Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Xmas!

I'm just sitting here waiting for the Webkinz website to quiet down enough so I can get in and name my new puppy.

Christmas 2007

After we opened the presents, this is what I made (with instruction from my dad) for dinner. It's mostacholli. (I affectionately call it "Monstercholli's") It was really good, and my dad says that we ended up making enough for about 10 or 15 people.

Yum! Mostacholli!!!

and I bought some frozen French bread baguettes that you cook in the oven, that was a good side to the mostacholli.

fresh baked french bread and mostacholli!  Yummy!

My sibling bought me a knitting book for Xmas, so I'll be getting the scrap yarn out later tonight to play with some knitting needles. (thanks sibling and sibling-in-law)

and here's my Christmas tree, before we opened up all the presents.

Christmas tree with presents 2007

Thursday, December 20, 2007

My computer(s) hate me.

My desktop computer is driving me nuts. First I had to get rid of the stupid Norton 360 antivirus that I had on my computer (it was causing more problems than it was worth, and it wasnt finding a few viruses that I discovered after installing a new antivirus program)

So, now that I've got that taken care of, the stupid computer doesnt ever want to shut down unless I do it the hard way. (press the power button...if that does nothing and it usually does nothing, I have to turn off the battery backup and wait a minute before turning things back on)

Things just dont want to work on that 'puter anymore. It's only 2 1/2yrs old. It should last longer. (well, it is a Gateway, and even tho it's been a fairly good computer, it's got some Gateway weirdness to it)

And not to be outdone, my Toshiba laptop is also having some weirdness....like not shutting down (have to take the battery out), the browser's (both IE and Firefox) like to lock up on me all the time. The monitor is dim (that could be me instead of a dim monitor) and just doesnt seem like it likes me (I buy it good disks to burn, and I keep it dusted off and I dont abuse it any. I dont even go to any weird creepy sites with it (as if I go to those kinds of sites anyways)

I just want to know why my computers hate me! My ancient Compaq laptop that's had two hard drive crashes, a burned out monitor and a few other major problems is now a little champ. It's a lot chunkier than my Toshiba, but the Compaq has been rebuilt at least once and doesnt crap out on me (anymore) like the Toshiba does now. (guess which computer will be going to school with me this spring?)

Anyone know a computer wizard that can wave a magic wand over my computer and cast a patronus charm on it to make the 'puter dementors go away??

Monday, December 17, 2007

Wow! I cant believe I made this.

I finally figured out the pattern for the Seraphina Shawl Here's a picture or two of how it turned out. It's a gift for someone.

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The pattern was really really confusing. It's taken me a couple of years of attempts to get the pattern figured out. I really do think it's one of the most poorly written patterns out there on the internet

But, I do think that now that I've figured it out, that I can probably crochet anything from now on. I think it's now probably one of my favorite shawl patterns. This one is technically my third Seraphina shawl. I'd tried about a year or two ago to make this, and didnt have the pattern quite figured out and it came out a lot wonky. My aunt Jan liked it tho, so I gave it to her. Not sure if it was the yarn color (a variegaited pink/red color) that she liked, or if she actually liked the shape of the wonky one.

The second attempt (a white shawl) had a few errors (mostly forgetting the increases) in it, which I think I fixed, but I was so tired of having to frog the damn thing that I started over on this shawl a few days ago and managed to get this one made without having to frog back too often. The colorway in this shawl is a Country Rose color. I used an entire skein of Caron Pounder (16 oz skein) and probably another 4 or 5 yards of a second skein. The hook I used is a Susan Bates "J" hook.

I'm really excited that this shawl is finished. I started it on (I think) last tuesday, and finished it about 3am last night (saturday).

When I finish the white shawl, I'll post pictures of that one. The white one will be for me, because I think I need to be rewarded with a new shawl for finally figuring out the damn pattern. I'm also about to start another Seraphina in a chunky yarn to see what it looks like in a larger weight of yarn.

And because my aunt asked, I've got a picture of snow, not a good picture, but it has snow in it!

This picture was taken tonight around 5 or 6pm, so it was starting to get dark out.

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Friday, December 07, 2007


Warning. There is a very good possibility that there will be a few examples of (ok, a lot of) profanity in this blog post. If your kids can read, you might want to make sure they're not hanging over your shoulder.

I've been wanting to write a blog post about the shootings at Westroads here in Omaha for the past few days. I just couldnt come up with any thing good to say, and I'm pretty sure this post will have a lot of suckage and you may see a few of my strong opinions about that son of bitch.

I really do hope that Hawkins is in the bathroom of the sub-sub-basement of Hell right now. Cleaning up milleniums of shit off the floors from the forever-overflowing toilets of the sub-sub-basement of Hell for all of eternity.

(oh, if anyone is offended by an occasional use of the word "nutjob" as a descriptor for Hawkins, I really cant apologize much for that. Because that's about the tamest word I can come up with to describe him.)

Why couldnt he have taken a nice non-violent dive off the Missouri River bridge, or slit his wrists, or just take that damn AK-47 out into a cornfield to blow his brains out? And just what the fuck was his stepfather doing with an AK-47??

And why didnt the people he was staying with think that maybe the fact that he had such a huge piece of firepower in his possesion, that he could have been a serious danger to them and the rest of Omaha (and Bellevue)? He wasnt a "little lost pound puppy", he was a depressed, suicidal, supposedly "adult" man with a BIG FUCKING GUN!

The woman who was allowing him to live in her house with her family is a nurse. A lot of nurses are trained to recognize depression...she must have been either clueless or just indifferent to whatever pain Hawkins felt as long as he paid his rent to live there.

I bet that when Hawkins "just snapped" that woman probably had an "oh shit, I should have paid more attention to him..." feeling when the victims started to arrive at the hospital she worked at. (news reports say that she'd had to talk him out of suicide at least once before) She can say now that he was so nice and polite, but I'd be willing to bet he was broadcasting his intentions in some way the past few weeks or months. Showing her the gun should have been a big warning sign.

I want to know why Hawkins had to go and make Omaha another fucking statistic in the ever growing list of spree shooters, going postal for the various poor excuses that these nutjobs like him seem to always give in their suicide notes (if they leave one).

I never really thought something like that would ever happen here, but it happened in Colorado, and Virginia, and Pennsylvania and so many other states, that I guess I should have known that it really could happen here. It was just a matter of time before another nutjob reached his saturation point and decided to go and "rape" a city with such a senseless violent act.

I might have the smallest amount of empathy for that SOB, only because I've been the school "geek" and harrassed relentlessly for about 12 years or so. Apparently I must have had a good support system (and no underlying mental problems) because it never occured to me at the time to "borrow" my dad's shotgun and go take care of the brats who were harrassing me.

But, being teased and harrassed doesnt excuse his actions. If he was having problems dealing with the stress of the harrassment, he could have talked to someone. Not that talking to someone will help. The whole "just ignore them, they'll leave you alone..." advice doesnt work.

I do think the...intensity...of harrassment that children nowadays get is probably exponentially worse than what I experienced when I was a kid. There seems to be so many more ways for bullies to go after their victims now. Hopefully my sibling's kids dont get treated like that by their schoolmates. It's not fun to be the target.

I read a story in the Omaha World Herald that was written by an Omaha cop. This particular cop was one of the first responders to the shootings.

He made the comments that "Omaha shed it's innocence", and that this is "our own 9-11".

I would really like to say that Omaha still has it's innocence...but when I went shopping tonight with my parents, I could tell that most of the Omahans I saw tonight are no longer "innocent". Just about everyone I saw had this look on their faces...even if they looked like they were happy, smiling even, there was this sad look in a lot of the peoples eyes.

We were in a store, a place that is usually packed and people are usually not very polite when it comes to grabbing the last of whatever popular fad product is the "big thing" off the shelves. The store was so quiet. Except for some Christmas music playing on the model unit of a stereo. People were polite. Kind of a surreal experience for the being in that particular store.

I saw on the news tonight that (I guess) the Omaha city officals want people to wear O! pins in support of the victims and the city, and that the Westroads mall (where Von Maur is located) wants Omahans to make paper snowflakes and bring them (send them) to the Westroads. The snowflakes will be used to decorate a Christmas tree in the mall. (I cant confirm the snowflake project, WOWT is where I heard about that, but there's nothing on their website about it right now)

I'm half tempted to try to crochet a few snowflakes for the tree, but my fingers dont like the skinny crochet hooks and the really thin threads. Maybe I'll make some yarn or crochet cotton snowflakes, maybe I can stiffen them with an Elmers/water mixture I read about the other day.

I want to say that I hope there will never been another mall or school shooting, but I know that's a pipe dream. It WILL happen again...and it's actually happened once before here in Omaha...About 30 years ago in a nightclub called "Club 89". There was only one person killed in that shooting, and several (maybe 5?) people injured. There was no 24 hour cable news coverage then. No Sheperd Smith's (of Foxnews) to sit there and speculate about the mindsets of the killer. I barely remember the Club 89 shooting. I guess that was the Omaha generation before mine's loss of innocence, but then, maybe back then, because of the lack of constant news coverage, it was just another story "below the fold" of the newspaper the next day. Oh, and dont forget Charlie Starkweather and Caril Ann Fugate back in 1959...until the other day, Starkweather was who Nebraskans thought about when someone would mention "spree killer". Hopefully they wont make a movie about Hawkins and turn the killings into a cheap piece of entertainment starring Leonardo DiCaprio as the angst ridden teenager.