Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Just In Time

I promised that this project would be posted before the end of the year and I finally got the camera out to do it!

Project: A Cardigan for Arwen, by Kate Gilbert
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran
Needles: US 4 and 6

Notes: I love this sweater! It took me two years to finish, but it was worth it. Okay, it actually only took me about a month of knitting, but it took two years to have the knitting skills to actually complete the sweater. When I started this in 2006 (!), I quickly became frustrated. I couldn't keep track of where I was in the cable diagram and some of the instructions were Greek to me. I set the project aside for a while. When I came back to it, I still had trouble following the diagrams and I was still frustrated. I set the project aside for a bit longer. I finally came back to Arwen in November 2008 and we were ready for each other! I frogged a bit of the first arm because I wasn't satisfied with my earlier knitting. Then the knitting came easily. Oh, it still took a couple of tries to get each cuff kitchnered neatly, but I knew what I wanted and how to get there.

The sweater is warm and soft and wonderful! My only modification was to add some length to the body. Cropped sweaters are just not me. My only complaint is that the yarn loves to pill and my sweater shaver is a little too aggressive. I'll have to be very careful that I don't actually trim the yarn when I try to trim the pills. Still, it's all worth it! I will still try to get one of my guys to get a pic of me in the sweater, but at least I have proof of completion.

Bonus project!

This set was a quickie gift for a friend who needs a hug and is too far away to get one from me in person.

Project: Simple Scarf and Hat Set, by Melissa Leapman, from Cables Untangled

Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton-Ease
Needles: US 7

Notes: Super simple cable pattern. I will freely admit that I lost my will to live about 3/4 of the way through the scarf. A quick detour to knit the hat got me through! I used a full three skeins of yarn for the set to get the scarf as long as possible.

Happy last day of 2008, everyone!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Another Year Over...

Well, it is almost over. This was the sky on Christmas Eve morning. Christmas Day was a very blustery day. We had rain and wind that made it an excellent day to go no farther than our next door neighbors' house for good company and food (and presents!).

We also brought some presents with us, including these gloves for the mother of our neighbor.

Project: Queen of Diamonds Fingerless Gloves, by Melissa Burt from KnitPicks
Needles: US 0 an 1 dpns
Yarn: Knit Picks Gloss in Dusk

Notes: This was a pretty easy pattern except that I think there was an error in the instructions for the left glove. When I tried it on after laying out the fingers as suggested, it didn't seem to fit at all. A minor adjustment to where the fingers started and all was well. I also added a little length between the thumb and starting to divide for the other fingers. This worked well for me and I don't think it made the gloves too long for the recipient. I liked the pattern so much that I think I will make a pair for myself!

And I leave you with a shot of our very civilized snow - it stays up on the mountains where it belongs. We can visit it (if we wish) and we can admire it as we drive along on the freeway, but we don't have to shovel it!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ready to Wrap

Project: Pacific Northwest Shawl, by Evelyn A. Clark
Yarn: Mountain Colors Winter Lace in Deep Blue
Needles: US 6 circulars

Notes: Love this shawl! I picked up the yarn and pattern while on a trip when I had a serious lace attack. I did a lot of this knitting while on planes and in airports. I cast on 28 September and cast off 1 November. It took me until Friday to block it and Sunday to get a photo shoot. It's huge and so fun! I love the Winter Lace feel. Still, I am having the same problem with this yarn that I have with other Mountain Colors fibers - the colors run! I had very blue fingers by the time I had pinned this out. I probably ended up with a less-extreme blocking than I might have done had I not been rather freaked out by my fingers! Still, it is a lovely shawl. I'll just have to be careful not to spill water on it when I am wearing it!
And, yes, the shawl is ready to wrap. It will wrap me up in lacy goodness. This one is for me!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Sky From Saturdays

Today's sky was pretty boring, so I thought I would catch up with the last two weekends. Last weekend we actually had some weather. That means clouds, folks! We even had rain!

We could have used the rain the weekend before that. Those aren't normal clouds. That was the view north towards the "Freeway Complex" fire that raged in north Orange County. We were far from the fires, but the winds blew the smoke our way.

Friday, November 28, 2008


Yes, I am very thankful. I have a great family and wonderful friends. I also have a great job where I get to do interesting things and work with fantastic people. Of course, the great job also impinges on both my blogging and knitting time. Still, there has been knitting here at Chez Engineer. I can't post one of my completed projects until after the holidays and the Pacific Northwest Shawl is still drying as it was (finally) blocked today. I have also returned to my Cardigan for Arwen. One side and the back are finished and the other side is coming along nicely. That one won't be finished in November, but it should be on the blog before the end of the year.

One of the things I am thankful for is that I'm not expecting the baby for whom this was knit.

Project: Seed Stitch Baby Jacket, by Elinor Brown

Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease in a blue-purple heather (just over one skein)

Needles: US7 circulars

Notes: This is a pretty easy pattern that knits up quickly (or would be if you bought enough yarn the first time or remembered at which Michael's you bought the yarn, since they don't all carry this colorway). The final item is a cute little sweater that is intended for the future first born of Young Man's home room teacher.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Your result for What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test...

Simple, Progressive, and Sensual

11 Ukiyo-e, 7 Islamic, 10 Impressionist, -17 Cubist, -10 Abstract and -4 Renaissance!

Ukiyo-e (浮世絵, Ukiyo-e), "pictures of the floating world", is a genre of Japaneseand paintings produced between the 17th and the 20th centuries. it mostly featured landscapes, historic tales, theatre, and pleasure. Ukiyo is a rather impetuous urban culture that has bloomed in popularity. Although the Japanese were more strict and had many prohibitions it did not affect the rising merchant class and therefore became a floating art form that did not bind itself to the normal ideals of society.

People that chose Ukiyo-e art tend to be more simplistic yet elegant. They don't care much about new style but are comfortable in creating their own. They like the idea of living for the moment and enjoy giving and receiving pleasure. They may be more agreeable than other people and do not like to argue. They do not mind following traditions but are not afraid to move forward to experience other ideas in life. They tend to enjoy nature and the outdoors. They do not mind being more adventurous in their sexual experiences. They enjoy being popular and like being noticed. They have their own unique style of dress and of presenting themselves. They may also tend to be more business oriented or at the very least interested in money making adventures. They might make good entrepreneurs. They are progressive and adaptable.

Take What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test
at HelloQuizzy

Monday, November 03, 2008

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Better Than Socks

Instead of socks on Sunday, I have a new sweater! I started this one in May and had several work-inspired interruptions. I went on a business trip last week to Maryland and dragged the pieces with me with the slim hope that I might have some time to finish. There was very little time to work on it during the week, but the nice, long plane ride gave me plenty of time. I added the buttons on Saturday and here it is!

Project: Basic Black, by Glenna C. (free pattern available on Ravelry)
Yarn: Frog Tree Cotton/Silk DK
Needles: US 4 and US 6

Notes: This was actually not a difficult knit. It would have gone much more smoothly if I hadn't had so many interruptions. I am really happy with how it turned out. The only changes I made were to add an inch or so to each sleeve (I have long arms) and to the body (bare midriffs are not for me. Oh, and I knit the button band all in one piece instead of knitting down from the center back.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Oh! Hello There!

Did I say I was going to start posting again? Yes, well, about that... You see, work is nuts. No, really, it is totally insane. So insane that we just got a cautionary memo that the near-term deadlines will be met even if it takes working weekends. Um, has anyone been watching the time stamps on the emails around here? Yes, we are already working long hours, weekends, and, if we had any holidays, we would be working those as well.

Today is Monday and I'm in Pittsburgh! Okay, so I'm only in Pittsburgh long enough to soak up some free wi-fi, check my BlackBerry, and head back on a plane to Baltimore. It has been a while since I last traveled for work, but it is going pretty well. Oh, there was that little mishap when I left my drivers license at Security. Mr. Engineer rescued me by rushing my passport to the airport well before my flight was boarding and the TSA folks found the license anyway, so now I can rent a car when I arrive tonight! Given how much traveling I have been doing this year, you would think that I could handle a simple business trip! We will not speak of what my carbon footprint looks like this year. It's not pretty.

Traveling is good for knitting. As I waited for my flight from Minnesota to California two weeks ago, I cast on for Evelyn A. Clark's Pacific Northwest Shawl. I've wanted to do this one for years and I gave in to an urge for laceweight as I was driving to the airport that day. I'm also nearing the finish line for my version of Basic Black. Yesterday, I blocked the fronts and back. One sleeve is finished and the other is about 2/3 finished. I picked up buttons on Sunday and brought the entire project with me to see if I can wrap it up in the hotel room this week. It would be really fun if I could wear it before the week is up! No guarantees of that because I will also be spending evenings catching up on email. We'll see. I have plenty of options if I can't get to sleep!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

For Sandy

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sunday is for Socks

Project: Old Navy by 1870 Pearl
Yarn: Trekking Pro Natura
Needles: US 1 dpns

Notes: I modified these slightly to make them larger. They fit a US Men's Size 11 foot. I think the pattern is quite clever and keeps the knitter's interest long enough to finish. I do enjoy giving socks to friends who appreciate them, but men's socks take ever so much longer to knit than mine! These are for my neighbor who didn't get socks from me last year and was genuinely disappointed. These should make up last year's omission.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Whoa! What Happened Here?

Yes, I was away and all the readers ran for more interesting grounds. I do apologize. I won't be posting every day, but I will improve.

Work has reared its ugly head, horns and all. For now, we have a sky on Saturday, but I think it was actually a Tuesday Sky. Young Man and I have been getting up extra early these days. He is now a member of the Early Birds crowd at school. That would be the kids who get dropped off before 7:45 a.m. The target is to drop him off by 7:10, but we have yet to meet that goal. I now have standing 7:30 meetings and I'm always late. I have been regularly arriving in time for the standing 8:00 meetings. I also was just issued a Crackberry. Life has become very strange.

C'mon back tomorrow and I'll have finished socks. I promise!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Feeding Frenzy

Today was a day spent feeding things. Today I fed Young Man, the tortoises, the washer and dryer (four times each), the vacuum cleaner, and the bread machine. It was nasty hot and the air was thick, so it was a good day to stay inside and deal with the stuff that piles up during the week. That means that this sky shot was not from today. Today had no clouds, but the sky wasn't remotely close to blue. This one from a week ago is far more interesting.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Another First

Off he goes to Middle School. Sixth Grade, watch out!
Yes, that is a tie. No, it wasn't our idea. Some of the mom's have an unofficial pool going to guess how long it will last and how many of the ties will end up in the Lost 'n Found.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

My Goodness, Are Those Socks???

Project: Hedera, by Cookie A
Yarn: Lana Grossa Meilenweit Cotton Stretch in 8005
Needles: US 1 dpns, like always

Notes: Don't everyone faint, but I finally finished a project! This was an easy to memorize pattern that knit up quickly when I actually picked up the needles. The yarn was a new experience. The stretchiness makes it a little tricky to work with, but the finished result is very nice. These are comfy and the color in the photo is pretty close. I knit the pattern pretty much as written except that I added one or two repeats on the leg. That wasn't really necessary, but I do like my socks fairly long.

I actually finished a pair of summer socks while it is still summer! Any goals that I had for the Summer of Socks are well and truly left by the wayside. Life has been far more important than knitting and that is fine by me.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Just a Softy

I know that I can't be the only one who teared up while watching Senator Teddy Kennedy speaking at the Dem convention tonight. Maria Shriver definitely had the waterworks going even though she tried her best to stay strong. It really is a passing of an era.

Don't get me wrong, just because I am one of those liberals (c'mon, you all knew that already) doesn't mean that I have unconditional love for the Kennedys. I never did get that whole fascination with the family thing. Still, Teddy has been on the national stage for as long as I can remember and I am going to miss him. It was really hard to think that this is likely his last convention and he might not even make it to 20 January 2009 (no matter what he pledged). I really hope that he gets to see President Obama sworn in. Okay, I really hope that I get to see President Obama. Hope is starting to creep in...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sunday Socks?

Nope, no sock pictures. I finished the first sock of Hedera, but I only knit 8 rows (!) while on vacation in New York. I did another 20 in the last week, but the knitting mojo is still on vacation. I suspect that this situation will not change in the near future. Yesterday we brought home a new toy. I no longer have the slowest computer. I nice, shiny, new HP Pavilion with a Quad-core Intel processor and piles of RAM and a fabulous graphics card is all mine! Young Man and I may have to set up a schedule because he now knows that Lego Star Wars screams on this machine. I'm still searching through the house for my discs to install all my software. The unintended consequence of this purchase may be a cleaner house and garage!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Saturday Sky

How about another gorgeous New York sky shot?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Extreme Friday

Granted, this is last Friday's extreme activity, but it is still impressive. These are a few of the views of Young Man navigating the Adirondack Extreme course near Bolton Landing, NY.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Booking Through Thursday - Gold Medal Reading

You, um, may have noticed that the Olympics are going on right now, so that’s the genesis of this week’s question, in two parts:
- Do you or have you ever read books about the Olympics? About sports in general?
- Fictional ones? Or non-fiction? Or both?
And, Second:
- Do you consider yourself a sports fan? Because, of course, if you’re a rabid fan and read about sports constantly, there’s a logic there; if you hate sports and never read anything sports-related, that, too … but you don’t have to love sports to enjoy a good sports story.
(Or a good sports movie, for that matter. Feel free to expand this into a discussion about “Friday Night Lights” or “The Natural” or whatever…)

I'm not really big on reading sports books. I have read a couple of books on lacrosse. This season I picked up a book on coaching boys lacrosse. Neither Mr. Engineer or I have any desire to become coaches, we just want to know more about the game. Fictional sports books don't interest me at all. The only other sports-related books that I can think of in my library are two Lance Armstrong biographies. I have read It's Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life, but have yet to open Every Second Counts. I originally read the first book as a selection from my book club and it was a very good read. I'm not sure that I would like Lance Armstrong if I met him, but I am very impressed by his drive and determination.

I do consider myself a sports fan. I love watching Young Man play lacrosse and soccer and I really enjoy a good baseball game. The Olympics are fun as well when I can wrest the remote away from Mr. Engineer. Since I am a sports watcher and not a sports participator, I think that I find viewing sports more enjoyable than reading about them. I much prefer sports movies to books. Give me Bull Durham any day. Of course, there is a bit more than baseball going on there!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Sticks Are Still For Lacrosse

I haven't completely abandoned knitting, but I seem to be taking a break. Given how stressful work has been since I returned, I will probably take up my pointy sticks again soon. For now, my blogging has been going on at the team lacrosse site, Crush Lacrosse. So, for anyone keeping count, I have easily maintained my Blog 365 compulsion. Now that the trip is over, it's time to return here. Stay tuned.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Booking Through Thursday - Other Worlds

Are there any particular worlds in books where you’d like to live?
Or where you certainly would NOT want to live?
What about authors? If you were a character, who would you trust to write your life?
(This came to me when reviewing a Jonathan Carroll book - I’m not sure I’d like to live in the worlds of his books.)

Hmmmmm. I always wanted to visit J.R.R. Tolkein's world (Hobbit, LOTR), but I'm not sure that I would want to live there. Okay, I could probably manage without the internet, but I'm rather fond of the whole electricity thing. I would love to be a friendly muggle that the wizards trust enough to take me in occasionally to JK Rowlings' world (after Voldemort was gone, of course). I really can't imagine any author writing about my life. Any good ones would be bored to death and then he/she wouldn't be around any more. I guess I'll just have to write about my own life some day!

I'm rather enjoying the "other world" that I'm visiting this week and kind of sad that we will be leaving tomorrow. I am very much looking forward to going home, but all this greenery and clean air is fabulous.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Still More Thrills!

Young Man had another wonderful day here in New York. He rode roller coasters at Six Flags (including his first loop!). Next, he got yummy barbecue thanks to two generous parents who wanted to treat the team. Then there was lacrosse. What more could a boy want? Here he is taking a breakaway after stealing the ball (it was rolling under a pack and he just poked in his stick and came out with the ball) and is looking for someone to whom he can pass.

Well, for starters, how about a team photo and official camp tournament ring?

You want more? Okay, Young Man's team was awarded the trophy for most wins during the week's games. They didn't win the championship, but they absolutely played their hearts out.

There were also way cool fireworks. Several people wondered what the cows in the area think of all this. I'm pretty much guessing that the cows think its just another thunderstorm. I haven't met too many contemplative cows.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Still Too Busy Having Fun

Don't bother me, I'm watching lacrosse (and dodgeball).

Young Man had a rough night last night thanks to some typical camp pranks, but he recovered by the afternoon. The team had a great session with a college coach and a pro. The boys then got to use their new skills playing two games in the evening against Albany teams. I know that I am biased, but I think that Young Man played some of his best lacrosse yet tonight. One of the cool memories for the night was listening to the 8th grade team cheer him on by name. He got several great play comments and, yes, he heard them. It was a great evening!

Monday, August 04, 2008


The Adirondack region is beautiful. Absolutely gorgeous.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Feeling Good, Feeling Free

It is still a great week! Young Man continues on his quest for independence and occasionally brushed teeth and I am a woman without responsibilities. It is a very strange feeling. This is something that I have not experienced in more years than I can remember. Young Man really doesn't need me this week. He needs to know that I am just a phone call away, but he doesn't need (or really want) me on site except for games. Work is fully covered by others and I don't even have my work laptop with me. Mr. Engineer is doing extremely well without us (even if he is a bit lonely). I'm told that there are 13 pints of salsa from our garden that have been canned and that Young Man's bathroom is spotless. Maybe we should take more trips!

Today, Young Man played two scrimmage games and the teams went on what was to be just a hike, but which turned into a mud hike. One of the other parents was around when the boys returned and he reported that the boys and their clothing came back much worse for wear. I understand that some laundry may be in order. Still, I'm not being asked to do it! I have heard mention of frogs and am interested in that story. I understand that one was caught, but the boys decided that it was a better idea to let it go than to bring it back to camp. Why do I have the feeling that Young Man may have been involved with that adventure?

So, just what does someone on vacation, really on vacation, do with herself? Some of the parents are going to Cooperstown tomorrow. Others are thinking water park and/or Six Flags. I'm still playing it by ear.

Given all the fabulous meals that I've been having, I'm thinking some walking is in order. If you are ever in the Lake George/Glens Falls area, I highly recommend Luisa's Italian Bistro. It's a little hard to find (several different GPS units failed us completely), but well worth the effort. We had received several recommendations for restaurants and one very nice person pointed out that most of those were really geared for tourists and not repeat customers. This is the restaurant that she recommends to people who want to come back.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Who Has Time to Knit?

If you are looking for knitting content, I think you will be disappointed this week. I haven't picked up needles since Wednesday! It's all lacrosse this week. I watched three games today and that was only because the other seven were cancelled! It's a good thing that I like this game. During the games I can't even sit down. Even if I weren't taking pictures, there is no way that I could be still enough to knit. I remember the first season that Young Man played and I actually did knit when he wasn't in the game. Now he gets more game time and I know the boys so I want to watch every minute.

Young Man played some great defense today. Okay, I'm biased, but even I can tell who is in the game and who isn't when goals are scored.

He was determined and aware. He was also fast. Really fast. Played two games and could still fly fast.

These two games were only scrimmages. The tournament doesn't start for real until Monday. I'm writing and posting more pictures on the brand new Crush Fan Blog. Pop over there if you want the whole story. I am so glad that I came to see this. I am even happier that Young Man doesn't really need me here. He is glad that I'm nearby, but he hasn't needed my help for anything so far!

Friday, August 01, 2008

If It's Friday, It Must Be New York

If I'm having a bit of trouble figuring out what day it is, I think I should be cut a little slack. You see, I sort of missed Thursday night and Friday has been a very large blur.

On Thursday, Mr. Engineer dropped off his family at the Long Beach Airport and Young Man and I headed off for adventures. After a fun time in the airport (if getting 45 young men under the age of 15 onto a plane can be called fun), we went on a five-hour flight to Boston. Young Man sat back with his teammates and actually slept! I sat with people completely unassociated with our group and also slept. Young Man and his team then went on a four-hour bus trip to New York. I got a rental car and drove the four hours. Caffeine and reasonable breaks are wonderful things!

The team is having a great time. They moved into two cabins (one for the 5/6 team and one for the 7/8 team). I tried to stay out of the way and provide a bit of help where I could. After making sure that they got some food, the other parents on the first part of the trip left the team with the coaches and got some rest. It feels kind of strange to be on vacation without my engineers. We are such a good team that splitting us up (even for a week) is disconcerting. I'll be back to the camp to watch the first games tomorrow. This is going to be a great week!
Booking Through Thursday(?) - Endings

What are your favourite final sentences from books? Is there a book that you liked specially because of its last sentence? Or a book, perhaps that you didn’t like but still remember simply because of the last line?

(Yes, I know that today isn't Thursday. As you will see from my next post, I was a little busy yesterday.)

Oh, dear. This one is as difficult as the last! I am no better at remembering last lines than I am at remembering first lines. As with the first lines, my favorites are those that capture my imagination. I find that I don't actually like endings that wrap things up nicely. Life doesn't end in a neat bundle, so why should a book? Oh, I do whine if a book leave too many loose endings and I do like to have the major plot lines completed. Still, I like a book that leaves room for either a sequel or just a drifting of the imagination. The author doesn't have to produce an actual sequel. It's enough if the author leaves a few clues that let my own (over)active imagination roam.

One of the best at this was, of course, Douglas Adams. I always loved how he ended his books just enough to leave me satisfied, but not so much as to shut off interesting avenues for the future. This would be how the Hitchhikers Guide Trilogy expanded to five books.

Near the end of his life, Robert Heinlein took this concept to the extreme. His books became longer and longer and left more and more unsaid. The concept he was exploring was that the characters when invented formed alternate universes. If the character wasn't fully developed, his "real" life character was rather one-dimensional. Also, if the plot lines were too cleanly tied off, the character would be left with nothing interesting to do. While I enjoyed the theoretical exercise, his last books proved extremely frustrating.

The other endings that I particularly detest are those that seem to sacrifice the character for the sake of ending the book. I felt that the main character in The Gathering suffered from this treatment. I didn't believe for a minute that she was going to pull herself together and come back to her family (or to sanity). She had far too many unresolved demons in her mind to go back to her old life.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

(here we go again)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Yes, We Are Faulty

Not only am I two days behind on my Blog 365 obsession, now we are getting shaken! We had a splendid time rolling along. Mr. Engineer and Young Man didn't feel it at all, but I definitely felt the 5.4 quake. My building is wonderfully engineered and is built on rollers. This means that the building moves with the movement of the earth. It also means that we feel lots of little jolts and nudges. There was no damage to our buildings, but lots of crud fell down onto desks and the customers we had visiting were quite surprised. We tried to tell them that we had ordered the entertainment especially for them, but they didn't believe us.

So, all is well. Work is crazy. Young Man and I are getting really excited about going on a lacrosse trip. More later!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Good Fair Day

Today was our annual trip to the county fair. Even though this summer is wild, we couldn't miss this trip! We met an ox named Bill, a water buffalo, lots of goats, and some very cute piglets. Young Man made several purchases (all rocks and geodes) and we ate lots of fair food. And, no, we did not ride on the giant Ferris wheel. I'm not particularly fond of most rides, and I really don't like rides that are disassembled and reassembled frequently. I prefer rides that stay in one place. So far Young Man hasn't complained too much about passing by the midway. We keep him busy enough with the exhibits that he doesn't even think of rides until we are all ready to go home.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Another Vacation Memory

I just wish that my lens was good enough to see the smile on Young Man's face! This was his very first attempt at tubing. It took all week to convince him that he wanted to try and then he didn't want to stop.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Booking Through Thursday - Beginnings

Here’s another idea about memorable first lines from books.
What are your favourite first sentences from books? Is there a book that you liked specially because of its first sentence? Or a book, perhaps that you didn’t like but still remember simply because of the first line?

I'm not sure that I remember any of the first lines from books that I have read! I remember the famous, "It was the best of times. It was the worst of times." However, I have to admit that I have never read the source book! Even though I don't remember the first lines of the books I read, I think I have always really liked the first lines of Douglas Adams' novels. Who couldn't love books that begin with, "It can hardly be a coincidence that no language on earth has ever produced the expression 'as pretty as an airport.'"? (The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul)

All of Adams' books start out just warped enough to make you wonder what will come next. The description of Arthur Dent's house in the first paragraph of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is certainly one that leaves you curious: "The house stood on a slight rise just on the edge of the village. It stood on its own and looked out over a broad spread of West Country farmland. Not a remarkable house by any means -- it was about thirty years old, squattish, squarish, made of brick, and had four windows set in the front of a size and proportion which more or less exactly failed to please the eye."

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Sometimes You're the Osprey, Sometimes You're the Fish

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

And Now, A Word From Tech Support

We have been told many times by friends that we are a little scary. Well, it's true. Even scarier is that we have already inducted our youngest member into the family tech support business. Both Mr. Engineer and I have provided countless hours of assistance to co-workers, family, friends, and friends who are like family. Last night, Young Man joined the fun.

Young Man and his buddies play an Internet game called Runescape. Anyone with a child too young for WoW is undoubtedly familiar with this game. One of Young Man's friends was feeling left out because he hadn't set up an account. After getting his mother's permission, the friend and Young Man arranged for telephone support after camp. We were so proud of how professionally Young Man handled all the questions and carefully walked his friend through the steps. Yep, he's one of us now.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Monday Socks

You know that you are really back when you have to put on real shoes again. I couldn't quite face dressing up, but I did manage to put on socks and shoes. It wasn't fun.

Far more fun was photographing my latest finished socks. I have completely reconciled myself with the concept that I am never going to even be in the running for most socks this Summer of Socks. Life has interrupted. Now I'm just in it for the fun.

Pattern: Merino Lace from Interweave Knits Favorite Socks
Yarn: Trekking Pro Natura
Needles: US 1 dpns

Notes: Great socks! I had some difficulties maintaining the pattern and seemed to do far more ripping out than I normally do. I am positive that this has nothing to do with the designer or with the pattern. The charts are actually very easy to follow. The problem lay entirely with the knitter. These are wonderful socks, but the lace does need some attention. It is good to be relaxed, but I was perhaps a bit too relaxed. Shall we say that these are probably not the socks to be knitting if one is consuming a variety of vacation beverages. No, lace and Leinenkugel do not mix!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Is It Sunday Already?

Oh, bother, I nearly didn't post tonight, but I probably could have claimed a justifiable excuse. I had planned to have another plane pic, but forgot to take one. Then I was going to post a picture of the newly-completed Merino Lace Socks, but didn't take one when there was enough light. Mostly, we spent the day traveling and the afternoon/evening very happy that the traveling went better than it might have.

We had a quite a scare when Young Man woke from a nap on the plane and headed for the restroom only to faint instead! We now think that it was a case of low blood sugar. After we were all more level headed, we realized that he had consumed only a normal human-sized breakfast (instead of his usual growing-boy portion) and then barely ate any of the snack that Grandma had packed for us. He scared everyone on the plane, but seems absolutely fine now. We are profoundly grateful to the wonderful staff of Northwest Airlines and everyone on flight 803 today. Most were a tad grumpy to be coming in to LAX a bit late (we were stuck in the takeoff line for some time in Minneapolis), but all were very considerate and allowed a scared family off first without any problems. After spending time with fabulous EMTs, we had many concerned staff and passengers inquire about Young Man. He became rather embarrassed by the attention, but his parents appreciated the concern. Everyone will be happy to know that he now seems completely normal and was up playing video games after we returned home and now shows no ill effects after his ordeal. Thank you all!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Saturday Sky With A Gasp

The week at the lake is over, but the memories are strong. We had another wonderful week and are all hard-pressed to figure out what could have possibly made it better. One of the boys was quizzed as to how he would rate the week on a scale of 1-to-10 (with 10 being best). He gave it a 9, presumably because he wanted to leave some room for improvement. I was thinking 11. Mr. Engineer gave it a 9 1/2; again, he is unwilling to commit to determining that anything is perfect.

We are now at Mr. Engineer's parents' home and that means it is time for the annual trip to their nearest park. Young Man was delighted to learn that he is now tall enough to reach the top of the pole in the middle of the climbing ropes. I was somewhat less thrilled, but I do understand the feeling of accomplishment. Yes, I have made the trek to the top. Young Man was quite amused to realize that he was wearing his most appropriate shirt for this task: "I do all my own stunts." He certainly does!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Last Cone At The Lake