Monday, June 30, 2008

In the lab last week it was about 19C until Friday afternoon when we got to around 23c. Now it is 33C or approximately 90F in the lab. I much prefer too cold to too warm. I really hope they figure out this temperature regulating thing soon.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Apparently I have a talent for puncturing my extremities with sharp object purely by accident. First there was my foot; then, today I knocked over a smallish Erlenmeyer flask while washing a gigantic Erlenmeyer flask which broke into 3 pieces one of which viciously attacked my poor hand in retaliation. Yesterday I donated blood and they poked me twice! I guess I did volunteer for it, but my finger still hurts!

I am having trouble deciding what yarn to keep unpacked to entertain me for the next month before I move. It's really hard. I should probably just focus on stuff I have already started, but I kinda don't want to. Oh, and the whole "I am getting rid of yarn" thing kinda backfired. After the person bought the yarn, I had money in my PayPal account; well, it couldn't just stay there it had to do something. That money went and bought more yarn. Granted it's pretty yarn in some lovely saturated colors.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I was smarter today and wore socks with my shoes and brought a sweatshirt, but my hands and nose are still cold. I usually use Josh's shoulder as a nose warmer, but he wasn't willing to come to work with me today. Apparently he has to go to work, too. I could really use one of these in this place right now. Actually, I think it could be pretty useful in most places during the colder months. June in Iowa isn't supposed to be a cold month. I found an electric company in MN that lets you purchase blocks of wind generated energy each month for about 50 cents per 100kwh. I think it's totally worth it.

My good internet friend Melanie posted a link to Musicovery, which I am quite enjoying. At the rather chilly lab, I usually listen to Pandora, but this is a nice change and a different way to approach listening to music based on mood rather than it's musical qualities.

I have been knitting on the Poms and on my traveling socks (so far the heel flap of the 2nd is on it's third iteration), but nothing yet for Summer of Socks. I think I will need to bust out the baby sock patterns for this one.

I need some pizza ideas. I have another ball of this dough in the freezer (leave it in the freezer for a week, trust me, you won't be disappointed) and so far I have made taco pizza, white sauce with chicken, peppers and red onion, and something else, but I can't remember right now. Josh has been adamant about no red sauce, so I better steer clear of that no matter how much I want a cheese pizza right now.

Josh and I are going to start moving stuff this Saturday, which makes me kind of excited. We started packing up the kitchen and my bookshelf as well as two of our three computers, so a truckload is heading north with us. It will be nice to get the boxes out of our current place. While in the throes of packing I noticed some sticky brown syrup dripping down our plastic shelves in our storage room. This is the shelf that Josh stores all his beer making ingredients on. Somehow, a bottle of malt extract broke and slowly leaked all over the floor. Luckly, since it is mostly sugar, it was fairly easy to wash away, but I had to use my bench scraper to get the stuff off the floor. Why was I cleaning it up an not Josh?

Monday, June 23, 2008

It is currently 19C (~65F) in the lab right now. My nose is so cold and my toes aren't happy with the situation either. I really wish I had brought my fingerless gloves. They are unable to regulate the temperature in our building and the power plant for the university is still not at full capacity. This means our water pressure is low, the autoclaves aren't operational and we have no deionized water, which is pretty critical for most experiments. It will be an interesting week. I am definitely wearing socks with my shoes tomorrow (no socks with my shoes today) and maybe a sweatshirt instead of my little hoodie. I do have one completed sock in my bag. I could alternate feet. I just started the heel flap on it's mate as I was waiting for the bus this morning.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

I have really enjoyed our weather so far this spring and what has now turned into summer (June always seems like the start of summer no matter what the calendar says) other than the crazy amount of rain of course. We have barely had to turn the A/C on other than the random humid day. We did have to turn it one yesterday due to some humidity and a cake I made for a wedding for some of Josh's parent's friends.

The fondant is not as smooth as I would like, but I think I am learning. I had to turn the air on so the frosting holding the raspberries in place wouldn't slide all over the place. The couple's wedding reception was supposed to be at a restaurant that was damaged by the floods, so they are postponing it. I was supposed to make a 9x13 cake for that, but Josh's mom decided her friends needed a cake anyway since they had the wedding despite the reception issues.

Yesterday while his parents were at the wedding, Josh and I took care of Scooter.

He is a great little dog. He listens well, is not very good at playing fetch, doesn't bark at other dogs, and only shed a bit.

At Hy-Vee the other day they were giving out fabric bags for free, which I thought was quite nice. I think the bag is still working on it's colors, though.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

another "stolen"video

Again from the lovely blog of Libby:

I need to start watching The Daily Show again. I was so much more informed when I did.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I finally finished a sock! Initially, I stopped working on it because I wasn't sure I liked the fit, but I needed a sock to knit yesterday, on dpns for some reason, and I decided I did like it.

This the first of a pair of Pomatomous in Dream in Color Smooshy in Gothic Rose. Despite my previous doubts, I love this sock and must start on the second one after I finish this post.

I decided Josh and I needed some more fruit in our diet so I made a blueberry crisp.

I combined a couple recipes which worked pretty well.

For the fruit:

2 lbs frozen blueberries,feel free to use fresh but halve the amt of cornstarch)
2 tbl corn starch
1/2c sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Bake at 375F for 30 minutes or until the fruit gives off some juice.

For the topping:

1c old fashioned oats (I like them better than quick oats)
1/3c flour
2/3c brown sugar
pinch of salt
cinnamon, cloves, ginger or whatever you want
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 c) unsalted butter cut into small cubes
I also added some pecans

combine all ingredients and use your fingers to mush it all together until you get course crumbs.

When fruit has baked for at least 30 minutes, add topping and bake for another 40-50 minutes until top is golden and crispy unless you like it softer than bake it until then.

I also made this and put it into the refrigerator to grow overnight.

Any guesses what it is going to become for dinner tonight?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Hello! I am back. My internet is back, too, which is why I am finally posting. As far as I know, I am not supposed to be going to work. That is what the UI's website has told me and I am going with it since no one I have asked has told me otherwise. This means I am taking a little vacation. It's a good things since Josh and I went to MN this weekend for some apartment hunting. We found one! Actually it's a townhouse with a garage, which will be so nice. We will be moving in sometime next month probably over a couple of weeks.

If you are interested in some more flood pictures from around my apartment check my Flickr page. It has been a bit odd seeing 1st ave just down the hill from our place on the news everyday. At one point they were filming a shed floating down the river and I noticed it was live so I ran out to my back balcony to watch it.

Elijah is done. He could use some eyes, but I am not sure what I want to do since this is for a baby.

Friday, June 13, 2008

I so need a canoe or maybe a paddle boat

This video (which I "stole" from Libby shows what happened when dirt railroad levee close to the Iowa River broke due to the flood waters. I didn't go to work today because I didn't want to get stuck there since almost every route to and from there is currently flooded with water or traffic or both. We are hoping to get to Eldora and then on to MN this weekend to look at apartments, but it may be hard to get that far north. I think there are still a couple routes we can use.

I did go down to the river this morning and took some pictures, don't worry, the water was barely above my toes, but my camera didn't save them for some reason. The parking lots behind my apartment for BK and a couple businesses are flooded due to water coming out of the sewers.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

So, they have closed 1st Ave up to the street my apartment is on. The police were just starting to redirect people, including the bus I was on, as we came to it. I knew that was going to happen since yesterday, the water under the bridge looked like this.

ETA: Some thing completely cute to distract you from impending doom.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I did get to help fill sand bags yesterday and I am really feeling it today. Not only am I quite sore from the physical labor involved (wet sand is heavy), but I got a good sunburn on my arms. Josh had both of our bottles of sunscreen with him at the golf course, and I stayed longer than I initially intended. I think I was out there for at least 3.5 hours. We were filling sand bags to be used to protect the city's wells that are all along the river and the electrical equipment near them. There are three of them on the paths I run, and I always wondered what they were.

The Coralville Res went over the spillway last night about 8:30pm and the water should be making it's way down the Iowa River to the Iowa City area in about an hour so it's about to get messy. It is interesting to me how some of the businesses around our apartment have surrounded themselves with sand bags and others right next to them haven't. I took a few pictures yesterday of the bridge across the street from my apartment as I walked to the area they were sandbagging.

More rain is headed our way today and a lot more tomorrow. The river is not predicted to peak until next Monday, so we are in for an interesting few days. I am obsessively checking our local newspaper's website for info.

ETA: If you are in the IC/Coralville area and want to help check out and Coralville's website. The column on the right side of the page lists places sandbaggers are needed and how to get to them.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I don't really remember the floods of '93 since they didn't really affect me in any significant way, and I was 10, so didn't really care about that kind of stuff. The floods now, though they aren't really affecting me other than more traffic on my bus' route to work, I am definitely going to remember this. I can see the river from my apartment so I been watching it rise.

I plan to help with the sandbagging this afternoon if they are still in need of more sandbags in an area I can get to. Josh helped yesterday when they asked for volunteers at Lowe's. Amanda found his picture on the local paper's website in the flood pics from yesterday. They are placing sandbags near the dog park I run around in the mornings.

I took some pictures of the clouds (the ones I wanted to see when I stepped on random sharp piece of plastic) from the thunderstorms on Sunday and Monday and have them on my Flickr page if you care to look. You can also see my toe, which doesn't show much or the bloody mess I made on the floor while trying to get to a paper towel.

Though I have been distracted by storms I did make a bit of progress on Elijah.

I have also been distracted by new yarn. See, blurry picture due to excitement.

Monday, June 09, 2008

It was a really nice weekend. I experimented a bit on my oatmeal bar recipe with good results and made two fabulous appetizers which are new to my repertoire. I got to play with a yeast dough (always fun) then turned it into a tasty pizza with extra dough stashed in the freezer. Josh and I saw Kung Fu Panda, which was excellent. I bought an iPod Shuffle (because the price of an armband for my iPod Nano is almost as much), went on a run, and got some knitting and crocheting done.

I also stepped on a weird piece of plastic which ended up embedded in the ball of my left foot near my big toe about half an inch while I was trying to go out onto my balcony to take a picture of the nasty looking wall cloud. I then made a bloody mess on my kitchen floor while I yelled for Josh that I was getting blood all over the floor. At least I think it was plastic because Josh broke it and threw it away before I could examine it more closely. My foot feels bruised and tender and still oozes a bit. Lovely, I know. I am a bit worried about it getting infected since the piece of mystery plastic was on the floor and made it quite a ways into my foot (not that our floor is dirty it's just a floor). It kinda ruins my workout plans for the next few days due to it's location. I am surprised I have gotten any running in with my sore knee, chest cold with cough, pulled hamstring and now puncture wound to bottom of foot which prohibits even normal walking. I am trying to get into a running routine, but it's not going so well.

ETA: This sounds like a really neat way to power your home using solar panels.

Definitely make these if you aren't near a campfire.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Destashing and a new elephant

Some of you know Josh and I will be moving sometime in July. We haven't really worked that part out yet. My goal is to clean out and get rid of stuff so we have less to move. This is good for you because I need to decrease the amount of yarn. Head over to my Destash set on Flickr to see what is currently on there. More may be added as I get more desperate to fit all my yarn into 2 tubs. I have a lot of sock yarn, so that is mostly what it will be. I will probably be going through it all again this weekend so check back if you see something on my Stash pages that might interest you. You can also check it out on Ravelry if you so desire. I prefer PayPal for payments.

The new elephant is Elijah.

I think the best part of the pattern besides the cuteness is there is no seaming. Stitches are picked up for each part. The only that that I am a bit worried about is embroidering on the eyes because I am really bad at that.

I am working on a peanut butter version of the oatmeal bars I posted about the other day. I will let you know when I have a recipe that works. My first attempt last night was a bit too dry due to poor math on my part.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

My jeans are soaked! See that blob of orange and red in the middle of all that green? That's what I was in while waiting for the bus. Orange and red mean lots of rain.

The fact that the street outside my apartment was full of about 3" of water when a car drove by just helped me get wetter. Not that I needed it. Luckily I am wearing sandals designed for water sports, since walking through the raging river of our parking lot could be considered a water sport today. I went for a run this morning and the rain started while I was doing my stretching and sit-ups after my run. I actually would have enjoyed running in the rain until it became a torrential downpour that felt more like going through a car wash. I do love a good thunderstorm as long as I am not waiting for the bus in it. The sky still looks like it is about 9pm rather than 9am.

There has been progress on Ornette, though it has been slow. I love the pattern, but it makes my left wrist tired so I have to take a break every so often. I started Elijah using this yarn in turquoise this morning while watching the rain. He will be a gift for my former neighbor's baby. Since I couldn't decide on clothing for the kid, he or she is getting a toy and granny square blanket in Hawkeye colors since the dad is a big Hawks fan.

I made bars from this recipe (via Cookie Madness) last night with a few mods. I decreased the butter to one stick, added some apple sauce for more liquid and also a 1/4 cup of ground flax; since I didn't have raisins I used chocolate chips. I think Josh had three bars after dinner. He seems to like them. I will make them again, but I think with even less butter and more flax and apple sauce.

Look what the from and lady bug are doing on my iGoogle!

frog and bug!