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Caturday comes early this week in NYC

Purina ONE (sponsor of the True Nature of Cats month you may remember from a while back) has opened the first Cat Cafe in North America. Lucky NYC residents can visit the Cat Cafe through April 27th, from 10AM to 7PM. The Cat Cafe is located at 168 Bowery, New York, NY 10002.

The Cat Cafe offers free coffee and snacks, will be hosting speakers talking about cat health and behavioral issues, and is “staffed” with adoptable cats from the North Shore Animal League America.

cat cafe

Isn’t that kitty adorable? If you live in NYC you can visit AND give her a forever home. And you totally should.

Speaking of the True Nature of Cats Month, gosh that seems like a lifetime ago. Poor Kimble was dying, although I didn’t have the heart to tell you all then. Cinnamon was quite fat when we started. She had trimmed down by the end of the month. Now she is – I hope this doesn’t sound like bragging – the perfect weight.

She and I have worked out a way for her to communicate when she’s ready to play. (She picks at one particular corner of the carpet, then dashes back and forth a few times.) I always heed her request. She likes an intense play session with her favorite toy, 5-10 minutes per session, 1-3 times per day. Not only does it keep her trim, it also exhausts her and keeps her from bothering me quite so much when I’m trying to work.

Sweater dreams

This time of year, most people probably don’t start thinking about heavy wool sweaters. But I do.

Spring and fall are when my house is the coldest. I only have a wood stove for heat. In summer, it’s warm enough outside that it doesn’t matter. In winter, it’s cold enough that I load up the stove at least once a day. But in spring and fall, it’s not cold enough to justify using the wood.

In spring and fall, my house stays between 55-65. And when I say “my house,” I work from home, so that’s “my office,” too.

I wear layers. Lots of layers.

This is when my horrible sweater really shines. Knit in a bulky wool/alpaca blend, this thing (Drops 103-1) is as warm as it is ill-conceived. Everything about it is wrong, from the double-breasted front to the weird collar. The arms are 4″ longer than my own arms. It’s so heavy that it hangs badly when open, so I finally gave up and sewed the fronts together, thus negating all the work I did to make it a cardigan (coat).

The other day I was sitting at my desk, listening to the guy doing yardwork outside, wondering if I should take off the sweater in case he came to the door. I can’t be seen in it. It’s that bad.

No, I’m not going to show it. How about a kitty picture?

it a kitty

And I thought, “You know, I could just knit another sweater. A better sweater. One that I’m not embarrassed to be seen in.”

It was just an idle thought, but I followed it too far. I went to WEBS and the yarn (Valley Yarns Berkshire Bulky) was on sale, and long story short, I guess I’m going to start knitting a sweater now. With all the time I’ve spent knitting lately. (Sheepish cough.)

Edit: Speaking of “Things I have been doing other than knitting,” I have revived my Facebook account if you want to follow me there.

Making a cross-stitch iPhone cover (and why you might not want to)

I recently (fiiiiinally) finished my Mass Effect iPhone cover. Don’t get me wrong, I love it. But I’m not sure it’s actually such a good idea.

mass effect iphone cover

Shown here on my Titanfall notes, since it was the closest sheet of paper I had to hand

First, the good parts: you can create a customized iPhone cover, which is rad.

Also, it was cheap. I bought the kit (which includes the cover, five shades of floss, and several blank pattern sheets) at Walmart for about $7. I had to buy the custom floss colors separately at a crafts store, for the princely sum of about 79 cents x 5 skeins of floss.

And it was a lot easier to stitch than I thought it would be. I was afraid it would be hard to push the needle through the holes on the cover, and my fingers would get tired. But that was not a problem.

Here are the issues, though. It turns out there are some very valid reasons why iPhone covers are not usually made of fabric.

1. I’m kind of a clean freak when it comes to my electronics. This cover can’t be cleaned very well or very often, and it can’t be disinfected. (Have you ever seen the kinds of germs your iPhone picks up?)

2. It will wear out eventually. I can already see signs of chafing on the embroidery floss.

3. Even aside from the germophobe problem, the cover will get grubby. Shouldn’t be too big a problem with this design, but if your design features bright colors or light shades, you will notice. You can wash it of course, but stains and spills are still going to take their toll.

4. It has a good grip. But if you are the kind of person who likes to be able to slip your iPhone easily in and out of a pocket, the embroidery floss has friction that will probably annoy you.

5. Possibly the worst issue: adding the embroidery floss to the cover causes it to deform and bell out along the long sides. You can see this happening in the photo above. It doesn’t fit snugly, which is annoying.

I’m still trying to decide which is worse: a cover that is a little bit loose on the sides, or using double-sided tape and getting my iPhone sticky.

Still though… totally worth it.

I made a thing

A cross-post of sorts from my video game blog. I created a “Let’s Play” video, which is where you record your gameplay along with your headset audio. It’s like a real-time commentary track, but with a lot more awkwardness.

If you have ever wondered what I sound like in real life, or what weird noises I make when I get frustrated or annoyed, then this is your lucky day!

A warning: There is a lot of explicit violence in this video. And a lot of inappropriate giggling at the explicit violence, because I am a terrible human being.