Friday, December 08, 2006

Sleighbells ring, Jack frost, and all that

We have snow! Just a smattering left from an all out snow storm yesterday, but still....snow. I like snow. I like the cold in general. But lately we have this biting wind that I can do without. I have the yarn to make myself an ear flap hat, and really need it now, but with the christmas knitting not done I just can't do it. DD played outside for a full hour after school yesterday, and had a grand old time. A neighbour girl came over and together they used every tupperware container we had to build sculptures (okay, plastic containers. What my father called "Suckerware". Because I am too cheap to buy actual tupperware). Most of them made it back into the house, but there is a suspicious number of margarine tubs and dollar store snap-lid containers missing. What will the neighbours think! Guess I'll worry about that in the spring ;). Of course, living where I do, the snow will melt far before then. We live in a constant freeze-thaw cycle here. If you don't like the weather, wait a minute. It'll change. It isn't unusual to send the kids to school in long underwear and bundled to the ears, and pick them up coatless and dragging all that stuff through the puddles in their wake. With that cold wind though, things aren't thawing yet. Just blowing around and repiling in different places. If it weren't for the work I had to do, I would have been outside with her! Ruby likes the snow too. We end up spending a lot of time outside in the winter, that is as long as the wind isn't too bad for me. DD and Ruby could care less, but it cuts right through me like a knife anymore. DD doesn't like snow down her boots, and Ruby refuses to walk or move if she gets snow between her toes. I guess we all have our limits LOLOLOL. *Interjection - this freeze thaw cycle is the precise reason I would never kill DH and bury him in the yard. He would heave to the surface far too soon for my liking and I would be found out. And fear of getting caught is about as good a reason not to commit a crime as any. Just so you know. Interjection over* Tonight DD and I will be going to PetSmart. I need veggie wafers and shrimp powder for the fish, and there is nothing wrong with schmoozing with pets while we are there. We like to go and woo-woo at other people's dogs. We look at all the fish, and visit the birds. Check on the rodents. Peek at the adoptable cats there. Visit with any pets anybody has brought in. We won't bring Ruby this time. She really doesn't like it there for some reason, maybe it's because she knows they clip nails and bathe dogs there. She likes a bath at HOME, not by strangers. Afterwards I will probably watch the shows I missed when I fell asleep last night (I fell asleep before Survivor even started, and stayed asleep through CSI and ER, until DH came home and woke me up - to tell me to go to bed ROFL). In my defense, I had it set to come on a different channel at 9pm instead of 8pm, so DD was already in bed asleep before I dozed off. And this morning, I slept through two alarms and apparently DH woke me twice - I don't remember any of it. It is taking me forever to type things today, because I am using a new keyboard and not used to it yet. I cannot get the DiNovo to work after the Windows wipe on my machine, and truthfully I wasn't fond of it. The keyboard itself had a nice "feel", but the detached number pad never really worked the way it was supposed to and the mouse was big and heavy - like using a brick. Plus, most of the characters were rubbed off the keys, making it hard to use. The feel of the keys on this new keyboard is taking some getting used to. It is cheap. Very cheap. But I wanted USB keyboard and mouse, optical but didn't care if it was cordless. I've done cordless. Too cheap to go to laser, so why not USB and never have to worry about batteries or charging, right? The keys almost seem like they bump or rub each other, which makes them harder to press sometimes. I got used to the softer touch, and frankly, this one is making my hands tired. The mouse? Well, my last mouse was optical as well, but this one is very sensitive. The incredibly faint wood grain pattern on my desk keeps hanging up the sensor and causing the pointer to act erratically. Right now I have it on a piece of paper, but realistically that will never last. Sometimes I have one inch square of space to use that mouse, and I refuse to start using or carrying a mousepad again. Okay, we all know me. And we all know the slightest irritation and things like keyboards go flying out the window, if not back to where they were purchased. So why the delay? Seeing as I have been programming and swearing for several hours now? Well. It's just. So. GREEN. Tell me this keyboard and mouse don't just scream my name?? But the fact remains, it makes my hands tired and they hurt and I can't work like that. So I will give it ONE MORE DAY. And if I continue to get hung up on the keys, away it goes. Poop. There was another keyboard on sale that DH wanted me to get. It was a good price, of course only for that day and now the sale is over. And he keeps saying "That keyboard was better. It was cordless. It was optical. The keys were nicer". And I keep replying "But was it GREEN?!?! I think NOT". He so does not get it. Don't worry. Some day I will live somplace above the frost line ;).

Thursday, December 07, 2006

How did it go?

So. How did the work trip go? What does this tell you. I spent more hours sitting on airplanes on the ground than I care to count, braved a freak snow storm, got stuck in two traffic jams, spent about two days alternately feeling like crying or throwing up and not being sure which, had my laptop wiped and rebuilt (and it would have been nice to know first so I could save some stuff. Like my fricken wireless software and work email programs, that sort of thing), and ate about one more sandwich than my constitution allows for. Not a complete summary, but pretty close LOL. I was able to learn what was taught to me, but it turns out I wasn't the only one that doubted my intelligence. The person training me kept telling me everything was too complicated to show me. I finally told him "Too complicated? That's okay. I am a complicated person. And kinda smart. Why not let's go over it once and see how it goes". Sheesh! And some of that stuff was quite simple, so I was getting more and more offended by the minute. And frustrated (there is not enough time nor blog space on the internet to discuss that whole debaucle, let's just say it will be a while before I am even ready to talk about it with my DH let alone put together a few paragraphs). I didn't get much knitting done, certainly nothing to show. And I haven't had a chance to install the picture software yet. It took me hours this morning just connecting to the internet. Once again, a little notice would have been nice. You don't erase the entire contents of a person's hard drive while they are in the bathroom. It's just not nice. More tomorrow, I am off to take a scalding hot shower and then go to bed.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Whoooooooo Whooooooo

I decided to make the gifts for DD's "Owls". Owls are the leaders in a Brownie group. The Brown Owl is the main leader, then usually a Tawny Owl. Then after that, it seems like it is an owl free for all LOL. I remember having a brown owl, tawny owl, and snowy owl but it turns out they can call themselves whatever they want. In DD's group there is a Brown Owl, Tawny Owl, Sunshine Owl, Camping Owl, and Music Owl. Music Owl was a problem. I could have sworn she was Rainbow Owl, and that was reflected in her gift. Turns out I am completely insane and Elvis talks to me (Can't make a foil hat - we are out of foil). DD made the executive decision that I did not have to make a new owl, but rather could just add to the one I had. Good thing, because I was out of owl coloured yarn. DH thought I was a little odd and really had no idea what I was doing (and really, I don't think he even still knows the point of these) but does agree that these are about the most adorable owls ever. Top: Tawny Owl, Music Owl. Bottom: Sunshine Owl, Camping Owl, Brown Owl. I adapted a pattern I found for Owl Fridgies on the internet. I won't post a link because there are several that are worded exactly the same and I'm not sure who the original writer is. And frankly, I couldn't follow them for the life of me. If it wasn't for the picture on the page it would have been hopeless. Plus I changed them quite a bit, in my opinion. For those that crochet: Body - 1. Chain four. Join with a slip stitch to form a ring. 2. Chain four (beggining triple), then triple crochet 19 times in the ring. 3. Slip stitch to the top of the beginning chain four. First horn - 1. Chain four (beginning triple). 2. Triple crochet twice space. 3. Chain four, then slip stitch into the base of the chain. You now have half a horn and a bump at the top. 4. Triple crochet twice in the same place as row 2. 5. Chain four, and slip stitch in the same place as rows 2 and 4 (final triple). Second horn - 1. Slip stitch in next triple crochet of body. 2. Chain 4 (beginning triple). 3. Triple crochet twice in the same space. 4. Chain four, then slip stitch into the base of the chain. You how have half a horn and a bump at the top. 5. Triple crochet twice in the same place as row 3. 6. Chain four, and slip stitch in the same place as rows 3 and 5 (final triple). Body edging and tail - 1. Single crochet six times around body. 2. Slip stitch in next stitch, then chain four (beginning triple). 3. Triple crochet in the same space, then chain 1. 4. Triple crochet twice in the next stitch, then chain 1. 5. Triple crochet twice in the next stitch, then chain 1. 6. Triple crochet in the next stitch. Chain four and slip stitch into the same space. 7. Single crochet 6 times around the rest of the body. 8. Slip stitch to the last stitch (where first horn starts). 9. Cut yarn and draw through stitch to finish off. Coloured decorations - 1. Attach second colour and single crochet in each tail stitch. 2. Cut yarn and draw through stitch to finish off. 3. Weave in all ends. 4. Cut six pieces of second colour, and attach to horns to make ear fluffs. 5. Using white yarn, stitch on eyes. Use black to make the pupil. 6. Using orange yarn, stitch on the beak, and stitch toes to hold on a small stick ( I used pieces of bamboo skewer that I coloured with markers). Attach a pin or glue a magnet to the back. I have made some progress on my Dad's scarf and I have to tell you, I love this Soy Wool Stripes stuff. I have hit a few knots but it hasn't been a big deal to cut them out and rejoin, this stuff joins very nicely. It is a little splitty and fuzzy but the lovely sheen and shine and the transition of the colours makes it all worthwhile. It is soft and squishy and lofty, and I love it. This multi-directional scarf is really easy and goes pretty fast. The only thing I might do if I make it again is exchange the SSK that joins the short rows to the previous knitted area for K2TOG. I think my Knit two togethers look neater than my slip slip knits. Or maybe for some texture I might try S1K1PSSO (slip one, knit one, pass slipped stitch over). The only annoying thing here is that with the short rows, there is a lot of turning your work. I realize I am supposed to turn the SCARF and not myself, but for some reason rapid turning of projects that aren't very wide makes me dizzy. I made a doll scarf once that was TWO STITCHES with very chunky yarn. I practically needed dramamine. I won't bore you with another picture until it is done, but I have made some progress on my mother's scarf, only to find a NEW annoyance with it. We are in the middle of a cold snap, and between the bitter wind and jacked up heat in every building my skin gets very dry. This yarn is snaggy. Incredibly snaggy. It could snag on a baby's bottom, I am talking. It keeps snagging and pulling on the dry skin of my fingers (I don't bite my nails but I am a finger biter/picker). Annoying and aggravating. I almost chucked it in again, when somebody walked by and nearly threw herself prone at my feet because they liked the scarf so much. Sigh. LOL! I keep telling myself it will be worth it in the end. Special announcement I will be travelling for the next two days. I will be back quite late on Wednesday. These two days will be very intense (we are talking more intense than when I got my MCSE) so I'm not sure if I will get a chance to blog. And when I do get a chance on Thursday, I might not have much exciting to say, other than to whine about airports and hotels and how sucky the training was ROFL. So be forewarned. And that is all I can blog today, 'cause I gotta go pack!