Saturday, February 28, 2009

Inopportune times


I've been having computer difficulties lately. Half the time it doesn't turn off when I want it to.

I've also been pretty busy with school. I'm not sure why I don't post anything about what I'm working on there here. I'm still kind of riding a high from finishing a presentation this week. It's a weight off my shoulders and got rave reviews like "cerebral" and "you guys got the conceit of the week."

I would have done a good job by myself, but I think it was definitely improved by the fact that I had an intelligent, agreeable partner to work with. Good to have people to bounce ideas with, especially when they have well thought out ideas that are not the same as mine. I don't learn very much when I'm always the dominant person in the group, which is often.

People are going to be upset with me for saying this but I'm really glad it's raining. If you string too many dry days together, I get nosebleeds. They can last for hours and disrupt everything. The past few weeks I've also had really congested sinuses and it really sucks to need to blow your nose while you're paranoid that you're going to make it start again.

Increasingly these things have been happening at the most inopportune times. In class, while I've been talking to people, on the bus or at night.

The worst night was last week. I spend a lot of time at school on Thursdays - seven straight hours, if I'm not meeting with someone for a project. I usually get home around 11 pm and then I have to be up at 6 for school downtown the next day.

I had a paper due in the morning and it wasn't quite finished. I got home and started working on it and for whatever reason it was slow going. It really shouldn't take all night to come up with 800 words but in this case it did. I was having trouble with it so at 2am I decided to get a couple hours sleep.

I woke up an hour and a half later with my face in a pool of blood. I was groggy and disoriented and it had soaked into my pillow and sheets. Laundry time! I stripped everything off my bed and threw it into the wash.

This was the perfect opportunity to get some more work done on my paper. I wrote at a snail's pace until the sheets were out of the dryer while the cat squawked at me that there were no sheets on the bed.

I made my bed, put the cat to sleep and worked on the paper some more, which was still slow going. Half an hour later, the cat started fussing again. I checked the bed and it was wet. She'd had a seizure and peed all over it.

Why do I only have one set of sheets?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Help preserve an open internet.

You there! In Canada! The CRTC is currently accepting submissions from the public about net neutrality.

Right now, internet access is not regulated in Canada. This allows your internet service provider (Shaw, Rogers, Bell, etc.) to speed up, slow down and block your access to websites and services as it sees fit.

A free and open internet is important for democracy, for communication, business and innovation. You pay for internet access and you should be able to visit anything you want without the interference of your internet service provider.

Please consider sending a submission to the CRTC. There is a form you can fill out to send them a letter so it is relatively painless to do. The deadline for making a submission is tomorrow, Monday February 23.

The petition, CRTC letter and lots of information can be found here.

If you are in the US, you can find out what's happening with the FCC here.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I forsee warm sweaters in my future.

new yarn

Somehow my father has the magical ability to know about yarn store sales before I do. He clips the ads out of newspapers and leaves them on the keyboard of my computer where I will see them. He does the same for computer sales or anything else he thinks I am interested in purchasing at any given time. It's his way of being helpful.

So we arrived at the rock and gem club show only to find that it wasn't open yet. I had prepared for this inevitability by having $45 in my pocket - more than enough to buy some yarn for a pair of socks. I suggested that we could kill the twenty minutes petting yarn a couple blocks away.

Once there he was thoroughly impressed by the selection and gained some attention for being the only male in the store. I heard the following from his mouth, among others:

"Yarn doesn't go bad. You may as well stock up because the prices are good."

"Look at this! Isn't it soft?"

"It's made out of lama. Lama!"

"Are you sure that's enough for a project?"

"No sense in wasting your time on crappy materials. Why use acrylic when you can use alpaca?"

"What about your next project? You should be thinking three projects ahead!"

These statements are not conducive to being frugal. The end result was the picture above. Two sweater's worth and a skein of Malabrigo Lace.

"You have a card," he said, but as I made it to the till, mom slipped me his.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

No more squirrel!

cable yoke sweater

Nonstop excitement here.

We finally put an end to the squirrel problem. Yesterday dad covered the holes where it was getting in and out with chicken wire. The only problem was that in doing so he accidentally caged it in.

We left it in there overnight, figuring that if it was hungry it would be a lot more willing to leave. This morning it started climbing around at around 8am and later on when I looked out at it, I found it clinging to the chicken wire, its face pressed up against it to get some sun. I took pity on the thing and decided that I would let it out today.

In the early afternoon I began to pry out the staples holding the chicken wire when I suddenly realized that it was sitting two feet away from me, growling. Have you ever heard a squirrel growl? It's the scariest thing in the world when the squirrel is two feet away from your head and you're not wearing goggles, gloves or a bee suit.

I got my sister to whack the ceiling below it scare it to the other end of the roof, but that meant that when I finally got the chicken wire open so that the squirrel could get out, it would not move. She and I tag teamed for a while on squirrel watch to see if maybe it would come out on its own, but two plus hours later, it hadn't moved and we were freezing cold.

We had to burn an entire newspaper to smoke it out. It hopped hesitantly to the open hole and then out across the patio, never to be seen again. It hasn't returned, so it's a good sign that it didn't leave any babies in there. It has, however, eaten all of the electrical wires and filled the space with random junk and feces, so eventually we will have to tear out the ceiling and clean it up.

I've been working on the above sweater for a while now and I've finally made it through the yoke. The pattern is Wheat Ear Cable Yoke from Interweave Knits Summer 2007, modified to be knit in one piece from the top-down. It will be finished just in time for it to be too warm to wear it.

Monday, February 09, 2009

D-talks is for people not like me.

Belzberg library has a brand new book on pedestrianism and the art of walking that I've been considering taking out because it looks interesting. Not that I don't have about nine other books going right now. I've held off because frankly I'm a little afraid to show my face in there for the next couple weeks because I was caught (horror of horrors!) and admonished for talking in the group study room where you are allowed to talk.

But I do love walking and I love the times when I suddenly have random free time with which I can explore. Today it was a random twenty minutes in which I walked down Great Northern Way from VCC-Clark to Main and back.

I saw all sorts of interesting things. For example, did you know that Sir Francis Xavier School was on that street? I sure didn't! I have no idea how many times I've driven past it and not seen it there. It's quite big and bricky.

I checked each tree for bird nests but I didn't find any. A jogger caught me in the act of doing this and I think he thought I was strange. There seem to be a lot of not particularly personable people that jog and bike through that area.

Down by one of the railyards there are two metal chairs bolted to the ground that face each other for no apparent reason other than to have them face each other in a place where public seating is not particularly needed and probably not used. The scene prompted me to shout out "Face off! At the railyard!" I will not lie; there were hand gestures and a dramatic pose involved. This may be hard to believe, but some people find me embarassing to be around in public.

I also walked past Detox. I knew where that was because my dad used to take some of his students down there. At the time I thought it was D-talks and assumed that drug users had special conversations there. There was something special about drug users that required them to talk a lot more than everyone else, deep conversations about drugs that I would never ever have because people like me don't try drugs.

This trip into my 6-year-old psyche brought to you by my walk down Great Northern Way.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Home alone

I'm home alone. The sudden lack of diabetics in the house turned tonight into a carbfest. I told myself I wouldn't but the fudge cookies kind of just made themselves. You know how it is.

They have gone to Seattle for the weekend. I opted out because I have too much work to do.

I'm writing a paper about media reform, not a research paper, but more of an imagination paper. It doesn't require research, which makes it hard because I have to make it all up myself.

Still, having the house to myself makes this sort of thing easier, because I can regress into my old paperwriting ways - walking around in circles and talking to myself.

Somehow they managed to turn the furnace off when they left. It was off for more than 24 hours before I noticed. I mean, I noticed that it was off and that it was getting uncomfortably cold, but it never occured to me that there was a switch in the wall and that it was off.

Other than that, the only remotely interesting thing that happened today was that I went to pull a kleenex from the box and the whole thing leapt for freedom off of the ledge and into the toilet bowl. It kind of reminded me of a goldfish.

Sunday, February 01, 2009


They should have Super Bowls more often because the gym was pretty empty save for a few women using the treadmills and a couple guys who by the sound of it, were in the process of giving birth or passing something large and undigestible, or otherwise expelling something horrible from their back ends.

I have finally gotten over my lamenting about my gibbled back and the loss of the super awesome muscles I had in high school and gotten back into the gym. This is going well so far. The most underused equipment at the gym happens to be the ergs, and coincidentally they are my favourite equipment, and as far as I can tell, I'm the only person around who seems to be able to use them properly.

This new gym routine fits well with the previous routine (the one that wasn't particularly well followed) entitled "walk the dad." I no longer have a dog to walk, but I do have a father who has been ordered by the doctor to lose forty pounds. It ended up that everyone would take turns walking the dad.

However, the previous routine fell apart because the dad doesn't walk far or fast enough for it to be exercise for anyone else. The gym is a good solution to this because you can all go there and do your own things.

Then you can all come home to find that the strings of Christmas lights on the house have all been severed by someone/thing. And while you're standing there with pieces of light strings in your hands, you hear a th-thunk th-thunk coming from the ceiling in the front porch.