Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Powerbook

Last week I bought myself a gently used PowerBook G4 15".
And I love it.
I've been in love with the PowerBook since it came out years ago.
(The backlit keyboard nearly made me cry)
However, I was a bit lazy when I got it and just deleted the user-information from the previous owner.
I did not want to reboot for several reasons: I only have the OS X 10.3 disks and the OS X has since been upgraded to 10.3.9, which would make a reboot useless.
Besides it had Microsoft Office installed by same owner, who held on to the disks, and a cleansweep reboot would erase those as well.
However, after moving my iTunes library and photos and files from the faithful little old iBook, and working like a dream, it started acting up.
One thing is the machine literally screamed like a banshee when Vincent jumped upon the keyboard (I rather appreciated that as he will not do that again), but it started freezing.
And in my little world Macs do not freeze. Ever.
My iBook, after nearly five years has never once frozen or crashed or acted unpleasant.
Not even with a pint of green tea tipped straight down into the keyboard (thank you, Laurenz), or half a glass of red wine in same (which did cause a need for a replacement keyboard as the spacebar and the n and m stopped functioning).
So I do not like a PowerBook freezing.
And I know I should have done the clean reboot from start.
I do not know how the previous owner used it. Or what he has deleted and uninstalled - or how.
(I noticed that the security updates were not updated, for one thing)
Or how that would interfere with my use and my programs.
So I have spent most of today playing with Disk Utility, veryfying and repairing, and verifying and repairing, and veryfying and repairing - and being puzzled and close to panicking.
And intensely stubborn.
Even ended up using fsck.
And now I can finally install OS X.
And my beautiful machine is humming merrily next to me.
I still love it.
And the brilliant simplicity of Apple support.

And this is how the cats have spent today.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

I will be working tonight. And tomorrow night. And the day after.
And I do not mind at all.
I have no family and no relatives to spend Christmas with.
And after 10 years that no longer causes the same grief it used to.
Instead I have a nearly stress-free December, and tonight a quiet evening at work, with nice colleagues, a nice dinner - and I can bring my knitting with me.
I attended the Winter Solstice Service at the Unitarian church Friday evening.
Celebrating the beginning of a light curve that takes us from the darkest heart of winter, and leads us right on through to the doorstep of spring.
And while, to me, Christmas is no longer what it used to be, it is still the celebration of light.
Be it the solar cycle, the glittering fairy lights - or the arrival of a saviour.
And the cats will be treated to a bit of the special wet food.
Without medicine.

And when I come home tonight, I will light a candle for each of those I miss.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

A box full of hamsters

Earlier today I went to visit a friend, bringing along a fresh-baked apple and fig pie.
As it was fresh from the oven, and very juicy, I had wrapped a sheet of baking paper around it before placing it in a box lined with a towel, which I then loaded carefully into big, black, plastic bag with holes punched in.
I wanted to be sure it survived the bus and train ride without spilling over. The bus ride went well.
The train ride even better.
The seats across from me were occupied by a father and his young son, a beautiful, quirky little boy, 5 or 6 years old.
He stared at the box-shaped bag.
Quirky boy: "What's in the box?"
Me: "Hamsters"
Quirky boy: "Hamsters?! Oooh, I want a Hamster!"
Me: "Well, these hamsters are all spoken for"
Quirky boy's father: "They smell nice".
Me: "They eat only baked apples".
And then it was their stop.
Next time I WILL bring her a box of hamsters.
Apple pie is rather dull in comparison.

The python pencil case

One of the Christmas presents I made this year was a python pencil case, lined in silk.

The python I had bought at some time, without much other purpose than mere owning, and it was longing for a reason to be (somewhere else than around a snake).
I was also lucky enough to find a beautiful plaid silk remnant in the same box as the python skin.

The past year I have been very appreciative of my store-bought,slim, black leather pencil case. Big enough for the pencils I need and use - but not much else.
And so the python and silk pencil case was born.
I cut one strip for the bottom, and another two, each half the bottom width, for the top, from both the python and the silk.
I sewed in the zipper between the two top strips, and I added the lining for the top before sewing on the bottom. I then sewed the ends closed and turned it out, grateful I had remembered to open the zipper before adding the bottom.
The bottom lining was sewn in by hand.
And for at bit if a finishing touch I cut a narrow strip of python to knot around the zipper-pull.
And it turned out much more delicious than my own pencil case.
I hope he'll appreciate it.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Sinus infection, Simple Sleeve and very amateurish yarn p0rn

I'm in bed with a nifty little sinus infection.
But the cats keep me greatly entertained as do the books, I picked up from the library on the way home from the doctor.
Alice Starmore's Tudor Roses.(Oh, how I want to knit Elizabeth I - and oh, how I want a man to knit Henry VII for. Sweater curse be darned.)
Last Minute Knitted Gifts, and Scarf Style - which greatly makes me reconsider my own "invention" for the Knit Your Bit KAL. And some more literature much needed for the exam paper I really should be working on. But my head is not working quite right with what feels like 24 kg of excess fluid oozing around in my head.
Instead I have made great progress on the Simple Knitted Bodice. It now has a sleeve!

I had read, here and there, that the sleeves are killers! So I thought I would switch to them after finishing the lace panel, leaving me some nice belly-knitting to do after the killer-sleeve knitting.
But either I didn't pay attention in the process, or it wasn't that bad.
I have started on the second sleeve now, hoping some mindless staying warm in front of the telly tonight will bring it forth.
And, oh the wonder, on the way to the pharmacy to get some very special antibiotics reserved for weaklings like me, who are hyperallergic to penicillin, I found this.
The Monster Clock Radio.

Not only does it show the time in a terrifying large manner (once I've figured out how to set the time), it also tunes into my favourite radio station (or I managed that) and while it will wake me up in the morning, it will also let me fall to sleep listening to Harry Potter read in the soothing, somewhat sexy voice of the brilliant Stephen Fry.
It has a CD player!
Hence the size and the ugliness.
And the postman brought some longed for yarn.
A lavendarblueish cosy wool meant for a cardiganny jackety thing for Katrine, hopefully as a real Christmas present, otherwise as a birthday present in January.

And some green silky tweed from Elsebeth Lavold, as greed quickly got hold of me once I started on the SKB and realized I could not live with just one thing knitted from the Silky Tweed.

Monday, December 11, 2006

The great IKEA bed side table assembly task force

I did get a new bed side table when at IKEA Thursday last week.
However I was not much in the mood for assembling it until Saturday.
And once again I'm reminded just how helpful cats are. Especially these two.
What would I do without them?

We had better help her. We do not want another rickety scratchingpole incident.

Hmmm, it does not look like the super deluxe 7 storey cat tower we ordered...

What can it be....
it could be a hammock
I've counted the screws for you.

It seems solid enough

Can I please go take my nap now?

And the bedside table with lamp and books in all its IKEA glory.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

And so this is Christmas

Contrary to tradition I have actually attempted a bit of Christmas decorating this year.
Glass birds in kitchen:

Fancy fairy lights:

It's already much more Christmasness than previous years.

Knitting in the night

I had great expectations before working the night shift.
But there was not nearly as much time for knitting as hoped and expected.
Only very little progress on the Knit Your Bit scarf
And a bit more on the Simple Knitted Bodice
The Lace panel is done, but I think I may have deviated from the pattern in practically every way possible so far.
I have promised myself never, ever to work night again.
I may be a bit of a night owl by nature, but going home from work at 8 in the morning is bloody unnatural, and I've felt slightly groggy and hungover these past few days.
It would perhaps be easier with some real bed room curtains and quiet cats (or no cats). But I'll stick to a more normal work schedule form now on.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Loud and clear

Vincent has his voice back.
I came home from work around 9 this morning in bad need of a bit of sleep.
No sign of the great voice of catness at that time.
Shortly after noon I was a awaken by the feeling of intense staring, impatient shuffling of paws in pillows, and some light snuffling in ear, which was all quite ignorable.
But then he, the Prime Yeller of the Catdom, yelled, something which can roughly be translated as "Wake the heck up now, you lazy human, we are in dire need of attention here."
So his voice is most certainly back.
And I have yet to find the snooze button.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

I have been gifted

Today, on our way to an ill-advised trip to IKEA, Katrine gave me a beautiful tea mug with a leaping cat.
I love it.

The Simple Knitted Bodice is taking shape.
Only all too slowly.
I love the feel of the silky tweed.
Hopefully working the night shift these two coming nights will help me finish it quickly.
I cannot believe I actually agreed to work nights, but the thought of being paid for knitting all night helps a bit.

Vincent with the volume down

Monday I had to take Vincent to visit our wonderful vet.
He was coughing and his voice, which is usually very loud and clear, was barely there.
He is now in bed, diagnosed with tonsillitis, and we have two daily performances of the great show "Giving the cat his penicillin".
This involves one nosy Siamese very interested in the pill, one sulking Oriental refusing to get anywhere near same pill - and a generous amount of the special-treat-wet-food, which is where the magic of making the pill disappear takes place.
And this I'm a bit concerned about in case they think that's how it should be every day from now on - sans the pill scenario of course.
Vincent is however as chatty as ever, still unable to keep his little cat-mouth shut for more than five minutes at a time - he even mumbles in his sleep.
Only difference is that the volume has been turned down to not much more than a coarse whisper.
I feel a bit guilty for appreciating the peace and quiet.
But now Laurenz is sneezing. Which may or may not be part of an attempt to finally get that pill.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Knit your bit

The lovely Linnea has started a KAL in support of the National World War II Museum's "Knit Your Bit" effort to knit scarves for veterans of World War II.
While I have not had any veterans in my family, my grandfather spent the last two years of WWII in German concentration camps, Buchenwald and Neuengamme, where he would most likely have died, had it not been for large role American soldiers played in defeating Germany and liberating Europe.
So this bit of knitting is in his memory and in their honour.

Oooh, it's a kitty wrap

No, It's just my Simple knitted Bodice before frogging.
Now I've learned to swatch before knitting, and to do it properly - both stitch- and row-wise.
I need to add a few more rows than the pattern calls for. But that's ok.
At least now I've learned my lesson. I hope.
And the library had lovely books for me today!
I have brought home Sensational Knitted Socks, Vogue Knitting American Collection and Bags & Backpacks.
All lovely.
I also got some long awaited books on intertextuality and remediation.... but I'm still a bit more excited about the knitting books.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Not so pretty

I wanted a pretty photo of the beautiful cats, but this is what I got: