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Monday, 10 May 2010

Topic: Squirrels in the news

I spent much of last week recovering from a gluten reaction.  On Wed. I had to clean out a cupboard in the kitchen that was overrun with tiny little beetle bugs.  I found the source, an ancient box of pancake mix made of wheat flour.  While cleaning up the mess there was lots of flour dust and obviously I ingested some.  Wednesday was bad, Thursday was worse.  I had both the foggy brain and the blues.  So I decided to go to my happy place for a while, Len's -and check out the fabric and yarn.  After a while I wasn't feeling blue or foggy.  Yarn was on sale so I got a few balls of colorful sock yarn.  Here's what i am knitting:

The colours reminded me of that ice cream with the pastel colours in it, sherbet or whatever.  It's sort of a childhood memory colour, Popsicle and banana splits, boo-berry cereal and lucky charms marshmallows.  The yarn is one of those self-striping self-patterning yarns so all I do is knit, the yarn does all the color work. It's hard to feel blue whn working with these colours.

I also got some mauve twill for either pants or shorts, and some striped shirting that goes with the mauve.  I am now happy again.  

And now for something completely different: Eight inch laser guided scissors!   I don't think so.  The blade is not integrated with the grip, the thumb grip is too large and not shaped to the hand, it looks like a case of hand fatigue waiting to happen.  My hands are cramping as we speak.

And now for a sad story.  Sad because the squirrels are wreaking havoc upon my garden again: poor hawk starves as evil squirrel escapes his eventual and well deserved fate. A quick no-imagination involved LOLsquirrel:

According to the story the squirrel escaped the hawk. Poor hawk.

 And that's all for today!

Posted by lincatz at 10:47 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 5 May 2010

There are a few anniversaries right now... feeling nostalgic... Ten years ago was the contaminated water crisis in Walkerton Ontario and plans are being made to commemorate the tragedy.  The drinking water supply of the small town was contaminated with a deadly strain of E.coli.  The people in charge of the water supply KNEW the water was toxic yet did they did do something, they falsified the results of the water safety tests they were required to do and reported that the water was all fine and dandy and not causing people to sicken and die.

What I recall about that time: I babysat my SIL kids on Wednesday mornings so she could take one to Kindermusic.  One morning she needed to go to the hospital because she was suffering a mild infection and because she was still nursing a baby ithe infection needed to be taken care of immediately.  We figured Wed. morning...shouldn't be any more than a hour wait at most...  Well, five hours later, she was still waiting and baby Vanessa was hungry and I lacked feeding equipment, so I took the two kids to the hospital so mom could feed the baby. That's when I stepped into the twilight zone.  There were signs everywhere...all hastily written in sharpie markers saying any one with gastric problems should report to a nurse immediately.  There were gurneys everywhere, people puking everywhere, and I had to go to the fifth floor to find an unoccupied washroom! When I went to the emergency area, one nurse ran to me and tried to grab the baby from me.  I said she was fine.  The nurse looked at Kaitlyn, and I said she was fine.  She tried to grab me and I said I was fine...but the baby's mom wasn't and baby needed feeding...

She spent almost eight hours there and had to have a bunch of bizarre tests that made no sense until the next morning when the whole story broke, including the parts about the water commission knowing there was a problem.  Suddenly the trip to the bizarro land hospital made sense...these people were all from Walkerton and they were all incredibly sick, some maybe were dying.  The nurses thought the kids were sick because the children were being hit much harder than the adults.

It's also coming up on the 30th anniversary of UK band's Joy Division's greatest hit and eventual destruction.  Thirty years ago today "Love Will Tear Us Apart" was released, and shortly after the song writer and singer, Ian Curtis killed himself.  While LWTUA is not as good a piece of music as the classically ethereal and aptly title Atmosphere, it is far richer song lyrically, coming from a far deeper and sadder place where love doesn't conquer all. It is starker, pared down, the minimalist production suits the deep despair of the song.  It is a song that you don't want to understand on a personal level -you don't want to say "yeah, I've felt that way" but it is an emotion everyone feels at some point in their life. Joy Division didn't produce a a vast quantity of music, but what they did produce is timeless and unforgettable.

Here's an article I found from the site "PopMatters"   It's my second favourite JD song, right between Atmosphere and Decades.  I discovered Joy Division in Feb.1980, I dated a DJ and he had a strange Joy Division obsession we met on Groundhog was Tom or something...not Mark, Mark was the other DJ.


Wait...THIRTY YEARS?!holy Fark!  I'm getting old!

There are also a couple special days to celebrate today, not only is it Cinco de Mayo, the Mexican holiday, it is also National Hoagie Day, so go out and eat a sandwich.  It is also national Oyster Day, so go down to the Gulf Of Mexico for some fresh oysters...wait... aren't they contaminated with crude oil?  So I guess oyster day should be postponed?In other news, May 8 is international no socks day and the day after is "lost sock day" 

And that's all for today. I couldn't find any interesting  news stories from20 years ago, except something about Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch releasing a single, and Rico Suave by Gerardo topping the charts, so it's best we ignore 1990 and maybe it will go away. 

Posted by lincatz at 11:38 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 5 May 2010 11:56 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Mood:  a-ok
Topic: The Fungus AmungUs

I really haven't been doing much that's blog worthy lately.  My only sewing projects for myself are a few pairs of "jorts" jeans+short=jorts. No, I haven't lost my sense of style, these are not for wearing around the city, these are for hiking and camping far away from the city.  Denim is more durable and is less likely to rip when caught on branches or sharp rocks.  The only problem is that jorts are neither challenging to sew nor interesting to discuss.

On the weekend i got to the annual Rock, Mineral and Gem show. I got some really nice banded agates and some small nautaloid fossil discs with holes drilled in them. I also got a couple freebies, an amethyst crystal point, a clear quartz point, a pair of moonstones, and a pair of uncut rough diamonds from the Herkimer mine is the US. There was a large polished, round herkimer diamond that was hollow and contained water.  Imagine that!  Water the way it was 500 million years ago!   I learned a bit more about drilling rocks, the tools to use and to not use.   Standard drill: bad.  Dremel mounted on drill press: good. Drilling dry: bad. Drilling using baby oil or bath oil: good. And it smells nice too.According to New Age Crystal guides Herkimer diamonds are supposed to enhance the dream state and to facilitate astral (out of body) travel. I don't know about that, but they will be nice wrapped in silver wire and enhanced with some swarovski beads.

We've had a very early spring this year, It is barely May and the tulips are almost over, the late season purples are now in bloom.  This of course means it's Morel time, so here's this years Morel Mushroom Newspaper article:  this article tells of how a government agency went wayyyy overboard to protect people.  It's not that difficult to tell a false morel from a true morel, usually the smell is enough, but for those with olfactory challenges here's a simple rule: If it's the heat of summer it's a false morel.  The end.  The mushrooms grow in entirely different seasons. Spring is for morels, summer for false morels.  And for further identification, false morels look like brains, and when cooked they smell harsh and metallic.  It's the rocket fuel in them; cooking releases the rocket fuel in the steam. Raw False Morels have a slight metallic chemical smell, again it's the rocket fuel in them.

In other food news: why isn't broccoli canned? Some one has answered this:  It would emphasize the yucky metallic taste, turn out slimy like canned green beans, and it would enhance the gas factor.  I freeze broccoli: it takes about five minutes in the blancher and i can freeze enough to last all winter.  I do, however prefer fresh because freezing and then re-ccoking makes it soggy and you loose some vitamins.  Like Asparagus and Spinach it is best fresh. And just because you CAN can something doesn't mean you should: see canned chicken: And of course the classic campfire favourite Cheeseburger in a can:

All this food talk of morels and cheeseburgers and chicken has made me hungry! Time for lunch!

Posted by lincatz at 11:27 AM EDT
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Thursday, 29 April 2010

Topic: Squirrels in the news

EDIT: Hey Deviant art users!  Nice to see someone linked to me. Whoever you are could you please let me know who you are, what's so fascinating, and why you linked? I have an account with deviantart myself and I am curious.  If it's the squirrel picture and you have hot linked then please link to the image on rather than hotlinking my blog. Bandwidth is expensive and I have to pay for it.  After a countdown of a few too many hotlinks you will soon see a picture of Mr Goatse with a big juicy leech on his most outstanding feature.  I can turn it off if you are nice.  Yes, I have an obsession with lolsquirrels.  The some of the pictures are one I have taken, some are from around the web, the LOLcaptions are mine.  SO don't be shy, let me see the link! You can e-mail me through my profile, see view profile in the upper left.  My comment system is a bit wonky and sometimes doesn't work. Sorry

From the world weird web I have a few squirrely things.  This was a picture in a caption this contest on Fark and here's what I did with it:

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

And this little GIF is why the forest smell so bad.


What else needs to be said? And also off the cheezburger network:

And one last win/fail for my niece:

And that's all for today!


Posted by lincatz at 9:59 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 11 May 2010 11:13 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 27 April 2010
A Blog Posting Just For Dave!

Something special for my hubby!  Dave is a HUGE CSI:Miami fan, and we both think that Caruso is this generation's Shatner. I foresee a time in the future when there will be CSI fan conventions and geeks wearing sunglasses and dark jackets using pithy one word sentences filled with poorly paced pauses...  Apparently Caruso the person is not Caine the character as we see in this totally off topic post on "regretsy" 

Also for Dave: Yesterday I mentioned the "boobquake" movement.  Women around the world were encouraged to show off their cleavage in an attempt to prove ...something about boobies... oh respond to some moron who said that earthquakes are the result of immodest women showing off their cleavage!  So some brave intelligent woman decided to put the theory to the test by encouraging women to proudly show off their cleavage for one day to see if the earth gets hit with a really big quake.  

Here's a bit about the campaign on CNN needless to say, millions of women around the world proudly showed off the chesticles to prove that the guy was a farking moron. The facebook group has nearly 77 THOUSAND members. And this morning the results seem to be in:  and not only was there not a plague of earthquakes, there seemed to be fewer quakes in number.

So in conclusion: boobies=good.  intolerant suppressors and oppressors of women's rights=bad.  Now that guy needs to shut the fark up.  And my comment on boobquake?  Any political movement that encourages boobies is a good one in my books. let the puppies get some fresh air! 

And one more thing for Dave.  mom and Dad are coming tomorrow to pick up all of their stuff in our basement.  So we need to go straight from your work to Michael's Crafts to get those photo storage boxes i promised her. It's will be worth a late dinner to get our basement back, won't it?

And that's all for today.  If you aren't my hubby reading this at work, then this was obviously of no interest.  I'll try to be more interesting tomorrow or Thursday. 

Posted by lincatz at 10:58 AM EDT
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Monday, 26 April 2010

Topic: Squirrels in the news

So now Dave is considering taking my picture to all the local Home Hardware stores with the caption "Do not sell anymore solar garden lights to this woman.  She has an addiction to solar garden lights" On Saturday I went to home hardware with Mom and Dad to get a 2x8 and a small  weed digger.  Dave and Ben stayed behind to do some lawn work. Mom and Dad got the 2x8. I left with eight solar garden lights, two weed diggers and one super deluxe stand-up cast iron foot lever action weed picker made by local Mennonites. This thing plucks out a dandelion in a third of the time it takes to use a digger, and I don't have to crawl on the ground. Dave says it's the last time I'm allowed near the solar lights without adult supervision.

So for my mom of the groom dress I've got a drawing of the pattern pieces I will need, I have some bra cups to place in the bodice, so I can make it a halter style.  I want to look for a jeweled centerpiece for the bodice at the local thrift and vintage shops.  Old rhinestone pins are easy to find and not too expensive. I might by the pin first, then match the fabric to it.  I need to go to fabricland to find some nice silk fabric, or wait until Dan and the guys go to anime north and I can go to a Toronto fabric store, maybe that one right by Yorkdale Mall.  I recall that they had tons of silks in plains and prints. I want a nice peau de soie or a simple light silk satin.  For the floral I would prefer a chiffon or voile, if I can get it.  Otherwise a light plain weave will be fine. 

I finished two shirts for Dave, a plain polo shirt and a black with purple pinstripes dress shirt.  I also mended two pairs of jeans, and made a one-seam skirt with a length of border print fabric and thee inch wide elastic.  It took less than an hour, there was no cutting, just sewing the length to the elastic while stretching the elastic to fit the fabric.  I used 2X my hip measurement as the fabric was very light and flowing.  For a fabric with a bit more body I would have used 1.5 times my hip measurement.  I used a plain zig zag to sew the fabric to the elastic.  A cover-stitch would have worked well too.  after sewing the elastic to the fabric I sewed up the back seam and did rolled hem on the serger. Voila! 

And now for the topic story: a newsworthy squirrel.  The following squirrel is named "crunchy" and he has a headache:

His full story is found here:  either crunchy has one massive headache, or crunchy is reality a 90 year old Russian woman wearing a yellow babushka, your call!

And that's all.  Today I finish the pattern for the dress. Later!

Posted by lincatz at 11:48 AM EDT
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Friday, 23 April 2010
I Can haz Gluten free Wedding Cake?

Yesterday was quite productive.  We advanced all the wedding plans ahead by leaps and bounds and we have a good handle on how the day will progress.  We know the colors of the invitations the theme of the decorations and and we have a list of things we need to plan and questions that need asking.  As a bonus I got to Biba Boutique to try on a few dresses that were far less matronly that the other dresses designated as "mother of the groom" And I feel confident that the style, silhouette and color that I want to make will work on me.  I have my design drawings so now I need to get fabrics.  The dress I want to make will cost me 750$ to buy. I think things are progressing well.

And the cake people Dan and Heather are using makes Gluten free wedding cakes! WOW! That is the best news of all.   And they will get one tier that's gluten and dairy free.  This is good because Mike is going to be one of the groomsmen/ushers and he can't have anything with milk.  

In addition to trying on dresses at Biba, I also visited my favourite vintage store "out of the past"  It's where I got my long brown suede coat among other hippie-era treasures.  I found a brown suede midi skirt that matched my coat, a suede fringed jacket, a Joy Division Tee shirt and two Siouxsie and The Banshees shirts.  I bought nothing because I was really out to look at MOG dresses, not hippie clothes.  I managed to control myself admirably.

We also visited the local Chinese grocery store. It has vegetables that don't look like they came from this earth and more fish than the great lakes, many were still swimming in tanks. No crab legs, sadly.  Dan and heather get their veggies there.  There were several types of mushrooms not found in typical grocery stores including ginormous oysters. They had ten types of bok choys and five types of those long cylindrical cabbages.  In the dessert aisle there were several wheat free cake mixes made with rice flour, I most remember those. There were boxes for something that resembled jello, and the only example of "Chingrish" I could find.  Most of the boxes said "orange gelatin product" or Lemon Gelatin Product, or whatever the flavour was.  One boldly proclaimed that it was "Tasteless Gelatin Product" Oh don't insult yourself, you box was quite tasteful, small with attractive graphics in bold yet not clashing colours.  All the bright green veggies made me feel very hungry.

But I digress.  The wedding is going well, the plans are coming together and I think this will be a very nice day.  The invitations will be going out soon, and then we'll have a handle on how many people will be showing up. So that's all for now, aside from mentioning that Dave went BOWLING!  Can you believe it?  He went BOWLING! Weird.  He got the high score for his group or something like that with 150 points.  I think they were five pin bowling...and i think 150 is supposed to be pathetic.  I dunno...I think it's great score.  I once got 35. I was asked to not join a league.  I also go a prize that night for having the lowest score.

And that's all.  Later!

Posted by lincatz at 11:23 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 20 April 2010
beading in reverse
Topic: The Kreative Kat

Normally I talk about putting beads, stones, feathers and wires together into new and interesting pieces of jewelry.  I will say a day is successful if I complete several successful project in a day.  Yesterday I had all my tools out, but I did not complete on single solitary piece.  Yet the entire days output was a smashing success!  See, instead of putting things together, I took apart stuff I no longer like, need, or wear.

I no longer pair silver and turquoise, so I took apart all my silver and turquoise things.  They will become turquoise and bronze or antique gold. When i made all my silver and turquoise stuff turquoise was a very inexpensive and unpopular stone.  now it's so in-demand that most of what is sold as turquoise is really a stone called Howelite dyed blue.  Howelite is a milky white-yellow with dark inclusions, when dyed it looks somewhat like Arizona turquoise. Only matte and sort of weirdly waxy. And cheaper.  Real tumbled turquoise chips run about 25 to 30$ a foot on a string.  So now I have about four feet of turquoise chips.  I also have a good assortment of Bali silver beads, another one that's more expensive now than ten years ago. I also have some pink quartz chips and some pink swarovski crystals that I can use with my pink quartz donut.

If I haven't work something in over five years then I usually take it apart and turn it into something new. I have a few exceptions, mostly stuff I made when I was 12 years old or younger.  I have my first piece somewhere, two strands of e-beads (called "love beads" back in the day) one was in red white and blue and the other was in blue, yellow and green.  All were bright crayola colours and they have a very awkward and bulky knot tying them to a too large jump ring and it closes with a too large spring clasp.  The base metal of the rings and clasp have turned the cord black, but the cord itself is still quite strong and supple. Back then pure linen cord was sold as bead stringing thread and I still have my original wooden spool and it is still half full to this day.  It's no longer white, it's now that ecru "aged linen" colour.

The rest get upcycled, recycled and re-worked.  Necklaces become earrings, earrings become bracelets, anything can become anything else.  

so that's all I have to talk about...taking apart stuff instead of putting it together.  One nice aspect of yesterday was LESS DRAMA!  I need more days with less and fewer days with more.

Posted by lincatz at 11:08 AM EDT
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Monday, 19 April 2010
Picture Day: New Jewelry

I've been busy making beaded jewelry.  I've refined a couple pieces that I wasn't happy with and I created a few things that I am 100% thrilled with.  Let's start off with the thrilled with piece.

The teardrop stones are some type of Jasper that is naturally turquoise and brown.  I combined them with some turquoise bi-cone crystals, some sandwashed glass in brown, and a few jasper round beads.  The pendants are a some that I have collected over the past while.  From let to right, a hooded cobra (new) and brass flower (recycled) a giant mushroom (special and new)  a peace sign (recycled) and off to the side is a cut glass topaz charm (recycled)I made it yesterday morning and wore it in the afternoon.  It was one of those magical projects that works the first time and goes together with no trouble.  I still have enough jasper to make either a bracelet or earrings.  I'm leaning toward the bracelet and the jasper is quite heavy.

This is a re-working of a piece that needed something more.  I found a large focal point drop and then re worked the other wire elements around it.  It's more coherent and far less "a bunch of drops" than the previous state.

Mathching earrings.  Not much else is needed,the preciosa crystals speak for themselves.


This pice is swarovski crystal in purple, Aurora Borealis and blue combined with some silver beads from Bali.  All are vintage and recycled.  The Bali silver tarnishes so they need to be polished on occasion.  The characteristic dark tarnish in the nooks and crannies is what gives Bali Silver it's richness and warmth. 


And this is the last of the Preciosa crystal and the dark blue goldstones made up into a little bracelet. I have my heart of stars necklace, matching earrings and now a matching bracelet.  With these three pieces I need nothing more, anything else would be way too much.

And those are my most recent pieces. 

In other news we got my Dad's Bonsai trees and they are adapting well to their new home.  We'll be making more display tables for them and some will need pruning and re-potting.  I think they will make a nice addition to our back yard.  Our yard might need to be at its finest this year, especially if we are going to have a wedding rehersal barbecue the night before the wedding.

And that's all.  I'll spare everyone the rants and raves, they would accomplish nothing, well...they might make me feel a bit better...but that's what Dave is for...and my brother Steve....listening to me rant and rave. 

Oh, and notice how nice the pictures are?  I spent some time on line learning how to take knock-out close ups of jewelry with my new camera and the time was well invested, wasn't it?  

Posted by lincatz at 10:29 AM EDT
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Thursday, 15 April 2010

My favourite headphone died yesterday.  They have been limping along for a while.  Sound would only come out one side unless the wire was turned a certain way and the wonky side had developed an electric crackle on some treble notes and a bit of clipping and distortion on deep bass.  Yesterday no sound came out of the right side no matter what I did, and after a while the left side was dead too.  I hate that, they put those flimsy little wires that crack and break in them and they have a life span of two years, three years if you are lucky. Now I have to find new headphones that sound good, are not-too-big and not overly expensive. 

I went out a tried on a few Mother Of The Groom dresses.  I can state right here and now that I will not wear bad shapeless satin or taffeta with a short sequined jacket. The ones that aren't bad satin look frumpy and matronly or they look far too formal and evening-ish.  I tried on a few other dresses and I think my design of a sleeveless maxi dress in a watercolor floral print is the way to go. And I don't care what etiquette says, I am not wearing a stupid hat. this is typical of what is marketed as mother of the groom.

I do like that many wedding sites have -right near the end of these articles -what to do about a youthful looking, acting and living  mother of the groom.  I mean aside from putting her in something older looking than she is. Indeed, most of these etiquette places disagree with each other on almost all points, so I think I might just go with the old gut feeling.

As for Heather's dress, she found something amazing, dressy, but not excessively formal.  Perfect for a daytime wedding. If she wants it embellished with lace or sparkle it will be super easy for me to make it spectacular.  I want to help her make a beaded wire-work tiara and a small veil or whatever else she wants.  

Speaking of wirework and beads, I now have a real jeweler's anvil to go with my real jeweler's ballpeen hammer. I love that name: ballpeen.  And to make it better, that the real word for it, I am NOT making it up.  I say the word in my inner Beavis and Butthead voice "ballpeen, heheheh. you said ballpeen. hurhur!"  The anvil and the hammer are to be used together to help harden wires used in jewelry and to help harden rings so they don't fall apart.  I'm going to be spending some time hammering and hardening rings. 

So now it's off to find addresses for a bridal shower.  I would like to invite some members of my extended family, especially from my mom's side of the family. Heather's been to the big Christmas party many times, and to many other family functions so I think that it is 100% appropriate to invite them. Heather's family is in England, so it is unlikely that they will be able to come to a shower! So it's off for fabric, off to get some addresses and then off to do some gardening! spring is in full bloom right now. Achoo! Later! 

Posted by lincatz at 11:26 AM EDT
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