No Brains this week

Sorry folks - due to the emergency appendectomy, there isn't a Brains ISBI update this week. Not sure when it will resume. Thanks for your patience.

Comicpalooza 2015... not

Comicpalooza this year has Joel Hodgson of MST3K, Jeremy Renner of Avengers/Bourne series, Rosario Dawson, and a bunch of other people I would've loved to have autographs and photos of.

The appendix strikes again! I'M GLAD YOU'RE DEAD AND GONE, APPENDIX



Srsly we're under active tornado warning.

What next?

Appendectomy follow-up


Appendicitis: The Movie

If you get grossed out easily, well, this is medical stuff. No pictures (though I could have!).
Or, how I am a complete medical statistical outlier.Collapse )


I had my appendix out today

More later. Surgery went well and no rupture.

Early morning Maverick

Early morning Maverick the gerbil on my shoulder.

Glad he held still that long!

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Blue/white/gray quilted wall hanging

Mom's birthday present! A quilted wall hanging, first time I've tried that.

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The backstory: I found a charm pack of the blue/white/black fabrics on clearance. For the non-quilters, a charm pack is a set of 5" squares of matching fabrics. I loved the colors and so did Mom. However, with only one charm pack (30 pcs - 3 each of 10 fabrics), there's really not much you can do.

I found this pattern online and realized I could do this. I would've loved to use the same gray as in the Fox Face quilts, but I just didn't have enough of it left. So I took one of the charms and found a nice gray print that matches and lends some texture.

I still need to learn how to do more types of quilting besides in-the-ditch. Matchstick might've worked for this. Le sigh. I should just take a quilting class and be done with it.

Finished size is approx 36" x 45" (~1m x 1.143m). Backing fabric is a blue that I actually did have scads of (it's the same fabric as the Quarter Log Cabins scrap quilt - I must've had 4-5 yards of this stuff - I still have a lot left).

Brains ISBI 4.6: Here Comes the Circus

Previous Episodes

When last we left the Brains family, Gen 3 heir Crow and wife Marie were eldering around the house; Gen 4 heir Darlene was macking all over town, possibly unbeknownst to her loyal husband Greg; and they have two kids, Clayton and Deborah.

Will Darlene be caught cheating? What about steadfast Greg, loyally denying she's up to anything? And what about Deborah's hiatus hernia?

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Here Comes the CircusCollapse )

100,000 Stars

The music reminds me of Ascendancy (mediocre 4X game, beautiful music) but the zoom/explore features here are nifty.


I found this last night at B&N

It's a calendar of old maps, cool & all, right?

Check the dates on it. March 2015 - August 2016.
 photo mapcalendar.png

You know how, when you buy a map in the fall, it has one page dedicated to the last of that year (Sept-Dec), right? This one has the single page dedicated to March through June of 2015, and then it's a whole calendar until August 2016.

OMG IT'S A DOUBLE RAINBOW YOU GUYS Actually, to me, this makes way more sense; I'm not sure every company would want to put out cascading calendars for any given month, but I liked this one enough to buy it, and starting in July I'll put it up. Nifty :D

There's no music in there, either

Today a co-worker got trapped in the elevator. She got in, the doors closed, the elevator refused to move or open the doors.

She emailed us that she was stuck. That's already a better signal than I've ever had in an elevator.

She was freed in less than 30 minutes but at the time it spooked her pretty bad.



My neighbor's job requires him to leave at 4:30 AM. I know this because my bedroom overlooks his driveway and because the developer put the houses almost on top of each other in his/her (but likely his) attempt to squeeze one more saleable lot out of this 'hood. And I'm a light sleeper. So every morning at 4:30 AM I hear the neighbor's car door slam and the car start and sometimes the radio blare and so on.

I don't want to wear earplugs the whole night for that (they're not that comfortable) but uggggggh. I don't know of a good way around this. Most mornings I have to get up at 5, but some weeks it's 6, and ugh.

Asking him to quietly close his car door and quietly start the engine seems a little over-picky.

idk what to do, just lamenting the wakeup. (Getting up at 4:30 wouldn't help me out at all, I'd have to start going to bed at 8 pm.)


I've gotten good at the fruit-jam-based ice creams by now. Mint jelly and blackberry jam - both homemade - turned into excellent ice creams (adding mini chocolate chips to the mint one). Next up was to try purchased fruit jam.

I bought an 18oz jar of Smucker's seedless raspberry jam. You can get a bigger jar if you're willing to live with seeds in it, but I wasn't. The 18oz weight of jam was somewhat less than 2 measuring cups in volume. I mixed all the jam plus 2 cups whole milk and 2 cups heavy cream.

The end result:
 photo raspberryjam_05032015.png

One thing about the store-bought jam: it didn't blend as easily with the whisk. I don't want to take a hand blender to the cream/milk/jam because I don't want it turning to butter, so I tried whisking the Smucker's jam to break it up. The machine then broke up much of the rest, but there are still some bits of jam visible, as seen here.

OTOH, the texture was very good and everyone who's tried it says it's delicious. I think it's a little too sweet. Being basic Smucker's, the sweeteners are HFCS and regular CS instead of sugar, which I used in the homemade jams. I'm sure I could get a no-sugar-added or "no corn syrup" type variety of jam, though the price goes up for those.


Quarter Log Cabin quilt - finished

Finally got around to finishing this today after a 6-week hiatus. I had a big enough piece each of batting and backing material, so it was really just assembling and quilting it. It's a smallish lap quilt size.

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I went with just simple diagonal lines in one direction for the quilting. I didn't want to "cut" the duck's head with the diagonals, so that square is outlined. I used a yellow/gold thread for the quilting because heck, every color is in here already anyway, right?

It's rectangular, not trapezoidal, but I had a hard time getting the camera up high enough to get a picture of it :)

I feel good about finishing this, that's one thing off the dozen-long to-do quilting list :)
Previous Episodes

Last week: Darlene Brains, newly married to college boyfriend Greg, had a baby boy (Clayton) and then had an affair with a blind date from college, the chef guy. Readers voted to let Nuveena have THE WEDDING OF THE FUTURE.

 photo brains_4-5.png
Attack of the the Eye CreaturesCollapse )
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No, this isn't the one I got :P

Actually each of the kids got me a nice card, and SilverLily even got me some very nice flowers. I like getting flowers.

Crafting to-do update

Crafty things on my to-do list:

Ornaments for 2015 Christmas. Half-assedly started. Really not enthused about this kit but Mom paid for it and kinda expects it and I feel obligated. Have to do 6 and then I can call it quits until next year.

Fox Face quilts - one needs some proper edging. Then I need to buy batting. Then I probably need a newer sewing machine, which will be after July, so that's why I haven't worked on this lately.

Christmas tree wall hanging - not started. (What else can I say?)

Tropical Pennants at Night/Tropic Thunder/have no idea what to call it: need to do some edging on that one too. But I think I have the batting, and I know I have fabric for the backing; so I should probably try to assemble that next and finish it. I don't even have pictures of this one yet!

Pink & Purple Pinwheels - I have to finish sewing the backing, then put together with batting etc. Due date is November. Maybe I should work on this one next. 5/10 update: Backing is sewn.

Golden Galaxy: OR I could work on this one too since I finally have some more fabric. Decisions! But I could, at least, get this one moving along too.

State Blocks - not started.

Stonehenge Braid - not started.

That one with a billion mini blocks - not sure what I was thinking but I did cut up a bunch of scraps for it...

Northern Lights - which I realized is actually more ocean-themed so I need a new name for it. Fabrics are all cut! So that one could get started too, sewing them together etc.

This is all I can think of right now which is already way too many things to work on.
Me: "Hmm, I really need to iron this quilted wall hanging for Mom before I give it to her."

*finds iron*

*can't find ironing board*

*remembers Mom cleaned out the laundry room*

Me: "Mom, did you already throw out the ironing board?"

Mom: "Yes. I'm not getting another one for another 2 weeks because reasons."

Me: "Is it in the garage waiting for trash pickup?"

Mom: "No, it's gone. What do you need ironed? I can do it real fast over a pillow."

Me: "A shirt for work."

Mom: "Well, bring it down!"

So I now have a nicely pressed shirt for work. And then I offered to put the iron away and took it upstairs and ironed the wall hanging ON MY BED because that was the only place I could do this without her seeing it.

Yes, I know, pictures, soon!

On a side note, Dad also fixed the dryer, so we don't need to get a new one! Woo! And now I can do laundry all weekend! Woo--wait, that's not a fun thing.


To be or not to be... a pirate

From To Be or Not To Be by Ryan North and William Shakespeare (Hamlet as a choose your own adventure book):

 photo tbontb_p146.png

In case you don't know why I'm posting this, MONKEY ISLAND REFERENCE on page 146.


borderlands rhys

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May 2015



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