Tuesday, September 28, 2004

The Best Laid Plans (Redux)
The night before DH's 1/4-Ironman race, he had a spill on his race bike during a training ride. He got a nasty gash across his Achilles tendon (which probably could have used a stitch or two), but even worse, his bike was out of commission for the race (bent wheel). He was beyond disappointed. Months of training, anticipation, and driving across 4 states to get to this race -- poof! Gone in an instant.

For a brief moment, I know he wanted to turn tail and drive home the day of the race. Here's why I love this man: he stayed and cheered his teammates on, graciously putting his disappointment aside and helping provide the much-needed encouragement required to finish this grueling race. His teammates knew how bummed DH was, and most of them made a point of personally thanking Tom for his support.

Of the 7 athletes competing from our team, 5 did the full 1/2-Ironman distance: Swim 1.2 miles, Bike 56 miles, Run 13.1 miles. The conditions were brutal: no wind and temperatures over 100 degrees, with almost no humidity. The athletes had streaks of salt lining their faces and bodies. 2 teammates did the 1/4-Ironman (half the distances, but still an incredible test of strength).

The upside? Our team swept 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in the 1/2-Ironman, and another got first in her age-class in the 1/4-Ironman. Here's the 3 winners:

And here's me 'n DH, my all-time winner in any contest :-)

Happy Tuesday, everyone.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Short post today -- I'm halfway through Skein 8 of 12 on the Microspun Sof'Bankie; pictures to come. Is it getting hot in here, or what? Oh, it's just all those yards of microfiber :-)

Today is a very special day -- it's DH's birthday! Every time I think about it I smile -- today was the day he came into this world, and I'm luckier for it. I love you, sweetie. Happy Birthday.

No more posting for the rest of the week -- tomorrow afternoon we leave for St. George, Utah. DH is competing in a 1/4-Ironman Triathlon on Saturday. We drive back on Sunday. This is DH's biggest race yet. He's been training so hard for this. Wish him luck!

See you on Monday. Have a nice weekend, everyone.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Monday is Just One Day
... of the week. But it's definitely the hardest! DH dragged my poot butt out the door at 5:20 am for a swim workout. I'm glad he did, but man! it's hard getting up and out the door. Thanks sweetie, for getting me there :-)

The Microspun Sof'Bankie was out 'n about this weekend; most notably at the Chargers vs. NY Jets game on Sunday, where the Chargers almost clawed their way back from behind to win. Alas, it wasn't to be; the Jets won, 34-28. Remember cute little Doug Flutie? He's San Diego's 3rd quarterback. At age 42, has no right to be on an NFL field, except that he's kept himself in top shape and injury free, and by golly, still has the chops to be put into a game in the 4th quarter and score a touchdown (which he ran in himself) to nearly tie the game. Woo hoo!

Ch-ch-ch Changes
The digest-sized Knitting Digest has changed its name and look. Now called Creative Knitting magazine, it's expanded to full magazine size, and has a fairly decent selection of patterns. Here's two that I liked:

Cute little cardigan

A bit bulky for San Diego, but still cute

And I got this cute blankie pattern in the mail. It's Oat Couture's Auntie's Afghan:

Cute, huh? Have a great Monday, everyone.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Friday is for FUN!
The Microsoft Sof'Bankie is almost halfway done. Rather than bore you with endless pictures of the blanket-in-progress (hey! here's another 3 inches done!), I've decided to take pictures of the blanket in action.

Here, I've tried to get the blanket to earn its keep. I stationed it in my cubicle at work, at my keyboard. It didn't seem interested. It kept slumping over the keys (kinda like me at the end of the day).

I even tried to tempt it with a piece of Jolly Rancher candy, but no go:

So I turned it into Thespian Blankie. Here, I'm making like Mary Magdelene in a roadshow version of Jesus Christ Superstar:

But the blankie seems happiest in my lap, with Hubbs nestled underneath. Nevermind that I'm roasting under all that dog hair and microfiber.

School Daze
Fun article on that venerable (though no longer produced) icon of back-to-school supplies, the Pee Chee folder. Plus a few other school supplies of yesteryear you might remember (mucilage, anyone?)

Happy Friday, everyone.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

A Special Tuesday Post!
Someone is having a birthday today! Go over and wish her a happy one!

Microspun Redux
Thanks for all the compliments on DH's Nap Blanket, or the Sof' Bankie, as I call it (sof' bankie being the name of my security blanket when I was little :-)

As yarn goes, Microspun is a strange animal. The colors are super-saturated and very rich. When I ordered the lavender shade online directly from Lion Brand, it appeared much more subtle onscreen. DH and I were a bit taken aback when we opened the package and saw this vibrant, rich, glowing lavender microfiber yarn. We've decided we like it, though. My only gripe would be the lack of neutrals and jewel tones available in the color range. The available color range swings widely from a nice pink-tinged mocha (which I used in the original Microspun Shawl), to vibrant tropical lime green and fuschia. Although I notice they did add a very nice Silver Grey to the color line this year.

Being loosely plied, Microspun is also very splitty to work with. I suggest using needles with a fairly sharp point, or ones that "scoop" the yarn (i.e., Bryspuns), to avoid splitting. I have gotten used to it and haven't had too much trouble, but I do see a few loose strands where a split occurred. No biggie. The resulting fabric is light, warm, and soft. Perfect for a nap blanket!

See ya tomorrow. Go say hi to the Birthday Girl.

Oops! I forgot to answer Mia's question in yesterday's comments about the stitch used in the Microspun Sof' Bankie. It's a basic Ripple Stitch, as follows for the original Shawl pattern (calls for 6 skeins of Microspun):

(over a multiple of 18 stitches + 6 extra)
Cast on 132 stitches.
ROW 1: (right side) Knit
ROW 2: K3, purl to last 3 stitches, K3.
ROW 3: K3 *(k2tog) 3 times (yo, k1) 6 times, (k2tog) 3 times; repeat from * to last 3 stitches, k3.
ROW 4: Knit.
Repeat Rows 1-4 until piece measures 60" from beginning. Bind off all stitches. Weave in ends.

Happy Rippling!

Monday, September 13, 2004

Ay, chihuahua, another Monday. I've been working on another Lion Brand Microspun project. DH kept petting the Microspun shawl as I was working on it, and hinted that he'd like a throw made out of it. Since he rarely asks for anything for himself, I jumped at the chance. Basically, I doubled the width of the Microspun shawl from 18" to 36" inches, and kept the length the same (60"). He asked for lavendar, to match the amethyst stone in his wedding ring. Done, sweetie. Here's my progress so far:

Here's a closeup of the pattern:

Dream a Little Dream
My entire life, I've never had a dream compelling or interesting enough to regret the alarm's interruption. Until this morning! I was in the middle of a really detailed dream in which I was on the phone with Steven Spielberg. He was very interested in an idea I had for a movie. He was telling me, in detail, the proper procedure for submitting a screenplay draft to his office, and the damn alarm went off! Aargh!

Have a nice Monday, everyone.

Friday, September 10, 2004

I Really WAS Gonna Post, But ...
Ooh. New Knitty. Yum. Must go there now.

p.s. Hubbers thanks everyone for all the compliments. He already knows he's the baddest dog on the planet, but likes to hear it, anyway :-)

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Mystery Guest, Please Sign In

Hey, everybody. Mom asked me to be Guest Blogger today, 'cuz she and Dad are still feeling a little low since that kid left a few weeks ago. So I said, sure! if there's some treats involved. Specifically, people food treats, 'cuz they're way better than any stupid old dog food, right? Right.

So my name is Hubbs. My fancy-schmancy AKC name is Hubbs von Kurtzbine, but you can call me Hubbs. Or Hubber T. Dog, which is short for "Hubber the Dog." Just don't call me late for dinner, OK? I'm a miniature dachshund, but don't you dare call me mini-anything, or I'll take your leg off at the ankle. I'm just as tough as any so-called "large breed," just concentrated in a smaller package.

I live a pretty nice life, all in all. Mom and Dad spoil me pretty darn good. I guess if I had one complaint it would be that I deserve people food all the time, not just for the occasional treat. 'Cuz people food is way better than any stupid old dog food, right? Oh, I already said that. Well, it's true! Mom and Dad say that people food upsets my stomach and I have little "accidents" when I eat it. Huh. They say. I think I handle it just fine, thank you very much.

I have a nice yard, which I guard very well. The daily delivery dorks -- the UPS dude, the Fedex guy, and the Mail dude, all fear my uber-guard skills. They don't even come into the yard anymore; they just leave packages at the gate or toss them over. Huh. Got them trained.

There's a bunch of weird, feathered animals that live in the house. They're called parrots. I don't bother them; they don't bother me. Mom and Dad seem to appreciate that I don't try to eat these parrot things. I guess most dogs would try; I don’t particularly care. They're funny little things -- always squawking and flapping these things called wings. A whole lotta fuss over nothing, I say. I'm so mellow around these parrot things that I can sit on Mom's lap while she has a parrot on her shoulder. The parrots seem OK with it, and Mom likes to be able to pet both of us at the same time. What a circus, huh?

OK, I gotta jam. Got a yard to guard, ya know. The delivery dorks oughta be showing up in a few hours, and I gotta catch a few winks and be ready to terrify them. Catch you later. Mom ought to be back later this week. She's doing a little better. I miss that kid that used to be here, too. He was good for a few people treats and pets now and then. Bye.