Monday, December 28, 2009

A Happy Holiday


Bubble IPPD 12/25/09
Originally uploaded by jessajune

I hope you all had a great holiday. I had a lovely Christmas with my family.

However, my holiday has just begun. E and I are on our way to Spain. I am packing as we speak, and we fly out tonight! We've been looking forward to this trip for a while now. Both of us have been to Spain before, but we're hitting some places that neither or only one of us have been before. I'm not one of those people who figure if you've been to a country once, you've seen everything needful and should move on - I prefer to soak in the feeling of a place. I think we'll have a chance to do that on this trip.

So we're off, and we'll be back the 2nd week in January! I'll continue taking photos, but I don't know that I'll post any of them before we return.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Longest Night


Happy Solstice
Originally uploaded by jessajune

Happy winter solstice. I am looking forward to the return of the light and all it symbolizes.

It's been a rough year for a lot of people. Here is hoping that the lengthening days will bring an increase of good fortune with them. In the meantime, I'm looking forward to spending some quiet time with my family before heading off to adventure overseas. Maybe by the time I come back, things will look different, lighter.

In other news, I love my new camera. It's still a point and shoot, fits in your pocket, low fuss machine, but it is a hundred times faster/smarter/better than my old one. I would never have gotten this photo with my last camera.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Winter Weather


Winter? Lemon tree doesn't care.
Originally uploaded by jessajune

The clouds are getting darker as the afternoon goes on. I checked the weather and rain isn't forecast until tomorrow, but apparently we have a freeze warning for tonight.

Don't tell the lemon tree. Took this photo just last week - as you can see, it's actually blossoming.

I'm wondering if I should try to cover the citrus trees. May go find some blankets and do that. Good thing I am under the weather and haven't planted my seedling kale yet.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

December Already!


Bay Wreath 1PPD 12/2/09
Originally uploaded by jessajune

Last year, all December I said I was going to make a wreath, and I never got around to it. Sunday, I did it in less than 15 minutes, while Dad was cutting tiles that I needed to finish up the day's roofing.

We have a few bay laurel trees on the west side of the property; I've always rather liked the spicy scent (and appreciate the fact that they don't throw acorns everywhere like the oaks do). This being California Bay, the smell might be a bit powerful for inside, but it's perfect on my front door. 15 minutes to holiday cheer! I'm glad I built my wreath at last.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving


Happy Thanksgiving
Originally uploaded by jessajune

Spent the holiday first with E's fabulous sister & brother-in-law, then with my grandparents. Dad bbq'd the Thanksgiving turkey, as he does every year. It is always delicious.

However, at the moment I'm not sure I'm ever going to eat again.

All my trip pictures have been uploaded to my Flickr page.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Avoiding the New Moon

I was thinking of letting go of my anti-Twilight stance and going to see New Moon, but then this article brought me back to my senses: Top 20 Unfortunate Lessons Girls Learn from Twilight

It is worth noting that I didn't even GET to the text of the article before re-making my Twilight avoidance vow - watching the RiffTrax video of clips from the film was enough to do it.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

One of those days

Okay, y'all, it is one of those days.

Wake up, shower, dry hair. Review script for tonight's California Legacy performance. Get dressed, realize that I can't find my boots. Put on another pair of boots, realize they look wrong with slacks. Go to car to see if heeled boots are there. They aren't. Go back to house, put on pair of heeled oxfords, realize the comfy stripey socks I put on when my ankles were going to be covered clash horribly. Take off shoes, switch socks, put on shoes again. Gather up script, change of shirt, shawl. Get in car. Drive out of driveway. Realize have forgotten lunch. Pull back into driveway, scurry to house, look down and realize undergarments are visible under sweater. Go inside, take off sweater, put on tank top, put sweater back on. Almost forget soup, but remember before heading down driveway. Get back in car. Drive down through town, in left turn lane when look down and realize am missing my purse. Turn around, go back, get purse. Leave again.

Arrive at office, later than hoped. Walk to building, realize soup is still in car. Keep walking, go to desk, struggle a good 45 seconds to get laptop seated in docking station for booting. Go to kitchen, since coffee obviously needed; coffeepot empty. Sigh and walk back to car to retrieve lunch.

And that's as far as I've gotten today. But I am seriously worried how the rest of it will go, especially the driving to Monterey and performing part. Wish me luck?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Still taking pictures


Maple Flame III 1PPD 11/17/09
Originally uploaded by jessajune

I know I haven't been blogging much, but I've still been taking pictures... if not quite every day, than most days. (There have been a few forgotten camera incident and a dead battery incident, alas. My battery isn't holding a charge like it used to.)

You can see all the latest (including for today!), as always, in the 1PPD Flickr set.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sick & Frustrated

Sick for the 3rd time this month, such that I'm not sure if I'm sick again or still.

But I'm up helping Dad on the roof, because it's been raining and we're getting into rainy season and the roof is covered in tar paper but the tile still isn't up to protect the paper. And Dad's been doing this mostly by himself because I've been away and whatnot, and everyone else has been busy too. And roofing is not a one person job.

But I swear, between the drugs and the stuffed head, I am DUMB today. He's had to explain each task at least 3 times before I could make sense of it, and I just spent over an hour doing a section and it turns out I've been leaving out one tile on each row which pretty much means I have to pull them all out and do them over.

(The tiles overlap like fish scales - not only one side over the next but also they have to fit the right place over the rows above and below. So to remove one tile 7 rows down and 3 tiles in, I have to pull out everything from the top down to that row, plus all the sides. So to fix one tile, I have to pull out around 25 tiles [it would be more, but the piece is on an angle, so there are different #s of tiles in each row.])

This is all complicated by the fact that the tiles are all original and handmade which means 1) they're irreplaceable, so we're trying not to break any as we pull them out and nail them back in and 2) they are not all shaped the same - each one is slightly unique, so while it should be easy to lay them down, they usually don't fit neatly and you have to swap tiles around like puzzle pieces to make them lay in a straight line.

Next time we do the roof - hopefully not for another 20 years - I don't care about aesthetics. We're either using new, uniform, store-bought tiles or skipping the tiles altogether for something much much easier.

And hiring someone to do it.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


Preparing this morning for a performance of "Dash and Daring" with the California Legacy Project * for the California Council for the Promotion of History conference in Monterey.

We're focusing on California's boom and bust cycles. It's a really good script, I think.

The photo at right was taken at China Camp State Park - a place which definitely does its share of promoting California History.


* warning - the site seems to be playing music on load now. This is new. (And not a good idea, IMO. I mean, it's nice music, but people should be free to browse sites wherever they are without fear of disturbing their neighbors.)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Fall in Grafton, IL


View @ Lookout Point 1PPD 10/16/09
Originally uploaded by jessajune

Last week, I went to Grafton, IL to see some friends get married. It rained for the early part of our stay, but by the end the weather was chilly but gorgeous. We don't get too much of the fall colors out here in California - it was a bit early for them in Grafton, but things were quite lovely. I've posted a bunch of pictures to my Flickr.

We spent a lot of time in Pere Marquette State Park, which is small but quite lovely - and the location that this picture was taken.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Rain


Rain 1PPD 10/13/09
Originally uploaded by jessajune

We had our first storm of the season this week! It was exciting. The chimney grate blew off my parents' roof and Dad and I climbed up in the rain and wind to put it back.

That may have been a large part of the excitement.

But I love fall and winter - looking forward to more storms of this sort. But for now I'm glad they've stopped, as I'm getting on a plane tomorrow.

Monday, September 28, 2009

More Pictures


Flame 1PPD 9/23/09
Originally uploaded by jessajune

This one is from my garden. The reason for the strange coloration is the setting sun, which was hitting just the flowers, causing them to glow. (They are usually a bright but otherwise unremarkable red.)

I missed my first 1PPD last week (9/25) - it took me a month, but it did eventually happen. My schedule got shaken up, and it was a really busy day, most of it away from home. I thought about swapping in a picture and calling it 9/25, but decided that wasn't the point of the exercise. I'll do my best to snap something every day, but if I don't make it, I'll just try to pick up where I left off and keep going.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Shadow 1PPD 9/14/09


Shadow 1PPD 9/14/09
Originally uploaded by jessajune

This project really is making me look at things differently - who would have thought I would have fun taking pictures in a parking lot? And yet I snapped photos there 2 days in a row.

As always, feel free to check out the photo set for the whole project.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Opal


Moody Blue
Originally uploaded by jessajune

My parents gave my sister and I each a piece of jewelry to celebrate finishing grad school. Alicia knew pretty much exactly what she wanted, and got hers almost right away. I waffled for a long time... it didn't take me long to decide I wanted an opal, but it took me forever to find a piece that spoke to me. This was made by Artisan Impact, who I found via Etsy (of course). Sometime when I am less caffeinated and excited I will try to take some better close-up shots so you can see the lovely detail. Today, I can only really operate on the level of excitement! blue! sparkle!

It all really happened. I have my degree, and I'll think of that every time I wear this lovely piece.

(Yes, the stone is manufactured. No, I don't care. It is fiery and blue and large and perfect and I have wanted one ever since I was a little girl.)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tomatoes


Ripening Tomatoes 1PPD 9/5/09
Originally uploaded by jessajune

You might imagine from the number of 1PPD photos I've taken of tomatoes that I loved to eat them. But the truth is, while I do have a fondness for sungold cherry tomatoes right off the vine, for the most part, I'd prefer to leave the raw tomatoes - at least until they've been turned into sauce.

The reason I have taken so many pictures of them is that they're gorgeous - full of texture and color. And like many things in the garden, they're ephemeral... in a few weeks, they'll be gone until next year.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Marigold


Marigold
Originally uploaded by jessajune

This weekend it really felt like summer. The weather was even warm enough to touch San Francisco, leading those pale hipsters who were not already gone to Burning Man to don their skimpiest clothing and bare pale skin and tattoos to the world.

Then we climbed up on the roof and pulled off all the tiles. The tiles are the ones that are original to when the house was built in the 1920s and cannot be replaced (modern tiles in the same style are much bigger), so it was slow and careful work to pull them up, breaking as few as possible.

There is nowhere at home quite as warm as on the roof in August. But we got them all taken down successfully, and now we can move forward with repairs to the structure underneath. In a few weeks, we'll put them all back.

The marigold in this post is apropos of nothing... it's not even an 1PPD. I'm just happy that the ones I grew from seed are blooming at last.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

1PPD August 26


U Shaped Cucumber
Originally uploaded by jessajune

From the front garden - an unusually shaped cucumber. I am sure it will be plenty delicious, however.

As I mentioned, I won't be blogging every day's picture... I'm trying to make a manageable-sized commitment that I can stick to. But I'll upload them to Flickr (sometimes multiple days at once), and you can always take a look at my 1PPD Flickr set to see the latest.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Pacific Madrone 1PPD, Aug 23


Pacific Madrone
Originally uploaded by jessajune

We went hiking at Big Basin Redwood State Park today. The woods there are filled with redwood, oak, pine, and madrone. It is where I always went camping as a kid, and this environment is what I think of when I think of camping or the Santa Cruz Mountains.

There are some more pictures of the day over in my Flickr account.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Aug 22 1PPD


Early Girls @ Dirty Girl
Originally uploaded by jessajune

Today's picture is dry farmed Early Girl tomatoes at Dirty Girl produce at the Embarcadero farmer's market in SF.

One thing I think I'm going to find is that carrying my camera around for my "one" picture of the day is going to lead me to take a lot more photographs in general. There are a few other pictures to be found at Flickr.

Friday, August 21, 2009

One Photo Per Day Project


1PPD 8/21/09
Originally uploaded by jessajune

I've been thinking I wanted to improve my photography for a long time without actually doing anything about it, even though we all know the best way to get better at something is to practice. So I've decided I'm going to take at least one photo every day until January 2010. It may be with my camera, or webcam, phone, or heck, even someone else's camera. I will avoid photographing the same object in the same way twice. (Obviously, for things like knitting projects and the garden I will continue to take iterative pictures. But these repeat shots will not count towards my One Photo Per Day.)

I am unlikely to get them all posted to the blog, but I will do my utmost to get every one loaded up onto my Flickr account. In both places, I shall use the tag 1ppd (one photo per day).

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New Look

I've changed around the color scheme here on the blog to match my main site, and added a FriendFeed widget. I've been trying to use FriendFeed a bit more lately, instead of just randomly sending my tweets/pictures/etc. there without thinking about it. It will be interesting to see what the recent Facebook acquisition will do to the tool.

Also, yes, I have other things I am supposed to be doing, and yes, I should stop procrastinating and get back to them.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Return to the Farm


Chicken Eggs
Originally uploaded by jessajune

The garden has been busy while I've been gone. So have the chickens, who started laying just before I left and are now putting out several eggs a day. Yesterday we had 5, which is the record so far (there are 6 chickens altogether).

Since I've been back I've eaten these eggs, Sungold cherry tomatoes, zucchini (oh yes, it is zucchini time), and green beans - all from the garden. I love summer.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Back from Maine!


Plank Bridge
Originally uploaded by jessajune


I am back from Maine! You didn't even know I was gone, did you? You thought this was my usual sort of not-posting-in-the-blog. But no! I had the excuse of being across the country, where it is both foggy and warm at the same time, which is pretty bizarre for we folks who hang out in San Francisco.


It was a great trip. Maine is beautiful. And very wet. They are apparently having an unusually cool/wet summer, which does not at all detract from the beauty, but does make tramping around the countryside sort of an adventure. Fortunately, I overpacked, so I had sufficient dry clothes for regular changing.

I've posted a boringly large set of photos to my Flickr: Maine Trip July 09.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Happy Things

So I've been pretty stressed out lately, for both personal and economic reasons. It's starting to manifest itself physically - kinked neck, soreness, etc. I'm sure it's manifesting in other ways too, that my friends and family can see.

A while back, Kristin linked to something called the Happiness Project, and it has me thinking. I'd like to keep better track of the things in life that I can be happy about. So I'm going to try to start posting regular "Happy Things" entries - the things may be big or small, the point is that I will stop and take a moment to recognize them.

And with that, here is today's list of happy things.

  • The plumber was just here, and not only did he fix my shower, but he was pleasant, discouraged us from having more work done than was necessary, and was careful about not letting the cats out.
  • The fixed shower meant that I could have a cool shower on a hot afternoon, and it felt pretty freakin' fantastic.
  • My Dad planted some beans a few weeks ago, and somehow in the past 2 days without my noticing, tiny bean flowers have turned into almost full-length green beans. Nature is incredible.
And this one gets its own list, because it's huge:
  • I got my diploma in the mail! It is really and truly official - I have a Master's degree in Library and Information Science. The Governator has signed it and everything.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Happy Fourth... err, Fifth of July!

I'm in LA, visitig my boyfriend's family - we're having a great holiday! I hope you are too.


(photo by Greg Borman)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Fire in China Camp

I'm glad we went to China Camp when we did. They just had a big fire over there yesterday. Fortunately no one was hurt. Apparently there has been a lot of Sudden Oak Death in that area, which lead to a lot of dried out trees in addition to the usual dry grass.

The weather has been hot this week and will continue through the weekend, which means fire danger around this area is pretty high. Be careful out there.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Saratoga Cemetery Public Meeting

In case any of my readers are in the Saratoga area - there is a public meeting next Tuesday at Oak Street Elementry School to discuss the future plans for development and expansion of the Madronia Cemetery. I'd encourage, nay entreat, anyone in the service area for the cemetery to go, hear the plans, and give feedback. The cemetery serves the community, but the community needs to participate in the process to make that work.

Details about the meeting can be found the Madronia Cemetery website. (If you can't attend, they have posted a form for comments as well.)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Fishy... I mean, suspicious.

Two guys in what could have been a refrigerated truck just pulled all the way up my driveway. The passenger got out, came to chat me up, not very effectively, and tried sell me some meat or fish, entirely unsuccessfully.

Now, the logo on the shirt did match the logo on the truck, and did involve a steer head. And it's possible they were making a delivery in the neighborhood, as they claimed, and saw me alllll the way back at the end of the driveway, where I was raking, and decided I looked like someone who might buy meat out of a truck, and came expressly to make me a customer.

But it seems pretty fishy to me. And not the kind that comes out of the back of a truck. He was anxious to know if I was a worker or an "owner", and the driver never left the vehicle. It's possible they were casing the house.

I made sure to let him know I wasn't working, and therefore home all the time. And you can bet I'll be watching for that truck around the neighborhood.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Aliens

E and J visit the Monk's Kettle and order hamburgers. Some way into the meal...

E: Can I have a french fry?
J: What happened to YOUR french fries?
E: Aliens. Very dangerous. They came all the way from Mars.
J: [elbows him in the ribs] Fine. You may have a french fry.

Several moments pass.

E: [reaches for fries again]
J: It's not my fault you let aliens steal your french fries!

Friday, June 5, 2009

War for the Oaks

I am waging a war on all the baby oak trees sprouting up all over the yard. I would say I was waging war against the squirrels who likely buried them in the vegetable beds to begin with, but if the acorn has gone so far to sprout a 4" tree, I think it's safe to say the squirrels have long forgotten about them. I suspect squirrels don't have the greatest long-term memory. And certainly we can't blame the squirrels for all of them - quite a few are within tossing distance of the oak trees in the hedge alongside the yard.

Now, I love oak trees more than your average person. There is something about the sight of brown hills with spreading dark green oak that says "home" and "California" to me like nothing else. However, this does not mean I want them taking over the vegetable garden, or sprouting up under the apple trees, and getting in the way of our grand plans for this summer's gardening.

And so I wage war. I was hoping for a sprinkling of rain this week, to soften the ground. I haven't gotten it, so I'm going ahead without. I've pulled up a dozen so far this morning, and there are many many more to go. With the ground hard and dry, it's hard to get up the acorn itself, which means I may be re-fighting today's battle again in a few months. But I shall fight on. Right after I find a pair of gardening gloves, because my hands are starting to hurt.

(with apologies to Emma Bull for the title)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Social Networking Reads

I've come across quite a few interesting articles lately. Here are some of the ones I've enjoyed the most.

Time Spent on Twitter Soars by Over 3,700%, Facebook up 700% from PR 2.0

New Twitter Research: Men Follow Men and Nobody Tweets from Harvard Business' Conversation Starter

China Camp Hike


Grass in the wind
Originally uploaded by jessajune

The Monday of Memorial Day weekend, we went hiking at China Camp. We drove all the way out to the remains of the fishing village at the end of the park, took a quick look, then set out on the trail to find a good picnic spot.

It was a perfectly gorgeous day, and the park is a nice one - only $3 to park all day, and they have picnic facilities for people who don't choose to find a likely spot at the top of a hill, like we did.

SF Bay from the North

The only difficulty in our day was that we didn't really consult a trail map. We just picked a direction and walked in it. It turns out that if you take the trail along the back side of the park, it just runs along the border, and you'll walk 5 miles or so through lovely grass and wooded areas with no forks in the trail. And if you are too stubborn to turn around, like we were, you will walk around the entire China Camp park, because if you leave your car at one and and then walk to the other, you don't have much of a choice but to go back (though by a different route, to keep things interesting). And maybe you will be pretty tired before you are finished with the trek back. Possibly.

Buckeye

That said, it was a great day, and I would highly recommend it as a place to go to escape June Gloom in SF. Just check a trail map before you set out, ok? And don't forget your sunscreen.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend: Sunday


Porter Creek Vineyard
Originally uploaded by jessajune

We had a glorious long weekend. We got out of foggy, cold San Francisco and up into wine country for a day trip. We arrived around noon and grabbed some delicious sandwiches at Oakville Grocery before visiting Porter Creek (pictured above), C. Donatiello, and Nalle wineries (picking up a half wine barrel planter and some old grape vines for use in smoking along the way). The excuse for the trip was to pick up the Porter Creek wine club shipment. Contrary to what you might think from the photographs, we like the place because the wine is delightful, as well as the beautiful setting and the fact that they own a gorgeous Great Pyrenees (unfortunately, he was not out visiting that day). We had an especially good time at Nalle, where we had the senior winemaker all to ourselves for half an hour or so.

I've posted the rest of the day's pictures to my Flickr. More photos and the tale of Monday's longer-than-expected hike at China Camp to follow.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Early Rising

It seems odd to be waking up regularly at 6am when one doesn't have to... and yet, that's what I've been doing all week. I suppose it's the light. It's certainly not the heat, which I was blaming at first - after our crazy weekend heat wave, weather has returned pretty much to normal spring: pleasantly warm during the day, chilly at night.

The temptation is to pull something over my head and go back to sleep, but I've been having such odd dreams it seems wiser to get up and start the day instead. At some point the bed late/rise early thing is going to catch up with me.

Friday, May 15, 2009

PSA: Making Up Emails

Public Service Announcement: When you use a fake email to create an account somewhere, you are running the risk that a) you'll forget your password and won't be able to retrieve it and b) that email exists already and the person who owns it might just try to create an account on the same site.

I just had a curious experience when I went to use an online service that I couldn't recall using before, only to find an account for my email already existed. Thinking maybe I'd signed up and forgotten, I requested a password reset, and then logged in and took a look at the profile. Hmmm, yeah, that isn't me.

Now I have access to someone else's profile, and without deliberate malice, I have changed their password so that they can't get back in to the account. The organization uses the email address as a gateway, and if the original creator tries to re-reset their password... the link will go to my email, and they won't be able to follow up.

So that leaves me wondering what I ought to do now. Change the profile info and proceed? Create a new profile with a different email address (not what I'd choose, I use this specific address for a lot of web services and I prefer to keep them all together)? Post a doofy picture and leave strange messages for this person's in-service contacts? At any rate, take a lesson from this unfortunate person, and if you don't want to be bothered with spam, create a separate email for service accounts and never bother to check it, rather than entering a random address and hoping for the best.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Quinoa

I tried quinoa (also see Wikipedia) for the first time this week - Mom got a vast bag at Costco and when I accidentally ran out of rice, I borrowed a little. (Thanks, Mom!) Quinoa is often referred to as a grain, but is actually a seed, and it is a good vegetarian source of complete protein. According to the World's Healthiest Foods link above, it is good for migraine sufferers due to the high magnesium content, and has a host of other beneficial qualities.

I admit the reason I tried it was largely that the back of the package indicated it could be prepared in a regular rice cooker, and because I had Chinese leftovers and no rice. The results were good - once cooked, the grain has a couscous-like texture, and worked excellently as a sauce-medium, not infringing on the flavor of the rest of the food. I did rinse the seeds before cooking, as recommended on the package to reduce the bitter flavor, and the only bitterness I found was along the bottom of the cooker where some portion of the quinoa had become brown (my cooker goes straight from "cook" to "warm" and I did not retrieve it right away, which may be the cause). For the record, a friend has noted to me that he has skipped the rinsing step without finding a notable difference in flavor. (I suspect this is because packaged quinoa is rinsed or processed before selling.)

Today I finished the remainder on its own, with some olive oil and chili salt. By itself, I found it somewhat less enjoyable, if more healthy, than rice or couscous in the same preparation. I would and most likely will purchase some of my own in the future, but I will most likely reserve it for use as a healthier sauce-vehicle or perhaps cook it with something flavorful, such as curry.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Birthday and Knitting Update

It's been a busy week - I was off having a birthday! It was a lovely time, and I managed to stretch it out for a good long while, enjoying lots of good food, time with friends, and flowers.

In other news, I haven't talked much about my recent knitting. I've finished several things in the last month or so, but the most amusing by far is Kuba's bow tie. When I found the pattern for this on Ravelry, I KNEW my friend must have it. She dresses her cats in costumes anyway, so I relinquish any and all blame that might be associated with me for the making of such an object. I assure you, the look of death on his face at the moment was not directed at ME. (I was only the one holding the camera, as far as he knows.)

My cats are lucky that I value my unscratched skin enough that I shall not be following this up with another set of formalwear for them.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

International Year of Natural Fibers

Did YOU know 2009 was the International Year of Natural Fibers, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations?

Me either.

Hat tip to Green Planet Yarns.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Happy May Day


In a family tradition started by my kindergarden teacher, we greet every May first with strawberries, preferably in the form of strawberry shortcake for breakfast. I don't know where she got the idea; if it was something her family did or if she just wanted an excuse to eat shortcake at 7am. Regardless, it's a fun tradition. I love knowing that out there somewhere, my sister is eating it too.


I paired it with some Earl Grey Lavender tea, out of my French cup that she found for me in her travels. I love this cup, and keep it out on display, save when I take it down to use for special occasions.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The great enemy of clear language

Quote of the day, from The Quotations Page:

The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink.
~ George Orwell, Politics and the English Language, 1946

Love this. It's so true.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Just a Tease

What am I up to this afternoon? Just a little experiment. Which may or may not have anything to do with Murphy-Goode Winery. I've never used my camera to take video before. I think it works pretty well, except that I have NO battery life. Get it in one take, or else, I guess.

What I didn't realize at the time was that the Society Garlic plants I was sitting in DO start to smell like garlic after they've been crushed.

video

No, the video doesn't actually show anything. Yes, I am amused by it for some reason. That is all.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Attractive with Glasses

Attractive with Glasses, hat tip to @timothompson

Some years ago, a friend of mine married an optician. He offered me free eye tests and cheap frames, and frequently tried to convince me to switch to contact lenses.

“You’ll be free of these metal things on your face,” he declared. “Free. Imagine that.”

I imagined it, and I hated it. I love these metal things on my face, I told him. I don’t want to be dependent on tiny bits of plastic pushed against my eyeballs. I don’t want to be forever making sure that I have sufficient stocks of chemical crap for soaking. And I especially don’t want to be pushing plastic bits against my eyeballs after they’ve been soaking in chemicals.

See? I'm not the only one who feels this way! I love my glasses.
I'm keeping them. And I'm certainly not putting pieces of plastic in my eyeballs. Besides, glasses are a great prop. You can look over the tops of them (see photo), or take them off and wave them around, or clean them when you don't know what else to do with yourself and want to look busy. Glasses are great. See?

Saving Water

I like this water catcher sink bin from Hughie, but am certainly not paying $25 plus shipping for a plastic box. The main thing it has over the regular plastic bin I use now is the well-placed handles.

The idea is to catch the "gray water" and re-use it to water plants and so forth. I use my regular plastic bin (which is admittedly awkward to carry) to capture water while waiting for the taps to warm, or that I've rinsed my dishes in, to water the plants. I tend not to use water that might have soap residue on the edibles, but I've got geraniums and ferns that are happy for the drink either way.

Speaking of geraniums, the two that E bought me in Half Moon Bay, which I planted on either side of my front door, are on the move. The purple has busted out all over, while the red is about to start any minute now. It's nice to be greeted with flowers at the front door. They've probably quadrupled in size since being put into the ground.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Cats & Knitting: a universal combination, it seems

There is apparently a book called Kitty Knits. I am torn between thinking it is twee and reinforces bad stereotypes, and, um, wanting it.

Also, I want to make one of these Knitted Kitties. Maybe my cousins would like them for Christmas next year? They're not really cat people. But stuffed toy kitty! So cute.

(Yes, I said Christmas. In April. You have to understand that knitting is a time-consuming hobby and those who give knitted gifts have to plan ahead. And I've been spending online time with some crazy-prepared-and-organized knitters. With schedules for the whole year of what gifts should be knit in what month. So really, thinking about it now is lazy, by some standards.)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Garden & Chicks for Earth Day


Chicks beneath the Apple Tree
Originally uploaded by jessajune

I spent the morning of Earth Day puttering about in the garden - it felt appropriate. We're moving the chicks out to the yard during the daytime, since they're getting too large for the nesting box, but the main coop still contains older ladies who have yet to be retired. It does give me that living on a farm feeling - get up, put out the chickens, put them away again at sunset.

I took a lot of garden pictures too. In fact, this morning I created a set just for the many progress shots I've taken of the patio vegetable garden that E and I planted.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Cowl & California

I wasn't all that happy with the way the cowl turned out, as you could probably tell; however, this morning I was chilly and sore-throated (stupid cold), so I slipped it on. I am happy to say that regardless of appearance it is warm, comfy, and highly functional.

(That's as much as you get to see of sick Jessica. But I am definitely pleased with the knitting. And yes, I'm wearing my Calorimetry as well.)

Otherwise, I've been working on gift knitting and listening to the California Legacy podcast, which I subscribed to as a good member of the project but haven't spent much time listening to (since I hear most of the pieces as they're being recorded). However, this morning I browsed through some segments from 2006, and I am finding that there are some I'd forgotten about that I want to share with E (we were just chatting about Raymond Chandler, and I think we might both enjoy reading F. M. K. Fisher).

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Great Dictator

Just watched The Great Dictator for the first time. It is an interesting film for a variety of reasons, but what is resonating for me at the moment is how in the final speech Chaplin touches on the idea that technology can either turn people into "machines" or bring them together. His specific example is radio, but it struck me how much we wrestle with the same idea today, with the internet. It allows so many wonderful things, and it is so easily turned into a tool to make people lash out rather than reach out.

Not much else to say for myself at the moment. Jury duty is done, but I've caught a nasty cold. It's hard to be reflective through congestion, so perhaps I'll just go back to building the Middle Kingdom.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Springtime Lunch

It is a gorgeous day out there - sunny, warm, breezy. Everything is sprouting or blooming.

And to top it all off, I just had a perfect spring lunch. Salsa-cooked chicken in corn tortillas topped with peppery wild arugula, followed by a Toracco/Tarocco blood orange so juicy I ate it over the sink.

I usually say autumn is my favorite season, but today I am loving spring.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Finished Cowl

I finished the cowl yesterday as I hoped. It is now blocking on the bedroom floor, where it will remain damp for days, because it is not very dry here. But because I'm actually blocking for shape I just have to suck it up and walk around it for a few more days.

This is not a terribly flattering picture of it, but a) it is a knitted tube, what do you expect? and b) it is wet so the colors aren't quite accurate, and c) it will be bunched up when worn around the neck because no person's neck is actually that long, so glamor isn't really the highest priority. Oh, and d) I fixed that little pokey-out bit on the lower left after I took the picture.

Edit to add: updated photo with texture detail, showing the actual color of the yarn when dry. (Much nicer, don't you think?)

Does Pasta Really Need All That Water?

Maybe not, says Harold McGee in the New York Times: How Much Water Does Pasta Really Need?

As someone who is living with a non-kitchen and has been reduced to making pasta in an electric skillet on more than one occasion, I am glad to see someone investigating this matter of blasphemy. I agree that the extra stirring is key. And that short pasta shapes are easier to keep from sticking or tangling.

Via Not Martha.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Mundane Hallucinations

One day, not long ago, I was tidying the kitchen area (calling the area where I cook in this cottage a "kitchen" is generous to the extreme), and I encountered a box grater, of the sort usually used for shredding cheese. "Odd!" I thought to myself, "I did not think I had one of these anymore, and have been grating my cheese on a tiny micro-plane! This may come in handy later."

Today, I would like to grate some cheese. Can I find this mystical box grater? Of course not. Did I imagine having it in the first place? Possibly. Did I spend 15 minutes looking for it anyway? Yes.

In other, more productive news, I am one row away from finishing my first cowl - I am hoping to get it blocking and take some photographs today. Then I have to come up with another project to take with me to jury duty for the next couple of weeks.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Recycled Soda Bottle Box

This is a beautiful, functional example of re-use at work: recycled box by Zitta Schnitt.

In fact, I think I'll add a tag for recycle, to cover both recycle and re-use examples. My mind seems to be bending that way lately, even to the point of subscribing to two different eco-friendly Twitter streams. I guess my use of that tool is evolving somewhat!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Garden Progress Report

New pictures are up of the garden - I actually took these right when I got back from the conference, but it took a while to get them uploaded. Here's a quick preview:


Something is eating the bejezus out of the kale, most likely earwigs. So far I am resisting Dad's offer to put out poison. I'd love for this to be a completely organic process. Besides, kale is pretty robust, and if this keeps them away from the other veggies, it's probably a worthy sacrifice. The peas are going like crazy, we already need to tie up new string. And the lavender bush outside my back door is covered in flowers.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

More SXSW bits

My plan for today is sorting and filing some very very old paperwork while listening to some of the SXSW Interactive podcasts for panels that I missed. Should be a very constructive way to multitask.

Speaking of SXSW, artist Mike Rohde has posted the "sketch notes" he put together at the conference this year - you can find them on his Flickr. I am quite interested in these, because back when I took notes by hand in undergrad, I used to format them in a similar sort of way, bolding important concepts and organizing things in sections or bubbles. Unfortunately, my handwriting was not nearly so attractive or tidy as Mike's, and no one else would have found them legible, much less interesting.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Reflections on SXSW Interactive 2009

I took, no exaggeration, 44 pages of notes from the panels at SXSW Interactive conference in Austin this year. This was in large part due to the high quality and relevance of the sessions I was able to attend. This was one of the best SXSWi for me so far, from a panel perspective. From a social perspective, it's hard for a conference that has grown so much to have the same ease and opportunity for making personal connections as it once did; especially for those like me who are more comfortable in a small group than in a massive crowd. But the opportunities are still there if you made the effort to look for them.

It is the energy I was able to catch from the conference this year that was the very best thing about it. A lot of people there were struggling with the same issues I am - to wit, how to stay motivated and proactive when the economic and regulatory climates seem so dire. However, I came away refreshed, hopeful, invigorated. I have some new projects in the planning stages, some of which you'll see evidence of here on the blog very soon.

Highlights of the conference included several panels dealing with audience management and crowd sourcing, a full day of panels surrounding issues of copyright and fair use, and two extremely helpful panels about changing jobs in the current economy. Overall, I thought the panels were well selected and scheduled; in the past there have been several time slots where I wanted to be in four places at once and others where I was interested in nothing; this year there was only one session slot in which I found myself free, and I used it to visit the trade show floor.

In addition, I saw a number of great folks I usually only see once a year in Austin, and as usual, met some great new people who turn out to live practically in my backyard. SXSW Interactive 2009 was a great conference for me, and I feel lucky to have been able to attend.

And if anyone has insomnia or a vast amount of time on their hands, I'd be happy to share my panel notes. Just shoot me an email.

Monday, March 16, 2009

As Seen On Twitter

JessaJune: Staggering into CC, unshowered, pocketful of almonds as breakfast, Pass forgotten (luckily in bag). Glad out late enough for @jmcnally #sxsw

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Blogging/Conference Update

No blogging of conference content has happened because the Marriott Courtyard didn't quite anticipate that having a crowd in for an internet conference just might mean a lot of their guests would intend to spend time, well, on the internet. So their system has been fubar'd since our arrival. The only internet I have is in the conference center itself - and then I'm usually in a panel. I'm taking good notes, and I'll post some impressions sometime soon, but it's possible that won't happen until I return!

Best panels so far:
Collaborative Filters: Evolution of Recommendation Engines
and
Kicking Ass with Controlled Metadata

Saturday, March 14, 2009

SXSWi - this year's org issue

Discovered this year's new organizational problem (hey, at least it's a new mistake) - the print program has a small schedule with abbreviated panel names to show times, and then a full alphabetical listing of panels by name with the details. This is slightly annoying in itself, but the real problem is that the abbreviations of panel names don't necessarily start with the beginning of the full panel name. For example, "Civic Technologies and the Future of the Internet" appears on the timing table as "Future of the Internet." There is no logical way to get from the schedule table back to the panel names.

For anyone who wasn't obsessive like me and do all the research ahead of time, it's impossible to know what to go to, and even for me finding the panels I'm specifically looking for is problematic.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Gearing up for Austin

It's almost that time... I'm packing and planning for my trip to Austin today. I'm not leaving until Friday morning, but I'll be working at the Santa Cruz library tomorrow, and then heading from there straight to SF to hang out with my guy for the last time before heading southeast to the hometown of SXSW.

I am looking forward to some great discussions, lots of fabulous food, and seeing all those fun folks I generally only catch once a year at this conference. I am not looking forward to the weather - last week, the forecast called for mid-to-low 80s... this week, it claims a high of 45 on the day of my arrival. What happened? Now I have NO IDEA what to pack.

Nonetheless, I have to get started. I guess it's a "pack for every contingency" kind of trip. Good thing I have a nice new suitcase.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

E-I-E-I-O


Yesterday morning, Dad picked up some baby chicks and we set up the nesting box for them. I'm not a huge fan of birds-as-pets for whatever reason, but there is something undeniably cute about these little balls of fluff. Plus, keeping chickens is relatively easy for big rewards, if you're a fan of eggs, and you can do it in suburbia so long as you don't keep roosters.

They're about 4 days old now, and they'll grow really fast. By mid-April, they should be ready to go into the coop.

It was in general a pretty farm-like day. Once the chicks were settled, Dad and I tied up the peas (harder than it sounds, mostly because of the amount of squatting and stooping required), prepped a new plant bed, and transplanted some vegetables from their pots in the greenhouse: collards, beets, swiss chard, and some volunteer carrots. (Volunteer meaning Dad doesn't know where the seeds came from - they were just kind of growing there.) E will be happy to know I also planted that sprouted garlic that he's been wondering about.

And after that, I trimmed back the grape vines - a bit late in the season for it, but they hadn't started sprouting yet, so hopefully no harm done. And when I say I trimmed them, I mean, after gently sounding Dad out about it - he's more of a "let the plants do what they want" than a "manicured garden" kind of guy - I pretty much hacked them back to the main trunks. (He'd said I should do whatever I wanted! Honest.) So it will be interesting to see what that does for fruit production - if the grapes spend too much energy maintaining canes they don't do as much in the fruit department. Last year there wasn't much and the birds got most of it. This year, we'll see.

It was a beautiful day - cool, but quite warm enough while working in the sun that I left my sweater behind. It was really nice to be outside after all the rain we've been having.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Upcoming: SXSWi

This week I sat down and took a really good look at my calendar for March. For a girl whose time has been pretty unstructured lately, March is FULL.

Perhaps most important is my trek to Austin for South by Southwest Interactive. I've been going to this conference since 2002 - it's changed quite a bit in that time, from an intimate, transplanted-SF feel to a full-sized widely recognized conference for web and software technology professionals. (Note that I am speaking specifically of the Interactive portion of the conference - the Music and Film portions have been widely recognized and attended for much longer than that!)

I spent some time going over the conference schedule today. Below is my tentative game plan. Items in parentheses are alternate panels that I may attend as crowds and whim of the moment dictate. In general, I thought that the scheduling of panels was far more balanced than it's been in years previous - kudos to the planning team!

I'm posting this partly for my own reference, as evidenced by the room numbers next to the panel names. I also intend to be better about blogging my impressions about the various panels than I have been in previous years. We'll see how that goes.

FRIDAY
2pm
User Generated Content: State of the Union
- C
(Core Conversation: the Conference Networking Catalyst - 19B)
3:30
The Ecosystem of News - 12AB
4:30
Book Reading: Career Renegade: How to make a great living doing what you love - Day Stage
5
Screenburn: That Doesn't Suck! (Spore) - C

SATURDAY
10am
Civic Technologies and the Future of the Internet - 9
11:30
Curating the Crowd-Sourced World - C
(Not the Same Old Story - Hilton C)
2pm
?
3:30
Kicking Ass with Controlled Metadata - 8
(Connecting Interrelated Design & Dev Workflows - 10)
5
Collaborative Filters: Evolution of Recommendation Engines - B
(Building a Bridge with Barcodes - the QR Code Invasion - Hilton A)

SUNDAY
10am
Version Control: No more save as... - Hilton B
11:30
Design for the Wisdom of Crowds - A
(EA Dead Space: A Deep Media Case Study - 6)
2pm
CSS3: What's Now, What's New, and What's Not? - 6
3:30
What Do I Do... Economy Collapsed? - 9
(Post Standards: Creating Open Source Specs - Hilton C)
5
How Social Networks Are Killing the Revolution - 8

MONDAY
10am
The Invisible Web and Ubiquitous Computing - 9
(Shift Happens: Moving from Words to Pictures - Hilton C)
11:30
Ultimate Showdown of Content Management System Destiny - Hilton B
(The Future of the DVD and Digital Distribution - 12AB)
(What Can We Learn From Games - A)
2pm
Keynote: Virginia Heffernan / James Powderly Interview - A
3:30
Using the New Digital Social Media to Accelerate Sustainability - 8
(You're Living in Your Own Private Branded Entertainment Experience - 6)
5
"You May Also Be Interested in..." - 9
(Evolving Digital Technologies and Profitable Green Building - 8)
(Girl Gaming Goes Mainstream: Cliches, Reality, and Community - 12AB)

TUESDAY
10am
New Threats to New Media: Fair Use On Trial
- Hilton B
(Rethinking the Digital Prototype - 6)
11:30
Online Content: Transforming Piracy Into Profit
- Hilton B
2pm
Tuesday Keynote: Chris Anderson / Guy Kawasaki Conversation
- A
3:30
Policy Trainwreck: How Copyright Law Failed the Digital Age - Hilton B
5
Are Virtual Worlds a Refuge from the Recession?
- 5C

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

DIY Countertop Compost Crock

A couple of weeks ago, I dropped my Brita water pitcher, the one I've had since college. It was a rather spectacular fall, given that it was full of water at the time I dropped it, and it sprouted an enormous crack which wrapped 2/3 of the way around, and one small hole about the size of an allspice berry.

Well, I'd had that pitcher for a very long time, and I didn't feel too bad about having to replace it, other than annoyance at my clumsiness and the inconvenience. But I couldn't bring myself to throw it away.

Then it came to me. Recently, E and I helped my Dad set up a compost bin in the back yard. For my Mom's birthday, I gave her one of those compost canisters which sit on the counter to hold compost waste until they can be carried out. While my pitcher would never hold water again, it WAS capable of carrying orange peels, onion skins, and coffee grounds - or it was, after a judicious application of duct tape. And while there's no filter in the lid to contain odor, there IS a lid. And after all, the compost bin isn't so far away - it's more a carrying unit than a storage vessel.

I had the chance to test it out yesterday - I was making soup, and it was POURING rain outside. All the carrot ends and other miscellaneous compostable bits went into the pitcher, and stayed there until this morning, when I took advantage of the blue skies to trot across the yard and dump it out. It may not be the most attractive solution, but it cost me nothing and it works great.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Rain, rain

Loving the rain. It's been going for several days straight now, and we haven't been letting it stop us from our business, even if it means getting wet. I just watch the water run down into the storm drains and smile, and hope the local reservoirs and mountains are getting their fill as well.

Not only that, but watching the news last night, I was amused to notice that the station had sent reporters to the mountains on either side of the valley to report on problems, but neither group had anything to report other than precipitation. No landslides, no major accidents. Just water from the sky.

So keep being careful out there, and enjoy the wet! And if you're not the type who enjoys the rain, I've posted some pre-storm spring pictures to my Flickr you might enjoy as you look forward to warmer, drier times.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Jessajune.com

I've launched the redesign of the long-neglected JessaJune.com this morning. Enjoy!

Twitter Advice

From Ari, via Twitter: How to Use Twitter for Marketing and PR

Why yes, I am posting this solely to improve its Google ranking, in the desperate hopes that Marketing and PR firms will see it.

(I am not saying Twitter cannot be used for customer outreach - check out SFBART for a great example of this. But Twitter is more for getting information out and improving the experience of people who are already your customers, not for driving up new business from strangers. I restricted my Twitter feed because I got tired of being followed by people trying to hawk businesses and services, who mistakenly thought that following ME was going to get me to follow THEM and their advertising messages, instead of just showing their ignorance and making me think worse of them. Figure out how the technology works before you start using it - otherwise you're just a spammer. And on Twitter, you're a failed spammer, at that.)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Personal Websites

Hmm, this post from Zeldman is a perfect echo of what I've been thinking, both while redesigning my website (no, it's not finished/visible yet) and musing on the overwhelming number of web channels we possess.

Or perhaps I should say that my thoughts echo what Zeldman was thinking almost a year ago.

I may be late to his particular party, but I'm certainly not the only one. As I've been scouting other people's sites I've been feeling like everyone is still putting their blog front and center. I've chosen not to, and this makes me feel better about it. Almost as if I knew where things were going.

Most of my links will point OUT, to web apps, sites, and projects that I'm involved with. That's the nature of the web these days. My site will only be a collection point. Whether or not I feel comfortable being scattered all over the internet, that's how it IS. And I think it's right for the site to reflect that.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Wool Deliberations

It is time to face it - my Calorimetry, like so many other people's, is too large. This point, sadly, is not under debate or deliberation. What to DO about it, is the question.

I am really happy with the combination of yarn I used (seen at right, with Loki), and the way the final project appeared (below). It's just that... it ended up too wide. Lots of people have had issues with the hugeness of this pattern, so there are revised versions to be found. The question is... do I a) try to felt the existing project to shrink it up some, or b) pull it out and re-knit the whole thing?

Re-knitting is obviously not a very happy sounding solution, but it is the most secure. I am positive that this yarn will felt, so felting IS an option. Except... I don't know exactly how it will affect the dimensions of the final result. And I'm not sure what the process will do to my wooden button, so I should probably pull that off first and re-sew it afterward. Which points out the larger issue - if I felt this, I am likely to lose the built-in button holes. So I will have to sew a loop or something to be able to fasten it. And I am not completely sure that will work.

And all of this has taken on some urgency, because the Calorimetry is WARM and AWESOME and allows me to wear my hear up and keep my ears warm, all at once. And I would like to be wearing it instead of worrying about it.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Too many channels?

In the car last night, I was composing a blog post in my head about the gorgeous sunset and fog-rainbow that I experienced last night driving over the Santa Cruz mountains. The mood was somewhat jarred by the fact that there was a car on FIRE at the summit - not smoke, actual flames.

And when I got home, instead of blogging about it, I updated my Facebook status.

Instead of blogging my concern about California's water situation and the wish for rain, and my disappointment when it fails to come and my happiness that we're finally getting some this week - that all went into my Twitter and Facebook statuses too.

The only thing I've been using the blog for with any real consistency is for my knitting projects. And then I joined Ravelry. I find I'm using my project notes sections on Ravelry like a mini blog! For example, here is part of my project page for my Calorimetry:

(Click for a bigger image.) You'll see that I made some notes when I started the project, and then made dated updates as I knit the pattern. Excerpt follows:

I’ve been meaning to make one of these for a while. Shockingly, I did the full gauge swatch as indicated and am exactly on. I actually would prefer to be a bit under, so I’m going down a needle size...

Jan 16
Done, except for finding a button for a fastener. I actually went down 2 needle sizes, and while the length ended up right, it’s wider than I’d like. I think I’ll leave it, though - it definitely fits, it’s just more hatlike than I’d anticipated. At some point, I’ll probably knit another and eliminate some of the rows for a more headband-ish look.

Jan 19
Buttons purchased & sewn on. The wood matches just the way I thought it would. Pity the weather is so warm, I have no cause to wear this for now…


There is the relevant information, targeted to those specifically interested (any member of Ravelry who is interested in me, the yarn involved, or the pattern can find this page). And it's not on my blog. Because face it, not very many of my friends knit (and those who do, I encourage to join Ravelry!), and therefore are most likely not interested in the minutia of how I created a given project. They might be interested in the pictures, but those can be found on Flickr.

I can't decide if this is a good thing. My blog is starting to feel a bit obsolete. Reserved for only the things not targeted to a specific (knitting) audience or more than 140 characters long, I find I am not often drawn to make entries.

I find myself wondering if engaging in all the various social media outlets, we are spreading ourselves too thin? I certainly feel like my blogging efforts in this incarnation are nothing like what I was creating in 2001. Part of that is maturity, both of personality and internet savvy, but some of it was that blogging was the only way I had to communicate with the internet world. Now I am flooded with options, and it feels like there are too many channels available to do all of them justice.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Happy to be American

Yesterday was a great day - the Inauguration of the 44th President of the United States. Better still, for the first time in some while, the President is someone for whom I actually voted.

I've never watched an Inauguration before. I remember staying up late, glued to the screen of the Student Union tv in 1992, waiting for the final voting tally to come in and confirm the election of soon-to-be President Clinton. But even though I surely had at least some time that January 20th to watch the Inauguration proceedings, the thought didn't occurr to me that it was important to do so.

This time, I wanted to see it happen. I wanted to see Barack Obama sworn in. Maybe I needed that confirmation that it was real.

We had a little party at our house, where we munched bagels in front of the television, and toasted with mimosas the departure of the Bush clan in the official helicopter. It feels like a new era. I hope that we can harness these positive feelings into positive action. I feel, for a change, like it might be possible.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

On Gauge

Casting on for Calorimetry (from Knitty), and did the proper swatching to the deminsions specified - highly unusual. Even more unusual... I appear to be EXACTLY on gauge.

The funny thing about that is that many people have complained that Calorimetry is too large - certainly the 24" finished project would be too big for my 21" head. So I was hoping NOT to be dead on. Guess I'm going to have to go down a needle size, and see what that does.

In other news, Loki finally discovered the narcissus which is just starting to bloom on the kitchen windowsill. So far he has neither eaten it nor knocked it over. Let us pray for his continued restraint.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Why am I doing this with my time?



You Scored as Ravenclaw

From Harry Potter Sorting Hat Quiz at Quiz Farm

(Pity the image doesn't work. Harrumph. Here, I shall yoink the one from sortinghat.com even though their quiz is lame:

Want to Get Sorted?

I'm a Ravenclaw!

Actually I know why I'm doing this - I'm still thinking about knitting myself another HP scarf, this time for Ravenclaw. What? I have a master's degree in Library Science. Can YOU think of anything more Ravenclaw than that?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Happy 2009

A bit after the fact, but this is what we did on new year's day: hike to the top of Twin Peaks!

After that I promptly got sick, and am still sniffling, 9 days later. But otherwise it was a great way to kick off the year.

I'm showing off Eddie's new thermos. Taking tea was a great idea - it was cold and dry. The caffeine was welcome, too.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Cataloging Yarn

It can be held as proof of both my knitterliness and my librarian bent that I am passing the time while I am home sick by entering my yarn stash into Ravelry

I have learned some things: 
1. Yarn store going out of business sales are dangerous as well as sad. And there have been a lot of them recently. 
2. I am a sucker for Alchemy yarns.
2a. I have some crazy expensive yarn in my stash (much of it purchased on sale, I hasten to add) and it is a crime that it is sitting there unseen by anyone but me.
3. My favorite fibers are alpaca, wool, and silk, in approximately that order. 

More observations may be added as I continue.