Monday, December 31, 2012
Right now everyone is hale. The indian ringneck (Kiwi) has been moved out to the computer desk & the play cage and I am trying to stuff her with food as she is thinner than I would like. It is fun to visit with her, although I miss Stormy calling me "HEY! Girl! HEY!" all the time. I also moved Wavey the parakeet in with Opal the parakeet and they seem to have come to a room mate agreement. It is too early to say if they like each other, but the nitpicking has lessened.
This year I read some books, knit some things and played some World of Warcraft. I went to gardening every week I was supposed to. I watched some movies, took an online class and adopted a dog that was pound-bound.
Next year? Maybe finally apply for a new job, maybe go back to making soap, maybe get serious about honing my German language skills, maybe knit some things, read some books & play some more WoW. Walk the dog more and do the dishes more as well.
And blog more.
Sunday, December 16, 2012
I'm taking pleasure in showing more attention to some of the other pets (Kiwi parrot particularly) to remind them that I love them and to remind myself all is not lost. Kiwi is looking thin, but I am making mixed veggies and keeping the dish extra full and hope to see a positive improvement soon. She has been a good bird for almost 10 years now and deserves to be spoiled.
Finished reading "The Hobbit" during a lazy Sunday in bed this morning; soon I plan to go see the new movie.
The new term of the Harry Potter knitting group (soar, Ravenclaw!) starts on Jan 1 and I have spent a lot of time on the forums visiting, reminiscing and planning projects for the next term. I have some lofty goals and a lot of yarn at my disposal.
Hope you are all well out there in internet land.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
I do have some dog overlap; I got Holly a couple months ago so Dozer could teach her all his bad habits. She was a quick study. Of course, I haven't told anyone about her so it is another whole issue to figure out how to present her to everyone.
But none will ever replace Dozer; he was a gem of a dog and the last thing the vet said to him was "well Dozer there sure wasn't anything wrong with your heart" while he was listening at the end. True words. I miss you, buddy.
Sunday, December 02, 2012
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Thursday, November 08, 2012
Monday was a lovely warm day - one of the last of the season, I suspect - and I collected a rag, the drive band, a screwdriver and gave it a good going over. It took only about 30 minutes, including repairing the scotch tension which I didn't even know was broken!
Now it is good as new and I have been spinning some lovely pink / red / purple merino/tencel blend at a laceweight. I am thinking of using it just as a singles yarn & not plying, but might have to do some experiments first.
I forgot how much I enjoy spinning. While I did do some spinning on a drop spindle in the intermission, it was not the same. I love the treadling, the drafting, watching the bobbin fill up with lovely fine yarn.
It feels good to have it fixed. I may have to fix some other stuff soon.
Monday, November 05, 2012
Monday, October 29, 2012
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Monday, October 22, 2012
I am still knitting for my Harry Potter / Ravenclaw house knitting group on Ravelry. I finished some fingerless mittens, some crocheted butterflies, a couple washcloths and am working on a scarf. There is more I want to finish this month, but am pretty satisfied so far.
The pets are still falling apart: Fritti is sneezing again, Galen has a gross toe, Dozer's lump isn't getting better, Carrie has escaped & I haven't seen her in days and the dogs think Lizzie is a chase & bark toy, which is the most obnoxious problem.
Hopefully I will catch up with picture taking and make some more visual posts later in the week.
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Hopefully at some point I will stop posting about stash fiber & start working with stash fiber!
Monday, October 08, 2012
This is some yak roving that I got at Lambtown last fall. It is grey-brown and amazingly soft. I suspect I was thinking I could spin it on my charka, but a featherweight spindle would work well too.
Friday, October 05, 2012
I knit an Acorn for Quidditch. It was a fast and easy knit and I think I will make a bunch of them. The pattern is so easy I can memorize it and make acorns every time I need to fill a little time with knitting or have a small amount of yarn. I bet they would make great cat toys.
I also knit a Corgi washcloth for Muggle Studies class. It is a washcloth for people which sports a corgi, not a washcloth for washing your corgi. Sorry. It went surprisingly quickly (although not as quickly as my regular diamond shaped ones) and I bet I can finish the coordinating one (for Potions) today.
In the morning I finished Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire and it was a fun read. Starting book 5 on Sunday!
Having a day where I didn't have to go anywhere was wonderful; I can't remember the last one. I haven't had a Monday off in a while and I work on Sundays so it seems like I have to be "up and at ' em" every single day. Today I think a dogwalk is in order if it stays cool.
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Most people realize that exercise and fitness are important to good health and quality of life. No one likes to be sick or unwell, but sometimes the choices people make contribute to an unhealthful lifestyle and they need the structure of a program to make changes. Creating a gamified system to provide extrinsic motivation and rewards is a way to encourage healthful habits, and when people start to feel the physical improvements in their lives, they will continue the behaviors for the intrinsic value.
For the employees of the city of Werbachia, I propose adding an activity reporting feature to the automated timeclock that the city uses to track attendance and hours. This will be a low-cost, uncomplicated way for employees to report their daily physical activity and this data will be reported back to users in a weekly progress update that tracks their progress against themselves & against an average of the other city employees.
The game elements of this program include:
- checking in
- points for the different categories of activity (more for strenuous activity or muscle strengthening, fewer for light activity or cardio)
- badges for completing activity goals
- feedback (in the weekly report to track & compare progress)
- quests (a monthly newsletter will give activity suggestions and directions for completion of goals)
Every week the employees will receive a progress report which will give them feedback. They will be able to see their own progress over time and compare their progress to that of the group of city employees as a whole. The individual employee can choose to share this information with their peers, and this gives the user flexibility and control over the "game". This feeling of engagement is critical to a successful gamified system. Those who are motivated by self-improvement will be pleased and those who are motivated by cometition with peers and the main group will be pleased as well.
Physical fitness is, well, physical and the more the city employees utilize the system and work to increase their activity levels to progress in the "game", the more they will become fit and feel more healthy and energized. This good feeling becomes an intrinsic motivator for the user to continue to progress. What was once a requirement becomes a good and rewarding habit. In this way, using a gamified system to initiate & encourage increased physical fitness using external motivation leads to the creation of a desire to continue the habit for the intrinsic reward of health and happiness.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Sunday, September 09, 2012
My submission: Gamification can be a useful technique to reach the goal of increasing the market share of Cereals Inc in the breakfast ready-to-eat market. Incorporating game elements to our product can make the experience more fun for our customers and can increase consumption and brand loyalty.
A primary goal of gamification is to engage people in everyday activities (customer engagement). By adding the right game-like components to our marketing plan, users will begin to associate our pastry with a fun and engaging experience they will want to repeat (easy fun). We also want them to share with their friends and family, which will encourage more people to try our product in addition to the positive feeling that customers will get from sharing the information (people fun).
Games appeal to men and women equally, and the majority of people in the young adult demographic are comfortable with gaming (broad appeal). Finding game elements and techniques that will catch and hold the interest of the consumer is becoming the new normal and the product that is fun to use will have an advantage.
It is also possible to use gamification to recognize and reward good habits. This could be as simple as eating breakfast every day or a more complex idea such as enabling users to track thier eating, nutrition and exercise patterns. A sense of satisfaction from posting progress or meeting goals is another element of fun that gamification can provide.
The applications of gamification are many, but our goal is a simple one: for our customers to feel that choosing a breakfast pastry from Cereals Inc is more than just a meal, but rather a fun and rewarding experience they would like to repeat.
Saturday, September 08, 2012
Work - We've been on full schedules (8 hours x 5 days, minimum) for a few months now and I am starting to miss the slow weeks when we had 6 hour days. It was a nice break after the week of 14-18 hour days during month-end. However, I like the paycheck and won't complain too loudly.
Reading - I have several books partially started & then set aside (Don Quixote, The Awakening, & Bleak House all spring to mind) but my current pusher book is An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon. It is a weighty tome, but good for dipping in and out of, unlike the classics which require my full attention (and often, my notebook). In addition, I am re reading the Harry Potter series and finished book 1 this week. I will exchange it for book 2 tomorrow.
SciFi & Fantasy class (online) - I am behind in my reading for this unit... I'm not even entirely sure who the authors are. I need to "get a move on" as the next essay is due by Tuesday. I should at least watch the introductory video for the unit tonight before I go to bed.
Gamification class (online) - I am caught up in the videos and the quizzes, but need to prepare the exercise / essay for the first class which is due in, uh, 19.75 hours. Yikes.
Knitting - I am almost done with the Springy socks but mislaid the contrasting color yarn at the last minute and now they are on hold. I picked up a scarf in progress to keep my hands busy, but am quite miffed about the socks. I am in a Harry Potter themed knitting team on Ravelry (Soar, Ravenclaw!) and am planning 6 small projects to be complete before the month is out, plus trying to keep up with all the chatter on the forums. Chatter is my favorite part; my Gamification instructor would nod sagely and approve of the social aspect of Ravelry being a huge part of the fun I have there.
Things being squeezed out - Soap. I have got to make soap. Washcloths. I have got to knit washcloths. Pets. I have got to walk / wash / snuggle / groom the pets. House. I have got to clean the house. World of Warcraft. I have got to catch up and get ready for the new expansion.
All righty, enough procrastinating. Time to do some reading for class!
Thursday, September 06, 2012
I photographed part of the stash yesterday and organized it on my Ravelry page. The idea is that if it is taring me in the face, maybe I will use it!
Today's selection is some of the fiber I have acquired from Red Fish Dye Works. They have beautiful, reliable fiber & color. I just realized that two skeins of sock yarn escaped the camera, I will have to add them later. One is blue and one is orange... I sense a pattern emerging.
|Merino / Silk handspun 4 oz|
|80 Merino / 20 silk 4 oz|
|50 Merino / 50 silk 4 oz|
|Silk yarn, 2 ply 120/2|
|Silk yarn, 2 ply 120/2|
Wednesday, September 05, 2012
It is cool & gray out. Apparently our "June Gloom" has finally arrived. It has been burning off hot, but I like it right now.
I'm having a busy month, what with online classes, work, knitting for a class on Ravelry, fun knitting, guilt knitting, fun reading and generally being alive.
The plan for today needs to involve some pictures, methinks.
Monday, September 03, 2012
The townsfolk of Iping are immediately curious about the stranger in their midst. His dress, his manner and his overbearing tone all excite their interest and there are multiple attempts to discover his story. They seem to be curious purely for the sake of entertainment, but as the story progresses we see that had they known what the stranger was, they could have been prepared for his behavior. However, they had little warning of his anger and desperation, or of the risk he posed. In their situation, curiosity is a method of self defense.
This story behind the stranger is eventually revealed when the Invisible Man retells his experiments & adventures to Kemp. We learn at last that Griffin had been curious about the idea of invisibility and this alone drove his research. Like Shelley's Victor Frankenstein, Griffin became obsessed with the process leading up to his goal, and did not stop to reflect on the moral or practical implications until after the experiments were complete.
The townsfolk of Iping (and, later, other regions) continue to be curious about the events surrounding the Invisible Man and to discuss it amongst themselves. They are able to share information and work together to attempt a defense against his rampage. However, the wages of Griffin's curiosity are death; his lack of forethought and the absence of any trusted confidante end in tragedy when he is killed. His pure scientific curiosity is very real, but ultimately unsustainable.
Peer response: form
It is beautiful out, sunny and clear and not too hot. I should pack up a dog and go for an adventure, but many fun options are here at home as well.
Will she clean the house? Read for her class? Knit like the wind? Take a nap? Weave that blanket? Make some soap?
Monday, August 27, 2012
The short, happy time of youth is heard in the "merriment" and "crystalline delight" of sleigh bells (ll 3, 8). All is hopeful in the beginning, like the "docility and humanity" which Poe's narrator claims (p 223).
Married partnership lasts slightly longer and the sounds of wedding bells are "harmony" and "euphony" as the couple begin "in tune" (ll 17, 21, 26). Our narrator is "happy" with his wife as her attitude is "not uncongenial" to his own (p 223). Life is pleasant, if uneventful.
Calm is shattered by the "alarum bells" - our narrator begins to drink heavily and undergoes severe personality changes (l 36)(p 224). He abuses his wife and disfigures Pluto. The bells' sounds of "terror" and "turbulency" are this household's soundtrack where "danger ebbs & flows" (ll 38, 60). The parallel is even seen in the fire that destroys the narrator's home, although the culmination is his wife's "assassination" (p 229). This is the longest stanza of the poem so far and the majority of the story - of a life.
That is, until the final bells - the "iron bells" - the bells of death begin to toll (l 71). No portion of a life is longer or more feared. The bells' "melancholy menace" is nothing compared to the "Ghouls: / And their king" who rejoice in our demise (ll 75, 89-90). If the narrator is remorseful or lonely for his wife, it is barely addressed, and his undoing is the sound and sight of the one eyed cat, perched on his wife's head, howling and rejoicing in "consigning [him] to the hangman" (pp 230).
Looking at these works together shows that the melodic bells are accompanying the stages of our lives, and that a seemingly simple story is enhanced when you imagine them tolling the changing emotions in a household.
Peer reviews (form)
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Victor tries to turn to nature to calm his mind and find peacefulness, such as when he travels through the Alps following Justine's execution. The "whirlwind passions of [his] soul drove [him] to seek" solace in the solid, eternal mountains (p92). But even here, while contemplating Mount Blanc's "awful majesty" (p96), the being follows him and asks him to take responsibility for his creation. Victor's past has not been resolved and he cannot yet find peace.
One turning point of the story hinges on this idea and see that Victor's ideas about his creation have become more developed. He is in the Orkney Islands, sitting "idle" for the night when a "train of reflection" comes to him (p164). He goes on to examine his reasons for creating the first being, much less a second one. This is the first time Victor has stopped to reflect, and only in this state does he consider the implications of his work. There was no such moment before creating the first being when "every night [he] was oppressed by a slow fever (p54). Only in a moment of stillness, the "calm and peaceful mind", can Victor see the risks and responsibilities of his goal to reanimate life.
Victor ultimately decides the risks outweigh the benefits and destroys his work. This does not actually solve his conflict with the being, but it does put his heart at ease that he is not perpetuating the monstrosity. He asks the being "Shall I, in cold blood, set loose upon the earth a daemon...?" and is wholly immovable in his resolve (p166).
Victor Frankenstein is a man too easily caught up in his own passions and does not reflect on consequences. But in a moment of stillness, reflection brings him to one of the most important realizations of his life.
Thursday, August 16, 2012
The conflict at the heart of Stoker's Dracula is one of order versus disorder. From the earliest pages of Jonathan's journal, the stage is being set for the reader to see that the British way is one of order, dependibility and safety. This is in contrast to the Eastern European way of disorder, superstition and wildness. As Jonathan nears the castle in "one of the wildest and least known portions of Europe" (p3) , his interactions and experiences are less and less predictable, rational or controllable compared to his well ordered life back home with Mina. When Dracula arrives in England, we see that he brings this wildness with him and we are forced to examine what the effect of this influence on the "normal" British existence is. Mina's shorthand journal is mordern, rational, scientific and she says it "soothes me to express myself here" (p61). She will need this comfort, for when the Count's ship comes into Whitby harbor "without warning the tempest broke" (p65). Mina tries to forestall Lucy's sleepwalking, but she escapes and is attacked by Count Dracula late one night. As Lucy's illness worsens we see her fluctuating between a good, sweet English maid and a possessed creature. She interacts with her friends and mother during the day as usual, but at night becomes a magnet for the huge & mysterious bat that flaps at her window. She tries to behave normally, but is literally infected with the wildness of the east; a losing proposition. She must be destroyed and only after a stake is driven through her heart is she again the vision of "sweetness and purity" (p180) that a young English lady should be. Desperate measures are needed to set things right, and ultimately the only solution to the Un-Dead menace is to kill the Count himself. It will not be possible to reconcile or adapt these two worlds; one must destroy the other.
My peer responses (form):
Sunday, August 12, 2012
Monday, July 23, 2012
Sunday, July 22, 2012
Monday, July 02, 2012
It was a day fraught with alternating worry & guilt but for tonight I am happy to have them both home & in one piece. The pressure bandage gets removed in 4 minutes and then I can go do laundry, buy cat food and give him some dinner and a pain injection at 8pm.
I just wish I was off work tomorrow to play kitty nursemaid.
Also on the to-do list: laundry. Luckily the laundromat & the vet are on the same block and there is a Dairy Queen right next door in case I need some comfort snacking.
Still not a lot of very exciting stuff going on here. I go to work, come home, read, play on the computer, walk the dogs, read some more. I made a nice spot in the backyard for sitting and enjoying these early summer evenings (noisy neighbors be damned) and it is very relaxing to watch the leaves on the tree sway in the breeze.
In fact, it has been so nice out I am thinking of finally fixing up the spinning wheel and spinning in the evenings. It is almost time for the Tour de Fleece and I should start "training". I still haven't made a dent in the fiber I bought last year at the fiber fairs we attended in the fall; I had the pleasure of buying it, the pleasure of knowing I have it, now it is time for the pleasure of processing it.
Thursday, June 14, 2012
In fact, I think I will sweep the house a bit and read some more. I am back on Don Quixote... we'll see how long I can stick with it. I have it on my Nook (e-reader) at home and an analog (paperback) copy at work, so it is everywhere I go.
Monday, May 14, 2012
|Babies, appx 2 weeks old|
|CB6685 2 Apr 12|
|CB6685 14 May 12|
Tuesday, May 08, 2012
Walked the dog twice today; a quick jaunt around the block this morning and then a two mile trip to the next big street and back. The evening was balmy with just a hint of a breeze and we had a nice journey. This is the 7th day in a row of walks (every day since I put Sunny to sleep) and they just keep getting better and easier. My goal is to work up to at least 2 miles twice a day. So far I don't begrudge the time at all, and we will get faster as we get fitter.
Monday, May 07, 2012
Sunday, May 06, 2012
Another beautifully quiet day today. Did some gardening in the morning, brushed Dozer until the lawn was white with underfur, took him for a jaunt around the block (5th day running) and then played some WoW. The sparrows were out collecting beakfuls of soft clean fur within 5 minutes of the end of the brushing session. Those undercoat rakes are amazing.
Picked up my eReader to start something new and ended up restarting a book I have read twice already this year, The Winter Sea. It is a romance & historical romance set in present day Scotland and 17th C Scotland with a dash of inherited memory as a barely believable subplot.
Iris the baby cockatiel and Billy are still sort of cohabitating - he won't let her in his cage so she lives on top of it for now. She is flighted and talented at it and the birds are banished from that room now so they are safe... if a little lonely. Time to go inside, grab my knitting, pour a glass of water and find a cheerful movie.
Saturday, May 05, 2012
I read a little, snoozed a little, ate some cake, walked for an hour, snuggled the parrot and played some World of Warcraft. A pretty good birthday.
Thursday, May 03, 2012
The cockatiels are in love with the back of my new desk chair. I had Billy (21) out for a while this morning - he shared my toast - and Iris is up there now. Billy proved to be very clever today. I went in to the kitchen to get something and he flew in & around the corner to find me.
Oh dear, the downside is bird poop on the back of the chair. Time to log off & clean up.
Wednesday, May 02, 2012
This evening I took Dozer for a walk and it was nice. I got to try out my leather jacket and found it warm and comforting. We used the 15' lead around the quiet neighborhood and no incidents worse than wrapping the slack around a lawn sprinkler or two. Maybe tomorrow I will brush him before we go; it is spring and he is blowing his undercoat.
It feels strange to have only one dog to walk.
Tuesday, May 01, 2012
Monday, April 16, 2012
- laundry (trip to laundrette)
- pet areas
- recycling (trip to recycling center)
- gardening (weeding & garden planning)
- tune up the bicycle
There is another list for "after payday":
- 23,000 mile service on the car
- gardening (trip to nursery for dirt & planting)
- fix the washing machine
I think the list for today is long enough. I don't know if I will get through it all, but it is time to get started! Billy the cockatiel is helping by dusting off the bird playpen and preening the sisal ropes on his bird swing.
Friday, April 13, 2012
The clouds made for some amazing skies tonight on the drive home: black, yellow, white and gray all together. Add rainbows and glints of light from all the clean cars on the freeway and it was just beautiful. Plain blue skies get so boring!
Friday, April 06, 2012
Thursday, April 05, 2012
My sweet Baobei is nice to look at too.
In addition to the low level characters to try out the new race & class, I have brought a high level character over to try out the new "grown up" world and dungeons. It is all very cool, beautiful and exciting to see the working models of the new ideas.
Gaming cuts into my knitting time, but I do so enjoy escaping into another world.
Wednesday, April 04, 2012
The lower pictures were taken just this past Monday. I am particularly excited to have a cinnamon pied in this clutch. The cinnamon in the last clutch was fantastic and this is even more beautiful. The poor normal grey looks quite dowdy in comparison, but she is a lovely shade of slate and recovered well from an accident a few weeks ago which left her missing a toe.
I thought I had some names picked out last night, but I seem to have forgotten them already. Perhaps Iris for the pearl and ... I have no idea for the other one.
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Wednesday, February 08, 2012
It is quite nice to have a full mattress, however. How did I live with a twin for 36 years?
Thursday, February 02, 2012
Progress continues on the Vernal Equinox shawl; at this rate I will have it done by then! I love the yarn so much that I may switch to it for every future project.
Finished another book, this time _American Gods_ by Neil Gaiman. It is a little difficult to describe, but was absolutely absorbing. If you like weird, Neil's your man.
Monday, January 09, 2012
I am going to make the Vernal Equinox Shawl by Wendy, and the yarn arrived today. It is a wool & silk blend in a lovely green.
The yarn has been made into a ball, some knitting needles have been selected, I read all the way through the pattern (well, skimmed) and am itching to get stitching.
Sunday, January 08, 2012