Tuesday, December 21, 2010

In case you were wondering . . .

I would rather sit here and eat bits of last night's birthday cake (Happy 50th, El Husbando!) than clean the house, but I know I can't tolerate the embarrassment of visiting with a friend--whom  I haven't seen in over a decade-- in the pig sty that currently poses as my house.  No disrespect intended to the swine of the world, of course.  All pig sty references aside, I hear they are much tidier than my children.

Off I go.  Only 65 minutes to get the whole job done.  eeep!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Catching Up

1. NaBloPoMo

This turned out to be a total fail for me, partly due to the massive equipment failure explained below and partly because I don't really have enough to say to warrant a daily blog.  I enjoyed the habit of blogging daily, but I was pretty bored with myself halfway through November. If I sign up again next year, smack me.

2. I Spill The $700 Cup of Coffee
Two weeks ago, in a spasm of Luddite madness, I let my lap desk slip from my hand while I was trying to get comfy enough to do some editing.

Innocent lap desk, or violently reactionary editing tool?  You be the judge.

It crashed, naturally, into a steaming cup of fresh coffee, which then splashed its contents onto my laptop computer. 

Simulated coffee spill.  No real coffee was spilled in the making of this blog post.  Please do not try this at home.

Weak minded fool that I am, my first reaction was irritation at the loss of a perfectly good cup of coffee.

And then the screen went blank and I did this:

Simulated laptop-destruction-by-coffee-induced hysteria.  No real bloggers were scared during the making of this post.
After jabbing the power button forty hundred times, I decided I needed professional help and took my poor laptop to the very fine Professional Laptop Help People.   The first thing the guy said after I explained my presence was "You didn't try to turn it on, did you?" 

Uhhhhh . . .


And then he very patiently explained to me-- using a soothing and educational voice that was remarkably similar to the voice I use when explaining to Matty exactly why he shouldn't jam tinker toys in the pencil sharpener-- that the brains of the laptop are located under the keyboard and Liquid + Computer Brains + Forty Hundred Bursts of Electricity = Bad Things Happening To Your Laptop. 

Oh.  Duhh.

I have a new laptop  now.  Its lid is a cheery tomato red, which makes almost no difference to me because I can't see that part of the laptop while I'm working.  It is newer and faster than my "old" laptop--which, at the ripe age of two felt more experienced to me than old--and it has Windows 7. For the record, I, unlike the multi-national Windows users in the TV commercials,  had no hand in creating Windows 7, but it is working fine for me anyway.  Even though I've had really good experiences with my Windows based laptops, I would have bought an Apple laptop in a heartbeat,  except that it would have cost at least three times what I paid for my laptop  and people who dump coffee on their old computers can't justify dropping that kind of cash on their new computers.

I think our 'getting used to each other' phase is almost done.  Despite its faster processor and spiffy new operating system, the new computer is totally unschooled in the way that I do my work. It turns out that I had a lot of little efficiencies stored on my old computer and I lost several days of work trying to recreate them.  On top of that, I finally "migrated" my stone-age behiney from Word 2003 to Word 2007 (I haven't bothered with Word 2010 yet because I'm much too  cheap to buy it), mostly because I had already installed the 2003 version on the maximum number of computers allowed and didn't have a choice.  I am gradually making peace with the new software, which is not quite as loaded with obstructionist features as I originally thought, but I have decided that the user manual was written by a committee of people who are well versed in corporate- and marketing-speak, but who are otherwise unfamiliar with the English language.

Now that my laptop and I are back in working order, I have no excuse --other than my world-class procrastination skills--for my failure to work.  Oh well.

3. I  Knit Some Stuff

I managed to finish a few lingering projects.  First up, the very colorful Icebreaker Hat from the fine people at Green Mountain Spinnery. This is the yarn that I bought on my trip to New Hampshire, when  I made my pilgrimage to GMS.  The braids on the edge and in the middle of the hat were fun, although more so when they were done than while I was making them.  The hat did turn out very TALL, but Isabel says she likes it and she has been taking it to school with her,  when she is not busy leaving it on the floor of the car.

Next is a pair of lined mittens.


I used the Super Mittens pattern from Weekend Knitting.   For these mittens, I knit the outside from Lopi at a pretty tight gauge.  The lining is Berroco Ultra Alpaca and these little buggers are WARM.  I think this is my new favorite method for plain-Jane mittens. I even took my old Lopi mittens, which were knit from the same pattern, and lined them and now they are much warmer.

I have done no spinning, mostly because I consider spinning a Level B activity (one requiring me to stand or sit up relatively straight, coordinate my hands and feet,  and pay some attention to what I am doing) and I have been busy enough that I am only qualified for Level C (primarily stationary and requiring minimal attention to detail or posture) activities that can be done while collapsed in a comfy chair. Weaving has suffered the same fate.  I am on to more knitting projects-- a lacy tee for Isabel and socks for Emma-- which are definitely Level C and can be done while sitting in bed with the TV on.

Well, for a girl who skipped grocery shopping (GASP!) in order to work, I have been remarkably dilatory. Time to get to work!