Thursday, September 29, 2005

Not fun

So, we got back from vacation on Thursday, as mentioned below. Fed the cats, had dinner with the b/f's father, then I sat down at the computer. Blogged a little, then started catching up on email. That's when I heard it--the Click of Death. My hard drive decided to give up the ghost.

Fortunately, I did a full backup just two days before leaving for sun & sand, so I didn't lose any critical data. But, G-d help me, recovery has not been fun. On Friday I installed Windows on a new hard drive, the restored from backup. The restore took 5 hours. On Saturday I discovered about half the programs weren't working (Office claimed it wasn't installed). Spent a little time trying to straighten that out, but not much. I have been meaning to wipe my computer clean & do a fresh install of everything for a while, so I decided now was the time. On Saturday & Sunday I bounced between working on the PC & studying for an upcoming test. Monday was more installing & searching frantically for a file that wasn't stored where it should have been. A file containing critical data that would be an absolute bitch to recreate. Finally found it & put it where I could find it.

I'm not done installing programs yet, but the ones I use to do my job are going, so I can continue to feed myself.

I have made a couple of decisions as a result of all this.

1. While Microsoft Backup is fine for data, I will no longer use it for my boot partition (which is also where my programs are installed). I know that it sometimes does a better (although not great) job than my experience, but there is no way I am going through this again.

2. I will use Ghost to back up my boot partition. I know it will get me back in working order relatively quickly, without having to reinstall my operating system first.


Thursday, September 22, 2005

I feel so cool

Here you see one souvenir of our vacation: a pair of Ray-Ban Wayfarers. Just a bit nicer than the cheapo pair I got three years back, that broke a few weeks ago. And waaaaay cooler than the pair of shooting glasses I was making do with until I got a chance to go shopping for some shades. I feel oh, so cool when I put these on. Doesn't hurt that Sonny Crockett had a pair just like 'em. :)

Catch the Wave poncho is coming along nicely; I worked on it on the plane rather than study the textbook I had with me (big surprise). I decided to call the color Surf, since the aquamarine wool and silvery hemp remind me of waves cresting on the beach.

We are home now, all the vermin have been greeted & fed. The house has not been destroyed, much to my relief. Oh, a few things aren't where I left them, but not too much evidence of feline shenanigans. You never know what bored cat-type persons will get up to when the human-type persons are away. It's good to be home, but I always feel like I have left a piece of me behind with the palm trees. There's a part of me that will always be a California girl.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Southern California Knitting

So, instead of finishing something the plane, I started the Catch The Wave poncho. It just seemed so appropriate for a flight to SoCal. So, the voices have not abated one bit. :)

We spent yesterday at Huntington Beach riding our body boards. This day of fun in the sun was made possible through the wonders of modern chemistry, specifically Aloe Gator sunscreen. This stuff actually stays on through hours of riding the waves, which is essential for someone as melanin-deprived as myself.

Today is Disneyland; I haven't been there since 1976, and I have an overpowering desire to ride Pirates of the Caribbean again. I don't suppose there is any chance I'll see Johnny Depp (be still my beating heart). One can always hope.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Only slightly out of control

OK, I have gotten a little crazy with WIPs. I just have so many ideas, and I want to work on them all at once! Currently OTN:

Dishcloth Baby Blanket. This is progressing rather slowly, since it is a rather boring knit. I tend to work on it when I reach a point on a more interesting project that requires close attention, and I can't pay close attention yet. Nice yarn, tho' (Bernat's Cottontots); when it is eventually finished, it will go off to Angels 4 Preemies.

Baby Cable Socks, made of Briggs & Little Durasport in Blue Jean (I always want to call them Briggs & Stratton). Progressing nicely, but I find I have to pay a little more attention to them than I want to when watching TV, to keep track of when it is time to twist those cables again. I have ordered a Pattern Row Counter from Knit Picks, which I hope will help me work more and think less. I love this yarn & wanna wear these socks!

Checked Socks for CIC; all I have to do is seam one toe & they're done. That toe has been waiting for two weeks now.

Autumn Socks for CIC. I decided to try a garter stitch short row heel; looks cool, and no purling! However, each side has a big hole; no good! I'm going to rip out the heel & redo it.

Secret Socks; just cast on Sunday. One leg done. The pattern's a secret because, if they turn out well, I want it to be a surprise! (Not a surprise that my design turned out well, I hope).

Prayer Shawl for my SIL (shhhhhhh--it's a surprise). I think I have kind of a tortoise & hare thing going here. When I first started it, I was amazed at the speed of my progress. So I now have no feeling of urgency, kind of like the infamous hare. So it languishes while I work on other projects.

Catch The Wave Poncho (working title); yarn is dyed (OK, one skein is dyed), expect to cast on tomorrow. Please excuse the blurry pic; my hands must be trembling in anticipation.

I don't usually have this many projects going at a time, and I feel a little schizophrenic with so many projects all clamoring for my attention (do you hear those voices too?). However, I am going on vacation starting Saturday (woohoo!), and I expect to have significant knitting time, both in the air & on the road. G-d help me, surely I'll manage to finish something. (Stop calling me Shirley.)

Monday, September 12, 2005

Honorary Vermin

No, we do not have four cats; three is plenty, thank you.

This is Niles Christopher, the b/f's father's cat. Since Niles lives nearby, and we see him often, I consider him an honorary member of The Vermin.

The vet estimates Niles' age at 10 years, although that is a guess. When the b/f was "shopping" for a cat (and brought home Princess Daisy), I mentioned that the Humane Society will allow seniors to adopt an adult cat for free. The b/f passed that info along to his (sadly) catless parents, and Niles soon had a home. The b/f's mother passed away a couple of years ago, so now that home has become a bachelor's pad.

Niles is a good companion to his "papa", following him around the house and examining everything said papa does. I guess that makes him plant supervisor. A search for a cat-size toolbelt has, unfortunately, been fruitless. I'm told that Niles stubbornly refuses to do his chores, though, which consist of dusting the baseboards. This is why Niles never has any pocket money. Just as well, I guess, since Niles has no pockets.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Meet the Vermin - Part 3

The most recent vermin addition is Hilfy Chanur. If you would like to meet the character she was named for, read The Pride of Chanur by C J Cherryh. They have quite a lot in common: a bold, adventurous spirit that sometimes leads to trouble.

Hilfy was a stray we found in a restaurant parking lot on a very cold night in October 2002. She skittered across our path, then stopped near the car. The b/f meowed at her, and she meowed back. When we took her home, I really, truly intended to take her to the shelter on Monday. Long before Monday arrived, though, she won my heart.

Hilfy is interested in everything that goes on in the house; she always seems to be asking, "Watchya doin'?" She has decided that especially interesting things happen in the basement, and follows us eagerly whenever we head down there. You see, the b/f has his workshop down there, and Hilfy is the self-designated supervisor of all projects. That's also where I do my eBay photography and shipping. This picture was taken when she jumped up on my photo backdrop between shots of eBay widgets.

Hilfy and Yitzhak are good friends; they are both playful and often chase each other through the house, upstairs and down. Hilfy's relationship with Daisy is quite different. When Hilfy first joined us, she was a kitten, and Daisy appointed herself mama (of course). That worked out fine until Hilfy grew up. Not only does she no longer want to be mothered anymore, she thinks she should be in charge of the household. Daisy disagrees. They have been arguing about this for years.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Meet the Vermin - Part 2

Vermin #2 is the b/f's cat, Daisy Duke; aka Princess Daisy. Daisy is approximately the same age as Yitzhak, but she was 3 years old when the b/f adopted her.

Daisy & Yitzie DID NOT get along at first. At one time, they had the house divided into territories. Unfortunately, Daisy's territory included access to the litter boxes. This was not good. We had to move one of the litter boxes into the laundry room (part of Yitzie's territory) until they learned to get along. Now they are good friends. Kind of reminds me of when my brother & I were growing up. :)

Daisy is the most affectionate cat I have ever met. She wants to love and mother everyone and everything around her. Once, the b/f found a field mouse in the back yard and showed it to the cats. Daisy began cleaning it like it was a kitten (Yitzhak watched from a safe distance).

Daisy is not a very playful cat, but she is fascinated by the Little Red Bug (known to you and me as the dot produced by a laser pointer). She will chase it with untiring enthusiasm for as long as we will operate it for her. I can hold down the pointer button until my finger's joints are screaming for relief, and Daisy is still going strong!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Meet the Vermin - Part 1

We share our home with three cats--a.k.a. The Vermin.

Vermin #1 is Yitzhak Vincenzo. Let that be a lesson to you; never name a cat by committee. Born in November 1996, Yitzhak is almost 9 years old.

Yitzie is a vegetarian by choice. She will eat one flavor of one brand of dry cat food, which does contain meat--they must have disguised it well, and I'm not telling her what's in it. Otherwise, she recoils from canned cat food, albacore tuna, Thanksgiving turkey, etc. However, she comes running when the b/f calls "Lettuce!" and it is impossible to eat an apple, pear, or peach in peace. She will climb on my lap and use her paw to bring my fruit-laden hand to her mouth. Since her teeth were designed to rend flesh, not eat fruit, she scrapes off small amounts at a time with her tongue. I usually cut off a slice for her and hold it in one hand, while eating the rest with the other hand.

Yitzhak is healthy, robust, with a full complement of claws--and afraid of every wild beastie that strolls through our backyard. Like the baby bunny that practically ran across her toes; Yitzhak streaked to the door and demanded to be allowed back in the house. Her knitted catnip mousie is the closest thing to prey that she will pounce on.

Located at the very bottom of the feline pecking order, Yitzhak is definitely a lover, not a fighter.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Dirty work

Well, at least my website is back up. Am working on getting things more stable. *sigh*

Worked in my garden yesterday. Well, actually, I played in the dirt, which the b/f contends is my real reason for having a garden in the first place. I was moving compost around; nearly done, could-use-it-in-a-pinch compost was moved to the holding bin, where wormies go wild and turn it into beautiful black gold (the earthy kind, not the oily kind). Started moving the contents of the "building" bin into the "working" bin, but I had to quit for dinner. Boy, I had to do some scrubbing before I was clean enough to eat!

Dirt under the fingernails & compost in my hair. Yes, it was a good day. :)