Transferable Skills

So, I’m told that there’s a gambling phenomenon known as the “dice mechanic”.  This is a person who can throw the dice in such a way as to make their odds of winning at craps better.  Since craps is a fairly low-margin game for the house anyway, the player improving hir odds even a little can be quite lucrative.

I wonder if this is a skill that can be learned.  Because I know someone who can flip a coin to land as he likes–I once watched him do it 20 times in a row, with me calling before he flipped; it seems like a simpler version of the same skill.  I can’t do it, myself, and it might be that the process depends on the fact that a coin has only two choices; he might not be able to discriminate among six sides.  Be interesting to test.


Jared Padalecki is 6’4″.  That’s tall, to be sure, but it doesn’t exactly make him a hulking brute, especially given that he’s not built as heavily as Jensen Ackles¹.  Now, perhaps my perspective is skewed by the number of tall people I hang out with on a regular basis², but 6’4″ isn’t giant territory, no matter what the writers of Supernatural fic seem to think.

1: Your Honor, the defense rests.  If your last name was Ackles, don’t you think you’d name your kid Paul or Michael or something?  And I’d put a small amount of money on him actually weighing more than his co-star, because he’s a burly guy.  (Also seriously hot, but that’s irrelevant.)

2: Liam is 6’3″, Jesse’s in the 2″ to 4″ range, Marc is 6’2″…

Knitty First Fall 2011 Review

I understand what Knitty is trying to do with their new format, but seeing an issue come out a day and a half after the Summer Solstice that has the word “fall” in the title is still a little jarring.  But we work with what we’ve got, so here goes.

Creekbed by Stephen West: I am not a big fan of scarves, as a rule, because I tend to lose them (see also: hats, gloves, mittens…).  However, purely as a piece of knitting I like how this works.  And if I were in the mood to appreciate autumnal colors, I’d like those too.  Anything in fingering weight is nice.  So all told, a cute piece of work.

Dunes by Gena Wich: I don’t understand introducing your knitted piece with a paean to the fiber you spun for the yarn to knit it, but hey, perhaps I’m behind the times.  It’s a perfectly nice shawl with an interesting, not too open lace pattern.

Rhodion by Elizabeth Freeman: Wow, so, first of all huge shawl is huge.  The lace is incredibly complex and would be a heck of a challenge and a lot of fun to knit if I had any interest in having the shawl itself when I was done; perhaps what I need is to make more friends who wear such things?  If for no other reason than you have to love something that starts from a provisional CO so it can be knit from the center out for perfect mirroring, and lace and cables in the same row, sometimes even the same stitches, is too cool.

Kuusk by Ashley Knowlton: Cute, pink, and handspun.  I hate handspun in patterns, because it means I can’t have what’s in the picture if that’s what I want.  Still, nice complex lace, so it’s not exactly pandering to the lowest common denominator.

Dragon Wing by Patti Waters: I don’t know.  The shape of this thing is so weird, it will either be a smashing success that stays exactly where you put it, or it’ll fall off the instant you move, and there’s no way to tell before someone knits one.  That someone is not going to be me, however, because I just don’t like it.  I’m sure lots of people love it.

Pretty Twisted by Cat Wong: I…I’m torn.  Clever way to use up short lengths it may be, but something in me just can’t warm up to the idea of a knitted bracelet.  Perhaps if I think of them as fancy pulse warmers I’ll be able to deal.

Darrin by Laura Chau: OK, now, this is a nice basic sweater.  I’d go for longer sleeves, but then I almost always do; short sleeves tend to leave me chilly.  The color is kind of uninspiring, but that’s both easily changed and not necessarily a bad thing in a wardrobe staple.  The only thing I really don’t like is the lack of any front closure besides the belt.

Leaflet by Cecily Glowik MacDonald: Oh look, more short sleeves.  Still, a nice piece, and in this case I don’t mind the lack of front closure as much; the shaping will cause it to lie flat much better in this case.  Now, that particular shade of yellow would make me look three days dead, but if I wanted to knit it anyway I’d just pick a different color.  More short sleeves, alas, which probably means I won’t be worrying about it.

Undercurrent by Lisa Kay: Can someone explain the appeal of Noro yarns to me?  The colors aren’t enough to make up for the feel of the yarn, which is invariably icky, and I’ve never seen a colorway that didn’t have at least one truly hideous color in it somewhere.  Anyway, this is a nice basic cardigan pattern that uses a bunch of my least favorite tricks, including changing needle sizes for the ribbing.  I hate that.  Just increase stitches, for heaven’s sake.  And it’s too bad it gets all its visual interest from the color changes in the yarn, because that makes it tough to sub something for the Noro.  Ah well, the world is full of patterns.

Date Night by Nikol Lohr: I rather like the red version of this top, though I have no need whatsoever for a lacey tank.  The two-toned brown-and-black version, however, is ugly, and having it on over a black tee does not make things better.  I do like that she gives advice about what kinds of yarn to use to replicate the look if you want to sub.

Kindling by Terri Kruse: Hey, wow, a garment that’s not for adult women!  Cute as all get out, too, though I imagine a lot of people would decide the cable and leaf motif made it “too girly” for a little boy.

Next up, no fewer than six sock patterns.  Chasing Snakes, Gratitude, Lingerie and Inlay are just socks.  Double Heelix has a neat construction method, but that’s all there is to recommend it.  Bosnian is the kind of multicolored extravaganza I’d have a blast knitting, but then what would I do with the socks?

Tortora by Thelma Egberts: Cute hat.  Despite the banner picture, there’s no dark yarn at the base of the bobbles; it’s just shadows.  A neat effect, and fairly simple to knit for a lovely basic hat.

I Crocodile by Helen M Rose: Oh look, more Noro.  In this case the colors are at least nice, but I can’t imagine wanting that stuff touching the skin of my forehead.  If you can find another yarn to use, there’s no reason not to go for this hat.

Commuter by Stephanie Sun: I like the idea here, but something about these mitts looks a little off.  Perhaps it’s because they’re in reasonably heavy yarn, and it’s my thin yarn snobbery coming out.  I do like the bit that can be folded around the fingers for a little extra warmth when needed.

Morse Code by Kate Atherly: So, being the fan of steganography that I am, I really want to like the idea of a mitten with its name hidden in it.  But I cannot for the life of me figure out the encoding for the dots and dashes, so my attempt to like is foiled by frustration.  Still, nice warm mittens.

Victorian Baby Doll Ensemble, Part 1  by Franklin Habit: I am an utter geek about doll clothes, but I gotta tell you that is one unattractive baby outfit right there. Maybe it’ll look better once all the parts are done and on the doll?


When the Sherlock Holmes stories were written, it was common for even close friends to call each other by their surnames, thus “Holmes” and “Watson”.  These days that doesn’t sound natural, so the current BBC Sherlock has them calling each other, well, Sherlock and John.

I am less than impressed by the running joke about Watson being gay.  I don’t really get why that should even be a thing, in this day and age, nor why people should fail to believe him when he says he’s not.

The Benefit of Reading LJ Archives…

…is that I get to do all the nifty old memes.

Q. Elaborate on your default photo:
It’s a small part of the Ace of Wands from Stephanie Pui-Mun Law’s Shadowscapes Tarot.

Q. What’s your current relationship status?

Q. What exactly are you wearing right now?
Skirt, hoodie, stockings, appropriate undergarments, ballet flats, glasses, ring, watch

Q. What is your current problem?
This frickin’ pit in my back

Q. What do you love most?
I’m bad at favorites.

Q. What makes you most happy?

Q. If you could go back in time, and change something, what would it be?
I’d’ve realized what was on offer was better than what I had, sooner.

Q. If you MUST be an animal for ONE day, what would it be?
A cat, hands down.  But probably a big cat, not a housecat.

Q. Ever have a near death experience?

Q. What’s the name of the song that’s stuck in your head right now?
I have no idea what it’s called, one of those whiny early-00’s things.

Q. Who will cut and paste this first?

My name is Carrie, not Cassie.

Q. Name someone with the same b-day as you:
A bunch of people, none of whom I can bring to mind at the moment.  But I share the Goldfish with Spock and Emma Peel, so I’m good.

Q. Have you ever vandalized someone’s private property?
Not unless I’m forgetting something dumb I did as a kid.

Q. Have you ever been in a fight?
In the sense of “physical conflict that lasted more than one blow,” no, but I’ve hit a few people.  The most recent one was drunk and trying to feel me up.

Q. Have you ever sang in front of a large audience?
Frequently; I was in chorus in high school and once or twice have sung at large bardic circles at Pennsic.

Q. What’s the first thing you notice about the OPPOSITE sex?
The way they move.

Q. What do you usually order from Starbucks?
Medium chai latte, hot or iced as suits the season.

Q. Have you ever hurt yourself on purpose?
Yes.  Occasionally it’s even been recreational, nudge nudge wink wink say no more.

Q. Tell a secret about yourself.
…if I did that they wouldn’t be secrets anymore.

Q. Has anyone ever said you looked like a celebrity?
Seems to me it’s happened once or twice, but I’ll be switched if I can remember which celebrity.

Q. Do you still watch kiddy movies or TV shows?
Sometimes, especially the various animated holiday specials.

Q. Did you have braces?

Q. Are you comfortable with your height?
Yes, though I do occasionally realize it might be handy to be taller.

Q. What is the most romantic thing someone has ever done for you?
Given up the opportunity to make several hundred dollars to spend time with me.

Q. Do you speak any other languages?
Sadly, no, though I’m learning French again.

Q. What is your favorite smell?
OK, quizmakers of the world, I’m going to say this one more time: I’m bad at favorites.

Q. Have you ever been to a tanning salon?
What the heck for?

Q. What magazines do you read?
Knitting ones, and I have a subscription to Real Simple.

Q. Have you ever ridden in a limo?

Q. Has anyone you were really close with passed away?

Q. Do you ever watch MTV?
Not anymore, and not much even when I did.

Q. What’s the latest you have ever stayed up?
I don’t know; probably on the order of 36 hours.

Q. Have you ever been rushed into the emergency room?

When I was six or seven, after falling into the stairwell for the exterior steps to the basement of our house.  I ended up with five stitched in my chin.

Friday Five

1. How do I make it stop raining? When you work that one out, let me know.

2. Where’s your favorite place to chill out? A bookstore with WiFi and a coffee shop.

3. What’s the deal with Corn Nuts? Uh, they’re tasty?

4. If it itches, do you scratch it? Yes.  Hence the hole in my spine right now.

5. Tell me your favorite guilty-pleasure super-bad-for-you food. Vending machine Do-nut sticks.  I cannot get enough of those things.

Oldie but Goodie

Grab the book nearest you, turn to page 23, find line 5. Write down what it says, along with this sentence, and post it in your journal.

“The process of character creation can be sped up considerably simply by dropping Merits from the creation process.” —World of Darkness: Mirrors

This is the book I use as a mouse pad, which is why it’s “closest”.