The new weather word last winter was polar vortex. It clamped its chilly fists around our throats in January, and refused to let go.
April came, then May. Flowers bloomed. Gardens flourished. In June, we flew to Chicago.
I have made this trip many dozens of times over the years. Never have I seen this view. The plane made its approach to the runway, but there was no city, and there was no runway. The city showed dramatic evidence of a few iconic buildings, and that was all. The final scene of the Planet of Apes came to mind. I pulled out my camera, *click*click*click*.
The news the next day reported a final swat of polar vortex that had created the inversion. Then it was gone.
Carole's Ten on Tuesday is 10 musicians you would bring back from the dead.
1. Janis Joplin: Oh LORD won't you buy me a Mercedes Benzzzzzz.
2. Freddy Mercurey: Completely missed him the first time around. Had something to do with studying and passing exams. Terry C linked to the LiveAid performance. Ohhhhhhhh. Please bring him back.
3. Beethoven: Even stone cold deaf, he was one for the ages. I am glad that human culture agrees, and has preserved what he did.
4. Jim Morrison: Another one gone too soon. So much genius, and such a stunning bass.
5. Mozart: Oh man, infectious disease was a bitch. Such happy music.
6. Louis Armstrong: For my husband. And now me. That rasp.
7. Laura Nyro: Of all the mid 20th century female troubadours, she was the best.
8. Leonard Bernstein: More genius. Not taken early, but still.
9,10,11. The three members of the Outlaws band that are gone.. The remaining two aren't enough. They were even better in person. Rock on. This might be the genesis of my current abiding love for HomeFreeVocalBand.
There are times, more often than I would like to admit, when Armand is the one thing between me and terminal entropy. Exercise sessions with him can be the one finger in the dike of slothdom and inactivity.
I had him take pictures of me using those damn effective TRX bands. Love the Bosu exercise, but would modify some of the shoulder ones in the video for rotator cuff kindness.
And in other exercise news, I have started rowing again to practice for the Concept2 Holiday Challenge.
An epidemic of cold sheep is infecting some knitters. A Ravelry discussion in FOAY (Friends of Abby's Yarn) centered on how many bins people had filled.
Historically, I have resisted quantifying such things, which probably means I should. Some fleeces are in boxes. That technically keeps the bin count down. Estimation becomes a slope that defeats the effort of counting/keeping score.
I now know how many bins I have. I am not telling.
Cold sheep would take a great deal of the joy out of my fiber life. One could make the argument that if I need to buy things for the fiber joy to stay intact, then it isn't about the fiber. It is about retail therapy, which is an entirely different problem.
So let us call it chilly sheep.
1. Yarn purchases (starting now) need to be project driven. The project is now, and the yarn will be used to start that project.
2. The yarn (or fiber) has to be very interesting/very special/very unique if it is purchased without a project in mind.
3. These limits do not apply to classes, equipment, or supplies for those classes.
4. These limits do not apply to books that contain patterns, drafts, or educational material.
5. I will sell one wheel this year.
6. The only fleece I will buy this year is Zita from Whitefish Bay. If Zita is not available, I will not buy a fleece this year.
7. All fiber purchases will be governed by the one in/one out rule. My fiber stash will be either neutral or negative at the end of 2015. (NB Batt making does not diminish the fiber stash until the batt is spun.)
All purchases will be recorded in a notebook for independent assessment by the judges. (Lynn?)
Found today, driving to a colleague's retirement party, past woods, past newly revealed stones in the autumnal landscape --
Sometimes, I really wish I could find out what the builder was thinking.
Last night was the first hard freeze. The morning brought crisp air. Scarves, mittens, hats suddenly have become important.
The inevitable question today: is it late fall or early winter? I waited for his answer. (My opinion would sway his assessment.)
Indeed, it is late fall. There are still signs of life in the landscape. The chipmunks have not disappeared into torpor. Juncos have arrived, but not many. Leaves still show color and still hold to the trees.
We had to slow, then stop for the cavalcade of 25-30 turkeys crossing the road. They looked worried. Some hurried, some didn't. The guy (or old girl) with the beard brought up the rear. The flock reminded me of skiers who cross avalanche terrain one by one, carefully, so that if disaster strikes, not all will die.
Traffic on both sides came to halt. Nobody laid into their horns. The turks did what they do, and then so did we.
None of the prompts for today's blog post moves any creative bones left in my tired body.
I scan through my iPhone camera roll. There has to be something here. (When will I learn to squirrel away posts when the words flow?)
Local farmstand, fall. Lots of little pumpkins. The collection of small gourds for the Thanksgiving table begins. They last until after Christmas, even after the New Year. I cannot tell you why I pick this one over that one. One or two always set themselves apart.
Direct sun is a photographic minefield. But this shot is cool.
You cannot imagine (nor can you remember) how much I lusted after you. My friend had an iPhone when I was still happy with my Samsung flip phone. Then I saw what she could do with you. The screen was amazing. The internet access seduced me. I could not WAIT to hold you in my hand.
My first iPhone, in 2009, was a life-changing experience. Suddenly, everything was easier. Weather. Directions. Maps. Airline websites. ALL IN MY SWEET HANDS.
I loved you despite the incredibly difficult transition of 2012, when I upgraded from the 3S to the 5. You were a harsh mistress. That password that I could never figure out? The one that would take everything (that you let me install) from my laptop back to your newness? Impossible. The Geniuses pretended ignorance. The Apple rep on the phone stonewalled me. I managed to get only my contacts transferred, and I lost everything else. I will never know what oysters I loved before the iPhone 5. All my scores on the games? Gone. I put on my big girl panties, and moved forward.
When the iPhone 5S was released, I wasn't moved. I wanted to wait for iPhone 6. There had to be new and wonderful things coming. But there was nothing. You released more fingerprint stuff. *yawn* Paying by iPhone. *yawn* A bigger screen. *zzzzzzzz*
I do still love you. Easy. Intuitive. But y'know? I didn't upgrade to 7.0 software. Then you zoomed to 8.0 and beyond. I am told that 8.0 software runs R E A L L Y S L O W L Y on the iPhone 5. I cannot load 7.0 now. Not allowed. FINE. I don't do financial things on my phone, but still. I would have rather stuck with 7.0 software until next year, when I would upgrade to whatever you threw at me in September, 2015.
iPhone life gets harder after two years. The apps, the really COOL apps are for 7.0 software and beyond. Now I feel like a dinosaur. I can't even get the meditation app that shows me who else is meditating around the world. I'm sure there is more that I am missing, but I have stopped looking. It hurts too much.
So then my husband's cousin told him about Android OnePlusOne. You can only buy it if you get an invitation. Production is limited. And they clearly want cachet. Stupid.
When my husband got a rare invitation from his cousin, he did it. He got one. The form factor is stunning. Graphite grey, clean, modern, slim. It must be the smartphone equivalent of getting a new wife. (Or a new husband.)
Just kidding on both of those.
If only it wasn't an Android. I was relieved, and disappointed, that we had no way to get an invitation. Until yesterday. He received an invitation that was good for 24 hours. Then it expires.
He gave me his phone for the day to see if it drove me nuts. (His prior Samsung made me want to hang myself by the cord.) This one seems to be more tractable. I had until today 9am to decide.
This is NOT a decision driven by artificial scarcity. It is motivated by my disappontment in lack of Apple innovation. His phone has been quietly seducing me for months.
It will arrive in about a week.
Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out, iPhone 5.
Carole's Ten on Tuesday is Ten collections I have had over the years.
1. Horse figurines - What pre-adolescent girl doesn't? I have a few selected pieces that have survived over the years.
2. Fiber equipment - This cheats, and covers spinning wheels and looms. I will soon be destashing wheels I do not use often enough.
3. Yarn and fiber - I have been consciously ramping down on this, and using stash for creation. There is harmony in this small form of zen.
4. Containers - Boxes were the initial theme. Expansion to containers was logical and less limiting. The frog's back is the top of the little box. It is opened a bit for your inspection.
5. Cookbooks - Another conscious dcrease in collecting fervor for this category, also. On-line has been part of the answer. I am wondering if Eat Your Books might solve the problem of remembering what book has what recipe. (I haven't decided yet if paying for this service will be worth it.)
6. Houseplants, garden plants - As the outside garden took precedence, the inside garden diminished. And as the voles took precedence, the outside garden began to decline. I focus on deck plantings now.
7. Teapots - A brief fling with teapots, mostly ceramic, some iron. My definition of a collection is (usually) one where each individual item is not particularly expensive. (#2 is a blatant exception.) The nice ones got far too pricey for something that would end up just sitting on a shelf.
8. Bird figures - The mantel theme became one of birds: inside echoing outside. There is no more room, alas.
9. Thanksgiving decorations - So much fun to decorate the table, and have an artist's palette of different elements to use. Each year has similarities and differences compared to prior years. I take a picture each year, vowing to recreate it the next year, because it is so perfect. And then I switch the turkeys, or the pumpkins, or the candles, or the greens.....
10. Pottery - Small, useful examples, such as vases, or little bowls to hold knitting notions. Seeing them scattered around the house makes me happy. They collect the stitch markers, chibis, tape measures, et al.
I did succumb to one project's worth of Far, a new yarn put out by Woolfolk. Vinkler will be a winter WIP. This yarn is the softest merino I have ever brushed slowly and lovingly against my neck. It is cashmere softness for merino pricing. Pilling like a mofo is probably well within the likelihood of probability. But I can accept that in one of the softest scarves I can imagine.