Thursday, May 24, 2007

Hogwarts Friday Share-a-thon

From the Hogwarts SockSwap Blog:

  1. SHOW and TELL FRIDAY is to be posted on your blog, not the Hogwarts Sock Swap blog.
  2. If you don't have a blog you will not be able to participate. Sorry. I think this only affects one or two of you.
  3. 5 House points will be awarded to each participant.
  4. SHOW AND TELL FRIDAY will not be every Friday. We will have one more but I have not determined when.
  5. On your post you should give us a peek at your Hogwart socks-in-progress and tell us about the pattern you are using, the yarn etc. And, please link to the Hogwarts site to pique some interest for round TWO (sign-ups begin July 14).

In that vein, I will repost my pics plus some new things:

I got a nice skein of Tofutsies sock yarn for my pal and some (gorgeous!) Lantern Moon needles with a little carrying case! LOVE that!

And here's an attempt at a close-up of those freakin' gorgeous needles!

I'm working on the box, then I think I'll be sending the whole kaboodle off to my Hufflepuff buddy.In the meantime, here are my fave Hogwarts Buttons:


And some extra fun

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I Done Been Tagged--Twice!!!

SpiderKnit (my Aussie buddy) and Knitting2Relax both came through for me.

The rules: Each person tagged gives 7 random facts about themselves. Those who are tagged need to write on their own blog those 7 facts as well as the rules of the game. You need to tag seven other people and list their names on your blog. Then you leave those you plan on tagging a note in their comments so they know that they have been tagged and to read your blog.

Those I'm Tagging:

My Seven Random Facts:
1) I always wanted to be mysertious and tortured. Instead I can be read like unto cheap fiction. And, you know...I'm pretty happy.

2) I knew I wanted to marry Andrew when I met him. I had to grow up a bit before that was possible. And this fall it will be 20 years since we met, 19 since we first dated.

3) I am uncannily good at reading Tarot.

4) I would LOVE to be enough of a free spirit to be able to live on nothing, travel on a shoestring, and just pursue the arts/crafts that I love with my kids and family. If it weren't for those damn bills...

5) I'm a fifth generation Californian living in Tucson, Arizona who's directly related to the Declaration-of-Independence-Livingstons from New York (go figure).

6) I long for the days before tehnology (which is ridiculous, I'm sure, to those who know how much time I spend "wired").

7) I wish I could write (good) fiction.

Allrighty the rest of yous guys, hop to it!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

My new york birthday. proof it happened.



Begging (you to stop) the Questions

There are a couple of things that really irk me...usually it's the English teacher in me (though I'm no Grammar Nazi)--things like "irregardless", stuff like that.

But there's a new one that's becoming more and more prevalent and it's really quite upsetting because this one falls into the realm of logic, not grammar and usage.

My feeling: the world is already too freakin' illogical as it is. We don't need to compound the problem with sloppy language.

The problem: "begging the question"; "that begs the question..."

Here's how I just heard this used on NPR (for goodness sake!):
Interviewee: ...and his leaving the World Bank has made a lot of folks happy.
Interviewer: Well, that begs the question, of course...why did it take so long?

Um. No.
See it, "leads to the quesiton," it "raises the question," but it does not BEG the question. That's a term of logic--a material or informal fallacy in fact.

Here's what the (sometimes dubious but in this case correct) Wikipedia has to say on the subject:

In logic, begging the question has traditionally described a type of logical fallacy, petitio principii, in which the proposition to be proved is assumed implicitly or explicitly in one of the premises ([1] [2] [3] [4] ). Begging the question is related to the fallacy known as circular argument, circulus in probando, vicious circle or circular reasoning. As a concept in logic the first known definition in the West is by the Greek philosopher Aristotle around 350 B.C., in his book Prior Analytics.

The phrase is sometimes used to simply mean "poses the question" [5]. This recasting of the term more directly describes a related fallacy, known as the Fallacy of many questions, that occurs when the evidence given for a proposition is as much in need of proof as the proposition itself

And for those who like Logic (again, from the Wiki site):
The following structure of an argument in which the question is begged is common:

* p implies q
* q implies r
* r implies p
* suppose p
* therefore, q
* therefore, r
* therefore, p.

Which, when simplified, shows itself as obviously flawed:

* p implies p
* suppose p
* therefore, p.

Okay, so the end of that is pretty darn clear, you can't use something to prove itself.

That food is awful because it's disgusting.
He's a jerk--you can tell becuase he's so unpleasant.
You can't trust that politician--I mean, come on! He's a politician.

See the difference between that and the NPR example above?

Normally I'm not such a stickler. But when someone like Aristotle put pen to paper a couple thousand years ago and preserved this idea--an idea which has been used correctly for a couple thousand years--well... I'm just a little uncomfortable having we lazy Americans know...change it. 'Cuz it's easier that way.

I generally distrust "easy."

My two cents.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Hitchens on Falwell

I'm impressed that he's as outspoken as he is, Pharyngula: Hitchens on Falwell, but he'll likely sell more books this way. Either way, I think he's brave. And right.

I also thought this, was a calmer--but still accurate--description.

All in all, my feelings are--good riddance.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Thing One, breaking a board in karate. No. REALLY?

Friday, May 11, 2007

Ravelry - a knit and crochet community

Ravelry - a knit and crochet community
Soon! Very Soon you will be able to enjoy the wonders of the best planned site I've ever seen.

I don't say that lightly.


Ridiculous Bureaucracy

Few things burn my butt more than Ridiculous Bureaucracy--and I seem to find the majority of it close to schools. And today was ALL ABOUT Ridiculous Bureaucracy.

We began yesterday, actually, trying to hunt down the correct division of the NYC Bored Board Department of Ed which sent me a WTC registry form. Evidently they want to keep track of those of us who were there on 9/11 and/or worked/lived down near Ground Zero for the year after 9/11/2001. Why? Because we were breathing toxic soup and they're anticipating that we'll die—early.

At least, that's what I think.


It isn't enough that they have my records on file which prove that I worked there. No. That would be too simple. So, some stealth office sends out a form. Which I fill out. That I then have to get notarized (see how nice it is to be trusted by your employer! What a gesture of good faith. Boy, it makes me want to work harder for them).

I had the completed letters in the back of the car with the other errands (returning goggles that don't fit, that sort of thing) only to have my DH return from a trip and throw them out in a fit of fatherly cleanliness (not that I'm complaining).

This is only sort of egregious--I leave things around all the time. I know it's annoying. I also know that he recognizes the unique/ugly font on All Things DoE. Did he toss it out of spite? I'll never know...

So. The letter is gone.

I spent close to 3 hours yesterday trying to track down the office that sent it out so I could get a copy and redo it--it's due sometime this month.


Here's the kicker--The LEGAL COUNSEL for the ENTIRE DISTRICT didn't know...which means...what? They didn't vett the thing? I think that's the scariest part of the story.

So, today I called my faithful friend Josie to see if she had a photocopy of her form (she did) and if she'd fax it (she will) so I can be tracked for when I die young and Andrew and the kids will (at least) get some money out of it.

It's the least I can do.

Then today's fun was with the UofA.

In a rare fit of efficiency, NYU--who I faxed a request to last night--immediately faxed over my immunization records to the UofA health office so I could (finally) enroll for a summer program. I was floored at how fast they moved. But not as floored as I was to find out that my two MMR shots ('68 and '69) don't' count b/c there was a measles outbreak here in 1979 (Was I living here then? NO!) so I need to have ANOTHER shot.

Can they get me the shot?

Well...not until I'm registered.

When will I be registered?

When I have the shot.

See my point?

Add to that the letter I just received from the UofA domicile office. I'm not a resident. I may have to "prove two years of financial independence". I can resubmit paperwork in JULY '07 (the program I'm in is JUNE '07). I gather that uprooting my family from NY and buying a house here for us all to live in doesn't count in the whole Domicile thing. I'm just another semi-legal Alien here in AZ.

I understand these rules are for students who are Kids.
I understand that this is how the Universities make money--out-of-state tuition being a cash cow.
I get it.
I do.

But I'm forty now.

Am I a resident?
You bet your arse I am! I bought a house! My kids are in school here!

Am I carrying the measles virus?!
Wanna do a blood test? Then YOU do the blood test! I held up my end! You have my MMR report (good enough for NY, btw).

So, blah.

I'm ticked.


Spectacular Tutorial!

I'm loving this info session by Abby on how to drum card a tweedy batt. I've been working to figure this out myself for awhile. Rarely have I seen such clear instrucitons and pictures. Just wonderful!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Stale Singles

I think I'll be trying this with some Alpaca before long.

And why, you ask, have I not been blogging so much lately?

Homeschooling has taken a lot out of me, as has work. I think, if I can manage the loss of sleep, I'll be getting up a little earlier to write before heading off into the day.

My DH has come up with a very workable schedule for me to use and it's workign quite well, so far. He well knows my weakness in the area of organization, so this has been nice. But then, he's that kinda guy.

Business Acumen

I know, I know I'm way behind the times on this story, but it just bears repeating. I wonder what the actual numbers (subscribers and cash) actually were that these fools walked away from?! I'm used to stupidity like this in, say, the NYC Bored Board Department of Ed, but for an actual BUSINESS?!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

My Happy Birthday

The short version: My husband surprised me with a long weekend in NY to see my friends.

The long version:

Last Thursday, May 3, 2007, we were having a very nice dinner on our back patio--it was warm, we'd all been swiming, Andrew played a CD he made me of birthday music he thought I'd like and he'd just swept me away to dance. When the song was over we started cleaning up and I hear, "Hellooooooo!"

My Mom's head appeared over the fence and the boys went nuts. We had her walk around to the back gate where she was overwhelmed by kid-love from my sons.

I looked at Andrew and half-whispered, "So...weird...I mean it's nice and all but why is she here?"

"We have to go to dinner," and that little twitching smile appeared at the corner of his mouth.

"But we're going to dinner tomorrow, Friday night."

"Yeah, but we have to get there." Then he handed me a card with my itinerary.

Early Friday: Fly to NYC
Friday night: Dinner at One if by Land, Two if by Sea, drinks and singing at Marie's Crisis.

Satuday morning: Breakfast in Bed via Roomservice
Saturday day: open (we went to the Met and walked through Central Park)

Saturday night: dinner with Jackie, Liisa, and Pam.

Sunday day: laze around Croton and the Black Cow.
Sunday night: home.

So for my fortieth...the real surprise (on my actual birthday) was a surprise party at my friend Pam's house. People I hadn't seen in years showed up. It was one of those "this is your life" moment and...I wept all the way back to the airport.

In my adult life, I've never had to move because I should, only because I was sick of somewhere or really wanted to move. I loved Croton-on-Hudson. I love all my friends there. I love New York (though the humidity is for the birds). And it was very very hard to leave.

We were both sad, actually, and I wept most of the way to JFK--and not just because of the traffic.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Sock: Complete

Well, my Huffle-buddy's sock is complete. Now I just have to get needles and stitch markers. Think I'll make those.

So I've posted the start of my socks, the plan for my socks, the heel turn for my socks, and now, I can post some pics of my complete project:

All in all, I'm happy with the outcome. I've got about two inches of black ribbing at the top--looks very sharp.

This was my first "pattern" which was really just combining elements of a bunch of different patterns. But it was fun--and I finally understand that heel turn.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Anatomy Lesson

So, I've been using the Sock-U-Lator to calculate toe-up socks with a heel flap (I prefer to short-row heels, plus for my Badger-licious socks I needed to be able to pattern the heel and this was the easy way).

However, I find that I'm baffled by the "anatomy" of what I'm doing.


Here's my play by play of the instructions, complete with photos to clarify for me, God, and Everyone.

So, after using the Super Cool Knitty Cast On and working toe up, eventually you have to add a gusset* if you're going to use a heel flap (on a 68 st sock for a size 7.5 womens foot):

*L1A=lift one after, so when you've made a stitch and need to make a new one, you lift the next loop below the live left-needle stitch (after the gap, get it?).

Then you prep for the heel turn (though her instructions are a little outta whack):

Now, for the complicated part. Once you've gotten everything organized, you have to EXPAND the bottom of the foot so you have enough stitches on each side to seam to the heel flap...that you'll create.
Yeah, I know.

Think of it this way--on the bottom of the foot needle, you already have the gusset stitches. You can't mess with those, though. You've removed them from the active needle. What's left is actually the bottom of the foot. We need to add stitches* to each side of the bottom of the foot in order to have room there to seam the bottom, flap, and gusset (remember that cool straight seam that runs down the sides of the heel flap? We're going there in reverse):

*L1B=lift one before, so when you've made a stitch and need to make a new one, you lift the next loop below the live right-needle stitch (before the gap, get it?).

You can just start to see where the sock heel--which I had to bisect with two straights for ease of knitting--is bulging out around the middle from the added stitches.

So, that's just fine. Now, you need to deal with the seaming.

See the "heel flap seam" appear there to the right?
Cool, no?

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


I used to use this doc in my high school class--FUN!
Tenth Circle Added To Rapidly Growing Hell

The Onion

Tenth Circle Added To Rapidly Growing Hell

CITY OF DIS, NETHER HELL-After years of construction, Corpadverticus, the new circle of Hell, finally opened its doors Monday.

I am also nearly done with the little badgers on the heels of my sock-swap pal's socks. Pics to come, soon...

Free sidewinders game for school