Sunday, August 31, 2008

Blogaversary contest

I just looked back at my first post and it was on August 24, 2006. My blogaversary slipped by without my notice.

To celebrate, I'm going to give away some yarn, along with Last Train Home's (sidebar; don't have my html linkie page handy) (wouldn't you think I'd have memorized that stuff already?) cd, Live from the IOTA. I don't know what yarn just yet, but I have plenty, so it'll be something good.

To sum up: Contest, yarn, Last Train Home cd. What contest, though? Never mind. Just leave a comment, and I'll use the old numbers-in-a-hat trick to chose the winner. Contest ends on Saturday, September 6, at midnight my time.

So start commenting! Bring your friends! If you mention this on your blog and send me the link, I'll put your number in twice. If you come from another person's blog, tell me whose and I'll give that person an extra chance.

Come on, I want to give away stuff!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

What am I gonna have to do

to give away some Last Train Home (sidebar) things? They are seriously the best musicians out there today.

Am I going to have to add some free yarn to the pot?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Chester the Cat

Last weekend's FOs

Sweater for the United Yorkie Rescue: That is not the way the picture is oriented, but Blogger did it. I don't know how to fix it on here.

I finally wove in the ends of my Red Wagon Socks. I love this colorway and the pattern ((black)hearted). Claudia's fingering lacks enough yardage to knit this pattern (with the ruffle on the top adding quite a bit of yardage) so I used some KnitPicks fingering that almost perfectly matched to finish the toe of one and start the ruffle on the other.

Oh crap. Pretend I turned that photo. Actually, the orientation of the original is correct, but Blogger uploaded it that way, and it takes too long for this computer to upload that I'm just going to leave it. But it's going to bother me big time.

And finally, *drum roll* I finished the Claudia Never-Ending Test Knit, all but the blocking, which I'm putting off because a) I've never blocked anything before and b) it's going to be a big-ass pain. Too bad, because the last week has been beautiful with low humidity, very unusual for this time of year.

Not an FO, but a new knit: I started these socks a few days ago and have gotten quite a bit done on the first one. I took this photo before I spent a few hours on it yesterday. Made of Claudia's Buckeye fingering.

Newest member of the herd


A decided that unisex names are a better bet, since we tend to give them names of the wrong sex.

There are two more babies around, but we've only seen them twice. Kelly hangs around with Molly and Shorty, the two yearling males that stayed here. It amazes me how early the moms send the babies off on their own. Kelly's about 2.5 months old.

And here's Kelly (in the trees to the left of our WV bathroom) and Zippy the Wonder Dog.

Last, Kelly and buddies.

Mom and Dad's newest kitty

Presenting: Buster!

He won't stand still long enough to get a decent photo. He's a love bug, always going for more attention.

Being a former tomcat, he's got some serious muscles in his neck and toes. He lived outside until Mom and Dad persuaded him to move into the garage. He's in there because Kitty, the queen of the house, does not like him. At all. After I spent some time with ol' Buster, Kitty sniffed my hand, hissed loudly and stalked off.

Last Train Home

I think it was about two weeks ago that we saw Last Train Home (linkie in sidebar; don't have the html worksheet file on this computer. Laptop, I miss you!) at Ashland Coffee and Tea. Great show; they did some older songs they hadn't done for a while (at least, not that I remember, and we all know what my memory is like), and that cutie, Alex McCullough, played bass guitar (last time he played steel pedal guitar). I love their music, whoever happens to be playing in the band. They're all good.

Kevin Cordt (trombone), Tom Mason (lead guitar, accordian, trombone), Alex, Eric Brace, and Dave Van Allen (steel guitar). Drummer Martin Lynd is in the background, unseen.

Tom Mason tells a good, dramatic, funny musical story.

They're incredible. If you ever get the chance, go see them.

I have their cd and dvd, Live from the IOTA, to give away in a contest. I just haven't thought up a good contest. Any ideas?


I'm noticing a bunch of google searches for "Paul Capon's The End of the Tunnel" or "The Cave of Cornelius". Would you kind folks who are searching for those titles and land here please leave a comment? I'd love to meet people who read that book.

Also, if you're searching for Lucentis or eyeball injections, please leave a comment, too. I've had six of 'em, and if I can help someone who needs them, I'm glad to do so.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

In on Saturday

Yeah, I'm too soft. At least I've finished Monday's copying. And I'm alllll alone, so I have Last Train Home and Peter Cooper on the computer, jacked up high. Woohoo for working alone!!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

I could just scream

I shouldn't even stop long enough to breathe, but I have to vent.

It's almost 3:00 on a Friday, I leave (supposedly) at 3:30. But I'm buried. Absolutely drowning in copy requests that have to be done by 7:30 a.m. Monday. So I'll be in tomorrow, at least.

But get this--a teacher just called me. She had the collosal nerve to say, "I don't have a THING ready for Monday. How late can I get something to you and still have it Monday morning without having to go to Staples and pay for it myself?"

There's nothing to add. I'm speechless.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Zippy the wonder dog

My day so far

0700 La te da, unlock the doors, pick up some papers off the surprisingly small pile, start copying.

0730 People are trickling in, adding to the "to be copied" piles, but I'm way ahead of them.

0800 Things are going surprisingly well. Copiers working well, only jamming occasionally.

0830 Damn, one copier keeps jamming for some reason, but the other one is working well. I'm still ahead of the curve.

0900 The principal asks if she needs to send out an email reminder to the faculty to only copy what's absolutely necessary for the first couple of days of school, since teachers are notorious for wanting the entire semester's worth of papers copied all at once. Nope, I say with a smile, they're doing pretty well.

1000 I call the former "copy girl" (who is young enough to be my granddaughter) and leave a message for help with the recalcitrant copier. Never hear back from her. She's put this job behind her.

1100 Will these people quit adding to the pile? I mean, I've finished today's copies, but tomorrow's and Friday's could use the resources of an entire forest.

1110 Lunch time. Go away. Just because you're in Honors Band doesn't mean you get to hop in any old time and make two copies of your precious music.

1200 Wow, the day sure seems long. It's been 12:00 for what seems like hours.

1328 Geez, no wonder. The damn clock battery went dead.

1400 Giving the bad copier time-out didn't help. Call the copy repairman. Curse teachers who keep coming in with yet more copies to be made. What the hell are they teaching that requires so much of my time and energy?

1430 Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.

1500 They're leaving. Good. Now I won't have to staple anyone.

1505 Eat banana. It's damn hot in this room, and of course the fan quit working two days ago.

1530 If I turn my desk around and can't see Them, do I have to acknowledge that They exist? Will mull it over tonight over a bottle of wine.

Whose idea was this, anyway?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A and B2 started their new school year yesterday

And today (and tomorrow) schools there are closed due to tropical storm Fay.

Ain't life in Florida grand???

Monday, August 18, 2008

Three count 'em three FOs

This past weekend I actually dragged out some old knitting and finished it.

I finished the Red Wagon socks, which pretty much involved weaving in a bunch of ends. I also finished crocheting the beaded edging on The Never-ending Test Knit; now it "just" needs to be blocked. And I started and finished the Agnes Sweater from Corinne Neissner's Doggie Sweaters book.

Photos will follow, when I have the use of a computer that will let me upload the photos in less than an hour.

I can't call him Weasel anymore

Another illusion shot all to hell.

Today I met with our fine Mr. HR Person to discuss my placement on the secretary's pay scale. It starts $5000 higher than the assistant's pay scale and continues way into the stratosphere, or so it seems to one who's never expected to make nearly so much on the assistant's pay scale.

Last week I told him that Step 8 simply was too low, being $3000 less than I was making as an assistant, considering that I'll be working 10 hours more per week and two weeks more per school year than I was as an assistant. I gave him a resume of the years I worked as J's office manager when she had the Jazzercise franchise in town and the clerical work I'd done as a teacher's assistant for the 14 years in another school system. At a meeting this morning, he offered to start me on Step 22, when I'd have been willing to start on Step 15.

Good thing I didn't mention that going in.

I love my new job. I've been kept quite busy for the last week, and today the teachers started back, so the deluge begins. I had a little time to check my email while manning the phones for the main secretary's lunch hour, but that's all. It's crazy, but I love it.

I may even lose some weight from being on my feet all day.

Please forgive me for not blogging as much as I'd like to. There's so much I want to write about, but right now I'm too tired when I get home to sit at the computer. I haven't even gotten through the weekend's email yet. And I haven't had a chance to even mention the Last Train Home show we attended last weekend at Ashland Coffee and Tea. I also no longer have the use of the school's laptop, which I hope to have amended in another couple of weeks. Maybe. I mean, I hope to have my own laptop in a few weeks, not another school one. The desktop in my new office is 5 years old and won't even shut down unless I manually shut it down, much less anything else.

But I love my new job. I'm pretty damn lucky.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Okay, video not working. But it's at, How Old Are China's Gymnasts?

Once J emails me the details, I'll have a little expose' of CNN's "Keeping Them Honest". Tsk, tsk, Mr. Anderson Cooper.

A's on CNN!

My baby girl was on CNN last night in a story about the questionable ages of the Chinese female gymnasts. There's a stupid commercial first, of course.

She's the cute willowly long-haired brunette wearing a blue unitard with USA on the front; may have been why they chose to show her three times.

Now all I have to do is figure out how to save the video to a dvd, and I'm all set. How exciting this is for a grandma!

Monday, August 11, 2008

And I cried

I cried. At Neil Diamond's DC concert. That's never happened before.

Oh, I came close during his "Coming to America" show opener two weeks after 9/11. I may have actually shed a few tears that night. I can get pretty emotional.

But this time, I cried off and on throughout the entire concert.

No, my meds aren't out of whack.

Betty and I bought tickets to the show back in April (see my Ticketmaster rant) (and I have another one, but it's not on this computer), when Joan didn't think she'd be able to take two days off work. But she was able to take the time off, so we needed an extra ticket. Joan didn't want to pay full price ($120 + Ticketmonster's "convenience fee" of $18.50 per ticket), (not to mention their $4.50 fee per ticket for the privilege of printing your ticket at home) and Betty really really wanted a better seat (see my Ticketmaster rant), so she obsessed for days about getting a better view. She spent hours at the Ticketmaster site, entering the number of tickets she wanted (1), then carefully typing the two nonsense words that comprise the "security code", seeing that the ticket being offered is still section 3 row M (ours were section 2--center--row U, so that wasn't an improvement), refusing the right to buy--and immediately, painlessly resell--the ticket, and starting over. Did I mention that she's obsessed when it comes to Neil?

She was getting a little worried the night before the concert when the same bad seats were popping up again and again. Finally one decent one showed up--section 1 or 3, whichever is on that side, row 7--and she agonized over it, then let it go. She. Let. It. Go. Then she obsessed agonized over it some more, especially when it didn't come right back up.

But after a while, it did come back up, and she grabbed it. So we were all set.

Back to the crying (mine, not hers). There Joan and I were, in decent seats, and there Betty was, in a pretty primo seat, close enough to see Neil sweat. We could stand on our tiptoes and see her, and she was beaming from the time she got there until she left. A crazy lady from the Neil Diamond bulletin board had the seat next to hers and kept her entertained, and, of course, there was Neil. (He's toned down his shirts a lot. No sequins this time.)

Seeing her so happy made me happy, so much so that I cried. For two hours.

But it was a good kind of crying, you know?

Saving Silverman

So, have you seen the movie? The one about four guys who are obsessed with Neil Diamond, and when one of them gets engaged to this snooty girl who hates Neil (and her fiance's friends), the other three kidnap her etc etc etc?

Me either.

Or maybe it's three guys obsessed, and two kidnap the girl. Whatever.

Anyway, two of those guys sat in front of us at Neil's DC concert last week.

Just thought you'd want to know.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Knitted to a T

My blogfriend Tonia sent out an email that she'd opened her webstore,, on Sunday. I immediately ordered something from her (some of her own hand-dyed yarn); she has her own hand-dyed and hand-spun-and-dyed yarns available, along with lots of goodies. I was very tickled when she emailed me that I was her very first online customer, and as such, she'd included a few goodies with my order.

It arrived at work yesterday, waiting for me this morning when I came in for my first day of the new school year. I opened it, but when I saw how nicely it was packaged, I had to wait until I could get home and take photos of everything before I messed them up.

So pretty!!!

There were four packs of Eucalan wool wash in assorted flavors, along with a beautiful handmade charm with a black and a natural tie:

This darling little stuffed sheep:

And, of course, the gorgeous, squishy-soft, Tri-Color Daisy colorway, exclusively Tonia's, sock yarn!

This will make the perfect pair of socks to wear all winter long; when I need to be cheered up, I can just look down at my feet and feel the bliss.

Go to her website and order yourself some of her lovely goodies and see for yourself what a wonderful addition to the knitting world we have!!!

Friday, August 01, 2008

Home again

Wow, it feels so good to be home again! I'd totally forgotten that I have a nice memory foam pillow. It's too heavy to carry on long trips. I slept so well last night!

We got home around 11 p.m. Tom actually got home the night before; I took A home, then spent a day sleeping (all day--10 or 11 hours after we got to her new house!), and off to the airport to fly home. I was almost bumped in Orlando, managed to be bumped in Atlanta for two roundtrip tickets anywhere Airtran flies (Tom did, too, on his way home, and signed up for the Airtran credit card, so we ended up with 5 free rountrip tickets!). I think I'll route as many flights through Atlanta as I can, when time permits. I ended up going through Dayton and got to Baltimore (ick--Beltway traffic, an hour extra driving time each way) just 1.5 hours later than originally scheduled. Right now, I love Airtran! I tried to get business class upgrades thrown in, but no go.

I'll take a photo of our new floor in a few minutes; no furniture in the room yet. I've spent the day in the bedroom with my laptop and snacks (not much food in the house!), shopping for a new, smaller, lighter-weight laptop, since this one will go back to school in one week and I'll be without. It will drive me crazy. I need a laptop, just like I need my books and my yarn stash. They're comforting.

Laundry is crazy; everything needs to be washed. But I learned that I don't need as many clothes as I thought I did; two pairs of shorts were uncomfortable, so I only wore one pair once, but I do need more lightweight easily washed and dried tops. I didn't use the "nice" outfit I packed, and it took up a lot of space. I didn't need the water shoes I took since the gold-panning package included boots.

All in all, it was a great trip (although it was exhausting), and I'm glad to be home.

Next trip needs to be all-inclusive in a Caribbean setting. No moving except to and from the beach and the restaurant. No running from one hotel to another. Just us and a beach.

And food and drink, of course.