Sunday, April 30, 2006

If you havent seen it yet...

I can really recommend the movie "Elizabeth I" on HBO. I've just finished watching the first half. They've taken a little license with history (I dont think Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots ever met in real life), but if you can ignore a few historical inaccuracies, it's actually so far been a pretty good movie. The sets and the costumes looked excellent. I cant wait to watch the second half.

I've hurt my back somehow. Not exactly sure what I did, but my right hip is numb. Feels like it's burning at times, and it hurts my back to bend forward. I'll probably end up having to go to a doctor for this. The pain isnt all that bad, but the numbness is a bit disturbing.

My laptop, a 3yr old Compaq Presario, suddenly went bad this week...really wont even boot up and give me a Blue Screen of Death bad. You know it's totally fubar if you cant even get it to give you a Blue Screen of Death. Luckily, my 3yr warranty from Best Buy hadnt expired yet (expires in June) so my laptop is at the 'puter ER (also known as "it's been shipped off to the manufacturer...dont expect it back anytime soon...") Shocks the heck out of me that it crapped out BEFORE the warranty expired. Someone at Compaq must have set the fubar timer wrong when it left the crapped out about 2 months too early. It's been my experience that computers always kill themselves once the warranty has expired. This is the first time I've ever been lucky enough to have one do it beforehand.

So, while I was at Best Buy, saying goodbye to my Compaq laptop as it left for it's long journey, my dad told me that I could get my birthday present early. (yep, you guessed it) so we went and looked at new laptops. There was some lady in the computer department that would not let me look at any of the laptops. Everytime I walked over to look at one, she'd push her way in front of me and "hog" the computer. I finally got to look at the one I wanted. I noticed this woman kept pulling the info cards out of the holders in front of the computers. I didnt think anything of it at the time, and I picked out a nice Toshiba. It was late, and the computer Geeks had to install some software, update stuff on it and make sure it would actually work (10% of all computers come out of the box DOA) so I left it at the store over night.

Went back this morning with my dad to pick it up. Got it, came home...opened the box and discovered that the computer they gave me was NOT the computer I picked out the night before. Wasnt even close. (wrong processor, wrong hard drive) Only thing the computer had in common with the one I thought I was getting was the monitor size and the brand name.

So, I repacked the computer and went back down to the store. Walked in, told them it was the wrong computer. They said the receipt and the computer matched. (duh) I told them this was not the computer I picked out. Apparently the computer hogging woman, when she kept pulling the info cards out, either accidentally or purposefully switched ALL of the info cards for most of the laptops.

This would be why when Mohammed the sales guy sold us the computer, he had the wrong info.

This did work out in the end. The wrong computer was on sale for $999....the computer I had actually picked out was on sale for $1099. Since today is sunday and the prices changed the one I wanted was now $1249.

The manager of the computer department, Corey, was so nice and understanding that he gave me the computer that I had originally picked out for $999 (yay!!!). Unfortunately I now have to wait till friday to get it since they didnt have any available in the store. (oh well)

I'm probably giving my old laptop to my dad, since his Sony laptop is ancient (it's 6yrs old!!!) I'm surprised it still works!

Friday, April 28, 2006

I'm going shopping...on Monday

Apparently there's going to be a boycott on monday (May 1st) being sponsored by a bunch of groups that support legalizing illegal immigrants.

What they're asking people (mostly illegal immigrants) to do, is to not spend any money (or make any money) on May 1st. They're planning another series of marches in several American cities (I dont know which eyes glaze over everytime I read about stuff like this)

I guess their aim is to see how much of a financial impact they can make on American businesses. I have nothing against legal immigration. Several of my ancestors were immigrants. I do have a problem with people who break the law, and then expect to be rewarded for it.

There's nothing wrong with the boycott in and of itself, but the reasons behind it. Illegal immigration is just that. It's illegal.

If people come to America to become Americans, I dont care what country they're from, Mexico, England, Upper Mongolia...I dont care, come thru the front door...dont sneak over the border and then jump in the front of the line at the immigration office and expect to become a full fledged American long before the ones who did things the right way that you just cut in front of.

The illegals need to take a number...and probably bring a magazine with them to the immigration offices, because there's a long line of people wanting to become Americans. (which actually surprises me, because if one was to believe the news, the whole world hates America.)

So, instead of going yarn shopping tomorrow or sunday, I'm going to wait till monday and spend some money to help the economy. I cant afford to spend much, but I'll stock up on yarn to help the economy. Hopefully the yarn I'm planning on buying is made in America

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Thankgoodness for warranties!

I just got back from Best Buy. My laptop (a 3yr old Compaq Presario) just decided to have a nervous breakdown. Luckily, my 3yr warranty on that computer doesnt expire until the end of June. Usually when my computers crap out, it's right AFTER the warranty has expired.

I tried for several hours last night to boot the laptop up...Tried to boot it up in Safe Mode, and it kept hanging up when it got to some driver file. My friend Don was chatting with me on one of the instant messenger programs I use last night, and he walked me thru about 6 or 7 different procedures to try to get the computer to start up, and absolutely nothing worked. At least Don tried to help. It's nice to have a friend who knows what they're doing with computers

The Best Buy computer Geek said that it could be software related, but he thought it might be hardware related. (Baaaaaad hard drive) and that there was also something wrong with the backlight (or something) on the monitor. (that would explain why the picture hasnt been very clear lately)

I'm just so glad that 3 weeks ago, I had the presence of mind to take all of my pictures of TinyMonsters, and all of my crochet patterns that I had stored on that computer and copy them to CD and also store them on my desktop computer...since the Geek told me that they might not be able to save my hard drive if that's the problem. I dont know what made me back all that stuff up, but now I'm so happy that I did it. I wont lose all those pictures of TinyMonsters. I'm not so worried about the crochet's the Tiny pictures that I'd be more broken up about.

My birthday is in May, and my dad keeps asking what I want for my birthday. Hmmm...what could I possibly ask for? ;) I priced a couple of inexpensive laptops while I was at Best Buy...surprising that the one I like the best (a Toshiba) was also the cheapest one. I'm still waiting to see just how badly screwed up my Compaq is right now before I start begging my dad for a new laptop. I was actually going to ask my dad for knitting lessons and a LARGE gift card to one of my favorite yarn stores. I want to learn how to knit socks.

So now, I guess I'm laptop-less until at least the first week of May...I guess now I can get some sewing done now that my laptop isnt hogging up all the space on my sewing table.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Another post about TinyMonsters

My dad talked to TinyMonsters' breeder the other day. Dr. Z told my dad that at least two of Tiny's siblings from his litter have died under similar circumstances, and their older sibling Frankie from the litter before Tiny's died the same way.

Dr. Z said she has a theory about this. Tiny and his siblings were not nursed by their mom CookieMonsters. Cookie had some sort of problem with her pituitary gland (possibly had a benign tumour on it) and because of that she didnt produce any milk and could not nurse her puppies. Tiny and his littermates are all hand fed.

Dr. Z thinks that because the puppies didnt get the natural immunities from Cookie that might have set them up to being vulnerable to certain types of viruses and other illnesses.

Tiny died almost 3 weeks after getting at least FIVE (5) immunizations all at once. Dr. Z thought that the multiple vaccinations being given all at the same time probably played another big role in Tiny dying. She thinks he could have had a heart defect of some kind that was putting his body under a lot of stress. The 5 vaccinations could have further weakened him and pushed his system over the edge.

Tiny had developed a weird dry cough about a week after he got his shots, and about 2 weeks before he died. I can look back now and see that things really started going downhill for him right around the time of the shots...altho I think his kidneys were having problems at least 2 or 3 months before

I'm probably never getting another dog again. (allergies, and a big dislike to having them die suddenly) but if I do, I wont be allowing them to get all their shots at the same time. I'd probably space them out over several months. Sounds expensive, since every vaccination would mean a separate vet visit, but hopefully it wouldnt harm the dog like I think giving multiple vaccinations would.

We just had a visit from the bug guy (exterminator who makes sure we never have to worry about having a bug problem) and he was telling me that his wife, who's from Belgium, said that Bouvier des Flandres are a breed that does not live very long at all. She says that in Belgium the average life span of a Bouvier is about 7yrs. Tiny was 9. (Tiny's dad was 14 when he died)

I thought that bit of information was interesting.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Here's a couple of my latest finished projects...

This is another one of the chair back doily shawls. I dont like the color of this's quite a busy looking varigaited yarn and doesnt show the pineapples very well. Oh well, I loved the way the yarn felt as I made it.

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This is probably the most basic of the afghans that I like to make. It's all half double crochet. (I think I chained 150...maybe?) It's also the same color as the shawl picture above. Looks better in the half double stitch than it does in pineapples. My dad loves projects that I make with half double crochet. He thinks it's the warmest crochet stitch and I'm pretty sure he's claimed this afghan even tho he hasnt asked me for it. It is kind of a "dad color".

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This is just another view of the ginormous yarn doily I made last week. My dad wanted to see if it would fit our table before I gave it to my aunt (it fit her table perfectly!)

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Saturday, April 15, 2006

Something to make you say "Awwww!"


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*tearing hair out in frustration!*

How the heck do people crochet with those teeny tiny hooks and the skinny thread?

After finishing my yarn doily, I decided to attempt it with some DMC crochet thread that I have (it's been sitting in a box for 5yrs...figured I should use it) so I pulled out a ball of thread and a "D" hook. Using the same pattern as my yarn doily, I got four rounds into it before the thread and the hook started to drive me nuts. The hook is so small, I keep dropping it, and the thread keeps tangling up on the hook. ARgH!

This is why I hardly ever try to do anything in fingers dont want to cooperate with those little hooks. I'm on the 9th round of that doily so far, but I think I'm going to end up drop kicking it across the yard before the end of the day.

Friday, April 14, 2006

What the heck is it?

Could it be a ginormous doily? A really fancy afghan? Or...a Christmas tree skirt???

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I finally finished it this afternoon. The center of it is big enough that I will probably be able to put it over the base of my Christmas tree and use it as a tree skirt.

Here's a few more pictures of it...In the picture above I put a 7oz skein of Red Heart yarn on top of it so that you can get an idea of the dimensions.

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Almost done with my experiment...

I'm currently working on an afghan...from a doily pattern.... Click here to see the pattern.

I'm nearly finished with it... I'm on the last pineapple, and then I've got to weave in all the little yarn ends. I should be done with it by tomorrow and I'll probably post pictures tomorrow night.

I'm really excited by this...I've always wanted to crochet a doily, but I cant stand using that skinny thread and the really little crochet hooks. My fingers dont seem to want to work with the smaller hooks. (anything smaller than a "G" hook is probably too small)

So, I decided to experiment with a doily pattern, worsted weight yarn, and an "I" hook. I'm pretty pleased with it. It's big enough to be a baby afghan... I'm probably giving it to one of my cousins who will be having a baby next month. If not the one I'm almost done with, maybe another one in a different color. This first one is a dark green color. I might do another one in a blue color (cousin is having a boy)

If I dont get any interruptions, I should be posting pictures of the afghan tomorrow...

Saturday, April 08, 2006

It's working...ick...

Well, the MMR shot I got yesterday feels like it's working. I feel like you do after you get a flu I've got the flu...a bad case of the flu!

and I'm going out tonight with a friend for dinner and a movie...(argh! bad bad BAD timing...should have got the shot monday!)

I guess that means that I must not have had any immunity to any of the 3 viruses the MMR shot protects you from.

Oh well...I'd rather go thru a few days of feeling icky from the shot than get the actual mumps.

I finished one afghan (pictures coming soon), and started another one pretty much immediately. The new one is a giant rectangle granny square, and I'm using Red Heart SS Amethyst, and Red Heart Giant Candy Print (variegaited in shades of pink). I only have two skeins of the Candy Print (but they're 12oz skeins, equal to nearly 3 1/2 skeins of SS) so most of the afghan is going to be the Amethyst color.

I'm only six rounds into the new afghan, but I like the color so far...I might throw in another shade of purple...if I have any.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Great...thanks a lot Iowa...

I just got back from the doctor's office. No, I'm not sick. I had to go get an MMR booster (Mumps, Measles, Rubella) shot.

I live in Nebraska, fairly close to the Nebraska/Iowa border, and apparently there's a mumps epidemic going on in Iowa. The local news reported that people in my age group (mid-30's) are the ones that seem to be getting hit hard with the mumps epidemic. Apparently they either needed the booster, or their original vaccination was either handled improperly or there was something wrong with the actual vaccine.

I could have had a blood test to tell me if I'm immune to the mumps, but that was $120, and the shot was $97, so I decided to just get the wont hurt me if I'm already immune, and I wouldnt have to hit my dad up for the $120 for the blood test.

So, now that I'm all current with my shots, I'm going to sit down and relax tonight and finish the afghan that I'm almost done with...and then finish the other afghan and the sweater that I'm also almost done with.

Stop beating the dead're only making a mess.

There's been a debate about copyright theft going on in one of the crochet forums I go to. I participated in the debate. I made my points (fairly well, I might add) and then I backed off, and quit posting about the subject once I made my point. (which was, that copyright theft/infringement is wrong, and you shouldnt do it)

It would be nice if the people who are still arguing for why they think there's nothing wrong with copyright theft would just back off and let the subject die.

I get it. You're all for it, you're going to keep doing it, and nothing I can say is going to stop you.

All you're doing is making it painfully obvious that you dont give a shit about the designers you're hurting.