Sunday, April 29, 2007

Nose to the Grindstone

I took a little walk and study break near sunset; this was just so pretty. Now my landlady is baking brownies upstairs and it smells sooo good!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Blooming and Scams

These blossoming trees really gave me a lift today as I was walking to the library (that's Olin there). Things are going well, just going all six cylinders. Terry took off today with a carload of stuff; my bookshelves and closet are quite bare, and my yarn stash is mostly back in VA as well. I'm trying to find a subletter, and almost got caught in a nasty scam. Two people answered my ad on c.raigslist, sounded very nice, responsible, etc. etc. Curiously, both said they were writing from the UK and both asked if they could pay by money order. I said fine, and then went online to find out what a money order actually is (I've never used one before, but a lot of people I know use them to send money home to Latin America). One thing I learned is that a common scam is to offer to send someone a money order and then ask for cash back, only their money order is bogus to begin with, so you end up sending them a bunch of money for nothing. I made a "note to self" in my mind and then went on trying to figure out which of the two Brits to sublet the apartment to. Well! Today I got e-mails from both, each one with a different story that had one thing in common: needing cash back on the money order.
My first thought was, "I can't do that, I'm leaving the country and I won't have time."
My second thought was, "Waaaaaait a minute... didn't I just read something about cash back scams?"
My third thought was, "Those mean people!"
(Mean people suck!)
I wrote back to both and said I can't deal with a cash-back situation and am planning to sublet to somebody local instead. (Hope I find somebody!)
Anyway, all day long I'd keep remembering odd little details about both e-mails, just little things that didn't register at the time, but looking back I'm realizing they were very odd. For instance, both asked a number of questions about the apartment (normal) but they were asking about things that were listed in the ad...(alarm bells!)
I wonder whether I would have been less suspicious if there had only been one?

Friday, April 20, 2007

Spring again

The snow is pretty much completely melted away, but I caught this shot of a glop of snow weighing down a blossoming tree, I think it was Tuesday.

I have about ten days left to finish all my semester's work... wow!

Monday, April 16, 2007

More snow!

Before class, and after class. It snowed straight through until about 9 pm. Looking at the tops of cars, I'm guessing at least 16 inches total. Crazy!


From April flowers to snow showers! A few days ago I took this picture of somebody's yard as I walked by; this morning I wake up to this:

It's pretty exciting though. Although, no signs of university closing :-( I'm glad T. decided to head on out yesterday though; the I-81 corridor is supposed to be a mess right now.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Blocking Silk?

Another finished object! Alas the inadequacies of the camera phone. Anyway, I'm quite happy with my new scarf, just in time for another snowstorm in the forecast...

I know I'm not modeling it in the hipster "European" fashion, but this way you can see the fabric better. I love the wavy effect. But I'm wondering, does one block silk?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

You guys gotta try this! :-)

Your results:
You are Dr. Simon Tam (Ship Medic)

Dr. Simon Tam (Ship Medic)
Malcolm Reynolds (Captain)
Zoe Washburne (Second-in-command)
Wash (Ship Pilot)
Inara Serra (Companion)
Kaylee Frye (Ship Mechanic)
Derrial Book (Shepherd)
River (Stowaway)
Jayne Cobb (Mercenary)
A Reaver (Cannibal)
Medicine and physical healing are your game,
but wooing women isn't a strong suit.

Click here to take the "Which Serenity character are you?" quiz...

Monday, April 09, 2007

End of the Weekend

Sunday, Terry and I were walking back from church and I showed him this sign I walk by several times a week. It's near the path to the bridge over Beebe Lake, and it just makes me laugh - "Extreme Caution!" - Oh no! Nature! Dirt! Rocks! Sticks! (believe me, their "bark" is worse than their "bite") (ha ha!) The ridiculous thing is that the path at this point is paved, and leads directly to a bridge with very high rails on the sides. On the other side are steps up to the street. Sure, there's a place you can go off onto an unpaved path around the lake, but really people. "Extreme" Caution???

In other news, here is a Finished Object! I'm thinking of making fingerless mitts to match. Very quick, mindless knit. Don't know if I'll keep it (it matches nothing I own - at least outerwear, that is); don't know whom to give it to either. Maybe the Relief Sale in November.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

On the Needles (basically only interesting to Tara!)

I just counted: I have 5 projects on the needles. Two are in Harrisonburg though (a pair of socks and a hat). This mitt here is the same fingerless mitt pattern as before, same yarn too, but only one strand instead of doubling up, and size 0 needles instead of size 1. This one seems like it's actually going to FIT. Yay!
I set my timer tonight at 50-minute intervals. Read for 50 minutes, knit for 10. I found that in 10 minutes I can knit 6 rows on this scarf. I have to wax rhapsodic about the yarn for a moment though - it is Artyarns luxury hand-painted Silk Rhapsody, and it was a birthday present from Tara! If it were food, it would be French Silk Pie. If it were music, it would be the theme from Swan Lake. If it were a smell, it would be gardenias at night. I made a teeny-tiny mistake in the pattern (a misreading, really) in the first section, did it correctly in the second section, and did it wrong again on purpose in the third section because I like how it looks. I think I'll continue to alternate. The pattern says:
Row 1: K1, *yo, skp; rep from * to last st, k1
Repeat 8 times.
Well, the first run-through I thought it made sense on the second row to slip the y.o., knit the knit stitch, and slip the yo over it. This was wrong. But it looks cool. The correct thing to do, if you follow the instructions properly, is to slip the knit stitch, knit into the yarn over, then pass slipped stitch over. The effect of doing it correctly is basically a more open open-work section because by knitting into the y.o. stitch, you pull it up a little. If you slip it instead, it makes the hole smaller.

Anyway, knitting minutia.

Monday, April 02, 2007

I should be taking a nap...

Just a note to let y'all know I'm back in NY safely; didn't sleep much on the bus, so need to catch a few Zs before class tonight.

It was a pretty wild weekend! My presentation at the conference went well, despite having to completely shift my approach at the last minute when I realized that the audience had zero background in social theory. The other people on my panel included the Human Rescources director for Cargill (poultry plant), a woman who works for Homeland Security, and two computer science guys who happen to be highly educated South Americans teaching Spanish at the university pontificating about how Spanglish is a "degeneration" of Spanish (like Spanish wasn't a "degenerate" version of Latin! Come on!) So, just a little bizarre.

Then Friday night I had the *lovely* experience of going to a meeting of the Minute Men Civil Defense League, who were trying to help a group of locals start their own grassroots movement to "save the Valley" from immigration. The local activists had been, well, active, though, and the crowd was probably 70% pro-immigrant. Terry and I agreed that the discourse from the anti-immigrant group was basically vicious racism disguised under a rhetoric of rationality and even humanitarian concerns. I'm going to write at least 2 course papers on this so it was very interesting, but at the same time what sticks with me most was afterwards I saw my good friend from Guatemala, a nurse and mother of 2 college students who gives of herself constantly for others. I asked her "how are you?" and she said, "My heart hurts."