Thursday, December 30, 2010

wavy rib scarf finished

It took me a year.  This is a Christmas present for my dear stepson, David.  A 2009 Christmas present.  I got into so many projects that a few weren't finished in time last year.  My New Year's resolution on 1/1/2010 was to stop procrastinating and finish some projects.  I put that off until this year.  So, my New Year's resolution for 2011 is to stop procrastinating last year's non-procrastination resolution.

I'm amazed and just a little envious of the number of knitting bloggers who seem to finish a new project every freaking day.  I'm lucky if I finish (anything other than a bookmark which takes 2 hours) in less than a month.  I guess it helps to not have a day job.  I work (and I LOVE my job, so don't get me wrong), and have my iTunes habit to support, so time for knitting is not in plentiful supply.  When I retire, I plan to do nothing but knit and blog and have wonderful yarns sent to me for free by people begging me to mention their product.

This scarf was a free pattern I found on the Lion Brand yarn site.  I used Berroco Vintage in coriander.  The yarn is a very soft wool/acrylic blend that is machine washable.  I had to rewrite the pattern instructions so that I could follow them more easily.  You can find the pattern instructions rewrite on Ravelry.  If you knit and you're not on Ravelry, why aren't you?
From knitting
At about the half way point (or 30 inches) of this scarf, it seemed to refuse to get any longer.  In spite of that, I'll knit more scarves.  It took Helge Johansen of Norway 23 years to knit the longest scarf on record (knitted by one person) at 11,363 ft.  It took me a year to knit 5 feet, so...I won't be trying for the new record.

Off to dig out those other unfinished projects and make good on my New Year's resolution.

There's lots of love (and one or two swear words) knitted into that scarf for you, Dave.  You must send me a picture of you wearing it.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

lunar eclipse

If you missed it, or live in a cave and didn't know about the total lunar eclipse that happened ridiculously early on the morning of December 21st, 2010, I have pictures!  You won't get to see another one from North America until April 15, 2014.

Before Wayne and I went to bed that night, we got out the big tripod and my tiny Panasonic Lumix and set them up.  I set the Lumix to it's 'night scenery' setting, because I can't  be bothered to figure out the optimum manual settings.  I also set out warm clothing to jump into when the alarm went off at 3:00AM.  Then we went to bed and I did my usual before sleep reading (I was reading a really good book...Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart, which I hope is not a foretelling of the world of the next lunar eclipse in 2014).  The book was so good, that I didn't put the it down until something like 1:30AM.  Two minutes later, the alarm went off.  Wayne, jumped right out of bed and got dressed while prodding me to do the same.  I groaned, I mumbled, I said 'f@#$ it, I'm not getting up, you take the pictures and I'll look at it tomorrow'.  I woke up enough to realize, this is a rare thing and I do want to see it in person.

In the backyard, the red moon, at about 3:15AM was totally eclipsed.  We had to position the camera to shoot through the branches of a big oak tree, but had a clear view.  These are not the best pictures, but I'm proud of them.  My favorite is the first one, taken before I set the zoom to the maximum 10x my camera will take.  You can see Orion's belt in the lower left.
From lunar eclipse
The next few were taken over the course of about 5 minutes.  The exposure for each is 8 seconds.  If I'd thought to use the timer to take the shot, maybe they would have been even clearer.  The aperture and focal length are different for each.  Click on the individual pictures if you want to see the settings.
From lunar eclipse
From lunar eclipse
From lunar eclipse
From lunar eclipse

Here is a wonderful time lapse version of the eclipse from YouTube:

We like the moon.  But maybe not as much as cheese.


A trip to the moon - Georges Melies
Uploaded by jedall. - Check out other Film & TV videos.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

xmas spirit courtesy of robert earl keen

I'm an atheist.  I have a Christmas tree and lights on my house, or at least I will once I finish decorating the tree and can convince my dearest husband that it's not too cold to go out and put up the lights.  It's Florida.  It's not that cold, honey.  You'd perish in New England.  I love Christmas (except for all the TV ads and a lot of the sappy music).  To those Christians who think their holiday has been hijacked, I say "pfffttt".  No one is stopping you from celebrating in your own way.  Try to be more tolerant of others.  'Tis the season.

I celebrate this holiday because I love hearing from family and friends this time of year.  I love it because I love presents.  I love getting them and I love giving them.  I love getting paid time off from work.  I love to bake and the way zucchini bread makes the house smell wonderful.  Most of all, I love this song.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

landscape bundling

Wayne has a cigar while he and Caliope bask in the chilly sunshine by the pond after bundling all of the tropical plants in our yard.
From Blogger Pictures
The big orchid table is surrounded by blankets and sheets with a tarp on top.  A heat lamp and rope lights are inside to keep them from freezing.  Staghorn ferns look like big alien cocoons hanging from the oak tree.
From Blogger Pictures
The tomato plants have dozens of green tomatoes on them.  They are wrapped in sheets thrown over an old step ladder.  The gingers die back every year, so they aren't covered.  They sprout again in the spring.
From Blogger Pictures
I hope these moon flower buds will be okay.  Their vine wraps around one side of the pond pergola.
From Blogger Pictures
Orengi and Moby should be fine.  Koi are pretty cold hardy.  We just cut down on feeding them when it gets really cold.
From Blogger Pictures
The big white bird of paradise was a challenge to bundle, but the picnic table came in handy for the task.
From Blogger Pictures
All of the hanging orchids, mostly vandas, are hung in the garage.  The orchids in bud are in the house...placed up out of reach of our 4 cats.
From Blogger Pictures
Now that the outside is ready for freezing temperatures, it's time to give Fred5 a new home.  We went to Petco to see about a replacement motor for a 5 gallon Eclipse Hexagon tank I've had for a couple of years.  This is the second Eclipse tank I've had and both motors took a crap.  I'll never buy another one.  Instead of a motor, which the store didn't carry, I bought a small (2.5 gal.) hex tank of the Petco brand.  Fred5 seems very happy in his new home, and it has a nice LED light in the lid.  It even has a blue nightlight in case he's afraid of the dark.
From Blogger Pictures

Friday, December 3, 2010

drive-by shooting

I've been catching up on reading some of my favorite knitting blogs.  Anne Hanson's KnitSpot post featured photographs taken from a moving vehicle while on a trip through New York.  I thought about my other favorite knitting blogs and realize that all of them feature photography, not just pictures of knitting, but really good photographs by people who also knit.

Anne's post made me think about how I also carry my camera everywhere.  Shooting pictures from a moving vehicle is quite a bit easier with the automatic digital cameras available today.  I don't recommend taking pictures while behind the wheel, with the car in gear and traveling down the interstate at 75 mph, but I admit to doing it.  The following were taken while driving home from south Tampa to north Tampa on a stormy summer afternoon.  They were taken with a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3. Click on any of the pictures to go to my Picasa web album and see them larger.
From drive-by shooting
From drive-by shooting
From drive-by shooting
I took these pictures while a passenger when Wayne and I drove to Fort Pierce early one morning. We were on Hwy 60, I think, somewhere near Yeehaw Junction.
From drive-by shooting
Sunbeams and big rigs. What could be prettier?
From drive-by shooting
The following were taken in 2006 during a trip to visit David in Las Vegas. We drove up to the mountains and spotted wild horses. One of the foals had a perfect heart marking on his side.
From drive-by shooting
 Living in Florida for the last 30 years has made me miss mountains. I couldn't get enough of them while in Nevada. These were taken with a Pentax Optio 50.
From drive-by shooting
From drive-by shooting
From drive-by shooting
Somehow, the landscape looks even more beautiful in black and white.  This reminds me of a shot from an old Western movie before that awful colorization.
From drive-by shooting
The Panasonic Lumix is so simple to use, even an idiot can take perfect pictures.