My avatar across the web: a photo of my feet in grey-white socks and brown sandals.

Ben Babcock

3 Articles in September 2015

  1. Lessons learned from knitting a blanket

    So, recently I blogged about my friend Cassie getting married. I gave Cassie and Chris a knitted blanket for their wedding gift (I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t spoiling this fact before I wrote this blog post!). It’s my first full-size blanket, and I am so impressed with it I’m not even going to attempt false modesty, OK?

    The patchwork blanket, laid out on my couch

    Look at that. Gorgeous.

    Prior to this I knit a baby blanket, which was a much smaller and easier project. Large blankets are more of a challenge—you either need to manage a vast number of stitches on your needles, or you need to knit the blanket in smaller pieces and then sew it together. I went with the latter option. The pattern is from Tin Can Knits by Emily Wessel. It’s a square with a symmetrical, almost floral pattern that you knit in the round from the centre, spiralling outwards. You can knit it as a single colour or with a contrast colour as the border. Despite its intricate appearance, it is dead easy to do (provided you keep track of your stitch count and which row you’re on!).

    I should mention one of my goals with this…

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  2. An open response to the Snapfish account deletion email

    Dear Snapfish,

    This is an open response to your email of September 14, 2015, in which you ask me to buy something from you to keep my account open:

    To keep our promise of unlimited, free photo sharing and storage, we ask our customers to make at least one purchase every 12 months. To keep your Snapfish account open, please place an order by October 14.

    You even helpfully include a link to “special offers” and a big, insistent “Shop now!” button. Somewhat ironically, the slogan “At Snapfish, your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed” appears at the bottom of the email. (It’s an image.)

    This is bullshit.

    Look, Snapfish, I completely acknowledge you are within your rights to terminate my account, at any time, for whatever reason you wish. It’s your business model; if you want to burn it to the ground, you are free to do so. The Internet isn’t going to stand in your way: we’ll watch and warm our hands on the flames. You can tell me when it’s over if the high was worth the pain.

    I also want to go on record as saying that I love the service you’ve given me. Seriously, you were exactly…

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  3. These are the moments that mean something

    As I write this, I’m very sore, because I spent several hours last night dancing. I had the privilege and honour of not just attending the wedding of my friend Cassie but of being in her bridal party.

    I’m starting to get the hang of this wedding thing, I think.

    Cassie is one of my oldest and bestest friends. Although there was a lapse during our childhood after I moved across town, we reconnected at the end of high school. Ironically, I’ve had no problem keeping in touch with her across the vaster distances between here and Ottawa, where she did an undergrad and now slaves away at grad school. I don’t envy her!

    I don’t know Chris, Cassie’s husband, very well. He’s from Sudbury but also went to school in Ottawa. But he seems like good people. So I was excited when Cassie told me they were getting married and when they set a date. In typical Cassie fashion, she apologized when she asked me to be part of her bridal party, as if it were a great imposition. And I suppose that in some weddings this is the case—there are expenses, expectations of time and effort—but I knew…

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About Me

I’m a 27-year-old math and English teacher back in Canada after two years teaching in England. In my free time, I read books! When I’m not reading, I’m writing, coding, or knitting.

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About this site

I started coding websites, in bad HTML on Geocities, in 2004 in a fit of whimsy. Since then I’ve learned PHP/MySQL, coded my own blog software, and rebuilt this site several times. With the exception of the blog, it’s currently running on the exquisite Symphony CMS. This website is hosted by HawkHost

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