Archive for October 2010


forum upgrade

October 31st, 2010 — 10:05pm

Dan and I spent the entire weekend upgrading the librivox forum software. Our forum has a lot of customization so we had to figure out a lot of crazy tricky stuff, which we tested all day yesterday on a dummy install. This afternoon we actually did the upgrade and it all worked and nothing has exploded so far. *whew*

Got my hair cut today and the guy did a pretty bad job, so then Chloe fixed it for me :) It’s quite short now!

Henry and I made a Vault Dweller costume for Halloween:

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little cold

October 26th, 2010 — 11:17pm

Ugh, I have a little cold. Cough, headache, runny nose, scratchy throat. But it’s not an actual SORE throat, for which I am grateful.

I decluttered the house all day, and it looks worse than ever. But eventually it’ll look better. Right?

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Double Daggers

October 24th, 2010 — 11:13pm

Super sleepy tonight… up early, did groceries and other errands, then spent the rest of the day migrating my photo library from Aperture to Lightroom.

Made Eggplant Parm for dinner. Chloe came over and knitted a garter for Lena.

This weekend was Henry’s Double Daggers seminar!

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Working on the Pip-Boy

October 22nd, 2010 — 11:31pm

Henry and I spent hours and hours today working the “Pip-Boy Model 3000″ for his Halloween costume. We had so much fun! He’s going as a Vault Dweller from Fallout 3. For those of you who don’t play, the Pip-Boy is a wrist-mounted “Personal Information Processor”. We built ours out of a water bottle, a PSP, several sheets of craft foam, velcro, and some other stuff. It looks so cool!

Last Monday we ordered the necessary navy-blue coveralls, which arrived today and fit him perfectly. Now I need to sew some yellow stripes on them and put “101″ on the back.

Photos soon…

Oh, and the White Dragon Kung Fu School banquet was tonight. We had a great time! The food was forgettable, but we sat at a table full of MIss Edwards’ students and had a riot. They were all just as kind and friendly as could be, and I almost didn’t even feel shy (and I had my knitting, which helped). The joke of the evening was how hard it was to get a pitcher of water brought to our table :)

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The Apple Stone

October 22nd, 2010 — 9:30am

The Apple Stone, by Nicholas Stuart Gray, is very special to me. My sister and I discovered it in the library when we were little, and just devoured it. It is out of print, but I managed to find a nice ex-library hardback on Amazon to read from, since there is not one single copy in the entire San Diego Library system. Grr. It’s a forgotten treasure.

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It takes place in England, and there are some elements I definitely didn’t understand when I was little, especially the way the narrator refers to his two Scottish cousins (a MacDonald and a Campbell) as “The Clans”, and why “The Forbidden Word” was so very forbidden. That was the olden days and we didn’t have Google…

This is not a typical “magic adventure” story. It’s beautifully written, and a bit dark, and so poetic. I hope you like it as much as I do.

Here are the first four chapters:

51 The Apple Stone, Ch. 1: The Golden Apple
52 The Apple Stone, Ch. 2: Bird Of Paradise
53 The Apple Stone, Ch. 3: Lost – One Old Rug
54 The Apple Stone, Ch. 4: The Bleep

4 comments » | Audiobooks, Blog

The rest of Half Magic

October 22nd, 2010 — 8:53am

Oops, forgot to post these chapters as they went up on my podcast feed. Here are the remaining chapters of Half Magic, by Edward Eager:

46 Half Magic Ch.4 What Happened to Katharine
47 Half Magic Ch.5 What Happened to Martha
48 Half Magic Ch.6 What Happened to Jane
49 Half Magic Ch.7 How it Ended
50 Half Magic Ch.8 How it Began Again

And that’s the end of Half Magic. If you liked it, go read all of Edward Eager’s other books! “Magic by the Lake” is the next one.

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so tired, but happy anyway

October 21st, 2010 — 4:20pm

Yesterday I felt unusually good — so good, in fact, that I did lots of LibriVox work, played Beatles Rockband with Henry, started reading Treasure Island to him, and made two kinds of pie for dinner (a pear galette and a provencal quiche). But today I’m just bone-crunchingly tired. Ugh. Nearly fell asleep in the afternoon.

But I’m happy anyway and here are some of the reasons:

  • Dan’s working from home today!
  • I was a Good Granddaughter and ordered some yarn for my 89-yr-old grandma so she can knit a baby blanket. (Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece)
  • Elli and I had a jolly time watching Mad Men (S04E11), chatting, and goofing around on AIM this morning.
  • I did not actually fall asleep and forget to pick up Henry from school.
  • On Henry’s recommendation, I listened to an excellent episode of This American Life while driving around this afternoon. It was a Halloween episode, #319. If you don’t already have it, get the This American Life app and your life will instantly be a little better, I guarantee it.
  • And I just got a postcard from my dear old lost-then-found penpal Peer, who is on vacation with his family in Italy. It was such fun to see his handwriting again!

Now, because I’m too tired to do anything truly productive, I’m going to log into my neglected google feed reader with its thousands of unread items and delete all the blogs I don’t care about, declare bankruptcy on the ones I do care about, and start fresh. Also maybe I’ll play some WoW. It took nearly a whole day to get the new patch installed and I really would like to find out what’s new. I expect I’ll have to reassign all my talents. Sigh.

Oh, by the way, on Monday it rained, really rained!

1 comment » | Blog

untangled!

October 18th, 2010 — 10:29pm

I am so fed up with the clutter in this house! It’s time to get rid of some of our junk. Today I managed to come up with a pretty big stack of books that I think we can live without and then I spent several hours cleaning up my hideous yarn mess. There was a big cardboard box of yarn in the closet, and two big project bags full in the living room. I untangled nearly everything, except for a horrible snarl in the middle of the box that just didn’t seem worthwhile (tossed it!), and sorted it all by category and bagged the smaller balls in Ziplocs.

As God is my witness, I’ll never be tangled again. I’ve got a bag full of cottons, one of very special sock yarn, one of worsted scraps, one of hand-spun and hand-dyed yarn, etc. And my Ravelry project bag is empty, so I can take it along to the next Knit @ Night!

Before:
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After:
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Chloe came over and helped untangle everything, and then she ripped out that purple sweater I got sick of, so that’s no longer weighing on my conscience and taking up space.

I found a brand-new size 0 wooden circ that I didn’t know I had! It’s a good long one, so perfect for two-at-a-time socks.

Also, I baked two batches of banana-oat muffins and burned all the fingers on my left hand when I had a little mishap with the muffin pan. Ow!

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The 33 Chilean miners

October 16th, 2010 — 9:26am

Were you glued to the screen to watch the rescue of the 33 Chilean miners last week? I was. The best coverage I found was on the BBC’s website — they had the live TV feed, of course, plus updates in text so I could leave the sound turned down. And, while it was annoying that the reporters had to keep talking so there was never any dead air,at least they had British accents so they sounded intelligent and cultured.

I got teary-eyed every time a miner was freed. Every single time. I saw the first guy come up, and I saw the last guy come up. It was amazing. Scott Simon published a touching little piece this morning:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=130609170

“Millions of families, including ours, got our children out of bed to watch the men rise from the earth, wave, sing, and blow kisses. We told our children, ‘Remember this night whenever you think something is impossible.’”

Viva humanity!

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Harry Potter und der Stein der Weisen

October 7th, 2010 — 6:46pm

I got my hands on an audiobook of “Harry Potter und der Stein der Weisen” (Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone) recently, and even found a copy of the book in hardback at the library! Sometimes I read, sometimes I read and listen at the same time, and sometimes, when I’m very tired, I just listen. I am astonished at how much I understand! Knowing the story well helps, of course, and I can guess a lot of the unknown words by context, and, when I feel like it, I look some of them up on http://www.dict.cc/. For instance, a lovely new word for me is “Gehwegplatten” . At Flourish & Blotts there were leather-bound books as big as “Gehwegplatten”. It means “flagstones”. Isn’t that delightful? It’s like “Go-way-plates”! I’ll never forget that word now.

I’ve also got a library copy of Winnie the Pooh in German (Pu der Bär), and Elli reads chapters to me sometimes, but it’s much, much harder to understand, even though I also know those stories by heart. I think Harry must be a lot more simplistic than Pooh in plot, vocabulary, and sentence structure. That’s not really a very big surprise, though, is it?

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Symphony of Science

October 4th, 2010 — 2:54pm

Look, look, there are a whole lot of new Symphony of Science videos! I like this one about Mars particulary much:

“Mars is a world of wonders. It has canyons, river valleys and giant ice sheets…”

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fun day!

October 3rd, 2010 — 11:39pm

It’s Kathy’s birthday – Happy birthday, Kath!

This was a very nice day. I woke up a bit before 8, and did some recording right away before the world got noisy, and then Elli and I watched the last two episodes of Mad men Season three, and had a long chat about books and all sorts of things. Then when Dan got up he drove me to Common Threads in Encinitas, where I discovered that my Donated Award (for my best-of-division, prize-winning mittens) was $50 store credit! And the shop owners admired my mittens very much :)

I chose 8 skeins of Lang Jawoll sock yarn, which is very fine but hard-wearing yarn, 75% wool and 25% nylon/acrylic (and comes with a spool of matching nylon reinforcement thread for toes and heels). It’ll become three pairs of work-socks for Dan, and one lovely deep red pair for me.

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And then I realized I was very hungry, and I saw Roxy across the street — so we had such a nice lunch. I had the Avocado Sandwich, which was lightly-toasted 7-grain bread with sprouts, tomato, red onion, and avocado. It must have been three inches thick, and so nice and fresh! It was exactly what I was wanting. And then I had a cone of Niederfrank’s ice cream.

After we got home, we went over to Chloe’s to hang out and play with the cat, and then eventually we all came back over here for Mad Men.

Oh! And I discovered a GREAT iPhone game! “Trainyard Express” is free, unique, polished, and really really fun. Give it a try! I love their web integration. It’s simple to upload your solutions to their website, and it’s fun to view the solutions of other users.
Here is my user page: http://www.trainyard.ca/users/6731
Give it a try!

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