Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Packing... again

discovery_ac_4b discovery_fe_4b 

Next week we are off to a resort town in way north Washington State.  We've arranged for somebody to come and love the cats; I'm about to print the packing lists and house/cat instructions; I'm thinking about getting my suitcase out of the closet and cleaning off the top of my desk.

And, as usual, when we leave town the weather turns beautiful in Chico.  The air is clear.  The temperature is only in the 90's.  (Only?  Does that mean I'm a real Chicoan now?)

I am looking forward to wearing long pants and shirts with long sleeves (and sweatshirts) for a week.  We'll be visiting islands by ferry, and the Greater Vancouver, B.C., area.  The resort has a pool, so I'll take my bathing suit and see if I can get some no-impact exercise in the early morning before the children take over.

On the emo front, I read the blog of a stranger, a woman who left her home and friends in NZ and traveled to Corvallis, OR, for a 3-year internship.  People on Ravelry had been saying how funny her blog was and welcome to the US, etc.  When I read it I was almost in tears because the place she left was so beautiful!  Well, it's only 3 years, and Corvallis isn't the worst place to visit.   So, welcome, dear.  I hope Corvallis takes good care of you.  Okay, donning the hard shell for another day.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

New kid in the courtyard

20080719 Brown Eyed Susan Plant20080719 Brown Eyed Susan FlowerThis brown-eyed susan is a new plant in the courtyard this year.

The baby came from the farmers' market one Saturday in early Spring.  I sure hope it re-seeds itself!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Fan Bookmarks

Fan Booksmarks 1 and 2I've been playing with crochet again.  It's probably been 25 years since the last crochet attempts.  Memories of past lifetimes are floating across my brain.

These are bookmarks to be sold at a friends of the library fundraiser later this fall.


The pattern is available here, and my Ravelry project is here.

The bookmark on the left, the 8-fan, red and white version, is done with Finca cotton perle No. 8.  The one on the right, the 6-fan, blue version, is done in embroidery thread.  There wasn't enough blue embroidery thread in a bundle to make 8 fans in the bookmark.  Maybe 6 fans will work for a shorter book :-)

These are both experiments to see what thread I like working with.  The Finca is way nicer than the embroider thread (no surprise there).  Neither has been sprayed with starch and ironed yet - must go buy some spray starch.  I think I'll do several of these in Christmas colors, red or green.

This fundraiser project has been fun.  I never would have tried these bookmarks if I hadn't been searching around for quickie projects.  And the recent clapotis was done for the fundraiser too.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Noro Kureyon Sock Yarn

20080722 ClapotisI have loved the colors in various Noro yarns for a very long time.  It's on the not-cheap end of the spectrum so I haven't used it.  Until now.

I fetched a friend from the train station to give her a ride home.  As a thank-you she gave me a ball of Kureyon Sock Yarn, color S150.  (Thank you, Suzanne!)

I wouldn't make socks out of this yarn.  There are places in the yarn where it looks un-spun, almost like a beginner's spinning project.  And there are places where it is thin and a little overspun and unbalanced.  Since the yarn is 70% wool and 30% Nylon, I wouldn't think it would felt into uniformity when worn as a sock.  Instead I think it would develop weak spots.

So I made a clapotis (smaller, scarf version) out of it.  The yarn is perfect for a clopotis.  I made a narrower version, approximately 75+ sts wide (I forgot to count the exact number of sts).  If you decide to make a version like this, be advised that you will probably need about 10-11 grams of yarn for the beginning increase section and the same amount for the ending decrease section.  I have about 16g left over because I made it a little too short. 

No matter about the shortness.  It will still be okay for stuffing inside a coat collar in the winter.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Corvallis Public Library

Oh, the envy I feel!  The people of Corvallis have such a lovely library!  It began in the 1899 ...

20080714 Corvallis Library Reading RoomThis room is the original library, 5,200 sq. ft.  Now it's a reading room which the reference librarian says is usually "so quiet it's like a church in there."  This room houses the magazines and large type books as well as several comfortable chairs.  See that beautiful ceiling and those ceiling lights?  Lovely.

Note:  They have THREE! subscriptions to knitting magazines: Interweave Knits, Vogue Knitting, and Knitters.  I'm weeping tears of longing for a library like this.

Can you see how clean it is?

20080714 Corvallis Library20080714 Corvallis Library Card CatalogIt began with two books purchased by the Coffee Club in 1899.  In 1932 the current site was opened.  In 1965 they added another 17,000 sq. ft.  In 1989 the voters approved a $6.85 million library bond by 70%.  They added a second story.  The current facility was dedicated in 1992.

The thing that I noticed while I was there was the quiet and cleanliness - even in the kids room.  The carpets are clean!  It's like they respect it.  Imagine.

20080714 Corvallis Library Knitting BooksThe shelves are neat and there is room to shelve the books.

This picture shows three and a half shelves of knitting books.  Current knitting books.  Be still my heart!  See how there is room to shelve the tall books without turning them on their side?

See how the books look all neat and lined up, like somebody was just there to dust and straiten the shelves?

20080714 Corvallis Library Holds AreaThey process many hold requests.  The hold shelves are in the lobby, right next to the self-checkout stands (two of them).  There is also a circulation person in the lobby to help people who don't want to use the self-checkout stations.

Also in the lobby is the "Customer Service" window where people go to pay fines and deal with other problems/requests.  I looked in there.  It was clean.  There were several people doing circulation tasks (checking in/out, sorting for shelving, loading carts for shelvers, etc.).

So, all the circulation tasks are done by people in the back room who aren't as likely to be interrupted by those pesky patrons.  They can do the job with care.  They probably even wash their books back there!

20080714 Corvallis Library ComputersThey have tons (over 26 with internet access) of public computers.  They have wi-fi!

They have a room full of music CDs. 

They have two catalogs:  Library Solutions' "classic catalog", and an Aquabrowser "visual catalog".  The Aquabrowser version is easier to use, and it must be built on top of the Library Solutions database.

Their Friends of the Library and their Public Library Foundation are active, and the reference librarian told me they are good at "getting out the vote."

Corvallis has a library.  Chico has a libraryCorvallis has about 54,000 people.  Chico has about 86,000 people.  Shouldn't we have a better library?

Summer movies

More Summer movies....

KungFuPandaPoster Kung Fu Panda
A Panda saves his village from a big, bad snow leopard.  Funny and sweet.

wantedposter Wanted
Lots of violence.  Good if you like lots of violence.  I don't.
walleposter Wall-E
Wonderful WALL-E saves Earth and falls in love.
hancockposter Hancock
Will Smith is a Super Hero with a past.


Two more summer movies I want to see:  Hellboy 2, and The Dark Knight. 

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Looking at Corvallis

corvallis I've been looking for a new place to live.  So far nothing beats Chico, CA.  The next stop on the investigative tour is Corvallis, OR, home to

Oregon State
a City
Aquatic Center,
a full-service public
a multi-screen, good
movie theater,
yarn store,
a Wed./Sat. farmers' market,
air and weather than Chico,
and reasonably priced

Politically, it appears to be a liberal pocket in the agricultural Willamette Valley of Oregon.

It doesn't have a Costco or a Trader Joe's, which is good or bad, depending on how you look at it.  I would miss Trader Joe's, but there is one in Eugene an hour (+/-) south of Corvallis.  The nearest Costco is only about 10 miles away in Albany.

So, a looking we will go.  See y'all in a bit.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Washington Post's Style Invitational

This came as an e-mail from a friend.  There have been several articles in the news lately about how e-mail is dead.  Well, I can't think of a better use for e-mail than sending jokes :-)  This list has been going around for awhile, so you might have seen it already.  Have any to add to this list?

Here is a Washington Post Style Invitational (aka Mensa Invitational), which has probably been modified and added to for years.  Add or change a letter to create a new word and provide the definition.

  1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.
  2. Ignoranus: A person who's both stupid and an asshole.
  3. Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.
  4. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.
  5. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.
  6. Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.
  7. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.
  8. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.
  9. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.
  10. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease.
  11. Karmageddon: It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.
  12. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.
  13. Glibido: All talk and no action.
  14. Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.
  15. Arachnoleptic Fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.
  16. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.
  17. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating.

EZ Heart Hat

20080709 Heart Hat Front 20080709 Heart Hat Back

This was fun to knit, and following EZ's pithy directions wasn't difficult either.  Pictures link to my project on Ravelry with information about yarn and pattern.  There are some snazzy examples on Ravelry.  Mine is just okay. 

I'm not sure if it's modern enough to make many more of them for the CFOL fund raiser.  Slouch hats and scarves are probably more popular.  Speaking of scarves, the current project on the needles is a clapotis made with Noro's Kureyon Sock yarn.  More about that later.

The links are to Ravelry.  If you aren't a member, I encourage you to join - add your projects, track your stash, bla-bla-bla on the forums.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Disgruntled in Chico, CA

This is one of those days when all I want to do is spend the day alone, not being polite.

How was your 4th of July weekend, you ask?  You didn't ask, but I'll tell you anyway. 

  • A gold inlay fell out of my mouth (a week after I had gone to the dentist because it felt loose, but he couldn't find anything).  Now I'm drinking Ensure for meals, and I'm being bitchy.  I feel sorry for all those people with their jaws wired shut for weeks and weeks.

  • I finished a knitting project that is less than perfect.  It's supposed to be a "hand crafted" gift for a November fund raiser and I feel like it's just "hand made".  Pictures tomorrow.

  • The mountain fire smoke came back into Chico, CA, so the air quality is all fucked up.  Again.  Sacramento Valley - blech!

  • It's hot, the air quality sucks, so I'm staying inside, fighting with J over what the temperature should say on the thermostat.

  • I watched hours and hours of Olympic Trials and Wimbledon.  Quality sports, but there was a lot of it.  Why?  To keep J company.

  • I went to a movie and didn't get any snacks because it costs over $7 for a very small popcorn and a small bottle of water.

  • It's hot and the air quality sucks, so I went for a walk in the park at 6:30am and inhaled all that shit.  Why?  To keep J company.

  • J is being particularly bitchy.  Normally I would put on my headphones and go work in the garden... but it's hot and the air quality sucks. 

  • Two bitchy women locked up in a house in hot, bad air isn't good.

  • And finally, this is what our professional gardening company (Lifescapes, Chico, CA) thinks an oleander should look like in the summer.  And this is what they think a clean sidewalk should look like:

         ... and the neighborhood pays for this!


... and this from (very funny):

Okay, that's the end of my rant.

Yours truly,
Disgruntled in Chico, CA.

PS:  The dentist works on Mondays.  My tooth is okay now.