Thursday, August 30, 2007
Have any of you other blogger bloggers tried out that button? Who do you live next to at any moment in time?
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Since that time I have eaten dinner and knitted away while watching Hannibal Rising. I've done the foot and finished the heel. This is my stopping point for the night. On a normal day I'd probably be able to finish up the leg tomorrow night, but tomorrow isn't normal. I'm getting my hair done, cut and highlights, and that's going to eat up precious knitting time.
I am so in love with this yarn. I really wish that I was keeping these socks, and my only solace is that I may still be able to squeeze out another pair from this skein. The second pair would likely have to be shorter in the leg portion, but if I knit them toe up, and two at a time at least I won't run short for the second sock or not be able to finish.
Yarn details: Trekking XXL (Zitron, 75% superwash wool & 25% nylon) The color number is 154, and it's got these great blues and greens with yellow, and I don't even like yellow, and these white and blue spots that are like clouds. I really can't wait to show you, but the camera batteries are dead (and charging). It may not be a colorway for everyone, but they are Iza's favorites and I only pray that they fit well, because I know that she'll adore them every much as I will.
Oh, and Hannibal Rising was good. I liked it anyway. Jeff was disappointed because the character wasn't as polished as Anthony Hopkins version. We discussed it, but I think he was hoping for a different movie. I'd seen enough trailers and teasers that I pretty much knew what it was going to be. I found it interesting and gross, which was everything that I had hoped for. Still, I do kind of wish that I hadn't chosen it to go with a spaghetti dinner.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
I've started a new knitting first. Iza asked me for a pair of hiking socks, and she's in Brazil right now. That means that I am knitting a sock for someone, and I can't have them try it on as I go. I'm not quite knitting blind though, I did measure her foot the last time we were in Dallas. Hopefully I'll do well. I'm planning on trying to error just on the loose side with ribbing to snug it up. I'll put almost a half inch of negative ease into the foot and hope for the best. It's a shame that her feet aren't the same size as mine, because that would make life easier. Her feet are thinner and longer than mine. On the plus side I can certainly make sure that they aren't huge. My first line of defense is the ruler, but as I am ruler challenged I also have a second line of defense, and that is my foot. IF this sock is too big around for my foot then I have done something horrible and I will have to rip it back.
In other news my dad asked for detailed specs on my new machine, and might tot off to the store to build himself one over the holiday weekend. He was quite impressed at the reasonable cost. I think that he really wants the new iMac, but he's just too frugal to spend the $3000 that he wants when he can get a good functional machine for much less. He already has a really nice monitor that he uses to make his laptop screen more livable when he's home.
I can't believe that August is almost over. It's just about time to start the Christmas knitting. I certainly don't want to have to go into knitting overtime like I did last year. I figure I'll knit these socks for Iza, and then alternate between trying to finish the Hell Socks, my jackety thing, and various gifts. I've had requests for socks from some people, and purses from others, and Jean wanted a felted hat. I've got a fair amount of the yarn already stashed, I just have to get it knit up.
Monday, August 27, 2007
You can see more photos over at Neil's blog.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
We almost missed out this year, because although I'd been wondering when the festival was going to happen I hadn't heard any press about it. Luckily I got an email from Matt's El Rancho that they would be there and that tipped me off. Still, I'm a bit of a homebody and finding out about an even the night before usually means that I don't go. I think the little bat mascot won us over. I mean, he's so cute and he's got a flaming pepper. It was worth the trouble.
In case you're interested, here's what we bought today. As always we enjoyed the Winston's Hot Pepper Sauce (hot), so we picked up another bottle. I'm pretty sure that the last time we got mild, but Jeff called me a pussy or something, so we got the hot this time. This stuff has tons of uses, Jeff likes it on hot wings, and I like it in deviled eggs. A new one for us was Big Daddy's Amplified Heat Mean Smokin' Green Hot Sauce. This Houston company has the slogan of "Hell Goin' In, Hell Goin' Out"and quite the interesting art to depict it. The green sauce has a nice smokey jalapeno flavor and makes me wish more green salsas in restaurants were made with smoked jalapeno instead of nasty little tomatillos. Our third purchase was from Austin Slow Burn. We settled on Habanero Jelly because I had tasted so many good jams and jellies that I needed at least one. This was the one that Jeff and I liked best of the ones with heat. I tasted lots of sweet stuff from other vendors, but I was determined only to purchase spicy stuff today.
I really didn't taste any salsas that I thought were very good this year. There were a few that we okay, or interesting, but nothing that really stood out. I think I'm just really really particular about salsa, so it's hard for anyone to compete.
Other places that we stopped at and found tasty enough to grab a card from: The Peruvian Hot Pepper Sauce from Rancho Bravo. It had a nice spice, but just didn't place high enough on our taste trip to be purchased today. Then there was the Crazy Cranberry from Beanie's Home Made Salsa. There was a nice cinnamon in with the cranberry, it was a liquid kind of sauce, but I just wasn't sure what to do with it so we passed. We had fun eating some salt over at the Spiceburst table. I don't know that I'll ever actually buy any of their salt mixtures, but they are good. It always a nice palate cleanser at the hot sauce event to get a bit of salt on some cucumber. Then I almost lost my resolve at Meier Ranch Foods. I know I vowed only to purchase spicy foods, but the Amaretto Peach Pecan jelly/jam whatever was AWESOME. I swear I could have just eaten that stuff with a spoon. I may end up ordering some online, we'll just have to see.
Intel Core2Duo 2.33
(some mother board with no IDE capability, but it does have a floppy drive connector.... ??)
GeForce 8600GT 256MB vram
400GB hard drive
Coolass CD/DVD drive with Light Scribe (can't wait to play with that)
A cute little mini-atx case with 600 watt power supply (rawr)
And of course a windows operating system (XP Pro, because of the Core2Duo)
All together I spent just under $1000, after tax. It was actually less expensive than my initial pricing, because there were deals and sales and flat out price reductions.
I didn't even have to sell a cat for it, because Fry's gave me ass tons of credit. Of course the interest rate is complete shit, so it kind of needs to get paid off quickly. Although they have some crazy thing where if something has a triangle next to it then it automatically gets 12 months no interest financing, so only the first $600 has to be paid fast, and that's easy peasy. According to the sales person that I questioned there is no rhyme or reason to these financings, but apparently you can also find the triangles in the ads that come out? I don't get a paper, so I wouldn't really know.
So now I can play World of Warcraft again, without my computer melting, and I still have liquid assets should an emergency arise. Man, it's cool to be an adult. It didn't even occur to me until yesterday to even consider getting a card to make this purchase. I love my store specific credit cards, because I don't go shopping enough to actually get into trouble with them. At the same time if I have a panty crisis I always have the trusty Victoria's Secret card to fall back on.
Friday, August 24, 2007
I live among the masses that are paid every two weeks. Most of us in this group (or at least most that I've ever talked finance with) pay our bills every two weeks. You work a bit and you're able to kind of have a 1st half the month and 2nd half the month billing cycle, and then every thing's all tidy and you still have money for food and gasoline. The thing is, months aren't exactly 4 months long all the time, and as such every once in a while you get paychecks that are in between bills. This isn't as good as when you get 3 paychecks in one month, but it's close.
I get paid 8/24, 9/7, then 9/21. I acknowledge that I do have a $200 loan payment that I need to make to my Dad with this check, but everything else could technically wait until the next checks come in. I've been wanting a new desktop, and with the money that I wouldn't be spending on bills... and some of the bills won't actually be ready for paying until after the 7th anyway.... although there might be one due on the 5th... but I'm sure they'd wait 2 days....
I priced out a computer at Fry's and I could do it this check, or at least I think I could. Especially if I was able to cannibalize some pieces from my old desktop to use temporarily. I mean, I've got two CD roms in there, I could wait to get the spiffier one, you know, stuff like that. I don't know.
I suppose I'll dig around in the budget tonight, and re-examine the notes that I took on my Fry's excursion, and of course consult with my chef. I know, it's odd to ask a chef about financial matters but when you're engaged it kind of entitles him to some input. It would be nice to get a nice new powerhouse to play with. *sighs wistfully staring into space* And the case is so cute!
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Am I boring because I'm bored, or am I bored because I'm boring?
Work is going well. Every day I'm getting more and more comfortable in my duties. I'm still not totally with it, but at least I don't feel completely lost anymore. There's so many things to keep an eye on that every once in a while I lose track and some area piles up, but day to day it's not too bad.
Rumors abound with the purchase of The Company by The Other Company. The earliest rumors were that The Company was going to be handing out raises soon. Why this would happen the rumor doesn't say. It's probably just wishful thinking on some random person's part. The rumor that I heard yesterday has to do with the fact that we become owned by The Other Company at the end of September, beginning of October. Rumor has it that The Other Company will be gathering all the employees (all shifts) at one time somewhere off-site for a meeting on Columbus Day. Supposedly the originator of this rumor worked at another company that was bought by The Other Company, and when they had this off-site meeting it was to tell everyone they no longer had jobs. Pretty much any time there is a change at The Company about 2/3 of the work force turn into the human equivalent of Chicken Little, so who knows how much truth is in the second rumor either. I suppose on both counts it's business as usual and wait to see what happens.
I promise that when I know more, you will know more. Of course if you knew more first you'd tell me right?
Friday, August 17, 2007
The best projects for at work stress relief are of designed with colors that I adore and soft pettable yarn. The project has to be easy to pick up without having to spend too long trying to figure out where I am or what step comes next. The project also has to be easy to put back down in case one of those emergencies happen. I'm currently working on a pair of Pomatomus designed by Cookie A. (see a picture of her sock to the right) Mine are being knit in a yarn so full of purples that I couldn't love it more. The pattern looks really complicated at first, and that's why I've never knit them before, even though I'd had the pattern printed out for ages. It turns out that it's really not that complicated once you get it started. I'm making small changes, like doing one less repeat (because my feet aren't big enough for the full 6 repeats around) and I'm going to do a different heel type, because I like my hourglass heel. Soon there shall be pictures of my lovely purples, but that's something I can't quite manage at work, so you'll have to imagine.
When someone appears with a snotty attitude and tries to make me feel like they are somehow better than me there's a little voice I hear whispering, "Yeah but can they make socks?" So far I haven't met very many people here at The Company that can, so it's not real likely. There's also the calming effect that being able to knit has on me when I'm hanging around outside waiting for Jeff to come pick me up after work. If I didn't have knitting I probably would have strangled him by now.
*I've yet to have any of these interruptions fit my definition of emergency, but that's just one of the joys of working with other people. Everyone always feels that their needs are the highest priority.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
I also completed the third headscarf that I gave Traci for her birthday. It was a big hit. As soon as she saw the yarn her eyes lit up. It gave me a big warm fuzzy feeling inside.
Then over the last weekend I completed my Everlasting Bagstopper. It was a quick easy knit. I knit the body in Allhemp6 in Chocolate. There were tons of places were the yarn was tied together, but it was really well done, and the knots seemed sturdy. When I went to Hill Country Weavers to get the hemp I saw the Tartelette yarn and fell in love. Instead of getting a wider ribbon for the strap, as called for in the pattern, I decided to crochet handles with the Tartelette.
Bree helped me work out the stitch pattern since I'm not all that familiar with crochet. I'm quite pleased with the look of the finished product. There are issues though. I had intended to use this bag as a reusable shopping bag. I tried out the bag once already and it will hold plenty, at least space-wise. However it wasn't comfortable on my shoulder, it cut in a far bit, and I'm terrified that it's going to tear. How am I supposed to know how sturdy it is? I'm going to give it a few more shots, but I think I'll try to avoid putting glass in it. That should help keep the weight down, and if it does let loose at least I won't have broken glass all around my feet.
Circus Pictures : Make sure that you look at the full photos because some of them are lengthwise and are cut off at the tops if you're just looking at the thumbnails.
Traci's Party : Pinata parties are always a good time.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
It is my humble opinion that my dad went overboard with the whole circus thing. We were in the second row of the ring on one end (across from where everyone comes in to perform). The ticket price on the stub was $45, but according to inside sources he actually paid $50 each when he bought them through ticketmaster online. Since there were 11 of us (Dad, Iza, Bree, Traci, Brandon, Danika, Lucas, Jeff, Me, Corey, and Ken) that's quite a bill, and that was just to get into the circus. My dad also rented a limo, and while I'm not certain what it cost him, I overheard him "discussing" with the driver that he had been told it would be $230. He may have ended up paying more than that... so that brings the bill up to $780 for the 11 of us to go to the circus. (The one and a half hour circus.)
The spending didn't stop there though. See, I'd talked up cotton candy to the little ones, so we had to get some. They had 3 sizes: $6, $9, & $12. These are the same size bags that I remember being a dollar or two when I was a younglet. I believe that around $40 was spent on cotton candy by the time we got out of there. We also had two tubs of popcorn, 2 large sodas, 1 medium soda, a few bottles of water, and an order of nachos... Let's see, we'll say $12 for the popcorn, $15 for the sodas, $9 for water, and I'll guess $6 for the nachos. So we had $82 dollars worth of snacks, give or take a bit.
Then on the way out the door the kids all needed toy souvenirs. They were all $16, and there were 3 kids so there's another $48. I mean, he spent around $1000 for us to go to the circus. And of course he's created three little monsters now, and they all want to ride in the limo again. Brandon wants to go to school in the limo, and Danika just wants to go back to the circus. Who knows what Lucas wants, he's only two and the happiest I saw him all weekend was when he was traipsing through the house wearing a pair of red high heels.
Still it was awesome, and we were so close to the action. Jeff and I managed to get some good pictures. It's hard when you aren't using a flash and a 4 year old is bouncing up and down in your lap, but not all of them are unidentifiable blurs. We also have some pictures from the house, like when Traci blew out the candles on her cake. Once I get the pictures onto the web I'll let you know so that you can check them out. Oddly enough, out of all the feats of acrobatics, strength, and courage that we witnessed, I think that my favorite were the performing house cats. I mean, I can't even get my cats to stop breaking glassware and they had these cats running on top of balls, and climbing around on ropes, it was really cool. That was definitely Danika's favorite part, and that's why those photos are the least in focus. Brandon's favorite part was when they brought out the cage ball that the motorcycles ride around in. I can't believe that they got 3 motorcycles rolling around in there at the same time, it was impressive.
Okay, back to work before I get busted goofing off.
Monday, August 6, 2007
Well yesterday was movie night, and the last hurrah at Tim & Julie's current pad. The movie was Monster Club and the food theme was horrific. I can't even remember all the good grub that was there to nosh. We brought Children of the Corn on the Cob, and The Stuff. The Stuff was actually raspberry frozen yogurt, and it was delish. It was the first time that Jeff had ever made frozen yogurt (I think) and he did an awesome job. The corn on the cob was roasted in the oven and all sorts of nummy. I ate two ears! There was also some Texas Chainsaw Massacre Chili, and a Pasta Puttanesca (Ian went with whore-rific, but we weren't splitting hairs) and of course there was LOTS of wine. I think I did a good job of emptying bottles into my belly. I should also mention that the movie was fun. It's old and campy and wonderful, so you should check it out.
All in all I had a good weekend. I vacuumed half the house with my new vacuum cleaner. I heart my new suck machine. I finally have a bagless vac so I don't have to replace the bag every time I clean. With 4 cats and a dog + 2 people there's a lot of hair in our carpets, and it fills up bags super fast. I think the old vac was starting to die too. We've had it for years, and done repairs on it a couple of times, but it was time for it to go. The new Hoover is a little heavier, and I'm not sure I like the feel of the hose attachment, but I'll have to cope. I'm also a little iffy on the retractable cord bit. It's great that it winds it up, but it's kind of a pain to pull out. It was only $99 so at least my dad won't disown me. When I told him that I wanted the Dyson he told me that if I spent that much on a vacuum that I would be out of the will.
I also finally got Jeff to air up the bike tires and we took a little tiny bike ride. It was really really short, like we walk that far in about 15 minutes short. omgimoutofshape! It was completely fun, but it hurt my butt, and my legs felt all wobbly when we got back. I'm just happy that I eventually remembered how to work the gear system, and the tires have air in them so we don't have to do that next time we want to ride. If I get us into riding more often then maybe we can eventually go further than 1/2 a block from the house. For now we'll have to stick close to home. At the very least we want to make sure that we don't end up going down any big hills that we can't get back up later.
Okay, time to get back to work over here.
Sunday, August 5, 2007
My pattern was supposed to fit my foot, and although I've checked and re-checked my gauge either my foot is shrinking (or migrating to my ass) or something is really strange with this yarn. I haven't washed them yet, so it's possible they'll fit like a glove after a bit of shrinkage... Here's the project details (or look for Life Pair on Ravelry:
Yarn: Zitron Life Style
Needles: 2 Circs US Size 3 - length 29"
gauge = 7sts / inch
Finished size 9 3/8" from toe to heel
9 1/2" from bottom of foot to top of cuff
Slightly loose on my size 7 1/2 (women's) foot
Work both socks at the same time, starting with toe-up. These were worked side by side, not nestled one inside the other.
CO 6 sts - Figure 8 Cast On
Inc each sock @ beg & end of each needle to 56 sts. (4 inc per increase round)
Knit in Stst until foot length is 7" - then start heel
[I first separated the socks onto separate needles before starting the heels. I've done it before still all on the same needles, but it's a bit fussy and I didn't want to deal with fussy this time. Besides I had extra needles laying around.]
- Hourglass heel with 8 middle stitches: That's 10 pairs per side.
Seed Stitch Rib - from Thuja pattern by Bobby Ziegler.
Work leg until it measures 8" from the bottom of the heel.
K2tbl, P2 rib for 1.5"
Use sewn bind off
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
As soon as I saw this pair of shoes I fell in love with them. These shoes only cost me $4.11 from my checking account, which is freaking awesome! They are Sketchers, just like the last several pairs of sneakers I've shelled out money for. (These are by far the cheapest.) I continue to be happy with how comfortable and cute Sketchers shoes have been for me.