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Archive for July 2007


July 31st, 2007 — 6:50pm

We don’t have much food left in the house (must grocery shop soon!) so I made a things-we-still-had-hanging-around soup:

Put a half-cup of rice on to boil in a pot with a few cups of water (this gives the rice a head start). I used Trader Joe’s brown rice/barley/radish seed medley.

Dice three very small russet potatoes and a handful of baby carrots. Put them in a big stock pot with some vegetable oil and saute for a while. Then add a tetra container of vegetable broth and about 3 cups of water. By now the rice should be softening, so drain and add it to the soup. Cook until the veggies are almost soft. Add one can of black beans, drained, and one can of roma tomatoes plus their juice. Chop them up a bit. Cook a little more, add salt and pepper and a handful of rotelli pasta. Don’t get carried away with the pasta — add too much and your soup will become thick and gluey. Keep stirring while the pasta cooks, and add a little more water if it seems to be absorbing all the broth. When the pasta is juuuuust al dente, turn off the heat and eat with some freshly grated parmesan on top.


I would have added an onion or two along with the potatoes and carrots if I’d had one.

3 comments » | Blog, Recipes


July 31st, 2007 — 1:26pm

Last night I took my Ravenclaw Bag knitting project with me to the Rush concert, in case we overestimated the drive time and had to wait around in the parking lot for couple of hours or something. I just discovered that I left it in Dan’s car when we got home — so it’s in Encinitas now. I was planning to finish it this afternoon! Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Comment » | Blog, Handmade


July 31st, 2007 — 11:34am

Last night we went to see Rush in Chula Vista. I’m still sick but I decided I was well enough to go, and I’m glad I did. We had a good time and Rush was great! The Coors Amphitheater is not a very nice venue, though, especially in the traffic control department and the jerky usher department, so we won’t go there again if we can help it. We didn’t get home till about 12:40am, so I’m feeling pretty tired today, and still sick (coughing, stuffy head), so I probably won’t get much done. But I did complete a few adventures on ChoreWars!

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More yarn

July 29th, 2007 — 1:10pm

Still a little bit sick, runny nose, slight sore throat. Bah! But I really don’t feel awful so that’s good.

I just got back from Common Threads with two more balls of yarn for the Ravenclaw bag. Was able to match dye lots, thank goodness! And the yarn store lady said I should have been twisting the yarns at color changes in the shield area, so I think I’ll rip back and re-do that part. [edit: this turned out to be VERY bad advice. Paying more attention to float tension is what I should have done] It won’t take THAT long and if it looks better in the end it’s worth it.

3 comments » | Blog, Handmade

Not enough yarn

July 28th, 2007 — 9:28pm

Ravelry member Quietish (Ravelry’s not public yet, so here’s her flickr page) has designed a spiffy little knitted Gryffindor bag:
gryffindor bag

She’s writing out charts for all four houses, and I volunteered to test-knit the Ravenclaw bag for her (Henry likes Ravenclaw best). On Thursday we drove down to the yarn store in Encinitas and found something that’s probably DK weight (Dalegarn Heilo and Dalegarn Tiur). They didn’t have both colors in one yarn so I’ll have to mix. Bought two 50-gram balls, blue and grey. I knitted steadily all day today and have reached row 54 of the 73-row chart, and can see that I’ll run out of yarn long before I finish. Grr. I think the yarn store is open tomorrow, which is good, but that means I have to drive all the way down there again and buy more yarn that isn’t quite the right kind of yarn and it makes me cross.

Well anyway here’s how the bag looked earlier today:

I’ve actually gotten up near the top of the shield by now.

I’m also feeling a bit insecure about my fair isle skillz. I’m perfectly comfortable with basic small repeating patterns, but the large solid areas have me a little bit worried. I’m leaving plenty of slack in the floats, but the edges of the bird shape look pretty wormy. I hope some tweaking and a good firm blocking will make everything look nice in the end.

Nose still running.

WoW guild event this morning — a triathalon: get a brand-new character to level 6; fish for ten Mud Snappers, then duel with other guildies. Lots of fun!

5 comments » | Blog, Handmade

HP7 – finished

July 25th, 2007 — 8:06pm

Ahhhh. That was good. But I can’t talk about it because SOME PEOPLE who read my blog haven’t finished it yet and there’s no way I’m giving anything away.

Also found a good sorting quiz:

Which Hogwarts house will you be sorted into?

(Ravenclaw was a close second: Hufflepuff – 15, Ravenclaw – 13, Gryffindor – 8, Slytherin – 8)

I enjoyed taking this quiz because the questions and answers weren’t all totally obvious. Usually you can tell which answer will lead to which house and it’s just annoying, but this one felt more real.

4 comments » | Blog, Books

Chore Wars!

July 25th, 2007 — 6:22pm

Feeling better today, not quite right yet, but better. Took Henry to the beach in the morning and he played in the water for two solid hours while I read HP7. Lots of interesting things happened in the story, but of course I’m not going to say what! No spoilers here. I’m about to start chapter 34. In an effort to escape from the sun, I wore jeans, my sun protection shirt (from sungrubbies), my panama hat, my sunglasses and some sunscreen on my face, draped Henry’s towel around my shoulders, and held my parasol over my head. It worked pretty well — I can feel a slight burn on my nose and my eyes, but it’s not too bad.

So then we came home and I fed Henry a homemade burrito after he had a shower, then I had a shower, and then we went out to do errands. Shipped things at the Mailbox place (Kevin, the owner, is a whiz at packing things safely!), bought some groceries at Trader Joe’s (they’ve expanded again!), and a few things at Stater Brothers. Came home and Henry hauled everything upstairs for me, which of course gave him a quest to turn in on Chore Wars!

Hmm.. I haven’t mentioned Chore Wars yet, have I? Wonderful site. It’s a little hard to explain, but very simple to get started. You make a character, RPG-style. Your character joins a party, which could be your family, roommates, officemates, etc. Then you create Adventures, which can be anything that needs to get done. We’ve got a number of Adventures so far: Washing Dishes, Tidying Bathroom, Removing Dead Animal, Making Bed, Fixing the Internet, etc. You can assign experience points, monsters, and rewards to each chore. Then, when a party member claims a chore he gets experience points and rewards. You want to tailor things appropriately — a simple daily chore like Brushing Teeth should give low experience and gold, while a particularly time-consuming or obnoxious chore, e.g. Removing Dead Animal, should give you a lot of experience and rewards. When your character gets 200 exp, he levels up and his class might change depending on the skills needed for his most frequently-performed chores. It’s tremendously fun! Henry loves thinking of new Adventures to add, and coming up with appropriate monsters and rewards. And he also loves claiming adventures, which means he’s actively looking for chores to complete! He VOLUNTEERED to clean the litterbox today! YAY! I think our party is visible to the public: Shalpargon. Give it a try, it really is loads of fun!

So anyway. This afternoon we cleaned the Turtle Tank (20 exp each) and discovered that it was leaking even worse than we thought, so we ran out and bought a new one which cost a lot less than I was expecting ($44). Then Dan got home and he and Henry ate a quick dinner and went off to the Rush concert in Irvine together! So I’ve got a quiet evening at home to finished HP7 and knit and watch girl movies. And I suppose I should eat something. There’s leftover spaghetti from last night, and I could make a nice sauce with lots of peppers and some sausage. Yum. Or I could just eat apples and cheese and trail mix.

5 comments » | Blog, Tech

sick again

July 24th, 2007 — 5:32pm

Yesterday my throat felt funny all day… dry and not-quite-right. Also felt tired and mildly rotten. But we had fun playing Sunday Bloody Sunday (Dan on guitar, Henry on bass, me on drums) for a while when Dan got home from work. Henry finished Deathly Hallows and I got started during karate and had read the first 11 chapters by bedtime.

Last night I had a bad sore throat in the night, but by the time I’d been awake for a while it had calmed down. Didn’t do much today, no energy, but I did take Henry to the beach in the morning (and read a lot more HP while I was there). We’re watching “Rome: Engineering and Empire” together right now, or we will be when Henry finishes his sandwich. Love that History Channel!

The 60-stitch nine-to-five sock is coming along beautifully. I’ve turned the heel (30 st on heel flap, k across 16 to start the turning) and it’s fitting much much better than the 72-stitch version. Yay!

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Almost done

July 23rd, 2007 — 3:31pm

By the time I got this photo posted, he had finished Deathly Hallows and passed it to me. I didn’t read Order of the Phoenix or Half-Blood Prince but I skimmed through this one and got interested, so I guess I’ll read it :)

2 comments » | Blog

LibriVox’s New Releases Podcast

July 22nd, 2007 — 5:11pm

LibriVox volunteer Alan (Cloud Mountain) has put together our second New Releases podcast. Great job, Alan!

The New Releases Podcast is LibriVox’s twice-a-month sampling of new audiobooks available for free at LibriVox is an online volunteer community dedicated to producing free public-domain audiobooks.

Blog post with info, line-up, and feed here

Audio here

My Room with a View solo gets a mention, as well as many other interesting-sounding new audio books. I can highly recommend Peter Mink — a charming children’s book read by Lucy Burgoyne.

3 comments » | Audiobooks, Blog, Tech

Harry Potter 7

July 21st, 2007 — 1:21pm

Here’s the story of last night:

We stopped by Barnes and Noble earlier in the day and got our wristbands and place in line (24th in the Year Six line). At night we got there about 9:30 and hung around the store until they started lining people up outside. I sat on the floor and read most of Fever 1793, which was a terrific book! Henry wandered around and looked at things, won a bookmark in a HP trivia contest, and got his picture taken. At 11 we went outside to line up. It was a madhouse, but we finally found our spot in the Year Six line. Year Seven got to line up IN the store, but we were next after them. We stood behind a really nice teenage boy and his mom. At midnight the Year Seven people were allowed to purchase their books and everyone cheered when the first little girl came out of the store with her book. Pretty soon they started letting the Year Six people in, ten at a time, and we got our book at around 12:30. Henry asked for a empty book box for a keepsake and they gave him one. Got home a few minutes later and I went to bed; Henry read until 3:59am :)

The internets are strangely quiet today. Everyone is reading?

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Henry’s got his book!

July 21st, 2007 — 1:02am

Note the time. That’s not 12:46 in the afternoon :)


Happy boy!

4 comments » | Blog

A Room with a View – finished!

July 19th, 2007 — 10:17am

I’ve just finished cataloging my latest solo audio book recording:
A Room with a View, by E.M. Forster

As with all LibriVox audio books, this one is free for you to download, share, copy, mash-up, whatever. Enjoy!

In case you’re curious as to WHY our audio books are free and have no restrictions on their use, it’s because we record only public domain texts and release all our recordings back into the public domain. What is this “public domain” you say? From wikipedia:

Public domain comprises the body of knowledge and innovation (especially creative works such as writing, art, music, and inventions) in relation to which no person or other legal entity can establish or maintain proprietary interests within a particular legal jurisdiction. This body of information and creativity is considered to be part of a common cultural and intellectual heritage, which, in general, anyone may use or exploit, whether for commercial or non-commercial purposes. Only about 15 percent of all books are in the public domain, and 10 percent of all books that are still in print.

There. Now you know. An easy rule of thumb for books is: published before 1923 in the U.S. = Public Domain.

7 comments » | Audiobooks, Blog, Books

Sixteen morsbags!

July 17th, 2007 — 2:55pm

Henry and I finished making our morsbags today:


Nice, eh? Total cost: $11, plus part of a spool of thread and a fabric marker. We’re ready to give them away to friends and family, though I think we’ll keep one of each to augment our trunk-of-the-car canvas bag collection. I shop about twice a week, so I figure that each cloth bag I use keeps about 104 paper or plastic bags a year out of the environment. And I fill, oh, four to six bags per trip. The numbers are staggering.

Visit for more info and a simple pattern. Kristen’s really great non-verbal instructions here:

5 comments » | Blog, Handmade

flickr badge thingy

July 16th, 2007 — 9:53am

I searched flickr long and hard to find out how to make this badge, and googled, and failed miserably. Finally I asked Hugh if he knew how — and he did! He sent me to (you must be logged in). However, it obviously doesn’t work (the flash version, at any rate). It should show an assortment of photos of my Finished Knitted Objects, but instead all I see is text. How about you? Awesome. Maybe the code got munged while I was copy/pasting.

This is a Flickr badge showing photos in a set called Finished Objects. Make your own badge here.

Ah-HA! It does actually work here on this test page: so it seems wordpress did something nefarious to the code. Let’s try again:

This is a Flickr badge showing photos in a set called Finished Objects. Make your own badge here.

Huh. Still broken. Oh well, there’s no room in my sidebar for anything else, anyway.

3 comments » | Blog, Tech

more morsbags

July 15th, 2007 — 10:21am

I got a comment on my original morsbag post (scroll down) from The Fruid, who pointed me to a neat site called swapbot, which links up swappers over the internet. A user named cherrythepig is running a morsbag swap, where she encourages people to make and distribute morsbags, or, for the shy, she’ll collect and distribute the morsbags herself. Great idea!

While there I noticed a post from mediatinker, one of the founding LibriVox members! She’s created a really great, clear, non-verbal instruction page for morsbag sewing: Kristen’s Morsbag Instruction Illustration. Way to go, Kristen!

Henry and I have made 8 morsbags, with more on the way. Photos soon!

Comment » | Blog, Tech


July 14th, 2007 — 9:54am

Two days ago I woke up feeling funny. Not sick, really, just funny, one of my eyes was red and watery, and the back of my nose felt odd, and I had a brand new dry cough. I told Dan I felt virusy and hoped I wasn’t coming down with something. Well, last night a sore throat struck in the middle of the night — but a very mild one, and now, in the morning, it’s nearly gone. I really wanted to finish recording A Room with a View this weekend, so cross your fingers that I don’t get any worse!

We’re still working our way though Season One of Battlestar Galactica. Last night we watched episode 4, “Act of Contrition,” in which several viper pilots are killed at the beginning of the episode and then the rest of the episode is filled with wayyyyyyy too much Starbuck. Several hundred times the Recommended Daily Allowance, actually. Also flashbacks. And not enough Cylons. The episode was pretty tedious until the last three minutes, when suddenly it got exciting, and now we have to wait for the next disk to arrive from Greencine before we can find out what happens next!

3 comments » | Blog


July 13th, 2007 — 6:46pm

Right now I’m reading Making History, by Stephen Fry, and enjoying it a lot! Also recently read Summer People by Brian Groh, which was was sorta ok, not great, but readable. Oh, and a new-to-me Dick Francis novel, Under Orders. I thought it was a lot better than his other recent books! It was fun to meet up with Sid Halley again.

Henry and I are listening to the unabridged recording of Wolf Brother, by Michelle Paver, read aloud by Ian McKellen. The Guardian Unlimited UK is podcasting these marvelous recordings for free! The book is fabulous — beautifully written, exciting, great characters. (No wizards and dragons, for a change) Henry and I listened to episodes 5 and 6 in the car this morning and were absolutely on the edges of our seats. Having it read aloud to us by Ian McKellen is an unbelievable treat. Thanks, Guardian, and a BIG thanks to Chris Hughes, the readear, for pointing us in the right direction! (I’d like also to mention that McKellen does not “do voices,” which pleases us very much.)

Oooo just found this interview with the author at!

I don’t like messages in books,” she concludes, firmly. “The aim is just to tell a stonking good story,”

And she has.

2 comments » | Blog, Books

Harry Potter

July 13th, 2007 — 6:24pm

We took Henry to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix yesterday. I’m not a big HP fan (I couldn’t make it past the first four books), but Dan and Henry are, and I think they both liked it pretty well. I was most interested in the costuming. Umbridge’s tidy little pink early-1960s-inspired suits were great, plus there were lots of really neat knitted garments to examine. I wish I could have gotten a better look at the Weasleys’ Christmas scarves. Umbridge wore a little pink cardigan with a nice diamond lace pattern, and the kids wore lots of interesting hats and sweaters as well. Other than that, the movie seemed about the same as all the others. Harry is anguished, people keep things from him, there’s a lot of Menacing and Sinister Moodiness. There was a good wizard fight at the end, and, to quote Mike Nelson — “When wizards fight, who wins? The American viewing public!”

Comment » | Blog

11 Movies Saved by Historical Inaccuracy

July 10th, 2007 — 8:51pm

Hilariousness! Text is not entirely family-friendly.

11 Movies Saved by Historical Inaccuracy

Every year, Hollywood pumps out “historical” epics so distorted, propagandistic and self-serving, you have to wonder just how stupid they think we are. But, try “fixing” some of those historical inaccuracies and you’ll quickly realize what Hollywood screenwriters have known for years: History is lame. Here are 11 movies that make us glad no one gives a damn about trivial things like “what actually happened.”

(Thanks, Dan!)

2 comments » | Blog

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