Friday, June 29, 2007


Let me tell ya - it can get pretty wild in the city. ;)

a cardinal...

some ducks... (there are some babies in there, I swear! They just have really good camoflage!)

... and an albino squirrel! (I've never actually seen one before!)

I'm excited because picasa just added a thing that lets you map your photos in google maps! So now you can see exactly where I took a picture of the albino squirrel! I know you're just dying to know where I found it! ;) It would be a really cool feature for traveling though.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Free Caribou Cooler day! and knitting update

I walked down to get my free coffee drink with some of the ladies from work. (I nearly called them "the girls from work", but earlier they were talking about being treated like an adult at work so it that just didn't seem like a good idea.)

The long line...

The coffee drink didn't last too long. Yum!
That's 4 repeats of the Print O' the Wave stole too. I didn't even bother with a second swatch. I'm going with the Size 3 needles - if it turns out too holey I'm just going to tell everyone that was what I wanted. I'm really not in the mood to work with anything smaller.

Some very strange looking clouds.

Father's Day

I was over at my parents' house last weekend and we kind of celebrated Father's Day. We ate and I gave him a coffee shop gift card. Unfortunately my budget does not stretch to $800 tree trimming things like he wanted.

And then my dad worked on my car. Do I have a cool dad or what? :)

Checking out the front brakes

The old (bottom) and new brake pads. You can see the old one is really thin compared to the new one!

Putting it all back together

Hanging out with Sam

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Finally - something good in the mail!

I love getting mail, but I've only been checking my mailbox once or twice a week lately. I rarely get good mail. 80% of it is ads I don't want, 15% of it is bills and the other 5% is ads with coupons. So I was really happy to get the escrow statement from my mortgage company yesterday. I've lived here for 5 years, and in those five years my monthly mortgage payment has gone up $200 a month just because of property taxes. yes, $200 a month! So I was really pleased a few months ago when I got the property tax statement thing in the mail and it showed mine were going to go down a little this year. According to the escrow statement I got yesterday, my mortgage payment will be $40 less each month. I have a rather tight budget, so $40 a month is pretty darn exciting.

Then I flipped to the second page and found a check for $265. That totally made my day. (I just wish I got surprise checks in the mail more often. Although I'd be smart enough to not cash a check for $2.5 million without calling someone to ask why they were sending me that much money. unlike some people who have received surprise checks in the mail lately.)

So... what should I spend it on? This is going to be tough. It should probably go into my savings account or to pay off my credit card, but I could buy one of these. or maybe this (but not unless the price comes back down to $199!). hmmm... decisions, decisions.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Getting things done... and little red socks

You know how I always have about 50 projects going on at one time? I have decided that is Not A Good Idea. I have a tendency to have lots of good ideas. Then I make plans (and sometimes buy supplies, because that is one of the most fun parts of doing things). Then I start the project. Then halfway through I have another great idea I need to start planning for right now. I decided to set a few goals for this week in an attempt to keep up with stuff.

  1. Stay on top of the dirty dishes. I usually only eat one meal a day at home and I rarely cook anything anymore so I don't need to run the dishwasher that often. Somehow I have gotten into the habit of never emptying the dishwasher. I just keep taking clean dishes out of it as I need them. But then there's no place for the dirty dishes, so they get piled up in the sink or on top of the counter. So this week I am going to empty and fill as I go. So far, so good. There's also an unexpected benefit - if the sink is empty I can put the whole watering can in it. This is great because I don't have an outside faucet and I do have a lot of plants this year. My watering can is big and it's a lot easier to just plunk the whole thing in the sink and turn on the faucet on full force than it is to fill up a smaller container 50 times and pour it in to the watering can. This year I need to fill the watering can twice to have enough water. (yeah, maybe I went overboard on the plants this year. I still want a hibiscus plant too.)
  2. I need to finish up some knitting projects before I start new ones. I've finished the little red socks I started way back when it was really cold out. Next up is the half complete striped baby sweater (baby is due any day now). After that I'm going to complete my Mariah sweater by adding buttons and button loops. I'm sure there are other things I need to finish, but these are the things I really wanted or needed to get done. Then I can move on to new projects - the Print O' the Wave Stole and some colorful socks.

Little red socks
Pattern: none, really. Top down.
Yarn: Paton's Grace
Needles: Size 2 Addi Turbos

With Spike for scale

Monday, June 11, 2007

Print O' the Wave Swatch #1

A bit o' knitting...
I am being good for once and blogging about what I'm knitting so I'll have a record of it. Most of the time I just go at it and never write anything down so two years later I have no idea what I did and why it looks so different than the one pictured in the pattern. Well, either that or I leave pages and pages of cryptic notes with lots of math and no idea which version of the math I used. (For someone who never really liked math, I sure do a lot of it lately!)

Print O' the Wave Swatch #1
Pattern: Eunny Jang's Print O' the Wave stole
Yarn: Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud in Midnight (lace weight)
Needles: Size 4 Clover straights
Conclusion: Too holey! I don't know if it's the needle size or if I just blocked the crap out of it. I'm going to have to get some size 3's and see if that's better.

I couldn't really find a good description of the color of this yarn online. There was a picture, but it just looked dark on both my monitor at home and at work. I was really surprised by how green it was in real life. Since the color is called Midnight, I figured it would be black or charcoal or navy. maybe even purple. but I wouldn't have guessed green.

I'll have to see if I can find a yarn store open after 6 sometime this week.* I think I'm going to try to find the Adi lace needles - I'm looking for something pointy and slightly grippy. They sound like they might be it. I thought about swatching on some size 2 Addi Turbos I have, but I really don't like them - they're so slippery and so dull I have a hard time just getting the tip of the needle in the right loop. I'm not even sure I could do a k3tog with them.

*why are yarn stores only open after 6 one night per week? I don't get it. It's expensive to shop there, but they're not actually open when most working people are not at work. So, you can work and make money to buy yarn, but they won't let you in the shop. grrr.

A bit o' work...
I found this in the document I'm editing today (all 62 pages of it!):

These facts, while impressive, could not be accomplished without your diligence and hard work.
This sentence is just wrong on so many levels. It just doesn't work. It doesn't even make sense! Since when are facts accomplished by hard work? They're facts - they just are. And don't you expect something negative after "These facts, while impressive..."? It's like saying "These facts are impressive, but..."

Friday, June 08, 2007

DC072 Computer Ops reunion

I met up with a bunch of the guys I used to work with last night. It was fun. I talk to some of them online all the time (even though it's been at least three and a half years since we worked together! can you believe it's been that long?!?) but I rarely see any of them. Last night everyone was there. Well, a few of them were missing, but all of the guys I worked with - the ones I think of when I remember working there - were there. Doug even came all the way up from Georgia just to see us. ;)

I miss working with all of you guys!

Click to see more from last night!

At the park with Erin and Tucker

We checked out a new park this week. It had a cute little lake and a big play area. All three of us had a good time climbing all over big ship-shaped playground equipment. (yes, all three of us. Even those of us who are probably too old and/or big to be on the playground. :) )

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

I am so cold today. I am starting to hate summer because you have to have two wardrobes to wear - one for the freezing cold office and one for the sweltering oven that your car has become while you've been shivering in the office.

Would my Wallace in The Wrong Trousers suction cup action figure look out of place stuck to the windshield of a Buick?

I got really frustrated yesterday trying to figure out what I spend all my money on. I am trying to come up with a budget but I can't figure out how much money I need to allocate to certain things, like food and necessary household stuff (toothpaste, clorox wipes, toilet paper, cat food, etc.). I could categorize a lot of my spending just by looking at my bank statement. $22 at Kwik Trip = a tank of gas. $50 at Kohl's = new walking shoes. $4.15 at Caribou Coffee = well... you know. But I buy almost everything else at Target. $32.67 at Target could be almost anything. milk. minutes for my cell phone. clothes. Captain Jack action figures. my prescription copay. season 2 of The Office. cat food. cat treats. coffee filters. eyeglasses. peanut butter. a pair of cute cat mugs. oil for my car. crackers to stash in my desk at work so I don't starve. a copy of In Style magazine. a box fan. giant plastic tubs to organize yarn in. heck, I've even gotten yarn at Target. It's really hard 3 months later to look at one number and figure out how much of that charge was for cheese and grapefruit and English muffins and how much of it went towards the electronic sudoku game (love it!). I may have to resort to keeping all my receipts and sorting through them at the end of the month to see just how much money I spent on groceries this month. And the chances that I could actually do that for a whole month is pretty slim. I'm starting to think I'm never going to figure this out.

When I get stressed out or really frustrated I tend to get obsessed about things. other things, like not the stuff I'm really worried about or the things I should be thinking about. And this time I'm obsessed with this - the Print o' the Wave Stole. While mine won't be quite as delicate as hers (I'm using tiny lace weight yarn instead of the so-small-it's-almost-invisible cobweb weight yarn she used), it will be a long, extremely involved project. And since I chose to do it in some almost-black yarn I know I will be really glad I have one of those lovely OTT lights. I rolled one of the hanks of yarn into a ball last night. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about (which is probably all of you) rolling yarn into a ball is kind of like winding up an extension cord. Except we're talking about 440 yards of yarn that tangles and knots easily and is really hard to unknot if you pull the knot tight by mistake. Plus it's alpaca yarn so it kind of sticks to itself. and I wind it into a ball on my thumb, which means I cannot set the half-completed ball down so I can use both hands to untangle knots. And of course Spike had to be right in the middle of the action. He kept walking back and forth over my lap - and on/in/through my loose hank of yarn - and butting his head against my hands trying to get me to pet him. Knitting this is going to be an adventure for me. and for Spike because I am rarely able to do anything without him (literally) sticking his nose in.

Maybe I can have the stole done before next summer so I can use it to keep warm while I sit here at work.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Sam's Baptism pics

I'm trying a slide show of pics. Let me know if it doesn't work. If you want to see all the pictures, they're available here.