Monday, September 24, 2007

It's not even noon!

It wasn't even lunchtime and I'd made grape jelly and seville marmalade. Of course, now I need a little nap, but hey, it was a productive morning.
I made the concorde juice yesterday and let it drip through so I could use it today. I use the low sugar pectin so it's really grapey and not too sweet.
And since I already had all the stuff out and there was sugar all over the counter, I figured I may as well make up some marmalade too. It's prefab from a can. Comes with the pectin already in it, all you add is sugar. Hideous amounts of sugar, but have you ever tasted a seville orange? It's very necessary.
All the jars sealed. Hooray!
Now I go nap.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Friday Freakfest

I've decided to try out a new blog feature for a couple of weeks and see how it flies. There are some very odd/scary/funny/down right weird things on the 'net and I seem to come across them a fair bit. Or sometimes friends will send them to me.
For some reason, a few people are always trying to gross me out. It rarely works. You think they'd give up already.
But they don't. Which is a good thing because the first Friday Freakfest comes to us courtesy of Holly.
Some people are always in search of the ultimate martini. This is what happens when you get too creative. CLICK HERE Not on the pig.
Bon appetit!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Gah! It's fall!

See those pretty purpley flowers? Those are fall crocuses. They've ben up since the last week of August. I cheerfully ignored them until now.
I'd walk past them, averting my gaze and singing a little song in my head about how it was still warm and therefore must still be summer.
There's really no point in denying it now. I had to turn the heat back on the other day. It was just too freaking cold. And I have a cold. Or some sort of drippy, virus thing. I don't feel awful, just not quite right. A warm house was necessary to my continued survival.
We did manage to get the house painted. Except for the doors, which we're leaving for now as we're going to replace them. The new ones will get a nice coat (or two) of blue paint. And we found new screen doors that aren't hideously expensive, so I don't have to try to refurbish the old ones yet again.
New flooring for the kitchen has been ordered and the bathroom is almost done.
The house is almost unrecognizable from when we first bought it.
Trust me. That's a really good thing.

The Ribbi Pulli is done! It fits great and I finally timed the completion of a project correctly and it can actually be worn now.
That's the only project I can actually show pics of right now.
News of the others will have to wait until sometime in October.

That's the nice stuff.
Now a small rant about the sort of service our soon to be ex-phone and internet provider gives us.
This first pic is the phone company truck attending to some sort of line maintenance near our house. Keep in mind that he's not actually working on our line. They've never had to work on our line except for the times when they're screwing around near our house and make our line go out. The gap in the trees where you can see the truck is our driveway. That was yesterday. I called the company to complain (again). Got nowhere.

This is today:

I've asked these guys repeatedly to please not block our driveway (they're usually parked like that for a minimum of two hours). Sometimes they move they truck for a few minutes and then move it back. Sometimes they laugh at me. Mostly, they do nothing.
I've called Telus to ask them to please tell the repair techs not to park across our driveway. Most times I get nowhere, but twice, I've had a manager call me back, apologize and promise that it won't happen anymore.
The last time a manager made that promise was less than a month ago. Guess that was a four week promise. So I called again today. Got someone a little higher up the food chain. He wanted the truck's plate number. So I went out to get it and the tech asked me if I needed to get out (of my own driveway). I asked if it should matter. 'Cause frankly? I shouldn't have to ask permission to leave my own bloody house!
Or to get back in my driveway when I return! Cripes! Enough already.
Partly because of this and mostly due to the fact that Telus has surcharged us to death, we are changing providers. Telus obviously doesn't care about their customers at all. And that attitude is loud and clear through their employees.
I once called to ask why I had a $5 charge on my bill for long distance administration when I had no long distance calls that month and the charming fellow at Telus offered to disconnect me. That was his response. He would disconnect my line.
My Telus bill looks like this:
$44.73 for basic phone service and 4 calling features
$35.95 for high-speed internet (it started at $16.95, bit of a rate hike there)
$4.95 for long distance administration (whether you actually use it or not)
$3.00 to have a private number (yup, they're billing for a negative service)
$0.13 for 911 service (God forbid the company eat that one)
Those charges don't even include long distance, or 411.
My Shaw bill will look like this:
$55.00 for digital phone service which includes 8 calling features, unlimited long distance in Canada and the US, 1000 minutes of international long distance and no hidden charges. That $55.00 includes the 911 fee, free 411 and keeping a private number.
$32.00 for high-speed internet that is more than twice as fast as the Telus high-speed.
Gee, combine that with Telus' poor customer service that is frequently down right rude, and I wonder why they have any customers left at all.
Hasta la vista Telus!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

The Joy of Home Ownership

We decided earlier in the year that the house was due for an exterior paint job. Of course, right after we thought this was a good idea, the weather got too hot to paint.
Now that it's cooled off (bloody cold if you ask me) we can get to it. As usual, the monkey has grossly underestimated the amount of work this is and only took one day off work. We didn't even manage to get the priming done. So this week I've been at it on my lonesome.
This is the before:

Yeah, I know the purple is cute. But it's been ten years and it's looking a little dirty and old now. Not to mention the fact that I'm just sick of it. I wanted the house outsides to better match all the updating we've done to the house insides.
So now, it's looking like this:

Kinda boring, but I think when we're done it will look really nice and a lot more modern. Clean and tidy too. The wood on the peaks will be gray like the stucco and the trim will be white.
I didn't get all the gray done yesterday as there's an awful lot of it to paint and the monkey bought a ladder that's made out of solid lead. Okay, so it's aluminum, but it's incredibly heavy. He managed to "accidentally" break the other nice light ladder we had by falling off it into the hedge on Monday. Yeah, yeah, he's fine. I say "accidentally" because he's been going on about the mega heavy ladder since he saw it last week. And I mean going on. He was starting to sound like a teenage girl in lust with some insipid boy-band member. It had gotten to the point over the weekend where I just looked at him mooning over the damned ladder and told him to just buy it already before I threw-up.
So now we have a ladder that I can barely carry. And after six hours of painting, the thought of toting that beast around the house so I could do all the cutting in and high up stuff, I almost cried. Instead, I just put everything away until tomorrow when the monkey will be around to tote what I have dubbed "el leado" around the house.
There's this great stuff you can get from Home Hardware that makes cement look nice too, so we'll be doing that to the walkway when we get the house done.
We still have to prep and prime the shop as well. Hopefully, the weather will hold long enough for us to get all this done.

I've gotten to the point with my drop spindles where I don't have room for many more and have most of the ones I want. So. Needed something different to collect.
Voila! Old spindle whorls from the world.
Yup. Crazy. That's me. They are kinda cool though. The ones on the string are from Mali, the bronze one is chinese and the white one is roman lead. Very interesting things. I have to make myself some pointy sticks so I can try some of them out.

I finished my September socks for SAM4 in record time. Still just a boring 64 stitch sock with a short-row heel, but isn't the yarn great? It's Galaxy from Regia. It took a little fiddling to get the pattern to match up, but once you get it going, it works very well.