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.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


I'm up to my eyeballs in a big, hairy project (can anyone tell me why no one indexes Annual Review of Gerontology and Geriatrics?), so a Census post is going to be delayed a bit.

In the meantime, I thought you might like an update on the great Feline Adventure.

Judy: 6 (scratches); Me: 0
I'll try sedation next. Not sure who it will benefit more.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Paranoid Cat

While we have finally upgraded our home internet service to the slowest DSL available (which is still blazing fast compared to dial-up), our ancient (in Techie years) computer can't really keep up, so this post might be a bit bare bones.

Judy is Not a Happy Cat

This is Judy. She's paranoid. The other two cats have been having various cat health problems (too gross to go into), and in the midst of it all Judy started licking her back raw, so now I need to get her to the vet. The only time I am allowed to even touch Judy is when she is in this room, better yet, when she is on the chair. This is my best chance to get Judy into the cat box and up to the vet. I was hoping to get her on Saturday but I only had two opportunities: once while the cat box was unavailable and then after the vet had closed. Judy is not stupid. I am home today, trying again. I have already missed one opportunity, and now she is in hiding. I love the crazy creature, but she does not make it easy.
Align Center

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Knitting Seen in the Wild

Is it just me or did the holiday rush by in a flash? I put up decorations the weekend after Thanksgiving and took them down January 3rd, barely a week later. I did a lot of frantic knitting during that time, but have very few pictures to show for it. Exactly one, in fact.

Little Stocking

I knitted eight wee little stockings, took a picture of this one and the green and red ones, but none of the others (including the super cute beaded ones). I'm lame.

I also knitted a very nice wrap for a friend, out of some Blue Heron Silk Rayon she gave me in a fit of I-don't-know-what-to-do-with-this-Get-it-out-of-my-house (I could use a couple of those fits in my life). I made Asymmetry from Wrap Style, I didn't take a picture and I can't find an accessible one on the web, so you will just have to trust me that it came out well.

Today was my 100th day of photos. To celebrate, WordPress released a new photoblogging template. Wasn't that nice of them? It isn't very different, but I can finally link to my brother's photo blog.

And last, but not least: are you getting excited about Census 2010? Of course you are! This video of the unveiling of the Census 2010 NASCAR Ford Fusion is pretty funny (if you are as giant a nerd as I am). Some time ago, Sharon had suggested I do a post about the Census. I did actually start one, but got worried that I would get something and be boring at the same time. The director of the Census, Bob Groves, is keeping a blog and provides some interesting details (e.g. his post on January 4 explains why filling out the census form is mandatory). However, if anyone is interested, I'd be happy to put together a piece. If you give me some idea of what you would like know about, I might be able to keep it short.