Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Time To Say Goodbye

In everyone's life, with all things, there comes eventually a time to say goodbye.

Felix has been with me for a long, long time.

He's out lived four dogs and three cats.  He's been there to comfort me when I woke up from terrifying nightmares.  He's been there to confide in when I've had a bad day at work.  He's been there when I needed a shoulder to cry on.  He was there when my Daddy died.

He was there when a little boy needed a nap.

He's been on vacations.  He's been on cub scout campouts.  He's been next door when the weather turned dangerous.  He's been everywhere with me.

But now, his colors have faded.  His fur is matted, and his stuffing is falling out.  His head is falling off.  It's time.

It's time to say goodbye.  Goodbye old friend.  Goodbye Felix.

But in saying goodbye to old friends, we make way for new friends.

As soon as I saw him in the store, I knew he was the one.

I knew as soon as I saw him that he would be my new friend.  My new comforter.  My new confidant.

His name...

His name is Carson.

Hello, Carson.  Welcome to the family.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Chats On The Farmhouse Porch

Everyday Ruralty

1. Is there a room in your home that you'd like to redecorate or remodel?
No, not really.  I'm not that into decorating.  Heck, I've lived in this house for 6 years, and still only have a couple of pictures on the wall.  Now, if I could afford to pay someone to do it for me, then yeah, I'd do the living room.  
2. Did you watch the Oscars?
Nope.  I haven't watched the Oscars in years.  I just don't get into watching a bunch of self righteous liberals gushing on about how great they are and bashing everything I believe in. 
3. How many pair of blue jeans do you own?
I'm not really sure.  Probably about 10.  I need to get some new ones, but I haven't had time to drive up to Batesville to get any.  I can't find any here that fit right, so I have to go to the Wrangler/Lee Riders outlet store up there to get comfortable jeans.  

4. What was your favorite toy as a child?
A stick.  Seriously.  A stick.  I still have it, too.  Maybe one day, I'll write a post about my stick. 

5. If you could visit a country in Europe, which would you choose?
I'd love to visit England, Scotland, and Wales, but frankly, if I had to choose one, I'd take Cody back to Italy.  I'd love for him to see where he was born, not to mention all the wonderful history of the country.  

Well, that's about it for this week.  I told Fernando I'd go in early tomorrow, so I'll be heading for bed soon. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Too Early

Saturday, I skipped work to go to a gun show in Jackson with James, so I missed the announcement.

Saturday was also my sister's birthday.  When she was little, she couldn't say "allowance", so she called her allowance her announcement.

But that's a different post for a different day...

I got up this morning at 4:15, and went to work at 6 as usual.  When I got there, the parking lot was still empty.  I knew Vanessa would be up by then, so I texted her and asked if they'd taken us off 9 hour shifts.  Yep.  I'd gone to work too early.  I thought about going in and working anyway, but I live within walking distance from the plant, so I came back home for an hour.  I piddled around the house for a while, then went back at the regular time.

Vanessa later apologized for not letting me know, but she thought I wouldn't be back until tomorrow.  But at least she noticed I wasn't there, which is more than I can say for my group leader Fernando.  It wasn't until an hour and a half into the shift when the parts stager asked him if he was going to put someone on my stand that he realized I wasn't there.  We were teasing him about it this morning. 

I told him he made me feel so special. 

Anyway, he told me some very good news.  That weird little inspector is going back to second shift for good next week. That made me so happy I could have hugged Fernando's neck right there in the shop floor.   I told him that Vanessa and I were just about to the point of going all Tasmanian Devil on that guy's skinny little hiney.  But we won't have to deal with him after this week.  But now Fernando knows what is going on, and he'll keep an eye out for his two best brazers, I'm sure.

On the other hand, it took him an hour and a half to realize I wasn't there....

Back to Saturday, and the gun show...I had a lot of fun, and saw a lot of guns.  I was worried for a while because all those guns were jumping up off the tables by themselves, loading themselves, and shooting people at random.  It got pretty intense.   I escaped by the skin of my teeth. They're evil things, those guns, doncha know. 

Look at this!  I found some certified zombie ammunition.

With your basic Zombie information on the back.

Yeah, I feel prepared for the zombie apocalypse now.  I only got one box, because this was the high dollar stuff.  I got some cheaper ammo for every day shooting.  The next one is in July.  Well, there are other gun shows, but that is the big one. 

The good thing about riding with someone else is that I could knit on the way down there and back.  I worked on this hat,

which I had started once before and ripped out.  I had gotten almost finished when, try as I might, I could no longer ignore the fact that I wouldn't have enough yarn.  Friday night, I ripped the hat out and started it over in a smaller size.  That above is how much I got done on the trip Saturday.

I've also been working on my Sampler Afghan. 

I've got a square and a half done.

The whole thing is 25 squares, and if I work diligently, I'll be able to get it done by Christmas.  But, an old high school buddy of mine has asked me to knit him an afghan. I even mention it?  In Pittsburgh Steeler colors. 


It'll be quite a task, but I think I can stomach it.  Yeah, for my spider killer, I can do it. 

And finally, my sock is coming along nicely.  Slowly, but nicely.

Oh, and remember how I was telling you about Knit Picks getting hacked?  Well, Friday, I got my bank statement, and apparently I had used my debit card at Knit Picks, too.  My checking account had been cleaned out--with a bunch of charges made in SPAIN, of all places.  I did the disputed charge thing, but it's probably going to take at least a month to get my money back.   Now, I just have one more credit card to check my statements on, and that should be all.  It's been such a pain to deal with. 

By the way, I STILL haven't heard a word from Knit Picks. 

Poor customer service.  Very poor customer service.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Conversations With CoWorkers

There is a reason I don't take signs like this to work:

Consider the actual conversation I had with a coworker today.

Coworker:  Becky, these headers are supposed to have nuts in them.

Me:  You'll have to take them back to tubing [department}.

Coworker:  Huh?

Me:  You'll have to take them back to tubing so they can drill a hole in them for the nut.

Coworker:  What?

Me:  You'll have to take them back to tubing so they can put the nut in them.

Coworker:  What??

Me:  Go show them to [group leader] Fernando.  

So, yeah, if I'd taken that sign in to work, I'm pretty sure I'd have had to spend all day explaining what that little house was.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Bed Time Story

I was going to do a knitting update post today, but I am so sleepy. 

I haven't gotten used to these 4:15 mornings, yet. 

Yesterday at work, I was so sleepy I wondered if I'd taken my sleeping pills by mistake that morning, instead of my vitamins. 

Today is a little better, but not much.  So your knitting update will have to wait.

I will tell you a story, though.

I've been a loyal Knit Picks customer for years.  I loved their yarns, and even more so, I loved their prices. 

Well, about a month ago, my credit card number got stolen. Fortunately, my bank has a really good fraud detection program, and the minute the first suspicious charge came through, they locked down my card and called me right away. 

No, I didn't make those charges...$1500 in total to three different websites.  Cancel the card and issue a new one.  Have to go in and change all my info for my automatic drafts-- cable, Amazon, Netflix, etc.  Pain in the hiney. 

I wracked my brain trying to figure out how my number got out.  I hadn't used my card in any place unusual.  I hadn't clicked through any e-mails and put my card number in.  Maybe Cody had used it on a game site or something...must caution him. 

Well, Friday, I was on Facebook and one of my friends made a comment on the Knit Picks page about being another dissatisfied customer.  So, I got to digging. 

Long story short, Knit Picks was storing everyone's credit/debit card numbers -- which they told us they never do-- unencrypted on a non secured server, and somebody got them. 

Lots and lots of people ended up with fraudulent charges on their cards.  People who had used their debit cards had had their entire bank accounts cleaned out.  But that's not the worst of it...

Knit Picks knew.

Knit Picks knew.   They knew the server had been compromised, and they knew people's information had been accessed.  They knew.  And they didn't feel the need to let those who might be affected know.  It wasn't until after many, many people raised a stink that they finally issued a statement, and even that statement doesn't pass the smell test.

Today, I got a new Knit Picks catalog in the mail.  I laughed uproariously for a moment, then tossed it into the garbage.

Where it belongs.

And I will buy my yarn from somewhere else from now on.   

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Chats On The Farmhouse Porch

Everyday Ruralty

1.  What's your favorite fruit? 

Easy one, bananas.  I just don't feel right if I don't have my banana every day.  Peaches would have to be a close second.   OK, OK, I cannot tell a lie.  My favorite, favorite fruit is oranges, but since I'm allergic to them, they don't count. 
2.  Wendell would like to know if you've ever been horseback riding. 

Tell Wendell yes, I have, though it's been a long, long time.  I went horseback riding in Italy a couple of times.  I hope Wendell is impressed.  I have ridden full sized horses from time to time, but what I rode most was my cousin Jennifer's Welsh pony.  

3.  Do you carry a small purse, a big one, or just a wallet? 

 I guess it would be a medium sized one.  It's a camouflage messenger bag that's getting pretty worn out.  I keep thinking to replace it, but I'm really not a purse person in the first place.

4.   If you could travel to one state for a day (all expense paid), where would you go? If you're not in the US, where would you like to travel within your country? 

 Alaska, to visit my sister and her family.  I've got two nephews up there that I've never met, and they're growing up fast.  I would have said Texas, but it wouldn't be for just one day.  If I go back there, I'm staying.

5.  What was your first car? 

It was a Mercury Bobcat whom I named Dennis after the engine caught on fire at the mall.  Fortunately, there was a truck driver right there with a fire extinguisher, so it didn't do too much damage.  I've carried a fire extinguisher in my car ever since.  

That's it for this week's chat.  Come join us on the porch.

Friday, February 15, 2013


It's a start. 

Step two:  staring impatiently at my frozen garden plot waiting for spring. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

February 14th

Some call it Valentine's Day.

Some call it Singles Awareness Day.

I call it February 14th.

Now that we've got that cleared up, let's get down to business, shall we?

I've got some catching up to do since I've been a bit lazy about blogging this week, so the first thing I'm going to tell you is that my brother and sister in law's Christmas gifts finally caught up to me!  I had been a little hurt that they hadn't sent anything.  They usually don't forget me.  Turns out that they didn't forget me this year either.

They mailed them on December 17th, and they just got here today.  Beverly said  the box looked pretty beaten up-- like it had been run over by a truck, but nothing inside seemed damaged.  My gift was this gorgeous bag.

It is big enough I can use it as a good sized knitting project bag. I will finally be able to get my other sock yarn blankie out of the garbage bag that is currently it's home.

Speaking of...well, I'm not sure what I was speaking of, but no matter.  I've finally decided to knit this afghan.

I've had the book for ages, but never got around to casting on.  I think it will end up being someone's Christmas gift. 

In other knitting news, this charity hat is slowly but surely making progress.

So are my new socks:

But this hat, The Hat From The Hot Place, has been frogged completely and totally.

I just couldn't finish it.  I didn't like the yarn.  I didn't like the pattern.  Yes, yes, I know it was my own pattern.  I still didn't like it.  I especially didn't like the way the decreases were working out.

The more I tried to knit on it, the more I hated the blasted thing.  So it got blasted back to the beginning. 

And I'll try something different next time.

Finally, I had to run into the store after work because I was out of milk.  While I was waiting to check out, there were two guys in there looking through a big bin of stuffed animals, trying to decide which ones to buy for their respective girlfriends. 

As I watched them sorting through the bin, I thought to myself, "Boy, I'm glad they aren't buying that for me.  The last thing I want is yet another overpriced stuffed animal cluttering up my house and collecting dust." 

Give me something I can use.  Give me chocolate, give me yarn, give me bullets and a gun to put them in. 

But please, no more useless junk. 

No more stuffed animals.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Woeful Wednesday

Not really.  I just liked the alliteration.

Anyway, I'm just popping in to tell you to expect light blogging for a while.  They've got us back on 9 hour shifts-- 6AM to 3 PM. 

When my alarm went off at 4:15 this morning, the first thought that popped into my head was:

I'm tired of this mess already.

And it's only the third day. 

So don't expect powerful and thoughtful insights for a while.  At least not until I get used to getting by on an hour less sleep. 


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Chats On The Farmhouse Porch

I am always proud to be a Texan-- today more so than ever.

When the White House turned its back on an American hero, Texas stood tall.

Lining the roads, mile after mile, bridge after bridge,

Texans raised their voices and drowned out the deafening silence that was coming from Washington.

And if you know anything about Texans, you will know

Texans never forget. 

Now, on to our chat...

Everyday Ruralty

1.  Are you doing anything special for Valentine's Day? 

Nope.  Although I suppose I ought to go get my son a card, at least, and some money.  

2.  When you attend something that isn't totally casual, are you likely to wear dress pants or a dress?

Well, since I never go anywhere, this question is kind of moot.  But I think I'd wear a dress.  I have so little occasion to dress up, I think I'd make the most of it.

3.  Do you use a regular toothbrush or one of the battery run kind? 

The regular kind. 

4.  Did you have valentines in school when you were a child?

Yes.   We were required to send a Valentine for every child in the class.  One year, I think it was in 5th grade, there was this guy who didn't like me very much- which was OK, because I didn't like him either.  He gave me an empty envelope.  I've never forgotten that.

5.  If you could learn a new craft tomorrow, what would it be? 

I think I would learn ceramics.  I used to help my aunt with her ceramics, and it was so much fun.  Lots of good memories.  She's too old to fool with them now, and I just don't have the time or a place to work on them. 

That's it for this week's chat.  If you enjoyed our visit, join us over at Patrice's blog.   And be sure to leave Wendell some carrots.

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Silence Is Deafening

No flags at half staff.

No statement from the White House.

No national moment of silence.

Whitney Houston got them.

Why doesn't Chris Kyle?

A true American hero deserves better than this.

This is for you, Chris. 

Fair winds and following seas, my brother. 

And may America always remember.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Dear CoWorker

If you really want to win my heart, demanding that I buy you things to "prove my love" is not the best way to do it. 

Seriously, dude?  You should be buying me stuff.  You should be bring me presents and giving me flowers and making me feel special, and treating me like a princess, not like I'm your personal vending machine.  Because I'm not going to give you anything. 

If you really want to win my heart, you might try talking to me-- even when you don't want anything.  Better yet, listen to me.  Yeah, try listening every once in a while. 

It won't work, but you might try...

Thank you.

Now go away. 

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Haz Yarnz!!

I have yarn!

Beverly and James went to Texas for a few days, and they brought me back some sock yarn kind of as a thank you for dog sitting Jake while they were gone.

It's Paton's Kroy Socks and the colorway is Brown Rose Marl, and it's so soft.

It was a great little pick me up after the day from Hell at work.

Here's another:

My Whatever Cactus is blooming again. 


Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Inside My Head

I've discovered something today.

Well, not today.  I've known it for a while.

What I've discovered is that I just don't know how to talk to people.  Like I said, I've known that for while, but what I discovered today is why.

They talk about dumb stuff.

I'm listening to people talk at work and they're talking about who got together with who, who broke up, who is cheating on who, who got into a fight, who got arrested, and who is pregnant by whom, and boring stuff like that.

Meanwhile, I'm over here having a mental debate on the validity of The Prime Directive.

I mean, OK, the Prime Directive basically says that Starfleet/Federation officers cannot interfere in the cultural and social development of other races/species on other planets, right?  But isn't the fact that they beamed down an interacted with these people change their future, even if it's in a minute way?  And how can they know the effects of their interaction on the long term development of these cultures? 

Let's put it this way, 5 months ago, my group leader Greg was moved to another line, and another person, Fernando, was named group leader over my line.  My life is different now than it would have been if Greg were still my group leader, even if only in a minute way. 

So, the if the Prime Directive were to be strictly followed, there would be no interaction between planets and cultures at all.  You can't say that you can interfere a minute amount, but not a large amount, because that would make the Prime Directive relative, and therefore invalid. 

Personally, I don't think the Prime Directive is such a good idea anyway.  Doesn't the free exchange of ideas an information make us all better?  Think back to the 16th and 17th centuries.  Why were Europe and Asia so much more technologically advanced?  Because there was travel.  There was interaction.  There were trade routes.  There was the exchange of ideas and information.  They developed ships that could sail around the world.  They had advanced (for the time) medical techniques.  They had gunpowder, and physics, and astronomy, and epic poetry and stuff.

Meanwhile, in Sub Saharan Africa and the Americas, they hadn't even figured out the wheel yet. 

It was the lack of information and communication with other cultures that kept them in a more primitive state. So, if you ask me, the Prime Directive should be scrapped, and we should all learn from each other, and help each other develop and stuff.

The good news is, I've figured out why I can't send my group leader Fernando into a parallel dimension.  It seems another of my co-workers is inadvertently tethering him into this dimension, so that every time I try to send him into a parallel dimension, she unwittingly drags him back into this one.

The bad news is, I don't know how to fix it.

Welcome to the inside of my head.  It's a scary place in there sometimes.

Isn't it?

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Chats On The Farmhouse Porch

But first, I gotta say we got a convert!  A football convert, that is. 

My friend at work told me last week she'd gotten invited to a Super Bowl party.  She didn't know anything about football, but she was going to that party.  Well, she came back to work today having taken a day off yesterday, and she talked about that game all day long.  And I do mean all day long.

She told me she was going to start watching football even though she still doesn't know anything about the game.  I recommended she read  A Sportscasters Guide To Watching Football, by Mark Oristano. 

Ignore the reviews by people complaining that the book is too basic.  Duh, it was written for people who don't know a down from a lineman.  And my friend doesn't.  She told me she didn't even know there was an offense and a defense.  This book explains it all.  In fact, I think I'm going to read in again myself. 

And now, let's chat. 

Everyday Ruralty

1.  What is your favorite time of day to read? If you don't enjoy reading, then what is your favorite time to watch TV/movies? 

My favorite time of day to read is in bed right before I go to sleep.  It helps me relax and put the day behind me.  I also like to read on my lunch break using my Kindle app on my phone.

2.  Did you watch the Super Bowl? If so, what was your favorite commercial? If you didn't watch it, what did you do Sunday night?

Yes, I watched.  I loved the God Made A Farmer, and the Welcome Home commercials.  I always love the Clydesdale commercials, but that's just because I like horses.  
3.  Have you been watching Downton Abbey?Who's your favorite character? If not, have you seen any interesting TV or movies series lately?

Oh yes, I love Downton Abby.  Favorite character has to be Lady Violet.  
4.  Do you enjoy home parties for selling items? (like Pampered Chef, Southern Living, Mary Kay) Please finish this sentence. 

NO!  I do not like people in my house.  

5.  If I work very hard, I can__________________. 

Clean out my closet, pay off my debts, finish all my knitting projects, and send my group leader Fernando into a parallel dimension.  But apparently I can't force choke him.  I've tried and tried.  Darth Vader makes it look so easy. 

That's it for this week's chat.  Be sure and heat on over to Patrice's blog to get in on the fun yourself. 

Monday, February 04, 2013

Just Some Random Stuff

My friend comes up to me at work today and tells me he almost got arrested for domestic violence last night. 

Before I could stop myself, I blurted out, "You just got married and you're beating her up already?"

Judging by the look he gave me, I don't think he appreciated my wry and slightly twisted sense of humor. 

He told me the story.  They'd been switching out their washer and dryer, and something fell.  It sliced his hand open pretty good, and dislocated his wife's shoulder.  When he took her to the ER, they called the cops, who then tried to arrest him.  He and his wife managed to talk them down, but I could tell he was pretty upset over the whole thing. 

Speaking of co-workers, some of you may remember this altercation I had recently.  The day after that happened, someone told me-- a couple of someones, actually-- that the day he said that, he was back in the prototype shop asking who I was because I was out there "staring and staring and staring" at him.

I thought that was a little weird, but I figured it would only be for a day or two until he went back to second shift.  Imagine my horror when they moved him to day shift permanently. 

Since then, he's displayed some really odd behavior.  He'll be walking down the aisle, and he'll suddenly turn and look at me.  I can see him out of my peripheral vision.  Or I'll be looking at something and he'll actually walk into my field of vision, then turn and glare at me.  He's done that several times.  He really does think I spend my entire day staring at him. 

I find that creepy, and more than a little disturbing. 

Speaking of disturbing, I'm still working on the hat from Hell. 

I'm in the decreases now, and I hate this hat.  Definitely won't knit another one, but it has given me an idea for another hat I think might work out better.  

The red thread is a lifeline I put in just before I started the decrease rounds, just in case I hated the way it was turning out and wanted to rip it back.  But I won't do that.  Because that would mean I'd have to knit it all over again. 

And I won't do that. 

Have I mentioned that I hate this hat? 

Let's end this on a high note, shall we?  This is my new favorite song:


Sunday, February 03, 2013

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Groundhog Day

No, it has nothing to do with the movie, or the rodent up in Pennsylvania.

I just can't believe it's February 2 already.  January just flew by.

And I can't believe how little knitting I've gotten done this year.I've finished, what?  One hat and a washcloth?  Yeah, I think that's it.

I told you the knitting mojo had gone South for the winter.  I wasn't kidding.

Hat #2 is progressing, albeit slowly.

Everything else is pretty much at a standstill.

My Thanksgiving/Christmas/Valentine's Day/Easter/Whatever cactus is blooming again.

Crazy, crazy flower.

One last thing...

That hat I'm designing, well we're kinda stuck.

Well, not so much stuck as as a part where I have to do some thinking, and I just don't want to

I have to figure out how to do the decreases without messing up the pattern too much. 

Which will require thinking,

and some rudimentary math skills

and I don't wanna. 

Now, if you will excuse me, I'm going to go sulk. 

Friday, February 01, 2013

Dear CoWorker

If you are going to sneak up into the front office after hours to get a little nookie going on with your girlfriend, you might want to cover up the security cameras first. 

Seriously, dude.

Be a little discreet, would ya.

Thank you.

That is all.

P.S.  I wouldn't recommend putting that on your resume. 


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