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Archive for November 2007


November 29th, 2007 — 11:18pm

Dan’s recently changed jobs and has a horrible, horrible commute, and there’s no decent public transportation, so we decided to move south to be nearer. Luckily we found a nice little rental house in a good neighborhood, only a mile from my cousin’s house! It’s all rather sudden, but at least we’ll be all settled before Christmas. And the new house has no stairs, which will be easier for me. Plus it has a cute little grassy backyard and a big covered patio, and we’ll be near Actual Cultural Activities like the zoo and the museums! Oh, and the neighborhood is much more pedestrian-friendly than the one we live in now. It’s relatively flat, has sidewalks, and there are lots of shops and parks only a few blocks away. It’s good for me to take walks but I can’t handle the hills where we are now.

So, although moving is horrible and stressful, I am looking forward to living in our new house!

Now it is time to get rid of some of our junk so we don’t have to pack it.

Anyone have any empty boxes?

5 comments » | Blog

Monday night

November 26th, 2007 — 10:46pm

I got stuff done today. Man, did I. Got up and sat on hold with apple tech support for half an hour (before being accidentally hung up on) while getting soup into the crock pot. Also called car dealer (my scion XA has a check engine light showing that just won’t go away), the dentist (to reschedule our cleanings for January), the pediatrician (nothing serious), showered, and ate an english muffin with cream cheese and pumpkin butter (which should really be called pumpkin jam, don’t you think?), and then took Henry to our music class. On the way home we did bank, dentist (the other dentist, who filed a claim with the wrong insurance company), and library. Henry chose a stack of cookbooks. As long as he reads something, I don’t care what it is. Also I approve of him learning to cook, yes indeed! And I got a few Dorothy Sayers mysteries and a couple of other off the shelf near Sayers, can’t remember what they are though. Then home and leftover turkey for lunch, and then some WoW with Henry, and then he read his Japanese cookbook while I taught a student, and then we went to karate, and then home for Beef Soup, yum.

1 comment » | Blog

More William, Chapter 10

November 26th, 2007 — 8:30am

More William, by Richmal Crompton.
Chapter 10: The Helper

1 comment » | Audiobooks, Blog

Twitter is down

November 23rd, 2007 — 9:17pm

Twitter is scheduled to be down from 8 to midnight tonight. Isn’t that kind of an unacceptably long outage for a web company? Anyway, I miss my twitter. So I’ll probably just post a lot of random short posts tonight to take twitter’s place.

We paid a visit to Bob and Chloe tonight, very much fun as always. I ripped out Henry’s too-small DNA sock and started fresh on 52 stitches, and from the toe this time. I worked an entire 38-row repeat of the cable pattern!

Now we are home and playing WoW.

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Something I made…

November 23rd, 2007 — 9:08pm

If you are reading this before Christmas 2007 and your name is not Kirsten Shallenberg, go HERE to see something I just made :)

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Houndstooth Check Mitts

November 23rd, 2007 — 11:05am

Houndstooth Check Fingerless Mitts: a present for Kirsten! I followed my Three-Color Mitts for Henry pattern, but did 1×1 ribbing, worked increases until there were 15 thumb stitches, and knit the hand a little longer. Here’s a chart for the houndstooth check pattern. It’s a 4-stitch, 4-row pattern. I divided it into 4-stitch sections so you can memorize it more easily. O is gray, X is black (or whatever).


And here are the finished mitts:



4 comments » | Handmade

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 22nd, 2007 — 11:41am

Happy Thanksgiving, Americans! It’s just Dan and me today, so I’m making a turkey, fresh cranberry sauce, green beans, and salad. The smallest Trader Joe’s turkey was 12.5 pounds, so we’ll have plenty, heheh.

I’ve got the Macy’s parade on tv, but the coverage sucks, as usual. Too many celebs, too much “entertainment”, too many musical (ha!) numbers. Why, oh why, can’t they point a camera at the parade, and let us just watch? This has been aggravating me ever since I was a kid. I want marching bands, dammit! Not a crappy, lip-synced, musical remake of a crappy movie, or, god forbid, “Up With People”! Yeah, I know why, you don’t have to tell me. Gotta push the TV shows and musicals and acts and what-not. Oh well.

Oh my god, they’re actually SHOWING A MARCHING BAND RIGHT NOW! Please hold while I watch… Well, that was an enjoyable 30 seconds :)

Ok anyway.

Yesterday I acquired all three seasons of James Burke’s amazing TV series, Connections. I’ve been waiting and waiting for this show to be released on dvd. I remember watching it with my parents on a little black and white tv in the early 80s. Mom and I watched the first episode yesterday and it was just as mind-blowing as we remembered.

Here’s a screenshot from wikipedia (hope they don’t mind me linking)
James Burke

Dan’s up now and we’re watching the parade and making fun of the crappy acts :) Why doesn’t Macy’s consult us? We would tell them how to un-suckify their parade. At least there have been a few 30-second marching band shots. We love the corn-fed midwestern flag girls! So cute!

2 comments » | Blog

More William, Chapter 9

November 19th, 2007 — 8:30am

More William, by Richmal Crompton.
Read by me!
Chapter 9: The Revenge

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BBC’s Strong Poison

November 17th, 2007 — 11:08pm

A friend lent me her copy of the BBC’s radio play production of Strong Poison, a Lord Peter Wimsey mystery by Dorothy Sayers. I love a good radio play, and this is truly excellent. The characters sound just exactly right. This is first rate entertainment and highly recommended!

strong poison

3 comments » | Blog

Busy day

November 15th, 2007 — 6:05pm

Crazy busy day, full of errands and phone calls. Henry to school -> notice “check engine” light is on -> call mechanic-> mailbox place -> home -> fill in second set of insurance papers -> dr. appt. -> lab -> mailbox place -> home -> call toyota -> deal with email -> pick up henry -> drop off at friend’s house -> bank -> mailbox place -> home -> more phone calls -> work on cataloging two librivox projects while wishing I was playing WoW and knowing I ought to be writing/recording a thing on mysteries for the next podcast, also thirsty, also paying bills at the same time.

Also think I ought to rip out the houndstooth mitts and re-knit a bit firmer. Also need to rip out the DNA socks and re-knit with more stitches.

Also tired and rather PMSsy.

2 comments » | Blog

More William, Chapter 8

November 12th, 2007 — 8:44am

More William, by Richmal Crompton.
Read by me!
Chapter 8: The May King

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Geek Quiz

November 11th, 2007 — 7:58pm

Take the Geek Quiz:

I scored 31.75542% which ranks me as a “Total Geek”, but only a few points away from “Major Geek” (highest is Dysfunctional Geek at >75%)

i am a total geek

4 comments » | Blog, Tech

DNA socks for Henry

November 8th, 2007 — 10:07pm

I did not feel miserably tired today! Yay! I did a bunch of recording while Henry was at his classes this morning. Let’s see… I edited the three chapters I did yesterday, and recorded three new ones, too! So that made me feel really happy.

And I started a new pair of socks for Henry, using my lovely new knitpicks Risata yarn — a cotton/superwash wool/elastic blend that is fantastic to work with. I’m using the “dusk” color which is a nice denim blue.

Socks are 44 stitches on size 0 Brittany Birch needles. I’m using June Oshiro’s Double-Helix (DNA) cable pattern for the front panel of the socks (Panel is 20 st, plus 2k at each side — 24st total), and plain stockinette on the back (20st), with 10 rounds of 1×1 rib at the top.


Sorry, that really only shows a bit of the rib, but I’m well into the cable section already so better photos soon.

Also finally took a photo of Dan’s 3/4 finished Nine-to Five socks:


This evening Henry and I went to our local game store for Board Game night, and nice older gentleman named Kent taught us On The Underground, a very entertaining and well-balanced game. Similar to Settlers, there are several ways to score points, and you can go for short-term bird-in-the-hand points, or more risky long-term points. Another guy showed up, a young military-looking fellow, and he played with us too. Quite a funny group, we were. Henry and I had a great time and are looking forward to the next board game night!

1 comment » | Blog, Handmade

Knit Picks’ “Harmony” wooden interchangeable circular needles

November 6th, 2007 — 9:19pm

My Knit Picks’ “Harmony” wooden interchangeable circular needles arrived today! I love them. Here are a couple of unboxing photos:



The needles are much more beautiful in real life than they are in photos. The layers of laminated wood (for strength) almost shimmer, and the colors are more subtle than I was expecting. The finish is nice — smooth, but not slippery. The points are suitably sharp. Dan says the screw threads are very well made. The needles screw onto the cables easily and seem very secure. The cables are extremely flexible. A set of needle tips (size 5) was $5.99, and a set of two 47″ cables plus four end caps and a turning key was $3.99. Shipping was $2.50. So affordable! I will be purchasing lots more Harmony needles in the future :)

I transferred my Cobblestone Cardigan onto them and knit for a bit, and they are just as nice to work with as they are to look at. Good job,!!!

7 comments » | Blog, Handmade

More William, Chapter 7

November 5th, 2007 — 9:42pm

More William, by Richmal Crompton.
Read by me!
Chapter 7: The Ghost

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Free Rice Vocabulary Game

November 4th, 2007 — 2:23pm

My lovely sister pointed me to the Free Rice Vocabulary Game. Lots of fun! Their FAQ explains how the game works.

FreeRice automatically adjusts to your level of vocabulary. It starts by giving you words at different levels of difficulty and then, based on how you do, assigns you an approximate starting level. You then determine a more exact level for yourself as you play. When you get a word wrong, you go to an easier level. When you get three words in a row right, you go to a harder level. This one-to-three ratio is best for keeping you at the “outer fringe” of your vocabulary, where learning can take place.

There are 50 levels in all, but it is rare for people to get above level 48.

Here’s a screenshot of me hitting level 50:


I did not cheat, by the way, though I did have to guess quite a few, or use my deductive powers. It helps if you’ve read a lot of really old books. Trilby? Caleche? No problem.

Murrain means plague, in case you care. I stayed at 50 for a while, then missed a couple, then got back up to 50. I rarely drop below 48. Some of the definitions are odd. I would not, for instance, say that “colobus” means “monkey”. It’s a type of monkey. But whatever :)

5 comments » | Blog, Tech

sweater photos

November 4th, 2007 — 11:37am

Chloe and Bob came over yesterday and stayed for hours, which was a huge treat. We watched three episodes of Survivor China (Jaime thought she had an immunity idol, lol) and talked, and watched stuff on youtube, and played guitar hero, and played real music. Well, Bob and Dan played real music while Chloe and I watched The Soup.

I got a lot done on my Cobblestone-inspired Cardigan. A while back I decided it was much too large, and ripped back past the last round of increases. Now I’m a few inches past the underarms again and it’s looking great.

cobblestone cardigan

cobblestone cardigan

cobblestone cardigan

Last week I ordered one of Knitpicks’ new Harmony interchangeable circular wooden knitting needles, size 5, with 47″ cables. I can hardly wait till they get here so I can try them out. They were only about $12 including shipping (the Addis I bought were over $20 — GAH. I don’t even LIKE metal needles). I’ll test them on this sweater, and then if I like them I’ll ask for more for Christmas. Although the interchangeable ones only go down to size 4, they sell non-interchangeable wooden circs down to size 0. Hallelujia!

I have a headache. Have I mentioned lately that I hate it when the time changes? Also, the power is flickering. I shut down and unplugged the iMac, since I’m pretty sure it no longer has any surge protection since its UPS died. Not sure if the lappy has surge protection so I unplugged it and turned down the brightness for optimal battery life.

2 comments » | Blog, Handmade

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