Monday, December 29, 2008


This may be the cutest knitting pattern I have ever seen: Snails and Slugs

I found it via Ravelry - I requested & received an invite to the knit/crochet community ages ago, but chickened out of actually logging into the site. I was worried a) that it would be a huge time-suck (it is) and more importantly b) that I would be completely intimidated. Let's face it, I may have been knitting for a long time, but I do it very casually and I'm neither fast nor a maker of complicated items.

However, some people I know recently joined and started playing around, and I figured I might still be intimidated, but at least I wouldn't be lonely.

It turns out to be very interesting, and there's lots to do and see. The temptation to sort through my stash and catalog every. single. yarn. to the site... is kind of strong. So far, I am resisting.

(Oh, and for those curious, I found my camera cable. Yay!)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas knitting: not quite complete

I found out right before Christmas that my cousins are coming to visit tomorrow. The thought of going out to buy them something filled me with dread. So instead... I'm attempting to whip out 2 pairs of child-sized armwarmers (adapted from Knitty's Voodoo pattern) by tomorrow afternoon. Some knitters could do this in their sleep, I realize... but I have never been particularly speedy.

The good news is, I managed to whip out one last night, and the second is in progress... I'm double stranding some purple fuzzy acrylic/wool (Sirdar Salsa DK) from my stash (probably purchased 6+ years ago, finally seeing the light!) with some shiny bouclé novelty yarn from Abby.

I took some pictures to go with this, but lent my camera cable to my brother in law over the holiday and now can't find it. In fairness, I remember he did try to give it back to me, but I was in the middle of something and said, "Don't give this to me now, or I will lose it." And then I never saw it again. Sometimes it hurts to be right.

Update: apparently I then changed my mind and took it anyway. So it could be ANYWHERE. Except in the drawer where I usually keep it. I've already checked there. Boo.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


So I didn't go to the library as scheduled this morning because there was supposed to be snow on highway 17 and snow showers in the morning in Santa Cruz, and we people from California just don't rock like that. I rescheduled for tomorrow, when it is supposed to be a low of 34 (rather than 29). If you've ever driven on highway 17, you know that the nastiness of the road is only surpassed by the idiocy of the people who drive it, and I really didn't want to add ice to that equation.

But I was all up and showered and everything, so I went out to run my errands. This turned out to be far more difficult than expected. The stamp machine at the Saratoga post office is now no longer in service. If you want to get stamps, they recommend going to Campbell or Los Gatos, according to the sign. I thought about standing in the line to get stamps, but that was clearly going to take ages, and I had other things to do. I decided I could run my other errands in Los Gatos, most likely, so I went there. After finally finding the post office (I started at the wrong end of Santa Cruz Ave, it seems), I park a billion miles away, trudge through the rain - pity I didn't bring my jacket - and get to the post office. It does, in fact, have two postage vending machines. Neither of them have seasonal stamps in them. I look at the line - every bit as long in as the one in Saratoga. I decide the green ink I've used to address the envelopes is festivity enough, and buy some liberty bell stamps. Not exactly "silver bells" but slightly more seasonal than the flag, right? And dump my mail into the slot. I've just missed the 10am mail time. Oh well.

Now I am ravenous, so I go in to Los Gatos Coffee Roasting Co. to grab a mediocre bagel and some coffee, only to find there is nowhere to sit. I stand at the condiment counter for a while until an older gentleman takes pity on me and invites me to share his table. I review my internship notes as I don't have any other reading material, the newspapers all being read by other customers.

Then I go to run my other errand, and since it's Christmas related I won't say that much about it, other than the fact that there was a sample out of the item I wanted, but none of the right boxes behind it. After trying 20 minutes to get the attention of a sales person, I left. The thought of driving out to find another store was too mch for me, so I gave up and came home.

I was feeling pretty disgruntled by now. But then, as I was driving up the street, I saw this:
I know, it's a bit glare-y and blurry, but that, in the center hill there, is snow. In Saratoga. Snow! By afternoon it will most likely be gone - it's warmed up quite a bit in the last 2 hours. But this is only the second snow in our area IN MY LIFE, and I cannot help but be happy about it. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Holiday linkage

Yarn Harlot spends some time musing on knitting gifts.

This is the cutest thing I've seen in quite some time: balaclavas for your keys.

A Christmas pinata is the best idea evar.

(some of these links via Not Martha)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Tea Time

Did some Xmas shopping at the Republic of Tea, and rounded out the order with a few refill packages for myself. I feel oddly proud that I found the original tins for all three teas (Cranberry Blood Orange, Apricot Decaf, Cardamon Cinnamon), so I don't even have to do any creative labeling.

Making myself a nice cup of CC (caffeine free) right now. I haven't had any in the house for ages.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I love Etsy

Flitting about on Etsy, doing some shopping and putting together a little "here are some things I like" list (on request). Nothing like a little armchair windowshopping, right?

I just wanted to point out how gorgeous Rachael Sudlow's rings are. Pretty much I want all of the ones that don't involve a large stone. They're on the expensive side, but for good reason - just gorgeous.

I've done a bit of Esty shopping for stockings and whatnot this year. I like supporting independent craftspeople, and there are a lot of beautiful, creative objects for sale. I wish I could afford to spend more money there - but it at least has to wait until I become gainfully employed.

I suppose I should get back to work doing my own Christmas crafting.


The headache can't be that bad if you went into the bathroom for aspirin and then forgot why you were there.

Or maybe I'm just completely befuddled because I just TURNED IN MY LAST PAPER EVER.

That's right - there is not a single thing left for me to do. I have just finished grad school.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


I am sitting here, blessed with wireless internet and a fire in the fireplace, sitting with my folks. Everyone's reading, except the cats*, who are lounging about and looking like they wish we'd do something more interesting. It is peaceful.

Part of me says I'm mostly thankful this year is over. But honestly, a lot of good things happened. I'll be turning in my last assignment of grad school next week. (Assuming all is well - I haven't received an official letter from the school yet, but as far as I know everything is in order for me to graduate.) My sister got married to a nice guy who she loves, and did her own graduating. I spent some quality time getting to know my neighbors, and they turned out to be great people.

I'm thankful to have my family and friends, my Bucket, my pets, my health. Occasionally my sanity. I have hope that next year will be better - for me, for my family, for our country.

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all.

* Note that these are my Mom's cats, who are much less rambunctious than mine. If they were here, my cats would be crawling on everyone and wreaking havoc. Instead, they are sulking in the catbed while lying on top of one another, wishing I was there to entertain them. At least, I suspect that's how they're spending the evening.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Holidays are Looming

Laurie writes:

Can you believe it's just a week-and-a-day until Thanksgiving? If only holidays were meant to be spend under a blanket watching Spencer Tracy movies and knitting and drinking warm tea spiked with calvados while the cat sleeps on your feet.

To which my initial response was... aren't they? Because that sounds pretty awesome to me. Okay, I'm more likely to drink coffee spiked with whiskey and cream or a glass of red wine. And I tend to put my blanket under the Xmas tree. But still.

I am looking forward to the holidays as only a student who has submitted her final project can do. Now if I can only get that pesky last paper written (for my internship) I will be finished! And desperately thinking about the holidays rather than job finding. Ahem.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ancient Injury

Still working on classifying newspaper articles at Santa Cruz... I'm looking at The Mountain Echo, published in Boulder Creek in the late 18 and early 19 hundreds. Browsing through these aged papers - this one was obscure enough not to have been converted to microfiche - is quite an experience. I find myself wondering about the people who produced them, and how many hands before mine have carefully turned the pages.

I'm not sure if it says something about the work, humanity, or just me, but as I'm moving through the articles, I've ended up inadvertantly following the story of one Mr. Dool, who had an illness which required his being sent to San Jose for treatment. After a September 1904 entry indicating his return home and improved health, I felt a pang of genuine surprise and concern when his name came up the following month next to the word "operation."

Mr. Dool has most likely been dead for some time now; but somehow I find myself concerned for his health. We humans are funny folks.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Modern Compensations

I'm enjoying my almost-freedom by having a knitting/Jane Austen orgy. It has had two pleasant side effects: 1) this scarf is almost a foot long now, and 2) I'm feeling a sudden thankfulness.

To wit - thank goodness I can decide what I want to do with my own life and earn my own living without waiting on any man's pleasure and/or relying on my relatives not to be idiots. Huzzah for the modern era!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Archives? What archives?

Bush E-mail Records Could Be Lost to History
from the Lost in Translation blog of the National Journal

This makes me so angry. We KNEW this was happening, now seems a little late (but better than never, if only in terms of precedent for the future) to be suing people about it.

Here's a little gem from the article:
There's a couple of issues relating specifically to Vice President Cheney and the office of the vice president. It's our understanding that the vice president's office came up with stamps that said "treat record as classified." Or as "secured compartmentalized information." Now, classification is not sort of just a generic term, it's actually a term of art that refers to classification according to the standards that have been established by the president in an executive order. The executive order is 12958. Things that do not meet the standards of the executive order should not be labeled as classified. So it was improper to label some of those things, at least, as classified. And the problem is that once you label it as classified, it makes it far more unlikely it's ever going to be released, because it's going to require significant additional significant review to determine if it's really classified or not....

Now we'll just have to wait and see if Obama's administration does better...

The first thing is, we would like the new president to state up front and clearly that he is committed to preserving the historical record, the documents, presidential decision-making. That's something that we feel like the Bush administration has not wanted to do.

It seems like the sort of thing we could count on him for, but after all this mess, I am feeling far from certain.

Don't Friend Me, says David Lee King

Recently I was happy to have found David Lee King's blog about libraries and web technology. There are a lot of good conversations going on over there - most recently about Twitter and libraries friending patterns, plus a follow up where I perhaps waxed too rhapsodic in the comments.

He talks about libraries just friending other libraries rather than reaching out to their community. I added to that my experience of being friended by lots of libraries and librarians spread all over the country. Perhaps it's a unique scenario, since I use Twitter purely as a means of staying in touch with friends, but I did put that I was a library school student in my profile. And for a while, I was accepting all the friend requests that I recieved from librarians, so long as we seemed to have something in common in addition to that (usually knitting).

But eventually I let almost all of them go - they weren't twittering about things that interested me, and I had a really hard time imagining they were interested in the fact that my cats can be annoying, or that I love my crockpot. As far as library institutions go... if I don't have some sort of connection to them, I'm not sure why I would want to follow them. Besides, many of them don't pass the following/follower ratio rule (if there are a large number of people who you follow who don't follow you in return, I am probably not interested, either). I do follow places that I have some connection with - SF BART, for example. If the library in my neighborhood had a Twitter feed, I would follow it. But just because someone, somewhere has some connection to library science is not enough for me. Not for the way I choose to use the tool.

Which is not to say I don't wish my fellow library-related people and institutions well. I do. I just don't necessarily want to read about all of them every day. Life is too short, and time too precious.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

November Stress

Between the elections today and my project for school plus the usual suspect triggers... I have been smitten with a migraine. But my ballot is safely cast. So that's good.

Now I'm going to bed.

Friday, October 31, 2008


Ghost pumpkin says, "Grrrrrr!"

I managed a slight variation on my normal pumpkin face. This is harder for me than you think - usually I expect it's going to look different, but they all end up looking like this. Mostly he's just less happy than the usual pumpkin. But it's a white one, and ghosts aren't exactly known for being happy.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pumpkin Soup Experiment

I am conducting a rash culinary experiment. Partly because I am lazy, partly because I love my crock pot, and partly because I found no recipes that appealed to me or reflected the contents of my cupboard. I wanted a non-dairy soup that could be made in the aforementioned crock pot and would give me an opportunity to exercise my stick blender. (Note to self: perhaps checking to make sure the stick blender isn't in storage is something I should have done before starting this process.)

I should first mention that I am living in a cottage with no real kitchen. I have an electric skillet, an electric teakettle, a microwave, and a crock pot, and with these I make do. I will save my raptures about the teakettle for another time, as it will not be used for this project. Neither will the microwave.

I roasted the pumpkin the other night and failed to eat it, partly because I didn't start the process until I was very hungry and therefore ended up eating dinner before the squash was finished. Also a factor was the sad reality that the edges were close to burning before the lower sides felt quite as done as I wanted them. If I get to roasting the other half, I shall cut it into quarters and try that.

1/2 pumpkin, roasted
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 carrots, cut into large chunks
half a box of organic chicken broth
some amount of ground ginger, yet to be determined*
pepper & salt if needed, but I suspect the broth will cover my salting needs

Scoop out pumpkin flesh, or peel off skin, getting hands kind of squishy in the process, and put flesh into the crock pot. Sauté onion and carrots in olive oil until slightly brown around the edges. Dump into crock pot. Deglaze the skillet with the chicken stock (never let it be said I have learned nothing from dating E) and dump into crock pot. Put on the lid, and turn on high.

That's as far as I am for the moment - I suspect 4 hours will be about the right amount of time for the veggies to become blendable and the flavors to meld.


I ended up turning the heat down to low after about 3 hours, since I had stuff to do this afternoon which I'd forgotten about. Three hours after that, and I checked to find things well and truly ready to blend. Since the stick blender appears to be in storage, I used a regular blender. (Why the stickblender that I use is in storage while the crappy standard blender isn't, I can't really explain.) The good news is, this was a very small quantity of soup and fit in all at one go, and it was quick to blend up.

Then I added ginger and pepper - how much I can't say, as I seem to have misplaced my measuring spoons. And it turned out great! It was a bit bland before seasoning, so I overdid the pepper a bit. The ginger added a lot to the party and kicked bland to the curb.

Now, I am eating a tasty, seasonal, and pretty darn healthy dinner!

* I like the flavor of ginger and therefore people tend to give me ginger things as presents. I currently posses more powdered ginger than I am likely to use in the rest of my natural life.

Love More

Kevin made a lovely post last night about his heroes, starting off the Jim Henson, and the song "It's in Every One of Us".

There's a recording of that song on the Muppet Christmas Album, from one of the Muppet/John Denver Christmas specials. We have the record, which we bootlegged into a tape before letting go of the record player. I tear up Every Single Time I hear it. But it's a good thing.

I only see Kevin a couple times a year, less now that he's not working at AOL anymore, but I honestly think he isn't as far from honoring the ideals of his heroes as he thinks. Which is not to say he should stop striving to be better - we all should. That's how the world becomes a better place. It was a good reminder.

Also, if I had any stamps in the house, I'd be mailing off for a "Love More. Fear Less." bumper sticker RIGHT NOW. Must remedy that.

(This blog post blatantly ripped from the comment I left on Kevin's site.)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Ressurection of a UFO

October seems like a good time for the resurrection of the dead, that is to say, a UFO (UnFinished Object), right? I was packing up to head to San Francisco, thinking about how the weather has turned all autumnal in the last few days, and wondering what I should take to wear that was dressy but still warm. While hunting for my belt, I came across this unfinished scarf hanging in my closet.

I started this waaaaay back when I learned to knit (the second time, 5 years or so ago). I went to a fancy yarn store for the first time and was overwhelmed by the variety of yarns that were available... having only been to craft stores with Red Heart and Lion Brand, the variety and luxuriousness of the fibers overwhelmed me. I immediately conceived of a scarf made of a variety of different textures, all in the same color, and bought a handful of different yarns. I set to work, and created what you see there. The variety of textures are indeed striking - it manages to be soft and flashy at the same time. However. I had not yet learned the glory of swatching, and in my haste to get started, I simply threw some stiches on and went at it. It ended up a tiny thing, both skinny (the chenille had way less yardage than anything else) and short.

I've been unable to bring myself to do anything with this - the yarns are all cut, so pulling it out to start over wouldn't put me much ahead (though admittedly, my technique has improved quite a bit). Weaving in the ends - many, many ends - seemed to be admitting that it was finished, and unable to be improved.

Today, as I was looking at it, I realized what it really needed was tassels. I have long been anti-tassel, some think strangely so. But. In this case, it would flesh out the length of the scarf and make it wearable, at least for a short person like me. Digging through my stash, I found that most of the yarn that went into making this scarf was used up (in the case of the chenille) or had long since been appropriated to other projects. But I have a secret stash of spare ends, where I keep the leftover balls that are too small to make even wristwarmers with, but large enough to maybe be incorporated into some sort of stash busting project some day. Or... for an occasion like this. I dug through it looking for red.

Ah ha! I found one yarn from the original project (the burgundy ball pictured above) and two others that had different textures, which would blend in with the yarns from the original project. I would make tassels out of these yarns, and as I knotted them on, incorporate the dangling ends from the original project, thus not only saving myself the trouble of weaving them in, but blending the tassel yarn with the yarn from the original project. I apologize for the bad photo quality (laziness dictated the use of my webcam instead of a real camera), but you can somewhat see that the density of fiber hanging from the end makes the difference between "unfinished" and "I did this on purpose."

And here is the finished project. Now you can see both how short it was, and that the tassel solves that problem and makes it look more finished. If you saw it in person, you'd see how the varied texture of the original scarf made subbing in new yarns an acceptable solution, and that the dangling ends help bridge everything together.

I'm quite happy with the way this turned out. It didn't even cost me anything, other than the original sunk cost of the yarn, from 5 years ago. The other yarn I used was waste yarn from other projects. And now, I have a dressy yet warm scarf to wear this winter. I think it will be perfect for the holiday season.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


It's like housekeeping, only online. I've taken down some of the linkage and whatnot in the sidebar, and added a Flying Spaghetti Monster banner (motivated by this story, because seriously, how awesome is that? hat tip to Ari) and a master map of all my tags. It's an enormous list, which meant that then I had to go back and re-sort things to remove a lot of the one-offs. I didn't start with a plan, I just kind of made them up as I went, and you could tell. All the onesies should be gone now except for Music and Theater, and I'm keeping those because I want more music and theater in my life. If I succeed in that, I'll have more posts under those categories.

(Oh and Creepie Crawlies is still there because I love it as a tag name. So, uh, yeah. Maybe I'll post about that salamander E and I found a while back. It belongs under CC for sure. )

Yes, I AM supposed to be writing a paper. Why do you ask?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Escape Opportunist

Loki got out this week - I apparently neglected to make sure the back door was completely latched. One assumes he had a merry old time, because ever since he has been INSUFFERABLE. He goes from door to door, meowing, and scratching at them all to make sure he can't pry them open. It might be funny if I weren't trying to work on my portfolio and feeling irritable.

This cat needs more space than I have in this tiny cottage. He is stir crazy, and he wants me to know it.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Strange Dreams

I had a string of crazy dreams last night, from electric flying sheep with extension cords stashed in the stomach compartment (no one in town knew where they came from) to a toy you could use to chase your vacuum cleaner around (when scared enough it would change from moaning "noooo" to singing a placating little song "bread and honey butter time"). I also dreamed that E cut off his ponytail, without warning anyone, and got a buzz cut.

I don't know where my brain goes when I sleep, but it's a strange place.

In other news, I have an enormous zit at the end of my nose. At 34 years old, shouldn't I have outgrown that sort of thing by now?

Friday, September 5, 2008

Reflecting on the Day

I have to say, this is how I felt most days, in my old job.

I love Garfield Minus Garfield.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Breakfast Adventure

Proof, if I needed it, that the "bar fridge" I'm using is not as good as a regular refrigerator. I poured myself some cereal. I took out the milk, and looked at the date. September 7th, plenty of time. Not even necessary to smell it. I poured... and it came out gloppy. There was much frantic "ew ew ew"ing as I scurried to get the contents of the bowl (and the carton) into the trash.

This is not how one wants to start the morning, and proves quite a contrast to delectable eats of last weekend's Slow Food festival.

Now I'm making toast.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


I am embarrassed to admit that I spent a lot of time writing the post below when I was supposed to be reviewing example portfolios so I can get my first competency paper drafted. It's a pity I had so much to say about a topic that I WASN'T supposed to be covering for the final project.

Also, as you can probably gather from context, school has started. I have 2 papers a week until end of October to write for the portfolio (after that I'll be revising and doing re-writes as necessary). Except this week - I gave myself the first half to find my evidence and only set myself to do one paper. Which, by the way, I'm behind schedule on. Back to work!

Librarians & Rules

Pardon my pontification, if you will, but I have something on my mind. In a conversation about my upcoming internship with my mother yesterday, she made the observation that librarians were "sticklers for rules". I've been thinking about this. It seems unfair, yet it is difficult to argue with this point of view. In the defense of librarians everywhere, here are my thoughts.

When you are talking about "managing information," and "serving your community" you are conversing on very large and nebulous subjects. In order to make progress, you have to narrow your focus to certain specific goals; you can only work towards so many ends at one given time.

First of all, in order to serve a community, you have to define who the members are. In an academic setting, you are supporting students and faculty; in a public library, the residents of the local geographic area. But once you know that, you have to look further - what are their specific needs and how do you serve them? Well, you have to decide what the primary needs are. And in order to meet those needs consistently and measurably, you have to document them. Once you have documented service policies, covering types of materials, service hours, and so on, you have to follow them in order to be sure you are serving your community effectively. Items outside those documented areas are outside the library's purview, until such time as the goals are re-assessed and updated to reflect changes or developments in the community's needs. Rules.

In order to operate on a day-to-day basis, there have to be rules to ensure consistent and non-discriminatory behavior. Librarians have to set up careful guidelines to help prevent personal opinions or bias from affecting their level of service to the community, whether those biases are based on information content or patron identity. The same set of guidelines apply to everyone, all the time, in order to preserve a fair service to everyone. More rules.

When you are managing information, you are restricted by format behavior and preservation needs, by local and national laws, and by the usage requirements of your community. How best to preserve both content and container of your information may be under debate, but once it is determined that preservation is required, some action must be taken. For consistency's sake, guidelines are needed for handling of all the various formats contained in the institution. Local and national laws are external rules that are imposed upon the library and must be upheld. And the requirements of the community, as noted above, have to be laid out and defined. Still more rules.

In short, in order to accomplish anything - to manage the information and serve the community - guidelines have to be established in order to direct activity and measure its progress. And progress measurement is important for any organization who survives on outside funds, and would like to continue to receive those funds.

In some hands, it's true, library rules can become weapons rather than a tools, or excuses to do things they way they've always been done without reassessment. When following rules, it is sometimes easy to forget why they are in place, and simply act upon them out of habit. It is up to the library management to try to avoid these behaviors, and to re-visit established policies and procedures periodically to make sure they are still serving the community and managing the information in the best way possible.

Unfortunately, the public has very little insight into the difficulties of serving so broad and open-ended a mission as "manage information to best serve the community." To those who bump up against the execution of these rules, it may seem that librarians are unnecessary sticklers. But if materials are defaced or not returned, the community cannot use them. If government restrictions are ignored, the library may be held responsible and penalized. If preservation steps are not taken, materials may become unusable over time.

In my experience, the rules of librarians usually have a considered purpose. They may not be convenient to the individual, and the purpose may not always be apparent, but the fact remains that librarians are sticklers for a reason; so that they can fill their mission as completely and fairly as possible.

Monday, August 18, 2008

General Life Update

School starts in just over a week. My internship is lined up, and the school-side orientation has been attended. I should be chatting more with my library (Santa Cruz Public) this week. I've printed out my "core competencies" so that I can start lining up school assignments for evidence this coming week while I'm staying at the beach house of some friends. (The printout is backup in case there is no internet access... not sure what I'll find when I get there.)

Fortunately, I juuuuust started to get restless as summer came to a close. Good timing, self! It means I did a bunch of prep the last 2 weeks that I'm going to be glad about next month.

Life otherwise has had some ups and downs, but nothing too horrible. I got to see some old friends this weekend, and it was nice to be reminded both of how much I like them and their quirky ways, and that it's not a bad thing that I don't hang out in that crowd anymore. Sometimes when I'm worried about the future, it's easy to take a rosy view of my "hippie" period. But really, I wasn't happy a lot of the time when I was living that life. I need to build my own happy medium, since I haven't really found a good local community that matches how I want to live. I need to remember that this is not a bad thing. It just means I have to work a bit harder at it.

So onward and upward, into my last semester of grad school! May I come out on the other side in 2009 an unscathed, graduated, balanced person, ready to look for gainful employment.

Conceptual Knitting Patterns

I love this "conceptual knitting patterns" idea created by Lea Redmond. If I were still commuting via Bart, I would totally make this scarf on my travels. As it is, I'm tempted by the sky scarf - gather appropriately colored yarns, take a look at the day's sky, then knit 2 rows in the closest matching color. Repeat each day until the scarf is complete.

I have some yarns that would work for this already. Hmmm. Not, as I've said, that I need to start any more knitting projects.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


I have start-itis. I have some things I'm supposed to be doing to prep for the start of school (today is the first day I've actually started actually looking forward to that!), but instead, I've become re-obsessed with knitting. And I have been knitting my fingers off.

This is the Branching Out lace scarf I've been talking about... well, my second attempt at it. The first attempt used much more glamorous yarn but I was having a hard time actually seeing the design. So I switched to a plain wool with a consistent width. It's a bit thick for what one thinks of using for "lace" but it isn't far off from one of the pattern options, and it seems to be working. Maybe the design is not quite as clear as I'd like (after so much work and drama and ripping out of rows), but I think blocking will help with that. At any rate, when I hold it up in front of the window, I see the leaves, plain as can be, and that is making me very happy. Even if I can only do 1 or 2 pattern repeats before my brain gets tired and I start making mistakes.

But, of course, knitting lace is something that requires a lot of concentration for me, at least right now. So I've also started something nice and mindless for watching videos or listening to podcasts that I actually care to follow. This is just a one-by-one rib with some gorgeous Manos del Uruguay yarn that I bought last Christmas to make a scarf for myself after I finished knitting all the presents... of course, I was down to the wire on that, and kind of wiped out on knitting scarves in January, plus there was that lion-yellow mohair I got so obsessed with... so it never happened. I'm already really looking forward to wearing this one in the fall, though. I especially love the burgundy and gold varigation in the black yarn. (I've lost the tag for that one, and don't recal the color name, alas.)

There's only one sad aspect of working with this yarn - it came from Knitting Arts, which was the yarn store right around the corner from me. I say was, since they closed their doors this summer. (Even the web domain is up for sale, alas.) I don't know what happened, but I am very sad that they are gone, even if it's better for my budget. This is far from the last Knitting Arts purchased yarn in my stash, however - I bought a ridiculous amount of stuff at the going out of business sale, none of it with any set purpose. So I think those yarns will be popping up in random projects for some time to come.

Sidenote: that article about Manos marks my first ever edit to a public wiki - I've used them inside corporations but have never even registered on a public one before. See what yarn obsession can make you do?

Note 2: from browsing around on Ashley Yarns it looks like the color of the black yarn might be mulled wine - my 2 skeins are much blacker but there's a lot of variation in hand dyed yarns.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

SXSW-school-knitting update

No, I haven't registered for SXSWi yet. Yes, I probably should.

It's so hard to know at this point what I'm going to be doing next March... what with graduating in December and all. (knocks on wood)

Today I've been updating the resume for an internship search, finding actual posts to apply for, and (shock) knitting. I haven't finished either of the projects I blogged in July, but I started something new today. An honest-to-goodness lace pattern called Branching Out.

I'll wait to post a picture until I get a bit farther, just in case posting "starting out" pictures is some sort of curse which causes me not to finish.

Monday, August 4, 2008

iPhone Wallpapers

Okay, iPhone people, Rannie Turingan has posted some gobsmackingly beautiful wallpapers for your iPhone and iPod Touch. They almost make me finally want to go out and get an iPhone. Seriously.

Rannie is a super talented photographer as well as being an all-around nice guy - you should check out the rest of his site as well.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Dewey Debate

Huzzah for the idea of moving away from Dewey, that's what I think, though I know the idea is still hotly contested.

Build the Open Shelves Classification

linked from the comments here at "Do We Dewey?" where there are a range of interesting comments, including one pointing out that Dewey is easier for young children to learn. That may be, but I don't think it's a good enough reason to stay with a system that is completely outmoded in its world view. In the Enlightenment*, Western scholars, including Melville Dewey, thought they knew just about everything there was to know in the world, and created a classification system accordingly. They couldn't have been more wrong - and in current times we need a system that can embrace and fully accommodate world cultures and non-Western/Christian thought; one that provides a framework but leaves some flexibility for the future.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Look Ma, No Twisting!

After wrestling this lovely, soft, fussy yarn into a ball at last, I've started the wristwarmers that I've been planning for ages. And now that I've re-trained myself to do the stitches properly... there's no more twisting of stitches.

You can't really tell easily with this yarn, or from this crappy picture, but trust me. It's working!

Friday, July 25, 2008

DRM funtime

This, THIS is why I still buy my music on CD. Seriously, people.

This week, Yahoo Music e-mailed customers who purchased music from their site and let them know that as of September 30, 2008, Yahoo Music will go dark.

And they will take the DRM key servers down with it.

That means that anyone who legally purchased tunes through Yahoo Music will lose the right to transfer that music to other devices or computers, even though they paid for that right.

Sucks to be you if you choose a service, put down your money, and then something happens to the service.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Moving Forward (in Ripples)

This week, I faced up to the fact that I've been knitting incorrectly. I taught myself to knit out of drawn pictures in a book, so it is perhaps not surprising that I made some misinterpretations; however, I've been figuratively sticking my fingers in my ears and saying "la la la" instead of trying to confirm and fix the problem. The items that I've made in the past are fine; the fabric still looks nice and holds together perfectly well. It's just hard, if not impossible, to progress past the simple knit-and-purl no-pattern rectangular projects that have been my hallmark without standardizing the way I create the stitches to align with the accepted method.

But my ear-fingers days are over now. has been invaluable in helping me track down my mistakes (a little "enter from the wrong side of the loop" here, a little "wrap from the opposite direction" there) with the use of the video library. Actually seeing the stitches being created is so much easier to understand than sketches with arrows.

And so - with corrected stitches, yesterday I took a pattern out of the "101 Ripple Stitches" book that I've had for YEARS, and finally started trying it out. You can see the results above - there's definitely some ripple there! And I'm following a real pattern, complete with "cast on in multiples of" and scary stitch abbreviations.

Having the time and energy to sit down and sort this out is one of the reasons I'm happy to be where I am right now. There are lots of little things like this that have been holding me back because I didn't have the energy to face them. I'm trying to use this time to deal with things that need fixing, so that when life returns to normal, I'm better prepared to meet it.

Monday, July 14, 2008

A Personal Reading History

From the LISNews feed, a link to Art Garfunkle's website, where he has listed every book he has read since 1968. What an interesting idea... while amusing for other people, it would be most useful for one's own perusal, not just for memory lapses but to look at the reading trends in one's own life.

I confess, I broke out a text document to start doing the same... when I remembered that I signed up for GoodReads aaaaaages ago, and never did anything with it, because the prospect of documenting my personal library that way was just too daunting. So I may try to remember to use it going forward. We'll see how the exercise goes.

My first completed book in the system: A Pickpocket's Tale: The Underworld of Nineteenth Century New York.

I have several other books going at present, but I shan't enter them into the system until they're complete:
Shalimar the Clown by Salman Rushdie
A Year in the World by Frances Mayes
Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky

That's actually balanced more towards non-fiction than is usual for me. Anyway, we'll see how this idea pans out. I might have more luck with the text document, if anything. But I'll try GoodReads for now.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Feeds and 'Casts

Today has been new media day - I've subscribed to several podcasts (mostly of the crafting variety) and added feeds for several new blogs (from some of the ladies featured in the 50 Most Influential 'Female' Bloggers article that Christine pointed to via Twitter).

The podcasts I'm listening to while crafting - a great way to multi-task in my current television-and-Netflix-impaired world. The feeds... we'll see how I like the new sites and whether I'll keep them. I like the idea of following more sites, but the LISNews feed is SO busy, it makes it hard to keep up as it is.

I've thought about dropping LISNews, but it's so useful for keeping up with what's going on in the library world - if I could subscribe to a "half-feed" sampling, I totally would. But I can't, so I just have to resign myself to occasionally marking the backlog as read without getting to them. It is painful, but less painful than looking at 50+ unread posts.

Saturday, July 5, 2008


After ages of not taking, much less uploading, any pictures at all... lately I've been snapping like mad and this afternoon I uploaded at least 30 of them. Beer drinking, flower admiring, wine tasting, Getty garden strolling - it is all now represented in my Flickr stream. Go see!

A preview:

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Note to self - George recommended Melody Gardot (site - warning plays music). Very nice smoky jazz style. Remember for later when one has cash to spend on music.

Update to add this fun one from Dinah - Jill Tracy (more music playing), interesting gothy vampy atmospheric stuff.

Keeping It Digital

I just wrote a paper on how government agencies are handling email and the fact that many of them "preserve" emails by selectively printing them. Looks like some have realized that's ass-backwards, though according to J. Timothy Sprehe , they're not going far enough: Keeping It Digital.

I agree that legislators and government agencies in general don't really understand electronic media. This is a really SCARY thing when you think about how dependent we are on it to function - how much of our information is stored there, and how easy it is to lose or tamper with it.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Kindred Spirit

The cashier did not even blink when I came to the register with a beer, a small container of olives from the salad bar, and nothing else. She just smiled and complimented me on the color of my nail polish.

It's awfully pink. The picture doesn't do it justice.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Countdown: 6 days

The wedding is in 6 days! There's still loads to do. But I've gotten a kicky new haircut. Less glam than the last one, but probably more me.

I like it. I'm thinking I may need to get some hair rollers to try to reproduce the volume at home.

Also, it is HOT.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


Cleaning the chaise, I found:
- 1 vacuum bag full of cat hair
- 1 pecan
- various crumbs
- 1 wrapper for Sky Blue Alpaca's organic cotton yarn

Then I covered it with a nice, purple jersey-knit sheet, so that when company is here on the weekend I can just whisk it off to reveal cleanness beneath. Loki is not particularly happy with this turn of events. He sniffed the whole thing very suspiciously before grudgingly curling himself up into a very tiny ball in one corner.

Funny story about that chaise. It is maybe not a good idea to take casual dating partners furniture shopping with you, particularly if you are indecisive or a pleaser-type personality. P made one such mistake, and I certainly never would have TOLD him to buy a chaise lounge - it is, after all, not very masculine, no? - but when he asked me if I LIKED it, well, I wasn't going to LIE about it. He bought the chaise. We dated for a while, then stopped. 6 months later, he called and asked if I wanted first refusal on the chaise - it really was just too big for his living space, and unless you're VERY friendly, only one person at a time can sit on it, making it not so great for entertaining.

Which is how I acquired this very loungy, cat-attractive piece of furniture. Which I never would have bought first hand, because it was too impractical. But used for half the price.... well, okay then.


Side note: I will mention that since my regular internet connection is dead, I am STANDING OUT IN THE YARD stealing my neighbor's wireless to post this. I've been using their connection for weeks, but for the last 2 days, it just won't work from inside my house anymore. Le sigh.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Tweet Cloud

The Tweet Cloud app is pretty fun: here you can see my twitter cloud.

For me personally, it's interesting to see my vocabulary reflected - which words crop up the most often (feeling, paper, gorgeous) tell me interesting things. Paper especially, perhaps, what with the whole digital archive kick I'm on.

Earlier I did a scan without excluding @ words, which showed me that my most frequent replies are to boobolina, kplawver, and esinka. No big surprises there.

I was glad to see that while "crap" was noted, it wasn't in one of the stronger fonts. I feel like I've been using that word a lot lately. But cats and coffee trump it by a long shot.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Library Anime

This is awesome. An anime film about saving libraries from litigation against the freedom of expression.

I should look for a translation of the book it is based on.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Library Linkage

I have been thinking about using this space to collect some of the interesting library/information related articles I come across. I do want to track some of these interesting tidbits, and especially now that I've subscribed to the LISNews feed, I've got more of them than I can mentally organize.

Also, I haven't read them all yet. But I'd like to.

Here are a few to start:

Can Social Bookmarking Improve Web Search?

Architectures for Collaboration:Roles and Expectations for Digital Libraries

Not Dead Yet... I think I'll go for a walk...

Yeah. So um, hi. That whole "if you don't have anything nice to say..." rule makes for a crappy blog. Also, I've gone back to using Twitter as my primary status source, it seems. I am apparently getting better at short-form posting.

Quick update:
- My mobile phone is dead. It was in fact, my only phone, so if you need me, send a tweet or email. I hope to get a new one over the weekend.
- Big mystery project is still only 3/4 done and I haven't worked on it for weeks. I need to drop all other procrastinatory hobbies and get back to it. I'm kind of over this and ready for it to be finished. I still think it's going to be awesome, it's just... sooooo time consuming.
- I managed (after much last-minute scrambling) to submit my intent to graduate or whatever-the-heck-it's-called for December 2008. Why December graduation stuff has to be filed in March (aka 9 months in advance) is beyond me. Scheduling completion of a master's degree should not the temporal equivalent of birthing a baby, IMO.
- There's a big meet-and-greet for the applicants for the Saratoga Cemetery Board happening this Friday at 6pm in the Saratoga Senior Center. If you're a resident of Saratoga or Monte Sereno, or have friends/loved ones/acquaintances/enemies/pets/etc. who are, come on down and talk to the folks! It's only an hour, and we want the community to use this opportunity to give Supervisor Kniss their feedback.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

End of Saturday

Well, the high tech craft panel was a disappointment. They weren't talking about everyday people crafting - it was four women who were working in fashion design using physical elements of technology (circuits, etc.). It turned into one of those "look I did this awesome thing!" panels - no philosophy of craft and how technology might influence it or anything that I would be interested in. Esin and I left about 20 minutes in. It was disappointing.

We skipped the last panel and hung out in the hall with Kristin and Wes, people watching. That was fun. Then Cuban food for dinner, an abortive attempt to find the 16bit party, and a lovely time with Dinah in the Hilton hotel bar.

Now I am tired. In the second Sunday panel, which is about to start.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Saturday @ SXSW

I have 15 minutes to kill before my next panel, so here's a quick rundown of the day. (Maybe I'll edit later to pick up the later bits.)

* Woke up earlier than intended, so lots of time to get ready, have some breakfast, etc. before heading to the convention center around 15 minutes before registration opened. More people had this same idea than did last year, but oddly enough I ended up standing in the line right next to someone I stood in the same line with last year. Small world, isn't it?

* First panel - Findable Rich Media. Can be summed up: don't be stupid, use language that bots can crawl behind all your pretty flash, and make sure the content is the same in Flash and crawl-able mediums.

* 2nd panel - Contextual Web. It was a quick idea of the concepts to consider while designing for the textual web - all correct and good but nothing new or in depth at all. It was really a very high level overview.

* Lunch with Esin/Wes/VJ @ the Hilton. I was low blood sugar girl, so eating was definitely good, and my sandwich was tasty.

* 3rd panel - Taking Your Web Talent to the Gaming Industry. Just thought it might be interesting to see what they had to say - the game industry is, as someone pointed out, one of the most romanticized places to work. Thought it was great that they solicited direction from the audience interests, and amusing when that led to, "If you aren't interested in A, B, or C, why are you here?" The panel was a bit unbalanced - and I found some of it kind of tedious. Ended up playing Chain Factor to amuse myself - O the irony!

* Roamed the halls before the high tech craft panel, and found the room by the girl with the wristwarmers knitting in the hall. Heh. Was interviewed by someone for a radio program about what sort of craft did I do, and how did I think technology could be incorporated into it? She really wanted to talk about incorporating actual physical technology into craft, but I think the strongest connection for me personally is the craft communities that interact via the web.

* 4th panel - High Tech Craft.

--= That's where I am for now! The panel should start in just a few minutes. =--

At SXSW! Knitting!

So I've made it to SXSW - sitting in the conference center with Esin and Wes, franticly working on the laptop cozy. Was hoping to be done by now. Am not. See?

Now must run to panel.

Macbook Pro did not automatically adjust time to new timezone - says it is 7:51am.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


I had a sudden realization, once I got my loads of homework turned in on Sunday evening, that I was leaving town for SXSW in 4 days. Am totally unprepared. Clothes are not clean, I haven't looked at the panel list yet, and I haven't asked my folks to feed my poor kitties, either.

In addition, I'm having the "in my old SXSW pictures I am skinny and cute and now I am old and fat" problem that I've been having for the last year or two. Working in an office in high stress situations with lots of readily available food were not good for me, yo.

But the feeling prompted me to get a haircut, because everyone looks better with a good haircut! And I'm happy with how it turned out. Not that I promise it will look like this in Austin, because one never knows about re-creating the stylist's look. She did allow for my low-maintenance style, though, which I appreciated (i.e. that's all blowdrying skillz, no product).

Monday, February 18, 2008

Half Moon Holiday

Bucket and I managed to take advantage of Presidents' Day to break away from everything for a bit. We headed south to Half Moon Bay, driving around for a bit until we landed at the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company for lunch and some truly outstanding imperial stout. We happened to end up at the bar next to the brewer himself, Alec Moss. We chatted about his beer, Magnolia's Strong Beer Month, and the British Beer Festival (happening in the first week in August), which he highly recommended we check out - budget notwithstanding, it sounds like something worth crossing the pond for.

On the way back out on highway 92, we stopped at the Half Moon Bay Nursery, which is really an incredible spot. We came home with geraniums, lettuce, vegetable seeds, and a flower for my bathroom window.

It was really nice to have an actual mini-vacation day, without worrying about work and school and everything else, especially considering that he's leaving soon for a work trip, and will be gone for a week and a half. And it took less time than our original wine tasting plans, so we could get back here and back to work by late afternoon.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

I love what Kevin wrote in the Ficlets blog today.

I know it may seem easy for me to say that Valentine's Day doesn't have to be all about Hallmark and being in a romantic relationship (though I wouldn't claim chocolate shouldn't enter the picture in some form or another), since, well, I am in one.

But when I was growing up, we celebrated VD at home as a family. Not in a big way, but we made each other cards, and gave one another sugary treats. Love doesn't have to mean just romantic love. We love our families. We love our friends. A day to recognize and celebrate love shouldn't be dismissed based on romantic relationship status.

I love my family. And I love my friends. And I love my Bucket. And I am happy about all those things today. Tell the people you love that you love them! And have some chocolate. Because, hey, any excuse to have some chocolate is a good one.

Monday, February 11, 2008

I am thankful for beer.

I am thinking I really need to start a gratitude journal. I need to find some way to focus on the positive things, and remind myself how good I do have it, since so much of the time I am feeling ground down by all the things that aren't going well.

Today, though, I'm mostly just thankful for beer.

And for my Bucket, who has taken time and energy out of his own drama to be supportive, which is pretty awesome. I would miss mah bucket if someone were to steal him.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Good Things

Woke up feeling groggy and headachey this morning. Thankfully, things have taken a turn for the better! This has been helped along by:
- Getting reading done in a coffee shop while consuming a tasty bagel
- Successful acquisition of flowers and pie for my mom's birthday
- Fabulous improvement of said flower arrangement by adding various plants from the yard - changing grocery store daisies into something pretty awesome (if I do say so myself)
- KFOG's 10 @ 10 featuring the year 1992, a set which included Dada's "I'm Goin' to Dizkneeland" and Right Said Fred's "I'm Too Sexy". 1992 was apparently my year for music.

(And don't think I'm not heading off to the iTunes store to buy a copy of "I'm Too Sexy". Because really, that's the best "getting ready to go out" music EVER.)

Now, I must get back to work.

Lost in Translation

Here's a useful example of how to translate business speak to something we can all understand:
Translation From PR-Speak to English of Selected Portions of Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang’s Company-Wide Memo Regarding the Microsoft Takeover Bid

hat tip to James

(also, holy crap, what is the problem with the formatting here?)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Savage Chickens

Today is the 3rd anniversary of Savage Chickens! Doug is a funny, funny man.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Foiled Knitting Supply Donation

It's kind of tough to find places looking for supplies rather than knitted goods. Giving away my knitted stuff isn't really a problem - but I'd love to de-stash some of the yarn and needles I'm never going to use and give them to someone who would.

Have sent email off to 3 different groups. All the emails bounced.

I've heard of a place in New York that needs them, but surely there's something closer?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I Got There First, G- Dammit

I have another handle that I use sometimes, for non-JessaJune related stuff (computer game sites, mostly). When Gmail first betaed and I had invites to spare, I grabbed myself an account under that name, as well as this one. I don't check the actual mail very often, because I don't use it for any real correspondence - just for account creation and as a spam repository.

Well, the web teeneyboppers are catching up to me. In the last week, I've had THREE attempts of people trying to sign up for things like MySpace with MY EMAIL ADDRESS. (In the case of MySpace, I also saw 2 follow up emails of the aforementioned person trying to then change the email on their account. Which they can't because the confirmations go to ME.)

I was there first, bitches. Add some freakin' numbers or something and leave my email alone.

I do have to say, that is the beauty of the JessaJune handle, and why I will keep it forever. It's clearly me, and for whatever reason, no one else seems to think of it. Yay! Viva la JessaJune!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Top of My Head

Loki is laying on my lap, leg dangling over the edge, as always, purring and kneading the air. It's about the cutest thing ever, especially considering that he was driving me NUTS this morning with pulling things out of the trash.

I've been forcing myself to get ready for the upcoming semester - which is good because it starts next week. I've been thinking about it for the whole of January but not DOING anything. Having a life without much imposed external structure is nice, but damn if I can't get ANYTHING done without more in-your-face deadlines. This self motivation thing is tough.

Especially when there are other things being impressed upon me from other areas. I'm not complaining about it (well, ok, I'm complaining about the whole land use issue, but I think that's reasonable), but when the motivation for everything else I need to do has to come internally I have a hard time prioritizing. It will be easier once things start and I have clear deadlines to work towards.

I'm also way behind in my budget - went on something of a post-holiday spending binge it seems... I think what really happened is that the holiday spending (which I did have a separate budget for) broke my new habit of frugality and I just sort of forgot that I can't just buy things the way I did when I was employed. I mean, I KNOW that but until I sat down and tallied things up I didn't realize how much I was just spending without thinking about it.

I've also been in a panic about the Large Project (tm) - I knew it was going to take a long time, but when a single pattern repeat takes an hour and a half and is only an inch high... getting to 6 feet by a very firm deadline is something of a problem. Particularly as much of my impulse spending was on yarn, and I have several projects I want to work on for myself. With one large exception (photo upcoming, I hope) I am not allowing myself to start them... which makes the knitting, which I am supposed to love, into something of a chore.

None of this is earth shattering, it's just what's in my head. Maybe releasing it into the wild will help me buckle down and get things done. You never know.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

*stabs self*

So I was going to wipe my mother's computer, which is a virus-ridden piece of crap, so slow as to be almost unusable.

I can't get the files off it. Seriously. It refuses to recognize either of my memory sticks ("the location cannot be found"), crashes when trying to upload to internet sources, and I couldn't even get Ad Aware to run without hanging (98 infections found). I've been working on it off and on for days, and today have spent almost 3 hours pounding at it.

At this point, rather than divest more of my time and anguish into the thing, I think we should BUY A NEW ONE. This machine was a piece of crap to begin with - now it's an old, virus-infested, glacially moving piece of crap. With my parents pictures and TurboTax data on it.

Contemplating driving to Fry's right now.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Kristin Loves Me

Look what she gave me for Xmas!

(you may recall I mentioned a certain hankering for this very object a few weeks ago)

Crockpot Deliciousness

I actually just posted this in Crazy Aunt Purl's comments, but I figured I'd pop it up here too. I'm about to have some of this for lunch as we speak, since I made it yesterday. Thank goodness I can run a crockpot and still do other things like heat water and use the computer, on my little 15 amps of power. Woot!

This Beef Chili has no beans - I like beans but not everyone does. It's nice to have options, and this stuff is TASTY. I halve the recipe that I was given, because apparently it was designed for a Crockpot of Enormousness, and I only have a modest little slowcooker. So here's what I do.

2 - 2.5 lbs stew meat
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup beer (I usually do a bit more than that)
1 can chopped chili peppers (hot, mild, whatev)
3 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt

Brown the meat (This step is skippable, but the texture is better if you brown), put in crockpot. Saute onions and bell peppers, put in crockpot. Dump all other ingredients in crockpot. Cook on low 6-8 hours or high 3-4 hours. Makes 6-8 servings.

Eat, and sigh with happiness over how tasty it is.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


While I was sitting here at my desk, I swear, a bobcat walked by. I was kind of glancing out my window over the top of my laptop screen, and I thought, "hey, there's that neighbor cat again... he seems bigger than I remembered... and his tail is not as short as I thought... and omg, he is too big to be a housecat.

By then, he had passed the window, so I went to the front door, which is half glass, and there he was, standing on my doorstep, looking off towards the chicken coop. (Don't worry, that thing is STURDY. Dad builds stuff to last.) So I'm standing on one side of the door, and he's standing on the other, pretending that I do not exist. Seriously, not even an ear flicker. He pondered the birds for a moment, then sauntered off down the lawn towards the front.

My cats didn't bat an eyelash - I'm guessing they've seen him before. I rushed off to Wikipedia to confirm that he was indeed a bobcat. The pictures and description confirm it. He was about the size of a small dog (not a toy-sized one, obviously), not large but clearly not cat-sized either. He seemed to be in good health - well groomed, confident.

It was really exciting and made my day!

New Year Covered in Cat Hair

My new year cleaning project was going really well this morning until I got to unpacking my Christmas presents. Which involved handling Laurie's book. Which accidentally led to my opening it. Which sort of led to me taking a break for "breakfast" and reading half of it.

Back to work!