Friday, December 20, 2013

Hark! A Christmas Blog Contest! - Day 20ish

Okay then! Wednesday's answer was d). Boxing day is the day the money in the alms boxes is counted, although it has come to mean many other things.

Today's pie is Cranberry-Ginger-Pear pie. I have no idea how this tastes as I have never made it. It came up on my google search for "ginger pie" and looked good.

The question is:

The first song played from space was a Christmas carol! Was the song:

a) Jingle Bells
b) Santa Clause is Coming to Town
c) Jingle Bell Rock
d) Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer

Bonus! Can you name the space program that played it? 

(Note: There is no special prize for answering the bonus question. It's just there to make you feel smart!)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Hark! A Christmas Blog Contest! - um... what day is it?

Yeah. I know. I should avoid doing countdowns that involve contests considering exactly how much time I have around the holidays.

On the upshot, I have finished all of the prize baskets!

First place will win:
- A downloadable copy of the Piano Guys: A Family Christmas (via Amazon or iTunes).
- First pick of the handmade ornaments (you have the choice of a white star, a green sweater, or a little sock - pics to come when I've recharged my camera battery).
- Either a homemade gingerbread, or a gingerbread mix.

Second place will win:
- A downloadable copy of the Piano Guys: A Family Christmas
- Second choice of the handmade ornaments.

Third place will win:
- The remaining ornament.

The previous correct answer is b). St. Nicholas brought three boys back from the dead after they were murdered and pickled in brine. Legend has it that the murderer was planning on selling the cuts of boy meat as pork. Ew.

Today's pie is rhubarb (because why not).

Today's trivia question is:

Boxing day - the day after Christmas - is called such because:
a) you box up all the Christmas things
b) fruitcake used to be called "box cake" in Sweden
c) Italy used to hold boxing matches the day after the festivities
d) it is named after the traditional counting up of the money in the alms boxes

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Hark! A Christmas Blog Contest! - Day 12ish

I need to apologize for my disappearance over the past two days. I caught something that just knocked me flat.

The answers to days 8 and 9 are "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas" (or some permutation thereof) and c), Odin.

It is believed that the clicking of the reindeer's hooves was interpreted as Sleipnir, the eight-legged horse who sprang fully formed from Loki's womb, on the rooftops as Odin gave gifts to the good children of Earth.

Think about that in the Marvel universe, and it gets very, very weird.

I suspect you should leave Odin a reminder of mead (alcohol made from honey) and make him this Greek Honey Pie. I know, technically it isn't pie, but it came up when I searched for "honey pie."

I've made the decision that the Christmas carols are too easy, and they're boring for me. Trivia is way more fun.

Today's question is:

St. Nicholas is sometimes depicted with children standing in vats or tubs. This is because:
a) he is the patron saint of children
b) he once brought three boys back from the dead
c) it is symbolic of his love of Christ
d) in the region where he was from, it was customary for bishops (as he was) to bless alter boys as they bathed

Welcome back!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Hark! A Christmas Blog Contest! - Day 9

Based on the results from this weekend, I'm going to assume that weekends are a terrible time to do this.

Lesson learned. We'll cut Saturdays and Sundays from the schedule. 

I also have an announcement about the prizes! I have finished two of the ornaments. I will post pictures when I have all three. First and second place winners will get to choose which one they get. 

Today we're featuring Strawberry Pie (mmm... strawberries). 

Saturday's trivia response was d) Spiders. 

The legend is that a spider wove the blanket the baby Jesus used in the manger. 

Today's Trivia is:

An obscure origin of Santa is found in:

a) Zeus
b) an Old English poem called "Seafarer"
c) Odin
d) The Virgin Mary

Have a great Monday! Or just yell at it because it's a dirty rat fink that should be drop kicked into another state. Either way.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Hark! A Christmas Blog Contest! - Day 8

I don't have a lot of answers waiting from the last post, so I'm going to leave it up a bit longer before publishing the comments and answer.

We're back to the Christmas carols today, but before we do that, here's a recipe for delicious peach pie! 

Today's carol is:

Hallucinatory phenomenon involving a natal celebration devoid of color.

I'm going to admit to being very tired today, so please pardon the lack of witty prose. Mom and I went to Denver yesterday and we didn't get back until about 1am. I drank so much caffeinated soda I didn't sleep until it wore off around 2. Note: next time, leave earlier.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Hark! A Christmas Blog Contest! - Day 7

Sorry for the delay, folks! It's harder than it looks to blog from a cell phone. I had to wait until I could get wifi.

Today's pie is the American classic, apple pie.

Yesterday's answer was Joy to the World.

Today's trivia is:

Which animal is a symbol of Christmas in Poland?
a) rabbits
b) bears
c) fox
d) spiders

Have a great rest of your day!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Hark! A Christmas Blog Contest! - Day 6

Aaannnd we're back!

Today we have a delicious pumpkin pie recipe to try!

Yesterday's answer was... c) dyed goose feathers!

The Germans figured out that goose feathers were the easiest to turn into an artificial Christmas tree, but the trees were still remarkably unrealistic.

Image courtesy of

They had sparse branches and were often small, rarely topping over 50". The trees would be covered in whatever people could find to cover the sparseness of the tree.

Today we're back to carols!

An emotion excited by the acquisition or expectation of good given to the terrestrial sphere.

Also, tomorrow's post will be a bit odd. I'll be heading down to Denver for Christmas shopping with my mom and will be trying to post from my cell phone - which I've never done before. Fingers crossed.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Hark! A Christmas Blog Contest! - Day 5

Yes. Yes I am. In fact, today's recipe is for Lemon Merengue Pie.

Yesterday's answer was "Silent Night."

Today we're back to trivia and here's the question:

The first artificial Christmas trees were invented in Germany and were made of:

a) gathered pine limbs
b) animal furs
c) dyed goose feathers
d) specially treated and carved wood

Happy guessing, and happy 5th of the month!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Hark! A Christmas Blog Contest! - Day 4

And now... the answers from the last two days.

Day 2's answer was "Hark! The Harold Angels Sing" (don't worry, those will get progressively harder).

Yesterday's answer was actually b) a parasitic infection. (It should be noted that this was the only correct one among the available choices. There is another theory that it may have been caused by a trait reindeer have that allow them to adjust the specific location where they need heat in their bodies, but it has also not been proven.)

In this article from Parasitol Today, Dr. Halvorsen claims that a parasite with immunities to freezing temperatures is responsible for the famous red nose.

Of course, it could also just be magic.

I also have a prize to show you from the final baskets! Okay, it's not actually in physical form, but you can have your very own, downloaded copy of the Piano Guys' Christmas album, A Family Christmas. All three winners will receive a downloadable copy of the album.

Today we're having another Christmas Carol!

Nocturnal timespan of unbroken quietness.

Good luck!

P.S. Hey pie peeps! Here's a cherry pie recipe for your trouble!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Hark! A Christmas Blog Contest! - Day 3

Okay, so we have a slight modification to the contest.

As it turns out, the picture I have of the Christmas Carol images to guess is of a terrible resolution and one big picture. If I take one little one off the picture, it shows up on the site as a smaller-than-a-postage-stamp thingy. If I try to enlarge it, it pixelates and you can barely see it. No, I don't think that will work.

So, I'm adding in some trivia.

Since I posted such a late post last night, I'll keep yesterday's question up for awhile before I tell you the answer.

Today's pie is for quiche. Quiche is egg pie, right?

Today's question is:

Norwegian scientists have hypothesized that Rudolph's red nose was caused by:
a) a genetic mutation.
b) a parasitic infection.
c) a physical trauma.
d) magic.

Have fun!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Hark! A Christmas Blog Contest! - Day 2

I apologize for the delay, everyone. Between some problems with the image questions and the fact that I just spent two hours at the grocery store because of an impending snow storm, I'm only just getting to the post now.

I'll leave this one up for awhile so everyone can comment if they like.

Yesterday's answer was "O Come All Ye Faithful."

Today's pie is French Silk.

Today's question is:

Listen, the celestial messengers produce harmonious sounds.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Hark! A Christmas Blog Contest!

Ladies and gentlemen (and Steve. Shut up Steve), after a rather long hiatus, I have returned, and with goodies from the fat guy himself!

Okay, Santa has nothing to do with this, and when I asked him he said "Leave me out of your life's plans, weirdo," but that's besides the point.

The point is, I am hosting a Christmas contest right here on the blog! Ravelry even said it was a good idea!

Okay, they also seem to like pie.

The game is this: Every day until the 24th, I will post a strange phrase or image that represents a Christmas song or carol. Your job is to figure out which one it is. There might be duplicates, so if you've answered, say, "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" once, it might come up again.

For the people who answered "Pie!" there will be a link to a pie recipe every day. Just for you guys. Even if you don't want to participate in the contest, I am doing something for my pie peeps.

Here's a recipe for pecan pie!

I will open the comments for the answers, and the next day at 9 am I will close them so I can tally up the correct answers. Because all comments on this blog are moderated, you won't be able to see anyone else's comments until I post them... which will likely happen right around the time the comments are closed. I know. I'm evil.

1) You may only post once per question. Once you've answered, you're done. Any additional answers will be disregarded.

2) You must be logged into a Google account. I know, very single-minded of me. Here is my reasoning. I really don't want anyone upping their odds by entering multiple times, under multiple accounts or anonymously and regularly changing their name and entering over and over.

This also allows me to email you if you win. If you would like me to inform you another way (say via text or twitter because twitter), drop me a line in the comments. I'll get back to you right away.

As for the prizes...

::coughs nervously:: ... they aren't, um, exactly finished. But I can tell you that there are three of them for the first, second and third place winners. They (will) contain handmade ornaments, tasty goodies and possibly something to do with the Piano Guys. The first and second place winners will also get something extra special.

Also, there is a fantastic playlist I have made, just for this year's Christmas on Spotify, that everyone who participates will receive a link to.

So, without further ado, the carol.

Move hitherward the entire assembly of those who are loyal in their belief.

Happy guessing, blogonauts!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Dear Depression

You're back.

Screw you.

Just when everything in my life is starting to work out for the better, you decide to roll on back into town like a not-friend who I don't want to talk to. You demand my time, my focus, my ability to write or think or do absolutely anything. You don't want me to knit, so I don't knit. You decide that my hobbies are pointless, so I don't do them. Not like I could anyway. You're such an energy drain that it's not like I could muster up the strength to pick up a project.

This happens every year. Just as my favorite season rolls around, so do you. Perhaps it's my allergies (I love fall but I'm also allergic to it), perhaps it's that August usually sucks for some reason and you just decide to come on in with that, perhaps it's that fall signifies everything I love and you don't want me to love it.

Either way, you suck.

But this year, I've got good meds and I'm fighting back. I've got too much stuff to do this year. I have socks to knit and clothes to sew. I have code to write and places to go and food to make and things that absolutely must be finished by Christmas. I actually have stuff that has to be done, and whether or not you care about that is not going to be considered when I make my plans.

The fact of the matter is, I simply don't have time for you this year.

Please go away, and don't let the door hit you on the way out.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Growing Up - A Teddy Bear's Perspective

And on that note, ladies and gentlemen, I think I'm going to go hug my dolls and stuffed animals now.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

15 Signs You're Addicted to the Internet

1) Just because you have to use the bathroom doesn't mean you have to leave the laptop in the living room.

2) A huge storm is over your house and you're more concerned that if it knocks out the power you'll lose your wifi connection than the power to your refrigerator/freezer.

3) What's television? Reddit has a whole piece on audience reactions to Miley Cyrus' VMA show!

4) |\|0 0|\|3 U|\|D3r$74|\|D$ \/\/|-|@ j00Z 7'/P3 4|\|'//\/\0r3. |\|00B$. 

5) You don't want to shower because you can't safely take your laptop in with you to read Buzzfeed articles.

6) 4chan has cut you off... you shouted "I'll tell you when I've had enough!"

7) You have more pictures of funny cats on your computer than you do of people. 

8) Your family has just decided to stage an intervention. You didn't show up because your family isn't on Facebook and therefore didn't make an event.

9) The internet is down for line maintenance. The service provider said it didn't have anything to get you through until they got more supply.

10) Libraries have books?!

11) The FBI has put Twitter on its most wanted list of drug dealers.

12) You have forgotten what humans look like. What do you mean they're not text on a screen?!

13) The police have just come to ensure you're not dead because no one except the Domino's pizza delivery guy has seen you for three months - and he's only getting the chance because Domino's has online ordering.

14) You spent an entire weekend on You never noticed you lost two whole days.

15) Somehow, somewhere there is someone who knows the internet better than you... and for reasons you cannot explain, that is a scary thought.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

66 Answers to Questions I'm Tired of Hearing

1. Yes, it really is supposed to look like that.
2. Take it or leave it.
3. No.
4. Actually, I made it.
5. None of your business.
6. I think it was the dog.
7. No really, I made it.
8. Maybe.
9. Why are you stealing my tea?
10. Yes, it is.
11. Yes, I am.
12. No.
13. No, I'm not kidding you!
14. Yup.
15. Fat chance.
16. No, I do not take commissions.
17. I am disturbed by your excessive use of smilies.
18. I said no!
19. I don't know.
20. Are you kidding me?
21. Am I on Candid Camera?
22. No, this one is mine, you can't buy it.
23. Yes, I am quite serious.
24. No, it's not.
25. Get your own lunch!
26. Please stop following me.
27. No.
28. Yup.
29. Maybe.
30. What part of "no" don't you understand? The "n" or the "o"?
31. I don't think so.
32. That's his dog.
33. Yes, we are halfway done.
34. No, I don't teach.
35. Yes, I am going to eat that.
36. No, really.
37. No.
38. Yeah, it's a blog.
39. Maybe you should change the locks.
40. Nope.
41. Why are you asking?
42. Please stop talking.
43. The day is young and the hijinks are endless.
45. Okay, I'll make that for you if you give me $2,000 up front.
46. Good bye.
47. No, thank you.
48. Life isn't fair.
49. I have cats.
50. Yeah, two grand is reasonable when I've already said no.
51. It's my food!
52. No.
53. Yes, this is my job.
54. I would prefer it if you didn't, but by all means do so when I don't have to watch.
55. Yes, I am wearing this.
56. I think it was that guy.
57. No, it wasn't me.
58. You must be confusing me with someone else.
59. Yeah, crazy like a fox!
60. You ask that like you don't really want to know the answer.
61. No, the internet can't do that.
62. If you want one of your own, learn to knit.
63. That's why there's cat hair on my clothes...
64. Well, this explains a lot.
65. No.
66. What makes you think I'm giving you the questions to go with the answers? Now stop asking!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Steampunk and Growing Up

Two weeks ago I promised you I'd post the whole playlist I built over the month of July.

Well, here it is: The Steampunk Playlist.

I am not going to give you the whole list of songs. That's on the blog. The tag is Road to Salt City Steamfest.

What I am going to give you is an explanation. Before you continue, however, the following post might offend you. If you like steampunk a lot and do not want to hear any criticism of it, please close your browser window and wait until I write a new blog post. If you choose to continue on, do so at your own peril.

A week ago I turned 26. That's the back end of my 20s. Two weeks ago I was at Salt City Steamfest, and I didn't want to seem like a downer then, but to put it bluntly now it was quite possibly the most lackluster event I've ever attended. The panelists were entirely comprised of whoever wanted to sign up, regardless of skill, expertise, planning, or personal time limits. Frequently, the panelists wouldn't take up the whole hour, so they'd simply stop and say "Well, that's it. Feel free to ask me questions." Worse, many of them would have nothing pre-prepared and would stand in front of a room and ramble on about their subject.

The opening ceremony was a joke. It was, overall, a poorly planned, under-attended event (probably with good reason if it was like this last year). I had such high hopes and tried to make it fun, but it was largely a waste of time.

That wasn't even the hardest part for me. The hardest part was the other attendees. Allow me to explain.

I knew a good sized number of people there (my mom doesn't even know - I could point out easily a dozen people I'd encountered before at various places), and I knew something about most of them: They were going nowhere in life and doing nothing with it. The people I knew were largely unambitious, having no jobs, living with their parents, barely passing in school (or, in one case, flunking out entirely), and generally not doing anything but going to fun events.

And here I was, doing the same thing as these people.

I may seem like a snob here, but with the growing popularity of steampunk there is a growing population who embodies a trait I don't respect. Steampunk was meant to be the best and the brightest. Those who were part of the subculture wanted to explore and learn and be the best at everything simply because they could. Those who truly understand steampunk understand that it is not about fun costumes and gears and steam-powered robots.

Steampunk is about striving to become enlightened. To enhance personal knowledge and think and discover. Not just to collect information, but to figure out what it all means. We are still obsessed with our own cleverness and we want to work and excel and be the best. We want to learn. We want to master everything.

We also understand that to do all of that is a lot of work.

What the popularity of steampunk has attracted is a group of hangers-on who want to be the best and the brightest without doing any of the work to get there. It's as if they are the moon, picking up on the glow that proverbial sun of steampunk's intelligence and hard work ethic gives off, doing nothing to contribute to that glow themselves.

I do not respect that. Not in the slightest. If you want something, you darn well do the work to get it.

With that said, I will not totally renounce steampunk, but I will back off in my obsession (trust me, steampunk is still very, very cool). Salt City Steamfest served as a sobering reality check. It's time for me to grow the heck up and stop with all the childish costumes and playing around.

A week ago I turned 26. A week ago I realized that I had spent so much time being part of a group that has started to become something I did not respect that I was in danger of becoming part of that group. A week ago I realized that having a label of anything is stupid.

A week ago, growing up went a little less awry.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Road to Salt City Steamfest - Days 26 & 27

Hey all. It's been convention time. Yesterday and today I was at Salt City Steamfest and boy was it an experience. I'll show you all pictures later. Namely when I muster up the energy to go find my camera and snag my photos off of it.

Anyway, there are two songs left in our lovely playlist. Tonight you're getting the last two. Tomorrow I'll post a Spotify link to the whole shebang and write out the whole thing.

Tonight's first song is "Trust" by Bitter Ruin.

The last and final song of the playlist is a steampunk anthem. Professor Elemental's back with "Steampowered."

See you all with the whole playlist tomorrow.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Road to Salt City Steamfest - Day 25

Ladies and Gentlemen, last night I promised you costumes. Tonight, I deliver.

This is the costume I will be wearing tomorrow. That is the second blouse I made, my favorite skirt from Clockwork Couture, a belt from the same place, a handmade corset, and various and sundry jewelry pieces. 

This costume is almost entirely handmade by me. That's the first blouse, the skirt I made, and the aforementioned corset. 

This is for the Saturday night ball where we'll listen to Vernian Process and Unwoman. I went a bit more old-fashioned Romani styled for this one. That's an ugly white broom skirt I bought at a thrift store (I wasn't costuming at the time, so I don't know what I was thinking), the first blouse, another alteration on Christine's Corset, a lace overskirt I designed and sewed myself, and a reticule I sewed as well. There's also the Icarus Shawl I made ages ago. There's an interesting bit of jewelry attached to the corset as well. 

I leave tomorrow morning for the convention, and I am so excited I could explode. 

But not so excited I'd forget to post tonight's song. Tonight we'll be listening to "One White Lie" by The Aeronauts.

While there's a version of this song on YouTube, it doesn't have particularly good sound quality, so click on the song name to go to the song on Bandcamp. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Road to Salt City Steamfest - Days 23 & 24

As we get closer and closer to Steamfest (I leave for the convention on Friday), I'm finding it harder and harder to find time to blog.

Suffice to say, the second blouse is finished. I sewed it all last night. I was up until almost midnight finishing it, but it is finished. I like you guys, but not enough to blog at midnight when I'm tired and can't see straight from sewing all night.

Tonight, I made a little reticule. A reticule is a women's drawstring purse. It is awesome.

Tomorrow I will show you all three costumes I've made. Yup, three. They won't be totally complete without me in them, but you'll get the idea from the dressmaker's form.

Tonight's songs start with "Oscar Wilde, Super-Spy" by Bad September.

The next song is "Thorngauge" by The Extraordinary Contraptions.

There's no youtube video of either song, so click on the song names to go hear them on

Tomorrow, there will be costumes. And they will be amazing.

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Road to Salt City Steamfest - Day 22

Okay, I've got the photos of the blouse. I'm still in complete awe of this thing. I mean... dudes. I sewed a functioning piece of clothing. Somehow it's almost more impressive to me than the skirt. Here it is:

The waist shaping will come from my corset. It is just the prettiest thing when I'm wearing it. 

Tonight's song is another by Sunday Driver. It's called "Glass House Riot." I will say, they have no good videos up on Youtube. If I were you, I'd just try out the song first. It's a pretty good piece of music.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Road to Salt City Steamfest - Days 20 & 21

If you were wondering where I was last night, I was having an early bed time. Like I said earlier, headache season.

But in other news, guys, I made a blouse. A functioning blouse. I finished it just before I got on the computer to blog, so pics (plus maybe process pics of the second one I'm making) will go up tomorrow. I know. Sewing is so fun!!!!

Tonight's songs start with Frenchy and the Punk's "Vaudeville Voodoo."

Then we go back to the 20s with Jill Tracy's "Evil Night Together." (I like to imagine a Bond villain when I listen to this.)

So. To recap. Tomorrow, blouse, second blouse photos, more music. Maybe even another project I've been working on. T-minus 5 days and counting. I'm excited. Are you?

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Road to Salt City Steamfest - Day 19

Guys... I am exhausted. I realized way too late that my summer costume blouse didn't fit right, so I've been sewing a new one. You'll see pictures of the finished product later.

Tonight we have a steampunk-y cover. It's done by artist Emilie Autumn. Her version of Bohemian Rhapsody is not the normal rock version you remember. Check it out:

Hopefully I'll have a finished blouse to show you tomorrow night. Hopefully... assuming I don't make a mistake, that is.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Road to Salt City Steamfest - Day 18

Whenever you go to any kind of convention or gathering where there will be a sizable number of humans packed into a relatively too-small place, it stands to reason that you will want to have a few necessities on hand. Next weekend is Steamfest. This weekend in San Diego (just in case there are those of you just not cool enough to care in the audience) is San Diego Comic Con - the largest convention of its kind and this year tickets sold out in a record breaking 98 minutes.

There are currently 130,000 people milling around a conference center in downtown San Diego and I can guarantee that many of them are having a blast - and they are also tired, hot, smelly and surrounded by annoying people.

I have been in enough situations where I would want a few certain items, and so here is my Convention Kit. These items are ideally able to fit into a smallish messenger bag style purse, or a smallish backpack. Either way, you'll want them in some way, shape or form.

1) Tissues. There will inevitably be coughing, sneezing, allergy and illness ridden people all around you. Keep your germs/snot/facial bodily fluids to yourself. That's how epidemics get started.

2) A hand fan. Preferably one of the folding variety as they get smaller. If you prefer a battery powered unit, try one of those too. Either way, any room filled to capacity with humans is bound to get hot. You can do something about an over-air conditioned room, but you can't do anything about an under-air conditioned one. Flapping hands, programs, pieces of paper and blowing down your cleavage, while entertaining for the rest of us, simply don't do the job.

3) Something to do. If you like Angry Birds on your phone (although, it kinda ruins the spirit of things at a steampunk convention), do that. If you like reading, bring a novel. If you like knitting, crochet, needlepoint - whatever it is to keep you entertained while the annoying people whine about the wait (or to prevent you from becoming one of the annoying people), make sure you have it.

4) Aspirin. Just... don't get caught without it, okay? Trust me.

5) A refillable bottle of water. Because dry swallowing aspirin kinda sucks.

6) Lip balm. These places get weirdly dry, and once you notice your lips are chapped you will be completely obsessed with them until you get some freaking lip balm. Not a fun way to spend the day.

7) If you wear hearing aids like me or any other battery powered correctional device, bring a couple sets of spare batteries. While you should always do this anyway, I'm endlessly surprised at how often people are going with just the batteries already in the device.

8) A small sweater or sweatshirt. For the opposite reason you'd need a fan.

And that's it, folks! Guaranteed to make those who did not pack one of these kits jealous, this is one of the best things I've ever come up with.

Tonight's song is by The Extraordinary Contraptions. It's called "Prelude to the Nocturnis."

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Road to Salt City Steamfest - Day 17

So tonight I have another song for you. It is long. Very long. I mean this sucker is reeeaalllly long. At almost seven minutes, it is the longest song in the playlist. It also has quite possibly the catchiest tune of the lot as well. I can guarantee this bad boy's going to be one heck of an ear worm. I've been whistling it for weeks now.

Tonight, Steam Powered Giraffe is back with their song "Captain Albert Alexander." 

Let the steampunk silliness commence! 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Road to Salt City Steamfest - Days 15 & 16

The trouble with headache season is that they really mess with those best-laid blog plans. I'd say I was sorry, but when you have a headache that bad you don't really feel too bad about not blogging.

Tonight I'm showing you something else I've made for the convention. You guys, I sewed something. Not knit... sewed. I am so incredibly pleased with myself. I made a skirt.

That's it on the dress maker's form. I made the entire thing out of fabric remnants. The drawstring is a bit of microfiber "leather" lashing I got in a package from Wal-Mart (and is too long so should probably be trimmed). 

The pattern is from a company called ModKid, and the pattern is Juliana. I've gotta tell you, this is a beginner seamstress' dream. The skirt is not only very pretty and fun to make, it's a nice challenge after way too many pairs of pajama bottoms (with blog as my witness, I will never make a pair of pajama bottoms again). The instructions are incredibly detailed, the paper is sturdy, not that thin stuff, and it is super easy to do. I learned a whole lot by making that skirt. I highly recommend it for not just costuming, but for fun summer wear. I think I'm going to make another one really soon.

Tonight's music starts with Sunday Driver and their slightly lower tempo song "The General."

And then, just to pick the pace back up, Dr. Steel is back with "Fibonacci Sequence." (Note: This is a fan made video that Dr. Steel really likes as it's on his favorites playlist. The long, strange piece at the beginning was part of a DVD menu that was included into the youtube video because the creator liked it. Wait a little. The music video will come.)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Road to Salt City Steamfest - Day 14

Hi there, blogonauts! I have a splitting headache tonight, so we're just going to go with the song, okay?

I've got another song by Voltaire. It's called "The Industrial Revolution (And How It Ruined My Life)".

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Road to Salt City Steamfest - Day 13

Hello, all! I'm back with more wonderful music for you, as well as a book review!

The book is the first in a series called The Parasol Protectorate. The first book is called Soulless, and is pretty darn amazing.

The book tells the story of Alexia Tarabotti, a spinster who also happens to have no soul. This means that the various vampires and werewolves in Victorian London can't bite her. Unfortunately, when she encounters a particularly unknowledgeable vampire who decides to attack her, she accidentally kills him.

Now Alexia and the rather gruff Lord Maccon are out to solve a supernatural mystery - if they can get around Alexia's rather harsh attitude!

Seriously, this book is amazing, and you should absolutely read it. You can buy it here, on Amazon.

Now, I give you a very funny song by a very funny band. Here is "Steph(v)enson" by The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing. Warning: This is one of the only songs they have that doesn't contain swear words. If you are not a fan of this kind of language, stick to just this song.

See you all tomorrow!

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Road to Salt City Steamfest - Day 12

Hi everyone! How did you like Tabitha? She's a hoot, isn't she.

Today's song is another by The Cog is Dead. It's Blood, Sweat and Tears.

See you tomorrow with another fantastic song!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Road to Salt City Steamfest - Days 10 & 11. Meet Tabitha!

Hey there, y'all. Poor Kimberly was feeling just a tad under the weather last night so she and I agreed that we could do a double post today.

I am Dr. Tabitha Clarkwell, Kimberly's steampunk persona. I am from the South - about the central part of the state of South Carolina. My mamma was a chemist of some small repute, and my daddy was a steam engine designer. I was raised in a big plantation house (that oddly enough didn't have a plantation attached - more science, less farming I suppose) with a large library and some equally large labs so I got into the various sciences at a very early age.

When it came time for my debutant ball, I decided I wasn't too keen on being escorted or fawned over (this is a little white lie. In truth, I just forgot about it), so on the day of I rushed through getting into my dress. I quite forgot about the hair, which still had my goggles nested in it and was standing a tad on end since I had been replicating a Leclanché cell - a type of battery invented by Georges Leclanché. I quite forgot about the shocks, and then there was another kind of shock when the high society ladies saw me in my slightly stained, wrinkled, crooked dress, mildly dirty hands and face (what? Working with metals and such can do that to your hands!) and sticky-up hair.

The ball was soon forgotten, but my successful cell wasn't. It sparked an interest in electricity that brought me into school and into my career as an electrical engineer.

As I reached adulthood, I met someone who would change my life. He was another electricity fan by the name of Nikola Tesla. He and I were talking in a restaurant about the theoretical design of a little device we only somewhat jokingly called a death ray. We then went back to his lab to test the theory and successfully built one. Then, being the intelligent, world war fearing folks we are, we dismantled it.

Too bad making a death ray doesn't exactly go unnoticed.

Now, good old Nikola, he's a bit infamous. But most people have never heard of me. So while he continued to profess his success in order to create some level of doubt as to the actual ability of the machine to work, I went on the run from several world governments (and the odd super villain or two) who want me to rebuild it so they can conquer the world. You'd think humanity would come up with a better life goal than world domination.

Well, one of those super villains is named Dr. Steel. This is his song Back and Forth.

The next song on the playlist is by Steam Powered Giraffe (no, that is not a joke or a fake band name). It's their song Brass Goggles.

We'll see y'all tomorrow with another song!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Road to Salt City Steamfest - Day 9

Okay, last night I promised you guys I'd show you a knitted thing for the convention. Well, here it is!

I know. It doesn't look like much. A random rectangle with stuff on it. But rest assured, it's a very cool piece. What you are looking at is a bodice. It's my version of a corset, but there's no boning (because adding boning to knitting is very, very hard to do and can result in your corset disintegrating - go ahead. Ask me how I know), and it will lace up in the back. The yarn is Debbie Bliss Amalfi in what I believe is "apple." It's left over from a sweater I made. 

Using some shiny, brassy fabric, I cut out little gears and appliquéd them on with embroidery thread. There are little small ones and half of some large ones. I used a brown embroidery thread for the small gears and some gold metallic embroidery thread for the large gears. 

I then found some lovely, shimmery, sheer, wired ribbon in the clearance bin at Wal-Mart (there are very few places to buy ribbon around here), and I weaved it through some yarn overs I knit into the garter stitch panels. 

I will also note here that this is a heavy modification (read - I started with that, and then completely bastardized the thing) on a free pattern called Christine's Corset. That's a link to the flickr page with the actual pattern. You'll note that it is very, very different looking, except for the edges where the lacing goes through. I used a thinner yarn, made it fancier, basically turned a utilitarian costume piece into an artsy one. It was a lot of fun to make, and I'm glad I did. 

Tonight I will introduce you to a song that I personally think has elements of an alternate theory behind Jack the Ripper. The primary theory is that Jack the Ripper was a man - either a doctor or a butcher and may have had syphilis. One of the many alternate theories is that Jack the Ripper was actually a Jacqueline - the famous Murderer of Whitechapel was a woman. 

The song is The Surgeon's Widow by Escape the Clouds.

I won't be writing tomorrow. That task will be left to the inestimable Dr. Tabitha Clarkwell, my steampunk persona I pretend to be while in costume.

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Road to Salt City Steamfest - Day 8

This is a pretty late post, and I actually intended to show you one of the things I knitted for the convention. Unfortunately I got sidetracked sewing something and lost track of time, so we'll do the knitted thing tomorrow.

Today's song is The Copper War by The Cog is Dead.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Road to Salt City Steamfest - Day 7

Do you know what I like about this particular post-a-day? I started on the first of the month, so the post number and the date are the same. It should be considered mildly sad that I happen to be this bad at remembering what post I'm on that I need to check to get the numbers right.

Today's song is my absolute favorite in the whole playlist. Seriously, I love it so much last week I set Spotify to private mode and listened to it about 50 times on repeat. It makes me happy.

Professor Elemental's back with the Tom Caruana remix of Splendid. Plus he's got this awesome music video that goes with it.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Road to Salt City Steamfest - Day 6

Hey guys! I'm back.

Before I give you the song of the day, I'm going to review a very cool steampunk book. It also happens to be a knitting book, so even better! It fits with the blog's name (for once in my life).

The book is by The Ladies of Mischief and it's called Needles and Artifice. The book has two main parts. The first is a rip-roaring adventure story involving the ladies. The second part is a series of absolutely stunning patterns. They have beautiful sweaters,

feminine, lacy tops,

and my personal favorite, a double knit, fingering weight scarf with a non-repeating pattern. I'm making one of my own (but I won't post photos until I'm a bit farther along).

If you're into knitting and steampunk, you absolutely need this book. No, you really do. Now stop arguing with me and buy it. 

For today's song, we're going mystery solving with Abney Park again. The song is Victorian Vigilante and it's one of my absolute favorites. 

See you tomorrow, steamboys and steamgirls!

All images are from the book, are by Jessica Glein, and are displayed on their respective Ravelry project pages. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Road to Salt City Steamfest - Days 4 & 5

Hey, guys. Sorry about the lack of a blog post yesterday. It was the fourth and I was out late watching multicolored explosions, you know?

Anyway, because it's late again (never fall asleep early in the evening - it never ends well), here's the next two songs for your playlist.

The first song is "When You're Evil" (which is possibly up there in one of the funniest songs we've got on this playlist) by Voltaire.

The next is "Clarence" by This Way to the Egress.

I'm off to bed, so enjoy these two songs!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Road to Salt City Steamfest - Day 3

Because there are only so many witty things you can say about music before you have the deep seated desire to gouge your eyes out with your own knitting needles, I've decided to add some lovely reviews of various musicians, steampunk shops, artists and various other lovely steampunkery to the daily postings. They might come daily, they might just be when I feel inspired to do so.

That being said, today's review is of the wonderful and marvelous steampunk boutique, Clockwork Couture.

Based out of Burbank, CA, Clockwork Couture has been online since 2008 and last year finally opened up their shop. They stock exclusively cruelty-free clothing and accessories and support their local animal shelter by fostering animals.

I have to say, I've bought a few things from them and it's all been wonderful. Enough so that if you're looking for costume pieces, check out the site (and if you live close enough, consider going to the store! If you do, I'm jealous). You'll see a few things from them in my costume when we finally get to the convention.

For tonight's music selection, we have "Something Wicked (That Way Went)" by Vernian Process.

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Road to Salt City Steamfest - Day 2

Hello folks! I'm back. And I'm here with another fantastic song for you.

Abney Park is considered to be one of the first (and in my opinion best) truly steampunk bands. They paved the way for many of the others I'll be showing you.

Steampunk land rarely has normal pirates. They do exist, but the more common version is the airship pirate. You know, flys around in an airship of some sort, pillaging and looting is done from the air, that kind of amazing fun thing.

Fortunately for us, Abney Park is just that.

If you have a suggestion for a band or song for the playlist, I'm all ears. The only caveat is that they have to have their music on Spotify. Go wild steampunks!

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Road to Salt City Steamfest

Last night, when he got back from his trip, my stepdad gave me an awesome shirt just because. It says "To save time, let's just assume I'm never wrong." Best. Shirt. Ever.

And since the shirt doesn't lie, I'm going with this idea as being totally awesome.

At the end of July, Mom and I are going to Salt City Steamfest for my birthday. Yes, I know my birthday is a week later. I don't care. Close enough.

Until then, I'm redoing an old idea. Namely the Song a Day concept from Christmas. 

I'll also post a photo of some awesome costume piece I'm making once a week so you can get ready with me!

As previous, all the music I'm providing is on Spotify.

Dudes, this is a giant, Steampunk party, and you're totally invited.

"You're Invited" by Professor Elemental.

Monday, June 17, 2013

An Interview With Some Code Named Javascript

Host: Hello folks, and welcome to "Interviews with Various Types of Code" here on the YarnGeeks channel! I'm your host, thestashattacked, and I'm here with what some refer to as the "Bastard Child of Web Development..."

(crowd boos dramatically)

Now now everyone. Be nice. Some call him the Bastard Child of Web Development, but his real name is Javascript! Let's give him a round of applause!

(crickets chirp)

Javascript: It's very nice to be here, thestashattacked.

Host: I'm glad to have you. So, tell me, what is it that you do?

Javascript: I'm the third part of a triad of codes called Client Side Code. The other two parts are HTML and CSS. 

Host: For those who are unaware, HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language, and CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets. What is it that you do with the two of them?

Javascript: HTML determines what your content is. Basically what goes into the paragraphs and headers and such. CSS determines what your web page looks like. I tell it what to do. I'm a form of dynamic code, similar to PHP. 

Host: Ah yes. Your half-brother, PHP. I understand he was born to Web Development and Server-Side code, while your father might have been Client Side. 

Javascript: Largely, yes. We do have similarities in that we're both scripting languages and we're both used to create dynamic web pages, But that's where the similarities end. 

Host: I understand you're harder to learn than PHP. 

Javascript: Well... that would depend...

Host: This is really a simple yes or no question. 

Javascript: I really can't answer that question.

Host: Is it true you weren't fully tested before launch?

(crowd gasps)

Javascript: I was tested! Sort of...

Host: From what I have here in my notes, it says here you were released with little to no lab testing whereas PHP was tested extensively before he was launched.

Javascript: Okay, yes, it's true.

Host: Also, I understand that you deeply enjoy screwing programmers over.

Javascript: Actually no. Just you.

Host: Really?

Javascript: Yeah. Sorry about that.

Host: Dude. Not cool. I've been stumped on a blog post for a month because I've been working with you instead of thinking up funny post ideas.

Javascript: Yeah. I know. I'm sorry.

Host: (huffily) Well, that's all the time we have for tonight. Join us next time when we interview PHP and his wife, SQL.


Sorry about the long delay, folks. I've been working on learning Javascript and let me tell you, it's a tough little booger. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

10 Random Things I Have Posted Online, Completely Out of Context

1) "Oh, and there's PJ the dog. He's, well, actually he may be the most sane creature in the house. Nevermind."

2) "I am disturbed by your excessive use of smiley faces."


4) "No."


6) "Gotta love cats. Little sociopaths, the lot of them."

7) "Worst. Apocalypse. Ever. #youfailedmemyans"

8) "There is nothing more disheartening than asking a grocery store employee where the matzo is and having them say 'is it cheese or something?'"

9) "... is standing over the patient, scalpel in hand, wondering why she lied on her resume. This will not end well." 


Okay, maybe you don't need context for that last one.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Six Observations About Eating On the Paleo Diet

1) You mostly do not miss grains or sugar.

2) Potatoes do not count in this group of "things you do not miss."

3) Pureed cauliflower isn't anything like mashed potatoes. Even with butter in them (I refuse to give up butter).

4) Somedays you just want pancakes

5) "Natural Pancakes" might be Paleo, but they do not look or taste like pancakes.

6) Not even with peanut butter on them.

But dang I'm losing a lot of weight.

Monday, April 1, 2013

In Which, Some Explaining is in Order

Ladies and Gentlemen of the blog followers, I have an announcement to make. It regards the reason why I haven't been blogging so prolifically as of late.

I have quit knitting, and this blog will now be entirely about various types of porn.

No, totally April Fools. Really? Me? Quit knitting? That should have been your first clue, lol.

But this blog might start filling up with pictures of handknit, lace edged handkerchiefs. Because that's kind of all I can think about right now. Seriously:

I've made two in the last two weeks, and I'm starting a third. I may not be able to stop.

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Story of How We Wound Up With a Rose in the Middle of Our Kitchen Counter

I was at the grocery store this morning having realized I was inexplicably out of kale (okay, I ate it. Not so inexplicable). I also picked up some bacon to have liver and onions with bacon for dinner. After getting my groceries to the checkout, I proceeded to chat with the lovely people there.

"Oh bacon! It classes up any meal." The bagger said.

"Especially liver and onions." I replied.

"I've never eaten it with bacon. I think I'll have to try that," said the bagger. "Would you like a flower?" She asked and handed me a flower.

"Okay!" I replied brightly.

And that is how we wound up with a rose in a little vase in the middle of our kitchen counter.

Hey, I didn't say it was an interesting story.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Nothing Interesting Has Happened

I wish I could say I was joking, but I'm not. Literally nothing interesting has happened to me recently, hence my reluctance to write a blog post.

So here's the new Piano Guys video.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Proving That Science Make Everything Cool

Like most of the world, I've been hit with that goofy little song and dance, the Gangnam Style. If you don't know what it is, here's the original video.

It's cute, I'll give it that. But I find the video (not the music or the silly dance that goes with it) rather boring.

That's when I discovered that the folks at NASA's Johnson Space Center made a parody. It is so much cooler than the original. It's a bunch of people geeking out for three minutes. No, really.

I really wish I'd become an astronaut.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

New Job: Week One

Day 1:

Awake to a feeling of excitement. It's the first day of programming! Open brand new SQL software and start writing customer database. Almost finished, break for lunch.

Lunch over, start where I left off. Queries are not working properly. Notice stupid mistake. Start over. Make same stupid mistake. Try again. Make exact same stupid mistake for the third time! Hit head on desk, start over.

End of day, save work, log off.


Day 2:

Awake to begin more coding. Suddenly realize all of yesterday's work is gone. Whaaaat??? Discover that this particular SQL software requires a link to a server before it will save work. Frown. Jerry rig Dropbox to act as an onboard server. Start from scratch.

Make same mistake as yesterday. Yell "CRAP!" and start over.

Save to Dropbox, feel smug.


Day 3:

The software is burning my work in front of me at the end of the day. Dropbox is not SQL compatible. Growl and call boss to get server info (which maybe I should have gotten on day one). Software refuses to hook up to company server. Call server host.

Server hosting company is largely useless. Do online research. Do more online research. Eyes strain. Getting a headache. Call hosting company again. Still useless.

Try one thing. Try another. Call hosting company for the third time, get someone knowledgeable (3rd time's the charm). Discover that this particular software is incompatible with their servers. Swear.

Download server supported software. Try to connect. Fail. Try again. Call hosting company. Back to useless techs.

Sigh and log off. Knit a few rows to prevent myself from throwing computer out the window.


Day 4:

Grumble and try to log on again. Cannot connect. Call hosting company. Largely useless again. Do online research. Find crucial missing component to cold fusion. Consider winning the Nobel Prize for science. Try to connect again. Fail. Hopes dashed.

More online research. Open mind to the secrets of the universe. It's all so clear now! I can see a solution to most of the world's problems (it involves pie. Lots and lots of pie)! And hey, I've discovered Unified Field Theory! Try to connect. Fail. Weep quietly.

Call hosting company. Spend two whole freaking hours on the phone with a tech. Still can't connect, and in the process I've developed a headache from being forced to listen to the high-pitched, screeching noise their hold service considers to be music for easily half an hour.

Service ticket is made. Log off and take some aspirin.


Day 5:


Fail at connecting to the stupid database. Sigh. Realize my entire week has ended with nothing to show for it but a twitch over my right eye and a deep desire to begin drinking heavily. I am code's sad and annoyed slave. I exist solely to please the deranged deity in charge of computers.

Log off and knit for awhile.

Well played, computer. Well played.
Creative Commons License
Help, The Stash is Attacking! When Yarn, Knitting and Growing Up Go Terribly Awry by Kimberly Lewis is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at