hlmauera: (Default)
For several years it seemed every book I read contained some aspect of fantasy or supernatural. But the last year to 18 months, that particular genre has held no interest for me. Then this weekend, on a whim, I watched episodes of Blood Ties and True Blood. I have to say, as heroines go, I much prefer Sookie to Vicki. I mean really, how many times can Vicki go into a situation she knows is over her head without any sort of real protection, at night when her eyes are weakest and expect to survive or be rescued? She's supposed to be this tough ex-cop but she's incredibly stupid when it comes to her own safety. I don't mind a strong female roll but there is a difference between stubborn/strong and just plain stupid. Sookie may be naive, but she learns, and quickly at that. So while the southern backwoods environment and her stupid brother annoy me to a painful degree sometimes, I'd rather watch an intelligent heroine. I haven't read either series of books so I don't know how true to the written character either heroine is but I'm not much inclined to read The Blood Ties series based upon the TV series, even though I've read a couple of Tanya Huff's other books and enjoyed them immensely.

I think I stopped reading the genre because they were too dark and moody at a time when I felt I had enough stress in my life and wanted my reading to reflect a lighter, maybe happier, world in which problems are actually solvable(hence the cozy mystery kick). Perhaps the fact that I can enjoy this genre again, at least in moderation, means my stress levels have decreased a bit.


Sep. 15th, 2010 11:29 pm
hlmauera: (Default)
Today started out badly last night, when Dad discovered my right front tire was running on the metal core on the inside. So he forbade it's usage, handed me the keys to their car and made arrangements to take it in today. I asked him to have them check the brakes too since it's been shuddering almost violently when I step on the brakes, especially at higher speeds. I knew those were $95 tires and three of the four were the same age. The other one had to be replaced last year. 3 new tires and a front end alignment (Brakes were fine but alignment was really bad and that seems to be what was causing the shuddering). Total damage= $445.03 Ugh! Dad paid for it and added it to my loan. At this rate I'll never pay it off.

I hate driving Mom's car. It's so big and heavy that I feel like I'm just along for the ride and it's driving, but it's better than nothing. So I was having a bit of a "day"- computers were failing in my presence, people were being more helpless than usual, hair decided to be obstreperous...you know...one of those kind of days.

Then UPS brought my movies!!

When Mom invited me for dinner, she said she had received the knitpicks order. She was feeling bad because she couldn't find any yarn while she was in Alaska- and not for want of trying. She found lots of yarn shops with yarn but nothing that she felt was just right. So she and I had talked about it and looked at the knitpicks catalog. We both fell in love with the colors of the Imagination sock yarn (50% Merino, 25% superfine alpaca, 25% nylon). Almost all of the colors, as a matter of fact. So I left the color choice up to her. We also looked at lace weights with the idea that I wanted to make a shawl for my sister. I commented on a couple of lovely colors and chose a silver for my sister. And I asked her if she was making an order to order me a couple of packages of the harmony size 0 double pointed needles because I use them for everything in sock weight. I also commented that I'd love to get some of the 4 inch needles to try for gloves and it's too bad the 6 inch ones don't come in a set. So when she said she had the order, I was thinking one or two sets of needles, 3 skeins of lace weight for my sister's shawl and maybe two skeins of Imagination in one or two colors.
This is what arrived:

Imagination sock yarn in colors- Unicorn, Pixie Dust, Damsel, Enchanted Forest, Looking Glass, Mermaid Lagoon, Evil Stepmother, Fairy Princess, and Arabian Nights. (The names are fun too)

Lace weights gloss (sterling) and shimmer (Blue Glass and Elderberry)

Two sets of size 0 and a complete set of 4 inch (0-3, inlcuding two sizes of 1s --2.25 and 2.5mm)

Wow! It's like Christmas. I'm really hoping the Imagination works up as nicely as it looks. It's getting mixed reviews on Ravelry- some complaints of felting because of the alpaca (no matter how it's washed) and some color issues (bleeding and inconsistency) but others think it's wonderful. I guess we'll have to wait and see. It's definitely going to be a hand-wash lay flat to dry yarn.

So... a mixed bag today but I'd say the yarn is winning!
hlmauera: (Default)
So this weekend was about new stuff and new organization.

Friday night I was surprised with a brand new computer. It's an HP Compaq- quad core 777mhz...and a whole lot of other specs that I don't know. We'll have to upgrade the memory as it only came with 2 gigs (How insane is it that we consider 2 gigs too small anymore?) It's also got a DVD player that will actually play movie DVDs. Something both of the other computers in my house lacked.

This is important because of the new organization. I determined that I did not want to continue to have television (particularly cable since that's the only way I can get any channels) in my house. This doesn't save me any money because I still have to pay for my internet service (which costs the same amount) but I have to think a little bit harder about the programs/influences I allow into my home. Now if I want to watch something specific, I have to either consider buying it or use Netflix. Both of which require more consideration than just flicking on the TV and vegging over whatever is there. Eventually I plan to get rid of the TV entirely but since I still have a game system and VHS, I need to purchase a monitor with VGA inputs before I can do that. Along with that, I decided to reorganize my movies. Currently they take up an entire bookshelf which really draws attention to the fact that I have a television and it's space that I could use for books. Until I replace the rest of my VHS, I'll still have a number of them on the shelves but I have managed to pull all my DVD's off the shelf and put them into binders. I'll store the DVD cases under a bed or something but that has given me over half of the bookshelf back for books. I purchased one big binder for all my genre's, a small binder for MASH and Little House, which are the only series I have that are complete or nearly complete, and I plan to buy another binder for any TV series I decide to purchase (Which may include: Meerkat Manor, Dirty Jobs, Deadliest Catch, Swords, The new detectives, CSI...). I may decide the large binder that isn't the best for organization and expansion. I'll have to wait and see.

Because I was thinking of movies, I spent a little money and purchased some that I needed to replace some of the VHS and also ones that I could watch while I knit. My biggest bargain came from the Discovery channel. They have bundled the Earth collection- Planet Earth, Blue Planet, Life, and Earth's Most Amazing Events- for $139.99. Since Planet Earth, by itself, sells for $64.99 in stores I feel I got a steal!

I'd love to get some of the old movies that are along the lines of "White Christmas." But I don't know which ones those would be. Does anyone have suggestions? I enjoyed Operation Petticoat, Angel and the Bad Man, Donovan's Reef, and The Quiet Man which are of a similar era (Yes, I know most are John Wayne but that's what was available not a specific preference). I also enjoy Black Sheep Squadron, which was a television series from that era.

This weekend, I also finally replaced my cell phone. It was four years old and had an annoying habit of turning off at random times, sometimes in the middle of a call, for no particular reason. I wasn't getting particularly good reception but I think that has more to do with AT&T that the phone. I decided to stay with AT&T because my family is on it and we all get free calls to each other as long as we all remain on that network. It may or may not be the best choice for coverage but I rarely use all of my minutes because of the family connection. I find the experience of buying a cell phone irritating. First you go into a store and you may have to wait for 30 minutes to an hour before anyone can help you. I was fortunate this time that I hit a slow time and got good service. Then the salesman tries to sell you the most expensive phone model. I explained very quickly that I wanted a basic phone with blue-tooth and voice command capability and did not want anything more than that. That basically limited me to three phone options- which was also annoying. Then they tell you, "Oh this phone is only $9.99/19.99/29.99 but the reality is, that is what it might ultimately cost once you receive the rebate. You actually have to come up with $59.99/69.99/79.99 first and hope that a $50 check eventually reaches you (a process with which I have had no good experiences). I knew this would happen going in but I think it really borders on deceptive marketing. Then there are all the little hassles of buying the phone charger, switching the sim cards, trying to transfer images to the new phone, and losing all the ring tones you'd already purchased. I settled on a basic Nokia flip phone. I can't tell you which one because they no longer put the model number on the phones. The final annoyance of the new phones is this: They have a number of easily used features, GPS, Web service, Online shopping...but they all charge you if you use them-even if you accidentally hit the wrong app. The GPS is $9.99 a month plus the $20/month data package or minute by minute charges as they apply. It will be interesting to see what my phone bill is at the end of the month.

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