Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Earth Day Is Tomorrow!

Earth Day will be celebrated tomorrow, and I thought you might want to know about it ahead of time so that you could pull together some way of celebrating it, even in a very small way.

Here's a picture of the Earth Day flag. You can find out lots more at the above link.


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I haven't been ignoring you. The weather has been changing around here, and it has consequently been very warm in my apartment. It cooled off Friday night, so it was a reasonable temperature here on Saturday morning, but when I got home on Saturday, it was over 90 degrees and rising.

And I've been neglecting to take enough medicine, so I've been feeling bad enough that between the heat and the discomfort, and the tree pollen that comes in the windows because I have them open to try to cool off, I haven't been sleeping well.

The medicine is very long-acting. I can back off quite a bit and not feel the effects for a couple of months, so it's easy to lose track.

Tree pollen doesn't usually cause allergic symptoms for me (unless I do something to irritate my eyes), but I am allergic to it, and what happens is that I build up lots of histamine in my system. Which makes me sleepy. Histamine is a big cause of tiredness and sleepiness. A healthy person usually has some histamine circulating in their system. It assists in wound healing (which is why a scratch or cut itches during part of the healing process). That's why people love caffeine so much. It's a histamine blocker, and wakes you up in with your morning coffee.

I found out about the heat in this place. It turns out that during the construction of the building, they ran water pipes through the cement, and the place is heated by a boiler that pumps hot water throughout the building. So, even with the heat turned off, the heat is still turned on in the building. The floor in the kitchen was quite warm yesterday and it's not warm today, so maybe they've decided to turn off the heat today. I'm told it takes about 8 hours to turn it on or off, so it's not something they want to do on a daily basis. I can't wait until they turn the air conditioning on!

So, I haven't been doing much. Anything that I can do makes me feel warmer and more uncomfortable. So, there hasn't been much to write about.

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One big thing that I did yesterday was to do some more art for John. I put together a poster for the Steve Canyon series of DVDs. I did a smaller one for him to take to the Reel Stuff Film Festival, and he said it was very popular and there was spirited bidding on it. I'll let you know when it's available.

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On Saturday, Holly and I went to Occoquan and walked around a bit. We went mainly to see Off the Beading Path, which is a wonderful store full of beads there. I bought some number beads to make a counting device for knitting, a beautiful goldstone bead that's black with lavender sparkles, and another pewter charm, the latter two for stitch markers.

Holly bought me a tiny pewter "pocket piece" that says "Wishes Come True" on one side and "A Wish for Success" on the other side.


I'm really tickled with it.

Later Saturday, before the heat got to me really badly, I pulled some fingering weight yarn out of my stash and did a practice piece for the shawl I plan to knit. This will look much more open in the lace yarn I plan to use.

This is my own design, not the design from Knit.1 magazine, so I want to test it first. I knitted more than this, but didn't take a photo of it, and it's already been unraveled (to scavenge the beads).


The shawl in the magazine had two panels, and I thought that it wouldn't have a straight edge across the wide side if done that way. As you can see from my sample, two panels produce a slight point in the long edge. I know that they relied on blocking to make it straight, but I thought I might like three panels better.

When I got this far, I realized that the long edge would be close enough to straight that it could be blocked straight without much of a problem. But then, when I went to unravel it, I like the handkerchief hem it'll have with three panels.

So the design process favored three panels, then I changed my mind to two panels, then back to three.

I learned several things from the sample: I will have to run a lifeline every so often, I have to do another sample of the stitch I invented for the border, and I want to design an edging for the bottom, which will need another sample. So, there's still a batch of work on this before I even start knitting. I think I also want to cast on more stitches to start and graft the long edge border together.

The yarn for this is probably sitting downstairs waiting for me. I didn't check mail yesterday. I was too busy (or unbusy)  trying to cool off (and doing the poster). The first batch of yarn was shipped on a Wednesday and arrived on the Monday of last week. This batch shipped on Wednesday, and so I think that there's a good chance that it arrived yesterday, or maybe today. I have to pull myself together and go check.

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While trying to cool off, the "activity" I've found that generates the least heat is lying down reading, so I've been doing lots of that.

I'm currently reading New Moon, the second book in the Twilight series. I got mixed up. I don't know if it was Amazon or me, but I thought it was the third book, so I've already read Twilight and Eclipse (which is the third book), and now I'm back to the second. I have Breaking Dawn requested at the library. I was number 30 on the list to get it when I requested it on Sunday, and number 24 yesterday and I'm 23 on the list today. Even though that sounds like a long wait, they have 35 copies of the book, so it will not take too long.

I finished Turn Coat, and loved it. It's a typical Dresden Files story, so how could I not love it? If I say anything else, I'll start into a description of the plot and dump a lot of spoilers on you.

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There's a new Reaper and Fringe on tonight!

I have to get going and do something to cool down.

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