Book Reivew – This will make you smarter

This Will Make You Smarter: New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your ThinkingThis Will Make You Smarter: New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking by John Brockman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I really felt this book needed an editor. It was made up of lots of short essays, some good, some really bad. Even if there had been some rating on each essay so you can skip some of the poorly written ones would have made this book better. I did learn some new words, like kakaonomics…but overall this book is not worth the read.

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Book Review – Waiting for Your Cat to Bark?

Waiting for Your Cat to Bark?: Persuading Customers When They Ignore MarketingWaiting for Your Cat to Bark?: Persuading Customers When They Ignore Marketing by Bryan Eisenberg
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book has been on my To Read list for a long time. There were a lot of good points in this book. I like the three questions to always keep in mind: Who are you trying to persuade? What action do you want them to take? What do they need for them to feel comfortable taking that action? I also like the phases of the process they describe: Uncovery (which is supposed to mean that you understand you business, the selling & buying process and create personas for your customers), wireframe, storyboard, prototype, develop and optimize.

But a lot of let downs as well. This book has way a lot of made up terms like uncovery. Most of what is covered in this book just barely touches on the subject and then points out how great they are at it. It felt like on big advertisement to hire them. Also the book really only covers the first phases of the process they describe. The other 5 phases only get the last 20 or so pages in the book are and only briefly mentioned.

It is worth a read, but I felt the authors should have gone into more depth on subjects and covered the other phases. Clever title that did not quite deliver.

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Book Review – One Hundred Years of Solitude

One Hundred Years of SolitudeOne Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

One Hundred Years of Solitude follows one very strange family. I thought it had some characters were great. The beginning of the book had beautiful language and was the best part. But the more you read, the more you have to keep flipping to the family tree to figure out who they are talking about, because the there are so many characters with the same or very similar names! Even though it was a bit difficult to read, this is one of those books that is definitely is worth reading once.

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A One Star Book

As Meat Loves Salt As Meat Loves Salt by Maria McCann
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I am so glad to be finished with this book. I don’t remember how the book got into my house, but I saw all the praise for it on the back and that it had won ECONOMIST Best Book of the Year, so I decided to read it. I was very surprised to find this book was very boring. It was really hard to force myself to finish this book. I did not enjoy the any of the characters, especially the main character, who is a very violent, jealous, dislikable man. The plot was not believable or even enjoyable. What a disappointment.

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An Long Pause & Another island….

I know it has been a VERY long time since my last post….back in October I started interviewing for (and got) a new position at work, and I have just felt so busy since then!!!!

I’m try to get back on track…so here’s some updates.

The island:  I am disappointed that we did not get the pulling up the dock in at the end of the season….it got cold so fast. We were heading out one weekend in November to find the river had large ice chucks, so we did not risk taking the boat out….so I guess this means we will probably be building a new dock in the spring :(

But here are some pics from October/November (so, no posts then!)  It was amazing to see we still have some flowers/mushrooms/fall leaves & even a caterpillar & a heron this late before the freeze!

Knitting:  I just got so frustrated with the project I was working on that I stopped knitting all together.  I have restarted this stupid scarf so many times!!! But it just keeps CURLING !!!!

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I tried that pattern as it was and edging would flip over onto the front of the scarf :(.  SO frogged a lot of work and tried again, adding a slip stitch before the edging…..same problem :(.  At this point I think I am going to ditch the scarf and make a cowl or an infinity scarf instead (no curling there right :) ).

And the hat….I followed the pattern and had some STRANGE results… the hat looks more like a beanie than a beret. The brim is loose and the hat is not….what kind of beret is that…..I don’t know if I am just not getting along with this yarn, or if I am knitting to tight/loose, need to change needles or what!   But I may just keep the hat, because I already did all the finishing and I DON’T want to frog that.

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Family Time:  I also got to take off a few days early this month and head off to Utah to see my sisters, nephew & niece.  That was a lot of fun, we did some tubing, did way too much karaoke and went to see Toad the Wet Sprocket.   We stayed up late every night watching scary movies with my nephew or playing cards.  It was a blast!

And now for another island; My husband’s friend got married.  Congrats Dr. D!!!!  The wedding was as out in the Caymans.  I have to say, it was such a great excuse to take a nice vacation.  The wedding was on Grand Cayman and it was one of the best parties ever.  We had so much fun!!!!

Then we went off to Cayman Brac, which was AWESOME.  It was such a quiet place and had great snorkeling….

cave exploring…

and I even got to win at darts…

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The critters, flowers and agave were so cute :)

and the beaches….ah!

We even chartered a boat to go fishing….it would have been a ton of fun… we got a 30 lb. Wahoo in the first 20 minutes!  But then the wind and the waves pickedup and it became a very scary boat ride.

I am going to try to get back into my knitting, I really do enjoy it, I just have to make time.  And I will try to be better and posting regularly!  I am going to start with redesigning that scarf, so I will post when I have an update.

One Lovely Blog Award

It was a very long week with no posting and was pleasantly surprised to find that my blog was nominated for the One Lovey Blog award!  Thank you Cinn!!!!

Award Rules:

1.  Thank the person(s) who nominated you.

2.  Post the award graphic.

3.  List seven random facts about yourself.

4.  Nominate seven other blogs & let them know that they have been nominated.

one_lovely_blog_award

Seven Random Facts About Me:

  1. I own an island (on the rock river with no power or running water).
  2. I am a total dork….proof: MS in statistics and I design star trek beer cozies.
  3. I have a great dog (who is also very photogenic).
  4. I am married to a great guy that puts up with all of the following of my obsessions:
  5. Knitting- there is yarn everywhere :)
  6. Shoes: I love how a great pair of heels can make you feel ready to conquer.
  7. I LOVE books….mostly fiction, but I do read a little of everything

Here are the seven blogs I nominate for the One Lovely Blog Award (in no particular order):

  1. Makewise Designs
  2. Babywren
  3. Slipped Stitches
  4. Milk-Shed
  5. Let’s Face the Music
  6. Yarnings
  7. House.Food.Baby.

Thanks again Cinn!!

To Frog or Not to Frog…that is the question

IMG_20130627_183323_899I’ve been working on the Kitchen Sink Bag for a week now, and am a little disappointed in the results.

Two big problems.  First, the basketweave does NOT look the same in when knit in the round as it does when knit flat.  Not to mention it was REALLY hard to keep track of odd and even rows when knitting in the round, so I kept making mistakes, which makes it look even worse!  See the difference (1) knit flat vs. (2) knit in the round.

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Second, I came to the finally row of repeating mesh pattern and should begin ending the bad and creating the handle.  It is SO short and squat!  Since the mesh pattern is so stretchy, seems silly to have such a wide bag of it.

So, after a week of effort, and an almost finished bag, do I frog the project and start over, removing the basketweave and making the pattern less wide and more high?  Or maybe I should just finish it up, make this my boat tote bag (towels, sunscreen and a book should fit) and use the cream yarn I still have to make another they way I want it.  Thoughts?

Burnin’ Though the Stash and Banning the Bamboo

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We recently purchased all new furniture for our office, which of course forces us to clean out and reorganize the office.  One thing it made me realize is just how big my stash is and how many started and unfinished projects were hidden in the closet.  So I am determined to use or get rid of the stash and only purchase yarn for a specific project and only when I am actually working on it!!!!!

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So, project one…I found some great cotton yarn and have started on a project, a bag Itsybitsy and Kitchen Sink Bags

 

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I used to a have similar bag (and I LOVED it) that I had purchased at Whole Foods, but it was much think yarn and eventually, it fell apart.

 

Got started last night with the project and found the basket weave stitch to be SO DIFFICULT!!!  Then tonight, some luck struck….my needles broke!!!  And I can say how glad I am they did.  I was using some cheap bamboo needles that had been purchased on ebay and when I switched to a pair of Boyes metal needles that was a HUGE difference.  Basket weave stitch is not as difficult because the yarn can move some much easier with the new needles.

 

I hope this means with the office clean up and the new project that t I can get rid of all my crappy bamboo needles and eventually replace them all with all!!!!!!!

Slow Progress (Lack of Motivation?)

I feel I have been working on these gloves way to long…I started back in January and I am still not finished with one.  Close but not quite.  In my defense, I have had to make a LOT of adjustments to the pattern,  my husband’s hands are as wide as the pattern, but not as long.  The original pattern looks a lot like what I have done below, but the waste yarn is there to add a cap to the gloves.

With the cap it looks like, I still need to add a cap for the thumb:

I also need to get started on my Project Yarnway challenge project, but I know what a mess that will be as soon as I open up all those beads!!!!  On the bright side, there are already flowers coming up.  I can’t believe it.  I has not gotten out of the 40′s on the good days….but here is the proof!

It is making me dream of summer…I can’t wait until it is warm enough to put hte dock back out and sit by the water in the sun.  :)

Project Yarnway April Challenge and Florida Vacation

So,  I have not had my mac, so I finished this over a week ago and still have not posted it!  This is Bobbi’s Bahama Beach Bag that I created for the April challange.

Therre are desciptions of the challenge and my orginal sketches here:

http://eugenebinx.wordpress.com/2010/04/05/project-yarnway-april-challengebag-it-tag-it/

http://eugenebinx.wordpress.com/2010/04/26/project-yarnway-april-update/

I love the final design.  It is kind of like a backpack.  When you grab the straps, it closes the top of the bag!

The timing was prefect, I was able to deliver the bag while Tom and I were in Florida for a short vacation. 

We spent a lot of the time on the beach.

Not sure what to do with the ton of seashells we found!

It was clouldy the first few days, but it was warm the whole time we were there. 

We also found some scary looking jelly fish!

Some of them were deflated….

The artists of this sandcastle insisted that they be incldued in any photos of it…

The last day on the beach was very sunny and great!  I love sunshine! 

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