Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Other: More Totoro Infatuation

Too cute! Super neat!
Wow! Awesome! (But, uh, not awesome enough to pay $260.)

They also have lots of other Totoro character plushies, but I can make my own...

From the same place, you can also get some of the fabled Hello Kitty toilet paper. And, uh, Hello Kitty insect repellent patches.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Metro Journal: Just So There Is No Confusion

After having yet another driver honk at me when I had right of way in a crosswalk, I have looked this up in the California Driver Handbook.
Specifically, concerning right-of-way,
Respect the right-of-way of pedestrians. Always stop for any pedestrian crossing at corners or other crosswalks, even if the crosswalk is in the middle of the block, and at corners with or without traffic lights, whether or not the crosswalks are marked by painted lines.
Do not stop in a crosswalk. You will place pedestrians in danger.
Remember—if a pedestrian makes eye contact with you, he or she is ready to cross the street. Yield to the pedestrian.*
And, their bold, not mine:
Pedestrians have the right of way in crosswalks, even if the crosswalk is in the middle of the block.
I am so totally going to print out a couple copies of that page, take a highlighter to it, and shove it in the face of the next person who pulls that "honking at the pedestrian in the crosswalk" crap on me.

* And rude hand gestures are even more compelling proof than eye contact. Oh, but you weren't paying attention, were you, Asshole Driver Person?

Other: Natalie Dee Comics

Ok, I only just found out about this Natalie Dee person's comics today, but I'm getting weird looks because I keep laughing.

natalie dee
Yeah, that happened a while back now...

natalie dee
Guess which part Spoon gets?

Knittin' Crap: In the Beginning...

natalie dee

Monday, December 29, 2008

Other: Small Fry P.S.

The small fry was born on Christmas Day. I don't know about my mother, but I'm calling him Jesus.

And while I know it's true for at least some fish, I was surprised that these gave birth to live young. The mother was still trailing out the afterbirth, which I had initially taken for colorful excrement. For some reason I assume most fish species lay eggs (or maybe most do).

Then, of course, there's the ancient coelacanth, which is ovoviviparous. I love that word. It means that the young gestate in fish eggs, but the eggs remain inside the mother's body. The eggs hatch internally and the mother gives live birth.

Actually, it looks like platyfish like Jesus are also ovoviviparous. Well, whaddya know.

Other: Small Fry

smallfry4My mother has had a small (7-gallon?) freshwater fishtank on her kitchen counter for several years now. She currently has two fish in there, although I can't remember the species because she can't remember the exact species. It might be a platy.

Over Christmas, I was sitting at the kitchen table next to the tank when she fed them. I noticed something that seemed like a tiny fish, maybe ⅜" long.
Me: Is there a baby in there?
Mom: No, it's just a piece of food.
Me: Are you sure? It has eyes. Right there.
Mom: Oh, it is! It's a small fry! It's a big one, too!
Apparently she'd had two others in late winter, but they hadn't survived my parents' absence when my grandmother died. My mother had a "small fry" thingie, which is a plastic bin that floats at the top but keeps the small fry in. This one was staying right at the bottom, though, so there was no way to catch it. I asked if it was at risk of getting sucked into the water recirculation intake, and she said she'd get a piece of old pantyhose to put over it. Then I asked if it was at risk of getting eaten by mama and papa. "I don't know." She got out her guidebook and, yes, it looks like mama likes to munch on her babies.

We managed to catch the little guy and get him in the small fry thingie. The parents were really hankering to get in for awhile, but he was safe, darting around.


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Knittin' Crap: Can You Full It?*

I ended up making three gifts this year which required some degree of felting. For those who don't quite understand the mechanics of felting, find the favorite wool sweater of a family member, make sure it says, "Hand wash only" on the tag, and throw it in the washing machine on hot water with lots of soap and an old pair of tennis shoes.1

Felting (or, technically in this case, fulling1) occurs when the combination of heat, water, and agitation forces the scales on many animal hairs to open and interlock permanently. The resulting fabric is warmer, more water-repellent, and denser in thickness than the original, but it has also shrunk in surface area. Oops. Wool is by far the most feltable fiber, although that varies by sheep breed and the chemical treatment of the wool. Alpaca can felt pretty well, but, again, nothing holds a candle to wool.2

Top-loading washing machines are master felters, but if you need more control over the felting process or, like me, you live in a building with lame front-loading machines which you can't stop mid-cycle, you say, "Ok, I'll try hand-felting."

You'll be sorry.

I started off using the instructions in Knitted & Felted Toys: 26 Easy-to-knit Patterns for Adorable Toys, by Zoe Halstead, the source of the tiger project. She suggests having some boiling water with soap3 in it, and a bowl of ice cold water. You stir the item in the boiling water, then scrub it with your (duly insulated) hands, then plunge it into the cold water, repeating however many times it takes to get the amount of felting you want or to make your arms sore or to make you consider commandeering a friend's top-loading washing machine. Unfortunately, the tiger was for the kid of the friend with the top-loading machine, so, well, put it all down and wait for your arms to recover. Other sources don't insist on boiling water, but the extremes of temperature, the soap, and the agitation are constants.

Before tiger-prefelt r2d2-nofelt luntree-trunk-nofelt
During boilingtiger r2d2-water no picture
After tiger r2d2 luntree-trunk-felted
Yarn Frog Tree Worsted Alpaca Singles, 100% Alpaca Patons Soy Wool Solids and Soy Wool Stripes, 70% Wool, 30% Soy (rayon) Plymouth Galway Worsted, 100% Wool
Results The alpaca with the hand-method didn't felt very well, although it made the edge stitches a pain to sew up. Caden seemed more interested in the gift bag... The hat turned out way too big.4 I was making it for Steve to give to his Star Wars-lovin' brother Todd. "He has a really big head," he assured me. Yeah, but the hat should still only be big enough to cover the top part of it. I hadn't planned to felt but decided I had nothing to lose. If it failed, it wouldn't take too long to knit another.5 Hand-felting shrank it a bit, but I really liked the look. We threw it into Steve's machine for several minutes and that really let the air out of the balloon. He said it should be just right. I wasn't working off a pattern, although I wasn't thinking and hadn't intended to make that large a tree. Oh, well. I really liked how the knothole turned out.

* Because every time you post about felting, you have to use a crappy pun. Bonus points if you can name the cheesy 80s pop song reference!
1 Well, according to the Wikipedia article on felting, that's actually fulling, as it has happened after the fibers are in a fabric form rather than still in fiber form. I am not, however, changing the title of this post from "Can you felt it?"6
2 The machine-washable wools out there, often labeled "Superwash," were usually treated either in an acid bath to remove the scales that interlock in the felting process or were coated with a microscopic polymer to cover those scales.
3 Soap, not detergent. The chemical formulation of soap is more effective. I got a bar of Ivory soap and flaked some off into the pot.
4 My fault, not the pattern's. I should have started with smaller needles, but I needed double-points and didn't have a good middling size. I thought I could fake it, but I couldn't. The wool saved my ass. The pattern, by Carissa Browning, was excellent.
5 Because what's the difference 2 weeks before Xmas between partial and total sleep deprivation?
6 Ok, I am going to change the title of this post, because "Can you full it?" sounds better in a horrible punning way.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Knittin' Crap: Totoro Madness

totoroMy friend Steve really likes Totoro and painted him on his son's wall, so for Christmas I made him this Chu (blue) Totoro from this pattern by Heaven's Hellcat.

When I started it, I didn't know anything about Totoro. Co-irker Dan was stationed by the USAF in and around Japan for some years, and for some reason we were talking about Totoro one day. (I learned the "Chu Totoro" for the blue one and "Chibi" for the white Totoro from him.) So then I had to google for more information and found this neat site.

Turns out the blue Totoro is only one of the Totoros. The white one is smaller, but there's the grey one, which is relatively huge. I think the blue one I made was about, hmm, 10" tall? The proportions from the screen shots on that site are unclear, but I'm guessing O Totoro to scale would have to be about 4 times as tall. Yeesh. It took about 200 yards of blue yarn for the Chu Totoro. I don't feel like doing that math.

Then there's the NekoBasu, or CatBus. Well, someone else already made one of those...
Catbus from My Neighbor Totoro

I do need one of these Totoro bonnets, though. My head is getting cold waiting at bus stops. Maybe a nekobasu will stop for me!

Have I mentioned that I still haven't seen the original film?

Air Journal: Dec 22 Take 2

I learned my lesson yesterday: Always Check In On-Line The Night Before. Check!

I also got to the airport earlier than the day before, but I decided to park in the same place I had parked just because maybe doing it twice would impress it on my memory. Lot A, Section 6. Check!

I always end up checking a bag, mostly because I want to be able to carry my knitting without worrying about it. The TSA guidelines say that knitting needles are in theory allowed in carry-on, but, as always, the agent at the checkpoint has final discretion. Let me just say that I squirm thinking of the rather large number of knitter on Ravelry who have freely posted on the forums that they have gotten into arguments with security over their knitting needles. That never ends well. Or others who print out the TSA guidelines and plan to shove them in the agent's face should they try to confiscate their needles. Um, people, it is so trivial to forge a website printout. If I ever saw an agent change their mind over some decision because someone was waving a printout in their face, I would immediately call their supervisor. I am totally not joking. (I could also go on about people asking whether it's ok to bring their needles without even mentioning where they're flying from. Different countries have totally different rules about things like this. Honestly, sometimes the utter lack of common sense among knitters in cases like this embarrasses me.)

Anyway... I usually carry a small crochet project on with me. No one gives a rat's ass about crochet hooks because no one seems to know what they are.

At any rate, I checked my bag and went to the security line. Except, there was no line!!!! I ♥ the Bob Hope Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport!

I have never flown first-class before, and frankly, I wasn't too impressed with the amount of extra space, but, eh. My impression from always having walked through first-class to coach was that the women seated there were generally, um, plastic, and the men often looked like slobs. On the flight to DFW, I was seated next to a piece of plastic who was reading a book by Donald Trump. Ewwww.

When I got to Florida, we were apparently on the second-to-last of the airline's incoming flights for the night. Instead of bringing our bags to the claim in a timely manner and then going back for the flight landing 15 minutes later, they decided to do them both at once. So we waited half an hour. We're not talking about an enormous airport, either in volume or geographic size, here. sigh

Air Journal: Dec 21 Oops

Between being a little off-kilter and then waiting over 20 minutes for a shuttle from the long-term parking lot, I got to the terminal 3 minutes too late to check-in for my flight to Florida, so they had already given away my seat. Um, suck. So, I sat down and talked to the very nice lady from the airline for half an hour and because all the flights were overbooked, it looked like I would have to wait 2 days for the next one out. Just as we were about to book that, one for Monday opened up. I was going to have to pay the difference in ticket prices, which was steep, but was made a little less painful by the fact that I was being forced to fly first-class. Really, that's all that was open anymore. Well, at least I also get the frequent-flyer mile bonus.

So, I went back to wait for the parking lot shuttle. I got on the one for Lot C, but when we pulled into Lot C, I realized that wasn't right at all. Then I remembered I had meant to park in Lot C but had missed the turn, so I had just gone straight into Lot A. Ok, back to the terminal. The driver said that happened all the time, people forgetting where they had parked. I neglected to tell him that I had parked an hour ago, not a week ago.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Metro Journal: Dec 18 The Wrong Bus At The Wrong Time

When I got on the DASH in the morning, there was a couple sitting in the back. I got on about 10 minutes before it usually leaves at 9:50. After about 7 minutes, the woman goes up to the driver.
Woman: Are we actually going to leave anytime soon? We need to be someplace.
Driver: 2 minutes.
Walking back, she tells her insignificant other, rather fucking loudly, "We should have just fucking walked." She then spends the next 2 minutes bitching. And continues bitching.

They got off at the first stop near the lot, but there's not actually a gate there. Maybe they were late for a Dr Phil taping, which enters from a side door directly into their studio, but there was no page at that door. I was wondering if they meant to go to the tour, but tourists need to enter at the front gate, and if they figured it out, they would have to walk the equivalent of three blocks from where they got off. I could hear the nonstop bitching already...

That night I didn't leave until 7, and I just decided to walk straight to Western instead of worrying about buses either way. I was carrying what probably amounted to 15 extra pounds in Xmas gifts, and I was already tired from staying up late to finish presents. After I got off the bus at Hollywood & Western, I proceeded to wait forever for a 780. 30 minutes. And then when it finally came, it was of course packed, so I got on the 180 that had shown up at the same time. A longer ride, but I couldn't deal with standing with this extra weight until a seat opened up on the 780, and the 180 was less than half full, and I was too cold to gamble that there would be another 780 in the next 15 minutes.

A few stops after I got on, some guy got on and apparently didn't bother to pay his fare, just sitting down immediately behind the driver.
Driver: Excuse me! Excuse me! I need to see your pass!
Freeloader: mumble
Driver: Your first priority when you get on the bus is to show your pass! I don't care what you're doing, whether you're on the phone or anything else! You need to have your pass out! (Freeloader finally shows him his pass.) Thank you!
Freeloader: Behave.
Driver: Yes, you need to behave and follow the rules.
Freeloader: You need to be professional!
Driver: I am being professional. (And he was being rather calm about the whole thing. I've seen drivers get totally bent out of shape.) You need to show the driver your pass as soon as you get on the bus, no matter what you're doing.
Freeloader: I was on the phone!
Driver: That doesn't matter!
While normally I would have been thrilled to have this kind of entertainment, I was bone-tired. It was already 8, and I just wanted to get home. I was starting to have this nightmare, as the dumbass was getting increasingly argumentative, that the driver would end up pulling over and insist the asshole get off the bus, which did not seem like it promised to be a very efficient process. At that point we were pulling up to the stop at Vermont & Hollywood. There was a 780 behind us waiting for the left turn light! And I could see through the front window that it was pretty empty! I got off the bus and made the crossing light. (The 180 stops on the other side of the street from the 780 stop at the same intersection.) From the grumbling, it sounded like the people there had been waiting a long time. I imagine the bus I had passed on earlier had been so overcrowded that driver hadn't even bothered to stop to let people on.

I was dead tired by the time I got home. It was almost quarter to nine. And I still had to finish my boss's present. Yeesh.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Pandora's Litter Box: The Cat Stays in the Picture

Spoon, for a rather shy cat, loves sticking his chubby butt in the picture. And because he's basically a very large patch of white, he usually ruins the camera's automatic light-level detection.

(Don't tell Hansen about that last one with Spoon and Hansen, Jr. He's allergic to cat hair.)

Whiteboard Jungle: Co-Irker Christmas Crap

Summary of my co-irker's reactions to their gifts1:
BobfrankenbobA couple weeks ago, Bob did a faceplant on his glass coffee table. Ouch! Fortunately, no permanent damage, but he did have some nasty cuts."Oh, wow."
ChandraluntreePeople around here seem to think disk space grows on trees. Chandra is our storage engineer, so I thought I would help him out by giving him a LUN tree so he could grow more disk space!"Oh, that's amazing! Very pretty!"2
Danmurloc-frontSee this post."Is this supposed to be a murloc? I guess that's appropriate. Pretty cool."3
Joeminijoebear2I had already made Joe the Bear a Joe the Bear, Jr. I made him a Mini-Me Joe the Bear so he could take one home to his wife."Oh, that's great! Now I can take one home to my wife!"
Hansenmeerkat-profileSee this post."Oh, he's so cuuuuuuuuute! I don't want to show Bob." (Immediately wraps Jr. carefully in the tissue paper, then shoves him back in the bag.)
1 I won't have my boss's done until tomorrow, but he usually insists on saving them until Xmas anyway.
2 Not sure that word means what he thinks it means...
3 Thus narrowly avoiding keyboard smackage.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Whiteboard Jungle: Top 10 Other Things I'm Most Likely to Say at Work

Top 10 Other Things I'm Most Likely To Say At Work*

  1. (to coffee shop employee) Now, when you say "shots," do you mean whiskey?
  2. Please shoot me... Wait, would I get workers comp for that?
  3. 8 MILES PER HOUR (to whatever asshole almost ran me over in an electric cart this time1)
  4. They really need to start stocking Valium or Demerol in the medicine cabinet.
  5. Who is this person and why are they calling me about a server I have never heard of?
  6. That sounds like a Level 2 thing. We're Level 3. Send the ticket off to them. And pray.
  7. Why does the Windows group seem to have someone whose sole duty is to offload service desk tickets on some other group, and we don't?
  8. I don't want to hear it.2
  9. The most dangerous person is someone who thinks they know more than they do.3
  10. I have so turned in my letter of resignation.

* Excluding exclamatory expletives
1 The speed limit for electric carts (and all traffic) on the lot is 8 miles per hour. They're also supposed to stop at all stop signs and, well, those big-ass white lines with "STOP" spray-painted over them on the road. Apparently, however, some people are just too important and have too important a place to be to follow the Little People rules.4
2 Generally repeated multiple times until the person finally realizes that I actually really don't want to hear it, or they've already finished saying what they were going to say anyway.
3 Which means I must work in the white-collar office equivalent of Iraq.
4 Look, no one driving around in a Kath & Kim cart5 is ever going to qualify as the most important person in the world. Or even on the lot. Seriously, asshole.
5 Yes, I have really, truly yelled "8 MILES PER HOUR" at some asshole who nearly ran me over in a Kath & Kim cart. The other guy who had to jump out of the way yelled "JACKASS" and then had to explain to the person he had been on the phone with that he wasn't talking to them.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Metro Journal: Dec 15 Don't I Feel Safe

In the morning, two other people and I were standing at a corner waiting for the Walk light. When it changed, the moron in the right turn lane right in front of us was still inching forward into the crosswalk, watching for traffic coming from his left, never bothering to, oh, look around every once in a while. Note that he was looking straight in the direction of the white Walk signal, too, clearly a particularly observant dumbass, in addition to the really considerate part. I yelled, "HEY!" and the other two people yelled at him too. So, the asshole honked his horn at us. I should have let myself get nudged so I could make his life miserable with the police and insurance company. And have a good excuse to be late for work. And I would have had two witnesses who would probably have loved to help me make this guy's life miserable.

Let me explain a subtlety of Bus Person Car. While Bus Always Wins, Person vs. Car displays a slight paradox. Clearly, the Person who ends up under Car loses. However, so does the Person in Car, especially after dealing with the police, getting their insurance rates jacked up, and possibly getting sued by Person under Car or their, um, surviving relatives.

It was the second day of really heavy, practically non-stop rain. Buses were running slow, and of course there had been an accident on Los Feliz. An SUV was turned almost 180 degrees, just enough off so they were blocking one whole lane and change.

I got out around 6:45. I didn't even pretend to wait for a bus, but just started walking to Western. In addition to all the accumulated vehicle fluids that have leaked onto the road, the rain also washes away all the annoying loiterers. About half a block into it, I was really wishing I had remembered my gloves. About a block into it, I was wishing they had some kind of nose warmer.

There was a U-lock holding a bicycle wheel to a sign post at the corner of Melrose and Ridgewood. It was clearly a very effective lock, because the wheel was there. Of course, there was no bicycle attached to the wheel...

While I was waiting at the corner of Melrose and Western (a ways back from the curb, as water drainage is hideous and the cars zooming by would knock up a lot of water), a man staggered through the crosswalk. Of course, traffic at the time was coming in perpendicular to the crosswalk, so it's a small miracle he didn't get runover. He got to the side I was on in one piece, but instead of stepping onto the curb, he started walking in the street next to it. Right through one of the Marianas puddles. He managed to fall onto the curb. A couple women walked by and he was yelling something at them in Spanish. They yelled something back and kept walking. My bus came and I didn't really want to deal with a really drunk man.

I felt a little guilty, though. He was really likely to hurt himself and maybe cause a pile-up in the process. I decided as soon as I got off at Hollywood, which was just a couple minutes away, I would call 911.

Meanwhile, a woman had left her scarf behind and another lady was trying to catch her attention, except she was barely audible. She got up and was trying to pick it up when the bus started moving. She almost fell down and a bunch of us reached out to grab her. Yeesh.

After I got off the bus, I dialed 911 from my cell phone.1 And got a busy signal. I hung up and dialed again.2 It rang that time, but it got answered by a machine telling me all operators were busy and to stay on the line. Yeah, I was feeling pretty safe and secure right about then. The 780 came about 5 minutes later, and I was still waiting for the operator. I got on the bus. I stayed on the line about 5 more minutes, then gave up. Even if I had finally managed to talk to a real person at that point, the guy was either long gone or someone else would have called already. Of course, they also would have gotten a busy signal.

I realized afterward I should probably have used the pay phones on that corner. 911 calls are almost certainly handled differently from a land line, although whether or not it would have been more effective, I don't know.

1I think for the first time ever.
2I think for the second time ever.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Pandora's Litter Box: PSA

You may be tempted this holiday season to dress your cat in funny costumes.

Don't do it.

funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals

Other: Calling the OED

Words I take full credit for inventing:
  • co-irker (n) - syn. for co-worker
  • crappens (sentence) - contraction of "crap happens"
  • gothling (n) - an underage goth

Friday, December 12, 2008

Whiteboard Jungle: Top 10 Things I'm Most Likely To Say At Work

Top 10 Things I'm Most Likely To Say At Work*

  1. Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.
  2. Ok, what'd you break this time?
  3. Hansen, I already told you that last week!
  4. Why do these people think disk space grows on trees?
  5. Not my problem; not my fault.
  6. I didn't do it. Unless I was supposed to.
  7. Why the hell didn't they give this information to us before now?
  8. (speechless at the stupidity, but making very articulate facial expressions)
  9. Don't know; don't care.
  10. I am so going to start carrying around an undated letter of resignation.

* Excluding exclamatory expletives

Metro Journal: Dec 12 You Know It's Time To Quit When...

While I was waiting at a bus stop this morning, I heard a drop of something on my shoulder. I looked, then looked up. Another drop landed on my face. Rain. There was no rain forecast for today! I looked around. Blue sky in every direction, except directly overhead, where it was grey!

You know it's time to quit and turn around and go spend the day in bed when you're sitting in the only place it's raining for miles.

In the evening,
Joe the Bear
Joe the Bear
* asked if I was ready to leave.

You know it's time to quit when you were ready to leave work before you even got there.

We walked to Hollywood & Vine and got there around 6:30. Some reasonably groomed man was picking cigarette butts off the ground. I thought he was going to put them in the trash. No, he pocketed them.

You know it's time to quit smoking when you have to scavenge half-smoked cigarettes from Sammy Davis, Jr.'s star. Seriously.

The 780 didn't show until 6:45, but it was in a regular-length orange Local. It was pretty crowded, and I was more inclined to waiting another 15 minutes than being a sardine on the way home. I took out my Blackberry thinking I would send email or cruise the web or something, but I had forgotten to charge it, and the battery was too low to turn on the network. Crap.

A few minutes later, another orange Local was getting towed by a really big Metro tow truck. It was stopped at the red light at Argyle right in front of me, but unfortunately, by the time I got my camera phone out, the light had changed and it was starting to move. I did get this nice picture of the hitch and the lovely coach parked across the street:

The Pantages Theatre is literally right across Hollywood Blvd from the Red Line Station. They've been showing Wicked at least since I started my job and thus taking this bus route. Early on, you'd see lots of wannabe gothlings in line, but now the crowd is very generic and mainstream. A favorite pastime of tourists is taking pictures of the marquee. By the time the fourth person I saw tonight was framing their shot, I had my camera phone ready. Number 4:

(Embarrassingly, I also got a pretty good shot of the marquee in that one.)

Number five, pictured below, was using her flash. I'm sure that was highly effective across the 4 traffic lanes, left turn lane, and the bus lanes on each side of Hollywood. She probably also has a lovely album of the backs of people's heads that she has taken over the years at fireworks displays.

There was no 780 at 7:00. Or 7:05 or... etc. Not until 7:15. By then I had seen no fewer than 9 people take a picture of the Pantages marquee from my side of the street. Well, 10 if you count my inadvertent shot. And even though I was there 45 minutes, the rate of one picture every 5 minutes was seriously some kind of record.

You know it's time to quit taking pictures of that marquee when there must be 6 million pictures of it on the web by now, people. Seriously.1

Sure, 45 minutes is a long time, but I clearly managed to entertain myself by taking mocking photos of the completely stereotypically predictable Hollywood tourists.

Don't miss our next installment: You Know You Have No Life When...2

* Firefox displays this correctly inline in the paragraph. IE doesn't. If it looks like crap, change browsers.
1 Seriously. Google for "+pantages +wicked +marquee" and you'll get a crapload of pages with pictures.
2 ... when you spend 45 minutes taking pictures of tourists taking pictures on a Friday evening.

Whiteboard Jungle: Hansen, Jr.

I previously mentioned my co-irkers', um, animal mascots. Hansen is not part of our group, but he's here so much, he seems like family!

Anyway, here's Hansen, Jr., which I stayed up way too late last night to finish before Hansen, Sr. went on vacation.

BTW, Hansen, Jr. turned out a little chubby. No hereditary implications intended.

Meerkat pattern from Roman Sock, again

ETA: Hansen just informed me that he meant he wasn't going on vacation until after next week. Goddammit. I should repossess the thing and give it to him again next Friday.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Knittin' Crap: Pig Mania!

I've seen this game under a couple different names. The version I have is called Pig Mania! but basically you have two little plastic pigs and you play a modified version of craps with them. Scoring depends on what position they land in.

Well, now you can make your very own version! Roman Sock, the same person who designed the tree frog I then mutated into a murloc thingie, has designed her own version called Pass the Piglets.

Other: Dentist Pain, No Drill Involved!

I made a long-overdue dentist appointment last week for yesterday afternoon. As they didn't have anything early in the morning or late in the day until January, I had to make it for mid-afternoon and leave work early. When I got to the dentist office yesterday:
Receptionist: Oh, we called you 45 minutes ago. [After I'd already left for the appointment.] The dentist you made the appointment with no longer accepts your insurance. But you can make another appointment with a dentist in this office who does!
Me: Um, I left work early and came all this way. No one can see me now?
Receptionist: No. [Gets out appointment book.] When would you like to come in?
Me: Um, why don't I get back to you on that.
Like I'm going to patronize an office with staff so incompetent they've already wasted my time once? I gave them the insurance info last week and they waited until 45 minutes before the appointment to figure out that they didn't know which dentist took which insurance plan?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Other: Body Snatchers Strike Again!

What is happening to my family members? First my mother says, "That sucks," something I'd never heard her utter before in my life. Then I sent her sister a picture of something I made and she called it "cool." Never heard her say that before.

Ok, if I start posting about, I dunno, how "sweet" reindeer sweaters are, send help.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Metro Journal: Dec 8 Oooh, Shiny

I'm sure something terribly interesting happened in the morning, but I can't remember it.

In the evening, Shirley came out to the stop two minutes after I did. It was close to 6:30 and the DASH is at its worst crapshoot odds, so we decided to walk to the Melrose and Western stop together. (The northbound DASH got to its Melrose/Western stop a block before we did.) We got on a crowded 207 but only had to wait a couple of minutes for it.

I had to wait about another 10 for the 780. When it was less than a block away, some dumbasses leaned out of their low-rider and screamed, "Hooker!" in unison. I looked down. I was wearing knee-high boots, a knee-length black dress which left maybe an inch of skin exposed above the boots, and a long black trenchcoat. I was also carrying my demure pink backpack. I looked around. The only female nearby looked to be maybe 20, wearing an oversized hoodie and jeans which hardly looked spray-painted on. I suppose either outfit might have qualified as hooker-garb in, say, Taliban-controlled areas of Afghanistan, but dude, we were standing on Hollywood Boulevard. Clearly those assholes have never seen a real Hollywood hooker, because let me tell you, I have. If they had wanted directions to one, they could have stopped and I would have tried to help. Well, maybe.

Anyway, I got on the 780, which wasn't too crowded (it was nearly 7 by now) and sat down at a window seat near the back. After spacing out a minute, I realized the outer pane of glass was completely cracked into a fine reptile-skin pattern. I was so out of it that I ended up spending most of the bus ride (a long-ish one -- there had been an accident on Los Feliz) watching the lights make pretty patterns on it.


Saturday, December 6, 2008

Knittin' Crap: World of Wankers

One of my co-workers plays World of Warcraft. All the time. I'm pretty sure at this point his wife can only recognize him by the back of his head, as he's always facing the computer.

I've never played the game and have no intention of doing so (let alone finding a mate on it (aren't 90% of the people on there 12-year-old boys, anyway?) like this woman did.) But in my quest to make amigurumi for my co-workers for Xmas, I decided to try to do something from the game. I went to the World of Wankers Wiki and found this thing: the murloc. I mean, it's basically a really mean-looking tree frog, right? And there's this free tree frog pattern from Roman Sock, so I just made it to look mean. So, here we go!

First, you make a million little pieces: murloc-pieces
Then you put them together, and tada!

So, no, I have no worry that this will spoil the surprise, because Dan's too busy playing WoW to read my stinkin' blog. And if he doesn't appreciate my handicraft enough, I'll tell his WoW-buddy from another group at work to smack him on the head with a keyboard and run off with it for himself. Or I'll just smack him with the keyboard myself and tell the WoW-buddy to run off with it.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Other: My Mother, The Imposter

I sent my mother email today about some layoffs at work. She replied, "That sucks."

I have never, in all my life, heard my mother say, "That sucks." Clearly, someone has hacked her email.

Knittin' Crap: Me Has!


And Spoon has to get in the picture, as always:
(I'm not so small a person as he is that big a cat.)

funny pictures
moar funny pictures