Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Ugly Boy

No image for the walk, so instead enjoy some chalk art.

Luisa and I are still taking walks, although not every day. And as summer heats up, our walks are in the evening, when things start to cool down. 

We were maybe ten minutes into our walk when I spotted a tiny dog walking along the sidewalk on the other side of the street. He seemed to have purpose, like he was on a walk with a person. But, there was no person to be seen. 

I looked around, but no one seemed to be in the vicinity except for us. 

So, I pointed him out to Luisa. 

We crossed the street, and Luisa called out to him. He kept strolling along. It took us a good three to four houses before we caught up with him. 

Luckily, he had on a collar. The front read "Ugly Boy". The back had a phone number. 

I dialed the number. I got voicemail. I wasn't surprised. When I get phone calls from an unknown number, I don't answer them either. So, I left a quick message. 

Ugly Boy got away from Luisa (she was holding him by the collar and he slipped away), but I needed that number again. Because while I knew the call would be ignored, I figured a text wouldn't be. 

Once we grabbed the dog again, I texted, "Are you missing a dog?" and then I added where we were.  

Not two minutes later, the phone rang and two ladies emerged from a house two houses in front of us. 

In front of us. 

Ugly Boy was headed home when we waylaid him. 

Ah well. They told us that Ugly Boy has escaped before. Someone left a door open. I just wonder if he's escaped more than they realize, only he then returns. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Timeline Fail


At the heart of much speculative fiction (and fiction in general) is a question. What if? On Tuesdays I like to throw one out there and see what you make of it. Do with it as you please. If a for-instance is not specified, feel free to interpret that instance as you wish. And if you find this becomes a novel-length answer, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements.
😉

The other morning, as I was dozing, I came up with a great "what if?" question. That I now can't recall. Sigh. So, I'll again "borrow" from Twitter... 

What if the time travelers are actually here and have been trying (and trying and trying) to fix this year?

Monday, July 13, 2020

The New Toy

I got a new toy... 


Isn't it cool? What is it, you ask? Ah, something I totally need... 


Okay, so that picture isn't great. I was trying to do these photos only on my phone, but using a mirror... 

It's a light that clips on my phone, or what's called a "selfie light". (If that link doesn't work, search "selfie light" or "ring light" to get something similar.) 

The minute I saw it, I knew I needed one. No, I don't take a lot of selfies, but I do use my phone camera a lot to take pics of what I'm knitting. And usually it's at night, and I want to post them to Instagram. So, I have to find a good light, get everything set up, and hope... 

Nah. No more. 

So now, instead of getting this... 


...when I go to take a picture, I get this... 


...(and I didn't edit the picture). 

I took this during the day. At night it's going to be even nicer. Score! 

(The pictures are of my current on-the-needles project. Which I'm not going to talk about right now. It's kind of an experiment, so I'm not sure if it's going to work like I want. If it goes terribly wrong, I'll rip it all out when done. Also, I'm engaged in a round of yarn chicken, so it might be even more of a disaster.)

Friday, July 10, 2020

Hangman--Landmark Quiz



It's Friday, so it must be quiz day. This week, I'm back to Sporcle. Although, this quiz is a bit different: 

Hangman--Landmark Quiz


The premise is you're to guess a famous landmark. But this is hangman-style. That is, you guess letters until you have enough to guess the landmark. You only have 3 minutes (sorry!). But once you put in enough letters, you should be able to figure it out.

The "How to Play" gives the gist of what to do: 
  • Guess any letter by entering that letter into the box.
  • Each wrongly guessed letter will be marked as an incorrect answer.
  • To make a guess at the hangman answer put an equals sign "=" before your guess. e.g. "=Colosseum"
  • Even if you guess all the correct letters for the answer, you must enter it in full e.g. "=Colosseum" to end the quiz without further penalty.

Good luck.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Games Cheerleaders Play



My big excitement for last week was rearranging my yarn. Seriously. I removed it from a box containment system and put the various skeins in bags... Yeah, I won't bore you with details. That just means that today is a #ThrowbackThursday day. 

The new Blogger makes it harder to go back to older posts. Sigh. So, this isn't as way-back as I could go, but it'll do. It's from May 23, 2014, and it was an interesting day. 

It was a Friday near the end of the school year, and I ended up subbing for the cheerleading coach. She taught science the rest of the day. It was only for 6th period that I had the cheerleaders. All sitting in one classroom. With nothing to do.

(Well, technically, they had a "study hall". But rarely do the students in these types of classes, i.e. student government, the yearbook, the golf team, do anything on days like this.)

I managed to get roll taken, and then I sat back. One girl asked the others if they'd like to play a game.

Days like these I get to be a fly on the wall. They know I'm there, but quickly they forget all about me. And I get to see them in their natural habitat. What sort of game were they going to play?

The girl announced that they were going to play "Going on a Cruise Ship". Each girl got to take two items with her. And if she got the items wrong, she was booted off the ship. Now, the rules of the game were kind of unclear, because one girl said she'd bring her swimsuit but was booted off while another said she'd bring an alligator but could stay.

But that was the point. From playing the game and listening in, the girls had to catch on. (A girl near me explained the situation.) It was a puzzle. And it ticked a couple of the girls off.

(I've done a couple cursory Google searches, but I have been unable to find the games. So, sorry, I can't provide rules.)

Apparently, they played this game at cheer camp last summer. And there were other games, too. After they all figured out the cruise ship rules (or some just gave up).

The next game had to do with a bouncing ball. Not an actual bouncing ball, but a fictional ball that one girl threw to another, but that girl missed it, and it went... That's what they had to guess. Who had the ball? This one they figured out pretty quickly.

Then the first girl took three dry erase markers from the board. She arranged them on the floor in the middle of the group, saying that she was "drawing a picture" of one of the girls. (No vandalism took place.) Then the girls had to guess who she drew.

Now, for me it was hard to follow along as I didn't know the girls' names. I learned a few as they did all of this, but from my vantage point and where the dry erase markers were, it was hard for me to see the full picture. (I could have gotten up. They wouldn't have objected if I sat among them. But I didn't.)

The last game had them looking at the moon (figuratively) and having something with them. Again, no rules. They had to figure it out themselves.

It drove some of them crazy. One girl would think she had it, attempt to do something using the rules as she understood them, and find out that she had it wrong.

I thought it was a great mental exercise. Very educational. Of course, I didn't mention that. They were having too much fun. (Or maybe "fun". You know, the kind that makes you crazy because you want to know how it works. Kind of like magic tricks.)

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

History's Mysteries



There's a treasure trove of programming on YouTube. Many shows I remember fondly have ended up there. On subbing-free Wednesdays, I'll present a random video that I loved back in the day. Some of these may not have aged all that well. If you have some time, come on and take a trip down memory lane with me.

You think you know history? Maybe not as much as you would think. 

History's Mysteries was a show that aired on the History Channel from 1998 to 2011. (Although, I wouldn't be surprised if they still aired some episodes from time to time.) What was it about? Weird stuff you may not have heard of before. Or, if you were familiar with the topic, you would still learn something new. 

Like, did you know that the Titanic had two sister ships that also had disasters at sea? And did you know that one woman survived all three? "Doomed Sisters of Titanic".

Or, was Marco Polo an explorer, or were the tales of his travels fake? "The True Story of Marco Polo". 

The episodes were an hour with commercials, so on YouTube they're about 45 minutes. Just by doing a cursory search, I'm finding dozens of episodes, most of which I haven't seen. (Now I know what I'm going to be streaming this summer.) 

For today's embedded video, I'm presenting one that blew my mind when I first saw it. It's about Area 51. The thing that dropped my jaw on the floor, which happens towards the end of the show, gave a fascinating reason why there were all sorts of rumors about aliens. I've never looked at reports out of Area 51 without some incredulity since. 


Have you ever seen History's Mysteries before? If you get a chance to watch the video, I'd love to hear your reaction to the bombshell at about 30ish minutes. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Anyone Out There?



At the heart of much speculative fiction (and fiction in general) is a question. What if? On Tuesdays I like to throw one out there and see what you make of it. Do with it as you please. If a for-instance is not specified, feel free to interpret that instance as you wish. And if you find this becomes a novel-length answer, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements.
😉

What if intelligent life in the universe is the exception, not the rule? (Although, lately one would wonder if intelligent life exists at all...)

Monday, July 6, 2020

Special Request

The customer that requested the black and gray lip balm holder had another request. Could I make a lighter holder? 

Well, I could give it a try. 

It took a couple days to figure it out. I won't bore you with the trial and error. I started and ripped out several times before I got a working model... 


However, she wanted it in two colors. So, again I made and remade. But nothing was looking right. I was at the point where I was going to embroider the second color on this, because nothing was working. 

Then I remembered there's a spiral technique... 

And that cracked it for me... 


It was a good thing, as she had then requested (as I was fighting with the above) a tri-color lip balm holder. 


Luckily, the same technique would work on this... 


(Yes, those are the colors she requested. And yes, I know what they mean.) 

Since she requested them at the same time, they were able to be shipped together... 

Friday, July 3, 2020

Doodle a Yankee



I know I have a bad habit of doing quizzes that are U.S.-centric. And while most of the time I do try to combat this, this week I'm not. As tomorrow is the 4th (and we're going to pretend that there's something to celebrate), I thought I should do a 4th of July quiz. So... 

Doodle a Yankee: The July 4th Quiz


It's not timed. Just scroll down and answer. A hint button is even provided. Good luck. 

(International readers, feel free to skip this entirely.)

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Modern Problems



It was time for my usual trip to Trader Joe's. I wore the mask from the picture above. 

I have three masks I use regularly. (I have two others that I don't really wear. I like to be able to change things out.) They get washed after each use. 

The edges on this mask have started to fray a bit. I didn't think too much of it. 

Mistake. 

I put the mask on in the car. I walked into Trader Joe's, grabbing a cart. I had put a couple things in my cart when an inhale brought with it one of the threads from the edge of the mask. Right into my nostril. 

So, what to do? The point of the mask is to not touch one's face. (Well, among other concerns.) Do I pull the mask away from my face? Reach inside? Step outside? 

In the end, I just suffered through. And I made sure to cut those threads off as soon as I got home. (I don't wear the mask while driving--it's just me in the car--so it was only an in-the-store problem.) 

Ah, the joys of wearing a mask... 

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Burned



I don't plan these things. They take me by surprise. 

Last Monday, my roommate had an ophthalmologist appointment. Luisa (my other roommate) had the idea for us all to get out of the house. We'd wait while she had her appointment, and then we'd head to the nearby pier. 

(There are lots of local piers. Roommate's appointment was about 15 miles away, so it took us out of our immediate vicinity.) 

Roommate's appointment took two hours. ??? Apparently, there had been two emergencies while she was there, so she had to wait much longer than expected. 

Luisa and I waited in the car. I brought reading material. I also left the window down. 

I really should have realized sooner that my arm, the one that was in the sun, was burning. But it's been a while since I got burned, and I didn't realize I'd be out in the sun that long. 

I won't subject you to a picture of the sunburn. I have a gel that helps. It has since faded. I swear I won't let it happen again, but I know another time I will be taken by surprise. Sigh. 

But, in case you'd like a view of the ocean... 


We had fish 'n chips outside. It was nice.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

A Roaring Dawn


At the heart of much speculative fiction (and fiction in general) is a question. What if? On Tuesdays I like to throw one out there and see what you make of it. Do with it as you please. If a for-instance is not specified, feel free to interpret that instance as you wish. And if you find this becomes a novel-length answer, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements. 😉

I was scrolling through Twitter the other night when I happened upon this tweet: 


And it got me thinking... 

What if the sun did make a sound that we could hear? 

(And yes, I know, it does but because of the vacuum of space... [see this article])

Monday, June 29, 2020

Squid Woes

Middle nephew's birthday is about a week after the twins'. Like the twins, middle nephew (AKA Rambo) got a card and a "free choice" for what he wanted. Unlike the twins, I did not get his request right away. 

I mailed off the twins' gifts. My brother sent back a video of them opening them along with a video of the twins' requests. That were not what my sister-in-law had texted me... 


But in both the gift opening and request video, Rambo's request was the same. He wanted a squid. 

I did not know squids were a thing. But considering how many patterns I found, apparently squids are a thing. 

I found a cute squid pattern. It took me about a day to make... 


...and I realized it was way too small. 

It's cute. But considering how long he's waited for his choice, how big his little brothers' gifts were, and the degree of difficulty of making this, I knew it wasn't going to cut it. 

So, I went in search of another pattern. 

I found Hubble the Squid. The pattern was 26 pages long. And... 


...it made a squid of about the right dimensions (and labor involved). 


Okay, then. Just for comparison sake... 


And now I'm done with nephews birthdays for this year. (Niece still hasn't given me her request, but that's another story.) 

In case you were wondering, the twins requested a Kracken and a dragon that breathes fire (and the fire can be pulled out of the belly of the dragon). They're seven. 

Although, they seemed to like the shark and the Spinosaurus. And I can get a head start on Christmas. There's this really cool Kracken beanie I've been dying for an excuse to try. As for a fire breathing dragon, well, dragon I can do, but I have no idea how to make it fire breathing. (If any of you have seen a pattern for that, send me the link, will ya?)

Friday, June 26, 2020

How Many Disney Movies Have You Seen?



I keep a few lists on my computer. They're kind of a contingency plan for the blog. There are times when I have a lot going on, like during the school year. If I run across something, like a quiz, that I like, I'll save it to the list. 

Most of the quizzes on the list are from Sporcle, so as I was staying away from those quizzes, I didn't really peruse the list. Until last week. And that's when I found a quiz buried at the end of the list that led to this week's "quiz". It's more of a list, really. But it's perfect for a Friday. 

How Many Disney Movies Have You Seen?


I've seen 31% (171 of 564). I think. 

Some of those movies look awfully familiar, but I can't be sure if I've seen them or not. Did I see that as a small child? If I have a pretty good idea of the plot, I figured I'd seen it. But there were a couple that might have been seen that I didn't recall enough to definitely say I'd seen it. 

And, a bunch of the more recent ones looked familiar just because I'd seen them advertised. I know a couple of them I only saw because I showed them to various classes. Then some were of the "did I see this or not?" variety. (Plus two of them are currently sitting on my DVR, waiting to be watched. I did not count those.)

I figure the false positives and false negatives probably cancel each other out. 

This may take you a bit of time, so I totally get it if you wish to skip this. But if you do try it out, I'm curious as to how many you've seen.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

The Wrong Site



Since Darla brought it up... 

Pretty much nothing happened last week in my little corner of the world. (The world at large was figuratively on fire, but it's been that way for a while now. Besides, you all already know this.) Which means it's a #ThrowbackThursday. 

I'm reposting the post from May 9, 2019. Darla's comment last week: "...I'd probably end up in the wrong school based on some substitute teacher's regular rounds in our state," reminded me of the day that *ahem* I ended up at the wrong school...

Considering how long I've been subbing, I'm surprised I haven't had this issue before.

I had called ahead a couple weeks prior for this assignment. "Mrs. Jones" at "school A". I've covered Cindy Jones' class several times, so I knew what I was in for. (Cindy Jones' room is pictured above.)

It was a pretty good morning, and I managed to get there fairly early. I went to check in.

"You're at [school B] today for [Rebecca Jones]."

Erm.

I was told "school A".

A couple things were working in my favor. I was running early. And "school B" starts a half hour later than "school A".

I got to "school B" easily and checked in. It was a bit of mentally changing gears. Cindy Jones teaches English. Rebecca Jones teaches intro to health careers.

I blame the sub caller. She's new. As in, she's had the job for about a month. Mistakes happen.

(I did actually get a chance to chide her for this. She called me for a gig for the next day. I mean, I wasn't going to call her just to give her a hard time about the mixing up of the schools.)

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Survival in the Sky



There's a treasure trove of programming on YouTube. Many shows I remember fondly have ended up there. On subbing-free Wednesdays, I'll present a random video that I loved back in the day. Some of these may not have aged all that well. If you have some time, come on and take a trip down memory lane with me.

I'm not a big disaster junkie. I don't like seeing things about people getting hurt. But, I found myself glued to the show Survival in the Sky when it aired on TLC back in the '90s. 

It was a show about plane crashes. But its focus was on the investigations afterward and what the industry learned from each disaster. 

I suppose that's what I liked about it. It was a puzzle. What happened? Why did it happen? How did the industry make sure it didn't happen again? 

For today, I have the first episode here. If you search YouTube, you'll find the other parts as well. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Infinite Playlist


At the heart of much speculative fiction (and fiction in general) is a question. What if? On Tuesdays I like to throw one out there and see what you make of it. Do with it as you please. If a for-instance is not specified, feel free to interpret that instance as you wish. And if you find this becomes a novel-length answer, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements.
😉

What if "they" are using the music you listen to as a way to control you?

Monday, June 22, 2020

Four Row Curse

I finished the baby blanket! 


I mentioned this before here and here. It's to be a gift for my landlady's great-grandson, due in July. (She liked the yarn I used for the scarf for the Christmas present to my SIL, and she asked me to knit her a baby blanket.) 

She bought the yarn. She picked out the pattern. She told me how big she wanted it. 

It was pretty straightforward. It was a simple enough pattern. I got sidetracked with other projects, but then I got back to it. 

However, I had one big issue with it. Every time I sat down to work on it, I could only get four rows done at a time. 


It was a strange sort of curse. Some nights four rows was all I could rightly expect to have time to do. The rows are long (94 stitches). This takes a bit of time. 

But there were other evenings where I blocked out a lot of time to work on it. I put a movie on the TV. I had nothing else to distract me. 

Still, something would happen, or I'd get distracted, and by the time it was bedtime, I had only accomplished four rows. 

Ah well. Even four rows at a time is enough to finish the thing after a while. The last night I worked on it, I only had three rows to do. (And an edging.) 

It's another finished project for my Ravelry projects page.

Friday, June 19, 2020

2000s TV Shows



I've been searching for new sources for quizzes. (If you have a good website for quizzes, please let me know.) But I haven't found anything better than the Sporcle quizzes. So (considering last week's debacle), today I'm going to go with what works. 

Yes, this is timed. Yes, it loads slow, so wait until it's fully loaded before hitting "start". And yes, it can be a bit persnickety. 

But, there's also the "prev" and "next" so if you're not sure, skip around. All the possible choices are below, so you don't have to come up with these on your own. And the choices are in alphabetical order. 

Complete the Title: 2000s TV Shows


Some of these are still on the air. Some of these I had completely forgotten had existed. It's an interesting mix.

Good luck.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

What Room?


While looking for something else, I ran across a handwritten page that was supposed to be a blog post. I remembered the incident. It was funny, but something else happened that same day that usurped this incident's blog slot

That happens from time to time. Some weeks are slow with nothing much of interest happening. And some weeks I have an embarrassment of riches to choose from. 

As this was already written, I set it aside for a future moment when this blog would need material. Then I promptly forgot about it. Until now... 

When the class phone rings, I have a way of answering that (1) tells the caller they have the right room, and (2) tells the caller the teacher is not present: 

"Room 915. Sub speaking." 

It's simple. It's fast. But it doesn't take into account that I'm in a different classroom every day, and I might not necessarily remember where I'm at. 

Friday (December 13th). 4th period. The phone rang... 

"Room... uh..." 

I looked around for the room number. It wasn't on the phone's display (it sometimes is). The classroom's door was open, and from my angle I couldn't read the number painted on it.

"...I forget what room I'm in. Sub speaking." 

Good thing the woman calling thought that was funny. 

(She informed me, in much the same tone one talks to a small child, that I was in room 915, and that she needed a student sent to her. Once I recognized her voice, I knew where that student was going. And yes, she uses that tone with many people, so I didn't take offense.)

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Great Books


There's a treasure trove of programming on YouTube. Many shows I remember fondly have ended up there. On subbing-free Wednesdays, I'll present a random video that I loved back in the day. Some of these may not have aged all that well. If you have some time, come on and take a trip down memory lane with me.

I have officially exhausted my TV show recommendations. So, it's time to check out YouTube and see if I can find some shows I loved back in the day. And sure enough, Great Books is there. 

Great Books was a show that aired on TLC in the '90s. It was about various celebrated books. Each hour-long episode gave a basic outline of the book, a brief look into the author's life, and a run down of how the book was influenced by its time and how it influenced its time. 

If you haven't read the book, you'll feel like you have. If you have read the book, you'll gain a bit more perspective about it. This can be good or not so good. For example, I can't look at Alice's Adventures in Wonderland the same after hearing some background about Lewis Carroll. (I do encourage you to check that episode out all the same.) 

If you go to YouTube and search "great books" various episodes will come up. Today I'm linking to a favorite book of mine, Pride and Prejudice. Enjoy... 

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Erased


At the heart of much speculative fiction (and fiction in general) is a question. What if? On Tuesdays I like to throw one out there and see what you make of it. Do with it as you please. If a for-instance is not specified, feel free to interpret that instance as you wish. And if you find this becomes a novel-length answer, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements. 😉

Like last week, I'm stealing this week's question, but this time from a more recent source--the updated The Twilight Zone on CBS All Access... 

What if you could delete someone from existence just by talking about them? 

Monday, June 15, 2020

Playing Around

Last week I received a special request in my shop. Could I make a lip balm holder in black and gray (as opposed to the one I have in black or the one I have in gray). 

Normally, I would go to the yarn store and look for a variegated yarn in black and gray. While the yarn store is open, I wasn't really in the mood to go out searching. Instead, I decided to play a bit with the black and gray yarns I had on hand. 

This is what I ended up with... 


I did not intend nor expect the pattern that emerged. I was just playing around with the yarn. 


It turned out kind of diamond-y. 

So, how did I achieve this? Every other round was "checkerboard". That is, I did one black stitch, one gray stitch, and repeated. The non "checkerboard" rounds were alternated black or gray. So... 

Round 1: black
Round 2: alternate gray and black stitches
Round 3: gray
Round 4: alternate black and gray stitches

And I repeated those rounds, finishing on round 10 with an "alternate gray and black" round. 

(I'm writing this out more for myself, in case I ever have to reproduce this.) 

I almost just did stripes. I'm rather glad I didn't just do stripes.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Crocheted Lip Balm Clips

A long time ago, I set about making a clip to attach my lip balm to a belt loop. I can't recall if it was due to a lack of pockets or if I was looking to attach it to my work lanyard. 


In the end, I did manage to come up with one, and since then I have made dozens of them. (I wish that was an exaggeration. I've probably made a couple hundred at this point.) 


Of course I have made many for sale. They can be found at my Etsy shop, Zizi Rho Designs, under the section Stick Lip Balm Cozies


But if you'd rather make one yourself, the instructions follow: 

This holder is crocheted using Caron Simply Soft Yarn on a size G hook. The other things you'll need are a 23 mm lobster claw clasp (adjust size if using a different weight of yarn), a tapestry needle, and a stitch marker. I'm not sure how much yarn this takes to make, but it isn't much at all, so I'd suggest you go into your stash for the yarn rather than buying new.

I'm using the usual abbreviations--sc=single crochet; sl st=slip stitch; ch=chain

Gauge: 17 sc and 18 rows over 4 inches
This is one of those projects that is so small that making a gauge swatch is kind of silly. What I suggest is that you keep your lip balm on hand and try it out. If it won't fit, add a stitch to the first round. If it's very loose (there should be a little ease, but not so much that it'll fall out), subtract a stitch from the first round.  

This is worked in a spiral, so make sure to mark the beginning of each round as you pass it. It's very easy to lose track if you don't mark it. (Not that I have any experience with that...) 

The Pattern:


Ch 3. Sl st into the first chain, making a loop.
Round 1: Work 9 sc into the ch 3 loop. 
Rounds 2-9: Work 1 sc into each stitch around. 
Round 10: Work the same as for rounds 2-9, except at stitch 2 (or any preferred stitch): 

Take the hook out of the loop, pull the loop to make it bigger, and slide the clasp (open part facing down) over the whole stitch. Then replace the hook in the loop, tighten the loop back on the hook (with the clasp tight against the previous stitch, and continue to work 1 sc into each stitch around. 

Round 11: Work the same as for rounds 2-9. At the stitch that the clasp is attached to, push the clasp out of the way, and work 1 sc into that stitch. 

Finishing: Cut yarn. Draw the yarn all the way through the loop. Then put that yarn on the tapestry needle, and loop the yarn around the base of the next sc and up and through the top of the final sc. If you've never done this before, here's a great video showing exactly what I'm talking about (if it doesn't work, try searching "crochet seamless join in the round"):


Wind in ends. The lip balm should fit snugly inside, but not so snugly it's hard to get into the cozy.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Which Musical Instrument Matches Your Personality


So, I looked around for a better quiz, one that didn't take forever to load and one that didn't have a bunch of questions. Sadly, I was having no luck this week. I went back to my list of quizzes I saved up for when I'd need them and found... 

Which Musical Instrument Matches Your Personality?


It's fairly long (29 questions), but the load time wasn't bad. It didn't look like there were a lot of instrument choices. It appeared there were more than two, however. 

I ended up with piano. Meh. I don't suppose that oboe was one of the choices.

What did you get? If you could pick a musical instrument, which one would you choose?

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Barely Made It


It was Monday, June 1st. I needed to go grocery shopping. I had debated going on Friday. However, I knew I would need to go to the post office Monday (the shark wasn't quite ready to be mailed off on Friday), and I decided to combine both errands into one trip out. 

Little did I know on Friday that protests over the weekend were going to impact that decision. 

A protest happened that Sunday in my city. That night the news covered the looting happening downtown. 

When I awoke on Monday, I saw alerts of a curfew. But I didn't get ready and go out for my errands until about noon. 

That should have been plenty of time. I made it to the post office. No issues. I did a couple other things. Then I headed for store. 

As has been normal, there was a line outside. But there was a line outside. The night before, there had been word on Facebook that various grocery stores in the area had been hit by the looting. I wasn't sure if I would be able to grocery shop. Apparently, I would be. 

I had been in line for a couple minutes when one of the workers came out to inform us that by order of the mayor, the store was closing at 1 PM. But those of us in line were going to be allowed in. (I was fourth or fifth in the line.) 

I thought that it was just about 1 PM when I got there, but I guess it was more like 12:50. I made it in, got my groceries selected and purchased, and was on my way by 1:10. (I needed things like milk and eggs, and I can generally get done shopping fairly quickly.) 

I felt very fortunate. Somehow, I timed that just right. 

After the initial looting, the protests that have continued pretty much daily in the city have been largely peaceful. We had curfews Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday (I think), but then those stopped. 

I do not like living in interesting times. But other than that, I support the protests. I hope they bring about the change we so desperately need.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Replacement YouTube Wednesday (Previous Post's Video Removed)


Whoops, it appears the video from my post earlier today has been taken down by YouTube. Until I find a replacement for it (I may not be able to), I'll entertain you with John Oliver's Last Week Tonight from Sunday... 


Hopefully this one works *fingers crossed*

Help BLM with a Video


I don't do a lot of current events here on the blog. It's not because I'm not political. It's because I don't generally have much to say. 

There are so many people out there with more informed opinions. They have something new to contribute to the conversation. Me, I'd spend more time sputtering in anger or restating something you all have heard numerous times. 

So, I spend my blog time writing more personal snippets, talking about my day to day. And I'm fine with that. 

Last week went a bit sideways here in the U.S. Protests erupted all across the nation (and the world). (See, I told you all I do is restate the obvious.) This has been a long time coming, and perhaps our nation will finally deal with the systemic issues that allow racism to flourish. 

For YouTube Wednesday, I'm doing one small part. There's a video that's been making the rounds. Its stated purpose: 
This video project was created to offer people a way to donate and financially contribute to #blacklivesmatter without having any actual money or going out to protest themselves. Investing in our future can be difficult for young people, so 100% of the advertisement revenue this video makes through AdSense will be donated to the associations that offer protester bail funds, help pay for family funerals, and advocacy listed in the beginning of the video. 
PLEASE share this video, make sure to leave the ads running, repeat the video, and let people know about this easy way to help.


Or watch it on YouTube here. Make sure to watch the ads. It goes to a good cause. 

It's music and art. It is almost an hour long, so it's a good background while you're doing other things. Check it out. Black Lives Matter.

Edit: It appears YouTube has taken the video down. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Ignored Prophecy


At the heart of much speculative fiction (and fiction in general) is a question. What if? On Tuesdays I like to throw one out there and see what you make of it. Do with it as you please. If a for-instance is not specified, feel free to interpret that instance as you wish. And if you find this becomes a novel-length answer, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements. 😉

What if you could see the future with complete accuracy, but anyone you tell would think you're crazy and ignore you?

Yes, I'm stealing this from Greek myth, but it's such a good setup.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Week's Worth of Work

I haven't been doing a whole lot of knitting or crochet. I was a bit distracted this past week. I think we all were.

But I did do something. So, this is more of a round up post than anything. 

I'm continuing to work on the baby blanket... 


It's probably about halfway done at this point. (Yes, I took that picture on top of the washing machine. There's a great light right there.) It's very warm. So, of course, I end up working on this on the warmer days. This week the forecast calls for upper 80s, so you know this is probably what I'm going to end up working on. Sigh. 

Then another mask... 


I cut out this fabric at the same time as the last mask I made. (I had a hankering for a red mask. Why? No idea.) I had intended to complete this at the same time as that last mask, but I ran into an issue.

I could not get a needle through this fabric. I spent a good hour trying to pull the needle threaded with the yarn through, and I only managed to get maybe three stitches done. So, thinking that it was a yarn issue, I switched to thread. Another hour, maybe five stitches done. At that point I gave up. 

That night, while in bed attempting to fall asleep, it occurred to me that I had a fabric poking tool from when I put soles on some slippers. (The poking tool was to get holes in the faux leather I used.) 

Then one day last week (I don't recall which day, maybe Monday, maybe Tuesday) I finally pulled the mask out again. I pulled out the poking tool. (An hour of searching on the internet did yield its actual name: awl.) And I made a whole bunch of holes. 

I was able to get the needle threaded with yarn through. Hooray! And it didn't take too much time to complete from there. 

And finally, another shark... 


Because, why not? (Well, because Betty asked for one.) 


The week wasn't a total wash.

Friday, June 5, 2020

Vintage Quiz



I found this week's quiz on Facebook (so some of you might have already seen it). 

Bet You Can't Name Every One Of These Vintage Objects. Can You?


Don't let the name fool you. This is pretty easy. I was giving this half my attention on my phone just before I went to sleep one night, and I got 100%. 

I'd warn of difficulty to the younguns, but I don't think I really have any readers who are all that young. (Which just means if you do poorly, you can blame it on your youth.) Good luck.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

What I Did This School Year


Yesterday was officially the last day of school. But, as you know, in person school (and with it, what I do) ended much earlier. March 13th. 

I didn't know that at the time. I mean, I suspected it might be true. And, if I had been thinking, I would have done this post back in March. By the time I realized the school year was over for me, I figured I might as well wait until June for this post. So here it is, my days worked for the year. 

Normally there are 180 school days in the year. But since the last quarter doesn't count for me, I technically had a school year of 129 days. Of those 129 days, I worked 122 of them. That's seven non-worked school days total. Definitely a record.

Of those 122 days, 8 of them were for teachers who did not have a conference period, and 39 of them I was called to cover a different class during the prep. This is pretty low, compared to previous years. This is a good thing, staffing-wise. It means that there were enough subs to go around more of the time. This makes for a less stressful day for staff and students. 

49 of those days I covered high school classes, 48 I covered middle school classes, and 25 I was at the continuation high school. Usually I cover more high school classes, but this year I covered the first 16 days of school for a middle school English class, so that skewed those results a bit. 

I worked the first day of school and (for me) the last day of school. Although, I did not know that last day of the third quarter was going to be the last day of in-person school. Obviously, I did not work the actual last day of school. 

Next up, the breakdown of what classes I covered. My general rule for "full day" versus "period": if the teacher had at least two periods of the subject, it's a "full day"; if the teacher only taught one period, it's designated as a "period" sub. So, final numbers may not exactly match my full totals. 

  • English: 38 days with 6 individual periods
    • Back on top after last year's inexplicable 3rd place finish, this is probably mostly due to that English class I opened.
    • And to prove that point, 7th grade is the big winner with 20 days with 8th grade just behind with 19 days (and 3 extra periods). The English class I opened was 7th and 8th grade, so 16 of those days are for that specific class (3 periods of 7th grade and 2 periods of 8th grade). 
    • Then it's 11th grade with 8 days and 2 extra periods, 12th grade with 6 days and 1 extra period, 10th grade with 5 days and 1 extra period, and 9th grade with 3 days and 2 extra periods. 
    • Also, I covered the yearbook 5 times, the school newspaper once, and ELD 6 times (once for a full day, the rest for just the one period). Since these classes are generally taught by English teachers, they only counted for one period on those days. 
  • Social Studies: 23 days with 5 individual periods
    • U.S. history (11th grade) wins this subject with 8 days and 4 individual periods. Followed (very) closely by government (12th grade) with 8 days and no extra periods. Not surprising, as a lot of the social studies teachers teach both U.S. history and government.
    • Then comes world history (10th grade) with 6 days and 6 extra periods. And geography (9th grade) with 5 days, 4 of which ended up being the penultimate week of school.
    • Rounding out the rest: world history (7th grade) with 2 days and 5 extra periods, economics (12th grade) with 1 day, psychology (elective, but taught by social studies teacher) with 1 day, and U.S. history (8th grade) with 5 extra periods.
  • Science: 19 days with 5 individual periods
    • 8th grade science (mostly physical science, but not entirely) wins with 9 days and 1 extra period. If I had to rank the most dreaded class I cover, it would be 8th grade science. For some reason, they're extra crazy here. 
    • Biology (9th grade) comes in 2nd place with 7 days and 3 extra periods. 
    • 7th grade science (mostly life science, but with measurement and some of the basics and the basics of engineering) had 5 days with 3 extra periods. 
    • The leftovers include environmental science (an elective science for 11th & 12th grades) with 2 days and 2 extra periods, earth science (used to be for 9th grade, but is being phased out) with 4 extra periods (a couple of those were with the biology days as the teacher has the one period of earth science and four periods of biology), health with 1 extra period, oceanography with 1 extra period, and forensics with 1 extra period.
  • Math: 17 days with 5 individual periods
    • Rounding out the core subjects, integrated math 1 (previously algebra 1) with 10 days and 2 extra periods. 
    • Next is 8th grade math (previously pre-algebra) with 7 days and 1 extra period. 
    • Then is integrated math 2 with 6 days and 2 extra periods.
    • The rest are 7th grade math with 4 days and 2 extra periods, business math with 2 days and 1 extra period, and integrated math 3 with 1 extra period.
  • Special ed: 15 days with 6 individual periods
    • Most of these days are already accounted for above. If I was covering the co-teacher in an English or math class, I counted it as special ed.
    • There were 6 "severe" classes and 5 "special day classes" with 1 extra period.
    • And 1 period in an opportunity class. 
  • Finally, the electives
    • 12 days and 2 extra periods in computer classes. 5 of those days were graphic arts classes, 3 of those days (and 1 extra period) was in business (read: typing and Word and such), and 2 day were in CAD (computer aided drafting).
    • 5 days in woodshop.
    • 4 days in Spanish.
    • 2 days and 1 extra period in art.
    • 2 days and 2 extra periods in music classes (band and choir).
    • 2 days and 2 extra periods in leadership. Some of that was ASB, some was link crew, and some was middle school. They get a bit mixed together as well as mixed in with teachers who teach other subjects the rest of the day.
    • And 4 days were roving (where I didn't have a set assignment).
It may have been a short year, but I did manage to cover most of the usual suspects. Hopefully they'll open the schools sooner rather than later, or I'm going to have to find a new line of work.

Previous years' stats: