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Archive for March, 2010

Technically, this isn’t just a Day 3 problem.  In order, the cities/towns where I strayed from the most direct route (through no fault of my own- or wait!  It generally was my fault) are:

Great Falls, Montana, where  I mistakenly got off the interstate to take the “business loop”.  Not a whole lot to see.  I think they could have put up a bigger sign for the main interstate, but that’s just one woman’s opinion.

Helena, Montana, where I checked into my hotel, found the aforementioned little Irish Pub for supper, and then spent an hour driving around wondering who moved the hotel.

Butte, Montana- see above note about the business loop in Great Falls.

I did leave the interstate in Dillon, Montana, but I had to get gas.  I missed the first exit (the one that says “Fuel- this exit”) (who knew?) but was very proud of my performance in taking the next exit, backtracking down Main Street, finding the gas station, and making my way out of town just like I knew where I was going.

I think I got off track in either Idaho Falls or Pocatello, Idaho, but that whole part of the trip is a little fuzzy.  I think I was looking at the scenery.  I do remember saying to myself  “no more business loops; a person can only take so much excitement” or something like that.

I know I was definitely looking at the scenery while driving though Utah, especially Salt Lake City.  Wow.  I only incited one person to road rage on the freeway;  she thought I had cut her off and childishly decided to respond in kind.  I drove all the way to St. George at the Utah/Arizona border before taking a wrong turn and ending up in the Travelodge parking lot, but by then I was pooped and just needed a bed.  The room rate posted on the door was $169.00 a night, but the $29.95 rate he charged me was more indicative of the level of accommodation.  Pretty clean, but oh-so-tired and run down.  Just made getting here to Buckeye that much more special.

Today’s wrong turns:  Instead of cleverly following the interstate through Las Vegas, I found myself in the wrong lane and ended up in downtown Vegas.  Benefit:  I had never seen the Golden Nugget Casino, so now I can die happy.  It only took about an hour to make my way back to the interstate, but not before I accidentally found myself at the outlet mall.  It was only eight o’clock and nothing was open, so I suspect the Shopping Gods were just having a little joke on me and laughing behind their hands.

Back onto the interstate, one more bad decision, and I got to check out the length of the Boulder Highway.  It’s not so much a highway as a depressing commercial strip, but it had the good sense to reconnect with the interstate  just before Boulder City.

Technically, this next bit isn’t a wrong turn.  I took a tour of the Hoover Dam, and the elevator that took us down 500 feet to where the turbines are went bump at the bottom, and the doors wouldn’t open.  I hung out in the elevator with fifty of my closet friends for a good fifteen minutes, thinking that if someone fainted, there wasn’t even enough room to collapse on the floor.  If we’d been stranded down there until people started expiring from lack of oxygen or heart attacks, then it could have been considered a wrong turn.

Kingman, Arizona:  Thinking cleverly that I was avoiding downtown Kingman (since the sign didn’t mention the interstate),  I took a brief detour through what I thought was the commercial traffic bypass.  Turned out it was the weigh scale.  Smile and wave, smile and wave.

Last but not least, the town of Wickenburg:  Home of the end of highway 93.  That goofy traffic circle gave highway 60 as the only alternative to going to downtown Wickenburg, so what choice did I have?  Downtown Wickenburg is kind of neat, and I may have to go back there one day on purpose and do some ‘splorin’.  Also, I now know that where highway 93 stops, highway 60 picks up and runs right into Phoenix.  Not entirely sure why they changed highway numbers, but I’m not in charge so they didn’t check with me.

Long story just as long as I thought it would be,  I have over three thousand new kilometres on the car, and I figure only a hundred are extraneous.  I’m here, it’s warm, I’m happy.   Other than the obvious lack of Mike, it feels like I’m home.  And after all, isn’t that the whole point?

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You cain’t hardly swing a squished gopher in Montana without hittin’ a casino.  It seems like every gas station in every town has a little den of iniquity- just slot machines.  (I admit- I peeked into one when I was gassing up the jeep in the metropolis of Dillon.  I had a vision of a dealer sitting at a single blackjack table all day just waiting for someone to come in.  Nope, just slot machines.)

The drive has been beautiful.  I have to say the Salt Lake City has the best scenery (what I could see of it whilst barrelling along the interstate at 75 mph)- it was breathtaking.  Mike is going to love the drive back, especially the parts where the speed limit is 80 mph (but apparently that’s just a suggestion).  I finished up the day in St.George, which is just north of the Nevada-Utah border.  Eleven and a half hours behind the wheel, and I would have continued on to Vegas except the sun was going down.  I’ll have a short day tomorrow, and hope to be in Buckeye by two or three in the afternoon.

You probably noticed again that there are no pictures.  Bad blogger!  Naughty blogger!  Lazy blogger!  Tired blogger is now contemplating going to bed.  I just noticed that the bed appears higher at the foot than at the head.  I guess that’s what you get for your thirty bucks.  Good night.

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Road Trip: Day 1

If you have misplaced your squished gopher, I suggest looking on Saskatchewan highway 4 just north of Swift Current.  I am relatively sure that I saw it there.   In fact, it looked like the whole colony drank the koolaid.  The road was, shall we say, slick.

Easy peasey trip through American customs.  I was all ready with a packing list of things I’m leaving in Arizona, but the nice man at customs wasn’t interested.  He didn’t even stop to consider that raisins technically are fruit.  He didn’t care.  I ate the raisins after I crossed the border.  What a rebel.

I drove as far as Helena, Montana.  Ten hours on the road (double any driving trip I have done in my life until now), and I got lost in downtown Helena.  Honestly, I couldn’t find my way back to the interstate.   I knew I had come into town on the Interstate, because I had already checked myself into the hotel.  I drove downtown and found Murphy’s Irish Pub, where I treated myself to a Smithwick’s beer (or, as the waitress pronounced it, “Smiddicks”.  I am not Irish; it shall remain “Smithwicks”) and some shepherd’s pie.   But I digress.  I drove parallel to the interstate,  at one point I drove over the interstate, I drove several miles away from the interstate, and then the sun started to go down and I started to panic (Shut up.  That had nothing to do with the beer.).  Well, there’s nothing like panic to align the universe, so one more turn, and I made it back to the hotel.  I am tired in every fibre of my being.  I don’t know how far I’ll get tomorrow; I have no agenda  but I hope to be in Buckeye by Monday afternoon.  I have retrieved my camera from the bowels of the jeep, so I may even take a picture or two tomorrow (but I promise no road kill).

No knitting tonight as my eyes seem to be on autoshut.   Nighty night.

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You know the principle of Occam’s Razor?  You know, the meta-theoretical principle that “entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity” (Wiki)?  Simply put, the simplest explanation is usually the correct one.  (Who knew that I was even aware of any meta-theoretical principles?)  Well, not long ago, I actually had an experience in real life that illustrated it.

Exhibit A:

A recently woven cotton and silk wrap.  I love it.  It’s soft and big enough that it’s definitely not a scarf.  Once it was finished, of course it needed to be wet dressed, so I gently immersed it in the usual manner and let it get good and wet.  Rinsed it carefully, and rolled it in a towel.  Now, at this point of the proceedings I generally put a hand towel on a hanger and hang up the scarf to dry, but as mentioned above, the wrap is about 18 inches wide, and none of my hangers are that wide.  Time to put on the thinking cap.  (foreshadowing:  sometimes if you put a big point on the top of the thinking cap, it becomes another kind of hat.  No, not a KKK hat or a witch’s hat.)

Exhibit B:

My ordinary hangers.  My yardstick (or meter stick, if you prefer to turn it over).  I examined the hooks on the hangers, then the yardstick, and a big lightbulb flashed on over my head.

Exhibit C:

Yes!  It worked! Now I just needed to find a place that I could hang the contraption.   This leads us to …

Exhibit D:

The shower curtain rod in the bathroom.  (Raise your hand if you see where this is going.)

I was so pleased at my cleverness that it took a few minutes to realize that I had indeed taken the scenic route to the ultimate destination:

Duh.

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Eat it or Read it?

Greetings, fellow humans.  Today’s time-waster may be found at this website.

Do have fun, but don’t neglect your studies.

That is all.

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Thanks!

Well, thank you all very much.  I still have not located the pattern I was looking for, but in an uncharacteristic fit of “get over it”, I have moved on.  I browsed at my LYS on Wednesday, and came up with a perfectly good alternative.  I present the Tanaya Fu Fen** dress, from here.

This is a cute little dress, although I’m not sure about the embroidery.   (Not the design, but my ability to reproduce it or come up with something similar.)

I’ve done the back and just cast on for the front.  Not a challenging knit by any stretch, but nifty faux pleats in the skirt.  I’m using Kon Tiki in Hydrangea, which feels like cotton but has some acrylic.  I’m thinking the acrylic will help prevent baggy-butt when the dress is sat in, as well as simplifying the laundry process.

It’s really a pretty blue, but my pitsher-takin’ ain’t so good.  Since we don’t know how tall Tanaya actually is, and her date of birth, while given officially as December 25th, 2008, is subject to some speculation, I have chosen to knit the dress in a 3-year size.  If it’s way too big for her, she can wear a shirt underneath it, or perhaps put it away for a few months.  This all makes me think that knitting little clothes could be kind of fun, although hopefully not for grandchildren for at least a few years!

Aaaaannnnyyyyway, long story short, I’ve found a great dress pattern, and I am not obsessing with finding one that I may or may not have imagined.  Thanks for all the suggestions!

**Tanaya Fu Fen is my dear friends’ chosen child who is joining their family from China later this spring.  We are so happy for them we can barely stand it.  Six years of waiting, and three months to get ready!

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Help Wanted

Help!  I am looking for a pattern that I have seen recently and of course now I can’t seem to remember where.   It’s a toddler outfit- I seem to remember that it was a grey jumper with some fair isle around the bottom, with a pair of matching leggings, again with the fair isle around the bottoms of the legs.  It was too cute for words, and I’ll be darned if I can remember where I saw it.  Was it in a magazine with a fair isle article?  Was it on the interweb?  Was it in a book?

For the record, I have checked the last 2 issues of Interweave knits, Knitting Daily, Minnowknits website, Drops Design, Knitpicks and Patternworks.

If anyone out there (among my six readers) can help me out, I will be forever in your debt.    Or at least for a while.

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