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

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Booking Through Thursday - Vacation Spots

Another question inspired by the Bunch of Grapes on Martha’s Vineyard having burned down on the Fourth of July.
Do you buy books while on vacation/holiday?
Do you have favorite bookstores that you only get to visit while away on a trip?
What/Where are they?
I’m still devastated about the Bunch of Grapes, even though I usually only got to visit it once or twice a year–it was such a vital part of my trips to Martha’s Vineyard. Its (hopefully temporary) loss won’t affect my day-to-day book habits, but it was such a wonderful store on one of my favorite places. Stopping there was such a strong tradition, and I’m going to miss it as part of my vacations. But it made me think–I always buy books when I’m away from home. They’re as much of a trip-souvenir as any t-shirt or trinket. Better, even! And it occurs to me that I can’t be the only one of us who does that, huh?

I often buy books when I am on vacation. Unfortunately, I haven't searched out any special bookstores at our usual haunts. I do very much enjoy finding new bookstores when we travel. On this latest trip, I knew that time would be precious so we all packed our extra books. The weather has been too nice for much reading. This means that I haven't even finished one book! It did rain this morning and I took the time to read work email. The storm is clearing and we can get back to fun. I have had a few moments to sit on a swing with a book and those have been glorious!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tuesday In The Splash Zone

Monday, July 14, 2008

Monday at the Resort

Sunday, July 13, 2008

That's My Boy!

If there is a snake, it must be caught, right?*

*No animals (no matter how slimy or creepy) were injured to bring you this blog post.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Saturday Sunrise

Well, actually it is Friday's sunrise. This picture is courtesy of Young Man who got up early enough to snap some pictures before his parents (who were still on California time) were awake. So far on this vacation, we have been through a severe thunderstorm warning and have installed an air conditioner. We are now at the lake and enjoying ourselves immensely. The Leinenkugel is on ice, the water is warm, and the friends are excellent.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Blue Skies, Nothing but Blue Skies...

Just a little eye candy for Friday.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Booking Through Thursday - Doomsday

One of my favorite bookstores burned down last weekend, and while I only got to visit there while I was on vacation, it made me stop and think.
What would you do if, all of a sudden, your favorite source of books was unavailable?
Whether it’s a local book shop, your town library, or an internet shop … what would you do if, suddenly, they were out of business? Devastatingly, and with no warning? Where would you go for books instead? What would you do? If it was a local business you would try to help out the owners? Would you just calmly start buying from some other store? Visit the library in the next town instead? Would it be devastating? Or just a blip in your reading habit?

Well, I have to admit that it might take quite some time before I felt any impact at all! Given how many unread books line my bookshelves, I could go weeks or even months without buying anything new. I suspect that I would just move on to another source without any real mourning period. I'm fickle that way and I need my regular book fix!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, July 07, 2008

Monday Moodiness

Does it bother you to find errors in knitting patterns? I'm not usually bothered because I know that typos can sneak in no matter how hard you try to eradicate them. If the pattern is printed in a book, there are just that many more steps in the process where errors can occur. I do get a little annoyed when I find an error that isn't included in the errata on the publisher's website and the book has been out for over a year. I can't be the only one who has noticed that knitting 30 heel rows will give you 15 slipped stitches, not 18. I guess that isn't the world's worst error, but I could see it really bothering a new knitter. For anyone who is keeping track of these things, the pattern is Merino Lace Socks from Favorite Socks from Interweave Knits. I'm really enjoying the pattern and the yarn is more Trekking Pro Natura. Sweet!

In a happier mood, I have another finished object.

Pattern: Shedir from Knitty
Yarn: Rowan Calmer
Needles: US 3 dpns and 16-inch circular

Notes: This is at least the fourth Shedir hat that I have completed. I just love the cably goodness and the soft yarn. Last weekend I picked up some Reynolds Jeannee to see if it makes as nice of a hat as Calmer. I doubt it, but I found a local collector for chemo caps and they don't want any wool content in their donated hats.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Sunday Socks - Fugly Edition

These were going to be both my second pair for Summer of Socks and an entry in the Ravelry Sock Knitters Anonymous June Sockdown. The pattern is great. It is Priscilla's Dream Socks from Interweave Knits Favorite Socks. I will make this pattern, but I don't think I will finish this pair. I usually like Opal color combinations. This one just isn't doing it for me. What was I thinking? I think this will either go into some sort of White Elephant swap or maybe there is someone out there who wants a warm pair of winter socks that will hide inside of boots.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Sweet Saturday Sky

Happy Fifth of July! Yes, Independence Day was yesterday, but today marks the beginning of birthday celebrations for me. As a child, I always loved how thoughtful people were to light off fireworks for me. No, I didn't know the definition of self-centered. My birthday isn't until next week, but I started out well today with a trip to The Yarn Lady to pick up more sock yarn (!) and get my birthday discount. I'm now all set for our upcoming vacation. The sky photo is from 3 July as the marine layer slipped away in the morning. Our crazy "cloudy" mornings confuse a lot of people. We had a difficult time convincing my MIL that it wasn't going to rain when she visited during June Gloom. Elizabeth Bird was convinced that she had the power to bring clouds to Southern California when she was here last week. No, it's just marine layer. No rain. We won't have rain for months. All that sun does give us other things. Here is a very small view of the piles of lemons I squeezed yesterday.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Another Glorious Fourth

Around here, the Fourth of July is a big deal. We live in one of the few cities in the state that allows "safe and sane" fireworks. On 1 July, fireworks stands open to sell expensive ways to blow up money and make a big bang or flash at the same time. I admit that I do enjoy a good fireworks display and I understand that many nonprofit groups make a significant portion of their annual fundraising through fireworks sales. I just don't like burning money. Young Man dreams of setting off fireworks, but when the time to shell out money comes around, he shows that he has learned well from his parents. We agreed to spent $10 and he had to pay for anything beyond that. He poured over the ad from the closest stand. He thought hard about the big assortments. Then he spent $3 of his own money to get the small bag of things that he really wanted: ground bloom flowers, snakes, strobes, smoke bombs, and sparklers.

The bigger part of the event is our annual block party. Yesterday, I baked a cake for the event. This morning, I juiced enough lemons to make nine gallons of lemonade. At noon, the neighbors blocked off the street and we set up our easy-up canopies and our folding tables. There was more food than any street of people could eat, wonderful neighbors that we don't see often enough, and another year of fabulous memories. One of the highlights is the annual grilling competition. It isn't an official contest, but the families definitely do not share their secrets. The carne asada is to die for! Mr. Engineer and I over ate and are very happy. Young Man probably didn't eat enough, but he found a day-long pickup game of soccer. Before the food was even set out we had little girls asking if we were the ones who gave away sno-cones. After the first round of food, we brought out our shaved ice and syrups and had an immediate following. Mr. Engineer felt very much like the Pied Piper as children followed him to get their treats. Everyone was happy!

As the sun went down, we put away the canopies and tables and pulled out an old, beat-up ladder. The ladder was used as a platform for the fireworks. Safe and sane fireworks don't shoot up in the air, they just spray sparks. The effect is enhanced by putting them up a few feet off the ground. We have one neighbor who loves to light off fireworks and he is willing to do his display for us. We clean up afterwards for him and we all enjoy the show together.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Booking Through Thursday - Holidays

It’s a holiday weekend here in the U.S., so let’s keep today’s question simple–What are you reading? Anything special? Any particularly juicy summer reading?

Oh, thank you for an easy one. My brain is mush tonight, but the proposals went out! On top of that, a cake has been baked for the July 4th block party, a coffee cake has been baked for breakfast and the entire family has airline tickets for the entire family vacation! It has been a good week and we are looking forward to a great block party. The only downside is that Young Man came home with a wicked sunburn. He spent the day at a water park and the good coat of sunscreen that I gave him this morning didn't hold up through an entire day of water. Apparently, he had the opportunity to reapply, but claims there wasn't enough time. I seriously hate that t-shirts aren't allowed on the water slides and that the lines to get to the top of the slides are unshaded.

Anyway, on to books. My main book right now is the book club selection for July. We are reading Three Cups of Tea, by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin. This is a complete about face from the rather depressing books I have been reading lately. This one is almost unbelievably uplifting. No, it is not great literature, but it is a great summer read. I have quite a stack of vacation reading ready, but I couldn't resist picking up a total fluff book today. I grabbed Maggie Sefton's A Killer Stitch. This is perfect for a no-thinking vacation!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - Apricot Version

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

10 on Tuesday - Sports to Play/Watch

Admittedly, I'm a watcher, not a player.

1. Lacrosse - Four years ago, I barely knew what this sport was and now it is my favorite sport to watch. It is a wild game and there are few breaks.

2. Baseball - My big brother indoctrinated me into the ways of the baseball fan and taught me well about the addiction that is being a Twins fan. I will always be a Twins fan, but I will root for the home team whoever it is.

3. Soccer - Not on TV, but kid soccer is fun. Not precise, mind you, but fun.

4. Football - It's just not the same on TV as it is in the student section with a nice, north wind blowing snow into your face, but it's still a fun game.

5. Swimming - Well, every four years, I enjoy it.

6. Gymnastics - Again, every four years is enough for me.

7. Hockey - This is another sport that I don't enjoy watching on TV. It is only fun when your feet are cold and there is a very real possibility of a puck flying over the barrier at you.

8. Track & Field - Yep, another Olympics sport I enjoy. I even enjoyed the trials in Oregon this weekend.

9. Luge - Those athletes are just nuts!

10. Basketball - Yet again, I prefer it live. I have fond memories of college basketball games where NCAA rules were passed because of our pep band. Ah, the Home of the Bison was a great place for sports!