Monday, February 8, 2010

Mondays can, in fact, be productive

And this Monday is no exception.  Today, I have done many things.  I have made wontons.  I made lunch.  I did three loads (or was it four?  No.  Three.) of laundry.  One of them is still in the drier, but it still counts.  I finished six sets of stitch markers (though I haven't taken pictures of them, or the last few sets either).  I did a few more rows on Erin's Deep V vest.  I guess I didn't mention that I'd started that, did I?  Well, I have now.  Cascade 220 in heathered blue and green.  AND (and this is the amazing part) I actually had to go up a needle size to get gauge.  I know, crazy, hey? It was moderately exciting.  Anyways.  There are no pictures yet of the vest.  It's currently sitting in the corner of the couch, awaiting the next few rows.

So while I have something on the needles, I'm going to keep going in chronological order here.  Seems I did a whack of knitting for other people.  And I managed to do most of it with yarn that I did not buy myself.  Excellent.  After the pair of lace ribbon scarves, there were a pair of hats.

The hats were for an ex-coworker, Matt.  We got together for coffee after not having talked in at least a year, maybe 2.  Anyways, I had the Noro hat on, and he joked about how I was still always knitting.  I think at the time I was working on a hat from the Venezia chart, with the Noro leftovers.  I was at an amazing bright blue section in the Noro.  And so Matt asked if I would knit him a hat.  I jokingly told him that if he went and picked up the yarn, then I would knit a hat for him.  Unlined, unlike the last one, which would apparently do him well in Siberia.

I didn't think much of it until I got a text a few days later, asking where I'd gotten the blue yarn (I gave him a piece to take with, for colour comparison's sake) because Dressew didn't have anything like it.  After a quick laugh, because one should never start at Dressew when looking for good yarn, I sent him up to Three Bags.  The next day, I was informed that he had yarn for me.  And would I please knit a hat for his sister, too?  I acquiesced, and picked up the yarn.  One skein of Malabrigo Chunky in violet, and one skein of Sweet Georgia Tough Love Sock in Saltwater.

The Malabrigo was turned into a Dean Street Hat (rav link).  There are no pictures.  Not even on my camera.  I'm sorry.  The SweetGeorgia is now a Koolhaas.  There are 47 grams left.  Not quite enough to make another one :(  This is in fact an important fact, because despite my best intentions, the hat is too small.  So either it needs to come back from Australia, where it was sent to, or I need to obtain some more yarn.  The second option, as much of a pain as it is, is probably the way it's going to go.

But enough of me talking.  I may as well show you the pictures.

Apologies for the blurry.  I no longer have a tripod, because I gave it back to Makr.

koolhaas top
This is the top.  I love the way the decreases come together.

Also, I have to teach people that if they are getting me yarn for a specific purpose, and it comes in a skein, then they should get it wound into a ball.  Nevermind that it looks nicer in the skein.  100 grams of sock yarn is a LOT to wind by hand.  Even if it does look alright after winding...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Next in line

So it would appear as though I've already failed at regular blogging; my goal was to have one post every week, and clearly that hasn't happened.  However, I still have a backlog of projects to get through, so I think I'll keep trying anyways.  After the hat, there was in fact some Christmas knitting.  Despite the fact that I'd already decided I wasn't going to knit for anyone this year.  Because mom handed me a ball of yarn and said "this is my Christmas present.  Can you make me a lacy scarf?"  What's a girl to do when her mom asks for handknits?  And then hands over the yarn, to boot?  So then I spent a week trying to find a suitable lace pattern for a high-contrast hand-dyed yarn.  Something where the lace wouldn't be obscured by all the changing colours.  (For reference, this was Fibranatura's "Yummy" in Navajo)  I finally ended up with Lace Ribbon after much searching on Ravelry, and settled in to knit.  I think I memorized the lace pattern after 2 repeats....   Anyways, some time between two weeks and a month later, there was a lacy scarf, desperately in need of blocking.  And so block I did.

Mom's scarf
I'm thinking t-pins would be a good investment...

I used some leftover white broadcloth with a wool blanket (the first aid kind) under it to give me something to pin to.  It actually worked pretty well except for when the scarf grew longer than the blanket...  But the carpet had no complaints about being pinned into.

Mom's scarf
Apologies for the blurry; I was taking no-flash pictures inside.  Colours and pattern turned out well, though, hey?

In any case, I cast off mom's scarf on the bus on my way out to Richmond one day, and was then without a knitting project.  Very unfortunate.  So I stopped in at Wool and Wicker and picked up more yarn.  For another scarf, of course.  Same pattern, same size yarn, same size needles...  But this time it was Handmaiden Casbah.  In a sort of teal and blue variegated.  Topaz, I think.   In any case, I started a scarf for Puzzle.  Who I nearly always get something pink for, but decided against it this time.  Because nobody really needs a pink lacy scarf, and it clashes with more things than teal does :p

Alisha's scarf
I'm only sad that the "inside" YO's didn't open up more, because that would have been neat.  Sort of... bubbly.

Anyways, that was probably one of the fastest things I've ever knit.  I love fast knitting :)  It's also been blocked, but is still waiting to be gifted, because I fail at actually seeing people over the holidays... But it might come with me this weekend and go to its rightful owner.

Project notes for anyone still reading, and wanting the condensed version:
Pattern: Lace Ribbon (Knitty, spring 2008)
Yarn: Fibranatura Yummy in Navajo, approx 70 grams, and Handmaiden Casbah in Topaz, approx 70 grams
Needles: 3.5 mm
Notes: Fastest. Project. Ever.  The pattern is easy to memorize, and works up quickly.  I worked three repeats of the lace pattern (45 sts) instead of the 4 repeats dictated by the pattern because mom asked for a narrow scarf (it ended up being about 6.5 inches after blocking)  I really need to remember to swatch and block for lace things though because they grow so unpredictably...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A pretty little hat

And so begins the catch-up progress on the Great Backlog of projects since October.  It may or may not be a good thing; you decide :)

So after knitting the grey hat for Marksman, I decided I wanted a geometric hat of my own.  I'd looked through a bunch of the patterns in Mostly Mittens, and there were a large number that wouldn't work at a worsted-to-bulky gauge, like the grey hat, but that would be great knit in a finer gauge.  Say, fingering weight.  (If you think about it, this does make sense.  They are, after all, mitten patterns, and colourwork mittens at that.)  So I pulled out some of the sock yarn stash (because it is massive) and realized that I had a really nice ball of Noro Kureyon sock that I didn't really want to make socks with (would you?) and proceeded to procrastinate.  A few days later, armed with my printer/scanner, some scissors and some tape, I came to the conclusion that the pattern in the book wasn't a continuous repeat; there was no way for me to line up the chart as-printed so that I would have continuous patterning all the way around.  So I almost gave up.  Which would have been sad.  But then I remembered that I have a fabulous tool at my disposal for charting.  And it's not graph paper.  Graph paper is a great thing, but when you're working on a 36-stitch, 70-some odd row chart, it;s not going to happen.  Instead, I use a program called Pixen.  It's a bitmap graphics application (it's apparently excellent for sprite creation) but it comes in handy when I want to make colour charts, too, because I can display the pixel grid (and zoom as close as required).  Even if it always reminds me of the stamp tool in KidPix...  In any case, an hour or so later, armed with a now-complete-and-repeating chart, I cast on.  And ignored the chart for a few days.  I've now fallen in love with corrugated ribbing; I love the way that the colours pop against each other.  No matter that it's not as stretchy/clingy as plain ribbing.  It looks prettier.  After the ribbing was long enough, I started in on my chart.  And it worked beautifully.

mmm, Noro...
I love the way the colours change, all by themselves...

I need to find another ball or two of this Kureyon Sock colorway; I'm a child of the 80's and as such I am subject to rainbow-attraction. 

I love me some bright colours...  

I think the hardest part of the whole hat-making process was when I discovered that I wasn't going to use the entire chart; even in sock yarn, 70 rows is quite a lot.  I adjusted the chart on the fly, and finished it a few days later.  This was back in November, and it's quickly become my very favourite hat.  I'm smitten.  I even love the way the inside looks.

#20 on the insides
This is the inside.

I almost want to knit it in reverse now.

The way things go

It would seem as though I'm an absentee blogger; I don't remember the last time I actually checked up on blog traffic (because I like knowing if anybody comes to read this thing), and while it's not so much that I don't care, I haven't found the time to put into it.  Or something like that.  Marksman and I were talking about what we want to do or be last night, and this thing came up.  I was talking about how I think it would be kind of nice to actually use my etsy store, and post knitting and fiber-related things.  Or sell things directly from here (though it'd require a POS.) I have a stash of things for making pretty stitch markers, which I know is an overdeveloped market, but there are a few patterns kicking around on my computer, that I've never published.  There's also all of the fingerweaving stuff that's lain dormant, that I could probably turn into a micro tutorial for the blog, and expand more on in some kind of PDF document.  Those are all things I would love to do (because, well, I am still lacking in the full-time work dept) but I have to actually sit down and schedule them into my life.  And then remember to take pictures of them.  THat seems to be the hard part; I have a bunch of (finished) projects up on Ravelry right now with no pictures.  Because I just haven't gotten around to it, it seems.  Sort of unfortunate.  Anyways, what this may come to mean is that instead of posting 6 projects at once, whatever was done since the last post, I might end up posting things in bits and pieces.  Like, one project at a time sort of thing, so that the knitting and finishing times don't necessarily align with when it goes on the blog.  I'm not sure I like the concept (I'm definitely a fan of the real-time progress postings) but I might give it a shot, at least for now, while I am working on a few projects that may prove to be photo-worthy, but I'm not sure.  We'll see how it goes.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cold and Miserable (but only outside)

Ok, so it's well and truly Fall now. It's been raining on and off for the last two weeks, and the temperature has dropped below 10°C more than a few times. It's time to crank up the needles and knit warm woollies, obviously. If you really want to know about the canoe adventure, leave a comment and I will write it up, but seeing as nobody asked, I'll leave it be. I've got a written record at home of it anyways... Besides, the blog is due for some actual knitting content, so I might as well get on with it. First there's a pair of socks.

noah's ark/the ants go marching

They're either the Noah's Ark or The Ants Go Marching socks. Because all 8 inches of the leg is 2x2 ribbing. I couldn't get away with the cables on the Crossovers, so I decided to suck it up and just do a ton of 2x2 rib in hopes that it would accommodate Marksman's skinny ankles. They were both knit at the same time on a 1.5mm or 1.75mm addi turbo lace needle. I actually like the method, though I'm not sure when the next time I will use it is; I like the striping on my socks to go in the same direction on both socks, and this pair is inverted. Perhaps when I have two balls of yarn instead of one. In any case, they have been secret knitting since I started, and they were supposed to be "discovered" in the sock drawer unawares, but the day I finished them he was out of socks, so I handed them over. He likes them and they fit, so I should be off the "please can I have some socks" hook for a bit. The yarn came from the sale bin at Steveston Crafts and More, so I'm not entirely sure what it is, having lost the ballband ages ago.

Next, there are some tiny aliens.


I discovered them on Ravelry, and I love them dearly. Each takes about 40 minutes from start to finish and the pattern is super simple. They're all made of scrap worsted I have sitting about, some wool, some acrylic. I'm debating making more and turning them into christmas ornaments...

I've also got a new pair of Jaywalkers in progress, in Lana Grossa MegaBoots Stretch.


So far, so good, except that the colours didn't land where I wanted them to. Oh well. Better luck on the next sock, perhaps. These were actually started ages ago, but I ripped and restarted earlier in October because my pattern mods weren't working how I had originally planned.

Then, there are the as-yet unfelted Fiber Trends Felted Clogs, made from Patons Classic Merino in grey and teal.


I pretty much love this pattern. Other than the annoying counting part, it was super fun to knit, and I love how the sole becomes the sole; it's quite ingenious really. I made the womens' large, because when I started the medium it was coming out far smaller than I expected it to. So they still need a trip through the washer, which I will probably have to go and visit Jake and Susan for, because I don't want to do them in the washer at home, nor the laundromat.

I have two more, and then I think I've totally caught up on all the knitting. There's been no spinning lately, so I should be clear on that one anyways... In any case. There's a scarf which may or may not ever get finished, and a hat, which is complete and got worn for the first time today even though it was still a little damp from last night's blocking party.

The hat is for Marksman, because he lost his toque back in early February on the bus. I had started a new one for him, intending for it to be finished in time to go to Rovent. That didn't happen. The weather got warmer, and the toque imperative was lost. And then it started to get cold again... So I dug out the hat I had started, and determined I didn't like the way it was looking, and started a new one. I've got Charlene Schurch's Mostly Mittens from the library right now, and pulled a mitten chart I liked and turned it into a hat. I actually started with one, and then he tried it on and it was too small, so everything got ripped and restarted. (Those two words seem to be the theme for October's knitting, more on that later.) I ended up using pattern #26, after finding the repeat instead of just the mitten section.

#26 in progress#26 

The in-progress photo is more accurate for colour's sake... I forgot to change the white balance when I was taking pictures inside last night.

Two shades of grey might not seem like the best idea for a geometric patter but they worked out nicely. And it's subtle and manly enough that he likes it, which is the important part. I ended up using leftovers from a bunch of different things on this one. Dark grey from the felted clogs, light grey from a bunch of different things (Emily's mittens, Dad's gloves, and Tristan's jacket are all the same yarn) and the semi-solid grey Smooshy from Marksman's first socks. Now I want to knit myself a new hat, but colourful.

Last but not least, though definitely the oldest, is the Shifting Sands scarf.

That's going to need a good blocking before it's presentable...

I started this ages and ages ago, back in Australia, and it was far too wide the way it was. So I started it over again, because when we went to my grandparents' for Thanksgiving it ended up being a pretty cold evening, and Marksman asked very nicely if he could have a scarf. I jokingly told him I would teach him to knit and he could make his own, which might still happen, but this one is on the needles just in case. It's a "triple-knit" weight (chunky, I guess?) so I'm not using the pattern exactly as written, but the cable pattern is still the same. It's 8 inches wide and so far about 10 inches long, though of course that will change. Hopefully sooner as opposed to later. But that, friends, is all the knitting :)

Friday, August 28, 2009

More summer...

Pictures are coming soon, I hope. I'm having computer issues.

So I suppose I should pick up where I left off on that last post. I still have harvest and a death to talk about, that I mentioned earlier, but now there's another wedding, a long walk that wasn't walked, a canoe trip and new socks to add to the list. Let's work in chronological order again, shall we?

Officially, harvest comes first in the grand scheme of things, I think. I've now had a chance for the growing things on my patio to have become edible. There was been a bountiful harvest of lettuce and bok choi (the lettuce is done, but I really should harvest more bok choi before it all gets eaten by bugs) and the peppers have turned out to be orange ones, and not green like I thought. I still haven't picked any though. I'm waiting for the right time. Maybe later on this week. There's also been harvest of cherries (back in July) plus apples and figs at the Richmond house. Apples and figs were the most recent; they got picked (just a couple of each) when I was out there last week taking care of Resha. I'm out there again at the end of the month, so maybe I will do some more harvesting.

On that sort of bright note, I have some sad news to report. I learned at the end of July that Hippolyta and Oberon's mom lost her fight with breast cancer. I haven't really talked to the twins since highschool, but it made me sad. Susie was always an amazing person. But I guess sometimes the worst things in our lives are the ones that catalyze some of the best ones. By this I mean to say that the news of Susie's passing made me actually go out and do something instead of just thinking about it. See, for the past while (I would say about a month or so prior) Rafiki has been trying to get me (and Marksman, in a roundabout sort of way) interested in volunteering/crewing the Weekend to End Breast Cancer. And I kept saying "not this year, but maybe next. I'll think about it." But then the Breast Cancer beast reared its ugly head, and it made me want to be a part of the solution. So I waited about a week, and thought about things, and made sure I wasn't being completely rash, and then registered to crew the Vancouver Weekend. I may have left it a little late. I registered on Monday, and the Walk was the following weekend... But I didn't register Marksman until Tuesday :p I ended up on the Caboose team, the crew of cyclists that try to keep the organizers up to date on what's happening on the route. And then Wednesday rolled around, and the crew coach (the staff member in charge of the Crew; crew are all-weekend people, vs volunteers who mostly do partial-weekend stuff) sent out a note to the Caboose. Which was a "hi, welcome to the team" note, but also let us know that we didn't yet have a captain. Captains are handy people to have. They tend to be organized and stuff, and sort of know what's going on. So I waited until Thursday evening to volunteer. Because I had Friday off, having finished a building in excellent time. On Friday morning I call the office, and volunteer, and all is well. I do some running around, picking up a rack for the road bike (aka Shelly) that doesn't require any braze-on mounting points on my frame. Which means I'm stuck with a seatpost-mounted rack, that I have determined I don't really like at all. It wobbles too much when I have my panniers on it. In any case. Crew meeting that night, the captains all introduce themselves, all goes well. I meet up with the rest of my team, we figure out (mostly) what we're doing, and head on our merry way. I am the last captain to get to the t-shirt table. This is very unfortunate, because all that is left on the table by the time I get there is XL shirts. I am most definitely not an XL. So I put one of my shirts on anyways, and debate the sanity of turning it into a dress overnight, and then come up with a brilliant idea; I will turn it into a cycling unitard! Originally the plan was to do the quick and dirty version, with maybe three seams. I ended up doing a somewhat more tailored incarnation. Eventually, I might do it again with a plain shirt and write up a tutorial, for the fun and the fashion... (...just for the passion? 10 points if you can tell me what song that came from) And really, I know the point of the cycling uni is so you don't have a waist band on your bike shorts, but it was still fun.

Click here to view these pictures larger

Anyways, post unitard-sewing (it took about an hour, I think) it was bedtime, and the morning came along far too early, because we were picked up just after 0500. And then went to the starting point (that I really want to just call the staging area, but it was more than that) and waited. And waited. And waited. I decorated Shelly while I waited. Borrowed some pink flagging tape from the moto safety guys. My front forks and top tube are still pink. I should get around to fixing that... Anyways, met up with my team, and got everyone organized, and got on our way. There are no really interesting stories from the walk, really. Though I did get to hang out with Chad, who is semi-famous in the world of the Weekend, because he's done 34 walks to date, and this year is doing every single walk in Canada. Clearly the man is crazy. Anyways. We come in to Closing Ceremonies, and do all that stuff, and then go on our way. I talk Rafiki into going past the Unitarian church on the way home, because Susie's memorial started at 1430, and I want to see if anyone is still there, nevermind the fact that I am still in bike shorts, unitard, and "Victory" (aka we finished) shirt from the Weekend. I should mention that it is now almost 1700. I did not really expect to see anyone, but we pull into the parking lot, and it appears that things have just ended, because there are people milling about, so I find the twins, and chat a bit, and give hugs all around. Eventually I get dropped off at home. Where things need to get madly underway for the next thing.

You see, when I registered for the WEBC, I already had plans for the weekend. My stepsister's wedding was on the Monday. In Kelowna. Marksman and I were going to drive up on Saturday, and make a bit of a trip out of it. That didn't end up happening, clearly. Instead, we came home on Sunday, and tried to pack madly and get on our way. I think we made it out of the house by about 1930. We got to our hotel in Kelowna just after midnight. Not bad, really. We sort of just fell into bed. There might have been showers first, but I'm not totally sure about that one. The next day was the wedding, very pretty, outside in the park. As far as I know, everything went as planned, except maybe the scowling flowergirl. Afterwards there was dinner, and then we went back to the hotel, for a quick swim, and then bed.

Tuesday, we slept in for the first time in what felt like a week. It may well have been. We packed our stuff, and loaded the Tracker, and went for breakfast. And then for yarn, because I asked nicely. I came home with some really nice Louet Northern Lights and some sock yarn, in a nice green-brown colourway. We stopped on the way home to take the Tracker through AirCare, and much to our chagrin it failed. We'll have to fix it before we can insure it really long-term. (We can get three months for now) Also on the way home, I finished some socks! Originally there were for Marksman, but when I made him try on the first on (for length) I discovered he couldn't get them on. So they're for me, instead. Dream in Color Smooshy in Nightwatch. Pattern is my own, and I might write it up if anyone is interested. I've dubbed them the Crossovers socks. (They crossed over from him to be, and they're full of cables, and they've been worked over many journeys) They fit me just fine :) (they don't fit The Feet quite as well, but well enough to model for pictures)


cable detail

Of course, after new socks and trips it's time to get back to work, so we did. For a bit. And then came something that's sort of been on the radar all summer. The Canoe Trip with the new Venturers. But that, I think, is a post unto itself. So you'll just have to wait.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

It's funny how the world keeps on happening even when I'm not paying attention to it, and not asking anyone else to pay attention to it either, although I suppose writing a blog, especially as infrequently as I do, is a pretty passive form of asking people to pay attention to the world. I just read over my last two posts. I didn't quite realize how long it's been. (I seem to say that, every time I write. Maybe I should just get over it, and write something every week, even if I feel there is nothing to say. Something will come up, I'm sure, and it might even be interesting, but mostly it feels like the same things happen over again every week and it just gets boring. Then all of a sudden two months have gone by and it's a little bit nuts trying to catch up.

I guess all sorts of things have happened since the beginning of June. Harvest, camping, staying out until the morning (more than once), a wedding, a birth, a death, some fireworks... Work, of course. There will always be work. There just hasn't been much knitting. Some, because there's always knitting going on in the background. I guess this is going to be one of those "I want to show you things, and maybe keep interest in this thing going" posts. I wish I could avoid it, but that's the way it stands. I suppose I might as well go in chronological order.

First, Monster was born. Her official name is Sara, though for a little while she was Sara(h) because Jemmy &co could not decide on the H. Her sweater was finished in time to take to the hospital when we went to visit. I dressed up the ferry as a small child again, because apparently the ferry is the place to finish baby clothes...

Rocketry ferry

It fits for now, and should into the fall, providing her arms do not grow faster than the rest of her. And I thought they were long, too. Apparently not.

Next, there was the first batch of staying up until the morning. It actually started as a weekend that was just plain busy, and then evolved. First, I was working in Yaletown on Friday, and working for Mom on Saturday, and then going to the East Vancouver Area year-end dinner on Saturday night. So I left home on Friday and went to work, and then stayed at mom's that night. We worked on a catering gig until 4, then mom left to deliver it while I helped Auntie Deb clean up. And then (eventually) I got dropped off at the bus (we ended up chasing the 49 for a bit, so that I could catch it) so that I could get to dinner. Dinner was at 1800. I got off the bus at 10 to, with all my stuff in hand, half a block from home. I made it to dinner for 1805. Changed and everything. Anyways, dinner was tasty, and the speeches were (mostly) short, and I'm now the Assistant Area Commissioner for Rovers. Aka I'm supposed to come up with things for us to do. In any case, Marksman was away for the weekend, and I had nothing to do, and had sat with Rafiki for all of dinner, (as much as you can sit with any one individual during an even that includes 100+ people) and we had gotten to talking and didn't really want to go home. So instead, we went to Stanley Park. I got to drive around the park :) I haven't otherwise driven a car since I was 16... In any case, we wandered around the park as well, and walked onto the bridge and back. Eventually I got dropped off at home. I think it was almost 4 in the morning. But I got some fun pictures, like this one.


Plus I discovered the "when you think there is nothing else" phone in the middle of the bridge. It's yellow. Now I want to know if there are others, on other bridges. Like maybe the Golden Ears?

I think that wraps up June, for the most part. July, on the other hand, was busier. It started with a camping trip. Marksman and I went out to Gold River on the Island, with his family, and the Cowichan Valley Metis. The theory was that it was a youth event (youth here meaning anyone under the age of 30) and their families could come too, handy when you're less than 15 or so... Instead, it ended up being a mostly-adult event, with the under-30 crowd making up less than half of the participants. We found out that's pretty normal. We stayed for a week, and got some climbing in at Strathcona park, though all my pictures turned out shoddy. We also did some beading, and some weaving, and some making of drums, which was pretty sweet, though I still need to make myself a drumstick. I should get on that. Other than the fact that it rained for the first three days, it was a pretty good camping trip. It was good to get out into the green again for a bit, even if we had to drive for 4 hours both ways to get there. (Well, 4 hours there. 3 and a half home. It was late, and we wanted to go to bed. Or at least Marksman did. He was driving.) I would show you pictures, but there aren't really any :p

After arriving back in civilization, there was a wedding. Two scouting friends got married after almost 5 years. The wedding was lovely, the girls looked good, and the boys looked even better. (The wedding party boys were all kilted. I have a soft spot for boys in kilts.) Even Tristan came in a kilt, which entertains me to no end :) It was good to catch up with everyone, and good to hear stories about friends. I wish them long happiness and joy, and all manner of other good things. Marksman still maintains that he's going to be the first of the "Wild Ones" (the title this group of friends maintains) to do things in the traditional order... (every one of the rest of them, just about, already has a kid. Dale and Sam were the first; Naomi was their flower girl.) The cake topper was pretty awesome, though.

time and place, Dale.  Time and Place.

And then we came home. Work started up again, things fell back into that same old routine. You know how it goes. So then fast forward two weeks. It's now the middle of July, before the heat wave hit (the weekend before, to be precise) but still pretty hot. A bunch of us went to go play paintball and had a blast, though I've still got battle wounds; bare-skin hits from 5 feet or less tend to break skin. We all went home after playing, with plans to maybe bike down to the fireworks later. So we got home, and not 10 minutes later, it starts bucketing down rain. And I'm talking an inch in 10 minutes kind of rain, the very best kind of rainstorm there is, complete with lightning and thunder, but devoid of wind, for the most part. So the plans to ride bikes to the fireworks are scrapped, but Rafiki and I decide to go anyways. What's a little rain, anyways? And of course, it's still raining, and there's still lightning, but it seems to have moved off a little, or at least away from my place... Turns out that it's moved towards downtown, where the fireworks are. The fireworks were competing with the lightning for viewing time, I think. But the rain kept all but the most insane of us away, so we were able to park under the Burrard bridge, and walk down to English bay. We sat on the rocks, less than 10 feet from the water. Normally, this would never happen. Too many people. I bemoan the fact that I can't just leave the shutter on my camera open, so as to take theoretically awesome pictures of lightning, but I managed to get one.


It's not awesome, but it's still nifty. At the end of the show (the staged portion, at least) we end up driving around. I don't remember where. I do know that we ended up at Ambleside, and took pictures of the Lions Gate with the lights off. That doesn't happen very often at all. At this point, we discover that the other camera that's with us has an extended exposure setting, up to 60 seconds, maybe more but we didn't test it. So there's some goofing around with exposure times, and some attempts at taking pictures of the stars, because the sky is starting to clear up. We must have sat and stood and wandered and talked for about 4 hours, I think... At which point we decided to find somewhere to watch the sun come up. Burnaby mountain seemed the logical choice, so we went there, and discovered, just in time for sunrise, that there are far too many trees to get a good view of the horizon. And then we went home. By this point the rain had stopped, and the lightning had moved on, and the sky was pretty much clear. It was also 530 in the morning... Oops.

And then another week goes by, better than the one before. A friend got his Masters in Archeology on Monday, after 4 years of work. (I'm not going to say 4 years of hard work necessarily, but 4 years nonetheless.) I donated blood on Tuesday, which was supposed to be a Rover event but failed to be. That's ok. Sometimes that's just how it goes. I missed the last time, so now I've caught up :p The rest of the week was pretty standard. Work, and then weekend. The last of the fireworks (HSBC Festival of Light) was on Saturday, and the weather was cooperative, so Rafiki and Marksman and I all rode down to them from Cliffhanger. No spots on the beach this time, so we stayed up on the road and leaned on our bikes. Sadly there was no wind, not even a breeze, so the pall of smoke over the whole thing made it harder to see, but all in all it was a good show. Afterwards, we went looking for food. And looking for food. And looking for food. Things were too busy close to English Bay, and by the time we got out of the area, things were starting to close already. We finally found food on Robson, at sometime after midnight. (The fireworks ended at 2230 or so) All hail the White Tower restaurant on Robson, for being open to 0300 on Saturdays :) Fed and watered, spirits were high, and we went for a ride around Stanley Park. Yes, we're heading into another episode of the late-night crazies. In any case, the ride was good, and we stopped to try and put out a beach fire (and then waited for the Fire Dept to do it) and then eventually got back to the truck to go home. By the time we got dropped off it was between 430 and 445. We offered the couch to R, who declined in favour of his own bed, which he arrived at at 515 (I know, because we told him to let us know when he got home safe), though the next day it was admitted that denying the couch had not been the smartest of plans.

Sunday I worked at the gym, for the 5 most boring working hours I have ever passed. I folded and sorted the tshirts from the back is how quiet it was. I don't think we ever had more than 10 people there, including staff. It was nice, but a little strange. This is what happens on a nice Sunday before a holiday Monday, I guess.

(That doesn't wrap this up, but over a week has passed, so I'll write more in the next post)