Monday, July 31, 2023

Almost There

Today is my birthday.

(And I'm probably going to be out and not online today. I'll catch up with you tomorrow.)

So, last week, I whined about the heat. And, as I live someplace where it really wasn't that bad, I shouldn't have been all that miserable. (But I was.) Which, of course, means that I did nothing with yarn and needles (or hook).

But I've been thinking about it. Kind of.

I was in Dollar Tree, just kind of looking around. (I had gone in for a couple things, but I was taking my time too.) I noticed a tote bag.

And I thought, hmm...

Earlier in the summer, I knit this dragon.

Before I knit the pattern in the big blanket yarn, I knit it in a swatch. And I still have that swatch. I've been contemplating what to do with that swatch for two years now. I've kind of had it in the back of my head to make it into a tote bag.

I wondered if that tote bag would work.

Turns out, it won't.

The swatch is just a smidge too big for the tote. Sigh.

If it was fabric, I could cut off the edging. But as it's not... 

Ah well. I guess I have to keep looking. (I'd've sewn my own tote bag ages ago, but I don't really have a sewing machine.) 

Friday, July 28, 2023

Your Superpower

What superpower do you have?

I know what you're thinking. You don't believe you have a superpower. But that's only because what is actually a superpower is something that you've been taught is commonplace. Or, you don't think of it as special.

Frequently, while at work, a student will have technical difficulties. I will approach offering help. And suddenly their computer will work. They'll swear up and down that it wasn't working, but as soon as I arrived... 

I assure them that I believe them. (Students who are just goofing off give off a whole different kind of energy.) I can just... make things work. Not always. But frequently enough that it no longer surprises me.

So, what about you? What is something that just kind of works for you or comes easily to you that doesn't to others?

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Watering (some of the) 13

Last week my father and his wife went out of town on vacation. They asked me to stop by their place and water their outdoor plants. Well, I just needed to water the potted plants. The plants in the ground have irrigation. And the succulents didn't actually need to get a watering the day I was there.

(They have a pool in their backyard. So, they have a small planter area, but most of the backyard is concrete and, well, pool.)

While there, I realized I had more than enough to do another photographic Thursday 13

I don't know gardening at all, so the images are presented without identifiers. 














Wednesday, July 26, 2023

We Didn't Start the Fire

So, you know the Billy Joel song, "We Didn't Start the Fire"? That came out 30-ish years ago. So, Fall Out Boy thought it was time for an update: 

Just in case you missed this. (I'm kinda obsessed with this new version.) 

Anyway, now the challenge has been issued. In 30-ish years, someone else has to do an update...

(Billy Joel was asked what he thought of the cover/update. He doesn't seem too upset over it.)

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Secret Protector

What if? It's the basis of many stories. We ask. We ponder. We wonder. 

On Tuesdays I throw one out there. What if? It may be speculative. It may stem from something I see. It may be something I pull from the news. 

Make of it what you will. If a for instance is not specified, interpret that instance as you wish. And if the idea turns into a story, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements 😉

I posted about The Lazarus Project last week. Last week's question was inspired by the show. So is this week's.

What if you did something terrible to protect someone you love, and then after they left you? I won't specify the "terrible" something, but I will specify that you did not tell them what you had done. 

Monday, July 24, 2023

Wrong Way Round

Last week I decided to shoot another video. The previous two videos I shot are still not edited together. But, I had to grab the opportunity to shoot a video when the quiet time I need happened to appear. 

This time I thought I would demonstrate my tablet buddy. (I created this pattern about ten years ago. The written pattern is available on Etsy and Ravelry.) 

While it's been a while since I knit one, I have my written out pattern, and I've made enough of them that I don't have to figure out the instructions as I work it. It would be simple.

Alas, I made several blunders. 

I think the most egregious was where I forgot which way around one knits. I picked up stitches all around the bottom, demonstrating how to do it on video. Then, I picked the thing up to show how to start that first row around, and I realized that I had picked up the stitches backward.

It's a short video. I pick it up, realize what I did, and I turn off the camera:

And then off screen I ripped out all those stitches and started again. Deep sigh.

I did actually finish the piece. It looks like this:

front view

the bottom of the piece

the back of the piece

Unfortunately, the video is not good. There are large parts where my hands are at the bottom of the screen, which I did not notice until I was reviewing what I shot the next day. And I cringe over sections where I misspeak. 

But, if I want to do this YouTube channel thing, I have to keep at it. I'll get better. It just takes practice. 

Friday, July 21, 2023

Best Dinner

My birthday's in ten days. And I don't know what I want for dinner.

It's a family tradition (well, for the last decade or so). The birthday celebrant gets to pick the meal. 

In past years, I've been hungry for something, so it wasn't too hard to decide. But this year, I'm blank. 

The only thing I've been craving is turkey meatloaf. However, the only person who makes it the way I like is me. The rest of the family isn't too keen. So, last week, I made one for me. Because it was just for me, I had enough to last me a week. It was lovely. 

And I'm left with what do I want the family to make for me for my birthday? And I'm still blank.

So, I'm seeking ideas. But it's also a fun question:

If you got to pick your very favorite meal (that you didn't have to cook or pay for or clean up after), what would you choose?

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Thirteen Images

While going through and deleting a bunch of duplicate pictures on my phone, I noticed a bunch of old images that I no longer needed. (Phone lists from 2019. School attendance calendars from 2020. Etc.) So, I went through and deleted those.

While doing this, I noticed a bunch of random images and memes that I had kept for various reasons. And I realized I had enough of these to make a Thursday 13. (I may even have enough to do a sequel.) So, in no particular order, here are some images I found on my phone. 

(If you click on them, it should make them bigger. I'm too lazy to go and find the links to the original images.)

1. When I was in school, they taught us metric. Otherwise, I would know these conversions. (I have that sort of brain. If I had learned it as a kid, I would still know it.)

2. Math geek me finds this funny. If you take the term "Xbox" and assume that it's the first image (instead of just a video gaming device), then those conversions make sense.

3. I love this sentiment. 

4. Because a group of crows is called a...

5. Yes, I keep these sorts of memes when I find them. 

6. I can't tell you how long I laughed when I saw this. More than 10 minutes.

7. Just in case you wondered how our alphabet came to be...

8. Do not mess with karma...

9. I did not know this until I saw this online. And now I think of it occasionally.

10. Taking image #9 and putting into a graphical format.

11. I have shared this on the blog before. It still makes me laugh.

12. Because I feel this sometimes. (I saved the image to send to someone, but it applies to me as well.) 

13. This is another one I have posted to the blog before. When I first saw it, I laughed for a half hour. And then I laughed for five minutes every time I remembered it for the following two weeks. I don't know why, but I find this thing hysterical. (If you can read the sign, you're not a train. Trains can't read. I'm chuckling as I type this.) 

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

The Lazarus Project

A little over a month ago, I saw a new show was starting on TNT that looked like it would be in my wheelhouse, so I set my DVR to record it. Only, it didn't record. But as I have Hulu, shows like this are easily streamed, so last week, I started it. 

The show is called The Lazarus Project. It's about a team that saves the world from extinction-level events. When they fail (and they do fail), they are able to get a do-over which has some interesting and terrible side effects.

We are introduced to this world via George, who stumbles onto the project when his world inexplicably starts repeating itself. 

The trailer:

As I caught this mid-season on TNT, not all episodes have aired yet. (The last episode will air this coming Sunday.) But you can catch up just in time here in the U.S. It appears to be a British show, so they saw it last year (with a new season airing this year). 

(That's why my DVR didn't pick it up. I had set it to record "new episodes", but since the original air date was last year, my DVR read them as "reruns" and didn't record. Ah, the joys of technology.) 

Has anyone else been watching this? Does it sound interesting to you?

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

The Do-Over

What if? It's the basis of many stories. We ask. We ponder. We wonder. 

On Tuesdays I throw one out there. What if? It may be speculative. It may stem from something I see. It may be something I pull from the news. 

Make of it what you will. If a for instance is not specified, interpret that instance as you wish. And if the idea turns into a story, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements 😉

I started a new (to me) show last week (which I'll talk about tomorrow). One of the things that the characters experience is repeating time. Unlike Groundhog Day, the time period is longer than a day or a few hours. It's months sometimes. Which leads me to today's question:

What if you had to live the last six months over again? (Notice, I said "had to". This is not optional. No opting out.)

Monday, July 17, 2023

Blanket Stitch Accomplished

Finally. I have completed the blanket stitch around the long piece of fabric that will be the backing for my body pillow.

I only started it in April.

Although, to be fair, I did maybe a couple days' worth of work on it, and then I set it aside and got busy working on other things. I've only really been focusing on it for about two weeks.

And now, I will crochet into those stitches around the edge. Then I will figure out how I'm going to attach this to the front.

I'm contemplating buttons. (I want to be able to remove the cover easily for laundry.) 

In case you ever attempt blanket stitch, I have some tips for you.

1. This is much slower going than knitting or crochet. 

2. Remember which side you're stitching from. (That's where I made my mistake.)

3. Rather than eyeballing how far apart you want your stitches, you can mark that distance on your thumb. Then all you have to do is line up your thumb on the fabric as you work.

I used a dry erase marker, so the ink came off my thumb easily when I was done. (I read that tidbit online, and it was a game changer. Before, it was hard to line up where to place the stitches.)

The end of this project is in sight. But, for me, that means it could be as soon as October when I have finished photos for you.

Friday, July 14, 2023

The Projects

Yesterday I posted a list of some things I've done this summer. These are not interesting things. These are decluttering, organizing, and sorting things. Projects. 

I'm not nearly done. As I sit here writing this, I'm glancing around at the various shelves and drawers I want to go through and declutter and downsize. Reorganize. Move and make work more efficiently. It feels kind of overwhelming, but I just need to keep plugging away at it. 

That leads me to today's question/s. I'm asking in the spirit of what I've been up to. The more mundane, the better.

What have you been doing lately? What have you gotten done lately? What would you like to get done?

Thursday, July 13, 2023

My "Nothing" Summer 13

Last week I was at a 4th of July get-together, and someone asked me what I'd been up to. "Absolutely nothing," was my reply. But, that's not entirely accurate.

I've done things. They're not interesting things. They are not the sort of things one talks about at social functions. But I've been plugging away at some projects that I've been wanting to deal with. And so, with it being Thursday, I figured I could list 13 things that I have done this summer thus far. 

(Yes, this is a Thursday 13. If you click on that link, you'll find the others who are playing along today.)

1. Photo organization. I'm still kind of in process on this. So far, I've connected my iCloud account to my computer so I no longer have to access my iPhone photos via Google Photos. (I had set it up this way before due to storage limits. I've adjusted some things, so now I'm not in danger of exceeding my Google storage limit.)

2. Then, I took my school photos from the last school year and moved them to my external hard drive. So, when school starts back up, I won't have last year's photos to dig through for images for the blog. I also went through my knitting/crochet photos and cleared them out, too. 

3. Digital decluttering. I have a Google Drive account with the school district. Through the various long term assignments I've had, I accumulated various docs and files with classwork stuff. I reorganized a bunch so if I want to find an assignment in the future, I can find it. I also deleted a bunch of stuff that I'll never ever need again. (I had distance learning bell schedules stored. I had the previous school year's calendar. I had student scores from 2017 for a class I covered one day.)

4. I deleted all the teacher notes that I had stored online. I had them stored in my drive where I created them. (I held onto them in case the email didn't get to the teacher, so I could resend it later. It also proved useful for days when I covered the same class, so I could look back and remind myself of any issues I had had the last time. But those classes have now ended, so those notes are no longer needed.) 

5. And then I deleted all the saved emails I no longer needed. It turns out I had held onto some emails from as far back as 2017. Some I do need, as there are links to payroll and copies of tech stuff, but most were for issues that are no longer issues. Like COVID protocols.

6. Next school year prep. I set up my spreadsheet for my next year's end of term stats. I keep a tally all year long so when I write the stats post, all I have to do is copy the info. I created a template last year, so all I had to do was copy the template and title the doc with the next school year's date. Simple, but now it's ready.

7. Organizing. I reorganized my dragon pattern. I had printed it out so I could easily refer to it. While I was knitting the afghan motif, I realized that there was a better way to set up the notebook so the next time I knit it, I won't have to scramble to find things. I put in instructions for a couple techniques that I always have to refer back to, and I added page protectors and sticky tabs.

8. Exercise. I got back to walking. I haven't been out as much as I would like, but I've done my 1.9 miles around the block a few times in June and a couple times already this July.

9. More organizing. I have a clipboard that I keep my to do list and things on. I'm in process of clearing out the clutter that's accumulated and revamping a few lists I keep clipped there for easy reference.

10. I've played more games on my phone than I usually do. I picked up Candy Crush Saga again (I'm up to level 6261), and I keep plugging away at Words with Friends 2. Not exactly productive...

11. Videos. I recorded myself crocheting a couple things. I'm still sorting through the videos to weed out the outtakes before I can get to editing the thing together. 

12. And more organizing. I went through my school/work bag (that I carry with me daily), and decluttered. I had copies of bell schedules from 2021 still lingering in there. (I even found a "what if?" question that I wrote but never posted to the blog.) 

13. Reading. I read most nights before I fall asleep, but I can stay up later, so I'm reading more. That reminds me, I have to reorganize the books on my ereader so I can differentiate which books I've read and which ones I haven't. 

And, I still have other projects I'd like to get to. Hopefully, I'll make some progress on them before the school year starts back up. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Quantum Leap

So far this summer, my Wednesday posts are less "show I watched that I think you might like" and more "show I watched and I need something to write about". The show I started last week was Quantum Leap

The Quantum Leap reboot/sequel premiered last fall with the new shows of the regular season. As a fan of the previous incarnation, I was willing to give it a shot. I set up my DVR to record it. And then I proceeded to not watch a single episode.

Why? I don't know, exactly. Starting things for me sometimes is hard. And once I had stacked three or four episodes, it just seemed like a lot of work. I couldn't quite get into the right mindset to put on an episode. I found other things to watch.

So, now it's summer, and I have the whole season sitting, waiting. I realized that now is as good a time as any to start the show. I don't really have anything else to watch.

And you know what? I like it.

As of this writing, I'm six episodes in. And I can't figure out why I waited so long to start it. If you saw the Scott Bakula Quantum Leap, this is a sequel. They reference Sam Beckett and the previous show quite a lot. But if you never saw the previous iteration, you won't be missing too much as the important stuff is referenced to catch us all up. (It's been decades since I watched it last.) 

What I like is something that modern shows do, and that's they expand the universe. (They did something similar with the now-defunct Fantasy Island reboot/sequel.) The original Quantum Leap was all about Sam and Al and the leap of the week. This one gets out of the imaging chamber and explores the modern day side of the experiment. 

I'm glad to hear there's a second season coming. At least now that I've started the thing, I should watch the show as it airs next season. (I got over the hurdle of starting.) 

Here's the trailer:

Did you already see this first season? Did you watch the original show? I'm still looking for TV recommendations, so have you seen anything interesting that I should check out?