27 January 2009

Rocky Mountain High

Okay, so this is the Wasatch Range, but it is part of the Rocky Mountain System. We drove up to Park City last night for a play day before heading home. The drive up - at night, on a twisty mountain freeway, in a heavy snowstorm - was a little tense, to say the least, but we had a nice day.

Since Sundance finished up just before we got here, we only had ski crowds to contend with, and even that wasn't too bad. We were both intrigued, though, when we drove into the heart of Park City and found that they've got a ski lift smack in the middle of everything.


We were also impressed at the fluffiness of the snow...


...and enjoyed the antics of some of the locals.


Then we visited the 2002 Olympic Park, which was practically next door to our hotel. They've got a whole ski museum and 2002 Olympics museum, so I got several photos. On the last one, be sure to embiggen for the middle button.






Tomorrow we head back home, and as interesting as this trip has been, I'll be glad to get back to my little dog.

25 January 2009

More from SLC

Here's a better photo of the mountains I snapped outside our motel room door this morning:


I also have a color version, but somehow managed not to upload that one before handing the camera off to David. Since the color palette of the mountains this morning is already pretty much black and white, though, I don't see that it makes much difference.

Here's a news report with video on the shooting and crash that happened the other night. The nightclub in question is a gay bar, at least on certain nights. On the night of the shootout, it was apparently Latino night. I found the dead guy's name in this story.

In other, more mundane, news, I had a really miserable and largely sleepless night. Before bed last night, I realized that I had left my backpack behind at our booth at the convention center, which was by then locked up for the night. Since I had been keeping my meds in the backpack, it meant that I had no way to quell the restless legs, which would twitch every time I'd start to doze off and wake me up. So this morning, I threw on some clothes and walked the 4 blocks to the convention center to retrieve my backpack. But the meds weren't in it.

Turns out they were right here all along:


I had even set the rental car keys down next to the bottle right before I walked out the door to the convention center.


It's Not All Bad


When there isn't this whole inversion/fog/rain thing going on, I understand that Salt Lake City has some really lovely views of the mountains. Actually, the above really blurry cell phone pic was of those very mountains (if you embiggen, you can sort of see them in the background, but it's really a crap photo). The fog lifted today and they were really very pretty - all moody with their heads in the clouds. I actually can see why people would want to live here, though it's way too far from the ocean for my taste.

And then there are some decent folks here, as well. We had dinner this evening with Margene and Smith, who are just wonderful people and really good dinner company. Margene and I almost met a couple of years ago at Rhinebeck, but someone (*cough* Norma *cough*) failed to introduce us when she stopped by our booth. No matter, a great time was had by all, and I look forward to coming back and getting to see them again.

Tomorrow is the last day of the show, and then we're headed up to Park City for a couple of nights before we head home. Sundance ends tomorrow evening, so maybe we'll get there in time to catch some straggler celebrities. If not, the motel we're staying at has an indoor hot tub, so we have high hopes for that, if nothing else. And maybe I'll manage to get a decent photo of the mountains before we get out of here.

24 January 2009

Tales from a Salt Lake Motel

First off, I thought I'd share the artwork that hangs above the beds in our motel room:


I don't know about you, but I think Tin Man looks just a little serial killer. I've been trying not to think about it too much.

Anyway, David has been coming to this show for a few years now, and every time has involved a bit of motel drama of one sort or another. One time it was an unidentified pill found between the supposedly fresh sheets; another it was a broken toilet that required a room change (no mean feat when every room in town is booked up); then there were fouled up reservations; and then the whole bedbug incident. Doesn't seem to matter where he stays - something always happens.

The current motel, creepy artwork notwithstanding, has been fairly nice - budget, but clean and with attentive staff. Yesterday morning, though, I was working in the room and heard fire sirens. I didn't think much of it until I heard people clomping around a little later and realized that I could still hear the diesel engines. Turns out there had been a gas leak at the water boiler, which prompted an emergency call, though the firefighters determined that it wasn't necessary to evacuate once the gas was turned off. So, no hot water for a while, but we weren't staying all day in the room, so no harm done.

I thought that would be the extent of the drama for this trip, but this morning I woke up to David opening the door to the room to get something. When he saw I was awake he told me that we had no running water, and that Christine, his production manager who left early this morning, had called while I was still asleep to tell him what had happened.

Around 1:30AM, the driver of a car was shot right in front of the motel. The car then veered off the road and crashed into the light pole and fire hydrant just outside the motel office. Police and ambulance were called, Christine went down and tried to comfort the very nice and gentle Asian woman who was working the desk, and the ambulance workers wrapped the dead guy up in a bloody sheet and took their time removing him from the scene (apparently they didn't know about body bags). Meanwhile, another guy shows up and starts pacing back and forth in the middle of the street screaming at the cops and accusing them of shooting his brother. This led to a standoff that ended with the guy running away with the police in pursuit, and then more gunshots.

David and I slept through all of it, but this was the scene in the parking lot this morning as the utility crew was taking down the light pole:


Crazy damned town. Tonight, though, we're hoping to meet up with Margene for dinner, which I'm very much looking forward to.

23 January 2009

Liberty Faded?

I snapped this today here in Salt Lake City, but really it could have been taken on any number of street corners across the country.


22 January 2009

A Very Different World

One of the fun things about being married to a designer is that I sometimes get to go to trade shows as unpaid labor. I do, of course, go to big veterinary conferences, which have exhibit halls and vendors, but it's just not quite the same vibe as the apparel industry. Especially not like the Outdoor Retailer show, which is where we are right now.

When one thinks of party destinations, I'm pretty sure that Salt Lake City doesn't rank very highly on anyone's list. This show, though, is quite the party atmosphere. The last hour every evening is happy hour, which means beer for most vendors. We went upscale, though, and stocked up on wine, which has actually gotten us a bit of attention from the non-beer-drinker crowd and just may have helped us get some sales.

And in case you don't believe me about the whole party thing, here's a short video from tonight's fashion show. This was the collection for Woolrich, of all things. Who knew they were so hip-hop-happening? And the male dancer who ends up on the right? Totally cute and a really talented dancer. Over the course of the show, he threw out hip hop, ballroom, salsa, and ballet moves - just plain beautiful to watch.

The best part for me, though, is the deals on stuff. A lot of the vendors will sell at wholesale prices to other vendors, and I absolutely needed that this morning. The boots I wore here were absolutely killing my feet by the time we finished setting up yesterday, and that pain just radiates right up my back and into my neck and head. The thought of spending another day on a hard concrete floor in them was nearly enough to reduce me to tears, so I headed over to see the folks at the Dansko booth and scored these:


I cannot begin to say how much I love these. First day, not even broken in yet, and I felt so much better - and at wholesale, no less! Still, though, I decided I really needed to go to one of the yoga classes offered by the folks at Prana. It's been years since I've done yoga regularly, and I was reminded of how much I loved it and how good it feels for my poor, aching body to stretch out and move. The best part of that? Prana provides clothing for people to wear, then sells it all on the cheap at the end of the show. I am so there. And I expect they're not the only ones I'll be visiting.

And just so you don't think all I'm doing is getting likkered up and buying stuff, this is my travel knitting project:


It's the first of a pair of wristwarmers for my grandmother in Alpaca with a Twist's Mojito. She really liked the ones I made for myself back last October, so I told her I'd make her a pair that would fit her a bit better. Since it's mostly 1x1 rib, I figured it'd be a perfect mindless project to do on the plane. I also brought along the yarn and charts for the second Selbu glove, but since that requires a bit more attention, I haven't done anything with that so far. Here, though, is the finished first glove, palm and back:


There are a couple of minor mistakes, which I'll now have to try to duplicate intentionally in the second glove. On the whole, though, I'm quite pleased with it, and I'm hoping my sister will be, too. Just in case, I may try to snag her some stuff at the show, too.

19 January 2009

No Surprise

I have Andy to thank for this one:

I am nerdier than 84% of all people. Are you a nerd? Click here to take the Nerd Test, get geeky images and jokes, and write on the nerd forum!

Of course, this is also consistent with my results on the Nerd, Geek, or Dork test, where I rank as a pure nerd.

17 January 2009



Took me a bit to get this up here, I'll admit, and I've actually completed the ring finger now. I didn't get to sleep during the day yesterday - filled peat pots and started some artichoke and rhubarb seeds, instead - and ended up as a useless blob yesterday evening.

I did, however, get home in the afternoon with a mission. I haven't had a haircut for a few months and was just sick of it - perpetual hat head, especially in this cold when I actually have to wear a hat. My hair, when long, just does not know how to behave. And while I have a stylist I really like, I've been having a hard time trying to justify the additional expense when we're supposed to be trimming financial fat.

So out came the clippers, and I set to work. The big challenge, of course, is to get the back blended without taking out any big chunks. Apparently I succeeded reasonably well, since David got home just after I had gotten out of the shower and declared it "pretty good". And while having more hair in winter may sound good in theory, it doesn't really make a difference when the crown is thinning and a hat is necessary anyway. At least now I don't have to worry about giving the impression of a slightly crazy person.

Not at a distance, anyway.

15 January 2009

While You're Waiting

Since I'm being a slack-ass and haven't yet taken any glove-in-progress photos, I offer you this one, created here.



Hot off the mittens, I decided to start working a project from Terri Shea's book Selbuvotter. I've had this most excellent book for a while, but I hadn't completed a project from it. So I'm making the Annemor #11 gloves, which I expect I'll send to my sister.

No pictures yet, I'm afraid, since I spent the entire day yesterday in a continuing ed meeting, relying on my knitting and copious quantities of caffeine to keep me awake. I came home and promptly collapsed into a quivering mass so that I could be fresh for work tonight. I'll see if I can't remedy that later on, though.

The meeting yesterday was pretty good and focused on zoonoses, one of my favorite subjects. It's also nice to get to catch up with people I know but don't see often. The funniest/neatest thing that happened, though, is that I overheard one of the industry veterinarians there talking on the phone with a very noticeable southern accent. Whenever I hear a southern voice, I have to ask where they're from, so I said to her, "You're not from around here, are you?"

Turns out she's originally from Alabama, but the funniest bit is that she only lives a mile and a half from me. So I'm thinking that a dinner invite is in order, and since my mother recently brought back provisions from down south, pecan pie will definitely have to be on the dessert menu.

12 January 2009

Sock Yarn Mittens


I made these with Plymouth Happy Feet sock yarn for my sister's girls, aged 7 and 5. The pattern, as per my usual, was made up on the fly using information gleaned from other kid's mitten patterns online and what I already know of mitten construction. The cords are 2-stitch I-cord. They were a quick and easy project, and I'm pretty sure the girls will squeal when they get them.

Also, I realized that I forgot to post photos here of the finished Japanese sweater. This sweater has gotten a fair bit of wear already, and I'm very happy with it.



And now it's time for bed. I've been battling a killer headache all evening without much luck. Hopefully a good night's sleep will do the trick.

09 January 2009


Let's see if we can get a little caught up, shall we? Where to start, though? I suppose I could go with this photo of my cyclamen, which now has two big blooms opened and a couple smaller ones, with more on the way. I love the look of cyclamens, almost as much as I love the fact that they pretty well thrive on benign neglect.


The head tech at work has given me one from the clinic to bring home and neglect for a while, since it's been getting overwatered. I am so on top of it.

And now let's go back to Christmas Eve. I was between nights on at work, so it was a very low-key one. I love this pics of David and Tuck, though:


Tuck is doing well, by the way. His lung x-rays the other day were much improved, so I'm cautiously optimistic we may have knocked this thing out. Still, time will tell, and I'm trying not to get my hopes up too much. At the moment he seems to have caught the same cold I've had, so we've been coughing in tandem all week.

Oh, there's also the sweater I finished for him from the Japanese sweater leftovers:


This one is the best yet, I think. I did I-cord edging in a darker blue around all edgings, mostly to help it keep its shape at the neck and bottom edge and keep it from sliding down too far. It's the longest one he has, too, so it's particularly nice this time of year. Down the back, I worked the cable chart from Samus, and the rest is just simple 3x2 rib with increases for his broad chest.

Okay, one more photo for now. Just after the new year, I picked up some yarn from the spinning mill. On the left is a 3-ply sportweight I had spun from a couple years' worth of Madelyn's fleeces. I'm thinking of dyeing and reskeining at least some of this for mitten kits or something, but it's going to take a bit of development when I can find the spare time. On the left is a 3-ply worsted I had spun from Juliette's first shearing and the black Shetland fleece I bought at Rhinebeck. I am so very pleased with this yarn. It's the color of extra dark chocolate with the tiniest bit of grey fiber to make it a little heathery and oh so very soft. It's destined primarily for a sweater for me, but there should be plenty left over for some smaller special projects as well.


Aside from that, I'm in the middle of the I-cord for the second pair of mittens for my sister's two girls. I'll do a photo shoot when I'm all done, but they're fairly basic mittens designed on the fly and knit in Plymouth Yarns' Happy Feet sock yarn in colorways appropriate to each girl. I'm pretty sure they'll squeal.

Also, a couple people caught the mention of living on one income. David didn't draw a salary for December, as part of trying to keep his business going through the recession. He's still putting in around 60 hours or so a week, just not bringing in income for the time being - one of the hazards of being a business owner. It means a bit less padding financially, but we can get by reasonably well for now on my income alone and there is a fair bit in savings in case of emergency, so we're not sweating it too much at the moment.

07 January 2009


I've been notified by a high authority that I haven't blogged in far too long. I'm sure, at least, that the kind folks at the NSA who spy on our little chats have concluded that at least one of us is high. In any event, she is right. It's been two whole weeks now, and that's just too long.

It's not as if I don't have anything to write about - there are a few more FO's to mention, there were the holidays, I got my visa for India in March, we're now officially living on one income, I got back some lovely yarn from my alpacas, etc. - but I think I just wanted to let the novelty of New Year's navel gazing to pass. This being the month of Janus, a bit of looking back is natural and appropriate, but I'd really rather look forward.

That said, I do have some photos that need to be uploaded, and I'll see if I can't actually get around to that tonight and write a proper post.