Monday, June 28, 2010

Vintage Knitting Patterns

I scored the coolest lot of vintage knitting patterns off E-bay the other day and they arrived in the mail today. The oldest is dated 1956 and they look like they range from the 50's to the early 80's. I snapped a few shots with my iPhone to show them off.

These are the oldest of the lot. The center coloured booklet are the mid 50's patterns.

This is from that booklet. It doesn't show very well, but if you look closely at the gentleman on the right you will notice that he is smoking in the picture.

A couple of the women's sweaters from the same booklet. Below are from a different booklet and if I was to guess, look to be late 60's or early 70's. I am totally in love with the black sweater with the daisies and matching headband!!

There is one booklet that is all socks and slippers and another that is all mittens, but done with a two needle technique. Lots of baby layettes and one Woman's Day knitting magazine from 1976. They are all in really good shape. A little musty, but livable. They were worth it just to look at the pictures. There are several patterns that I do seriously want to look at, though.

Yay, totally COOL BEANS!!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Book #11

Northern Lights - Nora Roberts

I got the book for $0.50 from the local thrift store, looked like it had never been read...hmmm, maybe that's a red flag. Nah, pretty much have never met a Nora Roberts novel I didn't like. Again, back to the brainfood component...yes, missing, but hey, I'm reading and that is more than ?% of the population. My personal guess is 75% of the population does not read.

This is a typical Nora Roberts romance/mystery combo and our hero is yet again a police officer. I would like to know the story behind Nora's obsession with law enforcement as the strong brooding heroes of a great many of her books. I guess the formula works, she keeps churning them out and we keep consuming them and then she gets big fat royalty cheques.

This one takes place in Alaska. I think the number one thing I like about her books is that they are usually set in some quirky, interesting locale and she paints such a compelling a picture that you feel like you have got to book your plane tickets as soon as you finish the last chapter. Plot...same old same old, firecracker heroine, strong brooding hero, a murder, a mystery, a couple plot turns.....meh.

I had figured out who the bad guy was a while before I finished the book. Predictable. Also, the book was really long, for what it was, at 637 pages. It was a little too much work to read that long of a fluffy no-brainer. I enjoyed it, but more because it made me nostalgic for Northern Exposure.

I used to watch it occasionally when it was on network TV. And then Hubby and I started watching the full seasons from Netflix. The DVDs are mixed into our queue, so every so often you get a pleasant surprise when you open the red envelope and NE is in there.

If we ever wind up in Alaska, it will because of Northern Exposure. But, I would only move to Alaska on one condition. We would have to move to Cecily and those people would really have to live there. Northern Exposure and Harry Potter have the same effect on me. Some times I get really bummed when I realize that they don't really exist. I want to knit with Marilyn and hang out with Maggie and throw rocks and sticks at Joel. Shelly and I would both be from Saskatchewan and could talk about home and hockey.

But, alas, it isn't really real.....

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Book #10

Club Dead - Charlaine Harris

This is the third Sookie Stackhouse novel aka True Blood

Ok, I never said that this 50 book thing was going to be brain food, so stop judging me. There is no disclaimer about fine literature.

Whahahahah!! I love this series. Chew 'em up and spit 'em out. Super easy reads and entertaining my ass off. I will have to take a bit of a break though, savor them, but I think there are at least 5 or 6 more books in the series at the moment which means I at least don't have to wait for them to be written and published. (think Harry Potter.....what....yes, I am literary riffraff)

So, there is now a running tally on supernatural creatures. We've got vampires, telepaths, shape shifters, maenids and enter werewolfs (werewolves, hell I don't know if there is a correct plural for a make believe creature) Plus Kings and Queens and mercenaries and sheriffs....kinda nutty.

I am still not watching the HBO series, yet. I am holding out until Hubby gets back from Cali to start watching. Yes, my love, I will be patient.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Book #9

Bones of Betrayal - Jefferson Bass

This "author" is interesting. This book, which is the 5th (I think) in a series is actually co-authored by Dr. Bill Bass and Jon Jefferson. Dr. Bass is a forensic anthropologist and professor at University of Tennessee. He is the founder of the U of T's Anthropology Research Facility aka The Body Farm. The Body Farm is basically an area specifically designed to study decomposition in as many varied and creative ways as people who study that kind of stuff want to be. Using...yes, human bodies...people actually will donate their bodies to the farm for research in the event of their death. Crazy stuff! Jon Jefferson is a writer, journalist and documentary filmmaker that met Dr. Bass during the making of a documentary on The Body Farm. They now collaborate writing fiction about a forensic anthropologist and professor at U of T named Bill Brockton. (note the similarities, hmmm??)

Ok, I checked, this is the 5th book in the series. I have read the previous four as well. All very good, entertaining, funny-ish, well researched and accurate (as far as I can tell, anatomically nothing seems to be amiss, but really, what the hell do I know about forensics except what I have learned ready other books)

This particular book is about the mysterious murder of an old man from Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The Oak Ridge of Manhattan Project fame. The above mentioned old man is a physicist that worked on the Manhattan Project during WW2 and is murdered by the ingestion of iridium192 and subsequent radiation poisoning. A couple more bodies turn up along the way and then of course with the twists and turns of any good mystery there is a surprise at the end.

I was intrigued by the details surrounding the radiation poisoning. There is a lot of effort put into describing the "radiation incident" and the fall out (no pun intended) as a result. Keep in mind that the man's body held a radioactive substance and then was transported and sat in the morgue until it was discovered on autopsy that the body was contaminated. Multiple levels of exposure by multiple people. The books does a good job explaining the exposure, the protocols, the after effect's of exposure and so on. This captured my interest maybe a little more than the average Joe or Jody, due to the nature of my job that does involve a certain component of emergency preparedness. I do work with radiation experts and we do have protocols in place re: accidental radiation exposures and junk

The historical component of the book was also very good. There was a great deal of detail about the Manhattan Project, the "race for the bomb" and key people involved in it. Some was fictional and some was not. I really don't know very much about the history of WW2. Sad to say that I am very deficient in my knowledge of 20th century history, period. That was the one year in high school that history was optional and I chose to take art and home ec instead of history, Go figure. Anyway...
The book does get into the history of the "race for the bomb", a touch of espionage, and also a touch of ethics all in relation to the nuclear research of the time and where it lead.

There was a reference in the book to Dr. Strangelove. I am now going to have to watch this. We own it, so it's right there on the bookshelf. I do love Peter Sellers and am quite looking forward to watching this movie, now. I think I did start watching it once, but never finished. Will report back...of course.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Bringing Out the Dead

We watched the movie the other night. Not bad. I will almost never endorse a movie based on a book because they pretty much always suck. (been burned too many times) This was pretty true to the book, which is a monumental feat unto itself. I'm tellin' ya!!

Directed by Martin Scorsese, and staring Nick Cage, that goes along way right there!

Dark and gritty like the book.

In my own mind's eye, some things were darker than others. The movie Emergency Department was like Disneyland compared to my images, but the homeless people were totally freaky and I had not envisioned them that way at all. (Maybe Canadian homeless people are cleaner and nicer than the ones from NYC, my only really up close and personal experiences with homeless pan handlers was in Toronto and at the time they didn't seem so awful, just sad)

Gotta say I am impressed. They managed to pull this movie off in a very Batman/Gotham City kinda way. It was really weird, but so was the book, nothing changed there.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Book #8

Living Dead in Dallas - Charlaine Harris

Another Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire novel. aka True Blood

I see the appeal of this series of books. Funny, creepy, naughty...

Of course this also had the Dallas angle, too. Albeit it didn't talk about the city in great "real" detail. The commentary about the traffic and urban sprawl is legit.

Introduce more supernatural creatures.

What the hell is a maenad anyway?? (a crazy ass possessed woman from Greek mythology, if I remember my myths correctly)

I am now going to have to take a break from vampires until the 3rd book in the series arrives. I have several more that my Beloved so thoughtfully found for me at 1/2 Price Books, but alas, he was unable to find #3. Paperback Swap, you are my friend....snail mail, not so much.

Oh well, I have a good rotting bodies book that is next in the que.

Theater Jones - Feed Your Need

Theater Jones - Feed Your Need

A new review by my Beloved. American Buffalo - a David Mamet play.

Friday, June 4, 2010

We love us some scones...

We do love scones at our house. All four of us. Well, five if you count the dog, who has been known to snarf up a scone or two when you are not looking.

I am in search of the perfect scone recipe. I have tried several and i have found one in particular that I like for many reasons, but ease of use is number one.

I always have the ingredients on hand, nothing weird like buttermilk or self rising flour needed. And they are a drop recipe, you don't need to roll them out and cut them, making them very low maintenance.

I have them down to a science and can whip up a batch in about 10 min, not counting baking time and they have become a weekend staple. I think our favorite is sour cherry, but any dried fruit will work, raisins, cranberries, blueberries etc. etc. I'm gonna try to pull the recipe out of my head:

2 cups flour

1/2 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cold butter (unsalted)

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

cup-ish of dried fruit

3/4 cup milk

1 egg

Mix dry ingreds together, except fruit

Cut in the butter until crumbly

Lightly beat egg together with milk and then add to dry ingreds

Mix it together until it looks mixed, then add fruit

Mix together some more and then drop blobs onto cookie sheet, should make an even dozen

Bake at 350 for 25-30 min.

Make a cup of tea and enjoy.
My little kitchen helper. :-)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Book #7 - Dark!!

Bringing Out the Dead - Joe Connelly

Dark, dark, dark!!

A two day, two night memoir of sorts of a crazy ass paramedic whose territory is Hell's Kitchen, New York City.

He sees dead people and they talk. And haunt him and follow him around. Dead people that are from calls gone wrong. 271 pages of rot gut burn out. Not for the faint of heart.

There is a movie out there, based on this book. We have it, have not watched it yet. I cannot even begin to imagine how they put this book to screen. Will report back about that, definitely.

Our pal Joe really was a medic in this neighbourhood, so this is well researched. Realistic?? God in heaven, for Joe's sake and sanity, I hope he used creative license.