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I wrote an Otter Necessities blog post, in which I included pictures of my latest knitting projects, because of the WordPress/Picasa web albums incompatibility. The natter about said knitting kinda all ended up there: http://otternecessities.blogspot.com/2013/07/odds-and-ends-and-pictures.html

I also sorted pictures on Picasa, which error messages report will break links to them, in older posts here when I could do that. I don’t think anybody’s going to be terribly discombobulated.

Last week was Too Damn Hot, so Thursday and Friday I was driving home in sopping wet shirts – on purpose, because the Kia as so basic it doesn’t have AC. I soaked a shirt (and bandana), and wore them home. Evaporative cooling for the win!  I felt kinda squelchy, but it sure was better than hot and sticky and cranky. Fortunately, the heat broke Friday night. Today is heating up again, but I hopefully just the wet kerchief is enough, as that’s all I brought for soaking.

Wednesday night we ate dinner at VS, and Thursday I put Ron in charge of dinner, as in procuring it from Pita Inn. As I said, Too Damn hot to cook. But I was knitting. Because I’m weird that way. See post linked to above for pictures of the socks I finished and the mittens I’m working on.

Saturday for dinner we had stuffed portabella mushroom caps from PeaPod. The stuffing was parmesan, bread crumbs, and not sure what else, Italian-ish. Eminently forgettable and not to be bothered with again in my opinion, but it Did Not Agree with Ron. Not sure if it was because it was on the greasy side, or what.Last night I made ham and cheese quiche for dinner. I’d accidentally ordered a package of various sliced ‘shrooms from PeaPod, so I snuck them in. “Snuck” because Robin objects to fungus in his food. I’d planned on sauteeing/sweating the ham and onion to reduce the moisture, so the diced mushrooms went in, too. That reduced them to the point where I think Robin may not have even noticed them. And got rid of a *lot* of moisture from everything. I did one quiche with Jarlsberg (swiss), and one with generic “sharp” cheddar. And the last bit of egg mix with mozzarella in a ramekin.

I think I prefer proper quiche lorraine, but I’d planned on ham because it was softer. Although as of Friday its been two weeks since Ron’s surgery, so he’s officially supposed to be moving to not-squishy food.  But I’d actually bought the quiche ingredients and meant to make it a week earlier, but I didn’t get that far.

Brats cooked in the crock pot in beer all day for dinner tonight, with mashed potatoes.  In celebration of officially being allowed to eat real food again, Ron picked up some skirt steak last night at Eurofresh, and had them trim and tenderize it. We’ll probably have that tomorrow.

Wednesday through Friday of this week I have a class in Naperville on a particular facet of software used for floodplain modelling, what fun. At least I don’t have to share a computer with anyone, as Ron found me a laptop to borrow that will run the software (no Mac version, although my laptop is probably getting too old & slow even if there was). I don’t expect it to be terribly exciting, but hopefully it will be useful, and if nothing else it satisfies my continuing education requirements, and more um, meatily than the annual floodplain managers’ conference.  I say “hopefully” on the useful, as its about a certain special subroutine, but I could see it getting bogged down with either general “how to use the program” stuff, or overly esoteric. And Please FSM, don’t make them have us build models from scratch as exercises – please let the examples/exercises be targeted messing-about with the germane bits of the software, not busywork.

(Yes, I’ve been scarred by previous classes of the how-to-use-XYZ-modelling-software type. There’s a reason I haven’t taken any for a long time).

Spam spam spam spam

Getting a definite spike it trackback/pingback spam today. It’s mostly on older posts, so I’ve updated comment settings so comments are closed for posts older than 14 days. I’m not sure if that affects trackbacks, but we’ll give it a try. You real people will understand, I think.

Updating Appearance…

And apparently I’m updating the look of the blog…

Spammers, and more (possibly) interesting stuff

I haven’t noticed an up-tick in e-mail spam since that whole Epsilon e-mail address theft.  Comment spam both here and on LJ seems to be up, though.  Could be coincidence, of course, but it is annoying.  Since about that time I’m getting about one per day slipping through the automated filters.  I just shut down comments on one older entry here that several of the comments that got through the filter were to.  OTOH, compared to what the spam filters catch, only a tiny fraction is making it through, so I probably shouldn’t grumble.

In other news, we have a Robin nesting in the dwarf apple tree out front.  At least that’s what Ron, human-Robin, and the UPS guy say.  I couldn’t see the nest this morning, but I wasn’t getting too close, either.

Returned my overly large tote bag last night.  Clerk confirmed that it was, indeed, a large bag, not a medium.  I couldn’t decide between an medium or a small bag, so I got both.  Open-top, they didn’t have any zip-top in the store.  Today I used the small one for Ron’s kilt hose and the iPad (it’s a bit bigger than the bag I’ve been using), and used the medium for my lunch.  The medium is a bit big for lunch.  I may have to get another small one for a lunch bag, the kilt hose seem happy in the small one, and I’ve got at least two more pairs to go…  No, not an excuse for more bag shopping, no, NO!  I deny it!

Started drawing the lot, house, porches, etc. in CAD last night.  Rough start, but I’m getting quicker.  It would help if the (expletive) house was square to the (expletive) lot.  Then I wouldn’t have to draw each thing then (expletive) rotate it.  (which is easier than drawing it (expletive) cattywampus to start with).  No, it isn’t very far out of (expletive) square, but I’m too much of an (expletive) perfectionist/engineer to ignore it.  At least the house is square to itself.  Layers are turning out, not surprisingly, to be A Good Thing.  I forsee having very many of them by the time I finish.

Both of Ron’s kilt hose are at least halfway through the calf increases.  I’m beginning to worry that I won’t see the off-white yarn before I need it.  Then again, mid-week knitting tends to be less productive than during the weekend.


Sorry about the post back from the end of October and the one that just said something like “tap here to begin writing”.  I was trying to get drafts off my phone, and didn’t realize they’d re-posted.

Robin survived election day.  He got up at 4 am so that he could be to his polling place by 5, and didn’t get home until about 10 pm – they got done about an hour later than the other three precincts at the Township Center because of a recalcitrant paper ballot counting machine.  I offered to let him stay home Wednesday and take a nap, but he declined, as he can’t sleep when it’s light out. None of the chili made it home.

The truck is fixed.  Oh hoo-rah.  Can’t you hear the excitement in my voice?

We decided in view of partial economy that we’d cancel the dog boarding reservation (3 nights, since picking them up in time Sunday is not guaranteed) and one of us will sleep at home.  Probably me, Ron understands the setup and running of soundboards and lighting better than I do.  Sleeping at home does have the advantage of sleeping in one’s own bed, so it’s a tradeoff for the drive. That cuts the WindyCon budget at least in half.

Ron took Robin and 4 shopping bags of paperbacks for the book collection to school, and I really should going to work now.


I was hoping to get the WindyCon program book to the point that I could send it out for proofreading today, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen.

First, there’s a department that, despite numerous reminder e-mails to the ConCom list and being poked by the Chair, have sent me absolutely nothing.  The deadline was a week ago.  The Chair nudged them one final time, on my request, yesterday.  I do still have some bits of space, so I really wouldn’t mind getting a bit more content, but they’ve pretty much shot my goodwill.  If they want to make up for it in the Pocket Program, they’ve got another think coming.

Advertising is also missing.  Two I’m waiting on amended versions.  One is having their convention this weekend, so I don’t expect to see anything yet.  The other I’m hoping on hearing if they want the page I said yesterday that I could give them.  I kinda hope so. OTOH, ads generally require only dropping in, with sometimes a bit of contrast correction or re-sizing (reading for comprehension is sadly a disappearing skill even in fandom).

I also need some information to finish organization of the content I’ve got.  But I wasn’t clear about my goal for the weekend, so it’s partly my fault.

OTOH, I have it pretty much organized.

Meanwhile, our (color) inkjet printer has been slowly declining.  Most recently it makes a horrible gear-grinding noise when it’s done printing a page, about a third of the time.  So we started looking at printers.  We decided that since we don’t really need color very often, and when we do want quality color we’re sending jobs to Kinko’s anyway, we’d get a black and white printer.  And I suggested a laserjet, which is faster.  Thursday night Ron brought the new printer home.  Happy happy, quick drama-free printing . . . after at least a half-hour of cursing and swearing at the sorely-lacking setup directions.

Yesterday we got some new blinds.  The venetian-style blind for the window behind the couch had broken, and white duct-tape repair intended to get it through fall (we usually cover that window with canvas for the winter to minimize drafts) wasn’t working.  Tried Target, where we’d gotten fabric roman shades for the bedroom and the back porch door in the past.  Nada.  In curtains they had stark white and ugly colors/prints.  In cellular blinds they were out of the size we needed (which IIRC were white anyway).

Off to Bed, Bath, & Beyond.  Apparently if I like something, like fabric shades, it’s a kiss of death.  They’re on clearance, getting rid of their stock.  Nothing in the right size/decent color.  Cellular shades are also no longer acceptably trendy, but we did find the right size in off-white.  We got two more, one for the other window on that wall, and one for the front window by Ron’s desk (as he wanted something better than the blinds we had there). I won’t complain about the 25% off, except that it means they won’t have more in the future.

We got home and discovered that we’d gotten one wider than necessary for the window by Ron’s desk.  But it’s installed anyway.  Ron and Robin also installed the one behind the couch.  Very nice, the new blinds cut down glare, but let in more nicely-diffused light.  I decided not to replace the blinds on the other living room window, as that one’s in good shape, and mostly behind bookshelves (closed) anyway.  I may use the now-extra shade in the dining room or kitchen.  Although I haven’t missed having kitchen window curtains or shades in the years since I took the last ones down.  So probably the dining room, then.
Got my first sale from Etsy Wednesday night.  Yay!

I’ve had it with FaceBook.  The latest stupidity of friends being able to add you to groups has pushed it over the edge of worth keeping up with.  Tomorrow morning my account there goes away.

I probably should go do something not on a computer or my phone for a while.  I’ve been working at the computer a lot today, I’m sure my eyes would appreciate the change.

Post #500 – Yet Still Another Weekend Report-ish Thing, Again

Wow.  500 blog posts, counting all the ones imported from LJ.

I wasn’t too badly behaved at Stitches on Saturday.   For the most part I didn’t look at/for sock yarn, which helped.  I had Kumihimo on the brain, it’s been percolating around since being near M. teaching the basics at MuseCon.  I found a couple skeins of silk – one varigated, one complementary solid; and a big skein of something thick and thin with sparkles, I think rayon and wool.  Also for braiding, I need to get some coordinating yellow cotton, which I’ll go to I’d Rather be Kntitting for.  I also got a foam kumihimo disc, and a couple books that go with it, of necklaces.   Finally, I got myself a pair of Hand-Eze-type gloves, with extra wrist support.  I picked up a few business cards and flyers, maybe a half-dozen.

When I got home I was hot and sticky and going to take a bath, except that Robin was moping around because his RTV silicone had gone off in the year or so since purchase, and so couldn’t be used to make a mold of some miniature pieces.  So after a little while in front of the gale-force fan I took him down to DesPlaines Hobbies for a new batch.

After that I got my visit with Mr. Bathtub.  Eventually Ron got home from the CapriCon meeting, and we ended up going out for dinner at Toreo.  I blame it on Alton Brown’s flat meat episode of Good Eats.  Every time we watch it we end up wanting chicken-fried steak.  The Bistec Milanesia at Toreo doesn’t have sawmill gravy, but it is a very satisfying piece of breaded, fried tender steak.   And I have no objection to skirt steak.

Robin’s price for the trip to DesPlaines Hobby was to dig out my maurdai and the wooden box I store kumihimo paraphanalia in and use to bring the marudai up to an appropriate height for sitting-on-couch use.  I managed to figure out the braid Robin started mumble months and months ago, and finished it off Sunday.  It was an oops adaptation of another braid, so yesterday I made notes on what it was.   I had several yards left over from that braid, and so I started another simple one to use it up.

Sunday Ron and I went down to Calumet Photo where Ron drooled over LensBaby goodies.

Last night was my first Graphic Arts 101 class.  So far it’s very much baby steps, but I think I will learn things by the time it’s over.  The labs have nice iMacs, but they’re dual-boot and for this class we’re supposed to use Windows (because a certain fraction of industry uses Windows).  We also are to use Quark Xpress, because it’s also in somewhat common use in industry.  Last night’s lab was to make a table tent sign with our name.  See above re: baby steps, even with software that was brand new to me.

Although there are a fair number of kids in the class (who can not possiblybe old enough to be college students!  Honestly, who let the rug rats out?!?)  Ahem, sorry, don’t meant to be agist, clearly I am a dinosaur, gronk gronk . . .

Anyway, I’m not the only older-than-teen or twenty-something in class.  I think I am probably the second-oldest.  The instructor’s child starts kindegarten today, so I suspect I’m older than the instructor, but not  ridiculously so.

Fillings today went fairly smoothly.  Turned out to be three teeth worked on, following discovery of a couple cavities on last week’s x-rays.  I was brave and foolish and said yes I was up to having all of them done in one swell foop.   Dr. Toto did have to go back and give me more anasthetic in one area, but it didn’t take major histrionics on my part.  I don’t think enough to set my phobia recovery back significantly, either.

My jaw (minor/mild TMJ) was not happy by the end, but is getting better.  And the numbness is still persisting in my face over the lower jaw on one side, although I think it may be sufficiently worn off to eat safely.   One of the teeth filled today is also cracked, and may need a crown in the future, but Dr. Toto has hopes the filling material will do the trick.  That tooth hadn’t bothered me at all, which he says is encouraging for the filling being sufficient repair.

Back to kumihimo: should finish my little chunk of use-up-leftover-yarn braid tonight, then I think I’ll have Robin dig out my barstool marudai, so I can finish up the braid I started on it mumble months ago, and free up the tama (bobbins) thus engaged.  Still haven’t decided exactly what braid I want to do with my pretty silk, probably should do that Real Soon Now.

I did set up the foam disk on Saturday night and did some braiding on it.  I prefer an actual marudai, but I see the advantages of a foam disk both for portabilitly and for beginners – low cost entry, no slippage of threads/bobbins,  etc.  I’ll probably keep mine for instructional use.

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Oooh, *That* Was Easy

All my LiveJournal posts imported, with tags and comments, and the friend-locked ones are now password-protected.  It took less than 5 minutes.  I don’t see a quick and easy way to mass-categorize the LJ imports, but no biggie.

Have I mentioned recently that I’m really liking WordPress?