Ten Years

Ten years ago yesterday I talked to my dad on the phone for the last time. I had called from my shared office to wish him a happy birthday. With the three hour time difference, I think I called him around 3:30-4p Seattle time.

I don’t remember what I sent him for that birthday, but I think it was a sports-related book. Maybe one by John Feinstein. I could probably check amazon to figure it out.

It was a fine phone call to start. He wasn’t feeling too great because he had an infection in his mouth.

As we hung up, he told me that he loved me. My officemate was there. I was so self-conscious. Rather than respond in kind, I said, “uh huh.”

And Dad started to flip me shit about not telling him I loved him back.

Later I would wonder if he flipped me shit about this because he knew his end was near and didn’t want me to forever remember our last conversation as the one where I wouldn’t tell him I loved him because I was self-conscious!

It’s a silly thing to remember and hold onto. I never questioned whether he knew I loved him or not – he knew. I only wish I could forget that we ended our last conversation that way.

I will say that 10 years later, I am a lot less self-conscious about telling people I love them on the phone, even if someone else is in the room with me. Maybe that was Dad’s point all along. Love isn’t something to be self-conscious about. Shout it out. Be proud to love. That seems like him.

* Quote from this song is on his headstone.

New Year Weaving

For holidays, my mom sent me an Ashford Inklette loom. It comes flat in a box and you have to do some very basic assembling. Sand the edges to smooth everything out and utilize some wood glue and a rubber mallet to insert the pegs into their holes, then screw the base in. Nothing major.

Putting the inkle loom together

Before you can warp the loom, you have to make string heddles. Inkle loom string heddles are used a little differently than string heddles on other looms — you fold the heddle over the warp thread rather than inserting it through the heddle. I used some plain white cotton rug warp — smooth and not stretchy. I wasn’t very methodical about tying them and wondered if I was going to have issues making clean sheds or not (I didn’t).

Tying heddles haphazardly and watching Netflix on my Surface...
tying heddles

I read a bit in the book and online about warping. Many tutorials suggested adding the heddles after warping the loom, which seemed a little fiddly to me (especially on my small size inklette loom). Instead I opted to heddle as I warped, which I think made mistakes easier to catch.

After that, I warped a simple band based on Single Flowers, a pattern in The Weaver’s Inkle Pattern Directory: 400 Warp-Faced Weaves (p.22). I had some issues warping, mostly with changing colors and keeping the crochet thread taut. I also had issues with the first and last warp thread — I wasn’t sure how to tie them to be taut. Inkle warp doesn’t wind onto a beam like other looms. In order to advance the warp, you move the band along the loom path. This means you can’t tie the warp to the starting peg, since it has to move when you advance the warp. I tried tying the first warp thread to the last warp thread but that didn’t work out so well. I also tried tying the first and last warp thread to the warp thread next to it, which is how I ended up doing it. It didn’t work great either, but it was passable.

Obvious to see where I started to figure it out
starting to figure it out

I had some issues at first because I didn’t realize how tight to pull the weft or when to beat it. You can see in the above picture how much of a mess it was at first and how I slowly started to figure things out.

Comparing beginning to end...
first inkle band

The band wove up quickly and by the time I got to the end of the warp, it was much tidier. I did have an issue at the very end where a warp thread came loose.

Part of the reason I jumped right in was so that I could figure out what I didn’t know. I had four major questions at the end:

  1. what is the best way to deal with color changes in the warp?

  2. what do I do with the first and last warp thread?

  3. how do I tidy up the selvedges?

  4. how tight should I pull the weft? is there a particular method for picks that I should use?

I searched around and found answers for the first three questions and I’ll try it on my next warp. I am thinking about trying some pickup and letters.


Blinky lights

I sort of love spending time in the datacenter… aside from the sound.

If I Haven’t Slept, Isn’t It Still Yesterday?

Yea. Computers you so crazy. Now that I haven’t slept in 36+ hours, I am going to try to sleep or at least relax.


new and silly

My old T-Mobile G2 (HTC Desire Z) is falling apart. It has no touch sensitivity on the left side of the screen. The microsd card slot is broken, so the usd card falls out or loses connectivity regularly. The back won’t latch properly. Yesterday there were some Google app updates, and they caused my phone to be completely useless until I uninstalled Google Voice. Then it had three of the random recurring reboots I’ve just become accustomed to. I’ve had it for two years. I’m hard on my devices.

In a fit of frustration, I went to the T-Mobile store to see if they had either a Nexus 4 or a Nokia Lumia 810. No Nexus 4 (not really a surprise, but thought I’d ask). But they had a Lumia 810.

Now I have a Lumia 810.

While I bought it, I’m still not entirely convinced I wanted to move from Android to Windows Phone 8. I have decided that if I get another Android phone, it will be an unlocked Google phone. None of this carrier nonsense, with no OS patches. None of this manufacturer nonsense with bullshit half-assed UIs. For now though, this Lumia is the new hotness.

That said, the initial booting of the 810 was not a good experience.

First, it threw an FFFFFE70 error when I entered my Microsoft account (my Microsoft account was created from my hotmail/xbox live account when I got the Surface RT so this was an existing Microsoft account).

We weren’t able to activate your phone. If you call support, you can mention this error code, which can help them to figure out the problem: FFFFFE70

Initially I thought maybe I had entered a typo. So I tested it. In testing I intentionally added a typo and it actually gave me a ‘username or password incorrect’ error instead of the FFFFFE70 error, so that was not it.

I thought perhaps it was just an intermittent issue, or perhaps I had lost cell connectivity at the time, so I tried adding the account a handful of times after verifying network connectivity. Every single time I attempted to enter my Microsoft account credentials, it gave me that error. Even after a reboot.

A phone is pretty useless without your contacts and email!

I finally did a hard reset (start screen, swipe to left, settings, about, reset your phone, read warning, yes, yes) and went through the initial setup again. This time when I entered my Microsoft account information, it simply took a minute or so, authenticated me and configured the phone with that information.

I have no idea what happened or why this happened.

The second thing is that when setting up the phone for the first time, it takes a LONG time. It took about 10 minutes. The phone lets you know: it has a dialog up with a greyed-out button that says it’s configuring applications and it is going to take a few minutes (implied “leave it be!”). When this happened on the initial setup, I thought the phone had crashed. The second time, I knew it was just how it is and it finished up in about the same span of time. This is no big deal, but might be a bit off-putting if you aren’t expecting it to take so long.

Those two initial experiences aside, the phone is alright. I’m hoping to have some details on switching from an Android phone to a Windows 8 Phone. So far that has actually been a little easier than I expected.

Travel Read

While on a 5 hour flight, I read the latest Jo Nesbo book, Phantom. I very much enjoy the character Harry Hole, though I didn’t think this book was quite as tight as some of the others.

And I’m not saying that because the ending was what I expected but hoped against.

The Travel Crazies

There are a lot of leaves that need raking and bagging. My toes are frozen. It's 36.

When I prepare to travel, I think of my mom. Why do I go into insane-person travel planning? Why do I pack days in advance and check into my flight online within minutes of being able to and why do I quintuple-check my arrangements? Why do I try to ensure the house is in good shape before I leave?

I freak out before I leave so that when things are out of my hands, I have done all I can. I clean the house so that I can return to a tidy one. I over-prepare in advance so that I can relax while I’m travelling. I know, I know.

Still, right now I am flipping out and so I am going to go back to that. Business trip, it has its own extra added stressors. It will be ok. I will enjoy the trip! But I will also be very thankful when I’m home in a week.

Sunday is for Hockey


Two hockey games yesterday, both wins! Yay us.

Spicy Eggplants & Basil

Little Thai eggplants

On Friday we had a couple of pounds of Thai eggplants (round, slightly larger than a golf ball) that needed to be cooked. I decided I wanted to make a spicy eggplant dish to serve over rice.

I halved the eggplants and steamed them for about 10-15 minutes until they were soft (I do this so that they do not absorb oil/liquid when stir-fried).

I sauteed garlic, ginger, and red pepper flake in oil until they were aromatic. Then I added the softened eggplant, a couple of diced serrano peppers, soy sauce and fish sauce. I let that cook down until it all sort of became a squishy mess, removed it from heat, and then I tossed in a ton of fresh Thai basil. That’s it. It made for a tasty meal though the serranos were not as spicy as I thought, so it could have been spicier (sriracha or chili-garlic sauce helped at eating time).

let there be light

I just found out today that our local power company is doing rebates on LED bulbs. I can’t remember which ones we are using in part of the house but each bulb was around $40. Ouch! We definitely prefer them over cfls and need a few more.