Saturday, 28 February 2009

Create your own rock band record cover as follows:

1 - Go to "wikipedia." Hit “random”or click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Random
The first random wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

2 - Go to "Random quotations"or click http://www.quotationspage.com/random.php3
The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.

3 - Go to flickr and click on “explore the last seven days”or click http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/7daysThird picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

4 - Use photoshop, picassa, or similar to put it all together.

Here is mine:



Fun hey?! I think it makes a great band album cover! Now i just need to work on the 'music'. Haha!

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Ps...

...If anyone can help me sort out my pics on my blog, I'd love you forever!! I can do many things but haven't forayed into code yet. My pics keep jumping off the page and I have no idea how to fix them. Annoys the living daylights out of me...HELP!!

A bit of this and a bit of that!

This week was just another week of knitting, work and driving, more on the driving later. I'd finished my shopping bag last week and have been using it to take my lunch to work. And word definitely went around that I made it. Random people have been coming up to me saying 'are you the one that knits?'. The office manager was so interested and asked me to make one. This one took a bit longer this week-for some reason it took ages to crochet even though it's a straight forward pattern. Anyway, so I finished it last night while watching Wall-E( very cute movie). I still have to take pics of the finished project. But here it is in progress.





I really like the finished product and am actually a bit jealous. I'd like to keep it! I have a tiny bit of the yarn left so maybe I can eek one out. The bag is great as it will stretch and I've already had so much shopping in it!
I've also always wanted to make the BYOB from Knitty. But that requires a lot of yarn-maybe another day.

I also finished another bag - IT'S BAG MANIA!! This one is the Mineco 1. For this one I picked sunset colours.


In this picture it is also unfinished. I added two short handles. This pattern was a bit disappointing to me. Well, not the pattern really but the nature of the pattern. The actual knit was easy to do, yarn was fine. But the bag unfortunately doesn't stretch sideways but lengthways. So what you are left with, when full, is a long orange sausage! Weird! I'm not sure if I like it? Or maybe next time I'll add a few more pattern repeats to make it wider. I still like the look of the bag though. mmmm.......

Work is still going fine, though a bit quiet. I'm not saying anything in the hopes of keeping the job for as long as possible. It's money right?!
Driving to work has been interesting to say the least. Having lived in the UK for 6 years, you tend to forget certain things and also don't really drive in the UK. So when I got this job, I had to drive from the suburbs into the CBD of Cape Town along the highway. It crawls at a snails pace every morning, slow enough for me to drink my mug of coffee in the car! WHOO!
BUT...I totally forgot about another factor of South Africa. Taxis! Now these aren't your usual black/ yellow cabs that spring to mind. No, these are minibuses, operated by any Tom, Dick or Harry ( and lately Sue). They don't belong to any kind of Taxi organisation which regulates them in any way. In fact, if you have a minibus, you could operate one. So Tom decides to drive a taxi. Basically, he decides on the route that he wants to drive and off he goes. Taxis do not, i repeat, DO NOT follow road rules. If someone inside wants out, they stop, anywhere. Middle of an intersection, middle of the highway, ANYWHERE! They love their horns and will use them to annoyance. Every taxi has a spotter. Basically a bloke hanging out of the open door, spotting for passengers to pick up. He also acts as the horn, indicator, traffic coordinator. So if Tom wants to turn right in peak traffic and there is no space, the spotter will start shouting at cars, directing them aside to make space for the taxi to pass. The taxis are generally packed beyond any legal limit. A taxi accident usually involved quite a few dead and injured-partly due to the number of passengers and partly due to the fact that they aren't serviced at all-so have faulty brakes, no indicators, etc. So, you get the picture! These taxis exists in their millions like swarms of bees. This week the cops had a crackdown/ road block. They generally try to have these stealth road blocks to eliminate unroadworthy taxis and drivers with no licences. Also, many of the minibuses were stolen from families to use as taxis. At this road block, you always see loads of confiscated taxis, passengers walking to work and shouting drivers...oh, and about 500m before, taxis desperately trying to make u-turns to avoid the roadblocks.
Well, in order to keep the public informed, I documented some footage i.e. pics and video of these hooligans on the road. The pics were taken on my mobile while driving so excuse the quality. I forgot to up the image sizes.

Exhibit 1

What you're looking at is an intersection on a busy road in the middle of Cape Town. The road that I am on, is a two lane road. Can YOU see the two lanes on the opposite side? Cause I can't? Judging by all the taxis, they are making 5 lines!!! Crazy!



Exhibit 2

I have now crossed the intersection into the two lanes..can you spot the two lanes...apparently there are 3? I must have missed that 3rd one!



Exhibit 3

Maybe I should change lanes like this?!



And finally, exhibit 4...

I'm trying to cross the intersection but there are cars everywhere?!?!?! WTF?!?!?! It's green for me but I can't cross!


video

So you see, it's a miracle I haven't had road rage yet!
Life in Africa sure is interesting....

We went for some sundowners and took these of Table Mountain. Beautiful, isn't it!



The lights are the bottom is Cape Town.



Have a great weekend.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

This week....

This week I started the hypnotherapy study. My chosen study was on stress. Of course, I’m not easily influenced. But decided to give it a go in any case as she needed the volunteers. I basically don’t have to do anything different other than knit with the added mp3 to listen to. So picture this…I’m sitting there, knitting and listening to the following…”feel the smooth tools in your hands and how easily they move through the yarn. You are in control, you are in control every day, take 3 deep breaths and feel your body relax, blah blah.” Funny thing is, I found myself breathing deeply almost instantly when someone cut me off in traffic. So maybe it works? Who knows? I have a whole month of listening and knitting to do. And technically should be relaxed BIG TIME! Hey, if it works, I score. If the whole month is going to be like today, then I can deal with being relaxed! The scarf for the study is about 2” in and I actually like the pattern. There is enough variation not to bore you to death and easy to memorise. I doing the 1 row handspun scarf pattern from the Yarn Harlot. Get it here. The yarn is also working well with the pattern and even the Rockstar likes the pattern.
My vintage sweater is still on the sidelines for a bit. Oh, I nearly forgot. I made a shopping bag over the weekend, well over 2 days, to be exact. It’s the Crocheted Eco-Friendly Carryall by Patons and is an easy crochet string bag. Maybe a bit boring but the finished product is nice. I already have 2 others who want one too. But first I’ll have to look for some cotton type yarn that is local. The peaches colours aren’t really what they want. ( Boo to them!) So the bag is one of those that expand and EXPAND and E-X-P-A-N-D-S. You can stuff any amount of stuff in there and there is always space. I used the white, turquoise and lime green balls. I think I used one whole ball of white, half a blue and nearly all the green. I may choose another pattern for the other two-I can’t decide.



And on urgent request, I made the intended dishcloths from the Lily & Cream. One down, one to go. I haven’t used any specific pattern-just made up my own simple pattern of k3, p3 to create the block effect.


In SA news, we took my mother to Kirstenbosch botanical gardens. We arrived really early for some breakfast at the restaurant. It is really lush there. Green lawns, indigenous plants and trees. They have laid it all out very well. One section is all about useful plants and have little stories of their traditional uses. Other are dedicated to proteas, Erica and cycads. Very nice. Here are a few pics to drool over.










Maybe I’ll work on the vintage sweater tonight. I want to see some serioud progress on this and won’t allow it to zzz in my bag.
Oh and a little video. Cape Town is also known as the Cape of Storms due to strong winds from time to time. This was taken yesterday. Note that the car was stationery ( i.e. not moving due to peak traffic) and the camera was resting on the steering wheel ( hence not moving either). The movement that you see is due to the gale force winds!! And it was a stinker yesterday-over 30 degrees. Go figure. ( Oh I just realised that you can hear my Mandarin podcast on the video. Hahaha!! )


video

Friday, 6 February 2009

Lots of news

The reason for my prolonged absence may be blamed on the very poor internet connection in South Africa. Two people can't be online at the same time else the whole thing conks out. So unfortunately for me, the Rockstar's work commitments win every time and I have to step down...anyway, the Rockstar is out! YEAH! Blog update time.

First, knitting updates. I felt so bad about my Ziggy socks which remained unfinished and finally sat down to finish the last sock. I was at the heel, so it was quick knitting. Why I never finished it, I'll never know, but I'm glad I did. They look great! The colours are so bright and vibrant and I don't care that the two socks don't match. I love them!





Initially, I wasn't sure how much of the Noro sock yarn I would need, and bought two skeins. But i've only used one! Bonus! So I might use the other for a bright shawl...just need to find a nice pattern. I'll have to trawl the Ravelry pattern pages. Unfortunately for me, I don't have web access at work AT ALL! So any form of time-wasting isn't possible. ( Though I think some others have been given privileged access.)

I also finished another set of Fetchings. I found an ok yarn at Woolworld. It's called Tweed-so really it green with some flecks of different colours. But I've come to like it a lot. I bought enough yarn to make a scarf for the Hypno study, which starts tomorrow. That reminds me, I have to print the pattern. And if I come out all weird on the other side, I'll expect you'll to tell me! Ha! Anyway, back to the fetchings. The pics aren't the best due to night photography. I finished them late at night and they had to be handed over the next morning so I had no other time to take proper pics.



The vintage knit is progressing well, though sidetracked for a while. It will have to sit on the sidelines a bit longer while I participate in the study. But I think that I will still set time aside to work on it as well. I really need to take some updated shots. Maybe tomorrow. I've also started a quick crochet project. It's a mesh shopping bag made from the gifted Sugar and Cream. I'm using the green for the base and handles and white for the body. Pics to follow as soon as there is significant progress ( or a finished product).

In South African news, things have literally been hotting up this week. Temperatures have hit the 35+ mark and the city is boiling. Don't get me wrong, sun and heat is nice, but too much is too much. Cape Town has a very dry hot summer and the sun beats down. Even at 5 in the afternoon, it still has a sting to it. The unfortunate thing about the heat, is that any grassy patch become dry and yellow. And that has meant a total of 77 fires this week. Smoke is still hanging on the skyline and everyday a different field has burnt down-mostly due to reckless drivers who throw their cigarettes out of the car window. Yesterday was a particularly exciting day. We witnessed a fire run wild in a span of minutes. It started out as a small fire next to a major high way. Our building in the city is quite high up and give great views across the city. Hence us seeing the fire. Well, next thing we knew, we could see massive flames, licking up trees, fueled by the wind which suddenly changed direction, blowing the fire towards houses. By that stage, the whole city was enveloped in a fog of smoke and we couldn't see a thing. I was really worried for those homes. The helicopter was called out, flying overhead repeatedly with water to dowse the flames. They eventually killed the fire and thankfully the houses were saved, but by mere inches. Apparently owners were guarding their homes with hose-pipes. Here are a few very bad pics of said event though you could probably see better pics if you google it.
The first is of the start of the fire-it escalated very quickly after this, filling the air with smoke. Note the houses on the right- still far away.

The second pic shows the aftermath.

Note the area around the houses.
While this may not look as bad as the California fires, it is right in the city and on the mountain, which is covered in hundreds of species of Fynbos.

Anyway, life in Africa continues ( just). My only saving grace is having a job. The Rockstar is about to murder his own parents-it's called Cabin Fever!

And one last shot of Cape Town from the office. Straight ahead, right above the roof of the building in front, is the Castle.
I still love the Castle. It's magical at night.


Anyway, I'm off to knit....see ya!