Friday, June 30, 2006

Diet Coke & Mentos

Diet Coke & Mentos
Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
Thanks to WineGuy for his veritable font (fount?) of entertainment.

I give you Diet Coke & Mentos.

Holiday Weekend!

4th of July
Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
Well here I am loving my couch at 2:30 on a Friday when I should be working. I'm so excited for my 4 day weekend. I have a stack of books, lots of knitting (old and new projects!) and movies and tv. Not to mention a few outings planned - even a few to Michael's!

For now I'm going to curl up and take a quick nap before I start my fun.

I hope you all have a great July 4th with you and yours, no matter how you choose to celebrate!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Sweet Treats

I've been having some trouble in the past few months keeping a lid on the expenses (read: there are worries of brokeness at the end of each month).

Last month there was car servicing and expensive graduation dinners, and this month there are airline tickets to Iowa for my best friend's wedding reception. And it's not even July yet!

Anyhow, lately I've been browsing which is an ebay-like place where the only goods allowed are the handmade kind. This is VERY dangerous. I was browsing knitting accessories this afternoon when I spotted these - Pink paisley stitch markers by H.L. Miller. Yup you guessed it... had to have them. But they were a steal at only $8!

Are we there yet?

Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
This weekend is a subject of glorious anticipation for my coworkers and me. Not only do we get Monday and Tuesday off, we get dismissed at 1pm tomorrow as well. So basically that's 4.5 days of glorious sleeping in, reading, eating, watching movies and knitting. And the only thing that is holding us back is a mere 24 more hours.

Half the office is already on vacation already.

So yes, ARE WE THERE YET?!?!?

Love and Online Gaming

After Hours
Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
From the June 9, 2006 edition of the Wall Street Journal, front page, column 4:

To Find a Mate, Raid a Dungeon or Speak Like an Elf
Flirting in Online Games Can Lead to Offline Love

Nine and a half years ago a friend introduced me to a MUD, a multi-user dungeon. This was a text-based virtual reality game where I could slay dragons and talk to people from around the world at the same time. This place was called After Hours Mud.

For those that don't want their kids playing online games, I understand that there are dangers out there. But I want to emphasize a few good things in my life that have come from gaming.

I have made some of my best friends online, people who I never would have met had I not chatted with them first.

Over the past nine and a half years I corresponded with the love of my life. Only after seven and a half years did I meet him, fall in love and know that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him.

I'm thankful every day that I got sucked into the void of the Internet.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

A cool find.

Blog as a Graph
Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
I originally saw this on the Mason Dixon Knitting blog and didn't realize that it was one of those things you could personalize. You can go to this site to run a little applet and get a graph that's based uniquely on your blog.

The Incident

Cherry Vanilla Creme
Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
An open letter to Mr. Vending Machine Manager Sir:

I have one minor complaint and I will express it in Limerick form below.

I craved soda, went down to the machine of Diet
Saw Cherry Vanilla Crème, so excited to buy it
When I looked at the can
Became a dismayed wo-man
Though full of sugar, I suppose I will try it!

I just thought since it was in the Diet machine it wouldn't have 140 calories per can.

Love and kisses,
The Little Devil
"Bitching with style since 1978" (TM)

Summer Reading Program Book #3

For my third book of the summer, I have been delving into Throwing the Elephant: Zen and the Art of Managing Up by Stanley Bing.

This is a humorous look into what it takes to manage your boss, and ultimately help yourself. It's taken me a bit to get into it, but each page elicits fresh snickers. Although I admit I've still got a few pages left to go, I thought I'd pimp the book anyway. A great read for anyone who's dealt with a boss who wants to be treated like a boss.


"Elephants are large, with big, flat feet, and they tread much underfoot as they go along. Because they eat a tremendous amount, they also tend to leave an unconscionable amount of waste in their wake.

And who is there to clean up that waste? The elephant? HA! No such thing. Wrap your no-mind around it. Most of your activity, particularly in the beginning of your time in service, will take place behind the elephant. They do their thing or, at times, things. We clean up after them. That is the law of nature, or at least of elephants."

Inspiration... or lack thereof.

Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
So far this week I've been feeling fairly uninspired. After a highly productive week (last week) of knitting (and lots of FO's) I'm back to the big blanket which, while almost done and GORGEOUS, doesn't give me that finishing high I crave. Top that off with endless rescheduling at work, monthly bills being due, and tons of reading for school, and I'm just not feeling the blog juices rolling.

So I leave you with a humorous and slightly scary tidbit. Dude, your Dell is on fire.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Caption This!

Caption This!
Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.

Mine is:

"Stupid tourist tricks."

Monday, June 26, 2006

A Humble Prayer

Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.

Our incomes are like our shoes; if too small, they gall and pinch us; but if too large, they cause us to stumble and to trip.

-John Locke, philosopher

OH PLEASE OH PLEASE let the latter be one of those lessons I have to learn for myself.

Venting about work.

Ways to piss me off:

  • Ask me to reschedule a retreat I planned 2 months ago because people can't make it.
  • Ask me to cancel the rescheduled date because no one can make it.
  • As an intern, use my account to "accidentally" break the university's file sharing rules by sharing approximately 5 GB of material in a 2 hour period.
  • As an intern, bitch me out for disconnecting your internet service even though I now have to attend counseling with the University for your transgressions.

Some Mondays I'd be better off staying in bed.

Some people's kids...

Some people's kids...
Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
One day when I upgrade beyond Blogger I'm going to start a bunch of Categories/Tags for my posts. There will be one entitled Some People's Kids/The Case for Natural Selection.

My friend took this photo this weekend somewhere between Seattle and Portland when his temperature gauge read above 102 degrees.

There's nothing like a little ride on a hot day in a medieval helmet and chain mail to cook your brain. Not to mention - I'm not sure what that helmet is going to do for you when you fall off your bike.

Ode to Religion

It's hard to be religious when certain people are never incinerated by bolts of lightning.

-Bill Watterson, comic strip artist, in his comic strip Calvin & Hobbes

Scarf Blocking

Scarf Blocking
Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
I finished this lovely lace this weekend and all several feet of it are blocking in front of the tv as I listen to the thunder booming outside (very rare for LA!)

This weekend was a bit busy and I can't wait until next weekend to dig in on some projects.... I'm going to finish that blanket come hell or high water (I say as it's probably about to pour).

Anyway, it's off to bed with me.

(P.S. I momentarily thought of titling this entry Peacock Blocking, but then I realized it could also be seen as (Pea)Cock Blocking and decided against it.)

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Field Day 2006 and Acronym Soup

J & L Field Day 2004
Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
Time on Air: 2 hours, 15 minutes
QSOs: 160+
QRM: Way too much.
YLs: A few, but not enough.

Every year since I was 12, I have been meeting up with my dad and the local amateur radio club to celebrate Field Day.

Basically this means a bunch of amateur radio operators get together and set up a couple of stations on generator power and run them for 24 hours straight. This is a drill in case of a natural disaster, but the governing association (ARRL) has turned Field Day into a big contest where the more people you talk to the more points you get.

At 12, one of the world's foremost operators took me under his wing. He spent hours with me teaching me the best operating procedures and how to make a killing in numbers of contacts. Sadly he passed away a few years later, but I still have a love for this event.

So I got up early this morning, brought my dad breakfast (he seems to get stuck on the midnight to 7am shift each year) and sat down at the radio to talk a little. Stats up above.

(P.S. This photo is from 2004, but basically shows the essence of Field Day. That's me in the driver's seat and Daddy Devil Works beside me logging my contacts.)

Wine and Sushi Soiree

Wine Soiree
Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
Friday evening we all gathered at WineGuy's house for a Wine and Sushi Soiree. We sampled Absinthe, Port, a few reds, a white, Plum Wine, Sake, and Blueberry Mead. That was in addition to the dumplings, maki, nigiri, spring rolls, strawberries, macaroons and apple pastries. It was a fabulous evening - just lots of fun and good food with good friends. My only regret is that Wes couldn't join us.

Friday, June 23, 2006

What resolve and dedication!

Saddam ends hunger strike after missing one meal

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Saddam Hussein ended a brief hunger strike after missing just one meal in his U.S.-run prison, a U.S. military spokesman said Friday.

The former Iraqi leader had refused lunch Thursday in protest at the killing of one of his lawyers by gunmen, but the spokesman said he ate his evening meal.

So does this mean that every time I miss lunch I'm on a hunger strike?

Overheard from a co-worker: "Fasting to cleanse is a 3 day process, so unless he was hungry for more than three days, he wasn't on strike."

Good to know that he's dedicated to making a political statement by skipping lunch.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Ostrich vs. Peacock

Ostrich Plume Knitting
Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
I decided to do a little lacework for my next project (you know me... apparently a new project and a challenging knitting pattern is a good idea!)

Anyhow, this pattern is called the "Ostrich Plume," but as you can see, I think it looks more like a Peacock pattern. Of course neither Ostrich nor Peacock is as fun to say as EMU.


So I started this last night and after a number of tries knitting and frogging (first the wrong yarn, then the wrong number of stitches, then I screwed up the pattern!) I finally got this working. It's hard to tell in the picture but the yarn is a pale shade of lavendar with a shiny white satin ribbon spun with it. I really like how it's turning out and we'll hope my co-worker (the birthday girl and recipient) feels the same way!

Ok I'm off to shower and recover from this evening's festivities which involved some very drunk executives, one of whom danced on a table and took off his shirt. Funny what a little (LOT) alcohol will do.

Help help! I had a Blonde Moment!

A Blonde Moment
Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
Very occasionally I wonder if I am a blonde secretly trapped in a brunette's body.

Some of these occasions:

* When I moved into my current apartment, I started moving my belongings on a Saturday. This was before the electricity had been turned on however. As it progressively got darker, I realized I would need some light to keep things moving. So I did what any sane person would do: I went and got a lamp. (Yes I realized my mistake about 10 seconds later and lit a bunch of candles).

* Today at lunch I had to run a bunch of errands. These included schlepping a number of packages to the post office and purchasing a very breakable gift for my parents' 31st wedding anniversary (woohoo!). I took my car with me so that I wouldn't have to carry, drop or break anything. After shopping I met a friend in the same shopping center for lunch. We decided to walk back to the office. Halfway back to the office I realized that my car was still in the shopping center parking lot. I'm wondering what I would have done at 6pm when I went out to the work parking lot and my car (OBVIOUSLY) wasn't there.

Riding the waves of your soul...

Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
"Fluff" flies in school lunch debate

BOSTON (Reuters) - When it comes to food, Boston is best known for baked beans and clam chowder. But this week, state legislators have engaged in robust debate on Marshmallow Fluff -- a locally made, sugary spread.

State Sen. Jarrett Barrios started the tempest in a lunch box when he learned that his son's Cambridge grammar school cafeteria offered Fluff-and-peanut butter sandwiches daily.

In a nation where child obesity rates have more than doubled in the past 25 years, Barrios fretted that was not a healthy option. Monday he proposed a law that would allow schools to serve the "Fluffernutters" only once a week.

Fluff aficionados defended the sweet spread, which locals also lather on ice cream and into hot chocolate, and is made by local company, Durkee-Mower Inc. of Lynn, Massachusetts.

Sad, but true.

Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.

By the age of six the average child will have completed the basic American education.... From television, the child will have learned how to pick a lock, commit a fairly elaborate bank holdup, prevent wetness all day long, get the laundry twice as white, and kill people with a variety of sophisticated armaments.

-Russell Baker, columnist and author

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

A new mantra

Consistency is overrated. We try to do things as chaotically and by the seat-of-our-pants as we can.

Meditation (according to Stanley Bing)

Meditation Flower
Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
Meditation: Step 1

* Sit down. If you are already sitting, stay that way.

* Breathe. Breathe again. Breathing is good. Think about the alternative!

* Your goal is to reach the point where, no matter what happens in any given day, you just don't give a shit.

(passage taken from Throwing the Elephant: Zen and the Art of Managing Up)

Irony Defined

Irony Defined
Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
Incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs.


Sweet deal: What’s the skinny on Nestle-Jenny Craig partnership?

If this is some kind of cosmic joke, it’s a cruel one: Nestle, the humonglobal chocolate pusher, is buying Jenny Craig, the giant chocolate pusher-awayer. And just in time for bathing suit season, too.

Looks like yet another reason to boycott Nestle (even if you don’t give a hoot about its baby-formula-in-the-Third-World tactics).

Allegedly, one of the perks of living in these United States is being protected by antitrust and consumer laws - so how come there’s nothing to counter this kind of chubby-fox-watching-the-henhouse conflict?

Isn’t this like Smirnoff buying the Betty Ford Center?

I put the question to Ezra Field, managing director for ACI capital, part of the private equity group that sold Jenny Craig for $600 million, and after the kind of polite laugh I imagine they teach at MBA school, he got down to business. ‘‘I’ll give you my personal take, but I don’t speak for Nestle,” he began, raising my hopes that he was going to drop the corporatespeak and spill the beans on plans to waft the scent of Toll House chocolate chip cookies through Jenny Craig centers.

Hello, repeat offenders.

No such luck. ‘‘It’s not really fair to think of good and bad foods,” he said. (Unfair to whom? Willy Wonka?) ‘‘The real message of Jenny Craig is to learn how to make good choices” about the foods you eat.Eaten in ‘‘moderation,” he added, chocolate can be part of a healthy diet.

Clearly, this is a man who does not consider an entire 12-ounce bag of Nestle’s Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels as ‘‘one serving.”

‘‘Actually,” said Laurie MacDonald, not only vice president of corporate and brand affairs but a registered dietician, ‘‘it might surprise you to know that Nestle is a nutrition company.”

She was right, I was surprised.

She prattled on about the infant formula and Carnation instant breakfast and the Powerbar brand Nestle sells, but all I could think about was how long it will be until the paparazzi get a good shot of Jenny Craig spokesannoyance Kirstie Alley shoveling Nestle Crunch bars while hunched down in the driver’s seat of her car.

‘‘Have you called Jenny yet? When you do, ask her to send over some more Butterfingers.”

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Block Party

Block Party
Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
5/6 of the way to Warming Grace (and her friends!).

This is the little block(ing) party I had tonight thanks to my beloved t-pins and some water.

I'm a bit stumped as to what to do with the 6th square so all suggestions are welcome.

P.S. The heart intarsia square was the fiance's idea. I have to say that it came out cute, although my intarsia skills could use some work... I need to loosen up on that yarn tension!

Mas Mejor......I think.

Geisha Sock #1
Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
Ok so I gave in today and fixed this little number at work. Of course I didn't bring the appropriate implements (note the paperclips holding the toes together until I get to my tapestry needle tonight).

I think the foot is a little wonky. I was loosely going off the Geisha Sock pattern but it's for a different weight yarn (and thus different number of stitches) and it's a woman's sock pattern, so I needed to size up while sizing down. Just you think about that.

I'm fairly happy with the result, but the moment of truth will come in a few days when I mail this little gem to my beloved and he tries it on. (Honey - the girls at the office have requested pics!)

Or maybe the true test will be when I get around to the second sock - trying to remember what the hell I did on this one.


Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
Wife accused in swordplay death of husband

BEIJING (Reuters) - A Chinese woman has been charged with accidentally killing her husband with a sword after he refused to make her dinner, the Shanghai Daily said on Tuesday.

Police said Tang Xiaowan, 25, who has been practicing swordsmanship since she was young, had often forced her husband of three years at swordpoint to carry out her demands.

On March 3, her husband, Li Weidong, refused to cook dinner because he was late for work.

Police said Tang picked up her sword and put it on Li's chest and promptly slipped, stabbing Li by mistake.

Li died in hospital from loss of blood.

Tang was arrested Monday and charged with manslaughter.

I'd hate to see what happens when he forgets to pick up his dirty underwear.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Finally a post that's not about knitting!

Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
It's about my next favorite hobby: movies.

This weekend brought some interesting flicks.

* Sahara - The date night movie this week was Sahara. This was an action-packed movie with some wry humor that we both really liked. Interesting premise and well executed. Definitely a good rental!

* The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants - I hadn't read the book and wasn't expecting much from this cute little chick flick, but I was pleasantly surprised. All the girls acted well, and the story was pretty sweet.

* In the Line of Fire - I'd actually seen bits and pieces of this Clint Eastwood/Rene Russo/John Malkovich movie on TV several times, but it was in my free OnDemand section so it made a good knitting background late last night.

* HurlyBurly - Maybe this just wasn't my type of movie, but I didn't like it at all. It had a great cast (Sean Penn, Robin Wright Penn, Kevin Spacey) but I just didn't see the point. It was a bunch of people who drank and did most every drug available and then argued incessantly over philosophies of life. Not a plus on my list.

* Five Easy Pieces - Another free OnDemand offering. I had to watch this early Jack Nicholson movie for the famous restaurant scene where he tries to order toast from a waitress who keeps pointing at the no substitutions sign (while saying toast isn't on the menu). Nicholson, exasperated, finally screams "I'll take a chicken salad sandwich hold the lettuce, mayo, tomato, and hold the chicken!" Otherwise I found it to be a 70's movie that just didn't resonate with me since it wasn't my era.

That's it for today!

Camo knitting for a cause.

Bernat Camo
Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
My fiance often remarks how taken the world is by camo (camouflage) print clothing, and how useless this color scheme is for anything but its actual intended use. I always find this amusing.

So I was interested to read a snippet over at Crazy Aunt Purl about a local group providing some support for for people who have a use for camo - our US soldiers overseas - Operation Gratitude. Quite simply, Operation Gratitude has started a major campaign to send care packages to soldiers overseas. They've already sent over 150,000 packages!

Regardless of how you feel about this war, this is a cause to get behind. Lo and behold on the wish list of items was a request for knitted hats and gloves. (See? I'm getting to the camo...)

So there you have it! My next knitting challenge: knit up some camo hats (courtesy of Bernat camo yarn!) and send them overseas for the Winter packages. Anyone interested in joining me?

Mongolia or Bust!

Mongolia or Bust!
Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
This weekend I set up a new knitting challenge for myself - 2 scarves and matching hats for the Dulaan Project.

The good news is that I finished the first one (the stash-busting stripey one up top).

I also made great progress on the one on the bottom using stash yarn from my mother-in-law-to-be. However, you might notice the tell-tale needle sticking out under the bottom scarf. I have a bit more work to do before I send this package off.

Goals for this week:

* Finish Dulaan Scarf and hit the post office by Friday!
* Finish Warming Grace Squares - I've got 4 and am trying for 6. Hit the post office by Friday!
* Fix that damn embarassing sock/toe problem.
* Birthday gift for coworker - scarf or socks?
* Work on the blanket... you know - this one.
* Oh, homework, a new book?

Also wanted to share my new love for big ass DPNs. When I got the idea for making a hat I went looking for patterns. I wanted something that I could knit up quickly on big needles, but I realized that I have no short circular needles. Enter the thickest set of DPNs I've ever seen. Talk about poking an eye out! However, I discovered something. Knitting on DPNs is the best - there are no seams. Only two ends to weave in! (Unless of course you're silly like me and start striping new colors every few rows....)

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Happy Father's Day!

Father's Day Socks
Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
Happy Father's Day to all the daddies out there. We celebrated today by taking my dad out to dinner. And he got the lovely socks you see at the right. (And a little something else... socks for Father's Day are kind of a lame gift, even if they are handmade!)

Usually I knit scarves or shawls or purses so Dad doesn't usually get knitted goodies, so I was excited to find this Lion Brand Yarn pattern. I used Woolease in Green, Rust and Wheat.

More updates later tonight or tomorrow when I finish a few other goodies!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

A Devil of a Tale

This one's a little long, but worth the read. Don't get too depressed if it describes how you feel at your current job!

One day while walking down the street a highly successful Human
Resources Manager was tragically hit by a bus and she died. Her soul arrived up in heaven where she was met at the Pearly Gates by St. Peter himself.

"Welcome to Heaven," said St. Peter. "Before you get settled in though, it seems we have a problem. You see, strangely enough, we've never once had a Human Resources Manager make it this far and we're not really sure what to do with you."

"No problem, just let me in," said the woman.

"Well, I'd like to, but I have higher orders. What we're going to do is let you have a day in Hell and a day in Heaven and then you can choose whichever one you want to spend an eternity in."

"Actually, I think I've made up my mind, I prefer to stay in Heaven", said the woman.

"Sorry, we have rules..."

And with that St. Peter put the executive in an elevator and it wentdown-down-down to hell. The doors opened and she found herself stepping out onto the putting green of a beautiful golf course. In the distance was a country club and standing in front of her were all her friends - fellow executives that she had worked with and they were well dressed in evening gowns and cheering for her. They ran up and kissed her on both cheeks and they talked about old times. They played an excellent round of golf and at night went to the country club where she enjoyed an excellent steak and lobster dinner.

She met the Devil who was actually a really nice guy (kind of cute) and she had a great time telling jokes and dancing. She was having such a good time that before she knew it, it was time to leave. Everybody shook her hand and waved goodbye as she got on the elevator.

The elevator went up-up-up and opened back up at the Pearly Gates and found St. Peter waiting for her.

"Now it's time to spend a day in heaven," he said.

So she spent the next 24 hours lounging around on clouds and playing the harp and singing. She had great time and before she knew it her 24 hours were up and St. Peter came and got her.

"So, you've spent a day in hell and you've spent a day in heaven. Now you must choose your eternity,"

The woman paused for a second and then replied, "Well, I never thought I'd say this, I mean, Heaven has been really great and all, but I think I had a better time in Hell."

So St. Peter escorted her to the elevator and again she went down-down-down back to Hell. When the doors of the elevator opened she found herself standing in a desolate wasteland covered in garbage and filth. She saw her friends were dressed in rags and were picking up the garbage and putting it in sacks.

The Devil came up to her and put his arm around her.

"I don't understand," stammered the woman, "yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and a country club and we ate lobster and we danced and had a great time. Now all there is a wasteland of garbage and all my friends look miserable."

The Devil looked at her smiled and said... "Yesterday we were recruiting you, today you're an Employee."

Friday, June 16, 2006

Summer Reading Program Book 2.5: You Knew it All the Time

Getting to Yes
Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
I don't count this in my reading program because it is not something I have been dying to read, nor did I actually choose to read it. (Ahh the life of a grad student!)

I did, however, read this book cover to cover today. I was most disheartened when I got to page 147 (out of 200) and read the following:

You knew it all the time.

There is probably nothing in this book which you did not already know at some level of your experience

Folks, that makes me feel like I wasted a whole day.

Anyhow, this is probably a good read for someone who hasn't done any readings on the process of negotiation. When served alongside piles and piles of negotiations readings, this little book ain't any different than what other people will tell you in more condensed versions in HBR articles.

Traffic - The Good Kind!

Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
I hit a milestone today - over 10,000 visitors! (since I installed SiteMeter earlier this year)

Also, since I was accepted to the Knitting Blog Ring yesterday I've seen a huge jump in traffic.

So: Thanks to all of you for reading! I hope you're enjoying reading as much as I'm enjoying writing.

Pornographic Sock aka When Smart Knitters do Dumb Things.

Uh-oh Sock
Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
Ok folks, get your minds out of the gutter. What you see before you is a sock, albeit a struggling one.

I'm working from a great pattern on the Lion Brand Yarn site, and I just happened to have some stash in the wool they suggest so I'm making a warm pair of socks for my fiance.

The problem? The fiance specifically requested Geisha socks so he could keep his feetsies warm and still throw on flip-flops if he had to go outside, or down to the unfinished basement. So I thought I'd improvise when it got to the toe.

Now I've never made mittens, and I didn't look at a pattern. So now I have a sock that is too short for a male foot, with a big toe the size of my forefinger. Hmmm... back to the drawing board.

Knitting for a cause.

Knitting for a cause.
Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
Had to get in some small objects for a good cause!


* 3 squares for Warming Grace. I still have a bit more yarn in these colors, so I'll probably do a few more before my self imposed mailing deadline next week.

* Late, but worth the wait. A colorful fun scarf for the Dulaan Project. I'm really down to the wire on this one - have to mail next week or I'll miss the July 1 deadline!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Veni. Vidi. Knitti.

Veni Vidi Knitti
Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
A must for every knitter! Just added to my store.

Inspiration struck yet again tonight, as I was knitting and chatting with my houseguest and my fiance. Who knew this would be so much fun?

Roaches and rats and gnats, oh my! (also known as "How to Gross Me Out at Work")

When people start sending out mass email about gnat infestations it's time for one of two things: A sense of humor or a hasty retreat.

A Sense of Humor:

* "Lord of the Flies"
* "It's gnat a problem for me."
* "No one likes puns, quit bugging us."
* "No need to get gnasty."

The building is invaded by Gnats
They’re jumping right out of the slats
You may think it’s funny
But it’s gnat.

Grossing Me Out (or A Hasty Retreat):

Discuss roaches, beetles or rats.


Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
It's day two of chaos at the office. Again, not a bad day, just a busy one.

The highlights:

* Sold my Ebay items. Shipped 'em off today!
* The boss's kids came in today. SO CUTE!
* Getting lots of tasks done and crossing them off my to do list.
* Yummy lunch.
* Shopping on the boss's credit cards.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
Just a feel good pic for a feel good day. Even though it's been INCREDIBLY busy today, I have gotten oodles done. Top that off with the boss taking me to lunch and class being cancelled tonight and you've got a winner of a day!

It's also a VERY small world. A co-worker started calling me Fluffy today - a name I haven't used since high school. Turns out she and her fiance had dinner with Light's mom and her boyfriend. So the secret is out. *ducks under the desk*

Sorry I haven't been more verbose, but I'll try to be tomorrow. Maybe even more knitting content!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

File this under "What the Fed-ex is wrong with America today."

I am not sure if I am more sickened by the inability of the federal government to execute a relief program, its Keystone Cops routine for detecting and eliminating fraud, or the disgusting nature of Americans who thought to profit in all of this. Anyone who stole from the FEMA relief funds should be forced to pay the money back THREEfold and to serve community service in cleaning up and rebuilding areas hit by devastation. Naked. In chains.

FEMA funds spent on divorce, sex change

WASHINGTON - The government doled out as much as $1.4 billion in bogus assistance to victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, getting hoodwinked to pay for season football tickets, a tropical vacation and even a divorce lawyer, congressional investigators have found.

Prison inmates, a supposed victim who used a New Orleans cemetery for a home address, and a person who spent 70 days at a Hawaiian hotel all were able to wrongly get taxpayer help, according to evidence that gives a new black eye to the nation's disaster relief agency.

Federal investigators even informed Congress that one man apparently used FEMA assistance money for a sex change operation.

Agents from the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, went undercover to expose the ease of receiving disaster expense checks from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The GAO concluded that as much as 16 percent of the billions of dollars in FEMA help to individuals after the two hurricanes was unwarranted.

To dramatize the problem, GAO provided lawmakers with a copy of a $2,358 U.S. Treasury check for rental assistance that an undercover agent got using a bogus address. The money was paid even after FEMA learned from its inspector that the undercover applicant did not live at the address.

FEMA said it has identified more than 1,500 cases of potential fraud after Katrina and Rita and has referred those cases to the Homeland Security inspector general. The agency said it has identified $16.8 million in improperly awarded disaster relief money and has started efforts to collect the money.

The GAO said it was 95 percent confident that improper and potentially fraudulent payments were much higher — between $600 million and $1.4 billion.

The investigative agency said it found people lodged in hotels often were paid twice, since FEMA gave them individual rental assistance and paid hotels directly. FEMA paid California hotels $8,000 to house one individual — the same person who received three rental assistance payments for both disasters.

In another instance, FEMA paid an individual $2,358 in rental assistance, while at the same time paying about $8,000 for the same person to stay 70 nights at more than $100 per night in a Hawaii hotel.

FEMA also could not establish that 750 debit cards worth $1.5 million even went to Katrina victims, the auditors said.

Among the items purchased with the cards:

-an all-inclusive, one-week Caribbean vacation in the Punta Cana resort in the Dominican Republic.
-five season tickets to New Orleans Saints professional football games.
-adult erotica products in Houston and "Girls Gone Wild" videos in Santa Monica, Calif.
-Dom Perignon champagne and other alcoholic beverages in San Antonio.
-a divorce lawyer's services in Houston.

FEMA paid millions of dollars to more than 1,000 registrants who used names and Social Security numbers belonging to state and federal prisoners for expedited housing assistance. The inmates were in Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and Florida.

FEMA made about $5.3 million in payments to registrants who provided a post office box as their damaged residence, including one who got $2,748 for listing an Alabama post office box as the damaged property.

To demonstrate how easy it was to hoodwink FEMA, the GAO told of an individual who used 13 different Social Security numbers — including the person's own — to receive $139,000 in payments on 13 separate registrations for aid. All the payments were sent to a single address.

The New Java Cocktail

Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
Coffee cuts risk of liver disease

DRINKING coffee after a night on the town might do more than help you sober up - it could also slash your risk of developing cirrhosis of the liver.

And the more you drink, the more it seems to help. A huge US study found that each cup of coffee consumed per day appeared to cut the risk of alcoholic cirrhosis by 22 per cent.

Guess it doesn't stunt your growth any more!

Summer Reading, Book 2

Deception Point
Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
I'd already read Angels & Demons and The DaVinci Code, but this one was definitely not a let down. Several civilian scientists race to prove a NASA discovery and simultaneously find some disproving evidence. They end up spending most of the book piecing together oceanic and meteoric science and running from the bad guys. Even though I'm not sure I believe this could happen, this book was a total page turner. Don't tell my boss, but I started reading it yesterday at work and finished it today!

I Swear

So this afternoon in the car WineGuy and I were discussing swear words. We also noted that there are many words that are not swear words, but sound as though they could be used as such. Since I know I have some parents of young ones reading here, I thought it my public duty to share:

1. Sacramento - Usage: "Oh Sacramento!" "Why the Sacramento did you do it that way?!?" As a substitution for the French "Sacre Bleu" (because anything that's Holy Blue HAS to be bad).

2. Fed-Ex - Usage: "Oh go Fed-ex yourself!" "So I was cut-off by the Fed-Ex-head." "What the Fed-Ex do you think you're doing." (Note: No Fed-Ex employees were harmed in the making of this obscenity.)

This Public Service Announcement brought to you by the letters F and U.


Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
Unfortunately, it was a bit shady where I was sitting, so you don't get to see this little guy in all his glory, but he was an amazing shade of blue.
This morning I took WineGuy over to the university to try and help him avoid being deported. So while he met with the school admins, I got to sit out on a bench, read my book (book review soon!) and watch the Bluejay.

Which reminds me, did I ever tell you about the time I had a dead pigeon in my locker? How's that for the mother of all non-sequiters...and what's worse? It actually happened. Ahh the middle school memories.

Monday, June 12, 2006

When blogging is like the answering machine.

Answering Machine
Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
Hey li'l sis -


Mama is worried.

Good news.

Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
The IBM quarterly dividends arrived today. I can finally afford to retire.

[insert sarcasm here]

[this space left intentionally blank]

Yeah ok. Maybe not.

Of course, as a wise man once said, "Thirty cents a share is better than a sharp stick in the eye."

Cool pic... now get out of the way bozo!

Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
Newsflash: This is why stupid people get killed in tropical storms.

Not to make light of tropical storm devastation, but what is this idiot doing down on the beach during a storm that is threatening a large part of Florida? Is he touched in the head? His umbrella ain't gonna save him from big bad Alberto.

The sheer number of people who are naturally selected right out of our race is astounding. I could write a blog on THAT alone.

The Monday Blues

It’s Monday again she groaned
Dreamed of weekend and loudly she moaned
Can’t we be out,
And running about?
Instead of chained to our desk and droned.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Knitting content ahead...

Still going...
Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
This weekend was nice and relaxing. Yesterday I just watched movies and knitted on this blanket. Today was laundry, time with the family, and more knitting on smaller objects. (This one is getting too big and heavy to carry!)

Now it's just time to buckle up and start another Monday. *sigh*

Does anyone else think this whole 5 days of working and 2 days of resting is horribly imbalanced?

P.S. No that's not yarn on either side of the blanket, under the bed or filling the box underneath the blanket. I'll deny it... I will!

Trees of Mystery

Trees of Mystery
Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
Lest you think I'm kidding, there is a park in Northern California (on the California-Oregon border) called "The Trees of Mystery".

And there at the entrance are the biggest Paul Bunyan and Babe the Big Blue Ox that you've ever seen.

And there are redwood trees, and trails and wood carvings.

And what's scarier? I have been to this "mysterious" park.

P.S. In one of the new big truck commercials, Paul steals the truck and puts his axe in the truck bed. And I thought, wow, I've actually been there. Yes, welcome to my dorkdom.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Japanese Chinese Inkstone

Chinese Inkstone
Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
When my grandmother passed away in 2000, my sister and I inherited a lifetime's supply of art supplies: knitting needles, yarn, knitting magazines, paint brushes, ink, canvases and many, many other things.

Recently we sorted through and kept the things that we cannot bear to part with, and are slowly finding good uses for the rest. My sister asked me last fall, when my parents were moving houses, to sell some of my grandmother's art supplies.

I normally don't post here for my own sales benefit, but if you're interested in Japanese or Chinese art supplies, visit my items at Ebay. Most of them are untouched and in their original packaging and may have even been purchased during her travels overseas.

Edited to add: Thanks to Shari, this is a Chinese inkstone. She read the paper!

Edited again to add: I've done a little researching and I've identified most of the supplies. The Suzuri (ink stone) is the stone used for grinding the ink (sumi), to which you add water, use a brush (fude) and paper (kami) to create Chinese and Japanese calligraphy. These are the four elements of first stationary. And the ink stone above has been sold to my friend's mother, who identified the paper above. It is a document certifying that the ink stone comes from a store in Beijing.

Oh the Flan! (Friday afternoon debauchery)

Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
What is flan?

Crème caramel or flan is a kind of rich custard dessert with a layer of soft caramel on top. Both names are of French origin. The dish has spread across Europe and the world, and is known as 'flan' in Spanish-speaking countries. In the United States, the dish is now best-known in a Latin American context, so is called flan; in Europe, it is generally known as crème caramel.

Other flan things:
  • Would you like to touch my flan?
  • You can't handle the flan.
  • "It's just caramel, not some demon from hell."
  • Me gusta el flan cubano.

Working Hard.

Working Hard
Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
Or hardly working. You decide.

Please notice:

Errant knitting.
Diet A&W Root Beer
Photo of little tyke (who is now 7 and looks nothing like that anymore)
Checking email on computer.

Not pictured/heard:

Tom Jones
Johnny Cash

The Rules of Chocolate

Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
  • If you’ve got melted chocolate all over your hands, you’re eating it too slowly. Chocolate covered raisins, cherries, orange slices & strawberries - all count as fruit, so eat as many as you want.
  • The problem: How to get 2 pounds of chocolate home from the shop in a hot car. The solution: Eat it in the car park. Diet tip: Eat a chocolate bar before each meal. It’ll take the edge off your appetite and you’ll eat less.
  • A nice box of chocolates can provide your total daily intake of calories in one place. Isn’t that handy? If you can’t eat all your chocolate, it will keep in the freezer.
  • But if you can’t eat all your chocolate, what’s wrong with you? If calories are an issue, store your chocolate on top of the fridge. Calories are afraid of heights, and they will jump out of the chocolate to protect themselves.
  • Money talks. Chocolate sings. Chocolate has many preservatives. Preservatives make you look younger.
  • If not for chocolate, there would be no need for control top tights. An entire garment industry would be devastated. Put “eat chocolate” at the top of your list of things to do today. That way, at least you’ll get one thing done.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Things that make me laugh.

Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.

"Free Reading"

Curiouser and Curiouser
Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
Back in elementary school, I used to love "free reading" afternoons. This was the part of the day where we were allowed to read for 20 minutes or a half an hour. We could read whatever book we chose, the only rule was that we had to be reading quietly.

This led to summers of going to the library, and reading as many books as we could so we could earn free pizza coupons and my sister and I could best each other in the numbers of books we had read.

These days, between work and graduate school reading, and a not entirely healthy addiction to the internet and the boob tube, I don't get to practice my "free reading" much. In the last month or so, I've decided to try to fix that.

So it was with much delight that I found the Kat with a K Summer Reading Program 2006. This is the perfect opportunity to set a reading goal, post some book reviews and maybe get a little prize out of it! I've pledged to read 6 books. Here's the first:

the curious incident of the dog in the night-time by mark haddon

I picked this book up during our camping trip and I have to say I got hooked. This is the story of an autistic boy (most probably Asperger's) who struggles with his daily life, the death of his mother, and the murder of a neighbor's dog. When he sets out to "solve the murder mystery" he ends up learning a lot more about himself and life.

This was a quick read, engaging and interesting. I don't know too much about autism, but this was also a really fascinating look into the mind of someone who doesn't function like you and I do. I would highly recommend this book.

I've got a bridge to sell you... and other unbelievable tales.

Wet car
Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
Speeding man was drying wet car

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Police confiscated the car and driver's license of a Dutchman caught speeding who said he only wanted to dry his car after he had washed it.

The 27-year-old was stopped in Amsterdam driving at 108 kph (68 mph), 50 kph over the speed limit, police said.

"Because he did not have his driver's license with him, his clean car was confiscated until he produces it," a police spokeswoman said.