30 January 2009

Random Question on the day

If my truck needs unleaded gas to run and I need leaded (strong, dark & caffeinated) coffee to run does that mean my truck's a wimp?

28 January 2009

Emperical evidence or not, I think TNNA was on an eco-trend

There were 155 yarns from 32 different yarn companies featured in the Wall O Yarn. One company, Shibui Knits, had all seven of their sample yarns in shades of pink. I found that to be very effective way to distinguish their products and their company from the other yarn vendors.

I started to do a break down of the yarns in my Wall O Yarn book sample to see if it supported my view that there was a lot of alternate fibre and eco-friendly happening at the show but when I went through my Wall O Yarn book it didn't reflect what I saw on the floor of the show.

End of the day, my Wall O Yarn does not provide empirical evidence for my sense that there was a lot of eco-friendly happening in the biz and in the products at this show.

This doesn't necessarily mean that my impression that eco-friendly was a major theme of the show and the yarns on offer, just that the Wall O Yarn samples were perhaps too small of a sample of what I saw on the actual show floor. Just a quick glance of the Knitting and Crochet listing of exhibitors shows me that some major players did not participate in the Wall O Yarn.

23 January 2009

Pedestrian perils & mixed signals in San Diego

The photo illustrates classic San Diego walkabout weirdness and how even the most pedestrian "friendly" parts of the city present the average pedestrian with serious mixed signals in signage.

The sign at the bottom of the image advises the pedestrian that they should use the crosswalk to the right but the crosswalk signal is still in place.

In all the years I have walked this route, I have never obeyed this sign. To so I'd need to make three street crossings to continue on my way.

In my head, and in my San Diego as pedestrian experience, additional crossings are way more dangerous than just crossing the street there are disobeying the don't cross mixed message.

20 January 2009

More fun than phone

So what were my TNNA takeaways?

Like a lot of people I was interested/confused by the Knit Knit gadget. If you just took the business card and not the bigger product card, I don't know how you'd remember that this is the sort of big gizmo thing that yea, does sort of remind me of a birth control pill dispenser, but I'm pretty sure that the pill dispensers were smaller.

Pink and white and kinda somewhere between clunky and compact. And for all the "everything you need" aspect, why point protectors but no tapestry needle?

The TSA approved is a possible big selling point if proven.

I was not the only one drawn to PolarKnit with its yarn made from Polartec, Polar Fleece. Easy care, cool in the hand and warm on the body, I like this stuff and can see big fun especially for kids. They had some really cute semi-sculptural hats in the booth all copyright free (read sell my yarn please). Vancouver as I recall, I hope they can thrive and look forward to them growing the product.

Bijou Basin Ranch -- who knew yak could be so beautiful and yak plus Cormo? I had to 'splain Cormo to a couple of people at the show but Cormo is a nice bouncy/springy yarn that works and plays well with the yak.

I had the hots for the yak + bamboo blend but I wasn't immune to the lace weight pure yak and even made some noises at LYS owners.

I love the Bison Gold but the price point is an issue and the yak makes a little more sense and if they can find a way to drive the price further down and retain quality (perhaps by people buying more for economies of scale) I'd be thrilled.

Where Bijou lets the yak be what it is in colouring, Himalaya Yarns mixes yak with Bamboo but does some additional processing to yield a different range of colours. Buttery yellow and a sage green are the cornerstones of the colour palette and I was far from the only one paying attention to the well priced yarn.

BTW, this is also the can buy hair sticks place but you wouldn't know it from their web page. So Google's right to lead you to Yarn Market rather than Himalaya if you do a search that includes hair sticks. Yes, those are some of the same hair sticks I've demo'd over and over again when asked how I get my hair to look like that.

I was also really taken by the fine gauge cotton at Bergere de France -- gorgeous stuff. Shame that they have all their design work done in France, because I would love to use it in combination with some had dyed.

But then, after a couple of nice chats with the folks at Skacel (where fellow guild member Cia was wearing a gorgeous sweater of her own design in their can't remember durn it yarn) I think I could easily transfer my cotton love to Algarve from Austermann and Aslan Trend's Pima Cotton for heavier gauge.

I was taken by the silk at Jumbuk Fibres and quite curious about the company as they are practically local up in Dana Point. No web page yet, she's working on it, but go figure I bought some of her silk from Liz at Needlecraft Cottage a couple of years back so I can dig it out and play at some point.

On another oh, I have some of that happened at Ecobutterfly Organics where I found Pakucho Certified Organic Cotton. Stephanie and Steve of Ecobutterfly are now distributing the Pakucho so that's another shop the stash to swatch story.

More on yarns and such another day. The big news for any Ravelry sort was a Jess & Casey encounter. Yup, I got Bob.

Other images are from Saturday's walk to the convention centre with plenty o urban art goodness, Some of it official, some of it just so not.

19 January 2009

Phoning it in

When I started out to walk down to TNNA on Saturday, I had to circle back because I forgot my phone.

Hard to connect up with others when your phone is sitting at home on your desk. That's true whether the desk is three or a thousand miles away.

I had a plan for the Wall O Yarn, left the booklet at home and printed out just the pages I'd missed on Friday night. Good plan, although that's when I discovered that the printer's ink cartridges had all gone pink (code word in this case for gone well past their use by date).

As is often the case, it took me longer than usual to get started and the detour back for the phone didn't help.

I did manage to pick up stitches on the side of the fish afghan -- eight fewer than I needed but I picked them up never the less.

At the show, I finished Wall O Yarn, connected with lots of folks, finally caught up with Maggie and got about half way through the show floor before close of day.

Libby and the Stitch N Pitch folks would love to take the beach chair on a baseball road trip to be photographed at ball parks across the country but they'll have to work that out with Kristi and her promotional tour plans for KITS.

I took a circuitous route up to the bus stop by Horton Plaza in the hopes that the Office Depot down by the tracks was still open and I could score ink cartridges. It wasn't -- bummer but the bigger bummer on the day was the phone. Having just missed one bus, I dug around in my bag for the "watch" read phone and found it not.

Phone has a nasty way of hiding so, while annoyed, I was feeling pretty sure that it was just hiding in the bag and that when I got home I'd find it.

Didn't happen. Phoned phone, no reply -- bugger. I'm still fine, thinking the keypad's locked, it's probably in someone's booth and I'll find it on Sunday. We'll do a Marco Polo thing and it will turn up.

Tried that one Sunday and no joy. When I got home from the show, I contacted my provider and sometime late Saturday night, someone started using the phone. We shut that party down but no phone, contacts, all the headaches, none of the fun.

It took most of the day today just to get the phone story somewhat sorted and I almost missed the Elluminate session. Good thing there wasn't a video component to it or I would have terrified folks.

More happier stuff about TNNA and the weekend soon. Including a Jess & Casey encounter.

17 January 2009

Grrls got back -- TNNA edition

A week or so before TNNA there was a tweet from Shannon with a link to her (then) most recent pattern offering called Rivulet. My initial thought was baby's got back and it's a sweet little design.

Got to see it and more indy knit/crochet designer goodness at the Stitch Cooperative booth at TNNA including the electronic galleys for KITS.

My project's photos are gorgeous and if you've a promo post card from Wiley in your possession, look at the over all background image of the side of the card with Kristi's photo for a peek at how well the beach chair (whose project name is a special one) photo came out. No folks, that's not just a kewl beach chair, that's a knitting pattern.

I don't recall whether I mentioned it or not, but just a couple of days before I schlepped the chair up to Kristi's I took some of my own photos at the lawn by the Natural History Museum (by the big fig) at Balboa Park. I had a couple of people try to buy the chair from me on the spot so I think I hit my goal.

I got down to TNNA on Friday to renew and register 'round about 5pm on Friday. I would have been earlier but there was a glitch/gotcha with the PIN number/access for the library resource and with a holiday weekend and the possibility of losing valuable time, I chose to get school sorted.

I ran into Kristi right 'round the trolley crossing. Rolled on into register, present my credentials and took a look at Barry & volunteers' Wall O Yarn and the new product display with other browsers/attendees before they closed the area.

As the Galleria and Fashion Show crowd began to assemble, I said some heys and then rolled home to another exciting night of school work.

As I was heading back down to TNNA on Saturday, I noticed this little reminder that I live near a a couple of bars. There have been worse reminders.

14 January 2009

All school and work

doesn't make me dull. I'm dull anyhow.

There are ten lessons in the mandatory one unit course. I've made pretty good progress so far but it really is tough to juggle everything.

At day job, while one pub is out for review, I'm cycling back around to another one, this is usually how the knitting works in progress go too.

So it isn't a huge shock that one of the work projects is getting a re-think while the draft based on the version of the project is out in review.

Have my engineers become contaminated by my fish afghan design and redesign?

TNNA is coming up this weekend and I've been a slug about renewing my membership.

It's year three prove I'm professional mode and although I verified that even though Knitting In the Sun doesn't come out until 2009, the work was done in 2008 so it quals as credit, I just didn't get the paperwork in so suddenly I need to do that.

I'm not sure the designer model for TNNA really works. The notion that you're only professional designer if you get designs published/purchased by a yarn company or magazine is a bit troubling when the magazines and yarn companies are certainly under no obligation to work with professional designers.

For me, I have a lot of designs that, because they've been up on my web page or otherwise in the public eye. will get a total pass from yarn companies and magazines. It doesn't make the designs any less valid or even marketable but it limits my options.

Is a designer any less a professional if selling through Ravelry or their outlet? Or, by selling in that manner does a designer cease to be a designer and become a publisher or retailer? It seems to me that the designations aren't as clear cut as they could be.

Consequences of procrastination? I couldn't renew on line, and couldn't do it over the phone with Zanesville and be assured that I'd be able to attend. So now I need to renew at the registration desk at the convention centre this weekend.

I'm not going to be in the member roster -- paper or online. Oh bother, oh well.

So, I'm taking Friday and Monday off so I can do the show and hopefully do a bunch of school work too.

Today's photos are from earlier this month and part of the continuing art on utility box project.

10 January 2009

Ahh, networking and more networking.

Knitting is a remarkably social thing. Seriously, a crazy number of people I know I know because of knitting and if I were to try to diagram the connections, I would not be shocked to see how many of them come back around to a certain choreographer in NYC.

And through said choreographer, I know the lady who knows the dude (Hey Dave) who helped me get my network up and running today.

Yup, all the piece parts are in place and there's a solid interim solution (hardware firewall) that affords me the security and functionality to work toward the goal of a total transition from old software firewall to new software firewall.

When I bought the lap top, I also picked up a flat screen and the thinking was that I'd use the flat screen with the lap top.

Then I got the brilliant idea that I'd plug the flat screen into the the new Linux box and crib the Xconfig info so I could use the flat screen in place of the dying honking huge CRT connected to the old Linux box.

I hadn't implemented that "brilliant" plan but Dave and I decided to try it today as part of the "hmm, this isn't as simple" punt plan.

If you ever find yourself getting that great idea, it may still be one but if you connect it while another monitor's attached, it just clones the info and doesn't yield anything terribly helpful.

Still, we pressed on and connected flat screen to old Linux box -- no way, no how, not happening. Old X-windows (FVM) not having anything to do with this new-fangled monitor and monitor equally not loving the Linux box.

Enter the CRT. Some years back when the monitor attached to the Windows box died, flat screens were still too pricey for me to justify the cost, so I sprung for a Viewsonic CRT. Little did I know just how good a decision that would turn out to be. Old Linux X-configurator tool speaks CRT. It isn't perfect, in part because the old CRT really was top of the line for its time, but it works well enough for now.

Ditto on the I found the router story. Since the router only has four ports and I have way more devices than that, I ended up connecting the switch to one of the router ports. The net result is that I have three open ports and some unused NICs.

Biggest adjustment for me is that I have to stop thinking of the old Linux box as the IP associated with my domain because that IP/domain name now refers to the router. Within the network that's just a minor, "oh yeah" moment.

Outside the network it's a "oh, can't check email remotely" until and/or unless I open up some other ports on the router and redirect to the appropriate internal IP.

After Dave (thanks again Dave) left, I manhandled the huge monitor off the desk and onto the floor by the door as step one in getting into the hands of the electronic recycler.

It is an interim solution and the transition will be a slow one rolling out in phases.

All of it takes a back seat to having the network upgraded and functional so I can start classes next week.

I'm guessing that tackling Samba to make communication between the boxes inside the internal network a bit easier will be one of the first major projects.

For now, I'm just ecstatic that I'm not coping with the old switch's bandwidth limitations and the dying monitor with iterative blind root logins to:

/sbin/ifconfig eth1 down
/sbin/ifconfig eth1 up
log out

And then there's the luxury of being able to answer my email without having to fight with Cygwin or a dying monitor.

09 January 2009

Web 2.0 the book, the twit the -- oh shiny

While in latest iteration of stable muck out mode, I unearthed a bit of life archival material in the form of a some such (25 maybe?) of a didn't go and didn't much miss reunion.

Don't get me wrong, I liked my college. I totally enjoyed the whole experience of being able to figure out who I was, what I believed and, in the case of my school, doing it pretty much in the middle of bloody no where. Not as bad a thing as you might think.

I liked my friends, I loved lots and lots of things about the whole thing but there were a few years between graduation and California when it was more bedda for me to just be outside the orbit.

The material was a 8.5x 11 stapled listing of the class of insert year here. Since I was looking for a distraction and I insist on trying to find patterns, trends, number crunching in almost any likely sampling, I did the basics.

First up the traditional reunion stuff -- who's farthest away, who's nearest-- you know, the basics.

Without having data on the where they came from, given a small Midwestern liberal arts school that, at the time drew students largely from about a 500 mile radius, the obvious question was how many still lived within that general area 25 years on whether from bloom where you're planted or settle near school as new home.

Not shockingly, the bulk of my graduating class were still living in the same state as the school. Equally unshocking is that the next largest concentration was a nearby state where, AIR, lots of people called home before matriculating.

The hmm, factor came from the fact that California and Illinois were next on the where they're at list -- California? I think I actually knew that there were at least three of us but seven? Interesting.

Occasionally I've tripped over other alum on the web or in person.

For some reason or another, my IRL encounters with others from my old school seem to take place at REI and, more often than not, during a sale.

Enter facebook, and a how did he end up there? Guess I'll have to join facebook to see. Hmm, me? Facebook? I'll think about it.

Well, a couple three emails later from already on facebook friends and suddenly, I'm at least there even if I'm not terribly active.

Twitter too although I'm still not phone plugged in.

08 January 2009

We can knit, we can cook, we are the Knit@Nite group

So good to be at Knit@Nite tonight.

Two dozen of the "it makes how many?"
cookies consumed, good community sharing and just good stuff.

I"m good with solo but at some point I need knit buds and Knit@Nite is a good mix of both skills and formality (or lack of both) to work for me.

A little louder than usual. I swear I'm going to get/make Barbara an embellished gavel to bring order to our disorderly meeting.

'Course to be fair, I'll also have to make a carrying case for it and a suitable subgroup one for Linda.

It actually fun to watch Barbara (new Prez) rather than Linda call the group to what we like to jokingly refer to as order.

Pretty much full house -- hey there was food and the dessert to entree/salad ratio worked out.

For show and share, I followed the always remarkable Ruby who had previously privately shared that the much beloved Evil-lynn was not there as she was under the weather with a currently undefined (and hopefully not serious) malady.

Since said Evil-lynn had both admired and had her own (got love our friends) issues with the non-equal entelac blanket. my show and share included an explanation of her MIA as well as her issues with the blanket.

Said blanket and duck got both the oohs and aaahs over the cute factor and agreement over my not loving the laundered end fabric so here's hoping that a bit of Scripps Ranch private laundering TLC will do the trick.

Evil-lynn's absence also got lots of much deserved attention. Clearly the group quite rightfully missed her more than her potluck promised salad (not to cast aspersions on the salad).

Fish afghan in progress also got attention and reminded me that I should have thrown the spare fishies into the WIP bag to show/share.

Anyhow photo of fish welt panel progress and the deviously delightful duck and companion entrelac blanket snaps grace this posting.

Total twit that I am, somewhere along the evening I chimed in with my strong sod that view of the idea of purling wrong.

Again, IMO/E more often than not it is the Purling Police rather than the Knit Knazis that put people off the craft in my experience but the twit bit is in suggesting that Norwegian Purl is the total bomb if you're a picker not a thrower suddenly I was it for the Norwegian Purl go-to-gal.

This is not a good thing since mostly I'm still a happy thrower who mostly picks only to demo/teach the basics to hookers (crocheters) who don't speak knit.

When I need to shift gears and knit continental (pick) that takes some brain power and when I have to also purl that's another gear shift and my tranny is old, tired and used to its usual channels.

So suddenly, I'm in Big Mouth Strikes Again mode and everyone wants me to do a Norwegian Purl demo at the end of the meeting. Yeah, like we're going to finish up early or even timely and like my hasn't even knitted in days fingers/brain are going to shift from not quite native throw (insert footnote on knitting history and techniques) to still way not nature Norwegian purl mode.

End result? Find the great online resources and on Norwegian purl and put them on blog and maybe, just maybe on guild web page -- hey, I know the webmaster.

Hey, I may know/be her but I'm still on learning curve and google is not currently my friend as the link I liked most is not coming up first in my current search string -- down side of not keeping a what did I ask when history trail.

07 January 2009

Burn baby or skin seared but not the cookies

Sometimes (maybe often) I am so not the sharpest tool in the shed. I am quite willing to admit what an idiot I am capable of being which is either also a really stupid thing or a kinda good thing about me.

Anyhoo, my high tolerance for pain and my act first think after (often as in, oh I bet that will leave a mark) recently showed itself when I did something of a human branding moment.

'Round about the 14th of December, while cooking dinner, very shortly after firing up the electric oven, I dropped something into the well of the oven.

Like the total moron that I am really quite capable of being, I reached for it and, in the process, touched the heating element. This is arguably as bad as the drop canvas bag with glass bottles, hear the glass break and still put hand into bag and pull back a hand/paw that needs stitches and has blood spewing every freaking where. That was also the time the blood overwhelmed the butterfly I finally bought and it all got reinforced with self-applied SuperGlue.

Actually, I think the broken glass was worse since with the heating element there was a chance that it wasn't heated enough to do the damage it did. No, no really, I didn't touch palm to a glowing red heating element.

There was an "oh that hurts" moment before pulling my hand back revealed a 1" long branding burn in the middle of the base of my right palm.

Looking back, it may have been a 2nd or 3rd degree burn that might have suggested physician intervention but given the method of burn, I didn't see the point.

Seeing a doctor might mean that I would have less scarring later but it's the palm of my hand which is a fairly thick bit of skin to begin with, it doesn't have a of nerve issues ad I just missed involving any underlying veins so cosmetically scarring's not a huge issue.

One of the life gifts one gets from growing up with parents who either didn't handle injuries well (mother) or had pretty much a walk it off attitude (father & grandmother) is the ability to self treat, self assess and treat your own injuries.

I've been watching the seared scar ever since wondering how much healing/scarring is going to happen. Yes, I know that sort of lack of emotional involvement with injured body parts is not exactly normal but it isn't like it hurt or otherwise had any real impact on my life until recently.

It started out looking a bit like a paramecium shaped bit of seared skin. Within a day or so, some of the skin at the less impacted upper bit was already healed and happy with the rest just being sort of weird looking.

The next phase was a fair bit of itching (good sign) and shedding that I thought was the end of it.

I was really thinking that I'd be sporting a palm paramecium to mark the duh moment.

Then one morning, just before Christmas, the paramecium came a bit undone with a thick shedding that didn't really match up with the surrounding skin growth.

That last bit is shorthand for "oh, now this hurts at the perimeter where it's bleeding a bit".

And that perimeter was dry, really dry, so not keeping it moist and bandaged/protected was no longer really an option. Still, it's a a remarkably inconvenient body part to protect and the itching from the healing did not make things easier.

Suddenly I'm sporting a bandage and apparently some people have noted the placement and suggested that I was an inept suicide -- yeah, I'm right handed and it's my right hand. It's my palm, not my wrist. Others are absolutely shocked that I didn't see a doctor and that is looks remarkably healthy considering.

The bandaging only lasted a couple of days but it mostly did the trick and kept the perimeter of the burn from drying, splitting and bleeding.

It looked a lot uglier when the thicker layers of skin pulled away.

Right now as the underlying burned tissue goes about the business of repairing itself it looks a tad obscene but not as scary as it did.

So what's with the cookies? Baking, baking, baking. No skin was seared in the making of these cookies.

Yesterday afternoon, I roused self out to the shops with my must have list for the great baking experiment. I actually hadn't made these cookies in all the years I've lived in this apartment so I wasn't hugely shocked when they didn't quite come out as they should.

I sacrificed my don't eat sugar credo just to make sure they tasted right even if they didn't rise quite as much as I'd like.

Probably a result of not double/triple sifting the flour but then again, it could be an evil oven.

I've cause to rethink my comment about being easier to schlep a couple dozen cookies than alternatives since the recipe makes about five dozen cookies.

Since my breaking the no sugar rule gave me a wave of childhood nostalgia goodness, clearly these babies all have to find new homes and taste buds to tempt but the transport is a bit of a bother.

A shout out to the lovely Linda got me a "oh please don't bring them all to Knit@Nite" which will make the folks at work happier and heavier as a result so I've divided them up into two lots. Now I just have to make sure I don't eat any of the temptations in residence between now and delivery.

In other delivery news, the FedEx fairy has come and gone leaving me textbooks and other need for school stuff. UPS is still somewhere in San Diego with another recommended but not required text.

Found my router today, just not the CD that came with it, Since the CD is for Windows, I 'spect that its MIA status isn't a big deal if throwing a router into the network ends up being a good way to get from point A to point where I want to be.

Concrete Blonde cranked up and while Blogger was complaining the UPS dude came and went leaving me the other text book -- so it's time to turn into a people and think about making for the JCC.

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06 January 2009

Twaddle on a Tuesday

Another day of less than ideal health but knitting has been happening and photos have been taken.

Two closeups of the knitting as things were yesterday when I rambled off into dither mode and the out of focus image of the panels pinned out that made me decide not to go down the different colour path.

It is just a happy quirk that the start of that particular 11 stitch repeat aligned with that particular fish tail.

The yarn in the fish tail was a prime candidate for the now fer shur not happening welt.

Although the focus is lousy in the fish panel picture, the colours are truer than in the other two. The natural sunlight streaming through the window made for way over exposed and/or washed out images that I still don't quite get.

Textbooks and other need for school items are due to be delivered via Fed-Ex tomorrow and tomorrow is also the day I can, in theory, start work on LIBR203.

That's a theory because if Fed-Ex/Amazon don't come through with the mike/headset combo the whole eluminate experience is going to have to wait because my test drive of the built-in mike and speaker mix on the laptop is just not going to cut it.

The other flaw in the theory is, that with luck (or sheer force of will), I will be well enough to make the La Jolla trek and maybe even the RB to La Jolla and home trek tomorrow.

Since I haven't been getting much knitting (group or otherwise) in of late I'm really looking forward to it even if potlucks are so not me. 'Sides, I'ze an real life guild officer now so I should make an effort even if big guild days are still not something that my schedule accommodates.

New server's sendmail has not been configured, port miscommunication between the two Linux boxes has not figured out, and options for meatless dish or dessert for Knit@Nite tomorrow are narrowing.

Old standby of Welsh bread not likely since it really needs fruit in tea and sugar bath at least overnight before mixing it up with the dry ingredients. Right now I'm leaning toward the family recipe cookies that didn't make the cookie exchange due to that little must share recipe in addition to cookies glitch.

It's a family recipe. A closely guarded family recipe and I'm the guardian of same. Since technically the end of the line, I guess that also means I get to decide whose family gets it next. A couple dozen cookies are a lot easier to schlep around than any of the other alternatives.

05 January 2009

Finally -- Knitting!!!!

It's going to be a bad week for sinuses.

Sunday, despite the recent rain, I had the blow nose see blood happy bunny morning.

Monday morning the athletic nose routine kicked in and I was just thrilled to hear that a Santa Ana is in the offing.

I'm sticking with my story that it isn't a cold, just sinus issues and that's not a fever, it's a flash back to hot flashes -- perception is important.

My nose may be a tad red but it isn't nearly as cute as the one on this "rein-SUV" I got a snap of on the weekend.

I've seen and/or taken pictures of others but this is the least busy (read distracting) image I've been able to catch of these elusive creatures in the wild.

Sinuses or head cold, I tagged out sick from work and spent the bulk of the day in the office/computer room bundled up with tissues at the ready. Since the office/computer room is currently the most organised/civilised bit of the apartment this makes sense.

The fact that it is the most organised/civilised bit of the apartment also speaks volumes about my priorities and so it goes.

On the computer side of the house, it was another day punctuated with lots of blind command line resets of eth1 on the retiring Linux lady which was so not fun.

Happy to find emacs on the new server, I got crazy creative and tried alternately to ssh or rlogin to the old Linux box -- so I could reply to emails.

Well, it took me a while to figure out that even though I gave the new box's IP permissions in the relevant files, I'm coming round to believe that there is a port issue that causes the new box to probe/connect on a port that the old box doesn't want to see activity.

End result is that the old box blocks the new and since the old box is the gateway, new box can't get out to the wider world. It can talk to the other boxes within the network but not to gateway and not to world beyond the gateway -- interesting and annoying and a little much for my struggling with sinus stuff head to process.

On the knitting side of the house -- joy, bliss -- the bundling up and keyboarding was just the stuff to get me to take the strips of fish afghan out of the bag and, where relevant, off or on the needles and back on target.

Cycling back to the original vision, I picked up 180 stitches along the right vertical side of one of the panels. I'm working what's essentially a closed increase 11 stitch repeat of feather & fan/old shale with a bit of welting in the mix.

I've reached the point where I really must decide if I'm going to go off and do a seaweed welt out of a different colour or not.

The best way I can see to make that work would be to pick up from the other side and do a bit of short rowing on the centre bit so I can have "spires" going either way thus making the whole blanket very non-directional but non-directional can also be visually confusing.

I'm dithering because, honestly, I'm commitment-phobic as all get out and it has been a while since I took stock/inventory of how much yarn I have left for this project. I really, really, really don't want to discover that I must find more insert yarn name here to finish it.

The more I stare at the fuzzy photo of the panels pinned in place, the less appeal welts of a different colour hold. With all the different colours and textures going on, I'm thinking that the welt will be enough for this side of the blanket.

Staying with the animal theme, the other picture of the stenciled giraffe is also from the weekend's walkabout.

Pictures of actual knit content and more sidewalk art soon.

04 January 2009

Yet another Whistlestop not

For the most part, I successfully avoided the weekend's NFL playoff games but not the hype.

While I've lived in San Diego for nearly a quarter of a century, I still don't have any real connection to the local sports teams, other than, perhaps OMBAC rugby and even that isn't as tight as it was back when I was a regular at Bully's East.

Got a nice walk (about 5 miles or so) in on both days so at least there's progress happening there .

On Saturday I also got a big welcome from my dude Tyler as I rolled by St Paul's Thrift shop and did my finish/correct the crossword thing. The tradition is that John and company start the crossword and I finish/correct their efforts. Sometimes they don't need me and occasionally I can't wrap my brain round it either but mostly it's a good symbiotic relationship. It's really just a different set of eyes/interpretation of the same clues/cues.

At Fifth Avenue Books, I heard the usual moan about OS/2 as the best O/S ever and on and on. I actually enjoy these interchanges because I feel just a bit less stuck in stasis/living in the past. There was a mini celebration as Mark realised he'd gone 10 years without owning a Microsoft product -- good on him even if it means still having the OS/2 moan.

The fallen tree from Saturday's posting has a second shot at ruining the sidewalk. As I walked on my way home yesterday evening I noticed that it was again upright and not too firmly planted in the small patch of ground.

I have some doubts about its relative health and chances of survival 'specially since unlike many of the other new plantings along the block, it stands alone without supports. There was a bicycle either leaning against the tree or tree leaning against the bicycle.

I spent most of today slowly but surely updating the installed packages on the new server. Since new Linux box still isn't front of the house and front of the house plus the older switch speed issue is a major reason for the whole update/upgrade picking too many packages to update overwhelmed the available bandwidth of the network so after a couple of slams from network service not available that were just special, I went the few at a time mode.

Good thing I had tunes and some jewelry rework to keep me occupied as the iterative process of invoke update, select packages, download, update, exit repeat waltzed through way more loops than I'd have liked.

Still some issues -- checksums that weren't as expected and some seeming disconnects 'tween what redhat network thinks has been updated/accomplished on my system and what the local system update believes has happened.

Given the fact that Firefox is no longer 1.0.x, I'm inclined to believe the local story but I'll need to figure out why things are showing an out of synch status.

Whistlestop so not happening on the day. Nor, aaaarrggghhh, is the fish afghan.

Oy with the guilt, still, at least I got off my oversized bum and walked.

Speaking of walking, today's images are from the stroll downtown on the calendar quest after Christmas.

03 January 2009

Bobblehead Beck

It's a steel grey slightly damp San Diego day which means that things seem to finally be settling down into behaving like Winter -- or what passes for it here.

I'm a lot better with wet and steel grey than Santa Ana so I'm not complaining especially since I don't need to drive anywhere for a couple of days.

Today's photos are from last week's walkabout but could just as easily be from today.

The first shot shows how saturated soil, a shallow root system and a cyclist combined to cause this sad end to a budding tree's life.

I fear it will never get the chance to push up the sidewalk or do any of the other things trees must surely aspire to achieve. The cyclists were still circling round muttering about bad drainage and trying their best to get into the photo -- ha! I may not Photoshop but I can crop.

If I were good at Photoshop (or Gimp), today's photo would be a genned up image of the subject line. I've long been of the opinion that Beck would make a great bobble head doll because more often than not when listening to a lot of his music, I find it damned difficult to keep still. Seriously, try listening to most of Odelay without wanting to move to the beat.

Head bobbing is about as move to music as I can get during drive time hence the Beck as bobble head idea. Makes a lot more sense to me than a Beethoven one. With respect, I like Beethoven but his music doesn't exactly inspire a move to the groove response.

It's a good weekend for knitting, computer networking, and generally getting things done.

This morning I finally ordered my text books for the semester. Dithering cost me a bit since I lost out on some bargain prices. Text books are not an area where procrastination will pay with discounts. All the more reason why I'm motivated to do really well this semester so I can have current academic references to chase after the much prized grants and scholarships.

I also downloaded three months worth of bank transactions to try to figure out how it is that my bank thinks I have significantly more money than my personal balance sheet indicates. I'm spending based on my balance sheet regardless but I'd like clear up that mystery since we were in 100% agreement as recently as the 11th of December when my account balance hit a twenty year low.

The other photo on the day is one of the utility box art instances I like to think of this one as Utility World.Too lazy to twitter but, yes, I am listening and bobbing my head to Odelay even as I type -- "I got two turn tables and a microphone. . ."

Not to lazy to roll out on walkabout to do a bit of IRL networking.

02 January 2009

Pish eh

Who was Dreyfuss. What is my response to the final Jeopardy answer currently on air on 2 Jan 2009. How could you not get that from the clue?

Okay, make that, how could you folks who just collect useless info like dust bunnies in your brain not get that?

Am I still in cranky/grumpy mode? Let's shift gears.

I love Book-Off. I started to write I heart Book-Off but it just a bit too Hello Kitty for me. More on that later.

This morning yesterday's fun with books and furniture made themselves known with a lovely pain between the shoulder blades. I ingested the self-prescribed two cups of strong black coffee, a check of email and rolled North into the wilds of Rancho Bernardo.

There was plenty o'fog and not too many vehicles on the morning commute so I was feeling a bit less grumpy about the whole not getting a long weekend story.

I was so relaxed that why it was that the light at Via Frontera and West Bernardo Drive decided to just go red and stay red for the only part of the road where there were any cars at all was more a mystery than a miff.

All things considered it wasn't a bad day. In the very quiet environment, I got a lot done and did manage to get out a draft that had problems but was more complete than I was expecting based on the way the week was going.

I'd delivered Jessica's great Book-Off finds earlier in the week and she "_huge_shock__"loved them, I'd had a Book-off detour on my mind.

Way home, when the crazy number of people seeming to feel that the safe way to cope with the reduced visibility of the fog was to tail gate the next guy finally got to me, I opted to hit the Balboa East off ramp for a Book-off foray.

My score today was more music than craft. Music CDs -- U2 (2), REM (1), Beck (2). I also looked for and/or took a pass on Cure, Clash, Smiths, Smithereens. Wallflowers and others.

I so love the fact that my most of my CD purchases included liner/lyrics in both Kanji and English.

Okay, so maybe I heart Book-off.

Now I just need to learn how to heart Red Hat network and the difference between installed packages and and executable build.

Oh yeah, and I also need to actually knit.

Walkabout knitter, not knitting or walking about as much as she'd prefer and cross fingers for the make my new Linux look enough like my old to make me happy.

01 January 2009

Happy effin new year indeed

I'm not really as grumpy as the subject line makes it sound, well, okay, maybe.

I have a first draft of a pub due out tomorrow.

Since it is based on an open source partnership type of affair the theory was that I could slice and dice the partner's documentation, do a little re-branding by eliminating what didn't apply and call it good.

There have been a few bumps along that way. First was the how we differ -- fairly radically as it turns out but finding ways to "just edit it" have been challenging. It isn't that I don't understand what the tool is trying to do -- essentially a fast track for queries based on data trends, etc. but the lingo is not my strong suit.

I've already found stuff in the interface that isn't documented in the original pubs and tracked some of it down to determine that it doesn't apply to our particular situation and otherwise been a PITA at finding gaps that need to be filled before we can release the product on a user but I can only really identify the gaps not fix them with words.

I can walk down the novice user path but there are screens that would appear to be for the power user and I have no idea how to 'splain what the heck the user might want to do in those tabs.

Anyhow, the plan was, armed with my killer flow diagram, I'd hack out a decent draft, deliver it ahead of schedule by Wednesday at the latest and spend the 31st through the 4th fighting the good fight with the stable muck out, server shift (still pondering whether I can just crib the xconfig info for the flat screen, plug it into my old server's xconfig so I can use the flat screen on the old box and at least eliminate the issue of the dying monitor), knitting (poor fish afghan) and maybe even some exercise.

Well sod that.

Monday I ran headlong into the Xmas break brain erase problem when I couldn't for the life of me figure out what snippet of info I might be missing between roll your own and use the advisor. So I decided to explore a different path that hadn't really been fleshed out because it was supposed to be a secondary focus of the product. Found the email specifying the URL, plugged it in and all I got were warnings and errors.

Okay, shift gears, document the stuff I know and work with the software to refresh my memory and hit screen shots at every turn. Walking down that path I discovered that there was a highly non-intuitive user interface gotcha. Suddenly my manual has to include an interface guide and a bit of tap dance 'round the fact that selecting and highlighting are different and do very different things.

Graphic artist is on vack-y and so I can't do the full tilt image map or even a serous mock up. Well, not without Framemaker imploding or so I found out late on Monday.

Tuesday morning I fired off an email to my main SME asking about whether I'd missed some config on my side that created the URL warnings and errors issues then I set about the business of trying to write the interface guide and clear up any other can write without supervision bits.

No email reply, no out of office. No nothing. Mind, I still have a draft due and I want to be as solid as I can make it especially since I know that there's a huge amount of rework coming as we deal with the schema source and algorithm issues and all of those changes are going to be slamming right into my master's programme.

Radio silence on Wednesday too so the plan for the draft out and weekend was devolving into putting out utter crap and looking like I couldn't be bothered to hang about to get updates or scrap the personal plans and even if I still put out crap at least be able to show that I was trying to fill the gaps.

I stayed in the office working several after the traditional holiday "all clear" and I might have stayed later but given the commute and the particular holiday, I rolled home round about 4pm with work on my mind.

So I got one day off for the new year and I spent it unloading, moving and reloading a bookcase and a secretary filled with rather precious bits of glass, china and such.

I also fired off a few emails, played some phone tag and spent some quality time being frustrated by the whole server shift story. Left to my own devices, I'd probably be picking at and tweaking at least the Xconfig monitor story so I could reliably send and receive emails through my familiar mutt and emacs environment while trying to figure out how to get myself where I need to be with all my network ducks in a row to start work on the master's by next Wednesday.

Why it is that KDE and emacs seem to not be able to talk is beyond me. Emacs installed, executable no where to be found so WTFO? I'm seeing mutt as even more fun but I really like how I do email and I don't want to change.

Good luck with that. Okay, so maybe I am that grumpy.

I'll roll into the office in the morning, I'll probably end up putting out crap as a draft and I won't much like it and might well get crap for it but at least I will have tried.

Sadly, I feel rather the same way about the server stuff. I want to embrace the new but it frustrates me in that it automates some things that I welcome being automated and others I'd really rather it left alone. As ever with Linux, I'm in mad grey world where what I want to do is somewhere between the accept the standard and the total tweak it and my skill set is neither nor.

Again, so maybe I am that grumpy.

Still, the furniture got moved and almost all of the books that were displaced found a new/old home. Shockingly, the don't really want to continue to own stack of books was much smaller than the no, no, I really will get 'round to reading that stack.

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