Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Sock-in-Progress: Day 4 (Turning the Heel)

I got a little confused by the instructions in the Regia sock pattern but a quick trawl of the web helped clear things up enough that I could work out what the pattern was trying to get out and where the missing 'turn' was.

And so now I'm ready to carry on - perhaps tomorrow after we get back from our New Years walk.

Some curiosities I noticed about the Regia pattern compared to others on the web:
  • The turning of the heel is worked on three needles rather than one. I can sort-of understand this as it removes the need to count at all, you just keep going until the last-but-one stitch in any direction. It does make purling two stitches together a little tricky (as they're on two different needles) and I found it was easier to slip the stitch off the centre needle and then slip it again to get it onto the left outer needle ready to purl together.
  • The turning of the heel starts with a knit row rather than a purl row - I haven't yet worked out if/why this is important :)

Stitch Markers

I'm having a bit of a knitting frenzy this Christmas/New Year - well, I seem to be spending a reasonable amount of time knitting, I'm not sure I'm producing enough for it to class as a frenzy. Anyway, having finished my heel flap I'm stuck trying to understand the next step of my pattern so I thought I'd take a break and make those stitch markers I planned to have a go at. So here are my first two:

It's at this point I realised I don't actually have my beads in Lancaster so there'll be no more of those for a bit. Also, my head pins are a little bit bendy.

A tutorial for such things can be found at sheep in the city (scroll down a bit).

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Teaser Tuesdays: The English Year (Steve Roud)

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
  • Please avoid spoilers!
My 2 “Teaser” Sentences for today:

“Nevertheless, she does not seem to have had a lasting traditional impact, and no major festivals, customs, or superstitions are reported for her day, although itmust have had local significance in parishes where the church was named after her.
In weather-lore, St Margaret's Day was often expected to be wet; if it was, it was termed 'Margaret's flood', or, somewhat confusingly it was said that St Mary Magdalene (whose feast day was washing her handkerchief to go to her coursin St James's Fair (25th July).”

Sock-in-Progress: Day 4

Day 4 of my sock and approximately a third of the heel flap done:

Monday, 29 December 2008

Sock-in-Progress: Day 3

Following on from yesterdays sock post, here is today's progression:

Almost ready to start heel flapping :)

Title Deed

Having struggled to draw them out by hand, I've given up and scanned the title deeds. Hobnob's created me a generic template based on the scanned cards.Next job is to print them, fill the gaps and colour them in!

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Sock-in-Progress: Day 2

After many false starts, Day 1 of this sock (my first sock ever) was Christmas day. Unfortunately towards the end of the day I dropped a stitch which instantly fell most of the way back down the rib. Without a crochet hook to pull it up again I had to wait until I got back home again on the 27th before I could rescue it.

So, starting off with a quick stitch rescue, today was Day 2 of my sock knitting adventure. At the end of the day my sock looks like this:

Not too bad I think, it feels like it's progressing far faster than my other knitting project (a hat I had hoped to wear this winter - ah well!)

Green Bean & Coriander Salad

Hobnob and I had this many weeks ago and I'm about to return the original source to the library so thought I'd best make a note :)


Serves 2, ~10 minutes

250g fine green beans, trimmed
1 tsp chopped red chilli
2 tbsp coriander, finely chopped
4 spring onions, sliced into thin strips
A quarter of a cucumber, diced
Juice of half a lime
2tsp olive oil
Salt & pepper

Cook green beans in pan of salted boiling water for approximately five minutes - the beans should be tender but slightly crunchy, drain and place in mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and toss until dressing evenly coats the salad. Serve.

(adapted from Tara Ramsay's Sticky Hoisin Lamb in her book Home Made)

Friday, 26 December 2008


Following another perfume sampler and then subsequent trials from Lizi's bottle, these are my thoughts on J'adore, a fragrance by Christian Dior:

This perfume smells far more of alcohol than anything else when first applied - it made the room smell rather like I'd had the nit lotion out. Some time later I can't really say I could pin down anything special about this perfume. Probably better than not wearing anything but I wouldn't buy it given the wealth of alternatives - that said, it isn't offensive :)

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Plain Flour to Self Raising

I can never remember what the balance is, so here I shall store it for posterity:

For each 50g of Plain Flour add three quarters of a teaspoon of baking powder to get a self-raising equivalent.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Ghost - Sweetheart

I've taken to stashing perfume samplers in my bag for those occasions where I've forgotten to put it on in the morning (and wish to rectify the situation) and for those days when I am away from home. Having found something I quite liked yesterday, I thought I'd blog it for future reference.
(image from Ghost)

I didn't especially notice much about this perfume (definitely Ghost and probably Sweetheart) when I applied it, but later that evening I spent some time quietly sniffing my wrists and enjoying the 'girl-next-door' scent. I really like the comfy smell of this perfume. Sounds bizarre but it felt like the t-shirt and jeans of the perfume world. I'm very tempted to purchase this sometime in the future.

Film in Four Words (V For Vendetta)

Magic. A better Matrix.

(Image from Wikimedia, more film info at IMDB)

So many of my films at the moment are second viewings and this is no exception. I love this film. I'm not entirely sure why, but it was one of few that live up to my (scant but positive) recollections the second time. Poor Hobnob is bemused (as he often is by my film choices) but I found this film makes me feel like I'm thinking without sharing his need to scour Wikipedia for the details I might have missed.

I wish I had the imagination and intelligence to create art like this. It's beautiful and philosophic all at the same time. An artistic thought experiment, or something...

Anyway, I waffle. I love this film. (Just don't ask me why)

Friday, 19 December 2008

Friday Fill In

This week's Friday Fill In:

1. Said the night wind to the little lamb, do you hear what I hear?

2. The first Noel, the angel did say, was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay.

3. Go teletubbie mountain, Over the hills and everywhere.

4. It came upon the midnight clear, all glory be to God on High. (Who knows why I tie these two carols together but in my head they just seemed to join up.)

5. Freedom Let your heart be light.

6. And the thing that will make them ring is the carol that you sing ting-a-ling-a-ling.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to the Kinder Children's Choirs candlelit Christmas concert (and what an alliteration that is), tomorrow my plans include buying the last Christmas presents as I travel home again and Sunday, I want to do whatever takes my fancy!

(I like carols too much to want to answer these with anything other than the words - I've done my best)

Thursday, 18 December 2008

That Christmas Feeling

I'm not really feeling Christmassy as such yet, but what I am feeling is this strange reluctance to do any work at all. It's like the week has become one big Friday. It's a good job I've accepted that I'm not going to get anything really useful done next week!

So, what am I not interested in doing today? Today's work is to read some stuff from Protecting Study Volunteers in Research... I'd rather be reading Twilight (and I am occasionally!)

Vampires or US Legislation, which is more exciting?

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Dairy & Egg Free Pancakes

For those with, and those cooking for those with, allergies...

55g Plain Flour
30g Ground Arrowroot
30g Tapioca Flour
350ml Soya Milk

Bung it all in a bowl and mix well! These are UK pancakes so pour a small amount into the frying pan and flip over when underside is browned - you're aiming for something thin, like a French crepe.

Surprisingly these taste a lot like real pancakes, perhaps just a little more crumpet or bread like... maybe? Very close the the real thing anyway.

I also used this mixture (doubled) for toad in the hole (8 sausages). Didn't cook it quite long enough but it seemed like it would probably work well if I had done.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Monopoly Activities

Been working on my spreadsheet today, planning activities for the early half of the Monopoly Board for my QG exploration to Edinburgh. It's taken far longer than I thought. Some of these places are quite difficult to find much for even on Google. Combining Google with the Guidebook is getting me there, but slowly!

Saturday, 13 December 2008

No cheese

The cheese man is not around for the 10th because he's on holiday for a month :(

Timing is Everything

Today we've been into town to do some Christmas shopping. Well we went and I shopped. We get home and I'm wrapping presents when Hobnob announces that we should have crackers for the LuBBs curry tomorrow - why did this not occur to him earlier? Also he's forgotten to buy a present for his godson.

So now we must go shopping tomorrow.

Friday, 12 December 2008


It seems there is more than one version of monopoly. The version I have received from my ebay seller is different to the one previously described to me by another seller and seems to have slightly better locations. I have updated the google map.

The changes to properties are:

West Shore Road becomes Chambers Street

Thistle Street becomes Gyle Avenue

Cortorphine Road becomes FountainBridge
Royal Mile becomes University of Edinburgh

Edinburgh Zoo becomes Charlotte Lane
Greenside Place becomes Royal Mile

Chambers Street becomes Leith Walk
St Andrews Sq becomes Rutland Court

Edinburgh Airport becomes Haymarket Train Station

Mmm.... cheese!

Started on the Monopoly activities spreadsheet for Edinburgh today. I've found a guy who brings a cheese van up to The Meadows some Saturdays which sounds quite nice. Have sent him an email to see if he'd be up there when we are.

Edinburgh Train Tickets

Bought my train tickets for Edinburgh! I'm racing through the "To Do" list today :)

Friday Fill-In

This week's Friday Fill-In:

1. Friends are blessing I don't ever appreciate enough.

2. Mental health; it's something people don't give enough of their attention to.
This was inspired by Ňạʼněě's fill in post, here. I found this question by far the hardest!

3. I'm ready for things to happen.

4. Ralph Lauren's Romance (perfume) and fresh lavender (smell) is one of my favorite perfumes or aftershaves or smells.

5. The oldest ornament I have is almost certainly not very old - I don't really do ornaments, don't see the point.

6. Take some leeks, corgettes and other vegetables, mix it all together and you have the perfect stirfry.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to doing *something*, tomorrow my plans include feeling purposeful and Sunday, I want to learn how to knit socks.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Free eBook

For a limited time only Simon & Schuster publishers are offering a free downloadable eBook version of L.J. Smith's Secret Vampire - the first book in the Night World series. I couldn't get enough of these books in high school. Apparently the offer is to celebrate the recent US release of the new Twilight film.

For those of you who haven't come accross the Night World books before:

"The Night World isn’t a place. It’s all around us. It’s a secret society of vampires, werewolves, witches, and other creatures of darkness that live among us. They’re beautiful and deadly and irresistible to humans. Your high school teacher could be one, and so could your boyfriend..."

And for those that have...

The Night World books are being rereleased over the coming year! The first nine books have been divided into three sets of three books - each triplet being released as a single bind-up - the first two sets are available now whilst the third is scheduled for release on June 23, 2009. The never before published 10th book in the series will be released by Simon Pulse in 2010.

Curious? Download that eBook here (available until 21st December).

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

QG Exploration Planning

Met Lizzi again today in the Venue to try and get the programme divided up nicely before Lizzi goes home for Christmas. To keep it nice and simple we've agreed that the properties can be divided straight down the middle, so I will do Brown->Orange (inclusive) and Lizzi Red->Purple (also inclusive). I'll do the four stations and Lizzi will look into the Community Chests. For each one we'll try and find one or more suggestions of things we could do (bearing in mind timing and costs) and put them together in a template which we can send back and forth until it is complete. Once it's complete we can use the list and my maps so that together we can (via MSN or some similar) have a think about a good order and who's to lead which bits. In addition, we thought it'd be a good idea to make up some large size (A4) property deeds to use in the photographs - we'll each make cards for the properties we are researching.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Teaser Tuesdays: Brown Owl's Guide to Life (Kate Harrison)

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
  • Please avoid spoilers!
My 2 “Teaser” Sentences for today:

“I pass the diagram showing the right way to hang a Union Jack, and the illustration explaining how to tell if a track has been made by a lame horse, before reaching anything remotely relevant. Page 373, right opposite the frogs in cream, is a whole section on Good Temper and Cheeriness.”

Page 97 of Brown Owl's Guide to Life by Kate Harrison

Monday, 1 December 2008

Leg Warmers!

What with the rather cool weather and my not-quite-complete lack of fashion sense, I have discovered leg warmers. I bought my first pair last week and quickly went out to buy another. Today I bought another two pairs on my way in to uni - that's probably enough for now!

(today's legwarmers in grey sandwiched between the two new pairs: navy and green)

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Books I Read in November

Total: 4 books.

To die For (Carol Lee)
Trust me, I'm a (Junior) Doctor (Max Pemberton)
Another Day in the Frontal Lobe (Katrina S. Firlik)
A Wayne in a Manger (Gervase Phinn)

My final health matters book (for now at least) To Die For reminded me of the many books on eating disorders that seemed to be floating around when I was at high school. I'm not quite sure what I made of this book but it probably wasn't all that positive.

All library books this month I think - Trust me, I'm a (Junior) Doctor was another health matters. Enjoyed this book, an amusing easy read. Medicine in itself is really quite interesting... but at the same time I'm glad not to endure the long hours and stressful days!

Another library book, Another Day in the Frontal Lobe (14/11) caught my eye on the 'health matters' selection out on display (I do like the library displays for prompting some new reads). A very interesting (and surprisingly straightforward) read full of curious stories of the operating room and neurosurgery.

Once again starting off my list with a nice, easy read - A Wayne in a Manger (11/11) is a real book but is short and sweet with big writing and an adequate number of pictures. Funny and cute and ever so easy to read. I saw this on the shelf in the library and thought it looked like an ideal way to spend the bus journey home.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Rag Wreath

One of my better results from todays crafting:

Something you don't need any talent for! For anyone who wonders, at the centre is an embroidery ring and the strips are each around 10cm (4") x 2.5c (1"). I think my Christmas tree (centre) is probably a little low hanging but that can be fixed sometime in the future.

Friday, 28 November 2008

Friday Fill-Ins

This week's Friday Fill-In:

1. My stomach is mostly full of rubbish - I must learn to make time to eat properly.

2. Vegetarian chilli with nachos and salsa is what I ate the most of on Thursday.

3. The yard is so cold, like everywhere else, at this time of year.

4. In bed is where I'd rather be at any given time.

5. The smell of the central heating reminds me of Christmas.

6. A good night's sleep is what I need right now!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to going to bed, tomorrow my plans include having a refreshing shower and then spending the day getting some craft ideas and Sunday, I want to do something other than all the work I know I must do!

Film in Four Words (Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging)

Light, funny, good soundtrack.

(Image from IMDB, more film info at IMDB)

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Monopoly Board

Hurrah - I now have (or will have) an Edinburgh Monopoly Board!

Knitting Needle OCD

Yesterday I photocopied the knitting needle record from Stitch & Bitch only to get frustrated when some of my sizes weren't there and the UK imperial measures were absent. This afternoon I decided to remedy this by writing my own little card to replace the SnB one with the extra sizes. And here is is...
What a way to waste a Sunday afternoon *sigh*. But at least I won't buy any more 6mm needles - I seem to have inherited 3 pairs :o).

Friday, 21 November 2008

Friday Fill-Ins

This week's Friday Fill-In:

1. The last band I saw live was Scouting for Girls (at the Big Gig - they just happened to be the last to play).

2. What I look forward to most at Christmas is everything.

3. My Christmas/holiday shopping is part way there.

4. Thoughts of grumpy fill my head.

5. I wish I could wear something other than t-shirts and jeans.

6. Bagpipes are played in Scotland... and I'm planning a trip to Edinburgh.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to tidying the world, tomorrow my plans include being less grumpy and Sunday, I want to feel like I've had that nice balance of a weekend - productive and relaxing!

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Edinburgh Monopoly Map

This afternoon was a dead loss for work as some stuff I needed was broken so instead I've put together a Google map for my planned Queen's Guide exploration in Edinburgh. It's based on the Edinburgh Monopoly board:

View Larger Map

QG Peoples

Have mailed lots of folk asking if they want to come to Edinburgh - hopefully I'll get some replies!

Monopoly Locations

Hurrah, a nice ebayer tells me the locations for Edinburgh Monopoly are as follows:

Brown streets - The Meadows, West Shore Road.

Blue streets - Lady Stairs Close, Lauriston Castle, Princes St Gardens.

Pink streets - Easter Road, Tynecastle Stadium, Murrayfield.

Orange streets - Thistle Street, St James Centre, George Street.

Red streets - Corstorphine Road, Holyrood, Royal Mile.

Yellow streets - Edinburgh Zoo, Grindlay Street, Greenside Place.

Green streets - Chambers Street, St Andrews Square, The Scottish Parliament.

Purple streets - Princes Street, Edinburgh Castle.

Train spaces - Forth Road Bridge, Edinburgh Airport, Waverley Station, Royal Yacht Britannia.

Community Chest - Albert Quay Leith, National Museums of Scotland, Bank of Scotland.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Tension Square... Attempt Two

Rather more successful than my first, remembered to make it stocking stitch this time and dropped to smaller needles.

Phildar Alibi Ob (61% Acrylic, 26% Wool, 13% Viscose)
Colourway: 05 (I think?)
Needles: 4.5mm
Stitch Used: Stocking
Number of Stitches: 25 (+4)
Number of Rows: 34 (+4)
Washed? No (yarn instructions - machine wash, 40oC)
Intended Pattern: An adaptation of 'Silk Evening Scarf', p66 of I Love Knitting (Rachel Henderson): find this on Ravelry.

QG Exploration Planning

Today Lizzi and I met up in the Venue to plan our exploration. Lizzi suggested going to Edinburgh to visit the locations on the Edinburgh monopoly board which seems fine to me as long as we can find a board! We tried a quick set of Web searches in the library today and didn't find anything. Lizzi says she will take this on as she has no lectures for the rest of the day. Once she's got the locations she'll mail them to me and I'll try and find a hostel (or several if that works better) for us to stay in. We're both going to try and recruit people pretty quickly so we can get our A/A form completed this coming weekend.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

My First Tension Square

... is, sadly, a rectangle.

Due to a combination of factors mostly involving not paying attention, my rectangular tension square in garter stitch was 8cm x 12cm rather than the (still too large 12cm x 12cm) that I might have ended up with if I'd used the stocking stitch suggested.

Yarn: Phildar Alibi Ob (61% Acrylic, 26% Wool, 13% Viscose)
Needles: 5mm
Stitch Used: Garter
Number of Stitches: 25 (+0)
Number of Rows: 34 (+0)
Washed? No (yarn instructions - machine wash, 40oC)
Intended Pattern: An adaptation of 'Silk Evening Scarf', p66 of I Love Knitting (Rachel Henderson)

Better luck next time?

Friday, 14 November 2008

Friday Fill-In

This week's Friday Fill-In:

1. Please feel free to comment on my blog... please!

2. When I get out my Lush Whoosh! tin of temple balm I can't help sniffing it occasionally.

3. My favorite thing to cook is leek and potato bake because it tastes so yummy! Sadly Hobnob can't eat it so I don't cook it any more :o(

4. Sleep is something I can't get enough of.

5. That's the thing I love most about a quiet read.

6. A sexy pair of Jeans always makes me think to myself, what the heck?

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to getting a little bit of work done and getting an early night, tomorrow my plans include seeing my Grandma and Sunday, I want to ... I've not quite decided - Christmas shopping if I'm not too tired, otherwise enjoying a day on the sofa!

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Teaser Tuesdays: A Wayne in a Manger (Gervase Phinn)

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
  • Please avoid spoilers!
My 2 “Teaser” Sentences for today:

“'Was Baby Jesus induced?'
'No, He wasn't induced.'”

Page 23 of A Wayne in a Manger by Gervase Phinn

Friday, 7 November 2008

Friday Fill-In

This week's Friday Fill-In:

1. My blueprint for success includes music - everything should be done to music.

2. Haribo Starmix was the last candy I ate.

3. The best facial moisturizer I've ever used is water.

4. Music and cleaning can be good therapy.

5. I'd like to tell you about the inadequate supply of comfortable spaces in the Infolab 21 (my department).

6. Forgotten is my strongest characteristic - I'm just too tired at the moment to have strong anythings!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to seeing Verity, tomorrow my plans include watching the Fireworks up at the castle and Sunday, I want to get plenty of sleep!

Under The Bonnet

I have my mock practical driving test today but have just remembered that we've never done the bonnet-based 'show me/tell me' questions as it's always raining in my lessons. Fear not, YouTube knows the answers :)

This driving school has a downloadable list of all the questions as of July 2008.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Beware girl germs!

According to this article, women have a greater number of bacteria types on their hands than men.

I guess that must be our 'girl germs' or cooties :o)

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Urban Knitting!

I have spent all of this morning looking at knitted graffiti! Starting out at mentalfloss's morning cup of links (at about 10:30am!) which pointed me to this article on deputy dog, I've followed endless other links, watched a few videos and browsed all sorts of galleries. I've assembled a few of my favourite photos (or at least those that worked well in a collage) into a funky image using pixlr, an online photo editor:
Left-hand side (from top to bottom):

I initially found the cute pink mouse on Yarnbombing, a Canadian knit-graffiti site. They link back to The Baltimore DIY Squad but when you read a bit closer (or maybe if you just actually read it at all) then it actually turns out the mouse is here on a Craftster forum. The post is quite interesting, suggesting that the presence of some graffiti (even as in this case, some harmless knitted stuff) attracts others. Although I'd never thought about this (or broken windows) before, it makes complete sense... except in the case of knitted graffiti attracting other, more regular, painted messages - that's weird.

This bench is the work of Micro-Fiber Militia, the Chicago Crochet Graffiti Artists. I spied a few other benches on the front page of their blog: this nice wintery blue one, this flowery one and this not-quite-so-exciting one; there's also a couple of benches currently displayed on knit sea: granny squares and stripy with flowers. I like the simplicity of the benches, I can see them being a nice easy way to brighten up people's days.

Included as one of the image sets on my starting article, this very funky mooring ring is by the Swedish group Masquerade. I love the colour that's involved in so many of these projects. Masquerade have a little map of Stockholm (pdf) showing the location of their projects which is really nice - I'm very unlikely ever to visit but if I did then I think I'd have to take a look. There's loads of other cool urban knitting projects on Masquerade's site: I like the contrast of the yarns in this one, and there's something about the fit of the design (particularly the colours) to the location in this one that pleases my eye.


This statue is one of a selection graffitied on this Swedish guerilla knitting blog. It seems Sweden must be the place to go for knitting. Useful for this blog is a swedish/english translator (with some fantastically bizarre translations), unfortunately the title for this post doesn't translate, fortunately pictures are universal :o) I guess the title might reflect something of the statue's subject/location but I'm not cultured enough to actually know anything.

Right-hand side (from top to bottom):

Beware boobies on the aforementioned Swedish blog (not Masquerade, the one with the statues). You have to see the whole post to really appreciate this one, I love the pink ribbon but am not entirely sure about the knitted breasts.

"Tree Cozy"! By Carol Hummel. Shown beautifully in three images within my original starting article, this one isn't quite so guerilla as some of the others but is in fact the winning sculpture in a 2005 art competition. Visible in the US from 2005-2008 (which I guess maybe means it's been removed?) this is really quite pretty. Possibly a little too much work for your average graffiti artist though :o) There are loads more pictures of this tree on the website and I also found loads of variations on this theme (e.g. GRAKNITTI, the ones mentioned in this US article and the JafaGirls' KnitKnot Tree -- JafaGirls' site also includes free art Friday which sounds kinda cool). Carol's also done four other trees (a cozy in India; a rope-bound tree in India; and two 'cozy' palm trees: one and two) plus a selection of other sculptures, many of which include knitting, crochet or yarn in some way.


Whilst these images are perhaps a selection of my favourites, there are a whole host of really pretty things on the all the sites I've visited today.
  • Other sites I couldn't link to from my collage that are also full of great urban knitting project include: this great lamppost - imagine a cross between Narnia and knitting - which is actually by Knitta, Please who were mentioned in the starting article but don't appear to be someone I've linked to anywhere in my post so far, Lacey Jane Roberts (you have to visit this site just to see how pink that fence really is), knitted landscape and the ladies fancywork society.
  • Not urban knitting, but another great knit-related site I came across in my searching - 'What not to Crochet' - I actually think the balloon dog on this site is quite clever, not terribly useful I'll grant you, but it's no worse than any other crocheted toy animal surely? That said, I could never forgive the person who designed and made this bikini (and in grey as well - what were they thinking?) or this cat-hat (that's right up there with the bonsai kittens, but at least they were cute).
  • Not knitting at all, project 365 is a photography project: one picture for each day in 2007. There's a Flikr gallery here and a blog here. I'd almost be tempted to try this one myself (2009 anyone?) but I know I'd forget!
  • And finally... today's questionable content is also knittingy :) I wouldn't have known but Foo posted it in LuBBs talk whilst I was browsing all this excitement.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Teaser Tuesdays: Migraine (Oliver Sacks)

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
  • Please avoid spoilers!
My 2 “Teaser” Sentences for today:

“The diagnosis of migraine is usually made on the basis of a clinical history, supported where possible by observation of the patient during an attack. It is usually good sense to perform a few basic investigations (skull X-rays, EEG, etc.), although these may be expected to be within normal limits in the vast majority, say 99 per cent, of all cases.”

Page 106 of Migraine by Oliver Sacks

Saturday, 1 November 2008


I have taken it out of the fridge to sit in the cupboard for a month. I didn't want any before, but now I've 'given it up' I suddenly quite fancy it after all!

Friday, 31 October 2008

Look Wider

Being ill seemed like a good chance to get on top of some of my 'personal' guiding stuff, those things I want to do outside of running units. This afternoon I have sat down and gone through Look Wider, the scheme for Senior Section (16-25s) and written myself the following to do list/plan to finish off the Octants:
  • Gather supporting evidence for musical activities scheme.
  • Mail off completed musical activities scheme book to Arts Advisor.
  • Give up chocolate for November 2008.
  • Understand my asthma (I wonder why this would be useful... :))
  • Record what I eat for one week and consider how healthy it is/could be.
  • Pass my driving test.
  • Watch and review two foreign films.
  • Complete clause two from the compulsory clauses of the Commonwealth Award.
  • Find *something* to do for Phase Three of International. Switzerland would count for this if it happens.
  • Complete ALQ Module One for Brownies.

Books I read in October

Total: 7 books.

Eric (Terry Pratchett)
If You Could See Me Now (Cecelia Ahern)
Guards! Guards! (Terry Pratchett)
The Almost Moon (Alice Sebold)
Pyramids (Terry Pratchett)
The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank (Ellen Feldman)
So You're 50! (Mike Haskins & Clive Whichelow)

Another hospital read (28/10): If You Could See Me Now arrived from Rachel Bignall (UK) via. BookMooch at just the right time. A nice light read, much like the last book I read by this author (and much better than the last memorable one!).

Having landed myself a spell in hospital I've managed to read not one, but three Discworld this month. Guards! Guards! (27/10) and Eric (29/10) actually mean I've managed to read enough of these books to be almost back on track (just one behind I think). Also Guards! Guards! features on the BBC Top 100 book list taking me to 45.

Didn't know Alice Sebold had another book out so felt the need to buy The Almost Moon urgently in Sainsburys :) Read whilst poorly at home (21/10). Slightly different feel to her other books I thought, perhaps a little more like Sophie Hannah but not quite. Anyway, I enjoyed this but am sending it on to emma (UK) via BookMooch.

Finally read my Terry Pratchett, Pyramids (14/10) for July August last month this month, oops! Posted a teaser mid-read too. Not sure I got into this one as much as the last and some of that whole time/dimensions/right angles stuff confused my head! Still, maybe I'll get back on track with these again now :)

I bought The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank from Waterstones in Lancaster before heading to Liverpool to travel to Surrey, Waterstones has supplied a 20% off voucher for my birthday month so I felt obliged to buy some things. Not sure quite what I made of this book, it was an interesting idea but I felt like maybe I hadn't got as deep into it as I would have liked by the end. Ah well.

So You're 50! (04/10) truely counts as a book but then I guess if Snoopy does then it's no worse :) I'm not 50 and I can't see that the quips in the book would be any more funny if I were, but never mind.


In case you're wondering, I've still not finished Starbook. It seems a slightly more difficult read than some, perhaps the third person writing style?

Friday Fill-In

This week's Friday Fill-In:

1. My favorite food seasoning is rosemary. (It makes good potatoes)

2. Music is music to my ears.

3. Lucky is a good name for a cat - but almost promises some sort of narrow escape, mind the roads!

4. Achieving things is something I take very seriously.

5. Many people do things we don't understand; the more there are of them, the more likely the result will be unfathomable.

6. A pink glittery shirt for Innovate was the last thing I bought at the store.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to resting tomorrow my plans include resting and Sunday, I want to rest some more!

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Film In Four Words (The Queen)

Different. British. Captivating. Clever.

(Image from wikimedia, more film info at IMDB)

I'm not sure what it is about this film, but I'd agree with all the excellent reviews it was given when it came out. Very watchable, very interesting.

No Plastic? Fantastic!

With the title ripped shamelessly from one of the described blogs :)

I picked up a couple of blogs from a university mailout today. Subtext is an independent university email which I occasionally stretch to reading all of. Somewhere at the bottom of this last one (that link currently sends you to 34 but I assume 43 will be uploaded shortly) were links to the blogs of two students, Rose and Ele, who had been pursuing life without any plastic. I've come across this idea before somewhere and I do think it's a great one, just a shame it's so hard to do at the moment. Whilst I'm not quite sure I'm adventurous enough to take this challenge on myself it does prompt some thought as to how much more effort I *could* be putting in to these things. I know that as time passes we all get better at reducing, reusing and recycling and yet I also know that there's far too much stuff that gets taken and binned just because not doing so is a little bit more thought or work. (That said, I'm still not sure on the whole Mooncup thing - maybe I'll ask Becky one day :))

Also, I think I know Rose (which is what drove me to look at the blog in the first place).

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Film in Four Words (Mrs. Henderson Presents)

Nice once. Something missing.

(Image from The CIA, more film info at IMDB)

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Maths Puzzle

The following puzzle was posted on one of the departmental forums...

We know that:

ABCDEF is even
G is odd
All are different digits
Being as it's the computing department a few people have brute forced this but, given that I'm ill today, I thought I'd have a go at solving it properly - and succeeded!

Here goes....

1) For ABCDEF to be even, F must be even.

2) Even x odd = even so BCDEFA must be even, so A is even.

3) All are different digits so ABCDEF can't be equal to BCDEFA, so G does not equal 1.

4) ABCDEF has the same number of digits as BCDEFA so, A x G must be less than 10.

5) Possible options for A and G are: A ∈ {0, 2, 4, 6, 8}, G ∈ {3, 5, 7, 9}. Given that found in 4), A must be in {0, 2} as 3x4=12. Including a leading zero is rather unlikely, so A = 2.

6) Given 5) and 4), G = 3. So now we have:
x 3

7) 3 x F ends in 2, given that F is even, 3 x F ∈ {0, 12, 18, 24}. F must be 4. So now we have:
x 3

8) (3 x E)+1 ends in 4, so 3 x E ends in 3. E can be either odd or even so 3 x E ∈ {0, 3, 15, 18, 21, 24, 27}, therefore E = 1.
x 3

9) 3xD ends in 1. D can be odd or even so 3 x D ∈ {0, 15, 18, 21, 24, 27}, therefore D = 7.
x 3

10) (3 x C)+2 ends in 7, so 3 x C ends in 5. C can be either odd or even so 3 x C ∈ {0, 15, 18, 24, 27}, therefore C = 5.
x 3

11) (3xB)+1 ends in 5, so 3 x B ends in 4. B can be odd or even so 3 x B ∈ {0, 18, 24, 27}, therefore B = 8.
x 3

Note, once I'd got A and G I did initially start by trying to solve this from the other side as follows (I quickly realised that I'd got the wrong end!):

7) The value of B must be at least 6 (AxG plus any carry over values). Therefore, B ∈ {6, 7, 8, 9}.

8) Given that 3 x B ∈ {18, 21, 24, 27}, some carry over value will be applied so the value of B must be greater than 6. Therefore, B ∈ {7, 8, 9} and 3 x B ∈ {21, 24, 27}.

9) Given 8), the carry over must be 2. So B is greater than or equal to 8, B ∈ {8, 9}. (Note, the obvious thing to do here is say that B ∈ 8, but it's possible for B to equal 9... take for example the value 298145 x 3 = 917435).

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Film in Four Words (Prince Caspian)

Much better than Wardrobe.

(Image from Liberty Film Festival, more film info at IMDB)

I was very pleasantly surprised by this film. Having seen The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe at the cinema almost as soon as it came out and been really quite disappointed, I totally expected this to be awful but felt obliged to watch it anyway. Having waited until it reached the university cinema I was really quite surprised at how un-rubbish this film actually was. A vast improvement and enjoyable.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Friday Fill-In

This week's Friday Fill-In:

1. Follow the leader.

2. Books are something I always take with me on vacation. (Towels and pyjamas are the things I always forget!)

3. To achieve your goals, you must know what you want

4. "I always appreciate gifts of Cadbury's Dairy Milk" is something I'd like you to know about me.

5. I have a cold.

6. Coca-Cola floats. I've never had one and I can't imagine I'd like them at all!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to projecting at the cinema, tomorrow my plans include the Big Gig! and Sunday, I want to get a bit of sleep!

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Wizard of Oz

I've just been doing a very quick bit of research into the Wizard of Oz approach to usability studies (by which I mean checking it meant what I thought it did) and somehow ended up at Wikipedia's page on Political Interpretions of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz. I have a feeling I've seen some of this before and promptly forgotten it all, but it's amazing that:

1) People can draw so much out of all these things. Whether it's on religious grounds or political it seems that something like this exists for almost any kids story, classical novel or well-known film (and probably some lesser known ones too). Maybe I'll have to go looking for some more but there's always the classic Lord of the Rings religious arguments :) Even on the poetry front I sometimes have to wonder how much of the subtleties and double meanings were *really* intended and how many just worked out that way - did people really write all those GCSE anthology poems with so many meanings?

2) That people can contribute so many details to Wikipedia :) It's strangely addictive.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Teaser Tuesdays: Pyramids (Terry Pratchett)

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
  • Please avoid spoilers!
My 2 “Teaser” Sentences for today:

“It is astonishingly difficult to walk with legs full of straw when the brain doing the directing is in a pot ten feet away, but he made it as far as the wall and felt his way along it until a crash indicated that he'd reached the shelf of jars. He fumbled the lids of the first one and dipped his hand gently inside.”

Page 256 of Pyramids by Terry Pratchett

Monday, 13 October 2008


(Image from today's Google search page)

Tehe, Paddington Bear is awesome.

Film in Four Words (Corpse Bride)

Fantastic music. Dark. Pretty.

(Image from BFI, more film info at IMDB)

Tim Burton, Johnny Depp and Danny Elfman makes a good combination.
I'm not quite sure I don't prefer Nightmare Before Christmas but it's a tough call.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Film in Four Words (Addams Family Values)

Historical. Funny. More please.

(image from Klub Miłośników Filmu, more film info at IMDB)

There should have been more Addams Family films.

Friday, 10 October 2008

Friday Fill-In

I've changed the formatting this week, I'm hoping it's a bit clearer but maybe some more experimenting is needed.

1. One of the best concerts/plays/movies I ever saw that I really didn't think I'd like was forgotten - I can't think of a single one. I can however think of at least one I'd been told would be OK and turned out to be awful :)

2. Stewed apple and raspberries is a recipe I recently made (or meal I recently ordered) that was delicious! (I do like hot fruit now it's getting colder outside again.)

3. It's time for some work.

4. Fresh lemon juice (either still or in the form of Fentiman's (rather lovely) traditional lemonade) is quite refreshing.

5. If I never hear the word moreover again, it'll be too soon. (Sorry Oliver!)

6. To one side of the curving road was a knife emporium and on the other was an electromagnet specialist store.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to a rest, and a bit of tidying. Tomorrow my plans include manning our local Guide depot and having a good lunch and Sunday, I want to not get too cold and wet when we close down the campsite.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

I <3 Mental Floss

There are few things I would wish myself American for, but Mental Floss is most likely one of them. Fortunately they have a website :)

Today on Mental Floss: 8 Cases of Locked-In Syndrome. Interesting and scary. I did read Bauby's memoir last year sometime (but seemingly did not blog it). I think I still may have it though I had intended to put it onto BookMooch at the time.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Gluten Free Mineral Water

The bottle of Aldi's Elmhurst Spring mineral water I have sat on my desk is (or at least was when it contained the orignal product) gluten free - hurrah! Isn't all mineral water...?

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Teaser Tuesdays: Starbook (Ben Okri)

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
  • Please avoid spoilers!
My 2 “Teaser” Sentences for today:

“But the wise men and women were hard to find and mostly did not want to be found. And when he made enquiries and was directed to this hut or that place, when he arrived he would discover that the wise man, learning that the prince was seeking him, had disappeared, had, as they say, made himself scarce.”

Page 274 of Starbook by Ben Okri

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Books I Read in September

The Fantastic Book of Everybody's Secrets (Sophie Hannah)
Gifted (Nikita Lalwani)
The Final Reckoning (Sam Bourne)
Hurting Distance (Sophie Hannah)
My Favourite Wife (Tony Parsons)
The Book of Air and Shadows (Michael Gruber)

I used to hate books of short stories but seem to have discovered over the past year or so that they are actually generally quite fun - and usually pretty weird, The Fantastic Book of Everybody's Secrets (28/09) is no exception. Gone to Fleur Fisher (UK) via. BookMooch.

I enjoyed Gifted just enough to hang onto it for a reread. I can't quite recall if it was supposed to be based on fact, but I assume that given these two pages (one and two) that it probably was.

The wealth of Da Vinci Code mirrors seems to have reduced substantially in the last year which is probably for the best. Perhaps with this in mind, The Final Reckoning seemed somewhat weaker than Sam Bourne's previous novels. That said, it was an easy read with enough plot to keep me interested and was rather better than the (similarly styled) The Book of Air and Shadows. Gone to Chris Wilkinson (UK) via. BookMooch.

Hurting Distance is the second book by Sophie Hannah that I've read, the first being Little Face and I think she may slowly be becoming someone I might look out for in the future. Like Jodi Picoult's novels, these seem to be crime novels where the interest is not really in the crime at all but in all the other things added to the genre (which is good because I can't imagine ever reading an ordinary crime level unless truely desparate). Anyway, a clever and interesting book. Gone to Jasmin (Ireland) via. BookMooch.

My Favourite Wife - Better than the last Tony Parsons I read, but maybe not as good as some of the others before that. Gone to Lyonsy (Ireland) via. BookMooch.

My first Da Vinci Code style novel in a while, The Book of Air and Shadows is a long but quick, easy read. Not one of the better ones in this style but probably not the worst either. Gone to Kirk McElhearn (France) via. BookMooch.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Friday Fill-In

Following on from last week's initial exploration into Friday Fill-In land...

1. October... so soon! My summer has run away from me. At least I get a birthday to take away some of the gloom.

2. Getting older without getting places, potentially making the wrong decisions and being left all alone... scare me!

3. Leaves are falling all around, it's... darker than I remembered.

4. My favorite horror movie is... something funny, maybe Shaun of the Dead or Black Sheep or that weird film I watched in the all-nighter... because... I'm too much of a wus to enjoy *real* scary movies.

5. Seducing biscuits, being girly with Lizi and plotting with ye olde LU Cinema folke... = good memories.

6. It was a dark and stormy night... would be a truly traditional start to a horror story - if only I had some good ideas :).

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to... getting my knitting back on track and drinking some beer..., tomorrow my plans include... the long drive South (but I don't get to do any of it *grumble*)... and Sunday, I want to ...catch up with folk I've not seen in a while at Church in the Pub!

Monday, 29 September 2008

Paper Cutouts

In a roundabout way, I arrived at this "Amazing Paper Cutouts" post via. Mental Floss :)

Putting aside the obligatory Jesus shot, I quite like these. This one is good:

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Just the way it is...

Is how I'd like my Ben & Jerry's to stay!

Following Blogger's Blogs of Note tonight I've ended up at this blog, conservation without the weirdos :) It seems that some crazy restaurant owner in Switzerland has had the bright idea of replacing his dairy-based ingredients with human breast milk:

“The idea first came to me when I noticed that there were many young mothers in our village, some of them single. I thought to myself: why not make use of their potential? I served the meals to my friends without telling them about the new ingredient and the feedback was excellent.”
(quoted in this article on Times Online)

I'm glad I'm not his friend! Much as I'd agree that breast is indeed best, and I would like to think that short of some unfortunate medical condition there is nothing likely to cause me from failing to breast feed my own children one day, that is it's purpose - feeding my children. I can't imagine wanting to supply my friends or strangers with a Saffy-breast pancake, soup or the supplied Chanterelle sauce! Equally, I can't see the appeal of any food product based on someone else's breast milk - perhaps on a base level this is absurd, after all it's still milk and the concept is roughly the same from cow, sheep or goat to human, and yet... no. So, well done Ben & Jerry's, you shall retain my custom! (And I shall remember to be oh so slightly wary when in Switzerland next year).

From the same blog, this reference to the rather grim tongue biter louse (or Cymothoa exigua) is interesting and simultaneously slightly grim. Probably for the best is the kindly reminder that it's not partial to the human tongue as inevitably this was where my mind went. The original article gives a 'nice' picture with a pink tonguey looking thing, but this image feels a lot more lousy:

Bit more exotic than your common garden flea or head louse, but the knowledge that I couldn't gain one puts it slightly further down my grim list than those nasty half-in-half-out ticks hiding out on our campsites (*shiver*).


I misread the knitting pattern for my hat and so will now have to undo everything I did yesterday :(

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Sore fingers and holey knitting

I keep discovering holes in my knitting. I'm sure some of them weren't there before and yet now when I look there are some right down near the beginning :(

Hopefully I'm not accruing any more as I continue and I suppose I may be able to hide the ones I've already created somehow.

Also, knitting gives me sore fingers - am I doing it wrong?

Friday, 26 September 2008

Film in Four Words (Team America: World Police)

Really not that great.

(Image from StarStore, more film info at IMDB)

Film in Four Words (The Adams Family)

Better than Team America.

(Image from Wikipedia, more film info at IMDB)

I really didn't get most of Team America, but the Adams family is/was a classic :)

Friday Fill-In

Following Clarence's lead... today's Friday fill-in.

1. My birthday, autumn leaves, visiting Chris and Hazel and having some evenings off for half term... are some of the things I'm most looking forward to in October.

2. Sometimes I... sing properly, but only if I think noone is listening.

3. Because one day I might do something radical ...and that's why there is a saying, "never say never"!

4. When I'm down, I... spend money and eat chocolate.

5. In bed where you'll find me most often.

6. A rainy day is good for ...puddles!!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to ... going to bed..., tomorrow my plans include ...bacon and earning money, hopefully in that order... and Sunday, I want to ...feel useful!

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Brownie Organising

Today I seem to have spent all day organising Brownies. ALL DAY - Where did it go? On the plus side, I now have a complete register with dates of birth and phone numbers and all sorts. I've even got the Sixes reorganised and emailed to find space for all the old ones in Guides.

Maybe tomorrow I'll do some of the other things I hoped to do today :)

(I did attempt to see if I could crochet when I got in but the instructions in my book confused me. I might try another book or see if I can get Pants Andrew or someone else knowledgeable to show me - I never could work out knitting purely from the book).

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Letter Writing

This morning I have been letter writing and I now have six letters and a parcel sat by the door ready to go (but four of them are just copies of the Guide bagpacking letter and possible don't count). Hurrah!

I wonder what job I can tackle next :)

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Six down...

Finally finished chapter six of my dissertation leaving me just the conculsion to go!

Actually, that's not quite true. My evaluation is all good until I get to results where there is a single sentence saying that there isn't any. I'd like to try and get in at least one really.

And I never did look at Tiny OS.


Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Standard Deviation in a Single Pass - Hurrah!

Amazingly I got from a Google search for "standard deviation on the fly", round a few twists and turns, to...

Calculate standard deviation in one pass

Exactly what I was looking for!


I really need some more :(

Just two more days...

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Fixing Errors When Using BibOrder

I'm having a quick play with BibOrder for Office 2007 to see if it'll do what I want. Problems overcome so far...

********* Error #1 *********

C:\Documents and Settings\Saffy\Desktop>BibOrder.exe /d:test.docx

Unhandled Exception: System.IO.FileNotFoundException: Could not load file or assembly 'WindowsBase, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35' or one of its dependencies. The system cannot find the file specified.
File name: 'WindowsBase, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35'
at BibWord.BibOrder.TransformDocument(String docx, String styledir, String stylesheet)
at BibWord.BibOrder.Main(String[] args)

Solution: Install Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 Redistributable Package

********* Error #2 *********
C:\Documents and Settings\Saffy\Desktop>BibOrder.exe /d:"test.docx"

Unhandled Exception: System.IO.IOException: The process cannot access the file 'C:\Documents and Settings\Saffy\Desktop\test.docx' because it is being used by another process.
at System.IO.__Error.WinIOError(Int32 errorCode, String maybeFullPath)
at System.IO.FileStream.Init(String path, FileMode mode, FileAccess access, Int32 rights, Boolean useRights, FileShare share, Int32 bufferSize, FileOptions options, SECURITY_ATTRIBUTES secAttrs, String msgPath, Boolean bFromProxy)
at System.IO.FileStream..ctor(String path, FileMode mode, FileAccess access, FileShare share, Int32 bufferSize, Boolean useAsync)
at MS.Internal.IO.Zip.ZipArchive.OpenOnFile(String path, FileMode mode, FileAccess access, FileShare share, Boolean streaming)
at System.IO.Packaging.ZipPackage..ctor(String path, FileMode mode, FileAccess access, FileShare share, Boolean streaming)
at System.IO.Packaging.Package.Open(String path, FileMode packageMode, FileAccess packageAccess, FileShare packageShare, Boolean streaming)
at System.IO.Packaging.Package.Open(String path, FileMode packageMode, FileAccess packageAccess)
at BibWord.BibOrder.TransformDocument(String docx, String styledir, String stylesheet)
at BibWord.BibOrder.Main(String[] args)

Solution: Close the file in Office before you try running BibOrder on it.


And those not overcome :(

C:\Documents and Settings\Saffy\Desktop>BibOrder.exe /d:"test.docx"

Unhandled Exception: System.Xml.XmlException: Root element is missing.
at System.Xml.XmlTextReaderImpl.Throw(Exception e)
at System.Xml.XmlTextReaderImpl.ThrowWithoutLineInfo(String res)
at System.Xml.XmlTextReaderImpl.ParseDocumentContent()
at System.Xml.XmlTextReaderImpl.Read()
at System.Xml.XmlLoader.Load(XmlDocument doc, XmlReader reader, Boolean preserveWhitespace)
at System.Xml.XmlDocument.Load(XmlReader reader)
at System.Xml.XmlDocument.LoadXml(String xml)
at BibWord.BibOrder.TransformDocument(String docx, String styledir, String stylesheet)
at BibWord.BibOrder.Main(String[] args)

*sigh* - nothing obvious so far :(

Referencing With Word 2007

Referencing with Word 2007 is one of those things I'll never quite understand. Word (and possibly just Office in general) 2007 is, by far, the best office software I've ever used and is, quite probably, the most pleasing Microsoft sotware ever. However, the whole referencing feels like something that they designed well and then just never bothered finishing. It goes so far... and then stops.

Why do they have a neat, extensible, configurable underlying system that can't be played with from the UI?

Sadly, none of the in built referencing styles suit the documents I want to write. Fortunately it's all done based on xsl files. Unfortunately, there's no interface to customise/create them.

Last time I had this problem it was early days and noone had done much to create other styles. More recently this is almost still the case except, it seems, for some (now much loved) bloke on Code Plex.

I've started out by downloading his IEEE style to have a play with which is good but isn't quite what I want. There seems to be quite a bit there for supporting DIY though which could be rather useful.

Monday, 1 September 2008

Back in the world

All my gallovanting is over so I am back, home, working hard (except possibly right now when I am in the library context switching between my 'working hard' and blogging). My dissertation deadline is Friday and I still only have three chapters actually finished (two of which aren't actually proofed yet). I also, worryingly, haven't even started one... but it is the conclusion so hopefully that's not too disasterous.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Shared Memory... explanation?

I'm trying to justify why I'd implement RPC over message-passing in a distributed architecture. To get round to this bit I need to suggest alternative methods... the main one being shared memory. Only problem is I then have to assemble some sensible words suggesting what shared memory actually is - something more informative than "it's memory, shared between multiple devices". Hmmm....

I've got a nice picture though, 1000 words and all that (I really don't need any more 1000s of words!).

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

C# Books

Stu's just asked me about C# programming books. When I last did any C# it was version 1.1, just, I started my project at version 1.0 and finished up using version 1.1. Still, the book I used was the first edition of what is now this book: The C# 3.0 Programming Language. I'm glad to see the book has continued because it was by far the best when I was looking for something to learn from/reference. Like the K&R C book, it provides the specification, it's nice and clear and it's not full of specific useless examples - hurrah.... maybe one day I'll find the need to come back to C# and have a look at the new edition... once it's available.

Mental_Floss Brain Game - "Questionswers? Answestions!"

Today's mental_floss brain game "has only four questions, and the questions are all about each other. Or the answers are all about each other. Or both. I’m not quite sure."

It's only a quick quiz but I enjoyed the thinking. Slightly less monotonous than writing words about things I did the thinking for ages ago.

Try the quiz here.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008


Is it pseudocode or pseudo code? Wiki seems to say it's one word but Microsoft Word is not convinced. Also, finding the Wiki article using EasySearch works for both "pseudo code wiki" and for "pseudocode wiki", but the second leads to a reccomendation that you try the first so maybe they need convincing at EasySearch's engines too. I think I prefer it as one word... either way I've been writing lots of it :)

I've been using this nice little style guide thing which seems to suit me quite well subject to a few alterations (though the style guide also seems to think it's two words).

I feel like I'm sort of making progress with this write-up stuff now but it does take such a long time. I think my structure's kinda there though.


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