The Odds Against Tomorrow

Are you a worrier? Have plans for flood/earthquake/zombie apocalypse? I’m not at all so inclined because I’m too busy worrying that I might forget my keys. My disaster plans are mostly along the lines of “have some liquor in the house.” There was a blackout a couple of years ago and I was only able to light a candle because I happened to have a book of matches from a bar. So Mitchell Zukor the protagonist of Nathaniel Rich’s The Odds Against Tomorrow, a New York financial consultant who obsesses about worst case scenarios professionally is totally alien to me.

Being a math nerd, Mitchell is all about the equations and maybe this is where I get off this train because this tends to be the kind of math I find not all that convincing – you add up some probabilities but I’m never sure you’re starting off with the right probabilities.  Like, an example in the book to predict the chances of a nuclear war in the next year:


Where λIE is the probability of an event occurring that could kick things off, P1 is the probability such an event actually causes a nuclear showdown, P2 is the probability that the crisis leads to the launch of a nuclear weapon and P3 is the probability that the initial bomb leads to a global nuclear war. Now Mitchell thinks this tells you that every year there’s a 10% chance of nuclear annihilation. Me, I think all the variables could be pretty much whatever you want, a la Drake equation. Sure, it’s a way to think about “well, if X then maybe Y…” But it doesn’t give you An Answer. You will note that 10% aside, many years have passed and nuclear armageddon has not yet occurred. I might almost begin to suspect it’s not that likely. Whereas I have actually forgotten my keys more than once.

Going back to the book, a non-nuclear disaster does indeed happen. There’s destruction and canoeing through the streets of New York. I learned to paddle a canoe at summer camp years ago and I don’t know how I expected my life to go but I thought that would be a useful skill that would serve me well. I can’t say that it has so far, but I wonder what the odds are like for that one. Because you just never know….

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Catch Up

Y’all! I think I used to have a blog or something? I wish I could tell you I’ve been off doing top secret spy stuff but actually I’ve been having a bit of a personality clash with my laptop. (Hey, that sounds a lot like something I might say to cover up my top secret spy stuff. Kindly disregard the coincidence.)

Were you wondering if I sewed on those buttons like I promised? Because I did!


Promptly too, though alas I guess I missed the opportunity to brag about that on the internet. And isn’t that one of the highlights of modern life?

Specs: Antler Cardigan knit in Diamond Luxury Collection Lima. No serious mods.

Then I knit another sweater:


(Today’s photos are brought to you by the lazy selfie, another perk of modern life. What a time to be alive!)

I  cast on with the assumption that spring was just not happening this year then it warmed up the day I cast on. Magic!

Specs: Alison Pullover knit in a wintery tweedy green shade of Queensland Collection Kathmandu Aran, which is sadly discontinued. I knit the sleeves top down in the round because why not?

I’ve also been on a bit of an Agatha Christie jag. I might quit my job and become Poirot. Or, failing that, Hastings which a friend of mine pointed out is perhaps a more realistic goal. I might not be able to pull off famous detective but I’m sure I can manage well meaning and inept.

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Blue Antler, Antler Blue

After a minor setback where I accidentally returned my library book half read and had to get another copy, I finished Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater. Being as how it`s Book 3 it`s hard to talk about the plot without doing a lot of spoilery summing up, but to me these books are all about character anyway. Yeah, stuff happens, something, something Welsh King, but surely the main point of the plot is to allow Blue and the boys opportunities to do stuff together and be awesome and cranky and complicated.

Also, as a knitter, I keep imagining Gansey having a fabulous collection of preppy sweaters. I don`t believe it`s ever mentioned in the book but a gansey is a kind of fisherman sweater. If I was an English major I might be looking for some symbolism. But since I`m me, I`ll just show you this appropriately blue Antler sweater that`s thisclose to being done.


Buttons this weekend. Hold me to it, Internet.

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A Day Late And A Dollar Short

….Is how I celebrate Valentine’s Day.


Cut price cinnamon hearts and red garter stitch. If that doesn’t say Romance I don’t know what does.

Happy Cheap Candy Day y’all.

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Remember Christmas vacation? I knit most of a sweater during mine (in between cookie binges.)


Because what makes for a lot of knitting without much luggage space? A fingering weight sweater! Top down is not my usual jam (decreasing at the yoke is so much better for my morale) but it’s good to be open minded, right?

I pretty much followed the pattern, except for lowering the neck slightly (it seems a bit strangly as written) and making the waist shaping a bit steeper. You can kind of see it here:


(Fudging the gauge doesn’t even count as a modification right? 24 sts/4″ for fingering weight? No.)

I love this kind of sweater that’s simple and clean but not totally plain. Perfect!

Stats: Bayside Pullover knit in Louet Gems Fingering Weight. The colour is called Caribbean Blue, which I like to think takes the edge off a wintery day. Although probably not as effectively as actually visiting the Caribbean.

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In Which I Try To Be Romantic

I like to think of myself as a pretty wide-reading person who is up for pretty much anything book-wise. But then there’s Romance. I don’t read romance. Actually, I often skim the mushy bits (with maybe some exceptions for the more hilariously bad sex scenes out there.) Then every now and again I get this nagging feeling that I shouldn’t be so snobby and give a romance novel a chance. So many people with otherwise good taste like them. Surely they have some merits.

Yeah, you know from page one that they’ll get together but it’s not like I hate on other books because you know going in that murders will be solved, evil vanquished, quests undertaken, etc. And it’s not like I’ve never flipped to the end just to check how everything turns out.

So in the spirit of broadening my horizons I tried my hand at Rachael Herron’s How to Knit a Love Song on the grounds that it has knitting to keep me going if the romance part doesn’t work out. And I was grateful for the knitting because I still don’t like romance novels. I mean, I can kind of accept some romance around the edges and I can totally understand if you’re distracted with solving murders or vanquishing evil or whatever you might not get around to hooking up until the end. But if that’s the main plotline I want to shout at the characters to get over your misunderstandings and sexual tension already. Go knit or something instead.

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When’s The Next Vacation?

Y’all! How’ve you been? I’ve been back from Christmas vacation for a couple of weeks and am just now getting over my annual post-Christmas funk. (I have to go to work every day? Not in my pajamas? And there aren’t even cookies? Next year I must remember to plan something awesome in mid January to take the edge off.)

Anyway, while not at the day job I’ve been reading. Post-vacation book debrief:

Mind of Winter by Laura Kasischke: By random happenstance I read a Christmas book actually at Christmastime. It’s a slow kind of creepy where it’s sort of boring then it sneaks up on you that it’s sort of creepy.

The Empress of Mars by Kage Baker: There’s a bar! On Mars! What more could you want really? I continue to be disappointed that technology seems to be delivering us an endless plethora of Apple products instead of space travel. Or jetpacks.

Conjured by Sarah Beth Durst: Creepy again, this time with magic, a serial killer and the Witness Protection Program. I could have done without all the kissing though.

And I’m about to start on Blue Lily, Lily Blue. Oh, hey, something to look forward to.

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