ironymaiden: (washington)
I had a Very Seattle dog walk yesterday.

We were in a part of the neighborhood where most yards are behind a retaining wall a few feet above street level. Leela had sighted a squirrel on the wall, and i was letting her run back and forth at the end of the leash (it's very efficient exercise - i act as a fulcrum, the dog rapidly multiplies distance traveled). Somewhere in there i put a foot wrong and went sprawling, took the skin off of the heel of my left hand, and terrified the dog.


  1. squirrel on retaining wall

  2. heaved and broken sidewalk with secret patch of slick mud hidden by drifted leaves

  3. capable team of passerby who lifted me up, produced water to wash my wounds, took control of the dog and soothed her, then busted out their large first aid kit and disinfected and bandaged my hand.



Seattle!

The rest of the walk passed without incident and when i got home to do a thorough clean and trim off dangly skin, i was sad that i had to take off bandages that were way nicer than the ones i had at home.
ironymaiden: (rich zoe)
sometime this summer, a classical trumpeter moved into my building (or the one across the street). Their tone is excellent, so hearing them practice is quite pleasant, especially since it bears the sense-memory of waiting for the symphony or opera to begin.

i've been on the balcony with my spinning, enjoying the fine day and listening to an audiobook of The Letter of Marque. plus the aforementioned trumpet. and the occasional dog singing along.

it's more pleasant than you might think.
ironymaiden: (rich zoe)
this has a been a tough week. I'm okay, good people are not.


  • Seafair is on. in Ballard, that means Seafood fest. i bought ginger-infused honey from a taciturn old white guy who was wearing a sweater with a hole in it and could barely interact enough to take my money. There's the combo dim sum/elephant ear stand. I had a locally made birch beer. I had a pickled herring sandwich. I nearly collapsed from ecstasy taking my first bite of deep fried bacon cinnamon roll. I finished it while watching awesome little girls do a skateboard slalom competition.

  • apparently, once a year i facilitate [livejournal.com profile] mimerki's purchase of awesome shoes. If this is my superpower, i accept it.

  • Google sheep view

  • touchstones. I was looking through my yarn stash to pick out a worsted weight for a project, and i had stories to tell for every scrap and skein. Gifts, souvenirs, milestones in learning to knit and spin. So many good memories and good people.

  • Planet Earth is on Netflix. So amazing.




OMG i go camping soon!

Edited to add: the issue of Hawkeye told from the dog's POV. It's not a gimmick, it's the best way they could reveal information to the reader through the eyes of a character. I've reread it a few times because there's so much going on. Seriously a masterful use of the medium.
ironymaiden: (knitting)
oh, i am exhausted today. but in a good way.

this weekend was the Nordic Knitting Conference, happening about 10 short blocks from my house. Klamath K (who i met through [livejournal.com profile] shadawyn's fiber weekends) came up to take a class and enjoy some city time. her C went off and had boy time while she crashed at my place. it was seriously a good time. my class schedule ran in a way that meant she had to entertain herself a bit more than i wanted, but she seemed well-pleased with the experience, so i won't complain. like, "honey, can we move to Ballard?" pleased.

classes were had, there was social time at Card Kingdom, a Portage Bay breakfast, lockage, late-running salmon in the fish ladder, her successful solo trip up to see Deco Japan, some of Benjamin Bagby's Beowulf, and a few episodes of Call the Midwife. plus great discussions of D&D 5e vs Pathfinder, and the role of the coach in professional sports.

the conference itself was nice. i took one class and followed my plan of spending marketplace money on raw material for gifts.

the class was a step up for me. the instructor, Judith MacKenzie, is worshipped as a god. (kind of like people used to talk about Elizabeth Zimmermann.) this was my first beyond basics spinning class, where it was assumed that i knew my wheel well and had a solid vocabulary and skillset. at first i was a bit frustrated that it wasn't quite as described in the program book, that she was a bit of a disorganized magpie, and that hand cards were on the materials list and we never used them.* but i'm definitely going to be using the techniques i learned to make holiday gifts, she was very generous with high-quality supplies, and she was a fount of tips, tricks, and factoids. i think i've got her seamless join down, and practice will shore up my semi-woolen method. it was amusing to me that as i started telling C about the class i was kind of lukewarm about the experience, but then i just kept going on and on about how cool this was and that was and things that i learned. so i'll be unpacking the class for a long time, and would pay to work with her again.

i sat beside a pair of women who had flown up from California for the weekend. they were talking casually about the other fiber events they had traveled to this year, their collections of wheels and spindles, having an upstairs e-spinner and a downstairs e-spinner, ordering custom-made spindles, and shutting back and forth between the house and the boat. (for context, they were talking about thousands and thousands of dollars worth of equipment and travel. they also seemed to not have jobs.) both knitting/spinning and quilting occupy this strange space where they are the hobbies of the frugal and of the leisure class. i know that working artists need the leisure class hobbyists to survive. i thought about the fiber i bought in the marketplace and realized that the vendor was also leisure class - she appears to be independently wealthy, and is selling at least part of her wares at cost. i love her work, and her pricing, but is she screwing things up for people who actually need the money?**


*i borrowed a pair, which required a bit of effort on the part of their owner. i'll make some rolags before i return them, and enjoy the social opportunity it offers. darn glad i didn't buy them for the class.
**this is similar to the unpaid or even pay-to-play intern model that is nearly required in professional theater. everyone who participates reinforces the barriers to people without those resources.
ironymaiden: (ginkgo)
most times we travel north and east in Seattle, we end up on 85th street and pass a house covered in red lanterns. it has a sign outside for tea tastings, and each time i swear that i will give it a try.

finally this past Saturday i went, on a long overdue outing with coworker R. and it is a magical elf house presided over by a wizard. the house contains an art gallery, with tea tastings and Chinese tea for sale (not a place to go to buy a cup of tea and a pastry). R and i never quite did the tea tasting - we were handed full-sized cups of tea when we came in the door and offered the run of the house. since we were looking to talk a bit, we settled on a bench in the upstairs gallery and caught up. the owner unobtrusively checked in on us, and even brought us refills of tea from downstairs. the house is near the peak of Crown Hill. i'm sure on a less rainy day there would be a stunning view of the Olympics from the window under the eaves. even so, the space was peaceful and filled with light.

the owner roasts his own oolong, which is what we were drinking. it is very much as described - pleasant, a little sweet. i decided to purchase some before we left, and he filled my bag from the roaster (similar to the one pictured here). from what i can tell the roasting rig is a base with electic coils topped by something similar to a bamboo steamer.

so i left with the oolong (and some jasmine and rose flowers another customer decided not to buy due to a cranky kid - they were small and hand-packaged and it made me sad to see them left behind), and R got a necklace from the reasonably-priced selection of jewelry. it looks like a good place for gifts and i look forward to doing a full tasting in the future.

http://www.teahousegallery.com/
ironymaiden: (rachel maddow)
we've had our Approve 71 sign in the planting strip out front for almost a week now. it's baby's first yard sign and i'm pleased to be able to host it where it's visible in an area with lots of foot traffic. (and we are near the parking lot for the splitters.)

the signs come from cafe press and they're kind of cool - a printed vinyl pocket with a three-part wire frame. the whole thing ships in a tube but makes a nice flat and sturdy sign in short order.

after a day or two it had been knocked around a little. i shrugged it off, since there are always cars parked there or dogs being walked, etc. every morning on the way to work i would straighten it. later this week when i came home from work, the top of the wire frame was gone and the sign pocket was turned 90 degrees so that it was an indistinguishable shape and unreadable.

uh oh.

when i came home from an engagement last night, around 10:30pm, i found an Approve 71 sign on the ground down the block from my house. it had been split at both seams, like someone tore it as much as the tough vinyl would allow. i picked it up, and indeed, it was our sign. looked like whoever grabbed it scooped it up as quickly as they could and left the frame behind. i took the wire uprights inside and put the whole thing back together with an internal cardboard reinforcement and white duct tape. and put it back outside before going to bed.

WTF, Ballard, WTF. C and i think from the way the ground is torn up that passerby have both pulled it down and put it back several times.
ironymaiden: (Default)
we've had our Approve 71 sign in the planting strip out front for almost a week now. it's baby's first yard sign and i'm pleased to be able to host it where it's visible in an area with lots of foot traffic. (and we are near the parking lot for the splitters.)

the signs come from cafe press and they're kind of cool - a printed vinyl pocket with a three-part wire frame. the whole thing ships in a tube but makes a nice flat and sturdy sign in short order.

after a day or two it had been knocked around a little. i shrugged it off, since there are always cars parked there or dogs being walked, etc. every morning on the way to work i would straighten it. later this week when i came home from work, the top of the wire frame was gone and the sign pocket was turned 90 degrees so that it was an indistinguishable shape and unreadable.

uh oh.

when i came home from an engagement last night, around 10:30pm, i found an Approve 71 sign on the ground down the block from my house. it had been split at both seams, like someone tore it as much as the tough vinyl would allow. i picked it up, and indeed, it was our sign. looked like whoever grabbed it scooped it up as quickly as they could and left the frame behind. i took the wire uprights inside and put the whole thing back together with an internal cardboard reinforcement and white duct tape. and put it back outside before going to bed.

WTF, Ballard, WTF. C and i think from the way the ground is torn up that passerby have both pulled it down and put it back several times.
ironymaiden: (bianca)
the work stuff what ate my life is winding down a wee bit, just in time for mom and dad to arrive. i've missed writing here, and i hate how content-free 2009 has been. i will attempt to make May a month where i post more. not just more often, but with more substance.

- today (with five key minutes of consultation from an actual developer) i got my Omniture pilot project running. since yesterday i was told that the only person at my skill level who had tried it previously gave up, i am extra-pleased.

today i also had a mai-tai. and got doggy kisses. and walked barefoot on Alki.

- i haven't seen much of [livejournal.com profile] buhrger in this MTBWA, but any party where we all adjourn to the kitchen to play with non-Newtonian fluid is a success in my book.

-Norwescon was lovely, even though i didn't care about the writer GOH. i did have fun with friends, and good panels, and [livejournal.com profile] mimerki and i danced and danced. oh, and i bought a corset. i forgot to take a picture of me wearing it, but i swear that i will wear it more than just at con and therefore there will be pics and live sightings. we buy nice and spendy things to use them, dammit.

-kuki linux. i meant to wait until they had another rev or two under their belts, but then i accidentally zeroed Bianca's battery during the con which led to startup trouble and then i was thinking harder about how i should do a full backup to restore from and then i did and then what the hell if i don't like this distribution i can always roll back or try another one and okay the maintainer says one way to solve this issue is to edit grub...you know how it goes. it's slick and pretty nice and so far my only issue is that the Linpus i used to have had a circular scrolling gesture for the trackpad and i keep reaching for it. someone wrote the two finger gesture for Ubuntu, i bet i can look this up...

-i worked Saturday and Sunday this weekend. but i also had Norwegian pancake breakfast at Leif Erickson Lodge Saturday morning- a fundraiser for the Sons of Norway scholarship. Ballard is adorable and i love lingonberries. the lodge seems to be pretty modern but the walls have huge turn of the century paintings of Norwegian history. (no birthday party, so very tired.) and we made time on Sunday to get to the Friends of the Library booksale. i only bought 15 books this year only three of them were about linux and Sunday is half price day, so i got books and a burger and lemonade from the burger stand at the booksale and spent less than $15. hangar full of books is the reason a bunch of people come out and picnic on a beautiful day. i love this town.
ironymaiden: (bianca)
the work stuff what ate my life is winding down a wee bit, just in time for mom and dad to arrive. i've missed writing here, and i hate how content-free 2009 has been. i will attempt to make May a month where i post more. not just more often, but with more substance.

- today (with five key minutes of consultation from an actual developer) i got my Omniture pilot project running. since yesterday i was told that the only person at my skill level who had tried it previously gave up, i am extra-pleased.

today i also had a mai-tai. and got doggy kisses. and walked barefoot on Alki.

- i haven't seen much of [livejournal.com profile] buhrger in this MTBWA, but any party where we all adjourn to the kitchen to play with non-Newtonian fluid is a success in my book.

-Norwescon was lovely, even though i didn't care about the writer GOH. i did have fun with friends, and good panels, and [livejournal.com profile] mimerki and i danced and danced. oh, and i bought a corset. i forgot to take a picture of me wearing it, but i swear that i will wear it more than just at con and therefore there will be pics and live sightings. we buy nice and spendy things to use them, dammit.

-kuki linux. i meant to wait until they had another rev or two under their belts, but then i accidentally zeroed Bianca's battery during the con which led to startup trouble and then i was thinking harder about how i should do a full backup to restore from and then i did and then what the hell if i don't like this distribution i can always roll back or try another one and okay the maintainer says one way to solve this issue is to edit grub...you know how it goes. it's slick and pretty nice and so far my only issue is that the Linpus i used to have had a circular scrolling gesture for the trackpad and i keep reaching for it. someone wrote the two finger gesture for Ubuntu, i bet i can look this up...

-i worked Saturday and Sunday this weekend. but i also had Norwegian pancake breakfast at Leif Erickson Lodge Saturday morning- a fundraiser for the Sons of Norway scholarship. Ballard is adorable and i love lingonberries. the lodge seems to be pretty modern but the walls have huge turn of the century paintings of Norwegian history. (no birthday party, so very tired.) and we made time on Sunday to get to the Friends of the Library booksale. i only bought 15 books this year only three of them were about linux and Sunday is half price day, so i got books and a burger and lemonade from the burger stand at the booksale and spent less than $15. hangar full of books is the reason a bunch of people come out and picnic on a beautiful day. i love this town.

snow daze

Dec. 21st, 2008 09:13 pm
ironymaiden: (snow)
last night we bundled up and walked around the neighborhood. since Matador was open we had dinner and drinks by the fire. Matador has an open fireplace with a bar curving around it; the place was hopping, but without a waitlist like a typical Saturday. there were few cars moving, but plenty of people walking with their babies bundled up like little starfish, and dogs in coats.

things were quiet again today; we were ordered to stay home from the second party of the weekend. Ballard has its priorities - C went out to get our usual Sunday morning coffee and pastry, and not only was the shop open but there were people hanging out inside.

we've had snow all day. we have at least six inches, and it keeps piling up. no wind here, just a white blanket over everything. the buildings outside are disappearing from view...which is definitely the snow and not the dark, since the white sky and the white ground are reflecting all the ambient light and making it full-moon bright out there.

we're sleeping on the futon in the living room, which stays warmer than the bedroom. we're eaten too many cookies, and made cake inna mug, and done all of kinds of useful-yet-stupid things like rearranging the office to expose more of the heater. (but of course we lost interest midway, so the bookcases in their new locations are mostly empty and there are books everywhere.)

snow daze

Dec. 21st, 2008 09:13 pm
ironymaiden: (snow)
last night we bundled up and walked around the neighborhood. since Matador was open we had dinner and drinks by the fire. Matador has an open fireplace with a bar curving around it; the place was hopping, but without a waitlist like a typical Saturday. there were few cars moving, but plenty of people walking with their babies bundled up like little starfish, and dogs in coats.

things were quiet again today; we were ordered to stay home from the second party of the weekend. Ballard has its priorities - C went out to get our usual Sunday morning coffee and pastry, and not only was the shop open but there were people hanging out inside.

we've had snow all day. we have at least six inches, and it keeps piling up. no wind here, just a white blanket over everything. the buildings outside are disappearing from view...which is definitely the snow and not the dark, since the white sky and the white ground are reflecting all the ambient light and making it full-moon bright out there.

we're sleeping on the futon in the living room, which stays warmer than the bedroom. we're eaten too many cookies, and made cake inna mug, and done all of kinds of useful-yet-stupid things like rearranging the office to expose more of the heater. (but of course we lost interest midway, so the bookcases in their new locations are mostly empty and there are books everywhere.)
ironymaiden: (joe metro)
while i was waiting for the bus today, a pretty tough-looking white guy walked up to the stop. okay, he was trying to look tough, with close cropped hair and beard, and wannabe rapper sweats and shoes.

he looks all grim and cool and reaches into his pocket for his pack of smokes.

and then a ferret head pops out of the pocket. he's trying to casually put the little dude back, but in short order it's wiggling everywhere and he has to let it out on top of the newspaper boxes so his hands are free for the cigarette.
ironymaiden: (joe metro)
while i was waiting for the bus today, a pretty tough-looking white guy walked up to the stop. okay, he was trying to look tough, with close cropped hair and beard, and wannabe rapper sweats and shoes.

he looks all grim and cool and reaches into his pocket for his pack of smokes.

and then a ferret head pops out of the pocket. he's trying to casually put the little dude back, but in short order it's wiggling everywhere and he has to let it out on top of the newspaper boxes so his hands are free for the cigarette.
ironymaiden: (ballard)
it's a lovely out tonight. cool but not cold; a nice night to walk home from the Tractor after dancing. it was a great show.

R and i parted ways at the corner, and i could hear some faint music and see a glow from my neighbor's van.* side door open to the light breeze, he was playing a keyboard, obviously puzzling out a new piece of music. i usually say hi when i go by, but he was so intent on sight reading that i didn't want to disturb him. and, yunno, one in the morning.

dude has a keyboard in his van.






*he lives in the van. originally i felt weird about having him on the block. but he's a nice older guy who does odd jobs, listens to NPR, and tinkers with his bicycle. he's as much a part of my world as the people in the condo next door with the escaping cat, the apartment manager in the building on the other side, the African immigrants (who really like lame Christian R&B) in the building behind us. i rather like having eyes and ears on the street near my house. i didn't realize how much of a fixture he was until the van was gone one day and C and i spent a week or so worrying about him - until we discovered that he had temporarily relocated around the corner.
ironymaiden: (ballard)
it's a lovely out tonight. cool but not cold; a nice night to walk home from the Tractor after dancing. it was a great show.

R and i parted ways at the corner, and i could hear some faint music and see a glow from my neighbor's van.* side door open to the light breeze, he was playing a keyboard, obviously puzzling out a new piece of music. i usually say hi when i go by, but he was so intent on sight reading that i didn't want to disturb him. and, yunno, one in the morning.

dude has a keyboard in his van.






*he lives in the van. originally i felt weird about having him on the block. but he's a nice older guy who does odd jobs, listens to NPR, and tinkers with his bicycle. he's as much a part of my world as the people in the condo next door with the escaping cat, the apartment manager in the building on the other side, the African immigrants (who really like lame Christian R&B) in the building behind us. i rather like having eyes and ears on the street near my house. i didn't realize how much of a fixture he was until the van was gone one day and C and i spent a week or so worrying about him - until we discovered that he had temporarily relocated around the corner.
ironymaiden: (joe metro)
today one of the people waiting for the bus was a guy using a worn bokken as a cane. he was carrying two plastic bags of groceries in the other hand and had his bottle of juice balanced on his head.

the juice did not appear to be a stunt, but simply the thing to do because he was out of hands. he put his bags on the bench, and when one of them spilled over he got down and righted it without the bottle shifting.
ironymaiden: (joe metro)
today one of the people waiting for the bus was a guy using a worn bokken as a cane. he was carrying two plastic bags of groceries in the other hand and had his bottle of juice balanced on his head.

the juice did not appear to be a stunt, but simply the thing to do because he was out of hands. he put his bags on the bench, and when one of them spilled over he got down and righted it without the bottle shifting.
ironymaiden: (AB)
Austin Cantina's cornbread is achingly good. also, i think the beans served with my omelet today may have been dusted with crack.

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