Saturday, May 26, 2007

Ruin the whole bunch???

I currently have a Mac iBook G4.

As is my lot in this world, I apparently purchased it right before they discontinued the iBook for being ginormous piles of crap that break down regularly. This is when I buy everything of any large dollar value - about thirteen seconds before it is announced that it will be discontinued.

In the eighteen months that I've owned this, I've had to buy no fewer than six new power adapters ($80 a pop), had to call their non-helpline four times because it wouldn't turn on, had to listen to their non-help representative insist that I don't recognize the difference between "nothing" and "the serial number" when they tell me the incorrect location of the serial number (hint: it's not behind the battery, even if you make me look twice), and had to take it into a shop twice. In the shop, they told me nothing was wrong with the computer, that it must be my outlet at home.

Because, you see, everything else in the house works, and I've tried different outlets and still had the same troubles, but they tested it, so it must be the house and not the computer. I didn't buy a Mac-compatible house. It's all my fault.

The latest drama is that the computer-shaped junk decides at random times to shut itself off. It does this sometimes when awakening from sleep (well, wouldn't you be cranky?) or when I'm typing an e-mail, or playing a game, or writing up a pattern. No distinguishing program, online and off, no distinguishing time. It shut off last night around ten and wouldn't come back on until after six pm tonight. But, you know, there's nothing wrong with the computer. It's just not a Mac-compatible house.

So there's no way in hell I can afford a new computer right now, nor do I think I should have to, since I don't see a purchase like that as falling into it's "time to replace it time" in eighteen months, but I'm faced with the decision of what to do. The only option I can see is to do more work than I'm really healthy enough for right now, and see if I can get more money to come in, and then decide if I want to try to have it repaired (even though there's nothing wrong with it!), buy a new-and-improved Mac, or decide that this (boa-sized) worm has ruined me for all Apples and go back to PC. And there are things I like about Mac, not the least of which being that a Mac is far better suited for some of the less publicized aspects of my income. But I don't think it's a significantly better system than a PC - evidently I'm very much not a member of the Mac-arrazzi.

So tomorrow I'll spend a little time doing some of that extra work (the networking phase, anyway) and if you don't see me a while, it's because of this little overheated pile of plastic (which should be working it's little USB port off and counting its lucky stars that, only owing to a hurculean sense of self control, I haven't thrown it across the parking lot and under a - Mack, of course - truck by now) has decided it needs its beauty sleep.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Executive decision

Due to a combination of factors in my life right now, I'm making an executive decision about my goal to knit seven sweaters this year. The largest (literally) factor is that I've lost ten pounds in the past five weeks or so, and I hope to keep up with the trend - I don't think it's anything different that I'm doing, I think my doctor solved some problems that have prevented me from moving as I wanted to, but I'm hoping it will keep going down.

Because of that, I don't want to knit a bunch of nicely fitting sweaters that won't fit when I lose more weight. So I will continue with the few over-sized sweaters I had planned, but most of them were a little more shaped, and I want them to be that way when my own shape is less alarm clock and more hour glass.

The catalyst for this was that blue sweater that was dyeing my fingers a bazillion years ago. It took less than two weeks, but I finished it, all except for the final bind off

put it on to check, and it looked like someone had dressed me in a handknit garbage bag. Blech. So I decided to rip it all back to the beginning, wash the yarn (look at how grossly black the water is! Hopefully the second knitting will be more pleasant!) and start over.

I am pleased with how really pretty it looked in the big pile of just-ripped-ness.

In other news, Delphine came home from summer camp and needs to be retrained to the ways of our people. I'm readjusting to her (a different gal than Fiona-the-Lendrum, she is!) and playing away and have been FAR more interested in spinning than in that silly knitting stuff (ahem. You know. How the income happens.)

If I were only a little bit more coordinated (and spinning woolen, instead of both being worsted, which always takes both hands) I think I might be able to get both wheels going at once. As it is, they are directly next to each other in my tiny living room, with what looks like identical rovings, but is actually completely different fiber, vendors, and colors. Honest.

For Minh, photos of the nightlight I mentioned in her comments.
This is probably over 30 years old now, but my mother would know for sure...

The lightbulb hides inside his mouth, and the beak adjusts in openness for varying brightness.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Emily tagged me in the current meme, seven random things about yourself. I could cheat and direct anyone interested in the answers to my sidebar, in which I have listed not one, not two, but THREE HUNDRED random things about myself, but clearly I get a little bit of happiness from making random lists, so I'm doin' another.

1. I have suffered from insomnia my entire life (which is why I'm doing this at 2:15 am, while listening to my "nocturnal" cats snore away. The dog doesn't pretend to be nocturnal, but he also doesn't snore.) (Trevor wants me to point out that he doesn't snore either, it's just Aslan.) (Aslan retorts with a witty "ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzz")

2. I had a miserable stomach flu type thing earlier this week, and I'm ticked off at it (yes, the flu. I'm mad at the flu, you got a problem with that???) because apparently none of the things I like to eat (salty, sour, strong flavored things) are good for a sick stomach, and all of the things I hate (jello, pudding, flavorless goo) are. Screw you, flu, you suck and your momma dresses you funny.

3. My parents tell me they almost named me Emily, except that my mother a (now retired) teacher had a student who was a bit on the slutty side named Emily, and she was afraid it came with the name. Also, my initials would have spelled "EGG".

4. I can't stand tape. Seriously. Can't. Stand. It. I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but the heebiejeebies tape gives me bear reinforcement. Literally, it makes me gag and I really need to stop typing this because even thinking about it is making me a little uncertain I've recovered from #2.

5. The two sports I will stop channel surfing to watch are ice hockey and equestrian events. This amuses me, because they seem like such polar opposites in a very snooty "classist" sort of way. The only sports I have interest in seeing in a stadium are equestrian.

6. The scariest thing to me in horror movies isn't blood and gore, but the sound of footsteps. I had a recurring nightmare (see #1, insomnia) for over 15 years that "featured" the footsteps of something chasing me through a forest, and the sound has terrified me since then.

7. I'm told that recurring nightmare isn't a "true" recurring nightmare, since technically those are supposed to be the same every time, and my dream morphed and grew as I did (when I was little having it, someone would have to carry me out of the forest, as I grew too old to be carried, I had to run alone) but my way makes more sense to me psychologically, since I think the subconscious grows with us, and dreams are supposed to be reflections there of, yes? Ha! I can even be a moderately intellectual insomniac! In your face, stomach flu!!!

Friday, May 11, 2007

I'm a swap Hot Mamma!

This is what everyone with long hair looks like in my house today:

(notice the hair standing on end to allow for maximum heat escape)

The short-haired gentlemen look much the same, but, you know, with shorter hair. Trevor is just a little grey puddle, Oscar looks like the cartoon victim of a cement roller, but I'm not turning on the AC. This time last week, it was in the 60s, chilly enough for wool sweaters. It's supposed to be in the 60s and low 70s again next week, and I just plain refuse to turn on the air conditioning for two days, even if I do live in a metal box that could cure pottery right now. All four of us get ice cubes in our water, and are allowed a little extra grumbling time.

As for the sock/pattern debate, it was pretty much resolved after the first comment, when Ellipsis said it would look odd if it was a color, but since it's grey, she likes it.

Good deciding comment, since it's green (albeit a grey-ish green, that I didn't photograph well). She also said it was nice and cobwebby, and I do like that look, and may use it again (with true grey yarn) when I'm looking for a cobwebby feel, but that's not what I wanted here, so a-rippin' I will go.

I did decide I will likely buy a 12" needle to do socks for my husband.

I have no idea what yarn that is (it's been in a ball in my kitchen for about 18 months now, which isn't as frightening as finding a sock - on the needles - hidden inside a pan in the cupboard while I was talking to my brother on the phone)

But it's a sock for GB, right at the start of the heel (which I've actually already done twice, but changed my mind about how I wanted the pattern to move into the ankle, and it's just easier to start over at the beginning of the heel than to try to tink wraps.) It took me about the same amount of time it normally takes me to knit a sock for my own, sized-as-any-sane-knitter-should-have-sized feet, and it's about three inches longer and an inch or so wider. So yup, a good plan if he wants warm feet. Not that it's a high priority right now.

In my own life, I seem to have gone a bit swap crazy. I joined the Knitters Tea Swap (button in the sidebar) because the idea of new teas and new local-to-someone-who-isn't-me goodies sounded like fun.

And then Erin mentioned the Artist's Way Swap. I did Morning Pages for a while when I lived in upstate NY, and enjoyed them, and I'm thinking the process would be good for my soul right now.

So here I am, the anti-joiner-extraordinaire, and I've joined two swaps this week.

Next week, I'll be hosting a Scarf-a-long.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

For your consideration...

I decided to take a little vacation time, since the cruise was really a working vacation for me, and the time zones managed to completely dissolve the weakening grasp I had on sleep. So I've done pretty much nothing but sleep and stare at the cats and dog for the past four days.

Today, though, it was back to work, and that included starting on a sock from the gorgeous Socks That Rock that Jane-of-the-washcloth gave to me a few years ago. Trouble is, I'm a bit of two minds about it. I love the yarn. I love the colors. And I love the pattern I picked.

I'm just not sure I love them all together. Add to this that I'm pretty sure I don't like the fit. I did fifty stitches, which is just about the bare minimum I could do with the needle I'm using - a 12 inch circ borrowed from (by)Sarah to see if I liked it before I bought one. Turns out I really don't like it for me - it's not the comfort of the small shafts, which gives me no problems, it's the fact that my feet are just a smidge too small for the stitches to fit comfortably around the needle without a lot of stretching that makes me uncomfortable. I think I'd like the sock better at 40 - 45 stitches, but there's no way that would work on the needle. I'm going to grab some yarn for some socks for GB and see if that goes any better, since his feet are much larger than mine, and I think the speed of the one circ will make those slightly less torturous to work on... I hope... and now I seem to have rambled far off point - anyone remember what I was talking about?

Ah, yes, what do you think about this very cool pattern fighting with this very cool sock yarn? Are you okay with it, or is it too much battling? I'm thinking it's too much.... Arguments for either side may be made in the comments section. Please refrain from "yo momma" insults. Thank you.

Oh, and thank you all for the e-mails, phone calls, private messages, comments, carrier pigeons, strip-o-grams* and other forms of congratulatory glee about my socks. I was pretty tickled myself. There's a description of the process and judges comments on the flickr site, if you're interested.
Sock Ness Monsters MDS&W 2007

*come to think of it, I didn't get a single strip-o-gram. Get right on that, would you?

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Dear Jane, (photo intensive)

I know you couldn't come along on the SeaSocks Cruise, so I decided to suck it up and participate in everything by proxy. So this is what I did on your behalf:

In San Francisco, CA,
I saw this place that claims to have "Freshly Captured Irish Leprechauns"

and I had to stop by this place to see what all the fuss was (not once did I see a "Washcloth Market". Some people have no taste.)

I rode a carousel,

and looked at cable cars,

and even went "reverse bungee jumping"

but I didn't get as high as this guy.

In Victoria, BC,
I saw the Sunken Garden at Butchart Gardens,

walked among the flowers there,

gazed up at the giant totems,

and tried to encourage the roses to bloom early. (they didn't)

Back on the ship,
Amie had to keep a close eye on me to keep me out of trouble.

Instead, an EXTREMELY handsome man with a kiwi-esque accent helped me into the proper harnesses, so I wouldn't get hurt if I fell.

I watched the giant wake,

played a little shuffleboard,

and took a knitting class or two.

While our Stateroom Attendant Arturo made the beds,

a very handsome and charming waiter/sugar-bowl-lid-cymbalist Shon brought us meals and sang to us.

Then, at the end of the day, I got to relax a little in the hot tub.

All in all, it was very hard work filling in for you on the cruise, Jane, but I hope I did you proud. Maybe next time we can take a trip together!

the washcloth you knit for Amie

Marriage is love.