Friday, December 29, 2006


Today, lunch is from Wendy's at Division and Ashland. The fries and chicken nuggets are subpar, and quite unpleasant. But then, the sweet, thick goodness of the Frosty makes me forget all that.

They are evil. It is the Frosty that keeps me coming back and buying the icky stuff.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Freeze! Keep your hands off the Mouse... my continued love affair with the big G

Because the world is a good and decent place, my friend Charlie, who I met during orientation my freshman year at CMU, is currently in town visiting. C used to live in Chicago, but now he works for Google in Mountain View. He makes servers work, I think. I'm sure that there is more to his job than that, but that's the gist of it. He moved out there a year ago, and I have missed him quite a lot, especially when I want to go out to dinner or see a movie, as he is good company for both of those activities. Tonight, I was on the schedule.

We met up, wandered around the vicinity of N. Michigan Avenue and then decided to retrieve my car from the parking lot it was in from my appointment, drove up to my place and had dinner at Thai Pastry. Afterwards, he came over to hang out, and as usually happens, showed me some new tricks that my computer can do, which, also as usual, involved seeing the clever new things that Google is up to, since I had mentioned that I couldn't figure out where they were hiding Reader, and I wanted to give it a try.

Here are the clever new things:
-Keystrokes are now enabled in my Gmail... way faster, its like using Pine or an old-school library computer card catalog system, but with a way better look and, sadly, no cheat sheet row at the bottom telling me all the choices.
-Google Reader, which is where I intend to read all bloggish things, in an attempt to increase productivity by not clicking through my entire list of things I read multiple times everyday, hoping for an update. Also, provided that I update it based on my link list at work, I won't have any more regularly read things that I can only check from one computer or the other because I don't actually know the web address.
-Personalized Google homepage is another thing that I have known existed, but never really explored in any depth, since the last time I had something like that, it was when the MyAndrew thing (is that what it was called? I just know that the SquirrelMail changed) at CMU was launched and it was a mess, so now I was wary of that sort of thing.
-Google Apps for Your Domain makes me want to go and get a domain, just so that I can use this product. In fact, I just might. Does anyone want to get in on a domain for something? I just want to try out the service and such. It comes with private label email...

Clearly, I am a Google fangirl, and there is not much that can be done about it. Someday, maybe, if I am lucky, I will find a job at Google that this theater major is qualified for and maybe I'll even get it. Suggestions? Let me know. Also, go and try out these new toys! Switch to keystrokes. Keep your hands off the mouse!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

"Its like I'm eating warm, stale popcorn" -my roommate, this evening

For Christmas, I received a stovetop popcorn maker from Baxter and Magic (the dog and cat), which came with cute popcorn boxes and packets of "movie theater" popcorn to make, with the oil and kernels separated. And its gross. I have made a fair bit of very very good stovetop popcorn in the last few years, which I think is way better than movie theater popcorn that you get these days, since all that stuff is pre-popped and artificially flavored (not that i don't eat it, but I'm just saying... mine is better).

As I was dumping the divided pouch into the hand-crank popcorn popper, I thought to myself, "why is that oil so yellow?". Then, I noticed that there was a yellow powder that had been in with the kernels that all sort of clumped in the pan. So, apparently, it came with its own movie theater popcorn artificial flavoring. And it tastes like movie theater popcorn. The real stuff. In all of its staleness and fakeness.

I will report back when I try the popper with regular oil and popcorn kernels. If anyone actually likes this stuff (it is compelling to eat about 2 cups of it, then you think about it and wonder why you did), I will be happy to pay the shipping to send it out to you. Just drop a line and it'll be on its way.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Thank you Babs!

Originally uploaded by babelbabebts.
Ms. BabelBabe sent me two Christopher Radko ornaments that were her mothers, and this is one of them. It is huge, has its own storage box and I love it in all of its hand painted, glittery, Santa, Polish glass glory. The other one is the wishing well.

I am a very lucky girl to have such a nice blog friend. Thanks BB!

Monday, December 18, 2006

and Dingo was his name, oh

and Dingo was his name, oh
Originally uploaded by tdgirl.
Here is a photo of the most well-groomed dog that we saw in all of Australia. Also, I'm testing the blogging to beta in Flickr! (and yes, I know that they lost the exclamation point when yahoo! bought them... too bad, I think its kicky)

Sunday, December 17, 2006


I went beta, as I'm sure you can tell.

So far, all I did was pick a new template, and email with Sarah Louise about it. I am knitting a new thing (finally!.... though it isn't the hat-for-dad that is due next Monday morning, for Xmas and all... its the one thing that he asked for, and I'm being a slacker!)

If anyone has tips for how to get buttons and my Flickr! badge back into my sidebar, I'd appreciate it, otherwise, I'll sort it out this week.

Questions I'm wondering about:
  • What am I supposed to talk to the psychiatrist/therapist about?
  • Does Blue Moon have a higher alcohol content than other beers?
  • What is an "emergent" church? Is that code for liberal? Or is there a doctrinal difference?
  • When is the best time to bring the gifts for my boss' grandkids to work for him to take home? Tomorrow? next Friday? Sometime in between? Drop them off at the house?
  • I have an awesome pair of yellow plastic vintage needles that were my grandma's... how do I get another pair, in different sizes? I love the tips.
  • Will my mittens come this week?
that is all.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Jesus Goes Shopping

Look, its Jesus in Chicago!

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Open Letters

Dear Staples,
I figured out where all of your Large Binder Clips are. You can stop looking. They are all at the Office Depot.

Love, the girl who doesn't think that 1 1/4" binder clips are big enough

P.S. No, I don't want you to order them. If I wanted to order them, I wouldn't have come to the store in the first place.


Dear Joann Fabrics,
I do not like your decor section. Everything is very small, and thus useless for commercial decoration. But you suck me in with the hope that the large decoration section will somehow include large decorations. Alas, all you have are small decorations that I want to buy and put up on my own tree, but I do not have time to dilly dally with personal purchases when I need decor or props NOW.
Yours truly, a young project manager


Dear Decorators,
Those clips you have that go into the concession stand to hold decorations are really cool. Where did they come from?
Sincerely yours, me


Dear Apartment,
Why are you so inconsistent in temperature? Some nights, the radiators are blasting and its almost too hot. And then, you go for a few days where it is barely warm enough to be legal. I would just like you to find a middle ground and stay there, all winter, October through April. Is that too much to ask? Apparently it is.
From, the girl on the East side of Apartment 2


Its the little things that are big...

48 table clips: $6

1 roll of red plastic table cloth: $12.99

4 dozen 2" binder clips: $12 (and 3 office supply superstores)

2 dozen 6" glitter snowflakes: $18

4 dozen 11" glitter snowflakes: $150

Finding snowflakes at two party stores of the same chain, the night before the preview party, that match what you bought from the wholesaler in October exactly, (except that they are retail priced and packaged individually) so that you don't have to take down the ones the crew put up this afternoon, nor do you have to explain to the designer that it really does look better with a mix of different types of snowflakes: Priceless!

Sunday, December 3, 2006

I'll be meme for Christmas

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
Egg nog is foul, so I'll go for Hot Chocolate, but in truth, my preference is for Cadbury's Drinking Chocolate or hot apple cider.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
Um, what are you talking about? Santa doesn't wrap or put them under the tree. The stockings are by the fireplace, in the family room, where the gifts are stacked and the stockings stuffed. The regular, given by real, non-mythical gift-givers, are in the living room, wrapped, under the tree. My mother would never add wrapping to her list

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?
I grew up with multi lights, and I like them, but white for the house and a pre-lit tree, multi on the tree if you are getting strands.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?

5. When do you put up your decorations?
At some point between Thanksgiving and the week before Christmas.

6. What is your favorite Christmas meal include?
Scrambled eggs, kringla, mimosas, banana goop, Christmas cookies, Christmas chocolates

7. Favorite Holiday Christmas memory as a child?
In Chicago, any of them that was just the nuclear family in the morning, with visiting neighbors in the afternoon. (You can read that as involving no paternal extended relatives)

In Minnesota, I was never really a child in the part of my life that I can remember, but our first Christmas there was nice, because there was some super-extended family and everyone was healthy.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
The truth? If I don't continue to profess belief, there will be no more Santa. So as far as I'm concerned, Santa is real, assisted by my mother with the logistics.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
Yes. One, from my parents. My sister and I both receive pajamas and they are usually such that we make a coordinated pair. When we were very small, they were the same. Now, they are the same style, different patterns. Christmas is the one day of the year that I am gauranteed to wear matching pjs. (this pleases my family greatly) When we were small, there was sometimes more gift opening, but willpower increases as you grow up, and the one who most wants to open the gifts is my dad. He loses 3-1.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?
If I get a tree, this will be my first year with a tree that has ornaments that are actually *mine* that I have saved from previous years and will add to in the future. If I find a pre-lit, fake tree that I like, I will set it up and show you all.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it?
Snow is lovely. I love snow. Snow is a necessary part of the winter environment, it insulates the ground, provides water in the springtime and looks nice until it looks like dirty slush. I prefer to not drive in a blizzard, but I can and do manage even that just fine.

12. Can you ice skate?
yes, of course.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
I can't remember my favorite gift to receive. However, my dad's crazy sister gave me a gray Columbia fleece jacket a few years ago that I wear pretty much continually. That is the best gift that I have ever received from her. I now own the blue fleece vest that my sister got that year and never wore, she finally cleaned out her closet and my mom gave it to me to love.

14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays Christmas for you?
Being home with my family for all the festivities.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Christmas Dessert?
COOKIES!!!. of any and all sort, except for gingerbread. Gingersnaps are ok. and my Aunt's ginger cookies. Just not that thick, chewy gingerbread stuff. There is a reason people don't eat the gingerbread houses.

16. What is your favorite Holiday Christmas tradition?
Cathedral Shelter Christmas Baskets and other Adopt-a-Family-type activities.

17. What tops your tree?
Nothing at my house (see above) and nothing at my mom's house since the glass-ball Santa from her childhood finally gave up years ago. I covet one of the Radko toppers, but that will wait until I have a real household set-up.

18. What is your favorite Christmas Song?
All of them, even the 12 days of Christmas, but not before Thanksgiving.
In Church, my favorite Christmas Eve song is Joy to the World. In the Christmas Season of church, I like Go Tell it On the Mountain. On the radio, my favorite is Grandma got run over by a reindeer, as it reminds me of my very first snow day ever. (it was playing on the radio when I was told there would be no school in kindergarten... we had just moved to Chicago from San Francisco) Oh, and my mother's frustration with how funny I find it as she is sad for the squashed grandma that no one found until the morning. Cruel, but hilarious.

Another unexpected advert...

this time, in my most recent copy of The Economist, I found a large, surprising ad. With white text on a black background (and a freaking HUGE logo), is an ad for Al Jazeera in English, as a worldwide media outlet "uniquely positioned to reverse the global information flow, reporting from South to North...". For some reason, I never really thought about Al Jazeera as being a worldwide media source, or particularly mainstream outside of the Middle East, but I am obviously out of the loop. Do any of you with fancy TV service get Al Jazeera? I want to know what it is like. What kind of an accent do the anchors have? How do the politics swing? Does it look like a regular Western media outlet on screen, or more like a SNL spoof set?

Other things I learned since this ad sent me out of bed and onto the internet:
New things that I wonder about:
  • what is the history of the flags of Qatar and Bahrain that they are so similar?
  • Will these bullet points show up as bullets? They used to, and recently I noticed that my template seems to have lost them. I am sad, and my posts look weirdly unformatted.
  • Am I a nerd more because I love Ben's photos of rigging cable or because I would be very happy if I had a fresh copy of the World FactBook every year?
  • What is a Thessalonian? Where is Thessalonia?
And now, it is time for sleeping, again.

I love google ads next to my email...

They just lead me to the oddest websites, which then make me wonder what the computer is "thinking" as it spools up that ad to go along with my email.

Today's discovery?, which is exactly what you expect it to be. I've never thought much about burlap, but especially not about all of the niche markets and companies there are out in the world. Go take a look and be amazed at the wide variety of burlap products available to you.

Newest Friend of P

I am about a week late in mentioning this over here at the Mixer, but I now have learn-to-spin handspindle kits for sale over at Piddleloop. Each kit has a Babe handspindle (with the leader already attached), 2 ounces of Blue Faced Leicester (BFL) fiber, two (2) 1 oz. nests of "fluff" as Jennifer calls fiber for spinning, high quality instructional brochures from Interweave Press and all of it is in a handy canvas drawstring bag.

I chose the Babe spindle because it was (1) available for me to purchase in quantity at a reasonable price, to keep the kit price low, (2) adjustable for weight and (3) adjustable for whorl location in relation to the hook, so you can spin high or low whorl, even Balkan mid-whorl if you really want. As well, you can use two discs to make the spindle heavier for thicker yarn and/or plying and one disc for thinner yarn or just because. I have set up all the spindles with two whorls and a leader so that its ready to spin right out of the bag.

Jennifer has a lovely write-up about the kits on her blog about why these kits are good. I will be dying up more wool for kits, as her site statistics show that people click on the colored kits more than the ones with assorted types of fiber. Easter can't come soon enough, since I use Easter egg dyes as my primary acid dye. It doesn't have any smell (like kool aid) and there are more colors available. On a spin list I was given the hint to try to find packages that sound like they have two or three packs of color inside, since the factories are very inaccurate about only putting one packet in at a time. It totally works, and I got a few boxes last year that had extra colors.

So, if you have any interest in learning to make yarn, or you know someone who would like to learn, this kit is a very good value and has everything you need to make enough yarn for a hat.

Friday, December 1, 2006

Triple Dork

Mr. Ben Peoples, originally of Louisville, Kentucky and currently maintaining residence in Alameda, California with his lovely wife Sarah Deutsch, founder of Pinkleberry Services, would like to announce that he is officially a Triple Dork. Not only is Mr. Peoples a Rigging Dork and a Photo Dork, but he is also a Triple Dork as he wishes to promote his business, Ben Peoples Photography, via the 21st century medium known as blogging. Mr. Peoples invites all interested parties to visit his website, found at Quilters are encouraged to enquire within about his quilt photo shoots at reasonable rates.

A link will be added shortly to the side bar to the Ben Peoples Photography webpage.

Geek Alert

Elevator cables
Originally uploaded by blp1979.

Ben humored my desire to see pictures of the re-roping of his office building's elevators, and this one is a double geek picture... he's got high photographer lighting geek thing and the rigging geek thing both going on full strength here.

Thanks for putting these up on flickr! for me! And yes, I don't care if flickr! lost the ! when yahoo! bought them. I still prefer it as flickr! and yahoo. So there. I am the queen of my bloggity blog.

Whoa! Knitting Content!

The new MagKnits is up, and here are some thoughts:
  • I am in love with Cinnabar! I am not much for things that I have to pay close attention to, which is why the girl that I am an Angel for in the One Skein Secret Pal Swap still doesn't have her gauntlets (they are so neat, but fiddly, and I had to rework the pattern to fit the yarn), but I absolutely need to knit this scarf. Does anyone want one on a no-way-will-I-have-a-deadline sort of way? I might make it for me, but I really like wearing my Yale Drama Scarf, and I can't be trusted with more than one scarf out of the closet at a time, so I'm not very inclined to make a wardrobe of scarves. Someday, I might have a coat rack, and then I could have more than one scarf.
  • I was pleasantly surprised to see that there was not anything by a particular designer that I am not fond of, and then, when I went back through the archives to find things of her's to show you that I am not fond of, I see that she hasn't had anything for more than a year. So I was wrong, and that is probably the third time today that I have had to folly of backbiting pointed out to me by the universe. I thank God for reminding me to be a better person, even if it is a struggle every day. And this has not been gentle reminders. More like, slap me upside the head, shake me around and say, "Think Before You Speak! If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all! What goes around comes around! It is not your place to criticize! You might be right, but you are probably wrong, Check Your Facts!" I have had some lessons in humility today, that is all.
  • The Party Lace Scarf is a nice idea, but it could use a firmer blocking and I think that the placement of the crystals is uninspired. But if someone wanted one, I might knit it, the pattern is pretty easy, even if the yarn is tricky.
  • The world does not need anymore ruffled scarves. And that dog absolutely does not want to wear one.
  • The Easygoing Potholders are a lovely idea, and if I made them, it would be with superwash wool, instead of cotton, or maybe felted wool. Mostly because wool is a better insulator, and also because it looks like a lined dishcloth right now. Probably because the designer used dishcloth yarn. The suggestion to make a matching apron is genius, and wonderful. I would not turn down an apron that matched my potholder.
  • The Malagaiter has been done, but I still like it. The designer is from Minnesota, and I lover her comment in the pattern notes about men wearing a bow on the top of their heads. Go check it out. I just re-read the pattern, and this item might be the answer to my OSSP Swap Angel blues, it will use the same skein of yellow yarn, and I don't have to do anything fiddly. Oh, and there is a brioche option. I <3>
  • The Counterpoint Scarf is one of the first illusion knit scarves that has made me think that illusion knitting is anything beyond novel knitting. It uses the need to look at the scarf from the edge in a way that is logical. Also, if you have a music enthusiast in your life, they could wear this scarf without everyone saying, "Hey, great piano scarf you've got there." I probably won't make it, but if I ever need a scarf that looks like a piano but doesn't look like a piano scarf, I will know that the pattern is out there.
  • K-Chan is by yet another Minnesota knitter (in a British magazine too!), and I think that I might print it out for my SP9 pal, along with getting her a certain other one-skein Kureyon pattern, to go along with a skein that I bought at Coldwater over Thanksgiving.
  • I won't leave out the Hourglass Socks in my mention, but sock patterns don't really draw me in. I think that knitting socks is a great idea, but as patterns, they still look like socks. I'm sure that it is a well-written pattern, but I don't really care about more sock patterns. I don't knit socks very often, I just can't get gauge.
That is what I have to say about the new MagKnits. There should also be a new Knitty coming out soon, which will be fun. This weekend will be all about knitting, dying balls of roving and finishing my Christmas Basket.

Keep Smiling! =)