Sun, Feb. 24th, 2008, 01:46 am
Please update your bookmarks

The public face of this blog has now moved to http://blog.fractalflame.com.

Bet you didn't see that domain name coming, did you?

I will continue to post protected entries here and past entries will either be deleted or become friends-only.

Fri, Jul. 27th, 2007, 11:25 am
Shakespeare in the Park

Going to Shakespeare in the Park tonight. Any and all are welcome to come with.

Tue, Jul. 10th, 2007, 11:58 am
Rip-It Rip-It Rogue

I've been working on a Rogue cardigan over the past month or so. As of last Friday, I had finished 2 sleeves and knit the body upto the shoulders. I had recalculated half the design due to my wonky row gauge (6.4 st/inch instead of 6 st/inch) and I blocked the body over the weekend. I clipped the shoulders together, tried it on and hauled out the measuring tape.

a) The armscythes were 1 inch deeper than the pattern schematic (and clearly too long for me)

b) The body length matched the pattern schematic exactly. Unfortunately, it was too long for my short torso and the waist decreases hit me at my hips.

It was wearable but not going to be flattering. And since I refuse to make any more sweaters that don't make me feel like a million bucks, it was clear what needed to be happen. I have refrained from posting photos, because I don't want to horrify most of you. The sweater has been ripped back two cable repeats before the body increases and the increases restarted from that point to take 1.5 inches out of the torso. In layman's terms, I ripped out half the sweater.

I'm not even sad about this because now I get to have the fun of reknitting it up again. Even better, I have a mostly stockinette project to work on during my east coast flights this weekend. Isn't that sick?

Tue, Jul. 3rd, 2007, 11:42 pm
Ipod geekiness

I spent this evening playing with v1.3 of Ipod Wizard. This is an awesome piece of software that allows you to modify the firmware on your ipod and change the icons, background, font styles and colors and menu items. I've played around a bit with it in the past and I've modified the header bar to have red flames and say (myname)'s ipod. I didn't see much point in changing the font or menu items just because I couldn't think of anything better than what was already there. But I digress...

I'm not the first to think that an ipod (and specifically the Notes feature on an ipod) would make an excellent tool for learning languages. Imagine waiting in the line at the grocery store and being able to whip out your ipod and run through a few flashcards. Unfortunately, the ipod does not support my language of choice, Hindi, despite supporting such diverse languages as Chinese, Japanese, Turkish, Norwegian, Czech, Hungarian, etc.

Enter Ipod Wizard. My plan was to replace one of the existing foreign language fonts with a Devanagari font or create a new font that contained both English and Devanagari fonts and replace the Notes font. I did a few trial runs, replacing the Notes font with various size of the Devanagari font and found that it was impossible to get the characters to display correctly on the ipod. In particular, the matras (vowels that are placed above or below the consonants they follow) do not display correctly. For instance, ती looks the same as ते and तु shows up as त . Not quite what I wanted.

I do think it is possible to generate a custom Devanagari font to use for Notes on the ipod but it is probably going to require using a real font editor and creating a custom set of glyphs, such that the matras display correctly. This is more work than I had bargained for just to make flash cards. My fallback plan is to generate the flashcards as images and sync them onto the ipod but that's more of a hassle to generate new flashcards (as opposed to using a unicode text editor) and requires more battery power. It's so frustrating that the hardware and software has all the right hooks for me to do what I want but the amount of hacking required to get what I want is more tedious than clever.

Sun, Jun. 24th, 2007, 12:53 am
The cooking odyssey is almost over

The chocolate covered strawberries are in the fridge, the gingerbread cookies are in a tub and the samosas are in the oven. I'm not much of a cook, so anytime I actually spend more than ten minutes cooking it's an event in and of itself.

Sat, May. 19th, 2007, 07:21 am
Where's Waldo?

Last weekend, I went clubbing in Rochester with my brother, cousins, nephew and my parents. So we get there, and the first thing my younger relatives do is head over to the bar and order two rounds of shots. I'm somewhat glad my parents were hiding from the bar and did not directly witness it. I cut myself off after two shots because I would rather not risk being even slightly intoxicated in front of my parents. My brother and cousin R however decided to get into a drinking contest, which culminated in both of them throwing up later once we got home. It was a very surreal night.

Whether I like it or not, I think I'm getting dragged kicking and screaming into mature adulthood. I didn't want to be lame and skip out on the clubbing but I would have preferred to stay at home, take it easy and get some sleep so I could get up and get things done during the day? What happened to the girl who could function on little to no sleep and never got tired? Though I enjoyed myself at the club, I just wasn't into it the way I used to be. Dance, drink, avoid eye contact with strange guys, push my way through crowds of people, try to protect my parents from said crowds, and yell at people over the music. Here's the age breakdown among the younger relatives:

Me: x years (should be fairly obvious)
Cousin N the older: x-1
Cousin R: x-1
Nephew A: x-1
Brother V: x-3
Cousin N the younger: x-4

N the older and I were united in feeling an age (or maturity) gap even though we're all practically the same age. While the others were partying and getting progressively drunker, the two of us remained sober and observed. I supposed someday I'm going to be too lame to even go out and I'll tell the "young people to go ahead". Ugh.

On a related note, my day-shifting makes me unable to sleep in past 7. I'm in San Diego in a hotel room and I just can't get back to sleep. I know I'm going to pay for this later.

And in knitting news, I've been done with Phyllo and I've already worn it twice. But umm....no photos. Yes, I'm lame. Photos soon, really.

Thu, May. 3rd, 2007, 10:09 am
Pure laziness (and a hint of good things to come)

It has been pointed out to me that I haven't done a real update to the blog for a long time. This is entirely due to a lack of discipline on my part. I have a chunk of free time in between breakfast and when I really desperately need to get into work and somehow I seem to use it all up reading other people's blogs. The whole "going to bed at 10pm" seems to really put a crimp in my evening plans as well. So let's see...

3 weekends ago: Fabulous trip to NYC. I had a stopover on the way there and the most charming 6 year old girl came over and started watching my knitting and asking questions. I tried to teach her to knit and although she didn't quite get the hang of it, she had a lot of fun doing it. So maybe someday, when she's a bit older, she'll be motivated to pick it up again.
2 weekends ago: Lazy weekend including bike ride along Canata Rd with turing
1 weekend ago: Another lazy weekend including bike ride through Golden Gate park, over the bridge, and up the hill to the lookout point on the southbound side of the road. It was a tough, punishing climb, but oh so beautiful.
1 weekend ahead: More time spent in the city, since my dad is in town and I can crash in his hopefully 5-star hotel room.
2 weekends ahead: Trip to Rochester for my parents' anniversary with a 2 hr 35 min stopover in NYC on Saturday morning. Just enough time for me to slip out of the secure area for 1 hr 35 min. *smiles secretively*
3 weekends ahead: Trip to San Diego
4 weekends ahead: Memorial weekend trip to NYC
5 weekends ahead: Oh wow, I'm in town. I should go camping.
6 weekends ahead: Trip to Boston for my 5th year reunion. Has it really been that long?
7 weekends ahead: It's my birthday weekend! My birthday is actually on the Friday, so I might make a 3 day weekend of it and go camping somewhere.

I love summer. In knitting news, I have been working on this sweater (Phyllo Yoked Pullover) with this yarn.


I've been nearly done with it for a week now but those last few inches at the bottom are really getting to me. First I decided to add some hip shaping and then I couldn't decide how long to make it and I didn't want to post a photo since it is so close to being finished and then the official FO photos wouldn't be as exciting. Maybe sometime this weekend....

Sun, Dec. 31st, 2006, 03:45 pm
Day #7: Te Anau

Since I'm in NZ, a happy new year to you all. It's been an interesting year, some good, some bad and I'll be writing my traditional year summary post after I get back probably. Last night's campsite was quite comfortable - we were car camping so we had hot showers and access to a pub.
The sun finally came out today and I rode 20 beautiful km between Lake Manapouri and Te Anau. We're heading out for a bush camp tonight and everyone has been buying goodies so we can ring in the new year in style.

In even more exciting news, I found an expensive and slow internet connection that will let me upload my photos to here (assuming it ever finishes)

http://s10.photobucket.com/albums/a145/seltsame/new_zealand/

Mon, Dec. 25th, 2006, 08:48 pm
New Zealand Day #1: Christchurch

aka "The Day Nothing Much Happened"

First, off, Happy NonDenominational Season's Greetings! It's the 25th where I am already. My journey was uneventful and all went smoothly. I was a bit worried about getting through the biosecurity screening since I had checked off the boxes for "wool", "food", "used camping gear" and "been camping in the past month". They only inspected my tent and it got a clean bill of health.

Upon arrival in Christchurch, the hostel staff gave me a mini tour and introduced me to everyone we ran into. While I appreciate the friendliness of a smaller all women hostel that has its own garden, fresh herbs, well equipped kitchen and resident cat, I was tired and out of my mind. I was so tired that I took a nap before heading out to explore the city.

I hit up all the typical touristy places - saw the Cathedral from the outside, hung out by the River Avon, saw the local college, took typical tourist photos of castle like buildings (note to M: my dream castle now needs my sigil carved into the brickwork), wandered around Hagley Park and the Botanical gardens and generally familiarized myself with the city. The British influence on the city is obvious, as is the reason it's named the Garden city. There are lots of cool trails where one could stroll and bike.

Going to go to bed early tonight since tomorrow is the big trip to Edoras. Hopefully, I'll find a place to upload photos soon.

Sat, Dec. 23rd, 2006, 07:44 am
New Zealand: T-9 hours

Victory is mine! My secret sewing project is complete. Alas, I still haven't packed (my laundry is damp), gotten the few last minute items I need nor paid my rent nor cleaned the apartment nor washed the dishes. But I do have the perfect dress for my trip to Edoras and it looks fabulous. No modeled photos till I'm actually there though.

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