Thursday, July 28, 2016

Clue one of The Philosopher's Stone.

As I mentioned a couple weeks ago - I'm doing a MKAL (Mystery Knit A Long) of Fiddle Knits' The Philosopher's Stone. It uses gradient yarn and beads.  It combines cables and lace (really, really addicted to cable projects) and I have never used as many different cable crossovers as in the 40 rows of clue one.  The yarn I'm using is Alpaca Cloud fingering, which is a little fuzzy for this much cabling (I really didn't predict this much cabling from teh swatch pattern provided)  but it is super soft, and I think the cable definition will improve with light blocking and the lighter colours as I swap out skeins for the gradient effect.  So that I don't "spoil" the mystery -- I'm posting the picture below the page break - so click if you want to see clue 1.

Creating my own Devil's Den!

I've decided to create my own Devil's Den, populated by my favorite ever Devils,  Brodeur was first, Stevens probably next followed by Tootoo. And I think I'm going to make a large one for NJ -- the mascot (really love that guy)

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The General and the Genius

Sorry this post is  late- finished the book late last night. 

The General and the Genius: Groves and Oppenheimer — The Unlikely Partnership that Built the Atom BombThe General and the Genius: Groves and Oppenheimer — The Unlikely Partnership that Built the Atom Bomb by James Kunetka

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book. Much of what I have read has either focused on the strictly technical/scientific aspect of the work, Richard Feynman's part of the work and how he dealt with his ailing wife during the project, the decision to use the bomb, and drop the second one, the after effects of dropping the bomb/having the bomb.

This book does delve into some of the technical aspects (arguments over the gun vs implosion, and the different detonating devices etc) but not in an overly technical way, so that people with no science or technical backgrounds will still understand it. It talks about the challenges, the sheer infrastructure and logistics involved in the challenge, the bottlenecks caused by uranium and plutonium productions, the arguments between people who would go on to be seen as geniuses in the field. It is a lot about personalities. How they interacted, how they reacted to different decisions and situations. It is mostly about the relationship between Groves, a hard driving, get it done goal oriented career military man who wanted the weapon to end WWII, before the Germans developed something and then after the Germans' surrender wanted to use the device before the Army invaded Japan - at the presumed cost of thousands of lives American as well as Japanese, and Oppenheimer, a brilliant scientist who lurked at the edges of the physics of his day, ambitious, but never quite achieving the peer recognition he aimed for, chain smoking, self doubting, nervous introvert not necessarily ready for the roll he was thrust in. It detailed the effort Groves put in to pump up, enable and shelter Oppie. Groves almost is a guardian/father to Oppie when he most needs the unwavering support.

The end of the book, wraps up with the post war hearings, the second guessing, the moral dilemmas, the vilification of some players, how Oppenheimer in his vocalizations for the need for control of these massive weapons, becomes shut out of the process, Groves pissing off and alienating Eisenhower. It tells of the "rest of life" summary of various key people, and it summarizes the legacies- not just in terms of atomic warfare and weaponry but also how this was the first large scale government funded scientific endeavor, the use of committees formed to make decisions and manage the different groups of people that are then disbanded and new ones formed as the project moves forward in science research.

Once again, I really recommend this book, I learned a lot, and not jsut about the building of a bomb.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Astrotweeps and Realscientists

This Tuesday's Twitter recommendations share the day, because they are similar type accounts. 

@astrotweeps has a different astronomer/planetary scientist tweeting each week about their area of research and what they find interesting.  I end up following many of the guest tweeters.

@realscientists is curated by a different scientist/writer/artist/clinician some still working on achieving their PhD's.  Warning, I did mute them the week that the entomologist was showing all kinds of freaky pictures.  

Check them out - you may learn something and find new interesting people to follow!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Brickyard 400

I can't tell you how good it was to see Smoke having so much fun at race.  I can't tell you how sad it is that he won't be at the race next year.  I think it was really nice for Jeff Gordon to fly in from France to take a last lap with him after the race ( oh, wait, he flew in to sub for Jr, huh) I was kind of disappointed that Samantha Busch didn't have a "costume malfunction"  -- how is that a dress you wear if you may have to kneel down and kiss bricks??  I do love driver's kids who are like you want me to do what???  Ewwww... No. 


Friday, July 22, 2016

Danger Dogs

July is apparently National Hot Dog Month.  So to honor the month, and because they seemed really decadently yummy, I made Guy Fieri's Danger Dogs.  Stuffed with pickled jalapenos and pepper jack cheese (don't think the cheese was in the original recipe - but you know me and following directions) I did use uncured Sabrett hot dogs and uncured Oscar Meyer bacon to avoid the sodium nitrite.  I wish I took a picture of them in the bun with topping, but I ate the evidence!  I think they would be just as good with beef hot dogs and bacon --- so Min can eat them too!  Someone did ask if it would be good with turkey hot dogs and bacon.... um I really really really would starve before I found out... I don't do either food.

Thursday, July 21, 2016


Another square for the summer cotton throw (which will hopefully be done by winter)

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Ignore Everybody, and 39 Other Keys to Creativity

MacLeod, a cartoonist and consultant to such companies as Cisco, Roche, Dewar's, GoDaddy through as a culture builder, started out drawing cartoons on the back of business cards.  His unique viewpoint can be used by everyone - not just artists or super creative people.  His book - as the title suggests, is 40 short chapters, illustrated by his cartoons.  Chapters such as Being Poor Sucks; Beware of Turning Hobbies into Jobs, The Best Way to Get Approval is to Not Need It; Put the Hours In, Keep Your Day Job; Dying Young is Overrated ...Also check page 30 for the sex and cash theory. 

(pictures from the book)

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Geek Soul Brother

So, I've realized that my blogroll on the sidebar is in desperate need of updating, other than the Yarn Harlot and Scott Young, the blogs listed on there rarely if ever post.  I haven't really dealt with it  because I've been following more people on Twitter than on blogs recently.  If anyone has any suggestions on blogs I should check out let me know (I'm not saying someone who posts every day, but a couple times a month at least)   In the meantime, I'm adding Twitter Tuesday, where I'll let you know who I follow on Twitter and maybe you'll like some of them as well.  

First up, Geek Soul Brother.  He has a podcast, reviews movies and tv shows, he's into SciFi, Horror, Fantasy, comics.  He does a live tweet watch a long on Saturday nights.  He's not just about new stuff, a lot of it is older from when I was... younger we'll say.  I also know him in person, and even though he likes Star Trek more than Star Wars he's a really awesome guy. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

"Air" Plants

These plants gets spritzed with water a couple times a week and live off the dust in your air (supposedly) I got a bunch over the weekend.  I also got a birdcage candle holder, and after some work with snips and pliers, removed a bunch of wires and bent others to make room to stick the plants  (with no roots this is harder than I thought to keep them in place)  Then I added a stone penguin, because... penguin.


Saturday, July 16, 2016


My 2nd favorite relative (John has spot 1) was visiting a friend down the shore in NJ and made a quick visit to my mom's house to see Christopher.  (Dang it, I had to work and couldn't get a long lunch, boo..) So that's Norman (real name Bill - don't ask) his wife Marian (they have the same birthday, were born in towns with the same name but in different states- how weird is that?) my mom and Christopher.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Oink and Moo

I've heard of their food trucks, never happened to be at a food truck event where I was (not that I've been to a huge number of events) Just one of those back of the brain want to try list foods.  Then....

Curt (being food helpful - probably to make up for lack of fUSB progress) sent me a link to their website, Oink and Moo had a storefront location!!!  It is the next town over from where I work!!  If I were a bird it would have been much easier - it is in a really residential neighborhood - took 15 minutes and 9 turns after the main road to get there:

But I found it!!  And got dinner to go, 2 orders of Trifecta Tacos (basically one of each on the menu - although you can customize, I figure let's see what they are about first) they were out of both sweet potatoes :( So I got the mac n cheese, baked beans, greens and cornbread.  (for the record I shared with Curt - wasn't all for me - and he deserved some)

Pulled Pork, with pineapple bbq sauce and cilantro lime slaw - would have been too sweet if not for the slaw - perfectly balances and adds nice crunch.  Chipotle Chicken - had pickled poblano and cilantro lime sour cream - if you know me, you know I'm not a huge chicken fan and most of my chicken gets hidden or buried beneath stuff - but I would eat this again - highest praise bird will ever get from me.  My absolute favorite of the 3 tacos however was the skirt steak - before you think "she'll always pick the beef" I'm probably pickier about what I consider good beef over pork and chicken. Steak was done perfectly, had the same cilantro lime slaw as the pork but a chimichurri over top that added a nice, but not too spicy level of heat.

The mac n cheese was really good, liked the crunchy bits on top, could have used a bit more of a sharp cheese in the sauce seeing as it's a bbq side, the cornbread was sweet (I know some regions like that, I'll be quiet) The greens, a mix of collard a kale, were done really well, soft enough for Curt's happiness, not disintegrating like some places, seasoned well.  My surprise favorite though was the baked beans, there was a great balance between the sweet in the sauce and a slow heat as well.  They are probably my favorite baked beans I've had in recent memory.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Shawl updates

 Finished chart 2 on Ghost Dance
Got to week 12 on Last Year's Scoreboard

Got another repeat done on the METs shawl

Signed up for the Philosopher's Stone Mystery Shawl KAL.  A gradient yarn was recommended.  I had the black and the 2 lighter grey yarns already, so I bought the medium grey and the beads -- even swatched!!  Ready to go for the 22nd.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Brodeur: Beyond the Crease

Brodeur: Beyond the CreaseBrodeur: Beyond the Crease by Martin Brodeur

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Very well written, it's like you hit a bar for an evening each chapter and Marty just talked about hockey stuff, teams, games, money, lockouts, coaches (serious bromance with Lou) how his personal life fit in, the Olympics, growing up in Montreal, his motorcycles. I've always admired Marty's play, calmness (ok his not mine when he went out of the net for a puck) , his ethics, team play and that only increased after reading the book.

My favorite part of the book?? Him disciplining his son for acting like a Ranger's fan.... just loved it!!!

I hope he someday writes a book on the second half - this book ends before the Devil's moved to the Rock in Newark - he played a lot more big games, broke a lot more records. I'd also like to hear why (I'm pretty sure it was because of Lou - although he was playing less to let Schneider play more - sucks getting old) he broke my heart and went to the Blues, and especially Blues management.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Really loving my succulent stand.

 Everything is definitely bigger , short covers on sides are spreading,
 This has orange buds, really can't wait to see (hopefully) it bloom!
This one in the bottom center is purple and it has pinkish buds.

Friday, July 1, 2016

made a spaghetti squash recipe I got off of Pinterest!

I had to mess with the qty's a bit because I used a small spaghetti squash... but it was seriously soooo delicious and creamy.