Thursday, November 29, 2007

Spontaneous Combustion....

or so they tell me.

I spent my lunch hour waiting for the local Ford Service department to plug in a little cable adaptor which is supposed to make sure my Ford Explorer doesn't suddenly burst into flames.

Can anyone explain to me why on earth it took the WHOLE hour to plug in an itty bitty cable that I could have applied myself in 5 minutes? No don't give the little female the part when she asks for it. There, there darling, just let us men take care of it for you. Gr.

So I was knitting in public today while waiting for my car.

This is how much of the Harlot's One Row Handspun scarf I can get done in an hour. I only had two rows on the needles when I sat down.

No I'm not a fast knitter. This is a lovely mostly no-brainer for me pattern. All I have to do is count to four and end on a k2. Apparently my brain has a hard time wrapping around the fact that number 3 should be knit tbl.

The yarn is Rowan Felted Tweed in red. Enjoy.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Thanksgiving, knitting and CIV oh my!

Last week was completely uneventful except for Monday in which I dragged my carcass into work at 5 am and stayed on the phone from 5:30 am to 3:30 pm, which led to me losing my voice and staying home sick Tuesday.

Wednesday was a partial day at work, though I ended up staying till 3:30 to try to tie up some loose ends from the marathon phone call Monday. I ran home and grabbed a check for a friend (we scored 8 tickets to the Blue Man Group in Sacramento in January - woo hoo! 4 rows back) and joined the lunatics at Who
le Foods to pick up my holiday ham.

Went back home and worked on this:

It's the Multi-directional Scarf I'm working on Noro Silk Garden for a friend of mine as a thank you for all his help on Operation Shop. We would not have finished it when we did without his help and the help of his girlfriend, who I taught to knit as a her thank you. ::vbg::

Things got really fun when it came time to switch to the next skein of yarn.

As we all kno
w, the folks as Noro LOVE long color changes. This can make for A LOT of wasted yarn. At that price no can do bucko. So how to wind the skeins so that there is some flow to the order of the colors?

I think I figured it out and only have to drop about 12" or so of yarn with each skein addition. Here is skein two well on it's way to becoming part of the scarf.

It's going to end up being kind of a reflection of the last skein. Either way, I hope he likes it. He's owned one scarf in his life and it wasn't a great experience.

Thursday I spent the day cooking and cleaning. Or at least cleaning upper surfaces in the house in prep for the great fall floor cleaning event (which I managed to put off till Saturday :-) )

Ham was prepped with pineapple and glaze (first part of a pineapple upside down cake works really well for this). I pin the pineapple pieces to the ham with toothpicks. Cover the whole thing and stuff it in the oven till the thermometer tells me it's done. Helps to actually use the thermometer periodically during the cooking.

About an hour before I expected it to be done, the therm was saying 'Yo Lady! This is finishing faster than you thought!'. So I cut up the potatoes and start those boiling for mashed spuds. Started the cranberry sauce (that didn't turn out so well) and the stuffing. I'm a Stove Top girl. Yum.

Put out the good china and dished everything up and told hubby food was ready.

We had a real nice meal. The rest of the day was spent with me crocheting like a demon and watching hubby play CIV IV.

Friday I was silly enough to go shopping. I was looking at a USB card for hubby's new computer case. Got a new charger for my camera. Woot! Didn't find the card he wanted, but I did get a box set of E.B. White stories for $8 from Borders.

Charlotte's Web
Stuart Little
The Trumpet of the Swan (my fav)

All together. We promptly read most of them over the next two days.

Saturday was spent scrubbing the house and getting a handle on the paw prints and the laundry. Found out my steam cleaner is well and truly deceased. Sigh. Thought we were having company this day, hence the cleaning binge. Didn't happen, but my house is clean.

Sunday. Vegged vegged and more vegged. More crochet, more CIV, more laundry.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Still alive

been bogged down with work mostly.

Ugly case that took 10+ hour phone calls two days in a row. Is it any wonder I've lost my voice?


But knitting has been done, camera charger is still lost. I may simply cave at this point and torture myself by hitting Best Buy Friday for a new one (camera that is).

Depends on how much I really hate myself. :-)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Steel can be broken

Very rarely do I blog about work.

The blog is about things I like/love:

The Dogs
The Cats
The very weird crabs we introduced to the home aquarium
you get the picture.

Now don't get me wrong. I adore my job and most days I think I'm good at it. Other days, like today, I'm just wondering how much more I can take before I break. Just decide the heck with it and bail and try to get Ken to let me stay home and bury my head in the sand everyday.

Thankfully we all know that I'd bore myself silly in about 3 to 5 days. I know this for a fact. Hence the reason I went back to work a week early after surgery last year. Boy did the boss and hubby get mad at me for that.

People that know me, know I'm OCD and a huge control freak. In recent months, I have become the lead on two parts of our products with what feels (very important word here) like not a lot of back up. Granted, our staffing rate for our department is the highest it's ever been. But our product is complicated enough that it takes a newbie a good 6 to 9 months to come up to speed enough to venture out into the 'queue' without any major hand holding. So while we have a bunch of people, I feel more and more like 'the go to person' for a number of issues, whether they are in my components or not.

Some of this is my fault. I don't know how to NOT help a co-worker. I don't know how to say they need to take it up with their designated mentor. I don't know that I ever will be able to do so, because helping them helps me learn new areas of the application so that I can broaden the scope of issues I can help with. To say nothing of the fact that knowing more areas of the application will help me get the next title I am pursuing within the company.

I also fully admit to not wanting to share certain areas of my components. Or at least not fully let go of the reins because they are areas that I AM the go to person for. No one else in the department knows as much about it as I do, and I like that.

But I too am learning. Learning that my colleagues want to learn this stuff and to help take some of the burden off. Learning to not take my temper out on my colleagues when all you can do is simply decide that no amount of yelling and cursing and desk banging is EVER going to make that one problem client (or two or ten) actually listen to what you are telling them. Because no matter how right you are, you are still not telling them what they want to hear.

On the flip side though, what does it say when your boss asks you to take a case because they need 'steel' behind the response? Someone that won't back down, but can be firm in a diplomatic manner? Essentially some that knows how to put a spin on the bad news while getting the client to back off.

Most days I don't care as long as they understand that steel can be broken.

Let's hope it isn't anytime soon, because, trust me, it won't be pretty. It never is when steel gives way.

Monday, November 5, 2007

About to cave

I am totally going to have to order a new charger for my camera. This is the ONLY way I'm going to find the one I already have.

Either that or I truly need to swipe Hubby's SLR, which he technically bought for me, but he uses it for the business, so it gets to stay with him most of time. Hmm - same thing is going on with my Tablet PC. Anyone else see a pattern here?

You can tell that the seasons are changing when hubby is open to purchasing new video games. Hubby had a gaming weekend with a couple of our friends since I opted to bail on the house for most of Saturday.

My morning started with my alarm clock (I know on a Saturday!), because I had to start the Pulled Pork BBQ in the slow cooker. Then I crawled back in bed for another hour and half. At which point I knew I was going to be late for Knit Group. But I managed to get there in time to get a real seat. I had fun as always. I actually managed to progress Tuscany to the start of the section with 5 repeats of the chart. Yes I put a life line this time.

Then around the corner to my eye doctor to fix my glasses, which are 9 years old, but now have new lenses. They looked like I sat on them or something, but his guy Steve fixed them right up for me.

Then on the way back to the house and calling hubby to see if he wanted me to go pick up the new game I know he wants. Turns out he was in line at the game store with that game and MANY others in his hot little hands.

By the time I get back to the house, he's already installing and getting tables set up for group gaming.

Back to the kitchen to check the pulled pork. Good thing I like how that stuff smells since aroma filled the house. Shredded the pork and put some aside for hubby and friends for dinner, then started collecting all my cold weather observatory gear.

Actually had car loaded with the food, crockpot, and clothing by 3:15. Woo hoo! I was gonna be on time for a change. This of course after verifying that the gaming crew had an alarm set so they'd remember to feed the animals and themselves.

It was the last docent's meeting of the year. I raffled off a pair of the fingerless gloves I've made and the pulled pork went off without a hitch and everyone loved it. Woot!

Then came the battle for supremacy over the CCD scope. It totally kicked my behind! I fought with it for 2 hours before I was screaming for my fellow docent and CCD expert, David, across the parking lot. Imagine NOT being able to find Andromeda for crying out loud.

David and I fought the good fight and got the thing working (stupid time change and hard coded software and completely counterintuitive solution - set system clock back TWO hours). Then the score of the evening....

We found the Comet. Better yet I actually managed to image it. Now to get the picture from David so I can post it.

Sunday was errands, laundry and playing with new electric blankets. Mmmmm.... warm beds.... good.....

Even better, the new one is machine washable. No more of this dry cleaning crap where they keep it for a week.

Oh, I also watched 'The Prestige' last night. Good movie. Saw some of it coming, did NOT see the final plot twist coming. Rent it. If nothing else you get to see Hugh Jackman with his shirt off. ::vbg::