obvious what to do)

18 reps of cable pattern, then make short-row heel. For the first sock, I used the short-row heel from Summer 2007 Interweave Knits, but I’m not very happy with it. I think the No-Holes one might be better: No-Holes Short Row Heels

When you’re working in the round again, add a single rep of the cable pattern on the back of the leg.
So 56 st. total on four needles:
Front of leg: Needles 1 & 2: p1, 3 reps cable pattern, p3 (divide somewhere convenient)(28st)
Back of leg: Needles 3 & 4: k9, cable pattern, p2, k9 (divide somewhere convenient)(28st)

Work 9 reps of cable pattern.

Calf increase:

M1 on either side of both 9-st columns of stockinette as follows: When you reach the first 9-st column of stockinette, k1, m1, k7, m1, k1. Repeat when you reach the second 9-stitch column of stockinette. (4 new st – 60st total)

Work 9 more reps of cable pattern, then work 18 rounds k1p1 ribbing and finish off with a stretchy cast-off. I used a grafted cast-off.

wishbone socks beginning

wishbone socks

wishbone socks

wishbone socks

10 comments » | Blog, Free Patterns, Handmade

more socks

May 19th, 2007 — 9:27pm

“Child’s First Sock in Shell Pattern” from Knitting Vintage Socks, by Nancy Bush. Jawoll sock yarn, skinny little needles (maybe 1.25mm?), 64st around, my size. I’m going to enter these in the Fair this summer. I finished the knitting months ago and hid them away in my drawer so they’d still be in good condition for the Fair. Finally blocked them yesterday :) When the Fair is over (July 5) I’ll finally get to wear them.



5 comments » | Blog, Handmade

May 19th, 2007 — 10:28am

Yes, I know google is taking over the world, but their stuff is just so nice and easy to use… I’ve tried many an rss reader and always give up pretty quickly. But just WORKS.

Also, I’ve added Favorite Socks: 25 Timeless Designs from Interweave to my wishlist, in case anyone wants to know :)

4 comments » | Blog, Books, Tech

Tooth prize

May 18th, 2007 — 8:26pm

Henry had a dental check-up/cleaning today — no cavities! So we made a little trip to the bookstore for a treat, and I bought him the Dragonriders of Pern trilogy, all in one volume.

Then we came home, worked on subtracting decimals for a while, did chores, and then played WoW for a while. And then I drove him to his dad’s house in San Diego — 2.5 hour round trip, bleah.

Tonight Dan and I watched the new Northanger Abbey, which was just delightful. Great cast, great screenplay, great costuming. I wish it had been longer, though :) I can hardly wait until it’s released on DVD! I hope they have some interviews with the cast and everything.

And then we watched Quiz Show, another great movie!

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Happy Birthday!

May 16th, 2007 — 8:11pm

Happy Birthday, dear Dan :)

I made a peanut-butter/chocolate pie for The Birthday Treat — peanut-butter/cream-cheese on the bottom, chocolate pudding on the top. It’s pretty good, though I’m not a pudding fan. I think it could be improved by substituting some other form of chocolate for the top layer, preferably DARK. Oooo… maybe I could pour a layer of melted dark chocolate into the crust, then put the pb/cc layer on top of that, the swirl come chocolate syrup on top…

Also made chicken parm this morning, so all I had to do was heat it up and make pasta after karate. This afternoon, H and I quested in the Un’Goro crater and had a lot of fun — it’s a great zone, tons of fun quests in a not-too-huge area.

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three more audio books

May 15th, 2007 — 8:41pm

Busy morning — karate, then many many errands (groceries, shipping packages, etc). Henry and I got home around noon, did the morning chores, and then played WoW together for a couple of hours. He helped me with the Heart of Mok quest and we did Mai’Zoth together, then took a break so he could do some math and I could do some librivox work. Cataloged three new audio books today:

Selected Poems of Emily Dickinson, selected and read by Becky

The Advance of Science in the Last Half-Century, by T.H. Huxley, a solo by Jo

The Handy Cyclopedia of Things Worth Knowing, by Joseph Trienens
, a delightfully dated collaborative work read by many fine readers

That makes 21 new works so far in May! Haven’t done any recording myself in the last few days but I’ill probably manage to get some recording done tomorrow or Thursday. More than halfway through with A Room with a View, and only, I think, 12 more of the ghastly Letters :)

6 comments » | Audiobooks, Blog

North & South

May 13th, 2007 — 5:52pm

We recently began a collaborative recording of Elizabeth Gaskell’s North & South. I recorded the first chapter, went looking to see if there was a good movie version of the book, and discovered that the BBC did a four-part miniseries in 2004. Dan and I just finished watching it. It was truly excellent. As in Wives & Daughters, Gaskell creates three-dimensional, believable characters — not a villain or one-dimensional hero to be found, just people, ordinary people. The screen play is excellent, the costuming beautiful, every detail accurate and vivid. Superb acting from the entire cast. Bravo, BBC!

If you’re a fan of the BBC’s Pride and Prejudice or Wives & Daughters, you’ll love this one. Here’s a link to the DVDs on Amazon:
North & South

Find the reviews and scroll down to the one titled “Top Twelve Reasons N&S Is a Ten”. It’s all true.

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May 9th, 2007 — 11:53pm

Been feeling horrible the last few days, so haven’t done much of interest. Last weekend we built a little recording booth in the bedroom, on this funky little built-in shelf. I never record in the bedroom because of the server noise, but I put padding all around the walls of the little shelf thing and use my 10-band eq to get rid of the low-frequency server rumble, and it sounds really good. When I feel better I’ll be able to get lots of recording done.

Today finally felt well enough to DO something, so I took H to the aerospace museum and we had a great time. Exhausting but worth it, to look at planes and space stuff with Henry. I really love that museum.

Watched House tonight — Wilson on speed was MOST entertaining.

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Brides and Tudors

May 4th, 2007 — 6:31pm

I recorded two more of the horrid Letters of Two Brides today – Louise’s letters 21 and 22. I hate her so. She’s a repulsive twit. I seriously considered begging some LibriVox Balzac fan to take over Louise’s letters for me, even if it meant discarding all my recordings… but then I counted up the remaining letters and, since I did the last few already (hoping Louise would come to a bad end and she did!) there are only 14 more that I’ll have to read. I guess I can put up with Louise 14 more times.

After I was done with Horrid Louise, I rewarded myself with Chapter 9 of A Room with a View :)

There’s a nice beef stew on the stove with a rosemary ciabatta to go with it, and grapes and cheese for after — smoked jack and a double-cream gouda I found at Trader Joe’s today. Dan and I are both very tired so we’re going to watch Bad TV tonight and laze around. We’ve got last night’s Survivor, and maybe a new Office in the tivo, and two more episodes of The Tudors to go through. We started The Tudors last night and, well, frankly, it’s pretty bad. Tacky. Dan says it’s exactly what you’d expect of Showtime. But, y’know, once you get hooked in a soap opera miniseries you might as well keep going… There are a lot of cringeworthy historical inaccuracies, but then some fun and relatively accurate bits, like the dancing. They must have hired a good dancing coach — looks like proper early English Renaissance dancing to my eye. And Tomas Tallis is in it. Not sure why they gave him a rats-nest hair-don’t (maybe to make him look like a musician??) and of course he conducts by waving his hands around vaguely and making soulful faces, but at least some of the time they use actual period music for the soundtrack and show the musicians playing on proper period instruments. I nearly turned the show off when the Renn Faire groupies appeared, but I gritted my teeth and got over it.

It’s nice to see Henry and his court and family portrayed as real humans. The Henry actor (can’t think of the name, but he played the soccer coach in Bend it like Beckham) is pretty good, though once in a while he reminds us of Ben Stiller (How dare you make me bleed my own blood!). Catharine of Aragon is quite good, as is Anne Boleyn.

There are far too many obnoxious sex scenes. Don’t let your kids watch. Bleah.

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