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emmy [AT] curious-notions {dot} net
August 2019
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Money’s on fire

Sadly, today I had to face the death of my beloved laptop.

It’s been named many things over the years, most notably, Falkor and most recently, Holiday. Falkor is the name of the Luck Dragon in The Neverending Story and Holiday is a holographic femme fatale in the Star Wars MMORPG that Bear and I were playing. Considering the budget has been constrained since the purchase of Lana (Bear’s Acura) and considering that the only notebook out there with a 2560×1440 or 2560×1600 resolution right now is the Retina Display Mac laptop, we aren’t going to be getting a new notebook right away. I’m trying my best to deal with it like a grown up and not cry into my tea.

(Rainbow Oreo, the title is from the song “Cut It Out” by Kitten)

swallowed in sound

I think I’ve mentioned my tea obsession on the blog before. It should come as no surprise that mostly, at work, I drink tea. The problem comes in how to MAKE tea at work. When I was in the lab, I would clean my little tea infusers in the bathroom. Our bathroom sinks had grates and I would get all the little leaves out of the sink after I washed my infuser. Here at work we have a sink for washing things (lunch type utensils and such). So I thought this would be fantastic except that the little food catcher is WAY down the pipe and always gross. I hate cleaning (and thus using) my tea infusers now. Our bathroom sinks do have grates, but everyone else cleans their stuff in the breakroom sinks, so it would be a little weird for me to be taking my tea stuff into the bathroom to clean it. All of this is a long story to explain that I’ve been using tea bags (the big open kind for loose leaf tea) to make my tea now.

I have been using the ones from Adagio because they are super cheap ($3/100) and super big. But they taste/smell kind of woody and are brown and stick out from my cup and look funny. While I was in Vancouver I found a little bag of tea bags that were ALSO super cheap ($2/110), kind of plasticy feeling, and still pretty big. The sad thing is now I have no IDEA where I will find more of these little bags. I even love that they are called “Tea Packing Paper” instead of tea bags.

Nor’easter

On 10/29/2011 at approximately 7p.m., Bear and I lost power. We did not get our electricity back until 11:45a.m. 10/31/2011. For two people whose whole house is centered around modern technology and electricity and haven’t had to deal with long term power loss since they were kids, this kinda knocked us ass over teakettle.

Our heat/hot water system runs on propane, but the controls for this state of the art system are electric. So we were without heat or hot water, despite having full propane tanks.

Our entertainment almost entirely is centered around our computers, ebook readers, and cell phones. Thankfully, the ebook reader and cell phones kept a charge for most of that time, despite heavy usage.

Our stove is electric. Our refrigerator is electric.

Thankfully, our water is town water, so we did have running water. One of our neighbors has well water and her pump is electric. She is an old hat at this though and when the snow started coming down in earnest, she filled her washing machine with water so that she could manually flush her toilets. She also had drinking and washing water stocked up from when we were all worried about Hurricane Irene.

It’s interesting living without electricity. It changes your perception of time. Bear and I went to bed very early on Saturday. It felt late though, because the sun had been down for hours. We woke up very early on Sunday and the day felt like it lasted a million years. We cooked on our grill. We heated water on our grill.

We read books and talked and saw more of our neighbors than we’ve seen in weeks. We napped a lot too. When your house is 48 degrees inside, the warmest place is under blankets cuddled up next to each other. (Well, the other warmest place isn’t in your house, it’s in the neighbors house in their room with the wooden stove/fireplace insert.) We considered storing food outside on the snow. That one isn’t new though. In the winter in New England, you can keep food outside as long as you don’t mind it being frozen.

We smelled like smoke from the grill for almost the whole time period. You stop noticing it after a while.

You don’t stop flicking light switches. I can’t tell you how many times I’d walk to the bathroom and hit the light switch. I HAD A FLASHLIGHT IN MY HAND, and I would still automatically reach for the light switch. It’s so instinctive.

I’m pretty sure we are going to be making a few changes to our house soon. One will be some kind of wood insert for heat. One will be buying a teakettle. One might be buying a battery backup for our electric heating system. And finally, we’ll buy the little butane tanks for our little butane camping burner. Having that stupid burner, but no fuel kinda drove me nuts.

We weren’t without power for very long (many people lost power for a week from this storm and earlier in the year, Irene), but it did make us consider how prepared we were. We were also very grateful when the power came back Monday. Plenty of people didn’t get power back for a week and many had been hit earlier in the year by Hurricane Irene. Many had damage from either or both storms. We were lucky.

Sock heel tips

So I’ve had trouble remembering how I like to make sock heels. I always knit toe up and I like gussets and I like to have the cushion bit at the back of my ankle. So here’s my rewritten instructions (for magic loop, which is my favorite method).

n = total number of sts after the toe DIVIDED by 4
X = ((n-1)*3)/4

Gusset:
Knit in pattern across side 1
On side 2, k1, m1l, knit until 1 st left, m1r, k1
Alternate the above increase round with plain rounds until you have increased an appropriate number of sts for gusset (for my crayon socks, that number was 17, which meant a total of 34 rows.)

Turn Heel:
Knit in pattern around until halfway through side 2 of sock.
kX sts past halfway marker, m1l, k1, w&t
p(2X+2), m1p, p1, w&t
Do this until you have (n-1)/4 wraps each side.
Knit one complete round, picking up wraps and knitting them with the wrapped stitches as you come to them. This should bring you back around to the middle of side 2.

Heel Flap:
Slip the first stitch purlwise with the yarn in back, knit the next stitch until n – 1 stitches from center, ssk & turn work without wrapping
sl1, purl to end of needle 4, purl n – 1 stitches on needle 3, p2tog & turn without wrapping.
Repeat these two rows, always slipping the first stitch after you turn your work and decreasing at the end with p2tog or ssk, until all gusset increases, minus 1, are decreased.