Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Panda Wool Socks and Scary Stuff

Completed these last night.
Made with Panda Wool (bamboo & wool) I obtained at SWAK in Guthrie while I was on FreeWheel (cross-state bike ride) this year.

I picked a stitch pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks and did a short rolled (stockinette) edge instead of ribbing and varied the heel for a wide heel.
I knit one sock on Turbos and one sock on bamboo circulars--magic loop both. I like the metal turbos better, that sock went a LOT faster.

BOO! HA--happy halloween. Changing the FONT every few words is about as scary as I'm gonna get today--how sad.

I'm living vicariously again.

Meredith and her friends are being TROLLS today. I guess there are parties at school? OF COURSE there are--surely she won't wear a costume to class? No, she will. The costume is Depends under tights, short t-shirts, gelled, sprayed, ratted and painted hair and something shiny in the navel. Anyway, she and friends went to a Party America
store and she embarrassed herself by asking some old guy working there "do you have any really BIG jewels, i mean really big ones?" She meant for their belly buttons, but I guess he took her to be some a young smarty pants trying to make fun of him and walked off. When her friends told her what he probably thought, she was going to apologize, but they said for her to leave the poor guy alone--he'd probably keel over if she approached him again. (So, for the record old guy, if you read this blog--like THAT is going to happen, she was NOT being a brat, just somewhat trollish).

I have no idea what Alex (freshman at OU) has planned. I do know that he came home last weekend and ran the Tulsa run. He wore a pair of obscenely short running shorts that belonged to his dad in the late 70s, early 80s, striped tube socks, and a Mork and Mindy t-shirt that is waaaay too small and too short for him. The Tulsa World made mention of his get-up, but not his name.

In honor of Halloween, I'm off now to cast on the Tempted hocus pocus sock yarn from the Loops sock club. The pattern is Bellatrix from You know her--Bellatrix La Strange--one of the Black sisters, her sister is married to Draco Malfoy's mother. Of COURSE I am a Potter geek.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Yarn Swap

The Okieknitters on Ravelry have decided to have a yarn swap here in Tulsa:
Starbucks at 61st/Yale -- November 1st at 6:30. And we're supposed to spread the word

So COME!! The more the merrier.


I LOVE that first mouthful of coffee every morning . . . I found this little ditty on Amy's blog.

If you are in Tulsa and love coffee, I recommend DoubleShot Coffee at 18th & Boston. Brian (the owner) roasts and sells single origin beans and has two varieties brewed everyday. DO NOT ask him to grind the beans, he goes a little mad (as in nutty-mad, not angry-mad). And DO NOT ask him which kind is stronger . . . his coffees are all brewed at the appropriate strength. However, the beans may impart different characteristics to the coffee and hence one may be more robust than the other but the strength is the same. Last week I asked him what French Roast means . . he said it means burn the hell out of the beans so you can't tell the beans were crappy to begin with, or some variation of those words. Ok, then.

I can put up with a LOT of attitude for great coffee, and that is great coffee.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

San Francisco Fun

Day 1--SAT Oct 13, 2007
Up at o'dark thirty, or 3:30am 'cause the plane takes off at 5:53
Arrive SFO 10:05 -- being the white and uptight middle agers from middle America that Kelly and I are, we are alert for all forms of Cali weirdness. The weirdo parade begins as we exit the jetway and observe an airline person telling some woman squatting near the jetway that she cannot crouch there. WEIRD!
At the luggage carousel we observe that SFO has EXACTLY the same type of carousels that we have in Tulsa--we both recall recent news reports that the ones at Tulsa International are an embarrassment to our fair city. Apparently, San Francisco is not as easily embarrassed. The next notable occurrence in the luggage area was our observance of the fit being thrown by a lovely young lady wearing a button designating her as the "BRIDE," who was heard to say, "I can't believe this--the whole day is ruined now." The gentleman standing next to her wearing the "GROOM" button was staring off into space, we guessed he was trying to find his "happy place," which was NOT standing next to the nearly hysterical dame... cue Monty Python track Run away, Run Away, says Kelly--and we laugh.

Next stop Fisherman's Wharf. The weirdo hunt is no longer sporting and is promptly abandoned. After lunch at some Italian joint, the rest of our stay in San Francisco is foreshadowed by our choice to exit the touristy area in favor of a walk down a commercial pier. We see a whole cage FULL of crabs being lowered into a big vessel of boiling water, we overhear some young people talking to a guy who, although quite fragrant, has happily made his home with a million dollar view in a pile of junk at the end of the pier. Thereafter we walk ourselves silly this way and that, deftly avoiding the enticing pitch of a pretty young lady who attempted to persuade us to check into the latest time-share scheme. Eventually we ended up at Ghiradelli square for the obligatory ice cream sundae. As is my usual practice, I slopped all over my chest--the bright green bird shit that found its way to my hand was a San Francisco bonus. Seeing about 70 people waiting for a cable car ride, we determined to wait another day for that experience.

In Mill Valley (just north of Sausalito) where we stayed, we stopped in at Mt. Tam bikes to inquire about renting some for the week. We were met at the door of the shop by two bike-dudes who sort of blocked our way from entering the shop. They said they didn't have any more bikes for rent. I was tempted to tell them that our quest to rent bikes was a ruse and that actually we were from the EPA and there to make sure the nasty water in the pipe we observed on the workbench was disposed of in an eco-friendly way.
SUNDAY Oct. 14 finds us up early and on our way to Monterrey for a whale watching tour. We LIKE Monterrey. Breakfast for me was crab-avocado-eggs benedict. If nothing else good happened after that, the day would have been a resounding success. BUT, the whale watching was amazing--there were 8 individuals (that's what the cute marine biologist guy Martain, rhymes with rain called 'em) that we saw. We are told there are federal regs the boat operators have to follow that designate the distance the boat must stay away from the whales , but luckily the whales didn't read those regs and swam toward the boat, so we got a spectacular view. Unfortunately, I rejected Kelly's sissy-pants suggestion to take a jacket along, dumb hard-headed and now freezing cold Ann. After a delicious meal at THE FISHERMAN's GROTTO (clam chowder and a plate of fried artichoke hearts) we headed back along highway 1 into a snarly traffic jam headed toward San Francisco.

MONDAY Oct. 15 before sunrise (do you detect a theme here?) we head up a scary twisty turny road toward the Point Bonita lighthouse. We stop along the way to watch the sunrise over the Golden Gate Bridge--Kelly stops where I tell him, but gets the creeps because there is a nasty van parked there too. It has the side door open and we can see candles burning in there--Kelly's weirdo radar reached red alert so he insists we move back down the road some. Just after we get out of the car again 6 cars speed by, 2 marked police units and 4 other cars unmarked police, I think--they come to a stop and surround the nasty van. I am forced to admit, AGAIN, that Kelly might have been right. ANYWAY, we do watch the sunrise--WoW.

A runner stops to watch the sun come up too. He tells us he comes up there a couple times a week and has never seen the show put on for us that day. After it gets light enough to satisfy our sunrise experience we drive past the cops and nasty van location. The cops are all out of their cars taking pictures of the bridge and sunrise with their phones--There is a rasta type standing near the van--we are sure he is a serial killer they sped up there to capture, after they get photos. We continue toward the lighthouse and stop to take pictures at abandoned gun battery locations. The lighthouse is not open until after noon and it's 7:30, so we hike as far as we can go . . . we were greeted by 6 deer who were also using the hiking trail--that's OK, we can share. More photo opportunities and we are off to hike on the beach, but it stinks and the flies drive us nuts. So, we go to have breakfast in Sausalito. We were told that Sausalito is just fabulous, but it has a real Aspen, Co. pretentious feel to us so, after a quick hike around there it's off to the Muir Woods and all that red wood forest has to offer. More WoW. LOTS of German-speaking tourists and a loooong hike in the rain (ok, probably 3-4 miles, but it IS raining). Although we are NOT playing the weirdo game, we are forced to admit that the lady with the geisha hairdo, get-up and silver metallic parasol is weird.

We walked behind her for at least a quarter of a mile--I wish I had recorded the reactions of the people encountering her on the trail--it was one candid camera moment after the other. Later Kelly makes reservations at the Buckeye Roadhouse, an old style steak and seafood place that was built in 1938, the year after the Golden Gate Bridge opened up. The fireplace tools are obviously forged out of cable from the bridge, as the waiter pointed out. The place was all dark wood, cordovan color leather chairs, and crystal--perfect! I'm glad I had fish and could enjoy the baked lemon pudding with huckleberry sauce. EVERY time I see huckleberries on the menu, that is my choice--I was NOT disappointed.

TUESDAY Oct. 16 it is raining, but that's ok, because today we go to Alcatraz. We get to the boarding area EARLY and are among the first in line for our appointed time. But oops, Kelly bought the tickets online and they were for YESTERDAY. So, we are ushered out of the line into the rain to stand behind a sign that says "standbys wait here." Ummmmmm, Ann is NOT happy and even less so when the passengers for our boat begin passing us to board and stop to look at the idiots standing in the rain---ARGHHHHH. But, we did get to board and Alcatraz was worth the wait, even in the rain.

We went to Chinatown and also visited the Greenwich yarn shop where I scored some great Mountain Colors sock yarn. (Mountain Colors is hand painted in Corvallis, Montana a very small town where my grandparents lived, my parents graduated from high school and where I have often visited, so I feel like it is MY yarn--silly!).

WEDNESDAY Oct. 17 we are on the road early--AGAIN. This time it is destination Napa Valley.
We stopped in Napa, CA. to visit an amazing yarn shop--Yarns On First-(1st Street, Napa, CA)-go there if you can. The shop is friendly and nicely arranged. All the yarns are sorted by color. I got some great locally hand-painted sock yarn called Rainbow Colors? (NOPE it's Chasing Rainbows--colorway Carolyn's Nosegay)

We visited a few wineries, but what we enjoyed most, aside from the yarn, was the olive oil tasting room in St. Helena. In addition to olive oil they had balsamic vinegar--one aged 18 years---Yummmm. Kelly keeps saying he wished we had gotten some--he should tell Santa.

Now we are back in Tulsa and back to work.

Friday, October 26, 2007

A Trip to San Francisco Is A Good Reason To Stay Married 25 Years!

Oh, there might be just a few other reasons too. But we scored some good times, good eats, and some lovely sock yarn. In keeping with one of the overriding principles of my life which is, anything worth doing is worth overdoing . . . I took over 250 digital pics AND 11 rolls of B&W film (5 rolls were only 24 exposures, so maybe it was not all that excessive?) So, for the foreseeable future if I'm not eating, sleeping, working, knitting, or preparing to do one of the above, I'll be in the darkroom or dinking around in Photoshop.

My camera selection showed (for me, anyway) remarkable restraint. I did not take my digital SLR or my medium format cameras, opting instead for "only" two cameras-- the OLD Pentax 35 mm (my favorite camera) and 3 lenses, and a little $129 Nikon 6 megapixel number I bought just before we left. I had gobs of fun with that dumb little camera. I now understand why people love their camera phones, despite how dweeby they look taking pictures with them--says me, the style maven. HA!!

On another note, I was sourdough inspired so I've got a starter fermenting on top of the fridge--day 7 in that process. I've used it 3 times for cinnamon rolls. (not ALL for me, I've taken some to work--SHEESH! which brings me to another thought, which is instead of embarking on another fruitless attempt to weigh less, I've embarked on a project to fatten up everyone around me--enough embarking and thoughtless punctuation for one parenthetical remark, don't you think?)


I was tagged by Amy. I've always been lousy at all forms of tag, but I think I'm supposed to: Open the book you're currently reading to page 161 and copy the fifth sentence on the page, then tag 5 bloggers.

Since I am not currently on a reading binge, my book is a cookbook, Better Homes and Gardens--The Complete Guide to Bread Machine Baking (which by the way was recommended by Eric of knit night fame)

The fifth sentence of page 161 is:
"Add first 11 ingredients to the machine according to the manufacturer's directions." (Always good advice to follow, if you ask me).

If I even knew 5 bloggers to tag I'd do it, and I'm not sure about tag etiquette, so I'm stuck here. But I did figure out how to put links to Amy and Eric's blogs in this post so even if I am a tag failure, all is not lost.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Ravelry Invite Tomorrow!!

Oh JOY!!! I am NO. 806 on the Ravelry waiting list--looks like I'll get invited tomorrow. Now I have a dilemma. I'll surely want to play on the computer with Ravelry tomorrow, but tomorrow night is also a night I have free to use the darkroom, and my 10 rolls of B&W film shot in San Francisco need attention, AND I have bunches to blog about the trip. What to do?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Equi LIBRA um

Despite the overly dorky title of this post, I have something exciting (to me anyway) to write about.
Yesterday I reached equilibrium on the waiting list. I just happened to be checking my spot on the waiting list and found that I had an equal number of people ahead of and behind my spot in line. AND what I mean by "just happened to be checking" is that when I first checked my spot, I was about 50 people away from this happy place. So, being me I refreshed every couple of minutes until I captured THIS:

You signed up on September 18, 2007
You are #33858 on the list.
7741 people are ahead of you in line.
7741 people are behind you in line.
61% of the list has been invited so far

Whoooo Hooooo!! At the current rate, I should be invited to by my birthday--which of course makes me a LIBRA. And now, there is symmetry in my post and in my world.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

MAYHEM AT THE POUND (or Mad Dogs & Meredith)

Daughter Meredith recently agreed to head up a group of volunteers for a day of caring at her school (Benedictine College, Atchison Kansas). Their destination was the humane society. Meredith dutifully called ahead to arrange the visit and to be sure they would have something to do. The lady said they could paint and that supplies would be ready for them. Of course when the eager beavers arrived all psyched up to help, no one present was aware they were coming and naturally there was no paint to be had.

The guy in the wife beater shirt wearing a confederate flag necklace (in Kansas!) said they could help him clean kennels. Displaying incredibly decisive leadership skills (which she surely acquired from her mother) Meredith quickly sized up the situation and, having noticed that there was a single hose running at a trickle and 12 volunteers, determined that their collective skills might better be employed elsewhere . . . walking dogs, perhaps? Why yes, great idea. The Kansas confederate dude obtained a bunch of leashes, the cheapo rope ones you get free at the vet or groomer.

According to Meredith, chaos ensued with the introduction of exuberant volunteers wielding leashes to a room full of caged dogs. Everyone grabbed a leash and ran to a cage to get a dog. It wasn't until 12 cages had been opened that it became apparent that no one had considered that most cages had 2 dogs, but each volunteer had one leash and only 2 hands. Meredith said the collective dumbfounded expressions were as funny as the various struggles being played out simultaneously at each cage. The howling, barking, yelling and escaping panic left Meredith incapacitated by laughter.

Eventually, however, the escapees were corralled and a number of dogs leashed so the walking could commence. In no time the group sorted out which dogs couldn't walk near others and it looked like the adventure might be a successful one. Then, someone noticed one girl was sprawled out flat, face down on the ground while her dog struggled at the leash. No one saw it happen, she probably slipped on the gravel and fell. Her face was scraped up and bleeding and she was . . . goofy--like someone with a head injury tends to be goofy. The situation wasn't helped by the fact that most of the helpers didn't know each other. Meredith wasn't exactly sure of the fallen girl's name and merely suspected that her goofiness was injury-related and not her usual mentation. The bleeding was certainly genuine.

Meredith said at this point she felt good about her decision to tell the girl on crutches that she could not walk a dog because that girl was then available to drive the fallen dog-walker to the hospital. So, the crippled girl was introduced to the bloody girl and they took off for the hospital. The picture of the crippled girl shepherding the traumatized and brain damaged aside, everything worked out just fine and reportedly a good time was had by all, especially since the fallen dog walker had a concussion and couldn't remember what happened to her anyway. About 6 of the group thought they would like to continue this service on a regular basis--ya gotta admire youth.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Sock Obsession Progression

Featured elsewhere on my blog is my very first sock. It was knitted on 2 circs and used 2 entirely different kinds of yarn because I ran out. My second pair I started just before I had hand surgery (carpal tunnel) in March. They were knitted on the magic loop, which I found to be a much preferable technique.

Pair three are worthy of the Lucy Neatby Celestial Merino Dream yarn in fiery fuchsia. Funny that I was surprised they were sooooo pink--I guess I didn't look at the name of the yarn. They were knitted on size 2 circ--using magic loop. I consider them my first real socks even though the only ribbing is at the top and they are just straight knitting. They are real socks because I really cared about how they turned out--the other two pair I knitted just for the sake of learning to knit socks.

Next, I completed the mate of my first ever sock. "The improvement between the two socks was remarkable," remarked Ann, who can always be counted on to say something as cliche as . . . (never mind).

I'm trying to hurry and complete the pair currently on my needles because the Temptation (hand painted exclusive to Loops) Koi in a Blender yarn from the Loops sock club awaits me. I need the needles for the new yarn. AND I am not not not buying more needles (probably like I am not not not coaching soccer, and I didn't didn't didn't get a new dog). I will, however, admit I am lusting after the pretty knitpiks wooden circulars Eric brought to knit night last week. Now that I think about it, I do not have any size 1 needles. hmmmmmmmmmm

Anyway, I really love the socks on my needles (pair 4). Magic loop, again. I am doing a little twisted rib thing I found in the Sensational Socks book. The yarn is Crystal Palace Panda Wool (bamboo, wool and nylon). I cracks me up that I am knitting them on bamboo needles, how's that for being easily entertained. (Actually, I have one sock on the bamboo and one on metal, which is not nearly as funny to me).
Looking at the photo, I notice the preponderance of pink. Odd really, 'cause I'm not a pink-esque person. That gives me a reason to buy more sock yarn--can't have the balance of nature upset by an overly pink collection of socks.

My Tattoo

My Tattoo
A bike chain tattoo, that is It's chain lube ya know