Friday, October 30, 2015

A Quite Quiet Evening

Ahhh, Friday! Importantly, Friday night.

It's not that it was an awful week. It had its downsides, true (like the problem with the heat in the building, for which we are awaiting a part, or like the new laptop's issue with dropping the wifi over and over, which is not the laptop's fault as apparently this has been happening since Windows 8, WTF Microsoft, you couldn't have fixed that in Windows 10?), but overall it's been fine. Busy! For instance, my evenings so far:
  • Monday, chiropractor and then stitch and bitch
  • Tuesday, a flying visit to the eye doctor to make sure that my eye, which was bothering me, was nothing serious (which it was not, but I'd rather hear that than not go and find out later that it was something)
  • Wednesday, other knitting group--I started a new project!
  • Thursday, dinner with a former coworker, so it was nice to catch up, plus she grew up in my little city, so it was a time-travel evening for her (she took the T out this way, I picked her up, then after dinner drove her home)
So tonight, I wasn't feeling like hustling out for anything in particular. And since tomorrow's plans include a midday movie (The Martian! Can't wait! Loved the book!), I can run errands after that, and still get home well before dark--Halloween gives me the fidgets that way, I hate driving around worrying I'm going to miss some little kid hopped up on sugar and excitement stepping out into the street.

I've been knitting and listening to an audiobook, but it's time to switch to pregame Bruins coverage; I will leave you with a picture of what I'm working on.
Isn't it pretty? Not that I'm at all partial or biased, of course.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Colorful Walls Get Closer

As part of Operation Office Walls, I took advantage of a recent one-day sale* Photobucket had, and got 10 of my photos printed: I thought $2 each, instead of $5, was a good deal, and they even gave free shipping.
*There's nothing like a one-day sale to kick me into gear on a task!

I found this part of the ordering process pretty amusing, though:
So standard shipping takes three days, and expedited takes four? I don't think that word means what they think it means.

I was so, so tempted to order a few prints of photos that weren't mine, but I refrained*; it just doesn't seem kosher. There are some lovely, colorful yarn photos I've seen on blogs, and of course there's the one I saw in the Globe recently ... I tried to justify that one to myself, since my brother looked into ordering a print for me, for my birthday, and he let me know that they weren't offering that option, but still, it doesn't seem right, somehow. I didn't have much trouble finding 10 of my own that I liked, anyway.
*Although I didn't notice that they asked me if the images were my own to legally print; did I miss that, or don't they ask?

They arrived the other day, and while the quality is certainly good enough, I wasn't thrilled with how they shipped them, in just a paper envelope with a thin piece of paperboard to "protect" them. Because of course the mailman stuck them in the mailbox, which to be fair to him is only about an eighth of an inch too narrow... so they got slightly messed up. Not badly, and I expect it will not be noticeable when I get them matted/framed/up. But still. I put them under a volume of the OED to keep them flat and safe until I have time for the framing quest.

Speaking of the walls, I also put up something that I got several years ago, in New York. Who here has been reading since 2007, when I went to NYC to see the Yarn Harlot? And bought something fun at MoMA? I suddenly remembered it, and up on the wall it went. I can't locate the photos at the moment, but they're in that MoMa link: scroll down looking for red.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Couch Musings

I brought the laptop to the couch so that I could blog in comfort while watching the Bruins game; this does not suck.

I also have a down comforter on my lap, as my building is having a problem with the heat. It's one of the two heating systems, and I'm sure I've mentioned before that my place actually has vents from both of them, which I'm pretty sure wasn't supposed to happen, but since it means that when one system has a problem, I'm not completely screwed, you won't hear me complaining too much about that. So I'm not completely without heat, which is good considering the freeze we may get tonight, but it is damned chilly in here, and I was glad to remember the comforter, which I don't normally need, and pull it out.

The Bruins are currently in the lead, so despite Carlos, who wanted me to come to bed starting an hour ago, I will be staying up a while longer. (Last week, against Philly, I went to bed happy after 2 periods, Bruins winning, and did not have to watch them fall apart in the third. I would rather they had held on to win, but I wasn't sorry to miss seeing what happened.)

They're trying to get their first home win of the season tonight, while being undefeated on the road--that's a weird combination, if you're not aware. They are also number one in the league on the power play (which is SO unlike the Bruins of the past few years, but it's a good thing), and yet are 29th on the penalty kill--that's also a weird pairing. It's been an odd start to the season around the league, in many ways; one team lost their first eight games*, which is crazy, almost as much as that another team has won their first nine.
*Before finally winning one

I'm wearing an old sweatshirt of my dad's, which is of course the only reason I would be wearing a NY Giants shirt. (I wore it last night, and when the chiropractor saw me he stopped, head tilted, and said, "...the ... Giants?" as he knows very well that I am only a hockey fan, and not at all football--sometimes we'll have sardonic conversations when he asks what I thought of "the big game" and I inform him seriously that no, the Bruins didn't play yesterday, as though I don't know he means the Patriots.) Hey, it's warm, and sometimes when I'm thinking about my dad for whatever reason, it's nice to wear.

It's the end of the second period, and I think I'll go get ready for bed, so that as soon as the third ends, I can get into bed. I slept well and heavily last night, and would like more of the same tonight. Which Carlos thinks can't start soon enough.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Wisdom Where You Find It, or Look for It

I recently got the first Humans of New York book out of the library (I'm waiting for the second one), and while I really enjoyed the whole thing, I was much struck by one of the entries.
To close in on the quote:
Seriously, how true is that? This isn't my favorite photograph from the book, but it's my favorite quote.

P.S. I got a new computer. Before the old one completely died! (Knock wood.) How crazy is that? Hey, listen, I think I've only had the old one about ten years...Windows Vista, anyone?

While I am finishing my transition (most of the stuff I want, the important stuff, is already on an external hard drive, but I'm double-checking everything on the old computer before I kill it), my desk looks like this:
Once the old machine is ready to go away, I plan to use its monitor as a second screen for the new one, so this view won't so much change as tweak in the future. But I will be glad to get rid of the tower on the other desk!

One question, for anyone who might know: The new laptop connected to my wifi just fine. However, periodically, I have trouble connecting to something, and when I look at the wifi list, instead of saying "Connected," it says "Limited." When I disconnect and reconnect, it works with no problem, but why is it dropping-not-dropping like this? Anyone? I can't see anything in the settings that I can tell would do that, but I am (major understatement alert) hardly an expert.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Oh, Old Cars!

If you aren't fond of old cars, you may as well leave now--not meaning to be rude, but that's all I have today, and I have a lot of them! So if you're not interested, or at least curious, well, please come back another day.

Still here? Excellent. This morning I went to the Extinct Car Day, as I mentioned, and I had a blast. I was only there for half an hour, but I got my fill of the beauties. In fact, I ended up taking 80 pictures, all of which I won't include here, so if you want to see the full set (hi, Mum!), you should find it here, on Flickr. Please let me know if that doesn't work.

It was cold today, in the 40s, and since I kept my right glove off to work the camera, that hand got cold! But I put it in my pocket here and there, and since I only walked around for half an hour, no permanent harm done. It was not a sunny day, either, which was a pity, as can you imagine these trees in the sunshine?
But they were still gorgeous, I think.
I kept changing angles.
The cold is almost worth it. Foliage, and hockey...

I saw this on the way down, and while the Corvette isn't extinct, I had to get its picture, as I loved these when I was a kid.
And then I saw this one, also just parked with the visitors. Mmmm!
Isn't that gorgeous? 1949. I love those lines.
After that, it was kind of a comedown to go into the display area and see a line of Saturns.
Yes, I get it, they're extinct, but ... I drove a Saturn! For years! This is not what I came to see, And neither are the muscle cars, although they do have their own charm.
No, this is what I came to see:
I seem to hit right in the 40s, don't I? Some 30s and some 50s, but the ones from the 40s seemed to be more me. Isn't it lovely? Coming and going.
How about this one? Running boards...

And a rumble seat!
Just neat.

There were several dozen vehicles there, conditions ranging from "rusting out" to "nicely restored" to "could eat off the engine". I noticed a few fun license plates, too, like the COOGAH on what I assume is a Cougar (that's the Mass accent for you).
To this one, which seems awfully fast.
As well as HDSN on a Hudson, and the OLDS 41 I showed above, plus a PONT 41 on a Pontiac and a NASH 56 on, well, a Nash. And, finally:
Or, finally finally, I don't know the significance of this one:
FE FO? But it's quite a car.

Again, the full set is on Flickr, here. Enjoy--I did!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Of Tonight, and Saturday Plans

After work today, I took my car to get it inspected. When I asked if they could fit me in, the guy laughed and said he had to, since I was wearing a Bruins shirt (emblematic of how sports are taken around Boston, where hockey is generally just the third-most popular sport). There was a neat old car outside the garage (in car years, 1966 is plenty old, right?), which of course I had to photograph.
Then I sat down and took out my knitting, and the guy behind the desk inquired if I was making socks or gloves. Well done, sir! Socks, of course. I said that it keeps my hands busy, and he replied, "And your feet warm in the winter!" True, true.

In a way, this leads into my plans for Saturday--not the knitting, but the old car. I read about a car show at a museum in Brookline this weekend, and remembering how I always love seeing old cars around, and particularly the glimpses of them in Rhinebeck every year, I looked into it. Turns out that Saturday is Extinct Car Day, how cool is that? I've never been to a car show, but I really think I will enjoy that. So get ready for lots of photos, hopefully.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Yarn, and Other Lovelies

Finally, after many headache-related delays, I would like to show the yarn I got at Apple Festival, and other birthday-related items.

Yarn first. As I said, three vendors selling yarn, three vendors I bought yarn from, and I have in fact bought from all three before. This is neither a problem nor a complaint.

First, from Scandinavian Weave and Knit (they're the ones who go on from Apple Fest to Rhinebeck), a cobweb yarn in the colorway Stone. If you look closely at the tag, the fiber types aren't listed on it, which is why I made a note for myself. She said that her husband really prefers the yarn labels to remain small, which makes getting all the information on it challenging, and she hadn't noticed that in some cases, she missed this. Whoops! Lovely, all the same.
Next up is Golden Oak Farms hand-painted sock yarn, an alpaca/wool/nylon blend. I know, can you believe I picked blue?
Finally, from the Springside Farm Yarns people, this lovely all-alpaca blend--blend because it comes from multiple alpacas, not because it has other fibers in it. So soft and light and warm, mmm. The second picture is a better representation of the color.
As I also mentioned, my aunt bought me two photographs for my office wall. I have one of them framed, since I repurposed a frame I already had (though my photo of it is before it got framed). This is from the amphitheater at Arlington Cemetery.
I just love the lines and angles.
The other is a very different animal. But the colors! She said this was taken at the Seneca River, in Baldwinsville.
Then, in non-Fest items, I got a box from my mother which, she had told me, contained something fragile. I was worried when the box arrived, as you can see it did not get the best of handling en route, despite the FRAGILE tape across the top.
However, the contents came through just fine. Fortunately, since this is something I remember Mum having when I was a kid, so it's not like she could run out to the store to replace it.
Isn't it lovely? The angel salad will look so pretty this Thanksgiving.

Well, that's a good start on what I've been wanting to get down, anyway. Me and my residual headache (with heartburn) and my freshly bruised knee (bashed it on the desk earlier, ow) are off to the couch to watch at least the start of the Bruins game. Stupid NBCSN and their Wednesday Night Rivalry and their 8 o'clock start time! Still, better than the last two games, starting at 10...

Monday, October 19, 2015

In Lieu Of

Here's a photo of a project picked up again recently. Remember the 2-in-1 socks? We are working on the toes, people!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

I'm Fine, But

It was a mostly lost weekend, not much of headache but mostly headache hangover, and little of accomplishment. Still, feeling okay now, and planning early to bed. With the approval of the house tiger.

More of substance tomorrow or Tuesday night. Hope your weekends were good ones!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Finally Friday Night

I am so, so, so glad it's the weekend. Even though nothing much awful happened this week, the week after being away is always so much harder than normal.
This morning in my regular, automated, don't-have-to-think-about-it-getting-ready process, I managed to skip not one but two steps--one of which was bringing clean clothes to the bathroom for after I showered. Not a huge problem, but kind of emblematic of where my mind was, or wasn't. Oh weekend, how I love you, with your low-key, low-pressure, non-heavily-scheduled-ness.

Speaking of which, Rhinebeck is this weekend, and I am relieved to be able to say that I have no regrets about choosing not to go this year. My decision was based on how rushed it would make me feel, under the circumstances of my year, and clearly it was the right choice for me. Not to say I won't be wistful, reading about others who are there, but that's only natural. This year it was Just Too Much; next year is another story. Looking forward to next year already! (And in 2017, I think, there will be a weekend between Apple Festival and Rhinebeck, o frabjous day!) I do think it would be fun to rent a house with a group, one of these years, instead of going the hotel route, but that isn't something I want to organize, so it will depend if I luck into someone else's organization, I guess.

Anyway, Friday! Woohoo!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Other Night and Tonight

I enjoyed the dinner I put together on Tuesday night enough to want to note it here, for future reference. No pictures, but let's be honest, it's doubtful they would have come out well. I'm not much of a food photographer, and my attempts to capture deliciousness often appears to be meant for a Dire Warning.

It started when I bought some fresh cherry tomatoes; the place I stopped for ice cream on Sunday is a small cafe and often has things like jams for sale, but they also had a good-sized container of wee cherry tomatoes for a dollar, and I felt like the chances were, they were pretty close to the garden and so would taste good (I'm not the biggest consumer of raw tomatoes; they have to be really good). They mostly did taste good, too: a few were fabulous, most were good, and only a few were less than good.

What I did was wash them and put them in a bowl, then while some pasta was cooking, I cut some mozzarella into bite-size chunks and layered that on top. I had been thinking of adding basil, but then remembered that I bought pesto recently, so I globbed some of that in instead. When the rotini was cooked, I drained it and added it, then stirred it all together. It was delicious Tuesday night, warm, and equally good cold on Wednesday.

A few other notes:
  • If the tomatoes had been any larger, I would have cut them in half, to facilitate the ratio of ingredients per mouthful.
  • It could have used even more pesto.
  • I want to make it again, but I have to get more (and trustworthy) tomatoes.
So! To that last point, after work, off to the farmer's market I went; the one nearest me just happens to be on Thursdays (through the end of the month, anyway), and I was there and back in half an hour. There weren't a lot of produce vendors, understandably, and they didn't have any cherry tomatoes, so I'm going to try chopping up these heirlooms and see how it compares.
I also got a few other things, all "our own": Gala apples, white peaches, and a handful of green beans. For the princely total of $8.85, virtuous feelings not included.
So now my evening's plans include making more of the pasta salad thing. Plus, although the Bruins game last night started after my bedtime, NESN (bless them) is replaying it tonight, so I can see the first win of the season. Yay!

And yes, I will be the dork watching the TV and joking to the cats that I have a good feeling about the game (knowing that they won, 6-2).

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Another Thing From the Weekend

As I mentioned, I brought Pan's and Harold's ashes with me to bury in the back yard. In they went, together as always.
And done. My aunt said the wild strawberries will grow over the spot again.
And it's a lovely spot, really.

That divot in the center, by the way? That's an old dishwasher, buried upside down by my grandmother years ago, when it died, to be a somewhat contained planter spot. As you do.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Weekend in More Detail

I don't usually have a problem with insomnia, but after my regular waking in the night (go to the bathroom, feed the cats, back to bed), I tossed and turned and got up and went back to bed for upwards of 90 minutes. I bring this up in order to ask your patience if I say something that seems nonsensical. I got through the day, but only just. ::blink::

So! Apple Festival weekend!

I know what you really want to know: How did Grandma like the tarantula?
She liked it! A lot!

She also wore it like a pirate's parrot:
I gave it to her Friday night, and when we visited her on Saturday, it was on display.
According to my aunt, she has named it Herman. So there's that. Whew! She liked it.

Moving on to the traveling, it went fine. It's a long drive, honestly; 300 miles at a stretch puts a lot on my neck and shoulders, for some reason, no matter how often I stop and how much I shift and wiggle (the chiropractor went to town on me yesterday, oof). The drive on Friday included some rain, only briefly so heavy that I got concerned, and the drive back was sunny and lovely and had a few pockets of heavy traffic I could have done without--I'm looking at you, 84/Mass Pike interchange--but it also included an ice cream stop, and some lovely leaves. The foliage is not at overall peak, but in places the colors were glorious.

As for the Fest itself, Friday's rain made the ground very muddy, so I was glad that I had my big boots, and it was chilly, too, but it gradually cleared and the weather just got better and better. We've had far worse, for sure; there's nothing like attending a festival for 40 years to give you a sense of the possibilities. Shorts? Parka? Everything in between? Yes.

This year, unlike previous years where we have shopped the crafts before taking our turn selling pies at the church booth, we were on pie duty first. It went fine; not hugely busy, but enough people wanted to be sure of getting theirs before they sold out that it was worth being there. Once released from that, we went for early french fries, so fresh we had to wait for them to come out of the fryer, and so good, mmm.

Then it was time to walk the tents. The crowds were pretty heavy, considering the less-than-perfect weather, and honestly what is with people just stopping in the aisle and not even making an attempt to step aside if they want to look at something, but overall the browsing was good. I didn't buy that much, some years are like that, but I did get a couple of photos for my office wall, or rather my aunt got them for me for my birthday, and of course yarn. You knew that was coming! Photos of all that to come.

By the time we left, I was physically exhausted, and very glad to eat some lunch and just veg out for a few hours. We then went to show Grandma the haul and hang with her for a while, before going out to dinner. A quiet evening at home, a quiet morning and early lunch Sunday, and I headed home again. Whirlwind, really; it's funny how much shorter three days feels versus four.

Carlos would absolutely vote for the shorter trip, of course, once I vetoed his first choice (my never leaving him again). Several times a day, the last two days, he has come into the office and meowed at me, to let me know that I was needed in the bedroom to cuddle the cat. If he keeps that up tomorrow, it will go on longer than I was away, but I don't imagine that will stop him. Of course, I missed him too, but he has to live without me now and then. Whether he wants to or not.