Thursday, April 27, 2006

I am sheep. Baa.

I AM: procrastinating.
I WANT: too many things.
I WISH: often.
I HATE: feeling foolish.
I MISS: my family often.
I HEAR: typing, music, 'good morning's flung at me from the hallway.
I WONDER: what prank my coworker is planning.
I REGRET: more than I want to.
I AM NOT: going to finish this coffee, because it tastes funny.
I DANCE: rarely and only when alone or drunk.
I SING: a lot and loudly - and often off-key.
I CRY: so much more than I used to.
I AM NOT ALWAYS: timid.
I MAKE WITH MY HANDS: knitting that is hopefully beautiful and loved.
I WRITE: haphazardly.
I CONFUSE: people sometimes.
I NEED: cereal.
I SHOULD: walk more.
I START: my day not quite early enough to do things before work.
I FINISH: projects not every time.
I TAG: anyone else looking for a reason to put off working.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Crazy Dog, Baby Stash, and Funky Scooters

My life has been taken over by some crazed shopping person who spends what little money I have willy-nilly in yarn shops and warehouse sales. In the past week, I've spent so much money my wallet is sore. Or at least it feels that way. It may just be that I haven't been stocking up on essentials (and yarn) and it all came due this week. Plus, you know - sales. And yarn. On the plus side, I am stocked with mouthwash and various Swiffer products for the foreseeable future, thanks to the Proctor and Gamble warehouse sale. (Radically overaged toothpaste is still safe, right?)
THROW. THE. STICK.
Last weekend, for Easter, I was back in Windsor. And I finally managed to visit Knit One, Purl One while it was actually open - third time's the charm, I guess. I picked up some lovely Silky Wool in a dark turquoise that is destined to become my second Clappy. And I got to tag along on one of my dad and his dog's morning walks. This might not sound all that exciting, but I love these walks, just for the amusement of watching the craziest dog around. Shona is a border collie with issues. She is stick-addicted. As soon as she's out of the car, she must find a stick. And it must be the biggest stick she can find. I have seen her uproot small, (hopefully) dead trees, because they were to her just big sticks.
Click for bigger and better.
She's a walking hazard in the park. She wants the stick to be thrown over and over, and will run ahead on the path, dropping the stick where we will be walking, then lying down in the classic border collie posture, waiting for the stick to become airborne. And after a kilometer or so of this, we don't want to pick up the stick every thirty feet or so, so occasionally we'll just walk past it. When this happens, Shona will grab the stick and run past us to drop it once again in our path. The thing is, the stick she's carrying is basically a tree branch, so we're often whacked in the back of the knees when she carries it past us.
Which one?  WHICH ONE?!?
But maybe the best part of the stick addiction is her drive to always find a bigger and better stick. And when she does, she simply must have it. But she is unwilling to leave the old stick, so she runs back and forth, carrying each to the other, and trying to find a way to hold them both in her mouth at the same time.
Baby stash
On Tuesday, I was in St. Mary's, Ontario. While driving through town before my meeting, in an effort to find the Timmy's (I had no doubt that I would find one on the main drag, and I was not disappointed) I spotted a craft store calling my name via a large, hand-lettered bristol board sign yelling, "YARN SALE - Up to half off!" So you know that as soon as I was finished with work and before making the long trek to Hamilton, I headed in. I was fairly restrained - just picked up some Patons classic wool yarn, some wonderfully soft Kroy sock yarn, and some Bernat baby stuff for another blanket. Finally I think I can call my stock of yarn a stash.

And one random picture, from the Ikea parking lot. Happy Friday!
Narcissistic biker?

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Point Pelee Part 2

I did it again. I get in my mind an entry I want to write, but it will take me some time to do, so I keep putting it off. But because I do still want to write that entry, I don’t update with anything else. But here, finally is the Point Pelee entry that I meant to write initially.

I won’t bore you outright with the whole story of the geography and weather patterns of southwestern Ontario in general and of Point Pelee in particular. Mainly because I don’t know enough about it. But here’s a general outline.

The shortened tip, with the currents visible in the distancePoint Pelee is the southernmost part of mainland Canada. It is a triangle of land, protruding out into Lake Erie from Leamington, Ontario. At the south end of this triangle, another triangle of sand pokes way out (usually kilometres) into the water. It is here that two lake currents meet and clash, depositing sand and taking it away continuously. You can kind of see the two different currents coming together in these pictures, if you look closely. The two different colours swirling, and the waves meeting there behind Jodi.
Jodi and Lance at the tip




The point changes shape all the time, and even becomes longer and shorter, based on the wind and the currents. These little model pictures in the visitor centre show the ways it has changed over the years.







A few weeks ago, in the middle of March, there was a big storm, full of wind and fury. And the point disappeared. The sign warning people of the dangerous currents at the tip was found over 80 km away washed up on the shores of Lake Erie, somewhere in Ohio.



We just had to see this for ourselves. And, you know, any excuse to go to Point Pelee. Luckily, I was in Windsor the weekend after this happened, so I headed out to see Ken and Jodi, who are close neighbours of the Point. We loaded the dogs up in the car and headed south.

Buddy

Lance









Just after the storm, the water was right up to the last bit of solid ground, by the park bench you can see here, according to the park wardens. We visited only a few days after the storm, and already the point was well on its way to wholeness and pointiness again. You can see an aerial picture from shortly after it started re-forming here.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Looking north from the tip at the rest of Canada

It was a lovely, if chilly day. Lance is still enough of a water lover to plunge into the very, very cold water, though. We took advantage of the opportunity to take pictures of each other standing on the southernmost point of Canada, while it wasn’t quite as southern as usual. I have lots and lots of pictures like this, from over the years, of all kinds of friends and relatives who’ve been dragged out to the point.

One more interesting note – this part of Canada is roughly at the 42nd parallel. I’ll let the panel close-up explain, but really, any day that presents a chance to pose for a picture with a giant number 42 is a good day.

42!



Scott leaning casually on the answer to the question of life, the universe, and everything

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Little Steps, Big Sock

My first real sock, that actually fits an adult foot.



It's kind of ugly, and kind of funny shaped and really too big, but it's mine and I made it and I have one warm foot.

Memories of Point Pelee

When I was little, Point Pelee was a park that was a long drive from home. We would go there once or twice every summer for the afternoon, cooking hotdogs on the little grills scattered through the picnic areas, sitting on sandy towels on the narrow beaches, playing in the dune grasses.

When I was in grade school, Point Pelee was a popular field trip site. We’d go on nature walks through the forests and along the boardwalks, peering down into the murky water, delighted when we spotted fish or frogs, proud when we could identify a red-winged blackbird or a blue heron. We’d travel to the Nature Centre on the little trolley and make the long trek out to the point, dodging the dead fish scattered on the sand. And we would daringly dart out past the ‘DANGEROUS CURRENTS’ sign, to impress one another, while still only in the water up to our calves. We’d talk about the “friend’s brother’s friend” who tried to make it out to the sandbar a couple of summers ago, and was sucked into the deadly cross-currents and never seen again.

When I was in high school, Point Pelee was our Sunday afternoon destination. We’d all pile into my boat of a car (how I loved that ’78 Fairmont) and toss swimsuits and towels into the massive trunk. Now the drive seemed shorter, and was half of the fun of the day, always trying to find a different route, stopping for slushees and ice cream in the heat of the July summer. Our favourite thing to do was rent canoes, and paddle out past the marsh and into the “big” lake. It was a ride filled with so many different sensations and experiences that it was almost overwhelming. First it was time to giggle and mock one another as we all tried to find one of bright orange life jackets that would fit and wasn’t too crusty, and to find a paddle that wasn’t taller than we were and would hopefully give us the fewest number of splinters. Next it was time to clamber carefully into the canoe, decide who was least likely to direct us into a reed island (that happened a lot) or into an oncoming canoe (that only happened once) and have that person sit in the back, poised to steer. Another person in the front, and then finally, if we were an odd number that day, the sad sack in the middle, sitting on a spare lifejacket in the bottom of the canoe, amongst the rolling water bottles and in the cold, little puddle of water that never dried up.

First, through the marsh by the boardwalk, gawked at by the children clomping along the boards, then through the tall reeds, where we could see only as far as the length of our paddles, and then later, the lilies were under our paddles, and the reeds brushed the sides of the canoe. The best moment was always when the reeds suddenly and almost startlingly would part, and we were outside again, with the lake spread out before us, ripples showing where the hidden clumps of marsh grass lay just beneath the surface, the walls of reeds teasingly showing hints of other paths through the reeds. The need to find out whether we were discovering a new path through to Lake Erie, or if the path would continue to narrow to the point where our only recourse was to paddle out backwards, the way we came. Most often, we paddled across the little lake to ‘our’ spot, a gentle slope where it was easy to pull up the canoes, even with our tired arms. It was only a narrow divider between our little lake and Erie, so we would cross the sandy hill, and wander the wider beach, sometimes venturing down to the point itself.

Those were good days. I’ve never been so sunburnt, or so tired, or so content since, I think.

But that’s not what I came to talk to you about today. I think I’ll make that another entry, though.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

My First Sock

Well, it took restarting about 7 times. And it took three days. And it's not big enough to fit anyone whose age would be described in anything but weeks.



But it's a sock. And it has a heel. And I used double pointed needles. To make something other than a hat.

Yay, me.

The model wasn't feeling terribly cooperative tonight, however. Ungrateful wretch.


(click for bigger picture - blogger's being bitchy about pictures tonight)

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Monday, April 03, 2006

Another Goofy Personality Test

Your Five Factor Personality Profile
Extroversion:
You have low extroversion. You are quiet and reserved in most social situations.A low key, laid back lifestyle is important to you.You tend to bond slowly, over time, with one or two people.
Conscientiousness:
You have medium conscientiousness.You're generally good at balancing work and play.When you need to buckle down, you can usually get tasks done.But you've been known to goof off when you know you can get away with it.
Agreeableness:
You have high agreeableness.You are easy to get along with, and you value harmony highly.Helpful and generous, you are willing to compromise with almost anyone.You give people the benefit of the doubt and don't mind giving someone a second chance.
Neuroticism:
You have medium neuroticism.You're generally cool and collected, but sometimes you do panic.Little worries or problems can consume you, draining your energy.Your life is pretty smooth, but there's a few emotional bumps you'd like to get rid of.
Openness to experience:
Your openness to new experiences is medium.You are generally broad minded when it come to new things.But if something crosses a moral line, there's no way you'll approve of it.You are suspicious of anything too wacky, though you do still consider creativity a virtue.
The Five Factor Personality Test

Sunday, April 02, 2006

In Time For Spring

It's finished!


And I'm quite happy with it. I think I've got the clapotis bug. This thing was so much fun to knit up, and it turns out so fun and different, and with so much character. If I were to do it again (and I most likely will) I think I'll choose less funky colours, so that I have more opportunities to wear it. I think I also foresee some of these being made as gifts sometime in the near future.

Here's an idea of the length of the scarf/wrap:

And now I'm in that weird place where I'm so used to knitting, knitting, knitting, that I have no idea what to do with myself. I find myself in need of a new project, pronto.

I'm thinking it's time to finally learn socks.