Smoke Day

(Somehow this never got uploaded!  It was from Thursday, October 25, the week of the awful fires.)

My son, who attends the high school where I teach, just got home (I was done earlier) and said school is cancelled tomorrow (Friday). Naturally I didn’t believe him, <g> but just checked my e-mail and, indeed, all schools in my district are closed due to the unhealthy air conditions.

Yay on so many levels! I have been suffering mightily from asthma and general Santa Ana condition misery since Sunday night, as well as from sleep deprivation due to having the fire coverage on TV all the time. The first whiff of smoke in the windy conditions Sunday brought disturbing, visceral memories of being evacuated 16 years before from the Oakland hills where we came 5 houses away from losing our home. My little cul de sac was spared by a shift in the wind.

All of the news about evacuees and firefighting tactics and arson and helpless feelings have in some ways paralyzed me these past few days. None of my family or property has been in any danger, other than from smoky air, so it felt like whining to consider posting about it here. I wasn’t outside long enough to take any pictures, so no content there. I HAVE done a lot of knitting, especially in front of the TV, but it’s all in process, so no pictures to share there.

Nevertheless, having the Smoke Day tomorrow has liberated me. I will remain indoors, but I feel that this enforced three-day weekend is a gift!

Mostly, however, I believe the cancellation of school was the logical and inevitable and wisest decision to make for the good of the community. Sure, it will be a hassle to reschedule the football game and other competitions, but consider how many people will be the healthier for it, as well as having time to cope with the disruption to normal life in this entire region.

Anyway, here‘s a random video I first discovered on the Dvorak Uncensored blog ( I wish I could teach this to MY dog!


Blog Action Day

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

This is one of my little ways of speaking up for an important issue: PROTECT OUR ENVIRONMENT! Go here for more details about what the banner and the slogan mean. Since I have no advertising revenue from my blog, I plan to make a personal donation to the cause.


I feel a little uncomfortable band-wagon jumping so soon after Al Gore just won the freakin’ Nobel PEACE Prize for his work in raising awareness about global warming, but — hey — it’s real and it’s important and it’s always been important to me. I’m proud to admit that, when my family first moved to Orange County, we were registered members of the Green Party. A few ways in which my family makes its small contributions to reducing our carbon footprint are: we drive our Toyota Prius on long car trips, we have no air-conditioning in our house, we use Nalgene and other reusable bottles for water as well as personal cups for Starbucks coffee, we recycle avidly, my daughter is an environmental studies major, and we reduce packaging by buying in bulk.


Knitting content: it’s been easy for me to support lower-environmental-impact activities by spinning, patronizing fair trade and organic practices businesses, and handmaking many garments. Also, providing lots of warm, knitted goodness for my loved ones allows us to keep our thermostat lower.


Wish I could write more (as well as more meaningful!) content, but the realities of deadlines are upon me.


Happy Blog Action Day!



Electronic Giraffe in Del Mar

I have had an amazing couple of days surrounding my birthday. And what do I choose to post about first? The Electronic Giraffe Project we encountered Saturday morning in Del Mar! Here he is fully extended. I tried to get a picture of him “feeding” in the trees, but he was too quick. 😉

Here’s a detail of his head. If you pet the sensors on his snout, his ears flap back and forth. Also, here I am with his creator, whose name I neglected to get, the hobbyist guy who likes making functional art.

What’s hard to discern from the photos is the Giraffe sports an amazing sound system. So he “walks” (seriously, he lifts one leg at a time) to his own music.

The occasion of our meeting the Giraffe was the annual Taste of Del Mar Art Walk. We had driven there just for breakfast (more about my weekend away another time), but stayed to browse the booths and to purchase an amazing “sculptural painting” that will hang in our about-to-be-remodeled downstairs bathroom. Pix to come because it’s wrapped up in the car right now.

Knitting content: this is part of my yarn purchase on the way down at Knitting by the Beach in Solana Beach. Isn’t it a way cuuuuuute kit?! Notice it comes in an actual take-out sushi package.

Off for yarn shopping and dinner in La Jolla!

Rogue Tess
who LOVES birthday celebrations in my family!

William Tell Mom

I must admit, after I viewed this on Heather’s MamaOKnits Too Much blog, I was both laughing and teary. It’s finally hitting me that my baby, who just went off to college, is really, truly out of the house. No more nagging her about feeding the dog or clearing the dishwasher or pulling up the neckline or lowering the hemline. Anyway, this is a once-in-a-blue-moon second post in one day.


LOLCats and Derivatives


Ok, first a little explanation. There’s a whole genre of images out there called lolcats, which is basically cat pix with slogans on them. They have their own weird grammar and quirky humor and distinct vibe. This link is to LOLTrek, a Star Trek variation on lolcats. The site loads a little wonky, but scroll down then back up to the clearest pix — if you’re a Trekker (or Trekkie) it’ll be worth it.


Knitting content: I discovered this link on the RavelTrek group on Ravelry (thanks, KimK!). Knitting and Star Trek, a geek knitter’s match made in heaven!