Thursday, May 31, 2007

Live Writer Plugin for

I downloaded a Live Writer plugin: Flickr4Writer.  When you go to the Live Writer plugins and click on Flickr4Writer a very scary warning about security pops up.  But, over 1000 people have downloaded this plugin, so I took a chance.

This image is inserted with the Flickr4Writer plugin.

20070508 Yellow Rose

You can float the text either left or right.

This is a test of MS Live Writer

Microsoft and Typepad have cooperated with each other.  MS released several "Live..." applications, and Live Writer (in Beta) is one of them.  Live Writer is an application that runs on Windows XP or Vista, on your PC, not as a web application.

Here's the good news:

There's a button to insert an image from a URL.  Wahoo!  I've been inserting the html into my blog manually in order to link to my photos on  So let's try it now...

How cool is that?  I didn't enter one piece of html - just cut and pasted the url of the image.  One thing I haven't figured out how to do is make the text float to the right of the picture instead of take up it's own space.  But give me time.  I've only been using this gizmo for 5 minutes!  Ah, a few minutes later I see that the options are in the sidebar when you click on a photo.  Now I'm a happy camper.

And, I was able to change the font without entering any html.  So far so good.

Let's see if this post actually goes to the blog, shall we?

... yes, you can post directly from your PC Live Writer application; you can add categories; you can edit and repost.  Alrighty then....

Look, you can insert a map:

You can insert a regular street map, or an aerial  view like this one.






Note:  if you subscribe to this blog, please forgive all the updates.  I'm stopping now.

Monday, May 28, 2007

My first and only meme

I'm not a big fan of meme's (6 weird things about me, 50 things you don't know but know I'm telling you about me, etc.).  Lately I've been scanning a meme about books people have read or want to read or don't want to read.  I almost joined that one.  Then there is this one, which I could not resist.  It's almost like a to-do list.

Bold for stuff you've done, italics for stuff you plan to do one day, and normal for stuff you're not planning on doing.

Garter stitch


Stockinette stitch

Socks: top-down

Socks: toe-up

Mittens: Cuff-up

Moebius band knitting

Drop stitch patterns

Slip stitch patterns

Twisted stitch patterns

Knitting with bamboo yarn

Charity knitting

Toy/doll clothing

Knitting with circular needles

Baby items


Continental knitting

Cable stitch patterns (incl. Aran)

Lace patterns


Teaching a child to knit

American/English knitting (as opposed to continental)

Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cosies...)

Knitting socks (or other small tubular items)on two circulars

Knitting with someone elses handspun yarn

Knitting with dpns

Holiday related knitting

Knitting with cotton


Knitting two socks (or other small tubular items) on two circulars simultaneously


Knitting with wool

Textured knitting

Kitchener BO


Long Tail CO

Entrelac Knitting and purling backwards

Knitting with selfpatterning/selfstriping/variegating yarn


Knitting with synthetic yarn

Writing a pattern


Tubular CO

Freeform knitting

Short rows

Cuffs/fingerless mits/armwarmers

Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine

Knitting a gift

Knitting for pets


Knitting in public

Button holes

Knitting with silk
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
Knitting with banana fiber yarn
Domino knitting
Knitting with soy yarn

Knitting with your own handspun yarn

Designing knitted garments

Knitting with alpaca

Norwegian knitting

Teaching a male how to knit

Knitting smocking

Knitting with beads
Stuffed toys

Knitting with cashmere
Knitting with linen

Knitting for preemies

Thrummed knitting



Knitting with metal wire
Knitting with camel yarn
Mittens: Tip-down
Participating in a KAL (maybe Zimmermania, some day)
Two end knitting (what's this?)
 Graffitti knitting (knitting items on, or to be left on the street)
Publishing a knitting book
Knitting to make money
Dyeing with plant colours
Knitting items for a wedding
Olympic knitting!
 Knitting for a living
Dyeing yarn
Knitting art 
 Machine knitting
Knitting with dog/cat hair
Hair accessories
Knitting on a loom

Friday, May 25, 2007

Knitty Convertible Finished

These pictures show why I hate having my picture taken.  I'm old and fat and I look just like my mother - and where did all that gray hair come from?  The pictures also show my version of Knitty's Convertible.  The wrap was designed by Rebecca Hatcher, and it was a joy to follow the pattern.  The only gripe I have is that there was no chart, but I made one and worked from that.

20070525 Knitty Convertible 01  20070525 Knitty Convertible 02 (Click for larger images.)

My version is wider than the one in the pattern, by two repeats.  That means the arms have more room, but the wrap covers my shoulders and back better than a narrower version would have.

I chose dull, metal, shanked buttons.

Bamboo yarn is heavy, but not too warm.  This wrap will serve as my protection against aggressive air conditioning in the mega-plex movie theater this summer.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Knitty Convertible Almost There

The knitting was finished a couple of days ago.  It's about 52 inches long - shorter than specified in the pattern.  I got tired of knitting on it.

Originally I was going to wear it like a poncho, but it's a little short for that, so a shrug it is.  Today at my knitting group I'll tuck in the ends and look for buttons I can use to make this shawl into a shrug.

What's next?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Memorial Day

Interweave Knits has an email subscription service called "Knitting Daily".  Today's mail was about remembering soldiers who serve in wars.  Knitting Daily corresponded with a Major Laura who is a knitter serving as a medical professional in Iraq. The story reminds me to be grateful for all the people who put themselves in harm's way for me.

Yes, I am grateful, and at least once a year I remember soldiers who served.  Here's to you soldiers.  Thanks!!

More often than not I think of George W. Bush and his cronies who put today's soldiers in harms way.  Those people I do not thank.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Lace Sampler Patterns 5 and 6

Well it has been quite a while since I posted about working on Susanna e. Lewis' Lace Knitting Workshop.  I decided to pick it up again this morning, and find that I haven't documented patterns 5 and 6.  It's been so long (about a year) that I forget what I was thinking when I knit them.  Anyway, here they are.  My scanner is broken, so these are taken with the camera, which suffers from my mediocre skills.  You can click for closeup images.

This is pattern #5:

20070522 Lace Sampler 5

Pattern 5 has straight sides, which means the increases and decreases are balanced in their left- and rightedness.

This is pattern #6:

20070522 Lace Sampler 6

Pattern 6 has wavy sides.  On each repeat (there are two here), the bottom half has only right leaning decreases and the top half has only left leaning decreases.  The action creates stitches that are biased.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Spider-Man 3

Spider-Man 3: * Poor

I don't recommend this movie.  It's dark, as in not very good lighting as opposed to dark mood.  I think the movie makers wanted it to have a dark mood too, but nothing about this movie succeeds.  It's 139 minutes - about 60 minutes too long.  People around me were laughing at scenes that weren't supposed to be funny.

I can't say the acting was good.  It wasn't.  The special effects were okay, which you would expect from a multi million dollar production.  I think the people involved in this trilogy* are tired of it.  At one point the grandmother is having [yet another] moving moment with Peter Parker, and there is a hair pin sticking out of her hair.  Would it have been too much trouble to push the pin in and retake the scene?

Don't bother paying for this one, but if you have a friend with some good weed and a pirated copy then by all means knock yourself out.

* At least I hope it's a trilogy.  Any more Spider-Man movies would be embarrassing for Hollywood.

Walking at Deer Creek

Gas is so expensive these days that our day trips are closer to home.  It takes about an hour to wind through the hills to Lassen National Forest, and Deer Creek.  Our first hike on Deer Creek Trail was easy and pleasant.  In May the wildflowers and dogwoods are in bloom.  The trail leads into the Ishi Wilderness.  You can google it for more information.  Here are a few of the thumbnails of today's pictures.  You can click on any one to see larger images.

20070518 Yellow Star Tulip 20070518 Wild Ginger Collage 20070518 Deer Creek 02

From left to right: Yellow Star Tulip, Wild Ginger, Deer Creek

It felt so good to get away from the hum of Chico and into the sound of birds, creek, and wind in the mountains!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


There is a new web site that I just started using.  It's, a web site for knitters, crocheters, and designers.  You can store your projects (finished or not), your wish list, your stash, your books, and more.

So far I have just one project loaded up, the Knitty Convertible.  I read in Ravelry's informative tour that if I put a link to my project in a blog entry, like this Typepad blog entry, then the blog entry will be displayed in my project.  Does it work?  We shall see.

So far, I like this Ravelry a lot, and I recommend you get yourself onto the waiting list to become a member.  The web site is the brain child of two people and they have about 3,000 people waiting to get in, so be patient.  I waited a couple of weeks, but it was worth the wait.  They have thought of just about everything.

Georgia Rule

Georgia Rule: *** Good

Before seeing the movie, I thought it was set in Georgia, the state.  Instead it is set in Idaho and Georgia is the name of a stern grandmother taking care of an out of control granddaughter for the summer.

The NY Times review is pretty fair.

One of my favorite actresses, Felicity Huffman, plays Lilly, mother (not "mom") to Rachel.  Rachel, played by Lindsay Lohan, is an out of control teenager being sent to live with her grandmother George, played by Jane Fonda.  There are 2 or 3 hunky men in the picture, but the story is about these three women.  All three do good acting jobs.

Rachel is trouble walking.  She seduces whoever doesn't run fast away from her.  At one point one of the men calls her the Anti-Christ, and he's not far wrong.  But deep down she really isn't as awful as she acts.  The behavior is caused by childhood trauma... or is it?  She tells of childhood molestation by her step father, and then she takes it back, and then she doesn't, and then the truth is know in the last few minutes of the film. 

This could have been a much better film, but it is good enough.  The Idaho scenery is nice on the big screen, but if you don't see it until the DVD is released, that's okay too.

Monday, May 14, 2007

The Namesake

The Namesake (**** Very Good)

Jan and I went to see a movie called The Namesake at the Pageant Theater.  It's based on the book by Jhumpa
Lahiri.  A man and woman from India start a family in the United
States.  Of course the children are 100% American and the divide
between generations is wide, but deep down they are a very close
family.  I loved the movie and now I have put in a library request for
the book.  My family wasn't close or wonderful, so watching a movie
like this is like peeking through a glass to see what a close family is
like.  Enough of this maudlin stream of consciousness.

The NY Times gave it a pretty good review.

The colors are wonderful in the flowing saris... made me wonder how comfortable they are and just how foolish I would look in one :-)

I recommend the move.

The Perfect Princess

Here is Persimmon, who has a heated basket near a sunny window. And why not?

Spoiling cats is a privilege :-)

Saturday, May 12, 2007

North State Symphony

AAATonight was the final performance of the season, and J and I have concluded that the string section of the North State Symphony is pretty darned good.  That's Kyle Wiley Pickett on the left, a fine conductor.  The woodwinds played well too.  I think the orchestra gets a little better every year.

The program tonight included Mozart, Brahms, and Beethoven.  I admit I dozed off during the Brahms, but the Mozart and Beethoven kept me awake.  Here's the program:

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart:  Overture to Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), K. 492

Johannes Brahms: Schicksalslied (Song of Destiny), for Chorus and Orchestra, Op. 54, and Nanie (Dirge) for Chorus and Orchestra, Op. 82.

Intermission (during which some local school kids took the stage and played very badly).

Ludwig Van Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 in Eb Major, Op. 55, "Eroica"

One teensy weensy little whine:  Laxon Auditorium at CSU Chico is the black hole of sound.  The orchestra had to play sooo loudly in order to be heard!  They must have been sooo tired by the end!  I can only imagine what they might have sounded like in a good room....

Looking forward to next year!  Have a good summer, NS Symphony.  See you in the Fall.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

May Garden

20070508 Rhododendron 20070508 Mock Orange 20070508 Herb Garden 20070508 Yellow Rose

The back yard is looking good.  From left to right, above:  Rhododendron, Mock Orange, Herb Garden, and Rose.

It occurred to me recently that I don't often cook things that need fresh herbs.  I wonder if I should plant some other things in the herb garden... hmmm.  About the Rhodie, Chico isn't a friendly Rhodie environment - too much sun and heat - but this one is happy under the shade of the Arbutus tree and Myrtle tree growing nearby.

20070508 Pink Border Flowers 20070508 Styrax Collage

The front yard is in bloom.  From left to right above: Mystery border pink flowers, Styrax tree collage.  The Styrax tree is in it's annual bloom.  It's covered with little white flowers.  The violas and daisies beneath the tree don't mind a few flowers dropping on them from the tree above.

You can click on any picture to see a bigger image.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Year of the Dog

Year of the Dog (*** Good)

I'm not sure 3 out of 5 stars is right for this movie.  It's a downer, or maybe it's not a downer depending on how you feel.  If you go see it based on the trailer and the writer/director's history, then I think you will be surprised.  Happy surprised?  I don't know.  If you think it's a Romantic Comedy based on the trailer, then think again.  It is a good satire of just about every type of person.

The NY Times says, "�Year of the Dog� is funny ha-ha but firmly in touch with its downer
side, which means it�s also funny in a kind of existential way.

The lead is a woman.  She's timid, shy, one of those invisible women that life passes by.  You feel sorry for her.  She works in a corporate world and smiles in a forced, unhappy way.  Her major source of love is her dog and he dies.  Is this funny yet?

The acting is very good:   Molly Shannon is the lead.  Laura Dern and Tom McCarthy are her sister-in-law and brother (uptight upper middle class).  Regina King is a co-worker/friend (girlfriend is ready to get married).  Peter Saarsgaard is the potential boyfriend and animal activist (it doesn't work out).  John C. Reilly is the next door neighbor (a hunter who accidentally shot his dog).    And there are more.  Every performance is good, and every performance was a little off.  I think maybe I take everything too seriously and need to find my funny bone again.

I recommend it for DVD.  It doesn't require a big screen to enjoy it.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

California Democrats

The top dogs in California Democratic Politics met last week.

Hillary seems self-assured:

I will buy whatever brand of hope Obama is selling:


It's our country.  Let's fix it.