Tuesday, March 24, 2009

10 years ago

I was studying to become a licensed professional Engineer. After the test (May) we had to wait for results. In order to keep sane, I made this rocket:
I passed, but the rocket didn't survive. :(

I loved that rocket. It was supposed to go 16,000 feet (not a typo - We had the FAA on the line to make sure we wouldn't hit any airplanes) into the air and return. It disappeared into a cloud, never to be seen again.

Where the hell did the time go?

Monday, March 23, 2009

I have succumbed to the dark side

I recently had an opportunity pop up when I mentioned on one of my many knitting lists that I started to feel the pull to buy a flat bed knitting machine. Well, one of these kind ladies offered up *her* Passup Duomatic 80 as she never was able to make it work well.

I am now the proud owner of a Passap Duomatic 80, complete with the Forma and Deco extensions.

Now I'll definitely have to join the D/FW Machine Knitter's Guild.

Daddy. . .

will you come out and watch the sunset with me?
(You can't really see it here, but they're sitting on large rocks being sweet to each other.)

We had a difficult, emotional day yesterday. M knew just what to do to diffuse the whole thing.

Machine Knitting

I took the LeGare 400 apart into all it's various little bits and let them soak in some Marvel Mystery Oil.
I let the machine soak for about a month - ostensibly because I wanted to let it soak, but really it's because there were SO many small parts that I was intimidated by the darn thing.

J's one of those people who is really good for me as he doesn't let me stay intimidated for long.

So this weekend I finally sat down and put the darn thing back together - and didn't have a single bit put out of place.

Yay for me!

Bad news, though: I need a new yarn carrier and possibly a new yarn mast. I stripped the threads on the end of the yarn mast. The yarn carrier keeps hitting the needles and isn't able to be adjusted. That's okay. I love the carrier I bought from Roxanna. I'll just have to get another.

The hootch

I have over 100 bottles of home brew in various states. (Each crate in the stack holds 30 bottles and the top one has about half). The crate on the floor holds the clean empties.

I've actually started a Beer Calendar on Google to keep track of what's drinkable. We put letters on top of the bottles to denote what it is.

A = American Lager (from the "just add yeast & water" kit - excellent beer)
B = Bock (Just tasted one over the weekend and it needs another week so we can get rid of that yeasty taste)
C = Continental Light (Now it's called German Light)
R = Red (the bad batch that ended up working out okay)

I'll need to come up with a different letter for the stuff located in the Secondary right now as A for Amber won't work out.

J has been intrigued by the recent postings of people making wine out of Welches grape juice. So we ran by our favorite beer making place (Foreman's General Store in Colleyville). Here's our first crack at making wine - that yeast really made it active! It also drastically changed the color from a thick Mogen-David color to something lighter.

The bottles are from some cheap wine we purchased and consumed.

We'll see how it turns out.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


I stumbled on the idea to use newspaper for seedling pots. We've planted carrots, squash, peas, peppers, and arugula. AND!!

I'm actually using my greenhouse. . .

We also planted onions, rosemary & potatoes

And we also planted a spearmint plant:

I'm hoping that will take over.

J got a true kick out of me while I was planting the seeds. "Hey, this looks like the seeds in "

We kicked around a lot when I was a kid. We were never living in one place long enough to plant a garden. I'm still nervous none of this is going to work or that it's going to be too much work.

Time will tell.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

2009 Books

  1. Naamah's Kiss by Jacqueline Carey
  2. Cemetary Dance by Lincoln Child and Douglas Preston
  3. The Fire by Katherine Neville (lame ending)
  4. Terminal Freeze by Lincoln Child (predictable)
  5. A Dangerous Man by Charlie Huston (quick read)
  6. The Devil's Eye by Jack McDevitt
  7. City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
  8. Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey
  9. From Dead to Worse by Charlain Harris
  10. Gifts by Ursula K. Le Guin
  11. Dead and Gone by Charlain Harris
  12. Storm Front by Jim Butcher
  13. Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher (read 1/2 - decided to read first in series)
  14. Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce
  15. Terrier by Tamora Pierce
  16. Six Bad Things by Charlie Huston
  17. Caught Stealing by Charlie Huston
  18. The Last Colony by John Scalzi
  19. Zoe's Tale by John Scalzi
  20. The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi
  21. Old Man's War by John Scalzi
  22. Tiger in the Well by Phillip Pullman
  23. Shadow of the North by Phillip Pullman
  24. The Ruby in the Smoke by Phillip Pullman

2009 FO's

Felted Day Pack
CSM Socks
CSM Socks
CSM Socks
Heart for M

2008 FO's

Baby Sweater
Baby Surprise Jacket
Small Pocketbook
Easter Bunny
Trinomial Cube Afghan
CSM Sock - First Ribbed Sock
CSM Sock - Size 10
CSM Sock - Size 13
Charity CSM Baby Hats
Binary Hat
CSM Sock - Comfort Southland
CSM Sock - Comfort Hari Hari
Four Pairs CSM Socks - Knit Picks Essential & Felicity
Another CSM Sock - Comfort Yarn
CSM Sock - Comfort Yarn
First pair of CSM socks
Lucy Bag
Jaywalker Ankle Socks

More comments on Twilight

I noticed I got a comment from an anonymous commenter regarding my hate for Twilight.

First off, I love reading vampire novels and have read several.

Twilight just pisses me off. The novel just kept going and going and NOTHING REALLY HAPPENED.

Basically, I can sum up Twilight for you

  1. Girl moves to cold place to live with a dad she really doesn't know.
  2. Girl finds out the boy she likes is a vampire.
  3. NOTHING HAPPENS with the boy/vamp.
  4. The vamps have a baseball game and a psycho vamp decides he wants to kill the Girl.
  5. Girl runs away from estranged dad to be tracked down by psycho vamp.
  6. Boy/vamp kills psycho vamp.
The End.

There are better vamp books out there. Really.

The Susie Stackhouse series is the best, IMHO. There are others that are good, but Twilight is just filled with NOTHING.

I'm a fan of good story lines. I also really wanted Twilight to be a good book. I was very disappointed.

FO - Grumpasaurus

I mentioned that I finished a Grumpasaurus. Here he is in all his cuteness.

I'm also knitting a Super-sized Captain Underpants. I'll post the modified pattern once I have all the details worked out. Here's a progress photo.

Here's where I am on the crocheted Mermaid. I was waiting on getting some peach colored Berroco Comfort. That and I also got some Comfort Chunky for the hair.

I also finished a pair of CSM socks for my mom. I'll post a photo later.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Brewing Beer

I have brewing beer down. Granted, I still use kits, but it makes it easy and somewhat quick. Right now we have over 100 bottles waiting the requisite 6 weeks from brew date. We've found that's how long you need to let the beer age so the funky yeasty taste is gone.

In the mean time, I just bottled 49 bottles today of an American Bock. It's REALLY dark. I get nervous when the beer is that dark.

I moved a Continental Light from the primary fermentor to a secondary and brewed a new batch of Amber.

I like making home brew beer. It does spoil me when I drink the mainstream stuff. Two home brews is enough to get a quick buzz. They definitely have a little more of a kick.

I have been somewhat lucky. We've only had one batch that didn't work out and that was because I forgot to add a packet to one of the batches - I think it was to lower the pH of the wort. We've been adding them to chili and various other things that taste nice with beer. As soon as my oven is fixed, I'll have to whip up some beer bread.

Oh yeah. My oven burn element arced on Friday night and burned all the way through. We took the screws off, and found that one of the electrical leads burned up all the way into the oven - which means that we can't fix it ourselves. At least the stove top still works.

I also made a Grumpasaurus this weekend. J was impressed. I made it for him since it's the second thing he has asked me to knit. M immediately confiscated it for herself. It was a lot smaller than I thought it was.

I also cast on for a super-sized Captain Underpants. I sold the State Fair one in a church auction. In order to do that, I promised M I'd make her a large one. This is my attempt to make one a little more detailed. I'd like to make a Krupp outfit for this one.

I also have been working on a crochet mermaid. I just needed some peach Comfort in order to finish her. I got some on Saturday when I went to Yarns Ewenique - everything is 40% off as they're going out of business. Too bad. It was a cute shop and I could tell the ladies there were really nice.

The reason why I'm doing the crochet mermaid is because they have a great tutorial on how to do doll hair. I've been wanting to make a Franny K. Stein but couldn't figure out how to do the hair. Perhaps doing this pattern will help me figure it out.

I hate Twilight

I really do. I read the book sometime last year - and hated it.

I just bought into the hype of the movie and finally watched it.

I hated it. I reminded me of why I hated the book so much.

I like to read vampire novels. This vampire novel, however, was deadly dull and *filled* with sexual frustration.

The movie just kept going on. . . and on. . . and on. J reminded me of when the boys of MST3K watched the movie The Killer Shrews. The boys were playing "The Killer Shrews" game. All the pieces were glued down because NOTHING HAPPENS while playing the game - just like the movie.

Twilight is the modern day Killer Shrews.

Don't waste your time. Really.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Post #700

J was sweet today and made a new banner for this blog.

Since this is post #700, I thought it was time to overhaul CivilBitch's look to match.

For the record, I wouldn't be caught knitting any of those tacky sweaters.