The last Friday in July (this year, July 27) is Sysadmin Appreciation Day (SAD), an unjustly obscure holiday wherein all consumers of techno-goodness are encouraged to recognize and reward the unsung geeks that keep our hi-tech networks up and running.

I posted a sign for this outside my cube at work, urging people to smile and hug anyone they saw from the IT department today but not tell them why. Because they are supposed to know all about this stuff.

In a completely unrelated corner…

Flame Fractals offer a feast for the eyes—eye candy in rich, pure colors set against a velvety, pitch-black background. Webshots member rajahh cooks up batches of fantastic Fractal Flames using Apophysis—a freeware Windows application with which you can design and render bizarre and wondrous digital fractal sculptures. See for yourself and decide what images you can draw forth from the chaos.

As for me, myself, and I…well…I have been totally socked. At work and at home, but in totally different ways. I recently finished a “real” sock. You know, one with a real pattern in it instead of plain stockinette or ribbing? It looks ever so lovely. Wonderful sock yarn . But it doesn’t fit ANYONE. Ahem. Adjustments to the pattern and a second attempt is in the works.

Picture this: I am sitting and muttering to myself, hubby looking over my shoulder at the pattern, the fully-completed-yet-soon-to-be-totally-frogged sock, and my poised pencil as I totted up the numbers for each section of the sock.

“It’s simple,” DH says. “All you have to do is add a few extra stitches in the ribbing area and you’ll be good to go.” He pointed to the main ribbing area, and reached to take the sock from me.

I look at him. He paused with his arm half-stretched over the sock. I think he may know that *look.* DH hasn’t knitted anything I know of in the past three decades and back then it was a six-foot striped scarf in garter stitch. I, on the other hand, have been knitting for over four decades (please don’t do the math) and have created and designed multitudes of sweaters, capes, hats, scarves. booties, slippers, afghans, Christmas stockings, and now, socks.

After a long pause, I responded: “If you would please stop talking I will be able to finish counting up, adding, dividing and adjusting the three different areas I need to alter the pattern to maintain the sequence of the lace patterning.”

“Oh. I guess you know what you’re doing then, huh?”

I nodded.

“You probably don’t need my help, then, right?

He got *the look* again.