Thursday, December 17, 2009


I cannot WAIT to read this book!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Life with not just any 14 year old

I'm not here, I'm knitting a scarf for Patrick in the yummy, smooshy and yet somehow manly yarn and after that I am knitting a scarf out of that Cadenza I finally broke down and bought but ....

If I don't write this down, ten years from now Technoboy and I will look at each other and ask "what was that thing A did with the tea?" and we will not be able to remember and then we'll just laugh anyway and say "well it sure was funny" and the other one will say "yep she sure was" and we will go back to doddering fools with a vague memory of A having cracked us right up.

TB has started drinking sweet tea instead of Coke, as much as he can. It's cheaper and maybe has less sugar. TB drinks copius quantities of liquid. The tea jug is often empty, and I have taken to making tea when I see that it is empty. Today I ran out of sugar in the sugar canister so grabbed the sugar bowl for the last 1/3 of a cup of sugar I needed.

I came home from driving someone somewhere and TB asked "Did you make the tea?"

"Why yes I did." I replied, expecting possibly some gratitude.

TB left the room and returned with a cup of sweet tea for me. What an innovative way to say thank you, I thought, and took a big gulp of the tea and promptly spat it back out into the cup.

"A!" I hollered. "Did you put salt in the sugar bowl?"

A came laughing into the living room, and TB repeated the question.

"Funny story." she says ...

"One day I was making rice with cinnamon and sugar for myself and as I was putting sugar in, I thought how funny it would be if someone had put salt in there instead, so I put enough salt in there that Mom wouldn't put sugar in on top of it.

Then I took a bite of my rice and it just wasn't sweet enough and so I took the sugar bowl that I had just put salt in and added some to my rice."

The lecture on Lets Not Waste Whole Cups of Salt waited until we had all stopped laughing at each other.

Monday, December 07, 2009

The best laid plans (also if you do not knit, this may not be the entry for you)

No, AP, no, I tell myself*. Keep. It. Simple.

And somewhere the knitting fairies rub their tiny little hands together and chortle with glee.

It started with dishcloths. I was going to make eight dishcloths, give them to people who admitted they would use them, and that was going to be IT. I made one, and then another one, and then dishcloth cotton went on sale:

(note the look on the dog's face. Doesn't she look delighted?) and hahahaha I'm sure you'll all find this as amusing as I do - most of those aren't even for Christmas. If I sell a thousand of those puppies, I can make a mortgage payment! (in Reality I have no idea what our mortgage payment is, but in anticipation of the scolding you will all give me for that, I'm totally asking TechnoMoneyManager the next time I see him. Or he can just read this and shout it out to me from his office. No need to shake any virtual fingers, Internet.)

So then I thought I'd knit a (secret item) out of leftover yarn from a scarf. There was only one skein left, so it would be quick. So I knit half the (secret item) and thought ...well that's knitting up a bit loose, I'll do it again, but with two strands of yarn. So I pulled from the center of the ball and the outside of the ball and I didn't like the way the colour changes were matching up - kinda muddy. Not pretty. And this is silk/merino blend - it deserves to be pretty.

So logically** the only thing to do was wind the entire ball two strands together until I hit the middle, snip the yarn, wind the two strands into separate balls, and then wind one of THOSE balls in the other direction, check the colour matchups, AND rewind it all in two strands again. Here's how that went:

Although I eventually did get it all done, even the knitting, despite the voice in my head*** whispering LET IT GO as I tried to decide how exactly to modify the pattern so that I wouldn't run out of yarn. I only started over twice. Or three times. Or maybe four, but I'm really bad at math so I lost count.

So that's ...hardly any Christmas knitting, but that's okay because I can just do it on the drive home. I have fourteen hours. Although I did finish a sock for my SIL, and if you haven't tried it on, you're not the SIL that's getting it. Do you know how long it takes to make a sock? A very very long time. I do love you all that much, you SILs who read this blog, but I would need to know that you would WEAR a handknitted pair of socks before I could emotionally commit to it.

Also I have knitted a purple hat for my niece that was so ugly I almost burned it. But then I realized I could rip it out and try to fix what was wrong with it twice, and then make a poncho. She's four. Should the poncho have a hood, do you think, or a seed stitch collar that I design myself (hahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahaha) or shall I leave the neck edge the way it is? It's a fine neck edge now. Also if you are the mother of my four year old purple-loving niece, could you measure her neck from that bony knobby bit down to wherever a poncho should end, and fire me off an e-mail? Much appreciated.

And in other knitting news, I accidentally let TechnoBoy stay in the room last night while A and I went through my sock yarn discussing what yarn she would consent to wear socks made out of. There was a look on his face I'm not particularly fond of, so figuring I may as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb, I picked up the purple knitpicks freebie sock yarn I got and starting petting it and purring. They're both suddenly treating me a lot more *carefully*.

ETA: TechnoBoy encourages me to consider the terms "net" and "gross" when attempting to make the mortgage payments through the sale of knitwear.

*This is a lie. I call myself Susan. When I use a name, and not a descriptor.

**TechnoBoy: "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

***TB: "That'd be the voice of reason, honey."

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Live Blogging the Service Call

Okay so they HAVE been good to me, what with the whole "replace the hard drive faster than it takes to talk about it" thing but When the recorded message starts "For service in Spanish ..." it gives one pause. Not so much Spanish where I'm from.

ok they answered the phone. This is not necessarily a good thing, because the first time I got to talk to a human being today, they told me I was talking to Tech Support for businesses, not Tech Support for the home.

The second time I talked to a human being, he said "Thank you for calling D*ll. Welcome to the XPS Experience. My name is Robin. How can I help you?"

I explained that the left click key on my touchpad is broken.

He said "Thank you for calling D*ll. Welcome to the XPS Experience. My name is Robin. How can I help you?"

I re-explained the problem. Guess what he said?

"Thank you for calling D*ll. Welcome to the XPS Experience. My name is Robin. How can I help you?"

I made it simpler. "Broken key on touchpad."

You will never GUESS what he said.

"Thank you for calling D*ll. Welcome to the XPS Experience. My name is Robin. How can I help you?"

After I answered this question SIX times, he said "Okay you have a nice day now." and HUNG UP.


Oh here's another human.

ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. Apparently I am talking to Tech Support, for the Home, for the DESKTOP. I will be transferred to the LAPTOP support now.

Hello laptop people. Yes I can give you my service tag number, because I have given it to people in more countries than I can count by now. Yes, my computer is STILL the same model number it was 5 seconds ago, and yes, the touchpad key is still broken, and it is still the left one.

Thank you for letting me know ahead of time that you will let me know if I need any replacement parts. Unless a touchpad key can regrow tiny clippie thingies, lizardlike, I will need a replacement part, but you're the expert.

Yes, hi. No, the model number of my computer has not changed. No, the touchpad key has not fixed itself. Yes, I'd love it if you'd transfer me to someone else, because I don't even have to turn this puppy over anymore to get the Service Tag number. I will say, however, if I get Robin again, it may be MAC time at the Plett house.

Am listening to dead air. Have caught you all up on the experience to date. Am going to knit a dishcloth (or maybe more than one) while I am transferred to the Tech Support for Small but Crucial Touchpad Mouse Parts.

Hello nameless person. Yes, I can still wait while you try to transfer me. What's another half an hour in the big picture?

Listening to dead air again. Hope he comes back to give me the phone number he's trying to transfer me to BEFORE he cuts me off. Hope with me, won't you?

Knitting ....

Oh he's going to give me a different number to call.

Okay Susan?
Yes, give me the number.
Okay are you ready for the number?
You have no idea how ready, sir.
Okay so here's the number, but first, Susan?
Is there anything else I can help you with?
No, thank you.
Okay here is the number. (The number is given.)
And also, Susan?
You have a nice day now.

Dialling a fourth number. Hey my call may be monitored. Bonne chance with that, Robin!

Annnnnnnnnnnnd here's another voice. Missed the name.

Left key on touchpad broken.

There is typing. Service tag no. No, that's not it. Nope, 5D not D5. Yes.

Much reciting of information.

Tech: When was the problem occurred?

Me: Huh? oh - yesterday.

Follows much confusing English, annnd guess WHAT?


To the out of warranty help desk, in case you're still reading.

Talking to Billy now. This is only for US customers.

He's going to transfer me.


When I am old and doddering and in a nursing home, I will be reciting my service tag number. Am now talking to Cam, who appears to have at least a passing acquaintance with the same first language I do.

Giving names, phone numbers, e-mail addresses. Or rather, I am - Cam is reticent.

Cam is looking through my computer details. Thank you Cam.

Cam is now telling me the name and model no of my computer, so apparently he was listening to me.

Ok now I am just a little steamed. THEY DON'T REPLACE TOUCHPAD KEYS?!?!?!? Are you KIDDING ME????? I need to go knit a row so I don't yell at Cam, who really needs to stop thanking me for my patience before I can reach my knitting.

Knit two rows, still steamed. I may actually be riled enough to clean something.

Have hung up.

They will be happy to ship me an $80 part, which I can then take to a local technician to have put in OR I can ship my computer to them (have I mentionned this is KEY? on the touchpad???) and they can replace it for $250.

Time for a USB mouse, I'd say.