Home Baked ECT

Our relative humidity has gone up to 38% from 9% earlier today, but curiously, even though the temperature has gone up about 5F as well, the rise in humidity makes it feel colder, not warmer.  Right now, it’s 33F (0.5C), heading for a high of 70F(21.1C).

My computer guy brought my computer back last night.  He said, just take the side off and blow a fan straight into the box, and I can use it.  Fans, I’ve got.   So I am typing this now on my big girl keyboard.  I love this keyboard so much, I’ve got a new one squirreled away in the closet because this one will wear out.  I love the touch on it.  Very light and fast.  (It’s a gamer keyboard.)

So, sitting in the office, at the ‘puter, eating pineapple chunks for dessert after a meal of Pedro’s beef tamales (their factory burned down, and we didn’t have any for SO LONG, but now it’s been rebuilt and I don’t care if I was in the middle of Walmart, when I saw them in the meat case, I did a happy dance!).  I had three, with a big glop of refried beans on top, a sprinkling of chopped black olives, and some shredded “Mexican four cheeses” on top, zotted in the microwave.  It was sheer nums.  When I opened the can of pineapple chunks, I dumped juice and all into the bowl, and drank the juice when I’d eaten them all. (Did I mention the humidity was 9% earlier today?)

I need to put Burt’s Bees Lip Balm on my shopping list.   I’ve got a tube in my purse, but  I’ve been using Vaseline around the house because I’m afraid if I take the tube out of my purse, I’ll forget to put it back, and be caught out without any.  Vaseline works OK, but Burt’s Bees Lip Balm has peppermint in. . .   I might get a couple of tubes, one for my bedside table, one to put in the junk bowl on my computer desk, and maybe another to put on my reader’s table in the living room. . .

When our humidity dips below 20% I can put two dryer sheets in the dryer, and I still end up playing Rice Krispies clothes.  I run a comb through my hair and it just stands up and roars.  I’m wearing a little flannel lap robe at my desk, and when I get up, if I don’t take my ear buds out before I pull the lap robe off, the static electricity goes right up the ear bud cord straight into my ears.  Gets your attention, I can tell you!   Home baked ECT therapy.

 

 

 

 

Here’s the junk bowl on my computer desk.  As you can see, it has cable needles, a crochet hook, and stitch markers in it, plus a little stylus that came with my phone in case I want a little glittery thing dangling off it all the time.  I have a matching plate on my side table for my carafe.

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve had the bowl a while, and only recently ordered the plate when I saw that the carafe was leaving a ring because if there was any liquid in the spout, it tends to dribble if I tilt it when I pick it up.  The first plate I ordered was evidently drop-kicked at some point during the shipping process, but they were prompt to send me a replacement.

Houston got snow.  This is hilarious because the same front came through us (and was colder) before it got to them.  (The fact that the humidity here was under 20% when the front came through may have had something to do with it.)  I, however, have been having snow flurries in my living room for days now.   I have one finished except for the ribbon, 8 with one side stiffened and glittered,  5 more to crochet, and 6 more to “process” with the fabric stiffener and glitter.  Mom needs them by Wednesday.  I’d best get cracking.

Advertisements

Blogging By The Columbus Method*

My desktop computer is ailing. It has a wonky fan in the power supply, and my computer guy has it.  About ten minutes after his pickup (This is TX, remember) pulled out of the driveway with the tower in the back seat**, I started to go into withdrawal.  But then I thought, “I have a tablet . . . with a keyboard . . .!”  But, like the man says, “Nothing is ever simple.”  

In the first place, it’s not much of a tablet.  The only reason I even got it was that it has a bigger screen than my Kindle and, of course, it was on sale — which practically goes without saying.  I can take it to knitting group, and when I access knitting patterns off Ravelry or my knitting blog, you can actually read them, and the Kindle app can display a whole page at a time.  Plus, the case I found that fit it came with a little Bluetooth keyboard.  (N.B., A Bluetooth keyboard versus a touchscreen keyboard is technically the lesser of the two evils, but not by much.)  

So, OK, I can blog from the tablet.  E’ bene.  Pezzo di torta. . . . . Uh, nope. I can get to my blog on the jive brower this thing has, but all I can do once I’m there is look at it.  Wait, maybe there’s a WordPress app. . . yes!  I down load the app, cudgel my brains for my WordPress password, and . . . I’m in!  

I’ve been wearing glasses since the age of 6, but the vision in my right eye (What chart?) is actually very sharp at reading distance, and I typically read without my glasses.  I can read books on the Kindle app on this tablet easily without having to put on my glasses.  I quickly discover that I can’t read text on this stupid WordPress app unaided because my nose is too long.  So, I roll the reader table out of the way, move the fat(boy)cat, get out of bed, get my glasses, get settled back in bed, roll my table back into position.  The fat(boy)cat gives me a dirty look, walks all over my legs lookin for that spot he’s gotten all nice and warm, finally finds it, gets it all schooched back out the way he likes it, finds his place in that nap he was enjoying before he was so rudely interrupted, and picks up where he left off.  Now!

Let me just say that for someone who has been touch typing for 4/5ths of her life on a big girl keyboard, and is used to being able to type pert’ near as fast as I can think up what I want to say, using either of this tablet’s options for text entry (touch screen keyboard or Bluetooth keyboard) is like trying to run a marathon with your pants down around your ankles. It’s not quite as bad as having to revert to Morse code, but it’s as near as dammit.

So, my computer guy can’t access me another power supply until Monday, and it may take a week for him to get one in if he can’t get one locally and has to order it, which is just as swell, actually, as I am in serious snowflake mode at the moment with a Wednesday deadline bearing down on me and I was smart enough not to give away my originals when I made copies of the snowflake patterns I printed out to take to knitting group last week (some of us are ambicraftous).

And that’s why this post only took six hours to do.

*The Columbus Method (going east by sailing west) is a complicated, time-consuming, PITA method which you are forced to use to perform what should be a relatively simple, straightforward task because reasons.

**In TX, if you see a man driving a pickup with a crew cab, it usually means he’s married, and he’s having to drive hers to go get the kids. In this case, they’re both retired, she got tired of having to haul herself all the way up into and down out of her pickup and made him get her a Subaru — which he wouldn’t be caught dead driving.  Since her pickup was newer and got better gas mileage, they sold his, and he’s driving hers.

Snuggly-Bugglys

It’s been right nippy.  Down in the low 30’s F(0’s C) at night, and in the 40’s-50’s F (4.4-10 C) during the day.  My heater’s been coming on fairly regularly, especially last night.  It’s 29F (-1.6C) at just after 7 a.m. this morning, and I’ve already been thinking about taking the lap robe off the back of my chair and putting it over my legs.

These past two nights, I’ve been snuggly buggly sleeping under my waffle blanket and bedspread with a microfleece blanket Z-folded at the foot of the bed that I can pull up if I need it.  That back bedroom tends to be a little colder than other parts of the house because of that stupid sliding glass door — but that’s OK.  I like sleeping warm in a cold room.

I think next time I make these slippers, I’m putting a ribbed cuff on them.  They tend to want to pull off unless you wear them over socks.  That said, they do keep my feet warm.

My carafe, which is technically for coffee, is great for hot tea as well.  Three bags is what it takes.  I’m having one made with two bags of Twining Earl Grey and one bag of Stash Double Spice Chai with a small blop of apple juice in.  It’s just lovely, all hot and spicy.

Snowflake crocheting continues.

That’s a size 0 (1.8 mm) hook, BTW.  Those at left will look like the one below once they’ve been blocked, coated with stiff stuff and sprinkled with opalescent glitter.  Alas, the glitter doesn’t photograph well at all, but it makes them glitter like real snow.

The ones I’m working on now have double trebles (dtr) and triple trebles (trtr), and if I never do another picot . . . .

A Day Cold and Grey

It’s been a grey, cold day.   We’ve finally gotten some wintry weather.  Perfect for bundling up in a blanket on the couch and binge watching all those great Films Noir — “Laura,” “The Big Sleep,” “Strangers on a Train,” “Woman in the Window,” “The Big Heat,” “The Maltese Falcon,” “Casablanca.”  Turner Classic Movies was not cooperating, unfortunately, and  besides, I have snowflakes to crochet, and then I remembered I had this Carly Simon album. . . .

And when this palls, I’ve got playlists of instrumental smooth jazz on Napster.  Now that I think of it, a Carly Simon playlist  — maybe mix in some laid back JT, and Linda Ronstadt did these albums with Nelson Riddle  . . . hmmmm.

Am I such an old fogey that all this thumpy-bumpy-chanty-ranty-herky-twerky modern music palls so very quickly?  I run across a nice one now and then, but they seem to be few and far between (I watched Neil deGrasse Tyson‘s interview with Katy Perry on Star Talk the other day — I’m sorry.  It was like the astrophysicist and the space cadet.)  I like melodies and harmonies.  I like the sound of orchestral strings as much as I like the sound of guitar strings.  I like music that doesn’t beat you over the head or hit you with a wall of sound, with singers who can actually sing and literate lyrics .

I don’t think I’m a musical snob.  I mean, if you look at my playlists on Napster,  I’ve got everything:   Paganini, Pink Floyd, Penguin Cafe Orchestra and the Pointer Sisters; Mozart, Moby, Mancini, and Morton; Tchaikovsky, Tingstad and Rumbel, and Tangerine Dream; Brahams, Beatles, Biosphere and boogie woogie;  Liszt, Llewellyn, Lucette Bourdin and Loop Guru.  I’ve got Eleftheria Arvanitaki and Lisa Gerrard, Ofra Haza, James Taylor and Michael Franks; blue grass, klezmer, and early Brubeck, Dadawa, Niyaz and Cirque du Soleil.  I’ve got Ravi Shankar and both his daughters.  In addition to almost every genre from the USA, there’s music on there from Turkey, Iceland, India, eastern Europe, Yemen, Mali, Ireland, Algeria, Greece, Morocco, and Norway. (Ghod, I love the interwebs so much!)

But right now, I’m in a Films Noir mood. . .

The Best Laid Plans

One nice thing about being retired is that “morning” starts whenever the heck I want it to.  With my strong nocturnal inclinations, today it’s starting at 10:00 pm because I slept all day.  (Another thing about being retired is that I can sleep until I get tired of it.)  Working nights and working from home, as I did for nearly 25 years, has a tendency to isolate you from the day-to-day hustle and bustle and for those of us (like me) who prefer peace and quiet, and a relatively uncluttered life, that’s just as fine as frog hairs. I already had a tendency to live off in my own little world, emerging into the mainstream from time to time as life demanded, even before this dumpster fire of a Presidency. . . .

Since knitting group is on Tuesday night, what generally happens on Tuesdays is I shower and wash my hair.  I know there will be those who are simply shocked by the idea that I don’t wash my hair more than once a week, but I have very fine, fly-away hair, and if I wash it more than twice a week, it stands up and roars, and then it splits and breaks to pieces.  (I have childhood memories of a green Studebaker with woven plastic seat covers, and in the process of sliding across the front seat to get out on the driver’s side — I was too small to work the car door handle by myself — I would pick up enough of a static charge to turn my head into a dandelion clock.*)  I don’t cut my hair either, except to trim the ends now and again;  I never blow dry it, or use a curling iron on it.  I wash it, let it dry in the air, put it in a pony tail, and we get along just fine.

So,  on Tuesday, I shower, wash my hair and get dressed.  Then I strip my bed, and wash the sheets and towels.  When that load has come out of the dryer, I wash a load of clothes — if I have enough for a load, if not, I’ll throw the clothes in with the sheets and towels and do a “full capacity” load.  (It wasn’t until after my father passed that my mother understood why I never did more than two loads of wash in a week.  One person simply doesn’t generate that many dirty clothes.)  I have this nifty little wooden clothes hamper with a cloth insert — it holds just exactly a “regular” washer load.   When it’s full, I pull out the cloth insert, schlep it to the laundry room and dump it out into the washer.   While the clothes are washing, I put the sheets back on the bed.  This time, in addition to the bedspread, I will put a blanket on.  It’s been getting quite nippy lately.

By the time I’ve got the bed made,  it’s just about time to put the clothes into the dryer.  While the clothes are drying, I’ll have a meal.  Then once the clothes are dry, I’ll hang/fold them all up and put the folded clothes away.  (I pull the hang up clothes out of the dryer while they’re still slightly damp and let them hang overnight in the laundry room.  The wrinkles hang right out! )

Once I’ve got the wash done, I’m done adulting for the day (actually, for most of the week) and I can do whatever I like until it’s time for knitting group.

In the course of moving house three times in the past 10 years, I’ve downsized quite a bit.  I’m down to two sets of sheets — the set that’s on the bed and a spare.   I’ve only got two  sets of towels (wash cloth, hand towel, bath towel), one clean and one in use.  On wash day, I throw the used ones in the wash, and move the clean set over ready to be used.  Once the other set is washed, it goes into the “clean” rack.   I have a winter and a summer bedspread (I’m rethinking the winter bedspread and have about decided to give it back to the world in favor of using my all cotton summer bedspread year round and putting a waffle blanket on in winter with the option of adding a second fleece blanket between the spread and waffle blanket if I need it.)

I downsized quite a bit during the move before last — things, stuff and furniture.  This last move, not so much.  I got rid of a set of dishes and glasses this time. I still have way too many dishes and glasses, but the extras look nice in my china cabinet.  I could downsize way more, but at the moment, I’ve got room for what I have.  One thing I learned way too late in life is to periodically go through my things and purge, keeping only those things I actually use and/or really love.

Another thing I’ve learned is not to buy anything that has to be dry cleaned.  If I can’t toss it in the washer, I don’t buy it.  That’s partly because working nights and sleeping days was incompatible with the hours of operation of almost all dry cleaners, and working from home eliminated the need for “work” clothes.  (My washer and dryer work whenever I turn them on, day or night, and I don’t have to leave the house to use them.) It’s also because dry cleaning costs extra, over and above what it costs to buy laundry detergent, dryer sheets, and pay for the power it takes to run the equipment — as well as the gas and wear and tear on the car to convey the clothes to and from the dry cleaner.  And there’s the time factor besides.  Life is just too short, and there are other things I’d rather be doing with my time than keeping up with stuff that’s got to be dry cleaned.

So, now that I’ve had my “breakfast” (two toasted English muffins, one with turkey and Muenster cheese on, one with ham and cheddar cheese on, washed down with Earl Grey hot — nums!), I expect I’ll go and take my bath so my hair will have plenty of time to get good and dry before I go outside.  (Our predicted high today is only 44 F/6.6 C).  I expect I’ll want a jacket when I head off to knitting group.

 

 

 

 

 

 

*The average humidity where I live up here in the flatlands is 44%.  Today it’s 21%.   I have a mister bottle of distilled water by my sink.  I give my hair a light spritz before I comb it each morning.  Otherwise, I will have Rice Krispies hair — Snap! Crackle! Pop!

A Faulty Connection Between the Chair and the Keyboard.

So when I should be working on snowflakes, ideas for a story in progress as well as ideas for a whole nother story started going off in my head and I’ve just got to put them where I can find them again.  So I spend Thursday and Friday containing on the page the gush of ideas for this one new story.

Then I spend Saturday working new ideas into a new chapter of a story that’s already in progress.  So now it’s late, I’ve hit the wall energy wise, and I’m shutting everything down to go to bed, and I go to save the  chapter I spent all day working on and instead of hitting “save” I accidentally hit “don’t save” and watch in horror as all my work goes away.

But wait, I’ve got autosave enabled!  So I pull it up again to see what didn’t autosave — and NOTHING DID!!! It was exactly the way it had been before I switched the order of two scenes which necessitated making a third scene into a new chapter.  So then I look and, no, the file has not somehow gotten write protected  So then I frantically scrambled around looking for previous versions or backup versions and versions from my backup drive, and come up dry.  I get to rooting around in the settings for Word and discovered that some things weren’t set the way I wanted them set and I don’t know how they got changed.  Autosave was enabled, but it apparently wasn’t autosaving.   By then, I was so totally bummed that I just shut everything down and went to bed.

So, Sunday, instead of working on snowflakes, I spend the whole day recreating the chapter I lost.  Saved it.  Made sure all my changes were still there, saved it again, and went to bed.  Got up this morning, pulled it up to reread it, and it had somehow reverted to the version I started with Saturday morning!  No idea why.  So now I’m totally bummed.  I start over again recreating all my changes yet again, pausing frequently to manually save, decide to relook at stuff I retrieved from my hard drive backup, and there it is — the version I thought I’d lost from  Saturday night.  AAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!

And not to put too fine a point on this whole bummer of a weekend, I found a mistake in a hat I was knitting, ripped out 15 rows of this one section and fixed it.  It lacked only a little bit to be finished, so I thought I’d go ahead and finish it, and at least salvage something out of this debacle.  Got two rows into the decrease and found another mistake even farther back than the other one. (*expletives, scatological terms, and pejoratives deleted*)

Oh, I’m too much of a perfectionist not to frog it out and fix it, but right now, I’m just too ungruntled to deal with it.

I’ve also learned that I can multitask and knit — read, watch videos, write — but when I crochet, I can’t do anything else except listen to music.   That’s yet one more thing that’s made this weekend frustrating. I was going work on these stories until I ran out of steam, and then spend the rest of the weekend crocheting snowflakes.  Mmmmumph!

 

Read Any Good Tee-Shirts Lately?*

“Those who wonder if the glass is half empty or half full miss the point.  The glass is refillable.”

“Brace yourself.  The full moon is coming.”

“English is weird,
but it can be understood through tough, thorough thought, though.”

“Bookmarks are for quitters.”

“The most dangerous animal in the world is a silent, smiling woman.”

“My two favorite teams are Chicago, and anyone who beats Baltimore.”

“People think I’m crazy for talking to animals.  Should I ignore their questions?”

“BOY, n. 1. noise with dirt on it.”

“I thought growing old would take longer. ”

“You matter.
Unless you multiply yourself by the speed of light . . . then you energy.”
(If this isn’t a Neil deGrasse Tyson quote, it ought to be.)

“Most computer problems are caused by a faulty connection between the chair and the keyboard.”

“Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup. ”

“Never trust an atom.  They make up everything.”

“iTired.  There’s a nap for that.”

“‘Earth’ without Art is just ‘Eh.'”

“The only thing we have to fear is Fear itself . . . and spiders.”

 

*As gleaned from an unsolicited Signals catalog.