Thursday, February 26, 2009

Posting from the blackberry!!

What you are now reading is truly a miracle of modern technology. Sure, many a techno-geek has probably blazed this path of blogging from their blackberry, iphone, or other pda-device months (or even years) ago, but here I am -- the gal who just purchased her own personal copy of "Blackberry for Dummies" -- now able to blog from anywhere.

Oddly enough, I figured out how by browsing through the Ravelry help forums in search of what others were doing to access Ravelry on their mobile devices. I've always been able to log-on and perform some of the typical Ravelry functions, but found that things like adding projects to my queue, opening PMs, and critiquing forum comments were beyond my brower's capabilities. The suggestion from one of the forum mods was to use Opera Mini as the browser, not IE or whatever else the default was. That definitely did the trick, and works great for blogspot as well.

So, there you have it. I no longer have any valid excuses for not updating this blog regularly. Now, I need to figure out how to link-in the weblinks and photos that I love to use for these posts...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

It's powdered sugar, baby, powdered sugar....

So I have an awful condition. One that will not let me sit idle and not volunteer. "For what?" you may wonder. Well, just about anything, and it's sad. In the end, I get pulled in directions I may never have ventured, and found myself this past weekend in Cadillac at Caberfae Ski Resort with 27 other parents and Boy Scouts. Arriving on Friday night and heading out Sunday afternoon, we had an absolute blast. We received 8 to 10 inches throughout the day on Saturday, which provided some of the best skiing that I've ever experienced. Don't get me wrong, I usually am able to get out only once a year; and by then, the snow is pretty well packed down and a layer of crusted snow and ice is well formed. With the continual snow, though, the trails were great, and with the cold wind, the resort wasn't terribly busy. It was so cold, that our camera wouldn't function outside, so the only outdoor photo I was able to snap off was one taken from my blackberry at the top of "Smiling Irishman" -- the easy run coming off of North Peak. This was taken Sunday morning, and as you can see, the snow hadn't let up much then either.

As for the crazies I crossed passed with over the weekend: I took them as omens and learning experiences. There were three on Saturday, all seen while during the same run. While on the North Peak lift, I noticed this absolutely stupid snowboarder climbing under orange, plastic gating closing off the top of the "I-75" run. On the trail map linked through "North Peak" above, you'll see this run as the double-black diamond that heads straight down on the right-side of North Peak. This is a straight drop of ungroomed ice. Why anyone would see this and think, "this looks fun, so I don't care if it's closed, I'm going down it" is way beyond me. Crazy folk number 2 were another group of teen snowboarders and skiers who were going off the shear face of North Peak off of the "Irishman" run. In many ways, these folks were more stupid than I-75 guy b/c at least what he was trying to go down is an actual run that connects back to the lifts through other trails. The second group of stupids had to walk uphill to get anywhere meaningful when they were all done. The third Saturday person was a mother who swooshed by me with a toddler in her arms. And I don't mean that the kid had its own skiis and was skiing between mom's legs. Mom was carrying this child with not a care in the world, just zooming down the run. Say what you want about the effectiveness of helmets (which by the way neither were wearing) or the skill of that particular person, all they needed was a completely unskilled kid to run right into them for someone to be seriously hurt. And it likely wouldn't be the mother. The triple-whammy of seeing those people made me decide that it was definitely time for me to take a nice long break in the lodge.

I literally ran into Sunday's special crazy while trying to pull out of the parking lot. With my car plowed in by the resort's front-loader and a car full of scouts, I nearly ran down an older man who was skiing through the parking lot. One minute, all was clear; the next, he was right behind me. Yelling, ski poles being slapped at my car, and me chastising someone older than me who should know better ensued. At least it served as a lesson to the scouts that were with me as to why you don't ski thru parking lots.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Technology is upon me

Over the two weeks or so since my last posting, I've discovered just how much I rely on gadgets. A couple of Fridays ago, I was running errands while Sylvain worked at one of the MSU hockey game concession stands as part of his Order of the Arrow lodge to raise money for an upcoming trip. After arriving home for the night, I decided to catch up on my Friday shows since our trusty DVR was set to record Ghost Whisperer and Battlestar Galactica. With the afghan that was for Afghans for Afghans in my lap, I was appalled as the Ghost Whisperer that was recorded was a garbled mess. I thought that maybe the beginning of the show was ruined, but found that it couldn't be skipped through. Giving up, my stomach twisted with the thought that the BSG episode was in the same condition. I've been on the fence as to whether to keep watching Ghost Whisperer since I am not enjoying the current story line. But, this is BSG's last season and I've gotten really into it. Sadly, it was unwatchable too. Chuck was out of town, so there wasn't anything that I could really do to fix it. By Saturday night, the DVR had quit altogether and wouldn't even show the live Direct TV channels. Gone was the shows I had wanted to save in perpetuity: the Price of Right Million Dollar special hosted by Bob Barker, a Kylie Minogue concert that was on Channel 101 in 2006, all of this season's episodes of Damages and Desperate Housewives (both were waiting for a truly lazy Sunday). Since that little meltdown, Chuck was able to order us a new DVR, and was able to connect it to our wireless router to download the missing BSG episode, so there's hope that I may be able to recover some of what was lost.

My other techno-hiccup involved my new phone. Last month, I replaced my Motorola Razr with a Blackberry Curve. It's a neat phone, but comes with next to no instructions. I've tried my phone carrier's website and downloaded the user's manual, but even that provides little help with much that I wanted to do with the phone. My goal is to be able to use it to update this blog, which will help significantly when I travel and don't have normal computer access. The limitation will come when trying to add photos and links.

As for my actual knitting: I finished the blanket shown and delivered it to Sarah as part of our Guild's contribution to the Spring 2009 campaign. I started the Estes Vest from the Fall 2008 issue of Interweave Knits. It's made out of Cascade Pastaza, and (despite my awful photos) is going to be olive-colored. This has been a pleasant reprieve from the baby afghans that I've been working on for Chuck's cousin Aaron and his wife Claire. They're expecting twins and the shower is March 8th. I'm about halfway done the first afghan, so need to get into high gear to get that finished up and the second one completed.

It's getting late and I have more stories, photos, patterns, and a review of Coraline to share....there just isn't enough time in the day sometimes....