Sunday, April 27, 2008

A Delaware discovery

Today Matt & I went cruising around randomly and stumbled upon the Hagley in Wilmington, DE. This is where the DuPont family first built their gunpowder factory in 1802. Inside is a collection of highly detailed dioramas, with real gears and water pushing stuff around. The second floor is a beautiful display of wartime factory posters. The top story discusses DuPont's evolution into a chemical firm.I'm sure when active it was a noisy, filthy, hellish place, but now it's a lush green park with a fascinating history. Right along the Brandywine River (their power source) are the ruins of the old buildings and demonstrations of the simple machines used there. The workshop is still active, complete with drive line across the ceiling. They make gunpowder daily and test it (we happened to catch the test - it was a good batch!).

Overall: Highly recommended!

Unfortunately we both forgot our cameras, so these are from Matt's iPhone. I guess we'll just have to go back! Lots more pics here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Just voted!

The PA Primary is today. We walked over to the elementary school and cast our votes for Ollama. Matt really hopes he chooses Al Packer* for a running mate. I snapped some evidence of spring on the way back. Actually, except for the ultra-determined road weed, they were all taken in our yard.

*Not a real person. Sorry.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Halp! I'm knitting as fast as I can!

I leave for Sea Socks and the associated Seattle frolicking in a few short weeks... my excitement falls short of urinary accidents, but only by picometers. However! Somehow before I leave I have to finish:

1) Mohair "Glacier Sweater"
2) Felted slippers for contest
3) Matt's graduation-from-internship prezzie (it'll happen while I'm gone, sadly, I just found out!)
4) Darn it, I wanna make a market bag for MDS&W and my general travelings. I have the perfect natural cotton for it.

Somehow I don't think it will ALL get done... but I'm going to try, so if you see me online tell me to go mind my knitting. Please?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Girlie Made a Gay Man Sweat!

NOTE: Both Heathercentric posts have evolved to contain more fun!

Finally! Today was the day we'd been waiting for. It was the Big Event that finally made Heather come visit: Franklin's photo shoot for the 1000 Knitters Project, a collective portrait of our community. Mr. Habit is a hysterical writer and cartoonist. He spins (sorry) lurid tales of Delores, a smoking, hard-drinking, promiscuous sheep, and Harry, a shy ball of sock yarn. Photography is just one of his many talents. This one was at Wool Gathering, a cute shop in Kennett Square. I ran into some blog readers, Sandi (who's come to my Fiber Nights), and even a client! Click on the outside pic to see the sheep purse.

I showed off my red mohair shawl. I had to wear my sheep sneakers, too, although of course they weren't in the pic. See how long that scarf is? He's up to the low 500s now. Heather sported her Mmmmmalabrigo scarf. It's actually still on the needles, behind her back. Shhhh, don't tell!

Girlie is of course not a knitter, but she sat and chatted with Franklin about her tats when he asked. She showed him the rest of Hello Kitty and was rewarded with a dropped jaw and a glistening brow. Then she broke out her her hook as an act of civil disobedience for the Crochet Liberation Front.

Afterwards the three of us continued on to Amish country: Intercourse and Bird in Hand. The scents were, um, fertile. We saw lots of incredible old buildings, folks traveling by horse & buggy, and even more traveling by motorcycle. The no-helmet thing is always a Darwinian shock. Lots of gorgeous quilts and quite a few hideous ones, including machine-made copies for stupid tourists. How can you not see the difference?

In one of the junk shops, which was packed to the faux rafters with little wooden signs saying things like "Kiss the cook," we spotted a pentagram-shaped votive candle holder that was mounted upside down. Girlie explained to the owner that some of her customers might construe that as satanic. In the process, she identified herself as pagan. The woman actually thought she meant she was in a biker gang and had never heard the original use of the word. Heather and I exchanged wide-eyed stares and somehow managed to help her remount it (from the provided iron loop) right side up and get out of the store without laughing in her confused face.

We also found a wool & weaving shop where they did their own dyeing. Great colors, but the base wool was rough as unshaven legs.

Of course on the way home we hit Rita's. Root beer gelati...mmmmmm!

Another great day, zooming around randomly, following our noses. Wonder what'll happen tomorrow?

Fred, that last one's for you.

We almost saw Obama

Heather, my superawesome friend from Seattle (she appears many times in the earlier episodes of this blog) came to visit. She arrived Thursday and we (Matt and I) swept her off to South Street for a cheesesteak at Jim's and a brief foray to Rosie's. Then Friday, Heather & I railed into Center City and explored the historical district. We intended to see our next President speak, but upon hearing that 15,000 others would probably be in line ahead of us, we opted out. Betsy Ross house (the flute player was hot), the Liberty Bell, Reading Market, Chinatown... we did it all.

We spent a rolicking half hour with a hand spindler, Ruth, chatting about fiber arts and Scottish history. She had the most adorable puppets made of her handspun. Her extensive fuzzy flock included a rabbit, a sheep, and even the Nessie, who sported fringed eyelids and a tartan kilt. We chatted with another lady who was wheel-spinning linen at the Betsy Ross house. She said we could have her job when we pried it out of her cold, dead hands.

We even hit East Market for some clothes. Yay for fun stuff in bigger sizes! Then Friendly's for dinner (she's never spent time on this coast so I wanted her to taste all the local color). More tomorrow...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Girlie Tastes the Peach

What can I say? Fred's a madman.

World travel in a Volvo

Girlie and I had one of those random leaf-in-the-wind days yesterday. First she took a box to the post office, which I had labeled "Fragile: Live Faeries," and met a boy named Keegan who had just learned to whistle. Pretty soon everyone in line was telling stories about the magical contents of their parcels. Wish I'd been there for that.

The title of this post was nearly "An elephant and a midget are driving this car...". Skor is outfitted with an Oompa Loompa doll, who is now clipped to the right visor and looks like he's flying Superman-style. Ganesha meditates on the left side of the dashboard: An appropriate locale for the Remover of Obstacles.

We set off in search of a yarn shop in Conshohocken but a traffic disaster found us rerouted to Manayunk,* land of the world's worst street "singers." We shopped in India, Tibet, Latin America (some of the inventory still had its "Made in Indonesia" stickers, but the Spaniards vs Incas chess set was awesome), and the Mediterranean. I found a funky little menorah made in Israel, which made me very happy. We found a super-amazing surprise for Matt, so you have to wait to hear about that unless you email me.

We decided to push on to the yarn store, but by then it was closed. We wound up driving randomly through cute little neighborhoods. Spring has sprung rather violently here. We went from winter to muggy heat in 2 days! Tooling around with the windows down and no real destination was supremely fun.

Random comments log: "Was that a loaf of bread?"
"What? Where?"
"On the side of the road!"

"What's with the enhanced police presence?"
"I know! It's like a double order of bacon!"

"Generally, women who shuffle their feet appear to be highly unintelligent."

"Why does that gym have a fat gay guy on its logo? And what's with the funny hat?"

Then we stumbled across Ikea, so we took Skor to visit his native people and snagged some cheapo kitty dens.

Sharp eyed observers will note that the Peach is wearing a no-lick collar. The cut under his throat kept reopening. You know how cats love to get in that 69 position and gut each others' necks? Plus as it healed and itched he was scratching it open. We are hoping that this will finally allow it to close. The outside of the collar is now covered in claw marks, so it must be doing something!

The party continued into the evening. We visited our buddy Ken for Chinese, hottubbing, fire, and photos.

* Yes, these are real town names. Other local weirdness includes Schuylkill, Bala Cynwyd, and Uwchlan.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

I'm on TV!

Well, not really, but I bought some advertising from a company that puts flatscreens in businesses. I get 15 seconds every 10 minutes. Mine is going into a gym a mile from my clinic. All the treadmillers and bicylists will be staring at it along with the regular TVs. What do you think?

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Make the Right Choice

I think there's a very good chance that history will look back on this speech much as we look back on Dr. Martin Luther King's I have a Dream speech. I sure hope we have President Obama to lead us forward next year!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Such a crazy week...

... and it's only Tuesday!

1) Skor! is an awesome car. Dad put a lot more work into him than I expected, and boy do we appreciate it.
2) I have moths. My art room has changed from a pretty yarn store to a cedar-scented, plastic-encased warehouse. :(
3) I launched my website!! It still needs some tweaking, but I'm very happy. Feedback appreciated.
4) Check this out!
5) I really need some sleep.