Can You Help Me On My Quest?


The journey to master the Twin Mines of InDesign and PhotoShop continue. I am guided through this journey by a mystic named Instructor and have magic spells such as ‘creative cloud’ and ‘textbook’ and ‘Lynda.’ Each week I have mastered new levels of these dungeons and tomorrow I reach the midpoint, if the map proves true.

I am pleased. Although these two campaigns soon will draw to a close, I look forward to even more intense explorations of other dungeons this Fall.

These labors, and my internship within the castle Valley Craft Industries, has left me with little time to continue my above-ground adventures in the lands of Web Design and Social Media Consulting. I have decided to turn to you, Dear Reader, for assistance.

Do you have a website that needs updating? Or have you considered setting off on your own journey and need a website? Or maybe you have a friend, a family member, or know of a business in search of a Web Master?

I am an experienced web designer who has returned to university to gain the Proper Spells of Mastery (otherwise known as a degree). Working on websites and consulting on SEO will allow me to continue to attend classes as, after all, I can do web-work at any time, day or night, and so balance my various and splendid tasks as I see fit, not as a time clock would expect.

Please share forward as you will! Thank you!


Zombie Knitpocolypse Report #zk2014

So here I am with a zombie knitpocolypse event going on in my locale and I have a Golden Ticket of Admittance, and I woke up with a migraine.

Sadness. There are classes and tours and shrieks of greetings and circles of people getting caught up. Meeting new people. Lots of good energy going on and I wasn’t able to be part of it today.

How can I ever learn to knit those zombies their own sweaters unless I first master CASTING ON? There are children who can cast on and I can’t even figure out if I’m spelling that right…is it caste? Or cast? If CASTE, I’m probably one of the lower, more useful castes cause after all I do turn fiber into yarn and yarn is one of the necessary ingredients for the proper zombie sweater or shawl or cowl-thingie.

QUICK ASIDE: YOU COULD KNIT A COWL-THINGIE AND THEN TOSS IT ON A ZOMBIE WITHOUT GETTING BITTEN. I think part of the attraction to being a zombie knitter is to actually not be a zombie, right? Losing body parts into the work on the needles would be detrimental to your project so don’t do that. But I just can’t imagine getting a sweater, or a pair of socks, onto a zombie WITHOUT getting bitten. I’m sure they are grateful but there is the virus’s need to spread and the host’s need to bite.



Anyway, I prepare wool for spinning but not so much with the knitting. Fortunately, I was able to attend yesterday where I learned that the Zombie Knitpocalypse isn’t so much of preparing for zombies to attack as being a person that could continue your craft IF the zombies come a’knocking. Knitting is a survivalist skill as well as being a social venue for over 150 people to gather in Rochester from all over the world. It’s a tight-knit community whose primary online home is Ravelry and whose window to the world is via podcasts. Besides the sponsors of the Zombie Knitpocolypse, there were at least 15 people who either on their own or as part of a team produce a regular podcast. Below you can see some of them and do you see what they are doing? Besides answering our questions? They have needles and yarn going in a rhythm that will produce something beautiful and useful. Clickity-clickity.





Actually, my bad. Even with over one-hundred people in the main gathering space knitting away, you don’t hear those needles. People are so busy talking, catching up, sharing and teaching – I never did hear any of the needles! Now spinning wheels, yes, when I was in a circle of wheels making yarn, I could hear that sound. But never the needles.

Here at 3 pm, I don’t think I will go into Rochester for the rest of the event. I woke up with an eye migraine that progressed onto something even hurtier and am just now feeling a bit normal. I think I will take a couple of cats out for their afternoon adventures (one is still a queen and young enough to think she can take on full-grown squirrels, so we watch her) and maybe weed a bit. Or maybe just try that casting on again. I have YouTube, I will Conquer.

Although it is not nearly as satisfying as being with real, live people. Tomorrow! We have one last day and I will be there!




Knitting Podcasters…wow.

There are fourteen Podcasters here today talking about their work. It’s fascinating. The two talking talking now use Google Hangout and load it right up. Others do the traditional editing and work off a script.



This is something to explore for the local food movement.

ALL of the speakers have needles in their hands. Neat.

The Doctor





Setting up my phone to live blog. Nothing exciting.

Well, I guess I’m going to learn to knit this weekend…

I stopped in at the Zombie Knitpocalypse to see if there would be room to spin, and there is loads of room. Even room to comb if I’m careful! And of course before I got out of there, I’d convinced myself that one of these lovely people offering to teach me could manage to do so! That’s where I will be for the next three days. It’s a retreat so we are retreating to our fibery crafts and only coming out to shop and party on Thursdays on First.

There was a woman who does not have a FaceBook account but who spends her spare time on Ravelry. What can you do on Ravelry that would keep you away from FB happiness? Maybe there is something to this knitting…

Before I went to the Kahler, though, I stopped at a farm and saw a small herd of Romney sheep, drove around the farm on a golf cart and talked to Dan Heublein about Rochester Local Food. We are brainstorming how to develop a partnership where my company can help with marketing and more for his company. The meat boxes sound awesome. How useful would it be to have locally-sourced chicken, pork, beef and duck delivered to to your door? How about the best bacon ever, nitrate-free and yummy? That’s what Dan says he can provide for you from Pork and Plant.

And before I did all of this – I worked at Valley Craft Industries all day! Although what I’m doing right now mostly seems like play. I love this marketing world I’m checking out via my internship.

I’ll post a longer, more informative post about the partnership with Rochester Local Food on HomeGrown Technologies’ webpage, when I get it written. Right now I gotta hunt up knitting needles for the pattern I’ve selected for my first project!

Nick Dickhut, 2006, short movie

I’m sorting through pictures for Jacqueline Carson and found this short movie from April, 2006. Poor quality but there’s music and dancing! And yes, old format. If I’m not careful, I’m going to lose data by having it stored in old formats, right? Like NASA but not as newsworthy?


It’s really short. So here’s a picture…most of my Nick-pictures show him from the back in this folder. Maybe better luck soonest, heh?



Or they are super blurry.



This is only one folder, though. I’ll keep looking!


Do you Hack ? Stab? And Make your enemy bow before you? In totally a developer/coder way, of course.

SCA people? Meet BattleHack.

What a tag line: “become the ultimate hacker for good.” Are you up to the challenge? I’m considering giving up a weekend playtime with zombie-knitters for the opportunity to sit beside and learn from the Minnesota-equivalent. But we don’t have battle hotties (of both sexes) in our promo material.  Chicago Rocks.

OK, I’m going to go do homework and think about where I want to spend my energy. I’m learning all about PhotoShop as fast as a I can.

Zombie-knitters, totally awesome fun…when I signed up, I didn’t have any idea about the local hack-a-thon. I would love to do this knitting conference for the sheer fun of it and for honoring the fiber enthusiast within myself. I’ll have no regrets giving myself to this weekend as I’ve found out, no refunds, no transfers, no second-guessing of what you may need to spend your time on within a month of the conference. With losing my job and needing to reinvent myself, I think a weekend of immersion into fibery-crafts is a welcome escape from real life.

But YOU!!  Especially those of you in either the Cities or Chicago. Interested? Heh. Either way, throwing you the opportunity. Do with it as you will.



Any Moment Now

Zumbro River bank


…I’ll get out of this chair. I should take a long walk and gain some steps for my fitbit log; people who have been out for the weekend will get home and surpass me – poof – as their fitbits sync. There are so many lovely places to walk right now with Spring bursting out all over. Yesterday we walked along the Zumbro River in Rochester and then downtown, checking out the restaurants with outdoor seating. We still ended up out at the new La Poblana on North 37th St. I got food so spicy that it hurt to eat but the flavors were so well balanced and developed I had to force myself to stop eating it. I brought the leftovers home and finished it later with fresh rice to absorb some of the heat (didn’t work). In between, I dyed three pots of wool, which meant carrying hot water from inside the house to speed up the process, carrying wood, lifting pots, chasing cats, hauling out more water. With the commercial dyes I was using, I had hoped that using city water wasn’t going to hurt the success but of course it did. The results are less than satisfactory on the wool but since the reasoning was mostly to do it, to do something I enjoy while getting more exercise, it’s OK. The wool was some saved from a shearing demo anyway, not good wool.

…I’ll get back to working on a client’s website. I’ve lost the paperwork in the pile of school papers and jobs I’ve applied for print-outs, and before I get to actual website work, I need to sort through these papers. Shouldn’t take long. Also I need to gather up the business cards and shove them back into their box. I had no idea I’d get so many cards so quickly! With numerous appointments this week including a new members luncheon with the chamber, I’m sure I’ll get more. But yes, first I need to drag out the file box and clean up a bit in here.



…Or I can take advantage of the clouds shading the sky, and work in the garden for a bit. The goal is to keep up with the creeping charlie and crab grass so I do lots of weeding right now.  We are also mulching heavily to help cut down on water loss. But the potatoes are getting grown in a barrel of fencing! We have great hopes for this; Van planted them at the top and the plants are growing out the sides. A bit differently than we normally would do this. Of course I took a picture of a potato plant but it won’t load, so here’a s picture of the butternut in my yard. Lovely tree and at the moment, blooming. Bees and oriels and little nuthatches love this tree in the Spring; I go out every evening and watch the sun behind it while all the little visitors make their last stop for the day.

And in reality, this post is also fulfilling one of my planned activities of the day. Last week, I was inspired by Deb Brown’s post on Goals and Accountability to examine my own actions. She wrote ” I made an agreement to share my progress, frustrations and stories with you.  If I don’t do that, it’s a slippery slope.” I’ve slipped up myself, landed at the bottom of the ravine and have struggled back to the top and let me tell you, it IS a slippery slope! Plus there are things that try to push me back down to the bottom, and brambles that snag and have to be fought through. I’m armed with a machete now and am about half-way back up. I’ll let you know when I reach the top, OK?

But first I have to get out of this chair…