Thursday, May 30, 2013

Knittin' Crap: SFAC May Shore Leave

May is a shore leave month in the Starfleet Fiber Arts Corps, but we still had a shuttle mission, plus afghan blocks and a brig release.

Shuttle: Something about voting on ownership of a disputed ice planet claimed by both the Romulans and the Klingons
Your mission: • Option A: Craft something in Blood wine red to show your support for the Klingon claim to Poosh.
• Option B: Craft something in Romulan ale blue to show your support for the Romulan claim to Poosh.
Purely out of curiosity to see for what use they need a frozen moon (if betting weren’t against Starfleet regulations, my credits would be on ice hockey training so they can sweep the next Interstellar Games), I vote for the Romulans. My vote takes the highly appropriate form of an Earth peacock, as they are a symbol of pride, and the Romulans are a proud race, indeed.
Afghan Challenge Planet of the Month: Qo’noS, the Klingon homeworld.These squares either represent Kang’s Summit or the pointy end of a bat’leth, both of which a tourist on Qo’noS may encounter.
SFAC May Squares
The Brig - the place where unfinished projects languish in shameThis prisoner promised to deliver a personal force field 2 whole tours ago and failed miserably, causing some damage to engineering. It has since cleaned up the damage and adopted Starfleet safety protocols. Requesting release back to regular duty.
Excuse me, some crew members have no manners….

Peacock pattern by Yasuko Ando
Original vest pattern by DROPS Designs

Sunday, May 26, 2013

News: Critical Facepalms

These make my head hurt.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

News: Even More Random Stupid

  • Why I always freeze to death in an office when I dress for the actual weather. The building at my last entertainment-industry job was kept cold enough for storing meat (which was apropos, considering how they treated the IT people), which struck me as particularly at odds with the fact that Hollywood was touting how green it was. If they'd turned the thermostat up a few degrees, they could have reduced their energy consumption quite a bit. (Also, if they gave bus passes instead of a car allowance to VPs and above, they could have done even more in that direction, but... wait, you think I'm calling them hypocrites? Hollywood? Never!) For men who insist on wearing suits in the summer, they should revert to the Southern gentlemanly practice of wearing linen. Surely some big agro-business is trying to engineer wrinkle-resistant linen?
  • Instead of inventing machines to do physical labor for us, maybe we should be inventing machines to think for us...

Kitty's response to the stupid:

Thursday, May 9, 2013

News: Cleverness

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Knittin' Crap: SFAC April 2013

Command: Choose one of the founding civilizations of the Federation and craft something that illustrates their uniqueness, or how their influence has shaped the Federation.In homage to that most blue-blooded of founding species, the Andorians, I present this fibrous river of navy blue:
Multi-dimensional Scarf
Diplomatic: Craft something to represent a species’ communication style or negotiating skills.The Andorian subspecies, the Aenar, thought until only a couple centuries ago to be a myth even among Andorians, have very powerful telepathic abilities. This mission represents their ability to transmit brain waves across relatively large distances.
Foothill Summit
Foothill Summit
I believe the invasive quadrupeds on the Kitchener have revealed their true mission. This one appears to be intercepting the Aenarian brainwaves:
Spoon reaches the summit!
Medical: Choose a non-Terran species and craft something that represents how their physiology differs from that of the people of Earth.Without going into details (this is a family vessel, after all), the plant-based Phylosians have a method of reproduction that vastly differs from humans. They, um, flower, like so:
Science: Improve our ability to communicate complex scientific information: Challenge yourself in learning a new skill. Do you only knit? Perhaps try crochet – or spinning, tatting, or naal-binding. Alternatively, try an advanced technique in your preferred fiber art form.For this mission, I created this regulation headband. I was looking for a way to protect against the effects of certain neutrinos on brain waves and decided to investigate an old fabrication technique called “broomstick crochet.” The loops are highly effective at redirecting errant neutrinos.
Broomstick Crochet Headband
Tactical: Choose a culture whose tactical skills you admire - or think it important we study - and craft something to represent them.I look back to 23rd century Earth for someone who was always ready for a fight to protect his ship or crewmates or, in particular, a damsel in distress: Starfleet Lt. Pavel Chekov. Chekov never pulled his punches, particularly if said damsel was attractive. While he may have had a fiery temper, he could rein it in out of respect to his superior officers.
Chekov - The 5th Beatle
Afghan Challenge: Bajor IVI have fabricated squares which represent the new path Bajor is forging:
SFAC April 2013 Afghan Squares

Summit pattern by Mandie Harrington
Doily pattern from Lace Best Patterns 238

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Air Journal: Destination: Middle of Nowhere, USA

Lake Blackshear
Lake Blackshear (no, I don't know why the water is brown)
There was a gathering of my father's kin in southwest Georgia on Saturday, and as I haven't seen any of those folks in 4 years or more, I made the long trek. And by long, I mean about 7 hours on planes, then nearly 3 hours driving south from Atlanta. Some highlights:

When I was getting ready to leave for the airport to go on the trip, I got a call from BofA saying there was suspicious activity on my debit card. Yup, sure enough, some asshole had charged a $249 ad on Facebook. I called to confirm that the card had been compromised, reiterating that not only had I not done business with Facebook, I had never ever even had an account, and hadn't even replied when one of their recruiters contacted me on LinkedIn. So there. This also meant I had no damn ATM card while I was in the middle of nowhere. They said I could stop by a branch and get a temporary card, but the closest branch was in Albany, about 35 miles away, and I just couldn't make it during business hours. Fortunately it turned out not to be an issue. (I had been planning on going to Albany, but not until Sunday, to visit my father's grave, which I did do.)

On the drive down, it seemed like every other restaurant in Atlanta's sprawling suburbs was a wings joint. I also passed two "Chick-fil-a Dwarf Houses," which made me go WTF. Was it a badly named Ronald McDonald House rip-off? Or something named with even greater poor taste? Turns out it's their "fancy" sit down chain.

I momentarily panicked when I realized my hotel was 20 miles from the lake house where my first cousin (once removed) was staying and where the gathering was to be held. Then I remembered that I was IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, which means it was 20 miles with few cars. Indeed, driving out Friday midday, I passed 2 pieces of heavy farm equipment on the 2-lane highway and maybe a dozen cars. And a lot of pecan trees. When I say I hate driving in LA, I mean I hate LA drivers, both the quality and the quantity.

Some other metrics and highlights:
  • Some small roadside place I passed on the way to the lake had a handmade sign in front that read
    Drive around back
    Blow for service
    And I can't even figure out, um, what the service was, as there was no clear signage for that.
  • The closest Starbucks to where I was staying was about 33 miles away. The closest Walmart was about 1/3 mile away.
  • I saw more dead possums on the side of the road than I could count with all my fingers and toes. Oddly, though, I didn't see any buzzards, something there had seemed to be plenty of when we would drive around this region when I was a kid.
  • Those stories about predatory Southern county sheriffs setting speed traps? Totally true. I knew well enough to put the cruise control on and remind myself I didn't need to get anywhere in a hurry.
  • The hotel breakfast buffet featured, among other things, instant grits. (Just add hot water.)
  • I got a big piece of my great-aunt Margaret's coconut cake at the potluck, so nyah.
  • I ate more deep-fried food in 3 days than I normally do in 3 months, including fried catfish for two meals.
I was talking with the Oakland, CA native wife of my (first-cousin-once-removed)X2, it's like a different country. I noted that I had seen a full-sized Confederate flag, flying from an actual flagpole. She pointed out that it really was a different country...