Labor Day Weekend

Quick roundup of some interesting stuff from over the weekend.

Inglorious Basterds: I am an enormous Tarantino fan so my opinion is likely biased and tainted. I enjoyed it greatly. Long conversations punctuated by extreme violence. Interesting bit about the movie: it felt very much like the opening of a novel and the ending of a novel but the middle 800 pages skipped. I want to see the Aldo the Apache mini-series. Also — Col. Hans Landa is the best Nazi villain of all time.

Ceazar’s Restaurant and International Market: Found on HowChow. A very good Iranian restaurant in Elkridge although they were surprised and confused to have customers on a Sunday lunch time during Ramadan. Not quite ready to handle the restaurant side of things although the food was very good. (Eric pointed out that “Meat on a stick is the highest form of food.”) Attached market intriguing; stuff on the shelves we had never heard of and everything is pickled.

OMG SKULLZ: Eric made me an awesome hoodie in skull-print knits. It’s like wearing a comfy goth blanket. It has skulls. OMG SKULLZ! He went from no hoodie in the afternoon to complete hoodie at 2am. It’s amazing hoodie making magic!

Yarn: Wanted to do the Craft-Zine Craft-A-Long but no one hand the required yarn. It will come to me eventually, but had to order it from online. Sad. Lower-end yarn selection at big box stores pretty sucktastic.

Nordstrom: Running an experiment — ordering replacement cosmetics online. I hate going to the cosmetics counter at any Department store. With the stores having low sales, they have gone from aggressively ignoring me and refusing to sell me things to aggressively upselling me. If I can order my stuff online one of my great life’s problems will be solved. (Anyone else truly hate buying cosmetics? I have had a rare few good experiences buying cosmetics at the counter.)

Katie’s Bronchitis: She’s on a nebulizer with albuterol. It’s better than it was on Thursday and Friday but she was still coughing pretty bad last night. She spent the weekend at Grandma and Grandpa’s watching Spongebob. Grandma bought Katie a Halloween Tree with Halloween Ornaments. Because why should Christmas get all the fun? Also, spooky light-up house! My child, the 4 year old goth.

Presidential Faux-rage: Heard a rumor of white cloistered Midwesterners in flyover states having conniptions of fauxrage and keeping children home over black socialist Marxist propagandist message of “study hard” and “listen to your teachers” beamed into schools. Sent Katie to school this morning in adorable uniform anyway.

Imbalance

I generally don’t write about work for a large host of reasons and this is far less a work post than an observation on engineering post.

I sat in a big meeting for 8 hours yesterday with a big collection of the “brain trust” at work — system administrators, network engineers, DBAs, lead engineers, and engineering management. What I noticed after an hour was the population mix:

29 guys.
1 me.

This bothered me enough to mention something — I jokingly commented that I felt like the Waldo in a Where’s Waldo drawing and mentioned were no other women in the meeting at all. “So?” was the response which I am sure meant “that doesn’t mean anything.”

It was weird. We do have one other female engineer but she’s exceedingly junior. There are no women in any other direct engineering roles. (We do have women system analysts.) I stand alone.

It’s still bothering me a little and I’m wondering if I’m just over-analyzing or if this is part of the core of why I feel so off all the time. It definitely says something about the culture of engineering, even in Enlightened Liberal Maryland.

Anniversary!

It’s true. It’s August 26th. Eric and I have been married for nine years today. Nine! Nine full years! Real ones!

And I have yet to sell him in eBay. But I keep thinking I might be able to sell an Eric-KR two-fer pack…

Bed and Yarn

We bought a new bed. It’s not a spectacular bed or anything, it’s just a bed. But we bought a bed frame, and that is a big deal because we’ve never had an actual bed frame before. Now we can do theoretical things like read in bed. We’re not used to the whole concept of the bed frame.

The mattress is much harder than I am used to. I was absolutely convinced I was not going to be able to sleep on something that hard until I fell asleep 2 seconds later and slept like a stone. The old mattress was pretty soft, and it had broken, so I was used to this thing that went moosh underneath me. For two days, my back complained because all the sudden it didn’t have to constantly support me at night and all the knots, especially in my lower back, came loose in a painful display of pain. I walked around with Icy-Hot patches glued to my back all yesterday as my back readjusted to the new, interesting reality.

I finished a hat. It was in the old crappy yarn, so it feels like an old, crappy hat although I just finished it. Because the yarn has no spring and no give in it, despite following the pattern exactly the hat is way too small. But it is hat-shaped. I took pictures, which I tossed up on Flickr and you can amuse yourself looking at here. Note the use of the highly attractive hat model who would not sit still.

Thus, a small project was completed, I passed my self-imposed barrier, and we went to Michael’s to pick up some yarn. I bought big spools of that Red Heart Super Saver stuff just to noodle with, bought some Lion’s Brand yarn for two real projects, and a set of great big hooks to mess with. I packed up the old crappy 35 year old yarn and put it away. Then I tried to make another hat with the Red Heart, as I was messing around with a pattern, but for reasons unknown it is way too lose, so it looks to be a failure. But! Fuzzy yarn! And thus, I am apparently turning into a junky.

General Life Update

1. On the LJ Kerfluffle:

Nothing on the net lasts forever. We’re often lucky if it lasts a handful of years. Livejournal has been in slow decline for years now, ever since it was bought by Six Apart. It will eventually be gone and there are newer, sexier services on the block called things like “Facebook.” Sadly, it does three things very well which I would prefer not to lose:

1. Aggregated posts as “Friends Lists”
2. A global identity
3. Threaded comments

If WordPress could do #1 and #3 with even a passing attempt at well without having to install complicated plug-ins, then it would have something and no one would need Livejournal anymore. But I haven’t found anything satisfactory in the friend’s list department yet. Once I do, I will try it out, but it needs more searching.

Meanwhile, I believe LJ will go through a very slow decline with increasing database issues, bugs, and users fleeing to better supported services until, much like GreatestJournal, the lights will simply go out one day, or it will limp along like an Internet Zombie.

2. On crochet:

I have made a granny square! And I am making something… round! It started off as learning to read instructions for a round granny thing but it has now overgrown and now it is just round. I have yet to make something really worthwhile. However, this crochet thing is naggingly addictive and, sooner or later, I will follow a pattern to completion and make something. I have stopped holding the yarn in an overly tight death grip, which has helped progress immensely.

3. On books:

Selected Crafty TV Writing as the winner of the pile o’ books sweepstakes.

4. On the Inauguration:

Bizarrely, I have MLK Day as a floating holiday! And it will float one day forward! Because I am not going anywhere near Silver Spring right on top of the Red Line Metro on the 19th or 20th. While I am a Great Fan of the Great Hawaiian Shark God, I don’t want to be anywhere near DC. I’m going to watch it 20 miles away from the comfort of my HDTV.

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