Monday, September 17, 2007

Sunrise, sunset...

Of the two, I think my favorite is sunset. That could be because I've lived most of my life on the near the western edge of the continent, resulting in sunrises that filter over rooftops, often diffused through a marine layer. Occasionally I am somewhere more interesting for sunrise, such as Tulelake in February 2007, where Karen, Jim, Sidney & I went to see the bald eagles.

Unfortunately, the eagles partied too long and hard the night before and so spent the night in Dorris, California instead of flying back to their usual nighttime secluded roost in Oregon. So, there we were before dawn, waiting for the dozens of bald and golden eagles to fly out to their morning hunting grounds...only to see just a couple of goldens. But, while waiting, I did get some dawn shots:

The faithful assemble in the dark:

We look south across the valley the eagles would normally fly over to get to their feeding grounds in Lower Klamath Wildlife Refuge...

And look vainly once again to the north, to the hills over which they were supposed to fly...

Once it got light enough to actually see Karen all bundled up in her PORAC blanket, I knew it was time for us to go load up on more caffeine and try to find some birds. Did I forget to mention it was about 20-25F that morning?

As we headed east along Klamath Falls-Malin Highway, then south on 39/139 to go back to Tulelake, it grew quite overcast and colder, and snowed before we made it across to 39:

I do take more shots of the sky during the day (see my profile photo, for example) and at sunset. The next two are the views from my front walkway:

These next two are from a friend's driveway, about 8 PM last Saturday. She moved to a mobile home park a year ago July, and has been too ill to get out of her home to see the spectacular sunsets taking place across the street from her. I happened to have my camera that night, and was able to take these photos:

It saddens me that this beautiful, restful scene is so close, yet for her, so far away...

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Happy Hatchday!

While Mike, hatched 9 years ago today, did eat the hatchday treat The Mommy prepared him (chopped sugar snap peas, peach, and collard greens) he indicated that there was something else he'd much rather have.

Now, I know that many foods on my iguana diet "No" list are okay in very small amounts once in a while, but, still. No. Not even for his hatchday.

Although, to be honest, a nice foamy Guinness with a cheese and pickle sandwich do sound pretty good right now...

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Monday, September 10, 2007

Creeping Back...

While there are worse things, not being able to knit or type is a drag for someone who does both every day. Thanks to some stupid programmers' ideas of how to make their products poorly, my right hand swelled up after doing a bunch of stock research using BI's Toolkit and Classic Plus programs.

For several days, I couldn't bend my middle and ring finger - and since my index finger doesn't bend due to one of the flexors being severed by an iguana bite a decade ago, that pretty much left me doing nothing but reading and figuring out how to ice the most affected fingers and parts of my hand that hurt the worst without triggering the Reynaud's pain in the rest of my digits and hand.

Hey! Boring my life is not!

Because my hand is still in not great shape, I wanted to schlep my cordless trackball mouse and USB hub to the Red Cross so I could more easily use the computers there. Well, I schlep enough stuff, and didn't want to cram my mouse and hub in my satchel, so I knit up a little mousie tote bag that I can clip onto the satchel with a carbiner.

Here it is with stuff inside:

Laid out flat:

Some of you may note that this little tote bag is knit out of the same yarn as my ham radio case and accessories bag (see iPod schmiPod).

Abruptly changing the subject... I love working on socks on doublepointed needles (DPNs). I use four needles: three holding the stitches, with the fourth working the stitches. The triangle formed by the three needles feels nice and secure, offering my fingers places to rest and support the work and needles, whilst my fourth needle flashes in and out until it, too, is part of the triad, the newly freed needle becoming the worker needle.

For me, making socks is as much or more about the making than about the having-the-socks-to-wear.
Except when it comes to making socks for the Socks for Soldiers program. Then I want to get the socks out more quickly. That's why, during my down time last week, I decided to see if I could figure out how to knit two socks on two circular needles.

I watched
Cat Bordhi's YouTube videos on making one sock on two circs, and read Sheron Goldin's 2 Socks on 2 Circulars online lessons, I got the cast-on figured out, and after trying and somehow failing to follow Cat's instructions, thus ending up with a lovely pair of double-Mobius bracelets (they certainly wouldn't be wearable as socks if I'd continued!), I ripped them out and tried again. I somehow assimilated enough info to be able to actually make some headway, er, cuffway:

It does look confusing, but I'm managing surprisingly okay for now. The sock at the lower right (#1) has already been worked, and I started working on the second sock. So, you basically work one half (or however you split the sts between the two needles) of each sock in each pass across the needle. When you finish that pass, you turn the whole assembly around, and work the other halves on the next pass.

I've ordered a couple pairs of KnitPick's new Options Circular needles (I'm not a big fan of needle sets), and will frog the single soldier sock I have OTN ATM when they come, and start over, working 2 at 1ce. The needles pictured above are 24" and 30" ones that I've had for years. They are really too long for me when working two socks like this, which is why I ordered 16" needles. With the longer needles, there's some time lost pushing the socks along the length and getting the strands of yarn for each sock clear of the various ends, something I anticipate will be a little less fussily time consuming when there's less extra cable length.

Just in case life wasn't interesting enough, I am trying to figure out what to do for Mikey's hatchday Wednesday. Please, no suggestions about sending him on a trip to the Cayman Islands (which is where the Cyclura iguanas are from). Given his preference for sleeping sandwiched between flannel and down, I don't think the boy's going to do too well hunkering down in the scree and decomposing organic matter trying not to get blown out to sea or dashed against trees and rocks during hurricane season.

Yes, spoiled would be an accurate descriptor...

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