Friday, December 29, 2006

Damn store warranties.

I am never buying another piece of computer equipment from Office Depot ever again. Never. Never Never.

Last year my dad got me a PDA from Office Depot for Christmas. It was a floor model, so a lot of people had been poking at it before we got it. So, we bought the extended warranty because we figured I would need it.

About two weeks ago, it died on me. (touchscreen quit working) So, I called OD and tried to tell them it was dead and I wanted their warranty dept to either fix it or replace it like they said they would.

OD tells me that it's still under manufacturers warranty and wouldnt deal with me. So, I called the manufacturer ( HP products) and they told me "sorry, manufacturers warranty expired on the 8th". So, I called OD back and told them what HP said. Emailed OD my receipt as proof.

OD claims that it's still under manufacturers warranty because I didnt register the PDA till December 26th. ( was a Xmas present) HP said that because it was bought December 8th that the 1yr warranty has expired. Office Depot is giving me the royal runaround and I get the feeling they dont want to honor their warranty contract.

I just spent a half hour listening to the crappiest hold music to find out that the warranty dept hasnt even bothered looking at my claim yet.

The guy on the phone said that if I know the PDA is unrepairable that I should go ahead and purchase a new PDA while they get things sorted out. Ummm...just how am I supposed to do that? They havent sent me the giftcard they give you when your warrantied item cant be repaired. Plus the fact that they dont even offer HP pda's in their store anymore, so I'm going to have to buy my next pda straight from HP (and I'm pretty sure they wont take an OD giftcard)

I explained that to Emilio, the barely intelligible warranty guy. (I know the warranty dept is in Florida, and there are lots of Spanish speaking people there, but can they at least hire someone who can enunciate clearly? I dont care if English was their 5th language, I just want to be able to understand what the hell the guy is saying to me without making him repeat himself because he cant pronounce the simplest words!!) Emilio told me that sometimes instead of a giftcard they can send a check, but that a check takes FOUR WEEKS to be processed. (what the f...?) It's nearly 3 weeks since my pda died...something that I'm not very happy about. (I used my pda for more than just reading fanfiction and playing solitaire) Now I've got to wait another four weeks??!?

Next time we get anything electronic or computer related, I'm going to Best Buy. They have repair people in the store...and their warranties are much much better...and next time I'll tell my dad not to buy the floor model.

I think I'll go write Office Depot a strongly worded letter about the crappy hold music they had on their phones. I dont think I'm ever getting that stupid song out of my head. I'm probably going to have to go listen to the song that I hate most in this world to get their hold music out of my head. (not telling what song I hate most in this clue's by Toni Basil)

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

10 years ago today...

Ten years ago tonight (probably right about now...2am) TinyMonsters was born. Seems like he was just a puppy...

Too bad I cant clone him. (I have some of his hair...maybe someday?)

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Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Ohmygosh! We (my mom and I) got all our presents wrapped tonight. I actually ran out of my fabric bags (that's never happened before!) and had to resort to wrapping paper for about 4 presents.

While my mom and I were wrapping those, we both commented that my fabric gift bags are so much easier. We were both having problems holding the paper down while trying to wrangle with the tape dispenser.

The tree looks weird without the dog fence around it. (I miss TinyMonsters...his birthday is tomorrow, the 26th. He'd be 10 if he hadnt died in March)

I took some pictures of the tree tonight, but I'm too tired to load the pictures onto my computer to post them here now.

This is the last year for our current tree. It's going to a new home (friend of my dad's is taking it) We bought a new skinnier (not pre-lit) tree on sale at Hobby Lobby a couple of weeks ago. ('bout $45 for a 7.5 footer) My pre-lit tree was slowly becoming un-lit. The woman taking our old tree doesnt mind that not all the branches will light up. It's a good decent tree. I'll miss it a little bit, but I wanted a skinnier tree...It'll fit better in the place we're going to be putting it up in every year, and plus the new tree wont take up as much room in our Xmas closet.

I didnt get as excited about christmas this year as I have in other years. Think it was a combination of the weather, my eye being weird and colors not looking normal and maybe my dog dying last March. Just wasnt fun without Tiny trying to steal glass balls off the tree or trying to steal the fabric bags from under the tree. (he'd stick his head over the fence and try to get a mouthful of fabric to steal)

Yesterday and today was about the first time I got excited at all about shopping. Took my mom to Target to get stuff for my dad, went to WM with both my parents to shop for something that dad wanted to get for all of us (WM was out of the item) and then went to Kmart with my dad so that he could get my mom a few more presents because she seemed to have bought more for him than he did for her. I guess he wanted to even things out under the tree and this is probably why we ran out of bags this year. (I even made 5 or 6 new ones too!)

For dinner my dad cooked out on our grill (in 40 degree weather!) We didnt realize it till we started cooking, but we need to add another light to our patio. Dad had to grill by flashlight light. The steaks turned out perfect (dad's was a bit well done) and we had asparagus, mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes with it. I was going to make biscuits but got sidetracked and forgot about them till we were bringing the steaks in.

My dad got himself an early present a few weeks ago. A digital videocamera. I'm still trying to figure out how to get the video onto my computer...not that I'll upload much video to the internet...dont have my dog to do cute and interesting things...he's about the only thing I'd have been interested in uploading to my blog.

I'm sleepy and worn out tonight...been taking an antibiotic for an infection this weekend and I think that's done a number on me too.

I think I hear the reindeer...better go to bed.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Yikes! Xmas is getting closer!

Good thing I wasnt crocheting anything as a gift...I've been neglecting my crochet projects and cheating on them with the knitting needles. (not knitting anything for anyone...just trying to make something for myself)

I may be a little closer in figuring out why my right leg has had numbness in it since April. (it may have something to do with a couple of back injuries I had a few months apart in '99, and a hip injury I got tripping ONTO and OFF of the train at the local zoo the day my hip went numb.)

I went to the doctor on thursday because the numbness changed in intensity and MOVED to another spot on my leg. I was disturbed enough by that and another symptom or two to go to a doctor. So, I had an ever so delightful (not) experience in an MRI machine again today. (MRIs and claustrophobia do not mix very well) Got a nice MRI of my lower back and spine...with a nice little injection of contrast medium (gadolinium). I better not go to the airport for awhile. I might set off their radiation detectors. I look like a junkie because I apparently have small veins. The MRI tech had to poke me repeatedly to find a good vein to put the contrast into.

I hate MRI's, but at least they dont put you all the way in for a lower back MRI, (they do for a brain MRI and they strap you down with all sorts of kinky stuff so you dont move. Eeek! and when they say "open machine"...that's a lie...I dont consider it "open" if I have a giant magnet about 2 inches from the end of my nose) Having to lay completely still (you can move your arms a teeny bit for a spinal MRI) for about 40 minutes is not fun at all. (an hour and a half to two hours for a brain MRI...not fun when you're strapped down!) My back is pissed at me now.

I spent some of the time listening to country music on headphones and thinking up what I want to crochet/and or knit next. Part of the time was taken up with wishing I could scratch the itchy spot on my right knee.

I've been working on some stuff for Christmas. About 5 or 6yrs ago I got my first sewing machine. It was a WalMart special (pretty much a piece of junk) I had it for about 4 or 5 months when my dad bought me a Husquvarna Viking machine. I cheerfully gave up my WM Special (gave it to my cousin) and have totally embraced the Viking. I still cant do much more than straight lines down the fabric, but I do have fun making simple gift bags to use at Christmas.

My dad LOVES the gift bags. He's wrapping paper challenged. Growing up I could always tell which parent wrapped the presents. My mom's were obsessive-compulsively taped down on the ends, paper folded almost perfect and she was fairly thrifty with the amounts of paper she used. And she would put a tag on the present that said who it was for and if it was from the parents or Santa.

My dad on the other hand was just happy that the presents were wrapped so that we couldnt see what was inside. And he would write mine and my sister's first initials on the paper instead of using a tag. Sometimes you couldnt tell where he wrote our initials. He'd have to take a moment or two to search all over the present for the letters "E" and "S". Sometimes he wouldnt be able to find it so he'd guess (wrong).

So my dad was totally thrilled the first time I made a fabric gift bag. So now, every year I pull out the sewing machine and crank out a couple of bags for him to use. We're pretty much almost exclusively using fabric bags for gift wrap now.

I've also got several oversized pieces of fabric that I hemmed the cut edges. We either just drape that fabric over any oversized gifts, or I've even wrapped a present or two with the fabric like you would with paper, using cloth ribbon to tie it closed. It's kind of fun. I reuse the ribbons every year, and last year my mom and I decided to not toss out the gift tags. I'd been using the kind that have a hole punched in the corner and string looped thru the tag. You just slip the tag onto the ribbon before you tie the bag closed and everything's all set. My dad just totally loves this. I think he's going to let me get some fabric (when it goes on clearance after Xmas) to make more bags. He wants me to have more of the larger bags. The largest bags that I've made are about pillow case size. 1yd of fabric, I pin the selvages together, and one end of the bag. And I hem the opening. Very easy to make. Made a few the other day. Took me about 20 or 30 minutes to make 3 bags. (used half yard pieces of fabric.)

I'll take a few pictures of my tree tomorrow with some of the presents under the tree.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Yep...I was right....

The fickleness of my optic nerve is starting to get on my nerves. (yes...wasnt that punny?)

I had some improvement over the weekend, and then monday morning I get up and my left optic nerve is screaming (in pain) "Just kidding!!"

And then I went to get my new glasses Rx filled yesterday. That's just made the optic nerve even more angry at me. The new lenses are making dizzy, and my left eye is not liking the change at all...Altho, I am pleased with my vision out of my good eye. Wow...nice, crisp and clear. Very happy with that.

The left eye, with the new glasses, has a bit sharper vision, but the damned fogginess and decreased color perception still sucks. And just so every one knows, new glasses wont improve the fogginess and decreased color perception. That's a nerve problem and the best corrective lenses in the world do nothing for improving that. I have to wait for it to heal, if it does. Which can take up to a year. If it doesnt improve within 2yrs, it's probably going to be permanent.

It's not so much the fuzzy vision that bugs me. I can deal with that. It's the wonky color vision that bothers me. I never realized how much I love color until this happened. Yarn shopping isnt as exciting as it once was. I went clothes shopping and found a nice red skirt (and a black one too) that I liked. Bought them, brought them home, hoping that the red would match a red shirt I have. Put the shirt and skirt together and wasnt sure about the color until I showed them to my parents. (didnt match, but gives me an excuse to go shopping for a matching shirt now)

At least I know my eye is capable of's teasing me enough with the glimpses of good vision. Just wish it would hurry up and make up it's mind.


We got the Xmas tree out of the store room the other day...and it sat on the floor in the family room for several more days. Tonight we took the tree upstairs, put it in the spot where it's going to sit for the next month or so. I went as far as plugging in the lights on the tree (it's pre-lit) to make sure they work. We're buying a new tree this year. Either after Xmas, or before if we find one we like at a good price. I dont think I'll be getting another pre-lit tree. They're nice, but once the lights start to go fubar.

Not that I dont add extra lights to the tree. Since 9-11, I've done a patriotic themed tree. My tree already has clear lights on it, so I just add a string of red and a string of blue...put my patriotic ornaments on it. This year, I'll have to either cover up the dead light spots with the red or blue lights, or pile on the garland.

At least I dont have to put the dog fence up. I miss Tiny, and would gladly corral my tree again to have Tiny back, but it is kind of nice to see the tree without a 3 foot tall metal fence surrounding it. As soon as I get the tree decorated, I'll post some pictures of it.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Whoohoo! real improvement!

I was crocheting tonight (gosh, what a surprise? Me? Crocheting...) and I noticed something. My left eye didnt feel like it was pulling towards my nose like it has been...and the lamps in my room werent making me feel like I wanted to rip them out of the wall and toss them into the backyard. And it feels like my eyeballs are finally starting to cooperate with each other again.

So now I think I had some improvement in my visual acuity tonight. Colors still look wonky and slightly washed out, but the fuzzies and blurries are nowhere near as bad as they were yesterday or even this morning. Reds still look weird (kind of an orange-ness quality to them) and greens are a little funky looking. Light doesnt look as dim either.

all I can say is IT'S ABOUT DAMNNED TIME!!!!!!!!!!!

and I'm fully expecting things to look crappy again tomorrow. I've had bits and pieces of improvement for several weeks now, but it hasnt always stuck'll get better and then a little bit later my eye goes "just kidding" and gets wonky again. It's less wonky each time, but this is the best bit of improvement that I've noticed in a long time.

It's also been exactly 15 weeks since my left optic nerve decided to go on it's little vacation. Yep. 15 weeks ago at this very moment, I was curled up on my bed, crying because my head hurt so bad. Worst migraine of my life. Ever. (The second worst migraine was about 3 weeks ago, after walking around in WalMart...those fluorescent lights are just evil)

And may I re-iterate that if you ever have a headache that you would call THE WORST HEADACHE YOU'VE EVER HAD...Go. To. The. Doctor. Immediately!

From what I gathered from the 3 doctors I saw for this problem this was caused by either a virus or a bacterial infection (actually I saw 5 doctors, but one was an ER doc and the other was my regular doctor and they referred me to 3 that helped figure out what was wrong) I had strep throat for about a week before my eye went fubar, and apparently it decided to set up shop in my optic nerve.

Hopefully my vision will stay normal from now on...especially tomorrow. We're taking my mom to see A Christmas Carol for her birthday. Movies havent been a problem for my vision, but I'm not sure about a live play.

As for what I was crocheting tonight...I pulled a couple of projects that I havent worked on for the past 3 months out and did some work on them. Finished a chenille scarf for my aunt Jan. Worked on a star shaped afghan that's half finished, worked on yet another pineapple shawl, I knitted a little bit (learned how to increase AND decrease in knitting! yay!), worked on a shawl I'm making with Joann's Rainbow Boucle', and in a non-yarn moment, I arranged the fabric that I'm going to make gift bags out of later this weekend with my sewing machine (as long as my vision doesnt go out of order again.)

I was quite productive tonight. :)

I even cleaned my closet out last night.

and I picked up my Rx sunglasses from Sam's Club this afternoon. (where were these whenever my eyeball exploded when out in the sun, or near any source of light?!? Now I get them...argh) Now I just need to go to Lenscrafters and get new lenses for my regular glasses. (got a new Rx) At least my Lenscrafters lenses can be made in an hour.

At least now I can see...for the moment.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

*screaming in frustration!!!*

I switched to Blogger Beta a few weeks back (basically because this stupid thing made me) and I just spent 10 minutes trying to log in to do a blog post. It just kept giving me the royal run-around, not allowing me to log in. So, now I dont even remember what I was going to post!!!

ARGH!!!!!! *grumble*

I think I even made the comment in a post back when I did the switch that I hoped I wasnt making a big mistake. How prophetic.


I saw an afghan pattern in a knitting magazine a few days ago that I've just fallen in love with (need to go back and buy the magazine), but I dont know enough about knitting to either follow the pattern, or even do the stitches. I think the afghan uses yarn overs and some sort of knitted lace stitches. Same deal with a shawl pattern that I found for free on the internet somewhere. Knitted lace just looks neat. Hopefully I'll figure that out soon.


I've noticed on several forums that a lot of people are using my rectangle granny square pattern. Seen the comment that people are worried about the long sides of the afghan narrowing while the corners on the short ends stick out. This is perfectly normal. Once your afghan starts getting bigger the weight of the afghan will make things even out. You dont need to do anything special to fix it. (I'll post this information on the blog post that has the pattern too)

Monday, November 27, 2006

Finished another pineapple shawl

I think I'm a bit obsessed with this pattern...I really like making these...

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I'm probably going to give this one to my great-aunt Vi. (my paternal grandma's sister) My dad is thinking of visiting her within the next week or two, so I might take this shawl and another one that I'm almost finished with to give to her.

I've also got another shawl in the works. It's being made with Rainbow Boucle''s just a basic half granny square shawl. Nothing too difficult and no fancy stitches, since they would get lost in the fuzzy goodness of the boucle' yarn. I have 3 skeins of that particular color (and it takes about a half skein to make the shawl) so I'm trying to figure out what else to make with it. If I ever get any good with knitting, maybe I'll knit an afghan from it.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

I hate phish!

A few minutes ago, I was sitting at my desk...reading a fan fic story and crocheting a new shawl. I happened to look up and saw that a high school friend who now lives in FL had just logged onto Yahoo Messenger...within a second or two, I got an instant message from him. It said he had a new website and gave a link (the words "sexual content" in the link should have been my first clue this wasnt a good thing) and me...being stupid, clicked on it.

It looked like a Yahoo page and even tho I was currently logged into Yahoo it wanted me to enter my name and password...Just as I was hitting the "sign in" button, I happened to look at the address bar on my browser.

I dont think I've typed that fast in a long time. I already had a browser window open to my email account, so I quickly leaped into my account information page and changed my password....and then changed it again after a few minutes. (to something totally different from my old password. with gibberish words and numbers)

Hopefully I did that fast enough. Then I emailed my friend who had "instant messaged" me...telling him what happened. (if he's been hacked, he probably wont read it...if he calls me tomorrow I'll tell him about it then)

I really hate spammers and phishers...they are the cockroaches of the internet!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

I hope I didnt just totally screw things up...

I just switched my blog over to the new blogger beta whatever-ya call it thru Google.

Immediately I've had a problem...but, here I am posting. Hopefully I'm not just talking to myself.

Ever break a garage door? We broke ours tonight. Actually, I think there's been a problem with it for a long time, actually since we bought the house. (the house was brand new 4yrs ago when my parents bought it, so it's not like the door was beat up by the previous owners)

My parents had to go grocery shopping, so I took them. We got back. I pressed the button to make the door go up. It went up about 5 inches and then went back down. Tried again. Several more times. No go. So my dad went in the front door (locking it behind himself...why?) and he tried to open it from the pressing the button repeatedly.

I got out of the car and asked my dad to disconnect the door so we could lift it up. He did, and we still couldnt lift it. We gave up, took the milk, Southern Comfort, hamburger buns and Krispy Kremes in. (we only bought the essentials) I called Norm at the garage door place to come fix it. Of course they cant get here till 9am tomorrow (it was 430pm when I called. all his techs were at the bars...errr...went home to their wives for dinner)

So my poor car is exiled to the driveway for the night (thank goodness I have a car alarm!) and my dad's car, which he needs to drive to work tomorrow at the butt-crack of dawn is trapped inside. (guess who's car he's taking to work...where the parking garage has a requirement that you get hit at least once a week by another car)

While I was on the phone with Norm, I looked at the spring that helps the opener lift the door. I asked Norm, the expert in these matters, if it's a bad thing if one of the springs is in two pieces.

He told me that's a bad bad thing. Very serious. (apparently it's like when you have a ball-point pen with the clicky thing...if the spring inside the pen breaks, you cant get the pen to do the clicky thing anymore) The door weighs about 150pounds or more, and is impossible to move without the spring.

Hopefully it's not too expensive of a repair.

This isnt the first garage door we've broken. At our last house, the ancient garage door there had these springs that went the length of the garage door (they had the wheel and pully system, the one we have now is the screw system) One day we had just gotten home from somewhere, got out of the car, closed the garage door and went into the house. Right after we all got into the house there was a big BANG! and the sound of a spring going *sproing!*. The spring on that one snapped, and the tension in the wheel and pully let loose and shot the spring into the wall next to the door. (left a big hole in the wall. We were surprised to see the garage had good insulation in the walls) My dad's pretty sure that if we'd been in that garage when the spring when it broke, someone would have been hurting, or they'd have a nice write-up in the morning obits, with a story about the importance of maintaining your garage door in working order.

I'm just hoping my car will be safe outside (and in the parking garage at my dad's job). There are neighbor kids down the street who are NOT closely watched by their parents. The other night these kids were running around in the field behind my house with BB guns (I hope they were BB guns!) shooting at critters/and or themselves. Havent been able to catch them doing anything truly horrible yet, but I'm sure eventually they'll do something that will give the neighbors something to gossip about.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Wow, I can do it now...finally!

It took me about 3 months, but I finally figured out how to do the purl stitch AND how to knit in the round on double pointed needles.

So, now I've finally been able to do the stockinette stitch. I love the look of that stitch, I just dont like how slowly I go to do that stitch. I knit continental, but I apparently purl English style. So, I just whip thru the knit stitch, and trudge slowly thru the purl stitches.

I really am enjoying knitting on double pointed needles. It took me about a day to get used to doing it, but I think I like that type of knitting the best. (cause I get stockinette without having to actually purl!)

So, I really only have two knitting projects going right now (to go along with the 5 crochet projects I'm doing and the work-in-mind project I have for my sewing machine)

I'm doing a scarf in knit stitch. (I started this the week my left eye went wonky. Amazing that I knitted this "one-eyed" and havent dropped a stitch...that I know of)

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And then I have this. I dont know what it is...I'm just knitting in the round on double pointeds just to see what I can do. I might work on this for another 5 or 6 inches and then try to learn how to decrease and somehow turn this into a purse. (it's too narrow for a hat, and too wide for a sock I think)

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I might try changing colors on it too...not sure yet on what I want to do with this.


Went to my opthamologist on friday, and I went to a neuro-opthamologist yesterday afternoon. (I wanted the neuro-op to check and make sure I didnt have anything else going on) and both doctors told me that they believe my vision problem this fall (optic neuritis) was probably viral/bacterial in origin (I had strep throat the week my eye went loopy) and that it will probably continue to improve. There's a chance I might be stuck with wonky color vision in that eye, and some residual fuzzy vision, but my eye should be ok. It might take a year for things to get back to what they were in that eye, but I should probably have normal vision eventually.

Maybe I'll be able to get my sewing machine out in a few weeks to attempt a vest (which will be my first attempt at sewing clothing) My aunt and one of my cousins found a sewing machine store that has sewing classes. So, I might go up there and see if they can teach me how to do more with my sewing machine than sew in straight lines.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Fun with photoshop

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Edit: I twiddled with the picture some more and took out a lot of the extraneous bits of picture...hopefully made it a bit smaller so people on dial-up arent cursing my name while they wait for the picture to load.

My absolute favorite picture of TinyMonsters!!

This is one of the few baby (puppy) pictures I have of TinyMonsters.

He'd just had his ears cropped and they had the headgear on his head to hold the ears in place and to keep them clean. I would almost swear he's looking at the camera and saying "What the hell did those damn humans just do to me?" and his next thought was probably "first chance I get, I'm gonna go pee all over their new carpet!".

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Tiny was probably about 3 or 4 months old when this picture was taken. I'm guessing it's late March or early April of 1997. (he was born 12.26.1996). I wish I had more pictures of him when he was a little guy...he was so cute.

well, I'm (mostly) healed...

Went to the opthamologist today. He said my eye looks normal. I still have a lot of fuzziness in my vision. He said that's normal. It may or may not go away. I've apparently got a lot of healing to do, but I guess the optic nerve is no longer swollen...just a bunch of residual nerve damage that may or may not go away.

Let this be a lesson to everyone. Do NOT IGNORE a headache that you would consider the **WORST** you've ever had. Especially if your eye hurts when you move it, or you have big blind spots obscuring your vision!!!!! (ok, I ignored the headache and eye pain, but when those blind spots popped up, I started listening)

He told me that he didnt see any evidence of any of that scary stuff that could sometimes cause the Optic Neuritis, so that's made me feel a lot better. (there's like a dozen illnesses and conditions that can cause Optic Neuritis, he thinks mine might have been viral)

The eye doctor did suggest that I go and see an neuro-opthamologist just to make sure there wasnt anything he missed. He thought it would be a good idea just in case the neuro-eye doc thinks that there could be something to be done for the fuzzy vision and the dyschromatopsia (wonky color vision) Said it wouldnt hurt to do that now, especially since I've already met my deductible for the year. The year runs out soon and he thought I should try to get to the neuro-optho before the end of the year just so I dont have to shell out a gazillion dollars for the deductible again.

He wrote me out a new glasses Rx, but didnt give it to me yet just in case the neuro-eye doctor thinks I need a different one.

Hopefully my insurance wont hit me with too much of a bill. (they only pay 80%!) It'll be a bit bothersome around christmas, but it's probably more important that I have good eyesight rather than an iPod.


Ohmygosh! I found my most favorite picture of TinyMonsters the other night in a picture frame that my dad had stolen from me to put a picture of one of my nieces in several years back. As soon as I install a driver for my dad's scanner onto my computer, I'll post the picture. It's sooooo cute! It's from when he was a puppy...probably only 2 or 3 months old. He'd just had his ears cropped and was wearing this "headgear" to hold his ears up (please, no kvetching about it being cruel to crop a dog's ears...) In the picture, Tiny's looking up at the camera with this look that says "what the hell did you just do to me?!?...and why is everyone laughing??". He's just so adorable in this picture. I'll scan it tomorrow morning and post it.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Would you believe....?

Would you believe that in my thirty something years of crocheting (learned when I was 6) that I've never done a ripple afghan?

I finally made one. Found the pattern on the internet several years ago and printed it out. This was before I started to save the links to patterns in the footer of my printouts, so I'm not sure where I got this one. As soon as I find the original website that I got it from I'll properly credit the designer for it.

Here are some pictures

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It only took me about a week or so to make this afghan. I started a week ago thursday, finished the crocheting on friday morning, and did the tail weaving last night/this morning. (darn insomnia! was up till 3am)

I thought the pattern was pretty nice, I followed the pattern exactly how the designer wrote it out (I probably did more rows than she suggested). My only problem is that I think it's too narrow. Once I figure out how many extra chains to do to make it bigger, I'll probably do another one with this pattern. It was pretty fun to do.


I've probably mentioned once or twice how impressed I was with the Rainbow Bridge when TinyMonsters died in March. The box that they put his cremains in is really very pretty. Morbid as it may seem, I thought I'd show you why I'm so impressed with the Rainbow Bridge that's here in Omaha. (sorry if anyone thinks it's morbid)

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I resized the picture so it's not as huge as it was, so you might not be able to read Tiny's name on the nameplate, but you can at least see the detail in the wood. It looks so much better than I thought it was going to. I had an image in my head that it was going to be pine wood and shaped like a cigar box or something. Never expected it to look this good.

Edited to add: For some reason, Photobucket doesnt always show the resized pictures after I've resized them...not sure if my browser's cache is wonky or if the resize didnt take or something. Sorry if any of the pictures are massive, I swear I resized them!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I cant believe I figured it out...sorta...

I was just playing around with my desktop computer that I've had a couple of years. It has some features on it that I've never used before. Well, tonight, I got curious to see how they worked. Specifically the video capture program.

I have an ancient video camera. I've had it about 10 or 11yrs. It uses those little mini video tapes.

I had some video of TinyMonsters, my dog that passed away in March, so I decided to see if I could transfer it from the videotape onto my computer.

Would you believe that I did it without even using any written directions? I not only got it copied to my computer, I also burned it to DVD!

My mom was thrilled. She misses Tiny and thought it was cool to be able to see him again. Hopefully I have more tape of him!

I just sat for an hour watching a videotape that my late Uncle Donny had recorded when he took my aunt and my cousins on a vacation to Pennsylvania. I was watching it because I was transferring it to the computer.

For some reason the picture I transferred is all black. (huh?!?) I've got audio, but no video. Weird thing is, the Preview screen I had up while transferring the tape had picture. I dont get it. I guess I have to fiddle with it for a bit.

If I manage to get it successfully transferred, I'm going to put it on a dvd and give it to my aunt. Not sure she'll want to watch it, it's got both of her parents on it (they've both passed away) and it has my uncle's voice on it. If she doesnt watch it right away, at least I've preserved the video. My uncle would have thought this was so cool. He passed away just before DVD technology became popular. He would have loved this stuff...I think he was more into gadgets and technology than me or my dad are.

If this doesnt work with my computer, I might attempt to record the video onto my Tivo and transfer it to DVD with the Tivo's built in dvd burner. (again, my uncle would have loved this stuff)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Yoric needs modeling lessons...

I made another hat...the picture kind of sucks, but you can at least get an idea of what it looks like. It's the same pattern that I used for the other hat. I didnt put any embellishments on it. I started to, but it looked stupid, so I just decided to leave the hat plain.

This hat is also going to my cousin's daughter.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Friday, October 13, 2006

Alas...poor Yoric doesnt make a good model, does he?

After about two and a half months of just sitting around, crocheting and then frogging everything I make, I've actually managed to finish something. I've been in such a crochet slump, and my eye being all wonky hasnt helped me much. At last I've finished something.

You'll have to forgive my model, Yoric, he wasnt really thrilled at having to do a photoshoot tonight.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I got the pattern for the hat at this site

I didnt like the flower on the original pattern, so I came up with my own. I also changed the size of the hook. (I used an H) because my wonky eye didnt like the smaller hook.

Maybe now that I've actually finished something, I'll be able to decide on an afghan pattern now. It's been a while since I made an afghan.

I'll be giving the red hat to my cousin's daughter. My aunt Jan asked me to make some hats for her grandaughter (she likes to play dress up and LOVES hats) I'll probably make up a couple more for her.

edited to add: I tried to resize the pictures in Photobucket...they're showing up resized there, but in my blog, they're ginormous. Either my browser's cache is not refreshing, or the Blogger Gremlins are screwing around with things...

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Now I've done it...

I guess I can consider myself a crocheter AND a knitter now.

Since I hurt my eye in late august (right after I learned to knit) I hadnt really wanted to pick up any crochet hooks or knitting needles. About a week or two ago, my eye had finally improved (or I got used to it) to the point where I could crochet comfortably. I bought some red yarn to make a new afghan, and then couldnt decide what to crochet. I guess even after having a near two month vacation from crocheting, I was still in a crochet slump. So over the weekend, bored as heck, I picked up the knitting needles and one of my larger skeins of scrap yarn. I dont like doing a regular cast on, so I chained 40 stitches on my afghan hook, did the Tunisian crochet cast-on, and then transferred that to my knitting needles and started to knit from there.

So far I've been knitting for 5 days straight. I even knitted in public yesterday when I took my dad to the eye doctor! (first time I've ever knitted in public)

It's kind of weird. I've been carrying around my first real knitting project everywhere I go. It's a scarf, being done in a green yarn (Red Heart, Medium Thyme...I think). I'm a little less then half finished with it. (started saturday evening)

I apparently knit just a teeny bit slower than I crochet (which is fairly quickly!)

So far I really am only doing one stitch (as far as I know) and I'm not doing anything terribly exciting. It is kind of neat to be able to do another yarn craft.

I have been crocheting some too. I started a rectangle granny afghan...with the red yarn I bought last week. It's probably going to end up being a xmas afghan. I have some nice green yarn that looks good with it.

Some moron with a can of spray paint has tagged a trailer that is in the field behind my house. The field is owned by the construction company that built our house. They're not planning on builing on it anytime soon, but they've been keeping that trailer back there. I cant see the trailer from my house, but when you leave our neighborhood, it's very obvious. This is the second time time the trailer has been tagged. It's ugly, and I cant quite tell what it says. Hopefully it wont sit there for 5 months before they paint over it like the last time.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

This is just a test...

Having some serious problems with posting tonight...just testing to see if I can get blogger to post something.

edited to add:
What the hell?? This message posted, but the one that wouldnt post earlier has now posted itself 3 times...


Anyone have any suggestions for good bloghosting sites?

Just to prove I can do it...

Ok, so I might have mentioned a couple of times that I'd finally figured out how to here's the proof.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I'm still having problems casting on...Red Heart yarn has a nasty habit of untwisting itself as I'm casting on, and I really hate that. My solution to the casting on problem is to take an afghan hook and to do a Tunisian crochet cast on. Then transfer the yarn from the afghan hook to the knitting needles. I like the edge that cast on gives. Maybe some day I'll actually be able to knit something more than swatches.

I'm not really making anything with this. It's basically just a swatch. I know I have a few issues with gauge, my fingers hurt when I knit and the yarn gets really tight around the needles. So I'm just using up some of my scrap yarn practicing.

My dad (the resident knitter here) looked at my swatch and he said it looks pretty good, except for it's pulling in a bit the further I knit. We're both pretty sure that's being caused by my gauge. I know I'm pulling a little too tightly on the yarn. I dont have this problem when I crochet. I guess I'll just have to keep practicing.

I remember when I was learning to crochet (a long time ago in a galaxy far far away) I crocheted very tightly. I dont know what I did to fix that other than getting more confidence in the way I held my hook, and practice.

It is kind of fun to learn something new...and it gives me more excuses to go to the yarn store.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

we have improvement!!!! (yay!!!)

I am so excited right now!

My wonky left eye has been steadily getting better since friday night. Friday morning and afternoon, my good eye (the right eye) was hurting and the eyelid kept twitching.

So, naturally I panicked. I was worried that whatever fubar-ed my left eye was making it's move on the right eye. Called the eye doctor. He was out (naturally), but luckily one of the other opthamologists was in the office and could take me that afternoon. So, I went in and he checked both eyes. Said that nothing was wrong with the right eye other than maybe a little eyestrain and said the pain was probably from that or may have had some leftover pain from a migraine I had the day before. He didnt even put drops in my eyes. I guess he was checking my pupil responses. My bad eye had an "afferent pupillary defect", which means that it wasnt responding normally to light.

So, he said to just rest my eyes and sent me home. That night and saturday morning and afternoon, my eye started flip flopping back and forth between crappy vision and really really really crappy vision.

Sunday I went to the Lincoln airshow with some friends to see the Blue Angels. Got to the airshow and started thinking it was a big mistake to go to an airshow on a sunny day with optic neuritis. My glasses have tint in them, but it was not up to the job. So I bought some of the overpriced clip-on sunglasses they had there. That helped so much. I was able to enjoy (and see) the Blue Angels.

Woke up monday, vision was less fuzzy.

Got up this morning to take my dad to his eye surgery (we've been the House Of The Half-Blind this past month) and my vision was a lot clearer. It's not normal yet, and some colors (green and red) still look weird, but I can see pretty good now with that eye. I even crocheted and knitted some tonight. I think I forgot how to knit...mostly I couldnt remember how to cast on in a way that my yarn doesnt split apart, but at least I can see what I'm doing now.

Now I can finish the pineapple shawl I crocheted with one eye closed when this all started. I finished crocheting it, but I couldnt see well enough to weave the yarn ends in. Gonna go finish that now. whoohoo! I was having serious yarn/crochet withdrawal.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Hmmm...I wonder if we're out of the drought now?

It's been an interesting evening meteorlogically. We had a tornado warning around 830 or 9pm. (that was fun) With all the required lightning, thunder and hailstones. (the tornado stayed a little south of my house. It was actually right over the area of my OLD house. I havent seen any news reports of damage, but there was apparently a LOT of rain. The weatherguy said that some manhole covers were blown off by the rainwater in some areas.

After that storm, my dad and I went out to pick up some photographs he had printed at Walgreens...on the way home, the next storm decided to hit.

Ever seen Titanic? The scene where Jack and Rose are running thru the corridor towards the little kid and his grandfather and the water is chasing them down the corridor...that's about what the streets looked like tonight, but with a lot more water.

I thought we were going to need pontoons on the side of my dad's Rav4. Halfway home, the hail started. It wasnt bad...wasnt big, and stopped about 10 seconds after it started...and then the rain got worse.

We were getting close to our house, came around the curve where the nimrod neighbors have to always park their cars and some asshat was coming towards us, VERY FAST, and didnt even wait for us to get past the cars that were on the side of the street. I'm sure that in the morning, if I go and look there will be tire tracks from that guy's car on the neighbors front lawns. Who drives 60mph IN A MONSOON on a street that curves like the letter "S"?????

After that we just had to float to the front of our house, drive out of the river that our street had become (gotta love fulltime 4wheel drive!) and made it into the garage. Just before the next batch of hail hit.


I may have mentioned before that I've had a problem with my vision. Well. I went to the eye doctor the other day for him to check the progress of the problem. He confirmed that it's optic neuritis. (inflammation of the optic nerve) and he agreed with the ancient neurologist I saw earlier this month that it was migraine induced optic neuritis. This time he told me the optic nerve was swollen (it wasnt when he looked the first time last month) but said that was normal.

Told me that he could give me steroids to make it heal quicker, but that the steroids come with all sorts of icky side effects and that it's probably best to just wait for it to heal. As much as I'd love to have this heal quicker, I agreed with him that I didnt want the steroids. So, now I may have wonky vision for the next 2 to 3 months. (why do the estimates for recovery keep getting longer???)

Yay...I might get my vision back for Christmas.

It's not the fuzzy, dim vision in my left eye that's bugging me so much as the mild loss of some of my color vision. As you can tell from the title of my blog, I love yarn, and from most of the content of my blog, I love to crochet. It's pretty freaking boring to crochet when one of your eyes cant see some colors very well. Sure I could close that eye and just use the one good one, but things look weird. I never understood what it meant to lose your depth perception or color vision until this happened. Believe me, I'd rather lose my hearing than my vision. I am so hoping that when my eye heals (in 2 or 3 months...argh!) that my color vision in my left eye comes back with it.

I have a cabinet full of all sorts of different colored yarns, and none of them look appealing to me right now. It's really messing up my love of crochet. I really want to make something, but I lose interest after the first few rows.

I cant wait for my eye to heal.


At least I can still read, and when I need to rest my eyes but I still want to read, I discovered a way to still read. My dad bought me a computer program called Text Aloud. It comes with realistic sounding computer-generated voices. I got it yesterday, and I just love it. It reads text on the computer to me. I can copy fan fiction stories to the program for it to read, or I can go to Project Guttenberg and download a book to the program. It'll read whatever text I put into it. It's probably one of the coolest programs I've ever had loaded into a computer.

The thing I like about the program is that I can turn the text into an audio Mp3 and then transfer that into an iPod or some other mp3 device. I can even burn it into a CD if I want to, altho the size of the file kind of limits you to what you can put onto a cd. I could end up using lots of disks if I do that.

I dont have an Mp3 player (yet) and saving the stories to a CD to play on a car stereo is ok, but all I've done so far is save some stories to Mp3 format so that I can just play them off of my computer. If I get an iPod for Christmas (hint, hint) this program will come in handy.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Five Years.

Tomorrow is the fifth anniversary of September 11th. Hard to believe it's been 5yrs already.

Not too long after 9-11 I bought a bracelet...a cheap little silver metal bracelet that had the name of a firefighter who died on 9-11 engraved on it.

That firefighter's name was George DiPasquale (Manhattan Ladder Co 2)

I cant find my bracelet, so I cant wear it tomorrow like I wanted to, but I can tell people who read my blog to think about FF DiPasquale and his co-workers and everyone else who died that day.

I didnt know him, only know who he was because his name was the one that was engraved on the bracelet I bought. What I know about him is what I've Googled. He was 33, married, had a daughter named Rose and was called "Holy Man" because of his committment to religion, and he died in the Word Trade Center collapse along with seven other members from his ladder company.

So, everyone, think of Firefighter DiPasquale at least once tomorrow.

I wish I could find that bracelet.

Picture below is the patch firefighters in Manhattan Ladder Co 2 wear.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Happy Labor Day

It's been a looooong two weeks. My eye has pretty much been fubar for about two weeks, and I've had a headache for nearly 3 weeks. My dad got me some Excedrine Migraine last night that I took this afternoon that seemed to actually help. It's a mixture of Tyelenol, Excedrin (aspirin) and caffeine. Two Excedrine Migraine pills have about as much caffeine in them as a cup of coffee.

I ended up only taking one of them, since I havent really had any caffeine for the past two weeks. (been trying to rule out caffeine as a migraine trigger) It seemed to work...I think.

I think my eye might be starting to heal. I dont have the massive blind spot that was obscuring the lower half of my vision when this first started out. My vision is now kind of fuzzy trying to look thru a fogged over muddy window. I actually drove my car today. First time in two weeks. I only drove me and my parents to a restaurant that's just down the street, so it wasnt very far, and I didnt really have to go out into busy traffic to get there. I think tomorrow afternoon I'm going to Windex my car windows just so I have a nice clean window to look thru...anything to help me see better to drive if I have to.

I have an eye appointment on wednesday to go to that I'll probably end up having my dad drive me to...eye doctor is a bit further away than I really want to go to they'll be putting all manner of drops into my eyes and I dont think I'll want to drive home after it's best that I have a ride there. Hope he tells me my eye is getting better.

I've actually gotten a wee bit of crocheting done. I've been working on another of the pineapple chair back shawls. This one in white. Since I've done about a dozen of these shawls, I've pretty much got the pattern memorized...which helps, since I dont have to keep stopping to read the pattern that much.

I finished a shawl awhile back with some Joann's Rainbow Boucle'. It's basically just a giant half granny square. My parents and my aunt Janice seem to really like it. My dad said he'd take a picture of it for me tomorrow. It's actually been cool enough to wear it the past two nights. (finally!) I have enough boucle to make another shawl, so once my eye returns to normal I'll probably start on another one. (my finished shawl is blue, the new one will be green) I'll probably give the new one to my aunt Jan.

I think it's time to go rest my's driving me nuts right now.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

That was an expensive headache...

Ok, I might have mentioned something about having a Migraine from Hell and maybe a little vision problem in my left eye in my last post. After much panic, doctor visits, and a lot of money (I met my insurance deductible!), I now have a diagnosis.

It's a migraine.

A 3 week long, vision distorting, annoying, and sleep disturbing migraine. The vision problem is called Optic Neuritis. It caused my regular doctor and an opthamologist enough worry to send me off to get an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging scan). The MD and the optho both had me totally freaked out, because they were suggesting all manner of scary shit that could have caused the eye problems...and then the radiologist who read the MRI said that I should probably go see a neurologist to rule out some of that scary shit.

So, this morning I went to see the neurologist (an ancient looking guy with gnarled fingers, and hearing aids who was probably good friends with Methuselah as a child). The neuro was pretty cool, he had me walk heel-to-toe, and on the balls of my feet and and my heels, and had me touch my nose with my index fingers with my eyes closed...all that fun stuff.

So, after all that money (an MRI costs $6,000...there goes my dad's 42 inch flat screen, wall mounted tv for Xmas this year) I have a diagnosis of migraines. Which, I think is pretty cool...cause after having all that other scary stuff being described to me, being told I've got a headache sounds pretty good to me. (you have no idea the idea...)

The eye thing should clear up (according to ancient neuro guy) in 6 to 12 weeks (I like the opthamologists estimate of 3 to 6 weeks a lot better) and it should go back to normal vision (or at least what was normal for me...I wear glasses)

After all that, I forgot to ask for a Rx to take for migraines...I guess I can ask the regular doctor about that the next time I get a bad headache.

At least now that I've met my deductible, if I get a bad cold this winter, I wont have to worry about paying for a trip to the doctor...I wonder if I should get my ginormous tonsils removed before the end of the year? (everytime a doctor looks at my tonsils, they always ask if I want them out...maybe I should take them up on it? it would pretty much be a golfball-ectomy)

I'm gonna go take a nap.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

I am never taking antibiotics again!

I'm never taking antibiotics again if I can help it.

I just spent about 2 1/2 hours in one of the nicest Emergency Rooms I've ever seen.

I *think* I've been suffering from some nasty side effects from the Biaxin I was taking for strep. (notice, I said "side effects", it wasnt an allergic reaction)

I'd started the Biaxin last tuesday. Wednesday night I started getting a headache. The headache wouldnt go away and it got it's worst on friday night/saturday morning when it became the Migraine From Hell.

Also going on, was a feeling of pressure in my sinuses at the bridge of my nose, and a bad pain in the left eye that was contributing to the Migraine From Hell. Saturday morning, I woke up, the headache had backed off, but my left eye was kind of...fuzzy...kind of like someone's put vaseline in my eye or something.

I asked my aunt about it (she's a nurse practitioner) and she said it could still be the migraine bugging me, but she was calling it an "ocular migraine". Little after that, I took a Biaxin...about an hour after taking that Biaxin, my headache was starting to return, and my eye was starting to hurt more, and I had this weird anxious feeling. Called the pharmacy, the pharmacist told me to stop taking the Biaxin and talk to my doctor on monday. So the anxious feeling went away after awhile, altho my eye still hurt, and I was hoping it would feel better this morning.

Got up this morning, and nope, my eye still hurt (more today) and was still fuzzy. I called my regular doctor's emergency number and asked about it. They told me to go to the Emergency Room and get my eye checked out.

So, I went to the ER...they put the yellowish liquid in my eye and shined a Wood's Lamp at me. They said there was possibly a corneal abrasion or two on my eye, and the doctor looked at my eye with another machine with all sorts of lights on it.

He called whatever my problem is "subjective left eye pain", which basically means that it hurts, but he cant see anything majorly wrong with it other than a minor corneal abrasion, which doesnt really explain the fuzzyness. So tomorrow, not only do I get to go do a follow-up with my regular doctor, I get to go to the opthamologist and get more stuff dripped into my eye. (ohyayforthat...damn)

Since I hadnt finished my antibiotics, I really hope the doctor doesnt tell me to take more...'cause now I'm totally leery of taking a Tylenol, much less another antibiotic.

This is really cutting into my crocheting AND my reading fan fiction on the internet (fan fiction is basically fictional stories, written by fans about now defunct tv shows...some of the stories are pretty good)

After I get done with this blog post, I'm going to turn the lights off, put a dvd in my dvd player, and crawl into bed and listen to a movie...or I could go attempt to crochet with my eyes closed (I can do it)

Hopefully this will go away soon and didnt cause any permanent damage to my eyesight...

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Geeze...I'm really sensitive.

I guess I can add Biaxin to the list of antibiotics I cant take anymore.

Since starting the biaxin the other day, my left eye is all itchy and my vision is kind of blurry, I have a REALLY BAD headache, I've had insomnia for 3 days, I have a nasty metallic taste in my mouth, and I feel a little shaky and weird. (my dad says that it seems like my mood has changed...according to him I'm a little manic right now)

I called the pharmacist and explained to him the problems that I was having, which I've never had before...except for the metallic taste, and he at first didnt think those were side effects to the Biaxin...then he read a little further in his information. He told me to stop taking the Biaxin immediately and to call my doctor on monday to try to get another antibiotic.

Strange that out of all those side effects that one that's bothering me the most is the metallic taste. The vision problem is probably the one that's most annoying after that.

The manic feeling is a bit...weird, but aside from not being able to sit still, isnt all that bad.

I guess this explains the headache of migraine proportions that I had last night when I was writing my last blog post. I just wonder how long it will take me to metabolize my last dose out of my system. (took the last one around 12 or 1230pm CST, it's now 230pm CST) Maybe if I drink a lot of water and eat something, that will push it thru faster?

I wonder if I can use the manic feeling to get some crocheting done? ;) I dont think I'll work on anything important...just in case...

Why cant copyright theft be stopped?

(btw, if this sounds familiar to people, I wrote most of this post in a message that I posted on Crochetville in response to Kim Guzman's post about how one of her pattern leaflets was stolen by a Pattern Piggy a few weeks ago. The Pattern Piggy purchased the pattern from Kim, and then proceeded to email the pattern to all her friends. Now the pattern has probably been posted to a website for anyone who wants to right-click to save it to their computer can do so. I edited this message a bit to post here on my blog)


I am on a Yahoo Group that is trying to fight the Pattern Piggies from stealing from designers.

I am so disgusted that there are people out there who think nothing of uploading someone's hard work to give away to their 500 closest friends for free. It's just as bad as shoplifting.

It's just as disgusting how they try to justify their stealing. They say "I'm on a fixed income and cant afford to buy them" (well, then just how are you paying for your internet access and printing supplies?) or, they post a quote from real copyright law, yet they've distorted the meaning of that particular law to make it appear as if they're just doing it for "educational purposes".

The one that gets me, I saw on eBay the other day. A seller had on one of her auctions (for cross stitch patterns) this saying: "It is not my intention to infringe on any copyright laws - all images used are obtained from the public domain. If you see an image which I have used and can prove copyright ownership, please let me know and the image will be removed immediately!"

Just what "public domain" did she get these images from? She had Thomas Kinkaide pictures, images of Spider-Man, Superman, Batman, Disney characters, The Simpsons...ect...

When did these copyrighted and trademarked images get put into the "public domain"?? (the internet is NOT the "public domain".)

I emailed the seller and asked where she got the pictures. She told me she copied them off of free websites, and then she claimed that the internet is public domain, and she didnt think she was doing anything wrong.

I told her she was, and that just in case she wasnt aware, she could end up having legal monetary judgements filed against her for each instance of theft. Last I heard, you can be fined up to $150,000 per theft!

Not surprisingly, this morning when I checked, she had removed ALL her auctions and is no longer a registered member of eBay.

But, I'm sure she'll be back in a couple of days with a new name, selling more cross stitch patterns with images that she stole from the original creators and least when she cancelled her eBay account she lost all of her eBay feedback.

And sadly, there are dozens if not hundreds of eBay sellers doing the exact same thing that woman was. People are using computer programs to generate patterns for several different needlecrafts using copyrighted and trademarked material they've stolen from the original creators.

I've monitored groups and websites that are known to be Pattern Piggy friendly... I just checked one group yesterday and was just floored by the amount of scanned copyrighted material I saw on it. (I'm not mentioning the name of the site here because I dont want to encourage anyone to go there and steal)

When I last checked that site, dozens of Pattern Piggies had been scared into removing the copyrighted material from the photo pages. I hadnt checked it for about a month until yesterday. Not only were most of the illegal scans back, they'd added a bazillion more to it.

There has to be some way to stop this...too bad a lot of people consider copyright theft a victimless crime. It's not. It cost the designers, the publishers, and all the people who are involved in the publication process money.

Imagine this. A hypothetical pattern book costs $5. A person buys the book, takes it home. Scans it, and posts it to a website for 10 of her friends to "share".

(EDIT: btw, if I screwed up on the math, tell me. I think it's right, but I have a sinking suspicion I screwed up the math in the second example, and that screws up the math for the rest of the point I'm trying to make. I'm just not sure if it's screwed up...I really really suck at math...I flunked algebra 3 times in high school. Hopefully my aunt, a teacher, will see this and help me correct the math if it's wrong)

5 scanned pattern books x 10 friends = $50. That's 10 sales the designer lost out on.

Now imagine that each of those 10 friends gives the link to 10 of their friends.

5 books x 10 friends x 10 more friends = $500.

At that point the costs to the designer and the publisher starts rising exponentially.

5 books x 10 friends x 10 more friends x 10 more friends = $5,000

This means that designers lose money, and since no one is buying their work because they'd rather steal it instead, they lose their jobs. A job that I am positive most designers love to do. The publishers cut back on their publishing, the employees of the publisher lose their jobs.

Eventually it will get to a point where it will become extremely difficult to find a crochet or knitting magazine in the stores.

The Pattern Piggies either dont realize the damage their doing, or they just dont care. I imagine it's the latter.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

My 100th blog post!! yay!

As the title says, this is my 100th blog post. Took me a year to do that much. Surprised that I didnt lose interest the first week.

Started a scrap-a-ghan tonight. I have a ton of Red Heart Starbrights color (variegaited color, kind of like a spectrum) I'm doing a rectangle granny. 3 rounds of scrap, with one round of the Starbrights inbetween each color change. I've got about 6 rounds done so far. I might have this finished in time for a friend's birthday at the end of the month.

(may be some profanity ahead...sorry)

I have a fairly serious interest in forensic criminal science and criminal psychology. Not serious enough to go to school and do anything practical with it, but enough that I read forensics books, and watch a lot of documentaries on tv. It's a hobby. Today I'm tickled pink that they have FINALLY caught the bastard that raped and murdered JonBenet Ramsey in 1996. He actually admitted it!

OhHellNO!! I just heard on FoxNews that he says it was an accident. Where the fuck does he get off claiming it was an accident?!? I've read books about her murder, and seen dozens of shows. He wrapped a garrote made of nylon cord and a paintbrush around her neck! If that doesnt show intent to kill, nothing does! Her official cause of death is blunt force trauma from a head injury, and asphyxiation due to the garrote he put around her neck. There's no way in hell anyone can tell me that he "accidentally" killed her.

He tortured her, used a foreign object to rape her, tasered her (taser is a stun gun), hit her head hard enough to cause severe head trauma and then choked her to death with a garrote.

Colorado has the death penalty. If he actually did this (they still have to prove it forensically), this prick (John Karr) deserves it.

What really creeps me out about this guy, heard this on FoxNews this afternoon after the news broke, is that John Karr had apparently been emailing Patsy Ramsey in the months before her death from cancer, and had been describing to Patsy Ramsey in the emails what he did to JonBenet the night he killed her. I feel so bad for Patsy Ramsey that she had to suffer thru that while dying of cancer. What a sadistic thing for him to do to her.

I am a firm believer that anyone who could harm a child like this deserves the death penalty. From what I've read, child molesters are very unlikely to change their ways, even with psychiatric treatment. They have a high recidivism rate (the definition of recidivism is: "The continued, habitual or compulsive commission of law violations after first having been convicted of prior offenses.")

I think that convicted child molesters should not only be segregated from society for their entire lives (preferrably on a desolate island with man-eating wild boars roaming around) but also that those who repeatedly re-offend should receive the death penalty...with no opportunities to appeal.

I hope this bastard didnt make any deals with the Boulder, CO prosecutor's office to avoid the death penalty. Hopefully he pleads guilty and gets a speedy execution.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


the antibiotics just kicked in...ohmygoshireallyreallyreallyhateantibiotics!

This. is. going. to. be. a. long. 10. days.

I hate being sick and I really really really hate Biaxin! It really sucks that antibiotics make me feel sicker than the sore throat was making me feel.


I'm watching a show on The History Channel about September 11th. I cant believe it's been almost 5yrs since that day. Seems like it was just yesterday.


This is my 99th post on my blog. My blog will be 1yr old at the end of the month. I'm surprised I didnt get bored with this long before now. *yawn* ;)

I think I'll go crochet something.

Ohmygosh those are freaking huge!!!

well, I have golf ball-sized tonsils. I just got back from a doctor's appointment, and I've apparently got some mutant sized tonsils that are just teeming of strep.

Before the doctor looked down my throat, I warned him that my tonsils are abnormally large when I'm healthy, so dont be surprised at how big they are. I could see him thinking "ok...just how BIG could they really be?". He looked, his eyes got about as big as my tonsils and he pretty much exclaimed that they were probably some of the biggest tonsils he's ever seen....and yes, they were infected.

He didnt really need to look at them to see they were infected. The nurse showed some initiative when I went into the exam room and did the swab ahead of time. She said the doctor was running behind, and she knew he'd want to culture it anyways, so she just went ahead and did it. So, the doctor knew I had strep before he even stepped into the room and met me.

So, now I'm going to have 10 fun filled days of antibiotics...biaxin 500 mg b.i.d. x 10 (that's biaxin, one pill, twice a day, for 10 days) I guess I better go buy some lemon yogurt to make the antibiotics a little more palatable.


I'm not happy. But, at least the doctor said I'm also supposed to rest, so I guess I can spend my time resting, crocheting. (hmmm! what should I make?)

I'm still practicing my knitting. I should probably take a picture later so I can prove that I can actually do it. The knitting is getting easier to do...I havent made much more than a couple of swatches, but at least I can do it.

I've had an idea for a new afghan. I'm thinking of using some of my scrap to make 4 large granny squares, and then sewing them together into an afghan. It's nothing exciting, but just thought that would look cool with all my different scrap colors.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Why is the world so freaking insane?

I dont know if anyone else has watched the news tonight (I'm a news tv is always on FoxNews unless there's something more interesting to watch)


is reporting that the British have arrested at least 20 people who had somehow managed to get LIQUID EXPLOSIVES past airport security. As far as I've figured out from the news, they think they got all of them (hopefully) and that all the planes were headed for the United States.

edit: They just announced they're still looking for at least two people

edit 2: Now they're saying the plot was for 6 airplanes to be blown up, but that they've arrested anywhere between 20 and 50 people involved in the plot.

I just talked to a friend, and he said that most of those planes (the kind that do overseas flights) could potentially have at least 250 passengers per plane. So, do the math. Twenty potential explosives laden airplanes x 250 people per plane. That's at least 5,000 people that could have been killed tonight. (The September 11th attacks killed just under 3,000)

About all I can say is "what the F%&*?!?!?!"

Killing people just because they dont pray to the same god(s) you do is just insane. (the terrorists arrested are all British muslims).

I'm really glad that we're not going to have a 8-10 (today's date) to memorialize like we do 9-11 (that's as long as they got all the terrorists involved in the plot) You have to love the British for managing to get this stopped.

I'm going to bed now. Hopefully there wont be any bad news for me to see on the news in the morning.

Owwwwww....knitting is painful....

I think I have a serious gauge problem going on. I'm still not used to the whole knitting thing, and I know I'm holding those needles a little too tight tonight. My fingers are sore, and my wrist (darned carpal tunnel) is starting to really hurt.

I guess that's why I'm making swatches and not actual knitted projects yet. Maybe I'll start off with some knitted dishcloths? (my aunt Jan loves stuff like that) I have nearly an entire cone of crochet cotton left over from my crocheted purse I made last winter to sacrifice to a project like that.

Even tho my hands are sore now, the knitting is looking a bit more even. So, I'm happy about that. I'm a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to crocheting, so it was bugging me that the knitting didnt look perfect and even right away.

I got some decent knitting needles yesterday, so at least now I have some that are of a size that's easier for me to hold than the ginormous size 11's that I learned on. Got a pair of size 8 Clover's, and a size 8 Susan Bates circular. Love the Clover's! I'm going to have to get one of their crochet hooks. I almost bought one today, but then found 6 skeins of Lion Brand Chenille on clearance for $1/skein. I have no self control when it comes to clearanced yarn. I've noticed a lot of places are putting that particular brand of chenille on clearance (probably being discontinued) so if it's a decent price, $1.50 or less per skein, I've been buying it. Not quite sure what I want to do with it, but I've got enough for a really weird looking afghan. (none of the colors are going to match...guess that it'll make an interesting scrap-a-ghan)

I just realized that my blog is a year old this month (first post was August 31st 2005) and that this post here is my 96th. Kind of surprises me that I didnt lose interest a week after that first post. I think it surprises me more that people actually read it!

Ok, back to torturing my fingers for awhile longer with some more knitting and listening to AIROS (American Indian Radio On Satellite)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Knitting update....

Ok...I've been knitting off and on for about the past 6hrs (have to stop occasionally because I've been holding the needles too tight and fingers are getting sore)

I've finally gotten a small swatch knitted long enough that I can see my stitches. So far, so good. I've got the same amount of loops on the needle as I started out with (10) and as far as I can tell, I havent purled when I wanted to knit.

My dad was a big help on that part. The first swatch I tried, I had mistakenly purled the first 3 or 4 rows. (still, not bad for someone who had never gotten past the casting on stage before today) Dad took it and knitted several more rows to show me what the difference is. Then he watched to see what I was doing. Said that so far, it looks like I'm doing pretty good.

As far as I know, I havent dropped a clue as to what to do if that happens...but I'm only making swatches right now to get the feel of knitting and purling. I'll ask my dad tomorrow what to do if I drop a stitch.

He's gonna have to do the bind off for me. No idea what to do with that, altho I suspect it's probably similar to something I've done with Tunisian crochet. (am I right?)

I now understand the disdain that knitters have for Red Heart yarn. I never could figure it out before. Red Heart yarn splits like crazy when worked with knitting needles.

At least now I know what to do with the leftover skein of blue Rainbow Boucle' yarn I got from Joann's Crafts. (I'm gonna knit myself a scarf with it!!) I can only crochet with boucle' yarn if I'm making a granny square with it. (just made a really neat shawl with some Rainbow Boucle''s a giant half granny square) It's just so difficult for me to see where to put my crochet hook. I think I'll probably have better luck knitting with it. I'm just going to do a lot of practicing with the knitting needles before I attempt the boucle' scarf....and I'm going to get smaller, circular knitting needles. The ones I have are size 11's, and they're so long I keep jabbing myself in the ribs with them. I'm guessing circulars will be easier for me and my crochet-wired brain to hold onto.

I think I'll get my circulars at String of Purls yarn store...that way I can take my swatch in and possibly take a lesson (for $20/hr...or is it $30?)

Monday, August 07, 2006

Well, I'm shocked....

I just did something I never thought I would ever do.

I knitted! *gasp!*

even more amazing....I purled!!! *Eeek!!*

I had been watching an episode of "Knit one, Purl two" this morning just to see if there was any interesting yarn that I might want to try to crochet with. The French lady was teaching a couple of celebrities how to knit a scarf with that crappy fun fur yarn. I'm not exactly sure what happened, but when the French lady was showing them a step on how to knit, something in my Crochet centered brain had a an epiphany. I picked up the knitting needles than my aunt Jan gave me last year that I've just been using as back scratchers and casted on (I still screw up casting on, even tho it's the same way you cast on to do needle tatting.)

Then I just did what I thought I saw the French lady did....wouldnt you know it, I was actually purling, but hey! I actually got something that looked kinda like knitting.

Showed it to my dad, the only person I know who knits other than my sister and my mom's sister (neither of which live anywhere near me to show me these things) and he showed me how he knits and purls. (he Continental knits)

So, I guess I've crossed over to the Dark Side. I dont think I'll ever do much more with knitting other than scarves, but at least I added another skill to use with my yarn.

If I manage to make anything worthwhile with my size 11 knitting needles (I'm going out tomorrow to get some smaller circular needles) I'll post a picture.

At least my dad is here to show me how to bind off (cast off???) and what to do if I start dropping stitches or adding too many stitches to a project.

My hands hurt...apparently knitting uses completely different muscles than crochet does.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Finished! (well, mostly)

It took me five days, but with the help of my trusty yarn winder I got most of my scrap yarn under control. I'm sure I have a few stragglers lurking around, but I got just finished getting everything put away.

I gave up all hope of actually getting everything organized according to color. But at least now everything is all in one place and at least not getting tangled up into unrecoverable wads.

The stash. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

What I couldnt stuff into the cabinet

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Works in progress

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The Rubbermaid tote is full of skeins that are still in their yarn bands.

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and a completly stuffed former computer a yarn containment center.

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My arm hurts!!! But I love the yarn winder.

This stash is just what was in my bedroom. I still have at least 4 Rubbermaid totes (larger than the one tote in the pictures) that are stuffed full of even more scrap and full skeins. It'll be awhile before I can drag those out of the store room. Tons of other junk is piled in front of those boxes. Right now, I need to let my wrist and shoulder rest from 5 days of winding.

Now I just need to figure out what to make with all my scrap. I'll probably be able to make one heck of a good scrap-a-ghan with it all.

Friday, July 28, 2006

I love my yarn winder!

Do you think that maybe I might have gotten a bit too excited with winding yarn?

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This is all from my scrap yarn stash, and that's not even half of my scrap yarn!

I dont even know how many balls of yarn I wound! I kept losing count!

I love this yarn winder. It's really helped me get my stash organized somewhat. I had two ginormous zipper bags (like blankets and comforters come in) and my craft cabinet just totally stuffed with all these loose hand-wound balls of yarn that were starting to become a tangled mess. I took every hand-wound ball of yarn, and used the yarn winder to wind them into neat little cake-shaped skeins. I cleaned out my craft cabinet (my old computer armoire) and have the skeins all stacked neatly, and (sort of) in order according to color.

Getting all this yarn organized actually helped me cut down on storage space. The two ginormous zipper bags of yarn were actually cut down to one bag. I put unused, still in the original packaging skeins in the largest bag. I still had half the bag to fill, so I put some of the yarn cake skeins that I wound with the winder on top of those skeins. The other zipper bag I'm now using to hold my works-in-progress.

I now have space in my room to actually sit on some furniture while I'm crocheting, rather than just sitting on my bed and peering over the top of all my projects and bags of yarn to see my tv.

I still have a ton more of scrap yarn to organize (I have like 4 Rubbermaid totes in the store room that I havent looked at for more than a year). Now at least I have some sense of order. Plus, I like being able to see just how much scrap yarn I have and how much I have of one color. Now I'll be able to tell at a glance if I have enough yarn for a project, or if I need to go to the yarn store.

Last week, before I got the yarn winder, I was already on an organizing frenzy. My dad found an entire box of plastic page protectors in his stuff when he moved his home office from upstairs into the newly finished room downstairs. He gave me the box! (200 page protectors!) so I took my favorite binders of printed out patterns and organized my pattern stash. Since I could put two pages each inside each protector page, I increased the capacity of pages each of my binders could hold. I was able to reorganize and go from 5 binders to 4 by condensing all those patterns.

Next time I go to Office Depot to get printer ink, I'll probably pick up another box of page protectors.

Also, a few weeks ago, I picked up a file folder box that I could put all my crochet magazines into. I need to get a few more of those file boxes (the 50 or 60 something Workbasket magazines that I inherited from my paternal grandmother still need storage space)

It's really cool to finally have most of this stuff organized. I even found a bunch of my missing crochet hooks in all that scrap yarn. I found 13 "I" hooks and about 3 or 4 hooks of other sizes...I guess my favorite crochet hook size is the "I" hook...otherwise I wouldnt have so many of them.

I found three unfinished projects in the chaos. One of them was a poncho that just needed the last couple inches of the edging finished (did that), a pineapple shawl that I ran out of blue yarn for (found enough in the scrap heap to finish that this weekend), and a giant rectangle granny square afghan that I was doing with scrap yarn. (at least I know I have enough scrap yarn to finish that!). I'll probably finish up all those projects next week so that I can figure out what to make with my newly organized stash.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Got myself a new toy!

I finally got to the yarn store and purchased a yarn winder. I absolutely adore this thing. Gadgets are cool, and this is probably the neatest crochet/yarn related gadget that I've ever had. I've already wound about 30 little balls/cakes of yarn with it. (I have a big scrap box)

The lady at the store said that it was addictive...she was right.

Here's a picture of it

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I also (un)sucessfully completed an amineko (Japanese crocheted cat) today. I know I screwed up on it, and that it doesnt really come that close to the original Aminekos that I've seen others do, but it was my first attempt.

Here it is, hugging my new yarn winder. (ignore my messy 'puter desk)

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I gave this one to my aunt Janice to give to her granddaughter. I'm planning on making another one. Hopefully the later generations will look more like the pattern designers did.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

This is so creeping me out.

So far this week, I've gotten two statements from my medical insurance company. Which is weird, because I havent seen a doctor since April and I paid that bill. What's also weird is that the statements I'm getting are for medical procedures I've never had, doctors that I've never heard of or seen.

This is the part that's creeping me out.

The person that these bills are supposed to go to has almost the exact same name as me. Her name is Erin, she has the same middle initial as mine, and the same last name as me, but her last name is hyphenated with another name, so it's Erin *middle name* *last name*-*2nd last name*. And for added freakishness, her YEP number (insurance ID number) is MY social security number. (which, coincidentally, used to be my YEP number before the insurance company stopped using socials as the YEP number)

The only thing I can think of, is that she went to the doctor(s) and didnt have her insurance they looked it up thru her name. I'm not sure, but I might have been to a doctor in that same medical association about 6yrs ago (ruptured an achilles tendon), so it's very possible that my insurance info is what came up when they entered her name into the system. They probably just assumed that was her info. Probably didnt bother checking the mailing address or anything like that.

It's pissing me off because now her psych consults and some neurological test are now on my insurance, and I'm probably going to start getting her bills or something. (right now all I've gotten are Explanation of Benefits letters)

So now I've called and kvetched to my insurance company several times (I'm sure they're cursing my name as we speak)

I'm getting seriously worried that my identity is being stolen. I've had one or two relatives that have had that happen to them, one of which has never really gotten everything straightened out and her mother practically went broke paying off the bills because they couldnt prove it wasnt her (lesson in that, is never allow your dorm mates have access to your purse) The relative was in college, and somehow one (or ten) of her roommates got a hold of a credit card of hers and used it to buy a bunch of stuff at an electronics store. I guess she didnt find out about it immediately and ended up in debt because of these "friends" of hers.

It's frighteningly easy for someone to steal your information nowadays. I hope that's not what is going on with me and my health insurance. I'm really hoping it's some weird, bizzarre clerical error of some sort. There's just so many coincidences with the name it's freaky.

Tomorrow, to make myself feel better about my identity possibly being stolen, I think I'm going to go to String Of Purls yarn shop here in town and pick up a yarn winder that I've been wanting to get forever. It wont help me straighten out the current screwy-ness, but I'll be able to work out my frustration by balling up a bunch of yarn.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

That was weird...

My blog post from yesterday has magically appeared. Blogger just hung there yesterday when I clicked the Post button and after about 10 minutes of watching it just sit there and not post, I closed the browser window in frustration. Apparently I was wrong and it did post. I think my internet must have had a gremlin or something yesterday.


I. Feel. Like. Crap.

My seasonal allergies that usually strike in April and May held off till today in their annual attempt to kill me by suffocation. I was so happy, not having to deal with allergies and was seriously hoping that I was cured, but I guess it wasnt to be *grumble* ...and apparently I've built up a resistance to Claritin (the over-the-counter version of it) I guess I'll have to go find a doctor who will give me an Rx for Allegra.


I'm about halfway through with my Rainbow Boucle shawl. (at least halfway thru the skein...not sure if I'll have to dip into the other skein to finish it or not) and I'm almost finished with my latest pineapple chairback doily shawl. I've also got a giant rectangle granny scrap-a-ghan in the works. If I stop sneezing long enough to be able to take a picture without jerking the camera away during a sneeze I'll post some pictures later.