Friday, August 31, 2007

My Ravelry Status - 08/31/07

You signed up on June 23, 2007
You are #10804 on the list.
7 people are ahead of you in line.
19091 people are behind you in line.
36% of the list has been invited so far

Seven to go. Only seven people. Yippee!

Note to
Social Network? Is that what Ravelry is? [I signed up for the same good reason lots of other knitters did - if everybody else wants in, let me in too!]

Social Network? This may be like all those blind men trying to figure out what an elephant is, but my view is WOW! A tremendous database, where I can, oh, look up a yarn in my stash and see how it will work up with a pattern I have in mind. Or maybe if I'm near the end of a project and need one more skein, maybe I can find someone who has one to spare. And just think about doing a pattern search all in one place, not on fifty different websites?

Social Network? That will likely be a side benefit, and maybe primary to some people, but to me it looks very like a really wonderful resource.

And that's MHO.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Put away your white shoes now, darlin'

This has been a really strange summer, weatherwise, but with Labor Day fast approaching I guess we can call it gone. Sorry about the dearth of entertaining reading here, but the days recently have seemed awfully short.

A few of my faithful readers have asked for an explanation of the "interesting"events posted August 11, so I'll tell you about one of those days.

I'm a confirmed procrastinator. There, I said it.

Most days it's a struggle for me to get myself out of the house in the mornings--most days I pull into the office parking lot at the last possible minute. On this particular day, I was feeling pretty good about myself; I refrained from hitting that snooze button "just one more time!" and ate a simple breakfast in time to head out of the house with a few minutes to spare. I'm out the door, arms loaded with purse and knitting bag and water bottle, headed for my car which is, as always, parked nose-out in my driveway, ready to go.

Why is there a puddle of water by the garage door?

I looked up, stupidly. The sky was clear. No recent rain dripping off the roof. And then I knew. I threw my stuff into the car, and went back into the house. Yanked open the laundry room door to see what I knew was there-- a floor full of water.

I said a few unladylike words, thanked myself for not having laundered the pile of towels in the floor, shoved them around so I could walk on them from the door to the @#$%@! water heater and turned the pilot to OFF. Went back across the towel bridge, opened the door leading to the garage, and fetched the water key from the garage wall.

Back again to the front yard. Used the key to flip the cover off the water meter, fitted it into the slot and pulled with all my might, trying to turn the water off. The valve wouldn't turn.
No reason to worry; I was wondering why those pieces of rebar were still keeping my garbage cans company beside the house-- I got one of those, slipped it part-way into the steel-pipe handle of the water key to increase my leverage, and gave it all I had. The valve wouldn't turn.

I stood in the middle of my front yard, with tears of frustration rapidly forming, and looked up and down the street, trying to think which of my neighbors might be able to help. Dear Mrs. Carter, a tiny Southern lady who is 80 if she's a day? Mr. Lunday, 90-ish and stone deaf? All the able-bodied souls on my street were off to work already.

I tried the city water department, but I got their voice mail--it was still too early for them. Then I remembered. Our heroic Bethany firefighters are always ready to help. I really didn't think this situation justified a 911 call, no matter how desperate I felt. Instead, I called my younger daughter, who for some obscure reason learned the fire department non-emergency number about 15 years ago and still knows it.

So I called, and my phone call brought me a big shiny red fire truck (quietly - they didn't use their sirens) and two extremely capable-looking bodybuilders, um, firemen. They applied my water key to the valve, added my rebar extension, and rippled all of their lovely muscles. The valve wouldn't turn.

We all agreed they probably COULD break it loose, but would most likely break the meter in the process. So one pulled out a radio and called another city employee. That call brought us a pretty red water department pickup, and another pair of valiant men. (Maybe not as impressive-looking as firefighters, but they had a much bigger water key than mine.) One put the key in the slot, and applied all his strength. The valve wouldn't turn.

The second water department guy went back to the truck and returned with a long wrench to use as a cheater bar, and the two tried again. With much loud complaining of metal-on-metal, the valve finally turned. Our heroes turned it back and forth a couple more times to loosen it up, but we all agreed that they certainly hadn't had to turn my water off in a very long time. So much for paying my water bill promptly all these years.

I thanked them and they all drove away, but my ordeal was not over. I still had a leaking water heater, and I knew I needed to call a plumber. [A moment of silence here.] There is some dark humor in that statement. I haven't had to call a plumber since 1976. I was married to the best plumber in town for 26 years, but he quit this life a couple of years ago, and now is resting where faucets don't leak and toilets don't clog. Probably drinking a cold beer and enjoying a cigarette.

So I called our friend at the supply house, and asked him who I should call. He recommended a local third-generation plumber who came out promptly (Honest! He was there by 10:30 am and finished in two hours!) and did a quick and efficient job of replacing the tank.

We got to talking about his dad (retired) and my husband (deceased) and his grand-dad (deceased), who all knew each other. We shared a few laughs and shed a few tears. I learned that his grand-dad was the same nice old man with a smile in his eyes who, twenty years ago, would order blueberry pie down at the local restaurant, then would say the slice was too big and would give me half.

I love blueberry pie.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

More random stuff

On this day in 1953, Nippon Television broadcasted Japan's first television show, including its first TV advertisement. In 1937, Toyota Motors became an independent company. In 1907, UPS was founded by James E. Casey in Seattle, Washington. In 1898, Caleb Bradham renamed his carbonated soft drink "Pepsi-Cola". In 1884, the first known photograph of a tornado was made. In 1859, a geomagnetic storm caused the Aurora Borealis to shine so brightly that it was seen clearly over parts of USA, Europe and as far afield as Japan. And in 1845, Scientific American magazine published its first issue. Happy Birthday LeAnn Rimes (1982), Jack Black and Jason Priestley (1969), Shania Twain (1965), Jennifer Coolidge (1963), Emma Samms (1960), Scott Hamilton (1958), Daniel Stern (1957), Ben Gazzara (1930) and Donald O'Connor (1925).

"There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home." - Ken Olsen, President, Digital Equipment, 1977

Monday, August 27, 2007

Adding to my vocabulary . . .

BACN: Bacn (pronounced "bacon" and a creative misspelling along the lines of site names
like Flickr) lies between e-mail and spam; it's all that stuff you do want but which is low-priority and which you often don't have time to read.
Better than SPAM?

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Interesting Times

It has been an "interesting" week, to say the least. I could write pages and pages about each day, but I think I won't. At least not all, and not now.
Think of this as an outline:
Sunday I spent a pleasant afternoon with cousins Jan, Beth, and Joyce, and Aunt Pauline.
Monday morning I attended the funeral of a man I never met.
Monday evening three small boys mowed my front yard.
Tuesday evening cousin Joyce and I experienced a miracle, then went to see Bourne Ultimatum.
Wednesday evening my son-in-law mowed my back yard and re-mowed my front yard.
Thursday morning I was visited by two firemen, two city workers, and one excellent plumber.
Friday was almost uneventful.
I can't wait to see what Saturday holds.

It's a learning curve, I guess

I know, I'm up too late again. I had to finish an entertaining novel, then decided to check for email and read my favorite blogs.
The first blog I opened gave me great comfort. I learned that the Yarn Harlot, who can knit socks with her eyes closed and has probably made thousands of them, can have the same problems as I, who can count all my completed pairs of socks without using all my fingers.
A couple of weeks ago I made a pair of top-down socks for my little grandson, age two. They took me less than a week of spare minutes, and they turned out well. I made them both at the same time, on one circular needle, except for when I separated them to do the heels.
I was (and still am in spite of everything) feeling newly proficient with my sock skills.
I now know how to turn a heel, thanks to the 'recipe' in Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's Knitting Rules. I've memorized the Kitchener process, thanks to Susan Pierce Lawrence's instructions. Both are in my head. I no longer need to look at step-by-step illustrated instruction.

I tried the finished socks on the cute little feet.
Too short.
I snipped a couple of stitches, removed the toes, added a few rows, including a couple of stripes in a different color for visual interest (I didn't have another color of the same yarn) and reknitted the toes. Length is okay, but the contrast stripes are not stretchy enough. Too tight. His mom said he likes to put them on his hands and play with them.

I looked at the two neat little sock-toes that I had amputated; it seemed a shame to frog or toss two well-Kitchenered toes, so I picked up stitches and started knitting upwards. Would this the second pair, or the third? It felt like three.
Finished the heels, tried them on his wiggly feet.
Too long.
Frogged the heels plus a few rows, reknit the heels, topped them off with 2x2 ribbing. Sock perfection! (No picture; they look just like the first ones, only longer.)

Tried them on his little pink piggies.

Too tight.