Math Trumps Blocking.

Blog pix 1976Birdsong of A View From Sierra County has a new venture, natural dyeing, she's named Nature's Cauldron. This intrigues me, I've always liked natural colors - undyed wool mostly but dyeing with organics is a nice alternate. (Possibly there are exceptions to the natural rule.)

My adorable brother calls me up Saturday to check to see if I was raptured (alas no) but also lets it slip that he'd gone to the Prosperous and Beautiful Sheep & Fiber Fest that day and had bought Nerissa (one of their kitties) a sheepskin rug but his own sister??

Nada. Nothing. Zip. Zilch. Darn. I've been collecting natural wool as souveniers from various places - I'm planning on making a Cowichan style sweater out of them eventually, or possibly a Lebowski style pattern

Literary-ClockStefanie of So Many Books has a nifty link. The Guardian UK is (was?) asking for help building 24 hours of fictional time using lines from literature. Here's the link to the Literary Clock to date.

(entirely different literary clock link - picture used without permission so it's possible I'll have to remove it. But isn't that cool?).

Blog pix 2048  

When the Boogyman goes to sleep at night, he checks his closet for Chuck Norris.

Chuck Norris doesn't read books, he stares them down until he gets the information he wants.

Guns sleep with a picture of Chuck Norris under their pillow.

Crop circles are Chuck Norris's way of saying to the aliens "Don't make me come up there".

Chuck Norris is what Willis was talkin' about.

The only thing fear has to fear is Chuck Norris.

Chuck Norris can roll a stone and make it gather moss.

Chuck Norris can stand at the bottom of a bottomless pit.

Chuck Norris made the forest petrified.

I may have spent all day last Monday knitting the final interminable rows of my Curve of Pursuit watching Walker, Texas Ranger.

Math trumped blocking but it came out pretty nicely. Oh phooey, that's a picture of the first felting go 'round. The wrinkles have been erased and it's felted to a more consistent blanket-like texture AND the washbasin in the garage is sparkly-clean, not that it helped, I had to toss it in the washing machine and dryer again.

  Blog pix 2051 Mom's project continues apace. One of the downsides of using a cross stitch pattern for a chart is that not only do you have to repeat every third row but it's not set up to knit easily. I've been wrapping the yarn a stitch or two in advance of a color change on some of the return rows - one advantage is that I'm going to felt the whole thing to make the book bag sturdier. Felting means that I can whack the occasional (see pic) loose end.

READING: Not so much. I've started and stopped a number of books (Here, There & Everywhere, Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA (which I hope and pray portrays them as such imcompetent evil buffoons because Tim Weiner as biased as the CIA says or the good stuff is redacted and protected by secrecy acts, because otherwise we are doomed).

I'm cheating on both of them with Juliet and despite the fact that it's a pretty sure thing that it's going to be a love story, (I'm psychic that way) I think Juliet is going to get read more or less in one sitting. Wow, it looks like it's going to be a movie. (No. Book trailer). Weirdly I don't have a copy of Romeo & Juliet in my bookshelves. iPhone to the rescue! Online text. I was looking for the forward but I'll pick up a copy somewhere today.

Blog pix 2052 LatelyI have had this strange feeling that I'm not getting anything done.

Strange because normally, outside of work and its incessant deadlines, I rail against the mindset that one has to accomplish something every hour of one's day.

But there it is. My stash isn't discernibly diminishing (and considering that wool prices are about to rise and the economy continues to flounder, that may be a good thing).

My bookshelves are spilling over with books I haven't read yet.

Oh no. I just realized my entire problem with that is that I have no good excuse to buy anything new. Sheesh. I do not need/want anything new! Plenty on hand! I've beeen brainwashed by my culture.

Hez sez, "Shhhhh. You will fix me tuna, draining the tuna juice into a small glass bowl when I awaken. And be quiet about it."


Shouldn't It Rain Less in May?

What I did on My Summer Vacation  few days off.

I went car shopping:

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Maybe this would be better for cruising to the beach.

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But then there are those days where you just want to make a statement....

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...or reward the labor of the four elephants it reputedly took to pull this out of the jungle:

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I can't decide. Check out The Blackhawk Automotive Museum for your favorite ride.

Oh and check out the Computer History Museum in Mountain View! Charles Babbage's Difference Engine in action is pretty frakkin' impressive.

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 Other than that.......I did pretty much nothing. Baked a Lady Baltimore cake. Didn't even frost it. (Partially because I really made it for the batter and only baked it because......well, that was a lot of batter. As it turns out, it was quite tasty baked and didn't need frosting, particularly the peculiar cookbook suggestion).

  Blog pix 1998 Not watching NCIS or NCIS LA until I find out who dies and who's coming back next year. (Hint: Hetty had better be the latter and not the former). I wish they'd get off this stupid kick of cliffhangers. It's occasionally interesting but every freaking year and every freaking show? Especially in this era of axing by the numbers. Chicago Code and Detroit 187 both cancelled. Grr.

On the plus side, Law & Order Criminal Intent (WARNING: Talking websites, gah) and In Plain Sight are back. Yay! I feel slightly disloyal for admitting this, since L&O:CI exists only because Vincent D'Onofrio helmed it, but I liked Jeff Goldblum's detective the best of the three.

Blog pix 1995 I'm guessing Ralph Macchio is getting voted out tonight on Dancing With the Stars. It has to be someone but I don't like the way the judges score him. Ralph is not that bad of a dancer. Hines is flatfooted occasionally.  Kirstie is really the worst dancer but even she has some fabulous moments. (Other times it looks like she's just doing whatever steps she can remember.) Their praise is over the top for the annointed few. Gush but geez.

I managed to finish my Curve of Pursuit yesterday. (Cascade 220, possibly a zillion skeins)........ It's off kilter because I absentmindedly short-rowed 3x randomly in one wedge (that I'm aware of) and it needs to be felted up a bit to make it blanketier and possibly blocked within an inch of its life to pull it into line. (Does math trump wet blocking? We'll see.) Maybe I should throw it in with my salmon colored jeans that I absolutely love but have absolutely nothing to wear with in the hopes that CoP felts and jeans over-dye. (I'm pretty sure those pants date from the 80's).





At last! The Longest Ten Weeks of the Year Are Done

  Yay! Yay! And whew. 

Blog pix 1979 Another view from Mt Diablo - I think I was only 2200 ft up. 

Blog pix 1955I'm on the final border of my Curve of Pursuit!! Woot!(That's not my CoP, that's Monika's.)

I'm partially frogging/redesigning my Lace Edged Elegance - if a pattern calls for cotton - there might be a good reason. Elsebeth Lavold's Silky Wool is beautiful and feels wonderful but it's not a warm weather sweater and short sleeves are, ah, dumb, in the cold weather we've been having. It's getting long sleeves as we speak and I'm trying to think of what to do with the inset square neckline. A ribbed split collar, maybe.

All My Children & One Life to Live - cancelled! I'm in shock. I don't actually watch them anymore - me and apparently hordes of other former fans - but I was glued to them for a.......hmm. Couple of decades. Yowza. I'll still spot a cast member on other shows and squeal like a cousin made a TV appearance. They were family.

I'm at peace with Detroit 187 most likely getting cancelled - I love the show but the numbers are abysmal - it's been pre-empted umpteen times and the replacements did better in the time slot - ouch. It was quirky but compelling. Now I'm really hoping that Chicago Code makes it. New favorite. (Warning: The site talks but it took a minute).

Chris Jericho should win Dancing With The Stars this season. Maybe Romeo. Maybe.....

The Sex Life of My Aunt by Mavis Cheek Dillys is having her adulterous dalliance and adulterers and mid life crises evidently bore me but Mavis Cheek's writing kept me going. There was just enough personality and truth to the book to keep it somewhat engaging.

Time Spike by Eric Flint & Marilyn Kosmatka was his typical fun romp with semi-serious overtones - his out-of-place worlds - this time, a maximum security prison, conquistadores, Cherokees walking the Trail of Tears with the soldiers on duty and the Mound people of Missouri all end up in the Cretaceous period. It's pretty simplistic but they do try to address the wrongs that have been taken for granted over the years.

Hez sez "Who are you again?"

Weekends Weekdays

 Blog pix 1352 Blog pix 1300  Knitting in Public! Check out her sexy glasses combo (she pointed them out). Darn I didn't go back and see if she was on Ravelry, I was standing in a VERY long line for tickets and getting texted to hurry up and come claim my seat. The ferry was PACKED Saturday before last. I was hoping SF would be deserted due to Bay Bridge being closed but oddly enough, no. It was fun wandering the Ferry Building and the Farmer's Market but it was warmer than I expected. I go to the City for the cold. Well. Among other things.

The rest of the weekend was spent in a haze of knitting and reading. I'm reading Anthony Levi's Cardinal Richelieu: The Making of France and jeepers creepers, he never ran across a name he couldn't mention. Not to mention that France was worse than England when it comes to name changes. Cardinal Richelieu started out as Armand Jean du Plessis. Not a startling name change but it just struck me as.....well, I'd never thought of him having any name other than "Cardinal Richelieu". I'm deep like that.  He was named after his two grandfathers.

Blog pix 1353 The knitting haze was almost finishing the sleeves on Dad's cardigan. Behold! Evidence of how two needles become one and an unknittable moebius strip at that. It's not like I did that once or twice either. Staggering regularity.  (It's hidden a bit by the yarn crossing.) That's the sleeve to Dad's cardigan, it's more baby blue IRL and the wonky brocade stitch will block out.

Blog pix 1358 After a week of 90-100+ weather, it cooled down and RAINED over last weekend. YES! Mom and I went to a dollhouse show sponsored by CHAMPS benefiting Children's Hospital of Oakland (where I had several surgeries as a kid) - the dollhouse show was so much fun. It was like knitters with minatures. Vendors, exhibitors, all immersed in their craft and happy to point out details or explain. And I managed to take ONE picture. Argh. But she's knitting! And he's reading!

I have to go to Monterey for a tax class this week. Don't you feel sorry for me?

 Blog pix 1356 Hez, hopping onto the bench covered by the progress to date on the  Curve of Pursuit. The optical illusion bit threw her off at first but now she's leaping with abandon. Oh! And Purling Oaks sent her catnip in plastic bags that I've rubbed on toys but you know what she does? Roots out the plastic bag and starts playing with it! It's hilarious.

Hez sez "I can't stand to even look at you. You're not done with anyone else's project and you're casting on TWO projects for yourself, you selfish chit."


Little of this, little of that

Blog winter0809 078 The following are links I ran across trying to track down a place (other than in front of my TV) to watch the Presidential Inauguration on Tuesday.  Not many in my neck of the woods, other than Walnut Creek, oddly enough but FYI for anyone else that might be interested in the area. Possibly the Sunday papers will have some more that aren't already sold out.

San Francisco: Inauguration West at the Metreon in SF Morris Day & The Time?  Cool.

San Francisco Public Library in the Koret Auditorium.

There's a special viewing in front of the Civic Center.

Barack Obama Presidential Inauguration Skaters' Ball San Francisco.

Burlingame Public Library

Inauguration Day at Lark Theater, Larkspur (although it's sold out)

Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek (sBlog winter0809 076_editedold out)

Oracle/McAfee/Whatsis/Oakland Coliseum, Oakland CA

Barack'n Roll Inauguration Party, Oakland CA (East Bay Young Democrats)

 This is Dad's cardigan. The bizarre patterning is a purl diamond pattern that I really wish I hadn't bothered with but no way am I redoing it now. I'm hoping it blocks out. I'm reasonably sure it's never been blocked. Just stuffed into a pillowcase.

The sleeves are plain stockinette and cross your fingers I have enough yarn because I think it's Pingouin, not that I have a ball band, and I know I got it on sale at Betsy's in Lafayette when she closed her doors. (After a woman who must have thought she was in reverse drove a few feet into the store, barely stopping at the counter at a bearing post)

If it is Pinguoin, it's scarcer than hen's teeth. So it's going to get stretched w/Cascade 220, if it comes to that. 

Don't even start on the bizarre shaping. There are ends to be woven in that make no sense to me at all. I'm trying to figure out when I did this. I'm pretty sure it's not the first year I learned to knit, but it might as well be. There's a lot of short rowing going on though, thankfully. Dad is, well, Santa Claus shaped.

Blog winter0809 077  Mary Tudor in her corrected (and heavenly lit) state. See? I did reknit some of it. I just haven't knit much more.  The shaping looks a little......more like shaping. Oh! Did you see the Virtual Yarns drawing?

Lisa at Knitting by the Sea came up with what I'm going to adopt as my slogan for the year (sshhh to all of you who are asking incredulously - year?)

TELEVISION: Did anyone catch Battlestar Galactica last night? Wowza. Poor Psychon USA.  I'll be watching you later.

Sunday night "Keys to the Castle - France" in on HGTV. I can't wait.

24 on Monday - I wasn't going to watch this season but I injudiciously flipped it on and was immediately sucked in. Just pray that Audrey doesn't show up this season, I'd like to be able to get through the whole season for a change. House is back Blog winter0809 079_editedon Mondays at 8pm, finally it's not up against NCIS on Tuesday (a repeat this week). I'm still enamoured w/Leverage at 10pm on Tuesdays, I just wish they'd tone the pairing up down a notch. Wednesday at 10pm the second season of Damages has started. Glenn Close is just mesmerizing. Thursdays: Bones at 8pm on its new day. Grey's Anatomy at 9pm although geez. Is it possible for this show to do ONE storyline that I don't feel like heaving shoes at my TV set?  Burn Notice starts its new season at 10pm. Finally! (Thursday, ( also my mom's birthday. Hmm. It may be too late to knit her anything.)

Hez sez: "mewp mewp mewp". But very, very quietly. (translated mostly means no way is she going to come back in the house *this morning, she was trapped! all day! in the house! when it was sunny out yesterday. The horror. 

*this morning being days ago. Yes, we've been suffering through 70-80 degree weather all week. I know you feel for us.

Photographic Evidence

Evidence of Lace Edged Elegance aka Golden Gate aka That Da**** Orange Thing (and I don't really like the back but that could be because it's freezing today.) (43F/6C)Blog winter0809 022_edited

Evidence of the Cable Cardigan aka V Pointed Charmer (all I have left to do is the picot crochet edging, already started) (Crochet is kind of fun. Who knew?) Blog winter0809 016_edited Blog winter0809 015_edited

Evidence of the continued (but stalling) progress on the Curve of Pursuit - Hez is actually under it under the covers but I'm not sure you can tell. Blog winter0809 006

Evidence of my Nana Sadie Rose custom made Grace: Blog winter0809 001_edited  Blog winter0809 002_edited Further evidence that I think a purse must be able to do is hold my wallet, a book, lipgloss and a cellphone. This holds all that and more and is a really sweet, light backpack yet elegant purse to carry.

Evidence that good intentions don't necessarily make for a good system:Blog winter0809 024 Blog winter0809 026 Blog winter0809 027 You tell me. How do you get anything out of that shed?

Oh! I thought I'd posted this awhile back, it's the Hub Cab restaurant on Bonanza after a car went through the front door. Blog winter0809 028_edited

Blog winter0809 013_edited Hez sez: "It's cold out there! I advise you to sit home, stay in front of your television set and make good use of any available lap [Knit if you can. Attention hog. Er, cat] Sadly, other than Cold Case and Leverage [Not half bad. Two Words. Christian Kane] there isn't much on Sunday nights. Okay, cheesy multiple episodes of The Librarian, [which, if I'd listed to my mother, I'd be today. A regular librarian. Probably not THE Librarian.] NCIS on Tuesday, I think Leverage will be 10pm Tuesday nights on TNT  Bones is going to be on at 9pm this Wednesday. Why is Gray's Anatomy the only show on Thursday night?  If it wasn't for Kevin McKidd, I could have a TV free night. Mom will watch The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Heroes tonight, but unless I find out who and what Sylar really is, Im boycotting it in favor of a nap."

[Yeah, really awful picture, even by my standards, but she refused to cooperate or for that matter, get out of my lap most of the weekend.]

It Had Better Be Friday

Because I am DONE with this week. (Well, it was Friday. I'm good with it being Saturday. Can it stay Saturday?)  Blogsummer08 087I've spent the better part of the last three weeks packing up the old office and unpacking in the new office (which I love. I have a HUGE desk now, most of whose surface is pretty much covered as usual but more spaciously.) But yikes, what a PITA. Not only was I having to do actual physical labor, I had no online access the first week and It turns out I had practically no work access either because most of my programs are web based. Who knew? And then new wireless mouse and keyboard were giving me fits. I was practicing a little percussive maintenance on the mouse when I finally tried new batteries last night. Oddly enough, new batteries were helpful.

Now I'm spending the better part of my days trying to get all the non profits done by next Monday and then, hopefully catching up on my blogs. Google Reader has declared that the latest shall be first. (Okay, I can actually change that, but it's handy. I lurve Google Reader. But wow, posting is out of control this month. What happened? it got dark and everyone took to their computer?). Blogsummer08 089_edited

TV: Life moved to 9pm on Wednesdays. The show might be on the bubble but it's pretty good. They can't think too badly of it, moving it to Wednesday from a Friday-Night-Kill-This-Show slot, where Fox is putting The Sarah Conner Chronicles next week. I can't say I blame Fox, while I'm still watching the show, I mostly feel like slapping John Conner upside the head and sending him to his room. Who wants to watch some mewling whiny teenager? Save the world, moron.

I hear My Own Worst Enemy was cancelled. That's another show I wanted to like and was watching but really made no sense at all. Sons of Anarchy is my new favorite show. [Warning, that page has a loading time and a really, really annoying chugging soundtrack] And LIfe on Mars is the other, although I really wish I could see the BBC version.  I'm also being forced to watch Gray's Anatomy for Kevin McKidd who was just added as a series regular.

Blogsummer08 090_edited Knitting: There's some progress on Mary Tudor's sleeve, amazingly enough.  Have I shown a picture of the beaded scarf Joan sent me? A little progress there too. (Not that you can tell by the terrible lighting and it'll need to be blocked when I'm done, but the beads!) The cabled cardigan is seamed and the collar safety pinned on while I figure out how to attach it (I want a reversible kind of i-cord). 

A mindless knit  was required for a Knitting Retreat aka Continuing Education last Monday and since I cannibalized the original Curve of Pursuit yarn for the cable cardigan, I picked up some burgundy Cascade 220. I wanted burgundy in the first place but the LYS didn't have any. [Yes, that flaming red is dark burgundy IRL]. And I'm surreptiously knitting on the super secret cable scarf for my SIL (hopefully she likes hunter green but there is no way I'm knitting that pattern in black, you'd never see the cable work). Blogsummer08 093_edited

The stupid weather is back into the 80's - I want winter! But I'm loving Standard Time.  I drove over the Benicia Bridge right around 5:30pm and the full moon was just enormous, lighting up the Mothball Fleet and the Suisun Bay. Glorious. I'd've taken a picture except for the whole life threatening aspect of it.


The Wolfman by Nicholas Pekearo. A werewolf with a conscience. Grittier than most but an excellent read.

The Last Queen by C W Gortner. A fictionalized account of the life of Juana of Castile, aka Juana the Mad. I knew she was Catherine of Aragon's sister and therefore Henry VIII's sister in law and that she was madly in love with her husband but I hadn't realized just how long she had lived or how her children were raised. Interesting.

Blogsummer08 068_edited The Habsburgs: Embodying Empire by Andrew Wheatcroft. I'd picked the book up to find out more about Philip, Juana's husband but they were barely mentioned. The Habsburgs? were a wee crazy.

The Suspicions of Mr Whicher by Kate Summerscale. I was practically halfway through this book before I realized it was non fiction. It did read a bit dryly but I thought that was a novel choice. It's the story of an unsolved crime involving a young child in 1860.  - Wilkie Collin's The Moonstone was loosely based on the crime. The beginning of the Age of the Detective and the last gasp of a man's home was his castle.

The Plague Tales by Ann Benson. The book tells the story from alternating viewpoints of a 14th century Jewish doctor Alejandro Canches (Hernandez)  in the court of Edward III and Janie Crowe, a doctor living  in a futuristic 2005 (the book was written in 1997), a post newfangled plague world where millions have already died from a mysterious flu - which makes the 2005 characters actions particularly perplexing, however they did move the plot along.  A not half bad read (thanks to Alejandro) but The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis along similar lines was far better.

Poison Pen by Sharon Lowe, the first in a new mystery series featuring Claudia Rose, a graphologist (as is the author). The book was a fun romp, after I got over Lindsay Alexander being bad, more or less. [It took me awhile to realize I kept thinking of the Alexander Lindsay Wildlife Museum that has evidently dropped the "Alexander"], Peculiarly enough, I keep trying to analyse my handwriting now.

The Optimist's Daugher by Eudora Welty Bridget reviewed this book (back in early Sept if you want to look up her original review), thought I might enjoy it, and she was right. It's a short story about a young widow dealing with her younger stepmother and her life during her father's final days and funeral. It's hard to describe (for me, coherently, like everthing else)  but I came away feeling that I knew so much more than the story seemed to say. Eudora Welty was a genius.

Okay all that and it's all TV, books and some knitting pix? Harumph.

One Long Winded Post. Again.

Endpaper Mitts Bellamoden's hand dyed yarn (Eunny's Endpaper Mitts pattern). That's not really a ladder up the middle, it's actually the purled side seam. Weird angle.

Endpaper Mitts Here is weird lighting to offset the other picture. Gah.

Meme stolen from Book Chase, originated w/Kimbooktu.

  • 1. Hardcover or paperback, and why? Both. Hardback to keep, paperback to lug around.
  • 2. If I were to own a book shop, I would call it... Go Away, I'm Trying to Read. Own a bookshop? Then I'd have to do bookkeeping and ordering and keeping customers happy......although I have always wanted to own a combo bookstore, bar and yarn shop.
  • 3. My favorite quote from a book (mention the title) is...tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, creeps in this petty pace from day to day. To the last syllable of recorded time.... (looking up and lifting the full quote)
    And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
    The way to dusty death.  Out, out, brief candle!
    Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
    And then is heard no more; it is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing.
    MacBeth. I love MacBeth. Eminently quotable.
  • 4. The author (alive or deceased) I would love to have lunch with would be...Alice Starmore. No wait. Wrong author. Alison Weir.
  • 5. If I was going to a deserted island and could only bring one book, except for the SAS survival guide, it would be...the biggest anthology I could find.
  • 6. I would love someone to invent a bookish gadget that...would hold my book open, turn the page, keep the right amount of light on it - basically I need a robot slave.
  • 7. The smell of an old book reminds me of...Heaven. I mean used bookstores. Same thing.
  • 8. If I could be the lead character in a book (mention the title), it would be...One book? So limiting. I'm the lead character in ALL of them. I think that's why reading is so addicting.
  • 9. The most overestimated book of all times is...The Da Vinci Code? Jonathan Livingston Seagull? Anything overhyped.
  • 10. I hate it when a about serial killers targeting woman (a current favorite plotline it seems like) or gets really sappy or preachy.

I'm supposed to tag five other bloggers for this meme but it has really made the rounds, hasn't it? I tag Elspeth anyway, Alum Creek, hand eye crafts, Knitting in the North and On the Needles.

Shockingly, I managed to read 5 books in September, even if it did take me something like 3 weeks to finish Coyote Dreams. I do like CE Murphy's Joanne Walker series but that migraine made it hard to read and I mostly just wanted to shake her most of the book. Also read:

  • Little Ice Age by Brian Fagan. Interesting and informative. Oddly enough, data they didn't expect to be able to confirm for decades in 2000 (when the book was written) seems to be cold irrefutable fact nowadays. Not that I doubt the possibility of global warming or another ice age but the certainty it's being presented in.
  • Secondhand Smoke by Karin Olson - I liked Annie so much better the second time out. She's prickly but smart, that one. Not to mention a guy who looks like Frank Sinatra? Swoon. (reviewed by Musings of a Bookish Kitty)
  • Winter Moon, anthology by Mercedes Lackey, Tanith Lee and CE Murphy (great backstory on Joanne's mother. Book 1.5 of the series)
  • The Possiblity of an Island by Michel Houllebecq, a book that had a fascinating premise but I just couldn't take the female bashing under my current pathetic circumstances and the library wanted it back for the next hold, so it's a DNF for now, but one of these days. (reviewed on Dewey's site) Edited: Whoops, Dewey is right. Kookiejar reviewed it. Sorry Kookiejar!)
  • Thunderbird Falls and Coyote Dreams by CE Murphy. Books Two & Three of Joanne Walker aka Siobhan Walkingstick. (reviewed by Stumbling Over Chaos).

Equally shockingly, the Non Fiction Five Challenge that Joy hosted ended yesterday and I actually read more than the five the challenge......uh, challenged.

  1. A New World: An Epic of Colonial America From the Founding of Jamestown to the Fall of Quebec by Arthur Quinn. - fascinating look at often forgotten historical moments. The Acadians for one.
  2. Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell - quirky obsession with dead presidents. Great travel guide.
  3. The Unicorn's Secret: Murder in the Age of Aquarius by Steven Levy - the 60's had its share of charismatic wingnuts. The story of Ira Einhorn.
  4. Richard the Third by Paul Murral Kendall - the version of what I prefer the life of Richard III to have been.
  5. The Princes in the Tower by Alison Weir - more likely.
  6. How to Read a Novel by John Sutherland - the man loves his novels. He made me appreciate them again, I'd been reading non fiction fairly steadily for some time.
  7. Little Ice Age by Brian Fagan - (see above review)
  • What was the best book you read in this challenge? The best? I enjoyed all of them, although Alison Weir's more up to date scholarship on Richard III dashed my Richard III high from PMK's book.
  • What book could you have done without? Which one do I regret reading? None of them. Which one did I need to go on? None of them.
  • Did you try out a new author? Yes. If so, which one, and will you be reading that author again? All but Alison Weir were new to me and sure, I'd read them again. Steven Levy has an interesting looking book out about hackers on my TBR shelves now.
  • If there were books you didn't finish, tell us why. Oh, I didn't even list these. Did you run out of time? Realize those books weren't worth it? Put them in the Some Day stack, most likely.
  • Did you come across a book or two on other participants' lists that you're planning to add to your own to-be-read pile? Which ones? Always. And no idea.
  • What did you learn -- about anything -- through this challenge?  I can finish! If only that applied to my knitting too.
  • What was the best part of the this challenge?

But, most importantly, what you should watch on TV.

Hopefully you caught Brothers & Sisters last night. (ABC Sunday at 10pm)


  • Chuck at 8pm but mostly for Adam Baldwin, of the late lamented Firefly.
  • Heroes and/or Two And a Half Men/Rules of Engagement at 9pm
  • Journeyman at 10pm but it might be the last week.

Oh jeez, what's on the rest of the week? I'm still not up on the schedule.

In knitterly pursuits, I'm not quite done with the Endpaper Mitts, I'm ripping along on the Curve of Pursuit blanket - I love this pattern, I'm not sure why I waited a year to cast it on, the Mountain Stream scarf is coming along (although I did have a snafu at the border naturally) and possibly I cast on a pair of Latvian mittens.

Did I finish anything? Don't be absurd.

Oh! Oh! My bad. Susoolu's largesse:

Susoolu Largesse!

Very cool, no? I've been wanting to read Philip Pullman for awhile now, I keep hearing such good things about his books. And voila! In my library at my fingertips. And apparently it's some kind of reverse birthday gift - Happy Birthday, Susoolu!

Okay, now I know that there is suffering and anguish (too much) and there is no world peace and there are far, far more important things in this world, but everyone just wish "FINISH A FRAKKING KNIT PROJECT" thoughts at me anyway, willya? It's my only hope. Blog_pix_662_edited