Friday, November 26, 2010

Giving Thanks for Technology for Cats

Yes, that’s right. Our cats had an awesome wrap-up to the Thanksgiving holiday, thanks to Go Cat’s Cat Sitter DVD Vol I.

The small rodents were the household favorite, though the Monarch butterfly on the window screen was also awesome. The large screeching parrot made Nacho growl. Not a fan of Macaws, apparently. Duly noted.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Even More Energy Better

Control yourself. I know the prospect gas meter of news has got you super-excited!

Aren’t they hideous? And mine is placed up-front and center, which makes it even worse.

I’ve been wanting to hide it with a bush or something, but finding an evergreen plant option big enough to hide it without being so big it would make it impossible for the meter reader to see the gauges, has been an impossible feat.

Thankfully, and with excellent timing, our local gas provider has seen fit to swap out our oldfangled meters with newfangled ones that they can read via radio transmissions from the street.

The new meter is still shinier but equally as ugly as the old model — but now the size of the bush doesn’t matter a bit. I could even plant a topiary of thorny ash around the meter if I were so inspired.

Now I just need to be patient for the bush to grow.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My Cats Say “Sign Us Up”

to adopt a rat.

I say “no way!”

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Two are Always Better than One

Mother and daughter soak up the sun.

Monday, November 15, 2010


It’s still crazy-busy here—and will be well into December—but I managed to get two humongous writing assignments off my desk by the end of Friday, and circumstances left me to amuse myself for an entire 6 hours of blissful quiet in the house. Those are all causes for celebration!

I debated about what to do with those hours. Catch up on accounting? Not! I read. I napped. I quilted. (I also washed brew ware and raked leaves, so it wasn’t all play by a long shot.) But more than anything else, I knit.

Here are the socks in progress (mostly knit outside of those 6 hours):

Peat Harrow sock pt 1 for me

Socks for Sis III

Socks for Unc I

Those men’s socks look huge, don’t they?

There’s a valid reason for that.

The men’s socks are slated to be frogged within hours.

Am I disappointed? Sure. But with about 12 fewer stitches/round/sock, the next version should knit quite a bit faster, use less wool, and stand a ghost of a chance of actually being worn. With the deadline still months away, I don’t mind “sacrificing” my time.

That’s not the only knitting that’s been happening. I cast on for my first sweater project in over a year.

This is Fjalar.

Literally. I cast on. Nothing more to see.

While casting on I sipped on hot tea, and listened to an 1957? RCA Camden Dinah Shore, Lena Horne LP featuring Henry Levine and his Barefoot Dixieland Philharmonic, and Paul Laval and his Woodwindy Ten; which is one of my finds at the recent Audio Reader record sale. Seriously, who could possibly pass up a chance to own music performed by the Woodwindy Ten?

The record hit the perfect tone, down to its dusty pops and crackles. This is in the running for my favorite of the bunch so far.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

More Better

With any home, there are a dozen small things that the homeowner can do that will improve the property. I’m talking little projects that increase efficiency, storage, usability, etc.

With winter fast approaching, our list is entirely made up of inside tasks. Outside projects—other than leaf and snow/ice removal—will have to resume early spring. First on the winter list was our thermostat.

The thermostat that came with our home was programmable—yes. But it a very early model, some renter(s) had broken the cover for it long ago, lost the manual, and left the batteries in it so long that it corroded some of the circuitry making the “change battery” alert a permanent fixture even though I had changed the batteries twice hoping to make it go away. And given either the model of thermostat or the lack of manual to explain how to do this properly, I was unable to adjust the temperature cycles to suit our lifestyle. For example, since I’m up at 4 a.m. consistently, having the thermostat rise at that temperature would be ideal. Not the 7 a.m. I was stuck with. The display was also very hard to read in the dimly lit hallway.

So getting a new thermostat was on my wish list, but I thought I would have to postpone it budget-wise until 2011.

Enter Westar Energy’s Wattsaver Program.

In exchange for giving Westar control over my air conditioner on the hottest-most-energy-draining weekdays of summer, I received a new Honeywell programmable thermostat. This thermostat is 1000% easier to program and I can program it to our lifestyle. I can even program it online. Since their EfficiencyWorks Honeywell representative installed it for free, I’m guesstimating this saved me around $300.

The new thermostat is narrower than the old, which means we need to add “touch up paint around thermostat” to our winter task list.

That’s excellent. Because I’m certain that elsewhere in the house, a $400 appliance is about to kick the bucket.

That’s how our household rolls.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Socked In

This has got to be some kind of a record. And it is, for me at any rate.

Five, count ’em five socks currently on the needles.

Judging by the sheer number—and the near-absence of other things on the needles—one would assume that I liked knitting socks.

Not s’much.

The socks on the left are Socks for Unc I. The right pair are Socks for Sis III. In the middle is a sock for me. All three are past the cuff ribbing and into the pattern. Unc is one pattern, Sis another, and mine a third. My sock is just about 1/2" from the start of the heel.

Given the scope of these projects, this is probably the last time I’ll upload a document photo for quite a while.

I’ve got a few other projects (mostly non-knitting) that will hopefully be done first.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Run, Don’t Walk

As important as I believe it is to vote, I hate day-of election coverage. At that point, there is nothing I can do to change any outcome, so why stress out?

Instead, we took advantage of last week’s DVD release of Winter’s Bone.

The movie is quiet, haunting and beautiful; and I highly recommend it for adult viewers with a taste for indy films. Me? I got quite a bit of knitting accomplished during the movie, and learned...

that I hope my car never breaks down in the Ozarks...