Friday, June 16, 2006

It's slacker Friday...

... and I'm totally OK with that.

Without going into gory (geeky?) details, I've been more productive in the past week than I think I've been since last September in the mad rush of Prelim time.

I've managed to get a (homemade) program working to do some major stats analyses, albeit on hub's PC, but I also have a co-worker compiling it for the Mac.

(No, I don't know what that means. I don't know why it was written in Pascal versus Fortran, and I don't know why I'm bothering with the cross-computing. It'll save me about 15 minutes after I complete about 50 separate analyses. But, that's OK.)

So, I shall post on my latest creative efforts, since this seems to be less about grad school and more about hobbies. But, then again, hobbies and life outside the lab are, indeed, how we survive grad school without going nuts :-)

Firstly, the famous baby-cheesecake. Here's a rough progression:

I call it - "Bare Canvas"

Outline completed (note the ever-so-carefully placed piping bag)

Yes, folks, that's a baby. Mutant, but a baby nonetheless.

Baby has some color in his cheeks!

The pink and blue frosting were added because I took the cake off the bottom of the springform pan... As a result, that sucker slipped and slid whenever I so much as nudged the plate.
Solution: more sugar!

And, since the rest of the plate was rather bare, and I had about a cup of spare chocolate ganache, I whipped it up and decorated the border with some rosettes. Because, who's going to complain with more chocolate, right?

I was also a really bad girl two weeks ago, and went to a newly discovered, but long existing, yarn store.

(There is a huge portion of this city that I haven't explored, even though I've been here for 10 years. It's only when I'm looking for new slacker activities that I manage to find these gems).

The problem I was having was that a certain big box store had the most awful yarn selection, and a new little boutique that opened close to school is too expensive, and had even less selection than the big box (really nice mohair and other exotics, but nothing really practical).

This new(ly found) little gem is comparable to two local stores in my home town - tonnes of cubbies, floor to ceiling, lots of options, all the colors you'd want, and just enough luxury yarns and fibres to keep you sighing every now and then.

Hubby came in, and I'm sure chuckled the whole 30 minutes we were in there, as I fondled the potential projects. I was horribly good while being bad, though. I wanted to buy yarn for socks for him, and yarn for socks for myself, and yarn for socks for my mom... but my purchases can be fit into this one tiny pic:

The light is really glaring, because in reality it's a nice glen check brown/grey/tan/dark grey twist. At the moment the sock is about 6" long, not the 2" in the photo, and I'm trying to decide if it's time to divide for the heel. I know that my ribbing on the top sucks, and I don't know why, but hub is OK with having a 'rusticly homemade' socks as his first pair.

For the knitting savvy amongst you, yes, I have discovered the magic loop method, and yes, that is a loverly 40" size 3 addi turbo. I am smitten. I am a sock knitter.

I think I'll take a pic of the baby blanket and post it... I should really be working on it, not the socks, but I love the tiny needles and the quick progress.

Progress. Maybe I should go for that with my stats for an hour... then take an extra long lunch in the first real summer day we've had.

(All images copyright E. Boudreau)

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