Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Cool Car, Cemetery, and So On

So, yesterday's picture?
Leslie had it right: it's a 1935 Dodge. Well, actually, not just Dodge.

Dodge Brothers. Who knew? More to the point, I got to ride in it. Cool! My grandmother's neighbors are the proud owners, and when my mother and I, out for a walk on Sunday, stopped to admire it, they insisted on taking us for a short drive. Twist my arm! How cool is this?
Floating power? Okay. How about this hood vent?
The driver opens it to allow air to flow through. It's the air conditioner!

Then at the front, above the Dodge Brothers logo, don't miss this:
He would like you to know that his car would not have been $645 back in the day. The small print in the lower right corner gives the prices for other models, and his is one of those, so it was over $700. Whew!

Before we got sidetracked, we were walking up to the cemetery, to say hi to family there and just to get outside on a beautiful day. We walked past what some would call weeds, by the side of the road, and these told a time-lapse story.

So pretty. The last bit is uphill, but the view makes the climb worthwhile.
I usually visit Grandma in the spring and fall, and at Christmas. It was interesting to see full summer!

That there are sad tales would hardly surprise one, under the circumstances. For instance, far too many stones are for babies. But this one made me even more sad.
At the bottom, there's no name, just "infant son". He lived for more than six weeks and didn't even get named? That's so sad.
There are also interesting monuments.
And interesting names. Have you ever met a Deiadamia?
What about Considder?
Not to mention Lucretia, though thanks to the Borgias at least I've heard of that one.

After wandering a bit, and saying hello to the relatives (well, the ones we could find; neither of us was certain where the Revolutionary War-era stone was, and we didn't run across it), we headed back down the hill.

I admired the cupola on this building as we passed it, and my mother told me that when she was a child, two spinster sisters lived there, making their living by knitting and quilting things that were sold in New York City. And, one of them had a name my mother loved. My name! Pretty cool.

I have more flowers to show you, and there's my Olympic knitting project as well, but the poor, neglected kitty is calling me. As is that Olympic knitting project, for that matter!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Post-Trip Teaser

It's ironic that we call a three-day weekend a "long" weekend, when it doesn't feel long at all. Of course, I spent about 11.5 hours of it driving, which even while uneventful cuts into the relaxation. Still, it was a great time, and I came back with pictures, memories, and four bug bites* whose itch is driving me mad, thanks for asking. Ow! Itch!
*I actually got another bite, too, but it hardly itches. Must be a different kind of bite.

I've also got (what I hope is) the tail-end of Thursday's headache, which has spent far too long hanging about and needs to am-scray ow-nay! It means that I'm not going into detail now, though. I'll give you a teaser, though. Guess what I got to ride in?
Let the speculation commence.

Friday, July 27, 2012

V. Quickly

I could write about my headache and how while it's better than yesterday (which involved leaving work early, dry heaves, and kind of wanting to die) it's still not gone, damn it, and now I'm hurting and I'm behind in getting ready for my trip and blah blah blah, PLUS I came home and when I gamely tried to get that load of laundry ready, I found one of the cats had chosen today of all days to vomit on the bed, and I don't just mean "something gross that could be cleaned up", I mean "SPLAT, now change the sheet, change the mattress pad, throw out that pillow".

But instead (ha), I will just say, watch this. I love this. Why would it ever be anything other than this?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Is It You, Too?

Sometimes it's not just a picture that's worth a thousand words. Sometimes a drawing can be a whole philosophy.
So there you are.

Posting may be light this week (and responding to comments as well, sorry). I have things I'm trying to do before going out of town this weekend. Not all bad things! One of them involves this guy.
The one who left a drop of drool on the table as he snuggled in my arms, between me and the computer. Hint hint.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Briefly, Before Bed

Some little things that make me smile:
  • The Bruins extended coach Claude Julien's contract, which is good, and the article notes that his win percentage is .617. Boston's area code is 617. Hey, I didn't say these would be big things.
  • Swistle, reviewing books she's read recently, discusses her dislike for stories with overly ambiguous endings, concluding, "OPEN THE BOX, SCHRODINGER."
  • A random Sheldon comic.
  • That someone came up with a way to mask inane YouTube comments so that you don't have to even inadvertently read the oft-foolish things is cool enough, but that the actual comment is replaced by "Herp derp derp"? Still giggling about that days later.
What made you smile today?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Sunday Report: a cow and a goat

It's been a warm day, but not so hot that I have to have the air conditioning on; this is good news, as it pleases me and Carlos both to have the windows open. He's sleeping in a window, in fact, so low and long that from a distance only his ear proves his location.

Today has been a low-key day, where even a proposed trip to the movies ended up not happening, and I have been puttering about instead. Most recently, I have been watching Return to Cranford, which has to go back to the library shortly. Did I mention watching Cranford recently? I don't think I did. I read on a blog about it last month: it's a Masterpiece miniseries from a few years ago, and the writer was watching it while feeling Downton Abbey withdrawal. I decided to try it, and it truly is wonderful, just beautifully done, the costumes and the scenery and the acting, my word, Judi Dench is something, isn't she?

I do recommend it if you like that sort of thing, though there are two things I would say if you're thinking of watching it yourself.
  • First, while I understand that in the mid-1800s, people did in fact often die younger and of things we don't expect to die of these days, knowing this is true does not make it any less painful to watch when one has become attached to a character. Or a lot of characters. Just saying.
  • Second, although that's very true, there are also many truly funny moments. As the librarian said to me when I checked the first one out, "Let me know what you think of the cow."
Yesterday I had a really excellent evening with friends in Malden, watching Shakespeare in the Park! One of my friends had told me about it; there's a new organization in the city that was putting on A Midsummer Night's Dream in four local parks over four Saturdays in July. How excellent! Free* Shakespeare on a lovely evening with a like-minded group? Count me in!
*They didn't even "pass" the hat, but merely mentioned that one could contribute at the table if so moved. I hope a lot of people did, for they deserved it!

Before I share photos, let me add one thing that I didn't know until we got there, which pleased me mightily: it was "set" to music of the 80s, aka my childhood! It was great, great fun; I was the perfect target audience. They really chose well, too, such as playing a bit of Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go when the four wanderers awake from their drugged sleep.

The costumes were 80s-like as well, which just cracked me up. I mean, not all of them were; here's Titania, for instance:
Nothing about the 80s there. But Oberon:

Ah yes, into the time machine. And see Puck, there behind him? Also wonderful.
I also must call out Bottom the weaver, such a fun part but it could be deadly if not done well, and it was done well.
You can just tell he threw himself into it, can't you? Really the whole thing was remarkably well done, not at all what one might expect when one imagined a new group doing community theater in the park.

I wouldn't say it was perfect: there were moments when an actor was facing the other way, or particularly loud traffic went by, and words would be lost. But I do think they did a remarkable job under the circumstances. By all means, if you're around Malden next Saturday, seek it out. If not, we'll watch for them next summer, shall we? Hopefully they will have sound amplification by then, so we won't miss even a word.

I learned one other thing during the evening, which I would have been glad not to know but must admit to be true: I can't sit on the ground for that long, and next time must bring a chair. My back was killing me afterward! I wish it not to be true, but it is. Plenty of people were in chairs, so I will be in good company.

Also, I could and did knit through the production, meaning that I got to here on the second sock:
Having finished the first Saturday morning:
And today, I've been working on the Tardis shawl, and the tops are starting to appear:
This is very exciting! (Just nod. Humor me.)

Finally, one other thing about Friday night, when I was meeting my friends for dinner. Since they came to my town, I walked over to the restaurant early to put our name in, so we could get a table on the patio. That done, I sat on a bench outside to knit and people-watch until they arrived, which was very pleasant (two of my favorite things, in fact). At one point, a pair of teenage girls, perhaps 15, came up and politely asked if they could ask me something. I said sure*, and they asked, if I could give everyone one piece of advice, what would it be?
*Refraining from giving my father's answer, which would have been, "You just did."

Ah. Well. Hmm.

I thought for a moment, then decided on, "Just relax," because as a people, we do tend to get worked up a lot, don't we?

(Perhaps I should have told them, "Be the goat" but that's more a visual joke, right?
Funny Animal Captions - Animal Capshunz: Not Baaaad Advice

They thanked me, said that was good advice, and walked on. A woman of around 60 was coming down the street, from the same direction they had come, and when she got closer to me, she said, "Did they ask you about the fish?"

Ah. No?

"They asked me about fish," she explained.

"They asked me what advice I would give everyone," I told her, and she said, "They asked me how I would define fish."


I wonder if it was a school project, or if they were just amusing themselves? Pretty inventive if they were.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Yahhhhhh, Weekend

I had dinner tonight with friends, and since they came to a restaurant in my town, I didn't even have to drive. It was lovely. (Thanks, guys.)

Now for some of this.
Funny Animal Captions - Animal Capshunz: My Number May Be Undefined, But My Domain's Right Here

Happy Friday night, y'all.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Frontier I Don't Know What to do With

I have a little problem, one that is a first for me.

There's this sweater in the new Northstyle catalog that I like. It's long and swishy and I like its lines. See?

Not wild about the sequins, but otherwise I like it a lot.

But I don't want to buy it.

I want to knit it.

This is new ground for me as a knitter, people. And I'm not quite up to retro-designing it on my own, so ... what do I do? Try to find one like it? (Searching on Ravelry for a long knit cardigan for an adult brings up more than 5000 matches.)

Or ... what?

Whimper. Me wants it.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Little of This and That. Especially That.

I was happy to read this on Stanley Cup of Chowder this morning:
Today is the midpoint of the Bruins' offseason! HOORAY! Now instead of counting up, we can begin the countdown. 84 days to go until opening night.
Yeah buddy. Last summer was so full of the Cup, I didn't feel the lack of hockey as much. This summer, it's back to normal.

Another thing I read and appreciated recently, on the OUP blog:
Most of us have a false impression of science as a surefire, deliberate, step-by-step method for finding things out and getting things done. In fact, more often than not, science is like looking for a black cat in a dark room, and there may not be a cat in the room.
Very true. I often want there to be answers, simple and conclusive answers, but it don't work that way, do it?

Another hockey thing: did I post about the unicycle hockey yet?

Aren't people amazing sometimes? And thanks to Puck Daddy for sharing, and for the fun commentary on it (worth reading if you're a hockey fan).

Thank Dave Barry for sharing this one:
Well all righty then! Who wouldn't buy a not haunted house?

The idea of opening a Starbucks inside a funeral home staggers me. But someone's doing it, apparently.

I do love the headline they used. Full credit for that.

You don't have to read this story about what makes a hockey player "good in the room", but you do have to look at the picture they put at the top of the post. Go on, look.

Well, what do you think? Just weird, or did it make you smile, too?

Finally, go look at the awesomeness of a crocheted playground. Really, go look, you won't believe it otherwise. Cool and colorful!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Update: Scrubbies 201

By far the most popular entry I've ever written here, in terms of page views anyway, is the how-to I did on crocheting dish scrubbies, back in 2007. Several crafting sites linked to it, my site stats went briefly bonkers before returning to normal, and I still get hits from those links all the time. Which makes me realize that I'm overdue to update it.
One of the comments on that post (in 2009; it still gets a lot of traffic) let me know that I could get the netting on rolls, instead of buying it by the yard and cutting it into strips myself. I thought this sounded good, but didn't do anything about it for a while (how very like me). Eventually I found a seller on eBay (seasonaldecorator, but there are others) and tried it. 
And wow, is it ever less labor intensive! Instead of buying the yardage, folding it, cutting it, rolling the strips into balls, and having to stop and tie ends together throughout the making, then tuck all those ends in ... I just grab the end of the roll and start crocheting; then when I'm done, there's only the first and last end to tuck in. Super-easy! It doesn't make working with netting any more fun, really, but it's a lot less work than it used to be.
I even have a little side table with decorative knobs that I can put a roll on, so it doesn't bounce across the couch (or floor) when I pull. Serendipity, I say.
You can see a knob in the foreground, and the roll of nylon net in the background is on another.
 Since I do still get comments on that page, and there are plenty of people clicking the links to see it, I've been meaning to update it for a while now. The old way still works fine, but if you want, there's an easier way.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Cheer Up, Charlie

When I need something to cheer me up, I want to be able to find a variety of things in one place. Here. I know I've posted most of these before, but this way, I'll we'll have them all together. Any suggestions for others? Let me know and I'll add them on.

Dancing around the world.

Laughing quadruplets.

Baby laughing at ripping paper.

Dancing hockey players. JR:

Darth Vader on unicycle with bagpipes.

Proposal lip-and-dance-synced to music:

The wedding scene from Love Actually.

And some non-videos:
funny dog pictures - I Has A Hotdog: Erriboddi be happi!

funny pictures - Cyoot Kitthes of teh Day: Coffee and Kittens

funny pictures - Yoo  hazza  SAD ?  Yoo  can  hold  my  Teddy  for  a  minnit .

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Friday, July 13, 2012

That Wonderful Friday Night Feeling

At work today I got a new report to edit, written by someone in our India office. As I said before, I'm sure that there are plenty of non-native English speakers who write well, but this report was not written by one of them. I found myself tilting my head at the document, like the RCA dog, trying to see through the fog of the writing to the meaning within.

There's so much wrong with it, it's hard to know where to begin; it reads like the words were run through a blender.

The writers are supposed to use that mythical editorial tool, spell-check, before sending work in, but I know this writer didn't. I know because, while I understand that typos can happen, if you run spell-check yourself you'll avoid the embarrassment of turning in a report on the Mexican healthcare landscape that includes a use of "Maxican" (not to mention "Equador" for Ecuador). Spell-check is far from perfect--I laughed when it wanted to change resectable to respectable--but though it won't solve all your spelling problems, it serves a definite purpose.

Ah well. It wasn't a bad day, un-English report and never-above-72-degrees-inside to the contrary notwithstanding, and it was Friday, above all, meaning leave an hour early, stop for groceries, and I was still home before I would have been on a regular day. I'll take it.

Also, can I tell you how much I'm enjoying getting an hour for lunch? Today I walked over to the mall, returned something at Sears, had some Chick-Fil-A for lunch, then stopped in the Godiva store to pick up some chocolate for a friend, get my free monthly piece, and try their new milkshake (I had milk chocolate caramel, and it was utterly delicious). Then I sauntered back in the lovely mid-day heat (still freezing inside), and was back at my desk with time to check my e-mail before returning to work. NTTTT.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Muchly Randomness

Carlos was very disappointed in me that, after he made his position in regards to my coming home late perfectly clear, I was late getting home again last night. I think he despairs of getting his simple message through to me. Though I came straight home tonight, so perhaps that will comfort him.

My Tardis shawl may have suffered a setback; I say "may" because when I looked at it and saw what I may have done wrong, the mere idea was too upsetting to contemplate, so I put it away before all the blood could rush from my head, and am waiting for the stamina to look at it again and be sure*. Let's just say that if you spend hours picking up hundreds of stitches, the cursing you did during the process is nothing to the cursing that will unfold if it turns out you did it wrong, and have to do it all again. Ooof. If I did what I think I did, it's totally fixable but very annoying. Which is better than not being fixable, but not by much.
*Which hasn't happened yet.
At least the sock is going well; I turned the heel last night, and used a new heel flap that is a fun alternative to the regular one. I'd heard of an "eye of partridge" heel before, but didn't realize that it was a variant of the heel flap and thus could easily substitute into my standard sock pattern (the Skyp, of course). Here's the basic heel flap, the straight-line part to the left:
And here's the new one.
It should be equally sturdy, and the look differs enough to entertain me (I know, it doesn't take much). 
I've learned a few new jargony terms in this new job; one of the first was KOL, which I have mastered by now (it stands for key opinion leader: they get interviewed and then quoted in reports). The one that makes me want to giggle, though, is SWOT. Since I knew it as an informal British term for someone who's always studying (the closest US term they come up with is grind, though that feels dated to me), the idea of it standing for an analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats amuses me no end.
Especially threats.
Wouldn't "Generic Erosion" make a great name for a rock band?
I was reading up on some diseases at work, and went to the NIH website as a seemingly reputable source of information. You can imagine how I felt, then, when I ran across "nervves" and "Hormone treatments may may the tumor smaller in some cases" there. Ow, NIH, ow.
Remember the "stop clubbing" picture from the other day?
Is it wrong that when someone at work didn't get it, my opinion of her dropped a little? Is that wrong of me?
This is another editor, to be clear. First she just glanced at it and away, thinking that it was actually about clubbing baby seals (like I would put up a poster about that at work--I mean, if I worked for Greenpeace maybe, but I don't, and even if it was my top cause, what does that have to do with my job?). Then she looked at it and said she didn't get it, before finally actually reading it and then calling it "weird". WTF? It's not weird, it's funny. It's a word-nerd joke. Hello? How is that not funny? Anyone? Bueller?
She's rather an odd duck, and she seems to be struggling even more than I am with the global logistics of the company (other writers in India and other editors in the UK). We'll see if she settles down to it, I guess.
The temperature fluctuations at work are getting a little (more) annoying. It's one thing to dress in layers for chilly inside and hot outside, but it's another kettle of fish when inside is 77 in the morning and 72 by the end of the day. And when it's 69 the next morning, well, come on. A little consistency, please! And (I know I ask a lot) preferably not consistently 69-72. That's not warm enough for me. I think 75 would be perfect.
Speaking of being out last night, I need to get to bed early tonight. Man, am I tired.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Carlos Tells a Story

I want my mama.
Just with me, that's all.
Not at the computer. Not on the couch with the knitting and the hockey game on TV (and don't think I don't know it's a rerun; I may be a cat, but I know they don't play in summer).
Are you still there?
Where you belong? By me?
I'm not staying here without you. You belong here, with me. I'll follow you.