Monday, December 17, 2007

Poor Americans

It's ironic how combining two things to make knitting easier - garter stitch (in general, but lace in this case) and knitting in the round - can make my shawl such a pain. Admittedly, both those techniques are designed to avoid purl, so I suspect it's like negative numbers - where two negatives make a positive. Except that in this case we want negatives... as in negative amounts of purl stitch...

Ok, I think I'm babbling. Let's just say that yrn is a pain. As purl lace in general.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas is winning

Ok, Christmas gifts are kicking my *ahem* behind. I vote that it stays Advent from now on, and I don't have to worry about gifts anymore.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Christine's "This means that there was a recipe" mincemeat

***WARNING! I MADE THIS TODAY, SO IT HASN'T SAT FOR LONG ENOUGH YET***

6 cups ( about three apples), chopped into 1-1.5 cm chunks. Use varieties which will stay firm when you cook them. I actually used four because two were only partial: Cortland, Ida Red, Northern Spy and Granny Smith.

1.5 cups raisins

0.5 cups dried cranberries (this is just in here because my landlady has some, and I wanted some variety, not all raisins)

1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts and pecans (straight pecans seemed like it would be a bit much, but I prefer pecans to walnuts)

0.75 cup packed brown sugar (I used golden, but I think that the darker the better)

0.25 cup butter, melted (unsalted, like always when you're baking, but who ever has that around?)

0.5 cups apple juice (or use a mix of apple cider and brandy, but I have neither of those)

zest and juice of half a lemon and half an orange (Don't forget to wash them!)

pinch of salt (skip this because you used salted butter)

1 tsp ground cinnamon

0.5 tsp each: nutmeg (as both cookbooks suggested I used freshly grated/ground nutmeg); allspice; ground cloves

You also need some thickener because I cut back so much on the sugar- I added flour as I was cooking it, but I'd recommend cornstarch (I didn't have any)

Mix all the above ingredients together and bring to a boil. Reduce to low heat and gently simmer until the fruits and nuts are glazed with a thick syrup.


Refrigerate for three days.


What I'm planning on changing for next time: cutting the apples smaller and (hopefully) more evenly; definitely brandy; bump up the spices a lot (particularly the cloves/allspice); add dates

Sunday, December 09, 2007

What the Rabbit Heard at Church

The season is not about getting lots of gifts - although that is quite nice.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Eerie...

So I took Sophie out for another walk today (and forgot my camera, of course). I horribly cruel - she's going to get used to getting walks every couple of weeks, and then I'm going to leave. I went out in a different direction again (I was checking where the used bookstore was), and came across a little park. I'd seen it before, but I hadn't seen the plaque. So I dragged Sophie over to the plaque and read it. It opened with an announcement of the park's name and who provided funds for it, and then the next part referred to "Canada Company Burying Ground". That seemed a little odd for a park, so kept reading. Turns out that the land was the original cemetary, but when the new one was opened most of the people buried there were moved to the new one.

Hold on just a minute - most?!

Turns out that, yes, it is indeed most. The final explanation given was that, although there are no gravestones in the park anymore it is believed that there are still some bodies interred there, and the suggestion was given that the reader spare a thought for them.

Of course, I got jolted back to the real world soon enough. When taking Sophie back across the highway she sat down and waited right at the corner of the road. Far enough back that she wasn't hurt at all by the truck that zoomed by, but boy was she scared.

It might be possible

Ok, so since I would no longer need to make the bolereos I might be able to get the shawl done, like Angela said. She's cool, not just because she's in engineering and knits an incredible amount of stuff, but also because she designed some cool tams.

Oh, and by the way: I'm aware that I never actually needed to make the boleros.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

What The Rabbit Heard in the Test Equipment Room

"Ok, new theory. It wasn't working because you were the one holding it."

Monday, December 03, 2007

Saturday, May 23, 2009

15:00

Oops

So one of the strain gauges on a test grader needed to be replaced today. There was a "pick a number" contest to see who got stuck with it, however I volunteered to do it anyhow because really, having something to do beats having nothing to do.

This job was more ummm... "interesting" than originally putting the strain gauges was because the grader has been reassembled. So instead of standing on the floor (well I'm short, so a box) and reaching inside the frame I was climbing up onto the tandem case and squishing in between the frame and the wheel. Squishing is really the right word, too. As in it's what butyl rubber (which cover all the strain gauges after they've been put on) does to jeans. More accurately, it's what butyl rubber does into jeans.

When I started to move and realised I was stuck I called for the engineer who was right there and explained what had happened. After wincing he told me to just pull myself off the side of the grader. And let me tell you, I have aim (I believe of the kind that one would call bad). In pulling the cover away from the strain gauge I took two wires with me. Not so bad, except that the wires decided to bring the solder pads from the strain gauge. The engineer was very nice about the fact that I had just ruined some expensive test equipment (to wit, the strain gauge), although he did seem to enjoy explaining that that stuff doesn't come out. (He was wrong. My jeans are in the dryer with no black patch now).

Actually it's not killing that strain gauge that bugs me. It's that when I went to glue the strain gauge to the inside of the frame (I had to try twice) I managed to kill it - popped a pad off. At that point I declared that I wasn't gluing any more strain gauges. I had already soldered two (one at least was done well, it was posited that I may have not had a good enough connection to the sink and the heat warped the pad). And I prepped the surface (sanded it with acid until it was smooth) twice on one side (once for the replacement and once after the strain gauge that I killed) and once on the other (for the first strain gauge I killed).

Given that it's probably close to half an hour to prep the bonding surface normally, plus soldering the leads to the strain gauge, gluing it to the grader, testing everything, etc., and that I had to squirm around behind the wheel, it's rather understandable that it took most of my day. What took the largest part of the rest was scrubbing my hands. And my face. And my wrists. See, not only was this grader (still) covered in coal dust, but a) my hair falls out of its braid all the time, so I constantly have to wipe it away from my face, to the point where only the part under my safety glasses wasn't grey, and b) my shop coat is too large, so I have to push it up quite a ways to keep it out of my way.

Oh, well. At least I've stopped rubbing black on other things.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Yes, I'm crazy

So, I have a question:

Do people think that I can knit four of these and the rest of this: in approximately 18 months? (click the picture... you really need to).

Actually I know I can. However let's add passing 3B and fourth year too.

I was afraid of that...

The shawl centre is somewhat odd looking because I didn't really bother blocking it much (I'm sure you can figure out why not). It seems a little small, but I haven't even finished the first thing of yarn (but it might not last out picking up new stitches), so I guess this is less than a quarter of the finished shawl.

I'm off to start courting insanity picking up stitches for the border. Toodles!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Mother Nature is Beating Me Up

So being quite dedicated to my bike (read: lazy) I decided to bike home today despite the heavy wind warnings from Environment Canada (I think the wind was down to a steady 50 km/h with gusts in the mid-sixties). I was ok leaving work, and then turned so I was biking across the wind. I work out where it's open enough that I get major cross-winds. When I hit the main highway I'd say I was a good 20 degrees off of vertical just to stay upright. I even managed to keep moving forwards when I turned into the wind. Things were going well.

Unfortunately (and you all knew that that was coming, even without the title), I had problems with the cross wind. I reached the part which is less industrial park and more just outskirts of town (or whatever the town equivalent of suburbs are) without too many problems. However, after the traffic light and the second time when I was almost blown into the curb, I decided that enough was enough. However, a victory apparently wasn't good enough for the weather. I signalled a stop and hopped onto the curb.

I actually hopped rather quickly onto the curb. You know, like when a fire truck comes by. Put one foot on the curb, pull the other leg up and over the bike then pull the bike after the outside leg. Notice that I skipped the "move the outside leg out of the way" step. It never really occured to me before that this was a step. However, I never brought the end of the handle of my bike up into my knee as it was coming down before.

Oh well, live and learn

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Well That was a Bust

I just need a way to make the below threat stick to me.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Fascinating New Study!

Psychologists have recently discovered more information about etymological amnesia. Specifically, it has been determined that, while the effects can be predicted with great accuracy, there still is no known cure or preventative measure.

This suggests to me that there is simply no way to avoid that the fact that the next person to prematurely mention the w-word to me will completely slip my mind when I’m writing out guest lists.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

What the Rabbit Heard as we Watched the eDAQ Output

"So what's the voltage now?"

"4.76...7...8... it's still going up."

"What about now?"

"5.37...8...9... still going up."

"That's odd."

"Oh?"

"Yeah, I just unplugged the ground."

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

No Bigger Than a Pebble on a Gravel Road

I will not deliberately fail PDEng as a protest.
I will not deliberately fail PDEng as a protest.
I will not deliberately fail PDEng as a protest.
I will not deliberately fail PDEng as a protest.
I will not deliberately fail PDEng as a protest.
I will not deliberately fail PDEng as a protest.
I will not deliberately fail PDEng as a protest.
I will not deliberately fail PDEng as a protest.
I will not deliberately fail PDEng as a protest.
I will not...
screw that. Sleep is overrated.

Monday, November 12, 2007

At Least it Wasn't Sobeys

Although it was almost as bad.

I had a short shopping list today - cereal, soy milk (to go with the cereal), peanut butter (my landlady only stocks the sugary kind), some fruit and perhaps check out the tofu products, see what the fruit ones were like (quite affordable, healthy, filling, but a little too sweet and just odd. It grew on me though). It sounds quite simple. At least to me. (And this is considering the fact that tofu is always hidden in the veggie section).

First of all, some self-pity to get out of the way. There was a "veggie block", basically a new kind of fake cheese. And it was cheddar flavoured, which is nice because the one I can get is pretty gross in the cheddar flavour. Unfortunately the second ingredient was casein. Yes, I get fake cheese anyhow (not often), but it's waaaay down on the list for that stuff. So I'm going to mope.
Just so you know.

Now on to the ranting!

I was heading for the soy milk (yes, get the heaviest thing first, that's me, always sensible) and noticed aisle-end displays of peanut butter. These displays weren't the ones directly at the end, more the ones that stick out a bit into the aisle and are at the side. They had crunchy and smooth both, one on either side of the aisle. Now, I'm rather gullable. (I'm sure you've all already figured this out), so I made the assumption that that aisle was the one with peanut butter. Nope, no such luck. Neither was the peanut butter to be found on either side of that aisle (i.e. anywhere NEAR the display). It was about as far as it was possible to be, two aisles away (at the far end of the food aisles), and at the far end of the aisle. At least they had what I wanted (but only in the 1kg jars, and I know that the small ones are evil, but they're convenient when you're only around for 2 more months).

So I found peanut butter interestingly enough it's one of the few foods that I buy without looking at the price. I bought one of the others today too - apples. While there is more than 100% variation in the price of apples they're all fairly cheap. And most of the expensive apples are from the States anyhow. Which brings me to my criterion: local fruit. (I have almost completely weaned myself off of bananas. Aren't you all so proud?) I think that grocery stores need to learn geography. Frankly if an apple is labeled "Canada" it's even odds that it's from BC. At that point, the Washington apples are just as responsible. Fortunately the stickers will often say. I'm still not sure where the plain ones are from though (I've seen BC ones and I've seen Ontario ones). Actually I didn't see any BC stickers today. And only one set of Ontario ones - on MacIntosh apples. The which I am not fond of. The bag of apples I ended up getting though, says Ontario on the bag (and no, that's referring to the apples, not the bag). Shame that it barely fit in my knapsack (yes, I need to think about this stuff BEFORE I go through the cash).

From there I hit the tofu, where I had the disappointing experience with the fake cheese. However, as I mentioned, the dessert wasn't too bad. The only thing they were short on was actualy tofu...

The cereal wasn't that big a deal, I just grabbed on because I was tired after price-checking the soy milk. Said price-checking actually turned out well. Actually, I wasn't paying that much attention to the price, more to the nutritional info. And I ended up (deliberately) getting some unsweetened soy milk. I've tried some already, and I think that I shan't bother sweetening it at all, it's pretty decent. It's only 3/4 the calories and about 1/3 the sodium, and has all the good stuff I want. So I'm quite pleased with that, and will pay the extra 70 cents that it normally costs over the PC brand stuff (which has the most sodium of any I checked). Oh, and it was on sale. So today I only paid 20 cents more.

*happy soy milk dance*

What the Rabbit Didn't Hear

I just couldn't come up with a way to turn this into a "What the Rabbit Heard".

After having been out on the floor for probably 15 minutes, covering three strain gauges with a butyl rubber coating (quite fun) and chatting with the test engineers and the shop guy who were showing me how to do this and actually doing the work...

*touches face*

"I'm not wearing my safety goggles"

*head for door*

"Yeah, good call"

Sunday, November 11, 2007

What the Rabbit Heard Before Mass

"So when they assigned this seminarian here they told me to put him to work. So he'll be preaching today."

*insert panicked look on said seminarian's face*

"No, don't worry, I"m joking. He'll be sitting on various committees and helping with different ministries."

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Because I Forgot My Camera Yesterday

I'd warn that this is a picture-heavy post, but really, all of you have high-speed. And besides, the title gives it away.

I took Sophie for a walk today. Doesn't she look thrilled?
(Ok, she looks confused about the fact that we're not moving, but close enough, right?)
We went out and looked at the harbour. Since you're (largely) engineers I figure that the towers from the salt mine are appropriate. As you can see, the colours aren't as cool today. But they show up on a computer screen better.
We later continued walking out towards that river I mentioned (the Maitland).
It has a cool bridge going over it. This former rail bridge has been repaired and is now part of the Maitland Trail. The (now pedestrian) bridge has little alcoves off the side so that you can get a great view of all the people standing below in the river fishing. And of the fish that are swimming around laughing at them.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Wish I'd had a Camera

On my way home tonight I decided to get somewhat lost. Now, in Goderich this takes some doing (by the way though, I actually succeeded! I thought I was getting more lost and ended up heading home. I'm so proud of myself). And, of course, we need to take into consideration the fact that I'm lazy. So my technique involves missing a turn or two going home, rather than going in the wrong direction. I must say though, that this works quite nicely, because all the best places to get lost are in that direction - the river and the lake are both past where I'm staying if we're talking relative to where I work.

This trick worked quite well today. I turned off the highway early and just kept riding towards the lake. It's a perfect day to stand at the top of the bluff and look out over Lake Huron. It was grey and somewhat misty all day - I even used my light on the ride home, not that I think it actually made me any more visible. Somewhat dreary days apparently make for the best time to look out at the lake. From a distance it was difficult to see where the water met the sky. But from atop the bluff the water took on delicate turquoise and blue colours, and lapped calmly at exposed sandbars and old shipwrecks - a beautiful contrast to Wednesday when the waves had stirred up the bottom enough to make the water cloudy and more of a grey as the waves battered the shore.

I really wished I'd had a camera so I could share this with you. But it's probably better that I didn't. Now I have to properly remember.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

City Kid

So I was out at the track running some tests today. We're right at the edge of town. Fairly literally actually... to the North it's semi-industrial park, to the South and East it's fields and bush. It's just open enough to make me FREEZE while I was out there, this being the cold time of year - just warm enough to be damp, and we're still used to summer.

So anyway, I was out at the track when I hear a sudden bang. I wasn't too worried about it, because we weren't running a test at the moment, we were in fact backing the graders up after running a test. However it's still not normally a good thing, and this was from the direction of the bush - the only thing between me and it was graders, so I couldn't think what else could have caused it. I asked the test engineer, who looked markedly unworried (another good sign). I'm sure he was amused when he told me what the noise was.

Hunters.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Ce que je crois

C’est privĂ©e. Je ne comprends pas des gens qui veut me dire qu’est-ce que je peut croire.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

How I know I still look too young

“And this is our co-op student, Christine”

*as people walk away*

“So she’s in high school? Or college?”

Sunday, October 21, 2007

On That Which Let One Go Fast

A few observations
  • The plastic part of a brake cable has metal on the inside. Never knew that before.
  • Tightening up the rear brake makes things like "gee, I think my brake pads have worn into a funny shape" and "hmmm... my front brake seems loose" more apparent.
  • Measure twice, cut once works a lot better if both measurements are done BEFORE cutting

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Is it bad?

That one of the things I'm looking forward to about being married is not having to try to make up full loads of laundry from one person's clothes?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sorry, No Pictures

You'll understand why in a bit.

For those of you who like visuals: remember Sophie? The cute little dal-lab that I'm living with this term? The one whose neuron is probably in danger of dying of loneliness? Yes, that one.

See, one of the reasons that she isn't the brightest, despite having some lab, is that her mother died while giving birth. This may have resulted in some brain damage in Sophie. That's not certain, but what we do know is that it resulted in Sophie being bottle fed. (As an aside: the woman who raised her as a puppy lost only one from the litter of nine. Rather impressive.) One (very noticable) side effect of Sophie being bottle fed, is that she doesn't sprawl the way most dogs do. She is quite comfortable lying on her side, or with her legs crossing over each other. If you look you can see how she would have been held as a puppy in her relaxed postures now. She's also comfortable pressing up against people. Quite comfortable doing so. Perhaps more comfortable with it than the people (such as me) are.

I'd show you a picture of Sophie deciding that standing with her forelegs on my lap, hindquarters curled up on the couch, head pushing against mine, was a good way to get attention. Unfortunately, that would have required me being able to get up and get ahold of the camera.

That's not a homily!

So today the priest at St. Peter's wanted to keep his homily short, because the mass was going to be longer since there was a baptism being held during mass. He accomplished this quite simply. He announced that he was going to keep his remarks short, and the reason for doing so. He then explained that that was the sum total of his remarks. I don't really hold this against him, as it's a lot to expect him to write two homilies, especially if one has to be short. Unfortunately while I like the priest, I really don't care for the parish.

Part of the problem I'm having is that it's a small town parish. So there are a number of things I find odd because of that. It's a much tighter-knit community. That's probably also connected to the fact that the parish seems to be a merger of what used to be three parishes. (Which means that I can't even make the trek to the next town to find a church I like more). Some things are just modern though. Such as having the children off at their liturgy of the word for more than just liturgy of the word. Or singing the Our Father. Fortunately I'm not being asked to make this my parish, but it's a less fun aspect of co-op that never occured to me.

On a more cheerful note, I'm going to suggest that we pray for not only Parker (who was baptized today) and his parents and godparents, but for his brother, Jonathan, who received first communion, and had his day quite overshadowed by his little brother. Congratulations and blessings to you both.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Best. Toy. Ever.

The beach here is rather cool. It has a nice playground. There's a little wakeboard toy which is a metal board on a flexible base, so it wobbles around. Looks very fun. Even better, there's this.
It digs in the sand. You sit on the yellow seat, and the whole mechanism pivots around the centre post. The digging itself is a five-bar, two input. Grab the two handles, and move them forwards and back to move and pivot the scoop.

Any ideas on how much it would take to get one of these for a backyard?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Such Good Friends

This is Charlie:This is Sophie:
Cute li'l beggars, ain't they? Sorry about the picture quality by the way, they aren't very big on holding a good pose long enough for me to get a shot in. What they are big on, however, seems to be me. Seems that they've discovered that I'm a sucker for cute things. Unfortunately this coincides well with their enjoyment of attention. I say unfortunately because they seem to think that I'm fair game no matter what.

Charlie is quite skilled at being petted. Or rather at drawing pets out from people. He will walk up to anyone stationary and jab his head into a convenient protrusion (such as my chin while I'm doing push-ups) and then drag his body along. Sophie isn't quite as pushy. She's more a fan of coming and sticking her nose in my knitti- my lap. I'm not sure I want to find out what her plans where when she followed Charlie into my room while I was doing push-ups, but I'm beginning to regret setting a bad precident last night.

What did I do last night? Well Sophie apprently really doesn't like thunderstorms. Like the one last night. And I don't like her growling and whining. Like she does at thunderstorms. So I used logic - comfort is good. Unfortunately the reason I needed her to stop whining was that I was trying to sleep. So I opened my room door and told her to come in. It worked, she was happier curled up beside me taking up half the room on my mattress. That wasn't really a problem though, I'm in a queen-sized bed. At least, it wasn't a problem until Charlie decided to come join us.

I think that tonight I'm going to close my door. Just like I had to do this afternoon to be able to finish my push-ups.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

As I am now, so you will be


I'm trying to make good use of my time here in Goderich for the workterm. I've gone swimming once (cold) and intend to do so again (I never claimed that I was sensible). I also went out with one of my landlords' dogs this morning along a walking trail that goes over the river across the old CPR bridge.

It's quite the nice trail, old rail beds tend to be great for lazy people like me (when I have a purse and a dog I never feel like doing anything interesting, those two take up all my energy and strength). I went as far as the tomb of "Tiger" Dunlop (Dr. William Dunlop), one of the founders of the Canada Company. He and John Galt had a lot to do with the founding of the town of Goderich, as the port was developed for the settlers on the lands of the Canada Company.

Because of this history the tomb is something of a known attraction. Off the trail there is a little path leading up the hill.
After the level trail with fine gravel this little path with just dust and larger stones seems out-of-the way and untended. (Unless you're a lot more of a city kid than I am it's not). But once you get up to the top of the path there's a grassy clearing with a few pine trees. You can see that people obviously come up there not infrequently, because the grass is worn in a narrow band leading to a couple of benches set up by the tomb itself.

I read the plaque and took a little break, gave the dog some water and had some myself. I didn't sit though. I've never really been one to take long walks in graveyards, around the earthly remains of people I never knew. It set me to thinking - How would I feel if I knew that, after my death, my grave became what is essentially a minor tourist attraction? Are we showing respect or a lack thereof for Tiger Dunlop by trekking out to his lonely tomb and reading the plaque? He was more than incompetence and mismanagement, more than a town founder and politian. As I am now, so once was he. But just who am I?

Monday, September 17, 2007

What the Rabbit Heard at the Office

IS: Hello. I'm Brian, I'm here to steal your computer.

co-op: oh-kay...

EIT: *snicker* So polite!

IS: Hey! I introduced myself first!

Friday, September 14, 2007

I'll Hide in the Office...

So I'm in the middle of a fascinating power struggle at work. I've been told that I'm being used as an excuse, although I'm not sure if that's just being said to make me feel better. The issue here is that the guys from the plant floor out where I am (a small plant, not the main one) have been asked to stop changing in the hallways, at least if they're going to be stripping down to their skivies. One of the women's washrooms has been designated the men's change room (I use the nicer one so I don't mind) and the men who strip down when they change have been informed of the new policy.

The one says he's fine with it, the other one declares he's not. Won't change there without his locker. So, after discarding apparently tempting thoughts of declaring some cardboard box to be his locker and shoving it in the room (with a lock set to not let him out), the engineers went up to junk storage and found a new locker for him. From the stories though, he might well find something else to complain about, since his complaint about a lack of locker failed to stall for very long.

Me? Like the title says, I'll stay in the office until 15:31. We work the day shift here, and by 15:30 the place is dead.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

No, that's a digger!

Ok, it wasn't a digger. But I got to drive it! This is officially the best co-op term EVER. I'll take being stuck out here for the chance to drive heavy machinery. I took one of the graders out for a couple of hours this afternoon. Got to move some dirt around, and then took it out to the track. I discovered that if you go over 30 or so it gets really bouncy. So you have to floor it and go up to top speed (48).

In other news the Grad Student Association seems to be stalking me. They sent me an e-mail today to come to a presentation about grad studies. I wonder if it would do any good to point out to them that a) I'm out of town this term, b) I'm really not cut out for grad school, and c) I can't stay in Waterloo after I get my bachelor's. Yeah. Right.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

What the Rabbit Heard Around the TV

"So is he like a Mennonite or something?"
"Actually yes."
*time for a quick recovery*
"Well I always figured that if I said that often enough it would work out to be true."

**In fairness that last statement might very well have been true. There was a complete lack of embarassment present.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Purpose

The old catechism asked "Why did God make me?" and answered with "God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world and be happy with Him forever in the next."

What does this mean? It means that our purpose is to love God, as happens from knowing him, which brings the desire to serve God. And because love is not something that can flow in one direction, it means that our purpose is to be loved by God. And God's love does not end, nor is it stingy. God loves us warts and all, no matter what we do. God wants to be there for us, and for us to be there for Him.

And God? Thank you for sharing.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Roadwork

So my road-bike tires are rejoicing that Ring Road at the university is finally getting paved. Actually I guess it might be my lack of shocks too... I think it's rather unfair though that they started with the last bit that they tore up. I've been without pavement on the parts of campus that I most often frequent for quite some time.

Actually when I came in for my exam the other day I discovered that that was getting fixed. Which is a mixed blessing. I would really rather not have to climb over the markers that really look as if they're there to keep people out. However, given that both the entrance I would normally use, and then the one that I next walked to were out of comission, I didn't really have a choice. I understand that the work is important, but they really need to give warning. Yes, I leave myself extra time when coming in for an exam, but not so much extra time that I'm willing to go 20 minutes out of my way just to get on to campus.

Does anyone understand why the university is forgetting that there are people on campus this term?

Monday, August 06, 2007

Scratch That One

So I discovered the most wonderful thing the other day. I can trip the traffic light sensor to get an advanced green at University and Albert. I had thought that Allan could trip some just because he is heavier than I am. He can't trip them all, so that would explain why I wasn't able to do it in the past.

However, I am now leaning towards K-W just having better sensors than Toronto does. Which is great. It also means that it's possible to make sensors like that, so I guess that's one fourth year project idea down the drain.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Evil Prof

I managed to finish my exam with a bit of time to spare (it really wasn't worth checking over more than once). As I hand it in the instructor asks me if I thought I'd aced it. It was a fair question to ask, given that I was leaving early and didn't look discouraged. However, leafing through the exam as I'm gathering my stuff and gasping in a horrified manner is rather less than fair. Of course, so was me knitting through his class, so maybe I oughtn't complain...

Thursday, August 02, 2007

This is not Studying

Could you tell?

I have a final in two hours. I think I've stopped studying for it already (I'm looking over my notes for Saturday's exam though). Why have I stopped? Well basically I'm making two kinds of mistakes. One is chosing the wrong formula from the 10 that the book offers, all of which *should* be applicable in the situation (at least the solutions don't say why they picked the one they did, and the constraints given on the use of the one I used doesn't exclude the situation I used it for). The other is not noticing the units. Oh. that was Watts per metre squared, not Watts? And that sort of thing is NOT going to get any better by me doing more problems, at least not now. It would get better if I did more problems a week ago, but I think that at this point my best bet is staying somewhat unsure, so that I pay enough attention.

Wish me luck

Friday, July 27, 2007

Worst Time of Term

So I've been suffering insomnia lately. Not that this is unusual. Nor is it unusual for someone (anyone) to not be able to sleep this time of term. However, it is eminently frustrating when I have less sleep than some of my classmates AND was told to stop working at midnight. SIGH

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Socky Happiness

I got new sock needles recently. They're rather necessary: my old ones are 4 mismatched needles, with various amounts of bends in them. My new ones? For $6 at what is probably my LYS now (I don't think that Michael's or Lens Mill count) I got a set of 5 2.5mm dpns (20 cm long). They're a little longer than I'd like, but they're lightweight, strong, and not very pointy. I personally like pointy needles, but these are fine for socks, and don't make holes in as many things.

As for how they're doing, I started a sock on Monday. These socks are strictly for in-class, as it's a busy time of term. I am turning the heel (on a men's dress sock, that I am knitting intermittently due to my lingering sprain and taking notes) today. I would have done so during my tutorial but I wanted to look up how to do an eye of the partridge heel. And the delay is no bad thing - I think I used the wrong yarn. As in the yarn that I have 3/4 of a skein left. Now I've been known to mix sock yarns before, but given that my other yarn is wool, and this is superwash... I'm going to go yarn shopping on Saturday. (no complaints about that one, trust me).

Let me know if anyone has suggestions on things that I ought to be knitting. I have a thrummed mitten to finish before I decide instead that the stink of burning wool isn't that bad a thing, and a binary scarf to do for Christmas. Oh, and I've ordered the yarn for my shawl (before you ask, no this shawl does NOT mean that I'm getting married). Aside from that though, once I've finished Allan's sweater repairs and these socks there's nothing. Well... aside from two years' worth of finishing up.

I don't seem to be helping my cause there... Unlike some Fools who think that hitting rock bottom is cause to dig harder, I'm going to call this a night.

God Bless.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Freaking Out

So I'm sitting here, supposed to be in class. This is due to a lack of freaking out on my part (rather than the normal cause of freaking out). I seem to have a habit of dawdling somewhat when I have late class. I never miss my morning class, but twice out of the last three late class days I've arrived after the lecture begins. I'm really beginning to wish that it wasn't always the same class, because this is probably the worst class to miss. (I'm looking over the lecture notes, and I don't get what we're covering today. I will have to bug a classmate about it later).

So any suggestions that can be given on making sure I freak out in the morning, and hurry as if I had early class would be appreciated. I'm aware that part of why I make it on time for 8:30 classes is that the professor for that class tends to not start the lecture until a few minutes after, however I make it for that, I should be able to make it for almost an hour later.

Monday, March 26, 2007

English Language

The Career Services website has warnings to make sure that we use proper grammar when writing our workreports. There are even links to resources on the proper use of the English language. None of this changes the fact that the use of the word "whom" is asking for your marker to complain that your report is unreadable.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Now With Twice As Many Needles

So work has been going a little slowly. Not that I don't have enough of it, just that it takes a while to do. And a lot of that time is thumb-twiddling time. Or, as I like to think of it, knitting time. So, since I've finished the shawl (it is blocked! Pictures coming when I get my camera back), I brought the lace scarf that I started last summer. Now this scarf, like most, is knit flat. Unlike most of my knitting, however, this scarf is not knit on a circular needle (they're great for knitting flat, just work back & forth using the two ends as two different needles). It needed the needle that I left at my place. Fortunately I remembered said needle today. (It was found when I was trashing my place looking for darning needles. I guess I need to lose something else so I can find the darning needles now).

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Pass The Pass!

Yes, it's unoriginal, but it's something of a solidarity thing. The anti-bus pass group around campus has lots of posters up, and I'm scared that it won't pass. I'm also really disturbed that people could be opposing the bus pass for any reason other than extreme lack of funds. To put it in perspective - if you have enough money to go out to the bar & drink you can afford the bus pass. It's a lot better for your liver too. If you can afford to drive (to class or elsewhere) you can more than afford the pass - it's a heck of a lot less than insurance for the under-25 age group.

The other thing that annoys me about the anti-pass group is that they're pretending that it's a commuter pass. At $50 for the term this pass is not aimed at students who take the bus to campus. (Students who do take the bus to campus will definitely be doing a happy dance if this passes, because it's an incredible deal when looked at in that light). This pass is more of a "I use the bus occasionally, and it would be nice to take the bus home without having to worry that I don't have any tickets" thing.

So please, for the love of COMMON SENSE remember to vote for the pass!

"...to help other people,..."

So the other night I was walking along, heading to guides. Those of you who know me, I'm sure, are nodding your heads at the fact that I have yet to fix my bike. What makes this interesting though is I'm walking along carrying groceries, rather more than I had intended. I had two different people, one of the girls' parents and one of the other guiders stop and offer me rides. (Yes, this means I didn't take them. In my defense the rides were offered when I was almost all the way there). The amusing part? This is the first time I've had people stop for me on the way to guides, and I've been walking all winter.

It's nice to know that people do look out for each other. And nice to know that they'll still keep talking to me after I refuse a ride.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Good Day to Be Canadian

So this is my March saint's day. I don't have a drop of Irish blood in me (although I do like the music), so St. Patrick's day isn't really that big a deal for me (although he is a cool saint). St. Joseph, on the other hand, is the patron saint of Canada. As an aside, I've always thought that we got the short end of the stick somewhat there, as he's also the patron of the universal church, of workers (as one himself) and of adoptive parents, as well as many other sundry things. However as I believe that the States has Mary as a patron I guess I oughtn't complain too much.

So what am I doing today? Well.. not a lot. Danielle Bean has linked to some traditional recipes, but I have guides tonight, and need to go shopping before that. I didn't make it to mass this morning, and I don't know of any this evening (even if I didn't have guides). Does that change the fact that it's a special day for me? Not in the least.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Help!

Ok, I need advice. Turns out that Katrina has indeed been discontinued. There are three lots up on eBay that I would be interested in. Lilac, Red and Blue.

Advice on which one? And should I be using Katrina for this sweater. Oh, yeah. Should I be making the sweater at all?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Katrina!

Ok, so this is the sort of thing that works better on a different type of blog. Like the kind that people read. But I'm trying to figure out if Patons still makes Katrina yarn. I knit a sweater for a friend using it, and I've found a sweater that I think would be beautiful in that.

It's not listed on their site. I had a bit of fun going through eBay to find out what it was called (I remembered what it looked like, and that it was a Patons yarn. There are worse things to have to figure out). The advantage of eBay is that there is some yarn available there. However it's a bit more expensive than I'd like to pay. I like knitting, and I do need clothes, but the colour I like is currently over $50 for what is *hopefully* enough.

I am (possibly) going to Michael's soon to get supplies for my dress (although I've taken long enough that I can just wait until I go home and use what's there). I'll take a look, however if I'm going to need this online yarn I do want to know to keep an eye out for it.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Ah. Engineering.

4 students walk into the materials lab

"oops."
"Did you just drop our sample under that packing crate?"
"Oh, look, I bet it landed top down. We're going to have some interesting scratches on that one."


A prof is walking down the hall, chatting with a colleague

"... but if you fasten something with Robertson screws, and then ship it to, say, Germany..."

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Clothing

So I may well be acquiring more clothes. Less painfully than normal. Women in Engineering is having a clothing swap. I'll see if I can get away with ditching some of my larger clothes there, and picking up some stuff that more resembles my size. In other news, I was walking around Uptown the other day, and the shiny store displays caught my eye (they do that, even when it's just clothes). Everything was green. I'm thinking that if one of my colours is in this season I should buy some clothes (bonus: it's not red, which I don't really have too much of anymore, but still need to cut back on).

The prospect of being able to find nice clothes in the stores (or in POETS) is a very nice one. Because it would appear that I'm going to need a *ahem* T-square if I ever want my dress to be done.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Living with Fourth Years

In this week's episode we discuss post-IRS fun!

So the other morning I go to the washroom and notice someone's iron ring sitting on the edge of the sink. I was rather surprised by this. Why on earth would Strider have left his ring here? (Cut me some slack. It was morning, and I had lost an hour's sleep the night before. No idea why, just woke up and stayed up.) Eventually it did sink into my brain that two of my current housemates have received their iron rings, and maybe it belonged to one of them. I checked the size and discovered that the ring defintely belonged to one of my housemates (I've stolen Strider's ring often enough that I know what size it is fairly well).

Juggler then staggers into the bathroom to bathe. He quickly popped out again, letting me know about the ring. I then demonstrated that it was the wrong size, it couldn't belong to Strider. Juggler, not being awake, needed to have the fourth year housemates pointed out to him before he understood the source of the ring.

The real fun, however, started when one of the fourth years came out of his room. I asked him if his ring was missing, and told him that there was one in the bathroom. Explaining that, yes, I really think it's yours, it belongs to you or to the other guy who lives here, took a while. However we now (hopefully) have it all sorted out. The other fourth year is back, and he hadn't lost his ring, nor are his fingers small enough to fit into the one that was lost.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Well That Explains a Lot

This is why hypochondriacs like me should not be allowed online.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Donald Where's Your Trousers?

You know what's the best part of the weather getting warmer? I get to wear SKIRTS again. *happy dance*

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Dust and Ashes

Yeah, so normally I wouldn't be big on posting about fasting, but no one reads this, and I have a habit of mentioning it anyhow. It makes for an interesting topic though, because it's always a toss-up on how to do so. Sr. Janet told some an interesting story about some students she once taught about fasting. In doing so though she made the comment that when fasting you're "supposed to go to bed hungry". I think that begs the question of what hungry is.

There's the usual hungry which means that you haven't eaten too much. As in how I need to get used to hungry if I don't want to start gaining weight again. But that doesn't seem like what you'd aim for when fasting. After all, what's the sacrifice in that? Then there's hungry in terms of your body craving food because it is desperately short of calories. Even ignoring the new guidelines that the Catholic Church has set out on fasting (basically eating less than two meals), that's laughable for fasting. (Please note that I'm talking only people who could be fasting. If you're in a state where one day without any food would put you into starvation, you oughn't be fasting at all.) Then there's what I went for - I could tell that more food at dinner would have been really nice.

But does "going to bed hungry" even refer to food? yes, I'm still talking about fasting here, but there is more to it than that. Hungry can be many things, and if you pick the right hunger, it will last a long time.

And, since I know it shows, I will just point out that for me lack of food would appear to last a long time too. That or the fact that I'm feverish again.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

I Smell 4th Years

So IRS has come and gone and I managed to survive (we won't mention the fact that I did close my office door, just in case). My roommates seem to have decided to skip the fun of IRS (and possibly of going around and scaring everyone in the engineering buildings). However they now have their shinies. Two more years and I will too (knock on wood). This year didn't have a lot of posters. I saw one that I didn't get (making fun of McMaster I believe), and one mocking the university saying "In the spirit of unimaginative mottos" There was also an underwear clothesline strung up over some stairs. I think it's good that they manage to find time, even in 4th year, to do their laundry, and that they don't want to have to use a dryer.

In other news - if my rice is hidden under more than 2kg of food again I am no longer responsible for the cooking or the shopping.

And if anyone knows the origin of the knitting e-letter that showed up in my mailbox the other morning please do share. It's not something I would have signed up for, as it's from a store in the States, that doesn't sell online...

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

It appears that there has been a bit of a falling out in the FEDS exec. I received two e-mails forwarded to the engineering society mailing lists in rapid succession today. The first announced that the board of directors had overturned the Vice-President Internal's decision to deny the Women's Centre the use of the Student Life Centre to perform The Vagina Monologues. The second e-mail announced the resignation of aforementioned vice president.

I am far from being a supporter of the recently resigned vice president. Quite the opposite in fact. And I will definitely agree that he was out of line - expecting people to have self-respect directly opposing society is rather optimistic, making it unreasonable to say that The Vagina Monologues contains any content that gives cause to restrict the freedom of speech of the people involved. And the stated goals of the V-day campaign (namely the elimination of violence against women, especially crimes which primarily or exclusively affect women such as rape, honour killings, FGM and others) are definitely worth supporting. And although I have no actual information on the organisation, its site suggests that there might be a high enough degree of effectiveness that the creation of a new organisation was worth it.

However I have to almost admire the actions of the vice president. Were he in a position where he was free to act as his conscience dictated I would admire them, despite my doubts as to his motivations. Too many people are afraid of opposing any movement that does good, even if it causes harm as well.

In the interest of explaining to anyone who is willing to listen (i.e. those wiser & better than I) my reasons for opposing this is simple: I find the ideals of the organisation to be suspect. To quote from a defense the organisation has put on its website, the vagina "does indeed represent women both physical and metaphysically as a feminine being" (V-day:Opposition on Catholic college campuses, http://www.vday.org/contents/vday/resistance/catholic, 7 February, 2007.) To suggest that women are that strongly defined by their sexual organs is offensive. To suggest that a physical difference can so much define femininity is denying other differences between men & women.

On top of that, if the physical aspect of sexuality is so much a part of what makes a woman, one would assume the same to be true for men. This reduces society to little more than the proverbial naked apes. And even if it were in me to be contented with the dreams a naked ape might have, societal mores (which would not be needed by naked apes, and to an extent are disdained by the V-Day organisation) are a form of protection for the vulnerable. If you doubt that, ask yourself just why it is that the idea of a 16-year-old mother disturbs you.

If you feel that I've misrepresented or misunderstood anything that I present here I'd love to hear from you. However pettiness will likely be met by more of the same & summarily deleted.

Update: Having read the coverage of the story in the campus newspaper it would appear that I was wrong in maligning the former vice president. The presentation of the show is going to be done in the main area of the campus centre, not off in one of the small rooms. In other words, it is not necessary to decide to attend the event to be subjected to it. It would be nice if society agreed that everyone was allowed to choose (that's the big thing for society, right? Do what you want?) how sexualized they wanted their everyday life. Society's attitude towards sex is often called permissive. I would say that that term is somewhat misleading - permissive suggests that anything is permitted. Modesty, however, would appear to not be.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Suuure You Can't

You may or may not be familiar with Stephanie's story of sitting in the hospital, knitting, and encountering a brain surgeon who was amazed that anyone would have the patience to do something that picky. (Yes, I'm somewhat worried by that too.)

I snickered when I read this (and again when I heard her tell the story when I went to hear her speak). People just don't think, right? Too bad that there wasn't time for that poor woman to realise what she'd said. Of course I'm sure you're all snickering at me now, being that foolishly naive.

My job at the moment is involving long periods of sitting and waiting, so I decided to take advantage of that to catch up on my knitting. (What with having a somewhat immovable deadline for this shawl that I'm working on the time is useful). The engineer in the office with me noticed me knitting & was amazed. He stated that men just don't have the patience to do that sort of thing. Now, while I agree that men and women have different skills, let's examine this. Starting with the fact that my boyfriend has knit a garter stitch scarf well over 2m long, and finishing with the fact that this is an electrical engineer talking. He designs chips. (The computer kind) for professors.

For those of you who haven't had to do it yet, working with electronic components is much finer work than knitting. Especially knitting on 5.5mm needles. And no, none of this sank in during our extended conversation on this. I guess it just serves me right for daring to doubt the Yarn Harlot.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Let It Snow

I don't know if anyone else remembers anxiously waiting and listening to the radio in the morning on snowy days to find out if school was going to be closed, back when they were a kid. It's interesting how things change. When I got to work this morning (I'm working on campus as an RA by the way) I realised that I hadn't seen enough cars on University Ave., and that the campus didn't seem to be quite bustling enough for 8 am. I logged into my computer, and went to the university's home page. Bingo - snow day, campus was closed. I'm ok with missing work, but seriously, couldn't this have happened last week, when I didn't have work to do??