Saturday, June 29, 2013

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

How the Camera Got Knocked Down

We went to the first annual Highland County Old Time Fiddlers' Convention last weekend, and left our cherry trees unattended. When we got home, we found the trail camera dangling upside down from its tree. Fortunately, we were able to reconstruct what happened. Bear sees camera....

Bear investigates camera....

Camera gets a tree bark closeup.

This bear visited earlier, but caught wind of the ripe cherries instead of the digital camera.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Bigfoot Enigma Solved

I think this is the solution to our Bigfoot game camera puzzle. Our cherries are ripe, and along with foxes, scarlet tanagers, raccoons, ravens, possums, cedar waxwings, and orchard orioles, bears are dropping by for chow time. This year, we have a sow with a very small, very cute cub. (No photos...yet.)

Check the bad hair day on this fellow's hindquarters, as he bolts past the salt lick.

The deer show no interest in cherries, but this gal seems ready for her close-up.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Latest Bigfoot Sighting on Droop Mountain (Or Is It the Mothman?)

Our game camera pictures have been plentiful, and much alike. These deer visit regularly. However, Monday morning, the camera caught this:

Seconds later, whatever it was, it was gone.

Was it a bear having a bad hair day? Was it the the Mothman? (If so, he's a long way from Point Pleasant.) We decided it was probably Bigfoot. After all, the BFRO's 2006 sighting on the Greenbrier River Trail was so convincing that they mounted a return expedition in 2008. Of course, we can't rule out the possibility that it was the Yayho, as described by Burl Hammons.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Removing a Broken Package in Debian Sid

Recently, my Debian "sid" boxen developed a problem during a routine update/upgrade process. There was some incompatibility among the various programs I'd installed for a local LAMP test kitchen. I'm not using it, so I tried to remove the whole mess, but I kept getting a message like this at the end of every aptitude command, regardless of what programs were involved.

root@britomartis:/home/rebecca# aptitude remove php5-mysqlnd
The following packages will be REMOVED:  
0 packages upgraded, 0 newly installed, 1 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 0 B of archives. After unpacking 495 kB will be freed.
(Reading database ... 123342 files and directories currently installed.)
Removing php5-mysqlnd ...
/var/lib/dpkg/info/php5-mysqlnd.prerm: 9: /var/lib/dpkg/info/php5-mysqlnd.prerm: php5dismod: not found
dpkg: error processing php5-mysqlnd (--remove):
 subprocess installed pre-removal script returned error exit status 127
Errors were encountered while processing:
E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1)
A package failed to install.  Trying to recover:

After a couple of weeks' Googling and reading, I happened on Force Uninstall a package in Debian/Ubuntu:

The solution is to head over to /var/lib/dpkg/info and find the package in question. There should be a file with .prerm at the end of it. In the case of xulrunner-1.9 the file is called xulrunner-1.9.prerm. Edit the file and change it's contents so it just says:

set -e
After that the standard command will work:

I did that--I edited /var/lib/dpkg/info/php5-mysqlnd, so that it had just those two lines, and was rewarded with this:

root@britomartis:~# aptitude remove php5-mysqlnd
The following packages will be REMOVED:  
0 packages upgraded, 0 newly installed, 1 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 0 B of archives. After unpacking 495 kB will be freed.
(Reading database ... 123342 files and directories currently installed.)
Removing php5-mysqlnd ...
Current status: 0 broken [-1], 0 updates [-1].

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Frequently Interrupted Quilt Finished At Last

I've finished the long-deferred quilt project at last! Here it is quilted but unbound. I hung it on the clothesline where I photographed it in the process of deciding whether to add a border. I decided it looked fine with no border, so I bound it with the same white muslin in the blocks.

This has been an experimental quilt from the start. It was one of my first dyeing projects, and I chose half-square triangles for piecing practice. I experimented sewing the blocks together with the serger when the serger was brand-new, and I also used the serger as part of the "quilt as you go" assembly. Below, I've listed the four websites that helped me the most in understanding how to combine assembly and quilting processes into a manageable method that doesn't involve a quilting frame or a long-arm machine. I must also add that the quilt-as-you-go technique using the serger gave me a neater, more nearly square finished project than my sad attempts at traditional quilting.

  • Mama Melino's Lasagna Quilting (pdf file) is subtitled "Gotta Get It Quilted." Most of the "lasagna quilts" the search engine turns up are made of long fabric strips, but Paula Melino shows you how to turn a set of traditionally-pieced blocks into a finished quilt without ever stuffing a big roll of fabric under the arm of your sewing machine. This is where I got the idea to use the serger to assemble the quilt in big chunks. It worked really well on this project, and my quilt ended up much closer to "square" than it ever has assembling by regular sewing machine or by hand.
  • Crazy Shortcut Quilts: Marguerita McManus shows you how to quilt individual blocks and then assemble them with narrow strips. This is the process I'm going to try next.
  • Marianne, of "The Quilting Edge" offers photo tutorials and text instructions for her own quilt-as-you-go method. It's also a real treat to see her quilts as she builds them.
  • Melody Johnson's quilt-as-you-go technique is similar to Marianne's, and her quilts are similarly inspiring.

Of course, having white thread on the serger and sewing machine inspired me to sew up these underbritches and tuck them in my lingerie drawer. More fabric scraps put to good use.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Green Vintage Buttons In the Wild

I was really pleased with this "Vogue 8598" blouse with shoulder-princess seams when I altered it and tested it in blue rayon last winter. I made a simple full-bust adjustment, and liked the pattern very much. Last month, I tried it in a crisp cotton print, keeping the fitting alterations and replacing the pattern's collar and cuffs with those from Kwik-Sew 2777, the standard men's pattern that I usually use for shirts. The crisp fabric stands away from the body, and shows that my alterations have left the pattern slightly over-sized, something I didn't notice with the drapey rayon. I'll wear this shirt and wash it a few times before I decide whether to go for a closer fit. In the meantime, I'm going to sew this pattern in the relatively stiff cotton-linen blend I dyed last summer, and style it as a lightweight jacket. I'm considering a different collar treatment.

This tropical bird print is something I bought 20 years ago for a summer skirt, but mice chewed holes in it, and there was barely enough left for this shirt. I had to piece one of the sleeves, but the wild print obscures that.

I don't wear much green, but it was my mother's favorite, and her button collection reflects this. I spent an evening sorting the green buttons, and selected these interesting flat buttons for the center front. I didn't have quite enough to finish the project, but there were three of these big, gold-framed green cat's eyes, so I used these for the collar stand and cuffs, where they remind me of a cuff links/collar stud set.