My computer is in intensive care on life support. It is hanging on by a thread. It is time to sign up for high speed cable Internet access (we cannot get DSL here in the sticks) and to get a new Mac.
Since I no longer work outside the home, I don't need the latest and greatest thing that can print, fax, or access the web wirelessly from out in my yard or at the local Starbucks. Nor do I have much use for the PC side of my current Mac.
I would just like to be able to write and print things, balance the checkbook, and access the web at something other than turtle speed, and stop getting "The Bomb" all the time. (Yes, I have rebuilt my desktop, eliminated unnecessary extensions, run Disk First Aid, etc. - my Mac is over 10 years old and I'm running system 8.6 with a dial-up connection and a 31200 bps connection rate! Grrrr!)
Jeff would like to burn CDs and DVDs, and use a new digital camera for photos and movies (my digital camera has disks you insert. My computer has disks you insert. When's the last time you saw that?)
Jeff is not thrilled with the idea of a laptop but I would like a computer I can close up and put away because my rats live on top of my computer desk and they tend to toss crumbs out of their cage for some kind of rattie entertainment. It makes for a rather crunchy keyboard. (Speaking of rats, watch for an exciting update concerning our newly adopted boys, Gilbert and Sullivan!)
The ISP we are thinking of going with (I don't think we have a choice...) is Charter.
So your help and advice are wanted - if you can make a recommendation on what Mac I should be looking at, or warn me about any OS or browser versions I want to avoid, or give me the lowdown on whether I need to spend the additional $10 a month for the super-duper-fast-Internet-access, I would very much appreciate the help! Please e-mail me at NOSPAMMEjeffnstasiaATearthlinkDOTnetNOSPAMME removing all capitals and inserting proper punctuation. Thank you so much for any help you can offer!
My second project for the KnitTheClassics "Middlemarch" book is a Clapotis in Brooks Farm Yarn's "Four Play" silk and wool in the "Classy" colorway:
Thanks to Kary and Nan, I was able to figure out a way to make this despite my Eastern Uncrossed knitting method. I do love the way I knit - it's so fast and requires less hand movement than "normal" knitting - but it always creates a problem when it comes to interpreting a pattern. In order to make a twisted stitch, for instance, I find I must knit through the front loop of a knit stitch instead of the back one as the pattern calls for.
Rather than using the markers that the pattern suggests, I'm purling all stitches between the sets of two twisted stitches in the pattern repeat. It is going much faster this way - thanks again, Kary!
The yarn is very soft and I love the colors. This will be great to dress up a white cotton shirt and jeans come fall.
I also love glazed pottery and the bowl in the pic is my favorite. It is by a local artisan.
I am making good progress on "Middlemarch" by listening to it on tape as I knit. There was no way I could keep up with the actual reading and get any knitting done.
A big digging machine a la Mike Mulligan's Steam Shovel showed up this week and proceeded to dig seven-foot-deep holes all over my yard. Then it filled them back in:
Apparently they were only here to do soil testing. No one can tell me when the actual digging of our new septic bed will commence. Permits are still being requiested from the county. I am still rationing dishes and laundry, never mind a long, hot bath which I could REALLY USE TO EASE THE STRESS OF THIS SITUATION. Ahem.
Actually, a hot bath doesn't sound too good today - it is 96.5 degrees here now, and as you can see from the brownish grass in the photos, we haven't had much rain lately. In fact, this is the fourth driest spring on record here in Wisconsin.
Maybe if the digger came back and dug up all the sod from on top of the current septic system, it would just evaporate, considering the weather...
Don't even get me started on contractors. If, when I worked in the business world, I was ever as non-commital and disorganized as these people, I would have been fired within one week. Who drives around with a giant digging machine on a truck, and just shows up without warning, "taking a chance that you'd be home..."? (I wasn't, and he had to come back, though we'd ordered the digging to be done, and he could've just gone ahead without me here!)
Besides being roasted alive and living buried under piles of unwashed laundry, I had to drop everything and take a stray cat to the humane society today. If you have never tried to put a stray cat with all its claws intact into a box, with four dogs barking madly in the background, in sweltering heat, and then get said boxed cat into the A/C for a minute (past the dogs) so you can take the dogs out so they don't have accidents while you're away with the cat, and if you didn't bother to change out of your Pilates clothes or wash your hair (because you can't use any dang water!), take it from me - Do Not Try This At Home.
I'm sorry, this is not supposed to be a grumpy place... now, where's my martini?
Cocktail Of The Day
To weather the weather and the digging and the contractors and lack of bathwater, I have begun looking forward to The Cocktail Of The Day. I limit this to one, but try something new each time to make life interesting (and bearable under the current circumstances - that is why I limit it to one... otherwise I'd be in big trouble!)
Today's recipe is for a Clam Digger, which is awesome and has made me want fried clams and corn on the cob and a folding chair on an East Coast beach somewhere:
1 2/3 oz. silver tequila
3 oz. tomato juice
3 oz. clam juice
2 tsp. horseradish
dash Tabasco sauce
dash Worcestershire sauce
1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
Pour all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake. Strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Garnish with a wedge of lime. From "Complete Home Bartender's Guide" by Salvatore Calabrese.
How funny are these cocktail-oriented sticky notes?
Maybe we should get away from the septic stress and heat, and take a trip up to The German Beer Place.
Von Rothenburg Bier Stube, Germantown, Wisconsin.
Step into the beer garden out back.
They have specials on BBQ ribs, or half-liters of beer, depending on the night of the week. Knitting is most welcome in the beer garden or on the balcony. Indoors, it is air-conditioned, and the chairs and tables are all made of beautiful wood - you'd think you were in Germany with the stained glass windows and displays of German specialty drinking glassses.
Thirsty? Just order up a boot:
Jerry's Old Town, located just next door and owned by the same guy, sells the highest amount of ribs in the country, I believe. They are amazing.
Rottie's and Jerry's.
We saw our first big brown bats the other night. The baby bluebirds have flown the nest. I heard crickets. The roses are in bloom. I have yarn, and a full liquor cabinet and wine "cellar", and weekly deliveries from the organic farm coming in - the bread from their new artisan baker is amazing. With all of that, who cares about septic tanks and crappy computers?
Happy start of summer!
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