Friday, January 27, 2006

Fallen Childhood Idols

When I was ten, I went through a very brief period where I read Tiger Beat and would post pictures of my pre-teen crushes. Who were they: Shawn Cassidy, Robby Benson, and Leif Garrett.

I loved watching Leif shake his little ass and wear open shirts with a scarf (of course I am totally mortified by this past behavior, but I was ten and had just started puberty).

It's just sad to see someone go from this:
To this:

I commented to J that I'm really, really glad that I never got into drugs. They certainly haven't been kind to Leif.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Ummmm, Chocolate

J came across a quickie recipe that's just very bad for me, weight watchers wise, but oh-so yummy.

You have to like chocolate covered espresso beans. Essentially, take a chocolate bar (we tried a dark chocolate), nuke it till it's melted and mix in fresh ground esspresso. Spread it on a parchment paper and cool in your fridge.

Much cheaper than those esspresso beans and yummy to boot.

Oh, and Latte's are a gateway drug. J didn't drink coffee until three years ago. I was pregnant and had ordered a Breve' latte at my local Starbucks. I couldn't drink it as my pregnancy made all coffee off limits (read: I couldn't keep it down). So J took a sip and really liked the taste of it. He's been drinking coffee ever since. Now he's drinking the regular stuff, too.

My first finished knitted item!

Woo hoo! I did it, I did it!
I finished my first knitting project, ever! I frogged this baby over and over and over! It's extremely satisfying to know that I can finish a knitting project that's interesting!

Peeking out from behind the anonymity closet:

Casting off at the bottom of the hat made the brim very tight so this will have to be delegated to M - that or I have a very large head. I'm sure she'll love it.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

M the budding crafter

M is going to a Montessori school (she's three going on four next month) and she's learning how to sew. Here's her latest creation (it's a bookmark - I had to ask, too).

I'm very proud. :) She's really proud of it, too.

One of the things that I really value from my childhood was the fact that my mom did a lot of different crafts. I feel this is important to my personal development because I feel it has allowed me to look at something and have the confidence to try to make anything. I'm looking forward to when I can start getting her those neat kids kits so she can start making her own stuff, too.

The types of crafts I remember doing when I was a kid: crocheting, cooking, and decoupage. Then there was that weird three-D cut out thingy's (3-D decoupage). We painted and macraméd, too. It was really all a whole bunch of fun. One of mom's old friends called her basement, the G.S. art school because it seemed like mom would have all the kids over in the neighborhood to do crafts.

Mel the protector

Since we live on the edge of a natural area, we get all sorts of critters. Our trash is routinely rummaged through by raccoons, bunny rabbits scurry when we drive down the driveway at night, cardinals, finches, and squirrels come and feed at the bird feeder, you know - wildlife!

To this city girl it's pretty cool.

Anyway, we have an armadillo who's decided to live in our shed. He doesn't hurt anything, so we pretty much just leave him alone and marvel when he's out routing for bugs.

But Mel the Protector dog has decided that the armadillo presents all sorts of trouble, so he follows the poor guy around and barks at him. Here's a photo of Mel terrorizing the poor armadillo.


One of the things that truly tickles me is when I read a sign in a public place that asks or warns people of not doing something. I'm often intrigued by what made the folks post the sign in the first place.

For example, I was at a local city doing business and I saw a sign stating that using profane and abusive language will get you a fine.

It's called disorderly conduct and the law specifically states, "a person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly uses an abusive, indecent, profane, or vulgar language in a public place, and the language by its very utterance stands to incite an immediate breach of the peace."
Since I'm somewhat amused by the story behind the reason WHY the city had the sign posted, it was because some years ago they had a builder come in and essentially threaten the poor workers behind the counter. Apparently, he kept doing it over and over and didn't realize he was doing it.

So the next time you see an odd sign posted, ask for the story behind why they needed to post the sign.

What sparked this blog entry was seeing a post on one of my yahoo groups with a link to Snopes. First of all, I love Snopes. It really helps me temper my less computer literate family members whenever they get some stupid email that gets them upset. Invariably, Snopes has already looked into it and has determined if there is any validity to the email.

But Snopes occasionally gets stumped and they have a page with the questions that have stumped them. Like my fascination with signs, I have wondered (and worried) about some of the stories behind the emails.


Tuesday, January 24, 2006

SnB Devil Hat update

Okay, I'm actually seeing a hat form out of this mess of yarn! I wanted to show you how the top of the hat looks because I knitted from the top down.

The reason why this is interesting is because the original pattern calls for the hat to be knitted from the brim down. I did increases to widen the hat from the top and I like the way it looks. Some of the hats I've seen others do have the decreases showing and the spiral on top of the hat is much more pronounced to see.

The other thing that I liked about knitting from the top down is that I was able to do the whole thing on circular needles and don't have to go back and sew the flaps on the hat. Look at this photo.

I just went strait into knitting the ear flap and the i-cord with my double point needles (which you need for the i-cord).

Then on the other side, I have my circular needles holding the stitches for the other earflap.

I probably should have a holder there, but the needles are working just fine for now.

I also wanted to show you how the cast-off looks next to the earflap.

This is where I think the look can really be different from the original pattern. The brim now has a very distinct border (since the pattern knits from the brim up, you have a softer edge because it's a cast-on edge).

I still have problems keeping track of the seed stitch on the ear flaps - it's so much easier to do it in the round. I'll eventually figure it out, but for now, I am pretty happy with the way the hat looks. Frogging it before was a difficult thing for me to do, but I'm now glad I did it. The hat looks WAY better and I feel good about how it looks.

I need to figure out what I'm going to knit for the knitting Olympics. I'm thinking alligator gloves from Stitch 'n Bitch Nation. From the Google searches, though, I think I'm going to have to change the pattern up a bit. I hate to sew pieces together (because invariably it never gets done) so I am going to try to knit this like a toe up sock. I'll try to keep photo's if I do them.


First of all, I wanted to post a url for a totally silly site:

Free creepy paper toys. Download zombies, et. al. there. Oh, and zombies really creep me out. No really, they do. My "fear" of zombies can be traced to the stupid movie The Omega Man with Charlton Heston. I still remember those creepy blue-ish white eyes.

I also had to stop playing the Doom stuff when they introduced the stupid zombies. I mean, you can't kill them - they keep coming. Ugh!

A, my co-worker, once tried to scare me with a picture of zombies. It did startle me, but I must admit that my fear has diminished over the years. You see, I married a horror movie junkie. I still don't like playing Doom, but I must admit that Shaun of the Dead is one of my favorite movies. I won't be able to listen to some Queen songs without remembering certain scenes from the movie.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Weird Head Stories

I dream weird dreams.

Here's one that I had last night - sort of. I've certainly embellished it over the morning in my strange brain.

People who get old download their neural networks into a computer network before they die(sort of like Matrix, but the personalities are not tied to a body). So, once that happens, people can talk to them day to day. It's essentially the only way that people can experience eternal life.

At the beginning of the development of this technology, religions vehemently fights against this new technology, but folks warm up to it because they actually don't lose their loved ones.

Strange, huh? Very Lawnmower man meets the Matrix.

Scared of Santa

Since our own experience with M being terrified by Santa, I found this site oddly reassuring and funny.,0,2245506.photogallery

Some of the photo's of the Santa's are downright scary. Thanks to W.M. for this link.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Frogged it

Frogging is a term I learned from my knitting books. It means that you have unraveled your project (when you pull it apart, it makes a "rip it" sound - get it?)

Well, I got one of the flaps done on the hat and was successfully making an i-cord when I tried to put the hat on. The whole time I was knitting it, I was a little skeptical about how it looked. I had increased it too aggressively and made the top flat and the hat like a tube. Furthermore, it wasn't large enough. I did like knitting from the top down and will do that again. I just couldn't wrap my mind around the way to increase it because the pattern called for decreases (knitting from the brim up). I pulled out my excel spreadsheet and finally figured out how to increase from the top down. Essentially, I will have to increase each row, but if it's the third row, then I will increase between every two stitches. Hopefully this will make the top of the hat look better. Plus, I can still follow the pattern, somewhat.

I also started knitting on the SnB Pinup Queen sweater. I bought a nice green color for the yarn and started it. It'll be my first ever sweater. I'm not too sure about how well it'll turn out. My neighbor knits all the time but she likes to knit small stuff - so she can get the project done.

I also have my eye on making alligator gloves. I also am thinking about making some finger puppets for M.

But first I WILL finish this damn hat! :)

Friday, January 13, 2006


I found the Point of Inquiry podcast and have found the shows to be really, really good and top notch quality. They're put out by the Center for Inquiry and well worth checking out.


I am really enjoying learning how to knit. It's not been as easy for me as crocheting is, but I like the way knitting looks better than crocheting.

I'm getting close on finishing my hat. Here's a picture of what it's suppose to look like when it's done.
I started knitting it according to the instructions, but went to a Stitch 'n Bitch session and had someone show me how to knit top down - which is a lot easier as I can size the hat any size I want and avoid seams. I'm surprised at how much I like knitting.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Funny Bible

I came across this link from one of my many yahoo groups.

It's hilarious! Some fundy used Lego's to reenact the Old Testament. I'm amazed at the time that must have been spent to do this.

Here's one of my favorite photo's:

Of course, without knowing what the caption is, it is a pretty salacious photo.

For those with inquiring minds: Genesis 2:7 - And breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Survivalist mode

Not to sound too wacky, but we've started stockpiling canned food "just in case". This whole H5N1 avian flu pandemic potential has me more than spooked.

I found a good article talking about how everything was effected due to the 1918 pandemic.

When you have two prominent reporters (who have been in combat zones) saying that they're going to stockpile so they can ride out the pandemic, I think it would be prudent to do likewise.

Clients who decide how much to pay

How do people feel like they can change the terms of my contract? I have a client who I did about 12 hours of work. I had to also hire a surveyor, and have paid for them out of pocket already in order to get the work done.

I was essentially hired to explain the current drainage pattern, not to fix it and I made that pretty clear when I spoke to the homeowner.

She decided that she would only pay a quarter of what is owed (which give me a whopping $40 over my surveying costs - uh, I don't think so.)

She also went in halves with the neighbor behind her. The neighbor isn't going to pay her half because the letter was addressed to the first woman and, in her opinion, outlines the problems of her neighbor and not hers. Well, the simple situation is that her problem isn't as easily correctable without losing a very large, very old oak tree. Furthermore, she didn't realize that the existing drainage easement took up a good deal of her front yard.

sigh. . .

I'm going to have to demand a retainer up front for smaller projects. They rarely turn out well, take too much of my time, and I usually end up telling the homeowner things he/she does not wish to hear (mainly that the problem is usually costly to fix).

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Happy New Year and Junk

Well, I celebrated my 15th wedding anniversary on the first. I can't believe it's been 15 years, but I have to admit that it's been a great 15 years. J is wonderful support for me emotionally and is, if there is such a thing, my soul mate (in other words, he's the right guy for me).

Happy New Years to all!

Mel has been a bit of a handful, but really is a wonderful dog. He has chewed up my shoes, our carpet, and my latest library book.

I am now the not-so-proud owner of Tyrannosaur Canyon by Douglas Preston. It was a good read and I find that I like Preston's stuff better than Crichton's - which is actually easy to do because Crichton's stuff has become fiction against science. The last Crichton novel I read was the one warning about nanotechnology. I don't know. I really didn't enjoy it. I still haven't read his latest one about airplanes.

I liked TC because it took a character from The Codex - my favorite one, in fact - Tom Broadbent and Sally Colorado (yes, I know, isn't that an awful name!). I also now have a new character I'd like to see in future books - Wynan Ford, the former CIA guy who turned into a monk initiate who turned into a consultant for hire. He's a compelling character with lots of potential.

Okay, okay. I know this is absolute trash, but I love to read. It's far better than reading romance novels - ugh. I HATE those.