This Is A Public Service Announcement

I know a lot of folks out there are upset with WordPress for changing over to the new “block(head) editor.”   For those “Classics” like me who prefer the classic editor and are driven nuts by the “new way,” here’s my WordPress work around.

  1. Create a new post, give it a title, then save it as a draft and x out of it.
  2. Pull up the blog again, click on the “W” in the upper left corner to get a drop-down menu and choose “WP Admin.”
  3. From the “Posts” menu, choose “All posts” which brings up a list of posts.
  4. Find the one that you just created and select “classic editor” and go from there.

It’s called “The Columbus Method.” Going east by sailing west. I think WordPress changed things to make it easier to create posts using smart phones. By doing so, they made it harder for everybody else.  It’s the revenge of the millennials. Resistance is Futile.

(Of course, now that I’ve posted it, those yahoos at WordPress will remove the classic editor altogether.)

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Short, Sweet and Nubby

This is a pattern to make a rectangular knitted object:

Here’s the whole pattern:

Choose your yarn, choose your needles, determine your gage with that yarn and those needles. Decide how many inches wide you want your object to be and how many inches long you want it to be.  Use your gauge to determine the number of stitches to cast on to get the desired width.  If that number is an even number, add 1.

Cast on an odd number of stitches.
Knit 1 row.
Row 1: K6, (k1, p1) until 7 stitches remain, k1, kfb, yo, k2tog, p1, ssk.
Repeat row 1 until you reach the desired length.
Cast off knitwise.

That’s it.  That’s all there is to it.  If you make the rectangular object narrow, it’s a scarf.  If you make it wide, it’s a shawl.  You use whatever yarn you want and you produce as dense or as lacy a fabric as you want by adjusting the needle size up or down.

It has a knit-as-you-go border that looks like it was worked with double crochets.  The body is worked in seed stitch.  Typically, seed stitch is worked over an even number of stitches in two rows like so:  Row 1:  K1, P1.  Row 2:  P1, K1, which means you have to keep track of which row you’re on.  But, when you work seed stitch over an odd number of stitches, you don’t have to keep track of your rows.  Every row starts with k1 because  the odd number of stitches automatically offsets each row by one stitch. I’m calling it “Short, Sweet, and Nubby.”

 

Sneaking Up On March

A day and a bit left on February, such as it is.  For such a short month, it has packed a whallop this year.  Brought Texas to its knees.   The one part of the grid that that held firm and that did not go down was the part up in my neck of the flatlands.  Oddly enough, it was the part that was not under ERCOT.  It was the part that was required to meet federal standards because the company that built it supplied power to other states besides Texas.  We’ll see if the powers that be got the message this time.  Not holding my breath, though.  My bet is that those ^&*%$#s in office will continue to listen to the money, rather than the people.

I confess to feeling guilty.  The storm hit on the 14th, a Sunday.  My power was off for about 15 minutes on Tuesday the 16th. My pipes never froze. (All the pipes are in the middle of the duplex between the two “plexes.”)   My BFF, who lives in a little town northwest of Houston, was without power for over a week, was without water for over a week and will likely be without hot water for quite a while.   My state is supposed to be a Red state.  But I have a feeling that the longer this debacle goes on, the bluer it’s getting.  I figure we’re starting to turn a bit maroon by now.

In the Knitting news, I’m moving right along on my infinity scarf.  At the top is 18 inches, and still on the first skein (the ball in the bowl).  In the middle is that little bit in the bowl left of the first skein and over 20 inches.  At the bottom, today, is 27 inches and into the second skein.  I have six skeins of the yarn.  I think I’ll have enough.

I started it back in November of 2020, and I work on it a couple of rows at a time.  I have it sitting on my computer desk for working on while I’m catching up on my YouTube channels or when I’m reading back over what I just wrote or cogitating what comes next on a story.  One of these days, I need to get some scrap yarn and wrap it around me in the way the Infinity Wrap is supposed to wrap (see at right) , and then measure it, so I’ll know when to stop (My tape measure only goes to 60 inches; I’m thinking I’ll need about 100 inches).  Then I’m going to have to haul off and (re)learn how to Kitchener.

Monday is my last day of cardiac rehab.  Depending on the weather, I may be tackling the back yard next week.  It needs raking and the rakings bagged and put in the dumpster.  The last time I did it, I got fourteen big trash bags worth.  Don’t think I’ll get that many this time, though   I don’t know if I want to tackle the front garden bed or not.  It needs forking and weeding, and something extremely low maintenance planted in it.  Don’t know if I’m that energetic. I might investigate getting a piece of cattle panel or something to use as a trellis for those durn climbing roses.  They’re the kind that bloom all summer.  Don’t know if I want to fool with it, though.  It would set a precedent I’m not sure I want to set.

Maybe when the weather gets springier, I’ll start walking.  I have cordless headphones and my iPhone, and music I’ve downloaded off Napster.  Could be nice.   We’ll see.

My BFF thought her cataracts were so bad that she went to a doc to investigate surgery.  Turns out her cataracts weren’t bad at all.  She just needed new glasses.  Now that she has new glasses and can see to read again, I’m putting together a care package of paperbacks I’ve replaced with hardbacks and culls to send to her.  A little care package.

Books Read in 2021

28. Fortune’s Favors, Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steve (novella) (re-read)
27. Shout of Honor, Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steve (novella) (re-read)
26. Trader’s Leap, Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steve (re-read)
25 *Vixen Ecology, Carriger, G. L. (Novelette)
24. *In Other Lands, Brennan, Sara Rees
23. Accepting the Lance, Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steve (re-read)
22. *Neogenesis, Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steve (re-read)
21. The Gathering Edge, Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steve (re-read)
20. Alliance of Equals, Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steve (re-read)
19. Dragon in Exile, Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steve (re-read)
18. Necessity’s Child, Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steve (re-read)
17. Dragon Ship, Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steve (re-read)
16. Ghost Ship, Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steve (re-read)
15. Saltation, Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steve (re-read)
14. Fledgling, Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steve (re-read)
13. Mouse and Dragon, Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steve (re-read)
12. I Dare, Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steve (re-read)
11. Local Custom, Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steve (re-read)
10. Plan B, Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steve (re-read)
9. Carpe Diem, Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steve (re-read)
8. Agent of Change, Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steve (re-read)
7. Conflict of Honors, Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steve (re-read)
6. Crystal Dragon, Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steve (re-read)
5. *Goblin Fruit, Lake, Celia
4. *Masquerade in Lodi, Bujold, Lois McMaster (Novella)
3. *Time Variance of Snow, Yu, E. Lilly
2. *When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain, Vo, Nghi (Novelette)
1. Crystal Soldier, Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steve (re-read)

*ebook

One of the Lucky Ones

I’m one of the lucky ones right now.  Because of where I live in Texas, my power has not gone out.  My town’s electricity is provided by a municipally-owned utility.  This article gives a more accurate explanation as to why so many Texans are without power right now, than the “Texplaining” our governor and his cronies have been doing.  We are having yet another infestation of carpet baggers, most of them locally grown, I’m sorry to say.

It’s currently 19F/-7.2C at 8 o’clock in the evening, heading to a low of 9F/-12.7C.  Supposed to get up to 28F/-2.2C tomorrow (Thurs), and 50F/10C on Friday.

I comply with the emergency power guidelines as a matter of course.  I only have on the minimum number of lights I need to get around safely in my house.  My heater thermostat is always set on 68F/20C.  I’m wearing two layers of fleece (long-sleeve shirt and vest) on my core and flannel leggings as well as a lap robe.  I have socks and slippers on my feet.  I can go to fingerless gloves if I need to.  I have lap robes in every room,  shawls til the world looks level, and an open weave blanket on my bed.  I have candles.  I have enough food to last me a month.  I should probably check to see if I have a manual can opener, though . . . . .

 

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

7 F/-13.9 C, to be exact.   With snow on the ground.  And a predicted low of 4 F/-20 C.  I’m doing the only thing a reasonable human bean can do in such a situation.  I’ve got two layers of fleece on top, fleece leggings, socks under my snuggle slippers, a lap robe, a carafe of hot tea to hand, and a loaded chili cheese dog waiting for me to tuck into it.  Not to harp, but to put things in perspective, my town is at the same latitude as Casablanca, Morocco, which is to say, we’re freezing our appurtenances off just at the moment.

The title is a bald reference to this little treat from those colorful days of yesteryear when singers could actually sing and songs had melodies, . . . and lyrics ( . . . not to mention subtexts . . . ) . . .

Now that the Canadians and other denizens of the Norther Climes have had a good laugh at Texas’ little valentine from climate change, I am sorry to report that nothing much else has been happening apart from same-old, same-old, which is why I haven’t been blogging much.  I did have my second COVID jab last Thurs, and apart from a sore arm and a big knot, it was unnoteworthy.

My chili cheese dog is ‘licious, BTW.  I didn’t have any hot dog chili, so I’m using Wolf Brand Chili w/o beans in lieu of same.  I make my chili dogs open-face in those large shallow bowls that used to come standard with sets of dishes and were intended to be used as soup bowls. (Because they’re large in diameter and shallow, the soup cools quickly enough that you can eat it within a reasonable amount of time of its being served, so the footman can remove the bowl and serve the next course and we can keep get through dinner in under two hours.)  Making a chili dog open-face means (a) because you don’t have to pick it up to eat it, you can really load on the condiments and melt the cheese, and (b) you can’t pick it up without it getting all over you so you have to eat it with a (knife and) fork.  I cut the wiener in two long ways and put half on each side of the bun.  Fair is fair, after all.

I eat tamales that way, too, which is to say, in a soup bowl loaded down with condiments like refried beans, black olives, chopped onions, salsa, sprinkle cheese.  The way I eat them, three tamales is a meal.  Pedro’s come in packages of 12, which means I can get four meals out of one package of tamales, 1 can of refried beans, one little can of sliced black olives, a small package of sprinkle cheese, and a small onion.  Tasty, filling, and economical — !

A few highlights from my trip to the dumpster Thurs after I came home from getting my COVID jab.

 

 

 

 

 

At left is the volunteer locust tree at the side of my house (those durn beans get EVERYwhere!) .  The branches on all the trees in town were coated with white, which was really kind of pretty, especially against the clear blue sky.  The house across the alley has some kind of vine growing all over their back fence.

Where I live, the houses usually sit at the middle of the lot, with a fair-sized front yard and a back yard that’s usually half again as big as the front yard.  You’ve got a paved street and houses facing each other along it, but in between the houses on one street and the houses on the next street there is an alley that is typically just bare dirt.  Everybody’s back yards are fenced in, so the alleys have fences down each side.  There’s also about a 4-foot wide “verge” along either side of this dirt alley.  The people who live in each house are supposed to maintain (keep clear of junk and mow) the strip of verge along their back fence.  Dumpsters are set at intervals on the verges along the alleys for people to put their trash in, and then the city’s garbage trucks come along and empty the dumpsters twice a week.  The alleys also provide room for utility trucks to access the utility poles (electricity) and the underground pipes (gas, water and sewer) that supply utilities to the houses, and the verges provide places for meters for the water and gas.  The electric meters are attached to the house at the point where the “war” from the pole enters the house.

So, we got a good little bit of snow overnight (2-3 inches?) and it’s supposed to snow again on Tues, but it’s also supposed to warm up to 22 F/-5.5 C Tues, with a low of 18 F/-7.7 C .  I’m supposed to go to cardiac rehab Mon and Wed, but I doubt that’s going to happen if the streets are not clear.   I didn’t go to cardiac rehab Fri either because it was too durn cold and windy and icy.  I don’t like driving when the road conditions are not ideal, not because I lack driving skills, but because there are an unfortunately high percentage of idiots in pickup trucks in this town who apparently learned to drive by watching monster truck rallies.

Teal asymmetrical shawl

In the knitting news, I’m still basically working on three projects:  The teal asymmetrical triangular shawl in Malabrigo sock yarn, the infinity wrap, and the semicircular shawl, but I’ve got this gloriously magenta, turquoise, teal, purple variegated yarn that is just begging to become — I think — a semicircular shawl.

infinity wrap

But I’m still gestating the ideas

semicircular shawl.  I really like the edge I put on the semicircular shawl at left, with the “eyelet join” of yarn overs  between it and the body of the shawl.  It’s a wider, thicker edge (5 stitches wide), but it’s ribbed (k1, p1), which keeps it from rolling quite nicely.  I’m thinking about having an odd number of stitches in the body, and starting every body row with a knit stitch, which is your basic seed stitch.  The fabric it makes is not as thick as garter stitch, but it has an interesting texture.  I have worked out a way to use Turkish cast on to make the top borders look like they were knitted on, which is my main quarrel with doing garter tabs.  You can always see where the tab is.

for it.  I really like the edge I put on the semicircular shawl at left, with the “eyelet join” of yarn overs  between it and the body of the shawl.  It’s a wider, thicker edge (5 stitches wide), but it’s ribbed (k1, p1), which keeps it from rolling quite nicely.  I’m thinking about having an odd number of stitches in the body, and starting every body row with a knit stitch, which is your basic seed stitch.  The fabric it makes is not as thick as garter stitch, but it has an interesting texture.  I have worked out a way to use Turkish cast on to make the top borders look like they were knitted on, which is my main quarrel with doing garter tabs.  You can always see where the tab is.

 

But I’m still gestating the ideas for it

I will leave you with this funny, brilliant, and vaguely unsettling thing:

Books Read in 2021

14. Fledgling, Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steve (re-read)
13. Mouse and Dragon, Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steve (re-read)
12. I Dare, Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steve (re-read)
11. Local Custom, Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steve (re-read)
10. Plan B, Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steve (re-read)
9. Carpe Diem, Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steve (re-read)
8. Agent of Change, Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steve (re-read)
7. Conflict of Honors, Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steve (re-read)
6. Crystal Dragon, Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steve (re-read)
5. *Goblin Fruit, Lake, Celia
4. *Masquerade in Lodi, Bujold, Lois McMaster (Novella)
3. *Time Variance of Snow, Yu, E. Lilly
2. *When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain, Vo, Nghi (Novelette)
1. Crystal Soldier, Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steve (re-read)

*ebook

I’m Fixin’ a Crick . . .

Not a hole, (apologies to Macca), but a certain ickyness in the left trapezius that is probably the result of too much time sitting at the computer with my neck at an odd angle.  Of course, the obvious fix is to spend less time at the computer, but we know how likely that is to happen. Not.

What did happen was this.  Now my monitors are up at a height where my neck doesn’t have to be at that odd angle.  Additionally, I’m gaining some desktop real estate by being able to put things under the shelves, like all the cords you need for two monitors (4), a cordless phone charger cradle (1), the desk lamp (1), a dohicky for adding four additional USB ports to my computer (2),  as well as room for the large weighted base of the desk lamp and a digital camera.  By elevating the large round bases of the two monitors up onto the little tables, this leaves more room on my desk top for the UPS, which is the size of a shoe box (for a pair of men’s size 14EEEE wingtips);  two bowls of knitting; the hand-blown drinking glass that I keep my pens, pencils, big scissors and letter opener in (which was sitting out of reach on the filing cabinet because I didn’t have room for it on my desk); a small bowl of knitting notions; a digital camera; a coaster for a glass/cup; a coaster for a carafe/stainless steel bottle; a keyboard; a mouse pad; and a mouse.*

My BFF refers to my computer setup as “the cockpit” and the time I spend at the computer as “flying the house,” the conceit being that my house is a space ship . This hearkens back to my salad days when I was a medical transcriptionist and worked from home, so I spent at least 8 hours a day at the computer, flying the house to make a living.   These days, I’m a free-lance pilot and can go where ever I want.

In the knitting news, I try to knit a row or two on the project by each chair though I am in the process of a big Liaden Universe Reread.  I might mention at this point that the Kindle versions of Agent of Change which was the first book published, and Fledgling, which picks up at an interesting place a bit further on in the saga of Clan Korvil, are both free through Amazon.  Two large helpings of space opera at no cost to you. Fair warning, though.  They’re like potato chips.  Betcha can’t read just one. . . .

 

 

*Astute readers will have noted the strategic deployment of semicolons by the English major when one or more of the items listed in a series has internal commas.