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August 2008
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October 2008

Oceans and Mountains Have Scary Roads

Blog pix 948_edited The view of San Francisco from Grizzly Peak, Berkeley. (Actually, it wasn't my idea to drive up there, *Lee took it into his head that it would be a lovely panoramic view and directed us there. I thought he was crazy when I started climbing those hills in my car but he was right. Gorgeous)

The vacation begins in my own backyard. Pretty nice backyard view, no?  

*Lee, being the GPS voice.  

Naturally after telling EL how cold the mountains and the coast are and to not bring that many tank tops  it was just gorgeous. Hot even. Tank top weather in Yosemite, Cambria, even San Francisco. Only Carmel didn't make a liar out of me and  was socked in with fog and cold. Weather. Sweet gesture, but really, I wouldn't have minded another couple of days of heat. Pffft. The sea lions didn't cooperate either. They just barked gaily at us from Bird Rock. At least I think they were sea lions. Sounded like them. Couldn't see 'em. Boo.

Check out this nice deer that was hanging out in front of the Curry Village store in Yosemite. That's a tiny triangle in the Blog pix 958_edited middle of several pathways he's loitering in. For hours. Later he was hanging out off the meadow path across the way with his wife. I think he was paid. You can get anything in Curry Village store, I think. I'd forgotten my toothbrush. I could have forgotten everything.

I was tempted to get an "I survived Half Dome" T- shirt but as I barely survived not having a cabin with a bathroom in it,  it seemed wrong. 

I did get a Tree Hugger T-Shirt.


Is that a rock or what? Blog pix 952_edited   Blog pix 960_edited  Blog pix 954_edited Blog pix 957_edited 

The view from the Moonstone Bar & Grill. Sweet. The beach boardwalk was pretty tasty too. (The link loads with crowd sounds).

The castle I want? Hearst's.

Carmel coastline.

I had a fabulous time! Way too fast though. Not my driving. It's official. I drive like an old lady. OTOH, I lived to talk about it. At least I let the other cars go by. According to EL, all of them in CA. What can I say? I hate being stuck behind someone driving slower than I want to and there was no way I was going to speed up. Did I mention the scary part? I try not to drive faster than I can see and the road was vanishing into either cliffs or seawater.

I didn't knit much (although EL did master the knit and purl stitches- whoo hoo!) but tried to finish off the cardigan in Carmel - it was FREEZING! but alas, I don't seam quickly.  Something about driving twisty winding roads and then staring open mouthed at ocean and mountain views (and fabulous castle-homes).

I did manage to catch Gray's Anatomy Thursday night - Kevin McKidd, enough said.  I thought he looked good in Journeyman [fans self].

Giant Woolly Pillowcase

I've finished the body of Mary Tudor [insert whooping and possiby tears of joy] grafted the shoulders together (to my satisfaction if not perfectly - tinking grafting i.e. the Kitchener stitch is a pain) and as I was looking fondly at it..... I realized I have knit a Giant Fancy Woolly Pillowcase. Seriously. Behold the photographic evidence.Blogsummer08 055_edited

Now I know exactly what Marina is saying when she talks about the front and backs of the sweater charts not matching and why she's so justifiably proud of her seams. Mary Tudor's front and back are pretty matchy thankfully  (which no way am I showing you  now, not only did I semi fudge the shoulder seams but it's completely unblocked. I was just so .......struck by the Giant Woolly Pillowcase appearance that I had to share. Nothing reallyBlogsummer08 057_edited prepares you for spending a lot of knitting

time and then.......Giant Woolly Pillowcase. Huh.) 

This is the first Alice Starmore sweater I've gotten darn close to actually finishing. Except for, you know, sleeves, collars, buttonbands. Stuff like that. Pfft.

But now I'm supposed to cut the thing? Is that right?  Again.  Huh.

And now for the Quizzes.

From Knitty Banter

Your result for The Best Thing About You Test... Intelligence is your strongest virtue (Ha! I knew it! Well that or my humility)

Intelligence (also called intellect) is an umbrella term used to describe a property of the mind that encompasses many related abilities, such as the capacities to reason, plan, and solve problems. And you? Your brain shines. All 7 virtues are a part of you, but your intelligence runs deepest.

It is likely you're a smarty-pants. And it's likely (but not necessary) that your discipline score is high also. It takes a certain resolve to maintain all those neural thingies.

Intelligent famous people: Einstein, Shakespeare, Da Vinci.

Your raw relative scores follow. 0% is low, and 100% is perfect, nearly impossible. Note that I pitted the virtues against each other, so in some way these are relative scores. It's impossible to score high on all of them, and a low score on one is just relatively low compared to the other virtues.


  • 40% Compassion
  • 67% Intelligence
  • 63% Humility
  • 44% Honesty
  • 25% Discipline
  • 29% Courage
  • 33% Passion

Take The Best Thing About You Test at HelloQuizzy

Quiz #2  Your results for Reincarnation Placement Exam...

Deep Space Explorer

Hmm... You're a tough one to place. Your answers indicate that you like technology and education. You enjoy intrigue, adventure and chaos. You're fine with hard work and civilization. This all bodes well for an interesting, adventurous life. (Did they not see the part where my ideal work week was 20 hours?)

Deep Space Explorer What makes it difficult, however, is that you don't seem to be much of a 'people person. (Well, maybe, maybe not. That island would have been fine but did they say that I'd have books and yarn? They did not.)

If you were more of a people person, we would have commissioned you aboard the Starship Enterprise.(That could work and I can give your four reasons why. Scotty, Bones, Spock and Trip.) But since you don't care much for the complications of dealing with your fellow man... we have another deep-space mission, more tailored for your tastes... a way for you to enjoy the benefits of high-tech civilization without having to put up with civilization itself. Let's set you up to pursue the solo career of a deep space explorer. You can go ahead and hibernate through the boring parts of your mission, and not worry so much about being a few decades out of touch with your fellows by the time you get home. In fact, you pretty much don't have to deal with people at all, but you can still enjoy a high-flying adventure of a life. Far, far away from the madding crowd, you get to play with your scientific instruments, serve your glorious civilization, and do interesting things with strange discoveries in exotic places.

The career might work out all right. Look what it did for Charlton Heston.

Take Reincarnation Placement Exam at HelloQuiz

The quiz seemed a little masculine gender specific.

Blogsummer08 056 Hez sez: "It does look like a Giant Fancy Woolly Pillowcase. I told you it made a great napping blanket."

Collective Wisdom desired:

1. The correct spelling of woolly.

2. A non knitter (who has expressed a desire to learn) will be trapped in the wilderness in a cabin in Yosemite. Any ideas for a  good first project?

We Are Not Amused

LOLcat says: cat
more animals

Seriously, thank you for all the help, support and suggestions! Also now I know who to call when I want to go on a bender.

I already knew to call Marina about all things Starmore. (Not to mention Latitude 61, Lorraine, The Knittin' Brit, Brigitte, WIP Insanity. Unraveled Again.....and pretty much everyone else.) 

I bit the bullet and frogged.

The hard part was making the decision to frog it.

The easy part was frogging it. It was only ten rows, after all.  I'd managed to be off by not just four stiches but six - on each front - at the center front. The row gauge was still correct but the slope of the collar would be a bit extreme - not to mention the 12 short stitches.

I'll say one thing for Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift, it was really simple to pick up and restore all 900 million the stitches and stitchmarkers to their correct placement. Shetland wool really does 'stick'.I think it took me 15 minutes and that's only because I was obsessively counting the 42 stitch chart repeats.

Blogsummer08 050 Just for clarity (and hilarity), all that lovely orange and pink was what had to be frogged and was my Saturday knitting. Wasted Days and Waaaasted Niighhts.

Notice the careful notation of the decreases every other row on the side of the chart.

How could I have missed that? No idea. But look at my carefully (and ingeniously, if I do say so myself) wrapped "rows".   I've to date, reknit just one of those rows.  Blog pix 938

Blog pix 942_edited

Amusing/Possibly Insightful Wordles from Crooked Timber on the Presidential and VP's campaign speeches. (Not so much the comments)

TV: Fringe premieres tonight at 8pm on Fox. I think I'm going to skip it. Fox has a terrible track record (did I mention The Sarah Connor Chronicles premiered last night? Whoops - it was pretty good) and it [Fringe] looks like it going to be an incoherent mess.  Eureka is on at 9pm on the Sci Fi Channel and Evolve: Communication on the History Channel at 10pm.

Wednesday Nina will be back on Project Runway. Yay! Bones at 8pm. I missed the premiere.

Hez sez "First of all, quit taking my picture. And yes, I do love my Dream Curl. I like it better with catnip but I see someone mistook MY catnip for their oregano (True. For the record, grilled corn on the cob is quite delicious with catnip seasoning.) Secondly, I tried to get you to stop knitting her wrong but would you listen and cuddle me? No."

A Royal Pain in the ...

Three rows from finishing Mary Tudor's body!

Sadly, ten rows AFTER decreasing every row when it was supposed to be every OTHER row.

Next: Figuring out how to shoehorn in those four stitches on each side. What , you thought there would be ripping back? No way is that going to happen (until I realize there's no other way around it. )

But first, I believe I need to do some heavy drinking therapeutic shoe shopping. 

Blogsummer08 019

August No More

Blog pix 936 First of all, go over and say a big Happy Birthday to Brigitte! Today she's older than she's ever been before.

Why does Monday feel like a Monday even when it's a Tuesday? Just wondering. I'd like a do-over on my three day weekend - not that I didn't enjoy it, Vicki Christina Barcelona with the BFF Friday night (a movie that was both better and worse than I'd expected).

BOOKS: August reads were few. In fact, two of them I'd read before but have zippo memory of reading them. One of them I was about halfway through before I finally remembered the key plot point. 

Now I forget words in what I regard as an adorable and charming habit (possibly because the alternative is incipient Alzheimers or dying brain cells) but to forget a whole book? Entirely? Weird. At any rate, the August list:  

The Mirror by Marlys Millhiser (1978) A trippy time travel novel about a grandmother and granddaughter that essentially switched lives through a malignant mirror. (The mirror was called evil throughout the novel but I didn't quite get that.)

A Castle In My Backyard: A Dream of a Home in France by Betsy Draine and Michael Hindon (2006) This was fun. My vicarious summer home in the south of France.

Bellwether by Connie Willis (1996) Sheep! Fads! Grants! Connie Willis is always entertaining.

Long Time No See by Susan Isaacs (2001) The Dumasesque sequel to Compromising Positions, a novel that I loved when it came out in 1981.  Blog pix 935

I was reading Time and Again (1970)by Jack Finney but think I hit a critical point in incredible forms of time traveling. (Talk about you are what you think). I do plan to finish this, the premise is fascinating and his depiction of old New York is rendered in loving detail. 

Check out all those stitchmarkers. It's the left side neckline decrease - (or maybe it's the right side - whatever, it's on my left). It turns out that as hard as it is to count to six sometimes, it's even harder to start somewhere between 11 and 42 minus one each round. Ergo, stitchmarkers every five stitches (and even then, I won't tell you how often I count them).

TV/DVD's: Mad Men is depressing me. I don't know why Fritzi hasn't dumped Brenda on The Closer but I heart him. Lt Provenza too. Burn Notice is on too late. Stargate Atlantis was cancelled (but will run until its January end). Good thing Project Runway is on (no matter how redheaded stepchild it's being treated on Bravo - can't say that I blame them)  and the fall season starts soon. I hear the Bones will be addressing a Zack-lash. Alton Brown's  Feasting on Waves starts this weekend.

Sad news for country music fans, Jerry Reed died yesterday.

I rented The Bank Job from Netflix - great movie! Based on true events, the Lloyd's Bank robbery in England in the 70's - the largest haul at the time. Princess Margaret must have given her sister some valuable experience in the scandal department.

 Mostly I knit. Blog pix 933