Sunday, April 26, 2009

more doggie pandemonium

In 24 hours, Sam has:

1. learned to sit on command, most of the time
2. had a bath without too much fuss
3. mightily resisted crate training
4. peed on the kitchen floor
5. removed all the items from my knitting area and strew them around the living room*
6. removed everything from my backpack except the binder
7. enticed Seamus to play with him (Yay!)
8. Never stopped smiling (except when in the crate)

*(thankfully, he didn't eat any yarn. I don't care about losing yarn; I'm concerned about intestinal blockages!)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Meet the new foster dog

Meet Sam, our new foster dog from the Humane Society/Bulls Eye Dog Rescue.
He's about 55 lbs (25kg) of lovable, snuggly doggie sweetness. He's about a year old and has no manners. Yet. But he's a sweet boy and very attuned to people so I think he will learn quickly.  He and Kate are already BFFs and spent the afternoon playing around in the yard. His left shoulder is malformed but it doesn't seem to cause him any pain. It certainly doesn't seem to slow him down. 

He's great with Kate and Sheba, and so far Seamus is treating him all right. Seamus was acting like a bully earlier but we separated them for a few hours and gradually reintroduced them and so far, so good. 

Sam will be with us for a month full time, then go back to the Humane Society during the week and come back to us on weekends until he's adopted. I expect him to be adopted pretty quickly, though. He's young and very sweet. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

on location

I don't care much about cars, much less about luxury ones. But I am posting this link to for a car commercial because it was filmed right here in Tacoma.

The "stage" is right in front of the Museum of Glass. Rotate the car and you can see Commencement Bay, the Thea Foss Bridge, and Union Station.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

another book read!

I recently finished Dr Tatiana's Sex Advice To All Creation by Olivia Judson. The book is subtitled "The Definitive Guide to the Evolutionary Biology of Sex" and it is a very fun read. The author (an evolutionary biologist who also writes "The Wild Side" column in the New York Times) wrote this book as if she were a sex-advice columnist to all creatures. 

The book is divided into three major parts: "Let Slip the Whores of War!", "The Evolution of Depravity", and "Are Men Necessary? Usually, but Not Always." Within each part are several chapters, each on a particular theme. 

Here's the first question in the first chapter.

"Dear Dr. Tatiana,
My name's Twiggy, and I'm a stick insect. It's with great embarrassment that I write to you while copulating, but my mate and I have been copulating for ten weeks already. I'm bored out of my skull, yet she shows no signs of flagging. He says it's because he's madly in love with me, but I think he's just plain mad. How can I get him to quit?"--Sick of Sex in India

[Dr Tatiana] 
Who'd have thought a stick insect would be among the world's most tireless lovers? Ten weeks! I can see why you've had enough. Twiggy, your suspicions are half right. Your paramour is mad, though not with love but with jealousy. By continually copulating he can guarantee that no one else will have a chance to get near you. It's a good thing he's only half your length, so he's not too heavy to carry about.

The answer goes on, giving more examples interspersed with explanations of evolutionary biology. The book is hugely entertaining, as well as informative (the book has 308 pages and pages 235 to 297 are devoted to notes and bibliography). Most of the book is written in Q&A format, which makes it easy for us non-biologists to avoid being overwhelmed with the huge diversity of sexual behavior in the animal kingdom!

My life in song titles

I stole this meme from Gubbinal. I've selected Radiohead as my group, although I was tempted to choose the Beatles.

Here are the rules: "Pick an artist, and using ONLY SONG TITLES from only that artist, cleverly (preferably) answer these questions. This is harder than it seems! (Well, that kinda depends who you pick."

1. Are you a male or female:
"I Might Be Wrong"

2. Describe yourself:
"Paranoid Android"

3. How do you feel about yourself:
"Bulletproof...I wish I was"

4. Describe your ex boyfriend/girlfriend:

5. Describe your current boy/girl situation:

6. Describe your current location
"In Limbo"

7. Describe where you want to be:
"How to Disappear Completely"

8. Your best friend(s) is
"Where I end and You Begin"

9. Your favourite colour is:
"Black Star"

10. You know that
"Down is the New Up"

12. If your life was a television show what would it be called

13. What is life to you:
"Push/Pull Revolving Doors"

14. What is the best advice you have to give
a toss up between "Sit Down Stand Up" and "Anyone Can Play Guitar"


Most professional pics of models are extensively retouched. 

However, this is one picture which could use just a bit more:

Seriously, are you selling the underwear or the cleft? Really, a barbie crotch would have been much less freaky. 

And $99 for a single pair of underwear? You're joking, right?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Sheba has a question for everyone

"Do ya think I'm sexy?"

And how was your day, dear?

Last Thursday, I saw the doctor and got a Tdap (tetanus, diptheria, and pertussis) vaccine since I was due. I got the shot in my left arm and that was no big deal. In fact, I didn't even notice the nurse give me the injection at all.

Friday, my arm was starting to feel sore and felt under the weather. I sort of felt like I was coming down with the flu so I stayed home from Knit Night. I went to be early and shivered under the covers for a few hours until I could finally fall asleep.

Saturday, I have a welt on my arm and it's even more sore and the discomfort has spread down to my chest. The whole area from my armpit to my breast is tender to the touch and I have to take Tylenol just to be able to wear my bra. I check the handout the nurse gave me about possible side effects and decide that I fall into the rare category of people who get flu-like symptoms, swelling, and tenderness. Continue to take Tylenol.

Sunday, hurts to move arm, welt is bigger. Decide to call doctor on Monday if I don't feel better by then. Decide to take Advil for it's anti-inflammatory properties.

Monday am: welt is size of my hand, hard and hot to the touch. Armpit/breast area even more tender and ponder actually not wearing a bra to work. Decide that "free movement" causes just as much discomfort as wearing a bra so suck down a few more Advil in order to get dressed in a socially acceptable way. Later, call doctor's office, explain that I got a vaccine a few days ago and am I just suffering side-effects? Doctor wants to see me that day to check it out.

Monday afternoon (early): really hurts to move arm. Shot was in left shoulder. I am left handed. Really, I am not very happy. 

Monday afternoon (mid): doctor appointment. Doctor feels that my flu-like symptoms on Friday were most likely a side effect to the pertussis vaccine but that the welt on my arm and the pain in my chest are due to an infection caused by the injection itself. Prescribes antibiotics. I am wondering how the hell I could get an infection from an injection from a doctor's office. While all breaks in the skin can lead to an infection, you'd think I'd get an infection from my frequent hangnails and not from an injection using a sterile, disposable needle on skin that cleaned with an antiseptic solution at the injection site which was covered by a bandage for several hours afterward. 

Monday evening. Home. Arm still hurts. Kitchen, trying to unload dish drainer. Sadly, there were casualties:

That's the remains of my orange teapot and my remaining Octopus pint glass


Wednesday, April 08, 2009

in which I muse about my new job

So I have a new job. Same agency, but as work for my current position was winding down, I was asked if I would like to help prepare the contract for The Most Expensive Single Project That The Agency Has Ever Produced. 

And it's still in downtown Seattle, and that's a definite bonus. 

Technically, I'm only in this position half-time but I've been in it for not quite two weeks and so far it has taken up 75% of my time. 


Meetings! So many frakkin' meetings!  The project is actually being designed by consultants, and although there are agency folks there overseeing the project, the project has suffered because there really isn't a lot of coordination between Agency group and Consultant group. My job is to be a mediator, apparently. Which apparently means going to lots and LOTS of meetings. 

Here's my meeting schedule for this week. Keep in mind that I am only supposed to be there from 1-5pm every day.
Monday: 10:30 to 12:30 (intra-agency); 1-2:30 conference call (in which my hand fell asleep holding the receiver because my phone doesn't have a speakerphone).
Tuesday: 10:30-12:30 (meeting with one agency person to find out how I can assist her for the next contract update), 1-3pm (consultant teams to discuss their progress on preparing the contract), 3-5pm (utilities coordination meeting)
Wednesday: 8-9:30 (agency team meeting), 10:30-11am impromptu meeting in my office, 3-4:30 conference call
Thursday: 1-3:30 Design Update meeting (agency and consultants)
Friday: 3-3:30 Design meeting

The good things about my job:
1. I have an office! With walls! and a door that I can close! And chairs for guests to sit in! But best of all, my office has a coat hook. No longer do I have to hang my coat over the back of my chair. No window, though. But that's ok. The office space takes up the entire floor and is set up so that most of the offices are in the center and the cubes are out toward the edges, so the folks in the cubicle farms get the window seats. (However, the executive offices are very large and do have windows.)
2. It's in downtown Seattle. 

the weird things about my job:
1. I keep getting lost on the floor. Like I said, it's roughly circular (actually more of a trapezoidal shape) but everything looks the same. The receptionist thinks I'm an idiot* because I keep getting lost. (I actually turned around and went the other way when I realized I was about to pass her desk yet again en route trying to find out where Person Z sat.) There is a map near her desk (actually, on all the walls) and she tried to help me by telling me that the person sat across from the North Conference Room, so I searched the map looking for the North Conference Room, and she rolled her eyes at me when I told her I couldn't find the North Conference Room on the map. 

Hear me out. I mentioned that this office floor plan is circular/trapezoidal but the drawing had to be oriented so that it fit on an 11"x17" (i.e. rectangular) piece of paper. While most maps produced in the USA have north oriented towards the top (and most maps produced by the agency have north pointing towards the right), I couldn't figure out where North was on this map. There was no arrow. There two conference rooms on the floor among about 100 office/cubicle spaces drawn on this map and everything was labeled with a teeny-tiny typeface so it was a wee bit difficult to find at a quick glance. Or even with careful study. (After studying the floor map some more, I finally figured out where north pointed. If the floor map were a clock, the north arrow would point toward 5:30. Totally obvious. Duh.)

2. So many frakkin' consultants! It's not that there are lots of consultants but so many different companies of consultants. I've identified five different consultant companies working on this project and it's devilishly difficult trying to figure out who answers to who. And the consultants outnumber the agency folks by 9 to 1. 

3. People snidely talk about "union" folks who sit around not doing what needs to be done because "it's not [my] job" but I swear that consultants are no different. "That's outside my scope of work. You'll have to talk to [another one of the sub-consultants]." 

4. Have I mentioned the meetings?

Sunday, April 05, 2009

new wool socks--just in time for spring!

Yes folks, hot off the needles on this 65 degree F (18 C) day is a pair of 100% wool socks.

these pictures don't do justice to the yarn or the sock pattern. (Insert Oscar's grumbling about his crappy digital camera and how he really needs a better one...)

The yarn is Socks that Rock Lightweight from Blue Moon Fiber Arts in a random colorway called "Rare Gems".  This colorway is reserved for the all the experiments done by Tina (BMFA master dyer). These only sold at BMFA booths at various festivlas because the Rare Gems are never consistent.  I think a few of the Rare Gems have become part of the permanent line, but for the most part, if you see a Rare Gems that you like, you need to get it then, because it may never be available again. 

And I really like this color. The blues and greens in this yarn remind me of a peacock. There's a depth to these colors that sadly doesn't show up in the photo. Also, neither does the stitch pattern I chose.  You really can't tell that the leg of the sock is done in a lace pattern, can you? Usually, "fancy stitches" aren't recommended for variegated yarns because the stitch work doesn't show up. And that's true in this case. However, and I admit that it's hard to see in the picture (insert Oscar's grumbling about his crappy digital camera here), the stitch pattern I used for the cuff of the sock broke up the color variegation in a subtle and interesting way, giving the colors a dappled effect. 

To be honest, that was really a happy accident. I chose this particular sock pattern because it is fun to knit and is very comfortable. Everything else was serendipity. :)