Monday, December 31, 2007

The Other Woman

Well Patrick, I knew it wouldn't last. I tried to prolong it and make it last. I savoured our last night together. You came to me to make you into the sweater that we both knew that you could be and I enjoyed every minute of it. I know that you'll make Julie as happy as you've made me.

Amanda & I wound up a whack of Classy for the Tulip Baby Cardigan. I brought home Cat Bordhi's New Pathways for Sock Knitters - it's a bit overwhelming, I may just have to baby step through it - and some Dream in Color to make a couple of Thorpe's for Amanda. I know, Julie says that I spoil her!! Amanda has been begging for an earflap hat and this one has met with her approval. I'm going to try to get one done tonight!

Oh - here's a picture of the kid and Tina at the movies. Check out Kyle & that smile!!
How can I stay mad at him for long? I actually can't - it all depends on how much of a break he takes in between trying my patience!

If I get the hat done there'll be another post tonight, if not, have a and I'll catch you on the flip side!!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Auntie Tina

My sister Tina is moving to Vietnam later this week so she came and spent a few days with us. And when I say "moving" I mean "going to live & work". She's visited there a few times and knows some people so it's not like she's going in without a clue. She's going to be teaching ESL so while I'm concerned for her in a broad familial sense, I know that she's doing what she wants and what will make her happy so I'm not worried.

Amanda helped her cook dinner on Monday,
we went to see National Treasure 2 on Tuesday (after watching the 1st one at home to get Tina up to speed) and went snow tubing on Wednesday. And when I say "we went snow tubing" I mean that I drove to Snow Valley and paid for the snow tubing and photographed the snow tubing but then sat in the chalet and knitted.

I went down to Marsha's on Thursday after I dropped Tina back home and picked up a bunch of Japanese pattern books - I'll take some pictures in the next few days - and my 1st Elizabeth Zimmermann book. I know, I've lived a sheltered knitting life. But I've taken the plunge with The Opinionated Knitter because it has some of her most well known patterns and I like that I can read some of her pattern notes and anecdotes.

I spent the rest of Thursday and Friday at my friend Ada's. We watched the 1st season of Dexter (poor Ada doesn't have The Movie Network) and the 2nd season of Weeds - OMG I love these shows!!! Knitting is what I do to lull everyone think that I'm ordinary and innocuous, while inside I'm quixotic with a twisted, slightly morbid sense of humour - while we knit and played show & tell.

I'm back home and Kerwyn & I are watching Heroes - season 1 & 2!! I'm finishing the 2nd sleeve on Julie's Patrick then it's just the neckline, washing & drying to shrink it up and then seaming.
Amanda & I will be delivering it (yes, not only will it be knit on time but delivered too!!!) to Julie on Monday so we'll be working at The Needle Emporium if you're around and want to swing by & say "hey". Amanda loves working at the store - as soon as I mentioned that I'd be taking it to Julie she squealed and said, "Can we work?!!"

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Rated M - follow up

I was surprised/not surprised to find out when I spoke with one of the owners that the Hock Shop actually doesn't have a policy/procedure in place when selling Rated M games. Here is part of Jeff's response to me/correspondence to his partner (which he copied me on).

I don't believe we have anything in our Policy & Procedures Guide regarding the AO (Adults Only) & Mature games.
It is a law under our Theatres Act licence. Here is the link.
Although the associates understand the requirements of the Mature ESRB label. I'm sure they are not being as diligent as required.
First off we need to instruct our managers to train the associates to always ask for ID if the customer "could" be under 20. That is if they are purchasing a Mature game or an AO (not that I recall seeing one of those).
I do recall seeing an ESRB listing posted in a few of our stores, but perhaps not all.

I'm sure that he won't mind my sharing it here as it puts him and his company in a much better light than a few days ago - at least in my mind. I really appreciate that he took this matter seriously and is (apparently) working to bring his stores up to code.
Chalk one up for the little guy (or girl)!!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Rated M

Kyle has been buying rated M games from the Hock Shop in town. Not that it does him much good - once I find them I confiscate them, but a boy's gotta try. Worse than that, the Hock Shop has been selling the rated M games to Kyle.
When I asked the manager about their policy regarding the sale of rated M games, she started with, "You mean, like to minors?" (She's not young, there's no excuse.) "Sure, let's go with that." Then follows a long litany of excuses, protestations and evasions that revolve around "trying" and "impressions".
She tried to deny that she had sold any of them to Kyle, that it must have been her staff. Yes, she's the manager, but takes no responsibility. Yet. Then she tried to turn it on me!! "I'm sure that you were here when he bought some of them?" Kyle had the presence of mind to look at his feet and by sheer force of will teleport out of range. "NO. Not ever. I have been with Kyle when he buys these games. I only get dragged into this hellhole store when he wants to sell them," I denied adamantly, unequivocally & uncategorically! They won't allow anyone under 18 to hock anything, but they don't care what they buy apparently.
Desperation sets in and Kim goes for the classic diversion. "It's not just the Hock Shop - my 11 year old son bought an M rated game at WalMart. I couldn't even get his money back." I know - doesn't your heart just bleed for her?
"I guess that's your issue with WalMart. The thing is is that Kyle didn't buy these games at WalMart, he bought them here. And I'm not here asking for any refund - Kyle is bringing these back for whatever you're going to give him for them. My issue is that you are selling rated M games to children."
"We try, but some games are 18+ and some are 17+ ... we try but there's not much we can do." Again, I'm just aching for her itty, bitty problems!!!
I'm all about the helping. "Well, the LCBO cards customers if they don't look 25 as does any store that sells cigarettes. Did you ask Kyle for ID?"
You'd think that the expression "blank slate" initially stemmed from an actual blank slate but you'd be wrong. It came from the look on Kim's face at that very moment.
"You know what - you just don't seem to be understanding my concern and really don't seem to be interested in taking any responsibility here so if you can just give me a card and let me know how I can contact the owner. I'm sure that he'll be more interested given that any criminal repercussions will be directed to him." "Oh, well, we've had meetings and talked about this, and I guess that we could put up a sign or something that says they have to be 17 or 18 and show ID if that would make you feel better. We could put them in all of the Hock Shops." Kim stammers, the effort that she's putting into back-peddling making me sweat!
"Again, this isn't about me Kim. If I could just get the owners name please."
Too little too late sweetheart! And did you catch how all of a sudden she can gets signs put up in all of the Hock Shops? She's got quite some influence all of a sudden.
She brings out a card and says, "If you call the Bayfield store and ask for the owners they'll be able to help you." As if I can be brushed off so easily. Homey don't play dat!!!
I take the card, put my Tom Bihn bag on the counter and find a pen. Then I look up at her and wait for her to stop inputting the games into her computer and look at me. "The owners names?" I ask expectantly.
"Jeff & Al."
I sigh impatiently and write that down. "Last names?" I query, with a tone that implies that I'm speaking to a child or village idiot. Personally I'm leaning towards the latter.
She answers as if she's a POW and I've tortured the location of her troops' base out of her. "Hockley. But that's not Al's last name. If you ask for Jeff Hockley he'll usually get back to you within the day."
"I'm sure that he will," I reply with certainty and a smile.

It occurred to me that maybe this was one of those things that would make sense to the average Joe but was not enforced. À la peanut butter sandwiches!!
Google to my rescue!
Ontario Film Review Board
I wonder is Jeff is aware of the amendments to the Theatres Act made under the recently passed Ministry of Consumer and Business Services Statute Law Amendment Act, 2004. I'm sure that he is and that the Hock Shop does have a strict policy regarding selling rated M games to children and that he will have an apologetic and pro-active attitude when I speak to him.
Otherwise, I will have to step it up and contact the Ministry of Consumer and Business Services. Apparently the penalties are quite steep. I wonder if they're used often?

And no, Kyle's willpower is insufficient to teleport so I'm quite certain that he's probably sufficiently mortified to stay out of that den of iniquity for a little while. My work here is done.

Monday, December 17, 2007

"If you Love me ..."

I swear that in over 18 years of marriage I have never started a sentence with those words. Until today. I'm not proud of it but a woman has her limits. And having to throw shovelfuls of snow up and over the height of my shoulders is my limit. And we're not even full on into winter yet!! The smile is for the benefit of the photographer (Amanda).
Kerwyn says that he will shovel when he gets home, and I'm sure that his intent is valid as he speaks the words. But by the time he gets home (which is late) and gets dinner and has work (which is more often than not) it generally doesn't happen. Besides, dr
iving over the snow packs it down and makes it harder to shovel and after the snow plough goes by I need to shovel if I want to go out.
So, I said, "If you love me you we will get a snow blower." And he did agree to take a look at the machines over the holidays. He reminded
me that he would have done it when he got home, and I reminded him about the reality of it. I did let him know that the back deck wasn't shoveled and that he could do that when he got home so that we could go in the hot tub. "Yeah, okay, I'll have to see how things are when I get home. I could probably do that." Which is why I do it.
Getting a snow blower over the holidays won't be a moment too soon - Richard is a mighty fine sight to look upon!!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Not Catching Up

The problem with not posting in a few days a week is that I feel a need to catch you all up on what's been going on but that just seems like a monumental task. Actually, this week it's not so hard - finished Cassidy, drove the bus, worked in the office, drove the van, did housework, rinsed and repeated and finished Elise's black & white Koigu sweater.
I did a charter to the Ontario Science Center and helped Leigh get a cowl started. She'd never worked on a circular needle before so when she found out that I was the other driver going down she packed her knitting!!
And the squirrels!!
OMG they were huge and tame to the point of cockiness! Squirrels up North are scrawny and have the fight or flight reflex down to a fine evolutionary art. Down in the T. they wait until you're almost close enough to wind up for a good swing with your leg and then they'll move off - not scurry or scamper even!! - just enough to watch and see if you're going to drop a tasty morsel for them.

I've also made a vow that, in writing it here I will certainly not fail at keeping. I will finish Julie's Patrick before the end of the year. There will be no acceptable excuses - it shall be done.

I'm watching the finale of Survivor and will be back with TAR next week!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Watching TAR with Wannietta - part 12.6

No, Nate will not be able to change his behaviour under stress. I still don't get how people think that TAR is a relationship fixer. I think that a solid couple will cross the finish line having discovered a lot of unpleasant things about each other and be better for it. Couples coming in with problems will go out with those problems compounded exponentially.
Ronald is seriously a Jekyl & Hyde kinda guy - it's scary!
Hippies & Goths working together - a model for world peace. I shouldn't be so sarcastic, I'm sure that they'll still be so helpful & sharing if they make it to the final 3.
Sorry to the Croatians out there but I don't know why Jen is so excited to be going to Croatia.
Either the cabbie is gay or Hendekea didn't say what she thought that she said.
I'm looking forward to seeing you start playing aggressive Nick.

Vyxsin called it - and of course Jen & Nate aren't sure what to do. They don't know who to follow and are constantly 2nd guessing themselves.
Geez Ron - take a chill pill!!
Excuse me? Who's handing out attitude here? Are you her Daddy or her brother?
The sibs were one of my favourite teams but Azaria is really showing his side and I'm really not liking him right now.
Azaria should stay away from the cheap foreign pharmaceuticals.

Is it just me or does it seem to be taking a long time for the teams to be booking tickets here?
Nate is being uncommonly calm here.
No way!!!
I'm sure that they had requested for Economy! Actually all of the teams were being quite specific about it. They got screwed and until they watch this they'll think that it's their fault.

Like I always say - airports are great equalizers. You never know.
Am I the only one who doesn't understand why no racer is ever seen with knitting? I mean, what do they do with all the waiting time? A little sock wouldn't take much back-pack space.
A Builder's Eye - that'd have to be Kerwyn.
"This is harder than I think it is". Poor Ron - I guess it's easier when Christina is doing the task.
Suck it up Ron!
This can't be any worse than that tight rope bicycle task on the 1st leg.
Short & Long. I'm not much of a swimmer and "extreme physical prowess" aren't the first 3 words that come to mind when I think of me.
'Nate Dog'?
white boy.
I'm surprised that Ron & Chris went with the rowing.
And if you don't know how to row the boat, perhaps this was the wrong Detour to choose.
We know that getting along with your partner is easier said than done Ronald; we kno
When you say "never be with you again" Jen, do you mean that in the Biblical sense?
Jen does seem to be doing more than her share on this rowing task.
Just like walking up very steep, wobbly & unstable stairs Kynt.

Again with the "not fair".
Poor Jen - I guess being cute & blonde your whole life and just now discovering that the world is not calibrated to your sensibilities is rough.
Yeah, geez, wtf are the cabbies thinking. I mean, what do you care if they have to spend the rest of the day turning down fares because the seats are wet as long as you get to where you're going!

Again Nate seems to be the voice of reason. Maybe that's in TAR rules - "Only one team member may freak out at a time".
I'm really happy to see Ron & Chris come in 1st!
AH HA!!! Legal transportation - that's a good one! You can beg money but not a ride.

Jen & Nate must have been really wet - the other teams don't seem to be having any problems getting a cab.
The sarcasm isn't a good look for you Jen.
Those guns going off are quite a scare!
I hope that no one falls back down the stairs because of them.
I think that Donald is fed up with the "Race" part of The Amazing Race.
He's probably one of those masons that like to build a wall that will last Donald.
I guess that slagging off on your Grandpa is what you meant by being aggresive, eh Nick?

Knitting would keep team members from nagging encouraging their partner to death.
Not as easy as it looked when your G-pa was rowing is it Nick?
Hendekea is just like a little Energizer bunny!
It comes down to a cabbie race (or so it would appear - editing is deceptive).
It's not your job as a brother to challenge your sister - you're supposed to protect and help her! Okay, when you're little I think that teasing & harmless torture are in the job description, but you're well past that stage now.
I'm sorry to see the sibs go, especially Hendekea, but I won't miss Azaria's
poser attitude.

What's going on next week that we won't have an Amazing Race episode?

Winter Pics

This one is for elisabetha.

I really love how a real snowfall, laying a thick, soft blanket over everything changes the world! It's beautiful for the eyes and a treat for the ears. Not quite soundproofing, it's like a dampening field. All of the regular sounds are there - traffic, target practice on the rifle range on base, dogs barking - but they're muffled, not quite complete and there is utterly no echo. It's enchanting.

These little red birds
(I'm no ornithologist!!) love whatever kind of berries are on this tree in our front yard. They look like some kind of cherries (the berries, not the birds!).

Of course it's not all pretty. The amount of snow that falls has a direct & proven co-relation to the foolhardy driving decisions of wanna-be men.
This young man was heading into the corner way too fast to have a chance. I'm sure that his embarrassment (this happened right behind his high school) will probably be more punishment than his parents will be handing down when they find out - I can't imagine that the hood or fender is coming away completely intact!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Don't Leave Home Without It

Even though it's Saturday I stoically set out for Rona to have our locks re keyed (nope - didn't find them yet and taking the locks in will save me about $80 over having a locksmith come out to the house) and to get some driveway salt and a light bulb for the fridge. I knew that traffic/parking would be hellish but I was mentally prepared, knitting prepared and I went alone. Somehow, listening to a child's running commentary on the traffic, the searching, the waiting and the inevitable starving does not, in any way make any of the above faster or easier.

This is the light bulb aisle.
All I wanted was a simple refrigerator light bulb and it took me nearly 15 minutes to find them. I asked - no one has ever actually had a stroke from merely having to pick out a light bulb. My ability to speak coherently was briefly affected though, I could only muster a few weak moans.

I wandered up and down, back and forth across the vast acreage that is Rona finding a few other items that I had the foresight to write down, then I went to get the locks re-keyed. All the blue-vested employees had suddenly disappeared and it didn't even occur to me to go looking for someone.
Not when they leave phones with labels on the buttons just sitting around. Nope, no impulse control whatsoever!! Fortunately I had called before I left home to make sure that there would be someone who knew how to re-key the locks and I knew who to page. "John to Key Cutting please. John to Key Cutting. Thank you." Of course John doesn't come, it's Rick who doesn't know how to re-key a lock. But he takes me over to the hardware desk where John is and John starts in on it. And I make myself comfortable on a stack of wood flooring and start knitting.
Not too far into it John just fucks right off has to go help someone else do something, so I just keep knitting. Eventually Louis arrives, Rick brings him up to speed on the pile of metal bits on the desk and Louis dives right in.
Customers and staff pass by expressing v
arying degrees of interest and amusement. Louis makes progress and so do I.
I really don't know how long I was there - I didn't look at my watch. I'm sure that Charlie Eppes could work out an algorithm to calculate the passage of time based on knitting speed, compensating for temperature variances and the current phase of the moon.
But it was awhile - long enough to get this much sock knitting done. If I had known that it was going to be so long I'd have brought in Patrick - he was in the car - and set up the chart and worked on him!

The entire experience was made all that much more torturous by the karaoke that was going on. Now karaoke is a wonderful concept and I'm all for it - in the right place. The right place being a bar with a lot of background noise and copious amounts of alcohol so that the audience can hear the singer the way that the singer imagines themselves being heard.
Rona is a big echo-ey building that does nothing to enhance or dampen the sounds coming from the amplifier. They also don't serve alcohol and wouldn't turn on a loud power tool for me. I could hear every painful note. I have never wished for traditional Muzak and/or deafness so fervently in my life!!

But all's well that ends well and I'm safely at home with nice TV sounds and Patrick on my lap. Yes, a drink too but that should just go without saying. Kerwyn put the locks back on the door & I have a new key that I will try not to lose.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Snow Day ... again

Can you even believe it? 2 snow days in a row and it still hasn't let up. I'm not going to get greedy, but do you think ... dare I dream?

Amanda eased into it with breakfast in her pajamas and then spent most of the day outside working on her snow fort.

The new neighbours next door are keepers!! Richard has a snowblower and he knows how to use it! I've still done some shoveling by hand to try to keep up with the 20-ish cms (8-ish inches) of snow that have fallen today and I've been spreading salt to try to melt down the thick layer off ice underneath, but that man is my new hero! I sense handknits in his future.

Knitting Daily contest

The Knitting Daily's Yarn Spree Giveaway is now open to Canadian entries so go and vote for your Fav LYS (The Needle Emporium) for your chance to win a $300 shopping spree!!

Monday, December 3, 2007

I've been Elfed!

So that's what the kids are calling it these days. Seriously, Cindy has totally made my day. Kyle is going to be abso-fucking-lutely mortified. You can't actually die from that ... can you? Whenever he's being an ass I'll play this and then I won't feel so bad. I might as well just keep the window open and hit continuous play.

ai ai ai Caliente!!!

I found this fun little time-sucker test at Not An Artist.

Your Score: Cayenne Pepper

You scored 75% intoxication, 75% hotness, 75% complexity, and 25% craziness!

You are Cayenne!

You're known for your dry wit, saucy remarks, and ability to stimulate (take that however you want). People in hot climates like you for your ability to make them sweat, but you're also quite good for people all over the world. Just don't mention your cousin, deadly nightshade.

Link: The Which Spice Are You Test written by jodiesattva on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

It's Gonna be a Great Winter

+ + =