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Posts posted by LostSurprise

  1. My go-to hat patterns are the WWII watch cap and the Bankhead pattern. Both are free on Ravelry. Both are ribbed patterns. 

    Neither uses Mistake Rib, but I think it would be interesting to adapt it and see how it works. Neither has ear flaps, but they have long bottom ribs which can be folded higher where you need it higher and lower over the ears where you need lower. 

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  2. My husband's grandmother was essentially orphaned (her father did live, but he lost himself in alcohol) by the 'Spanish' flu. She never knew her mother. She was a baby when she died. 

    She was raised by her father's sister and moved around the country with her. Aunt Carrie even lived with her after she married and had children. My FIL, the youngest of family, has many good memories of her. 

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  3. I recently sat through a seminar about alternatives to guardianship. It seems to be a movement at the moment, at least in my state. I think the term is Supported Decision-Making. It attempts to bring help to individuals without removing independence. It's more flexible. 

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  4. My youngest son is going through growth hormone treatments. Standard procedure is to get a referral to an endocrinologist from your primary care doctor. They'll do blood tests and maybe a bone age scan. If his bones read younger, they may chose to revisit the issue in a year or two. If he's closer to puberty, they may do a trial test run with growth hormone to see how his body reacts. If he reacts positively they may offer hormone injections. The injections are daily, but are subcutaneous so it's not at all like getting blood drawn (my son doesn't like blood draws but will do these). 

    I'd say, unless it bothers your son and is something he wishes to pursue, wait for next year. Almost all of mine were delayed. 🤨Seriously, the next oldest sibling was shorter and younger-looking than almost everyone until 15. Bam! Then it hit like a freight train. Doctors like to have everything within a neat window and were talking to us about delayed puberty since 13, but they were still fine with us waiting until over 15 to start treatment. 

  5. Given: I gave dh Tiny Towns, a game where you collect resources to build buildings on a card grid. It has a great puzzle aspect to it because each of the buildings has special powers you can maximise. We gave dniece Fauxcabulary because she loves it. 

    Received: DH gave me Islebound (Ryan Laukat!), Bosk, Terraforming Mars, the Feast of Odin expansion, and Mystery of the Abbey. I guess he got a good deal and didn't think he could otherwise get them in the house. 🤨

    Played: We played Bosk. DH described it as a less 'take-that!' version of Photosynthesis. Both are forest games with stand-up trees where you are taking over a forest. Photosynthesis takes over with tree reproduction and is limited by sunlight. Bosk takes over area with tree placement and leaves being moved by the wind. I like them both, although I need to play Bosk a few more times.

    We've also played Tiny Towns, which is very puzzley. I love puzzle games where you have to maximize resources and space. 

    Friends came over and brought Trekking the National Parks, which I would describe as Ticket to Ride but moving around and collecting national parks.

    Over the break we've also played: 

    Cottage Garden

    Lost Cities


    Kung Fu Zoo



    Claim It!



    and half a learning game of Feast of Odin


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  6. Thirding or fourthing In Our Time. 


    Fall of Civilizations 

    Tides of History (end of the Roman empire and up through the middle ages right now...I was really curious about the time period and enjoyed this take)

    History of Ancient Egypt and History of England are both individual place/people podcasts that I enjoy. The hosts are personable and good instructors. 

    A Brief History of Mathematics (bbc)

    Dan Carlin's Hardcore History is excellent, but definitely hardcore. Minimum 4 hours for an episode. Sometimes multiple parts (4+ hours each!). Great for longer drives/projects. 


    On the lighter side: Most Notorious! (interviewing authors about their non-fiction histories, generally gangsters, local drama, murders), Our Fake History (history around fake beliefs/bad history), True Crime Historian (synthesis of news stories from yellow journalism papers...dramatically read)


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  7. The Upward Spiral...brain chemistry and depression with small, positive, evidence-based changes you can make

    Wild Swans: Three Women of China...late 19th century-the Cultural Revolution history of China following one family of women

    Color: a Natural History of the Palette...history of engineering color for art/craft, focuses more outside of Europe than in

    The Little Book of Talent...great grad book with short chapters focusing on productive habits for life

    Forest Forensics: a Guide to Reading the Forested Landscape...very short but interesting look at how to read the ground and trees in a forest to estimate human habitation/farming/clear cutting/fires in the area. Really succinct with most of the book as a guide. And if you think that's interesting, you may enjoy Botany in a Day (great book to break down plant categorization) or Nature's Garden (in-depth plant foraging). 

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  8. Honestly, we get the biggest bang for Monikers, which is a Charades style game, but each round uses the same cards with less communication (1st round-everything but words, 2nd round-1 word, 3rd round-only gesture, etc.). The funny thing is that the limited pool of words means you're creating in-joke kind of communication with later rounds building on what came before. Some not safe for children material and pop culture stuff but it's easy to remove things before play.  

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  9. On 9/16/2019 at 9:37 PM, mumto2 said:

    The mystery set from Goodwill might be from Brunswick.  I am pretty sure some of my needles are from there, they went out of business at least 20 years ago.


    Possibly. I did an image search on Google a few minutes ago and it looks a lot like (Boye's?) Diana circular needle, but since I don't like Boye's cable I wonder why I like this one?  🤷‍♀️

    If you do like the Addis, it tends to be cheaper to buy them either from Europe or Asia (Hong Kong importers get them from Germany and will sell in lots on ebay). For some reason the North American prices for Addi are really high. 

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  10. 14 hours ago, SusanC said:

    My collection is wholly random, some hand-me-downs from grandma, some ad hoc purchases


    My collection is pretty random as well. There seems to be a lot of trial and error involved. 

    Some things seem to work better than others for my lifestyle or certain projects. I'm not particularly fond of interchangeables (I seem to unwind the locking mechanism or get stuck on it) or straight needles. I break small-sized wooden needles and the beautiful acetate ones, so I limit buying them. 

    I'm pretty comfortable with Addi, Chiagoo, HiyaHiya, and even a few Clover bamboos were fine until the cats chewed on them. 😄 I have an old aluminum needle from Goodwill that I like too, but it doesn't happen to be any of the SusanBates/Boye they sell now, so I can't get more. 

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  11. As a private contractor can't you ask one of your former clients to write you a reference? If you have a regular client, or someone you're friendly with, even if they are themselves self-employed they should have form letters or titles or banners to use on the reference. 

    I say do that anyway, even if they don't have "a letterhead" because once the reference is in they're probably not going to throw it out. The world does not run on letterheads anymore.

  12. On 12/28/2018 at 10:18 PM, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

    I finished Artificial Condition, Book 2 in the Murderbot Diaries on Audible tonight. It was a bit of a letdown after the first book. The supporting characters simply weren't compelling to me, which made the story line fall a bit flat. 2/5 stars. I'm not sure if I'll continue on to Book 3 or not. Might save it for when I need some more fluff later on if I find it on sale. I can't justify spending $10 on it on Kindle at the moment.........

    I felt the same way about book 2, but I felt like it picked up a bit in book 3. I think there was more pouting/introspection at the beginning of book 2 and not enough Al or plot action. Book 3 felt more balanced. Because they are so short, I just ordered from my library. 


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  13. My youngest son is a young teen in the same range of ability as your children. 

    Generally, I find that games that allow you to play on different levels work the best. So a game which allows people to play seriously/unseriously or with logic/with luck. Other games take a dedicated person to either shepherd them through or gently redirect. 

    Games which play well with different levels: 

    Mamma Mia! ~essentially a memory game which has only 2 actions (take a card, play a card). Players play pizza ingredient cards to a center pile. Once you think the pile has enough ingredients for your order card, you play it on top of the pile. Some people can play it with the memory angle (how many of X ingredient are in the pile? Can I play my order now?) and some can play it completely by luck. I find both ways work well and the luck players add a fun bit of chaos to the memory players. 

    Tsuro or Metro~tile laying games where your character follows a path 1 tile at a time. The goal is to continue the longest on a path. This also can be played more or less strategically. 

    Faux-cabulary~a word building game. It works well for early or non-readers as well because it's building silly words from phonemes and others can read the word aloud. My guy giggles at his silly word even when he has trouble reading it. Familiar phonemes are good practice, and there's no writing (players flip dice with phonemes on each side) so play is easy. 

    Crappy Birthday, Faces, or other picture based Apples-to-Apples games~Like AtA, one person is the judge and others submit a card on a subject for their approval. There's no right or wrong answer and silliness is often encouraged. Crappy Birthday is choosing bad birthday gifts. Faces is choosing people or animal faces which fit a subject. Other games exist with the same mechanic and all of them are easy for a wide range of abilities. 

    Dexterity games can be really fun if your children have somewhat typical motor control. Animal Upon Animal (stacking animal figures, but this looks younger and may or may not be acceptable to all teens). Crokinole. Crossfire. Ice Cool. Flipships. Loopin' Louie. Sorry Sliders. Kung Fu Zoo (ds just got this for his birthday and it was a big hit with adults and kids). Operation. Rhino Hero. 

    I'm sure there are more. I'll have to think about it and ask ds for his favorite games later. There are definitely plenty of games he can play with help, but if more than a few people need help I thought it would be easier to name games that need very little help or redirection. 


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  14. We keep all our new games out on an atlas stand we bought from the library a few years ago. It's full (of course) so this holiday dh, ds2, and I are reading instructions and trying to clear off a few shelves. Anything older than 2 years that we don't play is going into a box for sale or donation. 

    I'm trying to convince dh that no new games are bought until we have shelf space. As much as he agrees, he keeps bring games home. 🙄

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  15. Non-fiction: The Upward Spiral by Alex Korb was a really fascinating look at the brain functions and physical actions which affect depression. Unlike a lot of self help books it details small things which are research proven to affect your mood and anxiety levels. Research papers detailed in the back for further information. If you suffer from anxiety or depression or know someone who does, this is a really helpful resource that makes it clear why things happen and what kinds of actions can help create “an upward spiral” instead of a downward one. Runner up: Forest Forensics by Tom Wessels, which takes a look at how humans effect the land (’reading’ whether land was a field or how long ago it was clear cut based on humps, holes, stumps, and rocks).

    Series brain candy: Martha Wells’ Murderbot series (1st one: All Systems Red), a group of 4 novellas (so each is 150 pgs or so) following the emergence of an AI/cyborg consciousness. At first it’s like a sullen teenager who can’t look at anyone in the eye and just wants to watch television in his room. Over time it struggles with identity and responsibility. All the while trying to keep humans from doing the stupid things which lead to their deaths (it’s a security consultant/guard). I’m not going to argue that it was the deepest thing I’ve read this year, but they are short, action-packed, thoughtful, and they show the evolution of an identity without telling you that’s what they’re doing. Runner up: Differently Morphious by Yahtzee Croshaw, but only if you get the audiobook which is read by the author. He reads it hilariously. It helps to have some understanding of the cthulu mythos. If you think it would be funny if Jasper Fforde wrote The Laundry Files, then you would like this.

    Fiction: I didn’t over-the-moon love anything this year but I did really enjoy The Coroner’s Lunch, The Curse of Chalion, Cranford, The Walking Man, and Remnant Population. I read Remnant Population recently, but it's probably my favorite fiction of the year. I love that it's a science fiction novel focused on an elderly woman and spends most of its time following her very normal life and feelings (gardening, being annoyed with her DIL, wanting more time to herself). The 'action' doesn't even start until after chapter 7 and serves to develop the main character! People are rewarded not for intellectual pursuit or career success, but for experience, nurturing, courage, and individuality! Pretty encouraging stuff. 

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  16. I have teenagers, so this wasn't a total surprise, but everyone else has defaulted to cash for Christmas. I find it a bit sad and I still shop for all the nieces and nephew, even though that means hits and misses. 

    *DS19 reacted well to all of his gifts, but I think he liked the Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here record the best. He played it twice that day. He also was attached to the cloud socks which surprised me. 
    *DS18 was extremely close-mouthed this year. I hope he liked his gifts. 
    *DS15 is a tough customer. So tough. He did tell me he loved the large, digital wall clock though. It was a surprise hit. He also liked the robot socks. 

    *DS14 was having a hard day over Christmas so I'm not sure he's connected with anything other than some small Lego sets. He will though. 


    Surprise hits: I made my niece some fingerless elephant mitts out of yarn which was partially angora. She lost her bunny this year. She adored them. 

  17. Momma Mia. You can play this seriously or completely un-seriously and it's easy to explain. You have pizza order cards and pizza ingredient cards. Every turn you either take an order or ingredient card from the deck or you play an order or ingredient card to the central pile. When you think you have enough ingredients for one of your order cards you put it on the top of the pile. Anyone else can also do this at any time, thus subtracting ingredients from the pile. So essentially you're watching what's been played and trying to gauge what's been used and what hasn't. You can play it like this or you can play it with a 'feel' for what's been played and essentially taking chances and getting lucky. Both ways can be productive, so it's great to play with intellectuals and young children and you can get a lot of groaning around the table as you reverse the pile and match ingredients to cards. 

    Tsuro. I think this plays 6. This is a tile laying game where you place tiles to move your character forward. Last player to keep moving forward following their line wins. As the board gets full your path can merge with others making it harder to keep moving forward. 

    Incan Gold/Diamont. This is a press-your-luck game where all people have to do is decide to continue searching a tunnel or escape with whatever jewels have been found. If multiple people leave together they must split the jewels. If a danger card repeats (2 snakes, 2 cave-ins, etc.) then you escape with no reward. The person with the most jewels after 7 explorations wins. This is a very easy game, but it does need someone to kind of 'whoop' it up and make it fun. 

    Faux-cabulary. This is a bit like Apples to Apples in that one person is choosing a subject and everyone else is performing to that judge. Phonemes (word parts) are on blocks and people grab 4 at the beginning of every turn. The judge picks a card and reads a definition and everyone tries to create a made-up word which best fits this definition. It can be pretty hilarious and I've never had a non-gamer dislike playing it. It's also fun in that small children can choose completely randomly and still bring everyone to giggles. 

    Crappy Birthday. Another Apples to Apples-type play. One person has the birthday. Everyone else has a handful of terrible gift cards. Everyone picks the worst gift for the judge. The judge chooses which is worst and play goes  around until someone has 5 (or whatever number) wins. 

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