Sunday, September 30, 2012

Blink. Where Went the Weekend?

Ahem. So.

Well, it's been quite a weekend, in good ways and not so good, and, yeah, that coherent thought that I hoped, on Thursday night, might return Friday, never did come to pass. (I don't think it is really here tonight, either. Fair warning.) Friday after work I ran some errands, and was so pooped by the time I got home and got everything in and put away and dealt with, there was no blogging going to happen. I didn't even think about trying for more than a brief moment.

Saturday I went to central Mass to visit a friend, and had a nice afternoon with her and her daughters; we went to an apple farm and a cheese shop and a feed store* and an alpaca farm ... it was fun, and I have pictures, and sometime I'll even show them to you. From there I went to the house of friends for dinner, in honor of their daughter turning eight, and that was also fun. I was mighty wiped out when I got home, though! A good day, but a long day.
*You'll never guess what I bought there. Seriously, not in a million years will you guess.

This morning the vet came for her annual house call. I got Miri in the carrier beforehand, since last year we had a devil of a time cornering her (last year I didn't remember to close the office and bedroom doors first, which didn't help). Miri went batshit, of course, and while I did get her in it, she drew blood and raced to the top of my shit list, where I imagine she will stay for some time (I offered to let the vet keep the carrier if she would just take the cat away, and I wasn't really kidding either). The vet says next time, put her in the bathroom instead. I asked how do I get myself out of the bathroom without letting her out, and she said I should throw her in with a towel over/around her, then close the door before she disentangles herself. Which I guess might work. I don't know how the vet then gets in and gets hold of the cat ... but I guess that part is not my problem, is it? If I don't end up bleeding, it would be an improvement.

Bottom line with Miri's health is that her teeth aren't great, but otherwise she's fine, naturally; if the good die young, she'll live forever. The vet did console me that she has very small kidneys, which means she probably won't live into her twenties anyway. The vet fully understands how I feel about Miri. Thank god. She didn't try to guilt me at all.

As for Carlos, he needs his teeth cleaned too, but more disturbingly, he has blood in his urine, which is never a good sign. Onto antibiotics he goes, and hopefully that will clear the infection out and be done with it. Nothing more serious, please, I can't take it! I went out for our old favorite pill pockets this afternoon; I gave him an empty one to try, and he seems to like it, so hopefully that will go smoothly.

I spent the rest of the afternoon and into the evening doing laundry, and I am so tired, I can hardly sit up. At 7:30! Not a good sign, is it? Sunday night, before a busy week and a weekend trip. I'm sure I'll be fine, though, right? Right?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Quick (No) Hockey Notes

I managed to use up most of my evening already, so for tonight, we'll touch briefly on hockey, and perhaps tomorrow I will make more time for writing at some length.

First, via Puck Daddy:
Which makes the message to NFL fans, "My league is more stupid than your league." Unfortunately seems to be true, this year anyway.

Also from PD, the excellent headline by which another blog, The NHL in Kansas City (where they don't have an NHL team), announced that the league has cancelled preseason games that included one to be played there:

KC's Pre-season Game Cancelled On Account Of Owners Being Tremendous Assholes

Yup. That, too.

Finally, here's Jason Bourne from a couple of weeks ago, just before the lockout became official. It's still true, what he says.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Various Work Thoughts

Today was dress-up day at work, otherwise known as The CEO is Back in Town. It's pretty funny, really: twenty people make an effort to dress extra-nicely, the men in ties and some even in suits (and I wore a dress, myself; might as well get more use out of it), and everyone just looks more polished than usual ... and he arrives, goes into a conference room with my boss, and is there all day. A few people get called in for a while, but for most of us, we get a glimpse across the room and that's it. It seems like a lot of effort. (He actually came around before he left, but still, it wasn't much.)

Also today, an APB was sent out from the head of IT, telling everyone to use only their accurate job titles in e-mail signatures, on LinkedIn, and the like. Apparently there has been some job inflation? I guess. I'd love to learn the back-story to that one.

When I started working here in June, there were nine other people in the office, and today there are 21 (the division total is 40, but that's including NY and London). We still have room for more, but we're reaching the point where they run out of conference rooms for all the meetings (mercifully, I hardly ever have to go to any*, but that is not true of the others, in part because they're still hiring so there's interviewing, but also because of the global nature of the company). Soon they'll have to have sign-up sheets or something.
*I sometimes feel like a still point in a swirl of people going into and coming out of meetings; it's a good feeling, don't get me wrong, but it can be a little odd.

Note to self, though, based on one meeting I did have to go to: I'm not planning to move to the west coast, but if I ever do, I must not get a job with a global company. This conference call was at 8:30am Eastern time, which was fine for us and the New York office; 1:30pm for London, safely after lunch; and 6pm in India, a little late in the business day but manageable. For San Francisco, however, it was 5:30 in the morning, and I felt sympathy pains for that guy.

At work, there is a small desk by the door, but we don't have a receptionist, so there's nothing on the desk except for one lone plant--well, a mixed arrangement of plants. It looks like it was sent as a welcoming gesture back when the office opened in the spring, and it is about three-quarters dead. There is something sort of frond-y hanging on tenaciously, while the rest is long withered. How long do you suppose the last bit can live, ignored and (presumably) unwatered?

If it was up to me, there would be someone sitting there, because in my opinion my boss really needs an admin. She is insanely busy and under tremendous pressure; she doesn't need to also be picking up coffee, installing toner in the printer, and the like. No one asked me, but it seems to me that she could get someone to do such things for her, to free up a little bit of her time.

In conclusion, I'm sorry to scare you, but I realized today that Christmas is less then three months away. Yow, time goes faster and faster! 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Of Cats and Needles

I had a slightly disturbed night's sleep last night; apparently the quantity and/or quality of the cat food offerings Chez Cat Hair was not to the standards of the furry residents, and every time I moved, there were mrrrps and PURRs around me.
Like this, only audible, jumping over me, and all night long. Unisom tonight.

Maybe it's the phase of the moon, because the cats have also been extra food-fussy lately: it's not just "not enough" food, it's "not that" food. I hate the waste as well as the nagging. Tonight I threw away this morning's dried-out rejects (they did eat some of it), and put down something different. Carlos looked at it, then went to wait for me to come to my senses and give him something "good". Given that he was sitting by the other bowl, the one with the unfinished good stuff, I found that rather funny. I sat down to my own dinner, and looked down to see him unmoving, and Miri taking advantage of the situation. Forgive the cell phone picture, but that was what I could reach.
She practically sat on his paws. He didn't move, either, not then or for a while after she left. I will wait, something good will come.

I do have more to talk about than the feline nuts tonight, though. The initial acupuncture report! (Can anyone tell me why I so want to spell it accupuncture? Is it just because of words like accurate?) I want to put down all the details that I would have wanted to know before going, as well as to remember for myself in future. To cut to the chase, it went fine, and all day I have felt ... fine. Not fantastic, not awful, just normal. It's not exactly a letdown, since I was more worried that I would feel weird or something, but it is somehow odd to me.

I had the initial session this morning, which starts with a lengthy medical history before moving on to the needles; future sessions of course will be straight to the pointy part. Walking in, my initial impressions were favorable. The woman seems pleasant, she pronounced my name correctly, and while the office is small, it's nicely done: a little decorated but not all fringe-in-your-face; it smells pleasant without overdoing the incense; and there was quiet music playing without being obtrusive. 
 
I filled out the medical history forms, trying to remember all the things that those sorts of forms ask one. Does it make me a bad person that I can't remember exactly how old I was when I started getting my period? Or exactly when the allergies started bothering me? Or a number of other little things. Anyway, when I finished, she and I went over my health and health history generally, which took a fair bit of time. 
 
After that, she offered me the chance to go the bathroom before we started (which I did, never pass up the chance) and then she left me to take off my shoes and socks and lie on the table (on my back, with a pillow under my head and another under my knees). When she came back in, she did a little poking at my midsection, and when the pressure was slightly uncomfortable in a spot, she would press on a spot around my foot/ankle, then try the middle again, which was interesting. She also checked my pulse, and looked at my tongue! I wonder what it told her.
 
She placed a few needles here and there: my left arm, my middle, and feet, I think, just four of them. I felt a slight pinch with each, but no pain. My head got more: three on top*, and six around the face (I closed my eyes for that part; I'm not phobic, but a little squeamish), and those hurt a little more, pinchy, but not that bad. She gave me a sniff of some sort of scented oil, and when I liked it, she dabbed a little under my nose, to breathe in. It tingled, and either made my nose run or made me feel like my nose was running, I'm not sure which. She put a doorbell-like thing in my hand, to call her if I wanted her before she came back, and then turned off the light and left me to relax there. 
*At one point this afternoon, I scratched the top of my head, and a bit of dried blood, about the size of the head of a pin, came off, which was disconcerting. Not painful, but surprising.
 
It actually was pretty relaxing, though that may have been because it was early and I'm not a morning person and who minds lying peacefully for a little while? After a while, I don't know exactly how long, she came back, took the needles out, and I was done. I go back after work next Tuesday for the next session; I wonder if evening will feel different? My "homework" is not to get headaches this week--hope I can manage that! She advised no strenuous exercise for two hours, and drink lots of water to flush the toxins: not a problem, and not a problem!

General advice: wear comfortable and loose-fitting clothes. Short sleeves are good, and not a dress or jumpsuit, since she did seem to want access to the midsection (though perhaps that wouldn't have been a problem, I don't know that). I didn't do anything to prepare for it, other than leave off my perfume in case it interfered with something she would do (which is probably BS, why would it, but I thought of it and decided why not). Well, and I did bring my list of doctor visits over recent years, in case she asked about something, and I made notes of how many headaches I've had this year, as well as the drugs I took while seeing the neurologist. So I guess that is some prep!
 
My personal conclusion, after one visit, is provisionally neutral. The experience was fine, even pleasant. I didn't really feel any different afterward, and I can't even see where most of the needles went, so that's good. (Obviously that one spot atop my head bled a little, but nothing to worry about.) I'm really tired tonight, but more than usual? Probably not. So we await the conclusion, or at least the next part of the story.

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Monday, September 24, 2012

On the Road

Round about, here and there, funny plates are everywhere!
Which is your favorite? It's not just plates, either, but cars generally:
Can anyone explain the cupcake and crossbones to me?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Of Yarn (the favorite) and Cat (the favorite)

To answer the question that I raised the other day, about the skeins of Socks That Rock I've acquired this year, they are not all all blue, but they all have at least a nodding relationship with it. Here they are:
From left to right is the order I got them in:
  1. Lunasea, which has blues and greens and light purples
  2. Lucy in the Sky, beautiful blues
  3. In the Navy, strikingly similar to Lucy
  4. a skein of Mill Ends, meaning it has no proper name, but one could call it mermaid, or Caribbean, for its blues and greens
  5. Muddy Autumn Rainbow, which has some blue but more of other colors
  6. Midsummer Night, blues and grey-blues
And if that last one looks somehow familiar, you're not imagining things. See?
I made my Bigger on the Inside shawl with a heavier-weight, but it was also from Blue Moon, and in the same colorway. Ahh! I would have bought this skein anyway, but now I'm going to use it to make these Tardis socks, just because I can. I have to get a little sock-weight yarn in black and white before I can start.

Pending that, I started mitts to use up the yarn I had left from the shawl. I think I'll have enough, but that's part of the experiment. So far, so good, as you can see in this awkward left-handed photo.
Meanwhile, I'm doing laundry and dinner is in the oven, and overall chore progress is being made. What more can I ask from a Sunday evening?

Well, him, of course. But I don't have to ask for him, I have him.


Fortunately.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Licensed Shopping and Needles

Last Sunday, I was reading a story in the Globe that mentioned how the registry doesn't send out license renewal reminders any more, which I knew, but it suddenly struck me: isn't this the year I do have to renew mine? I checked and yes, it is. Good thing I was indirectly reminded! I went ahead and put a reminder on my calendar for five years from now, so I don't leave it too late next time (though next time, I may be able to do it online, which is easier; I couldn't this time because I did last time, and they want you to come in every now and then). So this morning, I toddled off to one of the AAA branches that performs registry services, and it was a piece of cake: I barely had to wait, the vision test was simple, I got my picture taken and paid my bill and boom, done. Bullet dodged.

As long as I was there, I went into a Paper Store that's in the same plaza, since I can't resist the lure of Hallmark-type giftie things. Not just the cards, but all the Stuff. To my surprise, they had a really good selection of Bruins (and other local teams) gear. All sorts of things! I was perusing the area when an employee asked if I needed any help, and I said no, I was just a hockey fan in mourning doing some retail therapy. She said brightly, "You're the second one today!" Kind of a funny idea, that we're all wandering lost.

I only bought two things: a magnet from the Cup season, which was 75% off for some reason, and earrings:
But I also liked this shirt quite a lot. Simple and to the point.

If I didn't already have about six Bruins t-shirts, I might have bought it. And if I happened to be a fan of more than one sport, I would have loved this one, which brings all sorts of Boston sports moments together:
Another shirt I didn't get, not sports related:
And while we're talking snark, I also liked this sign:
I love my family, but that's us, all right. And speaking of family, I thought of my aunt when I saw a new entry in the Keep Calm line.
I think we're close to the point when there will be a Keep Calm for everyone. In fact, I did a search on etsy, and there are over 15,000 results, so I guess we're about there, right?

That's it from the Paper Store, but I also hit Barnes and Noble on a calendar quest recently (last year I left it too late, and the selection was distinctly lacking). I wanted a small wall calendar for work, a page-a-day for work and one for home, and a wall calendar or two for home.

I got this Wild Cats one for home:
How gorgeous are they, right? Click on the photo to see it bigger.
I didn't buy this calendar, though it greatly amused me.
See what is says at the top? "This calendar isn't really about CATS but I hear those sell better." I thought about it, but in the end I couldn't resist Dave Barry. Classic.

For a little wall one for work, I chose one called Islands. I did not get this one:
Although we do have a running corgi joke at work. But for the page-a-day I got this one, also the subject of a running joke:
Maybe you have to work there, but trust me, we will get a lot of jokes out of Bacon a Day. :)

I bought one non-calendar while I was there. I've been looking for something to keep my knitting contained on the couch, more solidly than a project bag, since those aren't quite working. This is perfect!
It's sort of heavy-paper-weight, not wood or anything, but it feels sturdy, not at all flimsy.
If only my initial was an H.
And the fittings feel solid and real.
Can't show you the inside, since there's secret knitting in it, but one day I'll show you that, too. It's working just as I wanted it to, and I like it. Winner!

That's it for the shopping report, or at least all I took pictures of (a few things are boring and a few things are presents, actually). No one wants to see my new bath towel, do they? It's a sort of dark royal blue shade, Ralph Lauren, $6 at Ocean State ... even I'm not that excited. Pleased, sure, but not camera-excited.

In a health update, aka Oh My Head: If you've ever read here before, you know I get headaches. Plenty of them, sometimes nearer the "disruptive but functional" end of the scale and sometimes, unfortunately, hitting square on the "moaning, clutching my head, and wanting to die, now please" end. And while I haven't tried everything, because the fun* thing about migraines is that there are a million things that MIGHT help, I've tried a lot, large and small. I have tried cutting out caffeine, and I've tried consuming regular amounts of caffeine. I saw a neurologist for several years, and we tried a variety of daily, preventive medications and in-case-of medications, both prescription and OTC. I don't smoke, I don't drink, and I try my damnedest to get enough sleep. And still they come.
*Yeah, fun. The motto of migraine treatment might as well be It All Depends. It's maddening.

A year or two ago, my mother and I were talking about it, and specifically about my trying some of the less-traditional-medicine possibilities out there. Acupuncture, chiropractor, hypnosis? I'll give anything a chance. I did contact a woman that a friend recommended, but her schedule and location thwarted easy outside-my-work-hours access (this was when I was back at the company that had laid me off in 2008, working as a temp). Then I moved on to last year's job, and wanted to see what my new health insurance might cover. I looked into it a little, but never actually took the step. Last fall, I said that once I survived Christmas, I would Do It. Then I got laid off in January, and it slipped right down the list of priorities again.

Now that I'm employed again (again), and since I've been getting too many headaches lately, I am finally getting around to it. It turns out that this health insurance doesn't cover acupuncture like it would a doctor's visit, but I do get 25% off, which is better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, as they say. And there's a practitioner in the town where I live, how much more convenient does it get?

I have the introductory meeting next week. It may not help a bit, or it may be a Turning Point I look back on in years to come; we'll see. For that matter, we'll see how the initial appointment goes, since its start time of 7:30 is before I'm usually fully awake. I mean, I'm driving to work at 7:30, so I am that much awake, but in terms of cognition... We'll see. Wish me well!
Finally, does anyone have any information about Nashville, TN? Visited there, lived there, heard of it? Not for me, but I'm curious about it for someone else. Is it cool? Fun? Weird? Does it feel like the South? Anything you've got, I'll take it, in a comment or an e-mail (ccrinma at hotmail dot com). Thanks ever so! 

Friday, September 21, 2012

What Today Should Have Been

Today, I should have been excited to think about the Bruins starting training camp. I would have probably gone to Wilmington last weekend to see the rookie camp, and I would be planning when to go this weekend for the full camp. To see hockey again! I mean, come on, I've gone before*, and I went there to see the development camp in July, you know I'd be going now. I'd be checking the calendar for exhibition games, hoping they might be on the radio at least, and studying the rosters, looking at names and heights and birthdates and hometowns.
 *and here, where I show Tuukka Rask the first time I saw him, and mention how "hockey pucks make good paperweights", just like I did last week.

Instead, I'm reading about Tyler Seguin going to play in Switzerland. Seidenburg will go to Germany to play on a team with his brother, and Krejci and Andrew Ference are reportedly going to the Czech Republic, and that's just the beginning. Some big names around the NHL are moving on: Jagr's gone to the Czech Republic too, and Ovechkin is already playing in Russia, and he's saying that if salaries and contracts get cut too much, why come back? I have no confidence that the sides will resolve this any time soon anyway. And that is totally depressing. To quote from Backhand Shelf today, "There‚Äôs a business deal to be done here, and it feels like both sides are more concerned with the PR battle. Get in a room and get to work, please."

More than one hockey blogger has pointed out that not all hockey is off, just because the NHL has their panties in a wad (I'm paraphrasing here), and that's true. I hope to go to one or two minor league games; the P-Bruins don't play Saturday nights at home (the perils of sharing an arena), but they play Sunday matinee games, so maybe in November or later I'll get to one of those (October's too busy for me, of course). And there are teams in Worcester, and Manchester ... it's not super-close to me, but totally possible.

The thing is, going to games in person, while great fun, is not what I'll miss about the NHL. There are years when I don't get to a single game--it's expensive! But I watch almost every game on TV, and that's what I'll miss. Two, three, four nights a week, sitting down with a cat and my knitting and watching my guys play, seeing what Bergeron does this year and if Tuukka can carry the number-one spot, getting to know the new ones by who makes the announcer's voice rise ... streaming video of a minor league or overseas game on the computer is not going to replace that.

Maybe if my TV wasn't over 20 years old, it would be able to show internet-based things (I think that's possible, isn't it?), and I could be on the couch and watching a game halfway around the world. I don't think it would be the same, though, and sitting at my computer to do it certainly wouldn't be.

Sooo.... there's that. What else?

Well, as we all know, my October is pretty full of plans, and I've marked my calendar for the weekends around trips, especially the weekend between, to try and keep them, if not empty, at least event-light for rest and recovery. Just the same, I've just made plans for the Saturday after Rhinebeck, and I don't think I'll regret it. It started when one of my coworkers asked if I knew anyone in the area who does babysitting, since a few couples who are coming to her wedding are looking for some help*. I said that I'm good for babies but not older kids, and she said that there's a six-month-old and a one-and-a-half-year-old, and that I could just do the baby if I wanted**. Well, you know how I am about babies! It's an afternoon wedding/evening reception, and I'll be hanging out with a baby ... maybe I'm weird, but it sounds good to me. More restful than stressful.
*And apparently, even though she told them they could bring the kids to the events, they'd rather not!
**Which I do, since six months and 18 months are likely to have wildly different needs and schedules--not to mention how I'm better with them under a year old.

I've had people tell me that they much prefer the older ages to the baby stage, even with their own kids, but I'm the opposite (not that I have my own kids, but you know what I mean). It's funny, isn't it, the ways we're different?  

*****
I've decided to pause in my Doctor Who Catch-Up Marathon. I've been working my way through Season Six, the first Matt Smith season, but I'm having some issues, so I though a break would give me a chance to see if I'm actually not liking it, or if it's from watching too much in too short a time. (This discussion will contain spoilers, if you consider discussion of plot points from three or more years ago spoilers.)

It isn't just the adjustment to the new Doctor, Matt Smith, either. Toward the end of the David Tennant era, I was unhappy with the resolution of the Donna storyline: she saved all those worlds, and not only doesn't she get to remember it, she has to go back to her no-self-respect days? And then the Doctor got less like himself, and tried to save people he knew he shouldn't, and was all emotional, and it was just wrong. Even the past-companions tour, entertaining as it was (Captain Jack and Alonzo, why not?), was on the maudlin side.

Then we get Matt Smith, and he has such problems with his regeneration that he promises Amelia he'll be back in five minutes and returns years later. It's a time machine: effing up the time travel part is getting overdone. I like Amy, and Rory too, but how many times has one of them "died" except oops, not really!? Come on. And the Doctor died, except did he really, and they can't tell him they saw him die, and he knows who's in the space suit, and how long do we wait to find out how this will resolve?

Then we take the bad guys who you can't remember when you don't see them, so you don't know what just happened because they characters don't know what just happened, and now that's affecting other stories to the point where if I hadn't seen that, I wouldn't know what the hell was going on. I watched The Almost People and the end doesn't make any sense to the episode, only to the overarching storyline (as Wikipedia says of the reviews for this episode, "many noting that the cliffhanger overshadowed the actual story of the episode." Exactly!). You know what? Sometimes I would like to step back from the overarching storyline. Why not look back to the first "new" season, with Christopher Eccleston*, for example? There were little hints scattered throughout, things that only made sense when the storyline wrapped up at the end of the season, but it wouldn't make you feel left out of the joke to see them out of order (which I know for sure because that is, of course, just how I saw them the first time). Only at the end do all the little "Bad Wolf" notes come together. I liked it much better that way.
*He's still my favorite ... damn it.

I don't know, maybe I just burned out a little, but it feels a little too "clever for the sake of being clever". After all, my favorite episode, Blink, probably has less of the Doctor than any, but it's how it all fits together that impresses me. I also loved The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances, which is partly for putting the pieces together and partly for the characters. And someone who had never heard of Doctor Who could understand it after only a 30-second elevator speech about the basic premise of the show.

Definitely time for a break. And for a weekend! Off to enjoy the rest of my Friday night. Hope you enjoy yours!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Ten Thousand Kinds of Awesome

I know I've mentioned before how much I loved The West Wing, which is pretty funny given how I feel about actual politics. Today I saw this, which is fantastic beyond words, and if you too were a WW fan, watch it now hurry up watch it now now now!

I want to vote for Bridget Mary McCormack now, and I live about a thousand miles from Michigan. But I love her! And I want to thank her for this.

And, you know, for being a force for good in politics, because we need more of that, at every level.

But mostly for reminding me of how good The West Wing was. Nostalgic now!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Little Work; More Yarn

When I got to work this morning, there was indeed an e-mail with the report I was waiting for, sent at 5 yesterday. However, there was also an e-mail sent by the writer's superior, at 8, telling us to hold off on editing "until it's in a more finalized state". So, another day of not-busy, and added concern about just how busy busy will be, when the report is finally handed over. They want this done before the end of the month, but that's getting awfully close, for a 150+ page report. With acknowledged template/formatting issues.

I'm getting a little nervous about this, to be honest. At this point, having largely edited the overseas reports, I'm familiar with how a lot of things shouldn't be done, but I don't feel I have a perfect command of the way the boss does want things to be done. The analysts here are feeling out their first reports, and in a sense so am I. Sigh.

In happier thoughts: yarn! I have mentioned before, many a time, that my favorite sock yarn ever (so far, anyway) is Socks That Rock Lightweight. I love working with it, it wears well, it comes in a million colors (not all of which appeal to me, but there are so many that's not a big problem), I get edgy when I'm out of it and excited when I can shop for it (Webs and Rhinebeck, essentially).

Ravelry, meanwhile, the website often described as "Facebook for knitters": I've used Ravelry as a way of keeping track of my stash since more or less the day I got a Rav account, but over time I've discovered more features that have led me down a lovely and slippery path.
  • I can look up a yarn, such as STR-L, and see its characteristics, such as what it's made of, the colors it comes in, what other knitters think of it and what other knitters are doing with it.
  • I can look at it in other people's stashes and projects, which is helpful for the "what does it really look like" as well as the "what does it really look like when knit up" factors.
  • I can see if they've marked it "For sale or trade" and inquire if it is still available (and never hear back)(or at least that's what did happen). But then!
  • I can subscribe (via Google Reader) to the "For sale or trade" listings for a yarn, meaning that whenever a Raveler lists the yarn that way, I promptly see it in my Reader.
Danger, danger! Was it one of the best days ever, when I discovered this, or was it a dangerous, dangerous day? That depends whether you are looking at it from the checkbook angle, or the happy-yarn-stash angle.

Since April, I have bought six skeins* of The Best Sock Yarn Ever in this way. Now, mind you, there have been hundreds** of skeins listed in that time, so my percentage is low. Some colors are too much for me at first glance. Others I'm not sure of, so I go to the yarn page and look at the projects done in that colorway. Even accounting for differences in cameras and monitors, most get ruled out that way. But there have been a few...and they make me so happy.
*Guess how many are blue! Go on, guess!
**There are over two million Ravelry users. It stands to reason that there's a lot going on there, and that there are plenty of people de-stashing even such excellent yarn as this, for one reason or another. 

Note that I would not buy it online if I was close to a major retail outlet for it. In fact, buying it in person would be so much easier! But Webs is two hours away and has a small selection, and Rhinebeck is once a year. So the online world comes to the rescue.

Yarn, yarn, yarn!

 How many of the six do you think are blue?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Work, Not Work, and Wine

Right, so, it's Tuesday! No after-work-plans excuses for lack of coherence; I was going to go to Target, but there's a big storm rolling in and I decided it could wait. The start of this week has been funny at work, since I was between reports but anticipating the hand-over of a rush job by the end of Tuesday. One of those "we're not quite done writing it, but hey, once you get it can you rush?" jobs. Meanwhile, it was kind of funny that this came along today:
(Actually, I spent a large part of the day refreshing my knowledge of RA; I wasn't twiddling my thumbs ALL day.) At least this report is being written here, and will therefore be starting at a much higher level than a lot of what I've seen. (I actually got to have a look at it a few weeks ago, so I know that's true.) I continue to deal with reports written by non-native-English speakers, and I continue to find it frequently frustrating. However, I also admit to being amused at times, as for example when the writer put "underline cause of disease" instead of "underlying", and I was outright giggling when I read this about ACE inhibitors: "The class of drugs acts by inhibiting the ACE." Duh, you think? If I find it obvious. it's a good guess our clients would, too.

Other random work-related thoughts:
A job where you can laugh is a good job; most days, I laugh.
A job where you sometimes laugh so hard you can't speak? Its price is above rubies. And that's happened at least twice. I couldn't tell you now what was so funny, but oh, it was.
 
Not that it's always great. Today I got to listen to possibly the world's most boring conversation ever, about flu vaccines. Yaaaawwwwwnnnnn!
 
Another good spell-check suggestion: for Torsemide, horsehide!
 
One way I can see that I've been working for medical companies for a while: encountering the name "Ewing" recently, I though first of the family on the old TV show Dallas, and then of Ewing's Sarcoma. Yup. Brainwashed.
 
People tend to have pet phrases, and when you work with someone long enough, you get used to hearing theirs. I had a boss once who would frequently finish sentences with "know what I mean?" My current boss uses, "My thing is..." to start many of her sentences.
 
We had unexpected cake at work one day last week. It turned out that one of my coworkers just became a US citizen, and the boss thought we should celebrate that. Nice, right?
 
Yeah. For a job, it's a good job.
 
Outside of work thoughts?
Well, yesterday was Monday morning, and I was looking at the calendar and pretending that my trip to Apple Festival is only two and a half weeks away. And I guess two weeks and four days isn't much more than two and a half weeks, but really, looking at it as work weeks, that's two full weeks and one four-day week. Closer to three weeks. Say "less than three weeks" and it feels a little better, though. Semantics. At least when I look at my Google calendar in three-week view (as I like to do), it shows up now. It's coming.
 
Looking at the calendar for the fall gives me a lot to look forward to, really, and you know how I am about the pleasures of anticipation. October's big events are obviously Apple Festival and Rhinebeck. In November, I'll be going out to Webs to hear Franklin Habit speak, which will be fun; for Thanksgiving, I need to make a double batch of angel salad this year, showing that the gradual takeover of the world is proceeding; and the election with all its attendant nonsense will finally be over. And December, of course, brings Christmas, which I still love.
 
Unfortunately, looking at the calendar also shows me all those scheduled Bruins games that are not looking very likely. (I eventually "hid" the schedule on my calendar; it was getting too painful, every time I went to look at anything, to be reminded of the epic screw-up this season is turning into.) And honestly, know what has me extra-annoyed about the lockout? The regular season starts around Columbus Day every year, which means that I often miss some of the first few games while I'm away that weekend. This year, because Columbus Day is so early, the season wouldn't have been starting until after, so this year I wouldn't have missed a thing. Honestly! Way to pour salt in the wounds! I hate them all right now.
 
*****
My mother and I were commiserating recently about how unpleasant we find exercise, so I knew I had to put this up for her:
And up, and out, and down...

Monday, September 17, 2012

Egg ... ... ... Egg

Monday night, you know the drill: just got in from stitch and bitch, cat wants attention, too soon it will be time for bed. Who has time for Thoughts, let alone Coherent Thoughts?

So here's what I have for you tonight. Have you seen this fantastic way to separate eggs?

You don't need sound (unless you understand Chinese), but the video is self-explanatory. Isn't this amazing? Now I want to separate an egg!

True story about separating eggs: when we were kids, my brother and I wanted to make a cake for our mother's birthday. We didn't understand what the recipe meant when it said to separate the eggs ... so we ignored it. Do not try this at home! It was not a good result (about an inch high and more dense than cement, is my memory of it), but it makes a good story now!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

All Things Considered, More Win Than Lose

No, I am NOT talking about hockey. As I have been anticipating for far longer than I want to think about, the NHL locked out the players as of midnight Saturday. Who knows how long it will take them all to grow up and sort this nonsense out. I am Not Amused.

However! Thinking about something else! For a weekend that was not headache-free, it's been a pretty good one. Yesterday I joined a few of my knitting group friends at a local festival, where we womanned a table recruiting for the group, which was fun. I brought a bunch of knit things*, to demonstrate the power of the needles, and we gave out two dozen flyers, which will hopefully translate into new visitors to the group.
*And was asked if they were for sale more than once, which is a compliment on its own, I guess.
Isn't that a great sign?
I can take no credit: my friend's husband took care of it for us, and did a better job than either of us would have.

And even if it doesn't work, and we get no one new, it was a nice day, I got lots of compliments on the knitting (not all of it in English, but you'd be surprised what comes over in only gestures), and we entertained many, many people with the name of the group. I'm so used to it, "stitch-n-bitch" doesn't even sound funny to me any more, but we brightened a lot of moments for people seeing the sign (as well as two small boys who were very taken with my hockey puck paperweight).

Then today, I joined friends for brunch in Marblehead, a historic town on the water. I must have been there before, but I don't know when it was. Or even if it just sounds so familiar because of Marblehead Mints! In any case, it was wonderful. We had a lovely brunch outside, at The Landing, which had a perfect table half in sun and half in shade, to suit the whole group. The food was good, and though I didn't order this, I liked the name:
I got some more done on my sock: between the festival and brunch, I'm all the way to here already:
Then after eating, my friend and I walked around, admiring the sights, and vowing to return. I will leave you with the pictures: enjoy!