Wednesday, April 30, 2008

And So It Goes Pt II

Yesterday it was the phone lines. Today it was the water. I'm wondering what tomorrow will be, the electricity perhaps.

The day was made better because look what I got in the mail:

You know what's even better than getting a Netflix movie in the mail? Getting two Netflix movies in the mail:
You know what's even better than getting two Netflix movies in the mail? Getting all this yarn in the mail:

You know what's better than getting two Netflix movies in the mail, or getting all that yarn in the mail? Getting two Netflix movies and all that yarn in the mail:

You know what's even better than getting two Netflix movies and all that yarn in the mail? Getting two Netflix movies, all that yarn in the mail, and seeing the Brown Truck Of Happiness pull into my driveway. No, the package wasn't for me. It was for B, but she wasn't home at the time, and I was right there in the yard anyway, so I picked it up for her. And I got to see the really cute driver. Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "Brown Truck Of Happiness."

You know what's even better than getting two Netflix movies, all that yarn, and oogling the Brown Truck of Happiness driver? Getting two Netflix movies, all that yarn, oogling the Brown Truck of Happiness driver, and popping one of those Netflix discs into the DVD player and starting a new scarf with some of that new yarn.

You know what's even better than that?

The DVD was Magnum P.I.

ahhh, Tom Selleck...

What could be better than that?

What Makes You Happy?

*Editor's note: This is the post I would have posted yesterday if we'd had phone lines.

Chrispy recently had her first 29th birthday. Now, I know that most of my readers have had several 29th birthdays, but this is Chrispy's first. First of many, I hope. To celebrate the occasion, she is holding a contest on her blog. All ya gotta do is to post what makes you happay, either in the comments or on your own blog.

So, what makes me happy? I'll tell ya:

  • Hot chocolate on a cold day
  • Cold days
  • Snow
  • Snow on days I have off from work
  • Waking up on days off and knowing I don't have to do anything I don't want to
  • When the end of shift buzzer goes off, and I go clock out and leave the building. That first step out of the door--I can feel my entire body relaxing and going "ahhhhh"
  • Getting home at the end of the day and seeing the dogs bounding up to meet me with their entire back ends wagging
  • Snuggling under an afghan with my knitting and a good movie
  • A good book
  • Taking a vacation day for no other reason than because I can
  • When Johnny L takes a vacation day--that's like a vacation for the rest of us as well
  • Cracking a joke and hearing people laugh--not the polite it-wasn't-that-funny-but-I- don't-want-to-hurt-your-feelings kind of laugh, but real, honest to goodness belly laughs
  • Sunsets
  • Sunrises
  • The absolute, unadulterated sheer joy of being alive

Now it's your turn. What makes you happy?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

And So It Goes...

I got home from work, and couldn't get online. I tried rebooting several times, to no avail. I finally just gave up. I bit later, I picked up the phone to make a call, and discovered that the phone lines were down. From what I understand, they are widening the highway, and so had to move the phone lines.

They didn't come back up until after we'd left for karate. So now it's late; I'm tired and don't really feel like posting what I had planned on posting. It wasn't anything that won't keep.

I'll try to get caught up, both reading and writing, tomorrow.


Monday, April 28, 2008


I dreamed I was at the dentist. I was going to have a root canal and get one of my bridges replaced. The nurse was going to administer medications to me intravenously. She did this by boring a hole in my vein with a sewing machine needle.

I slept all night, but I didn't sleep well, so you don't get much today. Here's a picture to make up for my lack of words.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Draft Day 2

The first pick by the Dallas Cowboys on the second day of the draft was Tashard Choice, running back from Georgia Tech.

Then they selected Orlando Scandrick, cornerback from Boise State, followed by Eric Walden, a defensive end from Middle Tennessee State.

LSU players:

Chevis Jackson has been selected by the Atlanta Falcons

Jacob Hester has been drafted by the San Diego Chargers. I was hoping the Cowboys would pick him up. I dearly love to watch that man play ball.

Early Doucet is going to the Arizona Cardinals.

Craig Stelz is going to the Chicago Bears.

Matt Flynn will be playing for the Green Bay Packers

Keith Zinger was also drafted by the Atlanta Falcons.

Ali Highsmith and Jonathan Zenon did not get drafted.

And so, Draft 2008 comes to a close. Overall, I'm pleased with the Cowboys' choices. I'm absolutely thrilled that they picked up Felix Jones. How I hated him when Arkansas played LSU. I'm glad he's on my side now!

I woke up this morning and it was raining. It had been raining for a good part of the night, and it rained all day long. And I mean all * day * long. It was a good day to sit inside, follow the draft, watch the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice, and knit another charity scarf:

Of course, I have to do at least one dumb thing during my day, or it's not a day complete. I was going to go take a shower, and as I passed the kitchen, I decided to start the dishwasher. I'll just let you think about that one for a moment.

As it is, I'm waiting for the water to heat back up so I can go take a shower.

Sigh...when will I learn?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

My Kingdom For A Title

Since your Saturday Sky looked like this all day:

I thought you just might rather see yesterday's Friday Sunset:

Since my last knitting update, I've finished three charity scarves:

These will all go to Scarves From The Heart. They are having a big event in September and need at least 125 scarves. If you have some extra yarn, I'm sure they would appreciate receiving a scarf or two. They can be any pattern, any yarn, knit, crochet, woven, whatever.

I did get out and take some more pictures for my photography course. This one is for the compositional exercise in lesson 1. This is leading lines. I think it would have looked better if I'd been in the middle of the road, but this particular road is too busy to risk that--besides this being taken from just over the top of a hill.

This is assignment three from lesson 2. The assignment was to use shutter speed to create an effect shot. One of the suggestions was to take a waterfall at a slow shutter speed. Since we don't have any waterfalls around here, I used the spillway.

These three pictures were taken at increasingly slower shutter speeds. Even though the day was dark and overcast, the third picture, which finally captured the water the way I wanted it, is way overexposed. This is in a large part due to the limitations of the lens I have. It is just the basic kit lens that came with the camera. I hope to save up and get a wider variety of lenses, in time.

And just for grins, I went down and took the waves at the beach.

It's Draft Day

And with their first pick, the Dallas Cowboys select Felix Jones--running back from Arkansas.

With their second pick, they select Mike Jenkins--cornerback from South Florida.

Their third pick is Martellus Bennett--tight end from Texas A&M.

The only LSU player drafted so far is Glenn Dorsey, who is going to Kansas City Chiefs.

Friday, April 25, 2008

My Biggest Pet Peeve

I have many pet peeves. Most of them are minor and can be overlooked with a minimum of teeth gritting. However, there is one that simply makes my blood boil every time I so much as think about it.

What is this peeve that gets me so angry? I'll tell you. It's parents who say "My pets are just as important (or just the same) to me as my children are."

Now, don't get me wrong. I have pets myself. I know that they become a part of the family, and that we can get very attached to them. I love my dogs. But I never forget that that is what they are; dogs. They are important to me, but to say that they are just the same as my son is completely and totally ridiculous.

These people who do say this--I want to shake them hard and say, "How do you think it makes your children feel to know that in your eyes they are no better than the dog?!?!?"

So, the government wants to teach our children that the only reason they are here is because a gazillion years ago, the right blob of goo just happened to bump into another blob of goo, and all life on Earth miraculously sprang from this single blob of Super-Goo and because of this "fact" humans are no more valuable or worthy than a worm or a bug. After all, we're all just animals anyway, so why should we imagine that we are better than any other form of life?

Then they go home to parents who treat them as if they are no more valuable or worthy than the dog. After all, we're all just animals anyway, so why should we imagine that we are better than any other form of life?

And then we wonder what went wrong when they act like the animals we teach them that they are.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Eye Candy Friday

Yeah, I know it's Thursday, but most of you won't read this post until Friday.

I took this picture a while back. I was trying to take the daffodils against the blue sky, but the ground was so muddy I didn't want to lay down on it. So I put the camera down, hit the autofocus and tripped the shutter. I did this several times, and most of the pictures are garbage. This one, however, has a certain inexplicable appeal.

I'm using it to fit my photography course's negative space composition rule. The sky, technically a negative space, has become an important compositional element in this photo. In a perfect world....

I stayed late after karate tonight, so this is all the post you're getting.

Until tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Bed In Summer

In winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candle-light.
In summer, quite the other way,
I have to go to bed by day.

I have to go to bed and see
The birds still hopping on the tree,
Or hear the grown-up people's feet
Still going past me in the street.

And does it not seem hard to you,
When all the sky is clear and blue,
And I should like so much to play,
To have to go to bed by day?

--Robert Louis Stevenson

As a child, I used to protest having to go to bed before it was dark. I would stand in my crib, look out my window, and say, "Why do I have to go to bed? It's not dark yet!"

I didn't get it. I knew that sometimes, my parents would let me stay up until it was dark, but other times I had to go to bed while it was still light. I was too young to understand winter and summer, and the days being longer or shorter depending on the season.

Now that I am grown, I do understand the seasons. The days are getting longer. It won't be but a few more weeks until the sun is up later than I am. And though I'm an adult now, I will still look out my window and say,

"But it's not dark yet!"

Mostly Sunny

NFL Nicknames

And the fourth installment is now up. This one highlights the AFC West. Again, I am as uninspired as I was before. These are pretty pathetic. Do go read the original post, but here is the short list.

Big Earl Asomugha, Ocean Cromartie, Sepsis Lepsis, Bro Croyle

AFC North

Granite Reed , Burger Hampton, Paddles Winslow, and Cornhole Palmer

AFC East:

Doo Doo Brown, Koolaid Maroney, Dusty Rhodes, Beast Mode Lynch.

AFC South:

Meathooks Johnson, Junkyard Jones-Drew, Mount Haynesworth, Sawed-Off Sanders

This concludes the AFC. We'll see if he does any better with the NFC, but he doesn't have a good track record.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Show Me The Money

Most of us will be getting a little bit more of our own money back from Uncle Sam here in a couple of weeks. I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do with mine. Of course, the gub'ment wants me to go out and spend it right away, in hopes that it will stimulate the economy. Most likely, it will go to pay bills. Which makes me wonder...and leads to another


Now, in the past two contests I've done, I've gotten a lot of comments that they were too hard. This one will be easy, I promise. All you gotta do is leave me a comment telling me what you plan on doing with your economic stimulus check. If you live outside the U.S. or are one of those few people who won't be getting a check, you can still play. Just leave a comment telling me what you would do with the money if you were getting it. That's it. Simple, huh? Just one thing, make sure you leave me a way of contacting you--either e-mail addy or Ravelry ID.

The contest will run until May 2--the day the first money starts going out. Winner will be chosen by a random drawing.

So what do I win, you may ask. Well, I'll tell you. You will win one unframed print* of one of my photos. Any photo, any size--up to 10 X 13**. You can browse through my albums here.

Don't go look now--well, OK, go look now, but look again if you win. I'm going to be spending the next couple of weeks uploading some more.

Ready? Set? Comment away!

*Note: You will receive one print of one of my photos, not the copyright to the photo. You may keep it. You may give it as a gift. You may donate it to charity. You may sell it in a garage sale. What you may not do is make copies and sell them for profit.

**Please check the resolution of your chosen photo. Some of the older ones were uploaded at a lower resolution, and may not be suitable for enlargements.

NOTE: Some people seem to be under the impression that the photo below is the one I am offering as a prize. NOT SO!!!! I mean, you can have it if that's the one you want, but you are not limited to this one. Please browse my albums here, and choose any photo you like!

Today's Pic: Sunrise--6:30 AM looking over my neighbor's house.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sr Picture Meme

I got tagged by Diva to post my senior picture. I couldn't lay my hands on an actual picture, so I scanned this one from my yearbook.

There I am, in all my glory. Sr. 1983.

I'm tagging Lou and Cindy.

Photography Course Lesson 2

The first assignment for lesson 2 was to set my camera on 1/60 shutter speed and take pictures at various apertures to see how it affects exposure. This first picture was taken at F-7.1. (I actually took some at lower F-stops, but they just look like a white square.)

This picture was taken at F-16.
And this one at F-22.
This was the darkest I could get this shot. According to the lesson, this shot was supposed to be nearly black. It was at about this time that I realized I had my camera set to ISO 400. I reset it to ISO 100 and tried again. I got much the same results. I realized that if I were going to get the range of exposures I needed, I'd have to increase my shutter speed.

This first shot was taken at shutter speed of 1/200, and F-stop 3.5.
This shot was taken at 1/200 F-9.

And this one at 1/200 F22.

The second assignment was much the same, only this one was to set my aperture at a mid range and change the shutter speed. I took these at ISO 400, but they turned out ok, so I didn't re-take them.

This first one was taken at F-9 1/60:

The next one was taken at F-9 1/640

And finally F-9 1/4000

I actually took many more pictures than these. I just chose three for each assignment. If you really want to see all of them, they are here.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Skies and Scarves

This sky shot was taken with my photography course in mind. I was attempting to capture the Frame Within A Frame composition form.

I know this is not really abstract, but I've given up on that. Abstract isn't really my thing, so I'm just trying to take pictures that follow the basic composition rules. The rest of the pictures I've taken for this course so far can be found here.

Later on, I went back out and took the sunset:

In between all this sky taking, I finished this charity scarf:

and started another:

I've been on a scarf kick here lately.

Can you tell?

Friday, April 18, 2008

Photography Course Assignment #2

The second assignment for my photography course was to take pictures of the same subject from several different viewpoints. This is part 2 of the first lesson, which covers composition. My subject is one you've seen before.

Assignment 2

I just love these old wheels. They are so photogenic and, though seemingly tossed carelessly into the back yard, have provided me with a wealth of photo opportunities.

Assignment 2

They evoke the nostalgia of a simpler time. I can imagine them coming from an old tractor or wagon.

Assignment 2

The assignment was to choose two or three favorites. I have a few more than that.

Assignment 2

I couldn't decide which ones I liked best.

Assignment 2

I hope you've enjoyed them, too.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

One Is Done

One Baudelaire, that is.

It is incredibly difficult to take pictures of your own feet! It's probably a good thing I quit knitting when I did, as the sock was already getting too tight to pull it up all the way. It could have stood to be a few inches shorter, but I wasn't going to try to undo what I'd already done. If I ever knit these socks again, I'll just follow the pattern as is.

So once I finished this, what did I do? What I should have done is cast on the second sock, but no. I cast on another charity scarf. No pictures yet as it is only two rows long at the moment.

I think I'm trying to get sick again. I've got sinus pressure and a heavy chest. What I don't have is energy. In fact, I'm considering skipping karate and going to bed early.

The more I think about it, the more I like that idea.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Weird Al and WIPs

Cody is playing Weird Al songs on his computer at high speed. As if he weren't Weird enough...Al that is.

Karate was all about sparring last night. Sensei gave us a good workout. Even Joshua said it was tough, and that is saying something! My legs are actually sore today. That, coupled with a new Magnum P.I disc from Netflix, gave me the perfect excuse to sit and knit all evening (and do two loads of laundry, but there's nothing exciting about that.)

Here's what I did:

I finished the charity scarf. The yarn is Lion Brand Fun Fur in Raspberry. The pattern is simple garter stitch on size 13 needles.

My two at once socks were set aside to work on these two charity scarves, but I had made some progress on them since I last posted a picture.

No progress was made on this scarf, but it is mainly to be a fill in project for slow times.

Baudelaire and I were at an impasse for a while. I'd already knit the sock longer than the pattern called for. I'd even knit it longer than I normally knit my socks, yet the pattern is so elegant that I just wanted to keep on going. However, we eventually ran into the problem that since this is not a particularly stretchy pattern, if I kept going I wouldn't be able to get the sock over my fat calf. But the sock wanted to keep on being knit.

Sometime this evening, the sock and I reached a point at which we both said, "Enough." I knit to the end of the pattern repeat and began the ribbing.

The sock is happy. I'm happy. All is right with the world.


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