Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Theme-a-licious Jubilee July Wrap-up

All in all, I think I did pretty well this month. I had planned on letting some projects go, but I didn't get around to rifling through the stash. There was a lot of celebrating going on, though.

For Independence Day, I worked on Long May She Wave (or, I should probably call it, "Long May She Work on It", since it's been in progress so long)...

Dancer helped me celebrate "Christmas in July"...
Starting to look like he (she?) might be a deer some day.

I actually got my ornament done this month! It's been far too long since I was stitching on a squirrel, so I had to make this little guy.

And finally, this month marks the 20th anniversary of when Michael and I met. We were both cast in a musical called "Late Nite Special", about a girl who works at a community theater...and rib shack! We took our publicity photos at Colonel Poole's BBQ, so we gathered there before heading back to watch a recording of the show. I hadn't seen it for quite a few years, and it was fun and embarrassing to see it again. =)
By the way, Colonel Poole's is worth the trip. Despite the over-the-top decor, it is some of the best barbecue I've had, and the fried pies are OUTSTANDING.

My character in the show was called "Opie", which was short for "Ophelia". So, in celebration of the 20th anniversary of "Late Nite Special", I give you Ophelia in sweater form.
It's unblocked...there will be more photos later. =)

Now it's time to fly on to...

Airborne August
What's that soaring through the air with the greatest of ease? It's the things with wings on your WIPs!

Ornament Theme
angels or birds

This month's theme is another one that's pretty forgiving. For instance, I'll be working on Dancer...he doesn't have wings per-se, but he CAN fly, of course. I haven't even begun to think about my ornament choice!!

So how did your Jubilee July go? Did you let some projects go? What did you celebrate? Please add your link below (to your wrap up post), and visit some other Themers if you can (everyone loves comments and encouragement!) We'll definitely do a check-in post this month...so look for it on August 15th when we'll see how you're progressing!

More Fizzle than Sizzle

Click now for JiffNotes

Well. That wasn't fun. We have our internet back, and we're getting a discount for the month (I would hope so!!) Talk about your "first world" problems. So, I promised you a long, boringdetailed story about how it happened.

Click here to skip to actual pictures, your internet's back, who cares already!!!

A few weeks ago, our power went out for a second around midnight. This is very unusual for us, since we're very close to a substation, and we're on the same power grid as some rather substantial power clients (*cough*Coke*cough*). What was really weird was that there were no thunderstorms in the area. We didn't think too much about it, but the next morning, something else weird happened: Traffic was backed up outside our place. This only happens if there are two large events happening simultaneously in Philips Arena and the Georgia Dome. But this was at 9 AM! When we backed out of the garage, we could see the issue. About a block and half from us, the street was closed. We did not put two and two together at that point because there were too many flashing lights to see what happened, and I really hate being a rubbernecker.

Later that afternoon when I was able to drive past again, I could see what the issue had been. There was a new telephone (and power) pole, with a giant chunk of the old one (probably 10 feet--3 meters--long) DANGLING from the new one, with all the wires still wrapped around it!!! I really wish I'd gotten a picture of it. Someone must have hit the old pole; there are no trees near it and I can't imagine that it just fell over. I can, however, easily imagine an idiot slamming into it...we've seen it happen before!

Nothing happened for a week.

Then, one afternoon, a thunderstorm with high winds rolled through. Downtown, there were traffic lights turned sideways. When we got to our place, our phone was out. I suspect the high winds buffeted the dangling chunk of telephone pole (oh, yes, it was still there after a week!) and knocked something loose.

So now, we simply call in on one of our cell phones to say our phone is out, right? Easy! Except...we couldn't find the number to call! We have cheap cell phones (pay as you go), so they're not with our land line provider. We throw out our phone books the moment they arrive because we look everything up...ON THE INTERNET. Phone bill! We can get the number from the phone bill! Yeah, you know, that thing that I get e-billed to me, which I pay...ON THE INTERNET. I thought I was going to have to call someone and ask them for the number (how embarrassing!) but I found the flyer we got when we signed up for our DSL, and we called that number. It took a disturbingly long time to battle our way through the menus just to tell someone our phone was out (not a menu option).

The next day Michael got a call from the service guy, who said that once he showed up, all our neighbors started popping their heads out of their doors like sideways prairie dogs and saying their phones were out, too. WHY DIDN'T YOU PEOPLE CALL???!? He said it was an issue with the cable to the whole street (YA THINK??) and a different crew would have to repair it before he could check our line. That was Thursday. All weekend, we still had no internet or phone.

OH my gosh is anyone still reading?? Seriously??? You deserve a prize. Leave a comment telling me about the last first world problem you felt embarrassed to even complain about (by Sunday) and I'll have a little drawing. =)

Monday we got a call from the same service guy who said the ticket had shown up in his queue, but when he got out there he realized the cable work had still not been done (by this time, there was a pile of "logs" sitting next to the new telephone pole). A few days later, we had service again, but we had to make a special call to billing to get our discount (though they cheerfully and immediately credited us, that would not have happened if we hadn't called).

Whew! Now for some fun stuff. Last time we "talked", I was anticipating getting some better fireworks pictures than last year.
Yeah...that didn't happen. It rained so much the week before, that the air was completely saturated. In fact, it had rained off and on all day, so I didn't even bother setting up the tripod. There were some very, VERY low-hanging clouds, and combined with the smoke from the fireworks, after a few minutes, it was a lot like watching a lava lamp.
By the end, it just looked like the city was on fire.

Camp Loopy is kind of destroying me...I made it through the first two projects (I'll show you the second one in the Theme-a-licious wrap up =) but I'm not sure if I'll make it through the third. I'm also trying to keep up with the Cookie A Sock Club. They'd probably never get done if I weren't doing them two at a time...

I'm doing a lot better keeping up with the cookies. =)
These Ginger Molasses cookies include TWO THIRDS OF A CUP of chopped crystallized ginger. And they're the first ones I've had that have ENOUGH ginger. =)

And just for fun, here are my two missing TUSALs...June's is filled with blue from Monochrome May...
...and July's with a lot of yarn from Camp Loopy.

A washed-out Fourth is still not as bad as when it's raining fire.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Click now for JiffNotes

A couple of you have emailed me to make sure I'm OK since I haven't posted in a while....in short, I am, and it's nice to be missed. =)

There are a couple reasons, but the most restricting is that our DSL is out! Our phone is, too...for OVER A WEEK NOW!!! It's a long story I don't feel like tapping out on my tablet here (my only Internet option for getting to the blog is haunting free wifi spots during the day), but in a nutshell, we're pretty sure someone hit a telephone pole!

I can get to email at work, but that's about it! And no Netflix streaming...OH, THE HUMANITY!!!

So there's your quick update; hopefully we'll be reconnected soon so I can complain about the whole thing in the colorful, overly minute detail to which you've become accustomed. :P

Bleah...that took like my whole lunch break!

DSL is out! No ETA on repair. =(

Friday, July 5, 2013

Finished Object Friday: Cinco de Cuatro!

Click now for JiffNotes

I promised more pictures of my Cinco de Cuatro (Mexican Wedding shawl/scarf)!

Cinco de Cuatro (my Ravelry project page)

knit in Malabrigo Sock, color Black/Negro

This is a great pattern, but I am not going to lie: I was well and truly sick of it by the end. I think it was really just because I procrastinated on knitting it, so I had to do a repeat a day (or more) to get it done by the Camp Loopy deadline. Fortunately, the two little short rows that formed all those points were the same every time and were easy to memorize. One thing I did that really helped me was modifying the lace chart so that the same symbol meant the same stitch whether it was a right or wrong side row. Sometimes using the same symbol for a different stitch on opposite sides will help you "see" the pattern better, but it was just confusing me to remember that "\" meant k2tog or p2tog depending on which row I was on.

I probably did more blocking than necessary; certainly the pattern instructions do not require you to pin out every single point.
I ran out of T-pins but had plenty of pearl-headed pins thanks to my sewing class and temari making. =)

I ended up having to knit 18 repeats of the chart to use up the yardage required by Camp Loopy, in part because I went down a needle size. Why did I go down a needle size? My initial gauge swatch was more open than I would have liked. The pattern calls for fingering, and Malabrigo Sock is classified as "light fingering".

This made the scarf a little longer than I would have liked. I think 15 repeats would be pretty perfect.

I like to wrap my light scarves once around my neck, but this would make the scarf tails crazy long, and also weight them down so that they pull the wrap too tightly at my throat. This one really wants to be wound twice.
Kind of obscures the lace pattern at the neck that way, though.

All in all, I'm happy with it, and I can't wait to knit with this yarn again...YUM! I do worry a bit about how much time I'll have to spend blocking it when I wash it again.

Don't blink! Ah...too late.

For more finished objects, head to Tami's Amis!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Independence Day!

Click now for JiffNotes

To all my fellow Americans, Happy Independence Day! Hope you get to see some good fireworks tonight!

I took these pictures last year, and it will be interesting to see if I can improve my technique this year. I will use a tripod this year, so that should help. Here's what we can see from our deck:
That's looking towards Centennial Olympic Park. If we look to our right, we can usually catch bits of at least three other far-off fireworks displays.

If I let the camera do what it wants on auto, it wants to brighten up the whole shot.
So I started playing around with the shutter speed. At first, I thought I wanted a relatively long shutter speed, thinking that catching the trails of the fireworks would look cool. But I found I liked the sharper look.
The real challenge seems to be getting a good point of focus; this year when I'm using the tripod, I'll manually focus in advance. The camera had to focus on something, so it was picking the buildings in the background, which didn't necessarily make for the sharpest focus on the fireworks.

If I cranked the shutter speed too fast, it wouldn't even capture the pinpoints lights of the fireworks that well.

This is one of my favorites...seems to be a good balance!
We'll see how I do this year!

I like to watch fireworks up close, but it seems safer to do it from our deck!

Old Geek-outs