Monday, April 30, 2007

Four Little Socks

all in a row. They are, from left to right, plain vanilla sock made from Sockotta cotton blend yarn, color # 617. The second one is Yukon Leaves, made from Austermann Step color #11--Dune. The third one is Jaywalker, knitted with Fortissima Socka bamboo/wool blend, color #0006. The one on the far right is another plain vanilla sock, knitted with Meilenweit--but I lost the ball band, so I don't know what color it is. Note that this is the sock I started on 2 circular needles back in January. It hasn't progressed much since then. I'm probably going to transfer it to DPNs of the same size, so the poor thing will finally get finished. In fact, I may rip it and start over in a different pattern.

I really like the Fortissima. The bamboo gives it a sheen that your regular wool/nylon blends just don't have. I also like the Jaywalker pattern. It is only two rows, and so easy to memorize.

My backup OS cds arrived from Dell today. I didn't have time today, but tomorrow I will try to install them on my computer. Hopefully, they will work, even though I think my modem may be shot. We shall see.

In black belt class, we went over kusanku sai nearly the whole class. I just can't seem to get the hang of it. James picked it up pretty quickly, but I'm still struggling it. Must go practice...


Sunday, April 29, 2007

Kickathon Part 2

After 3 1/2 years in the new dojo, we finally had a ribbon cutting ceremony. That is sensei in the center, with his wife just to the left (as you are looking at the picture), and me on her left. To the right of sensei is Joshua, and in the back row far right is James and Blake. The girl just in front of James is Blake's girlfriend Liz. She isn't actually a student, but wore a gi just for this occasion. I don't know who any of the other people are--just folks from the city and chamber of commerce. The mayor was going to be there, but he got held up for some reason.

I apologize for the poor picture quality. This is why I usually insist on taking my own pictures.

I couldn't this time. As sensei's only active black belt, I really needed to be in this one.

Liz, Blake, James, and Joshua waiting for things to kick off...

We started with a karate demonstration, first from the younger students,

then by the intermediate students. (As an aside, during class Thursday, sensei said we would have demonstrations from the beginning students, then the mediocre students, then the advanced students.)

Finally, the adult students showed their stuff.

Then the kick-a-thon began.

All in all, the students did just over 6000 kicks to raise money for the dojo scholarship fund. I don't know the total amount raised yet.

This is Bryce and Emma, sensei's two youngest children. Bryce will be two next month. He was born just a few days apart from my nephew Andrew, whom I haven't met yet since they live in Alaska. Every time I see Bryce, I think, "That is about how big Andrew is." Emma is 5 ish, and she is a hoot.

And finally, the obligatory group shot of all the kickers, plus Emma to make them look good.



Saturday, April 28, 2007

Kickathon Part 1

The event started with a child safety seminar. The guest speaker was a man from the Exchange club who gave a talk about preventing child abuse.

Next, sensei gave a talk about self defense. He demonstrated a few techniques.

Then we let the children practice actually doing them.

This little girl figured out pretty quickly how to whack people with that cast.

Finally, a group shot of the kids who participated:

More tomorrow.

Firecracker Socks

The firecracker socks are finished. The yarn is Meilenweit Multieffekt color # 3070, and the pattern is a basic sock pattern with k2 p2 ribbing.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Saturday Sky

a day early. Tomorrow is our annual Kick-a-thon fundraiser at the dojo, and I don't know if I'll get my sky picture in. Instead, I bring you these beautiful early Friday morning sunrises:

I'm almost done with the firecracker socks, and want to finish tonight, so this post will be brief.
Goodnight, all...

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Wierd Things People Do

Gis have always been a problem for women. Most gis are made to fit the male body, and just don't fit women well. Century has recently come out with a new women's gi, and I have decided to try it out. It's kind of expensive, so I'm ordering the pants first, then later on I'll order the top.

The problem arose when I realized they are not sized like the regular student gis sensei usually orders for us. They are sized as S, M, L, and XL, but I don't know how that relates to the 0, 1, 2, 3, etc of the student gis. I know I wear a 3 in student sizes. There was a chart in the catalog that gave the corresponding measurements in inches to the sizes of the women's gis.

The further problem arose when I realized I don't know my measurements. "You wouldn't happen to have a measuring tape, would you?" I asked sensei. Nope, he didn't .

"Oh, wait, I do have one in the car!" I remembered.

I measured myself in the dojo bathroom to get my correct gi size--with my Stanley Power Lock 12' tape measure.

Well, it worked...

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Wierd Things People Say

Years ago, before my Navy days, I worked at Wal-mart in the infants and girls departments. I enjoyed the job, it just didn't pay enough. Working for a store like that leads to some interesting encounters with all types of the general population.

One evening I was called up to the customer service desk. An older woman was standing there with her granddaughter. The little girl looked to be about 4 or 5 years old. Laying on the service desk was a jacket.

"Can I help you, ma'am?" I politely asked.

"I bought this jacket for my granddaughter," she informed me.

"Ok," I stalled, not quite sure what point she was trying to make.

"It was labeled a girl's jacket, and it was in the girl's department, but just look at it!" she exclaimed.

It was a pink denim jacket, suitable for a little girl. I still didn't see what the problem was. Thinking it might be defective in some way, I looked it over carefully. There were no stains, no torn spots, no loose seams. All the buttons and tags were still there. I didn't see anything wrong with the jacket, and told the lady so.

"UH!" she scoffed, looking at me as if I'd grown an extra head--or somehow lost the one I'd been born with--"the buttons are on the wrong side!!!"

She insisted that I go to the girls department and see if I could find a jacket without this terrible defect, but they were all the same. I felt sorry for the little girl. It was obvious she loved the jacket.

"She really wants it," said the grandmother, "but I'm sorry. I just can't buy her a jacket like that."

And they left without it.

Poor kid.



I Didn't Make It

Or rather the computer didn't make it to its doctor appointment. I got home from work, and this was knocking at my door. I am just to the East of the red cell at the top of the warning box.

I decided I didn't want to take a chance on getting stuck in town with my computer in a severe thunderstorm with pouring rain. I did, however, contact Dell and ask for backup discs for the OS reinstall. Hopefully, that will fix my problem.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


I have an appointment with the computer doctor tomorrow, and with the dentist next Tuesday. It is very feasible that I may have my own computer back tomorrow evening!

In the meantime, here are a couple of sock pictures to hold you over:

The firecracker socks, which would have been done by now if I hadn't had to start over.

And the Yukon Leaves sock, which is barely started.

More tomorrow...


Monday, April 23, 2007

Wierd Things

"Becky, you are losing so much weight. You are looking so good. What are you doing?"

So said one of my co-workers. The funny thing is, I am not losing weight. I'm actually gaining weight. I weigh 5 lbs more than I did this time last year. I got gung ho yesterday and did all my kata back to back, including my weapons kata. Then I went for a walk. I did my kata again tonight, but didn't go for a walk because it was pouring rain. I went up for black belt class, and sensei wasn't there. So I came home and did kata by myself.

In other news...

Mike got ahold of the guy who said he would buy my house, and he still wants it. He said it'd be about a week before he could come get it. That is ok, because the people who bought the bunk beds still haven't gotten them. They paid for them; they just haven't picked them up.

I still haven't gotten ahold of the computer guy. I heard he's hard to get up with, but he's worth it.

My firecracker socks are back to where they were before I discovered my mistake. I haven't been working on my Yukon Leaves socks because I've been watching TV. I can't see my socks with my glasses on, and can't see the TV with them off. So I've been working on socks I don't really need to see to do.

I know posts have been a bit dull of late, but once I get back on my own computer, I hope they pick up some.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Ramblings Of A Saturday Evening

I'd been plugging away for several days at what I've come to refer to as my firecracker socks. I call them that because their colors remind me of firecrackers exploding in the night sky. Anyway, I'd gotten all the way past the heel on the second sock, had picked up my gusset stitches and was ready to begin my decreases when I realized something. I had cast on the wrong number of stitches! I'd done the first sock with a 64 stitch cast on, but had only cast on 60 for the second sock. I momentarily debated on whether I could live with such a mistake, but quickly came to the conclusion that I really couldn't. So I ripped it out and started over. I didn't knit very far on it, because I'd cast on a Yukon Leaves sock in my Austermann Step. I love this yarn. The color I have is #11 Dune. I worked on it most of the afternoon. This is the first sock I've attempted that actually has a pattern to it. I think I'm going to like it.

As much as I would have liked to, I didn't spend the whole day knitting. Cody and I went over and got most of our stuff packed up and moved out of the old house. My coworker kept saying that she wanted to buy it, but she never came up with the money. Mike found somebody who had the cash in his hand ready to pay me for it. I finally told my co-worker that she had until Friday to get the money into my hand, but she didn't. So I will ask Mike to get in touch with his friend and see if he still wants it. I hope so, because I'm ready to get rid of the thing and be done with it.

Around 4ish, Joshua called me and asked if I would come unlock the dojo for Barrett and him. Mr. Eiffling, a 4th degree black belt from Greenville, was coming to town to work out with them and help prepare them for their test. I must admit that I felt more than a little envy while watching him go over bunkai with them. I wish I'd had someone to work with me to prepare me for my test. But I was left in the corner to figure it out for myself. Fortunately, my own sensei tested me on bunkai, so I was able to get away with not knowing very much.

Mr. Eiffling asked me if I was going to come to Barrett and Josh's test. I said that I would be there with my camera. Barrett said, "Don't do that! We don't want any evidence!" Then Mr. Eiffling said that yeah, you think you did pretty well on the test but when you go back and look at the tape, you see every little thing and say to yourself, why on earth did I do that? I agreed, saying that after watching my test on tape, I felt it was a wonder that they even passed me. That's when Mr. Eiffling told me that they should have tested me (well, all of us who tested that day) on a different day. It was simply way too hot the day they did our test. He said that the dojo is hotter on some days than on others, and that day was unbearable. I didn't argue.

Just for the record, sensei was real generous with his cold. He gave it to Barrett as well as me. As far as I know, nobody else has gotten it. Blake has gotten a full time job at the hospital. It is a secretarial position. I just hope it doesn't stop him from coming to class. For all his faults, he is the only one in the class that treats me with the courtesy due a black belt. Blake seems to like the formality and the traditions that go along with it.

I don't think Erica will be back to class. Last Thursday (a week ago) when I was teaching, she and her friend got in to a big screaming argument after class. Seems that they both like James, and they both said that they liked him. They seemed to be trying to make James choose between them, but he said he didn't really like either one of them. Of course, each girl blamed the other for that, and the screaming began. I heard it from inside the dojo, and went outside and told them that they needed to take that off of dojo property. I said that I didn't know what they had going, but it needed to go somewhere else. Erica hasn't been back since. She even missed her rank test. I told sensei that I didn't think they'd be back and he was like, Duh...why? "Trust me," I said. "I know how girls think."

I waited and waited all day for the sky to do something interesting, but it remained a beautiful but cloudless blue. I almost waited too late to get a good picture.

Well, them's my ramblings for today. I still haven't heard back from the computer guy. I'll bet he doesn't call before Monday. I'll have to call the dentist Monday. I had a filling fall out this afternoon. Ick.

Friday, April 20, 2007

That's A Relief!

I am nerdier than 4% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

Despite what it says, I don't really despise nerds. I'm just glad I'm not one.

Just a brief post today. I'm too busy playing with my sock yarns.

Heh heh heh...

Oh, I called the computer guy and left a message. Still waiting for him to call back.


Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Inaugural Sketch

This is the inaugural sketch in Cody's new hardback sketchbook. It is a Nazgul from The Lord Of The Rings. The little bugger even copied the Elven script.

Sorry about the poor quality. I took this with my camera. I can scan it onto my computer, I just can't get online to upload it.

I still haven't called the computer guy. I must confess my shortcoming. I hate calling people on the phone, even for business. I'd much rather send and e-mail or meet in person, or heck, even text. I've been this way for as long as I can remember. I just hate telephones. I'll have to do it soon, though. Cody is getting tired of sharing his computer.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Back By Popular Demand

OK so one person asked to see them, but hey, I'm obliging. Here are the socks dyed bright pink.

I wore them today, and noticed that one side took the dye better than the other. So as soon as I got home, I put them into another dye bath. Then I forgot about them. For 4 hours. They should be really bright now!

The main focus today was a follow up visit to the allergist. But after that, I did a little shopping. I found the mall, but it was mostly clothes stores. There wasn't even a book store or a pet store in it. I told Cody that he wouldn't have enjoyed that anyway.

BUT...just up the road from the mall, I found a lot of good stores: Best Buy, Circuit City, TJ Maxx, and the like. There was also a Barnes and Noble's. Cody has been collecting the A Series of Unfortunate Events books, and the only one he doesn't have is #2, The Reptile Room. Guess which book was the ONLY one they didn't have in stock. That's right. The Reptile Room. I looked and looked for something else I thought he might like, but the ones I found, he already has. So I bought him a hardcover sketchbook instead. He was very pleased with it. He said it will only be for the best sketches.

I bought myself two Yarn Harlot books, the newest one, and one of the older ones. I also went back to the yarn store and bought three skeins of sock yarn. I'd been wanting to get some yarn with cotton, because I just can't wear wool socks to work. The two on either side are cotton blends. The one in the middle is wool/bamboo blend. I got it because I liked the color.

I stayed consistent with my Stashalong goals, and only bought three balls, though I was tempted by many.

OK, words aren't flowing as eloquently as I'd like, so I'll leave it here. Just one more thing before I go.

Cody can wiggle his ears. I asked him how he did that, and he said, "I don't know. I just do it." The only other person I know who can wiggle his ears gave me the exact same answer. I guess that's one of those things you can either do or you can't. I've always wanted to be able to wiggle my ears, but I can't.

But then again, I've always wanted pointy ears, too.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


I still have this cold. I don't feel as bad as I did yesterday, and I'm not running any more fever. I'm just still clogged up, so the post will be brief.

Black belt class last night was great. I was the only one there. Blake, purple belt, asked if he could stay as well. Sensei said he'd leave that up to me, so I said he could, for more reason than one. I don't like to be alone in the dojo with sensei. It's not that I don't trust him. It's the rumor mill I don't trust. I've been falsely accused enough times that now I prefer to err on the side of caution.

No pictures today, no sketches today, nothing interesting of any sort. Maybe tomorrow will be a better day.

Monday, April 16, 2007

I've Been Displayed!

Well, my pictures have, at least. Here are the photos the museum sent me showing my pictures on display.

I've given up on trying to post them in high res. Instead I uploaded them on my Webshots.

For the record, there will be no more sketches posted until I can get my computer fixed. Cody doesn't have a scanner on his, and I don't think I can network without being able to get online. I suppose I could take digital photos of them and post them that way. We'll try that and see how it works out. I didn't do a sketch today, though. Sensei was sick last week, and I think I caught his cold.

The first black belt class is tonight, and I'm going to drag myself to it, sickness and all.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Magic Loop

My magic loop socks are finally finished, after what seems like forever! But still, another WIP to mark off of my list, which now looks like this:

1. Prayer Shawl
2. Irish Hiking Scarf
3. Grey Scarf From Unknown Wool Blend
4. Red Heart Strata Scarf
5. Branching Out Lace Scarf
6. Texas Longhorn Scarf
7. First Time Socks
8. Socks using Magic Loop
9. Socks on DPNs using Knit Picks yarn
10. Socks from Red Heart Strata

The computer is still sick, but I have a lead on someone who can repair it. He is called The Computer Doctor. I've heard that he is really good, but also that he stays pretty backed up. I'll be posting on Cody's computer for a little while longer. It's an adequate computer for a kid, but is a lot slower than mine. The good news is that I got my digital camera software installed on it, so I can post pictures again.

Well, back to something soothing--knitting and watching DVDs.

Saturday, April 14, 2007


The storm and subsequent power failure last night put the whammy on my computer. I lost everything. Dudes, I don't even have sound any more! I managed to reinstall Windows from my backup disc, but while trying to reinstall everything, I discovered that when I bought my computer a couple of years ago, Dell lovingly didn't send my backups for everything I'd had them install on it. They didn't even send me the antivirus program backup! Needless to say, I'm not too happy with them right now.

I can't even get online. When I tried to reinstall my DSL software, it said I didn't have an Ethernet card. I know there was one on there before.

I'm posting from Cody's computer right now. But until I get things fixed, posting will be scarce.

Now, where did I put my digital camera software....

Thursday, April 12, 2007

What A Day!

Bad day at work. Really bad day at work...Someone from a previous shift confirmed as completed a whole bunch of orders that she didn't actually do. So the ones who needed those parts thought they were already done, but they weren't. When they needed them, they weren't there. And of course, it wasn't until they were actually ready to use them that they realized they didn't have them. Guess who it all fell back on? Though I didn't get blamed for it, I'm the one whose back they were on all day to get the parts out. And I mean all day long. I think if I hadn't already called in sick once this week, I'd sure call in tomorrow.

The good news is, we are working Saturday. My paycheck can sure use that overtime. My bank account is so tight it is squeaking.

One of those conical paper cups found at public drinking fountains--drawn from memory.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

If That Don't Beat All

So I'm at work, minding my own business, when this co-worker comes up to me out of the blue and says, "Did you get a new trailer?" When I responded in the affirmative, she asked me what I was going to do with the old one. I told her I was going to sell it, and how much I was asking for it and she said,"I want it." We talked a bit more on the particulars, and she and her mother came by after work to look at it. She told me she'd let me know for sure tomorrow. Cool, huh?

But that ain't all. Around 7:00 PM, whilst I was watching music videos on Yahoo!, Mike came by and he had a guy with him. I don't remember the fellow's name, but he owns a trailer park just North of here. He said he wanted it also. He'd already looked it over and agreed to my price. I told him about my co-worker, and he said that if she didn't get it, he would! It appears I have my old house sold. Now I just have to finish cleaning it out. There's not much left, and I'll probably pay Cody, Shelbi, and Brittani to do it this weekend, if they want to. My other co-worker took most of my old junk that I didn't want to keep for her church's rummage sale.


The same pitcher as yesterday, only this time without the cup. I think it worked out a little better.

Sensei will be out tomorrow. He will either be sick, or in Nashville. Bill Pogue, who is the head of our association, is having a black belt seminar in Nashville this weekend. Sensei is going to go, if he isn't sick. I wanted to, but just couldn't afford it. Anyhoooooo, that means I'm in charge of class tomorrow night.

Speaking of class, Blake is falling back into his old patterns. He has begun leaving after the kid's class. He's too tired, or he doesn't feel good, or this excuse or that excuse. Too bad.

Further speaking of class, only 5 more days until the first black belt class. Woo hoo!



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