Tuesday, June 25, 2013


G'day all!

It is near the end of June, and you know what that means?

It's anniversary time!

Sunday was the sixth anniversary of us moving to the States.  We have now spent four of the last six years in the US.  Time flies when you're having fun!  It also seems to fly when you aren't having fun, it just feels like it is crawling.

Today is the 13th anniversary of DH and I hooking up.  He was such a shy thing, believe it or not.  I was the one pushing the relationship but he seemed fairly happy about the whole idea, if a bit terrified.

I think I deserve a medal.  Maybe he deserves a medal too - I apparently scared off all the other chaps.  Scariness runs in my family it seems.

I am extra chuffed by something I did on Saturday.  Alas, there don't seem to be any photos of me online, and I am not sharing my photos with you because they show somewhat more detail than I am comfortable sharing on an open forum.

Also, I don't want to scare my dear readers off.

Solstice Parade!  Hooray!

Every year, at the start of the Solstice Parade in Fremont, the Naked Bike Riders ride around and around the parade route.  They aren't so much naked, usually, as painted.  Being completely naked is not encouraged as it is harder to say that your intent is not to arouse (nekkidness isn't the issue so much as being naked with the intent of arousing).  Being body painted is preferred.

I didn't get touched by His Noodly Appendage
this year...

I should say we, not they.

Last year I promised myself that I would do the naked bike ride this year.  DH did too but he chickened out.  I knew I would be terribly disappointed in myself and would regret not doing it soooo.....

I girded my loins, grabbed my bike and headed off to the paint party on Saturday morning.  It was quite odd stripping off to my knickers in the middle of a heap of nekkid men and women.  I wasn't going further than that - braless was enough, what with me and my lumpectomy scar.  Wandering round effectively topless yet feeling oddly clothed, I helped others with their paint jobs too.

I was charming in a pink body suit with blue and purple highlights.  And purple painted knickers, which went oddly stiff.  Ahem!  And the only pics of me are posed ones, unless you count the two shots in which I am a out of focus blob on a bike in the wide angle pics.  But I'll let you see this bit.

Pink thigh post parade plus skirt
You didn't think I wandered around nekkid
all arvo?

It was quite odd how dressed I felt even though I wasn't really.  It was the impression of being clothed I guess.  It was also pretty warm because you can't sweat through the paint (I had acrylic fabric paint on - the paint has to be non-toxic for reasons that you can guess!).  Plus it was a glorious, glorious day on Saturday.

Blurry bike riders in pretty coloured "outfits"

All in all, it was one of the best things I've ever done, and I'll butter up for next year, if I'm still here and able to do it.

What other exciting things have happened?

We went for a drive, supposedly to Stevens Pass but it turned out that every last VW Golf in Washington state was there as well, along with a few other v-dubs and other European cars, so we ended up in Leavenworth again instead.  It was entertaining.  I wanted to look at Lake Wenatchee on the way home after DH insisted we try a different route through the mountains.  I spent an HOUR trying to access the lake, driving up and down and up and down and discovering the "through" road is closed after a bridge was taken out about two years ago - google maps told us we could get through.  I should've turned left not right at an intersection but I trusted the map, and it was wrong!

Lake Wenatchee

DH is alternately whining about work then bouncing about it.  It seems that something he has been struggling with for months is finally starting to work, just as well too because I've been ready to throttle him.  (Hence me needing a medal.)

Wenatchee River
We passed summer Solstice.  Of course I didn't see the sun rise or set on Solstice - the clouds saw to that!  However, I still got to see a grand sun set on Saturday.

Sunset, 22 June 2013

We had a visitor.  That was lovely :-)  He enjoyed the whackiness of the bike riders and the ensuing parade, along with the street fair. Of course I took him to Pike's Place and ended his trip with a visit to the horror...

I wonder if this little boy's mum knew
he was trying to pull gum off the wall?
I've made two quilt tops, one to be a backing for the other.  I have to make a quilt sandwich and then baste it and quilt it and put the binding on.

Black hole sun...
I've had that on the brain for nearly two weeks

Instead I'm working on an old quilt top that I started when I was on chemo.  Alas I made the pieces two different sizes and they just don't play nicely together, so over the last year or so I've been pulling the large pieces apart and cutting them down and repiecing them.  I only have a handful of blocks to fix now, then I can make sure all the blocks are the same size, put them together and make a whizzy new quilt :-)

New/old quilt fun

I've been knitting baby stuff like bibs from kitchen cotton for all the new little second cousins that are popping up.

Cute little boy top.
No my shrivelled ovaries are not quivering.

I'm sure one of them will be big enough
to need this bib.

I have lots and lots of work to do.  I have to get a small demo of the current thing I'm working on done in another eight days.  Yikes!  I spent today working out how to do "shared actions" in Captivate, which we use for creating our interactive training stuff.  I dunno if I've gotten it right yet.

No trip to Seattle should miss this view
And topping off the excitement around here, DH upgraded the OS on my computer for me.  It would not let me upgrade it.  I should've taken that as a hint cos


Why do I do this to myself?  He said it was working well on his machine, but I have a different graphics card (which Canonical seems to loathe) and between graphics weirdness and keyboard/usb weirdness, I have not been having fun times with my computer.  I could only type one letter every second or so yesterday, then it randomly got better but other stuff broke instead.  And I'm having to run Unity at the moment rather than Gnome.  Unity is designed for touchscreen stuff, rather like Windows 8, and it is about as comfortable to use on a non-touchscreen device.

Obligatory flower pic
An Austin rose, ?Graham Thomas?
It's not as if my computer is underpowered - it has 8 stonking quick CPUs, massive amounts of memory, a gigabyte motherboard (this means something apparently) and a Rather Large hard drive.   It's supposed to be a gamer machine, and if a computer could cry because it is underused, mine would.  It's not like my poor old laptop which limped and stumbled along.  My measure of a computer is how many Firefox tabs can I open - this one doesn't even blink an eye at 150 tabs.  The old laptop slowed to a crawl at about 30 tabs because of memory leaks.

Sigh.  It is all a mystery to me, and I could rant for hours about it but meh.  Canonical (maintainer/developer of Ubuntu) does not want the small user market, they want megacorps that they can make money out of.   It is like raving about healthcare in the States - pointless.


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Junuary already?

G'day all!

I've been futzing around for a while now, wondering what blog reader to use...  I've got the blog in Bloglovin now but maybe Feedly would be good... dunno.  Too hard.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

So there's the Bloglovin link.  I'll get me sorted eventually.

If anyone can tell me how we are in the Ides of June already, I'd be grateful.  Like what happened to the rest of the year?  The days are massively long - it is light at 4:30am now, if the sky is clear.  It is light almost at 10pm, if the skies are clear.  It is wrong.  I had to make a blackout curtain for the bedroom because it gets too light too early.  I'd take a pic of it but umm it works quite well.  LOL

Gosh, Blogger let me upload one
recent flower pic from the phone.

Anyway, the weather is being interesting.  It warms up, it cools down.  It warms up, then the clouds roll over and it gets humid and I realise how odd it is to feel hot when it is only 25C, or worse, only 20C.  I'm Australian.  I come from a climate where daytime temps range from 12C to 40C or so.  I lived in San Jose, California, where temps are pretty similar.  It was fine!  But I'm used to dry heat, and Seattle gets more humid than I am used to even if it doesn't get hot.

Anyway, it is all fascinating and thank heavens it is warmer than it was last year at the same time.

Wish this was real.  Some days
it would be grand to get in
and go someplace else.

Exciting events in the recent past?  Umm, I'm lacking them.

My car is a year old.  He got serviced in celebration and has a clean bill of health.  He is a sweet little car even if he isn't the blue raspberry colour of my dreams.  I am hoping to take him to the car wash tomorrow and I'll wash him from stem to stern and vacuum him out as well.  I won't put him through the tunnel - I worry that it damages the paintwork - I'll wash him with the weird brush thing and get a whole heap of dollar coins whilst I'm at it.  I love dollar coins even if they do weigh more than dollar notes.

My rehab stuff continues.  I have "excellent" movement of my shoulder blades, they've seen trained athletes at the top of their game with less perfect motion than me and my squats with the trx system are "textbook."  That is nice.  I am wondering what form of torture they will expose me to next now that the current one is becoming easier.

This block was straight, as is the
photographer even if she can't hold
phone straight....

I knitted a block in some yummy yarn for an online acquaintance.  Pity that blogger won't bring in pics from the phone and will only give me a limited sample of pics that I've posted on G+.  I post pics every day but it says I only have Picasa albums from a handful of those days and never a day when I've put up 50 pics or more.  Blogger is annoyingly flakey that way at the moment.  (I do wonder what the NSA thinks of me and my habit of taking pictures of plants, bugs, powerlines, trains and various interesting things in the built environment.)

I knitted a little cardigan thing for Nathan's new first cousin once removed.  Goodness it was quick (two days of on and off knitting) and I haven't gotten good pics yet but at least it has buttons now.  Now I need to get their address so I can send it to them before the baby grows out of it.

I've started a Dreambird out of my own handspun (nb I think the only handspun I've ever bought was some thick and thin stuff and also some Ixchelbunny angora fluff plied with holographic thread!  Love me some holographic stuff).  Not one of the feathers of Dreambird is like the others but I am not fussed - it still looks very dramatic.

The slightly incorrect but I don't care
start of Dreambird.

I finished a knitted hat then pulled it back out again because it is too short in the crown.

I put a plastic Alice band in my hair and decided to walk across the bed, taking a short cut.  We have an interesting contraption across our room to hang things like lights and ornaments off and apparently when I walk across the bed, I am about two inches too tall to make it under the frame.  The plastic comby-grippy things on Alice bands really hurt when you ram them into your head and scrape them back....

I fell up the steps outside and grated my arm on the top medial side of my wrist on the side of a concrete step.  Thankfully on the left wrist cos the right has lymphedema and could easily get infected.  Why did I fall up the stairs?  Well DH decided to run up them and it seems one part of me said, "Great idea!" and another part of me said, "NO WAY!" and my legs got confused.  Or maybe it is because I was holding some flowers and just completely misjudged.

Some of the vicious flowers that
tripped me up the stairs.

I burned my lympho hand on a roasting pan and cut two of the fingers on a shelving unit in a shop but did not notice until I had left.  It still seems ok.

I made some muffins to celebrate Car turning one year old.  I was going to put candles in them and all.  Only problem is the muffins turned out amazingly gooey, like some sort of pudding only nowhere near as nice.  I think one of the flour mixes I have has much too much gum in it (guar and xanthan gums are used to replace gluten in gluten free flours).  I was sad - my lovely banana, chocolate and ginger muffins were GROSS.  The banana muffins were no better.

I have a new quilt in progress.  One of the lovely ladies at the last sew in I went to lent me her half square triangle squaring up ruler and OMG!  I have a new love!  I had to trot over to Joann's with a coupon and get me one the next day.  It makes squaring the blighters up so much easier... but it still takes a while and I am not devoting many hours a day to it.

That's not a quilt, that's bunting!

The flowers are magnificent still.  We are moving into the summer flowers now, though some have been out for nearly a month after the amazing couple of weeks in early May brought things on a lot.

My Chirita started blooming.  It isn't called a Chirita anymore - they changed the name, it is now a Primulina.  It is very pretty but I thought I had bought a small growing one and it is huge - at least 30cm/12" across and would very much like to grow out of the 20cm/8" bell dome it is in at the moment.  I'm not sure what to do about that...

I've been working on drawing things for work.  It is interesting trying to pick up some old techniques and bring them up to date and draw things in a totally different style to anything I've done before.  My drawings of people tend towards photorealism but with this I am going for a very stylised cartoon and trying to simplify things and "dumb them down" when I'm used to doing lots of detail is quite hard.  I keep having to take a step back and look at what others have done and pull myself back in my desire to make things complicated.  It is taking longer than I would like but then again I'm learning new techniques and it is getting easier.  And it is fun.  Work should not all be drudgery!

I have so many more pics to share but
Blogger won't bring them in, dangnabbit.

I seem to have settled down on the zomg, want to make all the things all the time at the moment.  I have a few projects I am working on and I seem fairly placid about it  There's a few things I want to do - given how many first cousins once removed are cropping up on DH's side, I should knit a few baby items and quite a few bibs and burp rags.  They are simple and quick to make.  I would like to make a couple of summer tops for me but I fear that with the current pace of the days zooming past by the time I've cast on it will be November.  LOL  They say the days get faster as you get older and soon they will be whizzing past so quickly I won't remember what happened on them.  No wonder old people have difficulty remembering recent stuff - they don't get a chance to experience today before it is tomorrow!  Or next month... or year....

I am sure I will remember some Very Important Things to talk about as soon as I end this post, but continuing to blather will not bring them to mind, so