a picture speaks 1000 words…

… but of course I have a few more to add.

Looks like the Toronto Police Services have been privatised recently…

"Mr. Police Officer, does this mean my Air Miles card is acceptable ID?"

Spotted at the corner of King and Peter this morning. This morning, there are more cops than real people down here.

&#$*@#&$^*@#$*&@#^

As you can gather, I must be really peeved in order to be jolted out of my blog apathy!

Roll on, G-20…right out of town, preferably.

Disgruntledly yours,

Brouhaha

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she likes it hot hot hot…

How do you like this glorious tropical colour?!

Fitting, given that it was so hot today that the thermometer on our balcony cracked!

(This is what you get for buying delicate instruments at the Dollar Store, I guess.)

However, JJ has been busily tending his newly laid balcony garden, and the results are starting to show well:

Don’t ask me what these are. I can tell you, though, that these are little baby marigolds…

… and that this is what they look like when they grow up.

The purple ones in the front are pretty too, no?

I particularly like this one:

Come to think of it, the only plant that is not looking so… ahem, hot… is the one that is in my charge:

It’s a cactus. My colleague L kindly gave me a cutting of it and told me it was impossible to kill. However, she didn’t know that she was consigning a piece of her plant to Kristina the Ripper. The door above the entry to my apartment should read “Abandon hope all ye greenery who enter here”, really.

Also, that lazy@$$ Mr. J “Ah’m rrrretired nou and ah don’t need tae do much of anythin’!” J has completely forgotten to plant my herbs which I put into his capable hands…

So, apparently it’s a very very guid thing that I decided, despite the fact that it was 5 million degrees C/7 million degrees F (10 million degrees C with the humidex), to stop at the shops on the way home and get some more stuff to preserve – otherwise we’d starve this winter, no doubt.

Stay tuned. Knitting progress photos, alas, will have to wait until next week. Despite the fact that I steamed up the apartment all last evening with boiling vats full of jars, I’ve decided that it is simply too hot to knit

Did I ever mention that I detest eggs, by the way?!?

A very, very happy, healthy and humidex-free Thursday to you all!

stampeding into shamelessness

I’m well and truly off the wagon now, folks. Yup. Yesterday, I made yet another trip to one of the local Houses of Worship – on the pretext that I needed one of these:

For some reason I keep losing these. This is probably my fourth this year. I’m sure that one of these days I’m going to bump accidentally into a secret portal in my apartment and be faced with a whole pile of single socks, good wooden coat hangers (as opposed to crap wire ones from the dry cleaners’) and knitting needle measuring ruler thingies, all pointing and laughing at me.

So, of course I decided today that I was in huge need for one of these $3 thingamabobs. But did I go back to Romni, which is just down the street from my workplace? Hell, no.

Why not? Well, I felt the need to take a 25 minute walk (each way) in 30C/150C with the humidex (don’t know what that is in Fahrenheit, but “damn hot” will about cover it), that’s why.

It certainly wasn’t because Lettuce Knit (quite a hike away from my office, in the Kensington Market) is the only yarn shop in the city that carried Blue Moon Fiber Arts yarn. No sirree Bob. Nope.

OK – so now you know the truth. I am a big fat liar.

But, really, how could I resist!

Oh – and while I was there I had to pick up a lonely little skein of Bobby Blue (as in “No Sirree Bob”, I guess!) Malabrigo laceweight as well:

But I don’t feel so bad about this – because Amy told me: “Malabrigo doesn’t count”. I’m a very gullible person, and I do hope that she has not led me down the garden path toward bankruptcy….

What makes me feel a bit better about all of this is that I’m apparently not the only one who’s getting up to hijinks this week, apparently – and mine are far cheaper than some. You see, this week the Calgary Stampede is taking place. Now, I’ve never been to Calgary but if you have ever lived in Canada and watched any news programme during the month of July, you’ll know all about this WestFest, where all the oil millionaires/billionaires, politicians and other high rollers turn up to watch some rodeo and eat some high-priced beef.

Now, according to CTV News the other evening, that’s not all these guys do. They actually had a segment on the late news discussing how some of these guys also come to gamble and pick up women. They even quoted a pro female saying it was by far the most lucrative week of the year.

I think they did, anyway. You see, I cannot find this story anywhere on their website – I do remember seeing it though, if only because it really really hurts to spit Vex alcopop out your nose when you start laughing with your mouth full. JJ confirms that this was on.

But instead, all I could find on the CTV website was this: Calgary drops suits for Stetsons during Stampede.

More like “drops trou”, no?!

I mean, really – let’s face it, these prime ministers must get up to all sorts of nonsense when they’re on the road – and especially when they get to dress up in cowboy drag. Why else would Pierre Trudeau have been showing his stuff there, for example?

Now, as for Jean Chretien, I’m not so sure:

Now, I must say that I really like his wife’s cowboy boots – in fact, I want them. But what was up with those puddlejumper jeans, Jean?!? Did the Prime Minsterial budget not extend to a pair of jeans that actually fit, or did you spend it all on the 10 gallon hat?!?

And then there’s always my favourite, the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, our current fearless leader who allows Geo. Bush to address him as though they’re hanging out on a street corner somewhere (I mean, really. “Yo, Harper“??? WTF???? When he pulled this stunt a few years back with Tony Blair, the British were reportedly offended. And, to my view, the British were right.) and simply giggles and blushes smiles. I’m not so sure, however, that it’s wild women he’s after…

I mean, first he poses for this cheesecake photo back in 2005:

Is that lipstick he’s wearing?!? I mean, really. Doesn’t he look as though he just stepped off the cover of a Village People LP?

So, then he hid I was not able to find any photos of Harper at the Stampede in 2006 – but this is what he turned up in in 2007:

So, what’s up with the pink shirt?? Well, apparently he said it was to show support for fundraising efforts for breast cancer. Well, that’s heartwarming and all, Steve – but if you really cared about people who suffer from breast cancer (or cancer of any kind, for that matter), you wouldn’t be doing your bit to destroy universal health care as we know it. But I’m ranting digressing now.

Suffice it to say that, sported by an arch-convervative like Harper, the colour pink speaks volumes. But this year, his image consultants have he’s decided to go butch:

Now, I haven’t been in a women’s bar for a while now – but the last time I went to one, this was pretty much the uniform.

So, Steve, I’ll be waiting with baited breath to see what cute little outfit you come up with for next year’s Stampede! How about something like this, for example?

Fetching, isn’t it?

Happy Wednesday!

a little heresy to start your day…

Before I begin: I’ve been advised that the people who read me through Bloglines got dumped with 10 or so of my posts in the last several hours.  Just remember – you can’t have too much of a guid thing.  I’m resisting the ever-so-Canajan temptation to apologise, but it’s difficult.  Sorry about that.

Well, it’s Wednesday and thus the middle of my working week – high time to promote a little controversy on the blog, I should think.

So, here’s my statement for today:

Forget lace knitting!! 

(ducking to avoid virtual missives thrown by Clarabelle and Soo, lace goddesses extraordinaire.  Sorry, ladies.  In reality, I’m just upset because I can’t churn out the lovely shawls that you both seem to produce in a couple of days!).

But seriously, why such a heretic and loaded statement?  Because I have a new book of time-honoured crafting techniques in my hot little hands which should provide hours – nay, months! – of excitement: Kitschy Crafts.

(Apologies if I have featured this book before – I really can’t remember but I suspect I must have as I’ve already had it out of the library once before! Oh well, it won’t be the first time I’ve rambled on ad nauseam about any given topic!)

I’m already planning to make a chip bowl out of an old Zorba the Greek LP:

Well, maybe I won’t use it as a chip bowl… after all, the chips come in a perfectly good bag and all – very handy for snacking.   But get this, people are actually selling these!

Clearly I’ve missed my calling. 

I also have to find a rock grinder to deal with my seashore haul from NS and a few dozen amethysts I rescued from a dead candle.  Being an ignoramus, I don’t begin to know where to look – any ideas from anyone in the GTA? (because, being a further ignoramus, I don’t dare buy one on-line in case I end up with the wrong thing).

And then, I intend to make myself a fancy hat like this one:

That would be the hat to the left, in case you were wondering.  This hat was one of surely dozens of similar – ahem – import worn at the first day of racing at Royal Ascot yesterday.  I would just love to wear one in the subway here one day soon.

Well, back to finding more photos of ludicrous hats from the Royal Ascot race meeting the grind, I guess.  Summer socialising has been impeding my progress on the Seascape, but it will get done eventually.

Learning to smell the coffee rather than guzzling it, laughing and then snorting it all out my nose,

Kristina

 

another PayDay, another $50 out the window…

Well, yesterday being the Ides of May, I headed to the local yarn shop as usual.

And here’s what I got!

First, a skein of Blue Sky Alpacas cotton in the Curry colourway (pictured below in the middle).

I’m hoping to make the Delft top in the current issue of Interweave Knits with these colours (I had the red and the orange in the stash from past swaps).

Oh, you should all congratulate me on my extreme forebearance. Why? Because, even though they had a brand new shipment of Handmaiden products in, I did not buy Handmaiden yesterday. I didn’t even look at it.

Er, um… ahem… I should confess that this is only the case because I was so taken with the Blue Moon collection:

The colourway is called “Atomic” of all things. Cool, eh?

And damn and blast (and double and triple damn) Lettuce Knits for being only one of two stores in Canada for carrying the stuff!! They’re just a bunch of pushers, really. Sheesh. I really, really can’t be blamed for losing my head (even though a whole bunch of Blue Moon stuff is winging its way to me from the US as we speak).

Actually, with all of those kilometres of laceweight yarn due to arrive, maybe I could use one of these as well:



Do you think I could program it to make Shetland lace?

Hmm. Actually, I doubt it. It was probably intended to make more useful everyday items of wear such as this:

Just check out that hunk o’ burnin love, would you? That fancy top wouldn’t be staying on him too long in my vicinity, I can tell you!!!

Or, how about some toys for the kiddies?

A very topical set of toys, I should think, given all the talk about bullying in the news these days (and you can click the link if you want to see my view on this issue!).

And, just to end off the work-week, I thought I’d post my top three weblinks for today:

(a) Passive-Aggressive Notes: I figure we’ve all seen such notes from time to time, although of course I’ve never written one myself! (cough cough). I get a real kick out of this website.

(b) Stitchy McYarnpants: some very funny photos of vintage knits, together with commentary. And, she reminded me that I hadn’t looked at Passive-Aggressive Notes for a while. Thanks, Stitchy!

(c) Stephen Fry: he is a rather funny English actor and has recently set up a blog. I’m not sure what I prefer about it – reading his excellent writing or checking out the self-important commentators who either pretend to be buddies with him or pontificate using poor grammar and big words that they dont know how to spel.

Miaow!

Happy Friday!

a parable for the 21st Century

Well, gang – being as it’s Saturday and I’m recovering from a drinking session with the gnomes busy at housework, I thought I’d reprise a post that I put up on another blog I started in a blog binge last month.

So, if any of you have read it on the other blog, my apologies and I’ll be back tomorrow with more gnome adventures (there’s a new member of the Gnome family!!!) and maybe even some photos of knitting.

And, JJ and I are off later today on a trip to Michael’s craft superstore.  Yippee!

Now for my little fable.  WARNING/AVERTISSEMENT/ACHTUNG: if you are a member of the Conservative Party… well, read at your peril.  And don’t whine to me that you weren’t warned!

**********************************************************************************************

There is a land far, far north of where most people live, and in that land is a little fiefdom called Kanadha. Many people flocked to Kanadha, even though it was a fiefdom, because it was one of the best and brightest places in the world.

However, Kanadha mostly exists in the shadow to its neighbour to the south, Murca. Murca is far larger than Kanadha and is run by a group of dictators known as the Archconservative Party. This is their leader, Exalted Ruler Godfrey. However, Mr. Godfrey prefers to be known as “God” – and this is what most of his people call him (although some of them give him the surname “Damn” underneath their breath).

This is a rare photo of God wearing evening dress. God doesn’t like wearing tuxedos, actually, because he likes to pretend to be a man of the people. However, from time to time he finds his tuxedo a useful tool to intimidate visiting dignitaries, such as The Right Honourable Steve.

Oops, sorry – wrong photo. This is actually the Father of Confederation, Sir John Eh?. However, the new guy, Steve is the current Supreme Lord and Master of Kanadha. He spends most of his time drinking, lying to his serfs and forcing the other nobility to keep silent about whatever it is he is up to, for example, hanging out with suspicious characters:

This is his way of emulating God, with whom he pretends to be best friends. No one is sure whether he actually believes this to be the case or not.

One thing is certain though – Steve has allowed God to scare him about the possibility of harm from this man, Lucifer.

Now, no one knows very much about Lucifer at all. According to God and Steve, Lucifer is a lawless type who hates Murca and should therefore be extinguished. However, people in Kanadha and Murca are not quite sure where he lives, what he believes in, and even whether this army exists or not. (God and Steve might actually know the truth – but if they do, they certainly have not been sharing it with their people).

Despite this, lots of money is spent every year by both Murca and Kanadha to engage in combat like activity far, far away in countries where Lucifer may or may not be found.

In Kanadha, they get the money for this fighting from people like this:

This is taxpayer John Doe. He is just one of millions of Kanadhonians who pay lots of tax money every year to Steve and the rest of the lords. He doesn’t really know where all of that money goes, as that is secret information known only to Steve and his Inner Circle of other nobility.

(It should be noted that In Kanatha, there is currently no right for taxpayers like John to vote. John doesn’t really think that is a big deal because he never voted when it was allowed anyway. Having said that, he does like complaining, though.

People like John, however, typically do not complain about the people in charge, because it’s easier to blame other people like themselves for all the problems in Kanadhian society. Steve encourages this, because it distracts the people and helps them forget that they are actually living in a fiefdom.)

Here are some other taxpayers, Quack and Daisy Duck:

You may have noticed that Quack and Daisy look quite different from one another, and from John Doe. This is because Kanadha is a multicultural fiefdom, although the Lords and Masters all still look like Steve (and like God, for that matter).

Quack and Daisy are hardworking types who don’t really have a lot of time to question what is going on in the wider world. Or maybe they just don’t care.

But that’s not a very kind thing to suggest, really, because I’m sure they’re busy looking after their two kids.

First up: Tina Duck.

Tina is still a young, naive little thing who doesn’t quite understand yet how the world works. Sometimes, especially after being picked on at school because her parents look different from one another, she wonders why everyone just can’t get along.

Everyone, that is, except her and her little brother, that is:

This is Brat Duck. He’s prone to stealing Tina’s crown and running around with it for kicks. He also squawks loudly, sometimes incessantly. This makes him potentially much better suited to get on in the fierdom and the wider world than Tina, unfortunately.

And finally, there is me, your humble chronicler, (Kris)tina.

I live in a place very much like Kanadha. It’s called Trana.

In Trana, unlike in Kanatha and Murca, there is no supreme being. Oh, wait, I’m wrong: of course there is a supreme being in Trana – the Almighty D*llar.

And here I must confess that I actually misled you a bit above. In fact, the Almighty D*llar is also the Supreme Being in both Kanadha and Murca. God and Steve just pretend to be the top entities, really.

I’m not allowed to show you photos here, just as I am not allowed to type out the name in full without changing a letter. However, in Kanadha one version of the Almighty D*llar looks like this, and in Murca like this. The version that you buy things with is referred to as a “dollar”.

As you can see, the Almighty D*llar is a shapeshifter which presents Itself amongst the rulers and mortals who spend their lives in search of it in various forms. And these days, you need at least one hundred of them to buy anything that you need.)

Trana is not a fiefdom, but some – nay, most – days it’s hard for me to believe that.

So, I just content myself with fondling luxury silk yarn, smoking cigarettes and indulging in general apathy like everyone else surrounding me.

Sigh.

sex selection, anyone?

And no, not that kind of sex. Get your mind out of the gutter! This is a knitting blog, after all…

I really should stop drinking Diet Coke when watching the news. My nose still hurts this morning after snorting a big mouthful out last evening after seeing a certain news item (don’t you hate it when that happens?)

Long story short: do you want to conceive a boy? Then eat…

That’s right. (And JJ was right chuffed, as you can imagine…).
You see, some people got together and did yet another study (this time in the UK).

740 pregnant first-time mothers were asked about their eating habits before and during early-stage pregnancy:

The study found that 56 per cent of the women in the group with the highest caloric intake at conception had boys, compared to 45 per cent in the group with the lowest energy intake.

Hmm – does this mean that boy children have more fat in their brains? That would make some sense…

The women who had sons were also more likely to have eaten a wider variety of nutrients, such as potassium, calcium and vitamins C, E and B12.

But this begs the question: how about Vitamin B?

I guess I’ll have to read the whole study to find out, as the rest of the sound byte was lacking in some detail, saying only:

Women who ate breakfast cereals were also more likely to have sons.

Now, if I hadn’t been paying attention I would have just assumed that this was a snippet from some conversation that a bunch of Greek grandmothers were having with a young woman. You know, old wives’ tales time honoured traditions as to how to keep the family name going.

However, the Greek yiayiadhes wouldn’t be using such high-falutin’ language to describe the theory:

Our results support hypotheses predicting investment in costly male offspring when resources are plentiful. Dietary changes may therefore explain the falling proportion of male births in industrialized countries.

And here I thought this trend was simply proof of social Darwinism – or did I just read that in some other study?!?

Well, you know what? I can write some pretty fancy language, too, when I so choose. So now I’m off to write a funding proposal to Health Canada for a study of my very own:

Can knitters influence the gender of their children based on what colour of yarn they are knitting with when they try to conceive?

I mean, imagine how business would soar at the yarn shops! This could bring down yarn prices for the rest of us…

So, what gender of child do you think would result if knitting with, for example, this:

Or would the seacell content skew the results (because this is, of course, Handmaiden Sea Silk)? I’m so confused…

Good thing I’m not planning to conceive any time soon. With all the oatmeal in the house, all the mystery would be taken out of the process.