I have a couple (2) mini USB 2.0 A to B cables that I bought in error on eBay -- turned out I actually needed micro USB 2.0 A to B cables. First person to claim them and PayPal me a couple bucks for shipping (or yarn!) wins. I tried to sell them on eBay for 99¢ each but had no takers.
Wha-at? Surely you are not surprised to learn that I, the nerdiest of your favorite nerdy bloggers, reads a grammar blog? How else do you think am I able to write such consistently grammatically and syntactically and punctuarially perfect prose? (Oh, I can hear you groaning and doing the ::headdesk:: out there. Sure, I make that occasional goof. That's what makes me so lovable, right? Never mind.)
I read another one, too, by Harmless Drudge*, who is a dictionary editor and the producer of much dry hilarity. I would link to a particularly amusing post here, but her version of WordPress does not seem to allow for that. Crap. My favorites are the ones where she responds to letters to Amalgamated Language, her fictionalized employer; page through her posts until you find one. You will not be sorry.
Harmless is also a published knitter, but that is beside my point here. Do read that article on knitting two socks at once, though; it will blow your tiny little mind just like it did mine. Way back when I discovered her, she was writing a series of posts that explained the parts of speech -- nouns, verbs, etc. -- by the analogy of a family picnic. I didn't search her archives well enough to find them but you are welcome to do so.
There you have it. Nerd post by nerd blogger about fellow nerds. Nerds rule!
* Tragically, that blog seems to have languished pretty much into oblivion. But hark! The Google to the rescue! She has a newer one! Read away to your heart's content! Harmless seems to blog only about once a year, but still, that is better than no blogging at all.
Smokey was lying in bed while I got dressed this morning. He asked, "Well, what's new today? Did anyone break in overnight and clean and organize our house?"
"Nah," I replied. "Probably because we forgot to leave the door open. Or forgot to light the beacon. You know, the grail-shaped beacon* on the roof."
We started the day with a laugh.
Which was a good thing because about an hour later I broke the garage door.
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Email from Andrew: "Hey mom, mom, guess what I'm learning about."
I email back: "No idea. Give me a hint."
Andrew: "I was watching a lecture I missed for musculoskeletal pathophysiology (that means bone and muscle disease class). I attached my notes for it, and you should have a look, both of you. The lecture is on
seronegative spondyloarthropathies, a disease category that's a lot more familiar to you than it sounds."
(It turns out that psoriatic arthritis is one of those diseases; Smokey suffers from it, although I generally tell people rheumatoid arthritis because the effects are very similar and people have heard of it.)
From Andrew's notes: "...Or also gold salt is a remittive therapy. Q: Why? A: We don’t know why, but macrophages eat the gold, so maybe the gold messes up the macrophages somehow and yeah, kittens."
I love my boy man-child.
* * * * *
Now the knitting.
I really like to make hats. So simple, don't need a pattern, great way to try out color ideas, portable, yada yada; all of which is also true for socks except that I can finish a hat in an evening of concentrated knitting. Try to do THAT with a sock.
Last year I made this hat just because. I knew eventually it would find a good home.
Yarn: Bernat Lana (100% merino, although it doesn't feel as soft as other merino) worsted weight Pattern:Seaman's Cap (Ravelry link; this is my go-to hat pattern) done on 96 st. Needles: US#7 (I think) circ, Magic Loop.
Last weekend I knitted up a couple balls of super bulky yarn leftover from who-knows-when.
Yarn:Lion® Wool-Ease Thick and Quick Pattern: Improvised, based on Cathy-Cate's Casbah Toe Sock. One hat worked on 60 st, one on 56. The latter worked better for the decreases. Needles: US#10 circ, Magic Loop.
Last night I started and very nearly finished another hat, this time in worsted weight again.
Yarn: Colorado Yarns Durango (50% wool, 47% acrylic, 3% rayon) in a brown tweed. Needles: US#6 circ, Magic Loop. Pattern: Improvised. Cast on 96 st, join. K1, p1 for 5.5 - 6". Decrease same as Seaman's Cap, above.
I finished the first Red Scarf. (Color is off in these pictures; it is more of an intense dark red and less dull brown IRL.)
I love that it is so easy and mindless. And reversible.
Red Scarf #2 is nearly 1/3 done. Yay for mindless knitting!
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One A couple last chuckle chuckles, this one these from MyLifeisAverage.com:
Today I was walking into the grocery store when I saw a small boy in a
trench coat that was clearly too big for him. Suddenly a tall man in a
ski mask sprinted around the corner, bowed to the little boy, and said
"Master, things are not going as planned. We'll need another one." He
then handed the kid a potato. I've never had so many questions. MLIA
Last night, I was knitting at a bar. A guy came up to me and said,
"I've never seen a hot chick knitting before." I mustered up the
deepest man-voice I could and said "Me, neither." He left very quickly.
* Monty Python & the Holy Grail reference; we also used to have a cat named Zoot, named for one of the eight score young blondes and brunettes who lived in Castle Anthrax, the castle topped with the aforementioned beacon. Yeah, MP nerds here.
Warning: this is the geekiest post I have done. Proceed at your own risk.
Have you used Google trends? #2 son showed it to me last weekend, and we had a most excellent good time looking at trends. It measures the number of Google searches for whatever term you ask about. It also tracks what language was used and where the searcher's ISP was located, both by country and by city, and the number of news articles on the search subject.
Of course, my first search was for "knitting" (blue line), which I combined with a search for "crochet" (red line):
Sadly, a slight downward trend overall, but with happily predictable upswings in early winter/right before Christmas.
I did some more handwork searches. Needlepoint:
Crossstitch (the results were similar for cross stitch and crosstitch):
Downward trends everywhere I looked. I tried to think of a craft that might be in its ascendancy. How about quilting?
Let's get out of the handwork category and look at other topics..
I would call that an uptick rather than a trend, but it is too early to say for sure.
Okay, then we got a little silly.
"Christmas" and "Santa Claus", fairly predictable but still the downward trend:
How about "Xmas", for the typing-challenged?
That one spikes higher than correctly-spelled "Christmas". Weird.
This trend, for "taxes", I found a bit predictable:
People are searching in early February, when they get their 1099s and W-2s and first start thinking about taxes, and in mid-April, when personal income taxes are due. The news coverage about taxes seems to be on an upward trend in 2007 and 2008, however, perhaps because of the election.
What was particularly interesting to me about the "taxes" trend was that the #1 city for these searches was Minneapolis, MN. Why is that? No idea.
Now I started thinking really, really hard, trying to think of something that
might have an upward trend in searches. My only restriction was that it
had to be something that existed and had a sufficient volume of
searches in the entire 2004-2008 period so that it could have been
tracked throughout; thus, Wii and Palin were out.
Hmmm. Let's see. How about these? Yes!!
Distinct upward trends for both Apple and Blackberry, vs. distinct downward trend for Microsoft.
We tried "solar energy", "wind energy", "hybrid car", and "energy", but didn't see any definite upward trends. "E85" had some big spikes and a bit of an up trend. Here are some that may be on a up trend, albeit a slow one:
This one surprised me a little:
Searches on "cooking" had predictable spikes at Thanksgiving and Christmas every year, but with a definite upward trend since the real-estate market tanked last year and people started thinking about how to economize. That graph led us to the most spectacular upward trend we found, one which, surprisingly, seems to have started its big surge at the beginning of 2007 -- months before the housing market tubed:
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Matthew wants me to show you what viral marketing looks like. So I will.
"Cheerleader toss" (hover your mouse over that link before you click on it to see the YouTube video):
"Whopper" (for one day late in 2007, Burger King stopped serving the Whopper, just to get some word-of-mouth going -- that's the essence of viral marketing):