Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Sounds of Silence

I'm going to be a wee bit absent in the next few weeks. It's not that I don't want to write, it's just that life over the next two weeks is going to be hectic to say the least. On the to-do lists:

WORK (and these are just the highlights)

* Yearly 2-day review program at work. My responsibilities: scheduling all rehearsals, gathering information for and designing/creating all the media materials (25+ page program and dvd)

* Gathering information for/writing two $1M proposals and budgets, and one $4M proposal and budget

* 1.5 day sponsor visit and review of current project

* Close out various reports/documents for fiscal year 07 (write a how-to manual for FY 08)

* Attend two professional development seminars on how to be a Project Manager

* A super top secret project that I can't talk about yet!

So forgive the sounds of silence. Reflect, talk amongst yourselves, and maybe there will be a few knitting pics if no witty conversation. See you when it's over!


Halloween Funny

Witch Parking Only. All violators will be TOAD.


Daily Trials and Tribulations

I just MIGHT have dressed as a cat today - all black, little cat ears and my floozy shoes. And wouldn't you know it, I ran into THAT gardener again. For the record - he didn't kiss me, only looked me up and down and said "NICE!" Oh lord, Halloween has started.


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Oh those news headlines!

"Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich is raising questions about President Bush's mental health."

With all due respect Mr. Kucinich, stupid is not a disease.


How they suck you in.

I recently placed a large order with Bath & Body Works for some yummy lotions and shower gels for Christmas and Channukah gifts (it involves a crafting project too!) When the order arrived it came with some sundry samples one of which was Frederic Fekkai's Gloss shampoo. WOWEE this stuff is amazing. It smells good and it makes my hair feel great. I just used the sample packet tonight and I'm still amazed at how nice and shiny my hair looks and how good it feels. So I thought I'd see what it would take to procure a bottle of the miracle stuff. This is how they suck you in.


Monday, October 29, 2007

A sick day is good for something.

That something is knitting. I present Jaywalkers Part Deux (with feet and without for Blenda):

The Specs

The Pattern: Grumperina's Jaywalkers - LOVE the pattern. Simple yet better than straight stockinette. And perfect for self striping yarn. Which brings me to...

The String: Lang Jawoll Sportweight Jacquard in colorway 0158. I love the colors in this yarn, but I must admit, I'm not so much of a fan of the self striping yarns. It was ok for this pattern, but I like to knit more in the way of lace and pattern. HOWEVER, it was perfect for a new technique I wanted to try. And we get to....

The Sticks: I used my Addi Laceweight 2, 40" for this one so that I could try out the Magic Loop: Two Socks on a Circular method. It was a little confusing and tangled at first, but I loved it and can't wait to do it again. Just have to remind myself that I'm doing two at once, so that's why it the progress is a bit slower!


Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Weeked Update

This weekend FLEW by. There certainly wasn't a lack of things to do.

Friday night started off with a bang as I got dismissed early from work and headed over to the LYS for Bad Girls Knitting Night: The Halloween Edition. We had wine, popcorn, candy and knitting! I worked on my Jaywalker socks on the magic loop (almost done) and the men's golf shirt I'm working on for the store (not even close to done). Other knitting this weekend included my first 8 squares for the San Diego Wild Fire project. I'm mailing them off first thing tomorrow morning to become blankets. (and starting on my second set of 8 for this week....)

Saturday morning (well ok noon!) I met up with some friends to celebrate my coworker's birthday. (Happy 29th again Miss J!) We had lunch at Canter's Deli and then headed over to the El Capitan theatre for Nightmare Before Christmas in 3-d. What a great afternoon!

Then I raced home to do a quick change and head off for an evening of fun. A while ago Blenda from Oz and I took some pole dancing classes. Well last night was a Pole-o-ween adventure. We dressed up and headed over to Harvelle's for some drinks and a little pole time. Then we boarded a party bus and headed out for to see some strip clubs and pole dancers. Around 11pm we went back to Harvelle's and partied with an awesome jazz and blues band. A few pics are attached here. Let's just say that this is the NOT safe for work costume.

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Friday, October 26, 2007

Squid with teeth.

I just don't know what to say. I told Knitmeister S, "now THAT is wrong." This my friends, might be a sign of the apocalypse. I'd hide under the bed if I were you.

Via BoingBoing.


What the KNIT is that?!?

A new addition to our collection on What the KNIT is that? I'm not sure whether I like the Brain Monster or not, but I do have a friend who seriously needs one.

Found here.

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

It smells like fish again.

The world has had an eerie glow this week. Even when the sun is shining and the day is bright, the sky is thick with haze and is eerily orange. The sidewalk, usually such a cool grey is almost a sepia tone.

Tonight when I left work, I smelled that old familiar smell, that cool, foggy, unmistakable sea salt and fish smell of the ocean. This isn't particularly surprising...I work less than a mile from the harbor and the beach. But it's the first time in a week that I've been able to smell it. And it makes me feel better... here's hoping it helps to end the fires.


Another good cause...

I didn't think I'd be pushing two causes in one week, but here goes nothin'!

While at knitting night last night, my friend C mentioned that there was a new Ravelry group I should join, the San Diego Fire 8" Squares Donations. This is a group that is collecting 8" squares to assemble together into blankets for the people who have lost their homes in the San Diego fires this past week. I immediately pulled out my superwash and started knitting and finished 1.5 squares last night. If you're interested in knitting for a good cause, ask me more!


Knit 1, Purl BOO!

There's been a bit of a Halloween frenzy around the office lately, primarily due to my friend Alicia and her professional interior decorating skills. I noticed a severe lack of decoration in my cubicle and announced yesterday that I didn't feel very loved. Well abracadabra today I got my own little ghost. Alicia, who knows how much I love and obsess over knitting, made me my own Knit One, Purl BOOOOOOOOO! ghost. Thanks Alicia!


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

More Knitsanity

Every year the month of November is NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month. The goal of NaNoWriMo is to write an entire 175-page novel (50,000 words) in only 30 days. Now knitters are always up for a good challenge, so they are starting NaNiSweMo - knit a 50,000 stitch sweater in a month. It just so happens that I have been eying a certain Mirepoix sweater and some Hempathy in the appropriate colors just MIGHT have wandered home with me last month. I'm especially pleased to be knitting THIS sweater THIS month because it coincides with a knit-a-long that my new friend from Scrine, Bakerina, and I agreed to. So bring it on!



So I pulled a bonehead move this weekend and left my cell phone charger plugged into the wall in San Jose. Of course I figured this out somewhere in the middle of the Grapevine (about 4.5 hours into my drive home) when I noticed my phone was going to be deader than a doornail soon and I needed the charger. Luckily my friend sent it to me right away and the USPS didn't lose it (they care you know!).

My phone died sometime yesterday, not only reminding me of the Hannukah Miracle, but also making me wonder what we did before cell phones. I have a land line at home, but I rarely use it, so my cell is my primary means of communication. For the past few days I've felt untethered, disconnected and slightly off. While I am a little saddened by this intense need for communication and a small device I lived completely without just a few short years ago, I am also thankful that we have come so far technologically so that I can keep in close contact with my friends and family over ever increasing distances.

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Living in a censored state.

I don't know about you, but this article made me angry...really angry. No matter what side of the climate debate you're on, the idea of the White House editing what experts have to say makes me feel like we're living in a censored state.

White House edits CDC climate testimony

WASHINGTON - The White House severely edited congressional testimony given Tuesday by the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the impact of climate change on health, removing specific scientific references to potential health risks, according to two sources familiar with the documents.

Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the Atlanta-based CDC, the government's premier disease monitoring agency, told a Senate hearing that climate change "is anticipated to have a broad range of impacts on the health of Americans."

But her prepared testimony was devoted almost entirely to the CDC's preparation, with few details on what effects climate change could have on the spread of disease. Only during questioning did she describe some specific diseases that likely would be affected, again without elaboration.

Her testimony before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee had much less information on health risks than a much longer draft version Gerberding submitted to the White House Office of Management and Budget for review in advance of her appearance.

"It was eviscerated," said a CDC official, familiar with both versions, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the review process.

The official said that while it is customary for testimony to be changed in a White House review, these changes were particularly "heavy-handed," with the document cut from its original 14 pages to four. It was six pages as presented to the Senate committee.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A cause to support.

I don't often ask for support on my blog, but this time it's super important so I'm going to make an exception.

Almost eight years ago now I lost my grandmother, the one who taught me how to knit, to Alzheimer's. Unfortunately, I actually lost her years before that as her mind grew foggy and her body gave up on her. Ultimately, she didn't recognize any of us - her grandchildren, her children, or her husband who sat by her side until the very end. The disease robbed her of many things: her passion, her art, her independence, and her dignity.

It was hard enough losing my grandmother, but sadly my mother now has to watch the same thing happen to one of her best friends. My mother's college roommate was diagnosed with Alzheimer's fairly recently, and already can no longer work and enjoy what was her normal life. Her children are just a year or two behind my sister and me, and I can't imagine facing the prospect of losing my own parents or having them not be able to recognize me.

My mother now works for the Alzheimer's Association which provides countless services to patients and their families and raises money to support research of the disease. Next Sunday, November 4, she is participating one of the Alzheimer's annual fundraisers, the Memory Walk. In the 6 years she has been with the organization she has never posted a web page or her personal stories asking for donations from family and friends. This year she has.

This isn't a personal problem. In fact, it's quickly becoming a universal problem. Ever 72 seconds someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer's and these numbers aren't going to go away. I know you all have causes you support and diseases you fight against, but if you would like to support another cause, the Alzheimer's Foundation is a good one.

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Current Events

There has to be a joke in here somewhere of biblical proportions: perhaps something about a burning Bush?

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Witty Post Title Here

Sadly, I seem to have lost my mojo this week. I got plenty done at work yesterday, and I'm progressing on several knitting projects, but my blogging mojo seems to have fled the country. While I wait for it to return I leave you with a Tuesday funny:


Monday, October 22, 2007

That Halloween Spirit

Gone are the days when I was super excited about costumes and candy and wandering the streets after dark. These days, Halloween is a day like any other - another work day (usually). This year I have a not-safe-for-work costume and a safe-for-work-costume. Normally I wear the same thing every year; a pair of purple googly antennae. Sadly I cannot find a picture of said antennae, which means I will have to create my own this year.

The NSFW costume is for a little excursion on Saturday night to some of the local gentleman's clubs to see pole dancers in action. There will probably not be many pictures of that night to stave off future blackmail incidents.

However, even if Halloween doesn't carry that same Bogey-man and sugar high spark that it once did, there are still some funny moments to be found. Like, oh I don't know, this one:


Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Trials of I-5

Whew! I just got home an hour and a half ago, and I've sifted through emails and blog feeds, uploaded my photos and put my feet up. So now it's time for a rollicking weekend update.

This was the weekend of Light's baby shower! On Friday, I hopped in the car and headed up to the Bay Area for a long weekend. Despite the trials of I-5 last week, the way was clear on my way up. I set off about 10am and arrived in San Jose sightly after 4:30. This is especially good considering the nap demons started tempting me before the Grapevine and I had to take an impromptu siesta somewhere around Bakersfield (rather than fall asleep on the road).

When I got to San Jose, I immediately scouted out the yarn store where my friend and I had agreed to meet. I have to say, I was very impressed by Communknitty. It was a beautiful space and stocked all sorts of great yarns, including Claudia's Hand Painteds, some of which just had to come home with me. The store was full of cozy couches, patterns and ideas and hot tea and coffee cake. The place was jumping even at 6pm because of the "Shop Hop Weekend" in the Bay Area which had a whopping 16 knitting stores participating. I can't wait to go back and find some of the others!

After a bit of yarn porn, we headed out to meet some friends for dinner and drinks. I had some yummy spinach dip and a berry cider which was amazing. We ate, and chatted and then headed back to my friend's house (where I was staying) and chilled some more. I got a little time to work on my newest pair of socks - two Jaywalkers at once on one circ. I got into bed about 1am and, sadly, couldn't sleep at all. I last looked at the clock at 7am and was woken at 8:23am by Wes, who had just finished running his half marathon in Kansas City in just under two and a half hours. I was so proud of him!

When I finally pried myself out of bed at 9 or so, I dressed and headed over the hill into Santa Cruz for breakfast with Light and another friend of hers from Seattle. We had a great brunch and wandered around downtown Santa Cruz before heading over to get pedicures! (Hey the momma-to-be wanted a pedicure and who was I to object?) The amusing part of the pedicure was when the three of us picked the exact same color (in 3 different bottles, without talking to each other). Unfortunately we had all worn shoes and socks (bad pedicure etiquette) so we stopped by Mervyn's to get shiny on-sale off-season flip-flops.

We killed a little more time and then headed back north to Dave & Buster's (think the adult version of Chuck E. Cheese) for the baby shower and SKEEBALL! We had some great food, played some fun games, and noshed on cake during presents. Then it was off to play Skeeball - the only thing that the momma wanted to do. At 10pm I headed home and collapsed on my friend's couch. The next thing I remember was him waking me up at 1am and telling me to go up to bed.

This morning was an excellent brunch at Hobee's (you HAVE to try the coffee cake) and then I got on the road. The drive home was just as long, plus the added excitement of the Los Angeles fires. The smoke was crazy - all hazy and black and orange. The sun everywhere was so orange it was almost red.

So now I'm home with my feet up and trying to relax a little before the Monday onslaught. Hope y'all had a good weekend!

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Thursday, October 18, 2007


My processing speeds seems to be down a bit lately. I experienced the following today and I am not sure what to make of any of them:

* Despite being told I have no leadership skills and am not qualified to be promoted, the Exec Director dropped my name several times today during the staff meeting - mostly praise for helping with our website redesign, bring BIG new business to the organization, and representing our interests on campus. This is simultaneously good for the self esteem (clearly I am having an impact) and yet another blow (actions speak louder than words, and so far there are no actions).

* My intended found his dream job today. It's a great opportunity and his eyes lit up as he told me about it. I'm so happy for him and I love him so much and want this for him with every fiber of my being. The job is in Omaha. I have no idea what I will do in Omaha.

* I am heading north this weekend to the Bay area. The primary purpose of this trip is to attend one of my best friend's baby shower. This is the first one of my friends to have a baby. I am ecstatic for her. I am also loving planning my wedding. I know that life is not a race, but I feel behind somehow. Not that I'm ready for children at this point in my life. While in the Bay area, I will also catch up with a group of friends with which I was very close in college and immediately thereafter, but haven't seen in two years.

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Digital R/evolution

I was pointed to Michael Wesch's Digital R/evolution video through a variety of connections (my mom's friend recognized K-state and passed it along to my mom since her future son-in-law [read:Wes] will be graduating from there in a few weeks). It is an interesting look at information: what we think it is and what its future is. Given how much of the world rests on digital information these days, the obvious question (or not so obvious) is what happens to traditional libraries? Enjoy.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Another pair down. These are the Friday Harbor Socks in Kashimiri Market Flowers. With feet and without (for Blenda!)


The political hits.. they just keep on coming.

Colbert Announces Presidential Pursuit

NEW YORK (AP) — Stephen Colbert has announced his candidacy for president on "The Colbert Report," tossing his satirical hat into the ring of an already crowded race.

"I shall seek the office of the president of the United States," Colbert said Tuesday on his Comedy Central show as red, white and blue balloons fell around him.

Colbert, 43, had recently satirized the coyness of would-be presidential candidates by refusing to disclose whether he would seek the country's highest office — a refusal that often came without any prompting.

Colbert said he planned to run in South Carolina, "and South Carolina alone." The state, one of the key early primaries, is also Colbert's native state. Earlier this week, South Carolina public television station ETV invited Colbert to announce his candidacy on its air.

Exactly how far the mock conservative pundit planned to stretch his impression of a presidential candidate wasn't clear. Colbert rarely breaks character on camera, including at his memorable speech at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner last year.


A friend and I have been debating this all morning and I'm curious to hear what you think. Our concern is whether or not Colbert's candidacy could potentially skew the primary results in some tangible way. For example, what if Colbert took votes that would have gone to Obama, and due to this Clinton wins the nomination? We have considered that Colbert is only targeting South Carolina right now, and that probably isn't a huge decision state, nonetheless, Colbert's candidacy could still skew the results. I think I've concluded that his running is somewhat irresponsible - what does it say about a nation that puts up a candidate as a joke? Don't get me wrong - Colbert is an extremely smart and savvy politico, and might even run the administration better than the current occupants of the White House, but if he doesn't intend to run seriously, then is it not irresponsible to get into a race already fraught with candidates? I think we are already headed for an election where the presidential nominees from each party are not going to have been selected by any majority. That's my two cents... what's yours?


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

You coulda knocked me over with a feather.

Cheney and Obama are distant cousins: Mrs. Cheney

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - There's no sign of a family reunion planned, but U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama are distant cousins.

So says the vice president's wife, Lynne Cheney, who said she discovered that her husband of 43 years is eighth cousins with the senator from Illinois.

Oh sweet jebus that's a good one. Isn't that an interesting turn of events? Obama better stay away from the Cheney reunions; he's liable to get shot.

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The feeble brain

I had this great idea for a post. And then I forgot it. The End.

No seriously, this is the 6th time this has happened to me today and I'm starting to feel old. I'm not even 30 yet, and already I can't remember what I want to say or do from one minute to the next. My life may be only a third over and I have no idea what is going on. So until the idea returns, this is all I've got. Nothing to see here... just keep moving along folks.

*wonders if her mind fell out under the couch last night*

P.S. Yes my brain strongly resembles whacked-out green broccoli with eyes.


Monday, October 15, 2007


I was watching the Colbert Report tonight when I heard a gentleman speak about The Washington Monthly College Guide. I was immediately intrigued. The article begins by articulating what the editors feel are the primary purposes of education:

The first question we asked was, what does America need from its universities? From this starting point, we came up with three central criteria: Universities should be engines of social mobility, they should produce the academic minds and scientific research that advance knowledge and drive economic growth, and they should inculcate and encourage an ethic of service.

The editors go on to make the distinction that they are not using metrics that the other college ranking systems use (like U.S. News and World Report). They are clearly measuring schools by different criteria and the results are surprising. With the exception of Cornell and U Penn, the list shows that the elite Ivy leagues don't measure up to these standards. The University of California system measures highly; due to its emphasis on obtaining students from all backgrounds and its impressive graduation rates. Both my alma mater, Washington University in St. Louis, and my graduate school, University of Southern California make the grade (at 19 and 28 respectively).

All in all it was a highly interesting and well researched article.




1. Dismal; bleak.
2. Boring; dull: dreary tasks.
3. Dark and depressing: black, bleak, blue, cheerless, dark, desolate, dismal, gloomy, glum, joyless, somber, tenebrific.
4. Arousing no interest or curiosity: boring, drear, dry, dull, humdrum, irksome, monotonous, stuffy, tedious, tiresome, uninteresting, weariful, wearisome, weary.

Into each life some rain must fall, Some days must be dark and dreary.

— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Today is a little dark and dreary. Mostly it's just gray and misty outside, but of course it is Monday and what could be darker? This is the kind of day that makes me want to go home, brew a nice cup of coffee or tea, and curl up on the couch with slippers, blankets, movies and some knitting. Sitting at my computer at work with my space heater on at my feet is a poor substitute. Which is not to say that I don't love this weather - I adore it and am excited that winter is coming to the land of room temperature year round. I just wish I were anywhere but here.

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Those dirty book stealers.

Great news! They're stealing our books!

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The Frankfurt Book Fair has an indicator to help publishers gauge public interest in the new offerings presented at the annual exhibition -- the unofficial "most stolen book" index.

Bild am Sonntag and Germany's ZDF television have come up with lists of titles most stolen from 15 leading German publishers' stands set up in the Frankfurt trade fair grounds.

"The most-stolen books are usually the most-sold later on," Claudia Hanssen of the Goldmann Verlag publishing house told Bild am Sonntag newspaper, which published a list of the 10 most stolen German-language books this year.

"They're the popular ones and are most likely to end up on the best-seller lists," Hanssen added.

The German translation of Nobel Peace prizewinner Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth," outlining the dangers of global warming, featured among the mainly German titles on the list.

More than 100,000 people attended the book fair, which ended Sunday. There were 7,448 exhibitions where publishers from 108 countries presented some 400,000 different books, videos and other products.


Sunday, October 14, 2007

And the star makes 12 14.

In another bout of finishitis, I put the last few rows on this star this weekend. I love this blanket, and love that I got to use yarns in it from my grandmother and my mother-in-law to be (yes she's de-stashing to me too!). The fact that the points look a little wavy is actually an accident a design element - I seem to have miscounted a little, but I like how it makes the star a little swirly.

This blanket also brings my year of charity blankets to a close. Apparently, I have a problem counting however. No one mentioned anything, but I appear to have gone beyond my goal of a blanket a month... there are FOURTEEN blankets in my Flickr photos. (that's what you get when you have two #3's and two #11's) I played a little bit with Flickr collage to get the picture below. I hope these 14 blankets find their way into homes and provide warmth and comfort to 14 little babes.

1. Charity Blanket #1, 2. Charity Blanket #2, 3. Charity Blanket #3, 4. "The Blues" - Charity Blanket #3, 5. Peppermint Charity Blanket #4, 6. Stitch Detail - Psychedelic Granny Square, 7. It's not easy being green., 8. Charity #9 - Charlie Brown, 9. Charity #8: Crazy Ripples, 10. Charity Blanket #7 - The Mighty Miter, 11. Charity Blanket #11 - Started July 4th!, 12. Charity Blanket #10 - Log Cabin, 13. Charity Blanket #11 - Starry Starry Night, 14. Charity Blanket #12 - Star!
Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

Now I just have to figure out what charity to knit for next!


Saturday, October 13, 2007

Tying up a few loose ends.

A little progress around here on the knitting front. First of all - I finally finished the mitered scarf! It looks beautiful, but sadly it took FOREVER to weave in the ends. As you can see it required a cup of coffee and a couple hours. The only other complaint that I have is that not all my miters are perfectly straight - I may just have to block it a bit more. I've also finished the first Friday Harbor sock. Tomorrow I'm aiming for a good chunk of the next sock and to finish the last in the year of baby blankets. Stay tuned for more updates. And now, the photos....


Friday, October 12, 2007

Friday Funny

Hoops and Yoyo say it's:

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Her mission was simple: each day Lulu* arrived at work, cranked her headset to top volume, and grooved to tunes for all eight hours; she would take home the gold at the chairdancing Olympics if it killed her.

*Names have been changed to protect the guilty.

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

An evening with Crazy Aunt Purl

Tonight I headed over to Barnes & Noble at the Grove to hear Laurie Perrie aka Crazy Aunt Purl. She recently wrote a little book (which I reviewed here) and she kicked off her book tour tonight. The place was packed, standing room only, and she did a short reading from the book and then a Q&A. It was a great evening!

P.S. I wore the Clapotis out today... other than being slightly long (I could give a friend half and still have enough for me!) it is beautiful.


The Waterworks

We had a little incident outside my office today. I could explain, but maybe I'll let the photos speak for themselves.

Or there's video here and another photo here.

The first two photos are mine, the third was taken by a coworker. The movie was shot with a commercial camera for one of our filming projects by my boss.