Saturday, January 26, 2008

Cruel to be kind...or right to be wrong...and beware the cars of orange

My dad was rear-ended yesterday. 1989 Chevy Van vs. Honda CRV. The CRV lost, although my dad saw it coming and was smart enough to turn the wheel so that he didn't smash into the guy in front of him. As he put it, he was "creamed." The driver's seat is broken. Dad was heading to the ER yesterday, to get everything checked out, and document any issues. Hopefully he won't have much pain as a result - the good karma of avoiding the driver in front of him should prevent pain, right?

Orange cars want me to rear-end them. An orange Vibe made a right turn on red just before I got to the intersection when I was on the way home last night. While I was impressed by the chameleon neon detailing (inside and under the car, and the colors changed!), I wanted to follow the kid home just to scare him.

Then this morning, an orange Element pulled out of a gas station right in front of me. I will do my best to avoid any more orange cars.

Anyway, I am happy that I was wrong. My camera has been dying, as readers of this page will probably know. Sorny has issued a recall for defective cameras with the same issue that I have,
but I was convinced that the model I own was not one of them. I checked this morning, and I really have one of the covered models. So I will be calling Sorny this afternoon to ship it back and have it fixed. Yay! No new camera expense for me! Although Mike (the big meanie that he is) said that I could spend my half of the tax rebate now, and get a new camera. I think I will spend about a third of it and get a sock club subscription, and more sock yarn. Tell me that I don't need these socks....

What else? Zuzu needs lots of love, as usual. I have been Raveling more than I have been knitting, but will try to get more accomplished today. Trying to decide whether or not to join Hat Attack, which is like Sock Wars, except with hats. I am a pacifist, you know, and don't like killing things...............................Okay, I will join. There is Scarves of the Living Dead group, so after I am killed (because you know, I will be - only one person can win) I can continue to knit as a zombie. That clinched it for me. Mmmmmm yarn brains.

I did finish the snowman hat, and gave it to Danielle for Jaden. She says he likes saying "snowman" so even if he won't wear it he will like to look at it. I think it turned out really cute. Another knitter at work took a few pictures, so when she figures out how to download and email images, she'll send them to me for upload.

Oh, I need to figure out my square for the Pratchagan. Must not forget.

Okay, I should really get knitting now. It's slow on Ravelry now, so I should be able to tear myself away. It really is an addiction, you know.

Friday, January 25, 2008

The craziness never ends

Mike actually left the house for five days in a row. No, wait, it was six. I think.

Friday - he brewed at a friend's house, while I went to a lecture about the tree kangaroo
Saturday - he went to North End; I met him there after work
Sunday - he played games with some friends
Monday - he visited a friend while I was at knitting with that friend's wife
Tuesday - SAAZ night out at 69 Taps in Akron
Wednesday - he went to North End while I watched the Muppet Movie

And if he was that busy, you know I was busier. Last week, I'd played with brand new server guts. This week, the server is still not running, due to licensing issues. The manufacturer never applied for the codes for the licenses that were purchased. And they are now trying to figure the whole thing out.

I haven't finished anything for a while. I finished the knitting bits of my dad's clogs, so they just need to be seamed and felted. Still making baby hats. Still haven't actually finished any. Need to buy yarn to finish Mike's hat. I had enough yarn when it was short. But he wanted it longer, so I frogged back, and have now run out of yarn. I need to visit a yarn shop to find more. But I'm not allowed to buy more yarn. Maybe I should make him do it. I am a sucker for sock yarn. If I go in for just one skein of his hat yarn, I am likely to leave with at least one skein of sock yarn, too. Last time it was Paca-Peds, which is alpaca (imagine that!). I should not spend money on yarn until I have used at least some of what I have. Oh, I started another pair of clogs too, but haven't gotten very far. I think I've given up on the knit-a-mile challenge, at least for now. I haven't been keeping track, but I know I'm waaay down. I will try to catch up this weekend. I would really like to start on my next sweater.

Anyway, I should get moving. Work calls, and as much as I try to ignore it, not working doesn't pay the bills. (I tell Zuzu something like that every now and then - if she'd earn enough money for her food, I could stay home with her every day. She hasn't gotten the hint and gotten a job. Although then *she'd* have to leave the house, which neither of us would like.)

Friday, January 18, 2008

Kitty news

We took Zuzu to the vet last night. They showed us to a room, and the vet walked in with two techs. One tech had some huge leather gloves and a towel, the other had kitty-bondage gear (muzzle, restraints, etc.). We opened Zuzu's carrier, and the tech with the gloves lifted her out and put her on the towel. She wasn't happy to be there, but she was very well behaved and tolerated everything that they did. Less than 30 minutes of mild torture, and Mike took her home.

Things have been crazy lately. On Wednesday, I got to play with brand-new-server guts. Nothing like taking a server out of the box and finding a processor error. Tech support probably should have sent out a new one and just had us ship the bad one back, but no, they had me move the processors and so on. A server that is supposed to have two processors sounds like a jet engine when it boots up with only one. I was waiting for takeoff.

Also, everything seems to take longer than it should. Except my morning time - that flies by before I'm ready.

Still working on clogs and baby hats. Oh! I have a lecture tonight - I should get some mindless stockinette ready. And eat breakfast. Short post today; I need to be productive.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Organizational help wanted. And more time. 36 hours in the day, anyone?

I have been spending most of my time on Ravelry. Which is good, because I enjoy it. But it's bad, because I get nothing else done. The baby hats are still unassembled, the finished clogs are still unfelted, my sock yarn is not yet socks. I did finish Mike's hat, but it's too short, so I need to frog it back and make it taller. So what am I doing here? Good question.

I think I want to make a list of everything that I should be doing. All the challenges, all the goals, all of the projects I want to make. Here goes:

  1. Remaining Christmas clogs - if I cut down the list, I have 7 pairs left, not including a set for me (the clogs of many colors, to use up all the leftover bits)
  2. Baby hats - between 3-5; I keep getting confused
  3. Potholder sets - at least 1 set, perhaps 2. Or 3. Again, I am confuzzled.
  4. Socks for people - at least 3 pairs, not including the nieces' toddler/kid socks
Ravelry challenges:
  1. Sock KAL 2008 - one pair of socks a month
  2. Stash Knit Down 2008 - knit a mile of yarn between Jan. 5 and Feb. 19
  3. Sock Knitters Anonymous - one pair of socks a month, may or may not coincide with #1.
Personal goals:
  1. Fairfax Fibonacci Sweater - I'd like to get this done before Spring springs.
  2. Foliage hat for charity
  3. Freedom Yarns sweater(s) - I will have yarn for two sweaters. Still haven't totally decided on the patterns, though. Maybe just plain old top-down raglans, as they're easy, and the yarn is self-striping, so that will offer some interest.
  4. Knit down the stash in general.
  5. Knit down the acrylic stash, in particular. I need to make more pink furry objects for the nieces before they grow up.
  6. Make lots and lots of socks. I have a lot of sock yarn, and though it doesn't count as stash, I want some socks! I want to keep some, too.
  7. Do something other than knit! I have a kitty bed to sew for Zuzu, and a ton of cross stitch patterns to do.
  8. Make a Fibonacci bag to go with the sweater. I have the pattern drawn up, and the yarn, but haven't gotten around to working on it yet. It will be an easy and quick knit, but it still needs done...
  9. Design a sweater like Jim Henson's. I want to wear a frog on my chest.
  10. Try to keep up with the household stuff. I'd like to live in a clean house for a change.
  11. Organize my mp3s. I realized that some of my CDs have missing songs, and some of the things I have aren't in the correct folders.
  12. Volunteer more. (Read on for details)
So there's a start. In other news, my squee-worthy yarn showed up today. Not sure that it's the exact colorway I ordered. Okay, yes it is, it's just mislabeled. Good. It's brighter than I thought it would be, but that's not necessarily bad. Fun! And it came with a matching stitch marker!

I really wish people would drive with their headlights on when it's dark. It is cold in the house. At least I am cold now. If Mike wasn't pouring me a beer, I'd make some more tea. Yum - oatmeal stout! It took first place in the SAAZ H-BOY competition on Tuesday. Right now, Mike leads the pack for this year's title.

How has the writers' strike affected me? Not really at all. I'm used to the shows I like being cancelled early, so having the new shows that I like disappear after just a few episodes is normal for me. I do miss the Pie Maker, though. And my favorite Nerd Herder. Have I been watching anything else? Can't remember. We're still watching "Band of Brothers." Only a few episodes left. Crap. I missed the butt shots of the shower scene because I was typing. And Mike has the mouse, and refuses to rewind. Heh. I have watched too many medical shows - I keep expecting them to call out a time of death when someone dies.

It was very windy the other night, so windy that the house was shaking a bit. I woke up around 1:00 due to all of the noise. I guess there was an earthquake up north earlier that night. Day after all of the wind, Mike told me that one of my "nice blue flowerpots" had been blown off the deck and broken. I nearly cried, because I thought he meant my beautiful ceramic pot from Wizard of Clay. Thankfully, it was one of my cheap resin pots from Jo-Ann's. Cute, but I'm okay with its demise. I brought in my nice pot, which is good, as it's windy again tonight.

Yesterday, I went to a Women's Committee meeting at the museum. Interesting presentation on sustainability, and the merger of EcoCity Cleveland with the museum. Lunch was a tasty salad, with a marinated portabella mushroom, and an edible flower. Had an appointment afterward; did some work and discussed taxes. My sister and her husband were passing through on the way back from their gun stuff, and they stopped by and helped Mike install the new satellite dish. Well, Mac helped while my sister slept.

They've announced the Curator's Forums at the museum. I need to buy my tickets. Hope to do some volunteer work in the near future. Oh yeah, I should add that to my list. I want to be more active at the museum, and try to volunteer a bit for the Metroparks, too. Sad thing is that I don't want to give up my Sundays, as they are my only days off. I'd like to do what I can while at home (dinosaur data entry, perhaps), if I can ever drag myself away from Ravelry. And Zuzu. I love how she wiggles her butt before she pounces. I guess most cats do that, but she's particularly cute. Or maybe I'm just biased.

Anyway, I should probably get moving. Shut down the computer and be productive for a change. I have lots to do.

Important edits: I won a door prize at the CMNH luncheon. I now have some paperwhite bulbs being forced in a glass vase, on top of marbles. Will be very pretty when they bloom. I also bought some marbles leftover from the November event. Now I can make fried marbles. I will be crafty, oh yes, I will be crafty. Besides, they're very quick. I could even make them before bedtime tonight.

Reading: The Light Fantastic, Terry Pratchett
Watching: Band of Brothers
Listening to: Howard Jones, Best of

Sunday, January 6, 2008

I am squee-ing like a teenage girl right now.

Yesterday's Muppet event was wonderful. I am having a hard time doing anything productive today because I can't wait to go to today's. My friend Carl used my extra ticket yesterday; he and his wife will be there again today. Mike is coming with me today, too. Fun! I was a bit ticked off though, because I could see two empty seats yesterday, and it was another sellout crowd. Makes me think that really, there were individual seats open on Friday, and if I could have invaded the lecture hall, I could have found a seat. Oh well.

I did, however, find a perfect gift this morning for my BFF. (Yes, I'm in teenage girl mode right now. About 15 years too late.) At least eventually it will be a perfect gift. And various other items from the seller would be perfect gifts for me, but as my BFF reads this, and I want her gift bit to be a surprise, I cannot share my source, even though I so desperately want to just in case there are people out there that want to buy me perfect presents. Hence, my silent squee-ing. Anyway, I'm very excited about the stuff. It's simply perfection!

Anyway, did a few inches of Mike's hat yesterday. Since I just posted on Friday, there's not too much else to report. I do want to replicate Jim Henson's sweater, which is stripey with Kermit's face repeated on one stripe. I haven't found a picture yet, though.

We have successfully attracted birds for Zuzu, and she doesn't care. She stares at the fat doves for a while (are they fat or just fluffy?), but ignores the fun finches. I think she sees the doves as the appropriate size for a meal, and the finches are just swallows. Heh. Oh well. I should try to get things done - we are leaving in less than two hours.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Well, this sucks.

Went to the Cleveland Museum of Art tonight, planning to see Muppets History 101. Sadly, they were sold out by the time I got there. I am very bummed, especially since they weren't taking reservations, and had no clue that it was going to be a sellout. Anyway, bought tickets for tomorrow and Sunday's events, and will get tix for the rest of the month next week.

In other news... Lots of random snippets from the past few days, as I've been taking notes! I can't actually read all of them (something about ratios - remedies? vinediks? I have no idea what word I was trying to scratch onto paper...I even turned it upside down in case it referred to something else; no luck.)

We've been watching Band of Brothers recently. We're about halfway through. I would not do well at war. I don't recognize visuals quickly enough to be effective - I'd be more dangerous to our side than to the enemy. Not to mention that I really doubt my ability to kill anyone, no matter how much I talk about bombing headquarters of various companies that irritate me. Watching the soldiers camp in the cold made me very grateful for emergency blankets. I don't believe in cold-weather camping without them.

A fellow Raveler mentioned the fun trick of Googling your first name followed by "wants." My first link? Heather Wants to Grab His Booty. Followed by Whatever Heather Wants, Heather Gets. Yeah, I wish. I wanted to see the Muppet videos tonight. I did not get that. I am sad.

Zuzu has a new plaything. A box! It is sideways, so it makes a good hiding place. Have I mentioned her kitty fort? Well, she has a kitty fort made out of our patio furniture cushions. She likes to sit on top of it, and look outside. I filled the bird feeders so perhaps she will have some ornithological entertainment, but we don't think we've attracted any feathered friends yet. Hey! Birds! Come amuse my kitty!

Is it sad that I can identify the movie "Ghostbusters" after seeing just a few seconds of the intro?

I'd wanted to share something about Snoopy, but I don't remember what. I love Snoopy. I think I need to say that again. I love Snoopy. SnoopySnoopySnoopySnoopySnoopySnoopy!!!

Mike made me watch "The Ninth Gate" for some reason. He justified it by saying that I'd already pledged my undying love to Johnny Depp. I disagreed; my undying love has been pledged to John Cusack. Or is it Lloyd Dobler? Watched the movie anyway; wasn't as impressed as he probably would have liked. Oh well.

I really enjoy knitting from center pull balls. *Love* the winder! Finished both pairs of clogs - my mom's and my sister's. They just need felted. Will felt after making sure that the washer leaks were an anomaly.

Still working on the baby hats - just need to assemble the flower one, and need to make the eyes/nose/mouth of the snowman, and then assemble it. Started knitting Take II of Mike's hat tonight while waiting in line at the museum (to buy tomorrow's tickets). I justify the start-itis because I wanted something simple for the movie. That I missed. Have I expressed my sadness enough yet?

Decided that I'm going to make myself some Clogs of Many Colors with all of the leftover bits from all of the clogs I am making.

Do you experience feelings of dread in your basement or attic?

Got stopped by a train this morning, on the way to work. The first few cars were flat, and carried John Deere tractors. That was my morning amusement. Too bad I was a bit late.

Anything else? I think I need to watch some John Hughes movies. At least some of those made before 1990. No "Home Alone" for me! No linky, even. Oh well. I should go to bed. At least I have tickets for this tomorrow. Mike is skipping out on me (he has a playdate at 4, and we wouldn't be back in time), so I have an extra ticket - anyone want to go? Just let me know before 12.

Oh yeah. One thing I miss about myspace is the "listening to/watching/reading" feature. But I never liked that you could only pick one. Was thinking about posting that sort of thing here - let's start now.

Reading: The Color of Magic, Terry Pratchett
Listening to: This Business of Art, Tegan and Sara
Watching: Ghostbusters (obviously!)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Yet another challenge

Happy New Year. Although it feels like it should be early November. I'm still not ready, but am enjoying the days off.

I gave up on November's sockdown challenge, and didn't cast on for December's. I think I might do January's, though - I'd need to knit either a pattern with intarsia (knitting with two colors - think Mike's socks that won me free sock yarn) or by Cookie A. I've been wanting to do Pomatomus and Monkey for a while; either one would qualify. And I now have lots of sock yarn. (As if I didn't before.) So perhaps I will participate again.

Also discovered a new group - Stash Knit Down 2008. Their first challenge is to knit a mile. Between January 5 and February 19 (time frame of the FIRST Robotics Competition - the group moderator has an interest in that), the goal is to use up 1760 yards of stash yarn. And if my calculations are correct (which they may not be), I knitted three+ times that in December, working on all the clogs. I will have to keep track of that. And get back to the clogs, even though I am still thinking sweater. I think I will need the clog-yarn box to send my package to my secret groundhog bunny partner (we procrastinate too much to have secret Santas), so I should work on emptying it. Yes. That is what I should be doing today. Am I? No. Shame on me. Anyway, I think I can knit a mile in six weeks - could probably knit a mile every month if I tried hard enough. So it's yet another thing to keep track of. It's good that I love spreadsheets!

I am learning.... A 6-12-month-old baby's head is about the same diameter as a spindle of DVDs. And that is the size of the snowman hat. As Nancy's baby will be six months old in June, and that's probably not the best time of the year for a snowman hat, the hat should go to another, slightly older, baby. Any candidates out there? Of course, I could just send it to Nina for next year, right? I will do that if I don't discover any properly-aged babies. Or I could just use the snowman hat as a DVD-spindle cozy. Emerson Cod makes gun cozies; I can make DVD cozies, right?

Some friends came over last night for New Year's. Had fun, missed the ball drop because we were talking too much. Stayed up until 2AM. Zuzu wanted breakfast at 5AM, as usual, but then she and I crashed on the couch for a lot longer than usual. Kitty needed to catch up on her sleep, too. Made cakewaffles. With ice cream. Apparently you can make instant cake by cooking cake batter in a waffle iron. Yummy! Ahh, the things I learn on Ravelry. Like how to spend my day thinking about knitting and not actually doing it.

Anyway, I should probably pretend to be productive. Lots to do, and this is the last day off to do it. Weekend work kicks in again on the 11th, so more knitting is on the agenda then. Perhaps I will start a sweater before February...... Oh, how I want to start a sweater now......

(Oh, I ordered yarn from French Creek for a second sweater. Peggy didn't have the amounts of what I needed, so she is ordering more for me, at the year-end discounted price. I will have to shop there more often. Too bad Avon is so far away. But wait! I should not be shopping at all. Perhaps it is a good that it is such a distance.)