June 30, 2008

The End of June--A Lament

For teachers who end school in May,
June delights in many a way.
Two months removed from August's bane,
when days of freedom start to wane,
June's every day is a breath of promise
free from student's negative comments.

But then--today! A horror indeed!
The calendar reads June Thirty!
In four scant days, the fourth of July,
when to summer we bid good-bye.
Everything now a rush to the start,
when freedom begins to depart.

You may argue we July have yet,
but I would make a quite large bet,
that school supplies in stores will be
before this doggerel you read.
But yes, I still have forty-one days,
before that back to school craze.

So now I make a solemn vow--
before summer takes its bow--
to live each day to its fullest extent,
and not wonder where the week went.
A scarf, a hat, something for fun--
for all I want is my knitting done.

If you read this, I'm impressed. It is pure and trashy doggerel. If only I could have lived in the Victorian era! Enjoy the last day of June!

June 27, 2008

If You're Laid Up . . .

Our friend Matty has suffered a bit of an injury--and with the added injustice that although I tried to comment on his post four times, it never let me actually post the comment.

So, you can visit his blog and read about why forestry and sandals don't mix, and I've added a few great links I've found, if you need to kill time.

*What happens when the Bible and Sir Mix-a-Lot combine.

*Entertainment Weekly examines the new classics--time for a debate! (LOTR--the films--#2! Yes!) Check out all the other lists as well.

* And now, a few Lord of the Rings cartoons to cheer you up this fine Friday!

June 26, 2008

Pancake Hold

How to Entertain Two Nephews Under the Age of 4:
*Sidewalk Chalk
*Mr. Cool's Complete Bearenstein Bears Collection
*A Large Beanbag
*Wood Floors for Stomping

Nephew's Favorite New Move:
*The Pancake Hold, in which you jump on someone's stomach. Much fun was had jumping on Mr. Cool.

The Sweetest Sound in the World:
*"Aunt Amanda, Aunt Amanda, come play naptime!" (This game involved much loud snoring from my 3-yr. old nephew and me, followed by a jump up and cry, "It's morning now, Manda!")

June 21, 2008

A Birthday

No, not mine. The above is not a gift request. Instead, I would like to wish a Happy 26th to Prince William, the heir to the heir of the throne of England. If you know me, you know I'm a bit of a nerd about European royalty, specifically the kings and queens of England. Right now, I'm cleaning up my teaching stuff and trying to figure out how to store a giant poster I made with postcards of every king and queen of England from William the Conqueror to Elizabeth II. Will Prince William be king in my lifetime? I imagine so. I'll update y'all on it when it happens.

A Postscript: I once knew two young ladies who wished to help William Arthur Philip Louis wait for his turn to be King. Sista Cool is now off the market, but if William tracks his own blog-publicity, Hannah is still available.

June 19, 2008

Steamboat Wrap-Up

So, we were gone--did you notice? I sneakily had blogs ready to roll, and each afternoon enjoyed the fact that a blog was publishing and I wasn't around. We had a wonderful time in Steamboat, enjoying the clear mountain air, tourist traps, swimming pool, hot tub, and my favorite bookstore (Off the Beaten Path). We've been three times now, and we like it more each time! This year Mr. Cool finally got to do the Alpine Slide.
I got to enjoy my favorite breakfast fresh fruit parfait at Winona's. (Please, if you are ever in Steamboat, eat there. You won't regret indulging in anything on their menu.)

We drove back through Rocky Mountain National Park, a beautiful drive that scares the bejeebers out of me every time. We did notice a moose mix-up at their gift store.

And I'll close with the obligatory beautiful mountain pictures.

Steamboat Springs
Rocky Mountain National Park

June 17, 2008

How Mr. Cool Spent Last Week

Mr. Cool is a shooting enthusiast, which simply means he shoots for sport. He doesn't shoot animals, only targets. He is always working on perfecting targets, spending many hours scribbling on graph paper, designing new targets. Last week he began work on his dream steel targets, and I thought those of you Mr. Cool fanciers might enjoy a shot of the man and his targets. The firearm he is shown with is an air pistol, that only shoots little yellow plastic thingies. To cap it all off, he is wearing an Army ROTC t-shirt and a cap that says "The Police."

June 16, 2008

On Foot: Musings

I've decided to start walking around Greeley on my errands--this has both environmental and health reasons backing it, as well as the sheer number of podcasts on my Ipod I need to listen to. I've walked to my knitting group twice and to the grocery store a few times, so yesterday I felt ready for the big walk--I would walk to church, then after church I would walk to Target, grab the few items needed for the Steamboat trip, stop at Subway for lunch, and then walk back. As I thought about the mileage, I realized this would be about 7-8 miles.

It was--I spent 3 hours and 42 minutes on my feet, walking. It was one of the most intense athletic feats of my life, sad to say. As I listened to my music and podcasts, supported my canvas grocery bag on alternating shoulders, and mused about walking.

Trees: I love trees. All buildings shall be torn down and planted with leafy trees, to aid the city walker. Every time I approached a tree, my speed slacked so that I could enjoy the cool shade and extra breeze. I picked which side of the street to walked on based on the number of trees. I would also discriminate against conifers, which cast a much less delightfully cool shadow.

Breezes: The tree's best friend--the lovely cooling breeze. As I grew up in Wyoming, I'm awfully familiar with wind, and I would have welcomed any gale force today. I loved the way the breeze dried out the sweat on my neck while lifting the tendrils of hair.

U2: Judge if you must, but when I switched to U2, it set the beat to keep my weary feet walking. Just look at a chunk of lyrics of three of the songs in my U2 collection: "I want to run, I want to hide . . ." (from Where the Streets Have No Name); "If you walk away, walk away, I walk away, walk away--I will follow . . ." (from I Will Follow); "Take these shoes, click-clacking down some dead-end street, take these shoes, and make them fit . . . " (from Yahweh). I was amazed that so many songs involved walking.

Crosswalks: As I dug deeper into my miles, I found it harder and harder to make it across during the walk sign. I'd like to ask for more time to hobble across the street.

I know I had more thoughts, but as my legs recover, I am left with only one: next time I won't carry home a box of Capri-Sun.

June 15, 2008

We Came, We Saw, We Didn't Bring Enough Money!

Sista Cool and I are baaack from the Wool Market! It was fabulous, and we were still there when we started talking about next year! For the 2008 Market, we present a photographic tour of Estes Park's Wool Celebration!

A Paco-Vicuna in Profile
A Sheep with Deformed HornsThe Most Dangerous Animals in the World
I knit in public on National Knit in Public Day, whilst wearing my fabulous Ravelry t-shirt!Sista Cool proves it's possible to knit in public whilst wearing trendy sunglasses.
Sista Cool's Swag: A Needle Felting Starter Kit (from Back to Back Alpaca in Mesa, AZ) & Merino Roving (from Full Spectrum Fiber Arts out of Ward, CO)My Loot: Gorgeous sock yarn (my camera doesn't do it justice) from Cloud City Fibers out of Leadville, Co.Beautiful hand-dyed, handspun yarn from Plain & Fancy Yarns in Texas in the Primary colorway.

So, that's the Wool Market--join us next year, but save up!

June 13, 2008

Goin' To the Mountains,

Gonna See a Lot of Fiber!

Today I am getting ready for two mountainous visits--tomorrow Sista Cool and I will be headed to Estes Park for the Wool Market! (I will be wearing my Ravelry t-shirt!)

Monday, Mr. Cool and I are headed for Steamboat Springs to relax (and visit their yarn shops.)

Pictures will be forthcoming--but be patient!

June 12, 2008

Updated! Rappin' LOTR

Hannah has just "forced" me to waste a good deal of time on youtube with Flight of the Conchords. If you have not similarly wasted time, and might like the 4th most popular folk parody duo in New Zealand, they are quite funny. In keeping a bit with my blog theme, here is a clip from their show that involves Lord of the Rings.

A few years ago, when first entering my LOTR craze, I discoverd the Lords of the Rhymes, with their first album, Straight Outta Hobbiton. I managed to find them still on the web--although there is a bit of a language warning on this one. If you remember Leonard Nimoy singing about Bilbo, Bilbo Baggins, these might amuse you!

I had to edit this--after watching many FOC clips yesterday, I kept thinking Bret McKenzie looked familiar. I did some trusty internet searching, and was reminded that he played Figwit, a fan-favorite elf from the LOTR movies! He showed up briefly at the council of Elrond, and then in ROTK, he's the elf who talks to Arwen before she goes racing back! See--everything connects to LOTR!

June 08, 2008

A Pitcher of Warm Spit*

Now that the nominees have been decided, it is time for McCain and Obama to pick their running mate--the "veeps". This important second in command is there to deliver a specific region, aid in campaigning, be a mouthpiece for the presidential candidate, and balance the ticket--in short, to be almost the exact opposite of the president yet still work well with him. As Linus proved in a Charlie Brown special, very few of us can name the vice presidents throughout history. It's time for some edimacation.
(Courtesy of me & The Secret Lives of Presidents by Cormac O'Brien)

Famous Vice Presidential Stories/Men

Originally, the founders intended for the person who came in second to serve as vice president. After the incredibly contentious Adams/Jefferson four years, they rethought the idea, allowing the candidate to place his own choice on the ballot.

2. Aaron Burr, who is famous for killing Alexander Hamilton (the guy on the $10 bill) in a duel, served as Jefferson's first V.P.

3. John C. Calhoun holds the honor of serving as V.P. for both a Republican (John Quincy Adams) and a Democrat (Andrew Jackson).

4. John Tyler was the first V.P. to deal with the death of the commander-in-chief when William Henry Harrison died after a month as president. Tyler had to deal with a vague constitution and a Congress united in hating him. He did manage to be the first president to marry in office, and he began the process of annexing Texas. And he had 15 children.

5. William Wheeler was an avid participant in president Rutherford B. Hayes's cabinet-level prayer and praise sessions, bringing his copy of The Presbyterian Hymn and Tune Book to all meetings.

6. Teddy Roosevelt was only named V.P. because the Republican mucky-mucks felt he would do less reforming damage there than as governor of New York.

7. When Harry Truman was told that FDR wanted to name him V.P., he replied, "Tell him to go to hell."

8. Seven presidents have served without a V.P.--John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, Andrew Johnson, Chester A. Arthur, Teddy Roosevelt (first term), Harry Truman (first term), and Lyndon Baines Johnson (first term)--all V.P.'s themselves, serving after the death of the president.

So now you know more! Can you name any vice presidents? Who do you think McCain and Obama should pick?

*The title of today's post comes from a quote by John Nance Gardner, FDR's first V.P.--"This job isn't worth a pitcher of warm spit."

June 07, 2008

I'm So Excited---and I Can't Hide It!

Well, long time no see, blog friends. I am also charting ten days since my last comment, and, you know, that's cool. I've commented on your blogs, though. No hurt feelings here at all, nuh-uh.

Anyway, I received a new toy last Sunday--a Nintendo DS Lite. Yep, that's right. At the ripe ol' age of 28 3/4, I finally purchased a gaming system. My beloved parents raised us without any sort of video gaming, and whenever I tried to play on sleepovers, I would royally kill of Mario and have the controller ripped from my hands. I did develop an addiction to Tetris during my older years, but the female-oriented DS ads starring America Ferrera and Liv Tyler drew me in. I did some research, talked to Mr. Cool, and got permission for the DS to be my summer treat.

So far, I've kept it simple, purchasing a crossword game, Brain Age 2, and two "real games"--Zelda & the Phantom Hourglass and the new Lego Indiana Jones Original Adventures. I'm slowly getting the hang of playing games, and enjoying it. Of course, this doesn't mean I've abandoned my true love hobby, knitting. Nope, in fact, mere hours after purchasing my cobalt DS (I thought about pink, but I didn't want to overdose on it), I cast on for a DS Cozy.

Good thing, too, as I was doing my Brain Age Training, the lovely Dr. gave me this handy Brain Tip:
Excuse the blurriness--screens are difficult to photograph. It says, "Did you know that knitting can activate your prefrontal cortex?"

ell, my DS Cozy was sure activating my prefrontal cortex--I learned three new skills on this project--the moss stitch, cabling, and buttonholes. I also finished in under a week! I loved this project, and remained truly faithful to it throughout the week, despite the various classes I had going on. I will now present a few photos to illustrate the project and its details.
Here is a close-up of the cables and moss stitch. The cables are the criss-crossy things, and the moss stitch is the edging. If you knew that, please forgive me! These were simple cables, but very fun and addicting to do. I also loved the moss stitch.
Buttonhole Time! These three buttonholes might look a bit wonky, but they do the trick, and I discovered that they're not too bad. I am definitely more comfortable with them.Wrong-side out, with the side seams freshly sewn.
The DS nestles in its new home, sharing the space with bright, colorful buttons.The finished thing, stuffed with the DS, four games, the booklets, and extra styluses. This is my favorite thing I have ever made. I love it!
Pattern: Nintendo Cozy by Amanda Minkler
Stitch 'N Bitch Calender 2008
Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver Solids in Lavender (I know, yucky acrylic--it was a gift from my school secret pal.)

Thanks for letting me share my excitement--I'm off to play!

June 04, 2008

You've Come a Long Way, Baby

Today is the 89th Anniversary of the Approval of the 19th Amendment by Congress. In honor of my study of primary sources, I present a few in honor of the day.

19th Amendment: The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

from the Handbook of the National American Woman Suffrage Association: and proceedings of the Convention held at Cleveland, Ohio, April 13, 1921

This pamphlet contains the last report of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. This association, and its predecessors whose aim and work in carried forward, have published reports of their proceedings for seventy-four years. The records from 1848, when the first Woman's Rights Convention was held, to 1884, are preserved in the History of Woman Suffrage. The records since 1884 have been published annually, this report closing the series.

There have been few women whose words or deeds during the last half century have warranted their mention in our national history who have not at some time been members of the National American Woman Suffrage Association and hundreds of men and women who are known as leaders of thought have spoken upon its platform. In the earlier years, contending for the fullest freedom of all women to educational, industrial, civil, social and political opportunity, the association was the sole exponent of the woman's cause in the United States. During those years prejudice was intensely stubborn and bitter and all progress for the woman's movement was made against the current of public opinion. In later years when many organizations of women each carrying forward some specific phase of the woman's struggle had come into existence, the National American continued to lead the advance section of the movement, and devoted its endeavors exclusively to the campaign for woman suffrage.

It now has the proud satisfaction of having achieve its purpose and finished its work. It has bequeathed to American women an opportunity, a dignity and liberty which in 1848 were a dream in the minds only of a few. With this final report one of the most unique and significant chapters of American history is closed.

Carrie Chapman Catt.

all materials from the Library of Congress Women's History Collection

June 02, 2008

Back to School

No, not really! Did I freak you out? Did you think that three months had magically passed? Nope, it's still June, I'm just back in class. I'm taking two free (yes!) classes this week, gaining a couple credits and having a nice time being the student. Although, being a student means a lot more sitting than I'm used to--I always understand why they must wander around.

Anyway, today and tomorrow I'm back at my old haunt of of UNC's Michener Library, studying the Library of Congress website and learning about how to teach primary sources. It's really fascinating, and to get y'all digging into a library with over 130 million resources and 530 miles of shelving, I'm providing some specialized links.

Interested in what happened today in history?

Want to check out knitters sending stuff to Abraham Lincoln?

Would you like to listen to an anti-Grover Cleveland song?

Last, how about a ton of pictures of people knitting?

Don't forget Mr. Cool's natural monetary enemy!

Seriously, check this website out. Tons of stuff to search through!