meme speed and weirdness in the neighborhood

So I keep seeing this word “meme”. As a new blogger I have wondered exactly what this it all about “me”, “me”. It certainly doesn’t seem to be a french grandmother. So today, chris posted something about acephalous tracking the speed of a meme for a graduate student research project. You remember how grad students need data? Help him out! Post about his project, include his link, ping Technoriti and you’ve participated.

So, a meme is an idea that is shared and passed from blog to blog. Read this for more info.

The yarn harlot has posted about her odd neighbor. Mine is odd, but differently, and mostly this is about what a great dog we have. A month or so ago she told us she believed she was being stalked, had we seen a certain man about? Nope. (this woman is smart, but sometimes it seems like she’s got the worst luck, what happened in her universe? Actually I know, but why do these odd things-like somebody delivering penis shaped icicles in her cellar- keep happening to her?) Anyhow, the other night we let Zuzu out to do her nightly before bed toilet, and she was off and barking into the bit of woods next door (and behind said neighbor’s house). DH was out with Zuzu and he saw a man walk out of those woods. There is NO reason for anybody to be back there unless they are looking for their pet that wandered off. So we reported it to cops (who have report on record about neighbor’s complaint, and other items about her). Last night, again with the dog, I heard a twig snap and so did she, and off she went barking like a fiend. I saw nothing. But DH went out w/ flashlight, saw nothing. So I loudly brought in dog, left DH outside, and sure ‘nuf, out comes the guy. Again to the cops. I’ll have to call neighbor today, but will this just add to her paranoia? Zuzu has occasionally been doing this mad barking fiend thing at the woods for the past month or so…has this guy been out there all this time???

My great Zuzu (she’s asleep on the floor here, sure looks funny).


Last night I finished knitting the naughty squiddy, but since this is intended as a toy for a soon to be 6 year old, I’m thinking of calling it Celia Squiddy or the nice squid until V names it. (not this v).


Kind of mottled, like cuttlefish can be.

And, maybe it was that glass of wine the other night, but I thought that the description of Loligo (squid) from a 1930′s college zoology text was kinda erotic…what WERE our parents and grandparents reading about??? After a long day at work, it’s not quite as I thought, but here are some juicy excerpts,
“…The inner surfaces of both arms and tentacles are provided with suckers . The arms are pressed together and used for stearing…but when capturing prey the tentacles are extended, seize the victim with their suckers, and draw it back to the arms, which hold it firmly to the mouth. The funnel is a muscular tub…beneath the head ….”

We started at our new office. Getting used to the space. My computer isn’t networked yet so I need to work on somebody else’s. No problem, until Friday when we are both in. And now we have to park in a sea of cars. And it gets dark at about 3:30 here. So, it’s dark when we leave. Lighting is adequate, but not too bright. And we share a “campus” with the psych hospital…so it’s a different feeling walking out to the car. I know I’m a big tough black belt…but still, it is something I didn’t used to have to think too much about.

The sea in daylight,


Mostly you get the sense that I park far from the building (way in the back on the left). I went around today taking photos of they folks downstairs in geology so we would know who they were. And of us for them.


Well we had a great time in PA. Saw lots of dh’s family, folks and all siblings and their families except for the sister in Colorado. Went to the philadelphia dog show. It was pretty interesting because you could wander amongst all the dogs as they were on their grooming tables and in their crates. We (not me though) got tired before we saw the whole thing. Talked with everybody and showed all these breed owners a photo of my mutt! Favorites were Irish wolfhounds (lived with one for a few years), Spinoni Italiano (cute all around dog, and owner was sweet). The poodles were wild, all except the puppies were clipped like this, with tons of hairspray.


I was especially fascinated by black russian terriers. I thought they were giant schnauzers that hadn’t been clipped. These were bred to “take down a man” in the words of one owner, and for guarding the russian gulags. A great dog if you like training and owning alpha police type dogs. But not for everybody and certainly not for me! I love my Zuzu!


Cousin Pinky wanted NOTHING to do with her. Other than small snarl when she was too close to him while he was in his bowl, he pretty much pretended she wasn’t there. Unless she was getting love from family, then he came over to get love. But every morning she was wiggle worm of happiness trying to get him interested. He was happy to see her backside heading back to maine.

Got a great pattern book of men’s sweaters from the 1960′s for 69 CENTS! Will have to scan some pics.

Finally finished these,


That’s bearfoot mountain tango, and fiber trends leaf lace sock pattern. Because of the bright color and variegation, the lace pattern isn’t so noticeable. But they were fun to make. And get off the needle. Only had to rip back about 3 rounds to find out where that 3rd glass of wine made me screw up.

Added 5 inches to a sweater I finished last Jan that was too short (it was ok for cropped, but I stopped wearing it).
but then I decided that I didn’t like it and ripped it. Picked the stitches back up and am knitting down in same ribbing as body. There’ll be a line, but I DON’T CARE!

Made another pair of mohair fetching (no photo, they’re a gift).

And started these,


That’s the fleece artist merino sock. It looked so different balled up than on the skein, and different knitted up. The pattern is fiber trends peak experience, the mount hood version altered for 60 stitches versus 68.

Had a great time. Happy to be home. In Maine. PA kinda creeps me out…they get monday off of school…know why? First day of Buck! I have nothing against hunting, but it just seems too much like the south to me. Or in somebody else’s words, “PA is Philadelphia and Pittsburgh and Alabama in between”. Ahem. Ok, I’m a yank.

little knits!

Look at what came!


It’s from v over at spells with . I won her drawing when she was whoring for yarn! hahahahahaha! A gift certificate to little knits . I was so glad the package came TODAY (thanks Sue and Ann for sending out the yarn priority!!!) because tomorrow morning we leave for Pennsylvania. This is one skein of fleece artist merino socks, in a color called mermaid. I think it’s funny that I’m in Maine and haven’t seen the fleece artist yarn, though it comes from Nova Scotia, and it came to me from Seattle! And a skein of Madil kid seta. Not sure what I’ll do with that, probably some lacy scarf.

So, yes, tomorrow morning we are off for our mostly annual trek to visit Don’s sisters and their families in Mechanicsburg…and other family (folks and brothers and their wives and partners) in and around Philadelphia! We had planned to leave about 6, meaning we get there in plenty of time to relax and then have dinner. But, that line of nasty weather, wind and rain is headed up the coast and is supposed to be in southern Maine for the early morning commute…so we may just take it easy. Which is FINE with me, since I’m wrapping xmas presents right now (to avoid shipping…). Well, not right now, right now I’m procrastinating…

Don asked his sister if Pinky (their apricot std poodle) has been going to the gym…because Zuzu is coming and she’s expecting him to be in good shape and ready for lots of raucous play. Here he is from 2005 on Streaked Mountain in Buckfield.


Enjoy your Thanksgiving! I may post (probably pictureless, so sad) over the week.


mia asked me to post the focacia recipe. Here goes trying to copy from word…


From “No Need to Knead” by Suzanne Dunaway. Home made bread in a little over an hour, and no kneading! Part of the success of this bread is to have a hot oven, then reduce temperature when you bake the dough.

2 cups lukewarm water (85-95º F)
2 tsp. yeast
4 cups bread flour
2-3 tsp. salt (I use less here and more on top)
2-3 tsp. olive oil
2 Tbs. fresh chopped rosemary (or other savory herb)
1 tsp. kosher (or other coarse) salt

Put water in large bowl. Sprinkle yeast, stir to dissolve. Stir in 2 cups flour and salt, stir briskly ‘til smooth, about 2 minutes. Stir in rest of flour, about 2 minutes more, ‘til incorporated, it will be wet and tacky. If it seems too sticky, add ¼ to ½ cup more flour.

Cover with plastic (I usually put into an oiled container), let rise to twice volume, about 30-40 minutes, or overnight in fridge and remove 2 hours prior to shaping.

Preheat oven to 500º.

For loaves—oil 9” skillet or two 5” skillets. Pour in dough (if you use two skillets, the dough is easier to halve if you cut it with a knife after the first skillet is full). You can also simply lump the dough onto an oiled sheet. Sprinkle with herbs and salt. Reduce oven temperature to 400º, bake 30-35 minutes (mine has always cooked quicker).

For focaccia—oil pan, pour out dough, use oiled fingers to spread it out and make those focacia holes. Sprinkle with herbs (rosemary is classic) and salt. Reduce temp to 450º, bake 15-20 minutes (watch it, so it doesn’t burn). You could probably also do like some of the commercially available focaccias and add sautéed vegetables, olives, roasted garlic, or sprinklings of cheese.

Can also make rolls, author recommends overnight method.

For breakfast focaccia—sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon instead of herbs and salt. Maybe also use vegetable oil versus olive.

And, for your edification, check out the history of focacia .

We have been packing up the office today. Moving day was supposed to be Friday, but today we found out they may do us on Thursday afternoon. Look what I found,


Three of the woman who share the downstairs space with me roared with laughter, exclaiming “look at that picture, that stuff is older than US!”. Well, not older than me! I remember my mom looking like that. I found the date on the package. 1971. I mean, this is a non profit state agency…but, really, saving stuff that doesn’t get used for OVER 30 YEARS???? Other items of note, I opened the cupboard under the microwave (in a real kitchen, the office is in an old house), and found all kinds of stuff I had never seen. Including lots of tupperware. A hammer. 2 cans of ravioli from the dollar store that cost 73 cents. Mop heads. (we don’t have a mop, and I am pretty sure the cleaning crew NEVER mops). One opened and one not opened but expired bottle of water. A pen type mho meter. (WHY was that there???). And a box of meat lasagna from hamburger helper that expired over a year ago. The boss wanted to give it to the folks next door at the shelter, thinking do those expire dates mean anything and who reads them. I convinced her to throw it out. Right next to 3 mousetraps, thankfully sprung and w/out bait.

We’re (my family) headed to PA to visit other family on Friday for a whole week. So, we’ll miss the move day (well, I will, I’m at LYS on Thursday, DH will be there for it), but more importantly, we’ll miss much of the unpacking. Which I’m viewing as a good thing.