31 July 2009

8 Miles Wide

In case you haven't seen this sweeping the interwebs:

Come on, everyone, sing along!

28 July 2009

But Wait, There's More!


In fact, I've saved a whole set of these on my Flickr account.

27 July 2009

Nietzsche Family Circus


From the NFC website:

The Nietzsche Family Circus pairs a randomized Family Circus cartoon with a randomized Friedrich Nietzsche quote. Refresh the page to see a new comic and share your favorites by clicking permalink.

22 July 2009

O Hai!

If you're just coming over here from Bossy's place, welcome! I'd tell you I'm working on tidying up the place a bit, but really, I'd be lying if I did. And I'm a horrible liar.

What I am off to do right now is plug away on the chicken coop in progress (see previous post). Unfortunately, we lost one of the golden-laced cochins today. I'm not certain at this point if she was just being pushed away from the food by the others (though we haven't seen any overt aggression) or if there was some infection going on that we need to be concerned about.

Anyway, for those of you who are new, I live in a tiny coastal village at the very southern tip of Maine with my partner David and several animals. This here blog started out to be primarily a knitting blog, but it's veered off into a lot of other areas over the past 3½ years. Feel free to have a look around. You might want to start with this post. Looking over it just now, a couple of the items have changed, but it's still fundamentally sound.

And now, the power tools are calling my name.

20 July 2009

Way Cool Chicks

It's been over a month and a half now since the chickens arrived and I haven't posted pics of them. I felt slightly guilty, so I finally got the camera out the other day and took some current photos for y'all to see. I reported earlier that it was one of the buff orpingtons who had died, but it was actually one of the golden-laced cochins (I think). They stay next door at Debbie and Charles's place most of the time, so there was some confusion there.

Anyway, Debbie and Charles are off on a trip to China until the end of this week, so David rigged them up a pen in one corner of our sideyard and has been bringing them over to spend the day outdoors. They've thoroughly enjoyed themselves, but it's clear that they're quickly outgrowing their chick waterer and feed trough. They need some big girl equipment. They're also learning to rush the door of the temporary quarters next door where they're spending the nights until the coop is done, which makes it challenging to keep them all in.

The other interesting thing is that they've totally brought out Tuck's predator instinct. Which is highly amusing only when you're not trying to keep him from going after the escapees while you frantically try to catch them and prevent further escapes all at once.

So without further ado, here are the girls:




There are 3 silver-laced wyandottes, 2 buff orpingtons, 2 golden-laced cochins (the kind with feathered legs), 2 barred plymouth rocks, and 2 ameracaunas. And here is the chicken coop in progress:


Further progress has been made since I snapped this shot, but today's work was cut a little bit short by a hellatious headache and backache. Hopefully tomorrow will be more productive.

19 July 2009


I know I haven't been prompt getting pics up from our trip, but it's been a busy week. Like all of my weeks lately. *sigh*

Anyway, in Seattle we actually saw the sun! And went to the aquarium:

Washington 004

Washington 026

Washington 020

Then we spent a few days in the desert (Seriously, most of the state east of the Cascades is sagebrush and tumbleweeds, yet thanks to the Columbia River, this is where most of those Washington state apples and cherries come from.):

Washington 034

With the in-laws:

Washington 035

Visited the Grand Coulee Dam:

Washington 049

Took the scenic route (Snow! In July!):

Washington 090

Washington 087

And this last one has a bit of a backstory. Back in '92 when I was still a poor vet student, I took the summer off, since I knew it was probably the last chance I'd ever get to do so. I spent mid-June to mid-July traveling in Europe, which was when I made my first trip to Zürich and first had cheese fondue. That August, I set out with my family on a big cross-country road trip. My maternal grandparents, who were still able to travel back then, met up with us in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. After dropping off my little rustbucket Chevette in St. Paul, we proceeded to hit every national park between there and the Pacific Northwest.

After leaving behind Olympic National park on the Washington coast, we took a ferry across the Puget Sound and headed up into the Cascades, taking the same route as above in the opposite direction. Before we got up into the mountains, we stopped for lunch at a little roadside park - nothing, really, except a few picnic tables beside the Skagit River. The view, though, was one of my most vivid memories of that trip, and really one of the most beautiful places I've ever been. So 17 years later as David and I were driving back to Seattle, I noticed that the scenery was starting to look very familiar and without much trouble found that exact spot again.

Washington 093

Every bit as lovely as I remembered it.

p.s., There are more photos from the trip here.

11 July 2009

The Visit with the In-Laws: An Overview

We're on our way to the airport in just a few minutes, and my laptop doesn't seem to be able to recognize David's camera, so this will be brief and sans photos, but it was actually a good visit. They still can't deal with the whole having me as an in-law idea and David's mom introduced at one point as "David's friend", but I wasn't expecting miracles. At the very least, they were pleasant and our time with them didn't have nearly the awkwardness of our last visit to his parents' house in South Dakota.

Aside from that, it was a good chance to meet up with some long-lost friends in the Seattle area, as well as meeting up with a friend I'd only known online until now (Hi, Ryan!). But now it's time to finish packing our stuff back up so we can get back home, where I hear we're finally supposed to be getting a few days of sun, which we actually got quite a bit of here in Washington.

Photos, spectacular and otherwise, when I can get them downloaded.

04 July 2009

Stitches in Time

Since I've been having some repetitive strain issues with my arms that have kept me from knitting lately, I've taken a bit of a turn back to quilting. As I mentioned before, on my recent visit to South Carolina I went through some of my grandmother's fabric stash and picked out some cotton prints to make her a lap quilt. I finished it off the other night and finally got around to uploading pics. Here's the front:


It's not terribly obvious, but there are actually two fabrics used in the blocks. They're both prints on off-white background, but one is predominantly blues and greens and is botanical prints, while the other is in red and is a mix of flora, fauna, and (inexplicably) both the Queen of Sheba and Salomé.

And here's the back, which is done in an Asian-inspired print that was apparently originally intended as curtain or lightweight upholstery fabric:


Because my sewing machine is just a small, cheapie Kenmore I got on sale about 10 years ago and I don't really have the space to set up a quilting table or the money to buy a halfway decent long arm machine or the time to knock out even this small sort sort of project quilting by hand, I used the technique expounded upon in this book. Basically, the blocks are made and quilted individually and then joined with strips of sashing. In this case, the sashing on front is a third, complementary fabric, while the sashing on back is the same as the backing fabric for a uniform look.

It's certainly nothing fancy. I was going for speed on this one. My grandmother has not been in good health for a long time and it seems her decline has accelerated over the past few months, so it was more important to me to get something to her that she can enjoy for as long as possible. That said, I know she'll appreciate the love that went into it, and it will be put to good use.

01 July 2009

A Message from Tuck

Tuck spent the last few nights hospitalized with yet another bout of pneumonia. This was the fifth time in just at a year. Still no real insight as to why he keeps getting sick - it's like none of the pieces fit together to complete the puzzle. At any rate, after three days here without me, he was quite happy to see me this evening, and he'd like to express his gratitude to those of you who offered their good wishes.

In Other News

Despite the ongoing damp around these parts (Seriously, London is sunnier and warmer than we are right now! So is Seattle!), I decided I really needed to press on with the chicken coop. The chicks are now 4 weeks old and getting big. So I rigged up a tarp over clotheslines in the sideyard so that I could work on it in relative dryness. It has proven to be a Very Good Idea Indeed, and I managed to get quite a bit done on my weekend off. The floor and the framing for the four walls are all erected, and I've even put on one outer wall. There's a hatch (Get it? Hatch?) in the floor for an eventual hinged ramp for their comings and goings and I've framed in where the window's going to go. I'm going to put up some very lightweight insulation and have sorted out roofing, ventilation and how I'm going to construct access doors. No pics as yet, though.

I've also very nearly finished my grandmother's lap quilt. Last night I finished piecing together all the blocks, so all that's left is the binding and I can get it off in the mail. All just in time for us to head out to Washington state for some of that Seattle sunshine.

Actually, we'll only be spending a couple of days in Seattle. We're headed out that way for David's nephew's high school graduation and his sister's 25th wedding anniversary. To say that it promises to be interesting would be a huge understatement, particularly since they all decided to boycott our wedding last year. You know, 'cause it wasn't a "real" wedding and all. Still, if they're trying to play nice, then we're at least willing to go along for the ride and see what transpires. If nothing else, it should be good for a blog post.