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.

Great Joy in Mudville and Simple Pleasures on the Flatlands

I knew the World Series had gone to game 7 tied 3 and 3, and that they played Wednesday night.  Because a Texas team is involved (the Houston Astros), and because my cousins are big sports fans, I confess to feeling some curiosity as to who won, so I googled.  The Astros won 4 games to 3, so great joy indeed.  There’s a good little bit of irony in my allusion to Mudville.  Between all the rain and flooding from Hurricane Harvey, that’s pretty much what Houston ended up being.  I’m glad the Astros were able to pull it out of the hat for them. This has been quite a roller coaster year for the town of my birth.

In the knitting news, I finished a hat last night, a kind of kicked cancer’s *ss, celebratory, happy hat, or a raspberry, giving cancer the finger hat, depending on how you want to look at it — since it will be donated to the cancer center.    I’m calling it the Pink Power hat.  It’s all over multicolored stars.  In the uphill slog that is chemotherapy, sometimes you need some over the top, goofy silliness.

I added a variation without the beads.  I also have some faceted clear beads and I might do one in some dark blue or burgundy metallic yarn I have.  It takes 81 beads, but the pattern is fairly straightforward.  It has a “k1, yo” bit where you drop the yo on the next row to provide enough length for the knit stitch to be pulled through the bead with a crochet hook and then slipped onto the right needle and knitted on the next row.

I took about 25 hats to the cancer center last week.  That ought to hold them for a while.  I’ve got some other hats on the needles, but I think I’ll change the pace and do some other projects for a while, my reader’s shrugs, for one.   My Malguri Morning shawl, for another. (The two that went to Washington state were warmly (!) received, and were just in the nick of time.  Winter is setting in up in the Pacific NW. )

I’ve been drinking Stash Tea’s Spiced Chai hot with a liberal blop of Caramel Macchiato Coffemate in it (Walmart did me dirty and was out of Crème Brulée flavor). Their spiced chai is also good cold with a splash of fruit juice in it.  I usually use either apple juice or Welch’s White Peach (which is a combo of white grape juice and peach juice), but “fruit juice of choice” is always a winner.

I’m also in the process of polishing off some sliced ham, bacon, and Havarti cheese slices on crackers (Walmart did me dirty again and was out of Muenster cheese, but they did have Havarti cheese.  It’s not Muenster, but it’s not bad. . .).

Because I rent, and because I feel sure the landlady would object to my putting a cat flap in my bedroom door, I’ve rigged a heavy velvet drape over the door to block out the light, yet allow the fat(cat)boy to come and go as he pleases.  I have a chock of wood that holds the door open just enough, and a door stop on the other side to keep him from pushing the door way open.  I had been holding the drape out of the way when not needed by using a long wire twist tie which, as you can see, has finally succumbed to metal fatigue.  But then I remembered I still had some of those coconut shell buttons I was using for neck warmers and I-cord is not that hard to knit. . .  I knitted a 5-stitch I-cord that was a bit more substantial to match my button, which is gigunga.  I attached one end to the button, made a loop on the other end — not the most elegant bit of work I’ve ever done, but close enough for government work.  I had screwed a cup-hook into the wall to attach my twist tie to, and it worked equally well for my I-cord tie.  Since the bedroom door is in a fairly narrow hallway, I have the curtain hung on one of those spring-loaded curtain rods.

This would also be a good solution for a drafty door in wintertime.  The velvet curtain is fairly heavy, and the spring-loaded curtain rod doesn’t mar the wall.  Weatherstripping being as cheap as it is, though, if you were the house owner (versus a renter), I could see putting foam weatherstripping around inside doors as well as outside doors to stop air leaks and cold drafts.  I might also point out, weatherstripping, if done right, also blocks light if you, like me, need your bedroom pitch dark to get good sleep, or work shift work and have to sleep during the day.


Books Read in 2017

65. Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker, Chiaverini, Jennifer
64. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, Watson, Winifred (re-read)
63. *Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen, McMaster Bujold, Lois
62. *Jackaby, Ritter, William
61. *Howl’s Moving Castle, Wynne Jones, Diana (re-read)
60. *Due Diligence, Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steve
59. *Flight of Magpies, Charles, K. J.
58. *A Case of Possession, Charles, K. J.
57. *The Magpie Lord, Charles, K. J.
56. A Conspiracy of Kings, Whalen Turner, Megan (re-read)
55. The King of Attolia, Whalen Turner, Megan (re-read)
54. The Queen of Attolia, Whalen Turner, Megan (re-read)
53. The Thief, Whalen Turner, Megan (re-read)
52. Thick as Thieves, Whalen Turner, Megan
51. Seven Wild Sisters, DeLint, Charles
50. *The Owl Service, Garner, Alan (re-read)
49. Stargate, Norton, Andre
48. *Swordspoint, Kushner, Ellen
47. *Privilege of the Sword, Kushner, Ellen
46. *The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, Chambers, Becky
45. Point of Honour, Robins, Madeleine E.
44. The Mark of the Horse Lord, Sutcliff, Rosemary
43. Where the Dead Lie, Harris, C. S.
42. Convergence, Cherryh, C. J.
41. Visitor, Cherryh, C. J. (reread)
40. Tracker, Cherryh, C. J. (re-reread)
39. When Falcons Fall, Harris, C. S. (reread)
38. Who Buries the Dead, Harris, C. S. (re-reread)
37. Why Kings Confess, Harris, C. S. (re-reread)
36. What Darkness Brings, Harris, C. S. (re-reread)
35. When Maidens Mourn, Harris, C. S. (re-reread)
34. Where Shadows Dance, Harris, C. S. (re-reread)
33. What Remains of Heaven, Harris, C. S. (re-reread)
32. Where Serpents Sleep, Harris, C. S. (re-reread)
31. Why Mermaids Sing, Harris, C. S. (re-reread)
30. When Gods Die, Harris, C. S. (re-reread)
29. What Angels Fear, Harris, C. S. (re-reread)
28. Alliance of Equals, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (reread)
27. Trade Secrets, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (re-reread)
26. Liaden Constellation, Vol. 2, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (re-reread)
25. Liaden Constellation, Vol. 3, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (re-reread)
24. Liaden Constellation, Vol. 1, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (re-reread)
23. Dragon in Exile, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (re-. . . reread)
22. Necessity’s Child, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (re-. . . reread)
21. Mouse and Dragon, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (re-. . . reread)
20. Scout’s Progress, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (re-. . . reread)
19. I Dare, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (re-. . . reread)
18. Plan B, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (re-. . . reread)
17. Local Custom, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (re-. . . reread)
16. Conflict of Honors, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (re-. . . reread)
15. Carpe Diem, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (re-. . . reread)
14. Agent of Change, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (re-. . . reread)
13. The Gathering Edge, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon
12. Dragon Ship, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (reread)
11. Ghost Ship, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (reread)
10. Saltation, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (reread)
9. *Fledgling, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (reread)
8. *Passing Strange, Klages, Ellen
7. Balance of Trade, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (reread)
6. Tripoint, Cherryh, C. J.
5. *Were-, Bray, Patricia and Palmatier, Joshua, ed.
4. *When Marnie Was Here, Robinson, Joan G.
3. Crystal Dragon, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (reread)
2. Crystal Soldier, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (reread)
1. A Conspiracy of Kings, Whalen Turner, Megan (reread)

* Ebook