Thursday, May 25, 2006

What's Wrong With This Picture?

What is wrong with an entire country when the 2nd or 3rd news lead-in is about who won a contest on a reality show? For days in a row? Man, people have got to turn off the TVs. It's crap, folks, 100% crap. You can live without it. Give it a try; you might like it.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Where does the time go?

Man, I have been so busy - at work, at home, on the roads in between. At work, we've been doing testing of our next system upgrade; we finally got our part to pass, but there have been issues elsewhere, and it is now like 6 weeks behind, in which time Agile has not been getting paid; hopefully that won't come back and bite us later. We think we've got the major issues identified, but the whole point of this upgrade is to add additional modules to it - specifically, one to track the WEEE/RoHS compliance, and another QA-type module that is totally broken right now - so who knows what, if any of that, will work once we actually get the current stuff running again. Also, there have been a few product bottlenecks that have finally broken free the last couple of weeks - a new set of antennas with our logo, and two huge sw releases. So I've been jumping, waiting, jumping, waiting. I feel like I haven't had a day off since December; oh, wait, I haven't. Well, I've got one next Friday, and then to the beach in 3 weeks after that. I need it - I'm whipped!

Soccer season ended uneventfully for the little kid. DH is officially the Head Coach for the U-10 Academy boys in the fall; he's happy he's finally in. Big Kid's team had another melt down, just like last year. One of the instigators that was new to the team this year decided to let her son, who she thinks is the best player out there, and isn't, play the State Cup tourney for another team, with our lovely coach's blessing. Nobody told DH until she was standing there waiting for him to hand her the player pass. And at our last game, while we are playing the #1 team, that other team's coach is standing there with this woman, saying "Oh, yeah, I want him, him, and him, too". What an asshat! Uh, dude, recruiting during our regular-season game? I don't think you are allowed to do that. And the coach of the team we were playing knew who he was and what he was doing - that's not cool. But anyway, we still have a Memorial Day tournament to play in, and because this kid is playing the State Cup for that other team, he had to be transferred to that team - officially no longer a member of ours - and was going to guest-play back with us for the tourney, but because this was the State Cup he transferred for, the rosters are now frozen, so he can't come play with us, and we now have no subs for the entire tournament. Oh. My. God. And our lovely coach who arranged all of this already told us he isn't coming back - great, we don't like him much anyway - but didn't seem to think we'd see a problem with him coaching this last tournament for a team he's given up on. And our trainer's out, too - he wasted his time with us this season, is what it all boils down to; nobody came to practice because of everyone playing middle school ball, and he got tired of telling 6-7 kids what to do that weekend. Whatever. Sounds like a lame excuse to me. So now we have no clue what we are going to do this coming year - tryouts are the week before we go on vacation, but we don't know if there will be enough for a team, since when the one goes, the other two that came with her will probably go, too (one we hope goes far away, the other, we will miss, he and his parents). The coach's kid will not be there, and rumor has it, we're losing a couple more. Man, we worked really hard to stay in CII, and we are like #17 in the state, but if we lose half the team - 6 or 7 players - we automatically drop down a division in the fall. God, what a mess. Grass is always greener, they say; well, I hope these people enjoy driving all over the state at $3+ a gallon, taking their kids to practices that still won't guarantee their kids scholarships, or whatever the drive is behind all of this stupidness. I am not willing to do it - I can't see how it's worth it. I would be much more willing to pay for guitar lessons for the boys - anybody can get a recording contract these days - see American Idol (I hate that show).

On the Hobby Front, I have been stitching and stashing like mad. I got all of my Relay for Life bead orders done - 6 days ahead of my last scheduled delivery date, I might add - and have been stitching ever since. Sadly, I have about 6 bead projects for myself laying on the table, waiting to be done. I'm not in the mood. I am almost done with my Dragonflies - I have about 2 hours to go on it, which is a lot more than I though, because the words along the outside edge are being cross stitched over one, instead of backstitched - the backstitch just did not have the desired result, so I started on the one over one, and it looks great! It's just ridiculously time consuming! But I have been able to finally buy all the DMC for Unicorn, and it is on bobbins, and bags are marked and ready, I have oak dowel rods to use for that scroll frame, once I get the fabric sewn onto them, and basically, as soon as I complete Dragonflies, I can jump on that. I also have Vikki Clayton silk in the mail to me right now for my Long Dog St. Georges. I have a quick secret project to do - small, one color in Carrie's Threads - I might take it on vacation with me, though I don't usually take stitching with me anywhere; my stuff isn't portable. I need that before August, though it should be pretty quick.

The stash has grown tremendously in the past couple of months; ever since I joined a couple of Yahoo XS groups, I have quadrupled my freebie chart stash, been introduced to and have acquired and used silk threads, have been introduced and am acquiring hand-dyed fabrics. I just got my first Chatelaine chart, Knotgarden, though it will be some time before I even contemplate starting that; it'll be about $75-100 to kit it up in silks and beads, though by using FMG beads for the Swarovskis, I can save a bunch, and have some left over for jewelry! The seeds are a little trickier - I can't quite figure out how to translate Mill Hill seeds with the usual brands available from bead sellers. Eh, if I need to buy some Mill Hills for this, then try some from FMG, I can then do a visual cross, for later on down the road. Mill Hill wants too damn much money for their stuff; they sell the 4mm Swarovski bicones, 3 for around $1.50; I can get 44 of the same exact thing from FMG for $4! How crazy is that? Okay, if you only need 8 for your stitchery, and would never have a use for the leftovers, maybe it makes sense. But, man, that's a lot of money, especially if you need 30-40, like some of the Chatelaines do. If beads weren't popular right now, I'd probably be stuck with the Mill Hill ones, anyway, so I guess I just need to count my blessings.

I also have just gotten, as a Mother's Day present, an Anagram Diffusion chart, Sampler 4 Saisons. It originally calls out red and white, but there are several in my groups who have done it in different colors for each season, and Vikki Clayton silk has a 5-color set for it. I have her threads picked out for it, but not that set; I want to use the Dragon series she has - Earth for Spring, Fire for Autumn, Ice for Winter, and Smoke for the tree. She just doesn't have a good color for Summer, something golden/yellowy. I might have to use a different brand for Summer - Gloriana has some pretty golds. But that's a ways off still; I will finish LD St. G before I even consider kitting this one up. Well, that's the plan, anyway.

Well, busy busy busy. The boys have 2 days of school left - I can't believe they get out so early! And Grandma will be here soon to go to the beach with us; she's going to end up staying all summer, so I can take her back up in August when I go to my reunion, the day after the boys go back to school! I don't think we can afford to take 2 trips to Ohio, and I don't want to put the wear and tear on my car. And, as usual, we just mailed the vacation condo check, and the damn refrigerator died yesterday. Man, last year, we mailed it, and I had to go get a $200 tire for my car and that goofy big kid broke his hand and had a cast on it up until the week before we left, and me a $100 deductible to pay. It never fails - it's our punishment for thinking we can go on vacation like the rich folks. But DH borrowed the money for a new one from his boss, and they'll take it out of his check, $50 a check, until it's paid. That's about the only advantage to his working there; of course, if they actually paid him what he's worth, we wouldn't have to borrow money, would we? That's what I get to do this evening; new fridge. Though DH just called from home and said the old one seems to be working just fine, now. Too bad, it can go live in the garage, and I get the nice new black one. The other one is 12 years old - I was waiting for it to go, since it has developed a rattle when it runs. It's always something; new stove, next - it's the last white appliance we have, though of course, the front door is black. I need a bigger oven - more turkey room, for the day when both of those boys eat like teenagers (when I have to relearn how to cook for an army).

I will try not to wait so long between posts - too much to do, and I have a Multiply site I need to put together, too, for XS pics! In my free time! L8R.