Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Sometimes It's OK When They Move Away

My best friend recently moved from Seattle to New Mexico and though I do miss her dearly, we now have the opportunity to talk on our daily commutes home which sadly take about the same amount of time though her commute is more than twice the distance of mine. There have been some nights when she's beaten me home after leaving work AFTER me. But I'm not bitter.



Tonight Mot left work early to pick up her car and so she drove most of the way from Hatch to Las Cruces before talking to me (as I was still working). Along the way she spotted one of the most beautiful sunsets, something that can only be found in the dry place she has moved to. She pulled off the highway and grabbed her camera. She then called me and left a message describing the beauty of the scene.

I quickly called her back after work and asked her to send me the photos. They were worth driving off the road for!



Mot also recently visited her parent's alpaca farm and included some fantastic animal photos for me. The first one is my favorite. Such beauties.





Sunday, December 24, 2006

And to all a good night...

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Updating

After a long hiatus, I've updated my reading page.

After a short hiatus this week, I've also updated my photo page

And especially for Pattern Slave, this sweater is in Hors Serie Numero 13 * layette & Junior * Bouton d'Or and is FULL of lovely beautiful outfits for children.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Dear Blogger

All I want for Christmas is to be able to switch over to your new fancy, smancy blogger system. Why do thou forsake me just because I have too many posts from being loyal blogger user over the years? Shouldn't you reward me for my loyalty?

Sincerly,

Supergirl

P.S.



I'm working hard on this cute little sweater for Baby Gabby and last night I checked to see if it was fitting and IT DOES!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

A Weird Meme

THE RULES: Each player of this game starts with the ‘6 weird things about you.’ People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave a comment that says ‘you are tagged’ in their comments and tell them to read your blog.”Six weird things about me:

1. I didn't learn how to speak until I was about 4 years old.

2. I am terrified of birds. They will PECK your eyes old. Yet I often pet sit for a parrot named Nik Nik.

3. Squirrels frighten me too. They are rodents with bushy tails.

4. I LOVE riding on airplanes.

5. I am an extremely deep sleeper. A few years ago, my brother called me very late at night for a ride home from a bar. I had told him to call me anytime since drunk driving is deadly so he did. I answered the phone, told him I was sleeping and to take the bus before hanging up on him. Sadly I remember none of this conversation. I'm not really the best person to call in the middle of the night for a ride.

6. I talk to all animals and believe that one day they will talk back in English, until then we communicate through barks and meows. I carry on long conversations with my cat and sing to her daily.

I'm tagging- Meg, Erica, Jessica, Carolyn, Sundara and while I'm tempted to tag Norma I think I'll bother LeAnne!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Final Hippie Steps



The final weigh-in. The end of the Eight Week Challenge. The time to reflect on one's environmental changes.

The Slate/Treehugger challenge ended last week and now is the time for me to tally up my changes and reflect on the past eight weeks.

By making relatively few changes, I reduced 62.78 percent of the carbon emissions I reported at the start of the challenge. And I've actually reduced 574 percent of the emissions I pledged to cut over the last eight weeks. I have taken the annual equivalent of 1.79 cars off the road which is huge to me.

During last eight weeks I switched out my regular light bulbs to CFLs. I lowered the heat in my room.

I started noticing where I was buying my food, started to lessen the amount of beef I eat and started choosing products with less packaging.

I'm purchasing a new surge protector that monitors when products are turned off and switches power from that plug off all while watching out for those nasty energy vampires.

I've shortened my showers to 5 minutes or less though I still take a bath once a week (a girl has to have her weekly bath!).

Additionally I've started taking the bus at least one time a week (so far this week twice!) and taking my recycling home to be recycled when there are not places to recycle it out in the world. Yes this means I carry trash home from my lunch at work but hey it's not heavy and it feels good!

With all these accomplishments, there are still a few more things I need to do.

I still need to remove myself from some catalog mailing lists to rid myself of all those catalogs that I never shop from anyway!

I need to work on trimming pointless trips in car and maximize my driving time. I need to purchase more recycled paper products and print out less paper items at work.

It's all a daily process but one I have embraced and will continue to embrace for the rest of my life.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Sweater Grows as Another Year Passes



In leaps and bounds, the sweater grows and the pattern entices me. Sunday allowed me the opportunity to sit and watch the Lord of the Rings Trilogy while knitting on Gabby's sweater. It was a perfect Sunday and I did finish the back (though I do not have the photographic evidence as yet).



And today is my 32nd birthday. This year a wind storm to commemorate my birthday while 32 years ago it was a blizzard in Minnesota that welcomed me to this world. That might be why I really enjoy the cold weather over warm balmy temperatures. Truely I do.

*Next up, a Weird Meme!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Wind Storm 2006 (or what I call a HURRICANE!)



Last night the Seattle region was on high-alert. A HUGE windstorm (or seriously a Level 1 Hurricane) was baring down on the region. The 520 floating bridge was closed and the mid-span opened. The lights were flickering. Harold the Reindeer had dug his claws into the grass, bracing for windgusts of up to 75 mph.



I snuck outside shortly before the power went out and shot some video on the mini digital camera.



You can hear the wind howling along. We had a few shingles fall off the roof and there was a broken fin from one of the fish hanging near the front door but all in all we made it through. Others were not as lucky.

As I drove my Mom into work today, most of the way was without power (though I did find one gas station with power and I guess according to my Disaster Prepared Mother, I should always keep my gas tank half full but I don't and so driving on fumes made me nervous this morning). It took us almost two hours to get to work and the bus wouldn't have been much better. I saw only one bus going our way the entire way in compared to the usual 5-8 I usually share the road with.

You know this "weather" we've been experiencing is a bit too much! I SURRENDER!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Observations from a Bus

I took the bus into work today since the daily commute has really begun to drag on me and my understanding of the nuances of road rage continues to grow. While losing the "freedom" of having the car at work with me can be a negative, the ability to read a book or knit or both is a huge positive. Another great positive about riding the bus is the opportunity to people watch. I LOVE people watching and think this may be why I love riding on planes so very much.

This morning's ride provide a plethora of people watching once I got off the Express bus and switched to the Local bus for the second part of my ride. There was one girl who caught my attention and not just merely because she was holding two take-out containers in her lap (and made me wonder where they were from and if the food was any good) and neither because she was quite pretty but wearing a handkerchief on her head with dirty sweats. No, this particular girl caught my attention because she talked on her cell phone all the way from Downtown to Georgetown where I got off and she continued talking on her phone. She did a majority of the talking while the person on the other end appeared to just listen. I put in my headphones and tried not to stare at her (because staring RUINS people watching).

Then she started talking about Burlesque shows and how she really needed to practice more but her apartment was too small and the park nearby had too many trees. She also talked about how another girl just wasn't impressed but then she wasn't impressed about so many things.

I sat there wondering if the girl knew she was on the bus and that 35 other people could hear EVERY SINGLE WORD she uttered and now several of the men were wondering if it would be polite to offer their place for her Burlesque practices. The young teenage boy sitting across from me tried not to lean over for a quick look but couldn't do it gracefully.

Ahhh, the joys of bus riding.

Now for the knitting part of our program! I'm knitting along quickly on Gabby's sweater though I don't seem to be making quick progress. I think sleep and work are getting in the way of sweater production. I am also making great strides on my knee sock and I can't wait to wear them!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Mancho, or why Meg and I should not be pattern makers

Mancho 002

Meg is working on a Christmas present for her father and I kindly offered some assistance with the pattern since she was using different yarn which a different gauge than the pattern called for. Now last year, I used this same yarn to create this same pattern but did not write down what I did. No problem! I'll use my fantastic math skills to help a friend out! I calculated, I added, I subtracted, I hmm'd, I haw'd...I decided she should cast on 180 stitches.

Meg diligently cast on and began knitting. She told me she was almost done with her second skein. I told her that she must be almost done and she said, nope, not long enough yet.

I came over to her house, I checked out the present.

I said, "This looks quite big. You should rip."

She said, "No, it's good" We continued on our merry way.

Last night at Purly Girls I decided to try it on. One look at Jessica's face revealed that something was horribly wrong.

Rebecca suggested that Meg add some ribbing to make it tighter around the neck and flare out around the shoulders. Meg responded that it was a lovely suggestion but her dad was not a gay man but, "rather and outdoor-Idaho-let's-go-fishing/camping-and-build-stuff kind of a man." That sent Meg and me into fits of laughter.

Mancho 001

We have now created the MANCHO, the perfect Gaiter/Pancho for the outdoorsy gay man. Yes, Meg and I will never be knitwear designers.

Monday, December 11, 2006

My Witty Dad

Yesterday was my Dad's birthday and as we drove towards the restaurant in Downtown Seattle, my Mom noted that my Dad had to drive himself to his own birthday dinner. I chimed in that he could pull over and I'd drive the rest of the way.

He dryly noted that it was ok and that he'd "probably have to drive himself to his own funeral."

And you know what, he probably would. My Mom and I just aren't that big of fans of actually driving ourselves places!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Hippie Steps -- Week Seven



The Slate/Treehugger challenge this week focuses on water.

Think water and global warming, and melting Arctic ice caps may come to mind—a problem that can seem pretty insurmountable. But the water in your sink and dishwasher and bathtub also has a CO2 cost associated with global warming. And it is a cost you can reduce. Using less water means less waste and pollution. Using less hot water means fewer CO2 emissions. The average American household expends about 14 percent of the energy it uses on heating water. That adds up to nearly 4 percent of the country's total energy use and spins off about 260 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

A lot of excess water simply leaks away—like the vanished heat we talked about in the Green Challenge a few weeks ago. Then there are gushy toilets and showers. According to the Rocky Mountain Institute, Americans with inefficient fixtures and appliances use about 80 gallons of water per person per day inside their homes. Replacing old and conventional faucets, washing machines, toilets, and showers with energy-efficient and low-flow varieties can stanch the flow by as much as a third—and you'll also trim CO2 emissions. How you heat up water makes a difference, too.


Slate/Treehugger offers the following suggestions to help "wash away your CO2 sins":

• Switch to a low-flow showerhead and save gallons of water a day. Some low-flows deliver excellent water pressure with only 1 to 2.2 gallons per minute (as opposed to the current government standard of 2.5 gallons per minute or pre-1992 shower heads that use even more water).

• A bathroom-sink faucet need deliver only 0.5 to 1 gallon of water per minute. In the kitchen, you want 2 or 2.5 gallons per minute so you won't get frustrated when you're filling pots. If your faucets are higher pressure and ready to be replaced, pick a lower-pressure model.

• Showers account for two-thirds of all water heating costs. The shorter your shower time, the more CO2 you'll save.

• Take showers instead of baths, which use more water.

• Turn the water off while you shave.

• Unless your dishes are really dirty, scrape instead of rinsing them before loading them into the dishwasher, especially if your dishwasher automatically prerinses or has a rinse-hold cycle. Also, use the energy-saver option, let the dishes air-dry, and, if possible, choose the light or cold-wash option. And wait until the dishwasher is full to run it.

• Which is more efficient—you or the dishwasher? Machine bests man in this debate: Hand-washing uses an average of 10 to 15 gallons of water, while automatic dishwashers use about 8. If you don't own a dishwasher or need to wash pots by hand, don't let water run while you're scrubbing.

• Instead of using hot water to thaw frozen food, let it defrost on the counter or in the refrigerator.

• An old water heater can operate for years at very low efficiency before it completely breaks down. If yours is more than 10 years old, it's likely running at less than 50 percent efficiency. Replace it with an energy-efficient one or, better yet, a heater without a tank, which warms up water only as you need it rather than holding hot water at the ready all the time.

• Many hot-water heaters come factory preset at 140 degrees—hotter than you need. Reset your water heater's thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or lower and save yourself CO2 pounds (and a scalding).

This week I've scored 1918 or the annual equivalent of taking 0.20 cars off the road. Below are some important water facts.

• Installing a low-flow shower head saves an average of 507 pounds of CO2 per person
per year.

• Running the dishwasher only when it's full saves about 50 pounds of CO2 per person per year.

• Setting your water heater's thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit saves about 275 pounds of CO2 emissions per person per year.

• Insulating your hot water heater saves about 500 pounds of CO2 per person per year.

• Installing a solar water heating system reduces your CO2 emissions by about 360 pounds annually per person.
Saturday Sky

Saturday Sky 12.9

Beautiful!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Seattle Morning



We've had someone in town this week for work from Texas and I've been heading to Downtown Seattle before work to pick her up. This morning due to light traffic, I was about 25 minutes early.

I decided to park my car and snap a few photos of the United States Courthouse which I've always been drawn too due to its beauty. I put the photos up on Flickr and I'm already planning a trip downtown with my big camera to get better shots.

Last night I decided it was time to cast on for another baby sweater. Gabby needs a Christmas sweater and heck, why start this early, why not cast on 16 days before Christmas. I like this stress filled plan!

I did a proper swatch last night and can already see the finished sweater in my head.



The color isn't right in the above image so I snapped a few more until I got it right which you can see below.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Devastation

I’m at a loss after hearing of the loss of James Kim.

I’m just devastated for the Kim family and yet also awed by their strength in the face overwhelming odds.

May James be at peace.

May Kati and her babies draw from all the love the world has in their hearts for this very special family.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Vote Early, Vote Often

Tourist Photo on JPG
Preview Photo just to the right --------->

Come on! You know you want to!*

*Really though only vote if you feel inclined, it's not like I'm going to hunt you down or something!
Official

I got my "Official" finisher's button for NaBloPoMo today.



I think I like it!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

November Round-up

1. NaNoWriMo = This Goal Was Not Accomplished though I did get a good amount of words down on the paper. I'll go for this again next year.

2. NaBloPoMo = This Goal Was Accomplished. I actually found it thrilling to post everyday and it wasn't too hard to come up with blog posts. I did take the last two days off to give my readers a rest.

3. NaNoSweMo (National Sweater Knitting Month) KAL = This Goal Was Almost Accomplished.

Goal #1 -- The Purple Sweater



Unfortunately the sleeves are still not attached!

Goal #2 -- The Hourglass Sweater in Green



The sweater started out like the above photo at the beginning of the month and is now ALMOST complete. I just have a few finishing details to complete.

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