spring! snowmelt contest!

Keeping with tradition, I’m running a contest to guess when the snowpile at work will melt. Truthfully, though, I have been a poor blogger of late (writing and reading), and my mind is on Spain not on fiber-related things. Which means I have no idea what to offer up for prizes. But it’ll be something! In the past it’s been spinning fiber, yarn, donations to your favorite charity (unless it’s one I object strongly to).

There will be two winners. One randomly drawn from the guesses. And the one who guesses most closely the date. If there are two on the same date, I’ll randomly pick. If there are two equally close, I’ll chose the one that guesses the date just before vs just after it’s all gone.

snowpile march 20, 2012 (2) snowpile march 20, 2012 (3)
There it is in all of its patheticness this year. It was not a good year for snow, so we didn’t get the ginormous pile we usually do. Typically the snow is out to the right into the field at least three times further than it is here.

People for scale:
snowpile March 20, 2012
Catherine aka Cherry Blossom is explaining how there is a bird that vomits all over itself to protect itself from predators.

We took a lunch-time walk… here are some other photos
Catherine and Ellen, Augusta Arsenal Me!

Down by the Arsenal, Kennebec River. First wearing of the Maine Forest Service hat I got at the xmas party. Fashion plate, I know.

This is something of an experimental post, as it is from the ipad. I managed last night to load photos onto the ipad and get them to flickr, but I forgot to re-size them (kb wise), so they are the standard size and won’t load on this page as fast. Next time I have to remember to use that app I got to re-size the photos…

I have a bluetooth Targus keyboard, so that makes posting possible as I can use the up and down arrows to move between lines in this tiny window. Otherwise, it’s a crapshoot, because when you touch the screen, the whole page moves, not just the small window.

Since I’m leaving for Spain in a couple of days, I’ll take guesses on this snowmelt date (the date it is ALL GONE… meaning no ice or anything at the base) until the comments automatically close. I think they close after two weeks.

Is anybody even reading blogs anymore? Is anybody reading my blog anymore? Or are we all taken in with the seeming immediacy of Facebook?

Appropriately, on the first day of spring, several crocus in bloom in my yard!

a grain bag bag! and other stuff…

the grain bag

Last year I bought a grain bag bag, and I have been using it a lot. However, I’m heading to Spain (in a week!!!), and the bag isn’t especially at all secure. And so I made my own, with a zipper on the top and inside zippered pockets for the ipad and passport/money.

Start with this:
grain bag bag

Fold, iron, duct tape, sew, add zippers, seat belts…
grain bag bag (1) grain bag bag (3) grain bag bag (6) grain bag bag finished 001 (2) grain bag bag finished 001 (5)

And end with this:
grain bag bag finished 001 (9) grain bag bag finished 001 (1)

The new bag is a tad bigger, and it’s wider at the bottom. This will be great for my upcoming trip. The older bag has better placement of the writing and logo.

Lessons learned:

Going to the junkyard to cut seatbelts out of cars is way a lot of FUN. It was a cold day with snow on the ground, so I didn’t fully explore the place. I’d been looking into trucks, thinking that they might have longer belts, but not really. Then I turned around and saw the “caution” writing on the belt in a trans am. So I just grabbed the two from that car.

Actually, it took a lot of effort to cut them out with a box cutter… which is a good thing!

The seatbelts from trucks, where they exist, are generally dirtier than those from cars. The passenger side belt is much nicer than the driver side belt. It’s likely that the two belts from a single car won’t match perfectly due to dirt and use, but a good wash helped that.

Having a business that begins with A does pay. Aable was the first junkyard I found in our area, so I phoned and then went out later that day. On my way I passed FOUR other junkyards. It’s as though every second business in Chelsea is a junkyard… it’s what a lack of zoning can do. I still think it was worth driving the extra couple miles… it was a huge yard, and the guy there was great.

I love my kenmore! It sewed through four layers of seatbelt, no problem… though by the end, and maybe it was six layers of seatbelt I tried to push it through, the needle bent…
grain bag bag (7)

Though it was a fun project, and something I wanted to do, it was also a royal pain in the ass. I think I spent four or five hours on the sewing, never mind getting the seatbelt, zippers (a trip to Waterville), buckley things, and most recently and yet to be added, a magnetic clasp.

There are a few other photos in this flickr set.

mushroom sweater update

The body is done! It was done two or more weeks ago… and I haven’t gotten around to picking up the sleeves. It’ll happen, but it probably won’t be finished until sometime in May.
striped mushroom sweater body striped mushroom sweater body (1)

It looks skinny, but as you can see, it’ll stretch. It’s sized for 50 inch chest, though I tapered for the waist. I’m happy with the shoulder detail, and that the back is about 2-3 inches longer than the front (the sides match up, I used shortrows).
striped mushroom sweater body (2) striped mushroom sweater body (4)

gratuitous doggy pic

Gravy in socks…
gravy in socks

crazy sink

I had to go to just about the world’s worst and least effective training a week or two ago. I work in an office… I don’t need somebody who is reading the slides and doesn’t really know anything about the subject to inform me about hazard communication (label your chemicals) and blood borne pathogens (um?).

Do you have two containers of toner? You need your material safety data sheet posted in the location where you store your toner. In case somebody accidentally ingests it. Give me a frackin’ break! And the bloodborne pathogens was all about hiv and hep C, and the information was not exactly right. I pointed these things out of course. And that all of us in the room were more likely to be exposed to ticks and Lyme disease, and even rabies in an office environment (bats flying about the old buildings) than what they covered. The response? Well, unfortunately OSHA doesn’t have standards for these things. Again, give me a break!

But the sink in the bathroom was way cool…
You have to step on the metal bar near the floor to turn it on, and then warm water sprays all down and around. Talk about a waste of water! But apparently the place used to be a factory, and everybody would have break at the same time, so at one time these sinks saved money.

Not so much anymore.


knife shadow
Can somebody explain this shadow?


I had that nasty cold that’s going around. Mom felt bad for me and sent some lovely flowers!

I turn 51 tomorrow…

I hope to post about the snowpile. It’s practically non-existent, but it has become a tradition. So, stay tuned… I’ll take a photo on the first day of spring as usual, and announce a contest.

Clearly I have not been blogging much, nor have I been reading many blogs. In large part I blame Facebook, and also the Ravelry forums. Also, I have a new toy, that iPad, which is a lot of fun. However, I think I need something better to synch feeds with my Google Reader.

Feedly displays nicely, but there’s no organization… I can’t mark things as read, it doesn’t record that I’ve read things, AND it doesn’t grab all of the feeds, and of the ones it does grab, it doesn’t display all of them correctly or allow me to visit all the websites. So I’ve stopped using it. Anybody got a recommendation?

Did I mention I’m going to Spain?!?!?!?!

For two and a half weeks! With a friend!!! I’ll be posting pics to facebook, since that’ll probably be the easiest.