Sunday, January 31, 2010

Other: Highlights of My Week

  • Two airport security checkpoints, 0 minutes waiting in line.
  • A TSA agent wished me a happy one-day-early birthday.
  • A job interview wearing my Doc Martens.
  • Another job interview wearing my angry shoes, but I managed neither to get lost nor to have to walk to make up for a missed bus, so they managed not to get past being cranky shoes.
  • Finished two long-in-the-works sweaters.
  • Slept through half my actual birthday, since it was after a very long day of travel.
  • Got on a Glendale Beeline bus so new, the instructions were still taped to the wheelchair belts.
  • Got my W-2 and e-filed my returns that evening. I want my money back from the gummint, dammit!
  • Valentine Costume BallMade another costume for my Costume Ball.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Other: News, Week 4

I won't mention Haiti, because it's too damned depressing and everyone should know what's going on by now. I did have a realization last night when I was listening to NPR and whoever was on was talking about how the ability to donate money via SMS to various organizations was a sign of "the democratization of giving." I realized that the word "democratization" is waaaay over-used these days and that's starting to annoy me. Now, let's move on. (Seriously, it's not like there were ever any real barriers to making donations to groups. Yes, texting makes it much easier, but having had, in the past, to make a credit card donation over the phone or the web was hardly an onerous task.)

Now with C++-style comments! Because I'm bored and I can!

Dumbassbook: Just plain WTF?
And now for some funnies!
  • Conan O'Brien, responding to reports that NBC would be allowed to keep some of the signature characters he developed on The Late Show years ago: "Isn't it great to live in a country where a cigar-smoking dog puppet and a bear that masturbates are considered intellectual property?" karen.boosts(conan);
funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
It's a Death Race 2000 remake done the right way... with kittens! karen.points(100000);

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
Most cheezburger pics are pretty self-explanatory, as long as you remember that cats spontaneously do incredibly wacky things on a regular basis. This one, though, I'd really like to know the backstory. karen.perplexed(1);

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Other: Just In Case You Forgot

Just in case you forgot that I am an Über-Cool Nerd Goddess, I managed to impress (perplex?) a hiring manager today by telling her that I run FreeBSD on my home desktop.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Knittin' Crap: Ravelympics!

To coincide with the Winter Olympics, people on Ravelry have put together a parallel event: Ravelympics! The object is to challenge yourself with one or more projects, starting with the opening ceremonies on February 12 and finishing by the end of the Olympic games.

I somehow got myself made captain of the team for the Japanese Knitting and Crochet Group, a group which mainly consists of people like me, who can't read a word of Japanese but still love the patterns, with several multilingual people who help us puzzle through the rough written bits. (I'm captain because it was my idea to put together a team for the group.) I still think that Team Teami (teh-ah-me, Japanese for "hand-knit/crochet" (remember, the Japanese use the same word for "knit" and "crochet")) should get bonus points for people who are working off patterns they can't even read, but I'm not sure that will fly.

You can follow our progress on this Google docs spreadsheet. I'm still waiting for pattern information from most team members, but the game organizers haven't posted a finalized event listing yet. I'd been planning to make this sweater:
Pattern 12
but now the thought of finishing an entire pullover in 16? days is starting to freak me out.

Stay tuned for updates as the Games draw near!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Other: News Round-up, Part 3

Now sorted by category! Because I'm bored and I can!

On-line unnatural disasters:
  • This is the preview for a print article from the January 2010 Scientific American about the proliferation of third-world virtual gold farmers in MMORPGs, many of whom make more money playing WoW and other games 12 hours a day and then selling the virtual goods for real-world money than they would working in factories. I can just picture the glazed look some people are getting thinking about playing WoW for a living... except we're talking third-world wages. Still, the workers do get ancillary technical skills that they can sometimes take with them into the wider job market.
  • A 42-year-old Texas woman was arrested after she traveled to Ontario to see the 16-year-old boy with whom she'd been having a relationship via WoW. The story is even wackier than that. She didn't technically break any Canadian laws, even though the boy met her without his parents' permission and was gone for two days. The woman was only arrested once she arrived back in Houston, on charges of on-line solicitation of a minor.
  • Snowbound Britons have apparently been spending a great deal of their time seeking on-line affairs. This article only mentions, a site specifically for, um, lubricating those on-line couplings, but it seems to me that WoW would actually be a better place for such goings-on, as it has a proven track record and especially since it doesn't look nearly as suspicious on the credit-card bill.
  • Like I needed another reason not to want a Facebook page. Well, if I ever start to waiver, I just need to remind myself what an arrogantly presumptuous dumbass the founder is.
  • A heated exchange on Twitter allegedly escalated to murder in Harlem.


Knittin' Crap: CoachArt

For a few months now, I've been volunteering for CoachArt, an organization that provides free arts and sports lesson to severely or chronically ill children and their siblings in the Los Angeles area. I've been teaching knitting and crochet to two teenaged sisters in weekly lessons. They've been excited to learn and create, and I've been excited to see how much they enjoy it and how quickly they're progressing.

CoachArt really needs more volunteers. The more people they have to provide creative or sports lessons, the more kids they can help. The staff is very passionate and eager to work out schedules and locations with the volunteers. The kids get to pick what they want to learn, so you won't be stuck teaching knitting to a kid who wanted to become a rock star but couldn't find a guitar teacher. And CoachArt is participating in the Disney Give a Day Get a Day program, which gives Disney theme park tickets to volunteers.

Metro Journal: Jan 12 These Boots Weren't Made For Walking

I had a job interview in Santa Monica in the mid-afternoon. While Santa Monica is only about 20 road miles away, there's just no easy way to drive those 20 miles. And while it's also only two Metro Rapid buses away, the second bus sits on Santa Monica Parking Lot Blvd like everyone else. It's almost 2 hours on the best of days. Tuesday was... not such a good day. Some highlights:
  • The 704 broke down around Santa Monica and San Vicente. And by "broke down," I mean the driver's seat belt broke, and that means the bus has to stop.
  • Every other 704 is a short line which stops at Sepulveda instead of going on into Santa Monica. So, of course, the next 704 to come, about 15 minutes later, was a short line, as was the slower 4 that came a few minutes before. I got on the 704 anyways, as it would at least get me closer to where I needed to be and give me a few more options.
  • From Sepulveda, I took the Santa Monica city Big Blue Bus as it came first and I was already running late. The BBB doesn't honor Metro day passes, but I just barely had enough change for the 75 cent fare.
  • Ok, this part was my mess up. In the stress and annoyance, I got off at the wrong stop, and didn't realize it until the street that was supposed to be one block south of Santa Monica Blvd wasn't the right street. I asked someone and he said it changed names a few blocks west. By now I was truly late, wearing my knee-high boots with the 2" heel that I hadn't worn since last winter, but the buses by here were slow that time of day and I didn't have change for the BBB again, which runs by more often than Metros. I did walk back up to Santa Monica Blvd just in case, but I ended up walking the full distance, probably around 2 miles, on foot. On increasingly sore feet, actually.
  • About halfway there, the sidewalk was cordoned off with a "Sidewalk Closed" sign. Of course, the closest actual crosswalk which didn't require my trying to cross six lanes of Santa Monica Blvd without a death wish was at the other end of the block I had just come from. I couldn't see any obvious reason why the sidewalk was closed or anyone working on it, so I said, "screw it," and kept walking. When I got to the other end of the block, some construction guys were, surprise, sitting on their butts telling me they had just laid the concrete earlier that day. As I hadn't sunk in and there didn't appear to be any on my shoes, I shrugged and explained that I wasn't going to cross 6 lanes of Santa Monica Blvd traffic where there wasn't a crossing light and kept going.
  • I was quite late, but they seemed to be cool about it.
  • My buses home were actually all pretty timely and I even had a seat most of the way.
  • I picked up falafel from Zankou walking home from the last bus. I hadn't eaten since a late breakfast and I was damned hungry.
  • When I got home and took off my boots, I had a blister on one ankle and one on the ball of each foot. Two days later now, the muscles around my ankles are still killing me. I suspect it would have been much worse if I had been wearing my angry shoes, though.
Oh, and I forgot to mention the guy doing a James Brown dance impression in the crowded aisle of the eastbound 704.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Knittin' Crap: When Sweaters Go Big

I just finished a cardigan I'd been straggling through for years. Literally. It looks great... except it's too big for me. It's supposed to fit closely across the chest, and it doesn't, and with this style it doesn't work. sigh I might have been a little off on gauge, but the bigger problem is probably the soy-based rayon I used, which stretches but lacks wool's elasticity.

So, uh, anyone want a woman's cardigan in a deep pink that would probably fit well on a 38-40" bust size?

3 Models, 1 Too-Big Sweater 3 Models, 1 Too-Big Sweater 3 Models, 1 Too-Big Sweater

Yes, I now have two feline sweater models! Let's see how excited they get when they are in a sweater instead of on it!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Other: More News in the News

And this brilliant tautology, overheard on the bus yesterday: "What stays in Texas stays in Texas." The wisdom that comes out of the mouths of teenaged girls!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Knittin' Crap: Handmade Christmas Round-up

As I stated before, I made every present this year (except the book I got Caden for his birthday, then forgot about until Xmas.) Everyone's gotten theirs now, so here's the roll:

Who What Why
Brad Vault Boy
Vault Boy from the Fallout computer game series
Because he got me addicted to Fallout all those years ago
Caden Caden's Magic Hammer
Totoro Bonnet
Totoro bonnet pattern by Adrian Bizilka
To keep his noggin warm (although he doesn't seem too big on the hat concept) and to, um, "help" daddy
Mary Snail Tape Measure 2
Mini Sweaters
Sweater ornament pattern by Emily5446
Um, because I thought she'd like them
My mother Siamese Cat Pillow
Block pattern from 201 Crochet Motifs
Dogi vest pattern from Knit Kimono
And the other sweater ornament
Because apparently I forgot I was going to try to ruin Christmas
Tom Dex
Pattern from the Japanese book Amigurumi Collection Vol. 2
Because he has a black cat named Dex Flikky Something Something
Steve The Bride With White Hair
The Bride With White Hair
Because hell hath no fury like a kung fu mistress scorned!