Sunday, 29 June 2008

Links of the week, 29/06/08

First, a little announcement. I'm starting to use some of the features from Blogger in Draft, so there might be a couple of bumps. The most important one is that now the comment form is embedded with the post, rather than on its separate page or as a pop-up. I hope you enjoy the feature, and let me know if it isn't working!

And now, finally, the links of the week!

The Smithsonian Institute flickr photostream
It has some amazing pictures, mostly old, and that is only the tip of the iceberg. I really want to go there once, especially to their Aeronautics section. IIRC, the curator of the aerospace museum section is Anderson, who wrote some of the books that got me through my degree. I plan to bring at least one to see if I can get it signed.
Lego secret vault
Forget about those vaults with seeds for when Armageddon happens. This is the real vault that will keep us alive. Without Lego toys to keep us entertained, we'd end up murdering each other while waiting for the first set of crops. I want to break into this vault.
Moving sky-scrapers
I can't decide whether this is madness, and will make the building collapse horribly, or sheer genius. It's not only the spinning bit I am concerned about, but how every floor will pretty much be carved out and then assembled together, much like stacking blocks. I guess we'll see. But if it does turn out well, I want top floor.
xkcd loves the Discovery Channel
I don't know how old this Discovery Channel advert is, but I only discovered yesterday via xkcd. I played the video twice, one to hear the original song, and another to sing the xkcd lyrics with it.
A study in Emerald, by Neil Gaiman (audiobook)
Some people might know I am a bit of a Neil Gaiman's fan girl. Reading his blog, I noticed that the audio book of "A study in emerald" (a Sherlock Holmes - Lovecraft mix) was available read by him, for free. It is a short story I had read before, but I really enjoyed having Neil read it to me!

This is all for now. See you soon!

Thursday, 26 June 2008

The Red Headband (small FO)

On Saturday I wanted to have my hair loose (mainly so it would dry after my much-deserved post furniture-assembling shower), but I didn't want to get it on my face. The next day, I searched Ravelry and cast on for the Red Headband. Alex asked why red, and it's because I like red, it looks well on me, and I had some red yarn about (leftover from the Fetching mitts).
The crossing stitches took me a bit to get, but only the first or second time I did them, then they went pretty quick. I only cast on 18 stitches instead of 24, as the pattern works on a 6 stitch repeat.
I blocked it on Tuesday, by sprinkling it, then ironing through a cloth, then sprinkling it again and leaving it to dry stretched on the carpet.
It took me a bit to get used to wearing it yesterday, because I rarely wear my hair down, but it felt ok pretty soon. I am still thinking about cutting my hair all short, but I haven't been bother yet.



Technical notes
Ravelry project page
Pattern: Dream Swatch head wrap, by Wendy Bernard, from Knit and Tonic
Yarn: Oasis Solid (South West Trading Company) in Red, approx 80 meters.
Needles: 3.75 mm
Technical notes: Because I know Oasis stretches, I knitted it deliberately with smaller needles, to keep it a bit tight. Gauge is really not critical, I don't think I actually checked it at all (well, I did put up the cast on needle to my head, to check the width). Would recommend it as a quick but a bit interesting project, and as a not boring-looking headband.

Unusually for me, I'm very happy with how this pictures turned up!

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

It's cold!

I am upset at the moment. It's cold. Not actually cold, I was out earlier in short sleeves, but cold inside in the office, where I'm wearing a scarf, a cardigan, fingerless mitts and my big shawl, and I'm still cold.

I'm normally a warm person, but I sit right under the aircon. Everywhere else in the office is really warm, but I am right under the flow of cold air, which comes right past my back (with the added effect that my back mussels clench and hurt).
I don't know what to do any more. I've talk to people about it, and they acknowledge the fact that I am cold, and do try to take me into account, but they are very hot, and eventually it gets turned on. I've mentioned it to the bosses, and they said to talk to the guys to keep it off (but they are hot then, seems that we can't all be well).

I don't know what else I can do, but it's cold. I'm looking forward to winter, so the aircon is off and the heating on, and then I can be again feeling at a good temperature. I just wanted to rant, because it's cold. Being uncomfortable makes me upset, which doesn't let me work as well, and makes me feel useless.

I need a gazebo. Such an awesome word, gazebo. But yes, I can have a little gazebo above me to ward off the wind. One of the monsters in Munchkin is a gazebo. "You must face the gazebo alone!". "It doesn't do anything. It's a gazebo".

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Links of the week, 22/06/08

Where is the coffee?
Mmm, this looks suspicious
There was a rather funny thread on Ravelry (first link) asking ninja code monkey Casey to bring back the little coffee icon (RavCoffe). After having been told for a while that we had drunk all the coffee, I think Casey re-stocked the Ravelry kitchen using the second link. Coffee can be activated in the Rav forums using "mmm coffee" or "cup of coffee".
Remember the milk!
I have signed up for Remember the Milk, and online task/to-do list manager. I can add all sorts of tasks, with different periodicity, tags, length, etc. There is a feature to showRtM in your iGoogle homepage, which is where I control mine. As well as helping me remember the little things (take lunch meds, do my tai chi routine), I can use it to plan the big tasks of the week ahead. I feel a bit bad postponing tasks, but I think overall is helping me manage what I need to do.
We will go to the Moon
One of my friends created this "tag" rendition of Kennedy's famous speech. I really like the way "space" is huge in the centre, and everything is around it.
I want a Dinosaur cake too!
Amigurumi tutorial for knitters, part 1
Amigurumi tutorial for knitters, part 2
If you want to make the cute-tastic amigurumi but crochet is not your strong suit, this is a two part tutorial on how to do them, both from scratch and translation, but knitting. Includes useful notions in 3D knitting!

I am typing this late Saturday. I spent all of Friday evening bringing IKEA furniture to a third floor (do you know how heavy is a Billy? 44 kg. Me and Alex brought a total of 177 kg up the stairs, to a (British) third floor. 177). I've spent most of Saturday building furniture and rearranging the house, because we didn't have space for more books in the house, nor space for Argos (my new computer, just in case), who was taking over the dining room table. I am exhausted now, but good exhausted, and the flat looks good.

Friday, 20 June 2008

Small project updates


I have nearly finished the initial rounds of the Lace camisole, as you can see in the picture. I really like how it's turning out. Now I need to sit down and work out some modifications to the pattern, as I don't want as much of an open back. I think they are going to be simple, though.

While I wait to get some free time to do this, I have been working on Alex's dice bag, which I had put aside a little bit. I can only work on it for a handful of minutes at a time, so it's been a very good choice to knit in the bus. I am about a third of the way through it.

I've started taking again fish oil, this time before lunch (I have it at work). Yesterday I went out with Alex and one of his friends from work and his girlfriend. Matt and Sarah, for those are they names, live very close to us, and Matt and Alex really get along, so it was time I met them. We went to an italian restaurant and then to a pub, and we had a really nice time. I was a bit nervous, and I might have been a bit loud and speaking too fast at times, but Alex said he hadn't noticed. I had a good time. I think I can handle strangers when they are only two and come with recommendation!

Monday, 16 June 2008

Green Tea (FO)

Green tea lace detail

Hurrah, my Green Tea is done! I actually finished it on Sunday the 8th, but I only got around to weave in the ends and block in last Friday. I wore it today to work, and I really like it. I am also very glad I managed to get pictures in the sun today, it photographs a much nicer colour than when it's less sunny (although excuse my squinting face). Teh boyfriend complained it was not very form fitting, but it is just a comfy T-shirt, and I like it the way it is. What do you think?:


Technical details
Ravelry project page
Pattern: Green Gable, by Zephyr Style.
Yarn: Rowan Luxury Cotton, in Cabbage (SH265)
Needles: 4.00 mm circulars and dpns, 3.5 mm dpns for edgins
Notes: I like this t-shirt. The lace pattern is simple and gives it a nice edge. I didn't get two circular needles, as the pattern said, but started to knit from the neck in dpns, and then moved to circulars when I had increased enough times to be able to put the knittin in mine. I think I messed up the first row to stabilise the neck, so it rolls a bit, but it is not too bad.
I had to undo the waist decreases about 3 or so times, until I got the tapering for my waist right.
Because the way my shoulders are built, the neck sits a bit high on my neck, but it is not too bad. It has the advantage of showing a little bit of back, so at least that looks nice.

I used 6 balls of yarn for it. This is how much I had left at the end:

I barely didn't make it!

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Links of the week, 15/06/08

Here are the links of the week this week. These are the links I collected during the last two weeks, as last week we had quotes. I am really enjoying writing this thematic posts. In fact, I am writing links of the week posts at the moment. The other one I'm writing is a bit moreatemporal , so I will keep it in storage until I need it. For example, when I go on holidays. I do plan to take some summer holidays in September (so that it works well withteh boyfriend's work, and so that it's not full of tourists and screaming children), but I might need to use it before then.

Fixing a wall with Lego bricks
Did you know that I never had any Lego when I was little? I had other construction sets, but never Lego, until a couple of Xmas ago, whenteh boyfriend got me a bucket of Lego bricks. Incidentally, Lego is the brand, "one Lego" doesn't exist, it's "one Lego brick". Similarly, you don't have "Legos", but "Lego bricks".
Famous pictures done with Lego
This affluence of Lego-related links has actually nothing to do with Lego Indiana Jones! I can't recognise all the pictures, but I really like the ones I can.
Sunset on Mars
Beautiful Martian sunset, sent by the Spirit in 2005. I want to be there, I want to go to Mars. One of my favourite books is Red Mars, by Kim Stanley Robinson. Not only it's a reasonable story of the Mars colonisation, but the main characters were born when I was. I could be them!
Top 12 things you need to be a mad scientist
I want to be one. Surprisingly, living in a place with lots of thunderstorms is absent from the list. So is having a deformed assistant. Incidentally, I did on Thursday an Igor impression at work ("yez, Mazter"), and it was completely lost on people.
15 technology turning points
It was an incredibly interesting list. I especially enjoy following Stallman's link and reading of his own book the account of the experience.
Geek knits
LJ user dragoncrafter has wondered why there isn't a book called "Geek Knits" or something like that. I would so buy that book! While we stalk our local bookstores for something like that to appear, s/he has put together a list of geek patterns available online.
Yarn Wars (link to picture)
Para Abnormal is a one-panel webcomic. I love their yarn wars. I could not find a link to the yarn wars post only, but here is the list of posts for the month, so we can find it later (itwil be easier than go through the entire thing!)

Friday, 13 June 2008

Don't anthropomorphise the tomatoes

My camera card died on Tuesday after I was taking pictures of all my stash. I have a little stash, mainly leftovers, but it still bust my camera. Hence the lack of pictures, especially of the finished Green Tea (although that is not helped by the fact that I haven't finished weaving in all the ends, when I finished knitting it on Sunday). I am going to buy a new one on Saturday, before I head over to my local Knit in Public meeting. However, I can show you my stash. I am in the process of putting it all in Ravelry so that I know what I have, but you can check it in Flickr in the meantime.

However, I can tell you that, on this same Tuesday, after the stash photo session, and after I decided not to go to Tai Chi because my allergies were making me feel really unwell, teh boyfriend and I kept cracking at Lego Indiana Jones. And we finished it!
A whooping 100%, it was great. I tried to take a picture of the screen with the 100, but that's when I discovered my camera was dead (funeral arrangements to be confirmed at a later time).

<small review>
Lego Indy is really fun. Because the engine is developed from the Lego Star Wars games, they really could work on the details. The backgrounds look a lot better, and there is actual character definition! For example, Indy is afraid of snakes, so he starts shaking and gets scared if he gets near snakes. You need to use the other characters to get some fire and draw the snakes out of the path for Indy to cross. Most of the characters start without weapons, although you can pick them up when your enemies drop them. The awesome thing is that, unless your character is meant to have a gun, all the guns you pick up have limited ammo!
I have been playing with Sallah. Sallah has a shovel as his default "weapon", so he can dig on the grond, but it is also the Shovel Of DOOM, and can kill enemies. I love the shovel.
I think I still prefer Lego Star Wars 2, but this is not bad at all!
</small review>

I have finally decided to name my computer Argos.
I arrived to this name via "argent", the latin/greek name for silver. There have been many people (mostly mythological) called Argos, but my favourite is Argos Panoptes, the all seeing. I think Argos likes his name so far, although I haven't got as far as changing it in the computer itself, I've just been calling him Argos, and he hasn't complained yet.

Related to calling my computer "him", I was commenting on the baby tomatoes yesterday dinner, saying
"Aww, look at the baby tomatoes, they are so cute".
To which teh boyfriend answered,
"Don't anthropomorphise the tomatoes. They hate that".
It cracked me up.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Way too early (or way too late)

Let me tell you, having to get up at 3.30 to go to a stupid meeting is not funny in any way, shape or form.

Sunday, 8 June 2008

"Links" of the week, 08/06/08

I like quotes. My original thinking is never that good, and other people have put in words exactly what I want to say. Besides, sometimes something said by Wilde/Churchil/Shakespeare/Julius Cesar1 carries a lot more weight than something said by pocketsize.

I haven't found many links this week, due to various reasons, so I'd like to share instead some of the quotes I have recently found.

I like an escalator because an escalator can never break, it can only become stairs. There would never be an escalator temporarily out of order sign, only an escalator temporarily stairs. Sorry for the convenience.
Mitch Hedbergb, Comedy Central Presents
American comedian (1968 - 2005)

May those that accept their fate be granted happiness; may those who defy it be granted glory.
Princess Tutu

Coming home from very lonely places, all of us go a little mad: whether from great personal success, or just an all-night drive, we are the sole survivors of a world no one else has ever seen.
John le Carre, "The Chancellor Who Agreed To Play Spy"
English suspense novelist (1931 - )

Finally, I have a quote whose author always surprises me. So here it is, for your amusement, and do let me know if he surprises you as much as it does me!
We trained very hard, but it seemed that every time we were beginning to form up into teams, we would be reorganised. I was to learn in later life that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganising, and a wonderful method it can be for creating an illusion of progress, while producing confusion, inefficiency, and demoralisation.
Caius Petronius, 66AD

1: It is universally recognised that all the quotes in the world were, are, and will be uttered by one of those characters. The people I am attributing them here are just their pseudonyms ;-)

Friday, 6 June 2008

New computer!

We interrupt the normal schedule of posts to announce to the world that I have a new computer! I have a new computer! *happy dance*

Thursday, 5 June 2008

I read and I dream

I know, I have been rather quiet lately. I have had a couple of rough days, and not a lot of knitting done (although that is purely to blame on The Chronicles of Amber; it is a huge book, so I can't carry both my knitting and my book with me in my bag, and at the moment the book is winning). Some mildly interesting things have happened, though.

I bought the book Sensual Knits, which arrived on Tuesday on the mail. I really like it. I would like to make so many projects out of it (nearly all of them!), but I think I have narrowed down my choice to 2: the Sayuri (a kimono-style jumper) and the camisole and cardi set (all Rav links). They both look beautiful. I am thinking of making the camisole and cardi in some pretty grey, to give it that air of immortality and make it a classic I can wear to work until I wear the threads thin. I am not sure what colour to make the kimono, though. I like the blue of the default picture in the book, but maybe I should be more adventurous with my choices of colour (says the person with the bright green tee and the orange cardi).

Tomorrow my new computer will be delivered to me. I still have not thought of a name for it, but lately the name of Steven/Stephen is starting to ring in my head. It just feels a bit too boring, next to Sherlock, Spudtrooper and Lazarus. I need something with a bit more of an exotic ring to it.

I had a dream last night, as every night. I dream a lot, especially now, and this is a prime example of my dreams. I don't always remember them, especially in any kind of order; I remember "blocks", but when I try to put them together the dreams get mixed up, especially with dreams that happened in the same places. But I remember this one in order, so I thought I'd give you a piece what happens in my brain.
This dream involved being in the aftermath of some generic Armageddon/apocalypse/nuclear war type thing. "We" needed to go inside a high-school-AND-military building (a concrete block), to get something important. This "something" turned out to be the cutest baby pig (pink with some black spots), which farted fluorine. It ran away and we chased it. Then the feds/CIA/generic men-in-black arrived, and chased us and the pig (I think they wanted the pig, I seem to remember that it was useful in our barren wasteland of an Earth) through rooms full of white gas (fluorine from the pig). Then? Then it got weird.
The building got locked and one of the men in black turned into a psychopath and proceeded to chase us one by one. We spent many years in that building, chased by this psychopath. Not so much running and trying to outwit him. He had found a way to suck the life from people and pass it to others (make them younger, amongst other uses) and to transplant animal skin onto people. Also, let me tell you that crawling atop magazines stored vertically is remarkably difficult to do silently.
After many years, my original, pig-chasing group teamed up with the feds, and we tricked the psychopath and run to the building exit. Only I took the wrong turn and ended up in the lair of the psychopath. Oops. He wasn't there, but his family was. Did you know he had a family? It was weird. The dream then kind of merged into another, which involved metal and bars, but the locked-building is what I can remember.
This is how my mind dreams, all night long. Every. Single. Night. It gets boring after a while

Will post tomorrow from my new computer!

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Links of the week, 01/06/08

I had a thought of running some sort of regular feature on the blog. Because I spend a sizeable chunk of my time on the internet, and I love links, I thought I could post, every Sunday, a list of links that have entertained me during the week. Thanks to blogger's new feature of "advance posting", I can build the list up during the week and it will post itself on Sundays. I hope. So, if you are reading this before Sunday at 17.00 (UK time), it's because blogger messed up, and it's not my fault. In fact, at this time I might be out on a knitting picnic, so it is doubly not my fault. That is my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

So, the first batch of links, that have amused or interested me this week, are:

Lovely locks, from the Cabinet of Wonders
I was introduced to the Cabinet of Wonders via the blog of one of my knitting friends. This particular post is about pretty pictures of mechanisms of chest locks, and they do look awesome. I read the Cabinet of Wonders regularly, so expect more awesome links from them.
"Puns", from Bunny comic
This is how teh boyfriend's brain works. I have a hard trouble keeping up with the ziggy line, and it is nearly impossible when he jumps dimensions. But it is so satisfying when I manage, or when I manage to baffle him by jumping into my own extra dimensions!
Bristol Firefly screening, 21st June
If you live near Bristol, there will be a Serenity (the double pilot) and Shindig screening on the 21st of June, coinciding with Josh Whedon's birthday (long life to Josh, and bring us Firefly back!). I plan to go, because it is always a good time to meet fellow Browncoats, so look out for the girl with a hand-knitted Jayne hat. If you are not from here, now you know that it is happening, and you should go look for one near you!
Tag galaxy, via Ravelry
This link was suggested via ravelry, and it is a visual representation of tags from flickr. In the suggested example, type "ravelry" as your starting tag, and look at the pretty. Then keep playing!
Sherlock Holmes. The awakened
I have been needing to buy a new computer for ages, and I finally did it on Friday night, mainly because I really wanted to play this game (reviews). My new computer will arrive around the end of next week, and then I can tell you how it is in real life. But you can't go very wrong with Sherlock Holmes and the Cthulhu Mythos!
"Still alive" song, from Portal
I have been "obsessed" with this song for a while, and now we finally bought Portal! I am waiting for teh boyfriend to finish playing so I can play it as well. Portal is a short and awesome computer game, and this is its end song, which I really like (warning, end spoilers, although most people who would care about them probably know all this already!)

So, this has been all for the first batch of links. I hope you have enjoyed it, and let me know what you think of the feature and my selections.

Incidentally, I will need a name for my new computer. My computers have always been male, and this one can't be named Sherlock, Spudtrooper or Lazarus, as those are names my laptop has had in the past (I have changed it every time I wipe its memory and start from scratch). Suggestions are welcomed, although I would have to wait and see if the computer likes its/his name!