Monday, June 30, 2008

Hijacked by a Sunset

So I was totally planning to do a Caterpillar Socks finished object post tonight.

Then Mother Nature intervened.

You see, we’ve been hearing rumors that there’s this giant star that heats the earth and occasionally creates something called “sunshine.” But we really haven’t been seeing any of it.

Unless you count the last 45 minutes or so before it goes away for about eight or 10 hours.

The last three nights, we have been overcast and/or had major storms for most of the day. Then in the last hour or so before the sun goes down, there’s this great break in the clouds on the horizon. And we have a sunset.

So here’s the photo mosaic of my best shots from tonight. It was pretty damn spectacular. The links at the end will take you to the photos in my flickr set. Enjoy

1. IMG_4141.jpg, 2. IMG_4115.jpg, 3. IMG_4130.jpg, 4. IMG_4134.jpg, 5. IMG_4131.jpg, 6. IMG_4151.jpg, 7. IMG_4118.jpg, 8. IMG_4121.jpg, 9. IMG_4154.jpg

Sunday, June 29, 2008

So Far, So Good

Sorry I’ve been so quiet. It’s been a good couple of days at the Lake. Of course, I’m currently starting on a wicked headache, so this is gonna be quick so I can go to bed and (hopefully) sleep it off.

I’ve been doing a decent chunk of knitting. Finished the first Summer of Socks pair, so finished object post to come in the next few days. You guys are gonna get SO sick of socks. Sorry!

Since I did that first SOS pair on DPNs, I got to use my really cool Knitting Notions sock keeper that RT got for me back in February.

It’s really great. A perfect tool, actually! I will most certainly use it again.

I’ve been doing a little work and reading about one smut book per day. Typical Lake.

Oh, and I’ve been doing dishcloths too. Don’t know why. Like I said. I had an itch and this is scratching it.

We had a “better than I would have thought” sunset yesterday

We had a big storm around dinnertime and then it cleared more than I would have thought. The above is what we got.

A similar thing happened tonight

Best sunset of the year to this point. Bonus!

Hope everyone had a good weekend. I’m kind of fired up that I have another full week up here before I have to go home.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

House Tour

I know it’s pathetic, but for the first time in the year we’ve lived here, I feel like the house is in the kind of shape that was reasonable for a photo shoot.

I’m not as organized or efficient as SJ who seems to be ready for public exposure of the new abode just minutes after unpacking the last box. Less than a week after moving day. Sorry, that's just not how I roll! :-)

When you walk in to our front door, here’s your tour, walking clockwise around the house

1. Foyer. Quilt on the wall was made by my favorite quilt teacher out in LA. I hate that bench that you see underneath it, but it came with the Hubster and we don’t have anything better to use right now, so I’ll deal with it. Carpet is inherited from the previous owners. I love both the piece on the left, which is directly in front of you when you walk into the house, and the lamp on top of it.

2. Living Room. Big room that we hardly use. I once did a gymnastics routine in this room when we were getting new carpet. My dad recorded it, but that was the roll of film that got eaten by the processor. Once upon a time when you had to send film to be processed/developed. Yeah. I’m old.

3. Dining Room. I really like this dining room set. It’s also inherited from the previous owners. Boxes along the far wall are trash accumulated during the recent major purge that has happened over the last week or so. Hooray!

4. Kitchen. My mom re-did this room in 1996. It’s great, although the Hubster and I agree that we miss the trash compactor we had in Redondo Beach. But that’s the only thing we miss from California that’s not a person :)

5. View of the Knitting Corner in the TV room. I sit by the ott lite. All those cabinets you see are full of YARN. It’s my primary storage area for the yarny bits.

6. Wide view of the TV room. Yes, that’s Frank Burns on the TV. Love that show! :)

And now, the upstairs!

We'll start at the top of the stairs and kind of work from there.

1. My old room. It’s looking pretty empty, but it was plenty big enough for yours truly and my Mountain of Mess. I’m just sad that having this house on the market for a year before the Hubster and I bought it meant that all of my sticker collection had to be removed from my door. That thing was awesome! (queen size bed for scale)

2. Down the hall and to the left, my brother’s old room. Full-size bed. As you can see, we have plenty of room here at Hotel Hughes. Too bad we don’t have any visitors! This room is on the back-right corner of the house if you’re standing on the street looking at the front door. I take no responsibility for the Hog Hat. It belongs to the Hubster.

3. Back the way we came, this is my office! It’s the front-right corner of the house from the street perspective, and is directly above the TV room. However, since that wall you see is window-free, it can be a really dark room. It’s also farthest from the heating/cooling system, so it tends to be the warmest/coolest spot in the house as well as the darkest. Hubster and I hung all of our sports stuff in this room, so it’s a pretty fun place to work.

4. And you’ve seen this room before, it’s the master bedroom.

So that’s about it from here. I’m headed to the lake in … ooh, about eight hours. I’d best finish wrangling all the crapolla for the upcoming 13 days in my version of paradise.

(The reason we’re presentable now, for the first time? MaidPro! Woot!)

Monday, June 23, 2008

More Socks!

Yes, I know that all you guys have been seeing from me are finished socks. And Summer of Socks has just started, so yeah. More socks.

But I am going to take a bunch of sewing stuff up to the Lake when I go either Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. So hopefully you’ll see some fabric interspersed with the knitting over the next two weeks or so.

But meanwhile? Another finished pair of socks!

This is the pair I started in the press box in Oklahoma City so I’d have something to knit that I didn’t have to pay attention to while I was watching softball. And trying desperately to ignore my neighbors. Yeesh.

It’s yet another Cat Bordhi pattern. Actually, it’s my first New Pathways repeat. It’s also my second-ever pair of socks knit with Fleece Artist sock yarn. Unfortunately, while I do love the yarn itself, this skein really kind of pissed me off.

As you can see, the sock on my left foot has really vibrant blues and some purple interspersed with the red. As I got to the top of that first sock, the blues started to wave good-bye to me. I was hopeful they’d pop up again pretty quickly once I got into the second sock. No such luck.

The non-red dyes obviously did not make it into the center of the skein. I would have been much happier with this pair of socks if the blue had been there throughout. Regardless, I will continue to knit Fleece Artist yarns and Cat Bordhi patterns. And I’ll just hope that the dyes are a little more consistent in future skeins.

Pattern: Riverbed Master Pattern by Cat Bordhi from New Pathways for Sock Knitters
Size: US women’s 8.5
Toe: Garter Toe (good grief, do I love this toe! Look for it again soon on a sock near you!),
Bind-Off: EZ's sewn bind-off
Yarn: Fleece Artist Merino
Colorway: Rainbow
Source: The Loopy Ewe
Needles: Addi Turbo 16” circulars, US 1/2.5 mm
Started: 28 May 2008
Finished: 19 June 2008

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Meet Peggy

I’m still chugging along on my first Summer of Socks sock. Updates later. Meanwhile, it’s time for all of you to meet Peggy!

Remember my friend Bill? Well, he decided he was ready to take on another puppy and Peggy came home with him two weeks ago!

She’s been playing with Jackson (he’s the big blur with the blue collar in that photo above) and otherwise being a pup.

I think some of the casualties have involved a flip-flop and a pair of headphones. And here Bill was with Jackson who just stopped chewing stuff fairly recently. :)

Oh, and she likes to wake up EARLY. Like in the 5 o’clock hour early. But they're working on that too.

But so far, so good. Oh, and in case you want to see her in motion, we’ll see if this Blogger video thing really works

Just so you know? If I ever get a dog of my own (doubtful), you’ll wind up with pictures of him/her just about every day. I’m just sayin’. I’m a sucker for the furry cute.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Summer of Socks!

Some of you may have noticed the button over there on my sidebar. I’m participating in the 2008 Summer of Socks knit-a-long along with about 1500+ other knitters!

Of course, this meant that I had no socks on the needles yesterday for the three-hour drive up to the Lake. I worked on the Noro Scarf for much of the drive, although I did sneak in a nap while Dad drove. I met my goal and finished my Softball Socks on Thursday night. FO-to shoot when I return home.

We actually had a sunset last night, although it wasn’t much photo-wise. An almost completely cloudless sky.

I did the silly thing and stayed up until midnight so I could cast on for Summer of Socks right at the starting gun (12:01 am EDT). We had a little online chat room going so all the crazies could commiserate.

I found this on VH1 shortly thereafter and stayed up long enough to knit about half of the 2” cuff before heading to bed.

No, I’ve never seen that movie, although I believe we have a copy at home. I’m hoping I can get a lot of movies watched this summer. So far, so good!

Oh, you want to see a photo of my sock-in-progress and Roaming Tigger’s newest friend?

Yep. I got a Little Loopy! He’s smaller than I would have guessed and he’s awfully damn cute.

Hubster and I watched this while I was knitting away this evening. It was OK. I still want to see the original, though. I have a feeling it’ll be better than this version was.

That’s about it from here. It’s raining tonight and I’m not expecting great weather tomorrow. That’s OK. I’m still at the Lake and that’s what matters. :) Hope you’re having a great weekend!

Friday, June 20, 2008

I Think I'll Keep Him

About a month ago, I had a birthday. We didn’t do anything big, and there wasn’t anything in particular I wanted as a birthday present.

But the Hubster came up with some pretty cool stuff anyway.

After working a good chunk of my birthday at Bloomin’ Yarns, I got home and had presents! before we headed to the ballpark. In addition to a gift certificate for Blooomin’ he also thought outside of the box, as it were, for a pretty cool idea.

It’s my signed program and ticket stub from my trip to Wait Wait ... Don’t Tell Me! Very cool!

He mentioned that he had wanted to do the same thing with a BNL ticket I had signed at their holiday concert in 2005 (when we went to that show together that December, the band all came out into the crowd before the show. I got all five guys to sign my ticket!) but he hadn't been able to find the CD case for “Barenaked Ladies Are Me” I got signed at the Borders event I wrote about way back in the early days of this here bloggity blog. Yes, I've met the band twice. One of the things I love about BNL is how accessible they are!

I’m a bit of a slob, so he hadn’t been able to find the CD case (he already had “custody” of the ticket). It only took me about five minutes to find it so then …

He had that framed too! I love the shadowbox effect on this one. It's a function of the thickness of the CD case, but still. Very cool!

I haven’t managed to hang these yet, mostly because I want to find a place where I can see them all the time. I’m thinking about my office, but that’s mostly a Sports Domain, so I’m still waiting to make a final decision.

Thanks, Chris. You did good! :)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Leafling Socks

Last night, I finished one of the two pairs of socks that I started when I hit dirt in Oklahoma City.

The Leafling socks. They are done.

These really went pretty quickly. I don’t generally work on multiple pairs of socks simultaneously. This was also my first experience with Socks that Rock, and is the first kit that I did from the 2008 Rockin’ Sock Club.

I didn’t make any mods to this sock, although I had to rip out significant chunks on the second chunk … because I wasn’t paying enough attention!

It’s with STR mediumweight, so I will certainly be working a STR lightweight sock early in the Summer of Socks so that I can know what to get with my RSC discount coupon :)

Pattern: Leafling by J.C. Briar
Size: adult medium/US Women's 8.5
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock mediumweight,
Color: “Lucky” (ball band=Heart Hero)
Source: March 2008 Rockin’ Sock Club kit (yes, I knit the pattern provided for this yarn!)
Needles: Knit Picks 16” US 2/3.0mm circular needles
Started: 28 May 2008
Finished: 16 June 2008

Hurricane Knitters tomorrow (Wednesday) night, Waterworks Barnes & Noble!

Monday, June 16, 2008

All Hail … Hail!

Sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun. And yes, I know I should have.

Today was a slightly slacker-ish day. And kind of a bummer. But that’s OK.

We had some decent-sized storms come through during the end of the U.S. Open. A few thunderstorms, then it backed off.

Around 7, it started again. So being the diligent blogger I am (heh), I whipped out my camera.

Ooh, nifty slanted rain shot (no, not really)

Then, I started hearing the rain change its sound. So RT and I went outside

Hail! I don’t remember the last time I experienced a hail storm.

That’s about it from here. I finished the Leafling socks tonight while we watched this movie, and I’m about to turn the heel on the Softball Socks. I’ll try for a FO-to shoot tomorrow on Leaflings. That is all!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Weekend Wrap

Drove up to the Lake with my dad on Friday. Did dinner then hung out for the evening. No sunset, just overcast and yuck. We had thunderstorms overnight. The bonus was that the temp dropped at least 15 degrees between when we arrived and bedtime.

Saturday was overcast and yuck for most of the day. I did go over to my favorite quilt store (Quilted Memories in Dunkirk, N.Y.) for a while. Then I came home, read a book, cooked dinner for my dad and the Hubster, then finished my book and started gearing up to sew.

But first, a break for sunset

Not a great sunset, but still. Better than being anywhere else I could think of!

So as the boys (dad, Hubster and my brother, who showed up with his wife just as we were putting away dinner) watched golf, I started sewing.

Here is where I would show you pictures if my sewing hadn’t been on Anne’s quilt for the M&M’s exchange. Suffice it to say that I’ll be heading to the post office on Monday to send everything off to Denise in California (finally! Yay!)

Today was a picture-perfect day at VBP. I spent about an hour at the beach and then showered, packed up my crapolla and the Hubster and I headed home around three.

Monday, I’ll be working hard in the morning so that in the afternoon I can watch this and cheer very, very hard for him.

You should too. (You don’t have to watch, but at least cheer for Rocco. Tiger wins all the freakin’ time, and I’ve never heard a bad thing about Rocco, ever. Plus, he’s from the ‘Burgh! Greensburg, to be specific)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

WiP Wednesday: More Socks

Yep. Sock knitting. Although I’m getting a dishcloth itch. We’ll see what I decide to do about that. (probably nothing)

Anyhoo, back to reality:

I cast this on Monday morning so it would be on the same schedule as it’s (green, fraternal) twin. But then I decided I’d keep the brainless knitting for when I needed something brainless and have been concentrating on Leafling the last few nights. Little did I know ...

Oh, and I’ve been watching Netflix movies that I’ve had at home for an embarrassingly long time. On Monday night, I watched this. It was OK, I guess. Wouldn’t really recommend it. Odd. Very odd.

Last night, I watched this. I liked it (but remember, I'm a history geek and I like documentaries). Enough to kinda screw up my damn sock.

Looks pretty good, doesn’t it? But wait … I think I forgot something. Let’s look again at the finished sock?

Yeah. No slip-stitch for the heel. Oops. I was up to 92 of what would be 102 stitches before I start turning the heel. Way too long to ignore.

I noticed while I was sitting in our TV room enjoying the end of my lunch. Crappers. So, shortly after I took the above photos for WiP Wednesday (just before dinnertime), I ripped out all of the gusset increases, so it looked like this:

Yeah. So now I’m watching the Hubster’s Cubs game, listening to him watch vintage wrestling clips on YouTube (I must admit that I miss The Rock. He made that crap worth watching. ::sigh::)

Hopefully, I’ll be able to get back to where I was shortly. Much like my Cables & Corrugations problem, it would have bugged the crap out of me if I hadn’t fixed it. Just means I need to pay better attention instead of blazing along at full speed!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

It’s Always Ben Franklin!

When I lived in Los Angeles, I found my ideal morning-drive radio show. These guys. I still listen to them almost daily, thanks to live streaming on the internet.

At 8:30 am, they have, for years, played a best-of-10 trivia questions game with two listeners competing against each other. Most of the time it’s fun. Although there are occasional instances where the Cali-centric belief system gets waved about (like when the best answer a pair of listeners could come up with to “Name one of the Great Lakes” was “Lake Havasu?”)


But after the official game, they generally played 10 more questions with the “cast” of the show. And whenever there was a question that involved anything between about ummm … 1706 and 1790 … being thought of or invented or whatever, the default answer was always – always. Benjamin Franklin. If you were gonna just throw out a guess, the guess was always Ben Franklin, and it was usually right.

Which brings me to today’s final Jeopardy! question

Category was Colonial Pen Names

“For Gossip columns, he wrote under the name Busy Body; to discuss marriage, he became Anthony Afterwit.”

And the answer?

Who was Benjamin Franklin!

See? He is always the right answer!

Monday, June 09, 2008

When Two Socks Don’t Equal a Pair

I finished both of my in-progress socks on Sunday. But two finished socks do not always a pair make

One Leafling. One “plain vanilla” Riverbed sock.

I’ve cast on for both of their twins today. My goal is to get ’em both finished before the Summer of Socks kicks off at 12:01 am on Saturday, June 21. Gotta have those sock needles empty so all the socks to follow will count for SOS.

I took this picture

before my most recent business trip to illustrate why I (now) knit socks. In the foreground are the Fleece Artist (red on right) and STR (green on left) that I took with me to OKC to knit the aforementioned socks. The other project making huge “PICK ME! PICK ME!” noises? That would be the big pile of “I Am Allergic to Wool” hanging out in the background. It’s going to be a top-down in the round raglan pullover, and I’m gonna start it as soon as I get these sock needles cleared.

The Allergic would have taken entirely too much room in my suitcase and would have been way too unwieldy in the press box. Instead, I had my red brainless sock for press box knitting and my green “thinkin’ sock” for the hotel at night. In hindsight, I probably should have stuck with my one-pair-at-a-time normal strategy, but I figured out how to balance the two and didn’t have to do much tweaking to finish them both on the same day.

Oh, and I desperately need some quilting on my agenda this week. Worst case, I'm pretending that my weekend at VBP is a "Pick a Project" trip. Denise, it's coming. Really. I swear. :(

Nothing exciting is going on here. I worked today in an overly hot room because I was afraid that if I worked in a cooler area of the house, I’d goof off. I didn’t want to goof off, I wanted to get sh!t done. And I mostly did. Yay!

Over the weekend, I got about half the dining room cleared out and put away. And I cleaned our bedroom and bathroom. I am no longer too horrified by the state of my house to pursue getting a cleaning crew. It’s not much, but progress is progress. Right?

Friday, June 06, 2008

OKC Wrap-Up

RT and I survived the rest of our stay in Oklahoma City. The softball stuff ended on Tuesday night, so we flew home Wednesday. On three hours of sleep.

So here’s the stuff from our trip that I hadn’t gotten to.

After a full slate of games on Thursday, play on Friday didn’t start until 7 pm local time. So RT and I took a little field trip.

We went to the Gourmet Yarn Company in Oklahoma City!

It was a very nice store, and I got really sucked in by some awesome Fiesta yarns. Three skeins of Boomerang and two (which is one pair’s worth) of Baby Boomerang. Plus the pattern for Green Gable (Rav link)!

Here’s a pic of what we walked away with. It’s a very nice store and if I’d had time I would have taken up the offer to sit and knit on the couches in the back room.

On the way back to the hotel, we saw this

Yep. A helicopter landing right in front of us. At a hospital. Very odd. I’m used to those things landing on the roof of the hospital, not at street level!

Saturday and Sunday were all games all day. You saw what we did on Monday.

But as long as I’m talking softball

So when the College World Series starts in a week or two you’ll see the huuuge baseball statue that’s in front of Rosenblatt Stadium. Here’s the statue in front of Hall of Fame Stadium in OKC.

OK, so there’s a “full-sized” replica across the parking lot in front of the actual Hall of Fame, but still! I couldn’t resist putting RT in that photo so you could see the puny scale of this photo.

Tuesday afternoon, we went to the Oklahoma City National Memorial. I have visited several times previously, so we did a slow loop around the outdoor memorial

After that, we went into the museum, which was well-done. I had been before, so I skipped some things that I remembered from last time.

The new federal building is open on the diagonal corner from the museum. It looks like a very nice building.

Oh, and on the way back to the hotel? I got a great drive-by shot of the Oklahoma State Capitol building. Total luck

After the game ended on Tuesday night, I was able to change our flight so we could get out at 7:10 am. Which meant that when I got back to the hotel at midnight, I had an hour’s worth of getting my crap together and wound up only getting about three hours of sleep.

We had a connection

In the city of my favorite former residence (the Twin Cities are truly awesome. I really enjoyed living there!)

Then we got home.

And everything you need to know about the ‘Burgh, you can find out upon landing at Greater Pitt.

We like to brag about our history. Did you know that General Washington (that’s our founding father George, in case you were curious) commanded his first army in Pittsburgh? It was after General Braddock was killed in battle.

We like older history too. Like prehistoric. Dinosaurs. I am still hoping to make it to the new dinosaur exhibit at The Carnegie.

Oh, and we get pretty jacked up at our sports too. Franco Harris (heh ... Wikipedia uses a pic of this same statue)! Immaculate Reception!

Yeah, we love our Pens too, but Football is and always will be king.

I have bunches of other stuff to blog, but I’m getting sleepy and have to work all day at Blomin' tomorrow. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Favorite Things: OKC Edition

I did several of my favorite things here today.

I slept in.

I visited the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Hall of Fame and Museum.

And I went to dinner at County Line.

RT and I had lots of fun at the museum. It’s one of my very favorite places. If I lived here, I would absolutely get a membership. And I’d go all the time. The building itself is awesome, but there’s so much other stuff inside and outside. Here’s a little pictorial of RT’s trip through the museum. (click to biggify. I didn’t want to make them all large like I usually do … way too much space)

He played some checkers in front of the fireplace

Then we visited one of my favorite parts of the Museum, Prosperity Junction

It’s a “replica” of a turn-of-the-century western town. The train just came through, and the town just got a generator. We took a tour, and RT did lots of exploring.

We visited the blacksmith’s shop so we could see where the horseshoes are made.

He stopped and had a drink at the bar

Stopped and had a little snack at the table while listening to the player piano in the background

He decided he needed a little extra cash for later, so we stopped at the bank

Lucky for RT it appears to be summer. The schoolhouse was closed. I was gonna make him do some homework!

Oh, and if you’re curious, take a look at the Pledge in its original form. I like to wave this little fact in the face of people who got all fired up when deleting “under god” from the pledge was being hotly discussed.

Another stroke of luck – the doctor/dentist office was closed too. I wouldn’t want a cleaning or check-up using 1900 technology!

If RT looks a little scared in this picture, it’s because we were at the U.S. Marshall’s office. Apparently, they had heard that the furry little guy occasionally has sticky fingers

He found himself in the lock-up for a bit. But then I cleared it all up with the Marshall and we were on our way.

After his jail experience, RT was in a pretty big hurry to get back to 2008. So we hung out at the train depot for a bit and left Prosperity Junction.

We then headed out to the Cowboy Corral. RT saddled up and had a little fun with that

Then he got up close and personal with a Texas Longhorn

We then did something I’d never done before – headed outside and explored the rest of the grounds at the museum (have I mentioned that I love this place?)

We saw the huuuuuge statue of Buffalo Bill that is positioned so that it can be seen from I-44 (westbound)

This is the view from the outdoor patio of the “End of the Trail” statue. We’ll get back to that later.

I forgot to write down the name of this statue, but I thought it was fun, so I’m putting it in. It faces the previous photo.

This is RT in front of the “End of the Trail” statue. It’s a really neat quite famous statue and it’s huuuuge. It is the centerpiece as you walk into the museum.

With that, we said good-bye to the Museum. I will most certainly be back!


We had one more stop to make. Dinner!

We highly recommend County Line. It’s yummy.

More tomorrow..