Break free from that chain.

chain broken.jpg

Pachelbel’s Canon in C(hicken).


All links this week furnished by gayle, to whom I am indebted.


I haven’t been posting because I am either insanely busy (=election year, parades every weekend, monthly newsletter, update website, co-chair, campaign treasurer) or sick. Double whammy this week.

Posted in Links | 4 Comments

I’m coming to Portland OR!

jeopardy alex

Alex Trebek called texted emailed me yesterday.

 No, he didn’t, Kat™.

Yeah, okay, the email was actually from the Jeopardy Contestant Department.

Close enough.

Apparently I passed the online test I took a few weeks ago. In the case of the multiple times I have taken that test since

::counts on fingers::

2013, I have never passed it. The unwelcome thought occurred to me — more than once, actually — that I am past my prime and way too old for any kind of memory game.  Getting that email yesterday made me think, Yep, the old girl’s still got what it takes.

Whatever the hell *it* is.

However, this will not be my first [Jeopardy!] rodeo.  I first qualified in 1999 at a contestant search at the Mall of America. An Internet friend (Hi Katie Barefoot!) and I both took the test. I qualified, she didn’t. (Sorry, KB!) Also, that time both Katie and I, plus another gentleman I didn’t know, were contacted by a reporter from the St Paul Pioneer Press to talk about our preparation and our whole Jeopardy experience. Since 1999 was years pre-blog I have no link to an online recounting of that day. However, there was a nice writeup in the SPPP (which I probably have a copy of somewhere but which I am not going to look for), complete with a photo of me looking appropriately happy and clever. Several people here in my wee WI village saw the article and read that The Kat™ from Milltown, Wisconsin had qualified for Jeopardy. My first taste of fame notoriety.

jeopardy board big

The second time was in 2005. That time, after being notified of having passed the online test, I chose to go to an audition in Chicago — they generally give the prospective contestant the choice of three cities — because Smokey’s brother and wife live south of that city. I visited them, and BIL Bob drove me to the audition at Navy Pier downtown. Everyone who came to the audition took another 50-question test, and those who passed were asked to play a short mock game of Jeopardy! and do a sort of mini-interview. I sat between a newly graduated Yalie and a young woman who were both way more interested in getting to know each other than they were in chatting with me. Go figger.

Fast forward to 2008. This time the audition was actually in Minneapolis, just a few blocks from where I was laboring over tax returns at the time. Now that I had a blog, I took photos and posted about it here: Everything you ever wanted to know about Jeopardy! One of co-contestants that day, Fred, actually was invited to be on the show and won three matches before being defeated by some young upstart another contestant.

The last time I qualified was in 2011. One of the audition cities was New York, and Elder Son was in  med school at Mt Sinai at the time, so NYC was the logical choice. Unfortunately, the audition date fell smack in the middle of our annual mountain vacation in Wyoming, But we figured it out, and I took a side trip to the Big Apple for the audition.

[digression] Aren’t blogs wonderful for helping one’s memory of when, where, how, etc., something happened? No way I could have remembered what years these events occurred. [/digression]

Jeopardy big blue

So, this will be my fifth Jeopardy audition. It’s still gonna be exciting and I will still be a little nervous. But it will be fun, not to mention a little break from the mounting pressure of the November election.

Now, the real reason for this post.

The only city option for this audition was Portland, Oregon. I have never spent any time in that state*, let alone that city, so I am pondering my travel arrangements.

The audition is the morning of Wednesday, August 8. Should I make it a wham-ban-thank-you-ma’am kind of trip, flying into Portland on Tuesday and returning to the Midwest Wednesday afternoon? Or should I make it a 3- or 4-day mini-vacation, flying out on earlier in the week and spending a few days in Portland? Any of you familiar with that city, or, even better, any of you live near there? Wanna have coffee/drinks/dinner with me?

Let me know your thoughts!

* The only time I have been in OR was in 1973 during the Arab oil embargo. My girlfriend and I were on an extended road trip, and we were low on gas as we neared Coos Bay. We pushed her car, a Ford Pinto, into a gas station there in an effort to look particularly desperate for fuel.

Posted in Jeopardy!, Travel | 13 Comments

Knitting the links.


I am a sucker for this color combination.

These could come in handy.

Posted in LInks knitting | 3 Comments



This is my *blue* hair. Subtle, but noticeable.


Back of my garden. Yes, definitely a shade garden.


But it does get an hour or three of sun. Astilbe loves getting a little sun. 


These lilies are spectacular.


Yep, spectacular!

More stuff in bullet form:

  • A week or so ago I watched a loon struggle with a fish. It was happening  pretty far away across the lake, and even with binoculars — which sit on my desk year-round for just such occasions — it was difficult to tell what was going on. My best guess was that a good-sized fish, one roughly the size of said loon, had grabbed one of the bird’s feet underwater.
  • Just now I saw a similar happening much closer, so my trusty binocs and I got a better view. I think what was happening was that the loon had caught the fish and was still fighting with it. Fish was way too big for bird to swallow whole, so bird was just taking bites.
  • Anyone with better knowledge of loons than I — Jeff? Debra? anyone? —  please chime in in the comments to educate the rest of us.
  • It’s election year again so most weekends I am in a parade. This year it’s riding on a flatbed for our county party with a bunch of others, wearing our party t-shirts, waving to bystanders, and throwing candy to the kiddos.
  • One volunteer brought a box of dog treats. She sat at the back of flatbed and threw them to the canine onlookers.
  • I loved that she did that.
  • Being county co-chair is a job that expands to fill the time available — running meetings, updating the website a couple times a week, writing the monthly newsletter, other miscellaneous stuff. All jobs I enjoy (except maybe the running-the-meetings part), but still… my knitting time has taken a hit.
  • Carbeth is in time out. It is completed to a few inches into the yoke, but I am questioning whether the pattern’s yoke decreases are going to end up fitting my bod.
  • Besides, it is summer. Not the time to knit a heavy sweater, even with a/c.
  • So at the beginning of last month I cast on Russell Street. Have been monogamous with it for six weeks, so it is about three-quarters done.
  • But a couple days ago I decided it was time for a tiny, palate-cleansing break.
  • So I cast on a Pivot Cowl.
  • Since I almost always get a pattern’s specified gauge, I didn’t bother with a gauge swatch for such a small project.
  • [cue ominous music]
  • When I had nearly completed the initial garter stitch square, I thought to measure my gauge.
  • Pattern gauge: 20 st and 24 rows = 4 inches.
  • My gauge: 26 st and (maybe 26?) rows = 4 inches.
  • Hmmm.
  • Frog and reknit with a bigger needle? do something different than what is in the pattern?
  • Since the initial goal was for a quick and easy knit, I decided to go with door #2.
  • Stay tuned…
Posted in Carbeth, Cowls, Gardening, knitting, Polk County politics, Summer, Sweaters | 4 Comments

Summery links.

summer links w foliage background

How many goats are you worth? via

Another one from Chris that I heartily endorse.

Ya just never know what might be down the road and around the corner…

A summertime, travel PSA from the Minneapolis Police Department. page 1  page 2

Anyone else have a mini-fridge full of LaCroix?

Mr. Rogers was awesome.

If anyone wants to make one of these for me (or for my book club, which meets at my house this month) I will be eternally grateful.

Paris, circa 1900, in color.

Let’s talk about moose.

“No way, I’m not gonna narc on my buddy.”

Where were you in April and May of 2002?




Remember: green = hover text.

Posted in Links | 4 Comments

Independence Day!


Liz Climo.jpg

Posted in Animals, Holidays, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Time for my annual fireworks-save-the-animals post.

4th dog brace yourselves



4th liam.png

4th wtf    4th blues

Fireworks cat dog

4th end times

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Some tips and more pix from

No time (or $$$) to get a thundershirt? Try this.

From an email from our congressman:

Duffy on the 4th
It would have been nice if he had mentioned something about respecting the rights of your neighbors who may appreciate peace and quiet, or something about confining your massive bangs to the hour shortly after dark instead for several hours on end.




Posted in Animals, Holidays | 3 Comments

Many rivers colors to cross.


Micro knitting.

Posted in LInks knitting | 6 Comments

Saturday links are back! For one week, at least.

hyperlink green blue

Carpool karaoke.

Notorious RBG speaks.

Posted in Links | 4 Comments

Cleaning off my desktop.

Christian response.jpg


Don't cat call.jpg



Random reminder.jpg


Coach purse: don’t leave home without it.

Posted in Silliness | 3 Comments