Thursday, August 27, 2009

Drinking the kool-aid...

We turned off our cable TV for the summer (one new method in my arsenal of penny-pinching tricks) and I was shocked and dismayed when I turned the ReplayTV's back on and discovered that Dish Network, the new owners of the Sonic Blue technology, had summarily canceled my subscriptions for my two non-lifetime units. No explanation, no email... just a tiny note on my account management page to call customer service. No, it was not for lack of payment, since I have a nice buffer built up while saving for more (yay) dental work. The lifetime unit is still going strong, at least.

I am now officially fed up with my Replay TVs. I don't even care enough to call and find out what the new deal is, but I suspect it's a price hike or a policy change.

So, this last payday, I splurged on a refurbished TiVo... with first month's activation, grand total was just over $100. It's not HD, so I don't get to use the Netflix streaming option, but with the Xbox 360 I won't miss it. And since Tivo has implemented a slew of features they didn't have when I was choosing a DVR, most of the reasons I went the other direction don't apply anymore. They're memory-expandable now (with the purchase of an external USB hard drive), the shows can be automatically archived to your PC via Tivo desktop, they use an internet connection instead of a phone line, and best of all, my Amazon video on demand purchases can be sent straight there. Fortunately, this cable box is compatible with the serial cable, so I don't have to mess with fiddly IR wires for the cable box. It's even dual-tuner!

It's hard to believe that none of those options were available a mere four years ago.

It's taken a few days since I hooked up my new purchase, but I really love it... it's been a huge boon to my knitting time, and has relieved some of the pressure on Netflix. No more eyeballing the mailbox, desperately waiting for the red envelopes to arrive.

Now, if only more shows would start their fall seasons a smidge early so they'll show up on my guide schedule... it's hard to set a season pass on something that isn't showing summer re-runs. Most notably Dollhouse, Torchwood, and a few others are still not in my "To Do" list. Bones only showed up yesterday.

As far as the knitting front, not much new there... still plugging away on the two blankets. I started some Nordic Lights socks, but I'm not terribly happy with my color choices. The variegated yarn for the "lights" part has some colors that are too dark to show well against the black, and the color repeats are too short.

If you're terribly interested in my progress, you can observe it with my new Ravelry progress bars over there on the right.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Fish Hat #2 is complete!

I can't believe I forgot to blog that I finished Barronius' Fish Hat! Once the yarn arrived, it took a mere two days to crank that puppy out... and he's in love. *snort* He wore it at his desk while playing free online poker all day. Why he needs luck when there's no money involved is beyond me. I assume the hat-wearing was for luck, anyway. He's a nut, but he's *my* nut.

If you look carefully in the "model" photo, you'll see that I put the eyes off-center... make sure when placing your eyes, you hold the dorsal fin straight up, rather than folded over to the side... it throws off your judgment. It was fixed shortly after taking the photo.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Did I mention...?

I had dental surgery a week ago. Nothing major... just something I'd put off for a while. Today I get to have my stitches taken out... whoopee.

Ironically, I feel worse today than I did two days after my procedure. This always happens when I'm on a long course of anti-biotics... towards the end, even the good bacteria have given up and strange things start happening to my mucus membranes, mostly in the nose and throat. I won't gross you out with the details, but I'm glad my last one was last night. Now I'll be scarfing yogurt and attempting to bring everything back into balance.

The blankets are proceeding apace. I ran into a minor glitch in the wool one when I didn't have enough of one color to finish a panel, so I concentrated on the cotton one for a while. Now the situation is reversed. I'm trying really hard to use this as an opportunity to destash, but these projects don't seem to want to let me do so.

On the horizon after the blankets, I have a crap-ton of projects I want to do, mainly because of my recent purchase of this book, French Girl Knits This is the first book in a long time that I want to make EVERY SINGLE PROJECT in it. It's insane... like I don't want to knit enough things already. I feel like a knitter's version of Julie and Julia

I'm contemplating whether to start with the (Ravelry links follow) Wrenna Leather Laced Cardigan or the Cybele Vest. I have the yarn for both. I have the notions and needles for both. They both look like really fast knits. Decisions, decisions....

I *do* want to knit a couple of things before I embark on such a journey. My uncle Doug, with his large feet, diabetes, and allergy to wool, needs custom socks. Barronius is still carping on (ha ha) about his lack of a fish hat. And I do need to make myself a decent coat for this winter, as taking Monkey Pants down to the bus stop can rival the snow storms in Minnesota. Seriously. It snowed here last year, and the wind chill makes it dangerously frigid. What *will* I knit next? Stay tuned... :D