Time for Tacoma

This post is beyond overdue, what with Madrona having been from February 16 – 19, making this post almost exactly a month late.  Brava to me.  Well, what can I saw about Madrona that hasn’t already been said?

Madrona Fiber Arts Festival 2012

Probably not much, but I’m going to make the attempt nevertheless.  First, I’d love to mention how much I enjoyed visiting Tacoma.  For years, I’ve heard so many disparaging comments about Tacoma, and while I’m sure the city has it’s unsavory sections, most of what we saw was lovely, funky, and interesting.

Opus, her Mum, and I took the train up – an experience I cannot deny is infinitely preferrable to driving.  We were seated at a table and knit all the way there and all the way back (the trip is about 2.5 hrs from Portland), stopping to surf the web (free wifi!) and snack.  Tons of fun, and quite productive.  We then walked from the Amtrak station to the free streetcar line and were amused by the fact that the Tacoma streetcars are exactly the same as Portland streetcars.  Funny.  After a 5 minute ride, we hopped off and walked to the Hotel Murano.

Of course, the weather was frightful, so we were quite damp after five minutes outside.  But, it was worth it.  The Madrona Fiber Arts Festival is held at the Hotel Murano, clearly named for Murano island in Venice (home of the glassmakers), and was just filled to bursting with glass art.  I couldn’t help myself and snapped pictures.  We finally made our way to the marketplace and were super excited to see so many of our favorite indie dyers – and some friends!

I had to visit Maia of Tactile, whose booth was a lovely naturally-dyed oasis, and Susan of Abstract Fiber, who also had a gorgeous booth.  I was very, very good and only bought a very little yarn.  From Habu Textiles.  Now before you mock me (yes, many stores in Portland carry Habu), these were colors that aren’t carried locally.  I also bought some gorgeous roving from Woolgatherings.  Yum.  I don’t have a good photo of my goodies, though.

We had to leave a bit early (around 5pm) to catch the train back, but it was a fantastic day trip and so much fun.  We’re already talking about taking the train up in a month or so to visit the Tacoma Museum of Glass and the Tacoma Art Museum.  It would also just be great to tour the city and look at all the beautiful glass art on display.  Sounds like a fun daytrip or two, right?

So, it was tons of fun and I would love to be able to take classes next year – or maybe teach – and will have to plan ahead.  Hopefully this post wasn’t too boring :)  For more photos from the trip, see the “Tacoma” tag on my flickr account.  In the next post (which won’t be a month late), we have the awesome success of the 2012 Rose City Yarn Crawl to go over.  Cheers!

Time flies.

Mostly when you’re busy.  It’s funny.  That little vacation I’ve been talking about for a month now?  I think I might need a vacation to recover from my vacation.  Man.

Let’s see.  Where we left off last time I was lamenting my own laziness.  In my defense, keeping up with an almost-4yr-old is tough.  Especially when she’s super-duper excited to be visiting her relatives and doesn’t want to sleep or sit down for five minutes together.  Seriously.  I made a movie.  In 15 minutes she didn’t sit down once.  I wish I had that kind of energy.

Anyway.  Remember that Ishbel I knit for T?  Well, it fit her perfectly and looked stinking adorable, but could I get her to hold still and pose?

A & T Visit (August 2010)-45

Oh, heck, no.  She thought it was the funniest darn thing in the world to squirm or even hide the shawl…

A & T Visit (August 2010)-49

Whenever Alexa or I tried to take a picture of her in it.  Little squirt.  I’ll get a photo… eventually.

Luckily, T didn’t decide to make a game out of photographing the little bolero I made for her.  Which her Momma dutifully brought up and dressed T in the morning we saw them off:

Tegan's bolero (still)

It fit perfectly.  Actually, it was still a little big, which is ideal.  And it was utterly adorable.  I might have to make another one when she outgrows this ‘un.  In pink.  Hah.

Unfortunately, I had to leave Portland while T and Alexa were still in town (it was unavoidable).  Opus and I had reserved a room in Newport over a month ago, and weeks before Alexa let me know they were visiting.  But I only missed out on two hours of family time.  They had to fly out a couple of hours after I left.

Anyway.  Opus and I met up around midday, after trying to convince T that a bagel was just as yummy as chocolate milk (not too successful there).  We hit  the road and I had to take some shots from the highway.

Hwy 47

It was just gorgeous.  I believe this was from Highway 47.  I really want to go back and do some hiking.  There were some really tempting National and State Forests that looked lovely.

Eventually, though, we made it to Newport.  After a couple of stops along the way (one of which involved the extensive purchase of new weaving equipment, but that’s for another day).  I was really excited to see that our hotel of choice, the Elizabeth Street Inn, did, in fact, have a magnificent view:

The View

Clearly a beach walk was absolutely essential.  The sock certainly enjoyed it…

The Sock visits Newport

Though I’ll admit to being a lot less tough than Opus and having to wrap up with a scarf and sweater. I can’t believe she spent the whole trip in t-shirts.  It gives me chills just thinking about it.  Anyway.  Beach.  Walk.  Wind.

Windy beach
Lots of wind.  It was quite picturesque and, well, bracing.  Unfortunately, my camera’s battery decided to fail as soon as we got down to the sandy shore and I had to resort to using my Crackberry camera; which, frankly, sucks.

Eventually my hands and nose froze and we had to give in and go back to the hotel.  After that we somehow managed to get lost in scenic downtown Newport.  Yes.  Newport (the town with a population of under 10,000).  Fell free to mock, I did.  We did (finally!) find food and our way back.

Thus fueled, I holed up in the room and spent three and a half hours working on last Friday’s eCard – while Opus watched (get this) Monsters vs. Aliens and then four episodes of On The Road with Austin and Santino.  That was an odd night.

The next morning we made our way to the Oregon Coast Aquarium, where the sock got to see Swampland.  It really liked the anacondas.

The Sock at Swampland
After watching the sea otters eat raw fish (yum) and petting some sea cucumbers, we started the return trip home.  Mostly because  Opus had to go to NorthWest MogFest yesterday (family thing).  Fuuun.  In lieu of driving all over Sheridan, Oregon in an all-terrain vehicle (so boring, I know), I spent all of yesterday knitting away on a Shibui project that’s Top Secret.  Sooo… here’s some photos of Westmoreland Park, instead of my progress!

Sunsent at Westmoreland


Plus… duckies!

And that brings things up to date.  Think I’m gonna knit some more now.  Or go to bed.  How did it get to be 11pm?  Time flies, I guess.

wet and wild

Gawd, I’m tired. This was going to be a nice, long post. But now it’s going to get shortened a bit. I spent the day working on the latest Newsletter (and the upcoming Holidays one), so coherency isn’t my strong suit right now.

Anyway. On Wednesday, Opus and I met up and started off towards the coast. We were warned (sort of) that there was going to be inclement weather and decided that it shouldn’t be a problem. Yeah. I was panicking slightly when we cross bridge after bridge along US 26 and US 101 that were just a foot (maybe less!) from being washed out. Freaky and not at all settling.

The long-standing wip silk pullover helped a lot:

I knit and knit and knit as Opus drove and probably got 5″ done. Which is also a bit freaky when one considers the gauge.

We finally arrived at the Oregon Coast Aquarium and were delighted by Oddwater. It was really cool how the exhibit also displayed some fantastic locally-blown and sculpted glass art within the tanks.

Opus showed some eels her traveling sock:


Which actually lured them out of their glass vase for a bit.

And, while this photo didn’t come out, I love the psychedelic quality of the composition:


The Sea Horse tank, which also had some wicked Starfish.

In another hall we had fun petting sting rays:


Which were surprising slimy to the touch. Really weird. Though the Sea Anemone in another tank was even weirder – it’s tentacles were sticky and it’s sides a cross between velvety and slimy. I didn’t even try the Sea Cucumber, though Opus did. Urk. It looked like a giant slug.

Anyway. I tried to get a picture from the Passages of the Deep exhibit, but it was impossible. We dashed across the Aquarium in pelting rain, but it was worth it. Opus hadn’t seen it yet. The walkways in the building/ exhibit are giant transparent tubes that pass through enormous tanks, so you can watch the fish and eels and sharks swim above, below, and around you. It’s one of my favorite parts of the Aquarium.

In any case, the Manta Rays are my favorite species in the tanks, so I made a sad attempt to photograph one above my head:


Well, I tried. Here’s a much better photo.

Ack, it’s past my normal bedtime.  I am tiiired.  Was going to write some more, but it’ll have to be done later.  Night night.

Sauvie Island

Sunday was completely uneventful. Monday was… I’ve already forgotten, so one can assume it was also equally uneventful. Tuesday was not uneventful, so it warrants a belated post.

Yesterday, Mum, Emm, Charlie and I drove out to Sauvie Island. It’s a large island located in the Columbia River, 30 mins outside of Portland. It’s famous for having been a Native American, and later Pioneer, site. Of course I realised, as we were driving along OR-30, that I had forgotten my camera at home. Mum and Emm sighed and made snarky comments when I told them I’d use my camera phone instead. Neider, neider to them – it actually worked.

Here’s the southern coast of Sauvie Island, inside the Wildlife Area, taken atop one of the dykes running along the coast:

I have to say that Sauvie Island was incredibly beautiful, and I’m embarrassed that I didn’t get any good photos to prove this. Being incredibly fertile (located on an island in the middle of a river along a volcanic line), there were farms and plants of every type. We passed fields of waving purple at a lavender farm. Rippling gold and green were acres and acres of wheat and corn. And Bailey’s gardening plants were being propagated, too. I even saw wild pears growing on the southern coast.

But, because I was so busy admiring, I tended to forget to take a photo until it was too late. I’m such a tourist, sorry. I can at least claim I remembered to take travelling sock photos:

(Baudelaires on the southern beach)

Once in the Wildlife Area, we managed to get down to the beach. Charlie went crazy, because he loves to play in water. I pulled out my Crocs and Emm rolled up his shorts:

(yep, Charlie still has the dorky haircut)

Here’re Emm and Charlie racing along the shore:

After playing on the southern beach, driving, hiking around the Wildlife Area – they have an island on Sauvie Island, can you believe it?, and finding fresh produce for Emm to devour, we went to the northern coast. The northern coast was different from the southern in a bunch of ways: the water was colder, it was windier, and there was sand:

The socks really enjoyed their time lounging in the sun. We all felt better for it, because they’ve been complaining incessantly about the trekking sock seeing all the action. Emm even offered to carry them into the Columbia:

And so the socks were quieter on the way home.

By 4:30, we had to leave because I’ve started a Stitch ‘n’ Bitch at Mabel’s on Tuesday nights, from 6 – 9 pm. Luckily, I wasn’t too late (oops?), and I got to sit and chat and knit with 3 other PDX knitters for 3 hours. We’re planning to make it a weekly meeting, if you’re in the PDX area and are interested.

By the time I got home, I was completely exhausted and barely managed to keep my eyes open long enough to watch Eureka. I (still) <3 Eureka.

Today was pointless. I went to an interview for a job, but there’s no way I can take it. It’s too far away for too few hours for too little pay. *sigh*

But, I have my knitting. And I heard from D at Knit/ Purl yesterday – they’re buying my pattern! I’ll get the contract details tomorrow or on Friday. W00T!

That alone makes today acceptable. I’m gonna go and find something cool to drink, it’s 92F out…

pardon me

while I wait for my brain to register…

Columbia Gorge daytrip

The family went to the Columbia River Gorge today. It’s not that long a trip from Portland (1.5 hours each way), and it was absolutely lovely. We did have to get up inordinately early (for us) to get there before noon and to sightsee.

While we were there, we had the best meal I’ve had in Oregon (Hood River Hotel), found me some wading shoes to teach the dog to swim (partially successful), and all went down to the river:

… even the sock.

We got back to Portland just barely in time for me to grab my stuff and meet Opus at Twisted:

Oooh, look, traveling sock friends. And, just to make you jealous, I must inform you that the sock that Opus is knitting is for me and it’s being knit up with ShiBui Sock yarn.

I just lost each and every single subscriber I have with that little tidbit, didn’t I?

Opus and I spent an inordinate amount of time at the store, mostly fondling their sock yarn. I actually managed to escape without buying any more (buying the ‘Smooshy’ yesterday immunized me, I think). Opus was not so lucky, she got a skein of yarntini. Yum.

Across the street from Twisted is the coolest Ethiopian restaurant. We decided to hit them for dinner, as Opus had never tried Ethiopian food before:

Our waitress (with a heavy accent) was very impressed with our socks and had all sorts of questions. A little girl, running into the restaurant, also identified our WIPs as socks with some glee. Sort of a Red Letter Day, really – two people not guessing that we were making sweaters.

And from there I came home and collapsed. I think I shall go back to being horizontal now.

Lots of gold

“Daffodils that come before the swallow dares, and takes the winds of March with beauty.”
William Shakespeare

I noticed something completely random today, as we sat outside a station, waiting for a freight to pass – there are TONS of daffodils growing in Oregon. I mean, seriously. Like weeds in some places. Now, I know what you’re probably thinking. But, no, these little golden flowers weren’t growing in gardens. They were growing in some strange places, that I noticed:

  • between the rail tracks and an old car lot, and factory
  • in the middle of a forest (twice)
  • between the rail and a… ah… dump is the best word I can come up with
  • outside a homeless encampment
  • and other, slightly less strange, places.

I wonder if the Amtrak employees throw the bulbs out the window or something? Anyway. As we paused at another small town, I took a picture:

look! a Kanga and Roo! (sorta)

On a 7 hour train ride (oh, yes, we were over an hour late) I had a lot of time to think. Some of the things that came to mind:

  • I have a week until the Solstice-Equinox Challenge date. I need to start dyeing, spinning, and knitting something.
  • I have way too many swaps going.
  • There are far too many painfully impoverished families in this country (actually, one is too many) – this came to mind as we passed by shack after shack in a couple of dirt-poor towns.
  • My sister’s FIL is a Holocast survivor. I’m still coming to terms with this. I felt like the floor had fallen out from under my feet when I saw a portrait of him and his family, all wearing the golden Jude stars, in my sister’s study. My niece is part of the “blessing” on Shoah survivors. I mused on this as we passed through Vancouver.
  • And then I noticed all the daffodils.

Weird, the things that pop into the mind, eh? Ohwell. The house is a MESS. I leave the boys alone for 3 weeks and what do I come home to? Paint dust everywhere, the furniture piled up in the bedrooms (mine in particular, I mention), the cabinets all gone in the kitchen, no chairs anywhere… etc etc. I understand that these are part of the renovation process, but, really, we’re not doing every room at the house at once – so why don’t we tear the place apart as needed?

Really. Males.

I was very pleased to notice that there were THREE parcels for me sitting on the dining table (sans chairs or china cabinets). Two were from my Hogwarts Houses Swap partner, Laural. The other is, ah, a surprise. For someone else. Who reads this blog. So, nieder.

Back to the Harry Potter goodness. I opened the smaller box first and squeed to find a Gryffindor Totoro! He was on my wist, and everything! I nearly died of the squeeage. He also came with some other goodies…

… a colouring book, stickers, Harry Potter stitch markers (LUMOS, FAWKES, HARRY, MUGGLE, HEDWIG and WIZARD), and a QUILT!!:

My wonderful, magnificent, partner made me a Gryffindor QUILT!! I nearly dropped it when I opened it. It’s being modelled on the ‘rents queen-sized bed, so it fits my double perfectly. I had to wash it, since the paint dust and Charlie-hair clung to it the moment I got it out of the box. The second it’s out of the dryer, I’m hiding it in my room. On my bed!

OMG! I think I have to go and SQUEE again… And cuddle my Totoro.

Impressions of Olympia

“Oh, dear. ‘Got up, was sick, wanted to die.’ Not a gripping read, really.”
Terry Pratchett (Hogfather)

First impressions of Olympia:

  • Urg. Dad made me drive up here why?
  • Grey.
  • More grey.
  • Too few trees.
  • Very industrial.
  • Fantastic Pho. Must get more.
  • Only two days until I can go home.

Two days later (whereup Dad abandoned me to ‘care’ for Mum):

  • Oh, look!, more grey.
  • A yarn store. Nice, but completely out of my price range. Book!
  • Lots of tuna fish. And pita. Mmm… tuna and pita.
  • I feel funny.


  • Hrm.
  • Less grey than before.
  • Mum’s tours suck much, much less than Dad’s (don’t tell him that).
  • The place could use some more trees. And, just, stuff. What’s with all the empty lots?
  • Now that I can move without screaming or crying, I want more of that Pho.

It’s a shame, but I really can’t figure out why my parents want to more here. I don’t get it. But, that’s fine. I’m not moving with them (not permanently, anyway), and it’s their decision. If they like it, hey, let ’em have a ball. Though, it’s a bit sad that I’m really only going to think of the lone yarn store, incredible Pho, and a gut-wrenching illness whenever someone mentions Olympia for the next few months. Hopefully, I’ll get over it, eh?

Not much knitting progress to report, alas. I finally get to go home tomorrow (I am near tears with joy over this, you have no idea), and have been told that two packages are sitting at home waiting for me. Ooooh, I wonder what they could be? Hehe.

And, let’s be honest, I am put out with how often I’ve been getting sick lately (and by ‘lately’ I mean the last, oh, 6 years – ever since we moved to Eugene from Maryland). It may not seem like it, but I do try to take care of myself, and this is just not fair. Part of it has to do with the climate (and mold!), and another part must have to do with the northernly location (45th parallel versus 30th, anyone?) affecting sunlight intake. Stephieface is right, if this keeps going on I’m gonna need a bubble.


Garlic and ginger. That’s it. I need to eat more garlic and ginger.


In lieu of actual content, here’s a little open-iTunes-hit-shuffle meme. I found it over at Crimson’s.

If your life were a movie, what would the soundtrack be?

  1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
  2. Put it on shuffle
  3. Press play. For every question, type the song that’s playing
  4. When you go to a new question, press the next button
  5. Don’t lie and try to pretend you’re cool…

You can tell I didn’t lie, just because I didn’t delete out, oh, all the Pop in there…

  • Opening credits: “Sweet Dreams”, Eurythmics
  • Waking up: “Braid the Raven Hair…”, The Mikado
  • First day at school: “Ya Maalem”, Maurice El Medioun
  • Falling in love: “Frozen”, Madonna
  • Fight song: “See You”, Foo Fighters
  • Breaking up: “Slow Like Honey”, Fiona Apple
  • Prom: “The Highwayman”, Loreena McKennitt
  • Life: “Morena me llamen”, La Rondinella
  • Mental breakdown: “Sometimes”, U2
  • Driving: “Humours of Andytown”, Altan
  • Flashback: “Hand in My Pocket”, Alanis Morissette
  • Getting back together: “Rain on the Scarecrow”, John Mellencamp
  • Losing your virginity: “Away”, Mediaeval Baebes
  • Wedding: “Ce He Mise Le Ulaingt?”, Loreena McKennitt
  • Birth of child: “Girl’s Not Grey”, AFI
  • Final battle: “I’m Goin’ Down”, Mary J. Blige
  • Death scene: “Eye of the Beholder”, Metallica
  • End credits: “Here’s To The Night”, Eve 6

I have to say, I really LIKE my soundtrack. Kinda funny.

Moving on. I am not dead, though the wish to write a suicide note hasn’t escaped me in the past 48 hours. No, not depression. Just the worst stomach virus I have EVER had. I finally caught what Mum had. Contrary to what we thought, it was not the same virus I caught at A’s. It was much worse. I started using a pillow as a bit, that’s how much worse. It felt like someone was crunching my bones. While still violently ill (I really shouldn’t be sitting upright, but I am SO DAMN BORED), I am desperately glad that part is over. The pain and misery ranked up there with Scarlet Fever, making it to my Top Two Worst Illnesses EVER.

Anyway. Haven’t got much knitting done. Well, I finished a lace repeat on the Queen of Cups. Wrong. I noticed this last night. I had accidentally followed the Instep pattern instead of the Leg pattern for the second half.

I refuse to frog it.

And now I shall go and lie down.

more rain

“Rain! whose soft architectural hands have power to cut stones, and chisel to shapes of grandeur the very mountains.”
Henry Ward Beecher

Sachi was right. There IS a yarn store in Olympia. Unbeknownst to me, we had gone by it a great many times. Mostly because it’s called Canvas Works I tended to ignore it:

Considering the large sailing community (and boat-making, as well), I had thought it was, well, you know, a store that sold canvas. Silly me ^_^ Another reason I hadn’t given them a second glance is the fact that they’re located in the more industrial section of town, see?, the neighbors:

Every time we walked or drove by, I was busy focusing on getting to somewhere more, ah, picturesque. Yes, I know, I’m shallow. But, if you look in the picture above, you can see the dome of the state capital building. Olympia is pretty small, and you can see the dome from nearly anywhere in town.

Anyway. I went into the store and tried not to moan. They had some exquisite yarns that I can neither afford nor find the space for. The sales lady (very nice, very helpful) immediately showed me to the sock yarns. I was a bit disappointed by their small selection (of sock yarns). But, that disappointment was quickly assuaged when I wandered into their book section. Oh… my. I didn’t even know where to start. So, I let my eyes wander, and they immediately zoomed in on the lace books.

And do you know what I found?? A copy of Creating Original Hand-knitted Lace! OMG. I have been searching for this book for … wow, over six months at least. Maybe a year. No one carries it. No one has heard of it. They HAD it. In hardback. At 30% off the price on Amazon. I snatched it up and tucked it under my arm, as I wandered the store some more. They also had a HUGE button collection (sigh), but I limited myself to buttons I needed. Specifically for baby T’s wraplan. They had pink and green buttons that matched the yarn I’m using! (yes, I have the colours committed to memory, heaven help me). So, I grabbed 8 of them and then forced myself to stop looking, as I was over-budget already. I escaped with my finds (the saleswoman agreed that the buttons were squee!-worthy) and I nearly skipped home. Here’s a pic of them on Mum’s porch:

A last note on the LYS, Canvas Works. I really liked them, they were very nice. They had a great selection. I wouldn’t recommend them for knitters on a tight budget, though. Their prices were a bit high. But, otherwise, I really liked them.

Relating to the title of this post. I did bring an umbrella with me. I didn’t use it, because the wind was so high it nearly turned the poor thing inside-out. I just toughened up and tried to ignore the chill. On the way home, the rain and wind got worse, so I was extremely happy to arrive. Of course, 1/2 an hour after I had settled in, the rain stopped.

It figures.

Just like in San Fransisco.

I must have angered the rain (and wind?) g-ds at some point. Some sort of ritual sacrifice or something must be in order. Chocolate, maybe?

Oh!, in other news, my Hogwarts Houses Swap partner, Laural, received my parcel today! Here are her pix. And here’s one of mine:

The hoodie: I painted and appliqued a Gryffindor crest (t-shirt) I had (it was entirely in greyscale and needed some colour desperately) to a hoodie, along with a House patch, and embroidered around the crest with red and gold floss (A and K were bemused watching me embroider during American Idol). The DPN case: made from faux-suede, lined with Indian cotton (don’t tell Mum I raided her quilting stash, but it was the perfect colour!), and with velvet trim – I have to say, was really pleased with the whole thing, it came out so lovely and it was my first DPN case. I also included some Gryffindor coloured DPNs I found at St Vinny’s. The Canary Creams? I couldn’t resist. And the yarn I got at Full Thread Ahead.

I’m so pleased because the hoodie fits Laural perfectly, and she seems to like everything else. Yay!


Word History: We are indebted to the English author Horace Walpole for the word serendipity, which he coined in one of the 3,000 or more letters on which his literary reputation primarily rests. In a letter of January 28, 1754, Walpole says that “this discovery, indeed, is almost of that kind which I call Serendipity, a very expressive word.” Walpole formed the word on an old name for Sri Lanka, Serendip. He explained that this name was part of the title of “a silly fairy tale, called The Three Princes of Serendip: as their highnesses traveled, they were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things which they were not in quest of….”

One of the stores that was so disastrous to my Stitches budget was Purlescence. They carry luxurious hand-dyed fibers for spinning (Chasing Rainbows and Blue Moon, to name a couple) and a vast array of hard-to-find knitting yarns (hard for me, anyway). As I was playing on Craftster this afternoon, I found out that the new knitty is up. I quickly sought it out and narrowed my interest to a single pattern, Queen of Cups. As I read through it, I discovered that it called for a cast on of 64 stitches (lo, the same number of stitches on my paisley socks that were causing me to pull my hair out). I decided that I’d rather knit these socks than the ones frustrating me, so I printed out the pattern and vowwed to rip out and start anew. Here’s my progress as of 1/2 an hour ago:

But, anyway, returning to the title of this post. As I printed out the pattern, I scanned down to the author’s bio. I laughed when I saw that the creator was none other than the owner of Purlescence – the same woman who had wound the yarn for Mum’s hat and wrist-warmers 4 days ago.

How cool is that?