Wednesday, August 26, 2009


I started this post as a "some of the things I think post", but it is so mis-mashed that I had to start again.

RIP Teddy: Karma is a harsh mistress. A lesson to be observed.

The number of rude people in the world is getting larger
just in the past three days I've been a party to:

1) A person who parks his/her (though I'm pretty sure it is a her) Jeep Cherokee over the lines in the parking space, so no one can park next to her. She is backing in, which is entitle to a rant all it's own, and can't seem to get between the lines. Now that the students are back, parking is at a premium. Once, could be a mistake, but multiple times, honey, you need parking lessons. I was so ticked I left a note on her car.

2) People who park huge vehicles in spaces that are not meant for them, and make other spaces inaccessible. (See premium parking sentence above.) I could explain this further, but, let's just say that it is easier for THEM to BACK into a middle space, rather than take the time to park on an end so others can park next to them. It is pure selfishness.

3) The lady in Wal Mart who apparently thought the photo kiosk was her own private photo editing lab. She was scanning OLD photos, and then EDITING them one at a time, over and over--cropping, undoing, lightening, undoing, rinse and repeat. She was still there over 40 minutes later, when I checked back and finally left, not getting my stinky ONE 4x6 print made. She had a line behind her, knew it and was completely unconcerned. I almost said something, but was too pissed. I would have wanted to burn her ears in a "nice" way, but wasn't in a frame of mind to do that.

The number of good people is getting smaller
. Read this. Notice the part about his wife having twins in December. I didn't know him, but I knew his father. Sigh.

Knitting has been happening. Photos have not.

I am two rows away from the last chart (G) on Giriasole. Because it is a big circular blob, on a 60 inch circ. Not much to see, but I'll give it a photo shoot anyway over the weekend. Every time I pick it up I wonder about EZ and her claiming that all you need is a 24 inch circular needle. Stitches would be committing suicide at an alarming rate if I tried to keep this on a 24 inch circ.

Anatomy of an obsession:

You're knitting away on Girasole right before leaving for the office. You find that you are missing a stitch. Now this is a lace pattern. Did I drop it? Did I miss a YO? No time to figure it out.....But you now spend the better part of the morning wondering if you should "run" home at lunchtime to set this right. That night you have your Wrap Me Up knitting group, and toy with the idea that you should take Girasole instead to figure out the problem. You don't, too weird, but you leave early (!) to study Girasole. Upon careful scrutiny you find that you missed a YO, pick it up, and ahhhhhh....the world can revolve again.

Wrap Me Up is on the home stretch. Some applied I-cord, not where the designer suggests, and a hard blocking (with hair conditioner, this is Noro after all), then the edging, also not what the designer suggests, and voila (as one of our grad students says in her emails, she's French, gorgeous, and very sweet--damn you can't even dislike her for being gorgeous...), it will be done. I'll blog all the changes I made, some that the LYS owner suggested to the group, and some that I'd make if I knit this again. All-in-all if you want to knit a bunch of patterns, overcome a fear of picking up stitches, and just never be bored, this is the pattern for you.

My Oceania sweater, I'm still on first sleeve island. It is a weird pattern. The measurements are huge. But the sleeves were SHORT, like by 4 inches short for me. They are like bat wings in width. So all bets are off with this baby. I hope I'll at least be able to wear it to yoga.

None of these are documented on "The Place That Shall Not Be Named" though they probably should be.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Miss me?

Don't worry, I know you didn't. So'K. I was away for a much needed break. That away was from the office...oops, excuse me while I change my voice mail back to standard.....

Done. Being away means away from the internets too. Yeah, I checked in once in a while, but really, we didn't try and do too much.

We went here.

This is the Pittsburgh Steeler Training Camp at St. Vincent's College in Latrobe, PA. We were only there about an hour, and a thunderstorm came on fast.

You can see the darkening sky in the distance. They chased everyone (all 5,000 fans) off the field, and we made it to the "Steeler Store" tent, just as the sky opened up. Now conventional wisdom (from here at weather weenie central), is that a massive storm usually is fast moving and lasts around 20 minutes. In other words, stay protected for about 20 minutes and you should be fine. Well, more than an hour later, and we were still waiting for the pounding rain to stop. They were trying to close the tent. We didn't have any rain gear with us at all, so I had to buy two Steeler ponchos (you know those plastic bag thingies).

I ran to the basilica (St. Vincents is a Catholic college and a monastery) and DH walked the half mile to the car. By the time he drove back to pick me up, the rain had finally slowed to a drizzle. My hero.

We spent a few days at a music festival in the north central woods--and I'm not kidding about "in the woods". Tioga County is so remote, GPS couldn't get a fix on our location. You'll never find the place on Google maps and it's a black hole on the satellite map. Don't bother carrying your cell when you hike. It is of no use. But you also do not hear cell phones ringing all over the place either. Nice!

The concerts are in venues all over north-central PA and the Finger Lakes region of NY. Most of them in the Wellsboro/Mansfield area. And many of the venues are churches, and in a few cases the County courtroom. This makes the concerts intimate. You can be an arms length away from the tympani or the concertmaster. And the music is superb. And this is all done via local volunteers, and resources. It is truly pretty amazing.

After a weekend drinking wine and listening to fine music, we hiked in the "Grand Canyon".

Pine Creek, best trout fishing in the north east, was running higher than we've ever seen it. The rocks that you see in the foreground...well, there are more, but they are not completely covered. We usually sit on those rocks. In fact, people have been known to wade across the creek, and hike up the east side of the canyon (this view is from the west bank). The only problem is that you are then 12 miles away from your vehicle, if you parked on the west rim. It is a long way by road or trail from one rim to another. (Except directly across the creek.) No one was wading on Monday. As it is, the hike down on the west side of the canyon, is a rather rugged two miles, along narrow ledge-like trails, with a sharp drop to a run along one side. The trail was also unstable in spots, and slippery due to the recent heavy rains. It is plenty challenging when the trails are dry.

View of part of the trail on the way UP out of the canyon.

View of "run" on the drop side of the trail. I'm not sure, but I think it is "Little Four Mile Run".

This is one of those little falls that dot the runs all along their length.

And so we're back, and this is what we were greeted with yesterday.

Yup, rain. Again....sigh. At least we got something of a break from the exhausting political news.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

I wasn't planning this but .....

It's "just shut up" Thursday, and I have a couple or three candidates:

1) Robert Gibbs the Press Secretary of the president:

Briefing reporters Tuesday, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs suggested that the opposition is being organized by a small group seeking to create "manufactured anger."

"I hope people will take a jaundiced eye to what is clearly the AstroTurf nature of so-called grass-roots lobbying," Mr. Gibbs said.

Umm... Mr. Gibbs I believe those among us, not in a coma, recognize this for what it attempt to dismiss and ultimately chill First Amendment rights. Since every word you say is now saved-somewhere-FOREVER, you (and ultimately the administration) can't take it back...You definitely should just shut up- and maybe quit the job you are so ill suited for.

2) That US Senate embarrassment (though she has a lot of company) SENATOR Barbara Boxer: Boxer says she can tell that they’re fakes, because they’re too well dressed. How does she know that this is a problem? Because well-dressed people apparently told her to get the hell out of Florida in the Bush-Gore recount, too...[video]

So, if you want to be taken seriously by this administration and their lackeys, dump the tie, don a Save the Whales T-shirt.

Barb, please, do us all a favor and just shut up.

3) From white house new media Director Macon Phillips:

"There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care,'' W.H. blogger Macon Philips wrote. "These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can't keep track of all of them here at the White House, we're asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to''

Ummm the only problem Mr. Phillips is that all this information will be permanently SAVED. There is no help for it.....You should just shut up about your snitch list, and go back to programming.

Does no one else see a pattern here?

ETA: It's not the real point of this article (based on the title), but read Mr. Caldwell's 5 Steps to improve our current health care system. Nearly genius. I, as a lone voice in the wilderness, believe there are problems in our system that should be addressed, however, HR3200, ain't gonna do it.

Monday, August 03, 2009

I'm back....

... but just for a bit.

The last two weeks of July were simply hair raising, or hair graying, as the case may be.

1) I was in the throes of finishing a six week long seminar with faculty at two of our eastern campuses. This seminar is very time intensive because the material is presented in an "online" format, but the seminar includes 3 face-to-face meetings. I am often asked by faculty at commonwealth locations if we couldn't just put the whole seminar "online". They just want to complete the assignments, and call it a day. However, every experience we've had with this course, tells us that the face-to-face meetings are irreplaceable, and every group tells me that they want MORE of them not fewer. It may surprise folks but it is rare for faculty to have the opportunity to just sit down in a non-threatening environment and talk about their work. And when they do...the floodgates open, and all kinds of revelations occur. I have yet to have a faculty member tell me that this kind of opportunity has not made them a better instructor. And isn't that what you want for your tens of thousands of dollars?

2) I was trying to organize for my "spring" cleaning. Yes, in July. Every July, an Amish friend brings a young relative or two, and they spend the day, washing, dusting, vacuuming, and all the things that we who work have no time to do on a weekly basis. It means tearing all the rooms apart, and then putting them back together when the washing, dusting and scrubbing are finished. When I drive them home for the day, it doesn't look clean at all, more like a Murphy's Oil Soap Tornado was through. I usually have most of the "mess" reorganized though by the end of the day. This year, however, nothing was "normal". They stayed longer than they originally planned. I obligingly stopped at a grocery store on the way home (which is about 15 miles out in the country), so M could shop a bit. Everything, of course, took longer than planned. I didn't get back to my house until 7:30. Yoi! And on my way back, a phone starts to ring, and lo and behold, it is M's cell phone. (Apparently, cell phones are allowed for business purposes.) Her basket overturned and the phone was left on the floor of the car. (She carries her lunch in a basket, just like Red Riding Hood.) So I spent the evening and following morning trying to get her phone back to her. And let me tell you, she got more calls that I do!!

3) Mid month, we spent at day at our local Art's Festival with our niece, nephew, and their new baby, our great nephew. He was just about 3 months old, and just starting to get the drift of smiling etc. What a cutie. I think he looks a lot like Sean his daddy.

4) It wasn't all work and no play, because one Saturday we went to a jazz performance. However, because I'm a dope, with too many balls in the air, I forgot to get tickets when they were available a block from where I work, so on the warmest Saturday so far (which really wasn't all that warm) I drove to Tallyrand Park in downtown Bellefonte to purchase tickets. (Did you ever see the original Pollyanna? It is a park like that.) I have never walked to the park during the day (mostly because I have no reason to be in Bellefonte during the day). But this day, I parked on the other side of a little bridge and walked across Spring Creek to the park. Here's what I saw on the bridge:

Yes, it's duck food in bubble gum machines.

Then there was this sight when you look over the railing of the bridge:

After a bit of research I figured out that those silvery things are fish...probably, trout. BIG trout. Fishing is prohibited in Tallyrand and now I'm wondering if the food is actually for the fish. They're big enough.

Now I'm trying to get all my outstanding stuff done before I take a much needed break before arrival weekend. (Someone stab me in the heart, please!!) But I'm blogging instead. I must be crazy.

Hopefully, I'll be able to update my knitting before I leave, which has been happening regularly, even though I had to miss my knitting group because of my "spring cleaning".