Sunday, August 22, 2010

Welcoming ANY distraction possible

I'm probably one of the few people in the entire world who would come home after a long day of marathon school clothes shopping (at Birch Run, no less, so LOTS of walking), and immediately don rubber gloves; grab the broom, dustpan, and cleaning supply kit; and scrub down the bathrooms. After being overcome with fumes, I've decided to take a quick break to check messages and do some net browsing while the bathroom airs out so that I can return and scrub the floors.

As yesterday's Fiber Fest purchases can attest to, I'm developing a little bit of an obsession with crocheted stuffed animals. I've also had a ton of patterns floating around my queue by DeliciousCrochet for the past several months, but am hesitant to purchase any until I have hook and yarn in hand to immediately start working.

I have a couple of friends who are expecting babies within the next month or so and one who had a baby earlier this spring. Hopefully, they won't mind being the recipients of handmade toys!

I'll have to stop cooing at the pretty pictures on the DeliciousCrochet Etsy page now and return to my chores.....

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Hell has frozen over

In case you couldn't tell from my last post, I had been at what I thought was the peak of frustration....Silly, me! The last two weeks have been two of the busiest and hellish weeks I've ever endured at the office. I won't bore you all with the details, but I can honestly say that I lost all possible zen I had gained while on vacation.

Speaking of vacation, I need to post pics and stories....That's still forthcoming, but today, I'd rather talk about the Michigan Fiber Fest. I had to work today, so didn't arrive at the festival until 4:30; it didn't help that I got lost while trying to by-pass I-94 from Marshall, so cut across to Allegan on M-96, M-66, then M-89. The hour to 45 minutes by highway bloated into an hour and a half drive.

Anyways, once I arrived, I immediately ran into Rachel at her booth. I surprised her by uttering the magic words she's been wanting to hear for the past few years: "I think I'm ready to give spinning with a drop spindle a shot...." Squealing with delight, she immediately directed me to stop by the Maple Row Stock Farm booth from Sherwood, MI and pick-up one of their 1 oz spindles.

Drop spindle

[Note: I'll pause my story now to complain -- inserting the photo above was a complete and total pain! I can't believe the new Flickr photosharing is so stunted and not friendly at all if you have pics that you'd like to insert into a narrative. It totally sucks ass!]

So, yep folks, mark this date on your calendar -- my journey into spinning has begun.

I continued my shopping, but with the vendors closing at 6, I needed to make my choices quickly. I picked up two crochet books from Homestead Acres in Ionia: "Cute Little Animals" and "More Cute Little Animals" by Leisure Arts. I also bought 10 hanks of DK-weight wool from Shelridge Farm in Ontario; the colors are for Okemos High and the project that I have in mind for this are 3 ski hats knit by modifying part of Dale of Norway motif. The hats need to be done by early-November, in time for Sylvain's trip to Germany with his school's orchestra. Each of the students going on trip are bringing a gift for the host student, and Sylvain's gift will be one of the hats. I'd like to have something like "OHS Germany Trip 2010" embroidered on the inside headband of the hats, so if anyone has any suggestions for a good, local embroiderer, please let me know!

Well, that's all that I have time for, for now. Sylvain's chomping at the bit to use the laptop before Chuck gets home. The house computer is still not working right and Chuck and Sylvain really do fight over who gets to use the laptop (even though it is Chuck's laptop). I shouldn't complain too much about the computer not being fixed yet; I'm still not on my new computer at work and there's 3 full-time IT staffers there who work on....stuff....

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Returning to the office isn't as productive as one would think

We're back from vacation and I'm still trying to get back into the swing of things. It didn't help that I caught a bad headcold towards the end of the trip; and now that I write that, I wonder if there's such a thing as a good headcold.

Anyways, my work laptop totally bombed on the last day of work before my vacation, so I was told that a new laptop and new PC would both be ordered for me as replacements. Silly me. All of that talk left me with the impression that these purchases would be made while I was gone and that within the 3 weeks of vacation that I was on, at least one of the machines would actually be in the building. I didn't really expect that it would be ready for my immediate use, but had hoped that by it being here, the IT staff would have something to work with to load software and stuff onto it.

Yep, silly me. Until last week, neither had been ordered.

And to add insult to injury: on that tragic last day of work, we moved my working files that had been created or edited since the last back-up onto a "dummy", temporary laptop. This laptop is one of the office's floaters that are available when one wants to attend training, has a presentation to give, or wants to run one of the projectors in our meeting rooms. These floaters aren't made for heavy-duty computing and have only basic software installed.

While I was away, the assumption was made that I would use the temp laptop until the real deals are ready. That's all well and good -- as long as the actual software I need to do my job and the rest of my files are moved over!

But, I wasn't here to point that out. Nor did I feel the need while away to call and check up on things. So, yesterday was a little bit of a "gimme" day anyways as I waded through my e-mail, messages, and actual mail. (Thankfully, I can still get to my e-mail thru a web application!)

Once everyone was on the same page with what was needed for files & software, there wasn't much of anything left to do, so I left for a long lunch with Sylvain, a quick afternoon cat-nap, then our dentist appointment. This had me thinking that I could hit the ground running this morning.

But, no.

I arrived at 6:30 to find a note that the laptop was taken from my desk since there still needed some work done on it. This should take only "20-30 minutes", but the person who has it doesn't usually arrive until 8:30 or 9-ish....

Now, I know that some of you are current or former IT specialists and that you might find my venting somewhat offensive. Yes, I know that the 3 folks who make up the IT staff here aren't here to support just me. I'm one of 45 users....But, really, I have a very hard time having faith when I feel like nothing happens until I start bitching.

So, what to do for now? Well, I've been meaning to do some organizing and picking up around my office....

And once that's done? If you see a second blog update....

UPDATE: I'm now told that the "20-30" minutes have morphed into "2-3" more hours. Well, the tidying up is done, so I'm working through the vacation journal to pick-up where I left off....ANYONE OUT THERE KNITTING? Send me a text & I'll likely join you....