Saturday, October 16, 2010

a little catchup

Hi all!

Yeah, I know, long time to write.  I figured I was just doing my regular boring stuff, but there are little spots here and there I'll pass on.

The biggest one was that D and NE!Sue came to visit last weekend, and we shopped and ate and walked and drank ;)  We went to IHOP (of course) Thursday night. Then Loopy Ewe, Hodak's (I love their fried chicken), Knitorious, 2 malls in search of a handbag, and Mike Duffy's in Kirkwood.  And that was just Friday!

Saturday was Oktoberfest in Hermann. We went to the Brush and Palette Club show - it's very sad, but it seems to be getting smaller every year.  I'm guessing it's a recession thing, but there were a lot fewer vendors than I ever remember seeing.  We drove up to Stone Hill, and had the Plate - bratwurst (hold the sauerkraut on mine), German potato salad, and chunky applesauce - and bought some wine.

I got the latest line of Stone Hill's semi-sweet called "Jacquesse" - yes, it's pronounced "jackass" and has a donkey on the bottle! LOL!!  The white is on the sweet side of semi, the red is a nicely bodied fruity semi, and the 'berry' (rosé) tastes like weird combination of kiwi-strawberry and raspberry.  It's the sweetest of the three, I think.  I'll let you know after I drink more of it *g*

We wrapped up Hermann at the FestHalle which is part of the Dierbergs family-owned Hermannhof Winery.  We started going to the Festhalle a few years ago, and it's great for music, beer, wine, and music! Did I mention the music? There was a 40th birthday party going on right in the middle of the Halle - everyone was having a great time, and I think it's really nice to be able to bring in your own food (and in this case, decorations) to celebrate with a group.  We had wonderful weather all weekend, and great company.  :)  It's almost an annual event for us to get together!

More mundane stuff - my father's been helping me fix things around the condo and we're working thru the list.  This is what happens when you live in a 45 year old place - things break!  I now have 2 working sinks again!  w00t!  Next up: the dripdripdripdripping kitchen faucet. Then the outside light, the baseboard heaters, the bathtub faucet....and the deforestation of my courtyard. heh heh heh

I've been working on a vocal project to record my voice for use as a synthesized voice.  The project is called ModelTalker and it is a speech synthesis system for 'banking' your voice.  It was primarily developed for people who are losing the ability to speak due to ALS or other illnesses, but I'm on the other end of the spectrum - I'm a "beta" for the program, and am offering my voice to be synthesized for others to use.  Kind of like donating my voice so that someone who has already lost theirs can speak.  My benefit is that I will receive a SAPI5 version of me for my own use.  It's been interesting, and frustrating at times, as it's still in beta, but I'm about 2/3 of the way through the 1600 phrases needed for recording.  My problems have been more allergy and sinus related than anything - I have to record in almost complete silence, and have a clear nose!!  I despise allergy season.

If you know someone who has a great voice and is willing to spend some time to help others, direct them to that linked site, please.  The software is available up to and including Windows 7 64-bit.

33 days to Deathly Hallows #1.  I.  Can't. Wait.  *bounce bounce*  Warner Bros. announced last weekend that the movie will NOT be ready for a 3D IMAX release which, in my opinion, is just fine.  I can't see in 3D anyway, and from what I've heard, the conversion method makes things shaky and blurry.  I'd rather have it in HD, please!  Besides, Dan Radcliffe doesn't like 3D either, so there! The trailer in the post below has been changed very slightly to reflect the 2D only release.  I would LOVE the one-sheets. I may have to go hunt for I just found two at AllPosters - Trio in Trees and Hogwarts in Flames - and Leaky has the close-ups of the trio (plus Dobby) and the villains.  I want the Harry one, and the Greyback one freaks me the hell out.

I have a metric ton of yarn to review. I've gotten to the point that I don't know where to start, but man, I need to organize.  The latest is (another) BSJ, and I found a very pretty short scarf that I want to make for a few people - it's called "Rodekool" and is available as a Knitty pattern. Now I'm interested in the Brioche stitch!

Anyway, not much else going on. The Lily-pup is as crazy as ever, and now weighs in at 15.2 pounds.  YAY! The Cards didn't make the playoffs, and the $%*&^$ Reds did, but were swept by Philly.  I'd've liked to have seen the Rays go to the WS, but they're out too.  I'm not going to say who I'm rooting for else I jinx them, but let's just say they don't rhyme with Spanky's or My Aunts. Ahem.

More later.  Gotta organize the Yarn!Stash!Monster first.