bunrab: (me)
The Montgomery County fair is the first one Larry and I went to together, once we were dating, and it's definitely the one we measure all others against. At the time we first went to it, we didn't realize that it is the largest county fair in MD, and somewhat larger than the State Fair in several respects, so that it's rather unfair to expect other fairs to come close. But there you are - it's what we think of as a real fair.

The largest county fair in MD )
bunrab: (me)
This is a really long post about the Howard County fair, so best I put it behind a cut, though I'll leave a couple of pictures to entice you to read.
Week of August 9: the Howard County fair )
Cake display, highlighting this year's Owl theme for Home Arts.
In the 300+ lb. category, which is a very, very good size for this early in the year!More pictures behind the cut )
bunrab: (me)
According to http://www.eskimimimakes.com/ and my friend Angela, this is Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week. We are supposed to pick which "house" we belong to. Well, it's pretty clear that I belong to The House of Bee: Bees are busy and industrious, but can flit from one interesting project to the next as bright and shiny things capture their interest. Yes indeedy, as evidenced by the number of unfinished projects I have, I am indeed flitting from one project to the next.

Pictures of assorted tote bags and plastic bags holding unfinished projects - this is just what happens to be at the surface in two rooms right now; there are more!Pictures behind cut so it won't break your Friends page )

I threw in a couple unfinished quilting projects in there, too.

Now here's pictures of knitting projects I've finished this year:

::yes, this is empty space::

And despite all that, I bought more yarn at Stitches earlier this month. Sigh.
bunrab: (Default)
When I contracted to buy the condo, the kitchen was in disgusting condition - this was a short sale, and the people living here had not done any maintenance, nor much cleaning, in quite a while, as is typical of such things. So, the day I moved in, I had contractors pull out most of the kitchen, except for the refrigerator and stove which were in adequate working condition and apparently *had* been cleaned within the past couple of years. The counters had been cracked laminate, covered in a couple of layers of Contac paper, and the cabinets had been permanently sticky among other flaws. And this is what I put in:

New cabinets and counters )

I've started getting my mug collection up )

Edited to add "before" pictures, which are from the listing, pictures taken while the previous owners still lived there.
Edited to add "before" pictures )
In the "before" pics, the microwave oven is 3" lower, far too close to the gas stove for safety - the home inspector dinged that one instantly. So when I ripped everything out, I replaced the 15" high "bridge" cabinet with a 12" high one, and thus was able to move the microwave up by three inches, which the inspector says is safe enough though he hates the whole idea of over-the-stove microwaves. Truly, I'd prefer an under-counter one myself, but those are expensive and this kitchen just flat-out doesn't have the counter space to do it.
bunrab: (Default)
Here's a shot of the ridiculously complicated stereo system setup Steve had, including running the sound for the TV through the stereo rather than its own speakers, and being able to record stuff from the TV onto three different DVD recorders... all of which, except the 3 DVDs, I managed to replicate here in the condo, by dint of really, really excessive labelling of everything in sight as to color and position. I'm down to only two DVD players instead of three, and only one minidisc player instead of two.
Stereo )
This one's a last view of the house in Catonsville - the shutters and front door painted a dark red, rather than the ancient peeling white paint the shutters had had, and the pumpkin orange that I had painted the front door last summer in a fit of whimsy and boredness.
Catonsville house )
And this is what the house living room looked like after my real estate agent made me put about 3/4 of my books and their related bookshelves into storage. It was an astoundingly large living room!
living room )

More relevant pics to follow after I get 'em off my phone.
bunrab: (knit)
An easy knitted sleeveless shell - just two rectangles. The two sides are slightly different; it's completely front-to-back reversible. Knitted mostly while watching Rachel Maddow talking about health care town meetings. (Rachel rocks!)


Meme!!!

Jul. 15th, 2009 02:19 am
bunrab: (Default)
From [livejournal.com profile] angevin2

Post ten of any pictures currently on your hard drive that you think are self-expressive.
• NO CAPTIONS! It must be like we're speaking with images and we have to interpret your visual language just like we have to interpret your words.
• They must ALREADY be on your hard drive - no googling or flickr! They have to have been saved to your folders sometime in the past. They must be something you've saved there because it resonated with you for some reason.
• You do NOT have to answer any questions about any of your pictures if you don't want to. You can make them as mysterious as you like. Or you can explain them away as much as you like.

cut for largish images )

Tea reviews

Jul. 6th, 2009 02:14 pm
bunrab: (teacup2)
Check out my latest reviews at the Tea Review Blog:
Formosa Fanciest from Narien Teas - http://www.teareviewblog.com/?p=4561
Green Apple Organic Green Tea from Liber-TEAS - http://www.teareviewblog.com/?p=4474
Devonshire Earl Grey from Upton Tea - http://www.teareviewblog.com/?p=4441

Have some photos of Friday's parade:



bunrab: (Default)
LoudTwitter seems to be dead for the moment, so I guess I'll actually have to type in a post! Of course, the main thing on my mind right now is patriotic music - we'll be playing Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, in various locations, and I will be heartily sick of Battle Hymn of the Republic before we're done.

Let's see, photos:


The older I get, the more I look like my dad. This is from last Friday, when we went over to Delaware to visit my folks, because my brother J and his family had flown in from CA to see them. So we had a small gathering of those family members who were nearby and happened to be free on a weekday, which came to 10 adults, 10 children and 1 teenager, and we all invaded the Smyrna Diner, which coped pretty well. Don't worry, we left them a really good tip.



And here's my brother J, and me, with his wife and their two daughters.

And here's all the tweets you've missed since LoudTwitter went down:
a long list )

ETA: since cut-and-paste from Twitter doesn't give the whole link, here's the links:
http://www.teareviewblog.com/?p=4441
http://bit.ly/XWn1t
http://www.nps.gov/fowa/planyourvisit/events.htm ~~CONCERT, you want to come to this one!!
http://tinyurl.com/l5jojm
http://tr.im/qmKs - jobs!
http://www.teareviewblog.com/?p=4363
bunrab: (crochet)
by popular demand: pix of amigurumi. First, lemur #1 (#2 is just started):

...


and second, Creepy Cute Cthulhu:

...
bunrab: (bathtub warning)
We did xmas twice, first on Thursday with my sister S and her spouse and kids and our parents and some of her spouse's siblings, then again on Saturday, with my brother G and his spouse and kids and our parents and a niece and her new husband, who were briefly in MD visiting, before returning to grad school in Texas; most of us had not been able to get to her wedding, so we were pleased to meet the husband (and his younger brother, who was tagging along for the day). Sister is up Philadelphia way, which meant we got to see the mess that is billboards in Phila. again - they have more Hooters billboards per mile of highway than any other city I've seen. G lives about an hour south of us, near DC.

I made a set of placemats for S, who has been wanting new ones for a couple YEARS now; below is a picture of five out of the eight of them - the green things. The piecing is a faux-crazy quilt pattern, with a few bits of ribbon added, and then they are quilted using cotton batting.


The picture in the frame in the middle of the table is a photo of me and [livejournal.com profile] squirrel_magnet, taken in Vienna, in a frame I painted to sort of match the dress I'm wearing in the photo. This was a gift for my dad and stepmom, who expressed a wish to have a respectable-looking photo of us to add to their table o' family pics - all their offspring, with assorted spouses and further descendents. So now they have one. Here's a slightly closer view of it:


One of the neatest presents we received from relatives was an afghan that sister S and her family made for Squirrel; knowing his love of his John Deere lawn tractor, they found John Deere fabric and a nice fleece backing, and fringed and knotted them to make a lap robe Squirrel can use while watching TV. Nephew Ian, almost-12, did most of the work; Ian loves making stuff, any stuff - car models and Lego helicopters and jigsaw puzzles, and sewing and needlework as well. Anyway, that is a gift beyond anything they could have bought Squirrel with just $$$.

Those red things in the center of the picture above were two dishcloths and two scrubbies (pot scrubbers) I crocheted for SIL Jen - she had requested red, and I made her those items, plus three red quilted potholders and a quilted oven mitt. The potholders and oven mitt are made using a batting which has a mylar reflective layer, so that they really do insulate/isolate the hot object from the hand. Here's a quick view of those:


I made teddy-bear-ear hats for 2 of G & Jen's kids - here's Luke in his, and Kyla in another one that was also supposed to be Luke's, but she appropriated it an preference to the kitty-ear hat I had made her. Oh well.


I made a lot of crocheted and knitted dishcloths, most of which I didn't bother to photograph before wrapping and/or mailing them, but here's one last photo, of the black lace dishcloths I made for Liz:


Things I got for xmas: a big chunk of my Amazon.com wish list, from Squirrel; Odysseus on the Rhine, mentioned in the previous post, is part of it. Also a couple of books from Cindythelibrarian; assorted CDs and a family photo or two, turtlenecks and socks. Funny thing about socks. Clothing is supposedly one of those presents you don't like to get. But socks were a big hit this year. I bought two of my nieces, Brenna and Brooke, socks from the Doorly Zoo, back when we were in Omaha in November, and gave the socks to them for xmas; they immediately put them on! After all, who can possibly resist LEMUR socks? And then, when S and her family were giving me and Squirrel our presents, mine had a pair of socks as part of the gift tag - and I immediately put them on, because the socks I had been wearing were way too warm for how mild the weather was, and the new socks were cotton - also had animals on them. So there was much running around the living room in animal socks for the rest of the day.
bunrab: (bathtub warning)
First, here is the delightful and handsome red river hog:largish picture behind the cut )
That picture is from the side. Now here's a closer one of the head - this is actually a different one of the three hogs that were trotting around their plot of land:another largish pic )
Now don't you all agree that this is definitely an Elf Pig, and that this species should definitely have a role in some forthcoming fantasy?

Finished object of needlework: a quilted table runner for my cousin J, whose wedding we went to LAST October - finished a year after the wedding. There are also four placemats that match the runner. you know the drill by now )
Now I am partway through Cindythelibrarian's curtains, a quilted set for my niece V who got married in July, and I've just gotten started on a quilt for niece J whose wedding we just went to this past weekend. I'm also going to make placemats for my sister S for Xmas. Oh, and in there somewhere I'm attempting to finish a sweater for NaKniSweMo!

AFK, whee!

Nov. 7th, 2008 12:33 am
bunrab: (Default)
We'll be away for a few days, attending the wedding of a niece in Omaha, which you'll hardly even notice since I've posted so little the past two weeks anyway. I have been working on finishing assorted RL projects - knitted things, quilted things - and also having a cold. Whee. Anyway, when we get back from Omaha next week, I'll try and catch up.
Here is one of the things I knitted:link to pic behind cut )
bunrab: (alien reading)
Well, it's been a murder mystery binge:
Dyer Consequences by Maggie Sefton - latest in her knitting series; so-so. I probably won't bother with more of these; they're just not interesting enough. Could see who the murderer was (though not all the details of why) fairly quickly. One high spot: one of the alpacas is a hero in the final showdown between our heroine and the murderer. But at the end of this book, she's getting rid of most of the alpacas.
Mercedes Coffin by Faye Kellerman - again has Peter Decker and his daughter Cindy working together. Didn't like it that much though; the plot had complications and coincidences multiplied unnecessarily. In connecting two murders some 15 years apart, we have so many characters who were supposedly involved in both but for different reasons that I started losing track of who was who, which victim and which year we were talking about. It just didn't appeal to me that much. On the other hand,
Cold Case by Kate Wilhelm, latest in her Barbara Holloway series, is also about 2 murders, 15 years apart, but I found it much easier to follow who the characters were and why they were involved with each other. Perhaps it's that the setting for this one is mostly academia, while the setting for the Kellerman is the rap-music-and-drugs business in L.A. - I can relate more to the university characters.
Damage Control by J.A. Jance. Latest in her Sheriff Joanna Brady series. Always good. Joanna's mother is getting a bit tiresome, but we do find out a lot more about Joanna's family history in this one, along with the usual exposures of human greed and stupidity.

And one non-murder:
Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior by Ori Brafman and Rom Brafman. Very similar to Predictably Irrational but not quite as long or as amusing. In one chapter, the authors make the assumption that the discovery of homo floriensis has been proven to be a separate species of humanity and that anyone who doesn't buy the arguments in that direction (instead of the many scientists who feel there's not nearly enough evidence yet to draw that conclusion) is irrational. That was a bit annoying. On the other hand, the chapter about the ineffectiveness of the typical job interview in predicting whether a person will fit the prevailing corporate culture is interesting.

Every post deserves a picture:


There is a 36-Euro fine for not picking up your dog poop in Vienna. There are MANY of these little signs, on virtually every patch of grass, alerting you to the consequences.
bunrab: (Default)
A slightly digressive introduction to today's post. First, y'all may remember that I play baritone saxophone in the Baltimore Symphonic Band. Well, since last September, the band had been planning a trip to Eastern Europe to perform some concerts. I figured I wouldn't be able to go, as the trip involved considerable walking and other exertion, and [livejournal.com profile] squirrel_magnet was going to go while I stayed home. Back at the beginning of January of this year, though, my father-in-law passed away unexpectedly (we had expected it this year, but not so soon.) Which resulted in (a) S not having to worry about trip-cancelling insurance in case his dad took a turn for the worse just before the band was due to leave in July, and (b) S coming into a bit of money, enough to indulge in a couple luxuries, such as a new tuba for him, a new saxophone for me - and, this scooter!, which I could have sworn I posted about but I don't see it here. So anyway, this scooter is airline-approved, and about a third lighter than the next lightest scooter around, and folds into a shape and size smaller than a full-size suitcase. So, we suddenly realized, I could go to Europe! Because I would not have to try to walk long distances through airports, and walking tours of each city we visited, and uphill and down! (My walking ability varies, but is much less in hot weather such as July, maybe a couple hundred feet - less than one block, without having to rest and catch my breath - and uphill, it's maybe four steps before having to rest.)

So, scooter in hand, we went to Croatia, Slovenia, and Austria in July, and there are posts about it over at my regular blog, [livejournal.com profile] bunrab. But I thought I'd share a few extra pictures and thoughts with you guys, who might be more interested in the scoot's abilities than the run of the mill LJ-er.

Me in my band uniform, on the scooter, in Opatija, Croatia, on the road leading down to the amphitheatre where we were to perform:


Croatia has lots of palm trees! There are many seaside resort towns; Opatija, where we stayed, is one of them, and this picture was taken in another town, Pula, which we visited with our tour group.


One of the things Pula is famous for is its ruin of an amphitheatre from Roman times - Croatia is not really far from Italy, and the Romans had quite a presence. Anyway, you will note that the ruins are up a hill; this is about the steepest hill the scoot could do unassisted. For anything steeper, it needed just a light push from a person to help it get going - not a serious effort as if the person were trying to shove the whole weight uphill by themselves, just a slight push.


Our trip ended in Vienna, Austria, and Wien turns out to be extremely scooter-friendly because it is extremely bicycle-friendly. There are bike lanes everywhere, curb-cuts for bikes everywhere, places to lock a bike outside every building; the step-up onto public transportation is quite low compared to the step-up onto most US busses or trolleys; and also practically every cafe has sidewalk seating so I didn't have to pull the scoot inside and up stairs. Here's me in a bike lane:


And at a cafe, eating pastry; you can see the scooter folded up just at the right edge of the picture. It takes about 10 seconds to fold up, and about 15 seconds to unfold; less with practice and the right phase of the moon and the wind in the right direction.
bunrab: (alien reading)
Okay. Let's see. The Outlaw Demon Wails by Kim Harrison - latest in her Rachel Morgan series. Urban fantasy set in Cincinnati, our heroine is a witch, and demons are - well, not necessarily the enemy, and elves are, well, not necessarily nice people. This volume ties up a few loose ends, and introduces a cool plot twist. I really still don't like the character of Rachel's mother, though, no matter what good reasons she has for being nuts. Oh, and revelations about Rachel's father - surprising but I'm not sure I like that direction.

Have I already mentioned Where the Heart Leads by Stephanie Laurens? Yes, it's a Regency romance - but it's part of a series that features crime solving (murder mysteries and other crimes) as a major feature; in this one, not only our proto-PI, Barnaby Adair, but also our proto-police-detective, get a romance going.

Right is Wrong by Arianna Huffington. Even though I'm on the same general side of the fence, this book is a waste of time, because if one reads any political blogs at all, one has already read all of this. As blog entries, fine. As a book, it's incoherent. And repetitive and redundant. Preaching to the choir. People who disagree aren't going to buy the book, any more than I'd ever buy Coulter; people who agree, well, nothing new here, just a jolly bit of self-congratulatory feeling if you want to read somebody famous agreeing with you; and as for undecideds, well, I have the feeling that most people who are still undecided at this point are unlikely to buy or read hardcover books to help make their decisions. Will be remaindered the minute after the election, and have trouble selling even at $3.99. And I say this who agree with the general gist of the book.

Also a couple knitting books - possibly I'll go into detail on those some slow moment.

Pictures: jumping around a bit, here's toward the end of our trip; we're in Vienna eating pastry at a sidewalk cafe.


And here's one from Slovenia, speaking of pastry: Bled is famous for its cream cakes. We had some, and it was indeed delicious.

However, mostly what we saw in Bled was this: rain. And more rain. Frog-strangling rain.

That's looking down the street from the covered outdoor section of the very good pizza place attached to the back of our hotel.

I really do have to get these pictures up on a page so I can show you all of them without breaking anyone's fpage.
bunrab: (alien reading)
After we got back from Europe, I was only home for a couple of days before I turned around and went up to New York to help my friend Sally-the-hoarder throw some stuff out. Just got back this Thursday. Did not have computer with me while I was there, and didn't have much chance to use Sally's computer. We did get some stuff thrown out, but it's a battle - while she knows she's got a problem, she doesn't like to think that any individual thing is a problem, and so every single piece has to be looked at, categorized, and a decision made about it. We couldn't even compromise about putting some stuff in boxes and sticking them in the POD that I rented for her and then deciding about them later, because the stuff in boxes *might* be something she'd need within the next couple months. The fact that many of said things were things she's done without for years because they were buried under other stuff does not in any way alleviate her anxiety that she might need it, that she can think of a possible use for it, and therefore it can't get stored somewhere where she can't get at it instantly, let alone thrown away. So we debate that need to a standstill on every receipt, every tennis ball, every bag of candy purchased in 2004 and long since past its expiration date. Despite all that, we DID make some progress. And I got a chance to talk to a couple of her other friends who live up there, and started enlisting them to help out with one small chunk of STUFF at a time.

Wait, here's a picture, so that this post isn't just whining! This one is me on my travel scooter, on the road leading to the beach in Opatija, Croatia; the bikes behind me are Kawasakis, which seemed to be the most popular motorcycles in town, though still far behind motor scooters in numbers; there are a couple other band members, too - we were on our way to the amphitheatre for our first performance!


Anyway. Reading. Let's see. Re-reading some Terry Pratchett - so far, Guards, Guards!, Men at Arms, and Feet of Clay. Also have progressed through Matriarch and Ally in the second trilogy of Karen Traviss' Shan Frankland series. Now on the final book, Judge - I'll give a more thorough report on that one when I'm done. Also have started the latest Harry Dresden book, Small Favors (Jim Butcher) - I won't give anything away, don't worry. Um, Carolyn Hart's Death Walked In in her Annie Darling series - eh, she's recycling plots lately. There's been other stuff as well - I know a bunch of library books have wandered in and out of here - but I can't remember what.

Wait, I am drifting into boring, must be time for another picture! Here are some bikes and scooters parked under the palm trees along the sidewalks of one of the main streets. I bet you never thought of Eastern Europe and palm trees in the same breath - but Croatia is a seaside country, this is a seaside resort town, and yes, it has lots of palm trees!


We got most of the remainder of the stuff out of the old house yesterday - there's still loose odds and ends in the kitchen that we can carry over in the car, but all the big stuff's out of there, and we can call in the carpet shampooers and the general cleaners and probably have that house ready to rent out for September 1! This house is messier than ever now - but the electrician is coming next Thursday to do the rest of the work on the outlets, and then we can push all the bookcases against the walls and really get to unpacking the books.

This is the Hotel Agava (yes, after the agave plant), which is where we were staying in Opatija.


Anyway, I'm just going to look at my flist starting now, and only go back if (a) I see something drastic that begs for explanation that may be in an earlier post, or (b) you actually put a comment here telling me that there's something I should know or would like to know in your posts of the past month. Sorry I'm being so lazy - but lazy is my middle name, right?

One more pic: This is looking out from the stage into the audience portion of the amphitheater, during our sound check a couple hours before the concert.
bunrab: (Default)

 

 

Pretty distinguished company!
bunrab: (Default)

MyHeritage: Family trees - Genealogy - Celebrities - Collage - Morph

This was the only photo of me (five tries!) that I tried, that didn't come up with most of my "look-alikes" being Asian. One of  my photos produced Kim Jong IL as a look-alike; another one, Toshiro Mifune. Apparently, all evidence in the mirror to the contrary, I look like a male Asian.

bunrab: (Default)
House stuff. Lots of details, boring to anyone who isn't paying for them and watching the contractors do them. We might be able to move in end of next week, or else the day after Memorial Day.

Music stuff. Likewise lots of planning details boring to anyone who isn't actively doing them. Culminating in Maryland Community Band Day tomorrow, at Montgomery VIllage Middle School. Followed, no doubt, by my sleeping straight through from when we get home Sunday night to when I have to shower and get dressed and head for rehearsal Monday evening.

Books:
Fidelity by Thomas Perry. Mystery/thriller, with hit man and plucky heroine. Well written, as usual. But much more exciting was the blurb in the back, announcing that a new Jane Whitefield novel will be out in January 2009!!

Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter: Guilty Pleasures Volume 1 HC - the graphic novel version, really the first 6 volumes of the comic book; by Laurell K. Hamilton (Author), Stacie M. Ritchie (Author), Jess Ruffner-Booth (Author), Brett Booth (Author). Not too bad; mostly, I like the way the characters have been visualized, and most of the important stuff is in there. I wish they had just waited until the entire novel was finished, though.

The Head Trip: Adventures on the Wheel of Consciousness by Jeff Warren. Fun and science at the same time! Warren reviews all the states of consciousness involved in sleeping, more than you think there are. Includes the author's recounting of his personal experimentation with each stage of sleep, including ordering a NovaDreamer to help with lucid dreaming; sleeping in a cabin in the woods with no artificial light, not even oil lamps or candles, for three weeks. How to catch your own dreams. I've been reading a chapter before going to sleep each night.

Oh yeah, last weekend we saw my folks off on a cruise, leaving from a pier here in Baltimore, and while we were all together ahead of time, I had the chance to give my newest nephew his baby blanket.

That, by the way, makes 37 nieces and nephews (and 6 great-nieces and nephews).

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