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August 2009
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October 2009

many things make a post

* I'm not that surprised that I got 12 out of 12 on this quiz. What surprises me is how many people haven't. You'll have to complete the quiz to see the graph, fyi.

* I want to go to the Netherlands just to go to this bookstore.

* Ada Calhoun talks about the Swine Flu Vaccine. What I really enjoy about this -- apart from Ada's reporting, natch -- are the comments. Always beware of someone who insists that we not polarize the issue.

* What Katie has learned during her 42 years on the planet. What would you add?

* The results from Ruhlman's BLT from scratch challenge. My favorite is from the 10 year old girl with Celiac who cured her own bacon. I think I've found a great e-pen pal for the Diva.

* Does it matter what kind of probiotics are in your yogurt? And do they do any good in the first place? Read it at least long enough to hit the money quote by Gregor Reid. You'll know it when you get there.

* The hard-to-parse feedback loop of obesity and poverty.

* Who knew there were so many flavors of masking tape?

* In honor of the great and glorious football season (tho I'd appreciate it if you didn't mention the Bills to my husband. He's a little fragile after Sunday.), Scott Miller's 12th Man video. And as a bonus: "I've Been Drunk All Around This Town," featuring one of my favorite lyrics about Republicans ever and a shout-out to the Exxon Valdez.

likes them apples just fine

This weekend, I purchased a half-bushel of Cortland apples. As is usual, I totally underestimated how many apples that is. 


This is half of them, spread out on an average size dish towel. Like I said, a lot of apples.

So I made apple butter.


This is what the peels from 20 apples plus one lemon look like. In case you were wondering.


After cooking the apples and spices and juice from one lemon down for 7 hours, this is the result.* It's damn tasty, by the way, and full of appley goodness. Next batch -- and given the number of apples I have, there very well might be a next batch, as well as an apple cake or pie or two -- I'll cook at a higher heat at the start or let it go longer. The house smelled fantastic yesterday, too.

Two other pixs from the weekend:

We took a celebratory trip to the BING! on Saturday because the Boy has figured out how to poop on the potty and why it is important to do so. This is what Maddy chose to wear:


It's a lot of look.

And the Boy got all artistic with my camera once he saw that I had it in my hand to take a picture of his sister's outfit.



* Actually, this is one-seventh of the result. I filled seven half-pint (I think) canning jars with the end product. The Pie Goddess and I arranged caramel apple for apple butter swap so that some of the product will be leaving my house. The rest is going into the freezer.

actual knitting content: scarf FTW

Sometimes, you just need a project that is quick and easy:


Noro Striped Scarf a la Jared Flood. I only used two skeins of Silk Garden (color #258 and #270), which makes for a shortish but usable scarf. I *heart* the colors, tho, and will probably make another one eventually because it is easy and satisfying. 

And, for your enjoyment, McGregor, who we seem to just be calling Greg:


You woke me up to take a picture of a scarf?


I bat my paw at you. Eh.

And, yes, I appear to be turing into one of those people who anthropomorphizes her cat. Send help.

many things make a post

* 20 Neil Gaiman facts.

* Adam and Jamie on the pleasure of using your head for something other than a hatrack.

* Quite possibly the best book trailer ever.

* One of the best pieces on the pressures women face, written through the filter of tennis.

* I wish I could go to this. Austin, you are breaking my heart.

* How young they looked! Even the Wookie looks like he's 12.

* I think I might have to go back to Maine just to eat in Portland. Who knew?

* Retiring Texas Monthly editor Evan Smith** offers great advice for wannabe editors, which could also apply to creative types in general. Like this tidbit: "Quality control is what separates us from the apes."

* Scott's big moneymaking scheme when we lived in Austin was to volunteer himself for Pharmaco studies. Our finances never got that dire, fortunately. Now that I've read this story, I'm really, really glad they didn't.

* Turns out that the Opt-out Revolution only lasted six years. Also, the Babble essays are hitting it out of the park this week. Witness this one from Meagan Francis.

* Yet another exhibition I want to see next time I'm in NYC. Madeleine Albright's jewelry was part of her "diplomatic arsenal."


** I once pitched a couple of stories to Smith back in the late '90s. I was far too young and far too green to even deserve Smith's time but he was kind enough to humor me. I'm thrilled to see that Pamela Colloff -- the staff writer who helped arrange our meeting -- is still writing her fingers off for the magazine.

shameless self-promotion, 318 in a series

Stop me if you've heard this before, from the local almost-daily.

Also, two other things:

--- I'm pondering a taking on a project about writing a memoir but can't quite commit because I don't know what people want to know about writing a memoir. So, is there anything you'd like to know? No question is too silly.

--- Peter Sagal is taking up a collection for writer Jo Carson, who is a fabulous wordsmith. Need proof? Read this poem. You won't think about potato salad quite the same way afterwards.

qotd, wonder pets and a terrible violence

Because my loathing for guinea-pig Linnie and turtle Tuck is exceeded only by my fervent hope that one of these days, the disgustingly cute duckling, "Ming-Ming" will get sucked into a lawnmower or a fan, ending her reign of terror over my household. And if my little girl grows up pronouncing her "l"s as "w"s--as the disgusting Ming Ming insists on doing in a misguided attempt at cuteness? I will hunt down the producers of this show and do them terrible violence.

-- Anthony Bourdain on kids' TV. And he couldn't be more right. Except for his thoughts on Yo Gabba Gabba, which is just damn creepy

actual knitting content: mitten fail

It's never a good sign when you start a project 4 times because you can't get gauge. It's even worse when you can't block the colorwork into something that doesn't look all weird.* It should look like this.


The realization that you have made a serious error and knitted two right hand mittens that are fugly, however, is priceless.


These bad boys have been stuffed in the closet of knitterly shame so that they can have a good long think about what they have done, because I am just over them.

In the success department, I did finish my Socks that Rock "Korppi" socks, which I mostly worked on during the kids' swimming lessons this year. 


Nope, not sexy at all. But are functional and, you know, socks.

The color is kinda cool, tho. Not black-black but a black mixed with greens and purples.


Oh - and this is just too good to wait for a "many things" post:  Picture of the week.


* I blame this on the yarn. Superwash sock yarn seems like to slippery a choice for colorwork. Also, the blue would have worked better if it were a more solid blue. In my opinion, natch.