15 September 2005

This is a test..

.. this is only a test. In the case of an actual emergency, good chocolate and strong coffee with real cream would be provided.

Today is September 15. To most people, this is not a date of any significance. It never used to be a date of any significance to me (in fact, I almost forgot about it). Until we moved to Minnesota. Which, in and of itself, does not make September 15 particularly significant. It's only when you work for the State of Wisconsin, which apparently is incapable of withholding Minnesota state income tax from employee checks, and are therefore required to file quarterly income tax returns that September 15 becomes significant. It is the day on which 3rd quarter taxes are due. Here's hoping they won't fuss too much if the check is a day late because, I mentioned above, I didn't remember that today was in fact significant for me until this morning. *sigh*

Wilcoxon (that's the moose, remember?) has a tag on his bottom, as is common among animals of his type. I am slight amused by this tag, though, which reads "Wishpets(tm) a Wish Come Ture!" It makes me wonder what was supposed to come be fore the "-ture".. like... miniature, or discomfiture, or ligature. Meanwhile, Wilcoxon seems just as content without his little tag as he was with it.

In other news, mamacate rocks, but those of you who remember my trip to San Diego already knew that. Turns out she was able to work her magic because she, too, is an IR person. Not only that, but she knows *more* IR people who are are similarly fiber obsessed. *squee* (I sort of feel like the Ugly Duckling who just found out that she's really a Swan! *blush*)

As I sit and ponder this confluence of things fibery, specifically knitting, though I imagine the same would hold for weaving as well, and number crunching, there's a certain .. something that connects the two. I'll try to explain, at least how it works in my head, but it might get tangled. Essentially, when I look at data, I'm trying to draw out the pattern, or the story, the data tells. Another way of thinking of this is trying to create the picture of what's happening by finding the strands and threads that weave the whole together. A single data item, like a single strand of fiber, may be beautiful, but is rarely complex. Only by combining it with others and teasing out the patterns does the larger picture, in all it's glory, become clear. Sometimes, like when working a delicate lace motif in a fuzzy mohair, the pattern stays diffuse and difficult to perceive until you set it off against some contrasting background. Sometimes, like when working cables in 100% cotton, you have to exert a fair amount of effort and a not-insignificant amount of force to bring the pattern out, but once it's there, you can't miss it. And sometimes, like when working with hand-dyed variegated yarn, you start out expecting a certain pattern only to find a completely different one emerging as you go. Of course, there are also the times, like when working with a luscious and soft wool in stockinette, when the pattern comes out exactly as you expected without an undue amount of effort. So, when I think about it that way, it makes a certain sense that data geeks are also commonly fiber geeks. It is, after all, sometimes easier to just follow the pattern than it is to find it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Woah - awesome fiber/data extrapolation - love it! If I could only solve my current LACE anathema given my data/story abilities.

I think I see a new blogroll category...fluff and numbers or something like that