Wednesday, August 1, 2007

UFOs (the alien kind!)

This month for Book Group, we're reading Hunt for the Skinwalkers, by George Knapp and Colm Kelleher. It's about a ranch in northern Utah that was apparently infested with UFOs, and was the focus of the "most in depth, scientific study" ever held, by the National Institue for Discover Science (NIDS).

Which is all horse hockey.

One of the major claims of the book is that the main characters "wanted to remain anonymous", so they changed their names. Which doesn't explain why all the "sightings" were all over the UFO press years before the book was published.

And, the National Institute for Discovery Science (NIDS) (gee, that sounds impressive, doesn't it?) is actually the brain child for a loon with too much money, and zero sense - Robert Bigelow, who founded Budget Suites, and then went on to fund the Bigelow Chair for Consciousness Studies, at UNLV. This was a university department meant to study Life After Death, and featured a "harmonic resonance chamber".

I read one chapter of this book, and had to stop myself from throwing it across the room. (I'm really trying to read the whole thing for book group tomorrow.) Then I did several hours of research, which uncovered the whole horse hockey connection.

A friend of mine used to be the secretary for the "Consciousness Studies" department. She told us at length about the ... less than professional nature of the department. UNLV closed the department quietly, several years ago. Thank heavens!

I initially thought that Colm Kelleher must be a total quack. It turns out he's a pretty good biochemist, who was lured into this nonsense by huge amounts of money. He quietly left NIDS a while back to get a real job, and try to live down the stigma of this unfortunate interlude.

George Knapp is generally a pretty darned good investigative reporter. I keep telling myself that Arthur Conan Doyle also ended up believing in fairies...

Can you say gullible?

Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! I finally got my invite to Ravelry! (Rapture!)

Ravelry is MySpace for Fiber Freaks, and I'm thrilled. Joining is easy.

Now I just need time to sit and play. I've been warned that Ravelry is a serious black-hole for time.

I'm looking foward to adding my WIPs and yarn stash info. It's going to take years. But, that will have it in one easy place.

Will I chat and be "social?" Doubtful. But I'm looking forward to this!

They're still taking names for "beta testers." (I think they must be up to several million.) The newsletter says they're taking about 1200 PER WEEK off the waiting list. I didn't have to wait too long. A month? 6 weeks?

This will be good!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Sheep Shawl

I ordered this book sight unseen:
Vogue Knitting on the Go: Shawls
for one item only - the sheep shawl. I had to make it!

I toyed with yarn.... Bouclé? Something bulky and crinkly?

Then I found... IT.

Lion Brand Sasha. I think it's new? I hadn't seen it before, but it's PERFECT!

It knits up just like a persian lamb. I got the box last night, and have already knit 2 1/2 heads! I'm using size 10 needles, and adapting the pattern freely.

I love this pattern!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Getting Official

With a view to retiring some day, I decided to get certified. I've signed up for The Knitting Guild Of America Master Handknitter program. I got the first packet within a few days of enrolling. It's a deceptively small packet. They suggest a 2" three ring binder for the submission.

Joyce (at Wooly Wonders) is also interested. I'll probably get started with the first swatches this weekend. I think the big thing is to be obsessive-compulsive about the swatches. Ah, darn. It's so HARD for me to be obsessive-compulsive!

On Tuesday I'll officially be the Treasurer for the Nevada Library Association. Obsessive-Compulsive and Masochistic. Heck - it's BALANCING A CHECKBOOK. I can do that.

Tonight is Book Group. We're reading The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper. At holiday time, I try to read something un-challenging and holiday related. This is a nice teen book about a boy who discovers he's the "last of the old ones", who must defeat the Dark.

We'll discuss Welsh Myth, Kids Dreams (This one is like Harry Potter, or Kim - normal kid discovers he has amazing power), and ... something else. I was lining these all up in my head last night, when I was mentally preparing my handout. Hopefully I'll remember later today when I actually start putting ideas on paper!

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Yadda Yadda

The lovely thing about having an "undiscovered blog" is I don't have to worry too much about missing a day or two (or 10).

Here's what's going on now. They just told Joan she's going home this weekend. She latched on to "home", and totally spaced the "this weekend". 5 minutes later, she was on the phone to JtX, asking him when he was going to come and get her.

I'll go shopping for her, so she'll have groceries when she gets there, and I'll do a little (mild) decorating. Her apartment is lovely.

Did I mention that my sister's gorgeous Victorian house has attracted a nest of rats? The Rat Man and the rats are going at it now. It looks to be a long battle.

Off to work. Need to visit Joan, and then LYS tonite!

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Ch ch ch ch ch ch Changes....

By Christmas, I was in the full throes of a nervous breakdown. Two days later, I was just about at the fetal position point. The next day I flew to the east coast to spend time with my family, and recover.

I did (thank heavens!)

While I was there, I realized that at some point I will retire from the library. And, I'll want to work.

So, Knitting. Maybe I'll design. Maybe I'll teach. I'd better learn how to do both!

I've just spend a frustrating hour working on my home page. I can't seem to get my web host to change their "Future Home Of..." stock index page. Grrr. Hoping to hear from them soon.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

It's a design element

I finished the Optimum Sock (singular) last night, and wove in the ends. The orange and purple striping on the toe is cute. I did that on purpose. I planned it from the very beginning. (That's my story, and I'm sticking to it).

Then I washed the sock. I'd heard that the yarn really "relaxes" when it's washed.

Well, that's one word for it. It stretched WAAAY out, and lay there limp. On the other hand, I didn't need to block the lace in the sock. Every bit of texture just melted out. The lace is gorgeous! The sock is HUGE. It's lying there, limp as a used condom.

And, the yarn bled color like a son-of-a-gun. I never did get it to stop bleeding.

I like the texture of wool. This doesn't feel like wool.

Updates: Sheryl's hip surgery went well. The doc pinned the hip, instead of replacing it. Darn. The recovery on a replacement is a lot faster, and new hips are lasting 20 years now.

Last time I talked with the physical therapist, he still hadn't heard back from the doctor, so we don't know the status on the break in Joan's pelvis.

JtX's cold is getting better. (You know he's sick when I feel sorry for him). Dave's cold is still in full force. Beth's is getting better. I spent the night coughing.

I'm going to need to go to Joan's on Xmas morning. JtX isn't picking her up for Christmas till late afternoon. Sometimes JtX surprises me with what a good son he is. Other times, I just want to smack him.

JsT (my son's brother T, by JtX and Wife 2) is in Juvie. He failed his cocaine test. (This is a long story).

Holiday shopping is done, except for underwear for NephT (My nephew, T, who loves getting underwear for gifts. Strange child.) I'll get that after Christmas, hopefully on sale.

Two more days of work, then a long weekend.