Sunday, December 31, 2006

New Years Eve

Wow, I can't believe this is my last post of 2006. Where has the year gone?

Like the cats, we're just sitting around waiting for the New Year to ring in. Nothing exciting going on here.

Hey Aimee, remember when....

Watching all this news about snow and other wintery stuffs has conjoured up a bunch of memories of living up on the ranch.

This ringer washer is similar to the one we grew up with.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Bird of Paradise

Mom and I found several Bird of Paradise plants while we were waiting for Apollo and Liz to explorer the ships at the bay. More on that later.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Kitties want their stockings stuffed too

I was commissioned by the cats to make stockings for their kitty friends, so I used Simba's leg for an approximate length and faked my way through the heel and gusset to create a "nubbin."

These are the stockings for Grace and Buddy. Aimee told me Grace's favorite color is black, so I made it work. I also stuffed each stuffing with a mouse. This is Zoe's favorite mouse so I hoped the other cats would like them too.

Jojo, Copper and The Rat got their own stockings with mice too. I think I did a better job on their nubbins. I had fun making them. :)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Cabrillo Monument

The next day was spent leisurely at the Cabrillo Monument. I say "day" but really I mean, after we slept in, Apollo took care of some business with the car, we had breakfast, etc. It was 1:00 and we decided to get off our lazy butts. At least, our cave-like apartment was really getting on Mom's last nerve so she was happy to go somewhere.

As we were driving down University Avenue, we saw a special lady walking down the sidewalk. She could have been a prostitute or a 70-something-year-old lady reliving her youth. We don't know. All we know is her muscular old lady legs were strangely wrinkly and extremely skinny. Everyone was staring, causing traffic congestion. She was wearing these heels that must have been five inches, a mini skirt, some sort of shirt and huge hair. I'm sure there was some blue eyeshadow and red lipstick involved too. Anyway, we got a good eyeful.

Well, wouldn't you know it but even after we stopped at Target for more film and other items, we happened to see that very same lady getting off the bus up at the Cabrillo Monument! I tried to catch her on film but this is the best I could do. (The Old Point Loma Lighthouse is in the background.) From a distance she doesn't look like much but I'm telling you, she looked bad! And had those skinny old lady legs! EW! Every time I look at this photo I remember a story someone told me about an old lady, the locker room at the YMCA and certain items I didn't realize gravity affected..... *shiver* (I'll give you a hint, they start with the letter L.)

Apollo checking out the view of North Island. It turns out the guy sitting near him was from Detroit so of course, they spent a lot of time yacking it up. He meets a lot of people from Detroit, it seems.

Apollo and Liz hit it off from the very beginning. Here she is with her famous V sign. We spent at least an hour waiting for two Navy ships to come in so Mom and Liz could get the perfect photo.

Apollo, Mom and Liz taking in the view. Mom was trying to take a photo of airplanes or helicopters. She was obsessed with getting pictures of them seemingly flying close to buildings. Nice smog, eh?

Eventually we drove down to the tide pools where we saw this beautiful sediment layering.

Yep, the tidepools. The tide was coming in but we still saw a lot of little creatures. Mom got the best photos of them with her nice new camera.

Because there had been some storms recently, we saw a lot of lobster traps and other garbage lying on the beach. It was really sad, so much trash.

Later we learned some volunteers were collecting the traps and piling them in one area to be properly disposed of. Grrr!

Eventually we were herded off the beach with everyone else when the sun started to set.

Some tweaking of the camera produced this image with cacti in the foreground. In all, we had a good time just slowing down and enjoying mother nature.

The touristin began with the zoo

I took a lot of photos but only a few were suitable or interesting enough to post here. Thankfully I went digital, no need to waste film on lots of images that were, well, dumb. Or blurry. Or the animals all looked like ants.

Anyway, after Mom and Liz go here, we spent a day catching up with shopping. Or maybe 2 days? I'm not sure. It's all a blur now. Either way, our first venture out that didn't include buying gifts was to the zoo. Though I'm always very careful about making sure my memory card is always with my camera, this time I forgot it. While Apollo and I went back to the camera stand to buy a new memory card at prices that would make you scratch your eyes out, Mom and Liz went on ahead without us.

As you may have guessed, that was a big mistake. Apollo and I then spent the next hour looking for them. First we thought it would be no big deal until the path they had taken forked in two. We made a gamble and went with the easy path and then the path split into three and then continued to fork and join up, etc. It was a mess. We were a mess. We didn't know what to do. So, we split up. Since we had cell phones, we could communicate if we caught up with them. Ha! We finally gave up and flopped down in front of the gorilla display in utter failure, sweaty and thirsty. We decided we should just start checking out the animals like Mom and Liz, at no regard to our feelings, were doing.

We were lucky enough to watch one of the zoo handlers throw down food for the gorillas and saw all three babies while the adults claimed their portion in status order. One gorilla even came down and pressed his butt up against the window at the audience. I liked his sense of humor. It was like being around family! Or at least Aimee. hehe.

Forlorn and exhausted, we decided to head back up to the main part of the zoo, hoping Mom and Liz would think to look for us at least on their way back to the car. As luck would have it, they had somehow passed us at each of the stations we had been at and were at the same camera stand looking for batteries! They were wide eyed, not in confusion or in the excitement of having just traveled over half the zoo. No kidding! They showed me the paths they had taken on the map, I was amazed.

We finally did get to see the rest of the zoo together. This time Apollo and I did a sort of teamwork-buddy system. One of us was attached to one of them for the rest of the trip. Since we had cell phones, we figured we could always call each other for an update on location. Whenever Mom wandered off, I went with her. Liz would, of course, go the other way, Apollo went with her. It was almost like taking two pre-schoolers out to the circus.

This is pretty much what we saw of Mom and Liz if we weren't careful. No, not that person looking at the zoo map, that's what Apollo and I did. Liz and Mom, those two people way down the sidewalk, took off like their lives depended on covering every square foot of the zoo. We finally gave up and told them to meet us at the front while we upgraded our tickets to the annual membership. By the time we were done, we had about five minutes of leisure time before they joined us.

Basically, Apollo and I learned our lesson on this trip. We decided to tag-team for the rest of their visit.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Elaine's stocking

This is my aunt's stocking. I didn't get very good photos but it looked great in person.

Though it looks like gray, it's really a sage color. It's really pretty. The green in the plaid liner seen here cut out, sewed together and ready to insert is also the same fabric used with Toad's stocking. This time, I used it because the green in the plaid blends nicely with the sage. The foot on this stocking is a bit smaller than on Mom's. As I described in a previous post, the more I knit these things, the smaller the foot gets.

The white yarn has a sparkle to it which lends to the snow look. I try to do something three dimensional to each stocking but with the snowflake design, what can you do? So I use the sparkle yarn.

I had planned on knitting more but I really do think three stocking each season is my limit.


Toad with...genitalia

I had a special request for a stocking from Faythe for her sweetie, Toad. She sent me a line drawing of Toad's one-of-a-kind drawing with a few suggestions and I got busy.

Last year I made the foot part of the stocking realistic as the pattern called for. This year the foot got increasingly smaller as I knit each stocking. I think I like this short stubby one. You can see the difference between the original foot and the one used for this stocking by clicking here.

The finishing touch is the flannel liner. I wanted something masculine since it's a manly stocking.

And finally, for those who didn't notice the special, customized work on this stocking, here's a close-up. I have to admit, though it's a naughty stocking, I was quite proud when I was finished! I hope this stocking see's many years of use.

Bowling anyone?

Tee, Apollo and I spent at least an hour bowling against each other Wii style on Christmas day. The boys were hooting and hollering like it was a real game...check out Tee studying the pins!

At one point I stopped using the handstrap and later regretted it. It flew out of my hand, hit the TV, ricocheted against the wall and into the Christmas tree. It really freaked out the cats too. I won't be doing that again!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

This was probably my best Christmas yet. Mom and Liz's being here meant the world to me. It was really nice being able to spend Christmas with them - Mom, thanks for coming down to busy San Diego to do all the touristy stuff with us! We had a ton of fun. :) We miss you already.

Wii time!

Apollo at the exact moment he saw the Wii in the box:

Apollo thirty seconds later with Liz looking in the box to see why his mouth was stuck open:

Because Liz and Mom were leaving the next morning, we opened our presents last night. Apollo stayed up late boxing with Wii Sports. :)

End of the visit

We took Liz and Mom to the train station this morning. As luck would have it, Apollo knew someone who worked there and their seats were upgraded to first class for free! They were both really excited, we watched them running around inside the train checking out the amenities and other upgraded features.

Their week long visit seemed more like weeks! We had a lot of fun, I'm going to weed through my photos and post the best of the lot here. Meanwhile, I caught a cold at Disneyland, surely caused by hanging out in the cold air after screaming my lungs out on the Matterhorn. I'm pretty stuffed up.

Oh, here's Mom's stocking. I'm really proud of it. That swatch of fabric is the flannel I used for the liner. I was happy to find colorful flannel that also had gingerbread men and hearts on it, matching the overall design.

The tiny Christmas lights and buttons worked out well for ornaments. Though I dreaded making this stocking in plain white, it turned out very well.

I have to do something about my nose. I just said something about "Mom" to Apollo and he wanted to know who "Bob" was. Not good.

Friday, December 22, 2006



I didn't open the package, I put it under the tree with a couple bows directly on the box without any wrapping paper, Man Style.


Off to a slow start

It's almost 7am, we were supposed to leave at 6:30. Mom's still sleeping on the couch, seems she had a hard time sleeping this morning what with the fish tank being low on water and sounding like a waterfall. Oh, and she says she heard a gunshot last night. I dunno, I sleep through pretty much everything now. Thats what happens when you live near a fire station.

This is Apollo, Mom and Liz in front of one of the elephants at the Wild Animal Park. He's over 1,200lbs and 40 years old. He was also begging to be pet by leaning against the fencing.

As you can see, Liz wasn't too happy. Since she wore the wrong shoes, she was ready to leave not long after we got there.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Wild Animal Park today, Disneyland tomorrow

I'm beat! If I don't lose at least 2lbs by the time Mom and Liz leave, something is wrong.

We spent most of the day at the Wild Animal Park. We've also been to the Cabrillo Monument, the zoo and running around doing last minute shopping. Once they're gone and I am back to my couch potato self, I'll post more photos.

Though I've only had a minute to look through my photos, this is my favorite so far. I took it as the sun was setting near the Cabrillo Monument at Point Loma.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


I have good news!! Today I got an email from saying I've been selected through one of their promotional voting offers to purchase a Wii! It's not at a special price or anything, I just get it at the regular price with Prime shipping (which I'm considering keeping) BUT I'm ECSTATIC because there's no way I'll be able to buy one in the stores any time soon. Even if I stay on top of everything and keep following various tips, it'll be a pain in the butt to fight everyone else in the store over the game console. Thankfully, I already bought a Wii game. It was meant to be a consolation gift, an IOU, if you will.

Its exact ETA is yet unknow., I was given an estimate of December 22-27th. It doesn't really matter when it arrives though...just as long as it gets here.

This is going to be great! EEEEEEEEE!!! Apollo is going to be so happy! And that makes me happy. :)

Monday, December 18, 2006

Day 1

I picked Mom and Liz up at Amtrak this morning around 3:00am. I have a huge headache. Primary topic so far? Mucus.

Will update later.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

So much to do

Mom and Liz arrive Monday morning around 1AM. Yes that's right, AM. Of course, I am totally unprepared. Bits of gift wrapping and yarn ends are everywhere. A stack of paperwork I need to go through is sitting here next to the couch on a table along with miscellaneous balls of yarn and knitting accessories are mixed in. We need to wash blankets and the rug, do the dishes and straighten up a little. When I put it like that, it doesn't seem so bad. But of course, we're totally overwhelmed. Especially since I work a 12-9PM shift today.

The only person really enjoying herself is in fact a cat, Zoe. She's been playing with her mouse all day, throwing it through the air, begging us to throw it, packing it around and pretty much driving Apollo crazy.

Oh, there's also a dead fish stuck up against the water filter in the tank. Nice!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Off colored seasoning

Today Apollo and I went out to do some last minute shopping. Though we only went to a few places, it seemed like we'd been out for over twelve hours trying to make The Right Decision when pairing up gifts with the recipient.

Apollo wanted to pick out something for Faythe but had no idea what to get. He picked up several different things and asked if I thought they were something Faythe would like but none of them were satisfactory. We even looked for Sandra Lee cookbooks but to no avail. Finally, I asked him, "Well, what would black people get?" He said, "Salt and pepper shakers." (For those that don't know, he's black and she's brown. They have this sort of sibling-rivalry going on. We are not racist.)

I was stumped. Or stunned. Since when have salt and pepper shakers become the gift for a specific race of people? In the end, he did not get the salt and pepper shakers. He picked out something rather nice too, I was impressed.

While shopping I also took some time to people watch. I'm making up a list of observations about how men shop, hopefully I'll be able to post them soon.

Friday, December 15, 2006

10 days left...

Sheesh, did you realize there's only 10 days till Christmas? I knew it was near but not that close! Thankfully, I'm pretty much done with my Christmas knits. I say "pretty much" because of those small projects I mentioned a few days ago But I'm not worried. I can finish them while standing in line at Disneyland. Yes, I said Disneyland! Mom and my cousin Elizabeth are coming to visit for a week. Expect lots of touristy photos!

Because I didn't realize there's only 10 days left, I'm a bit behind on shipping packages and Christmas cards. I guess I'll get on that tomorrow.

TMX Elmo

Walmart is currently offering the TMX Elmo at it's regular price of $39.97 on the web. I hear their site keeps crashing because so many people are trying to buy it. But, if you're interested and you don't want to pay the obnoxious prices listed by private sellers, you may want to click here.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Mystery projects

It wouldn't be like me if I didn't have any last minute Christmas projects to work on, so a few days ago I cast on some stitches and am knitting up some special gifts for cats and dogs that I know. I'm pretty excited about it myself. They totally crack me up. HEHEHEHE

Obviously I can't share them with you here but on or around Dec 25th, you can bet I'll post photos. I'll also post photos of my other projects I've completed for gifts this year. One of them may need some "adult" editing.

Family Facts

Chad sent me the link to's Family Facts page. I've always been interested in geneaology and other family stuffs so I found this to be pretty interesting.

Check out all the different categories too (also a great time waster).
Mom would just die if she saw this. See, for some reason Oregonians hate Californians. And yes, I'm in California so essentially I have crossed over to the dark side and tread an uneasy line between what is and what was. But look, my maternal side (the whitey side) has a large volume of family in California (and other states) in the 1920's. I also noticed there's a noticeably low volume of my surname in Oregon, which is quite strange considering how we breed like rabbits.

I also looked up my brown side. There seem to be a lot of us from Cuba but then again, my paternal name is as generic as Smith so, go figure.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Salad...and Christmas is officially here!

Occasionally Apollo and I stop by Outback Steakhouse and pick up an order to go. Creatures of habit, we always get the same thing. Chicken wings and salad! Once they gave us the wrong salad, some cheap thing with pieces of egg and cheese on it. So now when I order I ask for the salad with the blue cheese and cinnamon pecans. Even though it's called "Blue Cheese Chopped Salad," the risk of getting some sort of generic chef salad is too great.

It's also served with a house vinaigrette of some sort. Whatever it is, it's delicious. You should try it if you ever go in. Or, takeout.

I thought this was funny. Apollo wrapped one of Aimee's gifts. OK I have to admit, the item is not exactly perfectly square, but his wrapping totally cracks me up. One year he actually used Duct Tape!! That being said, this is an obvious huge improvement from when I met him. It's taken years of training but he's doing much better now.

Speaking of gifts, we put up our tree last night. I don't remember the exact reason Apollo took down the decorations last year, such as I was out of the state or I was at work, but my neurotic self was horrified when he brought out all the breakable Christmas decorations which he had stored in plastic shopping bags. I'm lucky only a couple ornaments broke. There was also a small problem with the Christmas lights.

I have a specific system and a "way to do things" when packing. You know, like winding up the Christmas lights. Some people think it's ok to throw them all into a big pile. I think one of those people recently learned why that's a bad idea.

There's already been one incident involving the tree, a strand of lights, five ornaments and two cats racing around the apartment and the tree hasn't been up 24 hours. But at least it feels Christmasy in the apartment!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Woe of the Wii

A coworker stood in line for over 5 hours and was fortunate to be one of over 40 who actually got one of the 15 Wii's. Well, about a week later, someone stole it! He came home and his bedroom window was open...his personal laptop, Wii and Zelda game were all gone. His TV, DVD player and other game consoles were not touched.

I'm sure one of the 9 people who live in the house told the wrong person about his's just too much of a coincidence.

Meanwhile, I was given a tip on the when and where to get one myself. We'll see if it pans out. I'm not going to count my chickens before they're hatched (thanks for that one Grandma).

However tonight I drove by a Circuit City and saw them unloading a Circuit City truck. I made an excuse to go in while Apollo went in to a nearby store for drinks and asked the customer service girl if I could make an inquiry about an item that may be coming into stock since there was a delivery truck outside. I know I know, I was being one of those customers. But I'll do it to make Apollo's Christmas a good one. Anyway, I asked the girl at the counter and she said "we're not getting any deliveries." Me, "But there's a big truck outside that says Circuit City and they're unloading." 18 year old pops her gum and rolls her eyes, "We don't get deliveries at night."

I'm getting old. Teenagers annoy me. Especially the kind with black liner around their lips and severely drawn in eyebrows. Long story short, I just left. Anyway, I'm sure there will be more Wii stories soon. Hopefully Monday.

Knitting on Yahoo

As always, I love their animated seasonal logo changes. (Use Internet Explorer to view the animation.)

Friday, December 08, 2006

What's the problem here?? And why am I using more than one question mark??? I hate that!

I've been nodding off at work, on my drive to work and home. I don't know why! I've actually had to drive with my windows down and radio blaring just to stay awake. Sitting here in front of my computer, several times I noticed I'm slouching towards my laptop, very close to turning my keyboard into a pillow. I've started going to bed earlier (slightly) and getting up earlier (hey, no hot water in the building means I have to get up earlier for a hot shower) but that shouldn't make a big difference.

I just got a cup of extra-strength coffee, according to the Coffee Ambassador, and took an iron tablet. In case I need that. Might as well.

I think the caffeine is kicking in...

In other news, new to knitting? Check out! This is one of the best resources I've found on the internet and I always recommend it to anyone who has knit related questions. You should see the button over there --> in my index area shortly.

Monday, December 04, 2006


Saturday a holiday parade of some sort was scheduled to take over a major road near my place. I usually work that day so never go and consequently forgot about it. Well, I was sitting at my computer working when I heard a bunch of yelling outside. With the new businesses that have sprouted up near by, we seem to be experiencing more crime than usual, so I ran to my window to see if there was a fight or something. (For some odd reason I always run towards the gun shot sounds, I don't know why.)

Imagine my surprise when I looked out the window to see the parade marching by! First, I saw Mayor Sanders get out of the convertible he was sitting on and into a black SUV. Apparently this was supposed to be the stopping point for the parade but a lot of them didn't know. Including these homies with their cars that kept moving up and down on hydraulics. Sorry the pic isn't very good. I was in a rush. But I thought, only in So Cal would we see homies in a parade!

Several bands went by. This is one of the smaller ones. They marched and blasted music as if they were on the main parade route. Of course I had to critique them. Most of them were horribly out of tune. *shiver*

We also saw Ronald McDonald, fire trucks, princesses who were quite confused as to why they were waving at lone people standing on their door steps, dogs connected to carts, groups of urban kids groups of some sort, clowns and last, Santa Claus. Anyway, it was just weird seeing a parade right on our street.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Dear Faythe,

I'm writing to warn you about the sock pattern I faxed you recently. I decided to use the exact yarn and needles called for in the pattern. Size 3 with Cascade 220. Luckily, I have a ton of this yarn.

I'm knitting the Starter Stockinette for Women S-M. Luckily, this is a simple pattern and I can already see how I'll be manipulating the pattern for my own uses later.

So everything was going great up until the heel flap. In the "Making the Heel Flap" section, it asks you knit round 1 and 2 and then to do this 12 more times. This means you would have a total of 26 rows. It then says you should have approximately 2.5 inches or 6 centimeters. Well, I ended up with just about 3.25 inches and 8.5 centimeters. So, after much frogging and knitting and constant second guessing, I decided to go with the instructions of 26 rows, which is not 2.5 inches. I finished the gusset and started on the foot and decided to try it on.

I think it's safe to say the heel flap is too long after all. See how it's poking out there? It looks like a half inch or more too long. Also, see how it's bunching up at the top of the heel? My guess is if the heel itself were shorter, it wouldn't bunch up like that. Of course, if I make a smaller heel flap, I won't be able to pick up the 15 stitches it asks for. I guess I'll either just pick up what I can (consistant on each side of course) and make it work out, mathematically.

I'll post another update later. I just wanted to get this all worked out for you before you got to this point yourself.

Hope you're feeling better,
Your friend


I ended up knitting only 18 rows, approximately 2.5 inches. This left me with 11 stitches to pick up, rather than 15. Because my goal is to have 12 stitches on each needle I'm sure this will work out. If not, I'll be back.

Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you. I ripped back the leg too. I figured, while I'm ripping, why not change the length while I'm at it. I wanted it much shorter than the 7.5 inches the pattern recommends.