Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Puppy therapy

I know that I promised I wouldn't blather on about 'my dog is so cute blah blah blah' as if he were my child (actually, some people blathering about their children on their blogs is possibly less entertaining than a little dog talk--not you of course, if you happen to talk about your kids a lot. I'm sure yours are super interesting prodigies.) but this is too cool not to share.

He's been sans hardware and cone for a while now, but still rehabilitating; he's been going to physical therapy once a week (there are physical therapists for dogs--who knew?) It's pretty much like physical therapy for people, exercises and stretching, but recently he's been using the 'water treadmill':

Sammy's Water Treadmill from Eric Fahsl on Vimeo.

The idea is to give him extra resistance to walking, as well as making him buoyant to reduce impact. His therapist describes him as 'all business' on the treadmill. Deep in concentration!

Thanks to copilot for shooting and posting the video.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Travel Beefs

This post has spent a long time percolating in the ol' noggin, pondering whether this was just my usual load of hot air or legitimate issues. Bear with me friends. I know that the internet is usually a place for intelligent discourse and kindness, but, here we are.

Air travel can be a stressful experience in general (especially flying out of Wisconsin in the winter); I try to take a Zen approach so as not to exacerbate a potentially exhausting situation. But, there are certain issues that seem to consistently grind my gears. Trivial in the grand scheme of things, but when these things happen Every. Single. Flight. the cumulative irritation starts to make me sigh so heavily that I'm afraid one day my lungs will collapse and never reinflate.

A rundown of personal vitriol:

1) Don't crowd the gate if you're in a late boarding group. People, most airlines have a nifty little system where they split the tickets into groups, say, First, Priority, 1, 2, 3 and 4. If you're in boarding group 27, relax, take a seat, and get the fuck out of the way. Actually, this could apply to a lot of situations: waiting for a tram, waiting to exit the plane, waiting for baggage, etc. Calm down. It's not going to leave without you.

2) You are not special. If the TSA wants to search you, it's not personal. If the flight has been delayed, chewing out the gate agent isn't going to make it get there any faster. The staff is not there to answer to your every whim, even if you're a frequent flyer (trust me, I've tried).

3) This is a very new beef, perhaps technically a subset of You are not special. Just go through the goddamn body scanners. You're holding everyone up by wasting the time of an agent for a personal search. You're not getting a consequential dose of radiation (0.001're getting about 2.5 mREM on that transcontinental flight, if you want to worry about radiation). And about the other thing. Look. No one wants to look at your naked ass, but it's their job. Seriously. I know this comes as a shock.

4) Don't talk and giggle loudly during a late night flight. We're trying to sleep, a-holes!

5) Be nice to the flight attendants. They are not your personal slaves. Their prime function is passenger safety, and they're underpaid doing it. Don't chew them out because they're out of your personal favorite flavor of Faygo.

I know none of you are the offenders, but I needed to share. Really, the whole list could boil down to 'be nice and considerate'. Words I'm trying very hard to live by.

Edited to add: This is what happens when you BWG (Blog While Grumpy). It's nice to hear I'm not the only one who gets their panties in a twist about this stuff.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Putting the yay in hiatus!

I....don't really know what that means. I had a nice little break from perpetually sitting in front of a computer for work, so I decided to take a little blogging break as well. So, Merry Belated Christmas. I hope you found everything under the Christmas tree/menorah/Festivus pole that you yearned for. And had some togetherness, family, blah blah blah.

Virtually no one received knitting presents from me this year. I put it off waaaaay too long and last minute knitting is anti-fun. I think I've set a bad precedent in the last couple of years by giving people knit-wear, and now they expect it...sorry.

However, I did gift mommy dearest with this son-of-a-b:

It turned out fine, but I'm glad it's done. I probably spent more time screwing it up than actually knitting it correctly. And she totally hates the color. I can tell. Just give it to Goodwill already, geez (just kidding, Mom. You will hold onto that until the day you die and wear it when I come over even if you despise it. Because it was made with love, dammit).

A lovely friend received a hat (finished) and another lovely friend mittens (pathetically unfinished). I gave her the work in progress, which was basically a cuff, and then immediately took it back. Totally weak....sorry. I gave the former friend (boy that sounds bad, I mean that in the sense of former-latter) an unfinished knit gift last year, so I thought I should spread the love around.


For many a New Years Eve, the copilot and I have been notoriously boring. Usually in the midst of a ski trip, it becomes clear how arbitrary the midnight celebration is - "Well, we live in the central time zone, but here we are in mountain time, no wait, pacific time...what time is it? Screw it, I'm going to bed."

What to do this year? It was the first time in five years we'd actually been home for NYE. Some co-workers were having a party, but ehhhhh...too much family related travel, and we just weren't feeling festive. But we both kinda wanted to see the new Tron movie...

Now let's get this strait. I have zero nostalgia for the original Tron, save a very random moment from the old Halloween 3-D episode of the Simpsons:

OOOOOOK, so I could only find the clip in Spanish. You get the idea, Homer compares the world he's stumbled into to Tron, and everyone denies they've ever seen the movie except for Chief Wiggum, who quickly backpedals when he realizes he's the only one.

But I was totally sucked in by the marketing. I mean, stuff blows up, and there's light-cycle racing, and Olivia Wilde looking all sexy...but, oh, the mediocre reviews. I was wary. I didn't want to be bored to death on this sacred holiday of the new year. So I took a big step...I let my knitting-freak-flag fly high. The new AC bag got packed with Mystery Wedding Project (which is clearly no longer a mystery but I can't quit calling it that), because who can't do garter stitch in the dark?

I knit on airplanes and trains all the time, but this was definitely the most random public knitting I've ever done. Let me tell you friends, it was awesome. I was entertained by the 'splosions and pretty colors, and when it got all talky-talky I could just knit away. I got a huge grin from a fellow movie-goer when he saw the knitting shenanigans. I highly recommend it! Err, maybe not if you're going to see Black Swan, though. Somebody might lose an eye.


In other awesome news....I finished it!

The ridiculously poorly composed self-portrait. Silken Scabbard, with Touch Yarns Merino.

The sleeve issue solved: I took yarn from one sleeve, evened them out, then blocked the shit out of it. It seems to have worked. This is the first sweater I've made for myself that I LOVE. Big thanks to Vivianne for offering to try to round up some more yarn for me!

The key to this pattern was try it on, try it on, try it on some more. Armpit positioning was essential to place the neckline where I wanted it. I made the same sweater for my mom, and the neckline doesn't sit as well because she wasn't around for fittings. If you're interested in the details, check out the project page.