Friday, July 31, 2009

it's already the thirty-last day of July

This has been a lost summer for me. Spending 3 1/2 weeks in St Louis has pretty much trashed the yard from neglect. We have TVs, desks in various stages of assembly/disassembly and just plain stuff all about the house, and the disorder is fraying my mind. My friend is painting, and I mentally go into her clean empty room and admire the prospect of having everything in order. I do not deal well with too much household entropy.

So I leave you with images of the vanished garden. It will be spring again soon enough.

Friday, July 24, 2009

happy birthday to meeee

Meet me after work. Dress nice he said, so I did. A silk suit. The night out turned out to be a Moody Blues concert at the Paul Masson winery, where they have a lovely venue with under 1000 seats. "Dress nice" was not quite specific enough, I said. However, it did not matter as all eyes were turned on the old grey heads in 60s or 70s gay clothes or Moody Blues shirts from previous tours. I could have done, I have saved my sun gold embroidered top, had only I known. As I said, it didn't matter.

I was deep into undergraduate science classes then and sort of missed most of the Moody Blues. Nights of White Satin is, of course, my all-time favorite slow-dance song, and so much else of the Moody Blues sounded like that it is familiar even if I didn't exactly remember it. There were the two lead singers and the original drummer, a new, really polished, great drummer, and a doo-wah girl to play the biggest flute we had ever seen and shimmy a bit. The lighting was primitive, the boys did a few steps, and the mixing needed tweaking for the different songs to balance the vocals. Did that matter? No, the crowd loved it all. It was a really, really fun concert, the weather was a perfect night for it, we had great seats and an excellent burger there at the winery bistro before the concert. A very good birthday all around. Thanks, sweetie.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

talking to Basel

Today was one of the interesting days at work. Five of us from A met with a customer flown over from Switzerland to give a presentation on the new instrument we recently introduced. We met at Gene*, a big local Biotech. My customer did some swell science with the demo columns I had provided, and she did the first presentation, followed by our marketing weenie, and then the gent from Basel. It was all WebEx-ed, so several sites, including the one in Switzerland, listened in. The fun part was after. I had seen the second floor research labs several times, but the guy from Basel wanted to see the production scale-up labs. This is where they have big vats, stirrers, pill pressers, microscopes, x-ray machines and other big, expensive, cool stuff that is not part of my usual world. Formulation of pills vs capsules is not usually on my mind. This is pretty dull to read, but trust me, it was an interesting day.

Monday, July 20, 2009

airport stuff

I scored a new airport Saturday on my way back to SJC. I flew Northwest back (cheapest) and went through Minneapolis. Gracious, what a big airport, concourses A-G, lined with more stores than most malls. Waiting rooms were large, corridors were spacious. But the fun part was an interactive commercial on 5 large screens in the corridor connecting to the F concourse. Go here and share the fun: It was a kick to watch the kids of all ages play with the displays.

When I got into SJC, there was a BIG parking garage where there used to be a paved surface lot just a few weeks ago. That was fast!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Bamboo on Bamboo

I started the New Project Sunday. I promised myself I didn't need to knit another sweater. I promised myself I would never knit with variegated yarn again. But it wasn't in writing, so it didn't count, you think? New Projects are always filled with possibilities and contentment. This one involved yarn from the stash, and a mad scramble to find a suitable pattern when I realized the one I bought with the yarn would look truly AWFUL on me, since I am no longer (or maybe even ever) willowy like the model. But I did find a pattern, and assembled all the stuff and hauled it to my Mom's house for the duration.
So this is bamboo yarn. Never heard of such a thing? Neither had I, but I loved the colors, liked the texture, and the price, half-off since the store was closing, was also right. And I got another chance to use the new bamboo needles I got for Christmas. I made the swatch, the gauge was right, and this is the easiest pattern to memorize I have probably ever worked. I plowed onto the hem of the back section. But while using the new needles was a dream with the linen-mohair blend yarn of the last project, with the bamboo yarn, the bamboo needles feel like plastic rubbing on plastic when the yarn rubs against the needle. Huh. Not unpleasant, exactly. Just nothing is ever as wonderful as wool, is it?
Oh, about the variagated yarn. The pullover I made decades ago has a very pronounced repeat, and it is quite noticible when I changed yarn balls that the repeat is disrupted. I cannot tell yet if this has also a pronounced repeat. I don't know how to keep that from happening. I did, however, manage to find the match between two balls of yarn, so I am thinking to tie the yarn together so that I stay on the repeat. Anyone have a good suggestion, please advise.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


I have been in St. Louis since Sunday. I spent Monday at the hospital, meeting, thanking, and watching Mom work. I went to Walgreen's, Wal-Mart, came home and washed clothes. I was tired this morning and hopped in the car early as I knew Mom would be bouncing with impatience until we got her home. Seven weeks it has been, by the way, 50 days, in three hospitals and two ambulances. So I headed east and drove. When I paid attention to where I was, I was on the wrong bridge. No prob, these days, turn on the Tom-Tom and chart an alternate route. So instead of driving to the Central West End of St. Louis past the Arch, ball parks and through Forest Park, I drove through Jennings. Not sure I have ever been through Jennings before, where the Dollar Store is the ritzy part of town. Take Out Bar-B-Q! Chicken Feet! Crispy Snoots! I crossed Barack Obama Drive, and was 2 blocks from Washington University, back on the other side of the tracks.

Mom was indeed waiting for me with stacks of stuff. It took a couple of hours to get her out of there, one last trip down the elevator dressed in the yellow disposable isolation gown, and then we drove through Forest Park, enjoying the sunny summer day and looking at the grass, trees, flowers and people. Sweet, just what one should do on a summer day.

She is unpacked, cats are petted, medications are untangled (3 separate lists, generic names and brand names, and no cross references - ugh, that coulda been, shoulda been done better), and pills for the week sorted into 4 medicine minders. I think is is about time for supper and the ball game on TV, don't you? It sure is nice to have Mom home again.