Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Must run faster

darn still got tagged.

Though I truly don't mind, since I like Susan. However, since I JUST got tagged with this last month I shan't be passing the tag forward.

1. Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 random and/or weird things about yourself.
3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
4. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

7 more random or weird things about me

A. If I know the number of stairs in a set, I will start the span so that I finish with my right foot. If I don't know the number I'll count and remember it next time. This was lots of fun castle climbing in Germany. Drove my mother nuts.

B. I was a counselor for Space Camp in Huntsville Alabama for many years. I lived in the Hab when Chelsea Clinton was a campee during her father's presidency. I risked the wrath of the Secret Service agents one night because they (Chelsea and her roommates) were in the room NEXT to mine and were making WAY too much noise (without my hearing aids I could hear them through the wall). I was working double shifts, up at 5 am bed at midnight, and had to tell them to hold it down (I was very nice about it). I remember heading to the shower one morning to find a SS agent on the floor watching her room (and therefore mine) while building a model rocket. This also means I am quite adept at corralling any number of children between the ages of 6 and 18.

C. My undergraduate research was in Astronomy and Astrophysics, with an emphasis on Dark Matter. But in addition to my BS in Physics, I also have a BS in Computer Science. I do not consider myself exceptionally smart, just exceptionally stubborn. An early physics professor I had told me women had no business in the sciences. I basically told him to KISS. MY. A* and I got my degree in 12 quarters, which was unheard of for a major science BS degree.

D. I played the saxophone in the 6th grade until they were willing to realize what I already knew, my tone deafness was in equal proportions to my hearing deafness. :-)

E. I lived in Germany for 7 years growing up and used to be fluent in German. You'd be surprised (not) at how many people are not willing to talk German to an 8th grader in Alabama. Hehe So
I lost it and my hearing is preventing me from picking up the speech part of it again. No biggee. I want to learn how to read Japanese.

F. I am extremely shy in person. It took a lot to get me to the first knit group up at my LYS in Windsor and I wouldn't even speak to anyone in the group until my friend Taunya showed up that first day.

G. I have a fish that plays dead. Don't believe me? Check this out.

That little schmuck of a fish is our Clown Loach Fat Boy. Yes I know that's not a very PC name, but he almost starved to death after we moved and he has more than bounced back.

He will lay on his side in that spot in the tank until I walk up and yell at him ' You better NOT be dead young man! '

Outside of the meme, there has been knitting but I'll save the pics for later this week. Too much has been going on in my home life to really concentrate on it much.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

It's a Treasure Hunt

for photos that is.

Erin is having a Photo Treasure Hunt in honor of her 30th birthday which is tomorrow (or today depending on when this actually posts).

It seems fitting tha
t I finished getting all my pictures the night Hubby and I went to see National Treasure: Book of Secrets. It was a very good movie. Go see it if you haven't.

Here goes nothing:

1. Funny Bumper sticker.

This one is kind of a cheat since it's on my car. Let me tell you though I don't put just anything on my car. There are purple sea turtles and this sticker for the Observatory where I'm a docent. Oh and dirt, lots and lots of dirt.

Wouldn't you agree with the sticker statement if you got to stay up late and play with telescopes for free?

2. Me with someone in uniform.

This is my husband's friend, Shane. He used to work for United ( that would have been a better uniform ), but now he works for the state building downtown. This is the shirt he's required to wear to work with navy blue pants.

I'm wearing th
at shirt because I love novelty T's and that one is my fav.

3. Unusual Perspective:

This is hubby honey and Shane. This is an unusual perspective for me, since I don't don't usually take pictures of the side of people's faces.

We went to see the Blue Man Group last Friday at the Arco Arena in Sacramento. Oh my gosh that was a GREAT show. If they are coming to your town, GO GO GO. Funny, CLEA
N humor, great music, all around good time.

How's this for a road trip? Seven people piled in the RV with the Rock Band game going on the TV and PS2 all the way up there. Not only can I play drums (at least these) but I can navigate at the same time.

4. Movie Poster.

I cannot wait for this movie to come out. I snapped it tonight on my way into National Treasure: Book of Secrets. I happen to like Harrison Ford as kind of an action figure, because he seems so down to earth.

And also because I was desperate. I didn't have the movie poster photo yet. Hubby was told in no uncertain terms we were seeing that movie tonight because I needed my photo.

Priorities you know.

5. Neon Lights.

This is one of the lights in the window of the May Garden, a local Chinese Restaurant. I go in and place my to go order, then I have a seat and knit on whatever happens to be in my purse. I've done this for a couple of years now.

This past week was the f
irst time the lady at the register actually TOOK my knitting from me and worked a couple of stitches to show me how she knits. I'm a continental girl, she throws and MAN is she quick.

6. Directional sign.

Try taking a picture of the ONLY directional sign within walking dis
tance of your house the night the treasure hunt photos are due, in the dark with the sign being one of the green and white HIGHLY reflective ones. The flash totally washes out the actual pic. But I tried.

There's an arrow in there on the left I swear. It shows me the way to go home.

7. Salt and Pepper Shakers.

My husband is the only child of two only children and both set of grandparents are gone. We
have a lot of glasswear and table settings from his paternal grandparents and this is a set we have in the china cabinet.

It's never been used by us, and apparently I didn't clean it before putting it in the cabinet. Sigh. I really need to be better about stuff like that.

8. Something that appears out of place

This one was the most fun. Last weekend, um weekend before last actually, hubby and I were prepping the attic space in the garage for the heat pump/furnace unit thing that was going in last week. Well being tiny and short and light (for the most part) I'm 'Attic Girl' and up I go.

Things needed to be rearranged in order to put the plywood base down and I had just finished moving 3 VERY HEAVY RV tire rims ( these thing fall and you dent the concrete and I fall with them ), as well as portion of the MAIN cross piece 2x4s that kept the trusses from moving around.

Needless to say I forgot about the trusses being able to move and I scared the tar out of myself and laid down until I stopped shaking. At that point I realized that from the ground you couldn't see the rest of me. So I hollered for hubby to grab the camera and take the picture. I, of course, then had to explain about the treasure hunt and he took it while muttering about police showing up looking for the body in the attic.

Happy Birthday Erin. Hope you have a great one. I loved my 30th b-day, not so much the 31st. ;-) I got my first tattoo (only two) for my 30th.

Even if I don't win anything I cannot WAIT for the next one.

Monday, January 21, 2008

I can finish stuff

Really truly I can. Given infinity anybody can finish something. ;-)

I finished this:

This would be a two color hat done up in Malabrigo Worsted in Cadmium and Green Apple.

I actually did a swatch of the
green and then cast on appropriately and it made a really nice roll brim hat. Then I saw someone do a two color hat per EZ on their blog and thought

'I have something that TOTALLY clashes with that green in same yarn'

I like what I'm calling the 10-point decrease, because well I'm OCD and I like even numbers better than odd though I consider 7 and 13 my lucky numbers. Go figure. I'm weird. Enough said.

So I have a lovely reversible WARM hat that clashes with everything I own. However, you sure won't lose sight of that hat in a snow storm let me tell you. I'm thinking of felting it a little bit, but I'm absolutely terrified lest I ruin it. It is a little big. Let's just say I cast on a few extra, that whole even number thing again.

I have been working on the mate for the sock seen in this post. I have frakked up the heel flap twice. Apparently I forget how to read.

In other news, I got this as part of my yarn swap with Kate:

We are apparently kindred spirits and I tangled the tar out of this trying to wind this double stranded. Why would I do something as weird as that?
  • I don't know how much yarn is in the skein (we lost the ball band)
  • I want to make toe up socks and I don't know how much yarn is in the skein
  • I do not own a yarn scale and cannot come up with an excellent argument for acquiring one
and no I have no idea why my stapler, which I've been looking for for the past two weeks, is in my craft room.

So I now have a two stranded yarn cake with which to attempt my first ever toe up socks for me. Can you say

'Two socks on two circular needles?'

Can you also say

'Recipe for hopeless entanglement?'

This should be fun. I cannot wait to see how many times I accidentally knit them together by using the wrong strand on the wrong sock.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

How'd it go?

Well she comes back on March 14th.

So we have that long to:
  • get rid of all the yard hazards
  • fix the fence in the back yard
  • try to make the garage less of a chemical plant
  • find a better home then the side of the garage for all the garden tools (shovels, rakes, etc)
  • remove the fish pond
We have already:
  • purged the paint in the garage. Took 20 + gallons to the Toxic Roundup and we still have about 35 gallons still in the garage. A lot of that will go away when we actually paint the office addition.
  • cut up a lot of the left over 2 x 4s from the office addition to make kindling
  • given away a patio table we no longer need (we have 4 and no real patio lol)
  • given away a ping pong table we don't have room for
  • sold the rototiller
We still need
  • reference letters turned in
  • medical clearance
  • TB clearance
  • Water clearance (we have a well)
  • my one on one interview (Ken's was during her last visit, mine will be during her next one EEP)
  • criminal clearance (we got finger printed)
March 14th will be sooner than we think.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Stashing more than Yarn

This has been a pretty big week in my household.

We had no power for almost 6 full days. The PGE line crew showed up at 2:22 in the MORNING Wednesday. I told hubby to put in the pizzas we bought to use as a bribe if we found one (line crew that is) out and about then rolled over and went back to sleep.

Deafness = being able to mostly sleep through the banging (new cross beam), pulling and general truck noise - especially if I sleep on my left side.

Woke up to a powered house again and happy RV batteries. Did you know that my cul-de-sac doesn't even show up on the PGE computer. So when we call and say our power is still out, they say no it's not. Excuse me, I'm AT my house, wouldn't I know if my power were back?

Now last Friday - the day Operation Kill That Cul-de-Sac was started by Mother Nature - we were supposed to have our first official interview for our foster parent quest (can you tell we game?). The lady was sick and canceled the night before.

Whew as we wouldn't have made it.

It was rescheduled for Tuesday (two days ago for those of you not keeping track of the days of the week) and I was a nervous wreck but I had everything except the water clearance ready. The lady we met with is very nice, but very difficult to read so I have no idea how we did.

Now our home inspection was supposed to be tomorrow (Friday). But we were still without power (electric kind :-) ) and tentatively scheduled a backup appointment for next Wednesday if we didn't have it back in time to take care of the house. We have power so the appointment is still on.

Therefore last night was spent moving every chemical, medication, soap, bug spray, sunblock, bug repellant, you name it into the already full cupboards of our laundry room. Why that room? It can be locked off from the rest of the house.

Here is a list of things I apparently hoard without checking the current stock:

1. Windex
2. Carpet Cleaner - in spite of having found the miracle spot remover
3. Sunblock - the number of bottles is upwards of 20 I think - hey no child in my house will ever get sunburned - let me tell you
4. Bug repellent
5. Hand soap refills
6. Clorox Wipes - 10 containers of the things - you cannot use all of them before they dry out

All the meds are in two plastic snap lock bins in the upper corner cabinet. The one lower cabinet in that room contains nothing chemical (I hope the little buggers don't want to eat my dust cloths). Everything was able to be contained in all the upper cabinets. I am considering changing the cabinet handles from knobs to actual U handles which can be locked if needed. We will see what they say about being able to lock the room.

I did purge a bunch of stuff (carefully - none of this stuff is environmentally friendly) and consolidated multiples of the same item.

I also made sure all the bullets in the gun safe are in their own lockbox within the safe and only hubby and I know where the key to that box is (and that would NOT be in the safe). He will make sure all the guns get stored in there. He had monitor the dogs duty last night while I purged both bathrooms and the kitchen sink area of chemicals and meds.

Anyone know if it's okay to leave my hair spray and lotions in the bathroom? What about perfume? Nail Polish? I know nail polish remover has to be moved. What about my makeup? Ack I just remembered there is butane fuel and silver polish in the dining room drawer. MUST move those when I get home. Can you tell I'm in a panic?

It still strikes me as funny that the guns and chemicals and meds have to be put away, but I can leave my butcher block knives out on the island.

I have no idea what they are going to say about the wine rack in the kitchen, but all other hard liquor will be moved to the top shelf of the pantry. Maybe if we move the wine rack to the newly organized pantry and put a lock on that it will be okay. And that would free up some counter space in the kitchen for the bread machine which is currently hanging out next to the stove.

We figure the garage will be banned, or hubby will have to break down and buy two LARGE locking cabinets for all the chemicals - oil, fuel, car cleaners, glues, paints (boy do we have paint - I need to hit the toxic roundup or craigslist with some of it), etc. Either that or we finish our plan to build a 10' x 10' shed at the end of the RV pad (yes more concrete will go down) and lock all of that stuff in there. I don't know, we'll figure it out.

Tonight is clean, clean and more cleaning. Now that I know where all the cleaning supplies are, I have no excuse not to do so.

Next concern is yard hazards. Does a downed fence count as a hazard? Probably, but that won't be fixed by tomorrow at 3 pm. our yard is what it is. The fish pond is going away (anyone want a turtle?) and we need to lock the cover on the hot tub. I don't know how they feel about wood piles. Sigh.

All I can do is hope for the best and let you all know how it turns out.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Low on the Totem Pole

Well some of the worst storms of the past 40 years decided to stop by for a visit starting Thursday night.

I woke up (okay I was already awake) at 5:49 in the morning Friday to a VERY LOUD bang.

BOOM! The power was out.

Grab clothes and run outside to turn the inverter off on the RV (which was plugged into shore power) so we
  1. Don't kill the batteries
  2. Don't back feed into the grid
At that point hubby is up and outside too and we realize that a neighbor's tree split in half and took out our power line which is resting ON MY CAR! It also blew the transformer for the main street.

Come to find out, it's the neutral line, so no fried vehicle. Just half a redwood tree dangling on the rest of the lines and blocking our end of the cul-de-sac. (I'll have a pic for you tomorrow, maybe who knows)

I tried to go to work, no power means no water (we have a well) and I called in many favors to get a ride. His wife is my director and she was home sick. We get part of the way to work and she calls and says turn around. Her and our dev SVP said get home and stay home (yes Jenn we know you cannot work from home - don't worry about it).

So I'm home in time to see the PG&E guy cutting the tree off of the wires and hubby on the tractor (it's still pouring rain people) pulling everything out of the way. They get the transformer back up and power to the main street (there is an assisted living home on the corner- they rightly have priority)

We set up in the RV and just wait out the afternoon. Then we decide to plug the fridge in so we don't lose the food.

Saturday dawned to more rain and a downed fence along the back of the property. Sigh. We get the furnace in the house and the fish tank hooked up to the rig generator as well as the main server for hubby's business.

We are definitely running the rig at full load and it's being a trooper. Hubby figured out a way to back feed water into the house so we could refill the toilets as needed, but that's it for water in the house. Hot water ain't happening in the house. Again thank goodness for the rig. It is truly our Ark right now.

There are about 400 reported outages in the greater Sonoma County area right now and we figure we are number 398 on the list. No one is going to push to get a line crew out for two houses. Regardless of the fact that it's two houses, four people (our neighbors are piggy backing off of the neighbor whose tree brought about the damage - yeah HE still has power), 7 dogs, about 12 cats and assorted farm animals.

If this goes on much longer I'll probably have a lovely case of cabin fever.

A friend is letting me do laundry and borrow his internet today.

Be warm and dry.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Circumvention in the New Year

I am on a very well deserved yarn diet.

Hubby and I are trying to clear our debt from Operation Shop last year. Therefore I have to find a way to use the yarn I have without bringing more yarn into my house that was purchased by me (isn't that a nice disclaimer?).

This is not an easy feat. I love yarn and I love to shop and I spend a majority of my Saturday mornings knitting in a very nice LYS.

So I depend on the mercy of my friends that will swap with me, or gift me with yarn ( MUST post the stuff a friend brought me from Argentina ), or the occasional "we have something extra go to the yarn shop darling" from Hubby (that's how I ended up with some Sockotta sock yarn and one skein of Noro Silk Garden last September- woo hoo).

Other times a nice random moment which prompts a random comment on a blog I happen to enjoy means a long distance swap is in the works.

This is what I'm sending to her:

That is two skeins of Karen at Royale Hare's Hand Painted Superwash Merino Wool in the Mt Tam Moss colorway. One skein is 140 yards of variegated loveliness. A bonus is it's local to me so her shops don't carry it.

I am making my first pair of socks out of the Sonoma Coast Ice Plant color way in the same yarn and having a blast with it - when not suffering from second sock syndrome.

So what am I getting in return? A yarn that I have never seen in person (as in I haven't touched any of it) and don't think I can even get here, in a WAY LOUD colorway that I just absolutely love and the current owner doesn't.

I'm thinking win-win and I'll post a pic and more info when it arrives.

On other knitting news...

I have just added the following tomes to my knitting library.
  • Debbie Stoller's Son of S&B and S&B Nation (those mice are too cute)
  • EZ Knitting Without Tears (turns out that two color hat I'm making is right)
  • The Ultimate Knitter's Book of Yarn
  • Joelle Hoverson's Last Minute Knitted Gifts - LOVE the little drawstring bag on the cover.
  • The Best of Interweave Knits - those wrist warmers are mine
In keeping with the yarn diet is actually a general craft diet, but the books were purchased through an incentive program at work and didn't cost me a dime.