Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Tuesday Afternoon Pick-Me Up

Zooey Deschanel is so very cute, her wardrobe rocks, I love her voice and her songs are just as adorable as she is. This video for She & Him's* new song is worth watching just for the little skip at the end.

*I'm sure M. Ward (the Him half of She & Him) lovely, too. I just don't know who he is, besides some musician guy.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Long time, no see

It turns out, it has become difficult to post about knitting that is in progress. The pictures are boring to take, so you can probably just blame the other blog since that is taking most of my interesting photos. So, what is going on?

Knitting: I have finished both fronts for the Barcelona Jacket and am about 1/3 done with the sleeves.

I finished Len's hat, but it was about an inch too short, plus the decreases for the crown were too fast and made the top all gathered. I hate that. Len didn't care, but I do, so out it came. I'm getting to the point of starting the decreases again and need to figure out how to do them so the top isn't gathered. Because I want the cables to go up as far as possible, decreasing isn't as simple as knit 10, knit 2 together.

I have finished one knee sock and started the other.

Knee sock and cuff

I'm further along than this: I'm actually into the decrease section now.

Kitties: Last weekend was the first weekend since the end of January none of the cats have needed to go to the vet for check ups or medications. I doubt we have seen the last of the gross, but things are calm for now (nothing life threatening, just gross). I did find out that they have all been eating too much, so they are on a more austere program. It hurts Len more than any of the cats.

Len is becoming a nerd.


He found a laptop that had been left behind by a tenant 5 years ago (it is a long, kind of sordid tale, involving parents and power plays, best not to get into it). He brought it home and now our computer can keep up with our relatively slow DSL. Plus it has FreeCell. I've been seeing less of Len. And now he brings the thing to work with him and searches for free floating wireless internet. It's kind of hilarious. He hasn't gone too far, though: I asked him if I could unhook his e-mail from mine, and he wasn't comfortable with that yet. He did make an attempt at The Reason the Internet Took Off (ah, porn), scared him half to death, what with all the pop-ups and flashing and what not, so I don't think I'll have to worry about that anymore.

Also, this weekend I found myself in electronics wiring hell. It was not fun. I'm back to purgatory, but I ask you: why do I have to run our DVR and DVD player through an RF Modulator and VCR (which we do not ever use) in order for them both to work? Does that make any sense at all? Stupid wires. I had wiring diagrams lying all over the house, to no avail. Nothing worked, so we had to hook the VCR (seriously, we don't even turn the thing on!) and modulator thingy back up in defeat.

This squirrel yelled at me the whole time I was outside taking pictures yesterday.

Angry squirrel

Yes. Squirrels are fat in Ann Arbor, even in the winter. And yes. It was snowing. A lot.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Friday, January 29, 2010

Ripping and Knitting

Funny looking sock

This doesn't look quite as funny in the picture as it did in person (or nearly as orange, for that matter). The ankle and foot looked much, much skinnier. Too skinny.


It looked like this fairly soon after that first picture was taken. I probably could have just taken out the foot and ankle to where I had 72 stitches, but the calf didn't fit right either (too big), and since I was ripping anyway, I might as well take it all the way back. I suppose it should at least annoy me that I've had to rip the calf out so many time (three, so far), but I want these to fit well. I think I have the right numbers now, so it should go much better this time.

Simon is a hipster

Simon doesn't want your hipster beer.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Also Ran


I like this picture almost as much as the one I posted at the other place.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Finished Knitting

With crummy pictures!

New Socks

These are the Austrian Socks from Favorite Socks. The color is way off but the yarn is Louet Gems sport weight (Willow, I believe), knitted on size 2 needles.

Cable Detail

That's a little closer to the color. I enjoyed knitting them, but they were a bit hard on my hands -- I think the pattern calls for fingering weight, but I went with the heavier yarn because I don't like the way fingering works up with #2 needles (at least not for socks).


I love the way the toe works out, and that the socks fit exactly as written.


Now I can knit these without guilt. Not that I wasn't knitting them before, but it was guilty, furtive knitting, since I hadn't finished the Austrian socks. This is the first time I've used Koigu and I might be addicted.

Simon Does Not Approve

Simon does not approve.

Cat update: I still haven't gotten Judy to the vet, but I discovered fleas on Thursday night. I managed to get flea stuff on her on Saturday morning. She still hasn't forgiven me, but I'm calling it a minor victory, even if it doesn't take care of the obsessive licking.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Census 101

1990 Census

You know how I keep saying I'm going to do a Census post and then I put it off? Well, the day has arrived. This is kind of long, but I hope not too boring.

"The actual enumeration shall be made within three years after the first meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent term of 10 years, in such manner as they shall by Law direct."
-- Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution of the United States

The first Census was taken in 1790, it was supervised by then Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson and was under the supervision of the U.S. Marshals. The final count was 3.9 million, which both Washington and Jefferson suspect was an under count.

You can find a nice decade by decade overview, including the authorizing legislation and enumeration, here.

The questionnaire is 10 questions, each a result of legislation. These questions have to do with age, sex, race, Hispanic origin, relationships within the household and whether you own or rent the dwelling (you can look here to see when the question was enacted and what the purpose is).

This is the first year you will not get a long form from the Census Bureau. The long form has been replaced by the American Community Survey (ACS), which is a monthly sample survey. There are a variety of reasons for this, but one of the more important is that the demographic and economic data is more timely than the decennial census. If you happen to get an ACS questionnaire you are required to answer it (there are penalties, but they are rarely if ever enforced); because it is separate from the census, you have to fill out the census form as well.

Census data is used to apportion seats in the U.S. House of Representatives (and thus in the Electoral College). States may gain or lose seats (Ohio is projected to lose a couple of seats with this Census). For more information on apportionment, including a map of projected gains and losses, look here. The data is also used to distribute federal funding for hospitals, schools, roads and bridges (sometimes in Alaska). The data can be used by community leaders, residents and advocates to argue for (or against) funding for projects.

The basic timeline for this year’s Census: In May of last year Census workers fanned out to verify addresses, making sure that 123 Any Avenue is still a single family house that hasn’t burnt to the ground in the last 10 years. In March 2010, the forms will be mailed (or otherwise delivered). April 1 is National Census Day. If you or a member of your household splits time evenly between two houses, wherever you are on April 1 is where you should be counted. Census workers (or enumerators) will visit households which did not send in their form (this is why the Census is so expensive) from April to July. Population information is delivered to the President in December 2010 for reapportionment, and redistricting data is due the states by March of 2011.

My sister, who works in an unemployment agency (and she is very busy for the foreseeable future) said this about applying for and hiring Census workers: “Census workers are hired through the same process any employer would hire someone. Positions (as one might expect), are temporary and local to the area. They hire for clerical and enumerators 18yrs or older & generally with no criminal background. They are also required to take 30min. test that covers reading, math & attention to detail. Additional training is required once they've completed the application process. They also pay a decent starting wage (at least for my clients)for such a mundane job-$12 for clerical & $16.50 for enumerators. So there you have it. The census worker in a nutshell;)”

The sample test she mentions can be found here, along with other application material and background check information.

In the coming months you may find me geeking out over sampling issues, over- and undercounting and other fun minutia, but this is the important stuff so I will spare you for now. The picture is my library's copy of the 1990 Census (with a bit of the 1980 Census). That is the last census to be printed. Its all online now.