Friday, January 29, 2010

Amazing thing in China

I had to share this video. There's a few minutes of introduction but it gets fascinating after that.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Happy Birthday Rijl!

I don't think she reads this, but happy birthday anyways! I drew this pic over the last few nights. The original idea was not for a card for Rijl, but when I started drawing it, I thought it would be a great card to give to her on Friday when I see her for dinner with her family. We will head up right after I get home from work. We have been friends since I was born, so we have quite a bit of history. I wish we could live in the same city at some point, but that is not looking likely. I don't want to get all gushy, so I will leave it at that.

Anyways, this pic is inspired by Edward Gorey. I am reading his book Amphigorey Again. I am very tempted to buy the book. Perhaps I can find an inexpensive one online. I got this copy from the library and it is due this weekend. I looked at the price on the cover--$35! (on sale at Amazon for $23...) It is pretty big and hard cover. But it has a TON of great pics by him in there. Great study of his work. This picture was a ton of fun to draw. Like Zen drawing. All those little lines. The skirt was particularly fun and I think her legs turned out well. But I am not so good at hands. I just need practice.

You know, I would like to go back to school for illustration, but it is so expensive, and I can learn a lot on my own. I will just have to work hard on my own and practice a lot.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

LoTRo Fails me

So, I played lord of the rings online all last weekend and I had a great time. My other game subscription was ending so I decided to renew lotro. Only problem is that turbines billing system won't accept my card number and won't let me update the one they have on file. So, after a few days of trying, I decided not to play lotro.

The computer room looks fantastic! It's all clean and organized. There's plenty of room to walk around and the floor isn't covered in a 3 inch layer of dog hair! It's awesome :-)

I applied for a technical support job at a place up in Bellingham. I'm really hoping that they call me at least because I've sent my resume to this specific company for a few different jobs over the past year.

I don't have a lot to say today. Sorry if you feel ripped off.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Movies, my friends

Nisa seems to be feeling better, though she has gone a bit crazy and keeps starting crazy fights with Ernie, who does not seem to want to participate, really.

All that's left of Abe's closet cleaning is to take the remaining stuff to goodwill, but first he has to go to Central Market and get me a chicken, which he will cook for dinner for me tomorrow while he eats spaghetti for dinner. Woo for me. He also has to get me a bunch of brussel sprouts. So I am having chicken and brussel sprouts for the rest of the week, though spaghetti tonight.

I went to the dentist today, which always rattles my brain a bit. Possible explanation if I sound a little weird today. I was going to fix up another image today but maybe I will fix it up for Friday instead.

Did I mention I finished Abe's first sock? That was fun...not. Took forever. And I still have another to do. It's OK, I guess. I really do like knitting with that dang self-patterning yarn. It is a bit short, but not horribly so.

This weekend, with poor little Nisa asleep at my side, I watched a lot of TV.

On Friday, I watched Sherlock Holmes: The Last Vampyre. That was OK. I was pretty tired and almost fell asleep at the end, but it was fun enough. The guy who plays Sherlock is a little less skinny than I always picture the drug-addled Holmes. And Watson looked a little more dim-witted than I usually think. But it was OK.

On Saturday, I went crazy. I started with Dinosaurus! The exclamation point is part of the name. It was a terrible 60s scifi. I could not stop laughing at the dinosaurs. Pretty funny. Maybe a bit sexist, but no more than anything else at the time. The Neanderthal was funny. The actor played that pretty funny. Then I watched Alien Trespass, which I highly do not recommend. I am a little surprised I finished watching it, but I was just waiting for the other shoe to drop. There was some sort of fake news at the beginning and then the movie played and then... that was it. It was supposed to be a spoof of classic 50s sci-fi, so maybe I didn't get the joke. Eric McCormack was in it. Weird. It also had the dad from that horrible 80s show with the kid whose adult voice narrated the whole ting? That was boring, so I watched Mike Birbiglia, a stand up comic. He is pretty funny. I have heard him on the 7:20 Funny that now plays on 96.5 on Jack as the 7:19 funny. It plays right before I get to work. Then I watched an animated Hellboy: Blood and Iron. It was surprisingly good. It even had the actors from the movies doing the voice overs. I would definitely watch more of those. I like that in the animation, they can give Hellboy his appropriate hoofed feet instead of the boots in the movie. Then I started to watch Urchin, but was way not into that. It was just weird and poorly acted. One character just looked like some guy reciting lines and trying to respond to them. :( So I switched to Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I have no idea why it did so poorly. The first one was a pleasure to watch and so was the second one. Pure eye candy. Absolutely beautiful. The cure for a sweet tooth without the candy. I wish I had seen it on the big screen. It was a bit too long, but it was so pretty, I didn't really mind. I would have minded less in the theater because I could have seen it better. This was the end of the night so I was tired and having a hard time focusing my eyes.

Then on Sunday, I watched the first and started watching the second seasons of Grey's Anatomy so I can watch the new season 5 DVDs (as instant play on netflix). I freakin' love this show. I have no idea why I love it so much or why it affects me so much, but it might just be one of my favorite shows ever. I have seen the first season 6 times now and I love it as much now as the first time.

Friday, we are going up to Bellingham for a friend's birthday. Then next weekend we will go to Bellingham again so I can possibly plan a trip with my mom. But I might want to postpone that a year, depending on my tax return because the dentist (and my doctor, actually) says I really need a mouth guard for when I sleep. The reasons are two fold. One, I need to stop my teeth from moving. Since I got my wisdom teeth out, they have moved so that there are 5 places between my molars where I can easily floss with my hair. From my head. Gross, I know, but handy because it hurts when a big chunk of steak gets stuck in there. Why not carry around floss you ask? I am lazy and a scumbag. Come one now. Two, I clench my jaw a lot when I sleep and that is very bad. I keep having a crazy nerve thing in my neck and the doctor said the way to fix it is to get a mouth guard. It is the scary kind of electric hurt, so I do want to stop that from happening. So I got my W2 the other day and will file my taxes and make the plans I need to make. Woo. Taxes. At least I should get my first Rockin' Sock Club kit in the next few weeks. When that comes, all other projects, yes even Abe's first pair of socks, go straight in the hibernating pile until that pair is done. I am a little sad because I think they showed us the yarn on the blog and it looks all pinky. But if it is a dark pink, I guess it will be okay.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Happy Monday

Soon, very soon, the closet will be done. Our house has been a terrible mess since last week. Tomorrow I'm heading to the good will to donate an old tv, an old monitor and a bunch of other stuff. I should have the living room back to basically normal in the next few hours too.

Turbine was kind enough to let me play Lord of the Rings Online for free all weekend. I had a blast. They've made some amazing improvements to the performance of the game engine since I last played. It used to hitch and stutter a lot but these days I just turned everything up as high as it would go and it runs like greased shit out of a ducks ass. Wow, I just actually thought about that saying for the first time in my life. How would one get the greased shit into the Duck, so that it could come out of the ass, without damaging the Duck in some unspeakable way. Hmm.

Anyway, excellent game and it was made all the better because my friend Night from EQ2 joined me. It was the first time we've been able to play together in months and months and I had a great time.

We finally got Nisa spayed this past weekend. Turns out she had a false pregnancy going. We thought she was just getting fat over the past few months! This morning she was able to walk up the stairs to the apartment by herself for the first time. She's mostly been sleeping. In fact she's asleep on the couch right now. I tried to take a picture of her in the pillow and blanket throne she had constructed for herself but as soon as the camera came out she buried her head under the pillows.

Well, back to the moving and cleaning.


Friday, January 22, 2010

Boxing match

First, I'll start you off with this comic. This is the boxer comic I have been talking about. Hope you like it.

I have been listening to Imelda May a lot lately, and the more I listen to it, the more I like it. Some of the songs even give me goose bumps. My favorites are Johnny's Got A Boom Boom and Smotherin' Me. When I first heard it, Johnny's Got a Boom Boom sounded like a duet between her and the bass. Now that I am understanding the lyrics more and more, it definitely is a duet between the two. With GREAT lyrics. And Smotherin' Me is so bluesy you can taste it. It is upbeat blues, but still definitely blues. 12-bar blues, apparently. Abe says that every time we hear it anyways. But the CD didn't come with the lyrics printed out, so most of the time I have no idea what she is saying. I have figured out more now than the first time I heard it, but probably less than half. I may have found the lyrics online, but they are not official, so they could be wrong.

On the cleaning front, I got filing boxes and it is awesome. I have a box for my art and a box for other paper stuff, which turns out I have a lot: stories, knitting patterns, etc. So I am going around the apartment grabbing my random piles of papers and organizing them in the boxes. It is going to be really nice to have them all organized and safe. I have a little blue folder to use for drawing projects that are in process, so it will be kept with my tackle box of inking supplies and my drawing board. It is a pretty nice set up I have going on. It is close enough to the TV that I can listen to that (as opposed to the radio since my radio gets terrible reception) and I can turn to look when necessary.

I also cleaned up some boxes. Combined two into one of stuff I am saving for when I have a real office that I can decorate however I want (in a house). When we can, we will have an office separate from our desktop computers, which are for gaming, really. I hope to have a Mac to work on my graphics with by then. One of the small ones that are just a monitor. One of the two boxes was my old musty dress-up clothes. And some dog clothes I made for Patience, my Whippet, when I was in grade school.

On the knitting front,I am more than half done with one of Abe's brown socks. I hope he likes them. He says he does, but we'll see. At least I find knitting with self pattering yarn to be really fun. This one is kind of lame in that the vertical stripes don't line up at all (and it is because of erratic dyeing, not my knitting). Unless it was meant to be stochastic. But Abe loves stochastic, so it doesn't really matter. And you know what? I do love turning a short row heel. I find the method pleasing.

I have also realized that to remain happy and in a good mood, it is very helpful for me to draw every day, which includes inking. So I better get on that. After such a terrible night's sleep on Sunday because of the wind, I was really tired so I just sat on the couch and knit. I didn't realize until last night that it was affecting my mood. I think I just need to take a little time to draw, even if it is just little non-comic stuff in a sketch pad.


Thursday, January 21, 2010


So, yesterday we were having a conversation about what to do with all the crap that lives in the closet in our computer room. Somehow I ended up volunteering to pull everything out, open and organize every box and divide what remained between garbage and things to be donated to the good will. I spent all afternoon working on it and got maybe 1/3 done.

So, I'm taking a break from wrestling with boxes full of ages old crap to eat my lunch and write you this wonderful story.

This is good news. And the market is down ~400 points over the last few days putting it back in 2009 territory.

This has me all screwed up. With any luck the republicans will be able to kill the "health care reform" bill now. The part that really bothers me about the bill is that as it exists now it mandates that everyone in america buy health insurance but provides no affordable options for low income people. So you'll get the choice between buying insurance at around 2700 dollars a year or paying a 750 dollar fine per year. Good choice there.

I haven't had health insurance for a few years and so I've paid cash every time I went to the doctor. My total for last year ran about 500 bucks and I had day surgery in that time frame!

And this is rather depressing as well.

I'm full of happiness today aren't I?

At least unemployment is up for the week and a whopping 652,364 people rolled out of regular unemployment and on to emergency unemployment benefits. That puts about 12 million people receiving unemployment benefits of some kind.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

How cute is Ernie?!?

Seriously? check out this super cute picture of Ernie. He is in his Snuggie. I mean, does it get much cuter than this? What is his deal? How did he get to be so cute? He certainly didn't learn from me. Freak of nature in his adorability. In the background you can see Nisa wandering around and her pink snuggie on the floor. It was not a cold day and she gets all excited when one of us gets up and walks around.

You know what I forgot to mention last time? I was mentioned on the Mason-Dixon Knitting blog January 5, 2010. They linked to my crazy pics on the vertical striped gloves I started. Sweet, yes? I cannot believe how many views those gloves have had. I better get on 'em. They are just so hard! So many...buh...18! And I messed up last time. The ring finger is longer than the others (though you can't tell when it is on) and the increase on the thumb is weird. I really want to finish them because they will be awesome when they are done.

Also, I don't cat call Faith, I boo her. Silly Abe.

You know what else? It is Girl Scout cookie time of year again. Uh oh.

I finished the second of three layers for the boxing comic. I just have the hatch mark darkening for the background and then I get to scan it all and try to get it to look good in photoshop. That'll be fun... Not. Photoshop is my least favorite part. I like the inking, getting it on my hands, dipping the pen, watching it flow onto the paper, seeing my hand shake when it gets tired. I really need to keep doing all my physical therapy for my arm. Dumb me. I have no idea, but my right hand is so weak. Not as bad as before I did physical therapy, but still really bad.

At the library, I am going to borrow The Art of Comic-Book Inking from the library. I hope it is helpful. I am not sure how else to learn. I mean other than just doing it. Which is my only other strategy and seems to be going well. I learned a lot on Gone and the boxing comic. I need to do a very detailed pencil under the ink, for one. I also learned I need to remember to put the shadows in the pencil. Well, I am now off to add in the hatching to the boxing comic background.

Monday, January 18, 2010


Happy Monday.

We spent most of the weekend watching Season three of Buffy. Faith makes her appearance in this season. I really really dislike, not the character, but the actress that plays her. Angela actively hates her. She actually called out cat calls and mocking comments at the TV nearly every time Faith appeared on screen.

I tried to get us set up to play the Unlimited Free Trial of Warhammer online but our breaker tripped again while we were at the character creation screen. So we went and watched more tv.


Friday, January 15, 2010

We got the data cable

Yay! We got the cord for the phone to copy the photos! So this is what happens. Let's start with knitting:

Brennan hat. I am not kidding, this hat took 5 hours. It is based on a hat that Brennan wears on Bones. And that was while I knit slowly while watching TV. The yarn was actually one of my Santa presents (from myself). Haha. I got two skeins (Lion Bran Alpine, a single-ply bulky 100% wool), but I only needed one. I made some fingerless mittens out of the other skein, but I don't like them. It is rapidly turning into one of my favorite hats. I have also made one for Abe in a lovely cream tweedy yarn and a green one for my Mom. This hat is so fun and quick to knit. I plan to sell them on Etsy, as I think I said before. I have a black one done and half a red one. I just need to clean them up and get pictures and they are ready for Etsy.

Next we have a very old felted tea cozy that I just never got a finished picture of. Lazy me. I like it a lot. It is made of Malabrigo yarn, which is one of the best yarns ever. Gorgeous. This color is great, though it is very muted in this picture. So the camera does not take accurate color pics, but it is so much easier to use. Doesn't run out of batteries after 8 pictures and trying to upload them to the computer. This was a LYS Tour pattern from Weaving Works (2008). It only took 2 days in May to knit and felt, but it took half a year to get the pic. I know. You're shocked.

Here we have the Gaia shawl. Another totally awesome, totally quick (for a shawl) shawl. Haha. I modified it a bit. Slightly larger needles and instead of being reversible, I made it all stockinette. I think I might make another one of these. I like it a lot. It is made of Noro Kureyon Sock yarn, which is gorgeous. Love it. I knit this in about a week. Wow.

Next, we have the green silk scarf thingy that I am not particularly fond of. This is another LYS Tour 2008 pattern from Bad Woman Yarn. I don't really wear it. I don't know how to wear it without looking dumb. Oh well.

Then we have the Thick Stripe Shawl. This is a Lion Brand pattern, but instead, I used a bunch of random wool. Some of it is hand spun, mine and others, and some is random whatever. I have not yet decided if I like it, but Abe and his mom both like it, so it can't be that bad. I wore it a lot when it was cold late last year (2009...).

This one is awesome, Sheldon's sick hat from The Big Bang Theory. I really like it. I got some alpaca in a fawn color from Etsy. Then I dyed it with cherry Kool-Aid. And it is AWESOME. I love how it smells. I smile every time I put it on. A cross between alpaca and cherry Kool-Aid. Still. And the color stays well. I did not spin it very well. I intended to make a single-ply bulky yarn but ended up making a bulky 3-ply yarn. Some of it is spun way too tight.

I have started some socks for Abe. These will be his first hand-kit socks. They are going to take for frick frack'n ever, though. 90 st on US0 needles. (That is pretty dang small if you couldn't tell.) Doh. I think his first pair should have been with thicker yarn. They are fun to knit though. I enjoy self-patterned yarn. I also got the same yarn in green for me. I think I will knit a sock for him, a sock for me, a sock for him, and a sock for me (that order...not that it is unusual for me to make pairs of socks).

Finally, here are the gloves I made for my mom for Christmas. Aren't they lovely? This is the Lotus Leaf Mittens pattern from Twist Collective. The pattern was nice and clear. I lost the pattern and they very kindly sent the link again for me to download the PDF. I learned a lot about doing Fair Isle on these mittens. I hope mom enjoys them.

Woo. Now plants. Here is the catnip. The cat ripped out most of them leaving only this huge serpentine one. I found them all wadded up on the table one morning. Whatever.

Here is the mint. It is growing really weird. Crazy. It is getting really tall with small leaves. You can see the original leaves because they are brown and wilted.

And here is a new plant from Sindy, Abe's mom. Look at them go. When we got it, there were five tiny buds, one just barely poking through the dirt. I am curious how long it will take us to kill it.

And WOW here is PART of my mom's Xmas present to me: 30 lbs of unprocessed wool. Split fairly evenly between something black, some Shetland, and Suffolk. This is the Suffolk. I started washing it in the tub, but then I took smaller amounts and baked them in water. It gets pretty nice after hand-carding. It is a lovely cream color. I have carded a grocery bag full and I have two more grocery bags full that are uncarded. Plus all this stuff drying over the shower rod. It is awesome. I can't wait to do the rest. Cardi here I come.

And here is my new inking setup with the nibs and all. That is the semi-transparent drawing board I got from On the right is a tackle box full of nibs and ink and stuff. All the paper is the tracing paper and stuff I have drawn on. I really like it. It feels great to draw every night. I would love to get the chance to do that for a living. Well, expect more pictures. It is easy with the camera phone.

Sorry if the pics and text are off. It bothers me, but I can't figure out how to fix it. Blogger does not respect HTML, because I have every paragraph and every image in

tags. :(

Thursday, January 14, 2010


So, I've been reading Invincible lately. I checked out books 5, 6 and 11 from the library since that was all the had. It's a very fun super hero story. I've put the first few books on hold after I read the first book that I had :-) I've never really been much for super hero comics, even when I was a kid. And there are some things that I just do not get. Like the obsessive focus on the characters costumes. I do find it very funny that one of the characters in the comic is a normal guy who runs a tailer shop that specializes in designing super hero costumes though.

Image comics publishes Invincible. You can read the first issue of a lot of their comics here which is about the coolest thing for a comic book publisher to have on their website ever. Invincible is there if you want to check it out.

Mice Templar is there as well, another comic that I really enjoy.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Gone in the works

Well, I think I (we) have a solution for our photo problems. We got new phones that seem to take pretty good pictures. Good enough for the Web anyways. LG Neon. So we bought the $20 cord to transfer the pictures on the phone to our computers. And that way we won't eat through batteries for the real camera so fast. We bought it online today because the store at the mall sucks. So we should get it in the next week or so and then there will be pictures galore. Maybe more than you ever wanted.

Anyways, I really like the new phones. Some things bug me, like on my old phone, I could set the weekly recurrence for a number of weeks (like every 3 or 4 weeks), but on the new one, it is either every week on the same day or every month on the same date. Blegh. Oh well. Also, no games. And horrible ring tones. I think I might be able to fix that when we get the cord and I can put some ring tones on my phone. Maybe.

I started inking the Gone story. I am nervous and excited. I hope it looks good in the end. Abe likes it. I don't know what to think. I am really enjoying working with the nib pen. I had to go buy new stuff though because mine are all about 15 years old and rusty. Sigh. I feel old that I have 15-year-old rusty tools. Still. I got them in high school/junior high. The new ones work great. Really great. I have not had a drip since I got the new ones. I like the old handle better because it had a larger cork grip, but the new one is ok. It was only $3 at Dakota Art. I also bought three pairs of nibs, one pair of which does not fit in this handle. Doh. What an idiot. It would have been nice if the people at the store had pointed it out, but maybe I looked like I knew what I was doing.

I wish I new how to use Illustrator and Flash because Penny Arcade has a position open for an Associate Designer. Oh well. At least my boss is giving me a lot of graphics work lately. That is pretty fun, actually. I am pretty good with Photoshop, though I just learned about the effects for layers in the last month, so I am pretty unqualified for a real designer position like that. Still. It would be totally awesome to work for Penny Arcade, who are no more than a 15-minute car ride away. And that is bad traffic. Abe found that while job hunting this morning. He would have applied, but he is even less qualified for that than I am.

Speaking of drawing (though not really), I am also working on a funny one-page boxing comic. It is taking longer than I expected, but it is pretty fun and I think it will turn out great. I haven't decided on whether or not I will color it, which will add a lot of time. It is a pretty busy comic, even though it is such a simple idea. So far it will be three sheets (of tracing paper) already: the comic, the background, and the shading. I am doing the shading on Gone on a separate sheet of paper from the line inking, too. I just realized I am only half way done with the first page because I forgot I had to do the shading. My self imposed deadline for Gone is the 15th, but if I can't (and I don't think I can) I should be able to finish it up on Saturday (the 16th) if my friend doesn't call me to come up this weekend. Not sure what I will do with it when it is done. If I want to get it published, I shouldn't put it up on the Web anywhere.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Monday update

Angela stayed home friday because she wasn't feeling well. So we watched Buffy and Battlestar Galactica. We watched almost the entire second season of Buffy and most of season 2.5 of BSG.

On the economic front, I wanted to show you this chart which shows the percentage of the US population that is in the workforce. This includes the people that are reported in the unemployment rate. We're basically back to the percentage we had in the mid-late 70s and mid 80s.


Friday, January 8, 2010

Economic stuff

I'm no expert on economics, I studied anthropology in college, but I read the news daily and I follow a few financial blogs that are run by people that really know their stuff. They report in much finer detail than more general news sources like CNN, NPR, or BBC do. Below is a sort of summarization from a number of different sources.

Today the government announced the unemployment numbers for December. According to their statistics 85,000 jobs were lost last month. They also revised November from a loss to a gain and October from a gain to a loss. The official reported unemployment rate sits unchanged at 10% for December. That only includes people currently receiving unemployment benefits.

2.5 million people were "marginally attached" which means they are unemployed and have looked for a job in the last 12 months but not in the last 4 weeks. In December of 08 that number was 578,000 people. These people are not counted in the reported unemployment number or percentage.

Between November 09 and December 09, the number of people receiving "Emergency Unemployment Compensation" benefits rose from 3.594 million to 5.143 million people, a 43% increase. And, those people are not counted in the reported unemployment numbers either.

Officially, unemployment is 10%, Clearly though the number of people without jobs is massively higher and is closer to 20%.

Things are just as bad in Europe too. Take a look at this article at the NY Times. Unemployment in Latvia is over 22% and Spain is over 19% In Spain, people 25 and under are 43.8% unemployed.

This is a huge amount of data to digest but there are some very interesting details in it. The numbers are in a wonky format though, if you see 207,000 read it as 207 million and 4,100 is 4.1 million. That chart shows quarterly data from 1999-2009 in both raw and seasonally adjusted formats. Annual numbers are in the far right column.

At this time, 73.9% of people age 25 and over with a bachelors degree or higher are employed which is down from 78.5% in 1999. 65.5% of people age 25 and older with a bachelors degree are employed, down from a high of 72% in 1999. 56.1% of people age 25 and over with a high school diploma are employed, down from 62.6% in 1999. And only 39.7% of people age 25 and older who do not have high school diplomas are employed, down from a high of 43.3% in 2007.

Sources are:


Tuesday, January 5, 2010


On Saturday, we saw the new Sherlock Holmes movie. It was...good. :) I really enjoy the Sherlock stories (one of my grandma's got me the complete Sherlock Holmes for Xmas one year). This was not those. This was a more action-oriented Sherlock. As long as I reminded myself it was not meant to be a depiction of the books, it was good. He seemed to be on a bit more cocaine or whatever it was and was much more childish in the movie. Makes me want to watch the old British Sherlock movies, which just happen to be available for instant play on Netflix... Watson was even more different between the two than Sherlock. I think. He is cockier and more confident. I haven't read the stories in a long time, so that is just what I remember of Watson in my head. I did really enjoy it though, and I am glad we saw it on the big screen. It is a very pretty movie. And did I mention the sort of steam punk aesthetic? The actors all played their rolls well. I think Robert Downey Jr. could have (at least visually) played Holmes as a more serious, less wild-hair-up-his-butt character, too. He has the appropriate haggard look.

I think this movie was the start of a heap of Rock n' Roll Remakes. Not a new style, there just happens to be a whole bunch coming out at once. Clash of the Titans is another. And the original Clash of the Titans is also available for instant play on Netflix, so there is another one for me to watch. There is another Iron Man, Iron Man II, which is definitely one. The preview intrigued me. He makes Tony Stark look like such a cocky douche, which I find hilarious. I have never read the Iron Man comics so I don't know how appropriate that is. Maybe The Wolfman, but I don't think that one is so rock n' roll.

Wool washing is slow going. I might be a quarter done? Maybe a third? But it is a nice creamy color when it is all washed and carded. I have a grocery bag full of it carded. This batch is Suffolk. Can't remember if I said that in my last post. Mom though it was Shetland, but maybe the other bag of white is Shetland. I am really excited for the dark wool. It is really pretty. During carding I even get most of the vegetable matter (VM) out. There is almost always just a little left in, but nothing gross or huge. I think I am really getting a pattern down for the two stages, washing and carding. Drying sucks. Did I say I burned some of it? I tried drying 4 pans at once in the oven which meant putting some of it on the bottom rack and I totally burnt the bottom rack. But I can pick it off and it should be fine. I will probably bag those two together and use them separately from everything else because the staple length (is that the right term) will be a little off what with the burning. I don't know if I am carding it right, but it is still looking nice.

Anyone a fan of Big Bang Theory? Check out It has a list of where you can get the shirts and stuff that Sheldon and the other characters on Big Bang Theory wear. Totally awesome. Sheldon has a lot of great shirts. Though you can see from the Leonard lists that even though he wears great shirts they are covered with his coat.

I wonder where our camera is. I have stuff to take pictures of. Lots of stuff: Noro shawl, thick shawl, orange cowl, short green silk scarf thing, Sheldon's sick hat, Tidings of Joy ornaments (candy cane, hat, plum, cherry, and I started the lights, though they are all packed so that might be for next year!), lorna socks, the one finished striped glove, felted tea cozy, Brennan hat (mine and Abe's), and Penny's Xmas hat. And that is just the knitting stuff. I should also get a pic of the crazy mint. And I have a few drawings to scan, though Abe should be able to do that now. I should also get a pic of my ruined Queen of Blues sock (those are not mine, I just don't know where my pic is...)and then FIX it. I have to cut off the whole ankle part, but at least it will be easy to knit. Attaching it will be the tricky part since I am pretty sure it is an ankle-down sock, which means Kitchener stitching it back on or something.

Abe made delicious oatmeal maple bread. We used it for PBJ today. Yum. That bread is just ridiculous. So good. And he cleaned the apartment and wow. It looks great. So nice. I forgot what it was like to live in a clean apartment with vacuumed floors.

And in completely other news, I think I am going to knit hats to sell on etsy. I didn't see anything too similar on etsy. I think they will be about $25 each. And I am trying to come up with a single skeins worth matching fingerless mittens.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Jobless again

I don't want to talk about it. On the bright side there'll be a lot more posting here from me starting now. And our house will finally be clean again. I baked real bread last night. Not batter bread but kneaded bread. I made two loaves of oatmeal maple syrup bread. It is SO tasty. I sent a few slices to work with Angela so she could share with her coworkers.

I started playing Dragon Age Origins a few days ago. I got it for my birthday back in December but the controls really turned me off the first time I tried it. I tweaked with the controls and got them working a lot better for me and now I'm really enjoying the game. I made a lady dwarf warrior. I'm going with dual wielding. The story so far is more mystery and promises than story but I'm only like 2 hours in to the game. If it doesn't pick up a bit in the next few hours I'll worry but for now I'm just assuming that the developers are assuming I'm a moron and are consequently spending WAY too much time letting me figure out how to move, click buttons and watch cut scenes.

Unfortunately for them I mastered those skills over a decade ago . . . .

I spent a few hours looking for jobs this morning and I've spent the rest of the day cleaning up the Christmas decorations. Once that is done then I can start actually cleaning the house. LOL


Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year -let's see pics

Well Happy New Year. Abe and I got to ring it in sick. He played EQ2 most of the night. I watched Jim Gaffigan: Beyond the Pale, and Step Brothers. Because we have Netflix and you can watch some movies instantly over your PS3! I love it. So very much. Both had me laughing out loud.

We also finished watching season 1 of Sanctuary, a Syfy series (what a dumb name...). It started out with a ton of blue screen action, but as the series went on, perhaps their budget got bigger or their ideas got smaller because there were less and less blue screens. The characters are fun. And the writing gets better as you go through the season.

I wish that instant play was available for Highlander. I really want to watch it but I don't want to have to wait for the DVDs in the mail. Oh well. Maybe someday.

So here are some pictures. I had intended to post this poem before Xmas, but our decorations are still up so I guess it still counts, right? I wrote this poem in 8th or 9th grade. I think 8th. My English class was making a book of xmas poems for the parents. I turned this in. My teacher said it was good but that the other parents probably wouldn't like this in their book of xmas poetry, so two more poems later I came up with something acceptable that I don't remember. I always liked this poem though.

Then we have a picture I drew of Abe's oldest character in EQ2, Denaso. It was fun to draw, though I don't know how accurate it is. I think she is one of Abe's first characters. I should really write more here to get Blogger to show the image lined up well with the text, but I don't really have much to say. It is Crayola colored pencils and technical pens. Fun, but it is hard to put together on the computer.

Next we have an ink of a chicken in electronic pants that are kind of out of control. I thought of this picture as I was going to sleep one night. I really do enjoy the hatch marks. They are fun. I have a book by Edward Gorey on hold at the library (Google images). My mom recommend I look at his work as a good example of hatch marks. I look forward to perusing his art. Mostly children's books, but I like that kind of art, I guess. Anyways, this was also done with a technical pen. My smallest for the whole thing. I probably should have outlined the pants in a thicker pen so they would stand out more.

Here is an ink of Nisa. I drew the pencil version a few years ago and then traced it a few weeks ago with a nib pen. That was an absolute blast. I really like working with the nib pen that you dip in ink. I plan to use that more often. It takes a little more practice because the ink doesn't dry as fast and can drip, which is why there is a big solid black spot on her left ear. I found my old pen and nibs from high school. I didn't know what to do with them then, but I am so glad I kept them. This is why I have a tendency to not throw anything away. I want to try it again many years later and will probably like it better.

Last we have a squirrel ink also using the nib. I realized I needed to practice with this pen and style, so I looked through my old drawing pads for pictures I liked so I could trace them with the ink nib pen. I think I drew this squirrel in pencil in high school.

All of these (except the xmas poem) are already up on deviantart. Someone already favorited Chick in Electronic Pants and someone else commented that the squirrel is cute.

Anyways, we had a good Xmas, even though it didn't snow this year. I was very lucky this year. Top of my list of wants, though I didn't tell anyone, was Umbrella Academy: Volume 2. And Abe got it for me. Totally awesome. He also got me Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child, et al. That night we made lamb chops, onion potatoes, and brussel sprouts, so I made the Brussel Sprouts Braised in Butter. They were a little over cooked, but they were still really good. I can't wait to make it again. Very simple. Once you make it, you don't really need a recipe, so I was telling everyone about them. Haha.

Also, my mom and Jim got me 30 lbs of unprocessed wool!! And hand carders. I am in the process of washing about 10 lbs of the wool. It is going OK. I burned some when I was drying it in the oven (it is just too cold to try to dry it in the air). I started by throwing it all in the tub with hot water and a lot of soap, using a method I found on the Joy of Hand Spinning. That was a good start, but some if it is pretty dang dirty, so I have moved on to a smaller, slower, more precise method as described by the Yarn Harlot. I think this method of mass wash and then small wash is working well, but I have been sick so it is slower going than anticipated. Next time I will probably just do the small batches since I don't really have the time or space to wash and dry 10 lbs of wool at once. Anyways, I have 20 lbs of white wool to wash and 10 lbs of dark (black and brown). I very much intend to make a cardigan out of stripes of the natural white and dark. I think it will be very cool. I am not sure if I will use a cool pattern or if I will just do a basic cardigan from the Knitters Handy Book of Sweater Patterns. then all I have to do is decide on the number of rows per stripe, the shoulder style, and the neck style. This is very exciting.

I almost forgot to say that Abe also got me a cd by Imelda May and it is great. Rockabilly. The songs get stuck in my head and I don't mind. Abe heard an interview with her on NPR and then a song of hers and said she totally sounded like someone I would like. Very nice. Great CD. She's Irish. I don't know if she does concerts here, but I would love to go see her live.