Archive for the ‘tripping’ Category

Passing through

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

Golly goodness me! I’m out of practice on this thing. I just lost a pretty darn good post because I couldn’t save the draft in this iPhone app. Apparently, my real life is keeping me away from posting here as often as I’d like to. Between work, design fun and general living, it’s been très busy chez hizKNITS.

I don’t even know where I left off. There were a few mini half-posts about the fun had in Austin at SxSWi and at BMFA’s Sock Camp with mom. Much more was had than written, but that will remain the fodder of conversation, not blog.

Here in the present, I took the red-eye from SFO to O’Hare, landing at 4:48 am and have over four hours to kill at the airport. There’s plenty of knitting I could be doing (class samples, afghan square, notes for Sock Summit classes) but I’m in a sleep-deprived daze, checking Twitter and trying to type this after enjoying a surprisingly non-offensive breakfast at Chili’s. (I recommend the breakfast tacos – vegetarian and not greasy.)

I’m on my way to the second Men’s Spring Knitting Retreat just north of Albany, NY. I don’t know how Joe and Tex could improve on last year’s magic, but I’m sure they will. We’re the only group at Easton Mountain this time, there are more guys, it’s one day longer, group field trips and a slumber party. I gotta make this one count since I can’t make the west coast MFKR over Labor Day weekend in WA.

This time last year, I had no idea how great the weekend would be. I also didn’t expect to gain a new best friend / evil twin in Sean (sorry no link, but he’s in the sidebar and you can google Sean’s Soapbox). As a result of MSKR I, it’s been a year of new friends, much laughter, a trip to baby-got-Rhinebeck, a visit from the Great White North, MFKR and countless inspirations.

Although I’m not taking off for two weeks in Berlin after the retreat, I’m still looking forward to the afterglow and the memories of every stripe yet to be made. Like Sock Camp, this one weekend could carry me for an entire year. I don’t spend hardly enough time socializing in the online knitting world so I love getting it done in person.

BTW – I’m going to be in Madison, WI June 1-3 for work if any midwesterners are reading. Recomendations are encouraged!

At Sock Camp Knitty Ha-ha

Monday, March 30th, 2009

Arrived here in Port Ludlow, WA, a few hours outside of Seattle. Long day of getting up too early and now heading to bed too late.

Great people, both new and returning campers. Much gratitude to Tina, the Sockateers and teachers for creating this annual madcap event. Yarn was bought. More news to come.

Sleep and the wilted foam pad that’s masquerading as “a futon” are calling my name.

Messin’ with Texas

Saturday, March 14th, 2009

I’ve made it to Austin and the madness that is SxSWi. I arrived after 5pm yesterday, so no panels, just registration and checking into the hotel, the stately, rumored haunted, oil baron establishment named the Driskill.

I didn’t run into anyone, so I headed down South Congress for a bowl of queso and dinner. Sadly, Magnolia Café isn’t the finest cuisine, but the chips and melted cheese certainly made up for it!

I didn’t feel up to braving any lines to get into sponsored parties and stand around by myself, so I opted for a suburban night-at-the-mall with geeks at The Watchmen (where I sat around by myself). It’s a very long, very dark, very hyperreal (including cgi full-frontal smurfy muscleman nudity), wonderful movie with some killer action and fights. Never having read the graphic novel, I don’t have an opinion as to whether it’s a good adaptation or not. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed all two hours and 47 minutes if it and want to check out the original.

Today was chock-full of panels, seeing old friends, meeting new ones and getting my mind stimulated on topics of team dynamics, iPhone gaming and productive creativity. A hefty Mongolian bbq lunch hanging with knitters and putting faces to Twitter profiles was the highlight.

As always, going full-tilt all day certainly takes it out of me. I should have napped before dinner or gone for a run or taken a bath instead of fiddling with the hotel wireless and doing work.

For dinner, I’m sitting at the bar of a new wine place (Mulberry) with raw salmon drizzled with hot oil and fried capers and a side of sautéed spinach. At first, I felt out of place in this Sex in the City re-enactment of chatty girlfriends, but the food transcended this yuppie faux industrial + Danish modern wine box.

In 45 minutes, the #sxswhomo crowd is going to guerilla gay nerd take over a local gay bar, Oil Can Harry’s for the Austinites. Should be fun, but I really need to rest and want to try to squeeze in a run first thing in the AM.

Tomorrow night is the web awards and my work has a site up for an honor in the Activism category. The agency that built it is here so I’ll be there ready to cheer. Cross your fingers for us!

Off to Austin Again

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

I’ll be headed back to the Lone Star State for SxSW Interactive 3/13-17. It’s my third time to Austin and fast become something that I look forward to each year.

There are so many reasons to love it: great town, great food (mas queso), great knitters (like the aptly named Julia Yarnmaven), great yarn stores, and great geek-dom for all things online.

See me speak at SXSW 2009 (

Guess what? This year, I’m presenting at the conference, well, it’s not so much presenting as facilitating a discussion. They call it a Core Conversation.

My topic: Commu(k)nity: Lessons for Marketers from Online Crafting. It’s something I’m intimately entwined with, as I spend more hours a-marketing than I do a-knitting.

Let’s celebrate what we do online and encourage companies to support authentic, passionate groups of people who come together, not just make money off them or following the latest new media buzzword. If you’re around, come by and share your $0.02 on how Ravelry, Knitty, Etsy and Craftster are models for how people want to interact with one another. It’s Monday, 3/16, 5:00pm, so y’all come, y’hear?

For all the knitters who will be attending, Julia has created a knittingSxSWI wiki so we can plan our purls. It makes me smile to see knitters represented among the coders, designers and bloggers, so brandish your needles! In the past, I met one of my favorite podcasters, Jenny (and Harold) of Stash and Burn, mingled with Canadian-turned-Bostonian-formerly-Austinite Caro Split Yarn and had cocktails with TV hostess with the most-est and author and columnist Vickie Howell.

What will 2009 bring? I get to hang with a new friend, James. I’m always happy to spend time with Julia and visit The Knitting Nest. Cat from Let’s Knit 2gether video podcast will be there. And who knows who else!

So, if you see a guy in his mid-30s working on a sock or weaving in the ends of a glove or a cowl, good chance it’s me! Say hello and let’s get a beer or a coffee or a taco or piece of ground to sit and talk.

Tea-baggin’ it

Thursday, January 8th, 2009
Tea-baggin' (with a message)

Although I may be a tad under the weather, I’m starting the New Year off with so much freakin’ optimism. My travel mug of herbal Throat Coat tea is half-full, friends. I’ve got a clear set of aspirations, or goals, or, shall we say, resolutions? It’s really putting the year in perspective and not a way to beat myself up. I know what I’m striving for, and I know what it’s going to take to get there.

Without detailing them all right here, let’s just say they involve what I’m knitting (WIPs to finish, completed designs to submit, designs to complete, and realistic number of OPD – other people’s designs to choose from), how I’m taking care of myself (let’s see if I can run more than six times this year!), new circus freak skills (rope and unicycle, but not together), and leading a more adventurous, fun-seeking life.

There isn’t any far-flung international travel on the horizon (but if anyone wants to fund some, I’ll accept!), but there are a few jaunts here and there (Austin, Seattle-ish, Philadelphia, Albany-esque (2x), Portland and the familial beyond-Buffalo and Eugene). If we don’t meet in person, another one of them revolves around doing a better job of updating this here site, getting more photos off the camera (including October’s Italy and Rhinebeck!), and doing a better job of staying in touch.

I’m ready for 2009 to be the best 2009 ever! Are you?

on the road again

Friday, October 17th, 2008

So, I’m back from Italy. I know, I know. I owe you a post and a whole bunch of photos. Needless to say, it was delicious, literally and metaphorically. Calvi (where the wedding was) and Rome are very different from one another. One expansive and rural, the other a cramped maze of ancient and contemporary. But more on that later.

Right now I’m sitting in be airport in Philadelphia, waiting for a flight to Albany. I’m getting picked up by Sean (sorry; no link ’cause this is being written on my phone) and we’re headed to baby-got-Rhinebeck to see friends and hang with the knitterati.

(May I rant about USAir? My 6:10am flight cross-country was charging for all drinks. Am I spoiled by United? Some nuts or a free cup of water perhaps? There was no time to grab a coffee before my flight so as soon as I got off the plane here, I devoured a pretzel, downed a bottle of water and inhaled a sugar raised Dunkin Donut – my first job in high school. Now I’m settling down with a latte, contemplating whether or not I need somehong with spinach from Sbarro. I’m not gong hungry on this next flight!)

If you’re at Rhinebeck, catch me tomorrow out and about with Miss Scout, Sean or Dr. Mel. I’ll be the guy with a shaved head who doesn’t spin.

49 days and nights

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

My sabbatical started today. After seven years, you’re entitled to six paid weeks off to which you’re allowed to add two more weeks of vacation. I’ve been there since 2000, so I’m over a year late.

It was a whirlwind of rushing around to get everything done before I leave for Italy. Cleaned out my office desk, printed out plane tickets and Rome itineraries, and grabbed anything I thought I’d couldn’t live without for the next seven weeks (will I really use that yoga mat?). I’m not allowed to step foot into the office until November 17th.

I had a great day of bonding with Janie, loading up the iPod, and making a list of stuff to bring. Now, everything is packed, except my toiletries (toothbrush, paste, floss, razor, shaving cream and moisterizer). Not sure how much online time I’ll get between now and 10/9, but I’ll do my darnedest! Expect more when I return…

The alarm is going off in seven hours, so I should get to bed. Ciao for now.

Bloke Back Mountain

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

I’m back in the USA and, boy, was it swell to get away. A Berlin report is forthcoming, but let’s talk Men’s Spring Knitting Retreat at Easton Mountain.

Although only 2.5 days, it rivaled my week and a half abroad for fun. It has provided me with a heart-full of happy memories, a truckload of laughs and a big, old stash of new friends. I can’t imagine what it would be like if it was longer. Even if I described the location, the guys, the workshops, the meals, the laughing, and the yarn action, it wouldn’t capture (pardon the hippy word) magical experience.

Here are my photos:

Created with flickrSLiDR.

I’m at a loss for words, and late to the game, so go read what some of the the others have already said:

If we had one on the West Coast, would anyone be up for it? I’ve started researching locations… something in the fall perhaps?

from Kreuzberg

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

Just lost a post because flickr isn’t playing nice right now.

Arives in Berlin. Luggage came a day later. Have seen contemporary art musem, wandered neighborhoods, bought sock yarn and eaten white spargel.

Alley ist gut.


Monday, May 19th, 2008

Just landed here in Munich (just an hour layover, Mrs. B and Elemm!) and am trying to get used to this keyboard (z and y are in what I perceive to be each other’s places).

My phone doesn’t seem to be able to find a network yet, so I don’t know if my texts to Chris got through… which is a bummer, as I was rebooked and will be landing in Berlin 2 hours earlier than aniticipated. Hooray for more time in Germany, but boo if it means waiting around and trying to piece together the meaning of words should I need to interact with anyone.

Not sure where there’s free wi-fi in Wilmersdorf near the apartment… watch this space to find out!