Is it over yet?

Have I mentioned before how much I hate winter? Well I do. It didn’t bother me when I was younger but for the last 10 years or so it makes me cringe when the days get short and the dark falls earlier and earlier. I have never been a big fan of cold and snow, but I just hate it more every year. I hate the dark; short days; gray weather; all of it. OTOH, I do like that the temperate climate where we live at least has seasons. I don’t mind the change, I just wish winter didn’t have to be one of them. I would not be happy living any further north, that’s for sure. Fortunately our winters are mild with only an occasional snow or ice storm.

I have been putting off posting because I had hoped the second Owl Vest would be done to show you and it almost is. I only have to finish the armbands and weave in the ends. Here’s the best picture I could get indoors today, due to the afore mentioned crappy winter gray days. I should be able to finish the rest up tonight.

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Did you notice that gadget next to my Nook? That’s one of my most recent acquisitions to my audiophile equipment collection, my new Fiio E9 Amp and the little thingy inserted in the slot on the top is the Fiio E7 portable headphone DAC/amp (which for the non-audiophiles is a digital to analog converter, i.e. an external sound card and amp). I hook these up to my computer via USB. I can also use the E7 alone with my iPod if I want to.

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Amp attached to my iPod Classic

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I have a really nice set of Sennheiser HD595 headphones which benefit greatly in sound quality from an amplifier.  I freaking love these things. You don’t realize how much detail you can be missing in your music until you hear a fine set of cans with a decent amp. Night and day people. Seriously.

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I have done a little knitting retail therapy too. Helps with the winter thing. Heh. I recently ran across the new ( I think) Knitter’s Pride Nova SP needles at Web’s.  I prefer using straight needles when I can and really love my nickel plated DPN’s so when I saw these I ordered a set in every size from 0-8. I rarely use anything bigger, and really don’t even use the 8’s that often.  I  used the 6’s last night and give them 5 stars. They are pointy and slick, which is how I like them.  The price is great too.  That’s them in that glass next to my lamp. Kyla must have taken that one. She and Elijah were doing a photo shoot yesterday.

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She took a picture of the Nook cover she made for me at Christmas. I got her a bunch of embroidery supplies for Christmas, at her request, and I was the first recipient of her new stash. I got her off to a good start on the stash building. What can I say? I am a sucker for any interest in needlework in the offspring. Winking smile

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Here’s one of the cutest out of the bunch. Not bad for a self portrait. I don’t know why all my pictures have that little time/date stamp on them now. I must have accidentally changed a setting on my camera the other day. Will have to look into it since I think it detracts from the picture. Annoyed

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New toys and yarn sale

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Here’s my new toy! My Motorola Atrix. This thing leaves my Backflip in the dust.  You know my favorite thing about it besides how fast it is? I can run Firefox on it which syncs with my laptop. Can you stand it? Think of the possibilities! Open-mouthed smile 

Another thing that I had pre-ordered from Amazon that you see up there is my 30th Anniversary disc of Reo Speedwagon  Hi-Infidelity. This was one of my first albums, yes on vinyl, that I bought as a young teenager back in 1981 when it came out. I wore that record out and know every lyric for every song. It’s now on my iPod and I will be enjoying it shortly. I’m watching the Foo Fighters at the iTunes Festival on iTunes right now. Talk about awesome! This is a full 2 and a half hour set list. Go check it out in the iTunes store.

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Here’s a not too great picture of my sock in progress. The heel has been turned. Nyah-Nyah

Oh, I started reading The Help and I am about 70 or so pages into it and it’s very good. It’s definitely a character and issue driven story, but I like those just fine.

I am still into exploring a lot of the 90’s bands I missed and am currently on a Soundgarden and Pearl Jam binge. I am working my way through all 9 of PJ’s studio albums and some of it is an acquired taste, but then so is beer and coffee, and I love both of them too. Just sayin’. Winking smile 

One last thing I want to mention is that we are having a YARN SALE on the website until July 27th. All the yarn in the Specials section, which is already marked down from the regular price, is an additional 30% off with the coupon code julymadness .  Feel free to pass this on to anyone who might be interested. Smile

Knitting Nirvana

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Well this is pretty much the extent of my knitting progress for the last 4 days. Pathetic huh? Oh well, it is a nice project to work on in the evening while I watch Criminal Minds season 4, and I love this yarn.  I usually only have time for one episode a night and by then it’s getting to be my reading time, so yeah, knitting time is minimal right now. That’s just how it is when we are in the midst of dyeing yarn for the upcoming season, on top of school work, household duties, and various business and accounting deadlines.

Speaking of dyeing, we have spent the last two days getting the yarn and dyes prepped for a big batch of solids.  We will take Sunday off since I make it a practice to do that unless I am at a show. We will probably get it all done on Monday and Tuesday, so if I have time I will get some pictures of the process and share them here.

I have been branching out some in my music lately. I was a pre-teen in the late seventies and was in my teens and twenties in the eighties, so that formulated the type of music I was drawn to. I wasn’t into the pop, new wave and punk of the times. I lean more towards the AOR, pop metal, and bluesy rock. Towards the end of the eighties and early nineties I was knee deep in little children and babies and kind of fell away from listening to music for awhile. Also at that time the music was starting to shift towards the grunge stuff and being out of the loop with pop culture I didn’t really know what was going on. I would turn on the radio to the rock station I had always listened to and thought what the heck happened to rock and roll? I just stopped listening for several years. At that time in my life I also had basically zero disposable income either, with which to buy albums so I only had the small collection I had acquired in my teens and early twenties.

So fast forward up to the last and the present decade and the easy access to music and portable MP3 players. I bought my first iPod in 2008 and was in heaven.  I now have a bit more disposable income, more than I have ever had in my life actually, and most of it goes on my electronic gadgets, books and music. Anyway, so I commenced to buy all my old favorite bands albums and pretty much stuck to what was familiar to me. Lately though I have begun to develop an appreciation for some of the bands from the nineties that I missed out on at the time. I first discovered how much I really like the Foo Fighters and branched out from there to Nirvana, Soundgarden, Finger Eleven, Pearl Jam, etc.… I can’t believe that I thought I didn’t like this stuff before.  I still love all my old favorites too like Rush, Def Leppard, Reo Speedwagon, Led Zeppelin, Journey, Tom Petty, etc.

What about you? Do you have favorites that you would recommend?

Almost a sweater!

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I am almost at the finish line for my Bel Air sweater! I got quite a bit of the second sleeve knit this weekend during down time at the festival and I am up to the cap shaping on it. Woo hoo! Since all I have to do as far as seaming is set in this sleeve and pick out buttons, dare I think I will have it finished for Hoosier Hills this weekend? We can hope, but unfortunately that’s probably a bit unrealistic since my knitting time will likely be non-existent this week. We only have today and tomorrow at home before hitting the road again and there won’t be as much down time for this one. I’ll have it in my knitting bag at the very least so if you are coming and want to take a peek, don’t be shy. Just ask! Winking smile

On the reading front, I finished The Hunger Games and am a few chapters into Catching Fire. I am enjoying it, and did like the first book for what it is. It’s definitely a light read and that can be good, so I am not being critical. I tend to read a lot of larger more complex works and classics so it’s nice to take a break from those occasionally and read something light and easy. My only constructive criticism of it so far is that the characters don’t have much depth, at least I don’t feel it. I can see the attraction of the series for the pure entertainment value and the plot, but that’s about all I am getting from them. There are many books with so much depth that you can and want to re-read them, but I don’t see that happening for me with these. It’s a good story and all, but I can’t see needing to read them again, so I am glad I only paid $5-$7 each for them. Winking smile Looks like they have gone up in price some since I bought them. Sad smile

I don’t know if any of my readers are even remotely interested in the same music as I am but I’ll share what I have been enjoying lately. I am still finding myself turning on my Foo fighters collection quite a lot. I have all of their albums and would have a hard time picking a favorite. I love them all. Also The new Journey album, Eclipse, is awesome! No, really. I haven’t loved a Journey album this much since Evolution, which is my favorite. I have never felt like Escape was their best, although I do like it. I have also started listening to Finger Eleven more lately. This is a new to me band. They have been around since their first album, Tip, in 1998, and I have all 5 of their albums now. It’s a bit more Alternative than I used to like, but their style is a unique mix of Alternative and Melodic Metal. I think I like the last two albums Them vs. You vs. Me and Life Turns Electric the best, but the older albums are definitely growing on me. 

YouTube – Foo Fighters. Wasting Light Live from 606.

YouTube – Foo Fighters. Wasting Light Live from 606..

One of my new favorite bands, playing their newest album Wasting Light in it’s entirety. Very Cool. Hope you enjoy it!