Archive for January, 2008

I’m not sure if this is some kind of divine retribution, but I have come home from Mexico with one hell of a cold (thanks for sharing, Mike.) and into the worst cold spell in Saskatoon since, well, the last one.  With windchill it was -51  degrees Celsius yesterday, which is damned cold in Fahrenheit.  Poor little Wallace never even made it off the deck before he peed, and Attie has decided just to enlarge her bladder through sheer willpower rather than go outside at all.  I’m with Attie.

Sickness aside, we had a lovely time in Mexico.  This is what we saw out our window in the morning:


and in the evening:


Yeah, we roughed it.  We stayed with Mike’s folks (otherwise we’d have been in somewhat less opulent surroundings).  Mike golfed, and I did a little shopping.   The highlight was the day we hopped on a local bus (always an adventure) and rode to Punta de Mita, where we ate lunch in a little restaurant (4 tables) where the barbeque was manned by a woman from Texas, and then we hired a boat owned by Rudy from Innsbruck, and rode out to the Marietas Islands.  We saw 40 or 50 humpback whales, stingrays leaping out of the water (like large neoprene stones skipping), sea turtles, birds, bottlenose dolphins.  It was wonderful.  To our credit, we even remembered to reapply sunscreen. 

One afternoon, a sea turtle crawled up on the beach right at the resort, and oblivious to the dozens of people around, dug a hole, laid a clutch of eggs, and crawled back to the ocean.  Now it took me about 10 secods to type that, but it took her well over an hour to actually do it.  Once the eggs were laid, the resort security guards stood watch until someone from the turtle hatchery came to collect the eggs.   They’ll be cossetted until they hatch, and the baby turtles will be released under safe controlled conditions, to decrease the mortality usually associated with the initial 50 foot crawl to the sea.  Heck of a way to reproduce- talk about no responsibility.


Andy assured me that there was only one party while we were gone, and as far as I can tell there was no damage and nothing has gone missing (except some rum and beer).  The dogs were fed (but I don’t think he brushed their teeth) and the neighbors report no police visits.  Whew.

I did some knitting while we were gone:


Airport knitting.  Standing up by necessity.  (The Puerto Vallarta airport, while nicely expanded from our last trip, is sadly deficient in the seating department.)   Mike rolled his eyes, but I enticed at least three other knitters into conversation.  I win!

The shapeless blob is this:


from here: 


Modifications:  Using different yarn, different gauge, not doing the ridge row called for in the pattern because I forgot to do it the first time around, and was too lazy to go back and put it in.   I’m almost at the part where I take off the sleeve stitches and then knit down  (and down and down), then do the sleeves after.  No seams, and it should go well with my jeans.  (Is it sad that an almost-50 spends her entire life in denim?  Maybe so, but I’m so comfortable.  I may even wear my flannel-lined jeans to a funeral this afternoon.  Such is my devotion to fashion.)

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and make lunch for Mike’s brother who is here for said funeral.  I hope he’s not a picky eater; there is precious little food in the house as I’ve been too delicate to go to the store.   Macaroni and cheese coming up.


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Shut up and Pass the Corona

Can’t talk.  Sunburning.   The weather is here, I wish you were beautiful…

Puerto Vallarta is especially nice when Saskatoon is at minus 40 degrees.


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 I was cruising the job postings at a college here in town (no, I’m not going back to work.  I was just sightseeing.) and couldn’t help but notice the qualifications for one position.   Tell me if you find anything ironic about number 7 following number 6.




1. Complete Grade 12 plus a recognized secretarial certificate/diploma or an equivalent combination of training and experience.

2. Training and/or experience at the introductory level with common software packages, eg MS Word, Excel and Outlook.

3. Good working knowledge of common office procedures. 4. Good interpersonal and communication (oral and written) skills.5. Good public relations and customer services skills.

6. Excellent proofreading skills.

7. Demonstrated ability to efficiently and accurately.

8. Ability to perform required office work using office equipment and MS Office products.

Maybe it’s a trap.  Maybe if I apply and point it out I’ll get the job.  Or maybe they’ll not hire me because I’m a smartass.  Maybe I’ll just go and knit something.

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I wonder what it is about human nature that compels us to continue on a course of action even when we know that the outcome is going to be unsatisfactory?  I refer, of course, to That Knitting Project (and I’m pretty sure that most people have had at least one in the course of their knitting lives) that, even though you realize that something is amiss, you can’t stop working on it.  It takes a great deal of discipline to admit that something is wrong, things are out of your contrlol, and let’s just frog the whole thing.  This discipline comes and goes, and there is no way that I have found to summon it when I could really use it.  So, in my case, I have spent, oh, let’s just say several hours working on a project that I went into with great enthusiasm, only to be smacked in the misplaced confidence with the admission that it will likely be unwearable.

And now I present the Dye-lot Disaster Vest:


I knew that the back (not shown) had a definite line across it, but it only showed (or so I thought) in flourescent light.  I could live with that.   I thought I had matched up the remaining balls for the front but apparently my eyesight is not as good as I think it is, because there is a nice section right across the middle that is definitely different than the top and the bottom.  And yet I soldier on, doing twelve rounds of seed stitch around the neck and the armholes, all the while wondering to myself, will it even out in the wash?  Can I dye it?  Should I send the finished item back to the mill where the wool was purchased and ask for a refund or more wool?  (because, and this is the kicker, the wool was all labelled as the same colour and dye lot.  This pisses me off.)   Half of it turned out to be a little heathery, and half was plain blue.  I honestly could not see a difference in the skeins, either before or after they were wound into balls.  I am angry, yet still knitting on the damned vest.  Must finish armbands, must finish armbands, then must sew side seams.   I am drawn to it like a moth to a flame.  It is out of my control.  I knit on.

Now to go to a happier place.  I have finally spent my gift certificates from my LYS:


This will be a cardigan on some sort.  I may even try to steek it.  I think the Lily Chin will be bands in the yoke (although before I wound it it looked like there was way more gold in it.  We’ll see.).


I envision a v-neck raglan pullover.  Nothing too fancy, just fun colours.


A simple top-down t-shirt.   This is probably the most important purchase, since it is destined to be my airport knitting.  Yes, Wednesday evening we leave for Mexico for 10 days.  Margaritas and sunburns all around!  We’re not flying on a charter, so hopefully there will be enough elbow room to knit on the plane.  I have loaded my Spanish lessons (which I will likely avoid in favour of Jimmy Buffett or the Gypsy Kings or something else of a southern flavour) onto my iPod, I have purchased my biodegradable sunscreen for snorkelling at Marietas Island, I have done the first reading of the Riot Act to Andy (at least two more readings are scheduled, including the review of “Definition of a Party, and Why We Don’t Have Them”) and I am so ready to go.  I am taking the camera but expect to be too busy applying aloe gel to post anything here, so I’m leaving the laptop at home. 

A note to anyone from the prairies who may happen to be reading:  I’ve arranged for all the yucky January weather to happen while we’re gone.  Sorry.

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Excuses and a Leadup

As my camera took a snowboarding trip to Panorama, BC last week, I had no pictures to distract from what would have been, shall we say, rather dull quiet posts.  So, the camera is back (and so is Andy, having taken the whole 5-day trip without benefit of his wallet.  He called me just as they were boarding the bus to come home to say that he’d lost his wallet on the way to the mountains, and I fussed all night about where he could have lost it, all the ID he’d have to replace, what did he eat all week on the $40 he happened to have in his pocket (doesn’t go far at a ski resort), yadda yadda.  He walked in the door at 5:00am, said “I found my wallet (it was stuck between his seat and the wall of the bus) five minutes after I called you.  Didn’t you get my text?”  Now, I have been telling Mike how texting is the way these kids communicate, and we shouldn’t be so quick to pooh-pooh it, but do you think I could text if my life depended on it?  I have just figured out how to answer my cell phone (not that anyone ever calls me on it, because I can never remember the number to give to people), so I don’t know why Andy thought a text message would be a good way to allay my anxiety over his lost wallet.) so I can start to take some pictures of stuff.  That is tomorrow morning’s job, but there’s been a little activity here in the land of the zebra-print knitting chair.  A little knitting, a little stash enhancement, a little library add-on.  Stay tuned.

I have been having a little difficulty posting comments on a few of my favourite blogs.  So, on the off chance that a few of you have tuned in:

Marjorie:  I mostly vascillate between easy repetitive knitting (“airport knitting”) and something a little more challenging.  I have to say that after many years of knitting, I am comfortable with my skill level and can usually produce what I want without too much of a stretch.  That being said, the airport knitting allows me to think Deep Thoughts about the universe and my place in it.  I am blissfully unconcerned with learning all there is to know about knitting.  I generally run away in the face of a challenge. 

Ruth:  Your photos almost make me feel guilty about heading south to take a break from the snow.  Almost.  About the socks:  You would certainly be able to find your daughter head down in a snowbank (although I’m not sure why she’d be head down in a snowbank with only socks on her feet.).  Those socks are great!

It seems to be Typepad blogs I can’t comment on-  I’m not sure why.  (Hopefully it’s not anything I’ve said in the past…) Blogger and WordPress are fine.  Any ideas?  

I must include this link, which I found at Chappy’s Mom.   Regardless of your stand on North American military involvement in the middle east, this should be required reading.  Please, please, if you haven’t already read this post, read it now.

We’re having 12 for dinner on Friday, so I must go and create a shopping list.   Andy said he’d help in the kitchen if he can use his cleaver.   I don’t know if that should concern me or not.  I choose…not.

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