Thursday, August 31, 2006

A Singular Triangular Notion

Progress! I do think I should have begun with measurements however, as now I am faced with adding black triangles that will make the piece larger than the pillow, or doing a simple black border around the piece.

In other news, my new building is going to start offering yoga classes on Thursday nights at 8pm. How perfect is that? I can go in my yucky clothes and then walk back to my place and shower.

And finally, tomorrow at 1pm starts a fabulous holiday weekend. And I have lovely crafting plans. Hopefully I will have many finished objects to show by Monday.


Vocabulary Revisited:



1. a person, esp. a man, who solicits customers for a prostitute or a brothel, usually in return for a share of the earnings; pander; procurer.
2. a despicable person.
3. Australia and New Zealand. an informer; stool pigeon.

verb (used without object)

4. to act as a pimp.

verb (used with object)

5. to act as a pimp for.
6. to exploit.

Today this word is used for much more. Apparently it means to "sell" your friends.


"I pimped you to that girl over there. She's diggin' ya now."

"I was pimpin' you to that guy. He wants your number."

Or in the professional sense:

"I pimped you to my boss and he's interested in your resume."

Go figure.


The Wisdom of Our Forefathers

The trade of governing has always been monopolized by the most ignorant and the most rascally individuals of mankind.

-Thomas Paine, philosopher and writer (1737-1809)


Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Geometry Revisited

Geometry Revisited
Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
Well my second attempt at a log cabin-ish pattern seems to be working better. I worked on this little ditty today at work, and then tonight at knitting group! It will probably be a pillowcase for a big couch pillow, but who knows - I might turn it into a blanket.

In the background you can see my sketch and calculations. They really weren't that bad, and the work is paying off because I like the results a lot!


"If you can read you can knit."

This is what my grandmother told me repeatedly when I was learning to knit. (Coincidentally she said the same thing about cooking. Cooking didn't seem to take on me.)

So it was with horror that I started a cute little fancy free project today and found myself awash in drawings of triangles with squares and square roots and stitches galore. I've also listened to knitting master Eunny extol the triumph of perfectly mathematically figured stripes.

If I had known there was math involved, I might not have signed up for this.


Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Do they teach Trojans how to use Trojans?

Forgive me for maligning the good name of my university, but I couldn't pass this up.

Matt Leinart to be a Father

People Magazine is reporting that former USC quarterback Matt Leinart is going to be father.

The Heisman Trophy winner, who is now an Arizona Cardinals quarterback, and former girlfriend, USC women's basketball player Brynn Cameron, are reportedly expecting a baby boy in November.

Late today, USC announced that 20-year old Cameron, will sit out this upcoming basketball season. She is a junior and reportedly plans to return to school and the team next year.

On the bright side, Daddy is a famous quarterback.

Labels: ,

From the Annals of The Daily Show

If you build a better mousetrap, terrorists will build a better mouse.



Queuing Hell

An open letter to any company that puts you on hold:

Waiting on hold with elevator music sucks.

Waiting on hold with elevator music while being told "Your call is important to us" sucks worse. Obviously I'm not important to you, because if I was important to you, you would pick up the phone rather than letting me chill out for an eternity.

Waiting on hold with elevator music, being important to you, and waiting for "my call to be answered in the order it was received" sucks even worse. You can't invest in some simple technology to tell me where I am in the line or how long you anticipate my eternity to be? Simple queuing studies show that people feel better served when they know how long they're going to wait. Of course that gets back to the last point, obviously the fact that I don't feel well served doesn't really matter to you.

Don't thank me for waiting. What choice do I have when my cable is out/you show my student account as delinquent when it's not/I need something serviced in my apartment? Again, cut the bullshit and help me.

And finally, don't tell me you're going to give me all the attention and care I deserve. What I deserve is a live human being to give me an answer to my problem. A simple "oops the cable went out in your area today" or "ooops we f'ed up your student account but we'll fix it and remove the late charges" will make me incomparably happy.

Thanks for nothing,
the little devil

P.S. Next up... you friggin telemarketers. I said put me on the damn Do Not Call list. That doesn't mean call back the next day.


Tools of the trade.

Now I have definitely been stuck in situations when I've had to stop knitting because it is too dark. Normally this occurs during long car trips late at night. Occasionally I have pondered taking knitting to the movie theatre, but have abandonded it for lack of light.

As always, someone has come up with a solution for this: NeedleLite Knitting Needles.

Now I'm not sure which makes me a bigger dork: if I use these in public, or that I'm not sure I could bring myself to be seen in public with them.

Monday, August 28, 2006

And they call this science...

Bad Things Come of Small Packages

George Costanza warned us about the cold causing shrinkage. Recently a team of scientists has found that the size of polar bear genitals is on the wane. The researchers worry that the dwindling members could hinder the bears' already meager reproduction rate and endanger the species. The scientists examined the preserved genitalia of 55 male and 44 female east Greenland polar bears collected between 1999 and 2002. They found that males with higher levels of organohalogens, pollutantsthat the bears ingest when eating seal blubber and that can act like hormones, had smaller testicles and bacula (or penis bones). Ovary size and weight also decreased with higher levels of these pollutants. In case you were wondering, the average polar bear testicles measured were three inches across, and the average penis bone was almost seven inches long.

This amazing knowledge courtesy of


Next stop: Taking over the world!

FINALLY someone can give Bill Gates a run for his money!!!

Google releasing package for the office

NEW YORK - Gmail is headed for the office — officially.

Starting Monday, Google will offer Google Apps for Your Domain, a free package of programs for businesses, universities and other organizations.

Workers will be able to send e-mail with Gmail, Google's two-year-old Web-based mail service, but messages will carry their company's domain name. The package also includes Google's online calendar, instant-messaging service, and Page Creator, a Web page builder.

Information technology administrators can make some customizations. "But really, the applications are exactly what you'd experience as a consumer if you use them," said Dave Girouard, VP and general manager of Google Enterprise, a division of Google Inc.

The free edition of Apps for Your Domain is, like Google's main site, supported with ads. By the end of the year, the company also plans to launch a paid version that will offer more storage, some degree of support, and likely, no ads. A price for this edition hasn't been set.

Providing e-mail and other applications for businesses moves Google closer into what has traditionally been turf occupied by Microsoft Corp. Earlier this year, Google released a program that builds simple Excel-type spreadsheets but lets users access them on the Web.

Now, with e-mail, Google appears to be targeting Microsoft's Outlook and Exchange franchises — although the company plays down any such views.

For all of Google's side projects — spreadsheets, shopping, maps — its revenue is almost entirely based on its search advertising.

For businesses, Google hopes the suite of applications will relieve some of the cost and annoyance of administering e-mail servers and the like — and hopefully, fewer calls to internal help centers.


Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Emmys, The Cable Guy and Email from Osama

My Life
Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
A relaxing weekend in my new home with everything I need at my fingertips.

1. My computer and its lovely internet. Despite receiving an email from Osama Bin Laden this weekend (not the smartest move if you're trying to hide!) I enjoyed some email, some reading of blogs, and a few crossword and sudoku puzzles... not that I'm addicted or anything.

2. My couch. Same old couch with a brand new slipcover. She's wonderful to nap upon.

3. One of many pillows to guide me to the aforementioned nap.

4. Blankets a many in my favorite colors to keep me warm whilst I watch tv or sleep.

5. Current knitting project. Almost a finished object...stay tuned for a better pic soon!

6. Diet Coke. This one was actually a Black Cherry Vanilla one and I have to say, I'm enjoying it. Two thumbs (or knitting needles?) up.

7. My collection of remotes. I acquired DirecTV DVR this weekend, no thanks to the cable guy who was supposed to show up between 12 and 4pm and actually showed up at 10 minutes to 6. However, I now have DVR before the Fall season starts which my tv-addicted grad-student ass is loving. Also watched a few DVDs. Of note: Kingdom of Heaven was quite good.

7a. Stuffed bunny keeping me company.

8. My bookshelf filled with good books to read. A new book report will be coming soon!

Not pictured:

* Patio door open, allowing wonderful breezes to circulate.

* Souvenirs from the local yarn store. I was a good girl and just explored today. But I shall return Wednesday for knitting group and probably a bit of yarnage.


Saturday, August 26, 2006

As Eddie Izzard would say... we're covered in BEES!

Grisham would be happy with his entomology studies...

Giant nests perplex experts

MOBILE -- To the bafflement of insect experts, gigantic yellow jacket nests have started turning up in old barns, unoccupied houses, cars and underground cavities across the southern two-thirds of Alabama.

Specialists say it could be the result of a mild winter and drought conditions, or multiple queens forcing worker yellow jackets to enlarge their quarters so the queens will be in separate areas. But experts haven't determined exactly what's behind the surprisingly large nests.

Auburn University entomologists, who say they've never seen the nests so large, have been fielding calls about the huge nests from property owners from Dothan up to Sylacauga and over into west-central Alabama's Black Belt.

At one site in Barbour County, the nest was as large as a Volkswagen Beetle, said Andy McLean, an Orkin pesticide service manager in Dothan who helped remove it from an abandoned barn about a month ago.

Entomologist Dr. Charles Ray at the Alabama Cooperative Extension System in Auburn said he's aware of about 16 of what he described as "super-sized" nests in south Alabama.

Ray said he's seen 10 of them and cautioned people about going near them because of the yellow jacket's painful sting.

The largest nest Ray has inspected this year filled the interior of a weathered 1955 Chevrolet parked in a rural Elmore County barn. That nest was about the size of a tire in the rear floor seven weeks ago, but quickly spread to fill the entire vehicle, the property owner, Harry Coker, said. Four satellite nests around it have gotten into the eaves of the barn, about 300 yards from his home.

In previous years, a yellow jacket nest was no larger than a basketball, Ray said. It would contain about 3,000 workers and one queen. These gigantic nests may have as many as 100,000 workers and multiple queens.


Friday, August 25, 2006

LYS (Local Yarn Store)

So I guess I've been a little sheltered in my yarn buying. Up until recently I shopped mostly in acrylics at Michael's. I've made some beautiful, durable items over the years in acrylics. But lately, as I've gotten more into knitting and knitting blogs, I've been jealous of people who have luscious local yarn stores that offer classes, knitting groups and amazing fibers. Why I didn't think to just look around LA, I don't know.

Last night, quite by accident, I discovered that there is a cool LYS right near me. Even though I'm not supposed to shop right now, I'm going to stop by this weekend and check it out. I can buy good stuff on Ebay, but there's something about feeling and seeing the true colors of a great fiber that makes me want to find my own local knitting haven. I can't wait!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Shakey Bakey

A micro earthquake occurred at 4:26:15 PM (PDT) on Thursday, August 24, 2006.

The magnitude 2.4 event occurred 3 km (2 miles) ENE (74 degrees) of Los Angeles Airport, CA.

How do you moo?

Cows 'moo' with an accent, farmers believe

LONDON (Reuters) - Cows have regional accents, a group of British farmers claims, and phonetics experts say the idea is not as far-fetched as it sounds.

Lloyd Green, from southwest England, was one of a group of farmers who first noticed the phenomenon.

"I spend a lot of time with my Friesians and they definitely 'moo' with a Somerset drawl," he said, referring to the breed of dairy cow he owns.

"I've spoken to the other farmers in the West Country group and they have noticed a similar development in their own herds.

"I think it works the same as with dogs - the closer a farmer's bond is with his animals, the easier it is for them to pick up his accent."

Dom Lane, spokesman for a group called the West Country Farmhouse Cheesemakers to which Green belongs, said it contacted John Wells, Professor of Phonetics at University College London, who said that a similar phenomenon had been found in birds.

"You find distinct chirping accents in the same species around the country. This could also be true of cows," Wells said on the group's Web site (

He added that more scientific research was needed to prove what was just an anecdotal theory at this stage.

Summer Reading Program - Continued.

Alas, I haven't been reading as much in the last month or two as I would like. Life has simply gotten in the way. But as school has now started, I seem to find some free time to read (go figure... I don't get it either).

A Thousand Days in Venice by Marlena De Blasi

This was an enthralling read about an American travel journalist and chef extraordinaire, as well as a true Renaissance woman, who by chance meets a man in Venice and marries him. The book then chronicles their first 3 years together, or their thousand days in Venice. The book is an amazing read for the senses: the vivid imagery, the endless food and wine, and the Venetian history, architecture and art. A true escape from the daily grind, and a book that could be beautiful fiction, heightened even more because it is nonfiction.

A Dwarf Named Pluto

Astronomers say Pluto is not a planet

PRAGUE, Czech Republic - Leading astronomers declared Thursday that Pluto is no longer a planet under historic new guidelines that downsize the solar system from nine planets to eight.

After a tumultuous week of clashing over the essence of the cosmos, the International Astronomical Union stripped Pluto of the planetary status it has held since its discovery in 1930. The new definition of what is — and isn't — a planet fills a centuries-old black hole for scientists who have labored since Copernicus without one.

For now, membership will be restricted to the eight "classical" planets in the solar system: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

Much-maligned Pluto doesn't make the grade under the new rules for a planet: "a celestial body that is in orbit around the sun, has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a ... nearly round shape, and has cleared the neighborhood around its orbit."

Pluto is automatically disqualified because its oblong orbit overlaps with Neptune's.

Instead, it will be reclassified in a new category of "dwarf planets," similar to what long have been termed "minor planets." The definition also lays out a third class of lesser objects that orbit the sun — "small solar system bodies," a term that will apply to numerous asteroids, comets and other natural satellites.

How to tell if you're driving too fast.

It's about damn time.

I can respect everyone's religious beliefs, but when Tom Cruise starts telling me that he knows psychiatry and that depression is a figment of my imagination, I just want to deck him. I also have trouble watching him in anything now, having seen his personal side. Do you ever see someone's "true colors" and it forever changes the way you see him?

An Ugly, Public Split for Cruise and Paramount

All Things Considered, August 23, 2006 · Paramount Studios has severed its 14-year relationship with superstar actor Tom Cruise -- and Sumner Redstone, chairman of the studio's parent company Viacom, says Cruise's recent public behavior is one of the reasons.

Cruise reportedly has earned Paramount upwards of $1 billion over the course of their relationship, but lately his box-office returns are down. His last blockbuster-to-be, Mission Impossible III, earned about $133 million at the domestic box office -- an amount far below expectations.

Some Hollywood pundits have blamed his devotion to the religion of Scientology and his strident opposition to psychiatry and the use of psychiatric drugs.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

And the stupid keeps on coming...

Robber mistakes town hall for a bank

VIENNA (Reuters) - A would-be robber was arrested after he tried to hold up his local town hall, mistaking it for a bank, Austrian police said Wednesday.

Wearing a mask and waving a toy pistol, the unemployed man burst into the town hall in the village of Poggersdorf, southern Austria, and shouted: "Hold-up, hold-up!"

The building has a sign signaling there is a cash point on the outside wall, police said.

He realized his mistake when an employee explained to him where he was, police said in a statement, adding he fled to a nearby wood.

The 34-year-old man was arrested when he came back later to pick up his motorbike which he had parked outside the town hall.

The Trials and Tribulations of Knittin' Kittens

Knittin' kitten
Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
She pondered and searched inspirations

Her needles and yarn stashed in bins

She knitted and stitched

And occasionally bitched

Ah, the trials of knittin' some kittens.

Kitty Butt
Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
I'm not entirely happy with the way the face came out, but the body and the back end make me giggle each time I see it. Hopefully the girl who loves kittens will love this one until she gets some real ones of her own.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Snakes on a... oh WHATEVER.

People are stupid. Case in point:

eBayer Selling Snakes On A Plane Toast

An enterprising eBayer from Florida is offering a piece of toast with the “Snakes On A Plane” movie logo burned into one side.

The listing boasts “whether you are a novice toast collector or a serious toast connoisseur with several hundred slices of toast in your collection, this slice of toast will surely be the highlight of any collection.” And with the holidays right around the corner, this toast will also make the perfect gift.

Bidding on the auction started at 5 cents and is currently at $75 with 8 days to go.

Just goes to show if you can come up with a clever product idea based on a ‘buzz’ topic, you can sell it on eBay.

I find this even more amusing because this logo totally looks like this one. Steal much anyone?

Super Top Secret Student (000)007

Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
The summer, she is over. She has sailed off into the sunset.

I was talking to Wes yesterday remembering when I was a kid. The nervous anticipation (dare I call it excitement?) of the first day of school. New clothes, new school supplies, new grade, new teacher, new possibilities.

Not feeling that anymore. Nope, not at all.

School started last night. It wasn't too bad - the professor and the class look interesting. We're going to be studying "Global Issues in a Digitally Networked Industry" and the capstone project will be a consulting project with a real client (the likes of AT&T, Disney, Verisign or others).

Still though, it's back to reading, telecons, papers and finals.

P.S. The title comes from the number on my brand spankin' new parking permit. If it hadn't costed me an arm and a leg, I'd be more amused. :)

Monday, August 21, 2006

Shameless Plug: Why I Use Flickr

Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
Because uploading photos with Blogger crashes my browser every time, and I can only write so many witty posts before I don't have any wit left in me.

More tomorrow when I recover.


The thing I love most after Wes is sleeping in. There is nothing more glorious to me than curling up in bed and sleeping in on a weekend. Especially if it is followed by a structure-free day in which there is much knitting and watching tv and reading.

This weekend was just what the doctor ordered. I had a little housewarming shindig on Friday and then got to sleep most of the weekend. With moving, travelling, finals and school starting tonight I needed a weekend to just stay in my pjs and relax.

It is interesting to note, however, that I've been sleeping horribly for this past week. Apparently, both Wes and I are re-learning to sleep by ourselves and it's resulting in a lot of tossing and turning at night.

Here's to a time where we won't have to get used to sleeping apart.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Bunny No. 2

Bunny No. 2
Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
Today I finished Bunny No. 2. This lavendar cutie is destined for sale at my Etsy shop. Hopefully he'll be sold to someone who will give him lots of love and a good home.

Friday, August 18, 2006

His Dark Materials

I must admit, I just never got into Harry Potter. Sure I can enjoy the movies, but I just have never been able to get into reading the books. The series that has far and away captured my attention is His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman. So I was SUPER excited to see this:

Daniel Craig joins The Golden Compass cast

Daniel Craig has become the latest high-profile actor to join the cast of the first instalment of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, The Golden Compass.

Rumours had speculated that The Da Vinci Code's Paul Bettany was going to take on the role of mysterious adventurer Lord Asriel, however, New Line Production has announced that Craig, who is due to hit cinema screens as the latest James Bond, will play him.

Other A-listers signed up to the project include Nicole Kidman, who will star as the glamorous villain Mrs Coulter.

Rising star Dakota Blue Richards has already been cast as Lord Asriel's ward Lyra, a young girl who discovers that she is at the centre of a horrible conspiracy and must travel to the far north to save her best friend and other children from experiments being carried out by a mysterious organisation.

On her journey she encounters shape-shifting creatures, witches and other bizarre characters. Mrs Coulter, a sinister scholar and socialite, is mysteriously linked to Lyra.

The Golden Compass is expected to be in cinemas from November next year. Busy Craig will shoot the movie before making the 22nd Bond film.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Letter to the LA Times

To Whom it May Concern:

I am writing to express my dismay that KZLA 93.9 FM has been reprogrammed from America's Most Listened To Country Station to Movin 93.9. I simply don't understand why a city as large and diverse as Los Angeles is unable to support its one country station.

It is a sad commentary that a city that prides itself on its unique spirit has suddenly elected to start a radio station that plays what any number of other stations play. And I am even less pleased that they are bringing back Radio DJ Rick Dees - prank phone calls and crude jokes are not a replacement for a station that embraced charity, family and random acts of kindness.

This is one listener that's going to be "Movin'" on.

Buck up Cowboys and Girls

I thought something was amiss this morning on my commute, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it. I figured it out on the way home, and googled it tonight.

KZLA 93.9 FM is dumping its country music format

The Southland on Thursday lost its only country radio station, long-running KZLA-FM (93.9), which introduced a new pop format known as Movin 93.9, where veteran radio personality Rick Dees is poised to return to the local airwaves as the station's morning host.

A date has not been set for Dees' debut at the new station, which will replace the twangy hits of Toby Keith, Shania Twain and Tim McGraw with dance-ready music of Beyoncé, Gwen Stefani, Gnarls Barkley and other R&B-minded performers. Dees left his longtime stint as morning-drive host on KIIS-FM (102.7) in 2004 and was replaced by Ryan Seacrest, who continues in that post.

Movin 93.9 is owned by Indiana-based Emmis Communications, whose holdings also include KPWR-FM (105.9), a.k.a. Power 106.

KZLA had long been one of the nation's top country stations, and billed itself as "America's most listened-to country station." But its ratings had steadily slipped in recent years, dipping from a 2.9% audience share five years ago, which placed it at No. 11 in the L.A.-Orange County ratings, to a 1.7% share in the most recent survey, tying it with KLSX-FM (97.1) at No. 20.

"It's definitely going to leave a big hole in the national country music radio landscape," said Wade Jessen, director of Nashville-based charts for Billboard magazine and country editor for Radio & Records, which Billboard recently acquired. "L.A. is such an important market. The business leaders here in Nashville are not going to see that as any sort of good news, and for good reason."

Giving you the 411 on the sitch...

Finally an answer to those annoying cell charges for calling information (you know, you call when you're lost and don't have an internet connection or yellow pages handy). Check out Free 411. Simply dial 1-800-FREE-411 (1-800-373-3411) and you'll never be charged a cent. You'll hear a brief pause and a short ad (less than 15 seconds) and you're out of those nasty charges.

Grumpy McSpampants

AKA When the shit hits the spam.

It's not going to work I mind, it's really the people.

Check out the shit hitting the fan for one irate customer.

PS My friend is the one who discovered this when he checked the company voicemail this morning.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Thank goodness for breast implants.

Breast implants save woman's life?

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - An Israeli woman's breast implants saved her life when she was wounded in a Hizbollah rocket attack during Israel's war with the Lebanese group, a hospital spokesman said Tuesday.

Doctors found shrapnel embedded in the silicone implants, just inches from the 24-year-old's heart.

"She was saved from death," said a spokesman for Nahariya Hospital in northern Israel. The woman has been released from hospital.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

I spy a Lavendar Bunny Pie!

Lavendar Bunny
Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
This week, despite having oodles to unpack and clean, I have broken my knitting rules (big projects like blankets to be worked on at home, small projects like socks and bunnies to be worked on when away from home) and started another bunny.

I'm pleased to say that I'm honing my technique here, and it seems to be coming together faster than my first one. This is going to be a the innaugural item I post for sale at Etsy. I'll post a link to my store and a finished pic soon!

15 Websites that Changed the World

This is according to The Observer. See if you agree!

1. Ebay

2. Wikipedia

3. Napster

4. YouTube

5. Blogger

6. FriendsReunited

7. The Drudge Report

8. MySpace


10. Slashdot


12. Craigslist

13. Google

14. Yahoo

15. EasyJet

Religious Experiences

I don't know about you, but the only thing I'm religious about is my internet. *cue the choir of angels*

Hallelujah we have liftoff at home.

You can now return to your regularly scheduled programming.

Hot Dog Alien

Yes, yes, it's true. Eating hot dogs will turn you into an alien.

Hot Dogs May Cause Genetic Mutations

Everyone knows hot dogs aren't exactly healthy for you, but in a new study chemists find they may contain DNA-mutating compounds that might boost one's risk for cancer.

Scientists note there is an up to 240-fold variation in levels of these chemicals across different brands.

"One could try and find out what the difference in manufacturing techniques are between the brands, and if it's decided these things are a hazard, one could change the manufacturing methods," researcher Sidney Mirvish, a chemist at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, told LiveScience.

Mirvish and his colleagues examined hot dogs because past research had linked them with colon cancer. Hot dogs are preserved with sodium nitrite, which can help form chemicals known as N-nitroso compounds, most of which cause cancer in lab animals.

Extracts from hot dogs bought from the supermarket, when mixed with nitrites, resulted in what appeared to be these DNA-mutating compounds. When added to Salmonella bacteria, hot dog extracts treated with nitrites doubled to quadrupled their normal DNA mutation levels. Triggering DNA mutations in the gut might boost the risk for colon cancer, the researchers explained.

"I won't say you shouldn't eat hot dogs," Mirvish said. Future research will feed hot dog meat to mice to see if they develop colon cancer or precancerous conditions, he explained.

James Hodges, president of the American Meat Institute Foundation in Washington, noted this study is "a preliminary report that the author concedes requires further investigation. The carcinogenic risk to humans of the compounds studied has not been determined."

The possible hazard presented here is not just limited to hot dogs. Salted dried fish and seasonings such as soy sauce may contain similar levels of these chemicals, Mirvish said.

Read more here.

Monday, August 14, 2006


Coffified: verb. The past tense of the verb Coffify which means to drop coffee on or in, Uses: "I just coffified my keyboard."

Sad but true. It was a gourmet flavored roast too. It will be missed.

I have moved. My internet has not.

Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
Please pardon my hiatus, but I think the title of the post says it all.

The boxes are in, most of the stuff has been put away and the end of unpacking and cleaning is in sight. The new place is glorious - plenty of natural light and open space. The DISHWASHER is a machine now, not a person like me. The fireplace will keep me toasty on cold days. Satellite was installed today and will be watchable tonight.

In other news, the fiance has departed as of this morning. I can't explain the sadness I felt as I watched his bike drive away from me, back to Kansas for the next 3 or 4 months. I miss him already.

School is out. I am free for the next 7 days. I plan to unpack, sleep and knit... all three voraciously. And maybe read a good book in between. And prepare for the big housewarming party I am throwing on Friday. *gulp*

Friday, August 11, 2006

Q-tips aren't for cleaning ears.

I'm absolutely flabbergasted. Who knew?

Flying Nude

I, my friends, like to pride myself as an excellent problem solver. And it just so happens that I have an idea to end all travel advisory/guidelines/TSA nonsense.

The answer my friends, is that we should all fly nude.

Before you pooh-pooh the idea. Think about it a bit. No clothes means no places to stash your knives, coins, belt buckles, keys, wallets and any other items that must be removed, surrendered, forfeited etc. Not wearing shoes means never having to remove them to walk through the metal detector.

Ewwww you say? Nude? Isn't that UNSANITARY? Why no, I tell you, not if we apply Sani-seat technology to this problem. Think about it - a touch of a button and a brand new plastic seat cover just for you. The future, my friends, is in plastics.

And what's more - we shouldn't be allowed carry-ons. Think about it! No carryons means no fighting for overhead compartment space, no getting whacked on the head by someone else's suitcase. No more announcements about exercising caution as contents may have shifted during flight.

AND think of all the money we will save. No clothes or suitcases means no more extensive screenings necessary. Just hold your boarding pass and your I.D. in your hand and get moving. No TSA agents to deal with. Think of the savings that could be passed on to your ultimate air fare.

The future my friends, she is here. The time for flying nude is now.

Just clowning around.

Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
Extra points if you caption this.

The real caption reads:

Lars Lottrup stands with only his leg protruding from a balloon Thursday Aug. 10, 2006 at the International Clown Festival in Copenhagen, Denmark. Clowns from a number of countries around the world have convened in Denmark for the festival.

More investigation yields:

Clown festival kicks off in Copenhagen, but who's laughing?

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) - Oversized shoes, white face paint and a red nose just don't cut it anymore.

Clowns gathering for an international festival in Denmark are turning to advanced tricks - like getting sucked into a giant balloon - to elicit laughs at a time when slapstick clownery is losing its appeal.

Dozens of clowns from Europe and beyond will show off their latest comedy acts at the International Clown Festival, held for the 11th year at the Bakken amusement north of Copenhagen.

The festival was founded by Danish clown Benny Schumann - grandson of Charlie Rivel, a legend among circus clowns.

"Some clowns still use acts from 100 years ago, but some clowns today have simplified the concept, hardly dressing up," said Schumann, 61. "The main point is creating a character who is funny."

Schumann's own act will be a tribute to composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and will include a classic act of juggling plates.

Other participants include the Jashgawronsky Brothers, posing as Armenians wearing fake beards and large eyewear as they make music from garden tools, and Acrobatic duo Okidok2 of Belgium.

Spain's Marta Sanchez Sevilla plays a trouble-prone opera singer who finds all sorts of peculiar objects in her bra. She believes good visuals are the key to being funny.

One of the main attractions will be Dane Lars Lottrup, whose trademark act is getting his head sucked into a giant balloon.

The clown festival starts Thursday in Copenhagen and lasts for 10 days. Two honorary awards will be handed out: "The World Artist and Clown Award" and "The Golden Nose."

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Happy Feet

Happy Feet
Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
These are my new socks... I've been calling them Laura's Lacy Socks in Citrus Sorbet. Yeah so I have a little alliteration problem. I'm putting together the pattern, which is a combination of a lace pattern I found and a sock pattern, both of which I modified to make my own. I'm pretty happy with the way they came out and can't wait to wear them tomorrow.

Stitch Detail
Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
Here's a closer look at the stitch detail and the splashes of orange and lemon color.

If you're interested in the pattern just let me know!

When Karma Bites You in the Ass.

US Stamp
Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
Around the office I am known as the Stamp Queen. This is because, inevitably in a postage crisis, I have stamps ready and available to steal/beg/borrow/purchase.

Today someone asked me how much stamps were these days. I don't even keep track any more. With the advent of the "first class" stamps, now you can purchase with a credit card and never really do the math.

Well she mocked me. Told me she was revoking my status as Stamp Queen.

Wouldn't you know it, two hours later she dropped a package in the mailbox and completely forgot to put ANY postage on it.

Karma's a bitch eh?

The best way to greet the morning.

Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
Beautiful day, wind and being outdoors, speed, hugging the one I love, quicker commute. Need I say more?

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

A Word A Day: Dehisce

Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
Garrison Keillor on vocabulary:

"Rhubarb is a vegetable, no matter what the government says: a member of the buckwheat family of herbaceous plants including buckwheat, dock and smartweed, which are characterized by having swollen joints, simple leaves, small petalless flowers and small, dry, indehiscent fruit.

Indehiscent means 'not dehiscent,' not opening at maturity to release the seed. So "indehiscent" means 'hard, dry, holding onto the seed,' which actually describes Norwegians quite well. Most Norwegians consider dehiscence to be indecent. They hold the seed in.

But rhubarb pie comes along in the spring, when we're half crazed from five months of winter -- it's the first fresh vegetable we get, and it makes us dehisce."

Carol Stocker; Rediscovering Rhubarb; Boston Globe; May 16, 1996.

Do you remember the Lip Smacker?

Dr. Pepper Lip Smacker
Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
I was reading an article in Real Simple magazine today and it referenced the 1973 invention of the Bonne Bell Lip Smacker. I used to LOVE these - especially the Dr. Pepper flavor. Who knew you could still get them online - for only $1.60 a tube?

Just because you CAN doesn't mean you SHOULD.

Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
Let's see, when the boy is ready for college...

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - An 88-year-old Indian farmer, who has never heard of Viagra, became the father of a baby boy and has sex daily and wants more kids, The Times of India reported Tuesday.

"I don't want to live to 100 but, as long as I live, I should be able to enjoy sex," Virmaram Jat, who lives in a village in the Barmer district in the western desert state of Rajasthan, was quoted in the newspaper as saying.

The prosperous farmer, with a flowing white beard and a weather-beaten face, says he takes long walks every day and has been drinking fresh camel milk since childhood.

The paper reported his latest wife -- his third -- is 45 years younger and delivered male twins last month, but only one boy survived.

But Jat celebrated the birth of the surviving son with a feast for villagers and said he will try for more children.

The octogenarian, who is a vegetarian and has never smoked cigarettes or drunk alcohol, is ready to share his knowledge with others.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

An Open Letter to Northwest Airlines (and the general public):

The Bride and Me
Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
Ahhhh Northwest Airlines. You tried to screw up my vacation and you very nearly succeeded. But you have been foiled again. And I believe I will have the last laugh when you go bankrupt due to your own incompetence.

Let me tell you the story of my travels, and how you hindered them in every way possible.

It all began last Friday, when my fiance and I set out to the midwest to attend my best friend's wedding reception. The weather was cooperating (for a change). We took off early evening from LAX and were immediate bombarded with bad smells. Like, oh I don't know, the dog you let on the plane behind us. This was a dog in serious need of a bath and a bag of breath mints. How come I have to pay for my peanuts (or trail mix, or carb-loaded snack box), but the mutt can sit behind me and stink to high heaven for free?

I would also like to offer the rotund African American gentleman you hired as part of your crew some advice. It is not necessary to wander up and down the aisles saying "Garbage, Garbage, Garbage, Garbage" or "Water, Water, Water, Water, Water" repeatedly. One simple announcement that he is coming through to collect the garbage or deliver water or whatnot would suffice.

Lacy Sock in Progress
Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
Once we landed, you were kind enough to keep us on the stuffy plane for 10 minutes after you dropped the stairs. Just a note - holding people in a cramped puddle jumper for 10-15 minutes for no apparent reason and with no air makes them cranky. Welcome to Iowa, my dear customers. (Apparently we are no longer passengers, we are CUSTOMERS.)

But even after all that drama, the weekend commenced and a good time was had by all. The reception was lovely, out in a park on a lake, with tons of good food and company. We also spent the night with the bride and groom and her family, eating pizza and chocolate cake, catching up on old times, watching them open presents, and enjoying the cool early morning thunderstorms that I so miss from when I lived in the Midwest.

But oh the fun you had in store for us on the way home....

We arrived at the airport midday Sunday to catch our puddle jumper back to Minneapolis and then our bigger flight home. I passed the time in both airports by kicking off a new project - lacy socks. Thanks in no small part to your wait times I got plenty done. Again - you tried to piss me off, but I trumped you. I got to knit!

Trouble started brewing close to 5pm, when our flight was scheduled to depart Minneapolis for home. You announced numerous gate changes, and then told us that our flight was overbooked by 7 and that you would need to bump us. You offered us in exchange 2 free tickets on Northwest, a night in a hotel, and some meal coupons. We were placated, and even hopeful at our good fortune.

However, the Days Inn in West Bloomington MN is not my idea of a good time. Picture a dilapidated hotel, just short of being rat infested, that smells like chlorine and 3 day old spaghetti. Oh and throw in a nasty shuttle driver who didn't pick us up for over an hour, and you've again proven that your amends were not worthy.

The Spam Museum
Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
Yes my dear Northwest, you tried to spoil the eve of my second year anniversary with my love by sticking us in a dump. However, we prevailed. We found a good meal, complete with liquor, and spent the evening cuddling and ignoring the squalor in which we were dwelling. And though we did not get a chance to go visit, we saw the Amazing But True Tales of the SPAM MUSEUM. Ahhh Minnesota had the best to offer us.

But then Northwest you showed your vast incompetence again. We arrived at the airport in the wee hours of Monday morning to catch our 7:45 flight only to be told that you cancelled our tickets because we had not checked in. Funny you should mention that since YOUR AGENT GAVE US BOARDING PASSES NOT 12 HOURS EARLIER. And then you tried to make up for it by seating us both in middle seats 20 rows apart. You really are the weakest link. Shame on you.

LA Fog
Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
And yet, when we finally returned home, we found a magical land of fog beneath us. My beloved Los Angeles welcomed us home.

You Northwest, you tried and you failed. I now know that I will never ride YOUR friendly skies again. And by the way - those "free" tickets that you gave us - those are a crock of shit. If you can't use them any time you want to fly (holidays, January, odd Thursdays) then they're pretty much worthless. Why don't you just greet us with a big shit-eating grin and tell us that you're going to screw us over from the outset. At least then we could respect you for your honesty.

Lacy Sock Model
Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
The only good thing I can say from this weekend is that you gave me oodles of time (while I was waiting to bend over for you) and I put that time to good use. I like to call these my "Northwest Airlines are Abominable Citrus Sorbet Socks". And the ones below are my fiance's beloved toe socks (or geisha socks).

But you Northwest, you'll never be getting any sock lovin'. You're just not worth my time.

Wes' Toe Socks
Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.