Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Knittin' Crap: SFAC March 2013 Tour

This compendium of March mission reports is late because a temporal rift ate my Command Mission at the end of last month and only just spit it out (conveniently completed) now.

Command: Make something inspired by a great leader from Earth or Vulcan History. Alternatively, represent a major conflict or event shaping that history.The Sontag was a specialized shawl that crosses over the chest and fastens in back, with additional front ties. It was worn by both men and women in the United States during the mid 19th century, including the tumultuous time known as the American Civil War. I can just picture soldiers on the battlefield trying to keep warm, or worried women back home, keeping up with chores and waiting for news of their male family members.
Diplomatic: Make something representing or inspired by a particular ‘great’ literary work or character.While various sources for the ancient Greek mythologies of their gods and heroes were in existence, they were generally too racy for genteel Victorian audiences. Thomas Bulfinch’s literary collection The Age of Fable brought the stories into the popular imagination of the era. One of the most intriguing characters from these stories is Medusa:
Bad Hair Day
Engineering: Craft something inspired by a specific painting or sculptureEarth art historians have a slight mystery on their hands. In both excavations and even in current populations to this day, they have found various reproductions of a specific piece of small statuary, but do not know the source of the original. It does not seem to be a religious icon, as it seems to be found most often in businesses and homes, but not in places of worship. While the styles and colors may vary, the statue itself is of a domestic feline, sitting on its rear, waving or beckoning with one raised paw, and often holding an object, usually a coin or purse, in the other forepaw. The reproductions are found most often in East Asia, although they are also common in what seem to be enclaves of immigrant populations throughout Earth. Still, for such a secular work to have such widespread popularity, the original must have been a great work of art indeed. Here is one such reproduction:
Maneki Spoono
Medical: Whether your own preference runs to Mozart or Metal, make something representing or inspired by a particular composer or piece of music from either Vulcan or Earth.While the composer held rather contemptible beliefs, the opera cycle Ring of the Impossibly-Long-German-Word is still a classic. It features powerful women called Valkyries:
The Ride
I personally prefer a particular English translation to the original German. It goes something like this:
“Oh, Bwunhilde, you’we so wuvwy.”
“Yes, I know it. I can’t help it.”
“Oh, Bwunhilde, be-ee my wuv!”
Shuttle: Using all of the information you’ve gathered whilst studying the cultures of Vulcan and Earth, create an appropriate gift for either T’Pa’shu or her mate.On the Old Earth Chinese lunar cycle, this would be the Year of the Snake! Perhaps on Vulcan, they lack the cultural and “reptile brain” prejudices against those creatures, so I brought one to see our guests’ reaction:
Snake Charm
Tactical: Create something based on your impressions of the planet Vulcan - its architecture, cities, topography, or other distinctive feature of the environmentI had the luck to see a Vulcan sunset during one of their sand fire storms (from a safe distance of course). Quite breathtaking! Here is my abstract representation of the effect:
10-Stitch Wave Neck Scarf
Afghan Challenge: RomulusI am struck by how regimented and stratified Romulan society is, as represented by these blocks:
SFAC Afghan Squares - March
The BrigThis prisoner has had split personality issues and had also been seen colluding with the quadrupedal invasive species that has taken up residence in my quarters:
Not Helping
However, the prisoner, of late, seems to have reconciled its dual nature and is ready to leave the brig.
DK scarf

Sontag pattern circa 1860
Medusa pattern by Needlenoodles
Maneki Spoono pattern adapted from Hiroko Takeda
Valkyrie pattern by Needlenoodles
10-stitch Wave by Frankie Brown
Snake charm pattern by Ikuko Saito
Double-knit scarf pattern by Kotomi Hayashi

News: Geeky Round-up

  • I'd save us! And I don't use the damn leading dash for the standard flags, so I can deal with almost any incarnation of tar, just in case the bomb runs on some 20-year-old UNIX version.

  • Minecraft builders complain about this, too. Updates are always breaking redstone circuits or minecart mechanics or monster grinders.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

News: Ah, Florida

funny gifs
Click on me!
For those who don't know, I spent my formative teenage years in the state. When someone asks if I would ever move back (after having been absent, except for short visits, for almost a quarter of a century), I have a long list of reasons why the answer is "No." And this isn't even near the top:

Monday, April 15, 2013

News: Stupidity Legislation

Yes, background checks for people trying to buy guns are all well and good, but what we really need are minimum IQ requirements to keep guns out of the hands of morons.

Friday, April 12, 2013

News: Maybe I Should Try That...

This dog

must have seen this toy

and was as envious of its rainbow excretion as I was. And it had a plan!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

News: Even More Random Round-up

  • I can't even watch the History Channel anymore. The irony being it's more sci-fi than Syfy, but the quality is equally sucky.
  • Bruce Schneier on writing-style analysis and how it can be used to track supposedly anonymous output. Now that everyone can analyze the hell out of everything to take supposedly anonymous data and track it back to an individual (whether it's your browser's User-agent or the specific type of websites you browse or links you click on)... it's time to escalate!

  • While this seems as much like a recipe for disaster as anything else, at the same time it seems oddly hypnotic... DIY USB-powered glowing potion

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Knittin' Crap: The Lump of Angry Coal

I keep retelling this story, so I figured I'd record it for once and for all and point people to the post.

Lump of Coal
So, at some point, I kept wondering who let the 12-year-old onto the SA IRC channel at work. Seriously. To express my, um, approval rating for the 12-year-old, whom we shall call "JE," I made a lump of coal. As the 12-year-old was at corp HQ and I was in some belittled satellite office, I asked my sr. director if he would deliver something to "JE" and handed him the lump of coal. And he promptly said, "Oh, cool, it's an Angry Bird!" "Huh?" Now, he was only recently my sr. director, so I was not yet at the stage where I felt comfortable to lecture him on how, if I had meant to make an Angry Bird, there would be no confusion whatsoever over whether it was an Angry Bird or a lump of coal. (Most people have enough sense never to get to that stage. I'm not one of those people.) So I made a mental note...

Discombobulated Avian
...and a few months later, presented the sr. director with what is undeniably an Angry Bird rip-off. He put it on his desk and was apparently so attached that the first time I resigned, the first question out of his mouth was whether I was going to take the bird with me or not. (I'm not there anymore, but I'm pretty sure the bird is.)

Back to the 12-year-old. At the request of someone-who-shall-remain-nameless-because-he-turned-out-to-be-a-misplacer-of-my-uber-puppets, I made a "JE" finger puppet:
The Officially Unlicensed JE Fingerpuppet