The Peripatetic Enthymeme has returned to his travels, alas, but he sent a few pictures that he took. This one I really really like (despite forgetting to suck my gut in for the camera, and having serious sunhat-hair).

This was (as you probably noodled out for yourselves, you clever little creatures) at the Rosicrucian Egyptian museum. In addition to the standard indoor museum-y stuff, they have a full reproduction of Ancient Egyptian temple grounds, with a lotus-and-fish pond, vegetable gardens, and this unexplained little structure (it wasn't the main temple; that was a different building). Maybe the Egyptians went in for really elaborate sheds.* The heat on that day was like actual pressure against your skin, so we had the area pretty much to ourselves and explored it by scuttling from shady patch to shady patch like lizards.

The heat wave has broken, thank goodness, so we're eating and sleeping and being civil once again, and the ants have gone on their mysterious ant way.

A few interesting links:

A sanity-destroying picture - I warned you
Stupid comics - not everything old is classic
Brilliant theory! - I like Scott Adams' blog! Thanks, neuba!

* How long can it take to build a shed, anyway?

I miss rain in summer so very very much.

This weekend was miserably hot, so we ended up seeing a few movies just to be exposed to an air conditioned environment. I’m having a hard time even remembering what they were, since it took a couple of hours in the coolth just for my brain to coagulate enough for thinking.

Oh yeah… A Scanner Darkly (at the recommendation of The Peripatetic Enthymeme) and My Super Ex-Girlfriend. I quite liked “A Scanner Darkly”, though I found it physically hard to watch. The animation… overlay, I guess you could call it, constantly slides the foreground around with respect to the background, which I am sure is an artsy decision to heighten the tension and surreality but which in my case also heightens the motion sickness. I want to read the original short story now. Dick’s stories make good movies.

“My Super Ex-Girlfriend” was about what I expected, light and unengaging* but it had sufficient laughs, didn’t annoy me at any point, and did I mention the air conditioning?

I was hoping we could get a swamp cooler for the house, since they’re cheap to buy, cheap to run, and you don’t close all the windows for them to work** Unhappily, it looks like it’s too humid here for a swamp cooler to be effective.

So lacking any cooling technology more sophisticated than a fan and a bowl of ice, we have not been sleeping well, not been eating right, and have been generally cranky. And last night just put the icing on the metaphorical cake. I went to bed, not even bothering to turn on the light (lightbulbs produce heat!) and tried to get comfortable, but couldn’t. My skin felt itchy. Crawly, even. Really, really crawly. I think I spent about thirty seconds in denial, then turned on the light and looked down.

My old friends the ants were back, in the bedroom this time. All over the bed, and especially between the mattress and the boxspring.

Sweet dreams!

* I use that phrase so much, Ferlak… thanks for it!

** The only window in our bedroom, which is where we desperately want the cooler air, is a patio door. So to install a regular air conditioner unit, we’d have to build a big wooden filler thing to block the doorway, with holes cut in it to stick the air conditioner through.

So the Peripatetic Enthymeme is visiting us, and it is a pleasure to see him again. And of course, we only start looking around at the vast number of entertainment options available to us when we have visitors. So on this weekend, we happened to discover, is the Ancient Egyptian Epagomenal Festival; five days marking the end of the Ancient Egyptian year.* And although the connection is somewhat opaque to me, the local Rosicrucians have a large Egyptian Museum here, and are celebrating said Epagomenal Festival with special activities and re-enactments of ancient rituals! And Sunday, the day we found out about all this, was the Birthday of Set!

Most unhappily, after we got there we found out that there were no rituals scheduled for re-enactment on Sunday. All the activities were generic Ancient Egyptian, and mostly geared towards children. So I didn't get a chance to see if my own recreation of a Set-based ritual was accurate or not.** But the museum was actually pretty neat. Apparently the facility is pretty much the Rosicrucian Vatican City, to use a comparison that would probably anger both parties.

We've also tried out some nice new (to us) restaurants, and found out, once again, that Northern California beaches are much colder and foggier than you think. I like having visitors!

Some random links:

Questionable Content - A new favourite comic
A New Fashion - Well, probably not.
Kansas Classrooms - Heh
Food Pr0n - Mmmmmmmm...

* Well, technically, five days between the years, not belonging to either the previous year or the next. You need to do jiggery-pokery like this to make your astronomical calculations come out right.

** Um, it occurs to me that not everyone who reads this may be familiar with all my hobbies (hi Amanda!). This was for a game. Just a game. I wasn't even pretending to be someone who worshipped Set, actually, I was pretending to be someone who was pretending to worship Set...

(There aren't many songs that reference knitting. How odd! I did find one or two, though, in addition to the one I used above)

So I still haven't really recovered from the tablecloth, in that I've just been doing little projects. Here are two of my favourites:

The top is from the latest Interweave Knits, an issue worth purchasing, in my opinion. It's the cover garment, the "Lotus Blossom Tank".* 4mm and 3.75 mm needles, smallest size, Euroflax Linen, 3 skeins almost exactly. I really like the neckline, and it's a quick knit. The linen is hard on the hands when knitting, but it softens up miraculously after a trip through the washer and dryer.

The knitted supervillain is Hellstryke, R:tAG's main character in CoV, and it was my (somewhat late) birthday present to him. Let's look at the little guy closer up, shall we?

He's a mix of various worsted-weight stash yarns (fun fur for his goaty legs... one of the few valid uses for fun fur) on, um, 4mm needles IIRC. I needed a dense fabric so the stuffing wouldn't show through too much, but as you can sort of see on the shoulders I probably could have gone down a needle size. The horns and spines are sock-weight yarn on 2.5 mm needles, the cape is lace-weight mohair on 4.5 mm needles. The pattern is out of my own head, based roughly on the last super I knit.**

And of course, socks, because socks don't really count as a work-in-progress. They're the constant background noise knitting.

It's the yoga that let me hold my feet up like this long enough to take a picture. Thank you, yoga! The pattern is the Jaywalker Socks, the yarn is Schaefer "Anne" which is one of the bestest sock yarns I've ever used.*** The socks took most, but not near all, of a 4 oz skein. and I used 2.25mm dps. The colours in the picture are not at all true; the reality is a much warmer, richer blend of browns and jewel tones of red, green and blue.

And finally, also from the latest Interweave Knits, a mini-Faroese style shawl. The pattern is free! I had in my stash a little bit of alpaca handspun (not my hands) that was an odd weight; like a thin sock yarn but a) I didn't have enough of it to make socks and b) alpaca socks would probably make my feet combust.

It was hard to get a good picture because the shaping that makes it stay on your shoulders also makes it into a three-dimensional shape that won't lie flat, and R:tAG isn't home right now to take a picture of me in it. I used maybe 50 g of this handspun stuff, on 5mm needles to get a really lacy, drapey, fabric. Again, the colour isn't near as blue as the picture shows (stupid digital camera), it's a natural warm heathered gray.

So there you go. If I don't mention the knitting, the pressure just builds up and you get a huge post like this one instead of a few sentences at the end of every post.

* And yes, all the jokes about Zen armies using Lotus Blossom Tanks have been made already, thankyouverymuch.

** I actually wrote down what I did for the Statesman doll! I amaze myself!

*** It's also horribly expensive.

Guess what we went to see at midnight! Squee!

Some of the review have been pretty savage, but I think it’s still a fun movie. Not as good as the first, but I was bracing myself for acute disappointment so I was pleasantly surprised*. The movie spends too much time referencing old jokes and not making new ones, there are too many action scenes and not enough plot**, and it’s the first half of a really long movie instead of a self-contained story. But hey… pirates!

Returning to land, I’ve decided to definitely change yoga venues. Last night’s class felt like it could have ended with me in a wheelchair. The instructor’s lackadaisical teaching might be acceptable when you’re just trying to touch your toes, but this involved weight-bearing on the neck with no description of technique. I don’t know for sure*** what the position is called... it wasn’t The Plow... it looks like “The Bridge” variation of The Wheel. All sorts of danger flags. Looking at this website, I can see now that I was right to ignore what she was telling us to do; it looks like your weight should be on your shoulders but she never actually said that. From her vague description it sounded like she was telling us to support our weight with our heads.****

Also, all you yoga-takers out there, could you describe how Salute to the Sun should look? Not pose-by-pose, but overall impressions? I’d thought it was a relaxed, flowing series of moves, a bit like T’ai Chi. In our class, we jump between postures with explosive changes of position accompanied by barked instructions (“Right leg back! Left foot forward! Chest out! Chin up!”). Odd. Bootcamp yoga?

Anyway, that class and I will part ways. Leaving aside the potential of physical damage, when the only reason I’m doing something is because it would make a good blog story I think a little bit of me dies.

On the weekend, a knitting post! With pictures! Yay!

* The key to happiness, right there.

** Yes, I know… “too many action scenes?” But how many kraken-fights does one really need? Sometimes less is more. And the whole cannibal thing, while funny, was too long in proportion to its plot importance (= none).

*** Another complaint I have is that she rarely mentions the name of any position. I have to browse through yoga sites to find out anything, and almost always discover warnings and tips that would have been really good to know, oh, say, IN CLASS! Oh, and in addition to thinking the solar plexus is below the navel, she also thinks we have 27 vertebrae.

**** Not that I tried that for a second before the self-preservation instincts kicked in or anything. Because that would have been very stupid. Ahem. Because she’s doing the poses along with us, it’s sometimes hard to see exactly what she’s doing if the angle is wrong. The class is enough people in a small enough room that it’s hard to move to get a better view.

So, all you IE users, sorry about the visible HTML on the last post. I think it's fixed now. MS-Word generates the ugliest HTML known to man, and it looks like Firefox handles it better than IE does, oddly enough. I shall do my composing directly in Blogger in the future.

This was a festive and active holiday weekend; Canada Day on Saturday, of course, with a celebration at a beautiful local park hosted by Digital Moose Lounge, an organization for Canadians in the Bay Area. It was quite a bit of fun; everyone's nametag included their city of origin so we met quite a few other Saskatchewanians. There was also a small vendor area, so we got our Coffee Crisp, Winegum and Dare Maple Cookie fixes.

Sunday was our normal Farmers' Market cruising, with a score of Ollalieberries* and blueberries, and then a viewing of Superman Returns. It was a good movie technically but it left me feeling sort of "enh."** R:tAG felt that Lex Luthor, in particular, was sold pretty short (no criticism of Kevin Spacey, this was in the writing). Maybe it was that lack of an interesting antagonist, maybe it was some pretty big plot holes,*** maybe it's that the whole superhero genre doesn't turn my crank (ironic, eh?).

And Tuesday was fireworks-and-BBQ day, one of the two times in the year**** that Americans seem to treat as an actual holiday (i.e. shops might actually be closed, and public events like parades are scheduled). We biked to Los Gatos to eat grilled meat and listen to J.P. Souza on a high school lawn, which is about as American as you can get. And then, just to make it an official holiday, we drove a friend to Emergency for stitches and a tetanus shot after she nearly severed a fingertip on a can lid. Luckily, we beat the rush of drunk-drivers and fireworks victims. It's never a holiday until someone gets hurt!

A potpourri of linkage:

Beauty Tips for Ministers - sometimes, it's refreshing to read something that is completely and utterly different from what you normally read. Religion and fashion.
Table of Condiments - just plain funny.
Self Worth Issues - and here I thought I was a special little snowflake.
Diesel Sweeties - I lurve this comic

* A type of blackberry, apparently, but to me with more of a raspberry flavour. I haven't had them since Ferlak's grandparents graciously hosted us for a few days during a trip to Brandon. They make good pie.

** Apart from Brandon Routh. Mrowr!

*** OK, maybe a spoiler, but the whole thing with Jason? Lois' son? The only way Cyclops Richard White could have thought Jason was his was if he and Lois had gotten it on relatively soon after Jason's conception, right? But I thought that when Superman disappeared, it was suddenly and with no notice that his absence was going to be an extended one. So didn't Lois kind of jump the gun (as far as she'd have known) with her relationship with Richard, if for all she knew, Superman was going to return any day? And if Richard did know Jason wasn't his (before the events in the movie made him go hmmmm) that potentially interesting plot element was completely ignored.

And Luthor's eeevil plot completely didn't make sense to me.

**** Thanksgiving's the other one.


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