Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Wow, a ‘B’, that’s amazing!

A personality conflict with one of my professors caused a great deal of anguish last term. I thought I might actually have failed the class, but instead, I achieved a ‘B’. Not a good mark for me, but considering the circumstances over the last six months, I am grateful I did so well.

In a few years, I will have the opportunity to actualize a choice. There are two directions that I want to send my life; either continue education and become a professor or buy a farm with my father and get back to the land. Both plans take a lot of investment and neither could be implemented until after I graduate from my BA. I wonder what I want to do. I wonder if there is some way I could do both; do graduate studies in the winter and farm in the summer. I don’t know.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

not more knots!?!

With my Christmas knitting finally finished, I finally picked up my Eris again.

My friend Y stopped over yesterday afternoon for a craft day. She came over to finish up a tea cozy that she is making. It’s made in a loose st with fuzzy blue yarn knit together with a black yarn. She doesn’t have any of the supplies needed to do all that fancy stuff (like sewing up the sides and making pompoms), but I do. It was great fun. I always enjoy visiting with Y; she really is the pinnacle of a burst of sunshine.

School is out and Christmas is neigh. For the holidays I’ve returned to reading Daniel C. Dennett’s Freedom Evolves. It’s an amazing book that tackles ideas like free will and how they stand with philosophers in the present day. Much of what he says is fascinating, but there are a few points (well, chapters really) that I just cannot tolerate. For example, Chapter 7, The Evolution of Moral Agency, discusses this kind of social Darwinism along the lines of David Sloan Wilson (who if I don’t miss my guess wrote the book Darwin’s Cathedral, which I could not force myself to keep reading because it made me more annoyed than Descartes). Basically it uses Darwinistic theory to look at how group behaviour (like a flock of birds or human religious communities) could have developed where individuals sacrifice their own personal reproductive fitness in order to strengthen the fitness of the group. Eventually they all end up talking about asterism in individuals. I’m not giving it justice here, mostly because it annoys me. Dennett is great author, but even he makes the same leap from one to the other. There is perhaps a hidden assumption or premise here somewhere, but damned if I can see it. Perhaps there might be a proff in my university that is qualified to teach a directed studies class in Dennett, goodness knows there isn’t anyone qualified to teach the philosophy I want to learn about.

it seems odd to me that my professors are so eager to dismiss a collection of schools of though (what they call European or continental philosophy) out of hand and with such cruelty, yet they are unable or unwilling to explain what is wrong with it or even to describe what it is about beyond a few catch phrases. Maybe I should shit-can this whole education thing and go buy a farm somewhere. ‘but that’s not important, never mind.’

Merry Christmas and
Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Frost on the windows

I've been putting aside knitting for me and focusing on last minuite christmas gifts. In a way, I really hate knitting for other people. My mind races with questions like: what if it doesn't turn out? What if I misjudged her/his style? How am I garenteed a return of the envestment of all this time and effort? The great thing about knitting for myself, is I know what effort I put into it, and if I end up not liking my finished project, I can just toss it in the cupboard, there is no guilt attached at not using it. For example, my first sweater - prity much a knitted box with a hood attached. It took me two months to knit, and is very comfortable. That's not saying I would be cought dead wearing it out of the house, but it's great for afternoons spend lazying around at home.

T'is the weeks before christmas and I knit through the house,
My cat, she is chaseing,
an imaginary mouse.

All wraped in a blanket, knitting even in bed,
visions of what if dancing in my head.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

CBC Television - Rick Mercer Report

CBC Television - Rick Mercer Report

I just Love Rick Mercer. What was once Monday Report, is now on Tuesdays, and since I don't watch the CBC for anything else (except Dr. Who) I didn't know that the Mercer Report moved.

Oh well. It's still a great show, and with all the exciting (yah, I know, I'm a nerd, but someone's got to watch the debates on television. Besides they are so entertaining) events in Canadian politics these days, it's nice to have someone on TV that you can trust.

And by the way, that's a great picture of him with the fire hose. If he is in the calendar, I’d buy it. Rick Mercer, you Rock My World.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Hey, the winter Knitty is here. The front picture is so very cute. Go have a look. You know what I'll be doing all morning.

Friday, December 02, 2005

A dream

In my dream last night, I stood on an island in an intersection of a deserted highway. The dead grass stabbed my naked feet. The sky was grey and dripped blood from the edges. The person I was waiting for, didn’t come. The wind kicked up, dry and cold, smelling like a mummified corpse. I knew there was no hope left.

Monday, November 28, 2005

In my life...

November is never easy. Personally, I think the month hates me. If anything is going to go disastrously wrong in my life, you know the type, so wrong as to shake one's whole existence kind of wrong, it will go wrong in the month of November. But it's almost over, only two days left. What's the worst that can happen?

That aside, I came here to talk about me. Of late, things have been pretty rough, but with the end of November approaching, I thought I'd get back in the grove and talk about two of my favorite things; knitting and philosophy.

Knittingwise, I haven't been up to all that much. I finished off a cute set of armwarmers. They fit really snug and look (according to my classmates) 'bad-ass', whatever that might mean. I've been working away at Eris, cable edged sweater. I'm almost done the torso and soon, I get to make some sleeves. Other than that, I'm knitting an everyday bag. There is a lot of seed stitch, so it's taking longer than I planed. It is also going to need a lining, but since my sister showed me how to use the sewing machine this month when she came to visit, I think I can make myself a lining, no problem.

For Philosophy I'm, at this very moment, writing my major paper for Kierkegaard class. I really should have been finished last night, but I'll hand it in a day late. It's a self directed class, so the deadlines are not as fixed as in other classes and it's only a first draft. My problem with this paper is that there are so few and so many references on the subject. There are few enough references about Kierkegaard that I could read all English resources in about two years or less, but there are too many to read in 3 months. I keep seeing references to something else to that would help my essay, but I don't have time, and often don't have access to the material. Oh well. I've written 7 pages so far, I have 13 pages left to write today. It shouldn't be too hard, this is a topic I can talk about for hours.

Speaking about Soren Kierkegaard, my task for Christmas break, I'm going to apply for a fellowship to go to a university in the USA so that I can research SK. My current university isn't very amicable to what they call European non analytic philosophers. I would love the opportunity to participate in an environment that encourages the somethingsomething.

anyway, got a paper to go write. I'm looking forward to a new month, and a new way of being.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

"What God wants, God gets. God help us all!"

The intensity of despair that is realized upon recognizing one is an individual alone is enough to drive one insane. Had I faith in God, this wouldn’t be so bad. Yet, the one thing I have learnt from philosophy is that there is no foundation for our knowledge except for faith. I am alone with my beliefs, floating above the abyss. None of this matters to me. Everything matters to me.

Monday, November 21, 2005

one has to pass the time somehow.

The Traditional Princess

You are generous, graceful, and practical with both
feet planted firmly on the ground. You tend to
be a little on the old-fashioned side. You
value home, hearth, and family life and love to
be of service to others.

Role Models: Snow White, Maid Marian

You are most likely to: Discover a hidden talent
for spinning straw into gold.

What Kind of Princess are You? - Beautiful Artwork (Original Music is BACK!!!)
brought to you by Quizilla

It's been a sad week.

Here is the same paragraph I posted last week, only this time done by a different translator. Notice anything different (like a few extra sentences and a different order)?

"If a human being did not have an eternal consciousness, if underlying everything there were only a wild, fermenting power that writhing in dark passions produced everything, be it significant or insignificant, if a vast, never appeased emptiness hid beneath everything, what would life be then but despair? If such were the situation, if there were no sacred bond that knit humankind together, if one generation emerged after another like forest foliage, if one generation succeeded another like the singing of birds in the forest, if a generation passed through the world as a ship through the sea, as wind through the desert, an unthinking and unproductive performance, if an eternal oblivion, perpetually hungry, lurked for its prey and there were no power strong enough to wrench that away from it - how empty and devoid of consolation life would be!"

As for me, I'm sad because I lost someone very dear to me. This isn't the place to go into details, but I will most likely not be around the blog much for at least the rest of the month.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

I was reading this when something happened this morning

"If there were no eternal consciousness in a man, if at the foundation of all there lay only a wildly seething power which writhing with obscure passions produced everything that is great and everything that is insignificant, if a bottomless void never satiated lay hidden beneath all - what then would life be but despair?" (Kierkegaard, Fear and Trembling)

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Trampled by Geese: pipe dreams in the rain

I was just wondering if I could blog my own blog.

Trampled by Geese: pipe dreams in the rain

oh look, I can.

I am writing a paper on the Turing Test. It's very interesting, and I can easily fill up the required 6 pages, but I don't have my own point of view - my own theme statement if you will. I don't know why she is requiring us to have our own opinions; it's second year philosophy, we aren't suppose to have our own opinions. In fact, I know at least one proff that won't let us write papers for his class until at least the fourth year, and even then...well, let's just say, in philosophy, one gets to express their own opinion after graduate studies begin. This is just one of many inconsistencies in this proff. I very much wish it wasn't a required class.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Life's a funny thing

Everything’s about the same. I haven’t been online much the last few weeks. I finished my armwarmers, my fellow students at the Philosophy Student Library tell me that they look “bad ass.” I think that it might be a good thing. Would anyone care to translate in to a form of English I might be able to understand?

And now for a quick photo essay of sorts; this is of an abandoned building that burnt down this last summer:

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Before you know it, you’ll be saying, what was all the fuss?

I’m not much in the mood to blog, but why not.

I wonder why the eternal is prised more than the ephemeral is. Why do we search for connection to something greater than ourselves rather than being satisfied with what exists around us? Why do we quest for understanding and knowledge? Why do they say that we should praise divine love because it is eternal and unchanging? Why not cherish the burst of joy on a dying woman’s face when you enter the room? There is nothing eternal in that. It comes and within seconds returns to the grim mask of pain that has consumed what there is left of her life. And when she smiles, the pure elation that enters her husband holds nothing of the eternal. That is a husband that stood by her side through the adventures of life. Now, he lives for her and she is dieing.

Why should I prise the eternal rather than that? Why not heed the poet’s call, “You should love a thing all that much more because it is transitory.”

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Not much, I just want to keep you in the loop, I saw crows pecking a rabbit, other than that, nothing special.

There are only three essays left to do, one of which is about 20 pages long, give or take five. One is half written and one is easy enough. Two exams, both of which suck, but I'll deal with that when I come to it. Overall, I'm still pretty stressed out about school, but I'm thankful that it's no where near as bad as last year.

I'm almost down to the hem on eris, I got a fair amount done on the weekend, but now it's back to the grind stone.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

My cat tells me to procrastinate, how can I refuse?

Granny knitter
You may not be a granny, but you've got the
mentality. Hard work and artistic vision lead
to your beautiful knitted results.

Are you a knitter?
brought to you by Quizilla

Monday, October 17, 2005

pipe dreams in the rain

I have read so much of late, I fear if I blink, blood would flow from my eyes. My essay was due last weekend and I haven’t covered a quarter of the minimal required material. Only four classes and I am ploughed. Today I plan to audit one of my classes. I have to talk with the instructor first (if he makes it to class given the illegal general strike in this city) before I officially remove myself from the class. I feel so lost today, I feel inadequate. It is for my own defect that I cannot keep up, but I do not know how I can fix this. I am floating.

More and more of late I want to give up the academic track. I know that I love this more than anything else I have ever done, but a great deal of academia is manufactured stress. The competition (not just for grades) manufactured between people is the most important thing in their lives. But I don’t find it important and I grow tired of pretending that it is. What is important to me in regards to academia then? Doing my best and discovering what my personal limits are then trying to surpass them is important to me. The opportunity to spend my life in an environment that encourages learning and provides me with the opportunity to teach others is important to me. Is that enough? Is it worth the stress my perfectionist self imposes on my defective aspects? I am so driven that my health suffers.

I consider farm life; about 20 archers somewhere, perhaps in Europe. A few animals including goats, geese, sheep (and perhaps sheepdog), chickens and perhaps alpacas would make me happy and keep me busy. A kitchen garden and small fields with larger crops like potatoes and squash then one or two main crops on the property. I would be almost entirely self sufficient with only a few hours work in the morning, a few hours come evening and the rest of the day to potter about the farm or read/write philosophy while I sip wine I made from my vineyard. In the evening I would knit or spin yarn from my creatures. But that hermit life is a pipe dream.

The picture today is a painting of perfection, a place I want to live so much that my recollection of it surpasses any perfection the location can actually possess.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Cat and Girl

Cat and Girl

This my first attempt at a track back, so here goes.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Works of Love

While reading Kierkegaard I wonder, What is faith?
Faith requires love, but what is love?
Is it dependent on trust?
I’m not good with trust.

When I ask someone I perceive to have faith, what it is to have faith, they respond, don’t you have faith that the world around you exists and that it will continue to follow causal laws &c.?
Not really.
I imagine that anyone who knows me must be able to see this with the greatest of easy.
But then again, I have to live with myself.
They don’t.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

More about the very weird dream

I forgot to mention, the man/person in my dream also told me to cover my beans and beat with glass or they will never come to fruition. It’s a good idea considering the weather is turning coldish.

I took some time out yesterday, for the first time this term I might add, to watch Law and Order and also some Lexx while I knit eris. But then I realized that on top of my three exams and two papers, I might have an essay due next Sunday (email submission) on Kierkegaard’s Works of Love. Now I’m a slow reader. In one day, I read 39 pages (it’s dense going and I have all these other texts to read, give me a break) out of 378 pages. So if we did the math, factor in the fact that I have to read and include In Vino Veritas among other related works of my choosing, I reach the conclusion that there is no physically possibility that I will have this essay done in time. SHIT!

I’m starting to feel a little ploughed.

I know the pressure is my own. I know that it is not serious stuff and that nobody is going to live or die depending on which word I yank out of the thesaurus. I do enjoy this pressure, but at times like this it feels too much. My heart quickens, my chest tightens, adrenaline wonders around my system looking for some immediate threat. It’s exhausting. And what do I do about it? I write a blog. I waist time. I wait.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

OK, Very Weird Dream:

Perhaps it comes from reading all this “religious philosophy” (both Kierkegaard and medieval Arabic philosophy, not to mention good old stinking Descartes) this term, but I had the strangest dream last night. I dreamt a normal sized man, so large that his face was indistinguishable or perhaps, unintelligible. Either way, his Form was hidden from my senses; I knew he was there, but all I could discern of him was his words. Even so, his words were not English, but I understood their content if not their meaning. This man told me I must read the Ibn Rushd text next, it’s important. When he left, Ibn Rushd came next, and said to me, “did you see that? It was Muhammad.”

Now that is one weird dream.

Going back to Kierkegaard, there was a comment asking for clarification on divine love. I haven’t begun the text yet, so I’m uncertain to which kind it is referring. This is not something I have any experience with. But, trust me, I will let you know more about it when I do.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

eating salty gravy

The reading report for Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling is in. There wasn’t much I wanted to change; my first draft was surprisingly polished. It’s one of those papers that just flowed like ink from a gold nib. The first draft I wrote out in a few hours, the revisions had me up an entire night. The problem is that there is so much depth to SK’s work, how can I choose what to talk about in a paper with limited space? And I so do love to express what I’ve learnt

My next SK works to read are Works of Love and In Vino Veritas. These are both works on divine love. I would love some thoughts from people with experience with this. What was said on the earlier post was most helpful.

Besides SK, I have two, or is it three?, exams coming up. One for Phil of Mind, it’s a no-brainer; I just have to spend an hour or so going over the text book. Another one for Rationalists; it’s entirely Descartes (supper fun – NOT!). f’ing Descartes makes E’Bert grumpy. The third test is for Medieval Islamic writings. That should be interesting. Two other assignments to write. I think, after studying for exams I’m going to put everything else on hold for a week and write my Mind essay. It shouldn’t bee hard.

That’s my life right now. Aside from a few other things I’m not going to go into on my blog that is. I have very little knitting time, so eris is going slow. I should have him finished before the weather turns supper/super cold.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Funny thing make me go ha ha

So I know it's been all over the media already, but just in case you haven't seen it yet, pop by and have a look.
I have been touched by his Noodly Appendage!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Another one?!? WTF?! Two boils in one month, honestly, what the Heck is going on here?

Yesterday was most likely the last day this year that I can head out without a coat. It’s getting quite chilly out there, so I’m knitting myself some new arm warmers. In fact, I’m considering wearing a hat and scarf today, but it might be a bit much. Maybe just the hat, but if I go that far, why not wear a light scarf too? It’s so hard to decide what to wear.

Eris is still coming along nicely. I’m on the torso, so it’s plain stst in the round for the next few weeks. It’s such a lovely sweater, but I miss doing the cables. I can hardly wait to get to the hem.

Philosophy is something I love so much! Today I meet with my directed studies group for lunch (and beer), which means I have to miss the Philosophy Student Union meeting (bad) and miss my Phil of Mind class where we are doing group work (good). Directed studies are in my opinion the best thing in the world. I want to take at least one per term for the rest of my stay at this institution (total of six). That is, if they will let me.

Speaking about class, I had best finish my essay on Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling this morning, and hopefully finish my letter to jenshine so I can pop it in the post.

I’ll add some pictures I’ve taken around home lately.

And while I'm at it:

Sunday, October 02, 2005

just look what Procrastination can achieve:

I’ve created my very own discussion group. This is mostly because there just aren’t that many places out there where you can discuss Philosophy seriously. Now I just need to create a cool button and get things rolling.

Philosophy Major’s Unite

Researching philosophy, but don’t know where to turn? Concept not quite clear, need to discuss it? Existentialism being extra hard? Feeling like Leibniz hit the dust? Just plain passionate about philosophy? You’ve come to the right place. A discussion group for Graduate and Undergraduate philosophy students alike.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Sick as a dog. Now that is a funny expression.

I now have a wish list. If I'm not mistaken, you can access it from this address.

Monday, September 26, 2005

I thought boils were extinct. Owe, Owe, it hurts so much.

Now this is my idea of a perfect class, it has no lectures. In fact, all we do is read, write essays and get together about six times during the term with the coolest proff ever, drink beer over lunch and talk about each others’ papers (which we all read before hand). It couldn’t get much better than that in my opinion (well, it could, but it will be a few years yet before I achieve the label of “coolest proff ever”).

Now, this is the part where as ask you lurkers to come out of the wood work and share your opinion. It would be especially helpful to me if you have some knowledge of faith. This is an area that I am sorely lacking, and when I am writing about Kierkegaard, that is not a good thing. I want to know what is this “act of faith” which is done through “virtue of the absurd.” SK uses the example of Abraham’s willingness to kill his son because he believed both that god would not really take his son and that god wanted Abe to kill his son. I can see why it’s absurd, thought not for the reasons SK gives, but I don’t see how Abe’s choice to kill his son just to prove his own faith to god, and for no other reason that I can see, is done by virtue of the absurd. Please share your thoughts; it might help to shine some light on this issue.

On a side note, Descartes makes me mad. Here is a short little summation of the 50 odd pages I’ve read today: I’m Descartes, I’m really smart. I’ve just proven (again) that God does indeed exist and that the soul is immortal. I’m the first person ever to have done this, but that’s because I’m really smart. The basic result is that we don’t need faith any more and that any atheists out there who can’t see what I’ve written is true are really really stupid. Now, I’m talking to the brightest minds in the (what counts as) the world and I am going to through you a bit of flattery, really I just want money. But if you want to, you can read my paper and help me edit it. There’s nothing wrong with it, but if you wanted to cross some “t”s (don’t worry about the “I”’s I’ve got them covered) I wouldn’t mind. I don’t need your help because I’m so smart, but you know. I don’t want for you to feel left out because you might just be stupid enough to be mean to me and not give me, the smartest guy in the world, some money.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Eris Becomming

Eris flows gently from my fingers like procrastination.
How much there is left to read,
I cannot say.
Only this,
I have not read enough.
But, when I get down to the books,
Eris whispers gently from the sidelines,
“Knit me, and by doing so, you will come to understand all you seek.”
How can I refuse such an offer?

Thursday, September 22, 2005

A few clouds tonight,

I intend to take Friday off classes this week to catch up on my readings. Providing the weather is kind to me, I promise I’ll go around with my digi-cam and take some pictures. Let’s be honest people, it’s normally the primary reason why anyone visits anyone’s blog is to get a load of all the lovely pictures.

Eris is almost down to the armpits and she looks beautiful. I had to some creative increasing to make the correct number of sts be on the needles, but I’ve got it now.

Other than that, this last week has been dedicated to my presentation for on of my philosophy classes. It went well enough and I had a lot of fun. Now, I have to read a novel and write a 6 page reading report by Monday.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Only Read Descartes in Bed

I recently discovered that there is a self directed studies class that matches my passion perfectly, but the problem is, these are often only offered once a decade. It is studying Kierkegaard with a Proff that I absolutely adore. To take this new and exciting class I have to drop one of his other classes, yet I’ve already offered to do the presentation for next Wednesday. So, he says, do both this next week and the grade will be taken into account for the Kierk. class. Sounds great to me because the presentation is on phantasia (imagination) which will do me in good standing to get a good grip on. Basically, the result is a huge amount of work this week.

There are other knitters in the philosophy student library. I went there to study between classes, but got stressed out at Plato, so I took out my knitting. A person on the far side of the room jumped up with glee and flew over to my side of the room to show me these fantastic socks she is making. We sat there knitting for an hour. It was great. I was happy. There is talk of a philosophy knitting group. That makes me very happy.

You want to know something else that makes me happy? I got good news from Jenshine last night.

I’m off to read and knit.

The pictures are from London, UK.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

I bougt another book yesterday, the problem is, I'm still frightened of the pointy up and down going thing on my sewing machine.

After almost two weeks of knitting, I finally had my evening of wondering around the house with my newly finished Eris Yoke (do I hear oxen?) strung about my neck. I think this pattern has got to be one of the most complicated thing I’ve knitted so far; short row shaping take my needles on a u-turn around the shoulder whilst I try desperately to follow the most complicated (though easy to read) cable chart that’s ever crossed my path (literally). But, you know what? I still love it. This is the most lushish pattern. The cables just pop right out, and the wool is soft and warm. In fact, it’s a heck of a lot warmer than anything I’ll need to wear here where it seldom gets below 10 degrees Celsius in mid winter. I suppose I could always go without a winter coat (gasp!) or wait for one of those really cold mornings in January when there is frost on the ground. Whoever said Canada was the land of ice and snow obviously never visited the West coast.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

My university is one of the citie's main tourist attraction. it's due to the rabbits.

The bunnies, the most permanent residents of the university, watch from the lawn as the students scurry about like rabbits for the first week of classes. The week prior, if one chose to visit campus, one could watch the first year students escort their parents for a tour of the grounds. Each parent seriously contemplating the buildings and the trees and slowly begin to nod their head in approval. I heard one father say, “I think you are going to like it here son.”

Now that it is busy again, the rabbits have to be on their toes to avoid the steady stream of foot traffic, which grows larger each year with the demand for higher education, as it travels hurriedly from one building to the next. As usual, there are waitlists for all but a sparse few classes; often times the waitlist more than double the allotted class size. Many of the students don’t want to be there, they don’t come to the ivory tower for the intrinsic value of knowledge. They come because it is the means to a more successful life. Education has become the path for our privileged to have a better chance at life.

This sounds jaded perhaps, but I am not knocking education here. I think a good education is (dare I say) essential to a full life. What worries me is the education system available to me. So, perhaps, to avoid any possible equivocation on terms, I will give distinction to these terms that so far, I have used with little regard to their meaning (only the meaning as it is commonly understood and commonly used). Education; is quite simply the current system with teachers teaching and students learning, memorization, exams, essays and as a means to a career. With education, teachers teaching does not guarantee (is not sufficient cause of) students learning.

What I want is the opportunity to learn for its own sake. The study of wisdom, otherwise known as philosophy, offers me the best opportunity I can find, but it is lacking somehow.

I’ll be talking more about this on my blog from time to time over the next few months (perhaps years). Something I would love to do is to take a look at education systems (cross culturally) and see if there is a solution to the current situation. I want to come at this from a philosophical stand point, but draw on concrete examples of both educational systems and psychological ideas of group behaviour. If no solution can be found (or even hinted at), then at least I could find a way to articulate the problem on hand.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

there is a cricket in my radio

I’ve been spending my blog time knitting Eris. It is such a lovely pattern, but I want to wait for a sunny day to take a picture because the yarn is extremely deceptive. There are all these bright colours inside the strands, but in this rainy day light it looks almost black. I don’t know what is exciting me moor, that it is knitting up so quickly, or that it looks fantastic.

I had my fist manicure yesterday. It was much better than I thought it would be. In fact, I absolutely adore it, and I love how my nails look. Too bad for the cost, or I would get one every fort night. Also, my hair has changed colour again. I figure it’s important to feel that I look good before I head back to University.

Other than that, the only thing I’ve been up to is reading philosophy books. I am feeling very intrigued about free will (again). Dennett really puts a modern light on the issue, he is also very good at citing his sources (which is vital) so I am gathering together a book list of what I want too read next. I’m also fascinated by philosophy of mind. I think I’m leaning in that general direction for my future studies.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

I haven't done one of these in a while

Knitting Adventurer
You appear to be a Knitting Adventurer.
You are through those knitting growing pains and
feeling more adventurous. You can follow a
standard pattern if it's not too complicated
and know where to go to get help. Maybe you've
started to experiment with different fibers and
you might be eyeing a book with a cool
technique you've never tried. Perhaps you
prefer to stick to other people's patterns but
you are trying to challenge yourself more.
Regardless of your preference, you are
continually trying to grow as a knitter, and as
well you should since your non-knitting friends
are probably dropping some serious hints, these

What Kind of Knitter Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

some of this made me laugh, some made me shake my head in dismay

Here we go, You Knit What blog is well worth checking out.

I'm sitting here, stairing out the window, listening for the posttillian. When, oh when, will my yarn arrive?

Monday, August 29, 2005

Eris Knitalong

I’m excited; they accepted me into their knitalong. Next, I have to order some yarn and start knitting my Eris pullover.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Apple Jelly with Ginger and Lemon

It is finally raining. I know, it isn’t proper to want the summer to end, but who ever said I was proper? I’m glad for the rain, it gives me a good excuse to stay inside, knit, read, and cook jelly.

I stopped by work today to purchase some eggs from my co-worker. He has some free range Orcana (sp?) chickens that lay blue eggs. More specifically, they lay eggs with blue shells. He also had a large box of Transparents (apples) that he was giving away; I took all but the best home with me. Transparents are like the new born of apples; if you so much as pick them up, you burse them. I knew I had to use them up quickly so I decided to try out my new juice extractor and make apple jelly. Actually, I made Apple Jelly with Ginger and Lemon, and boy, does it taste good.

Knitting wise, I’m getting ready to try and make my Eris Pullover from and I am very excited about it. But, because I don’t have much experience with cables, I am using up the left over yarn from my shapely tank top and making a Celtic Cap (also from the same place). I have managed to fix every mistake I’ve made so far and I am beginning to feel more confident. For my pullover, I think I will use some Peruvian Highland Wool from . I haven’t decided on the colour yet, but I would like something a bit brighter than I have been wearing lately. I was thinking that perhaps I would use “grape heather”, but I haven’t decided yet. I have all sorts of questions, like what is a raglan sweater? I wonder if there is a knit along for this sweater going on around somewhere.

More than a week before classes start again and already I am reading my textbooks. I decided I should get a head start on the fourth year class I’m in seeing that the administration still has me down as a second year (even if I am in my third). It is a really interesting book, or at least the introduction is riveting (for a philosophy major, remember, all things like “riveting” are relative and extremely context dependent). The book is “The Philosophy of the Commentators 200-600AD”, in other words, it’s about the philosophers of that time who pretty much did philosophy simply by commenting on Plato and Aristotle. The modern day world views of cultures influenced by the three religions of Abraham (Jew, Christian and Islam) are influenced heavily by what these Commentators taught. Needless to say, I cannot wait until classes begin again.

Ok, I found an Eris Knitalong, but I’m not certain if I signed up properly. I’ve never joined a knit along before. Actually, I had to use my yahoo address for some reason instead of my usual one, so I hope it works. I just have to remember to check that email as well.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

"Let's just pretend that the past didn't happen."

I have finally completed my Knitters Vow; both my Suki Yuki Vest and my Shapely Tank Top are complete. All I have to do now is sew in a bout a dozen ends on my Tank Top so that it will be ready for the first day back at class. I made the tank top shorter than I could have, and the armholes are a bit tight so far, but I should be able to fix that with blocking. Overall it looks good on me. In fact, I’m wearing it as I write this.

So, what’s next on E’Bert’s list of knitting? Well, there are those socks that I would like to make soon from Interweave Knits. Also, there are several small Christmas gifts that I am starting and trying to get done in my spare time. Right now, I am making Christmas gifts for Japan, because I have to ship them out the first week of October. For myself, that is easy; I purchased the Eris Pullover and Cardigan pattern from , I absolutely love it, although, it has many many skills that I have never attempted before. I look forward to the challenge and I am always up for trying something new.

I went to the University today to see the head of my department and to purchase some textbooks before the bookstore gets too crowded. The BGH (Big Giant Head, aka. the head of my department) granted me permission to enter the Honours Programme in Philosophy; however, I have been advised that my grades are nowhere near good enough to attend Grad School. I told BGH, no problem, provided you let me take only 4 classes per term, I can get my grades up where they need to be. I hope I didn’t lie to the BGH. I am incredibly excited about attending classes this term, but I doubt my ability sometimes. I know, in this line of study, it takes very little effort for me to do well; or to put it another way, it takes me working 24/7, thinking, breathing, sleeping, eating my subjects of study in order for me to feel like I am staying afloat. It takes me a lot more physical effort than many of my fellow students, but I get slightly better results for my effort, and I have in depth applicable knowledge of what I have studied. It’s a labour of love, and I couldn’t do it any other way. When I learn these things, I feel Human Flourishing (Aristotle’s eudaimonia). I feel fulfilled; I feel that I am fulfilling a function, almost as if I was designed specifically for it.

I go back to University tomorrow for more bureaucracy. Wish me luck. (for update on what happened and complaints about bureaucracy, see my highlystrung page).

Monday, August 22, 2005

"Everything's going so well!"

I finished my Suki Yuki Vest last night. I had only to measure the strap length and attach it to the right place before giving it to Y. Actually, I did all that at the garden, and had brought along all the sewing goodies that I could possibly need. It’s funny; my Felted Palm Protector works perfectly as a sewing kit. I have no Suki Yuki Vest pictures yet, but I am confident I can acquire some; they are just going to take some time.

That’s the first half of my Knitters Vow of what I will have finished by the start of term. As for my Shapely Tank Top, I am still going strong. I’ve had far too much knitting time for all the wrong reasons; I’ve been visiting my grandmother in the hospital every day for the last two weeks (also the reason why I haven’t been blogging much). I am about two thirds of the way finished the second half. It’s looking good.

I have started making my first Christmas present. It is really cute and a pleasure to make. I will have to start creating a Christmas post, because I cannot be certain that these people don’t read or will never start reading my blog. Not that anyone reads it anyway, but why take the chance?

I just saw this jumper pattern: Eris V-neck Cardigan and Pullover. I think I want to make this soon. The thing is, I have so many little things I want and need to make, not to mention the Wonka blanket I want to make to help with using up my stash. How about, I can reward myself by purchasing this pattern and yarn when I finish paying off my credit card? It seems like a good reward. I just cannot believe how beautiful this pattern is. I think I need some soft yarn in a natural fibre. It can be something beautiful I can do for myself.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

I saw three ships

A few nights ago, my dream began when the world was ice. The dream prior was of travel and betrayal of old friends. In this dream, the world was frozen, and I left a house, walking to the shore. The body of water, or more specifically ice, was inappropriately Lake Ontario. I stood at the top of a sandy embankment and saw the most amazing thing; the water was frozen and in it, three tall ships. The ships were massive sailing ships with many masts, each of them larger than a city block and twice as tall as the CN tower. Each ship, trapped in the frozen lake, was covered in ice, snow drifts draped from the rigging. Although there would be no way for anyone to survive, I could feel life inside those ships.

One ship in particular afforded a beautiful view. It was closer than the others, and the sun was setting behind it, in a cloudy sky. I had a camera and wanted to preserve this image. I was afraid of the ice. A woman was beside me, and I trusted her. We went together down the steep and sandy embankment onto the ice. As we stepped onto the ice, wave upon wave came at us from the frozen lake, each wave melting the ice that we stood on. We ran towards the safety of shore, but I fell just short of the embankment, my shins burned by the cold water and ice. The woman helped me up. We stood on the embankment and saw that the world was warm. The ships sailed into the dieing light of the sunset.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

This will all end in tears

I’ve finished the first half of my shapely tank top. It looks good, and it might actually fit me. Now I’m spending more time working on the vest for Y. That is looking good too. In fact, I have it almost two thirds of the way finished, and the rest is easy as eating cake, yummy. It’s such a fun little vest; I can’t wait to show you all.

I have my eyes on some socks that I want to make. They appeared in this falls issue of Interweave Knits, but I don’t have the proper yarn, and quite frankly I don’t want to go out and buy it. So, I am going to use up this yarn I have at home, it is going to take a bit of work, but I’m certain I can arrive at the affect I want. I have to fulfil my knitters vow to myself and finish my current WIPs first. Oh well, I had best be knitting.

On a side note, my Grandmother has been admitted to hospital again. This time, her ward smells like death. I have a feeling that things will stabilize for a while, but come November, well, everything goes wrong in November. I have never had a good November, but this year, I dread it in advance. November is a nothing month. That said, I probably won’t be blogging so often over the next few weeks.

Monday, August 08, 2005

There is so much frigg’n frogging in this useless life of mine

Everything I did today came to nought. Everything I knitted that is. I did the entire bust and most of the arm holes in my shapely tank top, including some clever short row shaping for the bust. With the sort row shaping, it was too big and I put it in the wrong place, so that either I had to get a corset with this or have my breasts surgically moved up one foot. It was too long anyway, so I frogged it to back before the short row shaping. That is the entire ball of yarn I knit yesterday while I was around at my grandparents. This top is getting the better of me. if I have to frog it again, I think I’m going to have a fit. I can knit most of this top in three days, but still, I'm unkniting just as fast as I am knitting. How am I ever going to forfil my Knitters vow now?

I am so unbelievably sad. Thank you Jenshine, it means the world to me.

Friday, August 05, 2005

The darkness is just a reflection of their times, not ours.

For me, it is so much easier to know a person’s works if I know where they are coming from. Having read The Diary of Soren Kierkegaard (or excerpts of it as the publisher saw fit) I feel that I have a much deeper grasp of his philosophy. There is something useful in knowing where a person is coming from, and how they see themselves. Even before reading the majority of their works, one can learn much of what one will read by said author. In Sartre’s works, if one listens carefully as they read, one can hear different influences as if they are talking through him; these influences like ghosts using him as a medium. As his works grow stronger, one can also hear his opinions of these ghosts; his love of them; his disillusionment with them; and even his bitter hatred of the betrayal these ghosts portray.

Now, I am reading The Words by Jean-Paul Sartre. It is an autobiography written about him by him. Many of the ideas, beliefs, feelings, thoughts and actions that I have considered independently in my own life, Sartre describes here. I understand many of the complaints against existentialism, and many of them are valid, but perhaps, there is a way of salvaging so many of the good aspects of this philosophy and repackaging it to fit the point of view of so many of our future philosophers.

On a side note, I’ve added yet another sub-blog to this page. It seems I cannot escape from writing about the trivial aspects of my life. Today's pictures are from my trip to california earlier this year.

Monday, August 01, 2005

A Pirate's Vow, with apologies to Gilbert & Sullivan

I saw A Pirate’s Vow in the theatre last week. It was fantastic, any true Gilbert and Sullivan fan would just roll over laughing it was that good. I was driven to tears during most of it. It is a shame that so many of the Gilbert and Sullivan fans in this town are D’oyly Cart, or else they would have been banging down the doors. It doesn’t help much that the Mary Winspear Centre never advertises. But, I saw it and it was great.

And now for a knitters vow of my own: I have one month until university starts and I am determined to finish both my vest for Y and my shapely (previously frogged) tank top. I vow to my self not to begin any more projects until they are both finished and sewn up.

I did however, make a new holder for my palm pilot. The wool of the other one just doesn’t go well with this hot weather. The pictures are forthcoming; however, I did use a new technique called tubular knitting.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Wine is a beautiful thing

It took three goblets (scratch that, a bottle) of red wine and an hour of being really angry at the television to frogg my shapely tank top. I’m angry at the television because of Guns Germs and Steal. It might have been the wine that made me angry, or perhaps, the fact that this man claims ideas as his own that have been around for decades. There are plenty of people who have put together these ideas in these contexts before him, but no credit is given. Take Marvin Harris’s books, which state the same things but gives credit to the sources. Yes, I understand that television leaves little time for citing sources, but the book it is based on had better have citation in it when I dig it out of the closet to read it or else it is getting thrown across the room several times.

Right, back to the wine and re-knitting. Has anyone heard that Fraggle Rock knitting song yet? I found it somewhere a while ago, but I can’t remember where.

Off The Face of The Earth?

I haven’t blogged lately because there hasn’t been anything to blog about. I’m working most days out of the week (yah, not) and everything else is going as slow as a summer evening. In fact, today is my first day off in ages, and it’s all mine.

Woke up extra early and went to the garden before the dew burnt off. I startled an owl as I walked to my allotment. I love mornings in general, but mornings on Sundays and holidays are even better. There is the feeling of emptiness and expectation when you venture out into the early morning. A few people here and there go about in an efficient manner, but the rest of the world is quiet.

The rest of the day is dedicated to the domestic. I have about a dozen zucchinis right now to use up with more on the way, so I’m making cake-loaf with chocolate. It’s not as nice as I had hoped, but not too bad. I’ve been pottering about, cleaning this and that, canning that and this, and overall, just making my home a pleasant place to be.

I had considered going to the art gallery to see the Japanese exhibit, but I think I’ll dedicate some time to my knitting, or more specifically, my frogging. All 3.75 balls of frogging. But, you know, I’ve got to get it done, and I haven’t been able to knit anything lately because I feel so overwhelmed with that much frogging. This is going to take a while.

I was board at work yesterday, so I tried to phone Jenshine’s phone. She always makes me happy to talk to her. But I guess she had it off, several times. I just want you to know, I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth, I’m just tired from working. I was hoping to work two or at the most three times a week, but here I am doing 40 hours like a good little bird. Things will change in two weeks when manager gets back, but until very tired.

Also exciting: school! It starts in just over a month and 2 weeks (second week of September). I can’t wait. I’m already planning out what note book to use and what bag I am going to take on the first day. I have the provisional list of the books I get to study, and boy, do they look good. I can hardly wait. But that’s ok; I’ve started reading some supplemental texts that will help with the upcoming term. Next term I am signed up for PHIL208, Arabic Phil; Phil260, Phil of Mind; Phil490, Nature and Human Nature; Phil260 (year long), The Rationalists; Phil 310 (year long), The Empiricists and Kant; and Phil335 (also year long), Moral Phil. I will most likely drop Phil 260 and 310 with the hopes of taking them next year because they are required to graduate. I know I shouldn’t leave my worst classes to last, but if I am lucky, I can take a reduced course load in those terms.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Listening to...

I have simply fallen in love with KnitCast, a podcast about knitting. I download it onto my Palm pilot and listen to it on my way to and from anywhere.

From what I can tell, podcasts are itty bitty mp3 files that you can download and listen to on your portable electronic music gadget just like your own personalized radio show. Some other podcasts I’ve been listening to are from Radio National

A person I would like to see make podcasts is alittleseed. I love listening to his songs.

I didn’t get a chance to try that new blanket because I worked late. Not to mention the nasty bump on the head that made me feel sick all evening. In fact, I didn’t knit a single stitch yesterday. that’s odd. Perhaps it is because I don’t want to frogg all 3 and a half balls of yarn worth of tank top. That is just so sad.

I did however get some lovely emails from Jenshine. That makes me happy.

Right, well, coffee is almost finished and I have shitloads to do today. Provided I have time, I want to start searching for cheep second-hand textbooks.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Learning the true meaning of Frogging.

This weekend I have learnt a little more about frogging. Not only does it look like I have to frogg my tank top, I had to frog my Y’s Vest 3 times in two days. lucky for me, it knits up quick, but when I keep forgetting to add button holes or to follow the st pattern things get frogged.

Also on the knitting front, the Willy Wonka Blanket. Here, I’ll add a picture of it; it’s in the back left of the photo. It looks like a great stash buster. There is a movement to figure out how it was made. I hope I’ll have enough time to give an attempt at it after work tonight. I love having the opportunity to try something new.

We went to the Moss St. Paint In on Saturday, Y and I. It has become a tradition; we eat brunch at my house, then walk down and look at all the people looking at all the art. The street was closed off to traffic and made into a walking street. It was completely packed with people, and certain points along the road afford a good view of everybody’s head.

I went to the farm and cared for some chickens. It’s a nut farm, but they have chickens and a dog and some tomatoes. Not to mention hay. It was a great lot of fun. Most of the time, we sat around watching the squirrel eat nuts. I had a lot of fun, but it is good to be home.

And now, some more pictures:

Also at the moss st paint in

Mr. Monk's House. (acually it's on moss st. It's one of the sights that we always stop and see.)

Friday, July 15, 2005

I wonder.... and this rain makes me think of Port Hardy and my friend there.

I don't know how to make trackbacks on this new blog system, but the rain reminded me of how much I love this song, and how much I miss friend J. right, I'll post the link and go back to cleaning the house before I cry. gasp. kind of sad here.

A song for jenshine by a little seed

silly bird. It's no use crying over frogged knitting.

For the love of frogging! I think my shapely tank top is too big. Shit-buckets. It has taken me weeks to get to just about up to the armhole shaping on the front (first) panel. Now I might have to frogg it. Frogg all of it. This sucks. Can I cry now?

Okay you silly bird, take a deep breath and walk away. Put the knitting to one side and pick up one of your other WIP’s, like that school bag that you are designing and have almost finished. You can finish that in a day, then come back to the tank top when it is done. Or better still, finish that vest for Y, that should take a couple of days to a week, then you can sew it up. Or speaking of sewing up, the weather is just perfect for sewing up the second Live Life Like a Saint bag. Failing that, you can use some of this left over cotton yarn to invent a bag to store garlic in. The possibilities are endless.

But what I really want to work on is my tank top. I was doing so well. I was knitting along at a great speed, mastering short row shaping as I sailed along, leaving all obvious difficulties in my wake. Maybe it really isn’t as big as it looks. But it is. I compared it to a tank top I have that is a bit big on me. The front panel is almost an inch too big even with the seem allowance. Perhaps if I made the back smaller? No, that would be weird. I’ll just put it to one side and walk away. I’ll take the vest for Y up to the farm this weekend and finish that off. Today, I’ll finish off these two bags. When I come back from the farm, I’ll see if the tank top is still too big. Perhaps I could Yuki-size it.

The picture is a sketch of Y's vest I made in my SnB journal.